It's been said the Amiga is a computer with personality - if true, the reasons for it are obvious, the Amiga's designers are a bunch of characters.

If you read about the Amiga very much, you've probably encountered names like Dave Haynie, and wondered just who the hell these people are and what they have to do with your Amiga. This list will help you out.

Jay Miner
"Father of the Amiga." Former Atari engineer (invented the Atari 800), founding member of Hi-Toro (later Amiga Inc.) in 1982. Designer of the Agnus chip. After Amiga Inc. was 'eaten' by Commodore in the 1980's, Miner left - later invented the Atari Lynx handheld game. He continued to design useful things like adjustable pacemakers until his death in 1994 (apparently news of Commodore's demise was too much for him). US Patent #4,777,621 is in his name.

Jay Miner's dog
The pawprint inside the A1000 case.

Dave Haynie
Haynie is perhaps the most famous of the Commodore crew. He was the primary designer of the C128, and then saw the Amiga in 1986 and fell in love. He got on the Amiga team and specialized in high-end hardware toys - the A2000, A3000, and A4000, not to mention several accelerators (the 2620/2630) and the Zorro III design. He's the one who puts Frank Zappa lyrics on motherboards. In the meantime he found time to write Amiga software like SetCPU and DiskSalv. He's always been very visible on the Net, leading to his popularity - he's considered by many to be the pinnacle of cool, which is ironic for someone who knows Zorro bus timings like the back of his hand - when not doing computers he's off doing Aikido or brewing his own beer or learning to be a musician or out hanging with his family. (Plus ya gotta respect a guy who'd name his daughter Kira - not sure whether that's after the character in the Dark Crystal or not.) He worked at Scala until this year, he was a consultant for Amiga Technologies on the proposed PowerAmiga, and now works for the US division of Pios, a company that hopes to eventually make an Amiga compatible PowerPC system.

Bryce Nesbitt
Commodore's resident prankster. Software guru and author of such goodies as Workbench 2.0 and the original Enforcer.

Andy Finkel
The Amiga Software Wizard Extraordinaire - load up MEmacs off your Tools disk, go "About" and see for yourself. Finkel was head of the software team and head of the OS 2.0 project - which means keeping Bryce Nesbitt out of trouble. Finkel was also an advisor to Amiga Technologies on the PowerAmiga project, and now works for Pios.

Mehdi Ali
A very rich man with a price on his head.

Bill Sydnes
The IBM manager responsible for the PCjr. Hired by Commodore in 1991 to repeat that success with the A600. The reason AGA was late.

Greg "Dr. Mo" Berlin
High-end systems man at Commodore - father of the A3000 and others.

George Robbins
Low-end systems. Man behind such wacky things as the A300 (which Sydnes turned into the dismal A600), A1200 and CD32. The one who puts B52's lyrics on motherboards. Well known among Commodorians as the "resident Commodore person" - after losing his driver's license, Robbins literally lived at the Commodore West Chester site for more than a year, showering in sinks and sleeping in one of his offices (he'd find a vacant office whenever his "real" office filled up with stuff). Exactly the sort of lunatic we want designing our computers.

Irving Gould
An odd character in Amiga history - he didn't care about the Amiga at all, and many blame him for part of Commodore's demise. But he did insist on cutting prices on low-end machines near the end - thus A1200s for $329 and CD32s for $250. Perhaps that's what got Commodore in the end - losing money on every unit sold but pretending to make it up in volume.

The Bandito
No fewer than three different people wrote Amazing Computing's "Roomers" column under the Bandito alias - doing much the same job I'm doing now, telling industry rumors, delivering commentary and analysis, and starting controversy and pissing people off like some computer Rush Limbaugh. In the end, the last Bandito appears to have changed platforms - his last several Roomers columns were not particularly positive about the Amiga. It's now speculated that at least one of the Banditos was Perry Kivolowicz of ASDG fame - author of ADPro and coiner of the phrase "Fish disks."

