So, I received my second lot of kickstart 3.1 roms in the mail the other day ready for insertion into amiga no 2. The first lot I got were installed in my first amiga and they were also a little tricky to install. For anyone that’s interested and doesn’t know how the Amiga’s operating system works then here’s a basic rundown;
The various system libraries and kernel which are used be nearly every workbench friendly program are all contained in the kickstart rom chips which, obviously, makes calling them from applications into memory a fair bit faster than if they were called and loaded from disk. The obvious drawback to this is that you have to remove and add new rom chips to have an updated version of the kernel and libraries, although this isn’t strictly true as you can manipulate patches for device drivers etc that will be loaded in place of the ones stored in rom but I am unsure how far you are allowed to go with this. If anyone has any corrections then comment and i’ll clean up my shoddy description of how it works.
So, onto the installation; I have an IC remover to get the old ones out but this was about as much use as a chocolate teapot so I opted for some good old table knives; one at each end of the rom and gently lever it out which is the easy part.
The hard part is getting all the little, easily bendable legs lined up with the 30 something holes along both sides which is a bit tricky. Numerous attempts to seat and reseat the second pair resulted in a black screen when I powered on which isn’t a good sign that everything went well. Eventually, after 3 seperate reseat attempts, the last attempt being identical to the one before which didn’t work for some reason and powered on and was greeted by the flashing light of the hard disk booting and the annoying “click, click” from the floppy drive until the anticlick utility kicks in.
Surprisingly, I seem to be going backwards in skill when doing these, the first set installed in far quicker time than my second effort. I have one more set to order and install, so following that logic it may be even more of a nightmare than the last ones. Despite the hassle it’s worth doing as I can now play around with AmigaOS 3.5 & 3.9 as they require the updated rom. One of the next things on my shopping list is an EEPROM reader\writer so I can read and write different rom images, legally obtained ones obviously, and do funky things like have a kickstart 1.3 rom in an Amiga 1200, which will probably go over most readers head but it seems like a fun thing to do for me.