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Should I get an ST or an Amiga?

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Hello,

 

So I was thinking about getting an Amiga or ST and I'm trying to decide which one to get. I live in the US and there's a game I want to play that was released for both systems called "Fire & Ice", but it only came out in Europe. Comparing the Amiga and ST, which one is the most import friendly and which model would be the best to get, so I can play PAL games like "Fire & Ice" in the states?

 

Thanks in advance.

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I had both machines and both are great for a number of reasons. I still have an STe today.

Fire and Ice is a cool game but not one I particularly loved.... but each to their own. I hope you get an ST (just make sure it's got 1mb minimum and a decent TOS, or just make sure it's a STe)

Steve

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IM sure others will disagree, but unless you are willing to invest some time with the Amiga Id go with the ST. Its a bit more "plug and play" with the OS and such.

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Do you have historical ties to either system? If not and you purely are a game player, I'd say get the Amiga. The Amiga has better scrolling and sound as a whole.

 

However, if you want to mess about with DTP, or MIDI, or general computing apps the ST is a better call.

 

It really depends on your ultimate goals.

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We all know how this is going to pan out. Ask an Atari board which machine to get and most are going to say Atari. Go to an Amiga board and ask the same question, guess what? :grin:

 

But... and I'm not meaning to be an ass here, what are ST folks doing for modern monitors or even just getting composite out of their computers to play on any old TV? One of the models has composite out I thought... STFM?

 

ST monitors aren't exactly common, so being able to display your computer would be my very first concern. And when you do finally land one, more than likely a 12" screen where an inch of that is already taken up by the invisible border (or quite visible when in GEM) the ST displays. Is there an adapter or flicker fixer/scan doubler type of device if you want to use larger monitors?

 

How are PAL games handled here in NTSC land? Software switchers like TUDE or Degrader I assume, but is the computer (and monitor for that matter) able to display the images properly without chopping more of the screen down? This is what it looks like on Amiga if you don't have the proper monitor and/or TV standard selected (not cool):

 

post-13896-0-74529200-1463076846_thumb.jpg

...the Indivision FF/SD takes care of any PAL/NTSC incompatibilities btw, only referencing the issue for those that use 15khz Amiga and ST monitors or TV's.

What about modern mass storage devices and adapters (CF, SD, etc.)? There exist devices like this readily available for purchase today? If so, people should be providing links. Same with RAM expansion options.

 

When it comes to utilizing the mass storage, is there a program comparable to WHDLoad for the ST? Nice having your old floppy games available for easy picken's.

 

Can't always count on the disk drive to be of much use... so can pop in an HxC floppy emulator at least.

 

How about if you can't find a mouse or yours is broken, there exist PS/2 or USB adapters?

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I'm full-on Atarian over Amiga and even I would suggest going with an Amiga if I were him as if memory serves, it just had more colors and was a better gaming machine in general.

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To the original poster.. Basically if the game you want above all features primarily horizontal scrolling and there isn't an STe specific version I would say go with the Amiga. This is the only area where you will notice a real difference over the ST, other than the sound - which depends on whether you like low res muffled samples (and usually annoyingly short looping music) on the Amiga, or crystal clear squaking from the sound chip on the ST. The Fire and Ice version is by all accounts better on the Amiga. Horizontal scrolling was difficult on the ST and the programmers either got round it by reducing the screen size (Turrican 2, First Samurai etc) or making it horribly jerky (Final Fight, Turtles the Arcade game) or just not doing it at all and using screen flipping.

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We all know how this is going to pan out. Ask an Atari board which machine to get and most are going to say Atari. Go to an Amiga board and ask the same question, guess what? :grin:

 

 

In answer to the questions (or baiting?) that followed :)

 

"ST monitors aren't exactly common, so being able to display your computer would be my very first concern. And when you do finally land one, more than likely a 12" screen where an inch of that is already taken up by the invisible border (or quite visible when in GEM) the ST displays. Is there an adapter or flicker fixer/scan doubler type of device if you want to use larger monitors?"