Dr. Peter Kittel
In many ways the German Dave Haynie - worked for Commodore Germany in the engineering department, hung out on the Net a lot and became very popular, and was hired by ESCOM in 1995 for Amiga Technologies as their documentation writer and web services manager. When Amiga Technologies collapsed this year, he went to work for the German arm of Pios. One of the few people in the world who likes AmigaBasic.

J. Edward Goff
Former Commodore vice president of something-or-other. (Raise your hand if you WEREN'T a Commodore vice president at some point in time.) Goff is notable only for the infamous "$3500?" incident of late 1995 - when word began to circulate that the reintroduced Amiga 4000 towers would sell for the ridiculous price of $3500, Ed Goff's name surfaced as the man who actually quoted that price to Alex Amor of CEI. Goff apparently was convinced he _was_ Commodore reborn - he briefly tried to reawaken the Internet domain and had himself listed as the site administrator (there was a system out there at one time) - and now is keeping a lower profile (possibly as part of Amiga Technologies' North American distribution channel), so much the better as nobody seemed to like him much anyway.

John Dilulu
Head of Commodore's marketing department. That in itself should say a lot about the man. He's most famous for a late 1993 incident at an Amiga trade show - he was talking to two Amiga dealers and basically revealing why Commodore was losing in the marketplace. The guy hated the Amiga - told these two up front he thought the Amiga was obsolete. He said Commodore was going to discontinue the popular A1200 - which in fact Commodore did do. Normally, someone this high-ranking publicly slamming the product he's being paid to sell would have to follow this up with an apology and likely a resignation. Dilulu instead found himself "promoted" to president of Commodore USA when Geoff Stilley resigned (the ninth C= USA president since the Amiga's introduction). Dilulu now works for Sigma Systems selling PC video hardware - which is what he apparently always wanted to do. My own personal take on Dilulu is that it shouldn't matter whether you like the Amiga or not - if you're head of Marketing, it's your job to sell Amigas whether you like them or not - any salesman will tell you part of the job is selling products you think suck.

Lew Eggebrecht
Last chief of Commodore Engineering. Not a powerful leader but swifter on the uptake than Sydnes.

Keith Gabryelski
Amiga UNIX personified. Looks like Kenny G but is far, far cooler. After being laid off, he and the rest of the Amiga UNIX team stuck around for three more months, finished the UNIX port, and then faxed their resignations to Mehdi Ali.

Dr. Ed Hepler
Advanced IC development at Commodore - the guy behind much of AAA.

R. J. Mical
Member of the original Amiga, Inc. at Los Gatos. Left Commodore after Amiga, Inc. was 'absorbed' - often expressed a certain displeasure with Commodore for choosing the German A2000 design over the Los Gatos one, saying "If it doesn't have a keyboard garage, it's not an Amiga." Now works for 3DO (where 80% of the employees have an Amiga background, either with Commodore or with major Amiga developers) designing advanced RISC game systems.

Dale Luck
Also a member of the old Amiga team - Luck is one of the original coders of the famous "Boing" demo, hacked together by Dale and other drunk coders in the wee hours after a trade show in 1984 at which the first Amiga silicon prototype was shown. Now works for 3DO.

Steve Jobs
Not an Amiga guy, but influential nonetheless. Founder and first president of Apple. Booted out of the presidency in 1983. Head of the Macintosh project (after Jef Raskin proved to him the idea of a GUI was workable). Left Apple in 1985 to start his own company, NeXT. The Amiga borrows several elements from the Macintosh interface, and later, the NeXT interface.

Jean-Louis Gasse
Steve Jobs 1996. Gasse was vice president of engineering at Apple, resigned in 1990, and went to form his own company, Be, Inc. The result is the BeBox, a dual-processor PowerPC system with a proprietary operating system that looks like the illegitimate child of a Mac and Amiga. Gasse has publicly compared the BeBox and BeOS to the Amiga - even his license plate says "Amiga96" - several Amiga notables (including Dave Haynie and Christian Bauer) have BeBoxes.

