Linux Mozilla On Amiga
Wednesday July 21st, 1999
James Russell writes in with information regarding Mozilla on the new Amigas: "...Amiga has announced the NG Amiga MCC (multimedia convergence computer) will have an OS written atop the Linux kernel (and Java2, Jini, C++, and more) and X Windows as a lower-level piece of the new Amiga Workbench (GUI) which Amiga has said they will release back into the Linux open-source environment (yes, the Workbench) for people to improve on.
For this reason, Linux Netscape will run on NG Amiga 'seamlessly', as they put it, and therefore those programming Linuxzilla now are actually programming NG Amigazilla along with it."
Interesting news - it'll be interesting to see how Amiga accomplishes their goal.
#1 Common structures
Wednesday July 21st, 1999 9:17 AM
This is interesting news in many ways. I'm quite intrigued by the idea of multiple OS's based on common and open underlying structures, such as Linux and FreeBSD. Varying OS's based on requirements of task is the way the market needs to move. However, applications available across all OS's are very important, and have been a stumbling block in the past. A common underlying base will virtually eliminate this issue.
Having said that, cheers to Amiga.
I think cross platform bases are needed to, but you need a very forward looking base. Which isn't really around.
#19 Linux Mozilla On Amiga
by sj12fn <email@example.com>
Wednesday July 21st, 1999 5:52 PM
Try GNU HURD, with its servers on microkernel structure.
#3 Part of my report to my employer:
Wednesday July 21st, 1999 1:20 PM
First off, I should clarify that Amiga is no longer owned by Commodore, a company that entered into voluntary liquidation in 1994. Amiga is now a wholly owned but fully independent subsidiary of Gateway, Inc., and has been since 1997.
Secondly, I should stress that Amiga has not released all of the specifications for the Amiga MCC. I have been researching the new or "next generation" Amiga for the last year but only now do I finally have enough finalized information to present. More info will be released July 24th at the World of Amiga show in London and AmiWest 99 in Sacramento, CA, at which point I can update this report.
NOTE: I saw it necessary to include here some definitions straight from the technical brief on the Amiga MCC that Amiga released on July 16. Quoted material is from this tech brief unless otherwise attributed. The entire report can be read at the following URL: <http://www.amiga.com/diar…executive/tech_brief.html>
Reason #1: The Amiga Multimedia Convergence Computer (Amiga MCC)- In Amiga's own definition the Amiga MCC is, "a hardware/software platform specifically designed to meld outstanding multimedia performance, a new level of ease of use, transparent access to the Internet and, through home networking, access to a growing family of Amiga-compatible devices around the home. The Amiga MCC will be distributed in two formats: an integrated multimedia convergence computer and a standard ATX motherboard. Both include the Amiga OE, an underlying OS, and support for digital video/DVD, 3-D graphics, surround sound, and emerging broadband and home networking standards. The Amiga MCC is intended to serve as both a great platform for multimedia applications, such as 3-D gaming and digital video integration, and as the hub for a next-generation distributed home computing environment."Amiga has targeted the release of the Amiga MCC at $499 for late 4Q1999.
Reason #2: Compatibility With Current Standards Because the MCC will support current hardware, no one has to be convinced to switch hardware platforms, but rather only to upgrade their current platform. Take my self-built high-end PC, for instance, and I'll show you just how much I can use from it when I upgrade to an Amiga MCC ATX version:
*Sony 17-inch Trinitron monitor (via adapter to USB) *Keyboard (PS/2 to USB adapter) *Tower case (Amiga ATX board will fit right in) *Modem (one of two PCI slots) *CD-ROM drive (one of up to 4 E-IDE UltraDMA devices) *Iomega Zip drive (the second IDE device) *Floppy drive (the third IDE device) *Printer (serial to USB adapter) *Hard drive can be one of the two supported, enabling easy dual booting between Windows 98 and the Amiga MCC *The 128MB worth of 168-pin SDRAM I have on my current motherboard will be added to the 32MB system memory and 32MB (all SDRAM) frame buffer that the motherboard comes with. That's 160MB of system memory and 32MB for the graphics. :)
All I'll have left will be a lonely Intel processor, motherboard, and sound and video cards that will have been replaced by one ATX motherboard. Scary, eh? Yes, it's that easy. Such will be the case with those like me who have spent a ton of money on current high-end hardware - even those Power Mac G3 systems can use port right over to Amiga, I'm sure, as ATX is pretty much universal. Both systems will use common, fast 168-pin SDRAM DIMMS, and the ATX version will be upgrade-able to 1GB (the standalone to 288MB). WOW.
Reason #3: AmigaObjects- AmigaObjects is a transactional object-oriented language which, in Amiga's own definition: "serves as the foundation for all objects in the Amiga Operating Environment (OE) ... [and] provide powerful component building blocks that allow developers to rapidly create impressive and powerful Amiga applications. AmigaObjects furthermore enable integration of a wide variety of different technologies under one umbrella [Java2, Jini, Java Enterprise Edition, kJava, pJava, Linux, C++ to name a few]. Networking is intrinsic to AmigaObjects, which means that AmigaObjects are free to move around on the network or use network resources. The AmigaObject architecture by virtue of this flexibility enables a new class of "Net-aware" applications where there is no clear boundary between a device and the network. "
"AmigaObject technology can be embedded in devices as small as hand-held computers and scale all the way to large servers. The power and flexibility of the AmigaObject naturally extends to all other objects in the environment, thereby giving all objects in the system network transparency and the ability to proliferate across the network." AmigaObjects will be compatible with all major platforms (being heavily Java-based). More specifics will be released soon.
Amiga has chosen Java as their primary programming language for portable applications based on AmigaObjects, and says C and C++ will also be supported for native MCC applications, as well as Java technologies such as kJava, pJava, Java2 and Java Enterprise Edition. By embracing Java and Linux and uniting them on hardware optimized for both, Amiga does not have to convince developers to switch either languages or hardware.
