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Amiga or ST?


JohnW
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How come an XEGS? Any particular reason? The external keyboard?

 

Oh, I started with 130XE a few years back. It't a little Flaky, but works ( I have my ultimate cart in it). I also have a 600XL with a 64K upgrade, but it too is a little flakey. The XEGS is better at running software carts.

I have the Video 61 Translator Cart, but have yet to get it to let me play 400/800 carts.

I hear here is a 512K upgrade (external) that will let me have 4 different OSs on it. I'm looking to find one.

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In order....

 

Atari 400 - sold to buy 800 (will get back from guy I sold it too some day soon, when he gets to his mom's attic)!!!

Atari 800 - still have (s[ace bar not working, rest of machine is fine)

Atari 800XL - still have, but forget which one was my original, I have 4

Commodore 64c - still have (had both setup side-by-side as a teen during the 8-bit war)

Atari 520ST - sent to Atari during an upgrade promotion and got a 520STfm in return

Atari 520STfm - upgraded to 1MB, sold to get Amiga

Amiga 500 - Also upgraded to 1MB. Still have, but like the 800XL, I have 2 others, and forget which one was my original.

Tandy 386 SX-20 - Sold to get a Leading Edge 486 SX-33

Leading Edge SX-33 - Upgraded to 486 DX-2 66. Fastest chip ade at the time.

 

From then on, I never bought another PC, except for laptops. I built my own PC's from then on out. Cyrix, AMD and now only Intel.

 

Got a Coleco Adam at a garage sale (at some point) CHEAP. Gave it to my nephew's. Kicking myself now.

Edited by scotty
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2600 => TI-99/4a (still own) => 800XL (still own) => most recently 2600 (several of them), 5200 (selling on ebay now), 7800, 400 (sold), 600XL, 65XE, 130XE, XEGS

 

Several PC's along the way self built and/or freebies/bought

 

Never ventured past the 130XE yet...

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No, just no! Copper is a real Coprozessor, running it's own code. Same to Paula and AGNUS. They would do the same with a much weaker CPU aswell. In the ST everything is CPU dependent. Nothing happens without a CPU tick. Only the ADSR processor in the YM chip was doing some processing in parallel to the CPU.

On the Amiga, the only bottleneck was the Chip RAM. So the RAM Access was one after the other (programs won't be influenced) . But, as soon as Fast RAM was installed , which was a common thing back then, the CPU and the CHIPS worked in parallel.

You are confusing things here. Copper, Paula, etc are coprocessors handling specific tasks, not CPUs. They are not responsible for the Amiga's multitasking, the OS is. It is all CPU dependent. Coprocessors take a lot of workload off the CPU and can do things independently, but they have to be instructed what to do by the CPU+OS first.

 

Multitasking on any system is accomplished when the OS kernel context switches the processor to a different app for a given amount of time, then move to the next app. This is how the Amiga achieved multitasking for multiple apps. This is how the ST desk accessories work. This is how Windows achieved multitasking, Linux, etc.

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Multitasking on any system is accomplished when the OS kernel context switches the processor to a different app for a given amount of time, then move to the next app. This is how the Amiga achieved multitasking for multiple apps. This is how the ST desk accessories work. This is how Windows achieved multitasking, Linux, etc.

 

 

Agreed with the coprocessor thing.

 

To be fair, you're describing pre-emptive multitasking. There is also co-operative multitasking, and I believe that's how desk-accessories worked. When there was a desk accessory enabled, and the GEM event loop had been in event-wait (mouse, keyboard, ...) for a short time, the CPU would run each enabled desk accessory for a short time or until it itself hit event-wait.

 

If the main application didn't hit event-wait, I don't think accessories got a look-in. We waited until MiNT / MultiTOS came out before true pre-emptive multitasking came to the ST/TT.

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Agreed with the coprocessor thing.

 

To be fair, you're describing pre-emptive multitasking. There is also co-operative multitasking, and I believe that's how desk-accessories worked. When there was a desk accessory enabled, and the GEM event loop had been in event-wait (mouse, keyboard, ...) for a short time, the CPU would run each enabled desk accessory for a short time or until it itself hit event-wait.

 

If the main application didn't hit event-wait, I don't think accessories got a look-in. We waited until MiNT / MultiTOS came out before true pre-emptive multitasking came to the ST/TT.

I'm not sure, Co-operative multitasking has a voluntary aspect to it in that apps must yield back their time. I used to have several acc's loaded all the time, and they'd never got frozen because another app decided to not yield. But maybe I was just using well-written apps + accessories.

