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Paul
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« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2009, 11:00:57 PM »

While the A1200 is technically superior to the A500, it doesn't hold the same nostalgic appeal to me.  The Amiga 500 and Amiga 2000 represent the glory days of the Amiga computer, and were well beyond anything in or over their price range.  By the time the A1200 came out, Commodore was dying, the A1200's graphical capabilities were already surpassed, and it was no longer a price competitive alternative in the home computer market.  Not that I have anything against the A1200; it's an awesome little Amiga in its own respect.
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RobertB
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« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2009, 07:46:10 PM »

By the time the A1200 came out, Commodore was dying, the A1200's graphical capabilities were already surpassed...
     When the A1200 came out, it was 1992.  At 256,000 colors in HAM8 mode for the A1200, I'd say that PCs of 1992 were hard-pressed to keep up with that unless they were optioned out.
Quote
...and it was no longer a price competitive alternative in the home computer market.
     The A1200 started out at $599 in 1992.  Home PCs at $599 in 1992?  Such PCs were usually far higher in price.

                Truly,
                Robert Bernardo
                Fresno Commodore User Group
                http://videocam.net.au/fcug
                The Other Group of Amigoids
                http://www.calweb.com/~rabel1/
                Southern California Commodore/Amiga Network
                http://www.sccaners.org/
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Paul
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« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2009, 02:36:48 AM »

By the time the A1200 came out, Commodore was dying, the A1200's graphical capabilities were already surpassed...
     When the A1200 came out, it was 1992.  At 256,000 colors in HAM8 mode for the A1200, I'd say that PCs of 1992 were hard-pressed to keep up with that unless they were optioned out.

Sadly, by then, SVGA had already been out for two years and offered a superior, flicker-free maximum potential resolution of 1600x1200 pixels (1024x768 being very common), and could display 256 colours from a pallette of 16.7 million without using any special "Limited use" modes.  With proper custom drivers, it was possible to trade off resolution for an increased bitplane; making it possible to display 16,777,216 different colours at once in 640x480 with no limitations.  According to Wikipedia:

Quote
AGA also lacked flicker free higher resolution modes; being only able to display 640x480 at 72Hz flicker-free operation. 800x600 mode was left useless as it could only operate at a flickering 60Hz. In contrast, PC systems of this era would easily operate 1024x768 at 72Hz with a full 256 color display. This left the AGA systems appear amateurish at a time when PCs were being priced more affordably than a comparable Amiga.

     The A1200 started out at $599 in 1992.  Home PCs at $599 in 1992?  Such PCs were usually far higher in price.

That was without a hard disk drive.  I have issues of Toronto Computes from 1992 advertising PC's with SVGA graphics, but without hard disk drives, for $499.  The A1200 seemed like a good deal unless you wanted a hard disk drive and flicker-free high resolution productivity screens; then it started to get very expensive.  It was cheaper to buy the PC, with superior SVGA graphics, and add a standard 3.5" hard drive (A1200 needed the more expensive smaller drive), and connect what had become an inexpensive, flicker-free SVGA monitor for a complete system.

I'll admit, Windows was nowhere near the capabilities of Workbench and Intuition, but OS/2 was maturing quite nicely by then.
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"Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken. Take heed, do not squander your life." - Dogen Zenji
RobertB
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« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2009, 06:54:24 AM »

Sadly, by then, SVGA had already been out for two years and offered a superior, flicker-free...
     For that you buy a flicker-fixer for the Amiga 1200.
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...maximum potential resolution of 1600x1200 pixels...
     In 1992?  The potential was there, but I don't remember it being used.
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...(1024x768 being very common), and could display 256 colours from a pallette of 16.7 million...
     As can an Amiga 1200.
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...without using any special "Limited use" modes.
     Limited use?  Do you mean reduction of colors at higher resolutions?
Quote
With proper custom drivers, it was possible to trade off resolution for an increased bitplane; making it possible to display 16,777,216 different colours at once in 640x480 with no limitations.
     Now we are getting into A2000/3000/A4000 territory with 24-bit graphics cards.
Quote
That was without a hard disk drive.  I have issues of Toronto Computes from 1992 advertising PC's with SVGA graphics, but without hard disk drives, for $499.

