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Amiga's New SDK: A First Glance 106

Mike Bouma writes: "Recently it began raining news coverages about Amiga`s new OS in the mainstream press like CNN`s Digital Jam, The New York Times and Gamersdepot. The first impressions of the new SDK have been very positive. Lars Thomas Denstad has written a small article about his experiences with the new SDK so far."
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Amiga's New SDK: A First Glance

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  • Probably because its full of minerals and chemicals, lowering the resistence.

    That's what I find so disturbing...

    Watch out if you use DC, it splits off the hydrogen and oxygen

    That's kinda what I'm *trying* to do...

    why the hell am I replying to this bullshit post anyhow?

    If you're like me, it's because you've been up for about 30 hours without sleep...

  • They are keeping quiet about their higher level APIs because they aren't finished yet. I believe that they released this current SDK so that people could get used to the lower-level, Tao stuff.

    Amiga Inc really should get their developers' site up ( if they hope to attract any developers. There's virtually no technical information up on, nothing for developers. They've generated quite a bit of publicity, but I wonder, who is this publicity targeted to? Surely they should be courting developers at this stage.

  • by Frymaster ( 171343 ) on Sunday July 02, 2000 @10:32PM (#962373) Homepage Journal
    The new Amiga can use linux device drivers so there is no problem with hardware support

    The issue I was addressing wasn't so much hardware support as mindshare. Firstly, I agree that this is a Good Thing. Secondly, I am a fan of diversity... one person's "chaos" is usually everybody else's "choice". My lament, was that a certain operating system which shall remain nameless (oh hell, windows) managed to gain a massive mindshare in the mid-90's because the alternatives were underdeveloped. I recall with great clarity hearing over and over again in the mid-90's that Amiga was working on Wonderful Things in some secret European laboratory and that one day they would ride over the hill to save us from the... uh, evil wizard. Anyway, poor analogies aside, I must admit I feel a little disappointed. In '96 the options were: Mac (my choice... but near-bankrupt), BeOS (with two device drivers... and run by Gasse! ack!), NeXT (for less money than a BMW... and less software than Be), Linux (I admit I thought it was a science fair project... or a repackaged Xenix... how was I supposed to know?) or Winders. Really, I was waiting for Moses Amiga...

    Now that it's here; the "Mac is Back" (nice hardware, my choice of colour), BeOS can be hooked up to a printer finally (and do all sorts of other fine things), NeXT is OS X (and if DP4 is in indicator, it is going to be, at the very least, a lot of fun) and Linux is, uh, well you know Linux.

    Anyway, the white knight showed up only to find three other tin guys fighting the dragon... and the princess is already dead. That's all I had to say....

  • Well, I'll just wake it up then...

    WAKE UP! certainly looks dead to me. :)

    BTW: I love my Amigas (500 & 2000)!!!


  • I'ts not dead. It's pining for the fijords!

    - Spryguy
  • Unfortunately, as soon as the 'Boing!' logo appears at the top of a story, the trolls all seem to break out in a flame-fest. I don't know if ESR's inclusion of 'Amiga Persecution Complex' in the Jargon File gives them the idea we're fair game, but it kinda upsets me. I don't flame them for backing Linux or BSD. I even try to be reasonable when dealing with Microdroids, and yet as soon as the word 'Amiga' crops up, they start yelling "it's DEAD! Get OVER IT!!!!!" like a bunch of schoolkids. I have no idea why, but it seems to me they're acting scared of something. It reminds me of Xmas 1993 when most of those I knew hocked their A500s and spent £2000+ on a 486, and I spent £450 on a 1200. They scoffed, but one year down the line I was still more productive on my 1200 than they were.

    The Tao strategy seems to be a good one, and it seems to me the only road to take when their (Amiga's) hardware innovations have eight years of catching up to do. That way, if this does take off, we won't be tied to legacy hardware (or any hardware, come to think of it ;-), which is a Good Thing.

    Although some dissenters won't be happy until computing is 100% true to Jay, Dave, RJ and the others' vision, it can be said that big business and monopoly practice has put paid to that for the forseeable future. If we can make the new Amiga palatable enough that most of the philosophy is intact, then maybe we can finally call it a victory of sorts.

    Personally, I'll be glad to finally be able to say I code on Amigas without getting funny looks ;-)

  • This operating system was targeted at the console industry
    Taos has been targetted at many things in the past. It was going to be a console OS. It was going to be the new OS for Acorn's RISC OS machines. Now it's going to be the new Amiga. Almost makes you wonder why it never did make it out in the past...
  • "No hard drive"
    Hmmm. That's strange. I could have sworn that this 13G hard drive in my Amiga is, well, a hard drive. Guess I must be wrong.

