OS4 on Tour 2004 - UK: Newcastle Report

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Can I apologise for the poor photo's my digicam broke down so I'm only left with a shoddy one. Feel free to buy me a replacement though ;-)


My Trip to the OS4 on Tour event in Newcastle, UK

A few weeks ago I heard about an OS4 demonstration in Newcastle being organized by the North East Amiga user group, and I thought I just had to go! So I originally planned to go up by train, fortunately for me a friend of mine also wanted to go and he drives. So with transport sorted me and Nick aka Slackbladder were on our way to the OS4 demo. The directions were a bit off and the map was also a bit off but with a bit of luck and a lot of skill on my part ;-) with eventually got there safe and sound, and not long after opening too, around 1pm.

The Show

As I have already said we arrived at the venue, which was a pub… at around 1pm. Not quite sure we had indeed found the right place we cased the joint for a minute or 2 until we saw the poster in one of the door windows for the show so we went in. Up a flight of stairs and through a set of doors, and we were there. For a change there was no entrance fee, which was nice but I wouldn't of minded paying a fee either.

Bobsonsirjonny was the first person to greet us and looking round it didn't look too busy, I'd guess 15 in total. So we sat down and had a quick sandwich and I went and got a pint from the bar. By the time we had done that the venue had filled up and I would say at peak there must have been around 50 people there, which was excellent to see considering it was just an OS4 demo.

There were 3 AmigaONE-XE's on show running OS4, and I think 3 pre- production micro-A1's on show. One of them was running Linux with a windows environment running in a terminal from a windows server playing irritating music through the event, except for the time when Slackbladder hit the pause button, much to mine and I'm sure others relief. Also as is customary to a UK Amiga show Total Amiga were there selling, unfortunately I was unable to re-subscribe, but I will be doing.

I got to meet JurrasicCamper who was the man behind the OS4 demo, my good friend Birdy again, Smithy the morphos troll, who also drinks urine ;-) (*sigh* yes its a joke), Karlos and many others who's names escape me now.

The Demo and Speech

The demo was done by JurrasicCamper on his AmigaONE and was filmed by AmigaONE productions, so expect a DVD or something form him soon. JC showed off his new pocket mp3 player by plugging it into the sound in on his soundcard and recording it to disk as an aiff, then converting it to mp3 on the AmigaONE, which did it 3 times faster than real time. He also showed us several graphics applications running like TVPaint, Ppaint and photogenics. He also got to show us AmiPDF, the new editpad that comes with OS4, and lots of guru mediations ?. He was attempting to run Quake1 but because he had over clocked his A1 to 1Ghz whilst leaving the original cooling fan in place it kept hanging, once he clocked it back to 933Mhz it ran fine. He also got to show us AmiGenerator native I think, playing a sonic game and another racing game at a stupidly quick speed, as well as a C64 emulator running on the interpretive emulation, and that ran well too.

After the demo Alan held a bit of a Q&A session where a few good questions were asked. I asked him if he could shed any light on the recent Amiga Inc vs. Genesi ruling and he pretty much said what I already knew. And that was there isn't anything to worry about. Genesi have indeed won rights to get Amiga Inc to port AmigaDE aka Amiga Anywhere to the Pegasos and any other product they produce but that's as far as it goes.

He also told us he was very pleased with the number of early bird systems sold, and he estimates 1000 have been sold, which isn't too shoddy in my opinion considering the market. He also spoke again about pushing the micro A1 into industrial markets and again he came across as a sound businessman and not just some glorified parts salesman as the general misconception seems to be. He also expects OS4 to be released to early bird owners within the next 4 weeks, and I for one agree. He told us the only thing holding back the release is the Radeon drivers that are currently in beta and not in a fully working state. He said there was no point releasing the pre OS4 release to early birds yet because the majority of A1 owners have Radeon cards so it would be useless to them until the forefront Radeon drivers are up to scratch. He also let slip the pre-production run of micro- A1's was a batch of 50, and they are only intended to go to Distributors so they have a product to show potential customers and to key developers.

Overall conclusion

I am pleased with the progress being made on OS4 since I last saw it at Bath, and it has defiantly come on leaps and bounds since Benelux. Although the IDE drivers are still in PIO mode and there still isn't any JIT emulation OS4 is very responsive indeed. It truly is shaping up to be the prefect succession to the Amiga operating system.

I got to meet many old friends and many new ones, and I had a great day. I always enjoy going and meeting up with like minding people and having a good old chat. Its nice to be able to leave the childish bickering for a while and remind myself that indeed there are still many, many decent Amiga users out there, and I am confident there is a future, and it will be fun. I look forward to the next show I am able to attend. I had hoped to make it to the Swedish show but due to money I cant make it, unless a miracle happens between now and then that is.


I would like to thank everyone involved in the putting on the demo. I would also like to thank Alan for turning out and being as honest and upfront as ever. I would also like to thank every single person who turned out to see OS4 in action, its nice to see friendly Amiga users. Last but not least I would like to thank Slackbladder for taking me to and bringing me back from the demo, I really appreciate it.

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