AmigaZeux announce continued support for MorphOS thanks to the Genesi/Freescale developer support program.
Our promised ODW's arrived just yesterday and today. Big thumbs-up to Genesi for making this support possible in the first place for an OS that many people already see dead and unsupported. If "dead and unsupported" means developers still get free hardware for developing software, we wonder what it would be like if MorphOS was fully supported. :)
(The following text includes some pictures. If you are on a slow line please be patient)
Via the ODW project, Freescale, with the help of Genesi, are directly supporting much-needed developers to help enrich the PPC computing experience - including our community. AmigaZeux hope to build upon Freescale's gift by using the machines to produce fine quality MorphOS software.
It is our hope that showing that when companies bother to support developers in this way there is greater support and cooperation between the community and its companies; and more importantly, that it fosters the able and motivated development that we so vitally need.
What can we say about the machines themselves? They were delivered in a brownish cardboard box filled up with pink(!!!) bubble wraps. After removing the massive amounts of wrapping (and having fun with popping loads of the bubbles) two other cardboard boxes were revealed. One box for the wireless keyboard and mouse combo and one larger box for the ready-assembled Open Desktop Workstation.
After getting the ODW out of its temporary cardboard home one becomes aware of a small sheet of paper with setup instructions. So, after opening the case, fitting the CPU card (which was separately packaged and wrapped inside the case), checking the GFX card seating, closing it all again, connecting it to power it is ready to be switched on. There's also a notice to adjust the PSU to European voltage to prevent you breaking it.
The engineering quality of the board (revision 2B3 for anyone interested) is what we've come to expect from the Pegasos2: it's small, well made, and works flawlessly with full advertised functionality. And will probably work well for many years to come. The AOpen case is small and quiet and aesthetically pleasing, and flexible in how you can place it.
click for a bigger picture
Booting it up gets you into a bootmenu where you can choose between MorphOS, some Debian distros and a Yellow Dog Linux install. Having only a quick glance at the installed Linux stuff (Debian, 2.4, 2.6.4, 2.6.8 kernels and Yellow Dog Linux, 2.4 kernel) it's a relief to boot into MorphOS (at incredible speeds compared to the long winded Linux boot procedure). It's still nice to have Linux handy in case of problems however.
The installed MorphOS version is 1.4.2 with a few fixes. There's almost everything installed to have an easy start, ranging from an evaluation copy of MiamiDX for quick and easy network access through MorphED for editing files to games for some short time fun - everything's there.
One rather huge shock was the missing of backup CDs. So, if you've sent your system to the moon and back and its parachute bolts were mounted the wrong way (or just broken your OS) you won't have anything to reinstall from. This and the inclusion of only a US-style power cable and less seriously a keyboard with a US layout is something freescale should think about changing for the commercial version of the ODW.
click for a bigger picture
In conclusion we are very pleased with what Freescale, with the help of Genesi, has delivered. Expect some cool new stuff from us soon!