Commodore USA Teases New Amiga Computers

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Bill Loguidice's picture

I almost hesitate to post about Commodore USA yet again, but I have to give the plucky licensor of the "Commodore USA" name credit yet again. Hot on the heels of them designing a new Commodore 64 case to stuff modern day PC components inside, they've now done the same with the Amiga, creating case designs reminiscent of the Amiga 1000, 2000, and 3000, respectively. With their usual hyperbole-filled bluster, they're also describing Amiga Workbench 5.0, which from the description appears to be a fancy skinning of the Linux operating system with Commodore 8-bit and Amiga emulators (as well as of course the option to dual boot or run directly via a standard emulation layer, Windows). For those interested, they've also been doing updates on Twitter and Facebook, so if you're into that sort of thing, you can follow the somewhat scattershot goings on via those services as well. Naturally, I'll continue to check in on the company now and again, but it's with the usual caveat of not expecting much from overpriced PC components stuffed into cases that you may or may not find interesting. On the plus side, they do appear to be offering just the cases for some of the models, so that's certainly sporting of them. No word yet still on when actual products will be available for sale.

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Troy Wilkins
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Workbench 5.0

I don't like their arrogant attitude that I've seen when people question it. They say it's compatible with all Amiga software, but it will only run 68k legacy wb 3.x software at the most recent - nothing that requires a PPC, and nothing that requires wb 4.x - so they will not get a cent of my money.

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Rob Daviau
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Well

I will give this one thing, they certainly carry on the tradition of commodore hype and promises. Let's hope they do not also end up carrying on the tradition of broken promises and failure to deliver.

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Troy Wilkins
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re: Well
Rob Daviau wrote:

I will give this one thing, they certainly carry on the tradition of commodore hype and promises. Let's hope they do not also end up carrying on the tradition of broken promises and failure to deliver.

To me they already have with the promise of WB 5 being nothing more then a packaged emulation system. They simply don't seem to understand that for some of us, the big attraction of the Amiga was the excellent Workbench system, which I still prefer to anything else. They seem to think the Amiga was just a games computer, which was one of its talents but far from the only one.

Considering that, I hope they also carry on the tradition of "the Amiga curse" and go bankrupt, unless they change their tune and get a clue!

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Chip Hageman
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Wow.. these folks just seem

Wow.. these folks just seem clueless. We all want a unified direction for Amiga and AmigaOS.. and all they ever offer us is a glorified case mod with a MiniITX PC's running Vice or WinUAE.

BTW: I wonder what the current Amiga/AmigaOS rights holders think about Commodore Inc. pimping Workbench 5.0! ;-)

Anyway, I'm much more interested in my homemade franken-pc running AROS- and it seems Dave Haynie agrees as well. Good enough for Dave.. good enough for me.

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clok1966
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I am a AMIGA fan too, I may

I am a AMIGA fan too, I may have done most of my very early days in the vic 20 and C64, but he AMIGA 500 was my first true love (PC wise). I upgraded and added add on boxes.. it all cost a fortune but I loved that machine.. I upgraded to a beter amiga later, but it was in its death bed buy that time. I sold it to a friend and he still has it, says it still works (at least a a couple years ago ). I have played with WinAUE but its just a pain/ I need ot cehck out AMIGA forver sometime.

And yes a emulator in a PC with Linux behind it is a sad idea.. There are enough AMIGAS to be had for somewhat ok prices on EBAY yet.. why spend thoudands on a fake one? nostelga is a powerfull selling tool, but the buyres wil be few.

Bill Loguidice
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clok1966 wrote:

I am a AMIGA fan too, I may have done most of my very early days in the vic 20 and C64, but he AMIGA 500 was my first true love (PC wise). I upgraded and added add on boxes.. it all cost a fortune but I loved that machine.. I upgraded to a beter amiga later, but it was in its death bed buy that time. I sold it to a friend and he still has it, says it still works (at least a a couple years ago ). I have played with WinAUE but its just a pain/ I need ot cehck out AMIGA forver sometime.

And yes a emulator in a PC with Linux behind it is a sad idea.. There are enough AMIGAS to be had for somewhat ok prices on EBAY yet.. why spend thoudands on a fake one? nostelga is a powerfull selling tool, but the buyres wil be few.

