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Commodore Amiga Multimedia Computer

Updated 4 December 2019

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Back in a time when the "norm" was playing with interrupt jumpers and admiring grey scale images, the Commodore AMIGA was revolutionizing the world with full multimedia capabilities; Before multimedia was even a word. This notebook collates some of the many awesome artefacts lying around the internet.

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Commodore Amiga Introduction

Commodore buys Amiga in 1984
Figure: Commodore buys Amiga in 1984 and
changes the course of computing history

The Commodore Amiga was a revolutionary computer system at the time of release and represented a low-cost entry into the world of computers. At the heart of the Commodore Amiga lies the custom chipset to handle high performance memory management, sound and graphics. The Agnus, Denise and Paula chips collectively formed the OCS and ECS chipsets.

Amiga 500 Advertisements

In 1987, Commodore Business Machines created a VHS video advertising the Commodore Amiga 500 capabilities. The idea was to borrow the video from your local dealer and show it to your parents to get them excited. The stuff that is shown in the commercial like music creation, video production are still fantastic looking to this day. Once you have watched the video and have seen what it can do then buyers would not look at an Intel 286 powered MSDOS machine again. Take a look at the video for yourself.

Note that the video publisher has not endorsed this article. The video is served directly by archive.org from this webpage. Please read archive.org's privacy and copyright policy. The opinions expressed may not reflect the opinion of this site.

In around early 1989, The Australian Commodore and Amiga Review (April 1989, page 8) reported that there were new commercials for the Commodore Amiga produced entirely on the Amiga itself. We are on the look out to see if these commercials have ever been uploaded to the Internet Archive.

Amiga Emulating other Systems

By the end of the 90s, the Commodore Amiga had a strong range of system emulators that could support your multiple computer needs. The three obvious systems that spring to mind were emulating the Apple Macintosh, MSDOS system, and Unix systems.

Possibly the most obvious choice was Readysoft's Macintosh Emulator shown at the World of Commodore Exhibition in 1988. It is an obvious emulation because both systems ran the Motorola 68000 CPU. It was a device that used official Apple Macintosh ROMs in a hardware/software package connected to the Amiga external drive. Apparently, graphic intensive applications ran faster on the Amiga than the native Macintosh because of the custom Angus blitter chip.

Commodore did make a real effort to break into the desktop office machine environment by releasing the Commodore A2286 Bridgeboard co-processor card for the Amiga 2000 series computers. The Bridgeboard contained an 8MHz Intel 80286 CPU chip, 1MB RAM and an option for the Intel 80287 maths co-processor. The Amiga was a real multitasking computer and users could run native Amiga applications in one window and be running another MS-DOS application in another window. This was better than having an MS-DOS machine as users could only run one program at a time. Brrr, the thought of using the MS-DOC command prompt gives me nightmares.

This brings me to the grandest of endeavours, the Commodore Amiga UNIX. This was a full UNIX System V Release 4 implementation that ran as a high-end desktop UNIX system with unparalleled graphics capabilities. This version of UNIX was affectionately called AMIX. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find software that was developed specifically to bring the full multimedia capabilities to heal. I have given a full writeup on this system on my AMIX journal. The AMIX system is best described as a low-cost desktop publishing, advanced video production system.

Amiga Journal

Commodore Amiga Manuals and Books

Commodore Amiga
Manuals & Books

BBC Database TV Show 2

Why did Commodore
hide the Amiga?

Commodore Amiga 500 Teardown

Amiga 500
Teardown

Commodore Amiga Unix system, Amix

Running Linux/Unix
Workstations on Amiga

Commodore Amiga 500 tshirt

Commodore Amiga 500
t-shirt review

Emulating the Commodore Amiga

The following options are commonly used to emulate the Commodore Amiga:

Relevant Wikipedia entries, Articles and websites

Amiga Music

The Commodore Amiga set the standard for home computer sound sysnthesis and there is still much being produced today by both musicians and the demoscene. Much of this music was written and can be played on what is known as tracker software, think music tracks. These are digital sequencers that play samples and are save to .mod  files. We provide a few links to music software that is still being used today.

Magazines covering the Amiga

K&A Plus No. 9

Commodore & Amiga Plus
Magazine 9 (2018)

K&A Plus No. 7

Commodore & Amiga Plus
Magazine 7 (2017)

Amiga Format 18 January 1991

Amiga Format magazine
January 1991

880 Gamer Issue 8 Commodore Amiga Games Magazine

880 Gamer
Issue 8

Elite 2 Game Review

Amiga Games Elite 2
Game Review

Miscellaneum

Everything Amiga digital archive

Everything Amiga
90GB+ Collection
(external)

Commodore Amiga Applications Page

The Compleat Amiga
Applications Collection
 

Link to external site - The MOD archive

Amiga Music
The MOD Archive
(external)

Amiga Fred Fish Public Domain Collection

PD Collection
Fred Fish
Collection

Computers Computer Magazines

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