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PPC Amigas Go On Sale 436

nastyphil writes "After a wait of almost 10 years and passing through a series of owners' hands, new Amiga hardware is on sale. G4 processors at up to 800 Mhz. Development of AmigaOS 4.0 has been continuing at a steady pace by Hyperion and will be ready for release early 2003."
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PPC Amigas Go On Sale

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  • by saihung ( 19097 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @05:06AM (#4615260)
    I'm only interested if they rename the PPC chip "Even Fatter Agnus".
    • by Jace of Fuse! ( 72042 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @05:18AM (#4615294) Homepage
      I'm only interested if they rename the PPC chip "Even Fatter Agnus".

      Agnus was just a memory controller and blitter (Block Information Transfer Chip), with extra hardware to control the CopperLists (Coprocessor Instructions for such things as Colour Register manipulation and handling of sprites).

      Agnus was replaced by the Fat Agnus which could allocate 1 meg of ChipRam (Video/Sound memory - memory that could be access by Denise and Paula).

      Later, Agnus was replaced by Super Fat Agnus, which could allocate a full 2 megs of Chipram.

      Finally Agnus was replaced with Alice, the AGA version, and Denise was placed with Lisa.

      There would be no reason to call the processor by any name other than it's own. And since the new Amiga design does not have a truely Custom Chipset in old Amiga fashion, this new Amiga isn't truely an Amiga in anything other than name.

      Very sad indeed that they're praying on the hopes of the few remaining Amiga fans. I would support this platform by both switching over to it and developing for it, but the hardware is only so-so at best and the OS is obsolete before even being completed.

      If they want me back, they're going to have to do a whole lot better than this.
      • To be quite honest, this: "OS is obsolete before even being completed" Seems to be a very telling statement when finding out what's wrong with current opinion on non-Windows OS's. If Linux distro's consolidated and improved the core of what they had rather than bolting on new whizzbang stuff they'd have got a lot further than the hotch potch of usability they have now. I'm not saying this OS is any better or worse than any particular Linux OS. But slating it because it's not high tech enough is a little silly.
    • I'm only interested if they rename the PPC chip "Even Fatter Agnus".

      That would be "Rubenesque Agnes" or perhaps "BBW Agnes"

  • GUI (Score:4, Insightful)

    by selderrr ( 523988 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @05:10AM (#4615270) Journal
    not to insult anyone or disrespect the work of the OS authors, but the interface is BUTT UGLY. My neighboors donkey poops better gooey than this stuff.

    On a G4 there surely has to be another OS with better interface. I vaguely recall something... Can't remember. I'll ask the donkey.
    • Re:GUI (Score:5, Informative)

      by nicomen ( 60560 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @05:41AM (#4615373) Homepage
      I'm going to disappoint you, but the GUI _is_ adjustable just like AmigaOS GUI always has been.

      Those screenshots with brown, blue, green and whatnot is the preferences of that specific developer's computer. Actually those screenshots aren't even of an AmigaOne PPC. It's PPC version of Workbench running on a classic 68kAmgia with a PPC-card in it.

      Beware though, according to this interview with Ben Hermans [], Hyperion (makers of OS4.x) there will be more Intuition (Workbench) screenshots soon.

    • Re:GUI (Score:3, Interesting)

      by e8johan ( 605347 )
      I take it that you don't use amiwm []. I actually used this windows manager a few years back (before KDE and Gnome). It has a great retro feel!
    • Re:GUI (Score:2, Funny)

      by VirexEye ( 572399 )
      The GUI thinks you are ugly too.
    • Re:GUI (Score:3, Informative)

      by Mike Bouma ( 85252 )
      Actually these are just some preview screenshots by some AmigaOS programmers demonstrating some OS functionality. The are some great graphics artists doing their best for the platform as well, and soon (probably within a week) you will see new AmigaOS4 screenshots, likely reflecting this.

