Reproduction micros

Brad H vintagecomputer at
Thu Jul 14 10:56:08 CDT 2016

I have kind of a counter around my 'office' and I've laid out stuff on top
of and under it (and even stuff on top of the stuff).  I have one 'work'
desk where I set up a machine or two and play.  My Digital Group Z80 has
been occupying that spot for months -- just too much fun to play with.  But
my Amiga 2000 is right next to it.

I remember after seeing that Amiga 2000 at the store trying desperately to
convince my Dad to buy one.  I don't remember what the exact price point was
but it was up there, and his concern was compatibility with work.  An IBM
loyalist, he went from PCjr to PC to AT to PS/2.  I do remember knowing that
they had the XT emulation board available for the Amiga and trying that
angle with him to no avail.  Later on as a consolation he acquiesced to
putting in a (then) very expensive 2400 baud modem into our PS/2 so I could

My question about the FPGA Amigas is can you not just emulate pretty much
anything on a PC these days?  I never tried Amiga emulation (if I have the
real thing I always go to that).  Not sure how much the emulators can

-----Original Message-----
From: cctalk [mailto:cctalk-bounces at] On Behalf Of Swift
Sent: Thursday, July 14, 2016 7:50 AM
To: General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts <cctalk at>
Subject: RE: Reproduction micros

On Wed, 13 Jul 2016, Brad H wrote:
> I think the Amiga project is neat, although personally I'm not sure 
> I'd find a need for one.

I have an Amiga 3000 (my personal favorite), but I have limited space so I
can only have about two "classic" systems set up at once (and those are
usually SGI machines in the retro-spots-of-active-honor). I'm not one of
those types who has a personal warehouse with loads of old gear stacked on
huge shelves. So, I find that I spend a lot more time with a MIST FPGA Amiga
than my real 3000. The main reason being that since it can use VGA + USB,
it's small, and it's super easy to put on a KVM make it attractive in my
case. Plus it can emulate so many micros, I get more time with them. 

> The thing about the Amiga was its wow factor

I totally agree. I'm not a huge fan of Workbench, but the Amiga hardware and
the way folks exploited it in games, demos, and applications was the thing
that impressed me. All those custom chips doing interesting things (music
and graphics - there was no bean-counting-co-processor thankfully) while at
the time my impression of PeeCees was that they just bottleneck'd everything
through one pathetically slow CPU with brain-damaged memory management and
then wanted to brag in a dull magazine about mind-numbing things like how
fast you could get a spreadsheet done or reconcile accounts payable for your
boss... ie, reeeeal inspiring stuff to a 14 year old (*yawn*). I see things
a bit differently, now, (I actually think DOS and x86 is cooler now than I
did back in the day) but that's how I felt as a teen.

Of course the x86 today just feels like it's so complex that the actual
microcode you "get" to access & play with isn't really reflecting what's
going on inside. It's just some shared fiction while the CPU really does
super-complex optimizations way beyond what any one person can really
understand anymore. It's also why I haven't curiously disassembled any C
code in probably a decade. I realized the compiler could always do a better
job and use instructions or features I didn't even know existed.  
Perhaps, I think that way because I'm not a specialized EE staring at chip
lithography all day. However, others have made the point more elegantly
before on the list.

> I remember walking into Compucentre (Canadian chain) in the mid-80s.. 
> and there's all the computers from 8 bit heaven and their 16 color 
> graphics (if you were lucky).. and then there's this one computer on a 
> pedestal featuring a totally real jungle cat prowling onscreen.  It 
> just blew the doors off everything else there [...]

I had nearly the same experience at a chain here in the states called
"Electronics Boutique". They'd have a couple of PeeCees running demos and
facing out the storefront. Your eyes would always been drawn to the Amiga
running a Dragon's Lair or Space Ace demo (or something else awesome). I
remember being in the store talking to the staff and people walking in to
get a PeeCee and walking out with an Amiga because the kids were so
impressed with the games and graphics etc...

Also, I've heard versions of this same story from at least three other
people. It seems to be a very common experience. It definitely whet my
appetite for Amigas, too. However, at the time $$$ was a big problem for me
and my family. So, it really wasn't until they were started to become quite
obsolete that I finally got to own one. By that time, I was into UNIX and so
it was already just a "retro curiosity" but one I still enjoy.

I do wish I'd got the chance to use Amigas to do something "real" when they
were state of the art. That or I wish I'd had an A500 the day they hit the
shelves and had all the cool games. I'm sure that would have been a lot of


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