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Amiga - Back From the Dead? 292

Wired has this story about the Amiga comeback, under a new company, which bought the Amiga rights from Gateway. As an old Amiga fan, I will believe it when I see some new machines. You can read more about it here on the official Amiga Web site. I really hope to see something come out of this.
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Amiga - Back From the Dead?

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    For shure! Have you seen anything about Amiga lately!? Had you informed!? Do you know that the major Amiga partner is also partner of Sony and Motorola!?
    You must be the one who is completely glad to do whatever the others say to do! You must worship the Wintel Monopoly! Or be completely dumb!
    Don't keep winning saying it wont, the future is in front of us, and whatever happens no one knows, but we can dream can't we!? Only because you've only seen an A500 working, doesn't mean that you've seen the philosphy of an Amiga! If you'd seen, I bet you wouldn't say that!
  • Keep in mind that when I bought my used Amiga 1000 in 1987 for $600:
    The Mac II wasn't out yet, ALL Macs were 1 bit black and white with those little 10 inch screens. And they cost $2,500. The Mac II with 256 colors (and almost no color software), would soon come out at about $4,000, and it wouldn't multitask at all without a primative one-task-at-a-time add in.
    PCs were even worse. Almost none had sound cards, video cards were CGA (something like 4 colors out of a 16 color fixed palette) at 320 x 240, and the OS for them was DOS, no GUI. And they still cost $2000 or so.
    The responsiveness of the Amiga was incredible. You clicked and it did something. You moved a window and it moved at 60hz. You played an animation or a game, and it played rock solid and smoothly. You switched tasks, and it did it instantly.
    But the main reason for loving the Amiga was that in 1987, it was the only computer that would let me do full color, full screen 3D and 2D animation, compose music with stereo sound and samples, play the best games available outside the arcade and run a word processor. That still sounds pretty good.
  • especially appropriate strip [].

    The whole archive is here [], and the original strip here [].


    PS: The author is obviously an Amiga lover too :-)
  • > It also needs an underpowered CPU with all the load taken by the most sophisticated graphics chip ever created.

    So a Pentium III with a geForce or NV15?
  • > such as the blitter chip - A much more sophisticted one than the simple rectangle movement chips in a lot of SVGA cards too. This could take 3 sources and AND and OR them together.

    I once programmed my A500 to run the cellular-automata Life [] simulation using only the blitter. I think it used 4 memory-blocks (1 displayed, 3 for calculation) and about a dozen blitter operations per timestep. At the time, it was a lot faster than using the CPU (though this advantage went away in later models like the 4000).
  • I don't remember anything about ST:TNG being rendered on Amigas. Are you sure you're not thinking of Babylon 5 (which started on Amigas, though they later switched to x86)?
  • If you think setting up printers on linux is easyer then setting up a printer on Win32 or Amiga then you must be smokin some good shit...pass me some?
  • Not anymore. After a storm I saw a Windows login screen.
  • This is the same idiot who wrote about the supposed hack for averting amazon referal fees a few weeks. All this guy/girl does is spew up ALOT of un-researched incorrect crap! I knew as soon as I saw the link to this article that it was probably written by Leander. There are some good journo/writers at Wired.. Leander ain't one of them.
  • This is the same idiot who wrote about the supposed hack for averting amazon referal fees a few weeks. All this guy/girl does is spew up ALOT of un-researched incorrect crap! I knew as soon as I saw the link to this article that it was probably written by Leander. There are some good journo/writers at Wired.. Leander ain't one of them.....
  • ...the blitter chip - A much more sophisticted one than the simple rectangle movement chips in a lot of SVGA cards too. This could take 3 sources and AND and OR them together.
    It was better than that - I remember a Conway's Life program for the Amiga which used the blitter for all the calculations! Blindingly fast in 320 x 200 on a 68000...

    Ah Amiga, we hardly knew ye. Denise! Where are you? Fat Agnes? Gary? Paula? Ah, history.

    The Amiga fanatics are a strange lot - I counted myself amongst their number until recently, when I rediscovered beauty in computing with Linux. Such a joy to be incharge of your own destiny, and not to be at the mercy of a single badly run company.

    Speaking of which - does anyone know where I can get a copy of the Commodore Deathwatch video? Made by Commodore employees watching the slow march of Commodore into the black pit...

  • Come on... You have Hardware _and_ Software under one roof, and can develop both quickly. Given Apple's recent rebirth (Thanks Mr Jobs) It would be so tempting to go this way. You can't do that in the wintel/amd/linux world with a zillion different people doing different things and hoping they can market their product into being the standard.
  • "Don't Call this a come back I been here for years"
    Seriously Amigma will never die as long as the users want it to be around it will it seem that alot of people love amigas. You use what you want not what you need so I see amigas being around for a long time []
  • So why all this reviving of unix then? :)
  • by MrT ( 9608 )
    We sure do. Or I do at least. Viva Amiga! The pissy "architecture" is a bad joke perpetrated on the computer-buying public for the last 20 years (my god, has it really gone one that long? *sigh*).

    I blame Compaq. Bastards. RIP DEC :(
  • by vr ( 9777 )
    The Boing Ball.

    Bah. We had the Boing Ball on the Atari ST too.

    .. and, btw; Atari ST r00leZ! ;-)

  • I saw this demo on the Atari 800 long before I'd heard of Amiga. Only years later did I make the connection between the Boing! and Boink! demos with their red-and-white checkered, bouncing balls. How appropriate, considering both machines had the same designer work on them.
    Ah, nostalgia. I'll have to dig up a copy of that demo on the 'net, if possible, and let the Atari 800 emulator chew on it....
  • With the replacement of all Previewguide boxes on cable tv with the TV guide boxes, the last use of amigas is now done. The new Tv guide boxes are PIII machines running some really cool hardware.
    While the amigas did great with video toasters in them.

  • For those who can't wait and want to play their old games/demos, get UAE [].
    It's cool! I just love watching those old demos - State of the art was a classic!

    Oh, and there's WinUAE [], too.
  • While talking about the old Amiga's hardware capabilities, I think you left out her main strength. I'll explain...

    I just assembled my new Linux box this weekend, and I'm running it side-by-side with my Amiga. This new Linux box will be useful to me in a lot of ways, but it's already shown itself to not be a superset -- it can't replace the Amiga.

    For example, while I was installing the Myth2 CD, I was also downloading Myth2 patches (to be installed right after the CD install) with Netscape, and Netscape seemed really sluggish. I don't mean the network connection, I mean the GUI! While multitasking (and they were only two I/O bound jobs!), the machine "felt" noticably slower than while singletasking. The Linux box is an Athlon 700 with 256MB of RAM, Matrox G400 MAX, ATA66 hard disk (supposedly DMA?), and a SCSI DVD-ROM. Except for the fact that I wussed out and used ATA66 hard disks instead of SCSI, this should be a top-notch machine. And yet it was performing in a manner that no Amiga user would ever find acceptable. I would have trashed my Amiga years ago if the mere act of installing a game from CD were enough to make my web browser's GUI seem slow.

    (Interestingly, someone makes a replacement scheduler for the Amiga (called "Executive"), to make its multitasking more Unix-like. Is that fucked up, or what?)

