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Amiga

More On Phoenix Developer Consortium 54

Mike Bouma writes: "The Phoenix Developer Consortium is an developer organisation which is unhappy with the currently available computing solutions. John Chandler has written an article about a small start-up company which has been one of many developers to tap into the organisation for resource contacts and advice. "It allowed them to extend their resources and survive the perils of being a small company in a large world." If you are a similar minded developer and want to join and help others or yourself to take your Ideas2Reality contact Greenboy and include the following information (signing a NDA will be required). Among the members are important figures involved in the development of OSes like the Amiga DE, MorphOS and QNX RtP."
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More On Phoenix Developer Consortium

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  • I see, if there already isn't one, an open version of this.
  • by Chuck Flynn ( 265247 ) on Sunday February 25, 2001 @02:39PM (#403915)
    However, and here's the interesting part for the Amiga community, there is no reason why it can't run anything else - Ideas2Reality will even provide open documentation on the platform for third-party developers. In fact, when I asked them if something like MorphOS might be seen on the platform, "We're looking into it!" came the excitable reply. Good news indeed if it goes ahead.
    Hey, I can play the what-if game too!
    1. If it gets funded
    2. If it gets built and
    3. If it's affordable and
    4. If it's implemented well and
    5. If developers rally around it and
    6. If consumers buy it and
    7. If it gets a strong application base and
    8. If it doesn't get bought out and quashed by current heavyweight, then
    It could be the platform for you!
  • As an real, usable alternative to the currently available OSs, QNX RtP is most of the way there. It has a nice, fast, slim core architecture, fast response times, a well-developed package management system, it has a fast GUI, a complete API, and some great networking (GUI transparency, distributed processing, the works). Still, some areas need work. The filesystem needs to be totally replaced, and the VM/swap system needs a good bit of work. Also, the desktop environment, while certainly pretty, needs a lot of work from the usability standpoint, and its configuration services need to be more complete.
  • In my opinion, speaking as a great fan of the Amiga OS, nothing Linux or for that matter Microsoft has done so far compares to what was achieved on the Amiga. I think maybe there is something about Europeans that makes them so good at technology compared to the rest of the world. Some of the best demo's you will ever see are created by Norweigens, Finns, Germans, and yes, Britishers like myself.

    It was a sad day when the Amiga ceased production.

    All you Linux sheep should try checking out other operating systems from time to time, lest you become blinkered in your outlook.

    you could start with BeOS.

  • Is is a coincidence, or do these guys have any connection to the company who made replacement MoBos for the A1000?

    Xix.
  • If these guys are serious, an NDA should not be required. I mean I thought Open Source was all about Open-ness. I fail to see what is Open about a 'non-disclosure agreement'.

    Now maybe I am wrong, but it looks like these guys might be trying to troll us. Or worse yet, trick us into breaking the GPL.

    Don't be fooled. Your ass could be on the line if this goes to litigation.

    More information about the GPL can be found HERE [stallman.org]

  • by downix ( 84795 ) on Sunday February 25, 2001 @02:57PM (#403920) Homepage
    This is probably one of the biggest cases of being caught with your zipper down I've ever been a part of. We're *just* getting our act together, with several projects under the umbrella, and now this occurs. We don't even have our webpage up yet. But cest'la vive.

    For some more information about Phoenix, allow me:

    We're a new group, no we did not make replacement boards for this or that. We're only a year and a half old, and only with a few products in-works or near-release. The NDA is not to steal ideas, it is to protect those who are not yet ready to have their ideas posted to the public. A premature slip can cause entire projects to fail. We're not big corporate america, out to take ideas and claim them as our own. We're joe-blows with ideas and dreams of our own. We've got game developers, hardware designers, OS companies, all with the goal of getting us PAST the Wintel box. Of getting PAST this concept that computers are a big dumb box that you have to sacrifice your firstborn to in order to get work done on them. That is what Phoenix is all about, and why I'm proud to be a member of her.
  • Amiga is an amazing system despite of its ancient hardware. An standard Amiga with 1992 AGA graphics and a ?slow? 50 68060 processor feels much faster than anything offered by PCs on the market today.

