back to article Happy birthday, Amiga: The 'other' home computer turns 30

On July 23, 1985, Commodore kicked off a new era in its history with the launch of the Amiga 1000. Through the 1980s and into the early 90s, the Amiga built for itself a cult following and gained a reputation as a personal computer ahead of its time. The tangle with Atari Part of the story behind Amiga is the tale of two …

  1. Chris Gray 1
    Thumb Up

    Ah, the good old days!

    I bought an A1000 in '85, but had to wait a while before I could get a colour monitor, so the agonizingly slow Mandelbrot written in BASIC was all in green. :-(

    Eventually went through A2000, A2500, A3000 and bought an A4000 just after I heard that Commodore was shutting down. I had lots of software that I had written and was in the middle of a big project - I did *not* want to change systems at that time! I've put UAE on my Linux box just for the nostalgia of running my old software.

    (And yes, I know this dates me badly!)

    1. Roo
      Windows

      Re: Ah, the good old days!

      I had a 512K PAL A1000 back in the day, it was really fun machine. While the graphics were good and the games were fun the thing which blew me away about it was the audio. Really wish I could have found the cash to add a hard drive, upgrade the motherboard to a 680[23]0 + more RAM etc, really was a fun machine to write C on. A few years later I moved onto a 386 + Win 3.1 because it was cheaper than upgrading the A1000 which felt like a massive step backwards after all the relatively lovely Amiga APIs. :(

      I loved Matt Dillon's editor DME, did anyone else come across that ?

      1. DJV Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Ah, the good old days!

        Yes, DME was my programming editor of choice as well. I wrote a whole bunch of useful macros for it.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Ah, the good old days!

        Exactly the same experience, I really couldn't understand how MS had managed to make Windows so difficult to program after having used intuition.library and so on.

        Of course now I know that MS just threw shit at the fan for years until they got Windows 3.1 and considered that they'd caught up with the Mac and the x86 didn't help (handles, thunks, WTF).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ah, the good old days!

          It would be a lot more interesting to hear about how the Amiga fitted into the UK market and the pricing over here (not a complaint against the comments above but just a request for more info).

          I did use the Amiga a little at the time but my exposure to it was limited and with the passage of time.....

  2. Teiwaz Silver badge
    Happy

    Ah, memories

    I remember ordering an A500 in 1989 during the tail end of my first year at college, and buying every Amiga magazine for the cover disks during the wait for delivery. I used to take them out and look at them every evening.

    I think it was the last time I remember getting so 'childishly' excited over a new piece of kit.

    The Atari ST was never an option (at least without midi equipment), I'd appreciated the SID chip on my C64 to much,..

  3. Supa

    Fond memories.

    I can remember seeing the Amiga 500 at a friends house just after I left school. I think I saved up all my money for a whole year to buy my own. After I did, I basically said goodbye to any teen social life I may have had. While my mates were busy sitting in the park drinking bottles of beer, I was sitting in a cold dark bedroom copying my mates floppy disk collection and rocking away to tunes on "OcataMED".

    The addiction grew and I had to build myself a A4000. So while my mates were saving up for a car, I was saving up for the king of all home computers. Finally I bought the A4000 base machine. I can remember the guy from the computer shop giving me a lift home in his car with it as I paid for it in cash. I think it was over £1000 at the time.

    I think I added every bit of hardware that was released for my Amiga. From the Mediator PCI - expansion, custom ATX tower, CDROM drive, SCSI card, Voodoo 3 and Picasa IV gfx cards right up to a 128MB (yes MB) Ram expansion and PowerPC 680040/604e card. All the way through the 90's this thing was my life. I learned how to write HTML by hand and code on it. It was a sad day indeed when my PowerPC card burnt out and I had to settle for a damn HP laptop with Windows ME! :(

    I rock Linux Mint these days, and still have a copy of UAE installed for that sense of nostalgia of running Workbench, dreaming what Amiga computing/hardware may have been like if Commodore had not fell through.

    Happy Birthday Amiga.

    1. Joey M0usepad Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Fond memories.

      Seeing as you missed out as a teen - heres a beer :)

    2. Grahame 2

      0xdff058

      I too have fond memories of the Amiga, I loved how open the platform was (especially for the time). I spent many an hour writing code in 68000 and C and abusing the hardware, timing my code in raster lines, and my first Internet usage, with KA9Q then AmiTCP.

      Today Linux is my weapon of choice, but it was the Amiga that set me on my way!

      Is it sad that I remembered my favourite hardware register, 0xdff058, almost quarter of a century later without having to google?

      1. Chemist

        Re: 0xdff058

        "Is it sad that I remembered my favourite hardware register, 0xdff058, almost quarter of a century later without having to google?"

        Don't worry about it - I can still remember some 6809 op-codes even though it had thousands of them.

        ( I too remember my A1000 with affection even though compiling Lattice C was a disk swapping operation until I got a hard drive)

      2. Davegoody

        Re: 0xdff058

        Ha, what about the Sinclair ZX81, where I remember the start of addressable memory was at location 16514 ?

        1. Toastan Buttar

          Re: 16514

          That was the first character after REM, if a REM statement was the first line of BASIC. Before POKEing in a HEX machine code program, you had to make sure you had enough characters after REM to support your Z80 machine code routine(s).

          One of the most exciting moments of my teen life was writing a Z80 routine

          LD BC, nnnn;

          LD HL, mmmm;

          ADD HL,BC;

          LD B,H;

          LD C,L;

          RET

          10 REM xxxxxxxxxxxxxx (appears as Sinclair-esque nonsense once values POKEd in)

          20 PRINT USR 16514

          And seeing it produce the expected answer (mmmm + nnnn) on screen! Seriously mind-blowing and I've always wanted to know what was REALLY happening inside every computer (and every high-level language) I've used ever since.

          Started with 1K ZX-81, graduated to 16K, then Spectrum, then A500+, and finally threw in the towel and got a PC once they had decent enough graphics and sound to replace the Amiga.

          1. MrT

            Memories...

            Get thee to the Life Science Centre in Newcastle - the place is currently stuffed full of retro gaming gear for the Game On 2.0 exhibit (runs until 03 Jan 2016).

            Can't remember everything, but did play a maze game on the ZX81, 3D Deathchase on a ZX Spectrum with a natty little CompactFlash card drive fitted to the back, and a bunch of other good things. Can't remember what the Amiga was running. Their Beeb was busted, though, just showing static on screen (blown capacitor?) :-( ...

