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Blastfrog

Best place to get an Amiga computer?

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I've been wanting to get either a 500 (cost efficiency) or 1200 (expanded library of games that I can play), but I've checked on Ebay, and the prices are a little too high for my pathetic budget (I'm still saving, but it feels like it's taking forever). That and there's no reasonably priced buy-it-nows. I prefer to have a stable price, I don't like it ramping up on me.

Anyone know of some less obvious places to acquire one, or even someone willing to sell theirs?

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If you live in a somewhat affluent area you might be able to find them at yard sales or flea markets or something. Unfortunately the era I currently live in has a real shortage of vintage computer equipment because in the 80s no one here had computers.

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An Atari 400 is all I got. Vintage computer gear didn't survive well in my area. The majority of it was just dumped in the land fill.

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Instead of the A500, you might consider the Minimig board, which can be had for under $200 from several places. It's effectively A500 compatible, but has a turbo mode that goes up to 50 MHz (compared to 7.15 MHz for the original M68000). Also, it has VGA 15-pin connector, USB ports, and flash storage (it can even read ADF file directly).

The downside is you have to supply your own case, power supply and peripherals (and for that matter, even Kickstart ROM image).

The plus is that it's more flexible than a true A500, which is quite limited in today's environment. You can't even hook one up directly to a standard VGA monitor or LCD panel without using an expensive device to de-interlace the video signal. And 7.15 MHz is dog slow sometimes. I tried to play Robin Hood: Conquests of the Longbow on a real A500 back in the day (expanded with a 40 MB SCSI HD and 3 MB RAM) but it was still unplayably slow due to Sierra not caring enough to make a proper Amiga port. I felt so burned by that, I vowed to never again buy one of their games.

Edit: oh, I'm wrong about the USB ports (thought there were some in v1.1 of the board). But a USB-to-PS/2 adapter should work fine for keyboard and mouse, if you don't have any PS/2 hardware.

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hex11 said:

I tried to play Robin Hood: Conquests of the Longbow on a real A500 back in the day (expanded with a 40 MB SCSI HD and 3 MB RAM) but it was still unplayably slow due to Sierra not caring enough to make a proper Amiga port.

I've seen that game almost become a slideshow on an unaccelerated A500/A2000 and Frontier: Elite II was no better on it's higher detail settings, fortunately a Microbotics VLX-30 with 32-bit RAM solved those problems for me.

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I miss my old A500. Amigas were really good fun computers that had some graphics and sound capabilities that took years longer to be considered "standard" on PC.

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I've got an amiga 1000 (or I think, not sure how to determine the model). I've moved all the software to pc via serial cable and now I can emulate just fine. There's nowhere good to store it here and it's just going to degrade. I was planning on trashing it, but if you want to pay shipping it's yours. I have a monitor, keyboard, mouse, extra floppy drives, memory expansion, and kickstarts/workbeches/other crap for it.

Actually have 2 amigas, but the second monitor doesn't work anymore.

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Cool! If one's allegedly a 1000, what is the other one? And can you please do check all over the labels on it to determine what model it is? This may help as well.

http://www.lemonamiga.com/help/models/

Where do you live (for estimating the shipping cost)? By the way, I don't need a monitor, I already have a Magnavox-made clone of one of the mid eighties Amiga monitors. If the monitor doesn't add to the price, I'd be happy to have it though.

How much does the total package weigh both with and without the monitor? And what's your preferred shipping carrier?

Thanks for helping out!

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Quick update.

A label on the bottom reveals it as a model 1000. Both amigas are model 1000s.

The monitor is a heavy beast and will certainly add to shipping, but as a side note the monitor does have built in speakers.

I live in Keyser, WV.

I'll get the other info like weight later.
If you want a pic of the stuff, let me know.

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Randy87 said:

If you want a pic of the stuff, let me know.

Although not needed, I'm still curious to see pics of both anyway. (and a pic of the monitor too) Again, I appreciate that you're willing to sell me this.

Anyway, Randy, excluding shipping, what's your price on everything but the monitor, and the monitor individually?

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Amiga 1000 is the godfather of amigas - born in 85.
Only bad thing about it is that the Kickstart has to be loaded from disk.
Second caveat may be only 256KByte of ram if it's an early model and no geek in the 80ies was man enough to beef it up via mem card.

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My father works for a domestic installation company, and they usually travel through different states, often including West Virginia, and his coworkers are willing to do favors for him. If he or any other employees happen to be scheduled to work in West Virginia, would you be willing to arrange for a pickup?

EDIT: derp, grammar in last sentence

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No problem, assuming they can find the place.

EDIT: Or reading your post better I suppose I could drop it off somewhere more easily accessible.

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Turns out that while they do make trips to WV, they don't usually get jobs near the Keyser area. Are you willing to travel out-of-city to give it to them? (probably not, but it's still worth asking I suppose)

If pickup isn't an option, than can you please weigh the individual items on a scale and inform me of how much each individual item weighs for figuring out what the shipping would be?

While I still want to get these regardless, is the A1000 model compatible with A500 games? The A500 was just a stripped down A1000, wasn't it?

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There's a lot of possible difference:

- kickstart version (probably 1.2 for A1000 vs. 1.3 for A500+)
- chipset (OCS for A1000 vs. ECS for A500+)
- chip ram (could be as little as 256 KB on A1000, but 512 KB was standard on A500+)

The earlier A500 was much closer to the A1000 in specs, but it was superceded the a "plus" version with more capabilities. Easiest way to tell them apart is to look at the motherboard (revision number etched on the board, and the actual chips themselves). Running some diagnostic tools might also reveal this, but the visual inspection is easy enough, and more fun. :)

Some later games needed upwards of 1 MB chip ram to run, and I don't know if there was ever such an upgrade for the A1000. Here's a handy chart with typical configurations you might encounter:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat_Agnus

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Okay, but I could theoretically play something like Shadow of the Beast on an A1000 if I wanted to, right? (if enough RAM is installed, of course)

I'm pretty sure it can run them, but I just want confirmation.

