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[News] Gary Peake: Here is what we are doing and whyANN.lu
Posted on 03-Apr-2001 10:13 GMT by Christian Kemp10 comments
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Gary Peake also posted a lenghty explanation on what Amiga Inc's strategy is (Here is what we are doing and why.)
Gary Peake: Here is what we are doing and why : Comment 1 of 10ANN.lu
Posted by Graham on 02-Apr-2001 22:00 GMT
"Our Zico base specs are an open spec based around PPC"
Explains why the Zico specs on Amigas website says: x86, MIPs, PPC, ARM etc, I imagine...
:)
Gary Peake: Here is what we are doing and why : Comment 2 of 10ANN.lu
Posted by anonymous on 02-Apr-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 1 (Graham):
Well they lost the original napkins
Gary Peake: Here is what we are doing and why : Comment 3 of 10ANN.lu
Posted by Ian on 02-Apr-2001 22:00 GMT
I read the article below and I feel that I must agree with it. Sorry Bill and co, you have lost the plot and finally admited that Amiga DE is not a viable option unless you want to play snake via Java in a crappy cell phone.......
My final article - Author: Martin Baute
April Fools?
One thing before I start, since Sunday morning (2001-04-01), I did only passingly check the situation around Amiga. Perhaps the interview given on this day by Bill McEwen at around 8 AM MEST was a single huge April Foolīs joke, and I simply didnīt get it. This way or the other, I am angry, upset, and most of all severly disappointed.
Very quick something about me as a person. I wasnīt an Amiga user since day 0, my "career" as Amigian started 1993 with a second hand A2000. But I was there when Commodore went bust. I have seen the Walker on the CeBit exhibition, and was stunned speechless by the senselessnes of the design. I have been through the VIScorp misery, and as newsmaster of the Amiga News & Stories wrote my articles about it. I have been through the Gateway takeover, rise and fall of Jim Collas, and as "English master" of amiga-news.de wrote my articles about it. I have been through the Amino takeover, and subsequently evangelized the strategy of Amiga, Inc. at best I could, with articles, postings and meetings of the Bielefeld Amiga Users & Developers. I was there during the dark years, and I think this makes me an "Amigian".
This "being Amigian" found a sudden, surprising, painful end in the morning of April 1st.
The szene was set at the St. Louis Amiga Show. With big words it had been announced this show would be a "ground shaking event", a day that would put all previous presentations and announcements to shame. In a way, I think Amiga, Inc. stood up to this promise.
Preliminary
Amiga, Inc. had targeted a completely new concept, based on the Elate / intent technology of the Tao Group: An operating system (rather, operating environment), that could be deployed independently of the underlying hardware, on almost any architecture (PowerPC or x86 desktops, STB, PDA, server, ...). Additionally, there was the option of being installed "hosted", as a seperate application, under every major operating system.
The concept was simple and made sende: Software written for the AmigaDE would run on any operating system, any architecture. No more porting, no more making the wrong decission with the target platform. The capability for "hosted" deployment would have allowed to slowly penetrate the market, step by step drawing in developers and applications, replacing more and more of everyday computing by Amiga software, until the day the host becomes irrelevant.
Expectations
So I was sitting at my keyboard, hours before dawn, curious for what would come. Did they complete the SDK, including 3D and audio support? Did they convince one of the major Linux distributors to bundle the AmigaDE with their distro? Did they find a strong financial support?
Shortly before the interview started, rumors arose Amiga, Inc. would announce AmigaOS 4.0 PPC native. That would be a bitter pill, I thought, further dividing users, developers and retailers - some focusing on AmigaDE, others on OS 4.0, and both projects failing miserably... On the other hand, I felt sympathetic with the users who did spend significant amounts into their PPC Amigas, and wanted to continue using that hardware.
Decisions
The decision, when it finally came, was about the hardest blow since Jim Collas left. Bill McEwen officially labeled the AmigaDE "no MP, no VM, for PDAs only". For desktop and server systems, AmigaOS 4.x PPC native would be developed, which would see memory protection being added "in one of the future versions". As a sidenote, this OS 4.0 would not run on existing hardware, but only on AmigaOne systems. Over the time, OS 4.x and AmigaDE would then be merged and Amiga be led into a golden future. Bill McEwen seemed to think this was very funny, as you can easily hear yourself by listening to the MP3 of the question-and-answer session.
