I haven’t been reading much lately, but I’m looking forward to getting three new books. Philip Jose Farmer, Up The Bright River is due to be published soon. I bought it when it was announced and looking forward to reading it.

I also ordered two Robert E. Howard books, and am very much looking forward to these, not least because they are pretty hefty books with a lot of content; some of which I haven’t read. But also because Howard is a very powerful writer and his stories are always worth the effort.

I bought an upgrade to Amiga Forever and have been using it quite a lot, particularly after I learned where and how to download the floppy discs from Magazines which had a lot of full programs on them. I bought a lot of the magazines when they first came out and, like PC magazines at the time, enjoyed the full software on the discs.

The Amiga (A600) fell out of use when I switched to PCs and was put away and forgotten. Later on I bought another 600 and a 1200 for £20. I swapped the mighty 20MB – yes twenty megabytes – hard drive from the 600 to the 1200. Recently I got them out again and they still work perfectly. I fired up the 1200 and used it for a few hours. The 20MB hard drive has several programs on it: Real 3D, KindWords 3, Bars & Pipes, Octamed 4 and a few games but the program that takes up most of the hard drive is the Dice C compiler. Back in the eighties I was into programming a little and C was the best of a bad lot. I didn’t like Pascal and Assembly was too obscure. C was comfortable.

I also got out a lot of floppy discs for the Amiga and went through them on the 1200. For being over 15 years old a lot of the discs still worked quite well, which was a surprise. I copied as much as I could from some discs to the hard drive in case I can’t access them in the future. (A lot of the PC floppies I have are unreadable.)

I tried creating a lha archive and copying them to a DOS formatted disc then getting them from a PC to my USB drive then I could load them in Amiga Forever but the DOS floppies were too badly damaged – add to this the fact they had to be low density floppies, which was superseded  by the High Density ones a few years later.

Plan B was initiated and I bought a serial cable to connect a PC to Amiga. Amiga Forever comes with software to connect the two computers and transfer files. The XP machine however doesn’t have a serial slot on it. So I turn to the old Windows 98 machine. Great; this one has a serial port I can slip the cable into.

I set everything up and then turn on the Amiga and PC. The PC doesn’t switch on. It hasn’t been used for a few years but it was working the last time I tried it. Bugger. The PC is only about eight or nine years old and it appears to have broken down. The Amigas from the early nineties are still going strong. Survival of the fittest indeed.