Amiga NextGen.

In my previous post, I still owned a beautiful Amiga 4000T. For several practical reasons, I decided to sell this beauty to another Amiga-fan and got myself a “Next Gen” Amiga, an AmigaOne.

AmigaOne is originally made by Eyetech as a project for Amiga1200 and Amiga4000 to upgrade a CPU using the original Custom Chips. Because of hardware issues, they’ve cancelled the project in 2001. In 2002 they restarted it as becoming a whole new machine and the AmigaOne was born. Started in 2002 with the AmigaOne SE and followed up in 2003 by AmigaOne XE.

The one I got is an AmigaOne Micro-A1 – C. It consists of a 800MHz G4 CPU connected to a Mini-ITX mainboard where the videochip (ATI Radeon 7000 AGP) is integrated on the mainboard. Where the first 2 models AmigaOne (SE and XE) had heat issues and were generally unstable, the 3rd model from 2004 fixed this issue. It’s only made as a mainboard, so no official cases. It originally came with 256MB PC133 RAM.

I found a whole system in a really small case (I believe it’s a Dell case) for a reasonable amount of money.  This was the last board made by Eyetech and the last AmigaOne until 2011 when the AmigaOne 500 (Acube systems) and AmigaOne X1000 (A-EON) were introduced in a small amount.

While AmigaOne was made, there had to be another system. AmigaOS 3.9 is made for the Motorola 68000-series CPU while AmigaOne’s had a blazing fast G3 PPC cpu. Back in 2001, Hyperion Entertainment was asked by Amiga Inc. to produce a native PPC AmigaOS. AmigaOS 4.0 was born.

Current stage of AmigaOS 4.x is AmigaOS 4.1 (released in 2008) update 5 (august 2012) which runs without any trouble on the microA1 I currently own.

After a small upgrade from 256MB to 512MB RAM I created some photo’s yesterday of my running microA1-C with AmigaOS 4.1 update 5.

This is how it looks while the machine is booting the latest AmigaOS:


Smart people do see a difference in screen. Yes, left picture is made when I attached a Philips 19″ to it, but the screen broke down so I had to attach an older, but better Belinea 17″.

So, then it’s booted up.. It shows the following screen:


Having a working Internet connection, I could even go to Youtube using Timberwolf (=Firefox for Amiga). Timberwolf is still in alpha release, so really really slow. Lucky AmigaOS has another browser called OWB which is based on the Webkit engine and is workable (shown below on the right)

Using the E-AEU emulator (which is convenient added to AmigaOS 4.1) I can even run old Amiga games (E-UAE starts up an emulating layer which starts up WorkBench 3.1 and with that WHDLoad and finally the game, all within a few seconds!)

Below left is the E-UAE emulator running. Right is Superfrog running using this emulator:

Obviously, you can run more! See DirectoryOpus 4 (PPC version) and a MOD/IT player which is an Impulse Tracker called SchismTracker (also available for Linux, Windows and Mac).

You probably wonder if there’s anything useful to do with a 2004 AmigaOne? Of course, next to running old games, listening to music modules and doing webbrowsing, there are loads of free software made for AmigaOS including things like a SSH client (below left) or nice graphic effects (while dragging for example) when showing off what a almost 10 year old machine is capable of doing.

Ofcourse, I do understand all the latest operating systems are working faster/better (though starting up AmigaOS 4.1 only takes a few seconds) and it will never be mainstream. It’s just good to have a choice and great to see a company created in 1985, died multiple times and still continue to make new and beautiful things. Amiga is not just a computer, it’s a feeling only real Amiga-fans will understand.

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