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Amiga

Amino Got More Than the Amiga Name 209

vigi writes "Despite early announcements, it seems Gateway sold pretty much anything Amiga to Amino. As this executive update points out, Amino (soon to be renamed Amiga Corporation) acquired all trademarks, inventory, licenses, domain names and the Amiga OS."
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Amino Got More Than the Amiga Name

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    He's alive !
  • by Anonymous Coward
    As I understand it one of the gentlemen who run Amino headed some of the QNX work at Amiga/Gateway. Reportedly he parted ways with Gateway after they dropped QNX in favor of Linux. For that reason, I don't think we'll be seing Linux driving whatever Amiga becomes. While I'm a huge Linux supporter, that is IMO a good thing. Amiga is too different an animal to become just another desktop environment under Linux.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Amiga produced a ton of great demos and games. A lot of the copyright holders are releasing their amiga games for free now. At least it seems that way since a lot of amiga sites have the games for download.

    For a while I was trying to get some of these games to work with UAE (the only amiga emulator available for linux). It is a great emu but it still is a bit slow (choppy sound) and a lot of games refuse to work.

    If they decide to opensource the amiga will it help the emulator any? Is UAE still being maintained?

    Tim
  • Gateway retains ownership of the patents. Amino gets use rights to the patents.

    -E

  • What I really wish would happen is that the AmigaOS would be released to Open Source so that if there is anything still usefull or interesting in the code, it can be used for things such as window managers, etc.

    You know, that's one of the things that really bothers me about the "Open-Source Uber Alles" crowd here; the basic assumption that anything cool or powerful developed by anybody should be open so we can pick it apart for the crown jewels like Apple did to PARC.

  • it prolly won't help a WHOLE lot, but prolly would a little if the Amiga OS were open sourced cuz UAE emulates just the hardware, it runs the OS natively. So the hardest stuff has been worked out but there is still a lot of compatibility stuff and speed stuff that could be worked out if more people lent some hands to the project. You can go to the UAE site directly via here:

    http://www.freiburg.linux.de/~uae/

    You can also get Fellow which is a great emu as well (and a lot faster) but not as compatible with a lot of software from here:

    http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Peaks/524 4/

    Then of course there is AmiNet which has TONS of software on it... www.aminet.org (i think)

    / k.d / earth trickle / Monkeys vs. Robots Films [xoom.com] /

  • Yes it is! UAE is still quite alive. You can buy a registered copy of UAE with the roms and a buttload of software called "Amiga Forever" on CDROM or download it (after paying...) from these guys:

    www.cloanto.com

    / k.d / earth trickle / Monkeys vs. Robots Films [xoom.com] /

  • Ah, you never get over your first, do you? It was the first machine I actually bought, having worked on mainframes, minis, PCs and embedded processor development systems for 10 years before. I finally saw a machine that I thought was worth spending my money on. Funny, I was just thinking about cranking up the old A1000 to see if I could get the 3 Stooges game running. And Sinbad, and ... you get the idea. I'll be glad to buy a new one if they get their act together.
  • Just what made you think that the Linux Community was going to implement YOUR IDEA of "the one true interface" anyways?

    I'd vote for Linux just DECIDING on a user interface instead of the current disjointed mishmash. Doesn't anyone think it's odd that a well-populated Linux screenshot looks like a composite? You may be comfortable looking all day at a screen that looks like it's made from six different OSes, but it drives me nuts that I have to spend all weekend just CHASING DOWN all the different places I have to edit just to change color! (Minus three or four apps where you CAN'T change colors.) This is a feature in your book, yes?

    Many of us use Linux to begin with because we would rather not be subjected to such fascist notions. (one true UI)

    Fascist notions like, oh, a STYLE GUIDE? One UI instead of fifty? You sound to me like you use Linux because it's just as scrambled and disjoint as you are. Or else you consider a convoluted and inconsistent interface a form of security, or at least a rite of manhood.

    I don't want to force user interface ideas on anyone. But to even use the term "human interface" in a sentence with Linux, or X Window in general, is a punch line. And you are precisely what I'm ranting about, Mister Anonymous - you defend the lack of a consistent package by trying to tell me I shouldn't WANT one, that it's WRONG to want one. As for starting my own, I've considered it, though even if I did have the time to work on such a thing, or the people-power to do it, the end result would be totally unpalatable to you because it would not resemble X Window at all. And are you one of those who think Linux deserves to be the One True OS? Or that it should only be used by those Worthy of its Power and the rest deserve Microsoft? Which goal is served by your stance?
  • To sum up, maybe someone can give me a opinion on a good "Starter C++" platform:

    I would have to say GTK-- (a C++ wraper for GTK+) [ton.tut.fi] pretty much kicks ass. GTK+ has a decent OO design, which is kind of a pain to use in C, but GTK-- manages to make GTK+ easy to use without losing functionality, or being so totally diffrent from GTK+ that you can't use GTK+ documentation to "figure out" how some underdocumented Gtk-- bit works.

    I use to do a lot of Xt and Xaw, and even raw Xlib work. Then nothing for about six years. Then I picked up GTK-- and wrote a half decent MP3 juke box in a cupple of weeks. Higly recomended.

  • If you want it, then start it up. If you cannot get enough people interested in it, then forget it.

    Keep in mind that if you yourself can program "enough people" is one. Many great projects start that way. Many more then having someone map out a great plan and then look for someone else to code it up. So if you have a Great Idea, and can't intrest others, go out and buy a good book on programming, dig in. Be the next Linus. The world over can mispronunce your name too!

  • >Our box bit the dust a long time ago

    Ha ha! My 2600 still works beautifully!
    And no one's getting it!
  • Hmmmm ... just like WordPerfect, huh?
  • Media OS?

    Where is the DV support?
    Where is the MPEG1/VideoCD compression support? (Encoding, not playback)

    I was interested in using this on my BP6 2x400(500) Celeron system as a video workstation for burning VideoCDs of home movies onto CDRWs or silver/silver discs, but because of the lack of DV support or MPEG1 compression, I had to go to (horrors!) NT.

    BeOS is neat, but it isn't really ready for prime time in the video space.. Any rig that can't handle DV is definitely not suitable for modern corporate/hobbyist video.. DV is _that_ cool.

    Your Working Boy,
  • What has come out of Amiga in the past years that was worth anything? Nada! Let the sucker die a dignified death and stop tossing it around like a hot potato. There's better things to be doing.
  • Essentially, yes, Amiga does mean girlfriend, but not in the sense that this girl is my girlfriend. It means that this girl is a friend. In Spanish, Girlfriend actually is novia.

    Just an interesting fact from the mighty mind of ME!!!

  • but in the immortal words of one of the 'Angry Beavers', "Die you stupid thing DIE". Honestly, I have had my hopes dashed way to many times to get excited about this.
  • Yes it is very saddening to see a good old friend slowly die. I've also moved to the Linux platform and am still amazed how insanely great it is after having used it for a couple of years, but it's not the same feeling as with the original Amy (I'll never part with my A1000/A3000).

    Thanks Leo for some of the great hacks and a couple of good giggles.


    Heiko
  • Prefixing names serves a few purposes:

    It indicates which compilation unit the name belongs. Eg KButton is probably a KDE class and its interface is probably found in $KDEDIR/include/kbutton.h.

