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Good 16bit computer to start out with?


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#51 Zap! OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 2, 2014 9:12 PM

Alright, thanks for the help mate.

 

One last question, where can i get a hold of games?

 

I'd second the Satandisk, I want to order one by next week. Besides that, if you can get your hand on some blank floppies, there are tons of freeware games online. Other than that, you can get loads of stuff on  eBay.



#52 RobertB OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 3, 2014 12:26 AM

mehguy wrote:

 

> regardless of your OS?

 

As I mentioned before, most Amiga games are for OS 1.3.  Most Amiga games already have OS 1.3 on the game disk.  If you have an Amiga 600, which usually has OS 2.05, and if you insert a game disk which has OS 1.3 on it, the computer will try to boot into 1.3.  Really, really early 1.3 games won't work with OS 2.05.  However, I've had good luck running OS 1.3 games on my A600.

 

Truly,

Robert Bernardo

Fresno Commodore User Group

http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm


Edited by RobertB, Fri Oct 3, 2014 12:42 AM.


#53 RobertB OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 3, 2014 12:39 AM

98pacecar wrote:

 

> Like many others here, I'd suggest the Amiga 500 with a 512k memory expansion to get you started. That will allow you to play most of the games out there and get a real feel for the system

> without breaking the bank early.

 

If money is all important, the A500 with the added color video modulator would be the cheapest, since the A600 commands a higher price than the A500,  Even an A500 with 512K ram expansion and the color video modulator would be around $50 US.  But then you would have to throw in the cost of shipping...

 

Again, contact the Toronto PET User Group and see if you can work out a deal with them (provided they have the Amiga you want).  By the way, if you are in the Toronto area on the first weekend of December, the group runs their World of Commodore show at that time.  You might be able to buy an Amiga at the show.

 

Truly,

Robert Bernardo

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#54 mehguy OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 3, 2014 5:34 AM

 


98pacecar wrote:
 

> Like many others here, I'd suggest the Amiga 500 with a 512k memory expansion to get you started. That will allow you to play most of the games out there and get a real feel for the system
> without breaking the bank early.
 
If money is all important, the A500 with the added color video modulator would be the cheapest, since the A600 commands a higher price than the A500,  Even an A500 with 512K ram expansion and the color video modulator would be around $50 US.  But then you would have to throw in the cost of shipping...
 
Again, contact the Toronto PET User Group and see if you can work out a deal with them (provided they have the Amiga you want).  By the way, if you are in the Toronto area on the first weekend of December, the group runs their World of Commodore show at that time.  You might be able to buy an Amiga at the show.
 
Truly,
Robert Bernardo
Fresno Commodore User Group
http://www.dickestel.com/fcug.htm

yeah... I don't exactly live near toronto... at this point, I'm most likely just get a dos machine.

#55 English Invader OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 3, 2014 10:40 AM

  yeah... I don't exactly live near toronto... at this point, I'm most likely just get a dos machine.

 

My advice would be to emulate all three (Amiga, ST, MS-DOS) and save your money until you have a clear idea of what you want.  None of these machines are easy on the wallet.



#56 Tenorman OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 3, 2014 4:06 PM

I think with a $50.00 budget, you can't really afford to be choosy.  Wait for a good deal on an ST, Amiga, Apple IIgs, or old color Mac to come up and grab it.  They would all be reasonable choices.



#57 KiwiArcader OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 3, 2014 6:41 PM

 

My advice would be to emulate all three (Amiga, ST, MS-DOS) and save your money until you have a clear idea of what you want.  None of these machines are easy on the wallet.

 

Agreed.

 

A budget of $50 is pretty lean if you consider the cost of obtaining software. Or even finding the software you want for that matter!! If it comes down to that being your total available money you can outlay then I would have to say go for an Atari ST/STe as at least you can copy ST game images off the net onto a 3.5" disk using any IBM PC with a built in disk drive. Amiga disks which use the crappy format thanks to different drive hardware cannot be copied using PC disk drives so more costs and effort are required to be able to do that.



