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      /  Criticism of OS4
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Derringer 
Criticism of OS4
Posted on 9-Jan-2008 19:22:39
#1 ]
Member
Joined: 8-Jan-2008
Posts: 44
From: Budapest, Hungary, EU

In the beginning of the XX. Century in Hungary there was a poet (Endre Ady) who was writing most of his poems about his country (Hungary). But these poem was not to eulogize Hungary. These poems written from the downside of the country. The reson: He showed the problems, to the wide range of people to fix these.

So finally Os4 classic arrived at 30Th of november in our lord's year of 2007. We all now it's been overdued. At least 4 years. It should been appeared in 2003. Or 10 years? Yes, when apple finnaly migrated his Os to powerpc. If OS4 came out in 97'? You can say: Maybe the computers are more personal than nowadays. Or the whole thing should be happened 30th of november, but in 1994...

I think most of us played the idea what if commodre can sold another 200 000 unit of cd32 in december of 1993. Then Commodre bankrupcy not happened in 1994 and Hayne and the engineers can finish AAA. Of Course then they also Ported the Os to DEC ALpha. So AMIGA Master ( Or Amiga 5000 if you like) debuted in the 4th quarter of 1994. We can surely says os4 delayed about 13 years. But that is History. There will be no AAA, or multi processor farmed Commodore super computer.

So back to reality. I will tell my thoughts about the new Os by the eye of an end user. Who was just want to use his beloved machine and don't care such a things like mediator has not dma, or the core developers of os4 and morphos don't love each other, and thats why there is not scsi support for bppc in os4.

First of all the current compatibility list of hardware of os4 is a sad story. Above all, the biggest bottleneck of the classic version is the slow handling of the hard drives. In the old days, the built in ide of the 1200 was a miracle. After so many years of disk changing...When Ambermoon, Reunion and other games was loaded as fast as the light travel in the universe.. But the time had been changed. Of course amiga platform is far from the world of terra and hundreds of gigabytes. But there is more and more apps, games, music, pictrures, movies, which is demand more than 100-200 Megabytes of disk space. And to operate these files with a HD with the built in ide? Some centuries ago it has been the most effective tool of the Spanish inquisition. To copy files about 0,8-1MB/sec is a real suicide nowadays. And after if you purchased those awfully expensive scsi hdds, so it is a real slap from the coders.
Ok, there is some word, that it will be changed. You can also say if you want fast disk acces, you can buy elbox's fast ata solution. You can buy, but if you see how can this to be install in your machine, well better if you don't see. It is really a hack and not from the best ones. The second anti fast-ata point: You have to turn on the basepageadress in os4 to use this hw. The istaller warned you about this, and it's reveal everything.


Except this, the install process is professional. If you have pci board with gfx card, all the things displayed at once in the gfx card output. So you don't need to install drivers manually. (of course if you have only aga display, the os chose it without a doubt.) The difference not just in display speed and in the beauty of higher gfx. If you choose aga, the install process about 40 minute. If you have gfx card it can be 12-15 minute. It is about the bandwith of the bus speeds. If you choose aga it uses chipmem, so i think you already know the commodore tetst about the resolution and chimpmem bandwith. That's why it is slower. Anyway it is a good and fun point of the os is the system can use AGA. And and, yes! The screens are draggable in a gfx card, not just under aga!!!

There is a voodoo corruption in Os4. So some screen name, window may be jerky. After the proper installation too. Its like the lates mediator drivers under os3.9 . The earlier driver was better. If you don't use 1280*1024 just 1024*768 or less, the curruption is minimal, and very rare. At amigans.net and other forum, the core developers know about this, so i think the patch is under process. Good point to the early starup menu, which is also displayed in the gfx card's screen. The features of the "bios" of the amiga has been increased. For example it will thell you, if your pci card is working or not. (not just the pci board itself.) It tells you your main cpu class, version, MHz, and your amiga's FSB. Unfortunatelly you can't overclock it from the early startup menu. You can select the display, and yes there is not just pal, and ntsc. Check it if you need to change it.

