Experiences with the AmigaOSXL Big-Tower 1800+
05.10.2003 - Software: The Full Truth about Software Problems with AmigaOSXL. (Links fixed)
30.07.2003 - The Table of Tested Programs has been updated. (New: AmigaFoulEggs)
26.11.2002 - Harddisk: An Overview about the Partitions. (New: Windows98)
06.09.2002 - GoodyBox for AmigaOSXL - Version 1.0 (New: Script for AC97Mixer, new Icons)
30.08.2002 - Amithlon: Programs, Commands and Patches. (New: 2 Commands and 3 Patches from amithlon_contrib3)
29.08.2002 - Installation: Experiences with Amithlon. (New: Setconfig vesa_defaults; Parallel Port retouched)
28.08.2002 - AmigaXL: Settings, Commands and Programs. (New: AHI; Audio and Parallel Port retouched)
14.06.2002 - QNX: Helpful Settings. (New: Screenmode, Floppy Disks)
06.06.2002 - Introduction: What is the Purpose of this Report? (New: Installation Hints)
19.04.2002 - The BoingBag2-List now contains some files from the "Contribution" archive.
28.03.2002 - System: AmigaOSXL-Update1, AmigaOS3.9-BoingBag2
19.02.2002 - Delivery: My H&P Big-Tower 1800+ has arrived!
Since the end of 2001 Haage&Partner offers an emulator package called AmigaOSXL,
which enables one to use 68k Amiga software on regular x86 hardware. In February 2002,
I acquired one of the systems being offered in Germany by H&P, the "Big-Tower 1800+".
This report shall compile the experiences I collect, while I "transit" from my
Amiga 4000 to the Athlon Tower.
The Amiga 4000 also serves me as a reference object to encircle problems. Therefore,
my experiences could also be helpful for other Amiga users and ex-users.
I cannot guarantee for the correctness of the information in this report.
Therefore, any use of information from this report is on your own risk!!!
For general information about AmigaOSXL, I recommend the official support pages at
Haage&Partner containing information
about distribution and installation. Since the AmigaOSXL package is already pre-installed
on the systems offered by H&P, and there are numerous possibilities to install it on
other computers, I will not describe the actual software installation of the AmigaOSXL package.
QNX has its own installation program and AmigaXL gets installed with the QNX Package Installer.
For Amithlon, the developer Bernd Meyer has meanwhile provided an easily understandable
installation description on his Amithlon support site,
which covers different possibilities. One can also find answers to many questions there.
Furthermore, Ville "Jope" Jouppi has written an
Amithlon HD-installer with instructions
and offers it for download.
To answer further questions, two discussion groups for
Amithlon have been set up. By the way,
there is a searchable index of all the discussion group messages at the respective website.
So one can easily find out if there is already information available on a certain keyword.
State: 06.06.2002 - Back to Contents.
I have already compiled the technical data of the H&P Big-Tower 1800+
on the equipment page. Besides that, the package contains lots
of accessories, which I describe in detail in the following list.
- With the Input Devices, Logitech delivers a
CD booklet sized "Logitech iTouch Keyboard Setup" description and a CD-ROM
"Logitech iTouch 1.81" (besides the EC declaration necessary in Europe ;-)
and 6 batteries for keyboard and mouse.
- To the Motherboard belongs a manual "K7S5A Mainboard
User's Guide" version 1.0 with a short "Clear CMOS Addendum"
for page 13 and a CD-ROM "Mainboard" version 1.0S.
- To the Graphics Board also belongs a matching manual
"Chaintech GeForce2 MX400/200 Series User's Guide", the CD-ROM
"Chaintech VGA Utility" version 1.3 and a S-VHS cable.
- To the Sound Board a CD-ROM "Creative Sound Blaster
AudioPCI 128" is delivered.
- To the Network Card obviously belongs a BNC T-connector.
- The CD-RW Drive comes with a folded poster, called
"LiteOn E-IDE CD-RW Quick Installation Guide" and an internal audio cable.
- The DVD-ROM Drive comes without accessories, the internal audio cable
is already mounted. It connects the DVD-ROM drive with the sound board.
- Finally, to the tower housing belongs a standing foot.
Furthermore, there are two front panels (3.5" and 5.25") contained in the package.
The AmigaOSXL package consists of the following parts:
- the CD-R "QNX RTP v6.1" (394.4 MB)
- the CD-ROM "AmigaOS XL" (232.6 MB)
- the English licence agreements for AmigaOS by
Amiga, Inc. and for AmigaOSXL by
- a 4-page "AmigaOSXL introduction" in DIN-A5 size (German/English)
- a German, 4-page DIN-A5 size "Installation guide for the AmigaOSXL harddisk" together with
a floppy disk "GNU GRUB 0.91 Installation"
- two registration cards (German/English)
- a German manual for ArtEffect and
- a German manual for AmigaWriter.
