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Amiga Technology Brief 291

Mulengro writes "Amiga has finally released the long awaited Technology Brief describing what they consider to be the way forward for Amiga. Sad fact is, there's possibly nothing really new there. " New or not, it still looks like quite a force, at least in terms of multimedia (DVD, USB, peripherals galore). They say they have chosen a CPU, but cannot talk about it.
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Amiga Technology Brief

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  • >Look I have used Java, it is slow, anybody who says other wise is utterly clueless.

    That means the Java *implementations* you have used are slow. It says nothing about the language itself.

    Learn the difference, it's important.

    (Note that I program almost exclusively in C++, I just hate inaccurate statements.)
  • Well, I was completely down on the Amiga idea until today. Never owned one, never cared (I used video toaster once though, but didn't get very far). But the tech brief is very interesting. For a decade, Intel, MS, and computer manufacturers have been tuning the OS and hardware to go together. So finally we'll get hardware that's tuned for linux and Java. Plus DVD, multimedia, and USB improvements that can be added to the kernel. HOPEFULLY their X-server will be free too, but it's too early to tell (X could use a few more folks working on hardware-accelerated OpenGL).
    It's especially nice to hear that they're emphasizing developer tools. Anything we can do to speed up those ports and to finally get a platform that performs well with swing. Ok, so the chance is one in a thousand, but if a platorm actually came out that made Swing seem as fast as native graphics, I would buy it in a second.
  • Actually, the latest VMs from IBM and Symantic have been kicking the tar out of Microsoft's (mind you, they aren't pluggable into web browsers...yet...depedning on how Mozilla's Open Java interface works).

    If you want a good example of an application that runs just fine, take a look at Freebuilder [], an open source Java IDE. I haven't noticed any speed problems, even on my puny P200.
  • Interestingly the article says very little about what architecture the processor is going to be using. Considering what has been said before, and what processors the OS 3.5 works on, I would not be surprised if it will be a PPC chip - though would be an IBM or a Motorola?. Speed and speed comparisons aside, one advantage of taking the PPC chip is that it would allow Amiga to make use of the 68000 emulation code that has already been written for the PPC and thus reduce the amount of code rewriting, at least in the beginning.

    One reason that I wouldn't mind the PPC, or any other non-x86 compatible, chip being used is because it would mean that there would be another computer company making PCs that don't us Intel processors. It would also mean that we wouldn't need to buy PPC machines from Apple for LinuxPPC ;-)
  • But this is not an Amiga, it is Linux with stuff added on. They are using X, which takes up 20 MB right there! then you have the OS, the Java VM, etc. How do they think they can fit this into 32 MB. I would not run a multimedia linux system (is that an oxymorn?!) without atleast 128MB. Besides RAM is cheap spend the extra 45 bucks and put a decent amount in.
  • Yeah why use X windows? It's the slowest part of the system. And how is this system going to be cheap with TV in/out, DVD, and this other expense multimedia?

  • It seams strange that a new MM system will only have 32MB RAM as standard.

    I thought the same. Reading between the lines, it seems as though they plan to solder 32 MB on the motherboard, and one or two DIMM sockets for expansion. Hopefully two. 128 MB seems like a more reasonable amount of RAM for a base system, but Amigas have always come out of the box memory starved -- the 1000 had 256K (+256K expansion) back when most PCs had 640K.


  • Aren't we glad that Sony is located outside the US.
  • The thing does not clock 5 times faster, it is 5 times faster. Remember an Alpha clocks slower than a PII but is 3 times faster in FP. Same principle Sonys "emotion engine" is a 300MHz chip that has a vector engine and can do 5 times as many fp calculations per second as a PII.
  • The unifying concept would seem to be shovelware, on the cheap. I don't see that as good for the old Amiga lags, or the Linux camp.

    Of course, it goes without saying that I'd rather be proved wrong...

  • From what I've seen so far no one considered this:
    Is the Transmeta chip as good at emilation as suggested?
    Will Transmeta be able to keep up with the demand?
    Will Transmeta be able to offer apropiate clock frequencies?
    Is the performance of the Transmeta CPU relative to frequency comparable to other CPU's in the market?

    Why do they allways make non disclosure agreements? :(
  • Oddly, this is one of the points I raised on csa misc.

    Despite the fact that the "tech" document was mostly PHB hyperbole, it did mention in passing that the Workbench WM was to be open src. This implies that someone has realised the ramifications of the GPL, and is ready to comply with it.

    Let's hope so. If there has to be a big, acrimonious and public test case, I would rather (being biased and all) that it was at the cost of someone like Microsoft...

    Anyway, I hope I'm not imagining it- go have a look, and see if you can verify my half-baked meanderings :)

  • Look I have used Java, it is slow, anybody who says other wise is utterly clueless. Seriously, a lot of things these days are compute bound. If they weren't there would be no reason to upgrade to a PIII. Even with dedicated 3D hardware there is a huge CPU toll (transform, lighting, for 3D apps final rendering is always done in software, AI, physics.) The only VM worth a damn is the IE one and only if you write windows java. And java is not THAT easy to debug. If you are writing a Java app half the time it is for winodws anyway. Why not just use Visual C++ and MFC. It generates the damn program for you! And C++ is not that hard to debug. Plus Java does not run in Windows 3.1, Lynx, BeOS, DOS, etc.
  • That's the only company out there where Linux would give the Amiga a real edge for their CPU as regards Java applications, and whatnot. If we could run that at near-native speeds, life would be good.