    "pathetic keyboard"
    It's got all the keys, they work, what more do you need?

    "No decent applications"
    Depends what you mean. Other than word processors, spreadsheets, databases, games, networking software, newsreaders, mail readers, web browsers, music sequencers, gfx software...

    "No multi-user"
    Nope, you are wrong again. Mine has it right here. Next?

    "No networking"
    Interesting. So how do you explain, "Karma collector", the fact that this Amiga upon which I am typing this, is not only connected to the Internet, but, via EtherNet, is connected to 1 PC, 2 Suns and an RS6000 and acts as the gateway.router to enable them all to access the internet?
    No no networking indeed! Pillock.

    "I could go on"
    Yes, I expect you could. And if you went on long enough, you MIGHT actually stumble over a fact, although I doubt you'd recognise one if you did.

  • How could it have died "decades ago" when it didn't even exist prior to 1984 (less than two decades, for the math-impaired)


  • Yes, and the source is fully available from Amiga Inc themselves, on their website.

    But then, I suppose it is too much to expect people to actually CHECK before they post.
  • And how, exactly, Mr Anon, are Amiga Inc violating the GPL, hmm>
    Don't be shy. Please do tell us.
    BTW, before you answer, you might like to know (as you could have EASILY found out) that AInc have already released the sources to their modifications, as required by teh GPL.
    So, what violations are you talking about again?
  • True. It's like all these atheists complaining about Christians. If God doesn't exist, why are you acting so threatened???


  • Yeah - developing for 95% of the PC-buying public and making buttloads of money sucks! Communism rulz!


  • Amiga's OS was a very nice Cambridge Computer Lab creation called tripos - programmed in BCPL if I remember rightly, ran on lotsa machines on the original Cambridge Ring, ignored the rest of the world and was ignored back by the rest of the world, including Acorn who were into reinventing the Apple II at the time.
  • Your first sentence is prophetic. Of COURSE you don't get it - otherwise you would realize that this is not about developing software for the old Amiga hardware.


  • Go buy a bridge rectifier (aka full wave rectifier) from Rat Shack... you can also build one out of 4 diodes. I think they've got one rated up to 250V.. not sure about amperage. Also, make sure gap between electrodes isn't too wide.

    Better yet, go find an old heathkit power supply!
  • by naden ( 206984 ) on Sunday July 02, 2000 @09:13PM (#962387)
    I remember seeing Taos in a magazine from years back, June 1994 to be exact. This whole text, is some mine, some quoted from Chris and mainly excerpts from the magazine. The magazine is called Edge, a UK videogaming magazine. I noticed the same raytraced picture was done using Taos, and there are numerous mentions of Taos systems.

    "This month Edge got a glimpse of the future, thanks to a demonstration of the Taos OS. In a nutshell, Taos enables programs coded on any machine to run on any other machine - in parallel, across any available processors in the system."

    "Taos ie even more amazing when you realise that it is the product of one man's efforts, coding for his own benefit, rather than cumulative efforts of some corporate programming team"

    The men denoted as the "Three Wise Men" were Chris Hinsley (inventor of Taos), Tim Moore and Francis Charig - directors of Taos Systems.

    This operating system was targeted at the console industry, where Chris had the idea of producing an operating system that would manage games and aid code portability. The first step was a macro set which Chris constructed for the assemblers of all the platformers he was writing on. Rather than write in the native assembler language, he wrote in the macro language he defined; he then devised a translator which would take the binary equivalent of that macro set and translate it, on the fly, into the instructions of a particular machine.

    The Taos kernel which is typically around 16K, is loaded into the processor at boot time. That kernel is specific to that particular processor. If the kernel finds it needs a translator tool, it brings in the translator as well. The application then gradually builds itself in memory: as a processor in the network needs to call functions it brings them in and binds the application.

    All programs are compiled or assembled into VP code and are kept in this form on disk. The VP code is translated into the native code of the processor on which it is run only when it is needed. The translation occurs as the VP code is loaded from the disk, across the network, and into the memory of the target processor. (Note this implies distribued computing.)

    However, this doesnt slow the system down: most processors can actually translate VP code into native code faster than VP code can be loaded from disk and sent across the network. And VP code is often more compact than native code; it takes up less disk space and is loaded faster.

    For instance, if you had a console that booted from CDROM, a CD would be pressed so that the first thing it did would be to load up the appropriate version of Taos, place it in memory and set it running. Then it would load the game code, which would run the operating system. The operating system would then load the specific tools required for that game and execution of the game would begin.

    Access to custom chips is taken care of automatically by Taos using a method called dynamic binding: individual chips are supported by VP libraries, which allow for a tool for that particular processor to be accessed by the system; the tools are bound in during runtime as they are needed. Dynamic binding also enables several processes to share tools, which is very memory efficient.

