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18.Nov.2001
Stefan Popp (E-Mail)


AMIGA 2001: Report by Stefan Popp
Stefan Popp wrote:
Here my small report about the 2001 Amiga show (absolute subjective and incomplete).

There were more booths than the last time (about 12). Unfortunately they took that good advantage of the exhibition space, that the walks between the booths were quite narrow, which lead to bothering tailbacks.

Bplan
Like known Bplan is creating a PPC machine. This was presented run capable. I've seen MorphOS. Reportedly Linux was no problem, too.

A complete machine (20GB HD, 128MB RAM, ...) was said to cost about 1,000 Euro. But the boards would be available solitary, too (from distributors, but not from BPlan directly).

The problem about this whole thing: The system still is at beta test stage, and if someone would order a certain amount of boards today, delivery would not be expected before end of 1Q02. Major reason for this: It is hard to get low quantities of the components.

To the question, how much of the specifications have been revealed, I was told, that the computer meets the Motorola Open-Bios conception and to adapt it to other operating systems would be no problem.

BPlan's documents consciously don't mention the Amiga, to not tie the machine down to some special field of application.

Elbox
Showed their busboards. Again, the TV card and the TV picture was presented as Workbench background.

Unfortunately the SharkPPC was shown inside a show-case.

Of course I asked, why this card wasn't performed. The employee illustrated, that though development would have been finished, but it would be to wait for AmigaOS4.0. Ermh, if I consider this, my questions actually wasn't answered by this statement. Allegedly the card would run with WarpOS drivers, too (so please, why to wait for 4.0). Well, doesn't make any difference, isn't that important, anyway. :).

Haage & Partner
Actually just showed Amithlon and AmigaXL on three computers.

Meal booth
Meat balls, noodle salad, coffee, and Snikers at cheap prices.

The lectures (at least those I attended)

1) Amithlon - Jürgen Haage
In advance: The room was to narrow and of bad equipment. Reportedly this also was due to the fact, that some parts did not survive the transport to Cologne. But, after some bricolage everything worked.

Mr. Haage explained the step to develop the Amiga emulator with the good availability of and the cheap prices for PC hardware.

The price for the complete package is at 299DM (incl. Kick 3.1, OS 3.9, QNX, Arteffects, AmiWriter, and StormC3.0 ).

According to Mr. Haage the development of the emulation bases on UAE. Amithlon utilizes a Linux kernel in addition, which was said to simplify the implementation of additional hardware. AmigaXL uses QNX as 'hosting' operating system.

2) Hyperion about the subject Amiga 4.0
Amiga Ltd. did not attend the show. And to say it honestly, nobody missed them. Some kind of announcement sure would have coused people to shake their heads, again.

The lecture was done by the CEO of Hyperion (I just forgot the name). The facts in short:

Hyperion and H&P obtaind a license for a PPC port. With the help of many developers (with H&P and Hyperion as the core team) the OS will be ported step by step. At first the TCP/IP stack, Exec and possibly DOS. Furthermore there is a new library concept.
  • In the beginning memory protection will be limited to prevent access to not allocated memory.
  • New Warp3D will be implemented (with Matrox-, Permedia3-, and Radon1/2 support).
  • WarpInput for input device management.
  • Generic PCI drivers to better integrate the different PCI boards (hardware drivers will have to be developed only once, at last).
  • USB support.
  • New TCP/IP stack ('Roadshow').
  • Picasso96 as standard in a PPC native version.
  • It's said to run on any PPC Amiga, while Blizzard cards might suffer from low performance.
  • 68k emulation (JIT version) will be integrated.
  • AmigaDE will be on it.
  • Java was sait to come, too (but not already in the initial version).
  • Price: In the range of AmigaOS V3.5 or V3.9.
  • Amiga ZorroII and ZorroIII would be supported (at least the most prevalent cards).
  • PPC datatypes.
  • AHI for Sound.
A version would be available from January, already.

I could not keep more in mind. Maby someone would publish the Scala presentation.

The CEO of Hyperion wasn't very optimistic in regard of AmigaOne, Shark, BPlan. One reason to decide to port 4.0 to existing hardware and to not let down the owners of PPC cards. The OS theoretically runs on any PPC hardware.

But nothing was performed. Explanation: Due to the still bad look one would get a bad impression, which just would cause people to review things from a wrong point of view.

At the booth of Haage&Partner I was told, that a PPC native version of the AmigaOS would have been possible already two years ago, but Gateway would have disliked that. I think this is nothing new, but to celebrate the day I once more was happy about it . (sd) (Translation: mj)

[News message: 18. Nov. 2001, 15:09] [Comments: 0]
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