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The Continuing Rise Of Amiga 164

Mike Bouma writes: "Already well over 15,000 developers have bought the Amiga SDK 1.0 and soon there will be an update available (3D, Sound, GUI and performance improvements). It will be downloadable freely for 1.0 buyers and a Windows equivalent will be available. There is an enormous amount of activity going on within the Amiga community, for example only yesterday Hyperion Software acquired the rights for a Europa Universalis port. While Hyperion Software already had an incredible lineup of games licenses for the Amiga (Majesty, Soldier of Fortune, Sin, Heretic II, Shogo: Mobile Armor Division, Freespace: The Great War, Worms: Armageddon), Linux (Majesty, Sin, Shogo) and Mac (Shogo, Soldier of Fortune). Read this interesting interview with Thomas Frieden to know more about them. They are also working together with Titan Software to port various titles like Alien Nations as Titan has the Amiga and Mac porting rights.(Also their Exodus: the Last War *finally a Napalm beater?* and Evils Doom are great new games) Meanwhile many other companies are investing a lot of effort to support alternative OSes and especially the Next Generation Amiga Digital Environment. Some examples are Epic Interactive and PaganGames (Earth 2140, Scavengers, Magick, Simon The Sorcerer 2, Dafel: Bloodline, etc., for both Amiga/Mac and Foundations series), Crystal Interactive (Gilbert Goodmate, Bubble Heroes, Dark Millennia, Dweebs, Gorky17), Digital Dreams Entertainment (Hell Squad, Wasted Dreams series, Diablo's Land), Blittersoft (Wipeout 2097 for Amiga/Mac, Payback, Homeland, etc.) and many many other small and unannounced companies developing for the new Amiga. Some interesting Amiga SDK information and some open sourced games and utilities for the Amiga SDK can be downloaded here."
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The Continuing Rise of Amiga

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  • Don't look now, but if you read part of your user number upside down it reads 666.

    I'd be careful about that.
  • My central point is that as someone who primarily uses Linux, even *I* would consider buying an Amiga if they manufactured cheap PowerPC boxes that Linux could be reinstalled on to.

    So which part of my statement indicates I did not read the article. I just don't buy the hype.

    If you read my post before firing off your lame "he didn't read the article" whinge, you'd realize I was opining more on the state of Amiga and fruitless advocacy, than the "news of the day" this submission links to.

    Any system that FUNCTIONS is viable for a particular user, but if AMiga had 100 times the market share... they still wouldn't beat Apple or Linux. I'm sure Amiga will benefit from open-source software that gets ported to their OS, but even then there's only so many port maintainers, and I don't envision lots of closed source software getting ported.

    Amiga could have targeted systems to Linux users,
    most of whom have fond memories of the AMiga of old.
  • by Apreche ( 239272 )
    wow, amazing someone is still developing for an old system. DYK that their are people still developing for the apple//gs too? it has AIM and a web browser and all kinds of other cool stuff. But here's what I don't understand. The best amiga you can possibly by doesn't have anywhere near the power to run a game like shogo MAD or SOF. Exactly which amiga computer are we talking about here. Is amiga still in business and making machines? If they are let me at one!
  • To see what Amiga is doing, check out http://www.amiga.com/
  • Besides, Even I, in 1988 didn't know what the hell an Amiga was. It took a video tape of the effects work from Aegis VideoScape and the other cool programs to show me that a little PC could do the work of much more expensive, dedicated video equipment. Not even the Mac at that time could compete. Back then, a local guy was trying to make Crystal Topaz do better 3D animation than a Video Toaster. The Topaz software alone cost more than the Toaster, and couldn't do as good a job as Lightwave (1990)
  • and Elvis fan once told me "it's easy to love a dead man."

    An OS that is largely dead can no longer roast your files, frustrate you with non-existent support or let you down in any way.

    What's next, people claiming that the TRS-80 was better than a PS-2?

  • all this support for amiga, but beos users can't get any? ^^;;
    Lord Omlette
    ICQ# 77863057
  • Make an Open Source CLONE!!!
  • >If that's your main problem, get longer display and keyboard cables, and stick that machine in another room.

    That's simply not an option in an apartment, and when I get a house I'd lose a whole room to "storage". I've already tried putting the system in the closet, but it gets too warm.:-/

    I appreaciate PowerPC for other things than minimal heat. Just like some people view Linux as "free" because the software doesn't lock you into an OS vendor, I appreciate the potential for linux not locking us into *an architecture*. I am simply floored by people who don't click on this POTENTIAL... we'll never get anything revolutionary from Intel so why wear their handcuffs? I like cheap x86 parts (smp!) too, but Intel's lost there edge. The next revolutionary CPU designer will have nothing to offer if Linux apps are still chained to IA-32...

    I ran PPC Linux when I had a Mac, and liked it. Sure, I'll miss out on Quake and Unreal, but Loki's porting PPC games.

    One wouldn't need to compile everything if they run a Linux distro that supports apt-get. I totally love Debian now, after trying everything else first because of rumors of a difficult install (not so bad) :)

  • As for cheap PPC systems, Amiga was never known for selling anything cheap!

    WTF??? Did you ever own an Amiga in the '80's?? The main reason I bought an Amiga 1000, then an Amiga 500 while I was in college was because they were CHEAP! Even as a Mac fan and Windows user (sorry, I couldn't bring myself to say "Windows fan") today I can admit that PC's and Mac's were outrageously overpriced and underpowered back then compared to Amigas. Their primary attraction among their fans back then was the big bang-for-the-buck that you got when you bought an Amiga.

