10 thoughts on “Episode 1 – Hybris

  • July 27, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Hi, guys. Sean from Pie Factory Podcast. Congrats on your new podcast; I hope it's a big success for you!

    I've been away from the Amiga for years, but am thrilled to hear about your show. My computing life started in '88 when I got a Commodore 64C as a graduation present after 8th grade. I loved the C64, but when I started college in '92 I needed something better. I heard a friend sing the praises of Amiga for years, and I was instantly sold when he showed me Pinball Dreams on his A500. In 1993 I got an Amiga 600, which was trashed by most of the Amiga community for being basically a "game machine," but I LOVED it. Its small size was perfect, especially because I worked on the college's football team, and I would throw the 600 in my suitcase for away games; my coworkers and I spent hours in hotel rooms playing Pinball Fantasies. I was a journalism major and most of the department ran on Amigas. During my senior year in '95 they offered a Video Toaster course; I jumped on that one, simply because it meant that I would HAVE to use an Amiga!

    In the late '90s I got an A4000. Because I'm a nerd, the first thing I do when I get a computer is open the case and look inside. I saw there was a chip RAM jumper with two positions: 2MB and 8MB. WHOA! I can have 8MB chip RAM in this thing?! A visit to an online Amiga forum told me no, the jumper was never enabled so I'm limited to a 2MB maximum. (One of the UK Amiga magazines – I think AmigaFormat – called it the "free beer jumper": you had as much chance of getting free beer as you would of getting 8MB of chip RAM.) I upgraded the 4000 when I could: 060 accelerator, boosted the RAM, Prelude sound card (which to this day is my fave sound card EVER), etc.

    In '03 the AmigaOne came out. I HAD to get one. When I did, the model available was the microAmiga1-C. The motherboard was tiny – I think about 6" by 6". It ran on a G3 PowerPC and came with 512MB RAM, upgradable to 1GB. It ran AmigaOS4 and could seamlessly run older apps meant for 680×0-based Amigas. Wow, did I love this machine. Instead of waiting several seconds for apps to load, they came up INSTANTLY. But due to various circumstances (some financial), I had to sell my beloved "micro" to 1) cover rent and 2) get a used PC. I put the micro on eBay, and this was when there were no OS4 systems available and so were in high demand — I got a LOT MORE money than I hoped! I vowed as soon as we got back on our feet I'd get another OS4 box. But when we DID get back on our feet, OS4 boxes were still nowhere to be found, so I got a MacBook.

    I loved the Mac from the second I turned it on and thought I'd never look back. But over time I realized there are things even the "classic" Amiga can do that the Mac can't. I miss DirectoryOpus. I miss the Prelude. I miss Edgar Vigdal's "Deluxe" games; those were awesome. (I also do a blog called Pacmaniax; my next entry will be about Vigdal's Deluxe Pac-Man!)

    Sorry for the big preamble. About eps 0 and 1:

    – Back-compatibility was mentioned. I loved Amiga, but its LACK of back compatibility was the bane of my existence. You could have too much RAM. You could have an OS that was too new. In fact, MANY commercial games wouldn't run on my 600 because it ran 2.05 instead of 1.3. That's why there were utilities to hack the Amiga, from having it kill RAM to booting an earlier Kickstart (if you could even find ripped ROMs!)
    – You discussed 5.25-inch floppy drives. Yes, they were available, but their purpose was to read PC-formatted disks.

    I don't have an Amiga now, and after hearing about what the going rate likely is for used Amigas, I will continue to not have one but may consider emulation. That was a problem with being an Amiga user: it was – and still is – an expensive hobby, understandable given how the Amiga almost always was very grass roots.

    Nonetheless, I'm excited about your show. Thanks for bringing Amiga to the wild and wacky world of podcasting!

  • July 28, 2015 at 3:27 am

    I liked the show, and Hybris was one of the most memorable early games for me.

    The only problem with it is the player on this web page. I tried three browsers. Two wouldn't play at all, and the third played, but the slider wouldn't work, so I had to make sure I could listen to it in one go.

    I'll definitely look out for the next ep.

    I got my first Amiga in September 1987 (Kickstart 1.2) and later upgraded to the A1200. I still have them both set up, along with a load of other retro computers.

    Paul (from England).

