User avatar
Thebish17

Posted Thu May 21, 2020 1:24 pm

Hi all,

I’m Matt from Leicestershire in the U.K. and I have just signed up as a member.
Being a child of the 90’s I like most had an Amiga which I loved, and just recently in a cloud of nostalgia (and possibly a mid life crisis!) I have just purchased an Amiga 600 in attempts to relive my youth.

Historically I used the Amiga for gaming, and I have dug old some of my old classics from the loft such as Sensible Soccer, Pinball Fantasies, Cannon Fodder etc, however some of the older copied games I had unfortunately no longer work which I appreciate is the nature of the beast. I also forgot how tedious the constant changing of discs was!

Now I’m a little older and have invested in this Amiga I feel like I should get a little more out of the machine so I have a number of questions which not being computer whizz may seem basic and mundane to some of you, but I could use all the help I can get!

Firstly, in regards to games - I have looked on a number of forums and it appears that most people recommend the use of a Gotek ADF floppy drive emulator rather than the conventional disc drive. This seems like a fairly cheap and easy way to keep all games on a USB and avoid the use of the temperamental discs. Would you agree with this? Also I am reading conflicting comments in regards to whether or not you can save games using the emulator. A definite answer would be appreciated.

In regards to getting more out of the computer, I have read a lot about upgrading the machine with various different pieces of kit. As I said earlier am I far from a computer whizz so do you have any upgrades which you would say are essential, easy to install and will be of benefit to me and the computer moving forward?

Apologies for the basic nature of my questions, I’m sure to some this is laughable.

Many thanks in advance.

Matt.

User avatar
obitus1990
New Orleans, LA, USA

Posted Thu May 21, 2020 3:32 pm

Welcome!

Yes, get a Gotek drive flashed with FlashFloppy firmware, as well as some kind of flash media (SSD, CF-->IDE, SD-->IDE) to use as a hard disk, and install WHDLoad software. You then can install every game you desire directly to the HDD and never have to deal with floppies other than for transfers. Also, add the trap door RAM to get 2MB of CHIP RAM, and, there is also an 8mb RAM expansion that clips directly onto the CPU on the motherboard via a PLCC socket. All of this together makes for a more or less perfect game system. You'll need a way to connect it to a modern monitor if you don't have a CRT that handles 15kHz signals, so something like an Indivision OCS scan doubler would be in order.

User avatar
intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Thu May 21, 2020 4:16 pm

Welcome, Matt!

Everything Obitus outlined is indeed true for many Amigans. If cracking open your A600 makes you a bit nervous, being a non computer whiz, I do believe you can also use a GoTek as an external drive option. That would allow you to keep your original floppy drive to use with your old childhood disks that still work, and provide a thumb drive to use with tons more by merely plugging the GoTek into a serial port. I have no affiliation with this shop, but after a quick Google search this is what I mean. It would also allow you to avoid trying to get a GoTek to perfectly fit inside the machine (some folks resort to Dremels, which can be a bit brutal). Depends on what you're comfortable doing.

I don't personally own a GoTek but I have heard learning how to operate them can take a little getting used to. A friend showed me in-person how he installed one in one of his A500's, and it was pretty cool. I'm sure there are plenty of YouTube videos that could walk you through how to use one and make you comfortable with it in no time.

As Obitus also mentioned, getting an internal HDD solution of some sort is key to having the optimum Amiga experience. Installing games to HDD will make you say "buh-bye" to all that disk swapping, and a ton of games even from back in the day fully supported this.

As for WHDLoad, again - it can take a bit of an education to get set up the first time from what I've been told, especially if you aren't inclined to hacking on computers. But what is certain is you need a certain amount of fast RAM to even run it smoothly - hence the recommendation for 8MB. A GoTek, HDD and 8MB Fast (plus 2MB chip) would really have that machine humming along.

I'd recommend doing whichever upgrade you deem easiest first, and get a solid win behind you. See how that upgrade makes the overall experience feel. Good enough? You can quit right there. Want more? Well.. pull that thread on the sweater. It can be pulled as long as you want. =)

User avatar
McTrinsic

Posted Fri May 22, 2020 2:01 am

The Amiga 600 is indeed a wonderful machine.
The great thing about having a small foottprint can be a major issue when expanding, though.

