Amistrad

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goldman
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Amistrad

Postby goldman » Sun Feb 16, 2003 6:12 am

I keep hearing about this computer called the Amistrad or somthing like that. Anyone know about it and how good it is compared to the atari ST!

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Postby Ayreon » Sun Feb 16, 2003 9:56 am

I think you mean Amstrad. You got me doubting and i thought for a second that it might been an amstrad emulator for the Amiga or something. With a google search on amistrad i only find an emulator/rom site with many different URL's, but they actually don't mention anything about Amistrad at all. So i think it's a typo.
Anways here is a nice Amstrad site with the specs: http://www.sothius.com/hypertxt/welcome ... pc464.html
The only good thing is that it had a z80 running at 4 Mhz while other 8-bits where running around 1.78 Mhz (ATARI XL/CBM 64) It could do a whoopy great 17 colors out of a palete of 27 so yeah it beats the c64 with that. No match for the XL though ;) It had no hardware for sprites. They don't mention scrolling but i guess it hasn't got that either. It uses the AY-3-8912 running at 1 MHZ. So thats the only feature you can compare with the ST ;)
Apart from the CPU speed the Amstrad doesn't look much better than the older 8-bits by ATARI and Commodere.

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Any cool games?

Postby goldman » Sun Feb 16, 2003 7:36 pm

Does it sport any cool games?

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Postby Ayreon » Sun Feb 16, 2003 8:05 pm

As far as i know the amstrad was pretty popular in the UK together with the Spectrum and C64. The Amstrad games library shares a lot titles with the C64, ATARI ST/XL and Amiga. Have a look at http://tacgr.emuunlim.com/

The games don't look bad for an 8-bitter.

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8 bit?

Postby goldman » Sun Feb 16, 2003 9:22 pm

an 8 bitter? You mean like c64 and XL? 8O :?:

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Postby Ayreon » Sun Feb 16, 2003 10:36 pm

yep... the Zilog Z80 is an 8 bit CPU.. Basicly it's an Intel 8080 with some modifications. They say it's better than the 8080 wich i believe without a doubt :wink: Z80 was used in Sinclair, Amstrad and MSX computers. If i'm not mistaking the Neogeo and Sega's master system used it as well. In the NeoGeo it was used for controlling the soundsystem if i'm not mistaking. I don't know how the Z80 compares to our (ATARI 8 bits/ CBM 8-bits) trusty Rockwell 6502 though. I like to believe the 6502 kicks the Z80's butt :D
Later Amstrad computers used 386 variants. They were more pc like and somehow that wasn't a good marketing strategy. (Cpc was wiped out of the market by ms dos) They even made a pc with a built in sega megadrive. They were two separate systems so the pc couldn't use the megadrive hardware and visa versa. That machine was no succes either and they left the computer business.
*Thats how i think it went.. maybe the truth is a complete different story*

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Postby Gryzor » Tue Jun 03, 2003 2:36 pm

Just a quick note, because I just love Amstrad (my first computer was a CPC464): the 464 employed the Z80 alright, which was a direct competitor to the 6502. I think which one is better is a matter of much speculation, but IMHO the quality of a Z80/6502 machine mostly depended on the whole realisation, not the CPU itself only.
The 464 (64kb, used a built-in tape recorder) was a huge and instant success in some markets (UK, France, Greece, and Schneider made licensed machines in Germany), offering a complete and high-quality 8-bit machine with a (green or color) monitor at a very affordable price. It was followed by the short-lived CPC664 (64kb/3" disk drive) and the CPC 6128 (128kb/3" disk drive) bestseller.
The CPC series competed mainly with the c64 where they were a success, and IMO they were better for many things -my neighbour did his PhD on a 464 actually, let's see how you can do this on a c64 which lacks a 80-column mode, for instance. People in general say games were better on a Commodore but a while ago I played all the best c64 games and was not thrilled by their palette/gfx/sound as much as to say it can beat the Amstrad. Oh well...

Actually, Amstrad lost the home market when the 16bit machines came about. Amstrad, seeing it had to produce something new, actually gave us the 464+/6128+ machines which had some impressive capabilities (I believe the 6128+ was the best 8-bitter of all times): they could take cartridges as well as the original 3" disks (hence they were marketed as games machines), had a palette of 4096 (!!) colors, had hardware scrolling and amazing digital sound. However, they flopped since they could not really outlive the 16bit era...
Amstrad did make some highly successful PCs too (the 1512 and the 1640) before their 386 models, as well as the fantastic PCW (a word-processing dedicated machine).

Oh, and by the way, Alan Sugar (Amstrad's CEO; "AMSTRAD" stands for "Alan M. Sugar Trading") also bought our Sinclair, so the later Spectrum models are Amstrad machines. Amstrad also made a variety of hi-fi systems, VCRs, sat dishes etc, and its latest product is the Em@iler (I think), a super-phone with a mini-keyboard and a screen which allows you to send emails and even download and play ZX/Spectrum games on it!

Ahhh, those were the times...

