Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 21st Nov 2007 22:44 UTC
Amiga & AROS "AROS has gained lots of bugfixes and improvements in the lastest weeks. For istance, Neil Cafferkey has corrected some important bugs is his beloved AROS Installer; Nic Andrews has worked on his RTL8139 network driver; and Robert Norris has fixed file notifications, which previously broke preferences, just to name three."
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RE[5]: Re: Nice to see this
by jal_ on Thu 22nd Nov 2007 09:19 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Re: Nice to see this"
jal_
Member since:
2006-11-02

"An experience that the x86 platform doesn't provide."

I've been hearing this stuff for ages now, yet nobody ever gave me a compelling reason why this obsession with clearly inferior hardware should hold the Amiga OS hostage.


Perhaps it is that you're to young to understand Thom ;) . I have never owned an Amiga or Atari myself, my first computer was a PC XT. However, the "clearly inferior hardware" was in its days clearly vastly superior: superior sound, superior gfx, superior CPU (well, not compared to the Atari ST which had the same 68K, but compared to the PC XT and AT). I think that the memory of having a superior machine is what the true Amiga fan still holds on to. Of course, that is nigh to impossible to achieve these days: the processor, sound chip and gfx card market isn't the wild west it was back then, there's only a few big players, and no start-up company can ever make something superior to what Intel/AMD and ATI(AMD)/nVidia are making (and as for sound, that's totally uninteresting nowadays as even AC97 provides enough for almost everyone). As a hobby OS developer, I don't like the x86 platform either, it's so uninteresting, everyone owns it, you cannot really make a difference. The 'feel' of running your OS on a different platform is just so different of having it run in Bochs or Qemu. It's the kind of magic we had in the "old days" (and perhaps I'm even too young, as I never owned a Z80, Atari 2600 or C64). But that will never return. When the PC was still progressing (in the 2nd half of the 90s), in the PC demo scene we always looked with pity to those C64 fans still holding on to that lousy machine. Today, I know exactly what they were (and still are) clinging on to.


JAL

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[6]: Re: Nice to see this
by Cymro on Thu 22nd Nov 2007 11:04 in reply to "RE[5]: Re: Nice to see this"
Cymro Member since:
2005-07-07

I think Thom is referring to PowerPC vs x86 rather than classic Amiga hardware. There's a small hardcore of Amiga users who don't understand that x86, even x86-64, isn't the same architecture it was 10 years ago.

As for popularity, there are thousands of potential people registered on Amigaworld, Amiga.org, Amigans.net and others (including MorphZone for MorphOS users and AROS-Exec) Interest in AROS has definitely grown in those places, but some still can't see beyond the official brand.

There are many more who've left the community even in the last couple of years due to frustration with closed-source OSes and unavailable hardware. Sadly the word to developers thinking of leaving is never "contribute to AROS", it's "just wait a few more months for hardware" This terrible advice has been repeated year after year.

The important thing is to get AROS to a level where it's compelling for the AmigaOS and MorphOS crowd. This means offering most of what OS 4 and MorphOS offer.

A few bounties have been assigned which will go a long way to it, should they be successful. One is the UAE Integration bounty to run old Amiga programs. The ability to run old Amiga apps defines an Amiga-like OS for some.

The other bounty is building a WebKit-based browser, and there's also an email client being worked on. Without these things there's not much for most to do in AROS except look at the scenery. With Amiga apps, web and email, we're in a completely different situation and we're best off looking at the interest then.

Edited 2007-11-22 11:05

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Re: Nice to see this
by Nossie on Thu 22nd Nov 2007 16:17 in reply to "RE[5]: Re: Nice to see this"
Nossie Member since:
2007-07-31

I have to agree with you... :-|

I've owned a Commadore C64, Amiga 500 and an Amiga 1200. The Amiga 1200 was vastly superior to the Intel equivalent 486. After that I bought consoles and then put my Amigas in the loft and bought PCs.

For a while PCs were interesting, I ran Windows, BeOS, linux, hackintosh... I couldnt affored a cdrom or hdisk for my Amiga, but my first PC had a 420mb hdisk and dual speed cdrom... about the same time teachers at school were trying to convince me to buy a mac... from that experience alone (the school used ancient macs) I started to hate the damn things...

I laughed at all my Amiga friends, Beneath a steel sky with voice came on 1 cd rather than 12 floppy disks for the text version. To an extent I even laughed at them when my snes version of streetfighter II was so much more colourful than the Amiga.... I also laughed at all the Atari peeps too for their crappy graphics (yet superiour sound) Atari pretty much dried up, Arcimedies did the same... the rest got forgotten about.


Then the Amiga died and I was sad.. my PC hardware was increasingly becoming more generic.. even the xbox had came out using an intel cpu.. more and more hardware was going on board and no longer did my creative cards matter.

So OSX came out... it was oh so pretty but $2.5k for a 450mhz cube when I could buy a PIII 800mhz for so much less? get real!

