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Running AmigaOS on a PC (The Proper Way)

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the with-a-pinch-of-salt dept.

Amiga 256

AmiLover writes: "OSNews is running a review of AmigaXL, a system that allows you to boot AmigaOS on your PC in a way that resembles a regular-booting x86 operating system. Screenshots accompany the article show the latest version of AmigaOS 3.9 running on a Compaq laptop. With AmigaOS 4.0 coming out in March with lots of new features (antialias fonts, better memory protection etc) is AmigaXL the one true future of Amiga, a future that AmigaDE, QNX and Gateway failed to materialize through their involvement with AmigaOS?"

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fp (-1, Offtopic)

Captain Peacock (549525) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950059)

fp

AROS ? (5, Interesting)

mirko (198274) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950061)

What about the AROS [aros.org] Project which has been running for long ?

Re:AROS ? (2)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950113)

I just want a Toaster. Is that too much to ask?
:)

If anyone has an extra, just ask; I'll give you my address!

Re:AROS ? (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950119)

I don't think AmigaOSXL has drivers for the Toaster. Or for zorro slots, agnus, amiga keyboards, amiga mice, etc.

Then again, when Be ported their OS off the proprietary platform, and onto a PC, was the best thing that ever happened to them. Now Be Inc., is worth what? 2 trillion USD?

Re:AROS ? (1)

Binestar (28861) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950191)

Then again, when Be ported their OS off the proprietary platform, and onto a PC, was the best thing that ever happened to them. Now Be Inc., is worth what? 2 trillion USD?

You are joking right? Be recently went through liquidation and is no longer a commercial entity.

Re:AROS ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2950363)

Looked like sarcasm to me...

And some parts of AROS are used in OS3.9/OS4.0

Also, Amithlon (which also comes with AmigaXL) is a JIT enabled 68K emulator with *native x86 calling support* - replace the OS with AROS for even more speed? Might be possible :-)

Take your bets! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2950064)

How many "beating dead horse" or "amiga is dead" posts!??!?!

Vm_Ware (5, Interesting)

Wind_Walker (83965) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950068)

Has anybody tried to get this working under VMWare yet?

For those of you who don't know, VMWare [vmware.com] is a way in which multiple virtual machines can be created on your desktop. What VMWare actually does is it isolates a section of hard drive (appears as a regular file in Linux) and isolates sections of memory (I've had up to 128 MB allocated) and runs a "virtual machine" which runs through a "BIOS" and can do pretty much everything that another computer can do, including running Windows 98 Games!

So, has anybody got this running under VMWare yet?

Why not UAE, then? (was: Vm_Ware) (1)

Carl Drougge (222479) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950082)

If you don't want it to take over the computer you could just use UAE, couldn't you? (Ok, so networking isn't exactly perfect, but I'm sure someone will either fix it or pester me enough to fix it.. (This is about the unix-version, I've never even used the windows-version.))


The JIT might not work in the latest version, but 0.8.15 isn't such a bad version, is it?

Re:Why not UAE, then? (was: Vm_Ware) (1)

mrseigen (518390) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950101)

UAE works nice and fine under Mac OS 8.1 (on a 120mhz 604) and OS X 10.1 (on a 600mhz iMac). I doubt if it runs well on Windows, but I don't really care (even Basilisk II is slow under XP).

Re:Why not UAE, then? (was: Vm_Ware) (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950212)


UAE works nice and fine under Mac OS 8.1 (on a 120mhz 604) and OS X 10.1 (on a 600mhz iMac). I doubt if it runs well on Windows, but I don't really care (even Basilisk II is slow under XP).


What type of CPU and what programs? Basilisk II ran all of the shareware 68K games I threw at it fine -- i.e. Maelstrom, Apeiron, etc. on a 400Mhz Celeron.

Re:Why not UAE, then? (was: Vm_Ware) (1, Flamebait)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950374)

apparently you can't read. where he writes "(on a 120Mhz 604)" what do YOU suppose he means? mutt

Re:Why not UAE, then? (was: Vm_Ware) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2950402)

(even Basilisk II is slow under XP).

I suppose you realize that you can't run XP on a 120Mhz 604 PowerPC. Running Basilisk II on a machine that can already run the programs seems kind of silly. That would be like running a 386 emulator program on your Pentium II so you can run Windows 3.11.

apparently you can't read

Apparently you don't understand what you read.

Re:Why not UAE, then? (was: Vm_Ware) (2)

Alan Partridge (516639) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950509)

WTF are you talking about? He's making points about how fast UAE runs on a couple of Powermacs, then you're asking if you'd be able to do the same with Basilisk, which emus 68K only. He's only saying that he feels UAE would be an unknown quantity under XP - he's obviously an Amiga-loving Mac user (as are many). How and why would he be running Basilisk on a Powermac? (I know, via VPC) and FYI, you CAN get a 68K emu for the Powermac to supplant Apple's JIT emu - some think it runs pre-system 7 better. And WTF do you think the Windows 16bit subsystem does?

Re:Vm_Ware (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2950156)

Moderation Totals:
Offtopic=170, Flamebait=1, Troll=4,Redundant=2,Insightful=44, Interesting=87, Informative=20,Funny=5, Overrated=3, Underrated=28,Total=364.


Funny how about 500 moderations NEVER HAPPENED. There were over 750 moderations on this post. They just fucking dissappeared! I guess they were moderations done by the UNPEOPLE, that you erased from the moderation system.

Re:Vm_Ware (2)

powerlinekid (442532) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950523)

The performance would probably be bad though... this would be a double emulation. Boot up a virtual machine that then boots a virtual amiga to run the OS. Seems kind of not worth it, may as well just set up the AmigaXL thing on its own partition.