Lol, funny one of my first posts on this forum should be one about Amstrad! :D Hope nobody is offended?
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Postby Trooper » Tue Jun 03, 2003 6:47 pm

Another really cool thing about Amstrad is that they have understood how things work and have realised that there's no money to be made on the Spectrum Roms and have released them free for anyone to use in an emulator or whatever you want. I just wish that there were more companys that would understand that there's no money to be made on old software for old hardware......if you see what I mean? :?

I never owned an Amstrad.......really wish I did, I still remember looking at the ads in the papers back in the day.....*sniff* :P

Cheers!!

/Troop

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Postby Gryzor » Wed Jun 04, 2003 7:07 am

Yes, you got a point there; and, actually, Amstrad has not only released the Spectrum ROMs, but also the Amstrad ones -they're freely distributed with every emulator.
Actually, the situation in general is not that bad: companies usually tolerate their ROMs to be distributed, don't they? (well, except for Amiga, probably -there was a time when finding Amiga ROMs was quite hard- since there are still commercial products like Cloanto's). Of course, IMHO, the wisest thing to do would be to state that ROMs can be distributed, at the same time keeping the copyrights for future ventures (since so many of them adopt the 'just-in-case' idea...).

As I said, I did own an Amstrad -actually, two (a 464 and later a 6128). Funny how it has a connection with Atari: a cousin of mine had a 2600 in the early eighties, and when I saw it I went crazy about it. Yet my parents did a wise thing and, instead of a games console they got me a computer -the 464! :wink:

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Postby manicx » Wed Jun 04, 2003 7:29 am

It's not a coincidence that I got a CPC464 and a CPC6128 as well. Pitty that I fave bith away though. I used to love the CPCs. Now all I kept is a ZX81 (!!!) a C64, my beloved 4MB STE, an AppleIIc and a couple of Amigas. As I said though, I miss the CPC...
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CPC 464

Postby MSueper » Sun Jul 06, 2003 2:02 pm

Hi,
probably everybody know, but if not: an emulator for cpc 464 computer can be found at
http://winape.emuunlim.com/

I have never seen this maschine in action before. Looks interesting.

Of course, it cannot be compared with the ST :D

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Postby Ragstaff » Mon Oct 20, 2003 1:33 pm

I have an Amstrad DD1640 (the PC), though I butchered it I'm afraid :-( I was only 16, I couldn't fix it, so I pulled as many useful components off the motherbaord as I could (used the 9pin connecters to make a null modem cable...)
These days I would have tried a bit harder to preserve it. It's still laying around somewhere...

I have a colour CPC monitor, which will work with an ST if you make up the correct cable (I had it set up with my cousins ST for a while). I also have a green-screen CPC monitor... still missing a CPC though :-) I have played with my friends one a bit, I don't mind them at all. The proprietry 3 inch disk drive is a pain though, with the disks being so rare.

I have an PCW2056 (or something like that?!), an all-in-one unit like a Mac Classic. It has a 3inch disk drive built in, and 256k of ram, and a Z80 chip. I don't have a keyboard for it though.

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Postby Gryzor » Mon Oct 20, 2003 2:29 pm

You're right, the 3" proprietary format is a pain in the @$$ -although the disks themselves are really nice- and retro-looking :D You can find lots of them and for real cheap if you go on the comp.sys.amstrad.8bit newsgroup and ask for some!

As far as the PC1512/1640 range is concerned, they were really great, apart for one thing (on the 1512 I think): lacking an internal fan/cooling system, whenever the thing got heated a lot it would shut down in order to prevent blowing up... heheh!

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Postby idrougge » Fri Mar 12, 2004 3:09 pm

Ayreon wrote:The only good thing is that it had a z80 running at 4 Mhz while other 8-bits where running around 1.78 Mhz (ATARI XL/CBM 64)

Apart from the CPU speed the Amstrad doesn't look much better than the older 8-bits by ATARI and Commodere.


You can't just compare clock speeds straight off between different processor architecture. The XL and C64 use the 6502, which packs a much bigger punch per MHz than the Z80, as anybody active in the day would tell you.

The CPC is basically a Spectrum done right. Too bad that all its games were shoddy Speccy ports.

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CPC to ST

Postby Mitsos » Mon Apr 26, 2004 11:21 am

Well here is what CPC-6128 was :

Z80 CPU/4MHz
128k RAM, 48k ROM, Optional + 252X16k EPROMS, + 512k RAM
OS: CP/M 2.2 / 3.1 and AMSDOS
3" internal drive 2x180k, Optional external 3"/3.5"/5.25" 180/360/720/800k
27 colours, 640x200x2, 320x200x4, 160x200x16
Formats Supported: Data, System, IBM, Vortex at any capacity
3 channels of sound

Connectors
Centronics Printer, 2nd FD, Stereo, Joystick, Mouse, Audio drive, Expansion Bus, CRT

Optional 20 MB Hard disk

Still got one similar to above, that still works fine!

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Postby Gryzor » Mon Apr 26, 2004 11:53 am

Hello Mitsos -hurray, another Greek in the forum... Why not add your pin to the map mate?

As for the 6128, why shouldn't it be working? They were really nicely built, and apart from the drive belt they have been proved immortal...

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