Last Saturday on the 23rd of July Amigans worldwide celebrated the 20th birthday of the Amiga platform at several events and gatherings. It was the 23rd of July 1985 when the Amiga 1000 was unveiled to the public at the Lincoln Center in New York. At the three biggest Amiga birthday events there were also extensive AmigaOS4 presentations. Here is AmigaWorld’s extensive report.
AmiGBG 2005 Report & Global Amiga Celebrations
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2005-07-29 1:57 amAnonymous
“But maybe time and falling market share will mellow those guys too? ”
Yeah only problem is latest figures suggest market share is going up!
20 years old… Congrats!
May the Gurus continue to meditate for another 20 years!
The community spirit is IMO the most important factor which has kept the Amiga platform going for all this time.
At meetings and gatherings worldwide Amigans, in my experience generally seem to be very optimistic, polite and fun loving people. On some Amiga related forums there’s is often much turmoil though, IMO this is probably generated by a small handful of individuals who may be insecure about any possible viability of rival Amiga-related products, if the AmigaOS4 project becomes commercially successful.
Here’s for another 20 years!.
i know basically nothing about amiga, what features does it offer that may draw me away from linux, windows, or osx?
this is a real question, i am not trolling… i really know nothing about amiga
2005-07-29 1:48 amDirge
Here is a review of the Micro-Amiga One on ArsTechnica.
2005-07-29 7:07 amAnonymous
Well, if you do not know anything about Amiga then go out and find info on it. Google is good for that you know.
Like the Mac released 1.5 years before it, The Amiga 1000 was a 16/32-bit system with a realtively friendly GUI-based interface. Unlike the Mac, it was colour (very colourful in fact–it was capable of displaying 800% colours more than its best competition at the time–4096 vs. 512 offered by Atari) and had high-quality stereo sound. It also supported pre-emptive multitasking unlike the Mac or any other PC in existence at the time.
Architecturally, the Amiga 1000 was a fusion of the Mac and the Atari 800 (The design team that created the Atari 800–led by Jay Miner–also created the Amiga 1000). It was based aruond the Motorola 68K CPU like the Mac, and it was supported by custom ASICs for graphics resembling those of the Atari 800 (only greatly extended–most notably with the blitter). The classic Amiga and Atari-8-bit platforms reveal their common roots in their unique ability to partition the screen into sections with independent palettes, resolutions and colour depths. This was one of the tricks that both computers used to get hundreds/thousands of colours on-screen at once with limited memory. Combined with multitasking this made for some impressive abilities in the Amiga–you could take a low-res, full-screen app like a video game and drag the whole screen down a bit to reveal a high-res desktop (all VERY impressive in the age of monochrome Macs and DOS Dinosaurs).
Interestingly enough, the Amiga was not intended to start life as a PC at all–it all started when a few frustrated Atari and Activision engineers got together and formed Amiga, Inc in the early 80s (interestingly itsmajor shareholder was Warner Communications–the same company that had just sold Atari Computers to Jack Tramiel, formerly of….Commodore). They met with a fair amount of success selling innovative videogame controllers but the product that was to blow everyone away would be their next-generation game console (code named Lorraine). As was the trend of the early 80s, this console was designed to become a computer with the addition of a keyboard and appropriate software (not only to make it more appealing to consumers but to encourage 3rd party development).
As 1983 came to an end and the videogame industry collapse was well underway and Amiga was running out of money to complete the Lorraine project (the collapse obliterated their cash flow). Focus shifted to making the Lorraine into a personal computer but they lacked resources to bring it too market. Atari helped but was not interested in the machine (they only wanted the chip technology for their own ST project, and Tramiel-led Atari played too much hardball) so Commodore stepped in and the rest is history (Amiga only got a GUI interface after Commodore acquired them–in response to the Mac and Atari ST).
Since then Commodore went bankrupt and was passed through several companies, beginning with ESCOM. Amiga’s association with Commodore ended when ESCOM sold its Amiga properties but retained the Commodore division (which amounted to not nuch more than the trademark and pre-Amiga technologies). Commodore and Amiga are now completely separate entities (In the past decade, Commodore products consisted only of Windows PCs and more recently small consumer electronic devices like the “C64 in a joystick” and video player).
