- Amiga Sidecar
The Commodore A1060 Sidecar is an expansion hardware device developed by Commodore and released in 1986 for the
Amiga 1000computer. It features a complete PC XTsystem mounted in an expansion case which connected to the expansion bus on the right side of the Amiga 1000 computer, sitting beside it similar to a motorcycle's sidecar.
The PC side of the Sidecar was built around an
Intel 8088processor. All I/Oprocedures from the PC side are performed by the Amiga. Software was included to allow data to be exchanged easily between the PC and the Amiga side of the system. The Sidecar was available with an internal hard diskwhich was accessible from both the MS-DOSand AmigaOSenvironments. This was the first hard drive produced by Commodore for the Amiga.
Video display and user input were performed through the Amiga's monitor, keyboard, and mouse. This allows the user to control both computers simultaneously.
The Amiga Sidecar was a complete
IBM PC XTsystem, with the exception of I/O devices and operations which are handled by the Amiga.
*Processor: Intel 8088 clocked at 4.77 MHz
*RAM: 256K (expandable to 512K + 80K Dual Bus Memory)
*Graphics Emulation: Dependent on Amiga settings. (Can use real 8bit ISA graphics cards)
*Sound Emulation: Dependent on Amiga settings. (can use real 8bit ISA sound cards)
*One internal 5.25"
drive baynormally fitted with a 360K 5.25" floppy drive
*3 x 8bit ISA slots for using real PC cards
*Amiga 1000 Expansion Bus connector (for Amiga connectivity)
Early in its life, the Amiga was strong in entertainment and graphics software but lacked general productivity software such as
word processors, spreadsheets and database software. These are the areas where the de facto business standard IBM PC excelled. Commodore's intent was to let the Amiga take advantage of PC compatibility to shore up its weakness in this category of software.
The Sidecar was developed by Commodore
Germany, as all of the Commdore PC-architecture based development was performed in that department.
Amiga computers released after the A1000 such as the
Amiga 2000had internal expansion slots and can use the Bridgeboard, which performs the same functionality, but internally. This eliminated the need to have a box inconveniently mounted to the side of the computer's CPU unit.
The Sidecar was relatively expensive and it required a non-trival amount of desktop space compared to the Amiga 1000 by itself. The device was also taller than the Amiga 1000, which made it seem even further disconnected to the main system aesthetically.
Many factors contributed to the lack of adoption of the Sidecar: the high cost of the device was a factor, but also new Amiga models were released like the
Amiga 2000which supported internal XTand ATexpansion as well as the popular Amiga 500which could not be used with the Sidecar at all due to the expansion slot being moved to the left side. Good productivity software began to be released for Amiga OS, mirrored by the ever-decreasing cost of IBM PC compatiblesalong with that platform's growing entertainment and graphics software base.
* [http://www.amiga-hardware.com/showhardware.cgi?HARDID=327 The big book of Amiga Hardware]
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