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   /  Amiga OS4.x \ Workbench 4.x
      /  [Poll] Carl's Definition of Amiga
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Poll : Do you agree or disagree?
Yes
No
Not sure
 
PosterThread
Derfs 
Re: [Poll] Carl's Definition of Amiga
Posted on 24-Oct-2006 17:00:40
#81 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 8-Mar-2003
Posts: 755
From: me To: you

@takemehomegrandma

just so you know i have no favourite ppc board, make of that as you will.

however, the efika is still not cheap at $299 each (when buying 10), as you can get (as a home user) a semperon 3000+ motherboard with ram/gfx for less than $100. and i havnt shopped around.

@topic

i think everyone will agree there is only 1 company that has final say on where amiga is going to end up. also they have said they are making os5 to be platform independant.

it just seems to me this poll, although a really good and interesting subject, is counter to how os4 will work (as in being made and sold with hardware - whatever ppc hardware that is) as it wont be that cheap, and it still isnt 'stupid customer friendly' as some home electronics are.

if os4 cant get there, can os5?

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ChrisH 
Re: [Poll] Carl's Definition of Amiga
Posted on 24-Oct-2006 17:16:03
#82 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 30-Jan-2005
Posts: 6673
From: Unknown

@Carl-S
As much as I admire the original Amiga team, and what they set out to do, I think that your current definition is too general & wishy washy (I hope that phrase makes sense to Americans!) to be useful - it sounds more like a marketing slogan IMHO.

If I was to try to define what "Amiga" means to me, the "spirit of Amiga" if you will, then it'd go something like this:
An easy-to-use computer system which is relatively simple (by virtue of a coherent design), yet is flexible (i.e. easily extendible by users), reliable, and sufficiently powerful for most home users.

The short version of that is "Amiga is elegant simplicity", but that seems to mean different things to different people - so it might be better if I listed exactly those things I liked the most:

1. Flexibility: I liked the fact that most of the Amiga OS is glued together via shell scripts (which come much closer to real English than any Linux batch file) so that a "power user" can easily re-configure & extend it.

2. Flexibility: Although underused, I liked the fact that ARexx can be used to glue together full-blown apps, or just add additional features (e.g. I added ROT13 to MicroDot-II with a couple of lines of code!)

3. Simplicity: I liked the fact that the Amiga wasn't layers of (backwards-compatible) crust piled on top of each other (like Windows or OS X), so that I can easily understand everything in the system - each OS file has a sensible name, is placed in a sensibly named folder, and has a sensible purpose.

4. Reliability: There is no central registry (stored as one humongous file) that can be corrupted & bring down the whole system. Nor is there any "hidden state" beyond the files themselves, so I can restore the entire system (including OS) just by copying the files back. Probably more could be said on this subject.

5. Easy-to-use and understand: From a more novice-user perspective, I liked that the Amiga left me in control, rather than trying to guess what I want (e.g. automatically bringing the active window to the front, or unexpectedly changing the active window). I also liked the fact the very physical 1:1 relationship between what you saw & what was actually there, e.g. each virtual "screen" seemed to be physically real (it could be infront or behind another screen & could be dragged down to see behind it). Similarly icons were always the actual things, not "shortcuts" or other virtual entities (see the Control Panel of Windows). etc

Most of these traits come from the original design using the same mechanism to perform many different tasks, rather than inventing a different mechanism for each task. This of course required that the mechanisms used where simple yet flexible.

Edit: It may be worth mentioning that for similar reasons I dislike C++, while I do like both Java & AmigaE. And so why I am going to the trouble of trying to reimplementing the "dead" AmigaE language, albeit with improvements :)

Last edited by ChrisH on 24-Oct-2006 at 05:29 PM.

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DiscreetFX 
Re: [Poll] Carl's Definition of Amiga
Posted on 24-Oct-2006 17:49:54
#83 ]
Super Member
Joined: 12-Feb-2003
Posts: 1590
From: Chicago, IL

@Carl-S

Carl, thanx so much for all the great work you did that brought us the Amiga, it is most appricated by everyone @ DiscreetFX.

