Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 26th Mar 2009 23:34 UTC
Amiga & AROS Despite the recent emergence of several new ways to actually run AmigaOS 4.0, the supply of machines is still extremely small, and not very future proof. As such, one of the most recurring questions within the Amiga community is why don't they port the darn thing to x86?
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SamuraiCrow
Member since:
2005-11-19

Little-endian mode support was dropped from the PowerPC 970 series and therefore may be considered obsolete although the 970 series isn't supported by AmigaOS.

Regardless, any competent port of Amiga OS to x86 would I would hope switch the implementation to little endian to avoid the issue entirely. It might make porting of some low level code a bit more difficult than it otherwise would be, but it would be better in the long run imo.

Little-endianness would kill any backward compatibility that AmigaOS would have ever hoped to have had. Since every version prior to 4.0 was a white-box implementation meaning that the internal data structures were open for the applications to access, it is impossible to make a backwardly-compatible version of AmigaOS in little-endian mode or with full memory protection. If you want little-endian and memory protection join Anubis-OS.

But still, if you think the comparatively minor overhead of byte order swapping would in any way negate the HUGE performance advantage modern x86 hardware has over the dinky PowerPC hardware currently available for AmigaOS your nuts.


I think Intel chips are only faster because of more compact instruction set and therefore more efficient use of the cache. If AmigaOS is going to compete in any market, it would not be the desktop one so the only Intel processors that would compete in the Amiga marketplace are the Atom series which don't perform nearly as well as their desktop equivalents. Therefore the PowerPC 440 series found in the current platforms is competitive for the markets Hyperion Entertainment VOF are targeting.

(Furthermore, for the record, I DO have a mental disability known as paranoid schizophrenia and therefore I am nuts. Do you have a problem with that?)

Reply Parent Score: 2

tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

If you have to change ISAs, the byte ordering is the last of the concerns regarding "performance" hits.

You have to recompile your code anyways... so what was your original point regarding endianess.?

I specially love this gem:

"I think Intel chips are only faster because of more compact instruction set and therefore more efficient use of the cache"

Really? I assume you have little to no clue regarding computer architecture. But by all means do not let that stop you from making authoritative statements regarding porting an operating system across different architectures.

Edited 2009-03-27 21:48 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

Little-endian mode support was dropped from the PowerPC 970 series...


Thanks, didn't know that.

Little-endianness would kill any backward compatibility that AmigaOS would have ever hoped to have had. Since every version prior to 4.0 was a white-box implementation meaning that the internal data structures were open for the applications to access, it is impossible to make a backwardly-compatible version of AmigaOS in little-endian mode or with full memory protection. If you want little-endian and memory protection join Anubis-OS.


Use an emulator for existing code - there are already a few that work well... I dont think anyone seriously would consider porting to x86 without first fixing all the broken bits of AmigaOS... Backwards compatibility is a moot point imho.

I think Intel chips are only faster because of more compact instruction set and therefore more efficient use of the cache


Higher clock speeds, bigger caches, faster caches, better memory controllers, faster memory, higher bus speeds, more bandwidth, better fabrication resources, etc. etc. etc. PowerPC is dead outside of the embedded market (and that may not last much longer)...

If AmigaOS is going to compete in any market, it would not be the desktop one so the only Intel processors that would compete in the Amiga marketplace are the Atom series which don't perform nearly as well as their desktop equivalents. Therefore the PowerPC 440 series found in the current platforms is competitive for the markets Hyperion Entertainment VOF are targeting.


I think that is kind of the point everyone is making though... Sure, what you said makes some sense, but outside of a few die hards no one wants to be limited to such archaic hardware. Porting to generic x86 is the only way the OS could ever possibly get wide exposure. Im not saying it should be done, I personally dont care (and concede that it would be very very painful to do) - just saying not doing it is dooming it to failure.

(Furthermore, for the record, I DO have a mental disability known as paranoid schizophrenia and therefore I am nuts. Do you have a problem with that?)


No, I don't. I am perfectly ok with you being nuts ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1