ScuzzBlog: Diaries August 2023
Entry 8th August 2023: Post 1: Amiga A-500 Plus - Of many shades.
Amiga A-500 Plus - Of many shades.
I would be hard pushed to recommend a better ECS machine than a
working A-500 Plus with a ROM switcher. Personally if you saw one
on the Bay I would snap it up in an instant. Making sure first
the battery was removed, cleaned up and working. Seriously these
computers are like gold. Forget the A600 get a Plus.
There were really two distinct popular eras for the Amiga. First
we have the the pre Amiga 1200 era that predominantly saw the
A-500 wedge style machine dominate the home market and then the
actual A1200 era from around 1993 onwards until today in truth.
Whilst the dominant machine was the Amiga 500 there is no doubt
that Commodore pulled the plug on the Plus prematurely just to
feed into the system the new style A600 so as to clear the decks
ready for the A1200. There is no doubt that the A1200 is a vastly
different machine to the 500 range, but there was still a quite
enormous back catalogue of expansions, peripherals and add-ons
primarily for the A-500 available. And just at the time the A-570
was let loose on the world Commodore cancel the computer that
supports it. Yet at the same time not having a CD unit for the
The A-500 Plus really was a great machine that simply got kicked
into touch by Commodore in the hope that nobody would buy them.
They didn't even officially launch the machine and in less than
six months had already released its replacement.
So why is this a good machine with a ROM switcher. Simple, you
get the best of all the A-500 era can give you. With a flick of
a switch you can be running 1.3 with the benefits of the A-500
under your belt and or 2.04 with the vastly improved Workbench.
The later OS has a much improved hard drive management system
and all the added functionality of the later Workbench for icon
management and control. The computer is not an A1200 but it
allows you to use all those mouthwatering gadgets and expansions
designed for the A-500 whilst having socketed chips and the
enhanced AGNUS and DENISE plus the extra memory and chip capacity.
The only proviso for the A-500 Plus is making sure the battery
has been removed and the area fully cleaned up.
OK to the featured A-500 Plus and the many shades. This computer
has seen so many changes to the original computer it barely is
recognisable as the machine it started out as. My guess is that
the base plastic case cover isn't even the same origin as the
motherboard. I sense the motherboard was modified to take the ROM
switch and another motherboard housed in that case. I was lucky
enough to collect two of these computers from the same seller,
and they were previously from an Amigan that had died. The other
Amiga is in a similar state and talking to the seller it is obvious
the guy had been swapping boards and cases around.
So the bottom tray is not the same origin as the upper case. For
my part I have swapped out the floppy drive and the keyboard. So
there is really none of the originating case left as was. It
really is an A-500 Plus of many shades.
Saying all that I have grown to love this machine over the years
what with the ROM switcher. I dedicated myself to repairing her
at various times having had issues with the floppy drive early on.
I eventually swapped out the keyboard and floppy as a last resort
to getting her running smoothly. The battery was removed by me
and I have monitored the cleaning up and carried out more work.
The electric tape melted one year holding the switcher in place
and oozed out all over the motherboard. Took me an age to clean
up. Nasty sticky stuff I have to say.
The computer has its own A590 sidecar which sits idle but stored
together so I can quickly get them up and running. Important to
remember how you left the switch to get the correct Workbench.
I really could go on and on about this computer. She never like
ever disappoints and I am mindful that whilst the main case is
staying a lighter shade, the keys themselves of the swapped out
keyboard are yellowing badly. I guess I could replace the keys
with the original, but that isn't really my style.
Anyhoo that is the A-500 Plus, probably the best machine that
Commodore never officially released. It was like they were kinda
ashamed of the poor girl when in fact they should have been so
proud of what they had achieved. A true marvel. Go get one now !!!
Amiga A-500 Plus - Of many shades.
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Last updated 8th August 2023
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