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Demos Amiga Demoscene Archive Forum / Coding / Newbie interested in coding on the A500.


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#1 - Posted: 27 Apr 2011 12:13
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Hi there.

This might seem slightly ignorant but I'd like to ask you guys where the best place would be to start looking into coding for the A500. I've done some very basic ASM coding on the c64, and I know one or two high level languages, but I've never done any A500 coding.

I've googled like a madman but I am still not sure where to start looking. Any decent tutorials for a newcomer like myself? I might get a friend or two to join me in this venture as well so at some point we might release something completely horrible as well :).

Any help much appreciated.

PS. I got a working A500 but I guess most of the beginning stuff can be done in an emulator environment anyway (running Mac OS X)?

Thanks for your time.
#2 - Posted: 27 Apr 2011 12:46
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I'm still learning my way around the amiga but here're a few things that I found useful to use/look at:

Copy of the amiga hardware reference manual. You'll need this to understand the custom chips, and how to get stuff on screen and moving. There're some online versions here: http://amigadev.elowar.com/

The best way of learning for me has been to look at actual source. Here's a good place to start:


Some other stuff that may be relevant (although you might already have this stuff setup, if so apologies :D)

AsmPro is my compiler of choice. Has an excellent editor built in, and some handy tools for demo coding. There's also DevPac. If you're cross compiling Vasm & Vlink are worth checking out.

Piccon, great for converting IFF images into RAW so you can use them in your code

DPaint/Personal Paint, for drawing things (although I do my stuff in photoshop and covert it over to IFF on the Mac. I still need Personal Paint to tidy things up though, it's great for fixing dodgy dithering and sorting out anti aliasing :D)

Protracker, for tunes, although there are loads of MODs on the web that you can borrow ;)

ClassicWB: This is a great ready rolled workbench environment that I use on my real Amiga for dev. Lots of tools all configured and built in, makes life very easy. http://classicwb.abime.net/

Oh and Amiga Forever is worth buying, as you'll have all the Kickstart ROMs needed for emulation, plus various versions of Workbench preconfigured to test your code under. It's a reliable way of doing dev, although I still use an actual Amiga to do most of my stuff on.

There are loads of books on 68000, but tbh a few googlings would probably get you just as much info.

And of course, forums like this and EAB are an absolute treasure trove of useful info.
#3 - Posted: 27 Apr 2011 13:22
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Thanks for the response. I'll look into your links and then try to get the most basic things set up and then try to assemble hello world or something!

Much obliged!
#4 - Posted: 27 Apr 2011 13:43 - Edited
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Also check:
"How To Code 7" by Comrade J/SAE (HTML here),
the tutorials by Randy/Ram Jam (mentioned here, Italian/German),
"The Source" collections, reachable via the Amiga University in above link,
"MC680x0 Reference" by Flint/Darkness (mentioned here),
"AGA Guide" by T.F.A (usually comes with ASM-One)

And the hardware reference manual, as previously mentioned.

IMHO Devpac is the best Amiga-based assembler if you later on want to link your code e.g. with C-code. Otherwise ASM-One/Pro are really nice and fast IDE's
#5 - Posted: 27 Apr 2011 15:01
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If you post your email addys (disguised ofcourse) I can provide a basic start-up code (if needed) that is suitable for all Amigas
using a bitplane-setup.
#6 - Posted: 27 Apr 2011 15:44 - Edited
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when i first started coding 68k asm i remember finding THIS file extremely useful. there are also a bunch of quite simple tutorials (for amateurs, written by amateurs) on the same site.
#7 - Posted: 27 Apr 2011 19:22
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Thanks all, I'm going to try to set some kind of environment up and then indulge in some basic hacking! :)
#8 - Posted: 27 Apr 2011 19:48
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Speaking from basic experience, i found a good startup and shutdown system important. It gives a buzz when you see the system shutting down and a black screen waiting to display your code.

As a next step, it could be useful to try and display a picture. Gives a great feeling when you see that picture appearing on screen and it gives you an insight in a lot of things, from importing data, setting up a copper list, getting to know the color system and the bitplane structure.

But i'm sure others will give you better tips than me :)

Also, there are some good tips and tutorials hidden in this forum.


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