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Amiga Technology

The Almost Forgotten Story of the Amiga 2000 192

Posted by samzenpus
from the back-in-the-day dept.
polyp2000 writes Many don't realize the impact the much forgotten Amiga 2000 had on the world. This lovely article is an informative and lighthearted read, especially if you are interested in the world of CG. "Unfortunately, The Amiga 2000 is one of the least favorite or collectible Amigas. Even today, with the most "die hard" Amiga fans, the A2000 often is ignored and shunned as a 'big, ugly' tank of a machine. One look at eBay (Canada or the U.S.), on any given day, and you can see that the A2000 often doesn't sell at all, and most times goes for a lot cheaper than all the other Amigas — even cheaper than an A500. But, because of this, one can find awesome deals, because, most of the time, the seller has no clue about what Zorro cards are inside, and for next to nothing, you can pick up a fully loaded A2000 with an '030 or above for peanuts."
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The Almost Forgotten Story of the Amiga 2000

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  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday July 20, 2014 @11:07PM (#47497923) Homepage Journal

    But unless it comes packed with a video card and an accelerator, there's not much point to even messing with it today. What you really want if you don't actually care about Amigas is a CDTV and/or CD32, which takes up minimal space, looks minimally crappy, and runs most of the respective software library depending on whether you want the old or newer chipset.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I'll just stick with FS-UAE. That's why I love my laptop. With all of the great, accurate emulators, it's multiple computers and consoles all in one compact unit.
    • by ackthpt (218170)

      I still like mine. It's got some cool stuff on it, available on no other platform and one of the biggest pluses is I don't go on the internet with it, so that distraction and annoyance isn't an issue. :)

    • by adisakp (705706)
      I wrote a bunch of software for the Amiga back in the day and they all tend to run really well on a emulator on any decent modern PC - actually often better than on the original systems when I designed the game. Sometimes I get nostalgic and play them in an emulator.

      The Amiga 500 had 512K of RAM and even expanded to 1MB, it's still less than the cache on a modern PC so you can emulate the entire machine in cached memory - combined with instruction througputs and current clock cycles, a current PC is some
  • the seller has no clue about what Zorro cards are inside

    I can understand the display cards and SCSI cards - those have function - but everything else (framegrabber cards and such) seems like rather hopelessly outclassed stuff?

    • Actually, the accelerator and the genlock slot are both special-purpose slots.

      What you really want to find inside of your Amiga 2000 is an '030 accelerator and an Emplant board with some Mac IIci roms on it, as well as a boatload of RAM (1 or 2+4MB, maybe?) with a fat or fatter Agnus, and some 2.1 ROMs. If you don't have all of those things, then you will always be tempted to blow more money.

      All of this has made me wonder if I can score an accelerator or at least RAM expansion for the A1200 for a reasonable amount of money, though. That would be a fun casemod (separating the keyboard and the rest of the machine) and I've got one lying around. I was supposed to give it away but crap happened.

      • Yeah mine has 3mb and a couple SCSI drives, and fat aggie.
        • by PopeRatzo (965947)

          I'm afraid to google "fat aggie".

          • by Nimey (114278)

            There must be lots of Texas A&M sorority girls. :P

          • by RealRav (607677)
            It was actually "Fat Angus" but for the love of God don't forget the g when googling!
            • by chill (34294)

              "Fat AGnus", not "Fat ANgus", like you typed. Googling that will get you, I suspect, pictures of large cattle instead of BBW porn and custom silicon.

          • "The MOS Technology "Agnus", usually called Agnus is an integrated circuit in the custom chipset of the Commodore Amiga computer. The Agnus, Denise and Paula chips collectively formed the OCS and ECS chipsets." - source [wikipedia.org]

            It's the chip that does memory access, fat agnus allows 1mb to be used for video and so forth, original agnus allowed access to 512k. I actually had to pull the old agnus out and insert the upgrade part in the 1980s.
          • ba de ba de ba de dah

            Wanna tell you story
            About woman I know
            When it comes to blittin'
            She steals the show
            She ain't exactly pretty
            Ain't exactly small
            Eighty Three Seventy Two A B
            You could say she's got it all

            • by PopeRatzo (965947)

              When it comes to blittin'

              Do I have to go to the Urban Dictionary to find out what "blittin'" means? My guess is it's something dirty.