    Assuming Transmeta really is making a CPU, of course. ;)

    (Of course, we're basically re-inventing LISP machines, but as long as it's cheap and fast, we're doing better, right? :)
  • We have a leader? Hmm... that's funny, I thought Linus was just in charge of the kernel (don't get me wrong, I admire what he's done). Do you actually believe that Linux relies on just one person to keep it going? You still don't get it, do you? Go ahead, keep on trolling. The sheer desperation of your FUD is encouraging. :)
  • Hey, amazingly enough, the laws of physics find it hard to believe too! :) 2.5GHz is a little tough to do with standard technology.
  • Also, please keep in mind that the Linux community doesn't have the same resources as the BeOS developement team. How many of us have access to SMP systems

    agree, linux kernel developper are not paid and kernel is bigger to maintain. However an Abit BP6 and two celeron 400 is now cheap! w2k should support SMP also... ok i know there can be ten millions of flame against M$, but if you want to use your latest hardware fully, you have only one choice: windows... for games also...
  • The new PSX processor(s)' advantage is a large number of floating-point units together with extremely wide IO/memory busses. Its integer performance on the other hand should be about on-par with a 486/66DX.

  • add a CPU to linux and you have what? 20% increase? add one to NT and you have 40%, add one to BeOS and you have 90% :o)
    by the way NTO is Neutrino, if one day you can have a demo of it, you'll throw away your 4Gb of linux HD, 32Mb is enough to fully install NTO and his GUI and compiler and whatever you want. Also Photon (their GUI) is very clean, v2 will be better also. Develophing with PhAB (Photon Apbuilder) is very easy, and faster than X/Motif.
    as a personnal notice i don't like OO programming, C++ sucks and i call it C--, it's just a layer of standard C, not long ago, C++ program was translated in C program before being compiled to asm. However i like Eiffel, it's a TRUE OO language.
  • This whole design lacks coherency. It has Java, AmigaObjects, the Linux Kernel, X Windows, Workbench, ...

    Where is the unifying concept?

    Lee (an ex Amiga PD author)
  • Except for USB support and DVD support I don't see anything here that we don't already have.

    I think the big deal is what the Amiga MCC won't have -- the ancient PC/AT architecture.

    No more IRQ2->IRQ9 cascade, shared interrupts, or a ROM chip full of obsolete BIOS routines. Sounds like they're using an off-the-shelf ATI graphics chip, so I guess CGA/EGA/VGA emulation will still be around, tho.

    It looks to me that they plan to cherry pick the best features from available hardware, the same way Linux has done with software. The end result could be better than the sum of the parts, if they make the right design decisions.


  • I think you're missing the point.

    Most consumer PC motherboards have 3-4 DIMMs. With 256 megs on a DIMM, that makes a maximum of 1 GB of RAM. The exact same number as the Amiga. Sure, servers can have more memory, they have more DIMMs! The poster you were replying to was saying that it's a motherboard limitation, and I agree. There's no reason you couldn't make an Amiga motherboard with more DIMMS, but it's not a server. There's no reason to. How many people have more than a GB of RAM in their PCs at home? Sheesh.
  • Macs don't have that, either. So are you going to run out and get a Mac now because of that?

    Actually, I was thinking more along the lines of a new Samsung toaster oven.

    It matters because having cruft close to the hardware like that doesn't do any favors for programmers. System programming is challenging enough without having to deal with quirks in the hardware. A software bug can be fixed, but insane hardware can torment one for years.


  • Toshiba makes 'em in the US.

  • Maybe if the Transmeta CPU can change it's instruction set on the fly they could use an instruction set to decode DVD, decode MP3, MPEG-2 encode MPEG-2 on real time, ... I think this would be great. The next step would be making an SMP machine replacing the graphics accelerator, sound, etc with those Transmeta's. It would be terrific.

    The point is, maybe they can't contribute back the DVD support, etc because it is done in hardware.
  • Actually - the HP V class servers aren't really boxes - they're more like refrigerators :)
    We have one at my job that's about eight feet tall and four feet on a side. The breeze from its fans is enough to make walking difficult.

    I became a Linux convert the day that NT crashed five times on me.
  • If the underlying operating system is as irrelevant as they seem to imply that it is, I'm not sure we should be looking for significant kernel modifications any time soon. I think they went with Linux as opposed to QNX or BeOS for three reasons, all of which boil down to "free" as in "free beer":

    • No licensing fees.
    • It's getting a hell of a lot of "buzz" about it right now, and they get some free marketing because of that.
    • Other buzz-aware companies are trying to jump on the Linux bandwagon, too, so again Amiga gets a free ride. Assuming the MCC can run x86 binaries (not guaranteed, but hardly impossible), it'll have more software out of the starting gate than BeOS does--and certainly much more than if they'd gone with QNX or Chorus.

