: 25th Jun 2015
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Hints and Tips
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Hints and Tips
These are some useful hints and tips to help you get the most out of OS4
USB ports not recognizing anymore any device: this happens when the floppy cable has been plugged reversed. It can be easily verified by looking at the floppy drive's LED, if it's constantly turned on, the cable has been plugged the wrong way.
Random lockups on A1SE/XE: if you're having them while running system-intensive programs such as Warp3D games or emulators, and you're using a single DIMM module at 133 MHz, try lowering the frequency to 100 MHz, even if memtester doesn't report any error on it. This has worked for me, as it seems that my unregistered module doesn't work reliably at 133.
Step by step guide on how to activate DMA on HDs and CD/DVD drives on
- if you have an XE, then it MUST have been fixed if you plan to use
DMA with the internal IDE
- type from a shell "idetool -u a1ide.device unit" where "unit"
stands for the unit number for the drive you are examining; the output
should be something like this: -------------------Unit 0
Flags : $00000185 - present, supports DMA, ATA, supports cache
flush, interrupts used,
Xfer mode : best pio / best dma / current : 12 / 69 / 12
Total blocks : 156368016
Blocksize : 512
Power mode : 2 / idle (ready for operation)
IO1 / IO2 / BMCR @ : $1F0 / $3F6 / $CC00
- if the drive supports DMA (check the very first line as above) you
can check the Xfer mode: if the "current" setting is different from
the "best dma" one then DMA is not active yet
- type from the shell "idetool -x a1ide.device unit mode", typing as
"unit" and "mode" the appropriate numbers (the "mode" value is the one
shown as "best dma" by the previous call of idetool, in the example
- repeat the same procedure for all the drives you want to activate
DMA on (using of course each drive's "best dma" values!)
- so far the changes you have made are all temporary: if you reset
they are gone. Thus you can experiment a little with the new settings
to check that everything is OK: I suggest you copy a couple of big
files from a partition to another or to RAM and try some programs.
- if everything works fine, then you can make the changes permanent
by setting the relevant UBoot variables (a1idexfer): open the UBoot
prefs program in SYS:Prefs/, go to the "IDE Ports" tab and set for
each drive the appropriate transfer mode (select for each one the
value previously outputted by idetool as the "best dma" value
according to the following table: PIO 0 ( 3 MB/s, modeid 8) PIO 1 ( 5
MB/s, modeid 9) PIO 2 ( 8 MB/s, modeid 10) PIO 3 ( 11 MB/s, modeid 11)
PIO 4 ( 16 MB/s, modeid 12) UDMA 0 ( 16 MB/s, modeid 64) UDMA 1 ( 25
MB/s, modeid 65) UDMA 2 ( 33 MB/s, modeid 66) UDMA 3 ( 44 MB/s, modeid
67) UDMA 4 ( 66 MB/s, modeid 68) UDMA 5 (100 MB/s, modeid 69) UDMA 6
(133 MB/s, modeid 70)
- Press the Save button, then make a cold reboot and enjoy your DMA
If you use a SIL card instead of the internal IDE ports, your XE doesn't need to be fixed and the procedure is the same as long as you use the appropriate device instead of "a1ide.device").
I cannot be held responsible in any way if you destroy or damage your A1 by following the instructions contained in this text: I simply reported the procedure I used to activate DMA on my fixed A1XE and it worked flawlessly for me; there should be no problem at all, but you never know ;-)
Regarding icons a new nice feature of OS4 is that you can see directly
on Workbench any Disk icon even if they are not in the root of a
partition (Disk.info): i.e. if you have a drawer like
"Data:Icons/MyIcons/", you can see all its icons whatever the type
(Disk, Drawer, Tool, Project or Trashcan)
Be careful when you choose the resolution of AmiPdf's screen, because
if it isn't wide enough some of the GUI buttons (mainly the rightmost
ones: Pan, Zoom and Select) may not be displayed at all.
To launch an AmigaDos script from AmiDock be sure to set it to "start
from the shell" in its Icon information window.
To use an Amiga keyboard with a Catweasel card, set the "stdin" variable to "amiga".
