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71 votes
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What is the "two-drive trick" that can read Amiga disks on a PC?

This only works with 2 drives on the same controller and cable. The floppy controller doesn't know when the disk (hardware) has been switched on the port (software), so a transfer command can be ...
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67 votes
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Reason for the Amiga clock speed

The architecture of most "color computers" of the 70s-80s was very tightly built around the NTSC color video standard. Almost all of them had a 14.31818 MHz crystal. Note that this is four times ...
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61 votes

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

The limitation is based on saving precious space on the 8 KiB boot ROM for the Amiga 1000. Before the "Insert Workbench" graphic ever graced an original Amiga 1000 from 1985, a user would first have ...
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53 votes

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

Low number of bit planes (few colors) and low resolution saves kickstart ROM space as stated in the other answer(s). Another reason for the simplicity of the picture could be the limitation of ...
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  • 1,238
48 votes

Was the Amiga ever used by any U.S. Government agency?

Amiga was used at NASA circa 1998 Here's one A4000/040 with NASA tags. from http://obligement.free.fr/articles_traduction/amiganasa_en.php Seven Amigas are online assigned to operational support, ...
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44 votes
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Why was the Kickstart 1.x "Insert floppy" graphic so bad?

Looking at the actual code, the iconic KS1.x Workbench disk-hand image is technically drawn as vector art — except for the texts, which are bitmaps. The machine-language code uses a simple “program” ...
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41 votes
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Why do all the Speech Synthesizers have that same Voice?

The ones you list are all S.A.M, from what is now SoftVoice Inc. It was developed first for the Apple II, Lisa, Atari 8-bit machines and the Commodore 64; based on awareness of those versions, the ...
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38 votes
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What modification is required from a PC floppy for use in Amiga?

The differences between PC floppy drives and Amiga floppy drives are as follows: PC floppy drives normally answer to drive select 1 (DS1), internal Amiga drives answer to DS0 pin 34 on the connector ...
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38 votes
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Why are the later revisions of the Motorola 68060 heavily sought after by Amiga fans?

Earlier revisions had some bugs (errata) but they still work fine and the problems can be worked around. For instance the MMULibs software checks the revision of the chip when the computer boots and ...
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  • 661
38 votes

Why did the stock Amigas not have a battery for keeping the time/date?

You specifically mention the Amiga 1200 in your question, but your statement about real-time clocks is not true for Amigas, in general. From 1987, the Amiga was offered in at least two versions aimed ...
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  • 56.5k
36 votes

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

While some lawyers do occasionally file lawsuits based mainly on their targets having "deep pockets", like Microsoft had, this is not generally successful. In order for a typical corporate lawsuit to ...
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35 votes
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How do Amiga 600 CPU accelerators work?

Any accelerator for the Amiga work by disabling the CPU and taking over the complete bus system to become the bus master. To accomplish this, a low level signal must be applied by the accelerator to ...
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34 votes
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Why does MP3 audio decoding overwhelm retro CPU's?

What's lacking is mostly raw number-crunching ability. The MP3 format is relatively lightweight, and can be implemented using only fixed-point math (no FPU required), but it still takes a fair amount ...
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  • 8,353
34 votes

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

You should be able to use the Amiga hard drive directly on your Linux computer (provided it still has IDE support). Linux also understands AFFS (Amiga Fast File systems), at least once AFFS support ...
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34 votes
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Cost of PC vs. Amiga 500 in Europe

I don’t know what the situation was like in the US in 1990, but in Europe computers were still unusual in homes then. In my high school in a fairly affluent area, around 10% of my classmates had a ...
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33 votes
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How did early computers handle mice?

How exactly did early computers like the Amiga, Atari ST and Macintosh handle the mouse while also carrying out demanding tasks? In case of Amiga and Atari ST it was achieved by not low level ...
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  • 166k
33 votes

Were all Amigas except for A1000 un-upgradeable OS-wise?

All later Amiga models come with the core of the operating system stored in a ROM called "Kickstart" - the A3000 is a somewhat special case, but that's not relevant here. The ROMs do not ...
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  • 1,379
32 votes
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Does the "Amiga Client for Novell NetWare" exist?

The "Amiga Client Software for Novell Netware v1.4" (official name) was created in 1992 by Oxxi. It is available as a set of six(6) floppy disk images most places where Amiga abandon-ware is found. ...
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31 votes
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Was Amiga the last of the home retrocomputers sold?

If you include clones, home retro computers were sold far into the 90's, including the Milan (Atari ST compatible, 1997-1999) and various Amiga compatible machines. There were also lots of ZX Spectrum ...
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31 votes

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

It was an advantage because the IBM PC became an extensible computing platform. The most popular competitor to it previously was the Apple II, another open platform. The PC, as a platform, was popular ...
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30 votes
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What were the differences in floppy disk formats between Amiga and IBM/PC compatible computers?

The Amiga disk format stores 512 bytes per sector, 11 sectors per track (a track is one side of a cylinder), double sided (i. e. 2 tracks per cylinder) with 80 cylinders per disk, which makes 80 * 2 * ...
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30 votes
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How can you connect an Amiga 500/600/1000/2000 to a modern monitor?

The cheapest option is to use the composite output, so it's compatible with any monitor that supports composite but it's only black and white. Or if you have the A520 modulator (about $25 on eBay), ...
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30 votes
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Why were 3D games on the Amiga not faster than on similar 16 bit systems like the Atari ST

There are a few reasons why multi-platform 3D games turned out to be no faster on the Amiga than on other 68000-based platforms without its blitter: The developers may have targetted the lowest ...
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  • 8,864
30 votes

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

Memory protection. It's not that preemptive multi-tasking is expensive, or hard. It's not. It's easy. It costs (or can cost) essentially the same as cooperative multitasking. You have to save process ...
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29 votes
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Why are there two, different, Kickstart 1.3 ROMs with the same 34.5 version number?

The first change is to patch this code: 00fc0196 266E003E movea.l $3e(a6), a3 00fc019a B7FC00080000 cmpa.l #$80000, a3 00fc01a0 622C ...
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  • 8,864
29 votes
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How did the Amiga DCTV work

After some research, I found the hardware engineer that built the DCTV and we exchanged some messages where he explained the system. This is the unedited text: Wow, it has been a long time... I didn'...
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  • 3,572
28 votes

What exactly was the Amiga Ranger?

Ranger was to be the next generation Amiga, which the original West Coast Amiga engineers began working on in 1986-87, following the release of the Amiga 1000. Jay Miner improved the graphics chipset ...
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28 votes
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Amiga 500 OCS/ECS vs Mega Drive VDP

The [pre-AGA] Amiga: uses a planar frame buffer, stored in memory that is shared with the CPU (and which therefore reduces the CPU's speed); provides dual-playfield hardware scrolling, but the total ...
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  • 32.2k
28 votes
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Why do Amiga Libraries have negative entry points?

TL;DR: What functionality or convenience is gained by having these offsets be negative values from the base address? It provided easy access to two lists that can be extended independently in future ...
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  • 166k
27 votes
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What are the Amiga 1200 timing fixes?

As far as I know, there's no authoritative source, and the information out there is probably not really accurate. I will answer this from an electrical engineering perspective, and because I have ...
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