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Do you think Atari will bring out a new home computer?

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26 minutes ago, slx said:

I think the ‚one programmer could embrace the whole machine‘, this enabling teenagers to produce software from their bedrooms and compete eye-to-eye within a software industry that was just inventing itself’  ....
 

That was so-so possible in early years of home/personal computers, when machines were with OS in ROM, of small size. And HW was not so complex too.

Now, modern OS consists of some million lines of program code. That's something what needs bigger team.  Even Atari TOS, what is only some 200 KB took plenty of time, and they even could not finish V 1.00 at time, so first machines were supplied with TOS on floppy (was bad advertisement) .

Other thing is that making some up to date and to current user needs version of TOS, GEM - for whatever CPU would be practically making it from scratch (zero) .

That would need years of work of many people. Even big company like Google did not made Android as complete new OS, it is Linux based.

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40 minutes ago, pacman000 said:

What was iOS based on?

 

27 minutes ago, x=usr(1536) said:

A scaled-down version of OS X, IIRC.

 

Which in turn is based on BSD, a fork of UNIX. 

 

I don't think the world needs another proprietary operating system. Interoperability is what we want. 

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1 hour ago, Flojomojo said:

Which in turn is based on BSD, a fork of UNIX.

Sort of.  It's more closely based on NeXTStep, but with BSD subsystems and utilities, POSIX compatibility, and a ton of Apple-specific frameworks and and alterations thrown in.  There's a billion ways to split hairs on this one, though, and it's not the rabbit hole I want to go down right now 😜 .

 

Quote

 

I don't think the world needs another proprietary operating system. Interoperability is what we want. 

Agreed, and, at an application level at least, we do have pretty good interoperability as things stand - major file formats are pretty much universally-readable these days across platforms, with the browser being the JOATMON tool of choice for filling in a lot of the cracks where client/server applications are needed.

 

Hardware's another question, and one that's largely driven by OS choice.  Windows gets the most users, so it gets the most drivers.  Linux is a mix of commercially-developed and community-sourced ones.  macOS...  Be happy if they're available for the device you want to use.  Then again, given that the majority of Apple hardware these days has no expandability beyond USB ports, if you're buying hardware for your Mac Pro you probably already know what will and won't work.

 

One other item re: hardware: despite it having largely boiled down to coming from the x86/x64 parts bin over the past decade or so, there is a surprising amount of choice out there in terms of available hardware configurations.  Ten years ago things like SBCs (as we know them today), APUs, FPGAs, microcontrollers like the Arduino, and even homebrew hardware projects just weren't anywhere near as commonplace (or polished) as they are now.  It'll be interesting to see if ARM starts taking any of that platform preference away from Intel, but in a lot of ways we really are in something of a golden age for hobbyists - at least when it comes to architecture.

Edited by x=usr(1536)

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Interoperability and cross-platform compatibility is way more important than seeing an entirely new OS that won't work with anything I already have.

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Interoperability and cross-platform compatibility is way more important than seeing an entirely new OS that won't work with anything I already have.


I agree. The Australian market, back in the day, made being an Atari ST owner difficult enough. Finding a user group, fellow users out in the wild, and even a newsagent that stocked your favourite ST magazine was a chore (but also exciting when you found one). A repeat of that would inevitably make its non-sustainable product again.


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Here's to a kinder, gentler Atari.

 

How do we make computers fun again, anyway?

 

Someone made a good point that when they first

came out the industry was basically inventing itself.

 

Now we have bloated compatibles.

 

And revenge of the nerds.

 

Edited by Wally1

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I’d purchase an Atari computer at this point over an Apple. Both would be year old tech with a walled garden ecosystem that pumped proprietary cross platform garbage that you “need” to purchase. Maybe they could include a Google Stadia subscription for one year, with Atari branded controllers. With cross portability with the “New” 3DS, I mean VCS.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, adamchevy said:

I’d purchase an Atari computer at this point over an Apple.

 

Asking this as a genuinely straightforward question: apart from the fact that the Atari computer would have the Atari name on it, what would it have to offer that anything ranging from a whitebox PC to a Mac Pro wouldn't in order to sway you towards buying it?

 

Quote

Both would be year old tech with a walled garden ecosystem that pumped proprietary cross platform garbage that you “need” to purchase.

 

Confused on this point - macOS doesn't work that way.  Yes, there is software you can purchase (or download for free) from the App Store, but it's not like iOS where that's your only option, jailbreaking aside.

