Amiga Computing Turns 30

The Amiga computer celebrated its 30th birthday at the Computer History Museum in San Francisco, July 25th-26th, 2015. For a dedicated group of users its technical achievements were fondly remembered and recognized. Launched at the Lincoln Center in New York, 1985, the Amiga 1000 was the first affordable multitasking computer to enter the PC market. Commodore owned the rights to the Amiga until they went bankrupt in 1994. It’s release changed the face of creative computing forever – even if it is now considered a footnote in computing history.

Amiga technologies were engineered to be accessible to anyone. Business machines like the Amiga 2000, for example, opened up video production to a wider user base in the NAFTA region. The Amiga had been designed to work with NTSC video signals. From the Amiga 2000 onwards, video editors and computer graphic artists were presented with a comprehensive and affordable way to generate high quality video content. This was especially the case when video toasters from NewTek were included in the mix.

Jay Miner first started thinking about what became the original chip set (OCS) when he was working at Atari. Some of the breadboards and the boxes used to take them the CES 1983 (back) were on display at Amiga 30 USA.

Jay Miner first started thinking about what became the original chip set (OCS) when he was working at Atari. Some of the breadboards and the boxes used to take them the CES 1983 (back) were on display at Amiga 30 USA.

The Amiga 500 also made an impact in home consumer markets. It became a video gaming powerhouse in Europe, which helped make it the biggest selling Amiga of all time. Independent game designers in places like Britain recognized the power of affordable Amigas. The Amiga 1200 – the technological successor to the Amiga 500 – was even used by Calvin Harris to record his first album I Created Disco. That was in 2007. The software used was called Octamed.

Original Chip Set

The original chip set (OCS) created by the development team led by Jay Miner was essentially used in all iterations of Amiga upto 1992. An enhanced chip set (ECS) introduced in 1990 was short lived and presented minor improvements overall. Only the Amiga 1200 and 4000 contained the significantly improved advanced graphics architecture (AGA). This increased the colour palette range from 4096 to over 16 million shortly before Commodore imploded.

Every generation of the Amiga Dev

Every generation of Amiga developer was recognised at Amiga 30.

 

    Posted in Blog, Computing, General.