Amiga Vendors?

Liam Proven lproven at
Thu Jun 11 05:58:10 CDT 2020

On Thu, 11 Jun 2020 at 09:52, Ethan Dicks via cctalk
<cctalk at> wrote:
> I'd say the Amiga really lost its shine around 20 years ago, about the
> time Linux was getting serious and Windows 98 dominated the desktop.

Unfortunately, yes, I think you're right.

Ditto the Acorn RISC OS platform -- I know, rare in the USA, but the
origin of the ARM chip, so of historical importance.

1998 is when Acorn closed its workstations division, just before the
Risc PC 2, codenamed Phoebe, was launched.

The original RISC PC had 2 processor slots, but the 2nd was intended
for co-processors, such as an x86-32 chip which allowed RISC OS to run
DOS or Windows 3 (or a limited version of Win95) in a window on the
RISC OS desktop.

There was also a 3rd party multiprocessor board, the Hydra from
Simtech, but the appearance of the DEC-designed StrongARM killed that
off -- one 200MHz StrongARM was performance competitive with half a
dozen ~25MHz ARM710 processors.

Among other improvements, including PCI slots, the Risc PC 2 supported
2 ARM CPUs in SMP.

Acorn was working on a new OS that might have supported SMP, which
RISC OS did not and still does not.

Windows 95 wasn't a great OS, but it was good enough and ran on COTS
x86 kit, supporting almost all hardware and software out there. NT 4
wasn't perfect either, but was just as easy to use and very solid if
you could afford to buy and build the hardware to run the OS.

Between them, these spelled the end of the Amiga, the Acorn RISC
machines, BeOS, and very nearly for the Mac.

At the time, I wished that Acorn did a decent modern laptop. ARMs ran
much cooler than late-1990s x86 chips, and RISC OS was perfectly
capable of handling the late-1990s internet -- web, email, instant
messenging, etc., with good office productivity apps, image editing
and so on. A RISC OS laptop could have been thinner, lighter,
cooler-running and with a much longer battery life than a 486 or
Pentium laptop. (I don't think anyone ever made Pentium Pro laptops,
did they?)

An out did occur to me about 20 years later: BeOS on a twin-CPU or
even quad-CPU ARM workstation would have been a joy. Around then, CPUs
were often the single most expensive component in a computer, and drew
the most power. ARM boxes circumvented both of these.

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