Can you use GPartED LIVE to edit an SD card so that it has the FAT32 partition for the minimig
files and native Amiga file system partitions that can be directly accessed from it bootable and such...
so that I could run setup and everything from UAE first to get the system configured and then
just stick it in the DE1...and boot?
Yes, that should be possible, as the firmware additions made by MMrobinsonb5 allow you to use a partition as an amiga drive. How exactly that is done, and if the RDB is needed and where it is placed I don't know, perhaps MMrobinsonb5 can help you with that. I just use hdf files, as that is much easier to setup and move around. You can make it 'bootable' by saving a default config with the desired harddisk enabled.
Has anyone setup a SLIP connection to a PC (Linux box) to get their DE1 Minimig online yet? If not,
I am going to try it...no more sneaker net! Minimig-core is getting pretty mature now...soon as it
can be run as a stand-alone system...I am going to put it in a cool case...
Not yet, but it is definitely something I'd like to try. Just remember that only the latest test release of minimig-de1 has amiga-side serial port enabled - it is switched between amiga / control with SW5 on the DE1 board. You will also need a different serial cable than for normal SLIP, as the serial port on the DE1 is wired as a 'slave' (DCE, female connector), whereas computers are a 'master' device (DTE, male connector), so you don't need a null-modem cable, but just a regular serial cable.
Excited about the future of it though...I think a usb interface might be nice...if it fits...otherwise,
go to another FPGA board...
Yes USB (and Ethernet) would be nice, both would require just a small amount of logic (an SPI master), but would have to be on an external board.
I also noticed that Natami has upgraded backwards compatible Amiga chipsets like the Paulina...
and some AGA compatible chipset that is faster than the original but still compatible...
I am thinking that AGA should still be implementable on the de1 even if the colors are a bit off...probably
hardly notice...but haven't seen a comparison...
It is doubtful that AGA will fit on the DE1 board, unfortunately. Currently, the FPGA is over 92% full, and honestly, it is surprising it works at all with such utilization. It is true that AGA brought just a small amount of changes to the custom chipset, but just the AGA color tables are huge compared to OCS. We'll see once we have a working AGA implementation if it can be back-fitted to the DE1 board, as there are some places which could be trimmed down, namely the boot ROM for the Amiga will be removed, gaining us one M4k block, and possibly the OR1200 CPU could be replaced with a fast & small 8-bit AVR core I have somewhere half-finished.
Also, would it be possible to use an external clock to speed up the system, or is it already at max spec for
the FPGA...I have been looking at the ext CLK connector for a long time wondering.
There's no need to use another external clock, as the FPGA on the DE1 has a PLL, which is used to multiply or divide the operating frequency. Unfortunately, you can't just increase the frequency to make it go faster, as the whole minimig is generally a synchronous system and increasing the frequency by any large amount will mess up the VGA display. You could increase the control block frequency, but it is already running fast enough - the minimig side is too slow to handle any faster data transfers. There is one way to speed it up - implementing turbo timings for the blitter etc, and adding some more caching for the memory controller - already working on both things!