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Author Topic: Interview with Ilkka Lehtoranta.  (Read 2563 times)


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Offline saib0tTopic starter

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Interview with Ilkka Lehtoranta.
« on: April 15, 2013, 07:20:49 PM »
Time for another fine interview from us at MorphOS Nordic.
This time it's Ilkka Lehtoranra that has answered our questions.

* Can you tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Ilkka Lehtoranta, living with my fiancee in Jyväskylä, Finland.
I work in the machine vision industry working on C# and embedded projects.

* Tell us a bit about your computer history.

It was in early 80s when I found about Commodore VIC-20 and got immediately hooked at it.
It was very exciting but it was not until late 80s until got my first computer,
Commodore 64. I wrote simple BASIC programs on it but I never managed to do anything
serious with it. I tried to learn writing programs in machine language but without
knowledge resources it was hopeless. When I got Amiga 500 I started to experience
coding more seriously and crafted some small and rudimentary tools.

* When did you first get in touch with Amiga and later MorphOS?

It was in late 80s when my friends were getting new Amiga 500 and I had to get one, too.
Finally in 1990 I bought my first Amiga 500. Somehow I managed to get an access
to A68k compiler and some system header files to experiment with Amiga coding.
I wrote some small and not so small utilities in a 68k assembly. It was fun.

Many many years later in 2000 or 2001 when Piru was looking for beta testers for MorphOS.
The MorphOS was completely new to me. In fact I knew absolutely nothing about it nor its
competitor OS4. My interest on Amiga had been wading due to lack of progress,
news and general stagnation but I got interested because there were many talented persons
working on it. There was finally good use for my BlizzardPPC and about same time I got in
touch with people at #amigazeux who were huge MorphOS and MUI fans. I started converting some my
projects to PowerPC pestering Piru with lot of questions.

The AmigaZeux is not active anymore but I wish we can meet each other in the future.
Matthias Boecker who was author of AmiTradeCenter, AmiNetRadio, dynAMIte and many other
famous applications and games had strong influence to my coding and we had good time when
chatting about coding, chip tunes and everything in general.

* What do you do when your not working on MorphOS?

Nothing really. I just relax with my girlfriend. Going out and having fun.

* What are your part in the MorphOS development?

I am working on upper level components like disk based libraries and tools and utilities.

* Can you give us some examples of things you have been involved in?

Fontconfig, Mixer, Multiview, Ambient and some MUI classes.

* What is the biggest challenge you have been facing when developing MorphOS?

I dont think there have been any. If you have written software for Amiga then developing
MorphOS is only easier due to better tools and system debugging support.

* Are you working on some features that we will se in MorphOS in the future?

There will be new benchmarking tools in MorphOS 3.2. GfxSpeed is completely new program
I wrote last year and DiskSpeed is a new enhanced port from AROS. Some new APIs are also

* What are the biggest challenges MorphOS is facing?

It is the death of PPC. We can switch to x86 or ARM but can we survive if we are going
to drop the 68k compatibility?

* In the event of an architecture change, what would you prefer and why?

It would be x64. It is powerful and affordable. The ARM architecture is cute but
ARM gadgets on the market are highly specialized short living trendy customer electronics.

MorphOS tablet running OWB would be lovely, though.

* What future if any do you see for the PPC platform?

It is slowly fading into oblivion. Nobody cares it.

* Why should anyone chose MorphOS over any other OS?

They probably shouldnt :) it is highly specialized operating system that requires some understanding of Amiga concepts
and willingness to tinker with niche hardware and small software base. You can use MorphOS for managing photos,
online banking, Facebook, watching movies online and things like that but you can do that on cheap tablets, too.

But with MorphOS you can get your Amiga fix on cheap Macs and have a slightly different point of view to the world
of computing. MorphOS is luckily quite easy to use. My friends dont often realize it is not an OS X when they are
using OWB on my PowerBook.

* What future do you see for MorphOS?

It is promising but it will be a niche OS like it has always been.

