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ScuzzBlog: Diaries July 2018

Entry 18th July 2018: Post 01: Amiga 500 - Clever Strurff Part I

Amiga 500 - Clever Sturff Part I

I have all these things lying around designed for the Amiga 500
which in truth I have probably never used. Thing is that by the
time you get to the Amiga 1200 there really are way better ways
to achieve the same kinds of results without all the hassle. That's
progress for you. It really is amazing to what lengths developers
of peripherals and software  were stretching the boundaries of the
A500 way beyond the anticipated limitations of the machine.

Anyway here are three items that I have had kicking around for a
while and before they go back into storage I thought I would have
a play.

First up is the HAM-E , a gadget that some suggest was actually
killed off by Commodore in their efforts to promote AGA.

A 24-bit system for the A500 which uses a regular 1084 Monitor,
compatible with software of the time and comes with its own paint
program and image processing system. HAM-E like HAM is a clever
`trick` that persuades the Amiga to show many more colours ,
256 from 16 million in standard `Register` mode or about 256,000
colours in HAM-E mode offering an extended version of ordinary HAM.

So how does it do it. HAM-E is based on a very simple trick, it
uses a hi-res display inside the computer (640 x 256 non-interlace)
but actually displays each pair of pixels as just one pixel, to
give an apparently low resolution.

The hardware controls the display by examining the first few pixels
of the image, over four to eight scan-lines. If it finds the right
combination of colours at the top- left corner of the image HAM-E
is triggered.

Comes with Register Paint and Image Professional and in its day cost
300 from Black Belt Systems.

Check out Amiga Format Issue 27 for October 1991

Sadly I don't have the power supply and so was unable to test the
gizmo to see if it was working.

HAM E - Blackbelt

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Last updated 18th July 2018

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