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Gateway Sells Rights to Amiga Name 80

kman writes "I just read the news on ABCNews that Gateway Sells Rights to Amiga Name - Personal computer maker Gateway Inc. signed a deal to sell its Amiga trademarks and computer systems to closely held Amino Development Corp. " Ah, the saga of Amiga continues - terms were not disclosed, but Gateway has decided to "wrap Amiga's software engineering function into Gateway's product development systems" making it sound like GW is considering continuing to make the "information appliances" they were originally planning.
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Gateway Sells Rights to Amiga Name

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Now if we could just get Hasbro to sell the Atari name and trademarks to Milan, we could restart the Amiga vs. Atari flame wars left pending circa 1992 or so....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 31, 1999 @07:39AM (#1428261)
    It's a shame we'll never really see the Amiga return, if they could only incorporate the best of the Amiga into current machines correctly. It's wasn't the flashy graphics and nice sound that made the Amiga so great. It was the fact that it NEVER ran out, or had a conflict of IRQ's and DMA. It had TRUE plug & play, not the plug and pray we deal with now days. TRUE protected memory. (you could do things like dump the whole OS into a Virtual Ram Drive, reset, and boot out of ram!) The list goes on, of things the Amiga could do, that the IBM will never do, or do as well.
  • Memory protection was actually one of the big things the Amiga did NOT have (A1000 "write-once" kickstart memory excluded). It was quite common for a user process to step on the memory space of another process or of the operating system. Still, the Amiga did a decent job given the lack of hardware memory management on the 68000.

    Booting from a ramdisk sure was a nice feature. On a 1M A500, I often copied my system floppy into a recoverable ramdisk; after all, why let all that memory go to waste? :)
  • You have obviously missed that Vapor already exists as a company. And yes, they make Amiga software and has so sine 1994 or thereabouts.


  • Wolf Detrich and Phase5 bragging about their products eons before they ever hit distribution is nothing new. They've become something of a phenomenon in the Amiga world, being infamous for their "promise now, deliver later" attitude. It would appear they enjoy sounding "ahead of the times" by announcing all sorts of radical products... but they don't seem to be quite so advanced when their development timelines start to get extended... and extended... and extended.

    Can you tell I have a real beef with this? I can understand announcing a product in advance to generate interest, but phase5 typically does so about a YEAR in advance, and then takes their announced "anticipated ship dates" and adds MONTHS to them.

    Dammit Wolf, I know there aren't many hardware developers left for the Amiga, but that doesn't give you and your company free reign to jerk us all around.

    /end rant

  • I think that, while the thought of the Amiga rights being handed over to the Amino group is some of the most positive news Amiga users have heard in a long time, Amiga fans need to bite back their usual rabid enthusiasm. Certainly, Bill and Fleecy aren't going to stand up in the next few days and begin announcing the production of all-new Amiga super computers. There is a lot that has to be done between now and then.

    Amino is a group made up of many people who have been prominent in the Amiga Community. As any wanderings through an Amiga UseNet group will demonstrate, there are multiple opinions about exactly what direction Amiga needs to go in order to innovate and survive in today's market. One of the first things Amino will need to do is come forth with a single coherent direction for the future. That sure as hell isn't happening overnight!

    Secondly, what kind of financial backing does Amino have? Do they have the juice to kick out the kind of development that Amiga users are craving? Maybe not now, but they might develop sufficient fiscal muscle in the future. But until then, we'll probably have to continue the proud Amiga end-user tradition of sitting on our hands waiting for the sun to peek out from the clouds.

    I'm not telling you (other Amigaheads) not to be thrilled at the news. Nor am I trying to be a complete pessimist. We've been burned repeatedly in the past by news developments which serve to inflate our hopes, only to leave us disappointed in the end. You'd think that after so many such experiences, we'd learn to approach each news story with a little more realism/skepticism.

    I wish the Amino group the best of luck. This Amiga 4000 could use some new toys. :^)

  • I'll be more interested in Amiga news when there is a product description.

    Oh, the descriptions were there all the time, right since 1994: Amiga with Super DSP, MMC, PPC, whatever...

