Topic: Computing/Amiga

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πŸ”— Fred Fish (Fish Disks)

πŸ”— Biography πŸ”— Computing πŸ”— Biography/science and academia πŸ”— Computing/Software πŸ”— Computing/Free and open-source software πŸ”— Computing/Amiga πŸ”— Open

Fred Fish (November 4, 1952 – April 20, 2007) was a computer programmer notable for work on the GNU Debugger and his series of freeware disks for the Amiga.

The Amiga Library Disks – colloquially referred to as Fish Disks (a term coined by Perry Kivolowitz at a Jersey Amiga User Group meeting) – became the first national rallying point, a sort of early postal system. Fish would distribute his disks around the world in time for regional and local user group meetings, which in turn duplicated them for local distribution. Typically, only the cost of materials changed hands. The Fish Disk series ran from 1986 to 1994. In it, one can chart the growing sophistication of Amiga software and see the emergence of many software trends.

The Fish Disks were distributed at computer stores and Amiga enthusiast clubs. Contributors submitted applications and source code and the best of these each month were assembled and released as a diskette. Since the Internet was not yet in popular usage outside military and university circles, this was a primary way for enthusiasts to share work and ideas. He also initiated the "GeekGadgets" project, a GNU standard environment for AmigaOS and BeOS.

Fish worked for Cygnus Solutions in the 1990s before he left for Be Inc. in 1998.

In 1978, he self-published User Survival Guide for TI-58/59 Master Library, which was advertised in enthusiast newsletters covering the TI-59 programmable calculator.

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πŸ”— The Amiga Smart File System

πŸ”— Computing πŸ”— Computing/Amiga

The Smart File System (SFS) is a journaling filesystem used on Amiga computers and AmigaOS-derived operating systems (though some support also exists for IBM PC compatibles). It is designed for performance, scalability and integrity, offering improvements over standard Amiga filesystems as well as some special or unique features.

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πŸ”— Amiga Unix

πŸ”— Computing πŸ”— Computing/Amiga

Amiga Unix (informally known as Amix) is a discontinued full port of AT&T Unix System V Release 4 operating system developed by Commodore-Amiga, Inc. in 1990 for the Amiga computer family as an alternative to AmigaOS, which shipped by default. Bundled with the Amiga 3000UX, Commodore's Unix was one of the first ports of SVR4 to the 68k architecture. The Amiga A3000UX model even got the attention of Sun Microsystems, though ultimately nothing came of it.

Unlike Apple's A/UX, Amiga Unix contained no compatibility layer to allow AmigaOS applications to run under Unix. With few native applications available to take advantage of the Amiga's significant multimedia capabilities, it failed to find a niche in the quite-competitive Unix workstation market of the early 1990s. The A3000UX's price tag of $4,998 (equivalent to $9,382 in 2019) was also not very attractive compared to other Unix workstations at the time, such as the NeXTstation ($5,000 for a base system, with a full API and many times the number of applications available), the SGI Indigo (starting at $8,000), or the Personal DECstation 5000 Model 25 (starting at $5,000). Sun, HP, and IBM had similarly priced systems. The A3000UX's 68030 was noticeably underpowered compared to most of its RISC-based competitors.

Unlike typical commercial Unix distributions of the time, Amiga Unix included the source code to the vendor-specific enhancements and platform-dependent device drivers (essentially any part that wasn't owned by AT&T), allowing interested users to study or enhance those parts of the system. However this source code was subject to the same license terms as the binary part of the system – it was not free software. Amiga Unix also incorporated and depended upon many open source components, such as the GNU C Compiler and X Window System, and included their source code.

Like many other proprietary Unix variants with small market shares, Amiga Unix vanished into the mists of computer history when its vendor, Commodore, went out of business. Today, Unix-like operating systems such as Minix, NetBSD, and Linux are available for the Amiga platform.

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