Although the hardware is limited to four separate sound channels, software such as OctaMED uses software mixing to allow eight or more virtual channels, and it was possible for software to mix two hardware channels to achieve a single bit resolution channel by playing with the volumes of the channels in such a way that one of the source channels contributes the most significant bits and the other the least.
The quality of the Amiga's sound output, and the fact that the hardware is ubiquitous and easily addressed by software, were standout features of Amiga hardware unavailable on PC platforms for years. Third-party sound cards exist that provide DSP functions, multi-track direct-to-disk recording , multiple hardware sound channels and bit and beyond resolutions. Kickstart is the firmware upon which AmigaOS is bootstrapped.
Its purpose is to initialize the Amiga hardware and core components of AmigaOS and then attempt to boot from a bootable volume , such as a floppy disk or hard disk drive. The keyboard on Amiga computers is similar to that found on a mid 80s IBM PC: Ten function keys, a numeric keypad, and four separate directional arrow keys. Caps Lock and Control share space to the left of A. The left is used to manipulate the operating system moving screens and the like and the right delivered commands to the application. The absence of Num lock frees space for more math symbols around the number pad.
Contemporary Macintosh computers, for comparison, lack function keys completely. The mouse has two buttons like Windows, but unlike Windows pressing and holding the right button replaces the system status line at the top of the screen with a Maclike menu bar.
Menu items that have a boolean toggle state can be left clicked whilst the menu is kept open with the right button, which allows the user — for example — to set some selected text to bold, underline and italics all at once. The mouse plugs into one of two Atari joystick ports used for joysticks , game paddles , and graphics tablets.
Although compatible with analog joysticks , Atari-style digital joysticks became standard. The Amiga was one of the first computers for which inexpensive sound sampling and video digitization accessories were available. As a result of this and the Amiga's audio and video capabilities, the Amiga became a popular system for editing and producing both music and video. Many expansion boards were produced for Amiga computers to improve the performance and capability of the hardware, such as memory expansions, SCSI controllers, CPU boards, and graphics boards.
Other upgrades include genlocks , network cards for Ethernet , modems , sound cards and samplers, video digitizers , extra serial ports , and IDE controllers.
Additions after the demise of Commodore company are USB cards. These were sometimes combined into the one device. Later designs feature the Motorola or Motorola Graphics cards were designed primarily for 2D artwork production, workstation use, and later, gaming. Video cards are designed for inputting and outputting video signals, and processing and manipulating video. In the North American market, the NewTek Video Toaster was a video effects board which turned the Amiga into an affordable video processing computer which found its way into many professional video environments.
One well-known use was to create the special effects in early series of Babylon 5. In those countries, the OpalVision card was popular, although less featured and supported than the Video Toaster. Low-cost time base correctors TBC specifically designed to work with the Toaster quickly came to market, most of which were designed as standard Amiga bus cards. Other manufacturers produced hybrid boards which contained an Intel x86 series chip, allowing the Amiga to emulate a PC. Expansion boards were made by Richmond Sound Design that allow their show control and sound design software to communicate with their custom hardware frames either by either ribbon cable or fiber optic cable for long distances, allowing the Amiga to control up to eight million digitally controlled external audio, lighting, automation, relay and voltage control channels spread around a large theme park, for example.
See Amiga software for more information on these applications. The original Amiga models were produced from to Several companies and private persons have also released Amiga clones and still do so today. The first Amiga model, the Amiga , was launched in In , PC World rated the Amiga as the seventh greatest PC of all time, stating "Years ahead of its time, the Amiga was the world's first multimedia, multitasking personal computer". Commodore updated the desktop line of Amiga computers with the Amiga in , the Amiga in , and the Amiga in , each offering improved capabilities and expansion options.
However, the best selling models were the budget models, particularly the highly successful Amiga and the Amiga It was an early attempt at a multi-purpose multimedia appliance in an era before multimedia consoles and CD-ROM drives were common. Unfortunately for Commodore, the system never achieved any real commercial success. Like the Commodore 64GS that was a video game console based on a computer, the CDTV was designed as a video game console and multimedia platform. It had existed before the Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn , but had influenced them [ citation needed ]. Commodore's last Amiga offering before filing for bankruptcy was an attempt to capture a portion of the highly competitive s console market with the Amiga CD32 , a bit CD-ROM games console.
Although discontinued after Commodore's demise it met with moderate commercial success in Europe. Following purchase of Commodore's assets by Escom in , the A and AT continued to be sold in small quantities until , though the ground lost since the initial launch and the prohibitive expense of these units meant that the Amiga line never regained any real popularity. Several Amiga models contained references to songs by the rock band The B's. It is mainly based on AmigaOS 3. AmigaOS 4. Long-time Amiga developer MacroSystem entered the Amiga-clone market with their DraCo non-linear video editing system.
