Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Amiga Demonstration Helps Win Against Patent Troll

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the one-million-billygoats-gruff dept.

The Courts 239

Amigan writes "Over on Groklaw, PJ is reporting that an actual demonstration of the Amiga OS (circa 1988) on an Amiga A1000 may have been the turning point in the lawsuit of IP Innovation v. Red Hat/Novell."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

MORE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32215948)

More prior art plskthx.

Software Patents need to be abolished.

Re:MORE (4, Interesting)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216156)

More prior art plskthx.

But that's the problem in itself right there. Yes, chances are that there is little "new" being done in software for the most part, and that someone has done [patent idea] before, but just imagine trying to find just the right bit of software, or just the right platform to show it's been done before.

The patent office couldn't instigate a "Prove no-one has done it before" process as that would be just ludicrous, but at the same time, having the right people on hand to show "just exactly where it HAS been done before" may not be 1) cheap, 2) practical and 3) possible.

There simply isn't an easy solution to this. If you abolish software patents, it makes it very difficult for companies to realistically spend millions on development of new concepts and ideas when someone can then just take the ground breaking UI or process etc. If you don't abolish patents, you still end up with the farcical joke that we have now.

Here, it really is a lose - lose scenario. Except if you are a patent lawyer.

Re:MORE (5, Insightful)

RichardDeVries (961583) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216258)

Those millions are spent on implementations, not on 'concepts and ideas'.

Re:MORE (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32216778)

Exactly.
No company spends millions of dollars researching the idea of using multiple fingers on a touchpad. They spend millions implementing the interface to be touch friendly.

I could throw reverse engineer an ipad, throw together a few chips and make one. But you wont get that slick look and feel that Apple has spent so long perfecting.

Not only that but even if my device looked nearly identicle to the ipad i wouldnt be violating a patent. But as soon as i implement, in software the ability to recognise "Gestures" it becomes an infringement. Its stupid. Its stifling innovation. I think their should be an abolishment of software patents. Just get rid of them. Keep copyright.

Re:MORE (2, Informative)

timewasting (1230064) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217034)

mostly right, except there are design patents which cover the "looked nearly identical"

Re:MORE (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217120)

I'm not sure about that. The company I used to work for spent about as much money on customer research and contextual design as it did on development.

Re:MORE (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217426)

And on top of that the patent system (used to) allow technical different implementations to the same result.

E.g. fans: the result is blowing air. Still there will be many different ways to (mechanically) blow air, each of which are patentable and rightfully so.

It is not the idea of blowing air that is patentable, how interesting it may be in itself, it is the implementation on how to do it that is patentable.

Re:MORE (2, Insightful)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216292)

Best scenario that I can think of is make the USPTO website really a lot easier to use. I think they do a good job considering the volume of crap they have to deal with, but it could be easier.

Second, allow anyone to submit comments regarding any prior art relevant to the claims of any patent application. So if someone posts an application with claims X, Y and Z and it's a rehash of an old idea, someone can just post a comment "Yo examiner, this was done in FVWM in 1995. Reject this shit."

And voila, it is rejected. That would be a perfect world(excluding all other worlds that would be better but are political suicide).

Re:MORE (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216338)

So if someone posts an application with claims X, Y and Z and it's a rehash of an old idea, someone can just post a comment "Yo examiner, this was done in FVWM in 1995. Reject this shit."

But do you sit there sifting through applications? I don't. I have better things to do with my free time. I think just about everyone else would too. Perhaps a different twist on this is that a patent can be quickly and easily invalidated if someone shows prior art after it has been granted. However, in that case, would it actually then be transferred to the people that whose work was used to throw it out?

Re:MORE (1)

Son of Byrne (1458629) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216890)

focus less on "who gets the patent". focus more on creating.

Re:MORE (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217020)

But do you sit there sifting through applications? I don't.

And that must mean that no-one does. Companies do look at patent applications of their competitors and should be given the opportunity to say "hey, I've already done that" before the patent is approved, not being forced to fight it during an expensive lawsuit later on.

Re:MORE (3, Funny)

babyrat (314371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217176)

"This whole Linux thing won't work because I have better things to do with my free time than program a computer." **

**quote taken from slashdot comment in 1994***

***actually a hypothetical quote taken in 1994 if slashdot had existed in 1994

Re:MORE (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217412)

"But do you sit there sifting through applications? I don't. I have better things to do with my free time. I think just about everyone else would too."

Do you sit there correcting spelling and grammar errors in random wikipedia articles? I don't. I have better things to do with my free time. I think just about every else would too.

Of course I, and likely you, would be wrong. People do exactly this. All you need is some kind of recognition or reward system and people will do it. This carries extra kudos. If you are the highest scoring prior art finder companies can potentially save a lot of money by having you examine claims for prior art BEFORE they submit them.