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A500 
Re: [Poll] Carl's Definition of Amiga
Posted on 24-Oct-2006 18:06:52
#84 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 24-Feb-2006
Posts: 345
From: Ontario, Canada

@Carl-S

I agree wholeheartedly. What the amiga offered with the A500 was everything I needed and much more to allow me to grow creatively.

The system was fast and efficient. I thought I loved workign with computers, but realise that it is the Amiga that i loved working with. We need to capture this same excitement again.

However, it is hard to be optimistic with out any hardware/software. I enjoyed your speech at AmiWest over the internet, but yet sadened that Bill was not able to provide a significant annoucement.

I wish very much that your definiton of the Amiga becomes a reality and not a dream. There is still a lot of talent tied to the Amiga such as yourself and David Haynie.

I am still hopeful. I want to vote for a new machine with dollars. I am ready commit!

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CodeSmith 
Re: [Poll] Carl's Definition of Amiga
Posted on 24-Oct-2006 18:37:28
#85 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 8-Mar-2003
Posts: 3045
From: USA

@falemagn

Quote:
Moreover, today's AmigaOS would also be binary compatible with Linux, so to leverage on the abudancy of software linux puts at our disposal and temporarily fill the gap of missing "native" applications.

I *very* strongly disagree there. If AmigaOS is binary compatible with Linux, Amiga programs will simply no longer be written. For every Amiga program there are 100 Linux equivalents, and the APIs are so much more advanced that there would be very little incentive to write a GUI using MUI or Reaction vs using Qt. Once all your programs use an "alien" UI toolkit so they can't be recognized as "amiga programs" any more, and most of the apps you're running come from apt-get, why bother calling your computer an amiga any longer? Which brings me to...

Quote:
This compatibility could be achieved in many ways, the simplest one being that the new AmigaOS should simply be based upon Linux, if a stripped down form of it.

Assume that Hyperion/Amiga Inc/whoever does exactly this. Now this is a serious question and not me being facetious: Why should I buy an Amiga (or a boxed AmigaOS for my PC/Mac/whatever) if I can just install Ubuntu and put on AmiWM?

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Carl-S 
Re: [Poll] Carl's Definition of Amiga
Posted on 24-Oct-2006 18:48:28
#86 ]
Member
Joined: 22-Oct-2006
Posts: 38
From: REBOLville

@ChrisH

Hi Chris, I completely agree with your list and I understand your message. Those properties are "very Amiga" (and you have mentioned my favorites). I might also add "boots in 10 seconds" and other such technical requirements.

But, the definition of a computing platform is about people and marketplaces. Those are the roots of the tree. The system must offer value to people.

In 1983, our starting goal was to provide the perfect low cost computer for home users. But, in 1985, the Amiga we had produced with Commodore's influence was different; it was more of a desktop computer for home users and small businesses.

Now in 2006, what is the Amiga? We can say, "Amiga is a long gone computer for a few hundred hobbyists who enjoy tinkering with soldering irons and hex editors."

Or we can say "Amiga is an alternative computing system for creative people that do not want to support Microsoft and think Linux is complex and ugly." (That is why the local school might end up using it on hundreds of student computers.)

There are many other possible statements. But, the statement is about people -- the words I bolded above.

Like it or not, one of the primary rules of marketing is that you can be "just one thing" in people's minds. So, which one of the above do we want to be? Yes, we can refuse to write a statement... then the world will define it, and I think you already know that statement.

So the question is, and my assumption has been, that we want something closer to that second statement above. Am I wrong?

People will buy and use Amiga because it gives them something special. But what is that "special" thing Amiga provides? You know that I am a techie to the max, and I would love to answer that it is AREXX and shell scripts. But, to most users, that's not it.

So, what is it? The answer must start at the top.

If the Amiga community collectively believes that the Amiga is just a hobbyist computer, then let's just come right out and say that. Post that at the top of all the Amiga websites. Maybe that's already been done, and I just missed it?

But, at least we would have Amiga defined. And...

