The A-500 Plus had the shortest of lives and struggled cus it was
just an A-600 trapped in an A-500 case. The classic caught 'on two
stools' and fell very quickly. Launched in 1991, but nobody told
anyone, it had hardly seen the light of day when it's successor
was announced. There was no great celebration of its launch and
I doubt many missed the poor Amiga 500 Plus's passing. A strange
story and one I will attempt to throw light on in a couple of days.
For now though it is worth remembering how the A-500 Plus differed
from the Amiga 500 .... And not just cus it had a pesky battery.
Up until the launch of the Plus the Amiga 500 was optionally fitted
with an A501 RAM expansion in a silver case. This had fitted inside
the barrel battery for the real time clock. Some idiot at Commodore
thought it would be clever to stick the ticking time bomb on the
motherboard along with the expanded memory. Many that received the
A-500 Plus during December of 1991 did so thinking they were getting
an A500. Instead the boxes contained a note from Commodore telling
them that they had the A-500 Plus and there was no longer the need
for the memory expansion.
Anyway here is a breakdown of the changes ...
Amiga Format December 1991 Issue 29
INSIDE THE A500 PLUS: Those changes...
On first appearance, the A500 Plus looks just like an ordinary
Amiga A500. The case is exactly the same size, colour and design.
You notice the A500 Plus badge and a subtle change to the keyboard:
an extra blank by the shortened Return key, matched by another
blank key on the left hand side by a shortened Shift key.
Now you get the first real idea of what it is that makes an A500
Plus: this A500 has Kickstart 2.04 with a new animation to replace
the boring old hand-holding-disk screen.
... This A500 P has Kickstart 2.04
... This A500 P is fitted with the new Denise chip
The give-away is that the motherboard has has A500+ in big letters
across the board. This is , in effect, not just a revision to the
normal A500: this is a completely new machine. Notice the small,
oblong chips in a row along the bottom. And if you look closely,
chip and its back up battery clearly labelled..
Also changed is the trapdoor slot expansion connector.
WHAT'S NEW FOR WORKBENCH 2:
It's been around on the A3000 for over a year but now the latest
version of the operating system is finalised, encoded on a
Kickstart ROM chip and appearing right across the Amiga range.
The Windows menu is one of the most exciting developments of
Workbench 2. It now becomes a proper graphics interface, because
even if a file doesn`t have a proper icon, it can be displayed
in a window with a pseudo-icon`.
New Drawer: `Thank Goodness for that` .. Amiga users up and down
the country will be saying. At last there`s the ability to create
a new drawer in any active window.
Format Disk: The icon menu will now find an option that is called
... Outline Fonts. Commodities: AutoPoint, Blanker Clicktofront,
Fkey, Ihelp, Nocapslock. Extras: Memacs, Iconedit, Calculator,
CMD, Colors, Graphicsdump, Initprinter, Keyshow, Printfiles,
What you won`t find on the Extras disk however is AmigaBasic. Yes
I`m afraid that old workhorse has been put out to grass. And
probably about time to.