AmigaOS 4 Monthly Roundup – December 2022

AmigaOS 4 News – December 2022

Hi there,

Thanks for visiting my blog, and welcome to the 12th edition of the AmigaOS 4 Monthly Roundup! This edition was released a day earlier than usual, since it is New Years Eve tomorrow.

Please read on to find out what has been happening on the AmigaOS 4 scene since last month. 🙂

Software

First up is a new experimental graphics API tracing tool made by Capehill (Juha Niemimäki) called glSnoop. It supports logging of the ogles2.library version 3.3 and the Warp3DNova.library version 54.16. In the authors’ words, “glSnoop records the call count and duration of known OpenGL ES 2.0 and Warp3D Nova functions. Profiling summaries are logged when contexts are being destroyed, or when a user finishes the profiling manual using the GUI. Re-starting profiling clears the current statistics.”. If you want to check it out, you can grab it from OS4Depot.

Next is an update of HexSee, a hex viewer that displays file contents in blocks of 16 characters per line. It contains a few extra features that are not always available in other AmigaOS hex viewers. It can read any file up to 4 GB in size, while a single file buffer will not use more than 128 KB even for the largest file. Text and background colours can be set to any colour, and it was written especially for AmigaOS 4.1. 😉

As reported by amiga-news.de, Airsoft Softwair, the hardest working men in the code business, released version 2.0 of the XML plugin for Hollywood. This plugin, previously known as XML Parser, was one of the first Hollywood plugins and has now received a major update with many new features. The biggest new feature in version 2.0 of the Hollywood XML plugin is that you can now serialize Hollywood tables to XML documents with just a single function call. In the same way, you can also deserialize XML documents to Hollywood tables with just a single function call. This is made possible by Hollywood 9’s new serialization plugin interface which is why the XML plugin now requires at least Hollywood 9.0. Further new features include lots of new callbacks to handle advanced XML features like namespaces, entities, attlists, and more. Finally, the XML plugin now includes comprehensive documentation that describes all features and contains many examples.

Hollywood developers can also enjoy a new plugin that allows Hollywood scripts to read and write ZIP archives. You can find more information about the plugin here.

«All In One Streams» («aiostreams») is a pack of scripts, written in Python, that can be used to stream and watch videos from different Online networks, such as Twitch.tv, YouTube, and Vimeo.com. Version 1.7.6 has now been released by Walkero (George Sokianos). Changes include:

  • Extra information in the AmigaGuide file for the YouTube script
  • Added pagination to the YouTube script
  • Updated scripts to work with Python 3
  • Removal of SKAI-TV, LBRY, and DLive since they are not working properly and need a rewrite
  • The -X argument in YouTube and Twitch scripts prints out the extra information, but does not start video playback

Please click here to download the new version.

Walkero has also ported the game BreakHack to AmigaOS 4 this month!

BreakHack is a small, roguelike game. It was developed by Linus Probert. You can find it for various platforms on Steam.

You can read all about the port on Walkero’s page on Ko-fi:

https://ko-fi.com/post/BreakHack-released-for-AmigaOS-4-L3L6H7CO6

The game is available for download at OS4Depot:

http://os4depot.net/?function=showfile&file=game/roleplaying/breakhack.lha

A game called LazSokoban has been ported to AmigaOS 4 by Marcus Sackrow (ALB42). As the name suggests, it is a clone of the popular puzzle game Sokoban. If you want to play the game, you can download it here. He has also released a nice Minesweeper clone called FPCMines, which is available on OS4Depot, as well as a small game called ColorIt.

In addition to the three games above, Marcus Sackrow has also released a utility called MUIPlot. This is a function plotter. Type the formula into the edit, choose the range for the X variable (X-axis) and then press recalculate to plot the curve.

If that was not enough, on December 21st, he released AskYourAmiga version 0.6. This is a GUI for a Wolfram Alpha question machine. 🙂 Additionally, he published Hex2, which is a calculator with variables support.