I would know that my next favorite OS would not be Amiga-based. I could return without distraction to making the REBOL OS... a powerful, lightweight alternative OS for people who do not want to support MS and think Linux is too big and complex. And, ironically enough, it is OS is completely configured and controlled by REBOL scripts... sort of like AREXX and shell scripts...

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elwood 
Re: [Poll] Carl's Definition of Amiga
Posted on 24-Oct-2006 19:03:55
#87 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 17-Sep-2003
Posts: 3392
From: Lyon, France

@Carl-S

First of all, I hope you like the specifications of the Sam board.

Now I couldn't know how to answer this poll. While I agree with you with your sentence :
The Amiga enables millions of creative people at a low cost of ownership.
I'm not sure I'm that creative myself and I would buy what I consider an Amiga even if it's not low cost. I bought an AmigaOne XE after all.
It was 1000$ (mobo only) but I'm probably one of the crazy Amigans.

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number6 
Re: [Poll] Carl's Definition of Amiga
Posted on 24-Oct-2006 19:26:23
#88 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 9790
From: In the village

@Carl-S

Quote:
Or we can say "Amiga is an alternative computing system for creative people that do not want to support Microsoft and think Linux is complex and ugly."

While I appreciate the spirit in which this example was given, it is also, if
taken somewhat literally, to be symptomatic of what inspires "flamefests" from
a web forum perspective.
I realize that this is just an example, but a message, in my view should be
positive (publically) as to WHY we would choose Amiga. In that way, we set a
higher standard in advertising.
By example...the way to -generate- problems on this website is to say "XXX is crap".
The way to -avoid- problems on this website is to say "YYY is wonderful".

Quote:
The answer must start at the top.

Heh! Oh, boy. Does this statement ever have double entendre written all over it.

#6


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Dirk-B 
Re: [Poll] Carl's Definition of Amiga
Posted on 24-Oct-2006 19:33:47
#89 ]
Super Member
Joined: 8-Mar-2003
Posts: 1180
From: Belgium

@Carl-S

The following words are keywords for me:

friendly
easy
fun
artistic
freedom

etc.

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filmamigo 
Re: [Poll] Carl's Definition of Amiga
Posted on 24-Oct-2006 19:36:05
#90 ]
Member
Joined: 2-Mar-2004
Posts: 14
From: Toronto, Canada

@Carl-S

"The Amiga is a computer system that enables millions of creative people at a low cost of ownership."

Thanks for saying so clearly what I have always felt about Amiga.

Here are some of my thoughts on the way you break out this statement:

"computer system":

The politics/economics of how hardware, software and design come together into a single computer aren't of interest to most people. Most people (creative types as well as worker bees) don't buy these things individually -- they set out to buy "a computer" and that is a package deal. It's hardware, it's the OS that's preloaded, it's perhaps bundled software, it's the design of the cardboard box that it all comes in. That's understood by "whitebox" PC cloners, Dell, Apple, Walmart's Linux box... That's why even the hardcore parts-only whitebox PC stores have a lineup of pre-configured systems. Because for 98% of the market, even tech-savvy people, would rather get the whole package. The thought of buying a computer that was missing any parts is anathema to folks who actually need to get down to work (or play) on their computer. That would be like buying a new car, but it doesn't come with the tires, or perhaps the engine... sure, that makes it a very customizable car, but it also makes it a pain for everyone except hot-rodders (i.e. < 1% of the population.)

I think that failure to systematize responsible for the lackluster take-up of Linux in the environments where it should be doing fantastically well -- homes and schools. If Amiga were only the OS, being sold as software to load on any plain-vanilla PC, it wouldn't sell. It wouldn't be a system.

The last remaining king of systematization is Apple. They have even gotten away with switching to THE IDENTICAL HARDWARE as commodity PC's, without moving away from systematization.

"low cost" and "millions of people":

To me, these two things go together. Put together a compelling "system", and price it for less than PS3 or XBOX360... It's the same magic that sparked the first home-computer revolution. People start to ask themselves "why would I buy a game console or a virus-ridden budget PC, when I could have a solid slick computer system for less money?" That means hardware and software designs that are atypical, efficient, fast enough to deliver compelling games and snappy UI. Nintendo seems to be learning the lesson of ingenuity+efficiency with the Wii...

