- At the end I called it Shot's once every 5 months long ass wall of text that nobody will bother reading and is a waste of time writing.... lol.... Basically it's just me talking about nerdly retro passions and how I hope everyone does their best to have fun doing what they love doing. It gets a little philosophical at points, jumps into all kinds of topics that might not seem to relate, but they do in the end. If you don't end up reading it all, the thing to take away is simply that I very much enjoyed the quick cleaning you did with the original girl herself; that I'd love for you and others to know that fun can be had in doing some of these projects. To fight your fears, for this guy here has fried 3 1541 disk drives and 2 C64s, but I always had fun and I learned from it all. The 1000 is a special lady, but don't forget, you'll never be without an Amiga. While this project is done and over with, I always encourage people to step out of their comfort zone so long as they too see the chance for fun.
Without further delay, a little piece I know will delay the lives of all who read... For those that can't be bothered, oh, I understand... But if anyone does happen to dive into the whole thing; I hope the passion and love brings smiles to your retro nerd faces.
At some point I have to take my 500 apart again and mess with the keyboard. I remember having to switch some buttons from a newer 500 keyboard over to my original because I was having issues with enter and one other button. Literally changing just the key itself solved the problem. That shocked me... Just didn't make any sense... I guess the original key had just been worn out by a micron and simply could not reach the inner board. I was sure it was the contacts and I'd have to rip it all apart... Nope... Just switched out the key...
However, I'm now having major issues with my escape key. I used to have a trick to get it to work, now I can pound and pound and nothing happens. I've taken the key off and tried using q-tips and stuff to clean or just get it to work... Won't work... I recall their being a few BBS' that required the use of escape to even sign into the board and it was really pissing me off.... Why escape? Why not the ANY key?! lol. Not to mention the countless games that utilize escape in some form. Hopefully it's just a matter of taking it apart and doing a good cleaning.
With the dishwasher antics... It's one of those things... Even a lot of computer people might see that and gasp or think I"m nuts... It's just one of those things everybody assumes would be terrible, but it works. Of course, I thought it was crazy at first too... But there will come a moment of desperation.... When nothing else works... And you don't even care about the thing anyway.... That's when you try the outrageous. When you find out it works, well... Next time you try it on something you only sort of care about... When it works that time, well, at this point I have no issues about doing it with almost everything. I will usually take things apart as much as I can before doing such a thing... I never have tried it with anything that had a capacitor... Although I'm sure as long as you safely got the residual power out of it that even that would be fine. But for most normal electronics...
I highly recommend people give that stuff a try when they find some piece of junk they don't really care about. Even a laptop keyboard... A replacement may only be 10 bucks... So buy the new keyboard but take the old one and throw it in the dishwasher. Give it a day to dry and hook it back up. Can't tell you how many times I've resurrected a cheap friends laptop keyboard from that. And if the laptop keys don't come flying off, no way the Amiga's keys would. The dishwasher would get inside those things nice, no need to take every key off.
Countless keyboards (desktop and laptop) saved with that method. I've even saved an SNES with that method as well... If I buy a piece of old hardware and find out it's super dirty... I might not even take the "risk" of testing it out first. I'll put it right in with the dishes. lol. Yeah, I'm sure even many computer people might think I'm nuts, but what can I say? They've never tried it, I have.
But I'm super lazy... I took the time to take apart the Amiga twice to "retrobright" it... It's such an operation and frankly... Well... Extraordinary disappointed with my results. Not so much the 500 itself, I mean I'm not even sure if it has yellowed, honestly. If it has its been so gradual that my eyes are pretty sure it looks like it has always looked. That can happen when the process is slow. It's not "perfectly" white... But I'm not sure it ever was... Pictures can be deceiving... When you see a pic online, well, the thing was white balanced most likely. It took an off white and made it complete white. When I compare it to newer white plastics side by side, well, I don't think mine has yellowed at all... But then perhaps another picture with the indoor lights on, well, maybe that one didn't white balance so well, so then you look at a picture and you second guess yourself. haha.
God I hate ABS plastic... None of my old stuff has yellowed like I've seen from others. People assume "smokers", I don't think that's true at all. When I find yellowed plastic I notice there's always similarities.... Person had it near an open window.... Person had it in the attic.... Person used it in an office with fluorescent lighting... In a home with florescent lighting....
It's those UV rays and high humidity. Sun, florescent lighting, and the muggy conditions of the attic, the place most go to store old things for "safe keeping", in my experience that's what causes the yellowed plastic. It's funny, because that's a thing I don't think anybody thinks about these days... Most people are using fluorescent lighting in their house due to how the government shoved them in everyone's throats. Politically speaking I"m independent, I tend to think both parties are crazy and a 3rd option needs to be here... Obama's quest to kill the incandescent light bulb truly angered me... People who claim to care about the environment throwing countless tons of mercury filled bulbs into the trash can.... Brilliant... I'll never blindly follow any party to the point ideology allows me to support the environment by actually destroying it...Of course Republicans are just as, maybe more guilty... Support life by killing it and making sure those babies, once born, have no chance at a good life.... I hate them all! But I digress.
If a retrogamer is concerned about their classic systems getting a dose of those yellowed plastic blues; the best thing they can do is put it in a dark room/basement, and above all others, don't be so cheap that you actually think a 40-100 watt light bulb is going to harm your electric bill... Get a halogen if you think that, they're good... If you insist on going for unproven technologies, well, spend a fortune on an LED and hope it won't burn your house down when the circuit board blows up.
I mean there's my Amiga, what do you guys think? Now the GVP hard drive? Oh yeah... You should have seen that thing when I first got it... Disgusting! The retrobright got it to the point you see here, which is still obviously a completely different color than my Amiga, despite advertisements showing them to be the same back in the day.
