Home > Morphos > MorphOS 1.4 Review MorphOS 1.4 Review Submitted by Kelly Samel 2003-08-20 Morphos 30 Comments This is a review of the recently released version 1.4 of MorphOS running on the Pegasos computer system written by Kelly Samel of Emerald Imaging. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 30 Comments 2003-08-20 6:58 pm But I’m not going to pay $500 for the chance to use it. I’d like (and I read somewhere its possible) to see this available for dual boot on Macs. As long as it was priced reasonably I dont see why it wouldn’t do fairly well. 2003-08-20 7:05 pm The price is kind of high. It certainly looks like a good OS, but i’m not gonna pay $500 for something that doesn’t have a whole lot of awesome software right now. Also, where’s the office suite for this system? It can’t be a serious option unless one of these is available… 2003-08-20 7:29 pm that hardly anybody without geek-interesst or serious amiga (or anti _amiga_) background will buy this board while priced that high… But amiga interessted people as well as geeks or people with some idealism behind their bahaving will probably… -A Anyway it looks __very__ attracting!!!-NICE Nomatter what M(r) B(ig) sais 🙂 2003-08-20 7:47 pm The Pegasos 1 is not available for buyers anymore because of the buggy northbridge (ArticiaS) which doesn’t perform very well. Genesi don’t plan to produce and sell any Pegasos 1 systems anymore. Thus they concentrate on the Pegasos 2 which should be available in a few months including a different Northbridge based upon the Marvell chip. The prices have been published already: Pegasos 2 G3 = 299 Euro Pegasos 2 G4 = 499 Euro Please note you don’t pay that money for the OS you pay the money for the Hardware + OS and you are able to run Linux and various other Operating Systems on it. While you still belive the price is too high compared to the cheap PC alternatives I must tell you that your thoughts are only half true. The entire Pegasos System including CPU, Harddisk eats around 20 – 30 Watts. That’s 1/4 of what an Pentium or AMD CPU on it’s own eat. If you now count the money you save over one year of usage then you figure out that the Hardware is not that expensive as initially assumed. After 2 years of running the Hardware you save quite some more. You can then spent the saved money to buy a new Flatscreen or update to an even newer Pegasos system. 2003-08-20 8:43 pm I ordered my Peg1(april2), G3, 512 mb RAM on tuesday. Cant wait to get it :-)) AxelD: Get that OBOS port running will ya :-)) – hUMUNGUs 2003-08-20 8:48 pm What you said about the pegasos is true, BUT I believe that if they offered the OS standalone for say ~$60US they could grow a fair userbase amongst those of us who have used (and loved) amigas in the past. I’ve moved over to Apple and since the hardware configuration isn’t hugely different it seems like it could be done rather quickly. Maybe I’m just being a little picky, but the idea of another box with just a few OS’s (MOS, Linux, AmigaOS) on it doesn’t sound that appealing. Although if they offer it for Mac hardware I can assure them that I’d buy it. 2003-08-20 9:12 pm @xdfgf > BUT I believe that if they offered the OS standalone for say > ~$60US they could grow a fair userbase amongst those of us > who have used (and loved) amigas in the past. > Although if they offer it for Mac hardware I can assure them > that I’d buy it. Genesi seems to focus on selling their hardware, with MorphOS as a preinstalled “bonus”. Kinda like playing the Apple game, but with a cheaper price and more geek/enthusiast/multi-OS oriented. I too think there are quite a number of people like you around, prepared to re-enter the Amiga(-ish) realm. Things don’t look too good though. Genesi is focused on the Pegasos, like Apple is focused on selling Macs. I gotta say that I think the Pegasos (and what’s been announced about its successor Pegasos II) is competitive to Macs. There’s always AmigaOS4, whenever that’s available, but even though there won’t be any more Amiga hardware, and Amiga, Inc. in no way is comparable to Genesi/Apple, you’ll only be allowed to buy and run AmigaOS when it’s bundled with third party hardware (currently the Teron PX, a.k.a. the $800 “AmigaOne”) from dealers (well, Eyetech) who have bought a meaningless “Amiga” trademark license. See the site linked from my nick for more on that. 2003-08-20 11:29 pm They do make money of the hardware primarily. Although I would like to see some sort of MorphOS PE like BeOS had where you could download it and install it inside of your native OS and then decide whether or not it was worth your time learning the system or your money. I could live with that. I would love to try this software but the investment in yet another box for my desk is a bit steep. 