            Sorry this sounds like an advert, but I've just spent the afternoon wandering about the place with a big grin on my face.

    3. Tcat
      Thumb Up

      Re: Fond memories.

      You sir, are a true geek. We wish for the best parts of IT, and get the job done, regardless of platform.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Started with an Amiga 500 (power pack edition) after using Spectums for years. Began by getting into music with trackers and then Midi with MusicX which still today is my favourite MIDI software, also got into Comms (BBSs) and Fido (Pre-Commercial Internet days) which was a great way to get pirated software (warez) and eventually started my own BBS with obligatory private (hard to get access to) warez sections and also started an Amiga fido based network which ended up having more than 100 nodes and points across the UK and US which for a 15yo kid was a whole lotta fun. In the end the Amiga directed me into my career as my first proper job was for an early UK ISP and eventually to the present where I own my own hosting company. I owe it all to you Amiga truly.

    1. Outcast

      Big Bash

      "In the end the Amiga directed me into my career as my first proper job was for an early UK ISP and eventually to the present where I own my own hosting company. I owe it all to you Amiga truly."

      Your comment makes you sound suspiciously like an awesome guy I know from Lowestoft who was a major help with our Amiga "Big Bash" shows !

  5. Cyberhash

    Was The Mutts Nutts

    Probably the best machine ever invented and had some of the best games ever written for it. Nothing graphically outstanding by today's standards of course.

    Many many many hours of my life spent on sensible soccer, cannon fodder, pinball dreams etc.

    Those were real games on a real machine !!!!!!!! and funnily never needed any updates or patches.

    1. moiety

      Re: Was The Mutts Nutts

      Yeah, even the viruses were nice...a box saying "TeeHeeHee you have a virus" with maybe some music and that's where it ended.

  6. David Dawson

    Amiga 500

    Gave me a window on computing.

    It was awesome.

  7. eJ2095

    Oddly enough

    I am in the middle of bringing my a1200 back to life.

    Replaced the hardrive with a CF card and it boots in 5 seconds, also got a 68030 card in there...

    Its up and running atm, fun to set up (and trying to remember short cuts etc after 20 years)

    WHDLoad is running on it :-0 But to be fair never really played many games on it.

    My a1200 back in 1998 was my first computer i took online and what fun it was.

    But still want an a4000 to play with

    And just a small plus if there are any EX Amiga users on here that used IRC back in the late 90s ans sat on arcnet on a channel called #pba say hi :--0

    1. Chewi
      Happy

      Re: Oddly enough

      Snap! To be honest, I haven't touched it much in recent years but I gave my A1200 the same treatment 10 years ago with a 68030 and a CF card. My expansion board allowed me to add a 128MB PC SIMM, wow! It also had space for an FPU that allowed me to run Linux and I tried Gentoo for a laugh.

      It was also fun to play with the networking capabilities. With a PCMCIA ethernet card, I was able to browse the web, chat on MSN messenger via an XMPP gateway, and even mount my Linux NFS shares as local drives. SSH worked too, though sadly I could only get it working as a client. To be able to SSH to my Amiga and get an AmigaDOS prompt would have been quite trippy.

      Proof of some of the above.

      1. tony72

        Re: Oddly enough

        I wish I hadn't given my A1200 away now (along with my Spectrums and BBC Micros). By the time I got rid of it, it had a 2.5" HDD, 50MHz 68030 with 64MB, and a 10baseT PCMCIA ethernet. I remember waiting three days for it to ray trace a scene with a gold ashtray and tumbler in Imagine, with the trapdoor open and the bottom propped up to try and keep that '030 cool so it wouldn't crash. Those were the days. I still can't hear the name "Amiga" without getting a strong urge to play Speedball 2 or Alien Breed.

        1. PsychicMonkey

          Re: Oddly enough

          Speedball 2 was my favourite all time game. "ice cream, ice cream!"

          1. Crisp Silver badge

            Re: Speedball 2

            It's been given a reboot. Check it out on Steam.

  8. Disko
    Pint

    Happy birthday Amiga, and a toast to your legacy

    the Amiga chipset (the chips had pet names IIRC) was really something, even when my 600 went into guru meditation (froze), often enough audio would just keep playing. I was using Protracker - a sampler and sequencer that let you to build sounds from actual bits and a delta filter, which would yield increasingly interesting results the closer it got to choking on itself. Much better than the canned stuff! I also remember DPaint and making interlaced bitmap animations because the system could not handle full-res. Good times, and fond memories of coming up with solutions to maximize the possibilities - modest in scale yet mindblowing in scope. When Amiga went down I had to get another media-capable computer: I was hooked on the fun of playing with sounds and images. There were a few options if you wanted to do anything with media or graphics, most notable Apple, Atari, Silicon Graphics, and SUN. With the latter two being rather expensive (let alone the software), and not quite as easy to use, and with Atari for some reason being equated with the Evil Empire, a Mac it was gonna be - I did feel at the time it was a step backwards; even for its limited power, the Amiga always felt much more like a multimedia computer.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    amiga forever

    with a top end Amiga 1200/4000 with PPC fetching well over $1000 dollars. The retro/classic market makes this one of the most sought after classics to own today. And yes I still own a PPC Amiga. :)

  10. x 7

    if they were so good, why did people stop buying them? why did the business fail?

    1. DrXym Silver badge

      Commodore screwed up is what happened. They sank heaps of cash on CDTV / CD32 which flopped and and didn't invest enough in things which would have kept the platform competitive.

      1. tin 2

        I remember it a little differently. Maybe my brain is addled after so many years but I recall the CD32 was a last-ditch quick-and-dirty attempt to get a product that would sell, and was a surprising success. It was just that C= were already pretty much dead, the banks were circling and they couldn't finance building enough of them to haul themselves out of the pit they were already in.

        They were in that mess by various management regimes dithering about what they should be making next. There are hundreds of stories about products in the very late stages of design that got canned, and/or replaced/redesigned to products that then bombed (such as the aforementioned CDTV). It seems really only the C64 and Amiga actually got through the management BS to get onto the market, and they dined out on that for far too long.

        Another story I remember reading was about ESCOM, the only company that bought the Amiga and really actually did something with it. I understood that they re-introduced the aging A1200 & A4000s via ESCOM stores, and - perhaps surprisingly again - were selling modestly, but they were looked upon with disdain by the vast majority of PC-familiar sales dudes and weren't pushed as they might have been. However the profit on the Amigas was so much better than the generic PCs they were selling that if they had pushed them more, or in most cases actually set them up demo-ing something, ESCOM might still exist, as might Amiga in some form.