  • by 0xdeaddead (797696) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @11:15PM (#47497971) Homepage Journal

    which is the primary reason why not to buy one. The zoro cards, especially ethernet can be hard to come by, so unless you get a loaded one... well it's pointless.

    I've also had issues with bus noise by maxing out a 2000 with a bridge board, 2065, 68038 upgrade, and ram card. It really was incredibly unstable.

    The 2000 has the same CPU as the 500, and 1000. It really was a pointless model. The 3000 and 3000T's are much nicer. And I should add the even a bare 3000 is far more stabler than a loaded 2000.

    The other issue now is WinUAE is so good, it can run BSD, AMIX, along with all the software from the Amiga heyday. Considering how funky old machines can be, why even bother?

    • by Nyder (754090) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @11:34PM (#47498065) Journal

      which is the primary reason why not to buy one. The zoro cards, especially ethernet can be hard to come by, so unless you get a loaded one... well it's pointless.

      I've also had issues with bus noise by maxing out a 2000 with a bridge board, 2065, 68038 upgrade, and ram card. It really was incredibly unstable.

      The 2000 has the same CPU as the 500, and 1000. It really was a pointless model. The 3000 and 3000T's are much nicer. And I should add the even a bare 3000 is far more stabler than a loaded 2000.

      The other issue now is WinUAE is so good, it can run BSD, AMIX, along with all the software from the Amiga heyday. Considering how funky old machines can be, why even bother?

      Lots of old computers are plagued with battery leakage. Got macs like that also.

      Sure, WinUAE rocks, I like it. You know what else I and others like to do? Tinker around on the original hardware. It's why I still have an Amiga 1000, 1200, 4x3000 (they need work though). I enjoy using my Amiga 1200. I enjoy using it's mouse, it's OS, on it's hardware. Listening to the floppy drive.

      Maybe it's reliving the past, maybe it's a waste of time, but it's how I enjoy wasting my time. I'm sorry you had bad issue with some Amiga hardware. I've had funky machines in the past (and still today, got a nonworking liquid cooler the other day), and yes, we understand you don't like it, bad experiences, you are very glad computing has moved on. Cool.

      But we bother because we enjoy the computers.

      • Maybe it's reliving the past, maybe it's a waste of time, but it's how I enjoy wasting my time.

        It's not a waste of time if you are doing it to learn something. Some of the old engineering that went into these early PCs was quite remarkable and there are some extremely useful lessons to be learned. A lot of the best engineering happens when people have severely constrained resources. Engineering tends to get sloppy without constraints.

        That said if you are doing it frequently purely for nostalgia then you should probably worry about whether you are wasting time. Nothing wrong with playing with an o

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Ol Olsoc (1175323)
          There is something just awesome in any slashdotter telling another they are wasting their time.

          After all, we all do put Slashdot use on our resume don't we?

          After all, we could be checking out our Facebook pages, or maybe playing Angry Birds.

          You know - important stuff that shows our amazing productivity, focus on what counts in life, and wise use of our time instead of screwing around with an old Amiga.

          • There is something just awesome in any slashdotter telling another they are wasting their time.

            If you learn things that is (almost) never a waste of time. I learn things here despite the signal to noise ratio at times. I see perspectives and debate about topics I do not find elsewhere. If you think slashdot is nothing but useless noise I would have to ask why you bother coming here unless you are trolling.

            Personally I don't grok the appeal of playing around with loooong obsolete computer gear out of nostalgia but to each their own.

            • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

              If you learn things that is (almost) never a waste of time. I learn things here despite the signal to noise ratio at times. I see perspectives and debate about topics I do not find elsewhere. If you think slashdot is nothing but useless noise I would have to ask why you bother coming here unless you are trolling.

              Umm, entertainment? Like going to a party and chatting with friends, I learn something everywhere, but mostly here, I just discuss, sometimes argue. But seriously, most of it is just entertainment.

              Personally I don't grok the appeal of playing around with loooong obsolete computer gear out of nostalgia but to each their own.

              There is a whole world out there of people playing with obsolete technology. It's not always nostalgia either.

