View Full Version : What are YOUR reasons for emulation?

8th December 2008, 09:20
OK just wondering. I remember when UAE first hit the scene, it was pretty terrible, I remember also thinking WOW emulation sucks, no wonder, how can a crappy PC EVER emulate the superior AMIGA and it's custom chipset. Back then I had an AMIGA A1200 with 030 CPU @ 50mhz (if I recall correctly) and thought emulation was useless.

Well over the years of course we all know what happened............
As for me due to bad times etc I no longer have ANY original Amiga hardware save an CD32. A few years ago I revisted the Amiga emulation scene and was pretty damned impressed how far it had progressed, hell last year I even bought the latest version of AMIGA FOREVER package and don't regret it. So for me it is simple, lack of real hardware and the prices I cannot afford for real hardware these days, at the very least I can return to the Amiga OS, run some great games etc.

Anyway those are my reasons for emulating Amiga, I was wondering why others might be doing it? Just for games or are there serious uses for an emulated Amiga? Anyone using emulation as a substitute for the real thing? Anyone doing anything serious like art/animation video work? Can these things even BE done with an emulated Amiga? I would really like to know! THANKS!

8th December 2008, 09:31
TBH I only ever got into miggy emulation because of this site. I wanted to add some screenshots to the main site and it's completely impractical on a normal miggy so I used WinUAE to get the screenshots. Since then I've also found out that there are some games that no matter what your setup they'll always be slow.

Demon Cleaner
8th December 2008, 09:46
I began emulating the Amiga with Fellow 0.32, which is already a long time ago, but it worked like a charm. But I discovered emulation due to MAME, I think it was version 0.28, still commandline based. Then I began emulating my favorite systems, which of course are C64 and Amiga.

8th December 2008, 10:04
I originally started using DOS UAE yonks ago, then like Demon Cleaner 'upgraded' to DOS Fellow.
Back in them days, I was emulating the Amiga on a Intel Pentium 133 with approx. 64MB RAM which wasn't brilliant. The main reason for emulating at that time was that I only had an A500+ and didn't have an A1200 or A4000 so couldn't play AGA games, which is something DOS UAE and DOS Fellow didn't do anyway, but I did experience Kickstart 3.x (as I'd only got 2.04 in my A500+)

Now that I have lots of different Amigas, my reasons differ. Mostly, though, I use WinUAE to have a workbench environment which I can use to master Amiga CDs together and burn them on my PC.
Basically, I use WinUAE for development stuff, although I rarely finish anything.
On top of that, if I download a game (especially a WHDLoad slave), I can try it out before I waste time transferring it to the Amiga.

Stephen Coates
8th December 2008, 13:30
I originally used WinFellow, which I have not used for a long time.

I only used emulation because I used to keep my Amiga in the loft most of the time and we could only be bothered to get it out every now and then, so as I had a PC, emulation was quite handy.

I don't really use emulation much now as i use real amigas more but I still use emulation in locations where an amiga is not avaliable or if a programme I want to run would run better in emulation than it would on a real system.

8th December 2008, 17:18
Nice story.

As mentioned above, I too first used Fellow on a Pentium 75Mhz I think. Just about managed A500 emulation.

Had to wait to use WinUAE, until I had a Pentium II or it would run in slow motion.

Emulation today just makes sense. It's easy, takes up next to no extra room and will be around forever whilst the original hardware dies out.

I love emulating. In fact I have a SFF PC with two pads and arcade sticks built just for this purpose:

8th December 2008, 18:30

I like that little retro cube ..... that's nice!

8th December 2008, 23:55
Nice story.

As mentioned above, I too first used Fellow on a Pentium 75Mhz I think. Just about managed A500 emulation.

Had to wait to use WinUAE, until I had a Pentium II or it would run in slow motion.

Emulation today just makes sense. It's easy, takes up next to no extra room and will be around forever whilst the original hardware dies out.

I love emulating. In fact I have a SFF PC with two pads and arcade sticks built just for this purpose:

I found it interesting and have thought myself to use a small form factor or laptop JUST for emulation. With the power of todays systems even the cheapest lappy should be easily converted to an impressive AMIGA through emulation.............

