Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 23rd Oct 2009 22:33 UTC
Amiga & AROS Yes, we are continuing our new-found fascination with the Amiga platform, by reporting to you straight from the floors of AmiWest and Pianeta Amiga. Chris Handley consolidated all the information from these two Amiga shows into one handy post, and the future of the AmigaOS looks bright indeed! Update: More planned features have emerged. Read on for the update.
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X86? Think about it!
by dmantione on Sun 25th Oct 2009 13:42 UTC
dmantione
Member since:
2005-07-06

I understand why people want x86-support. x86-hardware is cheap, available everywhere, and knowledge of x86 in our society is high.

However, think about it from a computer architecture: x86 has grown into a monster. Think about what you need to do to make a modern OS work on x86: There is the horrible mess called ACPI, there are 4 ways that hardware can trigger interrupts (XT PIC, APIC, MSI, MSI-X), the ancient PC-BIOS that you need to support in absense of native drivers, and then the extensive task to write drivers for native hardware.

As none of this can be implemented in reasonable time, one would have to work with certain "certified" hardware combinations. Even then it would be a hell of a job to build something impressive.

Staying with non-PC hardware not only avoids all of this work, it also avoids importing the uglyness of the PC into the Amiga. You get a cleaner computer architecture. The Amiga was known for the combination of hardware and software. While the perfect match between hard & software of the original Amiga can realistically no longer be matched in todays hardware market, it is a big plus that hardware designers like Acube can cooperate with software designers like Hyperion to serve each others need.

Stay with PowerPC for now, if it is doable, maybe add ARM later. These are good architectures to build computers on, and innovate them further.

Reply Score: 5

RE: X86? Think about it!
by bert64 on Mon 26th Oct 2009 10:02 in reply to "X86? Think about it!"
bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

I understand why people want x86-support. x86-hardware is cheap, available everywhere, and knowledge of x86 in our society is high.

However, think about it from a computer architecture: x86 has grown into a monster. Think about what you need to do to make a modern OS work on x86: There is the horrible mess called ACPI, there are 4 ways that hardware can trigger interrupts (XT PIC, APIC, MSI, MSI-X), the ancient PC-BIOS that you need to support in absense of native drivers, and then the extensive task to write drivers for native hardware.

As none of this can be implemented in reasonable time, one would have to work with certain "certified" hardware combinations. Even then it would be a hell of a job to build something impressive.

Staying with non-PC hardware not only avoids all of this work, it also avoids importing the uglyness of the PC into the Amiga. You get a cleaner computer architecture. The Amiga was known for the combination of hardware and software. While the perfect match between hard & software of the original Amiga can realistically no longer be matched in todays hardware market, it is a big plus that hardware designers like Acube can cooperate with software designers like Hyperion to serve each others need.

Stay with PowerPC for now, if it is doable, maybe add ARM later. These are good architectures to build computers on, and innovate them further.


Then do what Apple did, make it work on a small number of fixed configuration systems and see if third parties come along and make unofficial ports to more generic x86 hardware.

As for drivers, many drivers for hardware are available under permissive licenses like BSD, reuse them, don't try reinventing the wheel.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: X86? Think about it!
by dmantione on Tue 27th Oct 2009 11:30 in reply to "RE: X86? Think about it!"
dmantione Member since:
2005-07-06


Then do what Apple did, make it work on a small number of fixed configuration systems and see if third parties come along and make unofficial ports to more generic x86 hardware.

As for drivers, many drivers for hardware are available under permissive licenses like BSD, reuse them, don't try reinventing the wheel.


Too simple thinking. "Certified" hardware only solves some of the problem, you still need to have for example an ACPI implementation, which took Linux many years for example.

I can think of better ways to keep a team of <20 programmers busy. Simply consider the Amiga an expensive computer. Compared to x86, terribly overpriced, but at about 500 euro's, it is affordable by mere mortals, in fact, this is about the money you paid for an Amiga 500 20 years ago.

Edited 2009-10-27 11:31 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2