Another good point is the way, which os4 hanles the lan and internet settings. After the instal there is a wizard, which you can easily select your way to connect the system to the internet, or local area network. It is simple and easy with only one bug. Currently under os4 there is no support for 8139 chipped lan cards. (This is about the hack of mediator dma system: meadiator has only a fake dma, not a real.) So if you have 8029, you will have internet connection, but if you don't select it from the list of the drivers. Ignore the pre-definied driver setting and show the system the real driver. So i think implementing this is about a half second from the coders. But after you set up, your amiga automatically join to the net after your os booted up. So no need to manually run a tcp/ip stack like miami or else, just run your browser and surf where you want.

About the browser... there is no surprise it's only ibrowse. The 68020 version. So slow and outdated. You can gain some speed in display if you set the handling jpeg and other elements as external, but don't expect miracles. And sometime it crashing totally my system. (the demo under os3.9 works perfectly.) Good news that the situation will be changing soon. Maybe sputnik ported to os4. Or there is a new hope, called Origyn. Better if you learn this name. It is the first modern browser which is handles correctly most of the web sites. Even mine: www.birdpc.hu
Of course it is far from the usable status. There is not yet flash, downloading, browser bar, toolbar etc. Watch out for the stack, it is crashing your system soon if you leave it in default.

Once again the supported network cards. Some says there is no difference in classic system to using 8029 or 8139 lan card. The download speed under 8029 in os4 is about 45-65 KByte/sec, the peak was about 95kbyte/sec. Under os3.9 my 8139 chipped card produce an avarage of 130-150 kbyte/sec. So it is about the double. It is a huge drawback. (In the same time my pc can download with 450-500 kbyte/sec.)

There is no really sound card support in os4. Oh wait, the support is good, but the implemeantation is bad. Sad again, but this is about the dma hack of mediator. Paula works. Yes the good old Paual alwasy working. In the early stage of a1200/4000 commodore planned 8ch 16bit 44KHz sound with dma. But after the "cut everything which has a price" effect, in the the end the aga machines had got the old sound chip. So there is no sb128 sound under os4. In the compatibility list there is terratec, which somebody says that working under os4. But it is false info. My terratec 128i can play test sound under the prefs of aHI, but that's all. There is no softwer which can produce any kind of noise or similar if you set it to use ahi. (tunenet, amp, etc.)Not even plays your mp3s. Paula plays it but with is limitations in bit and noise. It is sad because os4 and a 233MHz 603 plays my old 32ch 16bit xm modules without any lag or delay. On os3.9 and the side of 68k with my 33MHz 68040 it is enough for only 10-12ch at 16 bit. So if you interested about tracker music, os4 is your platform, if you find a good sound card which is working under it. Ok, a p2 300MHz handles all kind of tracker music @64ch, but it is a wonder that my amiga can handles it too. Whis if we're in just 1997...
But os4 on classic is only for tracker music. Nowadays the standard is a good sequencer with tonns of vst plugin and high quality real-time effect. Whis if some professional program appearing for this paltform. Then you can really use your dual core g5 amiga.

So about the performance: is os4 faster than os3.9? My first thoughts about os4 was that i can turn my amiga which has a 68040/33MHz cpu and a 233MHz fpu (Yes, under os3.x the ppc cpu is working as an fpu.) into a real 233MHz-ed amiga system. So i can do almost the things which i can do on a pc with p2 300-400MHz. So i can play dvd-s, writing at least 32ch 16 bit tracked music, listen mp3 without completly slowing down my system. Browsing with internet, and use some pdf and other office stuffs at normal speed. Maybe playing some ported games which was slow under wos/pup/68k. Or speed up my pc emulation to play civilization2 or settlers 2 at acceptable speed.
First of all os4 is faster. A lot. Icon, text, window, screen appearance is fast. The difference is in raw processor speed. Ok maybe under os3.1 with 8 colour screen and icons you can get some speed, but under os3.9 palying with 16/32 bit icons and screens is not the fastest thing, even with gfx card.

