An Amiga 500 computer system, with 1084S RGB monitor and A1010 floppy disk drive.An Amiga A500 computer, photographed in the early 1990sAfter powering up or rebooting an Amiga 500 this screen display is seen, meaning the OS started and asking the user to insert a bootable floppy disk. The displayed OS is Kickstart 1.3.

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Amiga

The Amiga is a family of home/personal computers originally developed by Amiga Corporation as an advanced game console. Development on the Amiga began in 1982, Jay Miner being the principle hardware designer. more...

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Commodore International introduced the machine to the market in 1985, after having bought Amiga Corp. The machine was ahead of its time, sporting a custom chipset with advanced graphics and sound capabilities, and a sophisticated multitasking operating system, now known as AmigaOS. Providing a significant upgrade from 8-bit computers such as the Commodore 64, the Amiga quickly grew in popularity among computer enthusiasts, especially in Europe. It also found a prominent role in the video production business.

History

Amiga Corporation

The Amiga's chipset was designed by a small company called Amiga Corporation during the end of the first home video game boom. Wary of industrial espionage, the chipset was codenamed Lorraine during development. Amiga Corp. funded the development of the Lorraine by manufacturing joysticks while seeking investors. The chipset was to be used in a video game machine, but following the video game crash of 1983, the Lorraine was repurposed to be a personal computer. Before Amiga Corp. could bring the machine to market, the company encountered financial difficulties and was sold to Commodore in August 1984.

Commodore

The first Amiga computer, simply called the Amiga, was released in 1985 by Commodore, who marketed it both as their intended successor to the Commodore 64 and as their competitor against the Atari ST. It was later renamed the Amiga 1000 (or A1000 for short). Revolutionary for its time, it could display 4,096 colors and produce 4 channels of 8-bit digital audio. It is also notable for having the first preemptive multitasking operating system with a color GUI, allowing users to perform multiple tasks at the same time.

In 1987, Commodore released two new Amiga models, the A500 and the A2000. These were marketed as low-end and high-end machines, respectively. The former became the most popular Amiga computer of the decade and served primarily as a games machine, while the latter was marketed as a more serious workstation for graphic purposes, due to the presence of a SCSI controller option, a Genlock slot and a video I/O connector.

In 1990, the A3000 was introduced as the successor to both the A1000 and A2000, with an extended chipset (ECS) and the second release of its operating system, which would eventually be called AmigaOS.

In the same year, Commodore released three new low-end machines: the CDTV, aimed to move the platform to the living room; the A500+, with the same enhancements as the A3000; and the A600, basically an A500+ in a smaller box with an IDE controller for hard disks. All of these were commercial failures, mainly due to poor marketing.

Mass-market Amigas were then considerably cheaper than PCs and Macs at the time. This factor helped to boost sales in the more price-conscious European markets, but it also led to Commodore being viewed in U.S. markets as a producer of cheap "game machines". This perception was furthered by the fact that most Commodore retail outlets were toy stores, and marketing campaigns were woefully mismatched with the status-conscious American public. Overall, the Amiga was very successful in Europe, but it sold less than a million units in the U.S..

In 1992, Commodore released their last Amiga computer models, the A1200 and the A4000: Each featured the new AGA chipset and the third release of AmigaOS.

In 1993, menaced by console giants Sega and Nintendo, Commodore marketed the CD32 in a desperate attempt to save their business. The CD32 was one of the earliest CD-based consoles and was also the world's first 32-bit game machine, with specifications similar to the A1200.

Bankruptcy

In 1994, Commodore filed for bankruptcy and its assets were purchased by Escom, a German PC manufacturer, who in turn went bankrupt in 1997. The Amiga brand was then sold to another PC manufacturer, Gateway 2000, which had announced grand plans for it. However, in 2000, Gateway dropped the Amiga brand. This is rumored to be due to pressure by Microsoft; however, the real reason for the sale is unknown.

Amiga, Inc.

The current owner of the trademark, Amiga, Inc., has licensed the rights to make hardware using the Amiga brand to a U.K. computer vendor, Eyetech Group, Ltd, which was founded by some former UK employees of Commodore International. They are currently selling the AmigaOne via an international dealer network. The AmigaOne is a PowerPC computer designed to run the last remnants of AmigaOS, which was itself licensed to a Belgian-German company, Hyperion Entertainment.