But while it made it look better, it did not make it look white... I suppose I need to give it another try, I mean some people swear by it... I followed the directions to a tee, felt very awkward when I had to go to a hair salon and request 3% peroxide, and they asked me if I was building a bomb or something.... Really? From 1% to 3%, that's what makes me a terrorist? lol. And after I spent all that time on it, well... I thought the Amiga looked exactly the same... Probably because it in fact has not yellowed.... And nothing else I put it on made "much" if any difference. - That's when you start reading into the bad things people say about it, like how it might actually make the plastic briddle in the future.
Regarding plastics, another thing most people don't try is plastic restore polish. I recommend Meguiars, find it in your local stores auto section. I first used it in my classic car to shine up the old plastic parts... I'm telling you it makes it look brand new. I put it on my Sega Genesis, which did not have ABS plastic, and was black.... The genesis look declined so slowly that I never really realized the plastic was in fact not the same... I put that plastic polish on it, the thing turned a super deep and lush glossy black... Suddenly I was transported back to 1991 when I first got the thing, THAT'S how it was supposed to look! All plastic dulls over time, even if it does not yellow. Sometimes a good cleaning combined with a plastic polish may actually give the original look. It's one of those missing ingredients nobody ever tries out, but they won't regret it. Just putting that polish on my Amiga restored the finish to what I felt it used to look like much more than retrobright did.
And it's not just plastics... I put that stuff on everything... When I said "look everyone, first time, everytime." in regards to my Mario Let's Play and how my NES carts ALWAYS start up the first time... Not only did I clean them with q-tips and windex (not alcohol, I really recommend windex), which would have made them fine for a little while at least... No... I also polished the metal contacts with a dab of my plastic polish on a q-tip. I fully give all the credit in my NES games not doing the blink on/off thing in over 10 years to that polish.
I put it on my windshield wipers, rubber.... The things would last me from spring to winter, when the snow would eventually cause the rubber to fall off... I put this plastic polish on it whenever I wash my car, my wipers have lasted 3 years at a time! So at least with the polish, there is no way it hurts the plastic in anyway, it actually helps it. I've used it on lots of hardened rubber, even belts, it truly does give that stuff flex again, it un-hardens old rubber... My Simon videos? Put that stuff on the game and the box. Nothing this retro collector recommended more highly than that plastic polish from Meguiars... Never liked other brands honestly... Some would work okay, but Meguiars tends to last several months on a first polish, even over a year when you've polished it many times in the past. Everytime I look at my Genesis or NES, that's how it looked back in the day. People forget about those glossy shine this stuff came out of the box with because it fades so slowly.
Anyway, the point I was making is that some things sound crazy... Retrobright sounded crazy the first 30 times I heard it... But then so many people were raving about it that I had to give it a try... Nah, I learned from my experience that I don't actually think much of my old plastic has actually yellowed, because I just never had those issues that would turn t hem yellow. And yes, certain conditions do indeed "TURN" them yellow... It's not inevitable... Lots of people have a yellowed part or several off an SNES, not me... They just assume it's the smoking thing, smoking... I don't know, I think people just think on how smoke can turn a painted wall yellow and figure that's what happened to these old plastics. The most yellowed crap I've ever found has come from an office building with very bright row after row of long tubed fluorescent lighting. That's the key, the UV rays. Get rid of those CFLS and have at least one room in the house back on the good old tried and true tungsten filled incandescent or halogen light bulb. People tend to blame it on whoever had it last, well, maybe that's why you got it yellow, but if you've ever had something turn yellow on you... Yes, the plastic was made cheaply, no conditions should make a products color change over time... However, it's reality, companies use the crap... Keep it cool, keep it in the dark, don't you dare place it in a room with open curtains or light the room with mercury filled bulbs. Because regardless of how many yellowed plastic horror stories you hear; it never happens to everybody, which means there are other things in play there.
And as you found out yourself upon just giving the keyboard a once over with q-tips; at first you thought you might need some retrobright... But after giving it an easy clean you found out it was just the crud build up. Clean normal, and truly, get some plastic polish. It's one of those things I could not recommend more highly and yet I've found nobody actually ever gives it a try despite what I say. It's one of those things where I think of how I ever lived without it, and yet people think I'm nuts despite the fact that they are not exactly happy with what they see in front of them. The stuff is less than 5 bucks, it lasts a long time both in terms of what's in the bottle as well as its effect on what you put it on... And it's not armorol... Yeah, I hate that stuff, too... Not every product that claims to do a similar thing is created equal. I use it on new and old items. With the new stuff you won't even notice a difference... Why? Because that's how it's supposed to look. You don't restore anything with newer plastics, because they have yet to dull... I still put it on just to protect it though, perhaps guarantee it never will dull. But I swear if you put that stuff on an old Genesis or Atari, man... Once you do that, you'll "put that sh** on everything!"
And oh yeah, if it works good for NES cart contacts (and it absolutely does - Bought myself a new 72-pin connector before I cleaned them thinking that was the issue...No, it's not... The thing was fine, it's just a convoluted messed up system that makes those contacts all the more important), it will also work great on old expansion board contacts. It's abrasive when you connect stuff to a motherboard, that polish, while I've not conducted any scientific studies, well, I'd say it helps those copper contacts be more conductive. Trust me, you'll see the difference.
But that's the thing... Some people are just being careful, some people may even be quite knowledgeable with computers, but some people learn just through books or school, they never learn by doing, or they just take the easy way out, do what they've always done. So that's why I would encourage everyone to indeed, give these strange strategies a try, but of course, try it with some old piece of junk you don't care about.
I'm about to do a video where I fix my Amiga's speaker system by.... Taking the speaker system apart and spraying brake clean on all contacts. Nobody thought there could be a more crazy idea then me when my friend decided he had nothing to lose with his old 70's stereo system that had volume cutting out issues.... I took it apart... He sprayed.... Not only did it work, not only did it not melt one tiny part, the thing worked like new. That's what my sound system for the Amiga is doing these days. I gotta play with the volume over and over again until I get it just right or else parts of the music will not come through. It's horribly annoying.
