Many years ago I used to own Commodore Amigas. They were truly awesome machines at the time, both for games and as a usable operating platform for applications, software and development tools. Recently though, the emulator i’ve been using isn’t enough to satisfy my retro appetite so I have decided to buy some machines to mod and change beyond their design.
This wasn’t actually the initial plan. My plan was to buy a machine, an Amiga 1200 and port over the BBS software from the emulator it currently runs on, to the physical hardware, but as I searched for a solution to an issue I was having I came across an online forum which had a section dedicated to modding Amigas. After looking at some of the great things other people had done I was hooked from that point so my goals for the machine have now changed and so far it is becoming lots of fun.
Me, being quite geeky, gets bored of playing games pretty quickly. I have always been far more of a tinkerer with the O/S and applications since I got my first PC and then Amiga. I had been a PC user since I was 10 years old and it wasn’t until I was 16 that I decided to change format and move to the Amiga. I had some friends around the corner that were well into the scene and when I saw how their computers worked I was jealous so saved up my monies and bought a second hand 1200 from the newspaper and it was great. 75MB Hard disk, 2 Meg fast ram on top of the 2 Meg chip ram that came as standard in the machines. I spent a lot of time setting up the O/S and getting it to my liking.
Around about this time I had also started to tinker with modems and BBSes as the internet hadn’t really become mainstream for everyone as yet. People were using it but it wasn’t really a household word like it is now. So, after dialing up to certain BBSes I decided i’d like to run my own board on the Amiga. Some parts of my memory are a little fuzzy here as I got a second phone line installed but can’t for the life in me remember how I paid the bill for this each month as I wasn’t working at the time and still at school in the 6th form. I set up my board and waited for calls to come in, and they did. Through the BBS scene me and my local friends met quite a few people from the west yorkshire area and remained friends with them to this day.
Eventually, due to work and requirements to buy a PC again the Amiga was sidelined to my dad as it wasn’t practical for my job role which was a progress programmer. Although I didn’t have a machine any more my love for the platform and technology never died and I have been using WinUAE to emulate the hardware since around 1999 but nothing beats the actual hardware to satisfy my need for retroness and nostalgia.
So, that’s the brief story of the driver behind the amigas resurrection for me. Check back or all the work which is now going to take place on the machines I have purchased (yes, I said machines). I have already started and taken lots of pictures and will continue to do so as I do each piece of work on them. The first lot of pictures will be available very shortly.