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Old 18 October 2021, 22:52   #361
Photon
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1. Digital joysticks were clearly the future for another decade. The Amiga supported many buttons, joystick manufacturers made terrible joysticks because they had to cost what a teenager could afford. Maybe 1 in 10000 users played a flight sim in CGA in 1985 with some funky analog stick. Amiga joystick support was and is fine. It also supported analog input such as paddles, light gun, and mouse before even 10% of computer users knew there was such a thing as a mouse...

2. Amiga has a serial port, and with a $20 contact adapter you could sequence music just fine. This has nothing to do with "sound", at which the Amiga objectively excelled.

3. HAM mode was a workstation feature, unmatched at the time. You couldn't buy a graphics card for any personal computer for any amount of money in 1985 that displayed a "photo" (non-indexed picture). Even Hollywood couldn't render static images to any computer screen at the time, this was done with photographic techniques.

4. Amiga disks use MFM, which is a standard format. It allowed more storage than other formats, and is not more error-prone. 3.5" disks were cutting edge technology in 1985, and it took manufacturers years to produce reliable disks for any format.

5. Harddisks also used the MFM format. Personal computers that had no workstation features, GUI, mouse support (or all of the above) simply didn't offer harddisks for years and years. There were CP/M servers that had harddisks of about 10MB in 1985, but there were no requests from users because of the cost involved at the time. Soon though, you could buy a better Mac than Mac, by buying an Amiga with a harddisk.

I think discussions like these are not fruitful because there really wasn't a competitor to the A1000 in 1985. The same goes for the A3000 in 1990, A1200 in 1992, and CD32 in 1993. Illegal corporation monopolies, just as today, decided for the users. It had nothing to do with "features". Only a few were knowledgeable enough to see how clearly the Amiga was ahead at the time. This is true for most users today.
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Old 18 October 2021, 23:11   #362
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It seems like the your problem with the constant need to swap disk could have easily been soleved using the Resident command. It's described in the manual on page 52 (English version) and mentioned even earlier on page 17. It loads the command into memory and adds it to the resident list. It means it stays in there and doesn't need to be loaded from disk when called from the shell. Adding commands you needed the most to that list in the shell-startup or startup-sequence (again it's in the manual) would have saved you a lot of trouble.

The people behind AmigaOS knew that using it on a single drive system could be cubersome and incuded ways to mitigate that.

Of course the Workbench disks could have provided a better experience. Like an extra floppy that would setup a cut down version of Workbench in RAD: would have been great. The manual goes into some detail how to do it yourself but a ready to go disk would have made a huge difference. That was a killer feature of the OS. Booting straight from memory! I rember doing it for the first time and was like 'wow, this is amazing'.
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Old 19 October 2021, 02:14   #363
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I did know about the resident command, and I used it to create my own 'DOS boot disk' with only the very most needed commands.

But still there was this annoying problem that I had to wait at least half a minute for this disk to be loaded every time I turned on the computer, or after I had played a game!

In fact, I had 2 options:
- Either create a disk which pre-loads all needed commands into RAM via resident command.
- Or create a very quick loading minimal DOS or WB disk, which did not include any commands, but then forced me to play diskjockey for every command

Both options sucked if you were used to a C64 with Dolphindos already some years before you got an Amiga 500

I think the problem of the concept was not alone that they forgot that an Amiga 500 was a one disk drive based computer system, but also the fact that it didn't start most games from WB or Amigados, and you couldn't return back to WB or Amigados afterwards, but you needed to reset the computer and boot the Workbench or Amigados from disk again.

That was not the case with PC games at the same time, afaik?
They started from DOS, and returned to DOS afterwards, with no need to boot into DOS again.

A RAD drive certainly was a great idea and I also could have lived with it perfectly if it would have had it's 'protected memory', which could not be overwritten by applications or games.
That would have been a GREAT thing, and I even wouldn't have minded to wait for the system to boot for a minute or longer, because then this would have been needed only ONE SINGLE TIME after I turn on the Amiga, but not after every reset, not after every game I played or after every 'guru' I experienced on the Amiga.

