back to article Amiga on the block (again)

Commodore, the American personal computer company felled by mismanagement many moons ago, lives on, here and there, through trademarks and brands long since parcelled up and sold to other companies. Amiga, the name for its expensive multimedia workstation, is owned by a US start-up called Amiga Inc - tagline: "Amiga provides the …

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WTF?

Amiga Inc.

That Flash animation. Why? I know the Amiga's something of a retro platform but that doesn't mean they should fill their site with 90s web clutter.

It's so bad it's actually compelling. I may return there tonight and mouseover it some more.

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Happy

Ah the Amiga 500

Fond memories of my first gaming device, we were only allowed to play it for 1hour a day, which meant 1 hour of playing and then an hour of watching my brother play and shouting advice.

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Joke

ST Format

Ha! So it was pretty acurate then when ST Format called it the 'Games Machine Amiga' :-)

Ahh I have fond memories of my Amiga. After I managed to sell my broken (seriously broken) ST for £100 I bought a refurbished Amiga 500. I had some good memories of it, had some absolutely awesome demos!

I'd get an Amiga now but it's so pricey for new Amiga kit. :-(

Rob

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sigh

Amiga, once great, now the Guns N Roses of the computer world.

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FAIL

Amiga OS

So I looked up moribund in the dictionary...

Amiga OS is developed and released by Hyperion, not Amiga Inc, after a court battle between the two. Amiga Inc couldn't release an updated version of Amiga OS if it wanted to.

Whatever it "looks like", you need to do a bit of research. You can't try and guess what might be happening in the Amiga community, because the story is more convoluted than your average soap-opera!

Anyway, things are surprisingly lively between AmigaOS, MorphOS and AROS. There's very little money to be made, but I wouldn't call it moribund. Insane, yes. Argumentative, definitely.

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Once great, now a shame.

It really is sad to see the Amiga name being dragged along like this. I had my A1200T right up until 2007 where due to moving I had to sell it. I'd love to see it comeback on new hardware with AmigaOS fully modernized but it's just not going to happen. Since about 1997 it's just been one sorry affair to the next. (Some could argue that it started in 1993).

Amiga Inc, do whats left the community a favour and release the AmigaOS4 source code and let people come up with an x64 version.

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You may be interested...

...in a little project, if you haven't already heard about it, called AROS.

"The AROS Research Operating System is a lightweight, efficient and flexible desktop operating system, designed to help you make the most of your computer. It's an independent, portable and free project, aiming at being compatible with AmigaOS at the API level (like Wine, unlike UAE), while improving on it in many areas. The source code is available under an open source license, which allows anyone to freely improve upon it."

http://aros.sourceforge.net/

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Rob
Unhappy

Me too...

... I still own an A1200 (somewhere), although one of my mates is not forthcoming as to whether he has it or not. So much for someone looking after it while I was moving :(

Back in the day I was quite advanced and had even bought an 80MB Hardrive for it, had Indiana Jones, Beaneath a Steel Sky and Imagine 4 loaded on last time I remember, v.fond memories.

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Go

FYI (FWIW)

Beneath a Steel Sky (nicely playable on XP, Vista and 7) is available for free (loss-leader, account required to download) on gog.com.

I've been reliving swathes of my earlier gaming experiences with the software available there (including all the Tex Murphy games).

NO DRM either :)

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Beneath a Steel Sky is freeware now.

Actually, the developers of Beneath a Steel Sky released it as freeware several years ago in exchange for ScummVM adding support for their more commercially-viable games. (This allowed them to actually sell their other games on Windows without putting in much effort themselves, so it worked out quite well.) You can download it entirely legally from the ScummVM website, no registration required.

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Thumb Up

Thnx

Thanks for the info Aiden.

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Go

Still going...

The Amiga was, and possibly could still be, the last, best home computer ever. There's got to be a lot of us in the el Reg Readerbase who at the very least may have experienced one and, like me, still get the jitters when the name turns up in modern media somewhere.

Yes, the coders are still out there. Yes, the animators and graphics artists are still out there. Yes, the musical composers who use trackers instead of staves are still out there. And, yes, all modern machines do it better and cheaper. But that's not the point. In my world, using my Amiga to do pretty much anything makes me smile a hell of a lot more than any of my other computers - whether it be playing games, surfing the net or doing something creative. Long live the Amiga!

::A1200T - 060/40 - 8Mb - 540MbHDD:: <-Had to include this |;o)

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Heart

The Amiga is still alive today precisely because it was so special.

