Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby ph4nt0m » 2019-5-16 @ 11:31

brostenen wrote:
ph4nt0m wrote:Well, there were fast and expensive x86 PCs back in 1987. For example, a 20MHz Intel 386DX was much faster than a 7MHz Motorola 68k. The former could also have much more memory, much higher bandwidth and a real FPU. 486DX made the difference even more noticeable. However this Intel hardware was very expensive, that's why it has never competed with Amiga in the 1980's. Different markets, different purpose.


No. Not true.
You needed a serious fast x86 machine, in order to compete against the Amiga arcitecture. There were no such thing as a superiour x86 machine in the 1980's and well into 1992/93. And if you found something that beated the Amiga, then it would only beat on certain levels and not all. And you would have to have tons of money. Like silicon graphics machines.

X86 machines used brute force from the CPU alone compared to the Amiga that used different controllers and processors for indevidual tasks. Like the difference between single and multitasking. Try moving bitmap gfx on a 1987 x86 machine, formatting a floppy, playing sampled music and writing a letter at the same time and not using the CPU as the only chip for data processing inside the machine. Try that on a 386dx40 with ISA only cards. How about having 8 programs open at the same time, on MS Dos 5.0 or 6.22.

If you have followed this discussion, then you will know that the Amiga was an overall better machine for the money, untill some 1992 to 1993. And even with the introduction of Win95, the Amiga were still overall better. Plug and Play was laughable, compared to autoconfigure, untill somewere between 1998 and 2001.

And were is the Ramdisk that are 100 percent dynamic? It is on the Amiga. Sure we do not need it today, yet it still display that there are at least one technology left, in were the Amiga still have it's edge over the x86.

Amiga was a hybrid of an arcade machine and a personal computer. There were many things it could do better than an average x86 PC back in the day. However it couldn't match high end x86 PCs and workstations. BTW those didn't run DOS or Windows. There were commercial x86 compatible derivatives of AT&T System V such as Venix, Xenix, PC/IX or even Coherent, though it wasn't a derivative. Those could do multitasking easily. ISA wasn't the only choice. MCA was offered in 1987 and EISA the next year.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby rasz_pl » 2019-5-16 @ 11:33

Scali wrote: Because the Amiga never quite took off as an office machine, there wasn't really a need for a HDD to store your applications and data.
Most games and applications fit on one or two disks


or you know, eleven
http://www.lemonamiga.com/?game_id=770

Scali wrote:, so just an Amiga with an extra drive worked fine. You did see many people with an extra drive by the way. I'd say that it was more common to see Amigas with 2 or more floppy drives, than it was for PCs.


did it maybe had something to do with selling Double Density floppy all the way up to 1994? :)
btw DS/DD drive was more expensive than DS/HD since 1989 due to sheer volume of PC sales! and off the shelf HD floppy controller chip was ~$2, while re spinning improved Paula ASIC would cost cents amortized across couple of years. But who would redesign the Amiga since we fired all the engineers?!?!
Fun fact - Commodore 128D, the one with 3 cpus and 2 graphic processors, cost more to manufacture than Amiga 500/600, and sold for less.

Scali wrote:The A600 and A1200 had an A600HD and A1200HD version respectively, with a factory-installed HDD.
..
It was easy to add the drive to the A600 and A1200 because they had onboard IDE interfaces. The earlier Amigas did not have an onboard HDD interface.


Another fun fact, minimalistic Amiga 500 IDE interface required only two $0.2 chips in 1990, but why spend $0.4 in hardware when we can design useless PCMCIA chipset instead and make our "low cost" A300 cost more than A500!

Dont even get me started about over engineered a590 kitchen sink and a tire pump combo contraptions. How much was it originally? >$700 with 20MB? while 20MB PC drive was <$200 (+$50 for controller). Whole PC XT with CGA/monitor and 20MB HDD cost ~$800 in 1989!