Note: The German software manuals for ArtEffect and AmigaWriter are only delivered as goodies
and as-long-as-available. According to Gudrun Haage the AmigaWriter manuals are already out!
State: 21.02.2002 - Back to Contents.
To begin with, I started with connecting mouse and keyboard and linking up
the tower with a monitor. Behold: when switched on, the Big-Tower shows
a boot menu with options for Amithlon, Amithlon (small) and QNX.
In the very beginning, I tested a bit with both emulators, but then I went on with
concentrating on Amithlon with the boot option "small", which is the default
option, by the way. Here, my first practical experiences with the
Both emulators - Amithlon and AmigaXL - use the same System partition.
When booting with Amithlon, after a few seconds with the Boing logo the
usual Workbench 3.9 appears with preset 32 bit color depth.
This was chosen, because Amithlon else only supports 16-bit-modes and
AmigaXL only 15-bit-modes, besides the 8-bit-modes of course.
The Workbench in 32 bit is impressingly fast, so for the moment, there is
no reason to choose a lower color depth. More about the screen modes will
follow later on.
By the way, the emulation under Amithlon shows "Kickstart Version 40.63",
just in case someone is wondering.
- Input Devices
Currently Amithlon only supports the PS/2 sockets, therefore one has to
connect the included adaptor to the USB plug of the receiver and use the
PS/2 sockets for mouse and keyboard.
By the way, the plugs and sockets are, as usual on modern computers,
color-coded, to avoid confusion.
The first problem when experimenting with the tower was the mouse:
in the beginning, it did not work at all. As the reason for this,
a peculiarity of the cordless hardware turned out. After inserting the
batteries into the mouse one has to press both "Connect" buttons, on the receiver
and on the bottom side of the mouse, simultaneously, to establish the connection.
For this, the computer has to be switched on, of course, to supply power
to the receiver.
The mouse is fully supported by Amithlon, the wheel in the middle can be
pressed as middle mouse button and turned as wheel. The key press gets
interpreted as <Shift> key, the wheel turn translated as
<Cursor-up> or <Cursor-down>, respectively. So one can, for
example, scroll conveniently and quickly in a text, without changing to
the keyboard, which is very intuitive - (s)he who has experienced it once,
does not want to miss it anymore.
With further tests with the keyboard, it appeared that
Amithlon did not like the <CapsLock> key. As soon as the key was
pressed, the whole keyboard "froze", which means, the computer did not
react on any keyboard input. According to information from Bernd Meyer, the
main developer of Amithlon, this problem only arises on certain keyboard
controllers and keyboards, so that he was not yet able to reproduce this
and therefore, could not solve it.
Note: Meanwhile, there is a solution in form of the patch file
S:amithlon_patches/patch3_mouse.o, see at
Patches for Amithlon for a description.
Note2: Obviously this problem mainly concerns the ECS K7S5A mainboard
with all(?) keyboards.
I have connected the monitor to the VGA output of the graphics board. In the file
S:Startup-Sequence I have adapted the video parameters
for Amithlon for my monitor:
; Video parameters
Setconfig vesa_defaults 0
Setconfig hsyncmin 30
Setconfig hsyncmax 97
Setconfig vsyncmin 50
Setconfig vsyncmax 160
Setconfig clockmax 200
vesa_defaults is a switch. Used by default are video parameters by the
VESA standard. Using these, there should be a usable image on all monitors,
but VESA is limited to 60Hz modes. With
Setconfig vesa_defaults 0
these default settings are disabled and the following parameters are used:
hsyncmin/hsyncmax describe the limits of the allowed horizontal frequency
range of the monitor in kHz, vsyncmin/vsyncmax stand for the vertical
frequencies in Hz, and clockmax is the maximum pixel frequency in MHz.
The maximum horizontal frequency of the monitor is at 98 kHz. Since there
were some synchronization problems from time to time, I changed the value to 97.
The sound board, as well as the mother board, has three color-coded
stereo connectors. The output is marked green, the input blue and the
microphone connector is marked red. The plug has to be a 3.5 mm stereo plug as known,
for example, from the Walkman. After connecting the green connector from the
sound board (!) to a stereo receiver (auxiliary connectors)
a test with "Amplifier" from Workbench shows that the sound output works.
With the balance control, one can check if the right and left connector are
confused at the receiver.
- Serial Port
I have connected my modem to the first serial port.
After entering the device "powercom.device" and the unit "0", I can surf on the
Internet using Genesis as well as Miami. The second serial port is addressed
as unit "1".
- Parallel Port
To print via the parallel port one needs a special PC printer cable, since
the Amiga printer cable cannot be used.
Although the parallel port looks equal, the pin assignment of the Amiga port
is different and therefore the cable is wired differently as well.
