Looking at the Commodore 64 vs Amiga seems a little odd, at least to me. After all, the machines were never intended to be rivals. The Amiga was supposed to succeed the 64. Commodore bought Amiga because they couldn’t make a 64 successor on their own, so they intended for the Amiga to replace it. It didn’t fully succeed, and maybe that’s why the comparison is still interesting.
Looking back, the machines may seem similar today. But in 1985 they sure didn’t.
It was 30 years ago this week that Commodore released its landmark, long-time-coming Amiga 1000 computer–the first 1990s computer in a field full of 1970s retreads.
Yes, it was a 1990s computer in 1985. It had color and sound built in, not as expensive, clunky, hard-to-configure add-ons. It could address up to 8 megabytes of memory, though it ran admirably on a mere 512 kilobytes. Most importantly, it had fully pre-emptive multitasking, something that previously only existed in commercial workstations that cost five figures.
It was so revolutionary that even NBC is acknowledging the anniversary.
Being a decade or so ahead of its time was only the beginning of its problems, unfortunately.
Re-implementing Amiga OS on cheap, commodity x86 hardware always made sense, so I’m not surprised that someone is doing it. Mostly I’m surprised that it took me this long to find it.
Am I interested? You bet. I’m sure I can find some PC hardware to run it on. I certainly don’t see myself using it as an everyday machine, but as something to tinker on, and something to have running next to my everyday machine, I can see it being fun and possibly even useful.
Some stories floating around are suggesting that Commodore is still around, and they just released a new, overpriced Amiga.
Well, there’s a company slapping “Commodore” and “Amiga” labels on PC cases that look kind of like Apple Mac Mini cases and stuffing off-the-shelf components in them, but they’re Commodore Amigas in name only. Read more
There’s a nasty rumor floating around that in Walter Isaacson’s bestselling biography, Steve Jobs, Jobs alleges that Commodore copied the Apple II when making its first computer, 1977’s PET. Here’s the story of Steve Jobs and the Commodore PET.
The book doesn’t come right out and say it, but it insinuates it. I know how the PET came to be, and the PET would have happened whether the Apple II ever existed or not. Read more
Using Unix is the computing equivalent of listening only to music by David Cassidy.
–Unix pioneer (and Plan 9 co-creator) Rob Pike on Slashdot
Ah, the questions that inspires…If Unix is David Cassidy, then what’s Windows?
I nominate Britney Spears. She and her management can’t decide what her name is, she’s tempermental, unstable, lacks talent… You can have a heyday with that analogy.
Is Mac OS the Grateful Dead? Hmm…. There’s not only that “Flower Power” Imac, there’s also that cult following…
Amiga OS must be the Velvet Underground. Ahead of its time, obscure but not so obscure that nobody has heard of it, influenced virtually everything that came after it, and 20 years later, lots of things still haven’t completely caught up…
SCO obviously wants us to think Linux is Milli Vanilli.
So which OS has to be New Kids on the Block? Vanilla Ice? MC Hammer? David Hasselhof?