Reason #4: Information appliances- This term refers to devices such as wireless LCD tablets, Internet terminals, digital TV set-top boxes, notebook computers, Web phones, DVD-based games machines, and more. Information appliances network wirelessly in real-time with the MCC, which in turn integrates the devices into a real-time comprehensive operating environment. Because the Amiga MCC shares its resources (via the Internet, home networking, and broadband Internet service), and this allows the Amiga appliances' hardware and software to be lighter on memory demands and thus size, weight, and price. Information appliances are targeted around $500, with price varying per appliance (and not yet established publicly, anyhow).
Information appliances will be run by the heavily Java-based AmigaObjects, which are transferable across platforms. This relieves any fear that Amiga appliances will be dependent upon purchase of the Amiga MCC. If a PC user wants to run appliances but they don't want to switch to Amiga, the part of the AmigaSoft OE, the subset (named, fittingly enough, the Amiga Information Appliance Environment) that communicates with Amiga information appliances will be ported to all major operating systems to allow them to host Amiga appliance environments. Target release for the first gaggle (if four is a gaggle) of Amiga appliances is targeted for 4Q1999, and with these first four devices Amiga hopes its open-standards architecture interests outside developers in making their own devices. Users taking this option will be required to have half-decent computing power to run the appliances with any quality. A 486 with 23mhz processor? Nope, take it out and shoot it. But wait! The case and monitor might work!
Reason #5: Instant Support -- the Linux and Java Connections- There is no question that Amiga will have software support. Ordinarily, a massive barrier to any newcomer to the computing industry is convincing those that have high-end PC hardware that they will not have to run out and buy all new hardware. Luckily, Amiga sidestepped this barrier completely by building their new operating environment atop the Linux kernel and X windows (on the lowest sub-level of the windows management system -- invisible to regular users) to leverage Linux' market momentum, drivers, in addition to that of the Java and C++ communities.
Amiga will run both Linux and Java software as Amiga's president Jim Collas put it, "better than any computer in the world," and from the released specs along it is evident that he is right. Amiga says they chose Linux in no small part due to the software support for Linux that's just beginning to really flame through the computer industry now, as well as Linux' extremely prominent record for being the most stable operating system in the market today. Linux versions of Corel WordPerfect software and Netscape's (AOL's) Communicator are already out for Linux and both have their newest updates (9.0 and 5.0, respectively) due for all major platforms this year (including Linux, and thus by default the Linux-compatible Amiga MCC), by the end of 1999. Netscape support means ICQ and AOL Instant Messenger are both in the works for Linux somewhere ... that's support, and it's already there.
#4 Part of my report to my employer:
Wednesday July 21st, 1999 1:35 PM
Some amiga people still want qnx ya know :) Mozilla is being ported to qnx by Nexware <http://www.NexwareCorp.com/>
What I'd like to see is the use of services provided by the internet in common appliances. For example a clock radio (or a walkman) with real audio channels, radio stations from all over the world and it would play mp3's. But what I'd really like to see is a $200 home computer that does internet, file taxes and print book reports for the kids. You'd just plug it in your tv and that's it.
#5 Linux Mozilla On Amiga
Wednesday July 21st, 1999 1:59 PM
sorry about QNX...and its lack of support. :) I'll stick with Amiga.
sometimes when you want to show leadership you have to take some risks instead of the easy way out. Besides, there's only one graphics chip to support-one of everything actually so there's no benefit from an operating system that has lots of drivers. All you need is a few excellent drivers instead of thousands of reverse-engineered ones you'll never use. And it's not as if the classic amiga software was ported to linux. I don't think most consumers care about emacs and samba...
I don't think that kind of a risk is worth it. You're bashing Linux for no real reason -- Amiga was written on Sun -- a UNIX clone -- so Amiga is now written on the Linux kernel. Amiga said that out of all the stuff they wanted to do, they had to put some stuff aside for down the road. Key is support. There's nothing wrong with Linux that won't be fixed by Amiga or isn't being worked on by someone else. Amiga has embraced open-source, and Linux is just what Amiga needs. Now you've got Java, Linux, and Amiga users all wanting the same computer.
I'm not bashing linux-just pointing out that it's an OS that services a very different market than the customers Amiga has in mind. There are no home computer apps for linux and Amiga needs them if it plans on selling to ordinary users. So what do you mean by linux "support" when linux has very little support here. If you want Apache and samba-well you have support. But most people who would consider an Amiga want Reader Rabbit and AOL. So why linux?
"There are no home computer apps for linux and Amiga needs them if it plans on selling to ordinary users."
What about Corel WordPerfect (Nov.), CorelDraw, and Netscape 5.0 (Dec.)? And just because more apps aren't out now doesn't mean they aren't being worked on. Amiga gives people a lot more incentive to work on Linux, and they get a ton of free programmers to boot. Anyway, I'm not sure how you think QNX would get more software than Linux.
3 apps? Amiga dumped qnx for linux+x windows for 3 apps? ok, maybe add Ventura, Photo-paint and Paradox but still. There aren't that many consumer apps for linux unless Amiga thinks their customers want to use emacs, apache and samba all day
#46 ICQ for Java, Netscape 5.0 Linux
Friday July 23rd, 1999 5:36 PM
It's what's in development that's important. Whatever AOL puts out in either Java or Linux will run with hard-ware optimization on this thing--including original Amiga apps. It's beautiful. Another MAJOR reason is DRIVERS. Not just the above apps. Amiga looks at this industry filled with people starting to develop for Linux and that industry said "QNX? Swell, get in line there, right behind Windows, Linux, and Mac. We'll get to you eventually." They looked at this list of specialized hardware we have spent tons of money--perfectly good CD-Writers, SCSI HDs, $500 monitors, and said, okay, two choices, convince everyone to drop all that money and buy our stuff for more (proprietary hardware costs more, it takes a lot for one company to be able to meet a heavy demand at a low price -- like Gateway) or we can sift through this list of stuff and see what works.
