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Major_Tom_coming_home

So I unexpectedly and suddenly have an Amiga 1200. Now what? Help! Pics!

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The Yard Sale gods smiled upon me today, and I picked up a working Amiga 1200 with monitor, external floppy, power supply, mouse, and a shit ton of programs, games, magazines, and documentation for $100. I've booted it to workbench so far but that is about it. I don't think the owner really wanted to sell it but it was boxed in his garage and he probably got the vibe it was going to a good home. I've had other classic computers and know my way around a command prompt, but this is my first Amiga / Commodore product. I was wondering if there are any modern enhancements that can be made like expanding the memory, networking it, or getting it to read from flash memory? Also, if I get an external 3.5 for my PC is there any way to write files to a 3.5 floppy that the Amiga can read (plenty of blanks came with the Amiga)? I've attached pics that will hopefully show up. I've always been curious about Amiga, just not curious enough to pay the eBay price :-) .

 

 

 

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post-42219-0-36812700-1461456657_thumb.jpg

Edited by Major_Tom_coming_home
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On the floppies, yes and no. If you use a filesystem on the Amiga like CrossDOS* (I think it is actually included in later releases of the OS, but I have had it so long I cannot say for certain) you can read PC-formatted floppies. If your 1200 has an HD (high density) drive in it, you will be able to transfer 1.44MB per floppy. Chances are, however, you only have a DD so 720k will be your max.

 

The PC floppy controller is incapable of reading the Amiga-formatted floppies as they lack sector gaps (primarily.)

 

There are tons of "modern" enhancements for the 1200, like the ACA1221 which will give you a real 68020 (rather than the on-board 68EC020,) and much more RAM. Check out AmigaKit. You can even get a video adapter to connect to modern video displays (DVI or SVGA,) the Indivision 1200 AGA.

 

*I believe fat95 can do this, too, but I mainly use it for USB sticks and Zip disks. EDIT: I forgot, I also have a fat95 partition on my disk-on-module (essentially an industrial IDE SSD) for DOS emulation.

 

Nice find, and welcome to Amiga! Unfortunately, eBay prices on "classic" Amiga stuff can be astronomical, but not impossible to get at good prices if you watch closely. You can also check out AmiBay.

 

While I want to grow this forum at AtariAge, some other resources are Amiga.org and the English Amiga Board, to start.

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So jealous. While I had an Amiga 600 for years. And then an Amiga 3000 for a short time that was lost in a move. Long story, dont ask ;-). The Amiga 1200 was the real deal, and the one system that got away from me. I wanted one soooo bad.

Enjoy it! If your every interested in a trade for some Atari/Sega stuff look me up.

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Thanks much for the info. AmigaKit has a 4gb internal hard drive I'll definitely pick up.

On the floppies, yes and no. If you use a filesystem on the Amiga like CrossDOS* (I think it is actually included in later releases of the OS, but I have had it so long I cannot say for certain) you can read PC-formatted floppies. If your 1200 has an HD (high density) drive in it, you will be able to transfer 1.44MB per floppy. Chances are, however, you only have a DD so 720k will be your max.

 

The PC floppy controller is incapable of reading the Amiga-formatted floppies as they lack sector gaps (primarily.)

 

There are tons of "modern" enhancements for the 1200, like the ACA1221 which will give you a real 68020 (rather than the on-board 68EC020,) and much more RAM. Check out AmigaKit. You can even get a video adapter to connect to modern video displays (DVI or SVGA,) the Indivision 1200 AGA.

 

*I believe fat95 can do this, too, but I mainly use it for USB sticks and Zip disks. EDIT: I forgot, I also have a fat95 partition on my disk-on-module (essentially an industrial IDE SSD) for DOS emulation.

 

Nice find, and welcome to Amiga! Unfortunately, eBay prices on "classic" Amiga stuff can be astronomical, but not impossible to get at good prices if you watch closely. You can also check out AmiBay.

 

While I want to grow this forum at AtariAge, some other resources are Amiga.org and the English Amiga Board, to start.

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BTW, with a PCMCIA network card (Ethernet and selected 802.11b cards) and Roadshow TCP/IP stack, you can get your 1200 on the Internet. Then there is lpr device for network printing, Samba and smb filesystem and GUI for Windows file sharing, browsers, IRC, and more.

