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Atari ST vs. Amiga


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#676 Christos OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:03 PM

That's not a good point. You "could" run 640x400 in an Amiga but you needed a flicker fixer. Also, noone stopped you from doing wordprocessing in st medium, that was why it existed.Sure some stuff needed st high but a lot of the productivity software could run in st med as well. Or you could forget about atari monitors and you could buy a multisync one.

#677 DarkLord OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:23 PM

I find this post to be very interesting.

Oky, I guess things were just *way* different here in the US vs the UK at that time. I bought a 520ST, double-sided floppy drive, and color monitor for $899.00 from CDW. It was an introduction special, because most places here were selling it for $999.00. Also, if you bought the 3 items separately, it would have cost $999.00 - buying all 3 in the special gave the discount.

At that time, the Amiga 1000, with no monitor was $1500.00.

No comparison.

I think, in all the years I've had Atari ST's, I owned a hi-res monitor once. Once. I eventually sold it. I just didn't need it. The color monitor was fine for running productivity software in med-res.

So tacking the price of a hi-res monitor on to the base cost of an initial 520ST system is just inaccurate.

#678 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:54 AM

All I am really doing is pointing out a difference, one of many. To use 640x400 mode you needed an extra monitor whether you use a RGB SCART TV or not in compromised way via 640x200. I pointed out every difference too, like the Amiga being 256kb or DS/DD 880kb floppy too etc. In the EU we had RGB SCART input port on £200 Sony TVs (superior to ALL Phillips/Thomson/C=/Atari monitors) but maybe in USA being forced to use composite input on TV gave a different situation for ST vs Amiga, but via RGB SCART on Sony CRT tube was very usable). Also even Amiga 1000 revision 1 did have TV output from day one but 520ST didn't until STM with composite output so there are even more complications and cost implications ie £15 A1000 SCART lead in UK vs Atari SC1224 @ £299 for original 520ST in USA.

I was one of the first in the queue for a 520STM+SF354 in early 1986 and was very happy, so hardly anti Atari. 640x200 on an SC1224 would be unusable due to smaller screen. The 16 grayscale images I used in 640x512 on 14" screen didn't flicker and the extra desktop space of 50% on either ST/Amiga is just as important then for serious use as it is now......you could run Win 7 in 800x600 but it's a compromise and you'd buy a 1280x768 monitor. Same deal. I got an SM124 & SM144 10 years ago, and it IS required for serious use for Cubase/Steinberg etc IMO. That screen mode was included on both for a very good reason. Atari chose 32khz and Commodore chose 15khz and as TV used 768x576 @ 15khz and didn't flicker then it was possible to use Amiga sensibly in this mode too clearly ;)

Also NEC multisyncs were about £400-500 in mid 80s as PC VGA never needs <30khz so a niche market for 15khz support AND 30Khz=high price.

Just pointing out how complex price issue is in UK :)

#679 DarkLord OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:55 AM

640x200 on an SC1224 would be unusable due to smaller screen.


Okay, this statement alone speaks volumes. It is absolutely and totally
inaccurate. I use 640x200 on my color monitors all the time, always
have. No problem at all and I don't have the best vision in the world.
I do all the programming for my BBS in that mode on my SC1224. It's
sharp and crystal clear.

I have to ask at this point, have you even used an Atari ST in med. res?

Because I don't know of anyone who did ever saying it was "unusable". :(

Just pointing out how complex price issue is in UK :)


I don't live in the UK - never have...so I'll take your word on that part. :)

#680 OldAtarian OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:08 AM



The only saving grace for the ST was that it was a helluva lot cheaper than the comparable Amiga model.

Ha ha! I love how you attempt to trivialize PRICE, by referring to it as "the only saving grace." PRICE IS EVERYTHING. Price is FIRST consideration of EVERYTHING.

In 1985, a complete 520ST system cost about the same as a Commodore 128 system, and you know they weren't selling Amiga 1000s for the same price they were selling C128s.

There was a significant price difference, for some time. The ST was close enough to the Amiga to give a similar 16-bit home computer experience - similar resolutions, etc. But sure, Amiga's impressive, too.


