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Amiga CD32 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Part 1 of 2

( Part1 - Part2 )
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Archive-Name: amiga/CD32-FAQ/part1
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Version: $VER: CD32-FAQ 3.5 (05-May-96)

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
     |  Amiga CD32 Frequently Asked Questions - Part 1 of 2  |
     | Maintained by Stuart Tomlinson            Version 3.5 |
     | Email:            5th May 1996 |

Due to Dan Cannon leaving his Demon Internet account, he has granted/suckered
me with the pleasure of maintaining this FAQ. A lot of the work in it
I owe to him.

Anyone still wishing to reach Dan can find him at his new Uni
address <>.

NOTE: My e-mail address is due to change some time during this month.
      Any CD32-FAQ modifications should be posted to
      for this month only. After this month my new address will be

[---- Subjects Covered -----------------------------------------------------]

      Part 1...
   Tech Spec
   Audio CDs
   CD+Gs/Karaoke CDs
   Photo CDs
   Video CDs

      Part 2...
   Emulating a CD32
   Software Developers

[---- Introduction ---------------------------------------------------------]

      This is the FAQ for comp.sys.amiga.cd32 and It's
      posted on the first weekend of each month. A lot of it is based upon
      the earlier FAQ by Edward D. Berger <> - thanks go
      to him for doing all the hard work. Another equally sized hand of thanks
      must go to Dan Cannon <>, who was the maintainer
      before I. Who has done the rest of this FAQ so far.

      It's split into two parts. The first part holds the contents and the
      more general stuff. The second part holds the more technical stuff.

      This document is freely distributable, but it's compilation copyright.
      No changes should be made to it and it can't be sold for profit or used
      as part of a commercial document without the author's permission. So
      there. If you're reading this on a CD-ROM collection then it could be
      out of date.

      Some sections have wiring diagrams or details of how to connect non-
      CD32 specific peripherals to your CD32. These are taken from postings
      from Usenet or Email and the only guarantee is that it worked for the
      authors. There is a very good chance you could fry both your CD32 and
      the peripheral by accident. If you're not knowledgable in electronics,
      have somebody who is double check everything before turning the power
      on or buy a ready made adaptor instead.

      As well as news postings, you can get copies of this FAQ though...

   E-Mail To:
     Subject: Doesn't matter
      send usenet/news.answers/amiga/CD32-FAQ/part1
      send usenet/news.answers/amiga/CD32-FAQ/part2


      More detailed CD32 pinouts are available...

   E-Mail To:
     Subject: Doesn't matter
      get /pub/amiga/docs/cd32-pinouts.txt

   WWW   file://

      And to get a copy of the CD+G list...

   E-Mail To:
     Subject: Doesn't matter
      get /pub/doc/misc/cdplusg.txt

   WWW   file://

      For the Email methods of getting files, you can put 'help' in the body
      of the message (without the quotes) for more info about how to use that
      Email server (including how to split the message into parts for anyone
      who has an incoming Email limit).

      Thanks to these people who supplied answers (either by Email or, er,
      borrowed from the newsgroups). If you think I've left you out then put
      me right...

   Alan Buxey              <>
   Alan Redhouse           <>
   Alan Thomas             <>
   Alf Edvin Torgersen     <>
   Allan Duncan            <>
   Anders Stenkvist        <>
   Anon                    <>
   Bert Heise              <>
   Chris Naylor            <>
   Claude Mueller          <>
   Clive Thomas            <>
   Dan Cannon              <>
   David Avery             <>
   David Bump              <>
   David L.                <>
   David Law/Weird Science <>
   David Mansell           <>
   Dominic Ramsey          <>
   Erik Austin             <>
   Frank Hoen/Eureka       <>
   Frederic Botton         <>
   Garry Cardinal          <cardinal@ARC.AB.CA>
   Gavin Moran             <>
   Geoff Adams             <>
   Gregor Rbel             <>
   Jan Willemsen           <>
   Jason Compton           <>
   Jason Quigley           <>
   Jens Kufver             <>
   Joel Corn/Darksoft      <>
   John Bump               <katana@holly.ColoState.EDU>
   John Layt               <>
   John Lewis              <JohnL@nesbbx.rain.COM>
   Johan Fabry             <>
   Jonas Petersson         <>
   Joop van de Wege        <>
   Jukka Kauppinen         <>
   Karl Frederick          <>
   Keith Blakemore-Noble   <>
   Kenwyn M. Smith         <>
   Kimmo Veijalainen       <>
   Klaus Hegemann          <>
   Maarten Ter Mors        <>
   Manjit Bedi             <>
   Martin Chantler         <>
   Matthew Hornyak         <>
   Michael Cox             <>
   Michael King            <>
   Michael Litchfield      <>
   Mick Tinker/Index       <>
   Nick Zajerko-McKee      <>
   Olaf Barthel            <>
   Olivier Cremel          <>
   Patrick Van Beem        <>
   Paul van der Heu        <>
   Peter Kittel            <>
   Phil Kernick            <>
   Philip McDunnough       <>
   Ralf Willinghoefer      <>
   Ralf Willinghfer        <GRISU@FANTASIE.RUHR.DE>
   Ralph Bonnell           <>
   Robert Wells            <>
   Rob Healey              <>
   Ron                     <>
   Steve Cutting           <>
   Stuart Prevost          <>
   Thomas Kessler          <>
   Tony Philipsson         <>
   William Thompson        <>

