I got my first Amiga back in October of 1985. As I understand it, it was the first Amiga 1000 sold in the state of Virginia. 4096 colors, 4-channel stereo sampled sound, fast 16/32-bit processor, lightweight UNIX-like OS with preemptive multitasking with a WIMP GUI. It was like something sent back from the future. An amazing machine with an amazing OS.
Sadly, the cult-like passion of its followers could not prevent Commodore from driving the company straight into the ground. C= filed for bankruptcy in 1994. Yet, the Amiga-faithful live on. They can be found in various IRC channels and forums across the web. I frequent Amiga.org, personally. Yes, I’ve still got a few Amigas, even if I am not of the true brotherhood, using an AmigaOS machine as my main day-to-day workhorse.
It’s too long a story to explain what hardware these hardcore users ride. I’ll defer to Wikipedia. Just know that there’s original 68K-based Amiga hardware and then there’s more recent PowerPC-based hardware known as the AmigaOne. Owners of these fairly snappy machines had long waited for the release of AmigaOS v4.0, as they were forced to run Linux in the absence of a version of AmigaOS that supported their machines. An awkward stuation, true. But, after years of anticipation, AmigaOS 4 finally made it out the door on December 24, 2006 and there was much rejoycing across the land. Except that EyeTech, the company that made the AmigaOne, no longer does. It’s a sad story, really.
Those with the hardware, however, are rather happy with this latest, greatly updated release. Have a look at what it’s all about in ArsTechnica’s review of AmigaOS 4 by Jeremy Reimer. (His earlier review of the Micro-AmigaOne and Amiga OS 4 Developer Prerelease can be seen here.) Very interesting reading. I’ll stop with Amiga OS 3.9 on my Amiga 1200 ‘060, I think.