Environment

& Links

used here...



The PPC expansion

Once there was a PPC accel...

Amiga One logo

...then Amiga One for some...

 The NatAmi Project

...then the NatAmi Project - apparently

gone underground - I hope!



 Amiga OS 4.0

And while OS4.0 walks along its own, different path...



 GAUHPIL

...the Amiga has a large worldwide group of followers...




ASB Computer

...and business almost as usual...




 AROS Research Operating System

...the show will go on for our trusty Amigas.






P o w e r e d - b y

P o w e r e d - b y

P o w e r e d - b y


Creators of the new Amiga

Concepts of a new Amiga




The history of the Amiga

is woven throughout with relaxed optimism, smiles and a friendly atmosphere, unlike that found at some other companies. These videos on YouTube will show at least the high-lights, if not all of it, in 7 consecutive parts.

History of the Commodore Amiga Part 1
Brief history and technical info


Old control centre

Click to enlarge


 The control centre



The environment


of


strandedufo

Home, watercolour - scanned...

Fun times, fun places, fun beginnings - from memory, twenty years on.




Chips with Attitude






The platform of choice here is the 'Amiga', perhaps inevitable as I seem to be set in my ways, having started programming on pre-chip 'dinosaurs' like Univac, IBM, CDC, ICL, GE, Honeywell, etc...

It's not that I would ever refuse to try whatever is available, far from it, playing with OSs is what I do for fun. Easy when using emulators on the platform that's most capable of performing exactly as one expects it to. That's the Amiga. Its OS won't get in our way, it won't restrict our freedom (especially by senseless patents that try to stop developers like myself from freely experimenting, and only serve to protect excessively greedy monopolies), nor will it annoy anyone by being excessively 'user-friendly,' while boasting streams of hype like the proverbial spiky-haired office dude, aka know-it-all.

Amiga is a friend - no matter what gender as sex is not involved, and I do use a very nice audio player written by a female programmer, so there. For me it is simply about making an individual and practical choice, backed by decades of experience hacking around with software on more systems than most people have heard of. If an OS or its authors don't respect me, the user, then I will not respect it or them either.

Genesis requester on Amiga

Amiga is polite and friendly. If I stay online, the settings are saved to the drive and will be automatically loaded the next time the program is run. We can all appreciate simplicity, efficiency, consistency and elegance, and some can also appreciate fun! It was fun to run MacOS v8+ on the Shapeshifter emulator, and later v9.04+ on iFusion via a PPC accelerator. It was different - awkward and cute, puzzling at times, subtly patronising at others, but allowed me to test my website in Netscape, Opera or IE, thus remaining compatible with the masses. It also made me appreciate the Amiga that made all this possible, without having to go out and spend an arm and a leg just to be able to occasionally use systems that dumb you down. There was an excellent and free astrology chart program available for the Mac too, it could easily beat commercial offerings on any other platform. With Open Source or Free Software (as an old coder I want the freedom to change or improve whatever I can), not restricted with patents and mass markets only, the Amiga can at last keep up with whatever the "marketeers" try to fence off for their sole use.

Workbench has the ability to change language on the fly, and all programs will follow suit. Try that with the Windows user interface! AmigaOS can be upgraded while it is running a time-critical shuttle uplink (this from NASA - I wish I'd archived that magazine article back then!), no file is ever locked in place and the system only ever needs to be re-installed if something really drastic happens. Such as a fatal hard drive crash that destroys partitions - smaller disasters, such as corrupted files, can be easily repaired. All that without a re-boot, if you know your way around the shell, whereas Windows seems to live on reboots for even the most minor change. The Amiga is getting swifter with every new release, while the opposite seems to be the case with the Redmond product. So for example Vista or W7 would not run on my old P3 hardware, and if I installed them on my present box, they'd gobble up all the additional resources and leave me with half its capability, not to mention shackled with DRM too.


The speed of cyberstorms

Sadly, in 2007, after 15 years of solid use, the PSU in my A4000 died, followed a year or so later by the Blizzard in my A1200, which left me with the basic 2MB of RAM. My OS v3.5 setup can't run in that. Consequently I had to downgrade' to the P3 Celeron, with all its problems due to BIOS limitation of hard drive size, a puny PSU, and dumb WinXP which brutally and sneakily enforces its depression on all - Marvin, the 'lift boy', was at least funny. On Amiga and AROS I can simply patch the filesystem to fix any drive size limits, while the 2001 BIOS of the Acer will never be upgraded. As a result, I was being forced into getting a new box, so I decided to build a system myself. Just a cheap MSI K9-Neo Skt AM2 with an Athlon 64 X2 CPU and a Sapphire Radeon card at first. Not quite cutting edge, but it could easily handle all my large drives with power to spare. The mobo and chipset are open source compatible, right down to the BIOS with Coreboot. Consequently I will not be forced into having to use proprietary software that comes at a high price, nor into having to replace the entire machine, unless I want to.