Scali wrote:That's your problem.
I think for most it's easy enough to see that PCs are nothing special, hardware-wise, and the hardware of an Amiga can do anything that a PC can


can it read HD floppy? :P

appiah4 wrote:While not a perfect fit for Workbench, WordPerfect for Amiga was fairly feature-complete compared to its DOS counterparts


Vomiting due to interlaced picture was just a bonus.
$700 for harddrive here, $250 for Flicker fixer there, and soon enough we are talking real computer (386DX) prices.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-5-16 @ 11:40

rasz_pl wrote:Vomiting due to interlaced picture was just a bonus.
$700 for harddrive here, $250 for Flicker fixer there, and soon enough we are talking real computer (386DX) prices.


I never had an issue with the Amiga interlaced low-res image on an RGB Monitor. It is quite telling that all the whining about interlaced modes on the Amiga are by people who never used it. And the people whining about interlaced Hi-Res modes forget to account for the price of VGA hardware at the time.

https://books.google.com.tr/books?hl=tr ... GA&f=false

Total cost of IBM's PS/2 VGA card, VGA memory and VGA monitor was 3,110 dollars in 1987.

Also, have you checked what a moderately powerful 386DX PC cost in 1987 (when Amiga hard drives were $700 as you absurdly put - the price is wrong, very likely but also not even worth contending) - I will tell you: $2,000 for a 386/10 with just CGA, if you wanted a 386/16 with EGA it went up to as much as $7,000.

Was it any better in 1989? Fucking no, the same system albeit 386/25 was selling for $3,000 in 1989.

How is that Flicker Fixer price working for you now?

Also, it's incredibly tellind that you mention a 386 for performance comparison then quote an XT price in 1989 for price comparison. Performance-wise the Amiga would DESTROY an XT in 1989.

I'm sorry but you are full of shit.

EDIT: Fuck it, I wil contend your HDD price: https://archive.org/stream/cuamiga-maga ... 0_djvu.txt The A590 cost only 269 GBP for the bare model and 299 GBP with 2MB Fast Ram, so you are full of shit about this point as well. The amount of bullshit in your post is amazing.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby keropi » 2019-5-16 @ 11:55

interlace on a 1084 was and is fine :D
is it the most comfortable way? ofcourse not but it's not the menace people tend to make it... ofcourse if you connect an amiga to your 21" tv you won't like it , try it with the monitor it was meant to be paired with and witness the difference

I don't get why the whole thread is dragging like this, we are on vogons and we like pcs but the truth can't change no matter how many excuses you make, amiga offered more hardware and price wise atleast until 1992. Just move on with your lives already this is not 1992 LOL LOL LOL
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby BushLin » 2019-5-16 @ 12:04

Indeed, sorry for the meme but seeing an Amiga vs PC war these days just invites:
Attachments
WhatYearIsIt.jpg
Screw period correct, I wanted a faster system back then. I choose no dropped frames, super fast loading, fully compatible and quiet operation.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby spiroyster » 2019-5-16 @ 12:05



Thats nothing, Rise of the robots was 12 disks and Beneath a steel sky was 15. Didn't stop people playing an enjoying them with a single disk drive (myself included), but granted a HD would be nice... but then again that’s the point, you didn't need a HD, it was a luxury...

rasz_pl wrote:Dont even get me started about over engineered a590 kitchen sink and a tire pump combo contraptions. How much was it originally? >$700 with 20MB? while 20MB PC drive was <$200 (+$50 for controller). Whole PC XT with CGA/monitor and 20MB HDD cost ~$800 in 1989!

There is no way this is true... can you show some catalogue/magazine scans or direct us to price lists that can verify these PC prices?

