Technology | Nostalgia | 1980s | Life Story

Remembering the Commodore Amiga

Facts, opinions, and personal memories of a revolutionary multimedia computer

Alan AJ
11 min readOct 5, 2022

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This is an updated version of an article I wrote a few years ago for some of my now-defunct blogs.

To my non-technical readers: Look out for the photo of Amiga Format magazine. I hope you find that section amusing!

Original Amiga 1000 computer with keyboard and monitor
The original Amiga (known later as the Amiga 1000), with its ‘pizza box’ case and separate keyboard. Photo by Kaiiv licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

I resigned myself to the fact that it would be a long time before I could afford such a machine.

Magazines at College

The original Amiga was launched in 1985 when I was still at college. I often used to read magazines in the library there, and remember discovering articles in Practical Computing and Personal Computer World — both of which covered the Amiga, as well as the Atari ST.

Compared to the 8-bit computers that I was familiar with, this new breed of more affordable 16-bit machines, which featured the powerful 68000 microprocessor, seemed incredible. It felt like the beginning of a new era.

Front cover of the August 1985 issue of Personal Computer World magazine which features the Commodore Amiga 1000
The first Amiga, on the front cover of Personal Computer World Magazine, August 1985. Magazine cover photo taken by the author

Even though the Atari ST sounded very good, it was the Amiga in particular that really captured my imagination. But it was much more expensive than the likes of the Commodore 64 I owned back then, so I resigned myself to the fact that it would be a long time before I could afford such a machine.

Custom Chips

Having a 68000 processor clocked at just over 7 MHz was enough to make the Amiga quite impressive. But the custom chips made it something really special.

In the original machine, they were called Agnus, Denise, and Paula, and they were at the heart of the Amiga’s sound and graphics features.

(Chips in the earlier Atari 800 had some similarities to those in the Amiga, and were developed by some of the same people — most notably Jay Miner.)

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Alan AJ

Random life stories, opinions, and a dry sense of humour. A 55-year-old former electronics engineer and programmer in England. Previously 'Autistic Widower'.