The line between extortion and business is getting more and more blurred as we approach the perfect throw-away system, the wet dream of greedy suits and marketroids. Sadly it is all a reckless waste of the planet's resources, that can only result in future generations ending up in poverty, with nothing left working due to planned obsolescence - see the Zeitgeist Movement where you can also download and watch their videos.

IE is Evil!!!

While Windows is some corporate types' idea of what should be popular, allowing them to spy on you, GNU/Linux - and of course AROS - were built by volunteers who believe in individual freedom. That means that these free OS-es are the people's idea of what is useful, adaptable, user-friendly and safe. This becomes quite obvious once you begin to look past the glitter and hype of the industry, you will see some efficient operation and elegant design, where Amiga and AROS share the same philosophy and face the same hurdles as IBM's OS/2 once did.

So, before I get carried away, better stop here - and refuse to use windoze, the pretend OS, altogether, no matter how hard it is being sold. It is made for lusers not for users. So rather than follow the herd, or 'goy', I switched to GNU/Linux as my main OS for the time being, allowing me to keep at least some sanity in my life. Of course this 64-bit AMD is fast enough to run AROS at a respectable speed even within QEmu, and AROS can run my Amiga programs pretty well. And so can fs-uae, which means I do have choices...


 AROS

It will run on the iMica Atom, or boards running FOSS drivers:

iMica system Introduction

... Systems that support free software

From my first A 1000 in '89 via an A2000 I progressed to the Amiga 4000, which then became my my main machine until ~2008, the A1200 was for MIDI and games, or served as a backup system. The clones are simply a 'badge' to show fools that I exist, and fill in for the odd task where the Classic Amiga has fallen behind, mainly web browsing, and the older clone, inherited in '03 from my late mother, was an adequate server for a while. However, I am convinced that if the Amiga had only 10% of the funding and development that's poured into Windows, it could easily jump light-years ahead of the entire pack - again...


Amiga at NASA........... Amiga at NASA

A4000 (desktop) in PowerTower, OS3.9 + BB2. CSPPC '060 + 128MB (needs fixing, so now just '030 + 16MB + Oktagon), 9GB SCSI + 32x TEAC CDRW, 120GB IDE. CV64/3D + Suyama 17" LCD flat-screen monitor, Hydra Ethernet, VLab Motion, Delfina Lite DSP @60MHz. Runs emulators for MacOS v8.6 on 68k and v9.04 on PPC.

Having been down for a long time, it seems I'm winning but still working on it...

A1200, Blizzard'030/50 + 32MB, SCSI IV + SCSI Agfa SnapScan, 4GB IDE with OS3.5 + BB2, VidiAmigaRT, TriplePlayPlus MIDI i/f, C= 1940 monitor. On-line via 56k ext modem and a PCMCIA network card.

Sadly the Blizz died as well, so now it's back to '020 + 2MB and no SCSI, only an internal IDE socket. Since there is also insufficient memory to run OS3.5, I had to re-install the older OS3.1 on a 4gig drive.



 Acer midiTower

That was the fun part, now it gets "serious"!

(meaning - less fun...)

From about 2003 to 2012 I've been using an Acer Power S57 1GHz intel Celeron maxed to a gig of RAM, 80GB PATA, 160GB SATA and a DVD-ROM/CD-RW. Display went to a Samtron 55E CRT monitor and it ran WinXP/SP3, hMailServer and Apache, plus, of course, the TOR browser and bit-torrent, connected to the net via 100Mbps ADSL. This machine's sole purpose was to run quietly in the background.

However, after years of service, some malware managed to sneak in and it started to send out spam. Serves me right for allowing Android users to connect to my wi-fi! But the machine was too old and too slow anyway, so it was time for it to be replaced with a new Acer socket AM2 ATX mobo inside the case of my previous machine, whose GigaBit mobo had just died. Still powered by the Phenom x4 @2.6GHz I've been using up to then, in just 4GB of RAM, though instead of WinXP, now it runs Debian GNU/Linux as a server OS on a 17" Acer flat-screen monitor. Definitely a huge leap of an upgrade - safety-wise - but also giving visitors to my site a 10x increase in d/l speeds!

The hardware was swapped on 26-08-14, Apache went up on 07-09-14 and Postfix / Dovecot on 13-10-14 - phew! ;-) Quite a slog, but it should be a lot safer now...

ASUS Black tower

It also means that I have achieved a Windows free zone!

ASRock AM3+ microATX board

The main work and "fun" machine is an ASRock 880GM-LE FX (Socket AM3+ AMD 880G DDR3 Micro ATX) motherboard inside an ACE Ecco microATX toolless and sound-proofed case powered from an 850W XFX semi-modular PSU.

