My Amiga Resurrection by Alistair B - Part 2: Finding Miggy

An old friend 


In the last part [link] of my International Amiga Day target for getting my old A500 running again, I wrote about the lead up to acquiring my pinchy  (Homer Simpson's pet lobster), Amiga rock lobster. But actually the infatuation began several years earlier. 

That's 2 FULL HEIGHT 5 1/4" floppy drives...

My first encounters with home computers were mainly Apple II based. (actually a Franklin Ace 1200, a behemoth of a machine which was a direct ripoff of an apple II+  to the point that it got the company in big legal trouble with Apple ) on which I'd do such things as printing out 100 lines of "I will not..." style school punishment and play games such as snake bytediamond mine and lode runner.

This was pretty much how it went down...

In the late 80's I'd accompany my dad to a whole bunch of computer shows in the Boston area (and there were loads back then) but the one image from that time which is still crystal clear in my mind was going through a fairly quiet segment of the show floor, late in the day and there it was, an A1000 running the boing demo. 

To 9(ish) year old me having been brought up playing Atari 2600, Colecovision, and Apple ][ games, this was nothing short of mind blowing. The deep sound, the 3D spinning vector effect as it bounced in real time. I literally stood and stared at it for what seemed (in my hazy distant memory) like a small eternity (probably only about 10 seconds, but long enough to grasp the reality of what I just saw).

I knew there and then that this would be in my future, but before that I'd have to wait. My computer/console progression would be: Franklin/Apple II -> Atari 2600 -> C-64->another C-64 when my family moved from America to the UK then finally to my Amiga 500.


It's been in the back of my mind to boot the golden one back up again for some time. But for some reason all of the various parts have been in different boxes spread between my parents house and mine, with the base unit staring at me like some ignored puppy, for I have always known where the actual computer has been sat, just not all the requisite bits to make her run. Nor the time to go hunting down every last cable and disk.

Well this week has seen the start of this process. The room in which the sleeping old girl lay has been used as a dumping ground for my family's stuff, and for the last year or so I could see her but not reach her. But now is the time to reclaim that room and actually sift through the junk, throw away what's useless and keep the treasures.


In the process I've come across some great finds. By fluke I found In the loft/attic a box with some computer related stuff in it. 

Hmm... What's in here?
Holy SCHMOLEY! What's happened here
At the bottom of it was the missing PSU brick. BAZINGA! Along with other pieces (A590 Hard drive and RocTec Roclite external drive) which may also form part of Amiga day restoration if I have enough time left over...  

Ahhhh. Syndicate and the gauss gun. The Roclite needs attention though.
Definitely seen better days. Hopefully not too late.
Virus. Not malware, but David Braben's 1988 classic
The "important" box


1 classic 80 capacity disk box full of disks, some originals and some copies, yeah I know, but hey, everybody did it, and I did buy games I liked and could afford. A cardboard box with more 3.5" disks, yet another cardboard box with disks, some game boxes (Syndicate! Oh yes! also Elite on the C64 on floppy, the disk is near mint as I never played it at the time...) and a roll of disk labels which still have their sticky :D. This is rapidly looking like things are going to happen! Fortunately I have been sensible enough to not let any of my disks go into loft or garage space in the last 20 years and seem mostly in good condition.

So what's next? Well it would be rather unwise to just plug everything in and switch it on, otherwise I might let the magic smoke out of something critical. 

Also the DF0: disk drive isn't ejecting properly and I imagine the heads will be a little dirty. So the plan of attack is:
  1. Get a disk cleaning kit. (already ordered, just have to go pick it up from maplin along with some other bits...)
  2. Open her up!
  3. General clean down of the case and keyboard. (spacebar also sticking)
  4. Try and fix the sticking floppy eject.
  5. Inspect the motherboard top and bottom for corroded joints and anything else that may be lurking.
  6. Dry run the PSU to make sure it doesn't commit fiery suicide.
  7. Make (or obtain) a RGB SCART cable. (although the modulator turned up so may not need to initially if I'm short on time...
  8. Connect it all up and see what happens! (with fingers crossed...)
  9. make a new plan based on results of above...
So stay tuned for part 3. - Cleanup on aisle 9!

- Alistair Brugsch
twitter @abrugsch

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