Since this is more substantial than a Twitter or Facebook thing,
but not really a completed "project" for my GeodesicSphere blog
thing, I thought I'd just post this here.
The effort started out as something fun to do for Barcamp in a month. The
crazy idea was:
- An old video camera hooked up to the video input on my Amiga 1300 Genlock, plugged into my Amiga 1000 computer
- The Amiga 1000 would be running Deluxe Paint, or something similar
- People would draw over live imagery
- The output of the genlock is hooked to the video input of my Canon Optura Xi
- The Xi can save screengrabs of the video to jpegs on its SD card
- EyeFi SD card is installed in the Xi
- EyeFi software drops the new images into a folder in my dropbox
- IFTTT script looks for new images, and posts them to Tumblr.
Live screengrabs of people being silly posted to tumblr, using
technology that spans back to 1985.
The main problem starting out is that my Amiga 1000 keyboards were
lost in the basement... I hadn't seen them since before we moved.
I did eventually find them, along with my Amiga 500, Weller soldering
iron, and a few other bits that I hadn't seen since 2008.
The other main issue was that I didn't want to leave my original
hard drive sitting there on the barcamp table. I wanted to dupe it,
and simplify the setup a bit.
At the same time I decided that my Barcamp presentations would be
authored using Deluxe Paint and Deluxe Video probably. I loved the
old look of them. Since I found the A500 (and a day later, its
power supply), my plan is that I will make a self-booting playback
diskette contaning the presentations. I walk up to the podium,
plug in my Amiga, get its video output going to the projector (in
this case, i'll use an A520 or SuperGen for color video output). Then
the presentation will start, and i'm displaying 320x200 to the big screen.
It's still unclear whether the podium has a valid composite video
input, so I will also do screencaps through the Xi, or capture a
video of the slides and use that to present with, playing it back
on my iphone or something. Either way, this shouldn't be a problem.
I got a couple of blank SCSI drives (100-400meg) from my officemate,
and the plan was to format one, copy everything from my 100 and 150
to it, and use that.
So I plugged in one of the new SCSI drives, replacing DH1: on my Amiga's
Dataflyer 1000 SCSI chain. It found it, formatted it, then proceeded to
quickformat over DH0:'s bootblock, wiping that drive clean, losing everything
After some net scouring and questioning at Amiga.org, I found that
the tool I need to use is Dave Haynie's "Disk Salv". I want to use
the latest version, so that means I need OS 2.0. My A1000 can't
easily boot to 2.0 -- i need software-based ROM tools which I cannot
find (or they're on that hard drive). I can use the A500 but it
has a 1.3 chip in it. I have an A2000, with 2.0, but the machine
is VERY flaky right now. I don't trust it to repair a hard drive.
The A2000 also is missing a keyboard. I was all set to make an
A1000 - A2000 keyboard adapter, but then I decided to go a different
The A500 was missing its Denise video chip, so I popped the Denise out of the A2000, as well as its ROM. Booted it up, red screen. (Rom issue) I soldered on the standard Amiga 500 ROM jumper from pin 1 to pin 31 (the A500 is wired correctly for 256k roms, but not 512k roms). Now, it booted up perfectly.
Next I needed to figure out how to get software onto it. THere were a few ways it could be done, in my arsenal.
- Serial network + Amiga Explorer (Cloanto) - I can't find my Cloanto discs, so this was out as an option.
- Serial network + ZolaTransAmiga (free) - the first thing I tried
- PC 720 Low Density Floppy
For the serial network, i found my old 9-25 adapter, and rewired
it to be correct. It seemed to work on the A500, but i wanted to
use it on the A1000. I built a DB25M-M gender changer so I could
do this. (only to find a storebought one the next day.) I was able
to get the receive software over, but it wouldn't work with the
serial port properly. After a lot of futzing on the A1000 and A500
in 1.3 and 2.0, i gave up on this option.
Next was the super low tech 720k floppy. I borrowed a USB floppy
drive to format some old DSDD floppies, and use them to transfer
stuff from my Mac to the Amiga. After a few hours of failed
formatting, I learned that USB floppy drives don't support non-HD
(1.4meg) disks. Amiga has low density drives. This means that I
need to use an older windows machine that has support for floppies.
I dug out my old Toshiba Libretto, popped in a floppy, formatted
it 720k, and it's finally good to go! The only problem is that the
Libretto uses the PCMCIA port for its floppy drive... which is
where the network interface plugs in, so this can't work for the
I may need to dig out my old Thinkpad, drop in its floppy, perhaps
reinstall Win95, and use that. Or perhaps dig out my old Windows
desktop PC, and use that since it has network and floppy.
Once i have that, i can use floppies as a conduit to get ADFs of
presentations over to the A1000 to be burned to disks, and more
importantly, to get DiskSalv over onto a floppy to fix the A1000.
The next step then is to restore that drive, reformat the new drive,
with it as the only one in the system, and then restart with all disks,
copying over everything to the new drive, and then refreshing it back
to the original disk.