back to article Son of Transputer powers new Amiga box

There was only one place to be for Amiga enthusiasts this weekend: a tent at Bletchley Park. Saturday saw the unveiling of the first dedicated Amiga box for some time, in the shape an unusual and technically advanced system that maintains the Amiga's bleeding edge reputation. The AmigaOne X1000 is a custom dual core PowerPC …

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  1. Bruno Girin
    Thumb Up

    Want!

    Shame I got rid of my old Amiga 2000 a few years ago, it was a brilliant machine! But if this box is PowerPC based, does it mean that I could run AmigaOS on my PowerMac G5? That would enable me to show 2 fingers to Apple for leaving their PPC users in the lurch and would probably be more fun than trying to install Debian PPC on it. Amiga FTW!

  2. Toastan Buttar
    Unhappy

    Who other than sentimental geeks?

    Who would ever want one of these systems other than a hardcore geek recalling his misspent youth?

    Yes, the Amiga was a cracking system in its day but that day has long since passed.

  3. J 12

    Love it

    Awsome! Long time since I've seen the Amiga's history acknowledged.

    I spent many years clinging to the Amiga and it's attempts to be 're-born'. I still have quite a few original machines - despite the excellent multitasking and top quality software, it's SWOS that I love most about the Amiga

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Deluxe Paint Nostalgia Box?

      What use is an Amiga to anyone these days? I had an A500 in 1988 and it was truly awesome, but the world has moved on since then.

      Hard to see who the market for this device is now. Hard to see who's going to be developing for it, too.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Who is it for?

        I'd say that 74 comments (and counting) on a Reg article is an impressive measure of interest. Good on them, though they do need to find a specific market for it.

    2. piru

      amigaos for Mac

      @Bruno Girin

      "does it mean that I could run AmigaOS on my PowerMac G5?"

      No it doesn't. They want you to buy their £1500 custom board instead.

      MorphOS ( http://www.morphos-team.net/ ) runs on some PowerPC Macs (mini, emac), and does run amiga software out of the box as well. Here's the list of the compatible hardware: http://www.morphos-team.net/hardware.html

      And download link for the ISO image: http://www.morphos-team.net/downloads.html

  4. Jimmy Floyd
    Thumb Up

    Ah, lovely

    It's always nice to see an Amiga story. Sadly I haven't turned on either my A500 or A1200 in a decade because they were simply becoming obsolete, but I would love to see the platform make a resurgence.

    Amigas always appealed to those who were more tech-savvy than PC owners, more creative than Mac owners (shock!) but more sociable than the *nix brigade ... oh, and gamers. ;-)

  5. The Guv
    Thumb Up

    Still the greatest...

    Still the best set of systems I have used.

    Amiga OS as it's called now is cracking. When Workbench 3 was launched it was way ahead of everything else for ease of use/user interaction.

    1. John70

      Don't forget...

      ...the Demo Scene

  6. Subban

    Tempting.

    With Firefox and Openoffice ports thats getting more tempting.

    I dearly love the time I spent with my Amiga's, still in the attic but sadly the internal floppy drives are dead on at least two. Internal HD still works on my A1200 though.

    Even now I still miss my Amiga, it was an incredible machine in its day, Commodore management really stuffed things up badly and should have got a spanking. Linux is proving to be a reasonable substitute for the tweaker in me but I pine for the day of AmigaOS's serious return.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tegra

    I think Nvidia's Tegra chip has a touch of the Amiga about it (don't kill me!).

    It follows a similar design philosophy of having dedicated silicon for specific tasks to get much better performance.

    I always thought trying to everything on the CPU was stupid in the old days, and still a bit stupid now.

  8. David Lawrence
    WTF?

    Sell it to me....

    What can it enable me to do, that I can't already do with a £400 system from just about any retailer, with a multi-core processor and Windows 7?

    Sorry there has to be a USP, other than the fact that it might possibly run some of those old Amiga games I knew and loved back in the day (which I can already do via emulation). For that kind of money it would have to do something special but I can't for the life of me imagine what it could possibly be. Go on, tell us what its secret super power might be.

  9. Billy 8
    Coat

    It might be good... but...

    .. it's no AtariST ;-)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Pah

    As an Atari owner, this is all a little bit sad and too late. Fanbois existed in the 1980s...

    1. RyokuMas Silver badge
      Joke

      I guess...

      ... you never met anyone who owns an Apple product then?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yah.

        Some of us get like that from time to time. XP

    2. Captain Thyratron

      As posed, probably nothing.

      I don't suppose being a solid, well-designed system that's pleasant to use counts for anything these days. Otherwise, what's Windows doing on the market?

      What luck could anybody possibly have in trying to sell emmantaler or roquefort to someone who's happy with Velveeta? I mean, it does all the same stuff and it's cheaper. On the other hand, it barely counts as cheese. Maybe he'd just have to taste the other stuff to know why some people like other kinds of cheese, even if they're harder to find and thus typically pricier.

    3. Alex King

      Yep

      if it was an ST it wouldn't be "good" in any way!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      For a start

      It's not running Windows, so that's a major improvement right away. It also doesn't have Intel inside, which is another. Your fabulous multi-core chip is a relic from the stoneage of computing and spends a very substantial amount of its power, and therefore heat, on trying to get lousy register and instruction sets to run at a respectable rate.

      Generally, this is a machine for the hobbiest programmer, not for people looking to treat their computer as a toaster/calculator/typewritter. Let's be honest here - 90% of people waste about £300 when they spend £400 on a PC anyway.

    5. Adam 10
      Thumb Up

      Atari OS?

      What was the Atari's OS called again?

      Ah yes. TOS, pronounced "toss", because that is what it is a pile of.

      Hehe, old rivalries coming out of the woodwork. Now you are meant to say "Ah, but ST has a dedicated MIDI controller!", at which point I will extoll the virtues of the Fatter Agnus and the Denise chip.

