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Discussing the Open Source FPGA Amiga Project
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 Post subject: Darkmere on PIC. Mission impossible?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:38 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:54 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Italy
Hi,
I have a Minimig rev.1.1 4Mb PIC with latest firmware.
Unfortunately the ADF "Darkmere" will not load 'cause of a timing loader problem, but I'm really determined to play it on minimig using WHDLoad. I'm ready to register WHDLoad, if necessary.

When I had an Amiga 500+ I was young and I only used floppy disk, so I really don't know anything about Amiga HDD, partitioning etc. so I've downloaded a PDF guide that explain how to create a custom HDF... without success.

In the terminal (I'm on Mac) I create an empty HDF file with the following command:
mkfile 40m Hardfile.hdf

I copy the file on SD card, but when I try to select the file, it is not showed in the OSD (extension is .hdf).
So I've downloaded an empty 1GB HDF file from this forum, it appear in the OSD but when I select it as a master and I reset the minimig, just a black screen appears on reset. No OSD, nothing.

So... I really don't know what to do.

Maybe someone could write a step-to-step tutorial for a dummy like me that explain, from the beginning to the end, how to load Darkmere with WHDLoad on minimig? (on HDF I suppose?)

Thanks...


Last edited by antiriad on Sun Aug 18, 2013 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mission impossible? Please help me :(
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:58 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:40 am
Posts: 127
Location: France / Luxembourg / Belgique
Hi Antiriad,

You should consider buying an ARM Controller at our shop, for replacing the original PIC controller.

Since it's in stock, it can sent quickly.

For using it, you just have to remove the original PIC controller and plut the ARM controller in place of the original PIC.

With this new controller, your Minimig will be a lot faster and you'll have no problem with HDF / ADF files.

Which creation guide have you used for creating your HDF file ?

Thanks, Laurent aka Faranheit
Amedia Computer France

_________________
Faranheit, your Amigaventurer :)
YOUR reseller for Sam, Minimig and FPGA Arcade for Anywhere !
Amedia Computer France SàRL
69, Avenue de la Libération
F-57530 Courcelles-Chaussy
France
Tel : (+33) 7 71 10 72 22
Fax : (+33) 3 87 57 07 21


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 Post subject: Re: Mission impossible? Please help me :(
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:47 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:54 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Italy
Hi,
surely I will buy and ARM controller soon (by the way, what is the price?) but I'd like to understand if it is technically possible to run Darkmere on a Minimig with PIC controller via WHDLoad.

At the moment it's not a matter of "speed", but: (a) really I'm not able to go on following the various guides on the net, 'cause they imply some know-how that I still don't have or because some kind of problem stops me and (b) I can't find an easy ("for dummies") tutorial that explain how to use WHDLoad on Minimig.
I'd really like to learn how to manage HDF files, WHDLoad and so on...

On WHDownload website I found this:
http://whdownload.com/games.php?name=d& ... ton=Search
...but I can't understand how to use it on Minimig, even if it is possible or not. :oops:

This is the good guide I found to create HDF files, I know it is for ARM controller, but I've read in this forum that now also PIC controller can handle small HDF files:
http://www.ngi-info.com/downloads/Minim ... nglish.pdf

So, on Mac, I've created and empty HDF file with the following code:
Code:
mkfile 40m Hardfile.hdf


I've copied the "Hardfile.hdf" on the root of SD card... but when I tried to select it in the OSD menu, the file was "hidden"!
I mean the file was not shown or selectable in the Minimig OSD!

So I've downloaded an empty Hardfile from here in the forum, that is 1,5Gb big (too much for me).
When I've copied the file in the root of SD card it WAS shown regularly! So I selected it as main hardfile, I rebooted the Minimig but a black screen was shown (maybe 'cause the HDF file it is too big?).

So I would like to understand:
- if it is possible to handle a small HDF file (20Mb?) on a Minimig rev.1.1 4Mb with PIC controller
- how can I install "Darkmere" or some other ADF on it (I understand that WHDLoad makes it possible, but how? can I use the yet "ready" archive, downloaded from WHDownload website?)

Sorry for the long message, and thank you very much.


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 Post subject: Re: Mission impossible? Please help me :(
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:14 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:54 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Italy
For the use of WHDLoad I found this videotutorial really useful:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3mSawy6How

But how can I "prepare the environment" (HDD, Workbench etc.) on the minimig? :)


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 Post subject: Re: Mission impossible? Please help me :(
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:00 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:54 am
Posts: 349
Hi, Antiriad!

