View Single Post
Old 17 December 2002, 22:02   #4
Zone Friend
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Germany
Posts: 624

The Pegasos is a PPC motherboard developed by Bplan (ex-Phase5). It's similar to the AmigaOne (it uses the same Northbridge chip), but it's smaller (mATX (or was that MiniATX?) form factor) and has Firewire on board.

Just like the AmigaOne, the Pegasos can run any OS that gets ported to it (currently some Linux and BSD flavours). Like the A1, it could theoretically even run MacOSX (if somebody ports Darwin), but that would be illegal in some countries, therefore this "feature" won't be advertised.

The main target audience for the Pegasos is said to be the LinuxPPC market, but it generates a lot of interest in the Amiga community because of MorphOS - a PPC native Operating System developed for the Pegasos and classic PPC Amigas.


MOS is developed by an independent team (Ralph Schmidt (Bplan), Frank Mariak (CyberGFX), some guys from the Voyager team etc.). The idea behind MOS dates back to 1996/97, when Phase5 and Escom-Amiga were partnering to move AmigaOS to the PPC CPU. MOS was officially announced in 1999 (IIRC). MOS was originally advertised as "Amiga compatible", due to legal reasons it's now described as "an OS that can run Amiga applications".

MOS is a completely new PPC native Operating System, that (at first glance) has nothing in common with good old AmigaOS. It's based on a custom micro kernel called "Quark". However, developing a complete OS takes a lot of time and ressources - and when you're finished, you just have "another niche OS" (just like Linux, BEOS, Atheos, QNX...) with no applications available and no commercial support. Additionally, the MOS-Team wanted to provide an upgrade path for existing AmigaOS users. That's why MOS includes the "A-Box".

A-Box and Q-Box

MOS consists of two seperate parts: The "new" part of MOS (the new operating system which is developed from scratch) is called the "Q-Box" ("Quark-Box"). This is the part that all future development will focus on, it will become a completely new OS. But right now, the only part of the Q-Box that already exists is the kernel (Quark). At the moment, the Q-Box just initialises the hardware and then starts the "A-Box" (see below). The Q-Box does not have its own DOS, GUI libraries or desktop yet. Apart from some MOS developers, nobody knows what the Q-Box will look like.

The "A-Box" ("Amiga-Box") is the part of MOS that makes it interesting for Amiga users. The A-Box runs on top of the Q-Box (just think of Amithlon or WinUAE and you get the basic concept). But it's not just an emulator - it's much more than that. It's a PPC native reimplementation of AmigaOS3.x, with a few improvements (e.g. a skinnable GUI) added. It has a JIT-68k emulator, so it can run AmigaOS3.x software. It is able to run existing PPC Amiga software and you can recompile existing 68k Amiga programs into PPC native A-Box programs.


Bplan is working on the Pegasos motherboard for more than two years now. 12 months ago, they had severe financial problems. Since then, they are funded by "Thendic-France". CEO of Thendic is Bill Buck, which most of you will remember as the former CEO of Viscorp (who pretended to be the Amiga's rescue for about six months during 1996). Thendic-France, Bplan and the MorphOS-Team will merge this months into a new company called "Genesi" (that's not a typo, "Genesi" is the greek version of "Genesis" - "Pegasos" and "MorphOS" are greek words too).

AmigaOS4 on the Pegasos

AmigaOS4 won't run on the Pegasos. It needs to be ported (as the Pegasos uses a different southbridge), but to have AmigaOS ported to its hardware, a manufacturer must apply for an "AmigaOS license". Don't confuse this with licensing the "AmigaOne" trademark (which is expensive): An AmigaOS license is (nearly) free, but you're required to meet some political and technical requirements.

Genesi claim that this license is far to restrictive, unfair and expensive and that they won't apply for it. Amiga Inc./Hyperion claim that the license is fair and that Genesi isn't really interested (as they have their own OS solution) and that the MorphOS camp is just spreading FUD. From what I know, the latter is true - but of course I'm biased like hell.
Korodny is offline  
Page generated in 0.05742 seconds with 9 queries