Sunday, 15 March 2020

MorphOS 3.13 and Iris Beta 71 Email on X5000

First off I must apologise for the slowness of blog updates this month. I have been quite ill for the past two weeks (especially the last week) with some kind of bad flu thingy. And no, I haven't travelled anywhere overseas or even Australia recently...I am still recovering, so I have been isolating and working from home (just in case) to protect work colleagues and family.

Despite this, I have still been doing some Amiga stuff this month.

Before I start on MorphOS 3.13, one thing I have been enjoying on weekends and evenings while being sick at home has been playing Worthy, Blood Money, Pinball Illusions and Simulcra on Classic Amiga 1200 and 500, as part of a monthly gaming high score competition being held on the forum, run out of Brisbane, Australia for Australian (and other) Amiga users!

I didn't win, but did finish second in Worthy and Pinball Illusions (Babewatch table) high score competitions last month:

This month's ECS high score game is Simulcra, and I am leading the high scores so far :-)

My high score on Simulcra is 25725 - can you do better?

Feel free to join in on forums if you want to take part too.

With the Coronavirus forcing a lot of people locally and globally to be at home, I am hoping more people will try to beat the high scores on their Amiga systems!

One other thing I have sorted out last week is my new NBN internet access. Since moving to my new home in January last year, I have been waiting for NBN to be available at this address, and using mobile 4GX internet in the meantime.

For those not in Australia, NBN (National Broadband Network) is Australia's new crappy internet to replace the even crappier ADSL we used before. Hand crafted by the best accountants in Canberra, the final version of the NBN supplied to most households is a mishmash of shitty technologies, resulting in far from optimal performance. For IT people like myself, it is incredibly frustrating to see the final crappy resulting internet rolled out to many homes (including mine).

Now it is available and it is installed in my house. I now have the maximum available NBN 100Mbps download speed (theoretically) to my house. In reality it is around 90Mbps during peak evening usage, but a big improvement on 16Mbps variable internet performance under 4GX and 8Mbps under ADSL I had, it is better. My AmigaOne X5000, X1000 and other Classic Amiga systems can all use it too:

In reality, in the global scheme of Internet, Australia's internet speed is still awful. Truly awful. I had 1Gbps fibre internet direct to my apartment when living in Tokyo 10 years ago. 10Gbps is the standard now, with 100Gbps trials underway in Tokyo for the next phase...we are soo far behind.

Anyway, it is what it is. Here I now have 100Mbps download speed via Hybrid Fibre Coaxial Connection (Coaxial Cable from the nearest fibre node to my house) with 20Mbps upload. This makes doing blog posts much easier now for image uploading. On ADSL at my old place I have been uploading at 512kbps!! It took so long to upload photos for a single blog entry for years and years, but now no more!

Let's move onto MorphOS 3.13, released recently as a bug fixed version of MorphOS 3.12 released late last year.

We now have our first 2020 NG Amiga OS released which is exciting! I burned off the CD-R ISO image from the MorphOS team website to load onto my AmigaOne X5000.

I covered MorphOS 3.12 installation in some detail on my blog here in January, so I am not going into the same detail again here as I am just upgrading it to the new version.

The CD live booted into 3.13 and I started the installation process:

The installation prompts to upgrade the existing installation or start a new installation. I want to upgrade my current MorphOS 3.12 so I select that option:

The setup detects my 3.12 installation on the X5000, which I can select and then click on Update:

The copy then gets underway - time for a coffee and more fix me up pills...

Setup completed successfully:

With MorphOS 3.13 now installed I rebooted the AmigaOne X5000 to boot into the new environment. The main visual change is the window frame theme has been changed from the MorphOS original translucent gradient blue frames to the flat blue (more Workbench 3.1 looking) theme. I like the new theme actually, feels more Amiga now:

Because my purchased registration file is already installed on the system, the upgrade OS is already fully activated and works without any restrictions. It runs well.

I also took the opportunity to upgrade my Powerbook G4 15" to the latest 3.13 MorphOS release, which worked perfectly as well:

 I returned to my AmigaOne X5000 to download and try out the new Iris email program (Beta 71) under MorphOS 3.13. I am pleased to report it works very well with Gmail, supporting HTML format emails, embedded images in emails, and more.

There are some great developments going on for MorphOS like Iris, and provided at no cost for MorphOS users to get more value from their systems!

