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Old 15 June 2019, 11:28   #2241
studio460
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Interesting stuff, NLS!
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Old 15 June 2019, 11:32   #2242
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AGA Emulation:

Here's my next stupid question: I've been peppering the forum with queries on all Amiga/emulator systems and with so much information, I'm getting a few things mixed up. So, to clarify:

• Authentic AGA Amigas run AGA-intensive applications just fine, as expected.
• WinUAE also accommodates AGA-intensive applications, and does it quite well.
• 68K-FPGA Vampire 1200/V4 will also accommodate AGA-intensive applications.
• PPC/AmigaOS 4.1 does not accommodate AGA-intensive applications.
• PPC/MorphOS does not accommodate AGA-intensive applications.

Last edited by studio460; 15 June 2019 at 11:44.
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Old 15 June 2019, 11:42   #2243
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I think you are correct in you assessment.

Although I would correct the first line a bit. If the restrictive factor is the CPU, then authentic Amigas are limited by their CPU as expected. So something can run not very well on a stock A1200, but will work better on an A4000/030 or 040. (or an accelerated A1200 etc.)

Also the CPU can be limiting independent of the chipset. So there can be cases where an accelerated A500 is actually better than a stock A1200.
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Old 15 June 2019, 11:44   #2244
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Yes, more or less. You either need to have access to the original custom chips (which later PPC-based motherboards do not contain), or emulate them in some way (either by software like UAE or reimplemented in an FPGA).

You can, however also run UAE under OS4 or MOS. But it's obviously not ideal.
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Old 15 June 2019, 11:47   #2245
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BTW there are people (inc. myself) that don't consider PPC Amigas true Amigas.
It was just the "talk of the town" back then (with new RISC Macs etc. and hating everything intel). We "believed" we would (or could) move to PPC "officially".
If it was the path Commodore had chosen, this could be a different story.
But never happened.
(and let's not start one of the usual flame-wars on this subject)
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Old 15 June 2019, 12:03   #2246
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Thanks for all your replies! This begs "Part II" of my question: What do people run on PPC Amigas? Are most games not dependent on the AGA chipset?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NLS View Post
BTW there are people (inc. myself) that don't consider PPC Amigas true Amigas . . . We "believed" we would (or could) move to PPC "officially" . . . If it was the path Commodore had chosen, this could be a different story . . .
Ahhh . . . that puts things a bit more in perspective. Yes, knowing what I now know, I would also be in that camp.

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Originally Posted by ajk View Post
Yes, more or less. You either need to have access to the original custom chips (which later PPC-based motherboards do not contain), or emulate them in some way (either by software like UAE or reimplemented in an FPGA) . . .
Thank you for that cogent post! I think I finally get it!
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Old 15 June 2019, 12:09   #2247
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajk View Post
You can, however also run UAE under OS4 or MOS. But it's obviously not ideal.
Does anyone run WinUAE under Wine or something on modern macOS machines? Or is that path frought with issues?
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Old 15 June 2019, 12:18   #2248
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OK first of all.
People with PPC Amigas, run only software that is also compliant with RTG (external graphics) or makes very "OS friendly" library calls, so it still works.
I.e. not 99.9% of games.
So, just apps that actually benefit from the faster speed (like a ray-tracer) or apps written FOR PPC.

People on non-Windows machines usually run fs-uae (which also works on Windows). It is like a more "simplistic" UAE, where many of WinUAE features get baked eventually.

Actually AFAIK UAE didn't even start from Windows, first versions were natively for Linux. But nowadays WinUAE is considered by far the "mother" UAE (because a certain very talented Toni, works on it) and everybody else just "borrows" features from it.
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Old 15 June 2019, 12:52   #2249
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The Amiga user base has always had two sides to it, those who were mainly interested in the system as a games machine, and those who were interested in the productivity work (ordinary office stuff, making music, video editing, 3D modeling, etc.) Now obviously many were interested in both to varying degrees, but in simple terms, that was the divide.

For the "power users", it was the OS and hardware fast enough to do the things they wanted to do that was important, not support for the aging original chipset. It was largely those users who bought accelerators, sound cards, graphics cards and other expansions. A highly expanded Amiga already did not use the original chipset for much, so the move to PowerPC based hardware was not difficult. Programs that were still actively developed could simply be ported over to PPC.

