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Amiga (a500) Mini


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I don’t think it’s breaking news but what are your thoughts on the next in the ‘mini’ line?

As prior it looks like it’s a player for a number of games.  They don’t mean much to me because I never had the dough for an Amiga and was coding professionally just to make rent as the platform gained popularity.

But if you owned an Amiga or know about this upcoming release, do you have an opinion?

I think I the bar is higher; in order to emulate those two fancy ICs.  Doubt it will allow a faithful ‘drop into Basic’ ala C64 or in this case workbench or whatever it’s called.  What do you think or know?

 

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I was never able to afford an Amiga either for similar reasons, so the platform doesn't appeal to me like The C64 Mini & esp "Maxi" do. Lack of nostalgia.

Further ... given the difficulty I had acquiring The C64 "Maxi" in North America, I doubt I'd be holding my breath for it even if there was the nostalgia factor.

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They got me interested with this!

Now I really wonder whether they gonna release TheA500 Maxi?

And are they thinking about releasing some other retro machines in same manner?

I'm so astonished that retro theme is rising this days! It's almost like in Ready Player One by Ernest Cline: 80's is popular again.

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Isn't it just a Pi / FPGA in a box with a fake non-keyboard so it looks like a baby A500 ?

And why would anyone want an authentic Amiga mouse ; I mean when we didn't have modern mice we thought they were all right, but looking back, almost any ultra cheap mouse would be better ..... there might be interest in a real Amiga clone I suppose with a proper keyboard like the Max  ?

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Oh yeah, I want one, as long as the price is close to the C64 Mini. For the same reasons as well, pure nostalgia. 😁

Yes, I can and do emulate it on both PC and Pi, but I am one of those people who appreciate the case as much as the internals, hence why I have the Pi cases I do. I like my hardware to look the part too! I also appreciate the work they put into it.

 

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On 9/27/2021 at 12:24 PM, Strider said:

Oh yeah, I want one, as long as the price is close to the C64 Mini. For the same reasons as well, pure nostalgia. 😁

Yes, I can and do emulate it on both PC and Pi, but I am one of those people who appreciate the case as much as the internals, hence why I have the Pi cases I do. I like my hardware to look the part too! I also appreciate the work they put into it.

The C64 Mini was introduced at $80 US, and the pricing discussed so far for The A500 Mini is looking like $140 US. Of course, it'll require a beefier platform to emulate the more powerful hardware and it'll come with two USB HID devices, so it makes sense it'll cost a bit more at launch.

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As with just about everything, I’ve got will power and can resist temptation... until... something like this bit of history pops up.

1 hr you’ll never get back (and won’t want to). If you have any appreciation for 80s industry lore and ‘what happened to Jack’, this will appeal to you, massively.

tl;dr: the moment they can drop into workbench and run a few utilities, I’m buying one.

 

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On 9/26/2021 at 7:25 PM, EMwhite said:

 Doubt it will allow a faithful ‘drop into Basic’ ala C64 or in this case workbench or whatever it’s called.

They will. It's just based on the FS-UAE emulator, and UAE works very well with Workbench. (In fact, the virtual hard drive support on UAE is more flexible than a real machine.) 

They've also said this will be WHDLoad compatible, which is a system to load floppy games and games meant for different versions of the OS onto the hard drive. 

With WHDLoad as an option, it would be pretty surprising if they didn't have a "Boot to Workbench" option - otherwise, they'd have to essentially write their own shell to launch games once the OS starts. 

 

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On 9/28/2021 at 5:10 AM, EMwhite said:

1 hr you’ll never get back (and won’t want to). If you have any appreciation for 80s industry lore and ‘what happened to Jack’, this will appeal to you, massively.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ws3DJF7MbMU

And there is part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcXcy2b1dRM

Both parts are interesting to watch.

For some reason I never knew about Amiga CDTV. May be because it's harware is nothing special, but the exterior design is kick ass!!

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 10/14/2021 at 1:45 PM, TomXP411 said:

Yes, it went up back in August. The name was wrong, though, so it was the "AS500." At the time, I was thinking, I didn't know IBM had released a follow-up to their popular AS400 mainframe..

 

Feels like AS500 is a leet spelling of ass-oo...

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On 9/27/2021 at 3:07 PM, Scott Robison said:

The C64 Mini was introduced at $80 US, and the pricing discussed so far for The A500 Mini is looking like $140 US. Of course, it'll require a beefier platform to emulate the more powerful hardware and it'll come with two USB HID devices, so it makes sense it'll cost a bit more at launch.

I bought a C64 Mini for $40 CAD when it was on clearance. Shipped from BC to ON no less. Something like $54 after tax and shipping. I thought that was a great deal in early 2020, but just a couple months ago I saw Gamestop/EBGames was shoving them out the door for $25 CAD!

The chassis sits on my desk in the space under my monitor, while the joystick remains in the box unused, because I have read that the stick is easily broken.

I never use it. I am sure I wouldn't use the Amiga Mini either.

I basically bought the C64 Mini to look at, because it took up less space than my VIC20 and it was both cheaper and better crafted than a similarly sized C64 style case for the Raspberry Pi.

Amiga? I am pretty sure that I didn't even know they existed until a few years ago. VIC20, Apple II, C64, NES, Genesis, PC, and Gameboy were the devices I remember using in the 80s/90s. No nostalgia here for me. 

That said, having owned the C64 Mini for a while now, it's clear to me that I am "over" the whole emulated retro mini thing. I haven't been into collecting things for the sake of doing so since my sister and I gave up hockey cards in the early 90s, so I don't feel like I "gotta have'em all". In a practical sense, I already have a PC which can emulate essentially everything and it's already at my desk hooked up to my SNES style controllers, keyboard, mouse, monitor, and speakers, so... as my wife says every time I suggest we go thrifting, "I thought we need less junk, not more?!"