    The actual *products* however..
  • The new owner of the Amiga brand announced today that they would be changing their name to Vapor, Inc. Company President, Nopra Duct, said it signaled an innovative new strategic direction for the company. "People accuse Microsoft of selling vaporware, but we haven't released a new product in years! That puts Microsoft to shame, and they're the most powerful company in the known universe. Just think where we will be in two years!"

    The company also announced plans for an IPO, including gratuitous use of the words "Internet", "E-Commerce", and "Linux". They plan to trade under the ticker symbol NULL.

    (Editor's Note: The above is what is called "humor". Look it up in the dictionary.)
  • its all linked together, dont worry
  • Firstly, for the lazy (duck)

    Vapor [vapor.com]

    Secondly, they make Internet software.

    Thirdly, yes they have released it and not just announced it :)

  • I'm glad they finally gave up the ghost on that. Let's face it, the Amiga was awesome, but the name wasn't going to sell PC's. I mean, think about it - if you're Gateway, what name do you want to use? Gateway, or Amiga? They've got a heck of a lot of money invested in the Gateway brand, cow spots and all, and they'd be foolish to dilute that investment by adding a second name.
  • I'll be more interested in Amiga news when there is a product description.
  • Of course AOL looks like QuantumLink, where do you think AOL came from?

    Umm... duh.

    Thank you, Captain Obvious. Why do you think that the poster mentioned Q*Link in the first place?

  • One of my favorite "features" of the RAM disk was the ability to complete warm restarts on the machine, which would leave the RAM disk present for booting. Back in the floppy days, having your system disk in RAM and then your games on disk certainly helped and sped things up. I've never found the RAM disk features in other OS' quite as appealing as those in AmigaOS. Oh well.
  • I think it matters mainly for the prospect of having another alternative platform from which to choose...

    The Amiga was an elegant platform, for a more civilized age...

    The potential of the Amiga is what keeps it alive; the potential of a computer with advanced hardware for multimedia capabilities, standard file formats published for multimedia, a decent and reliable GUI and multitasking operating system (built on top of an architecture that did interrupt-driven I/O, no busy looping bringing the machine to a crawl), a common scripting and interprocess communication language for all applications, a nice (somewhat quirky) command line interface, which you could replace with another shell if you want. That's what the Amiga was at its height.

    I may be dating myself ;) but I did C programming on the Amiga 3000 for my computer science classes, and it was preferable to the Sun workstations the university had. And the source code was portable as well, so I could recompile on the Suns or the Vax as I remember with no changes to the source.

    If the Amiga had lasted until today, I can only imagine how far it would be right now: hardware for doing MPEG-2 video and mp3 audio compression/decompression in real time, 3D acceleration for video, support for multiple monitors, multiple channels for CD quality sound, running on the fastest available processor (PowerPC no doubt), support for multiple processors, DVD support, .... take whatever else that's cool and going to be available Real Soon Now, and the Amiga would probably already have done it.

    The Amiga been out of the picture for so long it's doubtful that it could make a meaningful comeback, unless the OS is open-sourced and this allows it to gain enough momentum... There is a movement around to do this... It would also be an interesting idea to see if it's feasible to open source the hardware, and perhaps the ultimate computer architecture for the 00's could come out of this as well...
  • Of course Amigas have lasted until today. But no single company has marketed, promoted, and developed the platform for how long?

    I must admit I've been out of touch with the Amiga 3rd party market for a while...

    Can you provide a URL to a company that is producing MPEG-2/mp3 hardware based codecs for the Amiga? Certainly if a hardware based MPEG-2 decompression were available, DVDs should be playable.

    3rd party graphics cards and sound cards are all well and good, but the problem is the lack of support by and/or tight integration with the OS. I seem to remember that some of that improved with the later graphics cards....

    If the Amiga platform had continued to progress, I would have expected to see advances in the multimedia coprocessors like I described...

    I imagine a machine that you would be able to call on your telephone and say "Record the X-Files tonight. And see if there are any new songs from my favorite artists on mp3.com." This is possible right now, theoretically. There are are all these pieces floating around out there, but no one platform has everything...if the Amiga had stayed ahead of its time, I think it would have everything.

