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AuthorTopic: Pimp My amiga  (Read 440 times)

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Offline Jamesplease

Pimp My amiga
« on: May 04, 2019, 03:13:10 PM »
Hi guys,

Amiga was my first love back in the day. I started with an Amiga 1000 and then upgraded to a 1200. When commodore went bankrupt I felt like the blocky megabyte eating dinosaur PC's won.

Im really glad the Amiga community is still alive in 2019. Cheers to everyone. You guys are champs.

I recently bought a no frills 1200 with a mere 2 megs ram and no hard drive. My goal is to pimp it out over a long period of time. The problem is.....I have no idea what I'm doing. My only experience of the Amiga was when I was young and I feel like I have a lot.of learning to do. Thats why I have joined this site. Hopefully I can get the advice I need to help me on my journey.

So if anyone has any hints and tips feel free to let me know!

 

guest7146

  • Guest
Re: Pimp My amiga
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2019, 03:46:54 PM »
Welcome back to the AMIGA scene!  :)

If you're looking to 'pimp' a classic AMIGA, then you've made an excellent choice - the A1200 is probably the most expandable AMIGA that was ever created.

Now, the thing is, you're going to have to give us a definition of 'pimp' because there are so many directions you can go and so much money you can spend.  Completely maxing out an A1200 will cost you more than $1000.  On the other hand, getting yourself a very useable machine that can boot the latest 68k version of Workbench, run a ton of applications and games, and give you many an evening of joy can be done for much much less.

Here are my questions to get us started on a line of conversation:

  • Is your focus gaming or Workbench/Applications? If both, what is your % split here?
  • If gaming, are we talking about general AMIGA games that would have run on a standard A1200 back in the day, or larger games that would have required an accelerated AMIGA? If the latter, let's have some examples of the kind of games we're talking about
  • If you're into Workbench and AmigaOS applications, what are your specific interests in order of preference?
  • This one is quite important because it gives us some direction about the kind of expansions that will be suitable for you: Do you prefer to keep your A1200 as a desktop or do you have a specific interest in putting it in a tower?

My generic advice, without having access to any of this information, would be for you to consider a suitable accelerator for your AMIGA first as that really opens the door to most of the other expansions you're going to want later on.  There are some modern A1200 accelerators that were released within the last 5 years or so but even these can be difficult to find as off the shelf brand new items at the moment.  So you're probably going to be looking at a used accelerator.  eBay is an obvious source although I do often find that the prices go a bit crazy there.  Try amibay.com as well.

In terms of which accelerator to buy, that really depends on some answers to the above questions but assuming you just want to give your Miggy a bit of a kick to make it into an enjoyable machine without getting too expensive, then you should consider a 68030 accelerator.  I am a big fan of the Blizzard 1230 in this regard, but these are very old accelerators now so your mileage with one of these might vary.  A more modern alternative is the ACA1230 or ACA1233.  You find the ACA1233 available from new at some AMIGA retailers.

After you've got your accelerator the next step is surely going to be a hard drive or CF card expansion so that you can boot Workbench easily.  Even if your interest is mainly gaming, Workbench is going to be a bootloader for your gaming experience because you can get hard drive installers for most of them.  WHDLoad is your friend in this respect.
An alternative to this is to get a Floppy Drive emulator.  This way you don't need to boot to Workbench.  I don't own a floppy drive emulator but if I was in the market for one I'd look at the HxC range.  There is also the Gotek, which I believe is a lot more popular.

In terms of Amiga retailers, I'm not sure which ones are popular in your location - perhaps someone else who lives near you can respond on that one.  I would highly recommend AmigaKit.com, amigastore.eu and also Vesalia.de.

I'll leave it at that for now until you come back with some answers to the questions. 
 

Offline Motormouth

Re: Pimp My amiga
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2019, 09:08:49 PM »
Hopefully the Vampire V4 for the A1200 will be out soon.