      Note however that the GUI can be fully customized to suit the taste of the user. Similar but more advanced as you can currently do with classic AmigaOS. Here [] you can view some examples of what can be done with the GUI with even the classic AmigaOS.
      • doh. That's the same ugly interface, but with hot chix on the desktop wallpaper...

        When the GUI allows to replace ugly shades of green with ugly shades of pink, you guys freak out like it's a work of art. Windows does exactly the same shit since 95 and there you'll barf it an ugly OS. I see NOTHING in AmigaOS that is better looking than windows.

        Note to moderators (always talk to moderators. If not, they feel insulted and mod you down) : I'm strictly talking GUI here, not the guts of the OS. The article talked bout kewl gui, and I'd like to correct that. AmigaOS GUI is birdypoop IMHO. In the attic. With a fork.
        • Re:GUI (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mdwh2 ( 535323 )

          When the GUI allows to replace ugly shades of green with ugly shades of pink, you guys freak out like it's a work of art ... The article talked bout kewl gui, and I'd like to correct that. AmigaOS GUI is birdypoop IMHO

          There's more to a GUI than simply how it looks. Interfaces aren't intended to be hung up on your wall and looked at, they're there to be used.

          Of course I don't know what the article was referring to when it talked of a "kewl GUI", but there are some little (but important) things that I like about AmigaOS (compared with Windows, at least).

          For example, menus at the top of the screen rather than attached to each window (which is important because it means you can access them quickly just by shooting the mouse to the top of the screen, rather than having to click in a small area).

          Additionally, thanks to toolkits such as MUI and Reaction, there seems to be a lot more Amiga programs whose interfaces are automatically resizeable; you resize the window, and everything inside automatically resizes in a sensible manner. Of course other platforms can do this too, though my experience with Windows[1] is that it is less common. I feel like screaming everytime I see a window that has some too small GUI item like a text box, and then find it won't let me resize the window.. I suspect that a lot of the reason for this is that it's easier for the programmer to create fixed interfaces, especially with "Visual" languages; the aforementioned Amiga GUI toolkits otoh are designed so that the windows will always be resizeable, unless you explicitly forbid it.

          [1] Windows is now my main OS, before anyone suggests I have little experience of it;)

  • by MalleusEBHC ( 597600 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @05:10AM (#4615272)
    Well, as a bit of a Mac zealot, at least now I know that my kind aren't nearly the most fanatical people using PPC these days.
  • Several Amigas (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nicomen ( 60560 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @05:11AM (#4615273) Homepage
    FYI: This is the official PPC Amiga (AmigaOne) backed up by Amiga Inc. I'm looking forward to OS4 is finished, the presentation at the WOASE show last weekend was promising.

    And even if the box could run Mac OS X, Apple doesn't allow it as stated in their EULA.

    (There are other PPC based computers claiming to be Amiga-compatible (Pegasos))
    • No Amigas (Score:5, Informative)

      by Seehund ( 86897 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @10:10AM (#4616117) Homepage Journal
      This "story" is horribly misleading, it's almost as if somebody made a cut-n-paste from the Eyetech marketing...

      No, there are no "new Amigas." No, nobody will make any "new Amigas."

      Hardware has no longer got anything to do with anything "Amiga."

      Once upon a time (almost two years ago), the UK Amiga shop Eyetech became "hardware partners" of the new company "Amiga Inc." They were to provide actual new PPC Amiga hardware, and contracted the German firm Escena [] to design it. This failed. I'm sure those "AmigaOne 1200/4000" motherboards are still praised somewhere on the horribly outdated web site.

      Instead, AmigaOS 4 and newer will run on third party PPC hardware. That could of course have been fantastic news, but for some reason Eyetech, as a thank you for services not rendered and already being a "partner," got to invent a compulsory hardware-licensing scheme [].

      In order to see AmigaOS run on a piece of hardware, a hardware vendor has to:
      • Get a license from Amiga Inc., both for himself and his hardware.
      • Become an AmigaOS vendor, distribute AmigaOS together with his hardware and provide software support.
      • Apply some form of hardware-license verification mechanism, a dongle, to his hardware.

