Here are my personal thoughts on what the new Amiga should include from
both a hardware and a software point of view.
The processor should become a PPC ASAP (How about that for TLA's!!).
The Digital Strong-Arm as used in the Acorn RISC-PC's is fast and cheap
running at (AFAIK) 235Mhz and costing 165 UKP, although I do not really
have any preference in this area.
The peripherals should be standard with what is already available
within the market. I.E. A Serial or PS/2 type mouse. An AT or PS/2 type
keyboard. EIDE Hard drive and Atapi CD-ROM. PC type HD floppy drives.
This would make the cost of replacing faulty parts reasonable and will
encourage competition within the market place.
Memory should be 8 Megs minimum and some way should be found of
removing the Chip-Ram and Fast-Ram limitations. If possible it would be
nice if the system could have one lot of ram for both purposes. I
understand the difference between fast and chip ram but one lot of ram
would be usefull.
Memory should be upgradable using standard 72-pin EDO simms on the
CD-ROM sound should be able to be piped through the motherboard and
mixed with the system audio as is the case on the PC.
Standard video hardware should be upgraded to allow at least 800x600 in
true colour. It should also be able to be upgraded using third party
video cards as available atm.
Monitor's should be standard SVGA type. We should get away from the
idea of a machine that can be connected to a TV. There is already a
market for living room games consoles and AI would be fools if they
tried tapping into this market. By producing a decent productive system
with nice hardware, games companies will tap into it themselves mush the
same as they have done for the PC-CDRom market.
Workbench 4 what ever that looks like should be entirely PPC native. It
should include some of the many enhancements such as MUI and MWB as
standard as this makes it look lovely. Apart from that, Workbench is
great as it is.
I do not really know an awfull lot about what goes on underneath
workbench so will not comment on code level improvements that should be
A wide range of printer drivers should be included as standard for all
modern printers available on the market. I.E. HP Laserjet 5, Deskjet
Networking with Ethernet and TCP/IP should be built in as should
dial-up networking/PPP/SL-IP provision.
A JVM (Java Virtual Machine) should be part of the operating system. It
is going to be the case for ALL platforms including Mac and PC that a
JVM will be essential for the future. Java is the future and so
Workbench and AmigaOS should support it from day one.
I am sure everyone will agree that the problem with Amiga in the past
is lack of marketing. I have only ever seen one TV advert for Amiga,
that was for CDTV and that I only ever saw once at some really stupid
time at night. If AI really want to get anywhere, they need to market
that machine as though there wasn't already loyal user base. It needs to
be marketed as though it were a completely new machine. The words:
"Internet ready", "Multi-media", "Family computer", "School homework",
"Home finances" need to be used in any marketing campaign. The worst
thing AI can do in the early days is make the Amiga specialised to one
market. It needs to be accepted for the great machine it really is and
accepted into the home market.
Deals need to be done with people like AOL and Compuserve (even though
I hate both of these companies) in order to give the Amiga some presence
on the Internet through some of the bigger companies. This will help
with the Internet ready aspect of the marketing. This software should be
included as standard with the OS.
Adverts for Amiga should be run alongside GW2K's adverts in top selling
The Amiga systems need to be sold as complete units. That includes Hard
Drive, CD-Rom and Monitor. However, this should be done by the dealer.
It should be made law that any PC sold must include as standard these
components and be marketed as having these components as standard and
not as extras. You would not consider buying a PC these days without a
monitor and hard drive would you.
Being owned by one of the largest PC dealers around can not be a bad
thing for Amiga. GW2K has plenty of experience in the PC world and the
adverts they produce are testament to this. A lot can be learnt from a
company who has a foot in the market of the PC. It could be argued that
Escom also had a foot in the market, but lets face it, their PC's were
crap. GW2K's are not.
It is going to be an interesting time for Amiga. Lets hope it does not
go pear shaped again.
All comments in this posting are my own. All flames should be sent to
/dev/null but I will happilly take all positive comments.