Those who used the Amiga know what a truly revolutionary computer it was. In 1985 it brought affordably to the masses the ability to do true multimedia. Something that was only possible much, much later on other platforms. With true pre-emptive multitasking GUI, 4096 colors our of 4096 HAM mode and stereo sound all in 1985 - the Amiga was light years ahead of its time. It did so with so little resources compared to what is required today. The developer community on the Amiga reminds me of the Open Source community in Linux. There were so many free utilities with source code on Aminet. The difference was that the community was willing to help people without calling them n00bs and telling them to RTFM.

It is a real shame that Commodore got its hooks into it. Should a company who knew it's potential and how to market it had owned it the world would have been a different place.

So to those on the outside, I can see that it's likely hard to understand why someone would still have a fond place in their heart for technology that by today's standards seems so common place. To those of us who experienced the true revolution and in many cases have just grown used to the evolutionary computer market, returning to the Amiga, gives us a chance to relive our first true glimpse of modern computing. I still miss the Amiga community and it's friendly nature and willingness to help anyone with a problem no matter how simple or difficult.

Personally, I'd still be willing to buy AmigaOS should it be ported to x86 and modernized.

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Silver badge
Unhappy

William Gibson...

...should at least have name-dropped the brand in his latest novel instead of mentioning Applewares on every second page.

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Silver badge

Amiga is caught in an infinite loop

The typical Amiga story goes thus:

1. Amiga / AmigaOS / Commodore brand exchanges hands

2. New owners make far fetched promises of a new Amiga built around exotic technology. Blurry pictures appear of said prototype hardware running somewhere.

3. Commenters react with a mix of nostalgia for the real Amiga while wondering what the hell the point is of flogging this dead horse.

4. Time passes...

5. Goto 1.

I think owners would have more luck if they used the brand to produce something with commercial value. No delusions of grandeur, just something thoroughly and unashamedly pitched at nostalgia and consumers. For example there was a C64 emulator in a joystick a few years back. Do the same for the Amiga, bundling it with 10 of the best games on flash and throw it out for $50. I bet it would sell pretty well, especially if it has some hacking potential.

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Alternatives

"Amiga Inc, do whats left the community a favour and release the AmigaOS4 source code and let people come up with an x64 version."

See the earlier comment - they don't own it, a company called Hyperion do and they still develop it.

"Personally, I'd still be willing to buy AmigaOS should it be ported to x86 and modernized."

Have a look at AROS. It's an open-source x86-based AmigaOS clone. In a year or two I see it being more advanced than AmigaOS 4.

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Paris Hilton

Future for Amiga?

I am using MorphOS 2.6 on a PPC MacMIni, and this release also supports G4 PowerMacs. Not exactly modern hardware, but light-years beyond our poor Classic 0x0 and PPC systems -- though both are still quite usable.

There have been discussions all throughout about Amiga going x86 or x64, and from what I can tell it is always thrown back to AROS. MorphOS and OS4 will, apparently, never be ported to x86/64. Which is a shame, depending upon your perspective.

The reality is that Amiga has been relegated to a hobbyist platform, IMHO. Could it break out? Technically, sure, but realistically, it would be a long shot. It certainly will not help as one company to the next buys the name/OS/rights/graphics hoping to make a buck or two (see the standard time-line by a previous poster) as the I.P. becomes more and more convoluted.

At some point I envision that absolutely no development on AmigaOS or sales of Kickstarts, etc., will be able to proceed as no one will truly know who owns what. Rather than err on the side of the supporting community, caution will yield to the legal-eagles and shit will just stop.

Every sale and every contract related to Amiga is another nail in its already nearly air-tight coffin. This used to be amusing, now it is just fuqn sad.

Paris, she used to be amusing, too.

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Alert

Moribund?

Hardly "moribund".

2 new platforms in the next few months.

AmigaOS 4.1 update for "Classic" Amiga owners like the A1200/A4000.

New software being ported and written every day... true, not much compared to Windows but my PC only gets used for recording stuff these days, the AmigaOne gets all the use. Not bad for a moribund platform?

I know we don't have as many users as Linux/Windows/Mac people, but we're far from dead.

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Anonymous Coward

What does Amiga Delaware really own?

After reading this, I am not so so sure what it is they are trying to sell:

http://sites.google.com/site/freeamiga/

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Alert

Active user base?

Over here! I bought an Amiga 500 from eBay a few years ago and it still sees use from time to time.

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Anonymous Coward

Who needs memory lane

I still have my Amiga 500 and 1200 lovingly stored where it can be resurected whenever I wish.

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Anonymous Coward

As it was written in the original A1000 ROM....

"Amiga made it... Commodore screw it."

Games machine? Yes. Wonderful at the time. Fully "hardware multitask". OS? Wonderful at the time. Fully preemptive multitask when "windows" was just a bunch of useless icons and the same old programs.

