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Hyperion Promises An AmigaOS Netbook 258

Posted by timothy
from the it-will-run-duke-nukem-forever-too dept.
An anonymous reader writes with a report that an employee of Hyperion Entertainment has disclosed (but not officially announced) that there is a new portable computer with the Amiga name on it in the works, quoting: "Supposedly, the new netbook Amiga is will be 'sourced in a special configuration from an OEM.' The manufacturer in question is, just like the price tag, the launch date and the hardware specifications, currently unknown paving the way for further speculation and rumors. The netbook Amiga will set a mark in computer history as the first portable Amiga to see the light of the day since the Amiga 1000 was introduced to the U.S. market in 1985."
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Hyperion Promises An AmigaOS Netbook

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  • AmigaOS (Score:4, Informative)

    by afabbro (33948) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @07:15PM (#37812784) Homepage

    For those who didn't read TFA, it states the netbook in question will be running AmigaOS.

    (When I read the summary, I'd assumed someone had bought the trademark and was going to slap it on a Windows 7 Starter Edition laptop)

    • You mean like how at the top of this page, it says "Hyperion Promises An AmigaOS Netbook"?
      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        Actually I'd say that was a legitimate concern seeing as how we recently had a Commodore released [commodoreusa.net] that was just your standard Atom nettop in a commodore case.

        As for TFA I wish them luck. I'm sure that Amiga fans are a tiny niche but that doesn't mean they can't be a profitable market to serve. if these guys can make a good living by giving Amiga fans what they want? More power to 'em I say, variety spice and all that.

        • by jaminJay (1198469)
          "Variety spice" sounds promiscuous...
        • by AmiMoJo (196126)

          There would be more fans if it wasn't for decades of mismanagement and false hope. If the Amiga had become a retro platform the moment Commodore died I think there would be a lot more active users today.

        • by DrXym (126579)
          If this niche were profitable we wouldn't see the Amiga brand pass from one failed business to the next every few years. The reality is that anyone looking for nostalgia could avail themselves of an emulator to get it. Anyone looking for a native Amiga experience can get it with AROS (and open source AmigaOS compatible workbench & API). I don't believe this niche would stand to make much money if any.
          • by hairyfeet (841228)

            People make money with a "free" OS every single day, so why not Amiga? all those failed businesses prove is that they had lousy business plans, that's all. if it were me I have NO doubt i could make it profitable. Oh I wouldn't be making no dell or HP money, but enough to pay my bills and keep a few employees working? its doable.

            I would port the UI and "feel" if not the whole OS over to ARM and be looking at a "triple threat" approach. you would have the 1Ghz snapdragon single core for your entry level Amig

            • by DrXym (126579)
              As I said you can already have a free Amiga OS. It's called AROS. It's a portable, open source implementation of the Amiga workbench and libraries. It even runs on original Amiga hardware and is binary compatible when it is. Why wait for some branded netbook to appear when you could just install AROS right now only any supported hardware of your choosing and achieve the same?
    • The slightly-tangled-and-mostly-software history of "Hyperion Entertainment" doesn't fill me with worlds of confidence; but there doesn't seem to be anything architecturally implausible about shipping a genuine "AmigaOS netbook", except that volume makes slapping a sticker on an Atom based system cheaper.

      Despite ARM having pretty aggressively filled the 'consumer-visible stuff that isn't x86' market(not quite sure why they cleaned up so hard; but they did), there are still plenty of PPC SoCs around that
      • The PPC 460 family is common for AmigaOS boards, but it's pretty slow and products with it always end up extravagantly priced ($1k vicinity for a board that doesn't reliably outperform the Atom) purely by virtue of it being sold to nostalgia-crazed hobbyists. I wouldn't be surprised if this ends up the same way.
        • by amiga3D (567632)

          The talk is somewhere around 500 dollars but I'd be happy with 600 or so. I'm still running an Amiga 3000 but it's 20 years old now. I bought it when 286 powered peecee's were the rage and it ran circles around them plus it actually multi-tasked easily. I look at it now and it's amazing what it can do on that old hardware. So far ahead of it's time and mismanaged by idiots like medhi ali and irving gould was Commodore Business Machines. A billion dollars to zero in 5 years.

          • Indeed, I suggest watching The Deathbed Vigil [google.com], a documentary about the last day at Commodore. It explains how they managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Reading this piece [mozillazine.org] also explains some things. It's disturbing, they had some truly good tech, all destroyed by the absolute incompetence of those at the very top.