    - Bootup in seconds
    - Superior 2D games, some fast Amiga only 3D games (most PC 3D games are rather slow and a PPC accelerator is advisable.)
    - Unbelievably good Graphic applications

    But best of all is the ultimately flexible and powerful GUI and CLI!
  • If consumers buy it

    Before consumers buy it, it has to be in the shops. While it's all well and good to yak about selling it over a website, as a sales channel this basically sucks.

    Just the logistics of getting things in the shops blows me away. For, like, half a dozen (and upwards) retail chains in - say - thirty countries you have to explain exactly why they should put your Amiga MorphOS Geek/2 Buzzword-Tech thingy on their valuable shelf space rather than boxes and boxes of playstation 2's.

    Go on, why?

    Dave
  • I agree that it is time to move past Wintel, but I'm not convinced that a new or improved PC is what we need.

    Computing is going mobile - you probably want to look at some cool things you can do with Palm devices or WAP phones instead of rehashing the PC. The PC has really reached its dead end and its unlikely that you have much to offer that isn't just an incremental tweak on a dead paradigm.

  • Yeps, there is just nobody who use it yet. But it's there.
  • companies with the most software sales

    One word my friend: Linux

  • Now if he was just on-topic it would be real good :}

    hint: Find anyone who talk about gpl.
  • It's always had drag and drop:
    Drag and Drop programming [qnx.com] The fact that many programs don't use it yet is immaturity in the desktop environment (which I mentioned) not immaturity in the core OS.
  • How did Linux users ever become so obsessed with installed base? I could have easily said, 5 years ago "So what if Linux is technically superior? Nobody uses it yet!" Doesn't good technology count for *something* around here?
  • There will always be people (maybe a majority, maybe not) that will just want to sit in front of their 10GHz (100W, 2lb heatsink, oh baby!) proc and 25inch monitor and zen. They deserve a better system too.
  • This is funny. QNX has this built-in (transparent no less!) See the article on QNet. [qnx.com]
  • I think that AmigaOS is very underated. Back in it's hey day it was a multitasking OS that fit in (i think) 256MB ROM. That's no mean feat. Exec (i think that's what the kernel was called) is something that should be studied. Not to mention all the custom chips that could do co-processing (something that PC's have only started doing in the last few years); shoving off gfx stuff to where it belongs - the graphics chips. I would not go as far to say "AmigaOS is better than Linux", but I will agree with you in that, for it's day AmigaOS was a very worthy technical achievment. And the writer of Exec should get more credit than he usually gets.
  • I see all of these posts going "NDA and GPL don't mix" and "No way to NDA" and I'm going "What are you people thinking?" I see people waving the GPL around like it's some kind of mantra, a god sent from heaven for you to rally around. For Christs sakes, it's JUST A SOFTWARE LICENSE. And NDA doesn't mean you can't talk, it's there to protect people. this is a gentleman's NDA, not that you guys have any clue what being a gentleman is about. That means "we won't reveal your plans until YOU tell us to." That's it, it's common respect defined in writing due to people like Mike bauma here that keep breaking it. That keep posting idiotic articles on Slashdot before groups are ready for it. Yes, Phoenix wants you to know about them, but not like this. not like a pack of rapid wolves who'll nit pick the use of an NDA during conceptualization and development level work. They need criticism, of course, but all good projects do. I really feel that, with the poor responsiveness and lack of foresight from many people on this board and elsewhere that a very good idea will be overlooked by people that do want to get ahead in life, that do want to make a difference, that don't want their future to be an Intel Inside and Start-buttoned nightmare.
  • Notice, this alliance is for making a hardware platform, that can run many OS's. So they are keeping details about the hardware setup secret (for now at least). How would this be a violation of the GPL?
  • That's 256KB, not 256MB, and starting from release 2.0(version 37.0), the ROM was 512KB.

    The author of Exec, Carl Sassenrath, is working on Rebol [rebol.com], go check it out.
  • you mean kb, rather than mb, don't you?

