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Old 07 September 2012, 20:29   #1
frcc
 
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Returning Amiga user needs updated advice!

Hi folks
I had an A-1000 and an A-500 back in the (years ago) . Am looking to get another and wanted some advice.

USE
I would like to play vintage games, home business software, and "maybe" use a web browser depending on hardware choice & speed. Internet connection is not needed but would be "nice" especially being able to download some software instead of getting it on 3 1/2" disks...ETC


What is your opinion on the "Commodore" line running linux mint?
(expensive and irrevelent w/o Amiga OS?")

What is your opinion of Amiga Emulation like Amigaforever?
(does it give the real Amiga Experience, is it flexible, can it read 3 1/2
Amiga software disks? etc) PS I run linux and Unix machines......

What is your opinion of the Amigaones?
(R they worth the money, since they do have a good OS and the speed
to surf the net and all the other Amiga software and newer hardware)

Now,,,,,how about the A-500's and the A-1200's, aftermarket upgrades and
cost is good as well as the ability to surf the net on an A-1200 w/rj45 card/conn)
Is the A-1200 more expandable than the A-500? Cost?

I personally think going back to an A-1000/2000/3000/4000 would eventually
present hardware issues, ie ease of getting then and cost.....

I am leaning towards an A-500 or A-1200 but would greatly appreciate
your thoughts and suggestions as its been a long time.....

Thanks in
Advance
 
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Old 09 September 2012, 19:54   #2
fishyfish
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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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Old 13 September 2012, 05:20   #3
frcc
 
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amiga advive

Thanks for the info......I was leaning towards the A-500/1200 or the A-2000, as some on E-Bay have already "souped them up" so to say.......Not being Amiga hardware competent, i am now thinking given that, that maybe the A-1200 might be a good place to start......

Question
Can the A-1200 drive a modern flat screen monitor?

Is it worth putting an ethernet card/adapter in one,,,,,if one has other machines to surf the net with., or fitted with a hd, is it fast enough to functionally download Amiga Software.

Are the Amiga kit people a good place to find one, I sometimes hear people get bad
products from Ebay, not being an Amiga expert i would rather buy from an established co.

What are the software compatibility problems i hear sometimes with the
Amiga - 1200?

What would a decently fitted Amiga 1200 cost.
i.e. hard disk, ethernet conn, and what other add ons would be appropiate. ?????


Thanks for the advive...
jeff
Granbury, Tx
 
Old 13 September 2012, 06:52   #4
fishyfish
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You can use a modern/current monitor with an amiga, but most (not all) wont display all the screenmodes. The big problem there is the modes that often dont work are the 15khz modes, wich happens be what %97 of amiga games use. Workbench (and any software running on it) can be set to a display mode that pretty much all modern screens will support, but you'll need a 23pin rgb<->vga adaptor or similar.

Alternatively an lcd/plasma TV with scart is often a good choice as a lot more t.v. support the 15khz modes. Apart from that though there's also things like an indivisionaga, which will do the scandoubling/flicker fixing itself, making it possible in theory to use all display modes on any screen.
I say "in theory" as from all reports so far it seems pretty hit and miss. Some people have had great results, others have basically wasted thier money.

As for pcmcia network cards, for me the best reason to have one is to be abe to transfer files from another machine to the amiga and things like irc.
While you can browse on an amiga the browsers available are either outdated to a point that pages are often rendered pretty badly, or close to straight recompiles of open source browsers, using big bloated tools, resulting in very slow browsers (and requiring a gfx card).
It's not that the classic amigas couldnt do better, just that no-one thus far has tried making a more modern amiga browser for the 680x0/cbm amigas.
Having said that though, browsing on an amiga is quite possible, and downloading files is no problem.

As for what a nicely kitted a1200 is worth, theyre not cheap. In total Ive paid about $500 for my a1200/40mhz '040 accelerator+32meg/32gig cf card + adaptor, pcmcia network card, and I consider that to be a bit of a bargain compared to what I see others pay.
Unless you just want to play old floppy based games I personally I wouldnt touch anything less than an '030 cpu+ram upgrade. PCMCIA network cards are next to nothing (mine cost me $4 iirc), and harddrives are standard 2.5inch ide drives. Using a CF card off of an 2.5inch ide <->CF adaptor card is quite popular these days, but storage space is a lot more expensive per gig (my 32gig cf card was about $65, roughly on par with a 500gig 2.5inch ide harddrive). Only reason I went that way is that it makes it easier to transfer files to the drive from my windows box as I can just plug the cf card into a card reader, which is easier than using a 3.5 inch <->2.5 inch ide adaptor and having to pull the pc apart whenever I want to transfer files that way.

AmigaKit seem reliable, but they are pretty expensive.

