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© 1997-2006
Gareth Knight
All Rights reserved



The d'AMIGA Developer Workstation

Amiga Developer Box
Developer: Amiga Inc.
URL: www.amiga.com
Launched: July 2000
Price on release: UKP £600-700

The Amiga Dev Box is the first hardware product to be released by Amiga in five years. As the name suggests, this is a developer system to familiarize programmers with the new environment and provide a stream of software for the consumer release towards the 4th quarter (Winter) 2001.
d'Amiga logo
Contrary to expectation, the Dev Box is based upon an x86-compatible processor rather than PowerPC. The Amiga market may have been heading towards PowerPC for the last few years but Amiga Inc. have made it clear that it would add to the cost of distribution and alienate a large percentage of the general computer market. The good news is that there is not a single Intel or Microsoft label in sight! The emphasis has been placed upon providing cheap hardware that would retail for under £600. A low-spec AMD 500MHz K6-2 has been chosen to encourage developers to write for existing hardware rather than become reliant upon raw processing power. The beta version of the Amiga SDK will run as a hosted environment in Red Hat 6.1 and can be launched via the Linux Shell.

The current system specifications are:

Processor AMD K6-II 500 mhz 
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-5AX (a change from the earlier Tyan motherboard with 2x AGP slot)
Graphics Matrox Dual Head G400 video card (a change from the earlier NVidia GeForce Prophet 3D announcement)
Sound Creative SoundBlaster PCI 16
Memory 128Mb RAM (early announcements limited memory to 64Mb, this has now changed)
Storage 40x CD-ROM drive, 1.44 floppy, 10Gb hard drive (earlier indications suggested 13Gb and 20Gb)
Networking Linksys NC100 v2.0 network card
Case Design ATX form-factor

Admittedly these specifications are hardly cutting edge. The current emphasis is on cheap hardware that will encourage developers writing slim, efficient code that does not require the latest hardware to run.

The developer kit can also be bought as a software-only option through the purchase of the Amiga SDK for $99. Numerous third-party manufacturers are also offering their own custom version of the Amiga Dev Box.

Related Links
Detailed press release of the d'Amiga
d'Amiga Press Release
d'Amiga released in North America



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