    It reduces name space collision. So if you prefixed all your classes with say MC then your names wouldn't collide with the names defined in KDE (or Java).
  • cheese63's statement 'and the letter "J" in front of every class.' lead me to believe he was only referring to code.

    In the case of programs your comment is fair. I would agree it is mainly a branding thing (though a little name space conflict reduction still comes into play).
  • I'm a C++ programmer who 12 months ago had very little experience with GUI programming on *nix. I read the QT tutorial http://www.troll.no/qt/tutorial.html and found it to be very informative. It's a 14 part tutorial which each step taking roughly an hour. It's neat because you can download QT and play with all the examples given.

    I'm interested in hearing if there is something similar for GTK+, (I'm not interested in C for GUI stuff, just C++)

    QT is kinda like Java in that it's almost insulates you from the OS. This is good in a way but bad when you find yourself with no other choice but to make direct system calls, (because you suddenly find yourself out of your depth).

    To help out in these situations I have bought myself a copy of Advanced Programming in the Unix Environment by Stevens it's good and covers the differences betwwen BSD and SVR4, which is useful as I want my code to run on Linux/FreeBSD/OpenBSD/Solaris.

    To be honest I've never seriously considered Beos. I liked NeXTStep a lot, and it had some great apps, but it didn't last. I can't see anything different enough about Beos to stop if suffering the same fate as NeXTStep.
  • Now don't even get me started on Atari!!!!

    October 9. 1985, I got my first Atari ST, serial number in the hundreds. The OS wasn't small enough yet to fit into the 192K roms, so I had to load it off a floppy disk every time I booted, chewing up my RAM. 512K should have been enough, but with the OS loaded there was almost nothing left.

    Then, the only programming language that came with the computer was Logo. ST Basic wasn't even out! I didn't even have Neochrome at that time. All I could do was play my Hitchhiker's Guide Infocom game. When ST Basic came out it was a bug ridden piece of trash that couldn't keep strings straight. First time you ran the program, strings would look OK. Second time you ran the program, the strings would contain nothing but garbage. Rebooting as a part of the edit/run cycle became standard, destroying the learning benefits of an interpreted language.

    Then the machine broke one day. I sent to the service shop and they took 9 months waiting for a board from Atari before they gave up and gave me a brand new computer.

    And they made their C compiler part of a $300 dollar development kit which no high school student could afford. I bought TDK Modula-2 instead which was a decent product, but the documentation was all part of that expensive developer's kit. Boo!

    I wish I knew then what I know now. I would have gotten the cheapest PC clone I could find and a copy of Turbo Pascal 3.0a and actually learned something. I wasted a couple good years of my life dinking with garbage undocumented hardware and a company that didn't care about their users.

    When you say "poor Atari" I really can't say that I share the sentiment. Atari screwed me bad and I wish that I knew enough about computers back then to avoid the trap. I hope Trameil and sons are in the poor house.

    Well, I can't really say that I didn't learn anything. Atari taught me that open hardware/software documentation and free or extremely cheap compilers were the number one criteria for a computer. And here I am today, a Linux fan because of it.
  • The Amiga was a freat home system, not perfect but very good.

    You had autoconfig on hardware boards, just plug in hardware, copy a driver into a directory and that was it!!!

    It had pre emptive 32bit multi tasking in 1985, and had a consistant user interface, drag and drop, AREXX, inter process communication, used lists for system resources, and best of all was light on the resources. Like you would be amazed by what would run in 16Mb RAM.

    Today you have consoles and then you have the PC/MAC with a big of a gap in between.

    The console can't be hacked by the end user, and you need plenty of money to hack windows and a MAC. *nix would probably blow away someone trying to learn from scratch how computers work, so there is a gap.

    Take the Amiga OS, protect the memory, make the stack dynamic, abstract the hardware more, generally update it a bit to enable growth in the future and couple this with an updated autoconfig bus, have on board CPU, graphics and sound hardware, but allow CPU cards, graphics cards and sound cards to overide the default hardware.

    What do you have, a small, effecient, powerful easy to use upgradeable system that is affordable to everyone and is easy for the youth to hack and learn about computers.

    I have still and old B2000 that had been upgraded to a 68040 with 16Mb 32bit RAM, 2Mb 16bit RAM and 1Mb chip. It had a CDROM and 2Gb of hard disk as well as an ethernet card. I also have an A4000 that I was given for nothing from my old company that was slinging them out. For the record I have a dual boot 98 / NT box and a dual boot 98 / Linux (redhat 6.1) box (lives mainly as linux).

    It was a good system and could still be a good system if someone has the guts to move away from a x86 view of the world, remember with no legacy hacks to contend with the price comes down too.
  • Gateway was doing several things with the Amiga department. The first thing they helped bring to life was the Destination system. A few enhancements to the Destination were underway, but, well, ummm, I can't talk about that here.

    Also, it looks like something new will be comming from their efforts withen Gateway, but again, I can't say.

    Public rumors have stated that the Amiga department was working on a Gateway settop box. This I have no idea on, but is completly possible. Keep in mind this is a transfer of what Amiga as a company was, and not the people. As far as I know, the people will stay employees of Gateway.
  • He, don't like Troll and its stuff , do you ?

    IT doesn't matter anyway cause X is not going to be the next GUI of the "people" anyway ...
  • Does this mean we get to see more of Petro Tysh.. Tsch.. Chech.. Tsych.. Ahtsye.. ah, never mind.
  • can some one elighten me why having a patent profolio is useful to a generic systerm cloner?

    is just useful for patent trading reasons?
  • It's dead. Why not let it rest in peace?

    Continuing to torment the poor corpse of this once worthy soul is only going to cause nightmares and discomfort of the decendents who it will rise to haunt. If you are not careful it will come after you too.

    It did nothing bad to you in life, but now it is dead. Don't play with the dead, it isn't polite or respectful to the its memory.

  • ....The Curse of the Amiga(tm)?
    ---
  • Would this still be true if they opened up the OS?

    How many BeOS developers might prefer the power/speed of BeOS, but with access to the source?


  • I am just having a hard time justifying spending the time to learn the API of BeOS when it might be more profitable to learn the QT or GTK libraries.

    I know that GTK is not C++, but I will put my situation on the table.

    I am a X-Windows Developer. I have written a lot of c++ in college, but never in production and never on a WINDOW(ED) environment. I have written quiet a bit of Java code and (shamefully) spent almost 1 1/2 years working w/Visual Basic.

    I feel that there is a strong future with C++ (And I believe JAVA IMHO), but where next?

    I could spend the next few months (3 minimum I believe) comming up to speed with C++ and *A* Window Manager/OS.


    Do I spend the VERY LITTLE spare time I have now weaning my limmited C++ experience to a open source solution with THOUSANDS OF PROJECTS TO JUMP INTO, or take on BeOS.


    I have heard from various people (BeOS fanatics of course) that BeOS is a dream to develop for.


    To sum up, maybe someone can give me a opinion on a good "Starter C++" platform:

    GTK+
    KDE
    BeOS
    Java Swing


    Thanks for any suggestions...
  • amino acids can do that!
  • At this rate the amiga OS will be out of *copyright* by the time the make another amiga.

