ArsTechnica publshes part three of “A History of the Amiga.”

This has been an excellent series of posts so far and the latest doesn’t disappoint. Here’s a sample of A history of the Amiga, part 3: The first prototype:

Jay’s specialty was designing hardware, not software, so he had little input on the design of the Amiga’s operating system. But he did know that he wanted his computer to be more advanced than the typical personal computers of the time running such primitive operating systems as AppleDOS and MS-DOS. His hire for chief of software engineering, Bob Pariseau, did not come from a background in microcomputers. He worked for the mainframe computer company Tandem, which made massive computers that were (and are still today) used by the banking industry.

Bob was used to his powerful computers that could handle many tasks and transactions at one time. He saw no reason why microcomputers should not be capable of the same thing. At the time, there were no personal computers that could multitask, and it was generally felt that the small memory capacities and slow CPU speeds of these machines made multitasking impossible. But Bob went ahead and hired people who shared his vision.

The four people he hired initially would later become legends of software development in their own right. They were RJ Mical, Carl Sassenrath, Dale Luck, and Dave Needle. Carl’s interview was the simplest of all: Bob asked him what his ultimate dream job would be, and he replied, “To design a multitasking operating system.” Bob hired him on the spot.

Good stuff. Go check it out.

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