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AuthorTopic: Worst of the Worst Think Comodore has done.  (Read 3069 times)

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Offline Acill

Re: Worst of the Worst Think Comodore has done.
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2003, 02:06:44 PM »
All of these things are good and for the most part totally correct. Amiga should have been at least in the number two spot like the Mac is today. I would have to say the one thing above all others that killed the Amiga and let the PC move on was/is this:

C= didn’t licensee out the hardware to others allowing clones. That one thing has made the so many others building PCs and force prices to compete. It also let more then one company share the expense in development of new tech. When Apple let the Mac clones be built there were lines of developers just waiting to build them. Then they put an end to it. Remember BeOS? It was developed to be used on Mac clones and Mac like systems. This is what killed the Amiga.

A close second would be the lack of HIGH-end business applications. We came close several times, but our pals at C= messed it up every time. For those that have been in the Amiga world from the start I am sure you remember that Word Perfect was ported and released for the Amiga. At the time it was the leading word processor. If the AmigaOne is going to be successful the hardware needs to be open and we need to get some killer BUSINESS apps. The games will come later as they have on the Mac and PC.

And above all. The past is the past. If we all knew then what we do now, it would make us all rich!
Proud Retired Navy Chief!

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Offline jutrem

Re: Worst of the Worst Think Comodore has done.
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2003, 02:41:57 PM »
REPLY

[/quote]
commodore_jim wrote

As for the hard-drive issue, this was something of a vicious circle and the software publishers of the time need to accept some responsilibltiy also.

Commodore didn't ship hard-drives with early Amigas such as the 500 because most of the popular games software, i.e. arcade games, were not hard-drive installable.

Conversely, many software publishers didn't make their games hard-drive installable since Amigas weren't shipping with hard-drives installed (although I suspect this was a convenient excuse used by many publishers to produce non hard-drive installable titles, as copy protection would be even more difficult).

** Some also claimed memory requirements.  The average A500 user had 1 mb in the late 80-early 90's.  Some games asked for 1.5 meg if installrd on a hard-Drive.


What was needed was for one side to show some faith and Commodore did this by shipping the 600 and 1200 with hard-drives as optional extras.

Still, many developers refused to play ball.

** I think many old Amiga developers thought the A500 was the only Amiga oround. Instead of writing software that took advantage of the higher end machines (like the A3000 and later the A4000) they kept to the 1mb/no HD  ECS spec.    The same developers on the x86 PC would require the latest graphic's card on the fastest CPU.

 We all have PC's.  PC users always upgrade or purchase new hardware for the latest games/apps. Most A500 users never upgraded to a higher end Amiga because for games there was to reason to.
 



[/quote]
 

Offline Matt_H

Re: Worst of the Worst Think Comodore has done.
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2003, 02:58:01 PM »
Phew. A lot to address here.

@ Plaz

Yes, their PC division was a complete waste of resources. Not just the Colt project, the whole department. By the time they realized it, it was too late.

@ MarkTime

I think the CD32 would have saved Commodore if it had been marketed properly and if they had enough units to satisfy demand. True, it couldn't really compete with the Saturn and Playstation, but they didn't exist yet. If the machine's expansion slot had been used to potential, I think the machine would have been able to hold out. If the records are correct, the CD32 was a serious contender in Europe.

@ Rodney

I agree. The marketing department's main problem was that they pretty much only advertised to existing Amiga users. That's not a good way to expand the user base. Did any general computing publications from the early 1990s have Amiga adverts in them?

As for the A600, it would have been a great machine if:
1) They had socketed the 68000.
2) The marketing department had kept it as the uber-low-cost A300 as engineering had planned for it.

@ Atheist

I think putting an 020 in the 2000 would have been just as deadly to the cost as putting a hard drive in every unit. Besides, the 2000 is far easier to accelerate than the 500. PPC cards were even planned for the 2000 before phase5 went under. Also, had 020s been developed by 1987? I don't know.

I disagree with you on the bridgeslots. Mainstream compatibility was extremely important back then. My father used the only Amiga in his office with a 486 bridgeboard until the middle of the Win95 era. Full Novell network support, essentially 2 machines in one box, it was great. A bit like the Siamese system, only the Amiga was the host machine.