              How about hit and miss engines? Now there's some obsolete tech. But people are still messing with them

              Home made engine: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

              And since hoomins always take things to the

              • Umm, entertainment? Like going to a party and chatting with friends, I learn something everywhere, but mostly here, I just discuss, sometimes argue. But seriously, most of it is just entertainment.

                Learning and entertainment are not exclusive to each other. Not everything has to be a firehose of education. I come to slashdot for entertainment as well but if I never learned anything the entertainment value would vanish rapidly.

                There is a whole world out there of people playing with obsolete technology. It's not always nostalgia either.

                Exactly my point. There are lessons to be learned from obsolete tech and sometimes it turns out to be not as obsolete as we think. You can even have fun while you do it. But I don't really understand pointless nostalgia. Learn from the past but live in the present.

    • by cerebis (560975)
      Amiga models all had their quirks and to say the A2000 was pointless is looking back a little simplistically. I'll agree that the A2000 wasn't sexy, even at the time.

      The A1000 was the first offering, followed about 2 years later by the A2000 and A500. Being the first iteration, the A1000 had many quirks and suffered from a stylish but impractically slim case size (for the era). The A2000 addressed the lack of expandability, while the A500 answered the low end of the market. Though the CPU did not change,

      • by toejam13 (958243)

        Though the CPU did not change, there were a lot of changes in the overall chipset

        My largest complaint about the A2000 is that it included the same 68000-8 processor clocked at 7.1MHz as the A500 and A1000. It would have been advantageous to have included a 68000-16 processor clocked at 14.2MHz for the more strenuous workloads that A2000 users tended to perform. It might have also discouraged programming that relied on a 7.1MHz clock.

        I had a friend with an AdSpeed accelerator module (68000@14) for his A2000 and it made a significant difference. After spending considerably more for an A

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          My largest complaint about the A2000 is that it included the same 68000-8 processor clocked at 7.1MHz as the A500 and A1000. It would have been advantageous to have included a 68000-16 processor clocked at 14.2MHz for the more strenuous workloads that A2000 users tended to perform.

          Yeah, for those users, Amiga offered the A2000 with an accelerator, and called it the A2500. You probably recall.

          It might have also discouraged programming that relied on a 7.1MHz clock.

          That's why they didn't do that. They wanted to maintain the library of software that would run on the A500. Without that, the A500 would have been a sad joke. At $600 as a package with a TV encoder, it was cheaper than most accelerators. You couldn't expect people to ever add anything but a memory upgrade.

          I had a friend with an AdSpeed accelerator module (68000@14) for his A2000 and it made a significant difference. After spending considerably more for an A3000-16, I ended up regretting the decision given the costs versus the benefits.

          That difference is minuscule compared to having an '020, let alone an '030.

          • by toejam13 (958243)

            Yeah, for those users, Amiga offered the A2000 with an accelerator, and called it the A2500. You probably recall.

            The A2620 accelerator card used in the A2500/020 wasn't immediately available at the launch of the A2000. It was released about a year later (1988). It was a very expensive card, supported a maximum of 4MB of DRAM and it took a significant speed hit when it needed to access anything off card.

            That's why they didn't do that. They wanted to maintain the library of software that would run on the A500. Without that, the A500 would have been a sad joke.

            I didn't suggest that A500 should come with a 68000@14. Designing the A500 as a cost reduced A1000 was a good call.

            That difference is minuscule compared to having an '020, let alone an '030.

            A stock A2000 can do around 700 dhrystones, an A2000 with an AdSpeed '000@14 can do about 1350 dhryst

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              I didn't suggest that A500 should come with a 68000@14. Designing the A500 as a cost reduced A1000 was a good call.

              Right, you suggested that the A2000 should have come with a faster chip and crystal. and I'm saying that barring a compatibility mode (e.g. turbo switch) it would have completely shit upon the Amiga software ecosystem. Software on the A2000 would run on the A500. If that weren't the case, the A500 would have withered and died and then C= would have had no chance whatsoever with their platform because it was the cheap end of the spectrum that made it interesting.

      • The A3000 came another ~2 years later -- was a little late to the party -- and delivered in a number of areas, but perhaps tellingly, many professionals would stick with the A2000 + 68030 accelerator boards. Accelerators from the leading company GVP were stable and much faster than initial A3000s, beyond which many video/CGI orientated cards would not initially fit in the A3000. That people moved the A3000 hardware to third-party cases is perhaps saying a lot about expandibility vs sexy cases.