      AmigaOS will NOT be sold separate from hardware.

      Not very surprisingly, Eyetech is the only distributor that has accepted Amiga Inc's and Eyetech's rules. They are now distributing Mai Logic's Teron CX [] and Teron PX [] POP motherboards under the trademarks "AmigaOne SE" and "AmigaOne XE" respectively. (NB: the 4 figure price listed on Mai's Teron CX page is for a developer board including unlimited dev tech support, they sell their commercial version for $500). The market for the exact same hardware is split up into one microscopic "for AmigaOS" part and one "for everyone else" part.

      If you're interested in AmigaOS, you're not allowed to buy it. You have to buy a new Teron board via the sole Amiga Inc-licensed hardware distributor Eyetech. You aren't allowed to buy a board cheaper directly from Mai. A very easily made port to other POP boards like e.g. the Pegasos, or to (in comparison) cheaply and abundantly available PowerMacs can't happen until someone decides to become an Amiga Inc licensee and AmigaOS distributor, and renames the hardware to "Amiga."

      In one blow, AmigaOS by default lost every possible hardware option on the planet, except for the "licensed" one.

      "Why do they not want to sell AmigaOS?" you ask. Who knows. Amiga Inc is a newly formed company that has nothing to do with AmigaOS (and certainly nothing to do with any hardware), their interest lies in selling their "content engine" AACE/AmigaDE to PDA and mobile phone vendors, and distributing third party developers' little games for that thing. Apparently, and judging from their silence in response to e.g. this petition [] from AmigaOS fans, they seem to just not care as long as they get some licensing cash from a few Teron boards sold to trademark fanatics. The only apparent beneficiary of this damn ludicrous mess is the sole licensed hardware distributor, Eyetech. Hyperion [], the company that has taken over AmigaOS development, has repeatedly stated that they themselves naturally are interested in seeing AmigaOS run on as much hardware as possible, and since AmigaOS no longer is tightly coupled to custom chips or something like that, the HAL is very easily portable.

  • Mmmmmm Amiga! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jamesjw ( 213986 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @05:14AM (#4615282) Homepage
    Cool news!

    If only now they'd release Lotus Turbo Esprit Challenge 2 with TCP/IP multiplayer for it!

    Definately one of the cooler games for the amiga way back when...

    Cant see it happening though :(

    • Lotus Turbo Esprit Challenge 2 with TCP/IP multiplayer

      I think I just had an orgasm... *stares at the big Lotus Esprit Turbo SE poster above his bed as a reminder of his fascination with the aforementioned game*

  • what does this mean? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zorikin ( 49410 ) < minus herbivore> on Thursday November 07, 2002 @05:19AM (#4615299)
    The prospect of being able to buy an inexpensive PPC system from another vendor (besides apple, et al), is great news in purely technical terms - it's another option for replacing legacy x86 hardware, for example - but what are the broader implications?

    Will there be enough interest in PPC-based platforms for a consumer PPC market to take off? In what areas does PPC in general (as opposed to MacOS, AmigaOS or LinuxPPC in particular) offer signifigant benefits? Apple has certainly found their own way of using this architecture, but I'm sure we all remember Power Computing ...
  • by Alsee ( 515537 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @05:21AM (#4615303) Homepage
    I wonder when they're coming out with the new Vic-20?

    • I wonder when they're coming out with the new Vic-20?

      Be careful what you wish for... The CommodoreOne [] is already in development. Individual Computers (makers of the Catweasel, featured on /. a few days ago) has signed on to sell the board when it goes into production.

