The Amiga 500 Lives again!!!

by Michael D. Barclay
from the AmiTech Gazette, December 2013

Welcome to the Amiga ramblings of the Veep.

Let's start out with the news for AmigaOS, MorphOS, AROS and the EMU communities.

Well sort of... This would seem to work for Chrome.

Google developer Christian Stefansen, has brought out a web app that emulates the A500 in Chrome. I haven't actually tried it since I don't have Chrome. You would seem to need a working kickstart ROM as well. There was a comment that it supposedly runs on OWB with Chrome extensions... although I wasn't sure if that was a joke since it said OWB 3.26 and the latest is only 1.21. One user reported both Lemmings and Dark Castle run smoothly on it. It sounds like mostly gamers are interested in this so far.

This leads us to the next bit of news. OWB 1.21 was just released for MorphOS. OWB has been updated to WebKit r155188 which was released October this year. Life has been sort of nailing me right and left still and while I have downloaded this I have not installed it just yet. This one touches on many sections of the Browser. The Core, GUI, Media player, Networking, Spellchecker and Scripts have all seen changes. This of course means lots of fixes and new features as well as some new and possibly old bugs. With luck this will be ported to both Amiga and AROS soon. I'll have more on this when I get a chance to work with it. Also for MorphOS PowerSDL was updated to version 16.0b just a few days ago. This would seem to be a small but important update. The smpeg.library use to trash OpenGL context used in the main powersdl.library. This is now fixed.

Elbox Computer has announced some new hardware which will be out in February of 2014. The "TurboFlyer 530" is a 030, 40Mhz internal expansion that plugs into the 68000 processor socket of the A500/500+ and A2000. This seems to come with mixed feeling for many. Elbox has a bad reputation for handling with both Consumers and Developers rather poorly as well as code that would intentionally trash RDB's. The other thing is price. The suggested price is 240.00 EUR (excluding VAT). That's about 330.00 USD plus shipping. While I sound rather negative on this I'm not really sure how I feel on it. I do have an A2000 that could use this. It has many nice features, including 16MB 32-bit dram on-board (1 MB going to Chip I think), an integrated FastATA CF/SATA controller and support for drives over 127GB. Nothing to sneeze at but still not something I will rush out for either.

For you emulation fans out there, WinUAE 2.7 was released the 5th of this month. Many new features and bug fixes including "SCSI tape drive emulation" so you can back up everything with software that supported it. That seems to be more for the folks across the pond that loved tape drives I guess.

Now then for those that hadn't heard My A1200 has joined me in falling down and going boom. For the A 1200 it's just the old 20G Maxtor drive that has quit. I had gotten a 160G IDE for not too much and I have established that it's OK. However the A 1200 refuses to boot from it if I have better than 2, 500M partitions. It goes into a rolling reboot. After a bit of looking I saw that the Amiga's file-systems had problems over 127G. Trying again I found a nice 80G again for not too much and tried again. Again the drive seems fine. However I also get the same results. The system tries to boot, the monitor shows a signal is sent, and then it reboots only to do so again and again. I can't even seem to boot with a 500MB and a 3.5G. I haven't given up just yet here. She will live again! Why? Because I did still use her. If any of you have an idea of what I've forgotten here please let me know.