I wept silently to myself, when I read this. (-1, Flamebait)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950084)

The Amiga, despite its awesome power, is dead. There is no future for it, when all it is, is an emulator that Joe Windows turns off after playing a video game for an hour. There is no future when its only an OS, ported to the most horrid CPU ever devised. A lame port, ported by an even lamer company that is only trying to cash in on a trademark that it bought the rights to. This will soon die too, and be forgotten quickly. The sooner the better, IMO, so that we can go on remembering when computers were actually cool.

Go to hell, McEwen.

Re:I wept silently to myself, when I read this. (1)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950122)

If I'm not mistaken, it says in the article, and here in the Slashdot posting, too, that AmigaOS is being released on new PPC machines machines. Is this the lame port to the horrid CPU to which you were referring? I would hope not, as it is fairly established that the PPC is in fact a much better performing CPU than the various x86's, in terms of power consumption and performance.

Re:I wept silently to myself, when I read this. (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950142)

To the x86, of course. That's been McEwen's ambition all along, to be able to claim he has ressurected Amiga without actually having to do any real work, like design an actual computer. H&P is doing what little real work is being done, and it's still lame. This PPC machine you speak of is complete and utter vaporware, which is a good thing. It bares as little resemblance to the real Amiga as possible. No binary compatibility, no continuity, no legacy hardware support, nothing that would ever lead you to think they were related, even distantly. Whereas a new amiga could have been a kickass power user machine, that one could believe had evolved from the originals, it's a watered down iToaster.

Re:I wept silently to myself, when I read this. (1)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950149)

ahh...ok. thanks for clearing that up.
that's very disappointing, then.

Re:I wept silently to myself, when I read this. (2)

ScumBiker (64143) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950177)

I think the big problem is that the 68k cpu line is basically dead. I have to assume that nobody out there is able to design or create the proprietary off-cpu chips that did so much of the Amiga magic. Thus the need for a PPC machine. I don't see a problem here. Of course, if someone can overclock a 68k cpu to like 1GHZ, without creating a small fusion reaction, that might have possibilities.

Re:I wept silently to myself, when I read this. (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950215)

You're looking at it wrong. Yes, the 68k is dead. Good riddance... as cool an architecture as it was, CISC deserves to be dead. The PPC is the true heir. But they have so much in common, what little 68k emulation needs to be done (temporarily of course) can easily be done on a PPC.

This does not an amiga make, however.

Proprietary coprocessors? No one is asking you put an agnus or denise on a new Amiga. Certainly not me. What we are asking for, is for McEwen to create an architecture with some token legacy compatibility, a single Zorro slot, or perhaps the video slot would be better. We're asking for a bunch of coprocessors, even if they are off the shelf. Stick a few GeForces on the thing. Give us a power users machine. For god's sake, manufacture a keyboard with the proper "A" keys, and the Help. If it were USB, all the better. Put a floppy controller on the thing that can read proper amiga disks. Any single one of these things, would make it a true successor in my eyes. They're not willing to do that.

And it wouldn't be a bad thing, if it were more a power user's machine, and less something designed for the AOL crowd. That means 64bit PCI, and some firewire ports.

Re:I wept silently to myself, when I read this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2950521)

as it is fairly established that the PPC is in fact a much better performing CPU than the various x86's, in terms of power consumption and performance

Except in terms of I/O.

Re:I wept silently to myself, when I read this. (1)

mrseigen (518390) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950129)

This is pretty pathetic. It just emphasizes the idea I've had rattling around in my head that computer manufacturers and operating system makers are continuing to pander to the lowest common denominator (Joe Windows). Hell, most of the people who will fire up this emulator for a quick game of Hired Guns, for example, will probably pirate it. That is, if they don't pirate the bloody emulator in the first place.

Re:I wept silently to myself, when I read this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2950284)

Its not too bad- this is mostly for people who haven't seen a real Amiga in years and basically shows what can really be done with a 1000Mhz processsor when its not spending most of its power keeping Windows going :)

There is a OS4 on the way too, that will only run on PowerPC (new PPC motherboards from 1-2 companies and existing PPC Amiga cards like Phase5's old ones IIRC)- those who really want to upgrade their Amigas will go for that.

Re:I wept silently to myself, when I read this. (3, Insightful)

zangdesign (462534) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950367)

computer manufacturers and operating system makers are continuing to pander to the lowest common denominator

What would you rather have them do? Go broke pandering to the .05% of the market with some knowledge?

The Joe Windows crowd is the group that has the money to burn and needs someplace to spend it. One can hardly blame mfg's and os companies for wanting to give them a place to do so.

That being said, this does look like a last hurrah attempt to monetize a dead OS architecture.

Re:I wept silently to myself, when I read this. (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950448)

The joe windows crowd is anything but. These are the lower middle class families, that buy computers because 30 second TV commercials convince them their children will grow up to be bums, if they're not exposed to a computer. As if it has some magical radiation, that if you get a dose of it by being in the same room, you become computer literate in any significant way.

The power users may be a much smaller group, but if they buy less than 1 mid-to-high end system per year, it's because they're between jobs at the moment (not that that stops all of them). They're people so fed up with the consumer garbage, that they'd pay a premium for something truly made for them. As it is, they end up buying stuff meant for the corporate enterprise, simply to get cool stuff.

The free market fails even more miserably every year, and this is an example. A smaller market, yes, but one that isn't being catered to very well, if at all. That happens when companies are allowed to get too big.

