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AmigaOS Twenty-Five Years of Check-Ins Visualized

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the blast-from-the-past dept.

Amiga 82

the_arrow writes "As a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Amiga computer, Hyperion Entertainment has made a video using the Gource CVS visualization software showing a time-compressed version of 25 years of Amiga development, from the early days of AmigaOS 1.0 to the present. Personal commentary added by one of the current core full-time AmigaOS developers, Hans-Joerg Frieden (a.k.a. 'Rogue')."

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82 comments

Is the Amiga OS (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33163510)

even used outside of a small hobby base?

Re:Is the Amiga OS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33163538)

25 years ago (13 years before you were born), yes.

Re:Is the Amiga OS (3, Interesting)

Zerth (26112) | more than 3 years ago | (#33163586)

Television. One of my local channels will still have the occasional Guru Meditation at 0 dark hundred.

Re:Is the Amiga OS (3, Interesting)

toejam13 (958243) | more than 3 years ago | (#33163828)

I expect that the majority of these systems will be replaced in the next five years as everyone switches over to HD.

Even if you could find a used Cybervision or similar Amiga video card that could be tweaked to display HD resolutions, would existing presentation programs work with them correctly? Could they handle 16:9 aspect ratios? Would it even be worth the cost of hardware and labor when you could purchase turnkey PC solutions for less?

Re:Is the Amiga OS (3, Interesting)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#33164424)

While I'm not sure if it would still be worth migrating, due note that AmigaOS is still under active development on newer (PowerPC) hardware. Now, it's not exactly top of the line stuff - the latest AmigaOS boards are still only at 733mhz, but still, it's out there and kicking (barely anyways).

I've considered buying one of the machines in the past. They're around $750 IIRC. Would be a nice toy to play with. I wish the system was open sourced though. I can imagine the the possible boost in Amiga popularity (not sales, but at least interest and usage) would be a lot higher if it could be ran on commodity x86-64 hardware and was freely available for development.

Re:Is the Amiga OS (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#33165904)

I can imagine the the possible boost in Amiga popularity (not sales, but at least interest and usage) would be a lot higher if it could be ran on commodity x86-64 hardware and was freely available for development.

Yes but such a thing is vehemently opposed by the Amiga snobs.

Re:Is the Amiga OS (1)

mafutha (884284) | more than 3 years ago | (#33170250)

Actually, as one of those amiga snobs, I would love to see it run on the x86-64 hardware. AmigaOS ran with less ram and multitasked better than windows does in low memory settings. The problem is that they (the new developers) have a weak minded viewpoint on making money from old amiga users. The make it for dead or a dying hardware platform and fail to embrace the common one. Oh to run AmigaOS on my windows machine is a dream come true. But it willnever happen. Just like running the mac OS X on a stock x86-64 machined without hacks.

Re:Is the Amiga OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33170388)

One word:

UAE

AmigaOS on a modern PC via UAE runs faster than on native hardware. It's also quite fun to tinker with :)

Re:Is the Amiga OS (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33166494)

>>>the latest AmigaOS boards are still only at 733mhz

2000 megahertz. Due to be released in August.

As for open source, you can get upto Amiga OS 3.5 in that format and run it on a PC or Mac. Intel or PowerPC.

Re:Is the Amiga OS (1)

thoromyr (673646) | more than 3 years ago | (#33166696)

You can't get Amiga OS as open source. The code was copyrighted and never put into the public domain.

Oh, you are trying to conflate AROS with the actual Amiga operating system. Nice try, but that isn't really quite what AROS is. aros.sourceforge. [slashdot.org]net/

Re:Is the Amiga OS (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33166946)

Oh I see. It's like that Windows OS project that attempts to clone the functionality (ReactOS), but isn't the actual OS.

  I don't think making the OS 4.x is the answer. The company still wants to make money off the Amiga, just like Apple wants to do with Mac.

Re:Is the Amiga OS (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#33169850)

But Amiga is a dead end as far as generating profit goes.

Closest we where was bplan Pegasos with MorphOS.

But creating AmigaOS 4.0 and release the AmigaOne from Eyetech with one OS for each separate platform was just yet another failure of the failed management of Amiga.

I think you can run the same OSes on both machines now, eventually, don't know for sure if all AmigaOnes run MorphOS, but it's too late.

And I think bplan has focused their Efika outside the Amiga market now and the Pegasos is gone.

Only chance of making profit seemed to be legal disputes, but now Hyperion got the right to the OS (the new versions atleast) so good luck with that.

Atleast Hyperion doesn't suck (and neither does bplan or the MorphOS team. Though for a while the later people had disputes with eachothers to because bplan hadn't paid some salaries.)

Re:Is the Amiga OS (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#33171400)

Having done some research on this throughout the day (obscure OS projects fascinate me), the AROS option looks pretty darned cool IMHO. The new AmigaOS 4 isn't binary compatible with any of the original AmigaOS versions - they run on different processors. As such AmigaOS4 is really just a cloned lookalike that runs old software through emulation.

