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Amiga or ST?


JohnW
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I didn't. I stuck with my Atari 8-bit until the late 90's. It still did, and still does all I need for application software. I did get a PC around 2000 for internet use. I instead kept my Atari for serious stuff, WP, finances, book keeping, etc. and I went with the "next-gen" consoles of the day which included the Atari Jaguar and 3DO and eventually the Dreamcast. I still use my 8-bit for serious stuff, my PC for mostly Internet.

 

I didn't even explore Atari ST or Amiga until well into this century, about 15 years ago. I pretty much got a 1040ST, Mega STe and Amiga 2000 at the same time and played around with them for a couple of years, then sold them all off. Later, a good friend gave me his Atari Falcon about 5 years ago, unfortunately that was stolen from my storage locker when I had to move and kept stuff in storage for 2 years, paying the bill from a state away, went to get it all last summer, only to find out my storage unit had been cleaned out by thieves.

 

Now it's just my Atari 8-bit, Jaguar, 3DO, Dreamcast and Xbox 360, (and PC) all of which came with me and so weren't in storage to be stolen. If I were to get any again, it would be an Amiga 2000 and a Falcon. Amiga first. But, at this point I am much more interested in collecting other 8-bit systems.

 

I'm definitely a Jay Miner fan these days and have no loyalty to either Atari or Commodore who are both long gone anyway, so there's no need for brand loyalty anymore either.

Edited by Gunstar
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Had both but never used the ST so I sold it, and almost dropped it in front of the guy that came to buy it, luckily I was able to make it look like I was just putting it on the floor really fast! The Amiga was so much nicer in every way.

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Had both but never used the ST so I sold it, and almost dropped it in front of the guy that came to buy it, luckily I was able to make it look like I was just putting it on the floor really fast! The Amiga was so much nicer in every way.

In every way? hm...

Some parts I really hated about the Amiga and asked myself, why they haven't built a solution around it.

 

One was that separated double mono ... stereo. If the coder or the creator for music wanted real stereo sound , they had to build software mixing. A simple fading circuit could have solved a lot of problems.

Also, a simple frequency doubler had been the solution to have the Amiga connected to a VGA monitor and Interlace had been no issue.

The drive click? Simply: Why ? Everything worked fine, installing a driver that stopped that clicking.

The ridiculous Filter . Seemed to be build in to have some similarity to SID sound, newer Amigas offered the possibility to turn it off and to have crystal clear sound. The only fun was the title tune of "BaaL" that played a little with it by using the filter on/off for some special bass FX.

Edited by emkay
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I always was a little late: 1983 Atari 2600 - 1985 Atari 800 XL - 1992 Atari 1040 STFM - 2003 Atari Falcon - 2011 Amiga 500 - 2012 Amiga 1200

The purchases of machines before 2000 were all clearance sales. After 2000 garage sales.

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The Amiga was so much nicer in every way.

Well it lacked the mono 71Hz mode which made the ST much nicer for serious work like DTP etc.

It also lacked built in midi, which made the ST the standard in the music industry for about a decade.

It lacked a PC compatible floppy drive for easy file transfers to PCs.

It lacked ease of programming. The ST was known to be much easier to program.

 

But most of all:

 

It lacked an affordable price tag when it was released. I think the Amiga was at least three times he price of the 1040STFm when I bought that machine.

 

The ST was much more an all rounder and I was happy to use it well into the 90s.

 

So no....not everything was nicer on the Amiga

Edited by Level42
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Having owned and loved my 800XL, I bought a 520STm in early 1987.

 

Now my memory tells me that at this point, the STFM machines and the Amiga 500 were not available to buy, but perhaps had been announced or were expected.

 

Nonetheless I expected my new 16-bit Atari to be every bit as amazing as my 8-bit.

 

Oh was I disappointed. From the lurid kelly-green GEM desktop, to the utterly underwhelming music and sound, and even the graphics never seemed to flow as they did on 8-bit games like Ballblazer, Elektraglide, Dropzone or Boulderdash.