Fredrik Wikström is the author of several uploads to OS4Depot this month. This includes version 1.9 of SSH client SSHTerm. It features a built-in (xterm-256color) terminal emulation based on an enhanced version of libtsm.

Ryan Dixon continues his great work on maintaining and updating the Mednafen emulator for AmigaOS 4! 🙂 It has received several updates during the last month. The latest one, from December, attempts to fix a sound issue. With this program, you can emulate Atari Lynx, Sega Game Gear, Sony PlayStation, SNES, NES, Neo Geo Pocket (Color), and many others! Version 1.243 can be downloaded from the usual place.

If you are looking for a utility to convert 8-bit sound samples to the Nintendo Entertainment System’s 1-bit format, you’ll be happy to read that Damian Yerrick has released nes_8to1V2, which does exactly this.

AmiSSL received an update to version 5.6. As has been mentioned in earlier editions of the AmigaOS 4 Monthly Roundup, the AmiSSL project is a collaborative effort to develop a port of OpenSSL in a shared library for Amiga-based systems. The download is available here. If you are interested in the SDK, this can be obtained from here. It is a must-have if you use AmigaOS 4 to browse the web.

On December 18th, the author DRIDI released version 2.9z4Final of the Arabic Console Device. This update contains several corrections, which you can read more about on OS4Depot.

Arild Aarbakk has released version 1.0A of his utility called AirScan. This is an Amiga scanner utility based on the ESCL protocol. This alpha release contains a minimum of configuration options. You can search for scanners in your network with the MDNS protocol. You can also add scanners by its IP address. The program only works with network scanners. It has been tested with Epson XP900 and Canon TR7500.

On amiga-news.de we can read that Achim Pankalla has provided the xlsx-AddOn for reading MS Excel files for the first time. For this, he has released an update to version 0.11. You can read more about this on amiga-news.de.

Version 1.9 of Avalanche, a simple GUI for xadmaster.library using the ReAction gadget set, has been released. An overview of the changes since the last version can be found on OS4Depot.

A new version of IBrowse was released on December 16th. This time it is version 2.5.8.

Happy Christmas to all our loyal IBrowse users and thank you for the continued support. In 2023, we hope to share some exciting plans for the future of IBrowse. In the meantime, we are pleased to announce the immediate availability of IBrowse 2.5.8, which may be downloaded (OS4 users may use AmiUpdate instead). This is the eighth free update for registered owners of IBrowse 2.5. IBrowse 2.1-2.4 and 1.x owners may upgrade to IBrowse 2.5.8 via our store at discounted rates.

Please note: IBrowse 2.5.8 requires AmiSSL 5.5 as minimum, with AmiSSL 5.6 being the latest version at the time of writing, so you are advised to download it before updating IBrowse, otherwise you will be left without HTTPS access.

Due to the bugs that unfortunately crept into the initial 2.5.7 release (although these were quickly resolved with hotfixes) we decided to make a full new stable release. This release contains the previous hotfixes, plus a few more fixes and improvements:

– Unescape the URL before showing it in the popup bubble when the mouse is over links
– Fixed crash that occurs if the info window failed to allocate memory when updating the URL
– Fixed crash that can happen when specifying a non-existent filename on the command line when starting from the shell
– OS4: Reversed the protocol and codec modules file lock change in 25.108, unless at least elf.library 53.35 is detected, due to a relocation issue in older versions
– Fixed Gemini support which stopped working in 25.108
– Include updated Greek catalogs from Aminet


See the history log or changes list for IBrowse 2.5 for a full breakdown of all the changes made.

Great to see work continuing on IBrowse! I have finally bought the program by the way. Installed it yesterday, and I’m happy to report that it works great. 🙂

Thumbnail Maker by David Woolley is an Arexx script for ArtEffect 4 from Haage & Partner. It uses Ffmpeg to generate a series of frames from a selected video, and paste them onto a canvas to create a sequence of thumbnails. Data about the video is printed at the top, along with a user-definable string. Version 1.01 is out now.

