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    The Amiga languished because Commodore was spectacularly bad at management and made some really stupid engineering decisions.

    The Amiga (later retroactively named the Amiga 1000) was a desktop-style case with an expansion slot on the side (the “sidecar” slot). A bunch of peripherals were made for this slot that sat on the desk next to the Amiga.

    Then the Amiga 500 came out. It had the same slot – great! – but, inexplicably on the other side and upside down. So all of the existing peripherals that worked on the Amiga still worked…if you flipped them upside down. Given how they had to be designed to reach the slot and the fact that the keyboard of the 500 was integrated into the main housing meant that none of them would really work.

    The Amiga 600 (which was originally the 300 and supposed to be cheaper than the 500 but somehow came out costing more) had a PCMCIA slot…except Commodore refused to wait for the final PCMCIA spec and produced the 600 with a PCMCIA slot that wasn’t fully compliant with the specification. This meant that a lot of PCMCIA cards wouldn’t work.

    The Video Toaster came out for the Amiga 2000 and was the killer app for the Amiga. It was, without question, the defining peripheral for the Amiga. Then Commodore made the Amiga 3000, which was compatible with the Video Toaster…except that the Amiga 3000 case was a half-inch too short for the Toaster card, so it wouldn’t fit.

    The Amiga had what was often considered the best of the SVR4 Unix ports (Amiga UNIX or Amix). Sun came and offered to produce the Amiga 3000 as a Unix workstation that could also run Amiga software. Commodore, because they sucked at management, declined.

    When the CD-ROM revolution hit, Commodore designed the A570 CD-ROM drive for the Amiga 500, then immediately discontinued the Amiga 500 in favor of the Amiga 600…which couldn’t use the A570 drive.

    The Amiga 1200 had a unique-to-the-model expansion port. Commodore released the specs of that port to various peripheral manufacturers and then proceeded to change the specs on the port for no good reason, meaning that a bunch of peripherals already produced would work, except that they wouldn’t physically fit. (I remember having a 68030 expansion card with a whopping 8MB of RAM on it; I couldn’t actually close the case once it was installed…)

    Then there were just…stupid boondoggles like the Commodore 64 Games System, released in 1990 in Europe. This was a Commodore 64 without a keyboard. It could play Commodore 64 games. This was five years after the NES had come out and right around when the SNES was being introduced. Here was a 1982 computer that could only play games designed for a 1982 computer and then only if those games came on a cartridge and didn’t need the keyboard. At least a few games came out for it that you couldn’t even get past the title screen on because the game asked you to press any key to continue.

    The Amiga (ahem Commodore) CDTV was launched because nobody knows why. It was a “multimedia appliance” that could play CDs and a videos on CD-ROM in a proprietary video format that nobody used. You could theoretically play Amiga 500 games, but very few were ever released on CD-ROM format, so there wasn’t really any reason to ever buy a CDTV, and no one did.

    That’s to ignore the simply egregious management blunders. Discontenting the core Amiga team so badly that they all quit. Treating dealers like trash. Managers and corporate officers being paid huge bonuses when the company was deep in the red and not selling much of anything.

    …can you tell I’m a bitter Amiga guy? I fervently loved the Amiga (to the point that it was probably really annoying to be around me) and Commodore did their best to destroy it.

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      Another bitter Amiga guy here. Wish I could give your comment than one upvote.

      I’ve been using computers since ’83 and (computer related) felt heartbroken twice, when I had to switch from my fried Amiga to PC and when Google cancelled Reader.

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        The developers tried to tell us. Remember the key sequence easter egg that told us what they really thought of Commodore?

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          Was the CDTV the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amiga_CD32 ?

          From what I’ve read (wiki) that was literally the death of the company (thanks to a stupid software patent).

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            No, it was an earlier product: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_CDTV

            The CD32 was clearly positioned: it was a games machine and marketed as such. The CDTV was…something else. It could play CDs, and with the addition of a keyboard and mouse could run a good amount of Amiga software at the time (though it shipped with the four-year-old AmigaOS 1.3 and not the then-current 2.0, so not everything worked).

            (It should be noted that AmigaOS 2 was already a year old when the CDTV shipped…)

            Without a keyboard and mouse, you could run CDTV software. At the end of the CDTV’s life, there were around 100 titles available for it but the vast majority were simply the normal Amiga version of the software burned to CD-ROM with perhaps minimal changes to work with only the controls avaialble on the CDTV; very little software took advantage of the CD format.

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          beautiful

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            sweet, riseup are awesome, been around for ages and have serious technical chops. good job moz!