      I still can't believe /. didn't accept the story about this when I submitted it. I mean, it's a new C=64 being developed by one cute Electrical Engineer (see bottom of page) []
  • by zeendr ( 621380 )
    A new Amiga is, of course, a very cool thing but the question is where are the games. A new platform isn't going to be succesful without tons of games.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    On the Amiga 1000 I have waiting in my closet? It doesn't need a harddrive, I hope. How many floppies, I wonder?
  • by elbobo ( 28495 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @05:33AM (#4615344)
    Somewhat off topic, but I've been getting a charmingly interesting user agent string in my apache logs lately, (which has the magical ability to segfault my stats engine, webalizer).

    that string would be:
    tSi Mozilla/5_EXPERIMENTAL (AOS4.1 ALPHA; PPC)

    Amiga OS 4.1 Alpha? hrm. Is this string fake? 4.1 when 4.0 isn't out yet?
  • Do we need this?! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jezza ( 39441 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @05:34AM (#4615351)
    Is it just me, or does anyone else thing we really need this? The original Amiga was a strange beast, originally developed as a pure games machine, then retooled as a "business computer" it had the genlock device (video could be pumped through and mixed with the machines graphics). It was always an "odd" machine. And I guess that's why these people love it, how can you categorise it? Good at games, useful for video and able to do things like DTP, it was very exciting as a machine.

    Now I don't know about everyone else, but I for one get a bit bored these days - machines are dull - really dull. Sure they have whizzbang new CPUs and there are some amazing graphics cards, but they don't quite capture the excitement of those earlier machines.

    I for one am glad to see the Amiga haul itself out of the past, maybe it's nostalgia, but whatever if these things can help capture any of the excitement of the Amiga1000 or the Amiga2000 (you could put a PC card in one of those - so you really could "have your cake and eat it") then this will be worthwhile.

    Sure I don't think the PC is going to become an endangered species or that this thing will even make much impression over the Mac, but does it have to? If they can make a profit out of these and a few nostalgic geeks can have some fun, it all sounds good to me.

    I for one need some excitement!
    • Re:Do we need this?! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by nicomen ( 60560 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @05:55AM (#4615401) Homepage
      The Amiga users have been asking for a PPC Amiga for years. Sure, in the meantime most Amiga applications have been outdated (although not all). In addition it's not that difficult to port stuff to the Amiga either.

      My point here being, if we want a new Amiga can't you just let us have it? I'm starting to get a bit frustrated over all those "Amiga is Dead", "Let it rest in peace" that constantly hits the comment section when something new Amiga-related has arrived.

      Using an Amiga on a 68060 processor is as a matter of fact much more responsive than any Linux or Windows or OSX computer I've used (graphical interface that is). The only ones competitive in speed and fast look'n'feel must be OS9 or BeOS which both are pretty dead. And don't give me the OBOS etc. speach...

      Nicolas Mendoza
      • by fstanchina ( 564024 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @06:31AM (#4615494) Homepage
        The point is, the Amiga is not dead (and I have an A3000/68040 in perfectly good shape on my desk to back that up), but it hasn't evolved for more than 10 years and this new toy is the proof: it's just standard PC hardware with a PowerPC CPU. Nothing in there remotely resembles the Amiga hardware. You might as well spend the same money on an Athlon + modern mobo + lots of memory and get far superior performance; if you really want some Amiga feeling from time to time, just install UAE.

        What defined the Amiga was the integration between the OS and the hardware. The OS alone on standard hardware doesn't make much sense IMHO: Linux or *BSD or, hell, even Windows is better these days. I don't know what hardware does currently offer something like the extreme multimedia capabilities of the original Amiga hardware+software because I'm not interestad in that kind of stuff, but certainly it's not standard PC hardware. I guess you would have to buy a Silicon Graphics or something like that.
        • Re:Do we need this?! (Score:3, Interesting)

          by GregWebb ( 26123 )
          I've had this discussion many times on the various Amiga lists over the years. I started out with your position.

          The problem, though, is that there's so many hardware companies out there making the new stuff that no independent custom solution could hope to compete.