"However, in that case, would it actually then be transferred to the people that whose work was used to throw it out?"

No unlike copyrights you don't get patent by default upon creation. You only get it in exchange for disclosing the exact details of how your invention works.

"Perhaps a different twist on this is that a patent can be quickly and easily invalidated if someone shows prior art after it has been granted."

I'm with you here. The USPTO should revoke patents. They should have user submitted prior art and a slashdot like moderation system so they can query highly rated prior art in addition to currently examined patents.

Re:MORE (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216380)

There simply isn't an easy solution to this. If you abolish software patents, it makes it very difficult for companies to realistically spend millions on development of new concepts and ideas when someone can then just take the ground breaking UI or process etc.

How about the fact that one company will be first to market and develop continously improving iterations staying ahead of the competition? To take for example graphics card as an example, the designs are often started 3-4 years in advance. Let's say they start now with a released card and probably spend the first year reverse engineering it, whatever they learn might be out in 2015. And then they'll be five years behind copying the 2015 models. You have to weigh that against the impact of granting a monopoly for 20 years - why should they continue to invent when they have an essential patent and can basically price gouge the market any way they want? It's really important to understand that software patents will stifle innovation too, and they're only worth it if the good outweigh the bad.

Re:MORE (1)

Dumnezeu (1673634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216542)

It is possible to have the right people looking for prior art. Ask the individuals/companies that request software patents to pay a hefty research tax. They'll either stop requesting stupid patents and they'll pay only for the real deal. Prior art problem solved. Now we need to solve the problem of the concept of software patents.

Re:MORE (1)

Smauler (915644) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216610)

If you abolish software patents, it makes it very difficult for companies to realistically spend millions on development of new concepts and ideas when someone can then just take the ground breaking UI or process etc.

Sorry... which new concepts and ideas companies have spent millions on would you be referring to? Name one useful software patent that is not obvious... Please.....

Re:MORE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32216842)

The only useful technology I can think of are compression algorithms. True, no money is spent researching them, usually some professor/math degree/CSt gets a sparkle while eating Cheetos in his mom's basement and that's it. However, they are about the only thing I think deserves patents in the field of computing. Everything else is just a rehash of ideas first implemented in the 1960s.

The problem is that monopolist companies use the patent to make interoperability impossible. If you use a patented compression algorithm to encode part of the data in your file, no one can make interoperable implementations without paying for the patent.

The patented technology isn't actually necessary, you could use another slightly worse patent-free algorithm as easily, to achieve the same end result, so the monopoly earned is not legitimate. Most people don't want your specific compression, they could do with any of the free ones, they just want to watch Youtube videos.

Re:MORE (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217156)

However, they are about the only thing I think deserves patents in the field of computing. Everything else is just a rehash of ideas first implemented in the 1960s.

And compression algorithms are different from pure mathematics, how...?

Re:MORE (1)

Son of Byrne (1458629) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216798)

If you abolish software patents, it makes it very difficult for companies to realistically spend millions on development of new concepts and ideas when someone can then just take the ground breaking UI or process etc.

I've a newsflash for you: these aren't inventions and so they don't need patent protection. I don't believe this nonsense about companies spending millions on new concepts and ideas (for UI's or processes). I just don't.

Designing a new UI may be expensive, but it is simply sunk costs. If I develop a groundbreaking process for picking cotton, but I don't actually translate that process into a physical device, then it is simply an idea and nothing more.

I have lots and lots of "ideas". Sometimes, I see those ideas manifested physically by someone who has the wherewithal to make it happen. They get the benefit. Not me. I don't care if I had the idea first.

This notion that we need to protect intellectual property is ridiculous and is doing wonders for stifling innovation. I plan to go right on thinking whatever I want to think and dreaming about new ideas. I don't care if that means I'm infringing on some companies "intellectual property" and I'll be damned if any amount of legislation will ever change my mind.

Re:MORE (4, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216968)

(Ecclesiastes 1:9-14 NIV) What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. {10} Is there anything of which one can say, "Look! This is something new"? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time. {11} There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow.

citation [globalchristians.org]

/I'm not prone to cite bible verse, but there you go. All your software patents are invalid. It sez so in the Good Book. The verse itself is an uncited theft of the work of Sophocles c. 429 BCE - himself a synthesist who didn't cite the vast realms of prior art from which he distilled his digests of the written and performed arts into their purest forms. Sophocles was a hack, but we don't have records of the prior art he stole, or today he'd be a pirate. His synthesis though? Timeless art in and of itself. It's good thing for us ancient Greece didn't have DMCA, DRM, and eternal copyright or he'd be Sophowho? To most he already is.

