Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 19th May 2014 21:37 UTC
Morphos

Now this is interesting. The WarMUp Association, the world association of MorphOS users, publishes a webzine with a whole lot of information and news about MorphOS. There's a whole lot of cool stuff in the latest issue about new software releases - low-level and user-facing - but what jumped out at me is a very detailed breakdown of MorphOS sales.

In total, 2275 MorphOS licenses were sold until 14 April, and the detailed history of sales is quite, quite interesting. This seems like a low number - and technically, it is - but considering that one, the AmigaOS scene is small enough as it is, and MorphOS is a subsection of that already small scene, and two, that it is not a cheap investment, requiring both hardware and software, I'm actually surprised they have managed to sell this many copies thus far, and that sales are clearly not slowing down.

No, it won't make any of the developers rich, but it's not bad either.

Order by: Score:
Is that profitable?
by jgfenix on Mon 19th May 2014 23:09 UTC
jgfenix
Member since:
2006-05-25

That 280000 euros in 6 years (45000 per year) You can´t pay many salaries with that.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Is that profitable?
by judgen on Tue 20th May 2014 00:07 UTC in reply to "Is that profitable?"
judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

If you do not think of it as your job but a hobby, then it might be well well and good, considering that most hobbies are money sinks that only drains your money instead of provide financial benefit.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Is that profitable?
by belal1 on Tue 20th May 2014 01:35 UTC in reply to "Is that profitable?"
belal1 Member since:
2013-05-25

I don't think it's ever been about "many" salaries, but simply a few core developers and some outside help. It's a hobby OS that caters to a very small niche and you really have to be amazed that such a niche managed to make so much.

If only Haiku could make such progress :SIGH:

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Is that profitable?
by BlueofRainbow on Tue 20th May 2014 03:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Is that profitable?"
BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

It could become more than an Hobby OS - with perseverance and also a bit of luck.

It would be interesting to compare the number of MorphOS licenses to that of another Hobby OS with hopes of some commercial success - the now abandoned SkyOS.

I would be curious to know if Haiku tracks how many downloads have been made of the various alpha releases up to now. Even if it is only around 5,000 on average for each Alpha release, this is still more than that reported for MorphOS.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Is that profitable?
by LaceySnr on Tue 20th May 2014 03:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Is that profitable?"
LaceySnr Member since:
2009-09-28

I would expect Haiku to have the higher number because it's free and it supports a lot more hardware (surprising, but true).

I've tried out MorphOS on a couple of old macs I have, but on each it's missing support for various features (sound on one, wifi on the other) and that's a bit of a killer when you consider the cost of the licence and the fact that you need a licence per machine.

Sure it's way less than a traditional commercial OS costs, but I can't justify it for boxes I use merely as a curiosity. If I was a huge Amiga fan I'd probably buy it, but I grew up with Atari computers ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Is that profitable?
by drcouzelis on Tue 20th May 2014 12:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Is that profitable?"
drcouzelis Member since:
2010-01-11

If only Haiku could make such progress

I know a bit about Haiku but not MorphOS. I'm curious, what progress are you wishing Haiku could make? More full time professional developers? (There's currently one, sometimes there's two, and that doesn't include the many un-paid developers.) More income? (Haiku Inc. gets quite a bit of money in donations but has trouble finding developers who will accept it.) Does MorphOS have more users than Haiku? More hardware support? More software applications? Something else?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Is that profitable?
by belal1 on Tue 20th May 2014 17:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Is that profitable?"
belal1 Member since:
2013-05-25

Haiku is STILL in it's alpha stage.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Is that profitable?
by drcouzelis on Tue 20th May 2014 17:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Is that profitable?"
drcouzelis Member since:
2010-01-11

You just mean the label? I think Haiku is already more stable and has more features than the last professional release of BeOS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Is that profitable?
by Morgan on Tue 20th May 2014 20:55 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Is that profitable?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I think that may be a bit amplified; it is very stable considering its alpha status, and is almost feature-complete enough to use daily. However, I do run a BeOS 5 Pro machine at home and it is still more polished than Haiku at its current stage.

That said, the nightly releases of Haiku can often be more stable than the official alpha release, and certainly more feature-full, but there also have been nightlies that have completely refused to boot for me. Of course this is one man's experience on one machine, so take it however you will.

