Amiga 1200.....why did I bother?!

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Amiga 1200.....why did I bother?!

Postby llamapants » Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:37 pm

Please don't reply with answers/suggestions to the problems I have had, as I am getting rid of it :D

Not starting a flame war, this is just my personal opinion as to what I think to the Amiga A1200 and how I got on with it (or not, as the case may be!)

Forgive me for 'swearing' but I bought an Amiga 1200 about 6 months ago, off fleabay. I have never known such a frustrating and messy OS to use.

I thought I would buy one to try and build up a bit of a retro collection and the miggy I purchased was a mint condition example with some decent hardware add ons & a hefty bundle of disks.

It has a 4gb CF card Hard Disk fitted, which was pre-loaded with the usual alternate desktop decor and WHDload + games. Most of the games I found didn't actually load correctly, if at all. I don't mind spending time on trouble shooting to get things working, but not when I have to spend a whole afternoon trying numerous different ways, just to get 1 game to load! I don't particularly wish to faff about too long with getting software to work, I like to put the disk in and go, so to speak.

A lot of the disks supplied were magazine cover disks which, of all the ones I tried, all loaded & ran okay. Although saying that, 99% of the disks were made for the A500, so they didn't actually make use of the 1200's improved graphics/display (and I don't like the A500 workbench appearance much)

It also came with a PCMCIA wireless adaptor and I did manage to get on line and send an email. Other than that, it was far to slow & clunky to browse the internet, although I wasn't surprised or disappointed by this.

My main frustration was in copying software over from PC to the miggy & then transferring to floppy. I downloaded quite a few .adf files copied them to a CF card. I then put the card into the miggy with the CF/PCMCIA adaptor and copied to the miggy's hard drive. All well and good so far, until you try to convert the .adf files to real floppies. And this was where the main headaches were caused. The few blank floppies supplied with the miggy formatted okay and they format on the ST alright as well. Yet when I tried to format any disks on the miggy that were previously used on an ST, it threw a wobbly and wouldn't format them, even though they will format okay on the ST & PC.

I found the workbench/desktop really messy in appearance and quite bizarre to use. The desktop icons didn't line up straight, unless you requested it and opened windows sometimes didn't show any files, again, until you requested to view all files. I was surprised at this, as I thought it would have had a more efficient front end than that. Some of the icons for various programs were totally over the top in size and would frequently push other, more important icons, such as disk drive icons down the display and out of sight.

So, overall I was disappointed with it and will be glad to sell it on. Maybe it's just me, but I find it far too fiddly to use. I'm not 'lazy' but I do prefer the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) way of getting things done on the ST.

It wasn't a difficult decision to make but I have decided to stick with just one particular computer for my retro collection........Atari ST.....YAAAYYYYYY!!! :cheers: and look forward to the 30th Anniversary that will be with us soon.
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Re: Amiga 1200.....why did I bother?!

Postby nativ » Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:55 pm

i'm still in two minds about getting one to go with the Blizzard I have.... this Amiga EmuTos might make the a600 I have useful...

I have tried to install skidmarks from 4 floppies onto the CF but I don't think it worked..
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Re: Amiga 1200.....why did I bother?!

Postby EvilFranky » Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:33 am

I might buy it from you :grin:

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Re: Amiga 1200.....why did I bother?!

Postby Shredder11 » Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:04 am

I came close to buying a 1200 a few times and also considered other models, but in the end I have no real interest or emotional bond with Amiga stuff so I will not bother. Even back in the 80s when Amiga were new, I still had no desire towards them despite knowing they were slightly superior to the ST in some ways. People often say that the ST lacks character or appeal, mainly due to how it was built and the choice of components; I disagree with this and feel the exact opposite and always have done.

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Amiga 1200.....why did I bother?!

Postby Mal7921 » Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:33 am

For patched games on an Amiga 1200, you really need a trapdoor memory expansion of some sort, which is also true for Internet or networking with any speed. As a machine they are pretty good but add a memory expansion and you soon see what the machine is capable of.

