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What would U have done to make the Amiga succeed better?

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yes the economies of scale in the PC world really drove down the prices, while no such economies of scale existed in the Amiga/ST world. They were cheaper in the beginning, but at some point it flipped and PC parts became much cheaper on a price/performance basis.

 

I'm not clear on when that happened, and it wasn't likely a day/night difference but, instead, rather gradual. I would guess it happened at the beginning of the 386 epoch and went through the 1st 2 Pentium iterations, the 60 & 66 MHz versions. I'd say it was complete by the time the Pentium 90 hit the scene.

 

 

 

I seriously doubt Commodore could have done anything to save the Amiga. The sound and graphics were great for the time, but it was really a games machine made into a computer and not a computer that happened to be good at games. The main computer market simply was not looking for what Amiga was offering.

 

In contrast, the PC sucked at games until the 386 hit the scene. The first Gamers were all over the 386-40 from AMD. And it had a good price. Mainstream PC gaming hit its stride with the 486 DX2/66.

 

 

They might have been able to give Amiga a chance had they released the 3000 earlier with some better stuff. It should have had networking built in and a better graphics card that could run in high resolution without flickering. Can you imagine staring at an Amiga for 8 hours while trying to do actual work on it? I know there were workarounds some of this stuff, but they were workarounds.

 

I could not, and I learned very quickly I needed something more serious and ergonomic. It wasn't just the screen and flickering and unoptimized fonts that bothered me. But, more the snappy-ness and crispness of the machine overall. Maybe an accelerator would have helped somewhat. But then again.. addon parts.. So that negated any cost advantage. It was a wash.

 

By that time I was discovering the 386 and 486 machines had umpteen thousand graphics cards and sure one of them would meet my needs and budget. And yes budget was important to a student at the time.

 

I was also quite pleased Windows 3.1 had direct support for my soon-to-be-vintage printer. And that was a money saver too. I was was also surprised with the warm fuzzy feeling in that situation. My old printer. Yeah! That would last up to about 2013 - at which time backward compatibility was being purposely soured to feed the industry some extra profit via a round of forced upgrades.

 

 

 

 

I don't think there were any token ring cards for it, though that is probably IBM's fault. There was also do DLC or terminal emulation packages available for it. I'm not sure if there was a Netware Requester or how well it worked if there was.

 

My first experience with modem speeds beyond 1200 baud happened on the Amiga. It wasn't bad. But there were a lot of technical changes and differences compared to the older and comfortable Apple II way of things. Sure the Amiga was more capable as a terminal but I never felt that sophistication. Everything still somehow felt like patchwork. And the terminal packages I had were mostly freeware and I often used 2 or 3 of them to do what I was previously doing with 1 on the Apple II.

 

In fact, with the Apple II I only ever used either ASCII Express or ProTerm. Sure I briefly experimented around with 25 others, but that was just to experiment. Of course to be fair to the Amiga, the Amiga supported color text and seemingly more symbols and all that. It was also the time I was transitioning into a Hayes AT modem - which felt less integrated than say the Apple-Cat II or Hayes MicroModem II. Ohh well, 6 of this, half-dozen of the other. I had already left the BBS scene in earnest sometime in 1990, farting around here and there only. The internet and AOL would explode soon enough.

 

 

In short, the Amiga wasn't really answering any problems the market had. By the time the 3000 came out, Windows 3 was out and VGA machines were common and there were cards for everything and lots of support. You could get full time on site service with parts guarantees from any number of vendors and service companies to manage your PCs by this time. There was nothing even remotely similar for Amiga.

 

As a basic student/consumer/hobbyist type of user I did appreciate the HUGE variety of dealers like Comp-USA, Computer City, Best Buy, EggHead, and more! I swear there were like 10 computer shops within bike riding distance. Perhaps 20 or more by car and on my route to school and work. So there was never ever a lack of parts and support.

 

Take Comp-USA or any other large store for example. They had a wall of graphics cards and monitors going! They had forklifts moving skids of pre-packaged take-home-today turnkey systems around! A complete double-sided aisle of hard disks! Racks and racks of software. Practically any technical component you could imagine could be had. It was literally a warehouse and showroom combo, with the warehouse spilling INTO the showroom!

 

This lasted to about 2009-2011 depending where you lived. After that they started dropping like flies. Today I have exactly 2 computer stores (if you can call them that) within a 45-minute car ride. They mostly sell tablets and phones and some laptops. The ONLY accessories regularly stocked are 20 colors of the same smartphone case, some USB cables, memory cards, and the ever present and requisite rack of earbuds! All of which are overpriced cheap china shit. There's not a place within 100 miles of where I live where I can get a PCIE-E wireless card! Let alone a SATA cable or god forbid, an IDE cable. I swear!!

 

And the so-called "techs" at BestBuy don't even know what a Wi-Fi card is!?!?! C'mon C'mon surely you know what a Wi-Fi card is? It plugs into a slot on the motherboard, has a silver bracket and an antenna that sticks out the back. Blank stare. They're that dumb. At least the three that I talked to.

 

 

In my mind, the Amiga is what it is. I don't expect it to be a huge business machine. Design and entertainment on the other hand...

