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Amiga to ship a real product.

By Anonymous 242 in News
Mon Jul 03, 2000 at 12:00:55 PM EST
Tags: Technology (all tags)

While checking out the headlines at ars technica I noticed a link to an interview with Bill McEwen. at Gamer's Depot.

Basically what has happened is that Bill (a former marketing VP at Gateway) bought the rights to Amiga from Gateway and formed a partnership with the the Tao Group. The Tao Group's OS , Elate, has always excited me with its potential, but somehow has never had anything incredibly exciting happen with it.

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comments (24)
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Amiga's main product is going to be a Game SDK which will let game developers target multiple platforms with a single binary. Think Java written in assembler.

The kicker is that this time, Amiga's resurrection just might be for real. What makes this different than the last n Amiga resurrections is the attitude of the new management. Check this out:

Game Depot: Great, anything more you can tell us?

Bill: No, the first rule of the new Amiga is that we don't talk about things that haven't shipped. While under Gateway, Amiga had 7 different product announcements in fewer than two years, and nothing ever shipped.

After many, many years, It looks like Amiga finally has a manager that has a clue.


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Related Links
o ars technica
o interview with Bill McEwen
o the Tao Group
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Amiga to ship a real product. | 21 comments (16 topical, 5 editorial, 0 hidden)
Yay (1.00 / 1) (#1)
by Matthew Weigel on Fri Jun 30, 2000 at 04:48:07 PM EST

Of course, what it is they seem to be developing is well... not very exciting.

I mean, the Amiga of old was in a class of its own -- the NeXTStation and the BeBox were both considered by some to be latter-day reincarnations of the Amiga. And they were cool.

But a gaming SDK? Sure, it's good to have. But it's just not as exciting (particularly now that Crusoe has come out) as an Amiga.

Oh well.

--Matthew Weigel
Re: Yay (none / 0) (#2)
by Matthew Weigel on Fri Jun 30, 2000 at 04:50:25 PM EST

Just to be clear, I'm referring to the NeXTstation and BeBox as the hardware platforms, and the launch platforms for the operating systems themselves -- much like Amiga.

--Matthew Weigel
[ Parent ]
Re: Yay (4.00 / 1) (#5)
by baka_boy on Fri Jun 30, 2000 at 06:53:11 PM EST

There's a simple reason why the Amiga, NeXTStation, BeBox, original Macintosh, etc. were such amazing systems, IMHO: they were developed by a single company, to run a single OS, on a single platform. When the hardware and software are knit that well, and the designers and engineers working on a system are given room to play, Good Things happen.

Unfortunately, that is also why most of them have never become a dominant platform outside of particular niches. I am a died-in-the-wool worshipper of all the above systems, but they were never put together like consumer-grade machines. In today's tech market, (as in the 1980's) very little that doesn't work with the guy next door's copy of MS Office is going to last long as a standard desktop machine.

Hence, the reason that this Amiga revival has me a little skeptical. I just don't see how any company could convince its investors that their was really a market for a new OS/platform that would have the name, if few of the features, of a once cutting-edge (and fringe) system. (Unless, of course, they just have a bunch of gimmee money from 20-something Net millionaires who are still geek enough to want to throw money at such an ill-fated project...)

[ Parent ]

Argh. Amiga, amiga, amiga (2.50 / 8) (#3)
by rusty on Fri Jun 30, 2000 at 05:45:50 PM EST

I'm going to break my own personal unwritten rule and say right up front that I voted for this story. *BUT* only because it seemed like a fine intro to some fun Amiga-bashing. :-)

The icon of the big stone wheel is appropriate here, because, little known fact, that's actually a picture of Amiga's last product. The Amiga (R) Big-Ass Stone Wheel 2.3 last shipped in 1358 BC, and since then Amiga has been dead. Conjugate with me people:

Amiga is dead now.
Amiga has been dead for years.
Amiga will be dead forever.

Now for the content of this article:

1) "Amiga's main product is going to be a Game SDK which will let game developers target multiple platforms with a single binary. Think Java written in assembler."
2) "the first rule of the new Amiga is that we don't talk about things that haven't shipped."

Quick! Someone call the irony police!

For more fun Amiga-bashing, please see this story from way back in December. While it is nominally about machine translation, the example text used is my last Amiga rant, which I think still pretty much holds true.

Ahhh. That felt good. :-)

Not the real rusty

Re: Argh. Amiga, amiga, amiga (none / 0) (#9)
by warpeightbot on Sat Jul 01, 2000 at 12:01:29 AM EST

So I'm going to break a personal rule and publically go against the moderator instead of emailing him privately. This should be quick and to the quick.

