Since I use Virtual Box on my laptop to use Aros I don’t need the graphics and sound card any more that I took from my A1SE. So I placed them back in my A1SE and I tried to see if it still works. My experience is that if I don’t use it for some time and I fire it up again I will run in to some problems. This time was no different. After pressing the power button I was presented with the below error message.
Loadsector: error when reading from block 0
Found an HD
FLB: no SLB found in any of the designated boot sources; returning to u-boot.
Press any key to continue
First reaction was to boot from the install disc to install the boot loader again. After booting the disc the Workbench did not show my HD plus partitions. After this I checked the Amiga sites and read that more people came across this issue. I already had removed all the cables and connected them again. My optical drive is connected to the IDE port on the board and the hard drive is connected to the SIL card in my A1SE. I decided to just connect the hard drive to the IDE port on my A1SE and after firing it up I was presented with the Workbench screen. That was at least a step forward. This is currently the status and I am trying to get it back as it was before with the hard drive connected to the SIL card and the optical drive to the IDE port on the A1SE.
It felt really good to have OS4.1 running again. I still need to install update 5 and 6 and as soon as I have everything up and running again I will do exactly this. A lot of good utilities have been released lately. Back to my computer room and get my A1SE back to normal
When scrolling through my Facebook news feed I noticed that
AmigaOS 4.1 Update 6 was released. But at the same time I read this was announced by mistake. After going to the forums it seems it was put back on again. Apparently someone released it by mistake. I am still running with Update 4 so I would have to install Update 5 first before I can install Update 6. Besides that I need to put my A1SE back together first since I took the graphics card and sound card to use in my desktop for Aros. But since I use VirtualBox on my Acer laptop for Aros I can put the components back in the A1SE.
BoingsWorld episode 34 is also out. Always on time like promised and this time with Petro Tyschtschenko as guest. Sadly I did not see Ernie and Locke on the credits for this episode. I really hope they return in the next episode. I can’t wait to listen to episode 34.
Another great bit of news is that apparently MorphOS will run on the Sam460ex board. Suddenly such a board becomes an attractive piece of hardware. The fact that you can run both OS4.x and MorphOS kind of justifies the purchase of the board. No longer would you have to invest in two machines if you want both worlds. Even better, it will also run Aros.
Currently I am also working on an article about X-AMOS. Giving it a bit of a try to see if it is something you can work with. Another article I am working on involves games and their great memories. Plenty of stuff in the pipeline and let’s hope I find the time to get it done.
Some time ago I wanted to use remote desktop so I could take over my Icaros desktop when I would be sitting downstairs with my laptop. The downside of course is that you have two computers on and also I found it to be a bit slow and also the resolution was not that great. With very little time I don’t want to sit upstairs in my office every day instead of sitting downstairs with my wife in the living room. Some of you might know how that is. You work all day and the few free hours you have in the evening are used upstairs (or a different room) which can lead to some issues with the missus. So better would be if you can do the work in the living room so you sit with the missus. My wife is never without her laptop for long so we are both busy but if I can join her in the living room it just works so much better. So remote desktop was not the solution so what now?
I can of course install Aros on my laptop but I need to use Windows so that is not an option for me. Also I don’t want a dual boot system. I suddenly remembered that in the past I ran Aros within Windows so after posting at the Aros-Exec site I was directed to the Windows hosted version. Soon it became clear that I could not run it in full screen so that was not the solution for me. I started to think about a virtual emulator like VMWare that will allow you to run a different operating system within Windows. I used VMWare before in the past. But it is not for free so I Googled for open source alternatives.
I came across VirtualBox from Oracle. (** The site seems to be not accessible for some days already) This just rocks and it turns out this is even discussed in the Icaros manual. The problem you will run in to is the resolution. You can’t set anything resolution in the Prefs settings for the screen mode. But as always there is a solution for this. Over at VMWAros you can find the solution for the screen resolution. I have the same resolution (1366×768) so I could just follow the instructions and now I am running it full screen. The speed is perfect and switching between VirtualBox and Windows a lot has no influence on the speed.