 

I expected it to be good at business. What with the prowess of the blitter and versatile graphics. If it could handle games, which I learned early on were pretty demanding, it could handle some dumb-ass boring business shit. Boy was I wrong! I suppose I have marketing and too-assertive salespeople to thank for that.

 

As I was still a kid, or still had the mentality of a kid, back then, I didn't see all the virtues and practicality of the PC till actually got into it in the early 1990's.

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I'm not clear on when that happened, and it wasn't likely a day/night difference but, instead, rather gradual. I would guess it happened at the beginning of the 386 epoch and went through the 1st 2 Pentium iterations, the 60 & 66 MHz versions. I'd say it was complete by the time the Pentium 90 hit the scene.

I'd say 1990-91ish, give or take a year or two.

 

It hit home when I was looking for more storage, and I'd see that a PC could simply add a cheap IDE card and cheap IDE drive, and for my ST, I needed a pricey ACSI<->SCSI converter and a more expensive SCSI drive + expensive (at the time) enclosure, expensive custom cables, etc. Similar stories with modems and graphics cards Atari was no longer Power without the Price

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The more history I watch about the Amiga the more I realize just how much custom chipsets held the system back. CC essentially made it impossible to upgrade anything without major redesign - which cost money. Nothing was scalable piecemeal.

 

When I was a kid I always thought CC were the end all be all. After all, the VCS, C64, 400/800 had them and they kicked the Apple II's ass in gaming graphics. And I always thought it was dumb that business software never made use of them. I was greener than the front lawn in a thunderstorm!

 

So what gave the Amiga an initial wow factor was the same thing that limited its growth. At one time the Amiga was 4-5 years behind those "boat anchor" PCs! IMHO, anything after the 2000 was little more than putzing around.

 

I think you hit the nail on the head. These were all video game machines with a keyboard. The 8 bits were really only useful as computers if you were a scientist or wanted to learn programming. The 16 bit machines were a little better, but were still essentially video game machines with keyboards and some ports. Worst of all, the market simply wasn't asking for such a machine. They (16 bit era) were too expensive to be video games and made poor computers. Even the form factor was bad (though the 2000 and 3000 lines were better), particularly for an office.

 

They were way too expensive for K-Mart. Tramiel was nuts in thinking he was going to get a lot of discount department store space dedicated to an ST. There is an episode of The Computer Chronicles were he is talking about distributing through K-Mart and Toys R Us, all while not providing toll free (or really ANY) support to end users. He was delusional. At a minimum, they should have heavily supported the users groups that popped up. Or they could have set up a BBS using the Compuserve network so people could at least not have to dial a long distance telephone number and access a message system and FAQs, troubleshooting tools etc.

 

Lots of people have brought up how the architecture locked them into the past. It worked OK in the beginning, but as the main chips got faster, the legacy custom chips were killing them.

 

I recently watched a "video magazine" that was made around 1987 and the entire thing was filled with complaints about Commodore and especially their lack of support, even to important developers. People were complaining of being hung up on after 45 minutes of long-distance hold and Commodore executives, engineers and other people just failing the external development people. Commodore, assuming they could have lasted a few extra years, should have been courting these people and treating them as the very valuable people they were and not like troublesome flies.

 

Though I don't think Commodore could have saved the Amiga under any circumstances, or Atari with the ST, but it seems like they worked very hard at alienating their customers and their most loyal supporters.

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I'm not clear on when that happened, and it wasn't likely a day/night difference but, instead, rather gradual. I would guess it happened at the beginning of the 386 epoch and went through the 1st 2 Pentium iterations, the 60 & 66 MHz versions. I'd say it was complete by the time the Pentium 90 hit the scene.

 

 

 

In contrast, the PC sucked at games until the 386 hit the scene. The first Gamers were all over the 386-40 from AMD. And it had a good price. Mainstream PC gaming hit its stride with the 486 DX2/66.

 

 

 

I could not, and I learned very quickly I needed something more serious and ergonomic. It wasn't just the screen and flickering and unoptimized fonts that bothered me. But, more the snappy-ness and crispness of the machine overall. Maybe an accelerator would have helped somewhat. But then again.. addon parts.. So that negated any cost advantage. It was a wash.

 

By that time I was discovering the 386 and 486 machines had umpteen thousand graphics cards and sure one of them would meet my needs and budget. And yes budget was important to a student at the time.

 

I was also quite pleased Windows 3.1 had direct support for my soon-to-be-vintage printer. And that was a money saver too. I was was also surprised with the warm fuzzy feeling in that situation. My old printer. Yeah! That would last up to about 2013 - at which time backward compatibility was being purposely soured to feed the industry some extra profit via a round of forced upgrades.

 

 

 

 

 

My first experience with modem speeds beyond 1200 baud happened on the Amiga. It wasn't bad. But there were a lot of technical changes and differences compared to the older and comfortable Apple II way of things. Sure the Amiga was more capable as a terminal but I never felt that sophistication. Everything still somehow felt like patchwork. And the terminal packages I had were mostly freeware and I often used 2 or 3 of them to do what I was previously doing with 1 on the Apple II.

