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Old 21 January 2021, 18:58   #41
chb
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True but didn't really took off. Better than the Amiga for serious work (databases etc) for sure. I wonder if some business actually used it instead of PC and what applications it had.
AFAIK it was moderately successful in Europe in that role, especially in Germany. Calamus (DTP) was very popular for some time, also some CAD applications do exist. And it was quite popular as a word processor among students and people in academia, thanks to programs like Signum! or 1st Word plus.

Of course, it rather populated some niches while the PC was dominating in general.
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Old 21 January 2021, 19:12   #42
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Commodore wasn't aiming for strictly gaming market either. They also had big ideas about business uses, hence A2000, Sidecar, etc. Check this Amiga World issue (Nov 1985): https://archive.org/details/amiga-world-1985-11 ...it's all about "white collar Amiga".

But in the long run, nothing could stop the advance of the clones...
That's cos Commodore f'ing didn't understand the Amiga AT ALL and were treating it like an IBM PC, which it WASN'T (it was BETTER). That stupid, lamebrained, asinine reason still irks me to this day.
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Old 22 January 2021, 06:03   #43
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That's cos Commodore f'ing didn't understand the Amiga AT ALL and were treating it like an IBM PC, which it WASN'T (it was BETTER). That stupid, lamebrained, asinine reason still irks me to this day.

With a better display mode that didn't require a weird custom monitor like the A2024, the Amiga would've made an awesome business computer. Even then, it would've been doomed because Commodore simply didn't have the sales channels of IBM, and IBM had a four year head start with the IBM PC.

It would be like a company known for making golf carts trying to break into the market for semi trucks. They might have the best semi truck in the world but business types buy from who they know.

Some clone companies eventually got their foot in the door after years of effort, but they had to do it via cloning what IBM made. Even then, it took years for Compaq, etc. to make a dent in IBM's business market despite a huge cost advantage (Compaq in particular got in by having a luggable when IBM had none).

Even now, large businesses buy via corporate accounts from big names like Dell, even though they're overpriced. Corporate sales channels are slow to change and are built around paying extra for the ability to deflect blame when things go wrong. "Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM" was the mantra at the time. If something goes wrong, you pass the blame to IBM, and then IBM passes the blame to bad luck or the universe or something because obviously IBM can't be at fault -- they make too much money for that to be possible.

Nowadays IBM isn't the only company in that position, but the rule is still the same.
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Old 22 January 2021, 10:16   #44
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The market just preferred the dominant format for business, didn't care if the Amiga had 4000 colors and the PC had 16, they just wanted a high res (640x400 minimum), a hard drive and the applications, that simply didn't exist on the Amiga. Seems the biggest problem was the lack of hard disk controller and a normal high res mode. The applications could be made in house in the end, but looks like Commodore didn't have a clue what they were doing.
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Old 22 January 2021, 10:33   #45
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The other part (anti-PC) perhaps does not apply to you personally, but is a part of a trend I've observed on this and other forums. Eg this thread's discussion about technical (if a bit mismatched) gfx comparison was quite interesting, but then we inevitably had to hear about "unimaginative PC devs", "horrible EGA" and so on.
You didn't refute those points either. Carmack's independent (?) rediscovery of hardware scrolling is one testament to that, and the skin colours in any EGA game is another.

Last edited by idrougge; 22 January 2021 at 11:28.
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Old 22 January 2021, 10:35   #46
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Of course, but that's the whole point. It wasn't meant for home use, that was a field covered by microcomputers. The businesses didn't really care much about fun-related stuff, such as hardware scrolling, which is why CGA/EGA were perfectly fine for the tasks they were most interested in.
The businesses also didn't really care for mice, graphical user interfaces, or any user interfaces at all, or really anything invented after 1970.
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Old 22 January 2021, 12:22   #47
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You didn't refute those points either. Carmack's independent (?) rediscovery of hardware scrolling is one testament to that, and the skin colours in any EGA game is another.
Sorry, but the id Software story Masters of Doom never mentioned anything about EGA hardware scrolling when Carmack cracked smooth scrolling on PC, they said it was down to him only updating the parts of the screen that needed to be updated. Now THAT'S genius.
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Old 22 January 2021, 12:53   #48
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Sorry, but the id Software story Masters of Doom never mentioned anything about EGA hardware scrolling when Carmack cracked smooth scrolling on PC, they said it was down to him only updating the parts of the screen that needed to be updated. Now THAT'S genius.
That was actually a well established technique on various systems for years before Keen came out. It was commonly used to prevent redrawing the entire screen with every update (as most systems at the time were not fast enough to do this). It was used for both in-game objects/sprites as well as scrolling. Some examples range from the C64 (games that only scroll the part of colour RAM that needs changing) and the ZX-Spectrum/Amstrad (only scroll the parts of the screen that can/have changed), Atari ST/Amiga/PC/Spectrum/etc (only update the parts of the screen where the software sprites/bobs are), etc.

