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Amiga OS Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes 236

First we heard that Amiga's new OS was going to be based on the QNX realtime OS. Then we read that the new Amiga OS would use a Linux kernel, and QNX issued this proclamation. Then Amiga issued this one. Now Zenn sends us a link to this article from BeDope that claims the new Amiga OS will really be based on BeOS. Okay, the BeDope story is a satire, but this Amiga thing has gotten out of hand. Has Amiga really settled on the Linux kernel? I wish they'd make up their minds. I am one of the millions who would (sigh) love to have an Amiga again...
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Amiga OS Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

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  • I really hope they come in and make a truly visionary GUI that blows the whole KDE vs. Gnome vs. Enlightenment thing out of the water.

    And I hope they make it free to code for.

  • I always felt that the classic Amiga architecture was a bunch of proprietary chips named after girls was a strong negative.

    I think the "Gary," "Buster," and "Ramsey" chips might take issue with your blanket statement. :^)

    Then again, if I ever hear my chips verbally complaining... I'll shut off my Amiga and get myself appropriately committed.

  • Ask yourself...

    Q: Which OS is more mature and technologically advanced?

    Q: Which OS has a better GUI architecture?

    Q: What's more important to me: speed + ease of use, or open source?

    Q: If open source is more important to me, is it because I actually contribute to the cause, because I like to spread my religious beliefs around without actually contributing, or I just like to jump on the latest cool bandwagon?

    I think you'll find a suitable argument for QNX in there.

    Open source works. It is a great cause. In times of technology debate, however, I do not accept the RMS-like argument that "you are being immoral by using proprietary sw". I accept the Linus Torvalds argument: he who writes the code chooses the licence and may the best technology win.

    IF the whole point to open source becomes the "community-driven" mandate to use lower-quality (but free!) applications and operating systems, I fear the rapid growth we've seen in our area will come to a screetching halt. Linux has succeeded in the mainstream thus far because it actually HAS surpassed many proprietary OS's in terms of features & overall stability. To believe that ALL oss projects will turn out that way is surely a very naive view.
  • They're using Intel CPUs just to get their OS off the ground. Developing on Intel x86 architechture is extremely cost efficient, with the general computer market being just saturated with x86 stuff at ridiculously competitive prices.

    Final release of this "Next Generation" Amiga will not be x86 based. Amiga Inc. has stated this categorically. Whether x86 versions will come by later, or if the x86 betas are just cleaned up and released down the road, remains to be seen. But AmigaNG isn't gonna be no IntelBox.

  • hmm....I thought they were going to use CP/M...
  • You make the assumption that Amiga will require modifications to the Linux kernel. While it is true that the GPL would require them to release kernel changes to the community, it is not true that they would have to release all of their software, since presumeably their UI, utilities, etc will all be user-land. No GPL restrictions there (unless they did something stupid like link against GPL'd libraries).

  • Heh.

    The Amiga2000 was released in the 80s. I shudder when I hear any Y2K-like references to the Amiga worded that way, as it reminds me of the Amiga2000 that is currently rotting away under my desk (upon which my Amiga4000 sits).


  • There are many Amiga retailers out there that still do a pretty good business in Amigas sales and service. If you want to get your hands on an Amiga (probably cheap too), it would be worth your while to give one of them a shout.

    Take a look at the online database at National Amiga [] in Canada. Gives you a flavour for what's still out there.

  • >It's amigaOS 3.0
    Came out early 90`s
    >"It will be a PPC"!
    PPC add on cards have been available for nearly two years.
    >a great new company
    I take it you have never heard of Gateway then ;)

    >Amiga is dead forever. Just forget it.
    That may be the case but look at the number of posts on the subject in the last four days 800 for three stories.

  • QNX is proprietary, it is not a Unix clone, and you cannot get the source code.

    On the other hand, it consists of a number of small parts with well defined interfaces, so it's quote possible that QNX could be cloned. It would sure be a hell of a lot easier than WINE.

  • 'Nuff said. Amiga forever!

  • Really don't care what Amiga does. Just one question, why didn't Amiga go to one of the free BSD variants. Free BSD has a much more business friendly licensing agreement than GNU Linux. BSD runs on lots of hardware, has a more organized support system than Linux, is faster, more stable, more predictable regarding releases and updates, has better file system, blah, blah, blah... In every respect, a much better choice for a base kernel than Lin(s)ux. Any thoughts.

    Then again, BSD users don't need the attention from Amiga heads, and would not want to bother dealing with their "better off left for dead" OS comeback dreams.

    Thanks for passing BSD and going straight to Linux.
  • now this is an example of extremely mastubatory rumor-mongering...amiga+linus+transmeta chip ...
  • Keep in mind that Neutrino (the OS component) is still being worked on and still does not have all the features of QNX 4. It's a safe bet that the '40 engineers working for the past 7 months' have been working on standard items that were to have been included in Neutrino anyway - QNX seems to simply be spin doctoring the situation to make it appear that they've been terribly shafted by Amiga.

    I hope QNX doesn't throw away any Amiga-geared development that they've done - Neutrino will be a fantastic OS once all the features of QNX 4 make it in. Unfortunately, it's darn near impossible to get a copy of QNX or Neutrino to play around with on a hobbyist/hacker level (and I don't mean the demodisk - I want a bootable QNX partition). Perhaps QNX will persue some more multimedia/desktop applications now...
  • Or make a new version like 'Dos 99', incompatible with any other versions, forcing users to buy all their new software and making it impossible for previous DOS owners to reuse their OS.
  • I read the bbs to have an idea of what the amiga user says of the late news.

    I'm a bit confused.

    From what I saw, amiga user who are against the linux kernel use basically just repeating again and again that the qnx kernel is technically better, and innovative. (and Realtime... :) )

    It seems they'd prefer to have a far technically better kernel, with no support, no apps, performant for the sake of it against a kernel which have been prooved to develop very quickly.

    Sounds like they have suicidal tendancies ;)

    I have another concern. Again and again they say the original AmigaDos was a micro kernel. I thought microkernels are still research cases even if they are implemented yet. I'd think a small start up like amiga wouldn't have been able to develop such a concept back in 89 (was it before)

    It seems too those people are seeing microkernels as the best design. I've read Linus didn't quite agree on that.

