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New AmigaOS On Top Of Linux 151 writes, "Amiga released (yet another) plan for the future at an Amiga-show in St. Louis on Sunday. They plan on making a new OS that will be hosted on top of (Red Hat) Linux. Amiga's partners in this new effort include Sun, RedHat and Corel. Yet another impressive-sounding plan, hope they will finally be able to pull this one off..." I of course will believe it when I see it.
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New AmigaOS On Top Of Linux

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  • This is not only getting a bit silly, now the all Amiga rumours is more like fanatics chasing the holy sandal in life of Brian or something.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Erm... The amiga *had* fully pre-emptive multi-tasking and was pervasively multithreaded (note that there is little distinction between a thread and process on AmigaOS, since there is no true memory protection, but most OS-compliant apps are (like the BeOS) kinda difficult to write in a non-multithreaded fashion).

    What it lacked was non-cooperative memory
    protection (it had a cooperative semaphore-locking
    system, but many things bypassed it), and virtual memory didn't come with the OS, but could be tacked on later with a utility such as VMM.

    The Amiga OS message-passing-by-reference scheme is still blindingly fast (when one process is talking to another, memory contents are not copied between them, they just exchange pointers), unfortunately it makes pervasive memory protection (nearly) impossible.

    The Amiga OS was object-oriented before the term was popular - read up on BOOPSI and MUI one day.

    The Amiga OS kernel was also reentrant, as were all system shared libraries, and most third party ones.

    The Amiga OS also had wonderful system includes - I always find myself recreating exec lists and hald of the tag stuff from the utility.h on so called "modern" systems.

    Also, similar to the translator concept in HURD, or the UserFS stuff in linux, parts of the filesystem could represent other things, using special device drivers - i.e. install the right files in DEVS: and you could cd to lhA and Tar archives, or ftp sites, or open a new window to display command output by command redirection eg. echo >CON:x/y/w/h/"New window"/

    And I _still_ miss assigns. Fortunately, the LVM in linux is just now providing somewhat similar functionality.

    Get your facts straight.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Is it my imagination or do people here never bother to read the article or the discussion before posting their lame-ass igorant misinterpretations of the subject at hand?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Will the Amiga fanatics ever realise that the Amiga has had its day? For its time the Amiga may have been a great piece of kit, but its time was ten years ago, and computing has moved on since then. The days of an OS on a floppy disk are gone, and people are now used to the advanced functionality of modern OSes like Linux and Win2K.

    This article is full of yet more of the grandiose claims that we have all seen a million times before, claiming that the Amiga is back with a vengance and its performance will beat everything else by a factor of 10. Of course, when this new "Amiga" fails to materialise then the cries of the Amiga zealots are loud - "There's a conspiracy" or some other such nonsense.

    Face it people, the Amiga died a long time ago, and it's time to let it rest in peace. Pipedreams of resurrecting the Amiga may sound nice to sentimentalists, but it's time to realise that in the year 2000, we have more modern systems based on modern OSes like Linux and Win2K.

  • This is not an insightful post. It is an extremely *REDUNDANT* post. Every time there is a post that gets moderated up for good reason someone has to jump in with the "This post isn't a new idea because I saw it on slashdot before, so you didn't really come up with this idea" post.

    There's no insight in that anymore.

    Or, rather, maybe someone thought it was *still* a valid point. The "Amiga back from the grave" is a redundant *SLASHDOT* story, so I'd expect some of the same kinds of comments. Quit your bitching, and don't waste our time encouraging downward moderation for good posts. Maybe someone *else* hasn't seen it before, or maybe you could post some *content* instead of whining.

    Now I'll try to do my part. The closest thing I've seen to a modern Amiga these days is BeOS. However, the Amiga was also an impressive beast with its own special integrated hardware. Perhaps if a 'Be Box' was aggressively marketed as "The Next Amiga" and had really awesome graphics hardware, (read: decent support for at least one 3D-accelerator that it ships with, DVD, large HD, lots of RAM, popular editing applications...) we'd have a cool new toaster again!

    But it probably won't happen, and all that intuitive interface stuff is just wasted on a Unix dude like me... :)
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • that was worthwhile. Out of curiosity, do you use a bucket when you start hitting your head against walls, or are you a au natural type?
  • Shadow of the beast maybe :)
  • Wowza, nothing brings out the interesting posts like a good Amiga article.

    For all y'all that think the Amiga is simply RIP and we shouldn't bother reading this, bite me. Good ideas never die, and the AmigaOS was a good idea. Run on ancient tech? Oh heck yeah, but it still can do things on an old 020 faster than a Windows Box, and probably has the most elegant multitasking around. Do you know why some developers decided not to bother with memory protection? They weren't sure the Amiga *needed* it, since things simply didn't crash that often. (Which, from my experience, was true).

    Why this could be a good thing:
    The AmigaOS had the potential to be the best consumer OS around. It had the GUI of the Mac, the versatility of Unix, and at one time, lots and lots of games ;). It had multimedia, plug and play, and object-orientation (like people said, read on BOOPSIE or MUI) in front of consumers before some of those things had names. A *good* consumer OS is becoming harder to find.

    Why I'm not holding my breath:
    This is actually the first Amiga announcement in about 2 years which I'm inclined to believe. Amiga needed to get out of the corporate manhandling it's been going through. But, even if this does work, the best it sounds we're going to get is another BeOS, a renegade OS with little driver and application support (don't get me started on BeOS, I tried two different machines with bad, bad results.)

    So yeah, I'm doubtful. But I wish them all the luck.
  • According to an earlier post, over a hundred Amiga apps will be ported over. Of course, this sounds a little bit like a MacOS-upgrade promise to me, so we'll see.
  • True, back when having onboard chips for video was the fastest, most powerful solution. Now, it's smarter to let you nVidia's and 3dfx's do the high -end chip design and keep the box upgradeable.