There are some ideas I would have for the Amiga 600 which are fully personal.
They may or may not be the right or you.

With simple tools like from iFixit, you can easily open the case and expand the machine a little bit.
WHDLoad on an unexpanded machine seems a certain challenge to me as you are missing out too much of comfort to be honest.

ChipMEM
I always think that having the maximum of 2MB ChipMEM will help and just can't hurt.
Here are two examples:
- the original and
- the clone

FlickerFixer/Scandoubler, USB
These are recommended because they allow further expansions whoich I also highly recommend:
- a flickerfixer to connect LCDs modern TVs via VGA and
- USB Hostadapter for memory sticks and the like. And if you want also a wireles USB keyboard or network (though no WiFi)...

The USB adapter is the reason why for the Chipmem adapter I would recommend the original.
Its simply faster :) .

None of these make sense without a reasonable accelerator.

Accelerator
One thing to note: Amiga 600 accelerators are a bit tricky. Reason is, you can not just unplug the CPU like in A1000, A2000 and A500. So you have to clip any accelerator on the existing CPU. While electronically this works, this clip-on method is mechanically unstable at times and can create issues.

- Vampire accelerator: If you want to go completely overboard and get a Ferrari motor in your old Amiga 600 beetle, here you go... Unfortunately, the v2 of the Vampire 600 is not yet available and the v1 not anymore. You may have to look for the v1 on ebay or amibay.

- Furia
A nice boost for any Amiga 600. In my opinion the sweeet spot for some more functionality, running OS 3.1.4 and use WHDLoad with the comfort of a graphical OS while maintaining most compatibility.
it is available here: Furia and a slightly boosted Furia revised version.
May need special attention to good power supply.

- ACA 630/620
Really nice accelerators similar to the Furias. Seem to be a bit more tolerant with weaker PSUs.
only available through platforms for used products like eBay and AmiBay, unfortunately.

Mass Storage
Get an Amsider with SD-adapter and you're set.
You could get an SD to µSD adapter and then use an µSD extension cable to access the Sd card through e.g. the PCMCIA slot.

Other:
Highly recommended: A 3.1.4 Kickrom to solve any issues with large SD cards >4GB. Can be used with 3.1 as well, but 3.1.4 offers support out of the box.

Floppy replacement:
I'd keep the original inside and use this one for convenience as an external drive:
HxC Floppy replacement..
You can put that one in any used case of an external drive.
I am not a fan of the Goteks, I must admit ;) .

Have fun,
McT

User avatar
Zippy Zapp
CA, USA

Posted Fri May 22, 2020 10:52 am

The Gotek is a decent enough solution. Personally I still use disks but I have a ton of them. Using ADFs is pretty easy too.

If you want to go on the cheap, as Intric8 said a Gotek connected externally is a good solution. You can also get a cheap PCMCIA to CF adapter and Amigakit sells a kit with an ADF transfer disk and optionally a CF card. They also sell all kinds of Amiga stuff like CF and SD adapters, Gotek drives, etx. Then it is easy enough to transfer downloaded ADFs to real floppy disks.

Also the CF to IDE or SD to IDE adapters all work well inside the A600/A1200 from what I can tell. This makes it cheap to add a HDD, which will make things a much better experience. That is unless you are really looking for that old school floppy swapping experience. Personally back then when I had an A500 I had 2 drives and tried to avoid floppy swapping as much as I could. I eventually upgraded that A500 with a Supra Drive and really didn't miss the floppy swapping. Of course some games that I played at the time necessitated the need to boot from floppy but for BBSs and all the other stuff I did it was great.

User avatar
Thebish17

Posted Fri May 22, 2020 3:42 pm

Wow, thank you all for the swift responses and great advice!

Lots for me to take in and research but you’ve given me some great pointers.

Unfortunately a lot of this is new language to me so I will no doubt come back with further questions.

Thanks for the support, and I’ll keep you informed on how I get on!





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