I think this is how the kickstart worked on the Amiga 1000, if I am correct? It loaded into some protected memory?
But why on earth did they not do this for the Workbench and/or Amigados? Why did they split up the OS into kickstart and workbench at all?
Why not put it all into ONE system boot disk, which loaded into the memory location where the kickstart disk loaded on the Amiga 1000?!
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Old 19 October 2021, 05:24   #364
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But still there was this annoying problem that I had to wait at least half a minute for this disk to be loaded every time I turned on the computer, or after I had played a game!
Again, that can be solved.


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Originally Posted by Overdoc View Post

I think the problem of the concept was not alone that they forgot that an Amiga 500 was a one disk drive based computer system, but also the fact that it didn't start most games from WB or Amigados, and you couldn't return back to WB or Amigados afterwards, but you needed to reset the computer and boot the Workbench or Amigados from disk again.
That is hardly a problem of AmigaOs, but of game authors being lazy. Just look in this forum. "Poke the hardware".


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A RAD drive certainly was a great idea and I also could have lived with it perfectly if it would have had it's 'protected memory', which could not be overwritten by applications or games.
Not possible with a 68000, lacking a MMU.


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I think this is how the kickstart worked on the Amiga 1000, if I am correct? It loaded into some protected memory?
It loaded into this "write once memory", but this was rather a hardware hack that was invented due to Os development being late.


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But why on earth did they not do this for the Workbench and/or Amigados?
Just in case this wasn't clear: The workbench and AmigaDos *are* part of kickstart. Again. Could you please finally acknowledge this simple fact? AmigaDos is realized by the "dos.library", and the workbench is "workbench.library", and yes, both were in ROM under 1.3 up to 3.1. Please finally get this.



The *commands* are not part of the kickstart, and some external features of the workbench such as Format and DiskCopy are not. And the answer is quite simple: The ROM was full. With 2.0, the ROM doubled its size (due to better technology becoming available, ROMs of twice the size became reasonable), and thus some commands became part of the ROM, but again, the ROM has limited size, so not everything can fit there.




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Originally Posted by Overdoc View Post
Why did they split up the OS into kickstart and workbench at all?
The workbench disk is rather a collection of service programs you want to upgrade or enhance easily. Look at a typical CP/M or MS-DOS installation. The "ROM" is even slimmer ("Bios" back then), and the commands including the "shell" (command.com or how is it called) is on disk.


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Why not put it all into ONE system boot disk, which loaded into the memory location where the kickstart disk loaded on the Amiga 1000?!
Because you don't need the commands all the time, and only a small subset of commands, either.
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Old 19 October 2021, 08:09   #365
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You also miss the point, sorry.
I am NOT talking about an Amiga with a harddisk, but a standard Amiga 500 which was sold as a one in all computer.
Since you got no harddisk with it, it was FLOPPY DISK BASED.

If it was intended to be used with a harddisk only, then the one thing the Amiga did not get right from the start was that it was missing a harddisk, because it was not anything like userfriendly otherwise.

So, put it whatever way you want, the problem is still there.
there is no problem. put in the disk. it was WAY more easy than a C64 where you did not get ANY help what to do. syntax error was the only hint you ever got unless you was a programmer..

the operatingsystem was waiting for software. just nothing more with that.

this discussion is imho.,. stupid
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Old 19 October 2021, 12:38   #366
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Again, that can be solved.
No, it cannot.
You NEED to wait for a disk to make the OS available to the user. Please get that, it is not so complicated. A simple kickstart hand is NOT a ready to use OS.

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Originally Posted by Thomas Richter View Post
That is hardly a problem of AmigaOs, but of game authors being lazy. Just look in this forum. "Poke the hardware".
I think it is more a problem of a bad system design, where parts of the Amigados are overwritten by application software.
I remember that after the Workbench was loaded, it took about 150KB of RAM.
So when you load a game which needs all the A-500's memory, then Amigados is not there any longer, and thus the game or application cannot exit back to it.