    6. Giles Jones Gold badge

      LOL

      At school one of the IT teachers said he bought an ST as it was a bit cheaper. A bit later the PSU blew up.

      The ST was a triumph of mediocrity. 720kb disc drive (880k in Amiga), the sound chip was the same one as used in the 128k Spectrum. The OS wasn't made by Atari. it was a rush job to fill a space left by the Amiga being sold to Commodore, instead of Atari.

      You could have stuck Amstrad on the box and people wouldn't have been surprised.

  11. stu 4
    Thumb Up

    AmigaOS

    Buy yourself a copy of Amiga Forever.

    I (sadly) get quite a lot of enjoyment, playing some of the old demos on my mac mini with it.

    And the odd game or two :-)

    And, some of the later demo scene stuff (2000+) is truly awesome.

    stu

    1. lpopman
      Thumb Up

      Titular Announcement

      I purchased my copy of AF for the Kickstart roms to use with WHDLoad on my real Amiga. It enables me to run most games straight from HD, so no disk swaps :)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    XMOS, Inmos, British Engineering

    The XMOS desgin suffers exactly from the same problem as the Inmos Transputer: Although the basic idea is very good (CPU having inter-process communications facility built-in), the implementation is very British: Instead of integrating a differential driver into their chip and using the latest process technology, they have a substandard-performance communications links yielding about 100Mbit/s.

    With differential signalling, they could certainly achieve 1Gbit/s or more. There is a technology around called 10G Ethernet.

    The Transputer had exactly the same problem...

    If they want to compete with the big american corps, they need at least 2 GHz of CPU clock and 1Gbit/s differential communication links. The current product line will have the same fate as the Transputer.

  13. Red 2
    Coat

    AMIGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

    Can't wait to see the first few new demoscene releases made for this beauty! Remember those scrollers and graphic show-off demos? They're still at it! :-) AMIGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

    Mine's the one with the Fat Agnus in the pocket.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      XC

      Also, their programming language "XC" is a strange subset of C. That's an ideal way of turning off developers.

      1. Geoff Mackenzie
        Joke

        Rather a strange subset of C ...

        ... than any of the strange supersets that hold sway on these cobbled together IBM compatibles ...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Stop

          No Pointer Arithmetic, No float

          ..acoording to their online language spec. Even though i agree the first one removes a lot of headaches, it will also make porting of existing code libraries a real pain.

          Actually, they could have used Occam and it would not have made a *real* difference. Only the pointy-haired will be deceived by "XC" being spelt like "C".

          A proper solution would be to have a full C compiler and the interprocess primitives added on top. They could turn off pointer arithmetics by default and add a switch to turn it on again.

          1. jonathan.may
            Go

            Tools

            There is a full C compiler. And C++. And if you only want to use C you can use various helper functions for IPC etc. XC has these embedded but to mix these safely with pointer arithmetic would be chaos. http://xmos.com/tools

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: Turning off developers...

        Not necessarily - I develop for PS3 in C++ and I've wished for a long time that I could replace it with a language designed specifically for multi-core development. It's a breath of fresh air every time I get to write high-level shader code (also similar to C) because I don't have to deal with all the necessary glue code and synchronisation mechanisms to make it run in parallel, or avoid half the language like the plague (I'm looking at you, virtual functions). Even if XC turns out to not be quite right, I definitely think we need to start using something new in order to develop safely and effectively for 256 cores.

        1. Steve Roper
          Thumb Up

          @AC "Re: Turning off developers"

          Ah, a fellow after my own heart. I myself left off dedicated application programming in C/C++ and moved to Web app development in PHP/Javascript/ASP/etc because having to implement virtual functions pissed me off one too many times...

    2. piru

      demoscene likes original amigas

      @Red 2

      "Can't wait to see the first few new demoscene releases made for this beauty!"

      I'm afraid you won't see many of those. The reason being that the amiga scene is very fixed on the original Commodore Amiga, not the new next generation stuff. The old amigas set a nice challenge and are very uniform hardware wise, and are thus attractive for the demo coders to target.

    3. jonathan.may
      Stop

      Nonsense

      This post is nonsense. Think about the market they are aiming at - programmable embedded electronics... You seem to be thinking they are competing against Intel etc?

      1. Frank Diangro

        Not Nonsense

        They are aiming at the programmable embedded electronics market with a motherboard the size of an old LP cover in a case the size of a delivery van? What are you smoking?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Nonsense??

          *cough*Developer machine*cough* Nobody suggested embedding this machine itself... Just the chips it includes and can easily talk to.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      *wipes screen*

      "Mine's the one with the Fat Agnus in the pocket."

      I'm sure I can't be the only one that misread that line.

  14. Stefan 2

    Great!

    I was lucky enough to attend the fair this weekend. It was a great experience (it wasn't just Amiga related). The A1-X1000 (please, that's a dreaful name, it needs to be shorter) looked a nice system. I managed to crash it by attempting to load 2 copies of Blender (sorry guys, but I did have a chuckle about this!).

    I came away impressed, but clearly there's a lot of work still to be done. The graphics subsystem may be fairly complete, but it's dreadfully slow in both desktop and 3D operation (Quake 3 at 4fps). I'm also left wondering what market there is for this type of system. I'm really struggling to think what a PC can't do (at half the price) that the X1000 can do. The Xena chip may be a shining jewel amidst an otherwise dusty relic, but it needs a massive marketing push, developer tools and solid showcase examples.

    There may be a niche within music production or video editing which the Xena can be used for - but I'm again struggling to see why people wouldn't go with a Windows machine. I'm no Windows fanboy, but at least it's got good support.

    Oh, I *will* be buying an X1000. I am, after all, an ex-Amiga owner wanting to re-live my youth...

    1. graeme leggett

      As you said - niche

      There will be a (small) niche market of those who want to buy one. Their reasons will be varied.

