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Thread: Commodore Magazines

  1. #1

    Default Commodore Magazines

    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

  2. #2

    Default

    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

  3. #3

    Default

    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

  4. #4

    Default Additional Amiga collecting tips

    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.

  5. #5

    Default

    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.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Jarmon
    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

  7. #7

    Default

    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.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Jarmon
    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

  9. #9
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    Default

    "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.

  10. #10

    Default

    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.

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