The answer was everything but motherboards/processors, graphics chips and sound cards. What's this crap with one joystick button, and you have to buy a nice card to get that ONE joystick port! So, in today's world, you have to buy a $400 vid card for reasonable supremity, $200 sound cards for a digital I/O, and an $800 processor. This represents the bloat of the PC world today, and these are the standard prices for "the latest thing," be it the Soundblaster Live! replaced by the 864 the next day, a processor that will drop in value by like 2/3 in six months, a 300 mhz today and a 333 tomorrow, and yet (and why is iMac is back at 300 mhz, or is the G3 that much more supreme (hey, you never know; the Commodore Amiga uses it now, and the G4 when it comes out)?)
Anyhow, Amiga intends to reduce that inefficiency to the price of one motherboard that will work with all existing equipment. Since the whole industry is writing drivers for the Linux kernel, by its release in November Amiga will be compatible with everything. You may not think Corel is important but I disagree. In the PC industry there is MS Office and there is WordPerfect and those are really the two most known names. The WP Office 2000 will be a great name to help Amiga into recognizeable software--just to start. ICQ for Java will run on it, AOL must be working on Linux stuff, OpenGL is being written into Linux by SGI now, I just think a $5-600 machine optimized to run Linux, Java, Amiga stuff (old and new). And it can't take too long to emulate Windows. It doesn't need to be as complicated as MS has made it. I hope it comes out embarassingly fast, if it does come out. A guru friend of mine said it would still crash anyway, but maybe it would be like 10MB.
#6 More specs
Wednesday July 21st, 1999 1:59 PM
A Few More Specs- The Amiga MCC will have more connectivity than a $2000 PC: the MCC supports seven USB ports (two in front for easy access), DVD drive standard (and DVD-RAM when available), still image capture acceleration, analog TV connections, S-Video & composite video, a full channel TV tuner, 44khz 16-bit CD stereo, AC-3 Dolby Digital 5.1 channel decoding, S/PDIF Dolby Digital output, infrared for remote control devices, a microphone input, a display touch-screen controller ... even an FM radio tuner is under consideration. Amiga will support older plugs via USB adapters, for those who wish to use existing hardware and upgrade slowly. THAT'S multimedia convergence, and it's also just the beginning.
Amiga has hooked up with ATI technologies for the 3-D chipset for the Amiga MCC (with advanced SuperScalar rendering 24-bit true color depth 2-D & 3-D hardware accelerator and pixel support for 640x480 to 1920x1200 [HDTV] resolutions) most specifications regarding graphics hardware have not been released yet. At least I know the Amiga MCC graphics chip will be able to do this stuff:
"Texture lighting & compositing, alpha blending, vertex- & table-based fog, video textures, reflections, shadows, spotlighting, bump mapping, LOD biasing, texture morphing, hidden surface Z-buffering, dithering, anti-aliasing, gouraud- & specular-shaded ploygons, perspective correct mip-mapping texturing, chroma-key, bilinear & trilinear texture filtering." Additional features will of course be announced when ATI releases chip specifications.
Amiga's CPU has yet to be announced, for example, although it is termed a "next generation" processor, one capable of running both Classic (Commodore-style) Amiga, Linux, and Java "better than any computer in the world" even. The choice is widely guessed to be either the Transmeta chip being optimized by Linux creator Linux Torvalds for Linux even as we speak (and with whom Amiga has aligned), or a Motorola Power PC G4 chip (due out late this year). Amiga says they have gotten 10 times the speed of Windows NT with the AmigaSoft OE and the still undisclosed CPU. No benchmark specs have been released yet.
This is very disappointing... It appears Amiga has chose Linux's hype over QNX's solid technology. They're no better than the people that supported MS's inferior products and helped them get a monopoly.
#8 major disappointment
Wednesday July 21st, 1999 2:03 PM
Well there's always Mac or Windows!
They didn't choose hype. Their president said he was quite adamantly against Linux until it was demonstrated to him that they wouldn't have hardware support even be close to acceptable levels if they used QNX. Hell, most hardware companies are just now looking at Linux drivers, an increase to 2 (possibly 3, if they're good little boys and girls and write Mac drivers for those of us who know the ways in which Windows blows) platforms. They wouldn't even think of QNX (I would venture to guess most companies haven't even heard of QNX, or at least haven't heard it mentioned in more than an afterthought).
but you don't really need that much hardware support for such a closed box. Besides, they're not even using an x86 chip-I hope they're not planning to emulate x86 drivers!
#14 Linux Mozilla On Amiga
Wednesday July 21st, 1999 4:39 PM
No, they're using the Linux kernel so they can use Linux drivers, and X-Windows at the lowest level of the Workbench GUI so that Linux apps will be compatible, and then they'll release Workbench as open-source. :)
You only need one driver for the graphics! You don't need to use x-windows just to get a driver for a graphics card that doesn't even exist yet! It's easier just to make a deal with ATI for that one driver. I hope the decision was based on at least some technical merits instead of "well we want to take advantage of linux developers"
Not if they wanted to let people use current hardware, they need a heck of a lot more drivers than just one. They used X windows only at the lowest sublevel of the Workbench so that Linux apps would run on Amiga. Amiga apps will run on Amiga, too, as will old Amiga apps. And the GUI will not be anything like X windows to the user. Also, they said they made the Linux decision mostly for strategic reasons (no one was going to program for QNX right now and Amiga would have NO driver support and NO software support upon release this fall).
Here's a list of drivers that QNX will support: <http://www.qnx.com/amiga/drivers.html> It's not that bad and like I said, if you're making a closed box you only need one graphics card driver. You don't need to support sb16 or some trio card
Anyway, good luck with QNX. I'm sure it's a nice system, but negotiations on licensing issues fell through for whatever reason, but I don't think it's a catastrophe any more than jwz's leaving meant anything.