Some of the features of Iris email client are:

  • Extensive IMAP support based on VMime, including local storage and folder management
  • OAuth2 authentication support for GMail, and Yahoo! Mail
  • Support for all common authentication and security methods
  • Support for custom / self-signed server certificates
  • Encryption of passwords and authentication keys via cryptostorage.library
  • Email account autoconfiguration
  • Multiple accounts
  • HTML email support within the application thanks to inclusion of WebKit
  • Rich text email editing, including a spell checker
  • Attachments including embedding images in emails
  • Full Unicode support, everywhere in the application
  • Massive multithreading for all of networking and I/O operations
  • Read-only offline mode
  • Support for OpenURL
  • PDF export of emails
This is an exciting step forward for Email clients on NG Amiga.

The big feature for me with Iris is the ability to work with Gmail accounts (and others) using IMAP connections, rather than the older fiddly to configure POP3 connections required before.

Note that I originally did some screenshots below from 3.12 MorphOS on the X5000, which uses the older window frame theme. Iris functionality is unchanged under 3.13, it just uses a different window theme now as the default.

There is a nice wizard that walks you through the process to add your Gmail account to Iris:

After putting in your Gmail credentials, you are automatically redirected using Odyssey to Google to login using your Google account and allow the Iris email program to access your emails.

You need to allow Iris to access your Google account for the email functionality to work:

Once done, you are prompted to close the Odyssey web browser window:

The setup was completed successfully in Iris:

It then populates the mailbox view with the Gmail content using IMAP:

Under 3.13 MorphOS it still works just as well, now with the new window theme.

Using Iris under MorphOS 3.13 I sent a test email from the X5000 to validate Iris sends email successfully from Gmail - I embedded an image in the email to test that too:

The email sent successfully and received in Iris (as I sent it to myself), so I can could see the HTML format email displays correctly with the embedded image in it. Success!

In the Iris settings, you can adjust the appearance of the columns, default font and spell check:

Under Accounts option in the Iris title bar menus, you can adjust the Gmail settings, and also your Email signature to use when composing emails, so you can tell everyone you are emailing them from your AmigaOne X5000! Spread the word!

Having now got Iris working well under MorphOS 3.13, I then relaxed listening to a MorphOS music disk demo from Uprough called Saturday at Joes EP - an oldie but a goodie:

That's it for today - I hope you enjoy playing around with MorphOS 3.13 on your AmigaOne X5000, Sam 460 or the other supported older PowerPC Mac systems!

Monday, 10 February 2020

WHDLoad games working under Workbench 1.3

I found out this week how to get WHDLoad games working under Workbench 1.3!! I always thought it was impossible and that you needed a newer kickstart...I will share how I did it!

The reality is that WHDLoad itself DOES NOT work on Workbench 1.3, but using a separate program called JST you can run whdload slave files under Workbench 1.3.

I found out this information courtesy of Johnny Acevedo posting in the Amiga Workbench 1.3 user Facebook group recently.

JST is how I got this working on my Amiga 1000.

My Amiga 1000 uses a 2MB memory expansion, plus a ACA500 attached to the expansion slot, as below:

This allows me to boot Workbench 1.3 from CF card with a v1.3 kickstart - no need for kickstart or hd boot floppies! It was unstable when I first tried this a while back but after flashing the ACA500 firmware to the latest version it works very well and reliable now.

I am using a 2GB CF card for the Amiga boot drive. I set this CF card originally for the Amiga 3000, so the partition names are labelled WB_1.3 and WB_2.x to support the Superkickstart. But I am not using that here.

I copied my Amiga 2000 Workbench 1.3 Hard disk setup I did back in 1991 to the WB_1.3 partition, which features Simgen backdrop, tbar window frames and a changed font, upgraded shell, amongst many other customisations I did back then!

I took the CF card and put it in my A4000 (via USB) so I can copy across the files needed for JST to work on the A1000.

From the A4000 I downloaded the latest JST archive from the author's website here. I then extracted the jst binary file from the zip and copied it to c: on the CF card.

I created a drawer called Kickstarts under the Devs drawer on the CF card, and I then copied the kick34005.A500 files to that drawer. This is needed by JST:

At the same time I was busy copying my favourite Amiga WHDLoad games from my A4000 hard disk to the Work partition on the CF card so I could try them out...

With that done, I put the CF Card back into my ACA500 on the Amiga 1000 and booted into the Workbench 1.3 environment.

To launch the whdload games using JST, you need to called each game slave file from JST in the Shell, as below:

jst    <name of game>.slave

The readme in the archive includes other parameters you can specify, but note that on a 68000 Amiga 1000 (like mine) most of these are not available to use.

The first game I tried was Gods - a bad choice as it turned out. Seems my A1000 doesn't have enough chip memory to run it:

So I picked an older game to start with, Beyond the Ice Palace, which I know works on the A1000 from floppy disk normally.

