Fans of retro gaming, and retro computing in general, will be aware of the wealth of emulator that exist. While physical hardware has a tendency to die, classic machine can live on as they are ported to other platforms. In emulation circles UAE Amiga Emulator is a well-known and respected piece of software, but it is only available for Linux. WinUAE is a Windows port of the emulator that brings the same emulation options to Windows users.

In order to run old Amiga software on your computer, you will first need to obtain one of the many ROMs that are available. These can then be loaded in WinUAE so you can enjoy all of your favorite titles of old all over again. The program is capable of emulating a number of different hardware models from the A1000 and A500+ to the CDTV and A4000. For each system you have the option of choosing different hardware configurations such as varying the amount of memory that is installed.

You can tweak the CPU settings to mimic any system you care to imagine, and by configuring virtual hard drives and floppy drives you can load up the software of your choice. It is likely that you’ll want to use the emulator to play games that you have not been able to enjoy for years, and there are numerous options available that can be used to remap your mouse and keyboard so they can be used as a joystick if you do not have one.

There are a number of handy extra features such as the ability to record on-screen action and play it back at another time. Overall support and quality is very impressive and the only thing that is left for you to do is to track down the software you’re going to run. The level of customization and configuration is to be commended as well.

Version 3.5.0 brings (see changelog for more info):

New emulated hardware

Comspec SA-1000
California Access Malibu
DKB RapidFire
M-Tec AT-500 Megabody

New features

Softfloat FPU emulation mode. Bit perfect FPU emulation (except transcendental functions), including full arithmetic exception support. (Co-operation with Previous emulator author)
Lightpen emulation absolute coordinate HID (USB light guns) and touch screen device support.
American Laser Games second player and Actionware dual light gun adapter emulation.
Real harddrive mount lock option. Enables full exclusive access even if drive has Windows mounted FAT partition(s).
winlaunch.lib is now built-in feature and is also 64-bit compatible.
Show [Paused] in windowed mode title bar when in pause mode.
If statefile is loaded with one or more floppy images that can’t be opened: keep fake disk in drive (like previously) and ask for new disk path when missing disk is accessed for the first time.

Custom chipset features emulated

AGA FMODE>0 unaligned bitplane and sprite pointer behavior implemented, resulting display corruption is now 100% accurate.
BPLCON4 XOR mask special case in HAM6/8 or EHB modes.
Loading blitter B-DAT manually when B-shift was nonzero.
Lightpen hardware is now cycle-exactly emulated.
Sprite special case when DMA mode sprite’s start X-coordinate is less than sprite’s DMA slot position.
Audio interrupts are delayed by 2 cycles.

Feature improvements

68020+ T0 trace mode is now fully emulated.
68020 cycle exact mode adjustments.
Memory cycle exact mode mode accuracy improved
Implemented previously unimplemented bsdsocket.library emulation sendmsg() and recvmsg().
Recursive mode ROM scanner now skips directories starting with dot.
MMU emulation can be now switched on/off on the fly.
Release all currently pressed keys when emulation pauses.
Added memory cycle-exact Quickstart step for A1200 and CD32 configurations. Less CPU heavy than full cycle-exact and usually not much more worse (or better). At least not until 68020 CE gets better.
Escape old style directory and hardfile paths if it contains “,”.
Masoboshi MasterCard fully implemented, including DMA support.

Bug fixes

FM801 16-bit audio corruption.
A2090 ST-506 emulation.
Possible crash when display was very wide with bitplane DMA overrun condition.
Fixed crash when sound card audio play started and channel mode was mono and “Include CD and FMV audio” was ticked.
Fixed crash when accessing accelerator board SCSI IO region without any added SCSI device(s).
Fixed crash if Blizzard accelerator on board memory size was set to zero.
JIT was not 512k or 1M Chip RAM compatible.
Manual RAM configuration GUI didn’t accept smaller end address than current board size.
Manually configured but disabled (size zero) Z2/Z3 banks were added to system.
Apollo 1240/1260 memory address space fixed
PC bridgeboard NE2000 boot crash fix.
Windowed mode mouse does not anymore hit hidden barriers if window is partially outside of desktop or uncaptured if window is on top of task bar.
If Custom autoconfig board order was enabled, expansion devices custom config setting(s) was not saved correctly.
68000 address error stacked PC was not correct in some read-modify-write instructions
Untrap middle mouse button option was stuck.
GUI listview column width calculation used default font size, not selected font.
68030 CE/prefetch mode cache access bug fixed.
G-REX and Cirrus Logic graphics board state was reset if RAM or HW Info GUI panels were opened after emulation was started.

Verdict

 A highly advanced emulator for Amiga fans that is worth of attention.