"enables" and "creative people":

Low cost is an enabling factor. Putting a good tool in the hands of many more people.

The other aspect that enables are the applications offered. What is the common theme among early adopters, creative people, people looking for an edge in life and business, and people who enjoy doing new things in a fantastic way: they react to killer applications. These are the people who saw the LaserWriter and said "I can open a print shop." These are the people who saw the Video Toaster and said "I can make a TV show." These are the people who watched the Boing Ball and said "I can do anything I can imagine".

Again, Apple learned this lesson well. Final Cut Pro has sold more Macs to my friends than any marketing campaign ever could.

You can't really predict what the next killer application will be. But you can prime the pump: create a compelling, slick systems, priced to put it in millions of hands, and loaded with tools for them to create cool stuff now, and inspire them to imagine cooler things for the future. When those cool killer apps come along, suddenly "everyone" in that given field will want whatever machine they need to work with/play with that killer app. If the computer system that runs that killer app is cheap enough to be an impulse buy, you have a runaway hit. And you never have to sell a single computer into a corporate data centre. You are selling systems to people and organizations that NEED to do what your system can do.

Thanks again Carl, for sparking my renewed faith in "what an Amiga is".

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falemagn 
Re: [Poll] Carl's Definition of Amiga
Posted on 24-Oct-2006 19:42:18
#91 ]
Super Member
Joined: 24-Nov-2003
Posts: 1126
From: Italy

@CodeSmith

Quote:

I *very* strongly disagree there. If AmigaOS is binary compatible with Linux, Amiga programs will simply no longer be written. For every Amiga program there are 100 Linux equivalents, and the APIs are so much more advanced that there would be very little incentive to write a GUI using MUI or Reaction vs using Qt. Once all your programs use an "alien" UI toolkit so they can't be recognized as "amiga programs" any more, and most of the apps you're running come from apt-get, why bother calling your computer an amiga any longer? Which brings me to...


So, your reasoning can basically be summed up with "Linux is better than AmigaOS, let me chose between them and I'll chose the former."

Guess that puts a end to the discussion even before it's begun, doesn't it?

The point is simply another one: already now the majority of new programs available for AmigaOS4 are programs ported from the unix world, there are projects about porting even more apps, like Mozilla, OpenOffice and youname it. Having binary compatibility with linux will simply mean that you don't have to port anything, it's all there ready for use. You do the job once, instead of doing it every time you need an app. And if QT is better than MUI, and if you can use both, why would you not chose QT?

This smells so much like the reasoning about not porting AmigaOS to x86 "because there's already windows there."

Quote:

Assume that Hyperion/Amiga Inc/whoever does exactly this. Now this is a serious question and not me being facetious: Why should I buy an Amiga (or a boxed AmigaOS for my PC/Mac/whatever) if I can just install Ubuntu and put on AmiWM?


If you think AmiWM is all that differentiates Ubuntu from AmigaOS, then yes, I ask you the same question: why don't you go with ubuntu instead?

Of course for me AmiWM doesn't cut it, that's why I'm discussing this.

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TrevorDick 
Re: [Poll] Carl's Definition of Amiga
Posted on 24-Oct-2006 20:15:35
#92 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 30-Dec-2004
Posts: 2635
From: Wellington

@Carl-S

Quite surprisngly for me I voted "not sure". Probably because all the classic Amiga's I purchased in the early days for business use were certainly not "cheap". They were mostly fully loaded, A2000HD's, A3000's & A4000's. These were upgraded at great cost with various add-ons and upgrades (drives, accelerators, PPC, Graphics cards, and video cards etc) plus the associated peripherals and software. I never really experienced the "low cost" side of the Amiga until I became a collector. Only then did I acquire A500's, A600, A1200 etc.

Now everyone seems to want hardware that's cost about the same as a box of cornflakes but exceeds the power and capabilty of the latest and greatest PC. In an ideal world a range of new "Amigas" would be produced with varying specification and prices to match.

