Big news from the Amiga world this weekend. That stubborn bunch are holding AmiWest 2011 this weekend, and it’s been one heck of an eventful little, uh, event. Not only will the AmigaOne X1000 start shipping by year’s end, Hyperion also announced something many in the Amiga world have been waiting for for a long time: an Amiga laptop. Update: Steven Solie, AmigaOS’ team lead, also held a presentation about the past, present, and future of AmigaOS. The team is working on some pretty interesting stuff – protected address space, multicore support, USB3, new printing subsystem, and much more.
It’s been a long and sock-filled journey, but the exciting and unique AmigaOne X1000 is nearing completion. AmiKit, one of the main distributors of Amiga computers and related materials, is already taking pre-orders, with the computers expecting to ship around Christmas. Thanks to its use of the rare P.A. Semi PowerPC processor, the X1000 is the only computer to ship with an Apple processor that isn’t a Mac or iOS device.
The full list of specifications:
- Dual-core 1.8GHz PowerISA v2.04+ CPU.
- “Xena” 500MHz XMOS XS1-L1 128 SDS.
- ATI Radeon R700 graphics card.
- 2GB RAM.
- 500GB Hard drive.
- 22x DVD combo drive.
- Customised case, keyboard and mouse.
- 7.1 channel HD audio.
- Ports and connectors:
- 4x DDR2 RAM slots.
- 10x USB 2.0.
- 1x Gigabit Ethernet.
- 2x PCIe x16 slots (1×16 or 2×8).
- 2x PCIe x1 slots.
- 1x Xorro slot.
- 2x PCI legacy slots.
- 2x RS232.
- 4x SATA 2 connectors.
- 1x IDE connector.
- JTAG connector.
- 1x Compact Flash.
Before we get to the price, bear in mind that this computer was not designed to be competitive on price or even features. Basically, the X1000 was designed to be the best and fastest Amiga computer possible, with little regarded for keeping costs down. This machine is not for average, every-day users – this is for the Amiga connoisseur. And being a connoisseur comes at a price. A hefty price.
“The ‘First Contact’ system includes the official AmigaOne X1000 ‘Boing Ball’ case in either black or white and includes the Nemo rev 2.1 motherboard complete with 1GB of DDR2 RAM, a Radeon HD4650 graphics card, 500GB HDD, DVR R/W optical drive, Audio & Ethernet cards. Prices start from Â£1699 (excluding AmigaOS4 license, shipping, handling and sales tax),” the AmigaKit press release states, “Optional extras include the ‘Boing Ball’ keyboard & mouse, Ram, HDD & Optical drive upgrade options plus Debian Squeeze pre-installed in a dual booting configuration with AmigaOS4.”
That’s quite the price right there, especially since this listed price doesn’t include the AmigaOS4 license just yet. Then again, as said, you can’t expect a system with such exotic hardware to be cheap, and I doubt those that have expressed interest in this machine will care too much about the price tag – much in the same way that Bethesda could ask â‚¬150 for Skyrim and I’d still buy it without a shred of doubt.
Good news, then, that something else lies on the horizon, something Amiga fans have been asking and hoping for for a long time now. Yes, At AmiWest, Hyperion, the company that develops AmigaOS, has announced a PowerPC netbook which is already running AmigaOS4. Sticker shock won’t be an issue here – the netbook will cost between $300 and $500 (which includes AmigaOS4), which would make this the perfect entry-level Amiga machine. If they manage to hit the $300 price point, I’m pretty sure they’d be able to push quite a few of these (relative to the more expensive X1000 and various sam440-based Amigas).
So, what can we expect from this machine? Well, it’s ‘sourced in a special configuration from an OEM’. Current prototypes have an integrated graphics chip, 512 MB of RAM, a few gigabytes of storage, the usual array of USB/audio/ethernet ports, and a wireless chip. AmigaOS4 is already running on it, but in an early state. It is expected to be released somewhere in mid-2012.
This is very exciting news. If you has asked me only a few years ago if any alternative operating system with special hardware requirements could survive, you’d get a clear and duh-like ‘no’ – and yet, here we are, with the X1000 right around the corner, the AmigaOne 500 by Acube, and now an Amiga netbook on the horizon.
Exciting times indeed. I’m happy there are real Amigans working on real Amigas, instead of people just slapping a logo on an Atom box and charging â‚¬1200 for the privilege to run Ubuntu on an outdated machine. Can you imagine people doing the latter? My, that would be just silly!