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jvdbossc
11th November 2009, 20:27
Hello,

I am not much of a forum guy, but noticed some good advice and some deep knowledge of Amiga products, that I decided to register.

I have a complete "cheap" amiga line collection, well A500,A600,A1200, and also an A2000.

One day ago I bought locally an amiga 4000d (68030).

Before spending to much money on it I wanted some advice what is possible and what not.

My internal house rule is that every machine should have some function.

I am using Debian only at home (and some xp emulation for some programs ) and a C64 is on my desk. All my desktop pc's are very power hungry

Would like to use the A4000 just for fun, and it would be nice to use it as a mail archiving tool. (so every mail from different accounts is stored on a compact flash) So I can check them once and a while and know that the information is on disk at home.

Found already all the right material to handle the flash etc..

But: No network, found X-Surf at vesalia, did not by, because I remembered that the default resolutions are low on amiga.

Whas wondering if the mediator pci bus together with a pci vga card and network card would work fluently??? What happens with the memory on the pci vga card?

Is there any way to upper the 68030?

kind regards,

keropi
11th November 2009, 20:38
Welcome aboard!!!
Straight to the "juice" the A4000 is IMHO the best expandable amiga (though you need to pay the price)

First of all there are plenty of accelerators for the A4000D , see a full list in http://amiga.resource.cx (it seems down ATM , but will be OK soon) , those range from the trusty 030 you have now to cards that have dual cpu's , a 060 and a 604e ppc ...

As for the networking option , IMHO you should invest on a DENEB card (both vesalia and amigakit.com have it). The Deneb will give USB2 functionality to your A4000 , and you will be able to use a cheap 1-2eur usb->lan adaptor with it (not to mention keyboards, mice, usb thumbsticks and hard-disks)

A mediator is a nice solution too (though I don't really like it) but it will give you the option to use a pci vga and a lancard with it. The VGA's ram is used to display workbench in pc-style resolutions/depth and it's unused vram is used by the mediator as a DMA buffer for the PCI bus.

A better and more amiga-ish solution would be to get a DENEB , and a good rtg zorro video card (like the picassoIV, picccoloSD64 or the Cybervision64) that also have the abillity to auto-switch between aga and rtg. Again , amiga.resource.cx has a listing of the zorro rtg cards...

Ask away my friend! (but remember - higher-end amiga hardware is pricey)

Zetr0
11th November 2009, 21:52
In the long run, a PCI solution is cheaper.

It gives otherwise obsolete PC PCI cards a new lease of life in your miggy.

if however you are a Zorro Purist (thats the native A4000 busboard), then there are solutions that exists, as my good friend Keropi has suggested a reasonable graphics card and usb (or network card) would place this A4000 into a very highly useable state for the job you have at hand.

Although if you want all that and a bag of chips PCI Mediator is a good way to go, but its initial layout is VERY expensive!

what ever you do, best of luck, If i could suggest anything it would be to ask as many questions that come to your mind =)

Oh.... you did see that bit when you signed up:

Hardware Pr0n (pictures of your computer hardware) is Mandatory =D

oh you didn't..... hmmm check it now :whistle:

jvdbossc
12th November 2009, 11:26
Well,

Many thanks for the respons.:bowdown:

It arises two other questions:

Is the Mediator a stable product?:?:

Of course Mediator is not a commodore/amiga product, but I am quite sure they would have adopted pci by now. Apple did that to. All big company's supported pci.

Can the Amiga be upgraded without a CPU slot? Is Zorro bus capable to upgrade a cpu?


Surely will add pictures of config, it is travelling now.

Will take one first boot, before any expansion is done.

Kind Regards,

Jurgen

cosmicfrog
12th November 2009, 11:42
Hello,

I am not much of a forum guy,

I`m sure this place will change your mind about that,
great place to be, great ppl as well

keropi
12th November 2009, 12:44
First of all, the A4000 has a dedicated CPU slot, you just remove the small 030 card, and insert the new one, plus you change 2 nearby jumpers if nescessary (depends on the new card used) hardware installation is VERY easy :) (software too, if you use a 040/060 then you just copy the 040/060 libs to LIBS: before installing and you are ready!)

