Amiga Vendors?

Liam Proven lproven at
Thu Jun 11 08:58:24 CDT 2020

On Thu, 11 Jun 2020 at 13:41, Jules Richardson via cctalk
<cctalk at> wrote:
> The 4000T that I have was built in May of '96, and it amazes me that there
> was any kind of market for it in light of how widespread PCs on the desktop
> had become by that time.


VideoToasters might have been the main one, perhaps?

> I had a StrongARM-based machine with a 486dx4-100 co-processor; it was a
> really nice system, and plenty responsive enough for the time,

I have the bits of something similar, although possibly with just an
ARM610 or ARM710 -- I'd have to go through quite a lot of boxes to be
sure. It's in pieces, and has been for a decade, unfortunately.
Complete with a choice of PC co-pros.

> but I never
> really got on with RISC OS as an operating system.

Oh really? I liked it a lot at the time. Perhaps because I was and
remain fond of BASIC. I found it easy to explore and understand
compared to Windows or any *nix. (Unix has always needed you to know
C, which I dislike, and shell, and multiple scripting languages, and
even so it is a cryptic, opaque OS, IMHO.)

Details like being able to middle-click an "app" (because apps were
just directories starting with an exclamation mark) and open it and
see within it the various binaries, image files, help  files, scripts
and so on of which it's composed. Possibly on NeXTstep/macOS but
nothing much else: even on classic MacOS it needed ResEdit and an
understanding of a lot of cryptic codes.

The limitation of 77 files per folder, which kept the filesystem
simple and fast and forced you to be organised.

> It's a shame Acorn never
> for ARX off the ground.

Absolutely. The parallels with Commodore and the CAOS project are
remarkably close.

I facilitated a talk at the RISC OS User Group of London shortly
before I emigrated, which went into some depth of the history of the

As a last-ditch rescue effort, I think RISC OS was quite a triumph for
its time. Horribly dated now, yes, but remarkably, still alive, now
all-FOSS and runs well on modern hardware such as the Raspberry Pi.

AIUI, the official Amiga and ST OSes remain closed source. There's an
open-source recreation of ST TOS:

It hasn't attracted much interest, though.

There's also 2 different versions of the Sinclair QL OS which have
open source code. One is Minerva, derived from Sinclair code, AIUI.

The other is SMSQ/E, a rewrite by the original author:

Neither meets the FOSS definitions, though.
I am surprised that there seems to have been next to no interest in
getting them running on anything else, or modernising them. For
instance, AFAIK no emulator exists in any form for the last generation
of native QL hardware, the Q40 & Q60 boards.

> I actually have one of those still (which will probably need a home one day
> as I no longer have any hardware that supports it). I got it from somewhere
> back in my "collect all things Acorn-related" days, but I don't think I
> ever even plugged it in.


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