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%% CD32 A Long Term Perspective                              by RobMan %% 
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I've now been the proud owner of a CD32 for about four months,
so I thought I'd write and let you know how it performs. 

The first thing I did (essential) was to buy the great serial port 
adaptor ( A329 from Brian Fowler Computers) which allowed me to connect 
the CD32 to my '020 A500+ with a nullmodem cable. Using the Almathera 
CDPD3 disk, which has the Terminus comms package on it, I am able to 
download AGA images and utils to the CD32s RAMdisk and display/use them 
in all of their AGA  glory, which is amazing to behold having been used 
to OCS and ECS for the past six years!! The CD32 also includes Workbench
3.0, so I'm having an interesting time exploring its potential.

The next important step was to improve the quality of the display that I 
was getting from my 1084S. When I purchased the CD32, I was told that I 
had to connect it to my 1084S via the composite video sockets. This works 
fine, but as soon as you try to display any fairly small text on the 
screen it becomes very blurred and unreadable (this also happens in some
of the games). Not to fear, S-VHS is here! After a quick call to CBM, I 
had a fax of the S-VHS port pin-outs and a cable was constructed from an 
old Apple Mac keyboard cable and an old A500 tv modulator cable (I'm 
posting the details on Aminet under Hard/Hack/SVHSCD32.lha). To make this 
cable from scratch components should cost less than 33UK. So, connecting 
this to the luminance andchrominance sockets of the 1084S gives SUPERB 
quality images from the CD32. I only wish I'd made the cable sooner! 

What about the machine itself? Looks tacky, performs excellently. CD 
audioquality is great, particularly when hooked up to a hi-fi. A4000 
keyboard works a treat too, as does any Amiga mouse/joystick (including 
my now TEN YEAR OLD (wow!) Competition Pro 5000).

FMV is out over here, but the currently available movies and  music
videos are a bit lacking in both quantity and quality (from a movie-
lover's pointof view, not the quality of MPEG!). It costs 199UK and is 
bundled with a disc, but don't ask me which one. More importantly, the 
Microbotics SXI expansion unit (serial, parallel, floppy, RGB, SIMM, 
FMV thru' and IDE) will be shipping over hereon March 17th and will cost 
A3139. I believe  this also includes Parnetsoftware/hardware, although 
that maybe only from Indi Direct Mail Order. 

At last, access to my A500+'s hard disks!And what of the software? As you 
probably know, Liberation is rather cool (although not exactly Doom in the 
graphics department) and there are a multitude of other excellent games 
waiting in the wings (TFX, Rise Of The Robots - where are you!). 
Shovelware is available in abundance (see the full software list for 
details). However, by far the most used disks in my collection are 
Almathera's CDPD3 and Demo2 cd's. These autobooting extraveganzas contain
so much software, its just amazing! Most of it is fairly recent, and  it 
has to be worth it just to experience Workbench 3 for the first time! Both
cost approx. 20UK and are guaranteed to be the best 40UK you spent since 
you bought that 1/2 meg expansion in 1989. When the Microbotics expansion 
is released, the CD32 can be booted from floppy and then you can access 
those CDs that don't autoboot, or are limited when they do, such as the 
Multimedia Toolkit (hundreds of images,icons, fonts, samples, tunes, 
clip art), 17Bit collections (thousands of Pounds worth of PD disks for 
about 50UK for 3 CDs), the early Fred Fish collection and the Aminet CD. 
I really can't wait - I had a taste of this when I hooked a borrowed Apple 
CD300 up to the A500+! 

The CD32 is an excellent machine with a realistic price tag, and the power 
to run some great games. I'm sure in a few months we're gonna be jumping 
with glee at the quality of the software we're getting.

BUY ONE!

Robman
Contact : Internet - robin@bodyshop.demon.co.ukps -

After writing this, Pinball Fantasies arrived - it is amazing!! 
One of the most 'more-ish' games I have ever played!