History of Amiga Kit
In the beginning...
Amiga Kit was formed in June 2004 with the mission statement to innovate, produce and supply new hardware, software and peripherals exclusively for the Amiga computer market.
During this gradual period of decline for the Amiga computer, there were many established retailers and manufacturers closing down. A lot of companies that did not shut their doors, were either inactive or focussing their commercial efforts on wider mainstream and more lucrative computer markets, diversifying out of the Amiga sector. Just before the Amiga Kit project commenced, a comprehensive review of the Amiga market was conducted. The range, functionality and quality of Amiga products retailed by the remaining Amiga resellers was analysed and the conclusion drawn that greater innovation and availability in the market was required.
It was further concluded that an exclusive store dedicated to the Amiga computer would urgently need to be established offering a wide range of third party and in-house produced products for reasonable prices.
Product supply to the bespoke Amiga market place was a challenge to overcome. The Amiga uses an array of custom hardware and peripherals so conventional computer hardware could not be often sourced from mainstream distibutors. The few remaining offerings of stock that were being sold by retailers were old inventory manufactured from former years. Once this specialist Amiga "kit" was sold through, the supply would quickly cease. Success for the Amiga Kit project would quite often depend on having to design, manufacture and assemble product in-house. Third party agents would be required to manufacture more complex products, financed organically from the sales on the Amiga store.
In 2005, Amiga Kit entered into negotiations with the Eyetech Group to acquire their inventory and continue to serve their former Amiga customers. After the conclusion of the deal, the Eyetech website was redirected to the www.amigakit.com domain and the Eyetech product inventory was integrated into the store database for resale.
2005 was also a year of establishing suppliers for the store. Amiga Kit continue to have strong relationships with many of them even today such as Cloanto Italia s.r.l and Individual Computers (Germany).
The Pegasos II with MorphOS was made available from the website in 2005 and later supplemented by the Efika. Both products were from German manufacturer, BPlan.
Over the subsequent years Amiga Kit have acquired stock from many former Amiga resellers, distributors and manufacturers which enhanced the range of items that could be supplied. Often inventory was part assembled or just components so it required complete manufacture requiring specialist tools and processes in house.
In 2007 pre-configured Amiga computer systems were offered for sale on the store. These were built to customer specifications, offered in traditional desktop form factor or tower case configuration.
During 2008 Amiga Kit provided reseller support to Italian company, ACube Systems s.r.l who launched their SAM 440 range of motherboards. Complete systems were offered on the webstore to end users. Amiga Kit also started to sell the AmigaOS 4.0 boxed product.
Also in 2008, the remaining Amiga inventory of High Street Micro was acquired.
January 2009 also saw the formation of a new department named Amiga Kit Technical Services, responsible for hardware technical activities such as computer assembly, servicing, repairs and hardware product design and development.
In early 2009, A-EON Technology CVBA approached and selected Amiga Kit to distribute their newly introduced AmigaOne X1000 system to a closed beta test team.
Amiga Kit was later selected in 2011 to design and produce the Boing Ball branded tower case, keyboard and mouse for public distibution of the AmigaOne X1000 complete system (The Inquirer and Techcrunch news articles from 24th October 2011)
Hyperion Entertainment licenced ROMs to Amiga Kit for manufacturing in 2012, revoking that licence later in July 2017.
In October 2014, Cloanto Italia s.r.l announced that "well known reseller" Amiga Kit was to produce ROMs and Workbench disk sets under their "Amiga Forever Classic Support" range (Amiga Forever Classic Support - Workbench 3.1 Update and AmigaOS 3.1 is now available on diskettes again)
The successor to the AmigaOne X1000 was announced as the AmigaOne X5000 by A-EON Technology Ltd. Once again Amiga Kit was given the role of worldwide distributor to beta testers in 2015 and later in 2016 (continuing to present day).
In June 2016, Amiga Kit adds Retro 7-bit's product range to the Amiga store.
The many facets of Amiga Kit
The amigakit.com web store is the customer facing part of the operation, however behind the scenes there are many other facets to the organisation.
computer system assembly
computer repairs and upgrades
hardware design and manufacture such as peripherals, adapters, expansions, cables
third party distribution
end-user order processing and logistics
product design and branding
All these activities have been solely focussed in the Amiga computer market, including the "Classic" and "Next Generation" group of products.
Over the years, Amiga Kit has developed in house a lot of new Amiga software. Many of the titles are being used today in products with the most popular being EasyADF, EasyNet and OS-Install.
In 2004 work was started on the EasyNet project. It's aim was to provide the Amiga with networking and Internet software. It featured an Internet Live Update function and has continued to supply users with updates over the years.
In 2005 Amiga Kit started supplying self-booting hard drives with the OS-Install software pre-installed. OS-Install was developed to simplify the installation and recovery of the Operating System for end-users significantly (review of OS-Install on Epsilon's blog). In latter years, work was conducted with partners to develop from scratch an original set of DOS commands that can be supplied on the self-booting drives to stream line the installation process even further. Work is still ongoing to expand these commands in features above and beyond the feature set of the original DOS commands supplied by the former defunct Commodore company in the early nineties.
Following on from the OS-Install software development work, an adapted version was used for the EasyADF self-booting disk.
