Shin

The state of Amiga in 2011?

Trying to figure out what happened with the Amiga in the aftermath of the Commodore bankruptcy in 1994 is headache inducing to say the least. I eventually stopped tracking it until I stumbled across a few old games that made me wonder how the old lady was doing these days.
I planned on making a nice post about it with a summary, but I’m lost. There’s too much info, too much going on and I’m pretty damn sure it’s the biggest soap story ever.
So here’s a buttload of links to get started as I try and figure this mess out.

The brands
Let’s kick it off with Commodore.
There’s Commodore International.
Looks rather under construction, they say they’ll make pc clones. Eventually. It has nothing to do with the Commodore of days gone by.

Then we quickly decend into WTF terrain with Commodore USA who have made a ‘new’ version of the C64. It’s basically a pc crammed into a C64 case, with the promise that they’re going to release some awesome OS, which is basically an Ubuntu clone. For $999. Yeah… and then there’s talk of making a new awesome Amiga which is *drumroll* a pc clone, for which they have some la la fantasy that it’ll sell for an insane amount of money. Right.

Then, for even more facepalm, there’s Amiga Inc. They sell Android tablets named Amiga for some reason. At least it’s an improvement from stickers and mugs with the Amiga logo a few years ago, but still… not really Amiga related.

The Operating System
Amiga OS, the Amiga operating system seems to have been developed over the years and is now up to version 4.1, nice. Here’s a review by Ars.
It’s being developed by Hyperion which vaguely rings a bell from a decade ago.

Then there’s Aros, which was started by a group of people who get fed up waiting. It looks good, is open source, compatible with old ami software and runs on X86 as well, meaning you can run it on your pc/mac/virtual machine. Like with any open source OS there’s a few different flavors you can try such as Icaros. If you want dedicated hardware for Aros you could take a look at iMica.

As another alternative there’s MorphOS, which looks like a pretty sweet modern OS, which is also compatible with old 68k Amiga software. For extra niceness it now runs on the G4 PPC Mac Mini, which you can buy quite cheaply (around 100 euros here) second hand.

The hardware
There’s also machines being sold (other than the decade old PPC boxes) or developed which either aim to mimic the old Amiga’s or take a step into the future.

The Minimig looks awesome and is basically an A500 in a really small form factor, awesome if you’re just looking for something to play your old games on.

Or a work in progress, the NatAmi, aims to be the equivalent for the A4000. Yes please. Let’s hope this makes it and doesn’t cost a kidney.

AmigaOne X1000, by A-Eon;
AmigaOne X1000 is a PowerPC based computer intended as a high-end platform for AmigaOS 4. Droolworthy, looks expensive and probably will be expensive, but this looks like the best bet for a high end modern amiga system if you want to run AOS4. Some day. It was originally announced to be available in mid 2010, now in September 2011 developers are getting the prototypes.

And then there’s the AmigaOne500, by A-Cube. It looks a bit pricey for what you get but if you want to buy a complete PPC Amiga to run AOS4 on right now, this is it.

So there ya have it. Lots to read, laugh and cry about.
I’m not sure which route I’m going to take just yet. Aros looks very nice and I can run it on my Macs, Morphos I could run if I got a cheap G4 Mac Mini and for the rest it’s basically wait and see.

Work in progress... not home!
Trying to get all/most of the new code working before I start on the eyecandy.