Quote
I'll admit, Windows was nowhere near the capabilities of Workbench and Intuition, but OS/2 was maturing quite nicely by then.
     I maintain my point that the A1200 was still a good deal.  Throw in the cost of Windows 3.1 and/or OS/2 to the PC system, and then the pricing evens out.
Quote
The A1200 seemed like a good deal unless you wanted a hard disk drive and flicker-free high resolution productivity screens; then it started to get very expensive.  It was cheaper to buy the PC, with superior SVGA graphics, and add a standard 3.5" hard drive (A1200 needed the more expensive smaller drive), and connect what had become an inexpensive, flicker-free SVGA monitor for a complete system.
     I still maintain that if you wanted all of that, the PC would be higher in price.  Take a look at http://www.programcpp.com/chapter01/1_1_1.html

                Ick, I don't really like talking about PCs,
                Robert Bernardo
                Fresno Commodore User Group
                http://videocam.net.au/fcug
                The Other Group of Amigoids
                http://www.calweb.com/~rabel1/
                Southern California Commodore/Amiga Network
                http://www.sccaners.org/
« Last Edit: September 02, 2009, 07:01:57 AM by RobertB » Logged
RobertB
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« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2009, 07:00:45 AM »

By the time the A1200 came out, Commodore was dying, the A1200's graphical capabilities were already surpassed, and it was no longer a price competitive alternative in the home computer market.
     Ah, the home computer market... I forgot to mention that in 1992 the Commodore 64 was still being marketed.  Smiley

                Now that's a home computer!
                Robert Bernardo
                Fresno Commodore User Group
                http://videocam.net.au/fcug
                The Other Group of Amigoids
                http://www.calweb.com/~rabel1/
                Southern California Commodore/Amiga Network
                http://www.sccaners.org/
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Paul
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« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2009, 05:10:56 PM »

Bear in mind that, processor-wise, the base A1200 was comparable to a '386SX-16, so price comparisons ought to be made with those systems (which were considered the bottom end of the PC industry in 1992).  Also consider that, since Amiga shared memory with a video card, a 2MB A1200 would be roughly comparable to a 1MB PC with a 1MB SVGA video card.  I opened up my May 1992 issue of Toronto Computes.  It was painful for me, a total Amiga nut, to see these ads:




What hurt more was the fact that, by then, I was a hardcore CLI/DirOpus user, and had almost completely abandoned the GUI.  Opus clones were popular in the MS-DOS world, and many of the DOS commands were similar to CLI commands, so I was actually quite comfortable using MS-DOS.  That said,



Even including the prices of the GUI's, the Amiga still wasn't competitive.

Bear in mind, these are Canadian prices a full four months prior to the release of the Amiga 1200, which means that many of these prices were lower by the time the bare bones A1200 hit the streets at $599 USD, a price that soared after adding a hard drive and flicker fixer.  Not to mention the fact that adding a hard drive voided your warranty.

It was difficult for a big, bloated company to compete with the lean, mean PC machines.
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"Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken. Take heed, do not squander your life." - Dogen Zenji
Paul
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« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2009, 10:09:53 PM »

It was a really tough time to be an Amiga nut back in '92-'93.  I used to convince people the Amiga was a much better value for their dollar, and in the late 80's, with the A500, it really was.  I sold quite a few people on the Amiga (I was an early adopter; my A500 came with Workbench version 1.2).  Then I had people complain to me that they couldn't run specific software, and finding an Amiga equivalent was becoming increasingly more difficult.  The Amiga 1200 and 4000 were supposed to blow everything away.  The A1200 should have come with flicker free video from the factory.  The bare bones A1200 should have been $100 less when it launched, and it should have accommodated a standard 3.5" hard disk drive.  It didn't need to be better than the PC at that point; it only needed to be competitive.  What were they thinking with the PCMCIA slot?  If they had simplified the design, it could have been another Commodore 64.
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"Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken. Take heed, do not squander your life." - Dogen Zenji
RobertB
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« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2009, 10:27:06 PM »

