Sunday, 12 March 2017

Computer Room 2017 reconfiguration

I thought today I would cover the recent computer room re-organisation I did back in January to try to make a little bit more room for more Amigas to be running :-)

I have but one room to fit all my computer stuff into, and unfortunately these days it is packed to the rafters with stuff...

Whole systems have to packed away most of the time as I just don't have the space to set them up...rotating them in means disconnecting something I want to have permanently setup, which is frustrating and stops me working on projects I would otherwise be doing.

Accessing my floppy disks (stored in a specially setup set of drawers, is also a pain, having to move furniture around to access them every time:

I am very jealous of people who have large rooms to put their computer stuff into and don't have these problems...anyway, it is what it is!

So I decided to buy another desk to somehow squeeze in here...I measured everything out and believed it would work. But of course it meant disconnecting all my systems and clearing space to move everything around...

As the clean out is progressing the room is filled with music from the AmigaOne X1000 to keep me going, and it was the last system to disconnect.

That done, I could start to move the furniture around to make space for the new desk I got from Ikea.

My glass Zed desk (from Freedom Furniture - who sadly stopped selling this desk last year after almost 20 years!) is my favourite desk. I wish I could fill the room with them...but alas, no.

So things are starting to take shape. I can even open the windows again - the first time in many years!

With the new desk assembled and in place, the new layout is finalised and looks very nice I have to say (in my humble opinion)! Tried to make use of every centimetre of space in the room. The space to the left of the largest desk is to fit the spare tower systems not currently set up.

With the new layout I can now easily access my windows (!) and my Amiga floppy disk collection too, which was almost impossible before:

Now the long task of putting all the systems back together.

The new layout means I can have the PC, Mac, C64, Amiga 2000, and spare space on the new desk to fit two more systems on rotation as required, plus the AmigaOne X1000 of course - all permanently set up:

This took almost two days to complete, but the result was worth it:

In the spare spaces I set up the CD32 and old Pentium 200MMX (kept for DOS demos) temporarily. I definitely enjoyed seeing some old favourite DOS demos again - I haven't had this machine out for a while. I know it's not Amiga but please indulge me a few photos:

I also took the opportunity to put my UPS in the setup to power all the critical systems I use daily to protect from lightning strikes, power surges, etc. After my experiences with the X1000 in the past, I want to be very careful with them now!

Hate to think how much power I am sucking down to have these all running for the photos:

For those curious the modern-ish Core i7 PC on the left runs RemixOS and Windows 10 - in this shot running RemixOS. Later on of course I had the awesome Farbrausch demos cranked up:

One of the great things of having a legacy free C64 is that it requires very little space...

Since these photos were taken I have replaced the Pentium 200MMX with the Amiga 4000D and the CD32 with the AmigaOne A1222 for performing my AmigaOS 4.1 FE Beta testing duties.

The LG screen is fully utilised, taking the two A2000 outputs (VGA from Indivision ECS and HDMI out from the Vampire), and also the DVI output from the A1222. Here is a more recent photo showing that layout:

The spare space area is working out great, making it much easier for me to swap in systems to play with for a while without affecting the systems I want to have permanently setup.

It was a lot of work but I think it was worth it to get more space in my room for my Amiga (and other) systems!

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Emotion media player on X1000

It is nice to be blogging again! Thanks all for your patience. I am getting better slowly, although not entirely fixed up yet.

Today though I wanted to take a look at the recently released Emotion media player for AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition on my AmigaOne X1000.

This is a commercial product, written by EntwicklerX, the guys behind a number of AmigaOS 4.1 games like Swamp Defense 1 & 2, M.A.C.E, and many others I have looked at on this very blog over the years!

It is available to purchase via the AMIStore app for AmigaOS4.1.

AMIStore includes a good overview of the features, and there are many:

This player differs from the existing free MPlayer for AmigaOS 4.1 by it's use of FFMpeg for playback, a minimalist simple interface for navigation and simple configuration options which are easy to set and use.

As you can see, the interface is minimalist but includes the important controls you normally need:

Cranking up a few videos, I can run in parallel and still running smoothly:

The 720p videos work great on the X1000:

There are some more options available in the title bar menus, as below:

In the Play menu you can see the keyboard shortcut for playback, stop, fast forward and rewind, and options to select the audio track if multiple are available.

In the View menu is the fullscreen option, resize the video to fit the current window size, hide border, window on top and frame skip options. By default is disabled. I set it to Auto for the best results.

Have to say I was impressed with the output - it works well:

The X1000 can't play 1080p, so 720p is as good as you get, even utilising the Altivec extensions. But I already knew about that restriction so I convert my videos to 720p using handbrake on my Mac and then copy them over.

Full screen gives the minimal controls available at the bottom, which drop away after a few seconds. Can be recalled by moving the mouse:

Emotion media player running full screen 720p video on my 30" TFT screen on the AmigaOne X1000 - fantastic:

It is wonderful to see a new video player released for AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition in 2017! Recommended.

As you may have noticed my room layout has changed a bit. I may cover that significant change work in a future blog entry!

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

A temporary pause in the blog

Hi All,

My sincere apologies about the lack of blog entries in 2017.

Unfortunately I now have to pause the blog for a bit while I am dealing with some personal medical issues. It is taking more time than I thought to find the source of the problems through multiple tests and it is still ongoing.

I have to prioritise my health!

I aim to be back on deck as soon as possible. I have a big backlog of stuff to play with when I do - so I aim to make up for it then!

