With many claiming that Amiga 500 or any other Amiga should be as they are. Amitopia Amiga Magazine knows that any Amiga machine is a computer. This means that they are made for getting upgrades and tweaks to them like any PC or Mac.

ATonce gave Amiga 500 286 PC Capabilities

286 Hardware Emulator for Amiga 500

In 1990, Vortex in Germany released a 286 Emulator for Amiga 500. You replaced the original 68000 CPU in the exact same way as when you do it now with 68080 Vampire accelerator for it. With ATonce from Vortex, it transformed the Amiga 500. With this card, it could become a PC also. PC Compatibility was a big thing in 1990 and so Amiga 500 users got the chance too.

This gem isn’t written about in many magazines. I recently found info about it in a Norwegian magazine named dNh klubben. So, I had to dig a bit for you to know what sort of upgrade possibilities there was available for Amiga 500.

Amiga mouse is compatible with the ATonce 286 Emulator

The emulator had a physical 80286 CPU on the board that was clocked at 7.2MHz! There was a Plus model with RAM on board, but this one only used the Amiga RAM that you eventually had.

The video emulation supported CGA (non-interlaced), T3100 and Olivetti interlaced modes. It also supported virtual drives. These are PC hard files that could be installed on an Amiga hard disk.

The ATonce could use Amiga floppy drives, serial and parallel ports. The Amiga mouse could also be used. MOUSEMIC.COM by Microsoft is supported. This was the times before Windows 95 even but Vortex managed to deliver a quite interesting product for Amiga 500. So, 68080 FPGA accelerator is not the first expansion for Amiga 500. It’s just that the Amiga community never stopped supporting it. A PC from the same time isn’t as much loved. Commodore might have fallen, but the users keep it alive still and we love that.

All of our information in this article is based on the article in dNh klubben. We haven’t been able to test it. 

 

Source: dNh Klubben (1991), Amiga Resource

 

1 Comment

  1. I had the Plus model in my Amiga 2000. It was supposed not to be compatible but just because a problem of space so I managed to fit it raising it with an extra cpu shocket.
    I used it for homework from my computer science university career.
    Some great things about the ATonce were you could use Amiga and PC at once (hence the name). PC part was just another screen that you could lower with your mouse to reveal the Workbench screen or whatever other program you were running (who said multitasking?).
    You could also read PC disks and copy their contents from the virtual PC hard disk to your Amiga Hard Disk and vice versa.
    Hercules and CGA were not the greatest graphic experience but you were able to run even Windows 3.11

Comments are closed.