When the printer is connected, one has only to activate the option "Use custom
device" in the "Printer Type" section of the Printer preferences and
choose the Port Device "DEVS:powerpar.device" and the Port Unit "0".
- Floppy Disk Drive
Currently, I can upload data that is not available on CD only via PC floppy
disks. One can find the mount file for this as
SYS:Storage/DosDrivers/Amithlon/PC0. To use the
floppy disk drive occasionally, it is sufficient to start the icon with a double-click.
When one is frequently dependent on it, one can move it to the drawer
SYS:Devs/DosDrivers/Amithlon/. It is important
that the file is only put into the subdirectory for Amithlon. Namely, it shall
only used by the Startup-Sequence when the Amiga has been started by the
Amithlon emulator. One small drawback in the permanent solution is, that
with every boot-up a "ghosted" icon "PC0:Unreadable" appears on the Workbench.
Since there did not establish a uniform standard for the recognition of
disk changes in PC floppy disk drives, this function was unfortunately not
integrated into Amithlon. To tell the Amiga, that a disk change has occured,
one has to execute the shell command Diskchange PC0:.
For a second floppy disk drive, all instructions would equally be valid for
- CD-RW Drive and DVD Drive
The CD-RW drive is mounted by default. To read CDs with the DVD-ROM drive, one
uses the mount file SYS:Storage/DosDrivers/Amithlon/CD1 as
described for the mount file for the floppy disk drive.
To use the network card, one has to choose the option "SANA-II Ethernet" in the
TCP/IP stack and select the SANA-II driver "DEVS:Networks/powerne2k.device"
as well as the unit "0". A test with Miami showed impressing transfer rates.
Unfortunately, Genesis could not be used in the test network, but this was
probably due to the network used.
State: 29.08.2002 - Back to Contents.
The harddisk (hd0) contains four partitions, from which the last is used as a virtual
Amiga harddisk. H&P created the partitions on request.
- Partition hd0,0 (Size: 9.3 GB, Type: fat16, Type ID: 12 decimal = 0c hex)
On this partition I have installed Windows98 in November 2002, to access my
digital photo camera.
With Amithlon, this partition is mounted as DosC:
after a reboot; in QNX, one finds it as directory /fs/hd0-dos.
- Partition hd0,1 (Size: 94 MB, Type: fat16, Type ID: 12 decimal = 0c hex)
This is the boot partition. It contains the boot menu GRUB in the directory
boot/grub. Further, it contains the direcory
amithlon with the files that are needed to start the emulator.
Here, I have meanwhile installed the new Linux kernel for Amithlon from the
which, among others, fixes the sound interrupts on harddisk accesses.
With Amithlon, this partition is mounted as DosD:
after a reboot; in QNX, one finds it as directory /fs/hd0-dos-2.
- Partition hd0,2 (Size: 1.9 GB, Type: qnx4, Type ID: 79 decimal = 4f hex)
This partition contains the operating system QNX and the emulator AmigaXL.
With AmigaXL, this partition is addressed as "Root:"; in QNX, one finds it as
the root directory / of the directory tree.
Tip: The QNX partition is invisible from Amithlon, but from AmigaXL it appears, if
one enters the command Info in a shell. One can enter
the command df in a QNX terminal, respectively, which also
shows the partition types; but then, the last partition is shown as "100% full", because
QNX is not able to recognise the RigidDiskBlock of real or virtual Amiga harddisks, and
therefore, to use Amiga partitions. To exchange data with QNX, one has to copy them to
the QNX partition with AmigaXL.
- Partition hd0,3 (Size: 25.9 GB, Type: VirtDsk, Type ID: 118 decimal = 76 hex)
This partition can be used from AmigaOS just like a usual Amiga harddisk.
It contains four virtual partitions, that are setup as VDH0:
to VDH3: using HDToolBox.
Amithlon uses the device driver amithlon.device for both,
real and virtual harddisks. AmigaXL uses axlvhdd.device in this case,
but axlhdd.device for real harddisks.
According to the manufacturer, this disk is a "40 GB harddisk". Actually, it contains
40,000,000,000 bytes, which equals about 37.25 GB.
HDToolBox shows 37.2 GB for the whole disk and 25.9 GB for VirtDsk1.
State: 26.11.2002 - Back to Contents.
The System Partition VDH0: can be used by Amithlon and AmigaXL.
It contains a Startup-Sequence, that recognizes by itself, with which emulator the system was
booted. The System Partion contains a pre-installed AmigaOS3.9 with BoingBag1.
On February 5, 2002 this first official update for AmigaOSXL was released. It contains
some bugfixes for both emulators and also patches especially for Amithlon.
Details are in the file Readme.
HDToolBox and listbrowser.gadget are already replaced again by BoingBag2!