[---- Key ------------------------------------------------------------------]

 Q:   A question.
 A:   An answer (there may be more than one answer per question).

 *    A change since the last version.
 +    An addition since the last version.
 -    An answer is missing or incomplete - this will (hopefully) be sorted
      out by the next version.

      To skip through questions, set your text viewer to search for the
      string 'Q:'. To skip through subjects, search for '[-'.

[---- Tech Spec ------------------------------------------------------------]

 Q:   What are the technical details of the CD32?

 A:   Internal...
   CPU         Motorola 68EC020 clocked at 14.32Mhz.
            32 bit data path. 24 bit address space
            (limited to additional 8M of 'fast' RAM due
            to CD32 system design).
   FPU         None.
   MMU         None.
   ROM         1M (8 megabits) of operating system.
   RAM         2M (16 megabits) of 'chip' RAM.
            1K of 'flash' RAM.
   CD drive    Multi-session, double speed, top loading,
            caddy-less design. Max transfer about 330K/s.
            Custom controller based (not IDE or SCSI).
   Operating system  Kickstart/AmigaDOS version 40.6, release 3.1.
            Customisations for CD32 specifics.
   Custom chipset    AGA custom chipset from 4 chips.
            Chips are called Akiko, Alice, Lisa, Paula.
            See the  Jargon list for what they do.

   Aux port    1 x 6 pin mini-din type.
            Combined serial/keyboard connector.
   Controller ports  2 x 9 pin D type.
            Accepts CD32 joypads, Amiga mice, joysticks,
            Megadrive joypads, Master System joypads.
   Video outputs     Composite, S-Video, RF (for televisions).
            French CD32s have a combined SCART & S-Video
            port in place of the S-Video port.
   Audio outputs     2 x RCA standard fixed output level.
            1 x mini stereo headphone jack adjustable
            output level.
   Expansion port    1 x microchannel.
            For FMV cartridge or other system expansions.

   CD32 joypad    Custom 11 button wire based, 9 pin D style.
            1 supplied, additional joypads can be
            purchased separately.
   CD32x & SX-1      Adds enough connectors and ports to make it
            possible to use your CD32 as a computer.
   FMV cartridge     Play CD-i Digital Video or Video CDs.
   Keyboard    Most Amiga keyboards can be plugged into a
   Mouse       All Amiga mice can be plugged into the CD32.
            Some games will be easier to control.
   Serial link    Connected to the Aux port, allows you to use
            the CD32 as an external CD-ROM drive for
            other computers.

[---- Controllers ----------------------------------------------------------]

 Q:   What's the Competition Pro CD32 joypad like?

 A:   It's completely compatible with the C= CD32 joypad.

      Some good things said about it are that it's shaped like a Megadrive
      joypad, the diagonals are easier to get to, it feels less delicate, it
      has turbo and auto fires, and it has a slow motion button.

      Some bad things said about it are that it's shaped like a Megadrive
      joypad and the diagonals are more difficult to get to.

      Obviously a bit subjective.

 Q:   Is it possible to plug other types of controller into the controller

 A:   Yes, but you'll lose access to most CD32 joypad buttons.

      CD32  Megadrive   Master System  Joystick Amiga mouse
      --------- --------------- --------------- --------------- -------------
      Select   B     A     Fire     Left button
      Stop  C     B     (Second fire)  Right button
      Play              (Third fire)   Middle button

 Q:   Is it possible to connect a 6-button Megadrive or SNES joypad to the

 A:   As far as I know, it can't be done unless you're good with a soldering
      iron, but if anyone has managed to do this then I'll stick the details
      in here.

