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amiga


amiga


  2  definitions  found 
 
  From  Jargon  File  (4.2.3,  23  NOV  2000)  [jargon]: 
 
  Amiga  n  A  series  of  personal  computer  models  originally  sold 
  by  Commodore,  based  on  680x0  processors,  custom  support  chips  and  an 
  operating  system  that  combined  some  of  the  best  features  of  Macintosh 
  and  Unix  with  compatibility  with  neither. 
 
  The  Amiga  was  released  just  as  the  personal  computing  world 
  standardized  on  IBM-PC  clones.  This  prevented  it  from  gaining  serious 
  market  share,  despite  the  fact  that  the  first  Amigas  had  a  substantial 
  technological  lead  on  the  IBM  XTs  of  the  time.  Instead,  it  acquired  a 
  small  but  zealous  population  of  enthusiastic  hackers  who  dreamt  of  one  day 
  unseating  the  clones  (see  {Amiga  Persecution  Complex}).  The  traits  of 
  this  culture  are  both  spoofed  and  illuminated  in  The  BLAZE  Humor  Viewer 
  (http://www-ccsl.cs.umass.edu/~barrett/bm/Viewer_Sections/Main.HTML). 
  The  strength  of  the  Amiga  platform  seeded  a  small  industry  of  companies 
  building  software  and  hardware  for  the  platform,  especially  in  graphics 
  and  video  applications  (see  {video  toaster}). 
 
  Due  to  spectacular  mismanagement,  Commodore  did  hardly  any  R&D, 
  allowing  the  competition  to  close  Amiga's  technological  lead.  After 
  Commodore  went  bankrupt  in  1994  the  technology  passed  through  several 
  hands,  none  of  whom  did  much  with  it  However,  the  Amiga  is  still  being 
  produced  in  Europe  under  license  and  has  a  substantial  number  of  fans, 
  which  will  probably  extend  the  platform's  life  considerably. 
 
 
 
  From  The  Free  On-line  Dictionary  of  Computing  (13  Mar  01)  [foldoc]: 
 
  Amiga 
 
    A  range  of  home  computers  first  released  by 
  {Commodore  Business  Machines}  in  1985  (though  they  did  not 
  design  the  original  -  see  below).  Amigas  are  popular  for 
  {games},  {video  processing}  and  {multimedia}.  One  notable 
  feature  is  a  hardware  {blitter}  for  speeding  up  graphics 
  operations  on  whole  areas  of  the  screen. 
 
  The  Amiga  was  originally  called  the  Lorraine,  and  was 
  developed  by  a  company  named  Amiga"  or  "Amiga,  Inc.",  funded 
  by  some  doctors  to  produce  a  killer  game  machine.  After  the 
  US  game  machine  market  collapsed,  the  Amiga  company  sold  some 
  {joysticks}  but  no  Lorraines  or  any  other  computer.  They 
  eventually  floundered  and  looked  for  a  buyer. 
 
  Commodore  at  that  time  bought  the  (mostly  complete)  Amiga 
  machine,  infused  some  money,  and  pushed  it  through  the  final 
  stages  of  development  in  a  hurry.  Commodore  released  it 
  sometime[?]  in  1985. 
 
  Most  components  within  the  machine  were  known  by  nicknames. 
  The  {coprocessor}  commonly  called  the  Copper"  is  in  fact  the 
  "{Video}  Timing  Coprocessor"  and  is  split  between  two  chips: 
  the  instruction  fetch  and  execute  units  are  in  the  Agnus" 
  chip,  and  the  {pixel}  timing  circuits  are  in  the  Denise" 
  chip. 
 
  Agnus"  and  Denise"  were  responsible  for  effects  timed  to  the 
  {real-time}  position  of  the  video  scan,  such  as  midscreen 
  {palette}  changes,  {sprite  multiplying},  and  {resolution} 
  changes.  Different  versions  (in  order)  were:  Agnus"  (could 
  only  address  512K  of  {video  RAM}),  "Fat  Agnus"  (in  a  {PLCC} 
  package,  could  access  1MB  of  video  RAM),  "Super  Agnus" 
  (slightly  upgraded  "Fat  Agnus").  Agnus"  and  "Fat  Agnus"  came 
  in  {PAL}  and  {NTSC}  versions,  "Super  Agnus"  came  in  one 
  version,  jumper  selectable  for  PAL  or  NTSC.  Agnus"  was 
  replaced  by  Alice"  in  the  A4000  and  A1200,  which  allowed  for 
  more  {DMA}  channels  and  higher  bus  {bandwidth}. 
 
  Denise"  outputs  binary  video  data  (3*4  bits)  to  the  "Vidiot". 
  The  Vidiot"  is  a  hybrid  that  combines  and  amplifies  the 
  12-bit  video  data  from  Denise"  into  {RGB}  to  the  {monitor}. 
 
  Other  chips  were  Amber"  (a  "flicker  fixer",  used  in  the  A3000 
  and  Commodore  display  enhancer  for  the  A2000),  Gary"  ({I/O}, 
  addressing,  {glue  logic}),  Buster"  (the  {bus  controller}, 
  which  replaced  Gary"  in  the  A2000),  "Buster  II"  (for  handling 
  the  Zorro  II/III  cards  in  the  A3000,  which  meant  that  Gary" 
  was  back  again),  Ramsey"  (The  {RAM}  controller),  DMAC"  (The 
  DMA  controller  chip  for  the  WD33C93  {SCSI  adaptor}  used  in 
  the  A3000  and  on  the  A2091/A2092  SCSI  adaptor  card  for  the 
  A2000;  and  to  control  the  {CD-ROM}  in  the  {CDTV}),  and  Paula" 
  ({Peripheral},  Audio,  {UART},  {interrupt}  Lines,  and  {bus 
  Arbiter}). 
 
