AMIGA 1000 (1986)


    Ridding my attic, I found my old stock of relics rescued from my Amiga period: An Amiga 1200 Tower , Amiga 3000, Amiga 500 and... Amiga 1000 that belonged to one of my uncles. I had a flash! I will revive this icon of modern computers! First reaction: Getting Started. Connected to a Commodore 1702 monitor 64 (burnt afterwards), the test is successfull... aside hot smell !
Electronics that awakens after 25 years does not appreciate too much. I sold all my other Amiga to begin reconstruction of a complete Amiga 1000 configuration.

 This is one of the first model from 1986. Inside the cover you can see the signatures of the different people who participated in the birth of the Amiga. We even see paw of Jay Miner 's dog (the leader of this project. Jay, not the dog!). 
After dusting, cleaning contacts, cleaning the keyboard (the half of the keys not working due to oxidation), the Amiga began his second life.



Processor : Motorola 68000 32 bits (interna bus) 16 bits (External bus) @ 7 Mhz [13300*] RAM Memory: 256 Ko, expandable to 8 Mo [4096*]  
On my Amiga  1,5 Mo  [682*]  
 ROM memory :  8Ko + 256Ko réservée au Kickstart (="Bios" d'un PC) chargé au démarrage via une disquette. [4096*] Graphics chip: "OCS" Chipset  - 352X576 pixels 32 (64 with Half Brite mode) colours or 704x576 16 colours among 4096.  HAM mode (Hold & Modifiy) allows 352x576 with 4096 colours with proxymity constraintsé [1916*]
Storage :  3,5 inch diskette drive  880 KB formatted.
On my Amiga, 105 MB hard drive  [633*]  
Sound Chip :  "Paula" chipset-  8 bits 4 stereo channels. DMA
Operating system:
 AmigaOS 1.0  
On my Amiga, AmigaOS 1.3

Interfaces : - Video Output DB25 analog 14 kHz
- Outputs RCA stereo audio
- Output RF antenna for TV
- RCA Composite Video Output
- Two joystick/mouse ports
- External disk drives connector
- Serial output RS232 DB25
- DB25 Centronics parallel 
- Extension of Port 68000 (memory extension card / accelerator / HDD ..)
- Memory expansion port
- Keyboard connector

* The equivalent value of an 2013 iPhone 5 is [x] times greater


  In 1985, the computer market is based on family 8bit micro-computers and rather austere IBM PC (and compatibles) and a small revolutionary newness: the Macintosh, appeared a year before.
- The 8-bit computers offer an impressive game library, are not expensive but are limited to games and other few applications (drawing, word processing, small databases ...). Some even enter the world of "telematics", including the EXL 100 from Excelvision proposing to interconnect computers via the telephone line. Precursor but commercial failure (too early?).
- PCs are work specialists: Databases, word processing and spreadsheets. All this with a DOS text screen, often in monochrome. They are based on 16 bit processors and 32 bit Intel 80386 is planned.
- Apple released its famous Macintosh. 128KB, 32-bit 68000, mouse, office, recycle bin, windows ... it tells you something? We are in the early days of computing as the average user now knows. But the Macintosh is overpriced and has no color screen. Microsoft, following the wave, release Windows 1 which is in fact a GUI layer over the DOS.

Windows 1.01


IBM PC/AT - Macintosh 128 - Amstrad CPC 464


Development team

  "Lorraine" prototype
The 3 cards that will become specialized chips Agnus (bus), Denise (graphics) and Paula (Audio)


In 1982 Jay Miner (working at Atari) was contacted by Larry Kaplan of Activision which has plans to develop a new game console. Jay Miner already think about a project based on the Motorola 68000 processor and develop a powerful set of graphics and sound chips. HAM mode with 4096 colors simultaneously is already wired. Atari did not want this project, so they created the Hi-Toro Company (which quickly will be named "Amiga Incorporated" ) and start the prototype. .

 In January 1984, the prototype is exposed to Las Vegas to attract investors. Occasionally, a small demo is developed to demonstrate the graphics capabilities: the "Boing Ball demo". Some visitors even looked under the table to verify that this orgy of power did not come from another hidden system! In August 1984 Amiga Incorporated was purchased by Commodore.

