Amiga was a computer family which had its glory time in 1990’s. The name of the first designed amiga-machine was “Amiga 1000” or “A1000”. It included a 256Kb memory, 1 3,5″ disk drive, a desktop tower, a mouse and a keyboard. It could be linked to your tv screen. The “kickstart” (the main system software libraries and procedures) came on a disk (the followers came with it ONBOARD, on chips that are called ROMS). The other main models were : A500, A600, A2000, A3000, A1200 and A4000. Below are photos and characteristics of each model. Some people consider the Amiga family as the most innovative personal computer range ever made, even more than Apple and IBM. Other consider it as a simple game system. For me, the most important about those computers are : the multitasking and hugely stable OS (and its GUI called the Workbench), and the SCENE. To be an Amiga user has always been a matter of peoples. Peoples who wanted to break the limits, and explore how much their machines are powerfull. This gave us some very exciting games, full of colors, sprites, animations… On the other side comes the SCENE, and its creations : the demos. In those last ones we were able to look at the power of the chipset, and the genius of the programmers. Amiga computer Range summary :
A1000 (1985) Motorola 68000 @ 7.14 MHz 256Kb RAM up to 8Mb up to 4096 colors at 320 X 200 Stereo audio, 4 chennels expandable via an external system bus internal 880K 3.5-inch floppy. AmigaDOS 1.0
A500 (1987) Motorola 68000 @ 7.14 MHz 512K RAM up to 8Mb up to 4096 colors at 320 X 200. Stereo audio 4 channels expandable via an internal system bus internal 880K 3.5-inch floppy AmigaDOS 1.3
A2000 (1987) Same as A500, as it is the “pro” version of the machine Expandable via 7 Zorro II & ISA ports For me : with the A3000, the best Amiga ever !
A3000 (1990) Motorola 68030 @ 16 or 25MHz 2MB RAM up to 18MB up to 4096 colors at 320 X 200 included a built-in SCSI interface Internal 880K 3.5-inch floppy up to 100MB SCSI HD AmigaDOS 2.04 For me : with the A2000, the best Amiga ever !
A600 (1992) Motorola 68000 @ 7.16MHz 1MB RAM up to 4,096 colors in HAM mode at 640×400 expandable via a trapdoor and a PCMCIA slot internal 880K 3.5-inch floppy optional internal 20MB/40MB HD AmigaDOS 2.05 For me : a regression, why put on the market a machine with a 68000 inside after launching the A3000 ?
A4000 (1992) Motorola 68040 @ 25MHz up 18MB RAM up to 256,000 colors in HAM-8 mode (AGA mode) internal 1.76M 3.5-inch floppy expandable via 3 Zorro III ports and 120MB IDE HD AmigaDOS 3.1 For me : at the beginning, was intended to include a DSP for audio. all along the Amiga life, all the machines had only 4 channels. Even this last (with the A1200). No SCSI interface… This machine is an error !
A1200 (1992) Same as A4000. This machine is the successor of the Amiga 500. It takes the same shape, and was also expandable via the processor port.
CD32 (to be continued)
Amiga’s death : Amiga died after a 6 months period in 1993, where Commodore came from plus 1 billion dollars to minus 300 millions dollars. Bosses got big money, users and developers cried. Marketing errors ? Willing ? We won’t ever really know why this so promising range of computers finally died. After that, Commodore became Amiga Inc., went from hands to hands. Amiga OS was even aim to change of core (OS/2 and QNX was said, for example). Nothing worked. There still are a few peoples all around the globe that loves Amiga, and still use one (or some alternatives), like me. We still can feel today the passage of Amiga in the computers domain. Many game ideas, the greatness of todays demos, softwares… comes from Amiga. Remember that : todays computing wouldn’t be the same is Amiga didn’t take its 10 years inside the computer business. Some links : there is not only amiga there, but you can get fast and usefull technical infos there. Amiga explained on Wikipedia.