If only ancient Greece, or modern Phoenix, had a sort of distributed Library of Alexandria where one works could not be forgotten - where the wisdom of our fathers and their fathers (and their foolishness too) might be preserved and so remain available to our children and their children. Something like a Google for books. Alas, copyright prevents it and copyright is now eternal in every practical sense. So it is that each new generation, constrained by previously patented and copyrighted art has diminishing realms of imagination to work with - until the lawyers finally abolish imagination altogether and we reach the asymptote where creation ends. So then we lay upon our children the duty to rethink the thoughts we've had, to re-invent our inventions, and to do so in peril of the trolls who lay claim to a third degree ownership of any potential perceived reference to characters or invented places in a brief manuscript published in 100 copies only, 200 years before - and upon their children we lay a logarithmically greater burden.

As patents are the death of invention, copyrights are the death of art. A pity our children must climb these mountains we've built for them without the benefit of a culture, but culture itself is deprecated in this regime in preference to whatever mindless new drivel can escape lawsuits long enough to become popular - and then is itself extinguished in a flurry of lawyers and cocaine.

We might have stood on the shoulders of giants, but now we huddle in fear of lawyers.

Re:MORE (1)

Son of Byrne (1458629) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217012)

Is that you Reverend Bradbury?

Re:MORE (1)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216974)

If you abolish software patents, it makes it very difficult for companies to realistically spend millions on development of new concepts and ideas when someone can then just take the ground breaking UI or process etc

And yet almost all of the software on your PC was written by people who didn't either rely on patent protection for their ideas, or pay others for the use of theirs.

Re:MORE (1)

naasking (94116) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217414)

There simply isn't an easy solution to this. If you abolish software patents, it makes it very difficult for companies to realistically spend millions on development of new concepts and ideas when someone can then just take the ground breaking UI or process etc. If you don't abolish patents, you still end up with the farcical joke that we have now.

Without patents on physical goods, innovators stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars, at least. This already accounts for at least 2 orders of magnitude difference between software and physical goods, and that's assuming your figures for software. Now consider the cost of reproduction for software vs physical goods, the former being near zero, and the latter being nowhere near zero given the requirement for raw materials.

I'm sorry, but software and physical goods are not even close to comparable, and thus should not be granted the same protections. First to market and copyright protection are the only advantages you need in the software marketplace.

Re:MORE (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217432)

"If you abolish software patents, it makes it very difficult for companies to realistically spend millions on development of new concepts and ideas when someone can then just take the ground breaking UI or process etc."

This is complete FUD. Software patents only keep the little guy out of the game as it is. The big guys all rip one anothers patents off because their competition is violating enough of their own patents that they don't want to face the fallout of a patent war.

Re:MORE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32217340)

The person who wrote the linked article on Groklaw should be abolished. I have never seen a more poorly written, inarticulate piece in my entire life and that includes the writings of Jeff K.

It's True. (5, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216004)

There's nothing that Amiga demos cannot accomplish. They are the stuff that drives our society forward.

No respect. (2, Insightful)

AmigaHeretic (991368) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216028)

Circa 1985 people! Come one. ;-)

Re:No respect. (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216080)

Maybe it's referring to features added in later versions of Workbench?

Shanghaiing (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32216526)

The patent troll had a patent called "user interface with multiple workspaces for sharing display system objects". Presumably, the prior art is the Amiga Workbench 2.0 and above feature referred to in the developer documentation as "Shanghaiing". This allows one application to open a screen and another application to place a window on the screen and assume responsibility for the screen's allocation after the original application quits. Prior to this, only the four color Workbench screen was public to all applications.

Re:It's True. (4, Informative)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216066)

Although I saw my first piece of digital porn on the commodore 64 (Samantha fox if I recall) - it wasn't until the Amiga came along that I ~really~ saw porn, with actual skin tone. (Sheds a tear) It certainly drove my collection forward.

Re:It's True. (4, Funny)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216244)

As long as we are reminiscing of ye olden times in porn I remember when it was ground breaking to incrementally display the porn as it was being transferred over the modem. Ahhhh... the memories.

To this day that magical sound of two modems negotiating a connection gets me excited.

Re:It's True. (3, Funny)

angelwolf71885 (1181671) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216390)

modem noise the geek Viagra i bet your wife or lover gets pissy when you have to hook a 19k modem up just to get in the mood but i bet they are equally as happy that it takes 3 days to finish xD

Re:It's True. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32216404)

First computer porn I saw was a digitized picture that could only be printed on 3 pages of wide line printer/green bar paper using multiple overstrikes to get the shades of grey for each 1 character 'pixel'.

Re:It's True. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32216492)

To this day that magical sound of two modems negotiating a connection gets me excited.

