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Ars previews AmigaOS4 on Micro-Amiga 1
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Jan 21, 2005, 07:44 AM
 
Nice article here:
http://arstechnica.com/reviews/os/amiga.ars


Big picture under http://arstechnica.com/images/amiga/install.png

"AmiDock - The first thing you notice when you boot to the OS4 desktop is the Dock-like floating bar on the right hand side of the screen. This is called AmiDock, but hold the phone to Apple's lawyers: this is a refined version of the same AmiDock that was released with OS 3.9, the last update to the "Classic" Amiga OS that Amiga, Inc. released in 2000."



PB.
( Last edited by Powerbook; Jan 21, 2005 at 07:49 AM. )
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Jan 21, 2005, 09:33 AM
 
If you think about it, the dock isn't much more advanced than the "Launcher" was in OS8.

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Jan 21, 2005, 09:15 PM
 
Time to break out my Amiga emulator.
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Jan 21, 2005, 10:36 PM
 
Originally posted by olePigeon:
Time to break out my Amiga emulator.
This version is built for PowerPC and will not run on an Amiga, or even a Mac for that matter. It will only run on new PowerPC based Amigas with a special Amiga ROM chip (much like how classic Mac OS only ran on Macs with a Apple ROM).
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Jan 22, 2005, 05:02 PM
 
Yea, I've seen those AmigaOne boards for sale out there on teh web.

And they call macs underpowered and overpriced
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Jan 22, 2005, 06:07 PM
 
Originally posted by jcadam:
And they call macs underpowered and overpriced
Supply and demand. Be lucky those Amiga boards are even that "cheap," since they aren't selling millions of them at a time.
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Jan 22, 2005, 06:25 PM
 
Originally posted by olePigeon:
Supply and demand. Be lucky those Amiga boards are even that "cheap," since they aren't selling millions of them at a time.
I honestly wonder how many of these they will sell...

They should just give up. You have Windows, MacOS and Linux... the rest are battling over the scraps.
     
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Jan 22, 2005, 06:35 PM
 
Originally posted by olePigeon:
Supply and demand. Be lucky those Amiga boards are even that "cheap," since they aren't selling millions of them at a time.
No really, it is ridiculous. $875 ($1,025 w/ OS) for a friggin MOTHERBOARD with a 800MHz G4, an AGP 2X slot, PC133 RAM, etc.

R&D on these had to be minimal. It looks like a fairly bog-standard PPC board with a custom ROM. You can buy boards similiar to this to run PPC Linux on. The only reason you can't run Amiga OS 4 on another PPC mobo (including say, a Macintosh) is the custom ROM.

By the way, the Amiga truly is dead, this AmigaOne is the final nail in the coffin. What made the Amiga great was the OS plus a totally unconvential hardware architecture. Lots of little co-processors handling functions that normally would burden the CPU. This allowed an Amiga with a 7MHz 68000 to keep up with machines with much faster CPUs.
The new 'Amiga' company is so obviously poor that it is completely out of the hardware development business, and it is taking them FOREVER to get AOS4 out the door.

These AmigaOne boards have been available for YEARS, with users buying them and then waiting and waiting for AOS4.

I jumped ship along with all of the reasonably sane Amiga users when Commodore went under.
( Last edited by jcadam; Jan 22, 2005 at 06:44 PM. )
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Jan 22, 2005, 07:02 PM
 
So what's the point? What could you possibly do with an Amiga that you couldn't do for half the price with a different OS?
     
