Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby bfcastello » 2019-5-16 @ 18:38

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

Flip off the management, kiss the engineer.


The management always screws up where the engineers are mastering...
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby BushLin » 2019-5-16 @ 18:43

spiroyster wrote:
rasz_pl wrote:
spiroyster wrote: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...


Put your hat away, didn't you notice those were prices to dealers/trade? Add some mark-up to those numbers. Let's be real here. This isn't a 90s playground, we have the internet to dispel half truths / cherry picking poor examples that miss the point / straw-man arguments.

For actual prices that we saw as consumers, the 20MB/A590 combo was definitely £369 in March 1990.
https://archive.org/details/amigaformat ... 8/page/n61
The joy of digging that page up is all the accessories available a couple of pages back. This stuff seemed like magic to me at the time.

EDIT:
It could also be found for £375 at its release around August 1989.
https://archive.org/details/Amiga_Forma ... /page/n107
Of course this wasn't the only way of adding a hard drive to an Amiga 500 but it's a useful comparison point.
Last edited by BushLin on 2019-5-16 @ 20:33, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby Unknown_K » 2019-5-16 @ 19:04

I think you people are missing out on the fact that the IBM PC was made and marketed by IBM as a business machine, then Compaq clones it and made a better business machine. What this meant is that anyone making software or hardware for the small business pretty much gravitated to the PC.

People who had a C64 played games on it mostly and did some simple home apps or went nuts with GEOS. Eventually people outgrew the C64 and either had to upgrade so they went with a cheap Amiga 500 or spent more initially and went for the PC. Commodore knew gaming graphics and that's how the Amiga came about. Some technical people figured out how to make the AMiga into a graphics overlay machine and eventually animation studio but those sold in the thousands and business class PCs sold in the millions. Scale of development from multiple companies on an open platform meant the PC would win eventually and that prices would drop as performance went up at the same time. Amiga development was so slow and under funded to go anywhere really.

The PC was never meant for home gaming and many companies made a fortune making it one (Creative Labs, Media Vision, Reveal, etc made millions developing sound cards and eventually multimedia upgrades including CD). That's how big the PC market got where even niche application companies made more then Commodore as a whole did.

Commodore also had to compete with Atari ST which was cheaper and while not as capable was good enough for the home market. Apple eventually took over the video and animation professional market from Commodore. The home gaming market was so small that game developers pretty much targeted the Atari ST for games and then ported them to the Amiga with little effort to use Amigas better hardware graphics capabilities.

The gold box SSI series that started with Pools of Radiance on the C64 was ported to pretty much everything like the Atari 800 and ST, Apple II, PC, and Amiga and I would bet the most copies sold were for the PC.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby Errius » 2019-5-16 @ 19:42

BushLin wrote:Indeed, sorry for the meme but seeing an Amiga vs PC war these days just invites:

It's hugely entertaining! (tho I don't understand half of what is being said)
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby rasz_pl » 2019-5-16 @ 20:16

BushLin wrote:Put your hat away, didn't you notice those were prices to dealers/trade? Add some mark-up to those numbers.


one could lawyer around meaning of the word Welcome versus more categorical Only on the second one ;-)

BushLin wrote:For actual prices that we saw as consumers, the 20MB/A590 combo was definitely £369 in March 1990 and dropped in price significantly towards the end of that year.
https://archive.org/details/amigaformat ... 8/page/n61
The joy of digging that page up is all the accessories available a couple of pages back. This stuff seemed like magic to me at the time.


good lead, so here we go: https://archive.org/details/Amiga_Forma ... B/page/n13
Hardware premiere review from July 1989, Official CBM UK LTD price listed 445 pounds, x 1.6 = >$700
Can we now agree the official, Commodore blessed price was in fact an insane >$700?

LunarG wrote: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."

This could never work, Commodore had the lowest hardware margins in the industry, nobody dared going to a price war with them.

Unknown_K wrote:Commodore knew gaming graphics and that's how the Amiga came about.

