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13.Oct.2003
Marc Cloppenburg / AMIGAplus (ICQ)


Fortnightly Q&A's with Fleecy Moss - episode 21
The English online magazine AmigaWorld has published episode 21 of the regular questions and answers session with Fleecy Moss, CTO at AMIGA, Inc. (Update 2012-03-15, cg: as the original document is no longer available, the following content was moved into our database):

1) Asemoon: Amiga Inc is somewhat blessed with the massive support from the Amiga community. However for some years now there have been rival groups actively trying to bring havoc to Amiga forums and spread around negative information or fantasy stories to harm Amiga efforts in any way they can. In what ways has all this (positive&negative) affected your business over the years?

Fleecy: The main problem with such activity is that it undermines confidence in the platform. The old saying that if you throw enough mud, it will stick is certainly true of the general approach by such groups and, whilst it is possible to counter rumour and allegation, the sheer weight and volume makes such an approach doomed to failure.

A general feeling of gloom, doom, suspicion or whatever else is desired eventually permeates to the core, like a damp autumn. Developers may decide to put projects on hold, users may delay a purchase and hope, dealers see their sales fall and hope for the future begins to evaporate; all going round and around in a depressing spiral whilst conveniently a 'sunny door' is left open to a brighter, but alternative future.

What is interesting is to trace the evolution of these attacks and notice how as each one is disproved, new rumours and different angles of attack appear. Amiga Inc has been bankrupt more times than a banana republic, we've had multiple CEOs, the AmigaOne would never work, AmigaOS4.0 would never see the light of day - on and on ad infinitum.

Despite efforts to the contrary however, most of this has stayed confined to the immediate community. Consequently our bigger partners, potential investors and the like have either never been affected or chose to ignore such activity, concentrating instead on actual talking to us. A pleasing trend is that private individuals are now coming directly to us to ask for information when rumours occur and we are more than happy to explain our position, rather than find ourselves the victims of elaborate stings and set ups in public forums.

Of course without a product in AmigaOS4.0, the real aim of these rumours has been to convince people to move to alternative platforms, convincing people that their wait for AmigaOS4.0 was ultimately going to be futile.

In the end, we just listened to the community who told us to shut up until we had something to show because in rising to the bait, we were just giving oxygen to the competitors. That is what we have done over the last twelve months, letting the community see for itself the progress of AmigaOS4.0. Running on CSPPC, running on AmigaOne - almost all PPC with just the graphics system left to upgrade and port. It has been a long and rocky road but the patience of the Amiga community and the passion and talent of the AmigaOS4 team has meant that as I write this, we are very very close to the end of AmigaOS4.0 as a project and the start of AmigaOS4.1, and a brighter future.

2) alx: I realise that since Amiga is a private company you may not be able to answer this in any detail, but do Amiga have any short-term plans to increase products on sale/cashflow, and could you share a generalised version of what you intend to do in this matter?

Fleecy: In the run up to Christmas we intend to realise new AmigaDE products whilst also creating a range of merchandise to tie in with the public launch of AmigaOS4.0.

Over the longer term, we are looking for sales in both OEM and direct to customer markets and the company will start changing shape and bringing in new people as we seek to exploit the potential of the AmigaOS in traditional and non traditional markets.

3) smithy: With Symbian, Microsoft and Palm pretty much having the PDA/mobile operating system software market sewn up, what is Amiga Inc's strategy to achieve some market sales? Bearing in mind, that all of the above three systems can run Java 2 Micro Edition, today's standard for cross-platform Java on small devices, and hence nulling AmigaDE's main selling point of write once, run anywhere. Furthermore, AmigaDE is based on PersonalJava - which only supports a very old version of Java.

Fleecy: The AmigaDE is a total content solution which runs on any host supported by the Tao-Group with their Intent product. If they do not support it and we see a positive business case, we ask them to support it - as is the case with AmigaOS4.0, to be the first PPC version of the AmigaDE. If they will not support it, then we move on. Our emphasis is on selling content - games and applications, interfaces and tools in as many deployment formats as possible - bundle, CD, Card, Download, OTA etc.