Voila! It works! I can play a non-dos game on my Amiga 1000 hard disk using JST with no floppies - how awesome!

I can even quit the game with F10 and return to the Workbench cleanly, as long as the key mapped for it on the game is on the keyboard...I found a few games use the '*' key on the numeric keypad, a key I just noticed that the A1000 keyboard doesn't have!

I tried the Nitro slave file next, and Nitro also worked perfectly also using JST!

Last, but not least I tried out Lotus 2 on Workbench 1.3, which again worked perfectly using JST. Look mum, no floppies!

I didn't have a lot of time to play with this during the weekend, but I was so excited by being able to play WHDLoad games under Workbench 1.3 I had to try it out quickly late last night, and share how I got it working in case anyone else wants to try it.

Next step is trying to get it to work from the game launch icons and working out how to remap the quit key without whdload being present. I think fixing the game launch icons is not as simple as copying jst to whdload in c: but stranger things have happened. I'll try it soon.

Monday, 27 January 2020

MorphOS 3.12 on X5000

One of the interesting features of the AmigaOne X5000 is the compatibility of MorphOS 3.12 with it.
Let's take a closer look at it.

I was very keen to try this out but I read there are some sacrifices to be made if you want to run MorphOS 3.12 on the X5000. I have to downgrade the included graphics card to a much lower spec graphics card compatible with MorphOS.

By doing this I then stop AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition Update 1 booting due it's reliance on graphical features of the updated drivers that need the new graphics card to work.

The X5000 doesn't have two PCI-e 16x sockets and doesn't support dual displays to my knowledge, so only one card can be installed. The X5000 also can't use a PCI Radeon 9250 graphics card (with or without a PCI-e card installed) to boot from - I tried it...

So you have to choose one or the other. Shame really.

I decided to try out MorphOS by downgrading to a Radeon X1950 Pro card that I bought from Ebay.

You can click on the images to supersize them, and see the specific model I bought.

Here is the card installed in the X5000:

I took a spare 2TB SATA hard disk to use for MorphOS, and removed the AmigaOS 4.1FE hard disk from the X5000 system.

This is beause the X5000 only has two SATA ports onboard (and one is for the DVD drive), that means I can only use one hard disk.

My X1000 is more flexible in this regard with 4 SATA ports built-in. You can add SATA PCI/PCI-e cards to the X5000 if you want more ports. You could also in theory set up a multi boot partition setup with AmigaOS4 and MorphOS but I have not tried that, so I don't know if that works.

For now I will run the X5000 purely as a MorphOS system. I will continue running AmigaOS 4.1 FE on my X1000, which was my intention when I bought the X5000.

Below is the X5000 booting up into MorphOS 3.12, from the CD I burnt from the MorphOS 3.12 ISO.

To do this I needed to select the Boot MorphOS option from the early boot menu (Press Escape on the X5000 boot logo while spinning).

I hooked up a HP 19" 4:3 TFT screen with DVI inputs to the graphics card initially, as MorphOS is quite picky about DVI output and I wanted to make sure it displayed before trying anything else. I pleased to say it works with the 3.12 CD which is great:

I tested it again with a DVI to HDMI converter and one of my X1000 HDMI screens. It worked also, and the install MorphOS program appears once MorphOS 3.12 has completed booting!

I then tried my main 32" HDMI screen with the X5000 running MorphOS 3.12 from the CD and it worked fine too, so exciting!

So I got on with the installation of MorphOS on the X5000 2TB hard disk:

After setting the usual screen resolution, date/time and network settings for the installation, I turned my attention to the partition setup. Given I have a 2TB hard disk, the default partition size is a bit small...I raised it up a bit. Later on I'll deal with the remaining space:

The MorphOS installer then went ahead and installed a bunch of files. Time for a coffee.

The install completed successfully, reboot time:

I get the X5000 logo and MorphOS logo as the MorphOS 3.12 system boots from the hard disk for the first time:

I only got a second to photograph the boot logo as it seriously boots really fast on the X5000 - way faster than AmigaOS 4 on the same system does:

MorphOS 3.12 desktop on my X5000 after the first boot:

I downloaded the fonts for the Odyssey web browser next so I could get online:

That done, I launched Odyssey, which is updated for MorphOS v3.12:

I visited the new Australian Amiga forum website, started by the Amiga Retro Brisbane group members. I covered my December 2019 visit and presentation in the blog here.

I am glad to be part of a new forum focused on Amiga in Australia. If you are in Australia please sign up today!

