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MorphOS 3.0 Released: Refusing To Let the PPC Desktop OS Die Gracefully 214

Posted by timothy
from the ultimate-nagware dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Version 3.0 of MorphOS has been released. It's the independent PPC OS designed for outdated Apple systems like G4 PowerBooks (5,6; 5,7; 5,8; or 5,9) and eMacs (1.25 GHz/1.42 GHz) and PPC Mac Minis, and some G4 PowerMac models (depends on graphics hardware). It further runs on discontinued and niche Genesi desktop systems (Pegasos) and the stunted 128-megabyte-of-RAM tiny Efika. MorphOS is a nice-looking, low-resource, and nimble OS that can't match the capabilities of current Windows, Mac, and Linux. Its installation/live CD is free without caveat, and runs for 30 minutes at a time, as many times as you like. You may purchase MorphOS to remove the time limit. A particular weakness of MorphOS is its lack of support for wireless networking."
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MorphOS 3.0 Released: Refusing To Let the PPC Desktop OS Die Gracefully

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  • Another weakness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by twilight30 (84644) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @04:20PM (#40277271) Homepage

    ... might be the price. Good luck, I guess.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by rudy_wayne (414635)

      runs for 30 minutes at a time . . . . . . .lack of support for wireless networking

      Free crap is still crap.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by digitig (1056110)

        runs for 30 minutes at a time . . . . . . .lack of support for wireless networking

        Free crap is still crap.

        It's about the same as I'm getting from my latest Ubuntu installation. :(

      • by Lumpy (12016) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @07:36PM (#40278391) Homepage

        Yup, that Free copy of Windows 7 on my last laptop was quite crap. Fixed it with a BSD install.

    • Re:Another weakness (Score:5, Interesting)

      by O('_')O_Bush (1162487) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @04:27PM (#40277311)
      Just for reader enjoyment, prices range from 49€ (Efika) to 111.11€ for PowerPC. That seems like a lot for an OS that can't even do wireless.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 10, 2012 @04:52PM (#40277489)

        pay more for the OS than the obsolete computer is worth.

        what's wrong with running debian on these things?

        • pay more for the OS than the obsolete computer is worth.

          what's wrong with running debian on these things?

          I have an old GP4 station running debian.

          Only used for some text input, word processing and reading the odd pdf.

          works very well on debian

      • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @04:54PM (#40277511)

        Seriously. I have an old PowerBook G4 that I still use on a weekly basis to run a particular piece of old software, but I thought it might be fun to fool around with a different OS for a few bucks. At €111.11, it's well beyond the "let's have some fun with something different" range.

    • by Dexter Herbivore (1322345) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @04:36PM (#40277389) Journal
      2 words - Why bother? Alternatively just one word - Why?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Weirder still, its like 30 euro more on a Powerbook than a desktop, and yet without wireless networking, its far less useful on a Powerbook than on a desktop!

      I'm a big Amiga fan, still run one for nostalgia gaming sake, but MorphOS is crap developed by arrogant krauts.

    • by Bert64 (520050) <bert@sl[ ]dot.fi ... m ['ash' in gap]> on Sunday June 10, 2012 @05:14PM (#40277667) Homepage

      Yes, if it was free or at least very cheap people might consider using it, but at 111 euros? That's more than the price of OSX or many versions of Windows...
      And being such a niche product, i doubt it will even tempt anyone to release a cracked version.

      Creating a niche OS that only runs on obsolete hardware, and costs more than that hardware itself does? That seems to be an extremely poor business model...

      If it was free or dirt cheap, people might be tempted in it to breathe new life into old hardware... But at that price, you might as well just buy some newer more capable hardware.

      As for the lack of wireless support, the changelog for 3.0 cites one of the biggest new features as "PowerBook support for 1.67GHz models"... So a laptop with built in wifi, but you can't use wireless on it?

      • by Hatta (162192)

        They probably would have made more money if they put it on kickstarter.

  • by mwvdlee (775178) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @04:22PM (#40277283) Homepage

    free without caveat, and runs for 30 minutes at a time

    Either "free without caveat" or "runs for 30 minutes at a time" does not mean what I think it means.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 10, 2012 @04:43PM (#40277425)

      free without caveat, and runs for 30 minutes at a time

      Either "free without caveat" or "runs for 30 minutes at a time" does not mean what I think it means.

