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#1 DesertJets OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 3, 2012 11:29 AM

Long story made kind of short.

For various reasons my first foray into retrogaming/computing was with an Amiga 500. Bought a handful of games for it off of eBay, played a bit, got disappointed, and decided to get an A8 instead and never touched the Amiga again (sold most of the software I bought as well).


Now the Amiga and the various other bits are sitting in my bedroom closet unused. I've been meaning, for months, to box it up, figure out how much shipping would cost, and toss it up on eBay. So it occurred to me I need to give it a second chance, but this time knowing more than I did last summer that I can find and acquire the games I'd like in a more cost-effective manner (two boxes of blank 3.5" DSDD floppies) that would better let me explore what this computer can do.


Questions then:

Have you been able to overcome your initial frustration with a new console/computer and end up liking it later on. This is really my big concern, I mean I liked some of the stuff I got for the Amiga but I found everything to be so hit or miss.

What resources are there for Amiga newbs who are interested in just gaming.

Will Amiga Explorer be my best friend in this process.

If all else fails is there anybody on AA in the Albuquerque/Santa Fe area that wants an Amiga 500 in good shape.

Edited by DesertJets, Thu May 3, 2012 11:30 AM.


#2 krslam OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 3, 2012 1:16 PM

http://www.lemonamiga.com/ and http://www.amibay.com/ are decent Amiga-specific forums

#3 SEgamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 3, 2012 2:08 PM

I think it's possible to get an old DOS PC with a 720k floppy drive and create the floppies yourself. I think all you have to do is the format 720 command and then copy over the file (though it probably depends on what version of workbench you have).

Here's a thread that seems to have some clarification on it: http://www.amiga.org...ead.php?t=61417

#4 FastRobPlus OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 3, 2012 2:19 PM

Have you looked into Amiga Forever? It’s a good way to emulate an Amiga and obtain games that you can play without the mess of conversion. Paired with a USB joystick like the Legacy Engineering one, you can get the full Amiga feel and better know if you want to dive into configuring the retro hardware.

#5 desiv OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 3, 2012 9:30 PM

There's a lot of resources around for the Amiga.
If you have a PC with a serial port (or a USB/Serial adapter, that costs like $5 from China I think), Amiga Explorer is very nice.
It's really easy to make disks.

The tricky part with the Amiga is the PAL/NTSC thing.
Many of the best games (or at least the versions you find online) are PAL versions.
If you have an Amiga monitor (1084, etc), no biggie. You can play them in PAL.
(There are disks to "boot" into PAL)

If you just have a TV, then PAL is problematic. And it can be a hassle because the games aren't named PAL or NTSC.

I think its worth it, but that's me.. ;-)
And the PAL/NTSC thing is not the Amiga's fault!!! ;-) Just something you'll run across...

I prefer real hardware, but AmigaForever (which includes Amiga Explorer) is one heck of a package...
I use it with my real Amigas.

desiv

Edited by desiv, Thu May 3, 2012 9:30 PM.


#6 high voltage OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 4, 2012 4:03 AM

The Amiga is the A8s big brother , you must keep it


#7 DesertJets OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 4, 2012 8:47 AM

There's a lot of resources around for the Amiga.
If you have a PC with a serial port (or a USB/Serial adapter, that costs like $5 from China I think), Amiga Explorer is very nice.
It's really easy to make disks.

The tricky part with the Amiga is the PAL/NTSC thing.
Many of the best games (or at least the versions you find online) are PAL versions.
If you have an Amiga monitor (1084, etc), no biggie. You can play them in PAL.
(There are disks to "boot" into PAL)

If you just have a TV, then PAL is problematic. And it can be a hassle because the games aren't named PAL or NTSC.

I think its worth it, but that's me.. ;-)
And the PAL/NTSC thing is not the Amiga's fault!!! ;-) Just something you'll run across...

I prefer real hardware, but AmigaForever (which includes Amiga Explorer) is one heck of a package...
I use it with my real Amigas.

desiv


My laptop does have a serial port, so it is all a matter of getting a null modem cable. I looked into this stuff fairly early on but never got around to doing it. I suppose having an Amiga monitor would make a huge difference, part of my disappointment was the quality of the video coming from the A520 RF modulator on my tube TV. The video quality just seemed really muddy and it was off center horizontally.

#8 mimo OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 4, 2012 8:54 AM

played a bit, got disappointed, and decided to get an A8 instead and never touched the Amiga again

:thumbsup:


Have you been able to overcome your initial frustration with a new console/computer and end up liking it later on


to be honest, no. I have tried several times to like the Amiga and the ST, spent a bloody fortune on them, got bored, sold them, tried again, sold them etc. I think that if I don't get on with something after a couple of months then I am wasting my time.
Pretty much the same deal for the Sega Megadrive, Atari Jaguar, Sony PSP................

