This is the second part in a series of blog posts. The first part is Amiga floppy recovery project. The next part is Amiga floppy recovery project, part 3: preliminaries. The whole series is available here: Amiga.
Happy New Year!
Nearly four years ago I wrote about my ambition to read the data from my old collection of Amiga floppy disks. I'd wanted to do this for a long time prior to writing that. I knew we still had the Amiga but my family were fairly sure we didn't have the floppies. It was the floppies turning up in 2015 that made the project viable.
I haven't done much for this project in the last four years. I began to catalogue the floppies, and the Amiga itself, the floppies and a 2½ foot pile of old Amiga magazines moved from my parent's loft to mine (as they moved house). During the move, we did briefly power on the Amiga to make sure it still worked. It booted fine, but we couldn't read any disks. I tried about 5 before I felt it was more likely the drive was dead than all the floppies we had tried. If that were the case, then the broken drive might damage any disks we tried in it.
The next step is to replace the internal disk drive in the Amiga, so that I could boot software. After that there are a number of different approaches I could take to move data onto a modern machine, including attempting to connect the Amiga to a network for the first time in its life. I have an external floppy disk drive that I considered swapping into the Amiga, but didn't attempt it.
This Christmas my brother bought me a Gotek floppy disk emulator, modified for use with Amiga computers. This is a lightweight device that can be connected to the Amiga in place of the real floppy disk drive, re-using the existing power and data ribbon cables. It features a USB port, two buttons and a small LCD numeric display. The intention is that you insert a USB drive containing Amiga disk images, and the Gotek presents them to the Amiga as if they were real disks.
Thanks to this device, I can now finally embark upon my disk-reading project!