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      /  David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
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Lou 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 24-Aug-2021 20:17:23
#21 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 2-Nov-2004
Posts: 4112
From: Rhode Island

AROS-64 MP on a RPi4 should be the standard Amiga today.
Classic should just be emulated.

Add more modern features to AROS-64 MP ...

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Samurai_Crow 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 24-Aug-2021 21:57:37
#22 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 18-Jan-2003
Posts: 2298
From: Minnesota, USA

@Lou

Considering that the chipset was the only part of the Amiga system worth noting, even AROS MP is pointless. Emulating from Haiku is just as useful not to mention it has full memory protection and POSIX emulation practically built-in. Even AROS lacks those capabilities and would not be source code compatible if it did adopt memory-protection. There is way more multiprocessor software for Haiku than AROS.

@thread

Amiga is retro. AmigaNG is not and even more pointless due to there being no showing off when using semi-updated hardware. At least somebody will be impressed if you code something for a retro architecture like an Amiga. My MorphOS box cost about $200 used counting the OS license. That's about what it's worth. Real Amigas will someday be priceless because they are irreplaceable.

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kolla 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 25-Aug-2021 1:20:49
#23 ]
Super Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 1809
From: Trondheim, Norway

@Hypex

Windows was replaced by NT, for good reasons nick named "VMS with buttons".

Last edited by kolla on 25-Aug-2021 at 01:21 AM.

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Hypex 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 26-Aug-2021 7:34:02
#24 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 10264
From: Greensborough, Australia

@NutsAboutAmiga

Quote:
it passes pre allocated strings, or message ports. there is no user level authentication, one program with low level clearance can send command to programs with high level clarence.


Well, the language itself doesn't rely on message ports. But it does make use of them on the Amiga to communicate between apps. However, they need to find the port to send messages too, so there is some kind of arbitration.

Quote:
Image you are hosting an Ftp server running admin privileges that have AREXX support, someone logs into your Amiga as guest over telnet or ssh, and write a ARexx script that changes the configuration of Ftp server, by sending commands to it.


Wouldn't that require to open a remote shell to execute commands? Before AREXX commands could be sent you would need a way to run programs remotely. If the server was set up to allow guess access over telnet and allow commands to be sent it hasn't been set up correctly!

Quote:
Message ports are technically part of Exec, so it's doable, it need to changed so you only find messages port same or lower privileges. but as linked list of message port has too go, no more snooping lists.


Arexx ports are built on exec messages, but programs don't need to use Arexx to support Arexx commands, or send Arexx commands. But Exec ports are flawed by design because they are exposed by the OS. The programmer could read and modify the list. Years later they come along and say not to touch system lists, and stop forbidding, you don't know what you are doing. But, they provided no other way to do it. OS4 provided some legacy lists but they still didn't provide an API to do it with. So now there are still complaints about forbidding being a show stopper to SMP and whatnot. Well, why didn't you do something 15 years ago guys?

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bhabbott 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 26-Aug-2021 22:04:27
#25 ]
Member
Joined: 6-Jun-2018
Posts: 46
From: Aotearoa

@Hypex
Quote:
But Exec ports are flawed by design because they are exposed by the OS. The programmer could read and modify the list.

By that criteria all other 'home' computers of the time were 'flawed by design', including PCs (I'm not talking about 'high end' PCs or any other machine running some version of Unix or other multi user 'big iron' OS, which was out of the reach - and desires - of the Amiga's target audience).

But what some call a flaw, others see as a feature. The Amiga's designers could have built memory protection into the hardware if they wanted to, but they didn't want to because it would just unnecessarily reduce performance and increase cost, as well as making it more difficult to access the hardware directly. If the Amiga had memory protection built in from day one, it never would have achieved the popularity it did because users did not appreciate being treated like criminals.

One of the main things I loved about the Amiga was its multitasking, which allowed you to use a separate program to see what the rest of the machine was doing while it was running. This was enhanced by being able run it in its own independent 'screen' which could be pulled down to reveal other programs in their own screens. As well as being an amazing debugging tool, it felt like I was in an environment with other 'beings' (the other tasks) sharing it and cooperating with each other. No other computer before or since has given me the feeling of being 'inside' a living ecosystem like this.

Quote:
So now there are still complaints about forbidding being a show stopper to SMP and whatnot.