May I ask, what are the specs of your little emulation box there??

9th December 2008, 00:23
I first emulated the Amiga on a PC in DOS sometime in the 90's and have continued to emulate the Amiga ever since, along with most other systems.

I remember being impressed by seeing even just the kickstart screen because at the time no one believed the Amiga would be possible to emulate for years due to its custom chipset and complexity. I don't think I managed to get any games to run with the first versions, but that soon changed, and with WinUAE I was hooked on using the emulator to emulate the Amiga.

These days I do tend to use WinUAE more than real systems, even though I still own many real Amigas. Amiga emulation is a lot easier than using the real systems. Downloading files and quickly being able to fire up one of many Amiga configuration and run the files is great. Makes life much simplier. I tend to use the real Amigas mainly for demo production viewing and gaming, and emulation for the same plus more. I also use WInUAE to setup real Amiga HDs before then putting them into the real systems. Its much easier doing it that way, having easy access to files on the PC side of the emulation to add and change anything on the HD setups.

I also use emulation for screenshots for classicamiga, plus to quickly run software, games, demos etc to get info from them, or to see what they are like for the first time. It is so much quicker doing this with emulation than it is with a real Amiga.

And with emulation in general, I've been fascinated with it since it first became realistically possible. In the late 80's and early 90's I tried out the Spectrum, C64, BBC Micro, PC-XT and any other emulators I could get hold of on the Amiga, obtaining emulators from PD libraries by mail order, and then from 1996 at university I utilised the internet and tried every emulator I could find on PCs and Macs.

Being able to run software and games on systems I hadn't owned in the previous generations was brilliant. Allowing me to explore software catalogues far bigger than I could ever afforded to actually buy the software originally. I remember finding a CPC rom site at university in 1996/7 and it contained hundreds of CPC games. I remember this felt amazing, suddenly having access to all the CPC games I never got to play on the real system due to not being able to afford to buy them all.

For other systems it was more a case of missing the systems all together at their time of popularity, and with emulation and rom collections suddenly having access to a system's complete back catalogue to browse though and try any game available for the system easily. This is an amazing thing.

I emulate anything and everything I can find an emulator for, and collect rom collections for as many of them as possible. And for me these two go hand in hand. Ever since before the internet I was already collecting rom collections from PD libraries. I got hold of C64, CPC and BBC B file and rom collections quite early on but had trouble getting most to run using emulators on the Amiga for those systems.

I've been hooked on emulation the most since 1999. That was the year that emulation really took off and became great. MAME had started to mature and could suddenly run a lot of original arcade machines which was, and still is, amazing to be able to do. And the release of the original N64 emulator UltraHLE was an amazing event. I remember downloading the emulator, along with loads of N64 roms that had suddenly popped up all over the internet thanks to that emulator. And I was in the great position to own a Glide 2 compatible Voodoo 2 graphics card, which UltraHLE was coded directly for, so it ran perfectly on my PC. Seeing Mario 64 running at a resolution far higher and smoother than a real N64 in 1999 with textures that were clear and crisp rather than very blured as they looked on the real N64 was quite something at the time and was quite a shock to my N64 owning friend at the time. ;)

I've also got a dedicated retro/emulation system. Mine was in the form of a full MAME cabinet, but I dismantled it because it was using a 21" CRT that was huge and taking up too much space in the room. I've been planning to rebuild it using an LCD but not get around to beginning the project yet. I do however still have all the parts and continue to use it.

The only limitation I now have with emulation is that I keep running out of storage space to download and use all the rom sets and emulators.

9th December 2008, 06:55
You sound just like me.
Although I like to use the real systems, I've got a really extensive colletion of emulators and 'ROMs' - problem is, I've nearly filled a 1TB hard driver :o

Demon Cleaner
9th December 2008, 08:48
I also use a barebone system (Shuttle XPC) for emulation, just like Bloodwych, and it doesn't serve any other purpose. The specs of my barebone PC are 1GB of DDR2 RAM, 2.8MHz P4, NVidia GForce 7300GT and 2x500GB HDDs.


