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© 1997-2006
Gareth Knight
All Rights reserved

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Commodore Amiga 1000

A1000
Developer: Commodore
Launched: July 23, 1985
Discontinued: January 1987

Commodore launched the Commodore Amiga in a grandiose show at the Lincoln Center in New York on July 23, 1985. The machine itself was based upon the earlier Lorraine project. The unit went on sale a few months later, retailing at $1295.00 US dollars.
The company were pressured by Atari to launch the Commodore Amiga ahead of their original schedule . The company had attempted to buy the Amiga technology but had been forced to develop their own 68000 machine based upon off-the-shelf parts. In spite of a shorter development time, the Atari 520ST beat the Commodore Amiga to the market by several months. As a result, Amiga Workbench 1.1 (the Amiga disk based OS) was buggy and prone to crashes.

At the time the Commodore Amiga was far in advance of its competitors: the IBM PC market was using a 16 colour CGA display and the Apple Macintosh was limited to a B/W display. These specifications are taken from the original advertising for the A1000 in the USA. The Atari continued to beat the Amiga in the market for several years, in part, due to Commodore's focus upon the high-end market. It is only when the Amiga 500 was launched that Commodore were able to beat Atari in the home computer market. In 1987 the model number of the Commodore Amiga was combined with the name to officially designate the machine as the Commodore Amiga 1000.

CPU MC68000 32 bit internal bus
16 bit data bus
7.16MHz clock speed
RAM 256K Chip RAM as standard, expandable to 512K internally
Externally expandable to 8Mb Fast ram
256K writable control store
Graphics Resolutions available
320x200 32 colours
  • 320x400 32 colours
  • 640x200 16 colours
  • 640x400 16 colours
Colour palette of 4096 colours
Eight reusable, 16 bit wide sprites.
60/80 column coloured text.
Programmable interobject priority and collision detection.

Custom animation chip

Utilizes a bit-blitter for high-speed movement of graphical data.
Frees the CPU for other tasks.
Displays synchronized coprocessor.
Controls DMA (Direct Memory Access) channels.
Display RGB analogue monitor, NTSC composite monitors and television compatible.
Sound Four-voice sound output at two-channel stereo.
Nine octaves.
Uses amplitude and frequency modulation.
I/O control for disk data and mouse/joystick ports.
Allows the disk and sound to operate with a minimum CPU usage.
User Interface "Intuition."
Pull down menus
Mouse or keyboard controlled.
Up to 50 overlapping windows, each running simultaneously in real time.
Features the "Workbench" iconic user interface. AmigaDOS
Keyboard Detachable 89 key "typewriter" keyboard.
10 programmable function keys.
2 special function "Amiga" keys.
4 directional cursor keys.
Audio output Two RCA audio output jacks.
Signal to noise ratio = 70db.
Frequency response = 20-6000Hz.
Impedance = 300 ohms.
Input/Output Analogue RGB video port.
RF modulator for home televisions.
NTSC composite video port.
Two reconfigurable controller port, supports mouse and joystick etc.
Eternal floppy disk port.
RS232 serial ports.
Reconfigurable Centronics parallel port.
Expansion port.
RAM expansion port.
Keyboard connector.
Peripherals 3.5 double-sided disk drive
Two button opto-mechanical mouse.
Bundled software AmigaDOS.
Amiga Basic.
Amiga Tutorial.
Kaleidoscope.
Voice synthesis library.
Weight Approx. 13lbs
Dimensions 4.25" height x 17.75" width x 13 depth.
Power requirements 120 volts, 90 watts, 60Hz, 1A.

Different Market. Different Name.

Differences between the US and European Amiga

Long time Amiga users will remember Commodore's change in direction for the CDTV in the European market, selling it as the Amiga CDTV. This is a common practice in marketing allowing companies to tailor their brand to a geographical market in a style that will maximize profits (in other words, to sell more computers). When the Amiga moved from America to Europe the Amiga name was unknown. To create a recognizable market presence Commodore chose to place greater emphasis upon their own name as a means of marketing the machine. This is immediately recognizable with the greater emphasis placed upon the Commodore name as a recognizable brand. In Europe the Amiga was seen as a descendent of the C64 rather than a clean break from the past. This had its advantages and disadvantages- it created an immediate market presence based upon the Commodore 8-bit market. However, it downplayed its role as a business machine.

Gallery
A1000 Box - 1 (64.7k) | A1000 Box -2 (36.9k) | Close-up of A1000 box (39.8k) | Close-up of the A1000 unit (30.1k)

Relevant Links
A1000 Press Release | Amiga Facts | A1000 Memory Map | The Amiga Chronology

Thanks to Doug Spence for his contribution to the A1000 press release.

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Last Update: 6/3/2002


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