    Copyright won't be a problem. Existing (C) is protected for 75 years. So long as they hold the appropriate patents and trademarks to go along with (C) they're pretty much covered.

    It would be good to see Amiga OS in serious development and production.
    "Una piccola canzone, un piccolo ballo, poco seltzer giù i vostri pantaloni."

  • "Amiga" is the feminine for friend (a friend who happens to be a girl). Girlfriend in the couple sense is "Novia". So I guess your analogy was a little bit off (unless you sweep all your friends who are girls off their collective feet, in which case, may I ask how you do it?), but point taken anyway. :-)

    Loved that machine, though. Used for years and made a good living consulting for a couple of audio-visual and video production firms and outfitting them with Amigas, toasters, ARexx scripts, etcetera. It was a really neat platform to work on.

    And their command-line shell was much better than DOS, although of course worse than, say, bash. Still ARexx allowed you to do really cool things in realtime with a couple of Amigas hooked up together.

    I also lost hope about a year ago. I still keep one of my old Amigas and my software lying around though :-)

  • exactly what are the patents that gateway own?

    searching on www.patents.ibm.com for patents owned by amiga reveals 3 patents: 2 ancient ones for joysticks and one recent one for a bus arbitration scheme or something.

    searching for patents owned by commodore returns 14 patents, for stuff ranging from cdrom error detection to case designs.
    escom have 4, including what looks like a patent on HAM.(hold and modify)


    nothing hugely exciting as far as i can see.
  • go to http://www.amino1.net/ ,And view the source. Check out the keywords. You will find Linux along with Free, Open System, and Open platform. They seem to have some plans involving Linux.
  • by sugarman ( 33437 )
    We will be making an announcement on January 8th, 2000 with one of our partners at CES in Las Vegas, and more details will follow that release.

    Is thewre anyone here who will be in attendance at the CES to check out what they have to say?
  • by Penrif ( 33473 )
    Well good, I was pretty sure Gateway wasn't going to do anything good with 'em.
  • And with luck, some good old fashioned Strategic Alliances.
  • What? because its old it cant be stable? hmmm, how old is Unix? Does software in your opinion "degenerate" with age?

    Unix was always robust and scalable. A desktop environment written for one architecture and designed to be crammed into 1 MB of RAM (or less) is bound to have its share of hacks, hard-coded assumptions and limitations.

    Anyway, Amiga is MORE than A desktop environment, it was a MICROKERNAL OS, even LINUX is not as advanced as a Microkernal OS (Linus was programming for an i386 architecture after all)

    Microkernel OSes are different, not "more advanced". If AmigaOS was a microkernel OS as you claim, please explain why that's a good thing. An OS that A) runs on one architecture and B) does not support memory protection (say bye to any hope of keeping system services in the microkernel) does not NEED to be a microkernel OS. But that's besides the point. Let's be realistic and assume the only thing worth salvaging from the Amiga is the desktop environment.

    Also, what the fuck does i386 have to do with whether or not you can design a microkernel OS? Flamebait?

    On a sidenote... Anyone notice that linux distro's are getting closer and closer to what the Amiga used to be? (superficially anyway)

    No. What are you talking about?

  • Check out the circa-1988 "3d computer graphics"

  • While the name Amiga does happen to match up with the Spanish term meaning roughly "female friend". The original marketing brochures that pitched the Amiga claimed that the name came from the combining of Alpha and Omega.


    Pure Spin. One of the founders thought the word might have some possible racist connotations; so marketing made up another reason for the name.
  • Ah, yes, BeOS. I always seem to forget about it.

    I have heard nice things about the BeOS, and have been tracking it since the beginning (Back when JLG was touting it as Amiga'96), but have yet to actually use it. Back when I first got my PC, and it was still freely available, it didn't support the rather strange hardware I had. More recently, I shied away from it because Be seemed to be pushing the OS as only for media content creation, not mainstream use. It's as if they only want the BeOS to ever be a niche market OS, and not mainstream. (This is the same argument I have against the New-Amiga-NG alliance created between QNX and Phase5.) It does look like they're starting to snap out of that now.

    I know Squid above (who I usually respect) is always ragging on the BeOS, but if it's good enough to use on a daily basis, like my Amiga would be if it had some better hardware, I will be happy. At the very least it could help me last until a better successor comes along. I can get used to the shortcomings if it's not crashing every hour or needing constant reconfiguring and upgrading.

    And then a new Amiga can come along, and save us all. :)

    -JuPo
  • I don't like having to hassle with the OS to get things done. I am not a dummy -- I certainly hope I qualify as a geek, with my collection of 20+ computers at home. I've been using computers for 14 years, from Apples and VIC-20s to SGIs and Suns.

    This is why I still would rather sit at my "slow" 68040-based, graphically un-upgraded Amiga 2000 than at any of my other systems, including a "modern" K6/2-450 system I recently built.

    Of course, I usually do sit in front of the above-mentioned PC, because websurfing is a lot nicer in 24-bit color as opposed to 16 colors. It was cheaper to buy the parts for this system than to get a gfx card for the aging Amiga.

    I bet I'll loose my all-important karma for this, but... I had hoped Linux would help me be able to move out of the past and into the modern world without Microsoft, but the more I use it, the more I hope that it will not be the future of mainstream computing. After three years of playing, it now exclusively resides on a 166MHz Alpha for use as an internet gateway. I might add that I can't even run X on this system (with 64 megs of RAM, even) without everything slowing to a crawl. I may someday dualboot a PC for experimenting and programming, but it's just too combersome for my everyday use.

    I will say that using an SGI is a real pleasure -- while it definately sucks up CPU and graphics horsepower, IRIX is the only *nix OS I know that's as consistent and well-integrated. The 6 year old Indigo box I used for a while would be my second choice for everyday use, if it were that easy to choose. (It's about as hard to play my new copy of StarFleet Command on an SGI as my Amiga, methinks.) Too bad they've screwed themselves over with their whole NT migration strategy last year.

    I'm still holding onto the hope that someone will capture the Amiga spirit and give us a modern computer that is as fun and easy to use as my Amiga, without being as limiting as a Mac. All the better if it's got the label Amiga on it as well. Gateway never really planned this. Amino sounds like they just might.

    They've got my support...

    -JuPo
  • Atari will be remembered forever as the commercial sign that appears at least 6-7 times in Blade Runner. Watch closely and you will see the light (green neon sign). :)
  • *g* I have an Apple 2e emulator on my PC too. All my friends say "WHY???". I have a logo program and an Aztec game. I still remember logo, and it seems so long ago. *shrug*. I also have an Atari 2600 emu and a ton of games I never had as a kid. Our box bit the dust a long time ago. Honestly, I never thot I would play Joust or Phoenix again. I love the old games. Yes, I realize they were dippy and extremely low tech, but they are still fun.
  • So is any of these companys going to do anything with Amiga, or are they just gonna pass the trademark from company to company?
  • Actually, it seems to me it's mostly a way of branding your code/program. Put K in front of everything, and everyone knows it's a KDE program or interface. Sort of like saying "Intel Inside", or "Windows 95 Compatible", or "100% Java". It serves advertising purposes, mostly, especially since none of your reasons explains why programs are named with these prefixes. Your reasons have to do with code components.

