Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-5-14 @ 07:52

Scali wrote:
appiah4 wrote:Amiga absolutely decimated the PC AT, and the early ST was even more of a joke in comparison.


I would disagree there.
In my experience the Atari ST was actually much closer to the Amiga than PCs were, back in those days.


Later ST revisions, yes. Early ST, not so much.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby rasz_pl » 2019-5-14 @ 07:56

realnc wrote: It was all about Amiga and Atari ST during those years


it was never about ST, unless you
-ran Mac emulator
-produced music (Cubase)
-worked in poor DTP house (Calamus)

Atari ST users didnt know what smooth scrolling is just as much as Spectrum users didnt know what glitch free color image looked like.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-5-14 @ 08:20

rasz_pl wrote:
realnc wrote: It was all about Amiga and Atari ST during those years


it was never about ST, unless you
-ran Mac emulator
-produced music (Cubase)
-worked in poor DTP house (Calamus)

Atari ST users didnt know what smooth scrolling is just as much as Spectrum users didnt know what glitch free color image looked like.


Even for music, ST was a better option only if you composed MIDI music; Amiga was the better tracker hardware..
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby keropi » 2019-5-14 @ 08:28

The only reason St was "better" in midi is because it had the midi ports built-in and had the option to use a b/w high-res mode with an atari cheap b/w monitor. That combo was affordable and worked very well (just like tv stations used Amigas with genlocks).
Imho LOL
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-5-14 @ 08:52

keropi wrote:The only reason St was "better" in midi is because it had the midi ports built-in and had the option to use a b/w high-res mode with an atari cheap b/w monitor. That combo was affordable and worked very well (just like tv stations used Amigas with genlocks).
Imho LOL


Actually Amiga also had a crystal clear monochrome composite output that could do fairly decent high res modes even on a CRT TV; the killer feature was the integrated MIDI port which, in hindsight, was a poor decision to not have..
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby keropi » 2019-5-14 @ 09:04

Still it would be interlaced - again the st mode was progressive so much easier on the eyes to work with
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby brostenen » 2019-5-14 @ 09:29

Amiga not being able to do MIDI at all, is simply a big fat myth. The difference is that the Atari had that DIN MIDI port, and the Amiga needed an extra piece of hardware. Just like the PC's back then, needed an extra piece of hardware. Nothing special, strange or magical there. Yet the Amiga have always been able to do MIDI music production. And yes, the Amiga was better at Tracking. Fun fact. The PC have yet to fully catch up with the Amiga, regarding tracking. Not strange as tracking were invented on the Amiga.

The only thing that the Amiga was really shitty at, compared to the AtariST, were the way it formatted the floppy drive and created the boot sector. That have always been the Amiga's Achilles heel. All other things that one compares the AtariST and the Amiga with, are just minor differences, hardware wise. Then is the question of the software library. Do you like the GUI? What games are better on what platform? How well are each platform loaded with productivity software, and how high are they in quality? Yet hardware wise, the Amiga were slightly better at something and the AtariST were slightly better at other things. It is all an aquired taste, and a lot of fanboy bullshit.

Amiga MIDI myth busting - YouTube
Amiga games with MIDI support
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby keropi » 2019-5-14 @ 09:41

I don't think anyone here claimed Amiga can't do midi
If you had a studio back then St was just a better choice for the reasons I mentioned above, it that situation you did not care about scrolling or better audio capabilities or better os... U just loaded cubase and that's it
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby brostenen » 2019-5-14 @ 09:52

keropi wrote:I don't think anyone here claimed Amiga can't do midi
If you had a studio back then St was just a better choice for the reasons I mentioned above, it that situation you did not care about scrolling or better audio capabilities or better os... U just loaded cubase and that's it


Well.... I just read this discussion, as someone implies it. Like indirectly repeating that myth.
I don't think people directly claimed that, so I wanted to get ahead of the curve.
Because you know, the fanboy myth.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby brostenen » 2019-5-14 @ 10:02

Murugan wrote:No matter how hard I try, I can't get to love the Amiga. Probably also due the lack of knowledge. I always was a PC guy but I also grew up with the ST. Planning on getting an A500 again and try to embrace it for the 3rd time :p
Also the price of Amiga HW is a big turndown for me.


Well... Since my parents are academics and ingeneers, then I grew up with a 286 in my childhood home as well. It is just that to me the Amiga were a more fun gaming machine than the PC. I had access to all sorts of platforms during my childhood, because friends had Amiga's and C64's and others in my family had both C64's and one of those Amstrad 15XX line of PC clones that were a bit different from IBM compatibles. I think that is the reason why I love all kinds of old vintage machines to this day. 8-Bit, 16-Bit, 32-Bit..... They are all awesomme, and equally as fun, yet extremely different at the same time.

If it is an old vintage machine. It is awesomme. Atari, Commodore, Amstrad and so on. Love them all.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby Scali » 2019-5-14 @ 10:15

brostenen wrote:The only thing that the Amiga was really shitty at, compared to the AtariST, were the way it formatted the floppy drive and created the boot sector.


What do you mean by that?
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby brostenen » 2019-5-14 @ 12:10

Scali wrote:
brostenen wrote:The only thing that the Amiga was really shitty at, compared to the AtariST, were the way it formatted the floppy drive and created the boot sector.


What do you mean by that?


880kb and the MBR ( bootsector) on the edge of the disk. Compared to Dos were the MBR is on the inner side of the disk. That is why Amiga Disk fail more often than 720kb PC disk.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby Scali » 2019-5-14 @ 12:20

brostenen wrote:880kb and the MBR ( bootsector) on the edge of the disk. Compared to Dos were the MBR is on the inner side of the disk. That is why Amiga Disk fail more often than 720kb PC disk.


I'm pretty sure the bootsector is in the same place on Amiga as it is on other systems: track 0, sector 0.
I made a simple hardware detection device once, which detected when track 0, sector 0 was selected, and then the write-line was enabled.
This detected bootblock viruses.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-5-14 @ 12:25

Scali wrote:
brostenen wrote:880kb and the MBR ( bootsector) on the edge of the disk. Compared to Dos were the MBR is on the inner side of the disk. That is why Amiga Disk fail more often than 720kb PC disk.


I'm pretty sure the bootsector is in the same place on Amiga as it is on other systems: track 0, sector 0.
I made a simple hardware detection device once, which detected when track 0, sector 0 was selected, and then the write-line was enabled.
This detected bootblock viruses.


https://wiki.amigaos.net/wiki/Amiga_Flo ... cal_Layout

Sounds about right, but I guess what brostenen is referring to is some kind of copy protection bootblock implementation that was commonplace at the time?
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby brostenen » 2019-5-14 @ 12:47

Hmmm.... I see that I have to look into this. I have always been told that it was how I thought it was. Even back in the 1980's, I were told that the Amiga have a layout, that basically makes a floppy disk unstable compared to other systems/technologies.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-5-14 @ 13:13

brostenen wrote:Hmmm.... I see that I have to look into this. I have always been told that it was how I thought it was. Even back in the 1980's, I were told that the Amiga have a layout, that basically makes a floppy disk unstable compared to other systems/technologies.


Amiga has 11 sectors per track and no sector gaps since the FDC reads by tracks, as opposed to 9 sectors per track with sector gaps on PC where the FDC reads by sector. Amiga stores directory and filename metadata spread across the disk whereas the PC stores it all in one block. The only reason I can think of why the Amiga disks may corrupt easier is that being spread across the disk may increase likelihood file system metadata to be corrupted. Also, as far as I know, the PC format stores more integrity and data (as did 840K OFS before widespread move to FFS 880K for floppy disks took place.. FFS was actually meant for hard drives where such maintenance info is easier to store IIRC, but it took off on floppies as well for better or worse) against possible corruption. Otherwise, I have no idea.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby Garrett W » 2019-5-14 @ 13:16

I think turning point was around 1992 as has been suggested, with some games such as Wolfenstein 3D and Ultima Underworld really showcasing what could be done on PC versus Amiga. However, it was a different time, you couldn't learn about those games by watching a twitch streamer play them or read someone's tweet :lol: , so it took a while before people started catching on, not to mention that PCs were very expensive systems compared to an Amiga. As such, I think the Amiga started to really fall by the wayside around 1993, but more realistically around 1994. A lot of big releases of the time didn't see an Amiga version, for example Lucasarts' Adventure games such as Day of the Tentacle and Sam & Max or perhaps Origin's Ultima 7 and 8.

The Amiga was a really unique machine, but I'm not a big fan of the ignorant fanboyism it has attracted through the years, it's almost as bad as SEGA fanboys :lol: . Anatoly of DOS Nostalgia is pretty sick of hearing "it was better on the Amiga" by now!
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-5-14 @ 13:28

Garrett W wrote:I think turning point was around 1992 as has been suggested, with some games such as Wolfenstein 3D and Ultima Underworld really showcasing what could be done on PC versus Amiga. However, it was a different time, you couldn't learn about those games by watching a twitch streamer play them or read someone's tweet :lol: , so it took a while before people started catching on, not to mention that PCs were very expensive systems compared to an Amiga. As such, I think the Amiga started to really fall by the wayside around 1993, but more realistically around 1994. A lot of big releases of the time didn't see an Amiga version, for example Lucasarts' Adventure games such as Day of the Tentacle and Sam & Max or perhaps Origin's Ultima 7 and 8.

The Amiga was a really unique machine, but I'm not a big fan of the ignorant fanboyism it has attracted through the years, it's almost as bad as SEGA fanboys :lol: . Anatoly of DOS Nostalgia is pretty sick of hearing "it was better on the Amiga" by now!


The turning point was well before 3D games, adoption of 256 Color VGA was when PC gaming started to turn heads. The writing was on the wall as early as 89/90 when games like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Monkey Island and Loom's PC version looked so much better than the Amiga version. By the time AGA arrived in 1992 PC had moved on to SVGA and it was too little too late. Amiga stuck with OCS for 7 years and 7 years was eternity during that time..
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby AnacreonZA » 2019-5-14 @ 13:55

I knew almost nothing about the Amiga back in the day. I was pure 100% PC. Worked my backside off part-time to earn upgrades to bring my little 286 PC up to 486 standard around the early 90s. So I suppose that I was a little late to the party at that stage. I used to read about Amigas and saw the magazines on the newsagent stands. They let you page through the magazines in the store so I remember trying to understand what they meant when they spoke about Amigas, the ECS chipset and the Zorro bus.

I was also into graphical demos then and the Amiga was often mentioned in readme.txt files or credits rolls. So it always had an allure for me. Only 1 person I ever knew actually had an Amiga back in the day however - a friend of my brother's who's family ran a print shop - and I remember hearing how much better Worms and Lemmings were on that machine. By the time I had money in hand and was shopping for a computer of my own however it was all PC all the time locally here in South Africa. Having spoken to people here more recently there seems to have been quite an active Amiga scene here - but I don't remember having any contact with that at the time.

More recently I have started learning as much as I can about the platform by reading EAB and other places. I now also own an A1200, an A600 and I'm on my way to having all the parts of an A500 as well. It's a fantastic platform that had its potential basically thrown away by the corporate greed at Commodore. The platform was very closely linked to the PAL/NTSC TV standards however with "proper" monitors always being a second priority and that counted against them eventually. It helped them in the early days with monitors being so expensive, but they really needed that new chipset by about 1991 to compete with VGA and what the Mac had via NuBus expansion slots. AGA was too little too late IMO and having a 16-bit Paula would have kept the platform a bit more relevant as well.

The Amiga floppy disk was a weird beast. As cool as it was to be able to store 880k on a DSDD floppy in 1985, the standards Commodore chose did not become the accepted standard. Not having the option to read 1.44MB MFM floppies as used by the rest of the industry was another big mistake. It would at least have helped considering the fact that so few Amiga's came with an HD drive to keep the price down. Monkey Island 2 for Amiga is a joke when it comes to floppy swops. That joke in the first Monkey Island about "insert disk 256" almost came true!

The big difference between the PC and the Amiga was the price-point they were aimed at. Price-wise the Amiga packed a heck of a punch from 1987 until the early 90s. But by 93 or so, while PCs were often still more expensive you could customise them to be cheaper and gradually upgrade them (as I did at the time). There could have been a gap for a cheaper machine to compete against PCs even into the early 90s if Commodore had not strip-mined their R&D department by then. As it was they coasted on the impeccable design of the a500 until PCs simply became cheaper and better. Doom was just the last nail in the coffin IMO.

While the A600 is actually a decent machine to own now, at the time it was released it was just ridiculous. Anyone releasing a personal computer with a 68000 CPU in 1992 and more expensive than an A500 should have had their head read. At least allow the user to install fast RAM!

I have a lot of nostalgia for PC stuff pre-1992, since my family had a horrible Juko XT clone until about 1992, but for almost any game made from 1987 until the early 90s, the Amiga version is usually the better version, and that's a lot of games. Including many titles I had not played before so I really enjoy using my A1200 today. Plus there are still demos and games coming out for the platform all the time. I regularly copy new software to a CF card and put that into my A1200 to transfer it across. Lots of fun to be had.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby bfcastello » 2019-5-14 @ 14:00

Let's not turn it into a PC vs Amiga vs Atari ST war...

It's better to just enjoy how good the times were back in 80's when we had these technology beasts :)
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