Saturday, 25 April 2015

Amiga 1000 Comspec 2MB AX2000 with Kickstart 2.0 Beta

I finally received my 2MB Comspec AX2000 expansion module for my Amiga 1000 from Canada this week. I was very keen to try it out, and to finally try to run Workbench 2.0 on my Amiga 1000 with it!

The Comspec 2MB expansion module came with a utilities disk and a Workbench 1.1 disk:

The module also has a passthrough expansion connector, allowing me to connect other expansions to the Amiga 1000 without having to remove the memory expansion to do it - I plan to make good use of this feature later on:

I was surprised to see this was Made in Canada:

It was a bit fiddly to install since I run the Gotek floppy cable through the expansion slot also, but I managed to get it installed on the Amiga 1000:

Another look, showing the Gotek on top:

After booting the Kickstart 1.3 and Workbench 1.3 off the Gotek, I get the Workbench screen and the extra memory is now there:

I now have 2.5MB memory - I put in the Comspec AX2000 utilities disk into my external Amiga 1010 floppy drive to run the memory test program on it, which passed no problem:

Excellent stuff! But of course I couldn't stop there. As regular readers know I have already got a 512k expansion module on the Amiga 1000, which I removed to install this new 2MB expansion module.

Since the 2MB module has a pass through connector, I should still be able to use the additional 512k memory module as well!

I quickly connected it up:

Looks a bit odd, but fits well enough - a closer view:

After booting up again, I now get 3MB total memory - awesome! This memory is made up of the 256k original included memory plus the 256k front expansion memory module, 2MB external Fast memory module, and 512k external Fast memory module:

This makes for a very useful Amiga 1000 - with 3MB memory it should be able to run pretty much anything OCS that I can throw at it, including the memory hogging Eric Schwartz animations which I will try soon!

First though, there was an outstanding thing I wanted to try first. I learnt recently about the existence of a Commodore 2.0 Beta kickstart that works on the Amiga 1000!

I really wanted to try this out and luckily for me I was able to get hold of a Kickstart 2.0 beta disk. For this you need to boot Kickstart 1.3 first, then boot this disk.

The disk then soft kicks Kickstart 2.0 beta into 512k continuous memory space and then reboots into Kickstart 2.0 Beta mode! Very cool - and I had wanted to try it out. Unfortunately the old expansion module (512k) was not continuous 512k for some reason and didn't work.

I had high hopes using the 2MB Comspec memory module with the 2.0 beta disk:

The 2.0 Beta kickstart is being read into memory - excellent, didn't get this far last time I tried it with the old expansion module:

Kickstart has been loaded and ready to reboot below - I quickly change the Gotek to a non-bootable disk before the system soft reboots itself:

And voila! Kickstart 2.0 Beta on the Amiga 1000:

So next I rummaged through my drawers to locate my Workbench 2.0 disks, which I found eventually:

Because this is Kickstart 2.0 I can boot the real floppy disks from DF1: so I did so:

Workbench 2.0 loaded successfully and here are some screenshots of it running on the Amiga 1000:

I honestly had no idea you can even do this on the Amiga 1000 until recently - I always thought you were trapped with kickstart 1.3. Even in 2015, I can still learn new things about Classic Amiga systems!

On a close up of the Workbench screen you can see the 512k Chip memory (Graphics memory) and 2MB Fast memory. It is not 2.5MB memory as you might expect because the soft kicked kickstart 2.0 beta is using the first 512k of the Fast memory:

I was very glad to get 3MB memory now on my Amiga 1000, and to be able to try out Workbench 2.0 on Kickstart 2.0 Beta as well!

Now I need to find a hard disk expansion module for it - let me know if you have one in working condition :-)


  1. Thanks for keeping us all posted with this!

    Impressive setup now with 3MB! Wow! Didn't know the 1000 was capable of all this!

    Good to see you are still alive and kicking with the Amiga even without the x1000 around!

    Looking forward to more posts!

  2. As cool as usual !

  3. That's looks like a miracle: a commercial machine still working after more than thirty years. Try do that with a PC.... :)

  4. HI well this brings back memories I had one of these (ComSpec) and built a RAM disk - adn was able to compile and run my apps so fast - somewhere along the way I was also able to picked up a SCSI controller as well - even managed a 40 Meg drive - I thought I was sweet - ah the innocence of youth, I booted mine up for the last time post Chch earthquake and then it had to go - thanks for the blast from the past