What is your favourite computer of all time?

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by JK2447, Mar 31, 2023.

  1. JK2447
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    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator Premium Member

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    Seeing as it's Friday... Some of you may know that I'm a big retro gamer. I've recently started to get back into it all in my spare time to wind down from work.

    If you look back at every machine you've ever owned, or wanted to own, what was your favourite an why?

    I've had some machines that I've loved growing up such as my ZX Spectrums, 48k and 128k+2. I had a 600 but my favourite machine ever would have to be my Amiga 1200. It was a beast in the mid 90's with tons of great games, Theme Park, Syndicate, Simon the Sourcerer, Frontier, the list goes on. Recently I went to an Amiga get together where the ex general manager of Commodore David Pleasance came to speak to everyone, a really great day. I'm currently only emulating my Amiga because the price of these things has gone through the roof! You're looking at £400 for a decent 1200 today!

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. dmarsh
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    dmarsh Petabyte Poster

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    I picked one up during lockdown. Refurbed it and recapped it, added a TF1260.
    Old video out and other IO is still an issue. I tried running an SSD off an IDE adapter and had a lot of issues.

    Not done much with it but saving it as a toy for retirement.

    Not too keen on software emulation due to input lag and sound issues.

    There are FPGA solutions which might be the sweet spot and I might get one of them later.
    https://www.reddit.com/r/MiSTerFPGA/
    https://www.mouser.co.uk/ProductDetail/Terasic-Technologies/P0496?qs=/acZuiyY%2B4ZdDLJqTxdJ5w==#

    Alternatively I might look into a Warp 1260 if I get rich :)
    http://www.amigawarp.eu/
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2023
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  3. JK2447
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    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator Premium Member

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    Wow good work mate. I’ve not seen the Warf before. Talk about a luxury add on that’s great!
    I’ve sent the mister. A few in work have one. I don’t think it can replicate an 030 yet can it and while it’s great, I feel like the fpga isn’t quite the same. I totally agree on the emulation though, it works but isn’t ideal.
    For a time I fancied a vampire v4 fpga but they are rare and a few quid. Replicates an 080! The 1260 is considered top end though isn’t it. The pi zero cards also pack a punch but again I’m not sure as it’s like emulation using a real Amiga to a degree isn’t it.

    Great work recapping that yourself. If I got one mine would have to be shipped off to retropassion as I have zero soldering skills.

    I’m not a fan of the gotek as I fancy picking up old floppies from car boot sales. Slight problem. I don’t go to any and I’m not sure that they exist any more ha ha
     
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  4. dmarsh
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    dmarsh Petabyte Poster

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    I'd go with SD card, IDE adapter, and ADF images, most floppies will be dead by now.

    Motorola never produced anything after the 060, the 080 is a new Apollo FPGA design with new MMX instructions.

    My issue with that are:
    1. No original software exists to use these new instructions. Few are likely to write it other than Apollo Vampire devs.
    2. I don't think it has MMU.
    3. FPGAs are limited in size currently so yes they struggle with the bigger chips. They couldn't fit the 060 in FPGA and they couldn't fit full FPU. The 080 made the compromise of limited precision floating point, while this probably doesn't matter for games.
    4. If I'm using retro stuff I'd like it to be closer to the original. Just my preference, 060 accelerators existed for Amigas in the late 90s. So a Warp is a new product emulating the old design.
    5. Some people complained about compatibility, not sure if this is that bad or not, but at the price I'd want to be sure.

    I think eventually a PiStorm or something like it should be available for a lower price and offer most of what is required.

    Alternatively FPGAs will get bigger and cheaper and might be able to hold an entire A4000 chipset and cpu.

    I went with the A1200 because it had IDE and more RAM, AGA etc.

    You might be better off with a cheapo A500 and a PiStorm, not sure.
    https://amigastore.eu/853-pistorm.html

    I'd like a new keyboard as the old A1200 ones are kinda cheapo, very hard to get them and they are expensive also.

