TROGUE64 – RGCD C64 16kb Cartridge Game Dev Compo 2019

I have been meaning to get involved with one of these compo’s for a while now — so here we go!

This is a rogue-like based game, where player starts at the bottom of mine (which was flooded) to trap all the zombies in the local town. For some reason the player was checking the containment and triggered the drain of the mine. Getting sucked to the bottom, they must make it back to the top before the denizens of the mine or the water flooding back into the mine drowns them…

Trogue is actually a word, it means the drains in a mine. Lucky 🙂

Cat Weasel v4 Running in an XP VM

I’ve managed connect my PCI Catweasel card to pass-though on my ESXi server. I took a bit of work and it’s not perfect (ie no Joysticks or Mice work) but the disk subsystem works great. I added to my server a Multi Function 3 1/2 drive with USB reader, which I thought was a stretch to get working — but in the end it was fine. I also added a TEAC 5 1/4 drive which reads and writes perfectly. The Disk Imaging tools work reasonable well but get stuck sometimes.

I tested some Amiga, Apple and C64 floppies and was surprised how fast they imaged or transferred down.

Stability was an issue initially, but after making some adjustments to processor and memory layout of the VM, XP and the Catweasel card are working great. The other subsystems on the card are not used, but what I really wanted was a multi format disk reader and writer.

Click on the thumbnail to see the desktop in action.

AL-1000: Saved from Oblivion.

The Commodore AL-1000, which is akin to a mini-PET (heavy and boxy). It uses tubes to display the numbers. There was some rough housing with this venerable calculator and it needed some TLC to get going. The calculator was abandoned a long while back and found after someone was cleaning out some buildings near by. A tip from a friend helped save this new addition.

C64: First 8K Generic Cart

As of today, I made my first C64 cartridge. Most of my programming experience is either through floppy or tape based storage. Making a ROM/BIN file and getting it to work was a tougher than I thought. It was more problems with getting a CRT/BIN combo into the tool chain for testing in an emulator, than to actually make a cart and burn an EEPROM. My first cart is nothing amazing, but it pumps out the INC $d021’s.

C64 NIC: Networking on the Commodore 64

I have a few of these guys in a box, mostly for a long term project that I have been working on. I haven’t had much need for them in the last while as VICE has great networking support.

Lately, it has been crazy fun doing TCP/IP communications with the IP65 networking stack. It’s definitely the way to go for making games that need updates from time to time. Write a bootloader that fits in ROM, place it in the socket and off you go. Yes there are issues with a ROM update later on and that you need to have internet access to enjoy the software. Oh well, its a connected world.

One of these guys needs to get crossed with a 16 MB REU. It would be pretty awesome combo. But for now; this thing is still great.

C64: 64Bites.com (teaching old dogs new tricks)

64Bites

http://www.64bites.com

I will say three things about Michal’s c64 programming series: his video’s are fun, fast and packed with information.

I am not a bad assembly programmer, -not the best- but not bad. After watching a few seasons of his videos I started to notice subtle ways to improve my style.

There is a common problem with programmers in general. We need a problem to learn something and anything else in the way gets filtered out. So when Michal’s videos had Basic language sections, I was going to skip them for more interesting topics. I’m glad I didn’t. In fact, a few assumptions (over the years) that I’ve made were proven wrong (about the DATA statement in Basic). Suddenly, I wanted to know if there were other things that I was mistaken about.

Before you complain about it being a paid service; its worth it. Its a good refresher and its interesting to see how he works and his logic. He even manages to get automated testing into the mix.. on an 8bit 64k machine. It’s worth the money and I’m happy when a new episode appears in my inbox.

Amiga + Gotek Floppy Emulation

GotekFloppyEmuWell, the Gotek Floppy has been running relatively well. I dragged a bunch of of ADF’s over to a USB stick (with the menu ADF) and it was pretty much working.

I wish the drive face was at least the right size, to fit flush with the enclosure.

I’ve noticed a few problems here and there with some images; also when there isn’t a USB mounted you get a dead icon on the screen for DF0:. I’m testing a variety of floppy images to put it through the paces. I’ve even made a 3.x Emergency ADF and mounted it.