C128 was £399 + 1541 mk2 for £150 or £499 as a bundle. An exclusive 80 column mode colour RGB-I capable 1901 monitor was about £299. So £799 or without 1901 £499+ £199 for high quality SONY TRITRON 14" TV with composite inputs +RGB = £699 (33% less than 520ST + SC1224 bundle)

The 520ST needed a colour AND mono monitor, so with single disc drive and colour monitor came in at £999 with SC1224 and SF354 + £149 for SM124 so that's £1149 for 360kb disc drive + colour + mono monitors. £999 for no high res mono ability. ST had no composite out or RF out.

£999 = 256kb Amiga and 880kb DS/DD floppy. £299 for 1081 colour and IIRC £150-125 for 256kb expansion RAM. So 512kb A1000 + 1081 = £1450 BUT first ST had TOS on disk so 512kb 520ST = same actual memory as 256kb Amiga A1000 which has extra 192kb protected RAM to load ROM OS. So that's £1299. Amiga could use SCART TV....Sony 14" professional quality TV/Monitor was £199 AND superior to Commodore AND Atari monitor goldfish bowl warm colour biased CRT tubes.

So in conclusion 520ST with colour and mono monitors and SF314 720kb drive was £1199-£1249. You need the SM124 +SF314 to compare like for like. 520STM £399 + SONY TRINITRON £199 + SF314 £199 + £149 SM124 = £949 which is better value in 1986. (obviously £799 without ever using high res but Amiga didn't need separate monitor for high res)

This is the same as Amiga A1000 256kb (+extra 192kb WOM built in for loading disk OS) 880kb drive + Sony Trinitron 14 TV monitor = £1199. £1349 if comparing to 520ST with TOS in ROM vs 256kb+256kb Amiga 1000. This dropped to £899 for "512kb" Amiga 1000 in 1986 though so £1099 vs £949 520STM (both bundle using just Sony SCART RGB TV but STM including SM124 in fairness for business/serious use to access 640x400 mode).

The 520STM was the first attempt to lower price package by summer 1986, then 520STFM for £399 in 1987 was key to home user market but you were limited to 360kb disk drive internally and still needed SM124 for mono use. 520STM was offloaded at £199 by Silica Shop in 1987 + £149 SF314= £50 less than 360kb SS floppy 520STFM in 1987 which was the bargain of the century!!

£299 for 520STM vs £299 C128 in 1987 = same price for games players using existing TV at home true. Both need £149 disc unit too. 512kb Amiga 1000 down to £699 in early 1987 vs £449 (£299+£149) 520STM+SF354 bundle. 35% cheaper than Amiga 1000.


First point, C128 was a completely different class of computer, so shouldn't even be in this comparison, so that point is invalid.

Second point, you did NOT need to own both monitors. I never owned a monochrome monitor until long after the ST had already gone out of production. There was a commercial program called Omnires that allowed the use of programs on a monitor it wasn't intended for, there was also at least one shareware utility that did the same thing.

Third, your prices over there in UK/Europe have always been screwed up. Here in N. America the 1040ST with monochrome monitor was the first computer made by anybody that sold with 1meg RAM for under $1000. Macs and PC's with that much memory and a monochrome monitor cost thousands more so the ST was the value priced computer. The price difference with color monitor compared to a PC was even bigger and you couldn't even get color output on a Mac at that time.

Fourth, I can't believe you consider the Amiga being able to output to a TV as a plus since a TV is incapable of displaying a computer's video signal at anything approaching the quality of even the worst monitor on the market at the time. I also just checked my first generation 520ST and they DID have an RF output, so your point about the Amiga being the only one that could output to a TV is FALSE.

Fifth, a 256K Amiga sold for $1295 WITHOUT monitor when they were first released. $300 MORE than the 1040ST WITH Mono monitor, and with half the memory of the 520ST. Adding a monitor to the Amiga made the price difference even higher, so the Amiga was definitely no bargain compared to the 520 and 1040ST.

Anything else you wanted to say?