 Q:   Is it possible to use the CD32 joypad on normal Amigas?

 A:   It works fine. Some newer Amiga games are even taking advantage of the
      extra buttons (shuffle, loop, etc...). Many older Amiga games that use
      the keyboard for weapon select will use the stop button instead (eg.
      Project-X, Apydia, Turrican 2).

 Q:   Is it possible to both connect both a joypad and a mouse and use them

 A:   The joypad should be plugged into controller port 1 and the mouse
      should be plugged into controller port 2.

 Q:   Is it possible to connect more than two controllers?

 A:   There are rumours of being able to daisy-chain 8 or even 16 CD32
      joypads together, but nothing's been seen.

      What will work is if you connect some kind of interface that gives you
      a parallel port (eg. SX-1) and plug in an Amiga four-player adaptor in

      The good point is that you can play the Amiga version of Dynablaster,
      if you have a floppy drive.

      The bad points are that it's a bit expensive and CD32 joypads won't
      work when plugged into the four player adaptor (but they still work if
      you plug them into the side controller ports).

[---- Software -------------------------------------------------------------]

 Q:   What CDs will work with the CD32?

 A:   CD32 ones (um), many CDTV ones, music CDs, Karaoke CDs, CD+Gs (like a
      music CD but it has pictures or lyrics displayed in time with the
      music), Photo CDs (if you load up a photo CD reader first), and Video
      CDs (if you have the FMV cartridge plugged in).

      Also it can read CDs meant for other computers such as the PC and the
      Mac, but it's up to you to tell it how to make sense of the files on
      the CD (maybe by using something like datatypes). You won't be able to
      play games for other computers though.

 Q:   How can I try to convince a game to work in PAL or NTSC?

 A:   Connect an Amiga mouse into controller port 2, hold down both mouse
      buttons, and press the reset button. You'll be given a boot menu where
      you'll be able to choose either PAL or NTSC. If you have a keyboard
      then you can press any key to switch the boot menu between PAL and
      NTSC so you can see what you're doing.

      This is useful for NTSC CD32 owners who want to run games that use the
      PAL area of the screen.

      Multisystem TVs connected to any video output on or 1084s connected to
      the S-Video output will work.

      TVs/monitors connected to the CD32 through the French CD32's or SX-1's
      or CD32x's or TP9's (see diagram at end of FAQ) RGB connector will also
      work fine.

      TVs/monitors connected to the CD32 through the composite or S-Video
      outputs won't work though. The problem is that the PAL colour signal is
      still sent at the NTSC frequency.

 Q:   Are there any games with NTSC problems?

 A:   Lock 'n' Load - most of the games (about 80%) are PAL only.

      Nick Faldo's Golf doesn't let you see the bottom of the screen, so you
      can't even take shots properly because the meters are covered up.

      Video Creator has the bottom of the screen missing. Also the animations
      become slowly out of sync with the music because of the difference in
      speed between NTSC/PAL machines. Almathera MAY work on an NTSC version
      of Video Creator - Email them at the address at the end of the FAQ to
      convince them.

 Q:   Are there any games definitely without NTSC problems?

 A:   Here's a list...
   Alien Breed Tower Assult   Battle Chess
   Banshee           Bubba 'n' Stix
   Bubble 'n' Squeak    Chaos Engine (NTSC)
   Defender of the Crown 2    Fire and Ice
   Global Effect        Guardian
   Gunship 2000         Insight Technology
   Labyrinth of Time    Litil Divil
   Lotus Trilogy        Microcosm
   Pinball F./Sleepwalker (NTSC) Super Stardust
   Ultimate Body Blows     Winter Olympics

 Q:   What CD32 bundles are available?

 A:   Original...
   Diggers           Oscar

      Dangerous Streets...
   Dangerous Streets    Diggers
   Oscar          Wing Commander

      Spectacular Voyage...
   Chaos Engine         Microcosm
   (Early versions also had the games from Dangerous Streets included.)

      Critical Zone...
   Cannon Fodder        Diggers
   Liberation        Microcosm
   Oscar          Project-X
   Ultimate Body Blows

 Q:   What multimedia software is available for the CD32?