My MorphOS 3.12 installation is still the demo version, limited to 30 minutes before it slows downs dramatically and requires a reboot to reset the 30 minute timer. I will register it now that I know it works well on the X5000:

To do this I run the RegTool in the System:Tools drawer, which packages my details and some of my X5000 details (as a MorphOS license is tied to the physical machine) to send to MorphOS team.

You need to be connected to the internet for this part, as it submits the details to MorphOS team to process the registration:

After filling in all the details and submitting, the registration tool (but not the registration itself) is successfully completed. You receive an email later with instructions on payment for the license using PayPal.

With the payment done, you receive a license file via email that removes the 30 minutes time limit for MorphOS and instructions on how to install it. I found that Gmail tends to treat it as spam mail so if you use Gmail check your spam folders for it!

With that done, I now have a full MorphOS 3.12 installation on my X5000!

There is a great resource on getting started with MorphOS, called the MorphOS library. I recommend new users to MorphOS read this as it will help you with getting started using it:

MorphOS Storage (WarmUp) is another great site for downloading MorphOS software - especially the Chrysalis pack for updating the base MorphOS 3.12 installation to include application, games, emulation and more, all setup out of the box:

I downloaded the Chrysalis pack iso, and opened it (mounted automatically) to start with:

It is recommended to read the Installation Guide before proceeding. You need a fresh installation of MorphOS. You should not install the Chrysalis pack on an install of MorphOS that has had other tools, application, games installed as that can cause issues for the installer.

As my MorphOS 3.12 install is indeed a fresh install, I stepped through the installer for Chrysalis:

A lot of files then get copied across:

With the installation complete, I rebooted the system to finish the installation.

With the Chrysalis pack now installed on my X5000, I can next use Grunch to check for any updates of programs installed on my MorphOS 3.12 system:

It will show version differences, and you can also install any other software that you may not yet have on your MorphOS installation.

In order to run AmigaOS4 specific titles under MorphOS (well, a only a handful work), you will need a program called os4emu - note that a lot of AmigaOS 4 stuff still doesn't work under MorphOS, even with this tool installed, but it can help for some older AmigaOS 4 software.

The legal status of this tool is somewhat dodgy, so I don't include any links here (Google is your friend) and I leave it to you to decide if you want it or not.

Next, I turn my attention to the hard disk partition setup. Right off the bat I have to say that the HDConfig tool for MorphOS is nowhere near as nice to work with as AmigaOS 4 HDToolbox.

That said, it is the tool we have to use under MorphOS 3.12, located in the System:Tools drawer:

With my current partition setup (setup when I installed MorphOS 3.12), HDConfig shows I have a 40GB FFS/LNFS system partition (DH0) and a 128GB SFS Work (DH1) partition. I still have a lot of free space!

Initially I thought I could just use SFS for the remaining space, and indeed HDConfig will happily allow you to set this configuration - I set up 4 partitions using SFS around 420GB each:

Here is an example partition setup, DH2 in this case:

I then went to format the new partitions in HDConfig:

It asks to confirm:

It then returns this error message, saying SFS partitions can't be larger than 128GB!

Why doesn't it tell you that when creating the partitions!! Anyway, I then tried FFS/LNFS instead of SFS as the partition type:

Because I already tried formatting in HDConfig, it confusingly displays DH2.0 and DH2, and the same for the other partitions I created...

The format then worked, and I formatted the other 3 partitions the same way, using FFS/LNFS - I can now see them under MorphOS desktop, ready for use:

I have covered a complete MorphOS 3.10 build before on this blog (Part 1 and Part 2), covered in lots of detail step by step if you want to see how to do that, without cheating with the chrysalis pack.

Because of that I don't plan to cover the installation build again here, as I would just be rehashing the same ground again.

I did establish YouTube works well(ish) on the new Odyssey version under the X5000, which is great to see.

Next up is getting E-UAE working. With the Chrysalis Pack installation, it includes an almost configured E-UAE setup for MorphOS, but you do need to supply the kickstart roms (available via Cloanto's Amiga Forever) into the Roms drawer under E-UAE, and then point to it from the configuration GUI called rhLaunch under MorphOS:

As you can see the kickstart rom folder is empty:

Having loaded some kickstart roms in (from my purchased Amiga forever software), I can now see them under the Roms tabs in rhLaunch:

I then need to change the Configurations one by one to use the correct kickstart rom file. You can use the search button to list the available roms to choose from:

Example after changing:

Don't forget the CD32 configuration needs the extra rom file specified:

You can set the location of your ADF files (Floppies section) as below in the Settings tab - I have them on a separate partition to the emulation as the ADF files use a lot of space:

What that done, rhLaunch will then scan the drawer (and sub-drawers) and list all ADF's to quick launch with a given configuration:

Next in rhLaunch is updating the hard disk locations for each configuration. 