      Let me translate that for you: its like windows but free

    • by david.given (6740)

      The website lies by omission: the only reference I can find to the fact that it's a commercial product is one mention of a 'free trial version'. Very sleazy.

      AFAICT this is just an AmigaOS clone, anyway. Is it just a rebranded AROS?

  • ... it's not as good as Linux and you have to pay for it?

    I wonder how the PPC port of Haiku is doing?

  • The Debian [debian.org] and Ubuntu [ubuntu.com] PowerPC ports are alive and well. Main lack for modern use is Flash. But I long dual-booted Ubuntu PPC on a G3/G4. A more reliable DVD burner than Mac OS X 10.4, and wider hardware support.

    • How is the lack of flash something bad? Now that youtube supports HTML5, there's no need for flash, unless your job demands it.

    • by garcia (6573)

      The lack of Flash is why my PPC Mac Mini is still running some ungodly useless version of OS X. I mean the machine runs and it does shit just fine but I'd really like to have more use for the machine than simply being a paperweight.

      At first I was excited to read this, thinking I could use it again, but then I realized I already have a Roku for my media and I really have no use for the old Mac Mini anyway. Then I saw the price and said, "oh right I don't care at all."

      • My 5yo daughter has an ancient Mac G4, with Apple Cinema Display (with the funky plug that doesn't fit any known standard, so I can't just reuse the display on a sensible computer), as her very own. She watches television and plays Flash games on it. Mac OS X 10.4, Firefox 3.something, Flash some obsolete version. It's only Flash - the one thing she really uses it for - that keeps me from Ubuntuing it. Failing that, the current upgrade plan is to pay £25 for a 19" LCD and get someone's discarded P4 an

    • FreeBSD (Score:4, Informative)

      by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @05:21PM (#40277695) Homepage Journal

      Also has a PPC edition, as does NetBSD.

    • by Nimey (114278)

      Also there is still Yellow Dog Linux, which has always been exclusively for PowerPC systems.

  • If you are running old hardware like this, its most likely because you either cant afford to upgrade, so having to buy this is a show stopper, or you need specific support for something, which you would lose even if it was free.

    If you just like old stuff, ( many do ) there are free alternatives still, so again, why would i pay?

    And what sort of desktop environment in 2012 doesn't support wireless in some manner? wtf?

    • All that is correct. That said, the one thing I find interesting about it is the Quark microkernel, and the fact that this OS is targeted towards non-x86 platforms. The Quark microkernel is a variation of the L4 microkernel, and the Abox that sits on top of it is an AmigaOS sandbox that sits on it. If this works, other subsystems can be tried out on this as well.

      An FOSS project similar to this, called osFree [osfree.org] is also out there, and it aims at doing the same thing. The sandboxes in osFree are called per

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 10, 2012 @04:31PM (#40277345)
    • by Lisias (447563)

      Why "-1 troll"?

      Dragonfly BSD really appears to be a viable alternative to MorphOS.

      Knowing nothing about both cases, I would moderate parent as "+1 Informative". Not liking the information does not justifies "trolling" it. :-(

  • by Jeremi (14640) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @04:34PM (#40277365) Homepage

    It seems to be aimed at Amiga enthusiasts/nostalgists who no longer have any actual Amiga hardware, but do happen to have some old PowerPC Mac hardware around, and want to run their old Amiga software on that rather than under UAE, and are willing to shell out a fair amount of cash to do so.

    Seems likely to be a rather small market.

    • by Auroch (1403671)

      It seems to be aimed at Amiga enthusiasts/nostalgists who no longer have any actual Amiga hardware, but do happen to have some old PowerPC Mac hardware around, and want to run their old Amiga software on that rather than under UAE, and are willing to shell out a fair amount of cash to do so.

      Seems likely to be a rather small market.

      Take a look at their support page. If you don't like the way something is done, they are very clear that YOU (the user) are WRONG. It's obviously run by a bunch of engineers ... so take that into account when using MorphOS.

      Tip: If you want "support" for an OS that is made primarily by engineers ... just use linux. It'll cost less, there are more people using it, and you're much less likely to run across a stuck-up engineer that can't let go of "his baby" when looking for help.

    • by Trepidity (597)

      It started in the late 1990s as part of a project to make an Amiga-compatible and possibly Amiga-flavored operating system available on newer hardware, with some companies expressing an interest in putting out some kind of dedicated MorphOS-based box. Some overlap in ideas with the BeBox, which also hoped to target an audience that wanted something other than a PC or Mac, around the same time.