Oh yeah, all these complaints about how the Amiga was 'flawed by design' because it doesn't support this or that feature that didn't exist at the time. But why do we need SMP, or memory protection, virtual memory, user level authentication, or any of the other stuff modern PCs have to have?

The answer is, we don't. We don't have any multicore 68k CPUs, and don't need them because a single core is plenty fast enough for us. We don't need memory protection because we don't write code that trashes memory. We don't need virtual memory because RAM is so cheap now that we can easily have far more than we need. We don't need user level authentication because it's our computer which we will do what we like with, and we don't have to worry about 'bad actors' hacking into it because we have nothing of interest to them.

But more that all that, we don't need to turn our Amigas into modern PC clones because we are quite happy with them the way they are, and if we want to do something that only a modern PC can do we just use one!


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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 26-Aug-2021 22:15:41
#26 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 11871
From: Norway

@bhabbott

So you have never seen the red guru mediations, or yellow guru mediations?
and you never needed to reboot your Amiga?

Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 26-Aug-2021 at 10:17 PM.
Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 26-Aug-2021 at 10:16 PM.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 26-Aug-2021 22:23:40
#27 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 11871
From: Norway

@Hypex

Quote:
but they still didn't provide an API to do it with


the way probe the screen modes has changed, and some stuff in dos, but yes there some fundamental stuff overlooked. There definitely should be a locking for FindTask, and FindPort, or alternative API, the trick here disallow port or task form being deleted, before lock is freed.

What find disturbing is that failed to port over bitmap locking to AmigaOS3.2, as it is now people might write AmigaOS3.2 programs that expect bitmap data to always be in chip memory, or fast memory, in case of AmigaOS4, the memory is moved in and out graphic card memory. Hopefully the 68K programs will never allocate displayable bitmaps, using new tags. Its odd that Hyperion who is control of AmigaOS3.2 and OS4.1 cannot standardize the API.

Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 27-Aug-2021 at 04:58 PM.
Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 26-Aug-2021 at 10:28 PM.
Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 26-Aug-2021 at 10:26 PM.
Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 26-Aug-2021 at 10:25 PM.

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Lou 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 26-Aug-2021 22:32:23
#28 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 2-Nov-2004
Posts: 4112
From: Rhode Island

All I want is a simple OS I can tweak to decide what runs and doesn't run.

Raspberry Pi 4 natively running AROS-x64-MP. This should be the new Amiga 'standard'.
Everything else is over-priced for the market.

Add some modern services to it. No 'app-store' required.

Let it run a TCP/IP stack...
Apache perhaps...
Email server...

Whatever. I don't want all the security warnings windows throws in my face. I just wanna run what I wanna run. End of story.

That's my Amiga revival. A clean OS that I control.

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BigD 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 26-Aug-2021 22:34:11
#29 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 5910
From: UK

@NutsAboutAmiga

Quote:
So you have never seen the red guru mediations, or yellow guru mediations?
and you never needed to reboot your Amiga?


... all part of the charm I often have to reboot my MacBook Pro to get it to recognise my Bluetooth headphones again! Today i had to WhatsApp a PDF to my work colleagues phone so he could email it back to me for use! Different decades bring different problems. Personally I prefer the Amiga's 'problems' rather than Apple's pathetic walled garden cr@p or Bluetooth syncing rubbish.

Last edited by BigD on 26-Aug-2021 at 10:51 PM.

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bhabbott 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 26-Aug-2021 23:41:52
#30 ]
Member
Joined: 6-Jun-2018
Posts: 46
From: Aotearoa

David Joiner asks "Should the Amiga be revived?".

The answer is, it was never dead.

But if by 'revived' you mean make into a mainstream computing platform, it never really was. The Amiga was primarily a hobbyist's computer, just like all the other 'home' computers of the time. For sure we played games on it, and some of us ran business apps on it too, but the machine itself was a large part of what attracted us to it. This was always a 'niche' market, and always will be.

"we all strove to find ways to make the Amiga succeed as a platform" he says, and his own efforts contributed to that. I enjoyed playing The Faery Tale Adventure for many hours, and now I am enjoying playing it again!

But success doesn't have to mean being a mainstream product that competes head-to-head with modern PCs or gaming devices. The Amiga was successful, but it never came close to being as popular as the PC or consoles in sales or recognition by the industry. And that's OK. Many other platforms did no better or worse.