By the time Commodore was about to buy Amiga nobody internally had a clue about graphics. VIC-2 and SID designers left shortly after completing C64. One went to Coleco, two others created their own startup - you might of heard about it, little sound company called Ensoniq, savior of Creatives ass during PCI era.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby brostenen » 2019-5-16 @ 20:26

If you want prices that were real prices and not import prices, then dig up some scans of old magazines from back then.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby BushLin » 2019-5-16 @ 20:27

rasz_pl wrote:good lead, so here we go: https://archive.org/details/Amiga_Forma ... B/page/n13
Hardware premiere review from July 1989, Official CBM UK LTD price listed 445 pounds, x 1.6 = >$700
Can we now agree the official, Commodore blessed price was in fact an insane >$700?


It's almost as if you're doing this deliberately, like you have done all the research but choose to ignore the bits that don't fit what looks like a troll narrative. From the very same magazine issue, here's a price from a reseller to the public... £375
https://archive.org/details/Amiga_Forma ... /page/n107
I'm not biting any more.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby brostenen » 2019-5-16 @ 20:32

Errius wrote:
BushLin wrote:Indeed, sorry for the meme but seeing an Amiga vs PC war these days just invites:

It's hugely entertaining! (tho I don't understand half of what is being said)


Yeah... Been there, done that and experienced the PC vs. Amiga "war". It is the exact same as Playstation Vs. Xbox. And there were Atari Vs. Amiga as well. Like I said before. Any computer between 1981 and newer, are simply a cool piece of electronics. Yes. The Vic-20 as well.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-5-16 @ 20:33

There is no war, just some posters trying to assert their version of bullshit revisionist history in terms of hardware performance and prices.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby NamelessPlayer » 2019-5-16 @ 23:34

Grzyb wrote:
NamelessPlayer wrote:I'd say the turning point might've been closer to 1990.

Well, there were good PC games in 1990, but not good enough to justify purchase of a PC just for gaming.
And in 1991, there was Lemmings - a great game, originally made for Amiga, only later ported to PC, with certain features lacking.

But in 1992, there was Wolfenstein 3D - not available for Amiga at all.
And Links 386 Pro, with its beautiful SVGA graphics, appealing even to those not interested in golf - again, no Amiga version.

So I choose 1992 as the breakthru year - since then, the hottest new games were originally for PC, while Amiga users had to wait for ports or poor imitations.

Lemmings was one of my childhood faves, and one of those iconic games I thought everyone played... but sure enough, I played the DOS version first.

It wasn't until I learned about its Amiga origins that I went "Wait, there's a two-player mode all the official ports dropped, and the Amiga lets you use TWO mice?" Thankfully, I have two tank mice lying around - perfect for Lemmings, Hired Guns, or anything else mouse-oriented. (Oh, hey, speaking of Hired Guns, that apparently has a DOS version; definitely considering that one for an Amiga vs. PC shootout if I can find said DOS version.)

Wolfenstein 3D was definitely one of the turning points, since it got id Software noticed in a way that Hovertank 3D and Catacomb 3D didn't to the point that people mistakenly cite Wolf3D as their first FPS. It took the Amiga scene years to offer something comparable in the form of Gloom, and by then, people expected more than perfectly square rooms and 90-degree corners.

Links 386 Pro is something that would've been off my radar (it's a golf game), but it apparently was quite a killer app that pushed people to upgrade back in the day - something the PC would be known for repeatedly in the '90s as hardware got exponentially faster, and game engines eager to take advantage of it.

1992 also happens to be the year that Frontier: Elite II was released, though my understanding is that the DOS version was released the following year, with improved texture-mapped graphics and analog joystick support, albeit worse sound for those without MT-32s. Funnily enough, said DOS version never seems to come up on YouTube; you're far more likely to find footage of the Amiga version, maybe because all the PC gamers were too busy playing Wing Commander instead (itself one of those PC killer apps where the Amiga version was noticeably degraded).

Scali wrote:Back in my early Amiga years, I only knew of one friend who had an A2000. Everyone else had an A500, A600 or A1200.
I don't know anyone who had an accelerator for any classic Amiga. Only for A1200s.
So in my experience, accelerators weren't a thing until the (late) A1200 days. We're talking 1995+.

This is a stark contrast to my experience here in the US, where I've seen more big-box A2000/A3000/A4000 systems in person than A500s or A1200s (never an A600).

I suspect that's because most of those were former Video Toaster systems - the one niche where the Amiga had any particular relevance in the US. In fact, my local friend with all the Amiga gear has one A4000 with a Video Toaster 4000 in it, and another A4000 I haven't seen yet that supposedly has a Video Toaster Flyer and a bunch of SCSI drives to go with it.