I suppose like many I have also been a techno freak, always wanting the latest and greatest hardware upgrade or model. That is after all how Commodore made it's money, by shifting large volumes of hardware, and this is still the business model of most PC manufacturers. In recent years, probably more to do with the lack of blistering new Amiga hardware, I come to believe it's the easy familiarity of the AmigaOS (in its various guises OS3.9, OS4.0, MoprphOS, (etc)) that I have come to really appreciate.

TrevorDick



Last edited by TrevorDick on 24-Oct-2006 at 08:17 PM.

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Nightcrawler 
Re: [Poll] Carl's Definition of Amiga
Posted on 24-Oct-2006 20:23:22
#93 ]
Member
Joined: 3-Jan-2005
Posts: 99
From: Home of the fleskepannekake

@Carl-S

Quote:
I could return without distraction to making the REBOL OS... a powerful, lightweight alternative OS for people who do not want to support MS and think Linux is too big and complex. And, ironically enough, it is OS is completely configured and controlled by REBOL scripts... sort of like AREXX and shell scripts...


Oh... That would be nice...

REBOL is brilliant.

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A3000T 
Re: [Poll] Carl's Definition of Amiga
Posted on 24-Oct-2006 20:27:09
#94 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 7-Nov-2003
Posts: 633
From: the Netherlands

@Carl-S

> Here is my definition of Amiga:
>
> The Amiga is a computer system that enables millions
> of creative people at a low cost of ownership.

That's an interesting way of difining the Amiga.

> I would love to see the Amiga return someday as a force in the computing
> arena. I actually think it is possible, as insane as that may sound.

I would like that to happen as well, but the 'millions' and 'low cost' parts of your definition seem to be a major problem right now.

kind regards,

Dennis

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COBRA 
Re: [Poll] Carl's Definition of Amiga
Posted on 24-Oct-2006 20:40:06
#95 ]
Super Member
Joined: 26-Apr-2004
Posts: 1809
From: Auckland, New Zealand

@Carl-S

I think Amiga means a lot of different things for a lot of people, depending on why they liked the Amiga in its golden years, some people loved it for its graphical capabilities, others for its intuitive interface, multitasking capabilities, some just loved the games, or the demo scene sucked them in, etc. Then there was the friendly user groups which helped each other and showed each other how to get the best out of the latest software, etc. And most people probably liked a combination of those. What it was for all of us is a fun computing platform to use and to develop for, it had this groovy atmosphere and we all had wonderful times we'll never forget. It never was cheap though, but it offered a lot more than the cheaper alternatives like PCs, until those started catching up.

By the way, check your PM :)

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TheDaddy 
Re: [Poll] Carl's Definition of Amiga
Posted on 24-Oct-2006 20:51:36
#96 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 30-Sep-2005
Posts: 4490
From: Quattro Stelle

@COBRA

Is Amiga just nostalgia?

That could be it...

People who miss those brilliant years, the excitement of a new model being released, of a new game, piece of software, the magazines, the popularity.

The realization that Amiga is a superior platform but not a very lucky one.

In my opinion Amiga HAS to offer something no other system can. It's either a powerful and cheap machine with great backward compatibility, with a small fast OS, with a ton of games and applications, even just the old ones all in one package, easy to install and update or Amiga HAS to find itself a new niche market (please not the automotive manufaturing industry though )



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CodeSmith 
Re: [Poll] Carl's Definition of Amiga
Posted on 24-Oct-2006 21:01:42
#97 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 8-Mar-2003
Posts: 3045
From: USA

@falemagn

OK, we're clearly not on the same frequency here. Let me explain my understanding of what you said, and then you can tell me where we're not in sync.

You said, first, that AmigaOS should be binary compatible with Linux. Then, you said that a good way of doing that would be to base AmigaOS on a Linux kernel.

My interpretation of that is that you're suggesting that AmigaOS become something like MacOS X, which is a GUI layer and some APIs on top of BSD Unix.