    Face it, you need to learn to close your mouth when you don't know what you're talking about!

  • But the real kicker was the assign command.

    Assign NatPor: CD0:Images/Sex/Illegal/StarWars

    Then just use NatPor: to get where you know you wanna go.

    Assign NPAndGrits: NatPor:Grits

    And you get the idea. :-)

  • ... where my .jedrc is.
  • Hi, im pretty sure that the OS is opensourse now(cept for the kernal :(). The OS runs hosted on a number of platforms and the list of OS that can host it are increaseing. Windows and Windows CE very soon if not atm.

    Also it runs by its self. That is it doesnt have to be hosted by another OS.

    And really, if your sick of people talking about the amiga why do you read their comments/articles ?

    Another thing how can a computer die? Maybe people stop programing for it. But that never happened. Maybe you all just tuned out!

  • "We have dug up Mussolinis corpse, cultivated germ cells with DNA from the corpse and spliced it with DNA from Hitler and Stalin to build the greatest dictator the Earth has ever seen...

    ;) Okay, okay I guess I'll stop mocking the believer's for now... Being a long time Apple supporter I know what those skeptical looks are like... I guess only time will tell if you're following the shoe or the gourd.


  • Minor correction: 7.1x MHz 68000 in the A1000
  • The "directory-name as a command is equivalent to cd directory-name" thing was my invention. I got tired of typing 'cd' all the time, and I was writing a unix C-shell clone (plus a lit) for the Amiga (with process control, much more rich syntax, etc, etc, etc). I then got hired by Commodore, and shelved the shell - but I put a few things like the don't-have-to-type-cd into the main shell (actually, I convinced Andy Finkel to add them; I was in charge of AmigaDOS). I also added all the hooks for user shells to replace the default shell.

    I wish tcsh on Unix had the ability to obviate the need for 'cd '.

    (As someone mentioned, you could also add defines for directories, both for use as commands, and for access to files associated with a program. For example, I had src: assigned to Work:Development/src, and to CD there would just type "src:". Yes, of course this can be done with alias in tcsh, but alias doesn't help with things like "src:AmigaDos", or "copy src:foo/*.c wherever". Also, yes, if you are willing to create a bunch of top-level softlinks it will mostly work the same way in Unix - but people rarely are willing to do so.
  • Amiga was/is a good system. But I'm pretty tired of it being talked about as "the next revolution".

    All anyone talks about is it's potential comeback [slashdot.org]

    Amiga is dead, and until they release something more substantial than what they have been (like something cool maybe?) they will remain there. Linux would not be where it is if it

    wasn't free

    didn't have free developemnt tools ($100 is crazy, even apple has _some_ free stuff (not much but some))

    It just seems that 1 or 2 times a year they release something that has potential to be cool, but then really isn't. If there is enough demand for the OS. Release it! I looked on amiga's website and could only find information specific to the "classic" amiga and the new SDK. If this is supposed to be some sort of portable application tool it's not specific enough.
    It says it's minimum requirements are red hat linux? hmmmmm So what OS does this actually run on? It lists that the os can run on (embedded) windows, linux, and QNX and can run on powerpc hardware...but with what os there? certainly not mac os.

    If they really want to "make a comeback" as they have talking about for years (even before they were fully dead) then open source the os! port it to x86! port it to whatever you want! but come on do something people!

  • A 'CP/M Developers Kit' is just the grey-cover 8-1/2 x 11 manual. Almost nobody had them, and I suspect mine would sell for good money on E-Bay to the right collector.

    Everybody just made copies of each other's CP/M binaries. Were you around then?
  • Right ... Linux is an alternative, this, even if you don't like the way PCs are built. I like to enjoy the latest evolutions in hardware and therefore, amiga won't be the solution for me. Announcements were made at the last linux conference with new motherboards for linux systems running on x86. There's developement on the way but it might take some time (but faster than the amiga revival anyway ...). Quick add to divx, it is now being ported to linux without any f***** windows libraries. Sleep tight Gothic :)
  • Demoted?

    That's what the Amiga was FOR. The Video Toaster and all those neat applications that made Amiga famous? Those came later.. by several years.

    As with many things from the early days of personal computers, the history is muddy and filled with opinon, but if you poke around for a bit, you can pick up one common thread: They were striving to build the next hot gaming platform.

    One example of this would be a history found here [geocities.com].

    There's dozens more out there.. I reccomend looking them up and getting a lot of opinions before making your own. But playing games exclusively wouldn't be an insult to the Amiga. :) It'd be using it for exactly what it was meant to do.

  • I've had almost one of every kind of boxen in my collection at one time or another.
    The Amiga (it was a 3000) tops the list of computers I was glad to get rid of.
    I could never see why people liked them that much. Braindamaged CLI syntax, atari 800 class video.
    Yeah, the Toaster was a crufty hack and some of the Psygnosis games were OK but for the most part, ick.
    tranquility for the mac...coming soon.
  • Efficiency???