 

In fact, with the Apple II I only ever used either ASCII Express or ProTerm. Sure I briefly experimented around with 25 others, but that was just to experiment. Of course to be fair to the Amiga, the Amiga supported color text and seemingly more symbols and all that. It was also the time I was transitioning into a Hayes AT modem - which felt less integrated than say the Apple-Cat II or Hayes MicroModem II. Ohh well, 6 of this, half-dozen of the other. I had already left the BBS scene in earnest sometime in 1990, farting around here and there only. The internet and AOL would explode soon enough.

 

 

 

As a basic student/consumer/hobbyist type of user I did appreciate the HUGE variety of dealers like Comp-USA, Computer City, Best Buy, EggHead, and more! I swear there were like 10 computer shops within bike riding distance. Perhaps 20 or more by car and on my route to school and work. So there was never ever a lack of parts and support.

 

Take Comp-USA or any other large store for example. They had a wall of graphics cards and monitors going! They had forklifts moving skids of pre-packaged take-home-today turnkey systems around! A complete double-sided aisle of hard disks! Racks and racks of software. Practically any technical component you could imagine could be had. It was literally a warehouse and showroom combo, with the warehouse spilling INTO the showroom!

 

This lasted to about 2009-2011 depending where you lived. After that they started dropping like flies. Today I have exactly 2 computer stores (if you can call them that) within a 45-minute car ride. They mostly sell tablets and phones and some laptops. The ONLY accessories regularly stocked are 20 colors of the same smartphone case, some USB cables, memory cards, and the ever present and requisite rack of earbuds! All of which are overpriced cheap china shit. There's not a place within 100 miles of where I live where I can get a PCIE-E wireless card! Let alone a SATA cable or god forbid, an IDE cable. I swear!!

 

And the so-called "techs" at BestBuy don't even know what a Wi-Fi card is!?!?! C'mon C'mon surely you know what a Wi-Fi card is? It plugs into a slot on the motherboard, has a silver bracket and an antenna that sticks out the back. Blank stare. They're that dumb. At least the three that I talked to.

 

 

 

I expected it to be good at business. What with the prowess of the blitter and versatile graphics. If it could handle games, which I learned early on were pretty demanding, it could handle some dumb-ass boring business shit. Boy was I wrong! I suppose I have marketing and too-assertive salespeople to thank for that.

 

As I was still a kid, or still had the mentality of a kid, back then, I didn't see all the virtues and practicality of the PC till actually got into it in the early 1990's.

 

This is a little different than what I was talking about. Being able to emulate an IBM terminal on a Token Ring network was a big deal in the late 80s and early 90s and the Amiga couldn't do it. Even small companies would often have at least 1 PC with an terminal emulator card in it. The ability to network was very important too. OS/2 was absolutely awesome in this regard. There were a few years where it looked like OS/2 was going to crush Microsoft in the large corporate world. IBM sold some pretty amazing stuff for dealing with a large environment with a mainframe and all the legacy stuff that went with it, like Token Ring networking and the ability to treat your local printer AS IF it were a mainframe printer. Later on, especially with Windows NT 3 and 4, you could do most of it with MS, though there were specialized stuff I've never seen again to this day.

 

As for support, I meant professional on-site support. In the mid 90s I was managing a tax server farm at one of the big 6 accounting firms and they were using these old 386/25M Compaq computers. There were literally over a 1000 of them. All had a 3c509c Ethernet cards with 10baset and 10base2 connectors on them. There were also hundreds of various laptops ranging from old Toshiba plug-in laptops to the latest Compaq laptops. We had a company called Decision One on-site every day to handle repairs. Since it was important for all of the destops to match, we had a contract (this was very common) that they had to carry genuine replacement parts for those machines, plus the laptops, even if they were discontinued. They stocked all kinds of obsolete parts. We did software support in house, but that hardware support is what made it all possible.

 

But I would certainly agree that the consumer support both at retail or any kind of technical support was completely lacking for Amiga. It was a shorter drive for me to drive to the Commodore headquarters than to the nearest store that sold Amiga stuff! You would think the greater Philadelphia area would have stores selling Commodore stuff, but you'd be wrong.

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As far as productivity goes.. I did some semi-useful things on the Apple II, telecom & bbs'ing, word processing, and that was about it for any time-saving practicality. Printshop banners - that was a great hit with classmates and neighbors. And it was light work at best. No Hugo winning novels or anything like that. 20 or 40 page material. No multi-million dollar inventory databases.!

 

I recall a lot of the advertising for the early 8-bit machines. I was "confused" as all hell how anything seriously productive could be done. The storage quantity and speed just wasn't there. And it ALWAYS seemed like more work to use the computer, to get the data into and out of it, than it did to use traditional methods in place at the time. Think CHECKBOOK BALANCING or DIETARY TRACKING, or CATALOGGING VIDEOGAMES even. Advertising was "advertising the future" and what they wanted you to use a computer for. But the 8-bit hardware simply wasn't capable enough to make it practical and seamless.

 

Thankfully I didn't pay too much attention to that.

 

---

 

I wanted an SCSI config for my 1st PC, but it was still too expensive, fast interface cards were still running over $300-$400! Whereas IDE seemed "free" with interfaces on the mobo or cheapo generic multifunction I/O boards.