    I'm interested in seeing what happens, although obviously I'm a bit jaundiced (well-funded or not, this is an awful lot for a company that was less than a dozen people at the start of this year to deliver on this fast--a lot of this strategy apparently doesn't go back much further than Jim Collas' involvement).

    But you're right: if nothing else, we'll end up with another desktop manager with unique features that aren't compatible with Gnome and KDE. To hell with those "closed" desktop environments--why should we make it so application programmers have any reasonable expectation of what services the GUI they're running on can deliver? :-)

  • This systems seems to have as much in common with an old Amiga than any other computer system that is out now. I am not saying this is not cool technology but I just think that anyone who thinks this is any type of resurrection of "Amiga" as we know it is kidding themselves.
  • That sounds like a good argument that they can easily do what they are claiming. Maybe the point is that it's a good media machine at a reasonable price that you don't need to be an expert to put together?

    I never doubted that they couldn't do it. I just question why? You slap that kind of hardware on any Linux based machine and your going get a kick ass media machine. Provided you have the right drivers.

    If the machine is put together right you don't need to be a expert at anything. That includes Linux. So if you have a person, all she wants to do is browse the web and check email, Linux is just as good as Win95. A properly set up Linux box with KDE on it will do the job just fine.

  • >2.5GHz is a little tough to do with standard technology.

    Hard to do, and if you thought that old Alpha ran warm, 2.5GHz should not only keep your coffee warm, you can probably bake a potato inside the case. :P

  • What don't you understand. This is NOT I repeat NOT an Amiga. It has the name Amiga! The OS is a more bloated version of Linux, the hardware will not have all the cool cooprocessors of the Amiga. The new one is Amiga in NAME only. The old amigas had cooprocessors for the FLOPPY drive. The new one will not keep the same architechture and the standards will not hold true!
  • But as I recall the RAM my old 500 had was way more than enough to run even the hottest games. I hope they keep up the good kernel work.
  • WTF? ATI? And I quote:

    For example Amiga is working with ATI to incorporate next-generation 3D rendering technology into the MCC (see the Hardware Architecture section).

    ...Graphics Subsystem: Advanced SuperScalar rendering 2D & 3D hardware accelerator unannounced next-generation ATI chipset - specs still under non-disclosure)

    Am I the only person annoyed by this? The Amiga is going to feature graphics technology from a mediocre industry also-ran.

    Not only that, but because of my ongoing refusal to purchase ATI products (based on their extremely poor quality and performance), does this mean I should abstain from supporting the forthcoming Amiga?

    This is truly a shame, something that sends me away shaking my head in bafflement.
  • As I understand it (could be wrong :))
    Amiga is pre-emptive multitasking (in 1985)
    PC is AT BEST round-robin multitasking
    This is due to the evolutionary Amiga architecture and integrated
    chipset - Agnus, Paula...... one for sound, one for gfx one cpu blah
    blah all multitasking together
  • Everyone around here always calls stuff that isn't out yet Vaporware. And in the light that Transmeta is being all hoodaa secretive about what they're developing, I think it should be considered vaporware (espcially with all the rumours around).

    Why is it that there's a silence in the room when someone mentions Transmeta.
  • Well, I had an A500, and an A4000 back in
    1988 thru 95. I learnt a lot about computing and
    hardware then that wasn't even covered in
    the college courses I took.

    But, the sad fact is that since '93-'94,
    wish lists for 'next-generation' amigas
    have always existed, and I consider this
    announcement to be nothing more than that.

    Hardware specs are all very nice, but to
    be successul, it will have to compete with
    next-generation Sega's and Nintendo's,
    and ultra-low-priced PC's.

    And, if they pick anything other than Intel
    for the CPU, the software and driver support available for their platform is going to be miniscule. Sad fact of life, unfortunately.

  • Nah, maybe I wasn't all that clear- I was speculating that they weren't completely deaf to the open src imperative, so where it really matters- on the stuff which IS GPLed (like the kernel, no?) they won't stick their fingers in their ears and yell "I can't hear you".

    The point being that this is all rather new, an alledgedly commecial computer company (lest we forget, they have built nothing except some wobbly piles of jargon to date) wrestiong with a substantial GPLed code base.

    So yes, I realise that new software written from the ground up can be based on any legalse you chose (subject to statutory rights in the relevant country). However, I was merely interested in the first sign that they could do the open src thing without choking; something which seems too difficult a concept for the lieks fo creative labs etc..

  • Yep, and it still ran a multi-tasking GUI that booted off of a floppy disk.

    When MS finally put out Win95 I was fond of saying, "Gee, it's nice of them to finally put out some '80s tech."

    I'll trust them where memory is concerned as long as it can take standard chips as expansion.
  • Windows 9x has protected memory

    so does windows 3.1

    It's the drivers that cras 9x boxes (and NT boxes, running in kernel space)
    "Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"
  • Actually SGI has had X on their machines for years and they're the only ones who do kick ass multimedia...not your useless PCs with an OS that gets bogged down with 1 multimedia stream or crashes every 10 seconds (doze9x what else?). X *can* and *does* do kick ass multimedia.
  • BeOS WAS the new AmigaOS
    Most of the employees ARE Amigans
    Dave Haynie designed the original Amiga
  • Java goes one step further by throwing confusing and proven bad pitfalls away, including pointers, templates, and broken control struct expressions.