 

Well if the monitor accepts VGA the ST hi res mode will work with it just like any normal monitor. In Europe I'd imagine most modern LCD TVs will work with the STs Low/ Med res as long as you get the right cable, might be more tricky in the US but there was a thread on here recently about monitors that will work out the box. The original ST and the STF are the ones that are most troublesome it seems, as they don't have the modulator. I don't think the monitor thing is quite as tricky on the ST as the Amiga, mainly due to funky interlacing the Amiga does on its 'hi res' screens

 

The border thing - at least on most of the original monitors I've encountered this isn't really an issue, most of them can stretch or squish the image, and the border magically disappears.

 

 

 

"What about modern mass storage devices and adapters (CF, SD, etc.)? There exist devices like this readily available for purchase today? If so, people should be providing links. Same with RAM expansion options."

 

Lotharek is doing ultrasatan for the mass storage, Exxos is doing RAM and lots other exciting bits.

 

 

 

"When it comes to utilizing the mass storage, is there a program comparable to WHDLoad for the ST? Nice having your old floppy games available for easy picken's."

 

There isn't anything quite as nice as WHDLoad for the Atari, mainly it seems that games are adapted individually so you can just stick them on a hard disk and run them from there, PPeras stuff hard disk adaptions I guess is the place to start (other authors are available).

 

 

 

"Can't always count on the disk drive to be of much use... so can pop in an HxC floppy emulator at least."

 

See Lotharek again..

 

 

 

"How about if you can't find a mouse or yours is broken, there exist PS/2 or USB adapters?"

 

Exxos used to do the PEST interface, but I don't think he'll build them any more unless you order 25 or so. Those adaptors are all over the place on Ebay though (at least the UK version). As the Amiga and ST share similar joystick ports it really is not a problem to an adapt an Amiga one..

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I think we all need to step back here a sec and read the OP question - it doesnt sound like he has any experience with either platform and not sure if he is looking to invest a ton of time learning the ins/outs and adding expansion. I didnt have alot of experience with the Amiga, but what I did see the OS is not as 'simple' as the ST's. For a power user the Amiga offers alot more flexibility, for someone that just wants to find some old games and play them maybe not so much.

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I think we all need to step back here a sec and read the OP question - it doesnt sound like he has any experience with either platform and not sure if he is looking to invest a ton of time learning the ins/outs and adding expansion. I didnt have alot of experience with the Amiga, but what I did see the OS is not as 'simple' as the ST's. For a power user the Amiga offers alot more flexibility, for someone that just wants to find some old games and play them maybe not so much.

 

Great point. He should be able to pick up a 520STM for a decent price (many I've seen recent less than $100) and just hook it up to the TV and play it that way. Of course, he'll need a disk drive or some other means of getting the game into the ST.

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Yes, and don't mistake my post guys! Not trying to start a war, "bait" or however you want to misconstrue. Basically asking what's available comparatively today and made comments based on my past experience with the ST. Have only ever owned a 520 and 1040 and already sold them by the late 90's. Didn't have most of these wonderful tools and devices back then, which is why I'm asking what's what today. It's what you do when trying to make comparisons and informed purchasing decisions. ;)

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.... or ....

 

fire up WinUAE (Amiga) or Hatari (Atari ST) and play Fire & Ice on them to see if your memory still matches reality ... then decide if you want to pursue a real hw purchase.

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Or do what I did and buy a MiST and run both Atari ST and Amiga AGA cores..

 

Of course if you are a die hard user of wanting original retro hardware then the MiST will not do that, but it's a compact FPGA computer that runs it all.

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I don't have Amiga, and never had. But I think that today getting some oldie self may cost less than getting proper monitor + cables for. So, if can get both. Best would be some STE and some specific Amiga (I guess later, but not 32-bit),

And of course lot of floppies - at least you can use same in both. Mass storage not necessary, at least not at beginning, and you will need different adapters for 2 systems.

 

While MIST seems as wiser idea, and it is indeed it considering lifetime, that is not same as original HW.