So, first install Update1 and then BoingBag2!
On March 20, 2002, Haage&Partner released the second "BoingBag" for AmigaOS3.9.
According to H&P, it can be installed directly on AmigaOSXL, since, as a rule,
BoingBag1 is already installed. Please refer to the documentation, especially the
help texts of the installation, and do not forget to make a backup!
With AmigaOSXL one has to consider the two emulators separately:
AmigaXL does not work with the "Amiga ROM Update", therefore
one must not activate the "Amiga ROM Update" during installation.
Then, it will be copied to the System Partition, but remain inactive with the suffix
Amithlon can use the "Amiga ROM Update", but since my System Partition
is also used by AmigaXL, I deactivated it.
Note: The reset-proof RAM disk "Amithlon_hd" only contains AmigaOS3.9
without BoingBag1. If only version 45.1 of "version.library"
is installed, one has to install AmigaOS3.9 with BoingBag1 from the
I have compiled this List of all files in BoingBag2,
that shows also all version numbers. Furthermore, some comments are included. For example,
I have already found out, that the bug with the double points in the color wheel of Voyager
and MicroDot-II (see Software List) is fixed with the new
State: 28.03.2002 - Back to Contents.
Programs in SYS:AMIthlon/
- pcMaus 3.12
This commodity allows the use of a PS/2 mouse. The setup window can be opened with
the key combination <Ctrl-Alt-0> or via the program Exchange.
Here, settings for up to 2 mouse wheels and up to 6 mouse buttons can be done. Further,
the mouse can be switched for left-handed users and one can set the resolution in DPI.
Note: Obviously, this program operates on a very low level, which one can recognize,
for example, because it suppresses the MUI functionality (middle mouse button, see
Software List) and changes the text scrolling.
Besides that, one can crash Amithlon with some settings. Therefore, I do not use pcMaus.
It can only be recommended for left-handed users.
- PuhDerBaer (subdirectory)
Located in this directory is the notorious wild hack, that redirects the Paula sound
output to AHI. The details are in the file
README. The hack consists of the 68k part
Baer and the x86 part Puh.elf.
There are also the source files, object files and makefiles provided in this directory.
The required shell commands can be executed with the prepared scripts via IconX
An output window opens on Workbench, that should be kept open, as long as the sound
redirection is needed. Namely, the hack can only be removed by pressing the key
combination <Ctrl-C> inside the output window. Only this way, AHI is available
for other programs again, because PuhDerBaer transfers data on a low level
directly to the ahi.device, which is locked therefore.
- puh_sb128 redirects the output directly through AHI to
the sound board.
- puh_viaac97 redirects the output directly through AHI
to the AC97 sound chips on the motherboard. On the Big-Tower this only results in
the message "Unable to allocate audio mode ..." and the window closes immediately.
Shell Commands in SYS:C/AmithlonC/ (incomplete)
- AmithlonSetup 1.25 (from AmigaOSXL-Update1)
The new version of the command replaces older versions and also applies the patches.
Therefore the command amithlon_patcher, which was spread with
former, unofficial updates, is redundant. Do not forget to remove
amithlon_patcher from the
- AmithlonVersion 1.12
This shell script outputs an overview about the versions of the single parts of the emulator.
- amithlon_patcher (from amithlon_contrib, see below)
The latest version of this command now recognizes by itself, if conflicts do exist
among the available patches.
Note: At least, one can use the command to do a conflict check from a shell.
This command itself represents a conflict with the latest version of
AmithlonSetup (see above). So, in the
S:Startup-Sequence it can only be used
in conjunction with the older version of AmithlonSetup
from the AmigaOSXL-CD. Also, it requires a bigger stack (see the
README from amithlon_contrib). The integration
of the conflict check into AmithlonSetup would be
- beep (with beep.elf, from amithlon_contrib3, see below)
The command beep plays a beep sound through the PC's speaker. It requires a stack of
>10000 bytes. The command stencil looks as follows:
beep [-i] [frequency:duration [frequency:duration] ...]
Without parameters, beep generates a sound with the frequency 1000 Hz for a duration of
100 milliseconds. The following example simulates a (German) telephone sound:
beep 440:1000 1:1000 440:1000 1:1000 440:1000
There can be as many frequency:duration pairs as one likes (only limited by the lenght
of the command line string). With the option -i beep will patch itself into the DisplayBeep()
funktion, which means that the chosen sound sequence is played with every call of this system
function. With this option, the command will not return, so one should start it with
run >NIL: beep -i 400:10 500:10 600:10 700:10 800:10 900:10
This patch stays in place until the next reboot.
This shell script has the effect, that the function of the <Help key> of the Amiga
keyboard is moved from the <Windows menu key> to <Scroll lock>.
See below at patch3_mouse.o for further explainations.
