Why Amiga? Part 1

When I tell people I’m an Amiga enthusiast, I sometimes get the question: “Why Amiga?” Why waste your time with some ancient, hobby computer/OS when you could have a brand new PC, or Mac, or Tablet? Why Indeed?

Why would someone not upgrade to Windows 8.1 when they are happy with Windows 7? Why would someone purchase a classic car when they could get a new or nearly new car for not much more?

Apple successfully ran an ad campaign called “Think Different”. Many of their 90’s infomercials were about being different from PCs running Windows. From an OS point of view, Amiga and it’s variants (AROS, MorphOS, classic 3.x and NextGen 4.x) are missing some pieces out of the box that many computer users would expect by default (like USB stack, a modern web browser, a TCP/IP stack, etc), but it was the dedication of the users and 3rd parties that caused these pieces to be written/ported and added back in.

If using a Mac with OSX is thinking different, then using an Amiga with an Amiga-type OS is REALLY THINKING DIFFERENT.

It’s also about personal preference. I prefer to use an OS that I can easily understand and know how to make work/fix. There are so many layers in Windows/OSX and even Linux that can make using/fixing it not an easy task. Amiga can also be hard at times, but it’s straightforward. You know what happens during startup by just looking at the startup sequence, user start and the WBStartup folder.

Some like to play their retro games. That’s not a concern for me, but I know that many still love their retro games.

Some are into the comoputer race for processing power. A classic Amiga running even a 68060 or a MorphOS or AmigaOS4.x machine running PPC won’t compete with the latest x86 machine. Even my phone with an ARM processor is far more powerful than my old A1200 or A3000. For the software I ran on those machines, it didn’t matter. It wasn’t until I got my recent 8-core AMD FX8350 running at nearly 4GHZ, running Windows 8.1 that I finally saw the boot times that were common place with my Amiga 4000T’s running 68040/25Mhz and OS3.9. Nothing shuts down faster than my MorphOS laptop or AmigaOne machines. It may sound minor but I feel the difference.

With the latest OWB (and maybe Timberwolf, haven’t tried it yet), MorphOS and AmigaOS4.x can give me every bit of usability that I get running windows or osx, with the exception of some embedded videos, but we know people are working on that now.

With AmiCygnix, my AmigaOne Micro-A1C can give me a fully useable, modern Word Processor if I needed it. If I wanted to run games, I would fire up my Windows Machine or pull out my PS3. Even though I have very powerful OSX machines, I don’t bother running games on there. My windows machine, in my case, is for games, some Windows-specific tool development, video conversions and a few other specific things. I don’t need my Amiga’s to do that.

I plan to make a setup at home that has a Windows machine back-end that my Amiga will use for some background task. One of those things will be to have Windows running Dropbox and mounting the Windows folder that Dropbox uses as a shared drive on my Amiga Desktop. Voila! I have Dropbox on Amiga without having to write or wait for someone else to write the software needed.

I don’t HAVE to have only 1 single machine to fulfill my computer needs. I PREFER The Amiga (and Amiga-like) Operating Systems, even though I know that it can’t do everything I would ever want right now. I can make due with dealing with the other systems out there when I need them and use the Amiga because I WANT to.

More thoughts on this later…

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