Hey, RUSTY, they said that about Apple, too! They said Apple was dead, dead, dead, fuggeddabowdit, stick a fork in it, it's done. Then there was this little thing called the Power PC, and they still giggled, and the Imac, and they tittered, and now we have OS X and SMP G4's on PCI boards and still they laugh... but they're not laughing AT Apple anymore, nooooo, they're laughing at the WinTel establishment now...

They said it about the 1986 Mets, too, who were twice within one strike of losing the Series, only to pound the BoSox in the latter half of Game 7. No, this ain't baseball, but it IS life, which is a lot like thereunto... No, I don't have any Amiga hardware. I've never even worked with one more than a couple times. But I'm sorry, anything whose native chip is anything Motorola is inherently superior in design to these steenking x86 boxen... Linus' brilliant software (which turned out to be easily cross-platformable, thank you GNU) notwithstanding.

Sign me,

"It ain't over 'til it's over." -- Yogi Berra

[ Parent ]

Re: Argh. Amiga, amiga, amiga (3.00 / 1) (#10)
by HiRes on Sat Jul 01, 2000 at 12:33:04 AM EST

They said it about the 1986 Mets, too, who were twice within one strike of losing the Series, only to pound the BoSox in the latter half of Game 7.

HEY! Let's keep it clean here. No need to hit below the belt.
wait! before you rate, read.
[ Parent ]

Re: Argh. Amiga, amiga, amiga (none / 0) (#21)
by rusty on Fri Jul 07, 2000 at 11:09:31 PM EST

Moderators, especially myself, are not the least bit infallible, and may be agrued with freely. :-) So basically, you might be right. I might be wrong. It was a fun rant anyway.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: Argh. Amiga, amiga, amiga (none / 0) (#14)
by dgph on Sat Jul 01, 2000 at 03:50:23 PM EST

1) "Amiga's main product is going to be a Game SDK which will let game developers target multiple platforms with a single binary. Think Java written in assembler."
2) "the first rule of the new Amiga is that we don't talk about things that haven't shipped."

Quick! Someone call the irony police!

No need to call them. The story is a bit inaccurate, the SDK is in fact shipping, here is a review.

Another thing to bear in mind is that Amiga is under new management, they simply bought the Amiga name. I'd like to point out that judging these people on the track record of some essentially unrelated people makes absolutely no sense. It's only fair to judge them on their own merits.

The Elate kernel from Tao seems very nice. I hope that Amiga Inc can do something good with it.

[ Parent ]

Re: Argh. Amiga, amiga, amiga (none / 0) (#19)
by talon on Tue Jul 04, 2000 at 05:32:40 PM EST

Ahhh. That felt good. :-)

If you do a little more research, beyond this (sadly inaccurate) article, you might feel even better, although for different reasons. ;)
(has shipped, not a gaming SDK, new company, ...)
-- Santa Claus - scaring children since 352 A.D.
[ Parent ]

Amiga (4.70 / 3) (#7)
by extrasolar on Fri Jun 30, 2000 at 10:36:44 PM EST

I have never used the Amiga.

But it seems to me that just creating some software/hardware, and calling it Amiga is just some marketing hype.

If these people like the Amiga so much, then why don't they re-write it and make it Free Software. The users probably know what made the Amiga so great, just as Linus Torvalds knew what made Unix great, not the "Suit of the Day" who happens to own the Amiga name. My personal opinion is that throwing the Amiga trademark around isn't going to bring the Amiga back.

But if someone starts a project to re-write the Amiga, send me a link. I am rather curious what all the fuss is about.

Some inaccuracies (5.00 / 1) (#11)
by hattig on Sat Jul 01, 2000 at 10:02:32 AM EST

First: I like the Amiga, especially the well designed OS, and many of the features, and the desire to keep things lean and mean. Of course, the Amiga is currently 5 years out of date.

Tao, the makes of Elate, are going places. They have support from Sony and Motorola, amongst others. Their product will not be a flash-in-the-pan here today, gone tomorrow product. Their Java VM is the fastest on the market. Their VP (Virtual Processor) system is great - imagine the last part of a compiler being inside the OS program loader, and thus generating 100% machine optimised binaries, whatever CPU you are using, for all software. No more running 386 software on an Athlon. Of course, it is more advanced than that even, but if you are interested, you can find out more here.

