Wally Dug's Hard CasesRemovable Hard Drive

In the first of a new regular series, the world's most renowned Amiga expert, Wally Dug, shows you how to improve your Amiga's performance for minimal cost.

Over the next few months, I'll be showing you how to make the most out of your Amiga with the minimum of outlay by making that peripheral which you crave so much. A word of warning though - by creating some of the devices, you might just damage your warranty and invalidate yourself.

 

Ever since computers were invented, man has had the continual problem of lack of storage.

I remember that within two weeks of getting my first 4-bit computer (the predecessors to 8-bit machines) I had used up all my spare punch cards and it was so vital that I saved this particular program that I cut up a kitchen towel roll to use instead. Desperate measures indeed!

The 8-bit machines were no different - many a good music tape was lost in frenzied desperation! However, a good tip for all you 8-bitters is to send away for a free Linguaphone demonstration cassette (you know, "How To Speak French in Thirty Easy Lessons With Absolutely No Outlay Whatsoever (Apart From The 10.00 Per Cassette Per Lesson Per Course Fee)"). Obviously, you don't need to buy the whole course unless you are going to Italy for your summer holidays (in which case it might just be a good idea to choose the Italian course instead of the French one), but these little cassettes are ideal for emergencies when you really do have to save a program and you've run out of blank cassettes.

(On the subject of cassettes, can you still buy those wee C-15 tapes? They are perfect for recording 12" singles.)

With the coming of the Amiga and other computers of it's ilk, things are just as bad. To prove my point, just ask yourself a simple question: How many floppy disks do I have? The simple solution is easy - buy a hard drive. However, hard drives cost a lot of money, especially for the A500 (and for the A600, it is nigh-on impossible to buy an external hard drive), and this money could be better spent on games and buying the only decent computer magazine available (JAM, of course!).

So what do you do?

Again, the answer is very simple - you make your own storage media. WAIT! STOP! Please don't turn the page yet! It really is very easy to make your own removable hard drive as you'll soon find out if you follow this easy step-by-step guide.

 

Required:

Sharp knife
Small screwdriver
Large screwdriver
In-between screwdriver
4 muffins (or pancakes will do)
2 litre bottle of Irn Bru
Old basin

 

Method:

  1. Use the sharp knife to very carefully open the packet of muffins or pancakes. (If you bought your muffins in a bag from a baker rather than in a packet from the supermarket, this procedure is unnecessary. If this is the case, Step 2 becomes Step 1, Step 3 becomes Step2, etc.)
  2. Place the muffins on the basin base (see Figure 1).
  3. Pour enough Irn Bru into the basin to completely cover the muffins. This is most important (see Figure 2).
  4. Drink the remaining Irn Bru.
  5. Leave the muffins overnight to soak up the Irn Bru (see Figure 3).
  6. Use the large screwdriver to remove the casing of your Amiga.
  7. Use the small screwdriver to remove the shielding of your Amiga.
  8. Use the in-between screwdriver to scratch the side of your head (see Figure 4).
  9. Take one of the muffins and place it as near to the floppy drive as possible. Connect it using the existing wires (see Figure 5 and Figure 6).
  10. Replace the casing of your Amiga.
  11. Remove the casing of your Amiga.
  12. Replace the shielding of your Amiga then the casing of your Amiga.
  13. Switch on, boot Workbench and create a MountList entry (see the MountList).
  14. Mount RHD: and enjoy!

 

MountList:

/* This is the MountList for the Removable Hard Drive */

RHD: FileSystem     = L:FastFileSystem
     Device         = trackdisk.device
     Unit           = 0
     Flags          = 0
     Surfaces       = 2
     BlocksPerTrack = 11
     Reserved       = 2
     Interleave     = 0
     LowCyl         = 0
     HighCyl        = 2999
     Buffers        = 5
     BufMemType     = 0
     DosType        = 0x444f5301 ; Change to 0x444f5300 for OFS

/* This has been a Wally Dug Production
   Copyright Wally Dug Multimedia 1992
*/
#

 

Notes:

  • With a muffin, you have a 30Mb OFS capacity disk which formats to a staggering 40Mb under the Fast File System. A pancake only formats to 20Mb and cannot handle FFS.
  • Only one partition is possible with removable media.
  • Only use Barr's Irn Bru as it is the only one that has the correct iron content (ask any Glasgow taxi driver, especially if his bottle is on top of the meter).
  • Never eat a removable hard drive when the disk light is on.

 

That's all for the now. Next month, I'll tell all you budding desktop publishing barons how to save an absolute packet by making your very own A4 flat-bed scanner.

Now, do you want to go back to the Article Index or go to the next article?

Copyright Wally Dug Multimedia 1998