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Computer Lab:
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!

What is the Purpose of this Report?

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 AmigaXL and 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 Haage&Partner.
  • 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 Big-Tower follow.

  • Workbench
    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.

  • Video
    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.

  • Audio
    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 SYS:Storage/DosDrivers/Amithlon/PC1.

  • 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.

  • Network
    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

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 update page, 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

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!

AmigaOS3.9 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
    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 .BB39-2.

  • Amithlon
    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 AmigaOSXL-CD first!

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 colorwheel.gadget.

State: 28.03.2002 - Back to Contents.

Amithlon 1.0.1 - Programs, Commands and Patches

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 from Workbench:
    • 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.
    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.

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 S:Startup-Sequence!

  • 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 desirable.

  • 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:
          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.

  • changehelp
    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.

  • dumpconfig
    With dumpconfig the configuration of Amithlon can be displayed. This makes it possible, for example, to check if the setconfig commands have been transferred as wished.

  • 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.

  • pciscan
    This command outputs extensive information about the PCI bus.

  • ps2test
    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
          reboot powerdown
    switches off the computer, but this option only functions with the new kernel (see Harddisk). With the old kernel, the emulator freezes.

  • setconfig
    With setconfig, the configuration of Amithlon can be altered. The commands in the S:Startup-Sequence should be located before the command AmithlonSetup.

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 amithlon_contrib, on May 18, 2002 another such collection appeared in the update archive amithlon_contrib2 and finally, on August 6, 2002 even a third such collection appeared in the update archive amithlon_contrib3.

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:

    • On the one hand, the <CapsLock> key totally paralyses some keyboards (see Installation). Obviously, this problem only occurs when Amithlon tries to switch on the CapsLock LED of the keyboard. This can be switched off with the latest patch. For this, one has to add the following line in the Amithlon part of the S:Startup-Sequence before the command AmithlonSetup:
            Setconfig setleds 0
      Furthermore, since the keyboard of the Big-Tower does not have any LEDs, this patch is not noticed and the problem is solved.

      Note: This problem obviously mainly occurs with the ECS mainboard and in combination with different keyboards, for example from Logitech and Hewlett-Packard.

    • The second problem is, that Amithlon can not distinguish exacly, if double events from the mouse wheel originate from a possible second wheel or if they are quick movements of the first wheel.
      By default, Amithlon tries to determine the number of wheels by itself and interprets the double turn events as second mouse wheel and translates them as the keys <Cursor-right> and <Cursor-left>, respectively. One can recognize this behaviour, when opening a big text file in Multiview, setting up the window so narrow, that the move bar in the bottom window frame gets smaller and then turning the mouse wheel quickly.
      In the case of the mouse of the Big-Tower Amithlon obviously can not recognize that there is only one mouse wheel, which is turned quickly. When the following line
            Setconfig wheelcount 1
      is inserted in the S:Startup-Sequence, Amithlon is forced to use the signals as signals from a one wheel mouse. The setting "2" forces Amithlon to translate the input as two mouse wheels, the setting "0" is the automatic recognition as described above.

    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 file.
    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 configurations!

  • 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 powerpar.device.

    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.

AmigaXL - Settings, Commands and Programs

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.

  • AHI
    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 accessible.

    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.

  • Audio
    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 QNX.

  • 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.

  • SYS:Internet/Dialer
    This is actually a project icon, which uses QNXLaunch (see above) to start the Photon Dialer (phdialer).

  • SYS:Internet/Network_Config
    This is actually a project icon, which uses QNXLaunch (see above) to start the QNX TCP/IP Preferences (phlip).

  • SYS:Internet/Voyager
    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.

  • SYS:System/PTerm
    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.

  • SYS:Utilities/Mediaplayer
    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 Workbench.

    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 <left_Amiga>-<X>.
    (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 6.1.0 - Settings

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.

  • Screenmode
    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:

    • Start QNX, press the <Space bar> during boot.
    • In the boot menu, select <F1> "Safe modes".
    • In the sub menu, select <F3> "No photon".
    • Confirm twice by pressing <Enter>.
    • Enter "root" at the following Login: prompt, confirm with <Enter>.
    • Now enter the following commands:
            cp /home/devg-tnt.so /lib/dll
            crttrap clear
    • The first command copies the driver, the second command deletes the settings of the graphics modes (crt = cathode ray tube), the third command finally starts Photon. At that moment, the video preferences window described above gets opened automatically.

  • 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.

Software and AmigaOSXL - the Full Truth!

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.

GoodyBox for AmigaOSXL

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.

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