As for the mediator, it is a stable product from what I know. It just works, bridging zorro+pci busses. You need to always have a vga though installed, as it's spare VRAM is used by the mediator.
There is one more thing to consider: monitor switching.
The vga through the mediator will output a standard VGA signal , and it will only display the OS and any software that supports RTG system (ReTargetableGraphics) . So mainly before you install the drivers, all will display through the normal commodore video-out port. Even when you install the drivers, playing a game will use the AGA , there is no way to make games to use the vga. So you end up with a dual display machine: a 15khz one for chipset stuff that do not support RTG, and a 31hkz one for OS and other software.
One solution except from using 2 different monitors, is to purchase an Indivision AGA 4000 scandoubler and use a monitor switcher...
If you get the indivision, and one of the zorro RTG cards I mentioned above (the picassoIV has internal scandoubler, the indivision is not needed with it) they have internal automatic switcher and you just have 1 normal vga monitor...

jvdbossc
12th November 2009, 13:53
I do not know, the A4000 is in the mail.

I've read that the 68030 is on the motherboard somewhere.

The switching, indeed will be anoying. I have a cheap television with vga capability, especially constructed for small studio's.

The VGA is reasonable enough. For C64, AGA, needs not a good quality.

Needs one button pressed for switching..

keropi
12th November 2009, 15:08
The revision D motherboards of A4000 have the 030 onboard (to reduce costs) but it still has the same fully funtional cpu-slot, so placing a cpucard there will disable the onboard 030.

jvdbossc
12th November 2009, 16:11
Ok, will look for a cpu card then.

Will not be able to upgrade it all at once I am afraid, it will go in bits and pieces.

Will start first with the pci solution, if nobody submits negative story's about it.:idea: This will allow me to have network, vga, 16 bit sound etc..

Is there a lot of ppc software for classic amiga?

keropi
12th November 2009, 16:13
have in mind that for a pci solution, a 040 and above is really recommended! the 030 is too slow to take advantage of it...
I would really recommend first to get a good accelerator and then move to PCI if you still want.

jvdbossc
12th November 2009, 20:52
The Amiga 4000 will arive on tuesday. Must say that I think that this project will be long run because of financial reasons,happy to have it, will bye every month one piece.

It can be a good and stable solution for the future or the next 20 years.

I had another look at my failed A1200 tower project, and was thinking finishing that, there is a faster apollo 1230 on it. The problem is the pc desktop case is already cut partitially, have no time left and cannot dremel in the evening. It does not fit nice, the power supply is a big obstacle, the accelerator is tight with the metal etc..

I saw the D-box, but to be honest, I find it to expensive, for what you get: a clock port expanded amiga...

Was thinking how to do it and make no noise: (child sleaping)

When I was at our picture club, I noticed a strong carton "catapak" that feels like plastic and is cheap. It can be cut in seconds and when glued it is strong. The material can be used glued to gether for the outer parts, it can even be cut in 3 layers! I could fit in alminium foil for the shielding between the outer parts.

Thinking of using that to build my own case, to have a working network config in the mean time. The only thing that is needed there is a pcmcia card. has alreayd os 3.9 on hd.

After that I can decide to sell the parts of the A1200 project to buy the last pieces for the A4000. (have already pc-key, reset pins soldered, adopted a pc power supply, memory, an ide splitter (buffered)..

Or can finish it, and have it cut in wood. (writing down the dimensions or offering the carton)

Happy for comments, i am a dream type but think that with this material it can be done quickly. and have the patience to work on it a couple of day's:?:

keropi
12th November 2009, 23:12
I had an A1200 at first... I made it 030 , then 060... then I got it a 060 BPPC card... then I moved it to a tower with a zorroII busboard... then I got a G-Rex1200 busboard and put it in the tower... I was not satisfied... so I took a couple of A4000's.
They are WAY better machines to expand, with better hardware too! (zorroIII bus)
If I was you, I would buy a 060 accelerator , the new indivision4000 scandouber/flickerfixer, a DENEB card and finally a PiccoloSD64 or Cybervision64 card. Thaw would make a KICK-ASS A4000 , if you really aim to to make one, then I suggest these :) don't mess with pci busses, external switchers , dual monitor setups...

J.T.Kirk
12th November 2009, 23:19
The best gfx card is PicassoIV. Acquire one, and you will not regret it. With built-in scandoubler it's even better from Indivision's. Don't forget that they were extra modules for this card, like Pablo, Paloma etc.