Amiga Walker Prototype Touched!

WorkingAmigaWalker

Amiga Walker shown working at RETROpulsiv in Germany

The Amiga Walker have been a prototype that most thinks doesn’t exist or even work! But Distrita have now tried the last ever working Amiga Walker and also the last original Classic Amiga computer to ever be made. It was and still is Petro Tyschtschenko machine, since he was the one pulling this prototype out just before the company named ESCOM declared bankruptcy. There was more prototypes made, but Petro Tyschtschenko does not know where the other one is he told me, but sources Distrita have got says that a UK Amiga Usergroup have it, but this one isn’t working anymore. Until this is confirmed, the Petro one is the only one still working.

Commodore got bankrupt in June 1994, but the Amiga spirit lived on thru Petro Tyschtschenko
After Commodore demise, there was lots of candidates and ESCOM finally bought Commodore International for US$14 million in 1995. ESCOM established quickly a separated division for Amiga-related technologies called Amiga Technologies. The company grew quickly and both Amiga 1200 and Amiga 4000T went back into production (10000 Amiga 1200 machines and 2000 Amiga 4000T units were made). ESCOM even put Amiga machines back into shop-windows worldwide. The start of the ESCOM time was positive, but it also contained some complains from the Amiga people, which saw lack of Amiga placements in certain ESCOM stores worldwide. This wasn’t the only problem after a while… ESCOM lost 185 million German Mark. The company had to declare bankruptcy on 15 July 1996, and was liquidated, but Petro Tyschtschenko managed to make a few Amiga Walker prototypes. He used all of his personal money on it (brave Amigan!).

WorkingAmigaWalker_side

Amiga Walker look from the side and SysInfo on the screen

Amiga Walker, the NextGen Classic Amiga
The Amiga Walker motherboard that Distrita could test at RETROpulsiv, got a Motorola 68030/33 MHz (in the prototype version) but the final version was supposed to have a Motorola 68030/40 MHz CPU in it. The prototype version also have the same graphical chipset as Amiga 1200, which is named AGA. The memory in the prototype version only have 2MB Chip RAM, but the final one would have 4MB FAST RAM as standard. Addition to this, the Amiga Walker got Internal CD-ROM and 1.44MB internal floppy drive built-in to the front, with Amiga Keyboard connection.

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Amiga Walker backside

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Amiga Walker SysInfo Speedtest showing it a bit faster than as standard Amiga 1200

Amiga Walker Performance
Compared to a standard Amiga 1200, the prototype machine that I could test, was just a bit faster than a Amiga 1200 with 68EC020 14.17MHz CPU. It’s not much to say hurray for, but atleast this prototype works. With FAST RAM and other fixes, I bet that the machine would be great and a great alternative to the big Amiga NG machine that ESCOM had plans for. The great thing about Amiga Walker is that the form of the motherboard is more in standard PC format, which would make it easier to fit Amiga motherboards in different types of cases. The design is however very original and by many commented as a huge vacuum cleaner. The design looks way better today compared to back then. Apple have somehow made us all love in round edges, don’t they?

Conclusion
A big thanks goes to the organizers of RETROpulsiv. It was a really nice meeting in Augsburg, Germany. Petro Tyschtschenko was there and allowed everyone to try his Amiga Walker prototype. He is a very warm and good person that have gone thru a lot. The Distrita Team wishes him all the best, and thanks for keeping Amiga alive even in the darker times. Thanks Petro again.

Sources:
Petro Tyschtschenko
RETROpulsiv Meeting
Wikipedia

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