Well this is nice, it would seem that someone has gone and added Timberwolf, Firefox for AmigaOS4, to the List of Mozilla-Based Applications to the developer portion of their web site. While not a hugely trafficked page and while it does get drowned out by the existing number of entries already there, it is good to see a little advertising out there for AmigaOS4 and the fact that it does have main stream applications available for it.
And the below picture is for those of you who are to lazy to follow the above link and search for Timberwolf:
Timberwolf as listed in the 'List of Mozilla-Based Applications' page.
This week in Amiga land has been interesting. There have been a few announcements of interest. Some have been expected, others I definitely was not expecting.
The first cab off the rank would be the announcement of the availability of the AmigaOne X1000 Limited Edition. This is the first chance the generally public has to get access to the new, high end hardware to run AmigaOS4 on. The announcement seems to have been met by the public with mixed results, mainly due to the price point. I have to admit, I was really keen for one but with the price it is going for, I will have to definitely stop and think about it but as has been constantly expressed by those involved, due to the hardware involved, it was never going to be a cheap option and was more for the rabid enthusiasts out there anyway.
The details of the deal are:
The First Contact system includes the official AmigaOne X1000 Boing Ball case in either black or white and includes the Nemo rev 2.1 motherboard complete with 1GB of DDR2 RAM, a Radeon HD4650 graphics card, 500GB HDD,
DVR R/W optical drive, Audio & Ethernet cards.
The next new thing was the launch of an officialAmigaOS web site. I found it interesting that this is one of a few things the community at large has been crying for and now it has been launched, it looks well done and is informative yet some people are complaining about it. As they say, you can’t please all the people all the time.
Personally, I found it has a good blend of information from details about the Operating System and Applications which can be used on it, links to the support forum, links and details about the Community at large and other useful pieces of information or links and directions to the various areas you may interested in. This has all been wrapped up into a tidy, professional and easy to navigate site.
Now here is the piece of news which really came out of left field. Hardware already exists and AmigaOS is already running on, albeit in early form, a new netbook computer! This is another of those things the community has been going on about wanting for a while now so as you can imagine, there has been a lot of frothing at the mouth about this unexpected piece of news.
The details are being discussed on a few forums at the moment but the details in this thread are the closest to the source of truth at this point in time. The limited details being discussed are:
Price: $300 – $500 including OS4 license.
It’s a specific AmigaOS product. PowerPC based.
Prototype has external VGA port.
Prototype can use external USB mouse and keyboard.
Delivered with OS4 preinstalled
Thus is all subject to change, so don’t complain to me when any or all of the items below do not make it onto the final device:
– It’s a netbook. That means it isn’t intended to compete with a desktop system. It is using an integrated graphics chip. No RadeonHD. No PA Semi.
– Price point will be the complete system, including AmigaOS 4. Hopefully, it will be around $300, but we cannot say this for sure yet so calculate a price of $300 to $500.
– The prototypes we have (plural, yes) all have 2 USB ports, internal audio with external jack plugs for headsets/microphone, Keyboard and touch-pad mouse.
– The prototypes have built-in Wireless and wired ethernet. Whether both or just one of them will be on the final device I do not know yet.
– Internal mass storage. Don’t ask me about the capacity, few gigs AFAIR.
– The prototypes have 512 MB memory -I think-. No idea about the size of the final product.
– AmigaOS *is* running on the device, although in a very early state. There are questions to be answered still, so the tentative release date is somewhere near the middle of 2012.
– It’s NOT used Mac hardware
The price is definitely right and it will be a great entry point to get people back into the Amiga world again due to a number of factors such as price (of course), space requirements, portability etc. but before you get to excited, the tentative release date being thrown around at present is mid-2012. Since we are near the end of 2011, it’s not as bas as it sounds but still requires a little patience. The other interesting point I read in the thread was about the hardware. When asked if it was an existing PPC netbook being ported to, the following was the reply:
No, this is a specific product for AmigaOS, not just any netbook. It’s a PowerPC-based system.
And last but not least, Timeberwolf. This is Firefox for the Amiga. I have seen two seperate update posts on this subject.
The first one was just an informative post letting the community at large know of the current progress of the project with a nice screenshot.
Timberwolf playing Youtube videos
The next piece on Timeberwolf was Youtube footage of Timberwolf running on an AmigaOne X1000. Not the best camera work but some nice confirmation that it works and appears to work well even though it is still in development.
Oh, I don’t know how but I almost forgot this little bit of news. The Hyperion Blog announced that the developers are working on AmigaOS 4.1 Update 4.
The good thing is that this is yet another free update for those of us running AmigaOS 4.1. It should hopefully iron out the last of the bugs new features added to the OS may still have and the post also alludes to the potential of some nice surprises that may come with the release of the update.