    "This 'virtual processor' works like a 16-bit register RISC microprocessor, explains Chris" "But it isnt an emulated technology; it actually translates into native code and it's the native code which runs and al the translations take place during the load time of the

    It is quite an effort to think of their feature list so many year ago ..

    Hardware Independance / Load balancing / Heterogenous processing / Dynamic Binding / Multi-threading / Parallelism as well as support for MPEG / Postscript and real time polygon rendering.

    In my opinion this guy is a genius, that relegates Linus to quite a mediocre status. I mean this OS is good by todays standard. I mean Linux is even now not brilliant at parallel processing and this OS can not only parallel process tasks but delegate them to entirely different chips.

    To put it into perspective, at the start of 1994 only 7 million people in US had computers with CDROM drives.

    I think he deserves a universal sympathy award for not patenting some of these concepts. Had these been patented you wonder whether technologies like Java and companies like Transmeta would still exist.

    I hope Amiga does well .. they were always a favourite.

    (member of

  • Norway is nice country and Finland is a nice country also(And Linus comes from that country). And so is Denmark and Sweden (Lars Wirzenius) also.

    Very nice that sort of virualistaion is made for amiga SDK allready before they have it running native, sort of like vmware before they got the system of operation running in the natives.

  • But given this is mostly a software solution, those little hardware hacks won't work. So how is this relevant?
  • I don't get it. What is the motivation to develop software for a machine that is, frankly speaking, technologically obsolete?

    That could be said of the whole PC world? Does 640k ring a bell anywhere? MS-DOS (dead in Windows Millenium?... could be)? Layers and layers of stuff to cover and aging (and awful) base?

    I still have my Amiga, and with a 68060, at 50mhz, it sure feels faster than my 500Mhz Athlon, by the way. And it has a decent OS (much more efficient than Windoze and more ellegant and simple than UN*X)... it just doesn't play Quake (oops, I forgot. It does).

  • Which is plenty of reason to criticise it. Stealth marketing an OS under the Amiga name has obvious attractions from a getting sheep to buy it perspective, but it's more than a trifle misleading to people who might want something with an API and suchlike that bears a vague resemblence to the classic AmigaOS.

  • Will the thing have Amiga style screens?

    Am I the only person to see the important issues in life?
  • by be-fan ( 61476 ) on Monday July 03, 2000 @07:11AM (#962393)
    Having looked at the article, I must say that I'm not terribly impressed with it. There are dozens of OSs (QNX, BeOS, RiscOS, etc.) that have anti-aliased text. Most OSs can do the alpha blending tricks without a hiccup. (Look at the BeOS samples for a really cool alpha blending demo) amd tje widget sets look exactly like they came out of Windows 98 (except the - + buttons which actually make sense! If this is going to be the nifty stuff in the "new" OS, then I'm not too impressed. However, what impresses me is the code/object stuff. I'm thinking, instead of a full blown OS, this would make a great addition as a Linux development environment a la GTK+.
  • So basically, it's Java without Sun's APIs and without the support of any other large partner. Not quite. Just similar. This is designed to be just in time compiled, and also optimised for compact code, and a compact interpreter.

    This should have considerable speed benefits.
  • You're just complaining because Linux doesn't have it. (Just kidding!) Seriously though, I get fed up with nay-sayers who think that a new introduction is useless. There are new opportunities in technology. There are new things to be done. For example, library calls in this OS are implemented with objects. This is very cool, because it allows the extension of functions without inturrupting other library-level stuff, and also allows object to be swapped out with different functionality. As for a VM-type environment, I think this is done pretty well. It is a lower-level (thus easier to interpret quickly) language, yet it offers a lot of functionality (via the objects) to applications. As for the alpha blending, it is quite possible that they are simply using X for a shared memory direct access to the window type of thing, and that the alpha blending they are doing (where the views in different windows were blended together) really wouldn't be possible with regular X windows. When you can add all this functionality to Linux, then you can say, "okay, this is useless." As it stands, it is quite innovative, and I hope at least some of this technology makes it into the mainstream.
  • I don't feel remotely threatened, I'm sick of hearing about a system that so obviously failed decades ago being resurrected (yet again).

    Oh, and BTW, God is nothing more than a fairy tale told to children to keep them in line.

  • Always will be too.

    The Amiga died decades ago. Get over it.

  • That's the Amiga for you.

    Dead & gone.

    It sure isn't going to be changing the face of computing any time in the next CENTURY!.

    Get over it losers.