As time went on and it was clear that there will be no successor to Commodore in the grand scheme of things, and running an Amiga as an everyday system becomes less and less viable, the power user base slowly diminished and industry support waned. The development of these systems does continue but it's an enthusiast and hobby thing now.

Meanwhile, interest in retro systems has grown in the past 10 years or so, also very much towards Commodore and Amiga systems. But that interest is usually nostalgia driven and aimed at the original systems from 1985-1994 and particularly at gaming. That's why entering (or returning to) the scene now may get confusing, as the more recently developed systems are a continuation of something that originally only the "power users" would have used or cared about.

I hope the explanation makes some sense. Many things have happened in the last 30 or so years

Quote:
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Does anyone run WinUAE under Wine or something on modern macOS machines? Or is that path frought with issues?
I have seen it done and apparently it works quite well these days. I have not tried myself.
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Old 15 June 2019, 13:04   #2250
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajk View Post
The Amiga user base has always had two sides to it, those who were mainly interested in the system as a games machine, and those who were interested in the productivity work (ordinary office stuff, making music, video editing, 3D modeling, etc.) . . .
Thank you for that detailed reply! I think I would divide it further, into three camps: 1.) Gamers, 2.) Multimedia producers, 3.) Developers/Lightwave users/render-farms (i.e., "industrial" users). I was never in the gamers' camp, but solidly in the multimedia/productivity camp. I suspect the PPC AmigaOS 4.1 customer base is made up mainly of developers and Lightwave users?
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Old 15 June 2019, 14:34   #2251
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I have had success running WinUAE under Wine. Obviously I'd prefer a native solution, but I very much dislike the interface of FS-UAE.
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Old 15 June 2019, 15:46   #2252
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studio460 View Post
• A4000: Jumper-switchable (is oscillator still native NTSC/PAL, or is it also switched?).
Oscillator is still either NTSC or PAL, just like any other Amiga. The only thing the jumper does is set the default mode the Amiga uses on startup - it is still software-selectable just like other Amigas. Other models like the 1200 have the jumper hard-wired on the motherboard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by studio460 View Post
• Authentic AGA Amigas run AGA-intensive applications just fine, as expected.
• WinUAE also accommodates AGA-intensive applications, and does it quite well.
• 68K-FPGA Vampire 1200/V4 will also accommodate AGA-intensive applications.
• PPC/AmigaOS 4.1 does not accommodate AGA-intensive applications.
• PPC/MorphOS does not accommodate AGA-intensive applications.
Yep, that's fairly accurate. OS4/MOS don't support any native chipset stuff (AGA, or ECS/OCS) beyond very basic operations - not enough to run a game anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NLS View Post
BTW there are people (inc. myself) that don't consider PPC Amigas true Amigas.
It was just the "talk of the town" back then (with new RISC Macs etc. and hating everything intel). We "believed" we would (or could) move to PPC "officially".
If it was the path Commodore had chosen, this could be a different story.
But never happened.
(and let's not start one of the usual flame-wars on this subject)
PPC was more than just the talk of the town. The PPC was marketed as the modern progression of the 68k series for desktop computers, and Apple had already successfully transitioned from the 68k to the PPC. There were no other major 68k systems that had progressed onto anything else in that way, so it was the most logical path to follow. Commodore did have vague plans for a PA-RISC architecture to follow on from AAA, but they dissolved before it was any more than a long-term plan.

But, even though there are those who don't consider anything after Commodore to be Amiga, the fact is it did continue under new ownership. Amiga Technology continued to manufacture A4000s and A1200s, including the A4000T which is held by many to be the ultimate Amiga, and had a 68060 CPU option that Commodore never offered. It was at this point that Amiga Technologies prescribed the PPC route for future development, following in Apple's proven footsteps. PPC accelerators became available to bridge the gap to genuine new hardware, but Amiga Technology's parent company folded, which put an end to that development. Still, at that point, there was PPC hardware in classic Amigas as a hybrid solution. It took many years before the PPC platform that had been planned eventually materialised, and by that time much of the interest in the Amiga as a serious platform had evapourated. A few years later again, Apple abandoned the PPC, meaning it lost mainstream support. This is obvious now when people say PPC is pointless, but that wasn't the case at the time of course, when PPC was the only other CPU in mainstream use besides x86.

