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Archive 03/2022

Amiga Future (website)

Do it yourself: A500KB - a mechanical keyboard for the Amiga 500
Henryk Richter's project A500KB is a mechanical keyboard for the Amiga 500 which can be mounted with either the original keys of the Amiga 2000/3000/4000, the replicas or keys from Mitsumi, Cherry and KailH, respectively.

For Power, Drive and Caps-Lock LEDs he uses RGB LEDs, with their colour being configurable by an AmigaOS programm. (snx)

[News message: 31. Mar. 2022, 14:36] [Comments: 0]
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Amiga Future (website)

Do it yourself: MicroSD interface for the Parallel Port
Based on the design concept by Niklas EkstrŲm, 'RetroNynjah' has published his "Retroninja Amiga Parallel SD" project at the title link. It allows to use microSD cards via the Amiga's Parallel Port. Since the latter does not include a power source, this has to be supplied using a USB connector. (snx)

[News message: 31. Mar. 2022, 14:25] [Comments: 0]
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Amiga Future (website)

Emulator: vAmigaWeb 2.0 Beta 1 Update 3
The Amiga emulator vAmigaWeb is based on vAmiga for Mac OS and runs in the web-browser and as a Progressive Web App (PWA) on mobile devices, respectively ( reported).

Despite the rather small update suggested by its version number, its current release now also supports Amiga harddrive files (.hdf), which also works when they are compressed in a ZIP file. Besides this, bugs in ActionButtons have been fixed. (snx)

[News message: 31. Mar. 2022, 14:01] [Comments: 0]
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Chip-Ram expansion for Amiga 500, 2000, Commodore CDTV: RAMesses
Developer Andrew Hutchings reports on his website LinuxJedi about his latest development 'RAMesses': this board upgrades an Amiga 500, 2000 or the Commodore CDTV to 2MB chip RAM without soldering or cutting the motherboard. It is based on the board developed by Matt Harlum, which converts an 8375 Agnus to work in a normal Amiga 500, adding 2MB of chip RAM. However, this required craftsmanship and soldering experience.

So Hutchings decided to design a board that solved this problem. The RAMesses board uses a PLCC connector that plugs into the Amiga's Agnus socket, and an 8375 Agnus that plugs into the bottom of the board. Additionally, there is an adapter that fits under the Gary chip and provides some additional signals. The Gary chip overwrites all motherboard and expansion RAM, so it is easy to install regardless of the motherboard and configuration. This means that no modifications need to be made to the Amiga's motherboard.

Additionally, there is a jumper on the top of the RAMesses board. As the developer writes, some games state that they need 1 MB, but actually mean 512 KB chip and 512 KB Slow RAM. This jumper reconfigures the board to provide Slow RAM. From 2MB Chip RAM this will change to 1MB Chip and 512KB Slow RAM.

It should be noted that the board requires an 8375 2MB Agnus chip. In the first batches there was still the possibility to get the RAMesses together with an 8375, but this is now unlikely. Thus, the chip has to be purchased separately. Likewise, he recommends a PLCC extractor tool for removing the Amiga's Agnus before installing this board, specifically Piergiacomi's PLCC-84 extractor tool .

RAMesses is available in his new 'Retro Supplies' store for about 90 Euros. (dr)

[News message: 31. Mar. 2022, 06:44] [Comments: 0]
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Shoot'em up: Sixth demo version of Jackal
NeesoGames has released the sixth demo version (YouTube video) of its game Jackal, created with the Scorpion Engine. Changes:
  • Level 1 boss has an indicator to show where the tanks will spawn
  • New enemy in Level 2 (Jeep throwing 'nades)
  • Level 3 preview (fully navigable but no boss fight yet)
  • New explosion graphics
  • Animated exploded turrets
  • Fixed foreground issues with fort walls and pillars
  • Enemies have been rebalanced
  • Memory optimizations, bugfixes and more!
According to the developers, this version might be a bit unstable because of a lot of things have been refactored. A complete third level including the boss fight has been announced for the seventh update. (dr)

[News message: 31. Mar. 2022, 06:05] [Comments: 0]
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Arne Urbaniak (E-Mail)

Amiga disks on PC: Copy program G-Copy 0.1
After the release of A-Copy, a program similar to X-Copy for reading and writing ADF disk images under Windows using the ADF drive hardware, Arne Urbaniak has now written 'G-Copy', a corresponding application for the Greaseweazle.

