December 2008 Archives

Captain's Log / star date 2008.1230

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No shortage of gadgets this X-Mas. My girlfriend gave me a Logitech Harmony One remote as an X-Mas present. The One Remote To Rule Them All! I'll be happily occupied programming it for all my gear. This is one cool remote! I bought my girlfriend a Nintendo DS Lite. She likes gaming and ofcourse I won't mind playing a few games on her DS at all! ;-)

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But that's not all! A DIY chain had a special sale of Asus Eee PC's that could be picked up for as little as 199 euros for the 900 model with 1GB of memory and a 16GB solid state drive. In case you didn't know, the Eee PC line is a line of very compact notebooks, sometimes referred to as sub-notebooks. It comes with what looks to be an ASUS customized version of Xandros (a Linux distribution) which works very well! I bought this nice little notebook for use as a dedicated Amiga emulator. I'll probably be installing the Amiga Forever 2008 KX Light edition which is basically a very light weight, customized Linux distribution that runs UAE on startup. What I'd really like to try though is AROS, but it seems that AROS doesn't run natively yet on the Eee PC hardware, or at least it doesn't support enough of the hardware to make it a usable OS. Pity though, as AROS has seen some very nice steps forward on the usability front. 

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Furthermore it seems I seriously underestimated the amount of time that went into the afforementioned social obligations (see previous posts). Although you won't hear me complain, it has left me with way less spare time to spend on fiddling with my Amigas. My previously mentioned A500 retro survival project has been delayed, because I currently don't have the time to set everything up properly. Today should prove to be an interesting day though, because I'll be spending all day doing a health check of all the Amigas I have in my collection (lots of A500s, an A600, an A1000, an A1200, two A3000s, 2 CDTV's and 3 CD32's) Phew! Have a very good New Year's Eve!!

Captain's Log / star date 2008.1219

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The holiday season is in full swing and I'm longing for my week and a half long break from work. In between the social obligations I will be spending lots of time crossing off some of the long standing to do items off my list. Been meaning to re-inventory my Amiga coverdisk collection as I have amassed quite a few additions in the past few months with lots of holes filled and lots of duplicates. The total number of coverdisks in my collection must be somewhere around 800 now. I haven't been quite as succesful in administrating all these new additions, so there are probably lots of discrepancies between my administration and real life. Although it might sound like a tedious task to sort through stacks and stacks of Amiga coverdisks, nothing could be further from the truth. I experience great joy from browsing through these disks. Just like the magazines they originally came with, they are tangible reminders of how adventurous and fun having an Amiga was in the 20th century!

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Another item I have on my list is the yearly battery check. I have a couple of Amigas that have battery backed up clocks. As most of these are not used throughout the year it's a good idea to switch them on now and again to prevent the batteries from leaking on to the motherboard (and possibly destroying these fine machines). While I'm at it I will probably be giving all of my Amigas a good cleaning. Recently I also bought some more stuff from the same C64/Amiga fan who I bought the stacks of Amiga mags and coverdisks from. One of the goodies I picked up was a good old Commodore MPS1270 printer. I remember having this printer back in the early 90's. I picked up lots of other stuff as well of which I'll add some photographs to the site soon.

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Finally I have also decided to embark on a retro survival of sorts. :-) I will be using the holiday season to see how much I can do without a modern computer. I will be moving my iMac away from my main desk and replacing it with my A500 and a Commodore 1084s monitor! The A500 does have a Viper 530 installed with lots of memory so I won't be totally helpless, but still, it should provide quite a challenge to see how much of my daily computing activities could be done with an A500. I'll be documenting my retro survival here on the site!



Captain's Log / star date 2008.1210

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Today a long awaited package of two (yes, two!) Commodore Amiga CD32 units arrived. I already have an unboxed NTSC unit in my collection and now I have added two boxed PAL units. The CD32 was Commodore's last computer before they went bankrupt and as such does have a special significance. I'm currently having way too much fun playing old Amiga games with my CDTV on my HDTV to have time for the CD32, but I'm definitely looking forward to hooking one of these units up. I never got around to buying a 220v-110v step down converter for my NTSC CD32 to try it out. The CD32, though short a life span, has a very decent library of titles released for it. Way better than what came out for the CDTV. One wonders what would've happened to Commodore had they survived just that little bit longer to be able to sell more of these CD32 machines, as they were very popular in Europe on release. Ah well, I got a stack of cover CD-ROMs of CD32 Gamer and CD32 Magazine to go along with the CD32 units as well as 3 games so no shortage of software to try out there!

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Been a very busy week work wise and will be for the next 2 weeks as well (gotta earn money to support this irrational Commodore and Amiga buying habit ;-), but Christmas and New Year's is just around the corner, which means I'll have a week and a half off from work. In between the family obligations I'll finally get to spend some good quality time with my Amigas as well. Good times!

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As you can see from the photos above, I also bought a stack of unopened, fresh CDTV caddy's. Caddy's easily break and it's nice to have a stack of spares! Have a good week!


Captain's Log / star date 2008.1204

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This week I picked up a CDTV system in box. It's a system bundle that includes the CDTV itself, the standard remote control pad, a CTDV keyboard, a wireless mouse and an external diskdrive. A trackball controller is included, but it refuses to work (the seller did give me a good discount because of this). Fortunately I already own a trackball controller, so not really a problem. I'll have a closer look soon to see what the problem is and if I can repair it. If not, the unit is otherwise in good condition so I'll keep it anyway for spare parts. The trackball controller is very rare and one of the coolest peripherals that were made for the CDTV!

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The CDTV itself is in great condition and seems to have been used very sparingly. The previous owner traded a CD player (!) for the boxed CDTV system and has himself kept it in storage for years and powered it up just a couple of times. The cooling fan on the back has no noticeable dust on its blades. The included keyboard, mouse and diskdrive are also in immaculate condition and appear totally unused. They were actually still wrapped in plastic, apart from the keyboard which has gathered a little dust. I'm very pleased with being able to find a CDTV in such nice condition in its original packaging. The only thing missing is the manual, I believe, which I'll try to track down one day. 

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As ever, more goodies on the horizon. Stay tuned! :-)





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