  • A REAL geek is on parties where there are girls present. A REAL geek tries to convert the girls over to geekhood. And of course getting laid. I know I do get laid and try to teach the girls the basics of computers.
  • The last thing poor ol' Amiga needs is poor reviews. At least there is some hope!
  • Just got a copy of the SDK, and I'm looking over the license agreement. One thing of interest: if you write and distribute a "Value Added Solution" (would that be an application?), then you agree to pay Amiga max($3 * # copies sold, 10% of gross revenue) each quarter, and also send them a report each quarter on what you've distributed, and keep records that they can audit at will. You can ask for permission to distribute a "Value Added Solution" as freeware.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It does have some interesting pictures. :) And this is NO review! It`s a first glance by a developer! Although he stated he couldn`t get it to work on Mandrake he states at that with the help of Amiga.Inc he solved the problem! And that the softwarte appears to fly(speed)!
  • Big trouble, considering that I merely qualify as a nerd.

  • If all Amiga was offering was an OS, then the Amiga would be dead. However, if what they have works as they've described, then it's one more example of what the future holds.

    A small, efficient means for a single binary to run on a multitude of hardware may only be a laudable goal at present, but with the predicted increases in information-appliances it could become a necessity. Especially since what Amiga (and of course, Tao) seem to be building will run any any hardware and any operating system.

    The only question that remains is How Well Does It Work?

  • Here is the correct URL.... []


  • When is the last time you went to egghead Keanue? As far as I know, they closed all their stores and went 100% virtual (ecommerce) about 3 years ago.
  • The real question is why they're using the name "Amiga" at all. There really isn't any similarity between the two products, except a general feeling of "coolness". It's almost as if they went out of their way to confuse people.
  • by Squid ( 3420 ) on Sunday July 02, 2000 @06:24PM (#962409) Homepage
    The first one of you to post "the Amiga was good for its day but it should die in peace" - thus demonstrating that you haven't read the article and don't know we aren't talking about the "classic" Amiga anyway - will be beaned with an A500 power supply brick.
  • How was the Amiga the inspiration for Linux? Silly me, I always thought Unix (which is older than the Amiga) was the inspiration. Also, Commodore hasn't existed for the better part of a decade, and therefore does not own Amiga technology


  • And here I was under the impression that IBM had something called OS/2 out back then

    Ya know, the minute I hit submit I realized I'd forgotten the ol' S/2.... oops. Personally, I chose to avoid it because it was a Big Blue project. The late 70' - early 80's (when my somewhat prejudicial views on operating systems were formed) was a time when BB was regarded by anyone who didn't wear sta-prest as being Evil Incarnate.... of course now I'm a slobbering fan of the ppc chips. My how times have changed :)

  • > At least there is some hope!
    I like different OSes as much as anybody. I even have an ancient copy of OS/2 on a 386 laptop. I want Amiga to succeed. For some odd reason I lose hope after something has risen from the dead more times than a zombie. Amiga is dead. Let it have it's original glory intact. There is no need to beat this dead horse any further.
  • The Elate project has been a very secret project for half a decade.

    Was it? The website was around 5 years ago, explaining what it did in quite a detailed way, and what platfroms it was available for.
  • Sadly, they seem to have taken the next Amiga label too far, since the curent time at Be lloks a lot like Commodore circa the CD-TV - they've got some fantastic stuff, but marketing, user base, and available apps are all going poorly.

  • They would forget about their software strategy, build a KILLER transmeta based native system with a Y2K video toaster, one of the "user friendly" linux distros (Mandrake, Corel) and lots of open source video editing software and some games. Then put the whole shebang in a chassis that looked like it fell out of a time warp from 2050 and market it to the mainstream. It would fill a great niche. Oh it would have to have support for clustering of course...
  • I'm sorry, but it doesn't speak too well for the SDK if it not only requires Red Hat, but a specific release of Red Hat--OK, I could understand requiring version x.y or later, but this... I can't say I feel inclined to drop back a release, bringing back a list of known bugs and security holes, to accomodate the SDK. I guess we'll see whether Amiga/Tao can get rid of whatever it is that's tied to a specific version of a specific distribution of Linux.
  • Then again, it could be like:

    ps -elf | grep -v grep | my_backend

    meaning that you can go build
    whatever backends you like that works on the
    .o outputs from gcc and does the final parts
    itself without altering gcc.

    As someone said, they do provide the source, so
    this is a non-issue, but since gcc is just a
    launcher for cpp,cc1 and so on, you could easily
    exchange one part with your own prop. SW without
    breaking the GPL.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    That article better not be as long and incoherent as that /. interview -- oh wait, wrong Lars.
  • Hmmm...evidently it's Red Hat that has the problem, so it's time to go pester Red Hat. I apologize to Amiga and Tao.
  • Yes, I did read anything, and it is not forward or backward compatible; it includes an emulator.
  • I think its interesting that the SDK clearly focuses on 2D gfx effects. One of the things I still use my Amiga for is 2D gfx effects, which are useful in Video Production and various bits of art.

