Tuesday, 22 March 2016

AmiKit 8.1 Real on Amiga 4000T - Part 2

Continuing on from Part 1 here, I am installing AmiKit 8.1 Real on my Amiga 4000T. I am pleased to report I have made some great progress overnight and now running AmiKit 8.5 Real!

Where I left this in Part 1, I had just got AmiKit 8.1 Real installed and booting on the Amiga 4000T. Please go back and review Part 1 first if you haven't read it yet as I am just continuing onwards from that post.

I have a Mediator 4000T PCI bridgeboard installed on this Amiga 4000T, which means I need to install the drivers for it and the various PCI cards I have installed - Voodoo3 gfx card, SoundBlaster 128 PCI, Realtek 8029 PCI card, etc.

It was at this point that I realised to my pleasant surprise that Poseidon USB drivers where all installed, and my Deneb USB was working without me having to do anything! USB sticks and USB drives working. Fantastic!

I installed Picasso96 from the AmigaOS 3.9 CD as it is needed for the Voodoo3 card to work. There are instructions on the Mediator CD that explain the steps here so I won't repeat them here.

I then copied the Mediator files onto a USB stick to install onto the Amiga 4000T - as before I did an assign for the CD name to the drawer I created so I didn't need the physical CD to install it:


The installation includes the drivers and Warp 3D as well:

I probably should try to use the Radeon 9250 card in the Amiga 4000T at some stage, but for now I want to get things working on the existing setup.

Important thing I found out though is that the CGX drivers included in the AmiKit 8.1 Real installation cause LOTS of problems with Picasso96 cards - specifically you can't see them!

To fix this problem it is important to turn off the CGX_AGA&Birdie stuff, which is done via an icon in the tools drawer on the Amikit drive called Disable_CGX_AGA&Birdie:

There is a Recover_CGX_Aga&birdie program here also to put it back again.

With the Mediator installation completed, I setup the Voodoo card as per the instructions on the CD. Once rebooted I could see the Voodoo card and resolutions in the ScreenMode prefs - excellent:

Testing 1280x1024 (native resolution for my TFT screen) works great from the Voodoo3 as expected:

I then save the settings and reboot - some work to do on resizing backdrops, etc, but it works - AmiKit 8.1 Real is now running on the Voodoo3 at 1280x1024:

I next set up the network settings via the Genesis wizard in the Internet drawer, selecting the FastEthernet.device driver and fixed the backdrop:

With internet active I then ran the AmiKit Live Update program, which downloads 8.2, 8.3, 8.4 and 8.5 updates from the internet to self-update 8.1 to the latest version of AmiKit.

This takes a long time so now is a great time to have dinner and watch some tv - I did! :-)

Eventually the downloads complete and reboot is needed. The updates then start installing, which also takes quite a while.

I noticed the GL Matrix screensaver is enabled while I was waiting for the updates to finish installing - an oldie but a goodie:

Updates all done, the system reboots and now we have a fully up to date AmiKit 8.5 Real running on the Amiga 4000T!

At this point I could switch to SGrab to stop taking grainy iphone photos of the progress:

A shock to me was the amount of memory AmiKit 8.5 Real uses! I have 90MB of memory on the A4000T but after updating to 8.5 I now only have 28MB of memory left!!!

This is an issue for running my demos, so I need to put more memory into the machine or work out somehow to improve the memory usage. Tempted to take the Cyberstorm with 128MB from my A4000D to fix it permanently. I noticed I can't buy the Zorro ram expansions from anywhere (out of stock) so I have to run with it.

That said - it looks great as it is.

Here is iBrowse running under Amikit 8.5 Real:

Icons look terrific, but certainly use a lot of memory for the more busy drawers:

The Shell also looks a bit different - setup with tab completion, etc.

There is a lot of software to try out on the AmiKit 8.5 Real base installation - I will have some fun trying them out.

Microgolded is installed too - I actually own a purchased copy of the full GoldEd IDE, so I will install that soon - but for now it is nice to see a familiar default editor again:

Picshow is quite impressive too - I like it. Having said that it also chews through the memory - down to 12MB free!

Eagleplayer is also nicely setup, with a nice remote control I can put in the bottom left corner to manage it, with a few tunes already there to enjoy.

Here is the Prefs drawer:

I needed to modify the AHI prefs to use the SB128 rather than Paula for audio out. I also use the Mixer application from the Mediator installation, as I feed the output of the paula rca connections into the line in on the SB128 so I only need one audio out to the speakers to here the audio from both.