    I think even *windows* would fit in a 256mb rom! Maybe not the current version, though 8)

    Chris
  • Because while Linux itself 8 years ago didn't have an installed base (5 years ago it was well on its way) it was at least compatable with a family of operating systems that did. If someone produced a really good OS compatable with Windows, nobody would care much about "installed base" either.

    Installed base/compatability with a platform that has an installed base matters because it's terribly difficult to get support for a platform that doesn't have enough users to justify the effort, and it's difficult to get enough users to use a platform that lacks support.

    That said, I don't necessarily agree with the person you're responding to that installed base is much of an issue for the QNX RtP, as it is POSIX compliant and has an X capability (it'd be nice though to see programmers integrate it with the Neutrino as is being done on Mac OS X. RtP does need momentum, so that the things that make it "a better *ix" get used.
    --

  • Dude, as much as I love my amiga, you sound sooo biased that it makes you look lame. "most PC 3D games are rather slow" Err... you still using that matrox millenium card?

    Amiga is superior for 2D gaming, well depends, I didn't see any starcraft or Red Alert or the newest incarnation of Worms. So it's a matter of taste... if you mean "2D arcade games" now you're getting more specific and I'll totally agree, project-X on PC sucked bad, the "feeling" isn't the same, the sprites looks "solid" on amiga while on PC most 2D games have that "post-it"-sprite-look over a background.

    Just my 1.5cents.
  • Since 1995, the only thing I heard about new amiga stuff was "in project" "in work" "soon to be released" "this" "that". 99% of the stuff never got out, (and I am not only talking about Jim Drew's SNES/GENESIS/etc emulator on the emplant board, hehe, I am talking about viscorp, gateway, escom, side projects...

    The only thing that came out since 6 years that is tangible is the SDK. And I might be a moron, but I hate it.

    God Gimme a an accelerator with a 68100-600mhz with 680x0 emulation, with a GeForce2GTS as graphic chip, DDR266 ram expantion, with cybergraphics support, Ethernet... all this in my A1200, and NOW you'll have your killer machine!

    actually the 68100 doesn't exist but you could do the same with a G4.

    The more I think of it the more I like it, imagine with all the ports behind a 1200, add firewire, video capture, scsi, yikes, I am drooling. I should stop :)
  • My dad is not a geek, although he knows enough to do upgrades, etc.

    Even he is mad at MS.

    It sees that there is a large collection of users that are unhappy with MS and their fools-gold-plated tin handcuffs. They would be so much happier if they didn't have to use it because of work, or whatever. And they would do so if they could.

    Unfortunately they are enslaved to the MS apps. But they would revolt if they could.

    So there is a market if someone could pull it together, somehow. I can only applaud and encourage guys like these to keep on trucking. If no one tries, then it certainly will not happen.

  • QNX has been around since nineteen-bloody-eighty. That's over twenty years.

    How the hell do they stay in business if "nobody" uses it?

    It's all over the damn place. It's a fanfuckingtastic embedded system, for starters. And it's fully mature, unlike *some* OSes I could name [kaff]linux[kaff].

    --
  • Bah. Back in its day, OS/9 (the real OS/9, from Microware) was running circles around AmigaOS. Pre-emptive, fully re-entrant, API similar to Unix, and fit in less a 16K ROM in its most embedded form. Had a GUI system with widgets (RAVE) that were beyond any other system's capabilities at the time.

    Of course, as an OS designed for the embedded controller market, it didn't see a lot of use in the home...

    --
  • Back in it's hey day it was a multitasking OS that fit in (i think) 256MB ROM. That's no mean feat.
    Despite the fact that that's a typo, as others have pointed out, do you realize that Windows and Mac OS both require about that much hard disk space anyway? You really would need a 200+ MB ROM...
  • It just creates and employs features no longer necessary on the platform since the Amiga doesn't pretend to be a computer, it actually does half the work most software has to do on the PC.
  • If these guys want to have a serious impact on the platforms in use, they will either have to surf the existing platforms with something like TIBET(tm) [technicalpursuit.com] or they will have to create a radically new platform that is so much better than anything else that it will seed a new regime of technology. For that, IMNSHO they should team up with the optical associative processing [colostate.edu] guys at Colorado State, the Mozart [mozart-oz.org] guys in Europe and the Postgresql [readysetnet.com] guys before taking off to do yet another BeOS.
  • let me know.