And I'm about to spray brake clean inside that thing! It went to our 1997 gateway PC when new, very nice sounding surround sound speakers with a subwoofer. I'd love to keep it, but I mean hell, if I melt the thing, no problem buying myself another small little speaker system setup. But it's going to work, I've done it before. And after my old computer sound system project? - I've got a couple small projects for my vintage 70's Pioneer Rack stereo system setup as well. And I cherish that thing. My dad spent 10 grand on it new, it still sounds awesome, but it's having small issues these days in turns of the volumes/knobs.
That's how you end up finding these fantastic solution to problems that may cost a fortune to have repaired, or things that are so annoying most people would end up tossing the old 10 grand stereo system because it just be old... Well, you start out on a crap stereo all in one setup... You take on some computer speakers... Browse the shopping isles, hang out in the automotive section... Read the back of the bottles... Perhaps some of it is snake oil, but read, think to yourself... Perhaps look it up... I have a mechanic for a best friend who insisted I should NEVER buy one of those car AC refrigerant/sealer. He insisted that if you don't have AC, then you have a hole in the system, and there ain't no way that crap is going to seal it. What the hell do I have to lose? Spent a fortune for a repair shop to put all their fancy chemicals into it? It's a "closed system" he said, it can't run out or evaporate unless there's a hole in the system. Honestly I thought it was running out, because I was getting "some" air... But slowly, over time, the car was old.... I was losing the cold air. Bought a few cans of that sealer stuff, he told that even if it did work it was just going to leak out again after 6 months. 5 years later, still got super cold air. Maybe, despite him being sure it was a closed system, well, time gets to us all. My lava lamp was sealed shut, the color faded from it. I popped the top and threw some dye in there, sealed it back up, looks beautiful over 2 years later.
Even experts can steer you wrong at times. My thing is, if we're going to get enjoyment out of these super old electronic items, we'd do best to look into alternative solutions to our problems. Because there are only a handful of dedicated people that are willing to fix that stuff for you these days, and it won't be cheap. We're dealing with old stuff, things can and will brake. I can't tell you how many times I've taken apart my 1541 disk drive and realigned that terrible designed head. I've made mistakes and fried the damn thing like 3 times. You learn. Practice soldering, on junk, one day you might be confident enough to do it on the things you care about.
Don't be afraid to experiment. Don't just look into what everyone else does and do the same thing... Do it, by add a twist. Ain't a soul on the internet other than me telling anyone they should be using plastic polish on their NES cart contacts. I tell them sometimes... They don't care. Why? Because they're happy enough with their q-tips and rubbing alcohol. It seems to do the trick, for the most part, for a little while anyway... Man, throw that on a dime a dozen 3 dollar Mario/Duck Hunt cart from Ebay. Experiment. I'm fully convinced I have the ultimate NES game cleaning solution, and it's just that little bit better than everyone else's guides. A lot of "guides" out there. But you'll notice that although different people might write them, they all say the same thing. When my NES was having cart issues I looked at the videos, read the guides... But I didn't just read the first 3 I found, where they were just copying off each other anyway... I kept reading, it was interesting. Then I found someone who used Windex, not alcohol. Of course... That stuff cleans great and leaves a streak free shine... The guides using alcohol never interested me, because that's what we used as kids! We'd blow into the thing, hope we got any dust out of it, perhaps add a little moisture puckering up to the thing, that would make the games work, regardless of what some people who were not around back then might tell you. But when that wouldn't work, we took the game to the bathroom and dunked a q-tip with alcohol. And sometimes it would work, but sometimes we'd have to do it again...and again... It's just the alcohol approach didn't mean anything to me because that's what we did, and it was never perfect. Someone says Windex, they mention that the alcohol does not work as great as these other people think, and I know that from life experience. Well, the man got at least that one thing right, why not try out this whole windex thing? Tried it, absolutely cleans better than the instantly evaporating alcohol which is designed to sterilize stuff, kill stuff.... Windex is designed to clean stuff. Makes sense. Give it a go yourself, I said. Don't just clean the the contacts you can see, hell, buy yourself one of those special bits and open the cart up, get the whole thing while you're at it! Go that extra step because even though that part is covered, stuff can get inside there. Then I went an extra step, tried something nobody else ever mentioned. I have experience with this for many different material polish, I love the stuff... Makes it shine like new.... Why not polish the contacts to the cart while I have this thing open? You should have seen how shiny those copper plates looked after I was done with them! Can't tell me taking dull looking copper and turning it into a rich color won't actually help out the ever so important electrical connection.
I opened up every last one of my NES/Genesis/C64/SNES carts that day, 10 years ago. Was not just the NES that was having issues, I was having to blow into the Genesis carts there for awhile, I never did that as a kid. Took them apart, cleaned them with windex, inside and out, added that polish... 10 years later I'm not joking when I say "first time, every time." People don't need a new 72pin connector, they don't need this new "no blink" thing that turns it into a top loader or whatever it does... They need to clean it good, take it apart, and yeah, polish the thing, because things dull over time. It's that one extra step, I borrowed from the same guides everyone else finds, perhaps some of those people would say to take the entire cart apart, but they used the alcohol. I don't like that stuff. found someone who spoke my language with the windex thing, something I never once considered. It made sense to me, I tried it... But then I added my own twist to it all. A twist I can guarantee nobody else talks about, and 10 years later it's the first time, every time. The actual NES when it brand new only lasted a couple years before those carts became a problem. 10 years later I've never had to blow into the thing or give it another clean.