    Pointers and templates aren't confusing or bad; they're both powerful features if you know how to use them. It's very difficult (nearly impossible) to implement a generic programming language without them -- this alone makes the indispensible.


    PS. You forgot to trash overloaded operators. ;-)

  • Except of the fact that is a 128 bit cpu it probably wont beat a p2/300 when it comes to general data processing performance.
    perfict for ipv6!!!

    actulaly, I'd think a 128bit CPU would have a *huge* performance increase over a 32bit one
    "Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"
  • Ive always thought that the N64 and Reality Co-Processor would/could make a great computer. The next version of the processors in the Nintendo platform are going to be designed by some company formed by former SGI employees.... Art X?? I think it was called that. Any hoo... Based on how strong the Reality Coprocessor is and that Amiga is advertising for MIPS friendly people, it actually sounds more like "Art X" than it does Transmeta.
  • The 7 USB ports are probably to replace:

    1) Keyboard
    2) Mouse
    3) Parallel
    4) Serial (1)
    5) Serial (2)
    6) Joystick (1)
    7) Joystick (2)

    Yeah, I know a hub could add the extra functionality, but it's probably for perception value more than practical use.
  • What I found interesting was that the brief seemed to separate the graphics processing from the audio/video processing, possibly implying an additional chip (possibly a Media Processor) that is responsible for those operations. One such chip could be the VM Labs Nuon processor, which would appear to have the power to perform MPEG2 encoding, and is already claimed to do decoding for DVD and Dolby Digital.

    Pure speculation you understand, but with 1500mips processing power it would be a nice addition. Check out for more information.
  • Since when was Amiga DOA
    10million Amiga sold by commodore does not sound like DOA to me my reckoning that is 14 years (ha ha very long death mate)
  • I imagine you use Windows? And you call Linux users Lemmings? The irony...
  • Tee new Operating Environment IS open source (with linux kernel) with
    a CPU that is DESIGNED to run the Linux kernel & Java & Amiga classic
    software (Transmeta - Linus Torvald works for them AND has been
    speaking alot about Amiga recently)
  • Good thought.

    Paul Allen probably doesn't have enough money and needs to invent a strange and convoluted conspiracy to make more. And Linus et. al. don't mind a bit.

    Yup. That's probably it.

  • The new OE will be hardware independent, but is designed to tightly
    integrate with the hardware/cpu (which will be the optimal platform).
    they have already said that the re considering porting the new OE BACK
    to classic Amiga's with G3 PPC cards. so there is no reason that it
    will not run on x86,Mips, Arm ect
  • What if it's a Transmeta chip?
  • Erm, I (can) run Linux on my 68K Amiga and my dual 68k/PPC Amiga
  • No Comment == Transmeta

    With this new Transmeta chip, the Amiga will be able to compile programs in any laguage. Between that and all the other revolutionary technology in these machines they should sell like hotcakes.

    I hear their market price will be $299, no monitor, but that includes the new Transmeta chip, which will be called the Penguinator II (don't ask about I - it's double top secret).

    Can anyone confirm these prices?
  • This AC verbalized the same thoughts I had after reading this "brief". Except I rather expected slashdotters to PICK UP on this. Instead, a lot of people seemed to have jumped on the bandwagon, even supplying their own little fantasies (Amiga's gonna use Transmeta's super-duper magical mystical does-anything so-cool-they-don't-NEED-to-show-a-prototype-to-any one chip!) to bolster this pap.

    Be real - even if this was on the up-and-up, which I really am inclined to doubt, all we could expect out of it would be (since they'll probably soon announce dropping any hardware plans, mark my words) a pretty-but-slow window manager with some buggy Java integration.

    Eric the .5b
  • Penguinator II, the new world dominator ;-)
  • Let me guess, another Be FUDer. Come on, I will only accept Be, if it's users become more civil.
  • Looks like Be and Amiga have the same ideas, except for that BeOS runs on existing hardware.

    Advantage: matter how good the Transmeta chip might be, if it exists.

    BeOS has a larger number of users. I doubt most of those old Amiga users would come back.

    Advantage: Be.

    What makes the new Amiga OS so much like Linux? It has a microkernal like the BeOS, not like Linux. BeOS is POSIX complient, will the Amiga OS be?

    Just the name Amiga reminds me of a dead platform. That is going to hurt them. Who wants to use a previously dead platform? It may be new technology, but as far as I am concerned new Amiga=Zombie.

    Advantage: Be.

    All in all, the new Amiga platform has a lot of work cut out for it. The way I see it, Be is the main competator, and they already have several advantages. BeOS is great, I would never switch to Amiga anyway.

    --Never say never.

  • Erm, no.

    Amiga have repeatedly said that they won't make machines, but will instead make the OS/OE and a reference design, which clone partners (who they've apparently already got signed up) then manufacture.

    It's nice to see this sort of interest in AMigas, pity so much of it hasn't really followed the story...

  • by Spence ( 69851 )
    I think that discussing the hardware is only part of the real story here and to do so solely is to miss the whole point of the advance that is being made.

    1) The use of the term OE is deliberate as the the new OE will be a `virtual` environment for one or many networked computers be that by ethernet, internet or by one of the new high speed net works Amiga are looking at.