And that said, had it been available in Canada, I would have purchased a "VIC20 Maxi" to keep my real VIC20 company, available space be damned! 😉

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I thought that real amigas are still available on the secondhand market, they are not rare afaik.

I spent too much time out of my life playing settlers 2 on amiga. I did some programming on it as well. I love amiga, I think the 1200 was the best computer ever made bar none.

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On 9/29/2021 at 1:19 AM, Cyber said:

For some reason I never knew about Amiga CDTV. May be because it's harware is nothing special, but the exterior design is kick ass!!

When I lived in Berkeley, CA, I knew Bryce Nesbitt.  He went on to work @ Commodore on the Amiga and I believe also worked on the CDTV at some point; I saw some YouTube clips of him being interviewed for one of the Amiga retro documentaries; he wasn't the most flashy of engineers but was one of the smartest and really cared about doing the right thing.

In the early 80s, Jack just happened to slip on a banana peel and into luck when Michael Tomczyk basically begged him for a job @ Commodore; Michael fostered a no-nonsense marketing prowess that powered Commodore through the formative years... after, Jack vanished and Commodore lost the plot.  It happens to the best of companies (Digital Equipment was one, Silicon Graphics, Sun Microsystems, others, the list is endless).  

But with chip-fab capabilities and many innovations in the Amiga days it is possible that in an alternate universe, people have Commodore televisions hanging on their walls (instead of LG) and comPhones instead of iPhones.

Here's the clip.  If you are interested in Commodore history, this 'raw' footage might be interesting.  I haven't seen the full movie but would like to: Bryce looks and speaks exactly as I remember (35 years since he was over my place when I lived just off campus); genuinely nice guy and really wears his heart on his sleeve...

 

Edited by EMwhite
fixed typo
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On 10/15/2021 at 3:44 AM, Oldrooster said:

I thought that real amigas are still available on the secondhand market, they are not rare afaik.

I spent too much time out of my life playing settlers 2 on amiga. I did some programming on it as well. I love amiga, I think the 1200 was the best computer ever made bar none.

Good, working ones are uncommon, especially in the US. 

There's also a problem you may not be aware of: there are at least 4 generations of Amiga, which are very different. The Amiga 1000, 2000, 3000, and 4000 were all different internally, and the differences in architecture made software partially incompatible between generations. Software that worked well on the 1000 might not work on the 2000, and a bunch of games written in the 2000 days would not work on the 3000 or 4000. So people had to buy accelerator cards, memory cards, or just buy multiple computers to run their favorite software. 

We have a similar issue today: a modern, Windows 10 computer will not run software made for Windows 3 or DOS software. So we use emulation and virtualization to run old versions of an OS inside of the modern systems. 

The difference is that even a 68040 Amiga 4000 isn't really fast enough or powerful enough to fully emulate an A1000 or A2000. So if you bought a vintage Amiga, you have to pick the one to fit the software you plan to run on it. 

This is why emulation is particularly well suited to the Amiga platform: you can switch out graphics systems, chipsets, and CPUs with the click of a button. I can set up a WinUAE machine to be a 68000 A500 one minute and a 68040 A4000 with 24-bit graphic card the next. It's just a matter of loading a different configuration in the emulator. 

More than any other popular computer of the 80s, the Amiga is actually a better experience on emulation (FPGA or software) than on real hardware. 

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On 10/16/2021 at 2:38 PM, TomXP411 said:

Software that worked well on the 1000 might not work on the 2000, and a bunch of games written in the 2000 days would not work on the 3000 or 4000.

The former case, while possible, is far less likely than the latter cases. The architecture was virtually identical between the 1000 and the 2000; the major differences were the Kickstart being stored in ROM on the 2000 and in a special protected RAM area on the 1000, and the Extra Half-Brite mode not being available on all 1000s.

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On 10/17/2021 at 7:13 AM, kelli217 said:

The former case, while possible, is far less likely than the latter cases. The architecture was virtually identical between the 1000 and the 2000; the major differences were the Kickstart being stored in ROM on the 2000 and in a special protected RAM area on the 1000, and the Extra Half-Brite mode not being available on all 1000s.

This is the reality I experienced. Also, don't forget the A600, I had a few of those too. I had them all except the 3000 I think. or maybe I had the 3000 but not the 4000, I'd have to go look at it but do not want to, I spent too much time in recent years meditating playing settlers on the 3/4 '000 whichever it is. It has either a regular monitor or an adapter for vga because it's a modern monitor and there is an optical usb mouse adapter. Amiga mice suck. I had and still have 500s laying around but I can't sell anything, logistically it's a nightmare and so on. I'd like to, but it's difficult.

Favorite was always the A1200, managed to score one when it was still in the shops. With a lovely big HD in it, and some expansion, ram perhaps it was. Still young enough to be starry eyed about such things and it was a huge deal for me. My work had paid off. I loved the Amiga.

I don't see the mini being a patch on the original A500 because it misses the point. The mini 500 is an emulator and an emulator misses the point. You can't find and experience the bleeding edge breakthrough design no compromises rebellion against the contemporaries in an emulation any more than you can learn to surf by reading books and watching videos.The A500 mini may be a surfing poster, but you will never get the sand and salt of the real thing in the past from it. If you want to give people the same feeling then you would have to define it first, understand it and then set about it. Make the bleeding edge.

Anyhow, they'll sell plenty enough. Not as many as the original though.

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