That's how you gain experience. And it was all fun. I enjoyed buying those special bits, getting them from Amazon and taking the NES carts I enjoyed for so long apart... Seeing what the insides looked like. Seeing that some of them were different than others. It's enjoyable. I enjoyed reading all these peoples thoughts on cleaning, but not all of them spoke to me. I found one guy who mentioned the windex, it made full sense to me... And I know people think that's crazy. That guy was right about the windex, someday someone else is going to try my method and realize I'm right about the polish. But that was the most fun of all. To have an idea, to be pretty sure that it "wouldn't hurt", but be a tiny bit scared at the same time.... Put it on there, actually see the difference it made in terms of physical appearance... Put them all back together and it worked. 10 years later I'm still having fun when I think about it. People told me to get a new 72-pin connector, they are not as stiff as they once were... Made sense... I got one.... It didn't help! But it made sense, I was not afraid to try it, I put it in... I even put my old one back in later on just to prove to myself that the cleaning made the difference, and yeah, that was the most important part of it. You do things, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I've screwed things up, but I've made some things so much better.
That's the joy of being someone that's into "retro". So while by no means have you done anything wrong here, I feel a drive to do my best to try and convince others who are into this same stuff that they can and should let themselves have more fun. Yes, it's the original 1000, it may have been a deal, it may have cost more than you'd like anyone to know, it's the first. It's a beauty. If ever I were to get another Amiga, well, it would NOT be a 1200 or 4000, it would be the 1000. It's a beauty and it was the first. It means something. The 500 means more because that's what I grew up with and in terms of history it's the model that is actually most significant. I love my 500. But I would never say no to a 1000. But you know what? At that point no matter how special that 1000 is, at the end of the day I do have myself another machine... You have yourself several Amiga's, you had enough that you even sold one off... At first you went with what everyone else just recommended, the 1200, cause it could "do everything", I'm sure they said. Make sure it's a PAL model, I could not be more sure they said.... You could add a million things to it, flash drives and floppy emulators, accelerators... Could beef that thing up! At first I don't think you saw into the love I showed for the 500 and Workbench 1.3 - Despite your 1200 having issues, well, it's easy to assume and place the blame on other things. Bad crack, bad software that was guilty of not thinking about an operating system that had not even been made yet.... Fate presented you a 2000, two 2000's.... You tried them for yourself... And man, I was not even expecting you to do a 180 on me, I was just hoping you could more identify with my points of view. I'm a person that could beef up a 1200 and have no problems installing all kinds of front ends to make Workbench 3.1 look like Windows 95 and later. - But I don't care. Not that I'd ever look down on those that do. But my wish is that they would not look down on me, which they do. But you loved that 2000 so much you sold the 1200! Two 2000's! Now a 1000! And... Although you rarely talk about it, but it has saved your butt on several occasions, the trusty Amiga 500. Now to just get you to love that one as much as I do.... hahha....
Point is you've no shortage of wonderful Amiga's. I hope I could encourage you to "not be afraid" to try new things with these machines. Not new as in shove some brand new accelerator board into it, do the things to it that interest you.. But if you happen to be interested in cleaning the keyboard... Well, don't be afraid to go all out! In the end the worst that could ever happen to any grand idea you have is that you kill it... Either permanently or temporarily. If it's just temp, well, maybe you'll use that chance to learn how to fix it. More fun is then had. Royal screw up? Well, feel bad, feel sad, learn from your mistakes, don't let it stop you from trying more new things, because maybe next time you'll succeed. And there is no failing when you have as many machines as you have. Kill them all, I guarantee you the never used 500 will be there and step up to give you that Amiga fix. Ya can't kill it, and that's part of why I love it so much.
I once thought my NES had died on me. Bought a motherboard from Ebay because I still wanted my original case that I had as a kid. Took it apart, put it in... Nothing... Turns out there was never any issues with the damn thing! I had simply temporarily connected my NES to the coax of the CRT. Was testing something out... I had no clue but my damn old CRT was having issues with the coax stuff. I mean that was after analog had been killed, so it's not like I'd have any idea because I was not watching channel 4 or anything. I had no clue, the TV turned on and showed static. I love my NES. Someone might have thrown theirs away over this, or bought a whole new console. I figured it had died, put in another mother board. Still static. Then I connected it up to the RCA inputs, which is where it was supposed to be anyway, and the damn thing worked! I was a little ticked off, honestly. And yes, I took that NES apart again, took the ebay NES board out, and put back my original motherboard which also worked fine. That was a pain in the butt, it in fact brought me no fun in terms of retro experiences... But I still learned. Hey, don't forget there's a TV there and you connected it to coax, you haven't used that in 5 years! Really weird, the TV still works beautifully with the RCA stuff, I'm sure it's something I could fix, someday.
Someday. Someday I'll have myself some fun with that good old CRT that I've kept for so many years. I was using a slightly bigger and newer one for a few years until something inside of me yearned for that Montgomery Ward 12 inch that I used as a kid. Nothing really wrong with the newer 20 inch I was using, looked great! Although I will say if you go much bigger than that in terms of CRTs, I doubt anyone is going to end up liking a 27 inch CRT or bigger with these old systems. But when I hooked up that 12 inch back up, fell in love all over again. Sometimes we upgrade, but sometimes if we just give something a chance, we might find what makes sense in terms of being "better", may not make much sense to us at all. Using an LCD? Makes all the "practical" sense in the world, but perhaps the people who recommend it have forgotten what those CRTs actually looked like... Flash hard drive? Makes a lot of sense, you'll h ave fun going about it.... Perhaps reports of the most dependable SCSI hard drives imminent death is premature? I bought two pretty big ones (in terms of the Amiga), working like a charm... They were like 10 bucks each... They sound authentic, it adds fun for me, I will not be surprised if my new used SCSI drive outlasts some peoples flash drives.
I never say those things to put down those that do enjoy going that route... I only wish to best illustrate the passion I have. Perhaps some of them are not having so much "fun". Perhaps they only got a flash drive because their 25 year old drive finally died, well can't buy a new one anymore... They read guides... And most of these guides steer them toward the flash solution. They didn't really want to do it, but it seemed like the smart thing to do, everyone's doing it. Hard drives are destined to die, especially old ones! But does anyone stand up and say everything is going to die! That Amiga is going to die someday, that floppy drive shall die, believe it or not so will your flash drive. This is like people who say digital pictures will last forever... They "could" last forever, if lovingly transfered from computer to computer, to the cloud, etc... In practice everyone has lost precious documents because of digital. To this day the only proven archival method in terms of visuals is 35mm film. It never died, and everyone better hope it never will... Because we've got quality black and white film that looks just as good as good as the day it was developed over 100 years ago! Quality, that may still surpass digital, but at the very least has its artistic reasons for existing. We've got Kodachrome slide film that has not had any color shifts in 100 years! Well, people let that one die, unfortunately....