    Its nice to see someone catering to the 2D crown instead of 3D gfx accelerators and software.

  • It sounds like you got so bored with the Amiga stories, that you stopped reading them. This article is quickie review of some software that has shipped. So your assumption that Amiga trademark holders just make announcements without ever releasing anything, is outdated..

    It kinda makes you wish you had read the article instead of spouting off and making a prejudiced fool out of yourself in public, huh? Whoops!

  • Troll. Anyone who has ever known an Ami user knows that the Amiga design needs only a 40Mhz processor to kill an Athlon 500 (the video doesn't waste time calculating pixel locations to memory addresses, it just sets a delay on the video gun.) It does in 2 passes what takes an Athlon 38 passes. Amiga CDTV predated WebTV. Came out same year as HTML, had IR ports + modem.

    I like my Athlon and I bought an Athlon because I've never used an Amiga but I'll be running an Amiga for my web browsing and other things. Amiga's not yet much of a compiling machine.

    And I like the fact you didn't read the article. True troll style.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is most certainly not a dead horse. Read the reviews.

    Regarding the original Amiga and Os2, you can dwell on the past if you want to. This is not a zombie but something new. Yet it seems to have the same spirit as the original Amiga. A zombie is a dead body animated by an external force. This is something alive, animated from within.

    The body dies, but the spirit lives on and takes on new forms. Those who are attached only to the form cannot understand.

  • As far as I can see it's just Yet Another Proprietary Programming Environment. What does this really bring to the average coder?

    For all this "surprisingly fast" alpha blending, I fail to see how a VM running on top of Linux can provide faster alpha blending than an app built directly on top of Linux (implementing the same algorithms) could.

    Besides, what with the entire Java mess, do we really need yet another virtual environment?

  • by Radagast ( 2416 ) on Sunday July 02, 2000 @09:53PM (#962427) Homepage
    Look, he has pictures [] on his homepage from a party he went to where:
    a) There were girls present.
    b) People took their shirts off and danced about.

    I'll be damned if I'm going to consider this guy's opinion in technical matters!

  • there is a CNNfn transc ript [] available from the CNN interview. I wasn't able to hear the original so I'm not certain of its accuracy.
  • You're just jealous because you didn't get invited, admit it. ;)
  • hehe must be something about Amiga's and broken =P []
    Mod this guy down for providing the link that really works, and his opinion? I give you your bitchslap for Amiga!
  • A) There is no Virtual Machine, there is a virtual processor which is different as in there is no loss of speed

    A virtual processor is a virtual machine.

    B) The SDK runs on top of linux, simply to assist porting apps from it and others. The OS runs nativly on 14+ CPUs and even if you code in Assembler its still portable.

    I wasn't aware of the 14+ CPUs, didn't seem to mention it in the main article - I stand corrected. Still, if you're coding in "assembler" and it runs on 14+ different CPUs, there's a virtual machine/virtual processor/emulator doing a lot of work.

    C) The Amiga apps are easily faster than ones on linux and they around 50% the size of normal linux apps and they consume far less memory

    How can something running on a virtual processor on Linux be faster than a native Linux app? Maybe the application and/or the underlying SDK possess some more efficient algorithms, but were those same algorithms implemented on top of the Linux native APIs it would be just as fast if not faster.

    As for the 'size' of native apps... well, that's the machine code, and you'd be referring to the size of the code compiled to Amiga instructions as opposed to (probably) x86 instructions. That's an Intel/IA-32 thing, not a Linux thing, and completely unrelated to the OS. CISC code, which is favourable for emulation/virtual machines, is known to be generally a lot smaller than RISC code (and a lot of optimised Pentium and later code stick to the basic IA-32 instructions, RISC-style, as the code runs a lot faster).

  • Wouldn't worry too much about the minerals and stuff. Mostly gonna be things like Calcium carbonate, which has always been present in hard water.

    Anyway, my suggestion would be add salt (And keep ventolated. Chlorine gas will come off the other electrode. Nasty stuff)

    A model railway or a scalextric controller is pretty good for getting a decent whack of fairly safe DC power. Worked for me anyway. As long as you only want small quantities. This will fill a test tube quite quickly.
  • I got the information from a nice in-depth article in Acorn User magazine. A hint for anyone wanting to keep things top secret: don't publish the details in newsstand magazines, even Acorn ones. It just doesn't have the desired effect.

