Why an Amiga museum? I’m glad you asked!
First of all, just because this is an Amiga museum, that does not mean that the Amiga computer platform is dead. In fact, for a machine that was last manufactured in the mid 1990s, it’s still got a perhaps surprising amount of activity going on, hardware and software is still being produced for it, there are (at the time of writing this) over 14,000 members of the Commodore Amiga Facebook group, which is extremely active, and there is the English Amiga Board, which is also very active.
You may or may not realise it, but the Amiga computer was revolutionary in its time, it gave us many of the features we now expect, and even has features that, even in 2017, 32 years since the Amiga was launched to the world, still don’t exist in most mainstream operating systems.
While all attempts have been made to ensure the information presented is accurate, at this point in time there may be missing information, and occasionally information that is incorrect. I have found it difficult to find all the information that is required of a site of this nature, and if you find anything that is wrong, or have anything to add, please contact us!
A note on conventions used on this site: Links to other web sites will always open in a new browser tab, while links to other pages in the Amiga Museum will load the page as normal (replacing the page the link was on). Unvisited links are in orange, while links you have visited will be in black.
Everyone has heard of Steve Jobs (RIP) and Bill Gates. Not everybody has heard of Jay Miner (RIP), Carl Sassenrath, Robert J. “RJ” Mical, Dave Needle (RIP), David Morse (RIP), or even Joe Pillow. Most of these people had far more impact on the Computing world than Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, but sadly what they gave us was so revolutionary in it’s time, that many people couldn’t understand why it was such a great leap forward. This included many of the people who worked at Commodore, where one of those in charge apparently once said “We don’t need to advertise the Amiga. If people want one, they’ll buy one“, but didn’t seem to understand that people wouldn’t want one if they didn’t understand why it was so good.
This is my little attempt to give these great people the recognition they deserve for the work they did, and the changes to the computer industry that came about as a direct and indirect result. Most people don’t know who these people were. But they should.
To give an idea of how ahead of it’s competition the Amiga was when it was launched in 1985, lets compare it to some other machines that were available at the same time:
|Amiga 1000||Atari 520 ST||Apple Macintosh 512K||IBM Personal Computer XT Model 5160|
|CPU:||Motorola 68000 @ 7.16MHz (NTSC)
Motorola 68000 @ 7.09MHz (PAL)
|Motorola 68000 @ 8MHz||Motorola 68000 @ 7.8338MHz||Intel 8088 @ 4.77MHz|
|Colours:||4096 from 4096||16 from 512||2
(Black and White)
|16 from 64
(If fitted with the EGA display card)
|Maximum resolution:||736×482 (NTSC)
(16 colour maximum in 640x resolutions) *
|640×400 (only Black and white in this resolution, more in lower resolutions)||512×342 (Black and White)||640×350
(If fitted with the EGA display card)
|Sound:||Stereo 8-bit 4 channel PCM sound sampled at up to 28.604kHz (PAL) or 28.867kHz (NTSC).||Mono 8-bit 3 voice Yamaha YM 2149 programmable sound generator||Mono 8-bit 1 channel PCM mono sound sampled at 22.25 kHz||1-bit beeper (built in mono speaker)|
(expandable to 8704K)
(expandable to 4096K)
|128K (expandable to 640K)|
|Price in 1985:
|$1,285 not including monitor||$799.99 including monochrome monitor||$2,795 including built-in 9 in (23 cm) CRT monitor||Varied depending on options, up to $10,000!|
Amiga: (noun) The most technologically advanced computer that hardly anyone cares about. Use in sentence: “I wanted to buy an Amiga for its low price and great color graphics, but everyone else seems to be using IBMs or Macintoshes. So, to remain compatible with the rest of the world, I spent three times as much on a Macintosh and got only half the graphics capability of an Amiga.”
Here are a couple of demonstrations of just what could be done on the original Amiga 1000 from 1985:
Compare that with an Apple Macintosh 512K or an IBM PC, and there is just no comparison, the Amiga blew everything else away.
To get a feel for what Workbench 1.3 was like to use on an Amiga 500 from 1987, you can visit this site, which will attempt to emulate an Amiga 500 in your browser – but be warned, it will take some time to load, as it’s emulating loading from floppy disks, and you need a fairly decent computer for it to work at full speed, as the Amiga was quite a complex machine.