Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 123 / NOVEMBER 1990 / PAGE P-2


A lot of people have wondered why Commodore, with its comparatively vast resources, has never been able to compete against third-party hardware manufacturers who operate out of their garage on weekends. While everybody and his brother was selling external disk drives for under $175, for example, Commodore's 1010 model had a list price of $300. And despite the ups and downs of the RAM market, Commodore's 2058 board with 2MB of RAM remains at list price of $649, while Joe's RAM Chip and Aluminum Siding Company is selling the same kind of board for under $400.

This disparity is obviously troubling some of the folks at Commodore, too, because I've been hearing some rumblings lately about the possibility of Commodore getting competitive and positioning its disk drives, memory boards, and hard drives head-to-head against those of third-party vendors. I've even heard that it's been considering an ad campaign for its peripherals. If this is true, it would signal quite a change at Commodore, but I'm not quite ready to buy it. First, it would alienate the few third-party manufacturers who support the Amiga. Second, the company would have to acquire the ability to react quickly to price changes, which seems unlikely. And third, Commodore has the extra burden of having to protect its dealers against price cuts on existing stock, something that the third parties don't have to worry about.

One of the third parties against whom Commodore may or may not be competing is MicroWay, makers of the flickerFixer. As most of you know, the Amiga 3000 comes with a built-in display enhancer that is similar to the flickerFixer but has enhancements such as genlock compatibility, larger overscan, a bypass switch, and compatibility with the new ECS modes and RAL What you may not know, however, is that Commodore has been considering releasing an Amiga 2000 board based on this technology. One hint is that the video adjustment screens for tuning up the 3000 display enhancer say "A2320 Alignment Test," A2320 being the model number for the unreleased display enhancer board. Now some Commodore dealers have received product-description sheets for the A2320, which were said to be sent "by mistake."