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      /  Amiga and Commodore USA
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LarsB 
Amiga and Commodore USA
Posted on 8-Aug-2020 15:28:54
#1 ]
Member
Joined: 29-Jul-2019
Posts: 51
From: Unknown

Do you remember Commodore USA and Barry Altman(r.i.p)?

Is someone familar with this ongoings? My qustions are:

- Has anyone obtained a Commodore USA computer or one "Amiga" of them?
- Has any computer ever delievered by them?
- Was Barrys activity tolerated from AInc. ?
- Did anyone spoke with Barry?

Thanx,
Lars

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bison 
Re: Amiga and Commodore USA
Posted on 8-Aug-2020 15:53:49
#2 ]
Super Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 1666
From: N-Space

@LarsB

IIRC, Amigas were planned (or at least Photoshopped), but never produced.

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Rob 
Re: Amiga and Commodore USA
Posted on 8-Aug-2020 16:49:18
#3 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 20-Mar-2003
Posts: 5927
From: S.Wales

@LarsB

Quote:
- Has anyone obtained a Commodore USA computer or one "Amiga" of them?


I recall a number of people in the community buying the C64x case but I don't know about full systems other than one user here buying what appears to be a one off Amiga Mini which had a custom engraved case.

Quote:
Has any computer ever delievered by them?


I don't have any idea of numbers but they were definitely selling complete systems but I suspect that the C64x cases were most popular since CUSA were selling off the peg components at Apple prices.

Quote:
- Was Barrys activity tolerated from AInc. ?


Yes Barry had agreements with Amiga Inc. First non exclusive and then later with some exclusivity. They never actually got around to shipping Amiga branded computers aside fron the one mentioned above.

Quote:
- Did anyone spoke with Barry?


A number of people had communication with him and a few from the community worked with him. Dammy and Red visited his home where he discussed his plans with them. I haven't seen Dammy on the forums for a number of years now but Red still posts on Morphzone from time to time and may be able to impart some knowledge on the subject.

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Hypex 
Re: Amiga and Commodore USA
Posted on 8-Aug-2020 18:17:17
#4 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 10021
From: Greensborough, Australia

@LarsB

Yes. The design looked quite nice I thought. As to it being an Amiga of any sort? Well, it ran the Commodore OS, which was a custom Linux distro. I could see it reminded me of Commodore and the 8-bit machines, but I couldn't correlate it with the Amiga. It wasn't anything like the Workbench. Not any future vision of it. Also I recall the PCs they were using were high end. It was like they were targetting the high end workstation market. Perhaps to grab onto a market the Amiga lost to back in the day. Funny to think, had they released an "X86" Amiga, and it would still be expensive.

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number6 
Re: Amiga and Commodore USA
Posted on 8-Aug-2020 19:06:39
#5 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 10881
From: In the village

@bison

Just for those curious about the design and price:

CUSA's Amiga Mini

a comment concerning sales

Ben Hermans accepting our statements

@LarsB

You can read Barry Altman's post on Amigaworld by using AW search by nick/topic:
https://amigaworld.net/modules/newbb/search.php
Enter for author field: digitex

Barry had a license for both Commodore and Amiga branded h/w.
His plans changed/adapted over time. This can be confirmed by also reading the posts from their CTO here on AW.
Enter for author field: bigbentheaussie

Barry on the new contract with Amiga Inc.

After Barry passed, his son offered some of the remaining cases without fanfare.

#6

Last edited by number6 on 08-Aug-2020 at 07:35 PM.

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LarsB 
Re: Amiga and Commodore USA
Posted on 9-Aug-2020 11:19:56
#6 ]
Member
Joined: 29-Jul-2019
Posts: 51
From: Unknown

Thank you for your input. Somehow I cannot forget this thing. Barry had certainly his own way to deal with other peoples intelectual property.

First he didnt had the permission of Tulip to use the Commodore brand. I mailed with a Taco van...? about that. He was granted it after his campaign for his new commodore computers. He misused fanart and that was not OK. The email and the name of the author had been printed on the original picture he used. But no..

The mini Amiga looked so close to mini Mac..."great" work.

There was also a slim commodore computer. It was a keyboard computer from China. He only raised the price betwenn 150 and 200$, added his customized Linux on it and tucked a commodore badge on it.

Barry said he had a budget of over 100 Mio. Dollar. When you called him (I did twice) they could only say "Hello" instead of "Commodore USA" because it was his homeline. Even I could use a second number of my DSL to avoid this charade.

So I was wondered how he could sneak into this. Bill McEven was always keen to control over the Amiga brand. Commodore gave him finally the permission to use the commodore brand. So I was wondered if he produced more than vaporware and cases.