Umm. Forgive my total ignorance but... is there ANY relation between the old Amiga machine (that I think of from say 1987) and the new Gateway Amiga? It sounds like a totally new thing, in which case what's all this about backward compatiblity to the old amiga? I'm confused if this new computer is an intel machine, a ppc, or what...?
Secondly, has it been established that Transmeta is designing some kind of new superchip?
I love the way everyone's switching to unix-style OS except for one company...
#17 Transmeta chip?
Wednesday July 21st, 1999 5:15 PM
Well, Linux is a UNIX hack and Amiga was written on Sun, and Sun's a UNIX hack, so there you go. The CPU hasn't been announced yet, but Linus Torvalds himself is working on the Transmeta team to optimize the chip for Linux, but that doesn't mean they'll use it. I do know that they said the new CPU would have to run Commodore Amiga programs and Linux programs, and Amiga programs. Hopefully someone cranks out a Windows 98 emulator (at like 10 MB I hope, humiliate the hell out of M$). Gateway bought the rights to Amiga in March 1997. The president of Amiga worked at Gateway on their Destination multimedia project.
More connectivity than a $2000 PC, but how much will it cost? I cringe at the idea of a completely new architecture that has yet to benefit from economies of scale.
As for ATI doing their graphics, this is not really good news, just look at ATI's current hardware. I would be much more excited if 3dfx or nVidia were in on it.
So... how 'bout that Athlon? :)
Amiga targeted $499! I think it may be $599. Apple's iBook is going to cost $1599! Amiga's notebook will cost like $500 and network to the Amiga in real time (the appliance OSs and environment OE will be real-time. iBook customers may well feel raped when Amiga comes out (scheduled November) The computer's OS may be not, but we're only talking the first release. Much more info after this Saturday, too. Check back. (Hey, at least my posts are relevant in this forum!)
Also, it has been said ATI may not be able to deliver on time and that "rest assured that we're also looking at 3dfx and NVidea"
You do realize that iBook adoptors are going for style, class, and software which works easily with what the rest of the world uses. Even if the Amiga notebook works incredably well, and is cheap, it still has bad name recognition (oh yea, wasn't that an 80's computer or something) besides the fact that iBook adoptors are not buying the things for the low price. They are buying into a mythology, an intagable something which is the world of Mac, or something like that. Mac adoptors want to be able to use thier computers out in the "real world" (i.e. they want to be able to comunicate with their jobs, using software they have heard of before). Remember the iBook is a *consumer* portable. Most consumers have never herad of Linux and are not likely to adopt something about which they have never heard. If they did that, the iToaster would have flown off shelves and Microwokz would have enough orders to last them half-way into the next millennium!
I don't really care about Apple's iBook. I know Amiga's notebook will network to my $500 computer in real-time, and I know that for the price of a $1600 iBook I could have the Amiga computer, the notebook, and a TV-set-top all networked together seamlessly.
And since Apple accounts right now for less than five percent of the total consumer market, I don't think its name recognition, high prices, and colors are taking it very far. Anyhow, Apple would be a memory now if Microsoft hadn't bailed them out with $150 million. Linux won't be touted much at Amiga anyway any more than UNIX was touted with original Amiga. And if you don't think Amiga's got name recognition now think back to every Gateway ad you've seen lately and know that Amiga will be as prevalent -- once the product is released.
#32 ok, let's calm down
Thursday July 22nd, 1999 11:27 AM
just a quick note Kovu, I am really looking forward to more choice in the computing world and that's what Amiga is going to be so don't think I'm challenging anything else about what you're saying except this. MS did not bail out Apple. 150 million dollars couldn't bail out a small town grocery store. I'm rooting for Amiga. But I'm also rooting for Apple and for Be and for Linux too. THe best thing of all, however, it that Mozilla will be responsible in part for the success of each of them.
I'm sorry, Steve Jobs said "The era of competition between us [Apple and Microsoft] is over." Is there anything else to say about Apple? I don't like their prices. That iBook costs $1698 for the wireless version. That's obscene. I didn't like Amiga prices back when, either. I am not bashing Apple because they bash Amigans, and they do, I'm bashing them because their business model revolves around inflated prices and having to upgrade every five minutes, just like Microsoft.
Upgrading every 5 minutes come on. They release new version of thier OS fast (which is a good thing). Depending on the update you can download it for free or get the new version for like $20 on CD.
Speaking of upgrades Linux is just as bad. They release new kernels every week it seems and new "packaging" libraries.
As for the wireless price you're including the AirPort thingie. I don't know of anything that uses that so really you don't need it and you can always buy it later if you just want it. But the neat thing is the retractable power cord/adapter and 6-8 hours of battery life. Maybe it avaible on other things, but you don't really hear about ti.
#42 Not the OS, the machines
Friday July 23rd, 1999 3:31 PM
I just don't think it will do real well at that price.
And I don't like them putting out new iMacs every 3 months, it's confusing. If you like the iBook, I can understand why, a G3 laptop looks like a decent machine, but I think I would rather have Amiga's $500 or less equivalent networked in real-time to my Amiga. Hopefully more specs on that will be released tomorrow at World of Amiga in London, but perhaps it's too soon.
Good. You want an Amiga notebook, that's great. I just don't think it will take off. The world is filled with consumers. Consumers want things they have heard of. Windows is only doing well because "everyone" uses it (it ain't 'cause its the best, that's for sure). I think the Amiga system sounds great, I just don't think it will take off in a consumer marketplace. Brand name is everyting among consumers. Why are Starbucks appearing all across the country and suplanting local stores: name recognition. Apple is working hard to erase their image from the "non-Jobs" years, but consumers have heard of the MacOS. Anything new will take years to even dent the Windows market. I personaly like Mac because it works the way I expect it to; it makes sense to me. Windows drives me nuts I haven't gotten very far using Linux so I use Mac. If someting better comes along I probably will use it. Anyway, regardless of price, iBook will be a hit because so many schools will be purchasing them. Apple has already lined up several colleges/universities and undoubtedly many elementary/high schools will follow. Regardless of how wonderfull the Amiga notebook is, they have an uphill battle to get any kind of name recognition.
