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Old 27 February 2004, 20:22   #1
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Emulation....why do we do it?

I was bored and ran into a dead-end of thoughts about the next website to idle away my time on I decided to write something. This probably also makes up for my lack of words during my recent absence from the scene (real-life issues) and I think even the most spiteful of people could not class this as a “add one to my post count” post

So let's discuss. Why do we emulate?

This post from me is really going to be Amiga specific as I don't really emulate anything else.

I myself am not fully sure of the exact reasons why I emulate. I spent many years away from the Amiga after starting work (on PC's) at the time the Amiga "died", when all the software houses left it and the games/apps ran dry. I think if it wasn't for the possibilities of emulation my interest with the Amiga would never have come back, maybe just some reminiscing now and again. Maybe my A500 would have been sold or just stayed up in my loft, I definitely don't think I would have got a A1200 off eBay that's for sure.

So now I examine what has bought me back to the Amiga, call it self-psychology or someone who's just bored and wants to write something !

Well, obviously one major reason is definitely thanks to the excellent work of the original UAE team, the Fellow team and the guy's working on WinUAE. Now we have the software to emulate the Amiga, and emulate it well. Now, of course respect must go to the likes of Microsoft ( :eek ) for filling our PC's with such bloat ware that Intel has to make fast chips to run their software , and in turn make it possible for the PC to emulate the Amiga when all those additional Windoze apps have been closed down.

I remember articles in Amiga Format discussing how with software the PC could be emulated on the Amiga, and that it would never be possible to emulate the Amiga on the PC without installing a board with custom chips and stuff - basically putting a Amiga inside a PC ! These discussions generally appeared in the Reader's Letters pages when the ST wasn't being bashed, and at the time were quite believable. I still remember the first time I stumbled across UAE on the web and thought "What the f**k - they have managed to do it, oh dear !". Not that the thought was derogative about UAE or the UAE team, it was just that for a moment I was upset that what we had been led to believe in the late 80’s/early 90’s was in fact a load of s**t – the dreaded PC can emulate an Amiga. I suppose nobody really knew back then just how the “Computer World” would turn out, and the “death of the Amiga” was still just a prediction.

Maybe my thoughts at that time were that the Amiga should have been laid to rest, should not have been “bought back” with emulation. You see, the Amiga was a part of my life – even with emulation or a real Amiga I cannot get that part of my life back.

It was the care-free time of going to school (which I hated, but now wish I could do again!), skiving off school with friends to play football in the park or play real football at Sensible Park. You all know the days, where your real worries now wouldn’t even be worries at all; where the issues of work, redundancy, money, debt, marriage, divorce, kids, mortgages, politics and everything else did not get given that much time at all.

Before I owned an Amiga I used to own a Amstrad CPC464. Now I don’t sit here these days and emulate that, if I had never of owned a Amiga and had kept my 464 would I be sitting here now on a 464 board writing a similar thread to this one? I don’t think so !

(Thankfully) I never owned a Atari ST, maybe if I had owned one, I would now be on a Atari board or emulating one. Still, (putting all past ST-hating tendencies aside) I don’t think I would.

Now I know that some guys here are probably emulating 30+ systems, maybe a few rich ones owned them all but maybe most are doing it purely because they can, for fun or because they are into emulation. I myself am not into emulation, I am into the Amiga – emulation is just a convenient way of accessing “my” Amiga from wherever I am in the world.

Do I fire up a DOS Command Prompt for nostalgic purposes? No, I do it purely because it is still easier to do certain things in DOS that it is with all these XP icons and menus.

I am using Windows XP because I have to, because the world has once again been sold the impression that this one is better than the last, faster than the last etc… etc... (for once this time Microsoft is probably right). The world moves to XP, those who stay on 98 are already starting to miss out. It really is a case of keeping up, for keeping up’s sake. When Windows 2010 comes out I will be using that. I will not be yearning for Windows XP, the same as I am not now yearning for Windows 95.

These days nobody really has to use a Amiga or a emulate a Amiga.

Before you all kill me and ban me from the board let me take that comment back. In fact I will eat that comment because the more I think about it the more I can see it is the reason.

However I will stick my fingers down my throat and pull out that partially digested comment as it does have a brief bit of relevance.

