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QNX partnering w/Phase 5 to make PowerPC computer 87

Emission writes "Canada based QSSL, which formerly were supposed to deliver the kernel for the next generation Amigas, with their QNX Neutrino kernel, today announced that they will instead partner with Phase 5 in order to port the Neutrino OS to Amigas equipped with Phase 5's PowerPC based PowerUP cards. Phase 5 has also announced a new quad CPU computer, the AmiRage K2, which will run Neutrino as its native OS. See the partnering announcement for details. This is apparently targetted at the many Amigans who are less than satisfied with Amiga Inc's decision to base the Amiga OE on the Linux kernel. " Erg-I can barely keep up with the changes that's going on. My head hurts.
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QNX partnering w/Phase 5 to make PowerPC computer

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  • QNX Neutrino & Photon GUI is SMP. It is finished for x86.
    A demo has been available for download for some time. It fits on a
    single 1.44mb floppy. Neutrino, Photon GUI, TCP stack and browser. Yo
    can get on the net with ONE floppy.
    Less than 1/10 of the kernel/OS is cpu dependent so is entirely
    portable. AND the kernel is tiny.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Am I the only one who's noticed that SlashDot is completely dominated by corporate news these days? Look at the articles posted here today, for example:

    1) QNX
    2) NSI
    3) AOL/Sun/Netscape
    4) Game Consoles (Sony/Nintendo,...)
    5) AOL
    6) Telstra
    7) Westwood
    8) USPS
    9) Perl (finally!)
    10) WalMart


    One, or arguably 2 articles out of 10 dealing with something *other* than what the corporations are up to. What I want to know about is what *our* community is doing -- where are the stories about the latest developments in free software projects like GNOME or KDE, etc. I'm sick of seeing stories about the latest IPO from some tech-related corporation. I want "News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters", not news for businessmen.

    A disgruntled long-time fan of Slashdot.
  • Because many in the Amiga community have a (somewhat understandable) loathing of the x86 platform. Look at all the criticism and discontent at even just the initial deelopment platform for the AmigaNG being x86 based.
  • This clearly should not go under the Amiga icon. We need a QNX icon, or a QNX vs. Amiga icon, or just a good vaporware icon.

    Or why not just put them all under the Penguin? Eventually the PR for any manufacturer will claim their system is Linux based.
  • Phase5 isn't exactly known for shipping products on time, or shipping them at all in some cases. (Pre/Box and A/box come to mind). However, to their credit, they have shipped accelerators for the amiga and have some of the better ones around. They also have created some of the best videocards you can get for the amiga. (too bad everything is at a pretty steep price, but what do you expect with low quantities?) When you think about it, what has Amiga Inc. Actually *done* for the amiga community lately? Alot of promises, and perhaps an update to the OS, but beyond that they've mostly just spun PR around. I think Phase5 deserves a bit more credit than what has been shown on here. They've tried and failed just like amiga has, but who knows, maybe they'll actually be able to use what they learned from the A/box and Pre/box mistakes and do it right this time. I am somewhat skeptical that either will actually come out with a product, or atleast, that it will live up to the hype, but maybe they will prove me wrong. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. It should be interesting!
  • The "nerd" community and the "open/free" community are not one and the same. There's a lot of overlap, sure, but being a nerd doesn't automatically mean that you're not interested in what tech businesses are doing.

    As a long-time Amiga nerd, I'm enjoying Slashdot's coverage of the recent Amiga saga. If you don't like it, why not get a Slashdot account and filter all the stories you don't want to read? You'll get some very light days (like today which, as you say, is dominated by corporate news), but at least you won't have to put up with stories you've got no interest in.

    I personally read Slashdot for the comments. I can get straight news anywhere. The opinions of other Slashdotters are what counts for me. Opinions are always interesting, no matter whether the story in question is a corporate or "free project" one.