William Gates, III
The antichrist. CEO of Microsoft, the largest software company in the world that still doesn't see the value of debugging. The man often named in conspiracy theories as possibly having paid off Mehdi Ali to help cause the fall of Commodore. Microsoft's sole contribution to the Amiga was AmigaBasic, a slow, unstable, unfriendly product whose first release generated no fewer than 130 documented bugs. In return, Windows 95 looks remarkably like the Amiga...

Carl Sassenrath
Member of the original Amiga, Inc's operating systems team. Lists AmigaDOS on his resume. Now works for VISCorp.

Gail Wellington
Director of CATS - Commodore Applications Technical Support. One of the Lemmings seen at the Denver DevCon.

Allen Hastings
Amiga graphics pioneer. Author of VideoScape in 1986 - primitive by today's standards but high tech a decade ago. In 1989, hired by NewTek to update VideoScape for the 90's - the end result being a little thing called Lightwave, the rendering software that comes with the Video Toaster - the program that made Babylon 5 possible.

Andy Warhol
An artist whose life would never have been complete had he not used an Amiga.

Arthur C. Clarke
Was he talking about the Amiga when he said any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic? Using VistaPro on an Amiga to generate Martian landscapes inspired him to write a novel about terraforming Mars.

Fred Fish
That's his real name. In 1986 started collecting Amiga freely distributable stuff and putting it on disks - mostly for his own use. Other people found out. Soon "Fish disks" found distribution channels all over the place - and hundreds of disks came out over the years. A few years back he started putting them on CD-ROM, and stopped doing floppy disks after Fred Fish Disk #1000. Now runs Cronus Amiga Library Services.

Urban Mueller
The new Fred Fish. Started an FTP archive years ago collecting Amiga software - and after several server changes that FTP archive grew into what is now Aminet - a 6.5 gigabyte, 30,000 file archive of freely distributable Amiga goodies housed at in St. Louis and several dozen mirror sites around the world. Aminet is the largest publicly accessible anonymous FTP archive of freely distributable software for any single computer platform - period.

Eric Schwartz
Amiga animator. Using Gold Disk's Moviesetter and DeluxePaint he created a series of cartoons for the Amiga - notables include Flip The Frog and the Anti-Lemmin' Demo ("What the bloody 'ell happened?")

Bradley Schenk
3-D artist. Won the AmigaWorld animation contest two years in a row - first for "Charon" and then for "The Sentinel." Did the art for the landmark CD-ROM game Labyrinth of Time, and has put out several collections of 3-D objects.

James D. Sachs
Another pioneering Amiga artist - started off doing C64 goodies, back when you "painted" with hexadecimal. Started doing art for Aegis and others - did games like Defender of the Crown for Cinemaware in the mid-80's. Designed more than a few Amiga packages. Actually did the artwork shown in the CDTV and CD32 splash screens and operating system, not to mention countless book and magazine covers and ads for all sorts of Amiga products.

Kiki Stockhammer
Was NewTek's entire marketing plan for years. A dental technician with great legs and a positive talent for never running out of things to say. NewTek found her, taught her the Video Toaster, and sent her off to demonstrate product for all the big technology shows. They actually incorporated her into the Toaster itself - she's actually part of several of the Toaster's built-in effects, like where she runs out dressed like Tinkerbell and dings her magic wand. She left NewTek along with 1/3 of its upper management and went to work for Play, Inc. where she now graces the cover of products like Snappy.

[Articles] [Links] [Buyout Watch] [Personalities] [Workbench] [Unsolved Mysteries] [Ideas] [About Squid]

[John's Homepage] [Sarah McLachlan Stuff] [Donna Lewis] [Cabinet of Curiosities]
[About John] [John's Art] [Email John] [Guestbook]