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Amiga GUI Operating Systems Hardware Linux

Amiga Returns With Lackluster Linux-Powered Mini PC 343

Posted by timothy
from the ok-they're-not-calling-it-that dept.
crookedvulture writes "Commodore has revealed the Amiga mini, a small-form-factor system that runs a custom Linux distro dubbed Commodore OS Vision. A trailer for the OS hardly inspires confidence, and the rest of the system doesn't help. While the Amiga mini features a high-end Intel desktop CPU and modern conveniences like Blu-ray, USB 3.0, and 802.11n Wi-Fi, it's stuck with one of the slowest graphics chips Nvidia makes. Some of the other specifications are head-scratchers, too. The mini comes with a whopping 16GB of RAM but only a terabyte of storage. You'll have to pay extra to get an SSD, which makes the $2500 asking price particularly onerous. The case, Blu-ray drive, and power supply are being made available separately, but at $345, they're hardly a bargain. Add this to the list of nostalgia-baiting remakes that don't live up to their inspiration." Update: It looks like Commodore has dropped the price after receiving a lot of negative feedback.
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Amiga Returns With Lackluster Linux-Powered Mini PC

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  • Re:Pricepoint fail (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NJRoadfan (1254248) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @09:00AM (#39439393)
    How about $250? I built a friend a Newegg shell shocker deal machine last week. Admittedly it isn't top of the line (Biostar MB, flimsy case, Pentium G850, 4GB RAM, 500GB HD, DVD burner), but its pretty darned fast for what he uses it for. If it wasn't for the floods, it likely would have come with a 1TB HD instead. Desktop parts are pretty cheap right now.
  • Basic stuff (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jones_supa (887896) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @09:06AM (#39439459)
    It seems to be pretty much a standard mini-ITX build. Even the case is a Streacom F1C [streacom.com], with the Amiga logo etched on it.
  • Re:Pricepoint fail (Score:5, Interesting)

    by realityimpaired (1668397) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @09:10AM (#39439493)

    Twenty years ago, a Cadillac PC was three to four thousand bucks. These days you can get an amazing PC for under a grand. I got a used Dell for $600, including tax, with dual core, 16G RAM and a 1T drive.

    Case in point, I put together a Core i5 2500k (overclocked to 4.7GHz), 16GB of RAM, a Radeon HD 6870, 16GB of RAM, 1TB drive w/ 60GB SSD for cache (using the Z68 motherboard) for under $1000, less than a month ago. I did salvage the optical drive, monitor, keyboard, and mouse from an old system, but everything else was new. Even if you pick up a *really* nice 24" monitor, it's still under $1500.

    For $2500, you can buy a *really* nice iMac, and get better technical support. (as much as I loathe Apple's business practices, their customer service is *really* good, and I'd recommend them to anybody that actually needs customer service/tech support).

  • GPU (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dirtyhippie (259852) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @09:12AM (#39439515) Homepage

    Serious question: what do people need a beefy GPU for on a machine with an alternative OS? You already can't run the latest PC/windows games, and you don't need a spec-tastic GPU for running 99% of other applications. Am I missing something, or is this just hardware lust?

  • by meburke (736645) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @09:23AM (#39439617)

    I first sold Commodore in Minneapolis back when they were making calculators in 1968. They came out with a 30-lb., programmable calculator that used magnetic strips to hold the programs. It only held 30 instructions, but it had recursion so it outperformed Friden and Marchant's competitive products. (One was 60 lbs and had two units connected by a thick cable, the other needed to be reprogrammed by performing the operation so it could be memorized before starting to produce any useful work.) I sold a bunch to Bell. With no printer (nixie-tube readout) an office of 30 people was practically silent. Bell had open rooms filled with clacking and clanking calulators in those days. Now we complain that the person next to us has a loud keyboard... Well, I made some money, but you should have heard the owner complain about the money he had tied up in Commodore. I didn't really know what he meant at the time.

    Jump to 1978: I'm the first one selling Apple II and Commodore PET computers in Anchorage. I had to order 5 PET units at a time. My cost was $999.00 and the selling price was $1499.00. As long as I had a $5000 deposit with Commodore I had a $5000 "line of credit". But the manufacturing was lousy. I typically had shipments come in with two or more units DOA (and one where 4 out of my 5 units were DOA), which I had to RMA and wait for them to be returned. I needed stock? No problem: Commodore would gladly take another $5000 deposit and let me order 5 more units...

    Jump to 1988: I'm selling computers to NASA in Houston for a store that also carries the Commodore Amiga. And guess what?..My manager is complaining about the same lousy manufacturing and policies that I did 10 years ago.

    Jump to 1993: I helped set up a computer department for BizMart (now OfficeMax) and they are trying to deal with the same lousy stocking problems from Commodore. Right around Christmas time we sold a lot of Commodore Amiga and associated products. After Christmas the returns started coming in: It seems that we had all the marginal units dumped on us to make the Commodore numbers look good for some type of joint venture or purchase deal.

