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Quadruple Interview With Amiga 4.0 Developers 92

Mike Bouma writes: " has done an interview with some important developers involved in the development of AmigaOS 4.0 PPC. These developers also helped to realize AmigaOS 3.9 which was released at the World of Amiga show last december. AmigaOS 4.0 will be available later this summer together with the release of new PPC based AmigaOne mainboards." I'd like to see a robust OS marketplace -- the more the merrier -- but I wonder if Amiga can ever really succeed, what with the continued promises, delays, rearrangements, direction changes ...
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Quadruple Interview With Amiga 4.0 Developers

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    alright it's one thing to kick the Amiga when its getting back up.. its another to say it was replaced by Apple. COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PHILOSOPHIES. Apple targets a higher-priced, lower-intelligence consumer market. Amiga targets lower-priced, more intellectually curious market.. the kind that appreciates detailed schematics in the manuals, highly documented operating system, and welcomes 3rd party software and hardware..

    Besides, Amiga still has much better paint (DPAINT IV, Brilliance), 3D (lightwave, caligari), music (Octamed) etc.. its been copied by the headless subsequent ones, but all lack class and usability.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Be Inc. is scheduled to run out of money sometime this June. Everyone pretty much agrees that BeOS is toast -- see the Byte BeView column for details.

    With so many people now abandoning BeOS, they will need a home. And the Amiga looks to be a home for all the orphaned Be users.

  • bPlan [] has a MicroATX MoBo [] in the works, that is dual G3/G4, has all important IO onboard (like Ethernet,PS/2,USB,ser/par,Firewire (!!)) and is at the moment the only other product that was designed with the AmigaONE specs in mind and already does boot Linux.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hardly. DE is meant to primarily be RAN, not "hosted" under Windows and Mac. Changing the verb one uses to denote that a USERSPACE program is being executed does not make it anything more than a userspace program. And an emulator at that. As far as super fast java, I kinda have the impression that is what DE itself is meant to be. STB's? And if they are planning on catering to the WebTV crowd, well then, I think that says it all. Oh, no it doesn't actually. The game console market is being targeted by M$. Is't it a rule that going after markets that have the borg's attention a surefire way to fail?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Well its a hell of alot real than the PPC board you should of sent Baggy 6 or so months ago, tell me are you really that forgetfull? Or did you steal his money?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Downix recieved money for an Amiga PPC card, then never sent the card
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Seems like a logical choice. They've already trained themselves to look the other way and buy in on the interim solution while a company points at their new vaporware coming any day now. "We wrote a kick-ass operating system! And companies will have apps out within 6 months!" (4 months later) "We're changing focus! Sorry to piss off all of those almost-finished developers, we've changed our mind.

    No, I'm not bitter.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 12, 2001 @08:37PM (#226576)
    Sure, Grandma isn't senile anymore, ever since the brain transplant. And so what if 98% of her body has been replaced with prosthetics at one point or another? Why, she now has a IQ of 200 and is an Olympic contender, and lord knows thats all that really matters. ;P

    McEwen, you do us all a disservice in presuming to call your company Amiga. You look down at us as if we were just another fringe market to milk for all the cash we're worth, and if you don't even have to go to the trouble to throw us a few bones along the way, why should you care? After all, if we wanted a modern computer, a real computer, we would have switched to the Windows PC long ago. The Amiga is truely dead now, with no hope of yet another buyer who might do that name any honor. And it shouldn't be that way. Is that all you see, a trademark with brand name recognition, an opportunity to foist ill-concieved and irrelevant technologies on us? No Amiga fan that I know has ever said "Hey, if only my toaster ran Workbench 5, I could play Populous and have breakfast at the same time!". AmigaDE is a copout, some sort of lame-brained notion that since most people's exposure to the Amiga is UAE, then it's only fitting to release the entire system as some trumped up emulator. Macintosh owners have Macs, because for some reason they want them. Ditto for PC/windows owners. As a matter of fact, they are probably happy with the variety of games available to them. So what, you're marketing to developers, some sort of crossplatform development tools? Only not calling it such?

    Drop AmigaDE. Drop it now. Apologize for it. Quit saying how software is all that matters, you sound like a bum making excuses about why he doesn't work. Give us first-gen neo-amiga hardware with legacy zorro3 slots AND PCI. Kill Zorro after you've had at least a bit of token continuity. Show us a computer that will never, NEVER EVER have only one CPU again. Entry level dual G3/4's, with quad cpu on the high end. Market it to power users, to computer nerds, and those who have to have the most powerful of everything. But make it the first multi-CPU computer marketed to users ever. If there was one thing Be did right, it was the Bebox. But almost as soon as they did, they changed their minds, and decided "software is the only important thing". Look where that got them. License the OS, the hardware specs, but make some yourself. Send a couple hundred freebie systems to Adobe, to Macromedia, to all the hotshot graphics companies. Offer free hawaii vacations to their programmers, if they spend those extra 15 minutes they linger at the donut table actually porting code to AmigaPPC. If it's already written, there is no reason not to sell it. You can make money off licensing development tools after you've got some apps to show for it. Give free "I resurrected Amiga!" T-shirts to shareware developers who can prove they wrote something for it. Bribe Tucows to put up an amiga section. Do whatever it takes, but concentrate on making it the system to envy. Carve out a niche in the graphics and video market, and go from there.
  • I worked at a company that was the last major consumer of Amigas in the United States. Remember the Prevue Channel, now the TV Guide Channel. It use to be the blue scrolly thing and now it's the gold scrolly thing. Well, the blue scrolly thing displayed half or quarter screen video in the top half and the bottom half had the listings for your local cable channels. The satellite video feed was passed through but the listings were displayed locally from the Amiga.

