In 1994, amidst the bankruptcy of Commodore, a groundbreaking technology emerged: the Iomega Zip drive. This innovation revolutionized storage by allowing users to store a whopping 100 Megabytes of data on a single disc, eliminating the need for juggling multiple floppy disks to transfer files between computers. With its high capacity and fast transfer speeds, the Zip drive quickly became the preferred solution for both professionals and home users, offering a convenient way to handle larger files.
For Amiga enthusiasts, the Zip drive presented an exciting prospect. Available in three versions – parallel port, SCSI, and eventually USB – it promised compatibility with nearly three decades worth of hardware. However, while the SCSI versions offered straightforward connectivity on big Amigas, the parallel port posed a challenge for owners of Amiga 500, 600, or 1200 models due to slight differences in the port’s specifications.
Enter Bruce Abbott, a visionary who in 1998 introduced the PPA Zip solution. This hardware and software package bridged the compatibility gap, enabling Amiga users to utilize a parallel port Zip drive by leveraging additional signals from the joystick port. Inspired by Abbott’s work, I embarked on my own project to build a similar solution.
My version of the solution involved designing a buffered circuit board that neatly integrated behind an Amiga 500 without obstructing other ports. After completing the construction and testing phase, I successfully connected the Amiga to the parallel Zip drive, demonstrating its functionality with ease.
Installing the PPA Zip solution on Amiga OS 3.2 proved relatively straightforward, involving the placement of relevant files in designated folders. With everything set up, I proceeded to test its capabilities by transferring files, starting with a simple text file and eventually copying a game from my Amiga archive on my PC.
The entire process went smoothly, showcasing the effectiveness of the PPA Zip solution and opening up new possibilities for Amiga enthusiasts.