Amiga A1200 new housings Kickstarter campaign
Aug13

Amiga A1200 new housings Kickstarter campaign

There have been quite a few ‘new housing for vintage computer/console’ Kickstarter campaigns of late but this one caught our attention because it dares to be a little bit different. Let me elaborate… With less than a week to go at the time of writing this particular campaign by Philippe Lang is to produce new Amiga A1200 housings from new molds in a range of colours. Unlike previous campaigns such as for the KS64C and the Atari Jaguar case remake, original molds are not available so they are remaking them. But what makes this particular campaign really special in our opinion is the fact that they are not just recreating an original Amiga A1200 case as it came 22 years ago. They are taking the original case design and adding ports, holes for buttons and break out panels for contemporary upgrades that already exist; like USB ports, compact flash adapters and HXC floppy emulators. They are even making the case Raspberry Pi, A1200 reloaded and MiST FPGA board compatible. On top of all these enhancements they have upgraded the expansion bay ‘trap door’ with ventilation slots and the rear ‘trap door’ with a slot that will be able to house DVI/HMDI and VGA ports. It’s the modern hardware compatibility approach to this project that really makes it stand out from others. This really is as future-proof a retro computer housing as you can get! See more and back the campaign here:...

Read More
Amiga 500 plus battery removal – how to
Jun03

Amiga 500 plus battery removal – how to

Got an Amiga 500 plus? Haven’t removed or replaced the motherboard battery yet? Well if you haven’t here’s the bad news; it’s got a good chance of having leaked on your motherboard. And if it has, and isn’t rectified that battery electrolyte could well eat away at the tracks on the PCB eventually rendering it useless. The good news is that if it hasn’t got too bad in there, you can easily remove the battery and clean up your board. This how-to only applies to Amiga 500 plus models and not the Amiga 500 which can have a battery on a memory expansion board in the trap door (you still might want to replace/remove it mind you!). This short tutorial only covers the removal of the battery, either by breaking away or desoldering. It does not cover the replacement of the original battery with a modern ‘coin battery’ and holder which can be purchased from the Amiga Kit store. I personally have never found a need to have a clock battery on my A500+ motherboard, therefore removal is all I cover here. Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for any damage you do to yourself or your A500+ during this process. You proceed at your own (and your Amiga’s) risk! What you will need: A ‘Torx’ T10 driver Long nose pliers Soldering iron and desoldering braid (if you want to desolder) Step 1: Dissassembly A. B. Turn your Amiga over and remove the six T10 screws in the positions marked on Pic A. Once removed turn your Amiga back over again and lift off the top casing. Put that on one side. Pic B – The warranty seal was still intact on this A500+ which is how I knew the battery would definitely need replacing. A nervous time ahead as we find out what damage has been done! C. D. The keyboard is pretty much loose as soon as the top casing is removed. The keyboard is only connected by a cable that goes through a hole in the shielding and can be removed by gently pulling and wiggling the cable until it comes free (Pic C). Remove the keyboard and put to one side (Pic D). E. To remove the shielding you must first bend 4 tabs up and remove 4 T10 screws marked in purple and green respectively on Pic E. Once done the shielding will lift off but be aware of the 2nd small piece of shielding by the expansion edge connector on the left hand side which will now be loose too. Put the pieces of shielding to one side. Step 2: Battery removal F. You...

Read More
From Bedrooms to Billions: The Amiga Years Kickstarter campaign
Feb27

From Bedrooms to Billions: The Amiga Years Kickstarter campaign

From Bedrooms to Billions: The Amiga Years is another exciting project just announced by Gracious Films following on from their amazing From Bedrooms to Billions documentary on the birth of the UK games industry (full review of From Bedrooms to Billions coming soon!) . As the title may suggest the The Amiga Years concentrates on just the Commodore Amiga and will greatly expand on the coverage of the Amiga in their original film. We’re pretty excited by this announcement and can’t wait to learn more but just to whet your (and our) appetite, here is the official trailer from the Kickstarter campaign page:   Go to the From Bedrooms to Billions: The Amiga Years Kickstarter page or check them out via their Twitter account or Facebook...

