Sunday, September 2, 2018

Episode 3 - Taking Stock

Thanks for checking out Episode 3. This week I am showing off my Amiga collection. I currently have eight Amiga's, but only six are in working condition and two are used on a weekly basis.

I have plans for my extra towerized A4000 - I want to set it up with the Video Toaster 4000 and the Time Base Correctors I have. But...Then I have no clue what I will do with it.

My A3000 Tower will eventually get a nice BIGRAM 256 MB Zorro3 board installed, and I will upgrade it to OS 3.9, install the One Stop Music Shop card and my Thylacine USB card. That should make a nice little setup. If I can get another A3640 card functional, I will install it in there too.

The A2000 will be a fun one since it has so many ZORRO slots. It will get the Bridgeboard and the toaster 2000 installed. I know there is an option to use an ISA Networking card in conjunction with Bridgeboard to get this Amiga online, so I will play with that.

The A500 will probably get Vampired - unless we hear something soon about the V4 that works in an A1200! I honestly don't need the A500 for anything as there are only so many hours in the day.

The big project will be the A2200 board - I need to get it booting again. I remember last time I had it functioning it did not seem to recognize the IDE ports on the board. I am concerned that the ROMS are incorrect. Maybe they are A3000 ROM's with no IDE support.

Thanks again for following my site and my channel! I appreciate it!

YouTube Link for Episode 3

Episode 3 MPEG1 for playback with RiVA on your Amiga

HAM6 version of Episode 3

HAM8 version of Episode 3

Saturday, August 25, 2018

10 Minute Amiga Retro Cast - Episode 2

Thanks for taking the time to watch my series!

I have learned a few things in the last two weeks. What I have learned is that the onboard IDE on my Amiga 4000 is HORRIBLE! I used it for years, and on my A1200 without thinking much of it, as I was doing rather basic things on my Amiga. A few months back, I decided to move my Macrosystems Warp Engine from my towerized A3000 (which I was not using) to my A4000. Wow! What a difference that made! Not only bringin my Amiga up from 68040/25 Mhz to 68040/40 Mhz, but the extra RAM was so fast! Order of magnitude faster than the 16 MB on my A4000. Switching to SCSI from my CF card on the IDE channel was like opening the floodgates. I ended up using a 74 Gig 15,000 RPM SCSI drive and a 300 Gig 15,000 RPM SCSI drive. The Warp Engine saw them fine, and Amiga OS 3.9 handled the large partitions like a dream - no problems at all.

So I was in Zippy-Amiga heaven - This beast could handle almost anything I threw at it. And then I saw it - On Amibay, Tbtorro was selling '040 - '060 adapters for A3640's and Warp Engines. I could triple the speed of my A4000 with one chip upgrade! I ordered it right away, and waited a week or two to get it in. Then I took my Warp Engine out...and realized that the A3000 version does not have a socketed 68040 chip. It is soldered on board... My soldering skills are just fine, but I did not want to tackle desoldering the chip and soldering on a socket.

To I contacted Tbtorro, who is an awesome guy, and he offered to do the job for me, and install two new SIMM sockets on the board so I could go up to 128 MB instead of 64 MB! His prices were reasonable, so I took out the Warp Engine, slapped my new '040 to '060 adapter on my spare A3640 card, and redid my system back to 16MB and IDE interface with a nice 10 Gig IDE hard drive. Oh my.... processing was great with the '060 chip, and it was super easy to install on the A3640, but the slow motherboard RAM and IDE KILLED my performance that I was so used to. And, to top it off, OS 3.9 and my RTG card suck up almost half of my 16 MB of RAM on bootup, so all my cool programs like TV-Paint and FFMPEG don't work anymore! Well, at least it was an '060 machine now... for the moment.

I contacted Tbtorro to finalize the price and shipping, and he informed me he wanted the '040 - '060 adapter back to confirm it worked OK on my Warp Engine. So... I lost my fast hard drives, my 64 MB of really fast RAM, and now my '060! It is going to be so fast when it comes back, though...

Well, the point is that a lot of the processing I normally do for my videos and audio can't be done on my lowly barely-expanded A4000 (I know...I am spoiled). I can't even use my A1200 with it's nice Blizzard '40 card and 64 MB of RAM as I have that thing in twenty pieces playing with some drive upgrades. So, I bought a copy of Amiga Forever. I had bought a copy ten years ago, but I can't find the hard drive it was on, and buying a new copy gives me legal access to all the ROM's. I spent about 30 minutes trying to use that horrible Amiga Forever interface and realized it blows, so I just went right to UAE, and set everything up just fine.

So now I am doing about 30% of my Amiga-capable work on my real Amiga, and 70% on UAE. Not what I intended to do for my video series, but it is the only way I can access the Amiga software I need to do my job. Oh well. It will take a month for my Warp Engine to get upgraded, so no big deal.

Anyway, I have mentioned nothing about this weeks episode. That's OK. It is all about installing and configuring the video playback software to watch my videos on your Amiga. I hope you enjoy it! I will be uploading some fun .hv6 and .hv8 videos this week to check out. They play back great on a UAE machine, so give it a try if your real rig can't handle a 500 MB video file!

This is Douglas for Dynamic Computing signing off.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Welcome to the 10 Minute Amiga Retro Cast

My name is Douglas from Dynamic Computing, and I am an I.T. Consultant in Tucson, Arizona with a not so hidden hobby of Retro Amiga Computing. My first Amiga was an A500 in 1987 after I outgrew the capabilities of my Vic-20 and then my C-64. My hobby continued long after the dissolution of Commodore and I have since owned ten different Amiga's - Of which I have five or six left.

The 10 Minute Amiga Retro Cast is something I thought of to add value to our Amiga Community. There are a lot of Retro gaming podcasts out there - Of which is my personal favorite - and I thought the Amiga community could use a different take on things.

I am producing my video and audio as much as possible on Amiga's and for Amiga's. The days of the Video Toaster are over for us, but there is life left in our machines to churn out some more work! While I can't use the Amiga for actual editing and heavy duty transcoding, I can use it for storyboarding, audio editing and some light transcoding. I use FFMPEG utility in Windows and on the Amiga for a lot of the video and audio conversions.

The main goal of 10 Minute Amiga Retro Cast is to allow us to actually view and listen to the videos on our beloved hardware, and believe it or not, it works fairly will. I convert all of the MP4 videos from my camera over to MPEG1 videos, 192x144 pixels and play it back with the RiVA MPEG viewer on the Amiga. The results are pretty good even on an AGA machine in 256 colors or on an ECS machine in 16 shades of grey. I also format the audio into MP3 files that play back pretty well on modest Amiga's on almost any MP3 player.

For an extra bit of fun and challenge, I am converting all the videos into .hv Ham6 Video modes for playback on older Amiga's that have hard drives. This is a very clever set of utilities that convert raw .AVI and .WAV files into a HAM6 or HAM8 video that plays back fairly nicely! The files are really big (500MB+ for my 10 minute videos), so it is more a tech demo than an actual practical solution.

My goal is a weekly or bi-weekly publishing schedule as time permits. I encourage you to check out my Youtube page at and be sure to like and subscribe for the latest notification of new episodes! Enjoy!