If your only use of a computer is browsing the web and typing up documents then yes, go dump your Amiga on eBay, and/or uninstall WinUAE now. Microsoft have produced some software that will do this better than the Amiga, and (un)fortunately won’t run on an Amiga. With the obvious exception of people who haven’t been able to move-on from their Amiga purely for financial purposes or “fear of PC” the average Joe User does not need the Amiga. But when I look around this board I see that the majority of you are just like Joe and are into your Amigas.

(continued in next post.....)
Old 27 February 2004, 20:23   #2
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(......continued from post #1 in this thread)

So ignoring your thoughts for now (feel free to reply with them) I will divulge more into mine…..

I could play Sensible Soccer, Biplane Duel, Rainbow Islands etc… all day. However I would/have fired up the likes of Gloom or Alien Bread 3D only once. I’m sorry but if I want to play a 3D shooting game then I’m gonna fire up Call of Duty – the last time I checked that wasn’t available on the Amiga Notice how I have no desire to fire up Doom or Quake. That’s because they’re old, why do that when I can play Call of Duty?

If what I have just written doesn’t make sense then that is what I am trying to imply. Sensible Soccer is a few years older than Quake, and the original non-Amiga Biplane Duel is a decade older than Doom. Yet I still want to play these games.

To complicate matters more sometimes I play Sensible World of Soccer, and sometimes I play the original Sensible Soccer. In my humble opinion SWoS is better than SS1.0, but that doesn’t matter. That’s a bit like a Quake III player playing the original Quake – in 99% of cases it won’t happen, but on the Amiga things like this regularly happen.

Where is the space for good old fashioned 2D platform/action games these days? Everything has to be 3D, to be made by a team of 100 at a cost of hundreds of thousands or millions.

If all the games I played/play on a Amiga where rewritten perfectly for the PC then I would be playing them on my PC – providing that is graphics were updated for reasons – without loss of gameplay. Features were added for reasons, not just to add more features. An example of this might be the PC remake of Deluxe Galaga.

I am diversing into many different areas yet have still yet to uncover that “magic” ingredient that keeps me hooked to the Amiga. However I think the games is one major reason.

Another maybe is the machine, I don’t mean by it’s looks or anything – let me explain.

What is a PC, what is your PC? Hard to define, huh?

I can swap out your motherboard and replace with a better one, no doubt you maybe have swapped out your graphics card or sound card. You all have different casings, different monitors, different keyboards. And of course the “brain” of the PC, the processor can easily be swapped out for a better, faster one – with even a choice of different manufacturers.

With the Amiga the vast majority of people could identify what exactly was an Amiga. 99.9% of users had the same types of unit, with the majority of expansions being trap-door memory/accelerators, hard drives or Action Replay cartridges. All our Amigas looked the same. We knew what an Amiga was.

This created a attachement to the Amiga.

The nearest I have come to this in the PC world is with laptops, but it still ain’t the same because how many people have the same laptop as mine, how many people are in my group? (Acer 803LCi 1.6GHz Centrino if you’re interested!)

When using a PC I can sit there with a cup of coffee and not give a s**t (note, with laptop it’s different). If the worst case happens I just cheaply buy another keyboard. It’s just a part. With the majority of Amiga’s your keyboard was your Amiga. If your Amiga developed some hardware fault it really was a issue, you really did feel worried/sad that your Amiga might die. With a PC these days if something critical goes wrong the general thought is “Oh well, I’ll buy another motherboard/hard drive/CPU”. Unless loss of valuable data loss has occurred your mind will be occupied with thoughts of how much it will cost to fix rather than actually being concerned about your PC.

With the likes of emulation we can finally achieve some of the dreams we had hardware wise for the Amiga. I remember in the early 90’s having geeky discussions with Amiga friends about how much I wanted to have a 10 gigabyte hard drive full of all my games as DMS files, a CD drive, 16 megabytes of memory. Back then with pocket money or paper-round wages it was impossible. Nowdays with a modern “low-spec” PC, a copy of WinUAE and a few mouse clicks you can far exceed this, and can own just about every game/app/demo if you have the patience and the internet connection.

