Amiga or Atari ST?

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
I've never been behind a

I've never been behind a real ST, but I'd love to get the chance someday. As I understand, the bulk of the game library is ports of Amiga games, albeit often with slightly less impressive audiovisuals. My guess is that ST owners had pretty similar experiences to Amiga owners (though perhaps not in the U.S.), and I bet their relatedness is one reason for the almost violent feuds that occasionally erupt between the two communities. No doubt ST fans like to claim that the lackluster ports just weren't optimized for their system, which could well be true.

I have zero idea what productivity software was like on the ST. On the Amiga, I used Dpaint IV quite a bit, and had some nice music software like Sonix and later all the trackers. Word processing was there for those who wanted it--my dad's friend had Word Perfect for the Amiga. We just used Scribble. I tried using Final Copy towards the end, but it was slow. I never really tried to do anything with spreadsheets or databases back then. I do recall that AmigaBASIC sucked; you really needed at least AMOS to do anything good. That didn't stop me from trying, though. :)

I'd love to read (or write) a book about the ST/Amiga struggle, and how the underdog (DOS/Windows) eventually overcame them both.

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Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
For games, there's no

For games, there's no contest. More colors and better sound - among other technical advantages - means the Amiga wins. Neither one was particularly strong at productivity stuff like word processing, but I'd give the ST the edge with that type of software for a few reasons, one of which was its "hi res" monochrome monitor option and Atari-made laser printer. Each one specialized in a field that didn't mean much to the average consumer back then - pro audio (ST) and pro video (Amiga). So, I hardly give the edge to either one there.

In the US, there was generally far more Amiga availability than there was ST. In Europe, it was much, much closer.

I own nearly every model of both the Amiga and ST computer lines, and they're both great fun, with their own quirks and issues.

Books!
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

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