After 30 years this guy finally got an Amiga and Video Toaster

I used to sell Video Toasters when I worked at a video production/sales shop in NYC.
My business card said, “Sales and rentals of SONY, Panasonic, Toasters”


I was doing wedding videography at that time. I could always tell when someone get a toaster because they produced a video where every cut used a different translation: wipe, spin out, page flip, etc. they just had to use everything.


First I heard of these was at a con where Mojo - the lead Babylon 5 animator - talked about them. I never had one, but always wanted to tinker with one.


I was on the dev team for the toaster back in the early 90s and was one of the guys that made toaster effects. I still have my A4000 that I built from the junk pile from the NewTek dev department. I really should scan a lot of my crap and upload dev stuff to I still have a copy of the effects development tools that probably should be archived somewhere.

(I have a few prototypes as well including an amiga on a pc card board and at least one prototype PC toaster bezel)


Also because of that persons video in this article awhile back it prompted to to digitize and post a tape I had of a recording session with Kiki recording used to create toaster effects (The voice directing her is Peter Tiersma) :


Wow. Super cool.


Bowing Down Waynes World GIF

My first experience with the Video Toaster was in the early 1990s. I was in middle school and my school had recently been reopened after a long closure and was set up as a technology showcase for the district. (The district would go bankrupt just a couple years later and then school eventually shut down permanently when it was deemed seismically unsafe and too expensive to repair.)

Anyway, as a showcase it such it got lots of cool toys and I was lucky enough to get have video production as an elective. We had a brand new Amiga 2000 with a bunch of video stuff. The Video Toaster came later. Unfortunately we never really got it working reliably while I was there so all of my editing, effects, and titles were done on an old and clunky editing rig and titler that took up a huge amount of floor space.

I still spent a huge amount of time after school faffing about on that Amiga and it gave me a long appreciation for that platform.


Wow ! That is truly being in the room where it happens! And thank you for anything that makes me remember the amazing Kiki Stockhammer!


I had the VHS tape promo for the Video Toaster. I remember clearly the deep announcer voice defining and talking about a “paradigm shift.” It was really amazing stuff to us geeks in the 90s. I was Amiga through and through, started on a 1000, upgraded to a 2000, then later a 3000. I never had the money for a Video Toaster, though. Good memories.


I worked for Filmclips/CDVideo in Toronto, the local Amiga/Video production shop. I had an A4000 with a toaster 4000 as my desktop for years.

That was the start of my career as a Sysadmin. Ah, the memories.

And so many install floppies!!!


Brad Carvey’s brother!

In the mid 00s I had an A2000 (no video toaster, but had an Ethernet adapter), an SGI Indigo2, a few Suns and a DEC Alpha running VMS. SGI had the coolest case, Amiga the coolest interface, and VMS the coolest operating system. The only one I still have is the Alphastation.

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First time I met Brad Carvey I got brought in to see Traz and shown what would be my office for a few months. The place was dark and lit with can lights on the floor giving color effects on the walls. In the office was a bed and a guy with a huge beard was sleeping there. They woke him him and introduced him and he took a look at me and proclaimed it was good to bring in some more nerds. The first time I met Tim that day he was playing with a huge sandbox with lasers and he was doing something with holograms. It was a very strange and interesting place. I know I made a nuisance of myself for some time before I found a groove there as this was probably my first real experience at a “real” job and the place spoiled me for a very long time. I wish I had taken photos/video of that time then but I did do this stop motion demo thing as we were testing the flyer so some rare images of the development department:

I do have a doom wad of the office building still laying around.


SGIs had some great industrial design, but so did Sun (although not as good). Such great alternatives to the typical plain beige boxes of the time.

Back in the mid90s, everyone had ONE friend with Video Toaster.

At $2500, I kind of doubt that is true? I mean, I know Americans have generally been very wealthy for quite some time, but “everyone knew someone with a $2500 toy” sounds … like it would be limited to some rather select circles.

Edit: getting my post out of the blockquoute box.

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The Video Toaster was legendary when I was a kid with my A500, but there wasn’t many in the UK because they only worked with NTSC rather than PAL.

It was expensive enough getting hard drives in those days! My first, an Amiga 500, didn’t have a HD, but I did have two floppy drives and and whopping 512kb of RAM, giving me one of the hottest computers in the barracks back in 1990.

My second was a 3000, to which I added a “huge” 50 mb hard drive. :grin:

The toaster was always the dream, but I never managed to save enough for it.

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I’m guessing the “everyone had ONE friend with Video Toaster” statement was something along the line of how everybody had a friend that had “an uncle that worked at Nintendo”.


That’s how I interpreted it as well. We all had that one Amiga friend who wouldn’t freaking shut up about it. Now I realize I was secretly jealous and am thinking about buying an Amiga now. :grin: But yah, all the Amiga people knew about the video toaster and always seemed to claim to have a friend who had one. I think mostly that meant “saw one in a computer store”.


I first saw a Video Toaster in a trade magazine while I was working at a cable access station in Fargo. I showed the advertisement to a friend, and said something along the lines of, “This is going to change everything.” For me, it did. A few months later, that friend called me up and said, “I just bought a couple of those Toasters. Come run them for me.”

And so I started my career as a industrial video editor working in a barn. Soon, clients wanted 3d work, so I learned Lightwave. I wrote a bunch of tools in LScript. I joined the most excellent Lightwave Listserv (Chromecow here. Hi!) and met some awesome folks. I’ve been a game designer for the past 20 years, but the Toaster got me my start, and got me out of Fargo.

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