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Old 09 September 2012, 19:54   #2
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 475
You cant read Amiga disks on a pc without extra hardware like a Catweasel.

As for the AmigaOnes, to each his own, but I really dont think its worth it. Performance is too low to even emulate a classic amiga well (so custom chipset hitting software is often slower than it should be, or rquires frameskipping even for bread and butter type 2d stuff, let alone software that requires a faster cpu). Apart from that the vast majority of the software is from the open source world, and inferior to how itd run on a machine that costs pocket change.
AmigaOS4.x is nice enough in its own way, but whether or not a person wants to pay a 4 figure sum to run an OS (the software base is hardly enticing) that offers little more (and less sometimes) than you'd get get out of an emulated 68k amiga is down to the individual. For the sake of completeness I should mention that it will emulate system friendly software (stuff that runs from and on workbench mostly) without the need for UAE, and at an acceptable speed.

For a cheaper entry into the amiga "NG" world there's also AROS, which runs on standard pcs (ie. orders of magnitude faster and cheaper than amiga ones), and is freely downloadable. It wont run 68k software in the way OS4.x will, but UAE on x86 pcs is dozens of times faster than it is on the A1's. AROS is also however limited to the same sort of software (mostly open source ports) besides that. Most software thats not open source is available for all the amiga NG options.

Additionally there's also MorphOS. It's the most mature of the NG options but like OS4.x is also restricted to lower spec ppc gear. In its favor though vs. OS4.x is the fact it can run on (some) cheap 2nd hand ppc macintoshes. Like OS4.x and the A1's it can also run system friendly software without the need for UAE.

Both OS4.x and MOS can also run some old amiga ppc apps.

My advice would be to try out Winuae (works under wine apparently) or another version of UAE first. It'll give you a nice bit of speed (ironically the emulated 680x0 system provides more raw grunt than any of the ppc systems when run on a modernish x86 pc) and good compatibility. Once you've played around you'll have a feel for what you'd like to do from there.

My personal choice/preference is a mixture of my expanded a1200 and amithlon (without elaborating too much amithlon is sort of a combo of emulation and natively running amigaos3.9 on a pc), but experimenting with some form of UAE is a good, affordable starting point for someone who's in your position.

Your questions really do open the door to a lot of ifs/and/ors/buts/etc, but hopefully this is a starting point.

One thing I warn you to be aware of is the amiga "community" has become somewhat split. So many options, and people tend to embrace thier preference pretty strongly to a point that people like yourself asking these sorts of questions will often get pretty biased responses that exclude, or twist certain truths. Because of this I really advise you to do your research before/if you decide to invest big money into it, and to take things with a grain of salt when it comes to what "NG" Amiga fans tell you.

In regards to "real" (ie. 680x0/commdore) Amigas I'd recommend an a1200. Upgrades are plentiful and it offers AGA (moderately enhanced chipset with 16.77 Million vs 4096 colors, and higher resolutions than the ocs/ecs chipset found in a500/a600/a2000/a3000/etc. PCMCIA network cards are also easy enough to find (albiet 2nd hand).
You can of course add a graphics card to a big box amiga, which offers a faster, more colorful display, but apart from an a4000 (which also has AGA) you cant run AGA versions of software still (although this is mostly just some games, system friendly software can usually take advantage of the a graphics card).

Im sure some people will advise differently, but it really depends on what you'd like to do.

Last edited by fishyfish; 09 September 2012 at 20:08.
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