Is MorphOS worth it?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Dronecatcher, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. Dronecatcher macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    #1
    Over the years I've popped the MorphOS disk in various Macs and been impressed by the OS speed and performance, I've installed it on my 17" DLSD before and used it with the 30 minute limit but I've never committed to the hefty price tag of a licence as I'm not keen on the one licence to one machine business model. Also, I found the latest version not to be superior to OSX workarounds in Youtube playback as the previous ones were (I suspect development with OWB hasn't kept up).
    So, are there any MorphOS users out there who can make a persuasive case for it....as opposed to running AROS or WinUAE on X86...or even E-UAE on PPC?
     
  2. backyardvoodoo macrumors newbie

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    #2
    I'd love to hear an Amiga fan opinion here.

    As a Linux user myself I am really struggling with the a) behind the closed doors development model b) the business model that imposes a hefty price tag but still doesn't make the developers enough money. I know there are bounty initiatives within MorphOS community though but I still can't comprehend how this works with closed source software.
     
  3. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    #3
    I love the idea/ethos behind MorphOS but as of now (12/11/2017) it offers no advantages over PPC re the web and for Amiga OS3 nostalgia, E-UAE fits the bill. For my Amiga fix, although I have emulators on PPC, the best solution is an Asus netbook that boots straight into Workbench 3.1 via WinUAE.
     
  4. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    #4
    I specifically purchased a Mac mini G4 1.42ghz with 1GB RAM as a best case, low cost hardware option for a fully supported MorphOS box and have it installed on a partition for triple boot (Leopard, Tiger and MorphOS), but haven’t yet registered/paid.

    I haven’t yet taken the plunge as it is more than just an initial cost but another time commitment to learning how to make best use of the OS.

    As we’ve pointed out before, the trackpad and power management differences makes a PowerBook feel foreign when using the alternative OS.
    So I have little interest in putting it on my ‘books.

    I am interested in installing the SDK and looking at development options for the OS. I read that there is some limited Objective C support (via gcc) and the Synergy Server/client were written in Obj-C, but most of the OS and software is written in C++.

    If the OS had more open source components/apps I feel it would be more attractive as hobbyists and developers could patch and improve upon the existing software.

    The cost is not a real deterring factor as I have spent more than that on most of my old Macs. I have a feeling that my perception and one foot in commitment would change once I put my money down.

    My only concern at this stage is it looks like development is dormant. I understand it’s a huge undertaking to write and support an OS, but some online presence would make registering more appealing.

    Because of the rolling tumbleweed, ghost-town vibe, I feel it would be no surprise if I put my money down and a license never came through.

    I will make a commitment today; when the next major release hits (4.0?), I will buy a license.
     
  5. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    #5
    Version 3.10 is imminent (end of year) but they're preparing for the shift to X86...by that point PPC will be left out in the cold and you may aswell get your Amiga-like OS kicks off AROS or just run emulation.
     
  6. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    #6
    I read about the shift to x86 and figured that was what’s happening behind closed doors. There is just very little buzz/excitement.

    Not being a prior Amiga User, I don’t have an existing connection with the platform and only showed interest because of the non-mainstream / obscure / alternative PowerPC hardware support.

    The writing has been on the wall for PowerPC for well over a decade, yet here we are, still using the hardware.
     
  7. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    #7
    I think PowerPC support will grow as the years roll on - it will just become an expensive, exclusive niche corner of computiing - pretty much like the Amiga world now - it's never been more alive...but at a premium price. I'm not knocking it but away from nostalgia, I'm more exited about people working magic at the low end - making good from the obsolete and worthless, hence my netbook Amiga for £30 as opposed to real Amiga + accelerator + storage + memory + connectivity interfaces at £400+
     
  8. d-oost macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    That's rather weird, given the most current Amiga hardware still is based on PowerPC. Heck, the latest AmigaOne computer from earlier this year still does. Are they really just going to drop the systems that are their main focus? Because that seems highly unlikely. Cutting PowerPC support on MorphOS means they'll lose the majority of users, namely the Amiga fans on PowerPC based hardware, including the Macs. Also, it'd really set bad blood with the MorphOS devs as people paid out of the nose for their licenses, just to hear "Yeah, about that, we're going to drop the Amiga line completely, good luck!".
     