GUI Preferences screen:

I needed to change the Locale preferences to Australia of course and date settings needed adjusting accordingly:

At this point it was midnight again so I ran out of time to do any more work, but I am pleased with where I have got to. Still need to set up the CD drive, get my large hard disk working with it, install more applications too! More to come!

Monday, 21 March 2016

AmiKit 8.1 Real on Amiga 4000T - Part 1

This weekend I decided to tackle a project I have wanted to do but put off for some time - installing  AmiKit 8.1 Real on my Amiga 4000T!

I also noticed this is my 200th blog post! :-)

After a lot of thought about the current situation with NG Amigas in 2016, I made the decision this past week to give them a rest and go back and enjoy my Classic Amigas for a while.

To that end I put away all of the NG Amiga systems, and setup my Amiga 4000T as the primary machine, for the first time in many years.

I have covered my Amiga 4000T in some detail in this blog here and how to setup Indivision AGA MK2 optimally, so I won't explain too much more about the machine itself except to cover it's specs:

Amiga 4000T with 68060 Cyberstorm Accelerator
127GB IDE HD connected to Buddha IDE Zorro Card
A4000T PCI bridgeboard
Indivision AGA mkII DVI A4000T compatible (Scandoubled)
Voodoo3 PCI graphics card (RTG)
Deneb USB zorro card
PCI RTL8029 Network card
PCI AC97 compliant sound card with DSP (for MP3 processor independent playback)
High Density Floppy drive (1.76MB)
Two SCSI CDROM drives
1 IDE CDROM drive. (why 3 drives? because I had three bays to fill with no covers :-)

Before I got started on AmiKit 8.1 Real I ran some AGA 060 demos for some relaxation:

Ok, so down to business.

AmiKit 8 is a rather cool optimised for WinUAE, FS-UAE, E-UAE (and Amiga Forever 2016) setup of Workbench 3.1 or AmigaOS 3.9. It is very resource hungry and uses lots of tricks which work great in emulation but not so much on real Amiga systems. It works on Mac, Windows and Linux system.

I even have AmiKit 8 running on the AmigaOne A1222 under Debian Linux 8 from last month:

Amikit 8 can also boot from a USB stick into a Linux base build emulation environment of AmigaOS! Very nice.

But people like me also wanted to run this clever AmiKit system on real Amiga systems.

Hence AmiKit Real project was born - a condensed version of AmiKit 8 that DOES run on any Classic Amiga that has 16MB memory and can run AmigaOS 3.9. It doesn't need a graphics card, and can now even run on ECS machines in 16 colours! Impressive!

The reason I put off doing this AmiKit 8.1 Real build on the A4000T is because I knew it would be a fair amount of work.

I wanted to keep my perfectly setup AmigaOS 3.9 build (circa 2011) on my existing hard disk intact, as it represents many months of work to get it to that point. That setup (for those interested), is 2x2GB partitions, one running AmigaSYS4 on AmigaOS 3.9, and the other the base AmigaOS 3.9 install I had running before. I also have a 122GB Data partition, formatted with SFS.

This A4000T setup was important as I knew I needed to use it to prepare the new hard disk.

Speaking of which, here is the new hard disk for my A4000T - a Micro SD Card!

I bought this very cheap IDE to SD card converter from Ebay to house the SD Card, and a SD to Micro SD converter for the MicroSD card, which is a Toshiba 4GB card.

This setup means I can setup the sd card converter in a free slot on the A4000T so I can easily access the sd card without opening the case.

I plan to keep using the 127GB hard disk as the data partition, so this new hard disk only needs to be large enough for the operating system. 4GB should be plenty.

As you can see the number of SCSI, IDE and floppy cables in the A4000T case makes it hard to make out very much internally!

The 127GB hard disk is connected to the Buddha IDE card, which is the older version with 2 IDE 3.5 inch connectors on it (the newer one has one 3.5 and one 2.5). The CDROM is connected to the other connector, so I temporarily disconnected it so I could start work on prepping the MicroSD for use on the Amiga.

So I power on booting the 127GB hd with the new MicroSD connected also.

My existing build features AFA OS (AROS for AmigaOS), which includes font smoothing, PNG icons, OS4 theme and more! :-)

Anyway, easy to get distracted, sorry!