The important thing is that the Amiga was so successful that we are still enjoying it today, and hardware and software development is still going strong. That is more than you can say for any other platform of the day (including PCs of that era). And a big part of the reason it survived is that it didn't follow in the footsteps of PCs, which evolved into something that bears little resemblance to the original PC.

"But", he says "we’re living in a different era now, one in which systems are routinely probed for weaknesses and exploits the instant they are attached to a network; To have a machine that did not have strong barriers between tasks would be suicidal madness."

And he's right, but there is no reason the Amiga has to fulfill that role. I have a cell phone for that, and my Amigas don't have anything on them worth exploiting. PCs attract attention from criminals because they are mainstream, which makes it another reason not to go there.

His third question is "what problems does a new Amiga actually solve?"

And the answer is - none. Modern products have already solved or will solve the new problems they face. But the Amiga is still solving an older problem, how to enjoy computing as a hobby without being bogged down by bloat and treated like a criminal.

David appears to understand this because he says "It’s true that all of the popular operating systems we have today are deeply flawed. As someone who uses OS X and Ubuntu on a daily basis, and who occasionally uses Windows, I find these systems to be both amazing technical achievements and at the same time frustrating as hell."

And yet he says "I think that perhaps, at some level, a new operating system and hardware design might help... mitigate the problems of spamming and hacking that we have today.... The kind of computer I want has little in common with the Amiga, or with any operating system that exists today."

Well David, you can waste the rest of your life pining for an unattainable ideal, but some of us just want to enjoy using the amazing machines we already have and making them even nicer. Now is an exiting time for classic Amiga fans, as we take advantage of new technologies and OS development has gotten back on track to make the Amiga even better without losing its character.

Speaking of which, I installed The Faery Tale Adventure on my A1200 using Peter McGavins HD patch. Works fine expect for corrupted music at the beginning (which the original disk - which I still have! - also does on machines with more than 512k) and runs a little too fast. These are programming errors for sure, but I'm not complaining. I will fix these minor bugs and enjoy playing the game the way it was meant to run but even even better! This is what I want from the Amiga, and it certainly is an attainable goal. It would nice if Talon returned to the fold and fixed it himself, but since he doesn't think the Amiga is worth his time anymore...







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bhabbott 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 27-Aug-2021 0:38:26
#31 ]
Member
Joined: 6-Jun-2018
Posts: 46
From: Aotearoa

@NutsAboutAmiga

Quote:
So you have never seen the red guru mediations, or yellow guru mediations?
and you never needed to reboot your Amiga?

I run The Enforcer, so i can usually identify bad programs before they trash the OS. Guru meditations are very rare. I only remember 1 this year (and I run my A1200 for 5 - 8 hours a day on average). I identified where the bug was in the source code and informed the author - meanwhile I use the program in question with caution (the bug can be avoided by making sure it has the required resources on startup).

I reboot my machine after playing games that kick out the OS or when wanting to clean up and can't be bothered deleting files etc. It only takes a few seconds so it's no big deal, unlike my PC which takes ~2 minutes to get to a usable state.

My PC doesn't blue screen anymore since I replaced all the capacitors on the motherboard, but it does often become unresponsive when browsing the web or doing operations with many files on the desktop. The reason? That wonderful virtual memory that allows programs to use gigabytes of RAM that the machine doesn't have.

"That's your fault for not having the latest hardware and software!" you say, and you may be right. But I like XP and can't stand Windows 10 (which wouldn't run on my machine anyway), so what to do? I don't have thousand of dollars to spend on a new PC, but I do have another machine with a 64 bit CPU and 4GB RAM which I installed Linux on and keep up to date for watching TV shows. Works fine most of the time, but occasionally becomes similarly unresponsive. It's incredibly frustrating knowing that hitting the rest button may lead to corrupted files etc. but not knowing how long you might have to wait for the OS to sort itself out. On the Amiga this isn't an issue.

My brother recently bought a new laptop with 16GB RAM etc. for over NZ$2,000. Works fine most of the time, but sometimes when editing videos the screen goes black and he has to reboot. I assume it's an application fault because it only happens with that one program, but who knows? (the OS so complex I wouldn't know where to start looking for the cause). So a modern PC doesn't 'Guru', but that doesn't mean it might not need a reboot due to software issues. And there are many other annoyances too. Much time is wasted having to keep the OS and apps up to date, and my brother is constantly complaining about the adware etc. on his new laptop.

