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Do computers have past lives?

The good news is that the Amiga 4000 that I’ve been “restoring” has powered up! This followed the removal of a leaking battery and giving the motherboard a good thorough washing.

Opening up the machine to extract the motherboard did mean that I had to disassemble the machine completely. It was doing this that I discovered that there were a couple of Zorro cards in there. Of course when I received the machine there was no software included.

The first card was a VLab 1.3. The VLab is a full length Zorro II, 24bit real-time digitizer. The card is capable of digitizing 30 full frames per second.

The second card was a Harlequin. The harlequin is a video card which has primarily PAL resolutions.

Now I’ve no idea where I’m going to find the software for these or even if I want to. (The donor A4000 has a Picasso II graphics card that I was planning on using). I guess it’s worth a go, after all if I come to sell them it’ll be nice to know they work and even better if I had some software to go with them!

The presence of these cards has made me wonder though. What indeed was the machine used for before I got my hands on it. There was nothing on the hard disk to indicate any kind of particular usage and that’s probably due to what looks like a recent fresh installation. There’s nothing but the OS on the HD.

There was another unusual thing was that the machine arrived with an Amiga 1000 keyboard complete with a cable modified to connect it to the A4000. (The A1000 had an RJ11 connector – not a min-din style that the A4000 has.) The A1000 keyboard feels significantly more robust that the original A4000 keyboard I have which leads me to the suspicion that this is probably a replacement to a broken keyboard. The mouse was original though (which was a shame, because it was pretty worn out!)

So what was this machine being used for before I got my hands on it… well it’s hard to say, but it makes you wonder. Was it being used in the media industry somewhere?

If anyone has any info or software to go with the VLab or Harlequin cards I’d greatly appreciate it if you’d let me know.


On Sep 9, 09:43 PM Oliver Hannaford-day wrote:

Hi, For the Vlab software you should visit the Amiga Hardware Database at http://amiga.resource.cx/exp/search.pl?product=vlab as they have the software for it.. they have information and pictures on the Harlequin but no software :(

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