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Why the Amiga rawked and why Cnet are a bunch of doody-heads


Why the Amiga rawked and why Cnet are a bunch of doody-heads

ST? Render unto me a fucking break.

At the time I bought my Amiga (serial # 11) I was working for a PC graphics card company. Back then there was only one PC video card that would do what the Amiga did, the IBM professional graphics controller or "PGC". I'm not sure anybody actually bought one, it was $2500 whereas the Amiga was $1000 and had all sorts of added video goodies that blew even the PGC well and truly out of the water.

Matt Dillon (Dragonfly BSD/FreeBSD) ported bash to the Amiga. There were a couple of UUCP packages - Amigas were shuttling news and mail around in the pre-internet era while Atari's barely worked with a modem to connect to a BBS.

The Amiga had a real C compiler and was the first home computer that gave you access to a 68k's linear address space, some people bought them because of this and didn't even care about the graphics.

Jim Macraz OS gave you the ability to pull a window from background to foreground faster than probably any OS even today. Certainly faster than the relatively contemporary wintel box I'm (sigh, reluctantly) typing this on.

Dpaint III made the less capable photoshop-to-come-later look stupid, overly complex and arcane. To this day I'd pretty much kill for a PC clone of Dpaint. That and that alone made then SIGGRAPH-only graphics possible for home users that didn't have access to clusters of Apollo workstations. Leo Schwab (Hi Leo!) knocked off Pixar's first serious animation ("Red's Dream") in a weekend which got him in a slight amount of trouble with Pixar.

I formatted a book (a manual for a piece of software) on my Amiga with some simple postscript software I wrote that took runoff commands, first to a postscript priter then right to a Linotronic that set film. The software the manual was for was called "The Director" - Keith Doyle's animation scripting language later ripped off by Macromedia which later begat flash.

There was a port of Word Perfect for the Amiga. God only knows what'd happen if 1-2-3 and dbase had been ported. Knowing what I now know about IBM I suspect they paid people not to port to the Amiga as rumors of these ports existed at the time.

As for music, that's great the article can dig up some wonk nobody's heard of that still uses a (spit) ST. I met Todd Rungren at some Amiga function in LA, more musicians used Amigas than STs. Never mind the (scifi) TV shows that used Amiags for video work. I'm trying to think of something the ST did right. Umm...

In its day the Amiga was the best computer you could buy for virtually anything. It's just that its day lasted only about 2 years, but it was still probably the most amazing computer ever built. When Microsoft finally released a copy of Windows that would stay up for more than 10 minutes (3.1) the Amiga was doomed. Previous versions of windows, 1, 2, 3.0 when compared against the Amiga came off looking like a Trabant compared to an MB SLR.

Any article that tries to show how the best never made it and picked the ST over the Amiga is seriously flawed to put it mildly.

Anything you do on a computer today we did on an Amiga 20 years ago well before PC's and Mac's could even come close. Open source got its first jump start there. It was unixy enough to keep us sated. It had scsi (albeit an add on, but the box had a connector to allow for such add ons).

The late 80's were a heady time because of this box and the computing wrld has been a time wasting x86/win nightmare ever sice that we're still barely out of.

If you look up "it's a real shame" in Wikipedia you'll find a picture of an Amiga 1000.

I suppose it it's any reconcilliation, I eschewed the flakey Commodore 1070 monitor for a Sony KV1311CR, a vastly superior monitor that I still have and still use for some things while the Amiga, it's SCSI subsystem and all those new at the time (as in $50 for 10) high density floppies sit languishing in the barn. Just for the memories I'd never get rid of it.

ST? It is to laugh...



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