I have recalled this story before but its worth mentioning again
as I have now found the installation guide for the Viper 520 CD.
I always viewed the Amiga 500 like a Fabergé egg with the prospect
of hidden treasures inside when opened up. Often I would place
nominal and low bids on broken and busted Amiga 500s in the hope
that I would win and find a valuable card inside.
In April 2008 I was reading the Amiga forums and there was a
thread taking the piss out of an Ebay auction for an A500 listed
as an A1200. The seller had scribbled out the 500 on an A500 box
and written over it an upgrade to an A1200. In those days there
was often only one picture of the auction item. So in this instance
I only had the box to go on.
I sensed something a little odd going on so I put a nominal bid of
I think £25 for the item. I got home that night from work to find
out that I had won and I set out that weekend to Windsor to pick
it up. The guy selling was not the original owner. Sadly the guy
had died and left his computer kit to a friend. The guy actually
selling hadn't got a clue what it was. Whilst chatting he asked
if I would take all of his computer kit from the garage, free of
charge. I accepted and also obtained another computer and an
assorted box of bits and bobs.
When I got home I opened the A500 box and discovered not only a
whole box full of software, books and disks but also an expanded
A500 with a Viper 520 CD inside. The computer was armed with the
3.0 ROM and on the Seagate hard drive was running OS 3.0. So the
guy that owned it had believed that he had expanded his 500 to be
The card is like very rare and probably one of the best finds I have
discovered inside an A500. And she still works, I switch the
computer on most days. Man is it quick.
So I guess I made a wise investment that day. What is more I quite
enjoyed letting the forum posters know of my find.
I refuse point blank to open up this computer. I just worry like
mad that she will stop working. I took pictures when I first
had her but have kept the case closed ever since. I have assembled
as much of the contents of the box as I can muster. I am still
searching for what was in the brown envelope.
Collecting is always way more rewarding than getting stuff in the
post. You cannot believe the stuff I have gotten from turning
up at the door. Mostly though you get a hint of the provenance
of the gear. Which for me is so important. History that is.