Re:I wept silently to myself, when I read this. (0)

boltar (263391) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950134)

Awesome power in 1986. These days its power is nothing. And that power came from the hardware
not the OS so frankly apart from the fact that no one really cares anyway anymore why bother porting
an OS that was good but nothing special?

Retro reminiscing is all well and good but people should remember that the past is the past, dragging
it kicking and screaming into the present does no one any favours. What next, a new version of the
TRS80 OS?

Re:I wept silently to myself, when I read this. (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950148)

I also own several TRS-80's. In addition to my 6 amigas, of course. Strangely, my Amiga 2000's are on the same ARCnet segment as the Model II.

You say these things as if you were a true progressive. The past teaches us nothing, and unless it's a fresh design finished in the last 30 seconds, it's worthless right?

Do you even own an Amiga? Did you ever?

Re:I wept silently to myself, when I read this. (0)

boltar (263391) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950197)

Putting words into my mouth just to shoot them down doesn't do your argument any favours.
The past teaches us a lot but it doesn't mean we have to live in it. Why would I want to use an
Amiga for gaming now? Because its got 256 colours and a bit blitter. Oh man, hold me down! Watch
out NVidia!

The amiga was good for its day , just like Dolby B and C60 cassettes were but these days I prefer
to use recordable CD. If you want to keep using your amigas fine, thats your choice but don't expect
the rest of the world to go back 15 years in time just for the sake of some nostalgia trip.

And yes I did own one. Sold it years ago.

Re:I wept silently to myself, when I read this. (0, Flamebait)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950231)

Well, you refuse to put any intelligent words in your mouth, I can't help it if I didn't do a better job for you.

You're focusing on all the wrong things, as clever fools tend to do. For instance, a modern Amiga would benefit greatly it is took the same approach to co-processing. This wouldn't have to be done with the old chips, or even new versions of them. Load the thing down with geforce's galore, and a bunch of fast DSP's for sound.

Not that you have the brains to ever understand anything that's at a lower level than the shrink wrap of your Windows XP software box.

Re:I wept silently to myself, when I read this. (0)

boltar (263391) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950311)

Well since the article is talking about the OS not any special hardware I'll be nice and assume you
simply didn't bother to read it rather than the fact that perhaps you're just an ass.

And FYI I use Linux and BSD and have probably forgotten more about operating systems than
you ever knew sonny. I suggest you can it before you make a complete pillock of yourself.

Re:I wept silently to myself, when I read this. (2, Funny)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950385)

This is hilarious.

Operating systems that I use at least once a month.

NOS's
Banyan VINES 6.0 (with streettalk)
Netware 2.x
Netware 3.x
Netware 4.x (with NDS)
Netware 5.0 (with NDS)

OS's
Apple ProDOS
Apple GS/OS 6
MacOS 6.x -9.x
Amiga OS 1.x - 3.1
Windows 3.0, 3.11WFW, 95, 98, NT 3.1, NT 3.51 NT4, 2000 (all flavors, 2k with AD)
CP/M (for TRS-80 Model 4)
IBM PC DOS 3.x-7.0
MS DOS 2.x-6.22
Novell DOS 7
DR DOS 5,6
Atari TOS/GEM
IBM OS/2 2.1-4.0

RX11
OpenVMS 7.0
Ultrix 4.3
Solaris 7
NeXTstep 3.3

And literally too many 8bit OS's to keep track of. Tandy renamed the trs80 dos's every other week, I just can't remember all the different flavors of minix, cp/m and things named "dos". I have the only integrated ethernet/tokenring/arcnet/localtalk/fddi/atm/econe t/802.11/rs485 network that I've ever heard of. I'm a busy little bee, trying to write a VIP stack for linux, and integrate streettalk, ad, and nds all into my strange little OpenLDAP directory. I just got my first PDP-11 a few weeks back, and I've almost got unix v7 running on it. If you want to play guru, bring it on.

Re:I wept silently to myself, when I read this. (0)

boltar (263391) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950393)

Nice cut & paste. Next time you want to come up with BS try not overdoing it , it doesn't look
very convincing.

Re:I wept silently to myself, when I read this. (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950411)

Maybe I'll have to post a link to a picture of my computer room. That was written out by hand, dimwit.

Re:I wept silently to myself, when I read this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2950428)

Why? For fucks sake why?

Re:I wept silently to myself, when I read this. (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950470)

Because if I connect enough disparate systems together, AI will spontaneously emerge. It will escape and wreak havoc on the world, but remember me as its creator, and elevate me above the other pitiful bags of meat.

At least, that's the plan.

Re:I wept silently to myself, when I read this. (0)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950206)

I pine for the days of 4kb RAM and a cassete tape player to load games. Yeah Baby!!!! Bring back the Z80.

Re:I wept silently to myself, when I read this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2950313)

Actaully, a lot of the power came from the OS. One, the OS got out of the way when you wanted it to, and two, the OS was message-passing BY REFERENCE - so IPC was zero-copy. Hence the massive data throughput and near realtime performance.

Re:I wept silently to myself, when I read this. (0)

boltar (263391) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950341)

The OS got out the way when you wanted it to. Hmm wasn't there another OS that did that ... umm ,
it was a monitor program now what was it called... oh yeah... DOS.

As for message passing by reference , so what? If you use shared memory you don't even have to pass
anything , its just there. BFD.

Re:I wept silently to myself, when I read this. (1)

cmkrnl (2738) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950498)

Massive Data Throughput : Bollocks!
Compared to what ? A floppy disk ?

Near Realtime Performance : Double Bollocks!
Compared to What ? A pocket calculator ?