I'm sure John Waters could make a lovely film of your life history...

Well! Aren't you the lucky one.. Dealt five aces..

Re:It's True. (1)

nickdwaters (1452675) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216606)

Bah. In the old days we had to look at women in real life! Both ways! Upside down and tits up!

Re:It's True. (1)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216784)

You lucky, lucky bastard! What I wouldn't give to be spat at in the f... oh, wrong meme? I'll see myself out.

Re:It's True. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32216814)

In your youth, you read The SEX LIFE of an Electron [msu.edu] too, didn't you!

Re:It's True. (1)

MadCow42 (243108) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216868)

Ah.... ASCII porn... The good ol days!

Re:It's True. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32217054)

You mean, this sound? http://www.sonnyradio.com/dialupkid.htm

Re:It's True. (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217290)

Yah, it was really hard to drool over Sammy on a green Hercules screen...

Re:It's True. (2, Interesting)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216246)

There's nothing that Amiga demos cannot accomplish.

I recall the first tyme I saw an Amiga demo IRL. It was set up to run the Mac OS and not just Workbench. Next to it was a new Mac running the same Mac OS. The Amiga ran the Mac OS faster than the Mac did. Another Amiga was running MS DOS and Windows 3.x.

Falcon

Re:It's True. (1)

Master Moose (1243274) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216556)

If only amiga was able to make their OS more wide-spread and accepted... Sigh.

Amiga marketing (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217040)

If only amiga was able to make their OS more wide-spread and accepted... Sigh.

Yeap, the Amiga marketing was shitty. When Gateway bought the Amiga from Escom I was hoping they'd revive the Amiga but it looks like all they did was waste money. There is AROS [sourceforge.net] but I don't know how that's going.

Falcon

Re:It's True. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32217354)

I was a fully-initiated member of the Church of Amiga, but truth be told... the good old days weren't really as great as we like to remember them. I remember my endless frustration over software (mostly European, but that was because American Amiga games totally sucked and were basically warmed-over ports of their EGA PC versions) that crashed and burned if you had anything besides an Amiga 500 with no fast ram and a floppy drive. 2-8 megs of fast ram? Guru. Hard drive? Guru (but less wait to get to it). 68020/30/40 accelerator card in a 2000? Meltdown. A3000? smoking nuclear crater.

In 1986, the Amiga's graphics were the best, bar none. In 1990, they were looking a little rough. In 1992, they were old news. The only reason PCs weren't blowing away Amigas in 1990 was because PC programmers hadn't adopted the Amiga culture of chucking the OS (what little OS a PC running DOS actually *had*) and hitting the bare metal. You know the neat penguin display Linux shows when it boots? Pretty much every PC with "VGA" graphics back as far as 1988 or so had the raw hardware to do that (switch from graphics mode to text mode mid-display)... it just Wasn't Done, because it wasn't officially supported by the BIOS. It wasn't until the Amiga finally went tits up, and Amiga programmers were forced to write PC programs to make a living, that PC programming jumped ahead by almost 10 years literally overnight, because former Amiga programmers were determined to treat PCs like the 32-bit powerhouses that traditional "PC" programmers were afraid to do themselves.

Remember Comanche: Maximum Overkill? It's not a coincidence that it was a groundbreaking PC game... it was REALLY an Amiga game that happened to be running on PC hardware that the programmers were treating like an alien Amiga instead of a BIOS-shackled realmode antique that happened to be running at 66MHz instead of 4.77MHz. Oldschool "PC" programmers were too afraid of losing buyers with creaky old 286 PCs with CGA cards to deviate from their standard formula. Former Amiga programmers realized that even if you wrote off every PC with less than a 33MHz 486, local-bus video card with VRAM, 4+ megs, and an Ultrasound or SBpro, your potential market was STILL 2-4 times as big as the entire Amiga market was on its greatest day. And so, the PC Hardware Arms Race began, that continues to this day.

It was the Amiga programmers who learned that you really COULD forcibly rewrite VGA registers mid-scanline... well, ok... as long as the videocard had VRAM. But by 1993, everyone who mattered had a videocard with VRAM anyway, so life was good. It was former Amiga programmers who were determined to discover what you really COULD get away with in "Mode X" when you threw away IBM's developer notes and went straight to the chipset datasheet for inspiration. The truth is, every real Amiga programmer had a destroyed, worn-out, dog-eared copy of the Amiga Hardware Reference Manual. And most had a crisp, nearly-untouched virgin copy of the RKM that rarely got looked at except out of an occasional sense of guilt ;-)

The Amiga didn't die, it just became the first platform to switch to Intel-architecture hardware. No, it wasn't official... but it happened, developer by developer, as the Amiga Elite grudgingly sulked over to the PC camp and decided to make the best of an unfortunate situation by treating PC hardware the same way they used to treat Amiga hardware. You can easily recognize the undercover Amiga refugees from the mid-90s... they all had Gravis Ultrasounds (and if they were programmers, their games had native support for it). It wasn't even that hard to do.

