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.

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