Here is my interview with an Amiga person from Argentina in South America. It is all about how the Amiga situation was and still is in Argentina.
Personally, I have worked a lot with this Interview. It’s taken some time, but I hope it is worth the reading. First I thought of just publish it as a raw article, but then the interviewer sent me pictures and I am a person that really cares for the interviewing people I ask questions to. So, finally, I decided to give it a much deeper meaning as he agreed to it.
Argentina is a huge country in America that sits next to Brazil and is far away from both the USA and Europe where the Amiga computing platform had the biggest popularity back in the days of Commodore. However, there seems to have been and is still is active Amiga users there. One of them is Claudio Daniel De Castro.
He agreed to answer many of my questions and he did it in Spanish, so I needed time to get everything translated right. Here is the result. This has been one of my toughest interviews ever.
Tell us about yourself? What do you do today in Argentina?
Without fixed work my economy is pathetic and locked with PC technology Trash I sell some PC refurbished diskettes Amiga and free story in schools history the computer that was lost … I enjoy playing on my Real A500 with a perfect game command .. more than on my PC computer running the FIFA 2017 … I prefer the Amiga and what I already told you I’m sick with depression.
How is the situation in Argentina and how did Commodore manage to get users in Argentina?
Today in 2017 the poverty in Argentina is even worse. Argentina’s poor is at 40%. They are all really poor in Argentina.
The politicians agreed a few days ago to remove the poorest bone retirees from our grandparents to the pensioners to those who have less will take more money and not me or my family as we are going to live. I send you photos of the only place in the capital federal where all are millionaires and the only ones that matter to the government. In the picture, you see the contrast with the other photos.
At less than 700 meters east, I send you photos. In the 90’s a dollar was equal to one peso today day 2017 1 dollar is equal to 18 pesos soon it reached 20 pesos plus the silver that they take out to those who have less grow more and more the poor I am according to the measurement in indijencia and the one that awaits us for 2018
In the 90 1 peso, 1 dollar hard 10 years but in 2000 began the destruction and then the corruption to the limete.
Today we are paying money to a government that only cares about the rich, the entrepreneurs, the people who pay a lot of taxes, the others who rot who die in those, and I am one of them. The government from 2003 to 2015 was the most corrupt in Argentina’s history. Then, since 2015 to this day is the government that governs only for the rich and on the subject of computers the one with a low-end PC, let’s say, is high-class. The one that has a mid-range PC directly is seen as a millionaire.
In the 90s however, the government focused on privatizing almost all state-owned companies and improving the service that made it possible for the Commodore to give all of their 8-bit computers such as C16, C64, and C128. Everyone in Argentina had a Commodore at home. Imports were like bringing candy from the United States and that’s why to this day people remember Commodore but not so much Amiga in Argentina.
Recently YPF showed the evolution in technology in Argentina and in a moment of its broadcast, they mentioned a Commodore 64 but then a few days later in the very same publicity too.
On whether Commodore cared more for poor people that I can not tell, but my opinion is that in the late 80’s and early 90’s people had that belief.
What I do know is that Commodore with their strategy managed to reach many homes in Argentina with computers that almost anyone could buy.
In Argentina, Commodore is also the most well-known and best-selling computer in the history of computers here. Commodore 64 usage of today in 2017 is still at the top in my country.
Amiga 500 could be bought being middle class when it was launched here …. But a 2000-3000-CDTV-1200-600-4000 and accelerators of all kinds until the year 2000 had to be bought by the upper-middle class in Argentina and when the 1 peso was finished a dollar in the year 2000 practically forcing everyone who had his Commodore Amiga to sell it and go to the PC trash.
But the value of Commodore Amiga was very close to the value of a 486 PC in Argentina. With a very basic monochromatic monitor and the one that preferred to spend a little less money bought PC but for them to understand I sold a PC 486 monochrome monitor with a floppy disk and with VIP sound and I put something like 150 pesos that at that moment in Argentina was 150 dollars and I bought a Complete Amiga CDTV.
Comparing what came out of a PC computer with Windows 95 monitor VGA floppy disk drive + HD + sound card + video card you bought without a monitor a Commodore Amiga 1200 + HD and some extra Fast 4MB memory.
Since 1 dollar was equal to 1 peso in Argentina Commodore Amiga came to many households and those who bought PC only found them in banks for data entry it was already very clear that Commodore Amiga had a technology of about 15 years in the future and a PC had nothing to do against the Amiga.
The Amiga should have been the winner.
How did you get into Amiga? Who introduced you to it?
I tell you that when I bought the Amiga 500, I also got it with a color printer and an old friend prepared a report for his secondary but no one had Amiga plus a printer when I got mine it seemed and that person printed everything and then I took the Commodore Amiga to the best of my life.
How was the Amiga situation in Argentina? How much popularity did it have around 1990 etc?
