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.
Prices start from: £1699, USD $2682.56 (excluding AmigaOS4 license, shipping, handling and sales tax).
The next new thing was the launch of an official AmigaOS 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.
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.