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Go Back  History of the Multi-OS

Author: Steve Jones

Date: 16/06/2008 12:32:55


The original Siamese System was developed by HiQ limited in the early nineties by Stephen Jones with the HiQ Power Station and the concept was expanded by the software developed by Paul Nolan of Photogenics fame. Its original design concept was to expand the Commodore Amiga range of computers by using low cost PC hardware and Window 3.1 and later Windows 95 to drive this new hardware.

The execution was to link the Amiga via Serial or Ethernet to the Windows 95 PC and with some ground breaking software from Paul Nolan to create what we believe was one of the first types of remote window manager Software where the Amiga's desktop appeared and was accelerated by the Windows display. Doing this increased the resolution of the Amiga's native display resolution and colour modes to match the host Windows PC display.

On top of this, the text clipboard was shared between the two machines and all hard drives and removable devices were available from both machines. Also we used the Windows sound card to enhance the Amiga sound to 16 bit quality.

In reality what was created was the first Multi-OS machine, as the Amiga could run 68k Macintosh software at the time which was also boosted by the graphics, drive and sound upgrade the Siamese delivered. On top of this you obviously had a Windows 95 machine so you could run all three OS'es at the same time. This Siamese concept was very successful and was we hoped about to become mainstream.

In 1997 a meeting between HiQ ltd's Stephen Jones and Mick Tinker from Index Innovations ltd whilst at an Amiga show in Germany realised that the new PCI Amiga card from Index, and the Siamese software from HiQ could revolutionise the computer world.

After the Gateway 2000 inc. buyout of the Amiga Company a deal was being put together between Gateway 2000, HiQ and Index which would create the world's first Windows, Amiga and MacOS computer system. Unfortunately, Gateway 2000 had a change of heart and cancelled the project, effectively killing the Multi-OS computer.

In 1999 Stephen Jones and Cluster UK ltd designed and developed the original 3-Pack and 8-Pack casing system, of which the 3-Pack was prototyped in the year 2000. Although upon its announcement it developed a lot of interest it was decided not to put into production. The 3-Pack has remained as a working test bed ever since this time and Cluster UK has been involved in Document Management and IP camera software development during this time.

In 2008 a decision was made to try and market this concept one more time, because we believe there is still a need for a Multi-OS computer system in this world wide market. We are aiming at first at a small segment of the overall market where working on software from different platforms is important and emulation or virtual machines just cannot provide a powerful enough solution.

So a new prototype is being designed using the lessons learned over the last few years and production of the first batch should be available by September.

We will not be taking pre orders, but if interested just drop us an email and we will contact you when they are available.

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