AmiTube on a real Amiga (A1200)

Posted by ALB42 on 26. November 2021No Comments

I tried the YoutTube client now on my real A1200 (with a 68060) and it works nicely, of course the network speed is much slower than that in UAE. But it’s still ok, not too long waiting times. (with that short videos). It depends very much on the video how good they look in 160 px width and only 32 colors, of course such Eric Schwartz videos are nice they had only very little colors. But I also found different ones like this „Seed“ looks very nice even so small.

I played around with different settings and noticed that not the conversation to CDXL is here the slow bit (its only 3-4 seconds, because it’s not HAM but just 32 colors) but the download speed from youtube. It seems that YouTube throttles downloads of the movies… hmm of course they want you to force to watch them on the page. But hey what can you do, it’s just for fun.

m68k Amiga plays YouTube videos

Posted by ALB42 on 24. November 2021No Comments

You thought it would be impossible to let an m68k Amiga play YouTube videos, you are surely mistaken, lets have a look:

You remember the CDXL stuff I showed before? Of course with that you can create a relatively low quality video from an YouTube video, and if you do that on a server and just download the converted video file you can watch youtube videos on your amiga.

The search and downloading is done via youtube_dl the conversation to CDXL using the docker container I showed earlier.

Sorry for the bad sound, but it seems to be my UAE setup is a bit strange in sound settings, never really used the sound there, also other sounds sounds a bit crackly. I should try that video on a real Amiga and with other players than Multiview to see, or better hear, if its better, or the conversation is so weak.

I remember I had some problems with the sound in big bug bunny movie as well, the sound was not loud enough and the 8 bit conversation made it really bad.

Hardware programming on Amiga with Free Pascal

Posted by ALB42 on 17. Juni 2021No Comments

It’s very common on 68k Amiga to turn off the operating system and directly write to hardware registers to get maximum speed. Many games and demos does it this way. Usually they are written in assembler, but of course this is also possible with Free Pascal for Amiga.

I got that idea because Charlie did a little test how small a program in Free Pascal on Amiga can be. (I guess it can be even smaller than that, when replacing the DosWrite(Output()) by PutStr() and compile for 68020).

So I took his source and tried to make a little bit more useful example out of it and remembered my time doing Amiga 68k Assembler (in ASM-One, I was never good with that, but hey I can learn a bit now)

So I did a little copper list example and it’s 700 bytes long, not bad, as second I tried some bit-plane manipulation. The program became around 3kbyte (most of that is because of the huge sinus table included).

And it runs very nicely on my A1200.

The Source with compiled executable is available on Gitub.

Amiga CDXL converter

Posted by ALB42 on 14. Mai 2021No Comments

Someone asked me to try a CDXL converter (agaconv) but I did not get to work until i compiled it for myself on Linux. CDXL if you don’t know, was an very early movie format invented by Comodore to use for the Amiga CDTV, so it aimed at a 68000 with 7 MHz with a Single speed CD Rom (150 kb/s).

I tried to create some little movies with it and it works quite nicely, especially the agablaster is very good and fast for viewing on a native Amiga (if you have AGA I guess from the Name? I do not own an OCS or ECS Amiga so I can not try). To really get the movie to the small size (to meet the 150kb/s target) you really have to tweak the options. You need to lower den resolution to 160×100 (or lower) and the colors to 5bit (32 colors) or 6bit (HAM6) reduce the number of frames per second to 12 and recalculate the audio to mono 11025 kbit/s.

For me it was interesting to see how the movie would look like with such low quality, as example I took the OpenSource Big Bug Bunny Movie, which is nicely short and free to use without any legal problems.

For a faster Amiga (like a A1200) with a normal HD (around 1 MB/s) you can make the movie in something like 320×200 in 256 colors or even HAM8 and looks rather decent texts still readable sound is ok (just the 8 bit sound conversation is a bit weak, I increased the loudness a bit) and you get a nice movie result, just a bit big (around 500 MB for 8,5 minutes movie). Not all CDXL player can show this format (agablaster does it very nicely)

If you go to the original CDXL format description (as above), it becomes hard, it’s really tiny and greasy you can easily see the dithering and color reduction, texts (except Main Title) not readable at all, back in the days maybe nice (in 1991 or so, when CDTV came out) to at least see a movie but its much worse than CD-i (1990) or VCD (1993).

Because the agaconv is not directly running, need FFMPEG and java (if you want convert to HAM and it it needs a X Server) I created a docker container where all is installed inside working. I created two little scripts (one for Linux and one for Windows) to start the agaconv using the docker, all you need is installed docker and this script and of course the movie.

for example to create the standard movie format as decribed before you need to start it with (linux example):

agaconf.sh test.mkv test.cdxl --fps=12 --color-mode=ham6 --width=160 --audio-mode=mono --frequency=11025 --std-cdxl

Example movie: Big Bug Bunny with CDXL Standard settings ready for a stock Amiga.