Bear in mind that, processor-wise, the base A1200 was comparable to a '386SX-16...
    In Amiga magazines, the A1200 was likened to the abilities of a 486.
Quote
Also consider that, since Amiga shared memory with a video card, a 2MB A1200 would be roughly comparable to a 1MB PC with a 1MB SVGA video card.
    Shared memory?  Are you talking about chip RAM?  Even with the chip RAM limitation, it did not affect the A1200 abilities as much as that in a 386, due to the Amiga multi-tasking operating system... something that Windows 3.1 and OS/2 could not provide.
     It all boils down to this.  Does a person go for the entire package - hardware and o.s. - or does a person go for just the hardware?  You went for the hardware.  I went for the entire package, i.e., in 1992 no way would I go for hardware, no matter how slightly or majorly superior, if the o.s did not deliver and was not elegant.  Windows 3.1 and OS/2 did not meet my standards (ooo, Windows 3.1 was awful).  To compensate for the Windows/OS2 liabilities, you had to keep buying newer and newer hardware -- hidden but added costs.
     Now, because I don't really like talking about PCs, I will bow out of this conversation and go back to the original topic.

              Truly,
              Robert Bernardo
              Fresno Commodore User Group
              http://videocam.net.au/fcug
              The Other Group of Amigoids
              http://www.calweb.com/~rabel1/
              Southern California Commodore/Amiga Network
              http://www.sccaners.org/
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Paul
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« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2009, 12:48:51 AM »

    Shared memory?  Are you talking about chip RAM?  Even with the chip RAM limitation, it did not affect the A1200 abilities as much as that in a 386, due to the Amiga multi-tasking operating system... something that Windows 3.1 and OS/2 could not provide.

OS/2 actually provided the best multitasking capabilities of any computer of the day, including the Amiga.  Even by today's standards, it was practically crash-proof.  Amiga could still have a bad application bring the system down; but in the world of OS/2, everything was running isolated, and nothing could have direct control of any hardware.  Sadly, it, too, had gone the way of the Amiga.

    It all boils down to this.  Does a person go for the entire package - hardware and o.s. - or does a person go for just the hardware?  You went for the hardware.  I went for the entire package, i.e., in 1992 no way would I go for hardware, no matter how slightly or majorly superior, if the o.s did not deliver and was not elegant.  Windows 3.1 and OS/2 did not meet my standards (ooo, Windows 3.1 was awful).  To compensate for the Windows/OS2 liabilities, you had to keep buying newer and newer hardware -- hidden but added costs.

Actually, for many people it boiled down to this: Does a person buy a computer for the sakes of having a computer, or does a person buy a computer to perform a specific task or set of tasks?  Back in '92, I knew what I wanted a computer for: BBSing, word processing, spreadsheet, programming, faxing, and helping me with my taxes.  My 1MB stock A500 had a lot of trouble with a faxmodem; a 640k '286 could send and receive faxes easily.  I had trouble finding software to help me with my taxes on my A500 (Canadian taxes), while some great software for doing my taxes was a free download away for even an ancient PC XT with an 8088 and single disk drive.

As for me, I held on to my A500 as long as I possibly could.  I did eventually add a hard disk drive to help things along.  To address my faxmodem and tax needs, I built a cheap junky '286 system for $100, which was cheaper than the used hard disk drive for my A500.  I started out using it just for that, then I got hooked on using Telix for BBSing (which blew away JRComm and Terminus on the Amiga) along with the blueMail offline mail reader (much tighter and more feature-rich than Q-Blue on the Amiga).  Next it was Lotus 1-2-3 for spreadsheets (mostly doing my budget), then I got a hold of a graphical version of WordPerfect for DOS.  I wasn't playing many games (I felt I had grown out of that stage).  My poor A500 was getting neglected; the bad and nasty PC invaded our home and took over.

It was a bitter pill to swallow.  I take solace in the fact that I kept my original A500 all these years, while that PC has long since been sold.  To me, the PC has always been a tool to do the job, and the Amiga was always something special; a future that could have been.  I definitely hold the A1200 in higher regard than an old PC.

    Now, because I don't really like talking about PCs, I will bow out of this conversation and go back to the original topic.

I felt this was more about the reasons why things went downhill for Commodore at around the time the A1200 came to market, and am sorry you have decided to leave.  While heartbreaking, it's also an interesting topic for me.
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"Life and death are of supreme importance. Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost. Each of us should strive to awaken. Awaken. Take heed, do not squander your life." - Dogen Zenji
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