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Best 80's computer


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#51 abraXXious OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 8, 2013 11:20 PM

Arghhhh. I hate the A500. True it was the most popular Amiga and was the main driving force of sales etc so we Amigans should be respectful of it..... but it is ugly, huge, a pig to upgrade (and not really worthwhile) does not have any redeeming features such as IDE or SCSI built in, no pcmcia interface, no composite out, no AGA etc.

It covers half your desk and if you are silly enough to add an A570 or A590 or any sidecar expansion it hangs off the side of your desk! :)

I remember when the A600 came out I thought it was stupid because it had no numeric keypad. That was then. Now the A600 is a FAR better Amiga than the A500. It has built in IDE so you can have a nice compact internal hd, it has a pcmcia port, 2mb agnus, ecs chipset, composite out and is only two thirds the size.

The A500 is the only Amiga I refuse to keep in my collection. I have several expanded 2000s, 3000s and 4000s, a 4000T. A CDTV with matching black keyboard, mouse, 1084S and floppy drive. A couple of A600s with ACA630s (68030/32mb ram upgrades), half a dozen A1200s with 030s/040s and even an 060 @ 80 mhz (nice machine), with subway usb cards etc. I even have two A1000s in mint condition, one with a phoenix board. But I draw the line at the craptacular A500.

Still, thats me. :)

As for the A500 not having composite, and the A2000s only having mono composite (from memory there is a hack to give chroma) this is true, however composite is crap on a machine that is capable of 1280x512 (and more with overscan) so you really need S-video at a minimum, and S-Video is a simple $30.00 plug in card away. :)

Edited by abraXXious, Mon Apr 8, 2013 11:27 PM.


#52 abraXXious OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 8, 2013 11:24 PM

I think the best machine of the 80ties was the Acorn Archimedes. This (ARM based!) RISC machine was much more powerful for the price than anything (incl. the Amiga) around.

Unfortunately it only became really popular in the UK.


Common misconception. The Archie series had VERY powerful Risc cpus.... and little else. In practice for gaming, moving graphics (except 3d bitmap based) etc they were completely outclassed by the Amiga.

Now 3d is another matter. The Arm based cpus were very powerful and since 3d relies on the cpu more so than any custom graphics hardware (well, back then anyway), the Archie always had the best versions of 3d games.

Earlier machines were hideous, however the Risc PC 600/700 case is a thing of beauty and I would never part with any of mine. :)

#53 abraXXious OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 8, 2013 11:29 PM

The only real Amiga beater in the 80s was the Sharp X68000 - it was like the Japanese version of the Amiga and had amazing capabilities and jaw droppingly accurate arcade conversions - check out Strider or Ghouls and Ghosts...

#54 magnusfalkirk OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Apr 8, 2013 11:36 PM

Well I never, I've been buying Apple ][ games since late 80s, never came across a tape, that's amazing.


Apple, and other companies, stopped selling programs on tape for the Apple II by the early 80's. I bought my first Apple II, a ][+, in 1981. Bought the computer (at dealers cost), a disk drive and disk II controller card and a RF modulator to be able to use my portable color tv as a monitor. The whole thing set me back about $1500, which was a pretty good amount of money considering I was an E-4 in the Air Force at the time.

#55 wood_jl OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 9, 2013 1:25 AM

Arghhhh. I hate the A500. True it was the most popular Amiga and was the main driving force of sales etc so we Amigans should be respectful of it..... but it is ugly, huge, a pig to upgrade (and not really worthwhile) does not have any redeeming features such as IDE or SCSI built in, no pcmcia interface, no composite out, no AGA etc.

It covers half your desk and if you are silly enough to add an A570 or A590 or any sidecar expansion it hangs off the side of your desk! :)


It's no uglier than a C128 or C64c. Of course, if you think those things are ugly, then I digress.

It doesn't need much upgrading, depending upon use. 1MB upgrade is all I need, and it's easy, and cheap.
It's as reliable as the day is long, compared to A1200 and A4000 with bad caps.
AGA never got much support, anyway. The vast majority of games are for the earlier machines.

Amiga HxC.JPG

With this floppy emulator and 1MB upgrade, it plays every Amiga game I throw at it, and it's reliable.

But I admit I'm not a "hardcore" Amiga fan. I like the Amiga though, and it's a great game machine - even the A500.