        Newtek didn't seem to ship any turnkey Toaster workstations based on the Amiga 3000. They kept building systems based on A2500 machines until the Toaster 4000 card was released. The lack of slots in the 3000 was a problem, since they were usually crammed full of TBC cards. There was nothing great about the A3000 case, but it was way nicer than the joke of a case that the Amiga 4000 desktop came in. Taking that thing apart is.... ugh.

    • I should get around to doing something with the A3000T sitting under my desk, even if it is just to suck my old emails off it. Wonder if it still boots?

    • The A2000 was built to be an upgradable platform in Commodore's eyes. It was pretty clear that their R&D was limited, so they created an expandable base machine that could be kept on the market for a long time (1987 to at least 1991ish). Hence the creation of the Amiga 2500 (A2000 with CPU cards) late in the machine's life.
  • by PhantomHarlock (189617) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @11:25PM (#47498009)

    I owned just about every Amiga model put out in the US, but the A2000 was the workhorse business machine. Coupled with the video toaster card and lightwave it was a video production tool that cost about 1/10th to 1/100th of what it would cost to assemble all of the discreet machines it replaced. With the addition of the Flyer card it also became a non-linear editor, a tough feat in those days. I did a lot of good work with my A2000. I had the SCSI controller and a hard drive (probably 40 - 80 MB in those days)

    I was also big into Amiga gaming as it was way ahead of its time compared to PCs and Macs. You would pop in something like Shadow of the Beast and just marvel at the arcade quality parallax scrolling and really nice stereo sampled sound using all those nice custom chips that PCs and Macs did not have.

    The linked article is very short on details (there are many) for those of us who lived through it, but even after all this time my own memory of specifics of things is basically gone.

    A good book to know why all of this did not last or evolve is "The Rise and Fall of Commodore". For those of us who started with the C=64 era and went out till the end with the Amiga, it's an enlightening and sometimes frustrating read about the politics behind our favorite company.

    I think that outside of serious collectors and computer history museums, trying to maintain and fiddle with the hardware today is, well, a dedicated hobby. Best of luck. You're often better off with the emulators out there to get your feet wet.

    Within the limitations of technology at the time, the Amiga era was a grand ole time, and we all knew we had the best at the time. Thanks to marketing by other companies who think they invented everything, it will indeed likely be relegated to a forgotten footnote of personal computing history. For those of us who lived it, it was a way of life.

    • by greenwow (3635575) on Monday July 21, 2014 @12:02AM (#47498185)

      > Coupled with the video toaster card...

      Interestingly, Wil Wheaton worked on the Video Toaster 4000:

      http://www.avclub.com/articles... [avclub.com]

      It was amazingly ahead of its time.

    • by MindPrison (864299) on Monday July 21, 2014 @12:32AM (#47498263) Journal
      One of the things I used my Amigas for was Animation. We used it at the Animation studios as a Line Tester (Pencil tester).

      We had a camera attached to a digitizer, and pencil-test software that could run a sequence of sampled images in real time, according to a so called "Dope Sheet", as the Amiga wasn't strong enough to decompress video in real time without external hardware - it was just bitmaps stored in the Amigas memory and the "Fatter" the Agnus...the more Blitter memory could be used to display these images in sequence - direct and raw from the memory, this made it possible to show 25/30FPS movie sequences (typically those photos we took of our hand drawn characters) and could thus check upon our own hand drawn animation to see if it worked as it should.

      The Amiga was an awesome tool for this purpose. I think some of the schools still use Amiga for this, it wasn't that long ago I serviced a few for them.
  • by MindPrison (864299) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @11:27PM (#47498019) Journal
    I can tell you I absolutely LOVED the Amiga 2000, this is my most re-purchased Amiga ever. I've had the A1500 (sort of a scaled down 2000) and it's bigger sister (Amiga 3000), A500, and even the A1000 with it's signatures inside, but the Amiga 2000 was exciting to me because I could expand it into oblivion.

    Unfortunately cool stuff like the Video Toaster...never made it to Europe (AFAIK, I never saw one except in promos on American TV), but I remember I always wanted one, instead I had to make do with the lame VLAB that bugged out most of the time.

