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  1. #1
    Mostly Harmless Aughie's Avatar
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    My dream for Amiga to conquer the world!

    At the time all the hype surrounding the demise of the Windows XP OS was at its height & was pushing people to upgrade I decided that I would try to extend the life of my XP computer by trying out Linux. All the Linux mags kept plugging the great alternative it was to XP. So after I had read up about it and how light it was on rescources etc I bought a spare HD from CEX and put that in my trusty XP machine then installed Ubuntu Linux 15.04.

    It was not a great experience. My once responsive pentium 4 machine developed what I came to term "Kick the Table" graphics. The windows jerked open and closed like as if I had kicked the table it was on and caused the effect. I thought I had not installed somthing properly but it was not until I bought a Windows 7 desktop I really understood what was happening. I tried the same distro of Linux on that and it suddenly all worked smoothly no jerking to be seen. It only then dawned on me why my older machine was behaving the way it did and that was because Linux far from being light on rescources was straining it to the limits of what it was capable of. Say what you like about windows XP it clearly did not do that.

    This roundaboutly leads me to the point of what I have been thinking about for a while. After seeing the Gotek floppy emulator which can be hacked to run Amiga floppies I thought how hard would it be to upgrade the Amiga ROMs to run natively on say a four core Arm processor. Each core could then each do the tasks in a similar way to the current custom chips on an Amiga leaving one main core to do the rest. Im no expert on this but the above idea is just idle speculation on my part and no doubt there will be someone out there who actually knows and understands about these things will say that cant be done because ........!

    The reason for mentioning Linux was because browsing the magazine racks I see loads about the Rasberry Pi which runs Linux and I read somewhere somebody was using it to emulate an Amiga. If my experience with Linux just running itself is anthing to go by then I dont think emulation is a great alternative to my suggestion above. If only it was being run with the Amiga ROM and no emulators involved. It would I imagine be a blindingly fast machine with incredible potential plus cheap as well.

    Well thats my plan for Amiga to conquer the world- Meanwhile back in the real world!!

  2. #2
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    Burger Time Champion, Sonic Champion Harrison's Avatar
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    I can confirm that your Pentium 4 based machine should have been fairly fast and responsive to use Linux on, and from your description it wasn't Linux/Ubuntu that was the issue, but instead down to graphics card drivers. Linux can still have some issues with GPU drivers, but it is much better than it used to be. A technique I used to have to use for an old Athlon XP PC was to load the Windows GPU drivers into Linux using this utility. That worked really well.

    Don't blame an OS on a single experience, using a single computer setup. There are so many factors which can provide either a good or bad experience with anything. Badly setup PCs these days can still be unstable and horrible to use, just as a well setup will be really nice to use.

    I have to ask. If XP ran really well on the P4 PC why not just keep using it? It wasn't like the OS would suddenly stop working just because the OS went out of mainstream support.

    Regarding your idea of utilising a multicore CPU to emulate the Amiga custom chips each, it's a nice thought but wouldn't work because of the way Amiga architecture works. The custom chips are all tied into a central timing on the motherboard and all run at a fixed rate. Change this timing and you break the OS and most of the Amiga software. The only way to make an Amiga faster is a faster CPU, fast ram on the Z3 bus, and a dedicated GPU.

    For the fastest Amiga emulating one is actually the way to go these days. An emulated Amiga can be much faster than a real one.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  3. #3
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    I wouldn't recommend Ubuntu for an older system as it is quite resource hungry. If you are going to use Ubuntu, I'd suggest using a version with a lightweight desktop environment, such as LXDE.

    There is still the issue of graphics drivers though. It can be quite bad until you get that set up right.

    There shouldn't be any issue running emulators on Windows XP. Even my old Pentium III system with Windows 2000 can emulate an Amiga quite well, provided I use an older version of WinUAE (it isn't very good with newer versions).

  4. #4
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    Burger Time Champion, Sonic Champion Harrison's Avatar
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    Ubuntu do also have a lighter version for older systems which does work well. That even ran on a very old AMD K3 450MHz laptop with 128MB ram!

    There are so many different version of Linux distributed that Steve is right. Lots for older hardware and lesser specs required.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  5. #5
    Deadly Kin Hell's Avatar
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    SUSe Linux FTW!!
    Getting 0ld0r is mandatory - Growing up is just an option.

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