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Vintage Computing & Consoles Amiga A500 (Mini)

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crustytv
(@crustytv)
Illustrious Member Admin
Topic starter
 

I ordered this a few days ago and have been eagerly awaiting its arrival, only released in Apr 2022, it's already sold out on many of the online outlets.

I'm rediscovering all the fun I had back in the 90's especially with Doom, Duke Nukem and Heretic. My mate had an Amiga, but I was into PCs. I spent many happy hours playing, after work on a Friday setting up a Lan party in my spare room, four PC's with 3COM 3c503 network cards, BNC COAX network, with IPX as the protocol.

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The Amiga A500 mini sports an AllWinner H6 ARM processor (Cortex A53), 512mb Ram DDR3 3 x USB 2.0 ports HDMI PortUSB-C (For Power). The A500 mini can also emulate the Amiga 600 & 1200 (ECS/OCS/AGA). The A500 mini, comes a tank mouse and controller. You can choose classic presentation or carousel. It has 25 preloaded classic games:

  • Alien Breed 3D
  • Another World
  • ATR: All Terrain Racing
  • Battle Chess
  • Cadaver
  • Kick Off 2
  • Pinball Dreams
  • Simon The Sorcerer (AGA Version)
  • Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe
  • The Chaos Engine
  • Worms: The Director’s Cut
  • Paradroid 90
  • Stunt Car Racer
  • Zool: Ninja Of The ”Nth” Dimension (AGA Version)
  • Project X
  • The Sentinel
  • F16 Fighter Pilot
  • California Games
  • Super Cars 2
  • Qwak
  • Dragons Breath
  • The Sentnel
  • Lost Patrol
  • Titus the Fox
  • Arcade Pool
  • Citadel
 

 

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Even better, you can hack it with AminiMiga and a USB stick, which I've done and run WorkBench.

AminiMiga includes pretty much every game ever made for the Amiga but also DiectoryOpus 4, ScalaMM, FinalWriter, Eagleplayer, Hippoplayer, ProTracker, DeluxePaint, Brilliancs, Real3D, Lightwave, Amos, AmigaE, BlitzBasic.. The games included are just endless. Also, developers are now releasing brand-new, never before seen games for this platform.

I'm currently showing my 19-year-old son, the origins of first-person shooters, like Doom, Heretic, Duke Nukem 3D and many other classics. Although initially sceptical, when they fall silent and intently start looking for the hidden doors only to be greeted by the hoards of monsters, you sort of know they hooked. Gaming is gaming, no matter what decade they're from. Vintage/classic games, as those who frequent this section know, have an appeal all of their own. Excuse while I get back to chasing some pink pig monsters. 😉 

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https://www.aminimiga.com/

 

 
Posted : 02/08/2022 2:13 pm
freya, Lloyd, Doz and 6 people reacted
Jayceebee
(@jayceebee)
Noble Member
 

My daughter has one and I still have an A500 and A500+, the + was damaged by the “Death by Varta” leaking RTC battery. The A500+ does work but has graphics issues in some modes, not sure if it’s due leakage or Fat Agnus and still looking for anyone who could test an 8375 for me.

Pic below to give you a size comparison.

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Posted : 02/08/2022 6:46 pm
WayneD
(@wayned)
Honorable Member
 

@jayceebee A mate who makes music with Amigas calls one of their side projects "Varta Deathspill" for that very reason!

 
Posted : 02/08/2022 7:03 pm
Jayceebee
(@jayceebee)
Noble Member
 

The music from Turrican 2 is one of my Amiga favourites.

 
Posted : 02/08/2022 7:11 pm
hamid_1
(@hamid_1)
Reputable Member
 

I still have a couple of vintage Amiga computers which get fired up from time to time.

One is an Amiga 500 with A570 CD-ROM drive, the other is an A1200 with 4Mb extra RAM and 1GB CompactFlash card installed in place of the original very small hard drive. These days I use a PCMCIA CompactFlash card adaptor to transfer files between PC and Amiga. Back in the day, file transfer was via 720k floppy disks or serial cable. I even used to surf the Internet on the Amiga 1200 in 1996 using "Voyager" web browser and dial-up modem. Apparently it's still possible to go online with a compatible ethernet or wi-fi card though I haven't tried.

I did see the new replica A500mini advertised. It's tempting, but I think I'll stick to my vintage ones for the time being.

Modern replica game consoles have appeared before, such as the Atari VCS, Commodore 64 and so on. They normally come with a fixed selection of games. What makes the A500mini special is that you can install your own software on it, and thanks to the internet you can download just about every game ever made, all for free, in a single package, as you've discovered. This makes the A500mini a very attractive proposition.

Of course you don't even have to buy an A500mini console, you can download an Amiga emulator for a PC for free, then spend some time setting it up. You could turn an old PC or laptop into an Amiga for basically no cost other than a bit of time. Essentially the A500mini is just a small computer in an A500-shaped case, with emulator software and some games pre-installed. Why pay £129.95 for something you can get for nothing? The appeal is in the presentation. You get a piece of hardware that looks like a vintage Amiga and plugs into a TV a bit like a vintage Amiga (OK, so it uses HDMI instead of composite video or SCART). The overall experience is more like using a vintage Amiga, except you don't have to worry about changing floppy disks. That's not a bad thing.

I actually enjoyed the "Demos" as much as, if not more than the games. The Amiga had a vibrant demo scene. Different groups would release demo disks usually consisting of music, animation and scrolling messages showing off their programming skills, all for fun and free. There were hundreds if not thousands of demos - enough to keep you entertained for years. I'm still discovering some I haven't seen as well as revisiting old ones. One of the reasons I got the CD-ROM drive for my Amiga back in the 90s was the availability of compilation CD-ROMs containing huge amounts of demos and other public domain software including games and utilities. Back then it would have been prohibitively expensive to download them or buy them on floppy disk. Now everything's changed with unmetered broadband and USB mass storage. The A500mini has come along at the right time. It's interesting to see both Chris and his teenage son enjoying it. I had expected the A500mini to appeal only to older people seeking nostalgia. Perhaps this will lead to a revival, a bit like vinyl records making a comeback over the last few years.

 
Posted : 05/08/2022 5:03 pm