But back to the original complaint (wholesale hardware incompatibility if you had anything besides a bottom of the line A500)... if only Commodore could have been persuaded to make the 68010 the base CPU for the A500 instead of the 68000, 99% of our "move SR, EA" grief would have been avoided... because then it would have crashed the A500 too, and nothing after 1989 or so would have ever dared to use it again. Sigh. From what I remember, even in 1989, the UPS shipping on a 68010 was probably more than the cost of the 68010 itself.

Amiga demos rocked! (4, Insightful)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216022)

Commodore has sushi and sold it as fish, sadly. The Amiga demos always kicked ass even if you weren't doing X.

Re:Amiga demos rocked! (3, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216570)

Commodore has sushi and sold it as fish, sadly.

That's actually an insightful analogy on more levels than was probably intended. There was a time in the Western world, before sushi had ascended to its current status, that it was much easier to sell fish & chips than it was to sell sushi. People were actually grossed out by the idea - "Raw fish? Ewwww. Plus it's ethnic food!"

So, the decision to market it as fried fish or sushi was not so clear-cut in the 1980s. Nobody really knew what to make of the home computer market. It was a quirky world that could have become anything, and monumental marketing/strategy blunders were commonplace. Although there's little that can top the hilarity of an earlier era's bizarre attempt at marketing computers. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Amiga demos rocked! (0)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216656)

Eating meat raw has always been a sign of unsophistication in Western culture. Sushi became popular exactly because of this - by rejecting our own culture and embracing an alien one, you show how sophisticated and different you are from the masses. In addition, the high cost (in the 80s anyway) kept the morons out. China is doing this right now in a big way. Eating traditional Chinese food? Eww, the commoners do that! Let's go to McDonald's and get that sophisticated international food that costs way too much!

Re:Amiga demos rocked! (2, Insightful)

davidgay (569650) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217160)

Carpaccio

Steak Tartare

Time for another overrated comment.

David Gay

Re:Amiga demos rocked! (2, Insightful)

babyrat (314371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217210)

Sushi became popular exactly because of this

really? Here I thought it was because it was yummy...

Re:Amiga demos rocked! (4, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217310)

Eating meat raw has always been a sign of unsophistication in Western culture.

As the other reply notes - Steak Tartare and Carpaccio have long been considered at the heights of sophisticated Western dining.

Sushi became popular exactly because of this - by rejecting our own culture and embracing an alien one, you show how sophisticated and different you are from the masses. In addition, the high cost (in the 80s anyway) kept the morons out.

I don't buy this argument. Firstly, it contradicts itself - if you are eating a certain food just to show how different you are, doesn't that make you a moron? So if this were the case, wouldn't it be keeping the morons in?

I think there's a much simpler explanation - Globalization exposed people to different foreign cultures, and sushi is delicious. Over time, foreign foods become normalized. In the 1980s, there just weren't very many sushi restaurants outside of Japan, so few people got exposed to it. I very much doubt that most customers ate it simply to be snobby or different.

So what would be your current day example of such behavior? I mean, you don't see people going to, say, Danish restaurants and acting "oh, look how edgy and different I am eating this food that hardly anybody eats!"

Re:Amiga demos rocked! (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216912)

Some parts of Western world eat sea fish which are basically raw. It's just that they are not considered to be anything "fancy"... (herring, sardine, sprat, mackerel in salt or vinegar; also in oil or sour cream though those, possibly, somehow less raw)

Re:Amiga demos rocked! (1)

Thomasje (709120) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217110)

There was a time in the Western world, before sushi had ascended to its current status, that it was much easier to sell fish & chips than it was to sell sushi. People were actually grossed out by the idea

People in the Netherlands, northern Germany, and Scandinavia eat raw herring and have done so for ages -- it's a delicacy. Also, raw oysters, steak tartare... I'll grant that raw dead animals were never as prominent on the European menu as in Japanese cuisine, but they were certainly there before the current wave of Asian food started. :-)

Re:Amiga demos rocked! (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217410)

People in the Netherlands, northern Germany, and Scandinavia eat raw herring and have done so for ages -- it's a delicacy.

I probably should have narrowed my scope to "the English-speaking Western World" but that doesn't quite work either. Lacking another meaningful category, let's just say Britain, America, Australia, etc. The white trash countries, basically.

Also, I wouldn't quite put things like oily fish, caviar and oysters in the same category as sushi (although they are used as ingredients in sushi). They're a lot more meat-like and strongly-flavored than things like white fish served raw.