    As long as people keep using computers interactively, where instantaneous response time matters, there will be a role for some Amiga-like OS. Linux isn't it. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate my new Linux box, and it will be useful in ways that my Amiga could never live up to. (For example, there's no Myth2 port for the Amiga. And I imagine that once I get the audio working, it will be able to play MP3s at considerably less than the 50% CPU usage that my Amiga's 50 MHz 68060 needs.) Windows, OS/2, and MacOS 9 aren't it either. I don't think they ever will be, because it's not a matter of technology, it's a matter of values. None of the mainstream OSes are even trying to top the Amiga. Maybe this "new Amiga" will, but I'm even skeptical about that.

    And that's the real question on my mind: assuming that this new Amiga isn't just another vaporware announcement, will it perform as well as the original Amiga? Or will it turn out to just be another Windoze-wannabe, that has to make sacrifices in order to compete? How many more years am I going to have to keep my A3000 running before someone finally makes a worthy replacement? The whole computer industry is starting to look like a really sick joke.

    About Be... yeah, Be might be it. I'm also trying BeOS 4.5 on this new box. Alas, it doesn't seem to like my G400, so it's running in 640x480 VGA mode, and kinda slow. And it doesn't seem to like my 3c905c. Maybe if they update their drivers (or if I downgrade to better-supported cards), BeOS will impress me. Supposedly, QNX Neutrino (along with the Phoenix consortium) is going to try to do it also. So I guess things aren't completely hopeless yet...

    But I want an Amiga-like OS, and for now, AmigaOS 3.5 is still the best I've seen.

  • .. with its one-button mouse. But just imagine how many people fell for it ?

    Thank god the truth has finally been revealed.

  • IMHO, too little, to late. I truely feel that this 'new push' on Amiga will provide quality products and services, but, simply to late.

    That must be the understatement of the day. Too late. It was already too late when Commodore went belly-up. A year after than, when Escom came to the picture with its 'Ja'-speaking Germans, it was late too.

  • True innovations are always welcome, but I really doubt Amiga can bring it about - especially it's going to be Just Another Personal Computer.

    The frontier, the innovations are elsewhere. Mobile computing will might eventually become more important than traditional desktop use. Every electronic appliance you have could have an IP. The net will invade our lives in a way that will make us wonder where it ends and real world starts.

    Can Amiga make a comeback ? It's possible. Will it become popular ? Doubtful. Will it be innovative, like the old Amiga used to be ? Dream on. True innovations, those that really shape our world, are going to be made in entirely different arenas.

  • Perhaps this analogy will help: There you are playing with your brand new Nintendo Entertainment System, and your neighbor shows you a Playstation. Does your jaw drop or what?

    Okay. I can see that. How about this? Your friend shows you his playstation, and you show him your 1 Gigahertz multi-processor PC running Quake 3 on a GeForce card at 1024x768, 200 fps. Then you tell him it cost the same, because the playstation is outdated, old, garbage and prices have dropped considerably since then. Then you show him your playstation emulator, pop in the playstation disk, and play the exact same game.

    This is kind of how I see the Amiga comeback type of people. Sure, it was good for it's time. However, it's time has long since passed. Any "new" Amiga won't be the same in any way. So what's the big deal? Just whip the old Amiga out of the closet (or dumpster) and there you go.

  • yup...reminds me of the guy who owned George Washington's axe, the very axe he had used, presumably, to chop down his father's cherry tree...of course, the axe head had been replaced twice, and the handle had been replaced seven times, but it was George Washington's axe...
  • Ah, the Amiga crazies. Bless. They really are a lot of fun.

    Those of us who still have working Amiga 4000s with enough tricked-out hardware to run a reasonable mini non-linear video edit setup are generally rather ashamed to admit the fact, lest we be tarred with the same brush.

    With the exception of a few tinkerers like Matt (Neko) S (who reminds me of vintage car enthusiasts and the like; up to the elbows in oil, and utterly cheerful), they are mostly borderline nutballs. They have a lot of problems with fact that machines from different eras have different orders of magnitude of performance.

    The mantra "it will be faster on the amiga, the programmers are better" ignores the fact that you can (for an example) encode a 15 minute mp3 on an 800mhz athlon in 1 minute, or overnight on a deeply tricked out Amiga. Another example would be putting 3ds max on a very average PC up against a maxed out amiga running the 3d package of choice (t3d?). What about an old beige g3 mac with an Echo Gina and logic audio silver, against any Amiga setup you care to mention?

    If you think that you know otherwise, the people who design both FPUs and DSPs would probably love to know your secrets. The advocacy loons have no grasp of why vintage computers are cool.

    Yes, I love my PET 8032 as well, but I don't expect a conversion of Unreal Tournament for it :)

    Vintage computers are to be enjoyed for what they are, and nostalgia is never what it used to be. They aren't coming back, any more than powdered eggs, Vera Lynn or the Home Service.

    It should be possible to point this out, without screaming teenies hurling abuse at you, casting aspersions on your sexuality and parentage, and ranting at you in distinctly broken english.

    Ah well, I suppose that not all eccentrics are harmless and charming. Still, 2 troll points need to be awarded to anyone who uses 3 or more exclamation marks in a row, I feel... :)

    Face it guys, the Amiga died years ago, it isn't about to be reborn; it's irrelevant, capiche? Enjoy your old machines, but give up trying to persuade others of its inherent superiority.

    Mine all ran out of slots and CPU power years ago. It's getting hard finding drives smaller than 4 gig for them, too!

    Let it rest in peace, and remember it as the machine which brought Quantel-stylee painting to the desktop, along with video, affordable digital audio and 3d.

    It was a great machine, which did what it did despite the series of bungling company owners, not because of them. The flashes of brilliance came from Jay Miner (may he rest in peace) and the original dev guys, and some of the battlers like Dave Haynie.

    The survivors of this mad period have moved on, isn't it time you did?

    Those that care can find my lame mp3s at - those that can't should seek the word of BOB. Amazing!

  • I mean let's face it, the Amiga sucks in todays computing environment. The only people who are still in love with the Amiga are die-hard crazies who don't have the wherewithal to setup and run a more complicated and modern system like Linux or Windows.

    • I'm still in love with the Amiga.
    • I may be a die-hard crazy, if it helps your argument ;-)
    • I CAN set up AmigaOS, Linux, OpenBSD, NetBSD, FreeBSD, Solaris, Windows, Irix, HP-(s)UX, AIX, and probably half a dozen other OSes I've forgotten.
    • Some of these, I'm PAID to set up and look after for a living...
    • ...for a multinational company.
    • I have the first 3 (and have had the 4th) of the above OSes set up on my PPC Amiga at home.
    • At home, I still run AmigaOS 99% or the time. I feel as though I have the others set up "just to prove I can". I CAN run Linux (etc) on my Amiga, but AmigaOS is still CLEARLY nicer, easier, and more pleasant to use, otherwise I wouldn't be using it!!!
    • Nearly all of the people who flame the Amiga aren't aware of the fact that anything above an Amiga500 exists, let alone PPC-based multi-CPU Amigas that are quite capable of playing quake at 50fps with the big boys.
    • Get a life, Troll :-)
  • Yet another iteration of "It'll be back, and it'll blow your socks off, you stupid PC l00zurz!!!!!", eh? No thanks.