    2)The tech detail for amy of the new machine are widely irrelevant as Amiga I think are going to licence there technology anyway so new and higher speced machines will come out and anyway with the OE running then any one computer within the nextwork will be able to access any of the cards attached to any comnputer in the network be that a PC or silicon graphics as long as they can run the OE and are connected you can use them!

    3)The oe will handle all of these connections automatical.

    Now that's what I call inovation! People really must see beyond MIPS and Polygons these days that like saying a Linux Machine running on an P2 450 is inferior to a P3 of the same speed running window. Hardware wise thats true but we all know what a difference an OS or `OE` can Make!!!!!

  • Why must you labor under the impression that if an operating system exists, it must exist for the sole purpose of defeating every other operating system and becoming YAWOS (Yet Another Window OS)?

    Be isn't "trying" to defeat Linux. They aren't even trying to defeat Windows. They're making an operating system with interesting technology, and marketing it for specific purposes. It seems that many members of the Linux community seem to scoff at the notion of a specialized OS and then decide that Be is trying to compete head-on with Linux and Windows. Get over it.

    Be is competing with Linux in the sense that it presents yet another alternative operating system on the market. They aren't trying to crush Linux. They aren't trying to eradicate Linux. Despite my support of Be (my machine is 100% BeOS), I don't think they could crush Linux if they tried. On the other hand, Be offers me things Linux can't - and I would prefer not to have my OS of choice obliterated by some reactionary zealots who subscribe to the "if you aren't with us, you're against us" view point.

    If you want Linux, go for it. I support OSS wholeheartedly, and I'll stand up right with you if anybody tries to step on it or any product thereof. All I ask in return is that you don't shit on me because it doesn't fulfill my needs.

  • Well this job advert [] does lend some weight to the idea of it being MIPS based...
  • I used to (still do) have an Amiga 500. That machine kicked so much butt when I got it, and it's still kind of fun to poke around on (PEEK/POKE, get it?) every once in a while.

    In the article they talk about all of the multimedia capabilities of the new Amiga. They show DVD, TV in/out, AC3 decode, and MPEG-2 live stream capture among other things. I hope I can sit this next to my TV, play a movie, play Tribes, hear it all in Dolby Digital, and compile some code while drinking beer. Now there's a technology I want!
  • No co-processors? Then what is that 3D-engine, the 2D-engine (blitter(*), etc.), the GFX-chip, the DVD/MPEG2-decoder, the digital-TV (de)coder, audio-(de)coder, USB-handler, etc.?
    OK, maybe some things are done by the CPU, but if once that can do it very fast (as like a dedicated DSP... if it's really TM-like) it doesn't counts as much.
    BTW, the original Amiga was an efficient integration of things. This new thing isn't else... (Compared to PC's.)
    But this time it's more open, so 'future compliant'...

    (*) I just hope there will be routines to access it from apps directly.
  • Where is the old Amiga in all of this? This is the spec for a Mac!

    - Where did Mac go for video? ATI.
    - What do new Macs use for drive controllers? IDE.
    - What did the iMac bring Macs? USB.
    - What OS already runs on the Macs? Linux.

    While I appreciate the openness of the PC architecture, I don't want an Amiga that is basically a repackaged Mac/PC.

    I want the old Amiga.

    - The one that could run a functional OS and apps in 1MB of RAM. Hard disks! Who needs them?
    - The one that had coprocessors to offload work from the CPU. No fancy schmancy PCI bus crapola.
    - The one that had the oddest expansion options and the wierdedst cases I've ever seen.
    - The one with the most wacked out display resolutions imaginable (1200x400).

    Where are Denise, Paula, and Fat Agnus? Where's the flat memory architecture? Where's the chip ram!?

    Jay Miner's probably rolling over in his grave.
  • We've actually got about 8 of them here. they are cube boxes, your probably describing two of them stacked. Yeah, the fans are great, just like a wind tunnel. ;) I just got done installing 11 on a K/380 the other day, that's a nice box too, but nothing like the Vs.. :)~
  • [sarcasm]

    Gee, yeah, that would be really cool. Instead of being a different operating system with new forms of technology, it could just be yet another Linux distribution.


    Seriously, my biggest fear with open-sourcing BeOS is that people wouldn't work on it as a whole, but take what they could, throw it all on Linux, and then leave. Aside from the kernel, which most of the kernel developers from Linux wouldn't look at because it's a microkernel, most of the BeOS technology would simply wind up as fodder for the other Linux distributions. In the words of some anonymous Star Trek villains, "We will add your own distinctiveness to our own."

  • And it's not even out yet! Java, Linux, OpenGL, net-aware, broadband Internet (whatever that is). Com'on! Whas this written by Al Gore or what? Please, get the bloody thing out first before you start hyping it.
    Good luck, you need it!



  • well your going to need people !

    Im cheap I do java and low level c no C++ for me

    and am willing to travel where ever you want


    john jones


    a poor student @ bournemouth uni in the UK (a deltic so please dont moan about spelling but the content)
  • The existing posts have missed the one important fact - the revolutionary thing is the Operating Environment. The fact they are using Linux is irrelevent from a technological point of view. The OE can, and will be ported to other OSs, possibly/probably even QNX.