With dumpconfig the configuration of Amithlon can be displayed. This makes it possible, for
example, to check if the setconfig commands have been transferred
- dumppatch (from amithlon_contrib, see below)
This command shows information about all installed patches. One can see, among others,
the date of the patches and the changes they effect.
- p96changer (from amithlon_contrib2, see below)
This command is meant for users of the VESA framebuffer driver. Different from the drivers
for special graphics boards, this driver only supports only one screen mode by the VESA
standard at a given time. The VESA mode is selected with the paramenter "vga=xxx" during
the boot procedure of Amithlon.
Now, if p96changer is placed in the S:Startup-Sequence before the
command C:LoadMonDrvs, it automatically changes the Workbench's color depth to match the
one of the selected VESA mode.
This command outputs extensive information about the PCI bus.
With ps2test the codes of the keyboard can be displayed, to reprogram the keys
(see the explaination about patch3_mouse.o below).
Further, one can check the function of the mouse.
- reboot (with reboot.elf, from amithlon_contrib3, see below)
With the command reboot one can completely reboot or shutdown the computer. It requires
a stack of >10000 bytes and, furthermore, works only if the BIOS supports these
functions as well. The command
leads to a restart. Entering the option
switches off the computer, but this option only functions with the new kernel (see
Harddisk). With the old kernel, the emulator freezes.
With setconfig, the configuration of Amithlon can be altered. The commands in the
S:Startup-Sequence should be located before the command
Patches in SYS:S/amithlon_patches/
Stored in this directory are the single patches, about which one can get more information
with the program dumppatch (see above). Some patches
have been released with AmigaOSXL-Update1 (see System Partition).
On April 3, 2002 a first collection of patch files appeared in the update archive
on May 18, 2002 another such collection appeared in the update archive
finally, on August 6, 2002 even a third such collection appeared in the update archive
Old patch files are fully replaced by the respective newer version. So one has to
remove, for example, patch2_mouse.o (from AmigaOSXL-Update1),
if one installes patch3_mouse.o (from amithlon_contrib).
- patch4_compemu_fpp.o (update from amithlon_contrib3)
This patch fixes some inaccuracies in the JIT compiler's FPU emulation. Version 4
of this patch added a correction for a rare rounding error.
Note: This file also contains the patch previosly spread as
patch1_fucomi.o, which means that this one has
to be removed as well!
- patch1_fpp.o (new from amithlon_contrib)
This patch fixes some inaccuracies in the FPU emulation of UAE.
- patch3_mouse.o (update from amithlon_contrib)
The latest mouse-keyboard-patch applies support for up to 6 mouse buttons and
2 mouse wheels (without using the pcMaus driver,
see above) and solves two problems:
In the text file README.mousepatch (from amithlon_contrib),
Bernd Meyer closely describes the processing of the signals from mouse and keyboard.
The input codes of the mouse are processed by Amithlon exactly like the keyboard codes.
They are translated into Amiga "rawkey" codes and subsequently delivered to the
emulated Amiga. The translation of the codes is done in the emulator and therefore
can be freely re-programmed. How this is done is written down in the mentioned text
The following lines in the S:Startup-Sequence have the effect
that the <Homepage> key is translated to <right-Amiga>-<V>,
with which one can, for example, start Voyager using FKey.
Setconfig keyboardmap fff|e032|6734
Setconfig keyboardmap fff|e0b2|b4e7
The first line is valid for "key pressed", the second for "key released". On this low
program level one has to treat these two events separately. When one would leave out
the second line, the key would be pressed until the next reboot, from the logical view
of the Amiga. For abbreviation, one can concatenate several translation rules with "+":
Setconfig keyboardmap fff|e032|6734+fff|e0b2|b4e7
With the program ps2test one can display the PS/2 codes for
every single key of the keyboard. These have to be put between the two ||, followed
by the Amiga "rawkey" codes, that shall be assigned to the key.
- patch1_msdos.o (new from amithlon_contrib)
With this patch one can make FAT partitions accessible for Amithlon.
Bernd Meyer explaines how this works in the text file
README.msdos (also from amithlon_contrib).
For example, with the shell command line
Setconfig dosmount "<all>"
in the S:Startup-Sequence one can access all available
FAT partitions from the Amiga side.
Note: This patch is only applied with a reboot using the key combination
<Ctrl-Amiga-Amiga>. But it seems that there are problems on some
- patch1_p4.o (new from amithlon_contrib2)
This patch solves a problem with calculation errors, that exclusively concerns
Pentium4 computers. Therefore, I did not install it.
- patch1_parport.o (new from amithlon_contrib)
This hack is only meant for those, whose printer does not work with
Note: I do not need this patch. But it should work as follows: One has to direct
the printout to parallel.device from AmigaOS and the parallel port of the PC has to be
set to the address $378 in the BIOS. Then the patch should redirect the data correctly.
