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AMPM: Alpha Micro Eagle 100 Series

The Eagle 100 is the direct descendant of the more powerful Eagle 300, an evolved, lower-cost design with fewer expansion options but a definitely more appealing cost due to its lower component count. You might consider opening the E300 page in a separate tab and flipping back and forth for an informative comparison.

Like any AM system, you should take especial care to make sure that the units you buy on the used market have all the devices and options you want already installed. That goes double for things like the Eagle 100 where the good stuff like Ethernet was not factory-installed in the base model, and this is a big reason why the E300 is doing work in my server rack and the E100 sits inert in my project area.

The Eagle 100 came in a series of special market models (the pictures below are of the base eight-port, one-slot, Ethernet-less Eagle 100); these models include the 100LC, which had only four ports and lacked any slot expansion of any kind; the 100TX, a pure terminal server with Flash AMOS and no disk; the 100NX, which had Ethernet but no slot either and also only four ports; and the 100MX, with Flash AMOS but a disk option and Ethernet. These special versions never found wide distribution and most Eagle 100s you will encounter will be variations on the base model below.

For more commentary on the Eagle machine line, see the Eagle 300 page and Eagle 450 page.


Unit portrait. Like the E300, the E100 is essentially stuffed into a PC minitower case, the same case used in other systems like the E450, with a standard mix of 3.5" and 5.25" bays of the day (this unit was manufactured in 2000). The AM-626 tape streamer (Tandberg 3820) was factory-installed and takes standard QIC-525 cartridges.

The backplate of the E100 is nearly identical to the E300, except that the AUI and 10bT Ethernet punchouts are blocked, and there is only one parallel port. There is external SCSI (with terminator) and the AUI Ethernet punchout is below that (the circle is where the 10bT jack would have been, and the boot DIP switches are below the circle). You can't see it here, but the official model number is AM-3500-E100; all Eagles that I have seen are officially "AM-3500" series models.

The extra punchouts below the eight serial ports are for additional serial ports if you have the single expansion slot occupied with a serial card. I put the arrow on the case so I could remember where the console was.

Also, the second fan on the E300 is blocked on this E100.

The reason for that is undoubtedly because the two boards inside the E300 have been consolidated into a single motherboard (AM-137) in this unit. The inside is therefore quite sparse by comparison. Interestingly, the hard disk occupies a 5.25" bay, not a 3.5".

Unlike the E300, where the serial ports are provided by peripheral cards, the serial port hardware is part of the E100 motherboard and pin headers connect the serial ports directly. The lone "SIMM module" slot for either an AM-366 Ethernet card or additional ports is at right, partially covered by the SCSI cable. Click the image for a larger, 142K image of the mainboard in a new window, showing the slot, headers and most of the mainboard. There is a single RAM slot which is occupied. The SIMM slot is compatible with the AM-314, AM-318 and AM-318-10 serial cards.

The CPU, however, is hidden far to the right under the cables. It is also a generic Motorola 68EC030, like the E300.


Benchmarked with SI.LIT on standard hardware with spinning SCSI hard disk. The CPU runs at exactly the same speed as the E300, but for reasons that aren't clear the peculiar AlphaBASIC 48-bit FP mode (for backwards compatibility with the AM-100) performs rather worse. Unless you do a lot of computations in AlphaBASIC, however, performance is overall similar to its older sibling otherwise.

Computing Index (CX), relative to AM-100: 38.2
48 bit FP Index (4X), relative to AM-100: 18.8
Floating Point Index (FX), relative to AM-100/L: 5.5
Disk Index (DX), relative to ST-506: 14.3


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