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MorphOS - The "Amiga Like" OS


eightbit
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Not Amiga I know, but it is somewhat binary compatible and I think deserves to be discussed in Amiga circles as development really started for PPC upgraded Amiga hardware. I have been looking at AmigaOS 4.1 initially, wanting to give it a go on real hardware, but man is that real hardware expensive. I then found MorphOS (http://www.morphos.de/), watched some videos and I like what I see. This OS will run on a few select (and cheap) Mac PPC systems. I snagged a 1.5ghz Mac Mini G4 PPC model (quite rare this model is I find) for $50 and am waiting for it to come in and give it a go. I just want to see what the Amiga community has been working on in more recent years....just curious basically.

 

So has anyone tried this? I would be very interested to see what your take is on it!

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I bought a license long ago and ran MorphOS for a while on a 1.5ghz Mac Mini, but ultimately ended up ditching it due to my declining interest in the hobby aspect of it all. Tried using it as a "modern" system, but wasn't really feasible without a bunch of compromises. Web browsing and printing quickly come to mind. If you're into putzing around and constantly configuring and tweaking, you'll love it. :lol:

Not ripping on MOS at all... it is what it is: a hobby OS. I'd fully expect the same experience out of Amiga OS4.x today.

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Yes the current Amiga OS 4.1 platform (X5000) is hideously expensive. For the same price I could build two top of the line VR gaming PCs that could take any AAA game thrown at them for the next 7 years. But the good news is that there is a cheaper one coming soon(A1222) that will hopefully attract more users.

 

In the meantime, enjoy MorphOS! I tried it on a Mac Mini and it ran really well. Like the poster above I had some "challenges" when it came to networking and internet but overall it was a pretty decent experience. It was not for me. If I wanted a modern 'hobby' OS I'd probably just go for RiscOS on the Pi.

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Well MorphOS is pretty freakin' awesome! Sure, you can't use it in traditional PC ways (surfing the net) with any real satisfaction, but for what it CAN do it is quite amazing. Much MUCH better use out of the G4 than MacOS was in my opinion. I think I am going to have to register the OS.

 

I opened this G4 to clean it, change the battery, tighten down the Superdrive (screws let loose over time and the drive vibrates like crazy), and upgrade the RAM to a whopping 1GB. Mission accomplished there. Installed MorphOS and the Crystalis pack and it is chock full of goodies. Highly recommended if you have an old G4 kicking around!

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That's awesome. Please continue to share your experience. Pics would be great or screenshots if possible. Just to see it in action I guess.

 

 

I will soon. I just want to get some funds and get this registered first so that it does not complain :) It is really cool though. If you come from an Amiga Workbench background you'll feel pretty much at home here.

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Try to find the 1.5GHz model. It is tricky because it was labeled a 1.42GHz unit. It was a "silent" upgrade by Apple, but it adds significant upgrades. Namely the faster 1.5GHz PPC and 64MB of video ram (as opposed to the 32MB in previous models):

 

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_mini/specs/mac_mini_g4_1.5.html

 

 

I found mine for $50 :) I would say this model would give you the best experience in a Mini for MorphOS...it does for me :)

 

 

Until I can get a video review together, check out Dan Wood's review which pretty much touches on all of it:

 

Edited by eightbit
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Try to find the 1.5GHz model. It is tricky because it was labeled a 1.42GHz unit. It was a "silent" upgrade by Apple, but it adds significant upgrades. Namely the faster 1.5GHz PPC and 64MB of video ram (as opposed to the 32MB in previous models):

 

http://www.everymac.com/systems/apple/mac_mini/specs/mac_mini_g4_1.5.html

 

 

I found mine for $50 :) I would say this model would give you the best experience in a Mini for MorphOS...it does for me :)

 

 

Until I can get a video review together, check out Dan Wood's review which pretty much touches on all of it:

 

 

Wow!

 

Pretty phenomenal.

 

There are apps in MorphOS that do the kinds of things that I've been nagging M$ for over 20 years to include in Windows. Things like being able to click on a DLL and see all the apps that use it.

 

Amazing to see that some of the old Amiga productivity apps run natively inside MorphOS.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, not really done...I just have no time to play with it and I need funds at the moment. I have various projects I have been working on at the same time (A2000, A500, C64, Vic, TI99, IIGS) and when I thought about selling something I started with the one I care about the least...which unfortunately for the Mac Mini....is the Mac Mini ;)

 

Don't get me wrong, it is an awesome little computer and MorphOS is quite incredible...and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. It is in excellent condition. But I have my sights on something and it will need to be sacrificed. You should consider taking it off of my hands. You won't be disappointed!

Edited by eightbit
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  • 7 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

That is the only thing that sucks. Not being able to run classic Amiga games natively was a deal breaker for me. BUT, I will say that it is a really nice OS in its own right...and it's an alternate to the mainstream operating systems. I still like HaikuOS better though as it does run real BeOS applications and games.

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Sure, gotta be running UAE first of course. ;)

 

I was afraid of that. Which means you have to boot up a full emulation environment to run WHDLoad games. Is there a way to get a RemoteApp-style of execution, that is, run the WHDLoad game and it automatically starts up UAE and executes?

 

That is the only thing that sucks. Not being able to run classic Amiga games natively was a deal breaker for me. BUT, I will say that it is a really nice OS in its own right...and it's an alternate to the mainstream operating systems. I still like HaikuOS better though as it does run real BeOS applications and games.

I never used BeOS but I hear it is/was really awesome and I have seen some videos. I rather enjoy MorphOS, I just need to make it more practical for my day-to-day uses. The MacMini simply cannot compete with my i7 for things like ffmpeg.

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Not meaning to get off topic here but since I mentioned BeOS I just wanted to say yes, YES it was completely awesome. I ran it alongside of Windows initially when R5 was released and they made a really easy way of installing it from a Windows environment and then dual booting. Then, I loved it so much (especially the performance at the time) that I purchased the full version and ditched Windows completely for 2 or so years. It was pretty revolutionary. Designed with multitasking and multimedia in mind, it did everything so swiftly and conveniently. Only problem was driver support and web browser support. Eventually I couldn't work with it anymore (and Be folded) and I returned to Windows. But I think about it all of the time and how really spectacular it was.

 

I still have the "BeOS Bible" by Scot Hacker which is what I would consider a big book version of the Vic-20's Friendly Computer guide. In other words, fun to read, easy to understand, and you got BeOS in a nutshell with this book. Recommended reading in case you want to investigate the wonders of the BeOS.

 

I have a copy of the full version still and am planning on installing it on my PIII machine (as soon as I can confirm all of the hardware works with it...at least the soundcard and video card) and then use the excellent SoundPlay application which is to date still the only music app that I know of that can now only slow down and speed up MP3 playback, but play MP3's in reverse for those hidden Pink Floyd messages :) And it had this feature to be able to right click and navigate the entire hard drive....that was unique and really useful to me.

 

The reverse engineered OS is HaikuOS, which is being worked on today:

 

https://www.haiku-os.org/

 

Other than its name, it is pretty much BeOS. Has the same application support and has been updated to utilize a lot of more modern hardware. Recommended to download a nightly build. It is small and can easily be written to a USB thumb drive and boots live, so the only thing you lose in trying it is a few minutes of your time ;)

Edited by eightbit
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