2003-08-21 1:23 am anr is not morphos native, it’s a 68k soft 2003-08-21 2:22 am Kelly Samel obviously put some time in to make a nice, in-detail review with a lot of screenshots and information not only for newcomers but for MorphOS users too. Thanks Kelly! I like MorphOS 1.4 a lot too. One of the things I like about it is the new MP3 and Ogg Vorbis music player called “Kaya.” And just today a DIVX and mPeg and etc. video player was released which works great and loads videos totally fast. It has been a good few weeks for MorphOS and Pegasos users. 2003-08-21 2:26 am Please tell me where you just ordered your Pegasos w. April 2 and if they have some more. PS: email me and don’t tell anybody else, thx. 2003-08-21 6:19 am Now there’s something it’s best for them that no-one from Apple reads. And if there’s a Gentoo port in progress, why aren’t Gentoo aware of it? 2003-08-21 10:13 am As its pretty much an Illigal AOS Clone. It may not be anything amiga like at its core, but the os that you see maintaines the entire aos structure and layout. Sincec the real AmigaOS is still owned and exists, the mos team could expect a nice lawsuit if they try to sell there os as if it was the real amigaos. The hyperion team got the Licence to continue AmigaOS. Apple wouldnt stand for it, ,Microsoft certainly wouldnt stand for it (Lindows ?) why should Amiga stand for it. 2003-08-21 10:34 am There’s actually a suit in which Genesi attacks Amiga.inc for braking contract (porting AmigaDe to Pegasos) but no Morphos does not use amiga source code: it use Aros (another AmigaOs clone…) parts. Moreover AmigaOs structure is not copyrighted AFAIK. 2003-08-21 10:40 am regardless of if its copywritted, theyve gone out and cloned the AmigaOS which is bad for them. As to the source code, only the mos dedvs know that and there not gonna come out and admit it are they. AmigaDE, well i guess it only matters if gensi paid upfrfont for it which i doubt so they havent lost anything so cant see it going too far. Interesting Thread on Amiga Org popped up btw, http://amiga.org/modules/news/article.php?storyid=2588 2003-08-21 11:09 am By that argument Linux would also be illegal…as would AMD, VIA and transmeta CPUs. Guess what – they’re not. The legal argument is nothing more then FUD (can you say SCO?), they even threatened to sue a year ago – we’re still waiting… However, You seem to misunderstand copyright law. Even if the AmigaOS structure was copyrighted it can still be legally re-implemented since copyright only applies to the original implementation. They’ve gone out and cloned the AmigaOS No, they’ve created a different system in a “box” on a different CPU architecture which includes AmigaOS API compatibility, this is quite different from a clone which would be an exact copy. The lower levels of MorphOS are very different and much more modern in design. So yes, MorphOS can be sold perfectly legally. 2003-08-21 11:17 am “No, they’ve created a different system in a “box” on a different CPU architecture which includes AmigaOS API compatibility, this is quite different from a clone which would be an exact copy.” The main claim is that it is not a clean room implementation, because those involved have had sight of original Amiga OS code. However, the failure of Amiga Inc to actively protect their copyright probably means that it is too late now for them to do anything about it, at least in the US. 2003-08-21 11:21 am Nice Troll. Wrong context. This bullshit has been chewed over and over on various Amiga related pages and you are well aware that MorphOS is not illegal, nor stolen code nor violating any licenses. I wish there would be some sort of Mike Bouma who shows up in no time moderating even wrong spelled words down but we can’t expect to have such a person for MorphOS related informations. MorphOS is a pretty nice Operating System written by people who share the same roots as other Amigans, the same people who hold the back of the legitimate owner of Amiga for many years but then one day realized that there is no forward and no back. They have decided to write a totally new OS from scratch which results in MorphOS, this OS benefits from not containing the same mistakes made in the old AmigaOS (Kickstart) e.g. no hardware banging parts, memoryprotection and various other things. MorphOS is a nice Microkernel with the known layers on it e.g. ABox and soon the QBox. It’s hard for the developers to serve all requirements of their users at one time. But all this are known facts that can be read on all sorts of pages. I must really tell you that I feel sad for your ramblings and trolling since we share the same roots as community and you as obvious pro Amiga follow hurt yourself by spreading all these lies and