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Erik
May 12th, 2003, 06:53 AM
I just obtained a full set of Amiga World magazine in spite of not having an Amiga in my collection.

I'm on the lookout, but I'm not sure what to look for.

I think the Amiga 500 is the oldest and for that reason probably has collector value.

An Amiga 2000 or another newer machine will have more capabilities and will probably be easier to find in good, running condition with manuals, software and accessories.

Are there any Amiga fans out there?

Erik

erd
May 12th, 2003, 07:32 AM
The Amiga 1000 is the original model. It was followed by the German Amiga 2000 which is slightly different internally to the West Chester-engineered Amiga 2000. The Amiga 500 came out shortly after that.

The A2000 was the first "big box" Amiga, meaning that it has internal slots (Zorro2 + ISA). Console-style Amigas (A1000, A500, etc.) could take expansion cages, but as expensive as they were, people tended to buy SOTS ("slap on the side") peripherals. The A500 was most frequently paired with the A590 (2MB RAM expansion + either XT-IDE or SCSI 3.5" hard disk), but there were plenty of 3rd-party interfaces.

Some details about SCSI interfaces at:
http://www.amiga-society.de/ahwbook/scsi.html

I'm not just an Amiga fan (owner since 1986), but a former Amiga developer - I bought the manufacturing rights of the "Golden Gate II Bridgecard" from David Salamon and sell it as the "GG2 Bus+" - it goes into a big-box Amiga and maps the ISA bus into Zorro2 memory space so you can use ISA modems, serial cards, ethernet cards, etc.

As to your original question, A500s are probably the cheapest, but it can be hard to find a hard disk for them because they sold a lot more CPUs than disks. An A2000 is a good place to start if you want to load it up, but they cost a bit more than other models of the same vintage. I used an A3000 for years - it has the older (ECS) graphics, but comes with SCSI onboard, a "flicker fixer" so it works with a VGA monitor out of the box, and can take up to 18MB of memory (if you can find the ZIP chips or a SIMM adapter). Nicest of all is an A4000... newer graphics (AGA), comes with IDE onboard (but can take a SCSI card if you can find one) - has either a 68040 or a 68030 (and can take a 68060), and uses 4MB SIMMs so 18MB of memory isn't impossible to upgrade to if it isn't already there.

If locating or paying for an A4000 is difficult, the A1200 is its little brother - same graphics, but comes with a 68020 stock (and can be upgraded).

In terms of abundance, the order is probably:

A500 -> A2000 -> A3000 -> A1200 -> A1000 -> A600 -> A4000

In terms of power/graphics quality (roughly):

A4000 -> A1200 -> A3000 -> A2000 -> A1000/A500/A600

This is far from an exhaustive list. I've just hit the ordinary models, but it should give you an idea of what's out there.

-ethan

Erik
May 12th, 2003, 07:55 AM
That's a ton of information and a great help!

I'm not really "actively" looking to add to my collection right now due to external issues (a baby on the way and too little room in the current house forcing us to consider moving) but passive collecting is still netting me machines on a surprisingly regular basis.

I turned down a free Amiga a few months back from a gentleman in a similar situation who was forced to divest himself of his collection. I almost regret that now but I'm fairly sure I'll run across another sometime.

If not, eBay is always a source of last resort! :)

Thanks!

Erik

erd
May 12th, 2003, 10:45 AM
I forgot to mention: there are more CPUs roaming around than keyboards and mice. Mice aren't impossible to find (or adapt - the Microsoft Bus Mouse is electrically compatible, but the plug is different), but unlike mice, there really aren't any 3rd-party keyboards.

The protocol for all Amiga keyboards is the same. They do not, however, all use the same plugs (the A1000 used a handset-sized RJ-11-like jack, the A500 has an internal cable connector, the A2000 and A3000 use a 5-pin DIN like AT motherboards, the A4000 uses PS/2, the CD-TV uses something similar to the PS/2 but not exactly, etc.). Connector style aside, they are all intercompatible. I have personally used a PC-type PS/2-to-AT keyboard dongle on my A4000, and I have a commercial CDTV-to-A2000 adapter, and I know people used to sell adapters to hook an A2000 keyboard to an A1000 (A1000 keyboards are rarest of all because so many were turned in for one of many upgrade programs).

There are hacks and commercial products to map PC keyboards to the Amiga. I have an external one that cost me about $40. There are designs on AmiNET to build your own with a PIC microcontroller, and the SX-1 (which turns a CD-32 into nearly an A1200) has one built-in.

So... worse than turning down a free Amiga is turning down a free Amiga keyboard. In many cases the keyboards alone sell for more than the CPU enclosure.

