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Old 04 March 2021, 10:35   #101
grond
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The discussion on text mode wasn't about 80 columns. It is a straw man to suggest otherwise. It was about the readability and usability to read, write and edit text on an Amiga 1000 in 1985 compared to the Macintosh and various IBM types of the time -- which is 1985 not 1982 or whatever arbitrary pre-Amiga date.
I think this is a central point in this text mode argument. I really have no idea so please anyone give us some hard facts: what physical resolution would a good text mode display in 1985 have? Would that be more like 640x400 or what?

(btw, my linux PC still starts up its kernel in text mode and it looks like a very, very coarse resolution with giant pixelated letters but since it's gone after a second I can't tell what resolution that would be).
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Old 04 March 2021, 14:46   #102
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In addition to a quick-to-update/scroll and sharp text mode, looking at what software was available in the year 1985 is also very important. For example here in Finland we didn't really get any Amigas until early 1987. Lots of software development had happened between 1985-1987. So naturally an early adopter here in the nordics had a different experience than a 1985 early adopter in USA.

Here's the price catalogue for the official importer in .fi. The ones who got hardware and software first.
http://amiga.unikko.org/PCI-Data/Com..._1986_1990.pdf

Page 1 has the available titles. Textcraft, graphicraft, dpaint/print/mcs, instant music.

Out of these, what do people remember? I'm guessing DPaint and DMCS.

DPaint was quite a good pixel art tool from day 1, DMCS was a passable music program. No-one remembers textcraft. I don't believe I ever used it myself, as the superior ProWrite was out by the time I got my first Amiga by 1989. No spreadsheet/database in the price list. This was in the 2nd half of 1986, a year after Frogs' dad had gotten his A1000.

I know for a fact that proper shipments didn't really begin at all in 1986 in Finland, they just couldn't get any hardware shipped over here.
The big launch in Finland was in the end of the year 3.10.1986, but I wonder if anyone outside of the importer had an Amiga over here before the next year. http://amiga.unikko.org/PCI-Data/Com...03.10.1986.pdf
Looking at the example pictures, we see WB dealer demos (colour splotches, bar chart), Sonix, DPaint and I guess VizaWrite. DPaint is featured on four pages, dealer demos on two. In the end of 1986. There obviously was not a lot of exciting software to show for the grand launch in Finland.

I doubt we in the PAL world really get to say much about what it was to own an A1000 in the NTSC world near launch. Stuff picked up a lot in 1986-1987 software wise, but we didn't see how little if anything was available in 1985.

But sure, keep on fighting.

Last edited by Jope; 04 March 2021 at 14:55.
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Old 04 March 2021, 15:57   #103
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WB1.x supports overscan in the WB, but there is no preferences editor for it. Probably because it can't be applied without a reboot in 1.x, every other preferences setting can. At least 1.2 and 1.3 will handle this if you edit your system-configuration with a hex editor. :-) Anything older, I'm not sure. I sure hope everyone upgraded to 1.2 as soon as possible back then, as the previous releases were so buggy.
More comfortable:
http://aminet.net/package/util/boot/MegaWB
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Old 04 March 2021, 16:30   #104
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The Amiga failed because of Irving Gould, period end of story...

It has absolutely nothing to do with technology and everything to do with management.

Big companies wanted in on Amiga, were turned away and the man (Tom Rattigan) who turned Amiga around was subsequently fired by Gould. Gould then hired Ali who destroyed the culture and products.

Had Rattigan stayed at the helm and the development team release AAA and DSP based Amigas in the very early 90's, the Amiga would have stayed relevant. If they would have signed other vendors to rebrand the A3000, it would have been used in many industries.

Typically in industry the best products fail and lesser survived because of management... Sadly.
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Old 04 March 2021, 16:47   #105
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The Amiga failed because of Irving Gould, period end of story...

It has absolutely nothing to do with technology and everything to do with management.

Big companies wanted in on Amiga, were turned away and the man (Tom Rattigan) who turned Amiga around was subsequently fired by Gould. Gould then hired Ali who destroyed the culture and products.

Had Rattigan stayed at the helm and the development team release AAA and DSP based Amigas in the very early 90's, the Amiga would have stayed relevant. If they would have signed other vendors to rebrand the A3000, it would have been used in many industries.

Typically in industry the best products fail and lesser survived because of management... Sadly.
Why would he do such a thing? I always blamed Mehdi Ali, but I forgot he wasn't the only Amiga killer.
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Old 04 March 2021, 16:48   #106
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This is a hack, which sort of works most of the time I guess. The system-configuration method is native to the OS, no custom copperlists or input handlers.