 A:   CD32 specific...
   Grolier's Encyclopedia II
   Guinness Book of Records II
   Insight: Technology (released for CD32, CDTV compatible)
   Video Creator
   Video Creator Update 1 (Amiga CD32 issue 2)
   Video Creator Extras (AUI December 1994 - on floppy)

      Various CDTV titles...
   Advanced Military Simulator   American Heritage Dictionary
   Animals in Motion    Connoisseur of Fine Arts
   New Basics Electronic Cookbook   Stamps of France and Monaco
   Timetable of Business, Politics  Timetable of Science, Innovation

      Various CDTV titles that require a mouse...
   Dr Wellman        Fruits and Vegetables
   Garden Plants        Guinness Disc of Records
   Illustrated Holy Bible     Illustrated Works of Shakespeare
   Indoor Plants        Musicolor
   Trees and Shrubs     Women in Motion

      Various CDTV titles that require a keyboard and disk drive...
   Inter Office

 Q:   What educational software is available for CD32?

 A:   CD32 specific...
   MicroFrench CD32
   (Contains video sequences, but you don't have to own a FMV cartridge
   to view them. More languages are planned.)

      Various CDTV titles...
   A Long Hard Day at the Ranch  Cinderella
   Fun School 3 (under 5's)   Fun School 3 (5 to 7)
   Fun School 3 (over 7's)    Heather Hits a Home Run
   Moving Gives me a Stomach Ache   Mud Puddle
   North Polar Expedition     Scary Poems for Rotten Kids
   Tale of Benjamin Bunny     Tale of Peter Rabbit
   Thomas' Snowsuit

      Various CDTV titles that require a mouse...
   A Bun for Barney     Barney Bear Goes Camping
   Barney Bear Goes to School LTV English
   My Paint       Paperbag Princess

      Various CDTV titles that require a keyboard...
   Asterix English for French 1  Asterix English for French 2
   Asterix French for English 1  Asterix French for English 2

[---- Audio CDs ------------------------------------------------------------]

 Q:   Is it possible to directly read the audio data from music CDs into

 A:   Nobody's managed to do this. The next best thing is to buy an SX-1,
      plug a sampler into the parallel port, start a CD playing with one of
      the CD players from aminet:/disk/cdrom, then sample directly to hard

[---- CD+Gs/Karaoke CDs ----------------------------------------------------]

 Q:   Where do I get CD+Gs from?

 A:   CD+G discs used to have a little sticker on the case, but the companies
      stopped this on the grounds that it confused the general public... The
      only places you'll probably find them now are in bargain bins or the
      odd mail order music store.

      You can download a list of CD+Gs released from the place mentioned at
      the start of the FAQ, so you at least know what you're looking for. If
      you find a CD+G not on the list you can also send an addition (have a
      look on the list for how to do this).

 Q:   Can I use Karaoke CDs?

 A:   Yep. They're the same thing. If you work or you know anybody working in
      a pub then you could get hold of the CDs for their Karaoke machine.

 Q:   How do I play CD+Gs/Karaoke CDs?

 A:   If you have a CD+G disc, you'll be able to tell immediately - the music
      player will disappear and the graphics will appear as soon as you press

      Use the up and down directions to change language and select to return
      to the music player. The rest of the controls work as normal. Once
      you're back at the player, a "CD+G" button will appear in the bottom
      left corner - hit select on that to return to the graphics.

 Q:   How do CD+Gs/Karaoke CDs work?

 A:   They fill up the spare 25M that is empty on a regular music CD with the
      graphics. They're limited to 16 colours low-resolution so that they
      stand a greater chance of working on a lot of different systems.

[---- Photo CDs ------------------------------------------------------------]

 Q:   Is it possible to display Photo CDs without expanding to a computer?

 A:   Yep, use one of these CDs before the Photo CD...
   Network CD        Weird Science
   Photolite         Eureka

 A:   Olaf Barthel wrote:

      In Winter 1994 I wrote a commercial program for this purpose. It can
      read both plain Photo CDs (such as the golden Photo CD Master discs)
      and interactive Photo CD portfolio discs. The program uses technology
      licensed from the Eastman Kodak Corporation. It is called "FolioworX
      Player" and retails for about DM 100,-. Blittersoft is the official
      distributor in the UK.

 A:   This is a quick description made after reading Asimware's info sheet
      (it's probably better to read the full thing for yourself if you're
      interested before making up your mind):

      Asimware's Photo CD Manager costs US $39.95/CDN $47.95 and works on the
      CD32 and any Amiga with Kickstart 2 or above. It displays thumb nail
      images in groups of 10 on a sort of tape deck display. From this you
      can choose one or as many pictures as you want and view them as a
      slide show in any order. If you've got a CD32 or an AGA Amiga it
      displays them in 262144 colours, otherwise 4096.

