Amiga & AROS Archive

Cloanto confirms transfers of Commodore/Amiga copyrights

In the last few months, Cloanto started distributing Amiga System Software - the publisher traditionally refers to it as "Workbench" instead of "AmigaOS" - on CF cards, Floppy Disks and as a downloadable Workbench Disk Image Pack. Approached by Amiga-News, Cloanto's Michael Battilana confirmed that the company owns the copyrights for all works created by the Commodore/Amiga companies up to 1993.

That seems like Cloanto now owns everything - but nothing could be farther from the truth, as the article details. Pieces of Amiga-related intellectual property are currently owned by three different companies, and there are also a few things with an unclear status.

Cynically, you could rephrase the headline as 'Amiga IP ownership situation gets little less messy'.

Hyperion, company behind AmigaOS 4, declared bankrupt

Hyperion Entertainment Cvba in Sint-Agatha-Berchem (Brussel) was declared bankrupt by the court in Brussel on 27-01-2015. The appointed curator is Bert Dehandschutter. The company number is 466380552. The (main) activity of Hyperion Entertainment Cvba is computer programming, consultancy and related activities.

Hyperion is the company that developers AmigaOS 4.x. I've never quite understood how, exactly, the licensing situation was arranged - the owned the right to develop the operating system, but did not own the brands and operating system itself etc. etc. - but let's just hope this isn't the end of the road for AmigaOS.

Icaros Desktop 2.0.3 released

Icaros Desktop is a distribution - if you will - of AROS. Its latest version was released over the weekend.

Once again, system files have been brought to Jan 6 nightly build (with all the fixes introduced by Deadwood in AROS ABIv0), including changes to workbench themeing system and locale library. We've now fixed localization (which stopped working with update 2.0.2) and themes, whose structure has changed a little in the meanwhile (the 'revert' image that was originally included in a subdirectory, has been moved to its parent directory and renamed to 'DirUp', and this for every given theme in the distribution). Update 2.0.3 now reflects these changes and themes work again as expected. This means that Wanderer's "Parent" (or "go back", or "dir up" as you wish to call it) button is now working again, not only on X86 but even on 68K Wanderer, where it disappeared since v2.0.0.

Hyperion to release AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition for all Amiga platforms

Hyperion Entertainment is pleased to announce the imminent availability of "AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition" for all supported platforms.

AmigaOS 4.1 was released in September of 2008 and has seen no less than 6 free major updates and at least 88 smaller updates released through AmiUpdate.

Aside from being a rollup of all previous updates, this release also brings a bunch of improvements and fixes of its own, so it's a worthwhile update for all AmigaOS 4.x users.

AmigaOS 3.1 is now available on diskettes again

Our customers have regularly been asking for replacement Workbench floppy disk sets since their older disks have either become corrupted or worn out due to age. About a year ago, we approached our friends at Cloanto to enquire about a possible solution. As a result, we are pleased to announce the immediate availability of new Workbench 3.1 Floppy Disk Set.

This isn't just a really old operating system generating enough demand to be sold, but it's also on floppy. So awesome.

Unknown Warhol works discovered on Amiga disks from 1985

Via Ars Technica.

A multi-institutional team of new-media artists, computer experts, and museum professionals have discovered a dozen previously unknown experiments by Andy Warhol (BFA, 1949) on aging floppy disks from 1985.

Warhol's Amiga experiments were the products of a commission by Commodore International to demonstrate the graphic arts capabilities of the Amiga 1000 personal computer. Created by Warhol on prototype Amiga hardware in his unmistakable visual style, the recovered images reveal an early exploration of the visual potential of software imaging tools, and show new ways in which the preeminent American artist of the 20th century was years ahead of his time.

Great to have this stuff preserved properly now. At the time, the Amiga was so ahead of the competition that most people didn't really understand what they were looking at. It took the competition - Apple, Microsoft - a decade, or even longer, to catch up. Andy Warhol demonstrated this huge technical lead by creating these works of art on the Amiga in 1985.

FUSE and NTFS for AmigaOS

The Amiga Operating System implementation of FUSE has been realized via a project called Filesysbox by Leif Salomonsson. A special thanks goes out to Leif for allowing his hard work to be utilized.

Amiga programmer extraordinaire Fredrik Wikström was then commissioned to port Filesysbox over to AmigaOS. Fredrik took the original code and updated it to AmigaOS 4.1 standards. This work included utilizing advanced DOS features such as object notification and the new file system API which seeks to completely avoid the esoteric DOS packet interface. Colin Wenzel is the main man behind the advanced DOS features.

Since I'm sure at least some of you will do a double-take upon reading this summary: they're referring to another kind of DOS.