 

But you are right that it is probably implemented in the GEM loop rather than in the OS kernel

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You are confusing things here. Copper, Paula, etc are coprocessors handling specific tasks, not CPUs. They are not responsible for the Amiga's multitasking, the OS is.

Multitasking is the software, not the hardware. How fast it can be done, depends on the added hardware.

But, how to explain the difference between "one CPU has to do everything software related" , while parts of software that eventually isn't compatible to the main processor, is processed by the Co-Processor , even faster?

Both can run their native software at the same time and were able to address RAM at the same time .

Additionally, PAULA can play music in between ;)

The Copper does itself, what in the A800 needs to be done by the CPU. The DLI code. And so on.

 

When a task means to create graphics, the other task means to play music and the next task shows the editor for writing a note and is printing in the background. On one computer this takes the quadruple time , because the CPU has all to do . On the other , you don't even recognize slowdowns by even a lower CPU clocking.

 

How do you name that ? Unknown miracles?

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I owned both. I still do.

 

When did you own an ST? Since you speak with such certainty about it, I'm curious how long did you own one, and what compelled you to get rid of it?

 

Sorry, missed this originally..

 

I actually do own both myself, they were free gifts so I kept them.

 

The original ST I owned was just one day BUT I'd used them previously and wasn't happy with it but the machine was given at a seriously silly price so I got it home, still wan't keen as I was already using the Amiga and decided I should sell the ST and make a decent profit.

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My history was:
400->800->130XE->STM

The STM was upgraded to 2.5Mb RAM and had a 286 hardware PC Emulator, hard drive, mono and colour screens and an external 720K HD

Then I got a Mega STe with a 386 board, same hard drive, but a multisync monitor.

Then finally a Falcon

And at the risk of becoming unpopular, I got a 486 multimedia PC and wished I'd never bothered with the Falcon...

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Ha ha, a great many of us went down the PC path, I started with a 386 and then hit the heights of a 486, I got to know Quemm like the back of my hand, the soundblaster variable and wowed in the world of Duke Nuke em etc....I'd forgotten my beloved Amiga...

 

But I remembered her in the end :)

Edited by Mclaneinc
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I was an early adoptee of the 1040ST but eventually went Amiga 500 because I thought it was designed for arcade games proper - got ted up with jerky scrolling and sprite movement - but alas few Amiga games really take advantage of it's graphics hardware - being ports or just being portable to other systems. But generally overall - arcade type games were disappointing on both Amiga and ST - and so I was easily drawn to the Sega MegaDrive and Super Nintendo for my arcade fix. Playing the likes of Super MarioWorld, Legend of Zelda and Super Metroid was pure joy - reminding me of my early Atari 800 days. Showing the difference I guess between professional game development - versus the amateurs?

I'm always aware of the other hardware being available - having had a C-64 for almost a year - around 88? And wanting a PC-Engine - but never getting one...

So called multi-tasking on the Amiga wasn't all that great - when it crashed too often, from what I remember.. With the Amiga 500 you needed that second disk drive - to cut out all the disk swapping required of it.

 

Harvey

Edited by kiwilove
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What put me off the Megadrive was the FM synth music, for me with tinnitus it grated and drove me insane although I did enjoy Comix Zone, Gunstar Heroes and the version of Contra that is every bit as good as the Snes version BUT the Snes stole my heart, so much goodness, Actraiser, the games you mentioned, Plok and a list a mile long after those.

 

When I had my Amiga I was so sure it could do the Mario games before I'd seen them actually move in the flesh, a friend who modded consoles and later went on to work at Argonaut called me up to come see the snes as he wanted to show me his colour mod for it. Wow, was my first words, Super Mario in the flesh, it just blew me away, I HAD to have one :)

 

As regarding the PC Engine, I knew people who had them including my brother and was allowed to borrow it with all his games, well it certainly gave me an overdose of Shmup goodness from Gunhead alone, loved it with Bloody Wolf etc but again it was the FM music that put me off actually buying one, later in life I'd test the wonderful Magic Engine emulator and purchased it from David Michel although Ootake now seems to be the boss. And yes, a 2nd drive was a MUST on the Amiga, to be honest I got a HD as soon as I could afford one, that with Directory Opus was heaven.

 

These day I own a Snes but its packed away so I use Higan to emulate it, but I still give the games a bash...

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I went from 800XL to 520STFM and then a 1040STe later expanded up to 4MB. I did get an A1200 after that as the Falcon was hard to get hold of and i didn't have the A1200 long ( few months ) before i went over to consoles, the Jaguar being one of them. In the main all my 16-Bit Computers were ST's all the way.

