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Amiga Mini on the Way.


Nathan Wind
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Mine just arrived, it’s a thing of beauty. The keyboard doesn’t work though, unfortunately. 
 

Not sure about the third party controllers. It does have 3 standard USB ports on the back though so hopefully you can chuck anything at it. 

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Really want an Atari St one, the keyboard is such a bummer though. I wish they didn't bother with that, sure I understand why but it would have been nice. Hoping the Amiga drops in price, remember good times playing Gods, Blood Money and Speedball 2

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3 hours ago, the_debaser said:

You can stick games on a usb stick and it just works. Such a nice touch of the developers to do this. 

What format do the games have to be in ? ADF or WHDLoad? 

And how do they integrate with the existing UI? Do you end up having to select from list of file names? And can you import cover art/screenshots or whatever to match the included games?

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7 minutes ago, jonathanhoey said:

This might be a stupid question because they've called it A500 Mini, but does it play A1200 games if you show them to it?

Yes.

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This might be a good place to ask some nerdy things about WHDLoad files and their version numbers...

 

I've been using WHDLoad games for a few years now with the FS-UAE emulator on my PC. They were a revelation when I discovered them! So much better than floppy ADF files. They made Amiga emulation almost as easy as console emulation.

 

I know two main places where to get WHDLoad games (I won't be specific of course). One source is very old: an archive from 2016 where all the games are in .zip format. The other source is very up-to-date, with all files in .lha format, and it's frequently updated with new game version number replacements (for example, "Knightmare_v1.1_0966" gets replaced with "Knightmare_v2.1_0966", then recently replaced with "Knightmare_v2.1_Mindscape_0966")

 

However, I worry that the newer source is too up-to-date, and it takes databases a few years to catch up. The database used by FS-UAE tends to not recognise some game version numbers if they are too old or too new. I also just downloaded the A500 Mini's "WHDLoad Package" required for the memory stick, which includes an xml database of preconfigured game settings... I looked inside the xml out of curiosity to see how up-to-date it is... and it doesn't seem to have entries for very recent version number games.

 

I haven't tried it yet, but I assume if you load up a game that the A500 Mini's xml database doesn't have, it will just load the game with default settings. Or not load at all? I'll have to see.

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Set mine up this afternoon and I'm very happy with it. I've never owned an Amiga so most of the games I've never played or just played a bit whilst round a mate's house.

 

Package is nice and all the hardware feels good so far. I'm finding it a bit tricky to get diagonals on the d-pad but that may get better with practice. The face buttons are solid and have a nice amount of bounce to them. The thing which put a smile on my face the most thought was the beigeness of everything, that beige HDMI cable 😍

 

Games wise I've played Alien Breed and Project X. Really impressed with Project X, quite addicted to it, I skipped straight to rookie mode mind you...

 

There's a fair bit of information about side loading games in the manual and an extra game to download in the support section.

 

https://retrogames.biz/support/thea500-mini/manuals/

 

https://retrogames.biz/support/thea500-mini/whdload/

 

https://retrogames.biz/support/thea500-mini/bonus-games/

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55 minutes ago, Ninja Doctor said:

Could you edit the database to the new l’ha file?

 

There is an unofficial update out there of the WHDLoad package that reflects the current WHD database filenames. And on Facebook there are people getting demos running on it.

 

Mine arrived yesterday, had a quick play this morning and it’s good so far, but I haven’t had the chance to try the USB loading yet.

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13 hours ago, Nathan Wind said:

Someone will figure it out, it’s doable on The C64.

Yeah - it was done unofficially if I recall correctly by a user, but the dev team  (well Darren Melbourne anyway, who I spoke to about it) were aware it had been done. Which is why I wondered if it had been incorporated into the official release with the 500 Mini. 

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I guess the team must have paid a fee to license WHD for every machine that's sold. Otherwise the "please register me" message would come up every time someone loads a game. 

 

Nice to think that Codetapper and a bunch of other long-term Amiga scenesters will be making a few quid out of this. 

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1 hour ago, Anne Summers said:

I guess the team must have paid a fee to license WHD for every machine that's sold. Otherwise the "please register me" message would come up every time someone loads a game. 

 

 

I thought they made WHDLoad free years ago?

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10 hours ago, Lorfarius said:

 

I thought they made WHDLoad free years ago?

Yeah , what Sean said below. 

Antstream pay them a licence fee, for example. Or they did when I was there. One of my jobs was setting up a system so all of the different people who contribute drivers to the project could get their cut. 

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So yeah, back when I first started being able to emulate the 16 bit era, the Amiga was not possible, and despite a few attempts to get it working on my mac, I’ve never managed to get it working properly. In my head, wrongly, I just assumed it don’t work, no one cares enough about Amigas. 

 

So a huge, huge part of my childhood gaming (on my A1200 when all my friends were playing doom on IBMs) has been locked away from me for over twenty years, and to suddenly have it back - with a great collection of games and a really easy way to add additional ones is properly emotional. 

 

Just spent half an hour getting to the same place I would always get in walker (which I added and works perfectly by mapping the keyboard to the joypad) and my god it brought back so many memories. 
 

5/5 best mini console ever. 

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On 10/04/2022 at 01:11, robotattack said:

 

 


did i miss a stage between dragging the whdload download to the root of the stick, and having an A500 folder to stick the games in?

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Just saw this on Facebook for games that are running fast:

 

As many of you have noticed, the speed on some games is so fast it makes them unplayable. In particular I've experienced this on Buggy Boy and Empire Strikes Back.

I've discovered a workaround to fix the speed by specifying configuration parameters in the .UAE file that is associated with each game.

Here's the steps I followed:

Generate a .UAE config file by going to the Game settings menu on the A500 Mini for the impacted WHDLoad game on your USB drive.

Using your computer edit the .UAE with Notepad or your text editor of choice (Notepad++ FTW). For example, Empire Strike Back it will be called EmpireStrikesBack_v1.2_1235_ol.uae.

Now add the line cpu_speed=real and save the file.

Insert the your USB stick back into the A500 Mini and start the game.

Please Note: If you enter the Game settings menu again it will overwrite the .UAE configuration file and remove the changes made. I recommend you create a copy of the config file just in case you do this by accident.

It's likely this method of editing the .UAE config can also be used to configure other things such as the Amiga chipset and CPU ie 68000, however I've yet to test those fully.

 

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9 hours ago, SeanR said:


did i miss a stage between dragging the whdload download to the root of the stick, and having an A500 folder to stick the games in?


The a500 folder is created when the whdload package is copied onto the usb. 

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