All that said, I do feel that Haiku has reached a level of stability and usefulness that surpasses many other hobby OSes (I'm looking at you, ReactOS). I just don't think it's quite on par with the last official BeOS commercial release...yet.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Is that profitable?
by drcouzelis on Tue 20th May 2014 21:20 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Is that profitable?"
drcouzelis Member since:
2010-01-11

You mean the "official" release? I forgot anyone uses that. Yeah, it's so old! The nightlies, as you said, are (often) stable enough and full of the fancy-shmancy new features. I can't wait to test the new HTML5 video. ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Is that profitable?
by Morgan on Tue 20th May 2014 23:00 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Is that profitable?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm looking forward to testing that out too. Exciting times for Haiku fans!

Reply Score: 2

No new hardware
by torp on Tue 20th May 2014 03:59 UTC
torp
Member since:
2010-08-10

Is it me, or you simply cannot run MorphOS on any new hardware?
You may be able to find a new Pegasos or Efika somewhere, but they're out of production. As for old PPC Macs, the newest one is from 2005...
This is not so good for the future.

Reply Score: 1

RE: No new hardware
by jockm on Tue 20th May 2014 04:15 UTC in reply to "No new hardware"
jockm Member since:
2012-12-22

Nope its not you. It has been a while since you could actually buy new hardware that runs MorphOS. You would think that at the very least they would port to the AmigaOne X1000, but bad will between the two parties suggest that will never happen.

More than that I still have yet to hear a compelling reason to use MorphOS. There doesn't seem to be a killer app, there doesn't seem to be a good elevator pitch for it, and on top of that they use a capacity based pricing scheme that makes little sense.

There are no announced plans to port to x86, or ARM, and their kernel doesn't seem to support multi core CPUs (according the MorphOS person I spoke to).

Nothing I am saying here is new, or even news. It's been well hashed out. I just personally think they missed the window to port to x86 by at least 18 months (if not more than that). And based on their pricing model (more than 100 EUR for a Apple Laptop), I shudder to think what they would charge for a modern PC...

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: No new hardware
by tylerdurden on Tue 20th May 2014 04:49 UTC in reply to "RE: No new hardware"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

...perhaps MORPHOS is trying to give as an authentic Amiga experience as possible, including monumentally bad strategy/business/technical decisions.

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: No new hardware
by jockm on Tue 20th May 2014 05:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No new hardware"
jockm Member since:
2012-12-22

But of course we have AmigaOS for that, do we really need competition in that space?

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: No new hardware
by Fergy on Tue 20th May 2014 05:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: No new hardware"
Fergy Member since:
2006-04-10

But of course we have AmigaOS for that, do we really need competition in that space?

There is always someone dumber.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: No new hardware
by daedalus on Tue 20th May 2014 11:08 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: No new hardware"
daedalus Member since:
2011-01-14

Eh? Not even sure who that comment's directed at. Are you saying MorphOS users are dumb, AmigaOS users are dumb, or both are dumb for not just using Windows? You might want to be more careful with your insults in future in case someone misinterprets them.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: No new hardware
by Soulbender on Tue 20th May 2014 11:24 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: No new hardware"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Not even sure who that comment's directed at. Are you saying MorphOS users are dumb, AmigaOS users are dumb, or both are dumb for not just using Windows?


I thought it was obvious that it referred to the MorphOS team.


You might want to be more careful with your insults in future in case someone misinterprets them.


Or what, exactly? Not saying insults are fine but it's not like anything bad is going to happen.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: No new hardware
by daedalus on Tue 20th May 2014 11:37 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: No new hardware"
daedalus Member since:
2011-01-14

I thought it was obvious that it referred to the MorphOS team.

Yeah, that was my first guess, but it's a little ambiguous. It could also be taken as referring to anyone who supports anything other than a mainstream OS. Either way, I don't think someone can be clased as dumb for developing an OS as a hobby, regardless of the prospective market. It is a hobby, after all.

Or what, exactly? Not saying insults are fine but it's not like anything bad is going to happen.


... Or someone might misinterpret them. Maybe I'm different from your good self, but I wouldn't like someone to feel I'm insulting them when I'm not. I think insults should be aimes specifically at whoever deserves them and nobody else. But horses for courses, this is the internet after all.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: No new hardware
by Yasu on Thu 22nd May 2014 22:43 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: No new hardware"
Yasu Member since:
2014-05-15

"I thought it was obvious that it referred to the MorphOS team."