      Perhaps there are people who have been experimenting with AmigaOS and want to keep doing so. this might give them some more horsepower to play with. Diehard fans etc etc.

      They have their reasons and their not as simple as MacOS vs Linux vs Windows debates

      Capitalism is about giving the consumer what it wants, not what it needs.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Troll

    Did you know...

    They did the graphics for Bablyon5 on an Amiga.

    1. piru

      babylon 5 common Amiga misconception

      @Anonymous Coward

      "They did the graphics for Bablyon5 on an Amiga."

      Actually only for the pilot. Anything beyond that were rendered on a PC rendering farm.

    2. Bod

      B5 & Amigas

      Only for a few episodes. From what I've read, it may even have only been the pilot, and it involved a network of Amigas with other hardware. After that it was Pentium PCs and DEC Alphas.

      One of the reasons I couldn't stand B5 was due to annoying Amiga fans wanking about it the FX being produced on Amigas, even long after it wasn't any more.

      The other reason was also down to the FX as it spent a lot of the time in rather cheap sets discussing a load of politics and then jumped to some nice but rather obvious CGI that was frankly at times just eye candy rather than relevant plot. Without the FX it was really rather boring.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        RE: B5 & Amigas

        "One of the reasons I couldn't stand B5 was due to annoying Amiga fans wanking about it the FX being produced on Amigas, even long after it wasn't any more."

        *That* was your reason? It was pretty terrible viewing anyway.

        My understanding was that they used Lightwave on the Amigas to draw and design the CGI and then loaded then had external rendering devices to draw it all for them (in the form of the DEC Alphas). These could only be connected to the PCs for some reason...

        Of course, it was a long time ago and I probably don't remember it correctly.

        1. Mr Brush
          Boffin

          B5, Amigas and Lightwave

          The CGI in B5 was done on Lightwave, a cracking 3D renderer that was split from the Newtek Video Toaster package (a complete video editing solution based on the Amiga). I bought one of the first copies available in the UK (v3.5) for £800 back in 1994 (together with an Amiga 4000/040 that cost ~£3500.

          Yes, the rendering was farmed out to 'ScreamerNet' once Lightwave 4 came out. However, it was simply because you could pick up Pentium 90s for pennies and it made sense to enslave that cheap CPU horsepower. The Amiga still did the front end work, the dumb PCs just got on with the rendering in the background.

          Lightwave is still around and is still a great package.

        2. Petrea Mitchell
          Alert

          At least a year

          Their setup for all of season 1 (maybe 2 as well, can't remember) was described as "8 desktop Amigas". At some point afterward they moved to PCs.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    but...

    ... will it run Crysis?

  17. yoodoo2

    AmigaOS update

    The latest update to Amiga OS4 was earlier this year: http://hyperion-entertainment.biz/

    There are other boards produced solely for AmigaOS4 : http://www.acube-systems.biz/

    These boards are (a) expensive, (b) based on PowerPC CPUs, (c) aimed at Amiga enthusiastics and fan(atic)s and (d) blomming great fun for those of whose have been part of the Amiga community for 25 years. They are not meant to take over the world...

  18. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Happy

    amiga game?

    In the 1980s I played an Amiga 3D two person game that involved wearing LCD glasses and flying a spaceship around. It was set in a little universe with a planet and a gravity well. You had to land on the planet and touch a hanger to recharge before taking off to blast your opponent. Great fun!

    Anyone remember what it was called?

    My mates were all Amiga nuts until I showed them Wolfenstein on my old 386 PC!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      U sure?

      Are you sure that wasn't an Atari ST with LCD shutter glasses?

      1. tangofool

        U Sure - Oh Yes

        It was X-Specs on the Amigahttp://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/flame_32.png. I tossed out mine only a year or so ago. I remember flyingthrough 3D space and shooting flying potatoes. It worked well using the interlace (1 feild per eye) and the effect was very good 3D. And today almost 15 years later we still need glasses!

  19. Jacqui
    WTF?

    1500UKP+

    A 400UKP machine with 2x250UKP GPU cards will whomp this beastie - and you get the dev tools for free under linux :-)

    IMHO The BIG problem with the original Ami's was the need to purchase a load of dev stuff - and the dev software was never what I would call stable.

    I just hope they dont make the same mistake C= made.

  20. Alan Bourke
    Grenade

    Multitasking

    Surely the Sinclair QL brought multitasking to personal computing before the Miggy did ?

  21. A B 3
    Thumb Up

    Try AROS

    If you want Amiga on an x86 box download AROS and try it out. Otherwise there are two Amiga classic replacements: The FPGAArcade and the Natami in the works. Google them for more info.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Yes it did

      But then again, the Amiga didn't make the rest of the market look like toys either, being the computer with the garish, primary coloured desktop that was mainly known for games.

    2. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
      Thumb Up

      Re: 1500UKP+

      ^ This...

      You are absolutely spot on.

      I have been an anti-intel zealot for a while but really the sun really appears to have set on ppc's as a viable high end bleeding edge desktop cpu. Your current average intel box (or amd) with an average video card will probably give you more horsepower for less.

      My next machine (for messing, mind you) will be either a 6 core AMD or an i7, with a mid range nVidia cuda capable video card ( or an ATI alternative whichever appears most attractive at the time).

      Plus...

      I will (probably) be able to run crysis :P

  22. Inachu
    Heart

    Maybe.. just maybe

    Amiga set the standards back then and who knows maybe they can up the ante again.

    1. piru

      or maybe not

      @Inachu

      "Amiga set the standards back then and who knows maybe they can up the ante again."

      No they really won't. It's a different world now. There is no way you can compete with wintel, apple & linux hegemony.

  23. Mikey C
    Happy

    Amiga X1000 and Amiga OS4.1 in general.

