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Amiga to use Linux Kernel

justin++ posted about 15 years ago | from the talk-about-a-180 dept.

Amiga 358

Pseudonymus Bosch writes "Amiga has selected Linux as the OS kernel for the new Amiga Operating Environment that is scheduled for release later this year." I wonder what caused such a sudden about-face. Regardless, I hope Amiga does well, and makes some interesting changes to Linux. Even if they don't go into the mainstream kernel, I'm curious to see what they have up their sleeves. Update: 07/09 12:35 by J : A Letter from Jim Collas which might help explain things.

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358 comments

Later this year? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811351)

The Amiga OS will be released later this year? Ya' think?

HA HA HA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811352)

This is getting ridiculous. What were they working on for the past 5 years? I guess we can take this as the official announcement that the Amiga is dead.

Re:Bad Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811353)

nice one. My favourite old machine and favourite OS together. This should be interesting if it happens. Wonder if the power light will still flicker when doing a guru meditation.

Brad

This is great news!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811354)

I am *very* excited about this recent development.

As an old time Amiga user, now a Linux user. I think this is great news. I loved the Amiga, and I love Linux too.

Original AmigaOS used a Micro-Kernel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811355)

I'm surprised to see the choice of Linux for the next generation of AmigaOS.

I programmed a bit on my Amiga 1200 few years ago.I wonder how they can translate a micro kernel architecture to a monoblock architecture ?

May be it is only one more of the promises for Amiga that will be never delivered :-(((

Laurent Boulard, an old disappointed Amiga fan

@mail: Laurent.Boulard@eleve.emn.fr

Linux 90210 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811356)

Depends. Both QNX and the Linux kernels are POSIX compliant. If the "main" OS is written around the POSIX stuff, they should be able to convert things over. It depends on how abstracted the major functions were intertwined with QNX, I suppose. I hope this doesn't mean that we're *still* going to be stuck with message passing up the wazoo. Ugh.

*shrug* The announcement does sound suspicious. This is definitely turning into 90210...instead of Dylan returning to the set, it's Torvalds..

Duh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811357)

Well you OBVIOUSLY never tried the Amiga, did you? Who used a workbench disk for WHAT? I seem to remember booting quite happily off my hard drive.

Atari's OS better than AmigaOS? Now THAT's funny! You can TOS that one right in the garbage bin..

Re:I'm right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811358)

If you are right, and they don't acknowldge this, or make their source available, this may be yet another challenge to the GNU license. I sure hope they do the right thing.

Re:about time for a decent AmigaOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811359)

On the Atari you could boot from ROM, and you
got that green 640x200 screen, when you could open as many as 4 windows at once! Without a disk! How great...

Why is there no "FreeAmiga" project? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811360)

With yet another company promising a fabulous new Amiga for everyone that will blow away everything and still just pushing it further and further into the future with no obvious progress... why isn't the hordes of Amiga fanatics (I know there are at least hundreds of you out there) putting together your OWN AmigaOS replacement? All the pieces exist, you just need to put it together.

Re:Backstabbing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811361)

Yes. this is an example of how Amiga does things.

The have decided to move away from a bad thing[TM]. And have now choosen a good thing[TM]

Rather than sticking with the proprietary and ultra expensive QNX.

This also will benefit Linux. Also this means that whatever good changes Amiga Inc. Does to the Linux kernel can now be put into the official Linux Kernel should the kernel developers choose to do so. After all they can't make the Linux kernel proprietary.

I'm not saying QNX sucks or anything. QNX actually rocks from what I have seen. It only sucks that it is proprietary.

But what will Amiga do with the GUI now? Will they stick with xfree or include parts of their new GUI in the kernel?

Maybe this will benefit Linux also in the 3D departments?

I would surely buy this thing. I hope Linux appliacations can be compiled under it with no difficulties. Can someone say GIMP :-) Blender. Mozilla, Xmms and so on. I hope this will be a strong multimedia platform.

Re:about time for a decent AmigaOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811362)

Which Atari OS?
It was miles better than GEM.
Mint had potential but the Amiga OS was better than that as well.
Magic looks nice but I still prefer AmigaOS.
Try it out and use both machines.

I do. I have a 1200 and STE and even an Atari Falcon 030!

Another Pc :(( (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811363)

It's too bad...

Amiga OS will just be another Linux OS :((

I think I'll keep my G3 and wait for Mac OS X ;)


Lolo
an old Amiga fan then a PC user and now a Mac fanatic !!!

Well, maybe this will make NewTek reconsider.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811364)

NewTek has been very bluntly telling Linux users not to expect a Linux port of LightWave 3D, but maybe now if they want to port LightWave back to the Amiga (from whence it came), they may just have to port it to Linux.. and after that, its just a hop, skip, and jump to x86 Linux.

Re:What a waste of a year (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811365)

Well, for real-time stuff, they could always put RT Linux underneath it all for critical performance stuff...

Re:about time for a decent AmigaOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811366)

At least the Amiga had a real operating system from the start. My Atari 1040ST could not multitask, had a maximum of four open windows, recognized two diskdrives even though I only had one etc..

I don't know much about the later revisions of TOS, but the early versions where no match against the Amiga's OS. And Amiga OS 3.1 is not at all bad at that.. With the exception of the multi-user aspects and proper memory protection, it is pretty much up to par with modern OS requirements..

Amiga OS is very compact. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811367)

If you have ever used the Amiga OS you would know that it is extremely compact and well written. The original release fit on to two floppies. I think that early next year would be a good bet tho.

Re:about time for a decent AmigaOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811368)

I'd like to see a computer the profile of
an ST or 1200 running FreeBSD or Linux.
Such a all-in-one box would fit nicely
on my desk.

What's This? QNX wants beta developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811369)

Check out the QNX site. They are asking for people to become beta sites for the QNX Amiga Network.

http://www.qnx.com/amiga/

define "16-bit" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811370)

Umm, the 68000 IS a 32-bit chip; it has many instructions that are
32-bits in length, and every register is 32-bits in length. (yes, even
the address register - the top 8 bits were just unused, even though
the could be read from and written to.)