Why are they stupid? MorphOS development was started in 1998 when PPC seemed to have a future. And they can not switch to another platform without making every program non functioning. And all the work, my God, all the work! Much more than I think the tiny MorphOS Team would like to undertake. No, going for used PPC Apple hardware makes a whole lot of sense since they are clearly not aiming at taking over the world.

Edited 2014-05-22 22:46 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: No new hardware
by torp on Tue 20th May 2014 07:45 UTC in reply to "RE: No new hardware"
torp Member since:
2010-08-10

The price only matters if you look at it as a business. For a hobby it's not so important. But still, what's software without hardware to run it on?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: No new hardware
by jockm on Tue 20th May 2014 20:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No new hardware"
jockm Member since:
2012-12-22

The price matters because it gets in the way of people trying morphos. The demo only lasts 30 minutes which isn't enough to really make a judgment, and $108-152 (rounding down, based on todays's conversion rate) it a lot to pay just to give something a try.

And then there is my favorite peeve about the price: they hide it. You have to go looking in the Help section to find it, and you have to install the software just to pay them. This means they are losing out on whatever percentage of people who would just like to support them, and might get hardware to run it later.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: No new hardware
by jackastor on Wed 21st May 2014 13:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: No new hardware"
jackastor Member since:
2009-05-05

If they're only interested in building their community out of diehard enthusiasts, then the obstacles work in their favor.

I wanted a license enough to go through the trouble of getting a PPC mini from ebay on the GAMBLE that the OS would work on it. Took 2 purchases to get one that did work. All very inconvenient, yes, but an enthusiast is more likely to put up with this kind of thing. Especially in the Amiga world.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: No new hardware
by jockm on Wed 21st May 2014 15:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: No new hardware"
jockm Member since:
2012-12-22

Can you provide any evidence that is their intention? It sounds, to me, like the kind of retroactive justification a diehard fan makes explain their reasoning. Lord knows I speak from experience on that.

Instead I see a very small group of people who don't understand business, but continue to do this as a sideline. Their pricing and explanation for the pricing feels like a good example of this, where they pick prices based on how hard/rare the hardware is to them. The hardware in each tier is pretty arbitrary, and it is far from clear if they are right.

Even if they were just going after the die-hard market they would have been better off with just one pricing tier (maybe 2 with the discount for the Efika). It still doesn't explain why they hide their pricing, inexperience does, but barrier to entry doesn't — at least in my book.

I have heard them say that they are hesitant to port to ARM, because they are concerned that ARM may just be another "fad" like PowerPC, despite the fact that ARM is more popular, and available from far more sources than PowerPC ever was.

Porting to x86 (or ARM for that matter) would lose them PowerPC support, but would let them keep 68K support (since their are emulating that already). But software should recompile fairly easily.

PowerPC isn't dying... anywhere in the desktop. It has a presence in embedded (especially military and space), and it is doing fairly well in the blade space at the high end. But it won't be that many more years before that cheap PowerPC Apple hardware starts dying — my old Powerbook died last year, and the old G4 Mini used as a SSH server is showing signs as well.

And unless the MorphOS team has started their porting effort a while ago — which they show no signs of doing — they aren't going to be ready. Then it is going to be the really die hard they have left.


I don't personally buy your theory, but I could be wrong.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: No new hardware
by Yasu on Thu 22nd May 2014 22:50 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: No new hardware"
Yasu Member since:
2014-05-15

"There are no announced plans to port to x86, or ARM, and their kernel doesn't seem to support multi core CPUs (according the MorphOS person I spoke to)."

There are plans to change platform (unless PPC makes a rebound), but now they are busy making the hardware they got better as well as their OS.

The kernel can handle multi core, but MorphOS API can not (for Amiga compatibility reasons). So that feature is disabled.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: No new hardware
by zima on Sat 24th May 2014 08:10 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: No new hardware"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

If they're only interested in building their community out of diehard enthusiasts, then the obstacles work in their favor.

I wanted a license enough to go through the trouble of getting a PPC mini from ebay on the GAMBLE that the OS would work on it. Took 2 purchases to get one that did work. All very inconvenient, yes, but an enthusiast is more likely to put up with this kind of thing. Especially in the Amiga world.

