Thread: What if...
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Old 08 August 2008, 17:40   #5
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Nowhere
Age: 49
Posts: 1,792
Originally Posted by adolescent View Post
Great computer, far ahead of it's time.

But maybe not far from the truth...
...How did a hugely overpriced & underspecced box end up winning out given all the competition..?
I'm not sure it's that plain even now. Blind luck, I suspect... Certinly having IBM's muscle behind it will have gone a long way while competitors were so good at self-destructing.
I guess the PC's big 'innovation' was making an 'endlessly upgradeable' box a reality - nobody wants to thow their investment in equipment & time away when the 'next big thing' comes along...
...the 'next big thing' may be a crock of poo & sometimes the better plan would indeed be to start a-fresh but people in general aren't good at those kind of judgements.
Also as gklinger mentions the way the project was set up allowed for the development of an 'open platform'.

A couple of obvious thoughts:
-What if the PC had gone 68k? I suspect it would have made no great differnece to the development of the PC but where would Intel be now?
Would there be a PPC-chip at all..? The juggernaut that has driven on the x86 architecture would likely have done the same to the 68k one...
...there would now be an ongoing debate about 68k baggage holding things back but how much simpler would things have been for the Amiga platform..?

-Then there's the old chestnut: What if Digital Research had backed the IBM PC..? Well, there'd be no M$ for starters...
...Is that good for completing platforms..? I suspect not - why? DR were not great innovators but were there-abouts with the kind of 'eye-candy' that made Mac's & the Amiga different to casual observation. My guess is the PC would be even more dominant & Apple would be long gone. The Amiga may well have sunk without trace...
...funnily enough the Atari ST may have lasted quite a while off the back of OS / software ports from the more expensive PC.

Why bother with such speculation?
Well, I'm interested in asking such idle questions...
...there are retro-platforms & retro-platforms:
-If your nostalgia fix is something like the C=64 then nostalgia is what you're dealing with. There can be no arguing that it's time has been & gone.
-But for something like the Amiga I can't help asking 'what if?' because it's obvious the platform (like the PC) could easily have developed with time.
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