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Old 02 December 2022, 02:35   #1341
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Falcon is one of a few machines ever released in the UK that I've never owned. Prices went up quite fast relatively and I never had a reason to get one back then. The most 'advanced' Atari systems I own are a pair of Mega STEs with max spec inc 1.44mb floppy and auto-booting hard drives. One even has a network card in there. But the Falcon is the true rival offering to the A1200 and I've never used a real machine. I do have two Acorn A3010 Archimedes though and I prefer my A1200, don't ask my why I just do
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Old 02 December 2022, 03:58   #1342
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Falcon is one of a few machines ever released in the UK that I've never owned. Prices went up quite fast relatively and I never had a reason to get one back then. The most 'advanced' Atari systems I own are a pair of Mega STEs with max spec inc 1.44mb floppy and auto-booting hard drives. One even has a network card in there. But the Falcon is the true rival offering to the A1200 and I've never used a real machine. I do have two Acorn A3010 Archimedes though and I prefer my A1200, don't ask my why I just do
I always lusted after the Falcon just because they were weird and neat but couldn't justify paying the prices they fetch now
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Old 02 December 2022, 05:54   #1343
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From this thread I can say for sure the A1200 is so bad it's probably not real. Now, I've never actually seen an assembled A1200 in person, but just the description of it kind of makes me throw up in my mouth. The only A1200 I really used was the bottom shell with a motherboard. And despite having a nice sensible crippled awful 24-bit edge connector for the CPU slot, it was surprisingly finicky requiring cleaning and reseating constantly. "Oh hey it's plugged in too far, no pull it out a little, oh ok it's booting now."
I think it's reasonable to assume no actual A1200, if they were ever like really built and sold like this existed.
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Old 03 December 2022, 03:49   #1344
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The only A1200 I really used was the bottom shell with a motherboard.
Well, there's your problem. It was missing half the good bits!

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And despite having a nice sensible crippled awful 24-bit edge connector for the CPU slot, it was surprisingly finicky requiring cleaning and reseating constantly. "Oh hey it's plugged in too far, no pull it out a little, oh ok it's booting now."
Funny, I have the same problem with my PCs - like the 386SX motherboard I just bought that I have to unplug and reinsert the cards into several times to get it to work.

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I think it's reasonable to assume no actual A1200, if they were ever like really built and sold like this existed.
Well PCs were often sold as just a motherboard so I can't see why not. Or did Commodore not approve of such practices?

Anyway I have a lovely A1200 motherboard that I bought off eBay a few years ago as a spare. Works perfectly every time! Only problem is I don't have a keyboard for it. It's not my most minimalist Amiga though - that honour goes to my A2000, which is just the keyboard. Someday I must marry the two up. But what would I call it?
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Old 03 December 2022, 06:35   #1345
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My first C= computer, a VIC-20, had a failed PSU and was returned 3 months after purchase. My second C= computer, a C64, had a failed PSU, returned for an exchange new C64 (now with brown not orange function keys).

Never had any problems at all with my A1200, been packed away for the last 10 years or so but the whole time I had it nothing actually went wrong with my launch day purchased UK PAL A1200. That's one thing I can't fault it for.

(my used A1000 did have a problem but only because the idiot who owned it before me used a PC serial cable as an A1000 parallel printer cable lol after that was sorted it worked flawlessly until the day I sold it 7 years later).
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Old 03 December 2022, 08:44   #1346
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@d4rk3lf