[---- Video CDs ------------------------------------------------------------]

 Q:   What does the FMV cartridge do?

 A:   If you plug in the FMV cartridge, you can play Video CDs in almost the
      same way as you play music CDs. It's really a 24 bit display card that
      can be genlocked with normal CD32 graphics, so you can superimpose your
      own images over it (this is a feature of Video Creator, apparently).

 Q:   Where do I get Video CDs from?

 A:   Any decent computer/music/video shop.

 Q:   Can I use CD-i Digital Video CDs?

 A:   Yep. Some don't quite follow the standard though, so if you get rubbish
      on certain ones you can upgrade your FMV cartridge's ROM to the latest
      version (40.30) which can cope with the non-standard CDs. The dealer
      that you bought the FMV cartridge from should be able to do this for
      you at a cost of about 5UKP.

 Q:   What are the differences between Video CDs and CD-i Digital Video CDs?

 A:   You won't get the bookmarks that you find on the CD-i. That's because
      the bookmarks are really a CD-i program. Instead you can search through
      the disc using the normal music player controls.

[---- Magazines ------------------------------------------------------------]

 Q:   Are there any Amiga/CD32 magazines with CD-ROMs?

 A:   In the UK (check your usual sources of foreign Amiga mags elsewhere)...

      Amiga CD! (included with Amiga User International)...
   Monthly. Some sections of issue 3 are CDTV and A570 compatible. Issue
   3 was the last issue. They're still waiting for the Commodore issue
   to sort itself out, so maybe it'll start up again now that it has.

      Amiga CD32 magazine...
   Not regular. Issues 1 and 2 are available through Amiga Format's back
   issues page. Issue 3 was planned to be out on December 1st. It hasn't
   been seen yet.

      Amiga Power CD32 version...
   Not regular. Issue 49 has a CD32 version with some demos, a load of
   PD games, and a load of reviews of the all time top 100 games. It
   sounds like there could be more CD32 versions some time soon(ish).

      Amiga Shooper...
   One off. Has a CD on the front with a load of graphics, fonts, sound
   samples, music, etc... You really need a CD32x or SX-1 to do
   anything useful with this.

      CD Gold...
   One off. A CD-ROM based magazine for CD32, CDTV, A570, and any CD
   Amiga. There was only one issue published, the pilot issue.

      CD32 Gamer.
   Monthly. There are two versions - the normal one and one which costs
   5UKP more and has a full game attached to the front of the mag.

 Q:   Are there any other magazines for the CD32?

 A:   Amiga Pro/32 is now Amiga Pro. No more CD32 specific section. Most
      other Amiga mags have a small 1 or 2 page CD32 specific section each

[---- Internet -------------------------------------------------------------]

 Q:   What Usenet newsgroups are dedicated to CD32 discussion?

 A:   Two...
   comp.sys.amiga.cd32  Using the CD32 as a slave drive.
            Add-ons for the CD32 (eg. FMV addition).
            Technical talk about the CD32.
            Serious issues for the CD32. Games on the CD32.
            People's opinions about games.
            Hints and tips for games.
            Rumours and lists of new/future games.

      If your site doesn't carry the groups, ask your system admin.

 Q:   What on-line mags are available?

 A:   Three...
   Amiga Report   aminet:/docs/mags/ar*.lha
   CD32 Bits   aminet:/docs/mags/cd32bits*.lha
   CD32 View   aminet:/docs/mags/cdvw*.lha

 Q:   Are there any CD32 pages on WWW?

 A:   Yep. It's run by Kimmo Veijalainen and you can Email him articles,
      reviews, hints and tips, digitised pictures of games, and so on to fill
      it up. Kimmo's Email address is The home page
      is at

 A:   There is also the Archos Overdrive home page. It contains brief
      descriptions of games, lists of games that work and don't, tips on
      getting stubborn games to work, and so on. It's run by Michael Cox,
      and his Email address is The home page is at

 A:   And there's Grendel's Games lists which holds more Archos Overdrive
      info. From Jukka Kauppinen. Jukka's Email address is

 A:   Martin Chantler wrote:

      I have just seen your latest CD FAQ and thought I will let you know
      that I have a homepage with lots of CD and Zappo information on it.
      The area also covers a lot of normal CDs etc.