-ethan

P.S. - many of the custom chips are compatible across products as well. The CIAs (Complex Interface Adapters - 8520, descendents of the 6526 in the Commodore-64) are at least $8.00 each as repair parts, and there are two in every Amiga. They tend to be most fragile because of people plugging in peripherals live, etc. The next most common thing to migrate from box to box would be Agnus chips (the square gate array in the ECS machines (older than the A4000 and A1200)... the oldest variety can access 512K of "CHIP" memory (graphics, sound, floppy buffers, etc.), the newest, 2MB. Under a variety of circumstances, it's possible to upgrade a machine to either 1MB or 2MB, but that depends on board revision, model, etc.

Jon Jarmon
May 26th, 2003, 08:14 AM
Hi everyone.I used to own an Amiga 500 in 1988.It was THEE Gaming machine at the time and had a 4096 color display(The human eye can percieve around 650 different colors) when the Macintosh 2 had 256 colors(and cost $6500) and a 286 class PC had only 16 colors.Also the Amiga had an amazing stereo synthesizer chip.

I had the cheap version of the Amiga with no hard drive that sold for around a thousand dollars.Apparently when someone described the capabilities of the Commodore Amiga to Steve Wozniak(of Apple computer fame) he was quite impressed with his competitors product.

On another note, the Commodore 64 was the greatest selling model of any Personal Computer selling between 17 to 21 million units.

Erik
May 26th, 2003, 08:23 AM
Hi everyone.I used to own an Amiga 500 in 1988.It was THEE Gaming machine at the time...

On another note, the Commodore 64 was the greatest selling model of any Personal Computer selling between 17 to 21 million units.

And with all of that apparant clout, where is Commodore today?

That represents one of the things that drives me nuts about the computer industry. Technological supremicy doesn't mean jack without good marketing and an overall good product.

IBM had the best operating system by far in the mid to late 1980s with OS/2. It blew the doors off of Microsoft Windows for running DOS programs, for multi-tasking and for performance. IBM was, however, completely inept at marketing the product and it died a sad death while the bloated and slow Windows product took it's lunch money.

Commodore and Atari suffered the same fate pitting their superior technology and inferior marketing/sales departments against the PC clone makers and losing.

Even Betamax, far superior to VHS, lost big.

Why can't companies get it right? Whiz-bang is great, but if nobody knows why, they won't spend on it.

/rant off :)

Erik

Jon Jarmon
May 26th, 2003, 08:37 AM
Hi Eric.Man that was a quick reply.Nice to have aboard so early.
Commodore went belly up in the early 1990's I think it was around 1993.
I could be wrong.First of all I think what hurt the commodore Amiga was not just the fact that the Atari 1040ST was practically an identical machine that competed with it,but it was the nintendo and sega game consoles which really hurt the Amiga's sales.Yes later on the cheap PC clones finally killed the Amiga and commodore too.I bet that really scared Apple computer as well. I.B.M.'s OS/2 was awesome.

erd
May 26th, 2003, 10:36 AM
First of all I think what hurt the commodore Amiga was not just the fact that the Atari 1040ST was practically an identical machine that competed with it,but it was the nintendo and sega game consoles which really hurt the Amiga's sales.

I have to partially disagree. There were pressures from the inside and from the outside that killed the Amiga. There were some internal blunders (like delaying the A4000 due to an order to redesign the motherboard to fit a stock of cases they had in the warehouse, and their infamous poor marketing (one joke was that if they were to sell sushi, they'd market it as "cold, raw, dead fish". Externally, there were several shifts in the computer market that clobbered Commodore - one of the biggest was that people were used to using DOS apps (Microsoft Word, Lotus 1-2-3, etc.) and they were not available for the Amiga. You could do the same things, sometimes better; but not in exactly the same way. Also, the features that made the Amiga great were not welcome in the business world (stereo sound, lots of colors, multiple simultaneous screen
resolutions, etc.).

On the home end, since people had DOS boxes at work, they began to buy DOS boxes for home. The home market shifted from the Ataris, the Commodore-64s and the Amigas, to a DOS box in the den for Dad, and a cheap Nintendo in the TV room for Junior, leaving the traditional microcomputer of the 1980s in the dust. Because Commodore was the only builder of Amigas, and there was cutthroat competition in the clone market, there was no way Commodore could keep up - clones competed on price, Commodore competed on features. Look who won.

Atari didn't kill Commodore... the world lining up to fill Bill Gates' pockets with gold killed Commodore. The computing universe changed and as a single, hardware-pushing, engineering-driven company, Commodore couldn't change fast enough to survive (like NeXT, Be, and many others). There was a drive to homogeneity and conformity. With the sole exception of Apple (which ran Microsoft and Adobe products and ran them well), non-DOS-compatible computers had virtually no marketshare by the time Windows ascended to dominance.