    Let's see...A Java virtual machine that runs on top of Tao's Elate OS that runs on top of Linux. Sounds sooooo efficient to me.
  • Don't forget, how many operating systems multitask beautifully in 256k RAM that the A1000 had? It's rather sad they screwed up. Amiga could have quite easily dominated the industry :(

    I must admit though, the Amiga SDK does sound like it will be as 'revolutionary' as the hardware was in 85... but let's just wait and see hey
  • They have a "wopping" fast 25mhz processor (optional 50 mhz). And a 1 GIG scsi Harddrive. That really makes me want one. NOT.
  • ...how many people have actually read the actual articles and base their replies on actual information, not just to "Amiga? That was a nice piece of gaming hardware in 80's and died in early 90's." - level of knowledge.

    Somehow most of the replies to the original give me the mental image of a quite small percentage. Whether negative or positive, the feedback should be in my opinion based on relatively up-to-date information. Bashing or blind zealous worship without facts are rather useless when only a few minutes worth of work would be needed to get relatively up-to-date. If someone doesn't bother doing that, she or he probably shouldn't bother to participate in discussion either.

  • Have you tried Google [google.com]?
  • Firstly Europe's not a country, it's a continent and Secondly in this part of Europe (England) 15,000 means Fifteen Thousand and 15.000 means Fifteen (to three decimal places). I guess it's different in continental Europe?
    01 13 19
  • by Anonymous Coward
    They're too much a bunch of candy-assed roadkill queefs to give us AmigaPPC or OS 4. Instead, they make up shit about "we don't need hardware any more, there's so much of it already" and expect that to stand up as an excuse for the con job they are pulling on us. Digital enviroment? Give me a break. The truth of the matter is that the amiga is dead. I hate to say it. Honestly I do, if any platform ever deserved to die, it wasn't the Amiga (Wintel or maybe vax?).
    So, after being raped by third party comapnies for the last half of a decade (060 accelerator for only US$1000 anyone?), the new owners must have it in their heads that supporting amiga means some kind of rape. And they give us the biggest rape of all. Bigger than Gateway's patent rape, if that is even possible. They stole the "Amiga" name, slapped it on some idiotic technology package, and hope that this scheme gives them some kind of respect that they didn't have before.
    If I only thought that a guy like me could succeed at some sort of homebrew/open source hardware project, I'd try it. Maybe dirt cheap PPC accelerators (avnet has 603e's for $44 per unit), or even a cloned motherboard. But even if I managed to, to what effect? Jumping the hurdles of 68k emulation still leaves us with a seriously outdated OS, and no one is gonna change that. Even OS X has more in common with System9 than DE has with AmigaOS. Is software like this something that is realistically clonable, especially considering how little effort might be mustered for it?
    Like the father who is begging/crying to the doctors to just please save his child, just save him, I can't believe Amiga has to be dead. Quit posting these goddamn morbid stories so I can grieve in peace.
  • Well, if Sturgeon's Law [tuxedo.org] holds, then probably more like fifteen hundred are worth a flip. It is, however, possible that Sturgeon was being highly optimistic.
  • I'm not very familiar with the Amiga, or its rebirth, but from the list you given in the post, it looks like the Amiga has been demoted to a video game system, is the plan for Amiga to compete with consoles, or is the Amiga also going to be an actual PC platform with a broad range of applications?
  • We do this because this is the curse of the Amiga.

    Click on that stupid Amiga Icon, and read through the stories, and see exactly HOW MUCH vapor has been spewed on this topic, and HOW MANY of their plans have never materialized.

    ...then you might start to understand why we take all our Amiga stories with a decent-sized glacier of salt.
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [ncsu.edu].
  • by Mathonwy ( 160184 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @07:47PM (#693970)
    Wow! A whole 15.000 developers have downloaded it! Maybe if they're lucky, 5 more will get it, and they'll have a nice round 20.000 developers... :P
  • Well, obviously the assumption being made here was that the people who click on the 'read more' link would be the people who do care.
  • Some countries use "." as series delimiters, including telephone numbers and other multigroup numbers...

  • Actually, I think that's meant to be 15,000 (Fifteen Thousand) developers. And what THAT actually means is that 15,000 copies of the Amiga SDK have been sold, essentially making anybody who bought on somehow magically an "Amiga Developer".

    I know people who bought one, and they don't know how to code. So that number is inflated. But, rest assured, there are more than "Fifteen" Amiga developers.

    (Probably just not many more than that worth a flip, but.....)

  • I think this article will go down as "the most front page header space wasted in Slashdot history". A joke, but still...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The company who committed this piece of software says that they are also porting 2 pokemon games to the new Amiga Digital Environment.
  • My x86 boxes are so hot, and noisy, that I'm tempted to wear headphone

    If that's your main problem, get longer display and keyboard cables, and stick that machine in another room. No need to change mb architectures (buying a new mb, recompiling all your software, and some of it is only available for intel linux).

    (this coming from a guy who really likes his PowerPC mac)

    - Isaac =)
  • People have been saying that for 5 years, and it's not dead yet. Amiga: the cockroach of operating systems... (hey, I had one too, and stuck to it longer than most people).
  • So, I think this is a great idea, and a high quality implementation, but the licensing stuff looks stinky. Too bad. Maybe they will open source it in a year or so?

    Sigh! There are no licensing fees involved. The new revised license agreement is onl ine [amigadev.net] for all to read.
    You only pay Amiga Inc. if you want your software to be "Certified by Amiga" and get marketing support from Amiga Inc.