Today we are all connected to the net, we want the latest information about what’s new on the PC – we go to a website. Back in those days not many people had a modem, and it was a regular ritual to take a trip down to the newsagents to pick up the latest magazine.

There was a sense of belonging to something when you owned a Amiga. People say “everybody owned one back then” but they didn’t. It was a statement to have an Amiga, a statement that your parents/you could afford one and a statement that you probably didn’t like the Atari ST and knew the Amiga was better. Your granny didn’t own an Amiga – unless she was really cool!

Your friends owned an Amiga either because you did, or you found Amiga friends once you got an Amiga.

These days everybody and his dog owns at least 1 PC. Maybe the nearest we have to the Amiga these days is the Mac – but I don’t know, I don’t own one, none of my friends do and I’m not rich enough !

So in my opinion the reason I am still with the Amiga is not about going back to a beige box, not about going back to the old games, and not going back to childhood. It’s about sticking with something that has never really left me or in some people’s cases being something that due to stupidity, finances or age they never were part of back then. Being an Amiga user.

That is the magic Commodore produced, we all breathed in a bit of it when we got our Amigas, yes – even those who didn’t get their Amiga in the Magic Pack.
Old 27 February 2004, 20:51   #3
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Well I am not going into that detail!! Christ!!

Anyway I'll sum up why I emulate AND own 5 Amiga's

Right this is going to let you lot know a bit about the real me, but hey who cares

First a bit of backgroundinfo ;P

I am the Eldest of 6, I am 28, I have brothers aged 27, 25, 12, 10 and a sister who is 22 (The youngest 2 were not born when most of this kicked off)


In 1990 my Dad bought me an a500, which was what I had been after for over a year, nothing strange there!

Well I lived with my Dad, 2 Brothers and Sister, my mother never has and never will be a role-model mother, she has and will always be wrapped up in herslef to notice/care.. but hey she's still my mum, I love her and wouldn't change the past, though I'd change how she is now if I could!...

Anyway in May 1991 my Father was arrested and sent to prison (For reasons that shall always remain private!), my 2 bothers (then 14, 12) were taken straight into childrens homes without me knowing.. a few hours later I had to sit and watch helplessly as my Sister (9) was dragged, kicking, screaming and begging to stay with me... it was hard.. damn hard, my mum (who had just given birth) was crying hysterically and I knew had to keep myself together, being the eldest and now the head of the family (so-to-speak)

Social Services also tried to take me into a childrens home, but being a bit wiser and a little bit older than I actually was I knew if I went into a childrens home/foster care then I would end up in prison myself, so I refused to go.

The laws protected me, as they were physically unable to touch me, and if they tried to come near me, I kicked of and got quite threatening (Like a trapped rat would!). I agreed to go to my Grans, to see if she would look after me!

Anyway to cut a long story short.. I ended up living with my Gran (my Mum declared unfit to look after her eldest four children).. but I was powerless, hurt, betrayed etc.. and didn't know how to handle what was happening and at the time I didn't understand it either!

This is where our faithful friend comes in, I became a recluse, a hermit.. I never left the house, didn't goto school, just spent all day every day on my Amiga

Social was good in some respects as they give you ANYTHING you want if you create enough noise, so I always had money for magazines etc..

My Gran was also great, she tried to get me out, but I wasn't budging, and the Amiga was my escape from the troubles in my life. I watched my 2 brothers drop into crime etc.. and both have served prison sentences for one thing or another, and my sister too has been in trouble with the police, and she also has had a rough time, picking boyfriends that would beat/rape her in years to come (Though thats another chapter )

But as always the Amiga was there, my escape, my lifeline if you must, it kept me going through difficult periods in my life.

Eventually I moved onto a bit of normality, I got a job etc.. went to college, and found a girl, settled and now have 2 children..

The hardest time for me was the decision to move on, away from the Amiga, and in 2000 I packed her away and gave her to my cousin (Whom promptly sold her.. the bastard). I gpot the PC, but the Amiga was there, I missed it terrible amount, and I HAD to get back into it, I needed my escape, life is still sometimes difficult (and I'm sure you can tell when things are harder as I am always on the bitch!!)

So here we are today, 5 Amiga's (And some Speccy's, Megadrive, Gameboys, PSX's), and I feel I need to give back to the Amiga, as it was always there for me, so numerous projects etc...

for me it wasn't the games, demos, apps, or the scene etc... it was just Amiga....