Re:Download? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811371)

>selling the OS at $60 bucks a pop (OS 3.5 which is scheduled to be released 3Q is slated to cost $59.95)?

OS3.5 is nothing to do with the AMIGA NG, it is the final os update for the "Classic Amiga" i.e. A500 A1200 A4000 etc.

Re:Original AmigaOS ... (Amiga is DEAD) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811372)

Can you be more explicite on the 'ideologie' ?

I love my Amiga because with 4 floppy disks (the API documentation) and a C compilator (DICE) on my 120 Mo hard Disk, I discovered the 'professionnel' programmation with API system and not by hacking the hardware registers. The whole for less than 150$ (about 900 FF). When you are a kid fond of computers it was absolutly fabulous to make your first programme using windows, gadgets and menu with the intuition.library. I reminded the lovely community behind the Amiga too (and how Commodore ignored them !).
I had to wait for Linux for finding the same thing.

If OS5 is another OS, incompatible with the original kernel, I think it will be dead before being on the market (but I think it's just another fucking promise from Amiga HeadQuarters).
Because the Amiga community is (almost) dead and the way for starting programming is by Linux now.

Please AmigaCorps, let this lovely dead OS in its place.

Laurent Boulard.

Re:Oh God... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811373)

It doesn't even look like Amiga told QNX that they changed their minds. They never told anyone about Linux on the news groups. In fact I just scanned over deja and it just looks like they confirmed time and time again that QNX is there choice.
Perhaps Amiga *burnt* QNX and QNX wanted to at least show off what they've done? 40 Engineers is a Hell of a lot of resources. I doubt this will be the last we'll here from QNX. Maybe they'll deliver this beta (or future versions) for free and just blow Amiga out of the water?

Re:Later this year? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811374)

What does it really mean? A GUI on top of
Linux? Cuz Linux is GPLed, so they cannot
sale Linux for profit. What they can do is
sale their GUI desktop. Now X has a competitor
on Unix size.

It could be a death call for MS Win*.

Re:Beowulf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811375)

Duh, that's the advantage of a message passing kernel. Mach (as in MacOS X) is built on the same principles. The Linux kernel OTOH is just a piece of ugly bloat.

Re:Well, maybe this will make NewTek reconsider.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811376)

How much do you want to bet the answer will be NO.

Re:define "16-bit" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811377)

If I remeber correctly the 68000 was 32bit internally but only had a 16bit bus. I guess thats why the Amiga, ST and MAC were marketed as 16bit computers.

Linux drivers = No new cool hardware.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811378)

This is a *really* big dissapointment. Amiga with
a QNX kernal had the possibility to be new and
cool. But Amiga Desktop for Linux is nothing new.
Amiga says it eases hardware driver porting, this
mean they are not planing any new cool hardware
but planing on being another Linux distro with
a new GUI...

BeOS still rules the OS space, it would have been
cool to have some competition but they shot themselves in foot with this announcement.

Re:Well, maybe this will make NewTek reconsider.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811379)

How about telling NewTek to shove it and just run the NT version of LightWave under VMWare or Wine?

The Hardware..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811380)

Hmm. Amiga... Linux... Linus Torvalds... Transmeta... And da allmighty superchip... Anyone see the connection?

Re:about time for a decent AmigaOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811381)

I witnessed my mates amiga 2000 with it newly installed 68010 play a mod, run an x windows client from another machine on the network, and format a floppy disk at once. To say I was impressed was an understatement. At the time my 486DX100 could not even attempt to replicate, specially under windows , and old PCs used to love making you wait while it accessed a floppy. Admittedly the amiga was under a bit of strain now and again, but it opened my eyes to think that clock speed is not the answer, a solid multitasking enviroment on sillicon is.

So why wasnt anything learnt from the amiga?
Apart from maybe 3DFX type stuff, if they actually took any inspiration at all.

Brad.

Beowulf (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811487)

Couldn't Amiga improve bewoulf or make something like that transparent clustering thing QNX has by themselves?

That would be *way* cool. I mean if I could just turn on additional computers and share the processor power on all those computers on my network.

I mean, is something like this allready in the works for Linux?

Enabling people to run programs distributed without having to make the programs specifically for use with beowulf would be a major cool thing for all computer users.

Oh my dear God!!! (5)

Anonymous Coward | about 15 years ago | (#1811488)

If you thought Linux Advocates were obnoxious now, wait 'til you see the new, improved Linux Amiga Advocate! ;-)

Re:about time for a decent AmigaOS (1)

tamyrlin (51) | about 15 years ago | (#1811489)

In fact, before I got a harddrive for my 1200 I was regularly using a RAD disk. (RAD: is a device in AmigaOS that survives a reboot. Very nifty)


/Andreas

I'm right (1)

Erich (151) | about 15 years ago | (#1811490)

This further supports My Claim. [slashdot.org]

This is all just a big E theme. That's it. Amiga will make their own distribution (RedHat with AmigaFS support compiled into the kernel) and will ship with an AmigaOS theme for E and GTK.

The Linux-hype claims another casuality! (2)

jonr (1130) | about 15 years ago | (#1811503)

What can I say? This sucks. Linux is nice, but for the "new" Amiga? Gee, I guess I'll just put mkLinux on a iMac and call it iAmiga! :
QNX/Amiga would have been more exciting...
But I'll keep an eye on the development, as I have for the last YEARS!...

Jón

sigh. (1)

Nite_Hawk (1304) | about 15 years ago | (#1811508)

Well, I have mixed feelings on this whole affair. QNX sounded like a really great OS, and I really would why they are scraping it. It doesn't make very much sense, especially with all the work that has been put in. At the same time, He really says some flattering things about linux, that I'm not sure are completely true. I'm a linux advocate all the way, but linux being the most stable OS out there? I really think BSD gives it a run for it's money.