Now don't get me wrong, Carmack is a very important individual in PC games history and he's an absolutely great coder, but that technique really isn't that unique.
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Old 22 January 2021, 13:14   #49
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Now don't get me wrong, Carmack is a very important individual in PC games history and he's an absolutely great coder, but that technique really isn't that unique.
Good answer.. beat me to it
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Old 22 January 2021, 15:53   #50
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Sorry, but the id Software story Masters of Doom never mentioned anything about EGA hardware scrolling when Carmack cracked smooth scrolling on PC
Doesn't change the fact that Commander Keen still uses hardware scrolling on EGA (at least from Keen 4 onwards), if the card supports it.

EDIT: Did a quick check and even Keen 1 seems to do EGA hardware scrolling

Last edited by britelite; 22 January 2021 at 16:10.
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Old 22 January 2021, 18:12   #51
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Sorry, but the id Software story Masters of Doom never mentioned anything about EGA hardware scrolling when Carmack cracked smooth scrolling on PC, they said it was down to him only updating the parts of the screen that needed to be updated. Now THAT'S genius.
Masters of Doom is a great book, but certain parts of it do not really connect well with how the people involved explain it after the fact. This may well be one of them, although I do remember reading that the hardware scrolling was mentioned in the book itself... I'd need to dig it up again.

I wouldn't know myself how updating parts of the screen would help you with scrolling, everything moves and thus everything needs to be updated.
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Old 22 January 2021, 19:30   #52
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Doesn't change the fact that Commander Keen still uses hardware scrolling on EGA (at least from Keen 4 onwards), if the card supports it.

EDIT: Did a quick check and even Keen 1 seems to do EGA hardware scrolling
Hmm, fair enough.

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Masters of Doom is a great book, but certain parts of it do not really connect well with how the people involved explain it after the fact. This may well be one of them, although I do remember reading that the hardware scrolling was mentioned in the book itself... I'd need to dig it up again.

I wouldn't know myself how updating parts of the screen would help you with scrolling, everything moves and thus everything needs to be updated.
I haven't read that portion in ages, but as I recall, the book went out of its way to use layman's terms for everything, so non-computer literate people could understand it, so perhaps they simply didn't mention it on a technical level.
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Old 23 January 2021, 02:43   #53
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The market just preferred the dominant format for business, didn't care if the Amiga had 4000 colors and the PC had 16, they just wanted a high res (640x400 minimum), a hard drive and the applications, that simply didn't exist on the Amiga.
I often wonder if the Atari ST was the origional PC that IBM wanted to invent with the 68k. Built with off the shelf components
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Old 23 January 2021, 16:17   #54
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You didn't refute those points either. Carmack's independent (?) rediscovery of hardware scrolling is one testament to that, and the skin colours in any EGA game is another.
I name dropped Flight Sim and King's Quest, if you can't recognize this as a substantial refutation, then me name dropping a heap of other game titles would probably not help either.

You're more than welcome to think that Commander Keen was some sort of pinnacle of, and a turning point in early PC gaming, and then try to build a simplistic narrative around it. But this just another reason why I mentioned historical revisionism earlier.
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Old 23 January 2021, 21:07   #55
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I name dropped Flight Sim and King's Quest, if you can't recognize this as a substantial refutation, then me name dropping a heap of other game titles would probably not help either.
Sorry, which flight simulator? Sublogic’s flight simulator (which was later taken over by Microsoft and survives to this day) debuted on 8-bit platforms.

