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Keatah

The reason the Amiga failed.

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I'd not rate Amiga piracy much worse than the likes of C64 or ST.

Me neither.

 

 

Amiga games were generally easier to copy though - the more sophisticated FDC onboard the Amiga made duplicating most schemes much easier, IIRC the Amiga can write out an arbitrary track of data where the ST's controller reserves certain byte values which will generate Sync pulses and overall makes it less flexible.

SOME games were easy to copy. Many were nearly impossible without extra hardware BECAUSE of the better FDC in Paula. For example, Psygnosis commonly used one single huge sector per track, and wrote the track at a slower speed to make the track longer than Paula could write. This was impossible to copy without extra hardware. They also used custom sync marks that many copier programs didn't recognize, meaning they wouldn't even READ the disk much less copy it. And they also timed the sync from the index mark so that even if you could somehow write the track, if it wasn't aligned to the index mark correctly, it would fail. Then some other games also added extra copy protection to the last couple tracks that were impossible for Paula to write, period. Copy protection on Amiga games got really sophisticated very quickly.

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But in general you didn't need to be a cracker to know of the problem. You just needed to visit basically anybody with an Amiga to see his box with dozens of copied Amiga floppies, and one or two originals to mix things up.^^

i didn't say you had to be a cracker to know the problem, just that without the inside knowledge of being in the cracking scene (and you don't have to actually be a cracker to have that knowledge) there's no way to even get close to judging the scale of the problem. So all of those publisher press releases making claims about "for every one disk we sell, X are copied" are either built on what is, essentially, a guess or from information gleaned inside the cracking scene and in both cases those figures are subject to rampant hyperbole because both sides want to give outsiders the idea that the problem is bigger than it was.

 

And just knowing there's some piracy doesn't automatically extrapolate into lots of piracy amongst users or lost sales either; most pirates wouldn't have paid money for the games they were copying in the first place and a percentage of people are always going to be "data pack rats" who are more concerned with collecting and cataloging the games rather than playing them.

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Someone may show to me a System that died due to Softwarepiracy.

The shoe fits much better , if you put the front to the front ;)

The piracy made systems interesting to most customers.

I wonder what makes people think "I did something, so I have to get money for that"?

The most pirated software, you'll find on the PC, but it's still there...

 

The Android Market shows, how it works: Make a free version of your Software. Ask people for paying content or even for a "sponsoring" , if they like it... : It's the youngest Market, and It's the biggest Market on Mobiles.

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When I got my A8, pirating was average, when I received my C64, wow, all the sudden I was offered disc loads of cracked software. Those guys had disc cases full of copied software, I didn't need to buy any new software, all my money went on buying floppies. (Well, still collected original softs for C64 nevertheless)

I was a member of ICPUG (UK), stands for Independent Pet Users Group and one of the top C64 user groups in UK during the 80s, copied discs were distributed shitload.

 

ZX users in UK were the worst, copying was like sky high, those kids copied 1 original game for the whole school. But it never hurt companies like Ocean, Domark or Elite. Software for ZX just kept on coming.

Edited by high voltage
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Another point , why the Amiga lost ground, was the lose conception at Big C later on..... While the "cheap" ST had a relatively long livespan, the Amiga had to "grow" faster.

That's why an Amiga 2000 HD was obsolete and overtakten by the A3000 very early... and because the "new Hardware" was faster, people wrote "faster" software.

An example is "Wolfenstein". While it runs on a standard ST with 2MB of RAM, it has been said, the ECS Amiga Chipset is too slow to handle the "3d" graphics.

But it has shown that the Chipset itself is fast enough, even when using the extra bitplane for Halfbright. It's "for now" limited to faster CPUs.

Sorry, but how could a single CPU with just 8MHz be faster than a 7.2MHz clocked one, with an additional "screen filler" ?

Also , a standard "Amiga 2000" could handle 5MB . 1MB Chip-RAM and 4 MB fast RAM. Run the game in the Fast RAM and have the Screen and Sound separated running. The Amiga could do Sound , Graphics and Calculations at the same time, while the ST had to do one after the other.

 

So, instead of serving the AMIGA OCS/ECS longer, the customers were badly treated to have old hardware by the company itself. So you bought a "new" A 2000 and got Software that only ran on Kick OS 2 ... Games quickly used AGA and didn't run properly on ECS...

 

So, If you want to put your customers in a state of "not with me again" , ask the people at Commodore , after 1989...

