"Amiga -The Multimedia Powerhouse of the 80s"

Amiga is a family of home and business computers manufactured by Commodore between 1985 and 1994.

Jay Miner.. the legendary creator of Amiga

Based on the Motorola 68K, the Amiga featured many innovations, including 4,096 colors on screen, hardware graphics, PCM stereo sound, a pre-emptive multitasking OS, and a mouse-based GUI. The combination of all these features made Amiga the first affordable multimedia computer in the world. A generation of graphic designers, digital animators, video editors, musicians, and DJs started their careers using an Amiga computer. Nevertheless, the “Killer App” was probably video gaming.

The Short History of Amiga Computers

One of the head engineers of Atari’s 2600 and 8-bit family, Jay Miner, left Atari, to create a new revolutionary system with the ex-Atari Larry Kaplan. A system that would combine a personal computer and a gaming console. He began creating the "Lorraine" chipset under the company Amiga Corporation. However, Amiga Corp. ran out of capital, and the "Lorraine" project was sold to Commodore. After solving some legal disputes with Atari, Commodore improved the "Lorraine" chipset and enhanced the operating system. In July 1985, Commodore announced the Amiga 1000. In 1987, they announced two additional models, the Amiga 2000 and the very successful Amiga 500.

The Amiga 1000

The demise of Commodore came in April 1994 after many years of poor management, diminishing R&D, and many mistakes regarding new product development. However, the Amiga community remains active up to this day. Tens of new software titles and hardware upgrades are announced every single year. Even the operating system (AmigaOS) is upgraded once in a couple of years. Commodore died, nevertheless, Amiga remains very much alive.

Note, that in April 1995, the German company Escom bought Commodore International for $14 million. Escom sold A1200s and A4000s.


The AmigaOS

These are the basic features of the AmigaOS:

  • Amiga boots in 3 stages: (1) loading kernel (Kickstart), (2) Kickstart loads the rest of the operating system modules, and (3) Workbench is launched
  • Combines a GUI and a command-line interface
  • Implementing true preemptive multitasking (one of the first systems) using as little as 256 KB of memory
  • Single-user multitasking operating system (multitasking kernel, called Exec)
  • Allows filenames with up to 107 characters
  • Doesn't have memory protection (68K doesn’t have an MMU -memory management unit)
  • Memory protection was added in AmigaOS 4
  • AmigaOS inspired the later MorphOS and AROS operating systems


Amiga Models and Sales

This is some basic information, and sales figures, regarding the family of 16/32-bit Amiga computers.

Table: Geographical distribution of sold Amiga units



United Kingdom

1.5 - 1.8 million


1.4 - 1.7 million


700,000 - 840,000

U.S. & Canada

600,000 - 720,000


275,000 - 330,000


90,000 - 110,000

Rest of Europe

80,000 - 95,000

Rest of World

400,000 - 480,000


  • Probably, Commodore has sold over 6 million Amigas all over the world
  • The Amiga 1000 became widely available in early 1986
  • A500+ was never officially sold in the U.S (it was sold for 399 GBP and that includes the CARTOON Pack)
  • The CD32 was never sold in the US, due to a lawsuit against Commodore
  • The Amiga 4000T was originally released in small quantities by Commodore with a 68040 CPU, and in greater numbers by Escom in 1995, along with a variant with a 68060 CPU


Commodore's Stock Chart

In the following graph, the Commodore stock price as some legendary computers were released.

Image: Commodore stock price

Commodore stock price..

(1) Not all CBM models are added to the chart
(2) In 1980, there was a 3:1 stock split, which means the Commodore stock was a true rocket between 1977 and 1984


■ Commodore Amiga

G.P. for Binaryvalue.com (c)


  • Amiga.org
  • Wiki.amigaos.net
  • Wikipedia.com



□ MODELS » Amiga 500 » Amiga 2000 » Amiga 3000
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