untrue things and I recommend that you come up with hard facts that proves you right otherwise I recommend you shut up. MorphOS is not illegal, Pegasos is not illegal, Running Amiga applications on MorphOS is not illegal and if you declare it that way then you need to declare UAE, WinUAE, Amithlon and AROS to be illegal as well and this is quite a stupid thing to do. We need AROS, we need the Amithlon people and we need the people using UAE and still do some hacking on it. Who knows how the future of Hyperion or AmigaINC look ? We can’t tell it yet, same for Genesi (while their chance to survive looks really promising). So I have to tell and I mean this to everyone, please stop your spreading shit because it doesn’t hurt Genesi at the end. It hurts you as user and it hurts your own system. What do you people think (or not thingk) by your actions ? The public readers who are probably NOT knowing about the Amiga or the Pegasos and who may be interested to try the system or have a peek on it may get a total wrong impression because of some wannabe’s spreading shit in the public. 2003-08-21 11:23 am Rose, I have a Gentoo person or two on the Phoenix list for people involved in porting efforts; they had requested to be on it specifically for that reason. Mad-Matty, you need a refresher course – or is that a intro course, OS 101. A compatible API with extensions does not mean that the OS itself is a clone – or by your inference, that it is “stolen”. Not so different from a several OSes that have POSIX compliance but are architecurally strangers. 2003-08-21 11:31 am “The main claim is that it is not a clean room implementation, because those involved have had sight of original Amiga OS code.” a) Fact is that over the half of the original Amiga sources are written in MC680x0 Machine language. Thus quite useless on PowerPC. (This is known fact and even writen in all sorts of Reference Manuals). b) A lot of parts were Hardware banging things such as accessing the Custom Chips and special Hardware only available in the native Amiga. Thus it’s quite useless for PowerPC. c) Peeking in the internals of Amiga is no secret specially not for an attentive programmer who use to work on that system for many years. Such information goes into blood after a while. d) Before someone goes to look in the ASM code and then convert any MC680x0 sources to PowerPC ASM source it would be wiser and quite faster and less stress for the programmer to re-code the entire stuff from scratch with modern implementations and interfaces rather than bullshitting on the old sources (in case someone saw them). e) Re-Using some parts from AROS is no sign of being helpless. It’s a sign of being professional and share code with people who already spent a lot of time into solving these problems and AROS obviously benefit from this co-operation. It’s professional sign to do code-reuse rather than re-inventing the wheel over and over again. 2003-08-21 12:29 pm And if there’s a Gentoo port in progress, why aren’t Gentoo aware of it? There was an unreleased port at one stage but alas it fell victim to the fork. Hopefully well get another one back on track soon. 2003-08-21 3:47 pm Quite a few OSes have drawn upon AmigaOS for inspiration (BEOS, AtheOS to name a couple) in some way. Many have copied, borrowed, stolen ideas from MacOS. The Win95 look and feel has been cloned by many Linux window managers. But why clone an entire operating system? I’d rather see something new, rather than a pale imitation with a few bells and whistles bolted on. Isn’t MorhpOS at somepoint supposed to leave its Amiga roots behind altogether, and go its own way? Q-os(?) 2003-08-21 4:18 pm “But why clone an entire operating system?” This question is far easy to answer while agree’ing to most of your points on the otherhand. The entire Amiga System it’s OS and philosophy is around 20 years old now. Any many people who used the Amiga and who disappeared for using another OS still say that there is nothing better than the AmigaOS that they have used. So from pratical experience to say many people still love the AmigaOS and those who disappeared still say the same. They went from one system to another and never found themselves fit on these systems because they all have quite some disadvantages. That also was the intention for the MorphOS people to code their OS. It’s not a ‘clone’ as you would say because this implies that the OS would be copied 1:1 and the same old disadvantages would have been taken as well. No the decision to write MorphOS (as I have read it) was that the original AmigaOS (Kick 3.1/WB 3.1) finally reached a point where it made no sense to continue using it the way it was. There were a few things that caused problems like the hardware banging pieces, the