From the factory they are slower than an Atari falcon, but add fast ram and you see what the falcon should have been.

As to preferences, Amiga Os is superior in terms of features and compatibility with the older Os and multitasking was there from the start, but for usability and cleanliness of design, GEM is much better. Hardware wise the falcon really loses due to the internal busses effectively being the same as he ST 16 bit data 24 bit addressing), whereas the Amiga has the same addressing limitation but true 32 bit data access.

Horses for courses, from the factory the falcon was a great professional application system and the 1200 a great games platform.
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Re: Amiga 1200.....why did I bother?!

Postby Frank B » Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:38 am

Shredder11 wrote:I came close to buying a 1200 a few times and also considered other models, but in the end I have no real interest or emotional bond with Amiga stuff so I will not bother. Even back in the 80s when Amiga were new, I still had no desire towards them despite knowing they were slightly superior to the ST in some ways. People often say that the ST lacks character or appeal, mainly due to how it was built and the choice of components; I disagree with this and feel the exact opposite and always have done.


The Amiga, Archimedes and ST are not short in character. All superb machines from a bygone age.

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Re: Amiga 1200.....why did I bother?!

Postby EvilFranky » Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:39 am

Mal7921 wrote:Hardware wise the falcon really loses due to the internal busses effectively being the same as he ST 16 bit data 24 bit addressing), whereas the Amiga has the same addressing limitation but true 32 bit data access.


This old chestnut.

It's 32-bit yes, but clocked at less than half of the Falcons BUS meaning the Falcon has quicker RAM access.

The only advantage is the 32-bit expansion slot...remedied on a Falcon by adding an additional CPU as well as FAST-RAM to an accelerator card :wink:

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Re: Amiga 1200.....why did I bother?!

Postby Frank B » Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:41 am

EvilFranky wrote:
Mal7921 wrote:Hardware wise the falcon really loses due to the internal busses effectively being the same as he ST 16 bit data 24 bit addressing), whereas the Amiga has the same addressing limitation but true 32 bit data access.


This old chestnut.

It's 32-bit yes, but clocked at less than half of the Falcons BUS meaning the Falcon has quicker RAM access.

The only advantage is the 32-bit expansion slot...remedied on a Falcon by adding an additional CPU as well as FAST-RAM to an accelerator card :wink:


Yup. The speed is comparible. 7 mhz 32 bit bus at 3 cycles per access on the 1200 vs 4 cycles per access at 16 mhz on the Falcon.
For 16 bit access the Falcon is much much faster. 32 bit they're about the same due to the much higher clock speed on the Falcon.
Don't forget the Falcon also has a data cache. There's a reason the 030 wasn't put in the 1200. The 1200 can't reliably cache data acces in chip RAM because any application can make use of the blitter. The falcon clears the data cache when a blit concludes. There's one clearly defined interface to using the blitter on the ST. Incidentally the address bus on the ec020 is 24 bit too. You need an accelerator card to get more than 10 meg of RAM in a 1200. Falcon wins there by being able to add 14.x memory.
Both machines can have accelerators with RAM on board. The fastest one is on the Falcon however :)

I should add that a simple hardware mod on the Falcon increases the bus speed to 24 mhz speeding up the CPU, DSP and blitter.
The Amiga chipset is locked to 7 mhz and always will be. I notice the minimig has no such restriction :)
Last edited by Frank B on Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Amiga 1200.....why did I bother?!

Postby Mal7921 » Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:52 am

Yes but in practice both machines were crippled. As mentioned add fast ram and the 1200 becomes the machine it should have been, even without an accelerator.

Falcon has a speed advantage in many ways and a better Os design. As I said from the factory the falcon was the faster machine.

I have both, though the 1200 hard drive has since died. Still I can't complain as it cost me nothing.

One thing I have to say though, replace the stock 1200 supply with an a500 one as the shipped power supplies were underpowered pieces of crap
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Re: Amiga 1200.....why did I bother?!

