Toolboxes and 64 Emulators
Will the ToolBox let you upgrade the Amiga 500's memory using memory boards made for the Amiga 2000? Also, what is The 64 Emulator and what does it do?
The ToolBox from Expansion Technologies (44862 Osgood, Freemont, California 94539; 415-656-2890) does indeed allow you to use Amiga 2000 memory, boards on an Amiga 500. It provides three Amiga 2000-style slots plus its own power supply with an on/off switch. This expansion box also works with Amiga 2000 hard drive controllers and Bridgeboards, although it doesn't provide the Bridgeboard with PC-style slots. Note that the Tool-Box is no longer available for the Amiga 1000.
The 64 Emulator from ReadySoft (30 Wertheim Court, Unit 2, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada L4B 1B9; 416-731-4175) allows you to run some Commodore 64 software on your Amiga. We say some software because we've found several programs that do not work correctly when run with The 64 Emulator.
Essentially, The 64 Emulator is a Commodore 64 on a disk. In conjunction with your Amiga computer, the emulator translates each Commodore 64 instruction and video and audio command into something that the Amiga can understand. This translation takes a noticeable amount of time. The 68000 microprocessor in the Amiga is far faster and more powerful than the 6510 in the Commodore 64, but it's not up to the task of playing the part of a real Commodore 64 at full speed. Overall, the Commodore 64 is about four times as fast as The 64 Emulator.
This program comes with an optional, but highly recommended, hardware device that allows you to connect a 1541/1571 disk drive and a Commodore 64-compatible printer to your Amiga via the parallel port. Note that you can only access these devices while running The 64 Emulator; AmigaDQS won't recognize them.
The 64 Emulator is quite useful for transferring files from a Commodore 64 disk to an Amiga disk. However, if you want to run Commodore 64 software, we recommend that you use a Commodore 64—there's simply no substitute.