Edited by emkay

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The Amiga failed in the US because of the same reasons it succeeded in Europe. We had a massive crack, demo, shareware and homebrew scene. We already had the revolution of the 8 bit home computers you never really had. While the USA had the big expensive XT clones we all had cheap Sinclairs and the like. There where no big boys in the European market to compete with the multitude of the home computers we had to choose from so they had more room.

 

The Amiga did well because it was well supported here, same for the Atari ST. It was just that time the Falcon 030 the Atari was dead, Commodore was in meltdown and the home computer users started moving over to x86 machines. Then the big PC titles started to come over the Atlantic. The 3D accelerator really i think that was the final nail in the coffin for home computers in Europe, none of the computers could do what the 3dfx and early video cards could do. There wasn't any point in having custom fixed hardware machines anymore. People where moving away from buying computers for kids as gaming machines too.

Edited by KieranD212
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The Amiga failed in the US because of the same reasons it succeeded in Europe. We had a massive crack, demo, shareware and homebrew scene. We already had the revolution of the 8 bit home computers you never really had. While the USA had the big expensive XT clones we all had cheap Sinclairs and the like. There where no big boys in the European market to compete with the multitude of the home computers we had to choose from so they had more room.

 

The Amiga didn't really fail in the US, at least up to the AGA releases. It was really the only significant mainstream alternative to PC DOS machines left for several years in the latter part of the 80s and the retail support reflected that. The failure really happened once VGA/SoundBlaster machines took hold and few here transitioned to AGA machines, which offered no obvious advantages, and in fact were arguably inferior in many ways.

 

As for the price of PC DOS clone machines, by the latter part of the 80s, they were solid values. It was really only in the early days, from 1981 to the mid-80s that PC DOS-based machines were genuinely high priced and more targeted to business use.

 

I also disagree with your 8-bit assessment. The market just moved quicker here in the US, with our "revolution" happening much sooner (thanks to originating here) and our transitions to newer technology facing less resistance. As was stated previously, the market here tolerated higher priced options far more than the budget-conscious European market, e.g., there was no market for cassette software past 1983 and higher priced 8-bits like the Apple II and Atari 800 enjoyed more success (and again, originating from companies here, which obviously helped conversely with British companies in the UK and Japanese companies in Japan). There was also no market here for ultra-cheap, audio-visually weak computers with poor keyboards past 1983, when that segment collapsed here in favor of the unbeatable price/performance ratio of the Commodore 64. With essentially a three horse race between the Commodore 64, Apple II, and Atari 8-bit series (with a niche system like the Tandy CoCo, rounding out the remaining sustainable option), there was more opportunity for higher priced, generally more powerful systems, like PC DOS clones, Macintosh, Atari ST, and Amiga to stake their claims once the 8-bit stuff started to show its age.

 

The fact remains that the world went to PCs running Windows, which remains the dominant computer platform to this day, so even though there were market differences in different territories, those differences only remained for effectively a few extra years, regardless of territory, in the end, before homogenization. Even today's high percentage "alternatives," like the Macintosh, and lower, but notable percentage, Linux-based computers, all run on the same base hardware. With that said, we at least have Android and iOS, as alternatives, even though the form factors may not always be quite so traditional. That's at least something to hang our hats on for those of us who enjoyed at least some of the aspects of the "wild west" of computing in the late 70s to mid-80s and the incredible range of choices.

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Goes against my grain, yes.

Like the PC would have been a wondermachine, it's in fact a rotten lathecontroller designed 1949!

and the same rotten old larthe controller is still sold as if it would be a optimum, but he's old grey and tattery!

And to me the reason is only one busyness and industry depended on a overaged technology, that is linked all together.

Saler propageated the lathe controller ven when there was NO software available (not only the less good, simply no).

Mr. Gates also only made "the deal" with the dinosaur IBM, because he knew MSbasic will be on every desktop with it, not because it was a advanced technology.

Busyness my friend the greed of vampires was it which broke the amiga the neck.

The processor is far more reliable and in communication satellites which can't be serviced so easy use a M68k, certyinly no rotten lathe controller which fails often by the slightest influence of temperature or em fields.

You baught for $3000 a empty machine, it had no soundboard, no special graphic card, nothing in the end a pc has cost you $5000.- with all what's needed to use it real.

And there was little to use on it, especially not games, but even of your praised applications i didn't rember many from these days.

Apart from that, typical MS/IBM boasting, a 256 color UI but it can't run a shit, the 386 was outlasted with displaying windows in 256 colors, you could hardly start a write program, there was no power left.