If you experience the new os, you can find some eye candy things in it. For example transparency for the menus and toolbars. Workbech really looks good with taht feature. And you don't need to vi$ta and a power station with tonns of GB ram and 8800Gt to do this. It will be the "real thing" if you can do with windows or screens too in os4. The world will be shocked, that the only positiv feature of vista can be producet on a ten years old machine.
In prefs don't miss the workbech preferences. You can even set what text, datas will be appear in the main Screen. So if you want you can set to display the system not just the free fast/chip memory in the screen title, but you can display even your gfx card's free memory or your cpu modell too. Or other things, check it!

What about 3d and games? There is not yet real 3d implementation for the classic users, which means software rendering, but it so slow on classic. Anyway if you play quake on 3.9 and WOS/PUP and under OS4, there is about a 10% speed gaind for the native ppc OS. On my system at 320*240 quake timedemo2 runs at 22fps on 3.9 and 24,5 fps under os4. (the peak fps is somewhere 35-36 fps to 40-42 fps.) at 640*480 it is 7.3fps and under os4 it is 8.6.

Another speed gain at open transport tycoon deluxe: Under os3.9 and ppc it is playable, but heavily lagging when scrolling at 640*480. Under os4 if i run the 68k version the speed is about the same, but if i run the os4 native version, the openttd is flying. Even if you choose higher res you can play it, only minor lag when some newspaper pop up.

There is some games which you can't run on os3.x. For example One of my first game on a500 was shufflepuck cafe. Now there is a SC clone, called tuxpuck under os4 at 640*480 gfx, and playable speed.

Or there is Battle for wesnoth. It is nice strategy game. You can try it with 128MB ram, but to run it you really need 256Mb. Because after some turn your fast ram will be gone and the program first slowed, and then stops. As in the original FAQ the minimum free ram for the program is about 100Mb. And in my system OS4 eat about 45Mb after booting.

So under os3.9 you need 256Mb ram only for hereticII. If you have 128Mb you were the king. It's like you have 128GB ram in your pc now. On os3.9 maybe some ppc demo or quake uses about more than 64Mb ram. On os4 64Mb is for nothing. 128MB is the situation of "we can talk..." But to take andvantage you really need 256Mb and not just for battle of wesnoth.

Sad thing is that the warpos/Pup apps and games don't run under os4. There is a warpOS emulation in the earlier versions of os4, but not in the classic version. I think it will be a good feature that the os can hanle it, as winxp has an option to run the programs with "compatibility" of earlier os. So now the situation is bye-bye HereticII and other eye-candy games of warpos/pup games.

Under os4 there is a jit 68k compiler. It is integrated, and silently working. Hmm very well. You can run even Elite2 Frontiers under os4!!! At speed which you can never see from elite2. One little thing about it, watch out some eye candy apps like limpidclock, because these apps sometimes use higher priority than others, so for example it can turn a elite 2 to a heavily lagged game. Solution for this: lower the priority of the program. You can set it and save it.

Of course you can run a buch of 68k apps. If you don't have a fortune, you can switch off the jit compiler for that apps, and you can give another chanche for it.
The GRim-Reaper (hmm how similar it for GURU) do its work. Sometimes it is so nervous, but fact most of the time, killing apps is a good solution to don't reset your system.

Some games which was "System friendly" before, now just simply not working. Like Colonization. AGA screens is weird, but if you run it with the "workbech" option, after some operation the game crash. Same in UFo and other games.
Maybe after some time the "runnable games under os4" list will be increase, but now prepare yourself that now you have difficulties to running old games under os4. Some says that if you want play old games switch back os3.9. It is accepatable on short periods, but poeples don't buy an os to switch back an other. And os4 is need only a whdload like system.
And there is no "restart the system in OS3.9 mode" button/menu in os4, or any kind of boot switcher. Qucik and good solution is a Mobil-rack inside your towerized amiga. You can use your scsi hdd for os3.9 if you have only with lowered boot priotity, and in the mobil-rack you can use your os4 partitioned hdd. If you sitch on your mobil-rack button, then you boot into os4 at once, and when you want use your os3.9, then you only need to turn the mobil-rack off.