Is was quite a remakable story..

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OneTimer1 
Re: Amiga and Commodore USA
Posted on 9-Aug-2020 14:48:59
#7 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 3-Aug-2015
Posts: 603
From: Unknown

@LarsB

Quote:

Barry had certainly his own way to deal with other peoples intelectual property.


It's nearly impossible to find out who has the real rights on the brand names Commodore or Amiga.

Just announce a computer with the desired brand name and someone who might be the owner will show up and ask you for money.

Quote:

Bill McEven was always keen to control over the Amiga brand.


No, he was greedy to sell it for ten times it's worth at least.

Quote:

Commodore gave him finally the permission to use the commodore brand.


No, Commodore was bankrupt long before McEven or Barry showed up.

Last edited by OneTimer1 on 09-Aug-2020 at 02:59 PM.
Last edited by OneTimer1 on 09-Aug-2020 at 02:55 PM.

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number6 
Re: Amiga and Commodore USA
Posted on 9-Aug-2020 15:27:41
#8 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 10881
From: In the village

@LarsB

Quote:
First he didnt had the permission of Tulip to use the Commodore brand.


At the time Barry sought who had the right to license, it was Yeahronimo (Ben Van Wijhe), not Tulip. At that time Ben was using the name Asiarim (now defunct).
When Barry later announced a new owner he was dealing with, he was referring to Mssrs. Ebben and Hoogstrate who became better known shortly thereafter as C=Holdings B.V. and owners of the mark.

#6

Last edited by number6 on 09-Aug-2020 at 03:28 PM.

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bison 
Re: Amiga and Commodore USA
Posted on 9-Aug-2020 15:31:48
#9 ]
Super Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 1666
From: N-Space

@Hypex

Quote:
Well, it ran the Commodore OS, which was a custom Linux distro.

Yes, and what a monstrosity it was! As I recall they started with Ubuntu and put a lot of stuff from the repositories into the default install. And added a blue, Commodore-themed wallpaper.

@number6

I forgot about the mini. At one point they presented designs for A1000, A2000, and A3000-like systems, but they looked like Photoshops, and not very good ones.

They did generate a lot of excitement. The forums were active, with a lot of new people. There seems to be a market for X86_64-based systems in retro cases.

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number6 
Re: Amiga and Commodore USA
Posted on 9-Aug-2020 16:05:35
#10 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 25-Mar-2005
Posts: 10881
From: In the village

@bison

No doubt all forums exploded during this time, but it was clearly more of a flamefest than real activity imo.
Funny how things change. Back then it was "but it's not a real Commodore".
Now all the threads are about having some Commodore or Amiga thing on devices that certainly are not "real Commodore" or "real Amiga".
Go figure....

#6

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LarsB 
Re: Amiga and Commodore USA
Posted on 9-Aug-2020 16:17:20
#11 ]
Member
Joined: 29-Jul-2019
Posts: 51
From: Unknown

@OneTimer1 Not the original Commodore but the holding. And I really think Barry was not interested to make a fair deal in terms of copyrights. He had stolen fanart.

Last edited by LarsB on 09-Aug-2020 at 04:20 PM.

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bison 
Re: Amiga and Commodore USA
Posted on 9-Aug-2020 16:23:38
#12 ]
Super Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 1666
From: N-Space

@number6

I was thinking more of the CUSA forums than Amigaworld, et al. There were a lot of familiar names, but also a lot of new people who were excited about the possibility of buying a new Amiga for the first time in years, despite the fact that they were quite ordinary X86_64 systems in retro cases. I think some of it was the prospect of joining a community more than the actual hardware itself.

Last edited by bison on 09-Aug-2020 at 04:24 PM.

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OlafS25 
Re: Amiga and Commodore USA
Posted on 10-Aug-2020 12:01:48
#13 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 12-May-2010
Posts: 5761
From: Unknown

@number6

Basically there are two crowds...

the large majority is the retro crowd who is mainly interested in 68k and related hardware

and there is the NG crowd with some wanting to use amigas for everyday tasks (or even dreaming of amiga becoming mainstream again)

the first one certainly is not interested in a PC with amiga-like OS on it

the second one perhaps partly but I doubt that many would be willing to pay premium prices for a amiga labeled device

The "Commodore Amigas" from Barry were just relabeled PCs with a brand sticker and a extra premium price on it running a skinned Linux. What reactions would you expect?

When someone else would try the same, the same controversies would arise. It would need a lot of work to port something like amigaos on a new hardware platform and perfectly adapt it to modern needs (SMP, MP, 64bit and so on). And even in this case there would be controversies.

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