@ Acill

WordPerfect was definitely a step in the right direction. The problem was, once M$ killed it off on the PC, the Amiga version became redundant.



I want to cry when I think what could have been. :-(
AGA in 1991 would have turned a few heads.
 

Offline jutrem

Re: Worst of the Worst Think Comodore has done.
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2003, 03:48:29 PM »
  Instead of catering for the low end they shoul have focused on the high end Amiga's.  The high end will eventually become the low end over time.  Last year a 2Ghz pc was high end. Now we have 3ghz at the high end followed by 2.5 then 2ghz.

 Instead of releasing the A1200 they should have made available a base A4000 mb/box that the customer could customize. When they released the 1200 they split the market. There was alway's a 1200 camp and a 4000 camp.  Developers and manufacturers have always have to develop two versions of their products.  Imagine the cost difference if Phase 5 only had to develop the 3/4000 version of the PowerPC card.  Imagine the cost difference if Elbox only had to develop the 4000 version of the mediator PCI card.

here's an example (using 1993/1994 standards)

- Base A4000 2mb chip RAM AGA 1.76mb fdd KB//MS
- Upgrade to Mid-Tower
- Select from 040,030, or 020 CPU card
  * the 020 A4000 CPU card  was made but not sold
- Add extra 4,8,12,16 mb in 72pin SIMMS
- IDE HD options none, 120mb, 200,300 and up etc..
- Optional SCSI interface and Drives
- Optional internal /external CD ROM
- Optional ZIII video card (3rd party) for the high end
- Optional upgraded 3rd party CPU card for high end.

After a year or two the price of the base A4000 would be down to the 400~500 dollar starting price of the A1200 for those who really wanted one.

This would have allowed more PC like reseller customization.  That might have help the Amiga market grow.


 

Offline Wain

Re: Worst of the Worst Think Comodore has done.
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2003, 11:40:01 PM »
Quote
Instead of catering for the low end they should have focused on the high end Amiga's. The high end will eventually become the low end over time. Last year a 2Ghz pc was high end. Now we have 3ghz at the high end followed by 2.5 then 2ghz.


This was not quite as true from 1985-1992, the reason the amiga sold well at all to begin with was because of low end systems like the 500 that got into homes becuase they were powerful AND inexpensive.  

You have to remember that a high spec system these days can be put together for around $2000-$2500 from scratch, however, in the late 80's and early 90's, high end systems ran upwards of $4000, and it took MUCH longer for the prices to drop.

The computer industry didn't advance as quickly then as it does today, Moore's law works exponentially.  There wasn't a new computer available to replace the old one every year, and systems lasted much longer without needing heavy upgrades to support current software.  If commodore only had the 4000 available for the high-end world, and was simply going to wait for obsolesence inorder to create a lower end model, they would've tanked MUCH faster than they did.

The other difficulty that would have arisen from this would be that of chipset revisions.  If the 4000 comes out with AGA, and everything else is still on OCS/ECS, what are people going to do for the 2+ years while they wait for the 4000 to become cheap?  Supporting multiple different chipsets simultaneously creates a gross division of funds, and leaves the both the public and software developers confused and frustrated, case in point...the Amiga 600.

The 500, and 1200 sold well enough into homes to create a cashflow that could be used to support high end systems, and further enhance the operating system.  I personally feel one of Commodore's worst failures was not supporting the operating system enough at the last couple of years.

I do agree that expansions for the 1200 and 4000 should have required little to no alteration between the two, mainly some issues with housing for the 1200 version.  

There's nothing revolutionary about releasing a powerful machine for $4000 dollars, the reason the amiga was incredible was because of what it could do on a low end system, and low end machines are what kept commodore in  sales.

And I'm willing to bet that if everyone saw shadow of the beast running on a $4000 computer instead of a $700 one Commodore wouldn't have lasted as long as it did.
Professional Expatriate
 

Offline iamaboringperson

Re: Worst of the Worst Think Comodore has done.
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2003, 12:03:13 AM »
in the late 80s
commodore could of easily taken advantage of the fact that there were about 20 million, or more C64 users! they could of produced a (probably hardware based) C64(&128) emulator as an optional add on
they could of at least made the upgrade path of c64 users easier and more risk free to the amiga than ibm-pc(most c64 users probably bought an ibm-pc)
commodore had the numbers - but it was the wrong machine!
 

Offline Phantom206

Re: Worst of the Worst Think Comodore has done.
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2003, 04:24:09 PM »
They thought that the enemy was Atari and let pcs to become the top.. Very wrong move for Commodore, very wrong.. Now it's not easy to reach these pcs.....
 

Offline Matt_H

Re: Worst of the Worst Think Comodore has done.
« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2003, 07:14:55 PM »
Quote
They thought that the enemy was Atari and let pcs to become the top.. Very wrong move for Commodore, very wrong.. Now it's not easy to reach these pcs.....


See, that's the funny thing. I grew up around Amigas, I was always aware of the PC threat, but I never even knew that Atari had been a seriuos competitor at all until... say, a year ago?
 

Offline DavidF215

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Re: Worst of the Worst Think Comodore has done.
« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2003, 07:20:55 PM »
[Sorry for the long length, but I couldn't stop typing.  :) ]

Commodore management was a joke. And the last president should be tried for embezzlement after stealing $2million. He was probably a part of Bin Laden's network, too.

The marketing department had their heads in the sand (or somewhere else). Management should have fired the entire marketing department, then the engineers should have fired the management. Maybe Commodore management was bribed by Microsoft, Intel, or similar competitors to kill the company.

I think that Commodore should have focused more on application development. This is also an issue I have with Amiga, Inc., which plans on no application development of its own for the AmigaDE--*very* bad business decision at this stage. Commodore did develop a few business applications for the Commodore 64, but I don't know if they ever developed software for the Amiga.

Developing applications or providing software bundles for a new system definitely helps in sales and marketing. The Magic Bundle that was made available for the A1200 was a great idea, but unfortunately, it came too late. When I bought my A1200 in 1993, I bought it without the HD. I expected it to come with at least some type of extra software for word processing and a couple of games, but it didn't. So all that I had was a machine and a basic operating system that didn't even have a decent word processor.

I've been thinking of the following ideas for some time now. This probably should be another thread, but I'll let the ring-bearer...err...um...moderator decide.

Unlike Commodore, Amiga, Inc. and the Pegasos must provide a software bundle with their new Systems. Windows and Mac systems come with bundled software, so Amiga systems must comply. The best thing that Hyperion could do is to include at least one of their games in with OS4 and demos of all their other games. Epic Entertainment and ClickBOOM should also think about including a full version of one of their games with OS4. I would even suggest that Hyperion, Epic, and ClickBOOM allow full versions of all their Amiga games be included as part of a software bundle for the new OS4 but without a save game feature or similar limitation. Converting some of the games into subscription based online games (similar to Everquest) is a good idea, especially for the new massive-multiplayer market. Utilizing a subscription method for updates and new versions could be utilized for long term financial benefits.

Amiga, Inc should develop software that is available only on the AmigaOS/DE systems. And it needs to be good software that's not available on other platforms. A good example is Final Cut Pro by Apple. IMO, you will never see Final Cut be ported to another platform. AppleWorks is another good example. Apple provides software that makes the system usable out of the box. Amiga needs to provide a similar solution.


What I'm about to say may be worthy of crucifixion and flame wars (bring it on :), but I think that the AmigaOS4+ would greatly benefit from it. Amiga, Inc. should consider partnering with Microsoft for a port of either MS-Office or MS-Works. I would favor MS-Works above MS-Office because Microsoft may be willing to accept less money for it than for MS-Office. In this partnership, Amiga, Inc. would be the exclusive marketing agent/distributor for MS-Office or MS-Works for the AmigaOS platform. This would (1) provide an industry accepted Office Suite on an AmigaPPC platform, (2) enable Amiga, Inc. to profit from the deal to secure its future financially so long as MS-Office/Works remains profitable itself. Should Amiga, Inc. become the exclusive distributor of MS-Office/Works for the Amiga platform, this provides Microsoft with access to a potential  alternative to Linux. Apple now has MS-Office X on OS X; Amiga must follow suit. That's reality. If Commodore had had a better partnership with Microsoft in the 1980's, then Amiga probably would have MS-Office already, that is if Commodore wouldn't have messed up the deal.

Whatever the case, Amiga, Inc. needs to provide software that is AmigaOS/DE exclusive.

Here's an even more blasphemous idea. Allowing Microsoft to gain a partial share of Amiga, Inc. through a stock purchase (similar to Microsoft's stock share of Apple) would enable Microsoft and Amiga to benefit from the relationship long term. Like it or not, developing some type of relationship or partnership with Microsoft, I believe, is the only way for AmigaOS to make a serious comeback, especially in the business market. Encouraging Microsoft to invest in Amiga would probably provide a greater likelyhood for a port of MS-Office to AmigaOS. A Microsoft investment into Amiga may also help prevent Microsoft from becoming more of an enemy to Amiga than it currently is and help Microsoft from seeing AmigaOS as a major competitor. It could also help with Amiga PR and financing, though it could have a negative effect too among current users and MS-haters. Most businesses, however, want solutions; they are less concerned with the "Microsoft Rebellion."

My $0.02.
AmigaOS enthusiast since 1993.
 

Offline CRL

Re: Worst of the Worst Think Comodore has done.
« Reply #24 on: June 06, 2003, 07:53:30 PM »
I suspect (and have for a long time) that senior management looted the company from the top, as we have seen in so many cases recently (ENRON, etc.).  Managemwent practices were as far ahead of their time as the computers. ;-)

The thing no one has mentioned is the (to me) obvious way that the company regarded itself as a novelty toy company.  They unloaded tons of C64s thru Toys R Us and similar venues, and were distressed to find that customers wanted support and continuous development of the computer.  The Amiga was treated the same way, a cheap novelty item that might make profits for a season or two and then on to the next thing.  It wasn't all that way all the time of course.  Some good computer people were trying to point the way and got half listened to from time to time, but in the end the managers appear to have decided to steal the money and get out of a business they didn't understand before they got hurt.
Just MHO of course.
CRL
 

Offline Puzzle_Rattrap

Re: Worst of the Worst Think Comodore has done.
« Reply #25 on: June 06, 2003, 10:31:19 PM »
Quote
I think the CD32 would have saved Commodore if it had been marketed properly and if they had enough units to satisfy demand. True, it couldn't really compete with the Saturn and Playstation, but they didn't exist yet. If the machine's expansion slot had been used to potential, I think the machine would have been able to hold out. If the records are correct, the CD32 was a serious contender in Europe.
It was successful for a while, admittedly, but there's no way the CD32 could've lasted.

Even at the time it was nothing special hardware wise. Admittedly it had more muscle that the Mega CD (aka Sega CD), but not really in the sprite-pushing department.  In terms of games, a load of straightforward Amiga 500 ports (and a few PC CD-ROM conversions) were never going to sell the machine beyond the Amiga loyalists. Quite honestly, I think the CD32 was a bigger mistake than the C64 games console, or Amstrad's GX-4000. Putting home computer games, by a course less visually sophisticated than their 'proper' console rivals, into new boxes without keyboards was a recipe for disaster. Had Commodore not gone under, the CD32 would've been obliterated come the launch of the Playstations, with its (then) impressive graphics and heavy marketing.

It's so obvious now - if Commodore had started to design CD-ROM drives for the Amigas people already had in their homes (along with new Amiga computers) there could've been a future for the system beyond dedicated hobbyists. Back then, CD drives in PCs were a relatively new thing. Having CD-ROM drives in store-bought Amiga would have undoubtably increased the potential of the format as a games and serious use machine. I mean, that Amigas in 1996 still had floppy disc drives  as their only source was ridicolous.
 

Offline Atheist

Re: Worst of the Worst Think Comodore has done.
« Reply #26 on: June 06, 2003, 11:47:30 PM »
CD32 was a joke.

It should have had a 68030 @ 25MHz or higher, 2 meg chip AND 2 meg fast ram, SIMM sockets to expand to 32 megs fast ram.

Same with the 1200. No fast ram was a HUGE mistake. BUT, it HAD to have 2 chip as well.

Agnus not going higher than 2 megs chip, HUGE mistake. It should have been able to do at LEAST 64 Megs.

The A1's ability to emulate custom chips, I REALLY hope can break the 2 Meg chip ram barrier (remember it's SW), to at LEAST 256 Megs chip.

AmigaOne! Ready to do the impossible??!!
\\"Which would you buy? The Crappy A1200, 15 years out of date... or the Mobile Phone that I have?\\" -- bloodline
So I guess that A500, 600, 1000, 2000, CDTV, CD32, are pure garbage then? Thanks for posting here.
 

Offline iamaboringperson

Re: Worst of the Worst Think Comodore has done.
« Reply #27 on: June 06, 2003, 11:57:39 PM »
Quote
It should have had a 68030 @ 25MHz or higher, 2 meg chip AND 2 meg fast ram, SIMM sockets to expand to 32 megs fast ram.
its a game console! that would of made it a lot more expensive, would games be upgraded to take advantage of the 030? probably not. you still would of had a hell of a lot of shoval ware back then
and i cant think of why any propriatary game console would have a standard system of ram expansion - i hope you dont mean standard 30 or 72 pin SIMM soccets!  :-o  :-o
Quote
Same with the 1200. No fast ram was a HUGE mistake. BUT, it HAD to have 2 chip as well.
do you realize howmuch 2M cost back in those days??
people bought the 1200 for cheapness - if they wanted quality they would go for the 4000, which had fast ram

Quote
Agnus not going higher than 2 megs chip, HUGE mistake. It should have been able to do at LEAST 64 Megs.

were forgetting that agnus was made in the mid 80's!!!
2M was heaps back then! 64M??? the 68000 could only address 16M of memory! and that included ROM and IO!!!

Quote
The A1's ability to emulate custom chips, I REALLY hope can break the 2 Meg chip ram barrier (remember it's SW), to at LEAST 256 Megs chip.

who cares if it can emulate the custom chips.
i want new software(with no backwards compatability bottlenecks) - to run old #### just run UAE
 

Offline Tomas

Re: Worst of the Worst Think Comodore has done.
« Reply #28 on: June 07, 2003, 12:26:40 AM »
I think they sold hd versions of a500 too later on.. Though very expensive.

What they should have done is add cdrom... Even in the end, Amigas didnt come with a cdrom as default... i think cdtv was only amiga that came with a cdrom as default, except for cd32 that is....
 

Offline Atheist

Re: Worst of the Worst Think Comodore has done.
« Reply #29 on: June 07, 2003, 12:33:51 AM »
Quote

iamaboringperson wrote:
its a game console! that would of made it a lot more expensive, would games be upgraded to take advantage of the 030? probably not. you still would of had a hell of a lot of shoval ware back then
and i cant think of why any propriatary game console would have a standard system of ram expansion - i hope you dont mean standard 30 or 72 pin SIMM soccets!  :-o  :-o


Well, thats why it died. They REFUSED to make faster machines. Why not SIMM sockets. Why can't a playstation 2, gamecube, or that other thing have SIMM sockets? EVERYONE seems to think this is a "Cardinal law of the Universe" that cannot be broken.

Quote
do you realize howmuch 2M cost back in those days??
people bought the 1200 for cheapness - if they wanted quality they would go for the 4000, which had fast ram

CD32 was pretty expensive, anyway. When a company buys it, in mass quantities, it wasn't that much, really.

Quote
were forgetting that agnus was made in the mid 80's!!!
2M was heaps back then! 64M??? the 68000 could only address 16M of memory! and that included ROM and IO!!!

CD32 had 68020. 32 bit address space. I don't believe they used a 68EC020 chip.

Imagine if the CD32 was able to expand to 128 megs. It would still be useful today!!! External compact flash card reader, 512 Megs. WooHooo!!

Quote

who cares if it can emulate the custom chips.
i want new software(with no backwards compatability bottlenecks) - to run old #### just run UAE


I really, REALLY believe there are people out there that would LOVE to run some old paint packages and sound programs that break that barrier.

Remember that there are many programs that probably won't be recompiled to PPC. No reason to abandom them, they're THAT good.

AmigaOne! Amiga, (way) ahead of its' time!
\\"Which would you buy? The Crappy A1200, 15 years out of date... or the Mobile Phone that I have?\\" -- bloodline
So I guess that A500, 600, 1000, 2000, CDTV, CD32, are pure garbage then? Thanks for posting here.