With having Icaros running hosted I thought about my issues with not having a C syntax highlight editor. What if I can have a shared folder available on both Windows and Aros? This way I can use a C syntax highlight editor on Windows and save it to that folder and right away compile it. I use SMBFS on OS4.x to mount these Windows shares to exchange files. Sadly due to the buggy network on my A1SE it is far from being the best solution. SMBFS can also be used on Icaros and again it is described in the Icaros manual. Sadly there is a problem with VirtualBox in combination with Windows 7. Files on Aros will be truncated in the first 49 bytes or so. Sadly this will prevent me from using this as a solution. I have not tested it yet but this would also affect a FTP connection. So using a FTP client on Aros to connect to a FTP server on my Windows 7 installation would also cause issues. I guess this is the first “major” issue I have found with Aros.
Currently I am playing with the syntax highlight settings of Annotate. You can change it to your liking. Sadly there are some issues with Aros when it comes to setting the colours. There is a solution that requires you to run a script that calls a utility that fixes the colours issues. I have done this but I am still experiencing issues. For example if I set something to yellow the next time I reboot it will have the colour red. When I reboot again it will have another colour. It could be, and I guess it is, that I am filling it in wrong in the syntax file since for example comment in my C source file keeps its colour. I hope this can be sorted soon. For now I am over the moon with VirtualBox and Icaros. It runs really great and I can switch between Aros and Windows 7 without everything coming to a halt. If I can have the syntax highlight issue with Annotate fixed nothing can stop me from doing some serious coding.
Not only has Aros made me write and post more articles in a short period (weekend) of time but it also made me spend more time on forums since a long time. The place to go when it comes to Aros and forums is Aros Exec.
It has proven to be very helpful when I was setting up Aros on my desktop machine. Always quck and helpful replies which is what you need when you are in a bit of a pickle.
One part I am really keen on trying is emulation. I want to play the old Amiga games on Aros through emulation and also use a joystick. Since USB is not an issue (A1SE owner, remember? 🙂 ) I should be able to use a USB joystick and have some fun. I use Janus-UAE for emulation but there is also AmiBridge that offers a lot of integration. I have not really checked it out but since I just wanted to play Amiga games without too much bells and whistles I decided to use Janes-UAE and do only a few settings to start playing those games. AmiBridge actually works together with Janus-UAE.
I started with Back to the Future II and I was amazed how good it actually ran considering my outdated 2004 hardware I am using. Next up I will try to source a USB joystick to complete the experience. If it all works I have a great way of reviewing some more Amiga games.
A good place to look for software is The Aros Archives.
I was surprised to see The Vague 2 (The Vague 1 is of course also there) on The Aros Archives. There’s a lot more and on this Sunday afternoon I know what I will be doing.
So far I did not test the sound on my new Amiga OS4.1 Update 4 installation. I wanted to have some music playing while I am programming. After sourcing some quality producing sound speakers and connecting them I had to transfer some mp3 files over to my Amiga. I am using AmiFTP to connect to my FTP server running on my laptop.
With my previous Pre-Release version I usually could not transfer much data over my network without any crashes. I managed to transfer “The Very Best of Cock Robin” without any crashes. To test it even further I transferred other files while having AmigaAMP playing in the background. I just notice with everything that this version is just so much better. It makes my A1SE a much more stable machine. I have to admit that at a later stage I did had a few freezes occurring.
Because I had speakers connected I discovered there is actually a start-up sound for OS4.1. How about that!
I already finished and posted part one of “ReAction – Opening a Window” and currently I am working on part 2. I am not sure yet if I will discuss everything in part 2 or still add a part 3 to the series. I actually reserved some time earlier this week to get part one done. I am also doing a lot of research which takes up a lot of time as well. For some reason I am really enjoying working on this and I am planning on getting a lot of work done.
If you read my previous column you know my 1084 monitors has given up on me. Since I really want to continue using my A1200 I connected it to a television set which will work for me for this moment. I already played some games on it to see which would qualify for my next game review. Having a display I can also continue with my Amos tutorials and work on the disk magazine. Just so that I can keep up with all my plans I will free up as much time as I can for it.
Since I took office upstairs in one of the rooms my A1SE was cut off from any network access. Since the network was the only way to transfer files from, or to, my A1SE I had a bit of a problem. I left it at first since my new office was only going to be temporary before moving to a different location. But since I really like it in my new office and my wife could really use what was going to be my office for her hobby I decided to make the temporary location permanent. Because of this and because I wanted to start working on some new material for my OS4.x programming section I needed a solution. I was thinking about using a repeater with a LAN port that I could use the connect my A1SE to. I wrote about this in my column (When the dust settles – Week 11) to which JetSetSkippy replied. He suggested I should use HomePlugs so I could provide network (and internet) acces through the power line to my A1SE upstairs. I completely forgot about this option. I gave it some thought before when I was still planning to create my new office in my garage but I thought it might now work because of the distance. I could not stop thinking about this solution so I decided yesterday (Saturday 17-3-2012) that I wanted to go for this solution. After checking online for some prices I came to the conclusion that the ICIDU HomePlug Starter Kit was the cheapest.