#58 Osgeld ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 4, 2014 1:16 AM

I am giving away a 16 bit mac,

 

its kind of a sucky mac, needs new caps, need a old VGA monitor or a mac monitor, comes with a old keyboard and mouse, but darn it its free outside of postage, download disk images copy over via 1.44meg floppy and boom you have tetris lol

 

and it does WORK, just a little noisy on the speaker

 

op seems to be set on amiga, so if anyone else is intrested feel free top chime in via PM


Edited by Osgeld, Sat Oct 4, 2014 1:26 AM.


#59 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 4, 2014 4:27 AM

Amiga disks which use the crappy format thanks to different drive hardware cannot be copied using PC disk drives so more costs and effort are required to be able to do that.


Amigas can read and indeed write DS/DD at 720K no problem with CrossDOS installed (which is part of Workbench on later machines, i used to ship data from my A1200 to a C64 with a TIB DD-001 that way) but they'll get more on a disk in their own format and that's what stuffs the PC drives. It's possible to transfer games to a real Amiga via floppy though, but takes a bit more effort and either a hard drive or RAM expanded machine because the disk images need to be split in two, transferred via CrossDOS, reassembled to the Amiga's hard or RAM disk and written out to floppy.

The better option would be to expand the budget and consider something like a Gotek floppy emulator with Amiga-specific firmware or CF converting an A1200 with some RAM and running WHDLoad.

#60 Rybags OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 4, 2014 5:33 AM

I used to use a command-line utility called Dos2Dos.

 

There's also the null-modem method, you can do file transfers using nothing but that, a PC with RS232 and the terminal program included on the Workbench floppy - there's instructions around somewhere, it's kind of slow but overall probably not much worse than doing by floppies.

Either way, you'll probably have to transfer full ADF images in 2 passes on a 1 Meg Ram machine.



#61 mehguy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 4, 2014 12:48 PM

 

 

op seems to be set on amiga, so if anyone else is intrested feel free top chime in via PM

Actually, I'm more set on a 486 dos machine instead.



#62 Hatta OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 4, 2014 1:27 PM

Good choice. 



#63 Zap! OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 4, 2014 1:36 PM

I almost had an Amiga 2000 for you. It sucks I had to work today. Guy had two 1084', tons of software, and Amiga 2000, and an Amiga 3000. All for $200. I'm furious right now.

#64 Chilly Willy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 4, 2014 9:04 PM

Amiga disks which use the crappy format thanks to different drive hardware cannot be copied using PC disk drives so more costs and effort are required to be able to do that.


It's not the drive hardware that's different, but the floppy controller. PCs use a "standard" IBM style FDC chip that is designed to read/write MFM one sector at a time, one byte at a time. The Amiga reads/writes the entire track at once, so they decided to make it work on words in the sectors so as to allow using the blitter to decode/encode the MFM. A scant few PC FDCs have raw track commands that allow reading/writing raw MFM, and those can read/write Amiga floppies just fine.

Since the Amiga read/wrote a track at once, they didn't need to worry about sector gaps. With tiny sector gaps, more data could fit in a track, which allowed the Amiga better storage. Late in the DOS age, there were PC formats with more sectors per track with smaller gaps. This allowed more data per track than normal, but you could corrupt a disk by writing to it given the smaller gaps. These formats were meant for installer software where you weren't going to write to the disks anyway, and the larger storage meant fewer disks for the install. CDs quickly supplanted this format as people would rather deal with one CD than 6 to 10 floppies.

Some Amiga games did away with the standard track format, knowing the Amiga read tracks all at once, they simply made the track one huge sector. Pysgnosis was famous for this. They also knew that Paula could track a small change in speed from the normal, so they wrote the track at a slower speed to fit more on the track than was possible writing at the standard speed (thus killing the ability to copy the disk without special hardware). Their "standard" length was about 20% larger than a normal AmigaDOS track.

#65 Seob OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 5, 2014 12:00 AM

The great thing about the amiga floppy controller was it's ability to make a exact copy of a copy protected pc disk. Back in the day we often went to amiga guys to make a spare copy of our pc games.

#66 Chilly Willy OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 7, 2014 12:48 PM

The great thing about the amiga floppy controller was it's ability to make a exact copy of a copy protected pc disk. Back in the day we often went to amiga guys to make a spare copy of our pc games.