Thanks for your patience.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

AmigaOS 4.1 FE Updates and Repaired X1000

Welcome all to 2017 and sorry for the delay in blog posts this month. The reason is because I have been unwell and still working to trace the cause of it. Anyway, I am back and looking forward to a great 2017.

I kicked off 2017 with a number of updates to my AmigaOne X1000, and the return of my repaired main (now backup) X1000!

To start with, I installed the recently released AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition Update 1 (released on December 31st 2016). Here is the installation drawer of the expanded archive downloaded from Hyperion's secure area of their website (for registered AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition owners). It is a free download:

I was interested in what changes have been made in this release, so I have taken a few screenshots from the changelog (in AmigaGuide format) to show what has changed for those curious - there are plenty of changes:

Lha is now included in the OS, with some fixes to dos.library:

More bugfixes to amigaguide.library:

Some enhancements to the Shell:

More bug fixes, including a fix for the well known right click context menu new text file crash bug which has been around a long time:

Next sets are all bug fixes:

One exciting new change is the extension of Zorro 3 memory as system memory. This is VERY exciting development for Classic Amiga owners running AmigaOS4.1 Final Edition under PPC, and also those running it under Emulation.

Now the system is apparently no longer limited to the PPC onboard 128MB/256MB maximum limits which should make the system a lot more usable under emulation:

The next set of updates are graphics subsystem related:

These updates are bug fixes:

Locales have been updated with new language support for Czech, Dutch and Finnish:

MUI 5 is now included in AmigaOS4.1 Final Edition Update 1:

Significant updates for the minigl.library and mglut.library:

There are a number of other bug fixes but I will gloss over them for the sake of brevity:

There are some new features in Warp3D as well:

With that read through (whew), I then backed up my system drive to my backup partition, using Deniil 715's BackUp utility:

With the backup done, I then pressed on with the installation, which needed Python to be updated first:

The installation of Update 1 then gets underway.

There is a new boot loader that is installed a part of the update for AmigaOne X1000 machines. For most people amigaboot.of should be in SYS:, but if you have put it on the CF card or elsewhere then please make sure you update that location before rebooting with the updated amigaboot.of.

As I have the AmigaOS SDK installed on my system, I checked the box to install the update for the SDK also.

The install then gets underway:

When completed it prompts to reboot, which you need to do at this point:

It also mentions to run FixFonts after rebooting, which I did:

Here is my AmigaOS4.1 Final Edition Update 1 Workbench after the update has been applied:

It is truly great to see ongoing improvements and enhancements to AmigaOS in 2017!

While I was in an updating mood, I also updated QT4.7, which has also been recently updated:

The README.amigaos4.txt explains the changes, which now requires AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition minimum to run:

This update to QT4.7 now supports Update 1, so you need to install this QT 4.7 update from os4depot asap to avoid issues with QT applications:

The installation is straightforward:

It picks up that I already have QT4.7 installed and offers to update it:

I choose to update and the installer gets down to work:

At the end I need to reboot the system:

With the updated QT4.7, the applications continue to work well under AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition Update 1:

One change I noticed with the new QT Prefs is the use of the graphics library and compositing rather than ignoring the AmigaOS, which is great to see:

I tested the updated SMTube, checking out the newest AmigaOne X5000 unboxing video:

Here is the famous Australia Day Eat Lamb advertisement running through SMTube, streaming nicely from the internet:

I also checked out some other update QT apps - qOrganizer and JuffEd:

Andy "Broadblues" Broad also released an updated AOrganiser application for free download from

I also updated A-EON's Enhancer package to the 1.2 updated version (available as a free download on AMIStore for owners of Enhancer), which includes a number of updates and enhancements to the software included in it, and a new calendar application.

With the recent release of Viva Amiga movie for download on Vimeo, I thought I should watch it on the AmigaOne X1000 - it worked perfectly and I enjoyed watching this new movie about the Amiga - you see the new Calendar and updated Clock from the Enhancer 1.2 update in this shot also:

Some other exciting news this month has been the return last week of my main X1000 board from AmigaKit, now repaired!

The system failed back in March 2016, and it was a replacement system for the original X1000 I had which also failed in 2015 (different fault). After doing remote troubleshooting of the issue, I sent this board to AmigaKit in June 2016 for repair under warranty, as it was less than a year old from when I got it.

Unlike the first board though, this problem was fixable by Varisys, after they confirmed the issue was some bad solder joints on the memory area that caused it to fail. After some repairs it was working again and I got it back.

I brought out my original X1000 case, ready to re-install the board back in:

Here is the board, back in place and ready for power on:

I am very pleased to say it fired up first time and booted as normal!

I tested it booting with a CD first:

The older hard disk in this X1000 needed an updated amigaboot.of file installed because it still had AmigaOS4.1.6 installed on it. I rectified this and then could boot AmigaOS Final Edition:

Here is my now working (older build) X1000, now officially consigned to be a backup system:

I am very glad to have my backup X1000 system again.

Moving back to my main X1000 system, I joined the many other people playing around with the new Cow3D program on Aminet, which uses some Warp3D Nova (From Enhancer software bundle by A-EON) to show some new Warp3D functions under AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition Update 1:

I also added a UPS this week to protect my X1000 from any future power spikes, surges or whatnot. Given the X1000 is no longer made, I want to protect it as much as possible.

It is exciting that we are only a few weeks into 2017 and already we have seen a lot of updates released for AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition Update 1! Should be a great year!