Can a Commodore Amiga help you cook a pizza? -- Amiga GUI app development in C

November 28, 2022

Topaz Rabbit walks us through writing a pizza timer app in C on the Commodore Amiga. Follow along and learn about Intuition, GadTools, devices, message ports, IO, and even signals!

Thanks to Tyrel (@tyrel@social.tyrel.dev)!

References

Amiga documentation and tools

C tutorials

Source code

Credits

Music

Sound Effects

Amiga Art Contest 2022

November 14, 2022

I had two pieces in the Amiga Art Contest 2022, one of which I drew in Disney Presents: The Animation Studio, and the other I did in True Brilliance 2.0. There was a lot of amazing art and animation in the show this year, and you should check out all the entries.

Now that I know what I’m doing on the platform, I’ll be ready to make an even more impressive showing in 2023!

Notes from the Amiga - AjSTer oops

October 6, 2022

Well not only did I have to take a Blender-shaped knife to the top of the case, I also have to take one to the side of the case as well.

DE-10 Nano and MiSTer Digital I/O board inside the AjSTer case

I can’t get power over to the USB hub via the DE-10 Nano without some creative solution. I’ve seen one build where someone soldered a power cable coming off of the DE-10 to power the USB hub, but I’m not that confident in my soldering skills right now to try that.

So I’m going to cut a hole in the case for the DE-10 power plug, then run a cable out the side and back into the case for the hub. I also need to print a different USB hub-side of the case, ‘cause I printed the one for two exposed USB ports and I only have one over there. Oops.

At least I have all the electronics components I need to build this thing. And once it’s all built and working, I’ll put up my modified files on Thingiverse and here for others to use.

Notes from the Amiga - Building the AjSTer Part 1

October 5, 2022

Most of the parts to assemble my AjSTer arrived, so I started on construction. I decided to tackle the hardest part first, the soldering. Also, depending on how the soldering came out, I’d likely need to reprint some parts.

I got the primary parts list from BuildingTents’ build, but I ordered a different Micro USB header which seemed simpler to use suggested on Reddit.

The MiSTer digital I/O board has two connectors for external buttons and LEDs. I found a great diagram showing how to wire up the LEDs, and my breadboard setup and subsequent soldering job worked out great.

MiSTer with my hand-soldered LEDs and buttons on PCB board

The buttons were a little more difficult and required some experimentation. The first pin on the Digital I/O board for the buttons seems to be on the other side of the connector as the LEDs, so I had to wire the buttons “backwards”. Once I figured this out, breadboard testing, and subsequent soldering, went smoothly.

Since the PCB I got wasn’t the same one as the original creator used, the top right part of the case needed to be reworked. I grabbed my calipers and some paper and took as many measurements as seemed to make sense to ensure:

  • the board had enough clearance for the LEDs I was using,
  • the printed buttons, which I now needed to modify, would extend down from the top of the case far enough to hit the buttons on the PCB,
  • and the PCB could be mounted securely to the case, in case I decide to aggressiely reset the MiSTer in a fit of rage from losing at Battletoads yet again.
Diagrams of measurements for how I need to modify the case

My go-to way of building most 3d models nowadays is using the Boolean modifier in Blender. Rather than directly modifying vertices, I’ll drag cubes and cylinders and whatever overtop of an object and use the modifiers to make non-destructive cuts. This was how I built the floppy disk model for the Amiga Architecture 101 video, and it’s how I modified the AjSTer case model.

Blender showing lots of boolean operations on the reworked case

As I’m writing this, the new case part and buttons are printing away, and I have one cable I forgot to order, a USB to headers connector for the USB hub, arriving tomorrow. If my schedule holds up, I can have this new case assembled sometime this weekend!

Amiga Architecture 101: The Basics + Gaming

October 1, 2022

Want to try out gaming on the classic Commodore Amiga computer? Topaz walks you through the basics of this retro computer’s hardware, and the things you’ll need to look for to get your own setup working.

I currently use these emulators:

If you’re on Windows, you can run the venerable WinUAE (https://www.winuae.net/).

You can get Kickstart ROMs from Cloanto and their Amiga Forever pack (get at least the Plus Edition for the more modern Kickstarts) and/or from Hyperion if you want AmigaOS 3.2, a modern AmigaOS for applications.

I leave ADF and WHDLoad archive hunting to the viewer!

Thanks to Meredith, Tyrel, Dave!

Credits