Theme of the week is Amiga!Posted: July 16, 2012
Emulation my dear Watson!
So for the past couple of days I’ve been playing with the Nomad. Firstly fixing the silly fault with the system failing to boot after the power has been disconnected. With the new CMOS reset switch installed, I can use the little retro computer without having to worry about it not booting every morning.
Now that it’s working, I’ve been looking at ways to retro the little machine. While Lubuntu does look very basic, one of the reasons I built the Nomad was so I could run old software and return to that old vintage computer feel. Finding a version of UAE (Universal Amiga Emulator)for Lubuntu was a stroke of luck and that it actually worked was fantastic. Truth be told it did take me a night of fiddling to get it running correctly.
So now, I’m using Textcraft 1.0 for the Amiga A500, to write this blog! How cool is that? The overall experience is pretty weird. It looks like an Amiga on the screen and performance wise, it’s acting like an A500+. Which coincidently is what it’s set to emulate. Expect to see more applications popping up as I play around with UAE. Having the entire back catalog of Amiga software available on the Nomad is pretty fantastic. It’s a pity that unlike other emulators, UAE does not give you much input / output options. It would have been nice to have some form of ADF explorer built in to the program. Luckily the is a program called “unadf” which is a terminal program for Linux, allowing you to unpack ADF files. Which made it possible for me to get to the text file I had written in Textcraft.
While it might seem like a chore, it’s pretty straight forward and no where near as complicated as retrieving my blogs from the BBC Model B.
Finally after many months of promising, I finally got round to testing the Retrobrite. My test subject, a rather yellowed A500+. I did say this was an Amiga themed week didn’t I? 😛 Results so far have not been mind blowing, to the contrary I think I must be doing it wrong. As the only thing to happen so far, is some white patches on the A500+ top casing. I’m not certain if this is the “Blooming” effect mentioned on the retrobrite wiki or simply that my mixture is not bleaching the plastic properly.
The plastics are currently undergoing their third coat of retrobrite. I can’t do anymore after this as I’ve run out of peroxide. If it doesn’t work, I might consider using a different thickening agent, as opposed to wall paper paste. I might also try a different UV bulb.
Watch this space!