Here are keycodes for PC101/104 keyboards. If anyone has an IBM Model M, or similar 101/102 key keyboard without the Windows or Menu keys, you may remap those keys using the following codes.
For Example, to remap the windows keys as F11 and F12, enter the following line in the UBoot prompt...
"setenv kbddev_mapping 0x57=0x66 0x58=0x67"
for a full list of keycodes.
My AmigaOne won't boot!
If this is the case, check the CMOS battery. If it is flat it will need replacing before your A1 will boot again. You may have to re-enter your UBOOT settings.
For the uA1
Ensure that the SODIMM module is seated correctly before use. Chances are that it will have become dislodged in transit. Simply remove the module and put it back.
If you are using a Windows keyboard without a right-hand WinLogo (RAmiga) key, type the following at the U-Boot prompt:
setenv kbddev_norwin yes
This will enable the WinMenu key to be used as RAmiga.
The commodity WindowBorderSize in contrib/tools/cxandtools/autobordersize is very useful. It lets you resize a window by any window edge without using a hotkey, and it even changes mouse pointer when you point at a window edge.
If you haven't already, enter the Tools/Commodities drawer.
MoveToFront -- allows double-click to bring windows to front
DepthToFront -- think this is more related to screens...?
PowerMenus -- This causes popup- -menus all over Workbench to be context-sensitive. That is, if you right-click on an icon without PowerMenus, you'll get the entire menu tree and have to select e.g. "Icon->rename". With this commodity, only the icon menu arrives and "Rename" is right there to choose.
The Prefs/Workbench program lets you change the information displayed in the top screen bar.
This is a suggestion that might be useful to use when displaying screenshots on the web, since it both gives the memory total and available, the CPU and the Gfx-card used.
AmigaOS4.0(pre) Total: %mtm MB (Any: %mm MB, Virtual: %mvm MB) CPU: %c Graphics: %g
Entering the Prefs/Presets drawer, you will find three drawers with arrows on them, named Default, Low Colour and Fallback.
Clicking on the icons inside any of these will change your colours, background and gadget information. It's a great way to temporarily change back to e.g. the "default" WB look.
There is also an icon to save your newly selected theme (so you don't have to enter the respecive Preferences and save all that which has changed).
The IBrowse internal image decoders are slow under OS4. You really want to change to the PPC datatypes. You'll loose things like progressive loading of images, but the speed increase is so great you shouldn't notive most images loading anyway. This is how I got it to work:
a) Enter Ibrowse settings
b) Select HTML/Images
c) Select "external" under "image decoding"
However, be aware that setting GIF to external will mean you can no longer display AnimGIFs on webpages.
If your IBrowse settings does not work (Grim Reaper when try to change Settings), go to Prefs/Env-archive/Sys and rename the "locale.prefs" file. I suppose this will change your Workbench to English (I'm not sure, since I use English anyhow), but I do now it does not affect your keyboard; i.e. I can still use my Swedish characters.
Use the new CDRW/CDMRW/DVDRW etc. support, and backup your data easily with rewritable media.
Now there are two ways to resets an AmigaOne running AmigaOS4:
The first one - Ctrl-Amiga-Amiga (or windows keys on PC keyboards) - will cause a soft reset returning to a running OS4 rapidly without the need to reboot the whole machine.
The second; Ctrl-RAlt-LAlt (right and left alt keys, respectively) resets the whole machine back to UBoot.
Now the standard shell supports the tabulation for completing file names.
The intuition`s window management improves by the help of some qualifier keys:
Ctrl Alt will let you resize the windows from the border you want.
Ctrl Left Amiga will let you move the windows from anywhere you want.
When Offscreen is enabled, you can disable it on the fly by pressing Shift while dragging the window, so that it doesn`t cross the screen borders.
Press shift while clicking on a out-of-the screen window titlebar, to bring it into the screen bounds fastly.
All of these keys can be used together, i.e.: you can be moving one window from anywhere, and avoiding offscreen dragging by pressing Shift.
Some of the shell commands are greatly enhanced over 3.9, such as Copy. Take a look at the command templates, or the documentation for the commands for more info.
Don't pour coffee on the keyboard.
Don't eat yellow snow.
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