#681 atarian63 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 25, 2011 4:27 PM

Emkay, usually agree with you but the amiga was terrible at release, just not ready "as confirmed by others here" as for bombs vs guru.. I was a dealer for both and gurus were a constant thing for quite some time,not to mention multitasking wasnt useful as it was a source of the guru, we used to leave a1000's running just a couple workbench demos all day and they would crash frequently. This was solved in later interations of a1000 but went on for quite sometime. They should have waited another year or two and just released the A500. Amiga wasnt ready till years later with the A500, a copy of what Atari did from a marketing standpoint. cheaper with features or.. Power with the price if you like.(didn't hurt that there was little to no supply for ST when a500 was released. We had tons of returns on early a1000's from customers and saw a 4 to 1 sales of ST over amiga.

#682 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:24 PM


640x200 on an SC1224 would be unusable due to smaller screen.


Okay, this statement alone speaks volumes. It is absolutely and totally
inaccurate. I use 640x200 on my color monitors all the time, always
have. No problem at all and I don't have the best vision in the world.
I do all the programming for my BBS in that mode on my SC1224. It's
sharp and crystal clear.

I have to ask at this point, have you even used an Atari ST in med. res?

Because I don't know of anyone who did ever saying it was "unusable". :(

Just pointing out how complex price issue is in UK :)


I don't live in the UK - never have...so I'll take your word on that part. :)


I think I meant 640x200 via RF/composite on USA TV not RGB on monitor or UK SCART TV was unreadable :) Was rushed typing my thoughts as I was late for work. 80 column needs RGB really.

#683 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:35 PM

Emkay, usually agree with you but the amiga was terrible at release, just not ready "as confirmed by others here" as for bombs vs guru.. I was a dealer for both and gurus were a constant thing for quite some time,not to mention multitasking wasnt useful as it was a source of the guru, we used to leave a1000's running just a couple workbench demos all day and they would crash frequently. This was solved in later interations of a1000 but went on for quite sometime. They should have waited another year or two and just released the A500. Amiga wasnt ready till years later with the A500, a copy of what Atari did from a marketing standpoint. cheaper with features or.. Power with the price if you like.(didn't hurt that there was little to no supply for ST when a500 was released. We had tons of returns on early a1000's from customers and saw a 4 to 1 sales of ST over amiga.


Kickstart 0.9-1.1 was flaky yeah. Never pushed my A1000 hard until Protracker/Dpaint3/Digiview4/Digipaint multitasking together (and never crashed for weeks IME)

To put it in Context MacOS 7 crashes less than XP. Single tasking isn't my choice though. Badly written crap can bluescreen WIN7 TODAY. Never had gurus on professional software ever in KS 1.3.......if only Winblows was that stable.

(as IBM swapped Commodore their REXX language in exchange for source code of Amiga multitasking kernal to create their OS kernal for OS/2 I doubt it's shit)

#684 desiv OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:41 PM

You "could" run 640x400 in an Amiga but you needed a flicker fixer.

No you don't. I routinely run 640x400 for my Workbench with the standard 1084s monitor.

I do admit that the monitor issue with the ST was interesting.
Not sure why there was no modulator on the early STs, and needing the 2nd monitor for hi-res was interesting.

But the ST was less expensive. You probably could have bought a 520ST and both monitors in 85 for less than the Amiga 1000 with a 1080 monitor.

desiv

#685 DarkLord OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:14 PM

But the ST was less expensive. You probably could have bought a 520ST and both monitors in 85 for less than the Amiga 1000 with a 1080 monitor.

desiv


Honestly, when I bought my first 520ST from CDW, I could have bought the 520ST, DS floppy drive, color monitor, mono monitor, and probably some software and/or a printer for the $1500 they were wanting for the base A1000 with no monitor. :(

#686 Christos OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:18 PM


You "could" run 640x400 in an Amiga but you needed a flicker fixer.

No you don't. I routinely run 640x400 for my Workbench with the standard 1084s monitor.

I do admit that the monitor issue with the ST was interesting.
Not sure why there was no modulator on the early STs, and needing the 2nd monitor for hi-res was interesting.

But the ST was less expensive. You probably could have bought a 520ST and both monitors in 85 for less than the Amiga 1000 with a 1080 monitor.

desiv


The couple of times i saw 640x400 on an amiga it flickered (not very much but it was noticeable and tiring in the long term). It could be that things were better in NTSC land.

About the 2 monitor thing. ST high is 30KHz horizontal and 72Hz vertical, more like vga numbers than rgb. The downside you needed another type of monitor. The up side, it was extremely stable and easy to the eye.