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Jan 22, 2005, 07:23 PM
 
Originally posted by olePigeon:
Supply and demand. Be lucky those Amiga boards are even that "cheap," since they aren't selling millions of them at a time.
Actually, according to economics, supply curve says the less that are produced, the less the price will be. The supply and demand curve is for finding the best amount to produce based on demand based on price. The idea is, the more something costs, the less people will buy it. However, the more you produce, the more your item will cost. The supply and demand curve is for finding the equilibrium between the two. It finds the amount you can produce (and the amount you produce tells you your item price) while still selling your whole supply. Manufacture too much, your item will cost too much, and not enough people will buy it to justify your high production. Manufacture too little, and you'll be loosing potential customers who are demanding your item because it is very inexpensive. The supply and demand curve finds the balance between the two. If you ever look at a supply curve alone, the less of supply being produced, the less the price, because your manufacturing costs are lower. It costs more to do a run of 2 million than 2. Think about it. You have electrical costs, labor, etc.

Anyway, sorry... I'm taking Microeconomics this quarter and just have to nit pick.
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Jan 23, 2005, 03:31 AM
 
Maybe I'm missing something here, but what is the advantage of using this over an x86 logic board with Fedora?
     
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Jan 23, 2005, 06:17 AM
 
Originally posted by goMac:
This version is built for PowerPC and will not run on an Amiga, or even a Mac for that matter. It will only run on new PowerPC based Amigas with a special Amiga ROM chip (much like how classic Mac OS only ran on Macs with a Apple ROM).
Actually it will also run on classic Amigas equipped with PowerPC cards (G2 cards from Phase5, CyberstormPPC and BlizzardPPC). Hyperion is testing the needed OS4 updates at the moment.

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Jan 23, 2005, 06:33 AM
 
Originally posted by jcadam:

By the way, the Amiga truly is dead, this AmigaOne is the final nail in the coffin. What made the Amiga great was the OS plus a totally unconvential hardware architecture. Lots of little co-processors handling functions that normally would burden the CPU. This allowed an Amiga with a 7MHz 68000 to keep up with machines with much faster CPUs.
Only partly true. The AmigaOS itself in its fast loading and open nature (easy to tweak etc) was part of the Amiga successs as well. Also it's difficult to compare hardware from 1994 (last Amiga developed) with the HW developement of the last ten years.

Originally posted by jcadam:

These AmigaOne boards have been available for YEARS, with users buying them and then waiting and waiting for AOS4.
NO. So far there are three different Amiga 1 motherboards, uA1-C/G3, A1-XE G4 & A1-XE G3. The uA1-C (from the Ars technica review) came out August 2004 and its twin, another -A1-I board is yet to come out. Btw. it's Hyperion making the OS4 and they will succeed, just be patient.

Links:
http://amigaworld.net/
http://www.eyetech.co.uk/index.php
http://www.hyperion-entertainment.com/

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PB.
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Jan 23, 2005, 08:08 AM
 
To the people asking "why ..."? The point is *because we can* it is *because it's fun*.

To the people asking about price. Please do a price analasys. The CPU alone costs about $200 + VAT and shipping in the volumes that the A1's are produced in. Then there is the question of dealer margins, the cost of developing OS4 profit margins for Eyetech, and all of this in a small market.

And last of all, it's a hobbyists machine both when looking at the OS and the hardware. To make the tired old car analogy, please don't compare the backyard *I'm doing it for kicks* project with a massproduced porsche or BMW, it's missing the point.
     
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Jan 23, 2005, 12:07 PM
 
Originally posted by MrSundberg:
To the people asking "why ..."? The point is *because we can* it is *because it's fun*.

To the people asking about price. Please do a price analasys. The CPU alone costs about $200 + VAT and shipping in the volumes that the A1's are produced in. Then there is the question of dealer margins, the cost of developing OS4 profit margins for Eyetech, and all of this in a small market.

And last of all, it's a hobbyists machine both when looking at the OS and the hardware. To make the tired old car analogy, please don't compare the backyard *I'm doing it for kicks* project with a massproduced porsche or BMW, it's missing the point.
I can respect the "because we can" and "because it's fun" people, but I just wonder why at times. Why not build something for OS X (then again, I'm a one track mind... so I'm probably not the right person to ask)
     
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Jan 24, 2005, 08:33 AM
 
It must really suck to have even less market share than Apple.

