Resurecting Amiga 1200. A prologue.

This blog is suppose to be dedicated to programming. To little bits and pieces of things I do professionally or to stuff I would like to do in a near future. Two weeks ago, out of the blue, I wrote a post about Amiga however. Sounds like a different kind of stories, doesn’t it?

Not so different. Since Amiga was my third computer, I was not so in games anymore, like when got my first Atari XE. Instead, I was in a total love in all the demo-scene stuff. Back then I could watch demos, intros and cractros for hours. Like hundreds other Amiga folks, I wanted to be a coder. A 68k assembler hero.

Long story short, it did not happen. At least not to an extent I could recognize as a success. Soon I switched to C and the system stuff. It was fun too, but not the dream I wished to come true. Hold on for a second. Where were I? Ah, yes, resurecting Amiga 1200.

Yes, I did it! :) I powered my Amiga 1200 on again. I could not say it is fully functional (it is far away from that point actually), but it works! I loaded some stuff from floppies (looks like they are more reliable then cd…), watched a demo or two, and listened to fantastic music… Not much, huh? There are reasons for that, unfortunately.

Lets start with what I have on the stock. The body parts are as follows:

  • Amiga 1200 with broken keyboard
  • M-Tec 1230 68030/28MHz with 10MB Fast RAM
  • a dead hard drive
  • a mouse without ball (more close to a real mouse then…)
  • Scandex scandoubler
  • a customized PC power supply
  • lot of floppy disks

Two complementary items are a standard SVGA monitor and an old-fashioned TV. Rather priceless when comes to making use of any computer, including Amiga.

Almost entire A1200...

Where are the chips?

A1200 keyboard. Almost functional...

A1200 keyboard. Almost functional. I hate that green tape…

A black Amiga mouse.

Amiga mouse. Looks like a working one.

Mouse with no ball. Whatever it may sound.

Something is badly missing…

It does not look impressive, I know. Broken or dead items are not of particular use, nor interest. But do not lose faith. My story of a pile of old hardware pieces becoming a working Amiga 1200 is a long one, however has a happy-end. I wished a happier one (all these not working things, especially the keyboard…) but it is good to have what I’ve managed to (re)assemble.

More to come.

Amiga.

I have a pretty “yellish” Amiga 1200. I’ve been trying to resurrect my old girlfriend since two years or so, but with no success. Her hard drive is dead, keyboard does not work well  (that horrible tape…) and the PSU not so healthy anymore. I cleaned the floppy and besides the mainboard and expansion card (full 68030 with 10MB RAM) it is the most shiny part. I’ve promised to myself to spend some more time on that stuff during the upcoming vacations…

Truth be told, this is an old stuff (sorry dear Amiga) anyway. It may work for some time but who knows for how long. I love the stuff people have done for that hardware, especially the demoscene productions (I used to collect even the cractros…) and need a way to watch them from time to time. I don’t plan to expend big money for a new one too.  Emulation then.

I am a Linux user, and unfortunately I suffer a bit from lack of WinUAE (I know, there are options…). However, even WinUAE on a native Windows, not mentioning WINE, behaves strange (did you see the fullscreen mode? this is a bad joke) and I don’t like it much. Another hardware I possibly could make an Amiga is Playstation 3. This is not so easy anymore though. You jailbreak it and Sony says Game Over to you. Even though I use PS3 once in a blue moon, I don’t want to hack it. So what’s then…

Looks like Nintendo Wii could be the best candidate. I am not familiar with that console, but it’s cheap and has some great looking emulators. I would have to buy a keyboard (yes, coding in AsmOne :) also, but this is an acceptable cost. Maybe the emulation is not so sexy, but it is more likely to get some fun with less effort and money that way. I’ve just started to research about it and I am not sure if Wii wouldn’t require a hardware hack to install 3rd party software, but from what I saw, it does not look so. Maybe I miss something, we’ll see. The real Amiga is waiting anyways.

Resources to investigate more:

WiiBrew

uae-wii