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intric8
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Is there any point in it? (Big box Amigas)

by intric8 Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:29 am

I have a stock 500 on 1.3.

I have a souped up 1200 (my daily driver) on 3.1, with more RAM than I need and 4 GB CF HDD. The machine is essentially new, too. (long story)

But, quite recently, I've been put in contact with a guy who has a 2000 that he wants to unload. I've always been a bit intrigued by the professional big box Amigas. They were really embraced by the video production crowd back in the day, especially souped up 2000s since they could easily fit toasters without any custom mods to the case. This one does not come with any toaster hardware or software, though (not that I'd want to use it). It's just the box and keyboard.

Naturally, it has tons of unused card slots.

Is there really any advantage to getting one of these old birds, besides the obvious hardware geekery? I'm leaning towards "No"... but it is neat. I suppose it could replace my 500, but then again - the cost doesn't seem to justify the payoff. Thoughts?
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Shot97
 
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Re: Is there any point in it? (Big box Amigas)

by Shot97 Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:35 pm

Well, that's all a complicated issue for me... An Amiga500 could of course be upgraded in many ways to become as powerful or more powerful than the stock Amiga's made later on. Out of the box the 2000 does not have much more to offer than a 500. Still, there's a part of me that would kill for a 1000 or 2000. I would want one of those before I'd want a 1200 or a 4000 which actually do offer things the 500 can not. There is something special about those two machines and I would never pass up a "cheap" opportunity to have one. In the end, that is what it's about though, the money. I'd love to have a 1000 or 2000 no matter what it came with but I'm well aware my 500 has most of what I want so I'm in no desperate need for something else. I also never want to have every corner of the house cluttered with all kinds of machines, there's a fine line between collecting and hoarding that I do not wish to cross. But if I could get one of those big box Amiga's cheaply I would take them over some systems I don't have at all or a system like a 1200 that offers different games.

Of course there are advantages to the bigger machines, but they'll require you fill some of those unused slots. It's easier and less ugly to connect a hard drive to a 2000, perhaps yours will even come with one. If I ever got a toaster the first thing I would do is recreate those MTV logos... Then make a YouTube channel intro with it... hahah. Neat and cool it is, but necessary it is not... But then again neither is a 500 or 1200 or anything necessary in reality... It's just something we like.

I always enjoy reading Amiga World articles about various expansions for the 2000, putting graphics cards in there that would give you millions of colors in 1988... It blows my mind...
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Re: Is there any point in it? (Big box Amigas)

by ptyerman Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:04 pm

It's all swings and roundabouts really. I have a A2000 but very rarely use it because of the extreme limitations of the ECS chipset, as such it's my A1200 that gets used frequently. Up until recently mine had a 68040 accelerator card in it which was fantastic but really crippled by the chipset and 1Mb Chip RAM limitation, as such I recently sold the accelerator card on Amibay and put the 2000 to one side. All it needed really was a RTG card and a Mega Chip expansion to have been a fantastic machine. Both of those cost a fortune though when they can even be found!
Just lately a couple of new RTG cards are being made though, one of which can be found here: http://mntshop.bigcartel.com/product/preorder-mnt-va2000-amiga-2000-3000-graphics-card-zorro-ii-iii and the other on the Kryoflux web site. The first is very reasonably priced compared to what original RTG cards are selling for, however that still leaves the Chip RAM limitation to contend with and those Mega Chip adaptors are both rare and very expensive to find. Some one really needs to start making these again.
There is light at the end of the tunnel though, the upcoming Vampire A500/A2000 accelerator will take care of most of the limitations, giving a faster than 060 CPU, built in RTG and HDMI output in one. It won't solve the Chip RAM problem but make it less of one because of offloading the graphics memory to the RTG part of the card.
I intend to get one for my A2000 and possibly for my A500+ too, I will also get one for my A1200 when they are released.
If you have the chance of a good deal on the A2000 I should get it and store it until the Vampire is available, the expandability is much more than the A500 and they are cracking machines.
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Re: Is there any point in it? (Big box Amigas)

by terriblefire Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:02 pm

I love my A4000 but it doesn't get much use anymore. The reason is it takes too much desk space.