    But, even then, there are better ways to do it. in Java, you use a packaging system. Your package should be unique if you use your domain (org.slashdot.Button for example).
  • This made me laugh. You're absolutely right. Who started this stupidity of putting a capital letter in front of everything?

    In Java, it's Jthis, Jthat. For KDE, it's Kthis, Kthat. I asked someone why this was done, they said it's nice cause it tells you the program was written for KDE. Sorry, but that's what a readme is for. I don't want the program name to blare it out constantly. Very annoying.
  • I'm with you. At first like most people I slapped my forehead and moaned, "Oh no, please, not again!"

    I mean, so many times we have all said "The Amiga is DEAD, [insert Amiga zealot bait here]"...

    But then I thought, "Yeah but somehow I'm *still* saying it... So paradoxically it's not dead at all, in some sort of f##ked up kind of way!"

    And to heck with it all, I'm sick to death of Linux hype. I really miss the Amiga guys... Come back, all is forgiven!

    RA RA RASPUTIN!

    THE AMIGA IS DEAD! LONG LIVE THE AMIGA!
  • Have you considered sending these ideas to the Amino guys? Seriously--it sounds like the sort of feedback they could use, and your suggestions are really great! For myself, I agree--a new Amiga will only make an impact if it tries to be truly revolutionary, really moving beyond the PC/Mac world: filling the spaces they won't fill, doing the things they won't/can't do. A consumer Alpha-based computer would be just the ticket. Best of luck to the Amino guys!
  • > Cutting edge stuff twenty years ago...stinkaroo today

    Because some of the classics STILL aren't available on the PC. (Listed in order of most favorite)

    Rescue Raiders
    Aquatron
    Lode Runner (and Champsionship)
    Goonies
    Aztec
    Prisoner 2
    Gemstone Warrior
    Karateka (I had the most fun when I finally was able to rip the end music ;)
    Gumball (Lots of easter eggs hidden in this game)
    Spare Change

    Ahh, a lot of youth wasted on those.

    Cheers
  • *Listen*

    That's the funeral dirge forthe Amiga platform. Lets all bow our heads in silence and bury the damn thing, its been a zombie too long.
  • Maybe I misread your post, but what does "Java Swing" have to do with c++? By the way, there's not much to learn when it comes to swing, it's just like the awt, with more stuff and more managability, and the letter "J" in front of every class.
  • No, if Gateway had pulled a Steve Jobs and Newton'ed the thing, *then* they'd be killing it. At this point, at least it's getting a fighting chance. There's a lot of cool, very innovative, stuff out there that gets to the (relative) maturity that the Amiga had gotten to, only to die because of pinheadded marketing groups.

    Case in point: The NewtonOS - once a trendsetter, now a footnote in PDA history.
  • Or they're stacking the search engines ;-)
  • Read Woz's site. Apple paid Xerox for use of their GUI concepts with a hefty chunk of Apple stock.

    As far as Open Source goes -- the Amiga as a separate general-purpose hardware platform is dead. Nobody in their right mind today would bring out a computer based upon proprietary components and expect it to be cost effective in today's market. The only possible commercial use for the AmigaOS is as a webtop OS, where it's lighter-weight than other operating systems like BeOS (for example) -- an AmigaOS webtop could operate in 4mb of ROM and 4mb of RAM quite nicely, thank you. But as a general purpose OS? Get real!

    Open Sourcing the thing could create some excitement. AmigaOS is a much simpler and easier to understand OS than Linux is (thanks to having only one address space, thus no flutzing about with page tables and call gateways). It is emmenently hackable, or would be if the source was available (even without source it can be hacked pretty niftily, thank you!). This in turn could bring some ports of software, though the Amiga memory model can be somewhat problematic for many Unix programs (especially the limits on stack space -- Unix programs, for example, are accustomed to allocating whopping buffers on the stack so that they'll get automatically de-allocated upon the 'return', and this is somewhat incompatible with the way the Amiga's stacks work). I don't think it'd ever get past the hobby stage to being a commercially viable platform again... but it'd be FUN, and it certainly wouldn't cost Amino any lost sales to Open Source it -- assuming that Amino intends to actually sell Amiga hardware. More software == more hardware sold. Even if Amino only came out with a video card for the PC platform that did the amazing tricks that the Amiga could do in 1985, that alone could finance their operations for quite some time...

    -E

  • For better or worse, a lot of the most creative Linux users came from the Amiga world. And to tell you the truth, some of us are a bit disappointed by what Linux has become and is becoming. Red Hat 6.1 ("Cartman") is a case in point: if this thing was any fatter, it'd explode from its own internal pressure.

    For better or worse the Amiga is dead. I have no delusions on that matter. Even if it wasn't dead, the Amiga design makes tradeoffs that don't make as much sense today as they did in 1985.

    For example, the Amiga has one single address space within which all Amiga programs run. This makes interprocess communications basically a matter of plunking a pointer into another process's address space. Meaning that they could create an extremely light-weight multi-tasking message passing operating system in 1985 with hardware that would be viewed as laughably crude today. But the price... the price was high. The price was stability and portability. Stability was a problem because your program could overwrite anybody else's data. Portability was a problem because this memory model resembles nothing else under the sun... I ported several Unix programs to the Amiga, and the difference in the stack model alone caused me to make many patches to, e.g., allocate buffers on the heap rather than on the stack (programs were started in the Amiga model with a fixed-size stack segment, and that stack segment was NOT allowed to grow).

    So the Amiga is dead, and the tradeoffs made to get adequate performance with 1985 technology means that most people wouldn't want to revive it today. But there are still important lessons to learn from the Amiga, the most important lesson being this: Simplicity. The Amiga was a very sophisticated machine for its time, with pre-emptive multitasking, near-real-time message-passing, dynamic libraries, dynamically loaded device drivers with full plug-and-play capability, dynamically loaded file systems, etc. etc. etc... but despite this, it was SIMPLE. You could take the documentation released by Commodore, read it, and you could understand exactly how each piece of the system fit with the rest. Other than the BCPL code hacked in from TRIPOS, the whole system had a simple elegance to it that, for better or worse, is totally lacking in today's Linux distributions. If you don't believe me, load Red Hat 6.1 onto your computer. I don't think anybody will ever describe Red Hat 6.1 as "simple" -- or even as a coherent operating system (it isn't... it's like, three layers of cruft, all sitting atop the Linux kernel, all resulting in enormous bloat).

    Don't get me wrong. I'm running Red Hat 6.1 today to post this. But the simple elegance of the Amiga is nowhere to be seen, and that simple elegance is something that needs to be remembered.

    -E

  • Apparently I forgot to use the HTML "SARCASM" tag around what I wrote.

    Yes, indeed, a generic x86 box running Linux could do all the things described, for vastly less than $2000.

    Glad to see that you noticed that...

    (Hmmm... I wonder if I forgot to use the SARCASM tag on any of this message... Nah, I'm sure everyone's observant enough to know where it should have been applied...)