    Cool idea for then, just not for now...unles it's a console yer looking for ;)
  • I don't really care if it has an x86 motherboard, provided the rest are true. Oh, and I demand that they make another version of Elite...
  • Did you read the article? S-o-f-t-w-a-r-e.


  • I don't mean to undermine Amiga, it was a cool platform, but BeOS has the features you mentioned.

    Yes, it has a "datatype" sort of feature. I think it was R3.2 that had no way of saving graphics in any format other than tiff out of the box. But a quick download later all of the programs could save/load whatever format you like (provided the plugin was available). It works exactly as it did on Amiga.

    BeOS also supports different resolutions and colour depths on different virtual desktops. It also comes with command line tool to manipulate the desktops. For instance, on startup I used to have my box switch to another desktop, start my web server / RC5DES, and then switch back to the first screen.

    I hope Amiga comes out with something cool, but BeOS seems to me the logical path for Amiga users if nothing appears. At least I think BeOS is exactly what AOS would be now if Commodore hadn't gone under.
  • So is this post suggesting that the Amiga story is an April Fool's joke marked redundant because of the previous post [] which was marked redundant because the humor in it about the story being an April Fool's joke wasn't spelled out and therefore wasn't obvious enough for the moderator to see?

    Perhaps it's time to update the Moderator Guidelines to include the definitions of all the words in the different available categories, as we seem to have acquired a number of new moderators without dictionaries at their disposal.

  • "Read the rest of the comments"?
    So it's retroactively redundant?
    Rebirth of Amiga stories pop up so often here and elswhere that making a joke about one of them being a delayed bit of Slashdot April Foolery may not be lethally funny, but marking it redundant still seems to me to be a waste of moderator points that could be much better used elsewhere. As I point out elsewhere, perhaps the Moderator Guidelines need to be revised to include the definitions of the various available categories. We seem to have acquired some moderators that don't know what some of the words actually mean.
  • Dear moderator:
    Subtract 2 days from today's date.
    Re-read parent comment with that little bit of mathematical enlightenment in mind.
    Realise parent comment could have been labeled "funny", "troll", "flamebait", "insightful", informative", "interesting", "underrated", "overrated", or just left alone, but in no way could it be considered "redundant" to suggest that the story is an April Fool's joke.

    The Register has an interesting look [] at what this latest in the Amiga saga is all about, including an observation that just about anybody and his brother can be a "stategic partner" with Sun.

  • Let's just hope that those Disney animators also have backgrounds in RF engineering and understand the concept of "make it easy to open and close, make it easy get at everything inside, make it durable and reliable, make it easy to repair".
  • How can an old 6809 based machine like the Amiga possibly compete with modern multi-tasking architectures like the PC?

    Don't dis my Color Computer and call it an Amiga! But seriously, I know this is OT, but the CoCo with OS-9 Level II could do things that Winderz on 386's could not do at the time. OS-9 is a Multitasking RTOS by Microware [].
  • won't come from a company called Amiga.

    What do I mean by this? Simple. When I think Amiga I think "Holy cow, this is beyond cool. I didn't think I could afford anything this cool." That's what the first Amigas made me feel: this is something I have.

    Linux has been the closest thing since (because I was jonesin' bad for my personal Unix box at the time). Again, for the same reason: Something that was really cool and that I really wanted just fell into my lap.

    Will these new Amigas be nice? Probly, maybe even as nice as BeBoxen, but just having the Amiga name won't do it.

    If you're looking for the next Amiga look start looking elsewhere. Not because Amiga won't make a good box, but because what made Amiga what it was is the antithesis of what this company (and 90% of other companies) is trying to do.

  • whoa - that sucks.....

    ok, now i see... they strip everything out of the kernel.. make it as stable as possible.. then charge for every little utility added to it?

    hmm linux is looking REALLY nice nowadays :)
  • hmmm , an amiga shell on top of redhat would be interesting... (gpl would be nice, but who knows what they plan on doing...)

    correct me if im wrong, but wouldnt the QNX kernel be a better choice for them?
  • 1980
    The Amiga was awesome, I could surf the web, irc, play mods, ftp files while mulitasking perfectly.
    The games rocked, graphics thats ruled, demos that awed, music that still plays today.
    So it did crash every once and awhile. (guru meditation) It was the most stable Hardware/OS at the time.
    Years ahead.

    I have a killer intel box. More memory than I can use, SBlive, Geforce, 21 inch monitor, 60 gigs of hd space, dvd, cdrw, blah blah.
    And the GAMES, oh the games... Tribes, Q3, UT, Covert Ops!. And dont forget Winamp+geiss.

    Now why would I switch to a new OS that doesn't have the newest video games, applications or Internet utilties? And lets not go into hardware/driver support.
    Just give me a good gui, good shell, stable os, run my programs, and supports all my hardware.
    Meet all that, and You sold me. (M$ cant even do that!)

    No reason the Amiga hardware/OS cant do it all, and do it right.

    Untill then its Win98.


  • Just noticed I put 1980 as the date.
    I was using a c64 just after that.
  • Ouch the price of a box with 3 CPUS! (;
    I wonder if the new os/hardware will be truely multi platform.
  • Maybe, if something came along that *genuinely* felt better/smoother/quicker than the old Amigas felt in their day

    BeOS. Thank you, drive through.
  • Don't throw away computers that still work, even if they are Amiga 500's. There's a Goodwill Computerworks in Austin Texas that's affiliated with Goodwill Industries. They are a non-profit, and they take donations of computers. I am positive that they would not turn away a donation that was UPS'd to them, so don't ever just throw away hardware that is old but still works.
  • Amiga 500's sell for $10 in that store! So do Commodore 64's and Atari ST's. If you get to Austin you really need to take a look. Mac Aquariums go for 5 bucks, add your own water. Working Mac classics are 10 bucks. They also sell scads of PC hardware. They take their profits and use it to further Goodwill's mission, which is something like putting people to work.

