ScuzzBlog: 21st April 2007

Subject 01: Collection Overload: Far too many Amigas
Subject 02: Vidi Amiga: Rombo Digitisin'
Subject 03: Who Do CDTV: Amiga Lost the Badge
Subject 04: Towering Frustration : A4000 in a Tin
Subject 05: Serving Bricks : Hardcore Storage
Subject 06: Updating the Update : Microsoft Madness
Subject 07: Ashes to Ashes : FFXII review

Entry 0737: Blogs: 7

Collection Overload: April 2007

Entry 0737: Blog: 1

Far Too Many Amigas: Collecting Retrospective
Amazing but true. I received a request from an
Amigan to collect all his gear. He was off to
Australia... So I obliged. And this is what

[ Collection Overload ]

Hi Scuzz,

I have visited your very impressive website and was 
wondering if you would be interested in some more kit. 
I was going to do a similar thing but we will be 
emigrating to Australia and I can't take it with me. 
Hopefully there'll be Commodore stuff available in Oz.

[ scuzz bursts into action ]


Well I am up.. I was up at 5 o'clock. Couldn't sleep.
I have emptied the old Picasso of all its seats... er
except the front ones. I am ready to trek over to Bristol
to pick up the Amiga gear... And I can't wait.. Whoo hoo.

It is really a wonderful feeling travelling out in search of
Amiga kit and particularly when you really don't know 
just what you are going to find. No doubt you will be the
first to know. Sounds as though I will have to do more
than one trip..  Exciting.

Anyway.. cuppa tea and then I'm off. ' To infinity !!! '  Heh heh :-)

Happy days.

[ scuzz returns ]

Well I am shattered, and what I would call full.
I know cus I just heard the cats run down stairs 
straight into waiting boxes....

You know we were talking about that bogus Amiga
1500 Checkmate which was an A2000. Well, I have
another actual Checkmate here, and its in its original
box. And its slightly different from mine. 



There are loads of boxes here and included is an
A4000 tower ( new one ) honestly... Megga tons of
stuff. I am now going to open said boxes and collate
a full list...

I had to leave a car load of stuff cus it wouldn't fit
obviously.. I said I would communicate with the guy
during the week. All the stuff has been boxed in a 
garage since he last  moved, and he is now off to
Australia. I didn't ask how long it had been in the
garage. What's amazing is that he was just about to
pay someone to chuck it all. 

This my friends was a major Amiga find. And I am
chuffed to bits it was me that found it... And that's cus
he Googled Retro Amiga and got me. 

[ scuzz ponders his new bits and pieces ]

You can actually see the history of this user through his kit
from the early C64 though the 5.25" drives up through the
C64Cs on to the A500 and Checkmate and then to the A1200 
and finishing up with the 4000 tower. In the base of the last box 
there is a Lynux CD. Each machine has its vast array of 
add ons. I particularly like the stacked double floppy drives
and the ever so tiny CD unit. There are boxes full of cables
and mice. All the 500s have ROM switchers and expansions
with wires going under the keyboards. All the A1200s have
accelerators and there are boxes of other RAM expansions
etc. The software is generally programming stuff .. There
is even a massive box with C++ for the PC. This was a serious
computer user growing up with Commodore. 

The gems here are the video toasters which are all
mint in their original boxes. These are why I went 
and collected.


Toasters and Upgrade

When the guy held this Checkmate out to me all in its original
box I just couldn't believe it. Honestly, this is a real find and a
great thing to have in the collection.

One of the boxes is crammed full with C64 goodies, loads of
cartridges, and I just can't wait to get in there. My problem is that
I don't even have any space to unpack. 

The A1200s have a variety of formats with ribbons hanging out
the back of the computer. I really haven`t scratched the surface
of the contents yet. I really wanted to install my DVD on the Mac.
I shall do that tomorrow morning now.

Hot again here and only April. My goodness. Never mind.

Cuppa tea.

