Commodore Amiga 500
The Amiga is something which brings on mixed feelings. Looking at it from a technological standpoint, when Commodore bought the Amiga technology in 1985, they opened up a completely new way of computing which was unseen before and comparable to what we have today.
The Amiga had full color multi-tasking, a multi-threaded GUI and was basically the first multi-media machine long before the term had been invented. Amiga’s were used to create the spectacular effects in movies like “Back to the Future”, and Commodore made sure they would be considered the standard in graphic processing. They even enlised the services of none other that Andy Warhol and Debbie Harry during a launch event at which Andy Warhol created his famous pop-art style painting of the singer.
Looking at it from a philosophical perspective, this was not the Commodore we knew. Jack had introduced the company motto: “Computers for the masses, not the classes!” and that was something you could see in every single product Commodore produced. It was also what made them the most successful computer company (not many people know, but at a certain moment in time, Steve Jobs offered Jack to buy Apple Computer… imagine we would all have Commodore iPhones now).
Now with the Amigas, we were looking at computers that cost well over € 1000. They had abandoned the market they had created…
Commodore realized this and tried to make up with the Amiga 500 putting it in direct competition with the Atari 1080 (Atari at that point was owned by none other than Jack Tramiel, who was keen to show he was still a force to be reckoned with and rub it in the Commodore’s execs faces that they should never had made him leave).
The 500 was relatively compact (but not like the much smaller Amiga 600) and soon had peripherals like a hard drive and CD-ROM drive (1992).