    As if there weren't enough noise on comp.sys.amiga.advocacy already :-)

      • I was about to say you can boot up to GUI from a floppy, but there is a 192K (I think) ROM helping out but then I thought that 192K is pretty small too

      Actually it's 512K.
    It was 256K for the 1.x series of Kickstarts. 2.x raised it to 512K, where it's been since.
    Scott Jones
    Newscast Director / ABC19 WKPT
    Commodore 64 Democoder
  • I can't thing of any feature of the Amiga (other than multiples "screens" visible at the same time) that is ahead of the current state of the art in either hardware or software. Pseudo 14-bit sound! Must chuck out my Awe64...

    Well, how about the size of the OS itself, the fact that you can boot to the GUI completely from floppy (ok, ok, Linux sorta can too - but it still uses X on the HD). What about it's rock-solid stability in later generations (I admit, AmigaOS was extremely buggy up until 2.x).

    As far as I'm concerned the C64 was the best at the time but I'm not pining for another

    Completely agreed! I still code for the C64, but more for nostalgic reasons than for any technological ones.
    Scott Jones
    Newscast Director / ABC19 WKPT
    Commodore 64 Democoder
  • Amiga has been under a lot FUD recently. Unlike popular claims, Development is not dead and to
    show this we are proud to present the developers show: AMIGACON3000
    To been shown:

    AMIGAOS 3000: All the features that were promised for AMIGAOS 2990, which was unfortunatly not released, were bought by XYZ, who have developed the concept way beyond the original. Allready, at the demo state, all the necessary
    features of a modern operating system.
  • Why don't you check it out for yourself?

    The Amiga Research OS (AROS) [] are making an Amiga OS "clone" running on standard pc hw. It's even possible to run it under Linux.

    Aros is for Amiga kinda what Wine is for Windows. You can even play AmigaQuake under Aros under Linux. Great stuff.
  • We Amiga users have learned not to get our hopes up with every new announcement. And the fact that "they" are unable to deliver a new Amiga doesn't render my "old" Amiga useless.

    When it comes to something that have a chance of success I'll have to agree with you that Linux might have a chance of survinving (due to massive hype lately), sad as it is. I kinda like Linux and have used it for years, but it isn't exactly state of the art (monolithic kernel and all) and it's not something I'd really like to see the computing future built on.

    The best thing would be to start of with a nice, clean etc. kernel like QNX or something. Too bad it won't happen.
  • This is the Amiga Boing ball from one of the first demos of the Amiga. It featured this red/white ball bouncing across the screen going "boing".
  • this is the first "attempt" where Amiga Inc. doesn't have a parent company above it to choke it with bureaucracy and side interests.

    Oh, don't they though? Remember, Gateway still own the Amiga patents; they're only licensing the patents to Amiga Inc. The common fear seems to be that Gateway will pull the carpet out from under Amiga Inc. without any warning, and given Gateway's lackadaisical attitude in the past, I have to confess it doesn't strike me as a completely implausible fear.

  • Ah, the good ol' Guru Meditation screen, I can remember repeatedly flipping past the program-listings channel, seeing the "Click left mouse button to continue", and pausing to look at the remote a few moments before thinking, "Wait a minute...!"

    That was a long while ago, though. I think they've gone Windoze now, spit spit.

  • Hehe. Yeah, that's a feature, the PCs are lacking today. Besides, I still consider the "Guru" more stylish than the BSOD. =:-)

    About the flashing LED: When I got my first PC in 1996 (IBM Aptiva) it came with APM and all that stuff. Gee, I remember looking all puzzled as the screen went black and the Power-LED started to blink (showing the Compu was in power-safe-mode).

    Amiga was a great machine. I guess I need to replace that broken power-supply on my A3000-T someday.
  • Celebrate it!

    Open your Window (nah, those in the house, man!) and shout "Guru Meditation" to the world!

  • You would be better off comparing AmigaOS to QNX or OS/9 ..both can boot off floppies and QNX comes with a web browser and a desktop environment all on a single floppy. these are all RTOS derivatives. and they're all stable. I dont know why the amiga crowd tries to hang on to an outdated platform..guys, theres no further use for it. give up.
  • Community, feh, yeah, right.

    In my experience it's just as bad, if not worse, than any other "community"... there are some cool people and some lame people, like anywhere.

    I use my Amiga because I love Thor, GoldEd, AmIRC, ARexx, and all the little things that make my life easier; a big reason is that I know the system so well, I can do most of the stuff I could do anywhere much more easily.
  • What do you think it's the reason people run those boxes as their primary computers? The software available? Not likely. What was only available for the Amiga has long since been ported or replaced on other platforms. The OS? A very limited single-user OS holding up to Linux or BeOS? I don't think so. The hardware? You gotta be kidding me, even with a powerPC-addon, any pc still laughs at the Amiga.
    Could it possibly be... the community, then? Consider a community where people actually are more interested in getting things to work and doing cool stuff instead of screaming "Bill Gates can su*k my di*k" all the time (even though the ami-community has its fair share of those as well). Posting this here might be considered as swearing in church, but as far as I've had anything to do with any of the two communities, the Linux-jyhad still has something to learn from the ami-fanatics.

    (Note that I don't take any sides here, as I don't use either Linux or Amiga as my primary OS)
  • So would somebody please tell us all what was so great about the Amiga?

    The very short and simple answer is that when it was introduced it was at least ten years ahead of anything else on the market.

    Perhaps this analogy will help: There you are playing with your brand new Nintendo Entertainment System, and your neighbor shows you a Playstation. Does your jaw drop or what?
  • I've never seen or used an Amiga, so can someone explain why they use that red & white ball to me?

    It was an example of the hardware's ability to quickly and easily (ie, low CPU usage) move a big bunch of bits hither and tither. You could never have pulled that off on a PC or Mac at the time ('85). Way Back When it was impressive... but then, so were 3 1/2" diskettes.
  • Sure, it was good for it's time. However, it's time has long since passed. Any "new" Amiga won't be the same in any way.

    I agree. But the question wasn't "What is so great about the Amiga", it was "What was so great..."

    People have been obcessing over obsolete hardware for a long time - witness the number of vintage car collectors. They buy, sell, trade, refurbish (even replicate!) particular models that they especially love - even if by today's standards those cars are inefficient, bad handling, polluting or whatever. Telling one of these collectors to dump their '57 Mustang in favor of a "better" new car would be met with a "You don't get it" shake of the head. Same thing applies here, I think.

    Pity that Commadore couldn't market eternal life if they'd had it in bottles.
  • I'm curious, aside from not being wintel and therefore spiffy, what's the big deal bitch? what is or ever was so great about amiga anyway.

    It did most of what Win95 does about 10 years before Microsoft. And it did it without a hard drive, and with half a meg of RAM.

    Real multitasking, decent GUI, etc. It had powerful graphics hardware (handled by a separate processor) and was easily interfaced with video systems - there are still small TV stations that do their production on Amiga stuff (I remember the preview channel on my local cable company showing a Guru Meditation error).

    The Amiga was so far ahead of it's time that no one knew what to do with it. People were interested in spreadsheets and dBase.

    Now that the hardware and software have caught up to where the Amiga was 15 years ago, I don't see any real comeback happening.
  • I know this is an awkward question but what defines an Amiga?