Even my own A2000, a VCFSE 2018 consignment find, had a Video Toaster loaded in it, though I've never had the chance to test it since said A2000 was Vartakilled and I have yet to get it back up and running again.

Scali wrote:In the demoscene, an A1200 with 060@50 accelerator became the 'gold standard'. It was much cheaper than an A4000, and you had what you wanted: the AGA chipset, a fast CPU, enough fastram, and a HDD.
Ever since the late 90s, most AGA-targeted demos are written specifically for the 060 (as in: hand-optimized assembly routines that are specifically written against the dual pipeline architecture (pOEP and sOEP). If they run at all on an 030 or 040 system, they are way too slow to fully experience the demo as intended).
Such as the demos from The Black Lotus: http://www.pouet.net/prod_nfo.php?which=16337&font=4
https://youtu.be/m1kw4otknuQ

Good luck finding an affordable 68060 accelerator for either the A1200 or A4000 nowadays, though. The closest I can think of is the A3660 board - a modified A3640 that still inherits a bunch of the A3640's flaws like no on-board RAM - and those still cost hundreds of dollars fully-built!

With time, though, the cost differential between the A1200 and A4000 has minimized to the point that you might as well step up to the big box workstation with Zorro III and a factory '030/'040 for a little more, since the prices on an A1200 with any sort of accelerator often exceed the A4000/40, especially here in the US with what people are willing to spend on eBay.

Of course, that may all no longer be necessary now that the Apollo Vampire exists, which even brings AGA to the OCS systems when flashed with a GOLD3 core.

Scali wrote:
Grzyb wrote:On the other hand, I'm absolutely sure that the majority of Amiga users still used low-end A500 floppy-only machines in the mid-90s.


Which doesn't say too much.
There were floppy disk systems for Nintendo as well, yet most people used Nintendo with cartridges only.
You have to see things in perspective here: 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, 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.

I admit that floppy drive loading times took me aback quite a bit, and that I quickly became very grateful for getting this A4000 that I can just use WHDLoad with.

There's a lot of Amiga games where the hard drive installers are either missing or just weirdly broken, or they don't even offer the option. It's so weird because pretty much every PC and Mac I touched, even as a kid, had a hard drive installed.

I mean, let this sink in: HDDs were standard on Macs since roughly the SE and Mac II, and I was only forced to go single-floppy on the IIcx I had for a bit because of some issues with the internal HDD (factory 20 MB SCSI, may have needed a recap). Having to swap floppies all the time sucked, to say the least.

Also on that note: I've noticed that most of the comparison in here is between IBM-compatibles and Amigas, never Macs and Amigas. Perhaps it's because you can just emulate a Mac on an Amiga, same 68k CPU and all, but nobody ever mentions color 640x480 being the standard on Mac ever since the Mac II brought color and NuBus to the platform. There's even games like Prince of Persia that look better on Mac than both the PC and Amiga versions because of this.

brostenen wrote: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 we're including 1989 through 1993 or so in that timeline, then do I have a nasty wake-up call for you...
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If it just had a preemptive multitasking OS, I think it could go toe to toe with a typical Amiga and win quite handily. Same for the X68000/X68030. Nobody's really gone into much detail on their respective custom chips, though.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby SuperDeadite » 2019-5-17 @ 01:00

Towns was meant to compete with NEC mostly. It failed miserably though, and became mostly a school multimedia device.

FM Towns VS X68000. Is an interesting one, Towns had better CPU and CD-ROM. But X68000 has better graphics and sound hardware.

Oh, and X68000 Lemmings has 2 player mode with dual mice support as. Standard mice are also trackballs, so no tables required.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby bakemono » 2019-5-17 @ 03:16

I think you people are missing out on the fact that the IBM PC was made and marketed by IBM as a business machine

No, this was not true in the beginning. IBM didn't set out to undercut their own mainframe sales by moving businesses over to the desktop format. The first PC was aimed more toward the home market. Remember the cassette port? When things didn't go as planned, they tried to hit the home market again with the PC Jr.
FM Towns VS X68000. Is an interesting one, Towns had better CPU and CD-ROM. But X68000 has better graphics and sound hardware.