The Amiga might theoretically be much more vulnerable to software bugs due to not having memory protection, but in practice it's not nearly as much of an issue as people make out. If anything it helps to improve the quality of software because programmers know they have to get it right.


Last edited by bhabbott on 27-Aug-2021 at 12:38 AM.

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agami 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 27-Aug-2021 4:14:52
#32 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 629
From: Melbourne, Australia

@bhabbott

Quote:
The answer is, we don't.

Who's we, @bhabbott? Surely you're not speaking for the rest of us?

Quote:
But more that all that, we don't need to turn our Amigas into modern PC clones

Perfect example of a false dichotomy. Just because the concepts and ethos of an Amiga adapts to modern age and consumer market, does not automatically mean it is a PC clone.

Quote:
The Amiga was primarily a hobbyist's computer

I'm sure that's how Commodore thought of it too, and I'm sure all the original hardware and software engineers worked really hard to launch a "hobbyists" computer in 1995. Just like Apple launched the Macintosh hobbyist computer in 1984 and all those Atari STs, also hobbyist computers.

Just because the personal computing ecosystem of the mid-to-late '80s had many players with many competing philosophies, does not mean that everything that was not an IBM PC was automatically relegated to the status of hobbyist.

Quote:
Well David, you can waste the rest of your life pining for an unattainable ideal, but some of us just want to enjoy using the amazing machines we already have and making them even nicer.

The most anti-progressive thing you've written. Hey everybody, don't struggle to innovate and create new things. We should all just enjoy the things we already have in the imperfect forms they've been given to us. For everything else, just use your smartphone.

No one is advocating for the transformation of old 68k classic Amiga stock into some personal computing device that bears no resemblance to the Amiga. It's exactly about how could we learn from the really good things Amiga did in the late '80s and early '90s, and transpose those into a new system that solves problems that existing systems don't seem to care to address, i.e. Progress.

Any such new system which is inspired by the Amiga will inevitably have to adopt/implement a lot of the common hardware and software architectures of the present day: SMP, memory protection, system isolation from user-interactive workflows, secure enclaves/TPM, etc. Some of us believe that such a system can be made real, within what's left of our lifetime, and it's OK to brainstorm ideas on what of the the classic Amiga is worth preserving, and how.

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Hypex 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 27-Aug-2021 13:21:48
#33 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 10264
From: Greensborough, Australia

@bhabbott

Quote:
By that criteria all other 'home' computers of the time were 'flawed by design', including PCs (I'm not talking about 'high end' PCs or any other machine running some version of Unix or other multi user 'big iron' OS, which was out of the reach - and desires - of the Amiga's target audience).


How so? What other systems of the time allowed user programs to manipulate internal system objects and lists of the OS in the multitasking model?

Quote:
If the Amiga had memory protection built in from day one, it never would have achieved the popularity it did because users did not appreciate being treated like criminals.


Memory protection is more about software than hardware in this case and the OS lacking it is where problems lie. But hardware memory protection came biting back when Amigas had 68010 or higher. Because Motorola changed behaviour and restricted access to SR to comply with virtual memory support, then suddenly a common game or application would crash. Most games were coded for an A500 and on protected disks hard to patch an update to. Applications could be updated but I found most of these codes were in C programs. Unless the programmer was using ASM, what was the C compiler doing modifying status bits? In any case the OS provides a function to read condition codes since at least OS1.1 so there was no excuse for compilers. Some game codes wrote proper portable code. Such as Psygnosis who wrote games compatible up to an 68020 which meant it worked fine on my A1200.

Quote:
As well as being an amazing debugging tool, it felt like I was in an environment with other 'beings' (the other tasks) sharing it and cooperating with each other. No other computer before or since has given me the feeling of being 'inside' a living ecosystem like this.


One example of the OS actually using the hardware to fulfil its potential. I never thought of it as a debugging tool. The closest other OS have got to with newer graphics methods is work spaces. Not exactly the same, though the screen title bar would have helped having gadgets to pick a screen. I think I've been waiting for Microsoft Screendows the past 20 years and I don't think it's going to happen. They are still using old fashioned windows and the last release looks like an ugly dogs breakfast with no form and some function going by the default theme. I've also been waiting for 3d windows but I've given up on living in a modern world.

