Friday, 7 August 2015

Amiga OS 3.1 Applications and Customization

After installing Amiga OS 3.1 it was time to start adding some extra functionality and to customize it. None of the problems I encountered while doing this were hard to solve and the answers were out there on the internet, somewhere. This post lists my issues (or challenges :) ) and the ways I solved them. It may save you some time hunting around for information when you are playing with your Amiga OS like I was.

I found that having WinUAE running from my OS install on the CF card, with a read-only HD pointing to a directory on my windows machine was the easiest way to install and configure software. And it made it easy to create screenshots for this post as well.

Remember, you can use the free 7-Zip Windows application to unpack .lha archives so you can access the content straight from your Amiga.

Directory Opus


Having a file manager instead of clicking and dragging files around is a much easier way to work and I remember DirOpus fondly. I was happy to see that it can be downloaded for free (I needed the 4.xx version for OS 3.1) and it can be found here.

After installation I was getting the following error: Program failed (error #8000000B)


Turns out I needed to update the Amiga OS file called SYS:C/SetPatch.
It can be found in this archive on Aminet. Just move it into that folder (rename the old SetPatch first in case something goes wrong) and then you can start DirOpus:


Glorious! The icon looked ugly but that was because I was not using the Magic Workbench palette which can be found here. After setting the colour amount to 8 and adjusting the palette colors it was looking great:


I used to have an awesome configuration for DirOpus but that is of course all gone. Still, adding a few extra buttons was easy. Press the C at the bottom-right of the screen to start ConfigOpus and then click on Buttons.  An editor will appear and extra buttons can be configured. Buttons can be moved and copied. Copying a button is handy if you want to experiment with the default functionality.

Installer


Another important tool to install is Installer. You can find it on Aminet. After unpacking the archive, copy the file called Installer to your SYS:C folder.

Guide


AmigaGuide help files come with a lot of installations so having the reader installed is a good thing.  It turns out it is already installed and it is called MultiView. It is located in SYS:Utilities.
If your .guide file is not starting as expected then the icon does not have the default tool set to MultiView. So, no need to install anything here, you change the icon information.

LHA


As a backup, it might be handy to have lha installed on the Amiga as well. It can, of course, be found on Aminet at this location.  What I did was copy the archive to my RAM drive, and double-click to run it. I got this result:


I have a A4000, with a 68040, so I renamed lha_68040 to lha and copied it to the SYS:C folder.

WHDLoad


WHDLoad is awesome. With it you can run games straight from the hard drive. This also goes for games and software originally not written to run from the hard disk.  The games and applications need to be packaged though. There are friendly people out there who make these installs, as they are called.

Read this page carefully to get the full requirements for WHDLoad: http://www.whdload.de/docs/en/need.html

To get WHDLoad to run you need to make sure of the following things:

1. If you use a CF card for your Amiga: configure the partition where you place your games with a MaxTransfer of 0x1fe00. This is extremely important as you will get all kinds of errors when you forget this setting. You should do this for all your partitions anyway when using a CF card.

2. You need several versions of the Kickstart ROMs:



If you do not have these ROMs then some games will not start. The reason for this is that some games have their own boot environment. I can not show you where to get these files because of ... you know. Aminet is your friend.

4. Install Installer. See earlier. The install script will take care of all file placement.

3. Buy a WHDLoad key! It's only a few euros and you will support the team to make more installs and further develop WHDload. Also, some installs are time limited if you do not have a key (Ghosts 'n Goblins for instance) You will also not have to read the nag screen each time you start a game. :)


That's it for now. I'll post more when I have tinkered some more.  I'll probably have a go with Asm One and do some machine code programming. Or maybe even C. :)


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