        Rather than the hardware though, which of course just dates by years passing, I mourn the loss of AmigaOS which while dated in many respects still has a lot of stuff nobody seems to have learned. I'll use modern OSes accepting clicks (or taps) on GUI elements that weren't even on screen at the time of the click/tap as an everyday example. Crazy stuff.

        1. Michael Strorm

          Escom blew the Amiga's last plausible chance at survival

          @tin2; Regarding the reintroduction of the A1200 by Escom.

          The A1200 came out in late 1992 and while a worthwhile improvement was essentially a "catch up" to the PC that was starting to overtake it by then. (#) By mid-1994, it had fallen behind again, the Amiga was no longer dominant... and then Commodore went bankrupt.

          Aftter more than a year during which technology moved on and the stranded Amiga atrophied further, Escom relaunched the three-year-old-spec A1200 for £100 *more* than it had cost before the bankruptcy.

          They claimed the price increase was needed to cover the costs of getting it back to market- but whether or not it was done in good faith or just milking the remaining faithful, that was the point it became obvious to even me that the Amiga had lost its last chance.

          In hindsight, it was probably already doomed when C= went under, but that was where it became obvious to me at the time.

          (#) I bought my Amiga at the end of 1991, when it was still "the" machine for playground exchange of games. By early 1993- just over a year later- it was noticeable that the focus was shifting to PC games. In hindsight, I wish I'd gone for a secondhand Amiga a year prior instead of buying the new- but second-best- Atari ST I could afford then (which I ended up selling to part-fund the Amiga anyway), and had got another full year of the Amiga at its peak.

        2. Michael Strorm

          "I recall the CD32 was a last-ditch quick-and-dirty attempt to get a product that would sell, and was a surprising success. It was just that C= were already pretty much dead, the banks were circling and they couldn't finance building enough of them"

          Yes, I can confirm that this is the story I remember hearing as well- that the CD32 was an easy-to-develop cash cow (#) that was successful as far as it went, and that Commodore's failure was in spite of this. (##)

          People seem to conflate the CDTV and CD32, but despite the ostensibly similar concept, the marketing and positioning were somewhat different. CDTV was a relatively expensive attempt at a multipurpose multimedia machine a la Philips CD-I (###) and I'm sure the marketing cost them a bit alone. It flopped- I'm guessing- because it was too expensive (£500, around £1000 in today's money) for something that had no compelling selling point. (e.g. The Hutchison encyclopedia offered little over the printed version beyond sparse audio clips, a few pics and basic searchability, and the games were often just shovelware of existing Amiga games with few CD enhancements).

          The CD32 was a more obviously game-focused and lower-end (####) machine.

          (#) Since it was essentially a stripped-down A1200 attached to a (presumably off-the-shelf mechanism) CD ROM, with only the Planar conversion chip being new.

          (##) It was apparently never sold in the United States due to legal issues, though.

          (###) The Philips CD-I ultimately flopped as well; it's my opinion that it only survived longer than the CDTV because Philips had much more money to spend on marketing and keeping it alive in the face of public indifference.

          (####) Though it was higher specced- the CDTV was essentially based around an A500-level Amiga, whereas the CD32 was A1200-spec (which the CDTV probably should have been in the first place; the Amiga might have survived better if the A1200 had come out 18 months earlier).

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Because Commodore lost the plot. :(

      While it appeared that they languished on their success they were developing some remarkable new systems to replace it with - I had the technical details of some parts and they really were very clever, efficient and way ahead of their time. Unfortunately they struggled with the hardware development including one point where, according to hearsay (I lost my contacts within Amiga HW dev at this time) they had to reverse engineer their own chipsets as they'd "lost" the designs; I still don't understand this or know the truth behind it. One of the more interesting developments that they were apparently attempting was hardware windowing support where each window could have it's own colour palette, colour depth and (possibly, was never sure on this) even DPI resolution. This was an evolutionary change from the multiple screen system where each screen could have its own resolution and could be split vertically (horizontal bands of differing display modes), simultaneously splitting the screens horizontally as well and effectively creating hardware windows would have tasked the chip designers somewhat but the efficiency and performance could have been amazing had they pulled it off.

      As a result of Commodore's failure to capitalise on their success they let the (initially) technically inferior PCs overtake them in the market and with the opening up of the PC market by OEMs and the subsequent reduction in costs Amiga's fate was effectively sealed.

    3. Terry Barnes

      Whole books have been written on the subject, but there were a few key things.

      Commercially, commodore didn't spend enough on R&D or promotion. They were used to the very long life cycle of the C64 and presumed the Amiga could survive in the same basic format for a decade.

      Technically, moore's law means that commodity hardware (x86 PCs) always wins. What can only be achieved on custom hardware today will be done cheaper and better on standard hardware tomorrow.

      Piracy saw developers move to machines perceived to be more secure - the cartridge and CD based consoles.

      There are many other issues but the last one I'll mention is architecture. It's cleverness was also it's downfall. All the clever interplay between chips and systems and RAM limited the ultimate speed of the machine. You have to break the tight integration to go faster, but doing that breaks the backward compatibility of software that talks directly to the hardware. A faster Amiga wouldn't have run any Amiga software. The tech reached the end of the line. Modern Amiga implementations that are faster retain compatibility only through emulation.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Technically, moore's law means that commodity hardware (x86 PCs) always wins. What can only be achieved on custom hardware today will be done cheaper and better on standard hardware tomorrow.

        The Amiga as the Lisp machine of home computing?

        With the onset of the "AI winter" and the early beginnings of the microcomputer revolution (which would sweep away the minicomputer and workstation manufacturers), cheaper desktop PCs soon were able to run Lisp programs even faster than Lisp machines, without the use of special purpose hardware. Their high profit margin hardware business eliminated, most Lisp machine manufacturers went out of business by the early 90s, leaving only software based companies like Lucid Inc. or hardware manufacturers who switched to software and services to avoid the crash.

        I can live with that.

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Devil

          ...and again, get off my lawn!

          All of the 68K's were fine machines, especially considering what the state of the PC clone market was like and what MS-DOS and Windows were like. When I finally defected to monopoly ware in 94, I nearly came straight back because of what WinDOS could do to what was ample RAM on a 68K machine.

