The Forgotten AMIGA

By - Peter Robertson


I have just spent the last few days transferring old 2.2 PageStream A4 files into version PStream 3.2 format via one of my A2000s. Last night, while I was waiting for 3.2 to convert these into Postscript via the printing "device" option, I opened up and viewed some old Yam files from yesteryear.

I opened up a drawer labeled "Keep" and lodged inside was an old email from a  medical colleague of mine over there in Canada. I had almost forgotten about this email but I smiled when I re-read it.

One of my friend`s associates was an up and coming young doctor who strongly fancied himself as a "know all" when it came to all things medical and even when it  came to things computer wise. He knew there was such things as Amiga computers as he had  seen many of them in the city shops. He knew of the A500 and (at that time) the relatively new A2000 and A500+ models.  

Anyway, the story comes forward to the year 1994 and it`s December.

My friend happens to mention to Mr. Know-all that he was glad he had just bought one of those new  demo A2200 Amigas. Know-all poo-hoos him stating that there was no such thing - no such Amiga existed and besides, with the current slow demise of Amiga all that was still for sale was the usual run of the mill models such as bog standard A1200s, A2ks, A3ks and the odd older A500.

There was definitely no such thing as an A2200. Never was - never will!  

My friend, to help prove his point that there was indeed such a beast, invited Mr know-all to his home and not only showed him his A2200, but even demonstrated its computing capabilities well into the evening hours. Mr. Know-all was taken down a peg - in the Amiga computer knowledge stakes.


The reason why I write this is simply because I happened to mention the A2200 in a recent email to a chap living down in Bristol. He too was under the impression that there was no such Amiga. He had never ever seen one at all the shows he`s attended over the years. To alleviate his mind, I forwarded a picture of one (my friend`s) plus the producer's business distribution presspack.  Yes, I had toyed with the idea of buying one - but I declined. Since not many Amiga owners/lovers know of the A2200, perhaps it`s time I listed something about this somewhat elusive machine.


Firstly, one should remember that not all computer manufacturers wished or indeed were able to attend regular World of Amiga shows - so sometimes these lesser known firms often stayed hidden in the background. Unfortunately, much of the amiga buying public remaining somewhat ignorant of such firms' existence - so the likes of the A2200 never really surfaced or became general knowledge.    


AMI-Tech of Canada was one such firm.


They manufactured the A2200 and I think (not 100% sure) they also produced the A2200`s mobo themselves. Manufacturing within Commodore factories were IIRC att - non existent.


They made 2 models: the A2200-1 which had a 68020 cpu (which was 2 x as fast as an A1200), 2MB 32bit chip ram and 2MB of fast (max on mobo was 8MBs) but accelerators could easily extend beyond that. I don`t personally know an owner of this model. They sold for $1,199. ($1.599 CDN$).


However, things were much different for the 2nd model - the A2200-2.

It boasted  
CPU:  68030 cpu & 68882 FPU @ 40mhz  
RAM: 2MB 32bit Chip ram & 4MB of Fast Ram (128MB max on mobo).
Storage: 3.5 floppy (1.76MB) & 420 MB hard drive (2.5MB/second).  
Its common features included:

OS: Kickstart 3.1 built-in chip.
Keyboard detach able, 94 keys (ident to the A3000 keyboard)
Seven intrinsic slots (deigned part of mobo - not added like Z4 etc. the way ALL A1200s should have been designed)
1 x local bus slot (150 pin, Amiga 1200 compatible)  
One 486 pc card compatible slot. (some 586/pen 1 fitted it)
1 x (direct to) CPU slot for future expansion (friend now has his CyberStormIII plugged in there  so his machine runs via 060-66mHz)  
4 x IBMPC/AT compatible  
Graphics: AGA ChipSet, programmable resolutions to 1280 X 600 @ 80mHz plus  composite video, 8VHS8 video and RGB.
Dimensions: 40cm (15.76") deep, 42cm (16.5") wide and 4.76" high.
Power: 200 or 250watt (CSA approved).


So there you have it - one fine AGA machine and it was sold (AFAIK, only a handful were ever made by AMI-Tech) via Computer Answers of Prince Albert, SK, Canada for the sum of $1.599 ($2.129 CDN$).


Okay, so they are not PPC, and they are not A4ks but as my friend will tell you, they are great machines and his has never let him down.


From a zorro slot, he runs his Emplant 586 pc card retaining a measure of MS DOS ability.


Like A4k owners, he has options of AGA or PicassoIV combined with Blizzard 060-66 speeds and a mobo that accepts lots of add-ons - all in a A2/A3000 look-a-like box.


Now here is the poignant point :(  


Both Computer Answers and AMI-Tech advertised (I think they did it for around 1 year) for local and world-wide dealer-distributors to act as agents for the Amiga AGA A2200.


AFAIK, none materialised.


Small wonder this fine Amiga (like its brothers) faded into oblivion.


I remember writing to Daniel Sullivan (Editor in chief) of Amiga World (the USA magazine)     on behalf of someone here in Scotland who was interested and needed some "outside/insider" info, but sadly, Daniel informed me that like many other Amiga related businesses, Amiga World was to close its offices and the following month they too fell under the onslaught of the PCs dominance. It was not recommended to follow anything related to the Amiga back then.

And so, the A2200 never came to the fore here in the UK.


Sadly, many Amiga lovers did not even know of the A2200s existence - did you?  


Regards - Peter Robertson