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Old 01 December 2021, 02:31   #1301
Bruce Abbott
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Originally Posted by Vstech View Post
the big problem with the A1200 in my opinion was the same as the A600... it was a toy Commodore came out with to keep attention of the game kids, and not loose sales of the 4000crowd...
AAA had been touted for years in the mags, and amiga comes out with this AGA "interim" chipset...

the 2000 was the beast machine, and the 3000 was a workhorse upgrade. commodore only cared about sales quantity... they didn't support their developers or their hardware team... make it cheap and volume was their mantra... I remember reading an interview when Commodore went belly up. and it was of a hardware team member discussing his PCI and AAA board team... he just tossed the plans and hardware and walked out.
So much wrong in there I'm not sure where to start.

AAA was never more than a rumor. In reality they never managed to get working silicon. Eventually Commodore management told them to dump it and get something out that worked - which they could have done 2 years earlier if the engineers didn't have such lofty goals.

But hey, it's not like they were the only ones. Intel sunk 11 years and untold resources into the iAPX 432 before finally admitting defeat in 1985. Luckily they also produced a slightly enhanced version of their 'toy' 8 bit CPU line called the iAPX 88, which became a roaring success after IBM chose it for their PC. This then showed the way for desktop computer development.

The PC's success was achieved by not inventing radically new hardware, but gradually improving it bit by bit and letting the market decide which direction to go, while maintaining full compatibility with earlier machines. The AGA 'interim' chipset followed that principle, but was too late because they tried to do much at once with AAA.

The A2000 was a workhorse upgrade from the A1000. The A3000 was a 'beast' in performance and price, but not so useful (I know because I had one!). The A500 was Commodore's 'toy' computer, but at its core was 99% the same as the A2000 and almost as expandable (just not so conveniently).

Commodore didn't have to worry about an A500 upgrade (which is what the A1200 was) competing against the A4000 because at that level the competition was 486 PCs. Sales of the A4000 were so low that there hardly was a 'crowd' (most Amiga users thought it was far too expensive, as any 'big box' machine would have been in their eyes).

The truth is the Amiga could only make it in the 'cheap and volume' market because everything above it was being squeezed out by PCs. The press and users were expecting an A1200 style machine from the start. It would have been a better seller if Commodore had been able to make more of them - and even better if it had arrived earlier (I would have bought one instead of the A3000 in 1991 if it was coming out then, and saved $5000!). Then they could have had the CD32 out 2 years earlier instead of the CDTV, and it would have been a killer too!

Commodore could perhaps have supported the Amiga hardware team more. But funny thing is once they changed tack it didn't take long to produce AGA. I am dubious of the claims of engineers when their own plans were essentially unworkable. As for 3rd party developers, I remember getting plenty of support as a small-time software developer - far more than I would have expected from IBM or Sega etc.

Amiga 500 will always hold my interest. I upgraded mine SOOO much back in the day. I wanted a 3000, but was in no way in my budget until the used market opened up in the later 2010's I got one off ebay, and love it.
I finally bought a 1200, non working, and fixed it mostly. I have several 1000's and 1200's now... they are fun machines to tinker with... I hate the blank key on the keyboard... and the odd placement of some keys. but it is what it is.
I even have a 1200 in a tower case... that's fun!
Yes they are all great machines to tinker with (though the A3000 is probably also the most frustrating). I did crazy stuff like putting an A1200 and Pentium PC in the same case (linked together with the Siamese System to use the same keyboard and mouse), putting an accelerated A600 motherboard with IDE hard drive and CDROM in an A1000 case, running a PC MFM hard drive and controller off my A1000, and installing an internal floppy drive into the side of my CD32. Good times!

The blank keys on the A12000 keyboard don't worry me - they will be a good source of spares if one of the other keys goes faulty!

Wish I could get an A1000 at a reasonable price (mine was stolen in 1991), though in practice my current machines (A1200 w/ 50MHz 030, A600 with Vampire, and stock A500) are plenty enough to keep me occupied.
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