Released in 1990
, the Amiga 3000 was the first significant technological improvement
in the Amiga
range. The CPU
had been upgraded to a Motorola 68030
(available in 16 and 25 MHz models), the OS had been significantly improved (with a dramatically improved default palette being one of the most obvious differences), on-board memory could be upgraded to 18 MB, a decent SCSI
interface was on the motherboard, a 31 kHz VGA
monitor output was built in along with a flicker fixer to allow the use of interlace
d modes without inducing migraines and it was all packaged in an attractive desktop case.
Two variants exist. One, the A3000UX, came with a high-resolution graphics card, a tape drive and a copy of Amiga UNIX (the first SVr4 based UNIX available, apparantly). Sun were allegedly interested in distributing these - Commodore, unsurprisingly, screwed up the deal. Despite being powerful and cheap, the A3000UX never really got a foothold in the workstation market. The A3000T (The T standing for floor-sTanding unit officially - some PC manufacturer was claiming a trademark on usage of the word tower at the time) was an A3000 in a tower case with more zorro slots. A few prototype A3000Ts also exist - these are labelled as A3500s.
Early A3000s shipped with pre-release versions of the OS. Since most of the AmigaOS was on built-in Kickstart ROMs, these early machines had special ROMs that were capable of reading a ROM image off hard drive and copying it into RAM, then using the MMU to remap accesses to the ROMs to the area of memory containing them. The code required to do this only took up a small amount of the available space in the ROMs, so a copy of an even earlier pre-release of the OS was dumped in there. It can be accessed by holding down both mouse buttons after a cold boot, then clicking both mouse buttons with the pointer in the top-left corner of the resulting menu screen.