 

Granted, macOS Catalina may be making some changes in that regard.  This is one major reason why I'm sitting that particular upgrade out until it's clear how the dust is going to settle.

 

And I'll fully admit that while I may be typing this reply on the keyboard of my Macbook Pro, I'm pretty far from being an Apple fanboy.  It just happens to be the general-purpose platform that pisses me off the least at the moment, but that can change - and if it does, I have zero compunction about jumping ship.

Edited by x=usr(1536)
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Confused on this point - macOS doesn't work that way.  Yes, there is software you can purchase (or download for free) from the App Store, but it's not like iOS where that's your only option, jailbreaking aside.
 
Granted, macOS Catalina may be making some changes in that regard.  This is one major reason why I'm sitting that particular upgrade out until it's clear how the dust is going to settle.
 
And I'll fully admit that while I may be typing this reply on the keyboard of my Macbook Pro, I'm pretty far from being an Apple fanboy.  It just happens to be the general-purpose platform that pisses me off the least at the moment, but that can change - and if it does, I have zero compunction about jumping ship.


I only assert that Atari would probably approach computing much like Apple. Although without the benefit of 40 years of ecosystem creation, I’m not sure exactly how they would approach walling in their audience. They might go completely open source, but that’s not the Atari that exists today.

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1 minute ago, adamchevy said:

I only assert that Atari would probably approach computing much like Apple. Although without the benefit of 40 years of ecosystem creation, I’m not sure exactly how they would approach walling in their audience. They might go completely open source, but that’s not the Atari that exists today.

Taking a wild stab at it, I'd suspect that Atari would do something like repurpose an off-the-shelf package management tool into being the backend for their App Store equivalent and stick a (likely browser-based) frontend onto it running on the local machine.  Manage authentication and certificates properly and it would work, though getting something like that to scale could be a real PITA.

 

I am under no illusions that the phrase "would work" in the paragraph above completely glosses over the many, many problems with trying to do that at scale, but then again Atari SA is in no danger of cranking out millions of devices anytime soon so it's likely a moot point.

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7 minutes ago, x=usr(1536) said:

Taking a wild stab at it, I'd suspect that Atari would do something like repurpose an off-the-shelf package management tool into being the backend for their App Store equivalent and stick a (likely browser-based) frontend onto it running on the local machine.  Manage authentication and certificates properly and it would work, though getting something like that to scale could be a real PITA.

 

I am under no illusions that the phrase "would work" in the paragraph above completely glosses over the many, many problems with trying to do that at scale, but then again Atari SA is in no danger of cranking out millions of devices anytime soon so it's likely a moot point.

It'd be pretty simple actually.  Grab Linux, throw an potentially proprietary interface on top (so basically like Android, macOS) and then use something like snap/flatpak but with closed source software.  Sadly, it'd basically make them like Ubuntu and the reasons I don't use it anymore.

 

To me the new Atari computer is just about to be released.  It's called the Vampire V4 Standalone :)  Throw EmuTOS on it, and BAM, new Atari computer in 2019-2020!

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1 hour ago, leech said:

To me the new Atari computer is just about to be released.  It's called the Vampire V4 Standalone :)  Throw EmuTOS on it, and BAM, new Atari computer in 2019-2020!

It's not an Atari though, it's an Amiga that runs EmuTOS. EmuTOS can probably be ported to anything. An Atari ST like computer has to be more than a port of EmuTOS. I'd argue this is equally an Atari then:

 

https://github.com/kelihlodversson/pTOS

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New home computer in years 2019-2020 should met some criteria:

1st and most important is computing power.

2nd is OS - and that's at least 100x, if not 1000x  more complex now than in 80-es.

Internet support, 3D graphic is elementary now. Multimedia, of course.  In Atari there was some early level multimedia, + GUI, and that's all what was there basically.

Vampire is just not enough powerful for today. And as I see, nothing from 1 GHz 68K compatible CPU - all is still in FPGA. And even 1 GHz would be too slow for today, when multi core, 3-4 GHz CPU is affordable. 

There are reasons why Apple and Motorola abandoned 68K line, and went on RISC based Power PC. 68000 was great for it's time, but it was designed 40 years ago. Sometimes you just need to change basic architecture to go forward.

EmuTOS as main OS in 2019 ? Actually, then better old good TOS 1.xx-4.xx - at least they will run old Atari SW well.