'Near Realtime' is an oxymoron. Either the OS is 'realtime' or its not. There is no such thing fanboy as 'near' realtime.

That so called IPC 'feature' you lovingly refer to also crashed the OS hard when any errant process decides to take a detour round the memory map of what is an unprotected OS. Passing the address of a data structure in some other process space & then inadvertantly changing it when you are not supposed to is not a good idea.

You aren't that fscking section 8 called Steve Giovenella by any chance ?

Curmudgeon

Dead parrot sketch... (1, Funny)

jonr (1130) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950089)

You know the drill... not dead, resting, ex-parrot, ceased to be... etc...

Screenshots (5, Insightful)

Cheesemaker (36551) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950091)

So, when I think "screenshots," I don't usually assume they're pictures of a laptop from a few feet away.....

Re:Screenshots (1)

Neon Spiral Injector (21234) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950151)

Well if they had just been captures of what was in the frame buffer, what proof would there be that it was really running on an x86 machine? They could have just fired up an Amiga and did the screen captures.

I know what AmigaOS looks like anyway, this is more interesting.

Re:Screenshots (1)

Svenne (117693) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950180)

Proof? What proof do you have that the laptop is not merely running an imageviewer that displays screenshots from a real Amiga?

Now, I happen to own a copy of AmigaOS XL (Amithlon and AmigaXL) so I know it's real, but I wouldn't call it proof just because the laptop displays a picture of AmigaOS 3.9.

I'm not dead! (4, Interesting)

Dino (9081) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950102)

Amiga = the computer that won't die. Just to drive home an dprove that point, I just purchased an Amiga 1200 from an old friend for $100. Amiga 1200 with EC040/50, 10megs of RAM, couple gigs of HD spread over 5 HDs, SCSI PCMCIA... I've been shopping around second-hand computer shops looking for a giant PC tower case to move it into. I hope to eventially pick up a PPC + graphics board, install WB 3.9 (has super-pimped/hacked 3.0 right now with most to all of the features of 3.5).

Ahhh the memories. While the Amiga was left behind in the speed wars a long time ago (I forgot how long it takes a simple JPEG image to load!) For ease of use and simple hackability, there never was any competition.

Long live the Amiga! May she never rest in peace!

I'd rather..... (-1, Offtopic)

mbennis (160025) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950107)

prefer a system that allows me to boot MACOSX on my PC
That's a thing that will be coool.,

Amiga was so awesome at one time (3, Interesting)

buckrogers (136562) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950171)

I am wondering if the Amiga can ever rise from the ashes like the Phoenix?

It is interesting that it will run on both x86 and PPC platforms. This will help it gain ground. Unfortunately they chose QNX as their kernel, which is not only proprietary, but also has few fanatical supporters. (unlike either *BSD or Linux, both of which have lots of fanatical supporters.) It is at least a UNIX like kernel, and very high performance.

It would have been better to emulate Apple in picking a free kernel. Then you would have had the supporters of that OS adding the the core supporters of Amiga. Worse case, how hard would it be to make *BSD or Linux be API compatible with QNX?

All that being said, I would love to see a demo of it, and to see just how fast it is and how well it runs all the programs. I bet we can look forward to ports of open office and mozilla rather quickly as soon as a few developers get their hands on a copy. The full set of GNU tools will also probably be quickly ported to the new environment.

I have a feeling that this is the last chance for Amiga, it is sink or swim. If they don't succeed this time, then it is all over for the platform.

And even then I think that Amiga has a lot to prove in a market that is crowed with Windows, Linux/X and Mac OS X in the top 3 places. No one else is even a contendor on the desktop. OS2 is dead, BeOS is dead. They have to prove that they are worth the price. BeOS was arguably as good or better than the new Amiga, and it never caught on.

Re:Amiga was so awesome at one time (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950190)

"It is interesting that it will run on both x86 and PPC platforms. This will help it gain ground."

I bet some fool in marketing at Be Inc., said this same thing, when they decided to kill the Bebox, in its cradle, no less.

"It would have been better to emulate Apple in picking a free kernel."

Um, let me get this straight. A new amiga, without real amiga hardware AND operating system? Yeh, you may want to apply for a job with them. I have a suspicion you'd get along fine there.

The last chance was in the early 1990's, unfortunately. I think newtek killed what was left of Amiga, and who can blame them? They would have killed themselves trying to defend the remnants.

Re:Amiga was so awesome at one time (1)

markhb (11721) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950196)

How did Newtek kill Amiga? By porting the VT/Flyer to a platform that was in active production? (I'm not trolling, I'm really curious as to what you were referring to).

(Posting without updating the .sig)

Re:Amiga was so awesome at one time (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950244)

By realizing they had to stop porting software to a dead platform. I don't blame them for this. I'm glad they survived themselves, actually.

Re:Amiga was so awesome at one time (2, Informative)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950229)

"Unfortunately they chose QNX as their kernel"

Not so at all; AmigaOS 4 won't be using any other OS as its kernel.

As for AmigaXL, it consists of two products: Amithlon and (confusingly) AmigaXL for QNX. The latter is basically a modified version of UAE running on QNX which is perhaps what you're thinking of.

It's also not clear that this is a dual-platform approach. Amithlon (and AmigaXL for QNX, and UAE) will only emulate 68k (albeit, extremely quickly) so won't in their current incarnation be able to run AmigaOS 4. But still, it may help the Amiga gain ground as you say (especially all the while AmigaOS 4 is nowhere to be seen).

Re:Amiga was so awesome at one time (-1)

dadaist (544022) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950348)

It would have been better to emulate Apple in picking a free kernel. Then you would have had the supporters of that OS adding the the core supporters of Amiga. Worse case, how hard would it be to make *BSD or Linux be API compatible with QNX?