About dvds. You can play your movies with the bulit in dvd player, but with a 603e@233MHz the playback is lagging. So not enjoyable. It is faster that palying it under frogger on os3.9, but for full playrate it is not enough. Even if you play it from hdds. Maybe if you can play it from scsi, you can gain another couple of fps, or if the program can pre-buffering it like winamp the mp3s in the old days.

So os4 classic worth it?

From one side it like that hyperion try to show the eye candy things of a new os. After few days of using you will realize that almost all of the good programs which you want to use require more cpu power, more ram that you have, so you will thinking to buy a Sam440 or a ppc mac mini. (No there is no official os4 for these machines at the moment) But after some months it will be changed, and if someone use os4 on classic will surely buy a more powerful amiga as soon as it will appear on the market. Its in coded is os4...

Other side if you using it more than a week, you can't boot other oses into. Believe me, it's Comfortable, fast, nice. It seems that os4 developing will be continue, so there is a big chanche that the errors of the os4 will be patched. The userbase of os4 will raised in the past month, so maybe we can see some more apps/games appear for os4 in the near future. And if the following errors, things patched at Hyperion, os4 classic will be the most enjoyable classic amiga os which we can use. So os4 classic needs to:

-patched some little errors like voodoo gfx corruption, sound handling for terratec cards, pci Lan card setup etc.
-Driver to boot and use bppc scsi
-Driver for pci cards (sb128,other sb sound cards like audigy,x-fi,Realtek 8139 lan card, USb cards)
-Better emulation handling, for WarpOS and ECS/AGA games. Maybe a whdload like utility
-A good browser on its way (Origyn)
-Pre buffering for dvd-player

And of course really professional apps, but that is another story....

Derringer

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Colin_Camper 
Re: Criticism of OS4
Posted on 9-Jan-2008 19:28:10
#2 ]
Super Member
Joined: 6-Jul-2003
Posts: 1188
From: Unknown

@Derringer

Quote:
In the beginning of the XX. Century in Hungary there was a poet (Endre Ady) who was writing most of his poems about his country


War and Peace (Russian: Война и мир, Voyna i mir) is a long novel by Leo Tolstoy, first published from 1865 to 1869.

Yet this great body of work was not as big as your post, above.

Thanks for the review!

Last edited by Colin_Camper on 09-Jan-2008 at 07:43 PM.

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pavlor 
Re: Criticism of OS4
Posted on 9-Jan-2008 19:32:58
#3 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 10-Jul-2005
Posts: 9607
From: Unknown

@Derringer

Very good mini review!

WarpOS apps will (probably) never work in OS4 (bugs, bugs, bugs..., maybe Hyperion can make new ports of its games for OS4...)

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ssolie 
Re: Criticism of OS4
Posted on 9-Jan-2008 21:02:05
#4 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 2755
From: Alberta, Canada

@Derringer
Don't forget to try the SDK as well.
Grab it from ftp://ftp.hyperion-entertainment.biz/AmigaOS4_SDK if you don't have it already.

Newer versions of some of the tools in the SDK are available from OS4Depot as well until we release an updated SDK (*cough* when it's done *cough*).

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opi 
Re: Criticism of OS4
Posted on 9-Jan-2008 22:42:06
#5 ]
Team Member
Joined: 2-Mar-2005
Posts: 2752
From: Poland

@Derringer

I'll just say I enjoyed your post. Hope you'll stay and welcome.

Last edited by opi on 09-Jan-2008 at 10:42 PM.

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logicalheart 
Re: Criticism of OS4
Posted on 9-Jan-2008 22:44:56
#6 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 2-Dec-2003
Posts: 699
From: Sandy, Utah. USA

Original post removed by author.

