previous page: 1.4 AmigaDOS
page up: Amiga-related Books FAQ
next page: 1.6 Important Older Material

1.5 Hardware


This article is from the Amiga Books FAQ, by Marc Atkin with numerous contributions by others.

1.5 Hardware

o Warren Block:

A1200 Hardware FAQ

A4000 Hardware Guide

These two on-line documents answer common hardware problems with the A1200 and A4000, and how to go about fixing them. They are both available on Aminet ( hard/misc/a1200hardfaq.lha and hard/misc/a4khard.lha ).

o Commodore Business Machines: A500/A2000 Technical Reference Guide Commodore, [year?]. CATS part number: TECHREF01 $40.00

A 275-page reference manual that describes the technical features of the A500 and A2000, as well as those features that differ from the A1000. Table of contents includes: System Block Diagrams, Amiga Expansion, Designing Hardware for the Amiga Expansion Architecture, Driver Documentation, Software for Amiga Expansion, PC Bridgeboard and schematics.

o Commodore Business Machines: Amiga 1000 Schematics and Expansion Specifications Commodore, 1986. CATS part number: A1000SM $20.00

Spiral-bound manual containing full Amiga 1000 schematics, timing diagrams, PAL equations, and documentation for the auto-configuration process.

o Grote, Gelfland, Abraham: Amiga Disk Drives, Inside and Out Abacus, 1988. ISBN 1-55755-042-5

lo@hawaiian.net (Lopaka), 7 Apr 1996: "Came with a disk and some programs, lots of info about how the old file system worked, ways to hack it, overcome copy protection etc. My gripe was that 'Inside and Out' should at least cover what the jumpers do, tips on fixing floppy drives, ways to make PC drives work on the Amiga etc. If I had a chance to glance at it first, I would not have ordered it, but it was mail order. I'm sure some coders would like the book, but ah well, it's too dated now, I think."

lucadip@flashnet.it (Luca DP), 25 May 1998: "It's simply a great book, and it covers everything from how the data is physically stored on the disks to everything a programmer should know about: programming under AmigaDos or directly `banging' on the hardware. It includes plenty of examples (and there are 3 working programs at the end of the book) and a disassembly of the ROM routines. Don't even think about making your own boot disk without this book! If you can find it now, even used, it's worth buying."

Randell.Jesup@scala.com (Randell Jesup), 20 Jul 1998: "I was in charge of the disk drivers and AmigaDOS at Commodore from 1988 until the end. I did major rewrites on the floppy drivers, rewrote AmigaDOS in C/ASM (from BCPL/ASM), etc. This book has more technical errors and code-bugs than you can shake a stick at. Many of the specs given (or more normally assumed without comment) are just plain wrong and will fail on some subset of Amiga drives out there (people like this were the reason some program's copy-protection code failed randomly or on certain machines). I have a copy of it (in a box somewhere now) that had yellow post-it's for each major bug. It was full of them. I considered this book a hopeless case back in '88.

If you must program the floppy hardware directly, respect the timing requirements. The code in the book was littered with busywait-loops that might work semi-correctly on an A500 - maybe. Take over from the OS correctly so you don't collide with it. [...] The [AmigaDOS] drivers come within a few percent of the theoretical max, and have extensive error-recovery code to manage to retrieve sectors off of damaged tracks. Use the OS."

o [author?]: A1200 Insiders Guide Bruce Smith Books, [year?]. [ISBN?] UKP 14.95

o various authors: Specification for the Advanced Amiga (AA) Chip Set 1993.

On-line document, available from Aminet ( text/hyper/aga_guide.lha ).

Dirk@chessy.aworld.de (Dirk Kocherscheidt), 12 Apr 1996: [...] includes a complete list of the registers of the AGA-Custom-Chips. As far as I know, this guide is the only available documentation about AGA. It's pretty useful for demo/game coders who already know how the OCS works, because the guide doesn't give any real examples (except explaining how the new display and sprite modes work). The registers are both listed by address and by name. If you click on the register's name you get exact information about what each bit means and how it has to be used. All in all I'd say that this guide is pretty useful."


Continue to:

previous page: 1.4 AmigaDOS
page up: Amiga-related Books FAQ
next page: 1.6 Important Older Material