    Comments about it being another Linux distro are fair, but don`t expect it to be along the same lines as say RedHat. The AmigaObjects technology allows ease of use of Linux, without having to worry about prortability to other OSs, which as I say is the killer idea in Amigas plans.

    In short Amiga plan to create a standard for network based computing (the concept Ellison/Oracle has been banging on about for the last few years)it utilizes Java simply for the existance of the Java Virtual Machine - why reinvent something when it already exists. The JVM is exactly the technology that is required for this AmigaObject concept. If the Transmeta chip is as good at emulation as is suggested, then performance worries of the JVM will be irrelevent (at least no more important than performace issues of x86 code on TM.)
  • I agree as well. I am going to wait and see what happens. I will definately purchase the machine. A lot of people are frightened of the idea of Linux being used as the core kernel of the OS or OE, what have you. I felt the same way when I first read the information. I was shocked and I too wondered what was so "revolutionary" about that. I started thinking of it a little differently though. Kickstart can be thought of as the core kernel of the classic Amiga OS. Kickstart is very small and really plays no huge part in the overall use of the Amiga. We have seen Kickstart evolve from a floppy disk to a ROM, yet the actual OS, AmigaDos, could very well have run if Kickstart was originally Linux.
    Since it actually seems as if there will be a tangible product released in the semi-near future, whereas there has not been anything remarkable released for the Amiga Community to salivate over in far too many years, I think that it would be wise to see what Amiga Inc. has to offer once they actually have it to offer. I can say one thing from my own personal experience of having worked at Gateway for over a year and that is that they are a very secretive bunch. Even though it seems like they are holding back half of the information we want to find out, they are holding back three times as much as we think they are. I don't want to lose some of the features that only the Amiga has offered, such as multiple resolutions displayed simultaneously on multiple screens, dynamic RAM disks, screen sizes that you can set the size of yourself rather than having four choices, etc. I would like to see a browser better than IBrowse, and action games better than Gloom though. I want to finally have a machine that can hurt the hell out of Microsoft. At present, I show people my Amigas quite often and although they are impressed by a lot, there isn't much I could sell them on buying one with. I think that Amiga Inc. will actually be giving us a machine that we can show off to Beamers and perhaps cause them to make a purchase of their own. With this in mind, I think that they will become very well supported and that anything we have to complain about now, would inevitably be taken care of later, especially considering the fact that the best shareware and PD writers in the world are Amigans.

  • As far as I'm concerned, this has got TransMeta written all over it. Just add these two up:

    "We have selected a very exciting CPU for the MCC, which is at the heart of a next-generation processing subsystem. The CPU subsystem will provide more than just traditional central processing services .."


    "We are still under strict confidentiality constraints, and cannot disclose information about the CPU at this time. However, we believe the selection of this technology will give us a unique advantage for the Amiga."

    Okay, so it's a new, revolutionary CPU, being developed in absolute secrecy. And they talked to Linus a LOT. As far as I'm concerned they might as well have said it was TransMeta outright. Nobody else matches the definition

  • NO


    They will have to release patches they make to the kernel. They will have to release programs that link to GPL'd libraries.

    But it's ok to use LGPL'd libraries, it's ok to use Linux's system calls, it's ok to use XFree86, it's ok to use the gnu tools, all without opening up your own source.

    If you don't want to check this from the licenses directly, then just think of all the closed source applications that are available for Linux, e.g., WordPerfect, StarOffice, Realplayer, Netscape (5), etc.
  • by Kaa ( 21510 ) on Friday July 16, 1999 @04:43AM (#1799312) Homepage
    gaming console.

    It's really cheap, and it's not a PC.

    Is that supposed to be an advantage? And didn't Be go that way already with known results?

    If the target market is geeks/tinkerers, PCs are better because of open architecture and very rapid innovation. If the target market is teens/housewives for Internet surfing, email and games, then any number of contenders will kick Amiga's ass (Dreamcast and other coming consoles, very cheap PCs, cheap Macs, etc.)

  • I meant to say Netscape previous to 5.0. I wrote smaller-than-sign 5, and should have sent it as Extrans instead of Plain Old Text (I guess).

    Let's see if I can make it work: Netscape (5)

    Actually, Netscape 5.0 might very well be closed source, if it is packaged with 3rd party components. But it'll be based on good old open source Mozilla.
  • How can they say that Amiga OS uses a microkernal, and have Linux as a foundation?

    I think their ideas are good here, they better have a x86 version, otherwise they are just another Apple.
  • Weird! It doesn't work. I'm not going to look up how to write a smaller-than-sign in correct HTML, though.
  • How can they say that Amiga OS uses a microkernal, and have Linux as a foundation?

    I think their ideas are good here, they better have a x86 version, otherwise they are just another Apple.
  • Wrong. They can call it Amiga because they own the trademark.
  • If ATI is good enough for the Mac's (TNG), it's not a shame at all. Anyway, it's only the base, you can plug in better GFX-cards, if needed, and probably there will be different/better mo-boards, too.
  • Check out as they might have an opening if not go to WWW.CUCUG.ORG and check out the amiga page. The Amiga community are always willing to embrace another programmer and pretty soon you should be able to play with workbench (the Amigas current OS)! I know that this isn`t as exciting as a paid job but the Amiga community is even stonger than the linux one (yep it is possible).

