This article is continuation of the previous article. In the previous one we ended with decision that something should be done. But we didn't really know what (I didn't write that I “the possibilities letter” I mentioned also one other possibility - migration to Macs as many Atari users did. But it wasn't way for us. We wanted to continue with supporting of our lovely platform. The next many months were about private discussions between us.
I wrote that my oldest saved e-mail about Ax86 (it was the codename of the project) was email with Phanatic about improvements in STonX. Then we discussed and discussed and … . And then thanks Antonin Kral (my roommate from Prague and our Debian maintainer) we could use public mailing list later. The list which is known as ARAnyM developer list and you can find the first letter here. Yes, it is in Czech, because we were all Czechs.
As you can see from subject, at that time we didn't still decide which possibility we try. We discussed about UAE (STonX was rejected in summer as old dead project), about oTOSis, about MacMiNT, about POSe, about Atari internals like harddisks etc. We discussed even about programing language
We discussed so much that Phanatic sent the e-mail “stop and do something”. We didn't really know still what we create but we were converting to the virtual machine more and more. The main reasons were lack of power and compatibility. The virtual machine could host more applications than others and could be hosted on many different machines. And the basics? UAE core. Why? It was nearly complete CPU which we needed. The first prerelease (really, not bootable ) was called prepreprepreprepre-alpha. It was UAE without hardware Not really useful.
It was on 31st January 2001 (eight minutes after midnight) when I published the first core. The first reaction was from Joy. And he mentioned BasiliskII. I knew it but I didn't know that it's still developed. And at the first time I thought that UAE is better core. It wasn't true Thanks Christian Bauer we had better codesource than UAE was. On 19th February 2001 I published aranymV. Yes, it was real basic of it what you know as ARAnyM today. Btw. the author of the name ARAnyM (Atari Running on Any Machine) was STan, I think (we called it also Fanda and sometimes it's still used privately).
What had we at that time? CPU with debugger, not more. The next version was on 5th March and few others during the next two weeks and then it was Joy's game. He wrote a skeleton of MFP on 22nd March. The first screenshot (26th March) was very impressive. And on 3rd April he saw Fuji in graphics and then even full GEMBench from floppy disk. Btw. at that time also very nice emulator for games was started - Hatari. As you can see, the progress was very quick, mainly thanks Joy's sabotage of his real job. On Czech Atari session Atariada we could present something possible useful.
And then? Then our Changelog was started. The first English document about ARAnyM. During the next months more and more (even foreign) people heard about ARAnyM. During spring and summer we had already few czech users but the project hadn't big publicity and not officially published. STan contacted Johan Klockars, author of fVDI and with his help he developed screen driver for ARAnyM which brings important speed improvement. He also created the first MetaDOS hostfs driver at that time (and he is working on it till today ).
The final decision about publicity was made in October 2001 because in reborn STonX its authors started discussion about Native Features and we wanted to be in on the ground floor The first release was 0.0.9 on 19th October 2001 and the first non-Czech speaker was MattUsAlem after 5 days. During the next few weeks many important people came, e.g. Martin Doering (EmuTOS) and boys from France like the first foreign contributor Olivier Landemarre. And ARAnyM grew up. JIT compiler was integrated in 2002 and also DSP emulation created in that year. The last big step was ability to boot Linux a few months ago (at the beginning I didn't expected that it take so long time, thank you, Andreas, for your rescue me from it). There are many other important steps during last years but they are very well documented in Changelog and in News file, so I think it's time to do something more useful than writing words
Today we are still on the mission. But our mission, which was declared as impossible, seems to be more or less successful. Some core developers left, like Phanatic, some of them contributed sometimes, some others after few months returned and some are still very active. Thanks all these people we have ARAnyM and I must say them THANK YOU. This article is dedicated (in alphabetical order) to
and, of course, to Petr Stehlik. All of them contributed to ARAnyM or its predecessors (there are more than these, of course). And boys around EmuTOS, contributors to FreeMiNT, the authors of XaAES, to everybody which helped with components of AFROS and thanks them we are still with our slogan “Power without Price”.
I would thanks devloppers for the work done in Aranym, this is great work, and today this is my Atari developper environment!
But now what is futur for Aranym? Personaly not interest in full compatibility this already very good, I prefer think a more system futur, is it the good way, I don't know, perhaps Aranym should come a composant of an other project? Or the engine of this project?
Somes words to explain what I want: I want a new modern Atari system working on modern computer, and be able run old software, I wan't MacOS done in the past for Apple PPC computer (more simple because dual binary code is not need at all and very complex). How do this? Remove Mint as 68K code, include a sort of Mint in Aranym, but native to do run 68K application in multitask space, do a totaly native VDI, AES, GEMDOS to be able to call from native applications and Aranym emulator, all running above a small kernel like Linux one. With Aranym we are able to do this, we have already all software part.
Is it only a dream? Really I don't think so!
Olivier Landemarre alias OL
Have you read my comment on Zorro's questions? I would think that it answers your question.
Yes now I have read it! I'm totaly agree with you, for a long time I have look for oTOSIS project this quite fun, but impossible to finish without a software like Aranym. Now we have good emulator, quite good VDI and not so bad AESs, now I'm sure it's possible