AROS, from what I've gathered, is essentially the same thing. It's a clone that is source (but not binary) compatible with the original Amiga system. Recompile your programs and they should work on AROS. Old software can be run through emulation just like on AmigaOS4.

Essentially, from what I can tell, AROS is technologically just as legitimate of a modern version of AmigaOS as the "real" AmigaOS 4.x series - they just don't happen to own the name so it can't be called AmigaOS. Given that AROS is free, open source, and runs on commodity x86 hardware (and also has the option of being easily virtualized), I consider AROS to be the more interesting project. And their fox-girl mascot is way cooler than Tux . . . ;)

Re:Is the Amiga OS (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33173682)

>>>As such AmigaOS4 is really just a cloned lookalike that runs old software through emulation.

One could make the same argument about MacOS after they switched from the 68000 to the PowerPCs. (You need an emulator to run the original Mac binaries.)

Or one could conclude that Apple/Commodore had no choice but to switch processors, since the 68000 series had come to a dead end, and not get hung-up about the CPU.

Re:Is the Amiga OS (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#33174728)

One could make the same argument about MacOS after they switched from the 68000 to the PowerPCs. (You need an emulator to run the original Mac binaries.)

Well, yes, but MacOS X actually took off. So not only does it have the name legally, but it's also heavily developed and popular (and popularity means better app support and such).

AROS vs AmigaOS 4 is a bit different. Though AmigaOS has the rights to the name, it's not developed by the original AmigaOS team, nor has it really taken off in popularity. Both it and AROS are essentially niche little hobbyist projects. Between the two, given that neither really has the upper hand over the other, the legal right to the AmigaOS name means little to me. The FL/OSS project has more potential longevity IMHO.

Re:Is the Amiga OS (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182884)

I think you're splitting hairs. You're trying to claim MacOS is alive and AmigaOS is dead, but that's simply not the case. Commodore went bankrupt, but the Amiga OS managed to survive... continuing on from Amiga OS3.0 to 3.5 to 3.9 and now 4.0

>>>MacOS X actually took off.

Until it was terminated and replaced with NeXT. So if I wanted to be anal like you are, then I could say MacOS is dead. But I won't do that because I think the distinction is trivial and pointless. So if your claim about Amiga OS 3.x/4.x not being real.

Re:Is the Amiga OS (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#33194800)

No, you're repeatedly missing my point. AmigaOS is a niche little OS that is from a commercial standpoint *PRACTICALLY* dead.

AmigaOS4 vs AROS are essentially both AmigaOS 3 inspired OS's written by new developers with very little use following outside of a niche community.

MacOS X is also a rewrite, but with a huge user following. There really isn't even another project in this realm to compare to.

Lets just engage in a bit of alternate history: say in 1997 Apple had gone out of business. They sold the MacOS name to HP. HP developed a completely new OS called MacOS 10. Another group of fervent Apple users developed an open source version called UltiMac. Neither one takes off or sees much adoption. Now, does anyone CARE that HP's version has a legal trademark behind it? No. It's not buying you increased 3rd party support. It's not buying you increased hardware compatibility. It's not even buying you the "real" MacOS. The legality of the name imparts no benefit whatsoever.

Hell MS-DOS's progenitor QDOS was originally very much inspired by CP/M. Nobody cared that it wasn't marked that way though because what mattered was user adoption and support. AmigaOS 4 doesn't have that, so it's name means little.

MacOS X and AmigaOS4/AROS are two completely different situations.

Atleast Hyperion doesn't suck (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 3 years ago | (#33171580)

Hyperion does suck, and it will continue to as long as it holds out on making AOS that can run on x86 hardware. I'd run it on my MacBook Pro in a heartbeat.

Falcon

Re:Is the Amiga OS (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#33171544)

A good friend of mine owns an Amiga from... well, it's an old one. It's hilarious how the GUI feels snappy and responsive and Windows feels slow as shit in comparison.

the Amiga OS (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 3 years ago | (#33171552)

I've considered buying one of the machines in the past.

I had an Amiga 500 but turned it in for recycling. If I could have expanded/upgraded it I would have kept it longer.

I can imagine the the possible boost in Amiga popularity (not sales, but at least interest and usage) would be a lot higher if it could be ran on commodity x86-64 hardware and was freely available for development.

If Amiga OS ran on commodity x86 hardware I bet it would sell. I think it's weird, there used to be an expansion board for Amigas that allowed DOS and early Windows to run but AOS 4 doesn't run on Intel or AMD mobos. It requires PowerPC hardware.

If I could I'd triple-boot my MacBook Pro, with OSX, Ubuntu, and Amigas OS.

Falcon

Re:Is the Amiga OS (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 3 years ago | (#33172466)

While I'm not sure if it would still be worth migrating, due note that AmigaOS is still under active development on newer (PowerPC) hardware. Now, it's not exactly top of the line stuff - the latest AmigaOS boards are still only at 733mhz, but still, it's out there and kicking (barely anyways).