I was dumbfounded. I felt sick, I was unbelievably angry, and if it werenīt early morning, I probably would have tried to shout at McEwen through the modem cable and shake him violently. So I only shook my head when some hours later I read on various online forums that this decision even found applause among users.
Consequences
I might be wrong. Amiga might make a furious comeback with this strategy. But I cannot believe in it anymore. What are the consequences of this decision?
1) OS 4.x shall be deployed on servers. Memory protection on desktop systems might be a matter of taste, for servers it is simply a necessity. According to McEwen, memory protection will not be implemented until OS 4.2, which are a minimum of 12 months on Amiga, Inc.īs roadmap. Until then, AmigaOS will not be deployed on production servers, and I even doubt it will after this date: Who can name a company employing servers based on PowerPC CPUs?
2) AmigaOS 4.x will not run on existing hardware. This means OS 4.x can only be sold to those purchasing an AmigaOne. Many "old" users will stick with their present systems. Some will jump to other platforms entirely. Why anybody from e.g. the Linux or Windows community should buy an AmigaOne (that cannot run *any*thing besides OS 4.x and LinuxPPC), is completely beyond me.
3) The people who bought a SDK or even a dīAmiga have been completely left "under fire without air cover" by Amiga, Inc. For the forseeable future, Amigaīs plans for the AmigaDE and the SDK encompass PDAs, STBs and internet enabled laundry machines only. The few remaining programmers, which hungered for an opportunity to write applications like word processors, e-mail clients and 3D games for the AmigaDE, and did invest into what they thought is the first generation of the new Amiga, are now facing the decission to either do a summersault backwards by exchanging their x86er for new PPC hardware, or having to wait another couple of years until OS 4.x and AmigaDE finally grow together.
4) Those who buy an AmigaOne can use it under AmigaOS 4.x or LinuxPPC. Should Amiga, Inc. fail with itīs current strategy, only LinuxPPC remains. And this for a price tag that easily purchases a x86 PC, offering other options like the better supported x86 Linux, Windows, QNX, BeOS, AROS, WinUAE and over half a dozen other operating systems.
5) Until Amiga, Inc. can stand up to itīs promise of providing an operating environmant that scales from mobile phone all the way up to servers, independantly of the hardware, a minimum of another three years will pass, according to Mr. McEwen. I will not speculate about the chances to penetrate a market that, until then, will be secured by Embedded Linux and Microsoft .NET. This year, perhaps even next year still, capabilities like scaleability and binary compatibility could have earned a big success. But what a shame, competition is moving just the same direction, and history proves that superior technology doesnīt win the race once Microsoft reaches "full steam ahead".
With all generosity, I cannot make sense of the current plans of Amiga Inc. anymore. They force old users as well as the developers on the "bleeding edge" to buy new hardware, they delay the time schedule for their big promises for years to come, and Bill McEwen laughs his head off over it.
Sorry, Iīm fed up. I wish Amiga Inc. and the remaining community all the best, and it would be a very pleasant surprise to me should I be proven wrong. But since Sunday, April 1st, 2001 my time as an active "Amigian" is over, because in Snoqualmie, they obviously live in a red-and-white checkered padded cell, or an ivory tower, but in any case they seem to have lost any sense for reality.
Gary Peake: Here is what we are doing and why : Comment 4 of 10ANN.lu
Posted by Rob Bamford on 03-Apr-2001 22:00 GMT
I must admit that while OS4.x and onwards would have been a nice addition to
the Amiga strategy, it appears that it has become the strategy.
The AmigaDE for desktops is no more. Right? It will only be a layer to
support binary compatible executables when hosted by another OS.
Will AmigaDE come to life for desktop and servers, with the needed parts,
anytime soon? Anytime at all?
The more I think about it, I am beginning to see that the hope we were
presented is being horribly changed, and this new hope is no where near
that which we were originally offered.
Am I missing something huge? Or have things gone south?
Rob Bamford
Gary Peake: Here is what we are doing and why : Comment 5 of 10ANN.lu
Posted by Sam Dunham on 04-Apr-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 3 (Ian):
Anyone making servers based on the PPC?
How about, oh, ummm... IBM??? Last I heard, they were a reasonably respected computer company. ;)
That, and they're not really talking about the same animal here. A home server will potentially be different than a business server.
