Archive for the Retro Computing Category

PlipBox and MiamiDX

| September 2nd, 2020
The PlipBox is a budget ethernet adapter for the Amiga that plugs into the parallel port. While far from the fastest, it offers about an 8 to 10 times speed increase over using serial. I found an .ADF image that would take 8 to 10 minutes to download over serial (19200 was the maximum reliable speed I could get), would be transfered in about a minute and a half over the plipbox. The total cost for the hardware was under $20 for the arduino nano, and the network shield.

Constructing the PlipBox

Once you’ve built the hardware, and have the firmware loaded:

From the command line:

copy plipbox.device devs:networks/plipbox.device  echo "NOBURST" > sys:Prefs/Env-Archive/sana2/plipbox.config

My PlipBox would not run with out the NOBURST parameter.

MiamiDx Install

Original SourceLocalDescription TCP Stack User Interface Keys

From the command line:

lha x MiamiDx10cmain.lha ram:
lha x MiamiDx10c-Mui.lha ram:
lha x MiamiDxKeys.lha ram:

Open Ram Disk on the desktop, and the MiamiDx folder inside.

Run Install_MiamiDx.

From the command line:

copy #?.key#? miami:

MiamiDx and PlipBox

  • Launch MiamiDX
  • Select Hardware Tab and click New:
    • In Select Hardware Type pick Ethernet
    • Enter a name for the hardware, e.g. Name: plipbox
    • Keep Type: SANA II
    • Pick plipbox.device: Driver: devs:networks/plipbox.device
    • Confirm with Ok
  • Select Interfaces Tab and click New:
    • Pick Interface Type: Ethernet
    • Pick Interface connection: LAN
    • Select your hardware: plipbox
    • You can either configure your Amiga statically or with DHCP: Select static or dynamic in IP Type, Netmask Type, Gateway Type. Enter your network parameters in static mode. (You will need to move the slider next to gateway to ‘un-gray’ the box to make an entry)
    •  Multicast: disabled.
  • In Databases Tab select Table DNS servers and add your static DNS server IPs (if you don’t use dynamic DNS via DHCP)
  • Do not forget to save your settings with Amiga+S or Menu: Settings -> Save
  • Now you can go online with your new interface plipbox

You can test your interface is talking with the network with miamiping:

cd miami:
miamiping 192.168.x.x

Adventures in Amiga Land

| August 31st, 2020
Yet another sporadic entry in my vintage computing blog. I have an old big-box 2000 that I bought some 20 years ago. I finally decided to take it off of the shelf, watch a bunch of Amiga documentaries to get pumped up, and use probably the most interesting & capable machine I have in my hoard.

As it came as a empty boring beige box, I’ve been slowly adding bits and pieces to make it more useful, as I find affordable upgrade parts. Amiga parts are obscenely expensive, especially for the big box units.

So far, I’ve added a GVP G-Force 25mhz 68030, 3 sticks of 4mb ram, SCSI2SD scsi drive, GBAPII++ RTG video card, 3.14 kickstart roms, workbench 3.14, and Plipbox ethernet.

The plan is to document how I set up the Amiga (for other people and myself in the future):

  • Bare Metal Set Up
  • AExplorer
  • Utilities and Applications
  • GVP Tools
  • Plipbox ethernet using Miami DX 
  • Backing up your working configuration for when shit goes sideways.
  • WHDLoad’ing Games