 

But it was a eyecatcher and that's typically for those who sell something cheap in a nice box!

Looks fantastic from the outside, rotten inside.

 

Every "john & henry" said only a PC is a computer, yeah one from1949!

And still we have to hassle with a locked up machine if the lowlevelled drive reports a IO error.

 

He has to be feed like a baby with predegisted food, everything portioned exactly right or that baby starts to caugh and is in danger to be choked.

 

1949

 

that's all i say.

 

I feel it's absolutely poor an what sort of machines we work

and you will see we reached a limit with the lathe controller.

Freuquency wont' bring anymore power, we reached this level and multicore neither brings this amount of power we will need.

because it's still the rotten lathe controller, with all of his leaks.

 

The Amiga was good my friend, no he was better as any PC i remember, because you could do nothing with a PC in 1990, who cares about a 2plane workbench, the applications need the power not the OS.

 

That you can roast fried eggs on it is only one drawback of many.

 

Besides yes that eyecatcher is more important to MS as real advance.

you can see it with that aero stuff, it only hinders other applications, it looks good but it's worth a shit.

And that's just one example of not really needed but very attractive looking things whith wich MS use(d) to catch customers.

Windows is a tohouwabohou, a chaos and we just need new OS's because it locks itself up after a while, still.

 

and one simple comparison,

 

If the lathe controller would be that good why each and every coin-op used a m68k?

Because it offered more power and foremost it's stable and power failure resitant.

With lathe controllers the service tecnician could have started to live in a arcade hall.

I guess he wouldn't have had enough hands to fix all the steady broken machines.

 

---

 

One thing for sure, Games are since computer games exist the application which outlast a computer most, or at least most in all what he can offer.

to render something needs certainly a lot of processing time, but a game combines all that with sound and the running game.

 

But my friend compare the sloppy PC games pleas, or pleas do not, you had due to the similar technology on a shitty a500 games in arcade quality.

while games for the PC was still "bleep bleep", if you found one at all!

He showed his clumsyness well when the time was to comparison a a500 to a Pc.

Not able to run a game from the destop.

Even for DOS games you had to mobilize the last bit you could get from it.

Game looked sloppy and was half as good in graphics or animation as amiga releases

I played not to long ago several PC SimCity releases, i own a classic since it was released, but sorry the amiga release is far better.

Same for RRTycoon and other classics from these days.

 

Not only that the games looked better, if you would play it on a true machine, something which would have been affordable back in 1990

(not what you get today for it, today you can order something in the web, we couldn't! either it was available in a store which was in reach or not).

Then you would see, the games weaker as the amiga releases even run less good on a lathe controller (or do you prefer wovel machines controller?)

 

There was a reason why i could emulate a Pc on my A2000, for Pc's in these days it was not think about to emulate a M68k

 

And certainly if you like to compare then compare them to the desktop machines A1000, A2000, maybe even the little to late A4000.

Still it was running for a long time right beside my 500MHz Pc (~'98).

 

No they wasn't good - they was ahead!.

Edited by Gernot

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Personally, I think the real reason the Amiga "failed" is because Keatah made Amiga voodoo dolls and did evil things to them.
:)

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Sorry fro my rant,

 

But whatsoever the A500 was a sort of gaming console with a floppy drive instead a cartridge slot.

He could offer more i know, it was in service in a copyshop in zurich when i already owned a pc since long because the marked had moved.

Not only for gaming, it was a working horse, the plastic shell is deceptive.

 

But yeah, it was in use by my children and they hammered and hacked on that miggy, it's reliable and simple to use.

Switch on to start, put floppy in, tired of gaming, switch off, never had to care, never had to tell the children "take care don't do this or that".

 

Old computers did better!

 

A school buddy of mine visited me often (less since i was married and since then we lost somewhat contact) to play with me some games.

But he didn't wanted to play on my Pc (he owned himself one, but used it rarely for gaming), he came to play on the miggy.

What it leaks of and this has nothing to do with technology, are "party games", something you can play together on one screen.

 

Consoles covered this segment far better and also the miggy which i really see as the gaming console when the console market was broken resp. it was the reason why the console market broke in.

Certainly affordable machines as a C64 or the Z80 are responsible as well, but still it was a little to complicated to use them for a avarage gamer, the miggy fulfilled their longings.

Never bought me a C64, Z80 or similar, it was not suitable for what i liked to use a computer, mainly for gaming.

