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.

Comments

gilgamesh (not verified)
Linux thrives where people

Linux thrives where people don't see it. Much more work is committed by large corporations than by hackers and enthusiasts, and surely not on a whim. But then, I see your point. The average Joe simply doesn't care, and will buy what comes preinstalled. (The average Joe even buys games with online copy protection.)
But that you had to max out your system by hand was ten years ago. And I dare challenge your prophecy that Linux will never reach the masses in one form or another. Hey, maybe Workbench 5.0 will take people's hearts by storm. ;-)

Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
The Year of Linux?

Well, every year since the late 90's has been declared "this will be the year of Linux", so I suppose eventually one day it may have a chance of coming true. ;-) I actually remember a brief period when Linux usage was on the precipice of passing MacOS usage, but then Steve Jobs came back again and ruined it... Heck, it's even almost back to 1%: http://www.netmarketshare.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?qprid=10 (I know, not an accurate reflection of actual usage, but still...) ;-)

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Indeed, I think Bill is

Indeed, I think Bill is correct here. It isn't a question of "if you build it, they will come." They will not come! Nor will anyone be beating a path to your door if you invent a better mousetrap. Technological superiority is worth little without a corresponding community of people to support it. Usually this means a big marketing budget, but let's not forget the importance of bribes. Think about how much money Microsoft and Apple have invested in campaign funds. That pays off when governments, schools, and federal agencies fill up their labs with their computers. Plus both have played nice with education, which pays off in the long-term since people will want to buy the same computers they work with in in school (and when they get to work, it's nice when it's the same standard).

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Rowdy Rob
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Linux = The Emperor Has No Clothes?

How we "general" computer/tech geeks see the average computer user, that's probably how Linux geeks see us (or at least me). I installed a Ubuntu Linux partition on my PC about a year ago. Having no experience with Linux, I thought it was about time I took the plunge. Sorry, but I came away generally unimpressed.

I went with Ubuntu since it was reportedly among the most noob-friendly of Linux distros. Considering the hype, I was actually surprised at how clunky it seemed to me. After a fresh install, I shouldn't have been seeing obvious bugs, but among those I remember, I noticed that sometimes, after I opened and closed a window on the screen, the desktop wallpaper wouldn't refresh, leaving a blank area where the window was.

Ok, that's not critical, but apparently Ubuntu didn't recognize my rather common monitor, so I was forced to endure a 60hz screen refresh rate of a "generic monitor driver" while using Ubuntu. Also, Flash is clearly not optimized for Linux, since online videos and games generally ran poorly.

The integrated "Ubuntu Software Center" is a very nice feature for noobs like me. Unfortunately, when it comes to gaming, most of the offerings are, how shall we say, "Public Domain" quality. There are certainly some standouts, but it seemed that all the best games were available for Windows also. Many (most?) of the best applications were also.

After I messed around with it, got Firefox going, installed Openoffice, and several games, I started thinking "Now what?" Where do I go from here? I'm not certain of this, but the impression I got was that if you want to install software that's not included in the "Ubuntu Software Center," you have to download and compile the programs through a command-line system, old-school uber-geek style. Are there simple installers, like on Windows, for general programs?

It was at this point that the "user-friendly" facade of Linux cracked, and I felt like I was looking at a "hardcore" OS. After so many years, Linux still comes across as obscure and sterile to me.

Granted, a lot of the limitations I came across were because Linux is primarily community-driven, and not commercially driven (hence the clunky drivers and poor Flash support). For a free, open-source OS, it's a very impressive achievement, but it doesn't seem to offer enough to mainstream users to make it a viable OS alternative.

If I'm not mistaken, Google's Android OS is based on Linux. If so, that's probably Linux's best hope for achieving some sort of mainstream success.

gilgamesh (not verified)
Linux = Topfree

@Rowdy Rob: Sounds like your graphics driver didn't work properly. It is generally a good idea to install the hardware manufacturer's drivers. With these you can also play Windows games at a reasonable frame rate on Linux (via Wine).
Before installing you could have tested it by booting from a live DVD. Software usually comes in deb-packages. In fact Ubuntu's package manager is much nicer and cleaner than what I remember from Win.
Of course Linux can't knock your socks off. It's just an OS after all. Just try the software that is relevant to you (e.g Rosegarden if you're into music, Cinelerra for video editing, Blender/Inkscape/Gimp for graphics, ...).
Anyway thanks for trying it and thinking outside the box.

But enough ranting from my side. Linux has firmly grit its teeth into servers and industry IT. It is not damned to success like a commercial product. Just wait and see.

clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
Linux's idea is gone. it was

Linux's idea is gone. it was spose to be a tight, fast efficent OS. While some of that has remained, the push to make it mainstream and user friendly has doomed it. Makeing it bloatware like Win OS's had for a short time made it more "known" but alienated and splintered the core users with all the differnt vareations. I used to use it on a duel booting machine when i actually wanted to WORK (code, etc) i was never "good" with it.. just enough to compile my own kernal (i could boot my very own setup off a floppy so it could go anywhere, kinda cool). My lack of interest started when I started to understand that even basic crap that you could make transperent and easy to use was frowned upon by the User groups in whole.. A simple email client (now this is the past, not today) was annoying to use.