I've considered buying one of the machines in the past. They're around $750 IIRC. Would be a nice toy to play with. I wish the system was open sourced though. I can imagine the the possible boost in Amiga popularity (not sales, but at least interest and usage) would be a lot higher if it could be ran on commodity x86-64 hardware and was freely available for development.

I felt the same way. I figured Amiga should of accepted the linux kernel and made it's OS off of that.

But no, they wanted to follow suit of the companies before it and put out old hardware that was too expensive. Everyone and their grandma has a x86 cpu computer, but no, let's produce a new computer that is expensive for the small group of people we have and never worry about it actually being useful to anyone.

Apparently Amiga is cursed or something.

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33163684)

Yes. The ability to output PAL and NTSC made it popular for video and interactive presentations. Some of these systems are still live. The scripting system made it possible to mix multimedia or run multimedia batch processing jobs. The POSIX-like API allowed a large amount of Unix style utilities to be run. The shareware and open source libraries continue to be one of the largest and highest quality - and it is still growing because much of it is cross platform: http://aminet.net/tree [aminet.net]

Re:Is the Amiga OS (2, Interesting)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 3 years ago | (#33164460)

Whats funny is I saw a local tv ad that was shot in SD - and I recognized a toaster transition (odd thing having worked with a lot of video hardware - often you can tell what the ad was edited in based on the effects alone). There are people that still use the stuff ;).

Re:Is the Amiga OS (2, Insightful)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#33166586)

and banks still use cobol programs running on big iron mainframes. If it works, it will be used forever. And that scares the capitalists crazy if it ever gets into the public meme-pool.

It's not a Guru Meditation Error, but it is close (2, Funny)

toejam13 (958243) | more than 3 years ago | (#33163562)

"Database Error: Unable to connect to the database:Could not connect to MySQL"

Re:It's not a Guru Meditation Error, but it is clo (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33164438)

I got that from Firefox.

Works fine from IE.

Apply "FTW" as you see fit.

Re:It's not a Guru Meditation Error, but it is clo (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33164458)

Oops. Spoke too soon. That was the link to TFA. The link to the video is still borked in IE. YMMV.

Re:It's not a Guru Meditation Error, but it is clo (2, Funny)

ultramarweeni (662813) | more than 3 years ago | (#33165852)

You're obsolete, it's now known as Software Failure. Anyways, prepare to press left mouse button to continue. And don't forget to update your Kickstart and Workbench either!

Last update (1)

netsuhi.com (1867770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33163570)

The last 10 to 15 years will flash by very quickly. When was AmigaOS last updated.

Re:Last update (2, Informative)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#33163768)

It has had quite a few of updates. And I guess many parts of AmigaOS 4 was actually improvements.

However I find it hard to consider anything beyond 3.1 worth much care from my side. Sadly.

Ignoring the A\Box stuff best chance it had of a resurrection was probably around the 1999 days when Gateway-Amiga wanted to build a fresh OS upon QNX Neutrino and Photon.

The Linux-switch and much more the virtual machine Tao-Group Elate stuff for Linux and WinCE was major failures and idiocy.

To try to upgrade and modernize a 20+ year old OS which have seen little reason to improve since the mid-80s and try to keep backwards compatibly at the same time instead of a complete rewrite starting of from scratch with the best OS ideas around is almost as stupid since it won't work. But atleast it gives the latest Amiga-stuff for the people still around.

Re:Last update (4, Insightful)

cream wobbly (1102689) | more than 3 years ago | (#33165748)

Many of the concepts used in AmigaOS are relevant today and still uptapped; datatypes being the biggie. Instead of browser plugins, media player plugins, and video editing plugins, Amiga had a system-wide data i/o plugin architecture. Application writers only had to query a system call to get the raw data from the encoded (or encrypted) file.

Fuse does a similar job of unification by exposing data as a filesystem. Amiga datatypes expose data as an i/o stream.

Re:Last update (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33166666)

And M$ could learn a few things (that they didn't already steal and try to implement) about UI responsiveness, and NOT RANDOMLY STEALING FOCUS FROM THE TOPMOST WINDOW I'M TYPING INTO.

Sorry. I use AmigaOS (3.x) every day in addition to Windows, CentOS/Ubuntu/Debian Linux, and MorphOS. It's still one of my favorites. And my two 17-year-old A3000s are doing fine, thank you for asking. :)

[appropriate captcha: teletype]

Re:Last update (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#33169904)

Google gmail steals tab focus and afaik there's nothing I can do about it.

Sucks arse, especially since it takes so long to load that you've most likely started doing something more interesting while waiting for your mails to come up.

Re:Last update (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#33166736)

While I was a huge fan and enjoyed my Amiga usage I have never read the Amiga Hardware Reference Manual or know much at all about the internals of the OS. Though of course I know about datatypes and how you loaded different filesystem-, monitor- or printer drivers on the spot (or at start-up) very intuitively and such things.

Anyway, yes, much was great. OSes like Syllable probably borrows some, Matt Dillon may have done for his DragonFlyBSD and so on to.

But nothing says and it most likely wasn't the best OS one could ever produce.