  • Never rule out the impossible!! Amiga talked to alot of hardware companies before deciding on their 'technology partners'and if they feel that this next gen technology is good then I think that we should trust them,or at least wait and see. Anyway if previous statements are to be beleived the graphics card will get a big helping had from the CPU opps sorry the multimedia chip come CPU, and as I've said before its the system as a whoel thats important not any one part. Amiga have alwayus been good at getting the most from the hardware they use and I have no doubt that they will not stop now!!! But if you really feel strongly about not butinh ATI then don't buy an Amiga NG, but don`t come cryiong to me if your the last kid on the block as it were!!!

  • "Amiga MMC will include .. and ATX motherboard" = not a PC?
    Hehe... Anyway... It won't be based on x86, and thats a good thing...
  • >It might not be Linux we all end up using, but it will be opensource. So dont waste your money on Amiga or BeOS, they'll be useless within a year.

    People have been saying this about BeOS since '95!

    This open-source snobbery is starting to get on my nerves... (flame away)

  • I think the best bit of the technology brief has to be the following lines:

    "Finally, there will be a suite of end-user workspaces, including a new Amiga Workbench being designed at Amiga. There are already a number of interesting desktop environments available for Linux, and it is our intent to contribute the Amiga workbench to the open source movement, and encourage the creative Amiga and Linux communities to modify, enhance, replace, and generally get creative when it comes to next-generation desktop environments (we believe that one of the disadvantages of today's Windows and Macintosh personal computers is the "closed" nature of their desktop environments)."

    Add that to the promise of kernel modifications ( which have to be Open Sourced ) and you have one
    *open* system..

    This *could* really be a revolution...
  • AFAIK preemptive-multitasking works that way the OS directs the task-switchig itself, by interrupting them after a certain time (in microsecs) of running, redirecting processing to other one. So usually no one can hold processing at itself for a prolonged time, but it's well spreaded. Additionally, on Amiga the user-input has (almost) the highest priority.

    With cooperative-multitasking, tasks are giving the processing over to each other, usually after some routines are finished. So it frequently happen that some task hold the processing for longer, even several seconds! (While the user can just wait...)
  • In the article they talk about all of the multimedia capabilities of the new Amiga. They show DVD, TV in/out, AC3 decode, and MPEG-2 live stream capture among other things. I hope I can sit this next to my TV, play a movie, play Tribes, hear it all in Dolby Digital, and compile some code while drinking beer. Now there's a technology I want!

    What's the big deal? Buy a PC right now, spend some money on cards/peripherals and you can have all you listed here and now. And, by the way, you don't really want to use your TV as a computer monitor -- that really sucks.

  • Those custom chips did a whole lot more than "address price/performance issues". From Miner's Atari 8-bit series, and then again in the Amiga series, his designs made so much more of the computer than just a CPU. They were tightly integrated products that could do so much more than the individual parts were spec'ed to do.

    It took two full generations of Wintel parts to get to the same performance level as my Amiga 500 - which I bought in the days of the 286. Not until I had a 486 DX/2-66 was I "comfortable" running GUI apps on a PC (WFW 3.11, mind you). If Miner had been able to continue design, I think his integrated chipsets would still be way ahead of the mountains of components we have to choose from now.

    I'm not saying that integrated designs are necessarily better than the modular setup we have now, but they sure made for a machine with a much different feel than the ones I use now.

    The reason you need a graphics card on your Amiga now is because the Amiga's chipset evolution stopped at the 3000. I, for one, wish it hadn't.
  • No, if they have code for it, I'm sure they can translate it into decent code for us. If they can't do that, it's probably because of licensing issues, not technical incompetence. (I doubt they built decoders for them directly into hardware, they must have drivers for other people's DVD drives...)
  • It doesn't per se clock higher, but cranks out many, many, MANY times more MIPS than the nearest Intel CPU. That's, of course, a rumor.
  • Since Amiga will be using the Linux kernel, and will apparantly be using an xfree86 Xserver, and presumably most of the gnu tools associated with linux ...

    Interesting that you brought that up. What if the Amiga OE is so self-contained that it removes the need for the GNU toolset? We'll have a Linux system for which the name "GNU/Linux" would not be appropriate.

  • Sounds very interesting. Interesting enough to make me think twice about spending $2k on a new PC until I know more about when and how these are going to be released...

    Presuming they're running Transmeta's new processor (and I'm sure that's what everyone is thinking... in fact they hinted enough at it, I'm suprised if Transmeta is the chip maker, that they're not flipping out about it right now...), and the rumors about the ability of the processor to switch microcode on-the fly (running various instruction sets during various timeslices), this could be a true industry killer if they get good multimedia application support for native Amiga apps, run Linux apps, and have the ability to emulate other processors well enough that something like Sheepshaver and VMWare allow you to run Mac or Windows applications. Maybe not on the stock system, but if I can but a reasonably priced multimedia powerhouse, with even the option of running Mac and Windows software, that's something that would be hard to not buy.

