Up to and including 1984

To tell the story of the Amiga, we really need to include two of the projects that were worked on by many of the same people that preceeded it – The Atari VCS/2600 and the Atari 800.  Many of the same ideas from each of these were greatly expanded upon for the next, and without these, it is doubtful that the Amiga would have existed at all.

The Amiga is basically an evolution of the ideas in the Atari 800.  The Atari 800 (and later versions of the Atari 8-bit computer and game console line based upon it) used a combination of ANTIC and GTIA chips to provide graphics, and the POKEY chip to handle sound and serial input/output.  Change ANTIC to AGNUS, change GTIA to DENISE and change POKEY to PAULA and you have what breaks down to the same basic system, although with massive improvements.

In 1982 Jay Miner quit working at Atari, and with David Morse (who left Tonka Toys, where he was Vice-President of Marketing), founded Hi Toro Inc., which later that year became Amiga Inc.  This was the beginning of the Amiga.

David Needle (1947 – February 20, 2016, Rest In Peace) was a key engineer and co-chief architect in the creation of the Amiga 1000 computer. He was one of the main designers and developers of the custom chips of the Amiga computer.

Carl Sassenrath joined Amiga Computer Inc. in 1983, where he became Manager of Operating Systems at the small company, and designed the Exec section of Kickstart.

In 1984, Robert J. Mical joined Amiga Inc, and designed the Intuition part of the Amiga Kickstart, which handles user input, windows, menus and the gadgets for user interaction.

October 1984: Commodore acquires Amiga Computer Inc. for up to 550,000 shares of capital stock and  cash of $12.8 million.  *Source: Commodore 1985 Annual report to shareholders.

About October or November 1984: after Commodore had acquired Amiga Computer Inc., there was a big rush to get the machine finished and a product available for the public to purchase.  At this point, some referred to the Operating System for the Amiga as CAOS (Commodore Amiga Operating System), which is apt, as in many ways it was CAOS in trying to get everything ready.

Amiga Lorraine prototype

On to 1985 to 1986 ->