    The Boing Ball.

    Well, actually I would have thought the Operating System, maybe I'm missing something.
  • Bah. We had the Boing Ball on the Atari ST too.

    And the ST sweat blood making it move. On Amy it took maybe 4% of the CPU. Ah, the old flame wars...

    Has anyone bothered to emulate the ST? For reasons I cannot explain I've decided I need to emulate everything I can on my new Laptop. I've already got the Atari 800, TRS-80, Atari 7800, Amiga, Odyssey2 (ok, so I'm a sick puppy), Game Boy... must have more! MORE!

    (Shoot! Amost forgot, need to d/l a Z-machine for it)
  • (Shoot! Amost forgot, need to d/l a Z-machine for it)
    Download rezrov [], it's written in Perl.
  • Amiga history and Emulation, I also found this link you may be interested in:

    Handy: A Lynx (um.. the handheld machine) emulator []

  • Hah,

    Actually, it was almost exactly like comparing an Atari Lynx ( a.k.a Handy [], note the historical Amiga link

    Dave Needle: "I was at Apple, fed up with the brainless product management process and was ready to quit. RJ Mical was completing a game (I dont remember which) and was looking to do something else. We happened to be talking to our ex-boss (and still friend) David Morse (the founder, president, and leader of Amiga) and he suggested that we get together to talk about it.

    Soon after, on a warm and sunny afternoon, at an outdoor table of a waterside Foster City seafood restaurant (Its gone now), David Morse said "My son wants to know if we can build a portable hand-held game?" and that was the start of "Handy" At that table, RJ and I sketched out an architecture, David discussed some business structures, and then we went off to "Just do it".

    While RJ and I refined the product concept, David set up the corporate environment and acquired funding (no small feat). We joined Epyx, with David as our fearless leader and Handy as a hot product idea.

    The actual hardware and software development was done by our teams of many dedicated, hardworking, creative engineers and artists. The company and project management was headed by David Morse. Almost always, his name is left out of the story. It was and is always a three pronged team, Management, Software, Hardware. All 3 are needed to create, start and complete the task."

    ) to a Gameboy. I got a Lynx, my brother got a Gameboy. It should've been devestating, I should have been able to laugh at his pitiful, mono-color handheld, sneering at him with contempt. (This was what we did for fun, besides playing games. Knocking each other's console of choice was great sport.) Instead it was he who got to be contemptuous, "Where are all the games?" he'd sneer, as he'd show me the latest Castlevania or Mega Man for his system, while I had to put up with stuff like Viking Child and extremely rare releases. I'd be incredulous, "Bbbutt, bbutt, my hardware is clearly superior! Hardware scaling and rotation, a color LCD, why is this happening..."
  • I've seen a similar message on our Prevue Channel (the channel that tells what's on each channel for the next hour 1/2). Somehing like "Insert Laser Disc and Press Any Key To Continue" up there for hours at a time. With a [Copyright 19xx Commodore Amiga Corp.] or something at the bottom.

    Good old laser discs.

  • Anything could be the 'greatest ever' only if it was developed better. Duh.
  • I have an old black-box NeXTStep sitting here beside me right now (and running) - one of the screensavers for it is the red & white ball that they always show for the Amiga. I've never seen or used an Amiga, so can someone explain why they use that red & white ball to me? I always think "NeXT" instead of "Amiga" when I see it...

    Crimson Networks []
  • Not yet, at least not from what I've seen in DP3, although X should be a lot more polished when it finally reaches Consumer release, whereas Amiga OS does exist in a polished form now. One major shortfall is the realtive isolation of the "Classic" environment. At present it needs an entirely separate IP from X, and a lot of "Classic" apps are more than likely to take a significant speed hit when running under this environment.
  • Not surprising. Schwartz used to have a CD of Amiga animations that can still be found advertised in Euro Amiga magazines. (And yes, Sabrina's on it too. :)
  • Sick? No, it's just unfortunate. Besides, it's only the launch of the developer box. I bet someone has some hideous trick up their sleeves, but it ain't gonna be to do with the launch.
    If you look, you'll see that the "launch" is happening at the St. Louis Amiga Show. Would YOU launch a fake product amongst a few thousand rabid Amigans? :) I doubt Fleecy and Bill would, either :)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It's the new Amiga Z

    Z like in Zombie

    It is going to be based on a V like in Vapour chipset and be upgradeable to up to four VLSISE, the new Very Large Scale Integrated Steam Engine devices.

    Come on dear Amiga user, put your teeth back into the glass and take a nap.

  • This is what, the fourth time now? At this point, we can start telling the story about the little boy who cried "Amiga Comeback".

    What makes them think that this time they will succeed? I'm not faulting the OS itself, but it already failed. Several times. One would think that they would catch the hint.
  • IMHO, too little, to late. I truely feel that this 'new push' on Amiga will provide quality products and services, but, simply to late.

    Amiga has already been dragged through the mud, and to anyone but the hardcore amiga users, it will still remain dirty. I'd honestly consider a name change. 'Amiga' to most people bring up memories a failed product.

    Best of luck, truely, but I just don't forsee it taking off.
  • Some models (A1000, maybe the 3000?) had "WOM", which had to be loaded from the "Kickstart" disk when you first started your machine. These machines had a small bit of code in ROM, just enough to copy the contents of a floppy into the special area of RAM (which was then write-protected by flipping a bit in some configuration register, and which survived warm-boots). This was the 1985 equivalent to flashing the BIOS in an x86 box.
  • In terms of booting, the Amiga is much faster than any x86 box. My A4000 gets to a graphical desktop before my x86 box finishes its BIOS startup stuff.

    You cannot emulate an Amiga in real-time with a 386DX-25. I haven't tried a recent version of UAE, but the last time I did it was slower than the real thing (25MHz Amiga, 233MHz K6).

    I am not disputing that for CPU-bound applications like rendering, any modern x86 box will blow a classic (680x0) Amiga out of the water. But when it comes to responsiveness of the user interface (including non-CPU-bound applications like word processors), the old Amigae still have an edge. I'm sorry, but GNU/Linux with the X Window System is a bloated hog. Less bloated than Win98, but I think it's more useful to compare yourself to the best than to the worst.

    The Amiga will be dead when everything it does is done better by something else, and not before.
  • What remains, you ask? What remains is a spirit and a memory of how, briefly, someone Did It Right.

    The Amiga circa 1985-1991 represented power and flexibility and ease of use that did NOT compromise each other - sort of like a nonpatronizing Macintosh with a command line. It also represented (at least in the early days) a price/performance curve totally unconnected to the rest of the industry, perhaps more accurately reflecting what silicon could do at a given price point than the overpriced PCs and Macs of the day might suggest.

    What about today? Linux can be made easy to use, but it'll be all too easy for a casual user to "fall into the basement" and end up dealing with the Linux underneath. The rest of us are fine with Linux as it is, not because it's intuitive, but because we've memorized it. The Macintosh has a lot of the usability issues solved, but at the expense of coming across with a patronizing attitude - Steve Jobs has encoded too much of his personality into the OS, and it speaks to you with his voice. Windows has the worst of all worlds - it lacks power, it lacks ease of use, but still speaks to you in Bill Gates' patronizing voice.

