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Commodore 64

1st May 2015

The Commodore Amiga 500 (A500) was the third computer that I ever owned and the first one that I purchased out of my own pocket. It was originally made between 1987 and 1991 and, from memory, I think I purchased mine in approx 1990. It had the ubiquitous 512KB A501 RAM upgrade which, when added to the inbuilt 512KB, gave a whopping 1MB (do I hear the audience making an "ooooh"ing sound? :D). I later upgraded it to 1.5MB total using an addon card which plugged into the trap door expansion connector and also the GARY IC socket (with the GARY IC biggy backing on top). I loved playing games such as the SSI CRPG gold box games, Stunt Car Racer, etc., mucking around with Sound Tracker and AMOS Basic/Compiler/Professional. Fantastic :).

Due to a severe lack of funds I ended up selling my A500 to a friend for £100 in the mid 1990s and that was my last dealings with Amigas until about 10 years ago when I was given a supposedly non-working A500... which turned out to work. It then sat in a cupboard for another 10 years until I started getting into retro-computing again...and here we now are.

My second Amiga 500

I've actually got two Amigas: One that works and one that I recently purchased off of eBay as a "fixer upper" (i.e. sold as possibly faulty). Unfortunately, it arrived so smashed up (due to poor packaging by the seller) that I've had to bin the plastics entirely (which I wanted to keep as spares):

A500dot1 A500dot2

Also, after testing the board and ICs (swapping them from my working A500 to this one and back) it seems that a number of the major chipset ICs are faulty along with quite a few peripherals. These include:

X CSG 8362R8 Denise (video) - causes pixellated display
X CSG 8364R7 Paula (audio) - dead
X CSG 5719 Gary (gate array) - dead

A500bad_chips

A fair amount of the glue logic seems to be shot as well, along with the A501 512KB RAM upgrade card and the floppy drive. There was no PSU included. Makes me wonder what the heck the original owners did with it. Perhaps they used it as a Frisbee.

The following were recoverable and tested working:
* MC68000P8 processor
* MOS 8372A 318069-02 Fat Agnus
* CSG 8520 Odd CIA (Complex Interface Adapter)
* CSG 8520 Even CIA (Complex Interface Adapter)
* NEC 315093-02 Kickstart ROM v1.3

A500good_chips

So the net result is that my second Amiga is no longer an Amiga and has been cannibalised for spare parts.


Update [3rd May 2014]

My real second Amiga

In rolls my replacement second Amiga. At least, my second functional Amiga.
As ever I purchased this one on eBay and I have to say that the seller packaged it very well indeed so that it arrived in one piece. Awesome!

Some details:

Usual configuration for an Amiga 500, Rev 6A motherboard with a serial number is 1159589.
The downside to this one is that it has a bit of a hole in the top of the case where the original owner dropped it out of his/her loft (according to the eBay page):

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