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Computer Lab: Programs

So, what am I doing with my favourite computer? Well, I tried this and that. I did some composing, but I have more ideas than talent. I also own some games for recreation, but recently I did not have much time for that.

I wrote my physics diploma thesis ("Diplomarbeit") titled "Magnetfeldabhängige Messungen der spezifischen Wärme von TmNi2B2C" on my Amiga 4000 using the text processor FinalWriter and the formula editor MathPaint.

Most of the time I write and edit my web pages using a free version of GoldED, because it supports editing of HTML files as well as AmigaGuide files and of course it is also brilliant for editing plain ASCII files.

I released some backdrops under the name ABC-Patterns on Aminet in 1994. Most pictures, backdrops and icons of my web sites are created using PersonalPaint. The photographs are scanned using ScanQuix.

Just recently I installed ArtEffect4 for image processing and painting. With this I have designed the new navigation buttons for my web pages.

Daily I am using the free file manager DiskMasterII. To keep in track of my finances and for other statistics I use TurboCalc5. My Amiga 4000 is connected to the internet using the NetConnect3 software package.

Programs, that I have tested with AmigaOSXL

The following table has to be seen as a supplement to my AmigaOSXL Experiences Report. One has to understand, that the evaluation does not criticize the respective program, but its ability to run on the respective system. Further, more "+" only mean, that I use the program more often and therefore, that I can criticize its ability to run more reliably. The symbols have the following meaning:

Permanent Test Long Test Short Test Other
+++runs without problems ++runs without problems +runs not tested
++-runs with slight limitations +-runs with problems -does not run ###is not used
+--runs with heavy problems

System Tools
AC97Mixer 2.1Bright Light Software ###+++### This tool has been developed especially for Amithlon.
fat95 3.06Aminet disk/misc ++ The GoodyBox contains mountfiles for Amithlon
MirrorCopy 1.6Aminet util/cli +++++++++ No particularities so far.
MMKeyboard 2.21Aminet hard/hack ++### This tool supports Amithlon, but not AmigaXL.
MUI 3.8CD NetConnect3.1 +++++++++ MUI directly supports the middle mouse button.
Solution for the colorwheel problem.
NewMode 3.9Aminet util/cdity +++++++++ No particularities so far.
PGP 2.6ui 020Aminet util/crypt +++ No particularities so far.
RxTD 1.2Aminet util/wb +++++++++ No particularities so far.
SimpleSplitter 1.0Aminet util/cli + No particularities so far.
TD Prefs2 1.0Aminet util/wb +++++++++ No particularities so far.
Office & Online
AmFTP 1.92CD NetConnect2 ++++++ No particularities so far.
AmiTradeCenter 1.440Aminet comm/tcp ++++++ No particularities so far.
AWeb II 3.4 176 SECD AmigaOS XL +++++++ No particularities so far.
AWeb II 3.4 APL 040AWeb APL Homepage ++++ No particularities so far.
Genesis 1.0.6CD NetConnect3.1 ++++++### AmigaXL uses the TCP/IP stack of QNX.
GoldED 3.1.4free full version +++++-+++ Amithlon: occasional crashes, with solution.
Miami 3.0evaluation version ++++++### AmigaXL uses the TCP/IP stack of QNX.
MicroDot-II 1.4.4CD NetConnect3.1,
Update from Vaporware
+++++++++ Number of messages is not displayed, with workaround.
MUI particularities, see at MUI.
TurboCalc 5.02 DCD TurboCalc5,
Update from Schatztruhe
+++++++++ No particularities so far.
Voyager 3.2
& VFlash.plugin V1.2
CD NetConnect3.1,
VFlash from Vaporware
+++++++-- AmigaXL: online usage is dead slow.
MUI particularities, see at MUI.
Action 45.3CD AmigaOS XL ++- Color only up to 16 Bit! Amithlon: Sound requires PuhDerBaer.
AmigaXL: Sound desturbed, hangs, crashes!
ArtEffect 4.0.7CD ArtEffect4 +++++++ No particularities so far.
ArtEffect PluginsCD ArtEffect-PluginCollection ++ No particularities so far.
Frogger 1.63 040Aminet gfx/show + No particularities so far.
Frogger 2.02 68kFrogger Homepage ++++ No particularities so far.
MakeCD 3.2cMakeCD Homepage +### AmigaXL: QNX does not support CD writers.
PPaint 7.1Aminet biz/cloan +++ Problems at startup, with Solution.
SGrab 1.21Aminet util/wb +++ No particularities so far. (1.20 caused crashes) (2004-08-26)
Supershapes 0.04Aminet gfx/misc + No particularities so far. (2004-09-08)
WhirlGIF 2.0Aminet gfx/conv ++ No particularities so far.
amigaFoulEggs 1.00Meicky-Soft Homepage ++ No particularities so far. (2004-08-26)
AmiPet 1.14Aminet game/wb ++++++ Amithlon: sound requires PuhDerBaer.
AQuix 1.04Aminet game/wb +++++-++- Sound- & graphics problems, with solution.
ArTKanoid 1.2Aminet game/wb +++++-- Amithlon: sound requires PuhDerBaer.
AmigaXL: sound is delayed, graphics problems.
ArTKanoid 2.0HD-Rec Homepage ++++-- AmigaXL: sound is delayed, graphics problems.
Black HoleAminet game/wb ++ This game requires a joystick, which is why I cannot perform further tests.
Amithlon: sound requires PuhDerBaer.
BlockOut 1.00Aminet game/wb ++++ No particularities so far.
Boum 1.2Aminet game/wb ++++++ No particularities so far.
Color-Riddle 1.3Aminet game/wb ++-++- This program is not crash-free!
Hexagons 2.3Aminet game/wb +++++++++ Only tested with keyboard, not with joystick.
MiniArcanoid 2.9aAminet game/wb ++++++++- Amithlon: sound requires PuhDerBaer.
AmigaXL: sound is delayed.
Missile Command 1.0Blackbird Homepage ++ Amithlon: requires PuhDerBaer, otherwise crashes on exit!
AmigaXL: sound is delayed. (2004-08-26)
PairsNG 2.4 BetaPairs Homepage +++++ AmigaXL: sound is delayed. (2004-08-31)
PairsNG 2.5 BetaPairs Homepage +++ No particularities so far. (2004-10-20)
PairsNG 2.6 BetaPairs Homepage +++ No particularities so far. (2004-12-01)
WBsteroids 1.7Aminet game/wb ++++++++- Amithlon: sound requires PuhDerBaer.
AmigaXL: sound is delayed.