          Amigas were really not that far behind typical PCs of the time. They certainly weren't behind PCs at all in terms of multimedia capabilities.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There are many contributing factors towards Commodores demise - no one reason - see the wikipediia article if you're that interested. One mans' opinion based on the following:

      In 1991 I bought an Amiga 1200 -on the way added a 1230 50Mhz accelerator & 8MB of RAM and in later a 56k modem, 4GB hard drive and 8xSCSII CD-ROM.

      In 1997 I bought my first of dozens of PC's, for my fathers business, a 486DX2 with 4MB of RAM * Windows for Workgroups 3.11 and later a Pentium 166Mhz Pentium Pro running Windows 95.

      I mostly ran productivity software on both architectures and played lots of games on both too. I learned to program and understand shells and CLIs and AREXX scripting language. It just seemed to be simple and obvious on an Amiga. I never had to create DOS boot-disks or mess about with HIMEM or mounting CD-ROMs or limiting my save file names to less than seven characters and all the other foibles of a Window/DOS based system.

      It wasn't perfect. Amigas had no system memory protection. The accelerators could overheat. Fewer and fewer users meant less software, less hardware, file compatibility issues (couldn't create Word documents on an Amiga, although there were even ways around that).

      However I can honestly say that the PC experience didn't even come close - until I built a PC with an Athlon Thunderbird running at 1.4GHz, and was running Windows XP with 1GB of RAM. That brought a level of snapiness and speed to the overall PC experience which approached that of my Amiga. A level of stability (far fewer BSOD screens) on a par with my Amiga. And extensibility (USB, DVD-ROMs, networking) which came more easily than on an Amiga.

      Experience is a very personal thing. How we define how good something is will always depend on our own point of view. For me, the Amiga was a time saver, an elegantly designed, powerful system, easy to learn, easy to love. And at a time when it was half the price (and so called "power") of PC's running other operating systems.

      I don't think we shall see it's kind again.

    5. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      ...and get off my lawn!

      They were always a consumer niche product that didn't get any respect from the larger business market. The Microsoft hegemony chipped away at their market share year after year until they were finally relegated to Video toaster enthusiasts.

      The same thing happened to them that happened to nearly another alternative to MS-DOS.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WINUAE

    is the best emulator out there and it works bloody well.

    WELL worth checking out.

    May i recommend "Twintris" as the definative tetris clone.

    1. The Jon

      Re: WINUAE

      +1 on Twintris. Written by Svein Berge, who may or may not be the same Svein Berge from Röyksopp.

      Although I am assured that Svein and Berge are both common Swedish names, I'm convinced it is, because their first album - Melody A.M. - contains tracks which use Amiga ProTracker style tricks such as tone portamanto (iirc 3nn on the effect code list).

  12. mix
    Thumb Up

    First steps

    So I went from a Spectrum 48k to a Spectrum 128k (still have that one.) and the old Speccy/C64 rivalries still ran deep when I upgraded so I got an Atari ST! It was a great machine (I never knew that back story of engineers switching sides, very interesting.) but I was always slightly envious of my A500 owning friends who always seemed to have slightly better games/software. I could only argue the better audio side for so long.

    So I eventually bought an A1200 with a hard drive. That was pretty much what I class as my first "real" PC. It was my favourite thing in the world.

    Then I did what the majority did and bought an Intel PC and a Sony PSX and the rest is history. :D

    1. BigAndos
      Happy

      Re: First steps

      I followed the same path as you! Quite liked my spectrum but only really messed around on it. Eventually got an A1200 for Christmas when I was about 12 and that started a love of computers that has never ended. Even set me on the path for an IT career!

  13. chiller

    Gronking, TV modulator that fell out frequently, Barbarian with Maria Whittaker ... great days.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ST was better

    That is all...

    ;-)

    1. Kaltern

      Re: ST was better

      I was going to downvote you, but then I remember the Miggy vs ST wars back in the day. Made Win v MacOS seem tame.

      1. Richard Wharram

        Re: ST was better

        I had, and loved, an ST. Nowt wrong with the Amiga though. Just couldn't afford both and my friends had STs.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ST was better

          The down votes were expected :-)

          I had an ST and it was a great piece of kit - as was the Amiga. They were both the next big thing after the ZX Spectrum I started with. Probably the first tangible example of the rapid technological progress made over the last 25 years or so.

  15. DrXym Silver badge

    Memories

    I had an A500 with a "sidecar" HDD boasting a whopping 20MB storage and 1.5MB ram expansion. I crafted myself a pretty sweet Unix-like system from Fred Fish disks and used to develop with Lattice C. Mostly I remember it for the games like Dungeon Master, Virus, Monkey Island, Pinball Dreams etc.

    I saved up and was prepared to buy an A4000 but Commodore jacked the prices up and I bought a PC instead using OS/2 & Slackware as surrogates. I made the best choice in hindsight. Commodore managed to run the brand into the ground.

    It was kind sad to watch the Amiga brand tossed around from one failed relaunch to another. The delusional loyalty and misplaced hope in comp.sys.amiga.advocacy and the magazines was pretty hilarious though.

    1. eJ2095

      Re: Memories

      I got a A590 here with the wopping 20mb working as well!

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Memories

      The delusional loyalty and misplaced hope in comp.sys.amiga.advocacy and the magazines was pretty hilarious though.

      ;_;

      Why so cruel?

    3. graeme leggett

      Re: Memories

      I had an unholy stack off the side of my A500+

      A memory expansion, an HD, and then the huge lumpen CDROM (A520?) on the end.

      As a testament to the home-builderynessability of the Amiga, it was a SCSI HD on a SCSI board that some people I knew had built and written their own drivers (or whatnot) for.

  16. 0laf Silver badge

    Happy Guru Meditation

    Happy days saving cash for the whopping 512Kb memory expansion cards.

    Gif pr0n (at least it might have been gifs), first viruses.

    Breaking joysticks on Speedball 2

    Stuntcar Racer

    Populous

    So much innovative stuff, which admittedly doesn't look great these days but was such a leap from the 8bit days.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Happy Guru Meditation

      Plus trying to program all the cool ideas from Scientific American's "Computer Recreations".

  17. Kaltern

    AMOS

    My first foray into the fun of game programming - and the frustrations of not quite being able to do what I wanted to do.

    I jumped up and down on my 13th birthday when I got a properly awesome copy of AMOS Professional as a pressie from my aunt/uncle - who had no idea about computers. I think I read that HUGE reference manual from top to bottom a dozen times weekly. Good times.