- patch1_right_ctrl.o (from AmigaOSXL-Update1)
This patch solves the problem, that the right <Ctrl> key does not send a
"key released" event.
- patch1_setconfig.o (new from amithlon_contrib3)
This patch prevents a crash, that happens, when setconfig
(see above) is called several thousand times.
- patch1_shifting.o (from AmigaOSXL-Update1)
This patch prevents the JIT compiler to use a certain, rarely used
"shift and rotate" instruction, from which it generates wrong results.
- patch1_timer.o (new from amithlon_contrib3)
This patch fixes a problem with the timers that generate 68k interrupts.
- patch2_vec.o (update from amithlon_contrib2)
This patch finally solves a problem with miscalculated lengths of x86 instructions.
Version 2 of this patch additionally solves a problem that was responsible for
crashes of PGP 2.6.3 and possibly also had effects on other programs.
- patch1_zip.o (new from amithlon_contrib2)
This highly experimental patch shall improve the support for ZIP and LS-120 drives.
The usage of this patch is only recommended for users that really need it. Therefore,
I did not install this patch as well.
State: 30.08.2002 - Back to Contents.
Settings for AmigaXL
Meanwhile, it has become obvious that I mainly use Amithlon. Therefore, my computer is
basically configured for Amithlon. Details can be found in the chapter
Installation. But sometimes I start AmigaXL to perform some
Tests. In the following, I will give some hints to settings
that I use with AmigaXL.
There is a special AHI driver for AmigaXL. I recommended to set all units to "AXL Audio:
16 bit stereo".
Attention! The AHI drivers for Amithlon should not appear in the AHI preferences editor
under AmigaXL. This is a little bug in the driver files. If one has chosen an Amithlon driver
by accident, this causes only an error requester, because the respective hardware is not
Tip: I have saved the settings in a configuration file (using "Save as..."), which I call from
the Workbench menu if needed, without saving the settings permanently. So the saved settings
for Amithlon remain intact.
In contrary to Amithlon, AmigaXL does not require a patch for the normal Amiga sound output.
To use, for example, Amplifier with normal Amiga sound output, one can change the audio output
settings from "AHI" to "X-Audio", device "paulaaudio.device", unit "0". Sadly, the settings of
the output module of Amplifier are saved permanently even if one clicks on "Use". Therefore,
for Amplifier I recommend the use of AHI for both emulators.
- Serial Port
Since AmigaXL uses the TCP/IP stack of QNX, there are no changes of the settings
necessary in AmigaXL. The setup of the TCP/IP stack is described in the chapter
- Parallel Port
In the Printer preferences, one has to change the setting of the "custom device"
to the Port Device "DEVS:axlparallel.device" and the Port Unit "1".
Attention! QNX starts counting port units with "1" instead of the usual "0", respectively.
One has to consider this at this point!
Tip: To simplify, one can save the settings in a preset file, which one can start from
the Workbench menu. So one can change the settings quickly and simply when required, but
without saving them permanently.
- Floppy Disk Drive
The Floppy Disk Drive has to be mounted in QNX first. Then, it can be
reached from the QNX directory tree.
As an alternative, one can copy the files PC0 and
PC0.info from the directory
/usr/amiga/System/Storage/DOSDrivers/ to the drawer
SYS:Devs/DosDrivers/AmigaXL/ and then change the line
"SectorsPerTrack = 9" in the file PC0 to
SectorsPerTrack = 18
with a text editor, since it is a high density drive. Now, when starting or rebooting
AmigaXL, a floppy disk will be mounted, if it was inserted before.
(1) If one modifies the contents of the floppy disk from QNX, this will not be recognized by
AmigaOS. In this case, it helps to enter the command Diskchange PC0:
into a shell.
(2) If one changes the floppy disk, the command Diskchange PC0:
sadly is without success (on my computer). If a disk is inserted, the change is not recognized,
if no disk is inside the drive, none is shown, just as expected, but if one inserts a disk now,
it is not recognized, too. Since there are no problems with QNX, it is therefore better to access
floppy disks from the QNX directory tree.
- CD-RW Drive and DVD Drive
The CD-RW drive is mounted by default. To read CDs with the DVD-ROM drive, one has to create
a copy of the mount file SYS:Devs/DosDrivers/AmigaXL/CD0, rename it
to CD1 and change the line "Unit=0" to
with a text editor.
Commands for AmigaXL
On the System Partition there are three shell commands, of which two
are used exclusively for AmigaXL. The third one serves to do a correct system startup depending
on the used emulator from the AmigaOSXL package.
- SYS:C/MountAmigaHDDs 45.3
This shell command is called from the S:Startup-Sequence and mounts
all real and virtual Amiga harddisks to the AmigaOS. Details can only be found in the
German(!) AmigaXL Guide in the chapter "Tools", section "MountAmigaHDDs".
