Icaros Desktop’s first 64-bit AROS download is available

AROS is great, and Icaros Desktop has been probably the most well-known distribution out there.  Their 32bit, single core version is very useful.  Now, they’ve released a very early 64 bit version.

There are heavy warnings that this isn’t anything other than a work-in-progress, proof-of-concept version that won’t replace the existing 32bit version for a while.  it does give us something to play with though.

It does support SMP (more than one core).  It also identified the CPU (under VirtualBox).

Get the download –> here <–


A quick way to get into AROS development

With AROS’s x86 (and also x64 multi-processor version), porting cpu-heavy apps or creating new ones may be more doable than other variants (no knock against 68060/vampire or PowerPC users, but even those are still not nearly as powerful as the Intel/AMD machines that AROS can run on).

But how to start developing?  Well, the distributor for IcarosDesktop (paolone), has put together a virtual machine image of an Ubuntu distro with the AROS development system already set up.

I’ve downloaded it and will try my hand at it soon.  Requires VM Workstation, VMPlayer or even VirtualBox to get started.

New MorphOS 3.12 is out and it looks like iMac G5’s may be supported

Yet another great release of MorphOS is out and other places are mentioning it.  However, it seems that a little-mentioned blurb in the release notes hint that the iMac G5 (20 and 17 inch models, with G5’s) may be supported even though they aren’t listed in the supported hardware section.

The 17″ and 20″ iSight iMac G5 models have the internal model number (in Apple terms) of PowerMac12,1 (for both).

In the Quark changelog section of MorphOS 3.12:

  • Added basic PMac12,1/PPC970FX frequency switching support

and in the G5 Power Management section:

  • Basic sensor support for PMac11,2/PMac12,1 models

I found this on the Morph.zone posting:

None of these features would make sense being mentioned if the public MorphOS 3.12 release didn't run on those machines, I guess ;-)

This goes along with an old image from a few years ago showing an iMac G5 running dual screen mode with MorphOS:

Maybe it’s time I find a 2nd hand iMac G5…


Exploring the Coffin OS with WinUAE – pt 2

In this entry, I’m going to do a dive into the software provided with the standard install of Coffin OS. See my former post on Coffin OS setup with WinUAE –> here <–

There is a dock bar at the bottom, ToolManager, that has many prebuilt shortcuts:

From left to right, here’s what they launch:

  • IBrowse 2.4
  • AmIRC v3
  • AmFTP v1.843
  • Directory Opus v4.17pre20
  • iGame v1.6
  • AmigaShell/VincED
  • EditPad
  • AmigaAMP v3.22
  • RivaPlayer (with 68k and Vampire executables)
  • ScummVM 1.5.0
  • Shapeshifter launcher
  • SysInfo v4.0
  • SnoopDOS v3.8
  • DiskImageGUI
  • ShapeShifter launcher will give the choice of Mac OS 7.5.5 or OS 8.1, but complains on startup that prepareEmul:

    The top menu has some menu items already setup for easy use. The first is a quick Network settings menu. Adding interfaces, changing wireless settings, enabling and disabling the network connection on the fly, etc. You can even auto mount Google Drive and Dropbox as long as you have set up your auth keys. I’m not sure about Samba.

    The Vampire-specific settings are there for those that have a real Vampire board. I just stayed away from it:

    There’s also a general settings menu, which has several things, including the ability turn on/off the executive scheduler, enabling/disabling the layers library v45 and a quick link to the Prefs folder items.

    Also included in this is the IPM (Idiotic Package manager), which is a command line interface to install, clean and update packages, like using NPM (Node Package manager) or apt-get on Debian-based Linux distros. I’m not sure if it is configured correctly on first install. I wasn’t able to get it to list the packages. I did see in the menus a way to add a repo but I wasn’t sure what to use so I left it. I assume this will come in handy if I could get it working.

    Opening up the Programs drive, there are plenty of pre-installed things to play with. Here’s a shot of just some of the subfolders (I love the MagicWB style icons, btw). I didn’t try everything but the samples I opened all seeemed to work:

    Opening the Pictures and Game folders:

    The demo games included were impressive and ran very well under WinUAE on my Ryzen 7 based system.

    Descent Freespace looked incredible:

    But the default resolution of ADescent appeared to be only 320×200 or so:

    But it was silky smooth!

    Anyway, that’s all for this entry. I’ll continue to play with things, maybe check out the Internet tools next time.

    Coffin OS r54 has a LOT installed and ready to use. I can see why the Apollo Vampire users like it so much.

    Exploring Coffin OS (Vampire) with WinUAE – pt 1

    I’ve been interested in the custom Amiga OS bundle/distro for Vampire users called Coffin OS for a while now. There haven’t been many reviews of it for non-vampire users and I thought I’d give it a go using WinUAE. This will be the first of a 2 part review, with initial setup and initial configuration. Part 2 will be more about the bundled software.

    First, you have to get the disk image. It can be found –> here <– It was distributed via Bittorrent and I used Tixati (my preferred bittorrent client) to download the 17GB archive (I’m blessed with 1GB/s synchronous internet speeds at home so this wasn’t a big deal).

    After the download, I extracted the nearly 32GB img file, and used Win32DiskImager to burn it to a 32GB USB drive:

    This took a bit of time.  Once finished, I loaded up WinUAE, via the AmiKit XE package I’d purchased recently, but loaded up the configuration to make some changes to try to get this as close to Vampire 2 specs as it would let me.

    (NOTE: I had to relaunch AmiKit XE with administrator rights to be able to access the USB drive via WinUAE…not sure why).

    First, the Vampire imlements something called 68080.  My first thought was to try a 68060 but I’d read it has instructions removed and I further read that the AmigaOS recognizes the 68080 as a 68040 internally, so I chose that for the CPU and FPU configuration:

    The Vampire has 128MB of RAM and a real Amiga only has 2MB Chip RAM, so I set those accordingly:

    I then went to choose CD & Hard drives, and clicked the “Add Hard Drive” button. It took a moment to scan and then made a list of available drives.  I choose the one with [RDB] (which is an Amiga standard) from the list. This was the USB drive’s partition where the main image was written. I let it use the default UAE (uaehf.device) controller.

    I knew from a previous run (before I was capturing screenshots) that the initial startup would ask for Networking configuration.  In that case, a list of potential cards were listed.  I chose the AmigaNet Hydra card from that list.  Later, when taking these screenshots, I added that card under the Expansions->Network and checked the Enabled box:

    For the SAGA RTG card, I just chose the UAE graphics card and set the video memory to 4MB to be close to a real card. I have no idea how much graphics memory it allows but my goal was to be able to run 1280×720 in 32 bit color and that’s just under 4MB of RAM for a screen.

    Upon startup, (this is the 2nd time through for me), it tried to detect the version of software on the non-existent Vampire card and warned me to update):

    I have *NO* idea what would happen, probably nothing, but I wasn’t going to try, so I said “Skip for now”.

    The initial boot showed a low-color screen, so using the built in menu tools, I accessed Settings->Preference->Screenmode to get something more usable:

    Again, my goal was 1280×720 at 32bits so I choose the one that matched my real card (UAE):

    Tested and saved, then got this screen, but icons and toolbar were in strange places and the toolbard was unmovable:

    A quick F12 and reset and things look better:

    A randomized sound was played on each startup.

    Okay, not much, I know but that was the basic setup.  In the next part, I’ll dive into some of the internals.