(If some of that doesn't make sense, I apologise, it's difficult for me to recall my past, I hate re-living it!!)
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Old 27 February 2004, 20:52   #4
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judging by your post lengths I think youre making up for your long absence jim
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Old 27 February 2004, 21:08   #5
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Re: Emulation....why do we do it?

Originally posted by Jim
These days nobody really has to use a Amiga or a emulate a Amiga.
I DO need to use the Amiga. As I said many times before there are tasks I do with it that I just can't do as fast, easy, comfortable and well on the PC. It's convenient, I fire it up, 20 seconds later I have booted it up, fired up my program of choice and started working. WinUAE just won't cut it, the simulation is not godo enough for my tasks. I'm not being square and not accepting it just because, I'm doing it from experience. Sometimes I even fire up my Classic II if I want to do some fast 2 color pixelling for work. it does the job just fine, elegantly, and very fast. The other day I had to synthesize some birdy sounds for a websie thingy. I got sick of trying to pull it in some complex shit like Fruityloops. I fired up my Gameboy and made the sounds in 2 minutes. The client loved the strange, but unique and good results.

I would go the other way round with your thinking though. People do NOT need the Windows/Intel platform if they are just to browse/make text documents/use spreadsheets/check mail etc. That is something that is stuck deep within the society's mind and is a complete fallacy. One can do as well a job with any other platform. The fact that my 030 A1200 can browse the web and check my mail decently, means that there are LOTS of choices out there, even without the need to get stuck with an "old" machine.

Forgot to say, I got the Amiga for two reasons, and this was not because "my mates owned it" actually I never got to swap stuff with anybody becasuse I was the ONLY guy who had an Amiga, all the other sods had lame XT PCs. The reasons were that the A600 was small enough for me to carry in a backpack and bring it fro Germany to Buenos Aires without problems, and the otehr is because it was THE machine for teh kind of stuff I always did with my C128, which is the creative kind of thing. I always longed for an Amiga, I knew it was THE superior machine and I wanted one real bad. You should have seen my face when I teared the package at xmas and found the Amiga logo.
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Old 27 February 2004, 22:42   #6
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Originally posted by bippym
Well I am not going into that detail!! Christ!!
......100 lines later his post finishes!

I understand this Bippy, my dad died during my mid-Amiga years too and I did the hermit thing for about 6 months.

Originally posted by Antiriad
judging by your post lengths I think youre making up for your long absence jim
That was just the opening speech, the discussion now begins!

Originally posted by Akira
Blah blah blah blah...
:disgusted Ah feck, I knew you would be the one who has to disagree with and question me. Remember as we are now in the same city physical violence isn't such a remote possibility!
Old 27 February 2004, 23:56   #7
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I got my first computer when i was 13 and it was a commodore 64, which i loved, copying all those game compilation tapes and adjusting the tape heads with a screwdriver to get the turbo loader to work.

My first technical support call was from a kid in the neighbourhood which had taken adjusting the tape heads too seriously. He was a bit disappointed when they fell out of the tape station.

It was increadibly fun exploring those game compilation tapes it was like mapping uncharted territory. I wore out a couple of joysticks playing yie-ar kungfu and daley thompson decathlon, good fun.

Does anyone remember the original commodore joysticks that when used frequently could break into two pieces??

A couple of years later when starting my engineering education i overheard some of the class mates discussing the new machine that was demonstrated at local computer vendor and that machine was Amiga 500 with the game "Defender of the Crown", i knew i had to get one.

That was when i sold my C64 and moved on to Amiga and never let it go.

I used my Amiga at University for wordprocessing and i had an old Panasonic printer connected to it. One of my teachers hinted that i should get a new computer because of the printout, what a nerve

When i started to work as a programmer the Amiga was no more :-b and i was in mourning, working all day at a Pentium and then the "Pentium Bug" was discovered, the Pc could not even count correctly, could it get any worse?

Well i discovered the UAE which was called by some at the time "unusable amiga emulator" but i thought it was great and i immediately started to transfer my amiga hd to the emulated amiga for preservation purposes but with every release Uae got better and things started to become indispensable.