Our opportunity domain is any digital device, anything from Smartphone to Server, as long as the Tao-Group can provide the host binding layer. In that respect other OSs are not competitors, they are opportunities because our content runs on them. Customers don't care about the implementation details of a solution, they care about the solution itself. If our content solution is attractive to OEMs, device manufacturers, content brokers or end users, then it will be successful and our research and contacts over the past 18 months give us cause for great optimism. If we find that a particular market or product either is not supported by the Tao-Group or else has a poor or ill defined business potential then we will not support it.

Daily I am researching and testing content and competing solutions on such platforms as PocketPC, Symbian, Java, Morphun, FatHammer, Palm and the like and I am more than happy with both our solution and the features, quality and performance of the DE content.

4) Asemoon: Aminet is now the center of PD and shareware software for the classic Amiga. But aminet.net provides a mixture of various types of software from AmigaOS1.x programs to even WarpOS/MOS specific binaries. Are there any plans for a central files area for freely donwloadable AmigaOS4-compatible software?

Fleecy: The new Amiga Power Platform (APP) website will be launched just before the public launch of AmigaOS4.0 and will offer many such services to support, enhance and extend the community and platform.

5) Crumb: Have you planned to make the SDK interesting for different levels of coders? Have you included enough information and EXAMPLES in the autodocs? Will you include a decent reaction autodoc viewer that allows cut&paste? The editor of the sdk will at least show the parameters of each function (if it showed parameters of your own defined functions it would be even better) I mean... I want an IDE similar to RealBasic/Delphi/JBuilder...

Fleecy: We will be applying a lot of resources to the toolchain for AmigaOS4, finally implementing the Amiga Development Pipeline which provides a from concept to support description of the development process. As well as implementing various parts of it, the descriptive formats and interfaces will be open to allow for third parties to implement pieces themselves and to allow developers to build the pipeline using the components they wish. Thus a developer can chose between a complete IDE or the good old shell, giving them real choice and control over their development.

Key to AG2 and the whole Amiga philosophy is that the user is part of the environment and they can control and order it in anyway they want. This means anything from organisation of content through scripts, simple and complex all the way upto 'grown up' development languages for application developers. We intend to make this as simple to use as possible which means amongst other things, full, effective and most of all useful documentation.

6) Hybrid: Now there is an AmigaOne mainboard for Desktop, a Mini-itx one for small form factor AmigaOne computers. That's great but what about notebooks, handheld or tablet?

Fleecy: Stay tuned 8-)

7) AmigaMac: What will the future hold for PowerPC and Amiga? Will PowerPC remain in your long-term strategy?

Fleecy: PowerPC will be the only processor family we directly support for the AmigaOS4 release set. Once we reach AmigaOS5, we will support any processor family that provides us with business opportunity. PPC is certainly a processor family that offers that by the bucketload.

8) IonMane: In a previous Q&A it was stated tha the Gamepaks 1&2 were all sold out, and in a short timeframe I might add.How many gamepacks were sold and has AMiga Inc recieved the financial windfall from this deal as yet. Are there plans for another production of these (or similar)gamepaks for the near future (eg christmas)?

Fleecy: I can't divulge the financials but the purpose of the initial run was successful and we hope to have announcements soon about the consequences of that success. Sorry to be evasive but 'no announcements until we have something to announce' is what the community asked for and it is what we now feel comfortable in doing.

9) Zorro: There is a deal with Hyperion that if you (Ainc) were in serious trouble, you will give Hyperion rights to the name (or so...). If Amiga goes bust and someone buys them, they will have the license for the "Amiga" brand. But can US bankrupcy laws nullify any existing contracts (ie that with Hyperion) ?

Fleecy: I cannot go into the details but all that the community needs to know is that whatever could happen the future of the AmigaOS and the Amiga name has been safeguarded.

10) Crumb: Have you talked with Titan to make an OpenPCI library for OS4?

Fleecy: I am not entirely clear what has happened with OpenPCI and AmigaOS4.0 but the information I was able to collect suggests that some arrangement was made that effectively blocked this from occurring. If you want more details I suggest you contact Titan.

PCI is not a complicated implementation and AmigaOS4.0 already has a very good implementation which shows off the new library interface model.

(Copyright 2003 Amigaworld.net. All rights reserved.
Originally available at http://amigaworld.net/modules/fleecymoss/index.php?cat_id=22
You may freely redistribute this article, providing that a URL is provided to the original source,
and the copyright notices remain intact)
(nba) (Translation: sk)

[News message: 13. Oct. 2003, 19:41] [Comments: 0]
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