Here's an older picture of the barebone desktop for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.


9th December 2008, 12:12
My current emulation system is an Athlon XP 3200+, ATI 9800 Pro, 1GB 3200 ram, plus a load of older HDDs I had spare totalling about 740GB (300GB + 120GB + 120GB + 200GB), plus a 60GB system drive I have the actual emulators and OS installed on. This is all just in a generic PC case that was my main PC a few years ago as it was hidden in my MAME cabinet originally.

However I currently have two other PCs not really being used. One of them is inside a Thermaltake Sonata case, so I'm thinking of building a new emulation system around that, using existing parts I have from the spare PCs to make a better one.

9th December 2008, 14:37
You seem to be assuming that Amiga emulation is only emulation of the Amiga on a (spit!) PC. I use my (real) Amiga 1200 to emulate the good old Spectrum 48k as so many of the games produced for that platform have no equivalents on the Amiga (or PC), such as Firelord, Splat!, Fairlight, Starquake & Down to Earth.

9th December 2008, 14:52
I mentioned above that I started out emulating other systems on Amigas in the 90's. BBC Micro, C64, Spectrum, PC-XT etc, and even an Atari ST emulator that would load the GEM desktop and some software, but not any games.

But the truth is, that since around 1998 the PC has been and still is the best platform for emulation. Emulators for most systems are in their most advanced form on the PC. Look at WinUAE compared to the Linux and Mac versions of UAE for example, although those can both work well. The PC also has a huge range and variety of emulators compared to any other platform.

The second platform I use emulation on the most is the PSP, which is great for portable emulation. I also use emulators on a Dreamcast, Xbox, PS2 and Linux.

9th December 2008, 16:05
Wow, nice read Harrision.

May I ask, what are the specs of your little emulation box there??


Unlocked Athlon XP Barton Mobile 2.2Ghz 512k cache
512MB DDR (easily enough for emulation)
Creative Radeon 9600 with passive heatsink (silent)
Sony black DVDROM
160GB main hard drive, 40GB second hard drive.

Not the specs of Demon Cleaners machine, but I built it years ago and it was state of the art back then. To tell you the truth, it's easily powerful enough to run all the emulators and 2D remakes and is whisper quiet due to the cool running mobile Barton and passive graphics card. Plus it's very small - amongst the smallest SFF's I've seen.

Talking about Demon Cleaners setup - love your Retro wallpaper at the bottom! That's a lot of emulation links you've got there! I have a retro wallpaper too that I made myself. I'll post it if I remember when I get home. Has lots of game characters and logos!

Although there is nothing that beats the real thing in terms of the complete experience, emulation is still an incredible tool regardless of the format it's running on. PC's may have been enemy number one back in the day, but they're cheap and fantastically versatile today.

Demon Cleaner
9th December 2008, 16:32
Just imagine owning all the machines for real that you emulate :o I already have a lot of stuff, but one would need a huge garage to set it all up, which of course would be nice.

9th December 2008, 16:42
One of those New York style lofts would be brilliant for such a setup. Just imagine it. :)

I'm thinking of building a new emulation system around the new Atom based Mini-ITX motherboards. You can get a dual core atom now that would provide a lot of processing power for emulation and you can get some great really small cases for them too. Would be a very nice setup to tuck away under a large TV. Also very quiet.

10th December 2008, 00:34
I think I would like to eventually put together a good SFF emulation PC and maybe decorate it with logos/badges from Amiga/Atari/Mame etc....:hmmm:.....

10th December 2008, 01:59
What would be perfect would be for that PC making company that use the Commodore name to sell just the cases rather than the full overpriced complete systems. Then I would buy on of the cases with the cool C= logo on the side and build an emulation system using that.

Stephen Coates
10th December 2008, 17:00
In terms of emulation on the Amiga, I have a BBC Emulator which I have briefly run on my A500+. Not sure what it is called. It came with my Microtext teletext adaptor so you can download the BBC's telesoftware and run it on your Amiga.

I have also ran ShapeShfiter on my A1200 but due to my lack of Double Density Mac boot disks, I didn't get beyond the flashing question mark.