[ scuzz reflects ]


Sitting having a cuppa and gazing over all the kit strewn
all over the place, you come to realise that what made
the eighties and early nineties so wonderful for those
that grew up in computing, was that to make stuff work
you had to get seriously involved. And cus there were
limitations on kit you had to tinker. And there was a great
joy in celebrating to the world just what you had done.
But if you can imagine early computing like a storm, then
the wind and rain have subsided and what we are left with
is a refinement now of what we already know. Same goes
for any technology.. ie the motor car. Everything at the start
was ground breaking but now it really is just about refining
what we know... And to the point. Well, computing was
accessible, but also it was interesting and stimulating cus
there wasn't the later advancements. The joy was cheating
the kit to get more out of it. Today, there really isn't the 
challenge, and there are far more interesting things to
stimulate, all be it not in a very creative way ie music downloads,
online gaming, etc etc. Kids are stimulated in a different way
and rarely question the physical attributes of the hardware
and software... It just works. We shouldn't complain, after
all this is their time. What is sad, is that that vast army of
computer bedroom jockeys have all but given up the ghost
and I guess that's why I am sitting awash with my own
storm of old C64s, 500s, 1200s and a maze of disk drives
and cables. Times have changed... 

Fortunately, I can recall how it was. And I still get a kick from

[ the boxes are empty ]


I have now emptied all the boxes and collated all that I can
generally find. There are a number of items in smaller boxes
which no doubt I will look through when I photograph the stuff.
I have piled it all so I can again get round the house... Needs
more work though. Can`t do this without doing the pics really.
I have cancelled all my Ebay activity, cus the room was already
full before my trip yesterday... 

Anyway a brief final list now stands as...

Troops in...

Checkmate 1500 complete and in original box
A4000 040 Desktop with harddrive and 3.9
A4000 Tower with PicassoIV, PolomaIV and Concierto
A1200 Magic Pack
A1200 boxed with Magnum RAM8 plus 85Mb hard drive
A1200 with accelerator unknown
A1200 case
A500 with Power Computing RAM plus wired internally
A500 with XtraRAM A500+
NewTek Tapeless Video Toaster Boxed mint
Video Toaster 4000 Toaster 4.2 boxed mint
NewTek Video Toaster 4 point zero boxed mint
CDTV plus keyboard and remote and masses if discs
CDRom plus Squirrel Interface
A590 hard drive ( not the 590 just the drive )
2 x A4000 floppy drives
A1200 HD
Action Replay MkII
A570 drive
5.25" drive
Power Computing external HD
Masses of cables
Blizzard 1230IV New and boxed
RCA1 RAM expansion
2 x A500 Workstations
KCS Power Board
Pablo Video Encoder
Elbox Fast ATA 1200
Power Computing 4 Way buffered interface boxed unopened
C64 Mindbenders boxed
C64 Light Fantastic boxed
Commodore MPS801
1541 Disk Drive
CDTV Genlock Module
A4000 030 68020/030 spare board
C64 Assembly Language
C64 Basic Programming by Dr Watson
Both these are massive.
A500 Manuals and books
GVP A500HD+ sidecar
Eight external drives
3 CD drives
4 ethernet cards
17 joysticks
1 foot controller
2 gamepads
4 external power supplies
6 Amiga bricks
4 1200 power
1 1200 heavy
1 1200 black power
1 C64 power
2 C64C power
2 GVP HD+ power
External 2 bay height external drive
C64 Manuals for computer, drives and printer
Backstage Newsletters
Server drive ?
3 boxes 5.25 disks
Complete set of C64 dustcovers
Easy Calc
Easy File
Future Finance
Easy Script
Best of PCW Software
Machine Code Tutor
Graphics Adventure Creator
The Image System
The Artist
Speech 64
The Filer
White Lightning
Simons Basic
Laser Compiler
Many Amiga mice
Octamed Sound Studio Manual
Picasso IV  Manual
PabloIV Manual
PolomaIV Manual
Concierto Manual
Turbo Print 6
50 PD CD discs
200 C64 tape games
The Expert - Cartridge
Power cartridge
20 Amiga mice
4 modulators
1 Mac mouse
3 C2N Datasettes
1 1531 boxed
1 1530 boxed
Massive box of C64 Games and books
Loads of C64 games, tapes books
Ghostbusters 1 and 2
The Hobbit
The Tolkien Trilogy
Terminator 2
Taito Coin Op
Italia World Cup Soccer
WEC LeMans
Can You Find the Real You
Wargame Construction Set
Daley Thomson Challenge
Lord of the Rings
Combat Lynx
Football Manager 2
etc etc

Catweasel manual plus disks.

