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Tim NZ
New Zealand
Website

Posted Mon Jun 14, 2021 3:58 am

Hey, I'm Tim.

I'm in Ōtautahi, Aotearoa. (Christchurch, New Zealand.)

I bought my Amiga 500 in March 1988, and was still using it regularly until 1998 when I switched to GNU/Linux - where I've been happy ever since. I've just finished tidying up that A500 after digging it out of the garage, and now I'm thinking about ways to tinker with it :)

It turns out to be one of the early "chicken lips" A500s, so I've decided not to do any chopping or changing beyond removing the A501 battery and rust-proofing the RF shielding. I've ordered an ACA500plus, which looks like a great way to upgrade the machine without modification.

As a Free Software supporter/developer, I'm especially interested in projects like AROS and Debian's m68k GNU/Linux port.

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Zippy Zapp
CA, USA

Posted Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:44 am

Welcome! The A500 was my first Amiga too and hence was the Amiga I was most fond of. At least until I got my A1200. ;)

You will like the ACA500+, it is a great expansion.

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JoeUser
Dallas, TX

Posted Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:53 am

Welcome!

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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
Website

Posted Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:07 am

Welcome, Tim NZ! If you have any pics of your chickenlips I know we'd love to see them. Are you the same Timothy I've been chatting with on YouTube? If so your machine sounds very cool indeed.

What monitor are you using with it these days?

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fxgogo
Website

Posted Mon Jun 14, 2021 1:50 pm

There a Debian 68k port!!! Does it run with a windowing system? Bloody hell. That should be fun to look at.

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Tim NZ
New Zealand
Website

Posted Thu Jul 08, 2021 2:55 pm

fxgogo wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 1:50 pm
There a Debian 68k port!!! Does it run with a windowing system? Bloody hell. That should be fun to look at.
There is! It requires at least a 68020 though (down to memory management limitations in the 68000). Expanding the ACA500+ is one way to get there, after another round of saving up / avoiding beer :'(

In the early 2000s (before GNOME and KDE) I loved WindowMaker and fvwm2 (both really lightweight but customizable window managers), so it'd be awesome to get either of those running! I'm not counting on it though, and would be happy just to have a command line :)

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fxgogo
Website

Posted Thu Jul 08, 2021 3:23 pm

I am impressed that you avoid Mac and Windows all these year. Respect.

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Tim NZ
New Zealand
Website

Posted Thu Jul 08, 2021 4:22 pm

intric8 wrote:
Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:07 am
Welcome, Tim NZ! If you have any pics of your chickenlips I know we'd love to see them. Are you the same Timothy I've been chatting with on YouTube? If so your machine sounds very cool indeed.

What monitor are you using with it these days?
Hey! Yes, same Tim. Your YouTube channel is how I found amigalove.com :)

I still have my A520 modulator, and our TV has inputs for that. It's a bit yuck for regular use (wot with being stuck to the living room wall), so I haven't done anything besides checking some floppies (...luckily, one of the few survivors is a Workbench disk!). I'm waiting on a SCART to HDMI converter now.

Here are some photos:

Keyboard before cleaning (yuck!)
Memory expansion / leaked clock battery
RF shielding
Back together, looking decent again!
Still-in-its-box ACA500+ (haven't tried it yet!), and the new clock battery

I have mixed feelings about coating the RF shielding with zinc spray. WD-40 would've done the job without changing the look. Did have to sand off some rusty patches though, and the zinc spray hides that.

The motherboard itself was in really good condition - no hint of battery corrosion (just a tiny bit on the expansion board), no dodgy-looking capacitors, no cold solder joints. So I just gave everything a good clean. Have decided not to replace any capacitors till they misbehave. (Though, I know there are different schools of thought. So I might change my mind as I learn more about these things. E.g., recapping an old audio amplifier might be overkill, but recapping a vintage computer might be the best way to safeguard the ICs. I'm not sure yet.)

I've installed a button-cell battery (incl. diode to prevent charging) on the memory expansion board. That came from amigakit.com. As you see from the last photo above, the new battery holder didn't quite fit! Tin snips to the rescue! Bonus: battery access without having to open the thing! :)

Edit:

Oh! And while I was checking floppies, I found some stuff I'd completely forgotten about! :D There's a hangman game, and a little demo that swoops a string of sprites around the desktop (a bit like Galaxian space-ships). They would've been written in either Modula-2 or C. With luck the source code's not lost :)

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McTrinsic

Posted Fri Jul 09, 2021 12:06 am

Hi,

welcome, glad to have people from all around the world around.

The folks from New Zealand hold a special place in my heart with regards to Amiga as the first crowdfunding project that I am aware of: the Phoenix board. That was sich a cool project!

And the (few) folks that I talked to at work always seem a bit less stressed than others...

Anyway, please do yourself a favor and avoid the usual SCART2HDMI converters. Most of them are simply crap.

Options that could be worth it:
- Indivision ECS (no HDMI, though)
- RetroTINK adapters
- OSSC converter
- D520

I own an Indivision and I am happy with it, but it depends if your Display still has VGA. On A1k.org, the D520 has a really high reputation.

I’d be worried that if you buy crap you buy twice.

Good luck,
McT

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Tim NZ
New Zealand
Website

Posted Fri Jul 09, 2021 2:28 am

McTrinsic wrote:
Fri Jul 09, 2021 12:06 am
The folks from New Zealand hold a special place in my heart with regards to Amiga as the first crowdfunding project that I am aware of: the Phoenix board. That was sich a cool project!
Oh, cool! Just having a look now! :)

BTW, NZ's state TV broadcaster (TVNZ) did its weather graphics on the Amiga for a long while.

McTrinsic wrote:
Fri Jul 09, 2021 12:06 am
Anyway, please do yourself a favor and avoid the usual SCART2HDMI converters. Most of them are simply crap.
Yeah, I've seen negative comments about them. But it's already ordered, so we'll see! I wanna try the least invasive stuff first. (I promise to post a review about anything I try.) Thank you for listing some options I didn't know about :)





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