  • Are we up to the one with the silly clothes going around strangling people yet? Or have we passed that and reached the guy falling off his exercise bike, hanging from his umbrella, and chasing cats?
  • The homepage for this company seems to really be pretty Amiga-centric. There are plenty of links to user groups, etc on the main page. Hell it even sounds like the main reason the purchase went through was to save Amiga.

    So it sounds like Amiga might finally be in caring hands.

    Makes me wonder what all the Amiga hype was all about.. I was always a C128 junkie myself :-P

    --
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?
    Tell him the next version of Windows will be faster, more reliable, and easier to use!

  • That, and the world needs a kick-ass laptop with a SrongARM processor or some other RISC chip with high performance and low power/heat requirements, with good Linux support for all the hardware.

    Maybe that's the route the Amiga folks should take; instead of reinventing the wheel, make a kick-ass Linux system and add the necessary multimedia stuff to Linux. They'll have all the help they can eat.
  • Slashdot swallows up pseudo-HTML tags without a trace. You should have used the preview button!

    Consciousness is not what it thinks it is
    Thought exists only as an abstraction
  • But unfortunately we live in a world in which only one OS matters and we have to live with mediocracy.

    That is still a matter of choice.


    ---
  • ..the //gs was useless aside from that, a hopped-up //e, at twice the price of the Amiga1000.

    Actually they were about the same price on the street if you compared similarly equipped systems. Sounds like you are doing the old 'compare other guy's list price to my mail order price' routine.
    Calling a II GS 'useless' of course is a matter of opinion. Both the Amiga and the II GS suffered from a lack of software (because things were swinging towards the Mac and PC direction by then), the Amiga moreso than the GS (the GS had lots of apps, but most of them weren't 'GS specific'). The GS had more productivity type apps, while the Amiga had a stronger game/demo software market. It was more a matter of what you wanted to do with the machine.

    I came this close to buying a gs instead of an Amiga, and I never regretted the decision.

    The NeXT? At $10k, I think it was a little out of the $1300 Amiga's range.

    Of course it also came with a much faster CPU (25MHz 68030 vs 7MHz 68000), more memory, FPU, MMU, large megapixel display, rewritable optical, hard drive, built in networking, SCSI and lots of expansion slots.

    Besides, the original NeXTs were b/w.

    Actually they were 4 level greyscale. Again, depending on what kind of work you wanted to do, the NeXT megapixel display might be better than the Amiga's video.

  • The problem is that a generic x86 box with Linux does all that for less than half the $1000 you mention.

    Is there really a big enough niche for Amiga to make it in today's world?

  • Or perhaps the Amiga isn't different enough an animal to justify being another desktop environment under Linux. Other than nostalgia for ex-Amiga fans, what real advantage would an Amiga-flavored desktop environment for Linux have that it would draw any significant number of users away from more established efforts such as KDE and Gnome?

  • What? because its old it cant be stable?

    That isn't what I said. Actually, quite the opposite, the point was that the port would be new, and thus behind where KDE and Gnome are now. You can't expect code ported from one platform to another (particularly code written as tightly to proprietary hardware as AmigaOS) is going to be stable immediately.

    hmmm, how old is Unix?

    Well, Linux is not exactly UNIX. However, Linux is already very stable. Linux has been under constant improvement for the past 7 years, AmigaOS has been essentially abandoned for 5.

    Anyway, Amiga is MORE than A desktop environment, it was a MICROKERNAL OS, even LINUX is not as advanced as a Microkernal OS

    Oh please. There are certainly differing opinions in the computer world on whether microkernal OSes are really better than monolithic kernels. At any rate, MkLinux has already proven that Linux is not entirely incompatible with the concept of microkernels.

    (Linus was programming for an i386 architecture after all)

    And Linux now runs on a lot more platforms than just x86. AmigaOS only runs on one so far, and that is unlikely to change any time soon, since it is closed source and highly dependent on proprietary hardware. There was a chance for the Amiga to jump hardware platforms around the time that Commodore bought the farm, but now it seems too late.

    You cant make Linux into a Microkernal os by giving it a pretty desktop environment

    And you can't make AmigaOS into a portable, network savvy, secure, multiuser, memory protected OS overnight either. Linux is not a desktop environment, it is a base on which to run one, but it is more than that. It is a base to run all kinds of server applications as well.

    There are a lot of ways that the abandonment of AmigaOS for the past 5+ years has really put it so far behind that it really looks kind of hopeless.

    If a deep pocketed company like Gateway doesn't think they can make a go of it with the Amiga, what makes you think some underfunded startup can? This new company seems like the shakiest attempt at resurrecting the Amiga yet.

  • Very interesting, but not at all surprising. This certainly seems consistant with Gateway only having been interested in the Patent portfolio all along. This would seem to be a big win for Gateway. They get to keep what they really wanted and probably got some $$$ back on top of it. Better than that, now they have someone else to push all the Amiga fans onto! :-)

  • So long as they hold the appropriate patents and trademarks to go along with (C) they're pretty much covered.

    Patents are only good for 17 years. Many of the Patents in the Commodore/Amiga portfolio are already expiring or will be fairly soon. Making the assumption that Commodore/Amiga was filing patents up until their demise in 1994, the last of their patents will expire around 2011, which isn't really that far off.

    As for trademarks, they are a little different. Trademark holders have to actively use and defend their trademarks or risk losing them. Given the way that Amiga has operated, or essentially not operated, it doesn't seem totally impossible that someone could challenge their trademark due to neglect within the next few years. I don't know why anyone would bother to do so, but in today's litigous society, it doesn't seem too far out.

  • can some one elighten me why having a patent profolio is useful to a generic systerm cloner?

    is just useful for patent trading reasons?


    Yes, it gives them a better position when negotiating with a big patent holding company.

  • That is news to me. I've used both Gnome and KDE. While Gnome still has a few rough edges (but is improving rapidly) KDE is pretty nicely polished and seems pretty stable to me.

    So you are trying to tell me that a new port from one platform and OS to another of a desktop environment that has been essentially abandoned for 5 years is going to be more stable than KDE?

    Pardon me if I am a bit skeptical.

  • And the sound was superb.

    Actually I can think of two machines contemporary to the Amiga that had sound that could put the Amiga to shame. First was the Apple II GS, which had a digital sound chip in it produced by Ensoniq. Second (and even more impressive) were the NeXT Cube/NeXT Stations, which had a Motorola 56001 DSP chip onboard. Read up on that chip and what it could do, still fairly impressive even by today's standards.

  • > When they came out they had a unique GUI that was stable, supported multitasking, used millions of colors

    As an ex Amiga user and developer, I'd like to do just a correction, for the sake of what's true: whey they come out (A1000) they had 256Kb ram, 4096 colours but not at the same time, no protected memory, no virtual memory (68000 had no MMU), not even a battery backed-up internal clock.

    Any pointer gone wild or every memory leak brought down the system in seconds. Strangely enough, this resulted in really bug-free applications, which is somewhat unusual for a personal computer.

    But then, aside from that, Amiga's main advantages were in its hardware (which was cheap, for the time, and powerful) and its community (Fred Fish comes to mind), fairly balanced by the badness of Commodore's marketing department (which insisted on selling it as some sort of evoluted gaming console).

    So, let's watch if something interesting comes out (at last, QNX now has another appealing set of widgets). But I definitively don't hold my breath.