    Hardware-wise: wouldn't it be nice to see hardware revolutions coming from somewhere besides Apple?

    Community-wise: What, fundamentally, is the difference between an Amiga fan and a Linux fan? That Linux runs on newer hardware, that's about it - each platform has its failings. And indeed, for many people, Linux has BECOME their Amiga - insofar as it does all they feel they needed from an Amiga.

    I'm not defending Amiga Inc, I'm gonna wait for kickable hardware just like the last 107 times. All I'm saying is that maybe there's something the Amiga had, that could be useful again - and the Amiga "faithful" (the level-headed ones anyway, not the goobers who think Q3A should run on a stock A500) are just the people who agree with this statement.
  • Every now and then you can see the Amiga desktop on the local TV channel instead of the boring fixed-image ads for shops.
  • The words "horse", "dead" and "flogging" all spring to mind. Everyone who's tried to rise Amiga from the ashes has got their fingers burned. I'll believe it when I see it.

    Now weary traveller, rest your head. For just like me, you're utterly dead.
  • like this [].

    Of course, the last time we saw an Amiga was when Elvis brought one out of a flying saucer.... (there's a UF [] comic about that somewhere :)
  • I mean let's face it, the Amiga sucks in todays computing environment.

    What do you define as "today's computing environment"? A Color Game Boy has terrible specs compared to a PC, yet it sells like hotcakes, because it serves a different purpose. Why should not an Amiga too? There are still a lot of them sitting around running Scala, for instance to "drive" a cable company's information channel.

    (It's not like Intel-based PCs represent the epitome of computer architecture, either: Both PowerPC-based and Alpha-based architectures run rings around Intel's mangy workhorse cum electrical oven.)

  • Which year in the future would anyone be willing to pick in which Amigas will sell more than 1% of the number of Macs that sell...

    I just have no confidence that Amino is well funded enough to pull this off and come up with anything that is modern and capable enough to take off at all, let alone that they have the ability to market it enough to sell even a good product.

    There just isn't much of a market for 1994 era machines based on 1985 technology in 2000. And those machine were never able to carve out a viable niche in their day. It will take a huge amount of modernization to bring them up to date, and they will have a really tough time competing against entrenched competitors like Wintel, Mac and Linux which through brute force can match or exceed the capabilities of those old machines in just about every way.

    The Amiga still has a certain nostalgia appeal to many computerheads, but that won't sell enough units for it to be viable.

  • The amiga WAS great when it was first released because the PC's at that time were real crap in comparison. Of course Commodore made the big mistake of not improving rapidly enough.

    Another thing which WAS good about the Amiga was the operating system (again, in comparison with what was available at that time).

  • As for not being an Amiga, there quite simply isn't a better successor that captures the spirit of the Amiga (i.e. everything that is Amiga) as perfectly.

    How so? I really don't see how. What made Amiga so revolutionary wasn't just that it something new, but that it was something new that was awesomely powerful with the existing hardware technology at the time--and cheap. That's what earned Amiga the adulation that it got (deservedly so).

    But all that I read of Tao doesn't strike me as being all that wonderful. I really don't see any particular benefit. Yes, it's interesting to see a proto-OS able to run with other OSes, but what about the hardware? Yes, it's interesting to see this proto-OS idea (or maybe meta-OS is a better word), but there are other concepts out there like microkernels (Mach and HURD) as well as more exotic things like exokernels, but nothing to say definitively if they are The Answer(TM). Feel free to disagree, but I'm very skeptical.

    Read what I say with the background knowledge about TAO's products and you too will know why traditional operating systems (including Linux of course) are living out their last of their days as the best tools for the job.

    Whoa there. Hold on. "Living out their last days"? That's a tad extreme. There is nothing to suggest that there is a need for a type of OS software like Tao on a mass market. Yes, Elite is intended to be highly portable and connectable, but Linux, for example, already is quite portable, even to handhelds or smaller devices. So is Mach. If you want _really_ high levels of modularity, you've got the exokernel idea. Yet with increasing processor power and decreasing size and power use, the need for extremely slim clients starts to unravel--and consumers want extra bells and whistles for consumer devices (otherwise, why are Pentium IIIs and Athlons selling so well, even though most people don't need that kind of power?), so that added power will be needed. And available.

    So the Tao idea sounds interesting, but I honestly don't see how on Earth it should hasten any conceived "extinction" of a traditional operating system. Some of them will die out anyway, like the old MacOS (not OS X). Maybe Windows, too, in the long run (ten years or so). But we already have a high degree of portability and modularity with existing UN*X kernels and low-level layers, so why do we need something as new and different as Tao?

    The desktop OS paradigm also has quite a lot of life left in it, if it ever dies at all. There will always IMO be a need for a central workstation, which will need a traditional OS. Interconnected devices are nice, and so is the idea of ubiquitous computing. But I don't believe at all that you can get away from using a more traditional computing device in some form--with a central "desktop" (or whatever you prefer to call it), documents, storage volumes and so on. All that will be networked, sure. The physical computer device may also vanish. But there will still be a need for the OS in the end.

    And none of this really explains why it makes sense to use Tao for the new Amiga-named thingie, nor does it explain why the new Amiga-named thingie will be a compelling alternative to existing OSes.

    We have RTOS versions of Linux, for example. We may even see RT versions of Mach (and therefore OS X) in the near future. What is the compelling reason for the mass market to switch to Elite?

    (Consider this an open invitation for a sales pitch. ;-) )


    Ethelred []

  • So, they are actually doing exactly as you suggest they do. You can quit your whinging now Ethelred.

    To create a new consumer OS from the basis that they are using is tantamount to creating a new OS from scratch. Elate is merely meant to be a core, not a whole consumer OS.

    Quote from their site:

    It has been designed to run very fast as both stand alone and co-existing with host operating systems across any kind of processor.

    That doesn't sound like a complete OS to me. It also sounds like it won't work with any existing mainstream OS without a wee bit of work. Doesn't sound like a recipe for success IMO.

    Furthermore, it still isn't an Amiga.

    Back to you:

    Perhaps you ought to actually LEARN before you slag off, eh?

    Perhaps you ought to sit back, relax, take a deep breath and join a civil discussion rather than resorting to flames and posting AC. (And yes, I did read up, long before posting--or long before this was posted on /.)

    Rather than questioning my integrity, perhaps--just perhaps--you should try to support your own argument like an adult.

    Feel free to convince me. But please don't behave like a fool.

    Ethelred []

  • I really think I've seen this story many times before. How can zealots still believe in it.

    From all the cool stuff that made the Amiga success in the late 80s, what remains? Why not tryings to add cool hardware and software to architecture much more widespread now.

    Because you where right once, it doesn't mean you're still right now. Amiga didn't adapt.

    When I'm thinking to Amiga, all I have is a bunch of good old souvenirs and some regrets for the stupid marketing choices that have been made.But now rest in peace Amiga.
  • Well the new Amiga OS was going to be based around QNX Neutrino and Photon, but that deal fell down and Gateway bumbled around making silly noises all the time. A lot of Amigans really like QNX and its architecture and graphical system, as well as its amazing network transparency etc.

