[Coco] Introducing myself - Carlos Bragatto

Gene Heskett gene.heskett at verizon.net
Fri Apr 6 14:04:39 EDT 2007

On Friday 06 April 2007, coco at yourdvd.net wrote:
>I used to remark that the Amiga OS was the greatest OS ever made. Got me
>flamed alot.
>Here is something I quite enjoyed :-)
>it's about the amiga.
> I found it while viewing the CoCo 3 DONKEY KONG:
>Back in 1998 there was a company going to revive the Amiga (I think they
>had bought rights to the OS at the time) but they canned the project and
>continued to develop the OS. I lost touch after that. Forgot about the
>Amiga until last week. Thinking about buying one and an ATARI ST. Would
>love to Get a SINCLAIR QL just to see if I could make OS-K run on it :-)

This is off-topic, more of a history lesson I think.

I have to give the Amiga credit. In its day, it generated over 75% of the 
graphics used at WDTV on a daily basis, including for all the live news 
sessions of almost 3 hours a day, if it wasn't tape from a camera, it was 
generated, stills in real time, motion stuff previously made and played 
back live for shorts up to say 20 seconds, longer stuff recorded to tape, 
by an Amiga.  It often labored away in the night long after the night 
crew had left, thanks to the EzCron Jim and I wrote, which could fire up 
a lightwave session and render graphics anytime it wasn't busy with the 
news graphics.  By not being tied to a humans presence, we got about 10 
hours a day more use out of them than we would have if humans were in 
charge of keeping them busy.  We even sold a few commercials to the other 
station in our market. 

To say that the Amiga let us, out here in the hills of West Virginia, to 
play with the big boys was a gross understatement, we even kicked a 
little butt here and there.  When we first started serving our own web 
page in early '97 over a 56k dialup, that was an Amiga answering the 

After we got some bandwidth in late '97, we started putting the text of 
each of our 30 minute segments of our newscasts up on the web page 5 
minutes after that segment faded up.  CBS at first gave us C&D letters 
over copyrights for those stories we covered from them, which did nothing 
for CBS as we just went to 100% local news, which for us paid off like 
winning the lottery.  We instantly picked up another 5 rating in the 
market, and those are the same trumpets that brought down the walls of 
Jericho in terms of its message to management, who would cheerfully call 
Vinnie and Luigi for 1 share point.

Then CBS had a change of heart (got the message) and wanted to setup a 
linkage where they were in series with the links to our pages, 
effectively wrapping us up as a somewhat shrunken version with CBS stuff 
wrapped all around it.  Again they got told to go fish.  Our pages were 
getting more hits a day than theirs was at the time by about 2/1.  We 
looked at theirs and it sucked a very high vacuum.  That was 1997 of 

The ARexx scripts that Jim and I wrote for the Amiga, and the Amiga that 
ran them to do that news on the web stuff were finally retired maybe 2 
years ago, replace by some php magic Jim wrote, running on a linux box & 
the output is actually a little better formatted now.

We still have 3 or 4 Amiga's including that one, an A2k with a fusion 40 
card and a 1 GB scsi drive, we just can't quite bring ourselves to bin 
them but they've not had power applied for quite a while.  Not just yet 
anyway.  Maybe somebody would make us an offer?  os3.1 is in all of them 
IIRC.  A couple of A4k's with video toasters, one with an 060 in it, and 
a 1200 round out the list.  We would still be using the 1200+supergen for 
animated station ID's, but the supergen tried to start a fire, so that 
was the end of that, it wasn't salvageable.

Yeah, those were the days, and it seems like that period just 10 years ago 
was back to forever.  In computer terms, it was.

But I will to my last breath, always figure that the CoCo had an influence 
on the Amiga, because it was the ideal demo machine that could show a 
bunch of college kids in State College PA just what a properly programmed 
Motorola CPU could be made to do.  And out of that grew the Amiga.  At 
least that's how I see it, looking back on the last 20 years of history.
In turn, looking at the timeline, I wonder how much influence the Amiga's 
Agnus chip had on the GIME in the CoCo3?  Will we ever know?  Doubtfull, 
but the influence has to be there in copycat effect if not in fact.

Cheers, Gene
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
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