Besides, conversations seems to keep coming back to hardware figures on paper, in reality none of this a problem for many Amiga users. No one really felt a need to upgrade Amiga's hardware at the time, so other than HD and second disk drive... no one did (at least this was case from my perspective, 50% of my friends had Amigas, all stock apart from 2 people with second disk drives). 68k may only be ~7Mhz by default, but that was more than enough late 80's early 90's and peoples requirements... and as history has told us, it was more than enough to compete with computers that had way more grunt. Personally I think it was 3D more than SVGA that made people swap (certainly that was the case for me).
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby Scali » 2019-5-16 @ 12:37

rasz_pl wrote:or you know, eleven
http://www.lemonamiga.com/?game_id=770


Rules and exceptions...
This is clearly an example of a very late Amiga game, which was designed as a HD-game, and then ported to Amiga.
It is in no way representative of Amiga games, which mostly were 1 or 2 floppies.

rasz_pl wrote:can it read HD floppy? :P


Sure it can.
The Amiga 4000 was sold with a 1.76MB capacity HD floppy drive, Amiga 3000 could be either DD or HD.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby brostenen » 2019-5-16 @ 13:58

I still say the Amiga platform, was the best choice for home use between 1985 and to around 1991/93. It all changed during the year of 1992. 1992 is the magical year in wich performance vs software quality changed completely. Januaery of 1992 it was Amiga, and december 1992 it was MS Dos based x86's.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby rasz_pl » 2019-5-16 @ 14:00

appiah4 wrote:
rasz_pl wrote:Vomiting due to interlaced picture was just a bonus.
$700 for harddrive here, $250 for Flicker fixer there, and soon enough we are talking real computer (386DX) prices.


I never had an issue with the Amiga interlaced low-res image on an RGB Monitor.

what does horizontal resolution have to do with it?

appiah4 wrote: It is quite telling that all the whining about interlaced modes on the Amiga are by people who never used it.

I owned a good Commodore monitor, $350 when new 1084S, and interlaced text was pain inducing.

appiah4 wrote: And the people whining about interlaced Hi-Res

again, what does horizontal resolution have to do with it? The picture is shaking, unusable for text work.

appiah4 wrote:Also, have you checked what a moderately powerful 386DX PC cost in 1987 (when Amiga hard drives were $700 as you absurdly put - the price is wrong, very likely but also not even worth contending) - I will tell you: $2,000 for a 386/10 with just CGA, if you wanted a 386/16 with EGA it went up to as much as $7,000.


A590 came out in 1989 at >$700 price point for 20MB version. 20MB A590 was still a crazy $500 with aggressive Educational discount(US universities) in 1990. Whats very likely is you living with pink glasses memories of times gone by :-)
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic ... M_6PVW45Yg
1990 wrote:The Amiga 2000 is not competitive at all. In fact, I can get 20Mhz i386 systems with 4M
of RAM, 1.44M floppy, 40M hard drive, VGA card, and VGA monitor, for
only $100 more than the *EDUCATION* price of the A2000HD.


appiah4 wrote:EDIT: Fuck it, I wil contend your HDD price: https://archive.org/stream/cuamiga-maga ... 0_djvu.txt The A590 cost only 269 GBP for the bare model and 299 GBP with 2MB Fast Ram, so you are full of shit about this point as well. The amount of bullshit in your post is amazing.

December 1990, just so you know pound was worth 1.9 dollars, 270 x 1.9 = $500. They were probably somehow importing Edu priced units from US. Normal dealer price in same CuAmiga issue is ~350 Pounds/$650.
You could call CompUSA and order $490 90MB Seagate IDE drive in December 1990.
Btw why so angry? :)

spiroyster wrote:
rasz_pl wrote:Dont even get me started about over engineered a590 kitchen sink and a tire pump combo contraptions. How much was it originally? >$700 with 20MB? while 20MB PC drive was <$200 (+$50 for controller). Whole PC XT with CGA/monitor and 20MB HDD cost ~$800 in 1989!

There is no way this is true... can you show some catalogue/magazine scans or direct us to price lists that can verify these PC prices?