You can have a processor accelerator faster than an 060, a fast ide port, RTG, ethernet and more!!!!!
« Last Edit: May 04, 2019, 11:23:48 PM by Motormouth »
 
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Offline paul1981

Re: Pimp My amiga
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2019, 10:38:46 PM »
Hi guys,

Amiga was my first love back in the day. I started with an Amiga 1000 and then upgraded to a 1200. When commodore went bankrupt I felt like the blocky megabyte eating dinosaur PC's won.

Im really glad the Amiga community is still alive in 2019. Cheers to everyone. You guys are champs.

I recently bought a no frills 1200 with a mere 2 megs ram and no hard drive. My goal is to pimp it out over a long period of time. The problem is.....I have no idea what I'm doing. My only experience of the Amiga was when I was young and I feel like I have a lot.of learning to do. Thats why I have joined this site. Hopefully I can get the advice I need to help me on my journey.

So if anyone has any hints and tips feel free to let me know!

They couldn't eat more than 640K without extra help.  :P

I'd approach this differently. I'd say you'd be best off starting from the bottom up in a gradual learning process. Obtain an old  used 2.5" 40 PIN IDE hard drive and a short 2.5" hard drive cable...erm I think they're about 2" long to reach the drive in the caddy. You'll need some screws to secure the drive. The older hard drives (I think around 2 gig and under) have the screw holes in the correct place to match the caddy, larger drives (as in newer) have their holes in completely the wrong place, in this case I'd use velcro to secure the drive to the caddy. I have a few old laptop drives hanging around so to me they are easily obtainable, and they're not expensive to buy second hand.
Other people will say buy a CF card instead of a 2.5" hard drive, as it's lighter, probably more reliable, and generates much less heat - but personally I prefer to keep things original if at all possible. Oh, you'll also need a IDE > CF card adapter if going down that route so that you can connect it to the IDE port. Anyway, get Workbench 3.0 or 3.1 fully installed on the hard drive and start learning about your new machine by installing software from floppy disks, and from aminet if you have a pc or similar with a floppy drive with internet connection. The best source of software for me was the CD-ROM. I had a Squirrel SCSI with a CD-ROM drive and some Amiga Format and CU Amiga discs and some others and had a brill time with them in the mid 90's. Each CD was like a gold mine back then. Also had fun ripping audio cd's with it. So I'd just buy a hard drive first and learn about all that.

2MB RAM isn't much and you will probably want more later down the line. An RTC (battery-backed clock) is nice, so you will want a RAM card with an RTC or some other accellerator with an RTC (they all have them). You can buy a seperate RTC which you can plug into the clockport on the motherboard or onto one of those ACA12xx series cards from Individual Computers. A simple RAM card fitted to the A1200 trapdoor gives you an instant doubling of speed which is nice, but an ACA12xx or similar will be even nicer, but not required for general 'Amiga computing'. I think the higher clocked 68020 cards are better value for money than the 68030 cards, but as always if you can afford better, why not buy better?

The Vampire is of course a ready made heavily pimped out A1200 in a card, but where's the fun in that?
 
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guest7146

  • Guest
Re: Pimp My amiga
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2019, 06:26:56 AM »
Hopefully the Vampire V4 for the A1200 will be out soon.

You can have a processor accelerator faster than an 060, a fast ide port, RTG, ethernet and more!!!!!

That will make a very nice desktop A1200 indeed.  Especially with one of the new cases which has provision for clean installation of such peripherals.  That's exactly what I'd like to use one of my new cases for!

The best source of software for me was the CD-ROM. I had a Squirrel SCSI with a CD-ROM drive and some Amiga Format and CU Amiga discs and some others and had a brill time with them in the mid 90's. Each CD was like a gold mine back then.

I completely agree with this.  I also have fond memories of trawling the AF CDs back in the day.  The trouble is, CDROM has a fairly significant barrier to entry for a desktop A1200.  The SCSI CDROM drive you mentioned is nice (I have one too) but then you need an accelerator card with a SCSI port on it.  You could go with IDE instead via a buffered IDE interface and have an internal PC CDROM hanging out of the back of the A1200, with a power supply attached to it.  That would be functional, and would solve the software source problem, but one heck of an eye-sore and personally I could not tolerate it.

