ScuzzBlog: Diaries February 2024

Entry 10th February 2024: Post 1: Amiga 1200 - My elaborate journey.

Amiga 1200 - My elaborate journey.

We were discussing Elaborate Bytes' very wonderful IDE-fix'97 the
other day on the forum and I got to reflecting on the hoops I went
through to extend the life of the Amiga. I have to say the antics
I got up to in trying to keep pace with the PC was more than a
little 'elaborate'.

They say that the journey is far more rewarding than the getting
there and for me that certainly has been the case with the A1200.
When I first purchased my Desktop Dynamite pack back in 1993 I
could never have imagined just what I was letting my self in for.

Here is a summary:

First up I bought the A1200 new for five hundred and fifty quid
complete in a Desktop Dynamite pack. At the same time I put down
a deposit of fifty quid for a 1942 monitor. Unfortunately I never
got the 1942 monitor as Commodore went bust the next year.

Memory was an issue as I had purchased a Vidi-Amiga and so I bought
a PCMCIA 4MB RAM expansion. I also purchased a Power Computing XL
drive so I could use higher capacity HD disks. And man did I get
through a lot of disks.

The Microvitec Monitor 1438 arrived as substitute for the 1942
and transformed my viewing activities. I also added a Canon BJ10-SX
Inkjet printer though I never used it much.

The 80MB hard drive was replaced with a 350MB hard drive and then
by a 550MB hard drive. This after a failed attempt to use a 1GB
internal IDE drive. Little did I know I needed to replace the PSU.

SIMCITY 2000 arrived and I was soon back to Silica to buy my first
accelerator card, the very wonderful GVP Turbo+ running at 40mHz.
And the clock is still accurate to this very day.

I obtained a Squirrel and an external CD-ROM drive and got very
excited about the ZIP drive and other SCSI devices. I really did
not like losing the PCMCIA so I purchased a Blizzard 1230IV Turbo.
I had purchased an Apollo 060 but that just wouldn't play ball with
the PCMCIA. To save all the problems of PCMCIA I also acquired the
SCSI kit for the Blizzard and so I now had a rear port for SCSI.

Next up I added two external SCSI drives and the ZIP.

Having the PCMCIA port available let me add an Ethernet card and
after a long and tricky process I configured SAMBA to network the
A1200 to a PC network. The day I was able to communicate to the
PCs in the house was ground breaking.

Along the way to getting the A1200 upgraded I had struggled with
disk storage and one bright idea I had was to buy another A1200
called TANK and Parnet my Amigas together. This was very slow and
I soon purchased another cable system called AmiPC and networked
the Amiga to an old Compaq. The speed was a little better but not
as effective as real SAMBA networking.

Having got the second A1200 I began my Amiga computer acquisitions
by obtaining an A600 primarily for the Philips monitor. Thing was
the A600 became a fantastic games machine and I just loved playing
Sensible Soccer on it. By now I had also obtained an A500 and also
was gifted another A1200. And so it began.

I discovered Amibench and had soon purchased my first tower, albeit
not working. I dismantled the first setup and rebuilt yet another
A1200, this time with OS3.9 and an 040 accelerator card.

Not dissuaded by the tower I then set too rebuilding the tower
and kitted it up with another Blizzard 1230IV. It was at this time
that I discovered IDE-fix'97 and how to auto detect ATAPI devices.
The tower has two IDE hard drives, an internal ZIP and CD-ROM plus
an XL HD drive and runs via a scan doubler flicker fixer to a
Iiyama monitor. The keyboard is an A2000 keyboard off a special
connector and the mouse is a PC mouse. I was well impressed with
the set up in 2000 as I now had something very close to a PC.

But then the Win98 machine arrived to replace my Win95 machine and
for the first time the A1200 was relegated from the main room. I
had great ambition for the Amiga having acquired a brand new Magic
Pack from Analogic plus monitor. But sadly I then purchased an
Evesham mini tower with CD burner and with that networked to my
Win98 machine I kinda sidelined the Amiga. It also coincided with
me playing the PS1 and moving onto the PS2.

The Amiga 1200 sat none too happily next to my Win95 machine for
a while before finding a permanent home in the Workshop where she
still works without fault today.

The PC journey from 1996 with the Win95 machine has been epic in
its own right traversing the wonders of the internet and operating
systems from 95 to Windows 10. The era has also been privilege to
witnessing me build my enormous computer collection.

I often ponder what my life would have been like without the A1200.
I am convinced it would not have been anything like as rewarding.
She certainly was responsible for my elaborate antics building my
systems and acquiring kit. The Amiga made it challenging to attain
higher levels of success with the computer but in doing so was
instrumental in expanding my mind, my worth, my joy and my very self.
I enjoyed my journey and in truth I wouldn't change a thing.

Not a damn thing.

Amiga 1200 - My elaborate journey.

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Last updated 10th February 2024

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