Preferred the consoles for long and was hooked to my Inty, even when obsolate.

But the miggy was different, you need to know nthing about computers, it's as easy to play a game with as witha console.

My son never liked playing on a computer to much, he always said "to clumsy, to complicated to run a game. i have to install it first? c'mon, i just put a blue-ray in my ps3".

And yep consoles have their advantages, it's a specialist and a specialist does in his specific topic a better job, always.

Everything is designed for gaming.

 

While a PC probably still might control a lathe for real, seriously.

 

Erm yes, a little note, i feeded my A2000 once with orange juice, it didn't harmed it.

 

I guess such won't do my Pc very good.

Edited by Gernot

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Sorry fro my rant,

 

But whatsoever the A500 was a sort of gaming console with a floppy drive instead a cartridge slot.

He could offer more i know, it was in service in a copyshop in zurich when i already owned a pc since long because the marked had moved.

Not only for gaming, it was a working horse, the plastic shell is deceptive.

 

But yeah, it was in use by my children and they hammered and hacked on that miggy, it's reliable and simple to use.

Switch on to start, put floppy in, tired of gaming, switch off, never had to care, never had to tell the children "take care don't do this or that".

 

Old computers did better!

 

While I loved my Amiga 500, it was (and is) unstable at times. I got quite a few Guru meditation errors for one reason or another. It was particularly bad with the word processors I was using on the thing. Say what you want about modern computers and operating systems, but my present PCs (running Windows 7 and 8) are super reliable in that regard, with far more uptime and far fewer crashes.

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While I loved my Amiga 500, it was (and is) unstable at times. I got quite a few Guru meditation errors for one reason or another. It was particularly bad with the word processors I was using on the thing. Say what you want about modern computers and operating systems, but my present PCs (running Windows 7 and 8) are super reliable in that regard, with far more uptime and far fewer crashes.

Amiga was 20 years ahead of a PC in some cases. But Processors got better features later. Protected Mode, Data Execution Prevention... and other optimisations make a PC of Today 100% stable. If the PC crashes , something is wrong, just like a defective hardware or a faulty device driver. The last real crashes by the OS, I had with Windows XP .... pre 2007.

The Amiga's multitasking worked perfectly, but if software wasn't written by taking care of the programming rules for Multitasking, you had the problem of cross usage of memory with different tasks. Some Demos were able to run on the Workbench and you could write a Letter in a Word Processor and print... I used "Documentum" in that time.

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Amiga was 20 years ahead of a PC in some cases. But Processors got better features later. Protected Mode, Data Execution Prevention... and other optimisations make a PC of Today 100% stable. If the PC crashes , something is wrong, just like a defective hardware or a faulty device driver. The last real crashes by the OS, I had with Windows XP .... pre 2007.

The Amiga's multitasking worked perfectly, but if software wasn't written by taking care of the programming rules for Multitasking, you had the problem of cross usage of memory with different tasks. Some Demos were able to run on the Workbench and you could write a Letter in a Word Processor and print... I used "Documentum" in that time.

I agree. The PC has come a long way.

 

And I think that's one thing that's pretty brutal about a lot of the comparisons that I hear between the Amiga and PCs. Many people like to use modern PCs for comparison. However, the people who designed the Amiga wanted memory protection (and also wanted higher-color modes from the beginning). Back then, cost and technology just didn't allow for it. I'm sure that if the Amiga had the same amount of money and time put into it over the years it would be quite the beast today.

 

Hence the importance of comparing the machines of the time.

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I don't think anyone is comparing an Amiga to a modern PC. I certainly wasn't. I was merely making the point that while I had, loved, and still have and love many an Amiga, it suffered from the same type of instability as any other machine of its era. This was in response to Gernot's comment that "Old computers did better!". Taking away the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia where we tend to emphasize the positive and minimize the negative, I can recall many instances, Amiga included, where no, the old computers didn't do it better and in fact were far worse, and was pointing to the issue of stability or the lack thereof as just one example in that regard. Conversely, I can of course list ways in which classic computers were better than what we have today, but I'd never do so without the balance of the negatives.

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My Amiga crashed about as often as Windows XP. Certainly more often than linux or Windows Vista/7/8. You just can't compare any old OS to brand new ones. Then again, try running a new OS in 256 KBytes of ram. :D

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The Amiga failed due to the misleaded development.

 

 

Do you realize how long it took to have something that looks like Wolf 3D on an OCS/ECS AMIGA?

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The Amiga failed due to the misleaded development.