  • "Windows" claims to be an OS, when it's just a shell over the top of DOS. All this Amiga thing has to do is hang around for a few years, and people will forget that it's just a shell... :)
  • > Although I believe that the 68000 did have basic memory protection

    No it didn't. The M680x0 line only received an MMU with the 68020, which came out after the OS was designed, at a time when CBM was already slacking off. Besides, they probably thought the Guru Meditation was a cute feature, why pull it for a more reliable OS?

    While the Amiga OS definitely was the most advanced consumer OS of its day--multitasking, coprecessors, long file names--it also had some serious shortcomings that made progressive upgrade hard. In particular, it was fatally married to its hardware, particularly sound and graphics. Changing the graphics hardware required some serious hacks, as anybody who remembers the whole retargettable graphics (RTG) story can attest. The OS designers unfortunately never planned hardware abstraction into the software. I still have all the Amiga Kernel Manuals lying around somewhere, they're full of hardware-specific APIs. In particular the blitter was a darling of the hacker community, making possible all those cool animation demos.

    So, in retrospect I must say that I absolutely loved my Amiga, I grew up programming the trusty old A500 w/o HD. But like all good things, it had to come to an end, and I had to make the painful but sensible decision to move to the PC platform. Once in a while I go back and check out the Amiga again, but nowadays I see it with different eyes. A lot like a high school sweetheart: you couldn't live without her back then, but today you kind of wonder what the excitement was all about.

    Uwe Wolfgang Radu
  • How can an old 6809 based machine like the Amiga possibly compete with modern multi-tasking architectures like the PC?

    Pedantic note: The Amiga was based on the 68000 series of microprocessors. The 6809 was not part of this series.
  • Most likely, you are using an IDE CD-ROM drive with a dumb driver on your Linux machine.

    No. It's a SCSI DVD-ROM, connected to an Adaptec 2940AU host adapter. The hard disk is IDE (ATA/66). Everything should be DMA; I even rebuilt the kernel to make sure that stuff was on. I have not yet tried messinging with the "hdparm" program that another poster suggested, though.

  • If you want to see a system that does not starve threads yet still has a fast GUI, try BeOS. It's free now, so your ignorance is inexcusable :)

    Fair enough, sir. :-) I tried 4.5, but it didn't seem to support my PeeCee's hardware very well (Matrox Millenium G400 MAX and 3Com 3C905C-TX being the troublemakers). I'll certainly give BeOS 5 a try, though, when I have a little more time.

    As for the inefficiencies of gcc, X, and Enlightenment, I would have thought the faster CPU would more than make up for those problems. Perhaps the problem is, as you say, with the [lack of] threading.

  • Actually, in this cae it IS some of the original people. Amiga INC is now owned by a group of Amiga enthusiasts who have, at one time or another, been deeply involved in its development. I look forward to seeing what they can acomplish.
  • Doesn't april fools end?! Oh wait.. they are serious. At least this wasn't as bad as the OpenBSD-RedHat merger mailing...

  • Correct me if I'm being stupid here but... If they're already running Linux. Why do they need to run an Amiga OS on top of it? Didn't they mean to say that they're going to run a user interface on top of Linux? Why would you ever want the double overhead of running two OSs simultaneously?
  • by dkh2 ( 29130 )
    I agree. They already have an OS with a perfectly good interface from the command line. I think they meant to say that they're developing a GUI to run atop it.
  • Yes and no... As an "Operating System" you can only run Windows software in Windows... not in DOS so technically Windows is still an OS that loads from another OS (Not including NT).

  • The technology is simply a virtual machine, much like the java virtual machine. However, where Sun messed up and didn't optimize for speed, the Taos vm is supposed to be really hot stuff.

    It's interresting that the founders of Tao-Group are old Amiga game developers (read Optimized Assembler), and that they should know right from wrong in this department.

    Also, rumours has it that Sun is wildly impressed by the Taos java vm. It's supposed to be the fastest in existance (faster by a large factor compared to the MS one).
  • Dear unitron

    Read the rest of the comments. In fact, read the very article this story refers to.
    Realise that the "April fool" angle has been covered multiple times.
    Realise that this post is indeed utterly redundant.

    I don't mean to go off at you in particular, but I'm sick of people making this joke again and again when the very article starts off by pre-empting this very 'joke' by saying that it's not an April fool.
  • Hey come on dude, the title of the linked story was "Amiga are no April fools" - to post a comment underneath saying "huhhuhhuh is this an April fool" is lame, lame, lame. And I would also say it was redundant.

    However, I do agree with you in general on moderation, far too many points are used negatively.
  • Am I the only one who thinks that Amiga should buddy up with Transmeta? Then they wouldn't have all these press releases, they'd just make something and release it. Get those marketing people over to the dev team!

  • Once again another lamer who thinks there is no Amiga community left...
    Ooo, no. I have no problem with the community, or with Amiga machines. I have problems with companies buying the rights to the Amiga name and slapping it onto some software/hardware that doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of being as original and technically cutting edge as the original Amigas.

    Sorry if I didn't make that clear.

    Didn't mean to call ya a lamer, but you really are up for a good flamin',
    Of course you meant it! You dweeb! Don't flame someone, then back off! Continue onward firing all barrels until the target is annihilated!!

    I'll let it go this time, but you better brush up on your flaming [] techniques before posting again on slashdot. :^)

  • And the OS had nothing to do with it?
    Again, I said mostly about the hardware. What was so cutting-edge about AmigaOS? And I don't mean compared to DOS, compare it to all OS's available at the time.
    You are presupposing that they will fail. Why?
    A number of reasons:
    • The current track record of companies attempting to resurrect the Amiga name.
    • The failure for the current Amiga-name owner to announce anything earth shattering technically speaking.
    • The fact that the company is relying on the Amiga name to sell something that, in all likelyhood, will NOT be backwards-compatible. And if this is the case, and you DO have something technically earth-shattering, then why not give it its own name and let it stand on its own merits?

  • Sounds like you got stung by amiga in the past ;-)

    Still you've gotta remember the old amiga is dead and there's nothing you can do.