Amiga 1020 5 1/4 Floppy

Amiga1020I’ve had this one in the basement for a long time, never got it working correctly — until now.

Device = trackdisk.device
 Unit = 2 /* first external unit */
 Flags = 1 /* important ! */
 Surfaces = 2
 BlocksPerTrack = 11
 Reserved = 2
 Interleave = 0
 LowCyl = 0 ; HighCyl = 39
 Buffers = 20
 BufMemType = 1 /* or 3 if you run OS 1.x */

Drive is formatting 🙂

A3000D: Random problems finally sorted.

A3000DI upgraded the A3000D with as much stuff I had in storage and few things off of Amibay. After the RTC fixes, HD LED, misc capacitors and replacement floppy I started adding:

GVP IOEtxender (high speed serial an LPT)
BigRam+ (256MB fast ram)
X-surf-100 (network adapter)
Picasso IV with Audio add-on.

The mainboard initially had standard original custom chips (Ramsey 4, Super DMAC 2, Super Buster 7), which got upgraded to Ramsey 7, Super Buster 11. The WDC SCSI chip on the board was a type 04, which its now a type 08. The fast ram (8MB) was a mixed bag of chips and speeds, but they were all static column type which gave the 10% boost. A newish SCSI drive, 8.5GB which replaced a 200MB drive I found in it.

After installing the base OS, and the networking adapters — problems started to come out. Random checksum errors, enough to corrupt the drive a few times. After a few Disk Salv 4 sessions, I kept checking all the parts. I removed the all the cards but the NIC and still got the errors. I had already upgraded the SCSI chip, which should have stabilized the SCSI chain. I checked the diode at D800, its direction and the voltage inside, on the port and through the cable. I double checked the drive to supply power and termination already and everything was terminated correctly.

Removing the BigRam+ for the remaining tests yielded a slightly more stable system, but the errors started coming back. I think I formatted the drive and installed the OS  too many times, I was clicking and editing things while doing other things without thinking about it. The system would last a little longer with each tweak, then it would just get worse. It’s really strange, my Amiga 2000 with a GVP Accelerator installed without a problem, ever!. For some reason I thought the A3000D was going to be open shut case once the repairs were done. This was not the case.

I had a batch of 514402AZ-60 ZIP modules, which are supposed to be static column RAM, but are not. I thought maybe a homogeneous block of chips might help the stability, also I had 16MB’s of it. A 10% fast ram speed loss for system stability I can live with.

I was reading though other people’s issues, when an article about problems with Ramsey/Super DMAC revisions. They are paired chips, according to many. Others state that sometimes the mixed bag works. I pulled my Ramsey and returned the original Ramsey. Well +1 to the Paired Chips theory, system is rock solid.

A3000: Amber’s Variable Resistor

AmberSyncThe A3000 was randomly deciding to output a proper signal to VGA. I know the monitor I was using (or LCD) was capable of displaying in the right frequency range — but only 1 out 5 power ups would yield an active VGA display.

It was easy to tell when a good powerup would occur, as the VGA display would have some very dark gray vertical lines in the black screen.

Putting a scope on the VGA port showed signals on the RGB and H/V sync pins. Each signal looked okay from a casual inspection (comparing a good powerup versus bad). I checked all the pins around the board to see if there was anything missing on the way in to the VGA… but if the VGA signals looked ok either way (on or off) then it must be a very slight signal variance.

The variable resistor on Amber was very touchy. I had a spare that would work, but I re-soldered the old part just to be sure.. it looked like there had been some work previously done on it. Using a metal screwdriver, I noticed the signals jumping around on the V/H pins. Removing the screwdriver would change the signal as well. I had a plastic screwdriver for altering TBC signals — TBC’s did the same thing with metal tools.