Today there isn't much need to be backwards compatible except for old coders to feel at home. Everything old could run well and faster than on a real Amiga through UAE on any OS. And of course you could bring something even better to market picking up the very best ideas from that time, including actual AmigaOS, but also the last 25 years of OS concepts, new ideas and existing products.

"Let's make it like it was back then!" doesn't do it for me. Whatever it's AmigaOS4, AROS or Haiku.

Re:Last update (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33166762)

For those that enjoy bashing the Commodore Amiga, let's consider a few simple "features" and what kind of hardware you need to get the job done:

- 8 bit sound and 4000 colors
== 1985 Amiga with 7 MHz CPU and 256K of RAM
== or 1992 Mac Quadra with 25 MHz CPU and ~8000K of RAM
== or 1993 Windows PC with 100 MHz 486 and ~16,000K of RAM

- preemptive multitasking
== 1985 Amiga with OS 1.0 or higher
== or 1995 IBM PC with Windows 4.x (95)
== or 2002 Mac Quadra with OS 10.x

plug-and-play addon cards
== 1985 Amiga. Easy as pie.
== or 1998 Windows PC with Windows 4.x (98)
== or Mac.... uhhh... how do you open this thing? (just kidding)

BOTTOM LINE - It took between 8 and 17 years for the PCs and Macs to catch-up to what Amigas were doing in 1985. Even today modern Amigas have a lightwieght OS that runs circles around Mac or PC OSes. You don't need 1 gigabyte to get the job done. 0.1 gig and 1 GHz is enough.

Re:Last update (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33166822)

[correction]

- preemptive multitasking
== 1985 Amiga [68000] with OS 1.0 or higher
== or 1995 IBM PC with Windows 4.x (95)
== or 2002 Mac [PowerPC] with OS 10.1 and up.

Re:Last update (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#33167158)

Sound) I know there was a Slashdot article about a year ago about how sound quality (mostly MIDI?) had changed over the years on PC. I do wonder if it had to go so far as existing 100 MHz 486. Maybe, doubt you needed one to use it. Heck, I think 66 MHz 486 could play MP3s, My 68030@50MHz 1200 could not without going mono and 22 kHz.

Palette) HAM is a special scenario:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hold-And-Modify [wikipedia.org]
It's more or less a hack which let you either pick a color from the palette at hand or modify ONE of the RGB-parts of the last pixel. The normal palette was 32 colors or 64 colors where half where shades and the other half brights of the same colors.

Multitasking) More of an OS issue than a hardware issue. Linux (Minix?) and OS/2 and such could probably do it earlier.. Still a valid claim, sorta.

Re:Last update (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33173726)

>>>HAM is more or less a hack

So? It's still the first time a computer could create photorealistic porn. ;-) You sure as hell couldn't download the latest Swimsuit Issue or Playboy on an 80s Mac or PC, but it could be done on an Amiga.

My friends were jealous. ;-)

Re:Last update (1)

toejam13 (958243) | more than 3 years ago | (#33168400)

It took between 8 and 17 years for the PCs and Macs to catch-up to what Amigas were doing in 1985. Even today modern Amigas have a lightwieght OS that runs circles around Mac or PC OSes. You don't need 1 gigabyte to get the job done. 0.1 gig and 1 GHz is enough.

I think your comparison is a bit off.

  • The original Amiga had a palette of 4096 colors, but could only display 32 of them simultaneously (5bpp CLUT). EHB6 was a kludge. The IBM PC mostly surpassed it in 1987 with the VGA chipset, both in depth and palette, and the Amiga never caught back up. Sure, the blitter was an advantage, but raw color depth won in the end.
  • The original Amiga had four 8-bit digital channels that could handle 20-26KHz audio. It had no frequency-modulation support. The IBM surpassed all this in in 1991 with the Soundblaster 2.0, and the Amiga never caught back up.
  • Sure, Autoconfig and the Zorro bus beat the crap out of what the PC had until VLB (some would say PCI). But the vast majority of Amiga users had a 500, 600, 1000 or 1200. You got one processor bus slot. Early Amiga 3000 users had a busted Z3 bus because of a bug in Buster. Meanwhile, the majority of PC and clone users had multiple slots, and could upgrade easier as new peripheral cards became available. They didn't need to replace broken bus controllers, either.
  • While AmigaOS 1.0 and later supported pre-emptive multitasking, the majority of entertainment software released for the Amiga disabled multitasking. The majority of Amiga owners were home users playing games. Therefore, the majority of the time, Amiga users were singletasking.

The lightweight nature of the kernel isn't really relevant in a world where your core processor is 100MHz or faster. And once you cross that bridge, you don't want that lightweight kernel - it's lightweight because it uses a flat, open memory model where a single stray pointer can crash your system. I want memory protection. And memory virtualization kills the beast known as memory fragmentation. It also delayed the need to jump to a 64-bit memory model for a number of years.