    1. Chewi

      Re: AMOS

      AMOS pretty much laid the foundations for my career as a programmer. I owe it a lot. I have moved on from BASIC though. (-;

      1. PsychicMonkey

        Re: AMOS

        Same here. I believe the first version of worms was written in AMOS (although I may be wrong!)

        1. Chewi

          Re: AMOS

          Worms was actually written in Blitz BASIC but that was on the Amiga so close enough!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: AMOS

            I never used it, but Blitz BASIC- which got good reviews when it came out- seems to have been more powerful than AMOS and (more interestingly) seems to have endured better than AMOS in the long term and modern day use, despite having only come out towards the end of the Amiga's heyday.

            (This might also be because- unlike AMOS- it continued to be developed in different versions on the PC. But I do get the impression that the original Blitz was more powerful of capable of serious stuff than AMOS ever was).

            While I used AMOS Pro at the time, my feelings in hindsight are that ultimately it was an overrated dead-end, held back (and holding the user's development back) by the fact that it didn't support the standard OS facilities (Windowing et al) (#) and adherence to clunky BASIC syntax (#).

            (I remember having to mess about with low-level memory access to bypass a bug that "clicked" at the start of sample playback, so that sort of defeated the alleged "ease of use" of BASIC.)

            For example, the method for returning a value from a function was- if I remember correctly- a clunky and naff nonstandard bolt-on to the BASIC syntax, assigning a value to a variable within that function, then accessing the same variable name in the calling environment. The C-syntax equivalent, simply assigning the function call (and returning values via a single return) was far more elegant, there being no pointless distinction between "functions" and "procedures" in the way there was in "modern" BASICs that mimicked the (no longer necessary) limitations of their 8-bit predecessors.

            And that's the gripe I have with more advanced BASICs like AMOS; ostensibly friendly and familiar to people who already knew BASIC like me, they simply retained and added to the clunky syntax limitations of the 8-bit versions and led the user up a dead end. Even a C-style syntax (albeit with some form of user-friendlier error trapping) would have been more productive in the long term.

            Worse, there was a version called "Easy AMOS" that introduced programming newcomers via AMOS BASIC at a time there was less and less excuse for that language choice.

            Maybe I'm slightly resentful that I was lazy enough to let myself be seduced down that dead-end rather than learning C and the Amiga OS properly, but ultimately AMOS was never as great as some people made it out to be.

  18. Candy

    The Amiga ushered in a new age of special effects for TV

    The combination of a couple of dozen Amigas and Video Toaster gave us the first large scale application of CGI into mainstream TV. In 1994(?), Babylon 5 blew us all away with the quality of the effects the were able to generate.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Amiga ushered in a new age of special effects for TV

      Only the Vorlon supported species and ships were created using the Amiga.

      all Shadow related activity was generated by the Atari ST.

      This is a rubbish in-joke ...

  19. Jay 2
    Happy

    I was very late to the party, finally moving from my Spectrum+ to an A600 in late 1992. A few of my friends had A500s, so I knew enough to be dangerous. Unfortunately I had just started university and the Amiga didn't come with me, so I didn't get too much use out of it (my brother probably got a lot more!). I don't think I missed it too much and due to the march of time by 1995 I'd got myself a PC with a P75.

    I did love playing flightsims on the Amiga though. F/A-18, F29 Retaliator, F-19 Stealth Fighter. Oh and how could I forget Geoff Crammond's Grand Prix! Ah, happy days!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I was very late to the party [..] an A600 in late 1992 [..] I don't think I missed it too much and due to the march of time by 1995 I'd got myself a PC with a P75."

      The A600 (by almost all accounts I've heard) was originally meant to be the A300, a budget Amiga. It would have made sense if they'd gone with that plan and (e.g.) launched it for £200 at the same time as the more expensive- but better- A1200 replaced the A500.

      However, it was then rebranded as the A600 and positioned as the alleged successor to the A500 at a similar price at a time when the Amiga needed to be improving in order to survive. Unfortunately, the core spec (CPU and custom chips) were essentially the same as the A500 Plus and while the built-in hard drive interface was an improvement, in many other areas the A600 was inferior and incompatible with many existing A500 peripherals.

      Of course, the A1200- more obviously the true successor to the A500- came out around six months later. I think they reduced the price of the A600 slightly then, but the damage was done- the pointless and shortsighted release caused confusion and probably damaged the Amiga's image at a critical point when it was starting to get hit on one side by the encroaching PC clones and on the other by the Mega Drive.

  20. lee harvey osmond

    Chickens in minor sevenths anybody?

    Somebody I met a couple of times cut his teeth on an A500. I didn't really know him; large university crowd, he was in one clique at Aberystwyth (later Swansea) and I was in another at Bloomsbury. Amongst other things, he liked playing with the sound processor, and insisted that his "chickens in minor sevenths" was the coolest sound ever. Naturally, I never heard it.

    Amongst other things. He was, or rapidly became, a highly adept C programmer, and also a more than competent M68k programmer. This had consequences when applied to CompSci labs' Sun workstations -- at the time running SunOS on M68020. Given a user account and a C compiler, he was generally reckoned to be about 60s away from root, but of course I never saw that demonstrated either.

    I myself had an Atari 520ST-FM, so I had a disk operating system, in ROM. He had an A500, so for him disk i/o was rather more than just a trap call away. I sometimes wonder just how much influence that really had on our separate career paths.

    Beard? Sandals? Real ale? Yes, all the properties later attributed to the stereotypical Linux kernel engineer. I remain unsure of the extent to which he conformed to the stereotype, or was responsible for it.

  21. Cornholio

    Happy birthday Amiga!

    How I loved my machines. The hours spent playing Geoff Crammond's F1GP, when I should have been out meeting girls. Frame rate was abysmal on the A500, A1200 FTW!

    Wish I'd kept one of them now, but still enjoy firing up an emulator and reliving those heady days.

  22. kbb

    Expansion

    Ah, I still remember my A500. I still have the A1200 and an A4000. One of my favourite things was the Action Replay. Astounding that you could freeze your machine as the press of a button, poke around the memory, find images, sounds and music, and then carry on as if nothing had happened.

    The keyboard was a dream. If I recall it actually had it's own co-processor.

    And for the developers, who can forget the system calls that allowed you to put in a memory-resident program that survived the CTRL-Amiga-Amiga.

