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AmigaOS 4.0 - Other

In this section we have included various other topics that we feel are useful to know about, such as:

Configuring and Using CD/DVD Software
PlayCD is a program that can be used to play audio CD's. It is supplied in the Tools drawer as part of the AmigaOS 4.0 installation. When run it will display a window to control the playing of the CD in the specified drive. By default it will use the local CDDB cache to identify CD's and display the tracks on the CD, but this will only work if the cache has been loaded in the first instance. For this you will need to either set the USECDDB= tooltype or use the USECDDB option when starting the program, so that PlayCD can interrogate the CD Data Base on freedb.org or an alternate database specified using the URL tooltype (or argument) to specify the address. Then when a CD is loaded, PlayCD will automatically check the local database, and if not found there it will check the specified remote database and if found transfer the information to the local CDDB cache. Documentation for using PlayCD can be found here.

DvPlayer is a program that can be used to play un-encypted files in MPEG-1/2,DIVX, XVID MJPG, Cinepak, Indeo Video, PCM, MP2, MP3 and many more. A restricted version of the program (which has a 7 second popup for the "About" window, no fullscreen playback, and a 7 min time limit) can be downloaded from DvPlayer, or you can buy a license for the full version of the software in which case new versions will be emailed directly to you when they are released. You will also need to download avcodec.library and copy it to the LIBS: directory. At this time DvPlayer cannot play encrypted DVD's but it has been configured so that a de-encryption plug-in can be used if and when one is developed. The author does not want to develop this plug-in or be responsible for any licenses or restrictions that may be attached to the decryption code, which will most likely come from the Linux environment. Documentation for using DvPlayer can be found here.

Although Moovid is no longer distributed with OS4.0 Final, the documentation for using MooVId can be found here.

MPlayer is a Shell-based program that can be used to play DVD files as well as files in most video formats. MPlayer can be downloaded from OS4 Depot. You will also need to download threads.library and copy it to the LIBS: directory. A GUI interface to run MPlayer can also be downloaded from OS4 Depot. Alternate skins and codec packages can also be downloaded from the MPlayer Download page. Documentation for using MPlayer can be found here.

Frying Pan
Documentation for using Frying Pan can be found here.

MakeCD is a program that can be used to burn CD's. Unregistered versions of 3.2c and 3.2d_beta_10 are supplied in the Contrib drawer as part of the AmigaOS 4.0 installation, while a later version can be downloaded from the Amiga MakeCD Support Page.

With MakeCD you can burn CD's to a variety of different drives using a number of different encoding methods. Its main limitation is the lack of a GUI interface so you have to resort to Shell commands to achieve your needs. Documentation for using MakeCD can be found here.

Configuring and using Web Browsers
This is downloadable from OS4 Depot, but updated public 'beta' versions can also be downloaded from AWeb Open Source Project. AWeb is arguably the most capable browser for OS4 at this point in time, since it runs natively making it fast, and it supports Javascript 1.1 which is a big plus. The latest versions are also the only browsers which understand fonts set within the html. Earlier versions defaulted to Times for all fonts, but it did have 'Alias' fonts where an Amiga font can be substituted for Windows fonts, e.g. 'Bitstream Vera Sans' for 'Arial' and 'Helvetica'. We recommend that you download the latest 'beta' version instead, and after unarcing to RAM Disk, click on Install to copy the software to your hard disk and make the necessary assigns etc.

One slightly annoying characteristic is that the buttons at the top right hand corner show a 'STOP' button that seems to be ghosted most to the time, so you cannot use it to stop or break a request after it has started, desirable if you click on a link only to find it takes ages to download a massive file, especially since the current version gives no indication how large files are when you attempt to download them. However, you can use Right Amiga + Shift + Z to cancel a download, or if you go to the Control menu you can click on the 'Cancel Load' item. Alternatively in the Control menu you will also find a 'Network Status' item which activates a small progress window with a working 'STOP' button that you can use, along with other network information.

If you want to copy and paste content from an HTML page, using only the cursor you are limited to what you can see on the screen. If you want to copy more than that, highlight the first part of what you want to copy using the cursor, then hold down the Shift key, use the mouse to scroll the window down until you can see the last part of what you want to copy, and highlight this while still holding down the shift key. All the text you want should now be highlighted ready to copy and paste.

IBrowse 2.4 OEM-Version is supplied as part of Amiga OS4.0 Final. IBrowse is still running in 68K emulation mode and can be a little slow at times, but has a number of errors in HTML translation and does not support Javascript or SSL. If you are a registered user of IBrowse you will need to download the non-OEM version before you can utilise the key file.