    .-. .- -.. .. --- -....- .- -.- - .. ...- .. - .-.- - ...-.-
  • What does the SDK for the future AmigaDE have to do with obsolete technology (well OK, so the DE and software for it will run on obsolete technology like e.g. x86-processors)? And do you still think 150,000 people would have downloaded an Apple ][ emulator for sentimental reasons if they had to pay 100USD per copy?
    .-. .- -.. .. --- -....- .- -.- - .. ...- .. - .-.- - ...-.-
  • Completely offtopic -- what's with all the people lately posting their entire comment formatted as tt or bold? Is that a bug in Slashcode, a "feature" in some new browser version or are they doing it willfully? If the last, I wish they'd stop.

    15,000 developers @ $99 ! That's already far exceeded my expectations for Amiga, which admittedly weren't very high in the first place.


  • There will be no more reports in Italian media on the actions of Alleanza Nazionale in the parliament (because Alessandra Mussolini's grandfather Benito is STILL dead).

    Idiot. The article isn't about the "classic" Amiga (A1000-A4000T) or its OS (1.x-3.x). It's about the forthcoming Amiga OS (or DE as Amiga Inc. want to call it). You can't flog an unborn horse.

    .-. .- -.. .. --- -....- .- -.- - .. ...- .. - .-.- - ...-.-
  • i bet you a PC can still be as efficient as an AMIGA. stick BeOS on there. when SGI is done porting things over, stick linux on a "PC".

    okay, i know you meant windows when you meant "PC". but it's a pet peeve of mine. ever since the mac vs windows wars, the word "PC" has gotten a bad rap. this is sorta like the whole "hacker" and "cracker" thing.

  • by DGolden ( 17848 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @05:28AM (#693983) Homepage Journal
    I do this too -and with good reason. There are NO lossless animation/pixel-by-pixel editing tools available anywhere else that I hae found that are on a par with the Amiga's various image processing suites, such as PPaint and Animation Studio.

    The modern ones are all either veery powerful, but with hideous, clunky user interfaces (gimp, photoshop), or with superficially similar easy UIs to Amiga packages, but ridiculuously feature free.

    If I'm drawing original, bitmapped web graphics, I use an emulated copy of Amiga software - although, now that phoitogenics is out for linux, that can finally begin to change.

  • Hey look I typed 'Linux Users' instead of 'Sad Losers' ...lets bash the Amiga again :)
  • Yes, the Amiga was a VERY similar m68k UNIX-like OO GUI architecture to NeXTSTEP, in fact - but at 1/10th the cost.
    It was technically excellent, but management screwed it up.
  • I wonder if they'll fix the huge oversight bug in Wipeout 2097 this time around. On the PC version, there are no speed limiters, so if you have a decent system, it runs 20x as fast as it should.
    I mailed Psygnosis (original makers) and they said that it was bound to happen as computers got faster. I guess they can program great console games, but forgot how to do PCs. (Funny, my copy of Lemmings ver.1 for the PC (or Tandy,) runs just fine on my P3 450.)
  • the most people think to much of the past people that think other os's suxx because windows i the best than they don't know what is easy to use and the new amiga wil use new hardware not the old hardware and if people think that other platforms can't make it (linux beos amigaos macos) they shoul read the news better many people want use other things than windows!!!!!!
  • Would that make Linux and BeOS a Games Machine as well then?
  • Bah, I think the scheme unix uses to access files and devices is barbaric.

    That disks and drives aren't in their own seperate class from files and directories just tells me how utterly lazy unix programmers are. ;-)

  • Uh, oh, eh. Didn't I hear THAT one before?

    Oh yeah, it was this thing called...
  • Well, if you had actually taken the time to find out what the 'New Amiga' was, you'd know it wasn't about a silly fight for a trademark

    While the Amiga name will be used to promote the product, it's nothing like the purchase of the Commodore name; there's actually a new product behind it this time (as impossible as that sounds, given the last few years in Amiga's history!)

    More factual info can be found on amiga.com [amiga.com]

  • And to be really confusing, we use "," as a decimal places delimiter in numbers. Thus 1.000 = 1000 and 1,000 = 1.

    Sig goes here, or so I'm told.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    More power to 'em. We need more platforms, not fewer.

    Heck, If I had a billion bucks to throw around,
    I'd bring the Apple II line back. Sans Apple, of course.
    Reverse engineer the ROMs and OSes.

    I'd like to see a modern system, w/ a built in language interpreter and machine-language monitor.
  • But you get fuzzy video with a long monitor cable.
  • by vague ( 107055 )
    It sure does look like my copy of the Amiga Hardware Reference Manual will be obsolete with this new stuff. Ack, I spent a fortune on that book back when I was 14 =)

    Otherwise, Your Amiga is Alive. Or not.

    For those who know, this isn't funny.
  • Actually, it had 256K RAM and 256K WOM (write once memory - which Kickstart wrote to and became protected afterwards). And um.. the applications on Amiga were all very tiny, requiring very little overhead. Of course, there isn't a terrible lot you can do in 256K but you could quite easily run say 100 different programs (like clocks, text editors, small animations, and more) if you wanted to. The system might slow a bit after 30-40 of them but what do you expect from 7.14MHz

    Even taking it further... the A500/2000 with 512K or 1MB or 2Mb... theres a hell of a lot you can do in that on an Amiga. Nothing compares to the responsiveness and abilities the little beast could do back then even compared to now (with those that have more memory and processing power)

    How would Linux perform in 2Mb RAM? What could you run on it? QNX is probably the only thing that is comparable in this way
  • by Enahs ( 1606 )
    Too bad this generates as much interest as, say, NoMad Linux or the re-porting of the FreeBSD ports to Linux (hell, what do we need it for when we have Debian? =P)

    That, and the licensing issues benind Amiga...I hope they get straightened out, though my primary interest in Amiga is in hardware. Odd to see Amiga tech go platform-independent.
  • ...My friend's amiga 1000 had games that made my moth drop open...