 

The fun never ends!!

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A1200 and A600 are the easiest of all Amiga to write to floppy disks.

Get yourself Sandisk CF-PCMCIA converter and a CF card. Once you have the drivers configured to read CF card then you are set.

The OS 3.1 can read 720KB disks once you enable it, and then you can transfer the CF drivers to A1200. Plenty of guides on the Web how to do it.

When all is done, you can copy ADF files to CF card and write them on your A1200, super easy.

Another way, when you have Hard Drive up and running then you can use WHDLoad software, which runs most games from hard drive, no need for floppies any more.

 

If you want it to go on Internet, I made a video how to configure AmiTCP.

 

There are so many things you can to to upgrade the A1200, not enough time to write it.

 

BTW, check under the trap door and see if you have an upgrade card installed, you may be lucky and have one, if you don't, you need to invest in one for sure to get the ultimate experience.

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Very cool, thank you very much. Once I get better oriented maybe I'll look into an upgrade card (mine doesn't have one). The Amiga seems like a fun and not too expensive machine to upgrade - there's only so much you can do with something older like an Apple II or Atari 800 but the Amiga is modern enough to make it interesting to me having VGA and multimedia possibilities. I'll probably skip getting it onto the internet unless it was a cheap upgrade and doing so would make it super easy to download Amiga software. An old school BBS would be kinda cool though, it's been a while since I've been on one.

A1200 and A600 are the easiest of all Amiga to write to floppy disks.

Get yourself Sandisk CF-PCMCIA converter and a CF card. Once you have the drivers configured to read CF card then you are set.

The OS 3.1 can read 720KB disks once you enable it, and then you can transfer the CF drivers to A1200. Plenty of guides on the Web how to do it.

When all is done, you can copy ADF files to CF card and write them on your A1200, super easy.

Another way, when you have Hard Drive up and running then you can use WHDLoad software, which runs most games from hard drive, no need for floppies any more.

 

If you want it to go on Internet, I made a video how to configure AmiTCP.

 

There are so many things you can to to upgrade the A1200, not enough time to write it.

 

BTW, check under the trap door and see if you have an upgrade card installed, you may be lucky and have one, if you don't, you need to invest in one for sure to get the ultimate experience.

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The Amiga 1200 is very upgradable, amigakit.com is the place to get all sorts of things for it. Getting a flash drive is the first thing I would do and then an Indovision (so you can use any standard LCD monitor with it)

Once you have the flas drive you will be able to install workbench and WHDload and that iliminates the need to keep all the games handy on floppy around.

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I have mine A1200 with Blizzard IV 50MHz with 64MB RAM since 1996, still sitting on my table next to Win i7 PC.

My monitor has multiple inputs that allows me to use Amiga video natively w/o any scandoublers.

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My 1200 has a Blizzard 1260, 192MB RAM, an 8GB DoM, the 1230 SCSI on which I use a CD-RW and a Zip drive. I need to get an Indivision as the SD/FF I have is getting bitchy (not to mention how hot the bloody thing has always gotten,) and I would like to move it to a DVI monitor. I would like to get USB, as well, as for right now what big stuff I am not sharing across the network (Samba is decidedly not Windows 7 friendly, and it barely works with my NAS,) I am using Zip disks. I also installed an HD floppy drive so I have been able to use 1.76MB FFS disks as necessary.

 

I used to use a wireless card on it but since I have gone all 5GHz in my house I have had to switch back to regular old Ethernet.

 

And I tell you what, if you need to print nothing beats lpr.device and a good network printer.

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Holy crap, I had assumed that my Amiga would have upgrade options but other than the CPU these specs would almost make it capable of being a useful modern desktop computer.

My 1200 has a Blizzard 1260, 192MB RAM, an 8GB DoM, the 1230 SCSI on which I use a CD-RW and a Zip drive. I need to get an Indivision as the SD/FF I have is getting bitchy (not to mention how hot the bloody thing has always gotten,) and I would like to move it to a DVI monitor. I would like to get USB, as well, as for right now what big stuff I am not sharing across the network (Samba is decidedly not Windows 7 friendly, and it barely works with my NAS,) I am using Zip disks. I also installed an HD floppy drive so I have been able to use 1.76MB FFS disks as necessary.

