This (small) review is based on my experience with the Pegasos (BetaTester-II) that I own. Remember that this is just that, a BT-board and should differ from the end-product to the public when that arrives.
I've been using my Pegasos (BT2) since October last year and I really love it. I havn't any plans to abandon AmigaOS (4.x) either, but since that ain't available yet this solution is really great for me since I really don't know how long my aging A4000 will live on
The speed of the 68k emulation is awesome, and having PPC-version of MUI and most of it's classes makes the system really heavenly to use. There were some problems in the beginning, but that's not strange since it's a young system. But since the developers of MOS is really active, there is almost instantly fixes if there should be any problems. I havn't started to port any of my projects to MOS yet, but will soon do so. The main reason for not doing this is that the emulator is so fast that I really don't need the pure power of the PPC for it atm. My current titles is not that demanding.
I'm 100% satisfied with my machine and don't regret getting it. It's like the first time I touched my A500 back in '91, it's unbeatable. I've got a Radeon9000 (128MB mem) in the box and it's really overkill but it's nice to be able to use common PeCe-stuff that is easy to get and not so expensive as the old Amiga-stuff was.
The pictures on this page are taken from my machine by Anders of OnyxSoft (click them to enlarge!). They actually have been shot at the AmiGBG-show that was held in Gothenburg, Sweden. Thanx to Anders for the photos and expecially Stefan for the very interesting review.
First impressions and installation
I recieved my board from GGSData (Sweden) in late October, there was no real documentation with it just a note which connection was who and so on. But as stated earlier, this was and is a testboard and not the end product. Anyhow... I started to install the board in my ATX-tower and the mobo is really small so there isn't any problems to work with. Normaly there can be problems with stuff that is in the way when installing a mother board in a tight ATX-box but nohing here, everything was very easy to install. One thing I was disturbed with was that there was one connector (much like the floppy- connector) that holds all Power-LED, Reset, Power-ON cables etc. The point is that Power-LED normally is bigger and didn't fit hear so I had so exchange the connection on the cable to get it to fit. Hopefully this will be fixed on the consumer version. Well, after that little re-work of my cable I've attached my harddisk (80GB) and a 256MB DIMM plus a cheap SIS6326 GFX-card. And turned the computer on, there it was the Pegasos firmware that I've been waiting so eagerly to see.
The CD was inserted and it tried to boot, but when the system should kickstart the desktop, nothing happened. There was some strange gfx-bugs on the firmware screen at most but that was it. I never got MorphOS to boot properly in the first place, but then it came to my knowledge that I needed registered DIMM's to be sure to get it to work. And after some consulting with Gunne at GGSData he told me he had got some memory that wasn't registered but did work correctly with the Pegasos so I ordered that and a Radeon9000 at the same time to be sure everything should work. The gfx-card was bought aswell since I didn't know for sure if the problem was the memory or the cheap gfx-card I had.
Later on it I knew that the problem with the memory was in the MAI's Articia chip and it's pretty picky of what memory you use. This should be a problem with A1 aswell if they havn't got a updated revision on the chip I'm concerned.
But after I got my new stuff I got it to work at once and it still works (as I typed this text on it)
MorphOS and Ambient
The CD contained the base MOS-system and by using the tools distributed to it I partitioned the harddisk and installed MOS on the HD. Now I wanted to test how quickly the system booted up, and I must say that I was really amazed... Less than 4 seconds my desktop was upp and flying with all backdrops and everything. This was a great fealing to be able to see I must say. Back then, Ambient that is the desktop environment in MOS wasn't really filled with features, so I installed DirectoryOpus Magellan as I'm used to on my Amiga4000. To get all stuff working as normal you need to have some files from AmigaOS if you want to use old stuff like ARexx, and similar so I put the stuff that I used on the system and it worked very well. One point that was a problem was that Multiview didn't display Amigaguide-documents properly (Using OS3.9 datatype), this was solved by change it to the one on the OS3.5 CD.
The first thing I tested after that was AmigaAMP and what lovely to be able to hear MP3's in 16-bit instead of the normal 14-bit paula output I was used to I also wanted to be able to listen to MOD-files, but I noticed then that no player I tried did work without a real CIA-chip as an normal Amiga have. But then I got my hands on a MOS-port of UADE (Unix Amiga Delitracker Emulator) and I was in heaven again =)
It was now time to test my TVCard with Visionary (TVCard-software) but since the Radeon driver isn't yet supporting Overlay it didn't work. It did find my card properly though (WinTV). Don't know if this is why AMP just displays a black window but plays the sound. MooVid-PPC is working fine but it havn't yet got AHI-support so that's not so fun to use just atm. but the author told me that he is working on that. FroggerNG is pretty nice though, it plays DivX's that even XINE on my linuxbox doesn't and XINE is much more compatible (with indexless AVI's) than MP (Micro$haft's) is so =) Then I went to test some paint programs, PPaint is not acting as I'm used to but it's probably that it is banging some hardware. TVPaint still works wonderful, and my newly bought fxPaint is a dream to use. Most of the stuff I normaly use works as intended, so I'm very pleased with my machine. All MUI-application is now really speedy to use since MOS has a PPC-native version of MUI (V3.9).
A WarpOS-emulator is built-in in MOS so every WOS-stuff I used earlier works aswell, except for one thing and that is the WOS-version of jpeg.library (used by PhotoFolio). Maybe other stuff will fail, but the stuff I use works well.
I'm not much of a game player, but I've tested Crossfire-II, QuakeMOS and Birdieshoot and that havn't caused any problem yet so I must say it's a pretty stable system even if it's a betatester-system.
To sum it all up...
So to sum it all up, I'm more than pleased with my machine even if I had some problems to get it to start first. And that might be a good suggestion to all who want to buy a Pegasos. Buy a complete system or at least with memory-modules you are 100% sure will work. Maybe I can complete this review a little more later on, but I hope you've got some information that can be of some use.
Thanx to Stefan Blixth and Anders Ericsson for the review and photos.