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      Helgis' A1G4XE Pre3 OS4.0 Article

Welcome to my article, where I am going to give you an explanation of AmigaOne-system and how my Pre3 OS4.0 is running. Also I'll give you an in depth look at several programs and games that I run on my system.

A lot of configurations and updates of programs, games and files have been done since I got my A1G4XE from a Canadian friend and member of AmigaWorld in the last week of July this year. The A1G4XE is one of the very last and latest A1XEs boards that were developed, and my A1G4XE contains the "hard fix" that makes UDMA, Ethernet and USB fully working! The on-board VIA AC97 sound chip has unfortunately been removed, as Eyetech thought it had a hardware-failure. There is now an AHI-driver for it that works for those who have this chip on their A1s (see AC97 driver on OS4 Depot). Anyway, my A1G4XE is equipped with a 933Mhz Motorola MPC 7455 G4 CPU, with the VCORE set correctly at 1.84v. There is a very good CPU-cooler and fan on it, called Acrec (I think), that consists of a tall small silver heatsink and a small, but thick, black fan for adequate cooling. It's suited for running the G4 at 933Mhz, so I'm running on that. In addition, I have now 2 big fans on the backside of the tower. It might not be as good cooling as the Zalman coolers, but way better than what Eyetech used to supply!

My A1G4XE is one of the last produced A1XE and now about a year old. Here is a description of my A1G4XE-system:

  • 933Mhz Motorola MPC 7455 G4 CPU (with good Acrer Cooling, right VCORE at 1.84v and 2 fans on the backside of the tower)
  • 1GB DIMM (2 512MB Apacer 133Mhz Registered ECC DIMMs)
  • 2x 120GB Western Digital UDMA100 hard drives
  • Black internal Samsung 40x/12x/40x CDRW
  • Black internal Samsung 16x DVD-ROM (Running max UDMA mode now!)
  • Black Chieftech Dragon MIDI-tower w/sidedoor and 340W PSU (2 big backside fans)
  • AmiTech Grey PS2-keyboard and Logitech MX510 MouseMan
  • Sapphire ATI Radeon 9200 Atlantis 256MB DDR SDRAM AGP graphic card
  • SB Live! 5.1 PCI soundcard (soon to be replaced with TerraTec Aureon 7.1 Space!)
I am very happy with my system! It's very fast, stable and smooth!

Installing Pre3 OS4.0

My A1G4XE already had the latest UBoot v1.1.1 dated 5th of March 2005. So, Firstly, I ran the PreOS4.0 Update 1 CD and followed every steps that the installer told me to, then Update 2 and lastly Update 3. All the updates successfully installed to my system. I realised that I had to configure my Radeon 9200 driver to work under Update 3. I asked around the AmigaWorld forums on my using my PC, and was told to do the following....

Go into DEVS:Monitors and open the Radeon monitor Information - in the menu, under icons choose "Information" over the Radeon driver, then typing (or modifying) these lines correctly into the tooltypes box (in the icon tab):
	SOFTSPRITE=YES
	(INTERRUPT=YES)
Shortly after I went into the Picasso96Mode program in sys:Prefs, attached the name Radeon 9200, chose Save and then Reboot. When the WB screen arrived again, it looked like a faked WB-screen. At least the WB didn't lock up as it did in the beginning! Now it was time to go into the ScreenMode program and VOILA! All the Radeon screenmodes arrived! Now I could choose the 32-bit display with 1280 x 960 resolution! Since then, I have done a lot of customising to the look of my system, with Kens' latest icons and the beautiful Zami Theme with the very highly advanced Intuition based on the Reaction-GUI!!! It came as part of the Anniversary Pack from Hyperion on 23rd of July - Amiga's 20th Birthday, and the same date for the AmiGBG 2005 show! Man, this was just excellent!!!

I also corrected some of the screenmodes, especially 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit modes using 320 x 256 resolution, as they didn't fit the whole screen. In Picasso96 Mode, I just edited them and changed some of the numbers for the horizontal and the vertical so that they fitted the whole screen correctly. It became very useful when running the latest SDL-version of E-UAE 0.8.28 in fullscreen mode, as you will see in its screenshot below!


My E-UAE setup running fullscreen


I also chose to use the latest SFS-fileformat, completely replacing the FFS2-format. When I delete, copy or something similar, everything happens immediately in very few seconds! Way much better than the aged FFS2 format. SFS is using the PPC CPU to its maximum potential and thanks to the diskcache.library, it works very fast! Even that it's very stable, ocassionaly the system crashes but as I have backed up my WB-setup, I'm able to recover my setup by runninig the Update 1 CD, formatting the OS4 partition and copy over the last backed up setup from another drawer, and then it will work again :-) No problem!

