Amiga Foreverby Cloanto
 
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Limitations of Amiga Forever

 

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Q: I don't like surprises: what are the limitations of Amiga Forever?

 

DISCUSSION

A: When the emulation runs on a sufficiently powerful system, it can easily outperform even the fastest "real" Amiga based on a 68K CPU. However, applications like games and other programs that use high frame rates and/or sound, may not run smoothly on low-end PCs (under about 750 MHz). In general, productivity applications are usable even on old Pentium systems using 90-133 MHz CPUs (i.e. systems released in the 1990s), and most games with various combinations of sound and refresh settings run well on 200-300 MHz systems. In some cases, manually adjusting some emulation settings (e.g. enabling JIT) is required to smoothly run certain more performance-demanding games. This type of "tuning" is in general not necessary for productivity software, or with high end PCs (regardless of the type of software being run).

The main perceived limitation of the Amiga emulation is that Amiga floppy disks cannot be read by standard PC hardware. This is a hardware limitation of PC floppy disk controllers which cannot be solved by any type of emulation software. It is not a software issue. Fortunately, numerous preservation and software publisher sites make available original Amiga games and demoscene productions for download, making it unnecessary to read the same from their old disks. Also, Amiga Forever contains different software solutions to transfer data, including "images" of Amiga floppy disks (unless they are "copy protected", as used by some games), from an Amiga to the PC, either with an inexpensive and standard cable, or using PC-formatted floppy disks. This makes it possible to transfer and use Amiga floppy disks from within the emulation (disk "images" are used instead of "real" floppy disks). Hardware solutions which make it possible to read Amiga floppy disks on the PC also exist. Amiga CD-ROMs can already be read by the PC, and therefore also by the emulation. Cloanto also provides a data conversion service.

A software emulation is what the name implies: even if the emulation is perfect, it is not possible to connect custom Amiga hardware (designed to be electrically and/or mechanically connected with an Amiga) to a PC (which has different electrical and mechanical specifications). This means that Amiga "Video Toaster" hardware, for example, cannot be installed inside a PC (NewTek does however offer a specific PC version of the Video Toaster). For the same reason, Amiga copy protection "dongles" also do not work on the PC.

The technical skills required to use Amiga Forever are in general the same that would be expected when purchasing a new Amiga and installing new software, or transferring software from one Amiga to another, with the main difference being that the Amiga Forever emulation environment already has the operating system and some application software conveniently preinstalled.

Software updates require an internet connection on the computer in which Amiga Forever is installed.

The documentation of Amiga Forever is in Windows HTML Help (.chm) format, in English.

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Article Information
Article ID:13-102
Platform:Windows
Products:Amiga Forever
Additional Keywords:None
Last Update:2016-01-26
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