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C > COMMODORE  > Amiga 1200     


Commodore
Amiga 1200

In October 1992 the Amiga 1200 was launched. This machine took the A500 approach to computing with the "distinct" Commodore case, but including the AGA chipset present in the A4000, 2 MB RAM, and the PCMCIA slot from the A600.

At the price of £399 it sold like hot cakes and is seen as one of the best Amigas to date. It appears to have been rushed to launch for the Christmas period with manuals claiming to give you the opportunity to upgrade from 1mb to 2mb chip ram with FPU. It is, however, a darn fine machine that can be easily upgraded for most of your needs.

After Escom bought the Amiga during 1995 it was relaunched to mass outrage. The machine still cost £399, £150 more than it had done a year previously and was not enhanced in any dramatic fashion. It was released in two versions- the Amiga Magic pack and the Amiga Surfer bundle. Unfortunately, the former was never released due to Escoms financial situation. The Escom Amigas were also struck by incompatibility problems due to a different disk drive being used, it was actually a PC high-density drive mechanism that had been altered to allow compatibility with the Amiga file system. Unfortunately, some games that hit the hardware directly would not run. A circuit upgrade was released free of charge that allowed users to fix the drive problem.

Source: Amiga Interactive Guide

_______________________

More information from Chris Green:
We got our A1200 in about 1995.It was part of a part exchange deal I think from Escom. You had to bring in an old A500 and then you got the A1200 for £199. I think it was the Magic pack (it had a spaceman on the box). The hard drives you could add were internal 2.5" drives as the 3.5" were too big for the case. You could also add any amount of external floppy drives, we had 2. We had a Reno 2X cd rom which fitted onto an SCSI adapter. You could also have an ATAPI-IDE drive if you threaded the IDE cable out the back of the case.

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I had an A1200 on the week it launched. When they first launched hundreds of them had to be returned as the internal modulator (Commodore replaced the A520 external modulator) did not provide a clear picture or sound of any quality. I also remember most games not working on the machine probably due to the 68020, Rom v3 and the AGA chipset. I got shot of mine, bought a second hand A500+ (That I had sold to get the A1200) and saved up for a PC. A friend of mine remained faitful to the A1200 and even had the 060 card in his (that bulged out of the expansion slot) by this time there was some software for the machine. To be honest the machine was never well supported, you were far better off with a A500+ for games and a A3000 for the more serious stuff. Interestingly the A1200 was built at SCI in Irvine in Scotland, about 3 miles from my house. 2 of my cousins worked on it and they told me of the majour problems they had with the machine, especially with mdulators.

          
Wednesday 25th August 2010
Andrew Wallace (Bo''ness Scotland)
aswallace.net

Andrew Wallace:

Sorry to hear your bad experience with the 1200, but to move ahead in the world, some compatibility has to be sacrificed. There were ways to diminish this problem though, using software Kickstart replacements or the compatibility settings at boot.

As for your other comments, I must really beg to differ. This computer was -very- well supported and continues to be many years after it''s supposed demise. You can still get CPU upgrades, graphics cards and even 16 bit sound cards with a DSP for it. You can stick it in a full tower if you so wish and use cheap PCI graphics cards instead of using the relatively more expensive Amiga graphics cards if you so wish.

Software was also written for it long after Commodore went bankrupt in ''94 and Escom went belly up in ''96. So you can''t say it was never supported well, because it really was. Just as well as any of the other Amigas.

          
Tuesday 28th May 2013
Harald Hansen

The Magic Pack was definitely released - I worked at a computer store (that did not sell second-hand gear) in Cork back in the mid-90''s and I remember talking to a manager about the Escom-released Amiga 1200, and it was a Magic Pack bundle. Just fyi.

          
Sunday 1st April 2012
Azhrei (Cork, Ireland)

 

NAME  Amiga 1200
MANUFACTURER  Commodore
TYPE  Home Computer
ORIGIN  U.S.A.
YEAR  October 1992
END OF PRODUCTION  1996
KEYBOARD  built-in keyboard, 96 keys
CPU  Motorola MC68EC020 + MC68881 FPU
SPEED  14.18758 MHz (PAL)
14.31818 MHz (NTSC)
CO-PROCESSOR  AGA based chipset: 8374 Alice (memory controller and blitter), 4203 Lisa (video control chip), 8364 Paula (sound & I/O), Gayle (I/O, IDE interface), 391425 Budgie (bus controller)
RAM  2 MB Chip RAM, expandable to 10 MB max (2 MB Chip RAM + 8 MB Fast Ram)
ROM  Kickstart 3.1: 512 KB
GRAPHIC MODES  320x200 to 1280x512 max
COLOrsc  Palette: 16.7 million
On screen: 256 in normal modes, 262144 in HAM-8
SOUND  4 channel 8 bit PCM, stereo output
SIZE / WEIGHT  9.5" deep × 18.5" wide × 3" high / 8 lbs
25cm deep x 49cm wide x 7cm high / 3.1 Kg
I/O PORTS  RS-232 serial port, Centronics parallel port, external disk interface, 150 pin local expansion port, Clockport, 2x RCA audio, PCMCIA/JEIDA card interface, IDE hard drive interface, composite video out, RF out, 2x Atari joystick/mouse ports
BUILT IN MEDIA  3.5'' floppy disk drive
OS  Workbench 3.1
POWER SUPPLY  External 23 watts PSU, 220-240V/50Hz (PAL), 110 volt/60Hz (NTSC)
PRICE  £399 (UK, 1992)
£329 (UK, 1995)


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