The Amiga section

Let me see, what's happened in the last few months?

There was the release of the AmigaOS4 feature list, available to download from here, or from the AmigaOS website. It definitely was an interesting read, with some much-desired features listed, and wasn't crammed with marketingspeak. There was one mildly amusing bit in there "Fully pre-emptive multitasking"... ooh, an OS that can see into the future :-) Seriously though, the information was useful and gave me a bit more confidence that AmigaOS4 isn't either going to be vapourware or a turkey.

The AmigaOne XE (G4 CPU) motherboards are still delayed, and the rumour mill on reasons why has been cranked up to full capacity, the most controversial story being that the XE motherboards' performance was much lower than expected, and so Eyetech were having a rethink and last-minute work on them. Personally I think this rumour is just another rabid Amigans ravings, between the usual ravings you'd find on newsgroups like comp.sys.amiga.advocacy (WARNING: the regulars of this newsgroup don't have much of a grip on reality, and the 68060 is still the fastest CPU on the block :-)) The last bit of official news on the progress of the XE motherboards shipping is that the firmware update has been completed, and features like a better configuration interface for the firmware has been added (read about that here).

There was a thread on the AmigaOne mailing list about what people thought about thoughts for future models for the new Amiga range of computers. A few things have occurred to me about what the future of the Amiga should be, the most important part in my opinion being that it should be primarily for applications software, I would particularly like to see applications like Mozilla and OpenOffice ported to AmigaOS4, and also the main few popular PC games, mainly to encourage people to try out this 'new platform', and also to prove that the AmigaOne hardware is easily up to the task for most computer users. Amiga applications do also need to maintain the look and feel of AmigaOS, as consistency is an important aspect for anything/one to look professional. I think also that the Amiga needs to break away from numeric model names (eg. "Amiga 500") and 'acronyms' (well, not an acronym, but it looks like one), like the Amigaone "XE". The battlefield for the Amiga is still the home computer, just more focused on applications. If you look at how Sony and Apple (Sony far more noticeably) get their sales is by being 'trendy', not geeky technical. However, there is a line to be drawn, as Microsoft should have realised by now, you end up with a very muddled operating system if you try and design it to suit everyone, rather than a target audience of types of people.