Amiga & AROS Archive

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.

How Icaros Desktop brings the Amiga experience to x86 PCs

"Icaros Desktop is an effort to build a modern Amiga-compatible operating system for standard x86 hardware. It's a distribution built atop AROS, which is an open source effort to create a system compatible at the API level with the AmigaOS 3.x series. I recently had a chat to the creator of Icaros, Paolo Besser, about the creation of the OS and why Amiga continues to inspire people today."

Interview: AmigaOS 4 lead developer Steven Solie

Good interview with Steven Solie - this bit stood out to me: "Although Hyperion has been using serial numbers for copies of AmigaOS since 4.0, it won't reveal sales numbers. Solie's 'personal guess' is that the system has 2000-5000 users. 'If you include all the various Amiga clones and emulators we would probably be talking about around 10000 users total,' he adds, 'it is really difficult to judge because a majority of the users are rather quiet.'" Fascinating number - lower than I anticipated.

Timberwolf beta released for AmigaOS

"The Timberwolf team is proud to announce the immediate availability of the first beta version of Timberwolf 4.0.1. Timberwolf is an AmigaOS web browser based on Firefox/Mozilla technology. This technology is more than just a browser, it is an enabling technology, bringing powerful tools such as html5, WebM, JavaScript, XUL, and more to AmigaOS 4.x. These are the building blocks for other applications as well, such as the email client 'Thunderbird' or the media center 'Songbird'. This first beta release includes almost the full functionality of the browser, allowing style-sheet enabled web browsing, secure connections, use of Firefox add-on and more."

AmiKit 1.6.0 Released

AmiKit 1.6.0 is available for free download. It's a compilation of more than 300 Amiga programs that turns your Windows, Mac or Linux computer into an Amiga environment. This new version includes full and registered version of Directory Opus Magellan II, as well as a new emulation engine, full video replaying support, etc. For AmiKit to work, you do need Amiga ROMs and the AmigaOS, which can be obtained via AmigaForever, for instance.

Interview: Pavel Fedin, AROS Developer

Obligement has an interview with Pavel Fedin (the original French version is also available), a key AROS developer. "Current pace of AROS' development can be perceived on www.ohloh.net/p/aros. Though as can be seen here, the Russian developer Pavel 'Sonic' Fedin is alone responsible for more than 3400 commits in eleven years, while the other four most important AROS contributors are inactive or almost since five years (apart of Georg Steger who was still active one year ago)... One can then see how much Pavel is important in current AROS evolution." Note that the English version is a translation by a non-native speaker.

AmigaOne X1000 To Ship by Year’s End; Amiga Netbook Announced

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.

Icaros Desktop 1.3.2 Released

Version 1.3.2 of the Icaros Desktop is now available. Icaros Desktop is one of the prime AROS distributions, ready to be used on your desktop today - no fancy PowerPC hardware required (like with AmigaOS or MorphOS). If I can get this running, it might be about time we took a closer look at this, don't you think? Thoughts?