    Otherwise don't give me this trend crap. I need a workshop, not a conversation piece.
  • yes, 256KB... my bad i just checked out rebol's website.. interesting. thank-you for the information.
  • Why would I need a big box if the system itself is much more efficient at completing tasks?
  • We need the Phoenix consortium to continue the spirit of great design and technical excellence that the Amiga produced.

    90%+ of television studios still use Amigas for their graphics production. NASA still uses Amigas for their more advanced raytracing problems. Most aspects regarding actual graphical performance of the earliest Amigas was only matched on PCs in late 1999. Yet despite this, critical work is sometimes still better suited to Amigas than PCs, even in 2001. Why? Because PCs, despite having more powerful hardware, lack the overall performance of Amigas due to the combination of factors that make the Amiga a great platform. Lightweight, advanced OS, customized graphics chipset, clean hardware design.

    This is why a 1993 Amiga can still outperform a 2001 PC in many mission critical tasks, and why NASA uses Amigas extensively for their more complicated raytracing tasks. From that point of view, the PC looks somewhat like an amusing joke - all that power with little effect. The main reasons for this? Incompatible hardware convergence - thousands of manufacturers all striving to lead the market - it makes for cheap hardware, but it also makes for "LCD" type mentality - no , not Liquid Crystal Display, but Lowest Common Denomenator - to remain compatible with eachother, the manufacterers must make sacrifices from a technology point of view.

    Second, software developer incompetence. Operating systems championed by the Americans such as UNIX, Windows, and BeOS are all really worth crapola when running on these machines, and I'm sorry to say that it's mostly due to a combination of difficult, unruly hardware design and poor software design. Face it, UNIX is an LSD-inspired mess....BSD comes the closest to being a usable platform, and certainly is for some tasks, but the tasks in question, certainly not. As far as network servers are concerned I can't argue that BSD is the best solution available...but not for mission criticial raytracing/video tasks... and Windows is a bloated peice of rubbish. BeOS comes the closest to being an American OS that is worth anything at all, but even it falls short horribly.

    I ran low-level tests on BeOS R5, and it didn't perform as promised, while the performace was good, a lot better than the other OSen I've mentioned, it was not totally up to scratch and not even close to the performance acheived by AmigaDOS.. Now - the Canadian OS, QNX RTP, comes the closest to being an OS that is actually well designed and useful. Yet even that, while being a brilliant peice of CANADIAN software, cannot skirt around the fact that the crap hardware that is currently in mainstream use falls short of any sort of technical excellence. Intel's processing platform, the x86, is a prime example of this - it is, in a word, crap. the IA64 looks even worse from a instruction bloat perspective. Let's move on to another American platform: The Mac.

    While the hardware might be better than PC/x86, the MacOS itself is a horrible peice of rubbish. It does not have the elegance or clean design of the the AmigaDOS, it is not by any means small or lightweight - and it has goofy memory management and still, ridiculously, uses cooperative multitasking. MacOS X might fix some of these problems, but it introduces new ones - it is, in essence, even more bloated and complicated than the platform from which it was derived - BSD. I've already raved about BSD and Unix, so I won't go into that again. But now we have even more complicated layers on top of that - propreitry APIs which add even more confusion and bloat to the operating system.

    Mac OS X will suck heavily, it is a hyped peice of crap. The Beta version I evaluated confirms this. Let's move on to the next platform - Linux, this is a platform that shows promise, yet suffers many of the same problems as BSD, and has some additional problems, such as VM instability. In a previous post I mentioned problems with the kernel and I won't go over them again. It is a promising platform, but still falls flat. So what do we have? Crappy hardware, crappy software (for the most part), with one notable exception of the Canadian-written QNX. I don't think that anyone can argue that any of the current computing platform choices are up to scratch.