    What the new amiga are doing however is very interesting and could prove very cool!
    (that is if they succede)

    Anyway what slashdot didn't mention is that this on top of linux thing is only a stopgap to get developers developing! Hardware is irrelevent, but they will support some anyway!

  • Obviously the remaining Amiga community does not agree with your asessment of the situation. Besides, the point is that this new system is aimed at the future. Or didn't you read the article?

    In what sense? What does the Amiga have to offer the future of computing at this point? The Amiga's strength was a preemptive multitasking OS that worked in 256Kb of ram, tightly coupled to a suite of graphics and sound chips to give it multimedia capabilities that contemporary machines could only dream of. But what is that now?

    Face it. Any new system will be called "Amiga" only to leverage the fanaticism of a few remaining die-hards, but will have about as much in common with the real Amiga as the Amiga did with the C64.


    Greetings New User! Be sure to replace this text with a

  • It's different from Java in that it isn't just restricted to one language; it's an instruction set, not a language + instruction set.

    It also differs in that there aren't multiple VM's which make java a "write once, test everywhere" system (their words).

    It also isn't a complete "do everything" system where these binaries run on their own API which deals with security etc, they're completely system native. Also looking at their interview I get the idea that they write very tight code and these "VP" binaries aren't as slow as you might think.

    Certainly, I can easily see even modest machines getting very acceptable performance out of it; anything which needs the speed can be compiled in native flavours too, which the VP version there for CPU's unsupported by the app directly (e.g, when you get your brand new IC64 or whatever, you can just get the VP binary and run it rather than having to wait for native ones to appear, making it much less painful to switch hardware).

    Multiprocessing over networks also seems to be a big thing with them. In this interview in Amiga Active (mentions a Byte article from '94 if anyone wants to dig about) one of the Tao guys mentions a ray tracer running on a 486. They plug an 8 CPU transputer board into it and without even recompiling the system takes advantage of it.. then they get a MIPS board with 4 CPU's (total of 13 processors and 3 different architectures) and all they see is a speed increase... sounds fscking cool if you ask me (although they do admit it doesn't happen by magic; "the programmer still has to think! ... but [we're] making it much simpler ...".

    Also, imagine if you can run any architecture you like with this system; you can suddenly say to your CPU supplier "I can use any CPU I like; MIPS, x86, PPC, ARM, so either you do it for x quid a unit or we walk". Sounds cool for budget systems.

    On one last note, they mention they've had ~10 offers to have their virtual CPU implimented in silicon ala a Java CPU, so it doesn't look like the industry doesn't know them :)

    They seem very much like a reverse Transmeta, only with Elate you're not tied to one piece of hardware. Sounds seriously cool; an OS/API layer which either runs native or on a host OS such as Windows, Linux, QNX, Epoc, WinCE etc...

    Whether you like the idea or not, whether you think it will get anywhere or not, you still have to admit, it sounds seriously cool, so let's not knock it just because you haven't seen it running (hey! newsflash! you're not omnipotent!), or because it's linked with Amiga, or because you enjoy being a neo-luddite. OK?

    -- Tom (no longer paying for the call, although now dieing from 'flu, feh)
  • That's what Elate is.

    You can evan change CPU's and binaries still run, because they are compiled for a virtual processor ala Java (native binaries are, of course, also possible).

    The thing with Elate is, because it's so portable, it can even run on top of other OS's (yes, user space kernels aren't anything new.

    Sorry this is short and vague; it's peak rate and I'm paying loads to be on atm ;)

    Amiga Active issue 6 had a nice article on it (March 2000), but a web search of Tao and Elate should bring up some stuff too.
  • I never though anyone could out VapourFUD M$, and it's such a shame since the original amiga stuff was great hardware, and a decent OS. But here they go again, new plans, again. You'd think they were an internet startup that plans on ipoing or something. My message to them (if you'lle pardon the cliche..) Show me the money.
  • Great April Fools day article, and all, but, it's the 3rd! Slipsies!

    Amiga. Giggle. Although it would have been funnier to make it CE-based. Oh, I get it! You'll post that article later today, and then another one claiming the Amiga has been bought by Hasbro and turned into a line of talking girls' dolls, powered by CP/M!

    A riot!

  • Just remember that the people doing "this" Amiga aren't the ones that did the original Amiga. The Amiga name has been sold several times.
  • I can't speak for OS/2, but if you're claiming BeOS sucks, that strongly suggests you haven't ever used it.
  • I remember, while I was growing up, I (gasp!) didn't have a computer of my own. (Well, I'm only 18 now, but when I was in like grade 5.) However, one of my friends had recently gotten a computer of his own -- an Amiga!

    It was easily the coolest thing I had ever seen. I remember being instantly drawn to the warm, incandecent glow of the monitor like moths to a street lamp. Ahh, the many hours of playing games like Laser Chess that I spent in front of that computer! :)

    Amiga had me hooked after 5 minutes with their original machine, and I'm quite anxious to see what their creative minds can come up with now!

    ' CitizenC
    ' WebMaster, PlanetQ3F []
  • You're saying that running an OS straight on top of another is impossible, except when it's possible. ;)

    No, (s)he's not. vmware runs the system inside a simulated machine, so the os runs directly on the cpu, not "on top of" linux, like an application or like a micro-kernel-based system on top of a micro-kernel. That's different.
  • While I agree, it was a great machine in its day (as good as any Mac, minus the software), and I owned an A1000, and an A500 that I threw out last year. The funny thing to note is that Amigas are still used with the "Video Toaster" card on a number of cable TV stations for their ad channels. Why, just the other day I was channel surfing, and came across a "Guru Meditation" exception.

    There are better devices on the market now, so I can't help but think this is all a wasted exercise.

