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Old 09-20-2011, 11:11 AM   #1
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Default Runequester reads old amiga magazines chronologically.

Having a plan to read a lot of old amiga magazines, and comment on them. Im not sure if anyone will find it interesting, but we'll see.
Basically the plan is to start at the beginning, with magazines scanned from bombjack's amazing site (there's also the amiga magazine rack but they mostly just scan the game reviews)

In a way, a travel through time.
Pretend it's back in the day and we`ll try and experience things as they were.

Starting at 1985, there's two I could find at a first glance, amiga world (which has the distinction of coming out before the amiga was on sale) and .info which seems to have been a commodore magazine previously.


So what do we find in the first two issues of amiga world?


Amiga World 1
First and foremost... you need to read issue 1. The speculation, talk and sheer excitement is hard to understand now.

They have a little introductory chart which leaves out the Atari ST, but compares with Mac, IBM PC (5150?) and PC AT. Good stuff.

Processor speed is comparable (7 mhz 68000 for the amiga and mac, 6 mhz 286 for the AT, and 4 mhz 8086 for the PC).
Memory you get 256 K in the amiga and AT, only 128K in the mac. Expandable up to 512K for the mac (really? That was all?), 3 megs for the AT and a staggering 8 MB for the amiga.

Disk capacity, you get 880K disks, compared to the piddly 400K on the mac. The AT is boss here with 1.2 meg 5.25" disks.

Of course colour is a foregone conclusion. Monochrome is the standard (16 colours optional if you have an EGA card, which would have been beastly expensive in 1985) while the amiga rocks 4096 colours available (though 32 is normal modes)

Sound is far superior as well of course.

They definately talk up this new fangled space computer.


A lot of talk about the idea of having a graphical user interface. Clearly not something that is considered standard, even though the Mac has been out for a little while.


20 meg hard drive is available pretty much right away. Awesome stuff. Imagine how long it'd take to fill that?


Electronic arts is on board. Big name software from a big company.


Turbo pascal coming next year. To do...whatever it is Pascal does. Im sure that`ll be exciting.


You can subscribe to amiga world with a 25% discount! I`ll have to see if I have 15 bucks in my couch. THis computer is probably gonna be big.


Just to drive the point home, there`s whole pages dedicated to art drawn on the amiga. I am idly wondering what paint program they could have been done with. Was Deluxe Paint out right away?


Not a lot of price lists in the first issue, but some lists of software that will be upcoming. Hope it turns out to be good.


Lots of questions and answers. Very broad so far. Sadly, you can`t use a cassette recorder to save and load programs.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:17 AM   #2
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Default Re: Runequester reads old amiga magazines chronologically.

Awesome post! Good luck, remember to get a bunch of AA batteries for that walkman because you will be needing it! I have heard that a movie called Back to the Future is coming out later this year, you know with the kid from Family Ties.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: Runequester reads old amiga magazines chronologically.

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Originally Posted by Florida View Post
Awesome post! Good luck, remember to get a bunch of AA batteries for that walkman because you will be needing it! I have heard that a movie called Back to the Future is coming out later this year, you know with the kid from Family Ties.
Hells yeah

The sequel to Rambo was cool, and Rocky boxed with Dolph Lundgreen.

"I will break you"

Who'll be the new Bond after Moore ?

Amiga world 2

November and December issue. It`d be nice to get an issue every month.

Observations:


Tecmar makes what I can only describe as a frankenstein tower. This beast plugs into the side of the amiga, and then you stick expansions on top of it. All in all, you`ll end up with a 20 meg hard drive, 20 meg tape backup, a modem (2400 baud!) and 1 meg of extra RAM.

You can tell your amiga is awesome, because with all this plugged in, its 2 feet tall!


Electronic Arts advertising some new games coming out. Arctic fox, marble madness, archon (must be a port), skyfox.


Another comparison article. PC`s and Mac`s suck more for more money. Eat your heart out Apple.
No mention of this new fangled Atari yet.


Amiga Transformer. Emulates an 8086 processor to let you run IBM stuff. Apparently it even runs Lotus 1-2-3. Amazing stuff!