Those times will never comeback... My admiration to people who still uses it. I saw the Internet first on my Amiga. I learned to program on my Amiga. I've seen Linux for the first time on my Amiga. I spent countless hours looking at demos, listening to music and playing on my Amiga.

The sentence above was really there... as did the foot impression of Jay Miner's dog in the A1000 case... together with the team signatures. Engineering with passion... Not something we can afford these days...

Guru Meditation....

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Boffin

No time like the present?

One of the big ironies about the Amiga post-Commodore is that it was felt the Amiga could never make an impact in a Windows world - Apple's recent stratospheric rise (and Nintendo's bounce back with the Wii) has shown that users ARE willing to adopt brand new technology, UI's and workflows if it brings something new and desirable to the market.

10 years ago, a 'brand new' Amiga would have been dead in the water - if someone did it now - well... I'm not so sure. Maybe the Amiga's time is still yet to come :)

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Gates Horns

<sigh>

transistor for transistor the amiga was the best computer of it's time. In some areas, like graphics, it took the PC market years to catch up. as an owner of a 500 & 3000 I'd love to see it re-emerge from the ashes

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<sigh also>

Yup - I loved my Amiga(s) - Still have an A500 somewhere (in the wilderness that is my loft. Its probably keeping the C64 warm).

I don't think the Amiga will ever come back and live up to what it once was. All the claims of greatness were true. Though they dropped a bollock and missed their chance to keep it at the forefront of computing. Trying to get that back now would be very difficult.

I do like the idea of a cheap retro version - how about a mini A1200? Or perhaps a little box that could be used as a media centre - oh wait, it will just end up running MythTV on Linux... nevermind.

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Silver badge
Joke

Ah yes, I remember the Amiga...

... it was where they beta/market tested all the games to see if they would sell before porting them over to the ST.

Joke alert because despite having the superior machine in the STE, Atari still managed to mismanage their way into second place...

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Happy

Superior?

Pfft!

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Guns N Roses of the computer world.

I agree, the Amiga definately is/was the Guns N Roses of the computer world.

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Unhappy

Moribund? Most definitely

Historical re-enactors may spend their weekends playing with pikes and muskets, but that doesn't make pikes and muskets a viable tool for a modern army. Equally, historical re-enactors playing with an antique software platform do not make it a viable tool for modern software engineering.

How did Linux get a market share? Two answers: firstly by serious investment from business; and secondly by costing nothing. The latest AmigaOS port might be free, but it's *so* far behind the curve it's not funny, and there is zero chance of anyone investing in it.

And how did the Mac get a market share? Two answers: firstly there was always a significant install base of Mac users, amongst artists and DTP folk; and secondly Apple produced the iPod which funded truly massive marketing of the Mac platform and the Apple brand. But use of Amigas died to zero (or as close to zero as makes no difference) a while ago, and there's no company which can use another product to springboard the new Amiga system into the public eye. (In fact it's worse than that - all companies which claim to want to do something with the Amiga brand have spent the last 15 years taking part in a circular firing squad to ensure no-one gets anywhere.)

As an ex-Amiga owner, it's all rather disappointing, just as it was disappointing as an ex-owner of Vauxhalls and Austins to see the crash-and-burn of the British car industry. But if companies truly want to shit on themselves and their customers, there's not much anyone else can do about it.

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Moribund? Most definitely not.

The point is that Amiga owners these days don't just use them for "retro" uses. We don't use the equivalent of "pikes and muskets", we use the equivalent of spades and tractors - they've been around for a long time, but they still work just fine thankyouverymuch.

What does a typical computer get used for? The web, email, MSN, games, that sort of thing. All of which AmigaOS 4, MorphOS and AROS are capable of. I'm not talking about the latest games - use a console for that - but for many of us we don't _want_ the latest games.

The days that the Amiga was far behind are gone. We now have everything we need, good emailers, modern web-browsers, MSN clients etc., - the only thing missing is the number of users - but that doesn't make the OS moribund, it just makes it a minority.

If being in the majority means succumbing to bloatware, viruses, CRM and all that, I'm glad I'm not in it. For many thousands of us, the beauty is that we're in a minority - we can all help and all make a difference, without the big corporations and legal bods taking much notice.

And most of all, we have fun doing it. You can all think the OS is moribund if you like, we'll just carry on enjoying it anyway.

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Coffee/keyboard

That Flash Animation is Magnificent

It was worth visiting the website just to experience the full on mouse over glory. I shouldn't mock but it's so bad I like it.

Thanks for bringing it to my attention Code Monkey. It made my day. "Compelling" indeed.

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