Without worrying about over turning the resistor, I swung it pretty far. I then noticed it was loose. After screwing it down for a while, I felt a bump and then the signal seemed to tune easier. I found the sweet spot, rebooted — VGA stable. I waited 30 minutes with the machine off tried again, still good. Off for two days, powered it up — still working fine. Nailed it 🙂

A3000 Clock Spagetti

clockspagettiThe A3000 I am working on has a few issues, the first was NO CLOCK reported by SYSINFO and other tools. This is of course true, as the battery had been removed after I unboxed this machine. After the battery was removed, the gross damage to the motherboard by the leaking battery is obvious in the picture to the left.

I cleaned the board as best I could, noticed that the back of the board was OK… somehow. I didn’t want to mess with the area around where the battery was, as there was a lot of damage there and I didn’t want to add to it.

I temporarily jumped a CR2032 in a holder (the BLACK and RED leads),  to get get the clock powered. I then went into the Prefs and set the time. After a reboot, the system recognized the clock — but the time had not incremented while the machine was off.

The clock crystal was not outputting anything which ended up being a connection from C192 to R193 was lost. I jumpered them with the BLUE lead. After checking all the connections out I found C190 was not connected either, so i jumpered it with the YELLOW lead.

clocksignalAs opposed to a flatlined output from the Oscillator, I got a signal.

I loaded up the system, reset the time powered it off and waited a few minutes. Turned it back on and the time was in sync. I went out for dinner, had a few drinks and came back — powered it up, clock still working.

I know the clock is not so important in this day and age, as NTP can handle the time sync. But who wants a broken machine?

Next on the list.. Display warm up… sometimes the display shows something, sometimes it takes a few power cycles to get it going…

A3000T: New friend :) Mouse and Keyboard :(

Well, I’ve got 2 Amiga 3000’s going, which means they are in 30 pieces on my workbench.

One is a A3000D, with 2MB/16MB/256MB of various RAM types. I’ve managed to get the latest custom chips on the mother board, all but a Super DMAC04. This machine has been in the basement for a while, with battery damage and a few blown caps. It now boots with 3.1 KS and 3.9 OS. The VGA port takes a little while to warm up, the machine needs to be on for about 2 minutes and then power cycled to get VGA back up. Working out the VGA is the next major task…

Number Two, is an A3000T. I can’t think of a heavier computer. This one booted right off the bat, but for some reason the mouse and keyboard wasn’t working. Scouring the motherboard for bad components/traces, reading forums and voltmeter came up empty. I could understand why one port would go or just the keyboard… but all three ports? The system would boot to a temp OS disk I mounted, but as soon as the OS was up (or even the KS screen) not keyboard or mouse action. Weird. Even the 3 finger salute on the KS screen..

There is something to be said for computers with a keyhole embedded in its face plate. Yes, when in the locked position — no keyboard or mouse. Funny… I have never had this happen in the last 30 years. The trick that works on old bike locks (Plastic Bik pens, cut in particular way) works on the lock in A3000T. I can see that the lock has been man handled before. When I opened the lock, everything started working.

This machine needs a lot of TLC. The case wasn’t intact, missing the front and top sections. It also has older chips than my A3000D. I was kind of hoping this one was going to have a late revision Super DMAC… oh well 🙂

a3000T_front

 

 

A2000: Business up front, party out back..

YuriFrontPanelWell it might be the other way around. Recently I picked up a really thin/small USB 4 port hub, which would get in the way (the way it was wired). But I found a use for him. The PC side of Amiga Yuri needed USB ports and other interface options.

So we begin with the left side front panel, which are two toggle switches (with LED’s :)), one momentary switch and a USB hub. The first toggle is a red LED, which is tied to the PSU for the system. When the system is powered down, the red LED lights up. The second toggle is for the Amiga’s 030 Accelerator, which can now be disabled (off) or active (on), the blue LED in this toggle is for the PC side’s HD light. The small momentary switch is to reset the PC Card, as this doesn’t have a power off/on so it would be handy to reboot it without having shutdown both sides. The USB is wired into the PC side, to allow me to mount CD-ROM, flash drives etc for the Goldfinger card.

