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|Eyetech CEO Clarifies AmigaOne/OS4.0 Announcement|
"On ann and elsewhere there has been a lot of speculation about the nature of the ROM modifications to allow the A1-G3 (and any subsequent Amiga inc approved models) to run OS4 +
As most people here will realise we have always declared that we want to use the official Amiga OS and for Hyperion and Amiga to have their just rewards for licencing the AmigaOne and OS4 products. We are not the only possible licencees, but I guess that we committed to these conditions before anyone else. As a result we have worked in very close cooperation with both Amiga Inc and Hyperion throughout the A1 development program to ensure that piracy of OS4 is kept to a minimum. Jointly we have worked out that the best way to
do this is :..."
- To put this in hard-coded, socketed ROM at a specific address in the PPC memory map, rather than in Flash ROM, which could easily be pirated/updated
- To ensure that OS4 calls this code from multiple points to make workround patches difficult to implement
- To ensure that a copy of OS4 is sold with all hardware capable of running it (ie with the dongle code in ROM)
- To use similar routines that already exist in the 3.1 Kickstart ROM as an alternative for the PPC accelerator implementations.
Although a dedicated pirate could no doubt copy the boot code and dupe the ROM's, unless this was to be done in bulk - which would be easy to spot and close down - the overheads involved versus buying the ROM would mean few people would be likely to do it. The situation is analagous to OS3.1/3.5/3.9 in that you had to have/buy 3.1 ROMs to run the OS, unless you go to extraordinary work-around lengths.
We are producing all the developer/dealer boards and at least the first run of user boards with this dongle code in place in the ROM - and therefore the obligation to purchase OS4 with them. (They can of course be used to run Linux, but you will still need to buy OS4 with these boards). If there is sufficient demand from the Linux comunity we will probably then produce some boards without the AmigaOne name (and without the dongle code needed for booting OS4). In this case we will also make available an OS4 + ROM upgrade pack (similar to the OS3.5/3.9 +3.1ROMs upgrade packs sold by most Amiga Dealers) to purchasers of the Linux-only boards wishing to upgrade to OS4.
As far as other licenced stand-alone ppc hardware is concerned, it would, in my view, need to support a similar protection format (ie socketed hard coded ROM, not Flash ROM) to embody the same level of anti-piracy protection as The A1G3-SE. Whether, in the specific cases of other hardware manufacturers, this socketed ROM has already been implemented, or remains an option, or requires a partial redesign of the hardware is not something that I have any knowledge of. It is between Amiga Inc and the potential licencees concerned.
This tight anti-piracy regime has obviously upset some individuals on the mailing lists who clearly did not expect to have to pay for OS4, or hoped to buy unapproved/unlicenced PPC Linux boards to save a few bucks. Well tough, we dont want your business under those circumstances and will do all in our power to make sure that if you buy one of our boards for Linux-only use you will not be able to use it for running OS4+ unless you are prepared to pay Hyperion and Amiga Inc their proper licence fees.
And I'm sure that all other potential serious licencees of endorsed Amiga hardware will see it this way too."
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