    No - we do need something like the Phoenix Consortium. The current state of computing is just, well, mediocre... compared to what it could have been if the Amiga route had not have been cut short. The Amiga platform wasn't perfect, it lacked multiuserism for one, but it certainly is still the best platform that computing has offered so far.

  • I can't describe just how much I agree with these sentiments. I have described my feelings on the current mainstream offerings here [slashdot.org] and will not reiterate them yet again. You guys will undoubtedly go down in history as the men who revived the computing industry. Hopefully the Wintel/Lintel era will be an embarrassing yet learning-curve justified era shortly.
  • How is he enslaved to MS apps? What's stopping him using something else?
  • Did I say anything about dumbing down computers? No. You can improve a computers usability without dumbing it down, ya know. Look at UNIX (pre-X). It was an improvement for usability over the other systems in that era, a dramatic improvement. Would you say that it dumbed down computers? I wouldn't, I run several UNIX-based OS's. It's very smart, very concise, so long as you don't fill it with half-baked libraries and unfinished and unstable API's.

    As for big-boxes, I never said we wouldn't make big boxes, only that they're not our primary concern. You want big box computers, go to best buy, there's a ton of them. Try and find a slimline system that's easy enough for my grandmother to use yet powerful enough to appease my need for raw number crunshing without giving me a brain-dead OS.... doesn't happen.
  • And BTW, I'd love to play with your design work. I'll keep an eye on that site, thank you.
  • Interview with Dave Haynie

    A system architect's view
    Amiga to me is basically the set of design philosophies embodied in the Amiga computers. This is both HW and SW, you can't (and shouldn't) really try to separate the two, they're part of the same thing to any good system designer.

    Everyone knows you are one of the best HW guys Amiga platform ever had what means you have to understand also low-level SW issues like firmware, device drivers, HAL...

    Of course. Pretty early on, I learned that the HW and SW pieces were really two sides of the same coin. I learned about them both by reading the old hobbiest magazines of the 70's: BYTE, Kilobaud Microcomputing, Creative Computing, etc. Back when making your own computer was something akin to building your own HAM radio rig, you didn't specialize in HW or SW, you had to know and use both.

    Phase two was college. I wasn't really sure if I wanted to major in Electrical Engineering (HW) or Computer Science (SW). So I wound up doing both. I set out to find work that involved both. Which was harder than I thought, since in many places in the world, hardware and software lived on alternate sides of some odd, artificial wall. In fact, my first job out of school was at General Electric, in a department called "Computational Design". We were the only folks in the whole freekin' company allowed to touch both HW and SW. Ok, GE was a miserable place to work, I lasted four months. From there to Commodore.

    Then Commodore. On projects like the C128, it became clear to me that, even when I was doing just HW, that the two were so interrelated you'd do a horrible job if you didn't consider both pieces as one. If I design a chip without considering how it's to be programmed, it'll invariably be crappy to program.

    ...but you are interested also in operating systems, drive many computer languages (40?), have a clear vision how to do the computing right and in general it makes you fun to learn and design new things.

    Sure....

    There are some people in these latitudes (mostly those who switched from AmigaOS to Linux earlier or later) who say there's nothing so special about AmigaOS, that it's just a middle 80's mutant of UNIX, but a badly implemented one - the argumentation is no memory protection, IPC done through pointer exchange is utterly a bad idea, device drivers as independent tasks may look nice but it's not such an advantage.

    People can say what they like, but it won't make them right. AmigaOS has absolutely nothing to do with UNIX - not even a tiny bit of resembalance. No one holding the above view has the first clue about AmigaOS and/or UNIX.

    And do realize that we are in the age of the user. Just because a person used AmigaOS for a few years and now runs Linux is no indication they have Clue #1 how either OS actually works.

    They argue Linux kernel space model for drivers is faster, more efficient...

    No. Actually, it's much, much slower. See, here's one example of ignorance on their part. In a UNIX-like system, you lose all kinds of performance in context switching. So a microkernel OS like Mach, in which most of the OS runs user-mode programs to do OS things, is inherently slower, all else being equal. That's because of the context switches: your I/O call switches to kernel space, then to user, then back to kernel, then back to user.