[---- Jargon ---------------------------------------------------------------]

   As Far As I Know. The CD32 expansion connector pinout is only
   available to registered CD32 developers, AFAIK.

   Advanced Graphics Architecture. The name given to the latest custom
   chipset for Amigas, which allows 8 bit (256) and HAM8 (262144) colour
   graphics from a palette of 16.7 million. The CD32 uses AGA chipset as
   do the Amiga 1200 and 4000 computers.

   This chip handles the data coming from the CD drive and includes the
   functions of the CIA chips in other Amigas.

   It's also more famous for chunky to planar conversion. Chunky and
   planar are two different methods of storing the screen in memory.
   Chunky is often used for 3D games. Planar is useful for scrolling
   games, and it's the method used by the CD32. This chip quickly
   converts from one t' other, helping developers to port code across
   from other platforms that use chunky.

   The replacement for Agnus in older Amigas. Contains the Blitter and
   Copper, amongst other things.

   The part of the CD32's operating system that's on CD-ROM (or floppy
   or hard drive). Developers must obtain a license to distribute even a
   small part of AmigaDOS on their CD-ROMs - it's copyrighted.

      Audio CD
   Your normal CD that holds music. Given a different name for computers
   because there's   so many different types of CD about. The CD32 can
   play these.

   BLock Image TransfER. Special part of the graphics chip hardware
   which speeds up many operations, by moving blocks of chip RAM around
   with DMA, while performing logical operations on them. Lines and area
   fills are among the most popular uses for the Blitter.

   Putting the CD-ROM in the drive and automatically launching a program
   without having to go through the operating system (eg. Workbench,
   MS-DOS, Finder, etc...) and all the messing around with keyboards and
   mice that it entails.

   CDs will only boot for the computer that they were written for, even
   though the files on the CD are readable   on all CD-ROM machines

   If you intend to use the CD32 as a CD-ROM for other computers and you
   don't have other storage devices (such as floppy or hard drives)
   available, you must find CD-ROMs that boot up and load communications
   software (such as Parnet, Sernet, or Twin Express).

   A small piece of copyrighted code that must be on a CD-ROM in order
   for it to boot. Developers must have a licence to use the bootblock.

   This is supplied in the FMV cartridge. It decompresses the MPEG-1
   picture from the Video CD and puts it on the screen. It's also found
   in the CD-i's FMV cartridge.

   Compact Disc + Graphics. A standard music CD with the addition of
   graphic pictures that can be viewed with an appropriate player. CDTV
   and CD32 both play CD+G discs. CD+G discs were never plentiful, and
   may not even be produced any more.

   Compact Disc - interactive. System for multimedia developed by
   Philips; made available to the public shortly after CDTV was. Not
   expandable to a popular computer platform such as CD32 is expandable
   to an Amiga. CD-i software titles cannot be played on a CD32 and

   There is a new cut-down version of the CD-i (smaller box, less
   connectors) that looks remarkably similar to the CD32...

      CD-i Digital Video CD
   A Video CD for the CD-i. The difference is that the they also have
   bookmarks of interesting parts of the film on them. These can also be
   played on the CD32 with FMV cartridge, but the bookmarks are missing.

   Complex Instruction Set Chip. Contains lots of nice instructions,
   but it ain't so good in the speed department.

   Similar to a standard music CD, but it also holds information for
   driving MIDI instruments.

   Compact Disc - Read Only Memory. A 5 inch polycarbonate disk with
   aluminium coating, laser etched with holes for storing computer data.
   ISO-9660 CD-ROMs can also hold music tracks that can be played with a
   normal music CD player as well.

   Commodore Dynamic Total Vision. The previous CD based machine by C=.
   It wasn't exactly a storming success, mainly due to poor marketing.
   Many CDTV discs will work on the CD32, but some need a mouse and
   others need a keyboard.

   Microcosm was originally a CDTV project. C= gave Psygnosis some
   financial backing to develop it, but the CDTV version never saw the
   light of day, except for some promotional demos.

   C='s attempt at getting motion video on the CDTV before low cost MPEG
   decoder chips became available. The CD32's version of CDXL can cope
   with more colours and cover more of the screen.

   CDXLs can be about two-thirds of the size of the screen (although
   they can be scaled up slightly to fill more, but the side effect is
   that they look blocky) and they can also hold mono or stereo sound.

