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© 1997-2006
Gareth Knight
All Rights reserved



The History of AmigaOS 3.5

After a turbulent few months Amiga International are back on track to releasing the final upgrade for Classic Amigas. The troubles began at the World of Amiga Show 1998 in Hammersmith London. Amiga Inc announced that the OS3.5 project had been abandoned and the time would be spent upon the development of the OS4 Developers System. Over the weekend at the World of Amiga Mick Tinker created a plan that would ensure its survival and allow the development of PPC-based Amigas. However, this faded into the background and was abandoned as more pressing events came to the fore. During July, Team AMIGA, Olaf Barthel, and Mick Tinker begun the project anew attempting to develop a program of upgrading and find financing for the OS3.5 project as a grass roots effort. This eventually led to the project being handed over to Fleecy Moss at Amiga Inc. This led to a number of developers being contacted to work on the project, including Matt Chaput, author of GlowIcons. Other improvements were an AHI-extension currently known as ARTAS, WarpOS PPC extensions, and HTML-based documentation. However, contact between these developers and Amiga Inc ended with the sacking of Fleecy just a few days before the Cologne '98 show in November. After a few days it was quietly announced that the development of AmigaOS 3.5 had been contracted to Haage & Partner, who in turn announced that there were around 20 developers currently responsible for updating the operating system. These developers span the Amiga community, however very few have come to light. Olaf Barthel is the most vocal of these and has helped to mediate problems and questions between Amiga users and developers.

OS3.5 Beta

To ensure that OS3.5 ran on the maximum number of machines possible, an extensive beta stage was always planned to iron out any bugs that may arise. Whilst Amiga were still in charge of development, a sample of the Amiga community would be made up from ICOA beta test Working Group. When Haage & Partner took over the project they opened the doors, allowing anyone to apply for beta testing, 2000 names would be chosen after the closure date (12th May 1999). This is likely to have been based upon hardware owned to provide maximum compatibility. Successful candidates were required to sign NDA (Non Disclosure Agreements) to prevent information from being leaked. The official release of AmigaOS 3.5 was scheduled for the August 21st in Australia at the Amiga Downunder 99 show. However, as with most major product releases it has been delayed and a beta version was upveiled at the show. The OS upgrade was finally be released during November 1999, followed by the first upgrade "BoingBag" a month later.

Olaf Barthel on Compatibility

Visit the official AmigaOS 3.5 site at: http://www.amiga.com/amigaos35/index.html




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