Monday, 2 January 2017

Interview with Niko Tomatsidis

1. Hello and welcome from us at Blitterwolf. For our readers could you tell us your name, country and occupation please?
A. Hi! Thank you for inviting me to do this interview.
My name is Nikos Tomatsidis. I'm born 1972 and live in Norway. I have father from Hellas and mother from Norway. Last 5 years I been working for a company in Oslo selling products for bathrooms. I'm also the IT manager for this company.

Nikos Tomatsidis

2. When was your first experience with the Amiga and what were your thoughts?
A. I remember a friend of mine got A500 from his parents to learn some serious computing stuff. At that time A500 where way out of reach for me and most at my age. Some years later I bought a used A500 from a classmate.

3. What Amiga systems do you currently own?
A. None, unfortunately.

4. How many Amiga systems have you owned in your lifetime?
A. I had A500 first. After that A1200 with different accelerators. That last years I had A4000 with Cybervision, Delfina soundcard and Cyberstorm PPC.

5. Do you prefer using Classic or Next Gen hardware?
A. I like hardware to be up to date. I want a computer where I can do most of my tasks.

6. What Amiga Operating System between 1.x and 4.x do/did you like to use most?
A. I never had Amiga OS4. Some years ago I was considering buying a next gen. Amiga but I'm glad I never did. AROS and MorphOS are more appealing in my opinion and just as "Amiga" as OS4. The original Amiga died with the original owners.

7. Did you have your most favourite played games on Amiga and what were/are they?
A. There are many. First that comes to mind are MYTH, Super Cars II, R-type II, ATR, Super Stardust, Killing grounds.

8. Best Amiga system of all time for you?
A. A1200.

9. Best Amiga game of all time for you?
A. R-Type II.

10. What are your thoughts about what happened to Commodore - Amiga?
A. It is a shame that Commodore managed to get bankrupt. From what I understood they where first of all a gfx chip maker and the competition from IBM compatible PCs made it difficult.

I guess they found no way to invest in new hardware and possibly rewrite the OS to support other CPUs. I remember even Commodore made IBM compatible PCs as a last attempt to survive.

11. What do you think of Amiga and the new owners after Commodore?
A. I remember I had big hopes from whoever took over the name. At a time it was showed some prototype of some new Amiga that did not exactly impress regarding hardware specs.

When Hyperion took over the hopes went up as they already had a great history with both Amiga software and hardware and they brought AmigaOS to PPC and so on. Unfortunately they did not succeed. Choosing wrong architecture was only one of the failures from them. The history after Commodore is just sad and I guess it is too late for anyone to bring back Amiga as a platform to compete with the big hardware and software makers.

12. What got you involved in the AROS project?
A. To see how bad Amiga was managed I was glad to see some very talented people starting their own project to bring AmigaOS to a modern platform and let the people (users) be in charge of the OS. That resulted in AROS, an open source operating system (

From around 2002 I've been following the project with great interest.

13. Can you tell us what you have been doing for the AROS project?
A. I'm no coder myself but I know most of the developers. I've done a lot of beta testing for the OS and programs.

I supported developers with money to get things done.

It is very important that developers get feedback from what they are doing.

I started my own AROS distribution called AspireOS some years ago

14. Can you tell us more about AspireOS?
A. At the time I started it we had Icaros Desktop. It is to date by far the most used AROS distribution. In my opinion it was too big in size with too much alpha software etc. I did not like the default configuration much either.

I always wanted some hardware that was fully supported and maybe even named as official hardware for AROS.

With Stefen and some others that luckily happened with the netbook ACER Aspire One 110. That is where AspireOS name came from and I configured the OS to run easy on that hardware. The reception was good and I got nice feedback. Sadly it has not been maintained for the last 2 years. For now I recommend Icaros Desktop if you like to try AROS. I hope to bring some nice update to AspireOS in January.


15. What do you see as the future for Amiga or Amiga like OS?
A. With the lack up updates to OS4 and the lack of communication that Hyperion have showed that last years, I see no way they could do anything significant for the future. MorphOS is also kind of stuck with PPC and the lack of modern hardware is not exactly future proof.

AROS is maintained buy a few very dedicated developers and it is very up and down regarding the progress that is being done. The lack of structure and plan is maybe why AROS is not more wide spread. On the other hand this "do what you want attitude" has kind of worked.

Michael Holmes

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