CRTs... They still made them only a year ago... I guess the last big factory that produced them has officially stopped. No more classic arcade cabinets, folks... Replaced... And why? Because HD flat screens look better? Actually, only if you pay for HD cable, if you're still using standard definition (like 70%+), well, no... the CRTS still look better.... And guess what? They made HD CRT televisions! They made HD CRT Widescreen televisions, too! Really the ultimate in terms of a retro gamer, in a sense. They could watch their HD stuff, play HD stuff, and the same TV would still look fantastic in the lower resolutions. Long before HD was a thing; there were CRT computer monitors capable of going into what are now called HD resolutions. No LCD monitor can touch my 1999 Dell CRT monitor in terms of its resolutions... Pretty sure it can go over 8000xwhatever.... I mean there's no use for it in Windows 98, but just because it's new does not mean it's better. And even if it is, well, vinyl is still hanging on. I bet it will be the only physical music medium to survive in the end. Because it does have benifiits in terms of quality, but even without that it still has artstic reason for existing.
Buy new records people, make sure they don't die. I don't care how much you like your phone or SLR digital camera, I BEG everyone to dust off their old Nikon 35mm camera and on occasion give that stuff a shot.... I can't keep the wonderful medium that is film alive by myself. Super8 is still alive, folks.... Try taking a 3 minute and 20 second long actual FILM of your family... Watch as people other than your wife are able to watch it. Learn how to make a little story, get that retro feeling.... Have, fun. Don't be afraid of taking pictures and paying for a roll of crap. Maybe you'll learn something that might even help you with your digital camera. Learn how to take one picture, right, everytime...Not pick and choose the best of over 10 shots taken of the same thing.
All your favorite HD TV shows? Even the movies? All of them to this day still use a film master for archival purposes. In 30 years when it gets released in 25k or whatever resolution they're using then, it's going to be brought to that medium using the tucked away film. Because film has proven itself. But only Hollywood is keeping Kodak afloat... Hollywood keeps those massive factories open but if one day they fully decide film is not worth it... That's when you can say goodbye to all forms of art expression that used film in terms of whatever unique quality it may have brought. Sadly, while the worst "consumer" films of the 90's may not have been anything too special... Well, they're still going to last longer than your digital stuff, and normal people buying instant cameras is what let Kodak and Fuji have the money to make other quality films that an amateur might like to play with.
Polaroid stopped making its iconic film, though somehow the company itself is still around. Well, that stuff was stupid expensive anyway and it's not like it was super great quality. But there's nothing that will ever be the same as a Polaroid, folks. Nothing. Thankfully some independent cropped up and for us crazy retro fans there is indeed still a way to buy "Polaroid" film. It's still expensive, and it has 2 less pics per cart... But it's an option. Film is still cheap, you can afford it.. Maybe some great people will step up and make it so those that love that format will always have it... But it won't be cheap, I guarantee it.
To hit harder home... Floppy disks... Still being made.... Prices are starting to get stupid though... Now, it's a lot harder sell to ask people to remember their floppies today... But keep in mind everyone that the only reason these are still being made is because of the GOVERNMENT and big businesses that are still running on old equipment. Because if it ain't broke, don't fix it! Floppies are not around because of us. Don't forget that. Perhaps someone will crop up for us if they stop making them, but if you think the prices are high now.... Just you wait... Think about that the next time you wonder why your work won't just upgrade already! Or you know, abandon floppies all together and help ensure they die for the ones that do faster. Get a floppy emulator... Now if you really love it, okay.... But I know some people with those things end up feeling the menus are clunky, it sure as heck don't feel right, and perhaps the modern solution was not as fun as they thought in the end.
None of you care about film if I am to believe my YouTube analytics and comment section for when I post a Super8 film on my RETRO channel. Hell, some people are not even retro gaming fans at all... Maybe they're just Amiga fans... Or DOS fans... Or NES fans... Screw Simon, the first computer controlled game.... Maybe they're not even an Amiga fan, maybe they just like those select types of Amiga games they grew up with as a kid, but have no interest in a game like Uninvited. Maybe it's 2017 and these Amiga fans are still screaming at people on the internet about how stupid Atari ST owners were.... ehh... Maybe the Atari ST was pretty damn cool even though we didn't have it. But we probably would have loved it just as much. DOS? No, no sane person loves DOS, what crazy fool loves an operating system and a knockoff clone PC? hahah... I jest, although I do believe it's the games those people love.
I never lived the Commodore 64, but I do have one... God I love that thing, even though I've yet to review a single game on it... haha... I've got a lot of stuff to cover! But I'd say I love the C64, a thing I did not play much as a kid, more than my Gameboy, which I played tons of.
Never be afraid to try things out, to have fun... Now, perhaps you should be afraid of the space limitations... I understand that. I don't find hoarding to be impressive. Perhaps that 500, even if you think it might take you out of a jam one day... Perhaps it's better to let someone else love it like it deserves if the fun you have is with other models? I don't consider you in hoarder territory quite yet, but some people have shelves and boxes full of systems... Do they love them? Really? It's funny because I said perhaps we could all love an Atari ST. I do believe that... At the same time I"m also sure I just don't have room for an ST in my life right now. Sadly, despite knowing I'd have a lot of fun with it, I'm still having endless fun with the systems I do have now.
Life is deep and complicated, huh? The guy who has every last console and computer ever made might not truly love them? Maybe... But perhaps someone who threw away their NES 20 years ago might today love it as much as anyone... And through emulation on a stretched widescreen LCD screen...