    My 0.02 Euro





  • I was one of the die hard amiga users who had their hopes dashed earilier in the year by the possibly premature announcements of whomever the flavor of the month is. (was?).

    The amigas did amazing things in their day, but what a lot of people forget was how they did those things. There's room for some real amazing things to be done today too, but I think the culture of hackers that made the amiga are a much rarer breed than they used to be.

    The amiga concept was that bigger wasn't better. The amiga was designed from the ground-up to be a multimedia and graphics powerhouse; Back in the day this needed those custom IC's that we were so fond of. The machine was designed so that the processor wouldn't be tied up with graphics or sound calculations; That chips could share memory and use it efficiently. Ah, for the days of chip and fast ram.

    The amiga technology of yore is indeed dead. It's too slow and old to be of any use, anyone could see that after about 1995 or so. But what isn't dead is the philosophy that drove the brilliant engineering we saw in the amiga. The coupling of the ground-up hardware and tight OS integration are something that I have not seen since the Amiga, and possibily the early mac days - largely because of the legacy software problem. Nobody wants to break from the pack - be it x86, or MacOS. Remember the flak Apple took when they went to the PowerPC line and broke some stuff?

    Set up boxes and thin clients suck ass. These things have been around for decades and never caught on, I have lots of ads for 286 "diskless workstations" and anyone remember the Commodore CDTV units? Yuk! This is not the future of the amiga.

    What the market wants is a standardized platform for developing home applications on. No worrying about what hardware a customer has - it's all standardized at some base level. The Amiga 500 provided this, and that's why the games rocked hard. The game developers worked on using the hardware they knew everyone had to the absolute maximum - this is what 3dfx saw, and it's what the opengl people are starting to see too. (A standard platform or API is a good thing).

    There exists a great opportunity for Amiga to take some existing (bitching fast) chips - like a optimized Athlon, or Alpha, or PowerPC - and then integrate it with ultra-fast graphics hardware from leaders like Nvidia, with sound engineering from someone like Creative or Turtle beach - and then write (or port something like Linux, or QNX Neutrino) an operating system that takes full advantage of the hardware with which it was provided. Something that used multiprocessing to it's intended end, and it worked right out of the box. Something that provided a nice platform for people to develop on. Something that (gasp) came in a sexy box.

    Ship that with some applications, bring the gaming manufacturers on board, and I think you'd have a winner. That's what the amiga was about.

    There's another player, though. If Sony "got it" and opened up an OS (like linux) for the Playstation II, or a derivative, you'd have the machine that I described above. Bitching fast graphics and IO, Intenet connectivity, a customized (preferably open) OS, and the rest will follow.

    Kudos!

  • That, and the world needs a kick-ass laptop with a SrongARM processor or some other RISC chip with high performance and low power/heat requirements, with good Linux support for all the hardware.



    Maybe that's the route the Amiga folks should take; instead of reinventing the wheel, make a kick-ass Linux system and add the necessary multimedia stuff to Linux. They'll have all the help they can eat.




    An inexpensive RISC laptop would be cool, especially if it used something Linux, BeOS, or BSD ran on. I suppose you could even use something like an early DEC Alpha (21064A @ 266 MHz). A true 64 bit laptop would rule, and it would live up to the cutting-edge Amiga name.

    Now, what I'd do, if I owned the Amiga name, is

    1. Make "strategic relationships" with small-but-upcoming OS vendors like Red Hat and Be. That way, I'd be able to ride the wave that they're on, while adding my own hype to theirs.
    2. Do something interesting. Who cares about yet another P6 architecture CPU with a few new MMX ops, a proprietary socket or slot interface, and a 33 MHz, 32 bit PCI bus. Blech. Been there, done that. Let's see a consumer DEC Alpha system. 64 bit PCI bus, no legacy holdovers from the IBM PC AT, and a well thought-out platform (intelligent peripherals, like the original C64 and Amiga, for instance).
    3. There's no reason there can't be two Amiga platforms, or even three! The entry level system, the Amiga 500 Mark 2, could be an Athlon. The power user/professional user version, the Amiga 1000Mk2, could be an Alpha. Binary compatibility might be a small problem, but that'd be easily solved (look at the NeXT boxes). Make the 500 upgradable to a 1000 via a simple chip switch or CPU daughter card. The Athlon and Alpha both use the EV6 bus. It's feasible they could both use the same motherboard.
    4. Compatability with x86: Some people will say it's necessary, others will say it's not. With the AMD Athlon, one gets both a well-designed, next-generation CPU and x86.
      When the user is ready for the next level, he can simply upgrade. What happens to his old software? Well, if he's using a real operating system, he can still run it. If he's running NT, I suppose there's NT4/Alpha. But I really don't know about the future of Alphas and NT2K. I haven't followed it much, besides Compaq shutting it down. For all I know, Microsoft will take up the slack themselves. Maybe Be will port BeOS to the Alpha.
    5. Servers: A consumer Alpha will still be expensive as hell, compared to an Athlon PC. This will then necessarily have to be aimed at power users and the server market. We could end up with the Dream Linux/FreeBSD Workstation here, given the right peripherals (all U2W SCSI drives, no IDE, no ISA slots, 64 bit PCI, cutting edge 3D graphics from Nvidia, Matrox, or 3DFX).


    WEll, that's just me.
  • What the world desparetely needs now is a good home system, that does multimedia as well as the Amiga did.

    BeOS [be.com]. duh.

  • They were neck and neck for a while on the hardware front, had a lot in common actually. I just think it's a shame that noone remembers the poor Atari.

    *sniff* I just threw two of the buggers out three weeks ago actually.

  • It really sounds like you should try BeOS, if you haven't already. I know that, personally, it is the only operating system I have found so far that feels like a sufficient "step up" from the Amiga, and I know a number of other past Amiga owners who feel the same way.

    Of course, the BeOS isn't perfect... any more than the Amiga was. And it certainly isn't a direct descendant of the Amiga, design-wise. However, I find it has much of the same ephemeral feel that I liked about the Amiga -- many of its design trade-offs strike me as, "what I person designing the Amiga would have done, if it had been ten years later." One of the primary goals of the system, for example, is to provide a highly responsive and interactive interface to the user.

    And best of all, using BeOS lets you enjoy the pleasures of a nice, marginal platform, just like the Amiga did... with the difference that Be's management seems to actually be -sane-. ;)

    -- Dianne
  • by Christopher B. Brown ( 1267 ) <cbbrowne@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @11:42AM (#1405468) Homepage
    I'll betcha they offer a computer system that:
    • Multitasks
    • Offers 3D graphics and lots of colours
    • Is widely useful for many kinds of tasks
    and costs less than $2000.

    Of course, you can get a Milan [milan-computer.de] or Medusa [kingx.com] for probably around that price...

  • This is the Corporate version of "Pass the Parcel". Each recipient in turn removes one layer of credibility, until the last one gets the prize!

    (In this case, the prize is probably bancrupcy.)

    Oh, goody! I can't wait for the next game. I hear it's "Musical Chairs", with a random number of chairs being yanked away each time.

