Commodore Amiga 500
Announced:January 1987
Price:$699.99
CPU:Motorola 68000 @ 7.14 MHz
RAM:512K stock, 8Meg max.
Display:16 colors at 640 X 400
4096 colors at 320 X 200.
Ports:Parallel, serial, floppy
RGB, RF, composite video
Stereo audio, joysticks
System bus
Storage:Internal 880K 3.5-inch floppy.
OS:AmigaDOS 1.34
"Workbench" GUI





The Amiga 500 can be considered as a cost-reduced version of the original Amiga 1000 computer, which was released two years earlier in 1985.

The A1000 was an attractive, two-piece desktop model, while the A500 is a smaller, one-piece "wedge", but still comparable in operation and capability.

The powerful multi-tasking operating system of the Amiga line of computers, as well as their advanced multi-processor design, easily eclipsed the capabilities of the Atari 520ST, it's main rival. The A500 turned-out to be the most popular Amiga model ever sold, due in part to the many high-quality games released by third-party developers.

The low-end nature of the A500 precluded any internal expansion slots or built-in hard drive support, but a single "trapdoor" expansion slot is accessible on the bottom of the console, utilized mostly to increase the system RAM.

A more capable Amiga 2000 was released at about the same time - this high-end system incorporated internal expansions slots and front-panel expansion bays, among other improvements.



Subsequent Amiga models released:
Amiga 2000
1987
68000 @ 7.14 MHz16 colors at 700 X 400
4096 colors at 350 X 400
Desktop, 512K RAM, 7 internal expansion slots
Amiga 3000
1990
68030 @ 16 or 25 MHz16 colors at 1280 X 400
4096 colors at 350 X 400
Desktop, 2M RAM, 4 internal expansion slots
CDTV
1991
68000 @ 7.14 MHz16 colors at 700 X 400
4096 colors at 350 X 400
CD-ROM based entertainment system
Amiga 600
1992
68000 @ 7.14 MHz16 colors at 1280 X 400
4096 colors at 350 X 400
"wedge", 1M RAM, internal hard drive
Amiga 4000 
1992
68040 @ 25.0 MHz1280400 - 800600 resolution, 256 colorsDesktop, 18M RAM, 4 internal expansion slots
Amiga 1200
1992
68020 @ 14.3 MHz1280400 - 800600 resolution, 256 colors"wedge", 2M RAM, internal hard drive
CD32
1993
68020 @ 14.3 Mhz1280400 - 800600 resolution, 256 colorsCD-ROM based game system



Related Links

  • The Unofficial Eric Schwartz Web Site
  • Amiga animations
  • Amiga Hardware Database (amiga.resource.cx)
  • AmiBay - better than eBay!

  • History of the Amiga Computer

    • 1982: Hi-Toro Incorporated is formed by a group of midwest investors trying to cash in on the video game craze. The name was later changed to Amiga, Incorporated after being confused with the lawn-mower manufacturer, Toro.
    • 1983: Information is leaked about an incredible computer codenamed Lorraine featuring unheard of graphics and sound capabilities, multitasking, 80 column display, 5+ megs of RAM and MORE!
    • 1984: August - Commodore purchases Amiga Corporation.
    • 1985: July - Commodore unveils the new Amiga 1000 in New York, for US$1300.
    • 1986: Commodore releases Transformer software for the Amiga, which, along with the Commodore 1020 5 1/4-inch disk drive, provides limited MS-DOS compatibility.
    • 1987: January - Commodore announces the Amiga 500.
    • 1987: January - Commodore announces the Amiga 2000.
    • 1988: December - Commodore announces the A2286D Bridgeboard for the Amiga 2000. The A2286D contains an 8-MHz Intel 80286 and a 1.2MB 5 1/4-inch disk drive.
    • 1988: Commodore introduces the Amiga 2000HD.
    • 1988: Commodore introduces the Amiga 2500.
    • 1989: January - Commodore announces that 1 million Amiga computers have been sold.
    • 1989: November - Commodore announces the Amiga 2500/30. It is essentially an Amiga 2000 with a 2630 Accelerator Board (25-MHz 68030 and 68882 math coprocessor).
    • 1990: April - Commodore offers Amiga 1000 owners US$1000 to trade in their Amiga on a new Amiga 2000.
    • 1990: June - Commodore ships the Amiga A3000 computer.
    • 1990: September - NewTek ships the Video Toaster, a hardware/software real-time video effects tool for the Amiga 2000, for US$1600.
    • 1990: Commodore announces the Amiga 3000. Prices start at US$4100 with a monitor.
    • 1991: January - Commodore releases the CDTV package. It features a CD-ROM player integrated with a 7.16-MHz 68000-based Amiga 500. List price is US$1000.
    • 1991: Commodore unveils the Amiga 3000UX. Cost is US$5000, without a monitor.
    • 1992: March - Commodore introduces the Amiga 600 for a base price of $500.
    • 1992: September - Commodore introduces the Amiga 4000.
    • 1992: December - Commodore introduces the Amiga 1200.
    • 1994: Commodore International and Commodore Electronics (two of the many international components of Commodore Business Machines) file for voluntary liquidation.
    • 1995: April - At an auction in New York, ESCOM buys all rights, properties, and technologies of Commodore.
    • 1997: Gateway buys bankrupt Amiga.
      Source: Chronology of Events in the History of Microcomputers



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