Solène created a week-long personal computing challenge around old computers. I chose to use an Amiga for the week. In this issue I write about my experience, and what modern computing lost when Commodore died. I also want to show some of the things you can do with an Amiga or even an emulator if you’d like to try.
I’ve tried to get into the Amiga-like operating systems – MorphOS, AROS, Amiga OS 4 – but the platform just doesn’t suit me. I find them convoluted, incomprehensible, and frustratingly difficult to use. Not that it matters – I’m not here to ruin the Amiga community’s party – but if they want to sustain that community instead of having it die out as their user numbers dwindle due to old age, they might want to consider making their operating systems a little less… Obtuse.
It’s ‘different’. Once you understand the concepts behind it and think of it like a Workbench, it makes a lot more sense.
A cool, but painful for people used to modern operating systems, is the power of the Icon in Amiga Workbench. Like a bash script in Linux, you can set up environment variables with an icon.
For example, highlighting HDToolbox, then go up to Icon -> Information and then you’ll have a dialog where you can set things like the device that HDToolbox should scan for setting up partitions. Or with things like WHDLoad you can have it call other programs (for example to turn off your networking as it interferes with certain games).
I quite like Amiga Workbench, and find it to be a very powerful system. Certainly wish Commodore hadn’t died when they did, and wonder what a modern day Amiga built with loads of money would actually look like.