Coding back on Amiga

category: code [glöplog]
Hello sceners'

I've got a bunch of questions for oldschool coder sceners...

I just got a working A500 + monitor, and probably because I'm in my "nostalgia" trip remembering old good party/scene feeling I got some motivation for trying to redo some old fx and see if I can do a little better than what I have done some years ago. (and probably do more stable code, avoiding doing SMC or typical code that works only on the coder machine ;-) )

But currently my A500 has no harddrive and I do not have any floppy (not even any Workbench disk) so except seeing the good old white hand, I can't do anything... (oh yeah, got some sound: I heard the drive' tak-tak ;-) )

So does anybody here have any clue about what is the best way to come back on an old machine ? (and no WinUAE is *not* a solution, simply because it's really not the same feeling). And well, I think using floppy disk can be a motivation killer... So if you have any "cheap" suggestion you are welcome !

Another question: are they any coders around there, that have try to code after 10 years on amiga, but stop because it was too hard to go back to asm-pro/one/seka ?
(I hope with some luck that the most hard think it's not having a mouse wheel ^^!)

And last thing, I've been part of an amiga team that have release some demos during the period 95/98, ok it's more than a decade ago, but with some luck old members are around there, so if any old Silicon members (zoon, pepe, maf, leon...) read this message just say "hi" !

Ok, after all these years, and getting some times tonight let's go for commenting some good old classics Amiga demos !
added on the 2010-12-07 18:45:51 by skp skp
Apparantly a new scener on Pouet. Hi Skip! Welcome. :-)
added on the 2010-12-07 19:45:41 by w00t! w00t!
Try Amiga demoscene archive forum. Lot of Amiga coders lurking there and hey welcome back!
added on the 2010-12-07 19:47:13 by Rebb Rebb
Look for a hxc floppy drive, there is a version that read data from a usb port connected to the pc, to test it on the real amiga.
added on the 2010-12-07 22:19:48 by swapd0 swapd0
im not sure how well the hxc adaptor works (new to me) but apart from that, A500s are _horrible_ to work with and floppies are about the only way to transfer data.

my best suggestion would be to ditch the A500 and buy an A600. A600 has an internal 2.5" IDE adaptor which takes any standard HD. It also has a PCMCIA port, so you can buy cheap Compact Flash and Ethernet adaptors which work great with the A600. This gives you two very good options for transfering data: TCP/IP or Compact Flash.

A600s are dirt cheap and probably the best 16bit computer for "modern use" :)
added on the 2010-12-07 23:45:07 by button button
Thanx guys !

HxC can be a cool solution (there is a sd-card version, the usb version seems not as useful as the sd one !).

Only the price can be a blocking thing because nearly I can get a standard A1200 for the same price ! But I'll check ebay and try finding the HxC at a good price...

I'll also check ADA if I can get some informations !

I hope getting a "ready-to-use" Amiga for christmas, that can be really fun !! (Or a totaly disasters, because I'm too old for asm coding ;-) )
added on the 2010-12-07 23:54:16 by skp skp
skp: The only thing that makes sense in 2010 is to do cross-development. Download VBCC, VASM and VLINK and start hacking away. Here's a build for Windows. Then take it for a spin in WinUAE. It's not the same as coding on the old bread-box, but it sure is more plesant!
added on the 2010-12-07 23:56:46 by kusma kusma
@button: I really dislike the A600 keyboard, but mostly if it's too hard to get a working A500 I'll take a non-extended A1200 (better keyboard ;-) )
added on the 2010-12-07 23:57:24 by skp skp
@kusma: interesting page, I'll check it, but mostly what I want is finding back the feeling of Amiga coding, but mostly if it's really a pain I will probably try what you suggest ! (But by default I really want to avoid WinUAE !)
added on the 2010-12-07 23:59:47 by skp skp
@kusma: and well I want to try back asm-pro/asm-one or even seka3.2, yeah I'm probably mad like all these old amiga coders ;-)
added on the 2010-12-08 00:01:24 by skp skp
hehe, you are ok having no HardDisk.
even if you´d have said you´ve got some A1200 without HD i´d have told you the same:
my Keyboard-FlatBand-Cable melted due to my Harddisk loving the BBSs back then ;) so i, as a coder had no money and no "1qay" + "esc" ;) try coding in ASM-One without Escape-Key ! ( or write some "add.w #$0f00,$dff180" )