      Chip RAM
   Random Access Memory available to both the CPU and Amiga custom
   chipset inside the CD32 (and all previous Amigas). The CD32 ships
   with the maximum amount of chip RAM that the AGA chipset can handle
   - 2M.

   CO-ProcEssoR. All Amigas feature a special co-processor as part of
   their custom chipset, which allows some graphic chip functions such
   as colour palette manipulation to happen asynchronously to other
   tasks, freeing the CPU for other work.

   Central Processor Unit. The brains for managing data and its
   manipulation inside a computer. Amigas, CDTV, and CD32 have all used
   the Motorola 68000 series of CPUs.

   Allows the OS to support any graphic, sound, text, or animation
   format, once the datatype information is copied to the proper folder
   on the Workbench disk or hard drive. Programs can ask the OS to load
   the file for them without knowing anything about the file format

   This can come in very useful if you want to read ISO-9660 CDs
   generated on other computers (once you've upgraded your CD32 to a
   computer, of course).

   Direct Memory Access. Allows other chips apart from the CPU to access
   the RAM, at the same time as the CPU. This frees up the CPU for doing
   other work, whilst the Blitter is copying memory for example.

      Fast RAM
   Random Access Memory available to the Amiga's CPU, but not the custom
   chipset, thus faster for compute intensive tasks as no time sharing
   between the custom chipset and CPU is involved. Adding fast RAM
   should almost double the speed of the CD32 for non-graphics intensive

   The CD32 ships with no fast RAM, but third party expansion boxes may
   allow for up to 8M of fast RAM expansion if you do not have the FMV
   cartridge, or 4M if used with the FMV cartridge.

      Flash RAM
   RAM which can have data stored such that it survives being powered
   down. CD32 uses flash RAM to allow saving high-scores or game
   position information for the next time you play. Also known as NVRAM
   (Non Volatile).

   Full Motion Video - just what it says. Full screen moving pictures.

   Often mis-used by journalists to mean any picture, including those
   that have 10 colours and are around the size of a postage-stamp,
   that's spooled from the CD-ROM.

      FMV Upgrade
   A plug in cartridge that gives the CD32 capability to play MPEG-1
   encoded CDs such as CD-i Digital Video (Star Trek VI, Top Gun) or
   Video CDs.

   Graphic Interchange Format. GIF compression is a standard for storing
   still pictures with 8 bit colour (256 colours on screen at once) and
   no loss in picture quality.

      HAM6 or HAM
   An earlier version of HAM8, found on A500s, A2000s, and A3000s, that
   remains for compatibility. This allows up to 4096 colours on screen
   at once.

   Hold And Modify - 8 bit. An Amiga screen mode which can have up to
   262144 colours on screen at once by changing some colour registers on
   each succeeding pixel on a given scanline. This is most useful for
   static pictures or predefined animation sequences, as it is difficult
   to constantly compute the best pixel colours in constantly changing
   action games.

   HAM8 is often used to display JPEG format pictures or predefined
   animations (CDXLs) with better than 8 bit colour (256 colours), often
   up to near 18 bit (262144 colours) quality.

   Interchangable File Format. Developed by Electronic Arts and put into
   the public domain. Any IFF file can be read in by any program that
   understands the IFF format (if it's suitable - there's no point in
   a graphics package loading in an IFF sound file, for example).

   Took off on the Amiga in a big way, so much so that any program that
   doesn't understand IFF is guaranteed not to sell. Didn't do so well
   on the PC for some reason (perhaps it was too good an idea...).

   In my humble opinion. The CD32 is the best inexpensive multimedia
   delivery platform, IMHO.

   The different computer manufacturers got their act together and
   agreed on a standard format for CD-ROMs, unlike the mess that we're
   still left with today for floppy disks.

   You can read any CD32, CDTV, Mac, or PC CD-ROM in any of the others.
   Although the files are readable, the file formats are still different
   for each computer (unless it's the CD32/CDTV), but if you have some
   conversion programs or datatypes you can display the graphics, play
   the sounds, or show the text from the CD-ROM.

   ISO-9660 CDs are also cunningly compatible with Audio CDs, so you can
   play tracks 2 onwards (track 1 is computer data) in a hi-fi, and
   computers can mix the music from the Audio CDs with the sound output.

   Joint Photographic Expert Group - JPEG compression is a standard for
   storing still pictures with 24 bit colour (16.7 million colours on-
   screen at once).

   The part of the CD32's operating system that's in ROM.