X68 has the best FM synth, the YM2151. But FM towns has a big advantage for sample playback though, with 8x 8-bit channels. X68 only has one 4-bit ADPCM channel which is not so hot. I tried porting my MOD player to the X68 and encoding ADPCM on the fly, as described in Inside X68000, but it sounded pretty bad :(
Same for the X68000/X68030. Nobody's really gone into much detail on their respective custom chips, though.

The X68 has chunky graphics (with 16bpp), planar graphics (4 bitplanes), character-mapped graphics (1 or 2 layers), and sprites (128). All at the same time. It's jaw-dropping for 1987. Still above average in the early '90s. I'd say the only weak point was the 32KB of memory for sprite/tile graphics, compared to 64KB that Sega and SNES had. The resolution topped out at 768x512 on a 31KHz monitor, or 1024x424 / 1024x848 interlaced on a 24KHz monitor (these are what the PC-98 used). Later models had a 50MHz pixel clock so it could do 1280x1024 interlaced at 31KHz. The chunky graphics were limited to 512KB of VRAM though so anything above 512x512 had to drop down to 16 colors for the chunky layer. Alternatively, the chunky layer could stay in 64K color mode but it would only cover a 512x512 window.

Hmmm, what else? The 64K color mode is not necessarily direct-RGB. The top and bottom bytes of the color go through a lookup table (just like they would in 8bpp mode) which makes it possible to do some color-cycling effects. And the other layers (text/sprite/BG) have a separate set of tables for their palette.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby Scali » 2019-5-17 @ 09:13

NamelessPlayer wrote:Links 386 Pro is something that would've been off my radar (it's a golf game), but it apparently was quite a killer app that pushed people to upgrade back in the day - something the PC would be known for repeatedly in the '90s as hardware got exponentially faster, and game engines eager to take advantage of it.


Well, for me the original Links was a "killer app". Or at least, it was a game that was widespread among PC gamers, just because of its graphics and sound. Nothing to do with golf I guess :)
Links is also the game that popularized the RealSound(tm) technology: reasonably clean sample playback on the PC speaker using a clever PWM technique.
For me personally, the C64 and Amiga were all about clever programmers doing all sorts of hacks to exploit the hardware in ways that their original designers never anticipated, to get amazing graphics and sound out of the machine. Links is one of the first games that showed: Hey, you can hack the PC as well.

NamelessPlayer wrote:I suspect that's because most of those were former Video Toaster systems - the one niche where the Amiga had any particular relevance in the US.


Yes, I only know the Video Toaster from magazines here in Europe. It was quite a success story for the Amiga, and it was amazing hardware and software for its time. But they only made an NTSC version, so its use in Europe, where we use the PAL standard, was limited.

I suppose this also goes the other way: most games and demos were developed for the European market, and targeted PAL systems. I wouldn't be surprised if various games didn't even work properly on NTSC Amigas. I know most demos do not. The timing is different, and the resolution and aspect ratio are different.
So the US experience with an Amiga would have been different to the European experience.

NamelessPlayer wrote:Good luck finding an affordable 68060 accelerator for either the A1200 or A4000 nowadays, though. The closest I can think of is the A3660 board - a modified A3640 that still inherits a bunch of the A3640's flaws like no on-board RAM - and those still cost hundreds of dollars fully-built!


I think the Blizzard 1260 and the Apollo 1260 ones are the most popular.

NamelessPlayer wrote:There's a lot of Amiga games where the hard drive installers are either missing or just weirdly broken, or they don't even offer the option. It's so weird because pretty much every PC and Mac I touched, even as a kid, had a hard drive installed.


The thing is that the Amiga is more like a C64 than a PC in this respect. That is, on PCs, the encoding/decoding of the binary data to/from MFM is hardwired in the NEC765 floppy controller that they use. So the disk format is already set in stone. You have to use MFM encoding. Might as well use the standard DOS format then, for convenience.
On the C64 however, Commodore put a 6502 CPU in the 1541 floppy drive, and 2k of RAM. The encoding/decoding was done in software (sort of like a WinModem vs a regular modem). Commodore also did not use the standard MFM, but GRC, which allowed more data per area. They also vary the density: tracks further from the center of the disk have more area, so they use more sectors (similar to how a CD is recorded). And Commodore allowed you to write code to the floppy drive, so you could reprogram the 6502 to do any kind of encoding/decoding you want. This meant that it was common for programmers to invent their own floppy formats and fastloaders. It is common for C64 games to only see a single file in the directory listing (often with just a size of 0 or 1 blocks). The actual game data is not visible to the standard disk routines. It was also common to include special information on the disk, as a form of copy protection. This made it impossible to copy the disk with a regular floppy drive and disk copy program. A cracker would first have to modify the game to remove this protection.

