Platform: DOS, Windows, Macintosh, Amiga
Web site: Amiga
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
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:
- Premium edition - a physical package containing the Plus
Edition CD and two DVDs, combined with an instant download of
the installer for Windows
- Online edition - a downloadable installer for Windows
- 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.
Ultimate Amiga Emulator
View Amiga Forever 3.0 Packaging (27.2k)
Last Update: 09/08/2006