    I would like to make an open invitation to anyone who wants to try/see AmigaOS4.1 Update 2 to Attend the next Amiga North Thames Usergroup Meeting (Held in Enfield UK) Anyone with an open mind is welcome (Our website http://www.amiganorththames.co.uk)

    To answer a couple of points raised, The Amiga was in the doldrums thanks to decades of mis-management. Since Hyperion won the court case against Amiga inc, the developments have been coming through at a very fast pace. We now have 3 proper web browsers, Java is on the way as is Open office, Flash is not available, and unlikely to mature, but given the fact that HTML 5 is on its way, it may not be that necessary.

    Why use AmigaOS4 against, say Windows or Mac? I can't answer that, other than perhaps, its a different, unique experience to the other two. At the end of the day Choice is always good. It helps promote innovation etc. If you are happy with Windows or Mac OSX or Linux, that's fine. No need to knock someone else's hobby. Imagine if the world only had 3 car manufacturers? i.e. Ford, Nissan or VW? Not that there is anything wrong with them, but surely choice is a good thing and I am sure, always welcome.

    I hope to see some of you at our next meeting (We don't bite and don't wear anoraks!, on July 11th)

    Thank you.

    Michael Carrillo

    Amiga North Thames Chairman

    Organiser "Amiga Area" at VCF 2010

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      well

      at least the guy reads the register.

    2. Inachu
      Flame

      Hahaha

      For me as a kid it was always because of the games and cool 8bit music which was cutting edge back then.

      If I could fit this new version of Amiga into its original pc casing it might make me smile a bit

      hahaha.

  24. The elephant in the room
    WTF?

    What is it good for?

    Other than allowing excentric hobbyists with a spare £1500 to benchmark how many copies of 25 year old games they can open and run at the same time (Look it's multitasking! Apples & PCs didnt use to be able to do that!), what is a modern Amiga for? I'm sure the Firefox & Openoffice ports are super, but what can it do so much better than any other current platform that it would make it a rational commercial decision to buy or even to have developed in the first place?

    1. Mikey C

      The elephant in the room is waving frantically.

      Couple of points regarding your post.

      "Other than allowing excentric hobbyists with a spare £1500 to benchmark how many copies of 25 year old games they can open and run at the same time (Look it's multitasking! Apples & PCs didnt use to be able to do that!), what is a modern Amiga for?"

      You don't have to spend £1500 to run Amiga OS4.1. The lower spec SAM boards are capable to give you a good Amiga experience, for around half that. Indeed, If you go for the now defunct earlier AmigaOne models (by Eyetech), a complete AmigaOne XE system (G4) just sold on ebay for £350.

      "what is a modern Amiga for? I'm sure the Firefox & Openoffice ports are super, but what can it do so much better than any other current platform that it would make it a rational commercial decision to buy or even to have developed in the first place?"

      That depends on your perspective. At the end of the day, Web Browsing or writing a letter is the pretty much the same on one computer as it is on another. Again, I come back to my earlier point. What's the point of buying a Vauxhall or an Audi when a Ford will do exactly the same? Or indeed, what's the point in buying a Toshiba TV when you can get a Sony or Panasonic which will do the same job?

      - It comes down to a matter of taste or preference. Each platform has its own unique way of doing things. Its down to the experience for the user. There is no commercial rational behind it.

      1. anarchic-teapot
        Thumb Up

        Go on yersel, Mikey

        The world would be a sadder and infinitely boring place if we were all the same and had the same toys. Harken not unto those who drink keg lager, for they are void and without passion.

        I'd be tempted, even at £1500. I miss my AmigaOne. What could I do with it? The same things as I do with a PC mostly, but with less hassle and more enjoyment.

        And AOS 4.x is an amazing achievement, especially when you realise how tiny the dedicated band of (extremely gifted) programmers that produced it really is.

      2. Elwood

        Amiga on Sam440 videos

        Yes, OS4 on a 667Mhz machine is possible, watch them here:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5e5zwPhMClk

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_1PjOEFPTk

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUoArmgzz_A

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRH3w1Y18pQ

    2. Captain Thyratron

      It's a computer.

      What is it for? It's a computer. It mostly just does the same things other computers do, and does them about as quickly as other computers do them. You can tell that from the specifications.

      This is, however, an oversimplification. It says nothing of quality or feel. Part of the utility of a tool--even though a thing may just be a tool--is how it feels to use it. Two tools, of whatever kind, may have entirely equivalent functionality, but the one that feels better to use, at least for a given user, is superior for that user, all other things being equal.

      Even if all other things aren't equal, it's a big deal. You cannot simply compare things on plain specifications (though the specifications for this thing are pretty awesome), because that says nothing of how this wrench or that actually feels in your hand; sadly, the Wintel-minded market has gotten used to doing nothing but comparing specifications versus price with little regard for quality, reliability, or how nice a thing is to use; thus, most of the market is the same boring, fungible stuff that comes in a flimsy plastic-clad pressed-aluminum box with some holes punched in the back*--the sort of machines that compel us to refer to computers as "boxes". That is another merit of this kind of thing: It offers at least something of an alternative to that monotony, just in case somebody wants to try something different--and sometimes people do.

      *sadly, the case of this thing appears to be a flimsy plastic-clad pressed-aluminum box with some holes punched in the back. At least the circuitry is interesting.

      1. Iainn
        Headmaster

        Case Closed

        The case is made by Fractal Design, it's a Define R2. I own an R1 and the case is awesome. And anyway, aren't most PC cases plastic-clad aluminium?

        The PSU is a Corsair HX620W but what I don't get is the use of an IDE hard drive...

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      No such thing as a modern Amiga

      "what is a modern Amiga for"

      Nothing since it doesn't exist. The Amiga spirit with Commodore. The A1200, A600 and A4000 were the last Amiga.s A succession of owners have slapped the Amiga or Commodore brand on a sucession of (vapourware) products but none of them have come to anything.

      The brand has no meaning any more. Calling something an Amiga doesn't make it any more so than if Coke went bust and someone decided to use the brand name 15 years on a packet of gravy sauce.