As said, today need some very complex OS in compare to old times, and not ROM based, for sure.

I think that this thread leads nowhere. Today, launching new computer, what is not PC based, compatible is extremely demanding, and will cost hundreds of millions. And years of development. It was not easy even in 1985, demands were much higher than in 1982 - year of 8-bit machines without real OS, just some simple basic and tape loader.

New designs happen only in portable area - tablets, smart phones, and even there, OS is not really new - Linux or Windows based.

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On 10/12/2019 at 1:30 AM, adamchevy said:

I only assert that Atari would probably approach computing much like Apple. Although without the benefit of 40 years of ecosystem creation, I’m not sure exactly how they would approach walling in their audience. They might go completely open source, but that’s not the Atari that exists today.

I imagine that if the VCS does come out it'll be a NUC that you have your own Linux distro off a flash drive and that might be good for some people.  So if you have to have an officially branded Atari computer then that's that...

 

If there's anything I've learned from owning an ST is not to expect any continual support from Atari (whoever owns the name) and you're better off joining a community of like minded users.  Ubuntu still has a thriving community so it's good to join that and learn to love the Linux stuff.

 

 

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Personally I found Linux to be counter intuitive.  I went low tech from there and USB flash drive booted DOS (yes good ol dos) with no hard drive.  I was very happy and proud of this for quite a while.

 

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It is important to remember Linux is too technical for the everyday user - unless a purpose built UI is used. Or if it's embedded into a device that serves a single purpose like a thermostat or a stand-alone GPS or even a phone.

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On 10/12/2019 at 3:48 AM, ParanoidLittleMan said:

New home computer in years 2019-2020 should met some criteria:

1st and most important is computing power.

2nd is OS - and that's at least 100x, if not 1000x  more complex now than in 80-es.

 

Vampire is just not enough powerful for today. And as I see, nothing from 1 GHz 68K compatible CPU - all is still in FPGA. And even 1 GHz would be too slow for today, when multi core, 3-4 GHz CPU is affordable.

 

New designs happen only in portable area - tablets, smart phones, and even there, OS is not really new - Linux or Windows based.

These simply say we don't need another platform. Myself and millions of others are quite happy to watch the industry inch forward in an evolutionary style rather than come up with something revolutionary and have to start at day one again.

 

Rather than new platforms I'd like to see a reduction in API quantity, bloat, and duplicity. Rather than developing new hardware to handle the bloat I'd rather see intelligent and efficient programming. And definitely less focus on getting into your wallet with subscriptions and excessive performance-sapping DRM.

 

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I agree with that: " Rather than developing new hardware to handle the bloat I'd rather see intelligent and efficient programming. " .

I see often some ridiculously slow SW running with modern HW - in really simple situations. They did it most likely on some 15-th layer of SW chain. Not even knowing how it really works, just put it together, done some quick test and took money. 

 

I don't think that anyone can bring now some revolutionary new computer design, at least not for market. All this is still based on old Neumann concept.

Maybe optical way is that . For instance, max CPU clocks are reached years ago - technology limit. Now only way is to perform more and more in same CPU cycles. There was never some real revolution (except in adverts) - all it was adding some new solutions, few new ideas. Atari ST did it's part in that, and was success. That was time when market wanted stronger home computer, at low price.  Today, I'm afraid that people even don't have some concrete, realistic ideas how some new computer design should like.

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Nope, I don't, in million years, believe Atari, or anyone else, will ever come out with a "new" Atari computer. It would just be a complete waste of money for whoever invested in the project. We were always a niche market, even at our highest numbers, at least in the U.S. The best I think we could realistically hope for would be for someone to come out with an XL-Classic or an ST-Classic, or mini; small numbers, just for the nostalgic retro crowd. No one would ever invest the time and money into bringing something new to market under the Atari name. The new VCS is a perfect example. Look at what's come out. Absolutely nothing but smoke and promises. After over two years of posts and updates, absolutely nothing has been released. And as others have already mentioned, this isn't from "Atari" as we think of Atari. It's just some new shell company that's bought the rights to use the name. Can you imagine how much harder it would be to design and come out with a completely new and different computer with it's own operating system?

 

I've been an Atari fanboy for over 40 years. If they came out with something new, I'd be drooling all over it, but I don't honestly believe, in my wildest imaginings, that it's even remotely likely. Possible, sure, but unbelievably, extremely improbable.

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