 

 

Do you realize how long it took to have something that looks like Wolf 3D on an OCS/ECS AMIGA?

Amazing how exploiting a built-in feature of VGA cards could lead to the downfall of platforms that didn't include that same inexpensive piece of hardware. Certainly a case of "killer app kills the competition".

 

I found the whole thing kind of ridiculous, since I was one of the few people who actually didn't like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, or any of its relatives (except maybe a passing interest in Rise of the Triad.

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Amazing how exploiting a built-in feature of VGA cards could lead to the downfall of platforms that didn't include that same inexpensive piece of hardware. Certainly a case of "killer app kills the competition".

 

I found the whole thing kind of ridiculous, since I was one of the few people who actually didn't like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, or any of its relatives (except maybe a passing interest in Rise of the Triad.

Not sure, what you're writing about. But Wolf 3D was sheer CPU Power with some VGA addons. Even on a 386 you had to reduce the window size to have the game playable. If you had a 486/33 CPU, the game ran fluently everytime. And, as you see , the "A500" could have done this game, using the Blitter and the hardware digitizer "Paula" without slowdowns, as a PC had to put it all over the slow ISA Bus, sharing graphics and sound data...

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Not sure, what you're writing about. But Wolf 3D was sheer CPU Power with some VGA addons. Even on a 386 you had to reduce the window size to have the game playable. If you had a 486/33 CPU, the game ran fluently everytime. And, as you see , the "A500" could have done this game, using the Blitter and the hardware digitizer "Paula" without slowdowns, as a PC had to put it all over the slow ISA Bus, sharing graphics and sound data...

Well, I had a PC and Amiga sitting side-by-side back when Wolf 3D came out (and I was configuring and doing tech support on PCs also at that time). To my knowledge, VGA was naturally suited to chunky pixel scaling and the Amiga architecture was not. Hence the Akiko chip being added to the CD32.

 

I've since seen the Atari Falcon succeed in this area (of course, it also has an impressive DSP in it).

 

So far I've yet to see even an Amiga 4000 run the equivalent of Wolf 3D or Doom in full-screen mode. If you have a link to a video or even a file that I can run on my A4000/040 that can do this full-screen, then by all means include it here so that I can see it for myself.

 

And yes, I've heard about what you're referring to:

http://www.pouet.net/topic.php?which=33&page=4

But I've yet to see it actually doing what it's claimed to do.

 

And I might as well include a link re. VGA as well:

http://www.phatcode.net/res/224/files/html/ch27/27-02.html

 

 

I should also mention that the Wildcat demo suggests that at least it's partially possible on an A500 and perhaps a real Doom clone is possible on an A4000/040 (complete with creatures running around in the mazes). Again, if it exists, I'd be happy to take a look at it.

Edited by Nebulon

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Well, I had a PC and Amiga sitting side-by-side back when Wolf 3D came out (and I was configuring and doing tech support on PCs also at that time). To my knowledge, VGA was naturally suited to chunky pixel scaling and the Amiga architecture was not. Hence the Akiko chip being added to the CD32.

And what is it, what the Blitter can do? It can do the following: using a selected pixel and put it at a defined size on the screen. No waitstates as on the PC. The real problem of the AMIGA was the hardwareupgrades which makes even slower programs faster, instead of trying to convince coders to adjust the coding to the AMIGA's features...

Yeah... the AMIGA only had 7.19MHz available , but it's more capable of projecting 3D as on a PC with a 386 processor.

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I read CGW in the 80s and I always wondered why, in the USA, the PC took off instead on ST/Amiga.

I mean, PC....8-bit, no graphics, no color, no sound, no joystick ports, no TV screen support.

We put the disk into the Amiga, turn it on and the game was running. Great 16 bit graphics gameplay, stereo sound, joystick, etc.....

 

My wife always said the USA is behind the rest of the world......

 

 

Of course, little did we know that 'the rest of the world' would catch up with the USA and PC gaming by the early/mid 90s.

Edited by high voltage

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Next time, avoid all the drama by not putting assumptions into the question. Maybe "Did Amiga fail? If so, why?" and leave it open for others to tell their story.

 

I was never interested in Amiga because I didn't know anyone outside a TV studio who used one. But that's because of where and when I grew up. I didn't know anyone with a Sinclair Spectrum either. Yet both of these things are HUGE in the European retro gaming scene, and it's difficult for us outsiders to get into them after so much time has passed.

 

The reason the Amiga failed was because ...

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