Not when Apple has a price like that. The overpriced thing will sell okay, I'm sure, at first. Amiga's not just about a notebook. It's about the choice to have a notebook, palm-top, TV set-top, Web phone, DVD-ROM game console or a machine with actual RCA--any of them for around $4-500 apiece. These will all be out in 6 months or so. Do we have an Apple palm-top? Sure! It's a 3-COM Palm-top with an Apple stomped on it and, according to Jobs, isn't a priority. Anything else? Not really, oh, an iMac with a 17-inch monitor and after year-end, when those who are going to for X-mas have already have bought iMacs, they'll finally release a G4. Other than that, not a lot on Apple's ticket, I'm afraid.
And name recognition? Newton was name recognition, and Jobs trashed it, maybe because it was something the company that fired him did before Bill Gates begged him back. Apple's got Apple for name recognition, but Amiga's got themselves, Gateway, Linux, and now Sun Microsystems, ATI, and now Corel and Transmeta on board, and IBM is supposed to be making the processors as well. I recognize all those names.
#53 Peace, I'm not into trashing Apple...
Monday July 26th, 1999 12:43 AM
I just am looking forward to Amiga. I hope Apple comes along, and I think they probably will, neither have much love for M$, and actually Apple will probably jump on the chance to make Apple branded Amiga information appliances, since they can. Amiga's making the architecture open-standards. :)
Meanwhile check out pics at <http://www.amiganation.com>
#16 Most of the rest...
Wednesday July 21st, 1999 5:03 PM
The market for Amiga MCC is quite diverse as that for the computer it covers, including: mall/retail shoppers, Linux users, Classic Amiga users, Java users, high-end PC users, anyone who wants Internet devices, Macintosh and other UNIX users, graphic artists, students, game programmers, Web designers, animators, Web surfers (and those who would be surfing), interactive television, home computing environments, video games, music, movies, DVD, all of the above run through a single home computing environment, and to surf the Internet from a $499 notebook computer ... you get the point.
Because Amiga information appliances can be run from non-Amiga operating systems, Amiga MCC FD is not limited to being sold only to those who buy the computer. Those who want Amiga information appliances but want or need to run the home networking environment for whatever reason on Windows, Macintosh, or other major operating systems can do so. And with an open source and increasingly supported operating system, as will be the new Amiga Workbench (the equivalent to Microsoft releasing the Windows GUI into the Linux open source community) and an open standards architecture, I think Amiga has eliminated all of its major obstacles already. This is the short form of what everything else says:
Distribution advantage = Gateway clout Price = Low (targeted at $499!) Features = Very many Ease of use = Extremely high Stability = the Highest Networking = Seamless Compatibility with current hardware and software standards = Extremely high Speed = High Support Level = High, and growing as fast as Linux and Amiga are
Given all of the above, which I think are evident from this document as well as Amiga's technical brief (link on Page 1), I think I can see few groups that won't be targeted by the Amiga MCC and its brethren appliances.
Market Analysis- Apple themselves stated that only 20 percent of Americans are on the Internet yet, which means much of the other 80 percent is a boiling potential market for an Internet-ready computer that rocks-at a decent price, and that's just in America. Amiga has said that the Amiga MCC will be released world-wide late this year. It will be years before Microsoft or Apple implement anything remotely similar to the Amiga MCC, appliances, and operating environment, and longer still for their prices to come down from the stratosphere.
According to CNET the average price of PCs dropped to $928 in March, which is not low enough when considering that these computers come with slow Intel Celeron processors. Celeron prices are simply not low enough to sell a multimedia inefficient computer; one example of such inefficiency: why should you need a separate, obscure, and ridiculously high-priced TV card to hook your Nintendo or VCR through your high-resolution monitor? How are you expected to play Nintendo's new 640x480 enhanced games on a 320x240 TV set capable of nothing even aspiring to True Color? Why is it so difficult and costly to add RCA connections, get MIDI ports, digital inputs, run your VCR through your computer, and capture still frames from your favorite movies and TV shows?
Sub-$600 PCs (which are awful in comparison to the MCC) are selling pretty well now. Emachines went from no market share at all last November to being the fourth largest PC supplier in the retail market (according to CNET) by April, having shipped over 400,000 machines in five months.
Lack of Windows- Microsoft doesn't have much to offer in terms of an operating environment (OE) anytime soon, much less a real-time OE, at any cost, but here's a look at what products Microsoft does hope to release through 2001 or so:
Remainder of 1999- Windows 98 Second Edition (SE)- is being released now, but doesn't promise to sell much beyond PCs that are pre-loaded with it, aside perhaps from people who were waiting to upgrade to Windows 98 until the bug fixes were released. The 32-bit version of Windows 2000- Microsoft's one potential release other than Windows 98 SE for this year, but since Windows 2000 is a server/workstation OS (renamed from Windows NT 5.0 last fall) for businesses, it will not compete in the "home computing environment" market very well. The most touted feature of Windows 2000 is the Active Directory, originally a Novel NDS ability that keeps user settings/configs/applications updated at all times wherever the user goes on the network. The Active Directory is obviously an ability for networking environments that the overwhelming majority of mass-market consumers won't care about, understand, or need any more than they needed Windows NT 4. Also, the high-security of Windows NT (and thus Windows 2000) hinders the graphic-intensive applications from being able to truly "hit the hardware," making Windows 95/98 better for the job and explaining why Microsoft reversed its 1998 announcement to abandon Windows 9x code in favor of Windows NT code after Windows 98 (see the "Easy PC" effort following this entry).