      Furthermore, any advantages AmigaOS had were surpassed a long, long time ago. There is no value in any of the brands and its hard to understand why the Amiga's mouldering corpse is desecrated even today.

  25. jason 7
    FAIL

    I was at Bletchley on Saturday.

    I went in the Amiga tent and tried to see what the fuss was about with the 1000. All I saw was a few studenty types sitting round what looked like more old home brew PCs. I saw the 1000 box and didnt realise it was anything new. Looked like any £400 cheapo PC but with IDE cables in it!!??

    Nice!

    Had more fun chatting to Chris Smith about the Sinclair Spectrum ULA chip.

    Well worth a trip to visit though.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Memories...

    Upgraded my A500 back in its day to a Super Fat Agnus, remember Denise and Gary as well...

    Had 10MB RAM in there alltogether but never really used it, GVP 110MB hard drive hanging off the side edge connector. Then moved the lot into a PC tower case that was doing the rounds at the time, can't remember the name now. Had a daughterboard in there that you plugged the A500 motherboard into and also gave you a couple of ISA slots which I stuck a hd card into.

    Had an external graphics board as well, for Super HAM. The demo picture looked great, true 24 bit but never used it for anything else! AOC multisynch monitor, great setup at the time... Nearly got to put a 68030 turbo cpu card in there but the company went bust on me, taking half the money (only to setup again under a different name - gits...)

    Video digitiser card as well and a 56K modem for accessing the BBS - happy times!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Customisation and expandability and memories

      for my A500 I had a home-maid (not by me) SCSI adaptor card and a third-party memory expansion hanging off the side, and then I plugged the CD Drive box (A530?) into the end of the line. I was running out of width at my desk in the end.

      a extra board on the inside gave me the choice between the two Kickstart ROMS. a bit of luck was coming across a junked Iiyama monitor with a a wide frequency range. For £40 (a fortune to me then) I had it fixed and the helpful people at Iiyama gave em the pinouts so I knocked up a cable to connect it to the Amiga. ran at some unusual refresh rate.

      Never got the parallel port based data connection to my A1200 working though...

  27. fLaMePrOoF
    Troll

    Is it just me...

    Or does Trevor Dickinson look disturbingly like Nick Griffin?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Troll

      He didn't when I read the article

      But he does now..

  28. vincent himpe
    Thumb Down

    i see flatcables

    it's 2010. ever heard about Sata or sas connections ? obsolete hardware running obsolete os ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's not finished yet!

      It's an early version of the system, and SATA drivers aren't finished for it, hence the flat cables. The little SAM440 board has been using SATA under OS4 for years now... There's still plenty of work to be done on it - drivers for more up-to-date graphics cards, the gigabit ethernet and so on (you might also have noticed the PCI NIC plugged in there while you were looking for something to poke fun at).

  29. Ami
    Thumb Up

    a (good) First Step

    The Machine is aimed at developers and Amiga fans with no budget concerns, it is NOT aimed at people living in the People's Republic of NetBooks.

    I see the most original computer since some 15 years ago, and it will probably stay so even when my grand grand son will die more than twice as old as I am today (hint I still don't have grandsons).

    Most don't recall it but it was start-ups like this that made computing fun in the 80s

    Long live Amiga.

  30. Disco-Legend-Zeke
    Thumb Up

    Two Words...

    ...Video Toaster.

  31. M Gale

    £1500?

    Thanks but no thanks. If I wanted an overpriced walled garden, I'd buy a Mac.

    Or maybe spend £250 on a PC and put an Amiga emulator on it. Sorted!

    And seriously, number of cores is meaningless these days when your average GPU could out-core-count this thing. In its day the Amiga was the daddy of home computers.. but they fucked up. The PC got cheap 3D accelerators, got things like HDD and RAM upgrades way cheaper than any Amiga hardware, and the old Commodore machine went the way of the dodo.

    So what does this new machine do that a £1500 PC doesn't?

  32. TrevorD

    Not usually>>>>>>>>

    "Or does Trevor Dickinson look disturbingly like Nick Griffin?"

    Not normally ;-)

    TrevorD

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Ahh Amigas. The Zombie's computer!

    They're not fully dead. But they're not fully alive. Instead, they roam the earth, to feast on the CPUs of the living.

  34. tsernokov

    PA6T

    It is cool they have PA6T CPU there but at 1500 english pounds this is way too expensive. I was there at the show and timbermilf crashed couple of times when deomed.

  35. SteveK

    A1200

    I stumbled across my old A1200 in the basement about a month ago and hooked it up to a handy TFT screen. Booted from the HDD first time (fortunately was already configured to drive a VGA monitor..). Didn't find the mouse and couldn't remember any hotkeys to do anything useful so put it back again for the time being. Apparently can stick a 3com PCMCIA ethernet card in and download drivers for that if I can find where I put some, so when I have half an hour spare (in 2015 or so) I might give it a try...

    1. Steven Cuthbertson
      WTF?

      Timbermilf?

      Perhaps you mean Timberwolf?

      1. HFoster
        Thumb Up

        Timbermilfs roaming wild

        I think I prefer the name TimberMILF. Project fork with XXX bookmarks preinstalled, please?

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    but can it run x264

    and can this xcore run x264 code faster than anything else on the end user market place....

    were's Dave (Haynie) http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7514955261061091399#

    when you need a real objective POV..

    DAVE cant You do that

  37. Gordon 17
    Thumb Up

    transputer & Parallel processing

    not herd transputer since early 80's, the INMOS TRANSPUTER, omg!, i had one as a tie pin, in the 80's.

    it was to be the future of computers, the transputer. (not the tie pin)

    another word from the 80's that was all the rage Parallel processing, oh the good old times!

    fun times what i can remember of them.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    After Reading the Comments

    I took my steel baseball bat and hammered a Corvette to bits and I told the crying fella that a Toyota is cheaper, more widespread and efficient.