Jonathan Potter's PPrefs has support for adjusting the WB screen dimensions in the system-configuration, but of course you have to reboot to test every time. Also I seem to remember PPrefs itself was a bit unstable on my 1.3 machine.
http://aminet.net/package/misc/fish/fish-0242
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Old 04 March 2021, 17:03   #107
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Why would he do such a thing? I always blamed Mehdi Ali, but I forgot he wasn't the only Amiga killer.
Ali was a pawn of Irving Gould. Gould had a long history of being problematic, even back to the beginning by tossing out Jack Tramiel from his own company.

Gould loved having a jet to fly around and didn't care about the company he was responsible for.

Rumor has it that Gould was Jealous of Rattigan and that is why he canned him. Jealous because he was respected and put Amiga on very solid ground, something alien to Gould...

Rattigan was an exceptional leader who respected the engineers and that was brilliant and capable. I could easily argue that if he stayed at Amiga, the Amiga would have replaced Apple in the industry. Apple was weak at the time.
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Old 04 March 2021, 17:22   #108
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I'm sad at this information, to think that under either Atari or Commodore, the Amiga was DOOMED, and I don't mean the game.

I can only gain some consolation at the news that Gould and Ali are deceased - is that the case?

EDIT: Well, Gould is, by over a decade, but I can't seem to find info on Ali.

Last edited by Foebane; 04 March 2021 at 17:30.
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Old 04 March 2021, 17:31   #109
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We don't know why (American) buyers didn't flock in big numbers to a certain brand. I suggest some ideas, but I have no theory to shre until I can support it.
My guess:

Because of RadioShack's "Tandy 1000" PC-clone .

Back in the 80s there was a RadioShack in every town in the USA and the company was well known and had some success and experience with the TRS-80 Color Computer "Coco".

So they knew: color, sound and price were the weaknesses of the standard PC and they addressed all three issues:
the Tandy 1000 had better than CGA color gfx, 3-voice sound, and "only" $1,200 in 1984 (a year before the Amiga und the ST)

It had mouse and joystick-ports and many PC-Games of that time support the "Tandy-Mode" gfx and sound.

And it was of course fully PC compatible!

So thanks to RadioShack a PC-clone with home-users in mind was literally available everywhere at a very competitive price a whole year before Amiga and ST would come out.

And when Amiga and ST finally arrived, RadioShack would not sell them in their stores ...

In Europe the situation was very different - cheap PCs for home users would only appear much later. There was no "RadioShack" and also no other big dealer that would only sell its own brand (until a couple of years later at least).

And other than in the USA in Europe Commodore had a good reputation in many countries...

So yes: a higher resolution mode would have been nice and would have been doable without much change as ECS shows (or the Atari ST HighRes Mode).
But as pointed out by someone else already: it did not help the ST very much...

And of course: having both Atari and ST fighting for the same market, was one too many. If they had joined forces* (I know not possible with the protagonists at play) they probably would have overtaken Apple and might have survived the 90s.

*( imagine a "Amitari" with Amiga's colours, blitter, copper and sound and multitasking OS, and with STs high resolution, MIDI-ports and DMA (floppy, HD)...)
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Old 04 March 2021, 17:58   #110
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In the US in the 80's the Amiga was flourishing as a business machine.

CHIPS (the Amiga User Group in my area) had a huge population attending and 90% of all members were adults using the Amiga for their business. Screen resolution wasn't much a consideration, it was entirely application driven. When the 3k came out, more than 50% of the group bought them and 31Khz to vga monitors was just fine. Many users bought early video boards also to gain higher resolutions for DTP, etc.

During the 90's the users slowly went PC and Mac and left the Amiga. Very few users went to the 4000. I remember we did a demo of one of the first 4000's with a 030 in it. It was embarrassing really, the 3000 was much faster and still was higher end, the 4000 was cheap and loud and slow. AGA wasn't nearly enough when it came out. We had a 3000 right next to it with similar specs and for most things the group favored the 3000. That was the writing on the wall and when the group started shrinking.

If we would have had the AAA3000+ a bit sooner instead, there may have been different story.
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Old 04 March 2021, 18:46   #111
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In the US in the 80's the Amiga was flourishing as a business machine.
Sadly outside your little area this was not really the case, as all numbers show.
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Old 04 March 2021, 20:04   #112
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Sadly outside your little area this was not really the case, as all numbers show.
Fair point. But whatever the potential percentage of market share it was sustainable. If we focused on industries like video production and DTP then the percentages would have been more Amiga centric.

To your point x86 closes were locking in the debits and credits software business at that point and Amiga only had a few commercial products and lots of home grown ones written in superbase, etc.
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Old 04 March 2021, 20:56   #113
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Fair point. But whatever the potential percentage of market share it was sustainable. If we focused on industries like video production and DTP then the percentages would have been more Amiga centric.