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As far as productivity goes.. I did some semi-useful things on the Apple II, telecom & bbs'ing, word processing, and that was about it for any time-saving practicality. Printshop banners - that was a great hit with classmates and neighbors. And it was light work at best. No Hugo winning novels or anything like that. 20 or 40 page material. No multi-million dollar inventory databases.!

 

I recall a lot of the advertising for the early 8-bit machines. I was "confused" as all hell how anything seriously productive could be done. The storage quantity and speed just wasn't there. And it ALWAYS seemed like more work to use the computer, to get the data into and out of it, than it did to use traditional methods in place at the time. Think CHECKBOOK BALANCING or DIETARY TRACKING, or CATALOGGING VIDEOGAMES even. Advertising was "advertising the future" and what they wanted you to use a computer for. But the 8-bit hardware simply wasn't capable enough to make it practical and seamless.

 

Thankfully I didn't pay too much attention to that.

 

---

 

I wanted an SCSI config for my 1st PC, but it was still too expensive, fast interface cards were still running over $300-$400! Whereas IDE seemed "free" with interfaces on the mobo or cheapo generic multifunction I/O boards.

 

In some cases the 8 bits were a godsend. They just weren't particularly useful productivity machines except in certain circumstances. But I would say the Apple II was the exception. You could actually do real work on an Apple II because it was expandable and the disk drives were fast and well made and you could even do 80 columns or add a hard drive. They were used a lot for small businesses and some of them held out a while just do to the fact that what they had worked and upgrading was so expensive and time consuming. I wonder how much they ended up dumping into these machines between the upgraded ram, new monitor and an 80 column adapter. It's not like Apple IIs were cheap.

 

I agree they were mostly hype. OTOH, I think they did pique people's interest in computers and programming. If not for the internet and phones, computers would probably still be somewhat of a curiosity for most people not using them at work. After-all, what's online banking compared to being part of a Twitter mob!

 

I have heard about some pretty interesting uses of Commodore 64 for things as diverse as music and property management. I remember reading about a fire station that had to finally get rid of their C64, which was controlling a bunch of stuff in the fire station because of Y2K :) Ain't that some shit!

 

I don't recall IDE being included on most MBs before around the Pentium 2. I have a bunch of old motherboards and none of them older than a Pentium has an onboard disk controller. Even the ones that did, they were effectively still on the bus (and with a dedicated chip) in the same way an integrated video card was still technically on the ISA bus and not integrated into the chipset.

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I recall my first database program PFS. Circa 1978 or 1980. I used it to catalog and organize all my Apple II software. At least that was the plan. I had the form all designed and everything. It included fields like Entry Number, Name, Author, Date, Size, Number of sides, Shelf location, Original/Copy, Single file or Full disk or Multiple files, Integer or Applesoft or Binary, and likely yet even more fields.

 

It was my intent to do my entire library of like 1200 (and growing) disks!! I started out good and got as far as about 400 entries when the disk access became terribly slow, nearly a minute to search on any field other than Entry Number. I gave up in despair and didn't do databases again ever. Not in any meaningful capacity.

 

My early teen self eventually figured it out. The first field in a form was the master index designed for fast searching. And it was listed as such in the manual, but as a kid I never read it until I needed it. Too much other stuff to do like play in the mud or get into trouble with the police.

 

---

 

Anyhow, some years later in the 286 era I got a hold of Alpha 4. That running on an early 8 or 12Mhz machine in conjunction with a hard disk was much faster. And in the 486 era it was almost instantaneous.

 

But, my first experience with databases seemed to have soured me forever on creating and organizing lists and such things. And despite Alpha 4's capability and everything I was not about to sit and catalog my stash which had grown to nearly 3000 disks.

 

It wouldn't be till several decades later that I would come reasonably close to the type of database with the kind searchability & accessibility I dreamed about as a kid. It takes the form of "internet archive" + Asimov FTP + my own personal collection.

 

Those sources - with a set of Apple II native tools and PC-based tools set up in a nice (almost menu-ish) form allows me to find nearly anything instantly. This faux "database" allows for searching descriptions, scanning for strings in images and in their filenames, and so much more.

 

Instead of designing a form and entering data by had, I built a collection of tools to work with the existing metadata in the already existing libraries. And that in a roundabout way IS my form.

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I recall my first database program PFS. Circa 1978 or 1980. I used it to catalog and organize all my Apple II software. At least that was the plan. I had the form all designed and everything. It included fields like Entry Number, Name, Author, Date, Size, Number of sides, Shelf location, Original/Copy, Single file or Full disk or Multiple files, Integer or Applesoft or Binary, and likely yet even more fields.

 

It was my intent to do my entire library of like 1200 (and growing) disks!! I started out good and got as far as about 400 entries when the disk access became terribly slow, nearly a minute to search on any field other than Entry Number. I gave up in despair and didn't do databases again ever. Not in any meaningful capacity.

 

My early teen self eventually figured it out. The first field in a form was the master index designed for fast searching. And it was listed as such in the manual, but as a kid I never read it until I needed it. Too much other stuff to do like play in the mud or get into trouble with the police.

