Amiga & AROS Archive

The mysterious sales numbers of Commodore computers

And yet, from our collective memories, we all believe there was some sort of Commodore product in nearly half of US households that owned a home computer, not to mention sales worldwide. The "other people" had various Atari computers or green monochrome Apple II or II+, Tandy or, ultimately DOS Frankensteins. We'll be nice and not mention the sad Coleco Adam, since most everyone has forgotten this lonely child.

But are our memories real? Was what we saw around us true, or were we living in a bubble?

I played games on a C64 when I was very young, but I don't think I've ever seen a real Amiga (aside from this stuff).

LumaFix64: Commodore 64 with less stripes

You might be asking yourself, less stripes? No, not the colorful stripes on your breadbin badge. We're talking about the stripes on the video image. The same stripes that we've all become accustomed to over the many years of playing Commodore 64 games, watching demos and carrying on with modems and BBS's. These stripes, which are actually interference, come in a variety of flavors: horizontal, vertical, and checkerboard patterns. The intensity of the stripes also varies from machine to machine. Some say with that these stripes become even more apparent when using a C64 with a modern LCD monitor.

Whether you love them or hate them, there is a solution for easing or even completely eliminating the stripes all together. The user e5frog on lemon64.com came up with a design for a carrier PCB that would sit between the VIC-II and the motherboard. It's purpose was to invert certain signals back into itself, each with an adjustable degree. These signals AEC, PHI0 and chroma are all thought to contribute to the stripes on the final output image of the C64. It's a fascinating discussion that I urge you to read.

Introducing Warp3D Nova for AmigaOS 4

A-EON Technology is pleased to announce the upcoming release of Warp3D Nova, its advanced 2D/3D shader based graphics system for AmigaOS 4 supporting selected RadeonHD 7xxx and Radeon Rx graphics cards with Southern Islands series GPUs.

Warp3D Nova delivers shader-based 3D graphics acceleration along with perpixel lighting and fluid rendering of larger vertex arrays as well as many other advanced graphics features. The addition of programmable shaders gives AmigaOS 4 developers an exciting new world of graphics possibilities. Warp3D Nova is a huge leap forward over earlier Warp3D and MiniGL implementations.

The AmigaOS clearly isn't the state of the art any longer - in case you've been living under a rock - but I am always surprised by the amount of development the platform is still seeing. Great work.

A history of the Amiga, part 9: The Video Toaster

The first killer app, VisiCalc, came out in 1979. It turned an ordinary Apple II into a financial planning tool that was more powerful and flexible than anything the world had ever seen. A refined version of this spreadsheet, Lotus 1-2-3, became the killer app that put IBM PCs in offices and homes around the world. The Macintosh, which floundered in 1985 after early adopter sales trailed off, found a profitable niche in the new world of desktop publishing with two killer apps: Aldus Pagemaker and Adobe Photoshop.

To keep up with the Joneses, the Amiga needed a killer app to survive - it found one with the Video Toaster.

This series has been running for a long, long time, and is still every bit as great.

Icaros Desktop 2.1 released

Icaros Desktop 2.1 might be named "the handlers release", but also "the YouTube one", since the best enhancement over the previous versions are the addition of new NTFS and EX-FAT filesystem handlers and the free, read-only version of GoogleDrive handler, a "driver" which allows to mount your Google Drive handler onto AROS as if it was a normal USB stick or a CD-ROM. But that's not the only good news: we've talked bout YouTube because Deadwood did the miracle again, and we can now enjoy HTML5 video as well, playing your favourite contents from YouTube and other sites. But there have been lots of little/big additions, fixed and enhancements.

Icaros Desktop is a 'distribution' of AROS, the easiest (and cheapest, as in free) way to get a taste of an AmigaOS-like operating system on generic hardware.

AmigaOS 3.1 source code leak: official statement

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is going on right now, but unless you're interested in Samsung or LG smart fridges, generic smartphones from generic vendors, or smartwatches nobody will remember or care about two weeks from now, it's kind of hard to find decent news among the cavalcade of irrelevance.

Well, there's this - an official statement from Hyperion, the developer of AmigaOS 4, regarding the source code leak late last year.

