The story of the legendary Amiga began with two former Atari employees founding the company Hi-Toro in 1982. To avoid confusing them to a Japaneese lawnmower manufacturer they soon renamed to Amiga, which means “female friend” in Spanish.

After much trouble getting money for the project, including shady moves by Atari, Commodore finally came through, founding the Commodore-Amiga Ltd subsidary in 1984. The Amiga 1000 was released only 11 months later but never took off due to its high price — it cost twice as much as an Atari ST. With the release of the Amiga 2000 and Amiga 500 in 1987 sales took off. Many chose the Amiga 500 when moving from 8-bit computers to 16-bit despite it being pricier than the Atari ST, and more and more games took advantage of the Amiga's superior design.

A lot of successes such as the Amiga 3000 followed, until failures like the CDTV, the last nail in the coffin of 16-bit home computers, finally led to an end in 1994. The name Amiga has lived on thanks to its dedicated fans, but although it has resurfaced multiple times, few of the anouncements about new Amiga-related products became reality. One of these false starts had Linux being touted as the new AmigaOS.

With the new PowerPC-powered AmigaONE boards, things seem to be actually moving in the Amiga market now. It currently runs DebianLinux and a pre-release version of AmigaOS 4.

See also:

Part of CategoryOldComputers

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