            • by amiga3D (567632)

              I remember a skit about ali and gould playing golf. They're talking about the company wondering what it is they sell. One asks the other about it, "what is it we sell again?" and he replies "computers", to which he says "oh, so how are those doing?" The small shareholders actually had to hire a private detective to discover where the shareholder meetings were being held so that they could attend to give them hell about what morons they were. You gotta love it. They ran Jack Tramiel off which I kind of

        • There may well be some nostalgia-gouging going on; but low-volume PPC boards fast enough to not be a complete joke on the desktop are likely just not that cheap.

          Looking at the Applied Micro parts that prior Hyperion-supported PPC boards have used, their own dev boards(hopelessly ill-suited to desktop work, for want of RAM and a video controller; but with JTAG and suchlike dev goodies) seem to run ~$1,000 in quantities of one, even for the ones with relatively weak CPUs(the 333-800MHz single core stuff).
          • by Joce640k (829181)

            There may well be some nostalgia-gouging going on; but low-volume PPC boards fast enough to not be a complete joke on the desktop are likely just not that cheap.

            At this point in history they should be using an emulator on standard hardware. No really.

    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      I suspect the "AmigaOS" will just be a slightly customized version of Android, ChromeOS, or some other non-Windows OS. They're just trying to wring some nostalgia value out of the name. Some company was doing this with the Commodore 64 a few years ago, selling a "Commodore 64" that was nothing more than a custom case around a conventional Windows computer.

  • In the end it will likely end up a "special edition" Dell laptop with nothing special other than the price.
  • Hyperion Entertainment announced that they will be launching a new media campaign for the Amiga line staring their new mascot, Biggie Bigfoot. No word on where they will be appearing, but Hyperion gives their assurances that the ads do indeed exist.
  • I remember that the Amiga OS was fundamentally different than other computers of the time, is that still the case? I had an Amiga 500 and it was so far ahead of its time. Does it really bring anything to the table now though?
    • by Belial6 (794905) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @08:27PM (#37813126)
      As others said, preemptive multitasking was one of the reasons that Amiga was so far ahead. The other piece was that it had separate audio and video processors. Today, PCs and Macs both have multitasking and dedicated Video and audio processors. As much as I love the Amiga, the PC caught up to it with Windows95 + Voodoo + Soundblaster.
    • Where does it stand on the Malware front? On one hand I'd think it would let users ride ROFL-Copters over the virus writers. On the other hand it might be really vulnerable to 2012's exploit methods.

    • Sadly, I don't believe that AmigaOS has anything to offer, anymore. The multitasking, graphics, and audio, were so far ahead that they smoked everything else out there, at the time. When a technology is so good it embarrasses everyone else, then it won't be long before everyone else has it, or something comparable. No one likes to be embarrassed.

      AmigaOS did prepare me for UNIX, though. It was so very much like single-user mode, you can't help but think that it was modeled after it. That may be why I fell in

      • by DZign (200479)

        Also my opinion.. I loved the Amiga.. about 20 to 15 years ago. It's part of my youth. Whilst cleaning up my basement yesterday even still found a box full of Amiga Format magazines - still don't want to throw them away, reading back some gamereviews brought back good memories.. I even still have the last AF issue upstairs between my collection of books.

        But the Amiga nowadays as a system ? It's nostalgia, but not something I would invest/waste time on anymore.

  • http://www.videoweed.es/file/xllqh0qgbs4v1 [videoweed.es]

    and i assure you, if it was out as a board game, i might have considered playing it.
    • by aaarrrgggh (9205)

      Well... It is a sewage treatment plant in Los Angeles... Complete with a special surf spot known as "shit pipe".

  • by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Sunday October 23, 2011 @07:28PM (#37812856)

    From Wikipedia:

    Hyperion Entertainment was founded in February 1999 after Belgian lawyer Benjamin Hermans wondered why no one had ever tried to license PC games to do Amiga ports.

    Because very few people really want to play PC games on AmigaOS?

    • So you have a profitable company that has been around for 11+ years doing what?

      • by Osgeld (1900440)

        no one said they were profitable, they probably float by on subsidies much like Uwe Boll, where they get a "nice try" check for failing.

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      They actually managed to make a little money at it. It's a niche market but hey, it's a market.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Everything since has been just a name.

  • More stupidity (Score:5, Informative)

    by AdmV0rl0n (98366) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @07:34PM (#37812894) Homepage Journal

    Amiga inc since it left Gateway has been a complete mess. Marketing a name and products, but offering nothing but rip offs, shambles and diabolical product plans.

    Hyperion, peddlers of junk and broken software. Originally the two pitched up with a third entity, Eyetech and produced the Amiga One platform. A broken junk pile of crap unworthy of being unleashed on the poor unsuspecting public. The broken hardware all backed by a warranty system designed to be malignant and to rip people off because they were 'developer' boards.

