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Thread: Amiberry ~ Amiga Emulaation ~ linux ~ non-win11 complaint thin-clients

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    Default Amiberry ~ Amiga Emulation ~ linux ~ non-win11 complaint thin-clients

    As a result of win11 hardware requirements, businesses/corporate offices need to replace all/any 'thin-client' computers they use, probably bought in the 2014 to 2018 time frame.

    So there's a bit of a glut of the things, and you'll pay $60-$100 for one, i5 @ 3GHz, 8GB ram ...they're quite the capable small footprint desktop machine for general computing/internet usage....but you certainly won't be playing any of today's graphics intensive games etc etc, because the graphics are IGP (intel HD4x00) and not capable enough (some HP Elitedesk thin-clients have provision for a standalone GPU on the MXM graphics bus)

    For around the last 10years I've been using Debian linux for my daily drive, but prior to that I used to build/compile my own linux systems, based upon the Linux From Scratch online books. This was especially so when creating dedicated linux appliances, like DAW systems or network devices, lighting controllers (DMX) etc etc...you really want as many CPU cycles made available to the specific task, and not use/waste any at all, on processes you don't need.

    These thin-client machines might not be gaming monsters, but they're more than capable of running older software titles, via emulation, and there are many software suites out there to choose from...including complete linux distros dedicate to emulation.

    Probably because I couldn't find that anyone had done it before, I decided to build a linux based, Xwindows system, dedicated to Amiga emulation and using the Amiberry uae engine. The machine has parental control in the form of a USB stick ~ if this isn't plugged in at power up, no gaming for you ; machine boots to Debian 11 instead. If stick is present at power up, boot the Amiga emulator system (these machines have 2 SATA ports, one for CD/DVD drive and the other for 2.5" SSD ~ the emulator system is on a mSATA SSD plugged into the mainboard socket =)

    The amiberry emulator was never really intended for desktop usage ~ it was more aimed at small ARM based boards, RPi, handhelds and the like (the mini A500 uses amiberry), but last year an (experimental) build path for x86-64 based hardware, I've been liaising with the amiberry maintainer ('midwan', nice bloke =) squashing bugs and more or less making amiberry more user friendly in a desktop app sort of way, without breaking it's original intents nor interfering with it's current functionality on small ARM devices. To achieve the end, all I've been able to think of is amiberry as a semi-automated desktop app, and not something like the Amiga emulators FS-UAE(-Launcher) or WinUAE, which most folks tend to use these days.

    It's nearly desktop ready ~ there's a feature set to be added, which I think we've just nailed down, and once that's done, users will be able to download pretty much any Amiga floppydisk image(s), whdload lha/bin/cue files for some websites out there, and once download is completes the Amiga emulation auto-starts (launched by browser, no local copy of file retained) ....or you can download & double-click/RMB->Run with amiberry on any such supported Amiga demo/game file, and that launches the emulation. Not all the demos/games/etc files may run of course, but a very good percentage of them will, 'out of the box' as it were. For those Amiga titles that don't start (or need some specific configuration), you can hit F12 to see the amiberry GUI, make and save changes for that title, to get that Amiga title running as best as possible (some will refuse to run for various reasons =)

    You can use pretty much any USB game/joystick device, but for platformers/scrolling gaming the Amiga was famous for, most folks opt for a superfamicom D-pad controller..



    ....this also works as the mouse device in the Xwindows system, and for those games in emulation that don't need keyboard/mouse (some do) ~ this is also handy as these thin-client boxes have HDMI port(s) or DPORT/DPORT+ (DPORT to HDMI cable) video outputs, so you can plug them into most modern teevee devices to play game etc.

    YT's doing something shitty to my .mkv encoding (looks much better with local file) ....my incredibly frustrating and poor mouse operation you see here, is a mental muscle memory impasse caused by the lag introduced by the VGA encoder -> USB2 -> my monitor display path, which means what I see is roughly 1 second behind what my mouse hand is doing...but on the plus side, the capture rate is a flat 30fps at 1280x1024 resolution, and audio is correctly sync'd.... (but I've have to muck with the video codec to stop YT deciding it's encoding something recorded from a VHS tape-deck =)

    Last edited by wotnot; 08-06-23 at 05:41 PM.