I suppose if I was hardcore, I wouldn't use mine with an Atari monitor....

Amiga SC1224.JPG


The A500, 1MB, and HxC SD Floppy Emulator, and this torrent and it's 22Gb of more stuff than I'll ever get to. Plug and play. No hassles. No further upgrades. No WHDLoad conversions, no Degrader, nothing but the disc images and SD card. Not everybody's cup of tea, but undeniably, some excellent, reliable gaming.

#56 abraXXious OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 9, 2013 1:31 AM

Arghhhh!!1 Workbench 1.3?!?! Kill it! Kill it!!!! :)

Yeah, for what you are using it for the A500 is probably fine, though the A600 would be a lot better - you could ditch the cumbersome floppy emulator and just run WHDLoad games from the internal HD.

But hey, as long as you are happy with it.

As for looks, the A500 looks fine, I was comparing it to the other models - which makes it the ugly duckling. The C64C and C128 looks nice as they had no better looking cousins, unlike the A500.

You are wrong about AGA though. True, 80% of the Amiga library does not use AGA, but there are literally hundreds of great demos that require AGA, and there would have to be over 100 games that use AGA, some of which have ECS versions but the AGA version is nicer. If you do not have an AGA Amiga you are missing some of the cream of the Amiga scene. :(

#57 desiv OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 9, 2013 10:45 PM

As for the A500 not having composite, and the A2000s only having mono composite (from memory there is a hack to give chroma) this is true, however composite is crap on a machine that is capable of 1280x512 (and more with overscan) so you really need S-video at a minimum, and S-Video is a simple $30.00 plug in card away. :)

No, the A500 has monochrome composite. It's really sharp for composite. Of course, it's monochrome, and considering the Amiga was famous for it's colors.... Kinda defeats the point...

Agree with the s-video. I ran that for a bit and I have to admit, it was hard to tell it from RGB. At least for me...
But s-video (and composite) have the dreaded PAL/NTSC issues...

So, get a $30 GBS-82x0 RGB to VGA adapter (and a 23-pin plug to plug into the Amiga side) wire it up and hook it to a VGA monitor.
Not as nice as RGB on a CRT, but not bad.
(or spend LOTS more on a much nicer scan doubler... which I'm too cheap to do..)

As for AGA..
I love my 1200, and there are some great AGA games, but I'm not sure how important it really is considering the whole library.

And I like 1.3!!! That and a nice disk manager (CLIMate or an old DirOpus) and it's a decent GUI. :-)
Remember it's 1985; we're comparing it to Windows 1.0, Mac System 2 and the ST GEM.. So it's not like any of those were the GUI to make computers worth using. ;-)

To be fair, while I like the A500 (have one now and had one BITD), I have my A1000 and my A1200 set up. And my A500 (which has 2M CHIP and 8M FAST) is not... So I basically agree with you...

But the 500 can be a great little system...

desiv

#58 wood_jl OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:37 AM

I enjoy reading about you fellas and your Amiga stuff and info!

I thought I was rockin' with 1.3, because it wasn't 1.2! (I don't really know the difference though)

#59 abraXXious OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:08 AM

The new Amigas run OS 4.1. :)

Amiga OS 3.9 with all Boingbag updates is nice on the classic machines though.

Oh, and I had forgotten the A500 had mono composite out - thats right. However, so does the A2000. Just another reason why the A500 sux compared to the 600 and 1200. :)

#60 barnieg OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:16 AM

Well Lotharek is close to having MiST Atari ST /Amiga clone ready to buy (some videos as well) :) http://lotharek.pl/product.php?pid=96 When I can justify the expense I'll confirm I want one!

#61 carmel_andrews OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:50 AM

Microsofty and Apples destroyed the 'home computer'

Or is it the case that Atari, Commodore etc etc just couldn't keep up

Interesting though that Atari were considering going down the UNIX route with the initial (1985) R&D version of what became the TT, shame that they didn't stick with that idea, Atari might still be with us as a hardware company.... considering that Apple got lucky with their own 'port' of UNIX (from bsd),thanks largely to a buyout/merger with SJ's NeXT corp. (Otherwise I think apple would have bitten the dust, like Atari and Commodore did)

Edited by carmel_andrews, Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:52 AM.