  9. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    #9
    Getting any info out of the MorphOS camp is like getting blood out of a stone...but I gather they won't be dropping PPC for a while and it'll be a gradual redundancy - new features/enhancements that will be introduced will be X86 only.
     
  10. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502a

    Bug-Creator

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    #10
    AmigaONE != Amiga, and may I repeat AmigaONE != Amiga;)

    MorphOS started on C=/ESCOM era Amiga which had Phase5 PPC boards added.

    The guys who did the Phase5 HW turned into bPlan who did the Pegasos1/2 and Efika which were the MorphOS team's "main focus". The "AmigaONEs" of the time were barely working rebadged evaluation boards sold at inflated price by a rather shady business.

    A few years ago another company got the rights to that name and produced a limited number of P6T based systems at insane prices which again were never considered a viable target.
    Same company did another AmigaONE with a Freescale SoC which will be supported in 3.10.

    "Main focus" on the hand has been Apple PPC HW for several years now.

    What will happen to PPC support once(if) the x64 fork takes of is unknown.
     
  11. d-oost macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Still, MorphOS is supposed to be used by Amiga(-like) users. Those users often don't want x86(-64) hardware, for various reasons. Most MorphOS users that use it because of its Amiga roots, only use PowerPC Macs as a means to an end without spending insane amounts of money. So because of that, to me it would seem unlikely that they would switch over to x86-64 hardware to continue to use MorphOS. It's gonna be a hard sell, at the very least. But I'm still curious where the devs hinted at an x86 switchover.
     
  12. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    #12
    https://morph.zone/news/
     
  13. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502a

    Bug-Creator

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    #13

    Suresure, but the only future is outside PPC (I don't see 1500+ € boards based on a SoC with only legacy support by it's supplier and performing like a rPi as a future).

    MorphOS as it is is all ready an hard sell to diehard Amigans (those currently get an hard one over some FPGAs running a a somewhat compatible emulated "68080" at PentiumII speeds).

    MorphOS-x64 will be an easy sell to existing MorphOS users (have yet to meet one that opposes an switch).
     
  14. Dronecatcher thread starter macrumors 68030

    Dronecatcher

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    #14
    But once you're in X86/64 land what advantages are there over AROS?

    Back to my original point - a few years ago MorphOS gave the fastest performance on PPC (in particular online) but now seems lacking, so is the concensus, PPC has reached it's limit for that platform?
     
  15. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502a

    Bug-Creator

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    #15
    The fastest PPC (outside IBM's POWER) today is the G5.

    Moto dropped that ball long before it became FreeScale,NXP,whatever it's called today.

    AROS for sure is faster today as it runs on faster HW, but it lacks pretty much everywhere else.

    What MorphOS-x64 will offer compared to AROS remains to be seen, but it has been made quite clear that it will cut of parts of the API that prevented AOS,MorphOS and AROS from using multiple cores, proper memory protection and so one.

    It is also clear that the team won't release it to the public until it has been polished to a certain point.
     
  16. AphoticD macrumors 68000

    AphoticD

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    #16
    So what dictates a hardware’s functional limit? Is it the performance and security of the web browser?

    One thing we need to remember (and I think it applies even more so for Amiga users), the hardware still runs in most cases as perfect and performant as it did on the day it was released. The software we used 12 years ago on a state of the art G5 still runs just as flawless as it did back then. Most of a technology’s usefulness (or lack thereof) comes from user perception / expectation.

    The mobile phone industry is even more extreme on this factor, because of the rapid evolution of handheld devices, however I would say that a G5 (DC or Quad) is still perfectly capable and comparable to a modern Mac, with software support being the only true restriction.

    Hyperthreading and data throughput aside, the G5 architecture has everything one would expect from a pro level computer. I still use my G5s with a pro user outlook and feel they capture the essence of a time period when I adored everything about the Mac and what it stood for. My PowerPC portables on the other hand are not powerful machines, but they are still functional and beautifully made, so I put them to use where possible and appreciate them for what they are.

    I don’t see a need to retire these old Macs from active service until I reach a point in my life where I no longer have an interest in using them for my creative work or they totally fall apart, whichever comes first.
     
  17. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #17
    Does anyone know how well MorphOS uses GPU accel?

    I've been meaning to set up a computer to run it(whether or not I buy remains to be seen) and the decision would basically be down to either a 1.42ghz eMac or a Mini. The eMac has the MUCH better GPU, but I don't want to waste its capabilities on MorphOS when they would actually be put to use in OS X.
     