          The OS, on the other hand, still has heaps of cool features. That really nice shell, easily modifiable startup sequences. Twin state icons with proper information backing them up. Really nice handling of devices, libraries, fonts and so on. Datatypes. I could go on...

          The hardware, done now, isn't a sensible dream. The OS is. So, for those who liked the OS, why not try that? If that doesn't appeal to you then no matter.
      • Well I couldn't agree more - there are far too few platforms at present, it's a bad situation. BeOS looked really exciting, and it's a shame that it's lost (on the desktop) I do hope one of the projects to rework it can comeup with something as interesting as the original. (Of course it's not actually totally lost, it seems Palm OS 6 will be heavily influenced by the BeOS).

        So I'd like to see Amigas like the old ones, exciting and different, but as capable (well ideally, more so) as modern PCs. There seems to be no reason this can't happen - and this is an important second step (the first being the original developer boards).
    • The Amiga is dead and buried. I suspect there is still a market for Amiga products however because there is a hardened core of fanatics who won't accept reality or make their life easier by accepting the fact and moving on.

      Personally I had an Amiga for five years and was all set to buy an A4000 when Commodore hiked the price. I'm glad they did since it allowed me to snap out it and buy a PC instead. I did love my Amiga and it taught me valuable lessons, including a love for the command line, but its day and been and gone. Commodore blew it big time. Besides, moving to the PC meant I could play with OS/2 2.1 and Linux and these were just as much fun.

      Nowadays I fire up UAE if I want to run an Amiga. I see no point in a new PPC version.

  • Amiga to create games and other content for Microsoft Windows for Smartphone 2002 Software

    The triangle: Amiga, Microsoft, Sendo. Here's a related article []. I thought I would state it as obviously there are many people who care whether they are supporing Microsoft by buying something or not :))

  • Great news, but... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I think the better place for an Amiga OS system -nowadays- would be into some embedded or portable hardware. The core system was (and I believe still is) very responsive, say near realtime, and small; no protected or virtual memory is required to have it working. In the Ol' days half a meg (0.5 Mb) was enough to run the system, the desktop and some good programs with absolutely no need for a hard disk.

    Some good development in the right direction would give us the best system ever on PDAs, cellphones, tablet computers, small control systems etc.
  • Dear god... (Score:5, Funny)

    by megaduck ( 250895 ) <[dvarvel] [at] []> on Thursday November 07, 2002 @05:53AM (#4615393) Journal

    ...what a year! Mozilla hits 1.0, Warcraft III is released, Apple makes a rackmount server, and now Amiga finally releases new hardware.

    Hell must be a cold, cold, cold place by now. At this rate, I expect my quantum computer to arrive by Christmas.

  • GUI look (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Coryoth ( 254751 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @05:53AM (#4615395) Homepage Journal
    These days much talk of GUI look and feel is bandied about. I don't know how the new Amiga GUI feels, but it looks awful. Maybe that's the last stage in their design and the whole thing is (hopefully) themeable - we can but hope.

    Otherwise I'm afriad this just isn't going to sell. In the past the feel was the only part that counted because all GUIs were, let's face it, pretty damn ugly. These days however the look of a GUI (given the high powered graphics hardware sported by commodity machines) is actually rather important. Look how much attention OS X garnered solely on it's looks.

    These days you can't afford to have an ugly GUI anymore - sure it can be an option for those people with no aesthetics - you need something that is attractive. I've never understood the people who deride attractive interfaces TBH - I spend 10+ hours a day staring at a computer screen, tell me again why I want it to be merely functional?!

    Sure, if you're taking a serious performance hit for the graphics, then by all means turn them off (as linux kindly allows with it's myriad of window manager and desktop solutions), but these days you should b able to get quite a nice GUI for very little cost.

    here's some snapshots of what my desktop sometimes looks like: screenshots []

    • by Anonymous Coward
      The AmigaOS gui is just fine. The buttons is in the correct places (you don't accidently close a window for example). You don't have to waste desktop space for the menu thanks to the old patent there the menu shows up in the title bar then you presses the right mousebutton. You have screens which works like virtual desktops in X, which means a program can choose if it only wants to have a window or a screen of it's own with only it's own windows in it. Those screens was dragable to and you could actually have a screen with one resolution dragged over another with another resolution on the old Amiga hardware.