The days between last Christmas and New Year were actually clouded by the sad fact that the source code of AmigaOS 3.1 and additional content dating back to 1994 was published and widely spread without permission of the rights-holder. Note that no code of AmigaOS 4.x was released or distributed.

While this would be already more than enough of a reason to care about the unauthorised disclosure and distribution, it is also the very same settlement agreement which made all of this possible in the first place, which contractually requires Hyperion to enforce and protect any intellectual property rights associated with AmigaOS including the AmigaOS 3.1 source-code.

So yeah, Hyperion is obligated to combat this source code leak, but as we all know - this is the internet. It's out there now, and it's not going anywhere any time soon.

Amiga OS Kickstart and Workbench source coded leaked

Generation Amiga has reported today a tweet from Hacker Fantastic saying that the Amiga OS source has been leaked, including both Kickstart and Workbench. Looking at the @hackerfantastic's tweet, there is another user with the handle @TheWack0lian that offers a link to download the OS in a 130MB tar file which expands to 540MB of source code.

Apparently the source code is really related to Amiga OS. The tar file name refers to OS 3.1 but folders from the source code refers to version 4, which could mean the source code is pretty much up to date.

From what I can gather, it's not fully 100% complete, but it's still a pretty significant leak. With the number of times this software has changed hands, it's remarkable it's taken this long.

AROS development highlights

Two major developments related to Linux hosted version of AROS reached significant milestones in November. Jyrki Koivisto continued development of the USB driver that communicates directly to Linux USB subsystem and brought it to a state where storage devices now can be accessed on the AROS side. Second development, the ALSA based AHI driver developed by Krzysztof Smiechowicz reached release level and is now included in the AROS nightly builds. It replaces the obsolete OSS based driver. This development was done based on bounty hosted by Power2People.org and this bounty has been closed as well.

While on topic of bounties, a bounty to deliver a working implementation of FUSE filesystem and read/write driver for NTFS filesystem has been completed by Frederik Wikstrom. The bounty was also hosted by Power2People.org. The sources of the port are not yet integrated into AROS, but are freely available on GitHub.

AROS has finally been posting development news on its website again, making it a little easier to follow what's going on. Great progress!

A-EON introduces Tabor and the A1222

A-EON Technology Ltd is pleased to announce that Tabor, a new powerful, low cost, entry level PowerPC motherboard, which forms part of our A1200 series, is about to undergo beta testing.

As part of our drive to create more powerful lower cost, entry level hardware and expand the Next-Generation user base we commissioned Ultra Varisys to create a new PowerPC motherboard. The result is Tabor, a 170 mm x 170 mm mother-board based on a Freescale QorIQ P1022 32-bit e500v2 dual-core PowerPC processor running at 1.2 GHz. Prototypes have already been shipped to key developers and members of A-EON Technology’s Core Linux support team and, as a result, several Linux distributions are already up and running on the Tabor board. Working in cooperation with ACube srl, a beta test programme is about to commence, which is already over-subscribed.

Sounds like nice hardware, and it's great the Amiga community, even after all these years, can still buy new machines for AmigaOS 4.

Amiga 30 and the Unkillable Machine

The story of the Amiga family of microcomputers is akin to that of a musical band that breaks up after one incandescent, groundbreaking album: the band may be forgotten by many, but the cognoscenti can discern its impact on work produced decades later.

So the Amiga 30 event held at Silicon Valley's Computer History Museum in late July was more than a commemoration of some interesting technology of the past. It was also a celebration of the Amiga's persistent influence on personal computing.

The Amiga was easily 10 years ahead of its time. Too bad the good ones rarely win. This is also a good moment to repost the 8-part series on the Amiga at Ars.

Hyperion was never bankrupt: clarification of current situation

Contrary to some news items posted on certain websites, Hyperion Entertainment CVBA is not in a state of bankruptcy. Due to an unfortunate set of cirucmstances, the company was temporally listed as "bankrupt" despite the fact that the conditions for bankruptcy were never met and that in the eyes of the law, the company was never bankrupt.

Development of AmigaOS 4 (which recently culminated in the release of AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition) is and has been ongoing albeit that some resources had to be directed away to support the upcoming hardware of A-EON Technology.

Good to have this mishap cleared up.

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.