Amiga & AROS Archive

Well-known secrets of AmigaDOS

In keeping with the Commodore tradition of cost cutting, most consumer models of their Amiga line of computers came with severely watered down documentation. The Amiga 500 was an exception from this rule, but owners of later machines – such as the A1200 – may not have gotten any documentation for the command line part of AmigaOS at all. And, of course, even if this documentation had shipped with the machines, it wouldn’t have revealed features that were hidden to anyone without access to official developer documentation or even left completely undocumented or unfinished. This is a quick look at a few of these interesting features, some more obscure than others, but all of them decidedly useful. Most of them only apply to versions 2.x and/or 3.x of the OS. With that said, let’s dive right in! ↫ Carl Svensson Exactly what it says on the tin.

Grind: a first person shooter for the Amiga 500

‘Dread’ has been featured many times on Indie Retro News, as with every new update the Amiga 500 version looked better than ever with fabulous new textures and new zones to visit. Well if you’re looking for more gaming news on this upcoming first person shooter, we have not only been informed that a new demo has been made available, but the latest footage and detailed press release shows that John is true to his word in bringing a Doom-like experience to the Amiga as the holy-grail of Amiga gaming! So without further-ado, here’s the latest blurb about this incredible looking game. I can’t believe they manage to squeeze this out of an A1200, let alone an A500. This is some serious wizardry.

Amiga systems programming in 2023

I’ve always loved building tools and platforms, and have long been fascinated with the world of operating systems. Apart from reading through the source code (where that’s legally available, of course…) I think there’s no better way to explore and understand a system – and the mindset that produced it – than to develop for it. What follows is a brain-dump of what I’ve learned about developing for the AmigaOS, both on classic 68k-powered hardware to modern PowerPC systems like the X5000. I’ll cover development environments, modern workflows like CI builds on containerised infrastructure, distribution of packages and even a look back in time before C existed, thanks to AmigaDOS’s odd heritage. If you want to develop for Amiga OS – and you should, because the more people develop for alternative and classic platforms, even if only as an occassional side project, the better – this is a great place to start.

Making Amiga IFF thumbnails work in Linux

I was having an email conversation with Stoo Cambridge, and he mentioned that he was having trouble making his Linux machine display thumbnails of Amiga IFF/ILBM files. It turns out I have a solution for him, so I am sharing it here to help anyone else. The number of people to whom this is relevant must be minute, but that’s exactly what why it’s perfect OSNews material.

Update 2 of AmigaOS 3.2 released

Hyperion Entertainment has released another update for AmigaOS 3.2 for classic Amigas, coming with a number of improvements and bug fixes. I’m not entirely sure what to make of all this, though, since the drama around the ownership of the Amiga operating system, the trademarks, and more, as well as continuous accusations of Hyperion not paying any of its developers, have reached a fever pitch, as documented in this elaborate piece. As much as I would want to dive into all this and properly vet every single source in that article, for the sake of my sanity, I am just not going to. The soap opera around the Amiga has been going on for so long, and has jumped the shark so many times, I just don’t know where to start. I’ll leave you all with the detailed piece and its sources, and let you decide for yourself what to make of it all. I ain’t got the patience for this.

AmigaOS 3.2.1 released

AmigaOS 3.2.1 fixes several bugs and additionally comes with new features. The team of developers and testers have worked ever since the release of AmigaOS 3.2 fixing bugs and implementing new features. They have read social platforms for user anecdotes, videos and reviews, and are excited by the positive reception and feedback. The Amiga will never die.

Atari ST in daily use since 1985

This Atari 1040ST is still in use after 36 years! Frans Bos bought this Atari in 1985 to run his camp site (Camping Böhmerwald). He wrote his own software over the years to manage his camp site, as well as reservations and the registration of the guests. He really likes the speed of the machine compared to newer computers. And 6 months every year the machine is on day and night.

Personal computing on an Amiga in 2021

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.

How the Commodore Amiga powered your cable system in the ’90s

If you subscribed to cable television in the ’90s, you most likely saw Video Toaster in action on the cable dial. But the most notable use of the Amiga in cable television didn’t actually rely on Video Toaster at all. That was the Prevue Guide, which may not have gotten the attention of the MTV, TBS, or Nickelodeon in those days, but served an important purpose: It was the channel you watched to see what was on those channels. The Amiga was used in a number of projects that required on-screen graphics on TV.

AmigaOS 3.2 for all classic Amigas released

AmigaOS 3.2 comes packed with well over 100 new features, dozens of updates that cover nearly all AmigaOS components and a battery of bugfixes that will undoubtedly solidify the user experience. This is a large overhaul of Amiga 3.x for 68k-based Amigas developed by Hyperion Entertainment. There’s a very long changelog available on Hyperion’s site, but one very interesting addition is built-in ADF management which greatly simplifies dealing with floppy disk images.