    Tao have always been full of hype, and as far as I can tell have never yet delivered. If they've finally got round to producing something all these years on, then great. But I gave up holding my breath at about the same time as I did for the rebirth of the real Amiga.

    As for the claims about the performance of their JVM technology elsewhere in this thread, I'm sceptical. Given that Sun's produces close-to-native performance for many tasks (and if you work really hard at cheating even faster than native under Hotspot), anything that's consistently 22x faster would be a nice toy indeed.

    In short, don't believe the hype, and in particular don't believe the hype from a company that's been 'just about to release' for half a decade.

  • Look, nobody's saying that anyone's suing anyone. I'm giving osm a bit of help on this matter, and I really think it would be most constructive if we didn't use this sort of hysterical language.
  • Threatend by God or Hell, but threatened by his well meaning followers

    But please people, lighten up and let us have our fun. If I want to spend ~$100 on an SDK for a dead platform It's my money. I don't need/want people to tell me that the platform is dead.

  • Amazing. Got the SDK today. I have Red Hat 6.2. Installation went without a hitch, but intent_shell and intent_media both hang. This is not an impressive beginning.
  • The one thing to kill linux will be fragmentation. I agree with your point of a 'standard' set by some Linux Hacker Org and Distro's running compliance against those watermarks. This will also enable to set a clear path to adding features. When will Linux stop emulating UNIX and develop what is best for Linux as an independent OS. Linux is ready to lead, it is necessary to define a modern OS and build Linux to that to maintain its momentum. =BeOS is showing what advantages exist to writing an OS without over concern for legacy code.

  • There's an interesting, parallel syndrome that has started affecting a small subsection of modern geeks: BeOS Persecution Complex.

    Interestingly enough, the Inquisition doesn't appear to be the Microsoft users, who have traditionally been the most vicious in their ignorance, but some of the more rabid Linux devotees, now using many of the same attacks and barbs that Microsoft fans used to attack Linux: No Apps, No Hardware, Weird APIs, I don't like the Browser.

  • Did you read anything? Next Generation Amiga OS is backwardly and maybe forwardly compatible with Amiga "classic."

    That's pretty cool if you ask me, and it definitely indicates some similarity
  • >didn't Amiga have 8-bit sound? I think you had
    >to buy an additional soundcard to get 16 bit...

    That may be so, but I can`t tell any difference between the Amiga sound and my SB16 - and maybe it`s just me, but the Amiga often sounds better (maybe it`s just all the superb musicians we had / have ?)

  • People are once again realizing that there is more than one OS option. Linux and Mac dented the Win32 armor and now others like BeOS and Amiga can take advantage.

    It's also apparent that specialized OS's are better than General Purpose OS's on some things. Linux is better as a server than Win32, BeOS is better at multimedia than BSD, etc etc. The time is finally right for the Amiga to be able to ge noticed and taken seriously.


  • No hard drive was hardly a problem when they first came out, and helped reduce the cost. In fact, the A500/A500+ was probably the only Amiga _without_ an easy interface for a hard drive (although I wasn't around for the A1000).

    The keyboard again depended on which model you bought.

    I would personally disagree with the applications; it never had many Microsoft applications, but that was more down to the fact that the two that did turn up on the Amiga (Amiga Basic and Word 1) were slow and buggy. I'll also admit that the applications aren't up to scratch with current ones, but they weren't bad at the time!

    Multi-user, I'll admit, the Amiga doesn't really support. It can be added, but it isn't easy to. On the other hand, it was never designed to, and how many people really use multi-user on their home systems?

    Networking was always an option, in the same way you can add a networking card to a PC.

    What exactly do you mean no security? Are you just repeating the complaint about multi-user? Because you just complained it had no networking, so it can't be security against remote access...

    Basically, you're doing the equivalent of buying a cheap 286/386/whatever, then complaining it doesn't match a server class system costing several times as much. It was never designed to, it was meant to be cheap! What it was meant to do, it did very well!
  • A couple things. What's the story here? Maybe I'm oblivious, but I failed to understand what was going on from the two links you posted.

    Secondly, "Mr. Malda" does not equal "," so be careful to whom you're addressing your questions.
  • Now now, Squidders, we'll have less of that!

    I'm wondering whether Amiga really are telling
    the outside world what they are doing well enough.

    It seems only the "die hards" and the people who
    hang round them ever know really what's going on.

    I seriously doubt that it's down to anything like
    laziness on the majority of Slashdot readers parts
    - although you can all prove me wrong if you like!