The technology was later used in the Casablanca system, a set-top-box also designed for non-linear video editing. The company was renamed to Met box in until it folded. The NatAmi short for Native Amiga hardware project began in with the aim of designing and building an Amiga clone motherboard that is enhanced with modern features. It is compatible with the original Amiga chipset, which has been inscribed on a programmable FPGA Altera chip on the board.
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From a commercial point of view, Natami's circuitry and design are currently closed source. As such, NatAmi is not intended to become another evolutionary heir to classic Amigas, such as with AmigaOne or Pegasos computers. This "purist" philosophy essentially limits the resulting processor speed but puts the focus on bandwidth and low latencies. Later, the developers decided to create from scratch a new software-form processor chip, codenamed "N" that resides in the physical Altera FPGA programmable chip.
The first, the Minimig , is a personal project of Dutch engineer Dennis van Weeren. Referred to as "new Amiga hardware",  the original model was built on a Xilinx Spartan-3 development board, but soon a dedicated board was developed. A third party upgrade replaces the PIC microcontroller with a more powerful ARM processor, providing more functionality such as write access and support for hard disk images.
The Replay board is designed to implement many older computers and classic arcade machines. The second is the Clone-A system announced by Individual Computers. As of mid it has been shown in its development form, with FPGA-based boards replacing the Amiga chipset and mounted on an Amiga motherboard. Like many popular but discontinued platforms, the Amiga has been emulated so that software developed for the Amiga can be run on other computer platforms without the original hardware.
Such emulators attempt to replicate the functionality of the Amiga architecture in software. One of the most challenging aspects of emulation is the design of the Amiga chipset, which relies on cycle-critical timings. As a result, early emulators did not always achieve the intended results though later emulator versions can now accurately reproduce the behavior of Amiga systems.
The biggest difference is that the AmigaOS could operate fully and multitask in as little as K of address space. AmigaOS is a single-user multitasking operating system. It was developed first by Commodore International, and initially introduced in with the Amiga At the time of release AmigaOS put an operating system that was well ahead of its time into the hands of the average consumer. It was one of the first commercially available consumer operating systems for personal computers to implement preemptive multitasking.
Another notable feature was the combined use of both a command-line interface and graphical user interface. AmigaDOS was the disk operating system and command line portion of the OS and Workbench the native graphical windowing, icons , menu and pointer environment for file management and launching applications. Notably, AmigaDOS allowed long filenames up to characters with whitespace and did not require filename extensions. The windowing system and user interface engine which handles all input events is called Intuition.
The multi-tasking kernel is called Exec. It acts as a scheduler for tasks running on the system, providing pre-emptive multitasking with prioritised round-robin scheduling. AmigaOS does not implement memory protection , because the CPU does not include a memory management unit. The problem was somewhat exacerbated by Commodore's initial decision to release documentation relating not only to the OS's underlying software routines, but also to the hardware itself, enabling intrepid programmers who had developed their skills on the Commodore 64 to POKE the hardware directly, as was done on the older platform.
While the decision to release the documentation was a popular one and allowed the creation of fast, sophisticated sound and graphics routines in games and demos, it also contributed to system instability as some programmers lacked the expertise to program at this level. For this reason, when the new AGA chipset was released, Commodore declined to release low-level documentation in an attempt to force developers into using the approved software routines. AmigaOS directly or indirectly inspired the development of various operating systems.
Among other unusual features of Amix is a hardware-accelerated windowing system which can scroll windows without copying data. Amix is not supported on the later Amiga systems based on or processors.
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There is an official, older version of OpenBSD. The last Amiga release is 3. MINIX 1. However, the Amiga could not directly read Macintosh 3. Further, it required a compatible Macintosh for a copy of its ROM. The Atari ST was also emulated. In the late s and early s the platform became particularly popular for gaming, demoscene activities and creative software uses.
During this time commercial developers marketed a wide range of games and creative software, often developing titles simultaneously for the Atari ST due to the similar hardware architecture. Popular creative software included 3D rendering ray-tracing packages, bitmap graphics editors , desktop video software, software development packages and " tracker " music editors.
Until the late s the Amiga remained a popular platform for non-commercial software, often developed by enthusiasts, and much of which was freely redistributable. An on-line archive, Aminet , was created in and until around was the largest public archive of software, art and documents for any platform. The name Amiga was chosen by the developers from the Spanish word for a female friend, because they knew Spanish,  and because it occurred before Apple and Atari alphabetically. It also conveyed the message that the Amiga computer line was "user friendly" as a pun or play on words.
