ethan.dicks at usap.gov
Mon Nov 26 17:21:08 CST 2007
On Mon, Nov 26, 2007 at 11:28:46AM -0500, Joachim Thiemann wrote:
> On Nov 26, 2007 5:57 AM, Ethan Dicks <ethan.dicks at usap.gov> wrote:
> I bought my A1000 in (IIRC) 1989, upgrading from my C64. I still have
> it, and I just booted it up a few weeks ago. The original mouse is
> unfortunately broken (some of the little plastic bits inside are worn
> out) but other than that it's in good working condition.
You might be able to get away with scavenging plastic bits from the
right model of A500/A2000 mouse - the difference being that you will
probably want to keep your A1000 cable for the right-angle DE-9.
> Here is what used to be my booting preocedure - no longer possible,
> unfortunately - but it involved 1) turn machine on with Kickstart disk
> (patched with antivirus) 2) fiddle with the (20M) harddrive to make it
> spin up. The (MFM) HD was sitting outside on top of the sidecar,
> (since I wanted to keep using the 5 1/4 drive in the sidecar) with the
> ribbon cables and power just squeezing out the side. 3) Boot with my
> custom Workbench disk, that would load the Janus software, then alias
> almost everything over to directories on the hard drive.
Wow... that's elaborate. My first hard drive was on a "Wedge" - a
Canadian product that mapped an 8-bit path to an ISA port, and an
MFM or RLL controller (like a DTC-5150 or DTC-5160). You booted
a workbench floppy which had the Wedge hard disk driver and enough
of a startup script to transfer to directories on the hard drive.
Mine was a little like yours, except for no MS-DOS machine in the
Later, I replaced that Wedge with a Starboard (memory) and a Stardrive
(SCSI daughter card on the Starboard). I ran that configuration for
a number of years.
> Unfortunately, the Sidecar has not survived the long years. It still
> sort of works but does not boot up properly anymore, the floppy drive
> shows a solid LED. I still have the full length MFM controller card
> and the HD.
That should be diagnosable. You might be able to stick a video card
in the Sidecar rather than depend on the Janus libs for mapped video,
and see what it's trying to do.
> The A1000 is also the first computer I modded in a major way:
> upgrading to 1meg ("slow", bit not chip) ram. The A1000 had 256k on
> the motherboard, and everyone had the 256k expansion in the front slot
I didn't for months... I got my A1000 then found a cheap 3rd-party
"front nose" 256K expansion - by Skyles, IIRC - six months later.
> - the extra 512k ram were added by piggybacking 2 chips onto each of
> the motherboards ram chips (can't remember if there were 8 or 16) and
> a mess of wires to hook up the correct chip selects. (This really is
> the part that amazes me it still works!)
There should have been 8 64Kx4 DRAMs on the motherboard and another 8
on the expansion card. It's by far from the only example of memory
doubling by piggyback.
I didn't try that particular hack, partially because 64Kx4 chips were
harder to find than 256Kx1 at the time. My first memory expansion
was a Sprit Inboard. It held 1.5M of 256Kx1 chips, which at the time
soared from $3.50 to $17.50 *per chip* due to anti-dumping tariffs and
the resultant market roiling. There was lots of demand for 256Kx1
chips for DOS machines and Amiga owners got taken on the same ride.
Fortunately for me, we discarded an engineering prototype at work
(with piggybacked 256Kx1 memory, BTW) and I scavenged a handful of
50256 chips that the company had previously paid $80 *per chip* for
sometime around 1984-1985, IIRC. I think those chips are still in
> It's "slow" ram since it was still slowed down to the chip ram speeds,
> but could not be accessed by Gary and Denise (?).
No Gary in an A1000... Gary appeared first in the A500 and A2000.
The A1000 had Agnus, Paula and Denise (though I recall one name being
different in the way-back-earliest days of the Amiga).
> I should open the thing up and take some pictures. But I remember even
> opening the thing was a tricky affair, due to the RF shielding...
Indeed. I remember that, too. I also remember needing the shielding
because when I had the cover off, you could see what was happening
with the Amiga on our TV downstairs when it was tuned to channel 3.
> Why was the A1000 better than the A500? Well, there was the sidecar,
> of course, but I also like the feel of the (detachable) keyboard of
> the A1000 to the A500 one.
I loved the keyboard dock. It's a shame that feature never caught on.
> Anyone with a spare sidecar and original A1000 mouse in the Montreal
> area, feel free to contact me :-)
Sorry... not anywhere close to Montreal, even when I'm home, and I've never
owned a Sidecar. As for a mouse, try opening up an A500/A2000 mouse or two
to see if you could transplant the cable. The actual mouse innards are
simple - it transmits raw quadrature plus the 2 buttons over the DE9 - all
the work is done in the Amiga, unlike a "modern" PC mouse (but very much
like an old Microsoft "bus mouse").
Ethan Dicks, A-333-S Current South Pole Weather at 26-Nov-2007 at 23:00 Z
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Ethan.Dicks at usap.gov http://penguincentral.com/penguincentral.html
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