    Later I whooped up on a fat kid in the gym for saying he'd like to be a professional baseball player some day. THAT will teach him !!!

    Finally after really getting revved up I came here and monkey stomped anything positive about some folks who, on an extraordinarily limited budget, have a dream to create the best, most up to date Amiga computer ever.

    I think some haters smelled a dream.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------/

    I think this is very exciting. I saw the Timberwolf Firefox alpha and it looks just like Firefox. I didn't even know Open Office was being worked on! That's excellent! Amiga already does music and movies so... I think its time to finally pony up the dollars and revisit the Amiga and check out the improvements. Hope The Register follows up on this. Cheers!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      Unfortunately.....

      ....these folks are effectively remaking the computing equivalent of a high-tech mangle (or wringer).

      Once very useful and necessary. However, now quite redundant.

      You cant turn back time, and certainly not for £1500.

  39. tsernokov

    Nice Amiga clone but...

    This doesnt even run real Amiga OS.

    1. Mikey C

      Not the Real AmigaOS?

      Er yes it does.

      The source code for the earlier AmigaOS4 (now 4.1) is taken from the last OS available to Hyperion Entertainment, namely AmigaOS3.1 it is built on that.

      Perhaps you mean Amiga OS 1.2? or 1.3? When it was just blue and white with the odd bit of amber thrown in? or maybe you really mean OS3.0 which was black and white and to be honest quite ugly too.

      Any mac users out there who wish to argue that MacOSX is not really MacOS5, 6, 7, 8 or 9?

      - I didn't think so.

      1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

        Any mac users out there...

        "Any mac users out there who wish to argue that MacOSX is not really MacOS5, 6, 7, 8 or 9?"

        It isn't. Don't be daft, it most resembles a BSD, practically speaking.

        And I might as you, is this new AmigaOS one in which everything runs in the same address space effectively like prior ones?

  40. SaneCentral
    Thumb Up

    I think I will

    Still have my A2000 w/040 and my A4000T w/PPC and Video Toaster 4000. Oh, and an A1200 toy/game machine someone gave me (I've never been into games). One of the sweetest machines to develop for/on. I miss EVERY application having an ARexx interface since I've had to develop software/hardware on nasty x86 platforms for a living. Now that I'm retired I might just pick one of these up and finally ENJOY developing again.

  41. Bo Pedersen
    Happy

    going to add my tuppence :)

    If I can afford it, I will buy it :)

    there is always room for a new platform to develop, they dont even need to be backward compatible in my opinion.

    Its a 2.5 horse race at the moment with OSX Windows and Linux

    (I am not going to specify the .5 :) )

    So an extra platform is exciting, just as it was in the 80's and 90's, and awesome idea would be for the Amiga to be the ultimate cross platformer. running Mac Linux and Windows software right out of the box... its got to be possible :)

  42. Just Thinking

    Transputer

    My very first job was trying to figure out how to parallel up various algorithms on a transputer array. Using an occam simulator - we never actually got a transputer. Says it all, I suppose.

  43. TheOtherJola
    Pint

    What, no mention of the Iron Bru & Muffin HDD option?

    http://www.wallydug.demon.co.uk/wallydug/hard_cases_rhd/article.html

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    letters making up a title

    Reading the comments, I see a lot of wonder. Some of it is simple marvel, some of it is the usual "but what can it do that my crap box at home can't?". Well, if the latter's you, this isn't for you. Back again are the days thought lost of some upstart with a good idea. How else would something new come into being? The big players have no interest in that happening.

    The funny thing is, it's mostly a mindset issue. Way back when there were quite a few hardware platforms, all incompatible. With the business driven push to a single platform, and the resulting monoculture sustained by lots and lots of users with the same at home and no education to show them it didn't have to be that way, well, all of IT was essentially stuck.

    But the sometimes rabid users of linux (and the open secrets only the Real Men With Real Beards use) already showed the monopoly is easily breakable if you don't let yourself be roped into believing it's all that's viable. In the beginning that zealous conviction was necessairy by dint of the sheer apathetic inertia they had to overcome. Now, well, it's perhaps time to tone it down and leave the backward masses behind. Either way, linux land has a lot of catching up to do, too. But I digress.

    The more interesting question is, how was this even possible? Is it because the amiga brand? I don't think so. It's a useful hook to gain attention and establish a beachhead. After all, the amiga users back then tended to be people not bound by convention and actively interested in new, better tools. They are about to get that treat again.

    I haven't checked the specs, but just a look at the picture tells me there's been sufficient attention to detail to make hardware maintenance a better experience than the usual atx-or-variant box. That I take as a good sign.

    It's easy to sneer while looking back, but back then people were pushing the envelope too. So why did it take so long for people to start doing that again? I think some never stopped, it's just that some parties held much more market power to suppress potentially disrupting ideas.

    Is that all there is to it? You can also just send your design to some instant shop and get PCBs back, sometimes even soldered and all. What about all those fabless chip designers? I haven't paid attention, but it just might have become easier to come up with interesting CPUs, too. As long as you managed not to get gobbled up by apple.

    Anyway. UKP 1500 for a fancy (if very well designed) box with lots of custom hardware (and ``1.0'' hardware at that) is a bit much if all you want to do is click buttons, use comic sans to write emails to your mom, or tinker with spreadsheets when you really shouldn't. Then again, that's not what this box is for. And why would that be a bad thing?

  45. Andy 70
    Pint

    just so long as i can fast launch games

    just want

    "switch on"

    "insert/select game"

    "play"

    no massive OS loading, no update checker for the fraggin printer or basic periferal device kicking in and eating disk/cpu/memory. bang the usb/firewire/TCP stacks and drivers in rom. job's a good un.

    good luck to em, i may have a butchers myself...

  46. Carlos.
    Happy

    The *real* question is........

