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News   News : AmigaOS 4.0 Status Report
   posted by Mikey_C on 8-Jun-2004 22:34:48 (44662 reads)
By Hans-Jörg Frieden, Hyperion Entertainment

With the Developer Pre-release finally out, the time is right for a status report on the current state of AmigaOS 4.0. The huge amount of work invested into the project by a lot of dedicated developers means that there has already been substantial progress since the pre-release.


Some of the 68k components of the pre-release have in the meantime been ported to PowerPC code. The most prominent of these are Picasso96 and MUI. While Picasso96 is still in alpha test among the developers, the PPC version of MUI is being beta-tested right now, and is expected to be stabilized soon.

The kernel has also seen some updates. Among other things, it now supports a special resource called the performance monitor. The performance monitor is a hardware profiler within the CPU that allows the programmer extremely fine-tuned profiling of code, even including counting cache hits and misses,instruction timing, pipeline stalls, number of instructions patched, instruction throughput, and a lot of other factors. The performance monitor is controlled via performancemonitor.resource, which offers an easy-to-use API that wraps all this functionality into a few functions.

Further improvements of the kernel include support for the Altivec unit. The Altivec unit is a SIMD vector processing unit. SIMD stands for "single instruction multiple data", meaning that a series of instructions is executed in parallel on multiple streams of data items. Altivec has a lot of uses, most prominently in 3D graphics, but also in image processing, signal processing, compression/decompression, and all general computing applications that inherently work by executing the same instructions on large datasets. Altivec support in the kernel isn't 100% stable yet, but is expected to be fully functional very soon.

Moovid, the well-known media player, has now also been ported to PowerPC, and the results are quite spectacular. An Altivec-enabled version is also in the works. Moovid plays a wide range of movie codecs, including DivX.
A lot of progress has also been made on the shared C library, newlib, and the static C library, clib2.

Subsequently, there is now a new gcc compiler suite that runs up to six times faster than the compiler included in the SDK. Furthermore, since the final release of GNU C 3.4.0 has emerged, it has also been successfully ported to AmigaOS 4.0, and is now used for most components and programs. GCC 3.4.0 features a much better code generator than previous versions, much better support for ANSI C++, and implements the Motorola 'vector' extension for Altivec (meaning you can use types like 'vector unsigned char x' in your program to signify a vector for Altivec).

One program that has seen a tremendous speed boost is AmiPDF. The new PowerPC version of AmiPDF is, depending on input, up to 60 times faster than the original version on the prerelease.

Furthermore we expect a working serial device and floppy support soon.

The USB stack is shaping up as well. It now supports HID devices like keyboards and mice as well as HID joysticks and steering wheels, and USB mass storage devices like USB sticks, flash card readers, 7-in-1 card readers and cameras.

The A1 IDE device now has working UDMA support. Also, interrupts are no longer polled but delivered properly. This means that the device does not require any CPU time for transfers.

Currently, work concentrates on performance optimization. Results look quite good already, and stress tests have shown the device to be 100% reliable - no data corruption occurs

This material will in due course be released for download to registered users of the Developer Pre-release on our web site at:
http://www.hyperion-entertainment.biz
    

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CodeSmith 
Re: AmigaOS 4.0 Status Report
Posted on 9-Jun-2004 5:57:03
#21 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 8-Mar-2003
Posts: 3045
From: USA

@Rogue:

One test metric that is often done for "industrial strength" software is uptime. My field of knowledge is email servers, so in my case that would mean putting up a mail server online, signing up a few hundred people on it, and letting it run for a month while measuring how many times it falls over and how long it takes to get it back up again (that sort of testing is the "five nines" that you see sometimes on Windows Server ads - the server is advertised to be available 99.999% of the time). I don't know how one would do this for an OS, but I'd imagine it would be taking some task that exercises a lot of the system (eg streaming a movie from a remote machine over and over again) for say a month and measuring how many times it falls over and how long it takes to get it back up again. Have you guys done this sort of testing? Having a study like that done would help a lot towards securing enterprise customers - "OK, so we're not Windows compatible, but this study from the University of Berlin shows that we can achieve 99.9997% uptime in a ten week period, under average load conditions. As long as you're not going to run Word, why not take our OS for a test run?"