Last edited by logicalheart on 10-Jan-2008 at 12:12 AM.
Last edited by logicalheart on 09-Jan-2008 at 10:58 PM.

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hatschi 
Re: Criticism of OS4
Posted on 9-Jan-2008 23:21:25
#7 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 1-Dec-2005
Posts: 2328
From: Good old Europe.

@logicalheart

Quote:
The points are moot because of many reasons, a few being (...)


The points aren't moot at all. As Derringer carefully explained, he looked at OS4 purely from an end-user perspective. So how are these reasons for not writing a honest review on it?
Are you suggesting we should only buy and view OS4 as some sort of museum piece?

@derringer

Great read, thanks for the review. Personally, I also view the lack of SCSI-support on BPPC as a serious shortcoming and a big step backwards from OS3.9.

Last edited by hatschi on 09-Jan-2008 at 11:24 PM.

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wegster 
Re: Criticism of OS4
Posted on 9-Jan-2008 23:25:40
#8 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Nov-2004
Posts: 8554
From: RTP, NC USA

@logicalheart

Quote:

logicalheart wrote:
@Derringer

All those point would have merit under other conditions but you're treating it like it's a Microsoft or Apple product with decades of continuous development and a trillion dollar budget. The points are moot because of many reasons, a FEW of these being:

1) OS4 for classic even being created is a feat against all odds.
2) It was done by a comparatively small number of developers without corresponding salaries.
3) It's still under development.
4) They are developing for hardware of which almost all of it does not have any documentation or support from the providers.
5) There are still groups and individuals who have power to destroy it, and are attempting to.


None of that makes the points moot. You've simply given reasons for some of the points existing in the first place..that doesn't mean they don't remain valid.

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Rob 
Re: Criticism of OS4
Posted on 9-Jan-2008 23:32:13
#9 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 20-Mar-2003
Posts: 6365
From: S.Wales

@Derringer

That was a fair and unbiased write up. Thanks for taking the time.


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Rob 
Re: Criticism of OS4
Posted on 9-Jan-2008 23:44:33
#10 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 20-Mar-2003
Posts: 6365
From: S.Wales

@hatschi

Quote:
Personally, I also view the lack of SCSI-support on BPPC as a serious shortcoming and a big step backwards from OS3.9.


I think this is down to the developers not having a BPPC with SCSI. Let's hope that something is being done to resolve this.

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logicalheart 
Re: Criticism of OS4
Posted on 10-Jan-2008 0:08:10
#11 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 2-Dec-2003
Posts: 699
From: Sandy, Utah. USA

@wegster
@hatschi

Yes, I read part of the posting wrong, and already expected and knew the described experience. Sorry for the mistake and single sided response. The report is valuable, especially for those without a lot of OS4 exposure (most everyone), and also serves as a great summary.

@derringer
Thanks for taking the time to write it all up. Sorry I read too fast and misunderstood.

Last edited by logicalheart on 10-Jan-2008 at 12:11 AM.

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jahc 
Re: Criticism of OS4
Posted on 10-Jan-2008 1:43:00
#12 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 30-May-2003
Posts: 2959
From: Auckland, New Zealand

@Derringer

I think you titled your thread unfairly. It sounded like a great review. I think you should submit it as news to amiga portals. Sounds like what we've been hearing from most people, a mixture of good and bad.

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tomazkid 
Re: Criticism of OS4
Posted on 10-Jan-2008 2:21:56
#13 ]
Team Member
Joined: 31-Jul-2003
Posts: 11694
From: Kristianstad, Sweden

@@Derringer
As jahc suggested, maybe you should change the thread title to "Constructive criticism of OS4" ?

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Dwyloc 
Re: Criticism of OS4
Posted on 10-Jan-2008 2:49:04
#14 ]
Super Member
Joined: 30-Mar-2005
Posts: 1052
From: Glasgow, Scotland

@Derringer

Thanks for taking the time to write such a helpful and detailed review of OS4 on Classic Amiga A1200 hardware.