Postby Frank B » Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:12 pm

Mal7921 wrote:Yes but in practice both machines were crippled. As mentioned add fast ram and the 1200 becomes the machine it should have been, even without an accelerator.

Falcon has a speed advantage in many ways and a better Os design. As I said from the factory the falcon was the faster machine.

I have both, though the 1200 hard drive has since died. Still I can't complain as it cost me nothing.

One thing I have to say though, replace the stock 1200 supply with an a500 one as the shipped power supplies were underpowered pieces of crap



Adding a cflash card to your 1200 should fix that :D I own both machines and I really like them but in some ways the 1200 isn't as good a machine as the 500. There are too many compromises in the name of compatibility which lack the elegance of the original chipset. AGA was a stop gap measure and it shows. Same blitter, copper, audio, alignment restrictions and bank switching palette registers to suit the copper. The 2 meg chip RAM limit was nuts too. I really wish AAA had made it out the door. In contrast everything in the Falcon was an improvement over the ST. Pity Atari couldn't have brought the Falcon to market at the time of the STE :(

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Re: Amiga 1200.....why did I bother?!

Postby llamapants » Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:00 pm

Shredder11 wrote:I came close to buying a 1200 a few times and also considered other models, but in the end I have no real interest or emotional bond with Amiga stuff so I will not bother. Even back in the 80s when Amiga were new, I still had no desire towards them despite knowing they were slightly superior to the ST in some ways. People often say that the ST lacks character or appeal, mainly due to how it was built and the choice of components; I disagree with this and feel the exact opposite and always have done.


You took the words right out of my mouth! My sentiments exactly. :)

I just thought I would have a dabble with the 'dark side' and found the Amiga quite unappealing to use and not got the urge to continue with it now, so it will end up back on ebay soon.

It does have an expansion card/accelerator fitted that has 8mb RAM fitted, so this did make it quite nippy to do things horribly :lol:

Mal7921 wrote:
As to preferences, Amiga Os is superior in terms of features and compatibility with the older Os and multitasking was there from the start, but for usability and cleanliness of design, GEM is much better .


Agree with you entirely on this. I've always found GEM more pleasing on the eye and a real pleasure to use
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Re: Amiga 1200.....why did I bother?!

Postby KLund1 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:29 am

Frank B wrote:
EvilFranky wrote:
Mal7921 wrote:
The only advantage is the 32-bit expansion slot...remedied on a Falcon by adding an additional CPU as well as FAST-RAM to an accelerator card :wink:


I should add that a simple hardware mod on the Falcon increases the bus speed to 24 mhz speeding up the CPU, DSP and blitter.


Perhaps a second thread:
adding a cpu to a falcon?
FAST-RAM?
Simple hardware mode to the bus for 24mhz?
I missed something about these somewhere, please explain? move to another thread?

About the A1200, weren't some the the original 800's guys involved with building it? If so, how could they mess it up a shown above? They did such a good job on the 400/800 imop.
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Re: Amiga 1200.....why did I bother?!

Postby Frank B » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:21 am

They didn't mess the machine up. They had insufficient resources in the chip division because Gould and Ali were busy running the company into the ground. There was supposed to be an AT&T DSP in the design but that idiot Mehdi Ali canned it. The emphasis on AGA was probably compatibility rather than performance.

The Falcon mod I'm referring to is the Nemesis or another bus speeder.

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Re: Amiga 1200.....why did I bother?!

Postby llamapants » Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:13 pm

EvilFranky wrote:I might buy it from you :grin:


It's here if you want it:- http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 0793138361 :wink:
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Re: Amiga 1200.....why did I bother?!

Postby nativ » Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:29 pm

I hope you find somewhere to sleep until it's sold! :lol:
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Re: Amiga 1200.....why did I bother?!

Postby Stefan jL » Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:28 pm

I bought an Amiga 1200 two years ago and was also dissapointed with the gui.. ok maybe it is advanced but not so userfriendly for beginners.

