Questions tagged [amiga]

For questions related to the Commodore Amiga family of personal computers.

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59
votes
2answers
19k views

What is the “two-drive trick” that can read Amiga disks on a PC?

Standard belief is that the floppy disk controllers used on PCs are incapable of reading Amiga floppy disks, due to the PC disk controller expecting a very specific low-level format of disks, whilst ...
58
votes
6answers
8k views

Reason for the Amiga clock speed

The Amiga used a CPU rated for 8 megahertz, but clocked at 7.14 megahertz. What was the reason for this number? I remember it was something to do with a multiple of the frequency of the video ...
54
votes
7answers
6k views

Are there any modern compilers that can generate Amiga/m68k executables?

I would quite like to resurrect my openkick project. As I note on that project's README.md, it is stalled because GNU GCC is not fit for purpose. Sadly, there do not seem to be any other modern ...
53
votes
7answers
21k views

Why was the Kickstart 1.x “Insert floppy” graphic so bad?

Anyone who used an pre-Kickstart 2.0 Amiga will be very familiar with the "Insert Workbench floppy" image: I realise that this is subjective, but the image has always stuck me as ... well, a bit ugly....
49
votes
10answers
9k views

Why was preemptive multitasking so slow in coming to consumer OS's?

Preemptive (rather than cooperative) multitasking was a highly-touted feature for PC's in 1996, with its inclusion in Windows 95 for the first time. It was also highly-touted for 2001 Macs when ...
35
votes
4answers
8k views

Why didn't Apple sue Commodore over the Amiga's GUI?

Famously, in the late 1980's Apple sued Microsoft over the "look and feel" of Windows 2.x. The claim was that Windows breached Apple's copyright by being too similar to the Mac UI. Apple ultimately ...
34
votes
3answers
8k views

What modification is required from a PC floppy for use in Amiga?

Around the end of the time of Amiga popularity, obtaining a replacement Amiga floppy drive was a nuisance, while PC drives were ubiquitous and cheap. One could install a PC drive in Amiga after ...
33
votes
1answer
2k views

How did the Amiga DCTV work

This is an unusual question since I'll answer it right away because it was a truly unique device and there is absolutely nothing about the technology it used on the internet. I spoke with the hardware ...
31
votes
5answers
4k views

What were the differences in floppy disk formats between Amiga and IBM/PC compatible computers?

The capacity in Amiga Old File System format (OFS, OS version 1.x) was 840KB, with the Fast File System ("FFS" (!)) introduced for OS 2.x onwards able to store 880KB. The PC format stored 720KB on the ...
30
votes
1answer
3k views

What are the Amiga 1200 timing fixes?

I have read that the Amiga 1200 may need certain "timing fixes" to be applied to the motherboard in order to use CPU accelerators. What are these timing fixes and why are they needed? Is there one ...
29
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I recover the contents from an Amiga HDD using modern Linux?

I have two Amiga 1200's in pieces. One of them has a 52mb HDD in it and on it is my dissertation from 1995 and all my essays. I want to retrieve the dissertation because it's the only surviving copy. ...
29
votes
1answer
2k views

How do Amiga 600 CPU accelerators work?

The Amiga 1200 has a trapdoor expansion for CPU accelerators. The Amiga 500 has a side expansion port and its CPU is socketed. But Amiga 600's expansion port is only useful for memory expansion ...
28
votes
4answers
11k views

Can I image Amiga Floppy Disks on a Modern computer?

Is there any way of reading Amiga floppy disks to PC hard-drive? Can I use a standard Floppy drive with a firmware program that will translate it? Do I need an external drive or a working Amiga ...
27
votes
5answers
3k views

Why is the Amiga ROM at a high memory location, and RAM in low memory?

When a 68000 CPU powers up, it reads a few words at memory location zero to get the initial stack pointer and program counter. That suggests to me that a computer system designer would put the system ...
26
votes
5answers
3k views

Did any Amiga 500 games or programs (apart from paint programs) use more than 32 colours?

While the Original Chip Set (OCS) and Enhanced Chip Set (ECS) Amiga computers had the 32 x 2 colour EHB (Extra Half-Brite) and 4096 colour HAM (Hold And Mofify) screen modes, where these ever used ...
26
votes
2answers
2k views

How to obtain 256 arbitrary colors with limitation of 64 per line in Amiga (ECS)?