As for software compatibility, its not nearly as bad as magazines of yesteryear used to suggest, especially nowadays when there's things like whdload, which both makes it possible to install old games to harddrive, and fixes bugs/incompatibilities.
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Old 13 September 2012, 15:31   #5
AmigaOneFan
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When I first heard about the AmigaOne I didn't really expect much. I figured the port of the original AmigaOS to a PPC would make just about everything incompatible, and that such things as datatypes and AREXX and LIBS would all be done away with for the new OS.
I got a micro A1 back in around 2005 and have been amazingly happy with it. I discovered that it was like running a massively turbo charged Amiga A1200 with huge amounts of RAM, built in USB, much better graphics, while retaining all of the original Amiga look and feel, as well as everything I had come to know in an Amiga. This is the genuine Amiga experience in hyper speed! Even at 800 MHz, this thing is so fast.
I have been having incredible fun with my A1 and am so very glad I bought it. It has been well worth the price. A huge amount of 2D and 3D apps work directly on the AmigaOne (not under UAE emulation) - lightwave, cinema4D, FxPaint, DPaint 5.2 (except animation), VistaPro, PPaint, and almost all financial programs and spread sheets and word processors such as Final Data, Superbase Pro, Final Calc, Finalwriter, ProCalc, and so many more. These things run at lightning speeds.
As for the E-UAE emulation - RuninUAE which is included with AmigaOS4.1 allows you to simply double click on any 68k icon and run it (if you so choose) under E-UAE transparently from the OS4 workbench. I have yet to see ANY program, no matter how CPU intensive it's graphics, that does not run full speed or better under the latest versions of E-UAE as provided on the OS4.1 updates.
The AmigaOS version of UAE runs significantly better than the PC version I use on my 1.6 GHz netbook, which DOES slow down in such games as (for example) the final levels of Dungeon Master II.
You may want to be careful in listening to people who tell you all about the limitations of a particular computer without actually owning one.

Again, for what it's worth, I think you should try an AmigaOne and see if you like it. See if you can hang out with someone who owns one and has it set up properly to enjoy old and new Amiga software. If you enjoy the "classic" Amiga, you will most likely enjoy the AmigaOne. It behaves almost exactly the same and is really a seamless transition into a faster Amiga world.
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Old 13 September 2012, 18:02   #6
fishyfish
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Nonsense. Games like breathless, ab3d/ab3d2, xtreme racing, etc. run terribly. Heck even bread and butter stuff like alladin, super stardust, etc. need frameskiping to be almost full speed. AGA scene demos for the most part are too slow to be watchable and sound skips often.

It's not that its totally useless. As a beefed up retro apps machine its quite capable, but as a "modern" system, or something to play old amiga games on its far from great.

When I got my A1xe G4@933 some time back I was massively disappointed. It was significantly slower than even amithlon on the athlon xp I was unning at the time (so doesnt come close to the core2duo Im running it on now). Considering the vast difference in hardware price and the fact that amithlon predominantly runs on an emulated cpu this was hugely disappointing.

It is good advice though to try to see one in action, then look at the other NG options in action. The A1 hardware's shortcomings and terrible value will then be abundantly clear.

Last edited by fishyfish; 13 September 2012 at 21:27.
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Old 14 September 2012, 00:21   #7
frcc
 
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amiga advice

if the administrator wants to move this reply to another post subject fine but, info, i have read here and elsewhere begs the question?

What was Commodore USA and the Amiga OS system developers thinking?

How can you ignore the fact that had Commodore USA and the developers of the Amiga OS (and to some extent) Amigaone, put their collective effort together for the good
of the Amiga line Alas they surely would have MADE SOME real $$$$$$.

BUT NO!!!!

Now we are all stuck (with this expensive fragmented abortion of a market) for another decade and probably longer for i thinks they may have at last shot themselves fatally.

HOW could they have ignored such mounds of COMMON SENSE!

?????????????????????

SSSEEECH!

so now what?

I am afraid there is no logical explanation......
 
Old 14 September 2012, 07:57   #8
fishyfish
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It's a lot more convoluted than it may appear even

(although probably worth mentioning that Commodore USA didnt even exist until about 7 years after Amiga OS4.x and original AmigaOnes)

Commodore USA simply arent allowed to use an amiga os syle os for thier machines as stipulated by the court case settlement. They wanted to offer AROS as an alternative/extra system (none of the "NG" options are up to scratch as a modern OS, so while I like AROS tis makes sense to me).
Having said that though their behavior surrouding aros afterwards was far from professional (or sane). Little things like publicly publishing portions of emails from people who at the time were interested in collaborating with them that contained things that were supposed to be kept behind the scenes (thier reason for doing this was little more than spite). Heck they even made a big song and dance and whinged over the fact that a small sum was wanted for drivers that other people paid for if they (C-USA) were to use them commercially.