    Where the hell is PETA when you really need them?


  • Oddly enough, brazil, so did I. I used my Amiga 500 from 1988 until 1998. I even went online with it for the very first time--at a whole 1200 baud!
  • Is the Amiga only going to be a game machine? That's what it sounds like. And the comment about BeOS is very true. There seems to be a lot of action happening for an OS that isn't yet real when there could be work being done on what that is. And BeOS is very real and well worth every developers attention.

  • Naw, I'm serious! A C64 palmtop with a card for secondary storage, maybe a USB port for communications. The biggest ticket item on it would be the screen, the rest could be stuck on one chip, and think of all the software that exists for it already. And it was such a ball to code on...
  • engineering overview [ibm.com]

    This sounds like a java that actually works. 3 month porting time, everything compiles to virtual machine code, and is translated native on the fly, depending on architecture.

    Too bad about the licensing/fee issues that others have posted. The SDK itself should be free, and freely downloaded, if they are going to do that. Or $100 and free from royalties. But not both.

    So, I think this is a great idea, and a high quality implementation, but the licensing stuff looks stinky. Too bad. Maybe they will open source it in a year or so?

  • I would be happy just to see a new version of Mindwalker, one that is as true to the original as possible. That was a really cool game! There are times when I miss my old A1000.
  • Probably about 10x that number have downloaded Apple ][ emulators. That doesn't mean the Apple ][ is coming back, it just means that people are sentemental about obsolete technology!

    --- Speaking only for myself,
  • That was my point. There are enough PHBs in the world that won't consider anything other than Microsoft. So a machine that can do pretty things, even if it's a PC must be a 'games machine' or some other niche, non-productive antithesis of capitalism. See the jargon file entry on the Amiga Persecution Complex [tuxedo.org].
  • It's distressing the number of uninformed people who feel that they can write off the whole Amiga development effort just because of some (probably equally uninformed) memories of the old Amiga computers.

    Not only is the current company an entirely different entity to the old Commodore, Escom and Gateway incarnations of the same name, but more importantly their new product line has very little to do with the old Amiga hardware or operating system either.

    So, what I'm trying to say is: give them a chance. Open your minds. Look at their product, find out what it does, and what their plans for the future are. *Then* and only then, pass judgement on what you find.

    And quite frankly, I think you might even be a little surprised.
  • > So what this really is is something like Java on steroids

    Gee, that's all we need! Another pedo phi le [inet-one.com] programming language for PERVERTS [foxnews.com] only good for writing applications like this! [geocities.com]

    --- Speaking only for myself,

  • It's my understanding that the LithTech engine, first used in Shogo, should be very easy to port to Linux, Amiga, and other alternative OSes.

    Monolith Software was in collaboration with Microsoft very early on in development. MS did all they could to support development of LithTech as the Quake-killer, the DirectX engine that would finally topple id's OpenGL-driven dominance. But, alas, Monolith and MS had a falling out, and monolith decided that they weren't going to take any more of Microsoft's crap.

    They started making most of the core Lithtech code OS and API independant. In fact, the original intent was to simultaneously release Shogo for the Windows PC and the Nintendo 64. They never finished the N64 version, but a pleasant side affect of it's incomplete development is that we have a modular, portable 3D engine that will take very little modification to run on Linux with GL. Or Amiga with whatever 3D API they're using (I assume GL as well).

    It's always nice to have engine competition. Now if we can just convince Carmack to open-source Q3...
  • If the SDK was only that, an add on to the OS that allowed developement, yes, $100 would be silly. However, the SDK also contains the complete OS, etc. They are not shooting for "open source" but for something different. Frankly, the direction they are going is simply amazing.
  • It changed my life...

    Need I say more? That game took all I had seen of computers before, wrapped it up in a large tortilla and shoved it down my throat. I was simply astonished. It made me choose Amiga before Atari, gave me some really memorable nights of cool gaming, brought me through the demo scene, taught me computer architecture, assembly language programming and a lot of basic computer skills in general. Heck... Made me wear sunscreen...

    Would love to see a revival of this fabulous machine! For sure!
  • Wow, he hit '.' instead of ',' when typing. Now let us mock and riddicule Amiga for it. :-/

    That said, keep in mind just because 15,000 SDKs have been sold it does not mean there are 15,000 Amiga developers out there. There would be far less I'd imagine, especially since the Amiga community tends to support anything produced for the Amiga - meaning many SDKs were purchases by people with no intent of programming anything.
  • I wholeheartedly agree...
    I can remember many hours of fun playing the original Lemmings, and other great Psygnosis games like Blood Money and Awesome.

    there was also no shortage of way cool demos for the amiga showing off it's prowess... one of the original ones was a bouncing red and white checkered ball, I don't remember if it was rendered or if it was a video, but anyway, the ball is still their logo to this day.
  • Hey look, I typed 'purchases' instead of 'purchased'. Let's have another go at Amiga! ;-)
  • by Straker Skunk ( 16970 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @10:04PM (#694014)
    Why is almost everyone here bringing up the long-gone-and-deadness of the old Amiga machines, and then in the same breath writing the SDK off as DOA?