    Hardware Java is pretty slick too... sure beats running them interpreted or even JIT. Hopefully they'll (and I can't believe I'm saying this) be like Microsoft and extend Java so you're not stuck with the horrid AWT for your UI.

    I think this is awfully exciting. Wonder if they're looking to hire people? :)
  • by Porag_Spliffing ( 66509 ) on Friday July 16, 1999 @05:16AM (#1799395) Homepage

    From the rumour mill it is alleged that the CPU may be the new Transmeta chip:

    I quote verbatim from


    Posted 16/07/99 1:20pm by Mike Magee

    Amiga Usenet exchange heightens Transmeta spexulation

    An exchange between Jim Collas, president of Amiga, and another individual on Usenet has heightened speculation that the company may use the Transmeta processor in its Amiga MCC platform.

    This morning, Amiga released its specs for its hardware platforms (see Amiga releases technical brief with 'exciting Linux CPU').

    Yesterday, posting in the comp.sys.amiga.misc newsgroup, D Cousins speculated that Amiga was set to incorporate the Transmeta processor into its platform.

    He pointed out that the die size, plus its ability to run emulations including classic Amiga apps, could make it a candidate.

    Collas replied to that post saying: "I can't verify that any of this is true but this is a brilliant speculation. You can expect similar types of hardware/software integration and optimization in the new Amiga... this influenced the Linux decision. Unfortunately, I can't talk about certain partners yet so people will continue to reach conclusions without all of the information."

    End Transmition
  • The Amiga had coprocessors because consumer technology didn't exist that filled their needs at the time. A 3DFX card or what have you in a PCI slot is actually a specialized coprocessor. A chip like the newest ATI offerings are a system on a chip featuring a video processor and a 3d graphics coprocessor. PCI is just the bus used to connect it. The Amiga had some bus to connect their custom chips through as well, never having owned one I don't know the name.
  • AmigaObjects[tm] are the foundation on which all Amiga Operating Environment services are built


    Networking is intrinsic to AmigaObjects, which means that AmigaObjects are free to move around on the network or use
    network resources. The AmigaObject architecture by virtue of this flexibility enables a new class of "net-aware"
    applications where there is no clear boundary between a device and the network.

    I sure hope that these AmigaObjects have a good security structure, or the recent Viruses that have been popping up lately on Wintel will pale by comparison to what'll appear on the new Amiga

  • Well duh, any other serious revolutionary CPU's out there (cept the K7 which I do consider revolutionary.. but in a different way).
    Anyways for years Amiga has been quite serious when it comes to cross platform support. On the Amiga 5 years ago, (about the time I last saw a new amiga) it shipped with a windows and mac emulator, which worked pretty damn well. This amazingly was one of thier main selling points, a powerPC that kicked the ass off the powerPC (and it did) while still running Amiga programs too. From almost the very begining it could read dos fat formated disk. Well anyhow I don't know where I'm going with this anymore, just that I know Amiga considered cross platform support and big deal, and the TransMeta chip will reportably provide this.
  • That's pretty unlikely considering how SGI has made such overt leanings towards Linux and x86 architecture in addition the thier MIPS line. SGI just doesn't have a reason to make anything with Amiga written on it. Neither does Sun.
  • That's Slashdot's "reparenting high scored responses" feature at work. I'm guessing your threshold is 1, and you're seeing replys to an AC's post which has been hidden by your threshold.

  • So under your very own supposition, the Amiga with QNX would not be an Amiga either because it was not coded from the ground up.

    As for cutting corners. We've been waiting 5 long years for a new Amiga. If they had to do it from the ground up, they would have been out of date by the time they released it. And you would be posting here instead that it isn't meaty enough for you and that it won't fit in todays market.

    A single company cannot compete with the graphics industry, and Microsoft. The best thing to do was to leverage the market and get a product out as fast as possible and garner as much mindshare as possible.

    QNX would have gotten us a good computer, but it would not have gotten us the mindshare that Linux would provide. There is no point in putting out a superior computer and the only people who buy it is half the Amiga market. (there will still be people in the amiga community who will say it isn't "Amiga enough" for them. Linux is the best choice because it's the only market right now thats expanding at a furious rate.

    Also you should be happy that the windowing system is something you can completely modify to your hearts content. Besides, by making it open source, people will be modifying the Amiga's GUI on the Amiga rather than an enlightenment theme that would pop up after the first screenshot that comes out.

    In order for the Amiga to come back, you have to increase the community. If you don't, there will be no profits. Without any profits, you can't fund R&D for the next computer. Simple enough fory ou? Some dreams has to have sacrifices. The world and computers have changed from the late 80s.

  • The hardware isn't the point here. It's the aim of the OS. Network computing isn't the future anymore - think about it. The Microsoft OS isn't the future anymore. By using a portable base and focusing on providing an optimal Java application environment, the Amiga is once again jumping five steps ahead of the next best thing.

    Switching from QNX to Linux on a moment's notice doesn't seem so absurd if you look at the fact that this architecture obviates the need to rely on a particular underlying architecture. They could probably go Mach in a later OS update and the user would never notice.

    I'm starting to get excited again. Given all the above and the promise of good multimedia support, something Linux still doesn't quite have, this could be a developer's best springboard for Things To Come.

One can't proceed from the informal to the formal by formal means.