In this day and age, you will struggle to find many people who have heard of an Amiga computer. But it is important to reflect back on our computing history and understand how several different brands came together to make the sleek, modern computers of our time. While you can guarantee that almost everyone has heard of Microsoft and the like, a little bit of computing history will open your eyes to more than just Bill Gates.
1982 saw the launch of the Atari, which was designed as a video gaming console. However, by the end of 1982, the company decided to switch to building personal computers. In 1983, Amiga developer Jay Miner completes a prototype computer called ‘Lorraine'. Come 1985, Amiga showcased its first 3D graphic ball known as ‘Boing’ and also displayed its use of stereo sound.
By 1986 the first adult-oriented software was developed for the Commodore and Electronic Arts released Deluxe Paint II for the system. By 1987, Amiga announced the forthcoming release of the Amiga 500, a 512kb of Ram, Custom chips, the Floppy disk, and animation, video and audio chips. In 1987, WordPerfect is released as an add on software for the Atari and competes with windows own spell checker and word applications. The Amiga 500 sold over 6 million units and was the most popular Amiga personal computer of the time.
1990 saw the launch o0f the second generation of Amiga computers with the release of the A3000, shortly followed by the A500+ and the A600. While Amiga tried to develop a personal computer to rival those of Microsoft, their popularity lay within gaming and programming. Amiga lay the foundations for video editing, audio editing, and graphics editing software and lead to the introduction of Lightwave 3D, Imagine, and Turbo Silver.
Amiga tried to market their computers as all in one business machines; however, their main use was as privately owned household computers. By 1994, Commodore had lost significant market shares and could no longer compete with newer, more technologically advanced computers and eventually went bankrupt.
While it is all too easy to brush Amiga under the carpet as some distant memory, without them we would not have reached the levels of graphics, programming capabilities, gaming experiences, and overall software advantages that we are so accustomed to nowadays. The commodore may be a relic or times past, but its roots can still be found in every modern day computer, laptop and tablet.