    Was the AmigaDos kernel really a realtime kernel? If I remember well, lots of apps bypassed the kernel. (games, demos) Would they have done that if it really was Realtime?

    And what is this Convergence Technology industry they're talking about? vaporindustry?

    I bought an amiga1200 last year. I never owned any amiga before. I realised the os back then was really flexible, user friendly. (the only one gui I was astonished to use naturaly) What if Amiga International brought those elements to Linux? (frankly I don't care, I mostly don't use Gui, but I'd think it would be a reason not to flame Amiga Int. for their switch)

    What about the way Amiga Int. deal with its partners... was there no communication between qnx and amigados.

  • Is it going to be expensive?
    What sort of support is there going to be for these machines?
    What can Amiga come out with that is not already available?

    Personally, I buy on value for money. I dont give a toss if it is 'stylish' or 'revolutionary'.. sounds like its gonna cost lots of money, going to raise compatibility issues.. certainly lost my interest already.
  • This may be a silly question either yes or no, but, since the "Amiga OE" is based on the Linux kernel, can it be ported to x86 and the rest? Or is it Amiga OS, and just that, an OS...?

    (I hope it will/can be portable, I'm sick of windows, I don't have the time to learn Linux (no flames please), and BeOS isn't maintream)

  • QNX probably wouldn't have been a good choice
    for an OS foundation for the Amiga. I took a
    quick browse to the QNX website, and they make
    a lot of neat stuff. The relevant products to
    the decision probably were QNX and QNX/Neutrino.
    Each has serious problems as a foundation.
    QNX is tied to x86. This alone is a serious
    problem, as presumably Amiga would want to go with
    a high-performance, clean CPU (e.g. Alpha, PPC,
    MIPS, ARM). QNX also lists very few choices as to
    what hardware you can use. This may or may not be
    a concern in a relatively closed system (in the
    sense that the system would be sold mostly
    complete), but considering the really keen
    hardware Amigas had when they were new, their
    target market would probably want something like
    a Voodoo3 videocard (for instance), something
    not supported by QNX, as most of their hardware
    supported looks fairly old.

    QNX/Neutrino, unlike QNX, is portable, and it
    looks like it supports at least the x86, some
    PPC, some MIPS, and a few obscure CPUs. As such,
    it probably would be a better choice than QNX
    for an AmigaOS, but as stated on the webpage,
    most of its components are very minimal.

    QNX and QNX/N both look like they'd take a lot of
    work to make a consumer product. Is Linux a better
    choice? Maybe. What does Amiga need to do? Here
    are some ideas:

    Select a set of hardware peripherals that are
    relatively inexpensive, are made by a vendor
    friendly to third-party OS's, and ideally are
    close to best-of-breed, and offer their vendor
    an exclusive contract where all Amiga-branded
    machines come with said hardware in exchange for
    price cuts and input into design of said products.
    Hardware worth considering:
    Voodoo3 Graphics
    Alpha CPUs

    Ensure that Linux/glibc binaries can run

    Write an X server that will talk to the
    AmigaOS graqphical layer to allow
    X programs to run (within a window?)

    Write a really good emulator for the 68k-based
    Amigas, ideally capable of running dirty programs

    In the end, I imagine we'll probably see something
    that doesn't look much like a Linux system as
    we know it (i.e. non-X GUI, not Unixy), probably
    making extensive use of kernel modules to avoid
    GPL issues and keep things closed source.
  • Im sure the base will be free, but the entire
    GUI and every other part will be closed. This is a good thing, because if you look at every win manager they all suck because they rely on so much crap to work from so many other people, and there are so much crap to install. Its annoying as hell.

    Trust me when I say that you wont even notice it's running on Linux when it is released. You'll have your source, but just the non-important stuff.

    This is a good thing. The more control they have, the less other twits can mess it all up (like the majority of the Linux community, nothing ever works right, its so convuluted.)

  • Just hypothetically...

    Could you take a basic commodity motherboard, based around de facto (open?) standards like PCI, AGP and the x86, but instead of a Celeron, plug in a super-secret super-chip (possibly dynamically econfigurable, possibly containing a DSP core, possibly incorporating alien technology)?

    Would this constitute a revolution?

    (Would this be possible? I'm not an engineer, whatever my job title says.)
  • Are those the same people working 8 hour days and putting out Windows 95? What about those 'shit' open source crews, that with no motivation but what they decide to motivate themselves with, have built a kernel, a set of tools to run on it and finally, a desktop?

    And maybe, Mr. AC-FUD man, you should check out Mozilla. It is a testament to open source. It looks, feels, runs good, even in it's development state. And all IE5 is, is a small update on IE4 (which is a somewhat larger update on IE3, which was a rip of Netscape's superior browser).
  • by Pascal Q. Porcupine ( 4467 ) on Friday July 09, 1999 @10:26PM (#1809630) Homepage
    BeDope is satire, dude.
    "'Is not a quine' is not a quine" is a quine.
  • Here's they story as I see it: I read somewhere that Gateway have a stake in Transmeta. Amiga wanted to use it *from day one*. They approached QNX to do the OS and - here's the tenious bit - as Linus had a pretty visible envolvement with Transmeta, it might not look so good that the first OS to appear on their flagship CPU was effectively a rival to their best known developer's baby. They told Amiga that they wanted them to use Linux at which point, Amiga started looking at other processors. Given that QNX are asking for PowerPC enabled developers, it seems that this is their CPU of choice. Obviously, Amiga like what they see with the Transmeta and so Linux won. That said, it sounds like that whatever makes up the Amiga OE is going to be portable.
  • Aren't there some sort of exit clauses in whatever contract Amiga had with QNX? If Amiga was having QNX do OS work for them, then who owns it?

    Or am I mistaken about this all? I don't follow the Amiga scene at all.

  • if you were implementing UNIX on top of NT (you can do that too, but it's messy).

    Actually, if you look at the product architecture drawing [] for the Interix UNIX-on-NT product, it doesn't look messy at all. It sits right on top of the NT kernel and not on Win32.

  • Ok. You associate Microsoft with creativity here, and even by purchase, the mere concept is disgusting. Microsoft was only creative about deception. The product history of most of thier line is so fraught with buggy, unusable and outright systemcidal releases that you could argue that it's current state of development in Windows is attributable to forced trial and error under less than Darwinian cirumstances. Yes, they bought some creative people and technologies, but they rarely use that, opting instead much later to create a version that also accomplishes a more private, secondary aim, usually of no user benefit. Microsoft is not here today in that state due to creativity, purchased or otherwise. Associating a word like creativity with Microsoft is rupugnant.
  • From the little I've read, it looks like the Linux kernel will be used because of it's driver support.