#687 wood_jl OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:43 PM

Ha! I love this thread!

I've always been "Amiga curious" and I'm sort-of past my fanboy days, so I have procured a nice A500 to try with my HxC Floppy Drive Emulator (excellent, excellent results with ST) just so I can finally get at the games.

The A500 was the game-changer than finally made Amiga affordable. Therefore, although I'm slanted towards ST - that which I grew up with - I respect the Amiga, and look forward to toying with it. I can say the same for the C64, an Atari man here.

The A1200 (and A4000) are unreliable machines, with sub-standard electrolytic caps that "spew their wads" all over the motherboard and ruin it. THAT IS A FACT. The C64 is, likewise, not the most reliable machine. Both of these issues are WELL-DOCUMENTED, and I have absolutely no authority on the matter (nor am I required to have any, to parrot this fact). My experience has been that - for the most part - the Atari machines (8-bit or ST) are pretty reliable. I tend to think that the A500 (and perhaps the A1000) are "up there" in reliability, which is why I decided to try A500.

The Commodore offerings - whether C64 or Amiga - are still impressive, capable machines, and to be respected by anybody but the most ardent, one-sided fanboys. They're not my favorites - Atari 8 and 16 are. However, I can unequivocally say this: It's kind of a random happening that I ended up with Atari computers, instead of Commodore. I'm really glad that I did, and I really, really enjoy Atari computers, more than any others in history. Part of it is the unique time of the "home computer era" and part of is is the age I was at when they were popular. If I had NOT been involved with Atari computers, I most likely WOULD HAVE been into the Commodore offerings. They're the closest things on the market - ABSOLUTELY - to the Atari computers. It doesn't matter what your preference was; if I had C64 instead of A800, I probably would have enjoyed myself similarly. Same with Amiga instead of ST. It's this fact - what MIGHT have been - that piques my interest in the Commodore machines. The Apple machines - Apple II and Mac - sucked donkey wongs in comparision, and considering the price of those underperformers, the comparison seems ludicrous. I put the Atari and Commodore computers in a similar boat, and hardly any other computers can go in the same boat. I'm always going to slant Atari, but the Commodore computers couldn't have been as successful as they were, if they weren't noteworthy.

As usual, what I object to is the fanboy-BS that because the Amiga (or C64) had some additional feature, then the other SUCKED. Sorry, it did not. It rocks.

#688 Shredder11 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:24 AM

Regarding the ST and monitor use / ownership in the UK, my experience was that everyone used them on TVs via the RF port and nearly always for gaming. The only exception to this were people with the ST set-up specifically for pro / semi-pro music production, using Cubase and a hi-res monochrome monitor. I myself fell into both categories, although most of my gaming was done on the 8-bit machines throughout the entire 1980s. The only time I ever saw an Amiga in the flesh was in the local town computer shops, as I never met a single person or friend who owned one. Most people were still happy with using 8-bit machines until the start of the 1990s, when console ownership took over with the Sega Megadrive etc. The ST gaming thing did not last long over here, just two or three years in the late 1980s.

#689 desiv OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:45 AM

The couple of times i saw 640x400 on an amiga it flickered (not very much but it was noticeable and tiring in the long term). It could be that things were better in NTSC land.

I have heard PAL flicker is worse than NTSC flicker..
Although I know people who couldn't stand NTSC flicker either..
I didn't mind it, but I wouldn't choose certain color schemes that were less "flickery." ;-)

I do remember that it was pretty bad when doing Macintosh emulation. That was the worst of the worst flicker.. ;-) Black/white and their love of those patterns and lines... Ouch.. ;-)
I tended to use the A-Max "scroll" mode (and I hate scolling desktops), just to avoid the flicker.

But for basic Amiga use in NTSC land, I was fine with it...
By the time I got my 1200, there was (well, maybe not right away, but eventually) a program someone had written called MagicTV that used the AGA colors to do "something" so you could have a nearly flicker-free desktop environment..
I use that program today on my 1200 too..

That being said, if I were trying to do anything serious for any length of time, I could see a multisync monitor being a requirement.