The reasons why I would buy MacOS X as opposed to downloading and installing NetBSD are:

1. All-in-one package, single vendor
2. Apple's APIs are standardized and so there's no "what version of libc do I use"
3. It's nice having an Apple store I can take the computer to if it starts acting weird

Parallels with the amiga:

1. I don't see why this couldn't be the same, Hyperion could maintain the ports of Reaction, workbench, etc. Those are separate binaries dynamically linking to GPLd code so there should be no licensing problems. If there are, they can just use BSD (I'm assuming that by suggesting Linux you're not suggesting that Hyperion give away OS4 and turn themselves into a services company like IBM or Red Hat)
2. Amiga APIs make extensive use of byref message passing, which is completely different to Linux's LPC mechanism. So either you break a lot of compatibility with existing apps, turn all those byref messages into expensive memory copies, or cripple Linux's memory protection by making extensive use of shared memory. For thing like games, people are going to bypass the compatibility APIs and just use the devices directly (ALSA/framebuffer device/etc), like on any Linux-based game device. Seems a lot easier and more efficient to just stick with the Linux way.
3. Support would be here/utilitybase/some website, which would be full of people just as confused about the kernel changes as me. So I might as well go to the usual Linux hangouts and ask for help there.

Those are the reasons why I think that if we're going to layer AmigaOS on top of Linux, we may as well just use Linux. Please point out where you believe my reasoning is flawed.

Last edited by CodeSmith on 24-Oct-2006 at 09:06 PM.

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VidarL 
Re: [Poll] Carl's Definition of Amiga
Posted on 24-Oct-2006 21:02:39
#98 ]
Member
Joined: 16-May-2003
Posts: 75
From: Unknown

@Carl-S

Quote:
I would love to see the Amiga return someday as a force in the computing arena. I actually think it is possible, as insane as that may sound. But, it's going to require a clear vision and a grassroots unity of purpose.


I agree that it's still possible to releaunch the Amiga successfully. IMO there's a giant gap in the marketplace for an OS that's lightweight, easy to install, easy to use and enables advanced users more control.

The biggest problem today is that both Amiga Inc and Hyperion seem to have different opinions than you (and me) on a few issues:

1.) Both seem to think it's impossible to relaunch the Amiga as a computer platform, and not an embedded or mobile solution. Big mistake IMO.

2.) Hardware platform: x86 offers the fastest AND cheapest hardware. Not targetting x86 is lunacy IMO. PPC is far behind now, and will slip further behind as time goes on. Anyone that claims otherwise should take a look at the roadmaps of AMD and Intel and compare them to IBM and Freescale.



Vidar

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fingus 
Re: [Poll] Carl's Definition of Amiga
Posted on 24-Oct-2006 21:35:58
#99 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 20-Oct-2006
Posts: 736
From: Unknown

@VidarL

to your 2nd point:
Is there a reason that the cpu that amiga using must be at the same frequency like AMD or intel cpus? I dont think so. Theres only one reason to use x86: the price indeed but thats all i think. And building a computer with standart hardware is just linke another pc with an "Software enhancement" (its not worth mentioned to call it AMIGA anymore), so theres no reason to do that if you want to produce a new computer system that works in its own way. Its sad to see that windows xp and vista will eat so much resources and that the reason they need a "duo core" to boot in 20 seconds what an amigaone do with some hundret mhz. I know that by seeing it every day on our brandnew notebooks we sell, its really sad....So forget roadmaps they dont tell you how good you can use that hardware....

In most points i agree full to Mr. Sassenrath, i hope he´s successfull to fulfill his destiny called amiga

Last edited by fingus on 24-Oct-2006 at 09:43 PM.
Last edited by fingus on 24-Oct-2006 at 09:41 PM.

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COBRA 
Re: [Poll] Carl's Definition of Amiga
Posted on 24-Oct-2006 22:02:13
#100 ]
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Joined: 26-Apr-2004
Posts: 1809
From: Auckland, New Zealand

@TheDaddy

For the majority of people out there it's just nostalgia (at the moment). We (OS4 developers) are trying to change that.

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