AmigaOS Operating System

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AmigaOS

AmigaOS LogoAmiga Inc. was founded in 1982. The Amiga was developed first as game console, the Amiga designed from his mental father Jay Miner represent a complete computer. The hardware basis was developed and marketed self.

Amiga was introduced for the first time on January 4th, 1984. Amiga Inc. was bought up by Commodore completely in September 1985 and presented the Amiga 1000 ready for sale. He was excellently designed for multimedia tasks like music and video handling with 4,096 colours, stereo Sound, video chip, synthetic text to voice conversion, 16 colours were (EGA) standard in the PC area at that time. In the famous BOING! technology Demo one red whitely checked Ball encouraged in 3D to sound samples in a virtual space. This Demo became famous and the ball got bound closely to Amiga as a trademark since this. Commodore decided to license the already existing operating system TRIPOS (TRIvial Portable Operating System) of MetaComCo in 1984 and to create a new user interface by developer.

The video screen resolution in the first Amiga computers with the OCS (original chip set) could be configured from 320x256 to 736 x566 pixel in the PAL mode and 320x200 to 736 x482 pixel (Overscan) in the NTSC mode. The video screen resolution was individually adaptable to the monitor with the Overscan method up to the limit. In principle, the represented colour palette was defined out of 4096 colours. The video screen with LowRes or HiRes was represented with 16 colours, 32 colours, in the EHB mode with 32 genuine colours and 32 colours with lesser brightness. In the HAM6 mode the screen display was supported by 4096 colours. The OCS was taken off by the ECS (Enhanced chip set) in later Amiga models since 1988. This extended the possible resolutions from 1280x256 to 1440x566 pixel in the PAL mode and 1280x200 to 1440x482 pixel (Overscan) with SuperHires in the NTSC mode but only with up to 64 genuine colours. The successor of the ECS was the AGA chip set which was used in Amiga models as of 1992. The applied colour palette was defined out of 16.7 mio. colours. All resolutions could be represented now with 256 colours, in the HAM8 even with 262,144 colours. Furthermore the EHB mode was supported (colour number doubled by brightness difference).

Because of failed management and from bad sales figures Amiga Inc. were acquired by ESCOM in 1995, after long negotiations with numerous competitors and the bankruptcy manager for approximately 12 million dollar. One year later ESCOM came to obviously by miscalculation and to fast Expandition into bankruptcy. ComTech still acquired ESCOM in the same year. 1997 were sold the Amiga section including the rights to Gateway 2000. In the year 2000 Gateway sold again the rights from Amiga in large parts to the enterprise Amino, which thereupon was named as Amiga Inc..

The Amiga OS needs only small hardware requirements and runs on Amiga hardware with a Motorola 68K CCU. Since 1997 exists extensions with PowerPC 603e and 604e-CPUs. Amiga OS is controlled by preemptive multitasking, in the 512-kByte Rome chip (Kickstart) resides the entire OS core. As GUI Workbench is used. The Amigas of the series of 1985 to 1991 could represent 4096 different color, of it however only a fraction (8 to 16) simultaneously. Since 1991 (AGA Chipsatz) there is simultaneous 16 million colors, of it 4096 at the same time. Optionally for a long time the Amiga can be upgraded with a graphic card, since 1998 also with 3D-accelerator. The internal file system is FFS.

PEGASOS / MorphOS the computer system PEGASOS was developedand sold by the company Bplan (before Phase5) in the Bundle with the Amiga compatible operating system MorphOS. Amiga OS 4 does not run on Pegasos and MorphOS doesn't run on the AmigaOne. More about MorphOS.

Update 2002: With the new developed platform AmigaOne of Eyetech is an efficient computer with PowerPC CPU available which should be bundled with Amiga OS 4 of Hyperion after his completion.

Update January 2004: The AmigaOne is now avaiable with a pre-release of Amiga OS, alternatively with PPC G3 or G4 CPU. Amiga OS 4.0 contains compared with Amiga OS 3.9 the following novelties. The operating system Kernel is called Exec SG (Second generation), which became increased performance by removal of the weak points and the complete portation of the source code from the 68k architecture to Power PC. An emulator made it further possible to execute of 68k programs in the interpreted mode for compatibility or in the JIT mode for maximum performance. System-critical memory ranges have now protected areas, SMP, Multithreading and separate address ranges (still deactivated) are partly supported now. The addressing range is complete virtual, i.e. it can be larger than available RAM, the paging on a non removable disk is also possible. The API gets more than 50 new functions, TCP/IP and PPP driver was completely revised. The Amiga file system FFS2 was improved.

Update: 15.03.2004 According to the press release from Amiga Inc., Amiga OS is now sold to KMOS Inc. with all rights, source code and versions by Amiga OS. Amiga Inc. wants to concentrate from now on on the mobile market. Amiga Inc. acquired in addition the company Capacity network from Finland, which is specialized in data storage solutions. With this added know-how Amiga Inc. wants to develop an extended and secured Amiga OS for mobile devices. KMOS continued the developing at Amiga OS 4.0 and the hardware without breaking of existing contracts with Hyperion or other partner companies. Amiga Inc. keeps the rights to the Amiga name and the intellectual property.

The final release of AmigaOS 4.0 was published by Hyperion Entertainment at the 2006-12-24. A preview version was already available in May 2004. The memory management was overworked and the compatibility and performance of the 680x0 emulator were improved. USB devices are now supported directly by the operating system. Unfortunately, Eyetech has given up the production of the AmigaOne because of bankruptcy of a supplier.

Characteristics

- simplified the patching of system functions
- supports additional data types by "Plugins" for graphic, text, audio, video,... formats (since OS 3.x)
- audio output with integrated LowPass filter (LED)
- DefIcons, freely definable icon for every file, not only after file extension (third party software)
- since AmigaOS 1.0 automatic hardware detection, plug n play (Autoconfig)
- dual playfield mode for several graphic planes (games)
- voice output also with accents, enthusiasm and mouth movements
- since version 2.x AmigaOS has also memory protection with Enforcer or CyberGuard (with MMU) third party software

This information area was friendly supported by Martin Baute, you can find more information about Amiga OS on the Website "Bielefeld Amiga Users and Developers" in german at www.baud.de.




Versions

DateVersion
1985Amiga 1000
1987Amiga 500, Amiga 2000
1990Amiga 3000 (AmigaOS v2.0), Amiga 500+
1992Amiga 4000 (AmigaOS v3.0), Amiga 3000+
1985, Oct.AmigaOS 1.0
1985, Dec.AmigaOS 1.1, source code recompiled
1986AmigaOS 1.2
1989AmigaOS 1.4
1990AmigaOS 2.0, 32-bit architecture, 512 kbyte in size
1992AmigaOS 3.0
1994AmigaOS 3.1
1998AmigaOS 3.5
2000, Dec.AmigaOS 3.9
2006AmigaOS 4.0 final release
---AmigaOS 5 since 2004 in preparation