AmiSSL 4.9 released

This is version 4.9 of the open-source based AmiSSL library for Amiga based operating systems. Version 4.x is a new major release which comes with full compatibility to the OpenSSL 1.1.x line which includes important security related fixes, TLSv1.3 and comes with new encryption ciphers which are required nowadays to connect to modern SSL-based services (e.g. HTTPS). This may seem like a small update to an insignificant package, but it’s hugely important for smaller operating systems like Amiga OS to remain usable in this day and age.

Update 2 for AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition released

Hyperion Entertainment is proud to announce the immediate release of update 2 for AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition. Update 2 is by far the largest update ever released for AmigaOS and includes more than 200 updated components with hundreds of bug fixes, improvements and new features and six completely new OS components. The update is the combined effort of four years of AmigaOS development and will bring AmigaOS4.1 Final Edition to a completely new level of stability and usability. This seems like a very large bug-fix and stability release, but since AmigaOS 4 is so hard to find proper hardware for, it’s difficult to keep up with the state of the platform. ACube did announce a new batch of Sam460cr boards that can run Amiga OS 4, but I doubt it will be many, and the pricing is, as with everything Amiga OS 4, not exactly cheap. I understand ACube is a small manufacturer, and I’m not at all saying they have much of a choice, but almost €500 to be able to run Amiga OS 4 is a lot to ask of newcomers.

Icaros Desktop 23 released

A brand new version of Icaros Desktop is finally ready for everyone. What you have under your eyes is the result of a very long work of analysis and revision, which covers different aspects of the distribution, in its native soul and in the hosted one. We wondered what users would love and how we could make Icaros Desktop more useful and, thanks to the work of third-party application programmers, today we can offer you an operating environment that’s more useful and more beautiful than ever. The novelties to talk about are many: from the Leu spreadsheet to the SilkRAW image reader, from the incredible RNOPublisher DTP to new games, but, above all, the hosted version of Icaros Desktop is the one which has taken a decisive step forward, both for Linux and Windows. The news are so many that, this time, we will list them in different sections. Icaros Desktop is effectively an AROS distribution, and AROS is the Amiga Research Operating System, an open source reimplementation of the Amiga operating system, version 3.x.

Little things that made Amiga great

In a time when home PC’s were single tasking DOS boxes with 8 character file names and Ataris and Macs were single tasking GUI boxes, hampering any hacker with their glaring lack of a CLI, the Amiga was a champion of both worlds: It combined the CLI and GUI, leveraging both their strengths. But there was more to it than that, something that’s hard to convey in so many words. A long list of little things that the author believes made the Amiga great. There’s some interesting touches in there, but personally, the Amiga OS and its derivatives just do not click with me – and I’ve extensively used all of them. Not that it matters, though – there’s more than enough love for the Amiga to go around.

Looking back on 35 years as an Amiga user

Speaking of the Amiga: Thirty five years ago I became an Amiga user. One of the first, actually. This is a meandering and reminiscent post of sorts, written to mark the Amiga’s 35th anniversary and the 35 years I have known and loved the system. The Amiga is such an odd platform. Against every single odd ever created, it is still around, it still has an incredibly dedicated community maintaining, upgrading, and expanding both the hardware and software of not only the classic Amiga, but also the ‘modern’ Amiga OS 4 platform. And on top of all that, there’s MorphOS steadily improving every single release, and AROS as the open source alternative. The dedication the loyal Amiga fanbase displays every single day for 35 years now is inspiring. I’ve extensively tested, explored, and used both Amigs OS 4 and MorphOS, and while neither of those click with me in any way, I can’t help but admire the Amiga community as a whole – the usual warts that go with vibrant communities and all. Here’s to another 35 years, you crazy bastards.

The Amiga 1000 Phoenix Enhanced motherboard got their hands on an extremely rare motherboard replacement for the Amiga 1000 – the Amiga 1000 Phoenix Enhanced motherboard. It’s difficult to say exactly how many of these were made, but some people claim around 200, while others peg the number at around 2000. Either way, they are rare. They set around to get it to work, which required a lot of work. There’s tons of photos in the article, and you can go to this forum post for another user who came to own one of these rare motherboards for more information.

Amiga machine code course

Here you’ll find my complete set of posts covering the Amiga Machine Code course. The course consists of twelve letters and two disks, that can be found here. The letters are available as PDF’s in their original Danish language as well as translated to English. Some light reading for the weekend.