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Coder 
Re: AmigaOS 4.0 Status Report
Posted on 9-Jun-2004 8:19:50
#22 ]
Team Member
Joined: 15-May-2003
Posts: 4523
From: The Netherlands

@Hans-Jörg Frieden

Happy to read your doing floppy support! I know there are other devices to move data but what if you get a lot of floppies from people with data on it. And the A1 is the only machine? And no floppy support. That's a bummer then. And NO I do not want to have a dual boot system with Linux on it. An OS needs to have floppy support, period. And why? Because I said so.

Anyway, floppy support get's you a two thumbs up sign from me! Too bad there is no USB support on the pre-release. But by the time I get my cd it sure is up there for download. And floppy support maybe too. Hey! A positive thing about being the last one getting the cd!

Coder


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Eagle 
Re: AmigaOS 4.0 Status Report
Posted on 9-Jun-2004 8:38:24
#23 ]
Member
Joined: 19-Apr-2003
Posts: 68
From: Seattle

Well, at least you are getting it. Quit yer bitchin. lol

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Eagle 
Re: AmigaOS 4.0 Status Report
Posted on 9-Jun-2004 8:42:41
#24 ]
Member
Joined: 19-Apr-2003
Posts: 68
From: Seattle

My laptop came with no floppy drive but it booted fine from a usb drive once I got the usb drive set up as a boot drive. Booting from a pocket usb drive is cool.

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evilFrog 
Re: AmigaOS 4.0 Status Report
Posted on 9-Jun-2004 8:58:09
#25 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 20-Jan-2004
Posts: 391
From: UK

Great work guys!


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paulsamiga 
Re: AmigaOS 4.0 Status Report
Posted on 9-Jun-2004 9:00:40
#26 ]
Super Member
Joined: 8-Jun-2003
Posts: 1502
From: UK/South Wales

Good work Hyperion and thanks for the update.


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Turrican3 
Re: AmigaOS 4.0 Status Report
Posted on 9-Jun-2004 9:10:18
#27 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 20-Jun-2003
Posts: 351
From: Italy

Quote:
This material will in due course be released for download to registered users of the Developer Pre-release on our web site
Not only Hyperion is doing an EXCELLENT job, but they're even going to made their progresses available for download... (I mean, they weren't supposed to do so, were they?)
Well done guys!!!

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Brian 
Re: AmigaOS 4.0 Status Report
Posted on 9-Jun-2004 9:27:18
#28 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 29-Apr-2003
Posts: 238
From: Sweden

This is great news in deed but as I'm one of those with PPC equiped classic machines I'm still very much in the dark and would like to see some info for these platforms aswell... planned timeline from A1 full OS4 release to the classic line will have OS4, some solved compatibility issues for clockport hardware and such things.


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Giovanni 
Re: AmigaOS 4.0 Status Report
Posted on 9-Jun-2004 9:28:51
#29 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 19-May-2003
Posts: 322
From: Munich, Germany

Thank you for the detailed repot, Hans-Jörg!

Quote:
Further improvements of the kernel include support for the Altivec unit.


That's very good to hear!


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ExiE 
Re: AmigaOS 4.0 Status Report
Posted on 9-Jun-2004 10:57:18
#30 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 18-May-2004
Posts: 450
From: Czech Amiga News

Great news!

But tell me why you think Moovid is "the well-known media player". It was absolutly useless in previous OS releases (OS 3.9) with really really disgusting GUI btw.
(I hope you tell me now the Moovid is just old name but completly new program ...that even doesn't look like "well-known" Moovid)

If you ask me about well-known Amiga player I would imagine Frogger coz it support many many video formats and actually works.