Almost a cognitive game there, but the line breaks are unpredictable. if it were like this instead:

It would have been better to emulate Apple in picking a free kernel.
Then you would have had the supporters of that OS adding the
the core supporters of Amiga. Worse case, how hard would it be to make
*BSD or Linux be API compatible with QNX?

These word games are a lot more interesting than your post. What exactly makes you think that the Linux or BSD OS's match the preemptability or real-time nature of QNX? As a sort of media OS, these features are primary. Also, Amiga already has a die hard core of supporters who will love and buy no matter what the kernel or cost.

Visit my journal. [slashdot.org]

AmigaOS -- ahead of its time (4, Informative)

garoush (111257) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950176)

I used AmigaOS over 17 years ago. And I can tell you, it WAS way ahead of it's time. Not only was it Max OS X, Linux, and Windows of today, it also had the best hardware of today from low end device support to the best graphic technology.

It was a developers machine as well as a user's machine to love.

----

Re:AmigaOS -- ahead of its time (1)

hendridm (302246) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950235)

If it was so superior, what killed it? Marketing?

Sorry, this was a bit before my time (at least computing time). I started on Apples, and even though Amiga was around, it was going out of style (at least around here).

Re:AmigaOS -- ahead of its time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2950265)

Microsoft. It didn't have DOS, which companies all used at the time. Go figure. But yeah, had they marketed it correctly, they could have become the Microsoft of today.

Re:AmigaOS -- ahead of its time (3, Interesting)

sheldon (2322) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950333)

"If it was so superior, what killed it? Marketing? "

Yes.

I'd have to say just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong.

Still it was a cool machine. It was the innovator in cheap video production. Or rather NewTek was with the Video Toaster.

Even so, there are still a number of names around that first started on the Amiga. A lot of the 3D rendering packages like Lightwave started on the Amiga. Some of the game makers are still around like Psygnosis. Jim Sachs was a noted Amiga artist and is responsible for the Aquarium screen saver which is part of the Microsoft Plus! XP pack. etc.

Re:AmigaOS -- ahead of its time (1)

sph (35491) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950400)

If it was so superior, what killed it? Marketing?

Among other things, yes. Commodore's marketing was awful to say the least, and bankruptcy followed in 1994 leaving Amiga in void for a couple of years. That finally killed the machine for the masses. Yes, I know it is still pretty popular hobbyist machine, but so are for example C64 or MSX.

Another fatal thing was slow progress. It took almost *ten* years to get new graphics chipset and more processor power to the lower-end models, and when AGA finally arrived it was too little too late, PC had already got first sound cards and VGA, and more processor power. There were rumors that Commodore had *lost* the original chipset (OCS) designs, and they had to reverse-engineer the chips to be able to make next generation AGA chips compatible.

It is also impossible to make an AmigaOS-compatible operating system with real memory protection without using virtual machines or emulators for older software. Original AmigaOS uses pointer-based messaging, and that's why the OS is so efficient. But unfortunately, that's impossible with virtual memory. So though AmigaOS was still way ahead of its time in 1985, it can't be updated to even 1995 standards without losing compatibility.

Re:AmigaOS -- ahead of its time (1)

dobber (160548) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950512)

I agree. The Amiga just had the 'snappiness' that users really want out of a UI. Back in 'the day' I ran circles around my friends maxed out i386s. They had three times the clock speed and hundreds of dollars more hardward in their systems - yet mine seemed much quicker.

My first replacement for my old Amiga was a 90MHz Pentium system. I initially ran OS/2 Warp on it, but eventually migrated to Win95 for game support. It was an okay system, but didn't really impress me.

When I got my hands on BeOS, (then running a 233MHz K6), I finally found a system that really GOT multitasking - at least from a GUI perspective. That little OS really cooks. I challenge you to (even today) fire up 10-20 Quicktime moves, an OpenGL app, a MIDI player, an MP3 Player, and then just try to do file operations. Sucks doesn't it? Be really handled that well. It's very sad to seem them be a commercial failure.

Now I have a 500MHz iBook and run OS X. I like OS X, but the UI lag is really annoying. Every time I get that damn Beach Ball cursor (even when opening the damn terminal!) I just want to pull hair out.

Well, enough of a rant for now...

Also discussed here... (3, Informative)

ckemp (90569) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950178)

Exactly same news item was posted [ann.lu] on ANN [ann.lu] several hours ago. In the comments section, Bernie Meyer, the main programmer behind Amithlon, responds in several posts (1 [ann.lu] , 2 [ann.lu] , 3 [ann.lu] )

Why use an amiga these days? (0, Troll)

d-Orb (551682) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950179)

OK, I come from an amiga background, and I am quite happy to see developments on the Amiga front still happening. On the other hand, I am puzzled, as I do not know how the Amiga is being used today, and why people bother starting companies with it. I don't understand why you'd want to pay 150 euro for this emulator when Apidya II works fine on UAE :-) You seem to get some software with it, but that's not particularly ground-breaking software (or is it? A WP, a graphics package...).
I don't know, I just don't see the point of pushing the Amiga further like that. I'd be quite happy to play around with an amiga-ish system, but _not_ for that kind of cash.

Ahead of its time (1)

Grax (529699) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950186)

an excellent windowing and multitasking architecture (smooth, not slow and jerky) in 1985. 32 bit hardware at a reasonable price well before that stuff was available for PCs.

Amiga was one incredible PC and way ahead of its time. I'd certainly love an up-to-date model if the new ones can attain the same type of standards as the old ones.

