To use a CD-ROM on an Amiga you need basically four things. The
first is the driver or CD0 which mounts the device that you use
to play the CD. The next is the file system to interpret and
read the CD. To connect to the CD-ROM drive there is an interface
and finally you will need a CD-ROM drive. I guess the fifth item
is the CD itself.
All very simple you may think, but this little setup was to cause
the demise of my use of the A1200 as my main machine.
In 1995 I was puzzling over what to do next with the Amiga 1200.
Storage had become a real problem as my animation files were
always large and drive space limited. I had invested in a Power
computing XL drive so I could use PC HD disks, but they hardly
scratched the surface. I began to look into the new sexy ZIP drives
and the Squirrel interface. Whilst they were not that expensive,
the implications started to stack up.
First was that I used the PCMCIA for a 4MB RAM card and I did
use the memory. I could expand the GVP but that too came with a
significant price in the day. Maybe I just dump the GVP and get
a BlizzardIV Turbo with the SCSI KIT. Again an expensive option.
Better still I just longed for a CD-ROM drive and so the Hi-Soft
Squirrel looked the better choice.
Month in and month out I puzzled over this and the A1200 was
literally buckling under the lack of storage space. Unfortunately
for the Amiga , the release of Windows 95 compounded the
problem offering ease of internet use and with most new PCs
fitted with CD-ROM drives as standard.
Escom appeared and vanished as quickly so the promise of a new shiny
Amiga faded with their demise. The options for the 1200 always
involved adding third party devices on a SCSI interface strung out
to the side of the Amiga, or at an extreme mounted in a PC case
using the A1200 motherboard.
None of my options gave me a guaranteed set-up that was covered
by some kind of warranty. With little experience in the field
of electronics, the idea of cobbling together a set-up and then
configuring the software was less than ideal
Scanning the magazine racks of the local stores the plethora
of PC based magazines filled to the brim with CDs and juicy articles
about the internet just reinforced a general view that maybe my
Amiga years were numbered. During the winter of 1995 I had tried
to fit a 1GB 3.5" IDE and failed cus of power issues, and also
purchased a second A1200 as a stop gap for storage off a Parnet.
The whole saga with Escom had left a very bad taste in my mouth.
I had ventured into Escom expecting new Amigas and all I got
was offers of new Windows based PCs complete with CD drives. At
my work place the guys were joying at double speed CD-ROMs and
upgrades of Pentium 90s no less. I sat kinda dejected clutching
my Amiga Format complete with expensive adverts for Squirrels,
CD-ROMs, ZIP drives, accelerators etc. My focus began to change
and I realised what I needed was better graphics so that I could
surf the web with ease, supported with a bigger hard drive and
CD-ROM for multimedia. None of this could easily by installed to
my current Amiga set-up. And so in July 96 I purchased a Windows95
PC and in truth have never looked back.
Although the decision to move to the PC was the right one, I
always regret very much that some new owner of Commodore could not
be found that could provide me with a new Amiga. The Walker style
of machine would have been well suited but it was not to be. And
so the stack of cards that was all the elements that collectively
piled on the pressure to the Amiga, finally collapsed, and the Win95
machine won the day. I do wish it had been different but technology
stands still still for nobody.