Welcome to Amiga Love! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
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pgovotsos

Howdy folks

by pgovotsos Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:57 pm

Hi all,

Well after I already made some posts I guess I should finally get around to saying Hi :)

I had never even heard of this forum until another member sent me a link to the new Buddha production thread. I've got to say it seems like a nice, friendly place and I'm glad I was directed here.

I'm currently in the mountains of West Virginia and there's not exactly many Amiga users here :) Heck, the nearest electronics store is almost 2 hours away so that shouldn't be that much of a surprise. Yep now I'm officially a hillbilly in the middle of nowhere :)

I'm an old fart and retired quite a few years ago now. I've had Amigas since the first day of release. I initially got them for video work and quickly grew my stock. Towards the end I had 43 Amiga 4000s for a render farm.

There's no way I could list every Amiga I have. Currently there's 179 fully working machines plus a scad of stuff in storage for repairs. I've got at least one of every single model released in the US and Europe. Besides all the standard models I've managed to get all the clones and derivatives. Some of the more unusual ones are the 3400, 3500,a development 1000 with in circuit emulator, 3000+, the Unix machines, an ED, the Wonders, the MacroSystems, the Silent Paws "portables". The grandkids enjoy one of the virtual reality units. Obviously all the NG and FPGA stuff. At least one, for most multiples, of every accessory either in machines or on the shelf. You might say I've got a bit of a problem - my wife wouldn't argue with you :)

Lately I've been mostly messing with the Draco and X5000s. Most recent big project has been putting together 600s with Vampires. Surprisingly the grandkids are really enjoying the classic games on them and the CD32s. I guess it shouldn't be so surprising since the garbage released these days don't require any imagination or intelligence although I may be a bit biased :) We bought up our kids, and they bought up theirs, that bloody and violent games aren't acceptable so that leaves out most of what's out there now. So the project has been to get together a good condition 600 with Vampire for each grandchild. I'm sure you all know how hard it is to find decent NTSC 600s :)

So that's me and too much about my hobby - my wife has different descriptions of it :) I'm glad I found this place and look forward to talking to y'all!
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pgovotsos

Re: Howdy folks

by pgovotsos Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:11 pm

Forgot to add - thanks Alan for leading me here!
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LambdaCalculus
New Jersey, USA

Re: Howdy folks

by LambdaCalculus Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:11 am

Welcome to Amiga Love, pgovotsos! Even if there aren't any Amiga users near you in person, at least there are plenty here! :)

An Amiga rendering farm? Now that's intriguing! I'm a bit of a newer Amiga owner myself (coveted one as a kid; parents gave me the "you already have a computer" speech; got an A500 and an A4000 now!), but my god, they are just such beautiful computers! If I did have one BITD, I wonder just how different I would've turned out!

I love the all-in-one Amigas, but big box models really strike my fancy! I'm into tinkering, hardware hacking and modding, and building custom computers, and the big box models offer so much room for growth and modification! I also never expected that, in 2017, we'd have companies building new Amiga hardware, or even new Amiga publications like Amiga Future (well worth reading!), or that the community around the Amiga would be stronger than ever! I've met a lot of lovely folks through the communities, and the sincerity and friendliness of many Amigans is a refreshing feeling!

I'm also wondering just what kinds of treasures you mentioned that you have in storage! If you've got stuff you want to get rid of, please feel free to let us know here! :)
Own: Amiga 500 (NTSC), Amiga 4000, Amiga 600 (PAL), Mac Mini G4 & iBook G4 (MorphOS), ThinkPad T40 (AROS), R.Pi3 (Amibian)
After: Amiga 1200

https://nostalgiaroadtrip.com
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

Re: Howdy folks

by intric8 Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:07 am

pgovotsos Welcome! We're so thrilled to have a mega-pro-Amiga user like yourself bring your vast wealth of knowledge and experience to the site. We're also extremely humbled. We have users from all over the world, although I'm based in the US (Seattle) and have a - I think - larger than typical US presence as we try to bring NTSC/North American experiences to light when possible. But we have a worldwide embrace for all experiences and more than anything are here to hang out and have fun.

Curious - how long have you lived in the mountains of West Virginia? Did you move there when you retired?

Towards the end I had 43 Amiga 4000s for a render farm.
I find this simply amazing. Was it for your work? If not... how in blue blazes did you have the room/power capacity for that kind of rig? That sounds like a video warehouse in a college!

There's no way I could list every Amiga I have. Currently there's 179 fully working machines plus a scad of stuff in storage for repairs. I've got at least one of every single model released in the US and Europe. Besides all the standard models I've managed to get all the clones and derivatives. Some of the more unusual ones are the 3400, 3500,a development 1000 with in circuit emulator, 3000+, the Unix machines, an ED, the Wonders, the MacroSystems, the Silent Paws "portables".
So, yeah. I constantly fight my personal guilt over my own collection - a tiny fraction of what you've amassed.

I currently have 2 1000s (one primo, the other parts), 2 2000s (one primo, the other parts), a 500 and a 1200. (And 2 C64s.) And simply tons of expansion cards, boxed games, etc. Last year I inherited an exceptionally clean and gigantic (gigantic in my mind) life-long collection from a gentleman in Seattle, where I live, who also got the video bug back in the 1980s and was a devout Amiga fan for decades. I went to his house one weekend with my two little kids and we packed over 20 large boxes into my VW Vanagon. Before we left, we stood around his PC where he had transferred some of his personal videos that he had made and watched them with him. I could see the pride in his eyes as we watched the animations and heard the character's computer voice speak the dialogue. I could see his lips move slightly to the script as he still remembered every line word for word. I was so grateful to be there that day... and a little sad. But I felt so lucky to be given the opportunity to share in his Amiga life like that along with my kids.