In 2011, Amiga Kit provided funding to enable development of AmigaOS 4.1 to the Classic Amiga for the first time. In a public statment, Hyperion Entertainment described how "AmigaKit was also instrumental in funding the AmigaOS 4.1 update for the Classics" (May 7th 2011) and Amiga Kit entered into an exclusive worldwide agreement to manufacture and distribute AmigaOS 4.1 Classic ( AmigaOS 4.1 for Classics imminent, May 7th 2011). This exclusive agreement lasts until 2021.
In 2013, Amiga Kit secured an exclusive distribution agreement for AMITCP 4 with the original developers, NSDi. The agreement resulted in AMITCP 4 being available once again for commercial sale integrated into the a new EasyNet Professional Edition package. (AmigaKit Secures AMITCP 4 Distribution Agreement, September 2nd 2013)
Later in 2013, Amiga Kit added wireless network scanning to EasyNet and EasyNet Pro. This was the first time that this feature was available for Amiga (EasyNet Tutorial: Configuring Prism2v2 Wireless Settings).
In 2014, Amiga Kit developed the server side infrastructure and client that the AMIStore App Store and AmiSphere platform is based upon, used by A-EON Technology Ltd (A-EON).
From 2015 to the present day, Amiga Kit has contributed to A-EON's successful Amiga Developer programme by providing software project management resource.
The Amiga Kit offices have hosted two A-EON Developer Conferences to date in 2016 and June 2017.
In 2017, Amiga Kit secured reached an agreement with the Apollo Team to distribute innovative new Amiga FPGA accelerators based on the Apollo Core. (Apollo Accelerator On Sale, May 28th 2017)
Over the years, Amiga Kit has both commissioned and directly manufactured bespoke Amiga hardware, ranging from full computer systems to small adapters.
The Amiga Kit Technical Workshop has assembled custom new Amiga 1200 Tower systems, desktop A1200 computers, AmigaOne X1000s and more recently AmigaOne X5000 built to the customer's requirements.
To enable even more expansions to be retrofitted into Classic Amiga systems, we have had to design and develop a series of backplates, brackets, adapters and specialist cables.
Many items of hardware have been branded with the Amiga Kit name or logo, here are some notable ones:
4-way IDE Interface for Amiga 4000 (2006)
ZorRAM (2010): an affordable 128MB or 256MB Zorro III memory expansion card. This was produced when old technology DKB3128 cards were being resold on the second hand market for eye-watering sums of money. ZorRAM was introduced by Amiga Kit as a low cost expansion, using modern new components.
Kickstart ROM switcher (2010)
Automatic Mouse Joystick switch (2010)
MAS Player Evolution (2012): a re-implementation of the popular MAS Player MP3 decoder and player add-on. Plugs into the Amiga's parallel port.
Arcade Evolution (2013): a new Amiga Kit branded joystick with arcade components for extra durability - ideal for Amiga video gamers!
4-way Clockport Expander (2017)
Shows and Events
Amiga Kit has been a long time sponsor of the AmiWest show in Sacramento, California, USA. It has both sponsored and attended this West Coast event every year since 2006 to present day.
In the UK, Amiga Kit attended and exhibited at the Big Bash shows (Peterborough), MAG Bash (Coventry), Amiga 25th Show (Bletchley Park), Amiga 30th Show (Peterborough), Play (Blackpool) and Play Expo (Manchester) events.
In Italy, Amiga Kit helped sponsor and attended a few Pianeta Amiga shows in both Empoli and the last time in Bologna.
In 2010 Amiga Kit also attended the Amiga 25th Anniversary event in Essen, Germany.
In 2017 it is planned to once again exhibit at AmiWest and additionally at the Amiga 32 Anniversary event in Neuss, Germany.
In addition to shows, Amiga Kit has supported Amiga user groups in the UK by attending large meetings arranged by Amiga North Thames, Midlands Amiga Group and Linconshire Amiga Group.
Marketing the Amiga Kit brand over the years
Amiga Kit has sponsored Amiga community websites such as the popular Amiga.org and AmigaWorld.net forums and the now defunct Amibench.org trading site.
Since the early years, Amiga Kit has regulary published full page adverts in magazines such as Total Amiga Magazine and Amiga Future.
The Amiga Kit websites and printed adverts have had a few slogans since 2004 such as "AmigaKit.com - the Amiga store", "AmigaKit.com Amiga Shop", "amigakit.com - your Amiga store", "amigakit.com Amiga store - we ship worldwide", and more recently "Amiga Kit Amiga Store" and "1st Choice for Amiga".
Websites of Amiga Kit
Amiga Kit operates a network of various websites serving customers worldwide.
The domains operated by Amiga Kit are as follows:
amigakit.com, amigakit.co.uk, amigakit.eu, amigakit.shop, amigakit.store, amigakit.us, amiga.store, amigastore.com, amigastore.us, amiga-store.us, amiga-store.com, amigastore.co.uk, amiga-store.co.uk, amigastore.net, amiga-store.eu, amikit.com, amigashop.co.uk, amiga-shop.co.uk, amiga-shop.com, , amiga-shop.biz,amigashop.eu, amiga-shop.eu
© 2017 Leaman Computing Ltd. Amiga Kit and Amiga Store are trademarks of Leaman Computing Ltd.