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/  Forum Index
   /  Classic Amiga Hardware
      /  Alternatives to Classic Amiga hardware???
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amigadave 
Alternatives to Classic Amiga hardware???
Posted on 3-Jan-2021 0:24:45
#1 ]
Super Member
Joined: 18-Jul-2005
Posts: 1655
From: Lake Shastina, Northern Calif.

Happy New Year to all Amiga enthusiasts!

I have been considering purchasing a Vampire accelerator card, or V4 stand alone system, but one reason I hesitate is the lack of their ability to connect an Amiga floppy disk drive. I know I should just do what most other users do, and WHDLoad with a download of a TOSEC file with every Amiga software game and productivity software ever made for the Amiga, but that just doesn't seem right to me. That, plus the fact that I own such a large library of Amiga software on original floppy disks, and CDTV/CD32 optical discs.

So my question to all of you this first week of 2021 is this; What is my best option for running all of my existing Amiga software/games, from their original media, and at the best performance? I'm open to answers that include accelerated original Amiga hardware, FPGA replacement hardware, Emulation, or anything else that works. I just want to be able to pop my original floppy disks, and original CDROMs into the system, and run the games and software on that media as well as possible, with as little reconfigure time spent as possible. I just want to set it up once, and other than perhaps booting into a different Amiga ROM version to run the really old stuff, or boot with a switch to downgrade some part of the system to allow running of the oldest stuff, I don't want to be forced into more work than that to run my whole collection of Amiga software.

Is a Mist (or is it Mister) able to do all of the above? Is there some way to connect a floppy and optical drive to a Vampire system? Am I better off just sticking with my A1200 w/68060 accelerator and using a disable function and ROM down grader? Perhaps I can use a Raspberry Pi 3 or 4, if there is a way to run Amiga floppy disks and CDTV/CD32 discs from its emulated Amiga environment? Are there other options that I am missing? Has anyone gotten their Catweasle card working inside an A-Eon X1000 well enough to use, or boot Amiga floppy disks, or run CDTV/CD32 discs via emulation?

Your thoughts on this topic are greatly appreciated, but even more appreciated if you have actual experience about what you are writing about.

Edit: I'll be making copies of all of my original Floppy disks and running the software/games from the copied disks, as a precaution, and preservation method, if the floppy disks are still readable. They are after all very long in the tooth now.

Last edited by amigadave on 03-Jan-2021 at 12:28 AM.

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klx300r 
Re: Alternatives to Classic Amiga hardware???
Posted on 3-Jan-2021 1:04:48
#2 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 4-Mar-2008
Posts: 3599
From: Toronto, Canada

@amigadave

other than an ACA500+ that’s working great on my early Rev Amiga 500 I can’t comment on any other FPGA etc solutions that are available lately...I can without doubt confirm that my Catwwasal has been working with all my Amiga floppies in my X1000 with no problems in my X1000 for many years now. The only limitation is E-UAE isn’t as advanced as Toni’s UAE. WHDLoad works great with RunInUAE too.
Head over to amigans.net as there are many detailed threads to get you going with Catweasel and OS4.1

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AmigaMac 
Re: Alternatives to Classic Amiga hardware???
Posted on 3-Jan-2021 3:30:01
#3 ]
Super Member
Joined: 26-Oct-2002
Posts: 1040
From: 3rd Rock from the Sun!

@amigadave

Though I don’t know the Amiga market like a lot of folks here, I always felt that a pure Amiga 1200 retro clone would be a hit if you could support both classic AOS and OS4 and even MOS compatibility through hardware expandability options and offer it at a somewhat reasonable price point.

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Mobileconnect 
Re: Alternatives to Classic Amiga hardware???
Posted on 3-Jan-2021 10:12:23
#4 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 13-Jun-2003
Posts: 354
From: Unknown

@amigadave

All FPGA or UAE (emulator solutions) will let you run things from floppy and CD disk images, but not generally from real hardware. The only way to use real hardware is to keep your classic system in place and expand it. For best performance Vampire is the only option if you aren't going to go full emulation.

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Amiga4000 
Re: Alternatives to Classic Amiga hardware???
Posted on 3-Jan-2021 15:12:22
#5 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 5-Jan-2006
Posts: 217
From: the Ford Galaxy

You know Dave, like I said before, my A1200 with an 030/40MHz accelerator, USB, Indi AGA Scan Double, Elbox FastATA, Internal slim CD/DVD-RW and a PCMCIA ethernet adapter is the most fun Amiga ever! I can play a game, be on the internet and listen to a CD all at the same time! Not to mention, most any floppy game I pop in just seems to work (even OCS/ECS) and I only use 3.1 ROMS. Yeah, it did take a little careful work to fit all that in (CD tray pops out from the back - located in the middle of the A1200) but man is this baby fun and fast! Using Song Player, CD audio is played through Paula natively. There is some great software recently released that really enhances Song Player and even other audio players (like fetching CD metadata from the web). I'm also using IBrowse 2.5.3 and AmiSSL 4.7 which works great! And this hardware config has been running since 2012! Amiga food for thought….

Elbox FastATA 1200 MK-V CF/SATA
I don't use the SATA adapter - just an IDE/CF adapter.

http://eu-shop.elbox.com/en_US/p/FastATA-1200-MK-V-CFSATA/629

Last edited by Amiga4000 on 03-Jan-2021 at 03:29 PM.

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spudmiga 
Re: Alternatives to Classic Amiga hardware???
Posted on 3-Jan-2021 23:48:03
#6 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 12-Dec-2002
Posts: 843
From: England, United Kingdom

@amigadave

Quote:

amigadave wrote:
Happy New Year to all Amiga enthusiasts!