    They had over 2,000 Amiga 2000's in the field at cable head ends across the country. Two years ago they finally replaced them with NT boxes that had a special video card in it. They kept the Amigas going by remanufacturing them and buying up old Amigas and parts wherever they could scrounge them. Forgotten warehouses, flea markets, Amiga bounty hunters, etc.

    The reason they got stuck with having to keep reusing the Amiga 2000's was because the custom demod card used to receive the listings data would only fit in the 2000's and wouldn't fit properly in the 3000's or 4000's.

    So rather than getting stuck with a dying computer they switched to a platform that they felt wasn't going to go away ten years after they adopted it. They chose Microsoft and Intel. I doubt Linux or Mac was seriously considered when the R&D boys were architecting the new system.

    I enjoyed working for them when I did, though they thought Microsoft was the answer to all their problems.

    All your problems begin to look like nails when all you have is a hammer.

  • i was doing a lot of work on my Amiga (with the attendant Guru Meditation errors) and freaked one sunday morning when i woke up at my girlfriend's house, turned on the tube and found the Preview Channel's Guru Meditation screen! for a second i thought my programming errors were chasing me across town. :-)

    wonder if that'll happen with .NET?

    strangely enuf, i consulted for a (would-be) competitor of Prevue called StarNet, we delivered mpegs via satellite instead of sending laserdiscs around, and played them on NT boxes with the local cable schedule.
  • Personally, I enjoyed ColorIt! on the Mac for some time in the early-mid 90's. But my needs outgrew it -- when I got to use layers in Photoshop I didn't look back.
  • True, all those BeOS users may wind up looking for a home, but if they didn't amount to enough users to sustain Be, how will they sustain Amiga?

    I think the Mac (of which I am a user) has about as small a market presence as you can get and still be viable (as a hardware-oriented company) - Apple will always have a built-in market just by defining themselves as "the alternative" to Windows hegemony. Linux is an operating system, and development costs are minimal if you want to have your own distro. This gives the companies that do nothing but press CD's a chance to make money (with no costs), but the bigger companies like RedHat and Caldera need to make money in services and integration (as the FSF intended), rather than on code alone. Because Linux has a use in the server space, this is feasible - Amiga isn't looking like a server OS to me, it's looking like a "power user" OS. And they plan to make hardware as well, tuned to their OS and using PowerPC processors.

    Be tried that, too - and if you look up, you can see Be's flame trails heading for the ocean as we speak. Other than the more well-known name, I don't see anything different for Amiga, either. I do wonder, though - will this coming Amiga death finally be the last one? Their corporate logo should be a cat, since they've gone through so many lives.

    - -Josh Turiel
  • I realized that the Prevue channel was running Amigas one day when I was flipping by and happened to notice a "guru meditiation" error. :-)

  • With no circle tool? As just one example :-)

    Paint Shop Pro is nowhere near as powerful as DPaint, PPaint or Brilliance. And our previous contributor isn't the only one who misses them.
  • Any circle tool in v5 is _very_ well hidden ;-) so I think I'm safe in the assumption that 3 doesn't have one.

    I jsut find that interface horribly clunky though. Brilliance is just stunning - PSP sometimes makes me think POS.
  • Every time there's an Amiga post, somebody leaps out and suggests that "Oh, the Amiga is dead. Take it off life support and let it go peacefully." In fact, every single posting of this type reads incredibly similar and I wonder if there isn't some autoresponse bot doing this. :-P

    I type this from my PPC604e/233-based A4000(Elbox Tower w/7 Z3 slots). It's my primary machine and is also the fastest machine in my house. I don't have a single Wintel box here. The 604e also happily runs Linux at a decent clip so I don't see the need to grab any Wintel hardware thankyouverymuch.

    Now, by modern standards my 604e isn't exactly fast, but it's certainly liveable. At Hyperion (Yes I work there) we've benchmarked an identical system to mine as being approx equivalent in speed to an AMD K6-2/450. This is not fast but it's not dirt slow either (unless you're running Losedoze 2000).

    There are things I do want, however. I want a fully PPC OS (parts are still running on an onboard 68060/60). I want a newer motherboard with a nice PPC7450 on it that will put me up in the performance range of the latest Athlons. I want these things so I can keep moving forward. Why is it that certain assholes want to stop me? What is so wrong with wanting this? Who the hell are *THEY* do decide that my computer should go "quietly into the night".

    *FUCK YOU*. We will *NOT* go "quietly into the night". This is my system, my lifestyle, and my home. I'm willing to fight for it. So a pox on all those who tell us that "You're dead, get a Windoze box."

    I want a machine that does what I want it to do, and my Amy does this. Damn you all who think that her future should be destroyed.


    P.S. For those who don't know, AmigaOS 4.0 is not some "other OS". It is a direct evolution from the current AmigaOS. Yes it will have elements of Tao running hosted on it, and the basic kernel will of course be rewritten (it's running on a different CPU after all, even the Linux kernel has low-level stuff that has to be rewritten for different CPUs) , but all the things that make the Amiga nice to use (Tightly coupled CLI/GUI, Intuition, ARexx, Datatypes, BOOPSI, etc.) will still be there. It won't be an Amiga "in name only".

  • This guy has it cold. The amiga was about the hardware - the people that dared to laugh when they saw what current state of the art was. I've been waiting for someone to do this for a long time, be it under the guise of Linux, of AmigaOS. The trick is getting someone who's willing to put out specs, drivers, and all the required hardware until the market catches up (As amiga did).

  • Since when are you the authority on what everybody thinks?
  • I think the Amiga will survive. Why? Because something that has been beaten and whipped as many times as the Amiga without dying by now will probably continue to live on until it goes mainstream.

    The Amiga is a computer that's not a PITA to use. One of the rare Amiga commercials [] said, "What does it do? Well, what you want it to do," and this is so blatently true it's hard for an outsider to imagine. No other mainstream computer has ever had this property, so people will continue to admire the Amiga until this happens.

