ScuzzBlog: Diaries October 2022

Entry 10th October 2022: Post 1: Get the most out of your Amiga.

Get the most out of your Amiga.

The other day I featured Amiga Format February 1992 to explain
how to upgrade your Amiga 500 to use 1MB chip RAM. The tutorial
was part of a promotion for the Amiga Format publication 'Get
The Most out of Your Amiga 1992'. I have featured these splendid
books in the past, and I can't recommend a better set of books
for Amiga education purposes.

One of the features in the book is the custom chips for the A500.
This is another issue that crops up time and time again. And so
I have scanned the pages and include them.

The game that is featured on the cover disk is Knightmare which
I do own, though the box is trapped in Tub 4 way down inside my
games mountain. I did try the demo for a bit of a laugh but soon
realised why I had never actually played the game. I did find the
very early version of SysInfo on the disk quite amusing.

In respect of the chips on the 500 I had cause to respond to a
forum post the other night regarding the suggestion that the A500
should have been released with an 030 processor from the get-go.
A rather adventurous idea that for reasons given was never going
to fly. I include below my response.

When Commodore finally got to the point of discharging the
original Amiga team and focussing on their primary Amiga products
they set too creating a low cost Amiga for home users and a big
box that could be expanded to compete with say the Macs of 87. Not
sure if you appreciate the cost of developing some of the kit of
the time but an 020 machine of that period cost 5500 US dollars.
There is no way the home user was going to pay that much for this
kit. The guys at Commodore had already radically restructured the
boards from the 1000 era to a more manageable and sensible and
efficient arrangement, and I believe they did that within the cost
constraints and market value set for the machines. There was
nothing wrong with the 500... it is probably one of the most
successful home computers of all time.

You really have to put computers into the respective development
time frame.

All the later machines were very capable of handling the faster
processors and could be purchased with them installed. I have an
A500 of the era with an 020 ViperCD. I also have an A2000 with a
GVP 030. My A1200s were all fitted with 030s. BUT, and it's a big
but, markets dictate product and that means costs. Not sure if
you appreciate just how much some of this stuff was in the day.
Even in 1995 an 030 accelerator card cost three hundred quid over
here in the UK. No idea how much the development cost and actual
unit cost of an 030 would have been in 1987. Bonkers costs.

PS it took till 1992 for the Falcon to launch with an 030. The
Amiga had the 4000 with both 030 and 040 and that timing was about
the earliest it was going to happen.

There was nothing wrong with the computers, the issue was with
management and structure of the company, particularly supply chains.
The other issue was the world was changing in 1993 and sadly the
era of the PC was about to be upon us. The low cost trays had had
their day and the end of the home computer was about to dawn. 
Games consoles and tin boxes to be the new order of the day. 
Neither Atari or Commodore could compete and neither could any of 
the others.

The A500 was blowing everything out the water in its day. It's
just that its days were in the autumn of the home computer era.
No amount of acceleration was going to change a thing. You don't
need an 030 to play R-TypeII. [ even now ].

Get the most out of your Amiga.

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Last updated 10th October 2022

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