    I remember paying $$$ for even the A2091 harddisk controller, and even a small fortune for any xx-mb harddisk back then. The Amiga 2000 was a reliable work horse, I ran my BBS with several modems on that one back in my Demo-Heydays. I loved it for its external keyboard, it felt so much better to code on when I had my Amiga keyboard in my lap instead of that HUGE oversized A500.

    Ah, the demoscene, fond memories!
    • There were some great demos coming out of Europe. I remember trading them at swap parties.

      I'm guessing Newtek did not want to make an entirely different hardware rev for PAL on the toaster. Wasn't as easy back then to just handle both with a software switch. :) Would be a huge investment for both software and hardware departments.

      I did also have the A3000 which was my last big Amiga build. there was also an A1200 which was a later version of a 500-type layout. I don't remember if that was US only.

    • by TWX (665546)

      Unfortunately cool stuff like the Video Toaster...never made it to Europe (AFAIK, I never saw one except in promos on American TV)

      Yeah, you had a thing for Kiki Stockhammer didn't you?

      Last I saw her was in 2004 or 2005, she was the female lead for Warp 11, a Star Trek themed punk band out of San Francisco. The band was headlining at Enigma Con at UCLA, which greatly expanded after the Boxing Day Tsunami as probably 60 actors came out to support the con for its charity fundraiser for the relief efforts

      • I saw her still doing stuff for Newtek at NAB shows until more recently, she still looked good. Yup we all loved her back in the day. :)

        Also, by the time Voyager came around LW was being used on windows machines. I turned down a job doing the 'anomaly of the week' for Voyager at Foundation to go work at Digital Domain instead. Large unix-driven renderfarms for LW and their other tools. Pretty spoiled for gettin your frames done...also never worked with more talented people in my life. They had jus

        • by TWX (665546)
          Never saw Titanic (I think I'm one of three people on the planet over the age of eighteen that can claim this) but I liked how that New York police chase scene in The Fifth Element turned out. I've heard it argued that it's how that Stallone version of Judge Dredd should have looked, had they actually put the urban density in to Mega City 1 that it should have gotten.

          Alas, I never got past using 3d Studio R4 in a very rudimentary way. Probably didn't help that my computer at the time lacked the horsepo
  • by Nyder (754090) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @11:28PM (#47498023) Journal

    Amiga 2000 is my favorite Amiga computer, but they aren't that cheap on Ebay.

    I'd love to get one, mainly if it had the 8088 PC board in it also. Used to love running MS-Dos and Amiga OS at the same time.

    But cheap is around $100. $250+ isn't cheap, that is the same price they were selling in the 90's.

    • I had the 386SX BridgeBoard. It was pretty cool to run OrCad on the Bridge with its virtual hard drive, while still having the Amiga free.

      I think that BridgeBoard must be quite expensive today!

  • Many don't realize the impact the much forgotten Amiga 2000

    Forgotten? Not by anyone who was in broadcasting in the early 90's. It was quite a machine for us, even though it took all night to render an animated flame-effect title overlay.

    • by Art3x (973401)

      Forgotten? Not by anyone who was in broadcasting in the early 90's. It was quite a machine for us, even though it took all night to render an animated flame-effect title overlay.

      I also will always remember it. In my formative junior high years, I took a video class that had among its gear an Amiga 2500, and I tried to make something like a live-action take on Animator's Revenge [youtube.com] with Daffy Duck. From the article:

      With the Video Toaster card, it was now possible to do with video editing and special effects what before took literally hundreds of thousands of dollars to do.

      In the hands of an imaginative seventh grader, the Amiga Toaster was a ton of fun. For the same reason, the execution severely lacking, my videos were hard to watch for anyone but family and friends.

    • Here here....a lot of show title sequences rendered on the one we had at the station. That eventually led to my vfx career. Got in when lightwave was the hot thing and rode it all the way to its peak down in LA. Good times. Eventually got tired of staring at a monitor for 10 hours a day though and switched careers. Still do a little photoreal FX rendering as part of my job, but only about 10% of it now.