The game Universe for Amiga boasted ability of use of 256 different Amiga colors available through the ECS chips, with only limitation of 64 colors in halfbrite palette (32 arbitrary + 32 at half ...
25
votes
4answers
4k views

Why does MP3 audio decoding overwhelm retro CPU's?

Many retrocomputers from the late 80s and early 90s had audio DAC hardware support. This includes the Amiga, Classic Macintosh, and PC's with SoundBlaster add-on cards. Despite the fact that the MP3 ...
25
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6answers
27k views

How can you connect an Amiga 500/600/1000/2000 to a modern monitor?

I have an Amiga 500 that I'd like to get up and running again, but the 1084 monitor with which I used to use it has flyback transformer issues. What options are available to hook it up to a modern ...
25
votes
4answers
2k views

What exactly was the Amiga Ranger?

Amiga's history includes something called "Ranger" that supposedly was either meant to be the next generation system to be released after the Amiga 1000 was released, or the codename for the next ...
24
votes
10answers
4k views

Why was hardware diversification an asset for the IBM PC ecosystem?

The IBM PC was cloned very early on, and many third parties made hardware peripherals. This required users to run an OS, install drivers, manage IRQs and hardware bus addresses, etc. Why was this a ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

Was the MC680x0's TAS instruction forbidden on Amiga systems only when operating in CHIP memory?

(Note: a previous version of this question asked about the CAS instruction, that was added by Motorola from the MC68020; the original one is the TAS instruction). TAS is the acronym for Test And Set, ...
23
votes
1answer
4k views

Why do all the Speech Synthesizers have that same Voice?

The first time I ever played with software speech synthesis on a microcomputer (not hardware synthesis, like in TI's Speak & Spell) was around 1983, using S.A.M for the Commodore 64. A year later,...
23
votes
1answer
1k views

Why are there two, different, Kickstart 1.3 ROMs with the same 34.5 version number?

The Kickstart 1.3 ROM file that is supplied with Cloanto's Amiga Forever (amiga-os-130.rom) is very slightly different to that which you'd get by dumping a real 1.3 ROM from an Amiga 500. ...
23
votes
2answers
4k views

How to convert Amiga DMS to ADF?

Our demoscene group managed to release only one demo before it fell apart, but these being the early days of the Internet in my country, and me getting lucky with obtaining access to it and creating ...
22
votes
5answers
5k views

Why were 3D games on the Amiga not faster than on similar 16 bit systems like the Atari ST

It seems that 3D games, especially simulations like Falcon, were not faster (fps) on the Amiga than on the Atari ST - even a bit slower due to the CPU clock. I was wondering why this is the case, ...
21
votes
7answers
3k views

Was Amiga the last of the home retrocomputers sold?

The Commodore-Amiga was offered for sale to home users from 1985 (original A1000 in North America) until 1996, when Escom stopped selling the A1200. By 1996, Apple was selling PowerPC-based Macs for ...
21
votes
4answers
1k views

Does the “Amiga Client for Novell NetWare” exist?

On page 139 of Brian Bagnall's book "Commodore: The Final Years", there is the statement that at CeBIT Hannover in March 1989, Commodore announced (amongst other things) "Novell Netware for Amiga". I ...
21
votes
4answers
9k views

How can I adapt a modern mouse for use with Amiga?

Death of the Amiga platform predated introduction of optical mice of reasonable quality by a couple years. The Amiga mouse was a box of problems, with non-ergonomic shape, crud-accumulating rollers ...
21
votes
4answers
4k views

How did the Amiga 500 left-side expansion port work?

On the Amiga 500 there is an expansion port How did the expansion port work?
21
votes
3answers
2k views

Why was it not possible to cost-reduce the Amiga 500?

According to 'Commodore: The Final Years' (whole trilogy highly recommended, BTW), page 129, 'Jeff Porter realized it would not be possible to significantly cost reduce the Amiga 500 to get it into ...
20
votes
5answers
6k views

Were the custom chips in the Amiga exploited for their hardware bugs like the ones in the C64 and Atari 8 bit computers were?

Here we are some decades on from the C64, and other 8 bit computers. New ideas that resulted in some new graphics effect or mode seem to happen, though we may be near the end of all that. Took a ...
20
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2answers
1k views

How are Amiga libraries structured?

In this Crash course to Amiga assembly programming, the author loads A6 with a constant, and then regularly jumps to offsets from that constant. He explains: All functions within that library can be ...
20
votes
2answers
948 views

How was 8-channel audio achieved on Amiga?

