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NOT Atari ST vs Amiga,

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That's the Apple Macintosh

 

 

Would say (and said it then) that a tiny 9" b/w computer was hardly "modern" at the time. ;)

 

No number pad, single button mouse, mono sound, single task environment, no built in speech etc., etc., etc. Original and overpriced Mac underwhelmed big time back then, especially compared to the Amiga. And some would (and did) even argue, the ][gs and ST.

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Would say (and said it then) that a tiny 9" b/w computer was hardly "modern" at the time. ;)

 

No number pad, single button mouse, mono sound, single task environment, no built in speech etc., etc., etc. Original and overpriced Mac underwhelmed big time back then, especially compared to the Amiga. And some would (and did) even argue, the ][gs and ST.

I agree, the Macintosh was underwhelming in so many ways after working on an Amiga 4000 for years it was a step back not forward.

Edited by Tonyvdb

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The Amiga has more graphics modes, can do a few things in hardware the Atari does in software... they have similar software libraries when it comes to games.
Many ST to Amiga ports were just thrown together and didn't really take advantage of the Amiga's unique features.

I personally prefer the Amiga due to the OS, not the games.

With the ST you have GEM and something that is similar to MS-DOS.
With the Amiga you have something more like Unix but not quite Unix. I had a full set of commands that made it a Unix like programming environment.
For a developer, that was really nice. Especially when I spent several years programming under Unix for work.

The IIGS is a nice machine if you take it for what it is.
As an 8 bit machine, it offers excellent backwards compatibility, lots of integrated ports, it's fast, and adds very nice graphics and sound.
It also like the detached keyboard, mouse, and it has a reasonably nice new OS/GUI.
As a 16 bit competitor, it needed a higher clock speed, it didn't have a built in disk drive like other 16 bit machines, it didn't have sprites, and it lacked the a large 16 bit software library that took advantage of the new features.
The IIGS really needed to run at 8MHz to look like a serious competitor the ST and Amiga.
The 65816's support of more memory is... umm... well... it falls way short of the flat memory model for the 68000.
It's like an 8 bit with an MMU, but... a there is more CPU instruction support than just an MMU.
And it's much more difficult for a compiler to generate optimized code for than a 68000.
And that is at a time when developers were moving away from using all assembly.
Assembly language programming on the 65816 is tedious compared to the 68000.

Edited by JamesD
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The Amiga has more graphics modes, can do a few things in hardware the Atari does in software... they have similar software libraries when it comes to games.

Many ST to Amiga ports were just thrown together and didn't really take advantage of the Amiga's unique features.

 

True enough on the games being simple ports that didn't exploit Amiga's extra hardware. But that just proves a point - that doing things in software is better.

 

Software can be updated anytime and easily, as opposed to perhaps having to swap a motherboard for new custom chips and all that.

 

The software approach works well and is far more versatile provided there is enough oomph available. And this philosophy is showing up in FPGA things.

Edited by Keatah

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The IIGS is a nice machine if you take it for what it is.

As an 8 bit machine, it offers excellent backwards compatibility, lots of integrated ports, it's fast, and adds very nice graphics and sound.

 

A rarely heard (if ever) complaint about the IIgs is that it didn't enhance the original Apple II software from the 70's and early 80's. The graphics and sound were identical to the machines that came before it.

 

If this scenario arose today, you'd hear complaints left and right about how the "GS" does nothing for the original software and that its a fail because of that.

 

I guess people just understood computers better back then?

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That's the Apple Macintosh

 

On further reflection, I think I agree with you.

Post 2010 we've moved away from the concept of the computer as a platform that you expand and back to the Mac's concept that a computer is an un-expandable sealed magic thing with a built-in display that end users are not expected to understand or try to use in any way other than as a consumer of the software that the device runs.

 

Maybe the PC and Amiga were the aberrations.

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All of Personal Computing is an aberration. We're coming full-circle back to timesharing and remote computing. Where all the computations are done in a big room, and the users have their own displays.

 

In the scheme of things that's all your smartphone is, a display. It's a notch above the 60's and 70's teletypes, but it's essentially just a dumb display.

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I've been actively using both an Amiga 500 and an Atari 1040 STe for about a year now.

 

They're very evenly matched.

 

One thing's for sure.... They represent two very different user experiences. The 'feel' of the two machines is not at all the same.

 

Maybe just try running some stuff via emulation and go for the platform that seems to resonate best with you.

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True enough on the games being simple ports that didn't exploit Amiga's extra hardware. But that just proves a point - that doing things in software is better.

 

Software can be updated anytime and easily, as opposed to perhaps having to swap a motherboard for new custom chips and all that.

 

The software approach works well and is far more versatile provided there is enough oomph available. And this philosophy is showing up in FPGA things.

The software approach may be very portable, and it certainly works, but you seem to be narrowing your view to accommodate your position.

 

First of all, you need all new software for interfacing with different hardware and operating systems, which is the difference between the ST and Amiga. The core game logic is the same but you have to write a lot of new code for each new platform.

Second, if you look at modern machines, they all have extensive hardware support for graphics and sound, even my $9 C.H.I.P. Linux based computer has extensive hardware for graphics. The different features of each piece of hardware are isolated behind drivers and APIs. Graphics have improved at an incredible rate that just wouldn't be possible with the CPU alone.

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Graphics is one thing you can never have enough hardware for. Sound? That stabilized like 10 years ago.