    I had some real fun playing Amiga games. Remember Impossible Mission, where there were some good digitized voices? Ah, the good old days.
  • They may have just mentioned they're building a new OS on top of linux in a trade show, but there were articles on them planning on doing this pasted all over the Amiga magazines a few months ago. More correctly, the news in the Amiga magazines was that they chose to use Linux instead of licensing QNX to make the basis of their new OS.
  • The collaboration with Tao [] is interesting. Taos is a nifty little OS which supports automatic process distribution across multiple dissimilar processors. You can have a 68040, a Pentium III and a PowerPC in one box, for example, and tasks will automatically migrate back and forth, dynamically recompiling while the system attempts to realize its most efficient CPU utilization.

    Taos was created by a former Amiga game programmer; I think I first saw the OS written up in Byte magazine nearly seven years ago.

    I'm curious as to whether this will ultimately become the kernel of the full OS, and whether Linux isn't just a temporary move to get developers up and running until the real foundation is ready. I'm also curious why Taos was chosen. It doesn't seem to make sense at first glance, unless there's some interesting, new hardware coming down the pipe, or perhaps unless there's going to be a focus on automatic clustering.

    Taos at the base could be a very brave, very challenging new step, entirely worthy of the Amiga name.

  • If it runs on top of RH Linux, then wouldn't that just make it a shell or user interface rather than an OS?
  • As I recall, one of the main advantages to the amiga was the tight coupling of the video hardware. Has that concept been totally abandoned? Probably this was covered at some point in the past, but if so I missed it.

  • I can't really tell what this is going to be? It looks like PC hardware thats supposed to be cheep but pretty decent, it talks about a fre other chips working without recompiling(?!), and its software. Its a little (lot) early and I have two exams, so I'm saving what little ablility to think I have, can someone please explain what this is?

    Apparently the OS they are using is designed to run on top of a hardware virtualizer (I think that's what it's called) that abstracts the hardware - something like a java OS if you will, only apparently a lot more efficient. So in this case it is running with Linux as it's hardware virtualizer, for the purpose of allowing developers to work on programs for it, so that when/if the consumer model arrives there will be programs available to run on the thing.

  • Lets see what going to be ported.
    SetPatch, IPrefs, AddDataTypes, Edit, List, MakeDir, .... :-)
  • >Not counting things like VMWare, Plex86 and
    >others, running an OS straight ontop of an other
    >is impossible.

    Running an OS straight ontop of another OS has been nothing new since the day Emacs was invented =)
  • As an Amigan, I have to agree.

  • This theoretically makes Amiga the first proprietary desktop environment on Linux. What do we think of this?

    "The romance of Silicon Valley was about money - excuse me, about changing the world, one million dollars at a time."
  • The nes AmigaOS is being built on top of the Tao Elate RTOS. It is currently being hosted on RedHat Linux, so that a developers' box may be released. In this way, Amiga is attempting to get some applications written/ported before the main release of the new OS.

    When it is released, the new OS will not be hosted, but will run on it's own. Check out the various links already posted for more details.
  • Thank you so much for your insightful comments.
  • The Linux/Developers' box is just that - an x86 box running Linux so that Elate can run in a stable environment for the time being. This allows work to start on developing applications for Elate before the platform (OS) is released as a full version (without another OS underneath).
  • I'm a real Amiga fan. I've written lots of demos, games and apps in C and assembly, and I used my trusty A1200 until the bitter end. But let's face it, if a new "Amiga" is to be released now, it won't be Amiga hardware, but x86 hardware (something Amiga fans have dreaded ever since the beginning) and it probably won't even run old Amiga software! My point is: Let the Amiga remain the legend it its. Don't try to bring it up to modern standards: The Amiga was a great computer in the 80's, and it's absolutely incredible that it didn't get the respect it deserved (I mean: compare Amiga OS 1.3 to MS-DOS 3.20 or whatever, or even Amiga OS 3.1 to Win 95, and it's perfectly obvious that the Amiga was superior all the time), the facts are: the Amiga was the Amiga because of custom built hardware and software, and that could never happen today, with the domination of intel hardware.
  • Great! Ive just started to explore BeOS so I didnt know of those features.
    Now, if only there where some drivers for my graphics-card I'd start running it fulltime. :-/
    But maybe its worth going back to my old card just to be able to run it...

  • Yes, the hardware and the Amiga OS is hopelessly outdated, and creating a new machine would only make it an Amiga to the *name*
    In this case it sounds (to me) like they are going to port the UI of AOS to Gnu/Linux.

    As this is one of the best UI's I've used, imho way better than gnome, kde, windows, etc, it doesn't sound as such a bad idea.

    As long as they don't make it incompatible with standard Gnu/Linux programs.

    Ok, so it needs to be updated a bit. The 15 years of the general interface *do* show.

    Porting the datatype system and some of the other stuff, like screens would also be a nice idea.
    Since other OS'es has taken so much ideas from it allready, I can't understand why nobody has created a datatype-like system on any other platform.
    There are somewhat similar stuff, but not as powerful and easy to use.

    For those who never used AOS 2.x and newer, datatypes are small "plugins" that are used by the OS and all datatype-enabled programs to handle different media-formats.
    If I added a datatype for, say, the PNG format all datatype-enabled gfx-viewers, word processors, web-browsers, etc that can handle pictures would be able to read PNG even if the program is older than the format.
    If I added a WAV datatype, all programs that can play digitized sound would be able so play Wav-files.
    The same would apply to datatypes for AU, MP3, Word-documents, PDF, etc.
    Simply copy the datatype to the datatypes catalog and the OS and all you programs will support the format.

    Screens is a bit like the dragable workspaces of Enlightenment, but every screen can have it's own resolution, refreshrate and bit-depth.
    You can also make a programs open it's own screen on startup and still easily switch between screens with the "switch-screen" button in the top right corner or with a key-combination.

  • A number of reasons:

    • The current track record of companies attempting to resurrect the Amiga name.
    • The failure for the current Amiga-name owner to announce anything earth shattering technically speaking.
    • The fact that the company is relying on the Amiga name to sell something that, in all likelyhood, will NOT be backwards-compatible. And if this is the case, and you DO have something technically earth-shattering, then why not give it its own name and let it stand on its own merits?