FUPPES is a free, multiplatform UPnP A/V Media Server. It supports a wide range of UPnP MEdiaRenderers, as well as on-the-fly transcoding of various audio, video, and image formats. It also includes basic DLNA support. It has now come to AmigaOS 4 in version 0.677 thanks to the porting by Krzysztof Sowinski (SOVA). You can download it here.

A-EON has released version 2 of its Enhancer Core package as a free download from amisphere.com. Trevor Dickinson writes as follows on his blog:

It’s a free-of-charge standalone version of the Enhancer Software package which contains classes, libraries and system files together with a Software Development Kit enabling developers to build their own projects using features of the Enhancer Software core components. Developers can release their software with confidence that users can access these without having to purchase the commercial version of the Enhancer Software.

As a special bonus for the holiday season, the full commercial version of Enhancer Software v2.2 is being offered at a 30% discount until the 31st December 2022. Anyone who has already purchased v2.2 during December 2022 will receive a 30% credit to their Amistore account.

Digital downloads are available via Amistore. Boxed versions are available from AmigaKit.

ZitaFTP is a secure FTP server, which enables you to share files on your computer with others. The author, Hans de Ruiter, has released an update to the program, bringing it to version 1.36. There has been a lot of changes, which you can read more about on OS4Depot. 🙂 You can also visit the official webpage of the application to purchase it.

Now for some fantastic news for those of you who enjoy playing games on your AmigaOS 4 setup! 🙂 It turns out that the always-active Kas1e has ported Payback to the platform! He has been in contact with James Daniels from Apex-Designs and was allowed to port the game and release it as an AmigaOS 4 update. To run the game, you’ll need to purchase the original CD and download the latest updates from here.

Here is the full news from Kas1e himself:

The original Payback was written in C and built via StormC (meaning GCC 2.95), and a large part of the code was Assembler-based: the 68K version used the 68K assembler, whereas the PPC/WarpOS version used H&P’s Power ASM assembler (this one is with Motorola syntax, so it’s PPC assembler with Phxass kind syntax and is incompatible with GCC’s “as”). So I was in needs to port all the C code from old GCC to newer GCC, and then take the Power ASM assembler code used for the WarpOS version and adapt it, so it can be compiled with self build VASMMOT_PPC (which means VASM with Motorola syntax). Then I used GCC to combine everything into a single OS4 binary. The assembler code adaptation was minor, but I had to implement a few functions that were not available in VASM’s assembler (prolog/epilog, pushgprs/popgprs, etc).

The next major issue was Payback’s Warp3D rendering. The codes were once again “old GFX cards”-based and contained some bugs, so some rewriting and fixing was required. Yeah, it is not uncommon for game developers from the past to assume that only old kinds of graphics cards will be used (as it was in Exodus: The Last War, for example). Now, you can use hardware rendering on your RadeonHD or RadeonRX cards with no problems, be it NovaBridge or Warp3D_SI. Thanks to Hans for his help in terms of Warp3D code!

Migration from GCC 2.95 to GCC 11.3 also takes some time because of plenty of deprecated code, old-fashioned use of DOS’s anchors, message ports, memory allocations, the way of calling assembler functions, non-static structs, etc. And, as we were told, the things that were forgiven in GCC 2.95 are no longer applicable in today’s GCC, so changes must be made. On top of that, instead of newlib, I do use Afxgroup’s improved CLIB2 fork (more specifically, CLIB2_beta07).

Once things start working, new video modes are added (so you can play HD modes like 1920×1080 too). At the same time, Javier starts writing a new “preference” program that is now Reaction-based, logical, and visually appealing. Now you can control everything from the PaybackSetupOS4 binary right from the start, as well as later in the game as before, of course. Also, Javier does help with some bits all over the place as always, so hats off for that!

