Amiga memories from 1995

As I’ve mentioned a few times in passing, my day job for the back end of the 1980s and half the 1990s was selling home computers; for a lot of that time it was primarily the Amiga range since the indie company I worked for called Computerworld was a specialist, but we shifted a fair few Commodore 64s, Atari STs, DOS and later Windows PCs and games consoles as well during that time. But today’s ramble is about the Amiga and more specifically an event which occurred after original manufacturers Commodore rather unceremoniously disappeared beneath the waves.

Some machinations followed, with the rights eventually being sold to ESCOM and, after what was a quite frankly agonising wait whilst assorted ducks were organised, eager Amiga dealers in the south of the UK were invited to a presentation about the re-launch of the A1200 under the new Amiga Technologies brand. This took place at the Sheraton Heathrow Hotel in London with the dealer event happening on the 17th August 1995; I was there and during the event they handed folders of promotional materials… and my copy has somehow survived the intervening years pretty much intact, which is how I’m “remembering” so much detail. The folder itself is a bit battered but looks like this…

…and the contents can be viewed as a PDF (11.2Mb). The enclosed literature includes transcripts of a couple of speeches which were delivered during the event, a potted history of the Amiga and a couple of double sided, glossy information sheets about the Amiga 1200 and the M1438S – a multisync monitor with stereo speakers – which are somewhat reminiscent of the ones that Commodore used to supply dealers with. One thing worth noting is that, although the paperwork all sports the new Amiga logo with the red square, that isn’t present on the hardware in any of the cheesecake shots.

So there you go, a teensy slice of Amiga history that possibly won’t be archived online already; the text is rather dry, but that’s pretty much how I remember the presentation being overally, despite what the Amiga was capable of. And for any Amiga fans or archivists who might be reading, if you’d like to host a copy of the PDF please feel free.

A weekend with the Amigas

Back in the 1990s I was very pro Amiga, my first internet connection in late 1995 was powered by a (t)rusty workhorse of an A1200 with a 50MHz 68030, 8Mb of expansion RAM and a couple of hard disks (one was SCSI and, along with a dual speed CDROM, was connected to the PCMCIA slot via a Squirrel interface) and I did pretty much everything with it from desktop publishing to building the first Cosine website.

That old Amiga came down from the loft a few weeks back along with some other bits and pieces and, since I’ve been meaning to drag the data off its hard disks, I’ve spent the last couple of days working on it. The poor beast really wasn’t in good health… the keyboard had stopped working down it’s left side and the internal Connor hard drive had shuffled off this mortal coil entirely. Cleaning the keyboard contacts helped a little but didn’t restore the left Amiga key, so instead I transplanted the Blizzard 68030 board into the already CF-ified A1200.

So now I’ve got one reasonably good if somewhat yellowed A1200 ‘030 (it even has screws in the case, that’s rare for me) and the workhorse, now with just a 4Mb RAM board and a shiny new CF card installed that, after a little messing about getting the Squirrel working, has a copy of the old external SCSI drive – that machine currently looks like this…

…since I’ve got it shipping the backed up data over to a FAT16 CF for transfer to a laptop. Once that’s done I’ll make a couple of further backups for good measure because I’m paranoid, and can “file” the original drives. Of course there’s still loads of work files to sift through.