-Sam
Gary Peake: Here is what we are doing and why : Comment 6 of 10ANN.lu
Posted by Rob Collett on 04-Apr-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 3 (Ian):
This reply mirrors much of my feeling re Amiga's direction. OS4.0 is really a distraction to what appeared to be their main game. Surely the 0S4.0 path cannot be a money earner in any possible future yet by pushing it this way they have they make it their central development path. The developments of 3.5, 3.9 were fine because they were side issues and had been farmed out.
Also, what happened to Amiga's claims to only beleive things heard from them? Their web site still has no official announcements (the only bit is the news of the sharp deal). They seem to be using newsgroups and other rumour mills as their way of talking to the world when they have previously said to ignore this.
Looking forward to the announcement of the DE platform being a viable OS at the conferance, runnable on my Pentium based PC, now we know this is a far future option. Hardware limiting (to their specific ppc spec) is a very market limiting move unfortunately, especially for all the ex-amigans who have been forced to the darkside.
Gary Peake: Here is what we are doing and why : Comment 7 of 10ANN.lu
Posted by tar on 04-Apr-2001 22:00 GMT
> All of us must work together and together we will
> slowly conquer the world ... just because we want to.
Reminds me of Pinkie & the Brain.
I hope they don't implement a secret backdoor and by means of the
"distributed processing" capability of AmigaDE take over the world.
Gary Peake: Here is what we are doing and why : Comment 8 of 10ANN.lu
Posted by Dave B on 04-Apr-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 7 (tar):
This all reminds me vaguely of reading about the original birth of the Amiga from Hi-Torro. Its a console, no! its a games machine, no! its a proper computer etc. etc.
Amiga will eventually find their path and their business plans will have to evolve along with the market. Even Microsoft are using other devices now to get people with no interest in owning a computer to buy one by stealth (X-box anyone?)
We'll see something cool in the end, the question isn't Amiga's technical competence, as always it's their business sense.
People outside of the Amiga community MUST want to buy in, otherwise there's no point in any of their current efforts. In fact if Amiga want to build a sucessful market, die-hards like ourselves are best ignored. We're in the same phase as the original Amiga team was trying to create a desirable product _with a real use_ for the home market. They just had fewer back seat drivers....
Gary Peake: Here is what we are doing and why : Comment 9 of 10ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 05-Apr-2001 22:00 GMT
Oh please don't go and post this horrible article by Mr Baute everywhere. If you read it very carefully you will notice that he WANTS to see it all negative. Then he gets hung up about servers: if you read Fleecy's original mention of server you will see that he does in fact mean what Steve Jobs describes as "digital hub": a computer that talks to your stereo, your mp3, your dvd player, your digital camera, your PDA, etc... My Mac already does all this, and I am sure Amiga is following this path, too. Mr Baute just does not understand what he is talking about. Unfortunately his article gets way too much attention.
Gary Peake: Here is what we are doing and why : Comment 10 of 10ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 06-Apr-2001 22:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 9 (Anonymous):
Calm down. Its a good article. I happen to disagree with some points of it:
"Who can name a company employing servers based on PowerPC CPUs"
Working for IBM as I do we have a customer list for PPC based servers ( as well as the more upmarket SP systems ) that if printed on toilet paper in point 12 font would keep Belgium clean for a week. We also rake in billions of dollars in revenue and make our customers multiple-billions by giving them processor technology which is streets ahead of most others in the price range backed up with 24x7 software.
I agree with the thrust of the article - that its a missed oppurtunity - but Amiga users are made up of a good percentage of small spenders. These are the ones that winge about hardware limitations in one breath and in the other winge that they have to buy new hardware to run a revised OS.
So, whilst I think Fleecy, Bill and Gary have missed the plot a little what plot they have left stands up reasonably well to inspection.
In the meantime I am more concerned about the comments like "naysayers have an agenda". If the Amiga community is going to turn all militant and seperatist then it can go insert disk into fd0.
So, I might buy a Zaurus, I dont care if it runs Linux or a ZX Spectrum basic if I can write apps for it, the tcpip stack doesnt limit me to 4 open ports at once and the display is good. Id rather a Psion Netbook.
I might just walk away - in the end that is my choice and has nothing to do with "agenda" but much to do with the current undertone of macarthyism that is prevalent in the Amiga press today.
Dave.
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