I recently picked up my First Love, namely the Amiga 2000 purchased in 1990, that kept me in love until the inevitable and painful transition to a Windows system.
I found the pleasure of moving in the Workbench, rediscovered the little chores of graphics made with Deluxe Paint IV, Protracker songs, Imagine 3D graphics made with 2.0 version and programming experiments with C and AMOS basic, placed with logical rigor (oh, the modesty) , organized in folders with a criteria that I still have today. 🙂
As long time ago, while using multiple programs simultaneously, I felt the need for greater amounts of RAM and, why not, a bigger hard disk too.
When the Amiga was ahead of the curve, the cost of memory and disks were basically prohibitive, and I have always dismissed the idea with some’ of regret. Today you can find some of those materials costs laughable, and I said it was time to give a nice facelift to my First Love! 😀
Said and done, I started looking on ebay and I ordered from Germany, to just over 10 euro + shipping, a set of 8 SIMM modules, 1MB each, to expand the total Fast memory up to the maximum allowed by the GVP SCSI adapter installed in my Amiga.
Before installing the additional memory, I tried to remove the two original SIMMs, supplied as standard and already installed by factory, but there was nothing to do. To avoid breaking something so precious to the heart, I let it go, and I convinced my aesthetic sense to step aside. I confess that I liked to put all 8 banks equal, but that's okay. Let's say it's OK… 🙂
As experience suggests, every time that we need to change any board configuration jumper, it is always good to take note of the original situation, perhaps through a nice picture, even if a little shaked.
After installing the ram, I restarted the Workbench, and I checked the configuration of the system through SysInfo and through the Avail command from shell. The system was hooked to the configuration jumpers on GVP board, but from here, before you can actually have the extra memory, is mandatory to check if it works properly.
In order to achieve this task, a tool comes in hands, which GVP provided by the disk that accompanied the card: memtest.
It’ s basically a shell command, and as a parameter it accepts the number of phases to be carried out on the whole installed memory. Each stage consists in the allocation of a large memory block and the subsequent verification and deletion. The default value is five. Exceeded even the latter rock, I can finally say that the facelift operation is successful!
Since I have been to open again my Amiga, I took the opportunity to make the mod to the backup battery, removed with quite a few thrills few weeks before. I had already crafted a small circuit board, composed of a coin battery holder (CR2032) and a small signal diode, to prevent the system to charge a cell that is absolutely not rechargeable but, at the same time, allows battery to supply its power to the system clock when the Amiga is off.
The change worked but, at a distance of two days, the system clock is reset to zero result as previously. I hope this is just a problem of low battery, and I could not verify, because in my sadly uninhabited house (sigh) I had only one.
Now that I have given back a bit of’ enamel to my old and beloved Amiga 2000, I can devote to another model that I got a few months ago: a fine specimen of the Amiga 600, which I plan to set up as a portable gaming machine, with a 4GB Compact Flash inside.
I've already got – stocked from Germany, always true headquarters of Commodore in the old continent – a 3Com LAN card, to put an Amiga in the Net. Experience that I missed and I look forward to living.
Come back from time to time, to know how it went! 😉