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A 286 computer, is it totally useless?

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Reply 140 of 229, by appiah4

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Scali wrote:
They did, but still PCs were very popular in those days for home users. Partly because they could run business applications (Wor […]
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appiah4 wrote:

Yeah, but those are exactly the kind of games that had the superior versions in terms of graphics and sound on Amiga anyway.

They did, but still PCs were very popular in those days for home users.
Partly because they could run business applications (WordPerfect, dBase, Lotus 1-2-3, Windows 3.x etc) as well as games.
Amiga was never too big a success, and the late 286/early 386(SX) era is when PC took over from Amiga and other machines as the primary gaming platform.

That.. is not in conflict with what I said. 16MHz and earlier 286s are good for games that Amiga are better at, and 20MHz and faster 286s coincide with the 386SX proliferation which make 286 a redundant platform.

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Reply 141 of 229, by Scali

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appiah4 wrote:

That.. is not in conflict with what I said.

Does it have to be?

appiah4 wrote:

16MHz and earlier 286s are good for games that Amiga are better at

Yes, but as I said, that doesn't mean that there weren't millions of people playing these games on 286 machines. Many of them have probably never even seen the Amiga versions of those games.
Which makes a 286 'not useless' if you want to experience what gaming was like on PC in those days. Perhaps it may actually be interesting to do a comparison between 286 and Amiga some 30 years after the fact.

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Reply 142 of 229, by appiah4

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Scali wrote:
appiah4 wrote:

That.. is not in conflict with what I said.

Does it have to be?

No, just genuinely shocked.

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Reply 143 of 229, by brostenen

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Jo22 wrote:
Well, surely the whole AT platform was more limited than the Amigas' design. However.. The 80286 CPU was closer to the 68010 or […]
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Well, surely the whole AT platform was more limited than the Amigas' design. However..
The 80286 CPU was closer to the 68010 or 68020 than the 68000, I think.
For example, the 286 had things like virtual memory, an MMU and privileged instructions (ring scheme).
By comparison, the plain 68000 was rather limited in features.
The 68010 was more intelligent, though, and had some instruction cache/loop cache thingy.

There is just one slight problem here. The Amiga architecture relied heavy on custom chips. One can say, that what made the Amiga what it is, lies more in Fat Agnus, Denise and Paula, than it does in the CPU. You need to get to the era of Voodoo1, AWE cards and PCI in order to finally have something that reminds of the way the Amiga is constructed. Sure you can compare CPU's directly, yet if one platform uses the CPU for almost anything to calculate and the other platform have multiple chips that takes specific tasks to unload the CPU. Well... Then it is kind of comparing apple's to orange's, right?

You might be right, if we compare M68k Apple to 80286 based PC's. Just not Amiga, as the architecture was a completely different beast.

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Reply 144 of 229, by brostenen

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imi wrote:
Scali wrote:

Amiga was never too big a success

in the US maybe, but Amiga was huge in europe during that time.

Exactly.... Huge in Europe....
The reason for this, was that it was viewed as a games console by the sellers and computer users in the US. That is the legacy, that the Commodore64 passed on to how people saw the Amiga in the US. However, it did find it's way into nieches in the US, like NASA used it for calculating vital data to the launch system of the space shuttle. Other nieche's were stuff like photographers and people who did GFX for movies. Something Apple was fast to fill, once the void of Commodores demise had to be filled.

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Reply 145 of 229, by brostenen

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Scali wrote:

Yes, but as I said, that doesn't mean that there weren't millions of people playing these games on 286 machines. Many of them have probably never even seen the Amiga versions of those games.
Which makes a 286 'not useless' if you want to experience what gaming was like on PC in those days. Perhaps it may actually be interesting to do a comparison between 286 and Amiga some 30 years after the fact.

I remember the years of 1989 to 1992 really well. That was the years, that I attended the local computer club. And boy did people bitch and fight with words, on what was a better machine. The Amiga or the PC. That "war", was so poisones that they had to split it up into two rooms. One for Amiga's and another room for everything else. I was one of the only few, that actually told both camps that each platform had it's own strengths. Like the Amiga was good at anything artistic and gaming. Yet the PC were better at office things. Every single hardcore fanboy of each platform, refused to talk further, once I stated what the "enemy's" platform were better at.