YuriRearPanelIn the rear of the machine, I mounted all the ports that would be needed (but not all, there is not enough backplane for it :)).  From left to right:

1. Amiga SCSI2SD card drive (swap out cads for different setups DH0:)
2. Amiga Rapidroad/Xsurf combo (USB and Ethernet)
3. Ventilator Fan (strong, lots of hot stuff in there)
4. PC Audiotrix Pro sound card
5. PC IDE2CFCARD interface (different PC configs Drive C:)
6. PC Serial Ports
7. PC Goldfinger Card (PS2, 2xEthernet and VGA)

 

YuriFrontCaseI left the machine running doing some speed tests to generate heat and everything worked out great. I was monitoring the BIOS for the PC side, thermal sensors didn’t rise as much as I expected. I put thermal sensor on the Amiga MB and Accelerator and it’s temperatures only went a few degrees higher than normal readings. Amazing!

The case needed some cutting and with a dremel, which turned out pretty clean. I’ve always wanted to use that space for something, it always seems like a waste of front panel. Just have front panel power is great, as when I was done I put it in my rack, along with a cheap VGA KVM switcher. So both machines use the same monitor 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

A2000: Goldfinger – Xsurf/Rapidroad – SCSI2SD

Hardware Changes and Adjustments (Part 1 of 3)

  1. OS3.9 on DH0: and OS1.3 on DH1:  — Easy booting to each OS.
  2. Replaced the AMIGANET 1.1 / Hydra with and XSurf100 using AmiTCP. Networking is going great in OS3.9
  3. Combined with XSurf100, is the RapidRoad USB addon card. I’ve mounted a variety of devices — setup was a little weird but once it was working, it worked well. Was impressed by the device support.
  4. Got 2 more GVP 4MB ram modules, Chip: 1MB, Extended: 16Mb on the 030
  5. With the 030 Processor Upgrades to 50MHrz and an MMU, FASTROM Enabled.

I had two Primary machines in Artschool, one was Yuri and the other was a Pentium 133 in the school lab. Years later, after working at the same school and passing the baton on to another — someone showed up to a house party with my Old computer in tow. The machine had been in storage and I had a disk backup of the machine. The IDE drive was cooked and there was some damage to the machine’s PSU. It was a gift I wanted to get going.

In order to get the rest of the changes completed, I needed to pull out the motherboard from the case.

PEAK650VLBI found a Goldfinger card on Ebay, which if you want to know more about them: Here and Here. The card is a PEAK650VLB, which is basically everything you need for a computer (minus a soundcard) on one ISA card. It’s like the bridgeboard for the Amiga, but a million times better. It has a 1ghrz Pentium 4, with 64 megs of ram, EIDE controllers, USB and two NIC’s (100mb). It’s a 16bit ISA Card, with a PCI edge near the front of the card. So it can be placed in either BUS system type.

The Amiga has ISA slots — 2 8bit and 2 16bit, which are dumb slots. And the PEAK650VLB is a card that takes over the ISA BUS, so I could add a few ISA cards into the mix. Last time I checked, the only 8bit ISA cards I had were a modem and PS2 port. Everything else (including my P133) was 16bit.

The Amiga 2000’s 8bit ISA slots can be upgraded to 16bit, if you solder on the extra connector. The PEAK650VLB is a monster full sized card (the heat sinks add to the girth), but because of the PCI connector it will not fit in the stock 16bit card slots.. only the outer slots (8bit) have the space to take the card. So it looks like some soldering is needed.

*I desoldered two of the 16bit ISA card slots from my old P133*.

ISAI did not know what I was thinking when I did that. It was such a brutal exercise initially. A solder sucker and iron took forever to get the first slot, which I will never get that time back again. Even after the solder comes off, trying to find the pins that had a minuscule amount of solder on them (preventing the slot from coming out) was impossible. Solder wick was faster on the second attempt, but still the connectors were impossible to pull out from the sheer amount of pins.

If you ever have to pull out a lot of stuff from a board, something like a rework station is needed. Sparkfun has one: 303D. There are moments in life where you think: Where was this 10 years ago? The third slot and the remaining two came out in a fraction of the time. I wish I had a 303D from the beginning. Awesome! Chopped off the 16bit part of the slot and solder to the Amiga.