Next up was to get my wife to go shopping (not much of a challange, eh?) and when we would be near Dixons (the place I wanted to purchase it) I would play my part. I would talk about my A1Se not having any network access and since I would be staying in my new office for good because I gave my new office location to my wife I would really love to have a solution for this. Maybe I could have a look in Dixons to see if I could get some ideas for this? Hook, line and sinker. Of course my wife is not from yesterday and after I purchase the HomePlug Starter Kit we had to stop at a shop and she asked if I would not mind waiting in the car and it could take some time but I had my HomePlug Starter Kit already so I would not really mind. It did take rather long but that was a small price to pay to get what I wanted.
I was really hoping it would work. When I got home I plugged one adapter in the extension cord next to the router and the other one upstairs in the wall socket. I decided to test it with my laptop first and it worked just great. Even with the downstairs adapter plugged in the extenstion cord (I know they can give you some problems) it worked without any problems. Next up was the A1SE and also with this it worked really great. It is really out of the box and plug and play. I am really impressed by it and with a price of around 55 Euro you get really great value for your money. I actually wrote most of this article on my A1SE using OWB. Now I can start working on some more articles for my OS4.x programming section.
It has been a while since I posted a new column. Busy times but yet I managed to use my A1SE a bit. Your’s truly had, and still has, the great pleasure of beta testing AmiSystemRestore from Chris Handley. AmiSystemRestore will allow you to nearly undo any changes to the SYS: partition. Compare it to the Windows restore function. At first I ran in to some problems getting it started (error message) but Chris provided me with an updated version that works. To test it I used AmiUpdate from Simon Archer. AmiSystemRestore detects I am going to update and will do it’s job as you can see from the screenshots below. Of course I will do some more testing and leaving it running in the background for longer periods of time while I run other applications. But so far I am impressed by it.
Chris is also the author of another great utility called RunInUAE. Shame on you if you have not tried it yet. 🙂
RunInUAE is intended to make it incredibly easy to run old Amiga games on Amiga OS4, and it comes with an easy installer, so that you can:
- Run almost any HD installed 68k game (or program) inside E-UAE, by simply double-clicking on it! Including WHDLoad & JOTD JST installed games.
- Run ADF & DMS games by double-clicking them. (Needs a little bit of manual set-up if you don’t have at least OS4.1 Update 1.) Otherwise just drag & drop them onto RunInUAE’s icon in AmiDock or it’s AppIcon.
- Run CD32 & CDTV games from real or virtual CDs. (Compatibility is not great.)
- The installer can set-up E-UAE with full-speed Sam-optimised settings. But it can also use your existing E-UAE settings if you want.
- The installer will copy the necessary Kickstart ROMs off an Amiga Forever CD, if you don’t already have them installed.
- You do not need to set-up any assignments, nor create or edit any cryptic scripts or config files, for it to work! (Unlike alternative solutions.)
This week ACube Systems revealed their AmigaOne 500. It retails for about a 1000 Euro which is somewhat on the expensive side.
The AmigaOne 500 is the complete, ready to run solution for all Amiga users.
Built around the well known Sam460ex, the AmigaOne 500 will let you run AmigaOS 4.1 straight out of the box. No need to look for and install peripherals, no need to hassle with software installation procedure. Just plug your monitor, keyboard and mouse and press the power button to enter into the world of AmigaOS.
Over at OldSchoolGameBlog you care read some more about this. You can say what you want about it (the price tag for example) but the fact remains that there is hardware being released and development going on. As always there is fair comment and the always slashing of any Amiga news on the forums. I guess that (slashing of any Amiga news) is probably the main reason I don’t visit the forums so much any more and just get my news from Amiga blogs and just check the RSS news feeds I subscribe too. It is strange that you got a group of people complaining there is nothing new coming out and once there is new stuff coming out it is rubbish. It does seem that group is getting the overhand in getting as much postings on forums. Again, I am not referring to the fair comments being posted but just the intention of posting nothing but negative stuff on forums. It will not prevent me from enjoying my Amiga experience but it is very annoying to see. Talking about Amiga experience; I am off to play with my A1SE.
