3

While the Amiga could be used with a TV in a pinch, it was primarily intended for use with an RGBA monitor; memory says, and Google seems to confirm, that was the 1084.

Commodore made color monitors previously, but the ones used with machines like the 64 and Plus/4 only had to display 40 columns; some of the later PET models did 80, but that was monochrome.

Was the 1084 the first Commodore color monitor suitable for 80-column text?

  • 1
    I think the 1902 (which was branded for the C-128) could do 80 columns RGBI. – Joe Feb 1 at 19:53
  • 1
    I used a 1702 to display 80-column text from an 80-column card on my C64. Nothing fundamentally prevented you from using any composite monitor to display 80 column text. Eventually I got a dedicated monochrome monitor for use with it, but the 1702 worked well enough. It was a big improvement over doing 80-column text natively on the C64, using a 4x8 font and bitmap mode. – Ross Ridge Feb 1 at 22:48
  • 1
    As another example, I'm using a 1081, which predates the 1084, also labelled "Amiga" -- with TTL RGBI input (which I use with a C128) and analog RGB. Indeed, 80 columns isn't a precise indicator with all these old signals that don't have a fixed horizontal resolution. I displayed 80 columns on the C64 using my own software in normal "hires" mode :) Maybe better ask about monitors with dedicated RGB (TTL or analog) inputs? – Felix Palmen Feb 2 at 8:00
  • @FelixPalmen granted that it's not a precise indicator, but still there were monitors designed for use with the 64, with S-video RGB inputs, that – with all due respect to your setup :) – were rated for, and usually considered adequate for, only 40 columns. The Amiga monitors were rated for 80. – rwallace Feb 2 at 8:24
  • 1
    I remember lusting for 80 characters at home on my 64 after being spoiled by the Apple //e's at school all day (PR#3 FTW!)... That drove me to typing in an 80 column software hack for SpeedScript from Compute! or Compute!'s Gazette that was at least legible on my 1802 monitor - but hings definitely improved when I got my Amiga 1000 and a 1080... – Geo... Feb 3 at 2:24
6

The 1084 wasn't the first one. If we consider monitors that targeted the Amiga only, then the predecessor to the 1084 was the 1080. I don't believe there was much difference between the two spec-wise other than the 1080 said "Amiga" on the face plate and it was the one you would have seen with the early Amiga 1000 machines in 1985.

But before the Amiga, the Commodore 128 had the 1901 (PAL) and 1902 (NTSC) monitors which not only had composite inputs, but also RGB. The 1901/1902 were suitable for 80-columns.

  • 2
    Before the 1080 there's also the slightly earlier (and very rare) 1070 monitor for the Amiga 1000. It has a much better dot pitch, but only has an analog RGB input, no RGBI, luma / chroma, or composite inputs. The 128 did release several months earlier in '85 than the Amiga 1000 though, so the 1902 monitor may be the earlier of the two by a little bit. Its hard to know for sure, usually only the year of release is available online and its not entirely a given that the matching monitor was available at the same time as the release date of the computer itself. – mnem Feb 1 at 21:43
  • 2
    I got a C128 the month they were available in my area and got a 1902 monitor with it. I can't guarantee that was the month they were released, but I got my computer a few months before the well to do computer geek got his Amiga 1000. Both of us had pre-ordered. (I don't know if either were official pre-orders; I verbally made my pre-ordering with my computer store clerk and had nothing to do with Ted's pre-ordering.) – Ed Grimm Feb 2 at 4:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.