    The GUI on top of QNX looks really neat, but it sounds like if we ever see that, it'll be a separate project (or run on top of the Linux kernel... I hope).

    The BeOS idea sounds like vaporware, like Taligent (and like the new Amiga too, if they don't stop yapping and start shipping).

    Anyhow, I hope they add on to an existing OS, or make things very compatible. I need a new 'standard' like I need a hole in the head. (Pop quiz: what's the character(s) for the end of a line in a text file? How about the end of the file?)

  • "Actually, the Linux kernel is *not* a GNU project."

    are you sure? haven't the FSF made Linux the official GNU kernel (given that HURD won't be ready before a long time)? A GNU project isn't forced to be developped by the FSF, this can be given by the FSF if your work can help them to create a free replacement for a software. Gnome is also a Gnu projec but i don't think there are a lot of people working on it at the FSF.

    Of course, correct me if I am wrong ;)
  • IMHO, the only reason apple has survived (before the Imac revival) is due to all the advertising hype.

    Actually Apple survived because they realized that as a nitch platform the only way was to charge a big premium (such as $10,000 for a stripped IIfx) and sink those 60% margins into lots of R+D and marketing. Apple survivied the lean years primarily on things they thought up during the fat years (things like UI Research, QuickTime and the 68K emulator).

    Commodore/Amiga had a different plan - sell the machine for less money (lower margins) and then find that you have no money left over for R+D and marketing. Thus the platform never really technically advanced or gained market share. After a few years everyone else has caught up on Amiga's technology, and there was no reason left to use it.

    Bottom line - Amiga might have survived if they followed Apple's lead and made people pay through the nose when they had the technological advantage.
  • by Pascal Q. Porcupine ( 4467 ) on Friday July 09, 1999 @10:39PM (#1809639) Homepage
    Ah, the joys of revisionist history. When the article was first posted, it made no mention of BeDope being satire, so now I just look like a flaming idiot, eh? (As opposed to the usual, when I'm just an idiot. Or flaming, I'm never quite sure.)
    "'Is not a quine' is not a quine" is a quine.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    oh, how I pray for support for old amiga progs and files somehow! maybe a built-in emulator? That would be only fair to us amiga fans who never believed/repressed commodore's fall and kept our amiga boxes alive.
  • If Linus does NOT comment on this situation, it becomes obvious that Transmeta is a player in his move.

    Aha, but you forget reverse psychology! Since it would be obvious that Transmeta was a player in this if Linus commented on it, then Linus therefore has no choice BUT to comment on it.


    Anyhow, given the people they've hired, it doesn't look like Transmeta cares much either way. If I had to guess, it looks like their trying to design a chip to take advantage of some of the advances in real-time code generation (especially in operating systems). Think about it -- if you had a specializer to minimize certain critical paths in the OS based on the capabilities of the machine (using partial evaluation or something) you'd end up with a pretty fast machine.

    This also seems to tie in with the rumors that they are making tools to make it easy to translate between instruction sets easy. They seem to have some people there who's primary research interests were in things like the semantics of programming languages. Maybe they'll have a way to quickly build specifiers to translate between different low-level instruction set.

    Or maybe they're researching next generation hand-towels!

  • by Frater 219 ( 1455 ) on Saturday July 10, 1999 @02:10PM (#1809645) Journal
    This is the text of an email I sent to the president of Amiga. Please pardon the line length formatting; sadly, Slashdot doesn't yet have terribly good tools for fixing it.

    Mr. Collas --

    I read with great interest your announcement that future versions of the
    Amiga operating environment will be based on the Linux kernel. The
    importance of the Amiga system as an alternative operating system is well
    known among users of Linux-based systems. As a Debian GNU/Linux system
    administrator with some knowledge of the benefits of the Amiga, I can only
    expect that the two will complement each other nicely.

    As you may already know, the Linux kernel is released under the GNU
    General Public License, a "free software" license intended to ensure that
    free software remains free --- that nobody can turn a piece of free
    software into proprietary software without the author's permission.
    One of the provisions of the GPL states that if you take a piece of GPLed
    software, modify it, and release it, you are legally required to release
    it under the GPL itself, and to provide your users the source code of your
    modifications upon request. That is, "derivative works" of GPLed code
    must themselves be GPLed and released with source available.

    Because the Linux kernel, and most of the common utilities that form the
    rest of Linux-based systems, are GPLed, this means that if Amiga were to
    make customizations to them for use in the Amiga OE, those customizations
    would have to be released back to the community.

    The best way to do this, of course, is for Amiga's programmers and
    engineers to participate in the Linux community -- to get those
    customizations inserted into the mainstream Linux kernel rather than
    "forking" the project and creating a separate Amiga-only development tree.
    While the latter is legal under GPL (as long as you release source) it
    reduces the benefits that both Amiga and Linux can gain from the free-
    software (aka "open source") model. Cooperating and being involved with
    the kernel project also would earn the respect and admiration of the
    existing Linux user base, whereas forking the kernel would likely elicit
    some degree of displeasure, not to say contempt.

    Naturally, being involved in mainstream kernel development means accepting
    a certain reduction of control over the code your OE uses -- after all,
    the kernel development effort is led by Linus and Alan, and they say what
    goes in and what doesn't. However, it also means that fixes and
    improvements to the mainstream kernel will automatically be compatible
    with the one Amiga uses; a forked Amiga-only kernel would require merging
    of patches, a procedure that's not painless.

    Back on the issue of the GPL -- besides it being *legally* important that
    Amiga follow the *letter* of the GPL, it is also *culturally* important
    that Amiga respect its *spirit*. The GPL is of great cultural importance
    among Linux developers and users, and respect for it is highly valued. It
    would be a good move for Amiga to make it clear to the community that you
    intend to abide by both the letter and spirit of the GPL in your use of
    the Linux kernel in your operating environment.

    Conferring with Linux's "leaders" (among whom I'd rank Linus Torvalds and
    Eric S. Raymond as the two foremost) would also be a good move in the
    sense of showing connection with rather than separation from the Linux
    community. Linux works and grows by widespread communication, not by
    press releases; opening more lines of communication between Amiga and
    Linux can only help.

