Technology | Nostalgia | 1980s | Life Story
Remembering the Commodore Amiga
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!
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.
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.
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.)