DMC and CompuTOP both list this price/configuration, december 1989
https://books.google.pl/books?id=5CmkZ3 ... &q&f=false
Commodore 20MB hard drive for Amiga 500 cost as much as whole PC system with same (very slow) drive :o


Scali wrote:
rasz_pl wrote:or you know, eleven
http://www.lemonamiga.com/?game_id=770


Rules and exceptions...
This is clearly an example of a very late Amiga game, which was designed as a HD-game, and then ported to Amiga.
It is in no way representative of Amiga games, which mostly were 1 or 2 floppies.


quite a few good games on the more swapping than sense list :(
http://www.lemonamiga.com/?game_id=770 Edit: damn, I am trying to paste Search result from lemonamiga with selected "more than 9 floppies", seems its impossible :(. I meant those:
Beneath A Steel Sky
Adventures of Willy Beamish
Flight of the Amazon Queen
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
Rise of the Dragon
King's Quest VI
Monkey Island 2

I have a vivid memory from ~1995 of a friend copying Master of Orion and Privateer for me, 10 floppies seemed insane, and barely fit on my garbage level second hand $25 40MB HDD.

Scali wrote:
rasz_pl wrote:can it read HD floppy? :P

Sure it can.
The Amiga 4000 was sold with a 1.76MB capacity HD floppy drive, Amiga 3000 could be either DD or HD.


special spinning at half speed Chinon drive, at only >$3500 in 1992. Was this drive first introduced in later models of A3000, or did A3000 got it with release of A4000 in 1992? Because in 1992 this is over $1000 more than 486DX2/50MHz 4MB ram 200MB HDD VLB 1MB SVGA/monitor.

brostenen wrote:I still say the Amiga platform, was the best choice for home use between 1985 and to around 1991/93. It all changed during the year of 1992. 1992 is the magical year in wich performance vs software quality changed completely. Januaery of 1992 it was Amiga, and december 1992 it was MS Dos based x86's.


yep
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby brostenen » 2019-5-16 @ 14:11

Not to mention that early Amiga models, all came with a full set of schematics of the entire machine. Then you knew all sort of helpfull people, and there were tons of computer clubs around, only dealing with Amiga. And if you wanted documentation for some special implementation like Nasa, then you were handed a stack of paper, the hight of a grown man.

It was a different time. Hardware specs and software library was decent, and you had a butthurt load of support from left to right.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby spiroyster » 2019-5-16 @ 14:33

rasz_pl wrote:
spiroyster wrote:
rasz_pl wrote:Dont even get me started about over engineered a590 kitchen sink and a tire pump combo contraptions. How much was it originally? >$700 with 20MB? while 20MB PC drive was <$200 (+$50 for controller). Whole PC XT with CGA/monitor and 20MB HDD cost ~$800 in 1989!

There is no way this is true... can you show some catalogue/magazine scans or direct us to price lists that can verify these PC prices?


DMC and CompuTOP both list this price/configuration, december 1989
https://books.google.pl/books?id=5CmkZ3 ... &q&f=false
Commodore 20MB hard drive for Amiga 500 cost as much as whole PC system with same (very slow) drive :o

Ok I will eat just small slight part of my hat, that is a good price for 20MB and CGA in 1989 (I doubt we would have got that good a deal in the UK though for PC stuff, but again I may eat my hat, who knows \o/). I can't remember what prices Amiga HD's were, but your quote sounds a little steep.

Still given the prices and capabilities, an XT -> CGA (4 colours), doubtful if it would have audio support beyond a beep for $800 vs all singing all dancing 32 colour (4096 HAM colours), stereo audio and a host of apps and games topped up by an evolved GUI... many of which at the time were not available on PC, for less than $700?