Anyway - I was just talking about a general misconception among people who were pretty ignorant about world cuisine to begin with. The finer details don't matter much. I don't think the people saying "ewww, raw fish" were exactly eating steak tartare to begin with. But these days, that same sort of person might be deciding between KFC and sushi at their local mall.

It really wasn't marketing (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217008)

There were two big things that worked to kill Amiga, other than simply not being DOS (which was the standard even back then):

1) Cost. Amigas cost a whole lot more than other computers. Also let's not forget that in general computers were expensive. So when you were already talking something that was a major purchase and then talking something that was more expensive on top of it, well that gets real hard for people to justify. Sure the higher cost bought you something better, but the money isn't always there. Sometimes "good enough" has to be good enough. I'll bet that is true today of nearly every piece of electronics you own. There probalby is a higher end, better product out there that you decided was too expensive to justify. Nothing wrong with that, but appreciate that is how it works, and that others might disagree.

2) Failure to keep pace. The Amiga just didn't keep up with developments in the rest of the computer industry well. In particular this is because a lot of what made them cool and capable of doing neat things also made them inflexible with regards to being changed. A good example is in graphics. HAM-6 was neat because it got colour detail nothing else could, but the limitations on it were a real pain. So when competing systems started to get higher colour counts with standard indexed or true colour modes, it wasn't nearly so nice. However Commodore was slow respond to those new graphics advances, and got left behind.

Really marketing didn't play in to it. It was too expensive compared to other computers to every become the system most people owned, and it fell behind when it came to pros. I mean it could have enjoyed a solid pro following, as it initially had, but for that it would need to stay on the cutting edge and it didn't do that. Pros migrated off because other systems started doing a better job for less money.

Re:It really wasn't marketing (1)

babyrat (314371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217224)

It was too expensive compared to other computers to every become the system most people owned, and it fell behind when it came to pros

Sounds like bad marketing to me...

Re:It really wasn't marketing (1)

Psion (2244) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217330)

What?

Amigas were cheaper than the IBM PCs and short list of clones available at the time and much less expensive than the Macs. They weren't cheaper than the 8 bit computers of their day, but then they weren't 8 bit computers. The Amiga had four channel, stereo sound compared to the bleeps and bloops of PCs and Macs, 4096 colors instead of 16 or plain black and white, and a multitasking operating system a decade before Windows. And because of the assistance of parallel processing, the Amiga could execute most software operations much more quickly than any of the competition. The DOS world competed by branding the Amiga a "gaming" computer, despite the fact that at that time superior gaming performance clearly demonstrated superior performance across the board.

Ultimately, the Amiga did fall behind, but only after Commodore itself folded and nearly a decade after its introduction.

Re:It really wasn't marketing (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217378)

They weren't cheaper than the 8 bit computers of their day, but then they weren't 8 bit computers.

Actually, if I recall correctly, there was a time when Amigas cost less than the Apple IIe. They certainly weren't expensive compared to Macs and IBM PCs.

The Amiga had four channel, stereo sound compared to the bleeps and bloops of PCs and Macs,

Arrgh, this is the second time in the last 24 hours that somebody has claimed that Macs only made beeping sounds. It's just not true. From the very first Mac they had audio. Not as good as an Amiga's, but certainly not "bleeps and bloops." You could even get sound digitizers for them.

What's more baffling is how people make this claim, when at the very launch of the original, the unveiling on-stage with Steve Jobs, the Mac introduced itself with speech synthesis. This was a very famous event in personal computer history! So, I'm not really sure where this misconception comes from.

The senator from Disney is needed (4, Funny)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216030)

Enjoyed the ""Your honor, we shouldn't be required to look for prior art that precedes our invention, because shurely such prior art would be outdated and irrelevant"" comment.
Wont someone legislate to close this prior art loophole.

Re:The senator from Disney is needed (1)

nextekcarl (1402899) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216252)

Seriously. What part of prior do they not understand?

Re:The senator from Disney is needed (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216272)

Seriously. What part of prior do they not understand?

The part about them not inventing or developing it ... or being able to profit from it by suing people.

Upton Sinclair to the rescue by way of Al Gore (5, Insightful)

jeko (179919) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216322)

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."

Re:The senator from Disney is needed (1, Funny)

rts008 (812749) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216278)

What part of prior do they not understand?

Richard?

Re:The senator from Disney is needed (1)

nextekcarl (1402899) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216310)

In their defense, his comedy could be pretty cutting edge.

Re:The senator from Disney is needed (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216574)

Richard?

You misunderstand Richard Prior at your own peril! That shit has consequences.

What's an Amiga? (5, Funny)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216060)

Seriously, is that some kind of Mexican Facebook?