    I believe in my heart that Commodore would have gone out of business if they didn't have the CMOS manufacturing to keep them afloat. I pity the vendors stuck dealing with Commodore, but it will probably be someone clueless like Best Buy anyway. The commodore products were somewhat innovative, but the company was not consumer or vendor friendly.

  • by tripleevenfall (1990004) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @10:16AM (#39440153)

    Know what else has a Core i7 processor? a Mac Mini.

    They only have 4GB of memory by default, but at $999 you can get one with dual 7200rpm 500GB hard drives, Intel HD 3000 graphics, and a copy of Lion Server. There's no bluray, but it's also less than half the price of this Amiga DOA box.

    When your product is a less attractive knockoff of an Apple design and somehow you manage to more than double an Apple price... I'm guessing your future does not include being filthy stinking rich.

  • by Phreakiture (547094) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @10:24AM (#39440247) Homepage

    I had three Amigas. I really enjoyed using those machines. I loved the fact that it was a true plug N play platform while my PC-using friends were still fucking around with interrupts, DMA channels, shared memory slots and jumpers. I loved the fact that they had not only video acceleration but also audio acceleration. I loved the fact that colour video and stereo audio were in all models. I still think HAM was a pretty cool compression algorithm, especially in that it was implemented in the hardware and could be decompressed as the monitor scanned, reducing the amount of video RAM (or, chip RAM as it was called in the Amiga paradigm) needed for a full-colour picture (remember, RAM was expensive in those days)

    Ultimately, though, it is necessary to face a few facts. Commodore was run by a bunch of asshats. They effectively killed off this beloved platform. The platform is dead. Slapping the name on a LInux computer will never bring back what the Amiga was, and it will certainly not make the so-named computer what the Amiga could have and should have been. As much as I love Linux, I am not interested. It is like one of those modern radios that has a plastic enclosure designed to look like a classic cathedral radio. It isn't, it can't be, and it won't be what was lost to time. Enjoy the nostalgia, but eschew the exploitation.

    Amiga is dead like Elvis. Mourn and move on.

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Thursday March 22, 2012 @10:51AM (#39440485) Journal

    Its just someone who bought the brand trying to cash in, is anyone surprised?

    I'll get hate for saying this but here goes: you will NEVER see anything like the Amiga ever again so give it up, okay? We are talking about a machine filled to the brim with custom designed chips with a custom built OS to run on top of it. To build something with THAT level of customization today would probably cost north of 100 million and would virtually guarantee that Windows would never run on it which would be the kiss of death due to the lack of apps. Now with Linux providing plenty of source code one could compile custom versions of many apps but again that would raise the price and today you either race to the bottom (MSFT) or you have enough brand loyalty and cool factor to allow one to charge high prices (Apple) and sadly Amiga would have neither today.

    Lets face it guys what made Amiga so fucking cool was back then one could actually afford to breadboard an entirely new chip design and hire enough coders to build an entire OS just to squeeze every drop of power you could out of those chips. Hell theoretically you could do that today, can you imagine an OS that was built mostly in ASM to squeeze every last drop of power out of say an AMD 6 core and 7950 GPU? It would be so insanely fast and powerful it would make everything else look like bad jokes! But unlike when the Amiga came out PCs today are so damned overpowered that frankly it doesn't matter how much bloat and bling MSFT and Apple add to their OSes as we have cycles to spare everywhere. We have multicores hitting crazy speeds, assloads of RAM, and GPUs with hundreds of stream processors. That is the exact polar opposite to what we had when the Amiga was released, where machines were lucky if they had enough oomph to run a GUI at all and slow was pretty much taken for granted. All that customization made Amiga so damned much faster than everyone else it was just insane, it was a multitasking monster in the days of shitty single tasking DOS.

    Look, I can understand why there are some geeks that secretly pray for the return of Amiga, I really do. I hung onto OS/2 for waaay longer than i should hoping and praying IBM would get their head out of their ass and market it right, but they didn't know what to do with it and totally killed it, same thing here. Commodore was a "cheap prices above all" kind of company and Amiga was this expensive badass ubercomputer that they really didn't have a damned clue how to sell and corporate stupidity killed it. But as much as we'd like to go and hit the reset button, as much as many of us wish it would have ended up Apple VS MSFT VS OS/2 VS Amiga, sadly things didn't work out that way. so let the old gal rest in peace, she had a good run, was ahead of her time, but that time is past. Companies like this just trying to ring a few more pennies out of the property are just a sad cash in, hoping there are enough geeks with money and a bad case of nostalgia they can make a quick buck.

  • by amigabill (146897) on Thursday March 22, 2012 @02:16PM (#39443161)

    To get an idea of what the Amiga community thinks of this, look here:
    http://amigaworld.net/modules/news/article.php?storyid=6305&start=0 [amigaworld.net]

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