So with the two slot’s upgraded, we get the next round of upgrades:

  1. PEAK650VLB with Pentium4 1Ghrz, 64MB ram.
  2. AudioTrix Pro Sound card (ISA) with Soundblaster Emulation
  3. Compactflash Drive to EIDE Converter. 4GB storage on CF.
  4. Custom made bracket for the CF Card, to load out the back of the Amiga
  5. DOS 6.22, Windows 98 and Debian Linux installed.

DUNE2DOS 6.22, was a pain to get working with a more modern system. PNP and BIOS configs to get the sound card to work in DOS was something I pleasantly forgot.. but after a little brain massaging it worked. I installed DOOM3D and DUNE2, both of which I still have the original install disks. I copied over my original school/work backups from an ISO I made years ago. FRACTINT still looks great 🙂

I still need to make a backplane for the USB and Serial Ports for the PC side.

 

SCSI2SDThe last of the upgrades is SCSI2SD. This device basically is a hard disk replacement for computers with SCSI-2 interfaces. Insert an SD card, connect the device to a USB computer and configure how many SCSI devices and their sizes. Connect the device to the computer’s SCSI chain, boot and partition. It was pretty easy.

I did some speed tests before and after. I was a little sad with the results:

Seagate HAWK: 2.1MB/sec
SCSI2SD: 1.6MB/sec

Maybe a different card choice or configuration might improve the stats. But the real amazing thing about this is that you can take the SD card out, back it up as an image and put it back. Multiple cards, multiple setups. I’m going to try and workout why the transfer loss, but at the moment I am happy with what I couldn’t do that easily before the change.

 

GVP SCSI 4.15 Update for Yuri

GVPROMIt took a little while to locate EPROMS that would work for a ROM replacement/upgrade, but success! I’ve made a backup of my original ROM (ver 4.13) and burned a new one.  I picked up the ROM file from http://babel.de which is a great Amiga resource. Ralph Babel, thanks for the update 🙂

After Brutalizing myself with the PCB45, I found a Canadian company selling UV Eraser and GQ-4X combo. Wow, the difference in setup is night and day… I know that this model doesn’t have clock support for the weird Commodore ROM’s, but as a general purpose ROM burner, this one was pretty easy to use.

A2000: Next batch of upgrades

Well, this has been fun. Lets start with juggling soldering irons is only good for the dexterous — which strapping a brick to my solder station is looking like a better idea every day.

Yuri got a batch of upgrades.

BatteryStarted with removing the battery, which was getting fuzzy. After reading all the debates about coin batteries or cordless phone batteries — I decided to use the original battery type. I made a small metal fold under the mainboard, so the battery could just snap into place, then be removed if needed. Hard to see and its actually jammed in there too. I have never taken the motherboard out of that machine, but after it was on the bench for a while I noticed that its pretty bendy, enough to pop the 68000 out of alignment. Many Yellow boot screens, then push push push.. ahh.

 

PSUBackI had a spare ANTEC PSU around, decided to get that installed. A jumper change on the main board, easy. I cheated this time and bought a power adapter. I had fun building the other PSU — but the adapter was cheap and I ordered a few other little things from amigakit.com (so why not). ATX PSU’s of course have a different component layout — but the ANTEC’s come with a handy metal jig/adapter you can screw on. A few extra holes here and there and the PSU was mounted.Not the most elegant mounting in the world, but not bad either. Fan’s in modern PSU’s seem to vent up not out the back, so I mounted the PSU slightly lower in the case. I’m going to try to find a slot based fan, to help with the heat in the machine. But power up!