The next generation Amiga IS NOT A GAMING API. Inaccuracies like that irritate me. It is a nice Operating Environment, whatever, like a normal OS. Sure, it will include Gaming APIs, who wouldn't? The OS is designed to be scalable, from a PDA level OS up to large servers - just leave out or add in components as necessary. The GUI will compete with the next generation GUIs - MacOS X et al, not the stupid out of date X or Windows interfaces. X is the biggest problem with Unix, it is slow, and the extensions in XFree86 4.0 do not make up for it. What use is a client-server windowing system developed in the mid 80's, when most people will be running single user machines which don't require a client-server model for the GUI, in the early 21st century? The new Amiga will have much greater game performance than Linux et al because of this.

Amiga has always been about user friendly, but with the power available to those that want it. Unix is about the power only, and MacOS is about the user friendly only, and Windows is a bad balance of the two. Ignoring the Amiga aspect of things - hey, the new machines are Amiga in name only, but developed in the spirit of the Amiga. This will be an OS that will run on an Alpha, x86, ARM, PPC, SH4, MIPs, etc. You will have the choice of what hardware you want now - if you dislike x86, then you can use PPC or Alpha. Imagine notebooks with <1W StrongARM or SH4 processors - who would need Transmeta then?

So, the current Amiga is dead. I view it like people view classic cars though, they aren't your modern Ford Mondeo (standard x86 PC's), they are classic MGs, or Aston Martins, or whatever (I don't know much about cars). They are underpowered, but they are stylish.

Re: Some inaccuracies (5.00 / 1) (#12)
by hattig on Sat Jul 01, 2000 at 10:14:05 AM EST

Hag, sorry: Tao Group.

Otherwise you get some consultancy group. Stupid domain names.

[ Parent ]

Why do people care? It's still dead, and it's stil (3.00 / 1) (#16)
by mlatin on Sun Jul 02, 2000 at 06:05:36 PM EST

I really am uncertain why anyone cares any more. Doesn't anyone realize, after having read the info that they've made available, that none of the old, lovable AmigaOS stuff has anything to do with this new move? The old is dead. Leave it alone. This new stuff is "Amiga" in that someone bought the name to use it for a marketting scheme. (Quite a contradiction of the name, if they knew anything of it's marketted past.)

Re: Why do people care? It's still dead, and it's (none / 0) (#17)
by squigly on Mon Jul 03, 2000 at 11:03:56 AM EST

I sort of agree with you. There's no reason to care. Any new amiga will not be an amiga. Nevertheless, I still care. People try to come up with reasons, and point to the Amiga community (which seemed to consist of people saying "The Amiga Rocks, the ST sucks", so thats out), various aspects of hardware (Which are old new now. The Amiga's blitter was a very good blitter, but any modern CPU will do that faster in software) or the multitasking OS (I refuse to believe that that was the reason people chose the amiga. I didn't know what multitasking was. I just assumed that all machines could run lots of applications at the same time). None of these convince me.

Nevertheless, I loved my Amiga, and I still do, and I want a new modern machine to replace it.

People who sig other people have nothing intelligent to say for themselves - anonimouse
[ Parent ]
Re: Why do people care? It's still dead, and it's (none / 0) (#18)
by Anonymous Hero on Mon Jul 03, 2000 at 12:13:35 PM EST

You can buy the SDK through Amazon.

A product has shipped.

The idea behind calling it an Amiga SDK does seem a little confusing especially to those of us who owned and loved out machines.

However, should the ball get rolling, we may go back to editing startup-sequence and making RAM disks with impunity (man, gotta love that).


[ Parent ]

linkage (none / 0) (#20)
by 3than on Wed Jul 05, 2000 at 12:10:22 PM EST

Check this out.
It's a small article on what the amiga sdk can actually do. I've been skeptical myself, but the new sdk has a few features that seem actually useful-good 3d capabilities and anti-aliased fonts especially. The cross-platform compiler is interesting, but useful? I'm not sure.
The real issue is that currently, it only runs on RH6.1. If the Amiga layer were to run on most linuxes, it might be valuable: a clever, portable app layer. But it's unrealistic to think that fresh linux installs are going to be made for Amiga. I mean, get some perspective here people. If Amiga were to create a decent desktop environment that integrated seamlessly with X apps, they'd have something(and btw, if MacOS X could do X apps, they'd have a product about 1000% better too. Too bad that sensibility and flexibility are losing out to the MacOS X 'vision') This 1-environment outlook is really hurtful. I'm a dual-booter, and I'm not going to add another option that excludes the simultaneous use of linux. Not too many linux people are going to do that. But Amiga could create something really useful.
I hope that they have the vision to do so.

Amiga to ship a real product. | 21 comments (16 topical, 5 editorial, 0 hidden)
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