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Old 16 September 2021, 22:44   #21
Malakie
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Originally Posted by Matt_H View Post
3.1 ROM chips for the 2000 can be bought at almost any dealer. Make sure you don’t confuse it with a 3.X ROM, which is Cloanto’s custom version, roughly corresponding to OS3.9.

For swapping Zip disks, have a look at SCSIMounter on Aminet.
Oh wow. Thanks.. I will do that! The 3.1 ROM is what I want.. And I will try that scsimounter shortly as well! Thanks again!
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Old 18 September 2021, 07:18   #22
8 Bit Dreams
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For A2000 You may try to get one of these:
It's a Zorro USB card with four ports
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Old 18 September 2021, 07:37   #23
Malakie
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Originally Posted by 8 Bit Dreams View Post
For A2000 You may try to get one of these:
It's a Zorro USB card with four ports
Awesome... umm don't suppose you know where I can get one of those?
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Old 18 September 2021, 12:39   #24
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Sure, these was available through A1k.org as a DIY Kit
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Old 01 October 2021, 18:11   #25
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Anyhow, I guess I need to find an 020 card.. I really wish I had not lost my original Sapphire 020 card that my own dev company created back in the day.. I hope someday I find out floating out there someone will sell me as I am trying to replace all I lost in a house fire as much as possible.. Sadly a lot of source code and hardware though, is lost forever now.

I own a Sapphire. It was my very first CPU expansion for my Amiga. Slowest 020 card ever made (you guys didn't even do a double clock circuit?) but it was compatible with almost everything. Are you the guy who wrote the memoir about using them in the Battletech pods?
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Old 01 October 2021, 18:49   #26
Malakie
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I own a Sapphire. It was my very first CPU expansion for my Amiga. Slowest 020 card ever made (you guys didn't even do a double clock circuit?) but it was compatible with almost everything. Are you the guy who wrote the memoir about using them in the Battletech pods?
Yep to all of that. The sapphire was created and designed for developers to set the clock, not the have the hardware control it. The design was to allow for use of 68020 instruction set WHILE remaining default at the Amiga's normal clock rate plus giving you the 881/882 math co processor support as well.

We figured developers would then increase or change the clock rate (as did my coders) as needed for their own products. It was a compromise between compatibility with most software games and products and speed by allowing the clock rate to be changed via software developers versus us hardware locking it.

Sadly, I think it took too long for many to realize what we did or understand that and we also were a small company versus the big name well known Amiga companies.

Our best selling software that we did become known for, was WMS (Workbench Management System V2.0 and later 3.0) and of which a few other companies then copied our ideas from and added to their own products.

And yes, we are the guys that helped build the Battletech cockpits which contained a A500 mainboard in each AND is why the Sapphire actually came to be because every cockpit ran one AND in code, the Sapphire 020 clock speed was increased to allow for the FPS speeds those cockpits eventually enjoyed. In fact, without that, the cockpits were actually stuck at FPS that was a huge problem back then.. once the Sapphire was used, the clock rate increased and the fact it remained code compatible due to that, the cockpits suddenly became operational to a FPS level we could play without problems once you hooked in more than 4 cockpits together.

(BTW, a small piece of unknown trivia most do not know.. The Sapphire 020 was not only selected but USED in the space shuttle program due to the way we designed it and allowed for coding control of the clock rates - Space Shuttle Atlantis was the first to use one in part of the atmospheric processing center)

Ralph Reed was also the VP of our company and he is the one that designed and wrote Mechforce, basically the actual board game version of Battletech. It was FASA's decision to not take it commercial and thus it remained a free/shareware game for all to enjoy. Oddly enough, 3 of our products and programmers all worked remote.. Ralph was in Florida, another person was in Missouri if I remember right, and another was back east somewhere.. And of course the company itself was based in Madison, Wi. Back then that was unheard of in fact. But we did it.. BIX and some other services were our friend and how we connected and worked remote together back then.. Today of course, that's a normal thing but back then, it was a huge thing to pull off successfully, which we did and never thought twice about it.

The final version of Mechforce had quite a bit of Clan stuff working and some of the basic aerotech, ground units and more but was never released. The last release version was a alpha/beta that did have SOME clan tech added and working however.

Hopefully I am able to find a working Sapphire 020 card to replace what I lost in my house fire. Even my own children were too young to have seen some of the stuff their father did back then and I am hoping to have a small collection of our work that I can show them someday.

I had served military prior to me starting the company.. I was placed on medical leave due to serious injury and during that hiatus, I first worked for Commodore Amiga itself for 2 years, then started my company and did that for 2 years before being medically cleared to return to military duty if I wanted...

...which was about the time Commodore folded.. and so I sold the company assets, helped everyone find new positions that I was able to help (Commodore failing impacted us and many other small companies huge) and closed the doors and went back to serving ... and served my country from then on (and was also a deputy sheriff when back in the USA wherever I was based) until 2014 at which time I was retired from both careers due to my 5th major service connected injury.

And so today here I am now, back in my home state and living on my rural property just living each day as it comes now.

I have found some of the products we produced but have a few others that so far I have not yet been able to replace. Namely the Sapphire 020, one of the Floptical drive systems and one of the SCSI tape drive units (our name for them was the Gemstone Series). There are also a few software programs I am looking for in ORIGINAL packaging as well. Have found copies but tough finding actual original packaged stuff we did.

Last edited by Malakie; 01 October 2021 at 18:55.
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Old 03 October 2021, 13:56   #27
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Wait, how do you change the clock rate in software? The board is just an 020, an 881, and some PALs to glue the bus. I don't see any way to change the clock rate.
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Old 03 October 2021, 18:47   #28
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Wait, how do you change the clock rate in software? The board is just an 020, an 881, and some PALs to glue the bus. I don't see any way to change the clock rate.
We did not supply a tool to do it ourselves. In hindsight we probably should have but we were also trying to keep the cost down and thus chose to let it be handled by those writing the software that would run on it, just as the Battletech Centers did.

Sometimes decisions made are not quite the correct ones and in this case, I always regretted that one thing, not making a simple tool that would allow the end user to just turn it on or off as they needed vs relying on software (games, tools etc) to do it.

Our thought was it would be better for compatibility overall and if a game or software package supported the higher clock and speeds, it would take advantage of the board and if they required the lower clock rate and speed, they would not need to change anything in their game or utility..

We looked at it from the programming design side not the end user side...
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Old 03 October 2021, 18:51   #29
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For A2000 You may try to get one of these:
It's a Zorro USB card with four ports
I am hoping there is a third batch as I narrowly have missed out on the second
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