I think its quite obvious why Amiga appealed to a certain (larger) generation for still years to come until late 486, or even Pentium era than the PC did. Price and software catalogue being two key factors. Amiga's were at the forefront of digital art and audio renaissance back then, because of what you got stock. For a PC this would all require additional hardware just to get it within an inch of the graphical/audio capabilities of an Amiga... and you would be paying easily $1000+ even at your prices ;).
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby Scali » 2019-5-16 @ 14:42

rasz_pl wrote:special spinning at half speed Chinon drive, at only >$3500 in 1992.


I see goalposts, and they are moving.

Let's state the obvious: We are talking about the Commodore Amiga, which is without a doubt the most awesome home computer platform ever. It completely redefined what you could do with your computer at home, and was used by many creative young people for making graphics, music and code. This in turn spawned various game companies, many of which still exist today, and are still turning out AAA-games (and their employees are still releasing Amiga stuff in the demoscene as well).
And some guy has to argue about how HD floppies were half speed? Way to completely miss the point!
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby rasz_pl » 2019-5-16 @ 15:01

Scali wrote:
rasz_pl wrote:special spinning at half speed Chinon drive, at only >$3500 in 1992.

I see goalposts, and they are moving.

nah, I always mentioned half speed HD floppy viewtopic.php?p=753660#p753660

Scali wrote:Let's state the obvious: We are talking about the Commodore Amiga, which is without a doubt the most awesome home computer platform ever.

A3000/4000 were never home computers :-)

Scali wrote:And some guy has to argue about how HD floppies were half speed? Way to completely miss the point!

No, Im arguing no one (statistically speaking) had HD floppy in their Amiga, no one had a HDD, no one had cpu >8MHz, this in turn made software houses target least common denominator, 1985 machine specs, and signed platforms death. Quite ironically biggest Amiga sales were in 1992, year the platform died.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby rasz_pl » 2019-5-16 @ 15:08

spiroyster wrote:
rasz_pl wrote:DMC and CompuTOP both list this price/configuration, december 1989
https://books.google.pl/books?id=5CmkZ3 ... &q&f=false
Commodore 20MB hard drive for Amiga 500 cost as much as whole PC system with same (very slow) drive :o

Ok I will eat just small slight part of my hat, that is a good price for 20MB and CGA in 1989 (I doubt we would have got that good a deal in the UK though for PC stuff, but again I may eat my hat, who knows \o/). I can't remember what prices Amiga HD's were, but your quote sounds a little steep.

Still given the prices and capabilities, an XT -> CGA (4 colours), doubtful if it would have audio support beyond a beep for $800 vs all singing all dancing 32 colour (4096 HAM colours), stereo audio and a host of apps and games topped up by an evolved GUI... many of which at the time were not available on PC, for less than $700?


My point was it almost made more sense to buy a separate PC instead of Commodore A590, and network the two (LPT PC2Am) to share HDD space. Speed wouldnt even be an issue because A590 delivered a hair pulling 100 kB/s :confused:
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby Scali » 2019-5-16 @ 15:10

rasz_pl wrote:No, Im arguing no one (statistically speaking) had HD floppy in their Amiga, no one had a HDD, no one had cpu >8MHz, this in turn made software houses target least common denominator, 1985 machine specs, and signed platforms death.


Yea, but who cares? What point are you trying to make?
It's not like HD floppies at full speed would have made any difference. That's not what the Amiga is about.
Heck, I've used Amigas since the early 90s, and still do, and never once did the thought of adding a HD floppy drive cross my mind.

Why is the Commodore 64 never attacked in this way? C64 never upgraded from standard specs either, and having a floppy drive at all was a luxury, especially in the early years. I never heard anyone try to compare it to a PC, and argue about prices etc.
I think everyone knows that even a C64 makes for a better gaming machine than an XT clone with CGA and a HDD.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby rasz_pl » 2019-5-16 @ 15:44

Scali wrote:
rasz_pl wrote:No, Im arguing no one (statistically speaking) had HD floppy in their Amiga, no one had a HDD, no one had cpu >8MHz, this in turn made software houses target least common denominator, 1985 machine specs, and signed platforms death.