    This SDK has nothing to do with the old Amiga machines. They kept the name, but that and maybe a certain degree of technical unconventionality are about all this has in common with what Amiga used to be.

    This is a cross-platform, hosted application environment. It has a virtual-processor architecture, such that the same binary will work for all platforms (through dynamic recompilation). Everything is based around the Taos kernel, which is (supposedly) the only thing that actually has to be ported to a new architecture for the entire system to support it.

    So what this really is is something like Java on steroids, or GNUstep [gnustep.org] sans native binaries. I love that the core system is quite compact (apparently the Taos kernel is 12kB!), and that it is highly geared toward efficient parallel processing. That the whole thing is called Amiga is a bit odd, but looking into this, one explanation becomes clear: What Amiga boxen were to the hardware peers of its day, this seems to be to the software of today. This really does look like advanced stuff. Read more about it. [amigasdk.com]

    I am disappointed, however, that the system is proprietary. Don't wanna go there. But then, hey, these guys are way ahead of the curve. And who knows, maybe the AROS [aros.org] folks will begin their own implemetation of the new API once they finish with the old one :-)
  • I still find it fascinating that interest still exists for the Amiga. Back in them old days its popularity was due its hardware capabilities. It's good to see than the OS shone through (more than I thought) as well.
  • by bowb ( 209411 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @10:08PM (#694016)
    It can run unhosted. Yes it's an OS.
  • Which part of the Amiga didn't you like? Was it the efficient operating system? The colour graphical user interface? The multitasking? The 32-bit architecture when everything else was 16-bit?

    "Braindamaged CLI syntax"

    Oh, you didn't like it because it wasn't Un*x. You could have just got a port of a Un*x shell you know...

    "atari 800 class video"

    What!? You mean to tell me the Atari 800 also was able to display up to 4096 colours on screen at once!? And it could pull off reslutions at high as 1280 x 512? (And that's *without* overscan)?? TO think, I was under the impression the Atari 800's maximum resolution was a monochrome 320 x 192.
  • Seems like the main asset the Amiga guys have
    is the old OS roms, and the ability to make
    a legal emulator that can still run all the old
    software. I don't see the point without 68xxx
    emulation, though when I browsed the site,
    I didn't see anything about this.
  • If they really DID sell 15,000 copies of the SDK (I'm skeptical, but anything is possible...) then apparently there are quite a lot of people (not just serious developers) who are willing to pay $100 for the SDK.

    Maybe charging $100 for it wasn't such a bad idea after all.

  • I didn't get into the Amiga until 1988. The machine had already been out a few years, and I still didn't know what it was. (I still had an Atari 800 and computers weren't "cool" yet)

    The Amiga 1000 literally, blew me away. The macs I saw in the seven years of being a heavy Amiga user never impressed me. I saw, probably, a higher lever of elegance, but it wasn't as fast. (A Quadra700 running Photoshop was not nearly as fast as TV-Paint with the same processor on a Retina card in an Amiga 3000). I always saw the design magazines with pages and pages of Mac produced design. Every once in awhile you would see something made on an Amiga. I later learned about the difference that a consistent interface to applications would make. Photoshop is probably the best paint program (software) I've ever used.

    I have such a soft spot for the Amiga though... I still have a ton of Amiga hardware. Most of it is in 24 bit video hardware. But I also have learned to harness the power of the Mac's PowerPC chip. Probably not a day goes by that I wonder what Commmodore could have done had it been a "real" computer company, and not a "company that made widgets". (I believe that's a quote from a former Commodore employee like Dale Luck so someone)

    Sigh... I'm pretty close to buying an Amiga developer kit. Perhaps I'll get past "hello world" in my "C" book.

    Scott Thomas
    a broadcast designer in Southwest Florida
  • After reading a few of the marktoid blurbs on the new amiga envoirment, it sounds like amiga is reinventing the java wheel. I mean where have we seen 'write once, run anywhere' before? Also the idea of a singal compatiable abi across several different envoirments/chip archetecures seems again just like java. The final thing is how its being pushed, as an envoirment that scales from cell phones to super computer, java marketing spin again. What Amiga hasnt talked about is how they are going to fix the short comings of java. Well not licenseing the abi will fix one, like it or not if sun controlled all jvm's then we know the code would work on all systems. The next major pitfall of java is performance. Even with the best jvm compairing speed performance and stress testing isnt in the same leage as C or C++ compiled to a native binary. Now on super computer you might have cycles to waste on a emulation envoirment, but how many extra cycles do you think your cell phone will have. THere is one other amiga option which is you compile a seperate binary for each supported platform, then the binary loader picks its correct code. This sounds insane, but your makeing the trade off of size complexity for speed complexity, as big drives and ram prices fall, this trade off might be worth it to sustain run time performance. Really I would like to see amiga take off. Actually I would like to see several OS's develop and used by the general public, M$ is slow, fat and stupid ( which is no way to go through life) and I think some of these other os developers are a bit more hungry and willing to put in the effort to develop the best possible envoirment. Before I can get behind Amiga (again), I want to see a clear plan of the future, I want to know how they plan to solve real world problems, before the marketoids get behind a project the engineers have to sign off on it first. Amiga needs to stop putting out market buzz and start talking about cold hard facts, problems and solutions so us engineers can hold them up and say "Look these guys have something, and you marketoid morons should take a look"
  • by sstamps ( 39313 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @10:17PM (#694022) Homepage
    Well, I *am* a developer who purchased the SDK, curious to see where they were going with it. However, I didn't get much farther than the ridiculous license agreement which has some pretty serious implications for software built with it in terms of "royalties". 10% ($3.00 min)per copy of any app purchased/downloaded, unless you get "special permission" via a "freeware exemption".