    I wish you luck in your endeavor, and look forward to seeing greater
    connection between the Amiga and Linux development and user communities.

    Thank you for your attention.

    --- [my real name deleted]

  • by tono ( 38883 )
    First, let me say that arcticle was hilarious. I've been a fan of BeDope for awhile, its much better than segfault.

    I just find it funny how many people yesterday thought AmigaOS would be YALD, the only thing they are using is the kernel, it'd be like calling MacOS X, Nextstep just because it uses the Mach Kernel. A kernel does not an OS make.

  • dude re-read the story or look at the first post.
  • Well, first off, remember one main reason he gave for picking Linux is the wide array of device drivers (which FreeBSD is lacking in) and that commercial vendors have started writing drivers for the Linux kernel (which all the BSD's lack).

    Second off, FreeBSD effectively doesn't run on anything but x86. What is the new Amiga going to be based on? G4? x86? Merced? (I really don't know). Granted, NetBSD has been ported to more architectures then Linux, but between NetBSD and Linux, I'll pick Linux anyday.

    Honestly, on a tangent, my one problem with the BSD's is the licencing issue. When I'm installing a system or writing code, I pick Linux. Not because I don't like BSD, but because I don't want to throw my chip into a system that, if it ever did become successful, would just be plundered and splintered by commercial interests recreating the unix wars of the 80's and 90's. I stick with Linux 'cause of the GPL virus. Although there may be many flavors of GNU/Linux systems, they will always feed off each other and converge based only on natural selection and not on the commercial interests of rich industrialists.
  • I agree but seems like there are still magazines and actuall user base for Amiga in Europe.
    I don't know what are they running as even A4000 at this time is so obsolete it is hard to imagine anybody using that kind of system ( especially when much more powerfull PCs are so cheap )
  • Idiot. If you are going to tell people not to flame then at least make some sense.

    Stallman has nothing to do with Linux. HURD is the GNU kernel. Since Amiga is unlikely to bundle GNU as the base OS system (libs and apps) then it needn't really include GNU in the name like Linux should. If the Linux kernel is used with other lib sets and apps then it needn't include GNU.

    If the new Amiga is to be a GLIBC system with GNU apps as standard and the Amiga bit being tantamount to an E theme then yes, it should pay homage.

  • That explains why this article got posted at all. Except for the BeDope link, everything had appeared in yesterday's article already.

    Roblimo, instead of trying to not look as an idiot, just add an update like Rob always does, and admit you goofed up. Revisionist history is scary.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The astronauts of the nineteenth century were the explorers---those intrepid men, often British, who mounted expeditions from the club rooms of Pall Mall to the most exotic hinterlands of the world. When the astronauts came back from the moon they told their stories to Life magazine. When the Victorians returned from their expeditions, they presented their findings in lectures before the Royal Geographical Society, and then they wrote their memoirs in large leather-bound volumes. But make no mistake; they were some of the greatest celebrities of their age.

    Today we have Linus Torvalds to look up to and admire. The magic that Linus and Transmeta are now working on will find its form embodied in the new Amiga, a combination of some of the greatest technological breakthroughs in the history of computer science. It is this stunning combination of software and hardware wizardry which will lead us into the 21st century. When Linus finally sits back and gives us his leather-bound memoirs, the history of Transmeta and Amiga Linux will be a most delightful read, a peek into the mind of one of our few god-like mortals.

  • You want the truth.. You got it. :)

    Point your browser at:

    Open Sources : Appendix A : The Tanenbaum-Torvalds Debate []

    And read the whole thing (I would quote from it, but it's worth the read), it will answer all your questions.

  • The beta release of QNX/Amiga Operating Environment was scheduled to be on x86-based developer machines, as these were cheap and easily available. From there, the relevant software could easily be ported over to the new hardware's spec.

    Of course, after seeing this announcement yesterday, anything is possible. I'm sure Amiga Inc's other "close development partners" are shaking in their shoes. Who'll be next to get the axe?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 10, 1999 @03:58AM (#1809660)
    The same message is posted at too.

    One thing most people seem to ignore, though, is that Linux (the OS), is defined by way more than Linux the kernel. An Amiga that uses the Linux kernel, and Amiga system libraries, Amiga shells, an Amiga GUI etc., won't look much like Linux the OS at all.

    However, it will likely just be a question of adding the right libraries and binaries to let it run all Linux applications.

    And this is the sweet thing about this: They can completely redefine the OS, by building something new on top of the kernel, without loosing Linux compatibility.

    Which means that they can provide whatever "revolutionary" features they like, and at the same time offer access to the huge amount of existing Linux software out there.

    That is something they wouldn't get with QNX - the amount of available QNX software is a lot smaller.

    Contrary to QNX there is also a huge groundswell of support for Linux from third parties, and it will be a LOT easier to convince those third parties to provide Amiga applications, if they can do it in a way that let their apps run on Linux as well (maybe with some Amiga specific functionality taken out).

    This can be good for Linux too, because Gateway is throwing lots of money at this, and if they start getting people to port to the Amiga, and the Amiga uses the Linux kernel, and can run Linux applications, a lot of those people are likely to make sure their applications run without the Amiga operating environment too.

    In a way, I see what they are trying to do as something similar to OpenStep, which is a set of API's, that run on top of any host OS you care to port it to (ref. []. It completely redefines the interface to the user, and for the developer, but the host OS is still there, and easily accessible.

    If well done, it also means that if Amiga Inc. in the future should choose to support other host OS's besides Linux, any applications written to the Amiga OE APIs should instantly run in that environment.

  • They are going to take the kernel and build the new AmigaOS (or OE if you prefer) on top of it. No bash, not csh, no X, not qt, no gtk, none of that stuff! It will not resemble a Linux distro as we know it.

  • you submited in HTML Formated,
    you need plain text if you want formating, or put in your own HTML
    "Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"
  • so what makes you so sure they didn't tell qnx? the fact that qnx doesn't want you to think they
    knew? one way or the other its all about money when companies are involved so, yes, make qnx
    happy and buy their os to 'take it out for a spin' but don't get unhappy when there aren't drivers
    for your hardware...
  • Apparently their biggest concern was hardware support. I am posting this from FreeBSD right now so I'm obviously no anti-FreeBSD bigot, but FreeBSD is very much aimed at the server market, not the home market -- sound support is minimal, the range of hardware devices supported is much smaller than Linux, and folks like Creative and Real are supporting Linux with their latest and greatest software and hardware, not FreeBSD. Given that the Amiga has always been about graphics and sound, choosing an OS that doesn't support any sound card made after 1998 doesn't make sense...