  • by pc486 ( 86611 ) on Sunday July 02, 2000 @06:38PM (#962445) Homepage
    "The Amiga SDK implements a new GCC backend, that is; instead of having GCC output Intel- or Alpha-binaries, it outputs VP code. "

    Since the GCC compiler is GPL'ed, doesn't that mean that the whole modified compiler is GPL'ed and consequencly open source?
  • by Frymaster ( 171343 ) on Sunday July 02, 2000 @06:44PM (#962446) Homepage Journal
    For The Prodigal OS (Amiga) to return from exile across the sea. For the first time since the early 90's we actually have competition in the OS market... to the point where it may actually be getting overcrowded. One more OS (even the Amiga) is only going to get lost in the noise of screaming evangelists from the Linux/BeOS/MacOS9/MacOSX/*BSD camps (and the clomping of MS jackboots...) If they had made their re-appearance back in, say '96, when Linux was tiny, Apple near-bankrupt and BeOS gestating, they could have made a serious dent.

    Sadly, I think this is destined to be an "also ran" in the race sheet of history.

  • Ok, I really was going to post "the Amiga was good for its day but it should die in peace" but you beat me to the punch.

    I guess I just don't understand WHY I should care about the Amiga. This is an honest question; what advantages do I get over other modern systems?

  • That page doesn't say anything new about the SDK besides that it uses GCC and it has some demos. What features does it have? What are the APIs like?
  • I was referring to the people who haven't read this or any of the last 15 Amiga stories here, and thus condemn the "new" Amiga because they still think it's the "old" Amiga in a new package.

    The new Amiga OS is built from Tao Elate. It shares 0% legacy with that A500 you may have owned in 1988. It may have a compatibility layer, but so does any Linux box running UAE, and I notice these people don't condemn Linux by the same logic. My point, though, is that the first 30 replies everytime the Amiga is mentioned are from people who are actively trying not to learn these things.

  • Replacing cc1 realistically entails replacing the whole compiler -- if you have a proprietary solution then there are plenty of C and C++ libraries to license in place of the GNU ones.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This SDK is release 1.0. Its made for people who want to get coding right away, and for those who want to learn VP (aka Virtual Processor Assembler) as soon as possible. The SDK contains the basics for developing including the Kernel, a modified GCC (Source is available) and a few other goodies. The more advanced dev stuff such as OpenGL and the new Sound system will be added soon. I have yet to see a single person who understands what this all means to say anything negative about it. You can expect to see more and more coverage, and company after company moving to it. You just have to look at [] to see that.
  • Although nobody here seems aware of it, Amiga and Tao made a deal with each other earlier this year. Get the details here []

  • why the hell am I replying to this bullshit post anyhow?

    Probably because you see inherent benefit to others in helping with experiments that result purely in a greater understanding of the physical sciences, thus encouraging people to study these phenonema full time, and help develop a greater understanding of the universe.
  • > No hard drive,
    My A500 had a hard drive. In fact I had a SCSI hard drive first (a huge 52Mb!) before most of my PC owning friends had heard of SCSI.

    > no networking
    The had TCP/IP stacks. Not included as standard though. AmiTCP was a popular one which was based on the BSD stack and was stable and fast. These days, most people using Amigas use Miami. It's a modern TCP/IP stack most features anyone would want such as IP-NAT, automatic SOCKS (a la tsocks)

    > , no security
    Okay, you got me!

    > no decent applications
    I think some of the apps were/are good. The only remaining use I have for my amiga (my A4000) is on my LAN as a web client, using my Linux box as a proxy. I would say that no single browser available for the Amiga beats netscape on linux, but the variety available (three fairly good browsers: Voyager, IBrowse and AWeb) are pretty good, fast (thats not the browsers though - thats the Amiga's snappy GUI) and usually more stable than netscape so I often find myself using my amiga for a fair amount of web access.

    I find it unfortunate that I find myself feeling like I have to make an excuse for still using my Amiga occasionally. It's a sorry state of affairs when others resort to spreading mis-information about things they don't understand or don't appreciate. Why can't we stick to up-to-date facts and let people make up their own minds instead?
  • osm - Open Source Man
    Trollus Opensourcus
    Habitat - Slashdot
    Very rare. poss. extinct.

    The osm was until recently a common Troll on Slashdot. It had a distinctive Trolling call sounding like long science fiction parody stories about Natalie portman and open source man. Since osm is only capable of considering breeding with hot young actresses, a new generation of these formidable creatures seems quite unlikely.
  • This is an honest question; what advantages do I get over other modern systems?

    (Er, not sure what you mean by "modern system" since this is newer than most everything out there.) It looks like its advantages are similar to Java's: there's the write-once-run-anywhere thing, so that it can infiltrate existing platforms. (e.g. You might have an ancient system like Linux or NT, and end up running Amiga apps on it.) It sounds like the owner is smaller and more focused than Sun, so maybe it will adapt faster and become useful sooner than the standard Java class libraries have.