    In the AmigaOS, none of that happens. There is no big context switch, simply because you're not carrying around that big protection context. OS calls in UNIX (and its clones) are always expensive, they always call up the kernel. On AmigaOS, many Exec calls run on the user's own context, and even if there is a switch to supervisor mode, it's still very light weight. This is why you can get 25,000 messages per second sent on slow Amigas (or thereabouts), whereas under Linux it's more like a few thousand, even on hardware that's many, many times faster. Everything on the Amiga is messages, not kernel calls. No one who isn't speaking to this point has a clue about how AmigaOS works.

    ...and WHEN written well also more secure.

    That is also very ignorant. When drivers are well written, they're equally safe under Linux and AmigaOS. They're less safe than under Mach or something similar, for exactly the reasons stated above: Mach drivers usually run (or at least mainly run) in user mode, so if they crash, they don't bother anyone.

    So, what do you think about these issues - actually, would you defend AmigaOS?

    Of course I defend AmigaOS, but I have no mission to convert those of another religion. And believe me, people do take on their attachements to an OS (or even a text editor, sometimes), with the worst of man's ability toward zealousness. No single fact I bring up is going to change a person's opinion of AmigaOS if they are not listening and understanding the facts.


    Could you please summarize where AmigaOS showed the way how to do things right?


    Threads and Messages! When you have very efficient messanging and low cost threads, these become the fundamental building blocks of a good OS. Linux is so steeped in the UNIX traditions going back 30 years, it has yet to embrace much of what has been learned since the days at Bell Labs when "what do we do now that Multics is over" was the operative question.

    BeOS is a good example of a modern OS that's learned from the AmigaOS. Sure, it has a POSIX interface to let it easily run UNIX code, but underneath, it's much more like a protected-mode AmigaOS - everything's done in threads and messages.

    Linux now has real threads, though user-mode only (BeOS allows kernel mode threads, pretty necessary if, as in either OS, you have lost of stuff running in kernel mode). But since the Linux kernel isn't reentrant, threads in the kernel block other threads, similar to the way tasks in 16-bit Windows block other tasks. I have read comments like "no serious Linux program uses threads", which seems to be true, at least today.

    AmigaOS also taught the world about dynamic design. UNIX/Linux, Windows, and most primitive OSs are static. They precompile in everything they're going to need: drivers, number-of-tasks, etc. This may be fine for the OS that's going into a toaster oven, and it was fine in the days of yore when 64K was tons of memory on your old PDP-8. But this isn't the dark ages, and there's no reason to do things the UNIX way when there are better ways, already well proven (eg, you don't have to jump into something weird like KOSH or The Hurd or Plan 9 to be able to move beyond UNIX - while, of course, keeping what you learned from it).

    Where AmigaOS fails...

    The two major failing of AmigaOS's design are lack of protection and (only in a few places) lack of abstraction. The protection issue is a tricky one, since while everyone wants protection, you don't want to implement it such a way that it does, in fact, drag down performance in the way your Linux people (seeing things only through Linux-colored glasses, apparently) seem to assume the AmigaOS works. There are ways this could have been done within Exec - the folks from Amiga who worked on the 3DO OS did this - but it's unlikely to be an issue, with the new OS being based on QNX (which is also a modern OS with some UNIX-friendly facade, but very much not UNIX).

    ...and what has been adopted (what could prove AmigaOS did it right) by other operating systems like Linux (or other UNIX clone), BeOS, or even Windows.

    Well, I'm still waiting for someone to do autoconfig right. Maybe BeOS is doing this, not sure. But the others, forget about it. Windows is a half-step ahead of Linux in this, but only a half step. Users THINK that Windows is doing real autoconfig, but it is not. What happens is just smoke and mirrors. On reset, Windows starts up and reads its driver setup from The Registry (that giant file Windows puts everything into), builds a single image containing all drivers, and goes forward. Thus, much like UNIX, all drivers are statically bound, it's just that they get to do this binding without building a whole new OS image. Linux will probably get this at some point (yes, I'm familiar with the Red Hat dynamic driver loading hack; that's not it, you're just compiling driver-specific stubs into the kernel rather than the whole driver, it changes nothing).