  • July 28, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Hi Sean! Thanks for the feedback and your story! One of my favorite things about the retro computing hobby is hearing from others about their favorite memories. It sounds like you and the Amiga go way back! If you're thinking of emulation for gaming purposes, I would suggest checking out The Company (http://thecompany.pl/game). These guys have figured out how to put Amiga games and their emulation into one exe file that's easily playable with a great UI so you can configure controls, screen size, etc.

  • July 28, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Hello Paul! Where are you in England? I lived in Sheffield for about a year getting my master's degree.

    Thanks for your feedback on the player. It is an HTML5 wrapper, which may or may not be compatible with all browsers, but it should work with most new ones like Chrome and Firefox. As an alternative, I also post all the episodes to our Youtube channel here. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtsK4QYe2tRdIxoZxwkX3Ww

    I'm glad you enjoyed the Hybris show and that your old Amigas are still up and running! We'll be recording a new episode this Thursday.

  • July 30, 2015 at 2:02 am

    I'm in Midlesbrough, about 2 hours drive North of Sheffield.

    I'll use YouTube from now. Thanks for letting me know of the option. I'll try it with the next one.

    I was playing some Amiga games last night – Agony, Bubble Bobble and Cannon Fodder. I'm grabbing some footage for potential use in the next Bedrooms to Billions film 🙂

  • July 30, 2015 at 10:51 am

    S1500 here- Great show guys. This seems to be the year of retro computing podcasts. I had an Amiga 1000 in the mid-90s for fun, which I called BBSes with. Then I later got an Amiga 500 that I used casually here & there. Eventually sold it on craigslist in the 2000s for asking price.

    I was first exposed to the Amiga in 1996, from someone in a computer user group. He had this oddball graphics demo that had a cruedly drawn Batman & Robin(think MS Paint quality graphics) with the TV theme song playing & a burping noise. It was not unlike an early Flash animation.

    In the Twin Cities, we had a local store called Miller's Amiga, a small store that just sold Amiga stuff. While I couldn't afford it,the sales guy would just demo me stuff for a good hour.

    Really enjoyed the games, like the gory TechnoCop, but also the fun ArmorGeddon, which I think Psygnosis made. You got to fly various vehicles against the enemy, and I crashed & burned with all of them.

    Sadly, I can't get winUAE to work.

  • July 30, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Hi Ryan! Miller's Amiga sounds like a cool place to hang around! winUAE is a tough beast. As I wrote to Sean in a comment above, check out http://thecompany.pl/ for a bunch of games that have the emulator wrapped around them; they launch from a single exe file. Thanks for listening!

  • July 31, 2015 at 7:17 am

    I always liked Agony..you NEVER hear anyone talk about it…i'm not sure how big a hit it was….very pretty to look at.

  • July 31, 2015 at 7:19 am

    Ha…TECHNOCOP! That was a great, over the top game. Love it. ArmorGeddon always looked great to me, but I just couldn't get good at it. Psygnosis was a GREAT company..we'll have to go into them on the show..one of my all time favs…

  • August 4, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Hey guys, love hearing this podcast. I know there were questions on the amount of RAM that came on the 1000 being based on 256k with the front expansion to 512k.

    As comparison, the Mac released with 128k in 1984 with a 512k released later that year. Mac Plus came out 1986 the year following the 1000. Atari ST was released also with 512k in 1985. So the RAM was in the ballpark considering the 1000 was really meant to have 512k. The reason the front port was limited to that 256k was that it completed the 512k that the Agnus chip in the 1000 could address.

    I don't recall a front mounted RAM expansion that had a battery backed clock. Commodores A1050 (http://www.bigbookofamigahardware.com/bboah/product.aspx?id=971) didn't and you might be thinking of the ones that sat in the underside port on the 500 which was similar to the front port on the 1000. It was meant to fill out the 500 RAM when the new Fat Agnus chip came out able to address 1MB. The underside RAM along with the 512k motherboard RAM filled out the 1MB chip RAM on the 500. That card did have a battery backed clock chip and infamous barrel ni-cad battery. In fact even the third party card I have from Starpoint Software does not have a clock chip.

    Battery Backed clocks on the 1000 came usually from either parallel port, mouse port or as part of a multifunction expansions that sat on the expansion on the right side such as the super popular Starboard 2 (http://www.bigbookofamigahardware.com/bboah/product.aspx?id=1036).

    Supra did have a 768k expansion for the front memory slot, but this required a replacement of the plastic cover since the board did not fit. I never saw one of these and your podcast made me find it as I was researching this comment!

    Keep it up, love anything that gets me reading and researching about my Amigas again.
    -Guru Anthony

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