 

I used to use a wireless card on it but since I have gone all 5GHz in my house I have had to switch back to regular old Ethernet.

 

And I tell you what, if you need to print nothing beats lpr.device and a good network printer.

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Holy crap, I had assumed that my Amiga would have upgrade options but other than the CPU these specs would almost make it capable of being a useful modern desktop computer.

 

Oh, yeah. I have RDesktop so I can work with some of my servers via RDP. There is an SSH2 client, as well. Though, no IPsec VPN capability, so I have a site-to-site IPsec set up for my network management.

 

You, my friend, have turned up a piece of gold :)

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Very cool. Is there any online store where I can get accelerator cards, video cards, etc or I am stuck with Ebay only? The only thing Amigakit had in stock were CF hard drives.

 

Oh, yeah. I have RDesktop so I can work with some of my servers via RDP. There is an SSH2 client, as well. Though, no IPsec VPN capability, so I have a site-to-site IPsec set up for my network management.

 

You, my friend, have turned up a piece of gold :)

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My A1200 was on the recieving end of an Indivision AGA, which allows you to work with modern VGA displays, an internal hard drive and a trapdoor 68020 accelerator with 8Mb RAM. I also have the network adapter mentioned above and have been on the internet :-)

 

If you feel like blowing some cash on upgrades, Amigakit has all you need for the above, plus full disk sets for HDD installs of workbench ;-)

 

If you were feeling a little Amiga happy, you could go for a tower conversion too!

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Oh, and would this be appropriate as a hard drive for my 1200?

 

http://amigakit.leamancomputing.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=24_78&products_id=883

You need OS disks to get this one working. It will ask you to insert Workbench disks to complete the install. Check your stash of disks if you have a set of 6 disks OS v3.1

 

As an alternative, you can get IDE to CF adapters on Ebay for few dollars and 4GB CF card for few more.

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You need OS disks to get this one working. It will ask you to insert Workbench disks to complete the install. Check your stash of disks if you have a set of 6 disks OS v3.1

 

As an alternative, you can get IDE to CF adapters on Ebay for few dollars and 4GB CF card for few more.

 

This confirms my suspicion. If you cannot find OS3.1 disks in your stash, AmigaKit has the set available with some modern updates. Oh, I just remembered, too, that you need to make sure you have the 3.1 Kickstart installed before you start mucking about with OS3.1 or later.

 

OS3.9 CDs come with OS3.1 installations, but does anyone know for certain if the license covers the full installation like that and not upgrading already-owned 3.1?

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Every Amiga came with Workbench disks, and if you have v3.1 ROM then you should have a set. If you don't have it, just find it on the Web and make it yourself.

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The first thing you should do is crack it open and CHECK THE CLOCK BATTERY!! Those things are known Amiga killers. As they age they leak and corrode the motherboard.

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2000, 3000, 4000, and 500+ (Rev 8a motherboard) are the ones with batteries.

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I believe I have the workbench set. That said, when I make my first order at amigakit I'll get an extra set from them just to be safe. As old as the system is, even if the workbench set I have is fully functional they could be on their last legs. It's been a while since I've used a floppy but I clearly remember that they aren't always reliable.

 

 

Every Amiga came with Workbench disks, and if you have v3.1 ROM then you should have a set. If you don't have it, just find it on the Web and make it yourself.

Edited by Major_Tom_coming_home

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Err...is kickstart the boot disk for the system?

 

This confirms my suspicion. If you cannot find OS3.1 disks in your stash, AmigaKit has the set available with some modern updates. Oh, I just remembered, too, that you need to make sure you have the 3.1 Kickstart installed before you start mucking about with OS3.1 or later.

 

OS3.9 CDs come with OS3.1 installations, but does anyone know for certain if the license covers the full installation like that and not upgrading already-owned 3.1?

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I indeed have a few hundred budgeted for upgrades. :grin:

My A1200 was on the recieving end of an Indivision AGA, which allows you to work with modern VGA displays, an internal hard drive and a trapdoor 68020 accelerator with 8Mb RAM. I also have the network adapter mentioned above and have been on the internet :-)

 

If you feel like blowing some cash on upgrades, Amigakit has all you need for the above, plus full disk sets for HDD installs of workbench ;-)

 

If you were feeling a little Amiga happy, you could go for a tower conversion too!

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