So, while people may choose to not consider anything that happened after Commodore's demise as "officially" Amiga, the plan to move to PPC was made for the Amiga, by the owners and manufacturers of the Amiga at that time. And for those people still using their Amigas for productivity stuff and were therefore already fitting faster CPUs, graphics cards, sound cards and so on to bypass the limitations of the original hardware, it made a lot more sense than it might look like now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by studio460 View Post
Does anyone run WinUAE under Wine or something on modern macOS machines? Or is that path frought with issues?
Not on macOS, but I regularly use WinUAE under WINE on Linux. Other than some minor niggles (task switching is a little funky so I just run it on a separate desktop/space), it runs very well.
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Old 15 June 2019, 18:05   #2253
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Quote:
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Thanks for your post! Yes, less relevant for my A1200, but still has some minor downsides? (i.e., PAL systems are less likely to display on run-of-the-mill multisync monitors due to their lower 50Hz-refresh?)
I don't seem to have that problem, but then again, I have an indivision / Voodoo.
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Old 16 June 2019, 17:15   #2254
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Is there a special reason Commodore included the Super72 modes? It has a rather exotic horizontal frequency (23-24 kHz) that even a lot of their own monitors did not support, and it does not look terrible useful in comparison to Euro72, except maybe for the flickering 800x600. I always wondered what was the intended target. Did it work on EGA screens despite the difference in horizontal frequency (21.8 kHz), or was there some field where 24 kHz monitors were common?

Last edited by chb; 16 June 2019 at 22:39. Reason: typo
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Old 16 June 2019, 21:07   #2255
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I can’t tell you why Commodore did it, but medium res (24Khz) monitors were pretty common for a while in the wider world. There’s a whole series of arcade games like Paperboy, Marble Madness, Indiana Jones (for example) that used 24Khz.

Pretty sure the Acorn AKF monitors and possibly the Microvitec 1438 support the frequency too but both of mine are faulty at the moment so I can’t confirm that for sure.

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Is there a special reason Commodore included the Super72 modes? It has a rather exotic horizontal frequency (23-24 kHz) that even a lot of their own monitors did not support, and it does not look terrible useful in comparison to Euro72, except maybe for the flickering 800x600. I always wondered what was the intended target. Did it work on EGA screens despite the difference in horizontal frequency (21.8 kHz), or was there some field were 24 kHz monitors were common?
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Old 16 June 2019, 22:58   #2256
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Quote:
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I can’t tell you why Commodore did it, but medium res (24Khz) monitors were pretty common for a while in the wider world. There’s a whole series of arcade games like Paperboy, Marble Madness, Indiana Jones (for example) that used 24Khz.
Thanks, I did not know that, after some googling it really seems to be a usual frequency for arcade games. Also the PC-88/98 requires 24 kHz capable monitors. So that mode looks slightly less weird now.
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Old 17 June 2019, 03:59   #2257
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NLS View Post
People on non-Windows machines usually run fs-uae (which also works on Windows). It is like a more "simplistic" UAE, where many of WinUAE features get baked eventually.

A lot of the features are there, it's just not the bleeding edge of WinUAE. You just need to use config files or the custom options area to use them as the GUI doesn't show a lot of this.
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Old 17 June 2019, 14:12   #2258
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Quote:
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A lot of the features are there, it's just not the bleeding edge of WinUAE. You just need to use config files or the custom options area to use them as the GUI doesn't show a lot of this.
And you have to exit the emulator to insert disk images that you didn't select before starting it.. My biggest pet peeve. :-)
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Old 18 June 2019, 03:08   #2259
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That's high on my list of peeves too
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Old 18 June 2019, 18:24   #2260
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Quote:
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And you have to exit the emulator to insert disk images that you didn't select before starting it.. My biggest pet peeve. :-)
That is the main reason I tend to use Wine/WinUAE. I would much prefer Native, but unless you feel like making config files for every game you want to play....


Now with my own question.....
Has anyone set up SnoopDos to start on boot, just to try and fix every little failure in the process to get a fully working, non-mish-mash setup?
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