Yup, as authentic experience as possible... ;) ( http://www.osnews.com/permalink?589192 )

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: No new hardware
by zima on Sat 24th May 2014 08:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: No new hardware"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

The demo only lasts 30 minutes which isn't enough to really make a judgment

So just run it multiple 30-minute periods? ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: No new hardware
by LaceySnr on Tue 20th May 2014 23:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No new hardware"
LaceySnr Member since:
2009-09-28

The price definitely matters for hobbyists. As I said above, I've not bought the OS because for something that is definitely 'hobby only' it's somewhat expensive. The 30 minute trial (before slowdown) isn't really enough time to become familiar with the system and the fact that you need a licence per machine is also a deal-breaker for me.

If it was maybe $50, for all of your machines I'd have purchased it before now, but as it is there's no way I could justify the price for either machine since neither has full hardware support.

Pricing is always a hard thing to deal with (I sell software myself) and though I do feel that they might sell more through changing their model (at least the per-personal-machine thing) might improve their gains, I could be way off the mark. Either way I wish them all the best as even if it's not for the masses and only supports old hardware, it's always great to see the results of projects like this.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: No new hardware
by Yasu on Thu 22nd May 2014 22:38 UTC in reply to "RE: No new hardware"
Yasu Member since:
2014-05-15

They are porting it to the SAM 460 by Acube.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: No new hardware
by Yasu on Thu 22nd May 2014 22:48 UTC in reply to "RE: No new hardware"
Yasu Member since:
2014-05-15

remove

Edited 2014-05-22 22:49 UTC

Reply Score: 1

v Well done
by tacks on Tue 20th May 2014 13:06 UTC
RE: Well done
by The123king on Tue 20th May 2014 13:45 UTC in reply to "Well done"
The123king Member since:
2009-05-28

One day, mos will run out of affordable hardware, whereas Haiku can, and will, be ported to the archetecture of the future

Reply Score: 4

It is sold
by pica on Tue 20th May 2014 13:59 UTC
pica
Member since:
2005-07-10

and that very fact alone is good news.

I doubt MorphOS was done to get rich.

pica

Reply Score: 3

Active users
by jockm on Wed 21st May 2014 15:05 UTC
jockm
Member since:
2012-12-22

It occurs to me that the 2275 number is just copies sold. I would love to know the number of active users (those who booted into the OS in the last week for example).

Because there had to be some number that bought it and didn't take to it, then those whose hardware died and it wasn't replaced, and those who just moved on.

I have looked around trying to find any data I could on the subject, but wasn't able to come up with anything. That being said, my guess would be that at most, half of that number (~1130ish) are sticking with MorphOS.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Active users
by Yasu on Thu 22nd May 2014 22:27 UTC in reply to "Active users"
Yasu Member since:
2014-05-15

My guess is that there are about 600 active MorphOS users. Most own several machines (like me, I've just bought my 4th system).

I think most people who just wanted to try it never paid for the full version. And I also think some of those 600 active users have one, unregistered machine. Using it for 30 minutes at the time and then reboot is enough for some people.

But this is mostly a guess. I think the number of "very active users" who use it all day every day, hangs at forums and IRC channels etc are between 50 and 100.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Active users
by jockm on Fri 23rd May 2014 02:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Active users"
jockm Member since:
2012-12-22

Interesting, thank you for your analysis

Reply Score: 2

Why MorphOS? Why not MorphOS?
by Yasu on Thu 22nd May 2014 22:22 UTC
Yasu
Member since:
2014-05-15

Some of the comments here are a little baffling. Is an OS only valuable because of it's "killer apps"? Is a personal preference for other systems an argument that a hobby OS like MorphOS is useless? And some of these voices come from people who profess that they like Haiku. Huh? Where is Haiku's killer apps? Isn't it why you like it? Or why not just do like billions of users and use Windows? I mean, most Windows users would agree they see no value of Haiku at all. And by that logic, Haiku must have no value.

Some people seem to forget that Operating Systems are there as a medium between the computer and the user. It can be minimal (MSDOS), bare bone (iOS), restrictive (Windows/MacOS) or endlessly and complicatedly configurable (Linux), but they are all different solutions for the same problem: how to make the user understand the computers output and how to make the computer understand the users input. The different solutions give all the OS's their very distinct flavours (the talk about OS's going away is bull. They just become less and less configurable and only serves as app launchers).