    The biggest bloat in Linux is userland, not the kernel. This may be where Amiga Inc. can innovate. Who knows, they might even use userland stuff from FreeBSD to avoid the licensing hassles...

  • Me thinks it is strange that people still regard
    the hardware/software to what defines the Amiga
    (read platform); it is the way in which a "philosophy of use" is put forward by the ones who made/make this computer.This same way a Mac is put forward in their adds; as a philosophy not just Chips,Bytes and Herz.Simple put,people who buy a computer (for the first time or a different platform), don't buy it 'cause of the hardware or software,but because of the concept it carries out; user-friendliness, speed, stability, functionality or a balanced interaction between these,etc,etc.Now you cannot judge upon such a system until you "drive its' mouse for a mile",so to say.Now I have been driving mice of all kinds of platforms and I still like my Amiga OS, because of the balance between graphical and textual interface (which makes it quite transparent).I certainly don't want to see this lost in the AmigaNG's.But some people like the emphasis on just the textual OR graphical interface and that's the beauty of it.We make and seek the system that suits our needs and ideas the best*.That just makes us proliferate ourselfs as individuals; if everyone looked the same,we would get tired of looking at eachother,wouldn't we? ;)

    *which can best be done on a Amiga ofcourse ;p
  • how much?
    what's included?
    where are you located(shipping costs)?
  • Show a Linux box and a Wintel box to a newbie and they won't be able to tell the difference. In fact the newbie will probably out of ignorance say that linux is a rip-off of windows. Many linux and BeOS users don't agree with you. BeOS has a better chance at getting into the home market than linux because it will take too much time to get linux up to the level of ease of use that BeOS has (or even god forbid windows has). I don't see why any Linux user would want to push Linux as a consumer OS when it is much better as a server OS. If you Linux everwhere type people aren't careful you could end up making Linux just as bad as windows (that would suck big time).
  • I understand that BeOS also uses great chunks of mach.

    - C
  • Everything I've read thus far points to support for legacy apps ("classic Amiga") being provided through software emulation like UAE. Yup. The Amiga emulates an Amiga to get the job done.
  • I thought it was going to be based on a Cray T3E..

    Agreed though, who wants ANOTHER computer platform. And if they go proprietary again, it will be just like the old days, only they will die more rapidly this time since what can they offer that the rest of the industry cannot? And if its PPC based, who wants another one of those systems around, don't we have enough already (Macs, Powerstacs, RS6000, AS400, etc.etc.etc)

    IMHO, the only reason apple has survived (before the Imac revival) is due to all the advertising hype. When the amiga was around years ago, if you asked me what IBM was, I woud say "computer". If you asked me what a mac was, I could say "computer". Hell, if you asked me what a TANDY was, I would say "computer"(ugh). But Amiga, the first image that came to mind was a new space ship in the starwars line of toys.

    If they run linux, get themselves known, keep the system open, they may stand a chance. Best of luck to the Amiga. (the'll need it!)
  • Overheard some developers talking about all of this yesterday. They were making distinctions between the use of the Linux Kernel in a future AmigaOE, and the use of the Linux MicroKernel. I've never splitexistential hairs like that before (which is why I was basically eavesdropping instead of participating). Goofy?
  • The latest pictures which were released to Amiga Format magazine by Amiga Inc. are kinda cool in this regard. Very techy looking, though I shudder to make comparisons between the Amiga designs and the iMac (can you say E-Power, kidz?).

    Among the sketches are a number of palmtop/tablet device designs. They even go into some laptop-like systems, "kitchen countertop" systems, and definitely gaming systems.

    Still. Sketches are one things. I need to see it to believe it.

    Touch it. Feel it. Love it.

  • | I think that Amiga really has the muscle to push
    | linux into the mainstream.

    In all honestly, I think that *Linux* just might have the muscle to put the *Amiga* into the mainstream. Linux has been steadily growing for years now. The Amiga has been dying since 1992.

    Of course, these days I just can't get excited anymore about a new "Amiga" coming out - if in fact it ever does.
  • Every year there's a rumor about a new amiga coming out. "It will be a PPC"! "It's gonna be RISC!" "It's linux-based!" "No, it's qnx" "It's amigaOS 3.0".."a great new company bought the amiga technology!"..and nothing ever comes out at the end.
    I think part of the problem is that Amiga Users, such as myself, have been living in this development vacuum for way too long. Throw the Amiga community even the slightest hint of something new, and they go completely off on it. Some say it's advocacy to a fault, some just point to it as an example of the lunatic platform devotion that Amiga has engendered.

    Me? I'm happy to discuss what they're working on... it's nice to see someone is actually attempting to do something. But I won't be completely happy or even concrete in my thinking about Amiga's future path(s) until I start seeing some product. And I dont mean their silly products like offical Amiga boxer shorts and AmiCola. (I'm not kidding, see it here []).

    "Death is just the beginning. - Amiga T-shirt.

  • If you're going to tap the linux marketing hype, you have to use linux. Nobody has heard of FreeBSD.

    - C
  • We bought several licences of OS/2 for Windows I think and then didn't install (or installed and then disabled) Windows and deinstalled DOS support for work.
  • Slashdot == News
    BeDope == Satire (at least as far as I can tell)
    'nuf said.
  • Its actually really stupid that they go with _one_ port of an OS for Amiga. If a bunch of people wanted to , they'd go and port Linux to work with Amiga now.

    QNX is rather legacy, at least in their support, but its got two things, one good, one bad: 1) spiffy screenshots that make me quiver, and 2) _huge_ pricing... Bad Juujuu.

    Be... Damn, I can't remember if Be is free... who knows. Anyway, same way, if a buncha people felt particularly good that day, and decided to port BeOS to Amiga, they'd do it.

    Again, going with _one_ OS isn't the answer. If whatshisface is thinking straight, hed realize this, and perhaps get his elbows/hands dirty and play with some code too.

    Blessed Be! --"LEVIATHAN"
  • Hmm.. Well, BeOS is good, Amiga OS is good.

