AMIGA alive

AMIGA alive

Friday, June 15, 2018

"Worthy" - new game for all Amigas

Good news for OCS Amiga gamers, there's some fine looking new game out to satisfy your addictions.

Alex Brown with Simone Bernacchia and John Tsakiris just announced the availability of their new action puzzler "Worthy" via facebook.

According to Alex's post on facebook, "Worthy" is a new game, that runs in 320x256 / 32 colors / 50fps on any PAL Amiga with 1MB RAM. It has smart enemies that interact with lots of different game level elements in complex ways.

Cute, nicely animated comic style graphics, funky music, retro arcade sound effects, and as with any good game it's about collecting diamonds to win a girl's heart, encountering numerous enemies and obstacles along the way. Who can resist that?

What sounds good on paper also looks good on video, you can watch a release trailer on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iq_9-0SUrvQ

Find more information about "Worthy" on the publisher's homepage, and on their facebook page:

http://pixelglass.org
https://www.facebook.com/pixelglassamiga


To purchase "Worthy" head over to https://amiga.net.pl/index.php?lng=eng and grab your copy - now!


And for game developers Alex Brown has shared his GitHub page, on which he hosts some of his older projects for you to study: https://github.com/alpine9000


Sources:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/CommodoreAmiga/
http://pixelglass.org/
https://amiga.net.pl/index.php?lng=eng

Monday, June 11, 2018

Another success story: New cases for Amiga 500!

Philippe Lang and A1200NET, who already created new Amiga 1200 cases and keycaps are going to create professional molds for new compatible Amiga 500 cases.

It's another amazing success story from the self organizing, crowd-funding Amiga-scene: According to the Indiegogo project page, as of today $186,734 USD have been raised, and the project was 112% funded on May 31, 2018!
 

These new cases feature a number of improvements over the original ones, apart from being brand-new:

- screwholes with metal threads
- immune to UV-light
- prepared to house a Vampire 500 V2 or Raspberry Pi 3 mainboard
- or of course an original Amiga 500 mainboard
- Vampire ports extender, allows routing of internal LAN / USB / HDMI / SDcard connections to proper outlets (e.g. disk drive opening)
- different colors available: white, black, light blue, orange, and more
- signatures by Amiga celebrities like Dave Haynie and David Pleasance, among others
- metal case badge, floppy buttons, rubber feet, and trapdoor covers included

The whole thing seems to be well on it's way, and mass production of cases is planned towards the end of 2018, to be shipped in April 2019.

Of course if you want to support the project you still can, there are numerous packages available for you to claim - from "Unique Solo" - one case - to "Quad damage" - four cases - or silver and gold metal coated editions, or a beautiful "Scourge Of The Underkind" collector's edition.

Oh, and there's even more: if the project reaches it's "stretch goal" of $189,000USD, project backers will receive new Amiga "tank"-mouse cases, too!

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/new-compatible-case-for-amiga-500-plus#/


https://c1.iggcdn.com/indiegogo-media-prod-cld/image/upload/c_limit,w_695/v1520575661/cy6t8kk6e2hqsxx1vx2c.png


Source:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/new-compatible-case-for-amiga-500-plus-computers#/

Friday, June 8, 2018

Sneak preview: Thrust is the way...

To be continued.

Amiga 4000 opensource mainboard: alive and well

Paul Rezendes' Amiga 4000 mainboard replica is moving along quite nicely. 

Paul Rezendes from California, USA, has started a funding campaign to have PCB data files recreated professionally from an Amiga 4000 mainboard, and publish these under open-source license. A couple of weeks ago the goal of 5000$ was reached, and meanwhile has even been exceeded.

A few days ago, Paul posted another update on his project page, now showing first screenshots of the actual PCB files that have been created. When done checking for errors, the files should probably be released to the public via the project's GitHub page around next week!

https://d2kw0licpa1moo.cloudfront.net/28730374_1527979674.9891_updates.jpg

Amazing stuff - becoming reality.

Here's Paul's GoFundMe campaign page, see there for more information and latest updates - and you can still make a donation:

https://www.gofundme.com/amiga-4000-replica-with-schematics/

Note that GoFundMe does not accept PayPal - if you want to donate using PayPal, the guys from Amiga On The Lake are watching this campaign, too, and are happy to receive your donation and forward it to Paul Rezendes' GoFundMe account!

http://amigaonthelake.com/aotl-donations/

Thanks Paul, AmigaOnTheLake, and the rest of the bunch!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

May 31st - International Amiga Day


Happy International Amiga Day everyone!
What's your Amiga activity today?
Make sure you have at least one! :-)

Happy Birthday, Mr. Jay Miner!
(1932 - 1994, "Father of the Amiga")

Thank you Mr. Dragon “Gyu” Gyorgy
(1966 - 2015, initiator of the "International Amiga Day")

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Amiga quiz on heise.de

Popular german IT news site Heise has created an Amiga quiz for everyone to test his/her knowledge about our platform.

If you've spent some time with your Amiga, the questions should be pretty easy to answer correctly, probably even if you don't speak german.