Hard disk files are not supplied as installed by Chrysalis Pack, so I needed to copy my hard disk backups used on my X5000/X1000 for use on this machine - for the A1200 I use my A4000 backup and add the Work partition from MorphOS as it contains my WHDLoad games, demos and music (the all important modules!):

With that work done, I then launch the emulation - normally it launches in full screen, but you can change the amiga_screen_type field from Custom to Public, and it will then run in a window, as below - make sure you check the height and width fields fit the window size:

Running on the MorphOS 3.12 Ambient desktop, the A1200/040 emulated system runs very well:

Thanks to the E-UAE JIT setup (similar as under AmigaOS 4), the 060 AGA demos run perfectly on the X5000 under MorphOS:

Feeling a bit ambitious to test the limits, I ran three E-UAE sessions simultaneously on the X5000 on the MorphOS Ambient Desktop:

I am happy to report they all work perfectly well on the X5000 simultaneously, although having three sets of audio at the same time is not so great!

Here I am running Battle Squadron, Red Sector's Cebit 90 demo and Sanity's Digital Innovation demo in three separate E-UAE instances under MorphOS on the X5000! Cool!

Here is some more information about the GFX card I have installed on the X5000, courtesy of the Graphics Board program under MorphOS:

I started copying across a backup of my MorphOS games from my Powerbook G4 system, which I had archived into one 2.0GB archive to make it easier to transfer. The transfer speed was around 20.6MB/s on the X5000.

I went back to Odyssey to see some real world examples of Web browsers with NG Amiga MorphOS 3.12 so people can know what to expect (and to keep your expectations in check!)

Accessing Facebook, I found it logged in ok, but the main page didn't display right - it was missing the content! I could see Odyssey was spoofing itself as an iPad from the way the Facebook screen was displayed:

I changed it to spoof Safari (MacOS) and things started working better and more compatible with Facebook. (no live Messenger though)

I use ProtonMail, and as expected with it's encryption requirements, after authenticating my account login, it gets no further.

Gmail works well, but only in backwards compatibility view mode - it doesn't use the modern mail web appearance.

Using YouTube in Odyssey, it plays video at 360p mostly ok, with some glitches. I suspect some optimisation of Mplayer settings is needed here:

If I manually select 720p in the settings for playback it is unwatchable in Odyssey:

The Australian ABC News website renders well, but can't playback video content:

The same applies to the BBC news website:

As you would expect, Amiga focused websites render well in Odyssey:

I tried to use Microsoft Outlook 365/Office365 - which only seems to make progress past the login page if I select to Spoof as Safari (Mac) in the Odyssey options:

Outlook 365 (Hotmail) works ok in Odyssey:

Things don't go so well when trying to use Word Online in Odyssey - CSS keeps trying to save as a download rather than being rendered in Odyssey:

Ultimately Microsoft Word online gives up and makes you exit:

The point of showing these rendering issues is to show how much progress is still needed on web browser development on NG Amigas. The same issues apply to AmigaOS 4 as well, which uses an older version of Odyssey than what runs on MorphOS 3.12.

A lot of progress has been made which is great, but there is still a lot more to do!

I hope all the remaining Amiga browser developers can unify their efforts under Odyssey and make it work with modern web applications and standards, really needed in 2020!

Next, I listened to some modules using Schismtracker for MorphOS.

I then tried out some of the MorphOS games from my Powerbook G4. Some work fine, some don't.

Gigalomania worked fine:

Voxelnoid worked ok for the most part:

Some other games that worked ok included Fruit'y, Giana Sisters Return, Open Tyrian, and more:

I was disappointed that Return To Castle Wolfenstein, GL Quake and some other 3D games either didn't run at all, or didn't render properly, like Neverball. These run perfectly on the Powerbook G4, so clearly the MorphOS 3.12 Graphics card 3D support for the X1950 card is likely the issue here. I had problems with many MorphOS demos too, likely for the same reason.

That said, many 3D games do run fine on the X5000 with the Radeon X1950 installed, so hopefully it can be fixed in a future release.

I have a lot more work to do on the MorphOS 3.12 build on my X5000 like setting up Iris email, applications, etc. However, at this point, with a working installation with music, games and classic Amiga emulation working seems to be a good point to end this blog post.

I plan to cover more about MorphOS 3.12 on the X5000 later on so stay tuned!