ScuzzBlog: Diaries February 2021

Entry 9th February 2021: Post 1: Amiga Technologies Amiga A 1200 - Eye Poppy number 15.

Amiga Technologies Amiga A 1200 - Eye Poppy number 15.

The Escom era was pretty bazaar. I had been waiting for a good
while for someone to start making Amiga kit again and when Escom
arrived in the high street I thought it had finally happened. It
turned out to be just a front for selling bog standard PCs. The
Amiga was limited to three models and pretty much nothing else.

They managed to ship Amiga 1200s in new boxes though, and I am
lucky enough to own a brand new Magic Pack. Thing is Commodore
were always careful to label their products with the 'A' meaning
Amiga like Amiga 1200 or A1200 but never Amiga A1200. It kinda
was redundant using the term twice. But when the Escom A1200 was
released it was an Amiga A [space] 1200 or A 1200. That always
made me a little uncomfortable. Was the A meant to represent
something else or was this really an Amiga Amiga 1200. Odd.

Thing is the models released through the Escom stores for me
just never go yellow. They are whiter than white [ slightly grey ].
They never seem to age and the floppy drives are just so sturdy.
I mean if you want a good looking Amiga Amiga 1200 then seriously
get an Escom one cus they look gooooooooood !!

Anyhoo, I was explaining to someone the other day how I did this
trick with broken 2.5" drives, where I stuck them in a bag in
the freezer for a few days, then yanked them out and bashed them
with the blunt rubber end of a screwdriver. I realised I never
really featured A A 1200 Eye Poppy and the 1.4GB hard drive that
I saved. So here she is.

Just to explain. This computer is number 15 in my list of 31
A1200s with just the one that is truly broken. The computer
sits on a shelf connected to a power supply but with no monitor
and is checked regularly to see if the drive is working. I just
watch the power light and hd light to see that she boots up. The
computer has been here since around 2005 I guess, maybe earlier.
I recall collecting the machine from a lady named Bridget from
Bristol. I recall a busy dual carriageway and steps to a terrace
and negotiating heavy traffic to return to my car. As to her name
well that is an 'in' joke that only those close to me would know
and understand, and I aint sharing that here.

The computer appears to have been used as a back up. The contents
are kinda what I had on my general Amigas of the day, though not
quite. I seem to recall having a ghost machine with the tower
as I was loading the tower up and I sense she may have been just
sitting next to her and transferring files. Looks kinda busy
but lacks the data files.

Here goes anyway. I wanted to check that the drive was OK and
also the contents of the drives. I found it necessary to bang in
a 4MB memory card off the PCMCIA just so I could check over the
software and some of the games. There really wasn't anything of
interest that I didn't already have. Like I say a ghost machine.

So here is my date with a ghost... the very lovely Eye Poppy.

Hasn't it been cold? .. My goodness could hardly feel my
fingers this morning. Just the way I like it. -4 today.

Amiga Technologies Amiga A 1200 - Eye Poppy number 15.

Still whiter than white and I have never
attacked the plastic with chemicals.

A pleasure to use I have to say.

An Amiga Amiga 1200 no less.. bonkers.

Quick scribbles when I do things.

Sadly no expansions.

And she still has the shielding. Amazing.

This is the hard drive that I did the old
freezer trick and brought back to life.

A 1.4GB Seagate drive.

Fitted with 3.1 ROM standard by Escom.

Can you see the green light on the floppy.

The shielding is a little dull.

That green light hidden by the case.
These are not Commodore style drives
and I believe modified PC drives. Dunno.

I banged in the 4MB PCMCIA to give her a lift.

With 70MB in use this is not a standard Workbench.

Ami-PC software for connecting to a PC.

ToolsDaemon lets you launch programs
from a drop down menu. ARQ just adds a
mass of animated requesters and notifications
that actually are very very useful.

Pretty much my standard Work volume at
a little over 250MB which is light.

There are three other volumes on the
computer making five in all and 1.4GB.

I never really show any of my own designed
icons. I'm very private about such things.
The eye is one of mine and she blinks.

The other icons are from a Shopper cover disk.

