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The Amiga is a personal computer whose development started in 1982. The original Amiga Inc.[?] company was bought out in 1984 by Commodore International, who marketed the Amiga as their intended successor to the Commodore 64.

An Amiga A500 computer, photographed in 1988. To its right is a 9-pin dot matrix printer, the Star LC-10.
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The first Amiga computer was released in 1985. This would later be referred to as the Commodore-Amiga 1000 or A1000 for short, the number being added when the product range was expanded. A500 (low-end) and A2000 (high-end) followed in 1987. The A500 was the most popular Amiga computer at that time; today the most popular Amiga is the A1200. The last Amigas to be made were the A1200 and the A4000[?].

For its time, the Amiga had some of the most impressive sound and graphics (through several coprocessors) available for the home user. Indeed, it was also used for commercial entertainment production till the mid 1990s (Video editing, 3D graphics rendering etc). Newtek[?] marketed a special graphics rendering solution of the Amiga, called the Video Toaster - Video Toaster were used to render the space ships in the first season of Babylon 5, and were involved in numerous other major movie productions without ever being credited. NewTek also created the Lightwave[?] 3D rendering program on the Amiga, which they eventually ported to the PC and is still being sold today. [1] (http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave/)

The operating system, AmigaOS, was also quite sophisticated, combining an elegant GUI like that of the Apple Macintosh with some of the flexibility of UNIX while retaining a simplicity that made maintenance rather easy.

The Amiga chipsets, OCS, ECS and AGA, were more advanced than other architectures of their time.

The Amiga community contributed a lot to a computer subculture known as the Demo Scene. The Demo Scene was more or less a phenomenon inherited from Commodore C64 times.

The original Amiga was designed by Jay Miner. His machine was many years ahead of its time when it appeared, having features such as IRQ sharing[?], memory mapped IO[?], AutoConfig (today known as "plug and play"), and preemptive multitasking. Some of these features had been used previously in mainframe computers, but had never been used in a personal computer before.

Amiga models include:

Prototypes that were never released include:

  • Amiga Nyx, 1994, with a prototype AAA chipset;
  • Amiga Walker, 1996, with AGA chipset but a PCI-like expansion slot.

The following operating systems are available for Amigas: AmigaOS, Linux, and NetBSD. Commodore Amiga Unix was available for the A3000UX.

Software and hardware is available for the Amiga to emulate the Macintosh (MacOS), PC IA-32 (MS-DOS) and various 8-bit platforms like Commodore 64.

Unfortunately, Commodore thought that the Amiga was only suitable as a gaming or video-editing platform, so their marketing did not do the platform justice. Most retail outlets were toy stores. Compatibility with ordinary household television sets was prioritized over professional grade graphics and memory management. Even "amenities" such as a hard drive (on a 500) or a device for ensuring a non-interlaced display (a 'flicker fixer') had to be bought from third party vendors. While it was the only multitasking platform in the consumer marketplace for several years, robustness[?] left something to be desired (mainly due to the absence of Protected memory, resulting in frequent "Guru Meditation" errors.

In spite of being sold short, Amiga was originally supported by such prestigious software titles as AutoCAD, WordPerfect, Deluxe Paint[?], and Lattice C.

The history of Amiga owners is a colorful one, including two bankruptcies (Commodore International, ESCOM), two buyouts (Commodore buying Amiga, Inc. 1984, Gateway 2000 buying the Amiga IP from the ESCOM estate in 1997) and the licensing of the Amiga IP by Amiga, Inc., a new company founded by a former Gateway marketing employee in 2000.

The Amiga had a strong user community.

The current owner of the trademark, Amiga, Inc., is licensing the production of an updated AmigaOS ported to PowerPC, to the Belgian-German company Hyperion Entertainment. It also licenses an AmigaOne trademark to companies interested in selling hardware to users of this OS. No new Amigas are planned.

Amiga, Inc's homepage is http://www.amiga.com

Amiga Three-finger salute is Ctrl + Left Amiga + Right Amiga.

The Amiga had its own Amiga keyboard.

Different free Amiga emulators exist for a variety of operating systems. For example UNIX and Microsoft Windows operating systems:

See also: Amiga Demos, Amiga Games

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

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