    I want a true multimedia computer--cable ready, CD & DVD, with a reliable OS, good support in terms of 3rd party applications, real time MPEG2 encode/decode in hardware (video in & out of course), voice recognition through mic or telephone input, AutoConfig, multiple monitors--2 by default so it can support display on both a TV and a monitor simultaneously, multiple processors, compatibility with a wide range of add-ons (PCI, USB, FireWire support?)

    Did I leave anything out? I don't ask for much do I?

  • Amiga was a computer designed for games. Therefore it is easy to play games on the amiga, you just wack the disk in and go! You don't require any "Amiga for Dummies" books, or "Amiga Unleashed" manuals for that either..

    And you are also comparing the Amiga as a hardware platform to Windows which is a software platform. This is wrong comparison, because you are missing the fact that the PC hardware platform is much more customizable than the Amiga platform. There is also a greater choice of Operating Systems and software that you can use on the PC and even Windows is technologically more advanced than Kickstart/Workbench.

    Get with the times.
  • Modern games? You mean those 2D platform scrollers? You did not convince me on that point, and you never will. These days, machines that are designed for games blow the amiga out of the water and the games on these platforms are so realistic that they allow you to get more into the game in grater detail then ever before.. a far cry from those blocky pixel blobs that you call Turrican 2!

    I know that the Amiga was used for the editing of titles in SeaQuest, Babylon 5, but was it done in REAL TIME??

    I agree that the amiga possibly has a lot more hacked up hardware available then any other platform. This is largely thanks to the bright ingenuity of the nostalgic amiga community...

    When I said customized, I did not mean hacked up by John Doe in his tin-shed at home. I meant commercial hardware that is available in the store. Another point I want to make is that the PC was DESIGNED to be expandable and upgradable more so than the Amiga.

    Amiga is dead. Get with the times. If you still use it exclusively, then I'm happy for you. Just do not spread bullshit hype on how brilliant it is because it's not.
  • In the history of Mankind? I would have thought that, if any wrestler, it would have been the Undertaker. [Ha Ha]
  • Does anybody know whether Phase5 (www.phase5.de) is really going to build their new equivalents of the Amiga? They've been bragging about such a product for _years_ now, regularly changing the name and extending the introduction date.
  • by Fross ( 83754 ) on Friday December 31, 1999 @07:41AM (#1428282)
    What concerns me (and likely other Amiga enthusiasts too) is the rights for existing and new Amiga technology - are these part of the deal? Will they ever be released? What does a company making an Amiga clone (as several are in development, it seems) have to bear in mind or licence?

    The Amiga still isn't dead, and has a good community, which deserves better support than being shifted from company to company in business deals. How about some new hardware or licencing?

