An anonymous reader writes: The Free Software Foundation was founded in 1985. To paint a picture of what computing was like back then, the Amiga 1000 was released, C++ was becoming a dominant language, Aldus PageMaker was announced, and networking was just starting to grow. Oh, and that year Careless Whisper by Wham! was a major hit. Things have changed a lot in 30 years. Back in 1985 the FSF was primarily focused on building free pieces of software that were primarily useful to nerdy computer people. These days we have software, services, social networks, and more to consider. In this in-depth interview, FSF executive director John Sullivan discusses the most prominent risks to software freedom today, Richard M. Stallman, and more.
damnbunni writes: As reported on amiga-news.de, it appears that Massimo Canigiani didn't license the Commodore trademarks before announcing that Commodore PET Smartphone. The company that actually owns the mark, Commodore Holdings, is not amused. It's not like it would have been hard to determine who owns it and try to license. The C= Holdings trademark is registered with the same EU agency 'CBM Limited' applied for a new mark. I can't see much of an excuse here. The company holding Commodore's trademarks is literally Commodore Holdings. They can't even say "We had NO IDEA who to contact!"
Mickeycaskill writes: Commodore is launching an Android-powered smartphone that lets 1980s gaming fans play their favourite retro titles. It runs a custom version of Android 5.0 Lollipop and lets you play both old Commodore 64 and Amiga games with its preinstalled VICE C64 and Uae4All2-SDL Amiga emulators. Configurations vary between 2GB and 3GB of RAM and 16GB or 32GB of storage, with a 5.5 inch display and 1.7GHz processor included in all versions. The Catch? It's only available in France, Germany, Italy and Poland to begin with, but other markets are set to follow.
jmulvey writes: Think your SCADA systems are outdated? Environmental monitoring at 19 Grand Rapids Public Schools are still controlled by a Commodore Amiga. Programmed by a High School student in the 1980s, the system has been running 24/7 for decades. A replacement has been budgeted by the school system, estimated cost: Between $1.5 and 2 million. How much is your old Commodore Amiga worth?
polyp2000 writes Many don't realize the impact the much forgotten Amiga 2000 had on the world. This lovely article is an informative and lighthearted read, especially if you are interested in the world of CG. "Unfortunately, The Amiga 2000 is one of the least favorite or collectible Amigas. Even today, with the most "die hard" Amiga fans, the A2000 often is ignored and shunned as a 'big, ugly' tank of a machine. One look at eBay (Canada or the U.S.), on any given day, and you can see that the A2000 often doesn't sell at all, and most times goes for a lot cheaper than all the other Amigas — even cheaper than an A500. But, because of this, one can find awesome deals, because, most of the time, the seller has no clue about what Zorro cards are inside, and for next to nothing, you can pick up a fully loaded A2000 with an '030 or above for peanuts."
First time accepted submitter mooterSkooter (1132489) writes "Magnetic Imaging tools were used to recover a dozen images produced by Andy Warhol on his Amiga computer. I would've just stuck the disks in and tried to copy it myself." Read more about it from the Frank Ratchye Studio for Creative Inquiry, which says "The impetus for the investigation came when [artist Cory] Arcangel, a self-described “Warhol fanatic and lifelong computer nerd,” learned about Warhol’s Amiga experiments from the YouTube video of the 1985 Commodore Amiga product launch. Acting on a hunch, and with the support of CMOA curator Tina Kukielski, Arcangel approached the AWM in December 2011 regarding the possibility of restoring the Amiga hardware in the museum’s possession, and cataloging any files on its associated diskettes. In April 2012, he contacted Golan Levin, a CMU art professor and director of the FRSCI, a laboratory that supports “atypical, anti-disciplinary and inter-institutional” arts research. Offering a grant to support the investigation, Levin connected Cory with the CMU Computer Club, a student organization that had gained renown for its expertise in “retrocomputing,” or the restoration of vintage computers."
cyclomedia writes "The Decibel Kid — the "AudioVisual Artist" responsible for last summer's Ipswich Zelda Map — has unveiled his new website. Modeled on Amiga OS it supports changing the wallpaper, window dragging, resizing, minimizing, and that z-index shuffle button. The mobile site is a completely different beast, modeling itself as a low-res LCD." There's even a drum machine. If you're pining for the "real" thing, there's always UAE (if you can find a ROM). Update: 03/05 15:45 GMT by U L : polyp2000 pointed out a better simulation, and a simulation of Workbench 1.5.
A while ago you had a chance to ask composer George Sanger about making music and sound effects for games, television, and film. Below you'll find "The Fat Man's" answers to those questions.
First time accepted submitter LibbyMC writes "Google's approach to bringing older C software to the browser is demonstrated in bringing the '80s-era AmigaOS to Chrome. 'The Native Client technology runs software written to run on a particular processor at close to the speeds that native software runs. The approach gives software more direct access to a computer's hardware , but it also adds security restrictions to prevent people from downloading malware from the Web that would take advantage of that power.'" Chrome users can go straight to the demo.
Leif_Bloomquist writes "Videos of the presentations from the recent World of Commodore, held December 1st 2012 in Toronto, have been published on YouTube. The presentations range from new product announcements to remakes of classic Commodore games for iPhone, from animation and music performances to coding tutorials and discussions for retro platforms. The revived World of Commodore is held annually on the first weekend of December by the Toronto PET Users Group."