- SYS:C/QNXLaunch 45.1
This command starts QNX programs. If this means opening a new window, then the QNX Workspace
will automatically be moved to the front. Similar to the IconX
command, one can start QNXLaunch as the Default Tool of a project icon as well.
Details about this can be found in the AmigaXL Guide in the chapter "Tools", section "QNXLaunch".
- SYS:C/RunEnvCheck 1.1
This shell command is used in the S:Startup-Sequence to find out, which
environment (AmigaXL or Amithlon) is given, so that the matching procedures can be executed.
The details to this command can also only be found in the German(!) AmigaXL Guide in the chapter
"Tools", section "RunEnvCheck".
Programs for AmigaXL
On the System Partition there are also lots of small programs for AmigaXL,
which will be describe in the following section.
This is actually a project icon, which uses QNXLaunch (see above)
to start the Photon Dialer (phdialer).
This is actually a project icon, which uses QNXLaunch (see above)
to start the QNX TCP/IP Preferences (phlip).
This is actually a project icon, which uses QNXLaunch (see above)
to open a new window of the QNX web browser (voyager).
- SYS:Prefs/AmigaXL 45.4
With this preferences editor, some settings of the emulator can be changed. Details can be found
in the AmigaXL Guide in the chapter "General stuff", sections "Virtual memory" and "Sound output".
Like recommended there, I use no virtual memory and half of the system RAM as "FastRAM",
which means 128 MB out of 256 MB.
This is actually a project icon, which uses QNXLaunch (see above)
to open a new QNX terminal window (pterm).
- SYS:System/Shutdown 45.1
This program offers four options to shutdown or reboot the system:
- Reboot AmigaXL - This choice does a reboot of the emulator.
The same effect can be reached by pressing the key combination <Ctrl-Amiga-Amiga>.
If the emulator should hang during the reboot, one can still quit it using the key combination
<Esc-Amiga-Amiga> (see below) and restart it from QNX.
- Quit AmigaXL - This option stops the emulator.
The same effect can be reached by pressing the key combination <Esc-Amiga-Amiga>.
- Reboot system - This choice reboots the computer.
- Shut down system - The last option completely shuts down the computer.
Sadly, this last choice does not work on my computer, as it seems: the computer freezes
completely. So I have to quit the emulator with the second choice first, and then shut down
the computer from QNX. This way, I reach the system requester saying
"You can now safely turn off your computer."
- SYS:Tools/JoystickTest 45.1
This little tool serves to adjust an analogous PC joystick on the joystick port. Details
can be found in the AmigaXL Guide in the chapter "General stuff", section "Joystick".
Note: It is possible that this program also works with Amithlon (Port0 shows the
movement of the mouse), but has a bad effect on the normal function of the mouse wheel,
which can only be fixed with a reboot of the emulator.
- SYS:Tools/Commodities/AudioMixer 45.1
This program allows to set the volume for the sound output. There are a slider gadget
and a checkbox to mute the sound for each: the master volume, the music of the computer
and the CD playback.
This is actually a project icon, which uses QNXLaunch (see above)
to open a new window of the Photon Media Player (phplay).
- SYS:WBStartup/AXLServer 45.3
This program integrates the QNX Workspace, which is the counterpart of the Amiga Workbench,
as a screen into the Amiga environment. One can now browse the screens as usual with the
known key combination <left_Amiga>-<M> or use the depth gadget of the Amiga
Since the program recognizes by itself, if AmigaXL is running or not, one can also install
it on a System Partition, which is used by Amithlon as well.
(1) On my computer, it happens quite often, that the QNX mouse pointer is invisible
right after switching to the QNX screen. In this case, it helps to move the mouse far
to the right or down, so that the edge of the shelf is reached. Then, the image of the
mouse pointer changes and becomes visible again through the redraw process. Without
AXLServer, this problems seems not to happen.
(2) In each case, which means with or without AXLServer, one can jump back and forth
between the Amiga Workbench and the QNX Workspace, by using the key combination
(3) As soon as one starts AmigaXL, there appears an Amiga-like title bar with a depth
gadget on the QNX screen, which functions also without AXLServer.
(4) I know of one case, in which the depth gadget on the QNX screen did not work.
In this case, the user was able to return to the Amiga Workbench thanks to AXLServer,
using the key combination <left_Amiga>-<N>.
State: 28.08.2002 - Back to Contents.
QNX uses a GUI called "Photon", which in the pre-installed system shows a status line
at the lower screen border and a kind of "dock" at the right screen border, which is called
"Shelf" in Photon. This Shelf contains several sub-items, each of which can be opened and
closed by a mouse click: on the top are "Applications", "Utilities" and "Configure", on the
bottom one finds "System Monitor", "CD Player" and "World View".