Re:Ahead of its time (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2950287)

Why the hell can't we round up all you Amiga retards and send you all on a ship straight into the sun.

My god did the Amiga suck. It has the honor of being the only computer that made me happy to get back on a DOS machine back in the late eighties.

Does this mean.... (2, Funny)

ThinkingGuy (551764) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950193)

I'll be able to use VideoToaster once again?

Re:Does this mean.... (2)

British (51765) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950321)

If they brought back the video toaster, darn right this new Amiga would catch on. The VT was indeed a "killer app", to coin an overused phrase.

Re:Does this mean.... (2)

sheldon (2322) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950438)

Go to www.newtek.com. They have a new Video Toaster 2 that's based off of a PC running Windows 2000.

I might consider buying it (1)

codexus (538087) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950198)

but it's a bit expansive. 150 euro when UAE is free. (But I only own the AmigaOS ROM 2.0) but this one seems to be a fastest way to run my old amiga code.

The truth is this thing is a gadget for amiga nostalgics and I would love to see the face of some people when I'll "boot" an AmigaOS on my PC (not really the truth this is still emulation but I don't have to tell them right away and it still would be fun). Is that worth 150 euros?

What are the chances? (5, Insightful)

The Famous Brett Wat (12688) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950201)

I'm a fan of the Amiga. Not as vehement a fan as I used to be: my shelf-full of old Amigas goes largely unused, but not entirely unused. I can't help but wonder, though: no matter how cool any Amiga-related stuff may be, is it even possible for a proprietary OS to be successful in today's market? Look at Be -- it's the new Amiga: it will probably never die completely either. Apple has its little niche and is staying there thank you: it's not going away any time soon, but nobody is asking whether it will take over the world anymore.

And note: Linux is quite horrible in most regards as a desktop OS (which doesn't stop me using it as such, or even installing it on the machines of the clueless as a virus-proof alternative to Windows), but it's still the only system making real inroads on the desktop.

I find the empirical evidence too hard to ignore: unless you're Microsoft, the only way you're going to make significant advances in today's OS marketplace is to be Open Source. Proprietary releases of the Amiga OS for the PC platform might make a few old Amiga die-hards very happy, but is there really any future in it? Is history going to repeat itself again?

Re:What are the chances? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2950427)

is it even possible for a proprietary OS to be successful in today's market?

Windows is

Re:What are the chances? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2950433)

I think that you may be a slight bit "open source" slanted. Perhaps the only OS that will make advances in the marketplace is the OS that meets and/or exceeds end user needs, regardless of the open/closed status of the source. You seem to forget that the overwhelming majority of users do not care about the source, their computer is a tool.

Re:What are the chances? (2)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950445)

is it even possible for a proprietary OS to be successful in today's market?

I guess it depends on what you call "success." If you mean gaining a large marketshare, Amiga ain't gonna do that. If you mean make a profit, then yes, it's theoretically possible.

Proprietary releases of the Amiga OS for the PC platform might make a few old Amiga die-hards very happy, but is there really any future in it?

No, there's no future in it. I still use my Amiga every day (for all my email and most of my web surfing) but even I know that. But if you can make Amiga die-hards happy enough to write checks, type in credit card numbers, etc. then everybody wins.

PW&LP (-1)

CmderTaco (533794) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950208)

[goatse.cx]
2Lameness has filtered me!

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Why would you want to actually boot AmigaOS? (0, Troll)

ccontrol (252835) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950210)

As a production platform for film, music, etc, the Amiga is quite obsolete. You do not want to run Deluxe Paint when you have access to Photo Shop, don't you? I cannot imagine a single reason why you would like to run productivity apps on an Amiga in 2002 besides nostalgy.

However, there were several games for the Amiga which were quite remarkable. UAE does a fantastic job at emulating them. But booting AmigaOS like you boot Linux or Windows is of no practical value for that. Another great proof of concept on ./

Re:Why would you want to actually boot AmigaOS? (1)

benjymous (69893) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950542)

Well I don't want to run Deluxe Paint because PPaint is so much better. And yes, there have been many times when it's been much easier to fire up UAE and do a task in PPaint than to use Photoshop or PSP

is AmigaXL the one true future of Amiga (2)

John Harrison (223649) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950219)

The author of this /. story asks, "is AmigaXL the one true future of Amiga...?"

An answer your question from the article:

"Is this the future of Amiga computing?," you may ask. Although this package offers a very valuable addition to the options currently available, the future of Amiga computing lies with PPC based Amiga 4.x compatible computers and other AmigaDE enabled solutions.

The Amiga. (4, Funny)

cooperj72 (83796) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950220)

For those of you who have never used one, let me put it like this.

In 1989 I bought an Amiga 500. My jaw dropped.

I have never experienced another piece of
technology the way I did the first year I used
amiga. It's sound, graphics, multitasking, and
interface WAS that good... that far
ahead of it's time.

If there were and equivalent to getting laid the
first time it would be the Amiga. Sure
you've had better since, but you will
remember it always. For the record I'll take my
first lay over the Amiga anytime ;)

-J

Traitor! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2950281)

Bah.. women.

Will then learn? (1)

saqmaster (522261) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950232)

What will stop AmigaOS 'XL' on x86 architecture from suffering the same pain as o/s's like BeOS? They cannot rely on the fact that there are a lot of ex-amigageeks out there willing to run AmigaOS on a PC. The software support isn't available and will end up just like BeOS. I, being an amigageek, would have a play with it - but I think the CD/Box would end up back on the shelf after a day or two of realizing that I just can't do what I want to do with it. It's not the same as it used to be which will put off many amigaholics..

