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/// Usenet Review: Amiga 1000 as a Second Computer
    ----------------------------------------------
    By Rob Morton
    (morton@wam.umd.edu)



PRODUCT NAME

        Commodore Amiga 1000 computer

        [MODERATOR'S NOTE:  I am sure that some of you are shaking your
        heads in disbelief that someone is reviewing an ancient Amiga 1000
        over 8 years after its release!  However, this review has an
        interesting perspective that might be helpful to some of you:  it
        views the A1000 as a cheap choice for a second computer.  With used
        A1000's available very inexpensively now, some readers may find this
        information useful.  - Dan]


BRIEF DESCRIPTION

        Can you think of a cheaper second computer??  The Amiga 1000 is able
to use most of your current software, and will not take up much room.  That
is what I wanted in a second computer, and that is what I got.


AUTHOR/COMPANY INFORMATION

        Name:           Commodore Business Machines
        Address:        1200 Wilson Drive
                        West Chester, PA  19380
                        USA
                        (Varies for other countries)

        Telephone:      (800) 66-AMIGA          (USA/Canada only)
                        (215) 431-9100


LIST PRICE

        This product has been discontinued; however, you can get one used
quite cheaply:  less than $100 (US).


REVIEW

        Well, I got this computer because I had never seen one before.  Since
I am trying to save enough money to go to college, I weighed the choices:
A1000 or college education.  So now that I own it and know what it looks
like, I figured others may want to know my impressions.

        The case of this computer is probably the best designed that I have
seen.  Being able to store the keyboard underneath the computer is a real
plus when working with no space (I just put it where I was thinking of
putting my books for college).  I may be dreaming, but imagine an AGA machine
in an A1000 case.  It would be grand.  The only design problem I see with
this computer is the poor keyboard layout. It feels great, but I keep
hitting the wrong keys.  Luckily, Commodore corrected the keyboard problem
with the rest of the Amiga line, and you can use an A2000 keyboard on the
A1000 with an adapter.  Doing this robs you of the ability to store the
keyboard underneath the computer though.

        As for running software, I have found nothing that does not work on
this machine.  Shadow of the Beast 3 worked flawlessly, as did Archon (this
can not be said for any other of the Amiga machines).  I do not have
anything that is AmigaDOS 2.0 specific, but I am sure with the proper
hardware, anything will run on it except AGA stuff.  I ran some old demos
and basically got to take a trip through history.  All of this for the price
of a used C64, monitor, disk drive, and (if you are lucky) a printer.

        There are ways to install ROM's, hard drives, and accelerators.
Many of these can be acquired used as well.  Even as an unexpanded system,
this makes for a nice new toy.  (I use the word "toy" not like a small
child's toy, but more like an overgrown child's toy.)


DOCUMENTATION

        Well I got the complete manuals for using the A1000.  I got Kickstart
disks for 1.2 and 1.1, and I have pretty much figured them all out (real
tough job there).  The documentation seems quite well written, and comes in
a three ring binder.  The pages for 1.2 were also added to this folder.


LIKES AND DISLIKES

        Well I really like having a second computer, and the price cannot
be beaten.  The keyboard garage is great.  You will never have the keyboard
getting in the way of the disk drive, or for that matter the keyboard cord
getting tangled with the mouse and joy stick cord.  I also like looking at a
computer that is 8 years old, and still working perfectly.

        I did not like the keyboard layout, or using Kickstart disks, but
like I said both of these can be corrected if they really irritate you.

        This computer cannot be improved, because it is not being made
anymore.  If Commodore were to come out with a new Amiga in a similar case, I
would like it.  With a 68030 CPU, hard drive, and AGA chips for less than
less than 1000 US dollars, and this would be the perfect Amiga.  These are
more redesigns than improvements though.


COMPARISON TO OTHER SIMILAR PRODUCTS

        I have an A2000, which the only real difference is the Kickstart
ROM, more memory, better keyboard, and better Agnus chip.  As for software,
while running the software I could not tell the difference in these machines.

        Comparing it to an A500 with Workbench 2.04 is the only other
comparison I can do.  Saying Workbench 2.04 is better than 1.2 is like
saying an F40 is better than a Yugo.  But as far as the design of the case,
I would much rather have an A1000 than an A500.  If you do any typing, then
a detachable keyboard is great.  If you only want to play games, then go
with whatever is cheapest.  Actually for any game that uses the keyboard, a
detachable keyboard is still great.


BUGS

        This is just a guess on my part, but Commodore probably had fewer
bugs in this computer than any since.  It also runs Amiga software better
than some other Amiga models.  I can run Archon, and I bet there are not too
many people who can say that. :)


VENDOR SUPPORT

        I have never had a problem with the support that Commodore has given
me.  Of course I have never had a reason to call them either, so I guess I am
an easy person to support.  I like their equipment, and it seems to be made
well enough to stand the test of time.


WARRANTY

        I doubt you will get any warranty unless you get a factory
refurbished A1000, but you can probably find better deals on the net.


CONCLUSIONS

        If you are looking for a cheap second computer, a cheap game system,
a hardware hacker's dream, or just a piece of history, I would say you can
not go wrong with the A1000.  It is old but still alive.  A1000's are
capable of doing almost anything that an A500 can do, if you want to
expand.  Basically if you have a spare $100 (US) and want to get some
enjoyment experimenting, then an A1000 is a good choice.

                                                Rob Morton