The next thing is that he says linux already has good hardware support. That's good, if you are planning to use PC hardware. Lets think about this for a minute though. In the linux kernel, the most extensive list of drivers are there for sound, network, and scsi, with some others thrown in. Now I don't know about you, but it seems like it would be silly to take a box, and support all the pc hardware under the sun, when it would be easier to just build it into the machine. It'd be nice to have upgrade options, and I think it's worth supporting the pci bus, but honestly, if your building in 100BT, 4speaker 3d sound, and a scsi controller already, and can do it outside of the pci bus in a better way, why bother? From what I've seen in driver development, Videocards seem to be some of the most important, but unless they are planning to run X or GGI, they are going to have to do it all anyway. I guess this is just wearing away at my hopes that we would see a really revolutionary box with a really cool hardware design, rather than just using your run of the mill PC components. It really sounds like Amiga is trying to take the "safe" "garanteed" road, and in doing so, isn't going to come out with anything spectacular like they did back with the original 1000. :(

Re:What a waste of a year (2)

Matts (1628) | about 15 years ago | (#1811509)

All your arguments about things coming to Linux (Flash, Director, etc) because of Amiga still don't create a compelling reason to use Linux instead of "Amiga-Linux". They do create a compelling reason to use Linux though.

My argument was about What, over and above what Linux will offer when Amiga-Linux comes out, will compell people to buy Amiga, rather than (say) Red Hat Linux? - not about what would make people choose Amiga-Linux over something other than Linux. Given that, your arguments about commercial support, multiple platforms, etc, are moot. Linux has that today.

And yes it was a waste of my time. I was Manager of the ICOA PMWG. But I'm not bitter :)

Finally, you say it's interesting because it's based on concepts newer than 2 decades. Which part? The Object model? Well, that remains to be seen - and what is an Object model if not an Object oriented API to the OS? We've had API's for decades. And Linux _is_ based on decades old technology.

I say it would have been interesting if it was going to be QNX based, instead it just looks like a Linux distro with a new commercial look and API. Woo hoo. Not.

perl -e 'print scalar reverse q(\)-: ,hacker Perl another Just)'

What a waste of a year (3)

Matts (1628) | about 15 years ago | (#1811510)

A year ago Amiga made this big announcement about this secret chip that they were in talks with, that had 10 times the power of anything currently on the market. Later that changed into "We're evaluating different options, including the G4".

At the same time they were in talks with BeOS about using their kernel for the new OS (yes, I know this was never public knowledge, but some day someone official will leak this information to the press). Then Amiga pulled out of that deal 'cos Be asked for too much money - so QNX was picked, and announced as "the best technology available". Now even that is down the pan.

So what happened to the statements like "realtime is important to a multimedia OS". I guess it is'nt. And I guess neither is QNX Neutrino's transparent clustering technology (that would have made beowulf look hard to work with). In the meantime Amiga developers drop like flies, as the Classic update gets pushed further and further back, and the specs for it shrink.

So who is going to buy this new Linux box? Not current Linux users for sure - they're happy with what they've got (I know I am). Not current Amiga users - there's nothing to tempt them to buy the new Amiga over and above Linux. I guess they'll have a good shot at the embedded/palm/consumer market. Good luck to them.

Sad really. In all that time we haven't seen one iota of progress from them development-wise. What are they going to do with their current code? Bin it and re-write for X, instead of Photon? (yes, I know the POSIX stuff will be portable). We've seen constant changes in direction. There's no faith left. Today I read comp.sys.amiga.misc for the first time in a while and there's only about 2 people defending Amiga's actions (and only to the extent of "wait and see what they deliver"), compared to many more a year ago.

So, since the only revolutionary stuff is gone (the QNX Neutrino OS) - what's left? An unknown Object model running on top of Linux? I think I'd rather stick with Corba and what I've got right now. What a shame - I was very hopeful a year ago. What a waste of time.

Matt.

(all the above quotes are paraphrased)

perl -e 'print scalar reverse q(\)-: ,hacker Perl another Just)'

Smart move (1)

mattdm (1931) | about 15 years ago | (#1811513)

Technical issues aside completely, this is a really smart move. With QNX, they'd be throwing an entirely new platform (for consumers) into the market. This way, they've got something with a lot of momementum (and applications!) to start with.

I'll buy one.

--

UAE (may be part of the reason for this move) (1)

mattdm (1931) | about 15 years ago | (#1811514)

This way, they've already got a working emulator [linux.de] to run legacy amiga apps (Lemmings!).

(Sure, they could port it to QNX, but this way they're a step ahead already.)

--

Re:Doesn't seem to take long (1)

mattdm (1931) | about 15 years ago | (#1811515)

I agree. It's very plausible that their prototypes were linux-based all along, and the engineers have just now convinced management that they ought to stay with that.

--

that was yesterday, this was today.... (1)

mattdm (1931) | about 15 years ago | (#1811516)

Sounds like QNX didn't know this was coming.

--

Re:Backstabbing? (1)

Freed (2178) | about 15 years ago | (#1811522)

Sorry to disappoint you, but GNU/Linux is not a company, hence it cannot be destroyed as you suggest. ;)

Re:The Linux-hype claims another casuality! (1)

Freed (2178) | about 15 years ago | (#1811523)

You are missing the point. The "hype" is about more than some kernel called Linux. It is about free software development, a revolution in the making. It is not hype. It is for real and it will not go away, unlike many proprietary efforts. What is there to be upset about? Now it will be possible for anyone to help improve the Amiga at very low levels!

Possible RTOS extensions for Linux? (2)

tgd (2822) | about 15 years ago | (#1811533)

I wonder if this means they'll spend some time working on RTOS extensions for the Linux kernel. They've said all along that you need a RTOS for high-end multimedia, Be has said the same thing, if in different words.

Any kernel guru's know how much it'd change the compatibility of the Linux kernel if a more RTOS-type scheduler were present in the kernel instead of the stock one? I remember seeing a while back a group that was working on a replacement for the scheduler to provide better networking performance, how about multimedia performance?