I have been considering purchasing a Vampire accelerator card, or V4 stand alone system, but one reason I hesitate is the lack of their ability to connect an Amiga floppy disk drive.

...

So my question to all of you this first week of 2021 is this; What is my best option for running all of my existing Amiga software/games, from their original media, and at the best performance?


Hi Amigadave, and a very happy new year to you
A good and intriguing post.

My situation is very similar to yours. I have owned my current A1200 for almost 6 years now and have enjoyed owning it and upgrading it. Like yourself I have a vast library of Amiga software and files on floppy disk. A lot of the files I have backed up on CF card - others I keep safely in storage. On the gaming side - I think WHDLoad is a good option if you do not want to wear out your old diskettes. You can always keep them in storage should WHDLoad let you down... your productivity software will almost certainly be HD installable so once they are installed to your hard disk or CF card... just keep them cool dry storage away from magnets and they should be fine.

I think the closest 'Amiga feel' experience would be to do as I am doing and get on the waiting list for a Vampire 1200 card. You get to keep your A1200 in its original case with its original disk drive whilst benefitting from all the added power and options a having Vampire brings.



Quote:
I'll be making copies of all of my original Floppy disks and running the software/games from the copied disks, as a precaution, and preservation method, if the floppy disks are still readable. They are after all very long in the tooth now.


It is true our humble floppies are all 20+ years old now, thanks to the stupidity of Commodore not releasing the later models with HD disk drives, DD disks are generally even older and harder to get hold of.
I am probably in a minority here but I really wish there was a company that still manufactured disks. A lot of the stick floppies get tend to come from people who do not look after them properly. I have many disks here that have outlived several of my other devices - USB sticks, CD-ROMs (disk rot anyone?), rusty hard drives etc. Yet I have floppies here from the 80s still working just fine.
People seem to expect their disks to work flawlessly when they have sat for years in a hot/cold cycle loft or a damp garage then complain about them that they have errors on them.

Disks are still very useful to computer enthusiasts who do not like the Go-tek device.

Spud

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A500+ / 2Mb
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DiskDoctor 
Re: Alternatives to Classic Amiga hardware???
Posted on 4-Jan-2021 20:21:16
#7 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 3-Feb-2009
Posts: 605
From: Rzeszow, Poland

@amigadave

You got it straight to the point.

There’s a plenty of Amiga-likes right now (UAE, Amiberry/ARMIGA, V4 Standalone, MiST/MiSTer) but NONE allow for booting stuff from “classical media” (FDD, CD).

I say best and only alternative to classic Amiga is... classic Amiga. In order to have relative portability, CDTV-CR is the best option. But there’s only six pieces out there, so I would recommend CDTV with the floppy, which I plan buying in a few weeks anyways.

Regarding the said re-configuration to run some stuff, it reminds me of the Docker. It would be just great to have an Amiga-Docker, placed on a CF card root. Something Willem Driver is doing for Vampire Standalone (the V4BL). A pity there’s no such solution for classic Amigas, holding config for

- chip
- fast
- slow
- kick
- libs
- etc

Great point, again, though.

EDIT* this goes all the more problematic if one wants to purchase new games, released on FDD / CD...

Last edited by DiskDoctor on 04-Jan-2021 at 08:22 PM.

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Rose 
Re: Alternatives to Classic Amiga hardware???
Posted on 4-Jan-2021 20:33:00
#8 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 5-Nov-2009
Posts: 789
From: Unknown

@amigadave

Had same thoughts few years ago and refurbed my Amigas to choose "The One".
Got loaded A1200, A3000, A4000 and stock A500. Which one of those I use? None, pretty soon I started to remember why floppies blow. Solution was building Arduino floppy reader and image all floppies and just use MiSTer or WinUAE. Real Amigas get fired up maybe once a month.

I really like original hardware but.... Other solutions are just better for regular use.

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Acill 
Re: Alternatives to Classic Amiga hardware???
Posted on 5-Jan-2021 0:57:26
#9 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 5-Jan-2006
Posts: 159
From: Port Hueneme, Ca.

Hey Dave good to see you and hope you are healthy!

As far as I know the only modern replacements for classic hardware that can do real floppy drives is the FPGA Arcade Replay with the 060 Daughter board. I have one myself and know of nothing else like it. The sad thing is they re out of production and are like hens teeth to find.

The next best thing is a V500/600 or 1200 Vampire system with a real drive. It still depends on original hardware, but at least with the 500 and 1200 you can have an all new machine built. I have done this with my 500, but don't currently have a Vampire for the 1200.

The last option I know of is the Catweasel PCI card in a Pegasos II using a real floppy. I don't know if it will run under OS4 or not, but from my understanding, it does quite well under MorphOS. It doesn't help much with games though, I know.

Last edited by Acill on 05-Jan-2021 at 12:59 AM.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: Alternatives to Classic Amiga hardware???
Posted on 5-Jan-2021 1:41:02
#10 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 11597
From: Norway

@Acill

Yes Catweasel PCI MK3 and MK4 is support on AmigaOS4.
the MK4 only existed for Linux, until I created a driver for AmigaOS4,
the difference in MK3 and MK4, is that firmware has transferred to it, before it can be used. Ian continued the development and ported it AROS.

MK3 driver existed before MK4, not sure about the history of that driver.

Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 05-Jan-2021 at 01:48 AM.
Last edited by NutsAboutAmiga on 05-Jan-2021 at 01:47 AM.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: Alternatives to Classic Amiga hardware???
Posted on 5-Jan-2021 1:53:30
#11 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 11597
From: Norway

@Acill

KryoFlux was always really interesting to me, must admit have curios about it, I know it has windows drivers, not sure its open source or not, it different to work into driver because its USB.

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