    The Amiga is not dead because there are too many Amiga users who are too dumb to know that their computer is dead. ;-P

  • Yeah, you're probably right, but the fact is that the commercial was telling the truth. I used an Amiga for several years, and it's harder to get even Linux to do what I want.
  • by Dwonis ( 52652 ) on Saturday May 12, 2001 @11:24PM (#226589)
    I'm getting tired of these "Amiga is Dead" posts. A product dies when it has no support from both users and manufacturers. Since neither of those is the case, Amiga is not dead.
  • You've pretty much answered your own question. BBEdit is the #1 stand-alone text editor on the Mac, for HTML and for programming in just about any language. I personally use the built-in editor in Codewarrior which is not quite as feature-complete as BBEdit as a text editor, but has source-browser integration.
  • Try the Video Toaster NT in your PC, then say the same thing. Its not particularly fair comparing dedicated video hardware with a general purpose CPU. If youre going to compare old hardware to new hardware, at least compare old apples with new apples. That being said, the original Video Toaster is certainly a useful piece of equipment, which changed the world of broadcast video. Newtek we salute you.
  • Dude! You gotta stop hitting that crack man.

    That means (in my mind) : 1) fixed hardware; a GForce 2MX or Kyro II board, 300 MHz PPC or ARM CPU, soundblaster live, I/O for television/video, embedded joypad ports, embedded DVD ROM, 10 GB hard disk, 56K modem etc
    What? The Amiga was one of the most powerful machines of its day. That shit (comparitively) hardware you have listed could never be called an Amiga.

    2) fixed software; EEPROM with the basic O/S which is transferred to Ram at boot time; after that, rest of the O/S is loaded from hard disk; the included hard disk will contain a pre-configured O/S that is ready to go
    Umm, that describes every computer on sale now. The BIOS image is loaded into RAM (shadowing, remember?) which loads the OS from the harddisk, which (unless you build it) comes preconfigured. Or do you mean they should never release updates?

    web-browser price around $300-$400;
    What? Cheap is nice, but an Amiga at $300? Methinks you have Amiga's mixed up with the game machines. The Amiga's were quite expensive machines for their time.

    you buy it, you hook it to the telly and web-surfing, cheap DVD player, cheap multimedia, and above all that a computer to do the calculations and write those CVs and letters. And a damn good game machine, too.
    Its called an playstation2. At Toys R Us for $300.

    It will sell like hot cakes, for two reasons : 1) people are tired of the problems having with the PC and MS Windows/Linux 2) a typical good PC (that is able to run all of todays bloatware) costs around $700
    Really. This explains why all these set top machines and $300 machines are selling like hotcakes.

    when DirectX is established,
    Huh? You mean back in 1997?

    we all should cash out for a GForce3 anyway(which costs around the money mentioned above for the home computer)
    Except it doesn't, it costs $350. Subtraction harder than C++? Maybe...

    , because the older cards will not run anything in respectable frame rates
    Explains why my old RivaTNT is running UT just fine? Most games run fine on lower end harware, and only serious gamers need absolutely smooth fps at high res. Still, what serious gamer buys a $300 machine? Seriously, though, a GeForce2 GTS is plenty fast for the next year or so, and is only $127 on Pricewatch. Pair that with a nice 1GHz Athlon ($208 on pricewatch w/ mobo) and some RAM ($170 per gig!) and you have a nice gaming machine that won't cost more than $1200 or so.

    4) it would be almost portable (one unit, like the old Amigas 1200-600) but without the propriatery hardware used by todays portable PCs, because it would use standard hardware; I remember a friend who stuffed his A1200 in his suitcase and travelled with it!
    Great. It'll be an unpropriatary iMac!
  • Ditto this. Being a long time Amiga lover/user/drooler I was really looking for the BeOS to take over my stable. Unfortunately, just as BeOS was beginning to take off, it took off in the other direction. *sigh*

    Maybe this new Amiga will turn me on again. I seriously doubt it, but you never know. Actually, someones comment about Linux on the server and Amiga on the front end sounded pretty cool.

  • s/opacity/transparency/g


    "In spite of everything, I still believe that people
    are really good at heart." - Anne Frank
  • by ktakki ( 64573 ) on Saturday May 12, 2001 @08:00PM (#226595) Homepage Journal
    I come to bury the Amiga, not praise it.

    In 1994, I leveraged the knowledge I'd gained using an Amiga and Impulse 2.0 to get a job creating 3D models using 3DS for DOS (R2), running on '486. I was lucky. The Amiga was a toy, Impulse was a toy, and I considered myself lucky to have a $3K program running on a $3K computer (at my client's expense) for a change.

    Using DOS and WfW 3.11 for the first time, I missed the close coupling between GUI and CLI that the Amiga OS had, and the opacity of the startup scripts (compared to autoexec.bat, config.sys, win.ini, and system.ini).

    All the while I'd been using Macs to do digital audio and MIDI sequencing, along with DTP and video editing and Director scripting (since version 1.0). But I missed the control that the AmigaOS command line afforded. Eventually, I discovered MacShell, a CLI for MacOS 7.x, but as a userland app it lacked the speed I craved and the power I needed. The power of "/".

    Fast-forward to the year 2001, Dave.

    I have a fricken' fast machine with a closely coupled GUI/CLI system...Mac OS X on a G4/466.

    It's like an Amiga on steroids, and it runs Photoshop, Quark, and Illustrator, along with Apache, ftpd, gcc, and ssh.

    "Nostalgia is a disease of dogs." -- Lenin


    "In spite of everything, I still believe that people
    are really good at heart." - Anne Frank
  • Repeat after me

    Linux is not the solution to everyone's problems.
    Linux is not the solution to everyone's problems.
    Linux is not the solution to everyone's problems.

