Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sat 2nd Sep 2006 19:43 UTC, submitted by Saad
Amiga & AROS The Amiga changed the computer industry. It was based on a multitasking operating system, rivaled the graphics power of some workstations and was affordable enough for home users. Unfortunately, Commodore struggled to maintain Amiga's lead, and through a number of bizarre business decisions (refusing to license the Amiga design to Sun), went bankrupt. Read about the history of the Commodore Amiga at Low End Mac.
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RE[2]: The real history
by NeoX on Sun 3rd Sep 2006 05:34 UTC in reply to "RE: The real history"
NeoX
Member since:
2006-02-19

Not so in the US, it was a bit player there.
Are you saying the Amiga was a bit player or the ST? If you are saying Amiga was a bit player in the US that is not true. The Amiga in the states was very popular. There were several Computer shops, including Software Etc., and EB selling Amiga systems and software in the day. Far more shops sold Amiga in my city then, then they do selling Macs in this area today. There were also quite a large selection of mail order shops too.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: The real history
by jjmckay on Sun 3rd Sep 2006 06:28 in reply to "RE[2]: The real history"
jjmckay Member since:
2005-11-11

Yeah no doubt. There were a lot more places to buy Amigas than Macs or even Atari STs. Not more than PCs though. When the clones came out, there were mom & pop shops all over where you could (and can still) buy PCs. PCs were for businesses or work use. They weren't really multimedia machines until 1992 or so, imho, when decent games started to come out for it like Wolf3d, etc.

Atari and Commodore just didn't know how to package computers, though. Especially when it came to building machines that could easily be upgraded. Try replacing your OCS (original graphics/sound/etc chipset) with AGA, NOT. The PCs were so much more modular, which in the end proved a huge advantage. The STs had problems because the OS was programmed to take advantage of a bug in the 68000 which didn't exist in the later cpu chips. This created a compatibility problem, as I understand it. Same with the amiga in a way because the AGA games (and applications) were incompatible with the OCS ones. There was no abstraction from hardware in the Amiga's primary applications - games. So any change (upgrade) in the hardware created compatibility problems.

It's like if nVIDIA came out with a new faster graphics card where all games written for it wouldn't work on the previous generation (not just slower). They just couldn't grasp the concept of abstraction (like opengl or directx does). I guess those were the days when performance at all cost seemed much more important than abstraction. That trade-off proved to be fatal, IMHO.

Maybe some of my information is off. I never bought an AGA Amiga but I did know that I couldn't run AGA games on my OCS A500. If we think MS's blackmailing us with DirectX 10, just look at what commodore did with AGA. I'm not saying upgrades aren't necessary, but that the upgrade process was killer - upgrade your whole damn computer, not just a video card.

Edited 2006-09-03 06:39

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: The real history
by twenex on Sun 3rd Sep 2006 14:27 in reply to "RE[3]: The real history"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

I never bought an AGA Amiga but I did know that I couldn't run AGA games on my OCS A500.

You'd have difficulty running a DX10 game in DX5, too. Where Commode and Atari got it wrong was in making sure it was difficult to run an OCS or ECS game or program on an AGA machine, too.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: The real history
by maffoo on Sun 3rd Sep 2006 16:59 in reply to "RE[3]: The real history"
maffoo Member since:
2006-08-19

If we think MS's blackmailing us with DirectX 10, just look at what commodore did with AGA. I'm not saying upgrades aren't necessary, but that the upgrade process was killer - upgrade your whole damn computer, not just a video card.

How is this different from, say, the PS2? It's not like a simple upgrade gives a PS1 owner the ability to play PS2 games.

I doubt it would have been a simple matter to make AGA available to an A500. Most of the custom chips would have had to be upgraded, and the processor... it would probably have worked out cheaper to buy a new motherboard anyway. (Although I understand that a company, DCE perhaps?, did have a prototype of an upgrade board to make an A500 into an AGA machine.)

And don't forget that the Amiga was about 7 years old when the A1200 came out. Even with a modular design, I doubt you could upgrade a 7 year old computer to play modern games!

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: The real history
by jthomas on Sun 3rd Sep 2006 12:31 in reply to "RE[2]: The real history"
jthomas Member since:
2006-09-03

>>Not so in the US, it was a bit player there.
>Are you saying the Amiga was a bit player or the ST? If >you are saying Amiga was a bit player in the US that is >not true. The Amiga in the states was very popular. >There were several Computer shops, including Software >Etc., and EB selling Amiga systems and software in the >day. Far more shops sold Amiga in my city then, then >they do selling Macs in this area today. There were also >quite a large selection of mail order shops too.

several Amigas were used also by "big players" like Wald Disney (a lot), NASA (all telemetric management for the Shuttle and the russian MIR station), all big american TV networks, etc..

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: The real history
by tonymus on Sun 3rd Sep 2006 15:17 in reply to "RE[2]: The real history"
tonymus Member since:
2006-01-15

"The Amiga in the states was very popular. There were several Computer shops, including Software Etc., and EB selling Amiga systems and software in the day. Far more shops sold Amiga in my city then, then they do selling Macs in this area today. There were also quite a large selection of mail order shops too."

I want to amplify this just a bit. Back in the 1986-1989 time frame, there were plenty of place to buy Amiga computers in the US, from upscale department stores to speciality computer shops. There was a chain of 5 computer stores local to the Hartford, CT area that sold mostly Amiga and Commodore computers, and they certainly did well for awhile. There were also legendary computer stores, such as Memory Location out of Wellesley, MA that did great business in Amiga and related peripherals; they had the largest selection I've seen.

I'm of the opionion that the Amiga 1000 (I had one, and it's still one of the best looking computers ever made) and Amiga 2000 sold reasonably well in the US, the A 500 sold better, and the others were mostly niche machines. Commodore's biggest problem was that Irving Gould and the other chief executive there (Mendhi??? -sorry) siphoned all of the profits out of the company through executive compensation, leaving little money for R&D or even cash flow. During one time in the 80s, these guys were taking out as much in compensation as IBM executive (Lou Gerstner?). Every company needs a cash horde to survive poorly received products, and Commodore simply didn't have one...

Reply Parent Score: 2