I played this movie on my Amiga1200 and it looks like this:

I compiled 2 more versions, one with 32 colors (–color-mode=ocs5) and one for AGA Amigas (–color-mode=aga5) but the other settings stay the same.

So if you want to watch videos on your old Amiga try CDXL (and to convert you can use the docker container)

Ask Your Amiga 0.5

Posted by ALB42 on 15. April 2021No Comments

I added assumptions to Ask Your Amiga. Assumptions are the way the different meaning of one word are separated from each other in Wolfram alpha. For example if you ask for „Berlin“ it will show you information about the capital of germany, but also shows you a list of other cities (mostly in USA) named Berlin and also other meanings like Berlin as a name or a music band (never heard that before) and so on.

Like on the web page I put these assumptions to at the top of the results to select from a cycle widget.

AYA 0.5 with Assumptions

Download latest AYA at hte AYA Page or use the build-in Update Version

ALB goes crazy episode 9843: Free Pascal test suite on a real Amiga

Posted by ALB42 on 20. März 2021No Comments

Again got a crazy idea… after my attempts to run the Free Pascal test suite on a real m68k linux (I’m not sure whats the problem it it just stopped at some point but did not start the actual tests) I looked a bit closer how these test run is designed (with a bit Makefile, which does not work on Amiga even with unix kind shell installed, I tried already) I wrote a little program make the list of tests and I got around 5800 test, not the same amount as the original (which is nearly 9000) but ok for first list creation, later maybe find out where are the other tests hidden.

the „dotest“ util making the actual test (checking if on the right CPU/OS/Version and so on) does not run because it’s only implemented for windows/dos and unix… and full of {ifdef windows}doDOSstuff{$else}doUNIXstuff{$endif} or vice versa… I made some very nasty changes and implemented a little routine for Amiga to make it at least work to run the tests gather the output and check return code and it works.

Next transfer everything to my Amiga (Draco 68060 in this case) and start and press all thumbs it works somehow.

And? Yeah it works, needs around 10s per test hmmm that makes around 16h for the full 5900 tests :-O ok the Draco is very stable, I just hope none of the test let it crash 😉 lets see tomorrow the result, which tests fail and why 😉 (running currently with 3.2)

If that works well I should also make a run with FPU (thats SoftFPU atm.)

Docking on Amiga

Posted by ALB42 on 6. Dezember 20202 Comments

I’m playing with docker and how to put Free Pascal for Amiga Systems and even Lazarus inside a docker container. Works quiet nicely with the latest FPC (3.2.0) and Lazarus (2.0.10), sadly there are some bugs in the published MUI interface for Lazarus, or better left overs of old Free Pascal inconsistencies between the Amiga flavors. I fixed them in FPC but did forget to remove the workarounds in the LCL. So I had to patch the official LCL. Must also check them in the official repository. Sadly the OS4 the LCL compile does not work at all, something wrong with the resource stuff, so I removed it for now. I will look into it later. So still some stuff to work on.

To actually use the Lazarus IDE I also installed a VNC server and hence also a small as possible window manager, I played around with some simple one, most old simple window managers are very annoying (e.g. twm) but icewm seems to be nice (looks like Java though).

And why docker? It’s much easier to keep the software up to date and there are automatically running scripts to create, modify and start them. But there are some drawbacks. The first compilation of a LCL program for any Amiga-style system will need a long time (as seen in the video), because it will compile the whole LCL. This will happen for every start of the docker container. This is good to have a clean compilation of LCL (especially when developing on the actual LCL) but a bit annoying when only compile simple programs. There should be some ways around it. But for now for me that’s good enough.

If you want to try it out: CrossAmigaLazarus

Ask Your Amiga 0.3

Posted by ALB42 on 6. November 2020No Comments

I did a big mistake on the last AskYourAmiga release, by accident the MorphOS binary was missing and instead the OS4 binary was copied as MorphOS binary. Sorry for the confusion. Therefore I made a new release. But the MorphOS release is somehow strange (or better MorphOS is) after some picture loaded some pictures look wrong, wrong colors and seems also the size is wrong calculated. But not all pictures are affected only some but when it appears all these type pictures will become wrong. restart AskYourAmiga and try the same question try to load the picture and it works. Very strange, seems like something is crashing inside the datatypes system (but the log does not show anything related).

To be honest I did not try AskYourAmiga very much on the other Amiga Platforms, only on Amiga OS3.x m68k because on all the other you could theoretically use the browser for wolffram alpha. So I concentrate to make it run nicely on classic m68k Amiga.

Other changes with this version are pure internal, some little redrawing problems I got report from OS4 and some bugfixing I found myself (not cleared buffer, such stuff).

You can use the Update function of AskYourAmiga 0.2 (in Suggestion/History Window, it will download the archive and save it to where you want, you only have to unpack it) or you download it from this page.

Have fun!