Google resurrects the Amiga 500 in Chrome

Google developer Christian Stefansen has coded a Chrome web app that emulates the Amiga 500 in Mountain View’s flagship browser.

According to Stefansen, the emulator code is based on the Open Source Universal Amiga Emulator (approximately 400k lines of C code), which was ported to Native Client.

“Portable Native Client is supported in Chrome on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS,” Stefansen confirmed in a Google+ post. “Cloanto kindly provided the ROMs and disks for this demo, and also put together a Chrome Web Store app (Amiga Forever Essentials) in record time. You can run the Amiga in full-screen and even connect a USB gamepad.”

Way back in 1994, Byte Magazine proclaimed the Amiga had been so far ahead of its time that almost nobody – including Commodore’s marketing department – could “fully articulate” what it was all about.

In 1996, John C. Dvorak of PC Mag declared that AmigaOS remained one of the “greatest” operating systems of the past 20 years, as it incorporated a small kernel with “tremendous” multitasking capabilities. In addition, the Amiga featured an advanced custom chipset comprising several coprocessors, which handled audio, video and direct memory access independently of the CPU. 

This innovative architectural design allowed the Amiga’s primary processor to focus on other tasks, while granting the system a definite performance edge over its competitors for video-intensive applications and games.