The amiga 500 was introduced in 1987. It was a 16-bit home computer and it is considered one of the best early gaming computers ever produced. People who owned this machine usually remember it with great fondness because it was used for classic gaming, but it did have other uses. For example, Amiga 500 users could use the machine to edit video and audio because of its advanced multimedia capabilities.
The Amiga 500 was produced from 1987 to 1992 and sold about ten million units. It is estimated that as many as twenty-five percent of all professional video producers used the Commodore Amiga computer at one time or another during those years.
The Amiga was a fascinating machine but there are some things about it that most users didn’t know. For example, did you know it has a number of hidden characters in all uppercase? Or what about the fact that there is no lowercase amiga font? There are a lot of interesting facts about the amiga 500 that all users should know.
Amiga 500: Brief History
As previously mentioned, it was first introduced to the public in 1987 by Commodore after being designed by Jay Miner with help from R J Mical and Gary Yost. It came with 512 kilobytes of RAM, which is nothing for computers that are available today. However, at the time having a computer that had this much memory was uncommon because most other machines only included 64 kilobytes of RAM or less. The memory itself could be doubled with an expansion RAM pack, making it pack a serious punch at the time.
The amiga 500 had an amazing sound chip that made games so much better than its competitors at the time. One of Amiga’s most popular features was its graphics capabilities which are outstanding due to new technology at the time called HAM or Hold-And-Modify. HAM allowed Amiga computers to display more colors than other machines at the time because it included a screen mode that could show twice as many colors on the screen, but this came with some drawbacks like flickering and mixing of colors which made text hard to read.
More Than a Games Machine
It was not just used for gaming, there were also other impressive uses. For example, users could use the machine to edit video and audio because of its amazing multimedia capabilities. The Amiga 500 was produced from 1987 to 1992 and sold about ten million units. It is estimated that as many as twenty-five percent of all professional video producers used the Commodore Amiga computer at one time or another during those years.
With a single frame store capable of holding several images combined with video input, Amiga 500’s offered an easy way to generate special effects and other animation without the need for expensive dedicated hardware like that used in major motion picture studios at the time.
With an image orthicon tube attached, it could be connected directly to a broadcast television camera lens. The machine’s eight-bit frame buffer allowed not only direct video connections but also facilitated chroma keying with compatible devices allowing its use for high-end title inserts on news programming by broadcasters like CNN.
Its 512 x 432 pixel resolution display would show up well even when projected cinema screens through 35mm slides taken by a high-end still camera. With a single frame store capable of holding several images combined with video input, Amiga 500’s offered an easy way to generate special effects and other animation without the need for expensive dedicated hardware like that used in major motion picture studios at the time.
Amiga 500 Games and Software
There are a lot of games that were produced for amiga 500 computers, but what was really fun about this machine is the fact you could play arcade classics like Pac-man, Mortal Kombat and Rainbow Islands. Plus a whole range of classics originally built for the machine, like Sensible Soccer, Cannon Folder, and Syndicate. The reason why playing these older games on an amiga 500 was so much fun is because they played better than other machines at the time thanks to its revolutionary Hold And Modify display mode.
What Did it Sell For?
The amiga 500 was an expensive machine when it first came out. The price at the time of release was $699 for a basic model and $999 with floppy disks which is more than what most people were willing to spend on home computers in 1987.
How Much is a Commodore Amiga 500 Worth
An amiga 500 today costs around $150 to buy in perfect condition. This is a great price for an old computer with so much history behind it, but the problem is finding one that actually works because there are still some people selling broken or non-working machines on ebay and other places online.
Amiga’s Early Demise?
One of Amiga’s biggest problems became apparent when Commodore went bankrupt in 1994 due to some bad business decisions regarding production costs on certain models of computers they were producing at the time including CD players and CD-ROM drives as opposed to focusing on making computers themselves. However, there is no denying the fact that Amiga 500 was a great computer for its time.
Amigas are Still Popular Today?
Even though this computer has been discontinued long ago many people continue to love it and still use the amiga 500 for all sorts of things. It is a machine that had great multimedia capabilities which make it valuable even today, but what many people love about this computer is its amazing classic games.