    I have read that under Linux 2.2, there's a better "module loader" facility that perhaps can load, if not unload, drivers on demand by name. I have not looked into this, and while that alone doesn't deliver autoconfig, it's certainly a necessary component of an all-over autoconfig system, and maybe even a stage beyond where Windows is today.

    Why Windows seems to do autoconfig (and this would be a simple model for the Linux folks to use) is that, sometime early in the boot process, they launch a special device snooper. This is the guy that actually finds new hardware for you, assigns IRQ and DMA slots, etc. All this puppy actually does it put drivers in the right place and add their names to the registry. This is of course why you have to reboot to use them (they have to get rolled up in that gigantic driver file). This is also why a Windows system goes insane if you do something as simple as swap two PCI cards.

    The AmigaOS does fully dynamic device binding. This is simple when drivers are separate modules that can be loaded at runtime. The BeOS does this too - drivers are always implemented as plug-ins (using their generic plug-in system) which can be loaded or unloaded at any time. Low-level drivers are plug-ins to the kernel (for that UNIX-like efficiency, when it matters). Some high-level stuff, as in AmigaOS, is implemented as client/server, such as graphics, but that's also true under UNIX if you're running X, and generally considered a good thing.

    Where should the AmigaOS move in thell ever be for novices depends on the will of the Linux developers to depart UNIX for parts, to them, unknown.

    As for Amiga and Linux, this is a middle ground. The Linux kernel needs to be fixed, certainly. But their stated intention is that all user-level stuff in "AmigaNG" programs is written to their object API, not to the Linux kernel. So if you stick to AmigaNG programs, many of the Linux problems, at user-level, should not exist. Without the kernel changes, though, you won't have real autoconfig or real multimedia. Jim Collas says kernel work will be done, and they know what should change. So it's a matter of seeing how they deliver on this, to judge the AmigaNG's use of Linux.

    Conclusion
    I think they have a rocky road, doing this. On the other hand, the Amigaification of Linux, especially if it spread through the Linux market, should have a certain degree of satisfaction to the Amiga community. And finally give Linux the abilility to compete against Windows on the desktop, simply by doing things better - which ultimately is a necessary precondition to a well waged war against Microsoft.

  • Oh? Which mystical ball are ye looking into for this insight? What tarot card layout do you use to gain your mystical fortune telling capability?

    The PS2 is not made for this market, while it might gain a share, it will not dominate, not by a long shot.
  • if it were me, I would have wasted for the last week till the website was finished.
  • It all comes down to being able to place the product in front of people, correct?

    I'd note Commodore did this by by-passing traditional computer vendors and selling C64's off the shelf at Toys R Us.

    I'd also note Sinclair with his own unique brand of getting things in front of people.

    Or of Apple, who sold people with solid commercial after commercial, even when the rest of the market was against them.

    You can sell anything if you know how to get it to where the customer can see it.
  • If that is a challenge, we're already up to it.
  • Did we say we're doing a PC? No. We said home computer, which is far different from a personal computer. Home computer ranges from that STB your children play video games or play DVD's with to the handheld computer you bring with you to check up on your 401k to the webpad that the hubby claims he's doing his taxes on when he's really playing a game of solitare.

