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Discussing the Open Source FPGA Amiga Project
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 Post subject: FAQ attaQ
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:21 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:54 pm
Posts: 39
Location: Italy
Every time I turn on the Minimig after a while, it is always like magic. :D
Thanks to the help found in this forum I can now manage ADF and HDF, however, I still have some questions:

1. It is possible to enable a savestate even for titles that originally did not provide this option?

2. What exactly does the option AR3?

3. The "Turbo" CPU is specific of Minimig, or is implemented somehow also on real Amiga 500 or 600, perhaps through some expansion cards?

4. Is it possible to adjust the output volume of the Minimig audio?

5. It is possible to implement a "save screenshot" option via OSD?

6. On the latest cores, what exactly happens when I select the "BLK" scanline option?

Thank you for your support.


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 Post subject: Re: FAQ attaQ
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:10 pm 
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Posts: 480
Yeah, the Minimig is really a great product!

1) No, don`t work on Minimig. Making a save-state everytime the user want, is only a feature of emulators.

2) It`s the "Action Replay 3" Modul. You can "emulate" this cartridge on the Minimig, by using an image of it. Can be easily found on the internet (Google) together with the manual in pdf-format. It`s a great module which allows lots of interesting things.

3) There is special hardware for real Amigas, like for example the ACA500 or some other cards, that also allows a faster CPU speed on real Amigas. The a1k-Forum is a good place on the internet to inform yourself about such things. this forum is german, but you can use translator-software.

4) i dont know, maybe this can be influenced by changing something on the board itself. but i think it has the right volume. My Minimig is connected on a TV, where also a Megadrive, C64, VCS and a SNES are connected. When i compare the volume of all hardware, its very similar. The Minimig is not louder or quieter than the others.

5) i think this will be very hard to integrate, probably impossible at all. question is, for what you need this? screenshots can easily be made in Emulators like UAE or Fellow.

6) this question is better for BOING4000 to answer. he knows this better and i never use scanlines.


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 Post subject: Re: FAQ attaQ
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:54 pm
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Location: Italy
Thank you for your answer!

So I wait BOING4000 for an explanation of question 6... and I add the 7th:

7. It is possible to load a software for files management (delete, rename) on SD card, directly on Minimig?

Thank you :D


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 Post subject: Re: FAQ attaQ
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 7:59 pm 
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Here is my bytes to the questions ;)

2: This enable the ActionReplayMK3 ROM feature of the core.
If an AR3.ROM file is present at the sd-card root, it will be loaded into S-RAM at boot-up (and/or PGM_RESET). After that, the AR3 module is active and accessable via R-CTRL+BREAK keys.
If there is no AR3.ROM file in the sd-card root folder, the whole AR3 option is inactive, even if set "enable" in the OSD. No S-RAM will be used.

3: The Turbo mode affect is not limited to the CPU clock speed.
The Blitter also is speed-up, there is no more "blitter slow down".
At the same time the Floppy transfer speed can be faster (free DMA channel can be used).
This speed-up may be incompatible to some title.

4: Audio volume generation is the same as in real Amiga hardware and only external adjustable.
It could be possible to provide an OSD volume control, but better to use external adjustment.

5: This is quite impossible to solve.
It would require an "intelligent hardware detection" to guess current chipset function (bitplane, sprite, copper...).
But the AR3 provide a more or less good screenshot feature, try the "p" and "sp" command.

6: In my core the BLK scanline option optical is the same as OFF = no scanlines effect visible. Additionally the CPU cache at Turbo mode is disabled.
This may help some title having problems with a really fast CPU + cache. The clockrate stay the same (42/49 MHz) but the cache will boost the programs running in the SlowRAM and the whole Kickstart area.
If a program/game... run too fast, try the BLK option. Else just select OFF or DIM for full speed.

7: This feature is not available.
Minimig core has no direct sd-card access and also should not have ;)
The risc of a filesystem trash would make the whole card unuseable and Minimig would not operate any more until a matching OS (like Windows) did a repair or reformat.

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 Post subject: Re: FAQ attaQ
PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:43 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2012 12:54 pm
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Location: Italy
Thank you very much for all the explanation.
Maybe the BLK option will be useful for Golden Axe, that in turbo mode it is too fast.

But why implementing these features without modifying the menu captions?
I mean: why it is not possible to add a "Turbo No Cache" option directly in the OSD menu?


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 Post subject: Re: FAQ attaQ
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:03 am 
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antiriad wrote:
7. It is possible to load a software for files management (delete, rename) on SD card, directly on Minimig?


In theory this is possible with the latest ARM firmware (the one derived from my updated Firmware for the Chameleon 64) - it's possible to set one of the IDE devices to access the entire SD card, or a single partition of the SD card, and having done that you can use Fat95 to mount it. However, it's hit-and-miss - there are geometry issues that need to be addressed, so it doesn't work with all cards. I would agree with Boing4000 that it's probably a bad idea to write to the card from within the Amiga, but for transferring files it can be very useful.

Quote:
But why implementing these features without modifying the menu captions?
I mean: why it is not possible to add a "Turbo No Cache" option directly in the OSD menu?


Modifying the menu options requires not only modifying the ARM firmware, but also defining new elements in the communication protocol used between the ARM and the FPGA. (Also, it's only fairly recently that building the ARM firmware with GCC has been straightforward - I believe it was previously set up for a commercial compiler.)

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 Post subject: Re: FAQ attaQ
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:40 am 
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antiriad wrote:
But why implementing these features without modifying the menu captions?
I mean: why it is not possible to add a "Turbo No Cache" option directly in the OSD menu?


I am not able to compile the ARM sources.
Many attempts, all failed. C definitely is not my cup of tea.

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 Post subject: Re: FAQ attaQ
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:50 pm 
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Location: Italy
boing4000 wrote:
antiriad wrote:
Many attempts, all failed. C definitely is not my cup of tea.


Aside C, your work is surely appreciated by common Minimig users like me! :D

Other two questions: do Minimg render in overscan? It is possible to have two or more cores on SD root and select one at boot?

Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: FAQ attaQ
PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:10 am 
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Location: .de
The raw chipset video output always is the same, no matter which Amiga resolution or screen width is displayed.
One PAL/NTSC scanline is 908 pixel in total.
The maximum Amiga overscan will not cover the total scanline or frame size, there will always stay a blank area (most on lift border side).
The ECS BorderBlank feature (tools from Aminet) can help for the AutoDetect feature of an LCD screen.

The new ARM firmware done by "minimig_emu" do support alternative FPGA core load.
But there is no way to reach the menu at "boot time" since the FPGA need some kind of core to display the OSD.
After loading the regular Amiga core, any other .bin file (also in sub folder) can be load and run.
By now no other core will show any OSD and one need to PGM_RESET the board to get it back with the default Amiga chipset.

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