-ethan

CP/M User
May 26th, 2003, 10:29 PM
"Jon Jarmon" wrote in message:

Hi Jon,

> Hi Eric.Man that was a quick reply.Nice to have aboard so early.
> Commodore went belly up in the early 1990's I think it was
> around 1993. I could be wrong.First of all I think what hurt the
> commodore Amiga was not just the fact that the Atari 1040ST
> was practically an identical machine that competed with it,but it
> was the nintendo and sega game consoles which really hurt the
> Amiga's sales.Yes later on the cheap PC clones finally killed the
> Amiga and commodore too.I bet that really scared Apple
> computer as well. I.B.M.'s OS/2 was awesome.

I thought Commodore went belly up, but wasn't sure when. My
friend had a Commodore IBM 286 running at 12Mhz I think.
Around that time, which was quiite an ol' model (he got it used).

Amstrad did the same thing with their computers, but also may
have dumped that idea before they went broke. If I recall
correctly, it might of been a 386/486 based IBM compatable
which had a Sega MegaDrive attached to it! :-)

Cheers.

Jon Jarmon
May 27th, 2003, 12:17 AM
Hi CP/M user .I think your right.I believe that I did see a Commodore PC compatable once in a thrift store a couple of years ago.The fatest 286 machine that I ever saw was at 20Mhz.

CP/M User
May 27th, 2003, 02:08 AM
"Jon Jarmon" wrote in message:

> Hi CP/M user .I think your right. I believe that I did
> see a Commodore PC compatable once in a thrift
> store a couple of years ago.The fatest 286 machine
> that I ever saw was at 20Mhz.

Well it's only a theory, I think Commodore tried to
compete in the market producing IBM compatables,
but didn't quite work for them. For memory their
first Amiga computer came out in latter half of '84
or early '85 & the Amiga was still going when
Amstrad CPC computers were loosing their
commercial interest (since a vast majority of
Amstrad users were encouraged to purchase an
Amiga). I'm not sure if the Amiga is still going
as a machine which commercial support or even
if they still manufacture them at all. I just heard
some rumor of a 32bit Amiga that's all.

Cheers.

Jon Jarmon
May 27th, 2003, 02:17 AM
Hi CP/M user. I know that there is a really nice Amiga emulator out there
from Cloanto called Amiga Forever.It combines several Amiga machine configurations and uses Winfellow and UAE emulators.There is even a Amiga explorer where one can interface a PC with an Amiga using a Null modem cable to be able to transfer downloaded Amiga programs from the internet from a PC to an Amiga.There are lots of sites which host old Amiga applications and computer games.

CP/M User
May 27th, 2003, 02:31 AM
"Jon Jarmon" wrote in message:

> Hi CP/M user. I know that there is a really nice
> Amiga emulator out there from Cloanto called
> Amiga Forever.It combines several Amiga
> machine configurations and uses Winfellow and
> UAE emulators.There is even a Amiga explorer
> where one can interface a PC with an Amiga
> using a Null modem cable to be able to transfer
> downloaded Amiga programs from the internet
> from a PC to an Amiga.There are lots of sites
> which host old Amiga applications and
> computer games.

Generally, I like DOS emulators more than
Windows emulators, since they seem to run
faster on my computer. Sadily, the Amiga
isn't one of the computer emulators I'd wish
to have. (I thought my last post might of
hinted that there was some rivialery between
the Amiga's & Amstrad computers). Naturally,
I just see the Amiga with the more powerful
16bit processor compared to the Amstrad being
a 8bit computer. Oh well, I guess that
everything has to come to an end, but half the
fun is to come back to machines which interest
us! :-)

Cheers.

Jon Jarmon
May 27th, 2003, 02:42 AM
Hi CP/M user There is a DOS port of Winfellow and UAE I believe.
I don't blame you for having an affinity to your trusty amstrad.
I still love my Timex Sinclair 2068 8 bit Z80 processor machine.

CP/M User
May 27th, 2003, 02:48 AM
[quote="Jon Jarmon"]

Hi Jon,

> Hi CP/M user There is a DOS port of Winfellow
> and UAE I believe. I don't blame you for having
> an affinity to your trusty amstrad. I still love my
> Timex Sinclair 2068 8 bit Z80 processor machine.

Hmmm. I guess with Amstrad buying out Sinclair &
revamping the machine it's a bit unfair for earlier
users. So I feel a bit of pity there.

