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A history of the Amiga, part 9: The Video Toaster
By Thom Holwerda on 2016-03-18 23:25:13

The first killer app, VisiCalc, came out in 1979. It turned an ordinary Apple II into a financial planning tool that was more powerful and flexible than anything the world had ever seen. A refined version of this spreadsheet, Lotus 1-2-3, became the killer app that put IBM PCs in offices and homes around the world. The Macintosh, which floundered in 1985 after early adopter sales trailed off, found a profitable niche in the new world of desktop publishing with two killer apps: Aldus Pagemaker and Adobe Photoshop.

To keep up with the Joneses, the Amiga needed a killer app to survive - it found one with the Video Toaster.

This series has been running for a long, long time, and is still every bit as great.

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Good Article
By Sauron on 2016-03-19 05:18:40
The Video Toaster was a great bit of kit and revolutionary at the time, people in the Amiga camp still use them now.
The only problem with it was it came as NTSC only, there was never a PAL/SECAM unit produced which limited its usefulness for TV and film studios outside the USA.
It was a shame really.
It was still usable in a PAL environment though so that's what counts.
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What I want to know is
By bassbeast on 2016-03-19 12:43:40
Why doesn't somebody make something like the Amiga NOW? What made that OS so bad ass was the fact that it was "bare metal" and had complete access to the hardware without layers of abstraction getting in the way.

Can you imagine how fricking powerful a unit you would have if you stripped away all the extra crap and went bare metal with today's hardware? Hell a 7 year old AMD Phenom II with an HD7790 would probably curbstomp the latest and greatest if you completely removed all the extra crap and gave it console levels of stripped down bare metal access!

I already know some will say "but Internet, security, etc" and I say to that...who cares? Not everything has to be on the fricking net! I know I for one would kill to be able to dual boot from my Internet enabled Win 7 to a non net enabled OS that would let me do my audio/video editing and creation with every drop of performance I could wring out the hardware and I'm sure I'm far from alone, so why doesn't someone give us a "video toaster" for the modern age using COTS hardware?
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RE: What I want to know is
By Carewolf on 2016-03-19 12:55:23
That is basically what consoles are..

Though the Amiga was also great due to all the powerful helper chips.
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RE: What I want to know is
By Sauron on 2016-03-19 14:47:39
I'm with you on that. Maybe one day some company somewhere will see the light and bring something out. One can always dream!
In the meantime I will stay with my Amiga's, if a toaster comes up at the right price I may pick it up for my A2000. Don't know what I'll do with it these days but it would be cool to play around with! :)
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RE: What I want to know is
By JLF65 on 2016-03-19 21:29:32
If you want to see "bare metal" performance on a PC, try AROS. It has a linux-hosted version, and a bare metal version which doesn't work on all machines (as expected). If you can get it working, it just crushes anything else you'll ever trying running on that PC.

Granted, I wouldn't use it for anything that requires network security, but it's awesome for just about any other purpose, and it's fun to run that old Amiga OS.
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RE[2]: What I want to know is
By Sauron on 2016-03-19 21:57:18
Although Aros is great it's hardly a "bare metal experience". For a start there is no video card drivers, it runs in standard VESA modes.
For that bare metal experience the Amiga had/has, the system will have to be the same as the Amiga with the OS specifically paired to and written for the hardware.
Nothing else will even come close.
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RE[3]: What I want to know is
By JLF65 on 2016-03-20 06:16:25
You clearly haven't looked much into AROS. As long as you aren't using the hosted mode, it is indeed bare metal. There's nothing magic about "bare metal" needing special hardware or specifically written software. Devs did this for decades on video game consoles, and most computers before OSes got things like memory protection and user levels.

And AROS has much more than VESA, but mostly only on nvidia and Intel. You might check this link for hardware support by the native x86 AROS:

https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Aro...
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RE[4]: What I want to know is
By Sauron on 2016-03-20 07:33:25
I know enough about Aros, I have ran Icaros desktop for years on various hardware.
Your definition and mine of "bare metal" are obviously very different. I do come from a different age of computing though, so its not surprising.
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RE[5]: What I want to know is
By JLF65 on 2016-03-21 00:31:01
I do know what you mean about one thing - I NEVER seem to have the right hardware to run AROS at its best. :)

If I had a bit more free cash, I'd piece together a rig just for AROS using the list from the link to make sure I had the best of the supported hardware.

And yes, there is a bit of subjectivism to the term "bare metal". I just happen to have grown up on systems/consoles that were all bare metal to us devs.
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RE[6]: What I want to know is
By Sauron on 2016-03-21 01:33:07
I always seem to get people offloading their junk in my direction so hardware isn't much of a problem, better still it's free. :).
I have boxes built for Aros, Win98, WinXP a couple for BeOS/Haiku and even 1 for Amithlon.
Problem is the room they take, one of my bedrooms is absolutely full of the stuff!
I miss the old days of computing that's for sure. I started in the early eighty’s with a Sinclair ZX81, then a spectrum, then a Atari 800XL which I still have and then the Amiga. I have several of those, I still love them to bits.
I think it's amazing how far Aros has come in such a relative short time, it just gets better. The recent HTML 5 support is brought by magic I think!
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