But what was more fun was the the Amiga had been used as an development system for Sega Megadrive games.. so it had some graphics for released (and unreleased) MD games.

Also it came with unreleased music by Uncle Tom (well.. it was from him i bought it) and lots of graphics by him... EAB thread here: http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=55288
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Re: Amiga 1200.....why did I bother?!

Postby llamapants » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:27 pm

nativ wrote:I hope you find somewhere to sleep until it's sold! :lol:


Yes.....in the bin liner that I'm going to chuck that steaming pile of sh**e on my bed into. (If it doesn't sell on ebay) :D just kidding
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Re: Amiga 1200.....why did I bother?!

Postby llamapants » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:22 pm

@ nativ

Hey....I've found a new bed.....a flatbed!! :lol:

SAM_026522.jpg


and it's HOOOOOOOOJJJJJ ........... that's a 22" LCD monitor behind it 8O
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Re: Amiga 1200.....why did I bother?!

Postby Jammer » Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:45 pm

Did same as you. Saw a nice 1200 on ebay, good nick, boxed etc. and bought it on a whim.
Got it and found most of the floppies useless, but whats new, so bought a 4Gb CF card and PCMCIA adapter full of games.
Eventually got it booting to the card, then found like you, most of the games wouldn't run.
This is down to not enough ram. Bought a 4Mb, I think, card that slots in underneath, now 99.9% run Ok.
So far all the games I've tried look indentical to the ST versions, maybe its my eyesight! The sounds/music are different, but is it better than the ST ?
For instance, I much prefer the ST intro to Elite over the Amiga version. The Amiga intro is perhaps more musical, but not good quality, whereas the ST intro sounds like fairground music, and too me sounds great. But, nearly 25 years on an ST to 1 on an Amiga may have biased my opinion :D
I agree with you on the Amiga OS, to me also its very messy, and not as intuative as the ST.
General build quality of the computer and psu isn't as good, and the floppy on the Amiga sounds really cheap and noisy compared to the ST.
If you want to upgarde a 1200 it looks like the skies the limit, if you've the cash, those boards don't come cheap.
In summary, buy a ram expansion and maybe you'll change your mind, maybe ......

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Re: Amiga 1200.....why did I bother?!

Postby Goddy » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:16 am

I got a nice clean A1200 a few years ago thinking it would be a great computer to own after having A500 i owned since 89 but I must admit I use my A500 more than the A1200.
I wasted a few hundred dollars on it getting the whdload games CF HD and the 4mb fast men just to play the games from a 1mb A500 lol I see the funny side now but yeah all I use it for now is a ADF to floopy system for me to play classic games on my A500 :D

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Re: Amiga 1200.....why did I bother?!

Postby FedePede04 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:23 am

Hi Goddy and Jammer are you by any chance twins.
you look the same :lol: :lol: (Avatar Picture)
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Re: Amiga 1200.....why did I bother?!

Postby Fenix » Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:51 pm

I wish the Falcon had a PCMCIA slot :)

A former friend had a A1200 and we did enjoy gaming on it, but I did prefer the more straight-forward TOS desktop on my Atari machines.
It's funny.. he was very adamant about how his 1200 was so superior etc etc and last time I asked him about the machine he said it got thrown in the trash some 10 years ago.

I still have a Falcon, though I sold my original one when I got hold of a nice C-Lab MkX.

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Re: Amiga 1200.....why did I bother?!

Postby wongck » Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:24 pm

I guess lots of people would view their machines as a toy, when upgraded it just got pushed off the table.
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Amiga 1200.....why did I bother?!

Postby tjlazer » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:15 am

I own both platforms and love them both but let's be honest here the Amiga OS is light years better than TOS. Sorry
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Re: Amiga 1200.....why did I bother?!

Postby Cyprian » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:44 am

tjlazer wrote:the Amiga OS is light years better than TOS. Sorry

its a bit unfair compare old TOS (which isn't developed since 1993) with still developed Amiga OS. Lets try up to date OS like MyAes/MiNT.
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