Don't get me wrong. I loved my Amiga 500. But I was highly disappointed with my Amiga 3000 - no real improvement in color depth, palette depth or sound resolution. Too many programs relied on a 7.15MHz 68000, which never would have happened if the Amiga 2000 came with a 10.73 or 14.32MHz 68000. Worse still, few non-productivity programs used the extra speed of the 3000's 68030 because the Amiga 600 still used a 7.15MHz 68000. And even after upgrading to 2.04 ROMs, it crashed all the time. The A3000 and 2.04 would have been the perfect time to introduce MEMF_PRIVATE and MEMF_CODE. No reason for userland programs to write freely to kernel space or over its own code segment.

Re:Last update (1)

frist (1441971) | more than 3 years ago | (#33169012)

OMG someone who knows what they're talking about posted on Slashdot! What's next, flying pigs? 3 amigas but yeah, when a $50 VLB Cirrus Logic video card on the PC started trashing what the amgia's chipset could do, it was the beginning of the end for amigas. I really don't understand why there's still an amiga community. There are so many other good alternatives even w/out Linux (like QNX - free for non-commercial use, microkernel distributed OS with many hardware targets including x86 PCs).

Re:Last update (1)

locu64 (798698) | more than 3 years ago | (#33169308)

You think that FM sounds better than wavetable synthesis? you're crazy man.

Re:Last update (1)

toejam13 (958243) | more than 3 years ago | (#33170908)

Try listening to a Moog analog FM synthesizer or a high-quality digital FM synthesis program. There is a beauty to their sound that can never be replicated or equaled by simple PCM audio samples.

Granted, digital synthesis and digital sampling both have their strengths and weaknesses. But what bothers me is that Commodore had an inexpensive yet promising digital synthesizer in the MOS SID chip, and it went... nowhere. After Robert Yannes left the company the SID essentially died.

It is a shame, because had Commodore licensed frequency modulation synthesis from Yamaha, or had the licensing costs been too high, phase distortion modulation from Casio, they could have had a very powerful digital synth. They could have even outsourced it back to Yannes' new company.

Instead with the Amiga, they focused on PCM audio, because that’s what they got when they bought Amiga, Inc. and got Paula. Yet over the years, Paula remained the same, and so the Amiga’s PCM audio subsystem remained the same, even as other platforms moved on to 16-bit resolutions, higher sampling rates and adaptive compression.

Again, you see this lack of evolution. After OCS, Paula could have been broken into two – a basic I/O hub for serial, parallel, floppy and possibly even a single channel ATA controller in one chip, and a digital audio chip, possibly with basic sampling, FM synth and DSP effects in the other. Perhaps wishful thinking in hindsight, but hardly out of imaginational spirit of the original Amiga team.

Re:Last update (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33169394)

The original Amiga had a palette of 4096 colors, but could only display 32 of them simultaneously (5bpp CLUT). EHB6 was a kludge.

Huh? It was perfectly capable of displaying that many colours in HAM mode, which wasn't particularly esoteric. Sure, the way it worked made HAM [wikipedia.org] unsuitable for fast moving graphics, but it was still capable of (e.g.) displaying a digitised photo that looked pretty faithful- albeit with some quantisation and minor fringing that would still have been preferable to 256 colour VGA (for that particular use) and beat the living heck out of 4-colour CGA(!)

But I agree with you on the drawbacks of the "lightweight" kernel. Not a criticism of the time it came out- quite the contrary, memory protection and the like were far from standards at the time and the OS in general beat the living heck out of MS-DOS and early Windows with their risible half-baked multitasking. Still, the memory limitations and other issues wouldn't be acceptable today, and too many people remember the advantages without remembering the drawbacks.

Re:Last update (1)

toejam13 (958243) | more than 3 years ago | (#33171524)

HAM is to graphics as DPCM is to audio. They are both technologies that use differential deltas to calculate a new value based off of an offset of the previous value. The problem with them is that you are limited by the resolution of your reference point and the range of your delta points. They also tend to dislike it when you inject a new reference point inside a chain of deltas. With HAM, that means that when an object moves across your beautiful HAM background, everything to the right of the object looks like a Greatful Dead concert barfed on your screen. That's why HAM was only used for niche applications.

As for the chosen memory model, AmigaOS couldn't use anything other than a simple flat model even if the original developers wanted to use a more elaborate system. The 68000 couldn't properly recover from memory bus faults, which are needed in order to detect access violations. This prevented the 68000 from being paired with an MMU - you needed a 68010 or better CPU. According to Haynie, 68020 processors were going for around $500 in bulk around 1985-86, so you're talking about using a 68010 if you wanted to keep your price close to sane.

You wouldn't have wanted to use a virtual paged memory model with the 68010 or 68020 anyway since there is a high cost in performing virtual-to-real memory translations. You'd kill your performance in a heartbeat. Worse, the 68451 was a pig of an MMU, and I'm not even sure if the 68551 was available yet (or at what cost).

You could have used a protected flat model with a custom MMU that only generated protection faults. Might have even been logic that you could have stuffed into Agnus. Since you're not doing translations, there's little if any overhead. But, as you mentioned, memory protection really wasn't something that designers had in mind for desktop OSes at the time. Which is why I think that if it wasn't introduced in the 1.x days, it really should have been introduced with 2.04 and the Amiga 3000.

