New to Amigas

Brian

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I've been tinkering with UAE variations in Windows and Linux for quite some time, and my wife purchased Amiga Forever 2009 Premium for me at last year's birthday. However, I would like to know what might be a good all-around system for someone to purchase as their first Amiga. I'm already looking into a particular 2000 that's for sale, but I'm not sure if it will ultimately do everything I'd like. Money is tight so it might take a while to purchase the right system...

My short-term goal is to get a system that's good enough to do some development work on and to look at porting some applications from Linux and Windows (with an eye towards Amiga-fying their look-and-feel). Amigas already seem to have a very nice application base and have several active developers. I'd like to eventually be able to put something back into what I've enjoyed for so long.

Long-term, I'd like to acquire as many different representative models as I can for testing and also for the enjoyment of having them.

Any suggestions or comments? Thanks!

(BTW, if a similar topic exists, please point me in that direction. I might have overlooked it.)
 

rkauer

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Go at first to A1200 with a decent accelerator (030 with 32Mb RAM or more). If you develop yourself in the marvelous Amiga world, then go to the top (which is either a MorphOS in a PPC machine or 060 in true classic Amiga).

The top banana in classic Amigas is the A4000T with all desirable expansions: USB, 3x 256MB RAM, LAN, RTG video.
 

ajk

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A lot depends on how much money you want to put into it, and what kind of development you intend to do.

A very good starting point generally is an A1200 with a hard drive and an accelerator card, which could range from an 030/50MHz to an 060/66MHz or even something with a PPC coprocessor. Whether or not you want a PPC depends on what you want to do; its uses are limited with AOS3.x. They are also expensive.

The A1200 itself should be very affordable, yet can be expanded with nearly everything that is available for Amigas, particularly if you put it in a tower case.

If you know from the beginning that you intend to expand a lot, you may want to go with an A3000 or A4000 straight away instead. They are more expensive, but their big box (or tower) form factor is a much more natural base for expansions than the A1200 in a desktop wedge case.

You mentioned that you probably will acquire many models. Personally in this case I would go for an A1200 with an 030 (or better) accelerator, 64 megs of fast ram and a hard drive (which can be a compact flash card in the IDE bus) as the first purchase :) You have WinUAE for backup, so there is no reason to spend an awful lot of money straight away, and such an A1200 is already a very capable setup.
 

AndyLandy

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If you want to go "all the way" with an Amiga, your only real starting options are an A1200, A3000 or A4000.

My advice would be to try and acquire an A4000. That'll have an '030 CPU minimum, AGA graphics support and Zorro slots for expansion cards and the outlay for the basic machine will probably be less than an A1200+equivalent CPU card.

If you're not bothered about the AGA graphics, the A3000 is a perfectly good starting point. There are many folks who'd argue that the A3000 is better than the A4000. It certainly has a lot going for it ('030 CPU, On-board SCSI, built-in scandoubler, Zorro III slots)

The stock A1200 model is only an '020 CPU with 2MB Chip and no Fast RAM, so to be really useful, you'll need to put something in the trapdoor slot. That said, A1200 trapdoor cards are the most widely-available (There are always some available on here and the Other Bay) If you want to plug in expansion cards, you'll need to do a tower conversion on the A1200 and acquire a suitable busboard. If you're not interested in Zorro/PCI cards, you can keep the A1200 in its wedge case and stick something in the trapdoor (Anything from a couple of megs of Fast RAM up to an '060 & PPC with vast swathes of RAM)
 

thgill

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I am going to agree with the others and say an A1200 is your best starting point. As a fellow US'er, an A1200 is going to be easier and less expensive to acquire than an A4000 and probably even an A3000.

Plus you can pay a little bit more and get a new, old stock one from Amigakit or find a nice used one here on Amibay.

Will certainly want at least a fast ram addon board and probably an 030 accelerator or faster later on.
 