Development continues to compete with Atari that develops a computer on similar basis and the first Amiga released in September 1985 with a retail price of $ 1300.

World premiere of Amiga
   The world premiere of the Amiga 1000 was held July 23, 1985 at Lincoln Center in New York. The aim of this show was to demonstrates graphics and musical potential of the Amiga while maintaining a professional character. We see even the ability to run native programs for the IBM PC. Commodore did not skimp on resources: Andy Warhol and Debbie Harry (Blondie) were present for the demonstration.

Among never seen
characteristics for a computer of this price , you can note:
- A powerful graphics chip supported by components allowing fast manipulation of objects and screens (you could "drag" the screens in a very fluid way.) A new graphics mode to display simultaneously 4096 colors  instead of 32. All this with a total compatibility of standard video signals. "overscan" mode allowed to completely fill a video screen without margin.
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  HAM6 4096 colours example
(Click to enlarge)


- A powerful sound chip: Although the Commodore 64 was already efficient for his generation, the Amiga went a step with 4 stereo channels (some software rised to 8 channels sharing the bandwidth) and the possibility of playing good quality samples. Many music editing software has flowered - the "Trackers" - and the musicians are given their heart to create thousands of music often incorporated into mega-demos = graphics and music demos.

- A true multitasking operating system : At this time it was science-fiction ... Why have a multitasking computer then you can do only one thing at a time? The Workbench (equivalent to PCs' Windows) allowed to run as much programs we wished at once (within the limits of memory capacity). Different softwares shared processor time and you could go from one to another by selecting the windows or "dragging" screens (which could have different graphics resolutions) one behind the other. .
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Wokbench 1.0 - 1985
Click to enlarge)



- Main unit (256KB) with 256KB A1050  front memory expansion (1986). Cleaning, burnt 68000 replacement due to a faulty SCSI controller & 1987 CLTD  hard disk.

- Commodore 1084 monitor mono (1987) - Repaired: there were dry welds.

- Additionnal A1010 Disk drive (1986) - posed above right.

- 2MB Memory Expansion Kupke Golem Ram Box (1987) - Box on the side with a small red LED. Has a faultly memory bank, I use only 1MB

- SCSI II controller and 105 MB hard drive  Kupke Golem (1990). At the right, a little elevated. Although initially this model was designed for an Amiga 500. I changed it to connect seamlessly with the Amiga 1000 (controller board rotated to 180 °)

- Original "Tank mouse" (1986)

Within the limits of this hardware and the 1.3 operating system from 1987.

The possibility of change to the 3.9 OS from 2001 opened the Amiga to much modern software
(New interfaces, TCP / IP stack for the internet ... etc)

Getting Started with the Amiga 1000
with its first operating system:
Amiga OS 1.0 in 1985.

The computer first need the kickstart that is transferred via the floppy drive. This feature will disappear with the next Amigas (500, 2000 ...). To change the kickstart you have to change a ROM into the computer. Kickstart on floppy allow to upgrade
very easily the operating system up to the 3.1 version. Disadvantage is that you do it every cold start Amiga (no need during a reset). After loading the kickstart, the Amiga Workbench is claim that we will start the working space.

Using my Amiga 1000: Boot, Workbench, 3D and 2D software, PC & Macintosh emulators
games, demos and some of my creations (vintage!)

Other screenshots

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 MS Windows 2.0 emulation
(Click to enlarge)

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24bits picture rendered by REAL3D
(Click to enlarge)

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  Macos 6.05 emulation
(click to enlarge)

Post-Amiga 1000 times...

Following this amiga generation, I continued with Amiga 3000, Amiga 1200 and finally 4000 to make the 3D pictures (Real 3D V3), kiosks and video editing (IV24/Vlab Motion / MovieShop)


Amiga 1000 Advertising (1985)

Amiga 1000 Advertising (1985)

Game: Marble Madness (1986)

Game: Defender of the Crown (1986)

Game: Starglider II (1988)

Game: Shadow of the beast (1989)

Demo: 9 fingers (1993) - 2 disquettes

Demo: Drugstore (1995)


Amiga history (french) :
Amiga complete history :
The Amiga is still alive! (french) :