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ICS Chipset Memory Amiga OS A1000 A2000

The ICS Operating System

One thing that set the Amiga apart from other computers was the brilliant Operating System known as AmigaDOS, or it AmigaOS? In case you are confused, AmigaDOS and AmigaOS are not two names for the same thing. Exactly the opposite is true. In a nutshell, AmigaOS is the Operating System and AmigaDOS is the name of a layer within that Operating System which implements filing systems and their actions, the command line interpreter and it also handles the loading and relocation of executable binary files. AmigaDOS is more or less a port of the Cambridge University TRIPOS 32 bit kernel, with its own peculiar data structures etc.

The initial version of the Amiga Operating System supplied with the A1000 was version 1.0, but this was released before it was ready and had not been fully tested. Consequently it had numerous problems, which caused the machine to crash, so was quickly replaced with version 1.1. This version remained for quite some time as the Amiga technology evolved. However it is important to note that both versions utilised pre-emptive multi-tasking and were supplied on a single floppy disk.

By comparison, Microsoft Windows was about to wow the world with its non-multi-tasking GUI offering, which was essentially an add-on product for the Microsoft DOS system. It was very slow and stretched the resources of 640K machines such that there was very little space left for running programs, and it could not be run from floppy disk. Still the world fell in love with it, and to this day we still wonder why.

Copyright 2005 Amiga Auckland Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: September 25, 2005.