DeniseHuggerWho doesn’t hate interlace flicker. My eye’s were dying, along with one of my 1084 monitors. So the next addition was: Indivision ECS flicker fixer VGA adapter. I have to say, that OS3.9 and a reasonable resolution (sans le flicker) is pretty good looking (I used WB 1.3 in 4 colour mode for most of my life). I was always jealous of 2.04 ROM’s (friend had an A3000), but I loved my setup in the day. I wish I had taken the plunge earlier. Anyways, the card plugs into Denise’s slot and then Denise piggy backs on top. A grounding wire finishes up the install. A note to Denise pulling, use a screw driver — chip pullers are not designed for big ones. Just use a small flathead and pop the chip from each side and rock it out. The Adapter card, really really is a tight fit and requires a little bit of man handling. In the end, you can watch from an 1084 and the VGA at the same time. The back and forth is pretty amazing. I keep looking at my WB screen on the LCD — I really do like it.

68030Proc3 parts: 68030 (50 mhrz with MMU), 68882 companion and 50 mhrz crystal. This mod, I have been dying to do for a while — but didn’t have the balls. Who doesn’t want a 20% boost in speed. After getting “Smell the rubber.. I wanted to know what was next :). Yes, burnt PCB 🙂 No not really. Looking at the board, this particular GVP supports 50 mhrz so the base hardware can take it. Getting the crystal off the board (as it was soldered in place) was the worst time I have every had with a PCB and soldering iron. It was impossible to get out. I was trying to save the crystal in case something happened. I have 3 of them (2 x 50’s and a spare 40) but a certain point, a pair of thin side cutters and the snip snip, off  it goes. A new socket, yes 🙂 pop in a crystal and some jumper configs (which some didn’t make sense) — Wham! Power up 🙂

While the board was on the table, I kept screwing with the MegaChip2000 — which is still not working. So that’s going in a box until I can figure things out with that.

Kickstart31The ROM switcher went from 1.3/2.04 ROM’s to 1.3/3.1 ROMS. I had decided to burn a copy of OS3.9 and give that a run. The install for that was slow. Well the CDROM was slow, part of me was wondering it floppy swappin’ would have been faster. Getting the Hydra and the serial port card to go was interesting. The hyperCOM4 card is going to be an eternal pain.. Always keep copies of drivers.

Configuring OS 3.9 was fun, but also interesting to compare modern OS’s versus anything Amiga. AML-C for copy, is annoying to do — who uses left control-c to copy on a PC? I’m sure there is one guy out there, but really.. getting my UI and operation reflexes took a little longer than I thought it would.

SysInfoPost50

Ok, now the sysinfo 🙂

>>>>>Acceleration!

hehe, something to note — this shot it taken from an LCD. Looks great 🙂

Willem PCB45: The Red Head Stepchild of EPROM Programmers

BurnerAndAdpaterMaking ROM’s has been on my mind for a long time. Every so often the need arises, or so I have told myself. A while back I bought a Willem PCB45 EPROM burner, thinking I’ll be burning ROM’s every day till I die. It went in a box and life got in the way. Life got in the way of a lot of my projects.

It seems that in burner market, there are hordes of these guys, well not all these guys. There are PCB4C’s, 5’s, 3B’s and others. Look up PCB45 and its really hard to locate any info. My cheap (serves me right) no manual or power adapter off of Ebay purchase was starting to piss me off.

Download the latest version and you are out of luck. I needed to go back to a version that supported my hardware. Then you get the host of other problems of living in a modern world, software designed for 32bit XP which needs an actual LPT port. You know the first five minutes of plugging in a USB cable and wondering.. is this thing going to detect? Ahh its for power only.

Managed to make a few C64 carts and PETROM’s. Looking into a few Atari Carts and maybe a GVP SCSI 4.15 upgrade for my Amiga.

A4000: Kei up and running OS3.1

A4000-MBThis is a busy week on the Amiga side of things, A4000:Kei is now up and running.

I got this MB as part of a bulk sale of items from someone who was slimming down their collection. It came with a non standard card riser, floppy drive and OS3.1 install disks.

A little while ago, I decided to start cleaning out the collection — items that work or can get working were going to be kept and the rest would be sent out onto Ebay. Getting this machine working was a little bit painful, as there was no PSU and the board had seen better days.

Making an PSU was fun, but getting the MB connector was a pain. I am used to working with A2000/500’s and never owned a A3000/4000 type machine. It would have been a shame if I had to let this one go :). Making a PSU that was compatible required butchering of an old power supply, but after all the work I noticed it didn’t have a power switch. Arg. A little hack job from a dead PSU and everything was good.

