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ScuzzBlog: Diaries March 2019

Entry 15th March 2019: Post 01: Amiga 600/1200 - PCMCIA


Amiga 600/1200 - PCMCIA

Personal Computer Memory Card International Association or PCMCIA
was a body of people developing the user interface cards basically
for laptops from around 1989 to 2010 or there about. I am not
that well versed in their activities, but I am grateful that they
gave me a very easy upgrade route when I first purchased my 1200.

I had been struggling to make any inroads with my animations. Prior
to getting the Amiga I had been basically hand drawn paper based
and used a SONY camera to capture the animations which I transferred
to video. Whilst the Amiga provided great benefit in terms of image
manipulation and accuracy of framing and recording images, sadly
paper was still king when it came to cost per frame in terms of
storage.

Memory and save media was very expensive in the early nineties and
I have to say the use of paper was still the most economic way to
keep animations. This improved somewhat with the PCMCIA card that
I purchased for near 180 that allowed me to capture up to 200
frames at low res in black and white. Still incredibly limiting
but I found life much easier after I got the card.

The actual memory was not wholly compatible with some applications
and particularly games on the Amiga. Music also at times ran at a
different speed to images. There was this strange activity in Sensi
Soccer where suddenly all the players had to do catchy up to get
back into sync. Games like Uridium refused to work. The joy of the
PCMCIA was that you could just pull it out, even with the A1200
switched on.

I still use my 4MB card and wish that I had bought more in the day.
I guess when they introduced the PCMCIA slot on the Amiga they had
anticipated it having more peripherals made to use it. Certainly I
have external hard drives and SCSI plus Ethernet using the slot.
In truth it has never let me down. Don't think I have ever been
minded to believe the PCMCIA was the reason for a failure on the
system. Only time I had a problem was with the Apollo accelerator
which conflicted all the time with the PCMCIA.

One interesting issue with the PCMCIA is with the use of the A1200
in a tower. There were right angle adaptors made but where you
would get one these days I have no idea.

May not sound like much, 4MB these days, but given that memory for
me always correlated with disk sizes, then with the HD XL Drive
supporting the larger floppy disks I was happy that my animations
could be made and stored and so the threshold of frames was
established and that worked just fine for me in the end.

Amiga 600/1200 - PCMCIA


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Last updated 15th March 2019

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