Amiga has Personality,

What is personality? i think it is things that stands out, not necessarily good things it could be quirks and oddities but it is the sum of all those things that makes up a unity which one can identify and identify with that is a personality and Amiga has that
loads of it.

Amiga has:

A beige box.
Read and Write errors.
Good games
Guru Meditation.
DPaint IV
RCA Virus

... who could ask for more?

Why do i emulate?? i think when its something you love it is not the hardware but the personality which is important.
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Old 27 February 2004, 23:57   #8
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big up to bipp... sharing your past can be a difficult thing, esp. to a faceless world, where people can "take-the-piss" without the fear of you "getting-in-their-face", so big respect

i don't really have any good reason to hang on to the Amiga, because it existed in a time of personal dispair.... but it is a big part of my teenage life.... the time when you begin to make decissions for yourself, earn money and decide what to spend it on... etc etc...

before i had my Amiga, i had always been "into" computers, films about computers.. wargames springs to mind (lol)... the Amiga to me was a proper computer, you could easly create graphics and sound, imagination seemed to be the only limit.... playing cool games was a bonus

i have 2 Amigas, and a cd32... all on my retro computers and consoles are firmly packed away for a rainy day and are a part of my history (which i will pass on to my daughter, so she can take them on antiques roadshow)...

i emulate because i have a woman, now i'm sure that anyone with a woman will agree with me on this... women (in general) don't have a "big thing" about computers, esp. ones that are 15 years old and are turning yellow!

also having a daughter, space is a kinda premium.... the PC already takes up enough (cow..lol)

so for me, emulation allows me to get a hold of every game i played and every game i ever wanted (and some didn't)... and it saves a shitload of space...

boring reason i know, but the truth
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Old 28 February 2004, 00:51   #9
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Originally posted by Antiriad
judging by your post lengths I think youre making up for your long absence jim

And Damn we missed him
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Old 28 February 2004, 00:58   #10
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Originally posted by Djay

i emulate because i have a woman, now i'm sure that anyone with a woman will agree with me on this... women (in general) don't have a "big thing" about computers, esp. ones that are 15 years old and are turning yellow!

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Old 28 February 2004, 01:12   #11
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Originally posted by Jim
:disgusted Ah feck, I knew you would be the one who has to disagree with and question me. Remember as we are now in the same city physical violence isn't such a remote possibility!
Blargh, you posted this thread wthout the intention of receiving opposing comments? Why not just try and discuss what I wrote above instead of threatening me with physical violence?

We all know I'll kick you arse in sensisoccer
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Old 28 February 2004, 04:35   #12
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I need my Amiga for music. I use Bars&Pipes. Most of the time, I just can't be bothered to switch it on, so I use UAE to do simple stuff (just yesterday I was doing some mobile phone music using B&P through UAE). It can't cope with "proper" stuff because I need strict timing, but for stuff where I just need to create a MIDI file, it's fine.

It's also a hassle transferring files over from my Amiga to the PC, so UAE is good for that. At one point about 6 months ago, I had my network working and even had VNC running on the Amiga controlling the PC. It was what I'd wanted to do for years and finally got it up and running. And then Windows2000 decided it didn't understand two network cards and removed all entries from Network & Dialup Connections. I was using it as my Gateway for my Wifi connection, and could use it to connect to the net anymore. And now the power supply has packed in so I can't fix it until I get a new case. Bah.

So I use UAE for that. Other emulation is mainly for playing SNES games on the move on my Zaurus. And for listening to Megadrive music.
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Old 28 February 2004, 05:24   #13
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No way I could come close to BippyM's history...., But the closest i could come is that when I was around 5 (according to my parents) I always ran off ahead on my own, but ran into the corner of a brick wall and gashed my head... after taking me to the hospital to get stiches (to which I still have a scar) Social services tried to take me away.... after a lengthy battle my parents got to keep me. even though I have no recollection of the said events, I still have a total all out hatred for anyone who claims to work for that area of social services.

But anyway Fast forward in time to the present.... why do I emulate ?

I still have my original A500, along with 2 others, an A1200, and <cough> an Atart 1040ST. but no room to have them all running, only PC allows me to interact with the other half :P so I tend to emulate....