From the Escom days until today, Amiga has evolved in many (sometimes completely aimless) directions–it has appeared as a 68K/PowerPC hybrid, a pure PowerPC machine in ATC form factor, a set-top-box, etc. I’m not sure myself where Amiga REALLY is right now, but it seems to have become more of a “platform”–an OS/development library and perhaps some hardware technology to augment commodity PC hardware seem to be the only aspects of Amiga with a serious future.
So that is the Amiga. What is there to draw you away from Linux/Mac/Windows? Little to nothing really. But it IS an intriguing platform with unique capabilities that can find a place along-side those mainstream systems. Besides, “old computers” can be an interesting hobby and many fans have no interest in trying to compete with contemporary PCs. Heck, I still fire up the Coleco to play Pepper II and Donkey Kong and mess around with SmartBASIC and SmartLOGO for kicks even though it is a long-dead platform.
2005-07-29 3:38 pmAnonymous
As others have said, the reason Amiga was a really big deal was because it was so far ahead of the time when it came out and because it got no respect. I was taking computer science classes at the time and most of my coleagues either had XT “turbo” PC’s with CGA or Hercules mono graphics or a Macintosh with a tiny monochrome screen compared with my glorious (up to 4096) color display. Their computers did little more than beep and mine had sterio digitized sound. They all bragged how fast their machines could load applications while I noted that because my machine could multitask I did’t need to shut anything down; I just left everything running so I never had to reload. In spite of having a vastly superior machine they told me my machine was just a toy and game machine and that all real work is done on PC’s and Macs. The really funny thing to me is after these PC users told me how unimportant all of Amiga’s features were their platform spent the next 10 years adding Amiga features to their platform.
> i know basically nothing about amiga, what features
> does it offer that may draw me away from linux,
> windows, or osx?
Compared to WindowsXP, MacOS X and Linux, AmigaOS4 running on A1 spec hardware is blazing fast and responsive.
Compared to WindowsXP and MacOS X, AmigaOS is very flexible, configurable, open and modular. You can potentially add, replace and/or remove nearly any system component (with open source or closed source commercial ones) like is the case for AmigaOS3.9, AmigaOS4 is now many manyears ahead of OS 3.9, as such the OS has been largely redesigned and now includes many new OS features.
However at this stage the OS is only available to anyone as an advanced developer pre-release (with a license to upgrade to the full release when available). Currently the hardware has sold out completely at the over 20 official 3rd party A1 dealers worlwide, but hardware will soon become available again. Many dozens of Amiga developers are currently working hard on finishing OS4 system components as well as various commercial and/or free launch titles.
2005-07-29 4:33 amkaiwai
Regarding the new platform; I think the biggest win would be if they made it available on the Apple Mac platform – not necessary the G5, but atleast the iBook, PowerBook, eMac, iMac (G4) and Mini-Mac, which would cover most people.
Amiga 500 with 1,5MB of memory, 220MB (not giga ) SCSI2 harddisk, 14,400kbps ZyXEL… I do have lots of fond memories.
Congrates from me, too.
well… in the last 3 years i have moved from windows xp to linux (i run FreeBSD on my server) and i am open to new alternatives….. i know i could have googled this just as easily but i like to see what the actual amiga users have to say
anyway… as far as system responsiveness….. well, that is subjective….. i compile and install my systems from scratch….. i get the exact system i need…… and fast… yep.
in any event….. i also know the average user does not/cannot do this…. amiga sounds interesting….
maybe in the upcoming months i’ll buy an amiga box
… that would be fricken sweet
so….. i need an SGI box, an Amiga box, a SPARC box, and an Alpha box to make my collection complete lol
dual 2.3ghz G5 is on order hehe
> anyway… as far as system responsiveness….. well,
> that is subjective…..
I believe once you have a Linux + Desktop and AmigaOS4 desktop running next to each other you will notice a great difference in terms of responsiveness. A full AmigaOS4 cold bootup takes well under half a minute, including the boot delays (which can be removed) and a full warm reboot takes about 5 or maybe 6 seconds depending on the amount of custom commodities you have installed.