    But it doesn't mean that it is successful
    in the market.

    Except for the Linux, other OSes than the Windows
    are not successful enough to survive.
    Whether you admit it or not, there are two strong
    OSes for personal computers. ( tech. + user base )
    Yes. One is the Windows and the other is Mac OS.
    But, as you know, the Windows is too strong.

    Can a new OS have its own market which are enough
    large for getting users' and developers' attention?

    Are Amiga famous as Mac, OS/2 in countries other
    than the U.S.?

    It would be hard to make the new Amiga recognizable in the world market.

    Let's see what will happen.
  • Yeah.

    You only have to get hit in the head so many times before you learn to duck. :^)

  • Actually, the Linux kernel is *not* a GNU project. If they use Amiga utilites rather than the GNU utilities, then Amiga/Linux *is* correct, and it does indeed look like Stallman is correct in his naming system for the GNU/Linux we commonly think of as simply "Linux".
    In light of this it sounds like Stallman's convention is the right way to go, as it clearly spells out what you're getting.
  • by Trojan ( 37530 )
    The Amiga kernel was called Exec, and it really is a micro kernel. It might have been realtime as well, but I'm not sure about that. Realtime is overrated anyway. The C-64 was realtime. Realtime doesn't mean it's fast, just that a process is guaranteed to get cpu time within some amount of time.

    One of the reasons that Exec was a blazingly fast micro kernel is that there's no memory protection of any kind. It's a lot more difficult if not impossible to come up with a micro kernel offering full protection and an efficiency anywhere close to that of Exec.

    You say that games bypassed the kernel. Maybe some did, but are you sure you know what the Amiga kernel is? It's not Intuition, the user interface. It's not even the file system. You can bypass all that and still make use of the Amiga micro kernel.
  • The computer you speak of is dead and died years ago and I accept that. But the people with the capability of creating the legendary Amiga are alive and creating like they did years ago.

    Microsoft is strong today because of creative ideas, the ones they purchase from creative people and companies. As long as good ideas are up for sale, Microsoft will prevail.

    But times are different now. Ideas aren't for sale under the GPL, the're free. And this is why Microsoft and all other companies who depend on other people for great ideas, will lose. The GPL drains Microsoft's source of life and they know it.

    Don't dismiss a group of people with great ideas just yet, look at what is happening with Linux.

  • by Knos ( 30446 )
    Well many games claimed to boot with their own special os. And mostly, before the hdd games, I think they only accessed the chips directly... for gfx and sound, perhaps even for savegames and such.

  • Eh? For a start, they can provide a completely different user-space --- and I don't mean just a "user interface".

    Just because the kernel is Linux doesn't mean the system riding on top of it has to look anything like a typical Linux distribution. Most of what ordinary people (as opposed to kernel developers) think of as "Linux" is defined not by the kernel, but by /sbin/init and the programs run by it; the kernel itself only defines (a) the *raw* --- not libc-"cooked" --- kernel interface and (b) /sbin/init as the program run to "launch" user space.

    Pathnames? They're part of the raw kernel interface. If the standard library doesn't export routines which use kernel-style pathnames, they're effectively invisible to userspace unless a program makes raw system calls using assembly language: can *you* tell whether's open() is a simple wrapper around the kernel's "open" syscall or a complex one which maps DOS or Mac or VMS, etc. conventions to the kernel? In a properly designed system, the kernel interface would be entirely irrelevant to everyone except OS and kernel programmers; in particular, neither application developers nor users need to care. Apple's "Carbon" (aka Yellow Box, etc.) is based on the same idea.
  • Check Jim Collas response letter []. The letter, which has been posted as one of the comments, is on the Amiga web site.

    Looking forward to the technology brief.

  • I don't think s/he's an idiot. Or even the idiot. Read it again. No, Stallman has nothing to do with Linux - except of course it is released under a license he wrote. The point is he seems to propose that distributions be named as "<Distribution>/<Kernel>", which has some merit. And under such a scheme, a Linux kernel-based AmigaOS would be called "AmigaOS/Linux" or something similar. Slashdot note: handling of '<' and '>' is thoroughly fucked in plain text mode, and handling of the escaped versions '<' and '>' in extrans is doubly fucked. Oh, and it doesn't work in HTML mode either. Sheesh.
  • > I really wish Amiga would start putting its plans into motion. Its always a bad sign when a
    > company says they'll do blah A, then decide Blah B,and then doing absolutly nothing.

    How do you know they're not doing anything? There is a *lot* of stuff involved in what they're doing, and most of it is visible only to the people working on the infrastructure (which is invisible and meaningless to most people). Part of the reason Linux got going so quickly is that there were convenient GNU and BSD user-space programs sitting around that already fit on top of it because Linux was designed to be interface-compatible with them from the start; Amiga Inc. has to start almost from scratch with the user space. It's a *big* job, and one that's virtually unnoticeable until it's almost ready for release relative to the entire development cycle.

    An example: how much of Berlin development is actually visible to most people? Not much, except to the people developing it. Does that mean it's nothing but vapor, or just that it's not yet ready for people to start *using* it yet? (Well, Berlin is somewhat more visible because its development is a' la bazaar, but that's another issue entirely.)
  • I wrote that piece online, virtually in realtime. A few of the earliest readers watched me go through three drafts in about 10 minutes as I tried to figure out a way to tie together all the latest stories (and the excellent BeDope satire) about Amiga's mind-changes. It was an experiment that I will not repeat. I guess the old saw about no one wanting to see what goes on in the kitchen of a fancy restaurant applies here too. In the future I'll keep the kitchen doors closed and only deliver the plate to your table after all the food and garnish is correctly arranged on it. :)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Amiga was never about being cheap - you've got your history wrong. Yes, the A500 was cheaper than most PC's, but it didn't compete against PC's, it competed against Atari ST's and other home computers. The Amiga models that competed with PC's were the A1000, A2000, A3000 and A4000. Neither were cheap.

    Also remember, that Amiga gots lot of criticism for going with fast solutions such as SCSI instead of cheap solutions like IDE.

    And when the original Amigas were introduced the M68k CPUs gave it a LOT better performance that PC's at the time. A 7.16MHz 68000 against a 4.77MHz 8086? Please.... No contest..

