Updates to the Installation guide

Doing my install I used my own guides to follow along to make sure I had everything.  I bypassed some as my 20 GB drive had been used in another Amithlon test machine so had the DOS bootable OS plus the Amithlon files, I just needed to copy my lastest kernel to the drive.  I started installing Amithlon and noticed a few things I need to add to the guide but I thought I’d post this here while I’m still updating them (though they are live updated if you view the linked documents from my site http://amithlon.snkbitten.com/ ).

Installed and patched I noticed I was still using the built-in screenmodes and realized I had nothing in the installation guide for updating P96 to a more recent version than what comes pre-installed in Amithlon.  So here it is…..


I realized I never covered updating the built-in installation of Picasso96 until doing a new Amithlon install recently and this is a key piece regardless of a hardware accelerated supported video card or not.

It is very specific in what to install so don’t rush through and follow exactly.  I’m using Picasso96 2.1eso download it and extract it to RAM:  Run the Setup from the Picasso96Install folder and make sure to choose “Update an installed version”, then make sure to choose “Expert User” as we want to specifically pick what is being installed.  Choose ONLY the following selections:


24bit picture.datatype


Picasso96 Variable Setter (PVS)

Continue installing until completed then browse to the Picasso96Install/Devs/Monitors/ folder and copy the ‘powerfb’ monitor file to your SYS:Devs/Monitors/ folder overwriting the one currently there.  Reboot AmigaOS and then go to Prefs and launch Picasso96Mode.  From the menus you can select the  “attach settings to” option, and if your graphics card is supported, select your card, mine is “nVidia-1” as I’m using an NVidia FX5500 PCI card which is supported in the kernel.  You’ll have to tweak the settings and that is covered in Part 2 of the Installation Guide.  If your card is not listed it will most likely show “powerfb” as the current board and “VESA-1” as a choice.  I’m not sure if you should try to manipulate the settings if using powerfb or VESA-1.  I have only made changes for nVidia-1 and my monitor’s sync/refresh rates.  

I realized as well that I had never before copied the powerfb monitor file over the original one.

Rebuild has begun

My Amithlon system rebuild is underway, lots of little issues, mostly from me being disorganized with software scattered over many many unlabeled DVDR and CDR disc and starting around 10:30 pm and having to be up at 5:30am for work.    Old 3.5″ SATA drives removed (320 GB boot drive with a Win7 and a DOS partition with a boot menu to choose between the two) and an 80 GB drive that held AmigaOS.  In went two 2.5″ SATA drives (a 20 GB DOS boot drive and a 256 GB SSD drive for AmigaOS) and installation has reached booting Amithlon and 90% patched.  The 20 GB drive actually came out of an Xbox 360 when I upgraded it to a 250 GB drive.

I decided to rebuild because it’s been a while since I set this machine up and I’ve learned a few things about AmigaOS and Amithlon since that time and also after one of the Win7 updates Win7 stopped booting.  It was annoying having the boot menu for Amithlon or Win7 knowing Win7 didn’t boot (or run very well either…), I wanted a fresh clean install of Amithlon and I wanted to use the 256 GB SSD drive I had sitting on my desk.

I’ll continue, noting things I need to add to the installations guides that I had either left out or wasn’t an issue when installing under the Virtualbox environment which I had used to build the structure of the install guides.

Wishful musings…..

Lately I’ve been playing with original Amiga hardware (A4000T).  While it’s fun and brings back a lot of very fond memories…..every time I boot my Amithlon system I am saddened that this product didn’t get the attention and development it deserved.  From my readings, it was intended primarily to get AmigaOS on to the  x86 CPU and that in turn would encourage actually porting the code to x86 vs. running in emulation.

Amithlon is still the fastest AmigaOS “emulation” around and had it continued it’s course it could have made AmigaOS a viable OS in my opinion.  Amithlon (October 2001)  w/AmigaOS 3.9 was released and both Windows XP  (August 2001) and MacOS X (March 2001) had only recently launched.   Amithlon could have been very competitive against those at this time as an alternative.  It’s speed and real multitasking, along with low cost x86 hardware, could have allowed for more advanced features to be developed/added to the OS to remain competitive.  Slow processes on 68k/PPC Amiga’s zip along on Amithlon.   Continued development and moving forward on x86 hardware, instead of the ridiculously expensive and slow PPC hardware direction AmigaOS 4 headed,  and AmigaOS could have been a legitimate player in the OS field.

Imagine more hardware choices for RTG video cards, AHI sound cards, network cards, other hardware devices, etc… being available from the larger pool of inexpensive PCI devices, as well as easily upgrading your “Amiga” as newer and faster CPUs and more advanced chipsets/motherboards were coming to market.  No more direct ties to 1980’s hardware, cheap RTG video and sound cards, heck perhaps even the possibility of using NewTek’s VT for PC (the PC version of the Video Toaster and if NewTek would provide AmigaOS software/drivers).  Of course it would have depended on Amithlon being further developed and moving more and more towards direct x86 coding.  Buy a decent case, drop in an x86 motherboard/cpu with the latest video card and have an extremely fast AmigaOS system.  Newer video cards come out….replace your card and gain the advantages it offers.  Same with CPU’s, drives, sound cards, etc…

AmigaOS had a stepping stone to remaining relevant in the early 2000’s….at least in my opinion.