    Yours points are addressed correspondingly below.

    • Completely bogus! The track record of one group of people has no bearing on the success of an essentially unrelated, other group of people.
    • They haven't really announced any technical details yet. Really, we can't make any definitive judgements yet, we'll have to wait and see. I found Elate to be earth shattering (well at least it might cause a few minor tsunamis). That is if it is as good as the marketing blurb ( ) makes it out to be. Also, some of the ideas for the Operating Environment that were being kicked around were very inovative. But again, we'll have to wait and see.
    • It will be backwards compatible. Linux and Windows are backwards compatible with the classic Amiga. Emulators run the old software faster than any classic Amiga can (and if it doesn't, it will only take an iteration or two of Moore's law). I'm not sure if the new Amiga (the company) has the rights to the (classic) AmigaOS or not; if they do then they can distribute it with the new platform of course.
      Why use the name "Amiga"? Well no doubt for the brand recognition. Anyway, according to the article, the new OS called Amie; the company is called Amiga.
  • The prevoius post was marked redundant because the moderator, with great prescience, could tell that some wit would feel compelled to make this joke again ;) and they were right. I wouldn't be surprised to see the joke made again below.

    Another reason that it was marked redundant, as another poster pointed out, was that the article preempted the joke. In fact, the article was called ``Amiga Are No April Fools''.

    A third reason it was marked redundant was that Amiga (the company) made the joke first by choosing to make their announcement on April Fools day.

  • Then how is it the Amiga? Oh wait, I get it - it'll have the same cheap 1980s "design" and look like it was designed by someone on drugs. Which it probably was, what with all the "Guru meditation" rubbish that it produced. And as for more functionality, well, I'll believe it when (and if) I see it.

    The classic AmigaOS had cheap 1980s "design"? Funny, it always seemed like a pretty elegant piece software to me. Surely you can't be thinking about the case design ...

    I'm not sure what issue you have with the Guru Meditation. Seems like a pretty standard thing to have the OS alert the user when it has an unrecoverable error.

    Why is there any reason to believe that they will succeed when so many others have failed? The Amiga seems to be very dead indeed, and the many half-arsed attempts to bring it back always end in failure. I don't see anything different about this one. If anything, the previous failures should have convinced them not to bother.

    You didn't seem to understand the point I was trying to make, that this new Amiga is being produced by a different set of people to the previous attempts. Because they are different group, the antics of previous groups has no particular influence on this group. Surely these new people have to be judged on there own merits. My opinion, FWIW as a casual observer, is that they are a clever and dedicated.

  • Whenever there is a post on Slashdot about the Amiga, someone always makes a comment like the above (almost word for word).

    Some facts that you don't seem to see:

    1. This will be a new OS, not the old floppy disk based one. Hopefully with functionality that is more advanced than ``modern'' OSes like Linux or W2k.

    2. This is a different group of people doing this new Amiga; which implies that the previous attempts have little bearing on this one. If anything, the previous failures will make this team more resolute.

  • So now there'll be GNU/Linux and Amiga/Linux. Kewel. I hope the Open Amiga (COSA) [] people have convinced them it should be Free.

  • So you know, QNX is not a cheap OS. How licensing works is every utility has points associated with it. You want grep? that's 10 points or whatever. They then add up the points multiply by some magic numbers and that's the price. Unless you need real-time capability, QNX is ludicrously expensive as you end up paying for a lot of things which are basically standard BSD utilities.

    I'm still trying to figure out what the obsession with QNX is. It's just another OS, occasionally useful, occasionally useless.
  • While I agree with the sentiment of your post, you're wrong about the flexibility issues you listed.

    When I was using my Amiga 3000 as my main workstation, I was running MiamiDeluxe [gttp] as a network stack, and was running Apache, qmail, MySQL, NAT (the Amiga was my LAN's modem server), and SOCKS.

    Did I leave anything out? Yes, Amigas have the "flexibilty" required to run the tasks you mentioned, and no, I'm not exaggerating the list of running services. They were all fully functional (including mod_perl CGI stuff and qmail virtual domains) and online.

  • Of course, if it works on top of Linux, I hope to see some efforts in getting it to work on top of one of the *BSD's and other free systems.
    I don't think Linux will be in the mix for long.
    I thought the point was that this box will allow developers to create content/apps for the new Amiga, while the computer is still being developed in a similar style to Sony's PSX2 development kits. It's not finished product, but part of a transition from AmigaOS Ontop Linux Ontop X86 > AmigaOS On X86 > Amiga On New Amiga chipset.
  • Excuse me, but how do you run an OS ontop of another OS?
    Not counting things like VMWare, Plex86 and others, running an OS straight ontop of an other is impossible.
    Unless they mean compiling things and such?
    And no, using a "launcher" doesn't count either (Like the BeOS PE).
    It would have been nice if the author of the article that /. linked to had known what he was talking about, or even elaborated on just HOW they were going to run the next Workbench ontop of Red hat. (and why not just say Linux?)
  • This is not an insightful post. It is an extremely *REDUNDANT* post. Every time there is an article about the Amiga someone has to jump in with the "This isn't original Amiga hardware, so this isn't really an Amiga" post.

    There's no insight in that anymore.

  • Elvis, Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix aparently have come back from the dead...once again... and will be touring the country this summer. A cadre of fans rioted in New York City this morning when the news was released...chanting "We knew they were alive...We knew they were alive" while carrying banners that said "Elvis Lives" The New York Times called the rioters "Elvis Zealots who have refused to accept the death of Elvis and have been clinging to the hope that someday maybe...jsut maybe... this would happen.

    While we don't know if anybody has actually *SEEN* the deceased rockers yet, there appears to be much celebration in anticipation of their tour.

    Also in the news today... Ford has announced they invention of a special carburator that will enable any car on the road to get 500 miles per gallon.