assembly writen pieses and so on. This doesn’t mean that the OS itself from usability was bad but some technical aspects wasn’t time conform anymore. And there was also the soap opera between a bunch of companies and licensing issues and childish behaviour that gave the developers some reason to start again from scratch rather than hacking around on old sources and waste to much time. You know writing from scratch is better and mostly easier for some developer. Now all began with AROS some years back as first Operating System of AMIGA’s nature. It was called the Amiga Research Operating System made by some hackers around the globe as researching object who developed on it and so on. A few years later MorphOS was born (I don’t know exactly how it has shown it’s light) and MorphOS aim was to be THE official Amiga Operating System because of the problems I have described earlier. Hardware banging and so on. But due all this soap opera and the new legitimate owners of AmigaINC they have licensed the old AmigaOS (Kickstart and Workbench) to Hyperion Entertainment who are now doing the same thing themselves. They have rewritten a bunch of parts from the old Assembler code to new C code and so on. Basically we have 3 groups now with the same aim. To offer a modern Operating System to the public in the means of AmigaOS mostly written by Amigans, so you deal with people who know about the stuff they are working. So AROS is the oldest open source Operating System that tries to behave like an Amiga on a totally different plattfrom totally newly written from scratch but it’s development is quite slow. You know it’s always the same problem. People have no time and if you don’t get paid for your work then it mostly sucks. Thus volunteer work goes on slowly. But it does go on. MorphOS shares a few lines of code with AROS which I call a wise thing because they re-use already written components and thus the MorphOS team gives a lot of their stuff back to the AROS people who are slowly implementing these fixes to AROS. MorphOS is a commercial OS and closed because it should be sold with Pegasos PowerPC and there are a lot of powerful people working on it who also get paid for their work. It’s belivable that MorphOS is quite mature and usable these days completely written from scratch with new ideas new ways and better implementations. It’s a lot more mature than AROS which is clear due the paid developers. AmigaOS is bascially the last child in this row. Sure AmigaOS was the first of it’s all because of 20 years it has on it’s back but as I said it had a lot of machine written parts in it (Assembly) and was hardware banging. But AmigaINC felt the need to license it to Hyperion Entertainment who now took over the code and imporved it, they said that they re-placed only necessary parts from original MC680x0 Machine language to C and the rest should get emulated. They polished a lot around it and so on and no doubt enchanced a bunch of parts but it’s still fact that it contains a lot of native assembly code in it. And replacing all this will require a lot of time. Why is there so much efforts being spent into this ? Because people love the Amiga, many people even on Windows, Linux or BSD or whatever found their roots back in the former Amiga times, they lost hope 10 years ago when Commodore went bancrupt and switched to alternative systems but now with this refreshing new systems such as PowerPC and the 3 different OS’s AmigaOS, MorphOS and AROS we can now see a nice future again because we could finally say ‘wow they made their switch to PowerPC finally’ the same way like Apple did many years ago, no old hardware vs. new hardware symbiosis anymore it’s a native new hardware plattform with reasonable prices. I tend myself to pay 299 Euro for a PowerPC rather than 1000 Euro for old aged Amiga native hardware. Of course the new Systems have nothing much in common with the former Amiga Systems but on the otherhand it was about time to make a final cut under it and go a new better and furure promising way. And we now have serious competition (AmigaINC, Hyperion, Eyetech) vs. (Genesi, bPlan, Thendic) and if all ropes cut then we still have AROS to run our stuff on. Competition is necessary because Amiga slept for many years. Competition and slight fire will heat conversation and bring up new techology even faster. Competition will make an OS become better faster, more ports of thirdparty apps and many more. So basically it continues…. 2003-08-21 5:34 pm I would simply read the following: http://amiga.emugaming.com/morphoscritics.html Ralph Schmitt does a better job defending MorphOS from such accusations than I ever could. 