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IonMane 
Re: AmigaOS 4.0 Status Report
Posted on 9-Jun-2004 11:09:04
#31 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 18-Apr-2003
Posts: 550
From: Adelaide Australia.

Quote:
Suitably impressed

LOL, you are even reserved when it comes to praising!

Luckily your following comments showed more enthusiasm heh heh heh.
I was beginning to think we would have to give you an adrenalin shot to the heart to get you going :)

Great work Hyperion, at this rate OS4 release will be a shoe in for later this year.


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Zorro 
Re: AmigaOS 4.0 Status Report
Posted on 9-Jun-2004 11:15:00
#32 ]
Super Member
Joined: 30-Apr-2003
Posts: 1081
From: Italy

Thanks for the update.

PS - Great work !


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ikir 
Re: AmigaOS 4.0 Status Report
Posted on 9-Jun-2004 12:09:24
#33 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2002
Posts: 5646
From: Italy

I'm impressed..... THANKS HYPERION!

@Exie

MooVid is a fantastic program, i use it registered on my 1200, it is fast and it supports a lot of codecs! Maybe you should retry it Frogger always crashed on all my Amigas.


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painter 
Re: AmigaOS 4.0 Status Report
Posted on 9-Jun-2004 12:27:53
#34 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 5-Oct-2003
Posts: 681
From: Manitoba, Canada

Quote:
HJF is talking about the AmigaOne.

You cannot use the 68k serial.device from a Classic Amiga on the AmigaOne.


Ross;
that almost answers the question. but how do you ocnnect with an external serial modem to telephone dialup if there is no serial device? as i noticed hjf said they are still working on serial device for Aone. Anyone got a clue?

painter

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Crumb 
Re: AmigaOS 4.0 Status Report
Posted on 9-Jun-2004 12:31:11
#35 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 12-Mar-2003
Posts: 2209
From: Zaragoza (Aragonian State)

@Exie:

the only format that Frogger plays that I'd like to be able to play with Moovid is MPEG. The times I've tried Frogger I have been quite dissapointed with it because it's damn slow and crashes a lot. On MOS I prefer MPlayer.


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Bodie_CI5 
Re: AmigaOS 4.0 Status Report
Posted on 9-Jun-2004 12:37:43
#36 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Jul-2003
Posts: 6739
From: Unknown

@ GregS

Aye! Damn living in Oz!


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Elendil 
Re: AmigaOS 4.0 Status Report
Posted on 9-Jun-2004 13:10:07
#37 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 21-Aug-2003
Posts: 123
From: Unknown

The things missing/not yet complete in OS4 is just what you (Rogue) mentioned in the status-update? Testing, optimizing mainly, or?

Also, since you didn't mention 68k JIT emulation in your update, what does that mean exactly? Is it finished, is it being tested or has it been cancelled for whatever reason?

Sincerely,

-Kenneth Straarup.

(Oh, and as I will admit to not reading everything here, if I missed information about the 68k JIT emulation somewhere else, kindly point me to the thread or news item).

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ikir 
Re: AmigaOS 4.0 Status Report
Posted on 9-Jun-2004 13:11:57
#38 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2002
Posts: 5646
From: Italy

@ Crumb

Yes and MPEG will be supported by Moovid 1.7 for OS4.


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tonyw 
Re: AmigaOS 4.0 Status Report
Posted on 9-Jun-2004 13:13:11
#39 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 8-Mar-2003
Posts: 3209
From: Sydney (of course)

@Bodez

What? Pervert! Go wash your mouth out!

tony


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Bodie_CI5 
Re: AmigaOS 4.0 Status Report
Posted on 9-Jun-2004 13:14:10
#40 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Jul-2003
Posts: 6739
From: Unknown

LOL I meant by the time OS4 gets 'ere!


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