These news excited Amiga fans. "In the past five years, the price of second-hand Amigas has skyrocketed, and keeping an old computer is not an easy task," Billy Nesteroulis explained.
. "If you own an old Amiga, it will eventually break: their electrolytic capacitors will leak. You will need a new power supply, and some kind of memory expansion is ideal."
However, using a Raspberry Pi computer can greatly reduce this cost. As Billy showed, the Amiga 600 can be built from scratch using Raspberry Pi 4 as the main component. He continued: "The Raspberry Pi can use AmigaOS to imitate Amiga, and you can use it to play games and software made for the machine."
Of course, Raspberry Pi has proven to be the ideal platform for Amiga simulation. "Dimitris Panokostas did a great job in creating the Amiberry emulator, and because the Raspberry Pi hardware is small, it can be easily installed almost anywhere," Billy said.
In this case, the single-board computer has been installed in a full-size 3D printed copy of the Amiga 600 chassis so that its USB port and WiFi can be used. A specially designed keyboard is connected, which was originally designed to replace an aging Amiga machine, while modern adapters allow the use of the old 9-pin joystick to enhance authenticity.
"The Cherry MX keyboard is illuminated and designed as a shell suitable for 3D printing," Billy explained. "The joystick adapter is plug-and-play and does not require any drivers. You can also use the Amiga CD32 joystick with their eight buttons." Other components include micro HDMI extender, SD card extender, power supply unit , USB extender, power switch and LAN extender.
To make sure everything goes smoothly, Billy uses the Amibian distribution ("the most complete experience of the classic Amiga environment"). He also likes to do this (in exchange for a small donation), he can use the Amibian 1.5 extended version made by Gunnar Kristjánsson.
"The extended version includes Raspbian Buster V10 OS with the appearance of Amiga OS 4," Billy said. "It has a modern browser, VLC media player and Qmmp audio player. You can even use LibreOffice Writer."
Amibian also allows users to update the software and Amiga emulator through its configuration tool. All this means that Billy's setup expands the potential of the machine, surpassing the real A600. He said: "This allows me to combine classical computing with modern computing."
In fact, the Pi 600 has the same feel and experience as the actual A600, but with the modern feel of Raspberry Pi hardware. "It has the juice necessary to run specific software (such as the classic pixel art package Deluxe Paint), you can play games without any problems, and you can build your own system and adapt it to your needs," Billy said. "For many people, this is the best Amiga solution in 2021."
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