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Tech Tuesday – Retro Computing Comeback?

The first computer I ever owned was a Commodore 64. It ran at about 2 MHz and had 64K, that’s kilobytes, not megabytes, to run your games and programs. I thought it was was the coolest thing going. Till the Amiga come along. Commodore’s next step in computers. And for a while, Amiga was right up there with Mac and PCs. But then Commodore went belly up and Amiga faded from sight, but didn’t totally die. It just, hibernated.

Amiga 500 system
Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia/Bill Bertram

This past weekend, hold outs and die hard of the Amiga community held an annual event called AmiWest in Sacramento, California. I have attended this event and I can say for a fact, it is fun. At this event, Steven Solie, the programming manager for Hyperion Entertainment, the company who owns the rights to the Amiga operating system, announced a new netbook for the Amiga community. That announcement has been reported on some of the main websites like Slashdot and OSNews, so I feel it’s come to main stream so I can report it.

The big news is not only is it a new hardware offering, as there has been some hardware produced for the Amiga community for some time now, but the price point. Most of the machines for the Amiga OS commanded larger than normal prices because the hardware was to some extent custom, and had short production runs that wasn’t able to create volume discounts. This netbook is an off the shelf solution bringing the price considerably down and making it more affordable to many in the community, and it’s hoped to bring in a few of the users who left the platform, back as well as a few new ones to check it out.The expected price point is somewhere between $300 and $500, which is right where netbooks are priced now.

Back in the day, the Amiga was one of the premiere multimedia machines of it’s time and even surpassed many of the offerings of the day. But bad management and poor marketing are considered the main factor in the Amiga not maintain it’s presence in the computer world. Many of the Amiga’s innovations took many years to filter into main stream PCs and Macs. And the Amiga’s GUI innovations can still be seen to some point in the modern Macs.

Back in it’s day, the Amiga was a fun computer to use. I would sit in front of my Amiga 500 for hours, just tweaking little things on it till it was exactly how I wanted it. And many of the games on it, were the best I played. So be on the look out for this new offering and if it appeals to you, I suggest taking a look. Also check out some of the Amiga community websites for more info on the Amiga itself. As well as the official Amiga OS website that has just recently gone live.

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