  • I don't say that we never will see a machine as good if not better than the Amiga in these areas. Just noone has ever really tried to. The technology nowadays would make an Amiga-esque machine could make it even better.
    Not to toot my own horn, but the company I work for is trying something similar, using many of the same tricks and techniques to perfect a much more, interesting system than has been tried before.
    Whoever says that Amiga is the only machine ever capable of being like the Amiga is deluding themselves. It was smart engineering that made the Amiga, and smarter engineering can replace it.
  • Gateway still holds the patents, the licences and all of the cards. It did not originally buy Amiga in order to resurrect it, only to gain that technology. But holding those trademarks ment that a gigantic community was built around it, and Gateway had to deal with them. By selling the trademarks and not the patents to Mr McEwan's Amino, they solve that problem. They keep the technology, and loose the community. Amino gains the community and not the technology (except maybe the OS, which is copyrighted not patented)
    This could be good yet.
  • Atari is what I call REALLY dead.
  • Having choices matter. My Amigas are my main systems, used for WEB, an IP gateway, music, video and others. I've used several other systems and Amiga work for me best.
  • Well, yer dead wrong on the use of Amigas (equipped with NewTek's Video Toaster) on Babylon 5 and SeaQuest. For at least the first two years of both shows, ALL special visual effects were rendered with Amiga computers. Later on, B5 at least moved on to Alpha-based machines running Lightwave, but that was due to the lack of Amiga hardware development and the increasing speed of Alpha chips. You are correct on the comparitive quality of games, for despite valiant efforts by the community, we're still about 3-5 years behind the curve. But I have to also challenge this notion of yours that the "PC" (as if there's only one of them!) was designed to be more expandable and upgradeable than the Amiga. First, as I parenthetically pointed out, it's not as if there's been only ONE "PC" design or motherboard in the last few years. There are commonalities to be sure, but nearly everyone has different specific designs. While you can argue that the PCI bus standard now eclipses the equivalent on the Amiga (Zorro III; gotta love them colorful names!), as far as getting the PCI boards to run with Windoze, well, they don't call it "Plug and Pray" for nothing. "Autoconfiguration" was a fact in the Amiga world in 1987 and still works as seamlessly as it did then. Then there's the ease of CPU swapping. I remember once swapping a 486 for a 386 on a DOS box a while ago, but I don't know if you can do that with Pentiums, and in fact I have severe doubts about being able to do that. The Amiga? Give us a few weeks and we'll be able to plug G4 PowerPC chips into our aged machines just by slipping in a new board. Are Amigas cutting-edge anymore? Of course not! Are we as down and out as you would portray us? Oh, HELL no!
  • I guess this was for the best, because Gateway haven't been logical or coherent in their management of Amiga. But then again, who has? The Amiga must be the most mis-managed computer in the history of Man Kind. It's totally unbelievable that such an incredible succession of inept businessmen have laid their greedy hands on the Amiga, just to ruin it a bit more. By now, miracles are needed if the Amiga is to resurrect.

    Sad but true, I'm afraid.
  • Wow, I haven't heard any Amiga ranting at this level in ages. You've even resurrected the old "Amiga versus IBM" slogan.

    My old Xerox-820 machine could do cool stuff too.

    It didn't have a set of chips named after girls, though.
  • Amino has been pushing an open platform they call AQUA (Amiga QNX something Architecture?);

    Amino QNX United Architectture

    There's an interesting interview with much discussion about it at http://www.williams.demon.co.uk/seal/fleecyint2.ht ml [demon.co.uk].

  • Also known as "the BIOS scribbles all over memory when you boot"; you know, that "memory test" the BIOS performs?

    Memory tests don't need to be destructive. Simply get the old value, test that a certain location can be written and read back, and put back the old value.

    AmigaOS did perform a complete memory check, but it was non-destructive (actually, it had checksums on the most important on-memory structures so it could detect tampering or stomped-over memory).

    It's a pity good concepts that save time and money for the user never catch on. Bad concepts that save time and money to the big guys, obviously, are often forced down your throat without compliments.

  • Honestly, this is for the best. Why?

    1. It obviously increases the number of companies with any amount of investment in Amiga.

    2. Gateway is a company in flux (i.e. Waitt's departure, etc.). Gateway does some good things, but I don't think Amiga lovers want to rely on them to carry the torch.

    Unfortunately, this doesn't address the primary problem--Amiga needs a prime player (e.g. Dell, Compaq, even a newcomer like Red Hat) to get behind it and push it back into the limelight. As it stands, I fear that as the months pass without any new Amiga hardware or major developments, the Amiga becomes increasingly marginalized, cool as it is/was.

  • It was about time Gateway let the people involved in the "Classic" (daft title, I know) REAL Amiga community get on with developing the successors to this elegant platform. Personally, I think it was about time there were some positive Amiga news, and I think this is the best piece of info I heard in a long time.

    Stelios Kalogreades
  • Now I wonder if Amino Developement (Bill and Co) will release AOS as open source? This may come to be great news for the AROS (Amiga Replacement OS) team that has been on hold be GateWay not wanting to give their blessings. Wonder how this will effect the Phoenix Project?
  • I don't think he meant "Amiga Hard Drives" but the additional required hardware to use a hard drive (with a couple of exceptions, onboard A1200 IDE and so on...) News groups are full of sarcastic people, why?

It's great to be smart 'cause then you know stuff.