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Amiga Only Experiment. Part 1

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Posted 09-27-2010 at 01:35 AM by runequester

The goal of this experiment is to see how long I can go "amiga only" for all my computing needs.

The proper start will still be some time off, as I still lack a network option for the amiga, but it can't hurt to slowly start the process.

This is not some quasi-amiga-religious thing. I am not selling my linux PC or otherwise getting rid of it.
The goals are as follows:


1: Have fun!
2: Learn and explore more about my amiga and what it can and cannot do.
3: Look at things that I take for granted when it comes to computing, and what things I can live without.
4: By reducing access to internet time sinks such as youtube, hopefully redirect that time to more useful, creative pursuits.
5: Have fun!


In the cause of this, I am hoping to also be able to sink more time into the following projects:

Create graphics and basic animations in Deluxe Paint.

Learn to use a music tracker program.

Become proficient enough with Final Writer or similar to use it for my weekly print needs (mainly for tabletop RPG's)

If things work out well, learn some basic programming in AMOS or Blitz Basic.

Play through and master some longer amiga games, such as adventure games, strategy games and RPGs.


As time and more importantly money permits, there are multiple items of hardware that will need to be acquired, or which can be acquired with benefit:

My current machine is an Amiga 1200 (Commodore). It has an accelerator card with 8 megs FAST RAM and a 030/25mhz processor.

A faster accelerator will be high on the priority list. So far, another 030 card seems like the best option.
1: Can be acquired from softhut or amigakit with warranty.
2: Best compatibility.
3: Less heat issues.
4: Reasonable cost.

I will keep my eye out for an 060 option if it presents itself however.

Network solution. This will be relatively inexpensive.

OS 3.9. Still up in the air on this one, but it's probably the way to go. That will require...

CD ROM option. USB seems the simplest, but IDE will be much faster. Decisions..

Subway USB. Allows a variety of options, and is not terribly expensive.

Printer. Hoping to pick up a cheap compatible printer soon.

From preliminary research, it seems I will be okay for web browsing (basic), instant messaging (MSN, ICQ and AIM at least), and well covered for office and creative needs, as well as games.

Will need to spend some time determining what is the best database and spreadsheet app's to use.

Similar choice will have to be made about TCP/IP stack. There is a choice that I do not look forward to.

Lastly, I'll need to track down a full version of an amiga web browser.

That's it for the first blog post.
Happy hunting, fellow amigans
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  1. Old Comment
    As I've said elsewhere on the forums, up until about 3 months ago all I have ever used and owned were Amiga's. For some 20 odd years now all my computing needs were and still are done on the Amiga (except the net, which I'm using an old iMac G4 for).

    There is almost nothing you can't do on the Amiga, if your willing to put the time in with it. This iMac may be fine for the net, but I can still edit GFX,Pics quicker on the miggy and everything else I need a computer to do, but best of all it's fun using the Amiga.

    Final Writer & Pagestream are the two most used prog's on my Amiga, you can even get an 030 version of Final Writer which would suit your set up better.

    Most of my time on the Amiga was spent using an 030 board & OS 3.1, until about 5 years ago when I finally managed to get an 060/PPC board, the speed difference is amazing.

    I prefer to use OS 3.5 myself, as when I installed 3.9 it caused too many incompatabilities with older software.

    Subway USB is great for all sort's of thing's like, cameras, usb sticks, MP3 players etc..., but you'll really need an IDE board if you want to read/burn CDs/DVDs on your Amiga, I can do this easily on one of my Amigas with an old GVP 030 board & only 4 Meg of fast ram.

    Reckon your in for a good time with your little experiment, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at just what you will be able to do.

    You got it right with your 1st objective, have fun... :)
    Posted 09-27-2010 at 08:00 AM by Franko Franko is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Karlos's Avatar
    I hope the experiment goes well

    You don't necessarily need a CD to install though. I recently reinstalled without one, by simply making an ISO of the disc on another machine, then mounting it remotely over a samba share using MountISO (from aminet) and extracting the contents to a local spare bootable HD partition that would serve as the "install media" for the actual install.

    Note that mounting the remote ISO was done in preference to simply reading the CD itself over the network since this can lead to some odd filename issues and/or permission problems.