And that was that...

You will see from the list there were quite
a number of A1200's in the collection, and some
came with their own RAM cards.

Vidi Amiga: April 2007

Entry 0737: Blog: 2

Rombo: Digitisin'


Vidi Amiga

I spent many a happy day kitted out only with a video
camera and the Wonderful VidiAmiga video video grabbing
software. I used this tool to both capture still
images and video, for use in such diverse applications
as AMOS Professional. In those days I couldn't afford
a scanner and the camera was set up to capture stuff
for use with artwork and the like. Vidi Amiga came
out in a variety of packages, with the latter being
in Real Time. This was my most treasured bit of
software and hardware to be honest. The version I
had ran from the disk drive, which could be a 
nuisance. The latter ones had their own power supply.
I was chuffed to bits to be honest when I found this
very early box in the recently acquired collection.

Rombo Rombo Rombo Rombo
Vidi Amiga Vidi24RT Vidi24RT Vidi24RT

video video video

Who Do CDTV: April 2007

Entry 0737: Blog: 3

Commodore lost the Amiga badge


The CDTV was Commodores new big idea back in the 
early nineties, which followed on from the A570
and culminated in the CD32. Not really sure just
what Commodore were doing here. They were so unsure
of the product that it did not carry the Amiga badge
all be it an Amiga fundamentally. 

I thought I would share the brute with you before 
I gave it a good clean. This machine also came with
the Genlock Module. 

What I found interesting about the CDTV and CD32, is
the efforts Amigans made to try and convert these
machines into proper computers. What Commodore failed
to realise, was that had they shipped the A1200 or
A4000 with a CD unit, you could have outgunned most
machines of the day. Commodore would play with their
toys, and sadly that always confused the serious
computer user of the day.

Towering Frustration: April 2007

Entry 0737: Blog: 4

A4000 in a Tin


Both the A4000d and A4000 in the tower
had leaking batteries

I deliberately left mucking around with the A4000 in the
tower until today. When I switched it on last week it had all 
the hallmarks of a machine with loose boards, so I
left well alone. Today I set to getting her working, and
my goodness has this been a trial. 

The first thing I noted was just  how by fiddling with
the boards the machine flipped out, or didn't recognise
the PicassoIV and Buddha. Anyway I decided to go right
in. This was a puzzle till I realised that the metal slide
holding the motherboard had jammed. After quite a 
struggle I got the motherboard out ... and there was
the dreaded battery leaking. A red one. I removed it and
cleaned up. The damage is very minor , though it had
started to seep through the holes and underneath. 
The next thing I noticed was that the processor board
wasn't supported on any plastic feet. This would indicate
an upgrade from the 030 to the 040. Fortunately I had
some spare feet. 

Anyway.. I put her all back together and securely fitted the
second hard drive which was hanging off and fired up.
This time she booted but won't get past the very fancy
coloured boot screen. I installed the Workbench disk and
she went straight in. I then unhooked the CDs and she
booted fine... Problem with the device driver for the CD.

Strange problem though. This computer has only the
3.0 ROM but is using the 3.1 Workbench. I was just
wondering how sensible or do-able that really is.

Anyway all the bits and pieces work, and she fires up
fine. Keyboard, mouse all working and I get images
on the 1084 and Iiyima. I just think this ROM thing is
wrong, as is the device driver for the CD. I will probably
fit the Cyberstorm and upgrade the ROM to 3.1. 

Nice machine otherwise. I managed to get the tray
working properly. 

4000 4000 4000

Serving Bricks: April 2007

Entry 0737: Blog: 5

Hardcore Storage


I just did a search on Google for this brick I have here. I guess I
knew it was from some kind of server, but honestly 3.25" high and
just 10GB. My goodness.. Its a door stop.