  • I think he ment the excellent sound editor / HD recording software CoolEdit Pro.. Not the text editor (cooledit texteditor is by the way a linux program)...
  • yesterday there was a web page at QSSL with the list of drivers for NTO/Amiga, here's a link [] to read it as it has been removed from the site but was in my cache.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I guess there's no difference.
  • don't bitch at someone for being ignorent, when you yourself are no better, the only relation java and javascript have is there name (and the coding style they share with c, c++, perl, python, etc)
    "Subtle mind control? Why do all these HTML buttons say 'Submit' ?"
  • Linux may not be very special from a design standpoint

    Thank you, someone who's prepared to say that. And this is the big ptoblem for us. Yes, the kernel's not the interesting bit, but if we're stuck with the wrong kernel it's a big problem. Linux just isn't the right product for trying to build a new BeOS, in effect. Sorry, but for this to work there needs to be a compelling reason to move, and this announcement makes that very unlikely.

  • the amiga was never dead!
    i dont know why so many think it is
  • phase5 were the guys talking a couple of years ago about an Amiga-style computer called the A\Box, which never saw the light of day. They were also planning a multi-processor Amiga-compat called the pre\Box, which also never happened. With this track record, I'm a bit sceptical. It'd be nice if it did happen, though. phase5's hardware is (in my experience) very good.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I guess they're trying to recoup whatever investment they made on Neutrino. Still, I really have to wonder if this OS is good enough to sell lots of boxes. I mean gee, didn't Be Inc go public just a couple of days ago? And are we not in agreement that even though BeOS is Wicked Cool(tm), Be Inc realistically doesn't have a snowball's chance in Hell? Why is this different?
  • This is just the next sequel in Amiga soap opera.

    Nothing will ever come out of this.


  • by Squid ( 3420 ) on Thursday July 22, 1999 @04:44AM (#1790217) Homepage
    Phase 5: Fighting Vaporware with Vaporware since 1995!

    Phase 5: If we don't ship it, you didn't want it.

    Phase 5: One of three promises actually ships, it's six months late and 150% it's original budget, but when you finally get it, it's GOOOOOD...

    Phase 5: If this don't work out, you can always try out Mac accelerators instead!

    Phase 5: Cooperation, shmooperation - just don't piss us off, okay?
  • What's the motivation to switch from a free OS like Linux then?

    There isn't? I don't know what market they're after, but I doubt the Linux community is it. More likely, they'll be going after set-top boxes and entry level computers, taking users away from MS, not Linux.

    Look ma! I'm a pundit! ;)

  • Phase 5 have never really been happy with AInc. Amiga blew them off by first announcing that the new AmigaOS would be PPC, then changing their minds, leaving Phase5's powerUp business rather dead in the water.

    I believe that they haven't managed to get any guarantees about being able to manufacture NG Amiga hardware either, so I suppose this is logical for them.

    They are rather burning their bridges with Amiga Inc, however.

    And they are utterly notorious for product slippage.
  • BeOS aren't promoting their OS, aren't encouraging people to use it, and have overpriced it for the intended audience. In short, they've done a great job of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
  • As the PPC add on boards are almost as expensive as a budget PC I can't quite see how they can make an entire computer to this spec for as cheap as they seem to be implying.
  • I wonder why Be has failed already? They've just gone public with a pretty decent showing and the OS is stronger than ever.

    Did I miss some big news that Be's out of business?
  • by Sloppy ( 14984 )

    We could dump Win** and MAC and stick the mindless droids on Amiga boxes

    I think that is exactly what Amiga Inc intends to attempt. There's a lot of money to be made there. Might be going after BeOS's check too; hard to tell.

    Not sure what QNX Neutrino and Phase 5 going for. It looks like they are going for the hobbyists who find the free Unixes to be boring. Maybe they'll also go after the mindless droids too, but it's hard to tell at this point. (I wish QNX would speak up!!) And keep in mind that QNX also does imbedded systems that can stealthily creep into everyone's lives without them even knowing it. Who knows, your car/toaster/router might be running their stuff.

    BTW, you are wrong about MacOS.

  • We use QNX version 4 and 6 at work. It is solid -- does not crash, but really retarded when it comes to hardware.

    Will not run on Celeron, AMD, Cyrix, Pentium III or Xeon!!!

    Will not run on x/100 clocked Proccesors ( no 100s , 200s, 300s) usualy this means that you just need to jumper or switch the speed down.

