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First post, by vkcpolice

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Hi all im a new amiga user and have a amiga 500 i understand i need a new kickstart rom to be able to load workbench 3.1
im not sure what the rom does or what it contains as i thought you could just boot the os from a disk?
if i find a new modern kick start rom where does this live on the board and will it break compatibility with older software and games?
what are some useful workbench 1.3 software or do people not use this anymore?

Reply 1 of 47, by dr.zeissler

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A500 1.3 is fine if you want to play games and run software on floppys.
If you plan to play games from Harddisk, you have to buy a solution for the A500. You can still play games from Harddisk with 1.3 if you use games that have a harddisk-installer (look here https://hol.abime.net/ )
There is even an option to play games that were patched to run on harddisk (WHD-Loadslaves) with 1.3. Look for "JST". But you will likely have much more RAM. 2-4 MB is the very low end for this.

You can upgrade to 2.0 or 3.1 kickstart and therefore play a lot of WHD-Load games . But you need much more RAM (4MB+) for that.

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Reply 2 of 47, by vkcpolice

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hi thanks for your reply so whd are games that are to be installed on hds?
i have seen these whd files and i cant get them to load.
i have the gotek floppy emulator
i would like to run a more modern version of amiga os
i only have the 512k ram expansion board i didnt know you could buy bigger ones

Reply 3 of 47, by kixs

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Depends on what you want to do. But for a good/great experience you'd want an A1200 with HDD/CF card and some accelerator board - like Blizzard 1230 with 16MB of memory or more. Runs pretty much everything except some heavy/newer demos that expect 040 and/or PowerPC CPUs.

Standard A500 is more of a game machine run from floppies - also Atari ST. But many people use it with Gotek emulator... try it as is first.

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Reply 5 of 47, by dr.zeissler

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WHDLoad-Slaves are Diskimages to play these games from Harddisk. You will likely have double the RAM for that.
A game that requires 1MB on stock A500 on floppy will likely consume 2-3MB as WHDLoad-Slave.
This is because the Diskimage is in RAM and the game is executed in RAM and the Kickstart 1.3 that is required for the game is also copied in RAM.

The game "thinks" that it runs from floppy, but everything is copied to RAM of the Amiga.

WHDLoad-Slaves require Kickstart 2.x and upwards. Some WHDLoad-Slaves do work with JST under Kick 1.3 but there are not so many.

You see you will have to invest a lot more to do so, that's why my advice is play these games on real floppy this is MUCH!!! cheaper.
You need to transfer the ADF Images to the Amiga (best if it has 1MB Ram) and then write back to disk on the real amiga.
You need some tools for this. Transfercable, Transfer-Software and Disk-Image-Software.

If money does not care you, go for it. Buy RAM, HDD, Turbocards etc. But as for starters perhaps playing from Floppy is best.

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Reply 7 of 47, by wiretap

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The A500 is great for non-AGA games. It will play hundreds of titles as-is. There are lots of cheap accelerator options for it as well. Pistorm, HC508, ACA500, Vampire, Terriblefire TF534/536, Classic 520, etc. There are tons of different ways to expand the RAM, Chip RAM, CPU, hard disks, and all sorts of accessories.

The cheapest option to get started with gaming is obvioiusly the Gotek so you can quickly load ADF files on the USB stick. WHDload is the slightly more expensive way, but really awesome. I suppose you can also use a Greaseweazle to image/write real floppies - I do that sometimes, but it would get costly for tons of games since DD floppies are in short supply and using HD floppies sometimes gives issues.

The route I took with my A500 a little over a year ago was to get a HC508, load Amiga OS 3.1.4 + WHDload. It works really well and wasn't too expensive. However now there is the PiStorm which is way cheaper and gives more features.. not a Vampire in terms of performance, but extremely good (Amiga 4000 CPU performance). The latest CPLD firmware and updates to it have made it pretty stable and every game/app I've loaded as worked just fine. An upcoming firmware update will enable the Pi4 to work with it, and that will be extremely fast. Some people don't like it because it isn't an actual 68000 CPU, but at least the option is there if you want to have a killer accelerator for less than $75. (provides CPU + Z3 RAM + soft ROM + hard disk + networking + RTG)

Oh, if you're planning on using a modern monitor or TV with it, look into the RGB2HDMI -- it will give you pixel perfect output on digital screen.

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Reply 8 of 47, by vkcpolice

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Thanks all i have the gotek but i really just want it to be able to play non aga games and run a nice version of workbench so i can use office software ect.
i have the 512k ram expansion that came with the computer is this slow ram? and if so how do i upgrade the ram as the only port i know is the trapdoor expansion.
it would be nice to play aga games ect. bit as others have mentioned i will most likely need a 1200

also im not sure what kickstart rom to buy or where to buy one and where it goes on the motherboard

Reply 9 of 47, by wiretap

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You'll have to decide what kickstart/workbench you want to run. Version 3.1 is the last original Commodore Amiga kickstart. You can run Amiga OS 3.1, 3.5, and 3.9 with it. 3.1 is very common to run. There's also Hyperion versions of 3.1.4 and 3.2. I run 3.1.4 myself -- 3.2 just came out and I've seen some people have issues with it depending on their mods/upgrades. For the Hyperion OS's mentioned, you run the corresponding kickstart ROM with them.

To upgrade RAM if your intent is WHDLoad, you are best off with an accelerator card that provides extra RAM. You can choose an accelerator that has a SD/CF slot to store all the games on too. WHDLoad requires more RAM than a standard A500 w/ 512k trapdoor expansion offers, so that would be best handled with an accelerator.

If you just want to run a nice version of workbench and boot games via the Gotek (which would be the cheapest option), you can use a IDE68K for installing the OS to a CF card. A whole variety of programs/software can also be installed to the CF card and run from it.

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Reply 10 of 47, by Jo22

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hyoenmadan wrote on 2021-09-21, 20:01:

Truly the Amiga hobby is an expensive one 😀. Ofc... Unless you go all emulation.

Yes, it truly is - for the last 25 years or so.
The only exception, I think, is the A500 here, which was/is as common as the original Game Boy.

Unfortunately, to my experience, the Amiga community is obsessed with upgrading beyond recognition.
Thus, only a few modern programs will run on unmodified Amigas from the 1980s:
68000/68010* CPU, Kick 1.2/1.3, WB 1.2/1.3, OCS graphics

Recently written programs thus require 68k accelerators, Kick Start 2.x/3.x etc.

To be fair, though, the Atari ST community is not much better.
The later programs require STE models, TT models or the ultra rare Atari Falcon. 🙄
Well, at least they got a free, open TOS clone (EmuTOS). The Amiga OS is still proprietary.

(*68010 was a common upgrade, like V20/V30 on PCs. 68010 is useful for WHDLoad, too)

Edit: Memory upgrades are excepted, they happen on all platforms, as time wents on.
Even on the old C64, people needed such upgrades (REUs like geoRAM, Pagefox cassette etc).
But memory upgrades don't change the personality of a computer, so it's no loss.

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In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 11 of 47, by mscdex

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Jo22 wrote on 2021-10-04, 16:40:

Unfortunately, to my experience, the Amiga community is obsessed with upgrading beyond recognition.

Jo22 wrote on 2021-10-04, 16:40:
(*68010 was a common upgrade, like V20/V30 on PCs. 68010 is useful for WHDLoad, too) […]
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(*68010 was a common upgrade, like V20/V30 on PCs. 68010 is useful for WHDLoad, too)

Edit: Memory upgrades are excepted, they happen on all platforms, as time wents on.
Even on the old C64, people needed such upgrades (REUs like geoRAM, Pagefox cassette etc).
But memory upgrades don't change the personality of a computer, so it's no loss.

That's why I like using the Classic 520 on my A1000. I have the option to disable any of its hardware features, however realistically I haven't really found a need to since I pretty much only use WHDLoad these days and that supposedly has specific CPU and RAM requirements and being able to boot to CF very quickly and have SD for additional storage is very convenient. So there's not much left to disable (except maybe the IDE functionality which I do not use myself). I think the Classic 520 provides just enough of an upgrade to provide maximum convenience without turning it into some PPC, 512MB RAM, super high res with 32-bit color graphics monstrosity.

Reply 12 of 47, by vkcpolice

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hi thanks all im very much set on keeping this pc original as possible. i just want to run workbench 3.1 so what kickstart rom do i need? what is the benefit of amiga os over the original workbench?
also in regards to the Blizzard 1230 where does this expansion plug into? can i run workbench 3.1 or amiga os without IDE68K also where does IDE68K plug into?
sorry im a noob at this im more of a dos/commodore 64 person

Reply 13 of 47, by wiretap

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For workbench 3.1, you use the kickstart 3.1 ROM. You can buy one, or burn your own with a chip programmer. It replaces the currently installed one. There are also kickstart switchers that you can use a toggle switch to swap ROM versions before booting. But if you go with an accelerator board, some of them have built-in kickstart switching too.

Running version 1.3 is the best for compatibility for all the old Amiga games. Upgrading to 3.1 is really if you just want a better user interface, more modern software/libraries/applications/etc.

The Blizzard 1230 is for the Amiga 1200 -- it goes in the trap door slot on the bottom. It is not for the Amiga 500. Both machines have a trap door slot, but they are completely different.

The IDE68K is installed between the CPU and CPU socket. You can run Amiga OS 3.1 without the IDE68K -- but I only mentioned it because it provides you a cheap and easy IDE interface to boot from so you don't have to have the floppy in the drive. With 3.1, you really want to have a fixed storage medium to take advantage of it -- you'll be able to customize it, install applications, etc.

I recommend watching some Youtube videos so you can get the hang of some of the basics. Start with 10 Minute Amiga Retrocast (10MARC), as well as Chris Edwards. They have a lot of info and tutorials on Amiga stuff, both hardware and software aspects.

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Reply 14 of 47, by vkcpolice

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ok awesome so if i use a IDE68K i would need to buy a ide to cf card adapter one like i do with dos computers? i will have to find a kickstart 3.1 rom like you mentioned this may break compatibility with some older software? how could you use a switch to switch between roms when there is only one socket on the board for one rom?

Reply 15 of 47, by jcarvalho

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Hi
In my experience, to run whdload you will need 2mb chip ram, not impossible in a500 but very expensive. Keep it simple as it is and you will get the best results. My A2000 with kickstart 3.1.4 2mb chip ram, and tf536 has a low compatibility with adf games. Even with modified kickstart, injected some libs needed for it to boot at the moment looking for a kickstart switch to get adf games loading. Relokick also works but pain in the @ss

Reply 16 of 47, by mscdex

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jcarvalho wrote on 2021-10-07, 07:02:

In my experience, to run whdload you will need 2mb chip ram

Surely you're referring to specific (newer) games that maybe use higher res graphics modes or something like that? I've played lots of games via WHDLoad on my A1000 that still only has its original 512KB of chip RAM.

Reply 17 of 47, by wiretap

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Yea, you definitely don't need 2MB chip RAM for the large majority of games with WHDload. I use 1MB of chip RAM on my A500 and A2000 and just about everything I've played works just fine. For modern stuff and AGA, I'll obviously use my A4000. If you wanted to run 2MB of chip on an OCS/ECS machine, it costs about $75-95 for the Agnus chip and DIY adapter combo. I have one I'm building for my A2000 right now. (Liv2' s new adapter)

As for the Kickstart switcher, you use a ROM adapter with a larger ROM that you burn the ROMs to different addresses in. The switch then toggles between them before you boot.

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Reply 19 of 47, by PTherapist

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I'm not 100% familiar with all the options available for the A500, as I just have an A1200 myself.

But from the sound of your needs, ie. simply running later Kickstart & Workbench and running software from HDD, probably the cheapest overall option would be the PiStorm. I was going to say the "easy" option, but that all depends upon your level of expertise with regards to configuring it, though there are many guides available for this purpose.

The PiStorm will give you a HDD via a disk image on an SD Card where you can install Workbench 3.1, choice of any Kickstart ROM without having to physically swap out ROM chips, RAM expansion and the ability to experiment with faster CPU configurations. It will also give you optional HDMI video output, with higher resolutions available. It also offers WiFi too.

It's also an easily reversible mod should you decide to go back to the stock Amiga 500 configuration.

The PiStorm is very much still a work in progress, but what it does do seems to work fairly decently from various YouTube videos I've seen.