Upgrading the Amiga A2000 to 68030/25

My weekend was ok. I got fed up with the slow speed of GNU C on my 68000/8 Amiga A2000 on Saturday and went out to buy a 68030 processor (wow, it even has an MMU). I got a 68030/25 with an FPU and also bought 16 megabytes of RAM on a SIMM (costing $150 - amazing how prices have dropped, and I can recycle it for the future BeBox). Unfortunately the SCSI controller on the new processor board doesn't work with my Quantum Fireballs, so I get vastly reduced hard drive performance (the old controller can't see the new memory and so the CPU has to copy data). On the other side of the coin, I can load up all of GNU C into a RAM disk and run it from there.

It's faster now, so I'm busy re-rendering the raytraced pictures for my animated short Sphereotypes Cubed. Now it takes a bit under 4 hours per frame, compared to 18 hours before. I expect to have the 896 frames done in about half a year, this time with dithering and in a screen size that can be played in real time off my hard drive.

Off to the IMAX Movies

On Monday I went to see the IMAX film Special Effects. It's a very good documentary, describing the Star Wars remake, a lot of Independence Day's explosion effects, and a few other films too (liked the lion from Jumanji). The nice thing about IMAX is the big screen and sound, particularly for the redone Star Wars opening scene. As well, I liked the way they showed older films on parts of the big screen, so that you could see them at normal size. The big screen is also useful for seeing what the inside of the various film making studios looks like, since there is enough detail to see the whole insides of their buildings (its kind of like being there and looking around). I'd recommend seeing it.

The second film in the double feature was Momentum, from 1992, a kind of Canadian home movie that shows the gee-whiz features of IMAX, making me motion sick. Not recommended unless you like playing Doom.

- Alex

Copyright © 1996 by Alexander G. M. Smith.