In any case, I only have one small room I can use for everything, and the table can only support two machines at a time. I always have my Amiga 2000 running as it is my big baby and daily driver. It can do anything and everything I want it for. Right now I have my 1000 sitting next to it and use it to connect to BBSes over WiFi every night. There is still a very small but very active scene over there, and it's great fun to chat retro-computing on the original hardware (or via browser if you're in a pinch, as most of the boards can be accessed that way, too. Just not as fun IMO).

Your vast collection reminds me of a huge collection that is being sold off bit by bit in Illinois right now. A connection of mine sent me a Craigslist post with pictures. The seller (I think) was originally asking for $20,000 for the lot, which seems impossible. It would take a large U-Haul for anyone to remove it all. He's since scaled back and has been now doing a lot of smaller local sales I think. UPDATE: Turns out the seller found the whole collection in a storage bay. He's not an Amiga guy - just a buyer/seller. No idea who the original owner was, unfortunately. Unfortunate. I love talking to folks bitten hard by the Amiga bug - just like you, too!

In any case... Wow. Just... wow.

Hehe. I'm so tempted to ask you "Do you have...?" but won't go down that road. Just glad you're here and can't wait to show you some of our projects and get your 2 cents on them!

WELCOME!
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pgovotsos

Re: Howdy folks

by pgovotsos Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:42 pm

I saw that Craigslist thing. Anyone who pays his price is nuts. Personally I don't think I'd even pay him $50 for the whole lot. Most of the computers are 2000s in bad condition. With everything being in a storage container, I doubt if any of the disks work any more. The motherboards have probably all been destroyed by battery and capacitor leakage.

It breaks my heart to so much stuff that could be wonderfully useful left to rot. It angers me to see someone trying to rape the enthusiasts with a ridiculous price like that for mostly useless hardware and software. I've paid ridiculous prices for some things that I really want but I'm not sure that even I would spend the gas to go across town to get it, much less drive there or ship it to here.
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pgovotsos

Re: Howdy folks

by pgovotsos Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:13 pm

It's really not that hard to get a big collection if you have the time and money to expend on it. Unfortunately those are two things that are often difficult to come by, especially these days. Luckily being retired gives you a bit of both to play with :) I'm largely a hermit so don't go out and friends are starting to die so that is becoming less of a reason to go out.

Yes the render farm was used for work. I used the 4000s simply because we had them and at first there wasn't that much price difference between a 4000 and a high end PC needed to do the same work. Eventually, of course, that changed and we started using a PC network to do the Lightwave rendering but still used the Toaster Flyer or Dracos to the actual video editing. At least until it became necessary to start providing HD work. Even so I still sit down with an Amiga editor just for the fun of it. For stuff that doesn't need HD, I'll still do it on the Amiga.

Oh, and yeah the power requirements were ridiculous. More important, surprisingly, was the need to install additional cooling to make it comfortable for humans to work there :) Eventually we remoted all of the workstations but still had to provide a bunch of cooling anyway for the machines themselves.

We moved here a dozen or so years ago around when I retired. We've got an off grid solar house so that took some adjustments to get everything running. I've disconnected every transformer / power supply and everything is run directly from DC and the hard drives are all solid state. Just about the only things running from AC are monitors and printers although they are shut down when not in use. Most of the computers are hooked up to KVMs so I only need one monitor for every dozen computers or so. All of that is both for power and also for heat control. Both of which are expensive in terms of the power budget of a solar system. Just removing power supplies and mechanical hard drives makes a tremendous difference in the amount of heat produced. We've got 6,000 Ah worth of battery (which is a LOT for a solar system if you're not familiar with it) but even with that it wouldn't last long if I didn't take these kind of measures. All of the original parts are still in place though.

That big donation you mentioned reminded me of the magazines. I've got every issue of English language magazines. I still read them frequently. The memory isn't what it used to be so it needs refreshing occasionally :) And they're just more fun to read than the computer and video magazines put out today. There's always a stack in the bathroom for throne reading :)
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mattsoft

Re: Howdy folks

by mattsoft Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:08 pm

Welcome to the board! Think I recognize you from Amibay. :)

Since you're in WV, you ever meet up with John and Aaron from the Amigos podcast for a quick game of Turrican or something? I think they're in WV too. They're website is here: https://www.everythingamiga.com
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TenLeftFingers

Re: Howdy folks

by TenLeftFingers Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:32 pm

Wow, that's some collection you have pgovotsos! I hope you feel inspired to do some renderings :)
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pgovotsos

Re: Howdy folks

by pgovotsos Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:48 pm

mattsoft wrote:Since you're in WV, you ever meet up with John and Aaron from the Amigos podcast for a quick game of Turrican or something? I think they're in WV too. They're website is here: https://www.everythingamiga.com


There's actually some other Amiga hillbillies :)
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Zippy Zapp
CA, USA

Re: Howdy folks

by Zippy Zapp Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:23 am

Wow, What an amazing collection and story about your Amigas! Thanks for sharing and joining.

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