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[Rant] Amiga Retro AachenANN.lu
Posted on 08-Dec-2002 11:07 GMT by Manou82 comments
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I've seen what the Amiga is and what it could be! Apparently the Amiga market is dead! (OK I will get flames for this but that's how I see it!) Hi folks

I've been at the Amiga Retro Show in Aachen on Saturday 7th Dec. At 11 o'clock in the morning there were only some visitors but after 13 o'clock there were really many (too many) visitors. A handfull of dealers selling either old or the latest software / hardware. On some dealers stands one could talk to some developers like Jürgen Schober. Most area was occupied by Thendic! Guy/girls they know how to attract the crowds!

As a hardcore Amiga fan since 1986 (I own 8 Amigas), I never really interested what Thendic does, so never really followed what the Pegasos is. So my way was up to the stand of KDH were Jürgen Schober showed a running Amiga One G3 with SUSE PPC LINUX. It's fast! Point! Faster than my iMAC (G3). Though it only ran with 50MHz because he installed the wrong RAM and had no cooling fan on the CPU. KDE 3 run as it should and also the installed OpenOffice works as expected. Boot time is OK for LINUX. But there was NO Amiga OS4. But I was told that it exists, Jürgen has a beta version of Amiga OS on his PPC card at home. And the only remaining problem is the 68k emulation to be integrated as it should be, there are some cahing 68k problems to be solved yet!

What about the hardware bug? Well the board shown had still the bug, but it doesn't show up while running! And the G3 boards which were sold at the KDH stand had the hardware bug alreday fixed. So there will be NO Amiga One boards sold with bug. Point!

The G4 board has been completely redesigned, with NO bug either.

I was told by some developers and dealers that Amiga OS 4 will come soon, End December or January 2002/2003.

The other (yes there were 2 Amiga ONE G3 running) Amiga One was demoed at the stand of www.amiga-news.de. This one had the bug-fixed boar installed. So it did ran the same Linux. But already had the new Amiga ONE Logo pasted on the front panel.

Then I went over to the big stand of Thendic. There were at least 20-30 super designed PC boxes (all made of polished metal, like some refrigirators, you know the very expensive ones!) wow these ones looked great! Each box had 2 front panels which slowly opened when pressed, like some expensive VCRs or Stereo HiFi racks. If Bang and Olufsen is the crème de la crème for Hifi rack designs than this is true for the PC boxes Thendic used! (Though they're NOT produced by Thendic, but by a french company). Oh yes there was even a microwave oven made of the same material, running MorphOS in the doorscreen. Really cool. I just asked myself what happens if one press the Reset button, will cooking RESET too ? :-)

In the morning the THENDIC area looked like a battle field. All boxes were opened with harddisk and Pegasos motherboards lying around! Why? Well I was told that these are the very new Pegasos boards wihth the April chip Bug fix. So Thendic isn't selling bugged board either! Point. These boards had been delivered by UPS on Friday evening at 19 o'clock! So the whole Thendic crew was assembling the PEGASOS computers during the show. At 12 o'clock I was in front of a PEGASOS computer when the last screw got fiexed: screen switched on, pressed the Power On button on the PEGASOS...then after 2-5 Seconds Morphos was running!!! Wow this is the fastest booting computer I've ever seen! Except for my Psion Netbook and my other Psions, but these really don't boot, just switch off the dsiplay.

MorphOS looks really very professional, 32bit icons and everything runs like we are used with Amiga OS. Though none of the machines I tried (3-5) crashed, some progs didn't run so good. Screen or better windows refresh was crippled. But I assume that's teh fault of the 2 progs I tried.

When I talked to one of the developers, he told me that the PEGASOS can also run MAC OS 10.2 (Jaguar) out of the box! Just insert the CD-ROM and you do have a real G3, G4 or double G4 MAC, which is running faster than a real MAC! Though Thendic isn't allowed to sell MAC OS but they are negociating with Apple on this subject, and things aren't looking so bad!

Of course you can also run PPC Linux on the Pegasos and also Windows! Yes Windows! That is all the Windows Display functions are emulated so that the real Win Prog runs on a Windows PC but the screen output and data input (keyboard, mouse...) comes from the PEGASOS.

There are also negociations to get QNX and BeOS running on the PEGASOS.

As you see the PEGASOS is an OPEN-OS-COMPUTER. One computer for all OS. Only the AMIGA OS 4 is missing. According to the Thendic crew it should be no problem to run it on the PEGASOS, but the problem is that Amiga Inc. only wants that ONLY AMIGA OS is running an a computer and NO OTHER OS, except LINUX. Amiga Inc is trying the same politics as Apple, but Amiga Inc. hasn't the power nor the money to do so!

The other great piece of hardware Thendic showed was the color WebCam. No bigger than a cigarette box, is can send its signal via coax video cable or ethernet or wireless lan or serial line or GPRS!!!! To any video or computer or mobile phone /PDA. The software running inside is MORPHOS.

Than I was told about the ECLIPSIS: It is the PEGASOS board but reduced to as PDA sized device. But it will be a special PDA, becuase you can run all the OSes I told above!!!! You are not forced to use PALM OS (which is only good for agenda functions, or PocketPC which is really useless, BTW the only really reliable PDA OS is SYMBIAN like Psion PDAs use or like 80 percent of all mobile phones use!!!) you can run MorphOS, LINUX or MAC or whatever is available for the PEGASOS. But it is not just a PDA but a real computer, with MP3 (stereo input/output sound) capabilities, which can be connected to any sound equipment, but also a complete video editing hardware with built in cam with the same features as the WebCam described above. OH yes it will have VGA output to 2 monitors!!!! And much more. Why do I write in future time? Well the ECLIPSIS is still at prototype stage that is it works if you run it from the PEGASOS computer, it's mini-ATX boards has yet to be reduced to PDA size. But the first PDA prototypes will be shown at the CeBIT 2003 and at the Comdex 2003 (autumn) and it will be available beginning 2004 fro around 500 Euro!!!

The future looks great for Thendic, because they use any situation to show there products and many non-Amiga developers want there computer, why one only needs one computer for many OS. Point.

As for Amiga Inc. the time is gone I'm afraid. Many of the developers and dealers I talked to or listened all said they think Amiga Inc. has NO money, so all work is done by other companies. Amiga Inc is just setting up a homepage with nice letters but no real products. So where are these AmigaAnywhere products for my Sharp Zaurus or Psion NetBook that were demoed many months ago? Why does Amiga OS 4 take so long? Well Amiga Inc hasn't the money to to anything. IMHO Amiga Inc will go to Thendic and allow them to use Amiga OS 4.

And why is the Amiga market dead? Everybody bought some products at the Retro show, but there was nothing really new, except the new mainboards. I have bought a new front panel for my original A3000T, some progs and I'm waiting to my OS4 and G4 :-) Bye Manou

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