I still fire the "Girlfriend" up every now and then (mostly for CAPS) :P
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Old 28 February 2004, 12:17   #14
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Your story is so uncannily similar to mine I am quite shocked. It's not something I really wanted to talk about in public but I am glad you felt you could.

It really is incredible...
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Old 28 February 2004, 14:13   #15
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Thumbs down Emulate my MIGGY UH - UH !

Being an ancient boring old fogey I have lots of time !

When I was forced to use PC in work its inabilty to remain stable made me go back to OLD FAITHFUL

Like Fromwithin & Akira I still find that the OS & hardware is more straight forward to use IF you have the time to understand each quirk of the different applications control features

This windows thing is really " plug & play " convience

Except when you want to do more than basic manipulation

Its clear many of you posting in this thread took the time to learn how to get the most out of your MIGGY

While others moved on with the latest BUZZ machine or Consul you used your OWN imagination & found friends who wanted more than just watching flash graphics

It is the whole area of individual creativity & imagination that I suguest many want to return to .

To the time when your imput meant something other than combination button presses on an X-Box controller

But there again I,m senile , what do I know

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Old 28 February 2004, 14:41   #16
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Re: Emulation....why do we do it?


Because it reminds me of simpler times...when I didnt have to work for a living. No Bills and stuff all expences. Stress was non existant... I was a trouble free 13 yr old pirate (yes I admit it) with the best computer money could buy at the time in my part of the world IMHO.

Because the games kick serious arse...and mostly when I emulate the miggy or use the real thing It's comforting it takes me back to those stress free days for a couple of hours...and so does coming here and reading posts by fellow Amiga Nuts.

THB crawls up into fetal position
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Old 28 February 2004, 16:37   #17
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I used to have lots of emus on my PC and some years ago I spent three days in an IRC channel leeching gameboy roms of off an fserve. I have full romsets for almost all consoles even N64 which is 27 burned CD's.

I used to sit in Winuae and HD install games from ADF's all evening long like 3-4 hours. Because it could be handy to have them HD installed. I also used to sit in WinUAE and customize the workbench with different icons and wallpapers and birdy and such..

Then in 1999 something happened. The Amiga scene was beginning to slow down. Gateway fucked up and I realized I had wasted big $$$ and time on something that in reality wasnt better than something a little less $$$ and demanding a little less time.

During 1999-2004 I bought three different A4000 and lots of other Amiga hardware etc and constantly leeched shit from Amiga ftp's and such. The hardware is now sold coz I never used that anyway. And the software is burned on CD''s that rests in my closet, never used that much to. It took 4 years to loose my amiga drug abuze.. I am now clean, and has been for 5 months.. . I dont even look at Amiga auctions or searched the used ads for Amiga hardware. I dont give a damn if some 25 year old Amiga dork with a huge beard can snag that PicassoIV for 25 bucks because I dont want that shit anyways.

In reality I would come home after work and fire up WinUAE or my real A1200 and run some games like Nitro or Gods.. but fuck why the hell would I do that when the web is out there free to surf on lololol.
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Old 28 February 2004, 16:56   #18
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Originally posted by cv643d
but fuck why the hell would I do that when the web is out there free to surf on lololol.
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Old 28 February 2004, 18:09   #19
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Originally posted by Dastardly
Lucky for me my girl understands my old computer love, and she even uses and likes lots of the systems (mostly consoles, but she digs the SX64, and thinks the Timex 2068 is sweet )

Just read through Bipp's story, wow man, that was a story and a half. Kudos.
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Old 28 February 2004, 19:49   #20
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Selling my Amigas, or the other computers I have is like selling a part of myself. I am not keeping my Amiga because it is a great computer, I am keeping the Amiga because it is a special part of computer history. A while ago, I took my second A4000 in the office. I am working as a software engineer in a eCommerce company and most people never had the chance to see an Amiga before. They were all amazed not because they saw a good computer but because they saw a unique part of the computer history. I felt so great when they said 'Pitty we are not having such computer to make our work today'. I was very proud and was a very emotional for me.

Yes emus are great but having a real arcade cabinet is part of history, having an Atari is part of history, having an Amiga is part of history. It's really difficult to explain it but I believe that there are people out there that feel the same...
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