Older demo boot process video from October 2004:
AmigaOS4 is nearly unparalleled for its multitasking performance and GUI responsiveness (except by maybe Zeta/BeOS, if run on more beefy hardware).
Older demo video from July 2004:
Basically most PPC native or even emulated 68k classic AmigaOS software are launched within a fraction of a second. On a well configured system you can easily move data around, while watching various movies simultaneously and still have an instantly reponsive graphics user interface, this all in combination with very modest hardware specifications! 🙂
A bit humorous, perhaps, and only covers what happened in the early days with comparisons to MSDOS and Mac.
What a shame the Amiga died many years ago, for the mainstream.
The Amiga OS and GUI was the best OS ever, not even Windows Vista or OSX are anywhere near it.
It was smoking fast, logical and simple, no big flashy color and strange zoom effects.
I have lot of warm memories of classic Amigas too bad time left them. And all it left us with is broken up scene with creedy corporations trying to cash in with it’s name.
Rest In Peace
… your trademark shall live forever
The Amiga, if you don’t know it, was the most amazing thing ever to find its way to my desktop when I first got mine.
No compare to anything out there for the end user at that time. You could not buy a PC with the ability of an Amiga.
This is the one platform that I believe could have competed with Windows and Mac OS if it had been managed properly. If Amiga had had its own Steve Jobs, there would be 3 major players today.
To me the Amiga is pure nostalgia. I’m never getting rid of my two A500s [although they’ll probably never boot again].
Even though some dimwit did something really stupid with the Paula chip and there were so many viruses that I had more of them than I had disks in my collection [yes, innocent and young], it was the best time with computers I’ve had prior to OS X.
And it meant that aside from that one time where one of my Amigas sported a piggy-back 286 processor on top of the MOTO 68000 [to run one -1- program, bannermania, I think] I never had to own a DOS/Windows machine, something I am profoundly pleased of [and hold the flame, this is done on a PC, I know why I don’t like them].
Any former Commodore execs reading this: you’re a loser for not being able to making something truly revolutionary a resounding success although you had everything in your own hands, there are no other words for it [well there are, but I don’t want to be modded down].
Here’s to a long life for a great platform!
a world event with maybe ten’s of participants
2005-07-29 1:00 pmMike Bouma
> a world event with maybe ten’s of participants
– AmiGBG alone had hundreds of people attending.
– AmiWest had well over one hundred participants.
– fYaNICA usually has around 200 participants.
– There have been lots of other celebration events as well, for example on the 23th of July the Amigathering 6 – Resurrection, Amiga meeting.
– Also lots of people followed the AmiWest and AmiGBG events live.
The are lots of interesting regular Amiga events worldwide, such as the popular Alchimie parties in France, small Big Bash parties in Britain, small Ottawa Amiga Show in Canada, bigger Pianeta Amiga fairs in Italy, etc.
Some recent events I personally attended:
Swiss ‘AmigaOS4 on Tour’ presentation in Basel 2003 (just one of lots worlwide held ‘OS4 on Tour’ events).
Picture report of the Benelux Amiga show 2003
Pictures from “OS4 on Tour 2003” in Bath, UK
AmiGBG (Sweden) and AmiWest (USA) in 2004
Fun of Computing 2004 report & editorial 2004, Germany
Having travelled around the world and been active within the Amiga community for many years, I feel confident to say that there are still thousands of people actively involved in the Amiga community. Every event I attended I got to know completely new people!
> I have lot of warm memories of classic Amigas too bad
> time left them.
FYI, AmigaOS4 will become available for the classic Amigas as well.
At AmiGBG AmigaOS4-beta was being demonstrated on A1200 as well as on A4000 classic Amiga systems. AmigaOS4 can completely replace AmigaOS3.x on PPC equipped classic Amigas, for instance you can use AGA chipset dependent classic Amiga software in combination with AmigaOS4. (the AGA chipset is available on the A1200 and A4000 boards).
For example here is also an early (28th December 2004) demonstration video of AmigaOS4 running on an A1200. OS4 for the classics is currently at the same level as on A1s.
Hardware specs: Amiga 1200 with Blizzard PPC accelerator card with the CPU clocked at 166 Mhz, 128 MB RAM and BlizzardVision (Permedia 2) graphics card.