    Now I have seen the new demos and was really impressed... but not that much. Any browser with no java is prety pointless.

  • QNX6?!? last one is QNX4.25, and it runs perfectly on 386, 486, pentium, pentiumII, pentiumIII, AMD, Cyrix, etc.
    Hardware support is quite good, all the network card i have here are supported, video card also, they also have new SCSI driver in alpha that support almost every controler.
    BTW it runs on PII 450 or PIII500 or c300a o/c to 450
  • yesterday there was at a full list of driver supported by NTO, it has dissapear!
  • | That's just what they need now - a split in the
    | community. Sure, fragment that user base even
    | more!

    At this point, should either "Amiga" developer really give a rat's ass about fragmenting the community? There just aren't enough die-hard "I will buy anything with the Amiga badge on it" Amigans left to make a financial dent these days.

    If any company pusing a new "Amiga" is to survive, IMO they've got to shed the ashes of the Amiga's former life and reach out to a whole bunch of *new* blood.
  • by schon ( 31600 )
    Great... Phase5 is probably the largest vapourware company in the
    world (percentage-wise - number of products they announce, relative to
    number that actually ship,) and has the _WORST_ tech-support -
    even worse than Microsoft...

    I guess this puts an end to QNX's interest in the Amiga market..

    Hmm.. interesting theory - what if QNX is aware of Phase5's
    shortcomings, and is doing this to save face? (We couldn't carry
    through with our promises because the hardware company we partnered
    with dropped the ball...)
  • by BranMan ( 29917 ) on Thursday July 22, 1999 @05:22AM (#1790245)
    This may be slightly off-topic, but I think I can see all the company's logic. This makes my head hurt too - I was a staunch and loyal member of the Amiga community for a very long time. Most would be simply overjoyed to have a new Amiga come out - any Amiga. Now there will be TWO?

    Anyway, Phase 5 has been cut out of the loop for a very long time. They are still trying to work with the old Amiga architecture and update it (even with the A/box and pre/Box projects that fizzled). To their credit they have been very good and very didicated.

    Amiga Inc has decided to start over (and as we read in CatB, you have to be prepared to "start over, at least once"). I sincerely hope that Amiga Inc's "magical mystery chip" is Transmeta's and that it turns out to be worth the secrecy and hype.

    FWIW, I think Amiga Inc. is right and Phase 5 is wrong. Embracing the Linux kernel is the only chance Amiga really has of creating a place for itself. I've been thinking about this a lot since the Linux for Amiga announcement. This might be the perfect opportunity for LFTM. Phase 5 and QNX will be just another bit player, and will end up like the old Amiga - lost in the shuffle, with little hope of getting into the mainstream. [I know, I know - it saddens me too, but there comes a point you have to cut the cord and move on .]

    Think about Amiga Inc's vision. A new Amiga - which has some (very specialized) name recognition, "running Linux" (you know that's how the press will talk about it), using the newest, greatest powerhouse CPU from the mysterious Transmeta. This will have Linux binary compatability (read: large application base), ONE desktop, ONE look and feel (with the option to add more later, but having ONE at first is a key point for LFTM), plug and play hardware (if they are lucky), ONE video system (already configured for X-windows and 3D), ONE sound system (really key, and still painful for Linux in general). This could be THE saving grace for Linux For The Masses - somewhere everyone can start. For 75%, that will be it. The rest will add and play a little at a time (read: progressive disclosure - another user interface point for LFTM). No sysadmin duties, no configuration worries, plug it in and run. Period. It could be "the Linux box any grandmother can use".
  • by Tsk ( 2863 )
    I whish BeOS ran on That Baby .....
    But the baby isn't out Yet
    Reminds Me Pios who said they would release the Pios One in 6 month and 6 month later said in 6 month and so on until they just drop the idea of making a PPC machine.
    But if this baby ever comes out, linux Will rock on it (especially since Motorola gave the egcs project evrything for altivec support).
  • In my book the three killer apps for me under Linux would be Lightwave, Cool Edit Pro, and Eudora.

    Lightwave is on a bunch of platforms, and seems to generate its own UI widgets, I wonder what would be involved in Newtek actually doing a Linux port? Eudora is probably pretty portable too.