    This does presuppose you have a working network already.
    Posted 09-28-2010 at 06:15 PM by Karlos Karlos is offline
  3. Old Comment
    mechy's Avatar

    Good Luck

    Well, i am one of those crazy people who have never left the amiga, its always been a integral part of my life.I use it for email,picture editing,burning cd's and dvd's,word processing and on the net with irc,msn,AIM,and ibrowse 2.4 for browsing,Apdf for PDF,FXscan for scanning pdf creation etc,.. Your experiment to me is not really a experiment since the stuff you list is easily doable...but never cheap. To be fair i am on a A4000 with cyberstorm PPC,mediator with voodoo gfx card running 1280x1024x32.Granted,browsing is weak,and i suspect will always be.
    I have burned cd's on amiga's with as little as 2 meg using makecd and scsi burners.Most modern burners have buffer underrun protection so it shouldn't be a problem(the 1200 ide is another horror story tho).dvd burning with frying pan has worked fine for me also.
    if you can dont skimp on the accelerator! Spend the money on a blizzard 060! Scsi on the accelerator is generally way less cpu intensive but more expensive(i use acard aec-7720UW adapters on the A4000 and 32GB cf cards.Use a compact flash for a hard saves alot of power is ultra reliable(watch out for bootleg cards on ebay,but a good brand).
    I find os3.9 sluggish, but ts alot of torture to get a os3.1 system fully up to spec,but i find it faster.3.9....3.9 should of sold with real roms imho.
    i feel for you if you intend to live on aga tho! i bought a picasso IV for the A4000 back in 1995 and it was the best purchase i ever made

    good luck!
    Posted 10-15-2010 at 08:38 PM by mechy mechy is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Good luck, and have fun. As mentioned you dont need a cdrom (although obviously it comes in handy), but I'd be more inclined to simply use Virtual CD )on aminet) than bother setting up samba and so on. Sooo much easier Easy to use gui too. Having said this though with an '030 I'd stick with os3.1, or at worst/best (depending on perspective) 3.5 for no reason other than speed. While I find it fun to be restricted to aga (ie. its fun to see what results can be obtained when heavy limitations are imposed) a gfx card is as much of an upgrade experience as a faster cpu, even moreso in some cases.... an '030 + rtg outdoes an '060 +aga in some cases for a random example, so if youre looking to upgrade your amiga a little a mediator + gfx card + sound card might be a good option rather than a faster '030. I remember when I finally ditched Windows of Favor of Amithlon/OS3.9,... fun times. I thought I knew a lot about amiga already, but being limited to soley amiga os was quite a learning experience. Not just that but it taught me just how capable Amiga OS is given some decent hardware resources (still quite capable with slower hardware, but with the 2ghz '040 (according to sys info, but synthetic benchmarks arent trustworthy when using emulated cpus) there was little I couldnt do. Watch high quality divx rips, play Street Fighter 2 / Mortal Kombat 3 with mame, play quake 1 and 2 @ 100+ fps, snes/megadrive/etc emulators at full speed and so on.). Man, fun times :-)
    Granted an a1200+'030 wont open up the same doors, but there's still lots of fun to be had :-)

    All this reminiscing has made me nostaligic,.... time to dust off the ol' Amithlon/OS3.9 system methinks :-)
    Posted 10-27-2010 at 09:33 AM by fishy_fiz fishy_fiz is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Objectives 1 & 5 are justification enough for me.

    I dont think I could do this, Ive become way too accustomed to using modern software on my PCs and Mac and I'm a sucker for the eye candy and CPU speed.

    Having said that though I do most of my leisure computing on this ancient Compaq E500 (P3 600) running W2K, youtube makes it cry.
    Posted 02-09-2011 at 09:19 AM by coldfish coldfish is offline
  6. Old Comment
    hbarcellos's Avatar
    Someone already tried this kind of experiment with MorphOS or Amiga OS 4 or AROS? I would love to see the comments.
    Nowadays I code for iOS (just for fun). Because of that, it would be It would be (impossible)[deleted] really hard to live without OSX...
    Posted 06-24-2011 at 09:35 AM by hbarcellos hbarcellos is offline