Oktalyzer was a Tracker style program for Amiga, that allowed composing and playing music with 8 channels instead of the "hardware-natural" 4. So far I learned it achieved that by splitting the 4 8-...
20
votes
1answer
2k views

Who ended up owning Commodore's semiconductor IP?

The question of ownership of Amiga-related intellectual property post-Commodore is famously difficult to answer. My question is: does anyone "own" Commodore's semiconductor IP now, and if so,...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

How did programs/patches stopping Amiga idle floppy drive noise work?

The Amiga computers would by default automatically detect a disk being inserted and respond by reading from it and displaying its icon. Polling the drive(s) for a new disk would produce a clicking ...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

Change Amiga Shell keyboard layout in Workbench 1.3

I'm using Workbench 1.3 in Amiga 500. I managed to change the Spanish keyboard in "SetMap", as shown in the following figure: And I can write text with special spanish characters (ñ,ç,ó,á,...) from ...
18
votes
1answer
2k views

Was it possible to get more than 8 sprites per scanline on an Amiga with the copper list?

I've read in the past that it was possible to overcome the 8 sprites per scanline on the Amiga (OCS) using the copper list. However, I can't seem to find any actual references to what may have used ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

What was the role of Commodore-West Germany?

Most of the history of Commodore in personal computers took place while East and West Germany were divided, and Commodore maintained a significant corporate presence in West Germany. While I believe ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

What size screws were used in the Amiga desktop cases?

On the Amiga 500, 500+, 600, and 1200, what size screws were used to hold the chassis together? Is it the same size screw for all, different screws per machine, different screws front and rear, or ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a Linux client for Amiga Explorer?

I have some Amigas that I would like to be able to transfer files to/from using my primary desktop machine, a PC running Linux. My Amigas do have CrossDOS installed, but transferring things in 720K ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

What should I do when some of the keys of my Amiga 600 have stopped working?

I opened up an Amiga 600 to install a hard drive, and after reconnecting the keyboard ribbon and powering the computer up, at least one column of keys no longer works. What did I do wrong and what ...
17
votes
1answer
1k views

Can you split resolutions and scrolling (horizontally) on an Amiga?

Some time back I asked if it was possible to get more than 8 sprites on a single scanline with the Amiga using a copper list. It seems it is quite possible indeed! Now I am wondering if it is ...
17
votes
3answers
957 views

Where are the blueprints of MOS chips?

Atari historians have been able to find documents and tapes of chips and hardware developed at Atari. E.g. http://atariage.com/forums/topic/154479-new-gtia-chips/ . Nothing like this is happening for ...
17
votes
1answer
2k views

I've taken my Amiga computer out of storage after several years and it doesn't work. What's the likely cause?

I've had an Amiga on a shelf for a long time. Today I took it down and tried to use it but it's not working. There's some basic activity - the power LED illuminates, and there is a video signal - but ...
17
votes
2answers
731 views

How to create a switchless multi-system 2 button Atari joystick?

All systems that use the Atari 9 pin joystick standard make use of the following pins in consistent ways, with each direction and the fire button being connected to the ground pin when pushed. 1 - up ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

How does the Kickstart ROM load and start workbench?

As I understand, on the Commodore Amigas, the kickstart copies itself into a region of memory which is later made read-only. Does kickstart also copy workbench into this region? How does kickstart ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Booting an Amiga 1000 directly to the hard drive without Kickstart floppy

The Amiga computers such as the Amiga 1000 required a Kickstart floppy to be able to boot directly into a hard drive. I have a Amiga 1000 as well but missing the Kickstart floppy. I would like to ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Creating a new locale.library language support for AmigaOS

Looking through the LO (localisation) disk for Workbench 3.1, I see that the language files are binary. I'd like to create a Gaeilge (Irish) localisation file. How is this done on Amiga? Update: ...
16
votes
1answer
516 views

Seeking details relating to Amiga 3000 serial numbers

I am the original owner of my Amiga 3000. As I remember it, I purchased the machine fairly early after release. I'm cleaning and detailing the machine, and I took a quick picture of the serial ...
15
votes
2answers
966 views

What information is encoded in the 22-digit barcodes on the Amiga's case?

What information is encoded in Amiga's 22-digit barcodes? For example: 0103791363642010121234