   It contains all the code needed to access the CD-ROM and multitask,
   as well as other things that will never see the light of day unless
   you add a keyboard and some kind of storage (floppy or hard drive).

   Handles the screen display. There's a palette of 16.7 million colours
   - each colour made of one of 256 shades of red, green, and blue. From
   that any power of 2, up to 256, or 4096 (HAM6), or 262144 (HAM8)
   colours can be displayed. The resolution can be most combinations of
   320, 640, or 1024 across and 256, 512, or 1024 down (although there
   are other modes available).

   Motion Picture Expert Group - they've decided the format of MPEG-1
   and MPEG-2 compression.

   MPEG-1 is the accepted standard for video compression on CDs... It
   uses a variety of techniques to  achieve staggering compression ratios
   while still maintaining good picture quality. Other parts of the MPEG
   standard include synchronized digital audio to make the format useful
   for movies on CD-ROM.

   MPEG-2 isn't used on CDs but it looks even better.

   The television standard used in America.

   NTSC screens cannot be as deep PAL screens. This can lead to problems
   when some software written in PAL countries is run on a CD32 using a
   NTSC screen. The software may use the bottom section of the screen
   that NTSC owners cannot see.

   This is entirely the fault of software companies, there are enough
   ROM routines in the CD32 to tell the program what TV standard it is
   running under and the program should make allowances.

   The television standard used in most of Europe and Australia.

   Freely distributable networking solutions for Amigas. Uses the
   parallel ports (Parnet) or serial ports (Sernet) to allow one to
   mount drives on multiple machines. In this way the CD32 can access
   the keyboard and hard drives of another Amiga, and the Amiga can
   access the CD32's CD drive.

   CDTV was often used as an external CD drive for Amiga computers via

   A version of Parnet is now available for PC computers, allowing you
   to link from CD32 to PC.

   An Amiga only update to Parnet. This new version is faster and has
   some bug fixes.

   Gives you four channel stereo sound. Each channel can have 64 volume
   levels and can play either waveforms or sound samples at almost any
   pitch or octave from RAM. This chip is used to create sound effects,
   or play music from memory often when the CD-ROM is tied up for some
   reason (a CD-ROM cannot be used to load game code AND play CD music
   at the same time).

      Photo CD
   Transfering pictures taken from a camera onto CD. These can be read
   by the CD32 if you can find a CD-ROM with a photo CD reader on it,
   use it as a slave drive, or expand it to a computer and download the
   proper (freely distributable) software.

   The Communicator is bundled with a Photo CD reader called Photolite -
   this is available seperately too. Also Weird Science's Network CD has
   a Photo CD reader on it.

   RecoverAble RAM Drive. An area of RAM that doesn't lose its data when
   reset. Any area of RAM can be used as RAD. Games can use it to save
   data in, so it's possible to play a game of Liberation, save your
   place in RAD, reset, play another game, then return to Liberation
   later. Some games don't like RAD being there though.

   Random Access Memory. Specialized computer chips that can store
   information for as long as they powered on or the CD32 isn't reset.
   RAM chips and be read and written to by the CPU or the AGA chipset.

   Reduced Instruction Set Chip. A CPU that contains only a limited set
   of instructions. The idea is that each instruction is so simple that
   it doesn't take long to execute and any of the more complicated ones
   that are missing can be built up out of the simple ones.

   Read Only Memory. Specialized computer chips that store data and
   instructions for computer operation and cannot be erased or written

   Taking an Amiga game, putting it on CD-ROM with no improvements
   whatsoever, and usually charging more than the original disk version.

      Slave drive
   Connecting the CD32 via serial or parallel link to another computer
   and using networking software such as Parnet, Sernet, or Twin Express
   so that the other computer can read the CD-ROM in the CD32.

   Quickly taking data from the CD-ROM and shoving it on the screen or
   sending it to the audio output, or both. Eg. CDXLs or the Microcosm

   Three Dimensional Objects (I think). Another CD-ROM based multimedia/
   games system developed by Electronic Arts and former Amiga people.
   This also is not expandable to a regular computer system. Slightly
   more expensive for the both hardware and software than the CD32. It
   has more limited screen resolutions. Only just released in Europe.

      Twin Express
   A program to transfer files from one computer to another through a
   serial link. The front end works similar to FTP. There are versions
   of Twin Express for the PC and Amiga.

      Video CD
   If you have a FMV cartridge you can play these. There were 100 films
   available in August '94, much more now.

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM