Commodore Amiga: Wikis


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The former Amiga logo, as used by Commodore-Amiga Inc.
The Amiga 1000 (1985), the first model released.
The Amiga 500 (1987) was the most popular variant of the Amiga.[1]

The Amiga was a family of personal computers originally developed by Amiga Corporation. Development on the Amiga began in 1982 with Jay Miner as the principal hardware designer. Commodore International bought Amiga Corporation and introduced the machine to the market in 1985. The name Amiga was chosen by the developers specifically from the Spanish word for a female friend,[2] and because it occurred before Apple and Atari alphabetically and also gave the message that the Amiga computer line was 'user friendly' as a sort of pun or play on words.[3]

Based on the Motorola 68k series of microprocessors, the machine sports a custom chipset with then advanced graphics and sound capabilities, and a pre-emptive multitasking operating system (now known as AmigaOS). While the M68k is a 32-bit processor, the version originally used in the Amiga, the 68000, has a 16-bit external data bus so it must transfer 32 bits of data in two consecutive steps, a technique called multiplexing — all this is transparent to the software, which was 32-bit from the beginning. The original machine was generally referred to in the press as a 16-bit computer;[4][5] Later models featured fully 32-bit designs. The Amiga provided a significant upgrade from 8-bit computers such as the Commodore 64, and the platform quickly grew in popularity among computer enthusiasts, especially in Europe. It went on to sell approximately 6 million units.[6]

It also found a prominent role in the desktop video, video production, and show control business, largely due to the Video Toaster video editing system, and was a less expensive alternative to the Apple Macintosh and IBM-PC. The Amiga's native ability to play back several channels of digital samples made it a popular platform for early "Tracker" music software, and the machine's relatively powerful processor and ability to access several megabytes of memory led to the development of several 3D rendering packages, including LightWave 3D and Blender. The Amiga was most commercially successful as a home computer, with a wide range of games and creative software, although early Commodore advertisements attempted to cast the computer as an all-purpose business machine.[7][8]

Since the demise of Commodore, various groups have marketed successors to the original Amiga line. Eyetech sold Amiga hardware under the AmigaOne brand from 2002 to 2005. A-Cube currently sell the Sam440 PPC board designed to run the latest AmigaOS 4.1 (as of 2009).



The Amiga was originally designed by a small company called Amiga Corporation, and initially intended to be a next generation video game machine, but was later redesigned into a general purpose computer.[9][10] Before the machine was released into the market the company was purchased by Commodore. The first model was released in 1985 as simply "The Amiga from Commodore", later to be retroactively dubbed the Amiga 1000. The following year the Amiga product line was expanded with the introduction of two new models; the Amiga 2000 for high-end graphics and business use, and the Amiga 500 was for home use. Commodore later released several new Amiga models, both for low-end gaming use and high-end productivity use.

In 1994, Commodore filed for bankruptcy and its assets were purchased by Escom, a German PC manufacturer, who created the subsidiary company Amiga Technologies. They re-released the A1200 and A4000T, and introduced a new 68060 version of the A4000T.

However, Escom in turn went bankrupt in 1997. The Amiga brand was then sold to another PC manufacturer, Gateway 2000, which had announced grand plans for it. However, in 2000, Gateway sold the Amiga brand without having released any products.

Amiga Technologies Logo. (1996)

The current owner of the trademark, Amiga, Inc., licensed the rights to make hardware using the Amiga brand to a UK computer vendor,, Eyetech Group, Ltd. which was founded by Alan Redhouse and had previously been involved with warehousing and barcode tracking. They were previously selling the AmigaOne via an international dealer network. The AmigaOne is a PowerPC computer designed to run the latest version of AmigaOS, which was itself licensed to a Belgian-German company, Hyperion Entertainment.[11]

In October 2009, Hyperion was granted an exclusive, perpetual, worldwide right to AmigaOS 3.1 in order to use, develop, modify, commercialize, distribute and market AmigaOS 4.x in any form, on any medium and for any current or future hardware platform under the exclusive trademark “AmigaOS”.


At its core, the Amiga features custom designed coprocessors, used for handling tasks such as audio, video, encoding and animation. This freed up the Amiga's central processor for other tasks (given that the coprocessors could keep up with the central processor's demands) and gave the Amiga an edge on its competitors in many situations.

The platform also introduced other innovations. The Amiga CDTV, for example, was the first computer to feature a CD-ROM drive as standard, as well as being one of the earlier computers to no longer include a floppy drive in the standard configuration. The Amiga was also one of the first computers for which inexpensive sound sampling and video digitization accessories were available.

Since around 2000, many different platforms have Amiga emulation programs available that reproduce the Amiga's hardware functions in software. This allows users to run Amiga software without the need for an actual Amiga computer.


Central processing unit

PowerPC processor.

All Commodore Amiga models make use of Motorola Central Processing Units (CPUs) based on the Motorola 68k architecture. In desktop-style Amiga models, the CPU was fitted on a daughterboard (except the A2000) called a CPU card. Low-cost Amiga models come with CPUs either socketed or soldered onto the motherboard. On all Amiga models the CPU can be upgraded through an expansion card or direct CPU replacement. CPU cards were provided by both Commodore and third-party manufacturers. These cards often come with on-board memory slots and hard drive interfaces, alleviating those tasks from the base Amiga.

The Amiga is not limited to solely the 68k CPU architecture; although Commodore never shipped one, it is possible to install a PowerPC coprocessor that can be used by PowerPC-aware software and libraries,[12] and later the AmigaOne used a PowerPC CPU instead of a 68k CPU.

Custom chipset

There are three generations of chipsets used in the various Amiga models. The first is the OCS, followed by the ECS and finally the AGA. What all these chipsets have in common is that they handle raster graphics, digital audio and communication between various peripherals (e.g., CPU, memory and floppy disks) in the Amiga. Several additional chips have been designed specifically for the Amiga line.


A 4,096 color HAM picture created with Photon Paint

All Amiga systems can display full-screen animated graphics with 32, 64 (EHB Mode) or 4096 colors (HAM Mode). Models with the AGA chipset (A1200 and A4000) also have 128, 256 and 262144 (HAM Mode) color modes and a palette expanded from 4096 to 16.8 million colors. The Amiga chipset can genlock — adjust its own screen refresh timing to match an NTSC or PAL video signal. When combined with setting transparency, this allows an Amiga to overlay an external video source with graphics. This ability made the Amiga popular for many applications, and provides the ability to do character generation and CGI effects far more cheaply than earlier systems. Some frequent users of this ability included wedding videographers, TV stations and their weather forecasting divisions (for weather graphics and radar), advertising channels, music video production, and 'desktop video'. The NewTek Video Toaster was made possible by the genlock ability of the Amiga.


The sound chip, named Paula, supports four sound channels (two for the left speaker and two for the right) with 8-bit resolution for each channel and a 6-bit volume control per channel. The analog output is connected to a low-pass filter, which filters out high-frequency aliases when the Amiga is using a lower sampling rate (see Nyquist limit). The brightness of the Amiga's power LED is used to indicate the status of the Amiga’s low-pass filter. The filter is active when the LED is at normal brightness, and deactivated when dimmed (or off on older A500 Amigas). On Amiga 1000, the power LED had no relation to the filter's status, a wire needed to be manually soldered between pins on the sound chip to disable the filter. Paula can read directly from the system's RAM, using direct memory access (DMA), making sound playback without CPU intervention possible.

Although the hardware is limited to four separate sound channels, software such as OctaMED uses software mixing to allow eight or more virtual channels, and it was possible for software to mix two hardware channels to achieve a single 14-bit resolution channel by playing with the volumes of the channels in such a way that one of the source channels contributes the most significant bits and the other the least ones.

The quality of the Amiga's sound output, and the fact that the hardware is ubiquitous and easily addressed by software, were standout features of Amiga hardware unavailable on PC platforms for years. Third-party sound cards exist that provide DSP functions, multi-track direct-to-disk recording, multiple hardware sound channels and 16-bit and beyond resolutions. A retargetable sound API called AHI was developed allowing these cards to be used transparently by the OS and software.


The classic Amiga Operating System consists of Kickstart (including System API) and Workbench. In the Amiga 1000 model, Kickstart is first loaded from a floppy disk, followed by Workbench, or other bootable disk. Later models hold Kickstart (and system API) on a ROM, improving start-up times. Models can be upgraded by changing the ROM.

Several third party vendors produced switchable socket doublers to allow two ROM chips to plug into the single ROM socket on the motherboard. This became more popular as later versions of the Amiga OS suffered some backwards compatibility problems with earlier Amiga software titles. The effect of these switchable doublers was a convenient dual boot system, with a choice of two distinct OS versions via a pre-determined key sequence at reboot, or via a two way switch installed in the case, depending on the specific version installed.

The ROMs themselves are generally known as "Kickstart" and start with version 1.0 (A1000 floppy) and end with Kickstart 3.1. There are hardware and software packages that can "shadow" Kickstart into memory. This resulted in faster operation for functions dependent on the ROM, at the cost of system memory to store the ROM data.


Many expansion boards were produced for Amiga computers to improve the performance and capability of the hardware, such as memory expansions, SCSI controllers, CPU boards, and graphics boards. Other upgrades include genlocks, Ethernet cards, modems, sound cards and samplers, video digitizers, USB cards, extra serial ports, and IDE controllers.

The most popular upgrades were memory, SCSI controllers and CPU accelerator cards. These were sometimes combined into the one device, particularly on big-box Amigas like the A2000, A3000 and A4000.

Early CPU accelerator cards feature full 32-bit CPUs of the 68000 family such as the Motorola 68020 and Motorola 68030, almost always with 32-bit memory and usually with FPUs and MMUs or the facility to add them. Later designs feature the Motorola 68040 and Motorola 68060. Both CPUs feature integrated FPUs and MMUs. Many CPU accelerator cards also had integrated SCSI controllers.

Phase5 designed the PowerUp boards (BlizzardPPC and CyberstormPPC) featuring both a 68k (a 68040 or 68060) and a PPC (603 or 604) CPU, which are able to run the two CPUs at the same time (and share the system memory). The PPC CPU on PowerUp boards is usually used as a coprocessor for heavy computations (a powerful CPU is needed to run for example MAME, but even decoding JPEG pictures and MP3 audio was considered heavy computation at the time). It is also possible to ignore the 68k CPU and run Linux on the PPC (project Linux APUS), but a PPC-native Amiga OS was not available when the PPC boards first appeared.

Amiga 4000 (1992)

24-bit graphics cards and video cards were also available. Graphics cards are designed primarily for 2D artwork production, workstation use, and later, gaming. Video cards are designed for inputting and outputting video signals, and processing and manipulating video.

Perhaps the most famous video card in the North American market was the NewTek Video Toaster. This was a powerful video effects board which turned the Amiga into an affordable video processing computer which found its way into many professional video environments. Due to its NTSC-only design it did not find a market in countries that used the PAL standard, such as in Europe. In PAL countries the OpalVision card was popular, although less featured and supported than the Video Toaster. Low-cost time base correctors (TBCs) specifically designed to work with the Toaster quickly came to market, most of which were designed as standard Amiga bus cards.

Various manufacturers started producing PCI busboards for the A1200 and A4000, allowing standard Amiga computers to use PCI cards such as Voodoo graphic cards, Sound Blaster sound cards, 10/100 Ethernet cards, and TV tuner cards.

PowerPC upgrades with Wide SCSI controllers, PCI busboards with Ethernet, sound and 3D graphics cards, and tower cases allowed the A1200 and A4000 to survive well into the late nineties.

Expansion boards were made by Richmond Sound Design that allow their show control and sound design software to communicate with their custom hardware frames either by ribbon cable or fiber optic cable for long distances, allowing the Amiga to control up to eight million digitally controlled external audio, lighting, automation, relay and voltage control channels spread around a large theme park, for example. See Amiga software for more information on these applications.

Other popular devices:

  • Trumpcard 500 Zorro-II SCSI interface.
  • A590 SCSI harddisc controller.[13]
  • A3070 SCSI tape backup unit with a capacity of 250 MB.[14]
  • A2065 Ethernet Zorro-II interface. The first Ethernet interface for Amiga; uses the AMD Am7990 chip.[15][16] The same interface chip is used in DECstation as well.
  • Ariadne Zorro II Ethernet interface using AMD Am7990.[16]
  • A4066 Zorro II Ethernet interface using smc91c90?.[16]
  • X-Surf from Individual Computers using Realtek 8019AS.[16]
  • A2060 Arcnet.[17]


Amiga had three networking interface APIs:

  • AS225 - Is the official Commodore TCP/IP stack API with hardcoded drivers in revision 1 (AS225r1) for the A2065 Ethernet and the A2060 Arcnet interfaces.[17] In revision 2 (AS225r2) the SANA-II interface was used.
  • SANA-II — Is a standardized API for hardware of network interfaces. It uses an inefficient buffer handling scheme, and lack proper support for promiscuous and multicast modes.
  • Miami Network Interface (MNI) - Is an API that doesn't have the problems which SANA-II suffers from. It requires AmigaOS v2,04 or higher.