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AmigaKit used to have unopened Amiga 1200s in boxes, but it looks like they ran out of stock unfortunately

Go with a Minimig if you're after a A500 experience, or wait for the FPGA Arcade if you need your AGA kicks

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It depends. Older games have a much better chance of running on an A1000. SotB is fairly old (1989) and in fact came out before the A500+ models, so it will definitely run on an A1000, but it needs 512 KB chip ram, as you can see by looking at the bottom left image under "boxscan" here:
http://hol.abime.net/1891

If the A1000 only has 256 KB chip installed, you'll have to upgrade it to 512 in order to play SotB. That's officially the max addressable, but perhaps some clever engineer devised a way to upgrade A1000 models to 1 MB chip or maybe even 2 MB. Something for you to research before investing in any upgrades...

If the machine already has 512 KB chip ram, you'll probably be able to play a lot of games, except for some of the later ones, like say Lionheart (needs 1 MB chip):
http://hol.abime.net/894

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Amiga floppies are not PC compatible, I had to go through a whole ordeal with a serial cable and a laptop to transfer data off the amiga floppies to PC.

A1000 runs kickstart and WB 1.3
Also, like I said, I have the memory expansion. It's the double box thing stuck to the side of the running amiga in my pic.

I can meet up in Cumberland, MD and maybe philly.
Really anything within a 45min drive is cool.

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Warning: A lot of floppy related questions ahead

Randy87 said:

Amiga floppies are not PC compatible

The physical disk itself inside the case, or just the format? I already know that the format is totally different, but a floppy is just an electromagnetic disk, is it not?

If one were to use some blank generic 3.5 floppies, and put it in an Amiga to write to it, would it work?

Does "high density" refer to the disk's physical qualities, or just how physically small the disk sectors are, or does it refer to the hard outer shell of the 3.5 floppies?

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Sodaholic said:

Warning: A lot of floppy related questions ahead


The physical disk itself inside the case, or just the format? I already know that the format is totally different, but a floppy is just an electromagnetic disk, is it not?

If one were to use some blank generic 3.5 floppies, and put it in an Amiga to write to it, would it work?

Does "high density" refer to the disk's physical qualities, or just how physically small the disk sectors are, or does it refer to the hard outer shell of the 3.5 floppies?

Physically the disks are the same. Ideally you'd need double density floppies, I tried high density floppies in the past and had troubles (but this was back in 2003, my memory is vague). You can use something like CrossDOS on the Amiga which is able to read and write to PC-formatted disks.

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Technician said:

Jesus, what were thinking with those mice.

Not as odd looking as the "pregnant" mice and you get used to them after a while.

hex11 said:

Some later games needed upwards of 1 MB chip ram to run, and I don't know if there was ever such an upgrade for the A1000.

Most games ran without problems in a mix of chip and fast RAM, usually preferring fast RAM when available. While the Amiga's memory map allowed for up to 2Meg of chip RAM the OCS chipset only supported 512k, via a memory module in the front trapdoor or a lot of tedious soldering to piggyback RAM chips (which I've seen done), and with the A1000's Agnus chip being dual-inline as opposed to the A500's PLCC chip upgrading really wasn't an option.

Sodaholic said:

the issue of game compatibility.

There are three main issues - how much RAM, does the game require a specific or minimum Kickstart version and does it use AGA graphics modes.

The venerable A1000 can accommodate up to 8Meg of fast RAM in side-mounted expansion modules (it looks like Randy87 has a couple), so memory isn't a problem. Provided you can lay your hands on the disks, the A1000 runs all of the 1.* kickstarts (and v2.05 if soft booted into fast Ram), while the A1200 is the obvious choice for games that require Kickstart 3.0+ and/or AGA.

Is it possible to write Amiga formatted disks on PC?

Not without a compatible floppy drive and an adapter/controller.

Warning: A lot of floppy related questions ahead

The physical disk itself inside the case, or just the format? I already know that the format is totally different, but a floppy is just an electromagnetic disk, is it not?

Just the format. Apart from having a different number of sectors per track, there are odd quirks such as the directory starting on track 40.

If one were to use some blank generic 3.5 floppies, and put it in an Amiga to write to it, would it work?

Yes, though some drives don't like high density disks.

Does "high density" refer to the disk's physical qualities, or just how physically small the disk sectors are, or does it refer to the hard outer shell of the 3.5 floppies?

It refers to the storage capacity, which is 2MB unformatted or 1.76MB if you can find a high density Amiga drive to format it in.

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I've done some research on the weight of the computer and determined that the package would be around 40 pounds. I prefer to get it shipped by FedEx, as they have the lowest rates over USPS or UPS.

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By the way, Randy. Can you please hold on to this stuff for a little while longer? (for some reason I'm paranoid that you already threw it out, baseless, I know, but still) For financial reasons, I'm not going to be able to cover shipping until Friday. I'll let you know when I want it shipped.

To keep shipping weight down, I only want one keyboard, mouse, computer and monitor. I'd like as many extra supplies as possible though, as long as it isn't redundant (I don't exactly need two copies of Kickstart 1.3, since it's the same thing) (but at the same time, I don't exactly mind more than one RAM extension ;)).


And as for what remains after you ship this stuff to me, you should sell it on Ebay, may get a good bit of cash. :)

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