    I'm off to have a read of the ROM Kernel Reference Manual for aulde times' sake.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Expansion

      Gary IIRC

  23. Joey M0usepad Silver badge

    gotta love those "real time graphics demos" , like 9 fingers

  24. This post has been deleted by its author

  25. Esme

    My first Amiga (and my third computer, my first being a Sharp PC1211 handheld, and my second a later model by Sharp) was an A500 gifted to me with a few floppy disks by a neighbour who was a programmer. I played Populous so much for a while that when I closed my eye to go to sleep, I was still seeing little coloured dots moving around (can you get 'burn in' on yoru retinas? 8-}). Not long after, I moved to be with my new partner, whom I new to be a pinball fan. I was out of work at the time, and so had plenty of time in which to muck about on the Miggy and see if I could get a couple of the disks I'd inherited with the machine to work. I can still remember the look of joy on her face when she returned home from work and I had Pinball Dreams running (which I later bought, btw. Well worth it!).

    Back then, computing was fun, there was more sense of wonder in some ways, partly due to the novelty, I'm sure. Eventually I found a job and was able to buy an A1200 which I bought a 68030 board and tower kit for. The Amiga set the bar high for my expectations of what my future computer expeience would be like though, to the point that Intel PCs with Windows were a huge and painful disappointment. I wasn;t averse to occasionally looking through teh innards of software on teh Amiga. On the Intel PC, I very rapidly came to the conclusion that its innards were best left well alone, as it crashed a lot more than the Amiga did anyway (and the Amiga DID crash - a lot, by modern standards).

    Which made me look around for soemthing better, and so I encountered Linux. I could see the potential, but the user experience was just plain nasty, and so we struggled on with Wintel, with me keeping an eye on Linux development now and then. Eventually, Linux got to a point where I was happy with it, and have been using Linux ever since. My (now) ex persisted with Windows for some years(and became better with Windows than me), but is fine with Linux too. We both still have very fond memories of our early days with the Amiga though.

    The nearest I've gotten to that sense of fun and wonder has been recently, first with Minecraft and even more so with Kerbal Space Program, running on Linux Mint. Wow, just - wow. And I've now come across Renoise, which looks as if it'll do as a replacement for my much beloved and long-lamented OctaMed.

    One thing that puzzled me - given that the Amiga WP's did everything I've ever needed a Word Processor to do, how come Word and Writer are such behemoths?! And why are boot times so slow on modern hardware considering how much faster it is than the old Miggys were?!

    1. Terry Barnes

      "And why are boot times so slow on modern hardware considering how much faster it is than the old Miggys were?!"

      There's a long answer, but the short answer is; "larger kernel, proper memory management, more system resources, and the need to ensure proper security and networking.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I remember going to what was probably the last Amiga World convention in London where David Pleasance and a number of other UK Commodore execs has an invitation only press conference (Mainly talking about the CD32), I managed to get into the conference with a group of friends as I knew a writer for CU Amiga Mag at the time. Anyway long story short I was a teenager and after a couple of drinks to get some courage I managed to ask the question to David that most people wanted to ask. My words I think were "Why is Commodore so crap at advertising?" I think I might have been a little too direct but it did start some honest discussion. :) Later after Commodore had died there was an Amiga fan conference at Novotel Hammersmith and I saw David Pleasance behind a small stand selling some odd Amiga peripherals or something.

    1. ramjam

      If I remember correctly, by that time David Pleasance was selling the audio CD "Everybody's Girlfriend", rather than any Amiga hardware/software. He had a new career as a record producer/manager - he was a rather good flamenco guitar player, and his son had a band. I still listen to the CD from time to time, I think it's not at all bad, and had a tenuous Amiga theme to it (hence the title).

      There was one later Amiga event, but that was at Hammersmith Town Hall (IIRC). I had a stall there, but I'm not sure I managed to sell enough to make a profit on the weekend.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never had an Amigo

    But the audio was awesome. The Mod Archive has been online 19 years.

    I remember getting a Sound Blaster v1.0 card for my PC just so I could listen to MOD music.

  28. Ethangar

    God the memories... I started with the A1000 ( with all the sig's under the cover ) and still have it. I think I owned just about every flavour of amiga that came out. I only missed the A600 and cdtv. The A2500UX with Amix on it was one of my favourites to tinker with. I don't even want to think about the amount of $$ I spent on them over the years upto and including the A3000 and A4000 with 68060 boards, Voodoo sigh. AREXX was a lot of fun to play with. Like most of you it was the amiga that got me onto a dozen BBS and opened the online world to me. I can still remember the pride I felt when I finally got AmiTCP/IP properly configured and went "online" for the first time. That raw feeling of personal achievement just doesn't exist now. Ranked right up there with installing an ISA modem and spending the next 20 min wrestling with IRQ's.

    I should fire up the 1000 just for fun and have a go at ports of call or railroad tycoon.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "AREXX was a lot of fun to play with"

      AREXX was an utter revelation to me at the time and what I missed most about the Amiga. It seems to have taken YEARS for other OS to get even close to what AREXX could do.

      I remember building some quite complex scripts using PoVRay + image processing + anim to automate raytraced animation construction that took a week or more to generate and build, using Parnet with two Amigas working on separate frames.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amiga vs Atari ST and the Demoscene

    I had an Atari ST and it wasn't such a bad machine despite some of the hardware limitations like the video blitter chip with the borders around the screen that you couldn't plot graphics to. Although that some clever routines (hacks) first allowed for plotted static graphics on the border and later moving sprites around the borders which was cool but to be honest the ST's hardware had nothing on the Amiga.

    Anyway it was the demo scene (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demoscene) that really showed the true capabilities of these classic 16-bit micros mainly because of the rivalry between demoscene crews representing their chosen platform (Amiga or ST), their crew, and the country they hailed from. There were some incredible demos that really stretched the hardware capabilities of these platforms. Great graphics, great music (usually converted Rob Hubbard, Ben Daglish, David Whitaker C64 SID game music ported over), and lots of fun reading the text scrollers at the bottom of the demos that usually involved slapping off other hacking crews on the same or the rival platform.

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=amiga+demoscene

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=atari+demoscene

  30. Cihatari

    Re: Amiga vs Atari ST and the Demoscene

    It's still going on. It's still great!

