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      /  How rubbish was the PC in 1992 and why did most people buy one without thinking?
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Poll : Was the PC the best option for home users in 1992?
Oh course, no one ever got fired for buying Big Blue!
Yep, my Pop used one and I'd played my NES to death so we needed Commander Keen!
Yes, bleeper sound chips and playing fighting games with a flight stick was my jam!
Surely we had to buy PCs or we wouldn't learn MS apps and fail at life?
No in those days the Amiga was the thing!
The Apple Mac was more expensive so they must have been better?
What was wrong with the C64?
 
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BigD 
How rubbish was the PC in 1992 and why did most people buy one without thinking?
Posted on 4-Dec-2021 22:08:08
#1 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6043
From: UK

Following on from the AGA chipset thread I thought we'd analyse the ultimate victor in the market the venerable IBM PC with Soundblaster (if you were lucky or a bleeper if not), single 15-pin game port, VGA graphics and MS-DOS.

PCs were dull machines that businessmen dragged into their homes because safe grey suited IT managers bought similar machines for the office. It was neither suited or the best machine for home use in 1992 IMHO.

The case rests but obviously America knew best and the rest of the world had to follow suit. We just had to wait for Windows XP before PCs could actually operate in a half acceptable reliable way for home users.

Last edited by BigD on 04-Dec-2021 at 10:10 PM.

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DiscreetFX 
Re: How rubbish was the PC in 1992 and why did most people buy one without thinking?
Posted on 4-Dec-2021 22:50:01
#2 ]
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From: Chicago, IL

@BigD

Amiga was the bees knees back then!

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_analogkid_ 
Re: How rubbish was the PC in 1992 and why did most people buy one without thinking?
Posted on 4-Dec-2021 23:01:12
#3 ]
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Joined: 22-Jun-2005
Posts: 174
From: Here and there

@BigD

Games like Strike Commander, X-Wings or Doom were taking the gamers from the Amiga.

At that time the Amigas' main competitor regarding games were SNES and Sega Genesis. Around '93 there were so many conversion of Genesis titles.

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redfox 
Re: How rubbish was the PC in 1992 and why did most people buy one without thinking?
Posted on 5-Dec-2021 4:02:24
#4 ]
Super Member
Joined: 7-Mar-2003
Posts: 1897
From: Canada

Some years after my wife and I bought our Amiga A2000HD, we joined the "mainstream" to be more compatible with work and other mainstream settings.

We purchased an IBM Aptiva minitower system with Pentium processor and Windows 95. It had a floppy disk drive, a hard drive and CD-ROM drive.

As I recall, it was a nice machine. My wife and son used it more than I did. I used a PC at work and wanted to use something else at home, so I continued to use the Amiga.

Over the years, we have purchased other PC's and laptops, upgrading when the old one did not meet the minimum specs for the next MS Windows OS.

This is actually my biggest gripe about Windows.

Our HP Pavilion minitower was another nice system. It survived Windows ME and XP but could not handle the next stage. However, it worked very well for QNX .


redfox

Correction ... The Aptiva hard drive was approx 1.5 GB not 40 GB.





Last edited by redfox on 05-Dec-2021 at 11:53 PM.
Last edited by redfox on 05-Dec-2021 at 11:47 PM.
Last edited by redfox on 05-Dec-2021 at 04:04 AM.

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Rose 
Re: How rubbish was the PC in 1992 and why did most people buy one without thinking?
Posted on 5-Dec-2021 10:14:34
#5 ]
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Joined: 5-Nov-2009
Posts: 963
From: Unknown

@BigD

Every time I think that this forum can't be more clueless you somehow manage to have a "Hold my beer!" moment.

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BigD 
Re: How rubbish was the PC in 1992 and why did most people buy one without thinking?
Posted on 5-Dec-2021 10:20:28
#6 ]
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Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6043
From: UK

@Thread

Already I feel it was a pull to conform to the mainstream and be compatible with work and education especially in America where using CrossDOS and RTF compatible Amiga DTP/Word Processors instead of Word could presumably short circuit the American Dream and limit your kids life chances

I get it that people wanted to play Strike Commander but the hardware and OS was very poor in 1992 and rather than rally their friends to support new AGA machines with HDs and extra Ram etc you sucked it up and used a retrograde system for a whole decade to play hyped up games while justifying it for MS apps.

Each to their own but the PC machines really did suck in 1992.

Last edited by BigD on 05-Dec-2021 at 10:21 AM.