Yea, but who cares? What point are you trying to make?
It's not like HD floppies at full speed would have made any difference. That's not what the Amiga is about.

For me Amiga was about squandering the dream. I feel personal resentment towards Commodore and industry press for scamming and stringing me along for so long.

Scali wrote:Why is the Commodore 64 never attacked in this way? C64 never upgraded from standard specs either


Did you miss my jab at C128D? :-)
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby Scali » 2019-5-16 @ 15:49

rasz_pl wrote:For me Amiga was about squandering the dream.


I think that goes for every Amiga user.

rasz_pl wrote:I feel personal resentment towards Commodore and industry press for scamming and stringing me along for so long.


You have a strange way of showing it, by attacking the Amiga, rather than Commodore.
I mean, this topic is (or should be) about what made/makes the Amiga so popular.
I don't think anyone would disagree that Commodore could have done more with the Amiga, and adding newer/better technology could have made the Amiga an even more popular/powerful platform. But that's not the topic here.
I think every Amiga user feels that the Amiga is the computer that should have won the home/personal computer wars of the 80s and early 90s, not IBM clones.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby konc » 2019-5-16 @ 17:40

Scali wrote:I think every Amiga user feels that the Amiga is the computer that should have won the home/personal computer wars of the 80s and early 90s, not IBM clones.


Excuse me for quoting a single sentence intended for another person.

As I wrote earlier, this is something people tend to neglect: They could have won it, if there was software to do the work people had the need to do. But there wasn't enough. Some software was there, what we call now killer-apps weren't. OK, just a handful of them delivering wonders because of the superior h/w, but not what the majority wanted. Not everyone was into video editing but many had to create compatible documents/presentations/lotus sheets. Combine this with the terrible corporate decisions and the rest is easily explained. The best computer of that time is subjective depending on how you judge it. Amigas had the potential features-wise and undeniably better hardware, PCs before Doom had IBM and therefore larger and paying audience (who got his Amiga or PC as a kid with his own money? Dad's will always prevailed)
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby LunarG » 2019-5-16 @ 18:00

Scali wrote:I think every Amiga user feels that the Amiga is the computer that should have won the home/personal computer wars of the 80s and early 90s, not IBM clones.


Truthfully, I'm more of a PC person than an Amiga person, but despite that, I never saw the point of the PC until the days when 486 was the home PC cpu of choice, and sound cards were something absolutely everybody had. In fact, shortly after I replaced my A500 (with GVP HD8+ with ~100MB hdd and 2MB fastram) with a 486 PC, I added a 4x CD-Rom drive, because "multimedia" had been one of the selling points of the PC for me.
One of my best friends back when I had the A500, kept harping on about how much more powerful his 286 12MHz was compared to my modest 68000, but could never really come up with any use cases that showed the PC in a positive light.
I honestly think, that with better management, the Amiga COULD have been victorious. For example, if Commodore had pulled an IBM and said "Sure, anyone can clone our systems, but they can't copy our kickstart roms... Those they will have to provide themselves."
All of this is completely hypothetical though, and thus of very little importance. When the Amiga was relevant, the vast majority was basic A500's with the trapdoor memory upgrade or a basic A500+ or A600, and they were used mainly as hobby and gaming systems. The professional Amiga systems that would have been used to make broadcast graphics, special effects for TV and movies, or other similarly high end tasks, also cost similarly high end money. Cheap compared to SGi as somebody else mentioned, but a long way away from the consumer friendly "all in the keyboard" systems that we all know and love.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby brostenen » 2019-5-16 @ 18:01

Guys, guys, guys..... Regarding Commodore as a company, there is only one thing to do.

Flip off the management, kiss the engineer.
Don't eat stuff off a 15 year old never cleaned cpu cooler.
Those cakes make you sick....

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