#62 atarian63 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:57 AM

Atari 800 or xl, followed by c64

#63 barnieg OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:24 AM

I certainly think Microsoft has greatly damaged the computer industry, however with Atari & Commodore they saw each other as the competition to beat when in reality it was the IBM PC & clones they needed to watch.

Atari, Commodore & Apple for that matter sometimes competed internally with themselves resulting in killing successful product lines that should have been allowed to evolve. What could have been if Steve Jobs hadn't been so hell bent on killing the Apple IIgs and if it had even a moderate level of support and wasn't deliberately crippled? for example

Worst of all for Atari & Commodore they created PC Clones that effectively then paid for the real competition to grow (i.e Microsoft) and they didn't continue to evolve their respective product lines being too complacent.

Too Sum it up Microsoft were proved to have broken the law and did enormous damage but the competition were their own worst enemy!


Microsofty and Apples destroyed the 'home computer'

Or is it the case that Atari, Commodore etc etc just couldn't keep up

Interesting though that Atari were considering going down the UNIX route with the initial (1985) R&D version of what became the TT, shame that they didn't stick with that idea, Atari might still be with us as a hardware company.... considering that Apple got lucky with their own 'port' of UNIX (from bsd),thanks largely to a buyout/merger with SJ's NeXT corp. (Otherwise I think apple would have bitten the dust, like Atari and Commodore did)


Edited by barnieg, Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:25 AM.


#64 Hatta OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:32 AM

Interesting though that Atari were considering going down the UNIX route with the initial (1985) R&D version of what became the TT, shame that they didn't stick with that idea, Atari might still be with us as a hardware company.... considering that Apple got lucky with their own 'port' of UNIX (from bsd),thanks largely to a buyout/merger with SJ's NeXT corp. (Otherwise I think apple would have bitten the dust, like Atari and Commodore did)


Apple had their own UNIX at the time too, and it didn't do much for them. I don't see why an Atari UNIX would have been different. The world was not yet ready for a UNIX desktop.

#65 barnieg OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:55 AM

Depends where you worked, this is straying a bit from the original topic but Lots of Commercial UNIX versions were developed over the years all different to extract maximum revenue. Competing with each other killed UNIX & in professional markets like CAD/CAM vendors forced customers of the platforms they were using to Windows NT as Microsoft had bribed them to dump support for other systems. It also didn't help that Windows solutions were cheaper and although complete garbage compared to the alternatives it was the bean counters that were sold on the Microsoft solutions and that made the difference.



Apple had their own UNIX at the time too, and it didn't do much for them. I don't see why an Atari UNIX would have been different. The world was not yet ready for a UNIX desktop.


Edited by barnieg, Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:56 AM.


#66 barnieg OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:58 AM

I suppose it depends if we are looking at the best early 80's desktop or late, also whether we are talking 8 or 16-bit :)


Atari 800 or xl, followed by c64



#67 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:14 AM

Common misconception. The Archie series had VERY powerful Risc cpus.... and little else. In practice for gaming, moving graphics (except 3d bitmap based) etc they were completely outclassed by the Amiga.

Now 3d is another matter. The Arm based cpus were very powerful and since 3d relies on the cpu more so than any custom graphics hardware (well, back then anyway), the Archie always had the best versions of 3d games.

Earlier machines were hideous, however the Risc PC 600/700 case is a thing of beauty and I would never part with any of mine. :)

True, it had no coprocessors like the Amiga had. Just raw power. IMO this makes it a perfect machine for a nerd programmer (like I am). Somehow similar to the Atari 2600.

#68 Segataritensoftii OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:07 PM

True, it had no coprocessors like the Amiga had. Just raw power. IMO this makes it a perfect machine for a nerd programmer (like I am). Somehow similar to the Atari 2600.

I've always loved the simplicity of machines like the Archimedes and the 8-bit Apples. They're very "pure" computers.

The Archimedes was somewhat simplistic, but incredibly powerful for the time. The fact that it could keep up with X86 without any significant upgrades for years after it was released was a testament to the power of ARM.

Edited by Segataritensoftii, Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:15 PM.


#69 atarian63 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:25 PM

I suppose it depends if we are looking at the best early 80's desktop or late, also whether we are talking 8 or 16-bit :)

True, Atari to 85 , then if you are doing 8bit ,86 on c64, but really by 86 most were moving to 16 bit Atari ST or to a lesser extent Amiga

#70 atarian63 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:26 PM

It's no uglier than a C128 or C64c. Of course, if you think those things are ugly, then I digress.