Different network media was used:

Type Speed Example
Ethernet 10/100 Mbit/s A2065[15]
ARCNET 2,5 Mbit/s A560[18], A2060[19]
Floppy disk controller 250 kbit/s Amitrix: Amiga-Link [20]
Serial port ≤ 115,2 kbit/s
Parallel port ~1600 kbit/s Village Tronic: Liana [21]
Token ring 1,5 Mbit/s Nine Tiles: AmigaLink (9 Tiles)[22]
AppleTalk / LocalTalk 230,4 - 460 kbit/s PPS-Doubletalk [23]

Models and variants

The "classic Amiga" models[24] were produced from 1985 to 1996. They are, in order of appearance: 1000, 2000, 500, 1500, 2500, 3000, 3000UX, 3000T, CDTV, 500+, 600, 4000, 1200, CD32, and 4000T. The PowerPC based AmigaOne was later produced from 2002 to 2005. Some companies have also released Amiga clones.

The Amiga 500 was Commodore’s best-selling Amiga model. Early units, at least, had the words "B52/ROCK LOBSTER"[25] silk-screen printed onto their printed circuit board, a reference to the popular song "Rock Lobster" by the rock band The B-52's. Commodore's two subsequent console style models also carried a reference to the same band on their motherboards — the Amiga 600 had "JUNE BUG" (after the song "Junebug") and the Amiga 1200 had "CHANNEL Z" (after "Channel Z").[26]

The Amiga 500+ was the shortest lived model, replacing the Amiga 500 and lasting only six months until it was phased out and replaced by the Amiga 600.[27]

Commodore released three significant upgrades: the Amiga 2000 in 1987, the Amiga 3000 in 1990, and the Amiga 4000 in 1992. These upgrades improved the platform's graphical abilities, allowing for more colors and different display modes, and added expansion slots and ports. The best selling models, however, were the much cheaper but still versatile console models — the Amiga 500 (1987) and the Amiga 1200 (1992).

In 2006, PC World rated the Amiga 1000 as the seventh greatest PC of all time, stating "Years ahead of its time, the Amiga was the world's first multimedia, multitasking personal computer".[28]

AmigaOS 4 systems

AmigaOS 4 is designed for PowerPC Amiga systems and currently runs on both Amigas equipped with CyberstormPPC or BlizzardPPC accelerator boards, and on the PPC Teron series based AmigaOne computers built by Eyetech under license by Amiga Inc. AmigaOS 4.0 had been available only in developer pre-releases for numerous years until the final update was 'released' in December 2006. Due to the nature of some provisions of the contract between Amiga Inc. and Hyperion Entertainment the Belgian-German firm which is developing the OS, the commercial AmigaOS had only been available licensed to buyers of AmigaOne motherboards.

AmigaOS 4.0 for Classic Amigas equipped with PPC (Cyberstorm PPC or BlizzardPPC) accelerator boards was released commercially in November 2007, prior to this it was available only to developers and beta-testers. The most recent release AmigaOS is 4.1.[29]

No new hardware has been released since the AmigaOne; however Acube Systems has entered into an agreement with Hyperion under which it has ported AmigaOS 4 to its Sam440 line of PowerPC-based motherboards.[30]

Amiga hardware clones

Long-time Amiga developer MacroSystem entered the Amiga-clone market with their DraCo nonlinear video edit system. It appears in two versions, initially a tower model and later a cube. DraCo expanded upon and combined a number of earlier expansion cards developed for Amiga (VLabMotion, Toccata, WarpEngine, RetinaIII) into a true Amiga-clone powered by Motorola's 68060 processor. The DraCo can run AmigaOS 3.1 up through AmigaOS 3.9. It is the only Amiga-based system to support FireWire for video I/O. DraCo also offers an Amiga-compatible ZORRO-II expansion bus and introduced a faster custom DraCoBus, capable of 30 MB/sec transfer rates (faster than Commodore's ZORRO-III). The technology was later used in the Casablanca system, a set-top-box also designed for non-linear video editing.

In 1998, Index Information released the Access, an Amiga-clone similar to the A1200, but on a motherboard which could fit into a standard 5 1/4" drive bay. It features either a 68020 or 68030 CPU, with a redesigned AGA chipset, and runs AmigaOS 3.1.