The Amiga uses a similar approach: instead of having a controller like the NEC765 which hardwires the encoding/decoding, the floppy drive has a very lowlevel interface: the raw bitstream of the floppy is stored in memory one track at a time, in a ringbuffer. It is also written back to the floppy one track at a time.
Like with the 1541, the encoding/decoding is done in software. By default, the Amiga uses MFM, and the encoding/decoding is done with a simple blitter routine. However, the Amiga can also support GRC for more data density, or any other encoding you can think of. You can also choose to use the CPU instead of the blitter, if you want to combine disk loading with graphics on screen, etc. So like with the C64, many programmers designed their own floppy formats and their own 'trackloader' routines, often with copy protection built in. These disks would be self-bootable, and could not be read from the Workbench. You would only see an NDOS-icon, to indicate that it was not a disk format recognized by AmigaDOS.

Of course this precluded any kind of harddisk installation. WHDLoad is actually an elaborate scheme to make all these types of games run from the harddisk by creating a virtual environment where the games think they are still running from floppy. The games often still need to be patched/cracked in order to make it work.
Apparently harddisk installers never crossed the minds of Amiga programmers in the early years.

On PC you had the same situation in the very early days: games were often 'booters', which often could not be read/copied by DOS either. The main reason there was probably memory: having MS-DOS resident in memory would eat up about 32k of valuable memory. When you want to target PCs with just 64k or 128k of memory, it makes sense to make the game boot directly, and not load MS-DOS at all, and save 32k. Other than that there was nothing you could really do in terms of fastloading routines or custom encodings. In fact, for compatibility it was best to always use the BIOS to access the low-level floppy routines, rather than assuming the hardware is exactly the same as on a real IBM, and just rolling your own code to talk directly to the NEC765 (if the machine even has one... I know my Commodore PC20-III does not, it uses a custom ASIC).

But PCs were quickly upgraded to have more memory, and before long, 640k became the standard. Having MS-DOS loaded was no longer a problem. In fact, it could be useful, because people could load drivers for their mouse, sound card etc.
And HDDs quickly became standard as well, so just using standard DOS floppies made sense: people could either run the game from floppy, or copy it to HDD.

NamelessPlayer wrote:Also on that note: I've noticed that most of the comparison in here is between IBM-compatibles and Amigas, never Macs and Amigas. Perhaps it's because you can just emulate a Mac on an Amiga, same 68k CPU and all, but nobody ever mentions color 640x480 being the standard on Mac ever since the Mac II brought color and NuBus to the platform. There's even games like Prince of Persia that look better on Mac than both the PC and Amiga versions because of this.


I would say it's because the Mac was never a popular gaming platform. Probably a combination of its niche market positioning and pricing.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby brostenen » 2019-5-17 @ 10:43

appiah4 wrote:There is no war, just some posters trying to assert their version of bullshit revisionist history in terms of hardware performance and prices.


Yeah... Not any more. Yet there were a "war" in like some 1990 to 1994. Like I said. Been there, done that and never again.
It is all fun this old hardware, and even back then I was equally a PC guy and an Amiga guy. I always had to choose my words.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby brostenen » 2019-5-17 @ 10:53

NamelessPlayer wrote:
brostenen wrote: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 we're including 1989 through 1993 or so in that timeline, then do I have a nasty wake-up call for you...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FM_Towns

The Fujitsu FM Towns - a PC that isn't quite IBM-compatible, but offers amazing graphics and sound for the time as standard equipment , built to compete with the Sharp X68000. It even had a factory standard CD-ROM drive that was bootable, too.

If it just had a preemptive multitasking OS, I think it could go toe to toe with a typical Amiga and win quite handily. Same for the X68000/X68030. Nobody's really gone into much detail on their respective custom chips, though.