      This retargeting towards people who want to repurpose their old PPC hardware seems like a bit of a last gasp.

    • by King_TJ (85913)

      Your post was modded "Funny" but I think you're probably exactly right!

      If you're like any of the typical long-time Mac users I know who keep vintage hardware around? You're still happily running old versions of MacOS on it! I don't see why you'd really go looking for another commercial OS alternative for such a system, unless it promised to give you something new you couldn't do otherwise.

      In this case, you'd actually lose major functionality like wireless card support by switching to it. The *only* really

  • I would say.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gallondr00nk (868673) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @04:36PM (#40277391)

    free without caveat

    only being able to use the free version for 30 minutes at a time is a pretty fucking large caveat.

  • by anlprb (130123) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @04:38PM (#40277405)

    It is Amiga compatible for those who don't know.

  • Facepalm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jones_supa (887896) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @04:49PM (#40277463)

    Again one of those websites which are sprinkled with links having only the text "here" or "this page". Go there, see here, this, that, everywhere. You don't as quickly see where the links are pointing, and it kind of feels like pushing the reader around. Just for a comparison...

    For installation instructions, please go here [morphos-team.net]. The free trial version is available for download on this page [morphos-team.net].

    To get started, please view the installation instructions [morphos-team.net]. The free trial version is available for download [morphos-team.net].

    So much nicer to read.

    • Re:Facepalm (Score:5, Funny)

      by pegasustonans (589396) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @05:12PM (#40277655)

      Again one of those websites which are sprinkled with links having only the text "here" or "this page". Go there, see here, this, that, everywhere. You don't as quickly see where the links are pointing, and it kind of feels like pushing the reader around. Just for a comparison...

      Website wording aside...

      Why not just go here [ubuntu.com]?

      • I know Ubuntu has ABI compatibility with X11/Linux applications (because it is an X11/Linux distribution) and Windows applications (sudo apt-get install wine). Perhaps the advantage of MorphOS is ABI compatibility with Amiga applications, running them faster than UAE.
        • by H0p313ss (811249)

          I know Ubuntu has ABI compatibility with X11/Linux applications (because it is an X11/Linux distribution) and Windows applications (sudo apt-get install wine). Perhaps the advantage of MorphOS is ABI compatibility with Amiga applications, running them faster than UAE.

          I suspect that you'll find a wider customer base for an emulator for Babbage's Difference Engine than for Amiga on Linux, nobody is doing it because nobody gives a flying.

          Amiga is dead, they should have called it Zombie OS and code named the release Apocalypse, then at least they'd get some attention.

    • by Wattos (2268108)

      Again one of those websites which are sprinkled with links having only the text "here" or "this page". Go there, see here, this, that, everywhere. You don't as quickly see where the links are pointing, and it kind of feels like pushing the reader around. Just for a comparison...

      For installation instructions, please go here [morphos-team.net]. The free trial version is available for download on this page [morphos-team.net].

      To get started, please view the installation instructions [morphos-team.net]. The free trial version is available for download [morphos-team.net].

      So much nicer to read.

      Totally agree. Also makes the site more accessible as visually impaired users may iterate over hyperlinks only.

  • MorphOS is a nice-looking, low-resource, and nimble OS that can't match the capabilities of current Windows, Mac, and Linux.

    So, it's like OS 9.6?

  • I would love to kow how much open source code there is in this thing. It could easily be FreeBSD, but the I suppose wifi wold work.

  • Thank God I no longer have anything that runs PPC, but being a curious geek I took a look at their website. After some minutes of poking around I wasn't able to find any place that had a price to buy it. I'm certainly not going to buy it as I don't have anything that can use it, but the fact that I couldn't find any place on the website that told how much it cost convinced me that these guys really don't need any money.
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      111.11euros. their site and pricing structure sucks(price depends what you run it on)

  • by Osgeld (1900440)

    I have a old 603e machine, so I am not going to purchase another OS for it, already bought 9.22 and 10.2 and had to use patches and installers to get those working but this thing is not giving me any compelling reason to even think about it.