Ahead of the curve (4, Interesting)

hhawk (26580) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216068)

I always loved the way the Amiga offered functions other computers of the same era never came close to matching..

I love the quote from the owner who produced the working model.. "My Amiga Killed a Troll!"

Re:Ahead of the curve (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216590)

You know, with a little twist (and still discarding NeXT machines - more than "close" to Amiga, but hideously expensive), saying "other computers of the same era never came close to matching" (emphasis mine) is too strong of a statement.

Even contemporary 8-bit computers came somewhat close, after a while; with operating systems like Contiki [wikipedia.org] or SymbOS [wikipedia.org] . And let us not forget what was rather quickly possible with Ata...uhm...ok, I won't go there ;)

Re:Ahead of the curve (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216788)

Even contemporary 8-bit computers came somewhat close, after a while; with operating systems like Contiki or SymbOS.

I was an 8-bit computer user. I owned an Amiga. You, sir (?) never used an Amiga, obviously. 8-bit? Contiki? You're out of your mind. But that's okay, because the Amiga is dead, and I'm no longer required to kill infidels like you. :)

Re:Ahead of the curve (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216962)

I also started on 8-bits. Plus I'm actually from a place where Amiga, for half a decade, was the standard home computer; PCs got its foothold only in the late 90's.

Notice I objected (and not very strongly) only to the word "never"; mentioned not only Contiki, also SymbOS (watch this video [google.com] ; you will really tell me that's not "somewhat close"?)

Re:Ahead of the curve (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217262)

Bah! You kids and your fancy pants Amiga. We had to PEEK and POKE everything on our VIC 20s [wikipedia.org] and pray to the primitive electronic gods that our sisters didn't record over our programming cassettes with Culture Club! You kids with your wasteful 256Kb of RAM. Try getting everything done in only 5Kb!

Now get off my lawn, ya spoiled brat! /wanders off muttering about ungrateful kids with their gigawhatsits and megawhosits and lazy gooeys/

Re:Ahead of the curve (2)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216818)

Apple IIgs demos had just started to kick amazing ass when Cupertino discontinued it. That machine was the spiritual opposite of the Lisa, but doomed just the same.

((Anyone remember when WUStL was the hub of the warez scene? *sheds a silent tear*))

Re:Ahead of the curve (3, Interesting)

PhunkySchtuff (208108) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217194)

Man, that brings back memories. I remember in the early 90's when I heard that wuarchive was being upgraded to have a... wait for it... a 14GB hard drive (although in retrospect it was probably a RAID array rather than a single spindle) and I was simply dumbfounded by that amount of storage and wondered how on earth they'd ever fill it.

Now, my phone has more storage than that...

Re:Ahead of the curve (3, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217102)

Really the Amiga was the beginning of Multimedia in home computing. It had Multimedia even before the term had been coined. It wasn't until Windows 98 that I really felt that the Amiga was becoming obsolete. After 4 years with no work it started to fall away. I had to move on to linux. More stable than AmigaDos but it took awhile before I felt totally happy with it.

Jesus christ, they're not that rare. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32216082)

I have five working Amigas sitting next to me. FIVE. All with Commodore branding, and including an A1000. University dumpsters were a gold mine for these things a few (by which I mean five) years ago. Groklaw speaks as if someone restored a System/360 or something!

Re:Jesus christ, they're not that rare. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32216220)

I have five working Amigas sitting next to me. FIVE.

Right. So we're supposed to believe you're this Hugh Hefner type smoking a pipe and saying things like, "aha, estas muy bonita, senorita!"

Re:Jesus christ, they're not that rare. (1)

lul_wat (1623489) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216280)

I also have 5 original DeLorean cars next to me. So clearly everyone else must do as well.

Re:Jesus christ, they're not that rare. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32216334)

I have 5 dicks, 3 for each of your mom's holes and 2 for her hands.

Re:Jesus christ, they're not that rare. (1)

Arcady13 (656165) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216754)

I wondered the same thing. I have a working Apple //e, an original Mac 128k, and a functional Lisa computer in this building right now. And these aren't even the oldest computers in the house, just some of the ones made by Apple.

Say what? (2, Insightful)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216094)

The success is all very nice and all, but what was the disputed issue?

Re:Say what? (5, Informative)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216154)

Multiple screens and switching.

this was the original shout out requesting reader prior art:
http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20071011205044141 [groklaw.net]

about 10 comments into the discussion someone mentions this is exactly what the amiga had.

http://www.groklaw.net/comment.php?mode=display&sid=20071011205044141&title=M%24+Virtual+Desktop+Manager+licensed+by+IP+Innovation%3F&type=article&order=&hideanonymous=0&pid=634370#c634821 [groklaw.net]

Re:Say what? (2, Informative)

drfireman (101623) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216900)

Although this is somewhat tangential, I have to mention that what the Amiga had was actually much cooler than the facility to switch between screens with different resolutions. You could slide each screen down by grabbing the bar at the top of the screen with your mouse, to reveal those beneath. So at times, and quite commonly, you would have different visible parts of your monitor displaying parts of screens with different resolutions (and, if I recall correctly, their own color depths as well).