The following changes are not included in this update, but are planned for future ones:

— Support for window mode.
— Finalizing of the FLC video player with auto-scaling. We do have a working version, but it’s not good enough, so we postponed it to a later update.
— Complete the migration from audio.device to the ahi.device. Also, it kind of works already, but not well enough.
— Fixing hardware rendering to works on the older Warp3D classic drivers again (migration to the newer GCC required extensive rewriting, resulting in clumsy hardware mode on real Warp3D).
— to fix bugs that will be found in this update.

Now, how to install:

To install the Payback OS4 Update, you need to do some preparation work:
– You need Payback CD Image + .CUE (for CD-Audio)
 – You need PaybackUpdate7.lha (https://www.apex-designs.net/PaybackUpdate7.lha)
 – You need working DiskImage device (to mount .CUE image):
http://os4depot.net/share/driver/storage/diskimage_device.lha
 – To have CD-Audio you need cdplayer.library with CDDAPatch installed:
http://os4depot.net/share/library/audio/cdplayer_lib.lha
http://os4depot.net/share/audio/misc/cddapatch.lha
 – You need Serial Key.
 – You need this new PaybackUpdateOS4.lha
 – You need “Warp3D NovaBridge” installed and working on your RadeonHD or
   RadeonRX (on RadeonHD, if you do not have Nova Bridge, you may also use
   the Warp3D_SI driver instead).

Now you need to install the original version first, and apply original update:
 – Mount Payback’s .CUE via DiskImageGUI or via command line (I use ICD0:).
 – Install the Game from the CD (when ask for screenmode skip it).
 – Apply the PaybackUpdate7 on top of it.
 – Apply this PaybackUpdateOS4 on top of it.

After that, you launch PaybackSetupOS4, which allows you to:
 – Select a screenmode for software (CPU) and/or hardware (Warp3D) rendering.
 – Select the rendering method.
 – Select “diskimage.device” for CDDA and the unit on which you mount PayBack’s
   CUE file (to find the unit, click RMB on PaybackCD’s icon on the workbench
   and choose “information”)
 – Save and exit.

Then you just start a game by running PayBackOS4, type your key, and enjoy!

Here is the video showing how to prepare, install, and what the gameplay of the OS4 version of Payback looks like:

 How-to Payback on AmigaOS4, 1920×1080 full HD

In the end, I want to give a big Thank You:

 – to James Daniels for making such a nice game: https://www.apex-designs.net/
 – to Javier for creating the preference program and whole help: https://github.com/javierdlr
 – to Afxgroup for creating an up-to-date fork of CLIB2 and improving it: https://github.com/afxgroup/clib2
 – to Hans for 2D/3D drivers and Payback’s hardware rendering solutions: https://keasigmadelta.com/
 – to Salas00 for cdplayer.library, CDDA patch, diskimage.device and everything else he does for OS4: http://www.a500.org/
 – to Frank Wille, who is helping me with VASM bits: http://sun.hasenbraten.de/~frank/projects/
 – to OS4 community being alive and kicking!

Merry hunting XMAS!

If you have been looking for a tool to create LHA archives intuitively, easy, and fast, then look no further than Bernd Assenmacher’s LhArchiver. Version 1.7 was released on December 24th and is available for free from OS4Depot.

AmiBrixx is a port of the PC puzzle game Joemine (Copyright Joe Koperski). It was brought to AmigaOS 4 by Joerg Renkert. In a field of stacked stones, your target is to eliminate groups of stones of the same colour. Thereby other stones will fall down and form new groups. The game ends when there are no more groups to eliminate. Version 2.0 of AmiBrixx lets you download and install new skins. If you want to check out the game, please click on this link.

I’ve always enjoyed reading comics. As a matter of fact, I read a few minutes of comics every day. Favourites include Gary Larson, Calvin & Hobbes, all Disney variants, Ernie, and Mad. 🙂 Why am I writing about this? The reason is that a new, cool utility has been released. It is called ComicOn! What does it do? It downloads comic strips of your choice from various newspapers! Isn’t that great? This includes everything from Garfield, Bloom County, and Peanuts, to Red and Rover and The Duplex. You can find more information on OS4Depot.