Cheers.

Peet42
June 28th, 2003, 02:07 AM
Hi, folks. I have to declare an interest in this thread as I used to service Amigas (amongst others) for a living. I had to give up on hardware repair after I lost the sight in one eye, but I still have a half dozen or so Amigas secreted around the house, although sadly only two PSUs...

They were nice machines in their day; the only time I ever actually used them (as opposed to servicing them) was for video captioning and f/x circa 1990. At one point I had three A500+s daisy-chained through Genlocks to produce multi-layered psychadelic graphics for a "pop video"; most amusing. ;)

Jon Jarmon
June 28th, 2003, 06:47 AM
Hi Peet42 I remember having a very interesting kaleidescopic or psychdelic pattern generator for my Amiga.It was a interesting program that a teenager gave to me.

Thomas Hillebrandt
June 28th, 2003, 12:01 PM
Are there any Amiga fans out there?

:bigups: Oh, yes!!!


I think the Amiga 500 is the oldest and for that reason probably has collector value.

Yes, yes, I know this thread's already been carried a long way, but since I newish to the forum, I'm just starting from the top.

Amigas, Erik, are wonderful. The Amiga 1000 was the first, introduced in 1985, and is the only Amiga with less than 512KB memory (only 256). It's common, but collectible.

The most collectible Amiga, that's a "normal" Amiga at least, should be the Amiga 4000T. Only about 50 were put out before Commodore went bust. Escom bought the rights for Amiga, plus the remaining stuff from Commodore, so more 4000T's were made with "Commodore" on the PCB, but Escom on the case. (BTW, if you find an abundance of Commodore Amiga 4000T's, let me know - I still don't have one :P )

In other ways, you could call the 3000T slightly collectible too. And the 4000, but that's pretty common - only still slightly expensive, since a lot of people still use it.

Ummm...Get the original Lorraine would be neat. All the custom chips as external PCBs :twisted: ...But I think ONE exists, so...

That's it...I think!

Erik
June 28th, 2003, 01:01 PM
Okay. So one of 50 or one of one are probably out.

The 1000 sounds like it might be a nice item if I come across one and the 3000 seems like a usable machine if I encounter one of those.

I've just added several machines to my collection so I'm probably going to have to start thinking about space soon. . .

Who am I kidding, I was out of space a year ago! :)

I'll keep a lookout for any Amiga's at this point, I guess.

Thanks for the info!

Erik

Rick Ethridge
November 20th, 2003, 08:16 AM
Until recently I had a heavily modified Amiga A1000 with 68020 and 68881 running at 25 Mhz with a 40 meg MFM hard drive softbooting into AmigaDOS 3.1. My son made short work of it. :cry: I still have an A1200HD with 80 meg hard drive and 10 megs of ram. It blows away the equivalent 100 Mhz 486 or 60 Mhz Pentium systems. The Amiga computer is a collector's item!

Unknown_K
November 20th, 2003, 11:23 AM
I have both an A1200 030/50 16mb ram 3.2gb hd and a a500 1mb ram, both are excellent game machines for their day.

If anybody has a spare A590 expansion for the A500 let me know.

dongfeng
November 20th, 2003, 01:28 PM
my first "proper" computer was an Amiga 500 my parents bought in 1989, I remember the 512k memory upgrade cost 50 :o

It's a great machine and I still have it packed away somewhere. I also have a huge pile of Amiga Format magazines from issue 10 to whatever they had in 1996 8)

Kaptain Skitzo
November 28th, 2003, 05:58 AM
You guys are talking my language. I still use all my old Commodore and Amiga stuff. As someone said earlier, Amiga keyboards are pretty interchangable...at least internally. You can(and I have) replaced the actual "keys" portion between a 2000, a 3000, and a 500. They are all the same.
I'd like to know how to adapt a keyboard to my 1000 though, it annoys me that that one part doesn't work and is completely different from the other models.
I can't say anything about OS/2, because I've never used it...BUT, the Amiga's OS(workbench) was the best I've ever run across. I've tried to crash it, and couldn't. The only time that OS will go nuts on you, is if some program has some bad data in it. In versions past 2.x, you might even be able to "suspend" the offending program, and keep on working.
Commodore had more problems that just outside competition, the highest ranking duo in the company(Ali and Gould) literally raped the funds and got away with it. They dumped a load of money into R&D, pocketed a bunch more, and told Marketing to deal with it(little or no money). In essence, Commodore was killed more from within, than without. Certainly, the Amiga COULD do what the IBMs could, and even in their own formats(WB2.1 came with cross-dos...the ability to read/write IBM floppy disks).
And to be perfectly honest Erik, if you DO get into the Amiga...I'd advise you to get either a 3000 or a 4000(optimally, both), as they are very expandable, AND the easiest to repair. The 2000 is a nice machine, but it's capabilities are much more limited than the other 2. Basicly speaking, it's an A500 with expansion slots. Without a video card, you'll need a 1084 compatable monitor. The 1200 *IS* a nice machine, but all of it's primary componants are not socketted...severely limiting your upgrade options(someone correct me on this if I am wrong, I've never owned one).
EBay IS a good way to get Amiga stuff, just be careful that you don't end up paying more than you need to. You can also check the Amiga newsgroups...there are often people on there selling them cheap, or even giving the stuff away.