    Anyway, the new Amiga will not be an outdated platform - I expect it will run on standard x86 hardware (or a selected subset of it - why support old graphics card, for example) and it will also run on the POP boards. It will run on current PPC Amigas (as does Linux, NetBSD, QNX (one day) etc) to provide people with an upgrade path. TAOS Elate has a lot of interesting and good technology in it - it is a step in front of Linux (true cross platform binaries etc) and it leaves Windows at the bottom of the elevator.

    Trust us, we like our Amigas, but we know they are old and crufty, and have more add-ons than, erm, something very modular with lots of add-ons, but they do our work well and efficiently, and we can play Quake and lots more games are being ported (several based on the Quake II engine), but the processor power is holding us now. We want Quad 600MHz G4s in our machines! :-)

    The classic Amiga OS has lots of great ideas and concepts - datatypes, screens, hardware graphics and audio accelleration, etc. Modern hardware has caught up and overtaken a lot of these features now, and screens is hard to justify when you could have a 1600x1200 desktop instead (but see here [] for a more useful application of Amiga OS and screens []).

  • ...why should this be any more real than previous attempts?

    Because this is the first "attempt" where Amiga Inc. doesn't have a parent company above it to choke it with bureaucracy and side interests. The current Amiga team has no focus besides making this "attempt" a succes, which is for the first time in 7 or so years.

    Besides, what does this have to do with the "original" Amiga? Nothing but the name.

    Yup. But I consider this a good thing. And one thing we will definitely inherit from the old system is its philosophy: simple, small, fast, elegant.
  • In many ways, what defined the Amiga was the culture that grew up around it. The Amiga crowd resembles the Linux folks in many ways, after all there is a good deal of overlap.

    A key difference however is ease of use. AmigaOS has some of the better advantages of Linux/Unix, i.e. pre-emptive multi-tasking, virtual screens, but it was and is a lot easier to install and configure than Linux with X. BeOS tried the "new Amiga approach", but it's barely more active than Commodore was during it's fading days.

    An operating system that brings the power of Unix with the ease of Amiga OS can rightly claim it's mantle, provided it develops a similar following.
  • At the risk of sounding cynical, I believe that this article is just one more that fits into my theory that any Slashdot headline that asks a yes/no question can be made more accurate by adding "No, of course not" to it.

    The End of Unix? No, Of Course Not
    Linux Approaching A Fork In The Road? No, Of Course Not
    Do Geeks Have A Political Voice? No, Of Course Not (okay, so I'm pessimistic.)
    Gnutella 0.5c Still Going? No, Of Course Not
    Amiga - Back From the Dead? No, Of Course Not

  • No it doesn't. The windows video toaster is essentially an Amiga on a card, it runs on a PC, at the same time as Windows, but it doesn't run ON Windows. You're better off having the whole Amiga box.
  • I'm sorry that I'm commenting on an article that is considered old news now, but I thought I'd put in my $0.02

    The Video Toaster on the PC IS an Amiga, just stripped of the keyboard, video drivers, mouse, and all I/O stuff except for a simple serial port. So when you are using the Video Toaster on a PC, just remember what you are working with. IMHO this was one of the few smart things Comodore did with the licensing of Amiga hardware. I'm not sure what they are currently doing for hardware, but I'm pretty sure you could hack into that box and get the Amiga running as a stand-alone box from the Video Toaster if you tried.
  • "Do we need another OS?" I say yea.
    Whatever inspires people to do something is valuable. There are thousands of superbright people out there who couldn't care less about linux, bsd, macos, beos, or any other new system. If the amiga captures their attention then they are bound to come up with some cool ideas that haven't been thought of.

    We should embrace any and every attempt at growth because that is the nature of evolution. It could all be a miserable failure, but even by learning what doesn't work, we still learn.

  • Back in the old days the Amiga was truly a very powerfull computer. Personally I allways compared it with my trusty c64 (which I still have) which made the Amiga look like an outstanding computer.

    Later on I got my PC and now, with a very good middle class PC, when I look back I think the Amiga was but still is one of the best homecomputers around for that time. But face it; its time to realize the era has come to an end. Sure; not for the local user groups around which still have & use the Amiga. But for the general public the Amiga is gone, yesterdays news.

    Articles like this may give some of you around hope that, one day, we'll see a new model. Just like the old one with all the features of today's modern computer. It's not going to happen IMHO and to put it even more blunt: be glad !.

    Before you hit that reply button: no; this has nothing to do with some 'lame' idea of mine that we should never see an Amiga again. On the contrary; I think that if we do the Amiga will truly die. Imagine this; there will be another Amiga but unfortunatly the firm which is making them uses a complete other line up then Commodore once used to do. The result being a computer you would not even let your dog get near to because if someone associates the dog with yourself your career is truly over. Do you think that will benefit the Amiga?

    "It won't happen". Duh, guess again. Chances are pretty good that it will. Does anyone know the Acorn Archimedes? In its own time (around the 286) it was way ahead of its time, it did things which just became possible when the PC architecture reached 386+ and the 486. Now I ask you; before reading this article did the name "Archimedes" ring a bell?

    Like I said; its an Acorn computer (British brand) which was in a later stage sold to Olivetti. The latter just used the technology (I guess) but even despite the rumours there would never be any new model. The "latest" design (few years back) was just more of the same. Period. The result; the Archimedes still lives on. Sure, not for the major public but for its fans. Heck; I've even seen Archie's running stuff like Linux & Win95 and no; we are not talking Intel based computers here. Nor DOS based and/or whatever there is out there.

    The machine does not have to live up to its name. Its an Archimedes and thats basicly it. If these boys want to keep the Amiga alive they'll do the same. If they don't I'll bet it will be the end for the Amiga. Don't get me wrong here; I would not like this outcome as well.

  • At the time it was released, the Amiga's capabilities were stunning. A huge color pallete, video titling (editing and f/x with a Toaster card) and a relatively stable OS.

    But time has moved on, pretty much every computer out there now supports millions of colors, the type of video f/x that the Amiga was worshipped for has been passed by the combination of DV, Firewire and large capacity drives and with OSs like Be OS and Mac OS X, stability is no longer an issue.

    The question I raise, is do we need the Amiga? Do we need another OS? I say nay, if anything we need to throw more attention to OSes like Be, which could be one of the greatest operating systems, if it was developed better.

    well, that's my 2 centavos for today.

  • What "will be"? The Atari is still produced and developed today, as clones. The userbase (still alive and kicking) is producing the operating system (which is preemptive multitasking and all that, I'm not following it closely)

    Milan is one Atari clone []

  • The Amiga is back is it?
    As far as I can see it's a completely different OS on different hardware. Am I right in saying that the only "Amiga" thing about it is the name. I know this is an awkward question but what defines an Amiga?
    Multimedia? Why not call BeOS "the new AmigaOS"
    Seamless emulation support for the old apps is probably the only distinction and I have UAE running on my computer
    ---------------------------------------- ---------
    "If I can shoot rabbits then I can shoot fascists" -
  • OK, I know how lovely the Amiga was as a platform.

    Question is, is there really much point in releasing new machines on it? I mean, it was around before Win3.0, when the 68000 was a hip processor.

    Computers are enormously more powerful, and interfaces are (really they are!) substantially more advanced. Is there much call for reviving a dead platform, other than nostalgia?