The popularity was reflected when you saw the games and at that time looking at the posters. All of the games for each computer available at that time for computers such as ZX Spectrum Commodore 64 and PC didn’t look great… It was always the Amiga 500 that won my heart. The Amiga became huge but never as huge as Commodore 64 in Argentina.
How was the situation in Argentina regarding the Amiga at that time? (In Iraq, you can read that Amiga had over 70% share in 1990).
How did it go with the Amiga as a computer at that time in Argentina? Do you remember?
The ones who studied computing in the 90s and the late 90s all wanted an Amiga here. Luckily I had many Amiga models, but other friends could not buy them. The truth in the 90s is that in Buenos Aires Capital Federal 60% to 75% used Amiga or were collecting money to buy Amiga computers.
Amiga was such a popular computer to have in Argentina since everyone saw and knew that the animations of TE FAITH 100×100 were made with Amiga … and those times nothing could compete for more than 15 years after the demise of Commodore.
How did it go for the Amiga after Commodore demise in 1994?
In 1994, Commodore Amiga was used in many places. TV channels used by Amiga, those who filmed 15-year-old parties used them, or even wedding clipping was done using Amiga computers in Argentina, etc.
People in Argentina were still using Amiga for many years after the demise of Commodore. Only a very few went from the Amiga to the PC, but they lost a lot of money since the PC could not do the same job as the Amiga and many acquaintances went back to buying Amiga again.
In Argentina, in 1994 Amiga was more famous than in 1990 as everyone wanted Amiga 1200. The most important place in Capital of Argentina arrived the first virtual machines that I remember inside and it revealed that the owner asks the owner and told me they have an Amiga 3000.
How many Amiga users existed in Argentina back in the days and how is the popularity today?
In 1998, it was only noticed in computer stores and in the magazines of buying and selling that the Amiga and I would say 30% sold it and bought PCs, but the TV channels and in some discotheques continued to use the Amiga as well as the who filmed videos of 15 wedding births etc. They did not leave the Amiga for anything but only those who worked with Amiga or crazy sold them.
At that time the friend who made me know the Amiga recommended me to sell it and he armed me with a PC but I explained I want a PC in which I can make 2D animations like the Deluxe Paint IV – I want to animate in 3D at least like the Real 3D – I want to compose music like in the OctaMED – I want everything that the Amiga does and that the movements are fluid like the Amiga.
Well, I put together a PC of the best at that time I remember the Scala for PC the pathetic thing that worked I remember the view Pro that trash and a program like the Deluxe Paint IV impossible …. It took 4 months and his sister for school had to have a PC and my friend had his friend on sale one day he called me and told me to ask you to change my Amiga all complete for the PC that I armed and I told him but Friend of yours is very complete he told me I will not sell Gifted the friend and as you the PC detest you I take my full Amiga.
I will never forget that day I arrive with the Amiga 1200 + an Accelerator + a Vidi 24 + a Sound Sampler DSS8 + + I believe 8 or 12 MB RAM + 1084S Monitor + External Disk DF1: + a 120MB HD + manual boxes all for God the happy I was like I enjoyed that Amiga and even worked in a disco that I had close to home using Scala making 2D and 3D animations, then I went to SVHS and at the disco I played Amiga demos on the big screen with the Scala in real time. the people of the club even created the cards of the nightclub and everything ended in 2000 because in the nightclub they killed one person and they closed it.
After that, I sold everything Go to the damn PC ?day in 2017 even some acquaintances use Amiga + Video Toaster for weddings birthdays and some very poor TV channels use Amiga but the remaining Friends are for collectors or those who work with Amiga + PC to scan everything and go to DVD or Blu Ray … I have an impeccable A500 with more than 400 discs that pass them with the ADTWIN and for more than my PC can play FIFA 2017 I prefer to play in the Amiga 500 ?Users that have MorphOS are very few but there are … But AmigaOne alone in an Argentine forum I found 4 people. But many with their PC Emulate OS4.
Was there any Amiga User Group in Argentina or do you have one still?
Honestly always until 2002 there was a group of good people then disappeared and today there is a retrocomputing forum that is full of shit people that scam you lie all for an Amiga I do not recommend it in the least they are pure fucking people are not true Amigeros.
I told you before if there is a group today but better not to enter are all old chotos who want to shit the true Amigeros of the group. Valente Computación were 2 brothers who recorded everything for Amiga, good people, the two of them worked for Te Le Fe TV Argentina, one of the best channels that Amiga used the most, and they also worked in nightclubs. At the end of the night they put the Sensible Soccer on the big screen I even played some games with them that beautiful.
But the only group that is 2017 is retro computer and better not to get into my shit with Amiga 4000 and other people are also trash I only rescue 3 users of the forum who are good people but others are on the lookout to shit.
Have there been Amiga gatherings in Argentina?
Yes in 1990 until 1995 – 1996 with good people from Valente Computación. Only this group is today 2017 Retrocomputacion that meet every 6 months or more are not even 20 people and most do it to shit a new user who joins the group but is only retrocomputing in Argentina.
