Emulating Amiga

Amiga 600

My first computer was [tag]Amiga[/tag] 600. It came with the ultra speedy [tag]7.09 MHz[/tag] CPU and a whooping 1 MB of RAM. It may sound small to you now, but at the time these were really good specs.

[tag]A600[/tag] was a complete disaster for [tag]Commodore[/tag] – it had essentially the same hardware as its predecessor, [tag]Amiga 500[/tag], but was nearly impossible to extend or upgrade, and it lacked the numpad, Why did we buy it back then? Because it was marketed top of the line at the time and we just didn’t know any better. I was to young and to inexperienced to figure out that if we held off with the purchase for a few months, and saved up a little more we could have bought the more awesome [tag]Amiga 1200[/tag]. But the good old 600 served me well for many years. :)

I do have nostalgic periods when I get into [tag]retro-gaming[/tag], and relive childhood. I was able to play most of the old games using ScummVM and DOSBox. Most of the good games from that period existed both on Amiga and PC platforms. Some didn’t though. So recently I decided to set up an Amiga emulator. Here is what you’ll need to do:

  1. Download and install [tag]WinUAE[/tag] [tag]Emulator[/tag]
  2. Buy an official [tag]Kickstart[/tag] ROM
  3. Grab some game ROM’s from [tag]ROM[/tag] World

Wait! Don’t go yet! If you don’t want to buy, there are other, less legal ways to get a kickstart. Do I need to remind you that Google is your friend? Anyways, apparently a piece of software is not abandonware as long as someone willing to legally sell it. Meh…

The emulator is very intuitive, but the ROM auto-detection did not work for me. I had to manually map the rom, but that’s an easy task. It will take you a total of 3 clicks (not counting navigating to the ROM file in the file dialog). On subsequent starts the app just grabbed the appropriate one without any prompting so you really only need to do this once. Leaving all the other options on default settings will usually work just fine for most of the games.

The only other thing that you should probably know when playing games is that by default the Joy is mapped to numpad keys, with 0 and 5 being detected as the fire button.

This might save you sitting 10 minutes on the title screen of Shadow of the Beast. Yes, I just sat there waiting and listening the the title music like a retard. It’s a great game though – and frustratingly difficult at that. It brings back memories. Me and my brother used to be completely addicted to it back in the day.

Btw, I’m amazed how few people here in NJ even know about Comodore Amiga computers. Amiga’s market share in Poland was huge when I was growing up. In fact, at one point it essentiallt owned the home computer market because it was simply the superior choice for gamers. Amigas could be easily connected to your TV so you didn’t need to buy a dedicated monitor. 90% of the time you would just boot your software (game) from a floppy so the user experience was comperable to owning a console. It also had a nice graphical OS that was easy to use and intuitive when you needed it. For comparison, most PC’s were running DOS + Norton Commander combination (or if you were lucky a cunky early windows version).

When I mention Amiga here, even among more knowledgabe individuals, they usually give me blank stares or ask if it was like a Nintendo. I guess they never made a big dent in the American market.

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2 Responses to Emulating Amiga

  1. StarHawk UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    My first machine had only 1 k of RAM memory so 1 M sounds pretty good. I think I’m revealing my age here tho. lol. It, the Amiga, was actually one hell of a machine far superior to any of the machines of its day. I never owned one but I did have some practice programming in that environment. Hmmm…don’t remember much now, but I did adore it. And yes it did have a nice GUI interface, much better than the early Windows, and certainly bettern DOS + Norton utilities. (too bad norton went down hill like it did. haha). However I was never much of a gamer, seemed a waste of time to me. I used computers then primarily for mathematical exploration, and simply for the joy of coding. Still do.

    I am however surprised by “how few people here in NJ even know about Comodore Amiga computers.” Hmmm. maybe it’s the age of the ppl ya talk to. All programmers my age at least the ones I know either had one or wanted one, except perhaps for the die hard Apple fans. And hell even they heard of it. I truly hated to see the Amiga fail like it did and dissappear from the market. So anyway thanks for reminding me of this little bit of computer history.

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  2. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Heh, maybe I am asking the wrong people. :)

    My first experience with a personal computer was messing around with my best friend’s C64. Then bunch of kids on the block got Amigas, and I somehow managed to convince my parrents that I desperately need one.

    I used it mainly for gaming. I did mess around a little bit with the OS, customizing it and writing some really simple shell scripts but it was limited. I lacked easy access to introductory resourcess and samples that would let me get the hang of things. Most of the stuff I was able to find in magazines, or distributed with the priated floppies was to advanced or hardcore for me to use.

    I only goit into coding much later on the PC.

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