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Originally Posted by Thomas Richter View Post
Not possible with a 68000, lacking a MMU.
Ok, so you telling me that the kickstart (which conatains 99% of the OS in your opinion) can be loaded into this 'write once memory' on an Amiga 1000, but the missing activation to have it ready at the start of the machine (namely, executing the 'LoadWB command') requires a MMU, and needs to be loaded from a second (Workbench) disk?

Man, what a joke!
is it sooo difficult to just put that 'LoadWB command onto the kickstart boot disk?
And was there sooo few space left in the kickrom on an A-500, to integrate this simple command, if everything else was already 'in the kickstart', as you told me x times?

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Just in case this wasn't clear: The workbench and AmigaDos *are* part of kickstart. Again. Could you please finally acknowledge this simple fact? AmigaDos is realized by the "dos.library", and the workbench is "workbench.library", and yes, both were in ROM under 1.3 up to 3.1. Please finally get this.
Ok, if they are part of the kickstart, and the kickstart is 'the OS of the Amiga', then please tell me why is it not possible to do ANYTHING else with it other than staring at the kckstart hand without first booting a disk?
It is obviously missing something....

I tried so show this to you often enough, but you don't get it....

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The *commands* are not part of the kickstart, and some external features of the workbench such as Format and DiskCopy are not. And the answer is quite simple: The ROM was full. With 2.0, the ROM doubled its size (due to better technology becoming available, ROMs of twice the size became reasonable), and thus some commands became part of the ROM, but again, the ROM has limited size, so not everything can fit there.
I understand that there was not enough space in the ROM. But releasing a computer with a ROM which is missing some essential OS commands shows that it was either bad designed, or not finished at all.

An empty shell which cannot understand any command at all without having to load it from a system disk, is NOT a useable OS.

Compare it to DOS or Windows, and you see the difference.

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The workbench disk is rather a collection of service programs you want to upgrade or enhance easily. Look at a typical CP/M or MS-DOS installation. The "ROM" is even slimmer ("Bios" back then), and the commands including the "shell" (command.com or how is it called) is on disk.
Yes, the PC suffered the same problem by having to load it from disk, but so the XT came shortly after, whch had an intergated harddisk and could load DOS with all needed commands in it's command.com.


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Because you don't need the commands all the time, and only a small subset of commands, either.
Yes, but command.com had all basic commands included, everything you daily need.
But for whatveer reason, such a command.com was not available on the Amiga.


@Chucky:
Why is this discussion 'stupid'?
This is a forum, and discusisons are part of a forum.

I have not yet seen an acceptable solution for this 'what Amiga did wrong right from day one' issue I described.
All mentioned solutions either need a harddrive, or a longer loading disk, or swapping disks for every single action.

So, imho, my point is still valid, and some people also see it the same way as me.
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Old 19 October 2021, 12:54   #367
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I have not yet seen an acceptable solution for this 'what Amiga did wrong right from day one' issue I described.
All mentioned solutions either need a harddrive, or a longer loading disk, or swapping disks for every single action.
One of the first extra programs I installed when I started using my A600 for something else than playing games was CSH (C-Shell) which is a shell that has all common CLI commands built-in so that there is no need to load or resident a program just to do a CD. I guess CSH was written specifically to address this problem and also because the Amiga CLI was too "wordy" for many people used to UNIX shells.
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Old 19 October 2021, 12:57   #368
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@Photon:

The A-1000 was a milestone in 1985, no doubt!
However, I am not so sure about it's OS. Similar OS already existed some years before, like Unix and MS DOS.

But the A-1200 was not such a milestone by any means.
It was clocked at double the speed, but in the end it had similar custom chips and needed to be backward compatible, so it was just a bit better than the Amiga 500.
It had more colours and higher resolution, but the same sound. There was not much difference to good PCs with SVGA of the same timel, and even games did not have much difference between Amiga 500 and 1200 versions.

The CD32 then had absolutely nothing new to offer. The only new thing it could offer was the Akiko chip, but it failed for good 3D games. I don't know any software which uses it?!
PCs came with 3D cards at that time, and SONY finally opened a new aera with it's Playstation 1 in 1995.
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Old 19 October 2021, 13:05   #369
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One of the first extra programs I installed when I started using my A600 for something else than playing games was CSH (C-Shell) which is a shell that has all common CLI commands built-in so that there is no need to load or resident a program just to do a CD. I guess CSH was written specifically to address this problem and also because the Amiga CLI was too "wordy" for many people used to UNIX shells.
This sounds very interesting!
How long did it take to boot to the CLI?

