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Old 04 December 2014, 04:14   #1
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Help with learning more about my A2000 and bring it up to speed?


So, I picked up an Amiga 2000 on Ebay just a couple of weeks ago. Before it even arrived, I started hammering google and trying to get all of the information I could digest. Unfortunately, a lot of it is foreign to me.

I'm a little under 30 years old; the computer I played with when I was a young child was a C64 but we jumped straight to the 386 from there -- I never had a chance to play with the Amiga scene outside of emulation.

The system came packaged very well from Texas. It came with the system (A2000), a monitor, a keyboard, mouse, joystick, and a lot of 3.5" floppy disks that looked to be mainly copies / hand-written assortment of random software.

The monitor has a "badge" on the top that mentions `Look-Ahead Computers & Video` from Minnesota. According to the Ebay seller, this was his grandmother's computer and that was her husband's shop.

I turned it on once, without any floppies, and to my surprised it loaded up into Workbench; I'm assuming 1.3. I was excited because that means there was a hard drive installed. I tried to find additional system information but couldn't really gather much from within the workbench/system itself.

I started messing around with various software on the floppy disks supplied and had some fun tinkering with the system. I ended up shutting it off (possibly the wrong to shut off an Amiga? Hard shutdown since I couldn't find a "Halt" type of command)

One of the next times I went to boot the system, I got the fun "Stick a disk in me" colorful image prompt -- which told me it wasn't reading the hard drive. I didn't have time to mess with things too much, I was busy working, and my son wanted to test it out. I threw a copy of Workbench 1.3 in one floppy drive to get the system booted and a copy of a Mini Golf game in another floppy drive so my son could play. That lasted a whole 15 minutes, haha.

Fast forward a solid week and now I'm opening my case to check out the goodies, figure out what I have, figure out why the hard drive didn't load, and get a better understanding of my Amiga and what I want to do / get out of it.

Now to the questions/answers


The first thing that popped out at me from my google-fu-history is that the battery had opened and began corroding or otherwise covering the motherboard (do you call it a motherboard on Amigas?). From other posts, I've seen that this should be pulled immediately and cleaned. That's my plan so far. I'm not sure if I need to replace the battery. I'm not sure it actually caused any damage. I'm also not sure on the best way to clean the corrosion, although there's probably a sticky thread or other great reading to check out. That sounds like homework for myself -- but I'll include a photo here anyways.

Zorro Boards:

I came from a world of ISA/PCI and later other specs. It didn't take long to figure out what Zorro is. However, I looked in here and I have two large Zorro cards. One is (from what I gather) an A2091 Revision 4.0 - Modified. If my research is working out correctly, this is a SCSI card with a mounted hard drive (Quantum? and IDE?), some memory (it looks like all of the slots are filled) and an external SCSI port.

There's also a western digital board that has an external SCSI port, some swappable chips (probably RAM?) and I believe it was used to attach an external CD-ROM drive.

Non-ACA (in other words: Upgrades)

After purchasing this system, I ran into a bit of buyer's regret. I didn't realize the A1200 used the same bus as the A4000 which apparently means that there are better, more, and cheaper expansion options. Just to find an accelerator board for this system looks to be the price of the system itself! Let alone a graphics card and/or frame doubler. One of the basic updates I would love to do is simply to be able to move media to the system, basically by finding a compatible CF or USB Floppy Disk interface and emulator.

Can someone tell me whether I'm going to be out of luck upgrading this system without it turning into a giant money pit? Or are there sensible, price-friendly upgrades I can do? I know, ultimately, the answer to that question is "it depends" and I'm guessing it depends on what I want the computer to do. Ideally, I'd like to be able to use it like a normal workstation of the 90s with an internet connection and some decent graphics + audio capabilities (not shooting for DVD playback here). Minimally, I'd like to be able to at least maintain a system that is usable, can be used by myself, the GF, and kids, and even jump into some development (once I wrap my head around Amiga programming, compilers, etc...).

So, that's a mouthful In a nutshell, I've got a lot of research and tinkering to do myself but I'd love to hear others opinions, suggestions, thoughts on the systems, any history they'd like to share with me, etc... while I try to find my course in the Amiga world.


Some Photos:
- Corroding battery
- Looks like a custom jumper with silicon?
- Dropbox Album of the currently 10 photos I've taken
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