    Hyperion have failed to deliver a proper product, and its riddled with issues. Its carried on leaking with its foul stench across a very short list of PPC equipment, and now apparently you'll too be 'lucky' to be offered a new 'Netbook'. They are the only member of the original three still trying to peddle this garbage and primarily each time they find some new victim-able hardware they can hang their hat on, they start making pronouncements.

    I have no idea how this 'news' got pitched as being tech news of any kind on Slashdot. Whoever thought it was worth posting as an item_is_wrong.

    The standing advice remains. Steer clear of anything from this bunch of cowboys.

    • I was not an Amiga fan back in the day, but I have followed the story of Amiga on "x" hardware for quite some time now, and you bring up an interesting point:

      Mainly, I keep hearing about the resurrection of Amiga, but have yet to see anything ever shipped, much less a review or a place to purchase this new "Amiga".

      Do you, or anyone else out there in Slashdotland, have any practical experience with anything of the "new" Amigas?

      • Yes, I have one. It's a Sam440ep-flex board, currently running AmigaOS 4.1 update 3.

        It's not very fast (I can watch a DVD on it, but that's about the most CPU-intense thing I can do) and as you can imagine, getting software for 'modern' computer tasks can be a pain. (There's a good web browser, but no Twitter clients, for instance.)

        On the other hand, other than sheer number-crunching tasks it feels pretty fast when I'm using it. AmigaOS was always very responsive on slow hardware.

        But mostly, I use it becaus

    • by gwgwgw (415150) *

      I'm astonished at your reaction. I was one of the purchasers of the 1st run of the AmigaOne and has been THE computer I have used these many years. It has never needed repair. It was been upgraded on two separate occasions.

      Mark me at the complete antipodes of your experience. Do you have hands on experience?

  • Fond memories (Score:4, Insightful)

    by msobkow (48369) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @07:55PM (#37812996) Homepage Journal

    I loved my Amiga 500. In it's day, it was so incredibly powerful with it's hardware-accelerated GUI, sound hardware, and rich OS API. Incredible to think that the core of the OS was written in a matter of weeks by a British student.

    But there is nothing special about it any more, save fond memories. Everyone has hardware acceleration and a GUI nowadays, even the cheapest of smartphones and netbooks.

    The OS was not complete, and missed many features we now take for granted. There's no point itemizing the details, because they don't matter. Suffice to say that the glory days of the OS are lost in the sands of time. The world has moved on.

    This new machine will either be running a completely different or seriously upgraded OS. If that new OS provides POSIX APIs and other interfaces that are important, it might see a new community of ported software. But if it's the old Amiga OS API, why would anyone want to develop for a proprietary OS with zero market share?

    Wind is filling in the footprints that the Amiga trod in the sands of time. Soon there will be nothing left but dunes. All that's left is a brand name.

    • I found a couple of very nice write-ups on the history of the Amiga out there:

      The History of the Amiga [amigahistory.co.uk]
      AmigaOS - Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

      The Amiga 500 was released to the public at the January 1987 Consumer Electronics Show. The Macintosh 128K was released to the public January 1984. Just in case anyone thought I wouldn't give credit to the first commercialization of Xerox PARC's research.

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      I have to agree. I was a real Amiga fanboi in the day. Frankly that is what cured me of being a fanboi. The Amiga was so much better than the PC of the day and yet it couldn't get any traction. Heck the Atari ST was also better than the PC of the day but also floundered.
      Only the Mac held on with it's large margins and much better marketing.
      I wrote an early Virus Checker for the Amiga as well as the AREXX bindings for TDI Modual-2 "terrible compiler btw".
      This is just like a Zombie Amiga... Well it is the rig

  • No thanks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cloud K (125581) on Sunday October 23, 2011 @08:10PM (#37813054)

    I recently said on another story's comments that brands are important because you can tell known good stuff from bad, but that some just abuse the fame of a brand (which got to where it was by being great) to produce overpriced crap.

    The new Amiga is one of those cases.

    Go on, how much will this Atom based netbook be... £1500? No thanks. Frankly, shove it.

    • If you read the TFA you would have seen it will be around 300 pounds. Probably something like the LimePC which is a PowerPC laptop. You can't run the AmigaOS on x86.
      • by fnj (64210)

        300 pounds!!! Jesus. That's not luggable by anybody except the incredible hulk.

  • What problem is this solving?

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      The problem is that the hard core Amagia users that never let go AND (this is the important part) still want their system in a modern world need to have their wallets relieved from that stress.