    Talk about throwing a bucket of ice water on people hot to do something really interesting with the SDK! That and the fact that the Elate OS stuff is heavily patent-encumbered (I wonder if the guy who developed/patented the VM ever heard of UCSD p-code) leave a bad taste in my mouth.

    Oh well, it is interesting to look at until the next SDK from someone completely different is released with a more developer-friendly attitude (and license!). Fortunately, it didn't cost too much, so I don't feel cheated. I'll get my $80 out of it at some point.

    Note- yes, I realize that there is a license on their web site that does not contain the royalty requirements. However, that license is not properly written to supercede the one on the disk. First, it does not reference any particular product (the "product listed above" is not listed at all). Second, the original license says that the royalty requirements may change and those changes are to be found at http://www.amigadev.net/royalties [amigadev.net], which does not exist. Thus, I don't see, legally, how the royalty requirement has been dispensed with (properly). It doesn't matter if they claim that they won't sue for royalties; as long as the legal loophole exists, developers are at risk.

    I wonder how many of the other 14,999 developers are feeling the same way. Further, I also am curious how many of them don't realize that they are at risk of being sued for said royalties, if "Amiga" decides to be nasty about it.

  • You really think I meant Lightwave *itself* is gone? That's just plain dumb of you. Of course I meant in regards to Amiga OS.

    Newtek no longer actively supports their new products on AMiga. Is that clear ENOUGH for you? Deal with it.

    I was at NAB the last few years. Newtek has the best booth doughnuts. :_)
  • by Umrick ( 151871 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @02:30AM (#694037) Homepage
    That license was acknowledged to be bad, and Amiga, Inc released a new agreement. Check the page or the mailing list. That was long since past.
  • "Braindamaged CLI syntax"

    I actually quite liked the way you didn't have to type "cd <directory>" you could just go with "<directory>", the CLI noticed you were trying to "execute" a directory and interpreted it as a change directory command. It saved 3 charcters, but think, How many times a day do you type cd ?

  • The Amiga OS can run hosted on Linux, Embedded Linux, Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, CE and QNX4.

    The last time I checked the definition of an operating system, it interfaced between the hardware and the software on the machine. Unless AmigaOS somehow usurps the underlying OS (by needing to be run as root, or whatever, in which case why not make it an independant OS?), can we really call it an operating system?

    And yes, I am one of those guys that's pedantic about terms :) Hacker = cracker, web = internet, Red Hat version = Linux version etc are all mistakes that came into being because people weren't quite strict enough...

  • Sometimes I feel life I've been through more Amiga revivals than Macintosh miracle recoveries :-)
    I used to be an Amiga Games Developer until the $$$ on the Sega Megadrive lured me away.
    So now I'm just a "Hardware Prostitute" (whatever platform runs the fastest and pays the most money/egoboo to it's developers is where you'll see me.)
    That is to say, I'm currently writing graphics apps on BeOS with a 14-month old 600 MHz Intel PIII -- I won't jump in with yet another OS company just because they use the name "Amiga" - But I'll come running back if they have a hardware/software combo thats nicer than what I've got now.

    (ring 0900-SYKIC-4-YOU for my EMail address.)
  • Blitz Basic [blitzbasic.com] started off the "Worms" series on the Amiga. It's coming out for Windoze at the end of October and it rocks!


  • Wow, you must have them all listed in that news "blurb". Can we have the Reader's Digest version next time, please?
  • by Syllepsis ( 196919 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @07:52PM (#694060) Homepage
    ...when the Amiga 1000 was simply astounding. The mac hadnt gone that far, I still owned an apple IIc, windows was a joke, and PCs were referred to as IBM-compatible.

    My friend's amiga 1000 had games that made my moth drop open. With most people stuck in CGA and EGA world, the graphics on the machine would blow ones mind. Add to that a windowing environment that beat everything up to about Win95 and OS7. Multitasking! On a PC! An OS for which the GUI and CLI made sense together.

    Back then, PC operating systems were a joke compared to the amiga. If amiga had business apps back then, the choice would have been clear.

    A comeback seems absurd today, but I remember that in grade school the amiga was a miracle. Who knows?

  • It was somewhat more than an "incremental improvement". The Amiga's hardware had most of what we demand in graphics cards today, even if we don't have the drivers for them, and a bunch of stuff that's still, today, ahead of its time. Right now, the average graphics card is a device to show a single bitmap in one mode at a time, usually with some hardware accellerator to help speed things up.

    The Amiga started the trend of building an accellerator into the hardware. It also had the "COPPER", a device to manupulate graphics features on the fly. This was used for everything from increasing the palette in low palette modes to mixing screen modes to creating fairly radical enhancements to the double buffered screen concept. Generally your average $50 graphics card doesn't support any of this right now, and probably never will due to the lack of standardisation, but it was an innovative feature.