    Ye gods, the view Linux users have about their OS in relation to everyone else's OS reminds me immensely of the way some Java programmers feel about Java. "Sure, it does xxx shittily because it was never meant to do that and should never be used to do that, but hey, I'm going to use it to do that anyway because it's Linux and Linux is Perfect."
  • I for one agree with almost everything you are saying...

    But they have to actually SHIP it first.

    And we've been hearing promises FOREVER.

    I reserve the right to say I was wrong later if they actually DO ship something.

    Until then... The Amiga is Dead. Long live the Amiga.

    "Everything you know is wrong. (And stupid.)"
  • They didn't actually say very much in that article... seemed to be full of "N/A" and "I don't know" answers... The interesting bit I thought was the 'running in a sandbox' bit... So Amiga, Inc are dumping the old OS in favour of an emulation mode similar to OS X/Classic....
  • At this point it is official:

    The Amiga we all knew and loved is dead.

    There is no working on combining hardware and software for a symbiosys with the user.

    There is no attempt to make the system beyond what is popular or expected.

    There isn't even the neat-o checkmark logo.

    Deal with it guys, the AmigaONE is a POP board. AmigaOS 4.x is a cheap knock-off. They didn't even ship AmigaOS 3.9 with real apps, it was 70% shareware. And 30% bloatware. Amiga was about being able to run the entire system off of a floppy disk and ROM. No more, you need a CD-ROM and a 2 gig HD to even think about installing the system

    What did you do, license Windows NT?
  • This was mentioned [] and discussed [] on ANN [] yesterday.

    People seem to think that (a) this interview is pretty old, (b) development has not yet started, or (c) that there are NDA's preventing clearer answers.

  • Worth publishing? No. Worth slashdotting? Definitly not.

    I have to agree, this news item belongs on Amiga news sites, but not on Slashdot (IMHO). Amiga coverage on Slashdot would be fine if there was a finished product, or at least a bullet-proof plan of what to do to make it succeed, but things like these will just spawn yet another "we don't want Amiga coverage" / "Amiga is dead" / "Amiga computers used to be fine ten years ago" discussion, I fear.

    But then again, I'm biased, I've been running an Amiga news site [] for almost four and a half years.

  • Linux's real-time processing isn't up to scratch yet for stuff like hard disk recording

    I suggest you look at Ardour [].


  • When will the Amiga die? Please, its time to take it off life support and let it slide off into the great beyond. This OS just gets passed from one European company to another, like a joint at Dennis Hopper's ranch. I'm beginning to think its just some kinda white elephant gift that CEOs give to one another.

    Please, the Amiga wants to die. Let it.

  • DPaint better than Photoshop?

    For lightweight, pixel-level editing tasks? Yes, it is. Nobody has really come up with a good DeluxePaint II replacement yet... all we have are an assortment of hyperbloated, all-things-to-everyone super-combo-photo/paint programs.

    I'd KILL for a nice true-color Win32 port of DPaint that handles reasonably-modern file formats like .gif/.png/.jpg. I started writing one a couple of years ago, but ran short of time before it was completely done.
  • I'm starting to make a habit of releasing the source code to personal projects, but the DPaint clone is really in too hacked a state to be of much use to anyone, including myself.

    If I ever get around to polishing it up, I'll throw it over the wall, but don't hold your breath. It's based on an old graphics library of mine, which, in turn, is based on 12,000 lines of .asm code that hasn't aged well.
  • Your post reminded me of an incredibly offtopic and odd question that occurred to me this past week:

    What kinds of text editors and other tools did pre-OSX Mac hackers use?

    I use UNIX and NT. On UNIX I use vi and EMACS, and my development environment is rounded out by command-line compilers/debuggers/etc and the usual assortment of UNIX tools. On NT I use EMACS and a variety of "professional" (read: expensive) text editors (yeah, I've spent about $1000 on text editors alone, so shoot me) and my development environment is rounded out by command-line and GUI compilers/debuggers/etc and ports of the usual assortment of UNIX tools. (MS/SFU, Cygwin, and various GNU ports really do wonders for an NT box.) I've always had an interest in the toys^H^H^H^Htools of my craft, and what with MacOS maturing into a Real Operating System, I've started to wonder what kinds of toys^H^H^H^Htools Mac developers used in the past. I know that BBEdit is popular for HTML stuff, but I'm talking about programming stuff.

    Any Mac hackers care to enlighten me?


  • ... I have been interested in a PPC platform for a long time, but dislike the implication of buying Apple products (great-looking, sure, so far the most comfortable computing experience I've ever had was using a PowerMac G4, and the new iBooks certainly smoke the new Celery Sony (built-in CD-ROM with no options? whatt...).

    And with the OpenPPC motherboard from IBM soon becoming the leading VapourWare of the late '90s, to be able finally to use a 3rd party PPC board without paying royalty to Apple (and being stuck with low-frequency G3s just because Apple won't have G3s running faster than G4s) would be really neat. Plus they seem to be doing on the software side what Transmeta is doing on the hardware side, so even if it is not Open Source they deserve a break. Hope it's not another Be in the making though.
  • I know that BBEdit is popular for HTML stuff, but I'm talking about programming stuff.

    BBEdit is good for C/C++ as well as HTML. I don't use it personally; I don't have a Mac. But I've seen it do pretty well with C code. It has syntax highlighting, smart indenting, a ctags-like facility to quickly find bits of code, etc, transparent FTP (useful for development on a UNIX machine as well as just web stuff). I don't know what, if anything, it has as far as debugging goes, but for writing code, it definitely has some good features.