 

---

 

Anyhow, some years later in the 286 era I got a hold of Alpha 4. That running on an early 8 or 12Mhz machine in conjunction with a hard disk was much faster. And in the 486 era it was almost instantaneous.

 

But, my first experience with databases seemed to have soured me forever on creating and organizing lists and such things. And despite Alpha 4's capability and everything I was not about to sit and catalog my stash which had grown to nearly 3000 disks.

 

It wouldn't be till several decades later that I would come reasonably close to the type of database with the kind searchability & accessibility I dreamed about as a kid. It takes the form of "internet archive" + Asimov FTP + my own personal collection.

 

Those sources - with a set of Apple II native tools and PC-based tools set up in a nice (almost menu-ish) form allows me to find nearly anything instantly. This faux "database" allows for searching descriptions, scanning for strings in images and in their filenames, and so much more.

 

Instead of designing a form and entering data by had, I built a collection of tools to work with the existing metadata in the already existing libraries. And that in a roundabout way IS my form.

 

This is a limitation of the machine. Most database stuff is usually manned on the front end (the computer/workstation) with the host on the back end. Trying to use a floppy based system with 64 or 48k of ram was always going to be slow. OTOH, slow is relative. Even a 300 baud modem is a hell of a lot faster than driving to some building and asking a clerk to get some record for you. But sitting in front a computer just feels slow in a way that driving to the library or whatever doesn't. Even in your case, querying the database is faster than getting up, taking the elevator up the 8th floor, going into the record room and looking stuff up (obviously your disk collection wasn't on another floor in some library, but I think you get the point) physically. The physical stuff all moves at normal speeds that we are used to dealing with. As slow as this was (and to some extent can still be), it is a LOT faster than alternative ways of doing things.

 

It's like a kid today looking at an Atari game and not understanding that before that, it was Parcheesi or your imagination. Before Pong and Atari, TV was entirely one way.

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It's worth mentioning that AmigaDOS 2 (1990) and 3 (1992) were very significant operating systems prior to 1995.

 

They offered luxuries that were unavailable in Windows 3.0 and 3.1.

 

- Autoconfig (plug-and-play)

- Good download/upload handling while supporting multitasking for other simultaneous tasks like decompressing files and prepping disks for file storage.

- Ability to print color photos using thousands of colors instead of just hundreds.

- Ability to view and manipulate all files within the desktop GUI, without the need of icon files, file manager, or using the command line.

 

A routine activity on my Amiga 4000/030 was to have 30 simultaneous downloads taking place while formatting two diskettes at a time (destined to receive the downloaded files from the hard drives), an image editor running in the background, a music player also running in the background, and multiple command lines decompressing batches of archived files. The interface was quick and responsive and even moreso on an A4000/040.

 

And a note about SCSI. Yes, people have mentioned that SCSI cost more. However, you get what you pay for (more flexibility, faster available throughput, more devices per controller). And it wasn't like IDE wasn't available on the Amiga (with the A4000 including an IDE controller on the mo-bo).

Edited by Nebulon

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It's worth mentioning that AmigaDOS 2 (1990) and 3 (1992) were very significant operating systems prior to 1995.

 

They offered luxuries that were unavailable in Windows 3.0 and 3.1.

 

- Autoconfig (plug-and-play)

- Good download/upload handling while supporting multitasking for other simultaneous tasks like decompressing files and prepping disks for file storage.

- Ability to print color photos using thousands of colors instead of just hundreds.

- Ability to view and manipulate all files within the GUI, without the need of icon files or using the command line.

 

A routine activity on my Amiga 4000/030 was to have 30 simultaneous downloads taking place while formatting two diskettes at a time (destined to receive the downloaded files from the hard drives), an image editor running in the background, a music player also running in the background, and multiple command lines decompressing batches of archived files. The interface was quick and responsive and even moreso on an A4000/040.

 

And a note about SCSI. Yes, people have mentioned that SCSI cost more. However, you get what you pay for (more flexibility, faster available throughput, more devices per controller). And it wasn't like IDE wasn't available on the Amiga (with the A4000 including an IDE controller on the mo-bo).

 

When you say downloading files 30 at a time, what do you mean? Are you talking 30 separate downloads occurring from the internet or otherwise off your network device? Because in reality, that is really only a single download. It's still impressive if it was going quickly though. Trying to copy a bunch of files from a bunch of different locations on a MAC was pretty demanding and would slow to an absolute crawl. Though this was fixed eventually.

 

I agree with you about SCIS. It is definitely better than IDE in just about every way, except cost. However, there was a tendency for the best and fastest hard drives to be fitted with SCSI interfaces because they would end up in servers. SCSI is far less taxing on the CPU than IDE. SCSI also supported both internal and external devices, even on the same controller. In the early days, I remember putting a CDROM on IDE as a slave would cause a dead CDROM drive. High end scanners were all SCSI.

 

But SCSI could also be very finicky. When it worked, it worked great, but there were often problems. In most instances, it was overkill. Apple made it even worse by not recognizing non-Apple devices which meant paying about double for a hard disk for a MAC.

