Happy Birthday Amiga!
By bnitz on Jul 19, 2005
It's hard to believe 20 years have passed since the Amiga 1000 was introduced. I'm no artist, but here's an image I put together on the A1000 back in the early 90s using NewTek's DigiView demo images and digi-paint.
Here are some of my favorite A1000 features. Even after 20 years, some of these still haven't made it into common desktop computers!
- Keyboard garage (keyboard slid under A1000 to free up desk space)
- Pre-emptive multitasking (This is the main reasons I didn't a Wintel computer until after Windows 95. Even with no MMU, once you're used to being able to run multiple applications, you can never go back!)
- 12 bit (4096) color graphics. As you can see from this picture, Hold And Modify (HAM) mode looked a little fuzzy, but it was much better than the ASCII art which was common on other desktop computers!
- When you want to turn it off, you just turn it off. No start-shutdown, no wait, just switch it off. I'm not sure how they accomplished this.
- Case retaining Long filenames.
(P.S. Yes I know windows enventually kludged around the 8.3 rule, but try this on a Windows XP box:)
Start->Run and type "Command" to get a DOS prompt
C:\\cd "Program Files" Too many parameters - FilesIn command.com, XP retains a limit that the VIC-20 overcame back in 1980, for backwards compatibility?
- Forward<->Backward linked list file block allocation. Forget FAT, if something goes wrong with an AmigaDOS file, you have a chance of recovering.
- IFF. IFF was a good container for the multimedia file types of that time. The anim compression was clever in being able to run full frame animation off a floppy at a reasonable frame rate on a 7 Mhz processor.
- Slideable virtual screens It seemed intuitive to be able to grab the title bar and slide the entire screen down to reveal another screen, and another....
- Hardware mouse graphics. Somehow it felt like I had more control over the mouse when drawing or painting because even if the processor couldn't keep up, the mouse would not stutter.
- Unix like filesystem layout. Devs:, Fonts: and Libs: each lived in an appropriate directories. There was a also a startup file for the system and a startup for each shell. I still remember the BYTE magazine review where the AMIGA was criticized for not having an "AUTOEXEC.BAT." Some people just don't get it!