But it's a good opportunity to refresh your memory - and to show the world we're still here!

I just scored 290 points - can you beat my result? :-)



https://heise.cloudimg.io/width/700/q75.png-lossy-75.webp-lossy-75.foil1/_www-heise-de_/imgs/18/2/4/0/7/8/4/5/amiga_klein-9d0454a79c5cb183.jpeg

Monday, April 9, 2018

Amiga 4000 mainboard goes opensource!

Amiga 4000 mainboards are becoming rare these days, and are difficult to repair. But there's hope in sight. A lot of hope. In fact so much hope that you can almost grab a new one! Yes, we can make this happen!

Paul Rezendes from California, USA, has started a funding campaign to have PCB data files professionally recreated from an Amiga 4000 mainboard, and publish these under open-source license.

(This does not include any boards actually being produced - it's only about the data files required to do so.)

Now let's think about this for a second. First thing that comes to mind is that some hardcore Amigans will produce a few new mainboard from the data files, for repairs, or maybe build an A4000. But the really exciting stuff starts when people start modifying the PCB. Just imagine the possibilities... PCI onboard, a new low-cost CPU card connector, streamlined design getting rid of old/unused components, scandoubler onboard, (Mini)ATX formfactor, ...this has the potential to become a quantum-leap forward in Amiga hardware development like the Vampire boards are!

Here's Paul's GoFundMe campaign page:

https://www.gofundme.com/amiga-4000-replica-with-schematics/

Note that GoFundMe does not accept PayPal - if you want to donate using PayPal, the guys from Amiga On The Lake are watching this campaign, too, and are happy to receive your donation and forward it to Paul Rezendes' GoFundMe account!

http://amigaonthelake.com/aotl-donations/


Now head over to GoFundMe or Amiga On The Lake, and make your donation!
We're almost there! Yes, we CAN make this happen!

https://d2g8igdw686xgo.cloudfront.net/28730374_15223301610_r.jpeg

Thursday, March 22, 2018

"Traces" - "Blender" was born on Amiga

Did you know "Blender" had a precursor? And it's Amiga software?

3D artist and photographer Piotr Zgodziński has held an interview with Ton Roosendaal, original primary author of the well known and widely used "Blender" 3D graphics software, and published an article, including the interview, some Blender history, and information about "Traces" - the earliest precursor to Blender, made on Amiga!


It's a very interesting article, with lots of screenshots of "Traces", and maybe best of all: usage instructions, executable and sourcecode!

"Traces" is another example of the impact the Amiga platform had at the time. Like Samplitude, Cinema4D, LightWave, and many other applications, Traces/Blender was developed on the Amiga due to it's groundbreaking hardware capabilities, and would later spread to other platforms, becoming an industry standard.


Click the link below to head over to Piotr Zgodzińsk's website, read the article and get "Traces"!


Note that at the end of the interview is a link to another (video) interview held with Mr. Roosendaal about the history of Blender. At approx. 7:16 in the video, he mentions the Amiga computers in use at his company "NeoGeo" from 1989 to 1991.

 Sources:
http://zgodzinski.com/blender-prehistory/
http://zgodzinski.com/
http://amiga-news.de/de/news/AN-2018-03-00047-DE.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blender_(software)
https://download.blender.org/source/chest/ 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJEWOTZnFeg

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

60 new links in the AMIGA alive Web Directory

Massive update to the AMIGA alive Web Directory - now 285 websites listed!

With new sections "Demoscene" and "MorphOS", and 60 new links added.
Happy surfin'!



Sunday, February 4, 2018

New page: The AMIGA alive Web Directory

Did you notice we have a new page? It's the AMIGA alive Web Directory, with more than 200 links to Amiga-related websites! Happy surfin'!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Rarest of the rare: The Commodore Amiga CD1200

The arrival of CD-technology for personal computers caused a huge shift in software development and user experience. The added storage capacity led to a hugely increased amount of content delivered with a software title. Gone were the days of swapping floppy disks, now a single CD could deliver everything required, and much more. CD was everything and everywhere.

Commodore's CDTV, with a built-in CD-ROM drive, was an early attempt, but the underlying original Amiga hardware wouldn't benefit too much from a CD drive, and there was simply not much experience in how to make good use of the CD's extra capabilities. But after the PC and Apple Macintosh market had established the technology and created a demand for added content, it became a must for the Amiga, too. The only Amiga model to make full use of CD-technology is the CD32 console, booting from CD without any additional setup, playing back full motion video and integrating the Amiga's audio with the CD's 16-bit audio tracks.

Wait. The only Amiga model? No. In fact there was another Amiga model that could do the same things, of which nine units were built, and only one is known to still exist today. It's probably the rarest of all (near) market-ready Commodore Amiga developments. It's the legend, the one that should have boosted sales to new heights, potentially saving Commodore from bankruptcy.

It's the Commodore Amiga CD1200.

http://www.bigbookofamigahardware.com/bboah/media/download_photos/cd1200_2.jpg


Just to avoid confusion, we're talking about the "Commodore Amiga CD1200" - not the "Commodore CD 1200 Controller" for the CDTV, or the "Alfa Data CD1200" PCMCIA controller for the Amiga 1200.

