Whilst trying to get the ROM from the Walker I have managed to make the Walker HD non-bootable. It still appears to work OK but the Walker ignores it.
However not all is bad, this led to some interesting discoveries...
Previously it appeared the Walker floppy drive didn't function but this is not the case. When the Walker can't boot from the Hard Disc the next thing it tries is the floppy so in true Amiga style it displays a boot screen and the drive starts clicking. I also discovered that there is a standard Amiga boot menu after all.
Putting a disc into the drive seemed to be the obvious thing to do so I tried the most up to date Amiga floppy I had to hand - a rather old Workbench 1.3 disc (I have an A1000, nothing more modern...), The Walker didn't care, it booted fine!
I tried out a few things including a few demos. The Juggler demo still works fine, unfortunately my copy of the original boing demo is on a bad disc so wont run.
Removing the Hard Disc
Of course in order to discover all this I had to put the HD into a PC. Before doing this however I had to remove the Hard Disc from the Walker - not an easy task!
There are 3 drives in the Walker, a Hard Disc, Floppy and CD-ROM. These are mounted in bits of aluminium which have been pretty much thrown together for the prototype. Unfortunately you have to pretty much disassemble the lot before getting to the Hard Disc. Even this isn't straight forward as when you turn the screws they just turn and don't go anywhere, you have to pull at the metal while unscrewing so it forces the screw to move!
Workbench 3.2 in UAE
I have backed up the files from the Walker to the PC and while I was at it tried them in UAE (Amiga Emulator).
The Workbench seems to boot fine on a 3.1 ROM from Amiga Forever.
The AGA modes do not work properly (screen gets screwed up and mouse pointer vanishes). Unfortunately many of the programs on the Walker use them so I changed the settings to OCS with ECS Agnus whereupon the programs would go into screen modes UAE could understand.
The Scala MM300 demos work and there is no noticeable timing mess ups which are both visible and audible on the Walker.
The performance of UAE pretty much destroys the Walker - even on an 800MHz Athlon! I loaded the same Wordworth demo file as I had tried on the Walker and it is much faster on the PC. I did hear a report that the Walker's performance pretty much sucks and this I can confirm (I may try some benchmarks as well sometime).
Amiga Walker Front Page.