  • What I'd really like to get is BeOS R6 running on a dual G4 motherboard, which would be a perfect development platform for Amiga (Tao) Intent. Dual boot with LinuxPPC or MacOSX. Get Sony (who'll probably buy out BeInc) to sponsor Connetix to port Virtual PC (and Virtual Playstation) to this platform, and we've got a box which can utilise one G4 for emulation and the other for running native apps. Drooooooooool.

  • What is 'success' for Amiga? Some people seem to think it's a return to being the little box that outpaced all the competitors in graphics and sound performance. Others think it's the ability to write really cool software that will enable any box to be the little box that outpaces all the competitors, etc...

    The one point here is that Amiga isn't defining success as being Open Source, or making really cool graphics and sound hardware. They're defining success as finding a way to stay in business, whether or not that matches with the expectations of the old Amiga user base or with the expectations of the current Mac users who say that the Mac is really the best Amiga ever made.

    If you think this is easy, try creating and supporting a hardware/software platform sometime, not just a piece of somebody else's project, and see how far you get. Amiga deserves respect for surviving in its various forms this long, not derision for not being exactly what you want it to be.

  • That's AmigaDE... not AmigaOS, which is going to be PPC-only.

  • It will make you feel at home again?

  • Why would it need to be revolutionay? Does every OS need to aim for worldomination?

    I'm not looking for a revolutionary OS. Just a modern OS run on modern HW with modern Apps. I've been on this quest the last 5+ years and I'm still searching. I've tried Mac, various Linux' (Slackware was neat, the rest sucked), QNX RtP, BeOS. FreeBSD is the one the comes the closest to what I'm looking for, but it's not quite right.

    If Amiga succeed in bringing the OS to inexpensive PPC-MoBo's, implement modern features (like MP) and cater for the community so it once again will have modern Apps and games, that's not 3+ years old, well, then I'll return home and leaving gigabytes of man-pages behind me! ;)

    No, it need not be revolutionary... it just needs to be home!

  • The reason for Amiga Inc. to build OS5 is because Tao's Elate isn't really suited as a stand alone desktop OS. That's where OS5 comes in, it will include stuff like MP, SMP etc..

    AmigaDE will be hosted on OS4.x and integrated into OS5, but it will not *be* OS5.

    Yes, AmigaDE is platform independant, but OS5 is not. And I seriously doubt Amiga Inc. have the resources to support more than one platform for OS5.

  • How log has the Amiga really been dead anyways (and this is NOT a flame) ? At least 15 years ago, for all intents and purposes.

    15 years ago it was just about been released, so I'd think that your estimate is a bit over the top. ;) About 7 or 10 years would be closer to the mark.

    There's actually a bit of new commercial software still released for it btw, although in amounts that are rather far less than for the current platforms.

  • I wonder why they are developing 3D support for Voodoo3 and G450; the former is rather old, and though still reasonably OK performance-wise, it's disappearing. G450 is more recent, has good image quality and dualhead capability, but it's exactly the performance leader either. Wouldn't Nvidia products and Radeon products make more sense?

  • Thanks for clarifications. After adding them to my knowledge, the situation and decisions do sound more reasonable. I'd hope that ATI gives them a positive answer at some point, though. ;) At least it certainly wouldn't hurt.

  • I think the Mac (of which I am a user) has about as small a market presence as you can get and still be viable (as a hardware-oriented company)...
  • Why my video toaster/flyer is still BAD ASS? And edits video like a no limit soldier? No, it doesn't. The amiga is STILL ahead of its time as far as that is concerned. My PC with a SHITLOAD more megahertz STILL can't do real time crossfades and what not. The flyer can.
  • What do you want for it? Email me if you like. -b
  • Amen


    A4000 604e/233 and still running. :-)
  • I don't really agree that anything not free/open is
    evil and must absolutely fail. I believe there is a place
    for both free/open software and proprietary stuff.
    Besides, there's always AROS which is what this guy
    asks for, an open AmigaOS clone that even runs on
    x86 hardware.

    I've used Linux. I've tried QNX. I use Solaris at work.
    I can't stand Windows. Guess what I use at home? My old
    Amiga A4000T, which was manufactured over two years AFTER
    Commodore went bankrupt. It's simply the most pleasant platform
    I've ever used, and regardless of what people consider dead
    or not, I'll use it until it won't turn on anymore. After that
    happens, I'll be using the new motherboard due for release
    soon. (Using the standard Mac ZIF modules to have a speedy CPU,
    pretty darn spiffy idea there... And I don't care if it costs
    more than an x86 PC hardware - I already have one of those
    and rarely use it.)

  • Amigas rocked. My A500 with a 512MB upgrade chip used to whip the butts of the 286s & 386s of the time. So many colours. Such vibrant sound. And ... just smooth.
    I can see a nice little niche market here. Linux's real-time processing isn't up to scratch yet for stuff like hard disk recording, and I wouldn't mind pissing off my Windows partition if I could find a Cakewalk lookalike for the Amiga. Oh yeah, I'd have to wait for Wine to install Office into a non-windows setup. And then ... I'd be set.
    My only fear is that there isn't a large enough market to support another OS with Linux and OS-X talking up the Windows-haters. But I would LOVE for it to happen. Where are the apps? (that hurt)
  • Excellent, new PowerPC hardware to run LinuxPPC on. :-)


  • Well, your entertaining metaphors aside, what exactly are you losing out of some developers trying to resurrect the Amiga?

    If some people want to do something, no matter how stupid, it is no skin off of your nose, right? Unless you fear that Amiga will be the monopoly OS of the next couple decades, which doesn't look likely.

    And also, how do you know that the Amiga wants to die? Did it look into your eyes with a look of longing for release from the life support unit is attached to? I would argue that any OS advanced enough to have and express emotions about its own destiny definitly deserves to be kept in development ;)

  • sheesh... as IF Mac OS X were for lamebrains like yourself! Don't look now, but the overwhelming majority of Mac users has always been the creative, literate type... you dolt.
  • Hmmm... Where's the reasoning for the death of the Amiga OS? All I see here is some heavy praise for a completely seperate OS. For all the claims that we should be supporting as many alternative development efforts as possible, it strikes me as odd that this post, which knocks down a possibly promising effort without much in the way of support, would get so highly modded up?

