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Everything about Minimig

category: code [glöplog]

I ordered a Minimig (modern form of the original Commodore Amiga 500) and I need a Workbench setup to develope, C and M68K Assembly.

I would like to hear your experience with the Minimig in this sense, thanks.
added on the 2015-10-22 16:05:37 by AlienTech AlienTech
A raspberry Pi2 running uae would have probably been cheaper!
added on the 2015-10-22 16:36:30 by djh0ffman djh0ffman
I would like to hear your experience with the Minimig in this sense, thanks.

I suggest you also have a real A500 handy for testing that your stuff actually works as intended on the real deal, or be prepared that your stuff bugs during a compo :)
added on the 2015-10-22 16:38:37 by britelite britelite

The Minimig has been around for quite some time now and it is generally known to be very accurate compared to a real A500, well I really hope so :)
added on the 2015-10-22 16:49:03 by AlienTech AlienTech
@AlienTech - My demo worked perfectly on WinUAE and Minimig core and bugged during the compo. ;)
Now I have to get real A500 to fix that for final version.
added on the 2015-10-22 17:05:21 by KK KK
while i love that little box, need to disappoint you - minimig is FPGA emulation that is based on UAE from 10 years ago (when the minimig was originally created).
added on the 2015-10-22 17:06:51 by bonefish bonefish
(that msg was to @AlienTech, of course)
added on the 2015-10-22 17:07:17 by bonefish bonefish

Is Minimig really that "bad"?


I didn' t know the FPGA is actually based on an obsolete UAE.
Not a good purchase then? :(
added on the 2015-10-22 17:16:50 by AlienTech AlienTech
Minimig is not bad. In this case, it was even too good. ;) But if you want something running on particular retro machine, you have to test it on that exact machine.
added on the 2015-10-22 17:19:07 by KK KK
Did not know minimig core was based on UAE emulation.

Just a few months ago when developing the impassioned demo using latest version of WinUAE (At the time) the stretch scroll part was working fine on the emulator but appeared corrupted when running on the turbo chameleon core (which is based on minimig)

Seemed that there was a bug in winuae emulation instead (bitplane fetch cycle before/after ddwstrt did not work properly and was fixed in one of the winuae updates.

Perhaps UAE had this working initially then was broken after some updates, then fixed again? I assumed minimig core was based using some help from uae documentation but mainly created from the ground up?
added on the 2015-10-22 17:37:39 by algorithm algorithm
How is that Minimig setup supposed to be better than, say, UAE for development and a real A500 for testing?
added on the 2015-10-22 19:02:52 by yzi yzi
Personally I use WinUAE with a shared PC directory and VASM for assembling the file into the shared directory that I can run with WinUAE.
added on the 2015-10-22 19:05:53 by algorithm algorithm
@yzi: Smaller. ;) Also cheaper in my case, as I already won MiST from Lotharek in one compo an didn't have real A500. Add to this the (false) impression that FPGA runs like real thing, and you have my explanation now.
added on the 2015-10-22 19:30:04 by KK KK


The system I am talking about ...
added on the 2015-10-22 19:45:23 by AlienTech AlienTech
@alientech, i like to believe that everyone included in this thread know what minimig is.

e.g. here's self-made home-soldered minimig "cluster" (3 of those from this image are in my possession :)) ):
BB Image
yep, i told you that i love them.

cool as a toy, but as a reference amiga, to check if your prod runs on real hardware, not that good (as, it's not real hardware).
much less compatibile that any recent UAE.
added on the 2015-10-22 21:20:20 by bonefish bonefish

I assumed minimig core was based using some help from uae documentation but mainly created from the ground up?

Only the author Dennis van Weeren knows :)


i like to believe that everyone included in this thread know what minimig is.

Me too, but you never know.

cool as a toy

Only? Simplistic.

much less compatibile that any recent UAE.

Well there have been updates for the FPGA core and controller firmware over the years.
Anyway my intention is to use it as development system, I prefer it over UAE, feels like more at home ;)


"Never give up, never surrender!"
added on the 2015-10-23 16:32:40 by AlienTech AlienTech
"Never gonna give you up..."