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Wanted: Amiga

Actually got: Acorn Archimedes

 

but now I have all 3, so no worries

My first job in IT was working the Computing Services helpdesk at University. Said University had a number of computer labs: some had PCs, some had VAX terminals, some had Macs. There were also two Archimedes labs.

 

We used to say that the Archimedes labs achieved the highest reliability of them all because nobody ever switched them on.

Edited by x=usr(1536)
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Atari 800, 800XL.. BBS Dial-up, then ran a BBS on the Atari 8bit. Continued running the 8bit BBS Express as I got a 520ST then later put the BBS on the 520ST and bought a 1040ST.

 

Unfortunately the only Amiga exposure I had was with a family member who had the 1000 and the only game they had was Rogue.. which didn't show any special capabilities :(. I'll admit I was actually very initially disappointed with the ST but as I came across Sundog, Dungeon Master, and the Word processing software (and mono monitor) became pleasantly surprised with what the machine could do..

 

Moved the BBS to PC in 1990, and the ST faded from use shortly thereafter (though i had my ST and 8bit set up and running occasionally until I was busted for running a pirate BBS In 1994 :) ).

 

.. by the end of 1990 i had a 486dx-25, 4mb ram, 676mb SCSI Drive, a soundblaster, and tseng 4000 chip graphics card.. it was very powerful at the time but it took a few years before proper games came out for it..

Edited by Xebec
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  • 7 months later...

Wanted the Atari 800 when it first hit the shelves (but had to settle for a CoCo 2 -- which turned out okay though). Still not my first choice, since I was heavily into graphics.

 

Then the ST and Amiga arrived on the scene. Almost got the ST, but waited for the Amiga 500 since I needed as many colors as I could get my hands on.

 

On a related note, here's a 45-minute edit of Joe Decuir and Ron Nicholson's presentation of the Atari 8-bit and Amiga tech history:

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As for the difference in ST to Amiga, I remember being at a computer show and I looked at GoldRunner on the ST, it was very nice but sounded like an 8 bit, on the next stall Linel were showing Insanity Flight which was a clone of Goldrunner but from the silky smooth starield on the intro to the sampled music and the copper list fx I was sold.

 

 

Amiga suffered from "lazy ports" though didn't it ?. There were a lot of games that were written for the ST first and then ported straight to the Amiga without taking advantage of Amiga's extra hardware features.

 

The problem is that both companies were trying to market their machines as business items which by then the PC was out and became the natural base for all things business, Commodore or Atari never stood a chance :)

 

There was no way for the Amiga to compete in this area, it doesn't have decent text-modes that the PC excels in.

Edited by shoestring
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Yes, there were Lazy ports, Pete Johnston (Johnson?) was the master of these, he was given a job and he did it quickly which to be fair is what he was paid to do but the Amiga community just jot poor ST ports....Great shame, all those extra resources ignored..

 

Both the ST and Amiga wanted to take a slice of the pie and the ST did better tna the Amiga iirc with only specialist Amiga based stuff getting noticed. It was a greedy mistake by the pair of them, the PC was already established as the go to place in those fields. Even the Mac these days sits behind the PC if I've read rightly. Still, its less of a lead than the Amiga and ST had to try and catch up on but its still a gap.

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Hindsight is a marvellous thing - or should we say 'history'.

 

Atari was right in marketing the Atari 400/800 computers as being Home Computers - that they were aimed for the home.

But being at the cutting face of technology - you don't stay at the forefront for long - as competitors come up with better and better technology design.

 

The PC was very much clunky and underpowered when first introduced - and it was when Doom arrived and the 486 era - that the hardware was too good, not to be ignored any longer. Only the die-hards stayed with their Amigas and STs for a while longer.

It's like that with modems and the Internet - that it was too slow and of little interest - until 56K modems arrived - which were priced for the mass market and there was that ever growing content of general interest - you could now access - free for the most part.

 

Nowadays computing in the home is part of ordinary everyday life - and is accessible on the go - with the so-called smart phone. Which I don't possess - probably because I don't talk much on the phone to anyone.

Who would have predicted back in the 80s - how essential computers in the home - would be today? How much information is accessible to you.

Especially if you don't observe copyright laws/etc - you can amass large libraries of information for your own interests.

Nor how active vintage computing will be - if you so desire to want to be part of - to create new masterpieces (or be of assistance in helping to create them).

Is the best yet to come? Maybe we'll have to wait until a decade passes by - before we'll know the answer to this question?

I'm not interested in the Amiga/ST scene and am completely unaware of newer creations for them? Is there anything there - which makes you say Wow?

 

Harvey

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