    Perhaps those whom are moderating should really take a look at exactly what they are supporting.

  • I always had a sentimental attitude towards them. It wouldn't bother me (but it IS unlikely) if MS abandons the desktop to devote everything to .NET, and then after it all shakes out, Amiga is there again with a decent system again.

    I wish the guys the best of luck. But, this sounds like a tale of the underside of the programmers' life:

    Olaf Barthel: Probably the same as with 3.5, which is complaining about the things that don't work and then surprisingly ending up doing all the work to resolve the issues I don't see anybody else finding the time to tackle. That's how I ended up rewriting workbench.library and reimplementing icon.library from scratch, plus taking to fixing a gazillion of other bits and pieces. Believe me, I'd rather have spent my time more productively.

    Amen, but as they say, the devil is in the details

    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [] comic strip

  • If you had a scale with Bill Gate mindset on one side and Richard Stallman's
    on the other, Where would Amiga fall?

    That's the real question!

    Going to extreams:

    Who cares if you have the best product, if you are going to use it as bait to
    trap and abuse the consumer?

    Who'll pitch in to help improve something that is GPL, in order to excape
    the trap and even avoid such a trap all together?

    Where does Steve job fall on this scale (Why has he moved towards the GPL side?)

    And the Amiga Trio (three owners) who most don't know enough about their mindsets
    to have a better idea of where they fall on that scale.

    Those who do, might very well tell you they are much closer to the Bill Gates
    mindset then the Richard Stallamn mindset.

    IN FACT Amiga has said that they intend on following the Bill Gates mindset but
    that they are not going to make the same mistakes. They have even hired a former
    MS employee, I believe for the marketing division.

    IS this flame bait?

    NO IT'S FACT! And Some Amiga followers like this direction. Not Me!

    What people need to pay attention to is the mindset of those in control, or they
    may set themselves up for a big dissapointment.

    3 S.E.A.S - Virtual Interaction Configuration (VIC) - VISION OF VISIONS!
  • I absolutely agree Richard. I'm using an Amiga right now, but my concious tells me I should be using a free OS (which I do also incidentally). I use to pride myself on my Amiga usage, not because of the OSs technical prowess, but because I was exercising my right to choose - I felt free from the shackles of corporate OSs. However, it has become apparent that the AmigaOS is now no different in this regard considering the recent developments. Bizarrely, I preferred it when the Amiga had no future. However, as another poster has said, there is an effort to reimplement the AmigaOS in order to achieve this freedom. It is called AROS, and it looks very promising indeed.
  • I started writing one a couple of years ago, but ran short of time before it was completely done.

    Open Source?
  • What is the point of posts like that? You're comparing a twacky old Amiga (it must have been it was 1994) and a bang up to date G4 with a modern operating system. And your saying the latter is faster! Well no shit, that's a surprise isn't it.

    I'm curious though, did you ever bother to compare a modern Amiga with the modern computer you're using now? While it certainly won't be as fast as the Mac, you don't need steroids to account for the difference in performance - more like a bottle of multi-vitamins.
  • DE is only one "product" in the McEwan's pantheon. The AmigaOS is still being developed - which was the whole point of the interview if you care to read it.

    In case you misunderstand, AmigaOS is not the same as AmigaDE.
  • You really need to expose yourself to more up to date news. Future development of the OS has been roadmapped up to version 5. Any references you may have heard about the OS being dropped has since been superseded.
  • With so many people now abandoning BeOS, they will need a home. And the Amiga looks to be a home for all the orphaned Be users.
    IIRC a lot of Amiga people moved to BeOS over the years, as BeOS promised a lot of what they liked about the Amiga but on new hardware and with more modern OS features. I think some (probably less than half) will look to move back to Amiga, as that claims to be offering all that they moved to BeOS for, but most will probably just stick on with an undeveloped and unsupported OS, exactly as they did with Amiga for at least another 3 years.

    "God hates me."
  • Uh, no that's AmigaOS (4.0 - 4.5) which will be PPC only. As far as I can tell there is no plan to shift away from PPC for AmigaOS5, which will be an entirely new system (4.0 - 4.5 will be a port of OS3.9 to PPC gradually whilst adding new feature sets in, Virtual Memory, new GFX subsystems, MESA API etc etc) However even on the Amiga sites the arguement runs as to whether OS5 is to be hardware indpendant, as it fully and seamlessly integrates the DE package.

    AmigaDE is a platform independant system which can run hosted on a bunch of OS' (Linux, PalmOS, WinCE, Win32) and uses Tao Groups VP technology for fast binary compatibility.

    Check Amiga Inc. [] for a press-release type announcement, but the tech update is quite well done (enough info without too much development tech -that stuff can go in the developers section of the site)

    "God hates me."

  • 512MB upgrade chip? wow!

    Seriously I loved Amigas - the hardware and OS was fantastic for the time. I think the current equivalent is probably OSX, I hope to get a mac soon :)
  • I completely sympathize with you and understand your views. I felt kinda the same way 4 years ago when I still used an Atari Falcon030. But then I got a job involving Windows software development, and had to buy a PC and learn the Win32 API etc.etc.
    You're lucky to have a job where you work with your favorite system, and I can only wish you all the luck. It's all a matter of doing was is fun. After all our jobs is what takes up most of our time in life, so it might as well be fun.
    I loved my Atari, but I guess in the end it suffered a greater blow than the Amiga.
    Anyway, I wish all you Amiga developers all the best of luck in the world. There can _never_ be too many alternatives outthere - it is the diversity and ambidexterity of the computer world that spawns new ideas or new ways of looking at the same problem.
    I am actually quite shocked to hear Linux-users, Mac-users etc. be so harsh towards e.g. the Amiga, afterall Linux and Mac are partly based on the same views - that the world needs alternatives! So stop biggering and embrace all the couragious people that still have the guts to pull stunts like this!