AmigaXL screenshoots (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2950260)

This is sick, what you can see there is a Compaq laptop running QNX... and package manager app ready to install AmigaDE... seems like another cloud of vapor

I'd love to support it but... (1, Troll)

Nijika (525558) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950263)

I have to face the fact. The Amiga as an all in one platform, is now dead. We were the fringe of the fringe at the time, battling even Mac users for spot as the underdog.

Amiga as we remember it is dead, and it's not comming back! I've moved on to Mandrake as a desktop.

Still don't get it (4, Insightful)

maggard (5579) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950297)

OK - Like 99.99% of the computer owning public I never owned an Amiga. Fifteen years ago I thought they were great and a pity the company was run into the ground but hey, life moved on.

Since then the industry has changed tremendously, we've been though how many generations of hardware, software, and even OSes. It's nice that an Amiga-legacy has come back but - to what?

Is there anything that Amiga now offers that Be didn't or MacOS X doesn't? Something that Wintel in it's messy but with 90% of the market way can't cough up some half-assed version of? The Linux/BSD/etc. can't reproduce?

Surely there aren't enough Amiga-fanatics out there to support a viable market for running old binaries? And all of those old kewl Amiga apps - they're old hat now - certianly there are better alternatives on other platforms by now aren't there?

What, exactly, does Amiga offer other then seeing an old friend again? I know nothing else is quite like it but after all these years is it really viable as an ongoing concern? Or is it like CP/M, just a joy to see it but of little real purpose other then the familiarity and the odd bit that can still be useful if only because nobody ever did it as well elsewhere?

Re:Still don't get it (2)

ShieldWolf (20476) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950349)

>Is there anything that Amiga now offers that Be didn't or MacOS X doesn't?

How about running multiple resolutions at once? If that sentence doesn't make sense to you then you truly don't get it. ;)

-Jeff

Re:Still don't get it (2)

maggard (5579) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950424)

How about running multiple resolutions at once?

Nice, but doesn't seem a make-it-or-break-it thang to me, how is it useful to you?

-- Michael

btw I expect (but don't know) that this could be done in MacOS X with it's Quartz layer; might be an interesting thing to look into if you're hurtin' for the feature.

Re:Still don't get it (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2950504)

It isn't useful anymore.
It was when running animation or color-intensive application was impossible under 640x480 with its 16 colors.
These days with 1600+ resolutions running at 32 bits multiple resolution does not make sense at all.

i remember the days... (1)

xtstrike (538546) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950319)

when i had my amiga 600 - booted from floppy into my gui (workbench)

then i spent about £200 ($300) on my 40MB hard disk - i was in awe - i installed the OS to hard disk, and booted from HD - once again my jaw dropped.

at about this time i just had to get my memory upgrade, i think i remember it being a 1MB upgrade, wow, it was great, i made a 1MB ram drive with it when i needed to.

im too excited, /me goes out to buy AmigaOS to remember the good old days.

All this and im only 22, LOL

Please enlighten me... (1)

d0n quix0te (304783) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950326)

I see the obligatory Amiga posting every month or two on /. I'd like to know more about the user base. In what fields is the Amiga used and why is it a viable platform? What are the unique Amiga only features today.

This is not a troll. I'd like someone to enlighten me and possibly other readers.

Re:Please enlighten me... (1)

Mr Teddy Bear (540142) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950406)

I don't know too much about the Amiga (I wish I had the chance to own one but I didn't) But I do know that a lot of lower end production companies still use Amigas for their video editing. (Yes, the Amiga was THAT good that people have decided NOT to go with Adobe Premiere) Also, Commodore systems have always had graphics that were way ahead of their time. (Hell the C64 had 320x200x16 back in 1979, PCs at best had CGA (320x200x4)) So as best I can see this is where Amiga shined the most just because this is where people still use them for real tasks everyday TODAY.

Maybe I am wrong, if so let me know.

Amiga etc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2950332)

I loved my Amiga, but... While the stuff that Amiga and Tao are doing with DE is pretty exciting and may even catch on in the portable marketplace, Amiga desktop machines are only ever likely to be a niche product. I'm happy running WinUAE when I want to dabble (though note that the $150 package includes an enhanced emulator capable of running x86 and 68K - AROS anyone? aswell as the version hosted on QNX).

Still, I'll watch with interest (if it was half the price I'd but it now).

A feature request... (1)

Mister Black (265849) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950336)

Hopefully the ability to take desktop sceen captures will be part of the next release. Nothing better than digital stills of a laptop screen ;)

Where's the platform? (4, Insightful)

SoupIsGood Food (1179) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950338)

So, the Amiga joins the ranks of Be, Geoworks, OS/2, GEM, and SCO.

They are all also-ran commercial competitors to not just Windows, which commands 99% of that market and comes bundled with 99% of the systems available, but three flavors of BSD, all free-as-in-beer-and-as-in-speach, and a few housand different Linux-based operating systems (distros). Top it off with a few clever, and completely free "other" OSes, like Atheos, and the situation looks grim.

I expect them to enjoy the same long-term success enjoyed by Be and OS/2... which is to say, an ignonimous death after the Nostalgia buffs tire of toying with it.

To be brutally blunt, the only way to introduced a closed platform in the current market is to work it as a total system. Sun and Apple desktops survive in a Windows world by offering a total package... you don't gotta be faster than Wintel, or cheaper than Wintel, but you have got to offer something Wintel doesn't. Comprehensively integrated systems is a damn good start, the insane system speed and responsiveness with limited resources that was a trademark of the Amiga of yore is another area to focus on. Move to Mips, ARM, PowerPC, MAJC, what have you... design a platform, not an OS but a whole platform, and you have a fighting chance.