Re:Last update (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33173214)

With HAM, that means that when an object moves across your beautiful HAM background, everything to the right of the object looks like a Greatful Dead concert barfed on your screen. That's why HAM was only used for niche applications.

Yes, I'm aware of how HAM works, and I had the exact problem you described in mind when I acknowledged that it was "unsuitable for fast moving graphics".

(While I'm guessing it would be theoretically possible to work around it, it'd increase the amount of calculations required since you'd have to recalculate at least part of the background pixels to the object's right in real time. I would assume that it *might* be possible to use HAM in an arcade-style game, but one would have to impose certain restrictions on the sprites and background objects to reduce the required calculations to workable levels, as well as deciding what level of fringing was acceptable. Remember that you got 16 "base colours" that could be used directly in HAM mode- I assume that any strategy would revolve around careful use and placement of them).

So yeah, I did acknowledge the limitations, but the fact remains that HAM was perfectly usable for static graphics with near-photographic quality.

You wouldn't have wanted to use a virtual paged memory model with the 68010 or 68020 anyway since there is a high cost in performing virtual-to-real memory translations.

Well, yeah. As I said, the Amiga's non-protected memory was acceptable at the time, given that to get round them in a usable manner would have taken the hardware's cost into another league. But 25 years later- a *very* long time in computer terms- for people to get nostalgic about the "lightweight" and "efficient" kernel without acknowledging that this was partly because it lacked features that would be considered essential in today's hardware is viewing things through rose-tinted glasses.

Yes, modern OSs probably *are* quite inefficiently written, but it's not entirely bloat.

Re:Last update (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33172284)

Aplications like brilliance made HAM8 very usable.
1440x780 with 262144/16216144 colors looked better than 24bit on below 1024x768 resolution.
And HAM6 and HAM8 (compression) was good for enabling full speed video/animation playing. (did that a lot)
In late 90's PCs (and Mac) still failed to play full motion video well. + Amiga managed to deliver also 14bit sound effects at the same go, without hickups.

- AmigaOS user since 1986 till today.

Re:Last update (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33170862)

It sounds to me like you left the amiga before AGA stuff hit,

Re:Last update (1)

toejam13 (958243) | more than 3 years ago | (#33171566)

No, I had an Amiga 4000 after my Amiga 3000. I missed my line doubler and onboard SCSI. I ended up getting a 4091 to keep my Quantum SCSI drives, but ran into the Buster bug. AGA was nice, but SVGA cards and SB16 cards were nicer. As the Amiga community started to die, I got a Cybervision64 in order to use Shapeshifter with native chunky screenmodes. In the end, I was using my A4000 as a Macintosh clone.

Re:Last update (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33172252)

> * The original Amiga had a palette of 4096 colors, but could only display 32 of them simultaneously (5bpp CLUT). EHB6 was a kludge. The IBM PC mostly surpassed it in 1987 with the VGA chipset, both in depth and palette, and the Amiga never caught back up. Sure, the blitter was an advantage, but raw color depth won in the end.

Wrong. Original Amigas could present 4096 simultaneously in various ways.
PCs and MAC standard GFX beat Amigas in colors & resolution in mid 90's. (when 24bit @ SVGA resolutions became possible)

In video Amiga was still ahead untill late 90's.

> * The original Amiga had four 8-bit digital channels that could handle 20-26KHz audio. It had no frequency-modulation support. The IBM surpassed all this in in 1991 with the Soundblaster 2.0, and the Amiga never caught back up.

Amigas were able to produce 14 bit stereo sound and samplerates like 56khz.
Nowdays Amigas have same sound chips as x86 PCs.

> * Sure, Autoconfig and the Zorro bus beat the crap out of what the PC had until VLB (some would say PCI). But the vast majority of Amiga users had a 500, 600, 1000 or 1200. You got one processor bus slot. Early Amiga 3000 users had a busted Z3 bus because of a bug in Buster. Meanwhile, the majority of PC and clone users had multiple slots, and could upgrade easier as new peripheral cards became available. They didn't need to replace broken bus controllers, either.

I have not had any difficulties in upgrading my big box amigas.
And there's nothing like autoconfig anywhere yet.

>* While AmigaOS 1.0 and later supported pre-emptive multitasking, the majority of entertainment software released for the Amiga disabled multitasking. The majority of Amiga owners were home users playing games. Therefore, the majority of the time, Amiga users were singletasking.

I bought A2000 in 1989 and with 3M of RAM & HDD I used multitasking always, except with some games.

DId I live in another dimension? No, I was a serious user.

- AmigaOS user since 1986 till today.

Re:Last update (1)

toejam13 (958243) | more than 3 years ago | (#33174988)

> Wrong. Original Amigas could present 4096 simultaneously in various ways.