MorphOS is based on AmigaOS; an OS developed for the Amiga in the early 80's. It was made by geeks and hackers for the minds of geeks and hackers. It was one of the reasons the Amiga was so popular and had so many demo makers, crackers and programmers. Especially in the early 90's, right before Commodore's demise, when people had started to get HDD's for their Amigas and really started to pay attention to this OS. It was small, logical and could do very much on limited resources. When things didn't happen for several years some guys started take the matters into their own hands and made MorphOS.

It resembles AmigaOS a lot and it's also small and runs fast even on slower computers like a 1 GHz Apple laptop. Today it's clear that the choice of PPC was a mistake, but in the late 90's it did make a lot of sense. And today the reason why they use second hand Apple computers are simple: changing the architecture will break the API, rendering all to date made programs useless. Another reason is that the development team is very small and keeping up with all the latest development would be a huge task, diverting attention from OS development. Apple computers are also uniform so you don't have to worry that two same models of Ibook work differently because the buyer wanted another sound card. Yet another reason is that because MorphOS is so fast, you hardly notice that the computer is 8 years old. You only notice when you try to play Full HD movies and such (which the G5 can do without problems anyway). If you don't, you don't see much difference between MorphOS speed and that of one major OS with the latest hardware. Plus plus, used Apple hardware are cheap and plenty which is perfect for a hobby OS.

Why MorphOS? Why not MorphOS? It has most of the programs I need for my everyday use (a lot thanks to the open source movement, not to mention developers who works for free). The reason I choose this masochistic road is because it's, unlike all other OS's in my humble opinion, a _FUN_ system to use. I like tinkering with it, I like how it's built and I like that very Amiganesque feeling it gives me. Not because I'm nostalgic and long for the long gone glory days but because that very feeling make a lot of sense to me.

This is a forum for people who are interested in OS development, right? So the natural reaction to the fact that MorphOS users have a tiny tiny community that is actually growing should be greeted with some sort of relief that not everything is geared towards the monoliths of corporate OS world. That there are some spaces left where people do these kind of things "because we can", "because it's fun", and "because we can do better".

Reply Score: 1

RE: Why MorphOS? Why not MorphOS?
by jockm on Fri 23rd May 2014 02:03 UTC in reply to "Why MorphOS? Why not MorphOS?"
jockm Member since:
2012-12-22

Some of the comments here are a little baffling. Is an OS only valuable because of it's "killer apps"?


An operating system intended for day to day use (and not something educational or of historical interest; then yes. Yes, there has to be some compelling to use the operating system.

Speed is one such reason. However, has has been covered in great depth in a different MorphOS article; MorphOS has a serious bug regarding VRAM management which means that opening a number of browser windows (each with multiple tabs) grinds the system to a halt.

Aside from that issue which hopefully they will fix soon; apps matter. Interest in a OS is fine, but if you can't do the day to day tasks you use a computer for without difficulty or making too many compromises; then what good is the OS?

Now it is a different thing if you are just curious about a system, or it has historical interest. A few times a year I fire up Unix V6 or V7 in an emulator to remind myself of what it was like in those early days.

However if the OS is intended to be used as your day to day home on your computer, as MorphOS suggests it is, then there had better be a compelling reason other than curiosity. It's great if your OS is fast, but if it doesn't have the apps you need, then what is the point?


Where is Haiku's killer apps?


Very good question. Where are they, what does Haiku do that is compelling? Because while it of course has some intrinsic value, if people don't use it then there is no compelling reason for it to exist. I personally think that number of users needs to be between 5,000 and 10,000 minimum. I am not talking about making money but to keep the community self sustaining.

MorphOS fits into the Amiga ecosystem, so its nearly 2,300 users add in to the perhaps 10K that use some form of AmigaOS. It is far from clear how long AmigaOS (and derivatives) will have legs, but it is enough to keep it going and to attract the occasional new user.


Isn't it why you like it? Or why not just do like billions of users and use Windows? I mean, most Windows users would agree they see no value of Haiku at all. And by that logic, Haiku must have no value.


MorphOS is based on AmigaOS; an OS developed for the Amiga in the early 80's. It was made by geeks and hackers for the minds of geeks and hackers.


Citation please? From what I remember it was an attempt by Genesi to control the destiny of the Amiga platform. When talks of a QNX based version of the next generation AmigaOS ended. There were lawsuits, bad blood, and eventually the team we know now brought it back.

But as a former Amiga user, I think it would have been far far more interesting and useful if the two sides had managed to work together. If they had written a portable OS, and managed to think farther than the communities irrational dislike of x86.


Why MorphOS? Why not MorphOS?