Re:Say what? (4, Interesting)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216182)

The success is all very nice and all, but what was the disputed issue?

The actual dispute is irrelevant ... Linux won a patent suit and that's all we care about. A patent troll lost and will have to pay court costs. Double bonus points!

Here's the slashdot story [slashdot.org] about the court victory

Here's a link to the post that details the patents [slashdot.org]

Re:Say what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32216236)

The success is all very nice and all, but what was the disputed issue?

If you where to read the post linked to, you would know. Sadly, you're too lazy.

Re:Say what? (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216948)

I read it before it appeared here, and tried several of their links too. Move along, non-IP troll.

OS-9 (4, Interesting)

markdavis (642305) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216232)

Let us not forget that OS-9 was doing it before Amiga.... and that was also submitted by someone as prior art from 1983:

http://www.post-issue.org/prior_art/83/detail [post-issue.org]

OS-9 was my first "real" OS, before eventually switching to Unix, then Linux. Back in the day, it was extremely impressive.

Re:OS-9 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32216356)

Huh?

Mac OS 9 was released on October 23, 1999.

How was that before the Amiga?

Re:OS-9 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32216502)

LOL...

He obviously meant this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OS-9

Re:OS-9 (1)

Rob Riggs (6418) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216740)

Mac? Who said anything about Mac? OS-9 [wikipedia.org] was not an Apple OS.

Re:OS-9 (2, Interesting)

NetLarry (1439377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216642)

I remember my Radio Shack Color Computer 3 (running OS-9), with 128K (!!) of RAM, the expansion interface, HDD controller with 5MB hard drive, Floppy controller, and RS232 pack connected to a DT100 dumb terminal. And it actually would run programs on the TV screen and the terminal simultaneously. Talk about a stroll down memory lane... NetLarry

Re:OS-9 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32216690)

Damn,
My first was a Rdaio Shack color computer with 4K of memory. I saved my money from picking potatoes to buy it.
I am envious of your superior machine, I assume your parents brought it.

Re:OS-9 (1)

babyrat (314371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217258)

Loser...I saw the 4k coco in the 'Shack and chose the 16k model...

Dungeons of Daggorath? Polaris? The mining donkey kong clone (can't believe I can't remember the name)

Re:OS-9 (2, Interesting)

kimvette (919543) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216782)

The C=128 could also do this; you could hook up a split composite (now called S-video) and RGBI monitor at the same time and have an app display different outputs on each screen.

Does Novell Win Legal Fees? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32216480)

So, maybe I'm not up to speed on patent law, but when you lose a civil case, aren't you liable for the prevailing party's legal fees?

"Fake" (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#32216942)

What keeps the plaintiff from claiming it's a fake? They have little to lose anyhow such that being caught lying is not a big risk to them.

Re:"Fake" (3, Interesting)

babyrat (314371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217278)

If they know it's not a fake, then ultimately they will face the same situation.

They will be spending more of their own time and money, and possibly be liable for the additional court costs of the winning side.

That sounds like a potentially large risk to them.

So the prior art artists can sue them now instead? (1)

Shompol (1690084) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217106)

  1. 1995: April - At an auction in New York, ESCOM buys all rights, properties, and technologies of Commodore. http://oldcomputers.net/ [oldcomputers.net]
  2. [ESCOM] declared bankruptcy on 15 July 1996 and was liquidated ... and the Amiga assets [were purchased] by Gateway. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escom_(computer_corp) [wikipedia.org]

patent troll (1)

mathfeel (937008) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217338)

Since it's written in the constitution that our government should promote useful art, can we please make doing the exact opposite a federal crime and send some people to a federal pound-you-ass prison??

too funny about a working amiga (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 4 years ago | (#32217376)

I don't understand the surprise that someone has a working 1986 computer.

Maybe it's because of how cheap computers were made later, but I have quite a few working 8bit systems.

Commodores, Apple II's, TRS-80 Mod 4p, Amiga 1000. Oh, wait, that Amiga is actually a 16bit system. Since I guess I can include those, I can original Macs in that mix also.

In fact, it's harder to find pre pentium system these days (of the x86 line) then I think any of the computers I mentioned.

And it's funny that they had to bring in an amiga 1000 to prove it, when a emulator would of done the job also. Of course, wheeling the Amiga 1000 in, and booting it up would have a better affect.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?