#9 desiv OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 4, 2012 9:05 AM

My laptop does have a serial port, so it is all a matter of getting a null modem cable. I looked into this stuff fairly early on but never got around to doing it.

Great, then transferring files/disk images is a breeze..

I suppose having an Amiga monitor would make a huge difference, part of my disappointment was the quality of the video coming from the A520 RF modulator on my tube TV.

OMG, you're using the A520?
That thing is TERRIBLE!!!
When I got mine, I actually preferred the monochrome output from the A500!! :-)
There are MUCH better options.
If you're only going to be doing NTSC and a TV, then something like Amigamaniacs (he's a guy in Australia) s-video adapter is much better. It was like $30 shipped and has good quality composite and great s-video. He's a student tho, so can be a bit slow to interact with. :-)

There are some plans to modify an A520 for s-video, but (again) most of the plans I've seen are for the PAL version. I found a plan for the NTSC, but it didn't work for me..

If you can find a genlock cheap, I think some of those do the same thing (I haven't used one, just guessing) and some even do s-video. On e-bay tho, people seem to still want crazy money for them tho, as if people are still using them for Video work. ;-)

I love my 1084s monitors. Great pic and no prob with PAL/NTSC at all.. Getting spendier tho, and with shipping, it gets crazy. They are HEAVY.

Then, if you have LOTS OF MONEY and don't care!! (OK, that's not fair, but I haven't done this), there are flicker fixers/scan doublers, so you can use your Amiga on VGA monitors.
(Actually, if you do the cabling yourself, I think there's a model that routinely sells on e-bay for like $40 or $50 that people have had good luck with...)
The "Cadillac" of that line is the Indivision ECS. It's new hardware that's wicked kual. And Wicked Expensive. ;-)

I stayed cheap and went with Amigamaniac, and then I got a 1084s.
IF you can get a 1084s cheap, do that, it's a great monitor. Works great for composite and s-video also (has seperate Chroma/Luma plugs in the back, which is s-video, at least most 1084s models do...), so you can use it for other systems as well..

desiv

#10 theloon OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 4, 2012 10:12 AM

I had an Amiga 500 at one point but the floppy disks were a pain and the monitor went dead. I used my MiniMig a bit more, but, meh.

If the point is to USE an Amiga I'd suggest building up an AROs box.

#11 desiv OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 4, 2012 10:29 AM

Yeah, not sure why, probably the nostalgia, but I like floppies..
Yes, I have my A1200 with it's HD and WHDLOAD and games are easy to play.
But I use my A500 frequently still, and that's floppy only.

Now, for a big multi-disk game, I'll use WHDLOAD and the 1200... ;-) I'm crazy, but not stupid.. well, not always.. ;-)

Oh, this is the adapter that apparently works well going to VGA:
eBay Auction -- Item Number: 330605923350

I haven't used it, and don't recommend it if you're not sure you want the Amiga.
I just ran across a thread with a like to it, and figured I'd add it..

desiv

#12 OldSchoolRetroGamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 4, 2012 10:37 AM

If the point is to USE an Amiga I'd suggest building up an AROs box.


Would that play most Amiga games?

#13 desiv OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 4, 2012 11:20 AM

Would that play most Amiga games?

Using UAE, it will play them.

AROS intrigues me, but not enough to make the jump yet...
Same with Amithlon, which interests me even more. I think I'll give that one a try first...

But both are emulated Amiga (for games; for apps, they are native.. or can be). Which is fine for what it is... Not complaining. WinUAE is one of the best emulators in existance.

Personally, I like original hardware a bit more..

desiv

Edited by desiv, Fri May 4, 2012 11:21 AM.


#14 amiman99 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 4, 2012 5:59 PM

I would keep the Amiga.
Many years ago I sold my A4000 because I was frustrated in how slow it renders in Lightwave 3D, and just recently I was frantically looking for one, I really wanted it back.
At the same time I had A600 and with this one I felt that it was just so slow, so I sold it. At that time I did not think about collecting.
Few years ago I found A600 in Goodwill for $40!!!. I was so exited, I got it and been happy since, and now, I don't care that is slow.
The moral story is, to keep what you have, you may regret it later.
To make your life easier, just get the floppy emulator, you can use it in many systems, so it's a great investment.

On the side note, I was playing with PS3 Linux that I got installed few years back, before Sony pulled plug on it (I didn't upgrade the FW). I got old Fedora 6 on it with E-UAE.
Finally got it working using hardfiles. I got it with 2 virtual HDs, one with WB and other with WHDLoad games. Works great and with sound.