    So in a way, we all agree.
  • My girlfriend and I were discussing old 80s computing while trying to get her Atari working (we did actually! Its amazing how much its like MacOS today, or windows, and it was from 1986). She mentioned that Amiga was trying to start up again ... I agreed that I had heard the same thing, but not much had come from it. Are they going to have a release of Amiga OS for x86 peecees? Will they, or someone, be selling hardware any time soon?
  • Actually, QNX X apps look just like standard RtP apps, just uglier (except GTK ones, Qt isn't ported yet). There's not seperate "X Window" or anything.
  • The current Amiga team are working on what they call AmigaDE which is a platform independant system which can run natively on hardware or hosted on another OS (the rather limited SDK is currently available for Linux or Windows) The basic underlying technology for it is Tao's Elate/intent system (http://www.tao-group.com/) The above lengthy post is relating to what Gateway's Amiga team were talking about doing, and originally intended to use the QNX kernel, but then switched to Linux before going all quiet when the aforementioned Jim Collas left when Gateway fired Bill McEwan. Bill McEwan got together with a guy called Fleecy Moss and formed Amino, obtained some finance and bought Amiga from Gateway (although Gateway retained some patents) Their new system is very different from the Amiga - I'm hoping to see it arrive and have at least a modicum of success, but I feel the only connection between it and Amiga of the 80's will be the spirit of trying to do something new, and doing it well. As for hardware - there are two companies working on AmigaOne machines (systems based around a hardware spec announced by Amiga Inc - now a software only company) Eyetech are doing an interesting upgrade system, essentially a stand-alone board designed to run the new AmigaDE which connects to the A1200 or A4000 Motherboard, so that you can use the old 'Classic' Amiga software using the new PPC processor and PCI bus, and brand spanking new DE software natively. The other company is bplan - much suspected of being the latest incarnation of Phase 5 who were very good at bringing (admittedly often hugely late and overhyped) upgrade paths to the 'Classic' Amiga (most noticably the PPC accelerator boards) Good sites for information are (to name a few); http://www.amiga.com/ Amiga Inc site http://www.amiga.org/ Amiga news site http://www.eyetech.co.uk/ Eyetech site http://www.bplan-gmbh.de/ bplan site. Cal

    ----
    "God hates me."
  • Sorry all - forgot to format &/or preview.

    I shall berate myself appropriately for being a lamer :)

    Cal

    ----
    "God hates me."
  • Luck is the term used by those without providence and foresight. Luck rarely has anything to do with economics, schrewdness, integrety, and cunning do. But a little luck can't hurt.
  • No AmigaOS for x86. (It couldn't be done anyways, not and retain that performance edge that made AmigaOS so good)

    You will, however, get AmigeDE, a rebirth of the old JavaOS concept, done yet again! It's going head-to-head with AT&T's Open-Sourced OS's like Plan9 and Inferno for the platform-independent software arena. And with Sun Microsystems' Java and Microsoft's .NET platform to boot.

    As for new hardware, don't expect anything but a crappy x86 box, maybe a PPC system provided IBM finally begins releasing that northbridge for POP, running a Matrox video card and SB Live! while charging twice as much for the right to have a Boing Ball logo on it.

    I didn't used to be so critical of the new Amiga, but what they've done, shown, and stolen over the past year from good-natured Amiga support groups is really criminal. Ask them about KOSH, AROS, OpenAmiga, all groups that either were squashed, threatened with lawsuits, or had their ideas stolen by Amiga, Inc. Amiga has shown a need to be the "Big Dog" in the arena, marking it's territory by pissing on the smaller dogs. They then wonder why they have a VERY vocal anti-Amiga group formed within their own "loyal" Amigans.

    I'm not dissing binary compatability across platforms. That is a good thing, but not necessary a critical thing. Good API's, detailed documentation and solid support go a lot further than any cross-platform binary ever could.

    And it's not like they even own the Amiga in the first place. (courts could not proove ownership of the Amiga by Escom back in '95 during a suit they filed. There is a LOT of legal mess with the Amiga) Gateway sold the trademarks, yes. But the ownership of a platform is not in the trademarks, nor in the patents (which, also, are under legal issues, with no less than 4 groups having equal claim on them) nor in the OS... it is when a computer balances everything, provides the user with a consistantly high-level of responsiveness when under the harshest of workloads, and when that computer does what you want it to HOW you want it to. That is what an Amiga is.
  • He also designed the Commodore 128, Amiga 3000 and 3000+, and the new Met@box series of computers. (which run OS/2 or his newly availible CAOS) Check out his current company. [metabox.com]
  • Who mentioned screwing over QSSL? Or that Tao was a bad product? And I have the SDK, it's quite nice. I just stated how I saw it, mr afraid to give their name. And yes I will be at St Louis, because I want to see something good come out of this, because I really don't want to see Amiga fail again.

When we write programs that "learn", it turns out we do and they don't.

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