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2024 Jul 15 07:47:51
Hi all, extended SimCity2000 through to August to give us all time to have a good go at this!  :D


2024 May 30 07:31:48
Hi all, it's almost June.  Guess what!?  I've got my 'arcade' room almost set up, to a point where I can actually sit down in front of my Amigas to play games!!!  I am keen to start up GOTHEM again, and plan to post a couple of new games this weekend!


2024 May 28 13:55:52
Amazing New Things are happening on the forum!


2023 Dec 03 18:01:16
Sadly.. GOTHEM has.... For the present!


2023 Nov 29 19:04:54
Last chance! Get those GOTHEM's in!

My Vampire V4 Standalone adventure (so far….)

A long time ago… I started to think and ask questions about what, where and how to go forward with my Amiga adventure. To sum up see the following forum thread: https://www.amigaretro.com/index.php/topic,130.0.html

Thanks to a dear friend I became the proud owner of a Vampire V4SA.

A couple of points to note from my experience:

  • It is an amazing little machine (a super amiga in a box) very and lots of fun!
  • When you have a working “core” and configuration you are happy with “keep it”
  • Special Mention – “ApolloBoot” is even more amazing! It brings it to life!

*Please note, much of this is a summation as it happened over several weeks and my memory is not as good as it once was! I should have thought ahead and taken notes too!

Out of the box, for me it worked – thanks to the lucky fact that I happened to have a keyboard and mouse that worked with it, this was not so much by good planning as just luck! As it is very fussy about hardware compatibility.


HP USB Keyboard from Current range of HP Mini PC’s

Amiga USB Optical Mouse (purchased for use with AmiKit originally)

First Boot was fine on a Phillips 24” LCD Monitor and also an older LG 24” (3 others in my office did not work – the HDMI can also be fussy).

Apart from one or two hangs and reboot issues all ran well in my first explorations.

Default network configuration got me on the Internet quickly too! Likewise loading files from a FAT formatted Micro-SD card went well, got a couple of odd errors doing this but I thought it was just me at the time. Sadly, I did not take any pictures at this point all was going pretty well!

First real hiccup was as mentioned a couple of file errors while copying some files from SD card and then later when trying to download files from the internet to have a go at the new Vampire Games. It would just stop, usually with the green access light hard on.

I visited the forum and joined the discord server for the Vampire and ApolloOS.

Basic suggestions where that it may be an OS and/or core related issue (age), so I updated the core (it was a direct download from the apollo site – smaller files would download fine).

Bang! (Metaphorically) no boot!

The original OS image supplied on the CF card was too old and would not boot without updates, I was advised the easiest option was to download a new ApolloOS image and try again, so I downloaded the current release.

Great! Booting restored and it looked flasher too 😉 (Had to add the obligatory Sysinfo screen too)

However, the problems continued – same issues - seemingly related to large file downloads or file copies locking up the IDE interface as the access light was almost always on when it locked up.

At this time I must admit I found the assistance offered to me on the forum and discord was not very helpful, I don't doubt they were trying. It was mainly assuming I must be doing something wrong or playing with settings or burning images wrongly etc! I must be using a non-supported CF card etc.

I asked if I should try an alternative CF card just in case as CF cards had been a major issue for them in the past – hence their recommendation of particular “tested” cards.

I had a 32G CF card and adapter that was part of an AmigaOS 3.1.4 upgrade kit I had purchased and never used, so I decided to give that a go.

Having written a new freshly downloaded ApolloOS image to this card I placed it in the Vampires supplied IDE adapter. It booted up all fine but sadly the same issues continued.

After much continued discission on discord – its probably still on there! And not much help I must say (although many people did try I must admit) I decided to continue with a simple process of elimination and start again swapping items as I go.

In the end I decided to replace the supplied CF card and adapter with the CF card and adapter from the Amiga OS upgrade kit and see how that went – again a new imaged burned to the card first!

And… what do you know it worked!!!! File downloads and copies working 100%!

No body on the forum or discord could believe that a simple adapter with no electronic components could be causing the failure!

To double check this I swapped out the 32G CF with the supplied 128G CF on the new adapter and it was functioning perfectly now too!

Downloaded games away!!!

So, supplied CF/IDE adapter removed and all is go!

Time to try out some other Amiga software and games as see how it goes!

As you would expect with an emulated CPU - acting as a 68080 CPU (that never existed) - running on a 100% FPGA chipset you get some issues.

Again after some discussion on discord and the forum’s I decided to look into running other “more” compatible OS’s than the recommended ApolloOS, keeping in mind that if you want support you need to keep ApolloOS as your base for assistance in fault finding.

To this end I discovered “ApolloBoot”! This is the most amazing piece of work from a very clever developer/hobbyist and contributing/testing group! I can’t speak highly enough of this project!

ApolloBoot comes in 3 flavours – Solo, Trio and OMNI. The latter being my choice as it basically allows you to install, configure and run multiple Amiga OS’s (Including AmiKit - My Favorite) on one CF card in your Vampire!

The installation and configuration of this – is another story – and I am not going to go into it now. Suffice it to say – the documentation supplied and support offered is outstanding!

Pictured above is release R83 of ApolloBoot under which I had several – not all listed – OS’s installed, ie; all the OS’s I owned at the time, including my beloved AmiKit. This configuration – within reason – ran as faultlessly as you could expect – software compatibility issues accepted.

I will leave that there for the time being and I do hope others find it helpful, very happy to fill in any gaps I can - that my memory has missed thus far! Just ask! 😉

To repeat my summation points from above:

  • It is an amazing little machine (a super amiga in a box) lots of Great fun!
  • When you have a working “core” and configuration you are happy with “keep it”
  • Special Mention – “ApolloBoot” is even more amazing! It brings it to life!

Point 2 above, leads on to the next part of the adventure – if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!

In order to help test the latest games and functions I elected to upgrade to the latest ApolloOS, which at the time was release 9.2 – and all hell broke loose! But that’s a story for another day.

Thank you.

Some reference links for you:

Apollo Computer – Home of the Vampire: http://www.apollo-computer.com/index.php

Apollo Core – Home of the FPGA Core: http://www.apollo-core.com

Shortcut to Apollo Links: http://www.apollo-computer.com/resources.php#Links

Discord: http://discord.gg/TsKm6ym

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