One day i'll get a PCI bridgeboard for it.
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Re: Is there any point in it? (Big box Amigas)

by SnkBitten Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:29 pm

I've only owned big box Amiga's. A1000, A2000, A3000 and A4000D and A4000T. My favorite machine is the A4000T and it is big. My second favorite would be the A1000 as that started it all :)

I never cared for the A500/600/1200 systems, they reminded me of C64/C128 computers I had left behind.... and since the A1000 was the first Amiga I had, everything after had to be of that type....a computer "box" that you plugged in your keyboard/mouse.

The advantage they (big box) offer is the ability to easily add additional cards to the system. Toasters, TBC's, Video cards, Bridgeboards, Mac emulators, Network cards, SCSI controllers, Memory expansion, and accelerators. A lot has changed since then and you can bump up the A500/600/1200 easily enough these days. I however still have a fondness for the big box Amigas. Primarily my A4000T has the Toaster/Flyer combo and I'm dying to start playing more with it (need some drives for the Flyer card, planning on using SSD drives with ACards (I have the ACards, just need the SSD drives).
Amithlon, A4000D, A4000T
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intric8
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Re: Is there any point in it? (Big box Amigas)

by intric8 Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:08 pm

Ever since I got my 2000(s), I've pretty much stuck with it. Lately, because it's new and unknown territory, I've been having a ton of fun with my 1000. But for "normal" daily use I always stack my 2000 back in its rightful home. In many ways, to me, it's the 500 with the abilty to really tinker when I want to - and I do want to sometimes. I simply love OS 1.3, and 99.9% of the software I want to use these days was built for that. And, interestingly, some of the more modern hardware hacks (e.g. scsi2sd) I've been able to get working with 1.3 even though everyone always aims for 3.1 or above. 1.3 still works if you put in the effort, I've found.

I SO envy your memories and experience with the 3000 and 4000. I recognize that the 4000 is probably the best machine in terms of overall power for its time (not including the 1000, which rocked everyone's world). But damn - the 3000? When I look at that I see the same sleek sexiness that made the 1000 shine, too. And it's plenty powerful.

I don't have a history with those machines and I'm pretty maxed out hardware-wise. But I do sometimes hear that 3000 siren song.

I've been building a very strong relationship with the 2000 and 1000. I agree with you in terms of the big box stuff, but my C64 is right next door, too. I just love that machine and what it's capable of even today. Some of the new games I've played on it in the past 4 months are just fantastic. And hey - now that I officially have 46 year old eyes - I do find its 40 col screen easy to read. :)

Curious - did you ever do any video toaster work professionally, or all personal projects? Is any online that we could see?
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Re: Is there any point in it? (Big box Amigas)

by SnkBitten Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:56 pm

Nothing professionally though I did present it at an Amiga club in my area which had a lot of people there who worked in video. I was also offered a job at a small video studio but it would have required a move I wasn't ready to make. I worked with a local guy (bought the my original A4000 from him when he moved) where he modeled some stuff and I would setup scenes and render them out in lightwave to a single frame vcr. He used some his modeling work to get a job with a production company working with lightwave....which is when I got the A4000 from him.

During all this time a friend and I were running a bbs on his C64 with some of my 1541 drives.
Oh, I have an SX-64 still .. unfortunately it works for a few minutes then starts acting up. It's the only 64 item I kept all these years.
Amithlon, A4000D, A4000T
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Re: Is there any point in it? (Big box Amigas)

by LambdaCalculus Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:09 am

A friend of mine on Twitter is tempting me with an Amiga 4000 desktop with a 68040 CPU inside. The one issue the machine has, however, is that it shows a light green screen on powerup. I know on the 500, a light green screen means that the CIA chip is whacked, but I have no idea what it means on an AGA Amiga.

It's a tempting notion, but I'm also severely limited in terms of usable space currently, and until I ditch my desk and get something bigger, I haven't got much room to make for an A4000. He's going to hang onto it for the time until I either relent and ask for it, or he may just put it up on Amibay as a repair machine.
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Re: Is there any point in it? (Big box Amigas)

by AmigaFox Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:20 am

Big Box Amigas impress me. I'm especially tempted by the 2000, partly due to look and also because of you can expand it internally as opposed to adding sidecars like on the 500. If I was actually good at drawing I would love to make animations on the Amiga. The 3000 and 4000 look interesting too as does the 1000.
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Re: Is there any point in it? (Big box Amigas)

by LambdaCalculus Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:24 am

I've decided to bite the bullet: I'm getting my friend's Amiga 4000 and seeing if I can fix it up. If the CIA chip is what's gone bad, I need to source a new (well, a not busted one) chip for it.
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