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© 1997-2006
Gareth Knight
All Rights reserved


Lorraine concept designs

Developer: Amiga Inc.
First seen: September 2000 (Vintage Computer Festival v4.0)

The pre-Commodore years evoke a strange nostalgia among Amiga fanatics. A large portion of this nostalgia is a rememberance of a by-gone era - a time when the computing market was in its infancy and gameplay was the most important element. Since the launch of the Amiga 1000, the creation story of the first Amiga - forged on the workbench of Jay Miner - has been spread among the collected masses. Throughout the years of Commodore's mismanagement the original Amiga Inc. was promoted as a beacon that represented Amiga in its purist form - a machine that was head and shoulders above its contemporaries. The story took on a new impetus in the post-Commodore years as it developed into the modern conception of the Amiga. The Commodore chicken head & check mark were out, the Boing ball was back in fashion! During the last several years numerous businesses (Gateway, Amiga Inc, Merlancia & Genesi) have attempted to tap this nostalgia to promote their own business plan and prove that their respective products are the modern incarnation of the original Amiga.

At the Vintage Computer Festival v4.0 show in September/October 2000 Dale Luck revealed previously-unknown concept designs for an Amiga PC unit. Similar to the Atari concepts of the early 1980s the designs are outlandish when compared to the modern desktop PC. Many of these designs look like a retro attempt at a stacker unit rather than a home computer - a novelty that adds to their charm.

I would like to thank James Willing for presenting these concept designs on the Internet.

Early concept of the Amiga PC

Amiga PC: Curved stack design
A modular approach to computing design that is oddly reminiscent of contemporary stackable USB devices available. The machine is divided into three units - 2x 5 1/4 floppy disk drives on top, an I/O unit (Input/Output) unit for game controllers & cartridge slot in the centre, and an unidentifyable unit at the bottom. It is possible this was intended as a motherboard unit, but the ability to slide the front open suggests this was not the aim. An early attempt at a keyboard dock?

Amiga PC - Variation 2

Amiga PC: The next generation VCS
Similar to the curved appearance of the above concept design, the second divides the machine into three distinct sections. However, the diagram lacks features that could be used to identify the top & bottom units. Only the middle unit is identifyable, showing a cartridge & game controller slot. The design is reminiscent of the Atari VCS (2600) console, demonstrating the Amigas lineage to the Atari 8-bit.

Amiga PC - Variation 3 Amiga PC: Black stacking unit
An evolution of the previous two designs. The machine lacks obvious controller ports, but introduces the keyboard garage as a feature.
Amiga PC - Variation 4

Amiga PC: The next generation P.E.T.
The Commodore PET appears to be the primary influence for the 4th concept design. The shading suggests the case would have been a cream colour with a black front. Notably, the Amiga logo can be seen on the bottom-left corner of the case.

Once the final design for the Amiga Lorraine had been chosen, several variations on the theme were modelled. The keyboard garage had become a major feature, hence its inclusion in all variations. These retained the stacked appearance of the previous stage, but had a noticeable colour change to white (or off-white) and the removal of an obvious cartridge port.
phase 2 - tower

Amiga PC, variation 1 & 2
The first image is interesting, showing the first appearance of the unique A1000 floppy drive moulding. Although this has been designed to protect a 5 1/4 drive, the curved design would become an identifying feature of early Amiga disk drives. The keyboard mould has changed to take into account the small size required to fit it underneath the main unit.

phase 2 - tower

Amiga PC, variation 3
A slightly different version of the previous concept designs. The two rectangular objects below the floppy drive remains a mystery. Were these cartridge ports or additional drive bays?

phase 2 - tower

Amiga PC, variation 4 & 5
A slightly different interpretation of the classic Amiga 1000 design. The top image shows colouring fans and a case design influenced by early IBM PC cases (but remains sleek). The keyboard has also been modified to create a transparent appearance when it is fitted into the garage. This design would have raised the keyboard slighly, providing poor egonomics. Of course, the design was probably rejected because of financial reasons...

Original Images

The original photos that the above graphics were taken from can be found below:

Amiga Concept design 1 (49k) | Amiga Concept design 2 (56k) | Amiga Concept design 3 (68k)

Copyright © 2000 James Willing. Except in the case of representations of informational, marketing, or promotional material where copyright remains with the original holder.


Last Update: 22/12/2002

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