2000 and beyond- Microsoft's and Intel's "easy PC" effort- will completely hide MS-DOS functionality from the user, have full USB support, and will probably come in designer cases. No other new features have been mentioned. Windows CE's "Rapier" project- this operating system's first real-time version doesn't even have a rumored date, hasn't been shown to anyone, and can't be any closer than 2000 or Microsoft would be pre-selling its beta by now. 64-bit version of Windows 2000- Microsoft hopes to release this possibly in 2000, around the same time as Intel's 64-bit Merced chip. "Neptune" the first consumer version of Windows 2000- No earlier than 2001. Microsoft intends to fully implement the integration of Internet Explorer with Windows (also known as the seldom-used Active Desktop). This looks to be integrating Outlook express, Internet Explorer, and the Windows Active Desktop functionality. In the picture on ZDNET, Microsoft has allotted the bottom eighth or so of the screen to the name and logo of the distributing computer manufacturer. (By contrast, Amiga's Workbench , or GUI, will be released open source (with a default made by Amiga, of course) so users can customize Workbench (equivalent to Desktop, but Workbench was first) to Kingdom Come, in any way they choose - or not.)
Apple- Though Apple accounts for only around 5 percent of the total PC market at any time, and though the company is partially owned ($150 million worth) by Microsoft, Apple is still worth looking at since iMac sold so well last fall at a very non-innovative price of $1399. iMac sold 278,000 in the six-week period after its release last fall at a cost around $1399 upon release (this dropped to $1199 by December), and had sold over 400,000 by January. These first iMacs had modest graphics abilities with 233mhz processors, a color shell, and a hideously misshapen kind of sideways oval one-button mouse. This original 233mhz iMac now sells for $899, outselling the ones that run at either 266mhz or 333mhz, which still start at $1199. While ease of use and stylistic design with a mediocre computer has been shown by iMac to drive some market adoption, low price coupled with high quality is not something that has been tried yet. PCs and Macs costs far too much for all of the things they don't do.
So where is Apple in the market for information appliances? Apple's guns are currently behind their new notebook computer, called "iBook," which is expected to cost around $1599. I have not heard that the notebook will be networkable to a Mac of any sort, but it will definitely come in colors. For $1599 in Amiga products a buyer could have the Amiga MCC and two "information appliances." Apple has indicated that they are using 3COM's Palm operating system for Apple-branded Palm computers, but not before 2000. In fact, 3COM is pretty much in charge of the workings of the Apple palm altogether. Apple's interim-CEO Steve Jobs has said that the palm-top is not priority at this time, but that the notebook definitely was. When Apple's palm arrives it is expected to come in colors.
Apple also hopes to release an update to iMac sometime late this year or early the next, which will allow easier access to inner components, have a larger screen, and hopefully be ready in time for Christmas. Unfortunately, the larger screen alone (17-inch) will likely prevent the iMac from coming down much in price for the 1999 holiday season, making it that much more difficult iMac to compete against a punishingly powerful $499 (or $599?) Amiga. It has not been mentioned that the iMac upgrade will include the new G4 Power PC processor - if the company follows its last year's pattern they will release an update and then put the G4 out after the first of the year, hoping to drive sales beyond Christmas, perhaps.
A G4 iMac is not likely to cost under $1000 at Apple's current pricing habits, but even so, the thing should be able to run the Amiga Information Appliance Environment.
Gateway's distribution power is one key to market Apple did not have for iMac that Amiga does have for the MCC -- the support of the Gateway half (so far) of the direct-to-consumer PC market that is now divided up almost equally between Dell Computers and Gateway. Unlike Apple, Gateway is able to offer packages including 24-hour support, Internet access, leading office software and hardware, as well as the ability to trade up your computer later. Amiga is doing with Gateway's pocketbook what Apple can't seem to do with Microsoft's (or Microsoft with Microsoft's, for that matter) - driving quality up and prices down.
The HomePNA 2.0 10Mb/s home networking standard- Lest it seem Amiga try to add proprietary networking standards to the industry, I should emphasize that the Amiga MCC networking environments will integrated with HomePNA standards. In HomePNA's own words (Source: the HomePNA Web site): "The Home Phoneline Networking Alliance (HomePNA) is an incorporated, non-profit association of industry-leading companies working together to help ensure adoption of a single, unified phoneline networking industry standard and rapidly bring to market a range of interoperable home networking solutions."
"Founded in June 1998 by 11 forward thinking companies (3Com, AMD, AT&T, Wireless, Compaq, Conexant, Epigram, Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM, Intel, Lucent Technologies and Tut Systems) the Alliance's membership has grown to include more than 70 cutting-edge companies, spanning the networking, telecommunications, hardware, software, and consumer electronics industries."
The HomePNA's main function seems to be creating a standard that will allow all homes with existing telephone lines -- both upgraded and non-upgraded - to be able to easily use a home network environment (i.e., using the same phone line simultaneously for faxing, phone calls, and Internet connections without needing to upgrade home wiring or acquire additional phone lines. The HomePNA effort will be driven by the plethora of broadband standards coming in the next year or two, including cable modems, Universal ADSL, and satellite links (the latter of which at least can be used by rural inhabitants as well as city dwellers without having to have upgraded fiber-optic cable lines). The network essentially runs the home like a tree, branching off from the home's various phone jacks.
Communication options (which Amiga is still finalizing) for the Amiga MCC so far include V.90 56Kb/s modem (of course), 100/10Mb/s Ethernet, wireless 2.4GHz digital networking as well as broadband Internet options like cable, DSL, and ISDN modems and digital satellite decoders.
1999 and Beyond- So here we are near the end of a millennium. Apple invented the first PC, and Microsoft aggressively and successfully drove early adoption of PCs (and then some), but what's next? Why, virtual home computing networks are next, in case you hadn't known, and are about to rip a large hole in not only the current usership of PCs as well as countless millions of people in the world who have been waiting for the day computing comes good and cheap.
It is told in communications majors' textbooks of the thirty year rule that says there is a thirty-year cycle for market saturation of each major (i.e., very useful and popular) new technology, like the telephone, radio, television, computers, and more. The first ten years of the cycle are the infancy of the technology; the next ten years are for moderate adoption as the technology grows and becomes more mainstream and inexpensive; and, during the final ten years, the technology becomes widely adopted, common-place, and price-efficient. In this cycle, information appliances are currently closing the first ten years, where it is time to aggressively drive adoption, and computers in general are reaching the end of the third decade of this cycle, when it is time for them to become commonplace. PCs are not good enough for multi-media convergence. It is time to move to the next level.
