ethan.dicks at gmail.com
Wed Nov 22 16:41:20 CST 2006
On 11/23/06, aliensrcooluk at yahoo.co.uk <aliensrcooluk at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
> --- Jules Richardson <julesrichardsonuk at yahoo.co.uk
> > wrote:
> > Out of interest, why was the answer to the "Only
> > Amiga makes it possible"
> > advertising slogan question "because it can
> > multi-task and run a second OS"
> I have no idea. I knew it was either that one
> or the "it can have 4096 colours on a screen".
> I guess it depends how you define "multi-tasking".
Running multiple tasks? ;-)
In the context of the day, compare it to MS-DOS (seriously
single-tasking), or older versions of the MacOS, which did have
"Switcher" to hold multiple tasks at once, but a) used "cooperative
multitasking" (i.e., the application developer had to code in routines
to release the OS when it was convenient) and b) coding practices of
the day assumed that the application had an entire 1MB Mac Plus to
itself, limiting the usefulness of a 4MB Mac (large and expensive at
> As an Amiga owner with a A600 (with 2MB) it
> can run say up to 10 applications at once
> (depending how much memory they eat up)
> theoretically. Whether it can or not I don't
> know, since I generally only have 2 or 3 things
> running at once (eg. Workbench, a music
> program and AMOS Pro).
Exactly... sometime around 1986 or so, Gates, et al., said that
customers weren't interested in multitasking because you "couldn't"
multitask with less than 2MB, anyway (i.e., "our products are bloated,
so unless you spend more money on memory, don't bother us about
The technical demonstration of the exception (Amiga) back in 1985 was
to open multiple dotty windows (a demo on the Workbench disk)... it
was a light-weight app that you could open over a dozen times on a
512KB Amiga (all CHIP mem) and watch draw workbench-colored dots
rapidly in the windows.
It wasn't a practical demonstration, since any program capable of
doing heavy lifting would need more than 35K per invocation, but it
did show off that the OS could handle several tasks firing off at
once, unlike DOS or MacOS at the same time.
Back in the day, I'd routinely have a MicroEmacs window open to some C
code and let the compiler (Lattice C) do its thing while I poked
around some bit of code or another. One really practical
demonstration was with AmigaOS 1.2: I used to hang a VT220 off the
serial port and do a "newcli AUX:" to get a CLI running off the serial
port, then edit code while my housemate played "Silent Service". To
me, the Amiga wasn't _just_ multitasking, it was *multiuser*. Stick
that in your DOS and smoke it!
> Amiga emulators
> Don't really know much about them. There are
> a few out there. UAE is one of them, but I
> forget what it stands for.
Originally, it was "Unusable Amiga Emulator", sort of a joke name...
once it became usable, it morphed into "Universal Amiga Emulator".
I've used it - for A500-compatible games, it's rather nice.
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