Where do you get Amiga stuff in your country? Do you buy them from Europe or do you have Amiga retailers in Argentina today?
Since 1996 and in Argentina you can not buy anything only used things at crazy prices but bring from another country is only possible for millionaires. I can not bring a Goteck this country the economy died in 2000 and today only a millionaire and that chance has an Amiga can do it.
I only have one acquaintance that brings from Spain Hard of Amiga used to sell it in Retrocomputacion at crazy prices Amiga 2017 Hard new is for a few that I do not believe reach 100 in all Argentina.
How about Spanish Amiga magazines? Did you have them in Argentina?
All I’m telling you is the pure reality of the Amiga sure more than me another does not Love the Friend as much as I do !!!
If from the 90 all kinds of Spanish and English German magazines everything until 1995 could not be found and only on request could you have an Amiga magazine in English? On the Internet in Argentina, very few people used it in 1995. I created my first Internet account in Hotmail, almost nobody had Internet in those years, and only through telephone lines only to use e-mails and at the end of the 1990s type 1998, the first companies arrived. offered 64kbps to Maximum 128kbps and practically all of Argentina used it for MSN Hotmail and download photos Pornographic music and nothing but Amiga users I do not even remember how many used the Internet to learn something from Amiga I without knowing English I learned to model in 3D to Animar in 2D all in English hours and hours to get to understand all the programs.
What do you think of AROS, Amibian and other Amiga Open Source projects?
Sincerely Aros for me is pure trash I used it for a while and I did not like anything but the MorphOS that if for the moment you think you are using a Commodore Amiga. about the projects in Amiga the most stable is the MorphOS and in Argentina several use it and over open Source, I hope that something good comes out but time passes and I do not like anything.
What sort of suggestions do you have for the Amiga future? What do you want to say to A-EON and Apollo Team? What do you think of the Vampire FPGA project?
For me the future of Amiga is not the AmigaONE or the Acube is Vampire that is the way to create the Amiga that we all enjoy but with an expansion never before thought and can quietly achieve that an A500 can do everything without relying on a PC.
If I would have to say any suggestion for A-EON, it would be to work to create Drivers – Much more software in general since it is very powerful Amiga PPC but it cannot be squeezed.
Better for the moment to use Linux in the AmigaOne you can take more advantage of the HARD but if I buy an AmigaOne I want to use OS4.1, not Linux.
I have several contacts that have an X1000 other than an X5000 and they all tell me that it is super stable in OS4.1
but it does not have drivers or much software and they end up installing Linux.
Let A-EON go to work now !!! because it has a tremendous Hard but not even 40% is used.
Vampire FPGA Amiga Forever
What do you think of Commodore as a company business? Did they do good or bad in Argentina?
Commodore in Argentina the Commodore 16-64-128 all had Commodore and all were happy.
The bad thing about Commodore in Argentina was to let a company (pathetic Dream manufacturing appliances)
to make Commodore 64/128 you used it 2 months or did not turn it on anymore or the keyboard did not work I went crazy with a Dream 64C all the time taking it to the warranty to repair something that was the tremendous mistake of Commodore in Argentina.
I sold the Dream Commodore and I bought the Commodore Importado and I sold it very recently.
Then with Commodore PC it was not so bad for a while it sold pretty well but it was no more than 2 years.
Today, 2017, most people, if you name them Amiga, do not know what it is but you name it Commodore and everyone knows and they tell you that the Commodore 128 Commodore 16 is the 64C.
Commodore in Argentina had a few years that took everything!
Do you want to add at the end? Say something to the Amiga community? Anything?
This can only be understood by the real REAL Friend who enjoyed many models of Amiga and felt
happy with each new game or program that made us create spectacular things that only the Amiga could and those of the
PC was dying when they looked at everything an Amiga could do with so LITTLE HARD ?
Just tell them and repeat to the true Amigeros that the Amiga is the only computer of all time that had something that a machine can not have … (ALMA) and only a true Amigero knows what an Amiga is and what even in 2017 it still is and makes you feel what no other computer can ever do. feel when using it happily and
I hope the Amiga is alive more than before.
If all the true Amigeros follow the Friend it is eternal.
Amiga Forever ?
We at Amitopia thanks for all of the answers. Its been an emotional ride even for me as the interviewer. The differences between rich and poor in Argentina shocked me, but to know how much worse than you think it really is.. it is disturbing. We really thanks Claudio for all of his answers. He is a fantastic Amiga user in Argentina, which is keeping the Commodore Dream alive. We hope that you like our interview and support Amitopia for more quality articles like this one.
Once this interview was published, he added this: I also wanted to highlight that Commodore Dream in Argentina company was the only one in Argentina history that manufactured computers at low cost.
So, we think now that everyone has learned something from this interview. Commodore did nice things in Argentina. Interesting knowledge that I would never have got if I didn’t interview Claudio from Argentina. Thanks for brilliant answers and we at Amitopia wishes you the best in years ahead.
Amitopia Own Experience