It doesn't run on any hardware I own anymore, and even if I do go out and buy "new" hardware it is unsupported and is well past it's "best by" date. Supporting Apple hardware is a stopgap at best. It won't be that much longer before than hardware starts failing and the supply of cheap PPC Macs dries up. My guess 3-5 year at most.

It has most of the programs I need for my everyday use (a lot thanks to the open source movement, not to mention developers who works for free).


Not for me.

MorphOS doesn't support most of the apps I need for my personal use of computers — let alone work. Scriba might be a decent word processor (don't know but the feature list looks ok), but I don't see much in terms of spreadsheets, or databases, or presentation apps.

JAmiga (the only JVM for the Amiga like OSs) hasn't yet reached compatibility with JDK 1.7 (let alone the current JDK 1.8), which eliminates most of the software I have personally written.


The reason I choose this masochistic road is because it's, unlike all other OS's in my humble opinion, a _FUN_ system to use. I like tinkering with it, I like how it's built and I like that very Amiganesque feeling it gives me. Not because I'm nostalgic and long for the long gone glory days but because that very feeling make a lot of sense to me.


I use an operating system to get stuff done. As a developer I tinker and experiment, and test the limits, but if I can't do real work (personal or professional) then there is very little point.

Now I am an OS wonk, and I try out and experiment with a lot of different operating systems, but if I have to buy hardware and then spend $100+ just to do that, it had better have a compelling reason to use it.

Obviously not for everyone, but if they made the pricing more reasonable and rational, and gave an indication the OS had an actual future; there would be a lot more than 2,275 users and that would be to the benefit of everyone...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Why MorphOS? Why not MorphOS?
by Yasu on Fri 23rd May 2014 11:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Why MorphOS? Why not MorphOS?"
Yasu Member since:
2014-05-15

I think you somewhat miss the point.

I'm not suggestion that people should drop what they are doing and go for MorphOS. I'm not deluded enough to suggest that it's possible. It isn't. I still use Windows for all the apps I need that MorphOS can not provide, or doesn't provide nearly as well. But for me, Windows is a tool and MorphOS is R&R.

My point is mainly that there are more reasons then just being able to launch apps that makes an OS interesting and worth using. You can not ignore that you need apps if you want to make money but since that's not the point of MorphOS but rather to go as far as you can, bring your friends with you and just have a good time having all apps you need is beside the point. As long as you can do something on it that motivates it's use, then you are well on your way IMO.

(how do you quote?)

"Citation please? From what I remember it was an attempt by Genesi to control the destiny of the Amiga platform. When talks of a QNX based version of the next generation AmigaOS ended. There were lawsuits, bad blood, and eventually the team we know now brought it back. "

Yes and no. When they announced that they where making MorphOS in 1999 there was no AmigaOS 4 project yet and Gateway was just about to drop Amiga altogether. Doing it yourself was the only option it seemed. The bad blood started when Hyperion got the contract for AmigaOS 4 in 2001 and started to throw a fit, accusing MorphOS of stealing and being terrible people who devided the market (even though they where there first).

"But as a former Amiga user, I think it would have been far far more interesting and useful if the two sides had managed to work together. If they had written a portable OS, and managed to think farther than the communities irrational dislike of x86."

Most certainly, but it didn't happen sadly. If you like a portable AmigaOS, then AROS is your best bet.
And some assembler programmers have stated that the dislike of x86 is nothing about irrationality. The x86 is a lot harder to program for than the PPC and it's a patchwork of legacy stuff. This matters to people who likes beautiful enginering. Like I said, in the mid/late 90's PPC made a lot of sense. We are talking with hindsight. That the x86 would win out was not a given back then.

"Supporting Apple hardware is a stopgap at best. It won't be that much longer before than hardware starts failing and the supply of cheap PPC Macs dries up. My guess 3-5 year at most."

Not impossible, but considering what people do to keep their 20 year old Amigas alive I don't see that as an immediate danger. And there is still plenty of PPC macs on sale on E-bay.

It is a stop gap solution. The MorphOS Team have stated that they will change architecture, eventually. Using used PPC macs until then is a pretty clever solution IMO. Better then making your own uber-expencive hardware (like the AOS 4 camp) or not doing anything.

"Scriba might be a decent word processor (don't know but the feature list looks ok), but I don't see much in terms of spreadsheets, or databases, or presentation apps."

