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The Almost Forgotten Story of the Amiga 2000

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the back-in-the-day dept.

Amiga 192

polyp2000 writes Many don't realize the impact the much forgotten Amiga 2000 had on the world. This lovely article is an informative and lighthearted read, especially if you are interested in the world of CG. "Unfortunately, The Amiga 2000 is one of the least favorite or collectible Amigas. Even today, with the most "die hard" Amiga fans, the A2000 often is ignored and shunned as a 'big, ugly' tank of a machine. One look at eBay (Canada or the U.S.), on any given day, and you can see that the A2000 often doesn't sell at all, and most times goes for a lot cheaper than all the other Amigas — even cheaper than an A500. But, because of this, one can find awesome deals, because, most of the time, the seller has no clue about what Zorro cards are inside, and for next to nothing, you can pick up a fully loaded A2000 with an '030 or above for peanuts."

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It was pretty cool in its day (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 months ago | (#47497923)

But unless it comes packed with a video card and an accelerator, there's not much point to even messing with it today. What you really want if you don't actually care about Amigas is a CDTV and/or CD32, which takes up minimal space, looks minimally crappy, and runs most of the respective software library depending on whether you want the old or newer chipset.

Re:It was pretty cool in its day (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47498079)

I'll just stick with FS-UAE. That's why I love my laptop. With all of the great, accurate emulators, it's multiple computers and consoles all in one compact unit.

Re:It was pretty cool in its day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47498443)

Accurate if you only want to emulate the 68000-based versions. Anything with cache (020 or higher) and timings are off.

There is also the issue of incorrect pipeline emulation for 68000, but that only has an impact on self-modifying code and the pipeline is short enough for that to not matter unless the code is specifically written to break down on emulators.

Re:It was pretty cool in its day (4, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#47498559)

Accurate if you only want to emulate the 68000-based versions. Anything with cache (020 or higher) and timings are off.

But is that even important? Caches themselves introduce execution trace non-determinism (certainly in the presence of interrupts and multitasking) because you don't know in advance if the memory reference is going to hit or miss. The program can't rely on timings in those cases (it's my understanding that this is why Cortex-M for real-time control doesn't have any caches at all - if you really have to care about worst-case behavior, trying to improve the average case may be pointless for many applications).

Re:It was pretty cool in its day (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47498837)

For most applications it is completely unimportant.
To my knowledge this only matters for demos. Among those it is very common to turn off the system and make assumptions of how the cache works.
A trick that sometimes is used on 060 is to assume 16-byte cache-lines on 16-byte boundaries and use a tst.l from a long-address that spans two cache-lines.
As long as the condition codes aren't used the execution won't be halted by the fetch. That way you can make sure that the CPU reads in data ahead of time so that it already is loaded to the cache when you use it.
Interrupts and task switching doesn't really happen often enough to make tricks like that useless even if they are enabled.

For the 020 there is no data cache to worry about. Instead there is a 256-byte instruction cache. This means that it is common for situations to occur where you can split a loop into several sections where each section fits in the cache.

Anyway, the point is that since the CPU was more or less fixed the Amiga demoscene were able to make assumptions on how the cache and pipeline works and would optimize accordingly. This means that if you want the emulator to run everything at the right speed you have to emulate the cache.
For regular applications you just want to run things at the fastest speed possible and games written according to Commores guidelines will work regardless of speed but might suffer from more or less stutter depending on the emulator.

Re:It was pretty cool in its day (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47499253)

But is that even important?

Important is subjective.
For gaming, why not just run the PC-versions of Dune, Monkey Island and Settlers? They aren't exactly the same but is the difference really that important?
Sure there is a lot that differs between Superfrog and Mario, but if you just are looking for entertainment then you can hardly call the difference important.
I've seen stuff break down completely on really good emulators just because the timing was a bit off. Not because a game used some odd tricks but probably just because of a regular racing condition bug that didn't occur on real hardware.
Who knows what the problem was? Perhaps some DMA forced extra waitstates when accessing some hardware register or perhaps they were emulated but insurted at the wrong time. The important thing was that the code didn't work.
Yes, the code might have been buggy but that doesn't mean that the emulator did as it was supposed to either.

Re:It was pretty cool in its day (2)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 4 months ago | (#47499345)

Actually, timing-dependent code is a gross violation of Commodore's published Amiga programming standards.

They spent a lot of effort on creating specialized circuitry for the Amigas to do time-critical things in a safe and reliable way and not depend on the CPU timing to do it. Partly because it was already apparent how that had ended up on the IBM PC clone models of the day and partly because the machine was designed to a higher standard when it came to real-time processing and multi-media in particular.

Re:It was pretty cool in its day (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 months ago | (#47499395)

Actually, timing-dependent code is a gross violation of Commodore's published Amiga programming standards.

When you give people the schematics to your computer you're implying comfort with a high level of hackery. A friend added his own Zorro II slot to an Amiga 500. He always wanted to add a Video Toaster to a 500, all the signals were there, but nobody ever wanted it done for obvious reasons :)

Re:It was pretty cool in its day (2)

Goose In Orbit (199293) | about 4 months ago | (#47499555)

Actually, timing-dependent code is a gross violation of Commodore's published Amiga programming standards.

For commercial-level code... fair enough

The demo-coders, though, would have taken one look (if that many) and said "screw that - look what we can do!"

Why are Zorro cards worth anything at all? (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 4 months ago | (#47497969)

the seller has no clue about what Zorro cards are inside

I can understand the display cards and SCSI cards - those have function - but everything else (framegrabber cards and such) seems like rather hopelessly outclassed stuff?

Re:Why are Zorro cards worth anything at all? (4, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 months ago | (#47497981)

Actually, the accelerator and the genlock slot are both special-purpose slots.

What you really want to find inside of your Amiga 2000 is an '030 accelerator and an Emplant board with some Mac IIci roms on it, as well as a boatload of RAM (1 or 2+4MB, maybe?) with a fat or fatter Agnus, and some 2.1 ROMs. If you don't have all of those things, then you will always be tempted to blow more money.

All of this has made me wonder if I can score an accelerator or at least RAM expansion for the A1200 for a reasonable amount of money, though. That would be a fun casemod (separating the keyboard and the rest of the machine) and I've got one lying around. I was supposed to give it away but crap happened.

Re:Why are Zorro cards worth anything at all? (1)

William Baric (256345) | about 4 months ago | (#47498283)

Why would I really want a Mac emulator in an old Amiga? What would be the point?

Re:Why are Zorro cards worth anything at all? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47498431)

To make a Hackmiga of course. More hipster cred.

Re:Why are Zorro cards worth anything at all? (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#47498457)

To run a C64 emulator on a PC emulator on a Mac emulation on an Amiga of course. Duh.

Hand in your geek card on your way out.

Re:Why are Zorro cards worth anything at all? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 months ago | (#47499257)

Why would I really want a Mac emulator in an old Amiga? What would be the point?

What would be the point of owning an old Amiga?

Re:Why are Zorro cards worth anything at all? (1)

William Baric (256345) | about 4 months ago | (#47499693)

Playing with old games using "vintage" joysticks? Seeing old programs we created in assembly run on a real hardware? Playing with old pieces of hardware toys that we created and which were using one of the amiga port? Basically, reliving old memories?

I can certainly understand why someone would want an old Amiga or an old Atari ST. I can even understand why someone would want an old Macintosh. But a Macintosh emulator in an Amiga? No, I can't see any reasons.

Since you're the one telling people they really want that Mac emulation board, can I ask you again why?

Re:Why are Zorro cards worth anything at all? (1)

chuckugly (2030942) | about 4 months ago | (#47498315)

Yeah mine has 3mb and a couple SCSI drives, and fat aggie.

Re:Why are Zorro cards worth anything at all? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 months ago | (#47499355)

I'm afraid to google "fat aggie".

Re:Why are Zorro cards worth anything at all? (2)

Nimey (114278) | about 4 months ago | (#47499397)

There must be lots of Texas A&M sorority girls. :P

Amiga 2000's are plagued with battery leakage (4, Informative)

0xdeaddead (797696) | about 4 months ago | (#47497971)

which is the primary reason why not to buy one. The zoro cards, especially ethernet can be hard to come by, so unless you get a loaded one... well it's pointless.

I've also had issues with bus noise by maxing out a 2000 with a bridge board, 2065, 68038 upgrade, and ram card. It really was incredibly unstable.

The 2000 has the same CPU as the 500, and 1000. It really was a pointless model. The 3000 and 3000T's are much nicer. And I should add the even a bare 3000 is far more stabler than a loaded 2000.

The other issue now is WinUAE is so good, it can run BSD, AMIX, along with all the software from the Amiga heyday. Considering how funky old machines can be, why even bother?

Re:Amiga 2000's are plagued with battery leakage (4, Insightful)

Nyder (754090) | about 4 months ago | (#47498065)

which is the primary reason why not to buy one. The zoro cards, especially ethernet can be hard to come by, so unless you get a loaded one... well it's pointless.

I've also had issues with bus noise by maxing out a 2000 with a bridge board, 2065, 68038 upgrade, and ram card. It really was incredibly unstable.

The 2000 has the same CPU as the 500, and 1000. It really was a pointless model. The 3000 and 3000T's are much nicer. And I should add the even a bare 3000 is far more stabler than a loaded 2000.