As long as people have fun, well, there is no wrong way. But always remember to encourage love and fun. Tell others what brings that to you so that they might perhaps be inspired by you, to go down your path, or maybe even take a little from you, a little somewhere else. They form their own unique path. Be cautious when recommending the things everyone else seems to do... While you might love your 1200 and use it to its full potential. Remember, not too many of those things around when compared to other models. Be able to lift yourself above the cloud of your own situations, and ask yourself if it's possible you might have a lot of fun, just as much fun, maybe even more fun with a 500.... I doubt those that love the 1200 could see themselves having more fun with the 500, that's fine. But you're just wrong if you think you couldn't have any fun with a 500. Remember that when recommending to others who are getting into this thing again. Do you want the limited number of 1200's to be gobbled up by people who will never even bring them to their full potential? I don't... I could actually bring a 1200 to its full potential and I still don't want one... Because someone else is going to have more fun with it than I will.
Give love for the 500, help those users get through their issues with Workbench 1.3 - Perhaps you've forgotten... You've got WHDLoad now! Well my power user friends, rather than suggest someone upgrade when 95% of commercial games and software came out for the 1.3, put your emulators to use and help out those with the 500. Remember the 3.1 is a very different beast. Don't assume. Tell them old SCSI drives are SUPER CHEAP and can last...well... Judging from my last Amiga hard drive, over 20 years! SD cards are cheap, they are fairly reliable, but it won't feel the same, and just because the 1200 or 600 offer easier ways to go about that solution... Come on people, don't tell everyone getting into this scene that their hard drives will die sooner rather than later. You don't have any idea when they will die. Floppy drives? They can go bad, but they might be able to be cleaned or fixed, or just get another one... Replace the drive... Have fun...
Love Turrican on the Amiga? Famous platformer, got ported to everything... Well, remember that all kinds of games came out for that machine, for DOS, for the NES and others. Turrican came out in America despite many Europeans believing the Amiga was nothing here. We got the most well known European titles, we got Pinball Dreams and Lemmings... We even got F1GP, but they renamed it World Circuit in America... And every big of that 160 + page manual says World Circuit... 1992, America was important. Don't just believe what everyone else tells you. We got those big platforming titles believe it or not.... Now Fire and Ice? I love that game today, but that never came out in America. We didn't tend to go after the platformers. Older Amiga audience here, which is a reason why not many people hear voices from America. But the first games like Defender of the Crown? A strategy game? America. Great ports like Battle Tech and Star Flight? America. The huge Gold Box RPG series? All ported to the Amiga, best on Amiga. Simulations like FA/18 or Falcon F16? America. Sim City, SimAnt, A-Train, Railroad Tycoon, Pirates, Civilization... If not made in America, made for the American market which loved those types of games. Even late games Europeans love like Monkey Island 1 and 2 were developed for the Amiga in house by Lucas Arts in America. 11 disks seem like a lot? Not for American users, many of which sported a hard drive. Word Perfect, a 400 dollar plus word processor? America. Pro Write, Excellence, Deluxe Paint, Deluxe Music, Music-X, an entire disk devoted to just fonts? America.
Maybe step out of the platforming comfort zone and stick a location to some of these other well done games. Look into them, maybe learn a great game you never heard of, or one you've known your whole life happened to come from a place you thought didn't care. Why? Because it's fun. It will bring a smile to your face when you come to understand that while not as many loved the Amiga as we might have liked, well, more loved it than we gave credit for. I show off educational games that use the Amiga built in speech. They're not particularly great games, but nobody else cares but me. Perhaps others might try to care more if they all these thoughts running around the back of their head.
It's all about fun in the end, but try not to limit yourself in terms of the fun you can have. In terms of retro computer friends, I've never happened across another amateur photographer, especially one who still shoots film. Why not? Before computers were a thing nerds flocked toward the SLR film camera! They played board games like Battleship, electronic games like Simon. They played pinball machines.... They hooked up stereo systems, they assembled their own stereos and TVs via the brand Heathkit. They went on short band radios. They shot Super 8 film, betamax tape, VHS.... Hell I've got myself a not that old alarm clock looking "device" called a Chumby. From Seattle, I believe... Came out around 2008, before smart phones were huge, but apps were starting to become a thing.... It's an alarm clock that's hooked up to the internet. I love the thing even though most of the apps no longer work because the company died. To me that thing is now retro. Nobody knew about it or cared when it was new, and by the time they would have saw its use we had all moved on to smart phones. I still have fun with that thing. Vinyl records or cassette tapes? My dad never owned a tape drive for the C64, just the floppy. When I saw how awesome C64 games looked in cassette cases, well, I've got a nice little collection of old and NEW games on cassette. It has nothing to do with nostalgia. But I still have fun.
I still have several CRTs, they're built to last friends, don't be afraid to hunt for one or two. Or you know what? Maybe you're perfectly happy on an emulator at home. Just remember, those things have options. Throw WinUAE into NTSC mode once in awhile, give it a try. Branch out in terms of Amiga games, try out those simulations and RPGs. I will soon be doing a review for Turrican 3, my favorite of the series despite that one being viewed as the worst to most fans. It's a platformer and even these crazy guy into RPGs is able to beat it and love it. Marble Madness? Good luck beating that one friends, I can do it. But you don't even need to beat it to have fun with it. You can have fun with Railroad Tycoon, a game that even in the VGA era of DOS looked best on the Amiga.
Branch out with Amiga games, but perhaps to other computers.... Try out the dreaded DOS.... I love and hate DOS... Love because I did play a lot of the later games in DOS. Hate because I tried to run lots of old Amiga games on DOS and I was very disappointed. haha. But you should have that experience for yourself, because that's fun! And it gives you proper justification for your bad thoughts on DOS. In reality you shouldn't be knocking the ST until you've actually tried it, ya know? So you won't catch me knocking that fine machine. DOS? I make no promises there, because I have reasons for saying bad things about Adlib FM sound cards! But I was not happy throwing my arms in the air and saying oh well... DOS music sucks, the Amiga rules.... No, I took steps to make the FM sound better, and I even got an MT-32... For me, that was fun.