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bison 
Re: How rubbish was the PC in 1992 and why did most people buy one without thinking?
Posted on 5-Dec-2021 20:08:42
#7 ]
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Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 1959
From: N-Space

@BigD

What do you mean? Before May 5, or after?

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BigD 
Re: How rubbish was the PC in 1992 and why did most people buy one without thinking?
Posted on 5-Dec-2021 21:31:46
#8 ]
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Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6043
From: UK

@bison

I wouldn't have bought a PC to play Wolfenstein and those that did buy a PC in 1992 wouldn't have justified it for that game! The people that did play it would have used a keyboard and heard blips from a sound bleeper chip. The experience was substandard whatever way you looked at it. Also Commander Keen was no Zool never mind a Sonic killer. The PC was for kids of dentists still hoping for a MegaDrive in 1992!

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amigang 
Re: How rubbish was the PC in 1992 and why did most people buy one without thinking?
Posted on 6-Dec-2021 11:20:31
#9 ]
Super Member
Joined: 12-Jan-2005
Posts: 1729
From: Cheshire, England

@BigD

PC where rubbish back then, it was not until maybe Windows 95 did it fix a lot of little issues and even then, Id argue that took until Windows XP, 2003 for MS to finally make a good stable OS.

Yes Im not a fan of DOS or any real command lead interfaces, GUI are so much better for a end users.

Plus computer where not empowering the poorer households back then, the home computer was, you be lucky to find a PC/Mac back then sub 700, where as Amiga where out there for 400, and second hand 200. My family / household could simply not afford a PC until maybe the late 90s, when Escom / Gateway started fighting and pushing prices down, plus there was computer market where business would off load there old PCs, its how I got my first evil PC just for work I couldn't do on my Amiga while at college.

"why did most people buy one without thinking?"
I think many people bought PC because it what you used at work or at school, you where really made to think you couldn't possible do the work on another computer. Amiga in the uk was really viewed as a toy / gaming computer, such a shame, as it could do so much more.

I think the more powerful games that push PCs, like Doom, Myst, Wing Commander, Magic Carpet that couldn't be done on Amiga at the time was the extra push for maybe the rich teen market to jump ship to PC.

Last edited by amigang on 06-Dec-2021 at 11:27 AM.

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bison 
Re: How rubbish was the PC in 1992 and why did most people buy one without thinking?
Posted on 6-Dec-2021 19:34:51
#10 ]
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Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 1959
From: N-Space

@BigD

Quote:
those that did buy a PC in 1992 wouldn't have justified it for that game!

I know some who did. Not me; I held out until Doom and got a 486.

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matthey 
Re: How rubbish was the PC in 1992 and why did most people buy one without thinking?
Posted on 6-Dec-2021 21:44:17
#11 ]
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Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1289
From: Kansas

amigang Quote:

PC where rubbish back then, it was not until maybe Windows 95 did it fix a lot of little issues and even then, Id argue that took until Windows XP, 2003 for MS to finally make a good stable OS.


As I recall, Windows 98 at least was stable enough. It was Windows XP which smoothly integrated basic support though so no more plug and pray. Most generic USB and network drivers were recognized and worked. There was a web browser included out of the box. XP had basic modern OS functionality and was as efficient as Windows became without the bloat and security lockdown that later Windows versions added.

amigang Quote:

Plus computer where not empowering the poorer households back then, the home computer was, you be lucky to find a PC/Mac back then sub 700, where as Amiga where out there for 400, and second hand 200. My family / household could simply not afford a PC until maybe the late 90s, when Escom / Gateway started fighting and pushing prices down, plus there was computer market where business would off load there old PCs, its how I got my first evil PC just for work I couldn't do on my Amiga while at college.


CBM didn't even do a good job of integrating and enhancing the Amiga chipset further. We should have had smaller, more powerful, more energy efficient and cheaper standard Amigas in the '90s. The Raspberry Pi is the modern Amiga, without the retro and gaming appeal. The Amiga could go back to that but the current powers prefer niche market outdated and overpriced PPC hardware.

amigang Quote:

"why did most people buy one without thinking?"
I think many people bought PC because it what you used at work or at school, you where really made to think you couldn't possible do the work on another computer. Amiga in the uk was really viewed as a toy / gaming computer, such a shame, as it could do so much more.