It doesn't need much upgrading, depending upon use. 1MB upgrade is all I need, and it's easy, and cheap.
It's as reliable as the day is long, compared to A1200 and A4000 with bad caps.
AGA never got much support, anyway. The vast majority of games are for the earlier machines.

Amiga HxC.JPG

With this floppy emulator and 1MB upgrade, it plays every Amiga game I throw at it, and it's reliable.

But I admit I'm not a "hardcore" Amiga fan. I like the Amiga though, and it's a great game machine - even the A500.

I suppose if I was hardcore, I wouldn't use mine with an Atari monitor....

Amiga SC1224.JPG


The A500, 1MB, and HxC SD Floppy Emulator, and this torrent and it's 22Gb of more stuff than I'll ever get to. Plug and play. No hassles. No further upgrades. No WHDLoad conversions, no Degrader, nothing but the disc images and SD card. Not everybody's cup of tea, but undeniably, some excellent, reliable gaming.

I bought the internal version, have yet to install it, pretty good you say? hopefully,just need a free moment to install it,then install
images

Edited by atarian63, Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:35 PM.


#71 wood_jl OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:22 AM

I bought the internal version, have yet to install it, pretty good you say? hopefully,just need a free moment to install it,then install
images


It's really, really cool! I have never used the on-screen software that the internal version likely uses. I've only been using it SIO2SD-style with the buttons.
As the floppies continue to (1) become increasingly rare, and (2) disintigrate, this is the way to go.

I still like to piddle with the floppies now and then, and it's a novelty - on both the 8-bit and ST. But when using it a lot, I don't feel like I'm "beating" on my old drives and media. And boy, is it convenient! Put all those boxes of floppies away safely, unclutter the computer area, and change games with ease!

Ever since I got back into the Ataris a few years ago, I'd been wanting SIO2PC or SIO2SD for ST (and Amiga, as it were). This is it! It was like a wish that materialized.

Edited by wood_jl, Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:23 AM.


#72 Manoau2002 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:37 AM

Do any of the Atari. Amiga, or Commodore computers of the 80's support 3.5 floppy disks? Blank 3.5 floppy's are still available online. If so what are the model name/numbers of those drives?

Edited by Manoau2002, Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:37 AM.


#73 desiv OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:56 PM

Do any of the Atari. Amiga, or Commodore computers of the 80's support 3.5 floppy disks? Blank 3.5 floppy's are still available online. If so what are the model name/numbers of those drives?

I'm not up on the Atari 8-bit stuff, although I know the STs all used 3.5" floppy drives.
As for Commodore, the 1581 drive added 3.5" disks to the 8-bit lineup.
The Amiga (like the ST) came standard with 3.5" drives.
The externals from Commodore were numbered the A1010 and A1011. There were numerous 3rd party external drives also...

I got a case (200) of 3.5" DSDD blanks (new in sealed plastic bundles of 20 each) online a bit ago, so I'm fairly well set for those myself..

desiv

#74 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:22 PM

I thought I was rockin' with 1.3, because it wasn't 1.2! (I don't really know the difference though)


Dont'cha hate it when you ask a question and nobody answers? :lol:

1.2 didn't have native auto-booting hard drive support, 1.3 does - and that was the main difference. There exists a handful of games and programs though that actually require 1.2 and will not run under 1.3.

#75 atarian63 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:34 PM

It's really, really cool! I have never used the on-screen software that the internal version likely uses. I've only been using it SIO2SD-style with the buttons.
As the floppies continue to (1) become increasingly rare, and (2) disintigrate, this is the way to go.

I still like to piddle with the floppies now and then, and it's a novelty - on both the 8-bit and ST. But when using it a lot, I don't feel like I'm "beating" on my old drives and media. And boy, is it convenient! Put all those boxes of floppies away safely, unclutter the computer area, and change games with ease!

Ever since I got back into the Ataris a few years ago, I'd been wanting SIO2PC or SIO2SD for ST (and Amiga, as it were). This is it! It was like a wish that materialized.

sounds great, I mioss those days, our store has multiple amigas and St's with amps and speakers hooked up running demos,games etc. Tried your ing for images but of course time warner flagged it. any back way?
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