    ....does it still have a Guru Meditation when it crashes?

    I *loved* my A500 and A1200 back in the early 90's :) As someone earlier pointed out, it always seemed to be the more creative types not bound by uniformity that owned and used these machines.

    Unfortunately, I left the A1200 (complete with 54MB internal HDD) in a loft when I moved house...the buyer asked if I wanted it back when he found it, but I said no. Bloody fool.

  47. Frank Diangro
    FAIL

    Hyperion and A-eon are not Amiga

    Only thing is, this isn't an Amiga. The OS isn't Amiga either, it's Amiga-like. Hyperion has worked hard over the years to misappropriate the name Amiga so they and their partners could use it in some form in their products - otherwise who would pay any attention to them?

    Hyperion is allowed to use the term AmigaOS, and their hardware partner can use the term AmigaOne. Neither are truly Amiga any more than AROS or MorphOS are Amiga.

    1. Mikey C
      Flame

      Always someone trying to steal the limelight.

      Sorry Frank Diangro, your reply is typical of the cancer that has spread through the Amiga Community for years.

      Folks, During the 90's and mid noughties, Amiga was owned by one numpty company after another, the only one of any note was Escom (remember them?) who restarted production of A1200's - Sadly Escom went bankrupt the patents got bought out by Gateway for peanuts, who went on to set up an Amiga division led by Jim Collas. Everything was positive until the accountants got involved and the Plug was pulled. The rights were then Acquired for $5m by Amino, who didn't have a penny, to take the brand forward for the next 8 or so years. They hang onto the name in the hope that their "Amiga Anywhere" would make them some money. it didn't. For all extent and purposes the Amiga over those years was lost and rudderless.

      Which brings me to the following point about Morphos and AROS.

      These Alternatives sprung up as a result of the Amiga being rudderless, or if you prefer up the creek without a puddle.

      Morphos is a very nice OS and will run on old Mac PPC hardware (check which one first) but its not THE Amiga.

      AROS is the open source re-implementation of Amiga OS for x86. This in my opinion is the favoured option for those who spent all their time in the school playground swapping disk copies or are too tight put their hands in their pockets and buy some actual Amiga hardware.

      - That's not to say that AROS hasn't got its good points, it has so if you want an Amiga like experience, without actually using the real thing - then this is for you.

      The problem with the people who prefer the alternative solutions is that they are only too happy to slag off Hyperion, AmigaOS and indeed the real Amiga community, but are only too happy to come into forums like this and ride on AmigaOS's coat tails, because they can't gain the attention of their chosen platform by themselves, preferring instead to spread FUD in the hope of getting people away from "The real thing" and into their alternative choice.

      Make no Mistake AmigaOS4.1 is the natural and continued successor to the Original AmigaOS/Workbench that we all grew up with. None of the Alternatives will run AmigaOS4.1x they are their own separate operating system.

      At the end of the day, Amiga is the one grabbing the headlines, not MorphOS nor AROS.

      As the old saying goes, you pays your money, you take your choices (or words to that effect)

  48. HFoster
    Thumb Up

    I for one...

    welcome another platform. However, I do agree that GBP1500 is very steep to most. Especially if the platform cannot garner widespread support (I hope it does though). Maybe the X1000 will serve as a top-of-the-range totem, and lower spec'd, more affordable beasts will emerge.

    However, I also think that the earnest rise of the tablet computer is something Hyperion should not ignore. Just as the netbook became the (albeit short-lived) unexpected bastion of general consumer-use Linux (some of my totally non-technical friends bought early eeePC's with Linux), I believe Amiga OS needs an affordable and pervasive hardware platform on which to make itself known again. OK, the tablet might not be the ideal environment for the OS, but the key is to get into the hands and minds of the general public, as well as back onto the desks of the die-hard fans. However Amiga OS gets itself back on the map, it has to be quickly capitalised upon: killer apps, popular features/ports of popular software titles (Hello, GNU, are you there? It's me, Amiga!), and maybe even doing the games console thing again.

    I think it's either that, going software-only, or death. And I'd rather not see the Amiga die again.

    1. Mikey C
      Happy

      There is a lower end model already!

      "welcome another platform. However, I do agree that GBP1500 is very steep to most. Especially if the platform cannot garner widespread support (I hope it does though). Maybe the X1000 will serve as a top-of-the-range totem, and lower spec'd, more affordable beasts will emerge."

      There is a lower end model available, its called a SAM Flex. its by ACUBE Systems SRL it will run the same AmigaOS that the X1000 runs, the only difference is the speed. (Which to be honest is bloody fast anyway) In September ACUBE will be releasing their next model up, which is the SAM460 and was on display alongside the X1000.

      However if anyone here doesn't want to wait, the SAM Flex is available from Amigakit right now (http://www.amigakit.co.uk)

      1. HFoster

        Heard about it

        Yeah, I've seen it, and I'm interested. What I'm concerned about though, is whether or not the typical computer user would go for it. As I said, Netbooks were a boon to desktop Linux because non-techies had access to devices ready to go with it installed. The SAM systems are motherboards. Techies like us are mre likely to go for them, but if we want Amiga to really rise again, we need a kick-ass piece of kit people will want to get their hot little hands on in order to get the system on its feet and back in the public eye (had to be careful not to type 'pubic eye' there).

        If a company will put SAM boards into cases with peripherals, etc and get the systems into shops for GBP300-500, or someone can customise the OS and build a console around it, we'll really see Amiga and AmigaOS rise from the ashes and show the world what its been missing.

  49. Stefan 2

    Not Amiga?

    I don't give a stuff if it's not an Amiga. If it looks like an Amiga, has API's like an Amiga and fully documented hardware like an Amiga, then it's sufficiently Amiga-like for me not to care about the difference.

    I loved developing on the A1200. Every part of the system could be fully understood, down to the last clock cycle. There are excruciatingly few x86 developers who can lay claim to the level of knowledge that quite many Amiga developers had about their hardware.