It seems that high-bandwidth multimedia is where the convergence technologies (gak, marketingspeak!) are going. Lots of places are modifying Linux to allow the sort of real-time operations that are needed for such high-bandwidth data processing (Tivo or Replay, whichever is the one using Linux says they made changes to the LinuxPPC kernel to make it more realtime). I don't keep up with the 2.3 kernel discussions, but has this been talked about? It would seem to me that part of the redesign for even better SMP performance should be a look at the needs of a real-time scheduler so Linux can be used in a stock form to provide the sort of eye-popping multimedia demonstrations we see on BeOS, the old Amiga's (for their time), and to some extend modern workstations like SGI's. (Although SGI seems to be a more brute-force approach, largely based on their hardware architecture)

I think it'd be cool if Amiga approached the consumer market with a Linux-cored operating system with a non-X gui. X is awfully resource intensive for a consumer OS where a defined break between the GUI server and application clients are not needed. It'd be cool to see that GUI working with a linux kernel that made Linux THE platform for high-bandwidth multimedia applications.

It'd also be cool to see those extensions work under X for people who want that added power.

Wishful thinking? Probably. But I'm still curious about the RTOS issues with the Linux kernel.

You are a QNX bootlicker! (1)

tlewis (2921) | about 15 years ago | (#1811534)

QNX leaks info on a deal to try to force Amiga to
partner with them, and you say that Amiga are the
backstabbers? As the Canadians say, fuck off, eh?

No one forced QNX to do anything, and if any
contracts were violated, then I'm sure that they
can sue for relief. Otherwise, that's life in
the big city for a commercial software vendor.
If you don't like it, then hack on free software
and lead a worry-free existence.

Why would anyone want to work on QNX anyway?
RTOSs are crappy environments in general; they're
barely worth the trouble in embedded work and
not worth it at all in other cases.

Amiga as iToaster!, or FSF = Free R&D (1)

Watts Martin (3616) | about 15 years ago | (#1811543)

Granted, unlike iToaster the new Amiga (if it happens) will presumably actually use Linux instead of just sticking its name in the press release, but one can't help but suspect it's being done for similar reasons. Linux is the buzzword to be using now if you're challenging Microsoft.

And, if you need to get a new operating system out real fast, what better approach can you take than to use someone else's operating system... that you can use for free?

Personally, I'm skeptical as to whether or not the "great new hardware" for the next generation Amiga is still in the works, too. What about all the developers that are supposedly waiting in the wings to support the system? How many of them were developing for QNX? How many of them were developing at all? Will all of them be willing to develop for Linux? Will they be able to develop for the Amiga "OE" without developing for Linux itself?

That sounds like an odd question, but it isn't--there's no reason to believe this "operating environment" will also be GPLed. Of course, if it isn't, it'll have to run in a "closed box" on top of Linux. Is this going to be able to compete in real-time performance with BeOS? Or for that matter, QNX?

Or for that matter, the original AmigaDOS?

another mistake of amiga... (1)

Frederic54 (3788) | about 15 years ago | (#1811544)

I know Amiga for years, i know QNX4 for 2 years, and just yesterday i had a presentation of Nto2 by QSSL people, man this microkernel rocks! it's very powerful, small, SMP, message passing, whatever you want!
i'm thinking that using linux kernel for amigaOS instead of Neutrino is a big big big mistake!!!!
i cannot believe this... amiga had very difficult time in the past, they made mistakes, and they continue, they never learned from the past?!?
why use a OS based on linux? just use linux instead! between NtoAmiga and BeOS i would have used both! between LinuxAmiga and BeOS, i'll use ONLY BeOS.
--
http://www.beroute.tzo.com

Re:Backstabbing? (1)

Optic (6803) | about 15 years ago | (#1811565)

Given the Amiga's history of destroying companies, I'm rather pleased they left QNX before serious damage could occur.

Bye bye, linux. :)

Re:Backstabbing? (1)

deusx (8442) | about 15 years ago | (#1811568)

Not saying whether it's right or wrong, but it's not just Amiga. It may surprise you, but that's the way a lot of business does business.

For instance, I'm in an advertising agency. My department does proposals, web sites, multimedia CDROMs, etc, so forth... for a variety of clients. We spend a lot of time and money busting ass to impress the client.

And you know what? It's not uncommon for the client to either say, "Thank you, but no." Or worse, if we haven't explicitly put forth a nondisclosure agreement, they can take the proposals and work we've done so far and pitch the whole thing to another vendor.

So I wouldn't blame Amiga. Maybe it sounds horrible, but it's not "The Amiga Way," it's the vendor-client relationship way.

And besides, I'm happier with the decision, Amiga needs to make whatever decisions necessary for their success, no matter who they make happy or sad-- except the consumer of Amiga.

One more thing-- Amiga + Linux. Isn't multimedia performance/support one of Linux's worst faults? What if Amiga can solve that?

Re:about time for a decent AmigaOS (1)

deusx (8442) | about 15 years ago | (#1811569)

So... I still don't get your point. :) Given the price of hard drives (I know, I bought a 128 MB for my Amiga at US$300), it would seem to me that having the *option* of running from floppy with a ram disk for cached commands would be optimal. Of course, once you had a hard drive, you no longer needed kickstart.

But never having used an Atari ST, I dunno how they did it better.

Re:define "amiga" (1)

deusx (8442) | about 15 years ago | (#1811570)

The "Amiga" is more a philosophical legacy than anything now. Originally, it was the first 32-bit, pre-emptive multitasking, high performance, multimedia platform. Oh, and it ran fairly nicely in 2MB of ram. And brilliantly in under 8MB. And very very nice from there up.

Now, what's left of it is the philosophy of creating a high performance computing platform with multimedia built in from the ground up. They're trying to revive the attributes of the original Amiga using modern hardware.

What all the noise means is, they need a foundation (QNX, now Linux). On top of that, they're writing the drivers and applications to reach the goal. In other words, not a variation of KDE-- but their own KDE equivalent, video drivers and datatypes, sound drivers and datatypes, performance tweaks, etc and so forth.

Part of the goal may be that the Amiga OS can run on any hardware. However, I imagine that they'll develop a hardware platform specifically optimized for the performance they want.

So the "Amiga" is an OS, and eventually a hardware platform.

Re:What a waste of a year (1)

deusx (8442) | about 15 years ago | (#1811571)

All your arguments about things coming to Linux (Flash, Director, etc) because of Amiga still don't create a compelling reason to use Linux instead of "Amiga-Linux". They do create a compelling reason to use Linux though.