Do you know when it was released?
Don't know why I never came across this disk, but probably the guys who only played games did not care about it, and the ones who did more than playing games had invested into harddisks?

I also have to admit that I got a second drive about 1 year after I got my Amiga 500, and it really helped a lot. Booting into useable OS from disk was still needed, but the annoying diskjockeying was gone at least
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Old 19 October 2021, 13:41   #370
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This sounds very interesting!
How long did it take to boot to the CLI?
CSH is a program that resides in C: This program is a shell that has cd, dir and many more builtin. So I put that on my Workbench disk and whenever I needed a shell, I just started CSH instead of the Amiga CLI. Boot times obviously were no different from a normal Workbench boot process. Since I came from a C=64 with datasette and later a 1541 clone, it seemed very fast to me.


Quote:
Do you know when it was released?
No, I don't. I came very late to Amiga (1993). My Amiga friend had an A500 with external FDD and recommended CSH for the problems you described. His A500 was a chicken lips A500 he got very early which, of course, doesn't mean CSH was available as early as that. The csh on aminet (v5.50) was uploaded in 1996 but there obviously were several earlier versions.
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Old 19 October 2021, 13:55   #371
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Troll detection alarm! Of course Amiga Workbench 1.x was more or less a toy. Very limited and without much use. So, what did people? They created their own disks to load the software of need. That was clever and easy. If you didn't know how to do then you could read the Amiga DOS/Workbench manual and/or look at a foreign tool disk how it was made. There was no need for the Workbench disk.

If you didn't like disks or disk swapping you could buy more floppy drives or a harddisk. Or just learn how to avoid swapping disk.

If you need more RAM because 512kb chipram wasn't enough you could update by 512kb slowram or more if you like.

If you need more control over your Amiga you could learn how it works and how to use it. Or buy hardware like AmigaActionReplay which raises an Amiga 500 to the next level.
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Old 19 October 2021, 14:31   #372
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No, it cannot.
You NEED to wait for a disk to make the OS available to the user. Please get that, it is not so complicated. A simple kickstart hand is NOT a ready to use OS.
Of course it's ready to be used. It's ready to load your application, game, whatever. In fact, this is how it was used all the time.


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I think it is more a problem of a bad system design, where parts of the Amigados are overwritten by application software.
AmigaDos cannot be overwritten by application software. AmigaDos is in ROM. Its structures can be overwritten, by faulty software.



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I remember that after the Workbench was loaded, it took about 150KB of RAM.
Screen, window structures, Os structures. Yes, that all takes RAM.



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So when you load a game which needs all the A-500's memory, then Amigados is not there any longer, and thus the game or application cannot exit back to it.
Only if the game is written in an Os-unfriendly way. If applications followed system specs, allocated memory, if course you could exit to workbench.


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Originally Posted by Overdoc View Post
Ok, so you telling me that the kickstart (which conatains 99% of the OS in your opinion) can be loaded into this 'write once memory' on an Amiga 1000, but the missing activation to have it ready at the start of the machine (namely, executing the 'LoadWB command') requires a MMU, and needs to be loaded from a second (Workbench) disk?
No, I'm telling you that the kickstart had its own reserved space on the A1000, which was a hot-patch for a missing stable Os, and that the remaining Os structures were in regular RAM, and that RAD:, as such a structure, also goes into regular RAM.



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is it sooo difficult to just put that 'LoadWB command onto the kickstart boot disk?
Because the system wasn't designed this way. I told you already. The design idea was to have more than AmigaOs running on the Os core, and the idea was also to have more than one GUI system to run on top of AmigaDos. This is part of its design.



Quote:
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And was there sooo few space left in the kickrom on an A-500, to integrate this simple command, if everything else was already 'in the kickstart', as you told me x times?
For LoadWB? No, but for the rest, yes. Again, this is deliberate.