      Talking about looks there exists a lot of patches for the old AmigaOS which makes it look good.

      But then again, I don't care that much about looks, i care about comfortability. That's why i use ratpoison as window manager aslong as i don't need a stupid program like gimp which uses a lot of windows. //Hagge@IRCnet
  • Amiga???? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by codexus ( 538087 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @06:09AM (#4615444)
    How can these machines be called Amiga. They have nothing in common with the original Amiga and are just pretty standard and boring PPC machines.

    You might as well put an Amiga sticker on your mac or PC...
    • Re:Amiga???? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Mike Bouma ( 85252 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @06:29AM (#4615490) Homepage
      Actually they do. Let me explain, in 1994 my Amiga was equiped with a cool 4MB Retina BLT Z3 graphic board (1900×1426 8bit 70 Hz or 1024×768 24bit) and 16-bit Toccata soundcard (48KHz).

      The Amiga market was already moving towards 3rd party developed hardware solutions back then, sadly this slowed down due to the unfortunate situation of the time. But fellow Amiga users who only owned standard unexpanded Amigas drooled all over my machine, so I believe more people would have expanded their Amigas with 3rd party hardware solutions, if they could afford it at the time.

      These new Amigas will run a PPC native port of AmigaOS and the hardware is fully licensed, so IMO an Amiga. (BTW Future 3rd party PCI solutions are planned for adding legacy classic Amiga hardware support.)
    • It runs AmigaOS (Score:2, Insightful)

      by nicomen ( 60560 )
      1. Amiga Inc is behind the hardware
      2. Same reason you can call PPC Macs for Macs.
      3. It runs AmigaOS.
  • by Mike Bouma ( 85252 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @06:15AM (#4615461) Homepage
    Here [] you can find a summ up of what has been announced at a recent Amiga show held in the UK. The article includes links to show reports and Audio recording from the presentations done by Amiga Inc, Hyperion and Eyetech.

    Here [] you can read an article which takes a closer look at the AmigaOS4/AmigaOne solution. The article is a couple of months old and does not include the latest informations given at the WoASE show.

    And finally here [] you can find more information about MorphOS/Pegasos, a promising Amiga-like rival system.
  • by Hecatonchires ( 231908 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @06:39AM (#4615521) Homepage

    Under the lid of my A1000 were the signatures of all the developers, molded into the plastic. _That_ was class.

    These people had style. Pity the business model didn't work out.

  • Individual Computers is organizing this year's big German Amiga fair []. The new AmigaOne/AmigaOS4 systems, Pegasos/MoprhOS systems and even a new ATX c64 successor motherboards, called the c-one will be presented at this fair!

    To see what last year's main German Amiga Fair was like, watch this great video coverage []. The upcoming big German Amiga fair will be held on the 7th and 8th of December 2002 at the Eurogress in Aachen.
  • "The Amiga" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jagapen ( 11417 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @07:36AM (#4615639)
    To me, the Amiga was special. It wasn't just a chipset, or an operating system. Indeed, there were the games and the demoscene that banged away at the hardware and made it really perform. There were the digital artists and animators who used the fantastic software of the time to take advantage of the machine's capabilities to create great works. There were electronic music composers galore putting out more MODs than anybody can count. There were the users who adored the multitasking operating system which boosted their productivity and enjoyment. There were the programmers who filled up Aminet with software. There was the desktop video production revolution begun with the Video Toaster. And there was the team of dedicated people designing and building the machine itself. "The Amiga" was a gestalt of all these things; hardware, operating system, and a wonderfully creative, vibrant user community.