  • You know, I thought there were legal penalties for this sort of behaviour. I loved my Amigas - all 5 of them. I wrote freeware & shareware for them and I had programs published in the AmigaWorld Tool Chest. But the time comes to just let the dead go. At the end, my A3000/25 was running NetBSD and using a Retina video board.

    Obviously it isn't the hardware or even the OS, silly geese. It is the legacy Amiga software and the Amiga community which keeps the Amiga alive. It will not be relevant if the new Amiga isn't the "real" Amiga, provided it offers an upgrade path for the existing community.

    Oh, cool - just what I want, in the year 2001 I wanna run digipaint in 320x400 mode with golly, 4096 colors.

    Don't get me wrong, I still squeal in pain at the mis-designs of Wintel and Macintosh (Although Macs are considerably better than Wintel) but the answer to current computer limitations is in the future, not the past.


    Greetings New User! Be sure to replace this text with a

  • 1) If you talking pgcc, it doesn't come standard with most distros. If you think I am going to recompile every app on my system with pgcc, you've lost it.
    2) Correct, XFree4.0 is pretty good. But he is talking BeOS level here. Even XFree4.0 is nowhere near the performance you get with BeOS. (Lets put it this way. On the SDL demos, BeOS is about 25% faster that Windows95 without hardware acceleration (SDL for BeOS does not support hardware acceleration.)Now Windows is pretty fast, especially considering that SDL for Windows uses DirectDraw (though I ran the test without a hardware blitter.) Now you go into BDirectWindow an you leave everything else in the dust.
    4) Actually, the important Linux GUIs, Qt and GTK+ are not thread safe. Qt is very not thead safe and GTK+ requires a bit of a hack to be thread safe.
    5) Well, no-one ever said that Unicies are good at threading. Linux is worse than WindowsNT at threads (in management, switch time, and spawn time) and BeOS is about 10 times faster than NT. You do that math.
    6) Yea, and if I use TWM I'll have to burn my eyeballs out. If you want speed you can use DOS, but no sane person would.
    7) Yea BeOS is free. Maybe not OpenSource, but free. It is a very open system, has some open source parts and in general the guys at be are pretty good with the source. Now I would rather use a fast, mostly closed system, than a slower OSS system.
  • > How in the world can you call OSes like Windows or Linux modern?

    If you would take a OS course you would recognize certain "modern" features:

    - Pre-emptive task switching
    - Multi-threaded
    - Virtual Memory
    - Protective address space for each application and the kernel (although hardware kind of needs to support this before the OS can)

    > ? Linux can be traced back to the late sixites, whereas Windows still is the 1981 beast it originated from

    Irrelevent. ALL _OS's_ can be traced back to the sixities. Does that mean that ALL of them are 40 years old?

    > Put against these, the 1985 AmigaOS is wholly modern.
    _IF_ the AmigaOS has all those features, then, yes, you are correct.

  • I hope Amiga finally pull one of these resurrections off - it's been eight years, after all...

    Although the developers' box isn't a real stormer when it comes to hardware, it should all be decent enough to let things that work nicely on it really scream when let loose on a later system. It remains to be seen what kind of performance Elate will give, but that should become clear over the next few months.

    As an aside - the partner list looks pretty impressive, and I'd like to see the case designs that Disney animators (that is confirmed, BTW) came up with.
  • This is the developers' box that Amiga have announced. I've already seen several posts that seem to think that this is a Linux front-end, but these systems will actually be running the Elate OS on top of RedHat Linux. That may seem nonsensical (an OS running on top of another OS?), but Elate gets around this by treating the underlying OS as another abstraction of the hardware (as far as I can tell). Eventually, the Elate OS will be completely separate from other OSes, although it will still be able to run as a small compatability layer (much like Java) on other OSes to allow them to run Amiga applications.
  • Excuse me, but how do you run an OS ontop of another OS?

    Well, it depends. Obviously running a complete OS on top of another (without using a Virtual Machine), has it's problems. Your OS would be a "normal" user-space app as far as your host OS is concerned, which means no access to privaleged instructions, or low level hardware access.

    But you can construct a schedular that runs on the host OS (Think user-space threads), and then build the rest of the OS API (Which can all be done). Device access can be done with stub device drivers that just redirect calls such as Read() to the host OS drivers.

    I would guess that this is excatly the sort of thing Amiga are planing to do. When the time comes to get rid of the host OS, the OS API layer doesn't change, and so applications should run pretty much unchanged.
  • "Excuse me, but how do you run an OS ontop of another OS?"

    Boot up MS-Dos, and at the C:> prompt type in W I N and press ENTER.

    Millions been doin' it ever since.
  • Isn't this when Microsoft started having problems? When the started putting a new "OS" (Windows) on top of DOS? Guess I should wait and see how this turns out before commenting on it though :)

  • A long time ago, Amiga inc. did buddy up with Transmeta. Then Gateway discovered that Amiga were actually building a machine and put a stop to it. Shame really. According to certain insiders, they really had an impressive product.
  • You mean *sniff* Janis didn't come back with them? Say it's not so...
  • Whilst the developer machine will host Elate/Intent using the red hat Linux kernel on the developer box, the OS itself will be based around A kernel developed by Tao.
    For more links go to Czech Amiga news [] or Amiga Aktuell [] or Amiga News []
    The new kernel is itself is contained in 25 KB, the complete OS with GUI and JAVA needs 3 MB RAM. Currently the Amiga kernel runs on x86, PowerPC, MIPS, ARM processors.

    Other current Amiga rumours doing the rounds:
    1)AMIGA is expected to become the general interface for Corel-Linux-applications. If anything its got to be more user friendly than using X.
    2)Newtek are to release the source code of the Video Toaster and Flyer for free
    3)Sony and JVC are also going to be Amiga partners
  • by acb ( 2797 ) on Monday April 03, 2000 @06:36AM (#1155163) Homepage
    Will it allow you to develop in 68000 assembly language, using a trap-based AmigaOS API? Maybe they can make this an embeddable library, sort of like a scripting engine only based on a 68K emulator...

