A small development team at a company called Hi-Toro dreamed of a machine that would beat the latest offering from Atari. They were led by Jay Miner, a computer hardware designer who had previously helped build the Atari 800 and Atari VCS home computer system.
Jay wanted the machine to include the MC-68000 CPU because it was the best CPU available in 1982. Some design choices came from Miner, and others were inspired from other sources. His original design was very similar to what would eventually become the Amiga 2000, with lots of expansion slots. He cooperated with Ron Nicholson, who gave him the idea for the "blitter". Hold And Modify mode (HAM) was inspired by a visit to some flight simulators. All of this research and development had cost $7,000,000 at this point.
The custom chips required to build the machine were fabricated in 1983. In January 1984, Jay and his team introduced an Amiga at the Chicago CES and looked for an investor. Later, The first “demo” Amiga "demo" (which displayed a sphere with red and white rectangles on it, bouncing around on the screen) was shown only to selected "customers", and development continued in secrecy.
Companies interested in the custom chips included Sony, Apple, Phillips, and HP. Atari's president, Jack Tramiel, lent Amiga Inc. $1,000,000 to be paid back one month later. When the month ended, it became apparent that Amiga Inc. would not be able to pay him back, so he offered 98 cents per share for the company. Amiga found this was unacceptable and looked for someone else to buy them. Just two days before the deadline, a company called Commodore came in and began to talk to Amiga.
History text copyright © 1999-2006, MobyGames
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