You guys are cracking me up. I assume that you're referring to HAM and/or copper tricks. The limitations of HAM have already been described (great for some things, horrible for others). The problem with copper tricks is that you are still limited to a 32 color CLUT (or 32/32 with EHB6) for each scan line. It works very well for side-scrolling games where you have static areas of content staying within their specific vertical areas (such as grass or dirt at the bottom of your screen and sky or clouds at the top of your screen), but once you move to content that is a bit more dynamic, it behaves more and more like the base CLUT mode behind it.



>Amigas were able to produce 14 bit stereo sound and samplerates like 56khz.

Yet another hack. You're using the 6-bit volume register in conjunction with the 8-bit PCM data register; it isn't true 14-bit audio. The greatest precision is only with the quietest samples. As the volume of a sample gets louder, your precision starts to go back down to 8-bits. To make matters worse, the human ear is more sensitive to louder sounds, not quieter ones, so the most benefit with this trick is with medium loudness samples where they converge. And this hack locks out two of your PCM channels.

As for the higher sample rates, they were only with ECS and AGA chipsets using higher resolution screens with high-end processors running dedicated audio software.

All of these tricks also consume a fair amount of processor time. Copper tables are fine as long as you don't have to recalculate them with every refresh of the screen, but any sort of recalculation will impact your CPU. Simply watch any display program generate a S-HAM image from a true-color source as an example. Same goes with your 14-bit audio - unless the audio was already encoded to an ILBM file with both the 8-bit PCM and 6-bit audio, the processor has to generate it on the fly. And those 56KHz sample rates quickly become unattainable if you don't have enough processor time. Since the majority of Amigas had a 7MHz 68000...

While these tricks were neat at the time, they were still tricks. In the end, a 256 color global CLUT mode is easier to program for and work with than specialty modes that use delta offsets and scanline-specific CLUTs. A 12-bit or 16-bit PCM mode is easier than modulating a volume register and a PCM channel.



> And there's nothing like autoconfig anywhere yet.

I'm not even sure why you're bringing this up. Was Autoconfig simpler than PCI for setting device allocation? Yes. But then, PCI is a little more flexible.



> I was a serious user.

Yes, I can tell.

Re:Last update (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33173786)

>>>could only display 32 of them simultaneously

(points to 1985 Amiga showing a slideshow of 80s-era Swimsuit Issues). That's 4000 colors my friend. You sure as hell couldn't recreate this slideshow on an 80s Mac or PC. They were still stuck at black-and-white and 4 or 16 colors, respectively.

And even for games, the 64 color limit on Amiga was still more colors than what my friends' IBM PCs did (4 or 16).

Yeah I know the VGA arrived in 1987, but who could afford the $3000 pricetag??? Nobody. Mac and PC games in the 80s sucked because of the lack of colors (or sound).
.

>>>The lightweight nature of the kernel isn't really relevant in a world where your core processor is 100MHz or faster.

Tell that to my PowerMac G4 with its 400 MHz processor. It runs like a snail and plays youtube in slow motion. In contrast AmigaOS at the same speed runs just fine (at full speed). The "lightweightness" of the OS matters.

If it didn't, open source programmers would not have developed Lightweight Ubuntu (lubuntu) OR DSL.

Re:Last update (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 3 years ago | (#33174550)

Mac and PC games in the 80s sucked because of the lack of colors (or sound).

Lack of colors means that games suck? You're delusional [wikipedia.org].

Re:Last update (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33182838)

That's not really what I said - I was making the point that, given the choice between playing a game on the 64-color Amiga or a 4/16 color PC, the PC version of the game sucked.

Re:Last update (1)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 3 years ago | (#33187152)

I was making the point that, given the choice between playing a game on the 32 color Sega Game Gear or a 4 color Nintendo Gameboy, the Gameboy version of the game sucked.

Don't get me wrong. I didn't mean to say that you're wrong to dislike games that have few colors. I'm just saying that "it sucks" is in the eye of the beholder. I do not have knowledge of 80's PC/Mac game successes, but no one can deny that Nintendo's Gameboy dominated the handheld market, so I chose that as my reference.

When was AmigaOS last updated. (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 3 years ago | (#33171646)

Amiga OS is being updated now, however it only runs on PowerPC hardware. Hyperion has released 4.0 and 4.1.

Falcon

So.... (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 3 years ago | (#33163576)

Are they hosting the website on an A500?

Re:So.... (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#33165022)

Are they hosting the website on an A500?

That I don't know.

But if they where (not on an A500 I suppose ...), what OS would they had used?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amiga_Unix [wikipedia.org]
http://www.amigaunix.com/tiki-index.php [amigaunix.com]

But of course it would had worked with more common stuff aswell:
http://www.debian.org/ports/m68k/ [debian.org]
http://www.netbsd.org/ports/amiga/ [netbsd.org]
http://www.openbsd.org/amiga.html [openbsd.org]

Oh, and this Google hit reminds of the days of doom [slashdot.org]:
http://www.amigahistory.co.uk/linuxchoice.html [amigahistory.co.uk]

Site down already? (1)

john_prog (798488) | more than 3 years ago | (#33163578)

Database Error: Unable to connect to the database:Could not connect to MySQL

Is the site already slashdotted, or is it just random downtime? Would have been interesting video. Use vimeo next time?