FTFY. ;)
added on the 2015-10-23 16:40:22 by KK KK
If it's feeling you're after, then nothing beats the real thing. ;)
added on the 2015-10-23 20:22:34 by yzi yzi
Well there have been updates for the FPGA core and controller firmware over the years.

yep, and let's say that i'm not an innocent bystander when it comes to minimig, as one of Reality members (Quille) did actually implemented the hdd, sdhc and fat32 features (initially only available to fpga core for arm microcontroller) to the original minimig with the PIC controller - see here. if i'm not mistaken, it's still the PIC firmware to go.

cool as a toy

Only? Simplistic.

well, let me put it this way:
- if you're in need for dev environment, it's more convenient to use UAE (even if you use a asm-one for assembling, as I do)
- if you want something small to carry to the demoparty, laptop with UAE is more compact.
- if you want the true feel, and proper testing on real hardware, then you need real amiga
- if you want something that looks cool, can connect to modern displays (without hardware add-ons that costs more than minimig), use modern storage media without need for floppy emulators and use your favourite ps2 keyboard and mouse, then minimig is perfect. :))

with minimig, you'll definitely avoid slashing out $$$$ for add-ons (dvi output, usb mouse adapter, floppy emulator, memory expansion, accelerators, ...), plus you'll avoid taking care of that old hardware (remove batteries, recap the motherboard, ...).
but, is it the "real" amiga? no. it's probably like 99.9% compatible, and as KK already mentioned - some things will work "better", but that only means that it's not 100% compatible with real amiga.
(towards the end of 2013 we've lost crazy amount of time for debugging one thing that was working perfectly on winuae, fs-uae, minimig, amiga with floppy emulator, but at the same time was working only 4 of 5 times while booting from real floppy - 80% success rate.)
added on the 2015-10-23 23:11:05 by bonefish bonefish

it's probably like 99.9% compatible

If it is true, it is more than acceptable :)
I like the Minimig project very much because it is the only A500 hardware revival since the Commodore days (if I am not wrong).


Do you guys know any free and legal HDF Workbench setup for immediate use with the Minimig?

Another question, which real Amiga hardware are you using nowadays? Perhaps modern accessories (Gotek drive, ...)?
added on the 2015-10-24 13:58:16 by AlienTech AlienTech

Hi again

let's say that i'm not an innocent bystander when it comes to minimig

Which versions of both FPGA core and ARM controller firmware would you recommend the best? And where to download from?

Thanks :)
added on the 2015-10-24 15:35:05 by AlienTech AlienTech
i always downloaded mine from the forum linked above (or got it from the Quille directly, but he posted everything there - i think). there were some links in there also that linked to some repository (google code?), but you need to find them yourself as it's been some years since i've been there. :)) (i was minimig "evangelist" between 2009 and 2012, but if you would ask me now, i would probably recommended the mist board, as it supposed to have aga support due to bigger fpga)

for the fw versions, it's not that simple - your microcontroller fw needs to be in sync with the fpga core you're using. and while fpga core is easily interchangeable (it's loaded from the SD card on every power up), microcontrollers requires that you flash them manually. there is a procedure so you can update them while on the board, but most of the times we used the proper hardware programmer, as it was faster/easier/simpler.

therefore, i would suggest you to use the fw that you got with your minimig (i would presume that it's the latest?), and then experiment with different ones when you get more familiar with it. and remember to backup your important stuff on SD while doing so. ;))
added on the 2015-10-24 20:27:34 by bonefish bonefish

Thanks for the handy info.

I find it a bit confusing that the FPGA core and controller firmware updates are spread at least over 2 websites (maybe even more?):

1) https://code.google.com/p/minimig/
2) http://minimig.net/viewforum.php?f=5

1) seems more official but is stuck at 2010, while 2) is very recent ... so which one?

Anyway the Minimig is bundled with what is "known to work and reliable" by the vendor, which doesn' t necessarily correspond to the latest versions of the software.
added on the 2015-10-24 21:08:10 by AlienTech AlienTech
"work and reliable" is usually the best option for what you intend to use minimig, if you ask me. :))

as for the newer firmwares... well... see the last paragraph in my previous message. some of them requires that you upgrade to the different pic microcontroller, so it's not just a plain software upgrade. and since a new (and blank) PIC won't have a tiny bootloader flashed, you'll need a hardware programmer.
added on the 2015-10-24 22:33:29 by bonefish bonefish

Thanks for your support, very much appreciated.

I am now looking for a free and legal HDF Workbench setup, preinstalled and ready to use, do you know any?

Then later on top of that I need to install my SAS/C 6.58 and TRASH'M-One V1.6 programming environments so that I can start coding stuff ... ;)

Greetings from Rome, Italy :)
added on the 2015-10-25 09:45:45 by AlienTech AlienTech


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