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ScuzzBlog: Diaries February 2019

Entry 2nd February 2019: Post 01: Amiga - 'Surf' Squirrel .. or not.

Amiga - 'Surf' Squirrel .. or not.

In the last blog there was a reference to the Surf Squirrel by
Hi-Soft. This was a further addition to the rodent army and required
the removal of the actual Squirrel software for it to work. Was a
little troubling for me as I thought for a while it wasn't working
and then I actually found the software for it and worked a charm.

The unit connects to the PCMCIA port on the Amiga and then connects
to say a SCSI device such as the Iomega ZIP drive as shown in the
pictures. The Centronics connector isn't the correct size for the
ZIP so I needed to fit a converter. The software installs itself
when activated from the floppy disk. I already had my own two
drivers from previous usage of the ZIP drive. To get the correct
reading of PC disks you need to install the FAT driver file type.

The Amiga that I am using is Sam an A1200 that has my original
GVP 1230 Turbo+ that I bought back in 1994, just to play SimCity
2000. Cost me a fortune in the day, but well worth it. If you
use the accelerator with say an external PCMCIA RAM card the
computer does some very strange things when playing games. The
Sensi Soccer little footballers would suddenly go crazy fast as
they tried to do catchy up.

The GVP also has the SCSI card that can be attached to the main
accelerator. I have never tried it. Saves you having to use the
PCMCIA port for the Squirrel. I show also an Ethernet card suitable
for connecting to the web, though as discussed in my previous
blog, I have never seen the Amiga 1200 as a web based machine.

The whole surfing the web became very important with the release
of Window95 in truth. While I am not a great fan of Microsoft I
certainly moved over to a Windows based machine just to gain access
to the internet in the June of 1996. And I have been online ever
since. I have managed to set up the 1200 to access the web but
sadly without a good graphics card it was painfully slow. I show
a book from the day discussing the way the Amiga surfed the web.

ZIP disks are very very useful given that with Amiga files being
generally small I can get a lot on a 100MB ZIP disk. So I can back
up my DICE and SAMBA folders which tend to be my busiest along
with my Workbench volume and most of my Work stuff. So easy to use 
and works just as a normal hard drive.

This A1200 is my gaming machine for the 1200. It normally sits
behind me as I work on the A4000d and A500 with the sidecar. I
have so many demo files on CD that some days I spend all the time
decrunching files and testing them on the 500. For a little bit
of gaming downtime I play snooker, Settlers and SWOS. SWOS is
great cus in player coach mode I don't have to play the games.
I can simply set them running in SIM mode and carry on with my
demo de-archiving and just listen out for the cheers.

Hi-Soft Surf Squirrel.

The SCSI controller is a 53C96 controller IC with up to 2.5 MB/s
transfer speed and twice as fast as the original Squirrel. Booting
requires initial floppy access for drivers at power-up and has
a 50 pin Centronics connector.

The Serial interface is a 16C550 controller IC with 57600 bps transfer
rate on a basic A600 and 115200 bps on a basic A1200. The unit gives
230400 bps with accelerators has a DB9 serial port and is supported
by Linux.

Amiga - Surf Squirrel .. or not.

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Last updated 2nd February 2019

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