This is currently available in version 0.1 and is intended for testing. Unlike A-Copy, which was written using Microsoft's free and open source software platform '.NET', G-Copy, as the author writes to us, was completely new and written in Python. Basically, the two applications are to be merged as time permits, though there would be many more Arduino-based controllers, all with their own configurations and command parameters. In addition, there would be many requests for implementation of other systems and formats (Atari, Apple, TI99).

Features of version 0.1:
  • Doscopy: ADF file -> disk and Disk -> ADF file
  • Nibblecopy: SCP file -> disk and disk -> SCP file (incl. copy protection)
  • DMS2Disk: HD-DMS file -> disk
  • DMS2ADF: HD-DMS file -> HD-ADF file
  • IPF2Disk: HD-IPF file -> disk
  • Delete, format, QFormat

Tasks still to be done:
  • Bamcopy
  • Copy start-end from the hard disk to the correct place of the file
  • Copying the correct part of the file to the floppy disk
  • Writing to several destinations
  • better troubleshooting

Download: (30 MB) (dr)

[News message: 31. Mar. 2022, 04:47] [Comments: 0]
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Connector board for FPGA Amiga clone: MiSTress ITX
Recently we reported about an expansion for mounting the FPGA Amiga clone MiSTer into an Amiga 1200 case, called MiSTress 1200. Now there is also a conversion kit, MiSTress ITX, for mounting the MiSTer FPGA into an ITX/Micro ITX PC case. The MiSTress ITX board offers all connectors that the official MiSTer Analog I/O 6.1 board has, plus an integrated USB hub with six available ports and a selectable I2S Audio DAC output.

The board implements also a dual function front button header to plug the front button of your case: short press access MiSTer OSD, long press calls USER button function (core dependant). Further information under the title link. (dr)

[News message: 30. Mar. 2022, 07:14] [Comments: 0]
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MorphOS: Screenbar plugin Uptime 1.5a
The #amigazeux team has updated the Screenbar plugin 'Uptime' for displaying uptime - the time the computer system is running and functional - for MorphOS to version 1.5. Changes:
  • Added a savety requester when trying to reset the uptime record.
  • Uptime records can be reported via MagicBeacon now with configurable frequency.
  • Now comes with a real Installer script courtesy of InstallerGen by Rob Cranley.
  • Text can now be rendered off-center by specifying a pixel offset.
  • It's now possible to have the gauge frame drawn around or over (default from previous versions) the gauge itself at the edges (see settings).
  • Cycle gadget for adjusting the frame type now shows a small preview image.

Update: (04.04.2022, 17:48, dr)

Thanks to a hint from Guido Mersmann a bug in the installer has been fixed with version 1.5a released yesterday, which now copies the MagicBeacon images correctly to SYS:Prefs/Applications/MagicBeacon instead of MOSSYS:Data/MagicBeacon. (dr)

[News message: 30. Mar. 2022, 06:40] [Comments: 1 - 04. Apr. 2022, 17:52]
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History: Commodore's 'ChessMate'
In its latest blog entry, the 'Commodore International Historical Society' has reported on the history of Commodore's 'ChessMate'. (dr)

[News message: 29. Mar. 2022, 07:21] [Comments: 0]
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Sound module: First batch of ZZ9000AX is delivered
The ZZ9000AX is the sound module for the multifunctional Amiga expansion card ZZ9000 ( reported). Yesterday it was announced that the first batch is shipping now, which was originally planned for January already. Interested users who order now will be part of the second batch, which is expected to be shipped in June 2022. (dr)

[News message: 29. Mar. 2022, 07:13] [Comments: 0]
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Robert Smith

Video: Introduction on Artificial Intelligence
In his latest video, Robert Smith shows the basics of artificial intelligence (AI) using neural networks. He elaborates on how to develop them using genetic algorithms and confronts them with various problems to see if they can solve them (see also MIT's introductory lecture on this topic). (dr)

[News message: 29. Mar. 2022, 06:50] [Comments: 0]
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Martina HřebcovŠ (Mail)

Analysis: PPC architecture evolution in Amiga world (Czech)
Martina HřebcovŠ is known for her detailed reviews and analyses of Amiga hardware, for example about the use of graphics cards under the Sam440ep-flex or the Pegasos I. Now she takes Amiga users on a discourse about the PPC architecture used in AmigaNG systems: Czech original text, machine translation. (dr)

[News message: 29. Mar. 2022, 05:57] [Comments: 0]
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