Articles from Techtravels Amiga Blog

Amiga MAST enhanced unidrive external drive teardown

Back in the Christmas of 1991 or 1992, my parents bought me an external floppy drive. It was $129, which was a lot of money back then. The equivalent price would be about $245 after inflation.

I probably found this drive in either AmigaWorld magazine or Computer Shopper, which iirc was a thin newspaper type printed on large format paper.

This external amiga-specific floppy drive with DB23 connectors had a few unique features. It had a two-digit track indicator for which track was being read or written. It also had a few switches in the back. The three switches controlled:

How to mount HPUX 10.20 VxFS logical volumes in a modern linux environment

This is a problem that I’ve wanted to tackle for quite some time. Since I’m using SCSI2SD and also messing around with a few different logic analyzers, I’ve got several HDD images that include both data files and operating system files. When they are sitting on my machine, they are just these huge masses of data, essentially HDD-sized chunks. Of 4GB, 16GB, 32GB and so on. Sometimes, I want to peer into them, or compare contents…..or literally any other manipulation beyond just coping/moving them around.

Corrosion near/underneath HP Logic Analyzer module plastic runners

The problem is corrosion…..

Corrosion appears to be happening either directly under or nearby the various sized (but typically 5″ long) plastic runners that line the bottom of the large PCB modules. These plastic runners protect the small surface mounted components on the bottom board from being scraped off when being inserted. Due to the proximity of the modules, with the install order being from BOTTOM to TOP, the front-panel connector edge of the module below it can scrape and accidentally yank off a small SMD part.

HP 16700A boot times and optimization

I’ve been playing with my HP 16700A Logic Analyzer and looking at boot times.

Originally the HP 16700A came with an internal SCSI drive, which was still functioning after 15 or 16 years. This SCSI drive was a 4GB Medalist Pro like a ST34520N or similar. This drive was noisy and I wanted to replace it with something solid state and hopefully gain some speed.

On building an A500++

Commodore Amiga 500 Plus

In the 1980s, Commodore made a newer version of their very popular Amiga 500, called the Amiga 500 Plus. It added a few things, namely newer versions of Kickstart and Workbench — both 2.04, 1MB of Chip RAM, and a motherboard-based Real Time Clock. The RTC was battery backed up, and is responsible for VARTA battery leaks. These batteries leak base (not acid, like most people assume) and this eats the PCB causing failures. There were also minor improvements of the custom chip sets, introducing the Enhanced Chip Set.

Expansion Systems DataFlyer Plus 2.1

Way back in about 1992, I finally had enough money (ok, well, enough credit) to finally expand my Commodore Amiga 500 to how I wanted it. I previously had an A501 memory expansion module and an external floppy drive that my parents had bought me for Christmas the year or two before. A major upgrade was a Microbotics VXL*30 accelerator card which included a 68030 at 25mhz, and whopping 2MB RAM which was just amazing for the time. I may make a post in the future about the specifics of that card.

Circle of HOPE 2018 presentation on HomeBrew 68K retro-computing

I delivered a presentation at Hackers On Planet Earth in July 2018 in New York City.

For a few different reasons, that presentation was cut short. I decided to rerecord the delivery of the presentation and make it available on my site. I have new found respect for people who make these videos. There’s multiple layers involved to get everything just right. I’m not sure I met that bar, but without further ado