posted by Mike Bouma on Mon 19th Aug 2002 06:48 UTC
IconAs Amiga Inc is about to re-enter the computer arena with new AmigaOS4 powered desktop systems as well as with 3rd party embedded products utilizing AmigaDE technology pre-installed, there are a growing number of people who wonder what an advanced classic AmigaOS currently offers. This was an important reason for me to write a simple to understand WinUAE tutorial, so this would hopefully help interested people with setting up a fun and easy to use emulated AmigaOS environment on widely available mainstream Windows computers. This article also includes many WinUAE screenshots and information on acquiring and using freely available software.

Minimal requirements for this tutorial:

- Any Windows 9x/2K/XP powered 200+ MHz PC with DirectX 7 or better installed.
- 20 MB free harddisk space; note however that Windows may need much more free space itself for usage as virtual memory in order to function properly. - Graphics card with at least 2 MB of RAM.
- AmigaOS 3.0/3.1

Notice: As AmigaOS will run emulated on top of Windows, the better Windows runs on your system, the better the Amiga experience will be. Running without a demanding host OS, as done with Amithlon (commercial), results in a much better AmigaOS performance and a far more convincing and stable environment. Amithlon was previously included with the AmigaOS XL package, but version 2.0, will soon become available seperately. However, do note that WinUAE is a better option for emulating classic OCS/ECS games and demos, as Amithlon itself only supports retargetable standards.

Acquiring AmigaOS 3.0/3.1 legally.

Option 1: Getting the ROMs from an Amiga you own.
Option 2: Buying Amiga Forever from Cloanto. ($29.95)

AmigaInABox r10c-Click for a larger version For this tutorial version 3.0 or 3.1 of the Amiga Operating System is required. Version 3.0 was first released with A1200 and A4000 computers in 1992. The A1200 was targeted at ordinary home users and computer hobbyists, while the A4000 was mainly aimed at professional graphics and video artists. Today the A1200 is still available in small quanities at various Amiga dealers. In 1993 AmigaOS 3.1 was released as an upgrade option for all Amiga models (OCS/ECS/AGA chipsets) build since 1987 or later.

On classic Amiga computers AmigaOS consists of two pieces. A hardware piece called the kickstart ROM which contains the kernel, some drivers and some other system libraries. Mainly due to this ROM classic Amigas are able to boot directly into advanced games and even applications from diskettes or CDs. The complete icon and menu driven environment however comes distributed on seperate diskettes or on a CD.

Option 1:

If you currently own an Amiga computer, you can use an utility which comes distributed with the Amiga emulator WinUAE to write an image of your ROM to disk. This utility is called "transrom" and is located in the "Amiga programs" directory where WinUAE would be installed. This process is well explained well in this transrom tutorial.

Also needed for this tutorial is an ADF (Amiga Disk File) image from one of the Operating System diskettes labelled "Workbench version 3.0" or 3.1. For this, you can use the "transdisk" utility which is also included with WinUAE. The command "TransDisk >ram:mydisk.adf" will simply write 900k disk image files of the disk that is located in DF0: (normally the internal diskdrive) to your RAM. When you have these image files, you can use CrossDOS (Included with AmigaOS) to copy the files to high density Windows formatted diskettes or you can transfer them to your PC over a Network.

Option 2:

If you do not own an Amiga, you can obtain a legal copy of all classic Kickstart ROMs (1.0-3.1) and complete 1.3 and 3.1 versions (ADFs) of the Amiga operating system, from Cloanto's Amiga Forever software package. This package also includes good networking software and a licensed version of Picasso96 software.

Store the required kickstart image file and workbench ADF on your PC's hard drive.

Table of contents
  1. "Setup your Emulation Box"
  2. "Creating an advanced emulated AmigaOS environment"
  3. "Acquiring legally free software for AmigaOS"
  4. "10 freely distributable Amiga software titles"
  5. "10 of the best Amiga PD Scene games"
  6. "10 freely available ex-commercial Amiga games"
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