    Not trying to flame anyone here, but I just don't see that reviving the Amiga makes any more sense than reviving the Atari ST. (and only marginally more than the Atari 400)

  • Does anyone know the Acorn Archimedes? In its own time (around the 286) it was way ahead of its time, it did things which just became possible when the PC architecture reached 386+ and the 486. Now I ask you; before reading this article did the name "Archimedes" ring a bell?

    Funny you should mention this, particularly in this thread. Acorn binned their workstation division two or three years ago, and it looked like the Acorn line was finally hitting the same wall that Amiga hit so many years earlier - a small computer firm with an enthusiastic user and programming community suddenly decides that all that good will in the grass roots can go hang.

    At this point, I assumed that that was the end. Finito. Kaputt. Amazingly, and in rather less time than the Amiga people, several firms have stepped into the breach and produced new machines, such as continuations of the original RiscPC designs [], the RiscStation [], the Imago [], RISC OS Ltd [] has produced a new, faster, leaner OS and things are looking more hopeful for the fan base. So even a small computer platform can maintain itself outside the Mac/Windows hegemony, and it doesn't hurt the mainstream to have something different at the edges. Besides, the Open Source movement has facilitated the development and porting of numerous tools to these platforms, extending the minority platforms usefulness further. And Linux ports exist for those who need some more mainstream OS stuff from time to time.

    And to those of you who keep pontificating that we don't need another platform, one of the things I like about Linux is that it provides me with choice. One of the things I like about lots of platform is that it gives me choice.


    Toby Haynes

  • It was an example of the hardware's ability to quickly and easily (ie, low CPU usage) move a big bunch of bits hither and tither.

    Actually, it was an example of the hardware's ability to quickly and easily fool you into thinking it was moving a big bunch of bits "hither and tither".

    In reality, all it was doing was messing with registers. The red and white ball was composed of a lot of colors (probably a 16 color mode), which were rotated between red and white. And the ball was in its own bit plane, while the program was changing the location of the bit plane. The graphics hardware was putting it on the display at the appropriate place based on where the bit plane was supposed to be. The blitter chip wasn't being used at all.

    No bits were being moved. They stayed right there. They were just displayed at different offsets from the vertical and horizontal sync. That's it. But it looked impressive, and that's why the bouncing ball demo is so famous.

    The problem is, multi-layer and sprite graphics hardware like that is rather non-portable. It's awful hard to write cross-platform code that makes good use of such graphics chip tricks, when there is only one hardware platform which can do those tricks. And if a graphics library (X?) isn't designed with them in mind, it's almost impossible to support them portably. The world has gone with flat bitmaps and blitters because they're portable.

    Then there are usually limitations with such hardware. They may only handle a maximum number of bit planes and a maximum number of sprites per horizontal line. It's rather technical, but back in the days of single-megahertz CPUs, there were only so many memory accesses you could do per scan line, to fetch the sprite data for the next scan line. If you ran out of bus cycles to the video RAM, tough luck. That's why in Gauntlet (and the Sega Genesis version of it as well!), a screen full of ghosts has sprites missing scanlines on the right edge of the screen.

    In my opinion, there's not much that you would get out of someone manufacturing "Amiga" computers these days, except maybe having a major manufacturer other than Apple (and IBM's higher-end stuff) to making PowerPC machines that can run Linux.
  • Check at your local TV station. Remember, Video Toaster runs on Amigas, and it's one of the best low-budget titler/switcher programs you can get, at least from anyone other than Avid or Chyron ..

    Like I remind customers every other day or so, discontinued does not mean obsolete. Just because the company doesn't make them anymore doesn't mean they stop working .. as much as M$ would like that to happen ..
  • How about just not posting articles with content like "Amiga ruulezzzz!!!!" or "Amiga zealots suck and fuck my brotha"? That's a sure way to prove that poster doesn't really have anything to say, just to scream mindlessly.

    How about waiting until the given date and then commenting things that happened or didn't happen on the show sensibly and rationally, in a way that doesn't give the impression of screaming teen-aged religious fanatic that wants to kill everyone who doesn't agree with his/her view of world? Honestly, that's the feeling that most of posts in one way or other has given so far.

    Sorry for sounding pissed off, but that's the feeling that any kind of fanatics generally give me.

  • The Elate RTOS []
  • Yes we do, we always need more proprietary systems. Why? Because the more systems the more competition and the more other OS companies have to work and improve. It's the basis of the free market.

    I use Linux whenever I can and I can't understand why other people wouldn't, however I think it would be a sad day if Microsoft was ever driven out of the OS business. People need choice (beyond which disto to use) and companies need competitors.

    I say good luck to Amiga and I hope they get enough market share to keep them afloat.
  • I must admit I don't care how sad it sounds, I'm really interested in this.

    I owned a seriously souped-up 1200 for years before I bought a PC - and thats only because I fried it with 240v up the audio ports - OUCH!

    I used my Amiga for loads of serious stuff.

    The Amiga is dead - so hopefully long live a new platform.

    I hope that they do something this time - I'm just concerned its too little, way too late. The idea of "multimedia hardware with a multimedia OS" fell by the wayside with the BeBox. I don't know how they would market such a device in these times.

    For a lot of people, unfortunately the Amiga name may be a millstone. After COmmodore, Escom, Gateway et al it may be seen as an "unlucky" brandname.

    Port BeOS to a seriously multimedia G3/G4 own design hardware standard and then you just may have something worthy to carry on the legacy of the Amiga (as a Linux user, did I just say that...!! ;-) ) But at the end of the day the Amiga AS IT WAS is a dead platform, Yes it did have an elegant design, an elegant OS and was miles ahead of its day - but that was then.

    Imagine how much more difficult it is today to resurrect the Amiga identity, in the niche it left behind. Multimedia on PC's and Mac's is simply light years ahead of where it was the day that Commodore died.

    I loved my Amiga, but can you really bring it back - and would you want to? Would you want some second rate imposter, like an aging beauty queen desperately slapping on the makeup and slinky clothes and just ending up looking like an old slapper.

    I really don't know what to make of this.
  • by Sanity ( 1431 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2000 @03:39AM (#1187961) Homepage Journal
    As an old Atari-fan I can understand the loyalty which Amiga, Atari, Acorn and other "alternative" computer manufacturers enjoyed in the late 80s and early 90s - however I personally feel that Linux is a much more deserving, and a much more promising, focus for my loyalty than any such computer now. I felt a sense of loyalty towards Atari because I felt that since they were the underdog, we [Atari users] felt a sense of community and comradeship, but the Linux community offers these and more. Linux users don't have to tolerate our chosen platform's destiny being in the hands of an ultimately self-interested company. Linux truly is the platform of the people, and now that we have Linux I can't see a place for Amiga (or Atari, or Acorn) other than for their nostalgia value.


  • by NoseyNick ( 19946 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2000 @02:57AM (#1187962) Homepage
    April 1st is NOT a good date to choose for your forthcoming big announcement, for goodness sake.

    April Fool! April Fool! April Fool!

  • by Ethelred Unraed ( 32954 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2000 @02:46AM (#1187963) Journal
    ...why should this be any more real than previous attempts?

    Besides, what does this have to do with the "original" Amiga? Nothing but the name.