 

I bought a second floppy drive. An SM125 mono monitor. An Epson printer. I wrote my whole senior project using First Word Plus, suffering through multiple system crashes as my little ST would entertain me by throwing a random number of bombs across the screen. Some guy at the Stafford show suggested my old TOS was the problem. I contacted Atari for an upgrade and was told the new TOS was only available as a two-chip package, and my "old" STm used a six-chip configuration, so I was out of luck.

 

In the end, in 1989 or 1990, I migrated back to the 800XL. I bought some package from Page6 that allowed you move files between the two platforms. I saved all my First Word Plus documents in raw ASCII and then loaded them into the Xlent First Word Processor. An APE interface for the Epson and I sold the ST, eventually buying a 286 with VGA and a hard disk about 12 months later.

 

Since then I have made peace with the ST. I now have two STe machines plus two Falcons. I can see that the ST did eventually mature into a stable, usable, and even modestly impressive platform, but it never delivered the sense of awe and wonder that the 8-bit Atari did.

Edited by oracle_jedi
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I desperately wanted either of them. The ST was cheaper so I eyed it more, but I had friends who had both and just drooled over them.

 

No - we ended up with an IBM XT with a yellow monichrome screen and CGA graphics in my house. With that bleepy internal speaker.

Edited by DracIsBack
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In the end, in 1989 or 1990, I migrated back to the 800XL. I bought some package from Page6 that allowed you move files between the two platforms. I saved all my First Word Plus documents in raw ASCII and then loaded them into the Xlent First Word Processor. An APE interface for the Epson and I sold the ST, eventually buying a 286 with VGA and a hard disk about 12 months later.

 

 

Wow - interesting. After a bit, I saved up and bought a used 130XE to have something different than the XT which was a family computer. In truth, I found it way more limited by then than my friend's ST. No GUI, a Command based DOS, the little disks with no storage space, the games with some limited colors and resolution. I "got by" on it, but I definitely wanted an ST if I could have gotten one.

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Atari ST:

 

A.) Had an Atari 130XE which was made by the Tramiels so at least it looked like the ST's little brother.

 

B.) Saw the STe at a store that sold them, but had never seen any Amigas sold in the area.

 

C.) Famuliar with Atari User Groups and magazines so I knew where to find support for the platform.

 

D.) Got it not just for the games but also for the Mac-like desktop and programs that were useful for me during my college years. (I've used Macs in high school classes but could never afford one)

 

I got nothing against Amigas, they're great for games & video production but I couldn't get to gripes with the original Workbench...

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I "upgraded" from an Atari 800XL to an Atari 520 STFM, not having done any research on it or even gone to the local computer store to ask for a comparison, at my parents' expense (£300). I didn't know about the history of Atari and Commodore pulling at Amiga, and how it turned out, or even that the Amiga was the natural successor to the A8. I just foolishly stuck with the Atari brand, totally unaware.

 

After a few months, I persuaded them to get me an Amiga 500, and as I recall, it was a tough sell. They relented, even though it cost my father another £400, and it turned out the first Amiga 500 was faulty, and my father seemed none too concerned about practically throwing it in front of me.

 

Even though I'd had personal experience of shitty ST sound, I was still in-between camps concerning the ST and Amiga, but having tried a few games and demos, I was finally bitten by the Amiga bug and was a terminal case. The ST was sold later on. I can say I've had experience of both.

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Well it lacked the mono 71Hz mode which made the ST much nicer for serious work like DTP etc.

It also lacked built in midi, which made the ST the standard in the music industry for about a decade.

It lacked a PC compatible floppy drive for easy file transfers to PCs.

It lacked ease of programming. The ST was known to be much easier to program.

 

But most of all:

 

It lacked an affordable price tag when it was released. I think the Amiga was at least three times he price of the 1040STFm when I bought that machine.

 

The ST was much more an all rounder and I was happy to use it well into the 90s.

 

So no....not everything was nicer on the Amiga

 

Actually, it WAS nicer.