  • SCSI madness (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Zobeid (314469) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @11:31PM (#47498039)

    I had an A2000 which I soon put a used A2620 card into -- that was the 68020 accelerator which effectively quadrupled the speed of the system. (When was the last time you saw an upgrade card do that??) It was the same card Commodore used in the A2500. It was an amazing machine for its day, not only in terms of graphics and audio, but for sheer processing power.

    The thing that always drove me up the wall was SCSI adaptors. They were always tricky to get working -- fiddling with dip switches and jumper pins on the drives, and terminating resistor packs -- and I never had one that worked for a long time. It seemed like there was a steady churn of companies putting an Amiga SCSI card on the market, then going out of business, then another company would take a whack at it. I think I burned through half a dozen completely different SCSI adapters.

    • As much as people fawn over computer nostalgia, they forget how much the pre-plug-and-play era actaully kind of sucked on a day to day basis. Sure, it got you job security, but today I enjoy unboxing my SATA drive, plugging it in and moving on to whatever it is I wanted to do with the new drive.

      • As much as people fawn over computer nostalgia, they forget how much the pre-plug-and-play era actaully kind of sucked on a day to day basis. Sure, it got you job security, but today I enjoy unboxing my SATA drive, plugging it in and moving on to whatever it is I wanted to do with the new drive.

        HA! You have a good point here.

        I remember finding a 300 mb harddisk at the local flea market back in the Commodore heydays, at the time when most people had a 20 or 40 mb HD, spending hours and hours trying to make a script to mount it properly. I didn't have the specs, we didn't have the internet (I had a BBS...but...no one knew the specs on that thing), so it was all trial and error based. Man that sucked, but it felt good to finally make that sucker work. Imagine the collection of SoundTracker / .mod

      • As much as people fawn over computer nostalgia, they forget how much the pre-plug-and-play era actaully kind of sucked on a day to day basis. Sure, it got you job security, but today I enjoy unboxing my SATA drive, plugging it in and moving on to whatever it is I wanted to do with the new drive.

        Well, you can thank the Amiga as much as anything for that. The Amiga's Zorro bus was the first PC plug-and-play computer bus, coming ahead of the IBM Micro-Channel and EISA busses.

      • Until you have to deal with an old machine that has one of the buggy SATA1 controllers that falls over if you plug in a SATA2 drive.

        Some drives had a jumper to force SATA1 mode but that has dissappeared on more modern drives.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        As much as people fawn over computer nostalgia, they forget how much the pre-plug-and-play era actaully kind of sucked on a day to day basis. Sure, it got you job security, but today I enjoy unboxing my SATA drive, plugging it in and moving on to whatever it is I wanted to do with the new drive.

        I had very few problems with termination on my Amiga. It seemed to work fine with any termination I used. Macs were where I had problems. And the Amiga was in fact the first computer that really had great plug and play. It had a microkernel-based OS and the drivers could be loaded from option ROM on the cards automatically, and then later they could be replaced in memory with a newer driver loaded from storage. In spite of this, Amiga themselves actually released at least one storage controller (MFM+SCSI) w

    • by fermion (181285)
      I never had a problem with SCSI. As a matter of fact, it was as plug and play as you could get a the time. For instance, the IOmega tape drives came in SCSI and parallel. Installing the parallel PC option was very difficult, even following instructions. On a Macintosh with SCSI, it was plug and play. The biggest issue I saw was just getting it plugged in and either using a setting a terminator. In other words, following instructions.
      • by swb (14022)

        It was and it wasn't. One or two devices on a Mac SCSI bus was pretty PnP but beyond that, especially when adding non-disk devices like scanners, the Mac SCSI bus quickly could get into voodoo territory -- devices that disappeared from the chain, drives that wouldn't mount and general unreliability.

        Usually over time you could get it stable, but that often meant "over time" -- re-ordering the chain physically, numerically and swapping expensive cables in and out to try to find a stable setup.

        I often wonder

    • by Anaerin (905998)
      The thing is, that was SCSI's fault, not the Amiga's. Dealing with DIP switches and termination was a problem no matter what OS you ran, or who made your hardware. Amigas had AutoConfig, which would (for Zorro I/II/III cards) allocate DMA, Interrupts and IRQs automatically at boot-time, along with auto-loading firmware and drivers. It was so good, in fact, that Intel copied it and called it "Plug 'n Play".
  • Yeah, you can find a bare-bones Amiga 2000 for not much money. But it's pointless- a bare-bones Amiga 2000 is essentially the same thing as an Amiga 500.