I fire up HDToolbox and it detected my MicroSD card straight away - excellent!  I was worried about this part and pleasantly surprised it worked immediately.

It's capacity according to AmigaOS 3.9 is 3.6GB - I guess I'll have to go with that.

I install the hard disk RDB:

Next is partitioning - unhelpfully HDToolbox automatically sets it up as 3 partitions!

I set about fixing that - I only want one 3.6GB partition, set as bootable, device name DH0 (my other hard disk is HD0,HD1,HD2 so no conflicts):

After completing the partition setup and accepting the reboot, the hard disk didn't pop up automatically. I needed to go into Mounter to mount it manually:

I could then see it via the Shell info command, but curiously not on the Workbench itself:

I formatted it from the Shell and then it appeared fine. This partition I named AmiKit, as it is needed to be called that for the AmiKit 8.1 Real installation process.

The next step was to copy a working Workbench 3.1 installation to the hard disk partition, which I grabbed from the Workbench310.hdf on my MIST.

I mounted the Workbench310.hdf on FS-UAE on my Mac, and copied the files to a folder on my hard disk (mounted as a hard disk in the emulation). I then copied the files to USB stick and connected to the USB stick to my A4000T via the Deneb.

I then copied the Workbench files to the hard disk partition. Whew!

I could of have installed the Workbench from the install disks, but I figured there had to be a quicker way. Even though my method was fiddly, it was much faster than installing from floppy disk.

Because this is a A4000T with a 68060 in it, I also need to copy the workbench.library (unique to the A4000T), as well as the 68040.library and 68060.library files from the Phase 5 install disk to the hard disk partition or it won't boot from it at all.

I downloaded the AmiKit Real 8.1 install archive, and transferred it to the A4000T via USB stick. I then extracted the zip archive into the new hard disk partition, ready for installation.

I also copied the AmigaOS 3.9 CD files from an iso mounted using DiskImageGUI into a AmigaOS39 drawer, and the Boing Bag 1 and Boing Bag 2 updates into an OSUpdates drawer on the new hard disk.

So, it the new hard disk partition AmiKit looked like this:

AmiKit 8.1 Real requires AmigaOS 3.9 installed before it can be installed. AmigaOS 3.9 needs Workbench 3.1 installed for it to be installed...hence the structure above.

With everything ready, I then turned off the Amiga 4000T and disconnected the 127GB hard disk to ensure it wasn't affected by any of the installation work I was about to do.

Ok, time for the power on and boot into the new hard disk using Workbench 3.1. It works!

Next, I need to create an assign for AmigaOS3.9: to point to the AmigaOS39 drawer where the files are located, so I can proceed with the AmigaOS 3.9 installation without needing the CD.

That done, I get on with the installation of AmigaOS 3.9 on the hard disk, upgrading the Workbench 3.1 installation:

All done, reboot time:

Now the hard disk boots up as AmigaOS 3.9 system:

I changed the colours to 256 colours in the Prefs and then did the AmigaOS3.9: assign again, as it is needed to install the Internet software, CDROM driver and Boing Bags 1 and 2 on AmigaOS 3.9.

I then set to work on doing that:

With that done, I then booted up my AmigaOS 3.9 with Boing Bag 2 installation. It is now ready for the next step of installing AmiKit 8.1 Real:

The AmiKit Install program has two prompts and with an Continue on the first one we are underway!

The extraction of the archives over the existing hard disk takes a LONG time, so make a coffee and do something else for a while. Eventually though it does finish:

On reboot though I didn't get what I was hoping to get - instead I got this:

After some mucking around I found I needed to disable the lines in the s:startup-sequence that run the bootscreen - then it booted normally. The tricky bit was I needed to copy an old ed from my Workbench 3.1 disk so I could actually edit the startup-sequence from the new hard disk (the new ed doesn't work in boot no startup-sequence) .

That done, the AmiKit 8.1 Real booted up and it works!

At the moment it is still using the Indivision AGA output as the drivers for the PCI bridgeboard cards are not installed yet, but I am glad to see it working.

At this stage it was midnight so I had run out of time for this weekend.

I did however set the resolution to 1024x768 on the indivision aga using the included black magic cgx drivers in AmiKit. No, I don't know how that works either!

It does look good though:

The next steps will be to get the pci bridgeboard drivers installed for the Voodoo 3 RTG graphics card support, DSP audio card support, USB support and so on...I will cover this in my next blog entry which is Part 2 here!