You may be right. Tho, one thing I'm thinking is, that the AmigaOS built on top of Linux won't be Open Source. It'll be proprietary. Yuck. So you might only be able to get Amiga OS on Linux from Amiga.

But that, I think would be a mistake.

My argument was about What, over and above what Linux will offer when Amiga-Linux comes out, will compell people to buy Amiga...

Well, multimedia is my mantra. :) And I guess I see some work being done toward that under Linux in general, but not enough to make me happy. :)

However, if Amiga is not completely closed, and it is contributed to the community... what I think the'd have to do is make a really good hardware platform that their open extensions to Linux really exploits. The original Amiga was a highly integrated mix of hardware and software. Perhaps the advantage will be that Linux runs better on the Amiga platform because the hardware does multimedia better natively, like the original. But I admit, I'm just guessing and hoping.

And yes it was a waste of my time. I was Manager of the ICOA PMWG. But I'm not bitter :)

Oooh, okay, you win. :) That does suck.

Finally, you say it's interesting because it's based on concepts newer than 2 decades. Which part? The Object model? Well, that remains to be seen - and what is an Object model if not an Object oriented API to the OS? We've had API's for decades. And Linux _is_ based on decades old technology.

A good object model isn't just an API to the OS.

The lowest, lowest set of classes is. The rest is incremental construction on top of that. Remember datatypes? They weren't drivers. But in a sense they were, for file types. But something else took care of the API to the OS.

If done right, you can build a pretty rich set of objects on top of a foundation, providing all sorts of services like file types, network protocols, etc and so forth... and if your classes are sufficiently abstracted and dependant only on interfaces, you can pull the entire foundation out from under everything and replace it with a new foundation exposing the same interfaces. Then, everything you've written since first establishing the foundation will stay happy. Thus, perhaps, the ease of switching from QNX to Linux.

At least, that's the dream. Building software out of classes like legos. I think it's the way BeOS works (not sure), but they're not switching they're foundation around. And I'm assuming Amiga is thinking in terms that make sense to me. Could be, they're just chickens sans heads.

I say it would have been interesting if it was going to be QNX based, instead it just looks like a Linux distro with a new commercial look and API. Woo hoo. Not.

The more I think about it, I kinda wish they would have gone with QNX. But I think Linux was a more practical decision, given the groundswell of support of late. But I really think they'll be putting the final gun to their heads if they try to exploit Linux with a non-Open architecture on top of it.

Re:What a waste of a year (3)

deusx (8442) | about 15 years ago | (#1811572)

A year ago Amiga made this big announcement

That's their problem-- they should have never made announcements. But they had to do something to keep up interest. Things change though.

(stuff about BeOS and QNX)

Maybe BeOS asked for too much money, maybe they weren't quite what they wanted. Maybe the original announcement should have been, "We're investigating BeOS, and it looks good." As for QNX, maybe it was the best technology and better than Linux-- but compare the developer bases. I've never heard of QNX (tho granted, I could just be oblivious), but I've sure heard of Linux.

Maybe they have faith that Linux can *become* the best technology with their help.

So what happened to the statements like "realtime is important to a multimedia OS". I guess it is'nt.

Could just be PRspeak. Or, could be that they'll be incorporating realtime themselves or using realtime extensions by other people for Linux.

So who is going to buy this new Linux box?

Me.

Not current Linux users for sure - they're happy with what they've got (I know I am).

No I'm not. I can't run Macromedia Flash or Director, and any multimedia performance under Linux sucks rocks. Love the OS, use it at home, but I still have to boot into Win98 occasionally to do part of my job. (i.e. Flash on the web, CDROMs with Director, QTVR creation, etc, so forth...) I see this as what Amiga might bring to Linux.

Not current Amiga users - there's nothing to tempt them to buy the new Amiga over and above Linux.

Umm... maybe an OS that runs on multiple platforms? Maybe modern hardware? Maybe renewed contemporary commercial support? I've got an Amiga 1200 myself, and let me tell ya, tho it still rivals my current PC in a lot of ways, it's aging.

Sad really. In all that time we haven't seen one iota of progress from them development-wise.

That's what you get with a non-Open project. *Shrug*

What are they going to do with their current code? Bin it and re-write for X, instead of Photon? (yes, I know the POSIX stuff will be portable).

I would like to think that what they have is flexible enough to change easily. (i.e. the object model has low level classes to interface with the low level os and drivers, and so not everything up the line has to be rewritten)

Or maybe, they can use something else. LIke Berlin, or an Amiga windowing system with an X compatibility layer. But that's what I'd like to see, not what I think they might be doing.

We've seen constant changes in direction. There's no faith left.

I have no faith in Amiga. It's a machine. It was a religion, but I'd hope that people have learned. But it seems to have a promise to deliver multimedia to Linux now, and I think that's pretty significant.

So, since the only revolutionary stuff is gone (the QNX Neutrino OS) - what's left? An unknown Object model running on top of Linux? I think I'd rather stick with Corba and what I've got right now.

Hmm, I'm thinking the AmigaObject architecture will be the revolutionary stuff. Corba's just a framework. The AmigaObject environment will be the flesh in the framework. You can already see the seeds of it in the old AmigaOS, with datatypes for multimedia, etc...

Imagine-- a multimedia OS based on objects. Oh, wait, that's BeOS. :) Well, maybe Amiga can do better for Linux.

What a shame - I was very hopeful a year ago. What a waste of time.

*shrug* Let 'em waste their time. Or wait, was that a waste of your time? Ignore 'em and stop worrying. :)

My thing is that my ears perk up whenever I hear of someone trying to make a new operating environment that has concepts newer than 2 decades. Granted, those are tried and true concepts in Linux, but we've got better ideas by now one would hope.

Business decision (2)

jgalun (8930) | about 15 years ago | (#1811580)

I must agree with some of the posters that this is a very disappointing move. Not because Linux would not make a good kernel (I cannot comment on that), but because it is once again an Amiga "savior" changing its tune as soon as it is called on to deliver a product. Now, maybe they'll actually deliver on this, but my hopes have been lowered some as a result.