  • by jht ( 5006 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @01:02PM (#1405470) Homepage Journal
    They can drive it to bankruptcy, sell it to a PC clone maker, market into oblivion, miss out on a chip technology transition, and sell it again to some guys in a garage - and it JUST WON'T DIE!!!!

    It won't die, but it's walking around with knives, chainsaws, and barbed wire sticking to it's zombie hide, and there are gaping holes from the BFG blasts it's taken. I mean, geez!, this is getting to be worse than a bad horror movie - or to use the '80s metaphor, a bad episode of Dallas or Dynasty.

    Alright, Amino - we'll give you until the end of CES. Then put up or shut up, I'm begging you!

    - -Josh Turiel
  • by ewhac ( 5844 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @12:16PM (#1405471) Homepage Journal

    I wrote this essay [best.com] almost five years ago. Some of you may enjoy it.

    Personally, I wish the puppeteers would stop coming forward, making the corpse flop around a bit and proclaiming, "Look! It lives!"

    I'm really tired of these charlatans playing off (what's left of) the loyalty of the Amiga crowd. If you're going to do something with it, do something with it, and stop jerking people around.

    Schwab

  • by SoftwareJanitor ( 15983 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @12:20PM (#1405472)
    Rumor at the time that Gateway bought the corpse of Amiga was that they were mainly interested in the Patent portfolio. Being a 'screwdriver factory' type clone builder, Gateway was always at a complete disadvantage when dealing with companies like Intel, IBM, Microsoft, etc. which have a large Patent portfolio. Buying a company which had a portfolio is an easy way for a company to level that playing field some.

    It would be interesting to see how the Commodore/Amiga patent portfolio is transferred with this sale. I would guess that Gateway may have already gotten all they needed to out of the Patents and felt it was time to cash back out.

  • by SoftwareJanitor ( 15983 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @01:05PM (#1405473)
    Amiga's main advantages were in its hardware (which was cheap, for the time, and powerful)

    Unfortunately, some of the design compromises made to make the Amiga cheap at the time came back to haunt it later when the price of hardware changed. Too much of the hardware shortcuts that seemed cool in 1985 made it difficult for Commodore to keep up with other systems by the early 1990's. Too many things were tightly interwoven around things like NTSC/PAL video, which became a problem when cheap high resolution SVGA displays in the PC/Mac world changed people's expectations when it came to non-interlaced resolution and palate size. PC/Mac hardware started including powerful graphics coprocessors and stereo sound. With the advent of huge clock speeds, memory sizes, caches and hard drives, the PC made up in brute force with cheap off the shelf components what had once required custom hardware. Commodore/Amiga users had to deal with higher prices due to a smaller market for software and add-on peripherals such as network cards, SCSI adapters, etc.

    As for the community, unfortunately, like most semi-grass-roots movements (Mac, OS/2 and Linux for example), the Amiga community was saddled with their share of the bad sort of zealots. That probably isn't such a big deal though, because even the 'establishment' such as DOS/Windows have their own problems in that area.

  • by mindstrm ( 20013 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @12:46PM (#1405474)
    It was fairly unique, as far as home computing went.
    To say it was 'stable' is a misnomer. The software running on them was also simpler (and I saw enough meditating amigas..)
    They had thousands of colors, not millions (4096 in certain graphics modes)
    And the stereo digital sound was great too. It took the IBM compatable world several years to catch up with that idea.. the *only* way an a500 could produce sound (other than using the floppy drive) was digitally, through one of it's 2 dac's... a concept that the rest of the world completely missed. THey spent all their time on FM synthesis and other wierd things....

    I must say. The magical quality this machine had is unparallelled. Never has a machine caught my attention like the amiga. It was completely mystical.
    And even today, the graphics on the amiga 500 have a certain quality to them that I've never seen on another machine. The mac comes close... I think it has to do with the way they blend colors.. but I'm not sure, and certainly not an expert.
    And the sound was superb.


  • by Q-bert][ ( 21619 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @11:08AM (#1405475)
    Well it's good to know that the Amiga will live on in Press Releases and Executive Statements.

    LONG LIVE AMIGA!
  • by InTheWoods ( 49809 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @02:07PM (#1405476)
    No, that question is right on target. As somebody who actually went thru the " good old days " of
    non-interoperability, i quite agree. So the question really is ..Why?

    One answer may come from the shift in home entertainment/game console systems. Amiga needs to compete from the ground up to be competive up with todays PC..and for what gain? a (small) piece of the sub $1000. market ? Why waste 5 million on a
    (old) name brand... No way Jose...

    Suppose however, that you were after a much bigger market..one dominated by only three or four players..like Sony, Sega and Nintendo. Now dumping 5 million into brand recoginition is a drop in the bucket compared to the potential payoff.
    The Amiga home system... a nice American name..good technological references..viola ! instant player in a big field. Before you hurt yourself laughing...think of the Dreamcast in sheeps clothing. After all..the X-Box stills needs a home.
  • by robl ( 53384 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @01:14PM (#1405477)
    Yet another round of people saying, "Here we go again."

    I'm wondering if the only reason that Slashdot still covers the Amiga is that it makes good drama. Y'know, kinda like a soap opera for the keyboard-enabled culture. There can't be THAT many amiga owners anymore, can there? Do 500 Amiga owners and falling deserve this kind of attention on slashdot?

    I should've known better than to believe that Gateway would have actually created a new desktop for people that was different than the generic PC they usually produce. Of course, the Amiga community never did learn their lesson with ESCOM, which pretty much did the same thing, apparently trying to get people to buy ESCOM branded PC's. And now everyone is supposed to take Amino on faith, that they will actually do something, anything, and release a computer that lives up to the AMIGA name.

    Sorry Amino. It's not you. After following the Amiga story for 5 or 6 years, I know better. There's no way in hell that you can create a decent machine that lives up to the Amiga name. Even if you release a computer it better be fast, and it better capture the excitement that the Amiga did a decade ago, otherwise we'll just be laughing ourselves to the grave.

    What an embarassment.

  • by Atomix8 ( 86584 ) <gte377z.prism@gatech@edu> on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @11:08AM (#1405478)
    What does Amino do...or produce..or whatever. I am looking forward to new Amigas. However I don't know if they could ever be as groundbreaking as the originals were. When they came out they had a unique GUI that was stable, supported multitasking, used millions of colors and proved to be incredible powerful at a wide range of tasks, even production quality 3D, from a machine costing less than $2000! I just hope that no matter who owns Amiga the spirit of the machines stays alive.
  • by zxSpectrum ( 129457 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @12:58PM (#1405479) Homepage Journal

    When I got my hands on an Amiga 500 back in 1987 (has it been that long?) the machine was incredibly powerful compared to anything else I had ever tried.

    Finally, I abandoned the Amiga in 1994 for educational purposes, even though I viewed the Amiga as a more powerful and user friendly platform.

