MiST - Amiga ST FPGA + intro

Swift Griggs swiftgriggs at gmail.com
Thu Mar 31 16:13:56 CDT 2016

On Thu, 31 Mar 2016, ethan at 757.org wrote:
>> A raspberry pi 2 fits in an even smaller box, and is a lot cheaper...
> FPGA can be configured to match the original hardware. Pis run Linux and 
> then app on it which makes performence unstable?

Don't mistake me as dissin' the Pi or Pi^2. They are cool. However, I'll 
point these items out:

* It's software emulation, not an FPGA simulating the actual hardware.
   Sometimes this is an academic distinction, other times it means your OS
   or demo won't work because they didn't reproduce some hardware quirk in
   the emulator. Being honest, though, the MiST is currently slightly more
   buggy than UAE.

* The MiST has two built-in 9-pin old-school joystick ports like the ones
   on the Amiga, ST, Sega Genesis, etc.. You could get a USB dongle for the
   Pi for joysticks, but it'd be messier with some "dongle" hanging off.

* I have two old ones (Pi v1) and one Pi v2. They can emulate, for
   example, a Genesis (using dgen) pretty well. However, UAE on one drags
   pretty hard. They don't quite have the grunt to be smooth and seamless
   with software emulation. On the other hand, using UAE on a fast PC (I
   use it a lot on a 4.0Ghz i7) smokes the performance of the MiST.

* You also can't run the all emulators with nothing more than a joystick,
   inserting or removing ROMs as you see fit without having to touch a
   keyboard (good for HTPC-style emulator rigs where someone wants to sit
   on the couch and play The Last Ninja on their 60" LCD TV).

* For whatever reason in my case, the sound is (way) smoother than using
   a software emulator. No static, no jitter - it's perfect.

Playing devils advocate, there are some reasons you might want to eschew a 
MiST type setup (or original real hardware) and go with an emulator:

* You are running an app that can benefit from your super-fast PC.

* You don't want to have to mess with the wacky refresh rates and weird
   video issues you might run into. Lots of monitors cannot do 15Khz
   refresh rates.

* You don't want the expense or the mess of buy new hardware.

* You only dabble with those platforms and spend 5 minutes using them at a
   time. Ie.. it's not worth it.

* You'd rather use your bad-dog PC USB joy stick/pad than any krufty old
   joystick from back in the day.


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