Anyway...
Here in Denmark, computers were for the really few and priviliged people. Like if you had 20 families, perhaps 3 of them had a computer. And even fewer families had teenage boys, who actually owned a computer. Mostly, the computer they had, was an Amiga or a Commodore64. So I guess I was one of the lucky few, that actually saw a game like Monkey Island, Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, Stuntcar Racer, North And South, Wings Of Fury, Populus, Syndicate, Civilization and other games on both platforms. As far as I remember, the year of 1992 was the year in wich the PC ran from the Amiga in terms of game quality. Like in Januaery of 1992, the Amiga were best in 100% of all games, and at the end of 1992, only a few handfull of games were better on the Amiga.

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Reply 146 of 229, by imi

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also amiga somehow seems to have stuck with people a lot more, it's way harder to find a decent 286/386 PC than an amiga nowadays (though they tend to be pretty expensive still), PCs were probably just discarded as soon as something new came along while amigas were kept around.

I never actually had an amiga because conveniently my dad brought home a 386DX20 in 1989 ^^

to me no old hardware is "useless" as such, each piece brings a certain experience, wheter you want to have that or not depends on you ^^

Last edited by imi on 2019-12-10, 14:03. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 147 of 229, by Errius

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For games, the PC wasn't even a contender in 1989-1992. The battle was between the Amiga and Atari ST and the various consoles. I had a PC in those days and had to endure constant mockery because of it.

“Your mission is to attack and destroy the Apple Computer manufacturing plant. You are allotted 35 bombs and 60 lasers."

Reply 148 of 229, by Scali

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brostenen wrote:

Every single hardcore fanboy of each platform, refused to talk further, once I stated what the "enemy's" platform were better at.

I know how you feel. Nothing has changed since 😀

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Reply 150 of 229, by brostenen

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Errius wrote:

For games, the PC wasn't even a contender in 1989-1992. The battle was between the Amiga and Atari ST and the various consoles. I had a PC in those days and had to endure constant mockery because of it.

Perhaps the battle between Atari and Amiga, was before the battle between Amiga and PC. 😉 I never ever saw an Atari machine back then, and to this day, I have never seen one in person. And perhaps those battles went on in different territories and in different time periods. Like... I know Atari ST was big in the US, yet we never saw any machines as such, here in Denmark. We did not even see any Mac's before late 1993 and early 1994, here in Denmark. We need to go to the early 00's, before Apple computers became populair here. And one of the big reasons as to why, is the invention of the iPod.

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Reply 151 of 229, by brostenen

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Scali wrote:
brostenen wrote:

Every single hardcore fanboy of each platform, refused to talk further, once I stated what the "enemy's" platform were better at.

I know how you feel. Nothing has changed since 😀

Yeah.... Today it is more or less Xbox vs Playstation that have taken over in that perspective. 😁

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Reply 152 of 229, by PTherapist

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As a kid in the late 80s & early 90s in the UK, I knew only 1 person who had a PC and that was an 8088 of some kind with a Green Screen Monochrome Monitor. I don't recall seeing any games on that thing.

The Micro Computers were much more popular here for gaming, of which most people had either the ZX Spectrum or the Commodore 64. The Amiga & Atari ST systems were much less common around these parts (probably due to cost, this wasn't an affluent area up North in the UK), but all the magazines & gaming media seemed to revolve around such systems. The PC as a gaming machine was generally not even considered and neither myself nor any of my friends desperately wanted a PC for the home.

PCs didn't even start appearing in schools here until the early 1990s, with most schools opting instead for the Acorn BBC Micro in the 80s (largely thanks to government subsidies) or later Acorn computers in the late 80s/early 90s. The first PCs I used at school would have been RM Nimbus branded 80186 based computers that ran a networked DOS OS.

PC gaming was basically a niche thing then and you could argue it still kind of is nowadays, with most casual gamers preferring the Consoles instead of a dedicated Gaming PC setup.

Reply 153 of 229, by Grzyb

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Scali wrote:

I think 16-20 MHz 286 were the 'golden era' for 286 machines.

I would say 12-16 MHz - such AT clones were ubiquitous, and still are easy to find.
For a long time, the gold standard of PC in my area was what some journalist called "AT/40/mono", ie. 286, 40 MB HDD (typically Seagate ST-251 with WD1003-WA2 controller, or some early IDE drive, also with stepper), and Hercules graphics, or some cheap VGA with monochrome monitor.

20 MHz ones are rarer, I guess back in the era they were already eclipsed by 386SX machines.

Reply 155 of 229, by brostenen

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PTherapist wrote:
As a kid in the late 80s & early 90s in the UK, I knew only 1 person who had a PC and that was an 8088 of some kind with a Green […]
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As a kid in the late 80s & early 90s in the UK, I knew only 1 person who had a PC and that was an 8088 of some kind with a Green Screen Monochrome Monitor. I don't recall seeing any games on that thing.

The Micro Computers were much more popular here for gaming, of which most people had either the ZX Spectrum or the Commodore 64. The Amiga & Atari ST systems were much less common around these parts (probably due to cost, this wasn't an affluent area up North in the UK), but all the magazines & gaming media seemed to revolve around such systems. The PC as a gaming machine was generally not even considered and neither myself nor any of my friends desperately wanted a PC for the home.

PCs didn't even start appearing in schools here until the early 1990s, with most schools opting instead for the Acorn BBC Micro in the 80s (largely thanks to government subsidies) or later Acorn computers in the late 80s/early 90s. The first PCs I used at school would have been RM Nimbus branded 80186 based computers that ran a networked DOS OS.

PC gaming was basically a niche thing then and you could argue it still kind of is nowadays, with most casual gamers preferring the Consoles instead of a dedicated Gaming PC setup.

That was somehow the same kind of computing landscape that we had here. C64's were like all the rage in the 80's as well as a couple of Amstrad CPC's. Yet between those two, there were the Amiga. PC's were like you tell, something that were mostly monochrome, and a few had EGA. Yet these machines were for families that really needed a computer at home, as an extention of the parents job's. Like my father, he was a highschool teacher and my mother designed transformer stations and power lines as a job. Here we are talking stuff like 10 kilovolt (10.000) or even more powerfull installations. My father was the one that used our 286/640k/EGA computer for work, when he had to write something that were job related. Even though my mother did not take home any work, she was the one that supplied the household with games. Like Microsoft Flightsim 3.0 or Monkey Island.

In primaery school, we did not use BBC's or any other Acorn machines. We used a Danish develloped and Danish build series of machines. It was the Piccolo at first and then came the Piccoline. It is a 80186 based terminal inspired setup. Instead of a central server, there were a drive unit that four machines had to share. It ran CP/M, Comal-80 and other software like that. UK had their BBC machines, we had our Piccoline machines. I know sweden had their systems like these as well, yet I am not aware of, if Norway had their own homegrown systems as well.

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Reply 156 of 229, by Grzyb

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brostenen wrote:

I am not aware of, if Norway had their own homegrown systems as well.

Norway had some Tiki-100 stuff - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiki_100

Reply 157 of 229, by brostenen

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MAZter wrote:

Short answer is:

yes, 286 processor is incompatible with most of MS-Dos games, too slow

Edit: Most dos games after late 1991. I ran Monkey Island 2, Lemmings, Stuntcar Racer, Hugo the troll, Loom and other games up to 1991/92 on a 286 (8/10mhz) with 640k Ram and EGA gfx. And because there were more games after 91/91 than before 91/92, then yes you are right.

As so many other people here have stated. It depends on what game you want to play and what games are for you.

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Those cakes make you sick....

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Reply 158 of 229, by brostenen

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Grzyb wrote:
brostenen wrote:

I am not aware of, if Norway had their own homegrown systems as well.

Norway had some Tiki-100 stuff - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiki_100

Thanks... 😀
Looking at the price tag, I fully understand why the Danish machines were not in use outside the school systems.

Piccolo in base model (1983 price) were 29300 danish kroners and the top of the line with 12 megabyte HDD had a price of 64600 kroners. I have no idea what the succesor called piccoline was priced at.

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Reply 159 of 229, by PTherapist

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Wow, those Tiki & Piccolo computers look cool. Interesting that schools over there opted for Z80 (later 80186) systems running some variant of CP/M, it certainly would have opened up a wide software library. But with those costs it's easy to see why they never gained traction for home usage.