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[Rant] Amiga's Past and FutureANN.lu
Posted on 23-May-2000 08:11 GMT by Christian Kemp5 comments
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Mike Bouma writes: I wrote an article targetted at Linux users about Amiga's past and future plans. I left some details and technical stuff out, so it would be more pleasantly to read for non-amigans. I started writing this article some weeks ago when Henry Kingman of ZDNet contacted me to write an article for their Linux channel. But when I was almost finished he wanted to moderate things, which I don't want to happen. Even though I use Linux often, I don't like Linux that much, so I don't want to be part of the current hyping. He was also so slow with his part of the work that I decided to post it myself.
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Comment 1Matthew Wakeling22-May-2000 22:00 GMT
Comment 2Mike Bouma22-May-2000 22:00 GMT
Comment 3Jofre Furtado22-May-2000 22:00 GMT
Amiga's Past and Future : Comment 4 of 5ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous Coward on 22-May-2000 22:00 GMT
Okay, I'll be wet blanket #2. I saw this article when it was still unmoderated, composed a 3-page rant, and then decided I'd hold off and summarize once things went prime time.
Perhaps the Linux situation overseas is different (which I doubt, because *NIX OSes have a high learning curve and generally require some prerequisite knowledge of computing in general), but this is the sort of thing that makes Linux and BSD geeks laugh and kick sand in the face of Amigans. By overlooking the actual technology, which is what made Amiga so special, you might as well be recanting the history of the Apple ][ or the VIC-20. It's classic and nostalgic, but has no bearing on the way the modern world works.
Linux geeks, if they're worth their mettle, probably already know that there was a computer named "Amiga" that a few of their friends had in the 80s, which could multitask and do some pretty insane video work back in the day. They'd like to know more about what in the hardware and OS allowed for it to be so great, and they want specifics. (Hell, I want specifics, I got in about a year before CBM blew up, and never got around to actually coding on the 'Classic Amiga' platform.)
People would also like to see some real information on Elate (which is really Tao's job, more than Amiga's job, but I keep running across people who assume that any company connected to a modern Amiga venture will be heading down the hole in 6 months..). I'd like to know more about the plans for Taomiga as an "Applications Structure" for Linux and BSD UNIX. Is it really going to offer anything except a chance for more vendors to provide closed-source, binary-only solutions for the GPLed, open-source GNU/Linux environment? (Personally, I have nothing against good closed/binary-only software. The point is really that the rest of the Linux community has a very large GNU chip on their shoulder, and the last thing they want, as users, is an excuse for more companies to be shipping closed-source projects. RedHat and Corel are happy, of course, because the ability to offer closed-source conventional-sounding software that runs on multiple platforms and is Linux-buzzword-compliant will probably gain them a lot of big corporate clients, and big corporate clients, and their support contracts, are what make big buzzword-compliant software companies their money.)
I assume, and hope, that Amiga is also considering the Taomiga union as a chance to provide a Java thin-client for office environments, at least for the webdesign/graphics world. People generally don't learn how to use a computing environment, or even a computing appliance, until work forces them to, and people generally don't like to be swapping platforms when they come home from work. Intelligent people have no problem with it, but I assume we want to see Amiga make some money and get some real mindshare, as well as just making a nice new computer/OS/OE.
Sony, with the PSX2, is something of an anamoly, because the PSX2's real market in the US is for the computer-illiterate (the same sort of slacker wage-slaves who own PSX1s and spend their free time getting stoned and trying to work through Final Fantasy XVIII) to get wired. Sony is probably the only real "information appliance" company to have a good and long-standing reputation in the US, and Amiga is going to be going up against this... And while there's a chance that Sony may be an Amiga licensee (if not now, then in the future), they probably have their own long-term software gameplan and will be somewhat upset to see Amiga muscling in on their territory.
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