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  • EEVBlog #438 – Amiga 500 Retro Computer Teardown

    Posted on March 13th, 2013 EEVblog 15 comments


    Vintage Teardown Tuesday.
    What’s inside the 1987 Commodore Amiga 500 computer.
    Relive Fat Agnus, Paula, Denise, and Gary in the Rock Lobster.

    Forum Topic HERE

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    • MarkR

      Good One Dave,

      Brings back memories of a miss spent youth on BBSs arguing that my XT Clone is better than your Amiga 500 etc etc etc :-)

    • Rafael Souza

      Man, I wasted so much time playing 688 attack sub on my PC-XT powered with a NEC-V20 at 10MHz, 1024kB of RAM and DOS 3.30. The graphics, obviously, were CGA (320×200 4 colors) on a green phosphorous monitor.
      Nice teardown, BTW!

    • User

      If you want the two RAM expansion boards to survive (both 512K btw), you should really remove the battery and clean up all of the gunk that leaked from it. It’s a common problem with old Amigas these days that the original batteries have leaked and their electrolyte slowly destroys the traces on the board.

    • Pingback: EEVBLOG does a video teardown on the Amiga 500! | techtravels.org

    • Goophy629

      Yeah supper floppy drive!!! Unbelievable it works after 20+ years, they “used” to be delicate that a bit of dust can kill them…

    • Bryan

      Guru meditation error.

    • Gertsy

      Hi. Key builders of the original Amiga, chipset and system were: Jay Miner, Bob Burns, Glenn Keller, Dale Luck, RJ Mical (Software Engineer), Dave Needle, Ron Nicolson, Bob Pariseau and Carl Sassenrath.
      Dale Luck wrote the famous bouncing Ball animation.

      And yes I was cringing when you were taking the RAM module out.

    • http://n/a. Brendan Leahy

      Many thanks for this (#438) interesting look into the past.
      Cheers & regards
      Brendan ( from W.A. )

    • Mr-Z

      Nice vid on the A500! at the end you mentioned you do not miss those old days (who does ;) )
      But i have an Amiga 1200 (this is the successor to the A500 in 1992) and over the years i really did some extensive expansion on this machine, it has a dual processor cpu card (68040 25 Mhz and a G2 603e PPC proc. at 240 Mhz) an 8 MB permedia 2 gfx card and 128 MB of RAM (SIMM’s 60ns), it also has 4 pci slots with a voodoo 3 3000 PCI sitting in there and working (drivers are available) anyway my point is hat the A500 Workbench 1.3 interface is clunky indeed, but my OS 3.9 A1200 looks quite modern, check out the screenshots and bare in mind those screenshots are over 10 years old now, this is how my amiga workbench looked 10 years ago…
      Oh and by the way you could not open the drawer beacuse the left mouse button is broken :P

      screendump 1:

      http://www.amigascene.nl/uploads/photos/1107.jpg

      Screendump 2: i can even take over my pc with remote desktop (mstsc)! the transparant menu’s are under the right mouse button, the have the same function as in windows with the extra you can create new menu entries yourself and also put app’s in it.

      http://www.amigascene.nl/uploads/photos/1105.jpg

      Screendump 3:
      Streaming an MPEG movie over my LAN from my ftp server and aminet radio (iconified) wich is an mp3/cd/wave/shoutcast player with mini browser for browsing shoutcast channels!

      http://www.amigascene.nl/uploads/photos/1106.jpg

      If you are wondering what the ram disk is, well it is what it is, a disk in your RAM :)
      Still mis this feature in windows though.

    • huh

      Thankyou Dave, this one brought back so many memories.
      Most of you who missed that era may want to read about the history of the Amiga and its group of developers.
      http://www.amigahistory.co.uk/ahistory.html

      Take also a look to this great video by Dave Haynie, one of the core engineers behind the Amiga hardware.
      Lots of tech stuff and brilliant people showing all their dedication to this platform.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cI1F64RfcnQ

      Aros is an incarnation of the AmigaOS. It can be installed, run on a live CD or hosted.
      http://aros.sourceforge.net/

    • Worf

      Let’s not forget that Commodore bought MOS way back when – hence all the MOS chips.

    • Daniel

      If you had used the video port instead, you would have got some color output from this sucker also.

    • Pingback: Amiga 500 eaten alive! | brianhoskins.co.uk

    • http://jpchelp.2ya.com JPC Help

      I was going to retort that the Amiga 500 had color. 6 Years ago I had one that was working and the case was still white. Never opened the “Trapped Door”. Darn thing caught a surge – floppy drive stopped working. Then donated it to the amateur radio from high school. Had to Commadore Color Monitors, had used them as TVs…
      Had a Commadore128 briefly also.

    • http://aktaucity.com/gostinitsy-aktau/item/621-gostinitsa-koktem pcs

      Then there are printers, faxes, scanners, mobile telephones, PDAs and
      possibly even projectors to consider. It is not air,
      water or food, it is the computer without which our life will come to stand
      still. Program has self-explanatory interface and no technical skills is
      required to operate the program.