It seems to me that this decision was probably based on the fact that the Linux kernel is free (as in free beer) and has a lot of driver support. With QNX they were partnered with a company that looked like it was trying to finally invade the consumer space to increase its profits, whereas with Linux Amiga has to share no royalties. And of course, having lots of drivers for Linux already makes it much easier for Amiga to make its computers look supported.

The question really is what this means technically. If Amiga is going to be just another Linux distro with a different wm or something like that, forget it, who cares? With QNX at least they had something to differentiate the Amiga from the crowd - "the realtime OS with a microkernel that is used by NASA and nuclear power plants" - sounded nifty, didn't it? Now they've got the Linux marketing juggernaut, but is it really better for the Amiga?

Now, I wouldn't mind having a Linux-based Amiga running on a PPC G4, but it's just wait-and-see time again for the Amiga.

lol... (1)

Bowdie (11884) | about 15 years ago | (#1811587)

The amiga website proudly has a "powered by Amiga" animated gif on their front page, but a quick visit to www.netcraft.co.uk's "what's that server running?" site reveals :

www.amiga.com is running Microsoft-IIS/4.0 on NT4 or Windows 98.

define "amiga" (1)

mcc (14761) | about 15 years ago | (#1811601)

will you please explain to me what you mean by Amiga?

as someone who knows very little about the amiga other than the twenty minutes i spent trying to make the emulator work, i am very confused. First i find out that AmigaOS is actually becoming QNX, then i find out it's going to actually be linux?

And if the QNX amigaOS isn't going to run on amiga hardware..

What relationship if any does this thing have to "the Amiga"? The letter says something very vague about "host environment for a new class of portable applications - applications that exist in a pervasive networked computing environment" but that doesn't seem to mean anything.

Does this mean that the mighty Amiga has become a variation on KDE? Or what?

Brilliant (1)

kertaamo (16100) | about 15 years ago | (#1811608)

I can't believe that I'm seeing lots of opposition to this brilliant idea from the open source crazed, free beer drunk slashdot community ! For them to go with QNX is a total non-starter because it a) costs money in licencing b) will never get the support of the hardware vendors who have only just got used to the idea of linux as on option and c) well it's closed and we have grown out of that trap.
So here are some ideas as to what I would like to see from them:

Firstly the s/w

1. Whatever hardware architecture they come up with must be capable of running everything I expect to run on my RedHat box now inc. clunky old X etc.
2. Whatever proprietory 'Amiga' stuff they run should be in addition to the above. I expect some nice fast direct to hardware video etc.
3. Must be able to run all the old Amiga software(or even new I guess)

This gives them a huge lot of stuff to get started with and the prospect that forward thinking game makers will provide the likes of Quake 3 for this architecture. You can't have an Amiga without games can you ?

Secondly H/W

1. This has to be very pretty, and SMALL. The likes of the Cobolt Cube and Netwinder show what can be done with imagination.
2. Put the graphics (Voodoo or whatever) and networking and all on one board like the good old days.
3. Add some zippy video stuff MPEG decoders etc
4. Can we get rid of the fans ? I want to use this as a high quality sound as well as video system in my living room so I don't want any fans werring.
5. Some how this has to be cheap !

Ahh dreaming, dreaming ...

By the way I used to have a Atari because at the time the Amiga was so expensive. This has depressed me for years because the Amiga was so superior to the ST and it's 68000 version of DOS.

Good luck Amiga.


For me the past is not over yet.

Re:Original AmigaOS used a Micro-Kernel (1)

Quarters (18322) | about 15 years ago | (#1811611)

OS5 is a complete departure from the previous Amiga OS's. 3.5 (shipping soon) is the last OS based on the original Amiga "idea". OS5 and the new hardware will really have nothing in common with the Amiga's of yore except for the name and the ideology.

Re:Doesn't seem to take long (1)

the hopthrisC (19257) | about 15 years ago | (#1811613)

The AmigaOS was always very Unix-near, and I guess they continued along that line when they developed the new hardware and the design for the new OS.
From there it should be fairly easy to switch from some development-kernel (which is maybe largly Linux-based anyway) to Linux.

Re:Doesn't seem to take long (1)

Jorrit (19549) | about 15 years ago | (#1811614)

Keep in mind that the Amiga Linux version has been around for some time now. There is both a good PPC version and maybe even a Motorolla version (not sure here). It is actually very easy for Amiga Inc to say this as they just have to take the freely available Amiga LinuxPPC version and get started.

Greetings,

Re:about time for a decent AmigaOS (1)

Jorrit (19549) | about 15 years ago | (#1811615)

Sorry? I used to have an Amiga (first an Amiga 500 and then an Amiga 3000). What's that about having to use a workbench disk? It is only the very early amigas that couldn't boot from harddisk. Even my Amiga 500 could boot from harddisk after kickstart 1.2 (I believe).

Greetings,

Re:about time for a decent AmigaOS (1)

Jorrit (19549) | about 15 years ago | (#1811616)

Ah, that's another matter of course. The Amiga hardware was not very cheap. But neither was the Atari hardware (at least in Belgium). When I bought my Amiga 500, the Atari ST (or something) was about the same price.

Greetings,

Re:Very suspicious... (1)

Ancipital (19821) | about 15 years ago | (#1811617)

The link is dud because the guy didn't test his HTML. You can make it foolproof, but you can't make it damnfoolproof :)

I have to admit that when Jim Collas posted this on csa misc, I was pretty skeptical, too. I think there's going to be a huge row over this.

Jim Collas is also somewhat less than forthcoming in matters of telling the truth *ahem* so we may never get to the bottom of this.

Still, I wonder if they realise that the GPL will force them to release their kernel mods?

Hmm... NT/OS/2 (1)

JohnZed (20191) | about 15 years ago | (#1811618)

So, are Amiga and QNX in a very tiny (somewhat pathetic, if you want my opinion) version of the old OS/2 vs. WinNT split? As in, "Sure, let's develop technology jointly. . . Oh wait, nevermind, how about if I just take my half of the tech and bail, leaving you along and pissed off?" How else do we explain the dual announcements of competing versions of the same product????
--JZ

Oh God... (1)

RPoet (20693) | about 15 years ago | (#1811621)

I can't believe these guys! I don't think they'll ever make up their minds. We've heard of so many "decisions", and "we are confident that..", and "we firmly belive that..", and pictures and napkin sketches of promising new arcitectures, and then some months pass and everything has changed.