Special Hints to some Programs (in alphabetical order)

AC97Mixer 1.8 - 2.1

  • Observation: The developer of AC97Mixer recommends to put the program into the WBStartup drawer to execute it automatically with every bootup of Workbench. However, this causes several problems:
    • With AmigaXL two annoying requesters pop up with every bootup. The first notes that Amithlon is not running and the second, that a Software-Failure has occurred. Which means that AC97Mixer can not be put into the WBStartup drawer of a partition which is also used to boot with AmigaXL.
    • With Amithlon starting AC97Mixer from the WBStartup drawer does not lead to the expected result either, because the soundboard will be initialized with the first call of AHI (i.e. from Amplifier or PuhDerBaer), which means that all settings of AC97Mixer will be overwritten.
  • Solution: I have written a little script, which avoids all described problems. It can be put into the WBStartup drawer, no matter if the partition is used to boot with Amithlon only or also with AmigaXL or even a real Amiga. Of cause, advanced users can integrate the script into the S:Startup-Sequence. The script can be found in the GoodyBox.

AQuix 1.04

  • Observation: AQuix has major problems with both emulators. The default configuration causes immediate program crashes.
  • Solution Path:
    • AQuix crashes, when the sound is turned on. Since the sound is turned on in the default settings, one has to start AQuix on a real Amiga first, remove the checkmark in front of "Sound" in the "Einstellungen" (settings) menu, and quit the program. With the configuration file ENVARC:AQuix.prefs, that has been created this way, one can start the program with AmigaOSXL, too. A funny thing is, that with AmigaXL, one can now activate the sound, which again leads to a program crash, and then start AQuix a second time. The second program recognizes the "occupied" sound channels, locks the sound setting and so prevents one from crashing the second program as well. Amithlon on the other hand, gets totally frozen by the program crash and can only be re-started with a hardware reset. The freezing of the emulator can be prevented through PuhDerBaer, but not the program crash.
    • MUI has to be set to "Refresh: smart". I use "Refresh: simple" as standard, since this setting very much speeds up the graphics functions. So the setting has to be changed to "Refresh: smart" in the "Window" section of the MUI preferences.
    • The screenmode must not have more than 8 bit (256 colors). If a colordepth greater than 8 bit is used, there are graphics errors. This is a problem of AQuix and also emerges on the A4000. Users that use higher color depths, like myself, have to select a screenmode with at most 8 bit in the "ScreenMode" preferences.
  • Result: With both Emulators, AQuix runs more fluently than on the A4000. The only limitation is the renunciation of the generation of sound. The required configuration file and a GlowIcon can be found in the GoodyBox.