    Only later did performance start to lag, and that was a result of Commodores inability to keep up, as well as Motorolas problems in advancing the M68k series fast enough, and finally their decision to go with PowerPC and use the M68k series mainly for embedded systems (the Dragonball CPU in the PalmPilot for instance - finally a chance of brushing dust of my M68k assembly knowledge :-)

  • QNX isn't proprietary? Where do I download the source code? I might give it a try, then.
  • Depends of course if you have some weird hardware, or if you need a dhcp client or ppp for instance. I don't need those, and my initscripts are pretty clean (no maintenance or checking scripts), the kernel too don't have useless things compiled in so no need for scanning hw, my soundboard is initialised by Alsa....

  • First thanks for your informative answer :)

    I'm a bit picky, but I don't think it's fair to take the fact the mouse is jerky when you're doing CPU intensive tasks as a proof that the linux scheduler releases big time slices (but I do know it isn't specially optimised for a media use). I'd think it's because the Xserver didn't choose to have a different thread for handling the mouse pointer, and I've seen other Xservers handling it better. (like AccelX)

    Instead of having lots of different distributions fighting on the market with sometimes no really defined target (ex: Redhat...) Why wouldn't distributions try to provide different personalities to Linux?

    I fear it would be costy, as you would perhaps have to modify many parts including drivers, but maybe it would be possible to change the linux kernel to enhance its performance in the audio/video processing area. This is indeed a fact that Linux is targeted on servers. I don't have a need for a server... I mostly use my box for audio stuff and the only answer the linux seems to provide are the Real Time / FIFO task policies.

    (and btw I tried BeOS. No need to tell me to use it instead.)

  • If we're both thnking of the same David Bowie song (Changes) then I think there's only four "ch's" at the begining.
  • Sounds to me like Amiga wants all the popular publicity they can get. Amiga knows that technical users will be their main market and this is a good way to advertise :)
  • You fool! Amiga was always God. If IBM didn't make it big, the world would have been a better place. I mean, jeez, the 500 had a speech emulation command in the BASIC! The Amiga machines were way ahead of their time, and I'm glad to see thme comming back. Besides if they do take QNX it's not going to be propritary, QNX is a Unix clone (and a good one at that too).
  • IT WAS MY ASSESSMENT THAT WE WOULD FAIL ON THIS PATH. Please take note of this statement. How could I NOT make the Linux decision if I truly believe this? How could we continue on a path that I think will have us fail? Who will benefit if we fail?
    It seems to me that he was right: yet another proprietary platform wouldn't stand a chance in the modern marketplace, and Linux may be their only hope of survival. If that's so, then going QNX becaue it maximises coolness wouldn't be the good thing to do, would it?
    Employ me! Unix,Linux,crypto/security,Perl,C/C++,distance work. Edinburgh UK.
  • I think that was pretty well suited for a demo OS, it had interrupt manager, file system, exe loader, small fast sound gfx libs... kinda blurry but it was cool 68k assembly. Yay for Chaos!!
  • So, what is there to read? Torvalds displays his lack of understanding of operating systems and Tannenbaum promises him a "C" in the operating systems class. You can also go to EGCS discussion board at Cygnus and read a more recent piece where Torvalds tries to teach EGCS developers about programming language semantics. Quite depressive, I must say.
  • (I hope it will/can be portable, I'm sick of windows, I don't have the time to learn Linux (no flames please), and BeOS isn't maintream)

    I hate to break this to you, but the Amiga isn't exactly 'mainstream' either.

    This may be a silly question either yes or no, but, since the "Amiga OE" is based on the Linux kernel, can it be ported to x86 and the rest? Or is it Amiga OS, and just that, an OS...?

    If Amiga makes any significant changes to the Linux kernel, they will probably be to support specialty hardware (sound, graphics, something like the BeBox's GeekPort - who knows) or a custom CPU (Transmeta?).

    In any event, even if these changes are portable to say, x86 the hardware probably won't exist in a form which you can use on that architecture. Additionally, any userland programs included to make AmigaOS unique (which could very well be the whole OS) will be compiled specifically for whatever CPU they choose for their machines.

    So, you'll almost certainly be able to throw out AmigaOS and run your favorite Linux distribution on a new Amiga, but running AmigaOS natively on an x86 CPU will probably never happen...unless they release the source.

  • That press release is here []. :-)
  • Who the fuck is Roblimo anyway? Hes a fucking idiot.
  • If it's based on Linux, then it's *evolutionary* by definition.

    I use Linux 100% of the time, so don't suggest I don't like lInux, but if I wanted a revolutionary multitasking OS suited to modern multimedia and realtime apps, there's only one choice: BeOS.

    If Amiga want to provide a slick commercial Linux box with a lot of Amiga gloss on top, then more power to them. Just don't tell me it's revolutionary in the way the original Amiga was (truly an OS ahead of it's time).
  • by pb ( 1020 )
    Um. I would have to partially disagree with you here. It was pretty clear from the announcement that they were just using the kernel for driver support, but the kernel still makes the OS.

    With both, say, MacOS X and Nextstep using the Mach kernel, it'd be much easier for the two OSes to coexist than, say, if you were implementing UNIX on top of NT (you can do that too, but it's messy).

    With a core Linux (and thus UNIX-ish, and POSIX-compliant) kernel, you can bet that a lot of UNIX stuff will compile and run out of the box, or with less porting than it would with a completely different kernel. (and I'm sure that the Amiga development will help the Linux side, and there will be porting, better compatibility, and much rejoicing)

    A good kernel design will work for the user, but a bad one will be worked around, and the last thing we need is yet another layer of emulation above the kernel to look like a different kernel. Please.

  • I think that Amiga really has the muscle to push linux into the mainstream. I am very happy that not only I will be able to turn my pc into an amiga, but Linux will get even more attention.

    Now all we need is a PDA.
  • Come on. The Amiga was a great computer, but it was almost a decade ago. Who's going to buy it? There's basically nothing an Amiga could do a PC or Mac can't. Who's going to be foolish enough to invest in it, if it needs *proprietary* hardware as to run the old software?

    All the *good* Amiga software relied on hardware (gee, coding in assembly, eh), and there's no way to make them work on actual platforms, apart from emulating.

    Be realistic. Learn from what the amiga was able to do, and how. There's already enough OS wars.

    IMHO, BeOS is certainly the *best* example to compare the Amiga to. Poorly distributed, but great...

