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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

New Buddha Flash "20-Year Anniversary Edition" Coming Soon!

by intric8 Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:39 am

buddha-ic.png
Back in mid-September I reached out to Jens Schoenfeld of Individual Computers about the off-chance for some of his older expansion cards to be sitting around in an old storage box somewhere collecting dust, but not available on his online store. Individual Computers, has been creating hardware for over 20 years now, and some of the "old" stuff was really useful and not available anymore.

The card I was originally interested in was the Buddha Flash, which originally shipped back in 1997. I love my 2000’s SCSI2SD 4GB storage, combined with an original and still working 40MB mechanical hard drive. But the Buddha Flash card was something quite unique and rather special. It was an IDE controller which could be popped directly into any Zorro II port. This opened the door to be used by A2000, A3000 and A4000 machines. And it could accept up to 8 drives.

But more importantly it supported hard disks larger than 4GB right out of the box. Check out some of the additional features of the Flash version on the Big Book of Amiga Hardware.

Jens and I passed a few notes back and forth (including my hope and desire for him to some day release the ACA1000, but that’s another story). He had wanted to re-sell the Buddha Flash for years, but had never found the time to make a new “RoHS complaint” design.

RoHS Guide:
RoHS stands for Restriction of Hazardous Substances. RoHS, also known as Directive 2002/95/EC, originated in the European Union and restricts the use of specific hazardous materials found in electrical and electronic products. All applicable products in the EU market after July 1, 2006 must pass RoHS compliance.

I heard back from Jens today and he shared some very exciting news, which I have been permitted to share.

Jens Schoenfeld:
There will be a "Buddha Flash 20-year anniversary edition" for this year's Xmas business. Please monitor the news for more goodies that come with the new version :-)

I asked it it would be modeled after his original 1997 design, or include any bits from the more contemporary 2008 “Phoenix Edition”.

The Phoenix Edition was a version that was “intended to be used with the Phoenix A1000 motherboard” but could also be used with original 1000 and 500 machines.

Jens Schoenfeld:
Software-wise, all designs are the same and they work with all third-party drivers such as the Linux and BSD drivers.

Hardware-wise, I have removed the added Phoenix connector, and did other optimizations to the design, like using modern 3.3V-logic instead of the MACH chips - these are hard to come by and they run way too hot for a 2017 product.

The two IDE ports are not above, but next to each other for easier accessibility, and each port has an additional jumper which routes power to a 40-pin DOM (disk-on-module). The product will ship with a 128 MByte DOM included, and this contains installation software. This is mainly because floppy disks are too hard to find these days, and the available space is too limited. The product will include an OS installer, much like the ACA500plus has.

All in all a very fantastic sounding product! I hope to get one under my own Christmas tree this year if I can get in line fast enough. I imagine these will be flying off the shelf.

Jens will make an official announcement this weekend at the Amiga32 event in Neuss, Germany.
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LambdaCalculus
New Jersey, USA

Re: New Buddha Flash "20-Year Anniversary Edition" Coming S

by LambdaCalculus Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:49 am

OH SNAAAAAAAAP!! :D

Excitement builds!! If these aren't too pricey, I may get one for my A4000!
Own: Amiga 500 (NTSC), Amiga 4000, Amiga 600 (PAL), Mac Mini G4 & iBook G4 (MorphOS), ThinkPad T40 (AROS), R.Pi3 (Amibian)
After: Amiga 1200

https://nostalgiaroadtrip.com
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Zippy Zapp
CA, USA

Re: New Buddha Flash "20-Year Anniversary Edition" Coming S

by Zippy Zapp Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:56 am

Catching up here. Been out of it the past few months. First I read of this. Sounds exciting. Is there any news? Doesn't look like it is an XMAS bonus now but still if it is coming I will for sure buy one as I have a ton of IDE HDs laying around, not to mention SD2IDE adapters.
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

Re: New Buddha Flash "20-Year Anniversary Edition" Coming S

by intric8 Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:16 am

Is there any news?
I haven't heard anything, unfortunately. Getting an accurate production schedule has always been a little slippery with Individual Computers it seems, for obvious reasons with the MK2 shipping now. Maybe January? I'll ping him.
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

Re: New Buddha Flash "20-Year Anniversary Edition" Coming S

by intric8 Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:08 pm

There is indeed news for this now.

Here is the official announcement.
In the past months, we've had a lot of requests for buying a Buddha IDE controller from us. This high demand, combined with the fact that even 20-year old controllers are traded for more than twice the original price on auction platforms, made us put the controller back into production.

The new controllers got a small technology update and a vast extension to the included software. We're accepting pre-orders now, and will ship starting late January 2018.

And here is the new product page that is accepting orders. It costs €54.00 (apx. $66 US).
buddha_20y-d78fe02a.jpg
User avatar
intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

Re: New Buddha Flash "20-Year Anniversary Edition" Coming S

by intric8 Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:55 am

Lots of informational updates about this new card.

I've been in contact with Jens at Individual Computers about various options for this card as it stands today.

There's been some chatter that in order to use 'normal' Compact Flash (CF) cards as hard drives with this IDE controller, you'd be out of luck. The controller is looking for non-removable devices (e.g. standard hard drive, CD-ROM, etc.) but CF cards give off signals that they are removable, so it doesn't work. However, you can download a patch that will fix this problem and let your CF cards work with the Buddha. You'd also need to get a CD > IDE adapter.

Jens, in regards to using the patch:
Yes, there's a patch, but that will also disable the compatibility with IDE-zip and LS120 drives, possibly even CD-Rom drives. I haven't tested that patch yet.


So it will probably work to the needs of a CF to use as a hard drive but with some caveats.

Jens continued:
Personally, I'd look for a DOM, and if that's not available, I'd check if Transcend industrial cards are available. They're a bit pricey, but you can use a cheap 3-dollar-CF adapter with them, which may make up for the difference in price.

I've looked on Amazon, and a Transcend CF card (512MB industrial) runs $29 US. I found the adapter for $8 on Amazon. Industrial CF cards are seen as fixed devices. They are a little more expensive, but nothing too crazy.

Another option is to hunt down a device Jens also created called TrueIDE. They aren't being produced right this moment, but I discovered a few are still available for sale on Amigastore.eu.

TrueIDE, from Individual Computers website:
TrueIDE is a converter that allows you to use up to two Compact Flash cards with your IDE controller. TrueIDE even permits the use of CF cards that regular (passive) converters will only show as removable devices. The active part of TrueIDE parses the data stream that is exchanged between IDE controller and the CF card, and whenever the IDE controller checks for removability, TrueIDE will report back that the media is "fixed". This will allow installing and booting any operating system from a CF card.

IDE connector TrueIDE features two 40-pin IDE connectors, so you can mount the adapter either horizontally or vertically.

Hardware-Multiboot: TrueIDE comes with two CF slots, one acting as IDE Master and one as IDE Slave drive. You can easily swap the Master/Slave setting by pressing and holding Reset for four seconds. This can be used for easy multi-boot, or for creating a remote rescue system.


So, if I'm understanding this correctly, the TrueIDE would allow you to use any CF cards you want - not just industrial, which would greatly reduce the price of CD cards. In addition, no patches would need to be used for the Buddha to see them. But you don't have to get the TrueIDE for CF cards to work - there are just caveats.

The DOM Jens referred to is a "Disk On Module" device that works as a fixed drive, too These pop directly into the IDE port with no adapter needed. They are a bit pricier but appear to be plug-and-play (within reason). Something like this would likely work.

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