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AuthorTopic: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup  (Read 22853 times)

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Offline NovaCoder

How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup
« on: November 26, 2009, 11:11:06 AM »
After running OS3.9 on my A1200 with its default 020 @ 14 MHz and 8Mb RAM, I was expecting a big things with my new Blizzard 030 @ 50 MHz + FPU and 64Mb RAM.  Unfortunately I found that my faster processor and extra memory didn’t make that much difference to WB performance.

Most people will say if you want a fast WB with AGA then the best thing to do is run OS3.1 in about 16 colours whereas I wanted to run the latest Classic OS and I wanted it to look as modern as possible on my hardware.

This is a screen grab of my current desktop as an example.




The first thing to do is settle on a screen-mode, I went for Multisync + VGA only @ 640x480 because this gives a progressive 4x3 display with a decent refresh rate and looks lovely on my flatscreen 19” CRT  :)


Making it Fast

Obviously you need to install BB1, BB2 and BB3

These are the patches that I’ve found create a nice stable 3.9 setup which is still usable in the full 256 colour mode (obviously it will always run faster with less colours).  The basic idea is to offload as much of the work as possible from AGA to your accelerator’s CPU and also to keep data transfer to a minimum across the slow interface.  Generally speaking, the more patches you apply the less stable your system could become so I try to keep them to a minimum.

•   BlizKick – This awesome utility not only allows you to move the OS from your ROM to your RAM, it also includes some handy speed-up modules.
•   FBlit & FText – These not only free-up some much needed chipram, they also offload blitting to your accelerator.
•   BlazeWCP – Very fast CP2 OS replacement functions.
•   IconBeFast – Greatly speeds up ICON drawing in esp. in 256 colour modes.
•   WBCtrl - Allows you to copy your icons to FASTRAM (used in conjunction with WorkBench Perfs, Icons to FASTRAM setting).

Also remove the AmiDock from your WBStartup draw and stick it somewhere else (eg the recycle bin).

And finally, I’d recommend a move to SFS/PFS from the standard FFS which smells bad and has been known to talk to itself on occasion.



Making it look Pretty

The default GlowIcons are nice and a big step up from OS3.1 but they are still using a limited colour palette, I decided to upgrade mine to something a bit more modern.   It’s very easy to replace your Icons in 3.9; it’s a simple drag and drop while viewing the Icon’s information window.

The default WB color remapping logic can result in your icons rendered in some odd colours and your background image will often change each time you open a new window….not pretty.  To fix this, we use FullPalette to create a palette matched to our main icon set and then use it to lock a subset of these colours for use by WB.   We also map our background image to the same palette to avoid any colour cycling; I’ve found the best thing to do is limit the background image to as few colours as possible.

VisualPrefs is an amazing utility which allows you to greatly customise WB and generally tart it up; we also use it to remap WB colours to our fixed palette entries.

MagicMenu is another great WB utility which is not only very handy but also makes the OS feel more modern to use.  You should also map the colours used by your Menus to your fixed palette entries to prevent any bizarre colour remapping….pink menus, no thanks!

BarClock although LimpidClock is more popular, I prefer the less intrusive BarClock for my setup.


I’ve uploaded a MOVIE to YouTube so you can see it in action, obviously if you’re lucky enough to have a 040/060 it will be even faster.

I will also add my setup resources to AmiNet when I get the chance (palette, Icon set, VisualPrefs settings, background images etc).


UPDATE: I've since changed to an IndivisionAGA powered HighGFX 1024x768 in 64 colours, very nice ;)



NovaCoder
« Last Edit: February 25, 2010, 03:46:55 AM by NovaCoder »
Life begins at 100 MIPS!


Nice Ports on AmiNet!
 

Offline Everblue

Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2009, 11:13:33 AM »
What we need next is a really detailed tutorial on how to create SFS partitions!
 

Offline mousehouse

Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2009, 11:20:13 AM »
Great tutorial!

Personally I was away from the Amiga around 1994 and missed out on everything post 3.1, this helps getting my recently acquired A4000 back into shape!

One thing that keeps puzzeling me, how do I update the complete icon set? I downloaded AB-GlowIcons from aminet, which contains a zillion icons. I don't feel like changing icons one at a time...

Any change you could update the tutorial with a hint on how you made your workbench look that great, step by step?
A3000T w/OS3.9
 

Offline Tripitaka

Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2009, 12:02:46 PM »
I have to admit this is one of those tutorials that's far more useful than it looks. Many Amiga returnees pulling an A1200 out of the attic will be thinking of getting just this sort of setup going. Nice work.
Falling into a dark and red rage.
 

Offline koshman

Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2009, 01:35:30 PM »
Nice!! I really like your presentation video (including the AW bugger :) ).

Btw. how do you play DOTT? Has it been ported to Amiga natively or is there some Scummvm magic at works in the background?
- Radim
 
A600 - 68020/33, 10MB RAM, 3.1, 2GB SD
 

Offline F1Lupo

Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2009, 01:50:54 PM »
nice tutorial Nova! half the fun is setting up our Miggy's :-)
____________________________________________________________________
c64-dual sids, A1000, A1200-060@50, A4000-CSMKIII
Indivision AGA & Catweasel MK4+= Amazing
! My Master Miggies-Amiga 1000 & AmigaOne X1000 !
--- www.mancave-ramblings.blogspot.ca ---
  -AspireOS.com & Amikit- Amiga for your netbook-
***X1000- I BELIEVE *** :angel:
 

Offline TheGoose

Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2009, 02:44:23 PM »
Yes, thanks for this guide. I wish it were not in the forum format though. Think it could be better done as a blog or a series of blogs?. My 1024x768 screen is great but soo slow. I might need to give up some resolution to make WB work better, I like 64 colors.

EDIT - just watched the video - very cool. But you know, that 256 color is still dragging on 640x480. Do you have some cache setting running for your boot partition?

C: AddBuffers >NIL: DH0: 250

Helps a little when re-loading, or re-visiting windows.

How did you do the video, NovaCoder ? Looks good.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2009, 02:58:14 PM by TheGoose »
G1200, A3000D, A1200 PPC AOS4.0C

I\'m on Google +
 

Offline Gulliver

Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2009, 02:45:23 PM »
Thank you for your good tutorial!

PS:Have you tryed systempatch 3.3? It does a ton of speed up patches on AGA, and already includes iconbefast and blazewcp. Besides it is fblit and ftext compatible! http://www.ziosante.it/it/articoli-e-downloads/amiga/70-systempatch-33beta-sources-download
« Last Edit: November 26, 2009, 03:13:30 PM by Gulliver »
 

Offline Moto

Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2009, 03:14:15 PM »
@NovaCoder

Very impressive and great job!  It's nice to see this instead of just another "use OS 3.1 post" when asking about how to speed up 3.9.

Questions:

* Looks like your bootup time is considerably faster than my 1200's CF card.  I was wondering if you could post your startup-sequence so I could compare.

* I have the B1260 card as well and I am not using blizkick because I thought the card does this ROM->RAM mapping automatically if the jumper is set.  A little confused on this.

-- edit: I wish we had a central site or main FAQ that this kind of great info.  One of the most frustrating things for returning Amiga users (like myself) is trying to find info on the net.  My knowledge had stopped at ks2.0 and this has been the biggest hurtle for me.
So many really old FAQs that have dead links or outdated information.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2009, 03:18:34 PM by Moto »
500, 1200, 4000T
 

Offline arttu80

Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2009, 07:59:43 PM »
OMG!

Thank you for informative stuff. Have been with Amiga (A500plus/A2000)since 1992, I just bought my first A1200 (still coming from UK:) and also bought Indivision AGA card, so I might just get somewhere with this, thanks to you too! I'm thinking some 040/060 card would be much "modern" in terms of usability of multicolor WB...
 

Offline paul1981

Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2009, 08:02:16 PM »
Quote from: Moto;531391


* I have the B1260 card as well and I am not using blizkick because I thought the card does this ROM->RAM mapping automatically if the jumper is set.  A little confused on this.



Moto, if you see flashing colours on your screen when you first turn on your amiga, then your kickstart is mapped to RAM. :)
Blizkick is used for mapping an actual kickstart file into ram....for example, users with 3.0 ROMS can softboot 3.1 if they wish by using Blizkick.
 

Offline mousehouse

Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2009, 08:03:18 PM »
Quote from: Moto;531391

-- edit: I wish we had a central site or main FAQ that this kind of great info.  One of the most frustrating things for returning Amiga users (like myself) is trying to find info on the net.  My knowledge had stopped at ks2.0 and this has been the biggest hurtle for me.
So many really old FAQs that have dead links or outdated information.


Maybe we could setup a Wiki on amiga.org with a FAQ style setup? Have a button in the top menu, voila!
A3000T w/OS3.9
 

Offline arttu80

Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2009, 08:30:49 PM »
Quote from: koshman;531382
Nice!! I really like your presentation video (including the AW bugger :) ).

Btw. how do you play DOTT? Has it been ported to Amiga natively or is there some Scummvm magic at works in the background?


Ahh, I'm sooo happy now that it (Day of the Tentacle) can be played on AMIGA!!!

http://amiga.h-plus-t.com/

btw sorry NovaCoder for offtopic...
 

Offline koshman

Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2009, 08:57:53 PM »
Oh, I see, veeery nice indeed :)

So, now what about Sam & Max? :D

Sorry for continuing OT...
- Radim
 
A600 - 68020/33, 10MB RAM, 3.1, 2GB SD
 

Offline Mr_Byte

Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2009, 09:05:34 PM »
Quote from: arttu80;531432
Ahh, I'm sooo happy now that it (Day of the Tentacle) can be played on AMIGA!!!

http://amiga.h-plus-t.com/

btw sorry NovaCoder for offtopic...


Maybe you should make a link to novacoders version of dott for the amiga: http://www.underground-arcade.com/Downloads.php

I think he will get offended since this is his thread :)
Pegasos2 G4 1Ghz, 1GB ram, Radeon 9200 256mb