- Boot Options
If one presses the <Space bar> during the boot procedure of QNX, one reaches a menu
with boot options. If one does not, after a short while a login requester for the Photon GUI
appears. QNX is a multi user system. In the system pre-installed by H&P, there are two
users pre-configured (both without password). Besides the system administrator "root" there
is the user "amigaxl". After logging in as "amigaxl", as the first button in the
Shelf part "Applications" a button titled "AmigaXL" appears, that starts the emulator.
- File Manager
The "Photon File Manager" (pfm) can be started from Shelf part "Applications". The menu item
"Edit/Preferences... <F10>" opens the preferences window. Here, one can disable the
item "Hide 'dot' Files" on the very top. Then, all files that start with a dot also appear
in the file list. These also include the configuration files for AmigaXL.
- TCP/IP Stack
AmigaXL uses the TCP/IP Stack of QNX. To establish a connection using an exterenal modem
connected to a serial port, one opens the "Photon Dialer" (phdialer) in the Shelf part
"Utilities". Then one chooses as the device for the first port "/dev/ser1" or for the
second port "/dev/ser2". Further, one only has to enter the usual information like phone
number, username and password and click on "Connect".
- Time Zone
In the "phlocale" preferences (which is opened in the Shelf part "Configure" with "Localization"
as well as "Time & Date", the window has the title "User's Configuration") one can set the
time zone, language, keyboard and time & date. To use the same time in QNX as on the Amiga
side, one should deselect the item "The hardware clock uses UTC/GMT." in the time zone settings,
since the AmigaOS does now know a hardware GMT clock and therefore always saves the zone time.
In the Shelf part "Configure", one clicks on the button "Graphics" to open the window "Photon
Display Configuration" and chooses the video driver on top. If one has chosen the mode, i.e.
resolution and color depth, one can edit the command line more detailled by clicking on
"Advanced". With the last option "-Rnn" I have increased the "Refresh Rate" above the
pre-set 85 Hz. The configuration program allows to test the modes before the settings are
saved permanently, just like in AmigaOS.
Caution! The value for the refresh rate also effects the horizontal frequency of the
screen mode. Both values should not exceed the allowed maximum for the monitor! With
a resolution of 1280x1024x32 and a refresh rate of 90 Hz, the resulting horizontal frequenzy
is 97.5 kHz. Since my monitor allows a maximum of 98 kHz, I did not exceed this value,
as before with Amithlon, to avoid problems before they occur.
Sadly, the video driver "tnt" for the GeForce graphics board is
not functioning properly. The display of the QNX-Voyager is unusable, since the window contents
is not refreshed or not generated at all. The only alternative is the "vesa" driver, which does
only allow refresh rates of 60 Hz and lower resolutions and, since without graphics
acceleration, is unusably slow.
Luckyly, there is meanwhile an update, which one can download (f.e. with AWeb) from the
QNX Developer Server. One has to click
on "Proceed" and chooses from the resulting list the files devg-tnt.so
and devg-tnt.readme. Then, one has to save them on the QNX partition,
for example into the directory /home. Since the readme is not
bug-free, here are understandable step-by-step instructions to install the new driver:
- Floppy Disk Drive
To use PC floppy disks with QNX, one has to mount them to the system. To achieve this, one
enters the command
mount -tdos /dev/fd0 /fs/floppy
into a terminal. The first argument specifies the type "dos" and the third argument is the name
of the directory, under which the floppy disk is mounted. To execute this command, one has to
be logged in as user "root", as it seems.
State: 14.06.2002 - Back to Contents.
The full truth? Really? - Well, ok! The full truth is, that I do not have the whole
Amiga software available here. And I do not neccessarily use the latest version, respectively.
Let alone this, I will not be able to cover every program. Instead, I will
list the programs, that I use (frequently) and know well.
I will describe my observations and - wherever possible - compile solutions to problems,
that I can reproduce here. The advantage of my Software List
is the fact, that I add particularities of the programs, each with the exact version number,
and the source of the programs (CD/Aminet®).
Go ahead to the Software List.
Further helpful websites are, for example:
Amithlon Setup Help Page with
hints for setup and configuration.
OS News reports about miscellanious operating systems,
like AmigaOS and QNX.
State: 05.10.2003 - Back to Contents.
I have compiled a little GoodyBox
for AmigaOSXL. It can be downloaded from here.
Version 1.0 of the GoodyBox contains:
- 11 GlowIcons
- 3 Mountfiles
- 1 KeyMap
- 1 Script for AC97Mixer
- 2 Goodies for AQuix
State: 06.09.2002 - Back to Contents.
Amiga History -
Web Design -
© Dietmar Knoll
2002-02-24, latest change: 2004-12-03