 

1. Who cares about MIDI? Not many of us had MIDI keyboards back then, and anyway, Paula with its sample playback meant you could use any instrument possible.

2. PC disks? I had no trouble using PC disks on Amiga, did it frequently for college work.

3. Lacked "ease of programming"? Hello, AMOS and Blitz Basic! (feeble argument on your part)

4. The Amiga cost more because it had so much more, that's how pricing works.

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In every way? hm...

Some parts I really hated about the Amiga and asked myself, why they haven't built a solution around it.

 

One was that separated double mono ... stereo. If the coder or the creator for music wanted real stereo sound , they had to build software mixing. A simple fading circuit could have solved a lot of problems.

Also, a simple frequency doubler had been the solution to have the Amiga connected to a VGA monitor and Interlace had been no issue.

The drive click? Simply: Why ? Everything worked fine, installing a driver that stopped that clicking.

The ridiculous Filter . Seemed to be build in to have some similarity to SID sound, newer Amigas offered the possibility to turn it off and to have crystal clear sound. The only fun was the title tune of "BaaL" that played a little with it by using the filter on/off for some special bass FX.

 

1. I tended to stick with mono for Amiga sound as a result. But with WinUAE, I can now mix both sides 50% and have a reasonable stereo effect. And many Amiga demos use WAVs and MP3s in their soundtracks with 14-bit audio that is perfect for the stereo sides (14-bit audio uses two voices per stereo side).

2. I agree, interlace looked nice in pictures, but not for word processing or Workbench stuff.

3. You could run a tiny program to stop the drive clicking, but not all drives were compatible: some would click even louder.

4. The filter is an annoyance, but then low-playback rate samples without the filter sound worse. It was some kind of compromise. But from what I've seen, most demos and games turn it off.

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Midi, the Amiga had it, the programme Bars and Pipes was common used, not as popular as Cubase but people like Jean Michel Jarre was very keen on it, I got to meet him when he was doing a concert in Docklands and my friend was mates with the councillor involved in organising it all, Kevin got him to come around to his house and mr Jarre loved how easy it was on Bars and Pipes. As for the difference in ST to Amiga, I remember being at a computer show and I looked at GoldRunner on the ST, it was very nice but sounded like an 8 bit, on the next stall Linel were showing Insanity Flight which was a clone of Goldrunner but from the silky smooth starield on the intro to the sampled music and the copper list fx I was sold. Also the Amiga OS apart from being multi tasking was so damn easy to use. When Directory Opus was being dev'ed me and Kevin got to be official beta people and boy was that the most important bit of software I ever used on the Amiga, I could control pretty much every thing from that one screen and fortunately they later released it for the PC and its the best bit of paid for software I have purchased, its the core of my PC, every thing runs from the Opus screen.

 

The problem is that both companies were trying to market their machines as business items which by then the PC was out and became the natural base for all things business, Commodore or Atari never stood a chance but still tried to acquire a stake in the business market, Cubase got the ST a foot in the door and the Amiga genlock and the Newtek image editing software was favoured by many in the FX market for adverts etc but neither were what we considered business machines. Shame, the Amiga was a natural games machine, with the next gen Atari OS by Jay Miner in there with its smooth scrolling, the Copper List (the next version of the Display list), excellent sound chip and Bobs (sprites) it could make some wonderful games, the day when the porting people like Pete Johnson were over taken by people who used the Amiga was a great time, no more flip screens like Robocop, proper scrolling, proper sounds, Andrew Braybrook actually went to Germany (I think) to hang out with the Amiga coders so he could pick up on how to make use ofthe Amiga properly and we were treated to Fire and Ice from him, a top quality platformer...

 

Yeah, the Amiga was better... :)

Edited by Mclaneinc
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Atari 800 1981

Mega ST2 1986

TT030 (used) around 1991/2

PC 1996

2nd PC 2002

IMac 2008

2nd iMac last week

 

All Ataris securely stored, all PCs donated.

 

Gesendet von iPhone mit Tapatalk

Edited by slx
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