Only a very few Amiga clones were ever produced, as both Commodore and subsequent owners of the trademark refused to license the Amiga technology to third-party manufacturers.

Today, Amigas running AmigaOS version 3.9 and earlier are now considered "Classic" Amigas, as opposed to the new Amiga Inc./Eyetech/Hyperion models. Due to its popularity as a gaming platform, many people incorrectly refer to the Amiga as a games console (even though it is a fully-featured computer). However, there are many "Classic" Amigas still in use around the world. A popular use for the classic Amiga is as an automated readerboard for local community-access TV stations.

Technical features

For its time, the Amiga was quite an advanced computer for the home market. It provided impressive sound and graphics for games, and it was also popular in business environments until around the mid-1990s, aiding users in video editing and 3D graphics.

The very first model, the Amiga 1000, had a 7.16MHz CPU, designed to work directly with NTSC video. The CPU clock frequency was precisely double the 3.58MHz color carrier frequency. The A1000 had a built-in composite video output, which allowed the computer to be hooked up directly to a TV or VCR. However, the output signal was considered too "hot" (strong) by many to be useful for anything other than home use (however, this could be remedied by running the A1000's composite output through a video processing amplifier, or "proc amp", to bring the video levels down to a suitable amount).

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50 Assorted, Commodore Amiga, Format 3.5" Floppy Disks- VariousTitles- Graphics50 Assorted, Commodore Amiga, Format 3.5" Floppy Disks- VariousTitles- Graphics $40.00 Original v3.0 Kickstart Roms for Commodore Amiga 4000 391513-02 391514-02 39.106Original v3.0 Kickstart Roms for Commodore Amiga 4000 391513-02 391514-02 39.106 $7.98
Spare Parts For Classic Amiga 500 / 2000: Quartz Resonator For Rtc 32,768kHzSpare Parts For Classic Amiga 500 / 2000: Quartz Resonator For Rtc 32,768kHz $0.99 Amiga Mos 8370 Agnus chip in nice condition. Part number 318070-01.Amiga Mos 8370 Agnus chip in nice condition. Part number 318070-01. $15.00
Imperium Amiga Game by Electronic ArtsImperium Amiga Game by Electronic Arts $37.54 Wolf Pack Amiga Game Mirror Soft Nova LogicWolf Pack Amiga Game Mirror Soft Nova Logic $37.54
40pin Ide to Cf Compact Flash Bracket for Commodore Amiga 4000 A4000, Mac, Pc40pin Ide to Cf Compact Flash Bracket for Commodore Amiga 4000 A4000, Mac, Pc $16.98 MiAmiga File Database Manager Manual for the Commodore Amiga by SoftWoodMiAmiga File Database Manager Manual for the Commodore Amiga by SoftWood $12.00
Ps/2 mouse adapter for Amiga *Free shipping priority mail*Ps/2 mouse adapter for Amiga *Free shipping priority mail* $17.90 1986 Soundscape Sound Sampler Mimetics Disk Software Commodore Amiga Midi studio1986 Soundscape Sound Sampler Mimetics Disk Software Commodore Amiga Midi studio $87.99
Amiga System Programmer's Guide (1987-1989)Amiga System Programmer's Guide (1987-1989) $15.00 Vintage Commodore Amiga 500.Vintage Commodore Amiga 500. $299.00
Amiga Rom Kernel Reference Manual: Libraries 3rd Edition (1992, Version 2)Amiga Rom Kernel Reference Manual: Libraries 3rd Edition (1992, Version 2) $15.00 Amiga Virtual Karting Aga A1200/4000 Game Rare Commodore Vintage ComputerAmiga Virtual Karting Aga A1200/4000 Game Rare Commodore Vintage Computer $19.98
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Drakkhen Amiga Game by InfogramesDrakkhen Amiga Game by Infogrames $37.54 New Sealed Box of 10 5.25 in Commodore 64 Amiga Atari Pc Double Sided DisksNew Sealed Box of 10 5.25 in Commodore 64 Amiga Atari Pc Double Sided Disks $14.99