Nathanieltolbert

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Certainly the easiest machines to find are going to be A1200's and A2000's although most people don't care for the A2000. I cannot say why there is dislike for the A2000, but they are very very common. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for their accelerator cards. They are for the most part ECS, they only have on average 1 Meg of Chip ram and require a hard drive card to run a hard drive. That said, a fully expanded A2000 is pretty nice and can do a lot. Remember that a vast majority of Amiga games never used more than ECS, so an A2000 with an 030 accelerator, 8 Meg of fast RAM, and a MiniMega chip to expand the Chip RAM to 2 Meg doesn't make a bad machine for WHDLoad, especially for older games. I own personally one of every big box, except the A2000, as I just sold mine, and I can say if you want expandability, go with the big box Amigas like the A2000, A3000, or A4000. To really expand an A1200 means you have to towerize it and that adds a good deal of money to the cost of an A1200. Certainly the Holy Grail is an A4000T and at some point recently apparently Software Hut had some. I don't know if he still does, but if so, be prepared to pay a lot for them. I would recommend an A3000 or A4000 personally. Depending on what you are going to be doing, would depend on which I would recommend more.
 

Brian

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Thanks for everyone's input. The A1200 is what I really had in mind for initially getting started as the 4000 towers are out of my reach at this point. Due to finances, I'll probably have to acquire a 1200 without any expansions but will definitely be keeping an eye open to a 4000 as well. I've already noticed that the accelerators for the 1200's go pretty high. Based on the input, I might try to acquire just a stock 1200 and save my pennies until I can afford the 4000.

@thgill

Many of the 3000 and 4000 models I've seen were in Europe and there seems to be a much lesser number of them available here in the States. Shipping is probably a real bear on something like that from anywhere across the water, so I'll have to source one locally or someone will have to practically give me one.

Thanks again to everyone! (y)
 

Nathanieltolbert

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A3000's aren't super rare, but they are uncommon. I had both an A3000D and I have an A3000T now so they can be found. Ed has A1200's that are accelerated, he has a couple of them, so I know if you want one, ask away and I will find out for you.
 

Brian

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I'll keep that in mind. As money settles down in the next few months, I might get my wife to look at an accelerated 1200 as a Christmas gift. She's always complaining that she has no idea what to get for me. Of course, I'm not sure how she'll feel about adding to the clutter around my desk...
 

jvdbossc

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Brian,

I do agree with Andy, an A1200 is a cheap to buy machine, but if you by an 030 card on this bay then it costs exactly the same as an A3000 or A4000 locally, so there is no point in an A1200 looking from a local side of things.

I have no clue what prices are in UK-USA for an A3000-4000 but I've paid the price of an A1200 + accelerator 030
 

Nathanieltolbert

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Usually when an A3000D comes up for sale locally here in the US it's about ***USD. Most of the A1200's I have seen with an 030 sell for about the same amount, maybe a little more. A3000T's go for usually ***-*** USD more than an A3000D. All of the A4000D's I have seen sell for anywhere between ***-***USD depending on the state of the machine and the completeness of the machine. A4000T's go for crazy prices because they are fairly uncommon, one might even say slightly rare around here. A1200's are more common, but the A2000 seems to be everywhere. They are thick on the ground. And you can get an 040 A2000HD for about ***USD. A500's are super common, A600's apparently aren't, and the A1000 isn't one I haven't seen much of, until I found three machines on a shelf at Ed's Shop. The last A4000T's I saw were the ones I sold on here.
 
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AndyLandy

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I'm of the opinion that if you want a tower Amiga 4000, buying an A4000D motherboard and an aftermarket tower and busboard probably works out cheaper. That's the route I'm going down, with a Micronik tower and 6960 busboard. If you install Kick 3.1 ROMs and a Super Buster 11, you can end up with a machine that's arguably better than the stock tower model.
 

Nathanieltolbert

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Yes, an A4000D towerized is usually more affordable, but finding a tower for the A4000D here in the US is very difficult, and I have yet to see a mid or full tower for an A4000D. So the easiest way to get a tower for an A4000D is to either order one from Europe (extremely expensive), or make your own modified Mid tower (also can be expensive). Ed does have two towers for A1200's though, but as far as I know they aren't for sell yet.
 
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