    I click features and get a buglist of crap thats been fixed, those are not features... Whats the system requirements? I know almost all non mainstream OS's, linux included think its passe to list a fucking system requirement like ram of CPU but its usually not buried dee

  • by cgenman (325138) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @08:15PM (#40278623) Homepage

    This is the most unnecessarily pessimistic summary that I've ever seen. It should be: "Oh look, this experimental Amiga based OS has just updated! Isn't that kitchy and fun?"

    Why focus on the lack of wireless networking, running on Power PC (Which still deserves respect as an amazing processor you witless bastard kids), or having a cost of about 1/20th of a computer? It's a custom kernel underdog operating system written for unique and impressive platform. If that doesn't get your juices rolling, turn in your geek card.

    • by H0p313ss (811249) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @11:18PM (#40279421)

      This is the most unnecessarily pessimistic summary that I've ever seen. It should be: "Oh look, this experimental Amiga based OS has just updated! Isn't that kitchy and fun?"

      Why focus on the lack of wireless networking, running on Power PC (Which still deserves respect as an amazing processor you witless bastard kids), or having a cost of about 1/20th of a computer? It's a custom kernel underdog operating system written for unique and impressive platform. If that doesn't get your juices rolling, turn in your geek card.

      20 years ago it was cool. And it was cool for a couple of years, very very cool.

      But your average cell phone today is more powerful in every way, hell the iPhone is running a micro-kernel and Android phones are Linux.

      Amiga died, mourn it if you like, but please stop trying to drag the rest of geekdom into your sad little world.

  • I assume the OS depends on obtuse ppc assembly or needs to run old ppc binaries. Otherwise, why not recompile for amd64 or arm?

    In which case, plans to target current ppc hardware? E.g. Wii and xbox360 are ppc based if you can boot your own OS on them.

  • by ninjakoala (890584) on Monday June 11, 2012 @07:55AM (#40281769)

    As always anything Amiga-related brings out the preachers saying what others should or should not do - particularly whether things should be allowed to live or not. As most Amiga history is, the story of MorphOS is convoluted. But let's instead look at what it does and what it can offer to those interested.

    First of all it's Amiga-compatible. Out of the currently available "next-gen" AmigaOSes, it's probably the most backwards compatible. Now this obviously only matters if you already own Amiga software or like what's on Aminet - which means you're likely an Amiga user already and get what it's all about anyway.

    Everyone else might find it interesting because it's lightning fast even on these older machines. I am actually typing this from a 1.25 GHz G4 Mac Mini with 512MB of RAM, and it's every bit as responsive as my i7 Mac Mini server with 16 GB of RAM. In fact it boots and launches the apps I need much faster (if both are turned off - the server usually isn't).

    Why you might like it:
    What it is great for is general surfing, mail, light productivity and such. To an extent a lot of the same stuff your typical Linux distro is good at. Except faster - even faster than something like Puppy Linux or DSL. It is quite easy to learn your way around like the other Amiga-based systems - far easier than the mainstream operating systems IMHO.

    It has a lot of nice apps built-in like CD/DVD authoring, text editor with syntax highlighting, basic music player, picture gallery software, CD-ripping software,FTP/SFTP client, PDF viewer and a Webkit-based browser. It also has some a very lovely SSH client, some very good IRC clients, some nice VNC and RDP clients, lots of emulators, a lot of games and game ports, graphics software like Blender and much more. A lot of the same goes for other Amiga-like flavours and both MorphOS and AmigaOS 4 can run a lot of older Amiga apps out of the box as well. There is also software actively developed by third parties like Hollywood from Airsoft Softwair which I cannot say enough nice things about. Publishing software like Pagestream is also still maintained.

    In other words you have a functional and fast computer out of the box and you can explore a lot of software afterwards. OS geeks should have as much fun with this as with Haiku, various BSD and *nix flavours and so on.

    Why you might not like it:
    Your kids want the latest and greatest Flash games. You want to watch 1080p video (not really an OS limitation but rather hardware). You want to run a server or have a multiuser environment. You absolutely cannot tolerate a crash (while I have yet to see a system crash, there is no memory protection. It IS very stable, though). You're just not curious about other operating systems and like what you have.

    Additional:
    It should also be noted that WiFi support is on the way, and like previous updates it's likely to be free. Yes, the entry price is somewhat steep, but historically a one-time purchase (license is tied to the machine) gets you all subsequent updates for free. I bought it at 2.5 if I remember correctly and have not paid anything since. That's pretty decent value to me.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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