I noticed that most people here are bashing the Amiga operating system for being user-unfriendly and slow. This gives me the impression that most of you guys only worked with an Amiga equipped with the obsolete 1.2/1.3 operating system, claiming that these are the standard OSes for Amigas. Fortunately this is not the case.
My critiques span every AmigaOS revision from 1.0 to 3.1. I haven't used 3.5 or 3.9 yet, but those don't count as they came along YEARS after Commodore went kaput.
For those who didnt know, from v36 on, Commodore did a huge major rewrite of the complete Operating system, making it much more stable, expandable and user-friendly. It also fixes the slow disk access from 1.x which some claim here. Do you know any OS from the late 80´s/early 90´s which supports: Autoconfig, Multitasking, a CLI, draggable Screens (which no OS except the Amiga OS has), Datatypes, DOSDrivers for mounting ANY mass storage device you like,a native filesystem with no shitty 8.3 convention, capability of reading both MFM and GCR coded disks (MFM: ST/PC, GCR: Amiga) ?
No one is arguing the strong points of WorkBench/AmigaOS, except the clunky interface which was prevalent up to at least 3.1. You forgot to mention memory protection...oh wait, that's because AmigaOS never offered it (and 4.0 STILL won't).
A few facts to clarify:
ECS equipped Amigas (A500+, A600, A3000) can display flicker free 640x480 screens in 4 colours.
A stock 520ST can support flicker free 640x400 screens in monochrome (with luminance).
A stock Amiga 1000 (the oldest model) is able to address 8.5MB ram out of the box.
How many A1000s have you seen with 8.5MB?
For those who claim Amiga OS must be booted: the whole OS is in the ROM, the only thing which is loaded from disk is the workbench. Btw, which Amiga user uses disks only?
Semantics. Most people consider WB part of the OS, in a similar vein to TOS/GEM.
ECS/AGA equipped Amigas can play-back samples with 56khz.
I've never heard an ECS/AGA equipped Amiga play-back samples at any higher than the 25khz supported by the hardware. My A1200 sure doesn't.
The Guru meditation, unlike the ST Bomb, gives detailed information about the cause of the crash (the number).
By the time you see either, it's too late.
FAST memory is real memory, but it cant be accessed by the custom chips, making it (like the name says) faster. From OS2.1 on, the AmigaOS supports over 1GB of fast ram(!).
You mean like TT-RAM? And how many stock Amigas do you see addressing even 1/10th of that?
The Atari ST is a nice machine, which was much better than any PC at that time, but both OS and hardware were inferior to the Amiga. Most Amiga games from 1987 to 1990 were really badly done ST conversions, which only featured a better sound. When Programmers started to actually use the Amiga custom chips, Games were made that were simply not possible on the ST (Jim Power for example).
By the time that happened, the Atari STE series and up were still keeping up with the Amiga hardware-wise, but for a fraction of the cost. I'll definitely agree that both systems were great for their time, but the Amiga wasn't nearly as far ahead of the ST series as most Amiga fanatics would like to believe. The AmigaOS was slow and clunky, despite what anyone says. Run WB 3.0 and up on a stock A1200 or A4000 in any more than 32 colors and count how many seconds it takes to redraw a window. For maximum amusement, try running more than one application at a time (and I mean at least one decent app, like DirectoryOPUS or DPaint) with 256 colors onscreen and watch your machine grind to a halt. Amiga users like to continuously tout how their OS could multitask, but basically the multitasking was useless when your system ran like it just halved it's clockspeed. The ST may not have supported real multitasking until MultiTOS/MiNT, but it worked quite well for what it could do. The OS was fast and quite responsive, was easier to use than a Mac (IMO), and always had a very clean interface.
Despite all of that, I still think the Amiga was a killer machine. I've been having fun with my A1200, and can't wait to upgrade it to get it running some more modern apps. I have a Falcon on the way now, too, so I'll be having double the fun!