Amiga is totally a business machine. A big article about spreadsheets. When I grow up, I hope that won`t be what I do all day.


Holy crap. There`s a Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy game from infocom. You even get sunglasses in the box.
And you can get a sampler disk with 4 stories on it for only 8 dollars. Can`t argue with that.


MIDI and music software. I guess with this amazing new computer, you can do some pretty neat sounds.


You can also program in C! That sounds pretty professional.



Now, hopefully some games will come out for this computer. Spreadsheets and word processing is great but after all, IBMs let you play Paratrooper.


Stay tuned!
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: Runequester reads old amiga magazines chronologically.

Quote:
Originally Posted by runequester View Post
Turbo pascal coming next year. To do...whatever it is Pascal does. Im sure that`ll be exciting.
Still waiting for that.
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: Runequester reads old amiga magazines chronologically.

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Turbo pascal coming next year. To do...whatever it is Pascal does. Im sure that`ll be exciting.
From the beginning some big names tested the waters (by advertising in early Amiga magazines) . Some got further than others. Wordperfect made it to a finished Amiga product, lotus 1-2-3 and dbase did not (Though I have read that one of these came close). I always thought it would have been killer to show a couple (or all three) of these products running natively on an Amiga at the same time. What 'business' person could not see the value in that? Ah, well... Anyway, Turbo Pascal was a big name at the time, too, and we never saw this either. :-(

Can you tell that I used to regularly read the Bandito's column in Amazing Amiga? Those were exciting days...
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: Runequester reads old amiga magazines chronologically.

Info 8 (sep-oct 85)

Okay, so here we are definately a priceclass lower. Everything is grey scale images and the most eye searing illustrations you can imagine. But there`s definately desire and passion burning there.

A lot of C64 and C128 stuff but we`ll skip to the good stuff.


We get an introductory article about the amiga. Finally some prices too on stuff.
But first, this quote:

July 23, 1985. If you are interested in history, you will want to remember that date; it is the day that IBM's PC, Apple's Mac, and scores of lesser silicon marvels of our decade became obsolate

So we aren't f'ing around.

Pricing on the Tecmar frankenstein tower. The expansion module with the RAM is 400 dollars. 1000 dollars for the 20 meg hard drive (a price we're told is not unreasonable at all), 600 dollars for the tape backup and another 600 for the modem.

If minimum wage is 3.35 cents, I may have to put in a lot of hours at the grocery store...

The tape drive can back up the entire 20 meg hard drive in a couple of minutes. Amazing stuff. You could have everything you ever wrote for school on that puppy.


The amiga itself costs a paltry 1295 dollars, compared to 3 grand for a PC with 256k of RAM. EGA graphics (Does Paratrooper play in 16 colours?) is 980 dollars more.
Wait.. the mouse is 125 dollars? You're kidding me right?


What we'd like to see. This is some good stuff. Features that the magazine editors would like to see in future models:
1024x1024 resolution
access to all 4096 colours in all modes
64 sprites
512k of RAM as standard

Well, if those come true, imagine how awesome games will be. When they come out... eventually...


A quote from Steve Wozniak
I am glad that quality features, such as the AMIGA has, are being pursued (by manufacturers) after so long a time in which PCs deviated from their initial direction in the name of productivity. My hopes are that the basic structure of the AMIGA will remain static for a decade and that related forms of support, including software packages, will abound. A product such as this one goes a long way toward (finally) realizing practical technology. Therefore, trade-offs and rapid knock-offs or changes are less likely

And a few quotes of some not to fond..

Jack Tramiel
The introduction of new machines and operating systems is healthy for the industry. The user is intelligent enough to choose the better operating system. A customer will buy an Atari ST machine because it is a better machine for a lower price. That is our slogan--power without the price

And from John Sculley, president and CEO of Apple
There is no evidence yet that consumers will be willing to pay high enough prices for dazzling graphics to make such products profitable for both the manufacturer and the dealer

Most of the rest of the magazine is adds and software listings. Lots of C64 stuff.