I loved the Amiga, and it hurts to see what clowns are in charge of it now.

So QNX had 40 supposedly very talented engineers working on the "next generation" Amiga OS, and as soon as this is announced, completely different plans are announced. What's the point of all this???

I think now more than ever I believe a new Amiga will never see the light of day.

So what if they use the Linux kernel - in two weeks they'll use some other kernel. Very sad.

Re:Original AmigaOS used a Micro-Kernel (1)

RPoet (20693) | about 15 years ago | (#1811622)

I wonder how they can translate a micro kernel architecture to a monoblock architecture ?

Easy - they can't, and they won't. This Linux kernel fantasy project of theirs would be something completely new. Ah, it doesn't matter, it'll never be released anyway...

Re:Original AmigaOS used a Micro-Kernel (1)

RPoet (20693) | about 15 years ago | (#1811623)

I wonder how they can translate a micro kernel architecture to a monoblock architecture ? Easy - they can't, and they won't. This Linux kernel fantasy project of theirs would be something completely new. Ah, it doesn't matter, it'll never be released anyway...

Re:Oh God... (1)

RPoet (20693) | about 15 years ago | (#1811624)

>Ever thought that this was a spoiler put out by
>QNX since they lost the contract?

It seems more like very bad coordination between Amiga and QNX...

>IF you read the full story you will note that Amiga
>started looking at LINUX in February.

I did read that, and while it's an easy thing to say, I hope it's true.

Re:Very suspicious... (1)

angelo (21182) | about 15 years ago | (#1811625)

Either QNX got too bellicose (or complacent for that matter) and Amiga went somewhere else, or they still are using QNX for their photon WM.

Re:Very suspicious... (1)

angelo (21182) | about 15 years ago | (#1811626)

Well, it seems it was the first one. The second link to the story mentions QNX releasing data too early.

Re:Doesn't seem to take long (2)

Stephen Williams (23750) | about 15 years ago | (#1811627)

Keep in mind that the Amiga Linux version has been around for some time now. There is both a good PPC version and maybe even a Motorolla version (not sure here).

You mean a MC680x0 version; remember that the PPC is made by Motorola too :-)

The Linux/m68k project has a web site. See it! [linux-m68k.org]

Re:Amiga OS is very compact. (2)

Stephen Williams (23750) | about 15 years ago | (#1811628)

If you have ever used the Amiga OS you would know that it is extremely compact and well written. The original release fit on to two floppies.

Don't forget that a lot of it was built into firmware. That doesn't alter your argument, of course; a 256KB ROM and two floppies is still pretty compact :-)

Re:about time for a decent AmigaOS (2)

Stephen Williams (23750) | about 15 years ago | (#1811629)

With the exception of the multi-user aspects and proper memory protection, it is pretty much up to par with modern OS requirements.

The lack of memory protection really bugs me. One crash and that's it, everything falls over, time to reboot. A real bummer when you're coding (especially if you make as many mistakes as I do :-) Not so bad for day-to-day use; my A1200 isn't on 24/7, but I can spend a happy evening's computing without something crashing it.

Other than that, I agree with you. The lack of swap doesn't bother me 'coz I've got enough silicon to multitask pretty well. My biggest gripe with my machine is the poor graphics. That problem would go away if I threw money at it, of course :-)

I like AmigaOS. I like it enough that it's my regular desktop OS at home, and I'm not really interested in anything else at the present time.

Re:define "16-bit" (2)

Stephen Williams (23750) | about 15 years ago | (#1811630)

If I remeber correctly the 68000 was 32bit internally but only had a 16bit bus. I guess thats why the Amiga, ST and MAC were marketed as 16bit computers.

Yes, they had a 16-bit data bus and 24-bit address bus.

Sinclair's QL was based around the MC68008, which had an 8-bit data bus and 20-bit (I think) address bus. It was still 32-bit internally. Sinclair initially wanted to sell it as a 32-bit machine, and got in trouble with the advertising standards people :-)

Doesn't seem to take long (2)

Frac (27516) | about 15 years ago | (#1811644)

Amiga has selected Linux as the OS kernel for the new Amiga Operating Environment that is scheduled for release later this year.

Is it just me, or does Amiga sound like it's incredibly easy to plug in some OS kernel and ship it as a product? They have just made the decision to use the linux kernel, yet it'll be plugged in and ready to sell within half a year. Is it really that trivial?

Re:Why is there no "FreeAmiga" project? (1)

CrosseyedPainless (27978) | about 15 years ago | (#1811646)

http://cucug.ukonline.co.uk/ar/ar309_Sections/news 1.HTML

And this isn't necessarily the canonical link, I know there's more out there, I'm just not on my home machine (Where The Good Links Live(TM)).

Re:Oh my dear God!!! (1)

Fluffy the Cat (29157) | about 15 years ago | (#1811650)

I don't know.....just took a look at some of the Amiga newsgroups and they are NOT a bunch of happy campers. Terms like "betrayal" are being bandied about.

And since when has anything happened in the Amiga market without terms like "betrayal" being bandied about?

Re:define "amiga" (1)

chiark (36404) | about 15 years ago | (#1811660)

Not wishing to be pedantic, the original Amiga was based on a 16 bit chip with a 24 bit address bus. It ran in 256kb, got nice at 1MB and couldn't have more than 8MB FAST RAM in original form.

Truly original because of its ability to display 4096 colours on screen at the same time - the notorious "Hold and Modify" screen mode. The copper chip was a graphics coprocessor that was incredibly nifty at the time, sound was excellent, sound samplers for about 20 quid...

On top of this was the operating system. AmigaDOS was fairly similar to unix in some ways, but maybe closer to MS-DOS than many would like to admit. Complementing AmigaDOS was Workbench, which was a great GUI at the time.

Utterly ground breaking machines at the time. I really hope that the next Amiga is the same leap for (home) computing that the original Amiga was.