Not much of a Bridge.. Looks a bit random.

AWNpipe is a development tool which is
great for accessing those 'tooltypes'. I
was in communication with a guy on AmigaSA
who was well into this and sent me loads
of stuff. He had an incredible Amiga music
site featuring all his own creations. I do
miss the Amiga groups. So incredibly useful
and I made so many friends there.

PicView is a thumbnail viewer. Sadly there
were no catalogues in the folder which
was kinda strange. This software works
surprisingly well and lets you view all
your image files from the interface.

Sadly no Ethernet so that wasn't going to work.

Neither was YAM. Man I use to come home
every night and get literally hundreds of
Amiga group mails to wade through.

Workbench X.X is the Workbench from the tower.

The best and smallest data base software ever.
I have so many Softwood databases littered all
over my Amigas. Cracking bit of software.

SuperBase was OK but not anything like as friendly.

Image Engineer 2.1 is on all my Amigas
and I wouldn't be without it.

Main Actor is just magic. It can save in so
many animation formats and is a hoot and a
half to play with. Always makes me happy.

Note the animated 'info', that's ARQ in action.

The ghost in the machine. Looks like a software
dump for transferring stuff to other Amigas.

HyperText is one of those gems you
trip across on the cover disks.

I see ARCHanler in the tools drawer.
It archives your whole hard drive and
reduced the capacity. Then when you need
anything it just unarchives automatically.

I did use to have my drive set up that way.

Iconian is the star in that drawer.

I will feature Koudelka in an Iconian
blog in a few days. I do like icon creation.

PC2Am is another linker between PC and Amiga.

Infonexus is a file manager and the cute
thing is it puts mini icons after your
file listings so you know what it is.
Works very well, but I have DOPus.

TechnoSound Turbo II sample maker.
My goodness you can lose days of
your life with this software and never
go to bed. So rewarding and fun.

AMOS Professional and simply brilliant. Man
have I spent so much time using this.

These images are from a couple of
my own games. The sizes of the the
programs are enormous. Dunno if you
can see the red scroll bar on the right.

I never had that many games on the Amiga
I was mostly interested in software. But I
did tinker and these look like some of my
most favourite games.

Jetstrike... Up up up and down down down.
Taking off and crashing was hilarious.

Great music and creepy noises. Classic
in Hired Guns. Way ahead of its time.

Banshee was your modern River Raid and way better.

Ishar 2 is still one of my all time favourite
games on any platform. So intoxicating. The
first game I played where I needed to level
up to make the challenges easier.

Dark winter nights in a dimly lit room
with DreamWeb is mind blowing.

A-Train is a SIM and a very good one at that.

Settlers is probably the best Amiga game ever.

Syndicate... by Bullfrog. An Amiga classic.

Colonization is also a remarkable game.
From the series of Civilization is as
equally time consuming... but fun. I just
love games that I can save and then carry
on where I left off.

Star Trek is a very large game that is just
way too short. It takes no time to beat the
game and your left crying for more.

Beneath a Steel Sky follows in the footsteps
of so many pointy clicky problem solving games
and does it really well. Couldn't put it down.

ARQ and the information on the Amiga.

SysInfo showing all those drives.

And finally Dopus. What would the Amiga be
without DOpus. I just don't know how anyone
copes without it. It truly is magical and
I would be lost without it.

VidiAmiga the software that changed my life.
I was starting to think the Amiga was just a
glorified games machine when I first bought
it ... that was until I discovered VidiAmiga.
This software lets me bring my own world onto
the Amiga. I used a camera and video to bring
in content and that coupled with the TechnoSound
and AMOS really brought a dynamic to the Amiga
that has yet to be surpassed by any computer.
I seriously didn't sleep some nights. And it was
what made me fall head over heals in love with
the Amiga. This is a brilliant tool.

There really is no escape from the Amiga.

But unexpanded the 1200 really does suffer.
I realised very early on that 68030 is where
you need to be and with as much memory as you
can afford... Plus a large hard drive. Oh and
a proper monitor etc. Endless possibilities.

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Last updated 9th February 2021

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