ScuzzBlog: Diaries January 2021

Entry 8th January 2021: Post 1: Amiga 1000 and C128DCR - No comparison.

Amiga 1000 and C128DCR - No comparison.

It is not my intention here to compare the Amiga 1000 and the last
8-bit Commodore, but I will share a view or two about the two
quite distinct computers.

It is hard to appreciate why a company like Commodore would release
two very different machines almost at the same time. I understand
that the Amiga was an acquisition and the C128 was on the books to
extend the amazing success of the C64, but anyone looking at just
one or two of the features should have surely realised that the
8-bit 5.25" console based machine had had its day. This is not to
say there wasn't a place for it, but there could have been a little
more joined up thinking.

The A1060 5.25" sidecar was a kinda apology to the DOS based era,
but it paid no regard to CP/M and the vast array of software that
was used amongst pre Amiga Commodore users. The C128 was kinda a
dinosaur even before it was trampled to the ground by Amiga and
dare I say Atari. The Amiga 1000 may not have been the success
that it warranted, but what it did do was move focus from the teams
at Commodore away from the old to the new.

For me the Amiga 1000 is a very badly built bit of kit. Had the
Amiga team been able to retain the control of its production and
relied wholly on this product to succeed, they would have failed.
It was not an overnight success and was dogged with issues and was
over priced and expensive to make. It actually took the teams at
Commodore to rationalise the product and give us the Amiga 500.

I am not here to make detailed comparisons of the kit, but more to
give an overview of the styling qualities and the design merits.
The Amiga 1000 has aged the worst of any computer I have. It is
poorly put together and simply has none of the clarity and confidence
of the Amiga 500. I am grateful for the Amiga team but pay greater
respect to those that gave me the Amiga 500 and ultimately the 1200.
I do not show my Amiga 1000s with pride, I hide them in their boxes.
The worst of the batch I have sitting almost as stands for other
Amigas. I have an A1200 sat on one and a 500 Plus on another. Very
rarely are they used given that they provide nothing that I cannot
replicate and utilise better on the 500. My 500s sit with sidecar
to the left and generally within a metal tray tidy with monitor
on top and include external drives. They will have ROM switchers
and RAM cards plus in one or two, accelerators and other goodies.

The vast wealth of games and software for the 500 and its popularity
over the years is well diarised and recorded through the plethora
of magazines and books.

Anyhoo... Here is my least favourite Amiga, and a poor example of
one to boot. I really couldn't be bothered dragging down one of the
larger boxes to remove a better quality one. So this crappy one
will suffice for my comparison. The C128DCR released some one year
after the Amiga 1000 is more like an A500 in a Checkmate case. It
has the feel of a DIY project. I prefer the original C128 though
even here it just is crying out for a floppy drive.

And so today I present two Commodore products that are sadly put
in store and ignored for the most part. For me the post Spectrum
era could have lead me to the Amiga quicker than it did. But as
much as I was interested in the product I just could not justify
the cost at the time. And so I stayed loyal to CP/M and BASIC and
was able to furnish my computer desk with a computer, monitor and
printer plus all the software and a trendy new 3" compact disk
( that's disk not disc), courtesy of Alan Sugar and the PCW9512.
Which new set me back 500 and was still a sizeable investment
for the day. Interestingly my PCW9512 has weathered a little better
than the Amiga 1000.

I am obviously pleased that Amiga went to Commodore. I am also very
pleased that Commodore took control of the development of the kit
and gave us the Amiga 500. I don't think the C128 or 1000 shared
any common design philosophy. I sense though that the A500 bears all
the hallmarks of a next gen C128. The Amiga 1000 just let it leap
frog a few years to fast forward past the ST. Thank goodness.

See what you think. Chalk and cheese in truth though you sense that
big brother was just about to take over the reigns.

Amiga 1000 and C128DCR - No comparison.

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Last updated 8th January 2021

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