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Commodore Amiga 1950 Multiscan Color Monitor Manual - User's GuideCommodore Amiga 1950 Multiscan Color Monitor Manual - User's Guide $5.98 Breadboard Delay Distribution Amplifier for Amiga 2000 3000 4000 Video ToasterBreadboard Delay Distribution Amplifier for Amiga 2000 3000 4000 Video Toaster $49.98
24 Assorted, Commodore Amiga, Format 3.5" Floppy Disks- VariousTitles- Productiv24 Assorted, Commodore Amiga, Format 3.5" Floppy Disks- VariousTitles- Productiv $23.00 Amiga Game Eye Of The Beholder & Eye Of The Beholder 2Amiga Game Eye Of The Beholder & Eye Of The Beholder 2 $40.00
Microsoft Basic for the Amiga User Guide Manual Hand Book ReferenceMicrosoft Basic for the Amiga User Guide Manual Hand Book Reference $24.95 Amiga Vision Professional Authoring Software for Amiga 500 1200 2000 3000 4000Amiga Vision Professional Authoring Software for Amiga 500 1200 2000 3000 4000 $19.98
Commodore Amiga Mos 252180-01 Ic chip in nice conditionCommodore Amiga Mos 252180-01 Ic chip in nice condition $14.00 Toast Timer / Black Burst Generator for Amiga 2000 3000 4000 Video ToasterToast Timer / Black Burst Generator for Amiga 2000 3000 4000 Video Toaster $49.98
Original v3.0 Kickstart Rom's Commodore Amiga 4000 391513-02 391514-02 39.106 MxOriginal v3.0 Kickstart Rom's Commodore Amiga 4000 391513-02 391514-02 39.106 Mx $7.98 X-Cad Professional (Amiga - Only box and manual)X-Cad Professional (Amiga - Only box and manual) $15.00
Might and Magic Ii 2 Amiga Game by New World Computing IncMight and Magic Ii 2 Amiga Game by New World Computing Inc $37.54 Vintage Commodore Amiga 2500 Computer Rev 6.2 Motherboard & A2090 Hard Disk CardVintage Commodore Amiga 2500 Computer Rev 6.2 Motherboard & A2090 Hard Disk Card $56.76
Scsi Interface for Amiga A1200/A600 w/ Exterior Disc ReaderScsi Interface for Amiga A1200/A600 w/ Exterior Disc Reader $90.67 Was: Previous Price $100.75 New Db25 Db 25 male right angle Pcb solder socket Pc Atari Amiga computer portNew Db25 Db 25 male right angle Pcb solder socket Pc Atari Amiga computer port $1.34
Double Dragon Ii 2 The Revenge Amiga Game by Virgin GamesDouble Dragon Ii 2 The Revenge Amiga Game by Virgin Games $37.54 Populous 2 Trials of the Olympian Gods Amiga Game by BullfrogPopulous 2 Trials of the Olympian Gods Amiga Game by Bullfrog $37.54
Commodore Amiga 2000 series 5721 Rev. A Buster Ic chip Cbm #318075-02. Nice.Commodore Amiga 2000 series 5721 Rev. A Buster Ic chip Cbm #318075-02. Nice. $18.00 24 Assorted, Commodore Amiga, Format 3.5" Floppy Disks- VariousTitles- Games24 Assorted, Commodore Amiga, Format 3.5" Floppy Disks- VariousTitles- Games $18.00
Amiga Rom Kernel Reference Manual: Libraries & Devices (1990, Version 1.3)Amiga Rom Kernel Reference Manual: Libraries & Devices (1990, Version 1.3) $10.00 Commodore Amiga 2000 HdCommodore Amiga 2000 Hd $120.00
Harpoon Amiga Game CompleteHarpoon Amiga Game Complete $37.54 Dust cover for Amiga 600 - brand new, high quality!Dust cover for Amiga 600 - brand new, high quality! $28.99
Amiga Rom Kernel Reference Manual: Includes & Autodocs (1989, Version 1.3)Amiga Rom Kernel Reference Manual: Includes & Autodocs (1989, Version 1.3) $10.00 Sleeping Gods Lie Amiga GameSleeping Gods Lie Amiga Game $37.54
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Populous by Electronic Arts for Commodore AmigaPopulous by Electronic Arts for Commodore Amiga $15.00 Amos The Creator Amiga Game Mandarin SoftwareAmos The Creator Amiga Game Mandarin Software $37.54
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