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20.May 2021

PiStorm: Video shows current development status
Claude Schwarz' 'PiStorm' connects a Raspberry Pi to the CPU socket in an A500, A1000 or A2000 via an adapter and uses the single-board computer to emulate a fast m68k processor. Unlike the Buffee project where the 68k emulator runs directly on the hardware, PiStorm uses a Linux-based solution (we reported).

In this YouTube video which was published two days ago and already has almost 25,000 views, the YouTuber Neil aka 'RMCRetro' explains the current status of the project and shows an example of commissioning the PiStorm in an A500. We would like to summarize the most important information in short bullet points:
  • Currently, the setup of the PiStorm is done by using a second PC via WiFi and a remote connection (here via Putty). In the future this setup process will be greatly simplified by writing the required files directly to the SD card.
  • In the current example, an A500 with a 68020 CPU, 128 MB RAM and Kickstart 1.3 was set up. However it is possible to switch between different ROM versions by simply selecting other Kickstart files so that 2.04 or 3.1 can also be used easily. These configuration sets can be saved separately. Likewise, instead of a 68020, a 68030 or 680040 CPU can be used which does not lead to higher speed but provides additional commands according to the processor. This is important for various games or software for compatibility reasons.
  • First speed test with SysInfo: When Kick 1.3 was selected, the speed was even slower than that of a 68000 but after switching to Kickstat 3.1 the speed approaches a 68040/25.
  • Biggest surprise was the hard disk speed: PiStorm 715 MB/s, for comparison a Vampire 4 standalone with 10MB/s.
  • Most obvious speed gain: Amiga Workbench is loaded within 3 seconds.
  • Various game tests, among others with "Frontier": No stutters.
  • With the latest emulator version direct communication between Pi and Amiga is possible. That means: Settings can be made from the Workbench as native program.
  • An RTG graphics card display is being worked on, keeping in mind that the signal still comes out of the Amiga's RGB port. The PiStorm team is working on a variant to feed the RGB signal of the Denise graphics chip into the WebCam port of the Pi then mix it with the RTG data and send it all to the HDMI port so that modern monitors can also be connected.
  • (dr) (Translation: bb)

    [News message: 20. May 2021, 11:11] [Comments: 0]
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