    Today however: I don't think there is room for Amiga hardware even loosely based on the original technology. There are numerous reasons for this

    1. Price: Back in the eighties computer equipment was so expensive and unstandarized that it was possible (but maybe not smart) to sell good technology cheaper than the (even then) outdated PC technology. If you are going to make something today, you have to be able to use more generic hardware, like standard graphics and sound boards. And: how charming would an Amiga be without the Denise, (Fat) Agnus and Paula?
    2. Performance: If one were to base the Amiga on the original technology, I'm afraid it would be so seriously outperformed it would have no value to the power user.
    3. Compability: Back when the Amiga was launched there were considerably fewer powerful computers among common people, and Microsoft was nowhere near having the de-facto monopol they have in the home-user market. People need to be able to copy or download software for it to have value. What does the Amiga have of software now? Almost 10 year old games (of which many still are very good, I'll admit - but I don't think that will attract new users)
    4. Historical appeal: what user base shall the new Amiga have? In order to attract it's old users it also needs to be backwards compatible. In order to satisfy new users it needs to be able to run new (windows) software. That is hardly possible without making it just another PC.

    To sum it all up: I don't really think there is room for a new Amiga. If there will be a new Amiga I mainly think it's going to be an entirely new computer, with some ideas and behavior preserved from the old one. I hardly think it will attract the original Amiga owners.

  • by Yarn ( 75 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @11:05AM (#1405480) Homepage
    At this rate the amiga OS will be out of *copyright* by the time the make another amiga.
  • by Squid ( 3420 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @12:24PM (#1405481) Homepage
    Maybe it's because the Amiga does certain things "right" that no one has gotten right since?

    Yeah, that's it: the total package. It's not stapled together. No disconcerting shifts between text and graphics screens, no 50-foot barrier wall between apps with a GUI and apps without. The GUI is integrated, but lightweight enough that it isn't at all like having a 12MB X server running all the time. The interface looks and works consistent, MENUS ARE ALL GENERATED IN THE SAME PLACE, there's drag-n-drop, the system is configurable, and so on. There's cross-application scripting. There's interrupt trickery and display hacks to make things FEEL faster than they are (hence the illusion so many Amiga lunatics quote as gospel, that an A500 is faster than a Pentium). It boots QUICKLY; indeed, loading applications, opening and closing windows, and switching workspaces are all trivial and don't involve lots of swapping to disk.

    It seems like nostalgia, even to us. But it's actually a thinly disguised disappointment that we are, in 2000, NOT fifteen years more advanced than what the Amiga was in 1985. In an age with machines with 10 times the pixels, 100 times the memory, 1000 times the MIPs, and 10000 times the disk space, to the Amiga user's eye, modern software has yet to CATCH UP with the combination of integration, simplicity, power, and efficiency we had two decades back. Therein lies the nostalgia: they literally don't make 'em like they used to.

    Rant: we continue to look to Amiga-derived startups for The Way Forward, because no one else particularly cares. The Linux crowd is SUPPOSED (according to the hype) to be providing some grand unified theory of computing, but for every Linux shortcoming someone points out, we get either "write it yourself" or an explanation of why we don't want it. I thought it was the Microsoft way to give excuses instead of Products People Want.
  • by HP LoveJet ( 8592 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @11:23AM (#1405482)
    I think this means that Amiga has officially had more incarnations than Doctor Who.
  • by Pengo ( 28814 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @11:15AM (#1405483) Journal
    After opening up the shring wrap on my new BeOS I couldn't believe how fast and responsive the machine was. Made my humble AMD K6-2 350 run like a champ.

    I have never done audio/video production, but to me it is a very solid OS that has proven to be quiet stable.

    I believe that if Amiga was to make a come back, it would have a hard time matching what BeOS has, and further more not only having to compete with BeOS, but deal with the loss of there cult following to other more interesting Hobby OS's. (I have the privilige of working on a Linux box at work all day, so I can't really refer to it as a hobby box anymore :)


    $.02
  • by ntang ( 119379 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @01:49PM (#1405484) Homepage
    I didn't see it anywhere else, so...

    http://www.amino1.net/ [amino1.net]

    Not much there, tho'.

  • by GregWebb ( 26123 ) on Tuesday January 04, 2000 @12:17PM (#1405485)
    Look, I know we're all getting fed up with the problems at Amiga, the missed promises, the bad feeling. So am I.

    BUT...

    Gateway bought Amiga to strip the patents, then got a lot of people asking what they planned to do with regard to new Amigas. Hence the delays, the confusion and the rather half-hearted approach. It wasn't what they really wanted to do, and it showed.

    I don't know Bill McEwen, but I DO know Fleecy Moss reasonably well and I'd trust him. I can think of almost no-one with more drive, more ideas, more enthusiasm. He loves the Amiga and wants to do something with it. And I'd say he's got as much chance as anyone of pulling this one off.

    Maybe nothing will happen, just like before. Maybe I'm a dreamer. But this gives the Amiga the best chance it's had for years, as it's controlled by people who know and love it.

    Give this one a chance please, guys. Don't be cynical until this bunch have proved themselves worthy of only cynicism. If they fail, I'll join you in the moaning. But they don't deserve that yet.

    Greg
  • I loved my Amiga. They had to pry it out of my arms when I moved out to CA to take my .com job this summer after graduation. Linux is my new love, but like Scarlet never stopped thinking about Asheley...

    As exciting as the idea that yet another handsome stranger will come and sweep the poor destitute Amiga (which means girlfriend in Spanish, I think) and save her, I think that it is really time for all of us Amigans to realise that she is well and truly dead.

    The crucial upgrade that Commodore missed was the upgrade to PowerPC. Some companies came up with PowerPC cards, but they were all horrendously late, poorly constructed, had non existant support and always had underpowered chips compared with what was currently available on the market.

    The Amiga has basically seen no development at all since Commodore went belly up. From the hardware standpoint, absolutely nothing, from software, well, OS 3.5 could have been thrown together by a group of open source people (who would have done a better job). Trying to make anything new from circa 1992 parts would be completely unworkable, even if you had lots of money (like say, Gateway).

    Gateway was a huge disappointment. With huge amounts of funds available, they did basically nothing with the Amiga. Every week you would hear something completely new and different. New PPC Amigas, Amigas on a card in your PC, new Amigas with the Magical Mystery Chip (transmeta was the best rumor), new console type systems, then no new hardware, but a new AmigaOS, then no AmigaOS, but Amiga environment running on top of Linux. It made you think that Amiga, the company, consisted of five guys that went to lunch each week and came up with a new crazy idea to throw out to us hopefulls they drew up on paper napkins. Hell, I have even seen some of those paper napkin drawings on websites heralded as "the New Amiga".

    What I really wish would happen is that the AmigaOS would be released to Open Source so that if there is anything still usefull or interesting in the code, it can be used for things such as window managers, etc.

    Even though part of me wants to hope that something could come of this, I have to admit to myself that the Amiga is gone forever.

    This is quite sad because, as much as I love Linux, I realise that it is not suited to be a home users OS. The Amiga was great for this, with it's GUI and standardised install program (which I loved, gave you 3 levels to choose from: expert, intermediate, beginner. I wish Linux had such a standardised way to install.) What the world desparetely needs now is a good home system, that does multimedia as well as the Amiga did (Windows will always suck at this, no matter how hard they try, as I found out with one of those Gateways that are designed to be multimedia), has as straightforward and simple interface as the Amiga, and as kick ass graphics as the Amiga.

    But unfortunately we live in a world in which only one OS matters and we have to live with mediocracy.

Trying to be happy is like trying to build a machine for which the only specification is that it should run noiselessly.

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