Link Fail (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 3 years ago | (#33163592)

Database Error: Unable to connect to the database:Could not connect to MySQL

Visualization and graphic designers seem to maintain Hyperion Entertainment's website as well.

More development years then users. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33163754)

25 years and it's still beneath DOS, Plan9, Haiku and OS/2 in terms of installed base.

Imortal (2, Funny)

genfail (777943) | more than 3 years ago | (#33163916)

The OS that will not die. They should have named it the Dracula.

Re:Imortal (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33164510)

If they implemented that web server on it, it must have left the curtains open this morning.

Jay Miner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33164762)

Jay Miner! We shall never forget you!!!

Not Amiga (2, Informative)

AmigaHeretic (991368) | more than 3 years ago | (#33165808)

These guys are just trying to re-write history. They don't even have a right to use the name Amiga. Somehow they got an agreement from these other crooks to use the name "Amigaos". They have no legal right to call anything an Amiga.

Even the hardware companies that are making "PPC" hardware have no license to use the word "Amiga". All the machines are "AmigaOne" which is a trademark from a company named Eyetech in 2001 and not related to "Amiga" at all.

Nothing Amiga to see here people.

Re:Not Amiga (3, Informative)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33167004)

I don't know how you can be called +5 informative when you didn't even answer the question: WHO has the right to the name Amiga?

As far as I can tell, it's owned by the present company that developed the OS 4.x and will soon be released an Amiga X1000.

Re:Not Amiga (2, Informative)

AmigaHeretic (991368) | more than 3 years ago | (#33167252)

The company you are talking about uses the word "Amigaos".

After they're lawsuit with "Amiga" Inc. they are careful now to never used the word "Amiga". You can find much of their old product/news items use to use the word "Amiga Operating System", but like I said, after the lawsuit they are very careful always using "Amigaos" and never "Amiga"

The "Amigaos" word that has never been trademarked nor copyrighted as you can see if you do a search.

"Amiga" is owned by a company named Amiga Inc. They hardly do anything as you can see by their blank webpage Amiga.com

Re:Not Amiga (2, Informative)

AmigaHeretic (991368) | more than 3 years ago | (#33167324)

released an Amiga X1000.

Again, the company making an the A1-X1000 (http://www.a-eon.com/) has no right to word Amiga. The company is a partner with the guy that trademarked "AmigaOne" and so I do believe they use that.

However you will notice that company never calls their computer an "Amiga".

These are people that think the Amiga name has some value and are trying to confuse people that they are releasing stuff with the Amiga name when they are not.

Think about that. It's lame enough to release something Amiga that is just modern motherboard. Yet, these people are trying to release a motherboard AND pretend to be an Amiga. WTF??

Re:Not Amiga (4, Interesting)

sir1real (1636849) | more than 3 years ago | (#33167654)

That ax must be pretty sharp by now. Who cares about legal right to use the name? Hyperion's updated AmigaOS is a direct lineage from the original. You are the one who is trying confuse the issue. If Commodore had never gone out of business and kept making Amigas all these years, I doubt the latest models would resemble the original much at all by this point.

Re:Not Amiga (1)

damnbunni (1215350) | more than 3 years ago | (#33168914)

I have one of those 'new Amigas'. It's not very fast (it'll play a DVD, barely) but I have a blast with it.

The OS looks like an Amiga, works like an Amiga, has draggable screens like an Amiga, and runs more of my old Amiga sofware than my Amiga 3000 Tower ever did. (Once you put a VGA card in an 'original' Amiga, all bets are off for running 'real' Amiga games.)

And it even crashes like an Amiga; often. The big difference? Nine times out of ten, I can recover from a Software Failure / Guru Meditation and at least save my documents and reboot.

I figure AmigaOS 4 is about what Commodore would have been putting out around, oh, 2000 or so had they not gone under. PowerPC CPU and all.

Re:Not Amiga (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33173842)

>>>If Commodore had never gone out of business and kept making Amigas all these years, I doubt the latest models would resemble the original

You're right. They probably would have followed the same path that Apple did..... switching from 68000 to PowerPCs, and then Intel (because their processors are cheaper).

A modern Mac looks nothing like the 1994 or earlier Macs. It's not even the same OS anymore. Likewise a modern Commodore Amiga would not be the same as its original 68000 cousins.

Re:Not Amiga (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33172220)

Get a life!

- AmigaOS user since 1986 till today.

Let it die, please.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33172312)

Masses of added code without any real products.. It's like watching your grandma have cancer that increases her mass by 50kg..
I mean, Amiga was the state of the art OS and hardware in the 80's. Since then, hardware has been poor replicas of PC-stuff. OS has evolved, but instead of embracing what was the core beauty of AmigaOS, they just keep adding stuff on top of stuff.
I don't mean that all growth is bad. It's just that they grow in all directions without solving the core issues, like memory protection..
Also, eLAP looked like a nightmare. Manually scrolling around windows that had barely anything in them. Couldn't it just render them to fit the screen?

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