Linux is still (IMHO) probbely the best OS going.. but its not user freindly (even the packages), its undersupported, and sadly dying again, after a small dent it made a few years ago. I quit fighting battles i couldnt win, even if i knew they where good battles to fight (err.. on stuff like this, human rights, lives etc.. still would fight those). IM AS ANTI MS as it gets.. but even I know Windows is just simply easy, quick, and very few hassles way to go.. there really isnt anything you cant do with it.. yet another reason I dont understand the apple fan boy stuff.. Windows is the Lego set you have to BUY the parts from LEGO, but if you get enouhg there isnt anything you cant build. Apple is the Lego set that only makes a Pirate ship (you cant make a plane, a truck, it just does waht that kit said) and linux is the plastic molds and plastic to make legos in any way you like.. but to make every peice is going to take time, learning and some trial and error, once you get it down you might have the best lego set.. but everybody you knew who was playing with lego's will have moved on ...

Bill Loguidice
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OS's = Legos!
clok1966 wrote:

Windows is the Lego set you have to BUY the parts from LEGO, but if you get enouhg there isnt anything you cant build. Apple is the Lego set that only makes a Pirate ship (you cant make a plane, a truck, it just does waht that kit said) and linux is the plastic molds and plastic to make legos in any way you like.. but to make every peice is going to take time, learning and some trial and error, once you get it down you might have the best lego set.. but everybody you knew who was playing with lego's will have moved on ...

That is a darn good analogy. Did you come up with that yourself?

That will always be Linux's failings. It hearkens back to a time when end users actually had to know a thing or two about the goings on of their computer, but that was a long time ago and even many of us who enjoyed that period no longer want to get that granular anymore for a variety of reasons. The reality is, most people just want the thing to work like an appliance, not put any effort into it. I guess that's how I am with cars. It would probably serve me well to devote some time to actually learning how to service the things, but it's just easier for me to bring them to Jiffy Lube or *gasp* the dealer and have them take care of service and maintenance.

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
That is a brilliant analogy!

That is a brilliant analogy! Whether you invented it or not, I fully intend to steal it. :)

We've talked a lot about Linux in the past, and at one point I was really into Stallman and his whole ideology. Now I'm more tempered.

The way I see it, Linux (or GNU/Linux) is a lot like communism. In theory, it makes perfect sense. It's the way things OUGHT to be. In practice, though, it doesn't work. Just like as East Germany vs. West Germany during the Cold War--that's what Linux vs. Windows/Mac is like today. Sure, there are plenty of people who preferred East Germany and benefited immensely from that system. But all the glitz and glamor (i.e., the real commercial opportunity) was on the other side. Ideology (at least ideology not connected to religion) will only take you so far. Hell, even religion, once you get past the hardcore, is just as susceptible to money--big mega-churches, fancy coffee shops, celebrity preachers, etc.

I think it's still possible for Linux to replace proprietary OS's on the desktop, but it won't be a revolution. Instead, like Bill often points out, it'll be because it's reached that "just good enough" stage where it won't make any difference to the average Joe whether he's got Windows or Linux (indeed, the PC makers will routinely offer it as a viable option). Getting there would require a fool-proof Windows compatibility system so that he could install any software or use any hardware he bought without the nightmares. You have to be able to say to someone with a straight face, "You won't even notice the difference." Once you get there, Linux will kick Windows' ass.

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gilgamesh (not verified)
Freedom Reloaded

@clok1966: You can do it the geeky way, but why not just use Thunderbird? ;-)

Matt Barton wrote:

Just like as East Germany vs. West Germany during the Cold War--that's what Linux vs. Windows/Mac is like today.

No way. We don't shoot, criminalize or spy on defectors. At least not as much as the GDR.

Matt Barton wrote:

You have to be able to say to someone with a straight face, "You won't even notice the difference."

Linux and MacOS are technically on par. MacOS stems from Linux' sister project FreeBSD. It is rather polished, but that is only superficial. Apple's recent success proves that people can do without 100% Windows compatibility. And who is happy with MacOS could get happy with Linux. So, why not just skip Linux altogether and support Mac? Maybe because MacOS stands for “freedom from porn”.

But as you have pointed out, the Linux community lacks influence, and it is damn hard to get a computer without Windows, although it could save you up to $200 (Windows Refund).

clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
All mine so far as I didnt

All mine so far as I didnt read it before, but lego's have been compared to a million things :) use it all ya want Matt, im sure it can use some refining and additions/subtractions.

When i started with Linux i was pretty dang impressed, size, speed, ability, it was all there. My problems started to stem from REAL use. I could read email with teh simple txt readers (vine, etc) but to refine it I could install XXX program, but to install XXX program I had to have this installed correctly and to install that I had to know something else.. it started to feel like everthing i wanted to do required me to know 4 other things. Not a bad thing, all OS's require you to learn them. Where Windows excels, I isntall a program click a Icon and go. I can rifine the process, or use different programs, but to actually get them running is normally a install and a click. Linux just requires more, and sadly for me, Email worked, but to refine the process i couldnt just install something new, and use it and talior it to my use as I learned, I had to learn before I used it at all (so the instant gratifaction problem comes in). there is no denying Linuxs power. The power users will always love it, its just those people are still far to few to make it the success it need to be to move to mainstream.

I used to assume PC gamers drove some of the PC market, when I saw some actual figures on hardware sales i was shocked. As a custom build my own rig guy I just assumed alot of that was done. But the ready built (dell, etc..) market is far bigger than i had guessed and the home made stuff is far smaller than i was even remotly guessing. I always wondered why Best Buy didnt carry more video cards and hardware, just lots of cheap basic stuff Why would intel bother with graphic chips, nobdy would uyse that cheap built in stuff, right? (wow how wrong i was).. I now know, there are far fewer build it yourslef people than I ever imagined.. I think the same of Linux, its the build it yourself OS, but so few do that.

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