18 June 2005

Coming up to our move, I am needing to get rid of a lot of stuff - and Sadly my Amiga was among the stuff to go.

I have spent the last few weeks transferring data from it to my PC with help from Cloantos superb Amiga Explorer, Transdisk and a null modem cable.

At first - disaster. When i first powered up my Amiga -after 8 to 10 years in a dusty cupboard - I got nothing but a white screen. I power cycled it a couple of times, and it warmed up and booted. I decided then to clean and service it. Big huge dust bunnies, and a bit of a rust problem on the motherboard shield.

So I put it together, and then booted it to test that it still worked with things. It did - but had developed an annoying habit of dieing after around 20-30 mins and then booting only to a white screen for the next 40 mins. Also some of the keyboard was duff - the Left Amiga key didnt work, the last row of the numeric keyboard was stuffed as well. Very upset - I then went an bought another Amiga on ebay.

While I waited for it to arrive- I had to do whatever work in 40 minutes. Since I dont have room for a monitor, and TV, I started using my TV Amazing box - which means I had to switch between Amiga and PC.

The first real task was to get Amiga Explorer running. This should be relatively painless, only I had a few small problems with my setup - the main one being that the serial device was not (for some reason) installed on the HDD installation of workbench, and KingCON (an AmigaDOS extension to add scroll bars and other UI tweaks to the console) remapped the ser: interface.

Once this was sorted - I hit my 20 minute limit(this became a regular annoyance until the new one arrived). When it was back up, I then installed the Amiga portion of Amiga Explorer. It installs over the serial cable - you dont need any floppy swapping - which is really useful as a PC wont read/write Amiga floppies, the Amiga floppy drive only reads double densities (no good for a couple of meg), and my PC has no floppy drive any more anyway.

It is actually surprisingly easy to do, and to use - although I had little luck trying to grab ADF’s of disks directly with Amiga explorer- I would either run out of my time limit (20 minutes remember), or it would simply fail the conection. Also - 20 minutes was not enought to transfer the Hard Disk contents (only a mere 20Mb) over the slow serial connection.

So - I used the Amiga to copy as much of my own work as I could to the HDD, so I didnt need the floppies for that. I used transdisk to generate ADFs of Non AmigaDOS floppies.

Unfortunately - I soon had to dig out QuarterBack tools and DiskSalv - many of the disks had a few block errors, and some refused to read at all. I got as much as I could.

Ironically - the Amiga from ebay only arrived after I had sucessfully - and painstakingly transferred everything to my PC! The new Amiga had a floppy drive problem, so I moved mine accross, along with the HDD. Soak tested it running an Octamed looping song for around 8 hours with no crashes! Yay.

I cleaned and serviced the new one - and it was sold with all the enhancements.

Its been a blast, and I loved my Amiga, but it is time to say a teary goodbye and move on. The old one that crashes - is now consigned to silicon heaven. The duff floppy drive, motherboard and other PCBS will be salvaged. The Workbench 3.0 ROMs kept (I will consider any offers). The plastic case is clean, but I may just have to trash it - again I will consider any offers first(even if they only cover postage!). The keyboard is a bit useless - and only good for the bin.

On another note - I have now finished all the building and testing of the Signal Generator, and the Freeform Diode bridge, and will write them up, along with any snags just as soon as I have time. At the moment - everything is geared towards the move. It looks like we are going at the end of june/early july.