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Ok, if they are part of the kickstart, and the kickstart is 'the OS of the Amiga', then please tell me why is it not possible to do ANYTHING else with it other than staring at the kckstart hand without first booting a disk?
You can do a lot of other things. If the workbench is opening a window, this workbench comes from ROM, and the functions that open the window comes from ROM, and the function that renders the window comes from ROM, and the function that moves the mouse pointer comes from ROM, and the function that drags icons around comes from ROM, and the function that copies (non-disk) icons comes from ROM, too.

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It is obviously missing something....
Yup, that all of what the workbench is doing it is doing from ROM code.

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I tried so show this to you often enough, but you don't get it....
NO, you don't get it. The "workbench" is not on disk. What's on the workbench disk is not "the workbench", but a lot of tools around it, and the glue logic that loads it.


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I understand that there was not enough space in the ROM. But releasing a computer with a ROM which is missing some essential OS commands shows that it was either bad designed, or not finished at all.
The design wasn't finished indeed, thus the "WOM" of the A1000, but there is nothing essential missing. The "trampoline code" is on disk, and sits there to allow you to replace it. Get it?





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An empty shell which cannot understand any command at all without having to load it from a system disk, is NOT a useable OS.
It does. It serves exactly the same purpose as the "LOAD "xxx",8,1" of the C64. It loads whatever you tell it to load, and it parses such such commands. Insert a disk with the application to load, type its name. "Copy" is such an application, and "list" either.


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Compare it to DOS or Windows, and you see the difference.
No, it's exactly the same. Where do you think is "DIR" comming from, on MS-DOS?




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Yes, but command.com had all basic commands included, everything you daily need.
And it came from... tada.... Disk. So what? If you wanted "list" to be in the shell, well, "make it resident". You can scale how much memory your shell needs. Unlike COMMAND.COM which comes with all the bulk.


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But for whatveer reason, such a command.com was not available on the Amiga.
Not a brilliant shell, and designed around a different core (CP/M rather than Tripos), but there are certainly multiple third party shells for the Amiga.


Quote:
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I have not yet seen an acceptable solution for this 'what Amiga did wrong right from day one' issue I described.
THe point is: There was nothing wrong with it. It was a deliberate design choice, partially of the Amiga design, partially inherited from Tripos.
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Old 19 October 2021, 15:35   #373
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I think discussions like these are not fruitful because there really wasn't a competitor to the A1000 in 1985. The same goes for the A3000 in 1990, A1200 in 1992, and CD32 in 1993. Illegal corporation monopolies, just as today, decided for the users. It had nothing to do with "features". Only a few were knowledgeable enough to see how clearly the Amiga was ahead at the time. This is true for most users today.

What's really pointless in these discussions are wacky conspiracy theories, "the chosen ones vs sheeple" narratives, and bashing other platforms.



The rest is just fine
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Old 19 October 2021, 15:56   #374
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Many things went wrong with Amiga(not little fast ram, wrong choice about ram access, and so forth)but after all, and after all this years, we are still here, enjoying This Unique Machine: whether you like it or not, not even Playstation did what Amiga did!
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Old 19 October 2021, 16:44   #375
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The Atari which could boot to GEM without a disk, unless you pressed ESC IIRC, needed some 40 seconds to reach GEM. And then GEM was ok to change resolution and that's about it.
You could do nothing without a floppy inserted in the drive and I think this is the whole philosophy of the era and it is still valid now: You need to work with modular systems.

TOS and GEM, also in the ROM up until the Falcon, reached the size of 512K really late (when TT was released) and this led to having a basic OS which was there to use but with very few eye candy and every-day-needed features that needed to be loaded from disk. Replacement desktops had to be loaded from disk as well on the Atari.
The real evolution on the Atari OS was when the OS should be loaded from the disk, the hard disk to be precise but also in early era from floppy (again full TOS/GEM was available from ROM). Since TOS/GEM was still there floppy disk changes were not needed but still you had to load something from the disk, initially to have the full experience. Hard disk OSes like MiNT led stronger Ataris to a whole new reality but it was too late.