    "Change is life. Stability is lifelessness."
  • by Cirvam ( 216911 )
    Wow, the last person in the interview wasn't too knowlegable. Or were the questions tailered to the other respondents?
  • by tmark ( 230091 ) on Saturday May 12, 2001 @07:39PM (#226641)
    but I wonder if Amiga can ever really succeed, what with the continued promises, delays, rearrangements, direction changes ...

    How log has the Amiga really been dead anyways (and this is NOT a flame) ? At least 15 years ago, for all intents and purposes. The fact that it has eked out an existence for this long in its little niche seems to be to make the best case for long term survival. Heck, I've been predicting the demise for Apple in the next year, for 15 years now, and finally have to concede it will survive.

  • paint shop pro 3
  • Hmm. I don't remember if v3 had circle tools or not. Latest version (7.0) has circle tools and much more, but I would prefer the simplicity of v3 though.
  • That would explain why the prevue channel will crash at my house sometimes, the video is fine but the listings just repeats the AT&T (bleh) logo.
  • by rknop ( 240417 ) on Saturday May 12, 2001 @08:06PM (#226645) Homepage

    How log has the Amiga really been dead anyways (and this is NOT a flame) ? At least 15 years ago, for all intents and purposes.

    That's an overestimate. It may have been fading 11 years ago, but Commodore didn't go belly up until less than 10 years ago. I'd say that up to and through the introduction of the A4000 (which was something like 1992), the Amiga was an alive and viable, if niche machine. 15 years ago, the A3000 hadn't even come out yet, and there is something to be said to the argument that the A3000 was the "best" Amiga that was ever released. (The A4000 was clearly a more advanced machine, but it was behind the curve when it came out, whereas the A3000 was still ahead of the curve.)

    Mind you, I still have an A3000. I almost never use it any more, but up until less than 1 year ago, I still used it reasonably regularly. There was more "life" in the Amiga after it was dead than there are in a lot of machines. However, since Commodore went under, there's been very little other than hope to sustain Amiga users. For a long time, the rebirth was "just around the corner." This company, then the other, was going to renew the Amiga. After about six iterations of that, even I finally gave up. Sure, there have been advances (OS patches, 68060 accelerator boards, PPC accelerator boards, even some software advances), but it's been limping since C= went under, and nothing has renewed it since then.

    If a new company comes out with something amazing that succeeds under the name "Amiga," it really will at this point be only the name that is the same. The down period has been too long for any real sort of continuity. As such, I have to admit that I'm no longer really that interested, and won't be unless what comes out is truly amazing on its own terms.


  • Anybody want an Amiga 2000 (with much software)? I haven't used it in about 3 years and have been meaning to find a new home for it.
  • It would be nice to see exactly the same post with 'amiga' swapped with 'windows'... well maybe in another decade or so...
  • ...they come up with a truly revolutionary OS. We already have a glut of OSes out there, what with MacOS, BeOS, Windows, UNIX, Linux and a bunch of other free and proprietary OSes. The world does not give a rat's ass about another me-too operating system. Unless a new OS is several orders of magnitude better than what's already out there, it's doomed.

    The only way a new OS can be orders of magnitude better than the others is for it to solve long standing problems with software systems. What are the biggest problems in the software industry right now? We all know that software sucks. It sucks because it breaks down all the time and takes too damn long to develop. Does AmigaOS offer a solution to either of these problems? Answer: no.

    The Amiga OS development team has only one consolation. All the other OSes suck just as much as theirs. The other OSes have an enormous advantage though. They are already accepted by a sizable fraction of the OS market. Can anyone tell me how many people around the world are thinking of buying an Amiga?

    You got to hand it to the Amiga team though. They are true believers.
  • Yeah! i thought it was just me.

    This J. Haage guy gave 4 N/As, 1 "I can't answer this",1 "please ask amiga why" and 2 normal non-politician answers.

    Worth publishing? No. Worth slashdotting? Definitly not.

  • The amiga was never a toy - tools like lightwave 3d on the Amiga in 94 were unmatched in the PC Environment.

    3D Studio was a toy by comparison - sure you have a 3000$ PC, but 3DS was almost 3000 dollars too and its harder to use.

    Plus you have no animation tools (something the PC still lacks in big time) like ADPro or ImageFX.

  • Mind you, I still have an A3000. I almost never use it any more, but up until less than 1 year ago, I still used it reasonably regularly.

    I'm in the same boat, except I still use my Amiga 1200 (as a dumb terminal I must say, but why waste perfectly functional hardware...).

    The Amiga was a great machine. I learnt to program C on the Amiga, and learnt a lot from it's design. The API wasn't all that abstracted so it basically taught me all those silly things like linked lists and stacks and semaphores and GUI design etc etc. By the time I got to university I basically knew all the first year course material - from programming on the Amiga. I scoffed at all those using pee-cees as I viewed pc's as inferior (which at the time, I still reckon is true). Gradually though (the Amiga/Commodore crumbled in my first year at uni) I made the pilgramage over to IBM/PC, for many reasons, but mostly because my course required it. I hated the PC. I hated Windows 3.11 and laughed at it's stupid interface and lack of multitasking (true multitasking). It all seemed so, I dunno, "kludgy". I spent most of my time in DOS, and even wrote my own GUI for use on top of DOS (I was so adamant that I wouldn't use Windows).