Europe liked the idea of an affordable gaming and general purpose computer where the Amiga remained attractive. The U.S. had more expensive professional and business computers for the adults and cheaper consoles for the kids so the Amiga died out quickly other than the Video Toaster. The memory of the Amiga as a good toy/gaming computer is perfect for marketing an affordable but functional computer today. Exceed people's expectations like the Raspberry Pi toy did and the Amiga would be back.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: How rubbish was the PC in 1992 and why did most people buy one without thinking?
Posted on 6-Dec-2021 22:04:16
#12 ]
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Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 11996
From: Norway

@BigD

[RetroSeries] 90s Best of PC Games - Part: 1 1990-1995

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPuEKnk1LHY

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Nonefornow 
Re: How rubbish was the PC in 1992 and why did most people buy one without thinking?
Posted on 6-Dec-2021 23:58:01
#13 ]
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Joined: 29-Jul-2013
Posts: 179
From: Greater Los Angeles Area

@matthey

Quote:
Europe liked the idea of an affordable gaming and general purpose computer where the Amiga remained attractive. The U.S. had more expensive professional and business computers for the adults and cheaper consoles for the kids so the Amiga died out quickly other than the Video Toaster.


True enough.

In the U.S. we also like affordable compatibility and upgradability. Which is what PC were offering.

The Amiga 2000 was relatively successful with the Video Toaster in the Television / Video Editing business area. But the Amiga 3000 was not made compatible with that.

In 1992 when the A4000 came out NewTek made its version of the Amiga with the Video Toaster.
But then it was too late for the business side of the Amiga. In Europe they wanted to play with the A600. Which, by the way, according to David Pleasance, is what killed the A500.

Last edited by Nonefornow on 07-Dec-2021 at 12:01 AM.
Last edited by Nonefornow on 06-Dec-2021 at 11:58 PM.

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BigD 
Re: How rubbish was the PC in 1992 and why did most people buy one without thinking?
Posted on 7-Dec-2021 0:45:11
#14 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6043
From: UK

@NutsAboutAmiga

Quote:

NutsAboutAmiga wrote:
@BigD

[RetroSeries] 90s Best of PC Games - Part: 1 1990-1995

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPuEKnk1LHY


Most of the best versions of the games listed were on the A1200 or were the CD32 edition e.g. Simon the Sorceror (not normally considered a PC game but a CD32 talkie one). PC fanboy revisionist history at its worst IMHO.

...and again for the record the NES was irrelevant in Europe and the best version of Duck Tales is on the PS3

I guess what I've decided is that we were so blessed to grow up in the UK rather than America where home computers were revisioned out of history as soon a Big Blue produced their bag of bolts and Nintendo showed up as the saviour of the entire electronics sector!

Last edited by BigD on 07-Dec-2021 at 12:48 AM.

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BigD 
Re: How rubbish was the PC in 1992 and why did most people buy one without thinking?
Posted on 7-Dec-2021 0:54:18
#15 ]
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Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 6043
From: UK

@Nonefornow

Quote:
In the U.S. we also like affordable compatibility and upgradability. Which is what PC were offering.


The Amiga was more affordable and very upgradable in 1992 with the A1200. For some reason a cheap wedge computer didn't cut it on the 'serious' side of the Atlantic. Presumably the IBM PCJr was a triumph too?

Last edited by BigD on 07-Dec-2021 at 12:56 AM.
Last edited by BigD on 07-Dec-2021 at 12:55 AM.

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bison 
Re: How rubbish was the PC in 1992 and why did most people buy one without thinking?
Posted on 7-Dec-2021 1:24:59
#16 ]
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Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 1959
From: N-Space

@BigD

Quote:
Presumably the IBM PCJr was a triumph too?

Well, you know they weren't. I don't recall that I ever saw one.

It was mostly Dell, Gateway, Northgate and Zeos in the mainstream, IBM and Compaq at the high end of the market, and Packard Bell and Tandy at the low end.

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agami 
Re: How rubbish was the PC in 1992 and why did most people buy one without thinking?
Posted on 7-Dec-2021 1:28:42
#17 ]
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Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 722
From: Melbourne, Australia

@BigD

For most of 1992, until I bought an A1200 HD in late October, I had an A500, with 512kB expansion, external floppy drive, 1084S monitor, a black & white dot matrix printer, several joysticks, Deluxe Paint IV, Amiga Writer, F/A-18 Interceptor, Prince of Persia, Alien Breed, Spindizzy Worlds, Age of Rock, Lemmings, IK+, SWIV, Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge, Arkanoid, Twintris, Wings, Rodland, and a few others I'm no doubt forgetting.

At the end of 1992 after I bought the A1200 HD, I added Deluxe Paint IV AGA edition, Flashback, Alien Breed Special Edition, Dune, and Pinball Fantasies to my collection.

