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.
The Atari/Amiga deal was over before Jack Trammel arrived at Atari. He only discovered it when commodore sued Atari for stealing IP when he poached the commodore engineers who took from commodore the designs for CBM 900 (which turned into the ST). Atari countersued and the case was eventually settled out of court.
Sunday 10th April 2016
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.