#15 Mirage OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri May 4, 2012 8:15 PM

Yes, I was just going to suggest, as amiman99 did, to get the HxC Floppy Emulator. Download the Ultimate Amiga Collection torrent, load up the floppy emulator with whatever you want, and you're done. That's it. It's all you need to enjoy A500 gaming (or whatever else). Unless you really like the nostalgia of actual floppies (which I can understand, to a point, until the nostalgia wears off due to the hassle), it's the way to go. I'm on CF/SD solutions for every retrocomputing system I use, and I haven't regretted even one of them. They pay for themselves in time, hassle, and disks almost immediately. The A500 is a fantastic system, but you can't fully enjoy it (or any other system) until you set yourself up to be able to really fully enjoy it.

#16 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 5, 2012 8:39 AM

Yes, I was just going to suggest, as amiman99 did, to get the HxC Floppy Emulator. Download the Ultimate Amiga Collection torrent, load up the floppy emulator with whatever you want, and you're done. That's it. It's all you need to enjoy A500 gaming (or whatever else). Unless you really like the nostalgia of actual floppies (which I can understand, to a point, until the nostalgia wears off due to the hassle), it's the way to go. I'm on CF/SD solutions for every retrocomputing system I use, and I haven't regretted even one of them. They pay for themselves in time, hassle, and disks almost immediately. The A500 is a fantastic system, but you can't fully enjoy it (or any other system) until you set yourself up to be able to really fully enjoy it.

That would be my suggestion as well.

FWIW, the Amiga was (is) a great platform, but there was a rush of "pretty" games that had poor playability.
At the time, looking cool was enough for a lot of people because they had never seen a computer with such good graphics.
If you want to keep it around, find some games that are actually fun to play.

#17 DesertJets OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 10:48 AM


Yes, I was just going to suggest, as amiman99 did, to get the HxC Floppy Emulator. Download the Ultimate Amiga Collection torrent, load up the floppy emulator with whatever you want, and you're done. That's it. It's all you need to enjoy A500 gaming (or whatever else). Unless you really like the nostalgia of actual floppies (which I can understand, to a point, until the nostalgia wears off due to the hassle), it's the way to go. I'm on CF/SD solutions for every retrocomputing system I use, and I haven't regretted even one of them. They pay for themselves in time, hassle, and disks almost immediately. The A500 is a fantastic system, but you can't fully enjoy it (or any other system) until you set yourself up to be able to really fully enjoy it.

That would be my suggestion as well.

FWIW, the Amiga was (is) a great platform, but there was a rush of "pretty" games that had poor playability.
At the time, looking cool was enough for a lot of people because they had never seen a computer with such good graphics.
If you want to keep it around, find some games that are actually fun to play.


Actually a really good suggestion. I knew about the Amiga Explorer stuff but didn't know about the floppy emulator. I assume it just plugs into the external floppy drive port on the back. Though it is a somewhat pricey piece of kit. Not sure a random box of computer stuff showing up in the mail will make the GF all that happy. I recall saying something along the line that I wasn't buying any gaming stuff for a while since I dropped a lot of money on the garden, and at least with the garden there will be tomatoes in a few months.


I was really disappointed with the graphics more than anything else. Sounds like the RF modulator is a huge part of the problem. Then some of the games I got, including ones that were supposedly ground-breaking and the like, (Populous) were just frustrating. Difficult to figure out game play even with the manual and the muddy video through the RF modulator killed it. I did REALLY like Lemmings, but after a while that gets boring as there isn't too much to the game play (or you just get massively stumped and cannot figure out a level).



Still up in the air as to whether or not to get rid of it. Seeing as a it would be a pain to try and sell it I think it'll live in my closet for a while longer.

#18 desiv OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 4:28 PM

I assume it just plugs into the external floppy drive port on the back.

I believe you can attach it external, or replace the internal floppy drive.
Most people replace the internal, so they can "boot" games off of it...


.... (Populous) were just frustrating. Difficult to figure out game play even with the manual and the muddy video through the RF modulator killed it. I did REALLY like Lemmings, but after a while that gets boring as there isn't too much to the game play (or you just get massively stumped and cannot figure out a level).


Funny, I tried Polplous a bit ago, and couldn't figure it out either.. :-) I did get the manual and think I got the basics tho...
I saw a video on Lemmings on youtube last night that surprised me.. Apparently, it has a "head-2-head" 2 player split screen mode.
Somehow, I never tried that... ;-)
(Helps if you have 2 mice.. ;-) )

desiv

Edited by desiv, Mon May 7, 2012 4:28 PM.