    E-mail campaign anyone?

    Cool Edit Pro seems very tied to the Windows system, so there's not much chance there. Its a shame there's not anything comparable that actually works right now.
  • ok QNX was based on the same o/s that sits in your router (if you have a good one)

    so for that reason it does not do SMP uh huh
    its a real time OS ideal for embeding into products what they are trying to achive here I dont know this comes far to fast on the heals of amiga's PR on linux

    what do thy hope to achive maybe they want to licence it to others but this seems the wrong way to go about it !

    all that work and they dont realise what its for !!!

    john jones

    a poor student @ bournemouth uni in the UK (a deltic so please dont moan about spelling but the content)
  • >2) Didn't the company that produced Amiga, go out of business.


    >3) Are these "new" guys

    Never heard of Gateway then ?
  • This is all just my opinion, and it could be way off base. I bring it up only for a diffrent point of view.

    "running Linux" (you know that's how the press will talk about it) In a way, Linux is to OS's what Ross Perot was the "the third party canadate." It has successfully shown that there are other options than the "Big Two" (GOP/DNP, and Windows/MacOS) for general user desktops. At the core of Linux is a kernel in heavy development. But out in userland, it's success is primarly due to "open source" applications. So, when you say " Linux binary compatability (read: large application base)..." it won't be. Binary isn't the issue at all. The issue is open source, and source portablity. The binaries are a non-issue, because they can be recompiled on diffrent platforms. Open source has opened the doors to a wide range of platforms.

    Since open source "opens the door," the remaining issues are the platforms. On the hardware end, there are companies like Compaq who have a great chip in the Alpha, and AMD who might have a great chip comming in the K7. But, the the great chip in itself will not be enough, it will require strong support from the compiler community. Alpha's lack of success in the Linux community is primarily not do to Linux, it's insted due to the fact that although the chip is strong, and the OS is stable, the binaries generated by open source compilers are fairly weak. gcc/egcs has made a great effort, but for some hardware, it's "not there yet" and it will take the hardware vendors embracing _NOT THE OS_ but the open source compiler community insted. When the preformance of the applications can match the potential of the hardware, only then will the platform be considered "a good choice."

    What if Amiga teamed with Linux is much like saying "what if George Bush Jr. teams with Mrs. Dole" It's a big "if" that hinges only on popularity, and may make a splash. But when it comes down to the issues, *BSD, QNX, or anyone able to provide a solid OS at a low cost WITH the ability to take instant advantage of the wide range of open source applications, and with the ability to optimize those applications successfully for the hardware will end up the "better choice."

    The success of XFree86 is nice, and with the looks of 4.0, will be better. But, it's not the be all to end all. Berlin is comming down the pipe, and anything that is capable of creating a good solid windowing environment for the right target platform will be something that will not go un-noticed. If you want to talk about "cutting the cord," consider X11R6 standards, lackings, and the fact that XFree86 is fairly tied into x86 hardware. When do we "cut the cord" on legacy x86 compatability, and focus on portability, and _good_ preformance (optimized compilers) for other platforms?

    All in all, if Transmeta and Amiga and Linux teamed together, I don't deny it would "make a splash that the press would notice." But would the waves generated be ripples in the ocean, or would they be big enough waves to wash some of the standing perminate fixtures on the shore away?

    IMHO, the true unsung heros are not Linus, or Jordan Hubard, or any "OS" people. They get enough press. The true unsung heros are not AMD, or Amiga, or Alpha, they get enough press. The people with the potential to change the computing world are 1) the open source compiler community, and 2) the people who focus on making thier open source applications efficent and portable.

  • I really hope, this could lead to inexpensive PowerPC-based PCs, even cheaper then some of Apple's cheap machines-- (the iMac [at us$1299] and the iBook [at us$1599]).