AmigaONE X1000 successor coming, AmigaOS to get SMP support

A-EON Technology, the company behind the AmigaONE X1000, has not exactly been sitting still. They're hard at work developing the successor to the Nemo motherboard (which powers the X1000): it's called Cyrus, and is built around Freescale QorIQ processors, ranging from 32bit 1.5 Ghz (the P3) to 64bit 2.4 Ghz (the P5). Users have been invited to join the beta test programme for this new board, which will eventually power the successor to the X1000. On top of that, A-EON will invest $1.2 million in their partnership with Varisys, the company that builds the Amiga hardware.

Hyperion, the company that develops AmigaOS, hasn't been twiddling their thumbs either. The biggest hurdle the AmigaOS 4 developers are facing right now is SMP, but work on this issue is progressing.

One of the major hurdles right now, as AmigaOS Development Team Lead Steven Solie implied, is getting the AmigaOS Exec-kernel to support multiple CPU cores. As part of the process, a new so called "scheduler" is being implemented. The new scheduler is apparently already running in the current, internal builds of AmigaOS although Steven suggested there will be room for improvement and optimizations prior to an official release. AmigaOS 4.2 will also introduce the Gallium3D WinSys API for hardware accelerated 3D graphics.

As always with these niche products built by and for enthusiasts, it's hard to tell where it will lead to. However, fact remains that the X1000 was apparently a big enough of a success for A-EON to invest into the next generation, and for Hyperion to continue work on getting AmigaOS to support SMP - something that only benefits A-EON's machines.

While everyone else is whining about iOS and Android, the Amiga people are still doing their thing. You have to respect that.

AROS research on SMP

'Silly-SMP' is a project to determine "What are the minimal changes needed to AROS to support 'full' SMP? Is it even possible?"

This is Research with a capital 'R'.

But that '25% of the time' _does_ show that a full SMP system on AROS is possible.

This is quite a big deal for the Amiga world - and proves that, in my view, AROS has more of a future than AmigaOS will ever have: it's portable, and it's open source, so experiments like this are more likely to happen.

Interview: Trevor Dickinson of A-EON Technology

The interview details, among many other things, the follow up to the AmigaOne X1000: "The Cyrus development is the future replacement for the Nemo motherboard when the supply of P.A. Semi CPUs finally dries up or the price becomes commercially unviable. The Cyrus board was the original Revision 1.0 prototype and was completed towards the end of last year. Cyrus Plus is the Revision 2.0 board which includes additional PCIe and PCI slots. The Cyrus design is based on the Freescale P5020 CPU which is a dual-core 64-bit PowerPC SoC. It also supports DDR3 RAM and includes an improved Xena/Xorro combination." Crazy powerful hardware for an operating system that doesn't even support any for of SMP. I admire the hardware they've been able to build and sell, but the real issue is, of course, AmigaOS itself - touch-ups, sure, but it's still heavily outdated in almost every aspect and can't really make much use of the powerful hardware it is given.

A history of the Amiga, part 8: The demo scene

"As computer games became more and more complex in the late 1980s, the days of the individual developer seemed to be waning. For a young teenager sitting alone in his room, the dream of creating the next great game by himself was getting out of reach. Yet out of this dilemma these same kids invented a unique method of self-expression, something that would end up enduring longer than Commodore itself. In fact, it still exists today. This was the demo scene."

AmigaOS 4.1 update 6 has been released

"Update 6 is a rather unique update in that it includes no bug fixes. What Update 6 does include is a new and more efficient way of delivering bug fixes. A new 'Update software...' menu item on Workbench now launches AmiUpdate which will now handle all future AmigaOS software updates." A nice universal operating system update functionality is always nice.

MorphOS: Amiga operating system meets PowerPC Macs

Low End Mac's Sebastian Patten takes a look at MorphOS 3. "MorphOS is for Amiga users. Period. And it's for those Macintosh users who like to experiment and experience a new operating system on their PowerPC Macs. That's where I see myself, and I had a lot of fun playing around with MorphOS on my eMac. It is not a full OS X replacement, but it can come close to it, depending on your computer needs."

New Icaros Desktop supports old Amiga M68K applications

The AROS distribution Icaros Desktop has made its next step towards compatibility with legacy Amiga workbench applications, including an entire AROS enviroment compiled for the classic Amiga platform, which is almost binary compatible with the original Amiga OS 3.1 (and its extensions). When the user needs an old program, he or she only has to fire up the AROS M68K environment and run the application. The Amiga virtual machine can optionally be set to run at startup like a system service.

Trevor Dickinson on various Amiga-related subjects

I don't really know which part to quote here, but I urge you to read Trevor Dickinson's latest blog entry. Trevor is one of the driving forces behind the AmigaONE X1000, and a major Amiga enthusiast with an extensive collection of machines and loads of experience. His post covers all sorts of various stuff from the Amiga world, and definitely worth a read. He's also the person behind the delicious sock cake. Also, the OSNews title here is terrible. Sorry.