As a classic owner my self who also has purchased OS4 but not yet found the time to install it, as I spent my Amiga playtime over the Christmas Period installing and playing with my New Subway USB card instead of OS4, I found your review very helpful as it addresses most of the issues I expect to have as well.

The next rainy free weekend I get I will take the time to check over the air flow and cooling for my BlizzardPPC card then give the install a go, I had been waiting on the update for better mediator and vodoo support, but going by your review things sound workable already.

So thanks and welcome to Amigaworld.

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fishy_fis 
Re: Criticism of OS4
Posted on 10-Jan-2008 5:53:14
#15 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Mar-2004
Posts: 2163
From: Australia

@Derringer

Interesting read. One thing Im now a little confused about though,... you mention being able to play elite2. Does this mean that custom chipset is accessible ?? I realised you could use it as a gfx display, but didnt think it was possible to still play/view games/demos that use the custom chips. If you can Im suddenly a whole lot more interested in OS4 for classic than I was beforehand

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AmiKit 
Re: Criticism of OS4
Posted on 10-Jan-2008 7:08:21
#16 ]
Super Member
Joined: 18-Jul-2004
Posts: 1138
From: Europe

@jahc&tomazkid

Only if you consider the word "criticism" as some negative word. IMHO the word itself is neutral. The criticism can be positive or negative or both, it's an evaluation.

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COBRA 
Re: Criticism of OS4
Posted on 10-Jan-2008 9:06:30
#17 ]
Super Member
Joined: 26-Apr-2004
Posts: 1809
From: Auckland, New Zealand

@Derringer

Just commenting on the "Pre buffering for dvd-player" part. DvPlayer does prebuffer quite a few frames (for MPEG it is a few seconds seconds). But keep in mind that videos with DVD resolution (720x560) at 25fps require 15MB of RAM for one second of decoded video, so buffering 5 seconds of decoded video would eat up 75MB of your RAM, and the result will be that you will wait a long time before playback starts, then you can have smooth playback for 5 seconds, and then it becomes dog slow again until the end of the movie.

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Hammer 
Re: Criticism of OS4
Posted on 10-Jan-2008 10:55:40
#18 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Mar-2003
Posts: 5514
From: Australia

@Derringer

Quote:

If you experience the new os, you can find some eye candy things in it. For example transparency for the menus and toolbars. Workbech really looks good with taht feature. And you don't need to vi$ta and a power station with tonns of GB ram and 8800Gt to do this

For Vista's Aero Glass, my ASUS G1S laptop hardly needs a "power station" nor a Geforce 8800GT.

Note that;
1. Geforce 8800M GT consumes under MXM-III's 35 watt limit.
2. Geforce 8600M GT consumes ~22 Watts, which is under MXM-II's 25 watt limit.

Vista's Aero Glass runs on Radeon 9600 with 64MB VRAM e.g. my old Mitac 8355 AMD64 laptop.

Windows Vista: Full Aero Glass with only Shared Video RAM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hfKoUWEdHo

Aero Glass on GMA 950
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTdTdTELZj4

Last edited by Hammer on 10-Jan-2008 at 11:04 AM.
Last edited by Hammer on 10-Jan-2008 at 10:59 AM.

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BillE 
Re: Critique of OS4
Posted on 10-Jan-2008 11:10:26
#19 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Nov-2003
Posts: 1195
From: Northern Scotland

@AmiKit

> Only if you consider the word "criticism" as some negative word.


It is usually used that way. Check it out in Wordworth's Thesaurus on your Amiga. Though one meaning can be "review", "commentary" etc, the more common meaning is the negative "disapproval", "bad press", "censure" etc.

Maybe "critique" would be a better wording for the thread title. That removes any unintentional negativity from the title.


Bill.

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pixie 
Re: Criticism of OS4
Posted on 10-Jan-2008 13:41:50
#20 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 3199
From: Figueira da Foz - Portugal

@Derringer

Thanks for the review and welcome...

As for the topic, guys... don't be such a nit pickers after such lengthy review, any doubts the topic might bring the body surely puts them to a rest.

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