I do admit, the hires on the ST, when I saw it hooked up, was really sharp...
I basically thought of that as a "better Mac" mode than the Macintosh had. ;-)

I have a Mac Classic now (and there is something nostalgic about it), and used my roommates Mac 512k back in the day (single floppy, no hard disk..)...
I can see the Amiga/ST discussions, but.. Why did anyone buy a Mac at the time??? ;-)
The ST and the Amiga were both much better values and better machines...
Yes, the Mac had some great software, EVENTUALLY, but not initially.. The early systems with floppies only.. Barely usable...
(I know the //e sales carried Apple thru the initial Mac days)

Oh well.. ;-)

desiv

#690 atarian63 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:03 PM


Emkay, usually agree with you but the amiga was terrible at release, just not ready "as confirmed by others here" as for bombs vs guru.. I was a dealer for both and gurus were a constant thing for quite some time,not to mention multitasking wasnt useful as it was a source of the guru, we used to leave a1000's running just a couple workbench demos all day and they would crash frequently. This was solved in later interations of a1000 but went on for quite sometime. They should have waited another year or two and just released the A500. Amiga wasnt ready till years later with the A500, a copy of what Atari did from a marketing standpoint. cheaper with features or.. Power with the price if you like.(didn't hurt that there was little to no supply for ST when a500 was released. We had tons of returns on early a1000's from customers and saw a 4 to 1 sales of ST over amiga.


Kickstart 0.9-1.1 was flaky yeah. Never pushed my A1000 hard until Protracker/Dpaint3/Digiview4/Digipaint multitasking together (and never crashed for weeks IME)

To put it in Context MacOS 7 crashes less than XP. Single tasking isn't my choice though. Badly written crap can bluescreen WIN7 TODAY. Never had gurus on professional software ever in KS 1.3.......if only Winblows was that stable.

(as IBM swapped Commodore their REXX language in exchange for source code of Amiga multitasking kernal to create their OS kernal for OS/2 I doubt it's shit)


most or all of those packages were released 1 -3 years after the a1000 release. multitasking wasnt really stable for at least the 1 year or so.We had a sign up for awhile (as we were ST oriented) that said "try your luck" "see how long it takes to crash the Amiga" we supplied a box of basic software as well as the workbench stuff. It was a great source of laughs for the geeky customers we had. Didn't make them not buy it as they were assured things would (and did) improve. Sold alot of ST's for us though!

Gotta agree with you on Win Blows of the day. Yuck!

#691 Ayreon OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:58 AM

I never saw anyone use the RF on either machine here. Almost every TV had/still has SCART. As for not being able of using High res of the ST on normal TV/RGB monitor I think there was a proggy (zebra??) that made it possible if you can handle the flicker. Personally I never ever used the high res.

#692 svenski OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:02 AM

Regarding the ST and monitor use / ownership in the UK, my experience was that everyone used them on TVs via the RF port and nearly always for gaming. The only exception to this were people with the ST set-up specifically for pro / semi-pro music production, using Cubase and a hi-res monochrome monitor. I myself fell into both categories, although most of my gaming was done on the 8-bit machines throughout the entire 1980s. The only time I ever saw an Amiga in the flesh was in the local town computer shops, as I never met a single person or friend who owned one. Most people were still happy with using 8-bit machines until the start of the 1990s, when console ownership took over with the Sega Megadrive etc. The ST gaming thing did not last long over here, just two or three years in the late 1980s.


As someone who was on the front line of retail in the early nineties I would have to disagree with the above. You can't say the ST "gaming thing" lasted two or three years in the late eighties (UK) because it didn't. When I dipped my toes into computer retail the Amiga 500+ had been released and we sold Amigas like there was no tomorrow. Whilst our ST sales were never as good, and would continue to decline, we did shift large amounts of new releases for the ST month on month for some time.

My impression of the UK gaming market ( at the time I was in it) was that it was quite polarised. You had the console (megadrive etc) market and the computer market. I wouldn't say console ownership "took over" - far from it.

#693 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:34 AM

NEC made a massive mistake not launching the PC-Engine(Turbo-grafix) here in the UK, but really over we didn't really go for anything on a big scale between Colecovision and Megadrive(Genesis). I played on the PC-Engine at a private booth at one of the shows (think it was run by Computer and Video Games magazine) and really it's something I definitely would have bought looking at even the first generation titles like Victory Run or R-Type etc. These games beat Amiga games and it was only a 6502 CPU and custom chips on cheapish cards. .They would have sold a million in the 80s, such a shame. It's the only way to play Nemesis and Salamander to be honest outside of MAME emulator.