Color-Riddle 1.3

  • Observation: If one clicks on the "Save" button in the Mode Settings of Color-Riddle, the program crashes with the next program start or cannot be started at all. As long as one does not use this function, the program seems to run bug-free. This problem is rather a bug in the program itself than an emulation problem.

GoldED 3.1.4

  • Observation: GoldED occasionally crashes Amithlon. The reason is the generation of warning "beeps", that obviously cannot be trapped.
  • Solution: In the menu, open the "Config/GUI..." prefs and click on the radio button "beep off". Caution! Clicking on "beep low" or "beep normal" is sufficient to freeze Amithlon! Then close the prefs window using "ok". Finally the configuration has to be saved permanently using "Config/save...".
  • Remark: This solution is also valid for version 4. With AmigaXL there are no crashes, but one can keep the settings from Amithlon as well.

MicroDot-II 1.4.4

  • Observation: In the main window "Account overview" the number of messages is not displayed. Instead, it reads "0 messages (0 new, 0 unread)". On my A4000 these numbers are not updated regularly, but at least they get initialized when the program starts.
  • Workaround: If one sets up several accounts, one can use the fact, that the numbers are updated each time the account is switched.

MMKeyboard 2.21

  • Observation: MMKeyboard is actually a hardware hack that serves to connect modern "Multimedia Keyboards" to Amiga computers. Therefore, the respective software is also meant for Amiga computers. But the author, Guido Mersmann, has developed a somewhat smaller version for Amithlon on request by Harald Frank. In this version, all parts that have to do with the hardware hack, are omitted. Instead, the Amithlon version directly accesses the Amithlon kernel, to "smuggle" the additional multimedia keys into the AmigaOS. And this is also the reason why there will never be a version for emulators, that are based upon UAE - and therefore, on a host OS - like AmigaXL, MacUAE and WinUAE. Some settings from the hardware part have also been integrated into the keyboard prefs editor.
  • Download: Since Aminet is currently somewhat slow, Guido allowed me to offer the latest version 2.21 of MMKeyboard here for download - which, by the way, is the version that was demonstrated on the O.A.S.E. 2002 together with AmithlonXL. This is the full archive with all versions from AmigaOS2.0 to Amithlon. Archive [456kB]

MUI 3.8

  • Observation: MUI directly supports the middle mouse button. With pressed middle mouse button, one can, for example, move the text in the "Message reader" window of MicroDot-II by moving the mouse. The same works with the display window of Voyager, but not with frames, because frames are not controlled by MUI, but by Voyager itself!

  • Observation: When using a RGB color wheel in a color requester of Voyager or MicroDot-II, the point, that is set when the requester is opened, does not move and the mouse pointer only moves a second point.
  • Solution: Install the colorwheel.gadget from BoingBag2 for AmigaOS3.9 (see at System Partition).

PPaint 7.1

  • Observation: There are problems at startup, if a picture width >800 has been saved.
  • Solution: Set a screenmode of 800x600x8 for both screens, then save both settings.

  • Tips: On Aminet, there are further archives for PPaint:
    • docs/hyper/PPaintHTML.lha - german HTML version of the AmigaGuide manual
    • pix/gicon/PPaintMI.lha - GlowIcons by Mason

Voyager 3.2

  • Observation: Voyager can be used offline without problems, but when using it online with the TCP/IP stack of QNX, the data transfer is so slow, that the program seems like crashed. Therefore, it is practically unusable for online usage with AmigaXL.

  • Stability: Stability of Voyager increases with the option "Enable font face" in the "Font" settings disabled.

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