#19 Mirage OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon May 7, 2012 5:40 PM

Not sure a random box of computer stuff showing up in the mail will make the GF all that happy.


It's a very small box if that helps. :P

I was really disappointed with the graphics more than anything else. Sounds like the RF modulator is a huge part of the problem. Then some of the games I got, including ones that were supposedly ground-breaking and the like, (Populous) were just frustrating. Difficult to figure out game play even with the manual and the muddy video through the RF modulator killed it. I did REALLY like Lemmings, but after a while that gets boring as there isn't too much to the game play (or you just get massively stumped and cannot figure out a level).


I can't even fathom trying to use one or play games on it via RF. You really need a monitor to use it properly.

Still up in the air as to whether or not to get rid of it. Seeing as a it would be a pain to try and sell it I think it'll live in my closet for a while longer.


Yes, a stock A500 isn't really worth very much. If you have the closet space, stick it away for awhile and decide later, or wait until you don't mind spending the cash on a floppy emulator. With the floppy emulator expense, keep in mind that the HxC hardware is usable on machines other than the Amiga. So, if you pick up an ST later, or an old PC, or any of the other supported systems, you can divide the expense by those. Even if you only use it with the Amiga, it's still probably the cheapest, and definitely the easiest modern solution out there.

#20 Arkhan OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 9, 2012 6:56 AM

http://www.amibay.com/ are decent Amiga-specific forums


You need to look up the definition of decent.

go to Amiga.org

Also, I may be interested in the A500. PM me some photos.

I used to have one and hocked it awhile ago when I get an A4000.

Now I wish I still had the A500.

#21 desiv OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 9, 2012 9:21 AM

You need to look up the definition of decent.

Nothing wrong with Amibay. I'm a member there and there are lots of great people there..
They do have a fairly strict ruleset and they do moderate very closely.
It's not a secret; it's what they are. They really really really encourage people to read the rules on that site.
As long as you're aware of that, it's a great board.

They guys who came up with Retrobrite are there, as well as some of the best hardware guys right now...
It's a great resource...

go to Amiga.org

I hang out there a lot too. Also a great place, but the polar opposite of Amibay. Very casual moderation. Disagreements are not only allowed there, they are encouraged by the staff.. ;-)

But if you're thick skinned, it's a great place with some great people too...
Some REALLY good software people there; and a great resource for knowledge of other Amiga-relates OSes (MorphOS, AROS, etc)

Another of my favorites is EAB (eab.abime.net).
Lots of great old skool people there. Demo sceners, etc..
Toni (who handles WinUAE) and Jens (whose company makes the best "new" Amiga hardware) hang out there..

There are lots of great options for Amiga resources, so you can find several that will work great for you..

desiv

Edited by desiv, Wed May 9, 2012 9:22 AM.


#22 Arkhan OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 9, 2012 9:34 AM

Retrobrite is just a corny name for an age old process, lol.

Rather than play bathroom chemist, you can just use the peroxide component and save the mess.

Amiga.org is a great place to go. Theres a few crybabies, but that's life. Some people are just socially retarded.

#23 desiv OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 9, 2012 9:50 AM

Retrobrite is just a corny name for an age old process, lol.
Rather than play bathroom chemist, you can just use the peroxide component and save the mess.

He's actually a real life chemist, he doesn't just play one on TV. ;-)
And its a new process.. Or a new variation on an old process... (The specific catalizer is what is new and makes it much better than just peroxide)
It is a corny name tho.. I agree.. ;-)

Amiga.org is a great place to go. Theres a few crybabies, but that's life. Some people are just socially retarded.

Amiga.org is great fun.
You just have to look past the tangent threads/posters.
There's lots of great people there..

desiv

#24 Arkhan OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 9, 2012 10:03 AM

I just throw crap in a fish tank full of 40vol clear developer and stick it in the sunlight for an hour or two and achieve the desired result.

Then I dump the developer on small children.


Just kidding.



no im not.

#25 FastRobPlus OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 9, 2012 10:42 AM

Amiga.org is great fun.
You just have to look past the tangent threads/posters.
There's lots of great people there..

desiv


Amiga.org and the other one (amigaworld.net I think) are the dregs of the Amiga online community. It made me feel dirty to like Amiga after I saw the company I was with over there.

If you can read German, A1K.org is the real Amiga community. All meaningful Amiga discoveries and continued development happens on that site.

If you can't read German, Amibay is about the best English Amiga board around, but opposite from every other forum on Earth, the mods on Amibay actually are far too active at when it comes to policing. For example, this paragraph would probably be deleted by their mods, as it is slightly critical of their mods.
- Yes it's that strict.





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