An Amiga Moment

Sssso apparently some folks on the Internet have declared today Amiga Day. It’s the birthday of Jay Miner, the guy who designed its graphics chips.

I wasn’t planning to do anything for it beyond snark about how the Amiga was ten years ahead of its time when it came out, then Commodore refused to do any R&D for the next twenty, but then Auntie Pixelante put up a font that she described as “evoking the feel of dumping cracked Amiga games”. And then I found myself in Illustrator, putting a fake copper-list through the text, and starting to warp and twist it in a manner seen on a lot of demo crew logos. While listening to Jarre.

cracked-by-collapsar!

The Amiga shaped one of the fundamental ways I approach color; I grew up using Deluxe Paint, which worked fairly directly with the Amiga’s thirty-two color palette entries. So I got used to a process of blocking out shapes, then fiddling with the color sliders to get just the right look – and possibly fiddling with those sliders as one of the last few things done on a piece. Being able to reproduce that method with “global” color swatches is the reason I started using Illustrator when I shifted from Amiga to Mac; the infinite scalability was a nice perk, but I was really after that very selective power to change colors with very little effort.