    Unless you can get one that has accelerator cards and video cards and hard drives and all that stuff, it's not worth bothering with. Unfortunately, "loaded" Amiga 2000s are EXPENSIVE. All of those expansion cards are hard to come by, and sell for a ridiculous amount of money. Why? I have no idea. I assume it's because of the lunatic Amiga fans that still ex

    • Yeah, you can find a bare-bones Amiga 2000 for not much money. But it's pointless- a bare-bones Amiga 2000 is essentially the same thing as an Amiga 500.

      Unless you can get one that has accelerator cards and video cards and hard drives and all that stuff, it's not worth bothering with. Unfortunately, "loaded" Amiga 2000s are EXPENSIVE. All of those expansion cards are hard to come by, and sell for a ridiculous amount of money. Why? I have no idea. I assume it's because of the lunatic Amiga fans that still exist. The poor bastards.

      Honestly, UAE (Ultimate Amiga Emulator) is so good, that there simply isn't a reason to own actual Amiga hardware. The emulator is faster, and more flexible, and more stable. And at this point, the only real reason to even mess around with an Amiga is to play the games.

      As a general-purpose computer, it sucks. It sucks less than you might think for a nearly 30-year-old system, but it still sucks. Even the latest version of AmigaOS (which is only a couple of years old, I think) is a joke. There are some neat things that the AmigaOS can do, for sure, but most of it is irrelevant nowadays.

      There are so many things wrong with your statements here I hardly know where to begin, but I'll bring up a few:

      Emulating hardware isn't perfect, there are things you can do to the original hardware that would literally be impossible to do with an Emulator. There are also numerous timing issues with emulated hardware that would make it very hard to achieve a 100% perfect emulation, especially as you are running under another OS as the host of the emulator (just a program anyway). If you've never coded on

      • by toejam13 (958243)

        Emulating hardware isn't perfect, there are things you can do to the original hardware that would literally be impossible to do with an Emulator.

        When it comes to running software packages and demos for those old computer systems, I disagree. Most modern emulators include cycle exact modes and include known quirks, so just about everything works. But if you're talking about the hardware side, wanting to use your C64 user port for IO control of external devices, then you have a point. Most people don't do that, though. They'd get a Raspberry Pi or some other modern tinkerer system.

  • A500+, A600, A1200 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rvalles (649635) on Sunday July 20, 2014 @11:45PM (#47498121)

    Because they're way too big, plain and simple.

    The collectible ones are IMO the keyboard models: A500+, A600, A1200.

    A500+ is the good ECS one. With 1MB chip and kickstart 37 pretty much guaranteed. I don't own one, but I have an older A500 with the little mod to get 1MB chip, which is almost as good.

    A600 is the "bring along" one as it's smaller. Supporting IDE HDs is obviously very convenient. Kickstart 37. Real problems include hardware tending to break more than A500+ and software requiring numpad, which the A600 lacks. Lack of expansion options used to be an issue, but there's some interesting hardware now, such as a crazy fast (relatively) FPGA based accel board.

    A1200 is the option with AGA. I own one paired with a 68030 accel board. Together with whdload it's godly for playing Amiga games on the real hardware.

  • It used to crash from time but still it was cool up till about 1999

    cool looking local ad's as well

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

    the weather channle used it own hardware.

  • I learned quite a bit about the Amiga 2000 from this article, but what on earth was going on with the writing? Using apostrophes with plurals, needlessly enclosing terms in double quotes, random capital letters; it was a mess. It was very hard to read because of this craziness.

  • I have an A2000 from back in the day, before the clones won the clone wars. Also a floppy based version of Dragons Lair for it. The Amiga was a wonderful machine.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Everybody knows the Atari ST was superior! /tongueincheek

  • The early A2000 had bugs, but the B2000 was a great machine. Very upgradable.