The first official Amiga logo was a rainbow-colored double check mark. In later marketing material Commodore largely dropped the checkmark and used logos styled with various typefaces.
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Although it was never adopted as a trademark by Commodore, the "Boing Ball" has been synonymous with Amiga since its launch. It became an unofficial and enduring theme after a visually impressive animated demonstration at the Winter Consumer Electronics Show in January showing a checkered ball bouncing and rotating. Following Escom's purchase of Commodore in , the Boing Ball theme was incorporated into a new logo. Early Commodore advertisements attempted to cast the computer as an all-purpose business machine, though the Amiga was most commercially successful as a home computer.
Since the demise of Commodore, various groups have marketed successors to the original Amiga line:. After Commodore went bankrupt in , an active Amiga community continued to support the platform long after mainstream commercial vendors abandoned it. The most popular Amiga magazine, Amiga Format , continued to publish editions until , some six years after Commodore filed for bankruptcy.
Another magazine, Amiga Active , was launched in and was published until In spite of declining interest in the platform, there was a bi-weekly specialist column in the UK weekly magazine Micro Mart. Several notable magazines are in publication today: Amiga Future ,  which is available in both English and German; Bitplane. The Amiga series of computers found a place in early computer graphic design and television presentation. Below are some examples of notable uses and users:.
In addition, many other celebrities and notable individuals have made use of the Amiga: .
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the family of personal computers. For other uses, see Amiga disambiguation. The Amiga was the best selling model. Main article: History of the Amiga. Main article: ReTargetable Graphics. Main article: Kickstart Amiga. Main article: Amiga models and variants.
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Main article: AmigaOS 4. Main article: Amiga emulation. Main article: AmigaOS. Dvorak , PC Magazine , October Main article: Emulation on the Amiga. Main article: Amiga software.
This article may contain minor, trivial or unrelated fictional references. Trivia or references unimportant to the overall plot of a work of fiction should be edited to explain their importance or deleted. August Amiga portal. It originated as a project code-named "Lorraine", therefore the female was used instead of the male and general version Amigo. Ars Technica. Archived from the original on April 21, Retrieved April 21, Archived from the original on Retrieved Archived from the original on 4 July Retrieved 14 June Amiga History Guide.
Archived from the original on February 20, Amiga Forever. Amiga history guide. Next Generation. Imagine Media. March Amiga Hardware Reference Manual. Amiga Technical Reference Series 3rd ed. Archived from the original on July 12, Retrieved July 17, Archived from the original on May 12, Retrieved May 23, Gareth Knight. Archived from the original on July 3, Retrieved January 31, The initial schedule of 18 months was for the Hombre game machine hardware. There's no real OS here, just a library of routines, including a 3D package, which would probably be licensed.
The Amiga OS was not to have run on this system in any form. Archived from the original on March 2, Archived from the original on 4 December Retrieved 18 January Amiga Hardware Database. Bridgeboard cards appeared up to processor variants. The bridgeboard card was manufactured by Commodore, later third party cards also appeared for the Amiga and Amiga expansion slot such as the KCS Powerboard. In addition, it would only run on Amigas using the microprocessor, and would not run if the Amiga had more than K of RAM. The latest version of it 4. The emulator could make use of hardfile devices and then it could handle multiple hard disk files and hard disk partitions.
Parallel, Serial and PC speaker emulation, and mouse support, including serial mouse emulation were also granted. And latest version of it 4. Also introduced for the Amiga were two products, A-Max both internal and external models and the Emplant expansion card. It wasn't a particularly elegant solution, but it did provide an affordable and usable Mac experience.
Over time full-software virtualization was available, but a ROM image was still necessary. Virtual machines provide equal or faster speed than a Macintosh with the same processor, especially with respect to the m68k series due to real Macs running in MMU trap mode, hampering performance. One should note that although Amigas were very successful at emulating Macintoshes, it was never considered to be a Macintosh clone as it could not use Mac OS as a primary operating system.
Various Commodore 64 emulators were produced for the Amiga. In Compute! Although the magazine used copies of the genuine 64 ROMs, it found that some software such as SpeedScript did not run, and both emulators' performance was inferior to the real computer. Atari ST emulation on Amiga is very easy because the two machine share the same model of processor and more or less feature the same hardware characteristics. In the past there were produced various software based Atari emulators for the Amiga such as Amtari , or Medusa emulator.
Original Kickstart 3. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.