    My 0.02

  • oh give it up please. most people know how to lighten up (unless you're one of those idiots who complained to mindcraft or whatever)
  • For those interested, Jim Collas has posted another message about the whole ordeal on the bulletin board at It has a bit (but not much) more explanation on how they came to the big decision.
  • If you follow QNX at all, or even take the look at the rest of their site, you'd notice that this new and wonderful interface is merely Photon. This isn't anything new, custom designed for the as yet undescribed new Amiga Hardware, but their standard graphical interface. So all QNX appears to have lost was some marketing manhours, and a lot of face for what appears to be a premature press release.

    I personally would be more interested in hearing about the hardware that comprises these new machines, first. Many of the tricks which made the old Amiga such a revolutionary design are now commonplace, and I'm curious to see how they justify the new machine. I'm afraid it's just going to appear, then disappear, like the BeBox, or stay vapor, like Apple's CHRP.

    I especially found QNX's optimistic goal to start beta testing in Fall interesting.. Beta testing *what*, exactly? Noone would have the hardware, so they can't be testing drivers. And I'm fairly sure their kernel has been tested elsewhere.
  • wrong
  • The hardware platform that made up the original Amiga is so dated and obsolete it's not funny. 3 and 4 micron chips that did cute video hacks are pointless with todays .18u device geometry.
    Shackling youself to legacy apps and API's is a waste of time and an architecture nightmare.

    If they want to do it right, they need a clean-sheet hardware design top to bottom. And then, open source the whole thing, post the schematics, post the gerber files and BOMs. Post the FPGA verilog code and test vectors. Use standard parts for things like the PCI bus, SCSI bus and firewire.
    Otherwise, who will buy it? The 4000 Amiga fanatics out there who refuse to accept the demise of a 10+ year old machine? Hell of a market there... Who is going to write App software for a total niche machine? It's hard to get support for the Macintosh platform. I dont see any OpenSource non-linear Video Edit suites out there, or games for that matter.
    I've got an A500 sitting in a closet somewhere, it's not worth the time to run it when I've got a Linux C450A/128MB/TNT system that is so much more powerful on my desk. The same hardware reboots and runs Quake2/unreal/shogo/Descent3/3DSMAX/Premier5 and I can play DVDs/vidcapture with my ASUS3400/MX300 5.1 digital sound system. Why would I ever want a new hardware platform, so I can run 10 year old programs? Not!
  • EEEP! Thanks for playing, but you are just plain wrong.
    QNX is not a UNIX clone, it has good posix compliance (Better than BeOS at least) but calling it a unix clone is wrong. It's a real real-time OS, designed from ground up as a real-time (and embedded) os.
    You don't want a hourglass showing up on your ABS breaks, do you? :)

  • Like that doesn't happen in the Windows, Mac, OS/2, Solaris, Linux, etc., etc., ad nauseam communities as well?
  • Admittedly, it looks rather bad to be flip-flopping on core aspects of a product. But this really isn't as negative as some have played it to be. This company wants to build something innovative -- and successful. Ask Apple... the two don't always go together.

    They found that their success factor was unacceptably low, and they were forced to make a change. Heck, I'm glad they're carefully looking at these kind of issues. I'm even more happy they've chosen a Linux kernel.

    The interesting thing is, if they both follow through on their announcement, you've got even more innovation and competition than before. QNX is going to continue with developing the operating system. Amiga is going to continue with developing their OS and with a Linux kernel.

    If you're one to track win-loss comparisons, it seems like a win for the consumer, a win for Gateway, and a lesser win for QNX.

    Of course, it isn't ALL roses. If you're porting or developing software, you've got an OS decision to make. And users will have one to make as well. One side to this to keep aware of is on the hardware end... the Linux version is going to take advantage of far more hardware than the QNX version. Might marginalize QNX if you've got the latest monster video card and QNX won't do it.
  • by IntlHarvester ( 11985 ) on Saturday July 10, 1999 @11:03AM (#1809802) Journal
    I haven't really been following the Amiga, but here's my reconstruction of what's been happening over the last few days:

    + Gateway buys Amiga, because they think tney might be able to use the classic hardware and software in a set-top box or palmtop or something.

    + Gateway figures out that's not really feasible, and that they're going to have to re-write from scratch.

    + However, writing an entire modern OS is a bunch of work, so Amiga decides to create an application environment called "Amiga Operating Environment". Classic Amiga is dropped and it's software will only be run in emulation. I'll assume they're somewhat smart, and they write AOE to run as a POSIX application, so they can port it to different places without too much trouble.

    + Meanwhile, QNX has a robust OS with a jazzy GUI that's been around a while in various vertical markets. They look at the success of Be, and they realize that there might be a market for a consumer version of QNX. They devote "40 engineers" to Consumer QNX.

    + After sniffing around Be (and probably *BSD), Amiga finds QNX, and realizes that there might be some "synergy" between their goals - A new consumer platform running Consumer QNX with AOE on top. They start talking.

    + Amiga realizes that you can buy a $500 Windows 98 computer, and it's going to be difficult to build a consumer computer with razor-thin margins and have both Amiga/Gateway and QNX make any money. QNX can play hardball in the negotiations because they've a working OS and 40 engineers, whereas Amiga has vapor.

    + Amiga looks at all the Linux hype, sees the word FREE, as in Free Beer Software and Free Beer Device Drivers and Free Beer Programmers. They privately tell QNX to screw off. Since they're building a POSIX application, moving it to Linux is possible, it just more delays.

    + QNX gets pissed, and realizes that Amiga won't have jack/shit for another 12 months, where Consumer QNX will be ready sooner. As an appeal to the Amiga fans, they post a bunch of stuff, including sexy screenshots, about being the platform for AOE.

    + Amiga fires back - They're using Linux, it's more popular and free.

    + QNX announces that they're going ahead and shipping ConsumerQNX anyways. They make an appeal to the Amiga fans out there - "We're the *real* Amiga - and we are shipping a product."

    + A big split occurs in what's left of the Amiga community. Some go with QNX as the next best thing to the real Amiga. Others wait for alphas of AOE running on a Linux kernel. Others stick with the classic hardware because both QNX and Linux/AOE are imposters. Some finally give up and go with BeOS or Linux.


Kill Ugly Processor Architectures - Karl Lehenbauer