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Visually, downloading looked very much like it does today (where you have a bunch of floating 'windows' each with its own file listed and a progress bar to tell you how much of it has been downloaded). It doesn't make downloading any faster -- of course. But it does let you move on to the next file on the server that you're interested in. Then, as with today, you could turn your attention to other tasks while you waited for the numerous downloads to complete.

Edited by Nebulon

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Visually, downloading looked very much like it does today (where you have a bunch of floating 'windows' each with its own file listed and a progress bar to tell you how much of it has been downloaded). It doesn't make downloading any faster -- of course. But it does let you move on to the next file on the server that you're interested in. Then, as with today, you could turn your attention to other tasks while you waited for the numerous downloads to complete.

I know what you mean, but the MAC was really bad at multiple network transfers. Each one would slow down disproportionately. If each file would have taken 1 minute, 2 files would take 3 or 4 minutes rather than the 2 minutes you would expect if downloading 2 files that would each have taken 1 minute if they were being downloaded individually.

 

One thing that i know did affect PCs was trying to use multiple interfaces (say both a modem and a NIC) and I thought that might be what you were referring to.

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What Commodore could've done to make the Amiga succeed? Not putting Mehdi Ali in charge...

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I know what you mean, but the MAC was really bad at multiple network transfers. Each one would slow down disproportionately. If each file would have taken 1 minute, 2 files would take 3 or 4 minutes rather than the 2 minutes you would expect if downloading 2 files that would each have taken 1 minute if they were being downloaded individually.

 

One thing that i know did affect PCs was trying to use multiple interfaces (say both a modem and a NIC) and I thought that might be what you were referring to.

 

I didn't really notice any decrease in download speed at all when clicking additional files. The Amiga Hardware Reference Manual has a pretty good blurb regarding the UART situation with Paula supporting up to 1 million bits per second (without error-correction) and 250,000 bps with error-correction. That coupled with either a 68030 or 68040 yielded good serial port performance and management while leaving room for balancing the rest of the machine's functions.

 

On the Mac, were you by chance using an internal modem? If so, that might have added to the stress on the CPU.

 

https://computerarchive.org/files/computer/manufacturers/computers/Commodore/books/amiga/Amiga_Hardware_Reference_Manual_3rd_Edition.pdf

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I didn't really notice any decrease in download speed at all when clicking additional files. The Amiga Hardware Reference Manual has a pretty good blurb regarding the UART situation with Paula supporting up to 1 million bits per second (without error-correction) and 250,000 bps with error-correction. That coupled with either a 68030 or 68040 yielded good serial port performance and management while leaving room for balancing the rest of the machine's functions.

 

On the Mac, were you by chance using an internal modem? If so, that might have added to the stress on the CPU.

 

https://computerarchive.org/files/computer/manufacturers/computers/Commodore/books/amiga/Amiga_Hardware_Reference_Manual_3rd_Edition.pdf

 

No... I was referring to Ethernet. Initially, Mac os didn't support multiple transfers. When it was first implemented, it had the problems I am talking about. I think it was 7.5 that suffered the most from it.

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The Amiga 4000 productivity modes were fine for the time, although not quite enough desktop colors for my taste and non-interlaced resolutions were a bit low. I got by fine with flicker-free 640x480 but would have preferred something higher.

 

I think if Commodore had let the hardware guys just release the AAA chipset that they presented in 1993 it would have bought the Amiga some time. After all, it did offer 1024x768 24-bit color without flicker, VRAM, a blitter that was up to 9 times faster in some modes, chunky-pixel handling, as well as 16-bit 8-channel audio at a max sample rate of 50kHz.

 

For me, 1024x768 24-bit will always be the base productivity requirement.

Edited by Nebulon

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The Amiga 4000 productivity modes were fine for the time, although not quite enough desktop colors for my taste and non-interlaced resolutions were a bit low. I got by fine with flicker-free 640x480 but would have preferred something higher.

 

I think if Commodore had let the hardware guys just release the AAA chipset that they presented in 1993 it would have bought the Amiga some time. After all, it did offer 1024x768 24-bit color without flicker, VRAM, a blitter that was up to 9 times faster in some modes, chunky-pixel handling, as well as 16-bit 8-channel audio at a max sample rate of 50kHz.

 

For me, 1024x768 24-bit will always be the base productivity requirement.

 

Until LCD monitors came along, I never like more than 800x600, even on a 17" monitor. I had a 21" monitor at work at one point and that I ran at 1024x768, but other than with that giant monitor, I always though 1024 made everything look too small.

 

 

Why didn't they release the chipset? I've never heard anything about it before. They certainly should have as even AGA didn't solve a lot of the problems.

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Until LCD monitors came along, I never like more than 800x600, even on a 17" monitor. I had a 21" monitor at work at one point and that I ran at 1024x768, but other than with that giant monitor, I always though 1024 made everything look too small.

 

 

Why didn't they release the chipset? I've never heard anything about it before. They certainly should have as even AGA didn't solve a lot of the problems.

 

That's a good point. You're right. 800x600 24-bit is sufficient for those old 14 and 15" CRTs.

 

And as for why they didn't release it.... "But the company did start work on a huge revamp of the Amiga chipset in 1988 called the Advanced Amiga Architecture, or AAA.