Are you looking for a program to stream music modules from the Internet? If yes, Joerg Renkert has you covered with ModExplorer NG. It randomly downloads modules and plays them for you. The modules won’t be saved permanently, but a playlist will be made so that you can find links to the tunes you’d like to keep. You’ll be able to rate songs or give them a thumbs up, as well as a share your favourites with the community. It does even include a small game similar to Trailblazer! 🙂

Daniel Jedlicka, a.k.a. Trixie, has returned with a new version of Rave, a sound editor for AmigaOS 4 compatible computers. New features and updates include:

  • Implemented a resampler module with four quality settings
  • Each project keeps an activity log
  • Reworked Fade plugin with configurable fade curves
  • Fixed: User-aborting an operation no longer triggers an error requester
  • Loading and saving of empty files is now supported
  • Linked with the latest version of libFLAC for improved FLAC support
  • Updated documentation

The new version can be downloaded for free from OS4Depot. 🙂

AmiArcadia has been updated to version 29.35 by James Jacobs. The latest version includes miscellaneous improvements and bug fixes.

Near the end of the month, on December 29th, version 2.03 of myBlockTetris was released by Michael Christoph. This game is similar to Tetris, but there is a big difference. Here, the pieces does not fall into the playing field, so you must select where to put them yourself. You’ll always have three random pieces to fit on the board.

AmigaAMP 3.33 was released on December 20th! The author reports that there were still issues with MHI in the last release which have hopefully been fixed in this one.

  • Bug fixes:
    Fixed repeat track/all functionality.
    Corrected error message for unsupported stream format.
    Fixed wrong memory deallocation when closing the about requester.
    Revised automatic runtime switching between AHI and MHI output.
  • New features:
    Added pulldown menu items for repeat track/all and shuffle.
    Better handling of AHI modes with different limitations.

Are you looking for a new filemanager for your AmigaOS 4 setup? Maybe MyCommander by Marcus Sackrow could be of interest? This filemanager is similar to Midnight/Norton Commander. Version 0.9 was released on December 29th. Grab it here if you’d like to give it a try. 🙂

Domenico Lattanzi released version 2.0 of Tipografia on December 30th. This is a program that creates printable signs and posters in A4 format, using TrueType symbol fonts.

Other News

ACube Systems announced this month that the Sam460LE is ready for shipping. The Sam460LE is a PowerPC-based motherboard that can run AmigaOS 4.1 and MorphOS.

The Sam460LE bundle contains:

  • Micro-ATX form factor motherboard, with enough space for double-slot graphic cards
  • MicroSD Slot at the rear of the board, so it can be operated from the back.
  • 1 backplate
  • 7 USB ports
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • 4 usable boot media
  • Uboot
  • and more…
Photo lent from the website of ACube Systems

Hello dear customers and friends,

December brought us some gifts that you will soon have on your desk: the first batch of Sam460LE. These boards have brilliantly passed all functional tests from the assembly line, and now we are manually testing every single unit as per our quality assurance standards.

As we complete testing the boards, we will start shipping in chronological order starting from top to bottom of our orders queue.

We are almost there, just a bit more patience and the first customers should start receiving the Sam460LE before the end of the year.

We are confident that your patience will be rewarded by a well-tested product that you will surely enjoy using.

Great to see that Sam460LEs are on the way to customers around the world!

ACube Systems also announced UBoot 2015.b for Sam460EX / Sam460CR / Sam460LE. The new UBoot update has been removed due to some problems reported by users. (https://www.acube-systems.biz/index.php?page=news&id=156)

The Webkit-Based Browser Initiative provided an update to the project on Amigans.net. They write as follows:

I’d like to share with you guys some good news. Yesterday, after a lot of hard work, we reached one of our milestones. We managed to have the JavaScriptCore (JSC) library compiling, along with the test binaries.