It's very simple. An HDF can be any file, any size, as long as it has the HDF extension. I don't know how Mac OSX graphical enviroment handles extensions nor do I care, but you can verify that from the terminal.

Now, you just need to get yourself the Workbench 3.1 install disk ADFs (easy to find online for free) and boot into the INSTALL disk.
Then use HDTOOLBOX in the UTILS directory to partition the disk using the Minimig's IDE controller (YQB<something>) and give the partitions their names and labels (DH0:, SYSTEM:, etc).

Then you can take out the card and use FS-UAE to emulate a crazy-fast JIT-based Amiga and format those partitions at lightspeed, or you can format them on the Minimig itself, but that will be an slow process.

All there's left is for you to install the software you want from FS-UAE to the HDF file on the SD card.
If you find it hard, ask me for my HDF file, full of fun already :)


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 Post subject: Re: Mission impossible? Please help me :(
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:09 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:54 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Italy
Hi!
Thank for your help! :)

I don't know if I'm doing something wrong:

1. I create the HDF file on Mac ("makefile" command on terminal)

2. I copy this HDF file on the root of SD card

*BUT*

..the file it is not visible on Minimig OSD, so I can't select it as Master or Slave in the Hardfile option.

It is normal? Should I boot the INSTALL disk of WB3.1 anyway? Or should I first select the hardfile in the Minimig OSD?

Thank you

P.S. I'm very interested in your HDF file if you would like to share it, but at the same time I would like to learn how to create my own. :)


EDIT: Solved the problem of HDF not showing! It was a matter of file permission! :D Now I continue...


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 Post subject: Re: Mission impossible? Please help me :(
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:03 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:54 am
Posts: 349
Then go and create your own (small) hdf file, it's an interesting adventure and you learn a lot!
After that, I will share my 512 MB HDF if you want. It's full of whdload and, more interestingly, non-whdload installs from back in the day.
However, my HDF does NOT boot into Workbench as it's for Minimig and using AmigaDOS only is a good way to have a fast system with as much free RAM as possible. Are you able to use AmigaDOS?


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 Post subject: Re: Mission impossible? Please help me :(
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:44 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:54 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Italy
Here there are some news!

Image

Created HDF, moved to minimig, installed Workbench 3.1, installed lha, installer, whdload (installation aborted during the copy of documentation), then installed Darkmere using the official installer and ADF images downloaded by the Internet...

...but at the end this is the result: :( :( :(

Image

I've tried the installation downloaded from WHDownload website, identical error... any suggestion? :(

The readme file says that WHLOAD 1.X or more is needed in Slave, but my HDF is mounted ad Main... could it be the cause of the problem?

Damn, I was so close...


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 Post subject: Re: Mission impossible? Please help me :(
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1568
Location: .de
"Darkmere" is one of the few title that do not work/load with the PIC controller chip.
Same image works with the ARM controller.

This is not a speed matter unless the PIC may be not fast enough to provide requested data at the required time.
But I think its a compatibility issue of the PIC and its firmware.

WHDLoad will require most available RAM and some title seems to fail on 68000 systems with only Chipmem and Slowmem. This title possibly was never tested on this systems but work on 68020 and some real Fastmem ($200000 in A600/1200 with turbo boards).
In general this software was designed to let run old games in new and fast Amiga model (AGA 020+ and Kickstart 3.x).

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 Post subject: Re: Mission impossible? Please help me :(
PostPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:54 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:40 am
Posts: 127
Location: France / Luxembourg / Belgique
@Antiriad:

The ARM controller is at 79 euros (french vat included) and the shipping costs depends on which country you are from.
It's in stock and you can visit our website for seeing it :
http://amiga.amedia-computer.com/index. ... CU_MIN_ARM

The guide you have downloaded is mine and has been to this address :
http://www.amedia-computer.com/amiga/do ... nglish.pdf

Tomorrow, I'll try the Darkmere game on our Minimig 4MB with ARM controller and will tell you if it works well (it should since Boing4000 seems to have tested it).

Thanks ;) Laurent aka Faranheit
Amedia Computer France

_________________
Faranheit, your Amigaventurer :)
YOUR reseller for Sam, Minimig and FPGA Arcade for Anywhere !
Amedia Computer France SàRL
69, Avenue de la Libération
F-57530 Courcelles-Chaussy
France
Tel : (+33) 7 71 10 72 22
Fax : (+33) 3 87 57 07 21


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