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    Jma (10-06-23),Johnno (26-06-23)



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    Great use for these old machines. I have a few older ones that I use as "set top boxes", all running Linux Mint.
    I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message...

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    A couple of months ago I picked up an i7 for $50, local business had upgraded & no longer wanted it.
    Works perfectly, runs MX-Linux nice n fast, currently using it to control TV/stereo operation, handles a 40 inch screen without issue.
    Occasionally run ZSNES emulator on it using the D-pad controllers
    Always try to offend at least one person a day!
    Stop using acronyms!!

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    Yeah, they're more than useful for that kind of stuff ~ if you install retroarch (or Lakka ... ) you end up with a pretty full blown emulator for multiple gaming platforms, and you get the video play component as well, all on a single launcher window..

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    I was a big Commodore Amiga fanboy.. lol, loved the A1000 with the IBM sidecar attached & the 1084s monitor.
    If I look around my junk draw, I might find the original workbench floppy disks.
    Good stuff mate.. you've done Good!!
    Last edited by Johnno; 26-06-23 at 03:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnno View Post
    I was a big Commodore Amiga fanboy.. lol, loved the A1000 with the IBM sidecar attached & the 1084s monitor.
    If I look around my junk draw, I might find the original workbench floppy disks.
    Good stuff mate.. you've done Good!!
    Thanks mate ... I did another vid, this time no Xserver and launching straight from linux console (using framebuffer device).

    I've yet to test whether or not there's any gains to be had running like this, certainly cpu/ram don't figure into the equation, but there might be less latency on the gamepad response...

    ...I'll have to choose a couple of titles to test this out....iirc Stunt Car Racer was a tiny bit laggy on input, so I might start there...



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    Amiga did not have hardware Midi ports so I was only focussed on the Atari ST because of it's DAW abilities using Steinberg Twenty Four (later Cubase) which was for me game changing at that time.
    I was so excited about this, I ordered before the official version was out and payed 'megabucks' for the extra RAM
    So I became an Atari ST fan and it stayed my fun and games machine for quite a long time.

    The only time I worked with the Amiga was utilising it for info TV channels for hospitals and hotels because of it's genlock feature which was outstanding.

    Well before the Amiga I used C64's for vending machines but soon replaced them with the guts from Sinclair QL's, that had features ahead of their time back then but awfully realised, British design, so an obvious flop and I got 100 of them for peanuts.
    They did work more reliable after I modified them, I ran everything from EPROMS and battery backed up static RAMs through the expansion port of course but we actually ended up designing and producing our own motherboard based on the QL, that worked then flawlessly for a couple of decades.
    Last edited by Uncle Fester; 28-06-23 at 10:59 PM.
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    Humans: Entities that are not only outdated but broken... AI-self-learning-update-error...terminate...terminate...

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    There were lots of DIY circuits out there to do MIDI on Amiga, and quite a few commercial products as well, but the latter were always expensive, and the selection of Amiga music composers with MIDI were limited..AND expensive ... Steinberg did an Amiga port of Cubase, and packaged it with their own MIDI interface that plugged into the serial port;



    ..or else there was Octamed, which was a decent MIDI capable tracker composer. I think it was Octamed v5+ that introduced support for things like the Aura pcm-cia pluggable sampler ( ) ...I had one of those for my A1200, you could configure it as addition 2 programmable voices, although it's capabilities were limited. One thing Octamed always had, was a pseudo MIDI link via null modem cable, so you could use 2 Amigas in concert =)

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    Latest contender here, is the Lenovo ThinkCentre m93p Tiny ... same chipset and CPU as the USDT/USFF boxen around it, no builtin optical drive so it (and anything else) are done via USB-2/3 ports. I've yet to check whether the DP+/HDMI ports output sound under linux (but my guess is I'll have the same Q87 chipset boofle), but... just as capable as the other units (desktop or emulation)...in a quarter of the size...



    ....we had a bit of a dust wind last couple of days (does it show? =) .... we catch it all up on this hill.... unfortunately -- at least the shop vac justifies it's existence B)

    I've got this working on Debian 11/12 nice and handy ... I'll post a howto and vid when I get around to it, should work on other linux distros as well ...l8z

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