The Amiga Family

The Amiga personal computer was introduced in July 1985 by Commodore International. The first model, the Amiga 1000 was a computer that embodied the vision of its creators about a machine with hardware and software technological advances that could provide state-of-the-art multimedia capabilities and a computing experience like no other near its price segment. It was truly a computer way ahead of its time!

That concept, was also captured in Commodore’s marketing efforts where slogans like ‘Amiga. The computer for the creative mind‘ and ‘Amiga. Gives you a creative edge‘ were used. The Amiga architecture utilized custom designed chips that provided its special graphical and musical abilities.

In 1987, Commodore released the low cost Amiga 500 model which made a successful entry into the home micros market. It was the model with most sales of the Amiga family worldwide (estimated around 5-6 millions) and also my first Amiga computer, bought in late 1988. The Amiga 500 offered the same capabilities with the A1000 but in a case with integrated keyboard, a design followed by most of the home micros in the 80s. At the same time a big box model, called Amiga 2000, is introduced which, while posses the same technical capabilities, offers plentiful of expansion options.

The next model comes in 1990 with the Amiga 3000 machine – the most powerful Amiga model so far – sporting a sexy desktop case, that marks it as one of the most beautiful Amiga designs ever made. On the budget line, Commodore released the Amiga 500+ in 1991, which was superseded by Amiga 600 the next year. All these models utilize the enhanced chip set (ECS) which is an improved version of the original Amiga custom chips (OCS).

Back in 1991 Commodore also made a debut with the – then new – optical media, the CDROM. Their effort led to the release of a consumer based device, named Commodore CDTV, targeting the home-entertainment market.

In the last quarter of 1992, a new significantly improved model comes into the light, named Amiga 1200. This new Amiga comes with the third generation custom chip set called Advanced Graphics Architecture (AGA). Along with the home-computer market oriented A1200, a new big desktop model is introduced, which also sports the AGA chip set, the Amiga 4000.

In September of 1993 the last member of the Amiga family was released. It was the Amiga CD32. It was the first 32-bit home video games console released in the world and Commodore tried to position it against a very competitive game consoles market of the early 90’s. Unfortunately accumulated financial problems and questionable business-strategy decisions led to Commodore’s bankruptcy a few months later in April 1994.