I also have most of the latest libraries, files, programs and games, so I am quite up-to-date with most things for OS4 now. A cool thing is a program called AutoUpdateWB. Every time you change the contents of a drawer, for example extract an archive, you see it updated in real time. The document for it explains very carefully what it does.

I also have something called "CPUClock.docky". Yes, the one you see to the right of the AmiDock bar. It checks the CPU activity, time, date, month and year. LimidClock also does that displaying, a nice big watch and calendar! Very handy to use to keep track on dates and such things. Never run a system without such useful and important tools! :-D

Conclusion:

I have to say that my A1G4XE-system is very stable, smooth and fast. A good example is when clicking on programs, windows and drawers, they open up right away - no delays! Everything happens immediately! Now I have both my harddrives, CDRW and DVD-ROM connected to the Sillicon Image 0680 Parallel ATA133 PCI-controller, and not the DMA-fixed VIA686B IDE controller. I have also managed to allow all the devices to use UDMA 5 (the maximum, according to my setup and specifications of my harddrives). Now both my harddrives and the DVD-ROM are running full UDMA-mode, except the CDRW as it doesn't support UDMA. Man, I am happy! I also changed a UBoot variable that allows me to bypass the scanning of Bus 0, so that it jumps right into loading the Kickstart modules and right into OS4! Here are the commands I typed at the UBoot prompt:
Setenv ide_maxbus 0
Saveenv
That way it loads UBoot right into the Kickstart Modules immediately and right into the OS4 in a matter of very few seconds! You can't even make yourself a cup of coffee! THAT fast! Try beating that, PC-users! :-D

have to say i am very happy with my system. There was a time when I tried using the Audigy 2 ZS Gamer soundcard, even with the very latest AHI and drivers, but it completely blocked the net-traffic, so i had to go back to using the SB Live! 5.1 instead, at least until I get the TerraTec Aureon 7.1 Space in November!

Programs I use

  • DVPlayer v0.48 (The latest full-version. The fastest Multimedia-player, which now runs AVIs and VOBs (DVD), but not yet encrypted DVDs!)
  • MPlayer with GUI (Latest version of the ported Multimedia-player. Not as fast as DVPlayer, but supports Encrypted DVDs..)
  • AWeb v0.5.07 (Latest full-version of the currently only PPC-OS4 native and best browser for AmigaOS! A bit buggy, but the most stable yet!)
  • IBrowse v2.3 (30-minute demo. Runs the 68k emulation of Pre3 OS4.0 very fast! Will be perfect with JIT 68k Petunia in Final OS4.0!)
  • SimpleMail v0.27 (Latest version of the very best and simple Mailer for AmigaOS! I use it all the time! It supports HTML and AntiSpam, among other things!)
  • JabberWocky v1.6Pre5 (Latest version of AmigaOS' own MSN Messenger! PPC-OS4 native! Very fast! I use it to talk with my MSN/Yahoo-contacts!)
  • ArtPro v1.24 (Graphic decruncher. I use it to decrunch the pictures, like the WB-shots i have grabbed! Excellent little but old program!)
  • WookieChat v1.9 (Latest version! Excellent replacement of the aged AmIRC! Looks truly professional with colored texts and black background!)
  • Audio Evolution (Downloaded PPC-OS4 native music sequencer for the professional musicals!)
  • GoatTracker (Latest version of the ported C64 Music Tracker program. Don't really use it...)
  • oTracker v2.3b (OS4 port of Protracker. Still not version 5. I'm also waiting for the new MED Sound Studio V2 coming early 2006!!!)
  • mTracker (A Multi-channel tracker supporting most formats. Very complicated to use and very different to ordinary trackers!)
  • Auto DocViewer (Very handy program to view documents! Actually a tool for developers!)
  • PT (A ProTracker Module player! Plays all MODs! Excellent player! I love it! It supports AHI!)
  • SimplePlay v3.1 (Latest version. Plays MOD, MIDI, XT, S3M, OGG, MP3! Most formats!)
  • SID4Amiga (Plays C64 modules in SID-format! Very good player!)
  • TuneNet (Latest downloaded version of the new kind of Net Music Player for Amiga! Plays many different music from all around the world!)
  • PlayCD (As seen on the AmiDock itself. Plays all Music-CDs through my HIFI-equipment with this program! Amazing stuff!)
  • AmigaAMP (Also seen on AmiDock. The latest version, now with Aqua-skin! Plays MP3-songs excellent! PPC-OS4 native MP3!)
  • DiskMaster (Latest version. A file-organisator program similar in concept to Dopus Mangelan!)
  • AmiDisk (Identical to Diskmaster placed in OS4:Utilities, but based on the wonderful Reaction-GUI!)
  • FryingPan (CD/DVD burning program for PPC-OS4! Very handy when you need to burn CDs/DVDs!)
  • SGrab (Latest PPC-OS4 native of the most used and popular Grabber! This is the one i use to grab WB-shots!!!)
  • ScummVM v0.8 (Latest version of the best Adventure Interpreter! Runs games like Indy 3/4, Broken Sword 1-2, Monkey 3 and such!!!)
  • E-UAE v0.8.28 (Classic Amiga-emulator. The latest version! Only the SDL-version works currently, but i run in fullscreen-mode! Very fast!)
  • SnoopDOS (Latest version! Very useful program for checking how and where files and programs have been loaded! Useful for checking errors!)
  • OpenURL (Latest version placed in C: (the PopURL one) and Prefs with OpenURL Preference! Useful for Network! Very stable and useful!)
  • XNet-RSS News-Reader (Brand new, latest addition to AmigaOS! A Net-based News-Reader! Keeping track of latest Amiga-news! Very useful!)