It's a CD-ROM drive to be connected to an Amiga 1200, and with a little extra. It has a custom "Data Input" connector, that connects to an expansion board in the Amiga 1200's internal expansion port via cabling routed through the Amiga 1200's backside blanking plate. It also routes Amiga audio signals through, merging them with CD-audio. The expansion board adds a FastRAM SIMM slot, and - in a proposed later model - would have had another custom chip, and room for a 68030 CPU upgrade.

The CD1200 was presented to the public at the CeBIT 1994 show in Han(n)over, Germany. It's goal was to unite and boost Amiga CD32 and Amiga 1200 hardware and software sales, by being compatible with the former, and adding a CD drive to the latter.

You can read about the CD1200 in Amiga Format's first-hand post-CeBIT report: 
https://archive.org/details/Amiga_Format_Issue_059_1994-05_Future_Publishing_GB

Now what makes the CD1200 such a rare piece? Well, first of all, according to Beth Richard, lead engineer on the project, only nine prototype units were built.

Eight of them got lost in the turmoil of Commodore's bankruptcy, and only one unit resurfaced. And even that one wasn't instantly recognized as the rarity it is.

Listen to Andy Spencer from the Retro Computer Museum Leicester retell the story of discovering the unique CD1200 in a dusty barn (video by The Centre for Computing History):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzzMLGcOJik

But the true recognition of the CD1200 came after Ravi Abbot had been visiting the Retro Computer Museum Leicester, and published his video about it in November 2016:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LmFmH4YNBA

Established YouTuber Dan "kookytech.net" Wood has picked up the subject, and had a more in-depth talk with Andy, and Ex-Commodore UK's David Pleasance. His video of December 2017 covers the unsuccessful search for other CD1200 units still in existence, the rediscovered CD1200's relocation from the back of the museum to a more prominent place, and lots of details from Andy and David:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYq_F5-fAaw

Would the CD1200 have been able to save Commodore? Well, maybe. In 1994 Sony scored a huge hit with it's Playstation console, which has a CD drive, but also offers hardware 3D acceleration and 16-bit 24-channel sound. A CD-drive had become a must-have, but chipset development and platform architecture had also been moving forward rapidly. A CD32, or CD1200-equipped Amiga 1200, wouldn't have been able to compete with PC and console development for a long time, but maybe CD1200 sales, and now-CD32-compatible Amiga 1200 hardware and software sales would've bought Commodore enough time to release the next generation of CD1200 with CPU upgrade, and so on. But it's just speculation.

For Amiga 1200 users it would have been a fantastic addition, with a 68030 CPU on board, especially due to the beautiful design that matches the Amiga 1200 one's. And Amiga CD32 owners would certainly envy the added horsepower, memory, keyboard and i/o-ports.

From todays point of view it would of course just be great to have such a device, in whatever condition or configuration, because it's sooo Commodore Amiga. The fact that there's presumably only this particular one in existence, a rare piece from the last days of Commodore, makes it pretty much the collector's item par excellence. Time will show if maybe another CD1200 exists - maybe it resurfaces due to the raised interest created by discovering and exposing this one.


Until then, all we can do is visit the Retro Computer Museum Leicester and feast our eyes on the one that's there.

All we can do? Amigans weren't Amigans if they weren't willing to do something about that. Yes, there is some minor activity going on: A facebook group is dedicated to resurrecting the CD1200.

In the video by The Centre for Computing History (see above), Andy Spencer says he'd like to open up his CD1200 one day, and maybe, together with the pictures published in magazines, and knowhow from people involved with the project, this will give the insight required to recreate the CD1200 and it's expansion board.

Nothing has materialized yet, but who knows, they also said Doom can't be done on the Amiga...

* * *

For your nostalgia-needs, here's another video presenting the CD1200 - note the fake Amiga 1200 case with a built-in CD1200, which is impossible due to CD size, but an intriguing idea:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oydGCxBRL10


Some magazine reports about the Commodore Amiga CD1200:


CU Amiga, issue 128, May 1994
https://archive.org/details/CommodoreUserIssue1281994May
http://amr.abime.net/issue_615

CU Amiga, issue 054, August 1994
https://archive.org/details/CUAmigaIssue054Aug94
http://amr.abime.net/issue_618

Amiga Format, issue 59, May 1994
https://archive.org/details/Amiga_Format_Issue_059_1994-05_Future_Publishing_GB

Amiga Format, issue 66, December 1994
https://archive.org/details/amigaformatmagazine-066

Amiga User International, Vol. 8 No. 6, July 1994
http://amr.abime.net/issue_869

* * *

Thanks for reading!

Do you have more information about the Commodore Amiga CD1200? Did you spot a mistake in the above article? Please leave a comment!

Additional sources:
http://www.bigbookofamigahardware.com/bboah/product.aspx?id=1604
https://archive.org/details/Amiga_Format_Issue_059_1994-05_Future_Publishing_GB
http://amr.abime.net/issue_869