Lately I’ve been playing with original Amiga hardware (A4000T). While it’s fun and brings back a lot of very fond memories…..every time I boot my Amithlon system I am saddened that this product didn’t get the attention and development it deserved. From my readings, it was intended primarily to get AmigaOS on to the x86 CPU and that in turn would encourage actually porting the code to x86 vs. running in emulation.
Amithlon is still the fastest AmigaOS “emulation” around and had it continued it’s course it could have made AmigaOS a viable OS in my opinion. Amithlon (October 2001) w/AmigaOS 3.9 was released and both Windows XP (August 2001) and MacOS X (March 2001) had only recently launched. Amithlon could have been very competitive against those at this time as an alternative. It’s speed and real multitasking, along with low cost x86 hardware, could have allowed for more advanced features to be developed/added to the OS to remain competitive. Slow processes on 68k/PPC Amiga’s zip along on Amithlon. Continued development and moving forward on x86 hardware, instead of the ridiculously expensive and slow PPC hardware direction AmigaOS 4 headed, and AmigaOS could have been a legitimate player in the OS field.
Imagine more hardware choices for RTG video cards, AHI sound cards, network cards, other hardware devices, etc… being available from the larger pool of inexpensive PCI devices, as well as easily upgrading your “Amiga” as newer and faster CPUs and more advanced chipsets/motherboards were coming to market. No more direct ties to 1980’s hardware, cheap RTG video and sound cards, heck perhaps even the possibility of using NewTek’s VT for PC (the PC version of the Video Toaster and if NewTek would provide AmigaOS software/drivers). Of course it would have depended on Amithlon being further developed and moving more and more towards direct x86 coding. Buy a decent case, drop in an x86 motherboard/cpu with the latest video card and have an extremely fast AmigaOS system. Newer video cards come out….replace your card and gain the advantages it offers. Same with CPU’s, drives, sound cards, etc…
AmigaOS had a stepping stone to remaining relevant in the early 2000’s….at least in my opinion.