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Old 24 March 2017, 01:16   #13
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: New Forest
Posts: 119
Can I suggest you don't do very much to the 1200 but first check what you have and start from there.

You should have a set of disks with the machine ....

Does the disk insert screen look like this...

The disks should be Workbench, Extras, Local, Storage, Fonts and hopefully an Install disk. You will need all these disks if you want to install the software.

You tend only need Workbench to get into the OS.

Hopefully the floppy disk is clicking after you switch on to receive a disk. It will take a while to get to the boot screen without the hard drive. Do not hot shoe and connect mouse and the like whilst the machine is on. The ports at the back are a touch sensitive. Do not lose the mouse port, furthest on the right looking from the side of the keyboard.

The PCMCIA port is on the left of the machine and looks like a small post box slot. Ignore this for now.

If you are keen to look inside be careful of the cables to the LED which are often trapped behind the keyboard. There are three screws at the base and two at the sides. Be very carful not to break off the plastic clips at the back.

The keyboard slots in at the bottom and is held in place with a green ribbon and a white connector to the motherboard.

I assume there are no expansion boards in the trapdoor slot.

Just check over to make sure the shielding is complete and there are no old 2.5" drives inside or old ribbons. There should also be a cradle for a hard drive.

I would do very little else at this stage but close up and make sure the machine boots to workbench.

If you have power light active and disk activity light active, have the disk entry boot screen and can load to Workbench with a RAM disk and Workbench disk icon on a grey screen then your rockin and a rollin. Check mouse control to see that you have full movement. Touch one of the disk icons and and see what it says at the top about memory. Also check the menu option for about.

You can take out the Workbench disk while in the OS and if you put a disk in and it gives say a DF0:???? that simply means its one of your games disks that boots from the floppy without the Workbench.

Try and get a book on how to use the Workbench or read one online.

Here are some hints and tips from my site

Not all games worked on the 1200 though you can use what is called a degrader to take the machine back to a 500 status so you can play. Disks like Relokick is what you are looking for.

I would avoid considering all the various suggestions about upgrading and bogus repairs. I have over 26 Amiga 1200s and have had machines running here since 1993 and they all still work. The most important factor is to get the basics working. Give the machine a clean and lay flat, and do not keep plugging and unplugging. Get a good set of disks and a few games. And then think about some kind of hd storage or I guess a CF card so you can boot without the floppies. I only use physical 2.5 and 3.5" hard rdrives, but then I always use SCSI either through a KIT off a Blizzard accelerator or Squirrel from the PCMCIA post box slot. Hard driving is the only way forward in truth. Disk swapping is a pain.

Then you need some extra memory in the form of a RAM card. If possible get some acceleration. Both can fit on a trapdoor card which slots into the bottom of the machine. You will have zero extra RAM at the moment and some application software runs pretty slow without an accelerator.

Make sure your power supply is working fine. If its the smaller lightweight power supply maybe try getting an A500 heavier brick. They come on the Bay quite often. Helps if you are serious about upgrading the machine.

You obviously are able to see the machine through a TV I assume. The video on the A1200 was designed for Amiga monitors on the whole, though my Microvitecs were the alternative when Commodore went pop. Multiscan can be an issue as the screen resolutions pop about from low res to high res etc with certain software. There are ways of fitting display options these days... never used them as I have many Commodore monitors.

I cannot stress the importance of checking to first establish if the machine is functioning. Personally I always get a hard drive in as quickly as possible and load in a text editor and DOpus. I also carry around a disk with SysInfo on it at all times. Basically tells you everything you need to know about your computer.

The Amiga tree grows slowly. Start slowly. Get the basic machine first and make sure its functioning. Leave running for a while. Switch on ' EVERY ' day. Play a couple of games and keep the floppy drive active. Use that mouse and keep the ports plugged in and avoid swapping out. Try and get hold of a disk drive head cleaning kit. These come on the Bay. The ones where you simply insert a disk and clean the heads.

I love the Amiga 1200. I set up another behind me this week and have already external SCSI hard drives, internal hard drive, ZIP drive, Microvitec monitor and Apollo accelerator. I am lucky I have all the kit at my disposal. Plus every game ever publshed. But I started with just what you had... was 25 years ago, granted, but I have enjoyed having a machine just as yours and starting over.

Avoid joysticks, get a CD32 style PS gamepad. Just check Ebay. Once again plug in and leave plugged in. Get a second disk drive. If your lucky get an XL High density drive for the bigger capacity disks. Later you can set up CrossDOS so you can see PC disks, though I doubt anyone has a PC with a floppy. I do cus I download files from Aminet on a PC and then use a dms writer or ADFBlitzer to create Amiga boot disks. Did this today for AsimCDFS to get a CD working on an A4000d. Disks are still quite an important tool for the Amiga so try and get a few. Get some labels, disk box and keep your disks upright and dust free.

The art of the Amiga. Never gets old.

Last thing.... The Label on your Amiga . Does it have the word Commodore on it? Or does it just say Amiga A 1200. If the latter I would get it capped.

I have 26 Amiga 1200's... but then I'm a nutter. I have hundreds of computers. Surprisingly they all seem to work... well nearly all. And not a new cap to be seen anywhere.

Just time for a bit more Flight of the Amazon Queen before bed. As you do !

Get Cannon Fodder, Sensi Soccer, Settlers, Arcade Snooker, Worms and an Amiga 500 to play Space Invaders and all those other disks and start mucking around with demos.

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