Amiga 30 event
Gallery event in Amsterdam

Last weekend the Amiga: 30 years event took place in Amsterdam.

It was great seeing and hearing some of the original Amiga engineers and other people involved in the Amiga ecosystem sharing their stories, and I can honestly say that the dedication and love these guys put into the Amiga can still be felt today. Thanks guys for making Amiga what it was (and is!).

There was a tent outside with lots of Amiga hardware on display, some nextgen systems, plus lots of rare-ish Amiga models that I never saw in person, like the A4000T, the CDTV, the Walker prototype, the A1000, etc. There was also one original minimig on display, unfortunately no MiST boards (I wanted to take my MiST board with me, but I missed the exhibitor tickets – they were gone like hot cakes! Maybe at the next meeting in ten years 😉 ).

Plus, I got to meet Joe Pillow!

Thanks to the organizers for making this event possible, I had a great time, hopefully there will be another event like this for the 40th anniversary of the Amiga!

amiga30-2107 amiga30-2108 amiga30-2110 amiga30-2112 amiga30-2114 amiga30-2119 amiga30-2122 amiga30-2045 amiga30-2047 amiga30-2050 amiga30-2053 amiga30-2054 amiga30-2055 amiga30-2056 amiga30-2057 amiga30-2060 amiga30-2065 amiga30-2067 amiga30-2070 amiga30-2072 amiga30-2074 amiga30-2076 amiga30-2080 amiga30-2082 amiga30-2089 amiga30-2090 amiga30-2095 amiga30-2098

Here are some of the videos of the event I found on Youtube:

I finally know how the hand holding the floppy came about 🙂

minimig AGA v1.0 for the MiST board released

There is a new release of minimig-AGA for the MiST board available, grab your fresh copy on the minimig-mist page!

It certainly took a while, but I think I can safely say that the AGA chipset is implemented correctly and in full now, but of course with lots of corner cases not handled properly. There are still quite some problems on the CPU side though, those will hopefully be fixed in time.

There are some issues worth mentioning – one is that the turbo kickstart is not working properly in all cases, so for now this feature is experimental, and it is recommended to only enable it if you don’t have any problems with it. The other issue is that currently, the HRTmon monitor doesn’t work OK when the VBR is moved to fastRAM, so either don’t use utilities like VBRMove, or don’t use HRTmon.

In the zip file, there is a firmware.upg added. There is no need to update the firmware of the MiST board if your firmware is newer than 16th of June 2015. If it is older, it is recommended to update your firmware.

Here are the updates made in this release:

  • fixed AGA color table issues
  • fixed erroneous detection of HAM, HAM8 & EHB modes in AGA
  • fixed AGA BPLXOR implementation
  • implemented AGA bitplane scandoubling
  • implemented AGA sprite scandoubling & SSCAN2 SH10 coincidence detection
  • implemented proper AGA bitplane scroller with quarter pixel scrolling precision
  • fixed AGA BPLCON4 values delay
  • playfield CLUT offsets fixed
  • ECS sprite attach enabled for both odd and even attach bit
  • turbo options for chipRAM & kickstart
  • new 8kB two-way, write-through, look-through CPU cache with separate instruction & data caches
  • CPU PACK & UNPK instruction fixes by Till Harbaum
  • updated very fast CPU by Alastair M. Robinson (in the newcpu build)
  • CIA TOD bug fixed
  • HRTmon with custom registers mirror
  • chipset config applied only on reset
  • config display added on boot screen



a video showing the speed of the new CPU on this release:


Building a Pentium-era Retro PC, Part 1

I was cleaning my ‘junkyard’ and came across some of the floppies and CDs from my first PC computer, and I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be nice to play some of those old games on a real PC of that era, instead of using something like DosBox? Plus, it would allow me to get away from Amiga for a little while, which has been getting most of my attention lately. Of course, being the hoarder that I am, I was positive I already have most if not all of the hardware required. So, after a quick check with the very knowledgeable people on the forum about appropriate pieces & bits, I went junk-diving (or, in this case loft-diving), and look what I dug out:

Mini-tower PC Retro-PC porn Turbo!

Score! This is pretty close to my first PC, which was something like a Pentium 200 (possibly MMX), with 16MB of memory, an S3 Trio64 graphics card and a Creative SoundBlaster 16. Notice the nice sticker I made (does the sticker remind anyone of anything, possibly this?) – this computer did run some old version of Slackware Linux and was used for a long time as a gateway/router box, with every slot filled with a NIC. It also had some Cisco iOS (Cisco, not Apple iOS!) emulator installed, I think it was Quagga (isn’t that a weird name for a project!).

Anyway, this box currently has inside:

  1. MSI MS5170 motherboard – nice MB with AT & ATX style power connectors, both EDO & SDRAM slots, four PCI slots and three ISA slots; Intel chipset, which could mean that only 64MB of memory is cacheable
  2. some unnamed power supply – works, and that’s what matters now
  3. 16MB of EDO DRAM
  4. Intel Pentium 233MMX
  5. some CDROM drive, some floppy drive, both working
  6. harddisk that will be replaced
  7. Turbo button, which, if you are not familiar with it, makes the PC go turbo fast! 😉

Here’s the other hardware I found:

3com 3C509B ISA network card

3com 3C509B ISA network card

3COM 3C905C PCI network card

3COM 3C905C PCI network card

Two 3COM network cards, if possible the old ISA card will be used as it supposedly uses less precious memory in DOS than newer PCI cards. Plus, it has a BNC connector, that has to count for something!

S3 VirgeDX PCI graphics card

S3 VirgeDX PCI graphics card

ATi Rage3D ii+ PCI graphics card

ATi Rage3D ii+ PCI graphics card

Two graphics cards, with the S3 VirgeDX being the preferred one because of better compatibility for DOS games.

And, last but not least, two crown jewels of my findings:

3Dfx Voodoo2 PCI card

3Dfx Voodoo2 PCI card

A 3Dfx Voodoo2! I had no idea I still had this, I thought I sold it ages ago. Well, I’m glad now that I didn’t, it will sure be a nice addition to my setup, although I’m still not too sure how much use will it get in a Pentium-era PC, maybe it would fit better in a Pentium3 setup (which I plan to do next, since I have parts for that too!).

Creative SoundBlaster AWE64 Gold ISA soundcard

Creative SoundBlaster AWE64 Gold ISA soundcard

Aaaaand … one of THE soundcards you wanted to have (but, at least in my case, didn’t) – the Creative SoundBlaster AWE64 Gold! This is perfect for my build, good compatibility with older Soundblasters & Adlib, and hopefully more sound quality than some of the previous Soundblasters. As for OPL compatibility, well I’ll see how it fares. Hopefully, I’ll be mostly using my external Roland SoundCanvas SC-55 for most games (and no, I don’t intend to get a MT-32, they are too pricey these days).

Besides the hardware already mentioned, I also have a ‘new’ CDROM drive and an 8GB Western Digital ‘DeathStar’ harddrive.

Having picked appropriate hardware, next up is software. I’m planning to use some form of DOS, probably the latest 6.22 version, together with Windows 98 SE. I just have to remember how to install these two so both OSes are available. If Win98 will be too much for this PC, I’ll have to find a version of Windows 95 somewhere.

To be continued!

Problems with this page

Either I messed something updating the WordPress installation, or I had a break-in on this site – the end result being that some posts seem to be missing, together with some of the pictures and attachments.

I’ve re-installed WordPress, changed the password, and hopefully re-uploaded all the missing bits and pieces. If you see anything missing or some broken links, please let me know!