Once the power was working and verified, the black screen after all that work was really disappointing. Re-seating everything didn’t help. Spent an hour cleaning everything, contacts and the processor card. I think there is maybe two socketed chips (excluding the KS) on the whole board — not like previous Commodore gear I have worked on over the years.

After the cleanup I noticed I was missing a few jumpers, added them from a dead MB in the basement. Went back to reading about A4000’s and their issues. The original battery was there, and looked like it had some leakage, but nothing that bad (will have to deal with that soon..). After moving cables around one of the PSU cables fell on the processor card and suddenly the KS screen popped up. I took a look inside the processor card and there was a toothpick in the slot, laying flat at the bottom. A little upside down shake and it dropped out. A push of the processor card into place and the KS screen appeared. That was a first.

A4000-INSTThe floppy drive booted the OS3.1 Install disk without issue. It was amazing to see that go. I was surprised that the disks actually worked. Most of my original Amiga disks are questionable at best.

Bitching about SCSI issues over the years, I thought that going to a simple IDE interface was going to be the least of my problems. I have crates of old IDE drives, most of them are 10GB and above. There are reams of IDE cables in a bin. Brought up stack of everything, set the drives to master and went crazy for a few hours. Nothing would work. Black screen, sat there for minutes still no boot from floppy. Unhook the drive, the floppy would boot after a period of time. Swapped out cables, drives and combinations of configurations. Mounted the drives on a PC to verify them. Maybe they were not that compatible, with the IDE in the Amiga.

Back to the basement, more drives must be here somewhere.. maybe something smaller? Ohh, theres a box of DVD/CDROM’s. I’ll grab one of those for later. After a few more hours of waiting for a drive to boot, I went for a walk with a friend. Came back, wondered what would happen if I hooked only a CDROM up. That did it, the system booted to floppy right away, no wait. Weird.

Installing a CDROM at the end of the chain (set to slave), with HD in the second slot (set as Master) allowed the system to boot. HD by itself, no. With the CD, yes.

A4000-OS31Being spoiled by Windows/Apple Partitioning systems over the years — going back to the Amiga partitioning software gave me the old feeling of — I can really screw this drive up. I recalled some of the drive size requirements for various versions of the OS. So the first drive I made 500 MB and then a second partition that was 2 GB. Looking at the space left, the max visible from this OS was ~4 GB. I’ll have to sort that out later, to get the additional space back.

I was pretty amazed with the OS3.1 installer. It actually worked and was painless.

 

Amiga 2000: Kickstart Rom Switcher

RomSwitcherYuri, originally was a KS 1.3 machine. When she got upgraded, I had a spare set of OS 2.04  roms and used those. But nothing says backward compatibility like installing a rom switcher. KS 1.3 is what the majority of games run under, so being able to switch between roms is a good thing.

The guy who makes this, no longer exists on the net (www.amigamaniac.com). I had to go to a web caching site to find a link that would get some installation info. I just had the device and no instructions. It’s pretty obvious what to do, but in the end it wasn’t that straight forward.

Under the roms in the socket is printed ROM 1 and ROM 2. All the chips on the board face one direction. The sockets didn’t have an obvious notch. So I followed the crowd and placed the roms how the rest were, which was wrong. After flipping them around, and looking for pin 1’s around the front and back — I noticed the notch. My coke bottle glasses should have seen it — but it was really small.

So under most circumstances, ROM 1 sounds like the primary/default and ROM 2 is the switchable one. Well that’s another mistake. Thank-you chip pullers 🙂

So after a few careful presses on the chips and adapter, a power cycle later and default KS 2.04 started. Holding down the Amiga three finger salute (ctrl-amiga-amiga) for little more than 3 seconds and KS 1.3 was revealed. Awesome! I dug out my floppies for Shadow of the Beast (originals in that  cool box :)).  While I had her opened, I tried the MegAChip2000 again, no luck (sucker for punishment. hehehe)