Of course, as soon as this was done I tried the binaries on my system and the testapi binary, which checks the library with many different scenarios, passing most of them until a point where it crashes with a complain that has to do with pthread. The screenshot below shows some of the output.

The screenshot is from the announcement on Amigans.net

Other test binaries are not running because they require the JIT to be enabled, which is not the case with this port.

For that outcome, we worked hard the past couple of months and we did a lot of digging to figure out why things are not working. Ryan (rjd324) helped a lot by going over and beyond and unblocking me in various situations, like for example the latest of his contribution to clib2 where he added necessary methods there. Andreas (afxgroup) was always helpful with unblocking me providing information and ideas. And of course, Jacek (jacadcaps) never complained about my emails, every time
was kind enough to reply and help me with my enquiries.

If you want to find more information on what happened and the problems we faced, you can read at https://github.com/walkero-gr/webkitty/issues/7 where I tried to document anything necessary. There is going to be a proper page on the project wiki, where I will summarize the needed information.

Also, we finalised, for now, the development environment for this project, and you can find info at https://github.com/walkero-gr/webkitty/wiki/Development-environment

Next steps
Of course, our work doesn’t stop here. This is a long journey.
What I would like to do is to make the necessary changes so as to be able to compile it with newlib as well. If that is not possible, I will provide all the necessary information to the maintainer, so that missing parts can be added.

Along with that, we need to take a look at why the JSC breaks on pthread and if this is possible to be fixed.

And then we have to take a look at porting the rest of the WebKit engine.

Hope you enjoy this news and be sure that although we are a little bit silent about the port, this is because we are doing a lot of work on it.

Source: https://www.amigans.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?post_id=136410#forumpost136410

Thanks for the great work! It is exciting to see the progress being made! 🙂 Keep up the good work!

The 25th anniversary edition of Amiga Future (issue 160) will be out for sale in January.

APC&TCP has released the Amiga37 DVD. The Amiga37 DVDs release is actually two (2) pressed data DVD9 discs with the following content:

* Amiga Future Special Issue Amiga37 PDF
* Amiga37 Documentation
* Amiga37 photos
* Amiga37 Tour Part 1 & Part 2
* Amiga37 Lecture Dave Haynie and Ron Nicholson (ENG)
* Amiga37 Lecture Hannes Seifert (GER)
* Amiga37 Lecture Jon Hare and Mev Dinc (ENG)
* Amiga37 Lecture Martyn Brown and Andreas Tadic (ENG)
* Amiga37 Lecture Tim Wright and Mike Clarke (ENG)
+ Amiga34 Documentation

The videos have a total playing time of over 5 hours.

The DVD can be purchased from:

https://www.amigashop.org/product_info.php?products_id=374

A special Amiga Kit Blog entry “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” was published on December 21st. There you can read about Christmas themed Amiga games, building an Amiga 1200, and more.

Speaking of blogs, Trevor Dickinson of A-EON Technology published a blog post called “Christmas Present” on December 24th. Here you can read about MEGA65, the Amiga Global Alliance (AGA), but also about further delays of the A1222+ due to chip shortages.

That was all the news I had for you in this edition of the AmigaOS 4 Monthly Roundup. 🙂

Until next time

Thanks for reading and for visiting my blog. 🙂 Also thanks to all of you who have been following the AmigaOS 4 Monthly Roundup series throughout the year, as well as sending in feedback and commenting on forums. It has been great fun collecting news and publishing these articles, and I’m looking forward to doing this in 2023. 🙂

Last but not least, the biggest thanks must go to all of you who keep the AmigaOS 4 flame burning! 🙂 Especially all the developers who have been working hard to provide us with lots of great software in 2022! You rock!

I wish you all a Happy New Year and I can’t wait to see what 2023 has in store for us for our platform. 🙂

Best regards,

Puni/Void a.k.a AmigaOldSkooler

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