All in all, it has been an interesting week for the Amiga community. Dare I say exciting with much promise over the horizon? All we can do is wait and see.
On my way to work and stopped behind some traffic at a red light when all of a sudden I hear a crunch and the whole bike tries to suddenly move forward. I look behind me and some lady had drifted across a 5 metre keep clear zone whilst on the phone and ran into the rear of my bike and then all she did when I looked at her was shrug her shoulders and went back to her phone. I was not happy with this and gave her the finger.
I put my bike into neutral to make sure there was no damage, thankfully it all looked fine, noticed the driver was still on their phone all unconcerned, feeling a little angry now, I walked up to her and told her to ‘Look where you are driving and don’t use a phone in traffic you dumb bitch!’ at which point she replied in what sounded like an eastern European accent, ‘How can you use this language to me?’. I have to admit, I was amazed by the response especially after what had just happened and only managed to repeat my previous repsonse of ‘Because you are a dumb bitch.’ which I admit is not the best come back.
I went to leave it at that and started walking back to my bike but she kept demanding to know ‘How can you use language like that to me.’ At which point I leaned toward the front of her car and told her to ‘Go fuck yourself.’ and got back onto my bike.
I have to admit, not the best way to handle myself but after she managed to drift over 5 metres across a no stopping zone in stand still traffic, while she was on the phone and then running into the back of my bike with nothing but a disdainful shrug of her shoulders I think I was entitled to call her a dumb bitch.
Unfortunately, people like this rarely take responsibility for their actions. They are also the type to end up killing people on the roads and act all surprised and make statements such as ‘they just appeared out of no where’ and make out their the victim.
For those that know me, they know that I enjoy playing with retro computers and the occassional alternate Operating System. I would hazard to guess that most of them don’t understand my fascination.
While I do enjoy playing with the more common offenders such as the Commodore 64, various models in the Amiga range and others, my main hobby OS of choice is Amiga OS4. Don’t bother with the criticisms since there is a good chance I have already heard most of them already and before you ask, yes you can use an Amiga for useful tasks. I typed this blog entry up on a Sam440 running Amiga OS4.1 update 3.
This post is not out there to extol the virtues of a particular Alternate OS over another but more on something I have pondered on now and then, and that is how to spread the name of your Alternate OS of choice. Mine just happens to be Amiga OS4 and so I will use that as the example.
By their nature, most alternate Operating Systems are labours of love, even those that do have a more commercial bent since but they will not be bringing in the big bucks like Apple of Microsoft. This translates to the fact that not much money will exists to throw around, especially to advertise your precise baby.
This is true for the various Amiga OS’s out there, including Amiga OS4. Yes, there is a small amount of advertising out there but what little does exist, is usually in publications which Amiga owners will already be subscribing to, not in areas where potential new blood could come from. A lack of new enthusiests in your hobby of choice tends to greatly limit the growth of it which in turn causes other knock on problems. With an Operating System this means less users, so people being less willing to create programmes for the platform and all the other problems people talk about when the topic of new Operating Systems/computer systems arise.
There is one strength I have noticed with Amiga OS4 and that is it has a core of enthusiests willing and able to port open source applications and games to the Amiga OS4 platform and do a good job of this! This is where we can start to advertise the platform.
If your a developer or a skilled porter and manage to port an application or game to the Amiga and it is of a decent standard such that the original programmer would be happy with the result, why not inform the original developers of the fact and provide them with a link to the Amiga port, along with some information and ask them to link to the Amiga version from their website for all to see. The basic premise is to get the Amiga name seen by a wider audience than it currently is being seen by. Also, one of the biggest complaints platforms receive by people who may or may not be interested in them is the comment on the lack of software available. If people start to trip over the Amiga name more and more often, then the name stays fresh in their minds as well as re-enforce the notion that the platform does have software being written for it.
Believe it or not, there are people out there who are interested in trying new computer platforms as a hobby and seeing an alternate platform being supported in various locations and getting ports of software which also exists for Linux, Windows and Macintosh computers helps to strengthen this idea. The ironic part is that I have come across Open Source products which I didn’t know existed until they were ported to the Amiga and went on to also use them via main stream Operating Systems. Some recent examples are The Mana World and a new game being developed called Flare which is looking promising.
To take it a step further, Amiga OS4 has also recently received ports of commercial independant software titles. Generally, a native Amiga executable is created which uses the data files of the game in question, so if you have purchase the title, you can then play it on your Amiga which can be a bit of a kick. For example I have been enjoying Aquaria and Gish on my Amiga. I doubt it will provide a massive amount of revenue for the developers but again, approaching the developers and asking them about the possibility of having them link to the Amiga version of the executable with a small blurb on their site about it would be a good thing for them and the Amiga community.
What ever your alternative Operating System of choice is, enjoy and good luck with getting the rest of the world to recognise its obvious greatness 😉