    Here's a current one for the Atari ST(E) - Second generation ST with enhanced hardware.

    http://dhs.nu/video.php?ID=772

    And for balance, one for the Miggy, (Note:- OCS chipset, none of that fancy A1200 malarky!)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msRTT5f8BGg&feature=youtu.be

    1. Anton Marcelline

      Re: Amiga vs Atari ST and the Demoscene

      thanks I enjoyed those. very cool. i was speaking to a Polish guy recently who said that they still have a very active demoscene over there. I was never involved with the scene directly, just enjoyed purchasing demo disks from public domain/shareware catalogues.

      not sure if you remember any of the demoscene crews from the eighties but The Exceptions (TEX) from Germany and The Carebears (TCB) from Sweden were great crews who produced some fantastic demos.

      https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=the+exceptions+big+demo

      apparently the demoscene derived from the crack intro's for games. do you remember the UK cracking crew called Automation? You used to mail a disk up them (to a PO Box number in Manchester) enclosed with a £1 and a SAE and they would send back that disk to you with several of the latest games titles.

      http://steem.atari.st/automation.htm

  31. Michael Vasey

    Commodore bought revolutionary tech and drove it straight into the ground. I loved my Amiga but it was basically the same machine in the 90s as it had been in the 80s unless you bought the super-expensive versions. The A1200 changed that but it was far too late.

  32. NanoMeter

    Most of my friends had Atari ST

    So that's what I got as well.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Most of my friends had Atari ST

      > Allowing oneself to drop into Tramiel's gravity well

  33. Wisteela
    Pint

    Classic

    Superb computers, and yes, very much ahead of their time. It's just a shame what happened to Commodore, and any attempts to bring it back.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still got my A1000

    Bought my A1000 soon as the came out. First time I could really learn programing. Bought the A2000 an accelerated my Gaming and Programing. Miss the old days. Lost interest in computers after leaving Silicon Graphics. Graphics were no fun after Nintendo appeared.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Still got my A1000

      Same here, unfortunately I had not yet gotten to Nicolas Wirth's Algorithms + Data Structures = Programs and so attempted all the wrong stuff with two left hands. These were the times when documentation was rare and VERY expensive, knowledgeable people were even rarer (you could find some COBOL dustosphere people) and the the ego assumed that the basics weren't needed. Still, it was entry drug to recurring bouts of larval stage, now being abraded by "management work" and old age.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Funny the article says they A500 was fairly cheap because I only remember the rich (should be richer I suppose) kids having an Amiga. Most people seemed to have Atari ST's and I was stuck with my BBC B. Good days though, that investment in an early home computer by my parents is probably the single best pay-off of my life.

    1. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      Yeah... me too.

      I also ended up with the ST because I managed to get a killer deal on it.

      There was this insane return program (perhaps only in the states) that allowed people to get dirt cheap STs but I had mine already by the time I found out about it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      IIRC, the Atari ST *was* much cheaper than the Amiga- and hence more popular- in the early days.

      The Amiga 1000 was expensive, and there was no obvious "low end" version like the 520ST until the Amiga 500 came out in late 1987. Even that was originally £499 around the same time the 520STFM dropped to £299.

      My understanding is that the Amiga really took over when it dropped to £399 a year or two after that. Still more expensive, but most people would have been able to justify the extra £100.

      As for "cheap"... it may well have been considered cheap for what it offered!

      Side note:- I'm guessing Atari's creation of the enhanced STe around that time was originally intended to counter the threat from the Amiga, but if that was the plan they blew it by getting greedy. Rather than have the STE entirely replace the STFM at the same price (as should have happened), they continued selling the latter and charged more for the STE. But most people willing or able to pay more would likely have bought the Amiga. By not making the STE the standard model, they reduced the chance of it building enough of a userbase to make its enhanced features worth supporting, which- vicious circle style- meant there was even less reason to buy it and less reason to support it. (By the time they actually did that in mid-1991, it was too late- the ST was already in decline).

  36. Joe Montana

    Hardware reference manual...

    It was the encouragement in the manual to actually learn about the system and experiment with it that started a lot of people's careers off... One of the key things was the instructions showing you how to make copies of your workbench disks, and then telling you to experiment with the copies and if you break it really badly just make a fresh copy.

    This is how you need to introduce youngsters to computers, it encourages people to learn and experiment. Nowadays the opposite is true, you have systems which actively discourage learning and experimenting (e.g. hiding system files and giving scary warnings about breaking things)... Introducing the young to systems like this makes them scared of trying anything... We now have a whole generation who stay within the confines of the limited interfaces provided to them, panic when anything goes wrong and have absolutely no understanding about how everything works.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Hardware reference manual...

      "It was the encouragement in the manual to actually learn about the system and experiment with it...showing you how to make copies of your workbench disks...experiment with the copies..break it...just make a fresh copy...This is how you need to introduce youngsters to computers, it encourages people to learn and experiment. Nowadays the opposite is true,"

      Yes, all of the above. Although that was not at all unusual back then. I'd say the Amiga was probably the last of the home computers to offer that type of information, or at least part of the last generation to do so.

  37. This post has been deleted by its author

  38. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Windows

    Weird Echo Causing Incomprehension

    Guru Meditations in the Hun's language!

    At some point I threw out the Addison-Wesley Intuition Reference Manual....

    I even had the "Amiga Intern" hardcover, which was also recycled at some point in time...

    Basically, memories of the Cold War and the Berliner Mauer.

  39. John Savard Silver badge

    Tis a Pity

    That one can't go out today and buy a processor compatible with the 68020/68882 combination - but no doubt with a 64-bit mode - that matches the latest Pentiums in performance. This is bad for the Macintosh, since today's Macintosh computers can't run the software people purchased for their 128K Macs, and it's bad for competition in the microprocessor field in general.

  40. Captain Queeg

    A wander down amnesia avenue...

    http://www.cu-amiga.co.uk/

    I still have the magazine, and the final AF and all the issues of AmigAction that was born from the corpse of CU.

    Sadly my '030 16mb A1200 with PCMCIA CD-ROM went to landfill. What on earth was I thinking! I can still remember seeing it land in the skip. :-(

    1. Chewi

      Re: A wander down amnesia avenue...

      That was silly. I managed to flag a spare A1200 motherboard on eBay for £55 just last year and that was a lot more than I paid for it 8 years earlier!

  41. OldB0y

    It was more fun back then.

    Had a BBC B that I loved, even learned a bit of programming. However for me it was the Amiga 1000 (Dad bought it home from work - I was amazed, never seen graphics like it, and as for the sound....). Hours spent with Deluxe Paint and various games. This was followed by a student loan purchased A1200 that eventually had a second hand Blizzard 1230. Then got Power towered and at great expense Blizzard PPC'd. This was the era that really got me hooked on all things computers and gaming.

    It was the late 90's and my crappy first PC and MS Windows, not to mention my first job mainly supporting Windows users - and a few Mac users - that very nearly turned me off it all for good!