At least Apple makes money.

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Jan 24, 2005, 09:52 AM
 
Hell hath no fury like an Amiga zealot scorned. They're the masters of zealotry.

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Jan 25, 2005, 02:08 AM
 
I think it'd be great to have another OS/Hardware Architecture out in the market. The failure of the BeOS (mainly due to M$, in my view) was such a loss of great potential.

I don't want to live in a world with only two OS or hardware architecture choices. I want variety. I love the Mac OS, but because I do I want other OSs out there to continue to force Apple to push forward. Long live Linux, long live AmigaOS!
     
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Jan 25, 2005, 02:57 AM
 
Originally posted by OpenStep:
Maybe I'm missing something here, but what is the advantage of using this over an x86 logic board with Fedora?
Yes. x86 isn't compaitble with 68k and PPC binaries. The Amiga guys wanted to keep the new Amiga and Amiga OS backwards compatible with existing Amiga software.
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Jan 25, 2005, 03:01 AM
 
Originally posted by Gabriel Morales:
I think it'd be great to have another OS/Hardware Architecture out in the market. The failure of the BeOS (mainly due to M$, in my view) was such a loss of great potential.
It was Microsoft's fault. Before Be was sold to Palm, Jean-Louis Gassee requested that he would get to share the rights to the company so he could sue Microsoft.

He did sue them, but unfortunately ran out of money and settled out of court for a relatively poultry sum.
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Jan 25, 2005, 01:29 PM
 
Originally posted by Gabriel Morales:
I don't want to live in a world with only two OS or hardware architecture choices. I want variety. I love the Mac OS, but because I do I want other OSs out there to continue to force Apple to push forward. Long live Linux, long live AmigaOS!
AmigaOS is in no position to challenge Apple in any way, and I doubt it ever will. The development team working on it is skilled I'm sure, but is in no way a big league player. I'd compare it maybe to ReactOS (which will probably have a bigger marketshare than AmigaOS actually).
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Jan 25, 2005, 01:42 PM
 
Originally posted by olePigeon:
He did sue them, but unfortunately ran out of money and settled out of court for a relatively poultry sum.
Is that like chicken feed?
     
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Jan 22, 2007, 12:55 PM
 
/rise old thread, rise...

And exactly two years later, the AmigaOS 4 Final (update #5) is out!

The changes, since the last update:

* Exec
o New memory system
+ Low Fragmentation, even with long uptimes
+ Lots of speedups (for example, memory pools are 10 to 20 times faster than before)
+ Named memory
o Now uses the MMU to write-protect the .rodata sections of ELF binaries

* 680x0 emulators
o Improved compatibility
o JIT emulator is between 10 to 50% faster

* DOS
o 64 bit support for file sizes.
o New directory scanning and object examination API

* Intuition
o Support for legacy programs requiring a planar screen: normal, HAM6 and HAM8 planar screens are promoted to RTG
o Customizable truecolor mouse pointer (in hardware sprite mode on Radeon boards, and in software sprite mode on all boards)
o Navigation of oversized screens via [Left Amiga] + numeric pad

* Workbench
o Support for native 32 bit icons with normal and selected image
o Support for loader/saver modules for third-party icon formats
o Customizable highlight effect for selected single-image icons
o Customizable "left out", "no drop" and "disabled" icon symbols
o Removed the remaining 30 character filename length limits

* Storage controllers support
o New driver for ITE IT8212 IDE controller
o New driver for SCSI 53C8xx-based controllers
o Support for IDE ct-flasher hardware added as contribution

* General
o Support for alpha channel in IFF ILBM for easy loading, saving, and clipboard copy/paste of truecolor data
o No more black background in MultiView when displaying truecolor pictures with an alpha channel
o MultiView allows the Workbench screen to be closed and reopened
o Smoother appearance for colorwheel.gadget
o Customizable images for requester.class requesters
o Many parts of OS4 now support the mouse wheel

* ramdrive.device
o The classic RAD: doesnt survive a soft reboot anymore
o The new RESRAD: survives a soft reboot again
o The new BOOTRAD: offers booting from a disk image which survives a soft reboot.