Amiga had 512K sized ROMs from KS/WB 2.0 which added a whole bunch of features to the OS.
And I think this was the concept the Amiga followed from day 1 and I really like it.
It is nice to be able to have a platform you can use when your "replacement desktop/OS" could not load, of course. But I prefer the way the Amiga embraced to the "load whatever you want" from the beginning and made it mandatory to the user.
And KS/WorkBench offered, compared to TOS/GEM, so many more features. Features you had to pay quite a good amount of money, which could reach or bypass Amiga's TCO and still have hardware that is lacking the custom chips, the Amiga had.
Not adding to the Amiga vs Atari war here, I appreciate the Atari as much as I appreciate the Amiga.

Last edited by AmiBoy; 19 October 2021 at 19:55.
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Old 19 October 2021, 18:11   #376
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I understand that there was not enough space in the ROM. But releasing a computer with a ROM which is missing some essential OS commands shows that it was either bad designed, or not finished at all.
Just because it doesn't replicate the experience you had with the C64 doesn't mean it was badly designed. Given the ROM's limited space it made perfect sense to not include some the commands you'd consider essential. Even if you had more space given the philosophy of the OS it still wouldn't be the top priority.
Why there is no Copy command for example? Because no code in that binary does any of the copying! It's looks at the arguments given and passes them on to the relevant library functions. You can call that function from a shell program, by dragging an icon to a different window, using a filemanger etc. You don't care if it's copying to ram:, a printer, external disk drive, another amiga connected using parnet or dnet. Heck, you can do it all at the same time! The OS libraries stored in ROM do most of the heavy lifting. You want as many of those libraries, handlers, devices and other parts making up the OS be readily available at all times. Not just examples of how to call them.

Look at zshell (a shell replacement):
Quote:
* Usage is similar (or better) to the standard AmigaDOS shell.
* Has 68 built-in commands including all often needed commands,
so no disk access is necessary.
eg. list, dir, cd, assign, delete, copy, move, path, info, type
* About 36K small (pure assembler code)
* Starting from Workbench (!) or CLI. No installation needed.
* ANONYMOUS PIPES. You can choose between real and pseudo pipes.
* Fast FILENAME COMPLETION by simply pressing TAB; shows all matches.
* REVIEW buffer to see again what scrolled out of the window.
* Some commands and debugging features for PROGRAMMERS.
* ONLINE HELP function and AmigaGuide documentation with examples.
* Support of OS2.0+ and OS3.0+ specific stuff.
* LOCALIZED using standard shell's catalog file.
* Can open its own screen
* Wild cards and recursive processing.
* Real RUN and NEWCLI command that reenters ZShell quickly.
* Application-Window/-Icon
* 100% script compatibility
* DIR and LIST both sort (by default) and show file sizes.
All this with just 36kb! Why? Because of the code stored in ROM. That's the idea. That's the design. Small snippets of code called on when necessary working in unison. Here it is, see what you can do with it... just put in a fucking floppy in first.
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Old 20 October 2021, 06:46   #377
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But still there was this annoying problem that I had to wait at least half a minute for this disk to be loaded every time I turned on the computer, or after I had played a game!
A whole 30 seconds - the humanity!

Quote:
Both options sucked if you were used to a C64 with Dolphindos already some years before you got an Amiga 500
I see the problem now. You were used to a system that had a certain way of doing things, and the Amiga was different.

Dolphin DOS was an addon that sped up disk operations by up to 25 times by doing parallel data transfers via the user port. It included two circuit boards which had to be installed in the C64 and 1541, and cost 70 pounds. Such a setup was far from being stock. I would bet the vast majority of C64 owners didn't have one.

A similar solution could have been provided for the Amiga, in the form of a board plugged into the expansion port. There actually was such a product - the Datel Action Replay - whose primary function was to pirate freeze games, but did also have built in DOS commands like Dir and Format, copied disks and had calculator and notepad apps. It cost 60 pounds, 10 pounds cheaper than Dolphin DOS.

