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Old 06 September 2011, 11:10   #1
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Emulation - Hot & Cold

Well being a bit of a retro computer enthusiast (though only a casual gamer) I have owned and used many classic systems in the past. Today all that remains of my previous collection (200+ machines) is my Amiga Technologies A1200.

On the subject of emulation, I run hot and cold on my opinions of the various emulated experiences.
First thing I did was replace my TFT with a 17” CRT monitor for a more realistic representation of the original GFX from older systems.

M.A.M.E, M.E.S.S, FBA and WinKawaks all look and feel pretty darn good to me via emulation. However try as I might I just can't warm to Amiga emulation!!!

Sure, utter respect to all the guys who spend many hours writing code for the various excellent emulated Amiga environments, but it just leaves me unfulfilled.

Running my A1200 on my 42” Plasma TV or 15” FST Portable TV is just a totally different experience. It just looks and feels 'right'....even more so on the small TV!

I have an install of ClassicWB OS 3.9 (but also have ClassicWB Full on a spare drive) on my original Amiga and ClassicUAE, AmiGame on my PC.

The emulated environment is useful for running high end demo's or setting up real Amiga HD's, but for playing games.....it just doesn't do it for me.

The strange thing is I will happily run C64, ZX Spectrum and many other classic computers via emulation and they all feel fine to me.....must just be an Amiga thing???
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Old 06 September 2011, 20:16   #2
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IMHO your observations are absolutely correct regarding the Amiga emulation experience. I use emulation (which I admit is most of the time) merely to save wear and tear on the ageing classic hardware.

Emulation is very convenient, but IMHO there is nothing quite like using the real hardware, whatever the platform. Fortunately, I happen to own real examples of all the classic systems I run in emulation.
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Old 06 September 2011, 20:21   #3
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I still use my real A500 from time to time, but I never was 'alienated' by Amiga emulation. Right from the start it felt 'good enough' and close to what I remembered. Even when I got a real A500 with the authentic disk drive sounds and other quirks back, that feeling didn't change. Guess it's a different experience (about what's important and what's not) for all of us
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Old 06 September 2011, 20:44   #4
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I use emulation all the time. No floppy disks to wear out, no ugly power bricks, no dodgy mice, and I can run it on my laptop, WinUAE is, to me, the Amiga I could never afford.
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Old 07 September 2011, 09:40   #5
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I never use emulation, just the real thing for me !
I`ve tried emulation lots of times, but for me it`s about the whole experience of using the machines, floppies, old joysticks, etc.
Emulation just does not do it for me at all, feels fake somehow.
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Old 07 September 2011, 16:34   #6
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You know, there are a lot of people who don't like emulation. Some of them downright hate emulation.

I still own my A500 with turboboard, additional memory (4 MB), a freezer (Action Replay brand) and two external floppy drives (and my black and yellow competition pro still works very well).
It's usually safely packed away and I only hook it up on special occasions (like when my brother visits me).

Using real hardware is something special that's quite a lot of fun BUT, in truth, nowadays, I prefer to play my Amiga game with WinUAE.

While it may sound a little blasphemic but I enjoy game on WinUAE much more than on my real Amiga. It's faster, more convenient, I like the effect of 2xSAI, more comfortable to control by allowing me to map everything to my gamepad, it's debugger works a lot better than the Action Replay, and with savestates I can save in every game whenever I want.

Plus, it's a lot easier to record footage for my videos.

As I said, using original hardware has it's charm and as a collector I am quite proud to own such an upgraded system. But as a collector, I'm glad that I can store my "investment" in safety and as a gamer, I enjoy all the advantages new technology brings.

Besides, emulation turned some of my friends into collectors.
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Old 07 September 2011, 17:18   #7
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It's a different experience, yes, but that's not a bad thing really. I really enjoy firing up my 2000 and doing things with it, it has a great feel to it. Whereas the emulator gives me a slightly different feel (the keyboard just feels different) and look (without scanlines - my own shortcoming, I never managed to tweak a filter that felt natural), it brings to the table things I simply can't afford to do with my machine - I certainly enjoy having assemble times in the seconds, being able to have a solid hi-res laced screen going for wb and devpac and the like. Being able to jump over and try an aga demo or game, or running things through an emulated gfx card.
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Old 08 September 2011, 09:24   #8
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I find it takes tweaking of the display settings on WinUAE to get to the familiar experience of an Amiga, but once there it's a darn site easier to work on than a real machine

Saying all that, it's just so... right to have a 4000, 3000 and 1000 sat next to me as I type this!
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Old 08 September 2011, 11:12   #9

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i use a combination of both real and emulated, i would say that i use real more...

i have used WinUAE since 08.08.R8 and have never managed to get it looking quite right

i use emulation for stuff like snes and megadrive, as the real thing would take up too much space

i think for most people emulation is good enough to fill the "Amiga" gap, but for me nothing beats the real thing, plus i am a bit of a nerd, for example, i just pre-ordered and paid for... Skyrim on the Xbox 360, getting both the Collectors Edition and normal edition with the strategy guide... total cost £185

see what i mean
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Old 08 September 2011, 13:21   #10
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I think it helps to have a CRT monitor. Retrogaming is the main reason why I never switched to a TFT. Sometimes, people really look quite dazzled when they see my rig - as if they're staring at an anachronism.

You can make games look right in WinUAE. You just have to add a couple of resolutions to your graphics card - like to the custom resolution option of my nVidia.
Most games use 320x200 - just like DOS. A few 320x240 and some use half of PAL 360x288. It's easier if you double the resolution by using a filter and use separate configuration files for each game.
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Old 08 September 2011, 13:52   #11

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I know this isn’t everyone's cup of tea, blasphemy even, but...

It helps a lot if you run emulation on a dedicated PC and have it boot directly into WinUAE fullscreen, ClassicWB of course . You can also use a CRT rather than flatscreen. A small ITX PC, similar form factor to a A1000, helps too as they look smart and are usually whisper quiet:


Details on how to boot directly into WinUAE are here: http://www.amiga.org/forums/showthread.php?t=49465

With PC hardware super cheap and Amiga hardware getting older and super expensive, you can have a very good feeling dedicated super speed Amiga x86, with the convenience of WinUAE. SOme even put x86 hardware in (hopefully broken) Amiga cases.
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