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© 1997-2006
Gareth Knight
All Rights reserved

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Amiga Forever

Developer: Cloanto
Platform: DOS, Windows, Macintosh, Amiga
Status: Commercial
Web site: Amiga Forever

Amiga Forever 2006 Premium Edition

For many years it was considered impossible to emulate the Amiga - the hardware was considered too exotic and Alternative platforms (Windows PCs, Apple Macs) were too slow to recreate the experience. The release of UAE in 1996 was a milestone in Amiga history. However, it was greeted with hostility by Amiga users and businesses. It was feared that the emulator would encourage mass piracy and kill the Amiga market. Amiga Technologies, the ESCOM funded subsidiary reacted with some wariness to its launch. However, one company saw an opportunity to sell the Amiga to former owners who had migrated to other platforms, and even people who had never previously used an Amiga. In 1997, Cloanto Italia, better known for their Personal Paint art package, licensed the Amiga software code, patents and trademarks and launched an official Amiga emulation environment. Although there was a fear that an emulator could hasten the decline of the Amiga market, Cloanto and Amiga International (the Gateway subsidiary) could profit from the market that it had created and provide a legal way for users to run an Amiga emulator, without resorting to warez sites.

The first version of Amiga Forever was released in 1997. The compact disc case contained a CD-ROM, an Amiga floppy disk and an Amiga boing ball sticker for the user's machine. The CD-ROM contained an early version of UAE (Ultimate Amiga Emulator) for DOS and Mac platforms, Fellow for DOS and a selection of Amiga Kickstart ROM files and Workbench disks. These covered the most common versions of the operating system, Kickstart 1.1 to 3.0. The current version of the operating system (at the time), Kickstart/Workbench 3.1, as well as the CDTV and CD32 ROM images were also notable by their absence. The Amiga floppy disk contained the Amiga Explorer software that would allow the user to transfer their own software to the PC through a serial cable connected to a PC or Mac.

The Amiga Forever emulation CD was updated at regular intervals over the years that incorporated new and updated content. The Amiga Forever v2 CD was mastered as a mixed data/audio CD-ROM, containing interviews with Jay Miner and Dave Haynie's Deathbed Vigil. It also contained the latest version of each Amiga emulator for the Windows, Macintosh, Amiga and DOS platforms. Support software was included with the release to demonstrate the capabilities of the Amiga. These include Personal Paint 7.1 and a range of small utilities.

The Amiga Forever web site was relaunched in 2002 and an "online edition" was released. Online customers could purchase a 20Mb download for 19.99 euros. The online version contained the Amiga emulators, Kickstart ROM images and Workbench disks only. The CD-ROM edition was updated with more software and items of historical interest, including numerous web sites.

Amiga Forever 2006

Amiga Forever - Workbench 3.1 environment KX Light Amiga Forever boot screen

To remain up to date with the UAE release schedule, Cloanto have switched to a 12 month release schedule. The company currently sell three variations of the Amiga Forever package:

  1. Premium edition - a physical package containing the Plus Edition CD and two DVDs, combined with an instant download of the installer for Windows
  2. Online edition - a downloadable installer for Windows systems.
  3. Plus edition - a downloadable ISO image containing Windows and platform-neutral content, for CD writers.

The Amiga Forever 2006 Premium edition contains almost 20Gb of content. At least 80% is composed of MPEG2 encoded video that can be played in a DVD player or appropriate DVD playback software. Video content include the launch of the Amiga (1985), inside Commodore (1987), a Jay Miner speech (1989), Jay Miner interview (1990), a history of the Amiga produced in 1992, the famous Deathbed Vigil of Commodore International (1994) and a Dave Haynie interview performed in 2001. The producers have made an effort to ensure the emulator is easy to use and does not require extensive setup. Insert the CD-ROM on startup and KX Light - a "live" version of the Linux-based Knoppix Debian distribution - will boot and load a copy of UAE, without any additional setup. Alternatively, the MenuBox GUI will autoload when the disc is inserted in a Windows system and Amiga Workbench 1.3 and 3.1 can be loaded with a few mouse clicks. Several games and music demos are also available on the discs.

Related Links

Ultimate Amiga Emulator
View Amiga Forever 3.0 Packaging (27.2k)


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Last Update: 09/08/2006


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