Never really understood why people would go for the NES, never ever understood that in the USA either with people spending money on rubbish like EGA PC vs Amiga or ST. Crazy place and must have been mega frustrating for people selling superior hardware. Another thing I never understood was why you would pay $50 for C64 quality games on NES when you could get ST or Amiga games for $25.

I guess in the UK there was a strong history of computer ownership for all sorts of crazy things, that's how it started here....people would buy machines knowing some of the best games were ones you typed in from Computer and Video Games magazine etc in the early 80s. We didn't care too much for PC gaming until every game had VGA graphics as standard and there were games worth paying the premium of a 486 PC to play them. NES was a dead dodo over here, and the superior Master System didn't do that much better. We did however go crazy for the 16bit consoles like Megadrive, and quite rightly too given the massive increase in software quality over much of the dross sold for a quick buck by UK software houses here.

Whilst I can see why people bought the putrid yellow and green puke screened original Gameboy over other choice (NEC/Atari/SEGA) because of massive difference in battery life there was just no reason for Americans not to purchase an ST or Amiga. And to be honest the sales of the C64 amaze me considering how blinkered purchasers were in the USA ie rubbish NES for kids, rubbish PC EGA for daddy.

One last thing, piracy. I never ever got pirated C64 games, I had about 150 games by the mid 80s all original because most of them were programmed with some love and care. Once I got an Amiga things changed because I knew the tech specs but the games were just so underwhelming. Stuff like Xenon II makes me puke even to this day (rubbish tune I did a better version of using a sampler and noise tracker etc. and 16 bloody colours!) So I rarely bought Amiga games, maybe things like Sword of Sodan or Battle Squadron because they looked like 16-bit games a la Sega Genesis/Megadrive. The rest got copied, played once or twice and then wiped over with new copies of games. This is what the software houses deserved. £25 for a game that probably would run on a Sinclair QL was an absolute joke and this is why I kept my ST to be honest, why pay £5 more for the same game with the same flaws.

#694 Shredder11 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:58 PM


Regarding the ST and monitor use / ownership in the UK, my experience was that everyone used them on TVs via the RF port and nearly always for gaming. The only exception to this were people with the ST set-up specifically for pro / semi-pro music production, using Cubase and a hi-res monochrome monitor. I myself fell into both categories, although most of my gaming was done on the 8-bit machines throughout the entire 1980s. The only time I ever saw an Amiga in the flesh was in the local town computer shops, as I never met a single person or friend who owned one. Most people were still happy with using 8-bit machines until the start of the 1990s, when console ownership took over with the Sega Megadrive etc. The ST gaming thing did not last long over here, just two or three years in the late 1980s.


As someone who was on the front line of retail in the early nineties I would have to disagree with the above. You can't say the ST "gaming thing" lasted two or three years in the late eighties (UK) because it didn't. When I dipped my toes into computer retail the Amiga 500+ had been released and we sold Amigas like there was no tomorrow. Whilst our ST sales were never as good, and would continue to decline, we did shift large amounts of new releases for the ST month on month for some time.

My impression of the UK gaming market ( at the time I was in it) was that it was quite polarised. You had the console (megadrive etc) market and the computer market. I wouldn't say console ownership "took over" - far from it.


We all have our own experience of things and I just detailed mine, which was true from the life of myself living in West Yorkshire, England in their late teens along with my friends. I also base it upon all the shops and stores I frequented on a weekly basis throughout the 1980s and into the early 1990s. All the people I knew completely moved away from the ST to the Megadrive or PC. As for music production, I actually can remember one guy with an Amiga, and he was from St. Albans, just outside London. I think he used the A600 and Music X sequencer, which I bloody hated with a passion! Everyone else I knew including myself used Cubase thankfully, and prior to this we used Pro 12 and then Pro 24.

So maybe your personal experience is from a different region of the UK, where buying habits were maybe different and so on? Also maybe other parts of the country were more affluent?

