Amiga vs. Atari vintage CC

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Matt Barton
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Mark Vergeer
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Except....

The built in Windows XP that will be accessible from within Windows 7 will only run on hardware that enables hardware virtualization and not just any recent system. Then there is the fact that 3D accelerated graphics won't be supported so don't count on being able to run all those Non-Vista/Non-Windows 7 compatible XP-3D games.

Windows XP within Windows 7 won't be anything more than running Parallels in Coherence mode on the Mac with the exception that the Parellels-Mac edition does support 3D hardware acceleration contrary to the Virtual PC like solution built into Windows 7.

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Catatonic
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Very true. Apple was smart

Very true.

Apple was smart to built in backwards compatibility in the Macs - when they switched to PowerPC, it had a 68000 emulator built in. When they switched to Mac OS X, they included the old Mac OS built right in. When they switched to Intel chips, they built in a PowerPC emulator. All very smart decisions. Microsoft is now building a copy of Windows XP into Windows 7. They know what they're doing.

Bill Loguidice
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Semantics
Catatonic wrote:

In a way, even the original Mac did not really survive past the 90's. Apple had to purchase the Next company and transition all their computers onto the Next platform. (They turned down the BeOS company)

If you think about it, though, both Atari and Commodore went through at least three architecture transitions themselves up until their failures in the mid-90s with their respective ST and Amiga platforms. By that thinking, I argue that the original Mac did survive, at least until the full switch to Intel, at which point what became important was OS rather than architecture (MacOS, Linux, Windows). The original PC is really the only architecture that can be argued that is still going from its original 1981 spec, however, that was always a card-based architecture, so it too went through several iterations, though it was still inherently backwards compatible.

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Catatonic
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In a way, even the original

In a way, even the original Mac did not really survive past the 90's. Apple had to purchase the Next company and transition all their computers onto the Next platform. (They turned down the BeOS company)

Bill Loguidice
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Why the Mac won - Bill's opinion
Matt Barton wrote:

What I'm perhaps more curious about is what it would have taken for the ST, OS/2, or Amiga to have beaten the Mac. The Mac has never been cheap, and it seems that Atari and Commodore's machines could have competed pretty squarely with it. I'm not quite sure how or why Apple was able to beat out the others and become the only serious proprietary alternative to Windows, excluding of course the usual mismanagement and conspiracy theories.

Two reasons. One, Apple was already entrenched in schools, so it was natural to have Macs in school to a larger degree than Atari or Commodore could have ever hoped with any competing systems. Two, and most important, the Mac had the best niche use of the three, i.e., desktop publishing over the Atari ST's MIDI/musician and the Amiga's video production. Simply put, desktop publishing was the most practical niche to have. The MIDI/musician market, while lucrative, could never have the mass market appeal necessary, and the Amiga's specialty in video production was too far ahead of its time, i.e., it missed the YouTube generation by more than a decade. Actually, there was a third reason if you consider the economic states of the companies. Apple was more financially sound and could whether being a niche player much better than either Atari or Commodore, which ravaged themselves with really poor decisions.

OS/2 can't be considered a separate platform. It was an alternative to DOS/Windows. The problem with OS/2 was one of ubiquity. Microsoft was smart in that they got on every system they could. IBM limited themselves even though they had the far superior OS right up until the release of Windows 95 over straight DOS and Windows 3.1.

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Matt Barton
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I'd probably take another

I'd probably take another tack and say that both the ST and Amiga lines were doomed from the start. The IBM PC just had too huge of an economic advantage because of the clone makers. The competition helped to push down prices while encouraging innovation. Once the graphics and audio technologies were developed and standardized, it would have taken a miracle to keep more than one rival OS afloat. In short, I think DOS and later Windows were always destined for supremacy no matter how innovative the other platforms were.

What I'm perhaps more curious about is what it would have taken for the ST, OS/2, or Amiga to have beaten the Mac. The Mac has never been cheap, and it seems that Atari and Commodore's machines could have competed pretty squarely with it. I'm not quite sure how or why Apple was able to beat out the others and become the only serious proprietary alternative to Windows, excluding of course the usual mismanagement and conspiracy theories.

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Bill Loguidice
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I'm on record long ago as

I'm on record long ago as saying what Commodore should have done was push the Amiga as the ultimate computer. Their advertising should have been, you can run IBM, Macintosh and Commodore 64 software, but why would you want to when you can run Amiga software. Obviously at each mention of the other systems, they'd show standard software, but then when they got to the Amiga they'd show something full color, animated and with stereo sound. Obviously they could easily leave out the Commodore 64 part, but the bottom line is here you had this amazing multimedia platform that was able to run the software of nearly every other computer that mattered (via hardware or software), so why not make a big deal of that, even if the actual cost would have tripled the price of the Amiga by itself. It's not the financial practicality after all, it's putting the IDEA into people's heads.

The Atari ST had an impressive price advantage and good headstart, but once the Amiga 500/2000 replaced the 1000, it was lights out for the ST line. They got the STe out too late, had too many models, and by the time they came out with the Falcon and TT, it was already too late like Commodore was with their AGA line.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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Matt Barton
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You know, it's funny how the

You know, it's funny how the guys at the end emphasize how important the MS-DOS compatibility is for these machines...Makes one wonder what would have happened if Commodore and Atari had taken the MS-DOS threat more seriously, perhaps building in hardware emulation...Or perhaps the best choice would have been to forget about the business market and focus solely on entertainment and creativity software.

It's fun to speculate what you would have done differently if you had been in charge of Amiga or Atari back in 1985.

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