Who cares for AmigaOS4 these days? The time for Amiga is gone long time ago. Keep it in memory and go ahead.
2005-07-29 6:03 pmAnonymous
Who cares for AmigaOS4 these days? The time for Amiga is gone long time ago. Keep it in memory and go ahead.
I care, dear anonymous. 😛
2005-07-29 10:15 pmFransexy
Me cares also.Bye bye Anonymous
You care because? There is no reason why I should spend my time into old systems that have only old applications.
I would need Photoshop, OpenOffice, Firefox and some modern games too. Amiga has nothing of this. They are claiming since at least 5 years to port OpenOffice or Mozilla. Nothing happend. Even this OS4 is build since 4 years and its only a port to PowerPC. How many users still have a so called next generation Amiga? 500? 800? Can’t be much more. The platform is dead.
Its funny to see that people still thinking the Amiga could come back.
2005-08-01 9:27 amAnonymous
I care, because it’s a fun computer and a fun hobby. I know how the system works and I like it. Why should anyone care about old cars/boats/aeroplanes? Why should anyone care about old movies? Ad naseum.
Point is, I have a good time with my Amiga, and yes, I do think it can “come back” at one time. I don’t think it’ll be as big as it was back then, but just having 5000 users would be a comeback in my eyes.
And since there are still products being made for the platform, it’s not dead. Companies, not too many, are still making a living from Amiga sales. So it’s not dead yet, it’s just hibernating. You can already see an increase in released programs, just look at http://www.os4depot.net/index.php?function=recent and you’ll notice a good deal of both hobby and more serious software being uploaded. I don’t care what you chose to do at your own free time, so don’t tell others what they chose is a waste of time.
“Point is, I have a good time with my Amiga, and yes, I do think it can “come back” at one time. I don’t think it’ll be as big as it was back then, but just having 5000 users would be a comeback in my eyes.”
It would be amazing if you will get 500 users back…
“You can already see an increase in released programs, just look at http://www.os4depot.net/index.php?function=recent and you’ll notice a good deal of both hobby and more serious software being uploaded”
Wow, nearly 500 apps available and most things are SDL and lame *nix Ports. Amazing, Amiga will rule the world.
> > Even this OS4 is build since 4 years and its only a port to PowerPC
True, it has taken time BUT it is far more than just “a port to PowerPC”!
The ORIGINAL goal for OS4 was to be just a code-cleanup, and port to PPC, but the developers decided to include functionally previously planned for OS4.1 into OS4.0!!
> > How many users still have a so called next generation Amiga? 500? 800?
Maybe about 900, but the initial OS is called a Pre-Release. Only developers and Die-Hard Amigans have either;
(a) A developement version of OS4.0 running on CyberstormPPC-A4000s (or equivalent), or SE/XEs.
(b) OS4.0 PreRelease running on SE/XE/Micro hardware.
The in-developement versions are far ahead of other’s PreRelease versions!
> > The platform is dead.
The platform is FAR from dead! Ownership of A1-OS4.0 PreRelease systems among user-group memberships is presently at a low percentage.
But that is certain to change when lower-cost hardware, and the FULL release version of OS4.0, are available!
> > Its funny to see that people still thinking the Amiga could come back.
Hmmm! Its funny (but tragic) that opinions are so based on incorrect information, and ignorance!
> > I would need Photoshop, OpenOffice, Firefox and some modern games too. Amiga has nothing of this.
You are just defining why YOU have no attraction to OS4.0 . . . which is a different topic from why others are attracted to this OS!
I seriously doubt that all computer users look to you to decide their OS choices.
> > It would be amazing if you will get 500 users back…
Won’t be just 500 if just one-third of those 90% user-group members still uncommitted change their status!
> > Amazing, Amiga will rule the world.
Not even Microsoft “rules the world”. OS Diversity is superior to OS Monopoly.
One size does not suit all!
Yes, one realises that OSs are really for at least some a kind of cross between a social club, a family, and a religion. I’m delighted to hear they are all having fun together. They seem terribly nice. In fact, hey seem much less bigoted and self righteous than the equivalent Mac people. But maybe time and falling market share will mellow those guys too?
Anyway, good luck to you, Amigans all! And to you Macians as well!