It is now one year post-iMac. The economy going into 2000 is at a high point in decades, and Americans with our beacon-strong economy and, well, spending habits, have been largely responsible for keeping the recent world economic crises from sparking a world-wide depression. People have money. Broadband Internet connections over the next year will fuel the Internet fire like mad -- to take the wait out of the World Wide Wait. And while people see HDTV as a ridiculous expense now, there is supposed to be a mass-market HDTV out later this year for $650.
Internet devices are the next thing as we've established knows, and digital, digital, digital. But currently there isn't an efficient, stable, easy way of combining home multi-media and entertainment with powerful computing-much less one at a decent price. Potential Amiga users, and purchasers of Amiga MCC For Dummies, are anybody who can afford a $5-600 computer that does everything a Windows PC does WAY better, and anyone who wants to make more efficient use of their existing hardware and upgrade it to the AmigaSoft OE. This is a large market, to say the least, and represents not just an elite medium any more but a powerful new technology targeted at the mass market first.
(There is a rumor that Amiga may be named Phoenix. That would be cool.)
I don't even know if transmeta will come out with a shipping product so there's no way to know how much this will cost
#22 I just don't see it.
by rgelb <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Wednesday July 21st, 1999 10:20 PM
I just do not see how Amiga is going to revolutionaze (?) the computing world, when the entire architecture is based on the current stuff. OS is based on Linux which is hardly revolutionary. The video is going to be made by ATI. The last time they came out with something revolutionary - well, they never did. The case is going to be a standard ATX case. Amiga & its cheerleaders claim that the Amiga environment will make it stand out. The environment will be built upon the Linux foundation - can anyone point out any revolutionary software written for linux??? Something that changed all our lives? Also, because the some hardware will be totally proprietary (the ATI design and other supposed revolutionary hardware), Amiga will not be able to profit from economies of scale, thus a $599 Amiga seems very unlikely.
Now consider the competition. The $299, $399 PCs are flying off the shelf. The free PC + 3 yr. ISP contract is becoming increasingly popular as well. The homes that are being targeted by Amiga as networked homes will not move away from Wintel/Mac into something completely unknown.
I have a feeling that Amiga will find its market in the small percentage of old time Amiga users and the some (very few) video enthusiasts. I predict that within 2-3 years of its introduction it will go the of the original Amiga.
#27 NOT all based on current stuff.
Thursday July 22nd, 1999 8:17 AM
no one said the entire architechture was current stuff. The ATX motherboard will have next generation processors plus 3-D chips/sound and all that stuff.
#31 I just don't see it.
Thursday July 22nd, 1999 8:31 AM
Free PCs suck. At $499, Amiga doesn't suck. I don't agree with your prediction, sorry. With QNX it may well have been that way.
You forget one thing: The original Amigas weren't cheap either. They still sold very well, because some people always value quality and style over cost (which is also why the iMac has been doing so well, allthough the Mac and Amiga philosophies have been quite different)
When I bought my last Amiga, I could have gotten a PC with a faster CPU for half the price. I still preferred the Amiga because it had a clean design, and an OS that was efficient enough to more than offset the differences in CPU power.
I'd buy an Amiga again anytime if they manage to release a system that is as nice as the original Amiga. I'm a PC owner now, but I still HATE x86 hardware. I use it because of speed and price, and lack of a nice, widespread platform. An Amiga that can run Linux programs alongside the Amiga specific programs would be heaven.
#39 "will run Linux and Java better than any...&q
Thursday July 22nd, 1999 8:56 PM
"computer in the world." They meant it :) Also, they said that the processor must be able to run original Amiga software in addition to Linux. Check this part of a post from <http://amigang.cjb.net/> "Many have died bringing you this information. Actually, thanks to scholboy for sending me this. It's as much information about Transmeta that I think exists in one place. If I told you where I got it, I'd have to kill you. Anyway, here goes:
Dave Ditzel is the boss. Remember the name. He hired Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux. It will be the first truly software-upgradeable CPU. This is why they are so secretive (who wants Intel jumping on the bandwagon?). There would be no need to make new silicon to add the equivalent of MMX, SSE, etc., . Torvalds is behind the emulation/translator aspect - x86, etc., . Linux is at the top of the list of firmware optimisations (hence the AmigaMMC kernel is as well). The die-size is around a quarter of a Pentium 3. There will be a need for a large amount of flash-RAM (16Mb). Power consumption is 4W. No further details here. Good for laptops/portables. IBM have been hired to fabricate it (possibly at 0.18micron size). Clock speed begins at around 500Mhz. Ditzel is associated with Elbrus International, who are designing a chip starting at 1.2GHz
That's all I know. I have probably broken several trade-secrets acts here, but seeing as I don't work for any of the companies, I don't care. Ha! Anyway, it's here only because of all the talk at Amiga Insight. Whether it's true or not, we'll find out this weekend." Whether we actually find out Transmeta's specs this weekend is unknown, but yowza, yowza!
#40 I butchered this in a lower post
Thursday July 22nd, 1999 9:03 PM
If the following is true...
Check this part of a post from <http://amigang.cjb.net/>
"Many have died bringing you this information. Actually, thanks to scholboy for sending me this. It's as much information about Transmeta that I think exists in one place. If I told you where I got it, I'd have to kill you. Anyway, here goes:
Dave Ditzel is the boss. Remember the name. He hired Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux. It will be the first truly software-upgradeable CPU. This is why they are so secretive (who wants Intel jumping on the bandwagon?).
There would be no need to make new silicon to add the equivalent of MMX, SSE, etc.
Torvalds is behind the emulation/translator aspect - x86, etc.
