The Amiga 1000 was released in July 1985, but a series of production problems kept it from becoming widely available until early 1986. The best selling model, the Amiga 500, introduced in 1987 (along with the more expandable / professional oriented Amiga 2000) became one of the leading home computers of the late 1980s and early 1990s with four to six million sold. The A3000 was introduced in 1990, followed by the A500+, and the A600 in March 1992. Finally, the A1200 and the A4000 were released in late 1992. The platform became particularly popular for gaming and programming demos. It also found a prominent role in the desktop video, video production, and show control business, leading to video editing systems such as the Video Toaster. The Amiga's native ability to simultaneously play back multiple digital sound samples made it a popular platform for early tracker music software. The relatively powerful processor and ability to access several megabytes of memory enabled the development of 3D rendering packages, including LightWave 3D, Imagine, Aladdin4D, TurboSilver and Traces, a predecessor to Blender.
Although early Commodore advertisements attempt to cast the computer as an all-purpose business machine, especially when outfitted with the Amiga Sidecar PC compatibility add-on, the Amiga was most commercially successful as a home computer, with a wide range of games and creative software. Poor marketing and the failure of the later models to repeat the technological advances of the first systems meant that the Amiga quickly lost its market share to competing platforms, such as the fourth generation game consoles, Macintosh, and the rapidly dropping prices of IBM PC compatibles, which gained 256-color VGA graphics in 1987. Commodore ultimately went bankrupt in April 1994 after a version of the Amiga packaged as a game console, the Amiga CD32, failed in the marketplace.
The AmigaOS GEL system consisted of VSprites, Bobs, AnimComps (animation components) and AnimObs (animation objects), each extending the preceding with additional functionality. While VSprites were a virtualization of hardware sprites Bobs were drawn into a playfield by the blitter, saving and restoring the background of the GEL as required. The Bob with the highest video priority was the last one to be drawn, which made it appear to be in front of all other Bobs.
In contrast to hardware sprites Bobs were not limited in size and number. Bobs required more processing power than sprites, because they required at least one DMA memory copy operation to draw them on the screen. Sometimes three distinct memory copy operations were needed: one to save the screen area where the Bob would be drawn, one to actually draw the Bob, and one later to restore the screen background when the Bob moved away.
An AnimComp added animation to a Bob and an AnimOb grouped AnimComps together and assigned them velocity and acceleration. (Full article...)
Richard Joseph (23 April 1953 – 4 March 2007) was a British computer game composer, musician and sound specialist. He had a career spanning 20 years starting in the early days of gaming on the C64 and the Amiga and onto succeeding formats.