I laughed at my fellow mac users... well 'underpowered' macbooks trying to compete in a windows world. PowerPC? pah - stick it to them!

After that I switched between Intel and AMD... endured when Intel were ramping up the hertz when AMD out performed on far fewer megahertz - I couldnt help but spread the word that megahertz didnt matter anymore! centrino/Coreduo came out and I finally had to surrender, Intel had woke up and learned AMDs secret sauce - cache and architecture (mostly) Intel won fair and square.

I then, still interested in OSX, saw a G4 cube on ebay dead cheap... I bought one and started to realise why PPC was better than x86.. the cube took me back to my Amiga days when I loved fiddling with the inards. I realised the reason why they were better (and more expensive) back then was the cache... my cube has 1mb of o/b cache where the PIII was lucky to have 128kb.

Then Apple changed to intels... and I cried. Not because PPC was then better... but because the architecture I was wanting to move away from was coming back to meet me. My choices were drying up.. the Intel c2d was and still is superior but for how long? Bridge that with what happened to operating systems during that time and you'll also notice that those choices were drying up too..

The truth is, in my youth I was a bit of a fanboy, spurred by whatever reason to support whatever hardware. But when something better came out I was a big enough boy to admit that and in the future go down that next road.

As hardware has become increasingly comoditized so has my choices. The only other real option is SPARC or POWER6, and not only would I need to mortgage my house to buy a decent one but the benefits for a homeuser would be minimal. I would be crazy nowadays to pay so much over the odds for a 1.5ghz PPC AmigaOne if it ever came out... Although I might consider the idea if it was quadcore, if it really did have an advantage over x86.

So the lesson to this is that I mourned the death of Mac PPC because it was another choice being taken away (I never wanted one because they just couldnt keep up anymore) .... If IBM hadnt concentrated on the console market, and had managed to bring the heat down on their architecture (the main reason macbooks were slower mhz wise) then who knows what we might have had? octo-core PPC with 12mb cache?

IF Amiga had worked out their differences and joined the PPC market would Amiga + apple have been enough to hold their own against Wintel?

I bought a macbook pro c2d last nov... with the least RAM so I could upgrade cheaply at a later date. At the time few laptops had 4mb on 2 cores. Things have changed now but you expect that. I do however realise that my laptop is just an expensive intergrated IBM compatible PC with lots of nice touches (keyboard light, instant standby etc) I've learned some lessons since my C64, I'll list them here at the end.

1. It doesnt matter how good your hardware is, if its too expensive people wont buy it.
2. It doesnt matter how crap your hardware/software is -- if you throw enough money at marketing people will buy it. (Unless rule 1 applies ala PS3)
3. Never trust Microsoft. They'll like you till they no longer need you then sit on your head.
4. Admit that if Apple were in Microsofts shoes you shouldn't trust them either.
5. Choice is always good, even if you dont take it.
6. Due to market trends and the cost of researching new technology - and the marginal differences in that new technology .. that we may never go back to the days when multiple architectures fought it out for the top position only to be struck down by another -- in my life time.

I have to salute the custom chips in the Amiga, I think Apple is about the only company left that could throw in some real custom chips to make the mac stand out from the crowd... but unless its far superior nobody will care. I guess some people could argue altivec was the custom chips they were looking for.. ( I realise a lot of people moved from Amiga to BeOS or Apple) but where has that went now? Intel MMX, what happened to that?


So, yeah, my story maybe long, boring and biased -- but you youngins should keep in mind that back then we had some REALLY nice choices in the days when computing was truly fun.

Everytime an architecture dies, another angel gets its wings ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1

v RE[7]: Re: Nice to see this
by losethos2 on Thu 22nd Nov 2007 21:24 in reply to "RE[6]: Re: Nice to see this"
RE[7]: Re: Nice to see this
by Downix on Fri 23rd Nov 2007 16:42 in reply to "RE[6]: Re: Nice to see this"
Downix Member since:
2007-08-21

>As hardware has become increasingly comoditized so has my choices. The only other real option is SPARC or POWER6, and not only would I need to mortgage my house to buy a decent one but the benefits for a homeuser would be minimal.

When the Amiga was introduced, technically Intel had the faster CPU. But Amiga had the better architecture, off-setting this advantage. I would not go PowerPC, as support for that has been waning (as I witnessed with the drying up of northbridges for them) but SPARC, you can get some performing systems for less than $1000. While not the Niagra or Rock cores, you can get an UltraSPARC II or III for a decent price, and Fuji's own SPARC64 series is also reasonable.

But SPARC offers another advantage to someone that really wants to play: Open Standard. You can sign up and roll your own CPU, if you chose to and had the money to spend. Heck, the entry level Niagra core is GPL'd!

Think on that for a moment. Also ponder other CPU options, such as ARM, MIPS or SuperH, all licenseable cores, all with advantages, and while not Mhz monsters, can be used in performance designs if you're smart about it. Lot of options.

Reply Parent Score: 2