How about we end this weekend on a happy note? Something we can all agree on is a good thing, so that we can all be happy and frolic and hand out hugs and kisses? I've got a video for you guys and girls. A production video of how a certain motherboard is being assembled. However, this is no ordinary board. This is the rev. 2.1 versions of the A-eon AmigaOne X1000 - which will be shipped out to beta testers next week.
Amiga & AROS Archive
The AROS project has published a year-in-review item... In July. But alas. "Once again, the news has been long delayed, mainly because we've been too busy adding features and fixes to AROS. In fact, so much has happened in the last year that what follows is only a selection of highlights."
A new "point release" of Icaros Desktop, distribution of the AROS Research Operating system (an effort to re-create the original AmigaOS in a open source fashion, that may be ported on any platform), has been released today. The new version includes new software and games, but also enhances and extends some of the goods already included in the former releases.
"Hyperion Entertainment CVBA is pleased to announce that all materials comprising the AmigaOS 4.1 distribution for Amiga 1200/3000/4000 equipped with the appropriate PowerPC based accelerator card (Cyberstorm PPC or BlizzardPPC) have now been completed. AmigaOS 4.1 brings Amiga1200/3000/4000 the wealth of new functionality which was made available to other supported platforms in August of 2008 - up to and including - Update 2 released on April 30th, 2010."
Icaros Desktop, the distribution for i386 PC of the AROS Research Operating System (an open source revival of classic AmigaOS) reached version 1.2.6 and introduces new improvements and features.
A few moments ago, a woman appeared at my doorstep with a package for me. Since it was about 19:30, I was a little perplexed - this isn't a very usual time to be delivering packages. Also, this was a woman who I've seen walking around town before - she's a local. She handed over the package, and when I saw the note on top, I was even more intrigued: "From Trevor Dickinson, A-EON Technology".
Always wanted to own the IP and trademarks of one of the most innovative computer brands in history? A brand carried by a computer which was easily ten years ahead of its time, capable of multitasking (in colour) with multiple resolutions displayed at the same time, while Windows were still windows and the Mac couldn't hold more than 8 pages in its word processor on its single-tasking monochrome operating system? Yes, Bill McEwen's Amiga, Inc. is selling the Amiga trademark and all associated IP. It's not like the guy was doing anything with it anyway.
Hyperion Entertainment have posted a visualisation of the AmigaOS source code repositry. You can see it grow from AmigaOS 1.0 back in 1985 right through to today.
The fabled Amiga X1000 has been spotted in the wild, in the homeliest of places--Station X, a.k.a Bletchley Park. "The AmigaOne X1000 is a custom dual core PowerPC board with plenty of modern ports and I/O interfaces. It runs AmigaOS 4, and is supported by Hyperion, a partner in the project. The most interesting bit, though, is the use of an 500Mhz XCore co-processor, which the X1000's hardware designer describes as a descendant of the transputer - once the great hope of British silicon." With thanks to Jason McGint, 'Richard' and Pascal Papara for submissions.
After much, much development, the developers behind AmigaOS 4 have released the first alpha of Timberwolf, the AmigaOS 4 port of the Firefox web browser. I tried it out on my Amiga, and indeed confirmed that this is very much alpha material.
And as time goes by, the date the AmigaOne X1000 will be unveiled creeps ever closer. Last week, A-Eon has announced it will make 100 Nemo motherboards, rev-2, available to 100 beta testers under a special discount program. Several AmigaOS4 developers already have access to these motherboards for a while now, as they are working on implementing the necessary drivers.
The journey that started 18 months ago to create a next generation Amiga on commodity hardware has now reached its first major milestone by becoming a completely driver native Aros system powered by the energy efficient Intel Atom processor. This has been achieved with the supply of hardware and in some cases financial rewards to key developers in the Aros world. The plan with the following steps has been to create a base reference platform for Aros and the Amiga community to build on and support.
Good news from the AROS world. Thanks to a bounty, they've been working on Gallium3D for a while, and the fruit of this work is starting to taste good. Part of this effort included a 3D driver for NVIDIA cards, and now a 2D driver, based on Nouveau, is being developed as well. This driver has reached beta status, and testers are needed.
A few weeks ago, Novell and Red Hat jointly fended off a patent infringement suit thrown their way by a patent troll. The patent in question more or less came down to the concept of virtual desktops - and thanks to Groklaw, several people helped in finding cases of prior art. The most interesting one of all? A carefully restored and working Amiga 1000 demonstrated to the judge and jury.
Ah, the AmigaOne x1000 - now that the summer is approaching, the powerful next-generation Amiga machine is getting ever closer to being officially unveiled and launched. The hardware is being developed by A-EON Technology, who formed a strategic partnership with Hyperion Entertainment, the company behind AmigaOS 4.x, with the "express purpose of developing new hardware for AmigaOS 4 and beyond". Obligement has a long and detailed interview up with Trevor Dickinson, long-time Amiga enthusiast and collector, and one of the prime forces behind A-EON.
"Hyperion Entertainment CVBA announces the immediate availability of Update 2 for AmigaOS 4.1 for AmigaOne, SAM440EP and Pegasos II for registered users. Note that for this update you must have previously installed AmigaOS 4.1 Update 1. Installation of this Update 2 is required for the upcoming public alpha of Timberwolf . This is a minor update which contains mostly bugfixes."
I really wonder how I missed this one. While I'm sure most of you have already been playing this, I only discovered it a few days ago and have been hooked ever since. It's called Digital: A Love Story, and it's an interactive story set in 1988, written/created by Christine Love. The interface of the game is the Amiga Workbench, and you progress through the story by reading, replying, and hacking BBSs using your modem.
Thanks to the efforts of Neil Cafferkey, it has been possible since early March to install and boot AROS from a USB stick (if your BIOS supports this functionality, obviously). There is an ongoing topic about this at Aros-Exec, and the Icaros Desktop Blog talks about it as well.
It seems like only yesterday, but in fact it's already six months ago. July last year, we published our review of AmigaOS 4.1 running on ACube's sam440ep motherboard, and here we are, six months later, and Hyperion has released AmigaOS 4.1 Update 1. This free update brings with it quite a number of new features, and since I still have the sam440ep on my desk, I could test the new features first-hand.
After days of wild speculation and ridiculously fast-growing threads on AmigaWorld.net, we finally know most of what we need to know about the new Amiga. This is not just a random PowerPC evaluation board that you can stuff in a generic case - no, this is an all-new system with a custom motherboard, and some very, very interesting innovations - like a fully customisable co-processor. Twenty-five years after the introduction of the first Amiga, this is one heck of a machine.