I agree. I think the only way to do these right is to sell the hardware as cheaply as possible and make them super-specific emulation machines in the $200 - $400 range. What this Commodore USA company is doing is trying to make them competitive modern day PCs with a nod to the Commodore brand. It doesn't make much sense.

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Matt Barton
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I don't even know why anyone

I don't even know why anyone would care about this outside of Amiga-diehards or nostalgic folks.

I loved my 1000 and 3000 as much as anyone, but I just don't care about the stuff anyone is doing with it now. For me it's more about celebrating the past than seriously investing in the future of Commodore or Amiga (a hopelessly vague prospect at best!).

I've dreamed about a company coming out of left field with a vastly superior computer and OS similar to the Amiga 1000 in 1985, but it's probably pretty bloody unlikely. Even if someone did, it'd undoubtedly suffer the same poor fate (languishing in obscurity and on the fringes despite its obvious superiority--eventually losing its edge as the PC and Mac world steadily marched ahead).

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Bill Loguidice
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Matt Barton wrote:

I don't even know why anyone would care about this outside of Amiga-diehards or nostalgic folks.

I loved my 1000 and 3000 as much as anyone, but I just don't care about the stuff anyone is doing with it now. For me it's more about celebrating the past than seriously investing in the future of Commodore or Amiga (a hopelessly vague prospect at best!).

I agree, there's no point. A new OS on a new type of device COULD work (see iOS on the various mobile devices), but not a new PC OS. Windows is just too entrenched, and Mac is there as an alternative, and Linux is there for the gearheads who hate the other two.

Matt Barton wrote:

I've dreamed about a company coming out of left field with a vastly superior computer and OS similar to the Amiga 1000 in 1985, but it's probably pretty bloody unlikely. Even if someone did, it'd undoubtedly suffer the same poor fate (languishing in obscurity and on the fringes despite its obvious superiority--eventually losing its edge as the PC and Mac world steadily marched ahead).

As we've stated, better doesn't mean much because "just good enough" can still easily win, regardless of what product or service we're talking about. The OS situation on the DOS and Windows side has always been in the area of "just good enough" (or quickly rectified if it didn't meet that criteria like "Me" and "Vista") to not compel people to switch (or even try an alternative) in sufficient numbers, and that's all that has mattered. People also have a reasonable expectation of ubiquity and compatibility, so that's why it's a particularly tough road for alternatives. To keep the discussion on OS's, in other words if you stick with Windows, you're pretty much guaranteed universal support. You go to say Linux and you have to work at it or simply do without (or seek an alternative). It's not reasonable to expect people to put up with that because not everyone prioritizes tech.

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gilgamesh (not verified)
Free and Unfree Software

Will CommodoreUSA include the Kickstart ROMs? These are absolutely necessary for emulating an Amiga and still copyrighted. Certain comments by their CTO make me doubt it.

Bill Loguidice wrote:

It's not reasonable to expect people to put up with that because not everyone prioritizes tech.

It's not only about tech. Linux is also about user empowerment. No fees. No calling home. No spyware. It comes with software otherwise worth a fortune. I would say paying lots of money for such a restricting product as MS Windows is unreasonable.

Bill Loguidice
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Linux
gilgamesh wrote:

It's not only about tech. Linux is also about user empowerment. No fees. No calling home. No spyware. It comes with software otherwise worth a fortune. I would say paying lots of money for such a restricting product as MS Windows is unreasonable.

Sure, there are lots of "noble" (and practical) reasons for using Linux, but like I said, no matter how good something is or if it's better, etc., it doesn't mean anything if people aren't going to use it over something that's just good enough. As much as Linux fans like to shout otherwise, it's simply not the ideal mass market OS and never will be. The market has spoken and people would rather pay for a standardized, single source OS (with some restrictions) that is guaranteed commercial support than one they have to put effort into maximizing (turn-key Linux distributions have failed to catch on). That's why even when there were opportunities for Linux to make inroads, say in Netbooks or even smartphones and tablets, it hasn't. For the majority of the population it will always be the third choice. Nothing wrong with that.

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