    I remember using an Amiga 500 with a friend and being knocked sideways by its sheer power. I remember an innovative system that in many ways was too good for its time. But please, this is starting to border on cruelty -- every few months there is a new apparition on the horizon, and old Amiga users look up in hope, only to have those hopes dashed.

    Face it: this won't be an Amiga. There is little to no chance that it will be as revolutionary as the original Amiga; at best, it will have a few nice things but will mostly be hard to find a reason to buy it (short of the name).

    Pin your hopes on something else that does have a chance of success: Linux, or maybe Mac OS X, or maybe BeOS, or *BSD. Whatever strikes your fancy. But a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush...


    Ethelred []

  • by Ethelred Unraed ( 32954 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2000 @05:21AM (#1187964) Journal
    Because this is the first "attempt" where Amiga Inc. doesn't have a parent company above it to choke it...

    It also doesn't have a parent company to provide it with capital. If the "new" Amiga is to have any success at all, it will need that above all.

    If Amiga were to seriously succeed, it would need a parent company that gives a damn. Amiga hasn't had that for years (if ever).

    Furthermore, it would be more beneficial to everyone in general if those working on the Amiga would work on existing OSes to improve them, rather than creating yet another OS trading on the name of a once-revolutionary-now-in-twilight OS.

    I just find it to be hard on those wishing for Amigas to return, when the "Amiga" returning isn't an Amiga at all--there will never be another true Amiga IMHO, because its active OS development went into a weird twilight long ago. This looks, feels and smells like another mirage.

    I would have far more positive feelings about it if Amiga were contributing to something else: BeOS maybe, or Linux. Maybe make an alternative kernel and/or windowing system that works with Linux software. Just some ideas. But to create something new from scratch now strikes me as singularly quixotic.


    Ethelred []

  • by threaded ( 89367 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2000 @03:42AM (#1187965) Homepage
    Last year I went to Gran Canaria on Holiday. During a thunderstorm the cable TV setup in the complex blinked out and was replaced with the 'insert boot disk screen' of the Amiga (in Spanish BTW). Was right in the middle of a film! Scuttled down to the concierge and showed him how to reboot from the (dusty) floppies ...

    But that was not as spooky as a ZX-80 running a nuclear power plant ...

  • Well, in the beginning (I'm talking about the days when Amiga 1000 came out with 256k RAM), Someone (probably from Amiga) created this red-white bouncing 3D ball. No one said anything about it (copyright license or anything), and everyone like that demo (along with the juggler demo) - so later Commodore (not sure) - made the red-white ball - the Amiga logo..

  • by Monte ( 48723 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2000 @02:37AM (#1187967)
    ...Amiga's back from the dead again.
  • by Schwarzy ( 70560 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2000 @04:59AM (#1187968)
    One thing very nice in this news is that they understand what made the Amiga so lovely: easyness, the price and the community.

    Refered as my own experience, what made me love Amiga was that I could pay myself without breaking my mother's purse, that you have lot of informations for programming at the price of floppy disks and that for only $100, I bought a C compiler and could run the whole thing with only two floppy disk drives on my A500 (it's true!), and nevertheless have fun with beautiful games.
    I started with a A500, continued with an A1200 two years later, and boost it with a 68030 processor card a year after without breaking my whole (and old !) software and cut budget's familly for food and clothes. I could work with LaTeX for editing, play funny and beautiful games, discover programming in GFABasic, Assembly language and C language. In 1996, the hard disk crashed just after I bought a expensive PC (at least for me, a poor student) for working at my school because everybody used to work on PC with windows (may be evil waves from the PC ? :-). So without money, I have to drop my Amiga (and started with linux few months later after the discover of the sad and flat Windows world)

    Oups, I almost forgot to say that Amiga was a she computer ;-) The only female computer in the world.

    Today even with linux for free, If you want to both play good and beautiful games, discover programming and work, you need an expensive PC. why ? because:

    • Playing games made with leasy programming on unfinished drivers for 3D card need big computer power on an ass-hole OS hust good for playing games. It's a end-less run for high geometry objects and huge textures, just for players to forget that it's the same game running since five years. Everybody think 3D is the only way for gaming. So now, you can't find a good shoot-them-up à la R-Type.
    • every modern OS today is difficult to learn at API level for a novice or a beginner : on linux side, you have to many librairies that you don't know where to start (GNOME/KDE/ncurses is one example). On Windows side you have one api but it's awful and you have to manage yourself difference and bug between OS releases and the prices for programming even for fun are insane !!!
    • for working, things are better because every PC with at least 150 Mhz for processor and 32M of memory can run LaTeX, Word, WordPerfect or whatever you want (but StarOffice maybe)

    So, there are rooms for low cost and easy systems. Maybe we can call it Amiga in old days when computer was also for pleasure and not only for taking your money.

    I just want to come back in happy days when just plug a card under the keyboard was enough to boost my computer, when nobody spoke about plug and play because it was already there, when having a Command Line Interface in the corner wasn't a shame.

    Today when I speak with people, ever non-programmer, old enough to have worked on an Amiga, I never meet someone saying that it was a bad machine. Everyone remembers how easy of use it was, how easy it was to just put a card in it and use it without pain for lucky owner of A3000 and A4000. They also remember the low and affordable price of A500 and A1200 computers. It was the days of computers at purse scale.

  • by luckykaa ( 134517 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2000 @02:52AM (#1187969)
    1. Multitasking Desktop OS (in 1985 this was unheard of, although Most Amiga owners just assumed that all OS's had Preemptive multi tasking)

    2. 4096 colour pallette. (Once again impressive in '85) as well as custom hardware such as the blitter chip - A much more sophisticted one than the simple rectangle movement chips in a lot of SVGA cards too. This could take 3 sources and AND and OR them together.

    3. Stereo Sound. Not the best sound available at the time, but certainly very impressive. 2 8-bit channels per speaker allowed a crude 14 bit sound format.

    4. Small fast efficient Os. This would work on a 512K machine with no swap space, and still have room for applications

    5. Stable. Ironically, This was down to the absence of memory protection. If your program crashes it brings down the whole system.

    6. Screens. Something that no other Os has done as well, although the multiple consoles on Linux gives a similar feel. Essentially each application had its own screen at its own resolution and colour depth. This is available on other operating systems now, but it was part of the whole look and fell of the OS.

    7. Cost. This was priced competitively against consoles. The small amount extra was considered worth it for the added benefit of having word processors, and paint programs. (Not to mention pirate games)

    I'll let others go into the disadvantages. I'm too much of a fanatic to seriously believe that there were any. (It's all lies from the un-Amigaly who will go to silicon Hell)
  • by h_jurvanen ( 161929 ) on Tuesday March 21, 2000 @03:05AM (#1187970)
    It amuses me to read all the comments about the world not "needing" the Amiga anymore. In some sense, the world does not need the Amiga. However, the world does also not "need" Linux, BSD, open source, etc.

    The people who are making this attempt to rejuvenate the Amiga are in it because they love the platform, they find it worth their time and energy, and they want to see the Amiga continue. Open source/Linux, etc. fans should start to see the parallels here... right? Now that I think about it, I'm uncertain whether to be more amused or sad at the attitudes taken by the supposedly open-minded and enlightened people here.

    Herbie J.

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein