Inside the Amiga 1000 (25th Anniversary)

June 30th, 2010 by Benj Edwards

Inside the Amiga 1000 on PC World

Commodore first shipped the legendary Amiga 1000 in July of 1985 — twenty-five years ago. In honor of the Amiga’s birthday, I did what comes natural to Benjs of all sorts: I took one apart. And I did it for PC World, making this the tenth entry in my “workbench series” of tech autopsies.

Giving the Amiga 1000 its place in the limelight is only fair because I took apart its arch-nemesis, the Atari 1040STf, back in March (the ST series also turned 25 this year).

I hope you enjoy it. When you’re done, I encourage you — no, urge you — to share your fondest Amiga memories in the comments below.

Here are my previous workbench teardowns, if you’re interested: Atari 1040STf, Atari 800, Commodore 64, Nintendo Game Boy, Nintendo Famicom, Apple IIc, IBM Model M Keyboard, TRS-80 Model 100, and Macintosh Portable.

16 Responses to “Inside the Amiga 1000 (25th Anniversary)”

  1. Sledge Says:

    If I remember correctly, I bought my very first Amiga in… February 2010! 🙂 Playing old games and collecting old hardware is kind of hobby to me, so I definitely needed to have one. Recently I took some photos, you can view them here: 😉

  2. Synchead Says:

    I still have one of these in my basement somewhere. Great machine and still the best Mouse driven OS ever written.

  3. SirPaul Says:

    I love the Amiga. Even though I only got my first one in mid-2009, it was always the legendary system that was dangled over my head, but too far to reach. Countless times have I heard that my parents would get an Amiga, but every time, something happens, and we didn’t get one. I constantly dreamed of the awesomeness of the system, and when I finally got my hands on one, the only reason it disappointed me was because the keyboard was busted, and the floppy drive was very touchy.

  4. Alan B Says:


    Best mouse driven OS ever written? Never used an Archimedes then.

  5. Joe Says:

    “Great machine and still the best Mouse driven OS ever written. ”

    That is why Microsoft paid that guy to destroy the Commodore company.

    Nothing could be mismanaged like that on accident.

  6. Bob E Says:

    Nice job, Benj….I’ve got one of these upstairs myself. I bought my first one in October 1985 which led to a great 9 years of computing fun. I’ve got more Amiga equipment today than I should but, hey it’s still fun.

    Anyone remember when multi-tasking and color wasn’t a necessary function of the OS? The Amiga changed all that!

  7. Mike S Says:

    I got a used Amiga 1000 when I was 13, in 1989. It was the first computer that was my very own, and I absolutely loved it. The graphics were great enough, but the sound was really incredible. Games were truly works of art back then: Shadow of the Beast, Zak McKracken, Out of this World, and Drakkhen were some of my favorites.

  8. Justin Says:

    Never owned an Amiga. Never had the desire for one. However, I knew one thing about them: they were ahead of their time.

  9. Woniak Says:

    I can’t stand those PCWORLD.COM slideshows. They make you mouse over to “SHOW MORE” and back every single slide, and it’s a severe Fitts’s law fail.

  10. Marc T Says:

    I got my first Amiga 500 back in 1987 as I worked in a computer store to pay it off. It was a great machine. I think the best part of the Amiga was not the graphics or the “Video Toaster” it was the audio. I could plug into my Amiga with RCA cables and remix songs. I did that for years and years. No one could do that with such a cheap computer. The C-64 taught me programing and the Amiga taught me audio.


    PS I loved the BeOS which I felt was a great “spiritual heir” to amiga’s multi-tasking and multimedia abilities.

  11. Benj Edwards Says:

    I hate the “show more” thing too. I think criticism of it is very fair, especially since it probably makes people skip my captions, which I put a lot of work into writing. I hear there’s a new slideshow design in the works, so we can keep our fingers crossed.

  12. karl sjostedt Says:

    Had a 500, then a 3000, more recently a 1200 with a 68060 processor. Loved the OS, the hardware, wish it wasn’t so badly mismanaged. Got me into graphics, 3D modeling and animation, music, and interactive design. Still the best OS, does 90% of what the modern OS’s do in 3MB of code. I loved always knowing what was going on in the OS. The responsiveness is still unrivaled. No matter how fast your windows or mac system is there is noticeable lag between moving the mouse and the pointer moving on the screen. Not so with any of my Amiga systems. We have systems that are literally 1000’s of times faster now but the end result is a worse experience because of bloated software… Boggles my mind how crappy Windows and Mac OS work considering the machines they run on.

  13. Zoyous Says:

    I bought my friend’s 500 when he moved on to a 2000. The Amiga got me into pre-Photoshop image editing, and sample-based music composition. And, of course… Speedball.

  14. Daniel Says:

    Thanks for another awesome tear-down, Benj!

    Amiga rules!

  15. Simon Says:

    Retro Game And Computer is a new site dedicated to retro home computers, game devices and games from systems like ZX Sinclair, Atari, Commodore, Amiga, Sega and many more.

    I would greatly appreciate a link exchange with with your site.

  16. Lawrence Says:

    In the early 90’s I got an amiga 1000 computer from some family friends whose child they bought it for passed away from brain cancer. I remember to this day turning it on and loading a game called Racter which was an AI game where you interview the computer and vice versa. It loaded up and asked if I was Caleb (said boy) and asked if I wanted to continue our conversation. I was floored.

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