* console.device
o Changing the system default keymap now immediately affects all console windows which dont use a private keymap.

* printer drivers
o All printer drivers except Printers:File are PPC native
o The PostScript printer driver now supports printing pictures in greyscale, B&W and landscape modes. It now uses the current system default charset for text printing to ISO-8859-1 before.

* Printer preferences editor
o Now PPC native, some new features

* a1floppy.device
o New driver for the AmigaOne which has a floppy disk port.
o Supports booting from floppy disk.
o Allows limited exchange with Classic Amigas.

* ft2.library
o Now supports algorithmic font emboldening.

* Fonts
o The default fonts are now the DejaVu fonts which support more different character sets than the Bitstream Vera fonts.

* USB
o USB mice and keyboard can now be used to access and navigate EarlyStartup
o Keybord drivers respects users keyboard key repeat delay and speed
o Keyboard drivers can now reset into UBoot

* Boot menu
o Early boot menu can be used with the only a keyboard.
o Adjusts its GUI to the screen height which looks better on A1

* Picasso96 and drivers
o Radeon Overlay (PIP) support
o Extended P96 PIP API (double/triple-buffering possibility allowing perfectly smooth animation)

* AmiGS
o Localized
o Improved printing preferences (page selection, double sided printing, collation)

* AmiPDF
o Localized
o Improved printing preferences (page selection, double sided printing, collation)
o Additional character set support for bookmarks and text copying
o More search options

* Ghostscript
o Updated to the latest version (8.54)

Maker site and list can be found here: http://www.hyperion-entertainment.biz:8080/amiga

There's also a new very well done review from Ars Technica's Jeremy Reimer, that can be found here: http://arstechnica.com/reviews/os/amigaos4.ars


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PB.
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Jan 22, 2007, 01:18 PM
 
I can't understand why anyone would use this OS for anything. What does it do better than OSX, Linux or Windows?

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Jan 22, 2007, 01:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by Dark Helmet View Post
I can't understand why anyone would use this OS for anything. What does it do better than OSX, Linux or Windows?
Very good question.

I've never, EVER heard of Amiga. I only clicked on this thread because the title was bizarre to me. What type of person uses Amiga? Graphics artists? Hrm...no, that would be Mac. Business types? Well, no...Windows has that covered. Uber geeks? Well, no, Linux seems to have them.

What's their market? People who seek to cut off connections with society completely?
     
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Jan 22, 2007, 01:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by mitchell_pgh View Post
I honestly wonder how many of these they will sell...

They should just give up. You have Windows, MacOS and Linux... the rest are battling over the scraps.

And several proprietary Unix OSes such as Solaris, the BSD family, etc. There is room for a highly specialized OS, providing it offers some definite value.
     
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Jan 22, 2007, 01:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
Very good question.

I've never, EVER heard of Amiga. I only clicked on this thread because the title was bizarre to me. What type of person uses Amiga? Graphics artists? Hrm...no, that would be Mac. Business types? Well, no...Windows has that covered. Uber geeks? Well, no, Linux seems to have them.

What's their market? People who seek to cut off connections with society completely?

Hobbyists for now, but Amiga used to be all over video production back in its hayday.
     
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Jan 22, 2007, 01:41 PM
 
I think I'd rather have a $500 Dell with Vista.


Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Hobbyists for now, but Amiga used to be all over video production back in its hayday.
Yeah, something like 15-20 years ago.
     
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Jan 22, 2007, 01:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Hobbyists for now, but Amiga used to be all over video production back in its hayday.
All I can figure out is that they're drawn to it simply because of its obscurity. I know a guy who does everything exactly the opposite of everyone else just because he has hates social norms. I should tell him about Amiga.
     