Scriba is still buggy as hell. I use Google Docs. No arguments from me there. Everyone is screaming for a good/not bad office package.

It doesn't matter if you love Haiku, ReactOS, BSD, AROS, AmigaOS 4, MorphOS, StarOS or any other OS for no other reason than the way it works appeals to you. I think that's a very good reason to try it, use it and try to make the best out of it. That's my stance: try to make the best out of it. I will not throw away my Windows PC because I simply can't. But since MorphOS 3.3 I have finally got an Amigalike OS that has a good enough web browser and a good enough TCP/IP stack to be able to use it to surf and IRC and stuff without having to use Windows at all. This is the first time I have been able to do that this since the late 90's.

Reply Score: 1

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

(how do you quote?)

"q" inside of [] and [/]

Like I said, in the mid/late 90's PPC made a lot of sense. We are talking with hindsight. That the x86 would win out was not a given back then.

Yes it was a given that x86 would win out. In the mid/late 90s it has already won. Apple CEO from 80s / early 90s said that going PPC instead of Intel was his biggest mistake.

Reply Score: 2

Yasu Member since:
2014-05-15

"q" inside of [] and [/]

Thanks!

Yes it was a given that x86 would win out. In the mid/late 90s it has already won. Apple CEO from 80s / early 90s said that going PPC instead of Intel was his biggest mistake.

No it wasn't. Apple was going down people thought (until they leaped back in 1998 with the iMac) but PPC was developed by two huge companies: IBM and Motorola. They had the resources and will to make PPC work. And when Apple came back as a "major" player PPC did seem to have a future. It wasn't until maybe 2003 things starting to look bleak since PPC run a lot hotter then x86 (and therefore isn't suitable for laptops).

Plus, PPC are still used in servers and megacomputers because of it's lower power consumption and power.

That Intel wasn't going to lose this war was a dead given. But people did think there was room for several processors. And there clearly is since ARM has grown huge these last few years thanks to smartphones.

Maybe Intel will release an ARM killer and then people will log in here 10 years from now and say stuff like "it was a dead given that ARM was going to go down. Companies choosing ARM was stupid". Just look at the article here about Windows XP. People claim today that it is the greatest Windows but back in 2001 everyone hated it. Same thing.

Reply Score: 1

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

but PPC was developed by two huge companies: IBM and Motorola. They had the resources and will to make PPC work

We're talking ~desktops (which nowadays includes laptops; PPC was never particularly strong in them) ...it was moderately clear that IBM and Motorola aren't very committed to desktop CPUs: consider, IBM never made a desktop or laptop with its own PPC chips; IBM used in those lines Intel exclusively.
IBM's operating systems for consumers, OS/2, was also exclusively x86.

Moto did have a "niche within a niche" desktop PPC systems, but they were killed by... Apple, when the latter discontinued clone programme. I imagine there was some bad blood left afterwards, and Moto focusing mainly on other areas of PPC.

Plus, PPC are still used in servers and megacomputers

That's a bit of a misstatement - they are used by their maker, IBM, in those areas.

Pentium Pro (1995) showed the future of x86, and how it would kill off lesser architectures.
As to your comparison with ARM ...PPC never had such dominating position, not even close.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Why MorphOS? Why not MorphOS?
by zima on Sat 24th May 2014 08:14 UTC in reply to "Why MorphOS? Why not MorphOS?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Today it's clear that the choice of PPC was a mistake, but in the late 90's it did make a lot of sense. And today the reason why they use second hand Apple computers are simple: changing the architecture will break the API, rendering all to date made programs useless.

It's mostly the irrational hatred of Intel in ~Amiga camps... remember Amithlon, the fastest Amiga at its time? (and would still be the fastest, if it worked on recent Intel chips) Of course it was "controversial" and had to be killed...

And MorphOS already emulates 68k programs, could as well emulate PPC ones (today's x86 chips are more than fast enough for the job)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Why MorphOS? Why not MorphOS?
by Yasu on Sat 24th May 2014 14:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Why MorphOS? Why not MorphOS?"
Yasu Member since:
2014-05-15

It's mostly the irrational hatred of Intel in ~Amiga camps... remember Amithlon, the fastest Amiga at its time? (and would still be the fastest, if it worked on recent Intel chips) Of course it was "controversial" and had to be killed...

I don't think that's the reason. AROS x86 is not unpopular (even though development has slowed down the last year or so). My bet is that people simply lost interest.