All depends on users interest, orientation. If not only games are the target, I think that Atari is better choice.

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...

 

"When it comes to utilizing the mass storage, is there a program comparable to WHDLoad for the ST? Nice having your old floppy games available for easy picken's."

 

There isn't anything quite as nice as WHDLoad for the Atari, mainly it seems that games are adapted individually so you can just stick them on a hard disk and run them from there, PPeras stuff hard disk adaptions I guess is the place to start (other authors are available).

That's nice you found time to give some explanations and links, hopefully will be useful for some people.

 

I must react om "There isn't anything quite as nice as WHDLoad for the Atari...," . Games are adapted individually on Amiga too, and that can't be done otherwise. WHDLOAD is nicer ? In what ? That people must pay for it :-D

Truth is that Atari people has better hard disk adaptations - because we have statesave options, what WHDLOAD has not. I even suggested that on Amiga forum, but they said that it is not possible on Amiga, because can not read some HW registers. That is not proper answer - on ST can not read all HW regs. too, but there are workarounds. HAGA is pretty much similar in concept to WHDLOAD - there is master (file HAGA, with code for executing common tasks, and slave, done separately for every game, what performs calls for usual things like hard disk access. But I added there TOS in RAM for solving TOS version incompatibilities, low RAM conflicts ++, for instance.

In my opinion, WHDLOAD is famous because it was first wide used system + there is much more Amiga user now, so more people adapting games. But it was not first hard disk supporting system. That would be FFLS hard disk driver by Superior (around 1992). See at bottom of page: http://atari.8bitchip.info/fromhd.php(something almost forgotten).

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Ai fair enough comment, Perhaps 'as universal' would have been a better word usage, and certainly it has a price attached :)

 

 


I must react om "There isn't anything quite as nice as WHDLoad for the Atari...," . Games are adapted individually on Amiga too, and that can't be done otherwise. WHDLOAD is nicer ? In what ? That people must pay for it :-D

Truth is that Atari people has better hard disk adaptations - because we have statesave options, what WHDLOAD has not. I even suggested that on Amiga forum, but they said that it is not possible on Amiga, because can not read some HW registers. That is not proper answer - on ST can not read all HW regs. too, but there are workarounds. HAGA is pretty much similar in concept to WHDLOAD - there is master (file HAGA, with code for executing common tasks, and slave, done separately for every game, what performs calls for usual things like hard disk access. But I added there TOS in RAM for solving TOS version incompatibilities, low RAM conflicts ++, for instance.

In my opinion, WHDLOAD is famous because it was first wide used system + there is much more Amiga user now, so more people adapting games. But it was not first hard disk supporting system. That would be FFLS hard disk driver by Superior (around 1992). See at bottom of page: http://atari.8bitchip.info/fromhd.php(something almost forgotten).

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Just an FYI: was never a requirement to purchase WHDLoad. You only sent a paltry sum (think it was $10-$15) in if you wanted to support the developer and get rid of the timed splash screen. Since the latest version 18.x.x, it's now totally free with no forced delay. :)

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Both - in europe it's easier to gen an Amiga though so if it's the same deal there I'd get it first to give yourself something to do until you find the ST :)

 

(Still looking for an ST myself...)

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For a new adopter who is focused on playing Fire and Ice, any Atari ST with 1mb of RAM will be the quickest, easiest, and cheapest solution. The ST edges the Amiga out because you'll be able to use a floppy drive (even USB) on a modern PC to write the game back to floppy and away you go. There are a wide number and variety of other options and reasons to consider them, but given the original requirement, this is the best bet for you.

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If you want to play one game - just emulate it! Both systems have strengths and weaknesses imo. What I like about both systems is each has their own distinct feel and style. You get different experiences on each platform. The Amiga does have some better scrolling and PCM sound, but the ST has a simpler OS and chip tune type sound. If you do get an ST, get the STe if you can.

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I think the most important factor is the game and it is better on the amiga.

depending on the era, early stuff was made mostly for ST then ported to Amiga.

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