We'll look at issue 9 in a bit
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Runequester reads old amiga magazines chronologically.

Info 9, December 85, January 86)

I guess they dont have the capacity for a November issue. THe front of the article states it's the only computer magazine produced entirely on home computers.


So now we get to where it counts: Amiga vs Atari ST!
The result of course is that the amiga beats the ST out in every regard. Good thing. I guess we'll have to see if Atari steps up their game.
The ST is cheaper but also less capable. The ST compares favourably to the older Macintosh.
But which machine will developers focus on?
Cost or quality?

A reader comments The point I am trying to make is this: The Atari is a very good computer at a terrific price, while the Amiga is a terrific computer at a very good price.


For Commodore freaks, there's a long look at the C128, but that's outside the scope of this look.


Not amiga particularly, but a list of some BBS's you can dial and various services you can subscribe to (CompuServe is 6 dollars per hour during non prime times), Delphi costs 50 dollars to subscribe to, but you get 2 free hours.

There's also a few graphics networks, like PLayNet and QuantumLink. Wild stuff. I wonder if computer networking will become a big deal.


Still mostly Commodore 64/128 articles and whatnot. Maybe it will be a while before the Amiga really kicks off?
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Old 09-20-2011, 01:05 PM   #8
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Default Re: Runequester reads old amiga magazines chronologically.

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Just to drive the point home, there`s whole pages dedicated to art drawn on the amiga. I am idly wondering what paint program they could have been done with. Was Deluxe Paint out right away?
Graphicraft was out right away. I used to demo it to the customers to show off the gfx.
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Old 09-20-2011, 01:34 PM   #9
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Graphicraft was out right away. I used to demo it to the customers to show off the gfx.
Ah awesome. Do you happen to recall around how much it cost?
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Old 09-20-2011, 01:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Runequester reads old amiga magazines chronologically.

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Awesome post! Good luck, remember to get a bunch of AA batteries for that walkman because you will be needing it! I have heard that a movie called Back to the Future is coming out later this year, you know with the kid from Family Ties.
Wait, that guy who was in Midnight Madness?
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Old 09-20-2011, 02:56 PM   #11
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Default Re: Runequester reads old amiga magazines chronologically.

LOL! Too funny Runie! I have complete or mostly complete sets of AmigaWorld and Amazing Computing. Haven't done so in a while, but I'd take a random issue of either into to "library" with me when making a deposit and flip through the pages. What you said about the sheer excitement being hard to believe now, I disagree with. The Amiga was big stuff back then and the next gen era of computing was just getting off the ground. Totally exciting times, backed up by great marketing on all counts, 'cept for the sparsity on C= behalf maybe. But not at first. Ads a plenty for Amiga and the promise of a new consumer "super computer" was born. I absolutely love flipping through these old mags. I remember not being able to afford a hard drive for my A1000 or A500 back in the day, but sure as **** made sure I was subscribed to AmigaWorld at all times ;-) Used to take 'em to high school with me and read during study hall, recess or whatever.

Someone in another thread recently mentioned EA being a crummy developer or was somehow disappointing. Again, totally disagree. They really stood by, supported and had a ton of great titles at or near the launch. And continued to update their catalogue throughout most of the Amiga's life. I equate EA with quality software for sure, but my only disappointment with them has to do with the fact we were promised a Pinball Construction Set that was never released. Those bastards!
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Old 09-20-2011, 04:51 PM   #12
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Default Re: Runequester reads old amiga magazines chronologically.

yeah, I missed a lot of that era, being just a few years too young. By the time I really got into computers, the amiga 500 was everywhere in Scandinavia, and PCs were slowly starting to actually be usable.
So it's a little bit of a different perspective to look back at for me

I'll hopefully be able to start on 1986 tonight. We'll see how things go.

Glad you guys like it. Feel free to pitch in with commentary and personal recollections too. Anyone ever have one of those Tecmar expansion monstrosities?
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:12 AM   #13
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Default Re: Runequester reads old amiga magazines chronologically.