nowadays i am into pc-4ks but tried to do some stuff years ago again on a real Amiga 1.2k, wasnt anything like comfy at all!

if you really wanna try to beat our good ole girlfriend up once again, i´d suggest to do what button said ! just get an a1200, has even more advantages minus the disadvantages an a600 brings.

about the coding, see what you wrote above, asm-one and every other assembler you suggested or anyone would suggest you nowadays arent any comfortable at all. cross-assembling ftw...rest is just only for masochists !

wait: Stingray has more Input than i can deliver, as i am in your boat: i didnt release on amiga for like 15 years at all! ;)
Thanx Hardy, and I think I will go for an A1200, because it seems really hard to make something from the A500 and I'm not a complete masochist (just an half one, like most sceners ;-) )

I remember at the end I use GoldED/VBCC/Vasm like kusma said, and the big advantage of this kind of solution it's that you can easily mix C and asm code !

But if I do it for nostalgia I will probably do it using the goold old asm 'IDE', but if I find it cool and decide to really back in the scene, be sure I will use VBCC/Vasm for being sure not missing deadline and not loosing time coding boring asm code that take one line in C !

So, now I got my plan: remove the A500, replace it by a standard A1200, give a try to the oldschool way, then if my motivation is kept and survive to the "back to the future" dev, let's find a party and transform nostalgia in a "another old guyz is back on track" !!

(And probably will result in : "wow a sinus scroller in 2k11, old guyz really suxx with their nostalgia" ^^! )
added on the 2010-12-08 12:08:59 by skp skp
I could live with another scroller, just so long as it's not jerky and running on a 3ghz PC. That's when old guys suck with their nostalgia ;)
added on the 2010-12-08 12:52:39 by psonice psonice
Hi skp,

as you're ruling out the development on UAE for the oldschools feeling - meaning you want to develop on ze Amigaaaaa - I can only tell you, how I do my humble stuff.

Usually I work on a high-end classic A1200 (060 + gfx board + HDD) using
ASM-Pro, the PicCon IFF->RAW bitplane converter and the P61 protracker module converter/replayer.
So, all the stuff basically gets nailed together in a rather convenient environment and tested on a nearby A500 + 512kB fake fastMem machine.

I wouldn't go so far to start producing stuff using a bare A500, being forced to do floppy-juggling like way-back ... no sir ... not w/o even having one or more external floppy drives. Not to speak of the time wasted during debugging/assembling/crunching the thnig.

But since the hardware of an accelerated A1200/A4000 plus PCI board/Voodoo or ATI gfx board is virtually beyond the financial capabilities
of many people including myself (my A1200 was completed in a range of almost 6 - 7 years), I'm affraid you're pretty much stuck on the WinUAE thing.
Then again, with the right setup (i.e. OS3.9 + fullscreen) the new UAE versions almost give you the look and feel of working on a high-end classic machine ... just faster.
added on the 2010-12-08 13:10:41 by d0DgE d0DgE
Oh, I almost forgot.
IF you hopefully decide to become active there is one place you might go and meet all the other lunatics.
And that is at AmigaDemosceneArchive.
It has presumably the best forum on Amiga democoding and questions, as simple as they might sound, get answered in a constructive and motivating way.
added on the 2010-12-08 13:17:26 by d0DgE d0DgE
A1200 is a good choice. I would try setting up a CF card as harddisk. Adapters are cheap on Ebay.

And just so you know, there are also harddrives for A500, e.g. like this (not mine)
added on the 2010-12-08 13:47:35 by noname noname
Thanx for all your comments.
I will go for a standard A1200, and like Button said it got IDE, and ethernet is possible, so I think it's the best solution. (And because my brother said me he got 2 A1200 somewhere ;-) Just crossing my fingers he can at least reconstruct a functional one !)

And the good point is I'm sure asm-pro works on A1200 (I used it a lot and I was an happy earlier tester. Solo made really good works on it, hello to him if he is around there !)

And well, I know ADA (and I think most of old amiga sceners know it, really good job from z5 !), I just don't think of it when I post the message sorry :-/
(And well that a long time I want to create an account on pouet, so well, now it is done :-) But be sure I will post on ADA if everything works :-)
added on the 2010-12-08 18:30:10 by skp skp
try to get a hxc ... i build one for my owm ... http://pix.ultrafex.de/floppyemulator.jpg

works really perfect here...!

but i only use it to try on a real machine... winaue with a cross plattform thing is the alot more productive...
added on the 2010-12-08 18:36:53 by ultra ultra
And just so you know, there are also harddrives for A500, e.g. like this (not mine)

Yes, I have one of those to. They work great. Has an awesome slider on it to boot the workbench on the HDD or switch it to boot the kickstart.

Only problem is that they tend to "hang" in the slot after the years and when you move your miggy/HDD they disconnect.

And I also have an A570 CD player that plugs in the same slot, so you cant use them both at the same time. But the HDD case has a SCSI daisy chain connector thingy on the back, so I got a SCSI CD player from NEC and problem solved :D
noname/flashlight: I remember having see this kind of harddrive in some old mags. The config on ebay is really cheap !! I first think this kind of hardware will be a lot more expensive...
Can be a good solution if I can't get a working A1200...

ultra: I'm not sure i can make it myself, so I prefer get this kind of thing in a ready-to-use state ;-)
added on the 2010-12-08 23:32:24 by skp skp
You can always try to change the HDD in the case, it are "normal" SCSI drives inside afterall. I tried to switch my 50MB for a 200MB but didnt work, but I know others that did it successfully.

yeah. just change the SCSI drive to another. start hdtoolbox, partition and format and use.

some controllers was IDE aswell.. or even older.. MFM/RLL drives (like the ALF controllers)

A590 had an IDE-XT drive originally (20MB) but had an SCSI controller aswell.. have used tleast 4GB drives on those controllers.
added on the 2010-12-09 07:16:43 by _Chucky_ _Chucky_
yep using a finished one is of course nice... i only build it for my own because there was no to buy... also stressy is if you build it for your own you need to programm the cpld before you can use... that took most of the time since the uploader didn't work on my machine...

since some time there is a shop which offers the entire thing ... have a look:


it's a bit newer version than mine... but only the pcb was changed... i really can say i could not find one disk which is not working with this thing...

added on the 2010-12-09 15:11:56 by ultra ultra
ultra: yes I see the lotharek site, and... it's nearly the price of an A1200. Actually I think the config describe by noname/flashlight is a better choice for A500 (and look the price on the ebay link pointed by noname :-) ) and from what said chucky it seems to work great with any standard SCSI drive !

But, currently I will first try to get a working A1200... Then if it fails, I will try to make the config describe by noname, flashlight and chucky...
added on the 2010-12-09 23:52:43 by skp skp
Amiga Explorer will get data from your PC to the Amiga500 via the serial port, so you can write ADF's to floppies, or access a virtual harddisk. (Although I must confess I've never used it myself:). And apparently you don't even have to be running anything on the Amiga end, if you can see the hand then you're good to go.

Although if you get an A1200 then just use that. A PCMCIA CF reader is my transfer method of choice, although you may prefer a PCMCIA ethernet adaptor.
added on the 2010-12-10 09:57:09 by anakirob anakirob