    That's dead. I left the Amiga scene four years after Commodore went toes up. It was finally time to go when most of the talented, dynamic people had fled the platform for greener pastures: BeOS, Linux, even Windows. All that was left were the "somebody should" people. Y'know, the people who say "somebody should do X," but do nothing themselves. Well, except for the well-meaning, insane people who would try to run Amiga development companies on a wing and a prayer before collapsing into financial ruin. That reminded me very much of the "ghost dancing" of the plains Indians as they tried to fight a force that was extinguishing their whole way of life.

    All that's left now are some real die-hards who are happy to just now get Quake II, a company that has salvaged the Amiga name from the post-Commodore disaster, and an outdated operating system. This new hardware is a fine thing for those die-hards. It'll give them new hardware, faster machines, and new OS features. It's not enough, though, to even reverse the Amiga Diaspora and bring back all the talent and drive that made for such a rich user community. It's certainly not enough to bring in significant new blood.

    I wish Eyetech luck. I hope they can make a profit on the AmigaOne, that there are enough die-hards to keep it going. I just won't be back, because it's not "the Amiga" anymore.
  • Sync (Score:4, Insightful)

    by olethrosdc ( 584207 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @08:07AM (#4615716) Homepage Journal
    On another note, I remember ALL games on my amiga, no matter wether they were running at 10 or 50fps, had perfect synchronization of input, video display and audio. I know this was made possible because of input, copper and lisa interrupts, (for sound there was also the fact that you could update the sound-playing pointer in two cycles, i.e. there was no mixing buffer that would add latency.) but.. why doesn't it work with Linux? It seems very weird.

    Interrupts also work on the user level - I am not sure how linux works, but a user level program could request to be added to a list of interruptable processes for a specific event. I am not sure how large the latency of an interrupt is, but I think most OSes can manage something below 10ms.

    As for the sound, I find it extremely strange that people use mixing buffers the way they do in current linux games. If you know what is the sample-rate of the audio card and what position of the buffer it is currently reading from you can have SFX with latency that is NOT dependent upon the length of the mix buffer. Simply predict in which memory address you should write to, so that you are just ahead of the audio DMA. (I wouldnt think there are any cards that dont support DMA right now..).

  • a little pricey... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Leimy ( 6717 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @09:08AM (#4615870)
    But you know what... If I had the extra bucks right now I would probably buy one [I am a computer junkie.... ouch my wallet.].

    I believe one of the AmigaOSs was the first true multitasking OS on a PC level system in existence... it would be really interesting to see how far they have come now. Linux PPC can't be all that bad either... perhaps even Darwin runs on these things [or could be made to anyway]
  • by hasse ( 30390 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @10:41AM (#4616347)
    Here are some of the features from the original AmigaOS (now nearly 20 years old) that I still miss in operating systems today:

    The device system. Need to pipe something over TCP/IP? Just use TCP:. Need to open a console for whatever reason. Just use CON:. Etc. etc.

    Full localization of all programs through a library (it still amazes me that programs for Windows are released in different language versions).

    Dynamic size RAM disk, always present. Just copy something to RAM:, and there it is. No more temp files all over the place.

    Revocerable ram disk (RAD). A ram disk that survives booting, and can even be booted from.

    Datatypes. A kind of codec architecture for every kind of file. Programs didn't need to know what a gif file, a jpeg file or a text file was or how to show them on screen. The os could handle that.

    Long filenames from the start. A jpeg picture was always picture.jpeg.

    Fully user patchable. Any os function could be patched with SetPatch. The only reason people have been able to use it up until now (and also a virus writers dream in the old days).

    System wide scripting/IPC with Rexx (ARexx really). All serious programs were fully scriptable with ARexx. Extremely powerful concept.

    Screens. Think of them like virtual desktops. But every program could have one if you wanted. Flipping screens were instantenous and if you dragged them, you could even have split-screen resolutions (although this was more thanks to the hardware).

    A powerfull shell, aswell as a nice intuitive (but not overly, like the Mac) graphic environment. Linux got this. Windows still doesn't.