    Got lot expenses these days and limited room, so put the hobby on hold for now.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2023
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  5. JK2447
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    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator Premium Member

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    I’m the exact same mate. Tax bills and no where to put the darn thing is exactly why I’ve not bought one again, yet. Same as you tho, it will definitely form a part of my retirement playing about.

    Back in the day I had a 600 and 1200. The 600 size is more practical isn’t it but same, 1200 it will have to be. I recently went to the Yorkshire Amiga get together. It was great to be honest because people came with all shapes and sizes. The pi400 running pimiga is a great little all in one machine. Emulation but I watched people use it for light wave. It’s crazy fast compared to most other solutions out there.

    I agree on its best to get something original and to reduce comparability issues. I remember getting a ram expansion for my 1200. It would cause it to crash now and then which was very annoying.

    I thought the same about floppies, surely all toast by now but everyone said I’d be surprised. Many still work! Who knows mate. We might be emailing each other demos to burn onto floppy for that click and full retro experience in years to come.

    When I do get one, I want to put it into a modern monitor. I don’t think a 14 inch would cut it these days.

    David Pleasance had some great stories from back in the day. If only they had said yes to Bill Gates and Microsoft Office running on the Amiga. Who knows where it would all be today
     
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  6. JK2447
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    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator Premium Member

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    Until I get more space, this will have to do. Amiga Forever, WinUAE emulation. Theme Park and Settlers run fine on it for me to get my fix :user:
     
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  7. JK2447
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    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator Premium Member

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  8. dmarsh
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    dmarsh Petabyte Poster

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    Its the arcade games, platformers and shoot em ups, a 200ms delay on input or sound kills the experience.

    I have Amiga forever and WinUAE. Its useful for building disk image.

    My main plan is to play around with 68000 asm and blitter anyway, just wanted some real hardware to check its working correctly.

    The Amiga floppies were low density so they fared better than the PC high density floppies. Its still 30 years though, and many drives also need to be refurbed.

    I had two floppy drives and a A590 back in the day, after an initial nostalgia, I expect it would get tedious switching them. You can get game boot menus and have 1000+ games on an SD card.
     
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  9. JK2447
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    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator Premium Member

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    Ah course mate I’ve seen the game loaders over the years that show you the art. I just like the idea of buying a game. Any game on floppy, boxed to see what it’s like. Appreciate I could do that in other ways and after waiting for it to load I’d get bored of it not loading instantly ha ha.

    I love that people are still bringing new games out for the Amiga. I also loved my C16+4 so wouldn’t mind one of those. I never had a C64 but felt I missed out. I went the spectrum route. 48k then 128k +2. I almost bought my mates 128k+3 before I thought about where I’d put it. I need a big retro room at home
     
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  10. JK2447
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    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator Premium Member

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    @dmarsh just been reading about the coldfire Motorola successor to the 060. Have you seen much on the use of that mate?
     
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  11. dmarsh
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    dmarsh Petabyte Poster

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    It was for embedded applications and had a modified instruction set, it can't easily be used to run 68030, 68040, 68060 instructions.
    I left embedded development in the late nineties, never saw one used, I did work on a system based around the Motorola 68332.

    I managed to get some original 68060's from china just before the pandemic. Sold most of them now, got a couple left.

    FPGAs and ARM emulation is typically capable of running 10-100x faster than the original hardware.

    The A500 only had a 16 bit 7 MHz processor, we now have 64 bit 5 GHz, as well as increased IPC. Modern PC systems are around 6000x faster.

    I had a C64, not sure if I will pick one up to mess with in future, might be easier to just emulate the 8 bit systems.

    Its mainly just for fun and to enusre I can run things as close to original as possible.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2023
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  12. JK2447
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    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator Premium Member

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    Cheers mate. I knew you’d have really good insight. A shame the coldfire won’t be much use with it being 300mhz. I get tempted to buy a Mister every so often. I just wish it had a bit more umph. I think it will only do an 020 but might have had an update since I last checked
     
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  13. JK2447
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    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator Premium Member

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    Oh ok. Just been reading that while it reports to be an 020, it’s much faster. Good work buying a few 060s btw
     
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