Anyway, that was sad, but I got my Lemmings fix by getting UAE, the Amiga emulator, running on Linux. It works really well! Though I think it really ought to also simulate the distinctive groooonnnnk sound that Amiga floppies made: it just doesn't seem the same without it. It's like the music in the game has been replaced with the "no-disk-noise remix."
I've found that to get the Amiga to boot, I sometimes have to smack the top of the floppy drive when it's about halfway through reading the Kickstart disk. This isn't terribly surprising, since it's all tricked out; it's got 2M of RAM on a daughter board that sits on a riser between the CPU and its socket, and there are hand-soldered ground wires going all over the place, because at some point in the '80s I read that the grounding on this board was sketchy and that it would crash less if you soldered together pin 7 of all of the RAM chips. Plus at some point I had to replace the floppy drive (I bought a box of 20 drives and found 2 that worked) but it didn't quite fit, so I had to take tin snips to the shielding, and jam in a big screw to replace the missing "eject" button. It's quite the little Frankenstein.
So, since my A1000 is apparently disintegrating before my very eyes, I figure now's a good time to get the bits off those floppies and onto a network-connected machine. It's apparently impossible to actually read Amiga disks in PCs, in much the same way that you can't read old Mac floppies. I was hoping that perhaps this meant that old Macs could read Amiga disks, and I could use this ClassicII to do it, but I haven't found any evidence of that being possible either. (Three different incompatible breeds of floppy drive controllers? Who knew.)
So now I'm digging through my Giant Box of Cables, in hopes of getting a serial link going between the Amiga and Linux, and transferring files with Kermit or something. I'm finding all kinds of interesting (and sometimes unidentifiable) things, besides the usual tangle of power supply cables, speaker wire, and RCA cables, like:
- More SCSI cables than I had any idea I ever had;
Hundreds of feet of coiled TI Explorer Lisp Machine ethernet cables. These are as thick around as an insulated outdoor extension cord. There's a tiny custom jack on one end, and a DB9 on the other end that went into a thick-coax stinger-tap transceiver. (I can't find any pictures of these, but back in the caveman days, we attached our computers to the network by screwing a box directly into the cable: it had a needle on the end that would pierce the insulation to make contact!)
A 60' cable with both DB9 and 1/8" stereo jacks on each end, swaddled under electrical tape. I vaguely remember making this thing: it's a serial cable I used so that I could take my terminal out on the deck and work outside, and plug in my headphones, too;
About 20 wall-wart transformers, some 8" long;
An optical mouse for a Perq 1;
Four spools of DB25 ribbon cable;
Some kind of crazy-ass Cisco connector -- this one is a mystery, because I've never owned or dealt with any Cisco stuff until, like, a year ago;
A roughly 8" ball composed of glued together pennies. I'm guessing around $15 worth. I think this dates back to 9th grade.
But the one thing I can't find is a null-modem adapter. And I'm pretty sure I've even used one within the last five years, so I can't imaging where it's got to.
Update: Found a nullmodem, turns out one of the unlabelled serial cables was rolled.
- Words I never thought I'd say again in my life: "I'm downloading Kermit."
Words I never thought I'd read: "Recent versions of Kermit include FTP and HTTP clients as well as an SSH interface, all of which can be scripted and are aware of character-sets. It supports built-in security methods, including Kerberos IV, Kerberos V, SSL/TLS, and SRP, FTP protocol features such as MLSD."