The other issue now is WinUAE is so good, it can run BSD, AMIX, along with all the software from the Amiga heyday. Considering how funky old machines can be, why even bother?

Lots of old computers are plagued with battery leakage. Got macs like that also.

Sure, WinUAE rocks, I like it. You know what else I and others like to do? Tinker around on the original hardware. It's why I still have an Amiga 1000, 1200, 4x3000 (they need work though). I enjoy using my Amiga 1200. I enjoy using it's mouse, it's OS, on it's hardware. Listening to the floppy drive.

Maybe it's reliving the past, maybe it's a waste of time, but it's how I enjoy wasting my time. I'm sorry you had bad issue with some Amiga hardware. I've had funky machines in the past (and still today, got a nonworking liquid cooler the other day), and yes, we understand you don't like it, bad experiences, you are very glad computing has moved on. Cool.

But we bother because we enjoy the computers.

Re:Amiga 2000's are plagued with battery leakage (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47498973)

It's "its", not "it's", which is short for "it is"...

Learning from old machines (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 4 months ago | (#47499403)

Maybe it's reliving the past, maybe it's a waste of time, but it's how I enjoy wasting my time.

It's not a waste of time if you are doing it to learn something. Some of the old engineering that went into these early PCs was quite remarkable and there are some extremely useful lessons to be learned. A lot of the best engineering happens when people have severely constrained resources. Engineering tends to get sloppy without constraints.

That said if you are doing it frequently purely for nostalgia then you should probably worry about whether you are wasting time. Nothing wrong with playing with an old machine for a while out of nostalgia just like there is nothing wrong with watching a favorite old movie once again. But after a certain point it ceases to become nostalgia and becomes an inability to move on. Living the past over and over isn't (likely) going to result in anything new or creative. It might be fun but unless you do something with it beyond just playing old games and solving old problems (again) then it runs the risk of being pointless.

Re:Amiga 2000's are plagued with battery leakage (2)

cerebis (560975) | about 4 months ago | (#47498449)

Amiga models all had their quirks and to say the A2000 was pointless is looking back a little simplistically. I'll agree that the A2000 wasn't sexy, even at the time.

The A1000 was the first offering, followed about 2 years later by the A2000 and A500. Being the first iteration, the A1000 had many quirks and suffered from a stylish but impractically slim case size (for the era). The A2000 addressed the lack of expandability, while the A500 answered the low end of the market. Though the CPU did not change, there were a lot of changes in the overall chipset -- one large one being that the A2000 came with 1MB of chipset (dedicated) memory to the A1000s initial 256kB.

The A3000 came another ~2 years later -- was a little late to the party -- and delivered in a number of areas, but perhaps tellingly, many professionals would stick with the A2000 + 68030 accelerator boards. Accelerators from the leading company GVP were stable and much faster than initial A3000s, beyond which many video/CGI orientated cards would not initially fit in the A3000. That people moved the A3000 hardware to third-party cases is perhaps saying a lot about expandibility vs sexy cases.

The models that were pretty pointless were the half-way (or less) upgrades -- the A2500 and A1500.

If it wasn't for the third-party hardware developers, the Amiga would have died much sooner and the A2000 was the workhorse for these companies.

Re:Amiga 2000's are plagued with battery leakage (1)

toejam13 (958243) | about 4 months ago | (#47498815)

Though the CPU did not change, there were a lot of changes in the overall chipset

My largest complaint about the A2000 is that it included the same 68000-8 processor clocked at 7.1MHz as the A500 and A1000. It would have been advantageous to have included a 68000-16 processor clocked at 14.2MHz for the more strenuous workloads that A2000 users tended to perform. It might have also discouraged programming that relied on a 7.1MHz clock.

I had a friend with an AdSpeed accelerator module (68000@14) for his A2000 and it made a significant difference. After spending considerably more for an A3000-16, I ended up regretting the decision given the costs versus the benefits.

Re:Amiga 2000's are plagued with battery leakage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47499107)

I had a friend with an AdSpeed accelerator module (68000@14) for his A2000 and it made a significant difference. After spending considerably more for an A3000-16, I ended up regretting the decision given the costs versus the benefits.

I had an A2000 with an A2630 card (mine had a 68030 and a 68882 running at 25 mhz) along with 4 meg of fast ram and it made the AdSpeed look like dog food. I remember the (at the time) exorbitant price for the A3000; maybe more people should have gone the accelerated A2k route.

One interesting variation that I saw while stationed in Europe that we here in the states didn't see many of was the Amiga 2500, which was an Amiga 2000 pre fitted with an A2620 (68020 along with 68881 fpu both @ 14 mhz).

Re:Amiga 2000's are plagued with battery leakage (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47498987)

Minor nitpick - there where actually two different A2000 models. The first A2000s had only 512KB chip RAM, and 512KB fast RAM on a separate card (which you could expand to 1MB by just inserting the chips). And as far as I remember, the A2500 was simply a 2000 with an 68020 or 68030 accelerator card factory installed.

Re:Amiga 2000's are plagued with battery leakage (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47498711)

What you want to find is an Original Video Toaster card (goes into the video slot) and the software that goes with it. That makes it extremely cool.

Anything else you find is only moderately cool, and more of a "cool it works" rather than useful.

It has dawned on me that there is a market (now that a lot of the patents have expired) to copy the entire Amiga 500/2000 hardware and stick it on a single chip and load the firmware from flash memory, then have various FPGA's to duplicate the functionality of the various zorro cards. The Amiga hardware was far ahead of it's time and was arguably more geek-worthy than the PC, Mac or Atari (think Atari Falcon 030/040, not the 2600)

This machine http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-Vintage-Commodore-Amiga-2000-HD-With-Keyboard-Monitor-Working-/261246855270?pt=US_Vintage_Computers_Mainframes&hash=item3cd386a866 has a Video Toaster. It doesn't appear to have the 68020 board however. (That's that empty slot in the middle.) If you see 7 BNC connectors, it's a Video Toaster.

Basically in the early 32-bit era you had:
IBM PC/Clones, which ran 16-bit Windows, primary used for office software, and required a pile of expansion boards and headaches to work. PC's required an expansion board (Adlib, Sound Blaster) to put cheap sound in, and only if paired with a MT-32 did you get the music the games were designed to have.
Amiga 500/2000, the 500 was a games machine while the 2000 was known for the Video Toaster. Between the two you had much better games when they were released for all systems but like the IBM PC, the expansion boards were often not supported by anything. Amiga's are known for their tracker-style music.
The Atari Falcon was primarily used by MIDI music authors, because it came with MIDI ports on it and had 16-bit audio out of the box.

Personally, I'd love to have a Video Toaster A2000 just for the sake of having it, but I know I shouldn't collect any hardware, no matter how cool the thing was in it's heyday.

Re:Amiga 2000's are plagued with battery leakage (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#47499567)

Here's a link to tracker-style music [wikipedia.org] .

Re: Amiga 2000's are plagued with battery leakage (1)

jfanning (35979) | about 4 months ago | (#47498947)

I should get around to doing something with the A3000T sitting under my desk, even if it is just to suck my old emails off it. Wonder if it still boots?

Forgotten? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47497987)

What are you, twelve?

Re:Forgotten? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47498137)

"remember emachine computer and kmart blue light computer!!! there rare computers.. it is a mystery no one want's to buy them wen they see them" - budding tech archaeologists soon from now.

Re:Forgotten? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47498361)

What?

I owned one (several) (4, Interesting)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | about 4 months ago | (#47498009)

I owned just about every Amiga model put out in the US, but the A2000 was the workhorse business machine. Coupled with the video toaster card and lightwave it was a video production tool that cost about 1/10th to 1/100th of what it would cost to assemble all of the discreet machines it replaced. With the addition of the Flyer card it also became a non-linear editor, a tough feat in those days. I did a lot of good work with my A2000. I had the SCSI controller and a hard drive (probably 40 - 80 MB in those days)

I was also big into Amiga gaming as it was way ahead of its time compared to PCs and Macs. You would pop in something like Shadow of the Beast and just marvel at the arcade quality parallax scrolling and really nice stereo sampled sound using all those nice custom chips that PCs and Macs did not have.

The linked article is very short on details (there are many) for those of us who lived through it, but even after all this time my own memory of specifics of things is basically gone.

A good book to know why all of this did not last or evolve is "The Rise and Fall of Commodore". For those of us who started with the C=64 era and went out till the end with the Amiga, it's an enlightening and sometimes frustrating read about the politics behind our favorite company.

I think that outside of serious collectors and computer history museums, trying to maintain and fiddle with the hardware today is, well, a dedicated hobby. Best of luck. You're often better off with the emulators out there to get your feet wet.

Within the limitations of technology at the time, the Amiga era was a grand ole time, and we all knew we had the best at the time. Thanks to marketing by other companies who think they invented everything, it will indeed likely be relegated to a forgotten footnote of personal computing history. For those of us who lived it, it was a way of life.

Re:I owned one (several) (5, Interesting)

greenwow (3635575) | about 4 months ago | (#47498185)

> Coupled with the video toaster card...

Interestingly, Wil Wheaton worked on the Video Toaster 4000:

http://www.avclub.com/articles... [avclub.com]

It was amazingly ahead of its time.

Re:I owned one (several) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47498203)

The moderators disagree with Wil Wheathead is interesting. They buried you as a troll. Go away. We don't care about him. He was annoying and ruined what could have been a good show.

Re:I owned one (several) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47498253)

Except for the part where, you know, it WAS a good show and it wasn't his fault what the writers did with him?

Re:I owned one (several) (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 4 months ago | (#47498491)

Well, to his credit, he was a pretty good actor. It's not his fault that the writers turned his character into an annoying little self-righteous, one dimensional sphincter.

Re:I owned one (several) (1)

Kuroji (990107) | about 4 months ago | (#47498519)

Because his delivery of lines in Stand By Me was so good? Honestly? Ugh.

Re:I owned one (several) (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#47499583)

Maybe the moderators don't like Hwil Hweaton.

Re:I owned one (several) (3, Interesting)

MindPrison (864299) | about 4 months ago | (#47498263)

One of the things I used my Amigas for was Animation. We used it at the Animation studios as a Line Tester (Pencil tester).

We had a camera attached to a digitizer, and pencil-test software that could run a sequence of sampled images in real time, according to a so called "Dope Sheet", as the Amiga wasn't strong enough to decompress video in real time without external hardware - it was just bitmaps stored in the Amigas memory and the "Fatter" the Agnus...the more Blitter memory could be used to display these images in sequence - direct and raw from the memory, this made it possible to show 25/30FPS movie sequences (typically those photos we took of our hand drawn characters) and could thus check upon our own hand drawn animation to see if it worked as it should.

The Amiga was an awesome tool for this purpose. I think some of the schools still use Amiga for this, it wasn't that long ago I serviced a few for them.

Re:I owned one (several) (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 4 months ago | (#47498421)

It may be true that you may be able to get one for "peanuts", what do I know.

But earlier today I actually searched here in Sweden on powermac to find out if an older (603 or something such) had any value.

Turned out PowerMac G4, G5 and dual G5s are rather cheap too.

Now of course that's no Amiga and of course it likely won't run the toaster and so on but MorphOS may run on some of them and of course at least before they wasn't completely useless for video those either. At least the dual G5 likely work somewhat even today.

Also for anyone who need an Amiga kick check out Icaros desktop: http://vmwaros.blogspot.se/ [blogspot.se]

It will run on your PC so same issue as with the PowerMacs there.. But then again your PC can do things the old Amigas couldn't too.

All three ways is one way of getting the Amiga experience today. Depending on what Amiga experience you want to have :)

Also PCs aren't all that bad / useless by themselves:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

Over and out - https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com] :)

Re:I owned one (several) (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 4 months ago | (#47498441)

This to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

Also btw for those who don't know, MorphOS for mac: http://www.morphos-team.net/in... [morphos-team.net]

What's MorphOS anyway?
http://www.morphos-team.net/in... [morphos-team.net]
http://www.morphos-team.net/re... [morphos-team.net]

Icaros Desktop is an AROS environment with more things, like DOpus 5. The coolest feature in it is that actual AROS has been ported to m68k so now they can run emulate an m68k running their own open-source version of AmigaOS and run m68k AmigaOS software that way without requireing copies of the Kickstart ROM and AmigaOS.

As an ex. Commodore Service tech (4, Interesting)

MindPrison (864299) | about 4 months ago | (#47498019)

I can tell you I absolutely LOVED the Amiga 2000, this is my most re-purchased Amiga ever. I've had the A1500 (sort of a scaled down 2000) and it's bigger sister (Amiga 3000), A500, and even the A1000 with it's signatures inside, but the Amiga 2000 was exciting to me because I could expand it into oblivion.

Unfortunately cool stuff like the Video Toaster...never made it to Europe (AFAIK, I never saw one except in promos on American TV), but I remember I always wanted one, instead I had to make do with the lame VLAB that bugged out most of the time.

I remember paying $$$ for even the A2091 harddisk controller, and even a small fortune for any xx-mb harddisk back then. The Amiga 2000 was a reliable work horse, I ran my BBS with several modems on that one back in my Demo-Heydays. I loved it for its external keyboard, it felt so much better to code on when I had my Amiga keyboard in my lap instead of that HUGE oversized A500.

Ah, the demoscene, fond memories!

Re:As an ex. Commodore Service tech (1)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | about 4 months ago | (#47498059)

There were some great demos coming out of Europe. I remember trading them at swap parties.

I'm guessing Newtek did not want to make an entirely different hardware rev for PAL on the toaster. Wasn't as easy back then to just handle both with a software switch. :) Would be a huge investment for both software and hardware departments.

I did also have the A3000 which was my last big Amiga build. there was also an A1200 which was a later version of a 500-type layout. I don't remember if that was US only.

Re:As an ex. Commodore Service tech (2)

TWX (665546) | about 4 months ago | (#47498343)

Unfortunately cool stuff like the Video Toaster...never made it to Europe (AFAIK, I never saw one except in promos on American TV)

Yeah, you had a thing for Kiki Stockhammer didn't you?

Last I saw her was in 2004 or 2005, she was the female lead for Warp 11, a Star Trek themed punk band out of San Francisco. The band was headlining at Enigma Con at UCLA, which greatly expanded after the Boxing Day Tsunami as probably 60 actors came out to support the con for its charity fundraiser for the relief efforts.

It's kind if amazing to think that Babylon 5 was created in large part on this era of Amiga and that while a little dated, has held up pretty well compared to some of its contemporaries. Foundation Imaging went on to work on Star Trek DS9 and Voyager, likely using Amigas at least for some of DS9 at least.

Obviously at this point the computer is probably worth more as a teaching tool and curio than as a production machine, but it definitely paved the way.

Re:As an ex. Commodore Service tech (1)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | about 4 months ago | (#47498451)

I saw her still doing stuff for Newtek at NAB shows until more recently, she still looked good. Yup we all loved her back in the day. :)

Also, by the time Voyager came around LW was being used on windows machines. I turned down a job doing the 'anomaly of the week' for Voyager at Foundation to go work at Digital Domain instead. Large unix-driven renderfarms for LW and their other tools. Pretty spoiled for gettin your frames done...also never worked with more talented people in my life. They had just come off doing Titanic and The 5th Element. Lots of Lightwave digital ship shots in Titanic by Frank Alber, he went on to become a big guy at Pixar. The stuff still holds up today.

Re:As an ex. Commodore Service tech (1)

TWX (665546) | about 4 months ago | (#47498507)

Never saw Titanic (I think I'm one of three people on the planet over the age of eighteen that can claim this) but I liked how that New York police chase scene in The Fifth Element turned out. I've heard it argued that it's how that Stallone version of Judge Dredd should have looked, had they actually put the urban density in to Mega City 1 that it should have gotten.

Alas, I never got past using 3d Studio R4 in a very rudimentary way. Probably didn't help that my computer at the time lacked the horsepower to render anything meaningful quickly enough to be usable for any other function, so it just wasn't feasible to get into it. Oh well.

Re:As an ex. Commodore Service tech (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47499141)

Yeah, you had a thing for Kiki Stockhammer didn't you?

A lot of us did.. she was pretty easy on the eyes.. then there's Paula Lieberman forever bitching [google.com] about her.

Play for blood, remember? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47498021)

Microsoft Kinect Spy System

THIS ARTICLE IS BEING SCRUBBED FROM THE NET. THE SITE IT WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED TO YANKED THE PLUG ON THEIR WHOLE SITE!!! COPY/PASTE THIS ARTICLE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE TO DISCUSSION FORUMS, BLOGS, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, AND ARCHIVE AND MIRROR THIS DOCUMENT SO IT DOES NOT VANISH FOREVER!

"So you just got the Kinect/Xbox360 gaming system and you're having fun, hanging out in your underwear, plopped down in your favorite lounge chair, and playing games with your buddies. Yeah, it's great to have a microphone and camera in your game system so you can "Kinect" to your pals while you play, but did you read that Terms of Service Agreement that came with your Kinect thingy? No? Here, let me point out an important part of that service agreement.

        If you accept the agreement, you "expressly authorize and consent to us accessing or disclosing information about you, including the content of your communications, in order to: (a) comply with the law or respond to lawful requests or legal process; (b) protect the rights or property of Microsoft, our partners, or our customers, including the enforcement of our agreements or policies governing your use of the Service; or (c) act on a good faith belief that such access or disclosure is necessary to protect the personal safety of Microsoft employees, customers, or the public."

Did you catch that? Here, let me print the important part in really big letters.

"If you accept the agreement, you expressly authorize and consent to us accessing or disclosing information about you, including the content of your communications⦠on a good faith belief that such access or disclosure is necessary to protect the personal safety of Microsoft employees, customers, or the public."

OK, is that clear enough for ya? When you use the Kinect system, you agree to allow Microsoft (and any branch of law enforcement or government they care to share information with) to use your Kinect system to spy on you. Maybe run that facial recognition software to check you out, listen to your conversations, and keep track of who you are communicating with.

I know this is probably old news to some, but I thought I would mention it because it pertains to almost all of these home game systems that are interactive. You have to remember, the camera and microphone contained in your game system have the ability to be hacked by anyone the game company gives that ability to, and that includes government snoops and law enforcement agents.

Hey, it's MICROSOFT. What did you expect?

And the same concerns apply to all interactive game systems. Just something to think about if you're having a "Naked Wii party" or doing something illegal while you're gaming with your buddies. Or maybe you say something suspicious and it triggers the DHS software to start tracking your every word. Hey, this is not paranoia. It's spelled out for you, right there in that Service Agreement. Read it! Here's one more part of the agreement you should be aware of.

        "You should not expect any level of privacy concerning your use of the live communication features (for example, voice chat, video and communications in live-hosted gameplay sessions) offered through the Service."

Did you catch it that time? YOU SHOULD NOT EXPECT ANY LEVEL OF PRIVACY concerning your voice chat and video features on your Kinect box."

###

"Listen up, you ignorant sheep. Your government is spending more money than ever to spy on its own citizens. That's YOU, my friend. And if you're one of these people who say, "Well I ain't ever done nothing wrong so why should I worry about it?' - you are dead wrong. Our civil liberties are being taken away faster than you can spit. The NSA is working away on its new "First Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cyber-security Initiative Data Center' to keep track of every last one of us. This thing will be the size of 17 football stadiums. One million square feet, all to be filled with more technology and data storage than you could imagine. And 30,000 spy drones are set to be launched over America which can each stay aloft for about 28 hours, traveling 300 miles per hour. WHY? Why do we want these things in our skies?

The military is now taking a keen interest in the Microsoft Kinect Spy System, the fastest selling electronic device in history. Conveniently self-installed in over 18 million homes, this seemingly innocent game system, armed with facial recognition programming and real-time recording of both sound and video, will be used by our own government to spy on and record us in our own homes.

And it doesn't stop there. Other game systems such as Nintendo's WWII are also being turned into government-controlled spy systems. WHY?

That's the real question. WHY?!!! Why is our own government spending billions and billions of dollars to spy on its own people? To keep us safe? Do you really believe that?"

Microsoft's Kinect System is Watching You
Published on Apr 5, 2012 by TheAlexJonesChannel:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

###

Big Brother alert: Microsoft wants to know how many friends you've got in your living room

- http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/t... [telegraph.co.uk]

By Mic Wright Gadgets Last updated: November 9th, 2012

- http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/t... [telegraph.co.uk]

"One of Microsoft's latest patent applications[1] is a humdinger. It proposes to turn the Kinect camera into a snitch for movie studios, reporting back just how many friends you've got in your living room and what they're watching. Think that sounds alarmist? Here's what it actually says: "The users consuming the content on a display device are monitored so that if the number of user-views licensed is exceeded, remedial action may be taken." It's that blatant â" a system to spy on private viewing habits.

If put into practice, Microsoft's plan could mean that the film you're watching suddenly stops playing if it detects that you've got more people squashed on to the sofa than the licence allows. You'd then be prompted to buy a more expensive licence to keep watching. It's as if Big Brother had built 1984's Telescreen not to monitor the population but to ensure no one was pirating the Two Minutes Hate.

In all likelihood, Microsoft will struggle to actually apply this patent in the real world. While copyright holders would be delighted, customers would be turned off by such a draconian system. But that's what's interesting about this application and patent applications in general: they often reveal what companies would do if they could get away with it. The black and white drawings and blandly technical language can cover immoral, scary and downright evil ideas.

There was an even more striking example from Apple earlier this year[2]. In September, it was granted a patent for "Apparatus and methods for enforcement of policies upon a wireless device", i.e. a system allowing companies or governments to remotely disable mobile phones and tablets in a particular area.

While Apple mentions benign examples such as preventing phone calls from disturbing concerts or ensuring devices are switched off on planes, it also states: "Covert police or government operations may require complete "blackout" conditions." That's exactly the kind of feature certain governments would love to use to suppress pictures and videos. The patent Apple put its stamp on is a handy form of censorship regardless of whether it will ever apply it.

Last year, Google's chairman, Eric Schmidt, said that the company would hold off from creating a facial recognition service because it would be "crossing the creepy line". Still, Google has filed for and been granted extensive patents in the area and, as its Project Glass augmented reality goggles move forward, who knows when the "creepy line" will shift?"

[1] http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi... [uspto.gov]

[2] http://www.zdnet.com/apple-pat... [zdnet.com]

(C) Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2012

###

"People are aware that Windows has bad security but they are underestimating the problem because they are thinking about third parties. What about security against Microsoft? Every non-free program is a 'just trust me program'. 'Trust me, we're a big corporation. Big corporations would never mistreat anybody, would we?' Of course they would! They do all the time, that's what they are known for. So basically you mustn't trust a non free programme."

"There are three kinds: those that spy on the user, those that restrict the user, and back doors. Windows has all three. Microsoft can install software changes without asking permission. Flash Player has malicious features, as do most mobile phones."

"Digital handcuffs are the most common malicious features. They restrict what you can do with the data in your own computer. Apple certainly has the digital handcuffs that are the tightest in history. The i-things, well, people found two spy features and Apple says it removed them and there might be more""

From:

Richard Stallman: 'Apple has tightest digital handcuffs in history'
www.newint.org/features/web-exclusive/2012/12/05/richard-stallman-interview/

###

Nobody Seems To Notice and Nobody Seems To Care - Government & Stealth Malware

In Response To Slashdot Article: Former Pentagon Analyst: China Has Backdoors To 80% of Telecoms 87

How many rootkits does the US[2] use officially or unofficially?

How much of the free but proprietary software in the US spies on you?

Which software would that be?

Visit any of the top freeware sites in the US, count the number of thousands or millions of downloads of free but proprietary software, much of it works, again on a proprietary Operating System, with files stored or in transit.

How many free but proprietary programs have you downloaded and scanned entire hard drives, flash drives, and other media? Do you realize you are giving these types of proprietary programs complete access to all of your computer's files on the basis of faith alone?

If you are an atheist, the comparison is that you believe in code you cannot see to detect and contain malware on the basis of faith! So you do believe in something invisible to you, don't you?

I'm now going to touch on a subject most anti-malware, commercial or free, developers will DELETE on most of their forums or mailing lists:

APT malware infecting and remaining in BIOS, on PCI and AGP devices, in firmware, your router (many routers are forced to place backdoors in their firmware for their government) your NIC, and many other devices.

Where are the commercial or free anti-malware organizations and individual's products which hash and compare in the cloud and scan for malware for these vectors? If you post on mailing lists or forums of most anti-malware organizations about this threat, one of the following actions will apply: your post will be deleted and/or moved to a hard to find or 'deleted/junk posts' forum section, someone or a team of individuals will mock you in various forms 'tin foil hat', 'conspiracy nut', and my favorite, 'where is the proof of these infections?' One only needs to search Google for these threats and they will open your malware world view to a much larger arena of malware on devices not scanned/supported by the scanners from these freeware sites. This point assumed you're using the proprietary Microsoft Windows OS. Now, let's move on to Linux.

The rootkit scanners for Linux are few and poor. If you're lucky, you'll know how to use chkrootkit (but you can use strings and other tools for analysis) and show the strings of binaries on your installation, but the results are dependent on your capability of deciphering the output and performing further analysis with various tools or in an environment such as Remnux Linux. None of these free scanners scan the earlier mentioned areas of your PC, either! Nor do they detect many of the hundreds of trojans and rootkits easily available on popular websites and the dark/deep web.

Compromised defenders of Linux will look down their nose at you (unless they are into reverse engineering malware/bad binaries, Google for this and Linux and begin a valuable education!) and respond with a similar tone, if they don't call you a noob or point to verifying/downloading packages in a signed repo/original/secure source or checking hashes, they will jump to conspiracy type labels, ignore you, lock and/or shuffle the thread, or otherwise lead you astray from learning how to examine bad binaries. The world of Linux is funny in this way, and I've been a part of it for many years. The majority of Linux users, like the Windows users, will go out of their way to lead you and say anything other than pointing you to information readily available on detailed binary file analysis.

Don't let them get you down, the information is plenty and out there, some from some well known publishers of Linux/Unix books. Search, learn, and share the information on detecting and picking through bad binaries. But this still will not touch the void of the APT malware described above which will survive any wipe of r/w media. I'm convinced, on both *nix and Windows, these pieces of APT malware are government in origin. Maybe not from the US, but most of the 'curious' malware I've come across in poisoned binaries, were written by someone with a good knowledge in English, some, I found, functioned similar to the now well known Flame malware. From my experience, either many forum/mailing list mods and malware developers/defenders are 'on the take', compromised themselves, and/or working for a government entity.

Search enough, and you'll arrive at some lone individuals who cry out their system is compromised and nothing in their attempts can shake it of some 'strange infection'. These posts receive the same behavior as I said above, but often they are lone posts which receive no answer at all, AT ALL! While other posts are quickly and kindly replied to and the 'strange infection' posts are left to age and end up in a lost pile of old threads.

If you're persistent, the usual challenge is to, "prove it or STFU" and if the thread is not attacked or locked/shuffled and you're lucky to reference some actual data, they will usually attack or ridicule you and further drive the discussion away from actual proof of APT infections.

The market is ripe for an ambitious company or individual to begin demanding companies and organizations who release firmware and design hardware to release signed and hashed packages and pour this information into the cloud, so everyone's BIOS is checked, all firmware on routers, NICs, and other devices are checked, and malware identified and knowledge reported and shared openly.

But even this will do nothing to stop backdoored firmware (often on commercial routers and other networked devices of real importance for government use - which again opens the possibility of hackers discovering these backdoors) people continue to use instead of refusing to buy hardware with proprietary firmware/software.

Many people will say, "the only safe computer is the one disconnected from any network, wireless, wired, LAN, internet, intranet" but I have seen and you can search yourself for and read about satellite, RF, temperature, TEMPEST (is it illegal in your part of the world to SHIELD your system against some of these APT attacks, especially TEMPEST? And no, it's not simply a CRT issue), power line and many other attacks which can and do strike computers which have no active network connection, some which have never had any network connection. Some individuals have complained they receive APT attacks throughout their disconnected systems and they are ridiculed and labeled as a nutter. The information exists, some people have gone so far as to scream from the rooftops online about it, but they are nutters who must have some serious problems and this technology with our systems could not be possible.

I believe most modern computer hardware is more powerful than many of us imagine, and a lot of these systems swept from above via satellite and other attacks. Some exploits take advantage of packet radio and some of your proprietary hardware. Some exploits piggyback and unless you really know what you're doing, and even then... you won't notice it.

Back to the Windows users, a lot of them will dismiss any strange activity to, "that's just Windows!" and ignore it or format again and again only to see the same APT infected activity continue. Using older versions of sysinternals, I've observed very bizarre behavior on a few non networked systems, a mysterious chat program running which doesn't exist on the system, all communication methods monitored (bluetooth, your hard/software modems, and more), disk mirroring software running[1], scans running on different but specific file types, command line versions of popular Windows freeware installed on the system rather than the use of the graphical component, and more.

[1] In one anonymous post on pastebin, claiming to be from an intel org, it blasted the group Anonymous, with a bunch of threats and information, including that their systems are all mirrored in some remote location anyway.

[2] Or other government, US used in this case due to the article source and speculation vs. China. This is not to defend China, which is one messed up hell hole on several levels and we all need to push for human rights and freedom for China's people. For other, freer countries, however, the concentration camps exist but you wouldn't notice them, they originate from media, mostly your TV, and you don't even know it. As George Carlin railed about "Our Owners", "nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care".

[3] http://www.stallman.org/ [stallman.org]

Try this yourself on a wide variety of internet forums and mailing lists, push for malware scanners to scan more than files, but firmware/BIOS. See what happens, I can guarantee it won't be pleasant, especially with APT cases.

So scan away, or blissfully ignore it, but we need more people like RMS[3] in the world. Such individuals tend to be eccentric but their words ring true and clear about electronics and freedom.

I believe we're mostly pwned, whether we would like to admit it or not, blind and pwned, yet fiercely holding to misinformation, often due to lack of self discovery and education, and "nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care".

(Remotely Attacking Network Cards)
http://theinvisiblethings.blog... [blogspot.com]

(Persistent BIOS Infection)
http://www.phrack.org/issues.h... [phrack.org]

(BIOS --> Vbootkit code(from CD,PXE etc.) --> MBR --> NT Boot sector --> Windows Boot manager --> Windows Loader --> Vista Kernel)
http://www.securityfocus.com/c... [securityfocus.com]

(The ROMOS project)
http://web.archive.org/web/201... [archive.org]

Secure boot is Microsoft's attempt to maintain computer OS market share as their influences is being stripped away by the likes of Google (Android) and Apple (iOS). With HTML5 on the way, we will have WEB based applications that rival desktop versions, and run on ANY device. The OS is just a layer to get to where the real work gets done, information exchange.

AND the worst part is, secure boot doesn't actually fix the problem it pretends it solves. It can't. This is the whole DRM of DVD's and BluRay all over again. Look at how well that is working out.

DRM is broken by design."
- linux.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2985953&cid=40681007

"Richard Stallman has finally spoken out on this subject. He notes that 'if the user doesn't control the keys, then it's a kind of shackle, and that would be true no matter what system it is.' He says, 'Microsoft demands that ARM computers sold for Windows 8 be set up so that the user cannot change the keys; in other words, turn it into restricted boot.' Stallman adds that 'this is not a security feature. This is abuse of the users. I think it ought to be illegal.'""
- linux.slashdot.org/story/12/07/17/2326253/richard-stallman-speaks-about-uefi

I'm concerned about new rootkits which target PCI devices, such as the graphics card and the optical drives, also, BIOS. Where are the malware scanners which scan PCI devices and BIOS for mismatches? All firmware, BIOS and on PCI devices should be checksummed and saved to match with others in the cloud, and archived when the computer is first used, backing up signed firmware.

When do you recall seeing signed router firmware upgrades with any type of checksum to check against? Same for PCI devices and optical drives and BIOS.

Some have begun with BIOS security:

http://www.biosbits.org/ [biosbits.org]

Some BIOS has write protection in its configuration, a lot of newer computers don't.

###

CIA Head: We Will Spy On Americans Through Electrical Appliances
Global information surveillance grid being constructed; willing Americans embrace gadgets used to spy on them
http://www.prisonplanet.com/ci... [prisonplanet.com]

###

Comparing the unique pattern of the frequencies on an audio recording with a database that has been logging these changes for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year provides a digital watermark: a date and time stamp on the recording.
Philip Harrison, from JP French Associates, another forensic audio laboratory that has been logging the hum for several years, says: "Even if [the hum] is picked up at a very low level that you cannot hear, we can extract this information." It is a technique known as Electric Network Frequency (ENF) analysis, and it is helping forensic scientists to separate genuine, unedited recordings from those that have been tampered with."
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/scie... [bbc.co.uk]
- http://cryptogon.com/?p=32789 [cryptogon.com]

###

"I'd worry about a Tempest virus that polled a personal computer's
CD-ROM drive to pulse the motor as a signalling method:

* Modern high-speed CD-ROM drive motors are both acoustically and
electrically noisy, giving you two attack methods for the price of one;

* Laptop computer users without CRTs, and the PC users that can afford
large LCD screens instead of CRTs, often have CD-ROM drives;

* Users are getting quite used to sitting patiently while their
CD-ROM drives grind away for no visibly obvious reason (but
that's quite enough about the widespread installs of software from
Microsoft CD-ROMs that prompted Kuhn's investigation in the first place.)"

http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks... [ncl.ac.uk]

###

"I'd worry about a Tempest virus that polled a personal computer' personal computer' CD-ROM drive"

Yes and the hard drive and in some PC's the cooling fans as well are under CPU control.

You can also do it with PC's where the CPU does not control the fan, but the hardware has a simple thermal sensor to control it's speed. You do this by simply having a process that uses power expensive instructions in tight loops, thus raising the CPU temprature (it's one of the side channels I was considering a long time ago when thinking about how the temp inside the case changed various things including the CPU clock XTAL frequency).

The change in sound side channel is one of the first identified problems with Quantum Key Distribution. Basicaly the bod who came up with the idea whilst first testing the idea could tell the state of "Alice's polarizer" simply by the amount of noise it made...

The CD-ROM motor idea I'd heard befor but could not remember where till I followed your link.

Dr Lloyd Wood has worked with the UK's Surrey Uni, the European Space Agency and Americas NASA and one or two other places as part of his work for Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. He has been involved with CLEO (Cisco router in Low Earth Orbit) and other work on what's being called "The Space Internet".

Of interest is his work on Delay and Disruption Tolerant Networks (DTN). It's not been said "publicaly" as far as I'm aware but the work has aspects that are important to anonymity networks such as TOR.

You can read more on Dr Wood's DTN work etc at,

Lloyd Wood - Delay-Tolerant Networking work
http://personal.ee.surrey.ac.u... [surrey.ac.uk]

The UK occupies an odd position in the "Space Race" it is the only nation who having put a satellite into space then stopped further space rocket development (the Black Knight launch platform was considerably safer and more economic than the then US and CCCP systems). The UK has however continued in the Space Game and is perhaps the leading designers of payloads for scientific and industrial satellites (it probably is on military sats as well but nobody who knows for sure is telling ;-)

Clive Robinson
Schneier on Security: Information-Age Law Enforcement Techniques
http://www.schneier.com/blog/a... [schneier.com]

###

Schneier has covered it before: power line fluctuations (differences on the wire in keys pressed).

There's thermal attacks against cpus and temp, also:

ENF (google it)

A treat (ENF Collector in Java):

sourceforge dot net fwdslash projects fwdslash nfienfcollector

No single antimalware scanner exists which offers the ability to scan (mostly proprietary) firmware on AGP/PCI devices (sound cards, graphics cards, usb novelty devices excluding thumb drives), BIOS/CMOS.

If you boot into ultimate boot cd you can use an archane text interface to dump BIOS/CMOS and examine/checksum.

The real attacks which survive disk formats and wipes target your PCI devices and any firmware which may be altered/overwritten with something special. It is not enough to scan your hard drive(s) and thumb drives, the real dangers with teeth infect your hardware devices.

When is the last time you:

Audited your sound card for malware?
Audited your graphics card for malware?
Audited your network card for malware?

Google for:

* AGP and PCI rootkit(s)
* Network card rootkit(s)
* BIOS/CMOS rootkit(s)

Our modern PC hardware is capable of much more than many can imagine.

Do you:

        Know your router's firmware may easily be replaced on a hacker's whim?
        Shield all cables against leakage and attacks
        Still use an old CRT monitor and beg for TEMPEST attacks?
        Use TEMPEST resistant fonts in all of your applications including your OS?
        Know whether or not your wired keyboard has keypresses encrypted as they pass to your PC from the keyboard?
        Use your PC on the grid and expose yourself to possible keypress attacks?
        Know your network card is VERY exploitable when plugged into the net and attacked by a hard core blackhat or any vicious geek with the know how?
        Sarch out informative papers on these subjects and educate your friends and family about these attacks?
        Contact antimalware companies and urge them to protect against many or all these attacks?

Do you trust your neighbors? Are they all really stupid when it comes to computing or is there a geek or two without a conscience looking to exploit these areas?

The overlooked threat are the potential civilian rogues stationed around you, especially in large apartment blocks who feed on unsecured wifi to do their dirty work.

With the recent news of Russian spies, whether or not this news was real or a psyop, educate yourself on the present threats which all antimalware scanners fail to protect against and remove any smug mask you may wear, be it Linux or OpenBSD, or the proprietary Windows and Mac OS you feel are properly secured and not vulnerable to any outside attacks because you either don't need an antivirus scanner (all are inept to serious attacks) or use one or several (many being proprietary mystery machines sending data to and from your machine for many reasons, one is to share your information with a group or set database to help aid in threats), the threats often come in mysterious ways.

Maybe the ancients had it right: stone tablets and their own unique language(s) rooted in symbolism.

###

'Disconnect your PC from the internet and don't add anything you didn't create yourself. It worked for the NOC list machine in Mission Impossible'

The room/structure was likely heavily shielded, whereas most civvies don't shield their house and computer rooms. There is more than meets the eye to modern hardware.

Google:

network card rootkits and trojans
pci rootkits
packet radio
xmit 'fm fingerprinting' software
'specific emitter identification'
forums(dot)qrz(dot)com

how many malware scanners scan bios/cmos and pci/agp cards for malware? zero, even the rootkit scanners. have you checksummed/dumped your bios/cmos and firmware for all your pci/agp devices and usb devices, esp vanity usb devices in and outside the realm of common usb devices (thumbdrives, external hdds, printers),

Unless your computer room is shielded properly, the computers may still be attacked and used, I've personally inspected computers with no network connection running mysterious code in the background which task manager for windows and the eqiv for *nix does not find, and this didn't find it all.

Inspect your windows boot partition in *nix with hexdump and look for proxy packages mentioned along with command line burning programs and other oddities. Computers are more vulnerable than most would expect.

You can bet all of the malware scanners today, unless they are developed by some lone indy coder in a remote country, employ whitelisting of certain malware and none of them scan HARDWARE devices apart from the common usb devices.

Your network cards, sound cards, cd/dvd drives, graphics cards, all are capable of carrying malware to survive disk formatting/wiping.

Boot from a Linux live cd and use hexdump to examine your windows (and *nix) boot sectors to potentially discover interesting modifications by an unknown party.

Wish they sold for cheap (2)

Nyder (754090) | about 4 months ago | (#47498023)

Amiga 2000 is my favorite Amiga computer, but they aren't that cheap on Ebay.

I'd love to get one, mainly if it had the 8088 PC board in it also. Used to love running MS-Dos and Amiga OS at the same time.

But cheap is around $100. $250+ isn't cheap, that is the same price they were selling in the 90's.

Re:Wish they sold for cheap (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 4 months ago | (#47498289)

I had the 386SX BridgeBoard. It was pretty cool to run OrCad on the Bridge with its virtual hard drive, while still having the Amiga free.

I think that BridgeBoard must be quite expensive today!

Re: Wish they sold for cheap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47498547)

Actually they sold for far more than $250 in the 90's. I recall they were about $500-$600 in the late 90's.

Not Forgotten (2)

bearded_yak (457170) | about 4 months ago | (#47498035)

Many don't realize the impact the much forgotten Amiga 2000

Forgotten? Not by anyone who was in broadcasting in the early 90's. It was quite a machine for us, even though it took all night to render an animated flame-effect title overlay.

Re:Not Forgotten (1)

Art3x (973401) | about 4 months ago | (#47498105)

Forgotten? Not by anyone who was in broadcasting in the early 90's. It was quite a machine for us, even though it took all night to render an animated flame-effect title overlay.

I also will always remember it. In my formative junior high years, I took a video class that had among its gear an Amiga 2500, and I tried to make something like a live-action take on Animator's Revenge [youtube.com] with Daffy Duck. From the article:

With the Video Toaster card, it was now possible to do with video editing and special effects what before took literally hundreds of thousands of dollars to do.

In the hands of an imaginative seventh grader, the Amiga Toaster was a ton of fun. For the same reason, the execution severely lacking, my videos were hard to watch for anyone but family and friends.

Re:Not Forgotten (1)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | about 4 months ago | (#47498123)

Here here....a lot of show title sequences rendered on the one we had at the station. That eventually led to my vfx career. Got in when lightwave was the hot thing and rode it all the way to its peak down in LA. Good times. Eventually got tired of staring at a monitor for 10 hours a day though and switched careers. Still do a little photoreal FX rendering as part of my job, but only about 10% of it now.

Re:Not Forgotten (1)

FPhlyer (14433) | about 4 months ago | (#47498951)

I was a military journalist working at the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service detachment in Iceland when I got my Amiga 500. Partly because I was already loyal to Commodore (I had a C64 and later a C128 as a kid). I also partly bought it because of the influence of many of my coworkers who were hyped about Amiga and NewTek. Another big contributor was the fact that the only computer you could buy at the Naval Exchange was the Amiga 500. Sadly, the only software you could buy was the the PC. Can you tell that the government was running things?

SCSI madness (3, Interesting)

Zobeid (314469) | about 4 months ago | (#47498039)

I had an A2000 which I soon put a used A2620 card into -- that was the 68020 accelerator which effectively quadrupled the speed of the system. (When was the last time you saw an upgrade card do that??) It was the same card Commodore used in the A2500. It was an amazing machine for its day, not only in terms of graphics and audio, but for sheer processing power.

The thing that always drove me up the wall was SCSI adaptors. They were always tricky to get working -- fiddling with dip switches and jumper pins on the drives, and terminating resistor packs -- and I never had one that worked for a long time. It seemed like there was a steady churn of companies putting an Amiga SCSI card on the market, then going out of business, then another company would take a whack at it. I think I burned through half a dozen completely different SCSI adapters.

Re:SCSI madness (2)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | about 4 months ago | (#47498087)

As much as people fawn over computer nostalgia, they forget how much the pre-plug-and-play era actaully kind of sucked on a day to day basis. Sure, it got you job security, but today I enjoy unboxing my SATA drive, plugging it in and moving on to whatever it is I wanted to do with the new drive.

Re:SCSI madness (2)

MindPrison (864299) | about 4 months ago | (#47498385)

As much as people fawn over computer nostalgia, they forget how much the pre-plug-and-play era actaully kind of sucked on a day to day basis. Sure, it got you job security, but today I enjoy unboxing my SATA drive, plugging it in and moving on to whatever it is I wanted to do with the new drive.

HA! You have a good point here.

I remember finding a 300 mb harddisk at the local flea market back in the Commodore heydays, at the time when most people had a 20 or 40 mb HD, spending hours and hours trying to make a script to mount it properly. I didn't have the specs, we didn't have the internet (I had a BBS...but...no one knew the specs on that thing), so it was all trial and error based. Man that sucked, but it felt good to finally make that sucker work. Imagine the collection of SoundTracker / .mod files I could fit in there :)

Re:SCSI madness (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47498525)

As much as people fawn over computer nostalgia, they forget how much the pre-plug-and-play era actaully kind of sucked on a day to day basis. Sure, it got you job security, but today I enjoy unboxing my SATA drive, plugging it in and moving on to whatever it is I wanted to do with the new drive.

HA! You have a good point here.

I remember finding a 300 mb harddisk at the local flea market back in the Commodore heydays, at the time when most people had a 20 or 40 mb HD, spending hours and hours trying to make a script to mount it properly. I didn't have the specs, we didn't have the internet (I had a BBS...but...no one knew the specs on that thing), so it was all trial and error based. Man that sucked, but it felt good to finally make that sucker work. Imagine the collection of SoundTracker / .mod files I could fit in there :)

What you descibes sounds a lot like early IDE/PATA when the HD didn't provide the specs. SCSI was as simple as choosing a free ID, making sure the bus has only terminators at the end and go. The controller usually did the translation from linear addressing to CHS which could be turned off for people not using DOS. (And some headaches came from different translations to CHS from different companies).

Re:SCSI madness (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47498463)

That is one of the reasons to get an A1200 instead of an A2000.
I bought a fairly new SSD to mine. (Standard 2.5" IDE-interface.)
Since I installed compactflash.device and fat95-filesystem I can easily transfer stuff to it using a standard CF-card in a PCMCIA-CF-adapter.
Haven't gotten around installing the network stuff on it. Got a wireless card but haven't gotten around to it yet.

Re:SCSI madness (2)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 4 months ago | (#47499449)

As much as people fawn over computer nostalgia, they forget how much the pre-plug-and-play era actaully kind of sucked on a day to day basis. Sure, it got you job security, but today I enjoy unboxing my SATA drive, plugging it in and moving on to whatever it is I wanted to do with the new drive.

Well, you can thank the Amiga as much as anything for that. The Amiga's Zorro bus was the first PC plug-and-play computer bus, coming ahead of the IBM Micro-Channel and EISA busses.

Re:SCSI madness (1)

fermion (181285) | about 4 months ago | (#47498189)

I never had a problem with SCSI. As a matter of fact, it was as plug and play as you could get a the time. For instance, the IOmega tape drives came in SCSI and parallel. Installing the parallel PC option was very difficult, even following instructions. On a Macintosh with SCSI, it was plug and play. The biggest issue I saw was just getting it plugged in and either using a setting a terminator. In other words, following instructions.

Re:SCSI madness (1)

swb (14022) | about 4 months ago | (#47499303)

It was and it wasn't. One or two devices on a Mac SCSI bus was pretty PnP but beyond that, especially when adding non-disk devices like scanners, the Mac SCSI bus quickly could get into voodoo territory -- devices that disappeared from the chain, drives that wouldn't mount and general unreliability.

Usually over time you could get it stable, but that often meant "over time" -- re-ordering the chain physically, numerically and swapping expensive cables in and out to try to find a stable setup.

I often wonder if the 25 pin connector, which IIRC was non-standard, didn't contribute to the problem. SCSI seemed to work better on PCs which used the standard 50 pin connector.

Re:SCSI madness (1)

Anaerin (905998) | about 4 months ago | (#47498269)

The thing is, that was SCSI's fault, not the Amiga's. Dealing with DIP switches and termination was a problem no matter what OS you ran, or who made your hardware. Amigas had AutoConfig, which would (for Zorro I/II/III cards) allocate DMA, Interrupts and IRQs automatically at boot-time, along with auto-loading firmware and drivers. It was so good, in fact, that Intel copied it and called it "Plug 'n Play".

The Jurassic Park part... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47498047)

sounds like a complete and utter lie. Of course, you would assume it is since the Amiga fanbois still to this day tell nonstop lies about the garbage equipment their kind worships. There's a reason nearly all of them are Republicans. The Wiki page on the video toaster:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_Toaster

Mentions nothing about Jurassic Park. They're full of shit. How about we not talk about this embarrassing part of computer history?

Re:The Jurassic Park part... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47498669)

In 1990, the Video Toaster suite was released, incorporating LightWave 3D, and running on the Commodore Amiga computer.

The last known standalone revision for the Amiga was Lightwave 5.0, released in 1995. Shortly after the release of the first PC version, NewTek discontinued the Amiga version, citing the platform's uncertain future.

Movies that used Lightwave
Jurassic Park (1993 Visual Effects Academy Award)

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org]

So a production in 1993 couldn't have been using anything else than the Amiga version.

Now GTFO, cocksucking troll.

Re:The Jurassic Park part... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47498737)

While I'm a big amiga fun, it is known that the amigas were used only for internal testing and preview footage, the actual movie effects were done using silicon graphics hardware and software.

I also quite well remember interviews, perhaps in the dvd special contents about this.

Some of the SGI hardware used to make the movie is also used as a prop in the movie's park control center room.

At least an SGI indigo2 and an onyx are visible there. The amigas did not get any screen time unluckily...But commodore was already bankrupt and the time so I can understand them.

Oh just give it up (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47498075)

I don't really understand this nostalgic computer stuff. A car from the 1960s at least functions more or less the same as a car today, it'll get you and your passenger and your luggage from point A to point B using mostly the same fuel, tires and roads.

An old computer won't do anything that's useful today and besides using the same electricity, everything you'll need is either no longer made or too expensive.

Just let it die, you don't fit in your 28 inch waistline jeans anymore, high school is over, and that girl you liked in college is a 300 pound sweaty hambeast with 5 kids.

Leave the past in the past.

That goes for Space Nutters too.

Re:Oh just give it up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47498469)

Oh, it's you! Of course the guy that gets upset and defensive whenever any accomplishments are made in space is also virulently anti-amiga. You just live to be the only guy on your side of the argument, don't you?

Well, it's working.

Re:Oh just give it up (1)

FPhlyer (14433) | about 4 months ago | (#47498979)

It's called a hobby. Maybe you should get one.

Uh, they're not cheap. Not really. (1, Insightful)

realmolo (574068) | about 4 months ago | (#47498101)

Yeah, you can find a bare-bones Amiga 2000 for not much money. But it's pointless- a bare-bones Amiga 2000 is essentially the same thing as an Amiga 500.

Unless you can get one that has accelerator cards and video cards and hard drives and all that stuff, it's not worth bothering with. Unfortunately, "loaded" Amiga 2000s are EXPENSIVE. All of those expansion cards are hard to come by, and sell for a ridiculous amount of money. Why? I have no idea. I assume it's because of the lunatic Amiga fans that still exist. The poor bastards.

Honestly, UAE (Ultimate Amiga Emulator) is so good, that there simply isn't a reason to own actual Amiga hardware. The emulator is faster, and more flexible, and more stable. And at this point, the only real reason to even mess around with an Amiga is to play the games.

As a general-purpose computer, it sucks. It sucks less than you might think for a nearly 30-year-old system, but it still sucks. Even the latest version of AmigaOS (which is only a couple of years old, I think) is a joke. There are some neat things that the AmigaOS can do, for sure, but most of it is irrelevant nowadays.

I disagree with you... (2)

MindPrison (864299) | about 4 months ago | (#47498305)

Yeah, you can find a bare-bones Amiga 2000 for not much money. But it's pointless- a bare-bones Amiga 2000 is essentially the same thing as an Amiga 500.

Unless you can get one that has accelerator cards and video cards and hard drives and all that stuff, it's not worth bothering with. Unfortunately, "loaded" Amiga 2000s are EXPENSIVE. All of those expansion cards are hard to come by, and sell for a ridiculous amount of money. Why? I have no idea. I assume it's because of the lunatic Amiga fans that still exist. The poor bastards.

Honestly, UAE (Ultimate Amiga Emulator) is so good, that there simply isn't a reason to own actual Amiga hardware. The emulator is faster, and more flexible, and more stable. And at this point, the only real reason to even mess around with an Amiga is to play the games.

As a general-purpose computer, it sucks. It sucks less than you might think for a nearly 30-year-old system, but it still sucks. Even the latest version of AmigaOS (which is only a couple of years old, I think) is a joke. There are some neat things that the AmigaOS can do, for sure, but most of it is irrelevant nowadays.

There are so many things wrong with your statements here I hardly know where to begin, but I'll bring up a few:

Emulating hardware isn't perfect, there are things you can do to the original hardware that would literally be impossible to do with an Emulator. There are also numerous timing issues with emulated hardware that would make it very hard to achieve a 100% perfect emulation, especially as you are running under another OS as the host of the emulator (just a program anyway). If you've never coded on a Commodore 64 or an Amiga, you can't possibly know or appreciate this.

A basic Amiga or even a Commodore 64, provides programmers with several challenges. I find it stimulating to code on old school computers simply because we don't have to waste years on classes, libraries and being "nice" to the OS. On C64 this is even easier, but you're limited to a 8 bit system, on the Amiga you're starting out with 16 bit numbers, and this makes coding in Assembly a little bit easier (also compiling with C compilers if that is your taste, I'm an Assembly coder myself).

The good thing with simple basic computers like C64 and Amiga, Atari etc...is that they have relatively known hardware, and you can pretty much ensure that your code will work on 99% of the computers as long as you stick to the basic specs. Try to do that with a PC. There is also a challenge to overcome, the systems limitations makes it very challenging to make your software run faster, 3D routines to work faster, new effects, more colors etc. This may sound trivial to those who have NO understanding why we'd do this, or challenge ourselves to this - but just like coding for an Atari 2600...this can be so much fun, you can only appreciate this...kind of like a good game of chess...albeit chess is a little more predictable than hardware from the 80s :) Sure it's old, but it's fun, and that's what it's all about.

Re:I disagree with you... (1)

toejam13 (958243) | about 4 months ago | (#47498741)

Emulating hardware isn't perfect, there are things you can do to the original hardware that would literally be impossible to do with an Emulator.

When it comes to running software packages and demos for those old computer systems, I disagree. Most modern emulators include cycle exact modes and include known quirks, so just about everything works. But if you're talking about the hardware side, wanting to use your C64 user port for IO control of external devices, then you have a point. Most people don't do that, though. They'd get a Raspberry Pi or some other modern tinkerer system.

A500+, A600, A1200 (3, Insightful)

rvalles (649635) | about 4 months ago | (#47498121)

Because they're way too big, plain and simple.

The collectible ones are IMO the keyboard models: A500+, A600, A1200.

A500+ is the good ECS one. With 1MB chip and kickstart 37 pretty much guaranteed. I don't own one, but I have an older A500 with the little mod to get 1MB chip, which is almost as good.

A600 is the "bring along" one as it's smaller. Supporting IDE HDs is obviously very convenient. Kickstart 37. Real problems include hardware tending to break more than A500+ and software requiring numpad, which the A600 lacks. Lack of expansion options used to be an issue, but there's some interesting hardware now, such as a crazy fast (relatively) FPGA based accel board.

A1200 is the option with AGA. I own one paired with a 68030 accel board. Together with whdload it's godly for playing Amiga games on the real hardware.

Re:A500+, A600, A1200 (1)

PhantomHarlock (189617) | about 4 months ago | (#47498135)

I'd take this guy's advice if you just want some Amiga hardware to fiddle about with. The A1200 is a good late model choice. I remember owning one as a general purpose machine to replace the 500 I had.

Re:A500+, A600, A1200 (1)

Anaerin (905998) | about 4 months ago | (#47498381)

And if you can still find them, the A1200 has expansion options up the wazoo, including RTG graphics [bigbookofa...rdware.com] , 16-bit soundcards [bigbookofa...rdware.com] , Ethernet adapters [bigbookofa...rdware.com] , dual-channel PIO Mode 4 IDE interfaces [bigbookofa...rdware.com] (To augment/replace the single-channel on-board IDE), Keyboard converters [bigbookofa...rdware.com] , even full PCI Backplanes [bigbookofa...rdware.com] or Zorro II/Zorro III/ISA/PCI backplanes [bigbookofa...rdware.com] which support many modern graphics cards, among other things.

Re:A500+, A600, A1200 (1)

Dr.Saeuerlich (27313) | about 4 months ago | (#47499095)

They're probably the most user friendly Amigas which run most of the software around, and IDE and PCMCIA make them easily expandable. I'm not sure if they're collectibles though, other for the fact that they run the latest games.

But if you enjoy having something rare, like an oldtimer, get one of the big box Amigas. They're truly like an old car. You'll spend a lot of time hunting down those rare Zorro cards, ZIP RAMs, turbo cards and the latest revisions of the custom chips. It's a time and money sink - like an old car - but oddly satisfying when you turn it on and it all works :)

I really like playing games on my A1200 (I got an A600 somewhere too), but the most fun is just the A3000, which over the time I decked out with an 68040 warp engine accelerator, a Cybervision 64 video card, a hydra ethernet card and recently a Buddha IDE controller. I really want to replace those mechanical drives, especially the aging floppy worries me.

Prevue Guide channel used to use them (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 4 months ago | (#47498175)

It used to crash from time but still it was cool up till about 1999

cool looking local ad's as well

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

the weather channle used it own hardware.

Re:Prevue Guide channel used to use them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47498751)

Our high school ran the announcement system off a A500 till it went kaput. It then wound up in my possession one year because I didn't want thrown in the trash. I would have wound up with the A2000 Video Toaster as well if I was 2 years younger.

A lot of things "walked" unfortunately at that school. I'm pretty sure the A2000 didn't end up on eBay but probably wound up being smashed and used for electronic "art" projects, because that was the fate of a few of the IBM XT's.

In other words (0)

fermion (181285) | about 4 months ago | (#47498205)

The person who is submitting this has cornered the market on Amiga machines, step two is to shill the products to increase the price. I don't think people are going to buy computers just for nostalgia. If so, I have a stash of Apple /// computers.

Re:In other words (3, Informative)

MindPrison (864299) | about 4 months ago | (#47498327)

Well, Used Amigas are in fact notoriously expensive, as much as I love Amiga...I've never truly understood why Amiga lovers wants so much for their old beloved computers, for example - Amiga 4000 sells in Scandinavia (err...they TRY to sell them...) for around 600-2000$...I kid you not! You can pick up an Amiga 500 for around 100$ so that's still affordable if you want to play SuperFrog or watch some cool demos from the glory days of the DemoScene. The action is found on the AGA platform though (A1200 - A4000)

Re:In other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47498489)

I've never truly understood why Amiga lovers wants so much for their old beloved computers, for example - Amiga 4000 sells in Scandinavia (err...they TRY to sell them...) for around 600-2000$...

People are getting old. Their wives tells them that they need the space for whatever useless trinkets that are "more important".
The solution to make everyone happy is to "try to sell it" for way more than anyone is willing to buy it for.

Great content. Writing quality, not so much. (1)

fruitbane (454488) | about 4 months ago | (#47498235)

I learned quite a bit about the Amiga 2000 from this article, but what on earth was going on with the writing? Using apostrophes with plurals, needlessly enclosing terms in double quotes, random capital letters; it was a mess. It was very hard to read because of this craziness.

Re:Great content. Writing quality, not so much. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47498417)

perhaps you should rewrite it so it is to your standard and reread it?

I have an A2000 (1)

chuckugly (2030942) | about 4 months ago | (#47498307)

I have an A2000 from back in the day, before the clones won the clone wars. Also a floppy based version of Dragons Lair for it. The Amiga was a wonderful machine.

Amiga - what a joke! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47498377)

Everybody knows the Atari ST was superior! /tongueincheek

Amiga sucks, Atari rules! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47498379)

Enough said.

The B2000 was a great machine (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 4 months ago | (#47498397)

The early A2000 had bugs, but the B2000 was a great machine. Very upgradable.

I had one from early 88 until I left the country in july 2002

eventually I had a GVP '030 board in the CPU slot, with 12 megs of RAM, running the SCSI hard drives (biggest was 1 gig) and a CDROM, a flicker fixer in the video slot, and a GVP I/O card with faster serial ports (to run the BBS) and an extra printer port. THe original parallel port was used to PARNET to the A1200

Amiga rulz! (1)

Mariano Romero (3755887) | about 4 months ago | (#47498435)

Amiga rulz!

Amiga 2000 in East German nuclear research (3, Insightful)

Sique (173459) | about 4 months ago | (#47498511)

In the late 1980ies, the Nuclear Research Facility at Rossendorf near Dresden, Germany had two Amigas 2000 as central processing units for their accelerator experiments. It was fascinating, because Rossendorf was in communist East Germany, and the Amigas probably were bought half-legally for obscene amounts of (east german) money. But appearently they urgently needed the 32bit processing capability and were using selfdeveloped Zorro cards for the signal reception and processing.

Re:Amiga 2000 in East German nuclear research (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 4 months ago | (#47499245)

But appearently they urgently needed the 32bit processing capability and were using selfdeveloped Zorro cards for the signal reception and processing.

Makes sense. Amigas were some of the last well-documented computers, down to schematics.

sold box, still have cards (1)

dltaylor (7510) | about 4 months ago | (#47498537)

I sold my A2000, stripped, for $300 way back when. I still have the card set (RAM, '030, 7-port serial, two SCSI adapters, 8088 bridge board, video sync; even the two SCSI hard drives still work). Maybe I should buy one and put it back together to support 32-bit Linux. I have the CD32 and A500 for the games, I s'pose. Tricky bit is converting the old output to VGA, much less HDMI.

First cards were for a homebrew ZorroII expansion I built for the A1000. 2 additional Megabytes of RAM and the Amiga's yet-to-be-equaled ramdisk gave me a really usable system.

Ah the memories. (1)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | about 4 months ago | (#47498921)

I had the 500 and got a 2000 later on. Installed a SCSI controller with 40 megabytes of disk space and a 8 megabyte RAM expansion card. Took forever to install all the memory chips in the card(62 or 72, cant remember if it had a parity bit).
Also had a vt200 terminal from work which i connected to the serial port so I could access the cmdline while someone was playing games. I guess it was most for show. :)

Amigas aren't very Amiga compatible. (1)

damnbunni (1215350) | about 4 months ago | (#47499069)

They really aren't. Trying to get Amiga software working on an Amiga is often a pain in the ass.

Got a different revision Kickstart chip? No game for you. Got the right Kickstart but any RAM config other than 512K Chip / 512K Trapdoor FAST? No game for you. Got an Amiga that's not a 500? No game. Got an aftermarket video card? Sorry. Sound card? Well, it won't crash, but the game won't use it.

'System legal' Amiga software was pretty solid on different models, but any game written for an A500 or A1200, you were shooting craps if it'd run or not.

I had an Amiga 3000 Tower/040 with 29 megs of RAM (yes, 29), a Cybervision3D video card, Quicknet ethernet, and a 386 BridgeBoard, and frankly I had an easier time getting MS-DOS and Mac games (using Shapeshifter) running than Amiga games.

For that matter, it's easier running them now on my Sam440ep/flex based Amiga by right-clicking them and picking 'Run In UAE' from the menu.

On the other hand, I could easily have supplemented my income by renting the A3000T's case out as an efficiency apartment for a family of four, so it did have that going for it.

And it was a hell of a machine for Pagestream and Photogenics. (Both of which I still use, actually. But on the PPC Amiga, or in WinUAE.)

Re:Amigas aren't very Amiga compatible. (2)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 4 months ago | (#47499227)

Well neither were PCs of the era. Try to get EMS memory programs to run with EMM? No luck. Maybe install a driver in your config.sys? But then it would break other programs. Want to get a CD-ROM? Which type would it be, the kind that hung off your special sound card's bus, a stand-alone CD controller or IDE?
What about your mouse? Think you can bring your mouse over to your friend's house? Hmm, was that a serial mouse or a bus mouse? Which bus?
Got a new sound card? Think that program that only supported the old Soundblaster would work with your new Turtle Beach card? Wait, how many hours of trial and error config.sysing is that going to be?

Memories (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 4 months ago | (#47499169)

The talk of needing to find a loaded A2000 to make it worth buying reminds me of the old Iris 3130 I picked up for a couple hundred way way back in the day. When I popped the cover, it was absolutely loaded. Every slot filled. Ribbon cables strung everywhere,blinkenlites flashing. If there was an expensive card for the 3130, it was in there. What a beast. It was named bigiron.sgi.com. :)

The biggest thing I took from this article ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47499411)

... is that the author badly needs to employ the services of a proof-reader.

remember... (1)

davethomask (3685523) | about 4 months ago | (#47499477)

remember those amiga 500/1200 demo sceners? well, they're back and their hungry for more.. cowabunga! t34m p4r4d0x.
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