  18. LightBulbFun macrumors 68000

    LightBulbFun

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    #18
    MorphOS does indeed have 3d capabilities and will use utilise the 3D parts of a GPU with the right applications (like 3D Games)

    that being said MorphOS it self (the GUI etc) runs just as well on an ATI Radeon 9200 as it does on an X850 XT :)
     
  19. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502a

    Bug-Creator

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    #19
    Question is if you really want to endure that ancient CRT in the eMac.

    If the Mini is NOT the 1.5GHz version you will be only have 32MB VRAM which will be a much bigger issue than the GPU if you plan to use anything near FullHD.
     
  20. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #20
    What's wrong with a CRT? :)

    The eMac CRT is one of the nicer ones I've used. It's not up to the quality of the late Studio displays(in particular the 17" ADC) but is still a nice piece.

    BTW, I have the 17" ADC on my "gaming" Cube. It fits right in, and I love the resolution and refresh rate on it, esp. compared to LCDs of the era.
     
  21. ctmpkmlec4 macrumors 6502

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    #21
    When it comes to ease of setup and saving desktop space, I prefer the eMac. And, I like its CRT display. That said, it's my 1.5 GHz Mac Mini that is licensed for MorphOS.
     
  22. Jubadub macrumors newbie

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    #22
    Did anyone here get MorphOS to work on the Mac mini with a LED monitor? For some reason, while Mac OS X Tiger, Leopard and even Mac OS 9 (which was recently made bootable & functional on all Mac mini G4 models by the amazing people at Mac OS 9 Lives!) work with my Samsung Full HD LED TV/monitor over a VGA cable, my TV claims there's "no signal" after it boots from the MorphOS 3.10 CD disc. Using a 4:3 CRT works fine, though.

    I wanted to try to give Amiga & amiga-compatible stuff a wee bit of a chance thanks to it being PPC and all, like others here (will completely abandon that far out idea if there's seriously a stupid x86 switch; They can keep IME/PSP to themselves), but my only viably-available monitor is this LED one of mine. No other.


    P.S.: Since people were talking of CRTs here... May the critics know they have THE best response yet out of all display types out there, which is why it is used by more serious competitive gamers such as Super Smash Bros. Melee players etc. and IIRC some specific "PC" gamers too. Some things also look better in it, as well. It has its merits, which COULD have been surpassed, but said surpassing technologies never took over the mainstream market and disappeared, sadly... (like a slim display very analogous to CRT technology.)
     
  23. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #23
    I know this is an old(er) thread and I've not even given the "30 minute trial" MorphOS a try.

    Still, though, some things about their business model bug me. I REALLY don't like that the OS is locked to the S/N of the computer on which it's first installed. Even though I have one or two "primary" PPC Macs around, they get swapped around sometimes for various reasons. Sometimes it's an upgrade, or sometimes one just dies(I still have a nice burn mark on my desk where my favorite Cube decided to rid itself of one of the components on the LoBo-the machine is back in service with a replacement LoBo and thus a different S/N).

    I know they will re-issue a key from hardware failure at your request, but then if they go under we run into the issue we had with Core Player.

    Adobe and Microsoft lock their licenses down pretty tight(provided you don't do something illegal) but they generally give you two installs per code and also allow a fair bit of mobility. As an example, I have Lightroom 6 installed on my main laptop, my Mac Pro at work, and my MP 5,1 at home. Since I never used it on my work computer, it was a simple matter to de-activate it and then activate it on the MP at home. I haven't had to do it in a while, but I remember de-activating retail Windows installs that were on dead or retired computers so that I could install on a new computer.
     
  24. Jubadub macrumors newbie

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    #24
    Yes, it's really not easy to swallow that 80 Euro price (man, that price is INSANE, especially considering all that it is lacking, such as proper FW support, and my issue above with my monitor that works on absolutely everything else).

    That business model, for the same reasons you specified, I find absolutely horrible. Still, I wanted to at least give it a fair chance, but that gets backfired too, since I can't use an external FW drive for installing it nor use a simple LED monitor that works with BSD, GNU/Linux, Mac OS X and even Mac OS 9! No matter how I look at it, I can't justify its use, especially its licensing! Not even an Amiga software argument, since there are numerous other ways to run them!
     

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