After two years of work, Debian m68k has working build servers, and is slowly working through the backlog of stale packages. "Contrary to some rumours which I've had to debunk over the years, the m68k port did not go into limbo because it was kicked out of the archive; instead, it did because recent versions of glibc require support for thread-local storage, a feature that wasn't available on m68k, and nobody with the required time, willingness, and skill set could be found to implement it. This changed a few years back, when some people wrote the required support, because they were paid to do so in order to make recent Linux run on ColdFire processors again. Since ColdFire and m68k processors are sufficiently similar, that meant the technical problem was solved. However, by that time we'd fallen so far behind that essentially, we needed to rebootstrap the port all over again. Doing that is nontrivial, and most of the m68k porters team just didn't have the time or willingness anymore to work on this; and for a while, it seemed like the m68k port was well and truly dead." The tales of acquiring the needed hardware are pretty interesting (one machine is an Amiga in a custom tower case).
Amiga Trombone writes "Christopher Stringer is one of the world's foremost paleoanthropologists. He is a founder and most powerful advocate of the leading theory concerning our evolution: Recent African Origin or 'Out of Africa.' He now calls the theory into question: 'I'm thinking a lot about species concepts as applied to humans, about the "Out of Africa" model, and also looking back into Africa itself. I think the idea that modern humans originated in Africa is still a sound concept. Behaviorally and physically, we began our story there, but I've come around to thinking that it wasn't a simple origin. Twenty years ago, I would have argued that our species evolved in one place, maybe in East Africa or South Africa. There was a period of time in just one place where a small population of humans became modern, physically and behaviourally. Isolated and perhaps stressed by climate change, this drove a rapid and punctuational origin for our species. Now I don't think it was that simple, either within or outside of Africa.'"
angry tapir writes "Icaros Desktop is an effort to build a modern Amiga-compatible operating system to standard x86 hardware. It's a distribution built atop AROS, which is an open source effort to create a system compatible at the API level with the AmigaOS 3.x series. I recently had a chat to the creator of Icaros, Paolo Besser, about the creation of the OS and why Amiga continues to inspire people today."
An anonymous reader writes "The 20th International Obfuscated C Code Contest apparently has the turbo button pressed, as the source code has been published in only two months, versus almost four years of the 19th contest. As we discussed in February, the judges' verdicts are in: the Best of Show entry comes from Don Yang with a program containing more programs. Some other entries winning this year are a text raytracer (used this year in IOCCC logo), a MOD player, a X11-based dual player tank shooter and a bouncing ball (Amiga-style) with ANSI escape sequences. Remember that every IOCCC entry has a limit of 4 kilobytes, so indeed every one is pretty impresive."
New submitter inhuman_4 passes along this quote from an article at Wired: "Last December, Microsoft scored a victory when the ITC Administrative Law Judge Theodore R. Essex found that Motorola had violated four Microsoft patents. But the ruling could also eliminate an important Microsoft software patent that has been invoked in lawsuits against Barnes & Noble and car navigation device-maker Tom Tom. According to Linus Torvalds, he was deposed in the case this past fall, and apparently his testimony about a 20-year-old technical discussion — along with a discussion group posting made by an Amiga fan, known only as Natuerlich! — helped convince the Administrative Law Judge that the patent was invalid."
crookedvulture writes "Commodore has revealed the Amiga mini, a small-form-factor system that runs a custom Linux distro dubbed Commodore OS Vision. A trailer for the OS hardly inspires confidence, and the rest of the system doesn't help. While the Amiga mini features a high-end Intel desktop CPU and modern conveniences like Blu-ray, USB 3.0, and 802.11n Wi-Fi, it's stuck with one of the slowest graphics chips Nvidia makes. Some of the other specifications are head-scratchers, too. The mini comes with a whopping 16GB of RAM but only a terabyte of storage. You'll have to pay extra to get an SSD, which makes the $2500 asking price particularly onerous. The case, Blu-ray drive, and power supply are being made available separately, but at $345, they're hardly a bargain. Add this to the list of nostalgia-baiting remakes that don't live up to their inspiration." Update: It looks like Commodore has dropped the price after receiving a lot of negative feedback.
An anonymous reader writes "News from the world of AmigaOS that the Beta version of Timberwolf (a.k.a. Firefox) was made available last month." Timberwolf is a port of Firefox to the AmigaOS (the name change is for similar reasons to Debian's use of Iceweasel name) and has been under development for quite some time. The AmigaBounty project page has screenshots and even more info for those interested. There's a video of the browser in action, but beware of the cheesy soundtrack.
A few weeks back, you asked gaming-world academic and game designer Ian Bogost questions from the business, philosophical, and aesthetic sides of gaming; below, find his responses. Thanks, Ian!
Leif_Bloomquist writes "The Toronto PET Users Group (TPUG) is pleased to announce the World of Commodore 2011. TPUG would like to invite everyone to join us for a weekend of all things Commodore. There will be information about and displays of a variety of Commodore computers, demonstrations of new hardware and software projects using Commodore equipment, screenings of Commodore related videos, vendors selling the latest hardware and software available for Commodore computers as well as classic hardware, accessories, applications, games and much more."