  There  were  several  Amiga  chipsets:  the  "Old  Chipset"  (OCS), 
  the  "Enhanced  Chipset"  (ECS),  and  {AGA}.  OCS  included  "Paula", 
  "Gary",  "Denise",  and  "Agnus". 
 
  ECS  had  the  same  "Paula",  "Gary",  Agnus"  (could  address  2MB 
  of  Chip  RAM),  "Super  Denise"  (upgraded  to  support  Agnus"  so 
  that  a  few  new  {screen  modes}  were  available).  With  the 
  introduction  of  the  {Amiga  A600}  Gary"  was  replaced  with 
  Gayle"  (though  the  chipset  was  still  called  ECS).  Gayle" 
  provided  a  number  of  improvments  but  the  main  one  was  support 
  for  the  A600's  {PCMCIA}  port. 
 
  The  AGA  chipset  had  Agnus"  with  twice  the  speed  and  a  24-bit 
  palette,  maximum  displayable:  8  bits  (256  colours),  although 
  the  famous  "{HAM}"  (Hold  And  Modify)  trick  allows  pictures  of 
  256,000  colours  to  be  displayed.  AGA's  Paula"  and  Gayle" 
  were  unchanged  but  AGA  Denise"  supported  AGA  "Agnus"'s  new 
  screen  modes.  Unfortunately,  even  AGA  Paula"  did  not  support 
  High  Density  {floppy  disk  drives}.  (The  Amiga  4000,  though, 
  did  support  high  density  drives.)  In  order  to  use  a  high 
  density  disk  drive  Amiga  HD  floppy  drives  spin  at  half  the 
  rotational  speed  thus  halving  the  data  rate  to  "Paula". 
 
  Commodore  Business  Machines  went  bankrupt  on  1994-04-29, 
  the  German  company  {Escom  AG}  bought  the  rights  to  the  Amiga 
  on  1995-04-21  and  the  Commodore  Amiga  became  the  Escom 
  Amiga.  In  April  1996  Escom  were  reported  to  be  making  the 
  {Amiga}  range  again  but  they  too  fell  on  hard  times  and 
  {Gateway  2000}  (now  called  Gateway)  bought  the  Amiga  brand 
  on  1997-05-15. 
 
  Gateway  licensed  the  Amiga  operating  system  to  a  German 
  hardware  company  called  {Phase  5}  on  1998-03-09.  The 
  following  day  Phase  5  announced  the  introduction  of  a 
  four-processor  {PowerPC}  based  Amiga  {clone}  called  the 
  "{pre\box}".  Since  then,  it  has  been  announced  that  the 
  new  operating  system  will  be  a  version  of  {QNX}. 
 
  On  1998-06-25,  a  company  called  {Access  Innovations  Ltd} 
  announced  {plans  (http://www.micktinker.co.uk/aaplus.html)}  to 
  build  a  nwe  Amiga  chip  set  the  {AA+},  based  partly  on  the  AGA 
  chips  but  with  new  fully  32-bit  functional  core  and  16-bit  AGA 
  {hardware  register  emulation}  for  {backwards  compatibility}. 
  The  new  core  promised  improved  memory  access  and  video  display 
  DMA. 
 
  By  the  end  of  2000,  Amiga  development  was  under  the  control  of 
  a  [new?]  company  called  {Amiga,  Inc.}.  As  well  as  continuing 
  development  of  AmigaOS  (version  3.9  released  in  December 
  2000),  their  "Digital  Environment"  is  a  {virtual  machine}  for 
  multiple  {platforms}  conforming  to  the  {ZICO}  specification. 
  As  of  2000,  it  ran  on  {MIPS},  {ARM},  {PPC},  and  {x86} 
  processors. 
 
  {Home  (http://www.amiga.com/)}. 
 
  {Amiga  Web  Directory  (http://www.cucug.org/amiga.html)}. 
 
  {amiCrawler  (http://www.amicrawler.com/)}. 
 
  Newsgroups:  {news:comp.binaries.amiga}, 
  {news:comp.sources.amiga},  {news:comp.sys.amiga}, 
  {news:comp.sys.amiga.advocacy}, 
  {news:comp.sys.amiga.announce}, 
  {news:comp.sys.amiga.applications}, 
  {news:comp.sys.amiga.audio},  {news:comp.sys.amiga.datacomm}, 
  {news:comp.sys.amiga.emulations},  {news:comp.sys.amiga.games}, 
  {news:comp.sys.amiga.graphics}, 
  {news:comp.sys.amiga.hardware}, 
  {news:comp.sys.amiga.introduction}, 
  {news:comp.sys.amiga.marketplace},  {news:comp.sys.amiga.misc}, 
  {news:comp.sys.amiga.multimedia}, 
  {news:comp.sys.amiga.programmer}, 
  {news:comp.sys.amiga.reviews},  {news:comp.sys.amiga.tech}, 
  {news:comp.sys.amiga.telecomm},  {news:comp.Unix.amiga}. 
 
  See  {aminet},  {Amoeba},  {bomb},  {exec},  {gronk},  {guru 
  meditation},  {Intuition},  {sidecar},  {slap  on  the  side}, 
  {Vulcan  nerve  pinch}. 
 
  (2001-02-14)