For my sins I am an AmigaOS 4 beta tester, although I don't have as much time these days to diligently test all the regular files and updates that the hardworking developers keep churning out. Obviously all of the kudos and plaudits go to the developers and rightly so, but spare a thought for all of the AmigaOS 4, MorphOS and AROS beta testers - the dedicated teams of unsung heroes who devote massive amounts of their time and energy to faithfully test every piece of code, utility or program that comes their way. I know from my own experience just how much time is eaten up by the beta testing process. All I can say is, we your fellow Amigans, salute you.
The power of 7?
What is it with the number 7? Is it to do with the pillars of wisdom, colours in a rainbow, number of days in a week, Samurai, layers of the OSI model or even the number of deadly sins? . According to Michael Wu of Halo fame it's "cause that's the best number. It's like rock. Nothing beats rock or 7". When it come to AmigaOS 4 drivers for the Radeon HD graphics cards the number 7 is the "Holy Grail".
You will be pleased to hear that I have been testing Hans de Ruiter's (OS4 graphics guru) latest Radeon HD drivers and all I can reveal is that the results have put me in 7th heaven. The drivers have now been released to the AmigaONE X1000 beta test team for final checkout and with luck should be available for registered users to download from the A-EON website in the near future. Watch this space.
For the latest AmigaOS 4 Radeon HD drivers please visit: Radeon HD Divers - AmigaOS 4
All graphics cards are created equal, but some are more equal than others!
I've been testing a lot of Radeon HD graphics cards from the 4xxx, 5xxx, 6xxx and 7xxx series (yes 7xxx series!) in my AmigaONE X1000. One thing I've discovered is that not all graphics cards are created equal despite the specification written on the box. They come in all shapes and sizes with various fan and heat-sink arrangements which are either aesthetically pleasing of just plain ugly. Some models start up like jet engines while others are quieter than a mouse.
A few appear to have long initialization times, while other boot up in the blink of an eye. Some cards are svelte, single slot models but many take up two slots. Personally I prefer passively cooled cards and there are suitable cards throughout the Radeon HD series. Fortunately, our good friends at AmigaKit are only stocking Radeon HD graphics cards which have been tested with the AmigaONE X1000 and Sam460 systems.
For more information please visit: AmigaKit's Website
Cracking the Kernel
Beta tester Darren Stevens has been working hard on Linux support for the AmigaONE X1000 and has recently produced a new kernel based on the latest stable 3.5.4 Linux kernel. His new kernel also includes support for all Radeon HD cards in the 4xxx and 5xxx series, and cards in the Radeon HD 6xxx series up to HD6570 models. I've tested his new kernel with Debian Wheezy, MintPPC and Ubuntu and a wide selection of Radeon HD cards and can report good success. The new kernel along with Pat Wall's MintPPC Live USB Flash drive install should be available for download in the near future. Darren is now working to extend support for the Radeon HD graphic card range under Linux.
Classic bedtime reading?
A few years back in 2005, I had the pleasure of reading Brian Bagnall's book "On the Edge - The spectacular rise and fall of Commodore". I couldn't put the book down and remember finishing it in two or three days. It gave a fascinating insight into the company the people and the technology. It was a gripping read and I can thoroughly recommend the book to all Commodore enthusiasts. A revised second edition was released a couple of years ago but at that time I didn't buy another copy. I noticed on the Amiga forums that an author called Jimmy Maher had written a book about the Amiga entitled, "The Future Was Here - The Commodore Amiga".
I checked on the web and found that I could buy it through Amazon, better still I discovered that Brian Bagnall has written another book, this time about the Amiga. The best news of all - all three books are available at a discounted price of US$58.84 + shipping if purchased together. It was an offer I could not resist. The first two books arrived in the mail today. I've quickly flicked through Maher's book and on first glance he seems to know his stuff. Bagnall,'s second book, "Commodore: The Amiga Years", has a publication date of October 1st and will be shipped later. Looks like I've got some reading to do?
Go west young man!
In the next few weeks I'll be heading off for my annual pilgrimage to Sacramento for this years AmiWest Amiga show. Actually that's not entirely true. I'm not so young and from New Zealand I'll be heading east but at least I am attending the show.
As usual A-EON Technology and AmigaKit are sponsoring the AmiWest show to help the organisers maintain their free entry policy for all visitors. If you have never been to AmiWest before its a great chance to get together with fellow Amigans of all flavours, share our mutual passion and check out what's happening in the Amiga scene. Who knows you might even get to hear some interesting news?
For more information please visit: AmiWest 2012