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Jan 22, 2007, 01:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
All I can figure out is that they're drawn to it simply because of its obscurity. I know a guy who does everything exactly the opposite of everyone else just because he has hates social norms. I should tell him about Amiga.
Err, then you got most of that wrong, young grasshopper. Amiga was the home computer number one back in its days. In the peak 1988-1991 everyone had one. There were iirc more than six million systems sold. Unfortunately Commodore went bust 1994 so most of the original development came to an end.

But since the new OS4 system, the system has again the chance for a niche.

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Jan 22, 2007, 01:59 PM
 
Wait...as in Commodore 64? There was a relation?
     
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Jan 22, 2007, 02:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Powerbook View Post
Err, then you got most of that wrong, young grasshopper. Amiga was the home computer number one back in its days. In the peak 1988-1991 everyone had one.
I didn't know a single person with one.
     
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Jan 22, 2007, 02:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
I didn't know a single person with one.
I used Macs and Commodore 64s at school. My dad's offices used PCs. No one I knew used Amigas either.
     
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Jan 22, 2007, 02:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
All I can figure out is that they're drawn to it simply because of its obscurity. I know a guy who does everything exactly the opposite of everyone else just because he has hates social norms. I should tell him about Amiga.
There definitely seems to be a population of people who believe very strongly in simple. lightweight OSes built off of very clean code. There are several X11 Window Managers that are built for this purpose, and run far better on older hardware than, say OS X or even KDE. The Amiga did amazing things on slow hardware. This sort of optimization can be quite beneficial to an operating system and the apps that run on it, I have a hunch that the current crop of developers are still interested in producing highly optimized code that does not require the latest hardware, much like the developers of the aforementioned lightweight X11 WMs such as xfce.

From a developer's standpoint, a project like this provides a way to test and develop a new code base. I bet that many of these developers have had (or will have) job offers if they do good work. A project like this is a good way for developers to gain exposure.

From a marketing perspective, the Amiga will probably never thrive. However, many of the technologies developed within the Amiga OS (or any other) can still potentially benefit the industry as a whole.

These are some reasons why some might still be interested in the Amiga.
     
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Jan 22, 2007, 02:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
I didn't know a single person with one.
I knew several people. They were clearly the most advanced computer of their time (including in comparison to Apple's offerings), Commodore just couldn't market their way out of a paper bag.
     
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Jan 22, 2007, 02:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Jawbone54 View Post
All I can figure out is that they're drawn to it simply because of its obscurity. I know a guy who does everything exactly the opposite of everyone else just because he has hates social norms. I should tell him about Amiga.
Originally Posted by Powerbook View Post
Err, then you got most of that wrong, young grasshopper. Amiga was the home computer number one back in its days. In the peak 1988-1991 everyone had one. There were iirc more than six million systems sold. Unfortunately Commodore went bust 1994 so most of the original development came to an end.
He used a present verb tense, indicating that today most of the people that use it are drawn to it by its obscurity, not back in the day.
     
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Jan 22, 2007, 02:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I knew several people. They were clearly the most advanced computer of their time (including in comparison to Apple's offerings), Commodore just couldn't market their way out of a paper bag.
Yes. It was advanced, and I remember seeing the impressive tech demos. However, it was a very unpopular machine with the masses.

Powerbook claimed above it was the #1 machine back then. Perhaps it was one of the most advanced, I'll grant him that, but it certainly it wasn't very popular overall despite his claim that it was.
     
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Jan 22, 2007, 02:25 PM
 
So, besides nostalgia, any point in buying this POS today ?

-t
     
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Jan 22, 2007, 02:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
So, besides nostalgia, any point in buying this POS today ?

-t
No. You're better off buying a Cube for less money.

Not only does it satisfy the nostalgia, it can actually do real work, and it looks damn good doing it.
     
