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Old 11-26-2009, 04:11 AM   #1
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Default How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup

After running OS3.9 on my A1200 with its default 020 @ 14 MHz and 8Mb RAM, I was expecting a big things with my new Blizzard 030 @ 50 MHz + FPU and 64Mb RAM. Unfortunately I found that my faster processor and extra memory didn’t make that much difference to WB performance.

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

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




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


Making it Fast

Obviously you need to install BB1, BB2 and BB3

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

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

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

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



Making it look Pretty

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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



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Last edited by NovaCoder; 02-24-2010 at 08:46 PM..
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Old 11-26-2009, 04:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup

What we need next is a really detailed tutorial on how to create SFS partitions!
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Old 11-26-2009, 04:20 AM   #3
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Default Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup

Great tutorial!

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

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

Any change you could update the tutorial with a hint on how you made your workbench look that great, step by step?
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Old 11-26-2009, 05:02 AM   #4
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Thumbs up Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup

I have to admit this is one of those tutorials that's far more useful than it looks. Many Amiga returnees pulling an A1200 out of the attic will be thinking of getting just this sort of setup going. Nice work.
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Old 11-26-2009, 06:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup

Nice!! I really like your presentation video (including the AW bugger ).

Btw. how do you play DOTT? Has it been ported to Amiga natively or is there some Scummvm magic at works in the background?
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Old 11-26-2009, 06:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup

nice tutorial Nova! half the fun is setting up our Miggy's :-)
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Old 11-26-2009, 07:44 AM   #7
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Default Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup

Yes, thanks for this guide. I wish it were not in the forum format though. Think it could be better done as a blog or a series of blogs?. My 1024x768 screen is great but soo slow. I might need to give up some resolution to make WB work better, I like 64 colors.

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

C: AddBuffers >NIL: DH0: 250

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

How did you do the video, NovaCoder ? Looks good.
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Last edited by TheGoose; 11-26-2009 at 07:58 AM..
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Old 11-26-2009, 07:45 AM   #8
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Default Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup

Thank you for your good tutorial!

PS:Have you tryed systempatch 3.3? It does a ton of speed up patches on AGA, and already includes iconbefast and blazewcp. Besides it is fblit and ftext compatible! http://www.ziosante.it/it/articoli-e...urces-download

Last edited by Gulliver; 11-26-2009 at 08:13 AM..
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Old 11-26-2009, 08:14 AM   #9
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Default Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup

@NovaCoder

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

Questions:

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

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

-- edit: I wish we had a central site or main FAQ that this kind of great info. One of the most frustrating things for returning Amiga users (like myself) is trying to find info on the net. My knowledge had stopped at ks2.0 and this has been the biggest hurtle for me.
So many really old FAQs that have dead links or outdated information.
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Last edited by Moto; 11-26-2009 at 08:18 AM.. Reason: FAQ rant
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Old 11-26-2009, 12:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup

OMG!

Thank you for informative stuff. Have been with Amiga (A500plus/A2000)since 1992, I just bought my first A1200 (still coming from UK and also bought Indivision AGA card, so I might just get somewhere with this, thanks to you too! I'm thinking some 040/060 card would be much "modern" in terms of usability of multicolor WB...
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Old 11-26-2009, 01:02 PM   #11
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Default Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moto View Post

* I have the B1260 card as well and I am not using blizkick because I thought the card does this ROM->RAM mapping automatically if the jumper is set. A little confused on this.
Moto, if you see flashing colours on your screen when you first turn on your amiga, then your kickstart is mapped to RAM.
Blizkick is used for mapping an actual kickstart file into ram....for example, users with 3.0 ROMS can softboot 3.1 if they wish by using Blizkick.
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Old 11-26-2009, 01:03 PM   #12
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Default Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moto View Post
-- edit: I wish we had a central site or main FAQ that this kind of great info. One of the most frustrating things for returning Amiga users (like myself) is trying to find info on the net. My knowledge had stopped at ks2.0 and this has been the biggest hurtle for me.
So many really old FAQs that have dead links or outdated information.
Maybe we could setup a Wiki on amiga.org with a FAQ style setup? Have a button in the top menu, voila!
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Old 11-26-2009, 01:30 PM   #13
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Default Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by koshman View Post
Nice!! I really like your presentation video (including the AW bugger ).

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

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

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

btw sorry NovaCoder for offtopic...
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Old 11-26-2009, 01:57 PM   #14
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Default Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup

Oh, I see, veeery nice indeed

So, now what about Sam & Max?

Sorry for continuing OT...
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Old 11-26-2009, 02:05 PM   #15
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Default Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by arttu80 View Post
Ahh, I'm sooo happy now that it (Day of the Tentacle) can be played on AMIGA!!!

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

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

I think he will get offended since this is his thread
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Old 11-26-2009, 04:08 PM   #16
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Default Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by koshman View Post
Oh, I see, veeery nice indeed

So, now what about Sam & Max?

Sorry for continuing OT...

Yep Sam & Max is coming, it's what I'm working on now

Anyway back on topic.....

Cool glad you guys like this little guide. I'm not an expert or anything, just wanted to give a write-up of what I've discovered so far.

Obviously WB will always run quicker with less colours but I wanted to show that you can create a 'useable' WB in 256 colours without RTG.

Yep I've heard about SystemPatch and it's another option but I prefer to choose which patches I'm applying
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:10 PM   #17
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Default Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup

Quote:
PS:Have you tryed systempatch 3.3? It does a ton of speed up patches on AGA, and already includes iconbefast and blazewcp.
And FText. However, i have found that some of these patches perform a little faster than SystemPatch on 68020-68030 CPUs, according to AIBB benchmarks. Some SystemPatch routines are specially optimized for 68060, iirc, but work fine on all 020+ CPUs.

Quote:
Yep I've heard about SystemPatch and it's another option but I prefer to choose which patches I'm applying
SystemPatch gives you complete control on which patches will be installed. It's important to skip the loadseg and intuition.library patches by adding -loadseg and nointuition.
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Old 11-27-2009, 01:36 AM   #18
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Default Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup

What resolution are you using ?
Seems very slow compared to mine ...
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:42 AM   #19
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Default Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by lauri.lotvonen View Post
What resolution are you using ?
Seems very slow compared to mine ...
You have Indivision and dont have to run Multisync + VGA only
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:56 AM   #20
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Default Re: How to create a fast (but stable) OS3.9 AGA setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by kolla View Post
You have Indivision and dont have to run Multisync + VGA only
Oh, me being blind/rude again, sorry
I don't have Fblit&Ftext and Iconbefast installed, might just try them, because when running 1024x768 OS 3.9 slow's down alot.
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