    These were just some of the features that made AmigaOS a tinkerers dream. Sheer elegance all the way. It saddens me that Linux, with it's monolithic and archaic approach, is the best viable os alternative at the moment. People growing up with computers nowaday have really missed out on something special.
  • mandatory (Score:3, Funny)

    by Lxy ( 80823 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @11:30AM (#4616690) Journal
    Amiga.. the only way a /.'er can get a chick.
  • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Thursday November 07, 2002 @12:25PM (#4617154) Homepage Journal
    Some people are saying there is little reason for this product existing, or that it's just for nostalgia. IMHO, there are actually three different markets for this motherboard (and two of them also apply to the competing bplan/Morphos project):
    • The Amiga name. Some people nostalgically want to see a new machine with the word "Amiga" on it. They'll buy it for the name. (I have trouble identifying with this position.)

      And I guess I'll throw another group into this category: there may be people who have actually been following whatever Fleecy's software team has been doing and think that it's a good idea. (I am very ignorant about this.)

    • Software performance/elegance freaks. Some people want a new platform where they can run a super-light OS. This kind of thing will appeal to some '80s hackers who think that much of the last 10-15 years of the software industry's "progress" has been illusion.

      Why this software goal requires a different hardware platform, is difficult to explain, and is controversial. Maybe the Mac guys can explain it to you. ;-)

      (Some of your Penguinheads might fall into this category, although I think prolonged exposure to the overall Unix environment, can kill this type of thinking. When you start thinking that X11 is a good idea, it's probably too late.)

    • OpenPPC fans. A lot of people, more than just Amigans, wanted the PREP/CHRP/OpenPPC thing started by the Apple/Motorola/IBM alliance a decade ago, to take off. (There are valid motivations for wanting this. Some are rational, and some are irrational.)

      Looking at the prices, I don't think the revolution is here yet. But if it's ever going to start, it has to start somewhere. These projects can possibly create at least some installed base, which may lead to there being a real "cheap PPC" market down the road.

      (Some of you Penguinheads might be in this category as well.)

  • Nostalgia alert! (Score:3, Informative)

    by WebMasterJoe ( 253077 ) <> on Friday November 08, 2002 @01:19AM (#4623233) Homepage Journal
    I moved to the Amiga in 1988, after learning all about BASIC on a C-64. I was only 10 at the time and had a budget of $0 so I relied on my parents for games, demos etc. but there was a users group - two actually, the Latham Amiga Users Group (LAUG) and the Capital District Amiga Users Group (CDAUG).

    I'd tag along with my dad to meetings and we'd get floppy disks from Fred Fish. We had Digi-Paint, which used a b&w camera that could take color images using red, green and blue cellophane - pretty ingenious at the time. Then there was Deluxe Paint III, with animation and animated brushes and tutorials on VHS (I remember creating the bouncing ball demo). I also learned how to use MED (a music editor) and Deluxe Music for writing out scores. These were some real tools that taught you how to be clever. And every application could run off a floppy - with only 20MB of hard disk space you had better be able to run things off floppies.

    Speech synthesis was another wonderful thing - the program I used even made a simple mouth that would animate when it spoke!

    I think the Amiga's crash was the best I've ever seen too - Guru meditations! Somebody at Commodore realized that if they could make you laugh at a crash, the problem wouldn't seem so bad.

    When my dad decided we should take the plunge into PC's, I was disappointed at how far behind they were. Sound cards?? Amigas had built-in sound! Mouse drivers? The Amiga's mouse worked right off the bat! And don't get me started on those damn 8.3 filenames. Windows 3.1 was a beast, and where's the icon for the hard disk? But it had a CD-ROM drive, eight megs of ram (when most new computers had four- we splurged), and hundreds of megabytes of hard disk space. And I knew other people who had PC's - that was important. Now that I'm a Linux user I don't know if I have any needs that an Amiga would fill. I hope I'm wrong.

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra