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Archive 04/2022


Chipmusic tracker: PreTracker 1.5
Abyss, an Amiga demo group founded in 1992, hat released version 1.5 of its chipmusic tracker 'PreTracker'. It emulates the Paula soundchip of the Amiga computers. The tracker for creating music for Amiga demos, intros and games runs under Windows. All samples are precalced on startup according to the instruments. While most Amiga trackers only support 3 octaves (Note C-0 to B-2), PreTracker offers 5 octaves (C-0 to B-4). The group used it for creating the music of some of its games. (dr)

[News message: 30. Apr. 2022, 22:00] [Comments: 0]
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AmigaOS 4: Version 2 of editor 'Lite XL' released
At the end of the last year, George Sokianos, author of the AmigaOS 4.1 application MediaVault, had released the first version v1.16.12.3 of hisport of the editor 'Lite XL' ( reported). Now he has released version 2 and has written on it:

"I was keeping that release back for a long time now, but today I decided to give everyone the opportunity to use the newer version of Lite XL.

This new version is a really exciting one. It has so many new features and fixes against the older v1, that is hard to be listed here. But in general, it is faster in scrolling and file loading, there are multiple cursors that I know some of you were asking for, there is an easy way to have open files side by side, and many other things. And also uses the latest SDL 2.0.20 by Capehill.

What is not there yet is the folder synchronization based on filesystem notification, and the reason for that is that the original development team is changing the way they implement it. They experimented with different libraries and now they brought a new way of doing it. So I wait for them to finalize it in future versions and then I will add my implementation.

New icons were added in this release, kindly created and provided by IconDesigner who has given us so many awesome icons in the past, so to make our Workbench look so nice.

I use this editor with all of my development projects and I am really happy with how it works. I hope you will like it too and be useful for your projects as well."

If you ant to support the author, then the Ko-fi website is the best place. At the end of each month, 50% of the donations are donated back to the community by supporting projects or developers. (dr)

[News message: 30. Apr. 2022, 17:37] [Comments: 0]
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Mod-Player: HippoPlayer 2.52
Kari-Pekka Koljonen, the developer of the Amiga-MOD players HippoPlayer, has released an update to version 2.52. Changes:

New fixes:
  • Simplify file loading so that compatibility with FTPMount is better. FTPMount does not seem to support file seeking properly. FTPMount can be used to access Modland with Hippo, for example.
  • Fix crash with "Keep list on exit" when restarting in file browser mode and the directory has disappeared.
  • Fix the move function losing the moved item if nothing is selected when trying to insert the item back. Now it is inserted to the beginning of the list.
  • Kickstart 1.3: Fix the button and box frame graphics so that they look correct in terms of depth illusion.
  • MP3 files with ID3v2 tag data did not get recognized and played previously. Now they should work.
  • MP3 identification improved so that in addition to filename suffix ".mp3" also the prefix "mp3." is now checked. Additionally any possible ID3v2 tag data is is used to determine if a file is an MP3 file.
  • There was a rather severe regression in v2.49 sampleplayer. Scopes didn't work properly and things could crash. Fixed these.
  • Move "Button tooltips" Prefs button to the "Display" Prefs subpage, which is the correct placement.
  • Sometimes when a module ends and the next one should be played, the next one is skipped and the one following that is played. Fixed!
  • The play button icon had an extra pixel at the bottom. This went unnoticed until now, how is that even possible?!

New features:
  • "Big buttons" option in "Prefs/Display". This doubles the height of the two button rows in the main window. May be helpful with higher resolution screens. The original icons were designed for the 640x256 resolution.
  • Added support for launching HiP via "project icons". These are icons used for data files which specify the default tool which should be used to open the files. This is a very basic use case from the beginning of Workbench, finally supported.
  • Patternscope support added to the THX/AHX format. Also shows transposes.
  • Patternscope now displays note and sample transpose information for the Future Composer and the BP SoundMon formats as well.
  • PreTracker support improvements
  • Improved sample scope support
  • Added support for the following players: Art Of Noise (4 channels), BP SoundMon (v2.0-v2.2), Future Composer (v1.0-v1.4), Game Music Creator, Hippel-COSO, JamCracker, PreTracker, SoundFX, StarTrekker
  • Also added support for the new Eagleplayers.
  • Fixed a problem where samples with short repeat lenghts were displayed incorrectly, this means every chip and synth sample in practice. The playback position was calculated wrong and resulted in an unrealistically static waveform display.
  • Sidenote: It's quite interesting to see how synth formats look with scopes, as they deform and manipulate the waveforms in real time. For example, FC waveforms looks quite simple whereas JamCracker and Hippel-COSO look more complex. BP SoundMon seems to be in between these two.
  • The "Freq. Analyzer" scope was removed. It was some kind of a histogram display of deltas of consecutive sample bytes, usually boring to look at and not that informative.
  • A new scope "Spectrum" was added. The X-axis displays frequencies, low ones on the left, high ones on the right. The Y-axis displays loudness in decibels.
  • Support for running multiple scopes instead of just one. There are now separate toggles for the five different scopes in "Prefs/Display". I tried to preserve much of the previous scope functionality. For example, the scope toggle with key [Z] and LMB on the left side of the infobox. Scope window positions and open status are preserved when Prefs are saved. However, when a module is played with no scope support the scope windows will no longer be automatically closed as was done previously. Having multiple scopes running required extensive changes, so there may be some new bugs lying around. Scopes are also quite CPU and blitter intensive so having many running on A500 will work but will also not be very smooth.
  • New keyboard shortcut [SHIFT+F]: toggle favorite status for the currently selected module. (Plain [F] is find module.)
  • Kickstart 1.3: The hippo head is now displayed! It uses the kick2.0 palette color order so it is ugly on kick1.3, and was never shown. Now the graphics is remapped during startup to make it displayable also on kick1.3. Cool :-D

Tips and tricks:
  • Enabling "Doubleclick" in Prefs makes starting playback easier if you like using the mouse.
  • Activating "Keep list on exit" allows you to conveniently continue here you left off in your module listening adventures when you start Hippo again.
  • Hippo is fully keyboard controllable. A way to browse through a large mod collection is to switch to file browser using [SHIFT-M] and then using arrows, enter and backspace.

[News message: 30. Apr. 2022, 11:24] [Comments: 0]
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Amigans (Webseite)

Demo: THE CURE version 1.4 for AGA Amigas
Some time ago, Simone 'saimo' Bevilacqua released a demo called 'THE CURE' (YouTube video) which placed first at the 'Solskogen' demo party 2020 in the category Oldskool ( reported).

This demo he keeps on developing and meanwhile has released version 1.4:
  • Improved music: improved S/N ratio by eliminating a peak (caused by the "str" of "street" in the spoken part) and re-normalizing the waveform; amplified initial part a little bit; reduced greatly the noise that affected the coda (due to the 8-bit quantization) by amplifying that part of the waveform to the maximum and balancing that with a real-time volume change; increased sampling frequency to 29073 Hz (side effects: channels 2 and 3 can no longer be used, so the output volume is lower; music decoding takes a little longer as there is more data to decode each frame; the CHIP bus time taken by audio DMA is almost halved, which makes the demo less demanding).
  • Added switch-off of filter to ensure music sounds as it is supposed to.
  • Fixed audio-to-video synchronization: fixed drifting caused by the difference between the actual video refresh rate (~49.92 Hz) and the theoretical one 50 Hz (which, by the end of the demo, caused an asynchronism of ~0.5); fixed 60 ms asynchronism caused by the fact that the first three frames required for music setup/buffering were ignored; fixed a few timing marks in the script (an off-by-one mark which caused a peak of operations in the specified frame; a mark that caused the following effect to execute 4 frames too late; a few marks that were off by a frame).
  • Fixed a bad routine pointer (caused by a wrong letter in the label; it is quite incredible that this bug did not produce disastrous results).
  • Added some palette effects.
  • Optimized music decoding by unpacking and undeltaing data at the same time (why it was not like this right from the beginning is a mistery).
  • Made some other small optimizations.
  • Made startup and cleanup code more robust by shielding some critical operations from NMIs and by dealing with audio playback performed with direct hardware access by other programs concurrently.
  • Added version string.
  • Improved/extended README.
Additional to an AGA Amiga the demo requires a 68030 processor with 50 MHz and about 15 MB FAST-RAM. (dr)

[News message: 30. Apr. 2022, 10:03] [Comments: 0]
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THEA500 Mini: Video tutorial for fixing too fast WHDLoad games
In his video the YouTuber 'Crazy Burger' explains how to fix the speed of WHDLoad games which apparently run too fast on the 'THEA500 Mini'. (dr)

[News message: 30. Apr. 2022, 09:32] [Comments: 0]
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Platformer: Developer for Amiga port of 'Flea' wanted
As John Girvin from Nivrig Games (e.g. Turbo Santa or Turbo Tomato) reports, developer Alastair Low (Lowtek Games) said in a conversation on Twitch that he would be open to a port of his platformer 'Flea' to the Amiga. The game was originally funded and released through a Kickstarter campaign for the Nintendo Entertainment System, but ports are now also available or in development for Dreamcast and Windows. The source code was written using Nesmaker. According to John Girvin, this project "looks very doable". (dr)

[News message: 29. Apr. 2022, 17:28] [Comments: 0]
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Passione Amiga (ANF)

Italian print/PDF magazine: Passione Amiga, issue 7
The Italian magazine 'Passione Amiga' is available in digital (3 Euro) or printed (7,50 Euro) form. Its current issue consists of 42 color pages and includes the following topics:
  • Review of the new THEA500 Mini
  • Video games: SkillGrid, Malaga Vice, Scramble500, SpikeDislike, DepthCharge
  • AmiGameJam 2021 Special
  • Copyright, abandonware, free download and use of historical brands
  • Hardware: HC508 MKII for A500
  • Interviews with: Simone Bevilacqua (Retream), Marco Salemi (Blizzard Entertainment) and Grazia Pizzuto
  • And also: Games news, Tech news, Demo scene, New Talents, MailBox

[News message: 29. Apr. 2022, 13:58] [Comments: 0]
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Video: Installation of AmiKit XE on Apollo V4 system
In a short video Willem Drijver has demonstrated how to install the Workbench distribution AmiKit XE on a system equipped with a Apollo-V4. (dr)

[News message: 29. Apr. 2022, 10:16] [Comments: 0]
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Programming language: AmiBlitz 3.9.2 / 'Amiga Blitz Basic Game Jam' announced
At the end of March the new major release 3.9.0 of the programming language AmiBlitz was made available. Today with version 3.9.2 a second bug fix release was added. Changes:
  • fixed some enforcer hits
  • fixed drawing problem with text cursor
  • updated several guide files
  • added a new blitzlib "crc.obj" by Ray Brooks (@rayui) to the distribution

At the same time, indie game developer Dan 'zooperdan' Thoresen (Wheel of Fortune implementation 'YAWoFFA') has announced the Amiga Blitz Basic Game Jam: From June 1 to September 1, 2022, Amiga developers are invited to write and submit games in AmiBlitz or Blitz Basic. The idea behind this contest is to increase the number of programmers and the knowledge around the Amiga and the use of Blitz Basic and AmiBlitz to create games. This means that all games submitted must include source code so that beginners have examples to study and learn from.