    Other PowerPC hardware is much more expensive. :-( This is too bad, since the PowerPC platform is well designed and put together, even if it has some faults.
  • If you see BE's demo at a trade show, they will give you a $25 discount on the os. Now $45(price with disount) is a lot lower than most unix flavors when you order them with tech support and manuals. If you don't want those things than it doesn't really matter if the OS is free or not, you call intall a pirated copy if you don't need those services. I think that Becorp is trying to get people use their product, the are not trying to slay microsoft, just supplement them. I think that this attitude is reflected in the partitioning and multi boot software it comes with the OS.
    But one more thing. BEOS runs on off the shelf PC hardware (mac to, but that looks like that is ending. QNX isn't likely to be able to combine an obscure os with un-mainstream hardware. They are going to need one hell of a killer app for that to happen.

    In the land of the blind the one eyed man is burnt at the stake.
  • Today really is pretty heavy on the business stuff, it's true.

    But it's not really possible to neatly cleave business news from technical news: technical products are sold, after all, and the companies that make them and employ their designers grow, shrink, go new directions, make missteps ...

    Also, as Linux becomes better known and more successful among non-Uebergeek users (I fit somewhere in the slime-mold sequence of computer users;) so I know we're out here!), the fact is that more things which are undeniably Business will be significant to slashdotters. If a big hardware company is even a smidgeon more open about their design to Open Sourcerers, it's a big deal.

    Also, since now many businesses are (figuratively) scratching their chins and mumbling about Free OS alternatives to the perpetually baited hook of MS Upgrade, it makes sense that business coverage is more and more relevant.

    Just some thoughts,


  • I'm afraid you've missed the point I was trying to make with my LFTM comments. The Open Source community, and all it has done is absolutely irrelevant in the mainstream arena. I made the point of stating Linux binary compatability for a reason - the average person wouldn't know a compiler from a cobra. They don't WANT to compile code. The average Linux person doesn't even compile code - "Hey, here's a great new app that will run on every machine on the planet! Download it and compile away!" "Uh, are there any RPM there? No? Oh, oh well."

    I'm not trying to start a flame war (Really! I'm not!), but the idea of the Amiga being LFTM does not include source code. Period.

    For any machine to reach the mainstream public it has to be able to run apps. All apps, any app you go down to CompUSA and buy off the shelf. Right now that is Win9x. We are starting to see a few Linux titles on the shelves. Games, distributions. That is what I think Amiga Inc is capitolizing on - and needs to.

    Time will tell.
  • The page appears correctly.

    Speaking about drivers, I'm sorry to say, but anyone who can grab Linux kernel 2.2.x will find that 95% of the drivers that QNX supports - Linux supports also (besides the USB which is developed right now & Firewire).

    Also, Linux got LOTS of other drivers that QNX doesn't. Some examples: ISDN, Radio tuners, TV Tuners, mouses, camera's, and lots more..

    So please QNX, admit it - open source work.. specially with Linux.

  • Embracing the Linux kernel is the only chance Amiga really has of creating a place for itself.


    XFree86 running on top of Darwin would have been interesting

    As an Amiga fan of many years, no. One of the big attractions of Amigas has been technical superiority and efficiency. Whatever anyone may say, we all have to recongise that Linux isn't anything special from a technical POV and that this is a marketting decision not technical. Same goes for X - too bloated.

    We've all stood by Amigas for years because we like the clean efficiency of these machines and still marvel at the phenomenal speed of a machine this old. The technical brief, for me at least, squashes all that and ignores our heritage. It might help a little in the long run, but it's turned off a lot of Amiga fans who liked the idea of being revolutionary and technically superior again and now realise that this just isn't going to happen. I suspect I'm not the only one for whom one of these machines has suddenly moved from a must-by to a wait-and-see, and with not that much faith either.

    Oh well, we'll just have to see how it goes. Rather vindicates my decision to work with KOSH though...

  • Phase5 announced the A/box when Amiga had no owner (after Escom went
    bust) and put it on hold once Gateway bought Amiga.
    They have QNX neutrino OS and the hardware is off-the-shelf so it
    should be easy/quick to produce. I have a few phase5 cards -they re
    all he best in their respective catagories, well designed and
    manufacture and reliable
  • Neutrino does SMP and works on x86, PPC, SH3, SH4, Arm, StrongArm, and others
    10% of the kernel (which is 40Kb) is CPU dependant, after written this 4Kb assembly or other, you just have to recompile the OS and that's it

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN