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.
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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

Kroc Member since:

Screen hardware was still emerging at that time, there’s no reason not to believe that had Amiga been the No.1 hardware platform to dictate the future then TFTs would have been designed differently with the necessary resolution switching built in (all modern TFTs have built-in stretching capabilities) and I’m sure as heck that any TFT with a suitably complex enough controller could achieve raster effects during the ‘scan’.

Think beyond just the hardware we have now _because_ of IBM, and instead at the hardware we could have had without IBM. There’s no way to say if it would have been better, but it would have been ever so different—and that’s interesting.

Edited 2010-05-15 14:22 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1