Sometime during the last decade, I managed to get a reputation as the guy to whom you can donate your old, dusty computer when you don’t want it any more; and while I must confess that I don’t mind in the least (keep it coming folks – I do have a major weakness for free computer hardware, as well as a profound satisfaction in making “trash” useful again), it’s often a challenge to actually make use of a lot of it.
The Amiga. If you weren’t of computing age during the Bush Sr. administration, you may not have heard of this legend wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a white case. The Amiga inspired frenzied superlatives from its users (including, notably, pop artist Andy Warhol) in a way that only certain fruity computers do today. In fact, it’s often repeated that, if not for the business bungling of Commodore (who owned Amiga), we might today be reminiscing on the bygone days of Apple computers instead.
Now, I never owned an Amiga, unfortunately; in fact I despised Amigas and anyone who owned one, purely out of an unreasoning sense of sour grapes (the Amiga was, in some ways, more advanced than any computer I’d own for almost another decade). But now that time and tide have washed the vinegar from my teeth, I’ve been overcome with a bit of morbid curiosity about this platform of the past. And when I discovered that some fine folks had developed AROS, an open source remake of the Amiga OS, designed for standard PC hardware, I had to check it out.