    I had one from early 88 until I left the country in july 2002

    eventually I had a GVP '030 board in the CPU slot, with 12 megs of RAM, running the SCSI hard drives (biggest was 1 gig) and a CDROM, a flicker fixer in the video slot, and a GVP I/O card with faster serial ports (to run the BBS) and an extra printer port. THe original parallel port was used to PARNET to the A1200

  • by Sique (173459) on Monday July 21, 2014 @01:58AM (#47498511) Homepage
    In the late 1980ies, the Nuclear Research Facility at Rossendorf near Dresden, Germany had two Amigas 2000 as central processing units for their accelerator experiments. It was fascinating, because Rossendorf was in communist East Germany, and the Amigas probably were bought half-legally for obscene amounts of (east german) money. But appearently they urgently needed the 32bit processing capability and were using selfdeveloped Zorro cards for the signal reception and processing.
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      But appearently they urgently needed the 32bit processing capability and were using selfdeveloped Zorro cards for the signal reception and processing.

      Makes sense. Amigas were some of the last well-documented computers, down to schematics.

    • by derinax (93566)

      The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) also extensively used the Amiga for data visualization (Hippograph), capture, and documention (TeX) in the late 80s and just into the early 90s. A few great (mythical?) Amiga applications are hosted there, still:

      https://www.slac.stanford.edu/... [stanford.edu]

      http://science.slashdot.org/co... [slashdot.org]

  • I sold my A2000, stripped, for $300 way back when. I still have the card set (RAM, '030, 7-port serial, two SCSI adapters, 8088 bridge board, video sync; even the two SCSI hard drives still work). Maybe I should buy one and put it back together to support 32-bit Linux. I have the CD32 and A500 for the games, I s'pose. Tricky bit is converting the old output to VGA, much less HDMI.

    First cards were for a homebrew ZorroII expansion I built for the A1000. 2 additional Megabytes of RAM and the Amiga's yet-t

  • I had the 500 and got a 2000 later on. Installed a SCSI controller with 40 megabytes of disk space and a 8 megabyte RAM expansion card. Took forever to install all the memory chips in the card(62 or 72, cant remember if it had a parity bit).
    Also had a vt200 terminal from work which i connected to the serial port so I could access the cmdline while someone was playing games. I guess it was most for show. :)

  • They really aren't. Trying to get Amiga software working on an Amiga is often a pain in the ass.

    Got a different revision Kickstart chip? No game for you. Got the right Kickstart but any RAM config other than 512K Chip / 512K Trapdoor FAST? No game for you. Got an Amiga that's not a 500? No game. Got an aftermarket video card? Sorry. Sound card? Well, it won't crash, but the game won't use it.

    'System legal' Amiga software was pretty solid on different models, but any game written for an A500 or A1200, you we

    • Well neither were PCs of the era. Try to get EMS memory programs to run with EMM? No luck. Maybe install a driver in your config.sys? But then it would break other programs. Want to get a CD-ROM? Which type would it be, the kind that hung off your special sound card's bus, a stand-alone CD controller or IDE?
      What about your mouse? Think you can bring your mouse over to your friend's house? Hmm, was that a serial mouse or a bus mouse? Which bus?
      Got a new sound card? Think that program that only supported the

  • The talk of needing to find a loaded A2000 to make it worth buying reminds me of the old Iris 3130 I picked up for a couple hundred way way back in the day. When I popped the cover, it was absolutely loaded. Every slot filled. Ribbon cables strung everywhere,blinkenlites flashing. If there was an expensive card for the 3130, it was in there. What a beast. It was named bigiron.sgi.com. :)

  • Clicked (thought submitter screwed up the link and linked to a page that links to the article, rather than linking to the article), expecting to find a story about a forgotten A2000: maybe someone walked into an office in 2014 and saw that one was in use. Or someone knocked down a wall in 2014 and found one bricked up but still powered up. Instead, found a page telling everyone what A2000s are. Duh. Where's the "forgotten" part? All that I can tell that was forgotten, is that the writer forgot his elem

  • I still have an Amiga 2000 hooked up, but I only use it to play games. A vanilla 2000 is really the same thing as a 500, but it has a nice detachable keyboard and the ability to take expansion cards which is nice. I have a HD and memory card inside mine along with a VGA board so I don't have to rely on hard to find Amiga monitors. AGA graphics and accelerators are nice, but the best games don't need them (in my opinion anyway). I tried using a 1200 for a while, but I could never shake the feeling that
  • by azav (469988)
    The author's grammar is terrible. He doesn't know that the plural of Amiga is Amigas. Such a painful read.

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