Seagate ST410800WD (9.0GB)
5 1/4" 5400 RPM Differential Fast/Wide SCSI
Options 783 / 784 / 785 / 786
370-1868 540-2646
3 1/4" Height
Elite 9 9.0GB Disk Drive FRU
w Bkt 340-2612

The minimum operating system is Solaris 2.3.
Solaris 2.3 requires Patch 101378-xx.
The firmware on 370-1868-03 and 540-2646-02 is level 0407.
The maximum operating altitude is 6000 feet.
The adapter is required on 370-1868-01 and 370-1868-02.
The adapter is not used on 370-1868-03 or 540-2646-02.

So what machine would this have come from.

I can`t get it to fit in the A1200 :-)

Updating the Update: April 2007

Entry 0737: Blog: 6

Microsoft Madness

One of the machines at work today threw up an error message on
boot up. This has been happening to a number of folk of late. Anyway
I diagnosed the problem and was directed to a Microsoft ' fix ' to
resolve the problem. And so yet another update was installed. Evidently
the problem occurs when one security update conflicts with another.
And you have to update with another security update to correct the
update that was conflicting with the other update. And so the original
update prior to the second update, had updated the computer, but
sadly had conflicted with the previous update, prior to the second
update, and therefore another update was required to update the
update that updated the update. You know what I mean... 

Microsoft... What an organisation. :-(

Final Fantasy XII: April 2007

Entry 0737: Blog: 7

Ashes to Ashes: Game Review


Ashe center stage but alone again

Well... I finished Final Fantasy XII. This was not
anticipated as I did expect there to be much more
to this game. I really don`t know how to rate this
game against the rest. In the end it probably was
the best game of its period, but, it lacked deep
substance that will sustain it over the years.

The game is massive, but not. The start is just
brilliant and I thought that we were going to be
treated to a kinda Shakespeare meets Lord of the
Rings. The blades and armour combined with a 
medieval plot line did suggest an epic saga. Sadly
though this gave way to monotonous levelling up
and less and less interactive story board stuff.
At times I just forgot what the hell the story

Anyway.. The story is the usual interplay between
ordinary kid fighting for his country; meets 
princess... er doesn't fall in love.. ( strange )
fights with assembled troop against all odds to
win the day. Mixed into this is the usual boss
fights, strange and wonderful creatures and the
odd assortment of side quests. Trouble is there
really isn't that much problem solving. And the
side quests are not character building. 

In terms of strengths, well, its incredibly well
done, and the graphics are breathtaking. The whole
feel is just magical. The fight engine has been
totally revamped and is classic, and the best I
have ever played. Sadly though the intricacy of
armour, weapons, skills etc have been reduced to
a reward process that to be honest is quite pathetic.
There really is no skill here. If you just level up 
and become strong you really don`t need any of the
vast array of magics. Also, all the characters can
do the same thing. What you find is that to seriously 
complete the game you just use three characters.

There is this thing called a gambit which allows you
to set certain tasks during battle, and this works
well. I ploughed through the skills and weapons
section, called Licences in no time, and at Level 50
I could really kill anything in one swipe.

The characters are very similar to all the characters
of old, except they really have tried too hard to
humanise everyone. Its all become very believable.
The old classics are laced through, though the 
' summoning ' is just pointless, and ' quickening '
has to be a last resort, or you are doomed to no MP. 

As to characters, well the final boss was just not
nasty enough. The star was this guy called Balthier
who I would have loved to have had a fling with Ashe.
Poor old Ashe finished up with Basch, and the main
character Vaan, well he just went back to school I
guess. Thing is Balthier kept saying all the way
through he was the main man, and yes he was. 

In the end this game was very very good, but not
brilliant, and I would say that FFX was still the 
most polished of the set. FFVII is classic, but for
being ground breaking. Still worth playing and if
you like gaming then its a must.

And for me.. Well I have started it all over again


Ashe in action... Not very ladylike

AmiTradeCenter FTP Client - FTP client software for the Amiga
Jabberwocky - Instant messaging system for the Amiga
Program for Internet News & Email - reading, sending, and managing electronic messages
Pine - Pine/IMAP programs for the Amiga
Newscoaster -Amiga newsreader
AIM - AIM Client for the Amiga Computer system
Cygwin - Cygwin is a Linux-like environment for Windows

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Last updated 22nd April 2007

Chandraise Kingdom