posted by Mike Bouma on Mon 15th Jul 2002 05:24 UTC
IconThis article includes many exclusive pictures, 5 new AmigaOS4 screenshots and some exclusive AmigaOS4 information. Within the first section of this article I will try to give some relevant background information about the history of new Amiga products. Then sections will follow regarding the new PowerPC based Amiga hardware platform, the new AmigaOS4, how users can contribute and finally I will write about the potential niche markets for new Amiga systems.

Click for a larger version The wait for an entirely new Amiga computer is almost over. Nearly 10 years have past since we saw an entirely new Amiga desktop computer. A large part of these 10 years have been frustrating for AmigaOS fans, who saw Amiga's parent company, Commodore, go under at a time when Amigas were still selling incredibly well for the European home computer market and within the graphics/video field all around the world.

The original Amiga computer (mpg video link), since its release in 1985, was extremely innovating and revolutionary in many different regards. For instance, Amiga's Original Chip Set (OCS), was years ahead of contemporary chipsets available on other platforms. This advanced chipset made the Amiga the first home computer to be able to show photorealistic pictures with up to 4096 colors simultaniously back in 1985. This revolutionary system also came with a 32 bit pre-emptive multitasking operating system, nearly a full decade before similar desktop offerings existed from Microsoft and even more recently from Apple. With the release of new PPC based AmigaOS4 systems, the Amiga community itself will take a giant leap towards becoming on par again with these two commercial desktop OS giants.

Click for a larger version Maybe you now wonder: "How did this all start to come into fruition?". Well that's a very long story, so I shall first sum up only a small part of related historical events and after that I shall devote seperate sections to the new PPC hardware and the new PPC native Amiga operating system:

After many years of bad luck and the changing hands of Amiga technology, Gateway, another multi-billion dollar giant eventually acquired Amiga in 1997. Soon after they realized that the Amiga market welcomed them anxiously, they committed (mpg video link) themselves to bring the Amiga computer back for the future. It is no secret that monopolistic forces within the computer industry stopped them from doing so. Then two and a half years ago, Bill McEwen and Fleecy Moss, two previously sacked Amiga employees from the Gateway era, finally were able to buy Amiga from Gateway. The new company currently works together with many 3rd parties to develop a new PPC based desktop computer running AmigaOS4, while they themselves are mainly developing AmigaDE, the Amiga Digital Environment. AmigaDE is a revolutionary new technology which should eventually enable users, including AmigaOS users, to use whatever AmigaDE content on any device regardless of CPU or operating system. Unlike other platform independent technologies the AmigaDE has extremely small memory footprints and fast execution speeds for multimedia purposes. For more information about this technology there is a demonstration video available giving a good indication of some of the potential.

Click for a larger version The new Amiga company also has had to deal with its ups and downs, with its downs mainly caused by the recent slowdown of the techmarket. Gary Peake, Amiga's Director of Developer Support summed it up pretty well in this public message. At the time of this posting Gary was just recovering from a heart attack himself (it happened only last month!). The fact that he continues to work with much devotion for Amiga Inc. so soon after his unfortunate health experiences, shows the amazingly dedicated spirit the AmigaDE/OS team has for realizing their dreams.

Table of contents
  1. "As the long wait for AmigaOS fans comes to an end"
  2. "The Amiga PowerPC hardware platform"
  3. "What you can do to help"
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