In 2006, two new Amiga-clones using FPGA based hardware emulation replacing the Amiga OCS custom chipset were announced. The first, the Minimig, is a personal project of Dutch engineer Dennis van Weeren. Referred to as "new Amiga hardware",[31] the original model was built on a Xilinx Spartan 3 development board, but now a dedicated board has been demonstrated. The minimig uses the FPGA to reproduce the custom Denise, Agnus, Paula and Gary chips as well as both 8520 CIA's and implements a simple version of Amber. The rest of the chips are reproduced via an actual 68000 CPU, ram chips, and a PIC for bios control.[31] The design for Minimig was released as Open Source on July 25, 2007. In December, 2007, an Italian company Acube Systems announced plans to commercially produce the original Minimig. In February 2008 Acube began selling Minimig boards.

The second is the Clone-A system announced by Individual Computers. As of mid 2007 it has been shown in its development form, with FPGA-based boards replacing the Amiga chipset and mounted on an Amiga 500 motherboard.[32]

Operating systems


At the time of release AmigaOS put an OS that was well ahead of its time into the hands of the average consumer. It was one of the first commercially available consumer operating system for personal computers to implement preemptive multitasking.[33] Other features included combining a graphical user interface with a command-line interface, allowing long filenames permitting whitespace and not requiring a file extension and the use of information files associated with other files to store icons, launch and other desktop data.

John C. Dvorak stated in 1996 that AmigaOS "remains one of the great operating systems of the past 20 years, incorporating a small kernel and tremendous multitasking capabilities the likes of which have only recently been developed in OS/2 and Windows NT. The biggest difference is that the AmigaOS could operate fully and multitask in as little as 250 K of address space."[34]

Like other operating systems of the time, the OS lacks memory protection. This is necessary also because the 68000 CPU of the first Amiga computers does not include a memory management unit, and because there is no way of enforcing use of flags indicating memory to be shared.[35] Although it speeds and eases interapplication communication (programs can communicate by simply passing a pointer back and forth), the lack of memory protection made the Amiga OS more vulnerable to crashes from badly behaving programs, and fundamentally incapable of enforcing any form of security model since any program had full access to the system. Later this memory protection feature was implemented in AmigaOS 4.

The problem was somewhat exacerbated by Commodore's initial decision to release documentation relating not only to the OS's underlying software routines, but also to the hardware itself, enabling intrepid programmers who cut their teeth on the Commodore 64 to POKE the hardware directly, as was done on the older platform. While the decision to release the documentation was a popular one and allowed the creation of fast, sophisticated sound and graphics routines in games and demos, it also contributed to system instability as some programmers lacked the expertise to program at this level. For this reason, when the new AGA chipset was released, Commodore declined to release documentation for it, forcing most programmers to adopt the approved software routines.

Unix and Unix-like systems

Commodore-Amiga produced Amiga Unix, informally known as Amix, based on AT&T SVR4. It supports the Amiga 2500 and Amiga 3000 and was included with the Amiga 3000UX. Among other unusual features of Amix is a hardware-accelerated windowing system which can scroll windows without copying data. Amix is not supported on the later Amiga systems based on 68040 or 68060 processors.

Other, still maintained, operating systems are available for the classic Amiga platform, including Linux and NetBSD. Both require a CPU with MMU such as the 68020 with 68851 or full versions of the 68030, 68040 or 68060. There is also a version of Linux for Amigas with PowerPC accelerator cards. Debian and Yellow Dog Linux can run on the AmigaOne.

There is an official, older version of OpenBSD. The last Amiga release is 3.2. Minix 1.5.10 also runs on Amiga.[36]

Emulating other systems

The Amiga is able to emulate other computer platforms ranging from many 8-bit systems such as the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Nintendo Game Boy, Nintendo Entertainment System, Apple II and the TRS-80, up to platforms such as the IBM PC, Apple Macintosh and Atari ST. MAME (the arcade machine emulator) is also available for Amiga systems with PPC accelerator card upgrades.

Amiga software

The Amiga was a primary target for productivity and game development during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Software was often developed for the Amiga and the Atari ST simultaneously, since the ST shared a similar CPU architecture.

Aminet was created in 1992 and until around 1996, was the largest public archive of software for any platform.


If an Amiga 500 is rebooted or powered without a bootable storage, like a floppydisc, this screen is displayed. The displayed OS is Kickstart 34.5 (AmigaOS 1.3), included in the Amiga 500 ROM.