Simple protection like multiple sectors with the same id or the like was trivial. Tougher methods like strong bits or weak bits required a little more hardware. A few companies made little carts that plugged into the port on the back of the Amiga with pass-thru for an external floppy that allowed the tougher schemes (including long tracks) to be copied between two floppies. These carts basically fed the read data line of one floppy straight to the write data line of the other floppy. You then turned on and off one of the drives until the index markers synced up and activated the switch for a track. Getting the drives in sync was the fun part - depending on how close the drives were to each other in speed, that was sometimes not possible. You'd have to find a pair of drives that would sync to make copies.

Edited by Chilly Willy, Tue Oct 7, 2014 12:48 PM.

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#67 Seob OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 8, 2014 11:34 AM

Actually, I'm more set on a 486 dos machine instead.

Interesting choice. I mean, getting games to run smoothly under dos, can be very tricky. Especially the later dos games that need a lot of free base mem, you really need to juggle with the config.sys and autoexec.bat. Think running games on a amiga or atari is a lot easier then going with dos.



#68 mehguy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 8, 2014 4:25 PM

Interesting choice. I mean, getting games to run smoothly under dos, can be very tricky. Especially the later dos games that need a lot of free base mem, you really need to juggle with the config.sys and autoexec.bat. Think running games on a amiga or atari is a lot easier then going with dos.

 

are they're any games noteworthy games that don't run smoothly on a 486? 



#69 Hatta OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 8, 2014 6:34 PM

Depends on what smoothly is.  DOOM gives me 25 FPS on my DX2/66.  That was smooth back in the day, but it's a lot more fun on my pentium.



#70 mehguy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 8, 2014 8:25 PM

Depends on what smoothly is.  DOOM gives me 25 FPS on my DX2/66.  That was smooth back in the day, but it's a lot more fun on my pentium.

ehh.. I can deal with that. So let's say a game isn't running correctly, how do I fix that?



#71 Kyle22 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 8, 2014 8:45 PM

Interesting choice. I mean, getting games to run smoothly under dos, can be very tricky. Especially the later dos games that need a lot of free base mem, you really need to juggle with the config.sys and autoexec.bat. Think running games on a amiga or atari is a lot easier then going with dos.

Especially when you have to fiddle with QEMM and re-Optimize just for that game, and remember how to put all the settings back after playing the game :)



#72 Hatta OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 8, 2014 9:03 PM

The usual problem with later era DOS games is not enough free "conventional" memory (below 640K).  The simple fix is a boot disk that doesn't load unneeded drivers.  The better solution is a carefully crafted config.sys and autoexec.bat that loads drivers in an efficient way. Generally, you use msdiag.exe to inspect the memory, find free regions and pass those as parameters to emm386.exe, and using the loadhigh directive in config.sys.  You can also save memory by using more modern memory managers and device drivers that are more efficient, but some have compatibility problems.

It's a pretty large topic, as you can see from how long it took to vaguely sketch out the process. You have to think of it as part of the fun.



#73 Great Hierophant OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 8, 2014 10:58 PM

Memory management for a 386 or 486 computer is usually very easy if you just want it to play DOS games.  You use HIMEM to load DOS in high memory and EMM386 or QEMM to create upper memory blocks to load your CD-ROM and mouse driver and you are all set.  



#74 The Usotsuki OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 9, 2014 2:43 AM

DOS 6 had MultiConfig which may be useful too.



#75 Seob OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 9, 2014 5:01 AM

Memory management for a 386 or 486 computer is usually very easy if you just want it to play DOS games.  You use HIMEM to load DOS in high memory and EMM386 or QEMM to create upper memory blocks to load your CD-ROM and mouse driver and you are all set.

6
It can be tricky. Some games really need a lot of the 640k base memory. The more hardware you have inside you're machine the more difficult it gets. Also a problem with older machine s can be irq conflicts.
This has nothing to do with 486 or pentium, it's just a dos problem.
Inmagine a nice pc using a vga card, a monster 3d, a soundblaster 16 and gravis ultrsound addon, you're cd-rom and mouse drivers. And it can become tricky to get it running. And this is a pc my friend used to have back in the day. I also had a similar setup, only without the gus.




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