    In some ways, technology has gone very backward. One niche example is that it's difficult, these days, to generate synthetic sound effects for games. Realtime, low-latency audio is the realm of expensive (or at least, not motherboard integrated) sound cards and ASIO drivers. This used to be standard, when sound was forcefully pushed out of a DAC by a custom chip or (shock horror) the CPU, with nary a buffer in sight. All sadly lost in the quest of hardware abstraction, OS protection, resource sharing and a multitasking environment incapable of gracefully stepping out of the way when a bare-metal approach would be infinitely more preferable for certain tasks. We don't *always* want to run multiple tasks at once. Just one task, run really, really well is sometimes what we want.

    I'm not saying a new Amiga could be a computing panacea, but maybe it will turn a few heads and open up some unique software possibilities. I want to get an X1000 to explore those possibilities. It looks like it could be a good playground for testing all manner of code, without the cruft of a multi-gigabyte OS making its presence felt.

    It needs a good editor, a proper graphics driver and a really good show of what Xena can do.

    1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

      Re: There are excruciatingly few x86 developers...

      "I loved developing on the A1200. Every part of the system could be fully understood, down to the last clock cycle. There are excruciatingly few x86 developers who can lay claim to the level of knowledge that quite many Amiga developers had about their hardware."

      Maybe I am just paraphrasing you when I say that was possible only because the Amiga platform THEN was a very small and _constant_ platform.

      The same cannot be said about today's average 'pc gaming box'

      The hardware has grown more complex.

      And that in itself is an understatement.

      Even the cpu cannot be assumed to be the same across the board and one optimisation for one may be less desirable for another. While we are on that, ("last clock cycle"), as a whole 68ks of the amiga era were also incredibly more 'deterministic' than the current complex out-of-order jobs we have now.

      This is just CPU's alone.

      But all points taken and yes, there is a lot to be said for being close to the metal.

      But at what cost?

      (Naturally I deplore cruft in OSs as much as you do and I reckon these big corporations like M$ do not decruft their OS's enough to be honest (or even worse, nor do they allow you as the end user to do so!), but you gotta see that OS's these days are sometimes big because of the way hardware's become these days).

  50. Prophet
    Headmaster

    copy cats upset

    Think this is an awesome idea all ways loved the Amiga like the idea of the onboard Xmos .....not even aware of a X86 board with that, so that's different. Maybe I can use it to manage my anti-door2door salesman killer robot army in my front yard :P

    tsernokov "Nice Amiga clone but... This doesn't even run real Amiga OS."

    A quick look on some Amiga forums reveals some kind of mud slinging contest between a couple of Amiga clone OS's and the current official Amiga OS ...... so that explains tsernokov. I was assured by a mate who is in the Amiga scene he's probably in the pro "MOS" Amiga clone camp as pro "AROS" guys are better behaved.

    "Frank Diangro" Hyperion and A-eon are not Amiga

    Also I saw a page on Amiga Inc's forum stating that the "AmigaOne" series computes are the next gen Amiga & further more that Hyperion are sub contracted to make the next AmigaOS .......... I call that official. Seems the Alternates don't like it tho & just want to spread misinformation so you wont dismiss them as well ...... copies.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    How the Americans Do Serial Lines

    1 to 11 Gbit/s transceivers on Xilinix FPGAs:

    http://www.xilinx.com/support/documentation/data_sheets/ds150.pdf

    And these FPGAs are based on run-of-the-mill technology from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. But certainly they had some real electrical engineers implementing the differential links.

    Ever heard of "Gründlichkeit" rather than "muddling through" ??

  52. Raffaele
    Megaphone

    Xena Chip? Please don't call it "simply" a transputer or underestimate it!

    The Xena Chip used as co-processor it is not a simply transputer.

    It is a modern "all purpose" programmable chip of some FPGA class and aimed mainly at dealing with big streaming of data in Input/Output.

    In the internet Age, to have a processor that deals with data streams it is really an interesting feature.

    This will leave the main processor free for the tasks of dealing with the OS and the software.

    It is really a renewed concept of the ancient Amiga Chipset but this time it is not aimed at media (GPU and Audio Chips are good enough nowadays) but aimed at freeing the processor dealing with big data amount of modern streaming over any net (Internet, local, Wi-Fi, etcetera).

    It also can be programmed to became a co-processor, or mimicking any other processor of the same class, or piloting external devices. It can also be attached to a cloud of other Xena processors for distributed computing (on the motherboard there is also a PCI slot modified for high I/O streaming that Xena could pilot all by herself). It is a very interesting feature.

    Not only Amiga is back, but it also keep the fun of making evolving again the whole motherboard design concept, looking at a point (data streaming) that no any other manufacturer has still explored...

    And sure it is a very interesting motherboard design made by a firm that has built AOne X-1000 with a cheap budget and not counting on dozillions of Euro/dollars to spend in research and new motherboards design, like it could afford Asus, Intel or Apple.

    With Amiga computing is fun again!

    Ciao,

    Raffaele

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      FPGAs

      If you need a serious FPGA, go to Xilinx. They also have versions with an embedded PowerPC cores.

      The transputer guys simply don't get it. Low CPU clock frequency, superslow interchip links etc, etc.

  53. Raffaele
    Thumb Up

    Xilinx more serious than Xena? But there is already a Xilinx 500 Chip on AONE X-1000!

    @ Jlocke

    Sure you have no informations that various people spotted a Xilinx 500 processor togheter with the XENA Chip in the high right corner of the first public photo of the AmigaONE X-1000.

    (Just resize the image a bit higher, and perhaps you can choose to make it a lso a bit more clear joking with contrast and luminosity features to keep Xilinx name visible on the chip)

    So there is also a Xilinx 500 on the motherboard.

    http://www.a-eon.com/pics/nemo.jpg

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