Shooting super 8 film is fun for me... Hey, I love the Amiga, I love a lot of the games everyone else does, I love games nobody else does, I have good words to say about the ST, in my heart I am but a nerd... Perhaps, so are you. Look up film friends, dust off your father's old camera, trust me, someone has a good old camera... and those pictures can look every bit as good as digital, maybe better. Try out a rolll of 8mm movie film the next time you're on vacation. Not too expensive, you might have a lot of fun, you'd help out so many others. Go to your local record store on record day. It happens twice a year and you get great deals on new and old vinyl. Get a record player, hook it up some nice stereo equipment. Audiophiles they call them, I just call them nerds...
Take things apart when nothing is wrong with them. Put them back together. Read articles on upgrades others make, consider them... Believe me, I read plenty of stuff on SD cards and floppy emulators. They were not for me. When you look up replacing an old hard drive and all you can get are those flash solutions? Alter the search so you can find the point of view of someone who chooses to replace the old drive with a real hard drive. Maybe you'll find more fun in that? Maybe you won't. Maybe emulation is all the fun you'll ever need... Maybe you couldn't care less about games or software, you just like going on old BBS'...
I think a few of those people might be around here. Well, gotta tell you, I'm still going to do my best to show through my passion how much love and fun I have done all kinds of things with all kinds of old stuff. I'm not right, you're not wrong, but I believe the best way to get others to follow you is not to tell them to do something because "everyone" is doing it, or that it's sooner or later, so just get it done. No. If you love WHDload so much, then show off WHDLoad, the program... Not the games it runs, but the program itself. Make it easy for people, because it's not easy. Show your excitement for having that all in one menu solution on the actual real hardware! Let me feel your excitement as you take a device created by one person 2 months ago and you put it into your 1987 machine, to make it faster or provide an SD solution to a machine that couldn't have that before. Doing something new with something old, if that's where you have your fun, let us hear it!
Treat others how you would like to be treated. Sometimes I can be a little harsh, but I swear the underlying emotion has always been love... It's just sometimes you've got to get angry in order to show love to the many others who have no love inside them. This was a rant for the history books! No part of me has anything against this nice small adventure into the wonderful Amiga 1000, with you cleaning a bit of a nasty situation up. I had fun reading it, for sure! I'd never except to give advice and think that just because I say it, it needs to be followed or even cared about. I'm not waiting for others to try just so they can agree with me and I can give them a big I told you so. I used to poke at you in good fun with regards to the 1200, but I don't have anything against that machine. But I do wonder, if perhaps you had been exposed to the kind of love that I show for the old systems sooner, if maybe you would have never gotten a 1200 in the first place. That might be bad, I'm sure you enjoyed your time with the 1200 and don't regret it... But everyone is different.... I know you went for that 1200 because you did look into things. You didn't have an Amiga back in the day, and you became curious later in life. I love your story so much! I've never seen someone fall in love so hard for this machine I've loved forever when their actual history says they should be into something else! You should be all into DOS, or the Coleco or Vectrex, I forget which ones you had back in the day. Your story is amazing and warms my heart.
You surprised and warmed my heart yet again when you not only gave the 2000 a shot, hell, you fell for it harder! Got rid of the 1200! You've even taken pot shots at me for my Workbench 1.3 icons, which I've made to look like Magic Workbench icons. Something I remember you being very interested in back when you had the 1200, because I think my setup looked better than yours. But there you were with the 1200 and the classic blue/orange/white/black Workbench.... Giving me crap for my 8 colors.... Suddenly I'm not the one embracing 1.3! hahhaha. I smile so hard when you do that. Not because I agree with you, although I do respect your thoughts there.... I'd rather have the old blue stuff, I'd just also like to have more than 4 colors. I always wanted something more out of my icons. Sadly I have to deal with the dull 3.1 grey colors despite using Workbench 1.3, simply because I found it fun to hack the thing to use those icons. It's not supported and I did it. Power using in Workbench 1.3! It's fun! For me. If I could somehow make my icons have 8 colors but still have that old school blue, believe me, I'd be with you.... But nah, I mean I lived blue and orange both back in the day and later on when I hooked the thing up again. Putting 8 colors on that thing was something I had so much fun with, because it made 1.3, which everybody says is junk and not to bother with it, it made my 1.3 look better than many people's 3.1 - I love it!
But I caught those jabs, my friend. Now that you're aboard the 1.3 craze you think those those 4 colors are better than my stuff! And you know what? Maybe you're right. I looked into finding more varied 4 color blue/orange icons to use, just never really did before I went the 8 color grey route. For the longest time I was even using icons that looked very stretched in medium res NTSC mode. Ugh, it sucked... But I fixed that and I think my Workbench looks amazing. I had so much fun working on that stuff. But I can see the love and excitement you have for the 4 color old blue look. It's THAT excitement and passion, love.... That's what makes me stop and wonder if maybe you are right... But even love and passion can't change everybody. haha. I still dig mine! - But that's how you go about influencing people in a good way that they might be inspired by!
It was not just that suddenly you were using old blue and now you dug it... No, you asked me if I knew where to find more of those old icons. Fresh Fish is the only answer I'd have, but your search will be long.... You were not just happy with the old look, you were looking to dive deeper. That's passion, that's what I love! While I probably won't be able to help you in that area, simply because I'm not after what you're after... Remember that I have many times referred you to those Fred Fish disks. I always hoped you'd end up diving in yourself and finding them, because I'm sure they are there. And that's exactly what I had to do for myself... Search that database site, look up programs, download the disks, put them on the Amiga... .Throw away 95% of what I saw.... But that 5%? That's what makes me the 1.3 power user that I am. I hope you find the collections of 4 color blue/orange icons you're looking for. Because I know you'll write something good about it.