    Said PC has long since been in landfill, but I still have the towered 1200, although it doesn't get used much, as like me its a bit temperamental. The A1000 and sundry other bits (non working A4000) are in the loft. I do however have an 060 accelerated A1200 setup with a 4GB CF 'HDD' for some old school gaming and demos.

    Nowadays I use a Mac at home, its closer to the Amiga than Windows ever has or is ever likely to be, but still not nearly as much fun.

  42. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Flame

    Defender of the Crown

    That opening scene with the flames of the fire flickering. Most of is had never seen such wonderful graphics, let alone actual flickering flames on the screen!

  43. Bleu

    Akihabara still had

    a specialist Amiga shop until the very early 2000s, sure, mainly for Video Toaster by then.

    A big factor in the overwhelming success of the DOStel and Wintel PCs which is overlooked was the ability to pirate software at work and run it at home.

    I am convinced that was a conscious M$ policy, as were the CD-copying facilities in Win 98, technically illegal in many places, but tolerated for the US 'national champion' company, in the same way as the massive piracy on you tube is for Google.

    Digital crack, as they say.

  44. Gartal

    Who gives a shit?

    Who gives a shit? In the words of Alexi Sayle, "My big toenail has more intelligence"

  45. AIBailey Silver badge
    Pint

    Happy days :)

    I had an ST since 1998, and bought my first Amiga in 1993 (second hand A500 from a guy at college who upgraded to an A1200). 512kb chip RAM with a 512kb trapdoor expansion. I did the motherboard modification to upgrade it to 1MB chip, and fitted an A590 HDD to the side (with a 2MB RAM expansion). Unfortunately the only SCSI drive I could find had what I'm assured is a poorly connected earthing strap. The upshot of this was that after a minute or so of running, the HDD would start to whistle. EXTREMELY LOUDLY. For a very long time!

    After that, I upgraded to an A1200 (bought from the same guy at college) and had loads of fun. Still have an A1200/030/50 that gets occasional use, plus a couple of others for spares. Happy days indeed.

  46. jackandhishat

    My cousin had an A1200 when we were younger. I remember playing Gunship 2000, Pinball Fantasies & Illusions (DICE going on to do Battlefield... yikes), Worms, Alien Breed and TONS of other games. The machine is part of the reason I now do what I do. Wanted to be a game dev, lost my way, ended up doing *NIX...

    His sister, being the smackhead she was, decided to pawn it a few years later. That royally hacked me off as I used to borrow it off him in exchange for my SNES - fair trade, I thought!

    The story has a happy ending though. One day while at a client's site, rummaging through boxes for parts, I found a complete A1200 with extensive mods and enhancements - the client was an animation studio and they'd seriously tricked it out. Bought it off them for a fiver, hooked up a small HDD to a WinUAE instance, managed to install Amiga In A Box on it with WHDLoad, stacked it full of games and whacked it into the actual unit.

    And it worked.

    Gave it to him as a birthday present. He still has it to this day. :)

  47. Sliver

    Doom

    If I recall correctly, this was to all down to a game called Doom.

    I don't know all the details of this, but when at Uni, I remember I have a A600, and was very envious of my friends who could run Doom, Quake and Duke in quick succession.

    The PC had a different way of referencing a pixel. As such is was possible to develop the engine behind Doom. While the Amiga had a different method of graphics rendering that was better for layers and scrolling. It is a shame as I really loved that old cream box.

  48. Graham Lee

    Came here for the obligatory Babylon 5 reference

    …and didn't find it. From http://www.geek.com/games/cgi-first-introduced-to-tv-in-babylon-5-by-mit-presentor-771051/:

    > They used 24 Amiga 2000s, 16 of which were dedicated rendering engines. They had 32 megabytes of RAM, a Fusion-40 accelerator and the Toaster. The Amigas were connected via a Novell network and sent data to a 12 gigabyte 486 PC file server. They later upgraded to Pentium and Alpha-based systems.

    Getting my coat^WVorlon encounter suit now…

    1. Graham Lee
      Facepalm

      Re: Came here for the obligatory Babylon 5 reference

      'course, I found it after the post was approved…

  49. Matthew 17

    I loved the Amiga, was such an iconic machine

    However, looking back it was doomed from the start. I remember it looking so much better than anything a PC or Mac could do, the Archimedes was similarly special but didn't have a huge amount of software. PC's got better every year, when CDROM's and Windows 9x appeared the Amiga was looking long past it. The 1200 was able to improve it a little but only if you had specific software.

    I put thousands of hours into making music using Protracker or Octamed but when I wanted to use MIDI and sampling the machine just couldn't do it, finally binning it in favour of a 486PC was almost heaven sent.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Two Words

    Marble Madness

  51. Simon Rockman

    I loved the Amiga, I still have a Robo City News t-shirt from the second devcon, '85 I think.

    I came back from the event and persuaded the publishers I worked for that they should let me launch Amiga Computing magazine.

    Hmm, must get the emulator to play all that old Rainbird stuff.

    Simon

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone remember the signatures?

    My boss bought an A1000 shortly after they came out. We took it apart to see what was in it (naturally), and were pleasantly surprised to see the development team's signatures moulded into the underside of the upper case lid.

    That was a classy touch.

    1. AegisPrime
      Thumb Up

      Re: Anyone remember the signatures?

      Not to forget Mitchy's paw-print ;)

      The Amiga was my gateway into working in video games, TV and film and I remember the 500, 1200 and especially the 4000 I had as old, departed friends. Still fire up Amiga Forever from time-to-time to play The Chaos Engine or dabble in Deluxe Paint.

      There's still a few applications around that had their origins on the Amiga too - LightWave 3D, Directory Opus and TVPaint are all still around and exist in modern incarnations for PC and Mac.

      Only Amiga makes it possible!

  53. Snafu1

    "Let's recap: the founder of Commodore, running Atari, built a computer designed by former Commodore engineers, which would compete against a Commodore product called Amiga, designed by former Atari engineers, who wanted to replace the Commodore products designed by once-Commodore but now Atari engineers."

    Does anyone remember Sellar and Yeatman? The Picts vs the Scots..

  54. Pedigree-Pete

    Anyone for Elite...

    uncovered my Amiga in the shed last weekend. Months of fun trying to achieve Elite status. It does have a colour screen but being in the AV biz, we preferred to use a 28" Barco CRT monitor. Elite for PC was rubbish by comparison at the time, even with state of the art Hercules Gfx boards.

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