By this time I was probably still on the c64, which had replaced the zx spectrum. I had not yet seen the Amiga light. There where plans about defecting back to Sinclair since substantial drooling had been done over the Quantum Leap, microdrives and all. But instead I upgraded the c64 with a 1541 floppy drive and the QL disappeared from the desire-horizon.

Hope this tread takes a very long time to finish.
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:17 AM   #14
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Default Re: Runequester reads old amiga magazines chronologically.

Best idea for a thread on here in ages. Please continue.

I actually have a pretty large collection of Amiga Magazines. I have all but one or two of Amiga Format, all Amigactive, many issues of Amiga World, AUI, Amiga Shopper, The One, CUAmiga, others I can't even remember.

I haven't read them in ages, but during the heyday, the amount of activity was incredible. I used to love getting my copy of AF each month and turning to the news section. There was so much going on.

It got pretty sad towards the end watching the magazines gradually get thinner and then gradually disappearing from the shelves.

Anyways, I'll watch this thread with interest.
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Old 10-07-2011, 10:46 AM   #15
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Default Re: Runequester reads old amiga magazines chronologically.

Love reading real mags too.

Read ZZAP!64 issue one today and found top 64 C64 games and top 10 C64 duffers....expect 74 new gameplay videos on Youtube soon
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:09 AM   #16
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Default Re: Runequester reads old amiga magazines chronologically.

I usually read an amiga magazine or 2 per night as well. I have an old 68cm crt tv at the end of my bed and one of my computers is connected to it. PDF scans + a wireless mouse, and it's as close to reading comfortably in bed as I can get without physical copies of magazines.

One thing that amused me, and you may see this yourself once you get to these years is the mud slinging matches between CU Amiga and Amiga Format. CU Amiga on more than a few occasions mocked Amiga Format for reviewing beta and incomplete versions of software so as to get exclusives. Amiga Format point blank denied such a thing and claimed CU Amiga was wrong in stating such a thing.

I actually noticed this back in the day (I should have sent a letter to either or both magazines), but enter the review of Suburban Commando.......
You can clear as day make out "Beta Version" plastered accross the screenshots

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Old 10-07-2011, 11:13 AM   #17
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Default Re: Runequester reads old amiga magazines chronologically.

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Anyway, Turbo Pascal was a big name at the time, too, and we never saw this either. :-(

Can you tell that I used to regularly read the Bandito's column in Amazing Amiga? Those were exciting days...
Speak for yourself....I actually had (may still) a copy of Turbo Pascal which I used for a programming class in '86. I obtained this bootleg directly from a friend at Amiga Los Gatos....still not sure why it never got formally released. It seemed fairly finished at the time.

Ah the Bandito....I liked to feed certain users on the networks back in those days....didn't take long to figure out who one of the banditos was. I think there may have been two or three....

Bob
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:19 AM   #18
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Default Re: Runequester reads old amiga magazines chronologically.

An interesting perspective is the archive of InfoWorld magazines available on google books - the entire run from 1980? maybe before? to 2007. There's a HUGE "Amiga" spike from '85 to '87, and it drops off precipitously after that, focusing solely on the Mac and PC. From '82 or so onward there was little-to-zero "general" computing information and the focus of the mag is solely on business applications, which makes the Amiga information all the more interesting.

I wish there'd been a solid Office suite from MS for the Amiga, might have made a difference, if only a slight one. But the first inkling of something more than "here's a bunch of DOS programs sold in the same box" wasn't until 1990, which was the beginning of the end of the Amiga in the US...sadly.
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:33 AM   #19
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Default Re: Runequester reads old amiga magazines chronologically.

@B00tDisk

I emailed Bill Gates in the early nineties about porting office to Amiga.

I'm still waiting on a reply.
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:50 AM   #20
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Default Re: Runequester reads old amiga magazines chronologically.

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@B00tDisk

I emailed Bill Gates in the early nineties about porting office to Amiga.

I'm still waiting on a reply.
Wouldn't it be unexpected if he emailed you back "Okay, we'll port an early 90's MS office to the Amiga."

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