But it's not always easy. Well over a thousand Fred Fish disks. Gotta be in the both the right mood and work hard to find that stuff. But good things come to those that dig. Even a pain in the butt time can be fun if you do it for the right reasons. Remember, you've got other Amiga's and as excited as you are to try the original girl out - no better time than now to mess with her insides. While you still have the 2000 set as the main machine. But perhaps you're too eager to play! That's cool. But the whole point of all of this is not to say anybody is right or wrong, but to remind everyone to always remember it's about fun and love. Someone should never be afraid to do things they might end up having so much fun with. I'd never buy an Atari ST, though I'm sure I'd love it... Too many other things to love, not enough time. But if I saw one in the trash? One of my biggest regrets is turning down an old Macintosh I could have had for free, but my friend just tossed it because I couldn't see a use I'd have for it! I'm sure I would have had a load of fun with the machine I could never understand how people would spend so much money for something nowhere near as good as the Amiga... I'll never understand that, but I will have fun.
And others might have fun going full throttle on that cleaning job, throwing it in the tub, even dishwasher. Even you I believe have considered RetroBright from time to time, others speak so well of it. Ya know, I don't think it did any good for anything I threw it on, other than the AWFUL GVP drive... But it didn't make it white, that's for sure... Still, even though I had people giving me weird looks because of all the damage I was going to cause with a 3% solution of peroxide... Well, I had fun while I was doing it. First time I removed everything out of some of these machines (I made enough for all kinds of stuff, even stuff I was sure had not yellowed), adding the different ingredients together, painting the goo on, leaving it outside.... Cleaning it off and putting it back together.... Even though I don't have a good view of the effectiveness of Retrobright - I know others have liked it, so I'd actually recommend people see for themselves. I had a good enough time even though it didn't work for me.
By no means should you dive in with your already cleaned keyboard. But always remember, there's a lot of potential fun to be had trying other ways. You don't have to do them, but they might be fun to look up, ask about, maybe you'll even say to hell with the guides and try your very own method. I can see it now; Intric 8 and his shower head spraying the keyboard while tied up to a ceiling fan method! lol. It's one thing to be happy and love the safe method, especially when it gives you good results. But I just had to bring some passion and love to the thought that maybe it's okay to either push the fear aside or perhaps even fight it. Just never let yourself wonder if you missed out on having fun with this retro hobby of yours simply because you were afraid. I've ruined 3 or 4 1541's, 2 C64s.... I've fixed some, I've bought spare ones.... I cobble them together... I failed and I learned.... And next time? I won't make the same mistake. But even when I saw smoke fly up out of that thing, wow.... Those are the moments this nerd lives for! We're nerds... We're not sky diving and risking our lives, we're no heroes.... Everyday people are not impressed.... But damn if I don't feel sorry for most people, in that so many will never know the love and passion you can have for... Anything.... To love old computers and consoles... Hell, why do I love this beaten down city of Detroit the rest of the country hates despite not knowing? Because everyone else hates it, and because there's such beauty here... Even an abandoned place can be beautiful. But those buildings.... There is simply no city in America that has retained such classic art in terms of their architecture. That's art. LA tore them all down! New York also has, for the most part, as well as Chicago. Some cities are so new they never even had any style.... Time will tell if they ever will.... London has laws protecting their old buildings, because they are something special... Even a workplace or residential building can be a form of art. If anyone cared about the city that single handily supplied the world with the manufacturing it needed during WW2, gave the world countless musical legends and styles, for better and worse gave us mass produced cars.... Created the middle class.... The birthplace for unions that had the power to stop the abuse of workers. If the city that did so much for this country and the rest of the world mattered to anybody else...well... We wouldn't have those skyscrapper gems.... Even the small stuff was built with style. Belle Isle, a paradise.... Marble galore.... Art Deco.... Gothic....
Nobody that I've ever "given the tour" to has ever not gone away loving this city. Perhaps because it's simply true that there's a lot to love.... But maybe the best reason is simply because of how much I love it... The love is infectious. I know what I'm talking about, I show them all kinds of sides.... People that came in hating the city went away wanting to visit me again. All kinds of passions in this world, I hope everyone does the best they can do let themselves be open enough to perhaps catch a passion or two from someone else. Everyday I get closer and closer to diving into this special form of photography that Brian May is into, 3D. You take two pictures at the same time, but slightly apart, when viewed in a viewfinder you get a 3D effect. According to him it's like Freddie is right in front of him.... I sort of remember these little 3D slide toys from as a kid, showed you various landscapes or animals. But Brian's passion for something I never even looked into.... It just might have me loving it too one of these days.
There's only so much time we have.... But if ever you've wanted to be artistic with cameras, maybe give film a shot.... Buy some old records, travel to some old places. Let yourself be three dimensional, love all kinds of things. Remember, while the Amiga is something quite special, so is the art of taking a picture and developing film. Of using oil paints on a canvas. Creating music, letting others music touch you.... Old HAM radios, vintage equipment that stills beats anything new! Some things are better today, but maybe not always, maybe don't throw away that working CRT just because you've got to have the newest thing... Cause they just stopped making them. They were cheap, they were good, and they could do HD, they deserved to exist. Film deserves to exist. Floppy disks, keep those things around, I love them! Never get so caught up in your number one passion that you let yourself ignore possible other passions.... and who knows, if you let yourself try, just like the 1200 that ended up being replaced by a 2000, it's possible you might even love something else more.
If you truly feel afraid of hurting that 1000, you did the right thing. But remember, fun can be had in many ways, you might make it better, you may indeed mess up.... But you'll never be without an Amiga. You can't play them all at the same time.... At some point there may come a project you may be interested in trying out on one of those machines. What's the worst that happens? You've got a display item for a shelve. Or you'll learn. By no means are you wrong, but I feel it my nerdly duty to encourage all others to do their best to have fun in this strange hobby of ours.
Shot's once every 5 months long as hell words of wisdom colum. That nobody will read. And I can't blame them.