    The only "1983" aspects to the graphics system were:

    • The original graphics modes were orientated to NTSC/PAL resolutions and rates. At the time, it was rare to have a monitor that could support anything more powerful.
    • They were also trying to get what they could out of scarce amounts of RAM. The most visible example was HAM, a colour mode that managed to get 12 bit "truecolour" [pedants - notice the quotation marks] at a 320x(200/240/400/480) resolution) by doing some tricks with the encoding. Right now, with RAM prices at an all time low, we don't consider allocating 8 megs to a graphics card remarkable, but at the time, it meant something approximating to a photograph could be shown on an affordable computer, and was thus radically ahead of its time. Right now, there's little point in palette based and compression based screen modes, so you probably wouldn't design the average "modern" computer with them.
    I personally thought the hardware was sweet. It took until the early nineties for the PC to catch up in resolutions and colour depth, and until the mid to late nineties for features like acceleration to become commonplace. That's remarkable for a machine that was designed in the early eighties and that had had virtually no major improvements done to it until the AGA chipset was released (24 bit HAM, resolutions doubled) in 1993/4.
  • I emailed Amiga developer support a few days ago to ask how in the world they were charging $100 for the SDK. I was answered that they need serious developer.. and that serious developer won't be scared to spend $100 knowing it's worthy. I was told that if they released the SDK for free it could have attracted a million peopole but not serious developers. Nice smack in the face of the old Amiga community. What's wrong in having a million people playing around with an SDK ? Also.. do they think those 15,000 serious developer were going to lose interest in the SDK because it's free ?
    Well sorry if I'm not a developer serious enough to give 100 bucks away just to play around with something and find out if it's useful or not.
    Amiga doesn't exist anymore.. it's a name of an hardware and software that used revolutionary.. if another revolution has to happen it wont be because of a name.
  • While this may seem like an original phenomenon, I draw your attention to the aging baby boomers and the success they have created for the Prowler. Nostalgia is nothing new. Computers, however, are, relatively. As the first wave of us who grew up programming games and such and measuring application sizes in KBs age, we happily return to our earlier and more fond experiences with computers that were fun and just plain Worked. Amiga is an example of technological nostalgia to come about more often in the near future.

  • The neat thing about the Boing! demo was that after it was going, it used ZERO cpu cycles to do the animation -- everything was handled in the custom chips. Considering that the A1000 ran with a (IIRC) 4.77 MHz 68000, saving every CPU cycle was vital. Remember, this was in 1985. It took the PC industry another 10 years to catch on to the idea of using a dedicated processor to accelerate video performance. The Amiga was *incredibly* advanced for it's time. It was a marvel of engineering -- when you consider the performance they were able to get out of the resources they had available to them, the results are nothing less than amazing. Unfortunatly, Commodore's marketing division couldn't sell life preservers to shipwreck victims, and so the Amiga died an early and ignoble (but lingering) death.

    Alas, the glory days of the Amiga are gone forever. While I would love to see the new Amiga Inc. succede, I just don't think it's possible to rekindle the old magic. It will only live on in the hearts of those of us who were part of it.

  • by Sleepy ( 4551 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @08:05PM (#694087) Homepage
    It hurts the "root for the underdog" part of me, but Amiga has no momentum, and the best thing you can do with one is install Linux on it.

    Well, OK, I'm overstating things a bit -- it's a viable platform for people who won't budge off it. However I don't see any NEW people moving onto it, Lightwave is gone, and most of the specialized, creative applications have since moved onto NT.

    What I *really* wish Amiga had done was manufacture PowerPC-based boxes that could easily be refitted with Linux. Nothing against Apple, but I just want CHEAP POWERPC motherboards. My x86 boxes are so hot, and noisy, that I'm tempted to wear headphones in this room, and I hate headphones. I think Amiga could have made a much better run in the Linux workstation market than say SGI...

    On the offchance that this gets moderated up, I'd like to THANK MOTOROLA for the lack of off the shelf PowerPC motherboards. Motorola pushes embedded Linux on [gasp!] Intel processors, their server line is Intel-based, and and you can't buy off the shelf PowerPC motherboards.

    What corporate vision. They seem about as efficent as General Motors.

    *sigh* Maybe my raise will allow me to get one of those G4 Cubes without wincing. They would make sweet Linux boxes.
  • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Thursday October 19, 2000 @03:34AM (#694088)
    > and machine-language monitor.

    Just a bit of history, for all the people that didn't grow up on the apple (computer):

    The Apple ][, ][+, //e, and //c (basically all models) had a built-in disassember (371 bytes! $F8D0-$FA43, with the 3 character mnemonics bit-packed.)

    The Apple ][ (orginal), //e (enhanced), //c (enhanced) also had a mini-assembler (317 bytes! $F500-$F666) that had no symbols, only absolute hex or decimal addresses and constants. There were also step and trace facilities.
    Woz says:
    I then wrote a 256 byte "Monitor" program which watched the keyboard for hex data entry (address:data data data) and hex display and program initiation ("Run").

    The only way to get the mini-assembler on the Apple ][+, //e (unenhanced), //c (unenhanced) was to load Integer Basic.

    The enhanced //e, and the enhanced //c, (via rom upgrades), added the mini-assembler back in.


    ]CALL -151

    At the asterisk Monitor prompt, request the Mini-Assembler:


    Which is the same as doing:


    You can see the source for the mini-assembler here [delphi.com].

    An interesting read of the Apple (computer) history can be read here [hypermall.com].
  • I can't help but notice that Mario 64 is on the list of games being ported... seems very unusual to me since Miyamoto has gone on record saying he doesn't want to port to other platforms. Yet the very promise of being able to play these games on any platform would seem to totally contradict that.

    Also, would this mean that Nintendo is going to be using the Amiga platform? a common complain by developers of the n64 was that is was very hard to develop for... is this the answer?

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