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Archive 08/2021

Amigaworld (Twitter)

Deniser: Open Source replacement for Denise chip
On GitHub, Martin 'endofexclusive' Åberg has established a resposity called 'Deniser' for building and programming a Denise chip replacement.

Denise is the Amiga custom chip responsible for most of the graphic related tasks such as bitplane display, palette registers, smooth scrolling, hardware sprites, flexible screen object priority, collision detection and more. In the Amiga, Denise operates in concert with the Agnus and Paula. Schematic, BOM and more information can be found in a separate PDF file. Status of the project:
  • Known to work:
    • Schematic, PCB layout and BOM
    • Use in Amiga A500 with ECS Agnus (PAL)
    • Workbench, Deluxe Paint, demos
    • Extra Half Brite (EHB) mode
    • OCS features
  • Things that probably work:
    • Use in Amiga A1000, A2000 and A3000
    • Use with OCS Agnus
    • Collision detection
    • Hold-and-modify (HAM) mode
    • Genlock
  • Known limitations:
    • Some sprites appear above and below the display window.
    • No NTSC

[News message: 21. Aug. 2021, 09:28] [Comments: 0]
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RTG driver: P96 v3.1.1
In July Individual Computers updated its graphics cards driver P96 to version 3.1.0. Version 3.1.1 now fixes some bugs introduced with this version:
  • the mouse pointer might have been "lost" in certain cases - fixed.
  • RTG card's memory organization improved for higher blitter usage rate, increasing overall speed experience if enough memory is available.
  • P96Mode now ghosts disabled modes and resolutions, which makes them easier to spot.
  • If new settings are created, P96Mode now populates the available modes with VESA default values. It is no longer necessary to create them all manually. As soon as the modes are attached to a board, P96 checks the validity of them.
  • Memory requirements of the planar boards are now checked against the planar memory size, which may be different from the chunky size.
  • For the S3 Virge in 8-bit stream-processor enabled modes, the leftmost pixel column was missing; fixed.

[News message: 20. Aug. 2021, 19:14] [Comments: 0]
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Hyperion Forum

Linux: Running Void Linux on an AmigaOne X5000
In an entry in the Hyperion forum, Christian 'xeno74' Zigotzky explained how he installed the Linux distribution Void Linux on an AmigaOne X5000. (dr)

[News message: 20. Aug. 2021, 18:42] [Comments: 0]
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MorphOS: Web browser Wayfarer 2.4
Jacek 'jacadcaps' Piszczeks has released version 2.4 of his web browser Wayfarer which introduces WebAudio playback support. Changes:
  • Implemented Download As...
  • WebAudio support for sample playback (while Google Translate text to speech works just fine, most online MOD players will be too slow)
  • Implemented a Media flags popup
  • Improved SSL certificate verification to avoid cases where a website wouldn't load due to cert not matching the hostname, but cert viewer window would assume the cert is fine and would not present buttons allowing to ignore/save cert
  • Worked around an issue that prevented further popups from showing up if the main window was resized while a popup was up
  • Reload button state wasn't properly refreshed when switching between tabs
  • Fixed a crash and status bar issues when browsing page history for cached pages
  • Certificate viewer may now be localized

[News message: 17. Aug. 2021, 19:00] [Comments: 0]
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AmigaOS 4: Status update on audio editor 'Rave', part 2
In April the developer Daniel 'trixie' Jedlicka reported in his blog Rear Window about the latest level of development of his audio editor "Rave".

Now he has published part 2 telling among others about improved sample editing functions and clipboard support. (dr)

[News message: 17. Aug. 2021, 09:04] [Comments: 0]
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Developer log: This Week in PiStorm 2021-08-15
In his weekly column 'This week in PiStorm' the developer Andrew Hutchings summarizes the latest progresses on the 'PiStorm' project.

In his latest entry among others he has reported, that Claude Schwarz has started developing an Amiga 1200 version of PiStorm. It is supposed to be based on a Pi Compute Module 4.

Furthermore the support of the Emu68 emulator for PiStorm was continued. It "boots DiagROM and is mostly all the way to booting kickstart." (dr)

[News message: 17. Aug. 2021, 08:28] [Comments: 0]
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Michael Rupp via Mail

AmigaOS 4/MorphOS: SonosController 1.0
At the beginning of August we reported on Michael Rupp's first Amiga programm 'SonosController', written with Hollywood. After finishing the beta status, he has now released version 1.0 for AmigaOS 4 and MorphOS. MUI 5.0 and AmiSSL 4 are required. (dr)

[News message: 17. Aug. 2021, 08:21] [Comments: 0]
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Accelerator board: Returning the Buffees for rework
In the middle of June the developers reported that a second batch of 60 beta Buffees was ordered which now arrived. They "managed to power them up."

However, new problems were found, as the developers further report:

"While we did manage to boot them up and verify that some of the issues we had with the alpha were fixed, we also managed to introduce a couple of more. And a third issue that doesn’t really hurt us too much, but it is a pain:
  • 1. the GreenPAK was mounted wrong; in their infintie wisdom, Dialog chose to reverse the pinout between packages. Same number of pins. Completely different order. One is clockwise. One is counter clockwise. Oh my god. This is on me, I should have checked had I thought to, but I’ve never had a part where the pin outs reversed, so this is a new one for me. Oh well.
  • 2. There are three power rails on the PMIC; AC, USB and BAT. The USB and AC can both take really high voltages, but have a minimum of 4.5V which worried me as these old 68000 machines aren’t getting any younger and neither are their power supplies. Getting a solid 5V is rare, so I chose to use the BAT rail instead which operated nicely down to about 2.7V. Except TI didn’t make this rail “default on” and needs a push button. What the hell? Anyway, easier fix than #1, just need to short PB_IN to PGOOD.
  • 3. Parts are disappearing and one of them was the 16MB Flash. We had to go with an 8MB one or “not at all”. So … this will be interesting.
So, they’re off for some rework and hopefully we get them back by the end of next week. I have to say these shipping delays and parts shortages all on top of dealing with COVID and a new fourth wave is so stressful. But I digress. At least we’re still under-budget.

We’ve made excelent progress on Buffee despite all these set backs and have developed a new method of handing the weird world of the variable length 68000 instruction and it’s dasterdly sidekick, the extended addressing mode. This has been the one last issue with PJIT that I had yet to solve.

The current method was to bake in the complex decode logic into every instruction that uses it – and for an addressing mode that’s not nearly as often used as say register direct or simple load/store operations, it was eating up a huge amount of the code base, since the “inline” nature of PJIT meant copying the same 20-30 ARM instructions for each opcode. Not efficient! And not fast either, the instruction routinely had to dig back into 68K memory and to do that, it would need to compute the 68K program code since we don’t always track it and … well, it was a mess.

So of course the answer was staring me in the face all the time. Our old model shows all these NOP’s filling the operand-gaps between opcodes – so why not simply shuffle them around and have all the literals and extended addressing modes get handled BEFORE we execute the actual instruction. Most 68000 opcodes are a single word and PJIT must either compile these to a single, inline ARM instruction or branch to a subroutine to handle more complex operations. But there are many 68000 opcodes that take considerably more than one word and PJIT can handle these by having special operators for each word within the whole instruction." (dr)

[News message: 17. Aug. 2021, 08:07] [Comments: 0]
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