    It's hard to tell for sure right now, though. The SDKs are still trickling out, and not everyone has theirs yet. After a few thousand programmers have had them for a few months, there should be a lot more information about whether it rules/sucks.

    So the real answer to your question is that no one knows yet. Either wait a few months and find out third hand, or order the SDK and see for yourself.

  • So what I'd like to know is - What's the value-add from Amiga? The name? A higher level API...couldn't just the tao-group do that?

    Basically, it's a means of distributing closed-source software. But your one build runs on any platform to which the Amiga layer has been ported, now and in the future, and it still gets decent performance.

  • Hmmm... Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Amiga have 8-bit sound? I think you had to buy an additional soundcard to get 16 bit...


    "I'm surfin the dead zone
  • This was originally going to be a cool Amiga Commnunity project. They bought the remaining of Amiga Inc from Gateway for a couple of millions because they could.

    Gateway wasn`t doing anything anymore with it, so they sold it. It was rumoured that microsoft putted much pressure on Gateway.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Amiverse looks very exciting, I also found some interesting articles at relating to Tao/Amiga`s new OS:

    Motorola`s first mobile phone based on Tao technology, []

    Review []

    Tao becomes Sun authorised JVM, []

    Elate first Heterogenous Multiprocessor OS, []

    ARM even states: [] "Because of the patented techniques, the intent JTE runs Java applications extremely quickly, more than 30 times faster than competitor's products."

    Classic/NG Amiga article []
  • You forgot to add that linux still doesn`t have a common standard for opengl, so before all you linux users whine about the SDK not having it, look closer to home... I`ve installed linux a few times and ended up wiping the HD again - it`s not the easiest of environments to work in, despite all the talk from people who are not too far removed from system administrators in their knowledge... This is not a flame war, it is a statement based on personal experience, and lack of help from other linux users - all they can say is "RTFM" - that`s all well and good, but they often leave more questions than they answer...
  • > This in only the SDK, these little demos only show how flexable the interface really is. BTW windows can be in any shape, for example Bill showed us a window in the shape of a clock! So you aren`t limited to today`s boxy windows.

    You aren't really in X, either, E has a bunch of odd shapes you can deal with. In Windows, look at the Sonique MP3 player. Square windows are old news.

    > The impressive part is that Amiga`s OS is platform independent that means all those little demonstrations can be done on top of windows, Linux, QNX, BeOS or fully native. And that all code identical!!!!!

    Ah, like Java! Or maybe more like the recently announced Inferno. Of course, you could also just distribute portable source.

    Amiga has nothing new here. Amiga was good because it was the hacker's dream system. Now it's a pathetic little company trying to market a pseudo-OS that has nothing new.
  • In fact, the A500/A500+ was probably the only Amiga _without_ an easy interface for a hard drive (although I wasn't around for the A1000).

    Same Zorro I connector but upside down and on the other side apparently. And its not really a bad hard disk interface, its just that you need a SCSI or IDE controller, which pushes up the cost of the disk drives.
  • So what? I can't use my 2500+ amigagames collection on a Palm...

    #include <apples-vs-oranges.h>
  • How about a truce:

    no more "the amiga is dead and buried" posts and no more "my Amiga 500 multitasks faster than any PC ever will" posts?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02, 2000 @07:06PM (#962467)
    Yes, it is GPL'd, and yes, the sources are available for download or orderable on a cdrom, thus fulfilling the requirements of the license.
    -- Guges
  • I've just sent him pictures of you at a party, without your shirt on.

    He'd like to meet up. I'll charge my usual 35%.


    * ...Student, Artist, Techie - Geek *
  • They're Americans (and possibly Norwegian). Says it all really.


    * ...Student, Artist, Techie - Geek *
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 02, 2000 @07:23PM (#962476)
    After reading over the article, I found that I'm a bit disappointed. First thing you might want to know is that the demos with alpha blending and font rendering are actually tao's elate demos. You can find more about the tao group at:

    I've seen their environment running on top of QNX, last year. The alpha blending demos were impressive but it was *entirely* at the cost of memory usage. Basically, if you looked at the memory usage, you could compute the amount of double buffering they were using to achieve the effect. (Bear in mind that this is at the cost of hardware acceleration...from what I remember, Tao's Elate is sitting on top of a JavaVM called "intent".)

    So basically, it's Java without Sun's APIs and without the support of any other large partner.

    BUT they are looking at HAVi ('Home Audio Video Interoperability') and other emerging standards for what IBM and QNX call "Pervasive Devices".

    So what I'd like to know is - What's the value-add from Amiga? The name? A higher level API...couldn't just the tao-group do that?

Do not simplify the design of a program if a way can be found to make it complex and wonderful.