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Old 27 July 2019, 22:06   #680
Bruce Abbott
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Hastings, New Zealand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hewitson View Post
I honestly don't believe the A1200 caused Commodore's bankruptcy. They were in trouble long before that.
Agreed. They were in trouble even before the A1000 was released.

How do we know? They pushed the A1000 out long before it was finished. It was another 2 years before they were able to provide a finished design (A500/A2000). Meanwhile PCs were strengthening their stranglehold on the marketplace, and even Commodore joined in - competing against their own product!

I think the success of the C64 and A500 deluded Commodore into thinking they could get away with wasting money on designs that were unlikely to be commercial successes. The CDTV, A3000, AAA chipset etc. were attempts to break out of the low end home computer market that they were stuck in with the A500, but they all failed. By 1991 the cracks were already showing, and PCs were about to squash all competition. At least we can thank them for coming to their senses in time to get the A600, A1200 and CD32 out.

Looking further back we see a plethora of machines many of which were not successful, including some you probably never heard of. So Commodore had a long history of failures, but managed to survive due to a few successes - until the 90's when that way of doing business didn't work anymore. And they weren't the only ones. Even IBM (the 800-pound gorilla in the room) couldn't survive against the clones.

Only Apple managed to squeak through, by aggressively differentiating themselves from PCs. While their machines were technically inferior (less power for the price), They managed to convince people to buy their products based on aesthetics and usability.

Yesterday I was given the task of trying to repair an iMac G4 (AKA the 'iLamp'), or if that failed to remove the hard drive and wipe it. What a nightmare! In this machine the power supply is split into two sections inside the circular base, with the hard drive and CDROM stacked up in the middle and the motherboard screwed in from below. This has to be one of the most ludicrous designs ever! And yet that probably helped to sell it.

If Commodore had aggressively marketed the Amiga's differences right from the start rather than fretting about PC compatibility, and concentrated on gaming and high-end video applications, they have might have made it through. But if they did that we probably wouldn't have gotten the machines we love. In some ways I think it was better that they didn't just produce what would be most profitable for them.

Seeing inside that iMac quelled any desire I had to own one. I am now thinking of selling all the other retro computers I have that are just sitting on the shelf (literally!) gathering dust, and putting the money towards a Vampire 1200. After 27 years the A1200 is finally fulfilling its promise!

Quote:
I do agree that not having fast ram slots was a huge oversight. The Atari STe, a machine with a very similar form factor to an A1200, was able to fit them in. Let's face it, there's room in the case for them. Commodore were just being tightasses, as usual.
If you wanted RAM on the motherboard you could buy an A4000. The real tightasses were the buyers, and Commodore knew this - which is why they made the base A1200 as cheap as possible but easily expandable. Putting RAM slots on the motherboard would have raised the price and become a problem when faster accelerator cards were used.

Quote:
And these people have no business being anywhere near a computer. It is the fault of people like this, that computers and operating systems are so dumbed down and designed for the complete moron.
I disagree. Having an intuitive OS that doesn't require technical skill to operate is not 'dumbing it down'. Modern computers are powerful enough that there is no reason they shouldn't present a user interface simple enough for anyone to understand and use without training. This was one of the Amiga's strengths compared to PCs, and also a major reason for Apple's success. I cringe when being told to type some arcane command into the CLI, or having to read a 500 page manual just to figure out what a program does. In the old days we put up with that nonsense because there was no alternative, but it's inexcusable today.
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