The hallmark of hardcore geek cred is having owned an Amiga.
Unlike other computer makers that have come and gone, the Commodore Amiga still commands a place of reverence among tech aficionados. As
The New York Times
once put it, "Amiga loyalists [are a] fanatical bunch who make
(AAPL - Get Report)
partisans look apathetic."
The first Amiga, made by Commodore as a follow-up to its Commodore 64, hit stores in 1985 as a top-of-the-line personal computer. Its various incarnations sold extremely well in Europe and the U.S., as users were enthralled by its fast processor, top-notch (at the time) graphics, audio and video editing capabilities and its proprietary operating system.
Over time, competition from Apple and
(IBM - Get Report)
eroded its share of the PC market. But a funny thing happened on the way to extinction: People held onto their machines, so much so that an estimated half-million are still in use. Websites and Internet message boards bring Amiga fans from all over the world together to offer advice, develop new programs and trade software and parts.
Strut with your fancy iPad if you want, the real techies are clinging to their decades-old Amiga.
The computer's legendary status has led to a reincarnation.
is a privately funded company founded with the sole intent of developing new hardware for the AmigaOS. This week, beta testers were shipped its AmigaOne X1000, a machine built to look just like the old system. Under the hood it features a dual-core CPU made by Apple-owned semiconductor maker PA Semi, which provides parts used in the iPhone and iPad.