WinUAE killed my Amiga

amiga_martelanco_final_thumbOk that’s it. I admit it: I exclusively use Amiga software on emulation. I never stopped to use Amiga. I just don’t use the real machine anymore for some years myself, to do all the hobby Amiga tasks I need.

WinUAE was always “good enough” to play games and specially in the last three years, has become so full of nice options that you can emulate any type of Amiga model with a handful of emulated expansions to such a degree, that you can’t tell it’s not a native Amiga that is putting images on a screen. Now you switch your mind from a black box/laptop on your desk, to the beige Amiga of your choice and you can really pretend it’s the real thing. :D
Of course it doesn’t have 100% Amiga compatibility, but the 97% for me, it falls in the “good enough” criteria.

I always liked emulation and all started with my Amiga 500 being able to emulate a series of machines, from the IBM PC, to BBC Micro, to C64 and having some degree of good compatibility and usability. I became fascinated with emulation since the late 80’s. When I got my first HD for my A600 and then with a more powerful processor like it was in the A1200, emulation of all sorts became a full cycle wonder. The major shock was to be able to play all my Speccy favourite games on my Amiga full speed, and really played them very well. So in a word, because of my Amiga, I found one thing in emulation: flexibility.

The curious thing is that what the Amiga was in the early 90’s, the PC was in the late 90’s. The perfect emulation machine. So story goes round: A more powerful computer using brute force could really emulate an A500 more or less well in 2000. And for playing my games it was enough. Having virtual disks to handle my games instead of the clumsy diskettes, was an absolute win for me.
That was the reason I started to use emulation more and more.

Since 1997 I always had a laptop of some sort. After I stopped to use my Amiga for work in late 2000, using emulation was just a natural step for me. That and the sheer brilliance of Toni Wilen for making a truly awesome emulator. Over the years it has become more and more complete to a point, that, my Amiga 4000 is really just a museum piece on the corner of the desk. So I blame him also for that. I blame him for killing my Amiga and for not using it for more than an afternoon to just simply fire and warm it up every 15 days or so. It was really that much I worked with it for the next eight years. :p

To be able to take my ‘Amiga 4000’ everywhere I’ve made a 1:1 copy of my partitions. Transferred all my disk collection to DMS, so I could access ALL my Amiga disks and/or disk partitions with a click of a button. In the end I always had my A4000 setup on my laptop, with me.MyA4000After joining EAB and seeing so much great posts and member activity on there, I had the urge to tinker with my Amiga again. And tinkering I’ve done, but to a point that I felt the same thing: “What the heck can I do with it again?” Everything I needed to do, I was doing it on emulation and with much less hassle and more convenience.
I didn’t have to deal with 15khz modes, double monitors. One to see a CLI prompt and another to see my RTG Workbench screen. No need to invest in a double scanner, it was already integrated in WinUAE. No interlace, no time wasted searching for floppies, no… well I could really go on, and on.

I don’t know about you, but I always had some sentimental attachment to my Amigas. I always thought that they had a “soul” the ‘it’ becomes ‘he’ (computers in my native language are ‘male’), always thought ‘he’ had needs and thought that ‘he’ never failed on me when I needed ‘him’ to execute the tasks I asked from ‘him’ (besides of course the odd Guru sometimes). Every time I looked at ‘him’ I felt I’ve betrayed ‘him’. I have cheated ‘him’ after all those years of loyalty on ‘his’ side. I felt bad but moved along.

So I thought in Summer 2009 that my Amiga had become ‘sad’ and the best thing for ‘him’ was to a have a new home. A home of a good Amigan that would give him all the love and again, use ‘him’ for something that would give joy and entertainment to that Amigan. So I sold my Amiga 4000.
When I did it, I really didn’t have any regrets because I knew it was going to a better home.
The delivery of the Amiga to his new home was uncommon. The A4000 was sold outside of my country, but the new owner had a friend that was on the beach in the south, so instead of using UPS like services or mail, for safety reasons, I delivered the A4000 to the hands of his friend that in turn would drive it to the new owner’s home and deliver the Amiga by hand.

I believed ‘he’ was happy in his new home. He was upgraded with Cyberstorm 060/PPC233, CybervisionPPC, had network for the first time in ’his’ life with an X-Surf and USB 2.0 with Deneb. Enjoyed the joys of having OS 4 Classic and Linux 68k moving around in ‘his’ insides.

Many months passed and my beloved A4000 was happy again. Then, in the end of last year I knew ‘he’ was going to be sold by the owner and I quickly realised that and intervened: I bought all back.
I didn’t want ‘him’ to have a second home, neither a third or fourth. I didn’t want ‘him’ to be gutted, moved around or sold to someone who could harm ‘him’.

So after this I made a final decision: never ever to sell any piece of Amiga gear again.

My Amigas are not with me at the moment, they stay on 220v/PAL land. I still don’t know what to do with the A4000 right now, but I’m starting to have a clearer picture.
Even if the Amigas are on the other side of the Atlantic, for me, it is reassuring to know that I have my A500, my CD32 and my A4000 waiting, ready to be fired up again. My daughter is 11 now and she is an A500 user since she was 5. She plays more retro games than me. One thing she told me some time ago was “how long till I can play with my A500 again? I don’t like playing on the PC, it’s not the same thing” Well this request echoes much of the hardcore Amiga users and she, I believe now, is one. Even after 23 years with Amigas, maybe I still have something to learn from my daughter on this regard. And that is much to say.

WinUAE for now, continues to be my ‘Amiga’ of choice. It will never be a ‘him’ but is an ‘Amiga’ that is becoming more and more powerful every year and with every hardware upgrade I make. I don’t know if I should be happy or sad about it, but to some degree I really don’t care. At the end of the day it’s the sheer joy of playing with Amiga software and games that it’s all about. On emulation or the real thing. Go, enjoy your Amiga!