Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 15th May 2010 08:49 UTC, submitted by kragil
Amiga & AROS A few weeks ago, Novell and Red Hat jointly fended off a patent infringement suit thrown their way by a patent troll. The patent in question more or less came down to the concept of virtual desktops - and thanks to Groklaw, several people helped in finding cases of prior art. The most interesting one of all? A carefully restored and working Amiga 1000 demonstrated to the judge and jury.
Thread beginning with comment 424659
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Member since:

"and it certainly is the first useful thing it did in the last 15 years.

Not that you are one to embellish either.

Windows Vista/7 still don't handle multiple screens as well as the Amigas did 24 years ago. Many programs or games can lock up when alt-tabbing. There's no visual representation of programs underneath others, and as is the case with the human brain, a clear visual representation makes a UI more intuitive and functional.

As far as functionality goes, yes, I'd say that the Amiga's layered screens system is more advanced than Windows 7, and perhaps also X's. Just because it was coded decades ago doesn't automatically mean it's inferior. It had access to fewer hardware resources, that's all.

The amiga screen system was nothing more than a clever hardware trick that is not really even possible or useful anymore in this day and age.
Yeah, windows 7 sucks with its lack of virtual desktops, but why are you assuming that I uphold windows 7 as the be all end all of operating systems? I'm really more of a linux guy.

And in linux, it would be prefectly possible to reproduce the amiga's screen (aka desktops).

You know why no one does? Because it's useless. Switching from a destkop to another is useful. Having a pager or gestures or compositing based mosaic effect to do so is useful.

We have many more useful ways to manage desktops on modern hardware than that cute yet ultimately worthless copper-based hack on the amiga chipset.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Kroc Member since:

The amiga screen system was nothing more than a clever hardware trick that is not really even possible or useful anymore in this day and age.

I can think of a lot of uses—like how every desktop manager (Windows, OS X and Linux included) deals so badly with resolution switches. I want to play a game in a different resolution and then switch back to my desktop without all my window positions and sizes messed up.

The Amiga allowed you to slide the game down and show the desktop beneath—when both were at different resolutions. That’s a big deal that we could all really do with in OSes that are complex enough now to warrant it even more so than the simpler Amiga.

Think of all the hell people have had to go through fighting with X. If Amiga’s hardware was the reference platform then Linux would be in a _much_ better place than it is now.

Reply Parent Score: 2

MORB Member since:

The fact that different resolutions could be displayed on the different screens was a hardware trick that was only physically possible on CRTs. And only on fixed frequency CRTs at that, ie TVs and old fixed frequency monitors.

Multisync CRTs precluded playing with raster effects to mix different frequencies in different parts of the screen.

That was a cute hack but it had no future.

Nowaday you could achieve the same effect if you wanted by scaling up the lower resolution desktop to fit on the screen, making it a "low res" desktop. You can't physically mix and match different resolutions on a LCD, you know?

Edited 2010-05-15 14:14 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2