Games I play

  • PrBoom (Latest PPC-OS4 native version! Plays the full-version of Doom and Doom 2 on my system! I mostly play Doom 2! Very fast!)
  • Rise Of The Triad (Latest PPC-OS4 native port, playing the Shareware-version of ROTT! Very fast and smooth! Love it!)
  • Blob Wars (Latest SDL-port of the very famous platformer, playing a Blob-soldier! Very violent but full action-packed game!)
  • Barrage (Latest SDL-version. Looks like a strategy game! You control a canon that should shoot and blow everything that moves!!!)
  • CircusLinux (Latest SDL-port. Should probably be renamed "CircusAmiga". Very funny game with cool music! I had to laugh sometimes!)
  • Penguin-Command (Latest SDL-port to PPC-OS4. Defend the city from attacks by outside space! You need very good reflections here!)
  • StarFighter (Latest SDL-port of a modified 80-ies stylish 2D Space-shooter with nice music and graphic! Very cool game!)
  • PowerManga (Latest SDL-version with similar concept to StarFighter! Very nice music and graphic here too! Cool game!)
  • BugSquish (Latest SDL-port. Squish as many flies as you can before getting your arm sucked dry for blood! You need fast reflections!!!)
  • Defendguin (Another great, latest SDL-port. You control a Spaceship in 2D that has to protect the penguins from being killed!)
  • Super Mario Clone (The latest SDL-port of the famous Super Mario Bros. Very nice graphic and sound! Music can be downloaded from its' site!)
  • LBreakout (A very nice SDL-port of the famous Breakout-game, now for OS4!)
  • Snake (A SDL-port of a small WB-game called Snake, similar to the Windows-version, but with a bit nicer 4 colour graphic!)
  • SuperTux (Latest SDL-port, similar to Super Mario Bros! You control a Penguin that moves around platforms! Nice graphic, sound and excellent music!!!)
  • Broken Sword (Excellent PC-adventure game with speech and crystal clear sound and music! Lovely graphic! Runs in ScummVM! Soon to get BS2!)
  • Monkey Island (16-colour version of the PC-version. Runs in ScummVM!)

    My games list in ScummVM
  • Monkey Island 2 (256-colour version of the PC-version! Nicer graphic and music! Cool adventure that also runs in ScummVM!)
  • Curse For Monkey Island (Excellent Cartoon-based third sequel to the saga! Nice 256-colour animation/graphic with speech, sound and music! Runs in ScummVM!)
  • Loom (16-colour version of the PC-version. Nice game that runs under ScummVM!)
  • Beneath The Steel Sky (Nice 256-colour Talkie-version with great music and graphic! Runs in ScummVM!)
  • Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (256-colour version of the famous Indiana Jones adventure! Runs in ScummVM!)
  • Indiana Jones And The Fate Of Atlantis (256-colour version of the Indiana Jones Adventure discovering Atlantis! Great graphic and music! Runs in ScummVM!)
That is my whole article for now. I will get games like Heretic, Hexen, Duke Nukem 3D Atomic, Quake 1, 2 and hopefully 3. I love such games!
I hope you enjoyed the article and the shots!

Written by: Helge Kvalheim (aka Helgis in AmigaWorld), Norway
Edited by: GiGa, IntuitionBase
Published: 21st December 2005
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