My Amiga Resurrection by Alistair B - part 1

A plan has been formed. A devious and cunning plan. You could dress it up as a fox and it would totally pull off the charade. This is my introduction but also my story. As you may have noticed, there are a few new writers about the place of which I am one. So far I've done a few short news items, but nothing substantial so far. But it seems that planets are aligning and a perfect storm of conditions is forming to allow me do something really special for my first proper piece: the resurrection of my old Amiga, in time for International Amiga Day (...hopefully.)

Somewhere deep in the recesses of my man-cave (OK it's the spare bedroom which also has my computer desk in it...) lies my trusty old Amiga 500. She (they are all she's aren't they...) sits on a shelf, getting moved around every so often, but ultimately is being neglected. The old girl's casing getting yellower and yellower with every passing year. Building up a suntan that David Dickinson would be proud of.

David Dickinson
maybe not that orange!
And probably a few capacitors past their best. She was last treated to a power-up way back in '99, and not even at my hands :( slowly more and more peripherals have gone missing due to various house moves. The naksha mouse and neon pink competition Pro have vanished, and even the CM8833-II monitor disappeared sometime between 2000 and 2002. Things are not looking good for poor miggy. Now even the hard disk and both PSUs have gone astray or so I thought.

Perfect storm ingredients:
  1. Desire to revive poor miggy.
  2. Gain access to dear miggy, on the far side of the room filled with the mother of all junk-bergs.
  3. Locate or source a replacement PSU.
  4. Find disks.
  5. Have an upcoming Amiga related festival to give me a goal completion time...
  6. Land a writing position on a retro gaming website ;)
I have been getting more active in the various amiga groups on Facebook lately and I think it all started with this picture of my nexus 7 running Turrican 2 on a UAE variant. It prompted a lot of discussion which has led to a renewed interest in getting mellow yellow fired up again.

Turrican II via UAE4Droid on a nexus 7 with a USB Competition Pro

We go way back, me and her. I coveted my friends Amigas, as I played New Zealand Story, Interceptor and Batman at other people's houses, going back home to my C64 and thing on a spring just wasn't cutting it anymore. Even if I did have a 1541 disk drive. It just wasn't the same as the 16-bit splendor of the machine producing the juggler demo, or even Boing! Besides, I only had Batman on tape! My datasette had a squeaker installed so I had to endure every squeal and chirp of the encoding as it passed through the heads. And the giant parade balloon scene from the movie translated into a fast paced fly/driving game on the Amiga but a dull sidescroller on the 64. Seriously just kill me already!

C'mon... what is this... 1984?

But then it happened. I persuaded, pestered, nagged or whatever it is that 13 year old's do and 1989 was a momentous year. Apparently something big was happening in Berlin, but most importantly I GOT MY A500! It was a second hand one but it was well loved. Or maybe totally unloved ;) but it had all the essentials, Batman, NZ story, F/A-18 Interceptor, Deluxe (not Dulux) Paint II, a bunch of naff copied games and possibly the worst footie game ever made for any computer system EVER! 

Nasty! (seriously... google it. I'll wait ;) )

There were also a few Amiga Format mags, and a couple of joysticks including the Legen - wait for it - DARY neon pink (hey it was the '80s still... Just) competition pro. It took me a while to warm to it though, even after coming up through the joystick ranks via the classic Atari 2600 black-stick-red-button that is so iconic now (but let's be honest - that was a terrible joystick too.) It was so PINK. And so tight. I really didn't want to like it, but it allowed for the pixel perfect jumps and quick direction changes needed for the best platform games to be played properly. Once I got used to it, you'd have to pry it from my cold, dead, RSI induced hands.

Whew... Well that went on a bit longer than I expected... Are you still here? Oh good ;)  well once I've had some sleep I'll write the next part... Finding miggy.

-Alistair Brugsch

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