Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 2nd Jun 2012 02:21 UTC, submitted by rohan_p
Amiga & AROS Good interview with Steven Solie - this bit stood out to me: "Although Hyperion has been using serial numbers for copies of AmigaOS since 4.0, it won't reveal sales numbers. Solie's 'personal guess' is that the system has 2000-5000 users. 'If you include all the various Amiga clones and emulators we would probably be talking about around 10000 users [in] total,' he adds, 'it is really difficult to judge because a majority of the users are rather quiet.'" Fascinating number - lower than I anticipated.
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RE[6]: LOWER than you expected?
by MOS6510 on Sat 2nd Jun 2012 18:52 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: LOWER than you expected?"
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

I think the problem was that the Amiga was far ahead of its time. This caused Commodore to sit back and relax. When the Attack of the PC Clones came it was too late. New Amiga's didn't improve too much over the older models and were still lagging behind PCs specs wise.

The first Babylon 5 season (and maybe 1 or 2 more) were done on Amiga's. They had their use and power in multi media environments.

But yes, most were used as games machines. The Amiga, before it was called Amiga and before Commodore bought it, was meant to be a games console. Also a lot of Amiga users were upgrading Commodore 64 users, who also spend a lot of time gaming. The games went for the Amiga 500 and later the 1200, serious users went for the 2000/3000/4000.

Everybody I knew also did serious stuff with it, but games came first.

(and some serious work was creating databases containing all the owned pirated games)

Mine had a PC board so it could run native MS-DOS, which I used for some serious software and... games!

Reply Parent Score: 2

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Mine had a PC board so it could run native MS-DOS, which I used for some serious software and... games!


I remember those PC boards! Never got to see one live though.

Reply Parent Score: 2

MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

Mine (KCS Powerboard IIRC) should still be in my Amiga 500 I guess. At least that makes it easy to identify which of the couple Amiga 500s I have is my original one.

As I recall it was activated from the Amiga OS. In advance you could tweak some settings and then launch an application that booted the PC card.

It was quite slow video wise. VGA/256 (or was it 16?) colors was very slow, but I remember playing F-19 Stealth Fighter pretty well in 4 color mode.

Stuff like WordPerfect, dBase and Lotus 123 ran fine.

Reply Parent Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

I think the problem was that the Amiga was far ahead of its time. This caused Commodore to sit back and relax. When the Attack of the PC Clones came it was too late. New Amiga's didn't improve too much over the older models and were still lagging behind PCs specs wise.

I don't think that's a full description of what happened.

Yes, Amiga was seemingly "ahead" (particularly in so called multimedia ...hell, it essentially brought it to the masses) - but it achieved it, yes, by the means of very tight hardware integration from its console heritage - hence at the cost of much harder, and more financially costly, route of improvement.

At the same time this "locked" its developers and users into that baseline (A500, 600) configuration - there were few software titles really using, requiring higher Amigas, pushing people (and hence overall Amiga market, manufacturing lines) into them.

Worse: while its whole landscape had console-like dynamics, it was without matching business model - like it was still stuck in pre-1983, pre video game crash landscape (when, ironically, Commodore was the main "aggressor" and who came out mostly on top; seems they didn't really realize what was happening). Made worse by very widespread copying of Amiga games.

Essentially, it was probably doomed from the start - its short term strengths were also its long term weaknesses.

OTOH, the basic concept and architecture behind the PC meant it could be much more readily improved.
And its scales, oh my... look at relative areas on that graph http://arstechnica.com/features/2005/12/total-share/5/ (also 6 and 10; and majority of those were undoubtedly "toy" Amigas) - there was not much Commodore could do against such onslaught, with already strong momentum even before A1000 showed up

I guess, at most, they could try to establish early on an Amiga-derived GFX & sound card as the standard for multimedia and gaming on the PC.
Maybe the main problem was how they were stuck in platform fragmentation mindset.

The first Babylon 5 season (and maybe 1 or 2 more) were done on Amiga's.

Yeah, and B5 had horrible CGI ;P

But BTW, seriously, Star Trek Voyager was also partly done on Amigas: ctrl+F "Amiga" in http://www.ex-astris-scientia.org/database/cgi.htm
And funnily enough, it was a cause of CGI error in opening sequence, which stuck throughout whole series ;)
(still, that slight error was no big deal in comparison to the boneheaded sting-in-the-eyes "artistic" error in that shot - THERE ARE NO SUCH SHADOWS IN VACUUM, NO "LIGHT TRACES" LIKE IN GASSES OR COLLOIDS ...scary how nobody corrected it throughout whole series; but then, such scifi is "cargo cult"-like in nature).

Also in Sea Quest, IIRC (where at least the environment effectively hid hardware & software limitations - and it looked rather nice, even if SQ CGI was technically not better or even worse than B5)

Edited 2012-06-02 20:11 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

What I recall was the promise of Commodore that a new Amiga chip set was coming, but it came very late and when it did it wasn't actually that good.

PCs started out crap and very expensive, but their prices came down and hardware upgrades became cheaper and better. It was a change from a culture where companies made their own computer and OS. I agree it became to expensive to maintain that, but it did give a computer its own unique personality I believe. It's something PCs today lack, but they're alive and Commodore's dead.

Also people at work used PCs and then they wanted them at home. This too didn't help Commodore and the Amiga.

Copying games is a bad and good thing. Most people I knew chose the Commodore 64 and later the Amiga not for it's specs, but for the pirated games. So for Commodore it was a good thing I guess.

Most games I had were pirated, but I did buy a couple and they were the best games I had (like Ultima V).

Reply Parent Score: 2