posted by Mike Bouma on Mon 19th Aug 2002 06:48 UTC

"Creating an advanced emulated AmigaOS environment"
First you will need to download the latest version of WinUAE. I used version 0.8.21R4. WinUAE is the Win32 version of the multi-platform Amiga emulator UAE. UAE stands for UNIX Amiga Emulator, although the "U" origionally stood for "Unusable," as in 1996 on a 90Mhz Pentium, it still was about one third as fast at emulation as the first released 7 MHz A1000 from 1985. The Windows version is currently the most user friendly version available and due to new JIT emulation techniques is reasonable fast for AmigaOS emulation.

After executing the installer, you will be asked for a location for WinUAE to be stored; for this tutorial, it is preferred that you leave the given location unchanged. After hitting the install button, WinUAE is installed on your system within 1 or 2 seconds.

Now you will need to download Amiga In a Box. AIAB is a small and freely available package of utilities which are designed to enhance the user experience of version 3.0 or 3.1 of AmigaOS. Grab the latest version of AIAB.exe from the download section (currently version r10c). After executing the installer, several options will be shown. Leave them unchanged and hit the next button. Now you need to make sure that the location where WinUAE was installed is identical to this given location. Hit the install button, and soon you can let either AIAB search for the kickstart file, or if this fails, point to the right location manually.

Now start the emulator by double clicking the new AIAB shortcut located on the desktop. After starting the emulator, you will see that the emulator has numerous tabs and options. Don't worry too much though; if you follow this tutorial closely, you will have a fully configured AmigaOS running on your PC within several minutes. :-)

BattleDuel-Click for a larger version You will now see the configurations tab, now select "HD-Games" and press the "load" button. You have now loaded a configuration file and we are going to make some small adjustments. Under the "Display" tab, select Scanline under the "Line Mode" group. The settings shown at this tab will be used when software tries to open on a seperate screen. As PCs have trouble with displaying ordinary TV screen resolutions, a Line Mode trick is used to make sure that the screen won't look too disformed. Using black scanlines between the original lines results closer to the display of a real Amiga as compared to Doubling each line. The disadvantage is however that the end result will look darker and less sharp than on a real Amiga. However there are more severe disadvantages by using the Doubled mode, as this would result into more blocky graphics than compared to those on a real Amiga and also needs noticably more computing resources, sometimes resulting in jerkey scrolling or on occasions slowdowns on lower-end PCs. If you don't have a Joystick or Gamepad on your PC, then go to the "Game and I/O Ports" and change the "Amiga Mouse Port 1" setting to "Keyboard layout 'B.'" With most games the CTRL key will be used as a firebutton and the arrow keys will be used for directions. Now go back to the "Configurations" tab and press the "save" button. The previous settings are now overwritten with the new configuration.

Now go to the "Chipset" tab and select "AGA," then return to the "Configurations" tab and change the name to"HD-Games (AGA)" and press the "save" button again. Now you have created a new configuration file for using AGA software. Emulating the AGA chipset is far more demanding and therefore it would be preferred not to use this setting for running solely ECS/OCS software. Also should be noted that AGA emulation still isn't very mature so that many AGA software titles will still not work under WinUAE.

Remember where you stored your Workbench ADF. Load the "HD-Games" configuration file again and press the "OK" button. You will soon be asked by an AmigaOS requester to insert your workbench disk. Then press F12 to bring back the WinUAE properties again and then go to the "Floppies" tab to select a button displaying three dots on the same height as df0:, select the path to the location where your workbench ADF is stored and then press the "OK" button. Wait and after a while you will be asked to select a screenmode. Later on, you can also change the screenmode from within AmigaOS itself to higher resolutions. For now, choose "800x600 16Bit PC" and press the "save" button. Now just follow through the given options (BTW I use the ProLite IconSet). Before rebooting AmigaOS, be sure to remove the "Workbench disk" from your virtual df0: diskdrive by hitting the eject button under the "Floppies" tab. and you will boot into your newly installed AmigaOS environment :)

Read the Welcome guide and experiment a little, if you want. From here you can configure just about the entire Graphical User Interface. This is well explained in the provided documentation. Personally, I dislike startbars, so for me that is the first thing I deleted and use the good old included Toolmanager application launcher intstead. AmigaOS4 will use a similar but more easier to set up docking program called AmiDock. Furthermore, I use the included mac1 pointer, the included BeOS inspired GUI look and finally a background image downloaded from Amiga.org, the central Amiga community portal.

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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