    Around about 1996 I discovered this thing called Linux (yggdrasil dist). I looked at the poorly packaged cd-rom, and the "looked like home typewritten" with(iirc) a picture of some da-vinci painting on the cover manual, and decided to give it a go.

    Well, guess what... I suddenly didn't mind so much that I was using this PC hardware. Suddenly I was in a place kinda Amiga'ish... I had all the source code, the system wasn't closed up and locked behind iron bars. I had a "hacker box" once again. Never looked back. I sometimes fire up UAE and remeniss (sp?) but that's about all. I don't expect a return of the Amiga (and if it does it will be in name only), but for it's time it was IMO a revolution; a slick GUI, multi-tasking and it felt like power under my fingers. But that time is gone, and I don't really want my memories tainted by some new "Amiga" that will never truly be Amiga.
  • You're right about the FP shoot-em-ups, but that was a limitation of the hardware of the time. The Amiga used "bit-planes" to form colours. Basically the processing required to break up colour values into seperate bits and shove them into the seperate bit-planes pretty much was the only technical reason the Amiga could not have FP shoot-em-ups (at the time Wolfenstein3d). If the Amiga hardware had "chunky pixels" i.e. "This pixel at x,y has a value of 213" then FP games would have been possible. IIRC the next generation of Amiga h/ware was supposed to support chunky pixels, but C= folded before we ever saw it.
  • I haven't seen an Amiga since before high school, and that was many many moons ago.

    No, wait, I saw the insides of one once sitting on a shelf at one of my old jobs... complete with 486 add-on board...

    "I'm not dead yet! I don't want to go in the cart! I feel happy!"

  • Try codewarrior [] from metrowerks [] which is good for Mac OS 9. But Mac OS X actually comes with a CD of Development tools.
  • by foonf ( 447461 ) on Saturday May 12, 2001 @08:50PM (#226655) Homepage
    From what has been said of it, the amigaone board is basically a relatively pc-like board with pci slots, usb, etc., except that it uses a PPC. It seems like this is exactly what is needed as a linux platform, that is, a standards-based, non-apple, ppc motherboard. If its anything like they say, this thing might very well be my next linux box.
  • True, all those BeOS users may wind up looking for a home, but if they didn't amount to enough users to sustain Be, how will they sustain Amiga?

    Some guy once put it that way: "The Amiga as its lowest point always was way above BeOS at its highest." Yes, it is "stupid OS war" quote and stuff, but nevertheless quite fitting.

    Consequently, who cares about the BeOS dudes? They are even more irrelevant than Amigoids, and they never even had a past.

    They early BeBox was cool, after that it just became in a "Unix with arse and tits" without much to distinguish itself from others. Enter lots of fossilzed geeks who don't do anything else than porting fossilized Unix code, and the "arse and tits" part almost vanishes.

    This didn't happen on the classic Amiga because it was too different. There is ixemul.library, there is GeekGadgets [], but it's mostly developer tools for quick'n'dirty ports (which is of course cool). Hence, the classic Amiga stayed something of it's own, not unlike MacOS before X.

  • The problem with the amiga is that it is not free software. Many years ago it was an excellent system (technically), but once it's corporate overlords were unable to maintain it, it quickly became obsolete.

    The only way to save it now is to release it under a GNU license to permit it to be moved to more modern machines. If this had been done originally, the loyal user base would have moved it to more modern systems and it would be thriving today. But by locking themselves into a proprietary system, they ensured their own downfall.

    The best thing that amiga fans can hope for now is to fall in love with a truly free system like GNU/Linux or GNU/Hurd which they can become involved with. With a free system, they can take the future in their own hands and make sure that this does not happen to them again.

  • OK, I'm not trying to flamebait here. This is a serious question, and I'd like a well-thought & reasoned answer: Why??? Who cares??? What will Amiga 4 do that no other existing OS can do? How can it do it better? What, besides nostalgia, is the fucking point?
  • If you consider the big picture of the current OS environment, you see that microsoft is succeeding in getting the normal people of the world to buy their stuff. I'm not talking servers here, I'm talking desktops. Linux can fend for itself on the server, but ask pretty much any smoe who uses windows for general purposes to switch to Linux and remain at the same productivity level and you might have an issue. MacOS is good but it's tied to the hardware so I can't use it, can you? BeOS has abandoned ship. Atheos will work but needs alot of things to succeed. In general, to succeed in the desktop OS marketplace, you need a combination reliable office software + hardware support + usability + easy to use multimedia software + somewhat brainless operation + games. Microsoft has all of these, Linux, MacOS, Beos, etc. doesn't. AmigaOS, although slightly dated, has a viable degree of all of those. Frankly, as a normal person, you can get work done easily on Windows. AmigaOS you can't now with speed, but you will. I don't own an Amiga, but I will purchase an AmigaOne. I am a programmer as well, and I will probably program for it as well. Look at the big picture of where various OSs are going and you will see that AmigaOS has one of the most innovative plans to get into the desktop arena. Better that any company I've seen other than MS. I believe they can do it. None of us can say they won't because (1) there's a hint of bias in everyone and (2) no one whose posted here (including myself) has seen all the NDA'd plans and betas that Amiga is preparing. Recommendation: be skeptical that's fine, but if it shows up, embrace it as one of the few viable MS alternatives.
  • I always thought that god was in the small details. But anyway, I'm not complaining. The level of commitment to such comparatively 'small' undertakings as breathing life into an operating system that seems to have outlived its hardware base, its parent companies and mainstream user base is often surprising, if not outright crazy. I guess we all know what that leads to, and it can be hard on all the people involved. It is not a financially rewarding task, quite risky, and the level of public support you get is somewhere between pity and complete lack of understanding. Part of the Amiga mystery is that in spite of this negative feedback loop, people are still taking the Amiga serious rather than placing it solely in the realm of nostalgia.

System checkpoint complete.