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Jan 22, 2007, 02:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by Gossamer View Post
He used a present verb tense, indicating that today most of the people that use it are drawn to it by its obscurity, not back in the day.
I got that. Wrong and wrong. Today's user are the diehard loyalists, who grew older with that system. What users the upcoming commercialization will atract, time will tell.

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Jan 22, 2007, 02:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Yes. It was advanced, and I remember seeing the impressive tech demos. However, it was a very unpopular machine with the masses.

Powerbook claimed above it was the #1 machine back then. Perhaps it was one of the most advanced, I'll grant him that, but it certainly it wasn't very popular overall despite his claim that it was.

Well, I don't think any computer was particularly popular back then. This would have been in the days of DOS and Mac OS whatever version, probably pre 6. I'm not sure how popularity could have been measured, but I do remember a lot of gamers and video production nuts being really fanatical about the Amiga. Some users clutched to the Commodore 64s/128s and DOS, and Apple was a pretty small niche. The Atari ST was big in music production.

I was just a kid during these years though, so maybe I should let somebody older than I speak to what people were using back then.
     
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Jan 22, 2007, 02:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Powerbook claimed above it was the #1 machine back then. Perhaps it was one of the most advanced, I'll grant him that, but it certainly it wasn't very popular overall despite his claim that it was.
Not in the U.S.A.!!! Commodore had a hard time there. But check large parts of Europe, like UK, Germany and France.

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PB.
Aut Caesar aut nihil.
     
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Jan 22, 2007, 02:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
So, besides nostalgia, any point in buying this POS today ?

-t


Not for end users like yourself, but for developers who believe in this project or want to become involved, quite possibly... You have to start somewhere!
     
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Jan 22, 2007, 02:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
There definitely seems to be a population of people who believe very strongly in simple.
I do as well the problem is all the apps are worse as a result. It may switch really quick between apps because it doesn't page out, but who cares how fast it is if you can't do what you want?

I mean a browser with no CSS? Every other app is also primitive to mac or windows... heck even Linux.

If it doesn't excel in one field like for 3D or Video what in the hell is the point other than nostalgia for geeks?

They also aren't making he hardware currently.

"She's gone from suck to blow!"
     
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Jan 22, 2007, 02:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by Powerbook View Post
What users the upcoming commercialization will atract, time will tell.
Don't need time for that to tell, I tell your right now: it's gonna flop so bad, worse than the Zune

-t
     
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Jan 22, 2007, 02:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
No. You're better off buying a Cube for less money.

Not only does it satisfy the nostalgia, it can actually do real work, and it looks damn good doing it.

It's about as useful as BeOS was, which is to say pretty useless for end users, but it turned heads and made waves in the industry nonetheless.
     
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Jan 22, 2007, 02:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Not for end users like yourself, but for developers who believe in this project or want to become involved, quite possibly... You have to start somewhere!
Wow, what kind of crappy projects woukld those developers take on if they didn't have the Amiga ? I don't even want to know

-t
     
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Jan 22, 2007, 02:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Don't need time for that to tell, I tell your right now: it's gonna flop so bad, worse than the Zune

-t

It doesn't have to be a commerical success for the project as a whole to be success, unless their goals were to make as much money as possible, which I'd be willing to bet are not their goals.



Why is it that you guys go ga ga over BeOS, but are so dismissive of something like this? With no applications, both platforms are going to be nearly useless by default, but we can still respect these efforts. I know it's far easier to criticize, but think about this...
     
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Jan 22, 2007, 02:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
It's about as useful as BeOS was, which is to say pretty useless for end users, but it turned heads and made waves in the industry nonetheless.
Yes, BeOS was a step forward in some OS aspects.

The new Amiga OS today is a step back at most.

-t
     
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Jan 22, 2007, 02:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Wow, what kind of crappy projects woukld those developers take on if they didn't have the Amiga ? I don't even want to know

-t

There are all sorts of now successful projects that began as crappy projects, what's your point?
     
 
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