I had recently (1991) returned to Australia from Yugoslavia, so the few new friends/acquaintances I had did not have computers. But among my cousins and children of family friends, all but one who had a computer, had some form of 286 or 386 with EGA graphics and no sound card. None of their parents were super rich so they weren't spending thousands of dollars on computers for their high school and in a few cases university attending kids. That other one was using an Amiga 500.

I bought my Amiga 500 used for $500 in 1991, and then in 1992 I bought some newer joysticks, the 1084S and the printer. Total expenditure was bellow $1,000 AUD, which is more or less what the parents of my cousins and family friends were spending, but the IBM PC compatible results were less than impressive at the time. None of them had printers, and none of them even had Windows.

With a lot more money for some decent upgrades, some of those machines would be quite usable, and could potentially best the Amiga in certain areas. But in 1992, bang for buck, nothing came close to the Amiga.

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matthey 
Re: How rubbish was the PC in 1992 and why did most people buy one without thinking?
Posted on 7-Dec-2021 1:51:19
#18 ]
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Joined: 14-Mar-2007
Posts: 1289
From: Kansas

Nonefornow Quote:

True enough.

In the U.S. we also like affordable compatibility and upgradability. Which is what PC were offering.


Amiga value for high end computers wasn't there. It involved buying the overpriced big box case and adding a 3rd party accelerator, memory and hard drive which was expensive. IBM PC clone offerings really weren't cheap until about 1994 when the price of x86 CPUs dropped. That is when the high end x86 hardware value really started pulling away from Amiga high end value.

Nonefornow Quote:

The Amiga 2000 was relatively successful with the Video Toaster in the Television / Video Editing business area. But the Amiga 3000 was not made compatible with that.

In 1992 when the A4000 came out NewTek made its version of the Amiga with the Video Toaster.
But then it was too late for the business side of the Amiga. In Europe they wanted to play with the A600. Which, by the way, according to David Pleasance, is what killed the A500.


The Amiga 3000 Video Toaster problem was more about dimensions and a smaller power supply than was desired. The Amiga 4000 was lacking for the Video Toaster too with inadequate performance, no SCSI, low memory capacity, few slots and barely adequate power supply. The Amiga 3000 and 3000T should have been AGA and the problem for the AGA Toaster would have been solved with the Amiga 3000T. As it was, it wasn't until the too late Amiga 4000T appeared that there was a good high end Amiga for the AGA Toaster which still needed a 3rd party accelerator due to horrible and cheapest possible CBM accelerators. It was bad enough that CBM upper management thought the lightly upgraded 1985 Amiga chipset was adequate for low end Amigas by producing Amiga 600s instead of Amiga 1200s but they thought the old chipset was adequate for the high end too.

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agami 
Re: How rubbish was the PC in 1992 and why did most people buy one without thinking?
Posted on 7-Dec-2021 2:15:33
#19 ]
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Joined: 30-Jun-2008
Posts: 722
From: Melbourne, Australia

@BigD

Quote:
... we were so blessed to grow up in the UK rather than America where home computers were revisioned out of history ...

I'd add rest of Europe and Australia to the blessed. And maybe a little bit Canada.

During the '80s and the '90s, the USA still had a very parochial society. In many ways it's still there today. In such a system there isn't much room for diversity of philosophies, so things trend toward polarization. Add to that the Californiacation effect, and only a "Hollywood produced" version of history prevails.

In the '80s, if you didn't have an Atari 2600, you may as well not have had a game system at all. Turn of the decade, it was all bout Nintendo: Atari who? What's a SEGA?

The personal computer battle? Apple vs. IBM. Never mind the dozens of other computer companies that rose and fell, and prevailed during the same period. Early '90s: You're some sort of looser if you're using a Mac. Late 2000s: The must have laptop on any university campus is a MacBook Pro/Air. What have you got there, a Dell?

Last edited by agami on 07-Dec-2021 at 02:23 AM.

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bison 
Re: How rubbish was the PC in 1992 and why did most people buy one without thinking?
Posted on 7-Dec-2021 4:02:57
#20 ]
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Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 1959
From: N-Space

@agami

Quote:
During the '80s and the '90s, the USA still had a very parochial society. In many ways it's still there today. In such a system there isn't much room for diversity of philosophies, so things trend toward polarization. Add to that the Californiacation effect, and only a "Hollywood produced" version of history prevails.

You sound like a monk writing about sex.

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