When an Amiga is reset, the Kickstart code selects a boot device (floppy or hard drive), loads the first two sectors of the disk or partition (the bootblock), and passes control to it. Normally this code passes control back to the OS, continuing to boot from the device or partition it was loaded from. The first production Amiga, the Amiga 1000, needed to load Kickstart from floppy disk into 256 kilobytes of RAM reserved for this purpose, but subsequent Amigas held Kickstart in ROM. Some games and demos for the A1000 (notably Dragon's Lair) provided an alternative code-base in order to use the extra 256 kilobytes of RAM for data.

A floppy disk or hard drive partition bootblock normally contains code to load the 'dos.library' (AmigaDOS) and then exit to it, invoking the GUI. Any such disk, no matter what the other contents of the disk, was referred to as a "Boot disk" or "bootable disk". (A bootblock could be added to a disk by use of the "install" command.) Some entertainment software contains custom bootblocks. The game or demo then takes control of memory and resources to suit itself, effectively disabling AmigaOS and the Amiga GUI.

The bootblock became an obvious target for virus writers. Some games or demos that used a custom bootblock would not work if infected with a bootblock virus, as the code of the virus replaced the original. The first such virus was the SCA virus. Anti-virus attempts included custom bootblocks. These amended bootblock advertised the presence of the virus checker while checking the system for tell-tale signs of memory resident viruses and then passed control back to the system. Unfortunately these could not be used on disks that already relied on a custom bootblock, but did alert users of potential trouble. Several of them also replicated themselves across other disks, becoming little more than viruses in their own right.

Boing Ball

The Boing Ball.

The Boing Ball[37] has been synonymous with Amiga since its public release in 1985. It has been a popular theme in computer demo effects since the 1950s, when a bouncing ball demo was released for Whirlwind computers. Commodore released a bouncing ball demo at the 1978 Consumer Electronics Show, to illustrate the capabilities of the VIC chip. A similar theme was used by Amiga Corporation to demonstrate the capabilities of the Amiga computer at the 1984 Winter Consumer Electronics Show in January 1984. It was a real-time animation showing a red-and-white spinning ball (about 1/4 screen size) bouncing up and down and casting a shadow on a wall behind it. The echoing deep Bong! sound and left-right motion was added soon after the show was over. Since then, the Boing Ball became one of the most well-known symbols for Amiga and compatible computers. Within the context of this tradition of bouncing ball demos at the Consumer Electronics Show, CBS Electronics also showed a Bouncing Ball demo for the Atari VCS/2600, with a spinning and bouncing ball, at the same event.

The 1984 Boing Ball demo was one of the very first demos shown on the Amiga. It was specifically designed to take advantage of the Amiga's custom graphics, achieving a level of speed and smoothness not previously seen on an affordable computer. The 1984 demo ran standalone as there was no official DOS operating system and Intuition was just a glint in RJ Mical's eye at the time. A year later this demo was converted to operate in an Intuition Screen, allowing the higher resolution Amiga Workbench screen to be dragged down to make the Boing Ball visible from behind, bouncing up above the Workbench while the Workbench remained fully active. Since the Boing Ball used almost no CPU time (only to calculate the bounce angles - animation was handled by playfield vertical and horizontal scrolling tricks, the rotation animation was done with color cycling in the graphics chip, and of course the sound chip handled the sound), this made a particularly impressive demonstration of multitasking at the time.

Despite its popularity in the Amiga community, the Boing Ball itself was never officially adopted as a trademark by Commodore. The official Amiga trademark was a rainbow-colored double checkmark. After the bankruptcy of Commodore, the Boing Ball remained in use as one of the symbols for Amiga-related systems on hundreds of web sites and products by different companies and individuals.

Amiga community

When Commodore went bankrupt in 1994, there was still a very active Amiga community, and it continued to support the platform long after mainstream commercial vendors abandoned it. The most popular Amiga magazine, Amiga Format, continued to publish editions until 2000, some six years after Commodore filed for bankruptcy. Another magazine, Amiga Active, was launched in 1999 and was published until 2001. Interest in the platform is high enough to sustain a specialist column in the UK weekly magazine Micro Mart.