Re:define "16-bit" (1)

chiark (36404) | about 15 years ago | (#1811661)

Without wishing to go completely off topic, 16 bit here refers to the external data bus of the chip.

Very suspicious... (0)

jregel (39009) | about 15 years ago | (#1811663)

The link is dud and why would Amiga suddenly drop the work that 40 engineers at QNX have been working on?

OK, so I was wrong... (1)

jregel (39009) | about 15 years ago | (#1811664)

Just checked out the Amiga website: http://www.amiga.com/diary/executive/linux-e.html it's true.

about time for a decent AmigaOS (1)

The_Jazzman (45650) | about 15 years ago | (#1811667)

It's about time that Amiga got it's act together in the OS department. I mean who really though that the original Amiga OS was better than the Atari's ? OK so I'm a little bit biased because I did love my Atari ST, but the Amiga... well you had to use a workbench disk... say no more.

Re:about time for a decent AmigaOS (1)

The_Jazzman (45650) | about 15 years ago | (#1811668)

And how much did any size harddisk cost back then... in relation to a student's pocket ?

Re:about time for a decent AmigaOS (1)

The_Jazzman (45650) | about 15 years ago | (#1811669)

I'm sure that there is still a cd with a Linux version that one can use on the ST... Never seen it in the flesh, though... at the time I wasn't interested.

Re:about time for a decent AmigaOS (1)

The_Jazzman (45650) | about 15 years ago | (#1811670)

Well... I personally prefered Atari's GEM... it was simple, sure, and you couldn't do anything unless you had any programs, *but* that made it a hell of a lot more accessible when one was programming (in my case) tacky software for it.

amiga is going to have a hard time (2)

agtofchaos (56094) | about 15 years ago | (#1811673)

Amiga won't be able to make a multimedia OS that can compete against BeOS if they go with the linux kernel instead of QNX. Now if they were building an amiga server OS off of linux then I would say that they would probably do very well, but that is not their plans. Frankly BeOS has a better chance of winning than Amiga since it is a really good OS and it is already being preloaded by atleas 6 OEMs.

And what do YOU lick? (0)

Mai Longdong (63346) | about 15 years ago | (#1811679)

Don't live near a reactor or spend much time in an ICU, do you? By the way, fuck YOU very much, as we Americans say.

Backstabbing? (1)

Mai Longdong (63346) | about 15 years ago | (#1811680)

After QNX spends all the time and money, Amiga walks....If this is an example of how Amiga does things it's no wonder it's dying off. Good riddance.

Re:Oh my dear God!!! (1)

Mai Longdong (63346) | about 15 years ago | (#1811681)

I don't know.....just took a look at some of the Amiga newsgroups and they are NOT a bunch of happy campers. Terms like "betrayal" are being bandied about.

Download? (1)

Mai Longdong (63346) | about 15 years ago | (#1811682)

And how will all of this be affected by the GPL? Will the new Gnu/Linux/Amiga OS be available for download along with source-code? How is Amiga planning to make money? By providing service ala Redhat and selling the OS at $60 bucks a pop (OS 3.5 which is scheduled to be released 3Q is slated to cost $59.95)?
This looks like another twist in Amiga's downward spiral brought about NOT by the OS but the idiots running the circus.
And Mozilla? Well, I'm still waiting....

The Bag (1)

Mai Longdong (63346) | about 15 years ago | (#1811683)

In case of MS vs IBM, MS left with NT and IBM with Warp. Here, QNX is left with the OS and Amiga doesn't have dick.

Re:about time for a decent AmigaOS (1)

Jungleland (65157) | about 15 years ago | (#1811686)

>but the Amiga... well you had to use a workbench disk... say no more.

Whats your point?

Re:Oh God... (1)

Jungleland (65157) | about 15 years ago | (#1811687)

>So QNX had 40 supposedly very talented engineers working on the "next generation" Amiga OS, and as soon as this is announced, completely different plans are announced. What's the point of all this???

Ever thought that this was a spoiler put out by QNX since they lost the contract?
IF you read the full story you will note that Amiga started looking at LINUX in February. I`m sure QNX new they lost the deal before they posted that story.

A better link (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | about 15 years ago | (#1811695)

http://www.amiga.de/diary/executiv e/linux-e.html [amiga.de]

Is a much better link, and covers the QNX stuff:

I am pressed to communicate the Linux decision before the technology brief because of information released by QNX in the last few days. This

information had not been reviewed or approved for release by Amiga. In light of our Linux decision, this information is confusing and misleading so I
would like to take the time to clarify the situation. I can't disclose any details of the Amiga/QNX discussions because of legally binding confidentiality
agreements but I can talk to you about our decision to use the Linux kernel. I think that you will agree that this is the right decision once you
understand the reasons for this decision.


Things are quite a big clearer ...

Getting awfully tired about this (1)

denan (67609) | about 15 years ago | (#1811699)

For years i've supported the amiga.. i've started with an a500 and slowly upgraded to a beefy a1200 tower.. Lately my attention turned to linux.. because the amiga market was kinda dead..
The first news about the new os was a nice change.. but now these latest changes make me a bit weary about the amiga situation..
How do amiga inc think these decisions will help them in building a strong market image.. they sway from one os to the other. Never making any real decisions.. Never fullfilling their promises.
I was a big amiga fan.. and one of the few that stayed with the machine.. but these devellopments make me a bit tired... And i'm starting too loose faith in my once wonderfull machine..

Re:Why is there no "FreeAmiga" project? (1)

Splunge! (67620) | about 15 years ago | (#1811700)

It's because all the Amiga fanatics who can actually write code switched to Linux years ago. There is nothing left but small snippy rodents.

Funny you mention BeOS... (1)

Beanboy (67626) | about 15 years ago | (#1811701)

Ever since BeOS started to beat to the drum of being a "media OS" I thoguht of the implications of both Amiga and Be trying to battle it out for pretty much the same little niche. In the corners of my fevered little brain, I would dream of the day they would join forces, Be would handle the OS and software side of things, and Amiga would create funky new hardware, kinda like the BeBox but more so.
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