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              I don’t see JS ecosystem imploding under its own churn. 10 years ago we had a similar battle of frameworks where jquery ended up taking the lion’s share and prototype/mootools/dojo/yui made up the rest. Now we have angular/react dueling with a bunch of others making up the rest. Web dev is so much easier now than it was then, too. The tooling has gotten way better. Browsers have gotten faster.

              But I guess it’s easier just to shit on everything you’re not great at and say it’s dying despite the very obvious fact that it is not. And how did it lose on mobile, exactly? Almost everyone designs sites with mobile-friendly UI, and many do it mobile-first/responsive.

              Not to mention the fact that more and more electron apps keep popping up which are js/web apps in desktop wrappers.

              But yeah, it sucks so bad, it’s unusable, and we definitely need to replace it.

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                Web dev is so much easier now than it was then

                Building large complex apps is easier and more robust then it was, but in general web development has become far more difficult.

                10 years ago your average hack could slap together HTML4, CSS2, a bunch of jQuery plugins and JS copy pasta… FTP it to a server, call themselves a Web Developer and find plenty of work.

                Now you need to be on the ball with a plethora of rapidly evolving and complex frameworks, tooling (tooling and more tooling) and “best practice”.

                And that’s just the front end, the complexity of back end code and systems administration/dev ops has exploded from LAMPs heyday and the VB/IIS monstrosities that plagued corporate networks.

                There are beautiful simple stacks available now (eg choo on the front and flask on the back)… but you wont find much work building in that.

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                  Are you arguing that JS getting away from non-devs selling themselves as devs is a bad thing? You can still throw stuff together with HTML4/CSS2 and a bunch of jquery plugins. Tons of smallers companies don’t care. But that’s not really “dev” so much as throwing a bunch of premade things together. If you’re trying to get hired as a web developer, you ought to know something about developing for the web.

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                  I mean, it works because we keep adding CPU cores and RAM to our systems… but it’s a pretty unfortunate mess

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                    I’m no type really aware of the point you’re implying…is JS only succeeding because computers are fast? I didn’t think that was even remotely the case.

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                      I’m not sure what you’re saying here. JS is getting more complex because browsers are getting faster. They’re getting faster so we can have improved functionality. They’ve always done that. If you want a browser that felt like it was the end stage of the browsing world, you’re free to bust out IE6 again.

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                    Run your own server! People are terribly frightened of email, but it is only slightly more complicated than running an HTTPS server with some DNS jambalaya. I use Mail in a Box on a VPS for my low-traffic personal email addresses and it works great. It is an actively maintained project that comes down to a shell script you can read and execute on a clean Ubuntu environment. You get spam filtering and DomainKeys and Let’s Encrypt and webmail and iCal out of the box. You might do it to save money, to learn a little bit about how email works, or both! I use a pretty reliable VPS (Vultr), and although I know VPSes tend to fail at the worst opportune moment I only ever experienced downtime when I ignored the email from Mailinabox (it sends you notifications about the system through email, which I think is clever) about keying Y on the Y/n prompt for the new Let’s Encrypt terms of services.

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                      People are terribly frightened of email, but it is only slightly more complicated than running an HTTPS server with some DNS jambalaya.

                      It gets much more complicated once you setup DKIM, DMARC, POP3 and IMAP, spam filtering, etc.

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                        and then you find your cheep arse vps ip has a dirty reputation and need to work out how to get yourself white listed (did it for hotmail, painful but effective)

                        setup DKIM, DMARC, POP3 and IMAP, spam filtering, etc.

                        mail in a box is magical. setup DKIM, DMARC, POP3 and IMAP, spam filtering in a few mins. highly recommend

                        i tried to write a playbook for this but gave up, its just to complicated. given a couple weekends can get it up manually but when shit breaks its painful.

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                      My proposal: Bitcorn, the first digital currency backed by physical kernels of corn. This overcomes the common complaint from internet commenters that bitcoin “isn’t real”.

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                        and burn down the crops in an effort to control inflation :D

                        “Thank you. Since we decided a few weeks ago to adopt the leaf as legal tender, we have, of course, all become immensely rich.”

                        :The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Douglas Adams RIP

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                          Can I use gold to back this coin instead of corn at the current market corn/gold exchange rate? It’s just easier for me to store gold than corn.

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                            How do you link physical objects to a private key with a decentralized certainty/authority?

                            This ear has this private key…..says who?

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                              Indeed :) She is also a semi-regular speaker at CCC: https://media.ccc.de/search/?q=julia+reda