Yeah... I know about them. Yet nobody back then knew about it here Denmark, and for what I can read it was an Japanese only machine. If I knew about it back then, and had the money to import one back then. Well.... Then I would probably have bought one back then. Performance vs. price is another question in regards to the Amiga as well.

If it was possible to import one, and have the money for not only the machine, but have the money for Vatt and import taxes and shipping costs for one single unit. Would it still be a better choice than the Amiga. I am also not sure if the FM Towns had better performance than the Amiga. Can the operating system run the exact same titles as all other x86/Dos machines?

So many questions about it.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-5-17 @ 11:12

To this day I have seen neither an FM Towns nor a Sharp X68000 where I live, though I do know one person who owns the Sharp computer.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby brostenen » 2019-5-17 @ 11:22

I would say that the FM Towns were a good choice in the late era of that line of machines. Yet that is not until after 1992. And as I stated before, and will again, then the Amiga lost it's edge around 1992. So yeah... Nothing new under the sun.

Then again comes the price question. Bang for bucks? If you were outside Japan, and needed to import one as a private person.
After import tax, Vatt and shipping costs. And of course the machines price on top. Would it still beat the Amiga outside Japan?
Keep in mind, that Japanese people have always prefered Japanese tech over foreign tech.
This means that if a computer had a price of nearly 3 times higher, then they would still choose it over American or European stuff.
Back then, the Japanese people were extremely conservative and nationalistic, when buying Japanese vs. foreign stuff.
And they might still be. How many Xbox are sold, compared to Playstastion in Japan. Not that it is bad, it is just the way they are.

EDIT:
Digging further.... some +700 US Dollars for the FM Towns Marty in 1993. :-o
And going even further in searching, then this hints at an insane price tag.

So far...
I am not convinced that there were a better alternative to the Amiga platform until cheap beige clones in the second half of 1992.
And it sure was not the FM Towns that were the Amiga killer, if those prices are correct.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby rasz_pl » 2019-5-17 @ 12:34

BushLin wrote:
rasz_pl wrote:good lead, so here we go: https://archive.org/details/Amiga_Forma ... B/page/n13
Hardware premiere review from July 1989, Official CBM UK LTD price listed 445 pounds, x 1.6 = >$700
Can we now agree the official, Commodore blessed price was in fact an insane >$700?


It's almost as if you're doing this deliberately, like you have done all the research but choose to ignore the bits that don't fit what looks like a troll narrative. From the very same magazine issue, here's a price from a reseller to the public... £375
https://archive.org/details/Amiga_Forma ... /page/n107
I'm not biting any more.


There is nothing to bite, official Commodore price was $700, mail order catalogs sold it for $600
23-Oct-1989 https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/c ... M_6PVW45Yg

How much does it cost in the U.S.? Saturday, I was quoted $940 and
$899 Canadian ($800, $765 American, respectively).

It is available for $599,although I've seen it commonly
priced around $799, so any price inbetween those is a good one. (U.S. Dollars)

I just got an A590 at the Amiga Expo. It was from GO AMIGO and I paid
$590 (for the 590 :-). Of course there was sales tax added on!

I just got one, and paid what seems to be an average price of $650
from Progressive Peripherals, here in Denver.

Also, it looks like Commodore is no longer honoring warranties on merchandise
sold from mail-order places, it might be worth it to you to buy from a
local dealer.

When I asked the one and only local dealer for a price on the A590 last
weekend he said that both of the ones he had sold so far had come in
defective and that therefore he was not interested in selling another one.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby brostenen » 2019-5-17 @ 14:36

Some more pricing. This time from late 1993. I found something of good quality, namely Compaq and some Amiga in the same magazine. Clearly you would be able to get more on the Amiga platform, if you compared it specifically to Compaq. Amiga4000 was in the price range of Compaqs at that time.

PC.jpg

Amiga.jpg
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby dkarguth » 2019-5-17 @ 14:57

IDK if someone has already mentioned this, but the Amiga 2000 series had ISA slots as well as zorro slots. This meant that you could install a bridgeboard that let your Amiga double as a PC. There were bridgeboards with processors all the way up to the 386 or 486 if I'm not mistaken. The drawback is that all storage peripherals (floppy drive, hard disk, and cd-rom) were completely separate from the Amiga drives, so it was more like having two systems crammed into one case.
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