So over a decade after the Amiga left the market then?

Oh, and don't modern chipsets support more sound channels and have built in hardware decoders for audio that earlier ones don't?

Just sayin... as soon as a new compression comes out that offers better quality in the same or less space, you'll see that tacked on to the hardware.

That's why it's isolated behind an API.

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Ok. It seems that for a new user deciding on a system to start collecting for, the ST(E) line may be just as powerful as the Amiga line. However nothing strikes as exceptional enough to warrant an existing Amiga user to double up with an Atari ST as well. That was just about what I had figured.

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The Mac did have built in speech btw.

 

Into the original OS you mean? It "spoke" right out of the box? I don't remember that or sales guys demo'ing that capability at all BITD. Might just be my selective memory at work here. :lol:

 

We had a family friend back then that was an Apple rep. Had his Volvo station wagon jam packed with all sorts of Mac goodies. What I do remember besides him showing off how "cool" Flight Simulator was (yawn), is how easy it was to digitize stuff audibly. Was about as much fun as I could imagine having with that little Mac (reminded me of my childhood days recording voice, radio or TV shows to a K-mart tape deck), compared to my 1mb Amiga 500 at the time. To which he "shit" himself after I let him play with my computer for a while. He was one of these guys that never saw, let along touched an Amiga, yet was always quick to rip on it for whatever ignorant reason. Besides the excellent (color) graphics and stereo sound, I remember him being particularly impressed with how well the mouse pointer kept up on screen. lol Yep… 15khz really is *that* fast. Didn't take much to impress Mac people back then I guess. :ponder: :rolling:

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Into the original OS you mean? It "spoke" right out of the box? I don't remember that or sales guys demo'ing that capability at all BITD. Might just be my selective memory at work here. :lol:

 

We had a family friend back then that was an Apple rep. Had his Volvo station wagon jam packed with all sorts of Mac goodies. What I do remember besides him showing off how "cool" Flight Simulator was (yawn), is how easy it was to digitize stuff audibly. Was about as much fun as I could imagine having with that little Mac (reminded me of my childhood days recording voice, radio or TV shows to a K-mart tape deck), compared to my 1mb Amiga 500 at the time. To which he "shit" himself after I let him play with my computer for a while. He was one of these guys that never saw, let along touched an Amiga, yet was always quick to rip on it for whatever ignorant reason. Besides the excellent (color) graphics and stereo sound, I remember him being particularly impressed with how well the mouse pointer kept up on screen. lol Yep… 15khz really is *that* fast. Didn't take much to impress Mac people back then I guess. :ponder: :rolling:

Look up the original intro of the Mac that Steve Jobs did. It talked. I believe it started out "Hello, I am Macintosh"

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IIRC and understand it right, the original MAC did not have speech in hardware. The speech capability was a series of routines in ROM that spoke through a simple DAC.

 

Hey hey!! DAC in a MAC!

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IIRC and understand it right, the original MAC did not have speech in hardware. The speech capability was a series of routines in ROM that spoke through a simple DAC.

 

Hey hey!! DAC in a MAC!

It was software, but then so was the Amiga speech. And they sound pretty much alike.

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The Apple II had speech capability, right out of the box, too. It had the tonal quality of a circular saw, and not the smooth salad-dressing-like sound of the Votrax or other early dedicated speech chips.

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The Apple II had speech capability, right out of the box, too. It had the tonal quality of a circular saw, and not the smooth salad-dressing-like sound of the Votrax or other early dedicated speech chips.

Well, not on launch day and using the built in speaker is horrible.

Seriously, I can barely understand this.

 

The SAM card was much better as it had a DAC. This is one of the main reasons I suggested the Apple II should have come with a DAC. All it takes is a few resistors which were cheap even then.

*edit*

Now you should be able to do that with a Mockingboard. (without the speech chips)

 

The IIGS could produce high quality speech without a card.

Edited by JamesD

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Well, not on launch day and using the built in speaker is horrible.

Seriously, I can barely understand this.

 

The SAM card was much better as it had a DAC. This is one of the main reasons I suggested the Apple II should have come with a DAC. All it takes is a few resistors which were cheap even then.

*edit*

Now you should be able to do that with a Mockingboard. (without the speech chips)

 

The IIGS could produce high quality speech without a card.

We should get them all in a room together talking to each other. Hmmm... sounds like a good idea for a YouTube video.

 

Mac: "Hello, welcome to Macintosh"

 

Apple ][: "I'm an Apple II. Is anyone else out there?"

 

Amiga: " This is Amiga speaking"

 

Mac: "Oh yes, you're the colorful one but you're kind of blurry."

 

Amiga: "I have hardware-accelerated graphics so you'd best just step off."

 

Mac: "Perhaps, but 4 out of 5 desktop publishers think I'm sexy."

 

Apple ][: "I'm an Apple II."

 

Mac: "I am aware of that."

 

Amiga: "Yes. I detect an Apple logo on your exterior casing."

 

etc...

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I understand that and (based on what evidence I have as a novice) agree, but my question is whether there is any practical need to have an ST if you have an Amiga. I think I've come up with, as a casual collector, that the answer is a resounding "no."

 

It depends on the games you want to play. If you don't intend to look beyond Lemmings and Cannon Fodder, you're wasting your time with the ST but if you like games from the late 80s and prefer a more minimalist sound to the bombastic music and sound effects on the Amiga then you'll love the ST.

Edited by English Invader

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