2003-08-21 7:26 pm “a) Fact is that over the half of the original Amiga sources are written in MC680x0 Machine language. Thus quite useless on PowerPC. (This is known fact and even writen in all sorts of Reference Manuals).” The algorithms are the same, whatever the language. If the coders have seen how it is done, it is not a clean room implementation. A true clean room implementation would be done by one team (who would be familiar with the Amiga) specifying the API, while a second team, who should be people with no knowledge at all of the Amiga, implements it. The first team can the test the implementation. “c) Peeking in the internals of Amiga is no secret specially not for an attentive programmer who use to work on that system for many years. Such information goes into blood after a while.” Which makes a clean room copy impossible for such a person. “d) Before someone goes to look in the ASM code and then convert any MC680x0 sources to PowerPC ASM source it would be wiser and quite faster and less stress for the programmer to re-code the entire stuff from scratch with modern implementations and interfaces rather than bullshitting on the old sources (in case someone saw them).” Possibly it would, but there are always secondary effects, bugs and gotchas which previous workers have long since dealt with. Coding from scratch means that they all come around again. Personally, I am inclined to think that the AROS and MorphOS teams both have a moral right to produce AmigaOS clones using all their knowledge. All I am saying is that it is not a clean room implementation. 2003-08-21 7:43 pm “I would simply read the following: http://amiga.emugaming.com/morphoscritics.html“ Yes indeed. This paragraph “There were *3* books by Dr. Ruprecht with CBM DE blessing which contain a *full documented* resource of most OS 1.3 parts. Most OS structures are public or *were* public. I have all RKMs from 1.1 to 3.1 anyway..not to speak about the Gurubook and all informations CBM ever released to developers. The whole OS is quite transparent to the *experienced* developers.” confirms what I say. They know far too much about the actual Amiga OS code to make a clean room copy. But does it matter? The likelihood of Amiga Inc taking it to court is very small, and even then, a court case is a lottery because the lawyers have so little technical knowledge. You may as well toss a coin. I think the MorphOS team should just carry on doing what they are doing, making a successful successor to AmigaOS, and completely ignore the other side. There’s plenty of room in the world for several Amiga-style OSes, just as there is for several UNIX-style OSes. 2003-08-21 7:48 pm I think you are quite jealous and only searching and creating facts cut out of nowhere. I am a developer myself and know what I am talking here. It’s not like I come from nowhere – ~12 years on the Amiga gave me a lot of experience and indepth knowledge – after that ~7 years Linux. Even If they had a peeked in the code, even if they would use the original sources, even if they ripped someone off. I at the end don’t care much, what actually matters is that it’s done and done the right way. What you are talking here all the time makes no real life sense to me and is only theoretical talk like you would go and have a virgin born a child for you. The same counts for MorphOS, they can’t make an Amiga like system without having some background knowledge of how stuff is being done. I think you have some serious fanatical isses tied to your ideals and I pretty much welcome if you open the window and take a deep breath of fresh air every now and then and relax a bit. By the way your sentence: “A true clean room implementation would be done by one team (who would be familiar with the Amiga) specifying the API, while a second team, who should be people with no knowledge at all of the Amiga, implements it.” Is quite funny, it shows the public how far away from reality you are. I pretty much welcome if you DO NOT try your ANN.lu tactics on me because you will loose anyways regardless of what you try. 2003-08-21 7:50 pm “They know far too much about the actual Amiga OS code to make a clean room copy.” Perfect, as more they know as better MorphOS becomes and as better old Amiga applications work. 2003-08-21 11:24 pm But a team *did* document the API for the second team: Commodore itself Those books that Ralph mentioned were all of the API’s, published by Commodore. No access to the actual source needed, Commodore published all the material needed to close AmigaOS by itself. 2003-08-22 9:03 am As Dave Haynie pointed out the other day… This clean room argument is meaningless. In the US it would absolutely have to be a clean room implementation due to the copyright laws. But it’s not being developed in the US, it’s being done in Germany where it’s perfectly legal.