King’s Quest is an inventive game, by all means, but it should also be noted as a testament to the uninventiveness of the PC game developers that all subsequent Sierra games (on all platforms) used the same blocky 160x200 PC Jr graphics until VGA was well-established.

And, well, if EGA is horrible, then PC Jr graphics are even more horrible.

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You're more than welcome to think that Commander Keen was some sort of pinnacle of, and a turning point in early PC gaming, and then try to build a simplistic narrative around it. But this just another reason why I mentioned historical revisionism earlier.
Only an 80s PC gamer would consider Commander Keen to be any more noteworthy than Alfred Chicken or Snaperazzi in the grand history of games. Any attempt to bring it into a historical narrative is history revisionism, as is any mention of Carmack’s scrolling technique.
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Old 23 January 2021, 21:09   #56
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I often wonder if the Atari ST was the origional PC that IBM wanted to invent with the 68k. Built with off the shelf components
The ST isn’t built with off-the-shelf components unless you count the sound chip. I don’t know who launched this urban legend, but I myself believed it for years until actually opening an ST and looking at its innards with a critical eye.

The ST had a custom chipset, it just was very poor compared to the Amiga’s.
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Old 24 January 2021, 15:18   #57
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Sorry, which flight simulator? Sublogic’s flight simulator (which was later taken over by Microsoft and survives to this day) debuted on 8-bit platforms.
You mean that something which has thrived on a particular platform and played to its strengths should be discredited because it has originated elsewhere? It's an easy way to discredit half of Amiga's and other platforms' classics, but it does not make any sense whatsoever.

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King’s Quest is an inventive game, by all means, but it should also be noted as a testament to the uninventiveness of the PC game developers that all subsequent Sierra games (on all platforms) used the same blocky 160x200 PC Jr graphics until VGA was well-established.

And, well, if EGA is horrible, then PC Jr graphics are even more horrible.
I'm confused: KQ is an inventive game but it's devs were uninventive? Oh, wait, is this the tunnel-visioned school of though, where the only measure of game's inventiveness is its fx? And even when some of the devs managed to push the hardware envelope by releasing stunning looking games such as Colonel's Bequest? This is kindergarten-level reductionism at its worst. Following this logic, no platform apart from the absolute best (?) of the era had any good looking games: Amiga ones are "horrible" compared to SNES, ZX Spectrum to C64, etc, etc.

And, gameplay being any kind of important factor? You got to be kiddin'.

All that, of course, after we've ignored the little detail of talking about a very pricey business-oriented platform, which by default had much lower interest from game devs/publishers than the other ones. Might as well complain that my microwave makes poor toasts.

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Only an 80s PC gamer would consider Commander Keen to be any more noteworthy than Alfred Chicken or Snaperazzi in the grand history of games. Any attempt to bring it into a historical narrative is history revisionism, as is any mention of Carmack’s scrolling technique.
It's always amusing when people try to backpedal and pretend they meant something completely different than what's really been said, nevermind that on forums it's still up there for all to see. Bonus points awarded for trying to be snarky & disingenuous at the same time.

Commander Keen is somewhat noteworthy in the history of PC gaming, but it's a very small-sized milestone. This is down to the fact you're strenously trying to ignore: that the PC has always had a different gaming audience then consoles, and partially home computers (mixed bag). Gaming world does not revolve strictly around scrolling action games, and the PCs' strength has alway been in the adventure/RPG/IF/sim/strategy genres, later 3D FPS. One glance at the post-CK PC gaming landscape should be enough to establish it did not really make such great waves outside of the PC-shareware market niche, and definitely is not a proof of the alleged uninventiveness of PC devs prior to its release .

W're going in circles now so I'll bow out of this, ahem, "discussion", but I'm sure we'll have a chance to return to it on some other occasion. These seem to appear quite regularly around here.
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Old 25 January 2021, 12:17   #58
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"W're going in circles now so I'll bow out of this, ahem, "discussion"" - Yes... and you tried to get the last word in instead of taking the high road and bowing out BEFORE that rather loaded wall of text that should not have been posted.

It should not be this hard to be nice to each other.
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