Like I said, people disliked/hated x86 for a reason: poor design. That's not irrational. But my bet is that there are no computer geeks today that refuse to use x86 hardware. In the late 90's, when Amiga users "hate" was the most vocal the m68k was still not too slow to use (but pretty slow at the time) and PPC was an alternative. An alternative plenty of hackers and programmers preferred to x86.

And MorphOS already emulates 68k programs, could as well emulate PPC ones (today's x86 chips are more than fast enough for the job)

The last time I spoke to the developers they where not convinced that even the fastest x86 processors would be fast enough for a smooth PPC emulation. It's not that simple. The reason m68k JIT emulation works is because both processors are big endian, unlike x86, plus that the m68k is a whole lot weaker than PPC. And back then, they where paid full time developers on the project.

The main reason not to do it is TIME. It's a huge undertaking to make this work, and there aren't enough developers nor outside interest to make it work.

I agree with the developers that the point isn't to make MorphOS a major player in the OS market. It would be fun if it happens but it's beside the point. The point is to keep developing MorphOS into the best OS they can make on their spare time. Making the best of the situation.

The reason the OS cost as much is because it's expensive keeping servers going and buying hardware for them to port drivers to. Especially since they sell on an average 1 licence a day. The developers say they don't get paid for their work.

If you are prepared to invest a million dollars so they can hire 10 full time programmers for at least a year then it would be a whole different matter. Until that happens ... let's do the best of the situation.

Edited 2014-05-24 14:02 UTC

Reply Score: 1

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't think that's the reason. AROS x86 is not unpopular (even though development has slowed down the last year or so). My bet is that people simply lost interest.

Yet there are two camps which still prefer some niche hardware instead of AROS x86... And in the times of Amithlon, there was still quite a lot of interest from users - but the companies owning Amiga rights sort of bundled together against it (and squeezed Amigans out of their money)

Like I said, people disliked/hated x86 for a reason: poor design. That's not irrational.

x86 isn't the most elegant architecture, but it gets the job done plus its widespread adoption and performance means there's no reason to touch asm for most devs (compilers are great); and it would be definitely better for users (who knows, maybe AROS would be largely complete by now, if not for the diversions of PPC "Amigas"); also as jockm says here http://www.osnews.com/permalink?589560
"The simple fact is that most people rightly do not care about CPU architecture, they just want to buy commodity hardware and run the apps they need to run."

"Poor design" doesn't mean much aside from for kernel devs (I suppose I am of the opinion that computers are for users, not kernel devs ;) )
BTW, Linus Torvalds said that ~"the memory management of PPC can be used to scare little children" ;)

Besides, this supposed elegance of PPC never really translated to better optimised software... (requirements of PC/Mac multiplatform games tended to be higher on the Mac side)

This undue IMHO fascination with PPC is also what really killed BeOS - it should have been available on x86 PCs half a decade earlier, then it would maybe have a fighting chance.

The last time I spoke to the developers they where not convinced that even the fastest x86 processors would be fast enough for a smooth PPC emulation. It's not that simple.

PearPC worked fine quite a few years ago ...and that's just a small project hosted on SourceForge. The x86 CPUs of today are much more powerful / ridiculously overpowered.

And who knows, maybe the devs of MorphOS could join AROS one day...

PS. Also... you know what was great about classic Amiga? It was a damn good deal, financially-wise. None of its PPC "continuations" fulfilled that (but x86 probably could)

Edited 2014-05-26 22:15 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Comment by gfx1
by gfx1 on Fri 23rd May 2014 09:53 UTC
gfx1
Member since:
2006-01-20

Not all licenses are still in active use, i bought the first main board with powercc processor and morphos but it has been collecting dust for years.
Comparable pc hardware that time was much cheaper and more powerful.
Nowadays a raspberry pi runs circles around it.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by gfx1
by Yasu on Fri 23rd May 2014 10:54 UTC in reply to "Comment by gfx1"
Yasu Member since:
2014-05-15

What board is that? If it's a pegasos I or II with MorphOS up to 1.4.5 then that statistic is not shown among the 2275 sold licensen. That is based on licenses sold from version 2.0.

The reason is that MorphOS came for free with Pegasos I and II main board, but when they stopped selling them in 2006 MorphOS Team and Genesi/bPlan went their seperate ways. And users of Peg I and II board had to buy a new license too with 2.0.

Reply Score: 1