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Old 02-04-2013, 03:48 PM   #41
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Default Re: Amiga setup "woes," possible change-up ahead...

So I installed the new 68060, 68040 libraries mentioned a few posts up, yet Showconfig tells me I have a 68040 in the system. I have a Phase 5 Blizzard '060 board in this A2000.

SS loads the standard Setpatch with OS 3.1.

This may be my problem with crashes in WHDLoad, right?

Should Showconfig report 68060? I read on EAB that it should... Thanks.

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Old 02-04-2013, 05:40 PM   #42
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Default Re: Amiga setup "woes," possible change-up ahead...

Originally Posted by blakespot View Post
What do you think of my plan?
I am going through the exact same experience as you. I've been an Amiga user since 1987 when I bought an A500. In 1996 I got an A2000, and between then 'til 2008 I expanded that machine with lots of bits and bobs trying to make it a super powerful Amiga (Picasso II, Repulse audio, 68040, Kickflash card, SupraRAM, Megachip, Flickerfixer, etc.). The thing was literally crammed (no more free expansion slots, and with ribbon cables going everywhere).

I was trying to keep up and be able to do modern desktop publishing, graphics and audio work with that machine...and for a while I succeeded, but it was very expensive and relied on hardware that couldn't easily be replaced.

Then, cheap PCs started to surpass what I could do even with that Amiga. There was little way for me to keep up - I could desktop publish and do advanced graphics and sound editing, but the wait times for thing results to render were extremely long in comparison with what a cheap PC could do.

Meanwhile, the A2000 with all these bits and bobs hanging on, had become a bit touchy. It seemed I was always popping the hood open to get one bit of hardware to play nicely with another third party add on. I babied that machine though and kept it clean and well fed, it served me well, but sometimes I had to say a little prayer every time I turned it on that the hard drive would spin up or a certain card would be recognized.

I eventually realized (after yet another component broke and would have been very hard to replace) that I was not really using an Amiga at all. YES, there was an Amiga BURIED somewhere in there, but everything was retargeted from the original Commodore hardware; all the graphics were RTG'd to a third party graphics card, sound was AHI'd to a third party audio card, and the CPU load was handled by a third party 68040 board. The Amiga motherboard was doing very little other than supplying power to the third party hardware hanging off of it. The actual hardware Commodore had designed and that had shipped with the A2000 on they day it rolled off the factory floor was barely being used. So, then, mightn't I just as well be using a SAM or WinUAE or a MacMini running MorphOS? The A2000 had simply become a box to feed electricity to all the non-Commodore components that were doing the real work.

I decided I would stop trying to make my classic Amigas compete with a modern PC or MAC and instead get back to basics - when using my classics, I would appreciate them for what the are, and not try to "pimp them out" into something they are not.

I sold my big box Amigas and their add-ons, and am going back to a basic Amiga 500 with a simple hard-drive sidecar and some extended RAM. I'm going to use software that doesn't need more than the custom chips and the basic 68000. Deluxe Paint, PhotonPaint, DigiView, Music trackers, original games. Give those custom chips a workout.

I've seen artists and musicians doing stuff on very basic Amigas lately that I'm really impressed by. It's like the whole synthesizer thing - in the 1980s we struggled to make realistic instrument sounds on our analogue synths. Many, like me, wanted to sell our old "obsolete" analogue synths because we wanted the new crop of digital synths that could actually mimic real acoustic instruments like oboes, clarinets, guitars, trumpets, saxes, etc. At that time some people laughed at my early 80s Roland Juno-106 because it was so "outdated" - and I started to believe them. Knobs and sliders were passÚ and everything was menu driven and membrane keyboard interfaces ruled. Sounds were crisp and sterile.

Then a decade later, we learned to appreciate the earlier analogue technology for what it was - and analogue synths then became sought after and desired for the unique sounds only they could make. Suddenly, everyone wanted real knobs and push-buttons on synths again. Synths like the Juno are now legendary and no one buys one to try and re-create a real acoustic instrument. They WANT that "fake" synth sound we had rejected.

I think Amigas are starting to be appreciated in this way. The old classics are not being compared to the latest cutting edge computers anymore - they are being appreciated on their own merits.

Like you, I also am attracted to the idea of a "clean" basic Amiga like you mentioned in your original post - hence I'm going back to a "wedge" Amiga like I originally had in the 1980s. The wedge also looks so unique!

I haven't abandoned the Amiga for productivity work. I use it more than ever (graphics, desktop publishing, 3d rendering, Bars & Pipes, audio editing). A few years ago I very reluctantly bought a PC and a copy of Amiga Forever. I never thought it would match my decked-out A2000. I delved into WinUAE, becoming what I would say is an "advanced user" and set up a virtual copy of the desktop that had once been on my A2000. It just FLEW! In AIBB tests it rated obscenely faster than my former real 68040 - even much faster than a 68060 - and this was on a (not cutting edge) PC that cost only a few hundred dollars from a refurbished computer dealer.

I was finally able to get more work done with this virtual "Amiga" than I had ever been able to do before. I was editing massive images in ImageFX and rendering in Aladdin4d stuff in seconds instead of minutes or hours. It's an RTG, 16-bit AHI setup without all the hard to find 20 year old cards. And if anything breaks, like the hard drive or the RAM or whatever, I can (finally) just pop down to any corner computer store and buy replacements for dirt cheap - or just replace the whole computer for almost nothing as people are giving away slightly older PCs all the time. I call it a "virtual Amiga" but really, it feels very Amiga to me.

I guess this is the same experience you had on your SAM - it was hard to go back to the expanded big box Amigas once you had tasted the speed of AmigaOS on modern hardware.

And for when I get nostalgic and want to use a REAL hardware Amiga, actually touch an original keyboard, hear the disk drive grind, see the interlace flicker and feel the angular mouse, I have that A500 with sidecar...and I know when I use THAT I'm actually seeing Denise, Paula and Agnes flex their muscles along with good old 68000. No RTG, AHI or third party CPU cards. WinUAE is my Amiga for "working" and the A500 is my Amiga for "fun" - and it's going to be damn fun I think!

I guess what I'm saying is a bit contradictory - When I want a nostalgic Amiga buzz I'll go back to a classic machine running on the native hardware, and when I need to do productivity work I'm happy to see AmigaOS run on the fastest possible, modern hardware (WinUAE, AROS, SAM, AmigaONE X1000, MorphOS, etc). I guess I'm what I'm trying to say is "appreciate the classics for what they are, leave the future to the next-generation machines".
Music I've made using Amigas and other retro-instruments:

Last edited by ral-clan; 02-05-2013 at 06:53 AM..
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:35 AM   #43
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Default Re: Amiga setup "woes," possible change-up ahead...

Originally Posted by blakespot View Post
Should Showconfig report 68060? I read on EAB that it should... Thanks.
Not on 3.1 - 3.1 was written before 060 came out.
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