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I think the problem of the concept was not alone that they forgot that an Amiga 500 was a one disk drive based computer system, but also the fact that it didn't start most games from WB or Amigados, and you couldn't return back to WB or Amigados afterwards, but you needed to reset the computer and boot the Workbench or Amigados from disk again.
Only if you wanted to use the Workbench, and that was no different to playing another game. Big deal.

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That was not the case with PC games at the same time, afaik?
They started from DOS, and returned to DOS afterwards, with no need to boot into DOS again.
There were PC games that didn't return to DOS too, as they needed all the memory for themselves. But that idea didn't last long on the PC due to compatibility issues. Most games had to use DOS for loading files etc., so they couldn't kick it out. That led to the infamous 'insufficient memory' problems that plagued DOS games.

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A RAD drive certainly was a great idea and I also could have lived with it perfectly if it would have had it's 'protected memory'...

I think this is how the kickstart worked on the Amiga 1000, if I am correct? It loaded into some protected memory?
Correct. The kickstart 'ROM' was loaded from disk into a special 'WCS' (Writeable Control Store) 256k RAM board that was then write-protected until the machine was turned off. It was large and expensive, but still a cheaper option than having to upgrade ROMs at a time when kickstart was full of bugs.

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But why on earth did they not do this for the Workbench and/or Amigados? Why did they split up the OS into kickstart and workbench at all?
Why not put it all into ONE system boot disk, which loaded into the memory location where the kickstart disk loaded on the Amiga 1000?!
256k of kickstart + ~800k of Workbench = >1MB. The cost would have been prohibitive, and it wouldn't have fitted on a floppy. A cut down workbench might have fitted, but would still need a lot of RAM that couldn't be used for anything else. Any solution that satisfied you would have raised the price so much that many other buyers would not be satisfied by having to pay for stuff they didn't need.

You complain about the stock A500 only having one floppy drive and all the frustration it caused you, but didn't think buying an extra drive was a viable option. Yet you ignore the fact that your C64 needed even more extra hardware (external drive + Dolphin DOS) to satisfy you. Again this suggests the real problem was simply that you were used to your Dolphin DOS setup and didn't like the change.

As someone who had several ROM-based home computers before the Amiga I commiserate. It's difficult to embrace new technology when your existing machine is working well for you (I continued using my Amstrad CPC664 for several months after I got the A1000, partly because it took me a while to get familiar with it).

However I have recently revisited some of those older machines and can say that they haven't aged well. A C64 with Dolphin DOS might boot fast and have reasonable load times, but any Amiga (even a stock A500) puts the C64 to shame. I will gladly wait 30 seconds to get a proper GUI and multitasking OS, even if I do need to swap disks occasionally.
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Old 21 October 2021, 16:37   #378
Overdoc
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I think the whole discussion is going in circles....
Nearly everyone is forgetting about USEABILITY!

I can very good understand all the technical arguments for the system, like having it modular, being able to customize everything to your needs, having the functions available in ROM and just needing to 'activate' them from DOS or Workbench, whatever you liked, etc.
I am also sure it was a very innovative, and also other systems of the time used it, and ok, it seems also the Atari's TOS was not really 'ready to go' after it bootet.

And thanks to this discussion I also learned a bit more about how the Amiga system works internally.
Thanks a LOT also for the hint to Z-Shell!! I will certainly try this.
Also since I have harddisks in all my Amigas nowadays, and since also WHDLoad games can return back to the OS, the problem is no longer a problem.

BUT, from an A-500 day user's USEABILITY point of view, the system like it was sold, and like I received it on 'day one' with just one diskdrive, and an overloaded Workbench disk, it was a step backward if you were used to a C64.

Also without Dolphindos, I can type LOAD"$",8:LIST to list a disk's content in 3 seconds at any time..a time which on the Amiga 500 it takes alone to do that mandatory annoying disk-swap from the a minimal boot disk to my work disk.

Booting might only take a few seconds with the correct boot disk, and a disk swap is not THAT complicated, but still, it is ANNOYING if you have to do this after every game you played, and after every application which was not able to return to Workbench.

