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C > COMMODORE  > AMIGA 1000     


Commodore
AMIGA 1000

The inventor of the Amiga 1000 was Jay Miner, who created the Atari 800 many years before. He wanted to make the most powerful computer ever, then he joined a small Californian company called Amiga. He used the principle of the three coprocessors (again) to help the main processor.

At the beginning, the Amiga had only 64 kilobytes of RAM! The original "Amiga" called the Lorraine was meant to be a game machine with some computer capabilities.

Atari initially invested the money in the Amiga Corp. to do the R&D on the Amiga computer line. Naturally, when the design was finished, Amiga Corp. gave Atari the choice to purchase the technology. Atari passed in favor of their own project. Amiga Corp. then offered the technology to Commodore, Inc., who were quite pleased to purchase it, seeing that their own 16-bit computer was so far from reaching the shelf.
After the loss of a major legal battle for control of the Amiga chip set design, Atari launched the ST series (Sixteen-Thirty-two) as a competitor for the upcoming Amiga.

The operating system (AmigaDOS) was done by MetaComCo, a British company who specialized in the 68000 processor (they also made languages for the Sinclair QL). It is a fully multitasking system which looks like UNIX with a graphical user interface.
It was the very first personal computer with great graphics and sound capabilities with a GUI environment.
The Amiga BASIC was written by Microsoft (like most other versions of BASIC), but the first models were shipped with a non-Microsoft BASIC called ABasiC.

The Amiga 1000 was to lose popularity one year later with the creation of its two main successors: the Amiga 500 and the Amiga 2000.

There were two versions of the Amiga 1000. The first one sold only in the USA, had a NTSC display and no EHB video mode. Later versions would have this built in. The second one had a PAL display, the enhanced video modes (EHB) and was built in Germany.

The official name for the A1000 was the Commodore Amiga. It was only when the A2000 was launched that they officially began to refer to the machine by its model number.



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There are a number of mistakes here. Jay Miner was indeed instrumental in the creation of the Amiga''s architecture, much of the machine in a more simplified form was proposed by Miner while still at Atari, however as the current home computer and console ranges were selling well, the current overlords Warner, were not interested. Frustrated, Miner left and came across a group who were looking to create a next generation gaming system. This group became known as Hi-Torro, who created and sold game controllers to help fund the new Lorrane project.

Funding was a problem, Warner''s Atari became interested and funded the development with a few strings attached, one of which was the investment needed to be repaid by a certain date or the technology became property of Atari.

Then something weird happened...

Warner feared the home console/computer market would never recover so put Atari''s home division up for sale (While keeping the profitable Arcade division). Jack Trammel had previously left Commodore and wanted a company to help launch a new computer which he was planning and realised the Atari brand and identity was just what he needed for such a machine. The deal was done and Trammel took over Atari, which was not what the group developing what was now known as the Amiga wanted. However they were contracted to Atari and now had a problem...

Trammiel had seen the contract and knew the company could not repay the money, but he also knew the technology would be of little use without its creators, so he offered to buy the company. The Amiga creators did not want to do this but felt they had little choice, then Trammel $ped his offer...

Then something else weird happened...

Commodore, anxious to get one over on their former boss, came in at the last minute, bought the company for more than Trammel had ever offered, giving the developers all the money they needed to pay Atari back, which they did. Atari lost the Amiga and Commodore gained it.

Trammiel sued to try and stop Commodore using the technology citing breach of contract, but as the contract was with the Amiga company and staff, and Amiga company and staff officially paid the money back in time, the case was thrown out.

Trammiel continued with the machine he was already developing (Which became the ST), Commodore stopped development on their Unix machine (The 9000?) and created the worlds first multimedia system, at a time when no one really knew what it was, but they loved it all the same.

          
Saturday 17th October 2015
Malcolm Ramage (England)
Atari Music Network

Please update the blurb as it''s totally wrong.

An incredible machine deserves better than what is provided here.

(how can I credibly believe anything else written on your site if you can''t be bothered updating this well known piece of Amiga lore?)

          
Monday 6th January 2014
Stromasher

Please update the blurb as it''s totally wrong.

An incredible machine deserves better than what is provided here.

(how can I credibly believe anything else written on your site if you can''t be bothered updating this well known piece of Amiga lore?)

          
Monday 6th January 2014
Stromasher

 

NAME  AMIGA 1000
MANUFACTURER  Commodore
TYPE  Home Computer
ORIGIN  U.S.A.
YEAR  July 1985
END OF PRODUCTION  January 1987
KEYBOARD  full-size typewriter style, 89 keys, 10 function keys and numeric keypad
CPU  Motorola MC68000
SPEED  7.16 mHz
CO-PROCESSOR  3 : Denise (video), Agnus (memory manager, blitter & copper), Paula (sound and disk access)
RAM  256kb, upgradable to 512k internally. Extensible to 8.5 MB with extension card (512 KB CHIP RAM + 8 MB FAST RAM) and to 10 MB
ROM  8 KB (The Kickstart isn't in ROM but loaded at the boot in RAM, where it takes 256 KB)
TEXT MODES  60 x 32 / 80 x 32
GRAPHIC MODES  320 x 200 and 320x400 (32 colors), 640 x 200 and 640 x 400 (16 colors)
COLORS  up to 64 colors among 4096 (EHB mode)
The Amiga can display 4096 colors simultaneously (HAM mode)
SOUND  Four 8 bit PCM voices, 9 octaves
SIZE / WEIGHT  4.25'' x 17.75'' x 13'' / 13 lbs
I/O PORTS  RGB, RF & composite video ouputs, external floppy disk port, Centronics, RS232c, Expansion port, stereo sound, Atari Compatible joysticks (2), RAM expansion port, keyboard connector
BUILT IN MEDIA  one 3.5'' disk-drive, double sided double density, 880k formatted storage capacity
OS  AmigaDOS (1.0/1.1/1.2/1.3) + WorkBench (GUI)
POWER SUPPLY  120V, 90 Watts, 60Hz, 1A nominal
PRICE  £1700 (UK, 1985) - $1500 (USA, 1986) - £1285 (UK, Nov. 1986, 512K RAM)


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