    Also, will it come with a BCPL compiler?
  • by lar3ry ( 10905 ) on Monday April 03, 2000 @04:03AM (#1155164)
    With some ex-Macintosh designers working on a new interface (for GNOME?) and articles like this, I think that this will help with the perception that "Linux is good for servers but terrible for new users" that I hear again and again.

    Of course, if it works on top of Linux, I hope to see some efforts in getting it to work on top of one of the *BSD's and other free systems.
  • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Monday April 03, 2000 @06:50AM (#1155165) Homepage Journal

    ...and computing has moved on since then.

    What you fail to understand is that some of us disagree with that hypothesis. Oh, maybe it has moved on, but it hasn't advanced. I'll be the first Amiga user to take the old Amiga out back and shoot her if something better comes along. I'm still waiting. And my Amiga must know a thing or two about the computer industry, because she isn't sweating. ;-)

    Face it people, the Amiga died a long time ago, and it's time to let it rest in peace.

    The lich cannot let go of existence yet, because her purpose has not yet been achieved. She left no legacy, so she cannot yet welcome the long sleep of the grave. If she were to give in to the compelling call of oblivion, then that all she toiled for would amount to nothing. Or, to put it another way, if Amiga users let the Amiga die, then the qualities that made the Amiga great, will never be manifested in a "modern" system. When the Amiga has a successor, then the Amiga can die.

    Whether this new system which happens to bear the name "Amiga" is that successor or not, remains to be seen.

  • by bgarcia ( 33222 ) on Monday April 03, 2000 @04:13AM (#1155166) Homepage Journal
    The Amiga was (and in some ways, continues to be) a great machine. And although it had some great cutting-edge software, it was mostly about the hardware.

    Running something built on Red Hat Linux running on commodity PC hardware might make for a real nifty Linux machine, but it still won't be an Amiga. Although the article makes it sound like this is just a development platform, I can't imagine that any new platform could actually regain the glory that the original had.

    Let the Amiga die with some dignity!

  • by Swarfega ( 99424 ) on Monday April 03, 2000 @04:12AM (#1155167) Homepage
    Elate is an entire OS, but it runs on top of a "virtual processor". This is the machine specific code that deals with things like calling the real processor. As I understand it, Elate will run on top of any OS you care to write an abstraction layer for (much as with Java, but more efficiently), so Linux is acting as the processor (and graphics, sound, etc. systems) for the Elate OS.
  • If there is any respect left isn't it about time we turned of [sic] the life support machine and let the platform rest in peace.

    Maybe, if something came along that *genuinely* felt better/smoother/quicker than the old Amigas felt in their day. But what has happened in computing since then? Bloated systems, ever hungry for resources in the name of companies shifting more units?! It's the attitude that keeps Amiga alive. Jay Miner would be turning in his grave if he saw how computing had 'advanced', bloatware style.

    Amiga is not just a computer, it is a by-word for excellence, elegance and simplicity by design (let us forget that CBM made sure it is also remembered for ham-fisted marketing, underfunding and management disasters). We can't use the old 68k+Agnus+Paula+Denise, because they are precisely that. But keeping the spirit alive with new hardware is a more than acceptable solution (Maybe it would sit in its old position, straddling the games/home computing markets. You have to wonder, especially with the X-Box around the corner). I'd have preferred a PPC solution, but you can't have everything.

    I'd hope that most Linux people would be on Amiga's side, after all, anything that takes market share from Microsoft is a Good Thing (tm)

  • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Monday April 03, 2000 @05:59AM (#1155169) Homepage Journal

    Hopefully, it is true that this is just a development platform, and that Tao's Elate kernel will eventually ship. I haven't seen this system in action yet, but it's hard to believe that anything running on top of an OS like Linux is going to have satisfactory performance for Amiga end users.

    Linux has a lot of neat things going for it, and x86 boxes are awefully fast these days, especially compared to 68k-based Amiga hardware. But put a 700 MHz Linux box right next to a 50 MHz Amiga (which is exactly the situation that I have at home) and then copy a few megabytes from a CD to hard disk. See how slow the GUI gets? Now try it on the Amiga. Ah, smooooooth.

    People tell me that it's a good "feature" when a modern dynamic-scheduling OS keeps low-priority processes from starving even if it means that high-priority processes have to slow down a bit. Well, once you've used an Amiga, you know that "feature" is worse than useless. Maybe it makes sense for servers, but if you're running a GUI and there's a user sitting there who expects the machine to be snappy, it just doesn't work. (Low priority tasks are supposed to starve when the GUI needs to update! I don't give a rat's ass if copying a 20 Megabyte file takes an extra 400 milliseconds, but I sure as hell do care if the GUI ever makes me wait that long!)

    This was one of the reasons that QNX Neutrino looked so promising. With a realtime kernel, you should be able to guarantee that the GUI keeps up with human perception. QNX Neutrino had the potention to meet (or even exceed!) Amiga users' expectations. With something like Linux, the GUI's responsiveness is held hostage by the machine's load. (And apparently even an I/O bound process is enough to screw things up?!)

    Let's hope that Tao's Elate kernel avoids the same technological mistake that Windows and Unix made. Otherwise, it seems unlikely that users of ten-year-old Amigas will be interested in downgrading to the "technology" of the 21st century.

  • by hasse ( 30390 ) on Monday April 03, 2000 @04:13AM (#1155170)
    The new Amiga OS is supposed to be the Tao Elate []. This OS can be run hosted on for example Linux. However the announcements so far just states that the developer boxes will run the os hosted (just to speedup development).
  • by JamesSharman ( 91225 ) on Monday April 03, 2000 @04:06AM (#1155171)
    Does this strike anyone else as an attempt to get extra publicity by slipping the word linux wherever possible. Most of us can agree that the Amiga was a lovely machine in it's day, but a machine as this described will be no more Amiga than a PC with the badge changed. If there is any respect left isn't it about time we turned of the life support machine and let the platform rest in peace.

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI