2015 – The Year of Amiga Anniversaries

On this day 10 years ago, Dennis van Weeren made the first recorded commit on his then new project, Minimig (see Changelog here), so this makes today the 10th anniversary of Minimig.

The project started as a sort of proof-of-concept, showing that it is possible to re-create Amiga custom chipset in an FPGA. In around three years, Dennis made a fairly complete implementation of the OCS chipset. Amiga community – with history of disappointments behind it  – met the project with much disbelief at first, a lot of people didn’t believe it could be done until first public demonstrations of the minimig design were made. Unfortunately, Dennis stopped working on minimig and it seems he left the Amiga community, but he did publish the sources of his project under the GPL license, which allowed others to continue where he left off.

One of those developers was Jakub Bednarski (yaqube), who upgraded the minimig design, added missing features, basically bringing minimig to almost 100% compatibility with OCS/ECS Amigas. He too, so it seems, isn’t involved in the Amiga scene or minimig development anymore. He did make the first AGA chipset upgrade of the minimig with RTG graphics, AHI sound etc, but the project was never published.

I got involved in the minimig project somewhere at the end of 2011, trying to upgrade the minimig port to the DE1 board from where Tobias Gubener (tobiflexx) left it, hopefully adding some nice additions to the design. At that time, I already heard of work being done on AGA minimig, so I patiently waited for the design to be published. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, so I decided to try and implement AGA for the minimig myself. Currently, most of the AGA chipset seems to be implemented correctly, with some missing features and probably a lot of corner cases working incorrectly. Hopefully, I’ll find some time soon to finish it!

The minimig project has grown from its beginnings on the original minimig board to quite a few other boards, like MiST, Terasic DE1/DE2, Terasic DE2-70, Chameleon64, C-ONE, FPGA Arcade Replay board, etc …

It certainly seems the project is alive and well, and will continue to thrive even after me and other current ‘generation’ developers leave the project. So here’s to (at least!) another ten great years for the minimig project!

Incidentally, this year also marks the 30th anniversary of Amiga! It is so long ago that I first played with mine I can barely remember, but I sure do remember the fun I had and awe I felt towards it.

Happy birthday old gal!

(obligatory Only Amiga song ;))

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