The barrier to entry for internet access is actually lower than that for CDROM.  You can buy a cheap PCMCIA WIFI or Ethernet card from AmigaKit along with their EasyNet software and after some time spent on configuration and setup the A1200 will be online.  The speeds over PCMCIA won't set the world on fire but for simple access to Aminet or the home network for grabbing software it's ideal.

I think the higher clocked 68020 cards are better value for money than the 68030 cards, but as always if you can afford better, why not buy better?

Yes I also agree that the 68020 cards are better value for money.  It all depends what the Op wants from his A1200 though.


EDITS:
  • Fixed excess quote tag at end of post
  • Added hyperlinks for the new cases and AmigaKit networking
 

Offline paul1981

Re: Pimp My amiga
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2019, 08:50:42 PM »
Squirrel SCSI interface, plugs into the PCMCIA card slot on the LHS of the A1200/A600:

https://www.bigbookofamigahardware.com/bboah/product.aspx?id=1201



No accelerator card needed  :)

I used it for copying hard drives one to the other later on in its life. I've never had a scanner on it though.
 
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guest7146

  • Guest
Re: Pimp My amiga
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2019, 06:33:54 AM »
Ah OK Paul! I used mine with an accelerator SCSI port, I didn't know they released a PCMCIA adaptor.

Still - I bet you one of these costs a lot more on the 2nd-hand market than the network card option.  But this option is more useful as a general tool that you keep around to plug in whenever needed rather than having to have the network drivers and setup on your system.  Also you can run CDROM games with it.

 

Offline utri007

Re: Pimp My amiga
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2019, 08:59:36 AM »
1st

Get Hard drive, install OS and WHDLoad for a games.

2sd

Get memory expansion or a accelerator. Plain fast ram will 2x your A1200 speed.

3th

Get PCMCIA network card, old Prisim chip based 10mb wifi or a more common wired LAN. Use Samba or Amiga Exloprer to transfer files to your Amiga from PC

4th

Get gotek and reflash it to use Flashfloppy or HxC firmware. Gothe is cheapish chinesse floppy emulator and flasfloppy is open source firmware for it and HxC is little more polish but it will cost you a 12$ . This way you can forget floppies and uose floppy images from USB stick.
ACube Sam 440ep Flex 800mhz, 1gb ram and 240gb hd and OS4.1FE
A1200 Micronic tower, OS3.9, Apollo 060 66mhz, xPert Merlin, Delfina Lite and Micronic Scandy, 500Gb hd, 66mb ram, DVD-burner and WLAN.
A1200 desktop, OS3.9, Blizzard 060 66mhz, 66mb ram, Ide Fix Express with 160Gb HD and WLAN
A500 OS2.1, GVP+HD8 with 4mb ram, 1mb chip ram and 4gb HD
Commodore CDTV KS3.1, 1mb chip, 4mb fast ram and IDE HD
 

Offline paul1981

Re: Pimp My amiga
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2019, 12:14:30 PM »
How could I forget the PCMCIA CF card adapter! If you have an old laptop with a PC card slot then you're all set up for transferring stuff from aminet or whatever to your A1200. I suppose I forgot to mention this because I was temporarily transported back to the 90's.
 

Offline Brian Hoskins

Re: Pimp My amiga
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2019, 07:34:40 PM »
How could I forget the PCMCIA CF card adapter! If you have an old laptop with a PC card slot then you're all set up for transferring stuff from aminet or whatever to your A1200. I suppose I forgot to mention this because I was temporarily transported back to the 90's.

I think you've hit upon the optimum entry level solution Paul.  It's even still available at AmigaKit, (and presumably other suppliers) and is cheap to buy.  I might even get one myself as it's a handy tool for scenarios where you're setting up a new AMIGA and you need an easy way to get software onto it.
 
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