      Listen I love my retro computers, they are great machines that still manage to do amazing things. But I am not under an Illusion that a totally different arch, with 3rd party developed software is the real thing. Amiga PPC is.

  • AmigaOS has already been cloned and improved, and the driver support doesn't seem half bad: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AROS [wikipedia.org]

    I'm not saying a netbook with an obscure OS would sell, but at least all they would have to do is slap some Amiga logos on there and push the product out, rather than resurrect software that is long-dead.
  • If not, its not really a "portable Amiga". Instead its yet another PC running a remake of a classic OS with a microscopic market.

    ( and of course it isn't... )

    • by Bambi Dee (611786)
      PowerPC... if I'm not completely confused, even the classic Commodore Amigas could be souped up with those (OS 3.x/AGA generation, anyway?)
      • by Belial6 (794905)
        Commodore never sold a single Amiga with a PPC processor. They did sell Amiga's with x86 processors on board though. Dos could be run inside of a window on the Amiga with the proper setup.
      • by nurb432 (527695)

        Amiga never left the 68xxxx series. Atari tried once with the transputer.

        And while with the 'port' of either OS to x68 ( or via emulation ) you can get the 'feel' of them, part of what made these machines what they were was the hardware. Sure it runs tons faster, but its still not the same, its still PC.

  • Enough already. It's time to stop dragging the Amiga name down. Open source the OS and free it. Quit trying to revive it as a competitive proprietary OS. It should have been freed back in the 90's, it's past time now.

  • I was an Amiga user from 1989-95. I accepted that the Amiga platform died in the mid 90's and moved onto Window and from there to OS X.

    The Amiga platform was amazing for its time but we are now in the 2010's. Nobody except crazy nut jobs want to use 20 year old technology. Let the Amiga platform rest in peace.

    I was part of a local Amiga user group that had the developers behind "Amoeba Invaders" and I hosted the user meetings after the local Amiga dealer went out of business. Move on people. It is dead. It

    • by zyzko (6739)

      Nobody except crazy nut jobs want to use 20 year old technology.

      Ummm.... I thought this was a nerd-site, not a site for "what is the best way to do your spreadsheet / home movie authoring / etc.".

      What's the harm tinkering with technology, be it dead, buried, cold, still barely breathing or a rising star?

      If popularity dictates what your hobbies are we are going to live in a very, very dull world. I don't know what plans for this machine mentioned in the article are - I don't really care if it succeeds or not, but it is news for nerds. Although I agree that Amiga news and

  • Boutique Computer systems like the Atari ST, Amiga, and Sharp X68000 are some of the most insufferable tasks one can undergo as far as emulation goes.

    I will say this now. The Amiga and Atari ST were fine products for their time, but now, their only usefulness is as gaming consoles. The games they had that were unique to their platform and superior ports produced really were a sight to see, and have withstood the test of time in this era of retro-gaming revival.

    Atari ST Emulation is tolerable under Windows a

    • by ledow (319597)

      I think you're over-egging the situation a little.

      Even back in the early Pentium / DOS days, UAE was a perfectly capable emulation, able to play just about any mainstream game you threw at it. Hell, they sold it on disks with thousands of commercial ADF's and even Gremlin used it on their CD releases of their Amiga games for PC.

      WinUAE took some time to get to the same state, mainly because of system requirements, but it was there. Sure there are a million and one arcane configurations of the top-end Amiga

  • > The netbook Amiga will set a mark in computer history as the first portable Amiga to see the light of the day since the Amiga 1000 was introduced to the U.S. market in 1985.

    This sentence is confusing. Is it trying to say that the A1000 was portable? Because I had one and I can assure you that it was not.

  • Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Oswald McWeany (2428506) on Monday October 24, 2011 @08:56AM (#37815836)

    OK- not bashing amiga- nor praising it.

    I just simply want to know- why- and for what motivation there is for "yet another OS".

    I know the OS has a long and glorious history- but it will essentially be like starting from scratch in this day and age. With the market already saturated with Windows, Apple, and many flavours of Linux- do we really need another OS?

    Is there some niche that Amiga can hold that none of the other OS do well at the moment? There are no 21st century applications written (that I know of) for the Amiga- so initially choice of software will be decades old- or a meagre line-up from Amiga themselves.

    Does Amiga have some "trick-up-their-sleaves" that we don't know about- or is this purely a nostalgia product?

    If it can run Windows apps or Mac apps or Linux apps- or maybe a combination- maybe it will stand a chance.

    I have no beed with Amiga- or any ill-feeling towards them- but I simply can't see the purpose of it- can someone enlighten me please and tell me why I would want or need an Amiga?

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