Sometimes you remember a game from the past being excellent but once you played it years later it kind of disappoints you. ThunderCats, at least for me, is the opposite. I never played it much when I was young. I usually played it a short while when I watched the cartoon on the television. But all together it was not that much. The weird thing is that with ThunderCats I started to love it more when time passed by. I can play it for a whole afternoon and not get bored one second of it.
(Pictures are taken from Hall Of Light)
I like the title music a lot. That kind of tune that sticks in your mind. Something else that also sticks is the sound when you use the sword. Currently I am playing it on my A1SE with RunInUAE without a joystick but with the keyboard. Soon I will be playing it on my A500/A1200 with a real joystick which is going to make it even more fun.
Fear is the word that came to mind after I decided to put my components back in my A1SE after using them for testing my Pegasos Phreeboard. After putting the graphics card, memory and cmos battery back I flipped the power switch to see there was no display. Putting a positive spin on it I thought that if it fails in my A1SE my Pegasos might not be faulty because it would be one of the components. Or a negative spine in which my A1SE would be faulty. The horror! Being short on time as always I had to leave it for the moment. At the next try I decided to unplug the power from the hard drive and also the optical drive. At the first boot I had a display. Since I also had the cmos battery removed it will be a matter of getting all the settings back in and I should be up and running. I really want it to be up and running again so I can start writing the next article for my Bucket programming section.
Another to do item on my list was to try out Icaros Desktop. I tried installing it on my Compaq Presario but during the installation it stopped with an unknown error related to the hard drive. I also had these issues when I tried installing Haiku. This time I decided to tweak the hard drive settings in the bios and finally I got the correct settings so it installed. But after the installation the grub boot loader failed to load it. After some searching on the Icaros Desktop forums I found out that this is a know issue when you just have one partition. So after settings up to partitions it finally booted Icaros Desktop. My sound card is not supported (not 100% sure but I think not) and also not my LAN network card. But none the less it is a good experience to run it and get a good feel of it. I think that I will set up a desktop machine with the supported components later this year to get a better experience.
The idea was that I would write more articles for my site over the last couple of weeks. But the more I tried to do it the worse it got in not getting anything done at all. This week I only worked 2 days (Tuesday and Wednesday) so with having some days off I managed to get (finally) a new Bucket Weekly out. Actually I should be doing the dishes at this right moment but I have not been “detected” by the missus yet so I will just keep going and get it published. Today I will get my A1SE all back together and running again. Seeing as I did not have it running for some time there must be some new software releases I can try out. I also have a new subject for my site for which I have enough material to get at least a few articles done. But first I get to do the dishes as I got “detected”.
I was hoping to publish this last evening but I was exhausted. After dinner I enjoyed a rather nice sleep on the couch. So Saturday evening it is instead of Friday evening. At least there is internet access this evening. Not a very productive week for me regarding my Amiga work. My plan of actually getting to write some code for Redhouse basic fell to pieces. I think I will schedule some time this coming week to actually get some work done it. What I am looking for is a Remote Desktop server app for OS4 so I can use my Windows 7 laptop to take over my A1SE. I don’t even know if this exists. I do remember reading about something like this before. On my Windows machines I use TightVNC so I can access my desktop machine from my laptop.
I had a bit of a look at some new released Amiga software this week. One that caught my attention was the release of a new version of PortablE (recreation of the AmigaE programming language) aimed at beginners & those new to the E language. I never tried PortablE before but I certainly will give this version a try. Just today a beta version of DigiBooster 3 was released. That will also go on my to try list. Not on the software but hardware front there was the news of the SAM460ex Motherboard with AmigaOS 4.1 OEM included being in stock at Amigakit. What shocked me was the price of the board which was a whopping €915.54. Maybe it is just me but I was always assuming the SAM’s had a “cheap” price tag to it. And with cheap I mean a couple of hundred Euro’s. Maybe this was the case with the older boards? Or maybe I was just completely wrong with thinking about them being “cheap”. I am also curious what the X1000 will retail for once it is available. I don’t recall if the beta testers already got their boards but I am almost sure not yet. I would have signed up for the beta tester program but I simply don’t have the cash for it. That I already have the A1SE that runs OS4 plays a part in it as well.
Well that’s all for now. Time to take the dog out for a walk with the missus and after that catch up with last two episodes of Supernatural. I might have a pint or two as well.