When a page is loaded, IBrowse ignores the fonts specified by the page designer and displays everything in its default font, which is 'Times' and particularly ugly - we recommend that you change the fonts to something more readable. Before you do copy the existing IBrowse.prefs file to some other name to preserve it. Then load IBrowse, go to the Preferences Menu, select Settings and then HTML > Fonts and change the Normal font (all sizes) to 'Bitstream Vera Sans' 10,12,13,14,16,20 and 24 respectively. Once you exit from Settings, don't forget to go back and click on 'Save Settings'.

This is downloadable from Vaporware, and runs in 68K emulation mode so again it is slow, and there seems to be a problem loading images correctly, with the demo version at least. The demo version only works for 30 mins at a time and has several features disabled. To get the full version, you need to register to obtain a keyfile, but we understand this is no longer possible. Given that, like IBrowse, fonts default to Times for all fonts, and HTML fonts are not used, this doesn't offer anything that the others don't.

This is a project to port the Firefox implementation of Mozilla to the Amiga platform. You can find out more about it by visiting Source Forge. Progress was said to be good and there were mutterings six months ago that we could see a beta version within a few months. This is obviously not the case because we have heard nothing since. The public bug reports etc all show zero and latest news says '(No news at the current time)'.

Transferring files from Classic Amigas
One of the first things many people want do once OS4 has been installed and everything appears to be working is to get access to the files from their Classic Amigas. While it may initially appear to be easy, many have found it is not for a variety of reasons, so we have listed some of the techniques people have used and the problems they have encountered.

If you are fortunate enough to have a CD-Writer on your Classic Amiga, this is a very simple and quick way to transfer files between the two environments. If you have more than 650Mb to be transferred it will require multiple CDs, but even that is no big deal. On the plus side, it does give you a permanent backup of the files transferred.

Using Floppy Disk
The AmigaOne cannot read Amiga-formatted floppy disks without additional hardware, but it can read PC-formatted HD disks. So if you format a disk using Cross-DOS you can write files up to 1.4Mb on a Classic Amiga and read them on the AmigaOne, but this is a very slow process and not suitable for bulk data transfer.

Using Hard Disk
The AmigaOne can read Amiga-formatted hard disks simply by removing the drive from a Classic Amiga and connecting it to a spare IDE port on the AmigaOne. For A1200 machine with 2.5" drives you will need a 44pin to 40pin adapter with power connection as shown on the right. The power wires must be connected to the corresponding colours on a spare molex connectur.

There are at least three points you need to aware of:

  1. You may have a naming conflict between the two systems, so compare the drives to check and rename partitions if necessary before you remove the drive, e.g. you don't want two drives called Workbench.

  2. If the Classic drive has a higher boot priority it will try and boot from that rather than the AmigaOne drive, so again check and adjust this if necessary before you remove the drive.

  3. If you use a filesystem other than FFS, the AmigaOne may not be able to read files on the drive. This is especially true for users of PFS2 or PFS3 which cannot be read on the AmigaOne. If there is room on the hard drive to create an FFS partition and copy the existing data to it, that is probably the quickest solution, otherwise you may need to use a second hard drive.

Using Null Modem Connection
Depending on the amount of data on the hard drive that you want to transfer, this can be a long slow process, and not one that you want to repeat often. The techinque is setup a terminal program on both systems talking to one another, and send/receive the files between them. You can probably set the connection to run at 115,200bps or better, but it will still be relatively slow. Generally best to avoid this method unless you have no choice.

Using Network Connection
The advantage of this method is that you can transfer files as you need them, and even to continue using both environments and continue to swap files between them. However, you must have an add-on network card in order for this work. For the A1200 you can use a PCMCIA network card or for Zorro based machines there is the X-Surf 3CC network card. You will also need to install or setup Samba on both machines in order to establish the connection. Details on how to do this can be found on Amigaworld.

Using Zip Disks
There appears to be a variation in the way Zip disks are handled which is diferent between the Classic Amigas and the AmigaOne, such that disks that are readable on one are invalid on the other. We don't recommend this method.

Disclaimer: Amiga Auckland have prepared the above information for the use of its members based on our experiences and as such is subject to revision at any time. Amiga Auckland cannot guarantee any of the information and cannot be held accountable for any issues that may result from using it.

Copyright 2006 Amiga Auckland Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: December 24, 2006.