News!

by Eric Schwartz
from the Ami-Tech Dayton Gazette, November 2009

It's a bit like the old proverb that says you can wait hours on end for a bus, and then three come at once. Almost immediately after I closed the book (so to speak) on last month's newsletter, two major events happened almost concurrently. One major announcement is that a decision has been made in the case between Amiga Inc. and Hyperion, the people currently behind Amiga OS4. I'm not sure of the details, but suffice it to say Hyperion has been given unlimited license to use and development of the Amiga operating system 3.1 (the last version put out under Commodore -- the later 3.5 and 3.9 versions are from Haage & Partner). With Amiga Inc. now having no real control over what Hyperion can do with Amiga OS4, they are now officially marginalized in the Amiga venue. (Not that they weren't before, but at least now they aren't holding others back.) Hyperion already started down the road of "stuff Amiga Inc. doesn't want" a while back, with versions of OS4 for SAM440 and Pegasos, and presumably PowerPC Mac Mini at some point in the future. While this court decision is not huge news in itself, it represents a milestone, where Hyperion became, for all practical purposes, more "Amiga" than the company that most recently bore that name. (Who knows exactly what name they are using now.) Perhaps great things will come from them now that they don't have an IP leash attached.

The other recent news is the newest release of "Amiga in spirit" MorphOS, version 2.4. For people who were already using it, this version isn't much more than tweaks and bug fixes, but the big news here is that 2.4 is the first MorphOS to run on Mac hardware, specifically the Mac Mini with PowerPC CPU. I have tested this out, booting the MorphOS install CD on a Mini, and it works fine, at least in the limited way I tried it out. The Morph team are working to expand the range of supported Mac models. It sounds like EMac will be next, and I (and others) hope for ibook/Powerbook support to enable MorphOS usage on a laptop. If that would come to pass, I'd gladly purchase a second-hand laptop and a new MorphOS key file.