#695 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:21 PM



Regarding the ST and monitor use / ownership in the UK, my experience was that everyone used them on TVs via the RF port and nearly always for gaming. The only exception to this were people with the ST set-up specifically for pro / semi-pro music production, using Cubase and a hi-res monochrome monitor. I myself fell into both categories, although most of my gaming was done on the 8-bit machines throughout the entire 1980s. The only time I ever saw an Amiga in the flesh was in the local town computer shops, as I never met a single person or friend who owned one. Most people were still happy with using 8-bit machines until the start of the 1990s, when console ownership took over with the Sega Megadrive etc. The ST gaming thing did not last long over here, just two or three years in the late 1980s.


As someone who was on the front line of retail in the early nineties I would have to disagree with the above. You can't say the ST "gaming thing" lasted two or three years in the late eighties (UK) because it didn't. When I dipped my toes into computer retail the Amiga 500+ had been released and we sold Amigas like there was no tomorrow. Whilst our ST sales were never as good, and would continue to decline, we did shift large amounts of new releases for the ST month on month for some time.

My impression of the UK gaming market ( at the time I was in it) was that it was quite polarised. You had the console (megadrive etc) market and the computer market. I wouldn't say console ownership "took over" - far from it.


We all have our own experience of things and I just detailed mine, which was true from the life of myself living in West Yorkshire, England in their late teens along with my friends. I also base it upon all the shops and stores I frequented on a weekly basis throughout the 1980s and into the early 1990s. All the people I knew completely moved away from the ST to the Megadrive or PC. As for music production, I actually can remember one guy with an Amiga, and he was from St. Albans, just outside London. I think he used the A600 and Music X sequencer, which I bloody hated with a passion! Everyone else I knew including myself used Cubase thankfully, and prior to this we used Pro 12 and then Pro 24.

So maybe your personal experience is from a different region of the UK, where buying habits were maybe different and so on? Also maybe other parts of the country were more affluent?


I was prepared to pay £15 extra for a megadrive game that was programmed properly and loaded instantly compared to badly coded crap like Afterburner/Gauntlet 2 UK on Amiga. Many people joined me.

#696 sack-c0s OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 1, 2011 5:15 AM

So maybe your personal experience is from a different region of the UK, where buying habits were maybe different and so on? Also maybe other parts of the country were more affluent?


I was a member of a local computer club in Nottingham, and around there and in the schoolyard it was pretty much pure Amiga territory. I don't think we were more affluent, just we stuck with our 8-bits for longer and moved over when the 16-bit prices equalised, so at that time the Amiga looked like the better deal (smoother looking graphics and more Amiga users to swop disks with).

There were a couple of ST owners, but they were into DTP and controlling flashing lights and similar projects from the parallel port in STOS so I wasn't really drawn to the ST because I never saw it doing the kind of things I wanted to do.

I ended up with an Acorn Archimedes anyway, getting my gaming fix on my brothers A1200

Edited by sack-c0s, Thu Dec 1, 2011 5:21 AM.


#697 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 1, 2011 8:17 PM


So maybe your personal experience is from a different region of the UK, where buying habits were maybe different and so on? Also maybe other parts of the country were more affluent?


I was a member of a local computer club in Nottingham, and around there and in the schoolyard it was pretty much pure Amiga territory. I don't think we were more affluent, just we stuck with our 8-bits for longer and moved over when the 16-bit prices equalised, so at that time the Amiga looked like the better deal (smoother looking graphics and more Amiga users to swop disks with).

There were a couple of ST owners, but they were into DTP and controlling flashing lights and similar projects from the parallel port in STOS so I wasn't really drawn to the ST because I never saw it doing the kind of things I wanted to do.

I ended up with an Acorn Archimedes anyway, getting my gaming fix on my brothers A1200


3D games on the 12mhz Acorn A3010/A3020 were very impressive. Shame F1GP was never converted, other games look about 28mhz 68020/25mhz 386 speed. A3000 was 8mhz like 1987 Mega ST style launch machines so 33% slower ie the A3000 targeted at ST/Amiga home user.

Zarch on A3010 vs VIrus on 16mhz Mega STE/A1200?.......:)

#698 DarkLord OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 1, 2011 8:55 PM

Okay, I'm a little bit confused by your post so if I misunderstood, sorry. Are you saying
the Amiga 3000 ran at 8mhz? Because I could have swore that they had 2 models, one
running at 16mhz and one running at 25mhz.

