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© 1997-2006
Gareth Knight
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Amithlon

SysInfo - running on AMIthlon
Developer: Bernd Meyer & Harald Frank (VMC)
First demonstration: July 28th, 2001 (AmiWest 2001)
Launch date: October 2001
Status: Commercial

AMIthlon was the second Amiga emulator to be announced, coming just two weeks after the revelation of AmigaOS XL. It offers a similar level of performance to the AmigaOS XL emulator, reporting a 450 MHz 68040 on a 1 GHz AMD Athlon.

The emulator, developed by Bernd Meyer, is based upon the authors' experience with the WinUAE JiT emulation, but features some dramatic changes to increase emulation speed (at the loss of compatibility). The slim-line ISOLinux distribution is used to boot directly into the Amiga emulation, removing the need for users to interact with a host operating system. This simple, yet effective change resulted in many users favouring Amithlon over AmigaOS XL as the emulation of choice.

At the time of writing only a small number of graphics (nVidia, Matrox, and a few others) and sound cards (Soundblaster 128 & AC97) are supported in the first release through the use of AHI & Picasso96. Networking is also limited to generic 10Mbit NE2000 PCI cards.

Current state of Amithlon - the short version

On March 2nd 2002, Several months after its release, it was made public that the Amiga Kickstart ROM images & associated software was provided illegally by Haage & Partner without the required Amiga Inc license. As a result of their actions Bernd 'Bernie' Meyer terminates his relationship with the company, citing breach of contract. Although Haage & Partner continue to sell the emulation CD, the author remains unpaid for any sales made after this date. This news triggers a wave of anti-H&P sentiment that continues to rage on Amiga mailing lists and web forums during 2002. The infighting is most ferocious on the Haage & Partner's official support list, where the co-developers fight over the current legality of Amithlon. The public hostility only serves to split the Amithlon group, flooding subscriber's inboxes with daily flame wars. After some attempt at reconciliation it is evident that Bernie Meyer will never work with Haage & Partner or Harold Frank again.

This news was disheartening for anyone who was waiting for further upgrades. As described above, Amithlon v1 only supports specific hardware of a small range of machines. To support these users, Amithlon v2 was partially rewritten to replace any code belonging to H&P or Harald Frank. The new emulator, dubbed 'Berniethlon' by the Amithon mailing list, would offer capabilities that could not be provided in the original version. Bernie also entered into an agreement with Amiga Inc. to license the Amiga IP. The company even announces several x86 products bundled with the emulator. However, Amiga Inc. fail to follow-up on their public announcement and do little o support Bernie's attempts to license and he abandons work on the follow-up. After months of effort, it was announced on December 1st, 2002 that the author was no longer willing to fight his former employers and was abandoning development - Umilator (the official name of 'Berniethlon' would never be released. In retaliation, Haage & Partner removed him from the support mailing list, along with several other individuals (myself included).

AmigaOS XL emulator
AmigaXL FAQ - Comparison
Amithlon Benchmarks
Hyperion blasts x86 AMIthlon
Marcus Nerding confirms H&P do not own Amithlon
Quo vadis, Amithlon? (April 2002)
Amiga, Inc. and Bernd Meyer announce licensing of Amithlon 2.0 (23rd June, 2002)

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Last Update: 7/12/2002


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