ACE Ecco microATX tower

The CPU is an AMD Phenom(tm) II x4 @ 3.2GHz, kept cool by an Arctic Freezer A11 slow fan. Running in 8GB of memory, graphic output is provided by the on-board AMD chipset linked to an ATI Radeon HD 6570 (2GB) PCIe card, connected via DVI to an Acer 1920x1080 LCD 55cm wide flat-screen monitor. The box is populated with an LG HL-DT-ST BD-RE Blu-Ray drive, one 1TB, one 2TB and two 3TB WDC SATA drives and print goes to a Canon PIXMA iP3600 via USB. Additionally to the 120mm PSU fan, the box is cooled by 120mm regulated case fans at front and rear.

The present OS is the 64-bit version of Mint/Cinnamon, but Artistix is also installed, which is a fast debian/Ubuntu distro with lots of media related software provided as standard. Both are quite simple to use, the Cinnamon UI is quick and easy, just like the Gnome on ArtistX. Both multi-boot with AVlinux / XFCE and IcAROS, two real-time OS-es for lag-free media creation. Mint is best for office-type jobs and browsing, but all of them will run eUAE with a copy of OS3.9 from the old A4000. That machine is still here, so the soft-copy of its ROM is still fully legal. ;-)





Either machine can run Tor, so access to TPB becomes easier, which is convenient for torrents of old media, unavailable on either Amazon or eBay. I strongly disagree with NetFlix, so joining that is not an option. Their idea of forcing DRM into HTML 5 is abhorrent to an old programmer who is used to sharing, which started with our earliest source codes on punched cards. Copying is, after all, one of the main reasons for having computers in the first place! Copying obviously includes modelling, simulation and emulation, capabilities built in from the word go, it was part of the system by design, not just some optional extra to clip on, such as DRM happens to be now. Copying entire file-systems is just as easy as it is to copy a single file - or even a different computer, allowing me to play my old Spectrum games or run some astrology software via a MacIntosh emulator. DRM is not only stealing CPU cycles from every program and every action that touches media files, but often 'steals' those files themselves!

This constant checking for "validity" is not only wasting the capabilities of our "lightning fast" machines, slowing them to a crawl until they become mere toys to consume 'sterilised' media, but it is "buggy" as hell, too, unless that is an intentional feature. They say it's to prevent "piracy" - what a theatrically over-dramatised concept, anyway! - but what it most looks like, is nothing less than greed on steroids! Such ridiculous and obstinate paranoia, mixed with such blatantly obnoxious greed, has got to stop, it is not only an embarassment to how humanity appears to outsiders, but seems designed to push us back into the dark ages! Arrested development!!!

Allow people some slack, for chrissake, instead of the constant "milking" and mind control, and they will be much more creative, productive and contented, which results in a better world for all.





 Access to files




The HTC spy device


The HTC One-M8 Spy-Device

Having had enough of the old Desire 610's non-rooted limitations, I bought a "refurbished" One M8 model relatively cheaply on eBay. Even during the initial setup I was facing my first shock and awe disappointment with HTC's blatant snooping intruding into my privacy - or what's left of it anyway (image to the laft). But it's maybe for a good cause, as it made me more than ever determined to deal with this mis-feature. I already have a Sony Xperia running smoothly on a CyanoGen mod, but that's my "spare", or backup phone, due to its limited hardware attributes.

While there was an attempt at applying the CyanoGen mod to the Desire, it seemed far from a fully working solution, so I wasn't too keen on attempting it, but looking at this new device, I couldn't think of an android mobile better suited for such an upgrade! It's crying out for it! Three years ago it was HTC's flagship after all! So I installed adb on my gnu-linux machine and set off on the adventure.

Being an old software dev, these things may appear easy for me, but to the average Joe it may be all gibberish, so be warned. The eBay seller I'm advertising below, may be a self-centred psychopath who deliberately fails to tell the punter the full story while withholding feedback (due when the buyer has paid) in order to keep a hold on you - "If you give me bad feedback, I can retaliate". I'm not intimidated that easily, so I put "Quick to deliver, but shifty and insists on last-word feedback. Your choice." It's all true, every word of it, so I haven't received any feedback in return which doesn't bother me in the slightest, it's a joke anyway, at least until ebay decide to confirm some rules and deducting stars from offenders.

The seller of the HTC spy device




. Local links


The front door
Download Amiga software
The crew of strandedufo
Amiga music and MIDI
The history of noises


Except for the Amiga tile background, WarpUp, AmigaOne, NatAmi, OS 4.0, GAUHPIL, AmigaKit, ASB Computer, Vesalia (Amiga online shop), AROS SourceForge and Amiga with boing-ball logos, History of Amiga link pictures, Commodore 2000 logo, 604-PPC, Motorola, AROS, iMica ClusterUK and Join FSF links, the NASA launch link image, Acer, black ASUS and Ecco box stock photos, ASRock mobo, the link logos for "IE is evil" and 'Created With Amiga' banner, all software and all graphical, musical and audio artwork shown on this page is the exclusive Copyright ©1972-2018 of strandedufo productions. All rights reserved.
These pages were created on the Amiga.