I always tend to remember that because an Amiga guy I used to know was "lording" it
over me in a conversation, because at that time the TT030 was supposed to be released
at 16mhz.

I didn't get too much flak from him when the TT was released at 32mhz. :)

#699 desiv OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Dec 1, 2011 9:45 PM

Are you saying
the Amiga 3000 ran at 8mhz? Because I could have swore that they had 2 models, one
running at 16mhz and one running at 25mhz.

The Amiga 3000 was 16mhz or 25mhz.
I think he was referring to the Acorn Archimedes 3000...

desiv

#700 oky2000 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 2, 2011 12:32 AM

Okay, I'm a little bit confused by your post so if I misunderstood, sorry. Are you saying
the Amiga 3000 ran at 8mhz? Because I could have swore that they had 2 models, one
running at 16mhz and one running at 25mhz.

I always tend to remember that because an Amiga guy I used to know was "lording" it
over me in a conversation, because at that time the TT030 was supposed to be released
at 16mhz.

I didn't get too much flak from him when the TT was released at 32mhz. :)


But the TT may have had a few extra mhz but A3000 had a 32bit version of the Amiga chipset just like the A4000/1200/CD32. It just didn't have 256/16 million colours. Also it was much much prettier than the TT which looks too boxy :)

As desiv guessed I was talking about the Acorn Archimedes range, which has so many models it is unbelievable but I believe from 1987 to after Atari was bought out by JTS. The first 3 models were sort of in the same style as the Mega ST. But after a few years Acorn launched the Archimedes A3000 all in one machine which was meant to compete with the similar form factor Atari STFM and Amiga 500 machines. Sadly it was quite expensive around £700-800 I think and died a death. This machine had an 8mhz ARM CPU which is somewhere between 16mhz/20mhz 68030 (or 020 as they are the same speed more or less).

They saw the error of their ways and around the time of the Amiga 1200 launched the Acorn A3010 for £400. It only had 1mb of RAM and no internal IDE interface for a hard disk but with a 1.44mb HD floppy and 12mhz revised ARM CPU it ran as fast as an Amiga 4000 030 25mhz and obviously has 8 channel sample based soundchip and byte per pixel lightning fast 256 colour graphics. Only 4096 colour palette though.

A3000 -
http://www.old-compu...puter.asp?c=697

A3010
http://www.old-compu...puter.asp?c=707

Nice machines that never got the software support they deserved. Why am I talking about this machine?

Well to put it it simply, Commodore went tits up because they sat on their laurels and were happy flogging the same Amiga 1000 chipset unchanged (worth mentioning) right up until 1991 with their Amiga 600 just because it was better than any ST/Mega STE etc. If they had bothered to try and compete technically with Acorn's wonder machine they would have been ready for the VGA PC fight in 93/94 rather than the pathetic mildly breathed over update that the AGA Amiga 1200 and 4000 chipset used. (try writing a 256 colour Amiga game, screen memory is handled with EIGHT BITPLANES TO MANIPULATE...slowwwwwwwww!)

And Acorn spent half a decade thinking they could sell expensive computers based on the fact all schools used their machines but when the bubble burst and schools started using Windows PCs (more relevant for work experience after all) they came up with the excellent A3010 machine BUT no software house would touch it with a barge pole as it had nothing in common with PC/Mac/ST/Amiga/SEGA/Nintendo games they were working on and with such a tiny user base and a crap load of unique coding for just the ARM based RISC machines from Acorn they did nothing (at best you got carbon copies of Amiga games except for a few small time publishers who wrote some awesome 3D polygon games).

Nobody has rescued a disk image of a flight simulator called Interdictor on Archimedes but that was like playing a flight simulator on a fast 386 VGA PC costing £1000+ on a £400 A3010.

Of course Acorn designed ARM CPU in house (because Intel wouldn't play ball and supply them with 286s in the mid 80s). Oh and ARM has been in just about everything from Gameboys to iPhones

Maybe one day I will write Archimedes Street Fighter 2 in BASIC when I'm retired just so people can see how powerful it really was for the time :)




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