The Commodore Amiga turns 30 creating a turning point for desktop computing


Iconic computer and game system Amiga turns 30 | The Age


Amiga Demos of the late 80s

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In the late 1980s, Commodore released the Amiga series of computers which brought forward the concept of advanced graphics, video and music to the desktop computer.

These computers had the necessary hardware like the Motorola 68000 series RISC processors and graphics and sound chipsets that were advanced for their day. Initially, there was the Amiga 1000 computer but the popular machines that represented the Amiga platform at its peak were the Amiga 500 and the Amiga 2000.

They could generate high-resolution advanced moving graphics which put them on the platform for CGI animated video. As well, they were capable of turning out music which was either synthesised or sampled and this ability became very important during the “Acid House” era of the late 80s where house, techno and other electronic dance music came on the scene.

For that matter, if you ever seen a Commodore Amiga in action or used one of these computers yourself, you may have dabbled with the “demos”. These were self-running programs that showed a moving-graphics display on the screen set to music, typically electronic dance music of the day. I have linked in a YouTube clip of some of these “demos” so you can see what this computer was about.

The fact that the Amiga was popular in Europe instigated the European game-development scene where a lot of graphic-rich game genres that we take for granted were being exposed courtesy of this computer that, at times, was called the “game machine of all time”. For business applications, the Amiga platform even became the heart of some public-facing computer applications where a graphically-rich user interface was considered important, along with it being used to create computer graphics for film and video content.

This computer demonstrated the concept of a desktop computer being able to serve graphically-rich applications whether it be games, video content or the like and other computer platforms acquired this ability through the 1990s and now serve this purpose.

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