Quote:
Oh yeah, all these complaints about how the Amiga was 'flawed by design' because it doesn't support this or that feature that didn't exist at the time. But why do we need SMP, or memory protection, virtual memory, user level authentication, or any of the other stuff modern PCs have to have?


Because, as behind as the hardware is, an AmigaOne built in the last ten years has a multi core CPU and can take over 4GB RAM. That's why.

Quote:
The answer is, we don't. We don't have any multicore 68k CPUs, and don't need them because a single core is plenty fast enough for us. We don't need memory protection because we don't write code that trashes memory. We don't need virtual memory because RAM is so cheap now that we can easily have far more than we need. We don't need user level authentication because it's our computer which we will do what we like with, and we don't have to worry about 'bad actors' hacking into it because we have nothing of interest to them.


We do have multicore PPC CPUs. And, 68k code does trash memory, you just might not know it. Without any protection in the OS a program could overwrite any memory area. And Amiga coders tended to be hackers. Even boring applications like word processors were known to hack around system objects. VM is not just good for extending memory, though you really need at least 32MB for basic Amiga use, but for protecting and isolating apps. For example, OS4 has limited memory protection, but it has brought my attention to apps behaving badly. My own ones and others. OS4 is one of the best tools for finding a buggy 68K app.

Quote:
But more that all that, we don't need to turn our Amigas into modern PC clones because we are quite happy with them the way they are, and if we want to do something that only a modern PC can do we just use one!


In my case, my main AmigaOS use is on OS4 on my AmigaOne. And the hardware is crippled by the OS. If the OS had been cleaned up earlier, instead of excuses being made about how it must be compatible with an emulator, these issues would be less of a problem today.

Last edited by Hypex on 27-Aug-2021 at 01:31 PM.

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matthey 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 31-Aug-2021 1:32:58
#34 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1145
From: Kansas

@bhabbott
My instincts were initially that what David Joiner wants from an OS may not be possible and even if it was possible he probably wouldn't like it. Create a cheap and modern Amiga that is competitive with a Raspberry Pi and I expect he would buy it and play with it though.

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kolla 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 1-Sep-2021 18:51:02
#35 ]
Super Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 1809
From: Trondheim, Norway

@matthey

And what would that offer that an actual Raspberry Pi with AROS doesn’t have already?

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matthey 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 1-Sep-2021 21:01:27
#36 ]
Super Member
Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1145
From: Kansas

kolla Quote:

And what would that offer that an actual Raspberry Pi with AROS doesn’t have already?


Real hardware generally has better performance, efficiency, compatibility, value and price than emulation can provide. Emulating the 68k and Amiga chips is wasteful and slow compared to native performance. ARM AROS has little software without emulation. The RPi offers excellent value but it is significantly reduced when emulating an Amiga. All but the cheapest FPGA hardware would be gone if price was the only factor but instead the market is healthy despite being split which reduces economies of scale and inflates prices.

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kolla 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 2-Sep-2021 6:59:19
#37 ]
Super Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 1809
From: Trondheim, Norway

@matthey

I didn’t say emulation, I meant native AROS.

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paolone 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 3-Sep-2021 15:23:18
#38 ]
Super Member
Joined: 24-Sep-2007
Posts: 1096
From: Unknown

@bhabbott

Quote:
The answer is, we don't. We don't have any multicore 68k CPUs, and don't need them because a single core is plenty fast enough for us. We don't need memory protection because we don't write code that trashes memory. We don't need virtual memory because RAM is so cheap now that we can easily have far more than we need. We don't need user level authentication because it's our computer which we will do what we like with, and we don't have to worry about 'bad actors' hacking into it because we have nothing of interest to them.


Oh, yeah. And I don't need to lock up my home's door because nobody in the neighborhood would enter to steal something.

Too bad sometimes random people from elsewhere could do that.

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kolla 
Re: David "Talin" Joiner: Should the Amiga be revived?
Posted on 3-Sep-2021 23:24:55
#39 ]
Super Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 1809
From: Trondheim, Norway

Hacking retro systems has become more popular along with the general interest in retro computers, so don’t be surprised to see malware popping up that target Amiga. Especially the Amiga browsers with their flawed javascript implementations and sometimes support for html embedded arexx (hello AWeb) can be tricked to do funny stuff. And an Amiga can be a nice jump host for scanning home LANs for other potentially more interesting targets.

Last edited by kolla on 03-Sep-2021 at 11:25 PM.

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