The farce doesnt stop with C-USA either. Hyperion themselves shiftied thier way into owning amiga os4.x. Very few people will admit it (too many fanatics), but Hyperion have acted as bad as Amiga Inc. (whom Ive not even mentioned yet, but theyre as bad as anyone).
Many people will say garbage like, "at least Hyperion did something", neglecting (perhaps selectively) the fact that it was Amiga Inc. who hired Hyperion to port amiga os to ppc. They also instigated (not manufactured) the need and idea of the AmigaOne machines.
Hyperion simply lucked onto it and then proceeded to procrastinate for years so as to be able to use loopholes in a "buy the OS should A.Inc go bankrupt" clause that was put in to the contract.

It's a crying shame what a mockery the once great amiga has become, and quite amazing that things have gotten as far as they have given the sheer level of incompetance involved.

Despite how it may seem, I have (or at one point have) supported all the NG options, and get some enjoyment from them. The original amiga os (1.x-3.x) well and truly deserves to continue, so its great to have 3 offshoots, but its disheartening to see it abused time and time again at the hands of clowns.
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Old 14 September 2012, 14:32   #9
AmigaOneFan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishyfish View Post
Nonsense. Games like breathless, ab3d/ab3d2, xtreme racing, etc. run terribly. Heck even bread and butter stuff like alladin, super stardust, etc. need frameskiping to be almost full speed. AGA scene demos for the most part are too slow to be watchable and sound skips often.
This is not at all what I am experiencing. How long ago did you try this on an AmigaOne, and which version of E-UAE did you use? Even though they do not yet have JIT incorporated, the latest E-UAE that comes with the OS4.1 update 5 release is a huge improvement from what used to exist and again, as I sit here in front of my AmigaOne and compare the relative speeds of the 800MHz AmigaOne E-UAE emulation with that of the 1.6 Ghz PC netbook or 1.4 Ghz PC laptop running the latest UAE - the AmigaOne version runs smoother and with few if any glitches in such games as Super Stardust, AB3D and Dungeon Master 2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishyfish View Post
When I got my A1xe G4@933 some time back I was massively disappointed. It was significantly slower than even amithlon on the athlon xp I was unning at the time (so doesnt come close to the core2duo Im running it on now). Considering the vast difference in hardware price and the fact that amithlon predominantly runs on an emulated cpu this was hugely disappointing.

It is good advice though to try to see one in action, then look at the other NG options in action. The A1 hardware's shortcomings and terrible value will then be abundantly clear.
How long ago did you have your AmigaOne? Perhaps you should try the latest versions of software (OS4 and E-UAE) and see how much it has improved. No, it is not perfect, and no, it does not compare on an 800 MHz machine to how you can run the emulator on a 3.2 GHz PC, but it plays very well. Sorry you are so bitter about the AmigaOne. I'm glad you have found something else to have fun with!
Oh, as for the high price of AmigaOnes, there was a sale several weeks back of (I think) Samantha boards that were selling for quite a bit less than their initial introductory price - I seem to recall prices like $500 USD. Still high for the raw processor power you get...but then again, some people are paying over $900 on ebay right now for Amiga 4000 computers with 50 MHz CPUs.
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Old 14 September 2012, 21:43   #10
frcc
 
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amiga advice

well i am certainly not going to step into an area (Amiga Emulation speed) which i have no knowledge or experience. To finish my posting here concerning the "fragmented Amiga market" {being kind here}, i will say this........

I think enough demand for Amiga Classic hardware/software, Amiga emulation software and hardware, linux & i386 based , ppc based and whatever else one can conjure up to run Amiga stuff exists today in such magnitude as to support even mildly inflated unified hardware and software Amiga stuff that could today compete in the mainstream gaming world. Fragmented market, under-performing hardware, older linux based distributions, infighting and greed are the problem. Missed opportunity but not totally lost, as long as YOU love the Amiga there is a chance vendors, investors, could get together and pull in the same direction. But, if this trend continues, i can't imagine what an Amiga might look like 10 yrs from today. You might have to fill your game room with a couple thousand dollars in accelerators, jumpers, software converters, bastardized pc/amiga connections, underperforming expensive hardware, complicated hardware and software work arounds, and God (Allah) knows what else. Hell, a 75 lb box of old extension cords and phone cords all tangled might look good to the Amiga power user. Can you imagine, ! Even I a die hard unix (openbsd) fan (ME) might consider buying (God forgive me) an M$ machine to play games on.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thats enough of that sorry!

Amiga related questions to continue on track later.
 
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