Notable historic uses

The Amiga series of computers found a place in early computer graphic design and television presentation. Below are some examples of notable uses and users:

In addition, many other celebrities and notable individuals have made use of the Amiga:[42]

  • Andy Warhol was an early user of the Amiga and appeared at the launch.[43] Warhol used the Amiga to create a new style of art made with computers, and was the author of a multimedia opera called "you are the one" which consists of an animated sequence featuring images of actress Marilyn Monroe assembled in a short movie with a soundtrack. The video was discovered on two old Amiga floppies in a drawer in Warhol's studio and repaired in 2006 by the Detroit Museum of New Art.[44] The pop artist has been quoted as saying: "The thing I like most about doing this kind of work on the Amiga is that it looks like my work in other media."[45][46]
  • A pioneer of the Digital Art movement, Laurence Gartel, along with Jeff Bruette [47], physically taught Andy Warhol how to use the Amiga and relevant software[48].
  • Actor Dick Van Dyke was a self-described "rabid" user of the Amiga.[49][50]
  • Amigas were used in various NASA laboratories to keep track of multiple low orbiting satellites, and were still used up to 2003/04 (dismissed and sold in 2006). This is another example of long lifetime reliability of Amiga hardware, as well as professional use. Amigas were also used at Kennedy Space Center to run strip-chart recorders, to format and display data, and control stations of platforms for Delta rocket launches.[51]
  • Artist Jean "Moebius" Giraud credits the Amiga he bought for his son as a bridge to learning about "using paint box programs".[52] He uploaded some of his early experiments to the file sharing forums on CompuServe.
  • Tom Fulp is noted as saying he used the Amiga as his first computer for creating cartoons and animations.[53]
  • London Transport Museum developed their own interactive multi-media software for the CD32. The software included a walkthrough of various exhibits and a virtual tour of the museum.[54]
  • The "Weird Al" Yankovic film UHF contains a spoof of the computer-animated video of the Dire Straits song "Money for Nothing." According to the DVD commentary track, this spoof was created on an Amiga home computer.[55]
  • Rolf Harris used an Amiga to digitize his hand-drawn art work for animation on his television series, Rolf's Cartoon Club.
  • Todd Rundgren's video "Change Myself" was produced with Toaster and Lightwave.
  • An Amiga 1000 can be seen in the movie Disorderlies in the background running a heart animation.
  • An Amiga 4000 was in Michael Jackson's movie Ghosts. At the left of the screen, an Amiga monitor and keyboard can be easily seen at the end credit. (at exactly 38:40)
  • Scottish pop artist Calvin Harris composed his debut album I Created Disco with an Amiga 1200.[56]
  • Susumu Hirasawa, a Japanese Electropop-artist is known for using Amigas to compose and perform music.
  • Electronic musician Max Tundra also created his three albums with an Amiga 500.[57]
  • A black Commodore Amiga 1200 was seen on an episode of Bones, used as evidence to lead to a murder suspect. A clip of this show hosted on youtube became infamous because of the high number of errors in such a minor mention. Amongst many other errors, an IBM 5150, the first PC was shown as its floppy drive, and it was claimed it used "a homemade operating system" with a "6800 chipset".
  • Tom Berenger's character Gary Simmons uses an Amiga 500 for his KKK network in the 1988 movie Betrayed.
  • Amiga 500 motherboards were used, in conjunction with a Laserdisc player and Genlock device, in arcade games manufactured by American Laser Games.[58]
  • A custom Amiga 4000T motherboard was used in the HDI 1000 medical ultrasound system built by Bothell, Washington based Advanced Technology Labs (now part of Philips Medical Systems).[59]