Linux is at the top of the list of firmware optimisations (hence the AmigaMMC kernel is as well). The die-size is around a quarter of a Pentium 3.
There will be a need for a large amount of flash-RAM (16Mb).
Power consumption is 4W. No further details here.
Good for laptops/portables.
IBM have been hired to fabricate it (possibly at 0.18micron size). Clock speed begins at around 500Mhz.
Ditzel is associated with Elbrus International, who are designing a chip starting at 1.2GHz
That's all I know. I have probably broken several trade-secrets acts here, but seeing as I don't work for any of the companies, I don't care. Ha! Anyway, it's here only because of all the talk at Amiga Insight. Whether it's true or not, we'll find out this weekend." Whether we actually find out Transmeta's specs this weekend is unknown, but yowza, yowza!
Anyhow, Apple would be a memory now if Microsoft hadn't bailed them out with $150 million.
that's a troll right?
The $150 was part of that settlement + it insured that office would continue to come out, and that's what was important. The $150m is nothing and at the time was mostly a gesture...
#30 Linux Mozilla On Amiga
Thursday July 22nd, 1999 8:29 AM
I wish I could say $150 million is a gesture. Besides, Apple knew they'd be completely neutered without precious Office. And when the recent version finally came out, guess what, the Internet functionality doesn't work properly! Oops! Mac will always be second priority to Windows, but hopefully the same can't be said for Linux, which is gaining considerable momentum.
Kovu, how do you explain my Mac which is 5 years old and able to seamlessly network with all other computers in my house, access the Internet, and basically do everything necessary to computer life except play the latest games? It certainly hasn't been upgraded every five minutes, and since I've gotten 3 times more life out of it than I could expect out of a comparable PC, the price is exceedingly cheap.
$150 million is chump change to a multibillion dollar company. Apple would survive just as easily without Office between AppleWorks is comparable and most Mac heads prefer to use non-Microsoft software anyway. The tiny tiny percentage of Apple stock that Microsoft owns simply says that Apple gets a little publicity from MS.
Apple bashing is unbecoming of someone who's trying to support a computer that hasn't been viable for new development in a decade. I won't be buying an Amiga, at least in the foreseeable future, because I don't have $500 to plunk down for a machine that doesn't run either Windows or MacOS.... I just dual boot between Linux and Windows on my PC and use my Mac.
Apple is turning its greatest profits in 8 years because Steve Jobs had the foresight to push the iMac, a computer not designed for computer professionals but for everyone's Mom and Dad. I know I wouldn't buy my grandma an Amiga but I WOULD buy her an iMac.
And contrary to your statement from above, iBooks WILL have Ethernet (10/100BaseT, no less) built in and will seamlessly network (like every Mac has for the past several years) to anything you have in your house that's ready for a seamless network.
Don't get me wrong; I think the Amiga will be quite good. But you don't have to badmouth a perfectly viable company like Apple to get success for the Amiga. They cater to different markets.... The iMacs are for a market where people want easy access to the Internet and such. Amigas are not geared towards this market and never have been and, until they show a demo that does, I can't foresee them doing so in the future. I can't imagine Workbench being nearly as user-friendly as the MacOS.... Nothing has been to date, and everything about Amigas release is based upon company statements to this point.
#35 Linux Mozilla On Amiga
Thursday July 22nd, 1999 1:17 PM
My point exactly. Apple fans are not Amiga fans and have never been. This is not about Apple. Apple had their shot, and still haven't broken even 5% of the market.
Also, I've used PCs, Amigas, and Macs, and I don't find MacOS particularly intuitive at all. It's all a matter of choice. I don't choose to pay Apple's high prices for computers that don't do very much.
I am not trying to bash Apple so much as point out their faults and help show why Amiga is making certain decisions. Anyway, keep your Apple. You can run the Amiga Information Appliance Environment from it.
Actually, Apple holds a full 15% of the market. Mind you, that's not 15% of sales, but 15% of the computers in use at this moment are Macs, many of them several years old. :)
#37 Amiga Phoenix (hope they do call it that)
Thursday July 22nd, 1999 6:11 PM
Mac and Amiga share processors, you know. There is a G4 upgrade for Amiga in the works, and a G3 to be released in the next month or two, as well as a new OS. Macworld and World of Amiga 99 are in the same week -- this week (WoA Saturday) -- more info on the new machine, plus a protype. Phoenix will be mine.
Seems there will be a new computer from phase 5 due next year called the Ami-Rage based on up to 4 G4 ppc chips and the QNX Neutrino OS. Here's some info on the hardware: <http://www.phase5.de/amiga/amiragee>.html And here's the QNX for Amiga page <http://www.qnx.com/amiga/> As you can see, QNX is doing its part in supporting classic amiga users by giving Neutrino for free to every classic amiga user with the powerup accelerator card. There's also a developer program in place for this new system. Amiga Inc doesn't have one in place yet nor will they tell us what CPU they're using! Anyway, there's a mozilla Neutrino port in progress thanks to <http://www.nexwarecorp.com/>
#49 Amiga competition
Friday July 23rd, 1999 6:03 PM
I think it will sell well with the portion of the Amiga community that is not happy with the Linux decision.
#55 Amiga competition
Monday July 26th, 1999 9:32 AM
Any one rember the a/box? Phase 5's 603 machine that ran a ppc version of AmigaOS. I think it was scraped because of the failure of the bebox. They looked alike. Any way hope Phase5 can keep there intrest longer than prototype stage. Besides isn't 4 g4's overkill? Is the ami-rage susposted to be a fast lightweight media/internet computer, or a large server?
The CPU info should be out tomorrow at World of Amiga 99. I'll post links here. You should check out the tech brief at <http://www.amiganation.com>
#50 Linux Mozilla On Amiga
Saturday July 24th, 1999 5:07 PM
Corel, Sun, Transmeta, and Pentagram all partners announced Saturday. info, PIX OF NEW SYSTEM at <http://www.amiganation.com>