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04.Aug.2001
AmigArt / Christoph Meier (ANF)


Alan Redhouse (Eyetech UK) comments AmigaOne, OS4-PPC and Amithlon
»Well apart from unduly cluttering up the AmigaOne mailing list I think Gary has handled the points raised admirably. Of course a large proportion of posters appear to have completely ignored his answers and have started indulging in even greater realms of virtual computing fantasy. I dont really see it as a particularly good use of my time or the lists bandwith to comment until the party atmosphere has died down a little.

However, since you ask, this is how I see things, (having first discussed it with Bill, Fleecy & Gary):

There are currently 4 Amiga-on-PC emulators in existence/under development.: UAE (Linux/windows); Amiga Forever; Amithlon; and 'x' (as previewed in AmigaActive but shortly to be released).

All use the same basic 68K emulation process, but have different trade-offs in terms of speed, chipset emulation (and therefore compatibility), windows integration and other features. All only run 68K (not PPC) code so cannot run modern software with PPC code.

All can only run os3.x (for which development has been capped) and will not be able to run any version of OS4.x , all of which are PPC coded. All will be irrelevant with OS5.0 (sometime) as this will run native on PPC and x86 (plus possibly some other) hardware.

From Amiga Inc's point of view all these products have a potential benefit in increasing the overall Amiga user base. The theory is that they will act as a taster to get old PC-owning Amigans excited again and to give ex Amiga (who are now PC) dealers a low cost way of re-evaluating the Amiga. The ultimate goal (in Amiga Inc's eyes) is to get more people to purchase/stock the new PPC-based Amigas.

I am personally unsure whether this will be successful as:

Virtually all new software will be written to OS4.x and PPC interfaces. Showing PC users an old unsupported operating system and its associated 68K applications does not - to me - seem the best way to impress them and get them to change platforms.

(As Ben Hermans from Hyperion says) these emulators will inevitably be installed on an existing windows machine where more functional - but mainly more familiar - productivity and games software already exists for these users.

I personally feel that we have the best chance of winning back old Amigans with an all new hardware (including case - details available in a couple of weeks), OS and application software bundle. That is we need a stand-alone fully functioning solution with sufficient native applications and performance to impress existing independant PC dealers. Of course this means that we need some of these new applications ready when os4.2 arrives and that means that we need sufficient sales of the AmigaOne with OS4.0 to make it financially attractive for software developers to port their games and applications. Careful timing is everything - we (Amigans) will only get one chance to get it right.

Contrary to what many may expect, I actually believe it would be helpful if OS 4.0 could be made to run on some of the existing PPC platforms (eg on the Cyberstorm PPC) - albeit at lower performance - to rapidly increase the OS4.0 user base that application developers can write for. As I understand it this would be possible but would need the cyberstormPPC's flash ROM to be updated and made available by its author (Ralph Schmidt I believe).

BTW I do think Bills statement at AmiWest that three products (AmigaOne, OS4.0, and Amithlon) are all to be launched simultaneously in November is a bit of orator's licence. As far as we are concerned we will be sticking to the (October) timetable for the AmigaOne and OS4.0 as announced in Rotterdam in June. Hope this helps.«
(ps)

[News message: 04. Aug. 2001, 13:32] [Comments: 0]
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