AAA was a bold step forward for the Amiga, but it did not fare well in the hands of Ali’s cost-cutting."

AAA 1993 DevCon notes:
More info:

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That's a good point. You're right. 800x600 24-bit is sufficient for those old 14 and 15" CRTs.

 

And as for why they didn't release it.... "But the company did start work on a huge revamp of the Amiga chipset in 1988 called the Advanced Amiga Architecture, or AAA.

AAA was a bold step forward for the Amiga, but it did not fare well in the hands of Ali’s cost-cutting."

AAA 1993 DevCon notes:
More info:

 

 

That last link is quite interesting. It does seem odd that they couldn't get rid of him. I supposed he was in bed with daddy warbucks who was just interested in sucking every last dime out of Commodore.

 

Though I haven't seen much, the contemporary commodore focused press coverage of Commodore was mostly negative (not the machines, the actual company and the contempt with which it treated its customers and 3rd pary developers). You would think the small player would be the most aggressive and the most driven, but the reports seem to be that they were the most arrogant. the least responsive and the most interested in sitting on their laurels.

 

Starting on the AAA chipset in 1988 gave them the time they needed to have it ready early enough to get it out before the mass adoption of higher end 386 machines with VGA, though most of them didn't have the sound capabilities of the Amiga.

 

OTOH, I think they are putting a bit too much emphasis on it's gaming capabilities. After all, it was a computer and was priced as such, though the higher res graphics without the flicker would have been a huge improvement as a computer. I really don't think Tramiel could have done much in the way of saving it either. He was far too focused on trying to treat the Amiga as a toy to be sold at Kmart and Toys R US.

 

Thanks for the links;. I'm going to check out the PDF file of the AAA chipset (so far, I only read the last one).

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What Commodore could've done to make the Amiga succeed? Not putting Mehdi Ali in charge...

 

Gould deserves a lot of the blame. Using the assets, like the company's jet as though they were his own..

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There's nothing Commodore could have done to make the Amiga more successful with the management lineup that it had after Tramiel left. Gould just hired the wrong people who ran the company into the ground and had no idea. He hired William Sydnes who was head of Engineering and was responsible for a lot of the cut backs in Engineering which really affected the AAA project and intentionally delaying the AA chipset. He is also known for one of the biggest flops in computing history at IBM ( See IBM PC Jnr ).

 

The Amiga 600 which was supposed to be cheaper to manufacture and sell, it ended up being more expensive to manufacture and sold for more than the A500 whilst it offered users less and subsequently canceled the A500 which was Commodore's flag ship and the most popular selling machine at the time, this was the first time Commodore had ever discontinued a product that was still selling extremely well. A way to shoot yourself in the foot..

 

Some interesting linfo

 

MEHDI ALI Mehdi has been a principal of the firm since its inception in 1996. Mehdi’s background includes more than twenty years of operating experience. His prior experience includes serving as the President of Commodore International, where he accomplished a major operational turnaround. Mehdi served as a Vice President at General Motors Corporation, where he was instrumental in improving the performance of a number of GM’s European and Latin American operations. Mehdi was also a Vice President at PepsiCo Inc., where he headed-up a major restructuring which led to the divestiture of all non-core businesses. Mehdi was a Managing Director at Dillon, Read & Co. Inc., where he headed the firm’s restructuring business and performed turnarounds for several clients. Mehdi has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from Yale University.

 

http://www.stoneridgepe.com/files/stone-ridge-partners-brochure.pdf

 

Mehdi actually responds to the article below and says we can't comprehend the truth... I wonder if he will ever share his side of the story some day.

 

https://dfarq.homeip.net/ex-commodore-prez-mehdi-ali-proves-can-spin-anything/

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There's nothing Commodore could have done to make the Amiga more successful with the management lineup that it had after Tramiel left. Gould just hired the wrong people who ran the company into the ground and had no idea. He hired William Sydnes who was head of Engineering and was responsible for a lot of the cut backs in Engineering which really affected the AAA project and intentionally delaying the AA chipset. He is also known for one of the biggest flops in computing history at IBM ( See IBM PC Jnr ).

 

The Amiga 600 which was supposed to be cheaper to manufacture and sell, it ended up being more expensive to manufacture and sold for more than the A500 whilst it offered users less and subsequently canceled the A500 which was Commodore's flag ship and the most popular selling machine at the time, this was the first time Commodore had ever discontinued a product that was still selling extremely well. A way to shoot yourself in the foot..

 

Some interesting linfo

 

MEHDI ALI Mehdi has been a principal of the firm since its inception in 1996. Mehdi’s background includes more than twenty years of operating experience. His prior experience includes serving as the President of Commodore International, where he accomplished a major operational turnaround. Mehdi served as a Vice President at General Motors Corporation, where he was instrumental in improving the performance of a number of GM’s European and Latin American operations. Mehdi was also a Vice President at PepsiCo Inc., where he headed-up a major restructuring which led to the divestiture of all non-core businesses. Mehdi was a Managing Director at Dillon, Read & Co. Inc., where he headed the firm’s restructuring business and performed turnarounds for several clients. Mehdi has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from Yale University.

