Technical Terms and Definitions

Amiga - PC's

Amiga is a personal computer designed especially for high-resolution, fast response graphics and multimedia applications. Its microprocessor is based on Motorola's 680x0 line of processors. It was one of the first computers to offer true color. It comes with its own operating system, AmigaOS. Since its first appearance from Commodore Business Machines in 1985, Amiga has become a synonym for fast, high-resolution graphics and best known for its quickly responsive user interface and suitability for playing action games. AmigaOS handles 32-bit instructions and uses preemptive multitasking. Its design favors user input to the extent that it is sometimes described as a realtime operating system (real-time operating system).

Since Amiga was designed as a special-purpose system, AmigaOS, which is written in C and assembler language, is especially compact. All versions of the operating system will run on 512 kilobyte of random access memory. All versions of the Amiga can run at 50 MHz or faster, using an accelerator card. A G4 processor can be used through adding an accelerator card. The Amiga supports plug and play and can be adapted with software to emulate Windows and Mac OS.

The Amiga has the ability to become a video monitor by locking into a video signal from an external source such as a video camera. As a result, Amigas are used by television stations and sports arenas to display video clips on large screens.

Amiga is working on a "Next Generation" system that will use Linux as its basic core. (Earlier plans favored another operating system, QNX.) In September, 1999, Amiga's CEO and President Thomas J. Schmidt, saying that "Amiga was not just about a box," suggested that Amiga might soon be running on other platforms and operating systems.