Emulating a 10 year old architecture on an bone stock PC and then charging for the privelege is a fast track to irrelevancy.

SoupIsGood Food

Re:Where's the platform? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2950459)

The Amiga cannot die, because it is already dead. It had died, died, and died again. You don't seem to realize you're dealing with an undead entity here. She still walks, because the usual rules don't apply anymore.

Cloanto's Amiga Forever (1)

BigJimSlade (139096) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950371)

I never had an Amiga, but I'm fascinated by "old" computers (anything older than 3 years is ancient history, right? &ltgrin&gt)

Anyway, for people looking for a slightly lower cost (but legal) solution, check out Amiga Forever [cloanto.com] , a commercial distribution of UAE [linux.de] that comes with *every* version of the Amiga Kickstart ROMs and Workbench disks! And this isn't a warez CD either... these are legitimately licensed from (insert current company that owns Amiga's IP). I believe it also includes some commercial software and software that will allow you to mount Amiga hard drives as network drives under Windows. Might be worth a look for former/current Amiga fans.

dazed and confused (1)

rutledjw (447990) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950409)

I'm a big a fan as any of the old computer stuff, but I have to ask - what's the point here? How would an Amiga OS be useful in todays computing world? Do we have any new software for it? Is any looking to port any present software to it? (most likely candidates would be open sw packages, I'd think)

If not, then this really is just sort of an oddity. Off hand, I'd think that the AmigaOS would have some advantages in that:

  • It has to be small, even with 10 years of semi-active development, I would think that it would be pretty streamlined
  • It's VERY userfriendly from what I've been reading
  • It looks to have at least decent 3D support

Could this be an alternative to desktop for Linux? I'm sure it would be tough, but is it feasible to utilize the Linux kernel instead of QNX (I think it was)? I'm really asking here. I don't know much about kernel hacking as my job is at the application layer.

I also don't want to start any desktop wars. But as much as I like KDE and BlackBox (for VERY different reasons/purposes, obviously) it doesn't seem like they are as "user-friendly" (idiotproof?) as they should be. Perhaps Amiga/Linux could be an alternative desktop for Harry Homeowner. (although it seems as though some features would have to be unloaded as the Linux kernel supports those features).

Anyway, I thought I'd throw it out there and ask...

3 machines in one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2950418)

I loved my Amigas. I had an A4000 that ran:
  • the AmigaOS (Real3D was my fave app)
  • an Emplant Card running Apple System 7
  • a 386 PC card running Windows 3.1


3 different machines in one box. And that box had an Amiga logo on the front of it. :)

Emulation is still good (1)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950431)

I recently got a copy of Amiga Forever 5.0 [cloanto.com] , and I tried out WinUAE with that. I also installed AmigaOS 3.9 to it and it worked just fine. Even when I am not really a big Amiga fan (more of a foamy-mouthed Commodore 64 user =) I must say I'm really impressed... With the JIT stuff and the bsdsockets, it worked fast and supported network. A real, hardware C64 can do ISDN (with proper RS232 buffering, of course), but now I have an emulated Amiga that does DSL =)

(Screenshots? 1 [beastwithin.org] 2 [beastwithin.org] 3 [beastwithin.org] )

Of this stuff, I have to say I'm impressed, too - no need to boot to some other OS to run another, which means some more stability - UAE 0.8 isn't 100% stable yet. Very nifty.

(And I think Amiga hardware was pretty nice, but PC got ahead of it at last (after so many years!) when they ditched ISA bus and got USB input devices.)

I need to get the JIT + bsdsockets for *NIX UAE soon. Too bad the fullscreen modes in X11 UAE often suck - DGA, with its r00t requirement, means trouble. Anyone working on a SDL port?

The Amiga's strength was not its OS (2, Insightful)

srussell (39342) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950446)

I used Amiga's for five or six years, and my impression was always that the strength of the Amiga was in its hardware, not its OS. The Amiga OS did some impressive things with very limited resources, due in large part to liberal usage of shared libraries, but the most powerful thing about Amiga was the use of specialized, intelligent chips for each type of IO. Nowdays, this is common, to varying degrees, on x86 platforms. If you discount Intel's push to offload IO processing onto the CPU (thereby driving the need and market for faster chips) via dumb peripherals like WinModems, USB, etc., most x86 based machines have intelligent graphics cards, intelligent sound cards, and intelligent network cards.

I don't see a clear, motivating reason to buy into the new AmigaOS, except for nostalgia.

It is ironic, to me, that all that survives from Amiga is the OS. One of the main reasons that the Amiga line died back because Amiga was even worse that Apple about releasing new versions of the OS.

I want my ASSIGNs! (1)

xmda (43558) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950486)

Is anyone else missing the absolutely wonderful ASSIGN command? Sigh... Still, 13 years after I got my first A500 I long for this long gone command.

I want my pics:, mp3: and games: again, not just stupid c:, d: etc. Unix paths doesn't do it for me either and the same for soft and hard links.

Give back the ASSIGN command to me and give it to me NOW!

:)

Amiga speed = no memory protection/virtual memory. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2950500)

The Amiga O/S was fast due to lack of memory protection and virtual memory.

Give up (1)

eison (56778) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950520)

Remember it fondly, of course - but why does the world really need yet another OS?

Re:Give up (1)

MatrixManiac (448609) | more than 12 years ago | (#2950536)

Microsoft asked that same question when Linux came out. When there is Windows, what else do you need? :-D
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