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Poll: Is Amiga development heading in the right direction
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Is Amiga development heading in the right direction
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    Thread: Is the current PPC Amiga development the right direction?
    Nadanova 12:35 12th February 2010
    I think that if the new amiga system is released and they update OS4 to go with it, they should make it a) Open Source and b) add support for current AMD and Intel Processors, we could have amiga OS4 running on intel's ion platform or netbooks as a fast, lightweight OS that is resistant to viruses.
    [Reply] 14:25 12th February 2010
    Sorry I've been a way for a while, but here's my two pennies worth!

    I think, that they should be concerntrating on making AmigaOS cross-platform.
    PPC hardware (especially Amiga PPC hardware) is soooooo expensive and the manufacturers have priced themselves out of the market, not to mention the high price of AmigaOS 4.x

    I know some people will disagree, but the x86 platform (or x64 in the future) should be the way to go. Being as there's plenty of emulators for the classic amiga on the x86 platform, it would be easy to say, integrate WinUAE emulation/functionality into AmigaOS 4.x (or 5.x or whatever version it's gonna get next)

    Although PPC is a great atchitecture/CPU/platform/whatever, it's not as accessible nowadays (not so easy to find PPC motherboards etc.) and it's not very mainstream.
    OK, so maybe the idea is not to be mainstream, but surely the future Amiga doesn't need to become so obscure and highly priced that it ends up turning into a complete flop!

    Anyway, that's my opinion(s) ..... discuss!
    Harrison 15:25 12th February 2010
    Exactly my thoughts too. I've been wishing for OS4 to move direction to x86/x64 for years, as has anyone else who uses up to date PC hardware.

    It seems to me that the opinion of PPC is firmly divided between those who bought into PPC at the start and upgraded to OS4 and dedicated PPC Amigas. Therefore wanting OS4 to continue its PPC route. And those of us who stuck with the classic Amiga 68K systems, and refused to waste money on the PPC direction, and are the ones who can see it is an expensive dead end to continue trying to stick with PPC.

    As you say, PPC is no longer easily accessible. And PPC Amiga design continues to utilise out of date technology. Slow FSB, IDE and obsolete ram types.

    For OS4 to truly be of interest it has to support modern multicore CPUs, have support for newer system architecture with faster DDR3 ram, newer AGP and PCI-E graphics cards (linux can so why can't Amiga OS), and most importantly it has to embrace the modern connection types we now take for granted, such as USB2/3, and SATA.

    I'm not sure how it would work if the OS were Open Source. Who would step up to work on it? Who would support it?

    I do however love the suggestion of integrating WinUAE into an x86 version. That would work perfectly. WinUAE is a brilliant 68k Amiga emulator which can emulate classic Amiga system much faster than any real 68k CPU ever could, and would be the perfect legacy solution for the OS. The one hurdle to overcome is to somehow integrate legacy Amiga hardware support. Catweasel is the perfect controller for this, to allow direct access to real Amiga floppy disks, as well as Amiga joystick, mouse and keyboard ports. But the software and compatibility would need to be improved.

    Imagine, a x86 Amiga OS4, bundled with a directly supported and better working version of a PCI/PCI-E Catweasel controller, and integrated seamless WinUAE (thing XP mode in Win7). That is my dream for the future of the Amiga.

    In fact, if the OS was bundled with such an I/O card, and designed so it would only work when it was present, it would solve the issues argued over the port to x86 signalling the death of Amiga OS due to piracy.
    [Reply] 18:14 13th February 2010
    Harrison, it looks like we're thinking along the same lines here.
    I like your idea of a 'Catweasel' card being a sort of 'dongle' for the OS .... that'd solve the piracy issue.

    My only issue is ..... if WinUAE emulation were to be integrated into OS 4.x/5.x/whatever, then what about getting/obtaining Kickstart ROM images of 1.x -> 3.x

    These would need to be distributed with the OS for it to be considered a 'complete' solution, surely not!?! What about the copyright issues that come with that?
    Harrison 15:25 14th February 2010
    What about the card being able to accept real Kickstart roms? Maybe 2 or more slots for them?
    [Reply] 01:06 15th February 2010
    Originally Posted by Harrison:
    What about the card being able to accept real Kickstart roms? Maybe 2 or more slots for them?
    Now that's a BRILLIANT idea.
    You could have 3.0 or 3.1 ROMs
    Or even 1.3 or 2.0 ROMs (if you so wished)

    It could even be made to support 1.4 Beta ROMs as what's in the early A3000, and then boot Kickstart from hard disk (just like the early A3000)
    Harrison 17:09 15th February 2010
    Also, whoever is selling the OS might be able to arrange some kind of licensing deal to bundle the card with kickstart roms as standard. Have KS3.1 fitted as standard with legal licensing would be a great option. Or you could license KS rom files that only worked when the card is detected. Again, solving the copyright and piracy issues.

    There are many fairly simple solutions to the KS issue in my view, and it is just excuses when you get those in the industry saying they can't do it for whatever reason.

    If someone really wanted to do it, I'm sure it could have been easily made reality.

    Imagine if one of us had won that 50+ Million on the Euro Lottery last Friday. Some of the money could easily have been used to do such a thing. How much is Amiga Inc worth?
    Stephen Coates 20:21 15th February 2010
    I'm sure the Kickstart on a card idea would be possible. The idea isn't new as for many years Emulators, Inc made the 'Gemulator ROM Card' which allowed you to use real Macintosh ROMs with their Gemulator/Softmac products, and the freeware vMac. That is an ISA card though.

    I think the problem with choice of processor is that it already runs on the PPC and porting the OS to another platform may take too much effort for the developers. Making it open source would hopefully solve this.
    Harrison 01:25 16th February 2010
    Apple seemed to overcome the switch from PPC to x86 CPUs fairly well, so I can't see it being the biggest problem ever. A lot fo software is cross compiled for the 2 platforms, especially in the Linux world.

    Obviously the biggest issue is optimising the code to make it x86 specific to take full advantage of the CPUs.

    The only other main alternative is to move to a different RISC CPU, which wouldn't require as many changes to the code, and for that ARM is the logical choice, but you would still be stuck with proprietary hardware again which is always more expensive.
    Stephen Coates 01:58 16th February 2010
    But the difference with Apple is that they are a big company with quite a big market share (in comparison to the Amiga). And lots of people claim that Apple have had an x86 version of MacOSX for many years before it was released. And the fact that it is unix based probably helped.
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