So if you always wanted to deal with a new programming language or apply your knowledge, you now have the opportunity to do so. Only games for 68k Amigas with AmigaOS are allowed: MorphOS, AmigaOS 4 and AROS are excluded. Also, submissions requiring Vampire cards, graphics cards or other special hardware will not be accepted. More details at the link above. (dr)

[News message: 28. Apr. 2022, 22:19] [Comments: 0]
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MorphZone (Webseite)

MorphOS: Web browser Wayfarer 3.5 (2nd update)
Jacek 'jacadcaps' Piszczek has released version 3.3 and then as a bugfix version 3.4 of his MorphOS web browser 'Wayfarer'. Changes:
  • HTTP HEAD requests to resources would poison the Curl disk cache with 0-byte files, leading to websites failing to load/work correctly
  • Minor speed improvements in JavaScriptCore and timing code
  • Improved refresh speeds when typing text on websites showing animated contents as you type
  • The HLS player will iterate through all streams of the master playlist now if a selected sub playlist fails to play
  • Re-worked post-seeking playback restart to avoid auto-start of streams that start playback from non-0 position
  • Fixed audio buffer under-run handling
  • Invisible video streams fixed not to enable overlay
  • Improved invalid certificate error handling UI flows
  • Disabled touch events support
  • minor fix for HTTP AUTH regression
Download: wayfarer.lha (26 MB)

Update: (29.04.2022, 06:48, dr)
According to the developer, some mis-compilation has crept in that negatively impacted stability of recent builds in some situations. Hi has fixed that by releasing verion 3.5.

Update 2: (01.05.2022, 07:38, snx)
The author informs there are additional problems that seem to have been introduced with version 3.3 and recommends to revert back to Wayfarer 3.2 (wayfarer3.2.lha, 26 MB) for now. (dr)

[News message: 28. Apr. 2022, 06:08] [Comments: 1 - 01. May. 2022, 07:48]
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Seiya (ANF)

PDF magazine: REV'n'GE 133 (Italian/English)
The PDF magazine REV'n'GE ("Retro Emulator Vision and Game") is available in English and Italian editions. The game reviews of REV'n'GE compare the releases of classic games on different computer systems with each other.

The current edition features the Amiga games 'Dune' (Amiga CDTV), 'Green Beret', 'Gunship 2000', 'Scramble' and 'World Championship Speedway'. (dr)

[News message: 28. Apr. 2022, 05:55] [Comments: 0]
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Gunnar (ANF)

Apollo Team: Deluxe remake of Menace in development
Already in August last year Kevin Saunders, graphic designer, artist and game designer (Boss Machine and RESHOOT PROXIMA 3), announced the HD conversion of the Menace game for Vampire Amigas with an animated end boss on his homepage ( reported). As Gunnar von Boehn reports, the Apollo team has now started working on the Amiga shooter and published a first demo video. The features of the remake:
  • true smooth 50 FPS scrolling
  • High resolution
  • truecolor with alpha blending
  • dual player cooperate fun
  • stereo 16bit music in combination with 16bit game soundFx in CD-quality
The final game is supposed to contain all six original levels and fully animated end bosses. The game requires over 200 MB of FastRAM as well as a 68080 CPU and Super-AGA chipset. The game will be released as a commercial title with box. The source files including all data files of the first level will be published as part of the programming series "Amiga Homeschooling" to demonstrate to interested people how to program games for Amiga and Saga. programmieren kann.

Download of the preview demo: MENACE4.exe (103 MB) (dr)

[News message: 28. Apr. 2022, 05:39] [Comments: 0]
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Graphics card ZZ9000: New, experimental firmware for 'Zorro 3' systems (update)
Lukas F. Hartmann's ZZ9000 is a graphics card with connections beyond that (network, USB, SD cards), which can be pre-ordered in different versions ( reported). Now he provides an experimental, new firmware for 'Zorro 3' systems, which fixes fixes spurious register write misses. All those who encountered graphics and audio glitches should test this 'BOOT.bin' and report.

Download: (1 MB)

Update: (30.04.2022, 22:11, dr)

Meanwhile a new test version of Zorro 3 firmware for ZZ9000/ZZ9000AX is available with improved resampling and DSP lowpass filter. Download link updated. (dr)

[News message: 28. Apr. 2022, 05:15] [Comments: 2 - 03. May. 2022, 10:03]
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