See also


  1. ^, Commodore-Amiga Sales Figures
  2. ^ Gareth Knight. "The Twists and Turns of the Amiga Saga". Amiga History Guide. Retrieved 2008-04-21. 
  3. ^ DeMaria and Wilson (2003) ""High Score!: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games" p.109 ISBN 0-072-23172-6
  4. ^ Knight, Gareth. "The One for 16-bit Games". Amiga History Guide. Retrieved 2007-07-17. 
  5. ^ "Amiga Reviews: Zzap 16-Bit Gaming". Retrieved 2008-05-23. 
  6. ^ Jeremy Reimer. "Total share: 30 years of personal computer market share figures". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2008-04-21. 
  7. ^, Commodore advert 1987 - Celebrities
  8. ^, Commodore advert 1987 - TV spot version of 20 minute presentation
  9. ^ Gareth Knight. "Amiga Lorraine". Amiga History Guide. Retrieved 2008-04-21. 
  10. ^, Amiga Forever - Amiga Games
  11. ^
  12. ^ The Big Book of Amiga Hardware,
  13. ^ "Commodore A590".  090420
  14. ^ "Commodore A3070".  090420
  15. ^ a b "empty".  090426
  16. ^ a b c d "Amiga Hardware Database — Expansion cards".  090426
  17. ^ a b "Networking FAQ".  090426
  18. ^ "Commodore: A560".  090428
  19. ^ "Commodore: A2060".  090428
  20. ^ "Amitrix: Amiga-Link".  090428
  21. ^ "Village Tronic: Liana".  090428
  22. ^ "Nine Tiles: AmigaLink (9 Tiles)".  090428
  23. ^ "PPS (Progressive Peripherals & Software): DoubleTalk".  090428
  24. ^ Knight, Gareth (1997-2003), Amiga history guide,, retrieved 2007-09-29 
  25. ^
  26. ^ Knight, Gareth (1997-2006), References to B52 songs on Amiga Motherboards,, retrieved 2008-05-20 .
  27. ^ Commodore Amiga 500+
  28. ^ PC World, The 25 Greatest PCs of All Time
  29. ^ It's alive!: Ars reviews AmigaOS 4.1, Ars Technica, September 22, 2008.
  30. ^ OEM Version of AmigaOS 4.1 for Sam440ep imminent, Acube Systems, September 17, 2008
  31. ^ a b
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ From PC Magazine, October 22, 1996 Inside Track By John C. Dvorak
  35. ^ "Adding Memory Protection (MP) to the Amiga". Retrieved December 30, 2006. 
  36. ^ Minix Comp Wisdon
  37. ^ YouTube video of Boing Ball demo, Boing ball projected on Icosahedron for handicrafts
  38. ^ The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5
  39. ^ An Interview with Ron Thornton, October 16, 1995. "Effects are designed on an accelerated Amiga 2000 with a Video Toaster board in it, using LightWave 3-D and Modeler 3-D."
  40. ^ Interview with Matt Gorner
  41. ^ 'Max Headroom' on TechTV
  42. ^ For other notable users see Famous Amiga Users at AmigaHistory.
  43. ^ "Amiga Andy article". Artnode online. 
  44. ^ "Artdaily article about the discover and repair of "you are the one"". Artdaily. Retrieved 2007-01-07. 
  45. ^ "Interview with Andy Warhol" (PDF). Amiga World Magazine. Retrieved 2007-01-07. 
  46. ^ Cynthia Goodman. "The Digital Revolution: Art in the Computer Age". Art Journal, Vol 49 No 3, Computers and Art: Issues of Content (Autumn, 1990) pp. 248-252. Retrieved 2007-01-07. 
  47. ^ Amigaworld, January 1986: Retrieved May 2009
  48. ^
  49. ^ "Dick van Dyke at SIGGRAPH". Retrieved 2007-01-07. 
  50. ^ Katie Hafner (2000-06-22). "The Return of a Desktop Cult Classic (No, Not the Mac)". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-01-07. 
  51. ^ "Reportage: l'Amiga à la NASA". 
  52. ^ "Moebius". Wired. 
  53. ^ Tol Fulp interview
  54. ^ CD32: The Hyper-Museum Project
  55. ^ UHF DVD commentary track
  56. ^ "Calvin Harris". 2007-06-06. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  57. ^ "Track Reviews on Cokemachineglow". cokemachineglow. 2007-06-06. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  58. ^ "American Laser Games Tech Center". Dragon's Lair Project. Retrieved 2009-1-23. 
  59. ^ "United States Patent Application 20070106157". 

External links

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Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Category:Commodore Amiga article)

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This system category is a stub. Help us expand it with system details as well as a {{system}} infobox. Reliable information can be researched on Wikipedia or you can just search for "Commodore Amiga" on Google. Do this and you get a cookie.

Commodore Amiga
Manufacturer Commodore
Active 19851997
Total Games 2120 (150 present)
← Commodore 64/128 (none) →

Pages in category "Commodore Amiga"

The following 150 pages are in this category, out of 150 total.


  • 007: Licence to Kill


  • 1943: The Battle of Midway








F cont.





  • King's Quest II: Romancing the Throne
  • King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder!
  • King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow
  • King's Quest: Quest for the Crown






P cont.


  • Qix
  • Quest for Glory I: So You Want To Be A Hero
  • Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire





  • Ultima VI: The False Prophet



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