Amiga 4000: CF Card Conversion

I decided to do the conversion to improve speed, noise, and space dramatically. I decided to put the card in the unused Expansion hole in the case. A few well placed Dremel cuts later, it was mounted! Unfortunately since I don’t have a drill press, one hole was slightly off of the other, so it’s sorta crooked. I’ll fix that someday. I used the IDE CF card reader I had mounted on the bracket of an old PCMCIA PCI card adapter

Amiga 4000 Back CF Card


Amiga 4000 CF Card Internal

The biggest problem was getting power over to it as the floppy power cable from the power supply isn’t long enough. Hacking time! Nothing like putting an old PC PSU to good use. I spliced it in with a old fan pass through.

Amatuer Soldering Nite

Power Cable Mod 1

Like it Never Happened

Power Cable Mod 2


Item list so far:

  • A3640 CPU
  • A2320 Video Card
  • A2065 Network Card
  • GVP A2000-HC+8 Series II Rev II SCSI

More fun to come!

Amiga 4000: Introduction

Finally! After all these years of waiting! A friend helped ship an Amiga 4000 from a Craigslist ad in his area. I got it for really cheap as the keyboard and mouse didn’t work, and it’s here!

I hooked her up and booted her up:

Amiga 4000

As expected, the keyboard and mouse didn’t work, and here’s the culprit!

Amiga 4000 Battery

Thanks to this awesome site: Amiga Technical Resource, I was able to figure out that the battery damage is exactly what did it. While the previous owner did replace the original Varta battery with a coin cell thankfully, it doesn’t appear that they neutralized the battery acid afterwards. That picture was taken after a thorough cleaning with white vinegar and rubbing alcohol. I then re-flowed all of the affected connections in the circuit with my soldering iron, and it worked!

Out of time for now, but can’t wait to get her up and running online with a new workbench install and awesome games!

Lubuntu on an R3000

I received an old Compaq R3000 and decided to stick Ubuntu on it. Since it’s older, I put Lubuntu on it (Light Ubuntu) to see how it goes. This laptop will be replacing the general use of an Apple PowerBook G4, slighly upgrading it by 5 or 6 years.

So far so good. To get the wireless Broadcom drivers to work on it, it turned out to be as easy as the command sudo apt-get install firmware-b43-installer and I was online wirelessly!

Sound works, although the hard sound control buttons don’t work right. I will have to look that one up.

Setup was a breeze, this is a winner!

TenFour Browser Wars

A thread on one of the LEM e-mail lists reminded me of TenFourFox. I had completely forgotten about it as I had already stuck Camino on my Ten Four machines (PowerMac G4 Graphite and PowerBook G4). I decided to give it a try on these machines and see what happens. I found a browser benchmark called Peacekeeper from Futuremark to really see which one is better. These aren’t the best comparisons since Camino is based off of Firefox 3 while TenFourFox is based off of Firefox 4, however Camino was updated 2 days ago, so it will be a while to wait until both distributions can be compared to each other with the same Firefox rendering engine.

The machines tested were:

PowerMac G4 Graphite AGP
1GHz Sonnet Encore/ST Upgrade Processor
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro

PowerBook G4 667
667MHz PowerPC G4
ATI Rage M6
45GB Laptop IDE

Both machines have been completely updated with the latest security and software updates. All 3 browsers tested are the latest versions as of this writing. They are both running Apple Mac OS X 10.4.11.

PowerMac G4 Graphite:
(Higher is better)
Safari 4.1.3: 763
TenFourFox 4.0: 597
Camino 2.0.7: 256

Camino paused on an unresponsive Java script, but was able to continue. The difference is significant though; TenFourFox scores much better, although not as well as Safari surprisingly.

PowerBook G4 667:
(Higher is better)
Safari 4.1.3: 409
TenFourFox 4.0: 372
Camino 2.0.7: 165

TenFourFox repeated the same unresponsive Java script error while Camino didn’t this time, but also was able to continue. Interestingly enough, the scores were much lower overall than the Graphite. While the bus speed is 33MHz faster, the slower hard drive and lesser video card seemed to have a pretty big impact in performance. Safari still scored the best out of the three, which was unexpected in both cases. Overall Safari performs better in these benchmarks, but TenFourFox would still be a great choice for other reasons, as needs for specific plug-in’s only available for Firefox, or website compatibilities. Either way, the hard work that individuals have put in to both TenFourFox and Camino is always appreciated!