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I Loved My Amiga 1000...Still Miss It

Amiga 1000
Amiga 1000
While I'm still trying to figure out what is wrong with my Ultima style game which is using Mappy to create and display the maps I thought I'd take a quick back in time. Well, computing time that is.

Back in the ancient days of micro-computers (the 80s) I broke down and bought my 3rd computer. The year was the beginning of 1987 and the computer was the Amiga 1000. I got my A1000 just before they discontinued them and released the Amigas 500 and 2000. I wasn't too worried about that though as I thought this computer was one of the coolest that I'd ever seen.

What had sold me on the Amiga computer was, aside from Commodore made them (as far as I was concerned they could do no evil back then), going into the game store at the mall. They always had computer hooked up showing demo modes to games. They had the DOS ones, some Macs a few 8-bit micro-computers and, of course, the A1000 and it seems like the had BattleHawks or some other LucasArts game. (They were known as LucasFilm Games back then.)

I blew a cool grand on the computer and, though my dad wasn't too happy about that as he'd rather I bought a car, I was estatic and couldn't wait to try it out. A few paydays later I was able to buy my first couple of games. Defender of the Crown and The Bard's Tale. Soon after that I did get the Amiga version of Silent Service and within the next year Bard's Tale II, Bard's Tale III, Loom, The Secret of Monkey Island and more.

I had friends who played games too but most of them were either still on the 8-bit micros the ones who upgraded usually went with a DOS machine and one or two had the black and white Macs. When I would invite them over to play they were amazed by two things. One, especially for the ones still using 8-bit machines, was the amazing array of colors in the games and the higher resolutions. Two, and this was among several of my DOS using friends, was the fact that I didn't have to make a specialized Autoexec.bat or config.sys file to load up the games. Usually it was double click and icon or boot directly from the game disk.

Unfortunately VGA games started becoming more common so the color and resolution advantage started falling behind. With the advent of Soundblaster cards the music part started falling behind too. And then finally Commodore went bankrupt and the once awesome Amiga was destined to be left in the past. This is unfortunate because the place where Amiga really could have shined was the multimedia driven 90s when it was Windows and Mac and, pretty much, nothing else.

So, for a while there I had the coolest computer ever and all my friends loved to come and check it out and play games. Too bad computers got boring after that.

Comments

  1. I was one of those Atari 800XL snobs ;) The amiga did have the best sound and graphics though until IBM gained VGA adapters and soundblaster cards

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  2. You got to compare the Atari 800XL to the 8-bit Commodore equivalent...the Commodore 64! The Atari 800 rocked the C64's world with the ability to display 128 colors out of a palette of 255 at a resolution of 160x96 where as the C64 only had a palette of 16 colors and could only display 4 colors in the high resolution multi-color mode of 160x200. The C64 had the Atari beat on the sounds side as the SID chip was a pretty advanced chip for the day.

    An interesting note: Jay Miner, the man who designed the Amiga computer, designed the Atari 8-bit family of computers. So, in a way, the Amiga is a spiritual successor of the Atari 8-bit machines.

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