It is not much of a problem to remember such C64 like commands after the second time you typed them. Once you know the commands by heart, it is a lot faster and more comfortable than the need for a disk-swap and waiting for a boot disk.

It might have been completely different if they had included a Z-Shell disk, or a minimal Workbench disk into ROM. And yes, I probably should have read the manual more carefully to create a minimal disk, but why wasn't such a disk included in the Amiga 500 package?
If this could have solved this annoying issue, then one thing the Amiga did not do right from the start was to include a boot disk with acceptable useability, and not leave this to the user.
At least the could have included a 'minimal startup-sequence' on the Workbench disk for floppy users (which at least 90% of all Amiga 500 users were), next to the overloaded one for the experienced harddisk users.

Ofcourse I can understand the cost factor, but adding an additional 16KB or 32KB ROM which would just include something like a 'Z-Shell' or 'Mini-Workbench' would not have cost thaaat much, but would have made it simply more useable.
They could have saved on other parts, like the completely useless monochrom video-out, for instance! (a monochrome output for a computer with 4096 colours - who had this ridiculous stupid idea?!)

In the end, yes, I admit it seems like the boot design of the Amiga was a good and flexible one, and maybe far ahead of it's time, technically well thought, etc., but only if you had a harddisk or a second diskdrive at least. (which I also bought later, ofcourse).

But in the end, most Amiga users only had floppy disks, every game and also most applications loaded from disk. Only very few had a HD installer, in contrary to the PC, where everything needed to be installed first.
I definitely loved the Amiga as a disk system because I had no harddisk, and I also would have hated t obe able to play only a hand full of 'currently installed' game, instead of being able to boot any one out of 200 or more games from disk.

My guess is that developers saw it completely as a harddisk based system, which they themselves probably had all the time?

Of course the C64 is technically by far not at level with the Amiga - no doubt on this, it is a complete different generation of computers. And sure, it has aged. But also an Amiga 500 with Workbench 1.3 has aged a lot, there is not so much differnece, imho?

But in terms of being 'simple and ready to use', the C64 is superior, even superior to a modern PC. You turn it on and it is ready, you don't need to wait for a boot disk or OS to load, you don't need to install anything, no drivers, etc.
All software which fits into memory at once can be loaded as 1 file in a few seconds.

Maybe compare it to modern cars vs old cars?
Of course new cars are technically way ahead, but half of that fancy shit is just a pain in the ass.
Example: Why waiting for a motor to slowly move the driver's seat back and forth, when I can move it MUCH faster manually on an old car?!
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Old 21 October 2021, 17:18   #379
AmiBoy
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The LOAD"$",8:LIST in C64 and DIR in the 6128 were faster but were coming from another era.
The disk swapping in Amiga mainly but also on the Atari series was some sort of labor. If there were hard disks available back then it wouldn't have been much of a problem but you know that and what you are pointing out is that this disk swapping annoyed you.

Disk swapping was a thing back then. I don't think they could have circumvent it, let alone solve it.

And no, adding an extra stripped disk wouldn't be the solution.
The solution would have been to learn to create the stripped disk on your own, customize it as much as you can to achieve what you want, if this is even possible.

Maybe integrating a good commercial shell in the disks would have been a solution but we're talking about a platform that peaked slowly and declined quite fast. I don't think the extra cost for the license would have been justified. But the replacement shell/cli was out there. And anyone could get it.
Amiga as well as the Atari wanted people to be less dependent on the company for software publication. They were looking for 3rd part software development because this is what keeps a platform alive. If you see it from that PoV, this is another win for both platforms, especially for the Amiga since we're talking about it.

Last edited by AmiBoy; 21 October 2021 at 19:38.
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Old 21 October 2021, 17:32   #380
grond
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Well, DOS-users certainly were used to having to make boot disks specifically for certain games where they e.g. had to remove some driver to free up memory for the game. This was still a thing when Commodore was going belly-up. I think within the context of the time the Amiga's disk swapping was acceptable and certainly more advanced than MSDOS. The 3.5" disks were lightning fast and reliable in comparison to the 1541. A (resident) C-shell or Z-shell in place of the separate shell commands would have made a lot of sense, though.
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