Read More
Commodore Amiga: a visual Commpendium Kickstarter campaign doubles target in 6 days
Oct18

Commodore Amiga: a visual Commpendium Kickstarter campaign doubles target in 6 days

Following on from the amazing Commodore 64: a visual Commpendium Kickstarter campaign, Sam Dyer of Bitmap Books is back again with a pictorial ode to Commodore’s seminal Amiga range of computers. If the Commodore 64 book is anything to go by (it is an amazing work of art) then this should be stunning. Stretch goals abound too, with everyone who has backed already getting the first of three that have been announced (a metal Amiga bookmark) when the goal passed the 50k mark, doubling the original target. Stretch goal two at 60k is an Another World poster and at 75k we will be getting an amazing looking Shadow of the Beast CD album by Tim Wright. If you even have a passing interest in the Commodore Amiga this book complete with stretch goals should be enough to get you as excited as we are here at RGC Towers, and if you haven’t backed the campaign already, what are you waiting...

Read More
Cannon Fodder – More than just a game about war?
Apr27

Cannon Fodder – More than just a game about war?

War is a misguided topic in today’s gaming world. It’s understood to be misguided by a majority of gamers too. Call of Duty, Medal of Honour and Battlefield all make for great gaming, visually, if you are inept to that kind of entertainment. But key factors are lost in translation while playing these games. Those factors can be attributed to any way the gamer wishes to interoperate the images on the screen emotionally. Sure, falling from a helicopter at a thousand feet while playing Battlefield 3 online is fecking hilarious, but does any one take into account the realism that’s been sucked out of this? You Re-Spawn. No body count, no weapons loss, no one is hurt. No one really dies. But what if a game was produced, where be it that if you lose men, they were gone forever. Also, while on the mission selection screen, you could actually see all the graves of your fallen online friends in the background? Cool? Meaningful? Disturbed? Well, no game exists in this generation to my knowledge. But an older generation of games, yeah, there is a game like that. Cannon Fodder. I remember getting hold of this game when I was around the age of eleven, 1994. At this age, I presumed the game to be pure fun with a hint of sarcasm. But it was only later on, around the age of 18 when I started to read between the lines of the games message. I don’t think any other game has had an impact as meaningful as this one did. The opening credits, Jon Hare, Julian ‘Jools’ Jameson & Stoo Cambridge dressed up as soldiers in black and white still pictures will always remind all Amiga gamers of fun times past. But it was the word ‘Fun’ that had been misguided by the press and others at the time. ‘War has never been so much fun’, the title song and the games motto. The message of the game was realised by gamers of a more mature age. The press and MP’s at the time however, concluded its frantic, unnecessary gore and violence was a stain on society, the army and the war dead and condemned the game. My view? Well, I’ll try to explain it as best as I can. At the beginning of the game, red poppies can be seen on the title screen. This is in no way an offensive gesture towards the war dead, or the poppy appeal. In fact, it was intended to be a gesture of ‘Anti-War’. Another following title screen appears with the words ‘This game is not in any way endorsed...

Read More
The Commodore Amiga – personal recollections
Apr09

The Commodore Amiga – personal recollections

When discussing the 16bit era, most people jump to the subject of the SNES or Mega Drive. This is an obvious choice of console discussion. Not because they are mainstream, but simply because they synonymous with word ‘games console’. I want to talk about another type of games console, though it’s the description ‘console’ is far from what it was. The Amiga 500. Now, I could go into the whole Atari & Commodore debate from which would spawn at least seventy pages of how Commodore as a company came to be. But, I am just going to focus on the Amiga 500. Now, imagine it’s 1990. You are playing on the current gen console, the Master System. You get a phone call asking you to go to a friend to play on their new Amiga 500. You debate in your head for a second or two if the walk to the next street is worth it. It’s a computer, with keys, no Phantasy Star. What’s the point? But you get thrown out by the parents because sunlight is apparently good for you. So, off you set, to the next street, knock on the door, enter and go to the room where this so called ‘Amiga’ computer is. You sit down and wait for a game called Shadow of The Beast 2 to load while thinking of Double Dragon still. Then, all of a sudden, the music starts and the main character is running across the screen with it’s vast, complex graphics and colours you have only ever seen in arcade machines in magazines. You stare at it… listen to it… then you play it. Suddenly, the SMS you left indoors becomes obsolete and old. Totally blown away by the Amiga, you walk home only to enter your house and say ‘Dad, I want an Amiga 500 with additional RAM and an external disk drive so I can copy games and sell them to my mates in the playground’ You could have asked for a Mega drive, but somehow it seems ‘tired already’ in comparison with what you could be doing on an Amiga. The Amiga 500 was the evil child of the 1985 A1000. The A1000 was a big desktop machine that did not have the capability to load into a ROM. This had be booted form a disk. So, in 1987, Commodore along with the master mind and creator of the Amiga computer, Jay Miner, went about creating an ‘all in one’ Amiga which simply plugged into the back of a TV. The keyboard would be part of the package, simply integrated into the motherboard along with the...

Read More