In Sweden we have a saying – “Kärt barn har många namn”. It roughly translates to “A loved child has many names”. This is particularly true for Amy. MrA created Amy mainly because he wanted a small Amiga compatible gaming system in his living room, but also as a learning experience to get more familiar with the inner workings of the Amiga home computer. He was already quite comfortable with hardware design from his profession as a systems engineer. Little did he know that the project would become so popular as his intention was only to make a few boards for family and friends.
Initially the code name was ‘Spellbound’, and the first boards produced had “416D79” (Amy in Hex) printed on the silkscreen. This was also the case for the first Earlybird batch (rev.1.6) that was produced for back in 2016. This was later changed to ‘Amy’ for the publicly available boards in 2018. In the heat of the moment, when registering the domain name the suffix -ITX was added by yours truly. Although this was a bit confusing as the board was not actually ITX but Mini-ITX. So that was later scrapped along with the home page www.amy-itx.com after the project was wrapped up.
During development MrA realised that most of the old Zorro based accessories were too large to fit into his Mini-ITX design. So obviously he had to design a few critical expansion bords for his new baby. He started off with something simple, an 8MB FAST RAM board to which he later added an IDE Controller. But he also really wanted a faster CPU to be able to run his games with WHDLoad. This lead to the 030/FAST/IDE board inspired by the 68030-TK from Matthias ‘Matze’ Heinrichs. It was later bundled with Amy as part of the ‘Friends’ kit.
But he didn’t stop there. Inspired by the enthusiastic response from the Swedish Amiga Community he also decided to design a NIC based on the same IC as the popular Ariadne2 as well as a smaller version of Georg & Matze’s ‘GraKa’ Picasso II compatible RTG card which also became Friends of Amy.