 

http://www.stoneridgepe.com/files/stone-ridge-partners-brochure.pdf

 

Mehdi actually responds to the article below and says we can't comprehend the truth... I wonder if he will ever share his side of the story some day.

 

https://dfarq.homeip.net/ex-commodore-prez-mehdi-ali-proves-can-spin-anything/

It's hard to imagine how you screw up such a good thing! Commodore lost 1/4 BILLION dollars in 1986 (back when a 1/4 billion was a lot of money:)!

 

The introduction of the 128/1571 drives was a huge mistake. The C64 was in its heyday and selling by the millions. If they were going to make a new 8 bit line, it should have been a backwards compatible 128 without involving all these extra chips, that essentially wasn't good at anything. Adding the CP/M thing was really dumb as CP/M was clearly on its way out (not to mention it was a very poor implementation of CP/M that ran at 1/2 the speed as other CP/M machines). While I don't know if could have been done, it would have been a much better decision to release a new computer that was basically a more powerful C64 that was fully backwards compatible without all the complexity of entirely different chips that could have been sold cheaper. At a minimum, they could have put in a better Basic. This was something C64 customers desperately wanted and would have been very easy to implement in a such a way that it was 100% backwards compatible. They could have also had this basic leave MUCH more memory free. There were basic extension cartridges that not only improved Basic in every possible way, but also left up to 60k free for your basic program. Adding more ram and an 80 column mode to the VIC II (assuming this could be done with better than 90% backwards compatibility). Alternatively, they could have put a VIC III and a VIC II for full backwards compatibility and it still would have been cheaper than what they did. A fix for the 1541 drive speed, assuming it were possible while retaining backwards compatibility would have been great too.

In short, people wanted a BETTER C64, not a completely different computer that could also be an original C64. Even people who bought the 128 mostly used them as C64s!

 

Introducing the completely pointless 16 and Plus 4 was a big mistake, though this was in 84. I'm sure this played a role in losing so much money. I don't know the details of that loss, but they were probably writing off all the losses from the TED line of computers.

The TED line was not bad in theory, but there was a reason they called the plus 4 the minus 60! Instead of making TED a shittier version of the VIC II, they should have made it a chip for business. 80 column display by default, even if it only had a 560 pixel display (7 pixel font like the Apple II). It would have worked on TVs, but they could have sold it with a green screen monitor. Next, it should have had the ability to use far more ram. It could have sold with 64 or 128k, but with the ability to expand it even further. Even if it was only a 16 bit address line, they could have used bankswitching like the XT, the 128 or Apple II. Though the disk drive was faster than the 1541, it was still only 1k per second. It should have had a faster drive. I suppose they could have included a basic in ROM, but making the drive bootable would have been good.

These were supposed to be for small businesses and this is far more in line with what small businesses wanted than the TED chip Commodore delivered. I'm not sure that even this setup would have succeeded. The small business market was mostly using Apple IIs and I don't think they could have competed. This list was mostly just to show how of touch they were. Nobody was asking for a much less capable C64 with 4 shitty programs installed in ROM.

 

So, IMHO, the entire company was being poorly run and not just the Amiga division.

Edited by christo930

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In 1984 instead of releasing the Plus/4 they should have just released a Commodore 64 with BASIC 3.5 and fast loading disk routines. These would be defeatable with a GO64 command for backwards compatibility. They should have released a RAM expansion around this time, not several years later.

 

Would have sold like hotcakes.

 

The 1571 was a great idea, particularly if Commodore would have stopped making the 1541 and forced everyone to the 1571. Alas since they did not do that DSDD was never widely adopted and games continued to be released on flippy disks.

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In 1984 instead of releasing the Plus/4 they should have just released a Commodore 64 with BASIC 3.5 and fast loading disk routines. These would be defeatable with a GO64 command for backwards compatibility. They should have released a RAM expansion around this time, not several years later.

 

Would have sold like hotcakes.

 

The 1571 was a great idea, particularly if Commodore would have stopped making the 1541 and forced everyone to the 1571. Alas since they did not do that DSDD was never widely adopted and games continued to be released on flippy disks.

 

The 1571 was a 1541 when used in 64 mode. Even if you wrote the disks with a 128 or a PC hooked up to a 1571, it doesn't work because it won't read the other side of the disk. It's also just as slow as a 1541 when used with a 64. This is REALLY stupid when you consider that Commodore disk drives are their own computer. There is virtually zero reason to have the second side disabled because it's not the 64 doing anything other than sending a command and then receiving or sending the file.

 

I totally agree about releasing an upgraded 64, especially with a better basic and faster disk access. Shit, even re-arranging the basic could give you tons more RAM for basic. I think of one of the magazines had a type in program that relocated basic, added a few graphics and sound commands and left you with way more than 38,911 bytes. These two things could have been done with 100% backwards compatibility with a go 64 command that switched out the new ROM for the old ROM (assuming both were inside the machine and then banked into the right places). As technically impressive as GEOS was, NOBODY was asking for GEOS, but everyone was asking for a better basic and faster disk access. At a minimum when they released the 64C, instead of giving you a free copy of GEOS, they should have given you these things. If they absolutely insisted on giving you GEOS, why wasn't it on a dam cartridge? GEOS was just too slow to be useful.

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