To your point x86 closes were locking in the debits and credits software business at that point and Amiga only had a few commercial products and lots of home grown ones written in superbase, etc.
Don't get me wrong: I was totally satisfied with my A3000 throughout the entire 90's and most of the time I felt having the superior product compared to PCs.
And while there was maybe no abundance of business software available:
FinalWriter and FinalCalc did everything I needed in the "office" department. Pagestream was great for posters, invitations, ... and there is of course the great PasTex package, that made the Amiga a first-class LaTeX citizen.
And early internet was no problem as well.

I just posted a theory, why the Amiga did not take off in the US like it should have - and while there are a couple of reasons I am quite sure RadioShack is a major one and the missing higher resolutions play some part but are less important.
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Old 04 March 2021, 21:32   #114
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and there is of course the great PasTex package, that made the Amiga a first-class LaTeX citizen.
Darn, was giving a good look at LaTex in the first half of 90s and did not stumble on that! o_O I ignored its existence until thirty seconds ago...
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Old 04 March 2021, 21:32   #115
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If there is some killer app, even a theoretical one, that could have run on the Amiga 1000 in 1985/1986 I very much would like to know what you think it would be.
A very good word processing? A very good spreadsheet? A "Power Point"?

The world of edition for example, was on the verge of being revolutionized. With all its colours and its fast drawing capacity the Amiga could have been an important actor.

Make me think of another problem with the Amiga as a professional computer, the not so good printers support.

At the time, I had an Epson printer and when I printed a circle it turn to be an oval on the paper and dimensions were not what it should be and indicated at the screen.
Once I tried the Mac emulator. I tried to print and I was baffled, all was perfectly scaled.

And the Mac had the LaserWriter (1985). When you read the Wikipedia page of the LaserWriter, you realize the amount of work done by Apple around the Mac and the advance of the ecosystem. Nonexistent for the Amiga.

Last edited by TEG; 04 March 2021 at 21:48.
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Old 04 March 2021, 22:27   #116
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To plunge into the context of the time: The Font Wars—PostScript, TrueType, the Mac and the success of desktop publishing:

[ Show youtube player ]
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Old 04 March 2021, 22:58   #117
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Darn, was giving a good look at LaTex in the first half of 90s and did not stumble on that! o_O I ignored its existence until thirty seconds ago...
It was on about 20 disks with all the fonts and extras
And of course only usable with a 020 or better, quite some FastRAM and a HD.
But it is rock stable and the results were excellent!
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Old 05 March 2021, 00:44   #118
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It makes me wonder how much has to do with the state of color monitors of 1985.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monochrome_monitor

Most work being done at the time was via monochrome monitors where the text and such is much sharper.

I have an Apple II and the monochrome monitor for that has super sharp text. I hook up the old TV to it for playing games (Ultima III!!!) but the difference is day and night.
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Old 05 March 2021, 00:54   #119
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I think this is a central point in this text mode argument. I really have no idea so please anyone give us some hard facts: what physical resolution would a good text mode display in 1985 have? Would that be more like 640x400 or what?

(btw, my linux PC still starts up its kernel in text mode and it looks like a very, very coarse resolution with giant pixelated letters but since it's gone after a second I can't tell what resolution that would be).
It is a really good question. I am not even sure if it's just resolution alone. In the last comment I mentioned the advantages monochrome monitors had at the time (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monochrome_monitor) from a sharpness point of view. So resolution would only be part of the problem.

The Mac and PC (mostly) were using monochrome monitors. You could argue that it wasn't until the 30+ kHz monitors arrived that color and text worked out ok together.

What also didn't help Topaz (the original version).

I took this screenshot today.


go tieng viet truc tuyen

This is on my Amiga 1000.

If I put this computer next to even an Apple II, the text is much worse even when compared to putting it on a TV.

I have seen people compare the Amiga to CGA which is a little odd because the Amiga was competing either against monochrome monitors or EGA whose text mode was equivalent to 640x350 resulting in much crisper text.
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Old 05 March 2021, 01:00   #120
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I'm sad at this information, to think that under either Atari or Commodore, the Amiga was DOOMED, and I don't mean the game.

I can only gain some consolation at the news that Gould and Ali are deceased - is that the case?

EDIT: Well, Gould is, by over a decade, but I can't seem to find info on Ali.
I think if Commodore had had better management the Amiga would exist today.

The Amiga could have owned the markets that Creative Labs and NVIDIA lead in today imo.

I could imagine a whole line of Amiga products ranging from video cards to audio chipsets. Every computer today could have had an Amiga chipset in it instead of Realtek or whatever.

How many billions is NVIDIA worth today? That could have been just one of the Amiga business units.
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