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Archive 12/2022


Amiga emulator: Amiberry 5.5
Amiberry is an Amiga emulator for ARM-based single-chip systems like the Raspberry Pi, the Odroid XU4 or the Tinkerboard from ASUS, which brings some newly developed features like a "WHDLoad-Booter" or support for controller configuration using RetroArch. For example it is used in the Workbench distribution AmiKit for the Raspberry Pi 4/400.

A few moments ago, version 5.5 has been released. Changes:

  • Reverted CD32 autoloader to normal config
  • added linefeed in logging errors from CDDA init
  • CDDA and AHI wouldn't respect the selected SDL2 audio device
  • CDDA audio would fail to init in some cases
  • CD32 mode wasn't properly applied when using WHDLoad booter
  • fixed passing string to write_log in Panel Paths
  • Enumeration of Recording devices would write into sound device ID
  • NVRAM path wasn't used in CD32/CDTV configs
  • uaegfx blitter was accidentally disabled
  • uaegfx masked and overlapping blit fix
  • gfx_top_windowed/gfx_left_windowed replacement config entries
  • When using Alt-Tab, the keys were not released when returning control
  • When selecting a folder/file the contents were not always updated
  • Fixed magicmouse without virtual mouse driver
  • Changing HDD controller for Hardfile lost the path to the hardfile
  • fixed glitches with File and Folder selectors
  • Controller axes inverted status was not respected when reading their input
  • add support for UAE Zorro II RTG boards
  • increase Savestate thumb size
  • replace sdl2-config with pkgconf
  • use 2MB Chip also, for A600 configs with Fast RAM
  • major refactoring of whdload booter
  • add more descriptive text when remapping controller buttons
  • updated WHDLoad XML and GameControllers DB to latest versions
  • ShowMessage now supports 3 lines. Added timestamp info when updating XML
  • Added more configurable paths in GUI: NVRAM, Screenshots, Savestates
  • added nvram and inputrecordings directories in repo
  • updated WHDLoad XML to latest version
  • cherry-picked various pieces from x86 branch
  • cherry pick updates from x86 branch
Build System
  • added RPI4 Manjaro separate build
  • added inputrecordings and nvram directories in packaging

[News message: 31. Dec. 2022, 14:14] [Comments: 0]
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Blog: How authentic is the Amiga 1000 in "Stranger Things"?
Carl Svensson always reports in his blog in detail and philosophically profound about various Amiga topics. In his latest article he explores the question of how authentic the shown workbench pictures of the Amiga 1000 are, appearing in the series "Stranger Things" are ( reported). (dr)

[News message: 31. Dec. 2022, 07:25] [Comments: 0]
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Video: Status update on BitBeamCannon projects
In a short video BitBeamCannon has informed about the current status of their projects (Metro Siege, DaemonClaw). (dr)

[News message: 31. Dec. 2022, 07:13] [Comments: 0]
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Video: 25 popular demos
For all those who want to spend New Year's Eve comfortably at home, a little video tip: the YouTube channel "Casual Retro Gamer" (CRG) (among other things Building a new Amiga 2000) had asked a few weeks ago via its Twitter account what the users think are the most popular demos. The result is a list of 25 demos, which are shown in a video of about 1,5h length. More than half of them are Amiga demos (for example Enigma, Desert Dream or World of Commodore). (dr)

[News message: 31. Dec. 2022, 06:56] [Comments: 0]
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MorphZone (forum)

MorphOS: Web browser Wayfarer 4.8 (2nd Update)
Jacek 'jacadcaps' Piszczek has released version 4.6 of his Wayfarer web browser for MorphOS, which primarily fixes bugs but also improves image dragging alongside updated libraries (cURL, png, webp, sqlite).

Please note that the current openssl3.library is required.

Download: wayfarer.lha (29 MB)

Update: (09:09, 01.01.23, snx)
Meanwhile version 4.7 is available. This one doesn't require latest openssl3.library anymore, but optionally checks for updates of it. Also localization strings cosmetics are included.

2nd Update: (16:41, 03.01.23, dr)
The developer has released version 4.8, which provides a fix for cUrl if Socks Proxies are used. (snx)

[News message: 31. Dec. 2022, 06:48] [Comments: 0]
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Puni (ANF)

AmigaOS 4: Blog summary of December
For the month of November 'Puni' has again published a news summary in the areas of hard- and software for AmigaOS 4 at the title link. (snx)

[News message: 31. Dec. 2022, 06:38] [Comments: 0]
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Amigatronics (ANF)

Video review: Junior's Great Adventure
At the title link, Amigatronics has published a short review video of the game Junior's Great Adventure, which was released by Amigamers in spring.

The platform game, created with Backbone, is inspired by the silent movie era in terms of its sepia colours, fits on a single floppy disk and requires 1 MB of RAM as well as at least Kickstart 2.1. (snx)

[News message: 31. Dec. 2022, 06:35] [Comments: 0]
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Rediscovered: Unfinished Blitz Basic 2 projects
Jake Birkett is the head of indie game developers Grey Alien Games, which has been releasing downloadable games for PC and Mac since 2004. These have included the popular Regency Solitaire, which combines a Jane Austen-style story with various solitaire levels and special powerups that you get by upgrading your ballroom. Or Ancient Enemy, a turn-based battle card game based on solitaire, or from last year T-Minus 30: a 30-minute city builder where you have to save as many people as possible by building rockets before the planet blows up.
And what is this enthusiasm for computer game development based on? Exactly, before this time, Birkett was a passionate Amiga user and programmer.

So in the early 90s he wrote games on his Amigas 1200, which he still owns today, first in assembler, then in Blitz Basic 2, of which he only published one: as a fan of Solitaire under Windows 3.11 he wrote a corresponding implementation for the Amiga (YouTube video).

Besides that, there are quite a few gaming projects started. Recently, Birkett took the 80Mb 2.5" HDD out of the Amiga 1200 and used a 44-pin IDE-to-SATA adapter to plug it into his PC. As he tells us, at first his PC wouldn't boot when it was plugged in. So he told the BIOS to treat it as a hot-swap drive, then booted Windows and plugged it in, and WinUAE was able to recognise it and create a full image of it. He then used the hard disk image to examine all his old code and recompile it to create videos.

First, he turned his attention to games written in Blitz Basic 2, finding, among other things:
  • "Oids" (an asteroids clone with a twist that you bounce off the edge of the screen): YouTube-Video
  • Platform game: YouTube-Video
  • "Speed Grind" (a fast-paced vertically scrolling arcade game that is almost done. Only the levels still have to be put in the right order): YouTube-Video
Basically, he is thinking about finishing one or the other project now, even though he admits that he actually wants to spend his free time on other things due to the game development during the week.

Finally, he tells us that he used to make a lot of rave/trance music on his Amiga and he programmed demos with images that pulsed with the music. This example (warning, it has flashing lights) has a cheesy, fun track that works well with the fractal images he used. Each image has 32 colours and is split into 8 colours per Amiga sound channel, and when a note is triggered in each channel, the corresponding 8 colours are pulsed, giving quite an interesting effect!

We look forward to seeing (and reporting) what else Jake Birkett digs up! (dr)

[News message: 30. Dec. 2022, 13:30] [Comments: 0]
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Motorola68k emulation: Nightly Build von Emu68 für PiStorm32-lite veröffentlicht
Developer Michal Schulz regularly provides background information and status updates on his Motorola68K emulation Emu68 for the ARM architecture on his Patreon page. After the beta version 0.10 released at the beginning of March ( reported) he has now released a correspondingly adapted version of Emu68 as a nightly build for PiStorm32-lite ( reported) published the day before yesterday and reports about it in his current entry.

Download: (3,6 MB) (dr)

[News message: 30. Dec. 2022, 06:52] [Comments: 0]
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AmigaOS 4: SMB2 handler smb2fs V53.2
The Server Message Block (SMB) is a network protocol for file, print and other server services in computer networks and allows access to files and directories located on another computer (Wikipedia entry). Fredrik Wikstrom's SMB2 handler is based on libsmb2 and allows remote access to files via the SMB2/3 protocols ( reported). Version 53.2, released today, includes the following changes:
  • Added USER and PASSWORD arguments.
  • Disabled CTRL-C signal checking in libc and ISocket->WaitSelect().
  • Merged latest fixes from the libsmb2 github repo:
    • convert system time to little endian in NTLMSSP code.
    • convert destination path directory separators in rename function.
The newlib.library V53.40 or newer (or V53.30, included in AmigaOS 4.1 FE) and the filesysbox.library V54.4 or newer are required. (dr)

[News message: 29. Dec. 2022, 14:23] [Comments: 0]
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At the end of October, the game and demo developers from Encore (2D shooter Fortis, among others) released their demo Morphever. Before they now devote themselves to game development again and want to tackle some projects that have been put on hold, they have updated one of their older demos: KHESHKHASH was originally released in 2002 with demo group Scenic, which required an Amiga with PPC and 3D accelerator. Since it was difficult to find hardware capable of playing this demo with high resolution and acceptable frame rate, it was decided to recreate it for a wider range of current MorphOS hardware (YouTube video). (dr)

[News message: 29. Dec. 2022, 06:51] [Comments: 0]
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68k hardware emulation: PiStorm32-lite with firmware released
Claude Schwarz' PiStorm connects a Raspberry Pi to the CPU socket of an Amiga using an adapter and uses the British single-board computer to emulate a fast m68k processor. The variant for the Amiga 1200 is called "PiStorm32". Yesterday the developer published on GitHub the repository for the PiStorm32-lite variant, which contains all hardware design and manufacturing files including ordering instructions for JLCPCB and the firmware. The lite variant is supposed to take into account the current difficult situation in the procurement of components and in principle be cheaper ( reported).

PiStorm32-lite is compatible with:
  • PI3A
  • PI3B
  • PI4B
  • PiZero2 (is to be tested in detail because of the small space around the HDMI connection)
Soon there will be another custom-made CM4 adapter for the PiStorm32-lite ( reported). The custom-made adapter will provide the best cooling in the limited space, as well as convenient access to all IOs (HDMI, USB, Ethernet) through the A1200 module slot near the joystick/mouse ports without modifications to the Amiga case.

As the developer explains to us, the Pistorm32-lite replaces CPU, gives the CPU Fast-RAM and provides, among other things, a virtual graphics card on the Zorro bus. This allows resolutions with Emu68 of up to 1920 x 1080 (PI3) or 4k (pi4). Emu68 is the associated JIT (just in time) compiler that translates the Amiga's Motorola machine code into ARM machine code in real time. AmigaOS runs completely unchanged on it. Everything else is then real AmigaOS drivers, written in 68k code, which talk to the Raspberry hardware.

Asked about the speed the Amiga can achieve with it, Schwarz said: with Emu68, a 68040 at 1.6GHz using a PI3 or about 3GHz using a Pi4. Or on a 68060 scale: a 68060 at 800MHz with Pi3 or 1.5GHz with a Pi.4.

Michal Schulz is continuously improving the RTG driver ( reported), but basically it already works very well. Currently, for example, it is already possible to play a 720p MPEG video smoothly with Riva.

The firmware, called "gateware", is an early first version written by him and Niklas Eckström. It functions very stably, but still needs to be further developed, in which users can contribute with their experiences and thus also follow the progress.

At the moment, the PiStorm is only available as a self-built version, but it is expected that the first prefabricated copies will soon be available for purchase. (dr)

[News message: 29. Dec. 2022, 06:26] [Comments: 1 - 28. Jan. 2023, 17:55]
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