Unknown_K
November 28th, 2003, 07:11 AM
You guys are talking my language. I still use all my old Commodore and Amiga stuff. As someone said earlier, Amiga keyboards are pretty interchangable...at least internally. You can(and I have) replaced the actual "keys" portion between a 2000, a 3000, and a 500. They are all the same.
I'd like to know how to adapt a keyboard to my 1000 though, it annoys me that that one part doesn't work and is completely different from the other models.
I can't say anything about OS/2, because I've never used it...BUT, the Amiga's OS(workbench) was the best I've ever run across. I've tried to crash it, and couldn't. The only time that OS will go nuts on you, is if some program has some bad data in it. In versions past 2.x, you might even be able to "suspend" the offending program, and keep on working.
Commodore had more problems that just outside competition, the highest ranking duo in the company(Ali and Gould) literally raped the funds and got away with it. They dumped a load of money into R&D, pocketed a bunch more, and told Marketing to deal with it(little or no money). In essence, Commodore was killed more from within, than without. Certainly, the Amiga COULD do what the IBMs could, and even in their own formats(WB2.1 came with cross-dos...the ability to read/write IBM floppy disks).
And to be perfectly honest Erik, if you DO get into the Amiga...I'd advise you to get either a 3000 or a 4000(optimally, both), as they are very expandable, AND the easiest to repair. The 2000 is a nice machine, but it's capabilities are much more limited than the other 2. Basicly speaking, it's an A500 with expansion slots. Without a video card, you'll need a 1084 compatable monitor. The 1200 *IS* a nice machine, but all of it's primary componants are not socketted...severely limiting your upgrade options(someone correct me on this if I am wrong, I've never owned one).
EBay IS a good way to get Amiga stuff, just be careful that you don't end up paying more than you need to. You can also check the Amiga newsgroups...there are often people on there selling them cheap, or even giving the stuff away.

A3000's and A4000's are real expensive machines, the A4000's are kind of rare.

If your looking to get an amiga you have to ask yourself what your going to do with it. If you just want to play games then get an A500/A1200. If you want a video toaster setup then get the expandible systems but be prepaired to spend alot more.

The A500 and 1200 are easily expandible. My a1200 68030/50 was upgradsed with an economical trapdoor expansion that has the cpu, fpu, clock, and simm slot (128mb capable) on one easily installed board. There are tons of 68040, 68060, and PPC addons for the a1200 from multiple companies. The a500 can be upgraded to 1mb via the trapdoor and up to 8mb+hd+scsi from the side expnsion slot. The a1200 has built in pcmcia support (I have a 10/100 network card installed in mine) and has an IDE laptop drive bay internally (mine has a 3.2gb drive in there). Everything else is built in. You can use any VGA monitor that syncs down to 15khz on the amiga with a $10 adapter (I have one on my a1200 using the 1084 monitor on the a500).

Kaptain Skitzo
November 28th, 2003, 08:13 AM
True enough, but something I've noticed is that while some games won't run on the 3000, others run much better with the extra speed the game really needs. Project Stealth Fighter and Indy500 are prime examples. Of course, for gaming purposes, $30-$50 for a 500 would cure that problem. I have(and use) both....but I tend to do more graphical and audio based stuff on my 3000. In fact, when I was toying with the idea of making music videos, I used the 3000 for the audio editing. Without the upgrades I'd need to do the video editing actually on the 3000, I had to settle for using a pair of VCRs and some quick reflexes to get the job done. I ended up making 8 video's, one of which I made out of the movie "The Crow" with some real creative editing...and put Metallica's "Unforgiven" to it.
One thing I'd like to do, is digitize those videos and burn them on a video disc. But that's for "today's" technology, and that has no place here.
:lol:

Unknown_K
November 28th, 2003, 08:56 AM
Between the 2 machines I have pretty much all the games are covered, which is what I wanted them for.

I never got into video editing on an amiga, have some of the videovision gear for my old macs.

Its a fun hobby.