However, although the PPC as a platform has stagnated we have established solid base for
future MorphOS versions. We are not just porting MorphOS to new devices or making new features
but we have got a chance to enhance existing functionality. For example we have replaced APDF by
VPDF and in the future old AmiTCP based NetStack is replaced with newer one. We dont have so many missing
pieces like we used to have five years ago. We have made good progress and I hope we continue to
do so in the future.

* What would you like to see in MorphOS in the future?

Many things. Better Unicode support, more new software from 3rd party developers and better documentation
to developers. Our SDK is great but autodocs are substandard. In fact in most places they dont exist.

I was surprised when I read about MUI Royale. It doesnt do it like I want it. I am not a huge XML
fan. But it does support MUI 4 features and external MUI classes without having to write code
yourself. I wish we could offer something like this.

We should also concentrate on usability issues to help new users to use MorphOS. I always forget this because
I have been using MorphOS over ten years and have fresh install only when I buy new old Mac.

* Is there anything you would like to say to the MorphOS community?

Thank you for supporting us. Dont hesitate to send complaints to us if something is broken or missing.

Offline kickstart

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Re: Interview with Ilkka Lehtoranta.
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2013, 11:28:12 PM »
Nice interview, thanks.
a1200 060

Offline TheMagicM

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Re: Interview with Ilkka Lehtoranta.
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2013, 07:08:05 PM »
good read... thanks!
PowerMac G5 dual 2.0ghz/128meg Radeon/500gb HD/2GB RAM, MorphOS 3.9 registered, user #1900
Powerbook G4 5,6 1.67ghz/2gb RAM, Radeon 9700/250gb hd, MorphOS 3.9 registered #3143

Offline Oldsmobile_Mike

Re: Interview with Ilkka Lehtoranta.
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2013, 03:36:13 AM »
Not trying to tell you how to do your job or anything, but for those of us who have no idea who this guy is, it might've been nice to preface the interview with "Today's interview is with Ilkka Lehtoranta, he's the programmer of blah-blah-blah for such-and-such operating system", or something.

I got about as far as the "What do you do when not working on MorphOS" - "Nothing" bit.  Nothing, really?  You mean you don't have a day job?  LOL, must be nice!!  :D
Amiga 500: 2MB Chip|16MB Fast|30MHz 68030+68882|3.9|Indivision ECS|GVP A500HD+|Mechware card reader + 8GB CF|Cocolino|SCSI DVD-RAM
Amiga 2000: 2MB Chip|136MB Fast|50MHz 68060|3.9|Indivision ECS + GVP Spectrum|Mechware card reader + 8GB CF|AD516|X-Surf 100|RapidRoad|Cocolino|SCSI CD-RW
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Offline Methuselas

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Re: Interview with Ilkka Lehtoranta.
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2013, 05:28:37 AM »
Nice to see someone from either camps finally admitting PPC is a dead end.
\'Using no way as way. Having no limitation as limitation.\' - Bruce Lee

\'No, sorry. I don\'t get my tits out. They\'re not actually real, you know? Just two halves of a grapefruit...\' - Miki Berenyi

\'Evil will always triumph because good is dumb.\' - Dark Helmet :roflmao:

\'And for future reference, it might be polite to ask someone if you can  quote them in your signature, rather than just citing them to make a  sales pitch.\' - Karlos. :rtf

Offline pVC

Re: Interview with Ilkka Lehtoranta.
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2013, 07:00:34 AM »
Quote from: Oldsmobile_Mike;732251
I got about as far as the "What do you do when not working on MorphOS" - "Nothing" bit.  Nothing, really?  You mean you don't have a day job?  LOL, must be nice!!  :D

Did you really get that far? I think you must have skipped earlier too. Like the first question. While the day job was already talked it's ok to assume that rest of the questions cover the free time...
Daily MorphOS user and Amiga active.

Offline ElPolloDiabl

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Re: Interview with Ilkka Lehtoranta.
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2013, 08:23:26 AM »
I agree that x86 is a better move. It is mostly the oldies who would try and use MorphOS. No young people are going to bother.
Because of the porting time, AROS would be better on a tablet/transformer PC if that is your thing.
Intel might even get into the tablet market if they can get a lower power device. 15Watts actual, 5Watts claimed (sorry for the intel bash).
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