Commodore Amiga 600


The Amiga 600, also known as the A600 (codenamed "June Bug" after a B-52s song), is a home computer that was introduced at the CeBIT show in March 1992. The A600 was Commodore International's final model based on the Motorola 68000 CPU and the ECS chipset. It is essentially a redesign of the Amiga 500 Plus, with the option of an internal hard disk drive. A notable aspect of the A600 is its small size. Lacking a numeric keypad, the A600 is only slightly larger than a standard PC keyboard (14" long by 9.5" deep by 3" high and weighing approximately 6 pounds). It shipped with AmigaOS 2.0, which was generally considered more user-friendly than earlier versions of the operating system.

Like the A500 before it, the A600 was aimed at the lower "consumer" end of the market, with the higher end being dominated by the Amiga 3000. It was intended by manufacturer, Commodore, to revitalize sales of the A500 line before the introduction of the 32-bit Amiga 1200. According to Dave Haynie, the A600 "was supposed to be 50–60 US$ cheaper than the A500, but it came in at about that much more expensive than the A500."[1] This is supported by the fact that the A600 was originally to have been numbered the A300, positioning it as a budget version of the A500+. In the event, the cost led the machine to be marketed as a replacement for the A500+, requiring a change of number. Early models feature motherboards and power supplies with the A300 designation.

The Managing Director of Commodore UK, David Pleasance, described the A600 as a "complete and utter screw-up".[2] In comparison to the popular A500 it was considered unexpandable, did not improve on the A500's CPU, was more expensive, and lacked a numeric keypad meaning that some existing software such as flight simulators and application software could not be used without a numerical pad emulator.

An "A600HD" model was sold with an internal 2.5" ATA hard disk drive of either 20 or 40 MB. This model was marketed as a more "scholarly" version of a home computer, previously best known for its extensive range of games and retailed at almost double the price of a standard A600. However, this hard disk support introduced some issues with existing Amiga software because the memory used for hard disk control prevented some memory intensive titles from launching without disabling the hard drive (via the machine's inbuilt boot menu). Later models sold without a hard disk drive in the 'Wild, Weird and Wicked' bundle contained the A600HD label, but with the HD cradle and HD missing. These all had ROM version 37.350.

The A600 was the first Amiga model manufactured in the UK. The factory was in Irvine, Scotland, although some later examples were manufactured in Hong Kong. It was also manufactured in the Philippines. The first ever production A600—serial number "1"—resided in the Commodore UK Managing Director's office.

Surface-mount technology used on the A600 led to a failure rate under warranty of 0.78%, compared to the A500's failure rate of 8.25%.



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