Amiga: Having a go at Gotek
Some of you already know that I’ve purchased a Gotek drive for my Amiga 1200. For those who are unfamiliar with the Gotek, it is basically a floppy drive emulator that accepts USB-sticks. The Amiga believes it still has a floppy drive when the Gotek is installed and boots up an image called Selector.adf. This “disk” contains a menu from where you can run the games you have on your stick. Use your joystick to pick a game like Speedball 2 and the game runs after a restart. Brilliant!
Getting the Gotek was not a problem. I found a link to KMTech Design in a YouTube video. It seemed like most people bought their Goteks from them, so I decided to do the same. It set me back approximately £20-25 and then I got it pre-flashed with cables. It arrived safely in a few days and instructions was included. Hooked it all up and it worked as it should. I had to cut a bit in the plastic of the A1200 chassis to make it fit inside. Many people choose to have it on the outside, but I like to have it compact. If you have problems installing the drive, there is a lot of help in watching some of the videos on YouTube where people show you how to do it.
So, how do you put games on the USB-stick? Easy, just plug it into your PC, copy a bunch of games in ADF format to it and then plug it into the Gotek again. There is nothing more to it than that. You might want to sort your games into folders though, so it’ll list the files faster. I just made some directories like “Shoot’em Up”, “Sports”, “Platformers” and so forth.
As for playing games with the Gotek it works easily enough. Boot selector.adf as mentioned earlier, select a game (or demo, application etc.), confirm and then have fun. :)
The most excellent thing is that you can assign games to slots in the Gotek. I’ve assigned over twenty games and they are all ready to run. I wrote a list on paper, so its always ready to use. If I want to play Sensible Soccer, I just use one of the buttons on the Gotek itself and stops when the LED shows 020, which is the slot on the Gotek for disk 1. You can do this with a ton of games and it is very handy, since you don’t have to access the games menu.
There is one thing I want to mention about Gotek and the Amiga 1200. I had forgotten how many games that does not work on this computer! Many Amiga 500 games fail and it is very frustrating. You can use degraders, Relokick and so on, but it is still annoying. One can of course go with WHD-Load, but that is not the point, we are talking about Gotek here. Even though I’m happy with the Gotek, I see myself being more satisfied with this device in an Amiga 500 with 1 MB RAM. That would be perfect for gaming, as almost everything will run except AGA games. There are a few AGA gems, but not as many as you might think. So, a new Amiga 500 is not out of the question as a gaming machine. :)
And I must get a couple of new joysticks. I want a Konix Navigator and a ZipStik.
Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed this write-up about the Gotek. Anyone else has one or planning to get one?