That's a very,... err,... "creative" post.
Point n click adventures were superior to Amiga versions 9 times out of 10, even in the early to mid 90's. Games like Zool2 on PC, even on a 386 were better than even AGA versions. Popular titles like Mortal Kombat 1 and 2, Super Street Fighter 2 are also vastly superior to the Amiga versions. PC had popular platformers like Earthworm Jim, Sonic CD, Sonic 3d and Lomax where the Amiga didnt.
Games like doom, quake, and pretty much anything 3d on a pc from the mid 90's were beyond what the Amiga has ever been able to do, even with a fully maxed out Amiga. Voodoo cards were available for PC in the mid 90's as were pentiums that are in excess of anything the Amiga has ever seen.
By the end of the 90's the geforce 256 was available as were pentium 3 and athlon closing in on 1ghz.
These were dozens of times more capable that the fastest Amiga ever in terms of games.
And the software availability absolutely dwarves anything that utilizes heavily upgraded Amiga's have.
Even though Voodoo cards are usable on Amigas with pci busboards the drivers dont come close to what is available for Win9x or Linux, nor is the performance, even with similarly specced cpus.
And pcs were a lot cheaper for infinitely more powerful hardware.

I enjoy the Amiga as much as the next enthusiast, but your post is obscene to the point its verging on insanity.
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Old 03 December 2022, 12:24   #1347
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Originally Posted by grelbfarlk View Post
From this thread I can say for sure the A1200 is so bad it's probably not real. Now, I've never actually seen an assembled A1200 in person, but just the description of it kind of makes me throw up in my mouth. The only A1200 I really used was the bottom shell with a motherboard. And despite having a nice sensible crippled awful 24-bit edge connector for the CPU slot, it was surprisingly finicky requiring cleaning and reseating constantly. "Oh hey it's plugged in too far, no pull it out a little, oh ok it's booting now."
I think it's reasonable to assume no actual A1200, if they were ever like really built and sold like this existed.
That is quite an unfortunate impression you have of the 1200!

Had 2 1200s and is simply my favorite computer of all time. Never had an issue with either of them and felt the extra memory and cpu speed (at the time in the 90s) were a good upgrade on the A500.
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Old 03 December 2022, 13:27   #1348
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That is quite an unfortunate impression you have of the 1200!

Had 2 1200s and is simply my favorite computer of all time. Never had an issue with either of them and felt the extra memory and cpu speed (at the time in the 90s) were a good upgrade on the A500.
Seconded and still love my 1200 and certainly thought it was a good upgrade at the time. Lovely machine and had lots of easy expandable potential that the A500 didn't (including internal options keeping your desk uncluttered).
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Old 03 December 2022, 17:12   #1349
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Anyway I have a lovely A1200 motherboard that I bought off eBay a few years ago as a spare. Works perfectly every time! Only problem is I don't have a keyboard for it. It's not my most minimalist Amiga though - that honour goes to my A2000, which is just the keyboard. Someday I must marry the two up. But what would I call it?
They average out to be the Amiga 1600
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Old 04 December 2022, 06:53   #1350
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But the Amiga 1600 yes it has an external keyboard and it's pizza box shaped but the external keyboard has a cable that is 2" long and is made from a flimsy membrane attached with finicky clips which if it is ever tugged it might not ever work again.
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Old 04 December 2022, 09:53   #1351
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My Amiga 1200 has been my best Amiga and my best computer. (previous ones were 500+,STE,MSX)
I have been able to upgrade it almost endlessly, from 14 Mhz to 200 MHz, from 0 MB of Fast RAM to 64 Mo, from 2 MB of Chip RAM to 8 Mo of Video Memory, from pretty slow 256 colors mode to 65K, from 4 (8 bit) PCM channels to 8 (14 bit) channels.
It gave me great games in very different styles, and fantastic drawing programs but... Commodore, Escom, etc... failed.

One of the reasons of the shipwreck is : a lot of OCS/ECS owners didn't like the AGA Chipset. They have pretended AGA was too expensive and not powerful enough. I have to say that I often felt frustration in their comments, because some of them had just bought their A600 or A500+ a few time ago. In the end, I saw a lot of them wait, and buy later a weaker and more expensive PC. Of course, in 1992, it was possible to buy a more powerful PC than an A1200 (out of the Box), but for wich cost, and how many people had the opportunity to acquire such Beast ? Most of my friends swapped their Amiga for a poor 286 or 386sx. Only the richest ones could access to a 386DX.

Then, some of them have missed the best A1200 years and are now here to explain how bad A1200 was. In my world, most of the ones who kept their A1200, were frustrated by the death of Commodore and the lack of interest from developpers after that, but have really enjoyed their machines.

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Old 04 December 2022, 12:24   #1352
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I still think the 1200 is a wonderful computer. Upgradable, beautiful case, and it would easily have been powerful enough to give 1992 era PCs a run for their money.

I am very sure you could have done any of those games that the PC was running away with on a Vanilla 1200.

Most of these adventure and simulation games were just low frame rate but colourful. Which would have been no problem for the 1200 as it's true color and can output 256 colors (which most of these PC games of the era don't even use).

And on the action game side, the 1200 is very capable as well, as if not for one blunder they did with not giving each attached sprite pair its own palette index. Had they done this, the 1200 would have been very competitive to even a SNES (except one less layer of parallax).
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Old 04 December 2022, 13:58   #1353
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I still think the 1200 is a wonderful computer. Upgradable, beautiful case, and it would easily have been powerful enough to give 1992 era PCs a run for their money.

I am very sure you could have done any of those games that the PC was running away with on a Vanilla 1200.

Most of these adventure and simulation games were just low frame rate but colourful. Which would have been no problem for the 1200 as it's true color and can output 256 colors (which most of these PC games of the era don't even use).

And on the action game side, the 1200 is very capable as well, as if not for one blunder they did with not giving each attached sprite pair its own palette index. Had they done this, the 1200 would have been very competitive to even a SNES (except one less layer of parallax).
And more sprites would have been good so no need to multiplex!
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Old 04 December 2022, 14:46   #1354
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One of my main interests those days was making music. The A1200 made OctaMED more useful. There was a time when I ran one A1200 with just an 8MB trapdoor memory upgrade as a midi sequencer, with a bit of lightweight Paula audio, playing the more expanded unit running MIDIIn as a multitimbral almost 16-bit sampler. That machine has 256MB which made for a great sampler.
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Old 04 December 2022, 20:12   #1355
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@d4rk3lf

That's a very,... err,... "creative" post...
I enjoy the Amiga as much as the next enthusiast, but your post is obscene to the point its verging on insanity.
Not sure on what my post you're referring, since I think I have several in this thread, but it doesn't really matter.

If I would be on desert island, and were able to choose any comp with unlimited number of games and apps, I'd always choose A500, over 386 DX40, or A1200 over 486, or some 060 Aga, over Pentium.
Not just because of games, but also, because of apps like Deluxe Paint, Octamed, Real 3D, Lightwave...
As for the games... even some games I could miss from PC (Master of Orion, Master of Magic, Warcraft 1 and 2.. etc) I could still hypothetically play them with mac emulator...

I am still standing in the position that transferring to PC pile of junk, was not worthy until 2002-2003.. at least for average user.
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Old 05 December 2022, 10:30   #1356
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And more sprites would have been good so no need to multiplex!
But multiplexing is so easy on Jay Miner machines. They are basically designed with this feature in mind.

Shame you cannot have 16 colors per attached sprite pair, since then you could have two parallaxing playfields and lots of 64 px wide multiplexed objects on screen almost each with its own color palette.

That would be almost SNES level of gfx fidelity.

The rest can done by the very fast 020 CPU and 2mb chip is plenty of RAM to pull a lot of stuff off. Imo no need for fast RAM except you want to use the Workbench.


All that's missing here are more colorful moving objects, something that I can pull off easily on SNES and Neo Geo, but not on the A1200.
[ Show youtube player ]

So, that's my only problem with that architecture when it comes to console like action games. The rest is really really great and en par.

Last edited by Tigerskunk; 05 December 2022 at 12:16.
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Old 06 December 2022, 09:25   #1357
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I am still standing in the position that transferring to PC pile of junk, was not worthy until 2002-2003.. at least for average user.
Tens of millions of "average users" disagreed.
People en masse changed to PC because it was the platform of choice for the average user. It had the software, hardware and price.
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Old 06 December 2022, 20:17   #1358
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I did remember one thing that did disappointment me, and thousands of others, back then. The A1200 units sent to stores were like 99% no HDD installed AND because it was designed badly the only way to add your own 2.5" IDE HDD inside it would invalidate the onsite warranty on your brand new £400 computer.

ALL notebooks in 1992 I ever saw had a panel you remove and just slot in the drive and close the panel. Add this to the fact that adding 4mb RAM to an A1200 with a silly trapdoor PCB cost twice as much as sticking 4mb of SIMMs inside your PC. Even on notebooks. It may have been expandable in theory but the cost/voided warranty issues meant there was never going to be 4mb HDD spec targetted A1200 games.

So yeah, that was disappointing because I actually wanted the A1200 + 20mb or 40mb HDD spec and this was a big problem. The RAM I could live without but I had a HDD on my A2000 and it's a bit crap going back to floppy only system. Classic Commodore cockup on both fronts. Maybe the A1200 was a Negan style "are we pissing out pants yet?" type response to the dated look of 32 colour games vs console/VGA/Archimedes competition but it was a cockup.

After 12 months of warranty (nothing went wrong IIRC) it had become obvious there were never going to be any AGA games that push the hardware to the limits and Commodore were dead 6 months after that anyway so I never bothered.

In reality the A1200 was as expensive to upgrade as A500, all because of a missing SIMM slot and stupidly designed position of IDE connector pins/lack of removable panels (but there was a removable panel on the rear of the A1200 so it isn't a cost issue with panels, just clueless motherboard/case design).
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Old 06 December 2022, 20:34   #1359
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Tens of millions of "average users" disagreed.
People en masse changed to PC because it was the platform of choice for the average user. It had the software, hardware and price.
And yes I am sure they were very pleased whilst they had to manually fuck about with their Config.sys and Autoexec.bat files to make enough space in the lower 640kb to run the latest games.

People who bought a PC before Windows XP were clueless cocksuckers FACT.

Yanks had shit taste in everything in the late 80s, their shitty US cars, their shit soft rock bullshit music, their crap clothes. The fact they bought a PC doesn't mean it was good. Windows was a fucking mess before XP, using Windows 3.1 + DOS based pre 1995 PC was a mistake or they were the kind of morons who just played Solitaire in Windows 3.1

The 1992 486SX ISA PC (which is a 1994 High Street PC spec, 1992 high street store family PC was 286-16 AT BEST with shit Adlib and 14" SVGA crap) can run Doom better than Gloom on an A1200 sure but it can't do Turrican II, it can't do Lotus II, it can't Shadow of the Beast 1. And I haven't even got to the wanker special OPL2 based Adlib bullshit 'top of the range' for high street PCs.

This bullshit myth by clueless wankers that high street PC was better than A1200 in 1992-1994 can just get the fuck out of this thread and piss off to the clueless 'PC games that made Amiga look like shit" thread thanks

Only a prick who knows fuck all and didn't own the best hardware from 1980-2000 would ever say high street family PC was better than the A1200 at any time between 1992-1994.

The 16 colour pixel art of the unreleased Atari ST (and Amiga) game Curse of the Ancient Mariner rips those VGA DOS wankers a new one, it had better graphics/art than 256 colour wank from Sierra and Lucasarts spastics and that is a fact. It made those VGA games those clueless Yankers loved so much look like ZX Spectrum wank.

But then I guess most people are losers. The biggest selling car of the late 80s was the piece of shit overpriced Toyota Corolla, I guess that was better than a cheaper French/British small car that didn't handle like a piece of shit and sound like a bag of spanners under the bonnet? Methinks not. PC = Prick's Choice. Get over it, deal with it, you loved PC anytime before Windows XP then you were a clueless prick and your opinion should go and pollute the clueless 'PC games that made Amiga look like shit' when the reality was Rocket Ranger on a 1982 Commodore 64 is better than an late 80s £2500 'top of the range' PC FACT. Get over it already.

Amiga may have had problems under the clueless morons running Commodore without the pure genius of Jack BUT it is nothing compared to the problems with ISA bus, DOS OS in reality, OPL2 + scratchy shit soundblaster sound PC had to deal with. Said it before and I will repeat, you didn't have to edit your s/startup-sequence when you got home with your brand new copy of Beast 1, Lotus II etc to make it run. On PC you did have to do exactly that if you wanted to run cutting edge games thanks to the way Dickhead's Operating System (DOS) worked even though you had 1mb or 4mb in your PC.
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Old 07 December 2022, 11:00   #1360
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I did remember one thing that did disappointment me, and thousands of others, back then. The A1200 units sent to stores were like 99% no HDD installed AND because it was designed badly the only way to add your own 2.5" IDE HDD inside it would invalidate the onsite warranty on your brand new £400 computer.
Only if you did it yourself rather have the dealer or authorized technician do it. And fair enough too, since it is easy to fry a computer by connecting things wrong or zapping the chips with static. This was no different to desktop computers of the day.

Quote:
ALL notebooks in 1992 I ever saw had a panel you remove and just slot in the drive and close the panel.
Toshiba T1800 Maintenance Manual 1/01/1992
Quote:
Removing the Hard Disk Drive

To remove the hard disk drive (HDD) follow these steps and refer to Figures 4-10 through 4-12:
1. Turn off the power to the T1800. Disconnect the AC adapter, and all external cables connected to the T1800.
2. Remove the battery pack, optional memory card, keyboard and top cover as instructed in sections 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5 and 4.6.
3. Remove the three M2.5x4 screws securing the metal plate.
4. Remove the one M2.5x6 screw securing the HDD bracket to the bottom cover.
Refer to Figure 4-11.
5. Disconnect the HDD cable from the pressure plate connectors PJ6 and PJ5
on the system board. Refer to Figure 4-11.
6. Lift the HDD out of the computer.
Tell us how this is different from removing a hard drive from the A1200.

The A1200 wasn't a laptop. It was a home computer built down to the lowest possible price for poor people to afford, in the tradition of home computers like the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, C64 etc. Laptops with removable hard drives were expensive, often costing $1000 more than an equivalent desktop PC, with the added insult of a cramped keyboard, crappy LCD screen, and a battery that only lasted a few hours at best.

BTW I recently bought a Toshiba 386SX laptop for NZ$50. Unfortunately the backup NICAD battery had leaked into the connector going from the power supply board to the main board, corroding the contacts. I cleaned it up as best as I could and it worked - for a while. The other problem it had was the floppy drive belt had stretched so it wouldn't read disks. Of course both the main and backup Nicad batteries were shot. Luckily the 85MB Conner 2.5" hard drive was good though, so it was still worth buying just for that.

Quote:
Add this to the fact that adding 4mb RAM to an A1200 with a silly trapdoor PCB cost twice as much as sticking 4mb of SIMMs inside your PC. Even on notebooks.
Even on notebooks? Most laptops back then didn't take 'standard' SIMMs. My Toshiba took proprietary RAM cards that plugged into two ports similar to PCMCIA but different. I bet they weren't cheap. I bet the ports weren't cheap either.

In 1992 most desktop PCs used 8 bit SIMMs. The A1200 would have needed 4 of them. Where would they fit on the motherboard?

Quote:
It may have been expandable in theory but the cost/voided warranty issues meant there was never going to be 4mb HDD spec targetted A1200 games.
Nonsense. The A1200HD/40 made the hard drive a standard feature. A hard drive could also be added externally via the PCMCIA slot, which required nothing more than a passive adapter if you didn't need autobooting. The Archos Overdrive allowed you to add a cheap 3.5" IDE drive at low cost, without voiding any warranties. Today we use Compact Flash cards with a cheap adapter that works similarly.

The warranty was not voided by adding a trapdoor RAM board. Many RAM boards had an RTC, some had a socket for an FPU, and some even threw in a faster 68020. Sure it cost more than a SIMM alone, but you got more, in part because you paid less for the base machine than if it had SIMM sockets on the motherboard. People who didn't need extra RAM didn't have to pay for useless sockets and a redundant RAM controller.

Of course RAM on the motherboard would be stuck at 14MHz, whereas RAM on an accelerator card could be as fast as necessary to keep up with the CPU. In this way an accelerated A1200 could naturally be faster than the A4000 which had its 'fast' RAM on the motherboard, as well as not being limited to 16MB.

Within a few years accelerator cards were commonplace and getting cheaper and more powerful, allowing A1200 owners to match or exceed the power of an A4000 at much lower cost. Compare that to PC owners, who generally had to replace the entire machine every 2 years or so to keep up.

The point of the A1200 was to provide a cheap replacement for the A500+ that was faster and more capable out of the box, but also expandable without limit. The key to that was to not put stuff on the motherboard that could go in the trapdoor, and make the full 32 bit bus available to it (unlike the A500 and A600 which only gave access to the chip RAM bus).

Quote:
So yeah, that was disappointing because I actually wanted the A1200 + 20mb or 40mb HDD spec and this was a big problem. The RAM I could live without but I had a HDD on my A2000 and it's a bit crap going back to floppy only system.
But you kept the A2000, right? It would be a while before AGA titles needing a hard drive appeared, and 2.5" drives were available if you desperately wanted one 'right now'. So what you really mean is you were too impatient to wait, and too stingy to add a hard drive to the cheap A1200 you got.

Quote:
Classic Commodore cockup on both fronts. Maybe the A1200 was a Negan style "are we pissing out pants yet?" type response to the dated look of 32 colour games vs console/VGA/Archimedes competition but it was a cockup.
The general consensus of most Amiga fans is that before 1992 Amiga games were still looking good despite 'only' having 32 colors (actually many had more through use of the copper and/or EHB or HAM mode). More disappointing were games ported from other platforms that had less colors, such as the ST, or did a lazy job (eg. Silent Service II which squashed 256 VGA images into 16 colors for the AmIga 500 when they could have used 64). The main advantage of AGA was that VGA games could be ported to it without much effort.

As for the Archimedes, actually getting 256 unique colors on screen was almost impossible because it used a technique similar to extra half-bright for most of them. The small number of games produced for the Archimedes and their generally poor quality don't exactly make it a good example of an Amiga beater.

Quote:
After 12 months of warranty (nothing went wrong IIRC) it had become obvious there were never going to be any AGA games that push the hardware to the limits and Commodore were dead 6 months after that anyway so I never bothered.
I understand the disappointment over Commodore's demise, but it's not true to say that no AGA games that 'pushed the hardware' were produced. Your problems were that a) you were too impatient, and b) you expected the improvement to be more visible. The fact is that while 256 colors sounds like a huge improvement (which it is) an OCS game can look almost as good when carefully crafted to fit within its limitations. A large part of AGA's advantage is not having to push the machine to the limit to get the effects you want.

Quote:
In reality the A1200 was as expensive to upgrade as A500, all because of a missing SIMM slot and stupidly designed position of IDE connector pins/lack of removable panels (but there was a removable panel on the rear of the A1200 so it isn't a cost issue with panels, just clueless motherboard/case design).
Sorry, but that simply isn't true. The only official hard drive + Fast RAM expansion for the A500 was the A590. It was not cheap. It was awkward. It needed a separate power supply the same size as the A500's. It didn't take SIMMs, or an IDE hard drive. If you wanted a faster processor your only practical options were the even more expensive GVP combo, or a card plugged into the CPU socket.

The A1200 was cheaper to upgrade and much tidier than the A500. No heavy boxes hanging off the expansion connector. No extra power supplies that have to be sequenced in the right order. No hacky internal boards stuck in the CPU socket.

Last edited by Bruce Abbott; 07 December 2022 at 11:06.
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