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Rodion
Post subject: [PC-Task] Tutorial - Gold Core Posted: Fri 25 Nov 2016 11:02
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Hi folks,

Owner of a Vampire 600v2 and waiting for the FPU option, I started to mess around Emulation and transpose my A1260 configs to the A600v2 with latest Gold Core.
This post will be about PC-Task, and before anyone trolls, no it's not really useful, but we do this because we can, not necessarily because we need to ;)



What do you need

- An Amiga 600 with a Vampire v2, and a Gold Core (it works with other configs of course, but basically : the more power, the more Emulation speed)
- PC-Task 4.4 : http://aminet.net/package/misc/emu/PC-Task44 - Some good knowledge or memories of DOS environment
- A DOS Hardfile. Here is a preinstalled DOS6.22 Virtual Disk, on the EAB Zone : ftp://eab.t28.net/mirror/grandis.nu/The ... .22%5D.lzx



STEP 0 : Firmware and OS Versions

- Personnally I used a basic Classic Workbench on the Amiga 600, because I'm lazy, and I didn't want to install again all needed files in the OS (lha, DOpus, libraries, etc).
- Your Vampire v2 must have latest Core and SAGA drivers installed.
- For information my workbench is in SAGA 640x480 60Hz 8bit 16 colors. Kickstart 45.20, Workbench 40.42


IMPORTANT : Note before everything
- At any moment you can quit PC-Task using the following DOS command : pctquit
- At any moment you can quit PC-Task doing RIGHT AMIGA + SUPPR




STEP 1 : Installation


- Extract and Install PC-Task 4.4 as you would install any Amiga program, it's pretty straightforward, just click next, next, next :)



STEP 2 : PC-Task configuration basics

- Now you'll need to create a partition or a hardfile when configuring PC-Task : if you want to avoid a LOT of trouble, please use the DOS6.22 link above. Download it, copy it on your Amiga, then use your favorite lzx unpacker or the "Arc Ext" option in DOpus.
- Put this 7Mb hardfile into any Amiga partition.

IMPORTANT : Name it exactly like this : Hardfile0 (no extension)



STEP 3 : Preparing PC-Task

- Edit the Icon information of "PC-Task_Dynamic" : rem both lines BIOSFILE and CPUID adding ; in front of them. (The guy uploading the file has left his own configuration).

Screenshot : http://imgur.com/ks6Zl2q
- Launch PC-Task_Dynamic.
- In the config screen on the left you'll see HardDrive C, put the full link to your Hardfile0

Screenshot : http://imgur.com/6qMM6X1
-> On my screenshot, both my hardfiles are in data:ISOBANK/Voludos/HardfileX
(data: is the name of my DH4: partition on this harddrive)

- Hardfile0 will be the Boot partition C: and I created a Hardfile1 that will be my D:



STEP 3,5 : I want to create a Hardfile myself !

- To DIY and create your Hardfile, just select Create HardDiskFile, enter a name and a size. Please do not create Hardfiles bigger than 1024Mb (in fact you can go up to 2048, but I had some serious problems with sizes bigger than 1024. However 1024 is big already for old DOS progs).

Screenshot : http://imgur.com/9Abcjee
- Your created Hardfile will be in the PC-Task installation folder. So if you want it elsewhere, move it.
- Launch PC-Task, you will be on C: prompt. Type FDISK.

IMPORTANT
: Change Current Fixed Disk Drive (5) ! Then in the list select 2. Press enter.

- Press 1 (Create DOS partition). Press 1 (Create Primary DOS partition). Press Y (max avail size). Press ESC. Press ESC again. DOS will reboot.
- Once again on C: prompt : type "Format D:". Press Y. Enter. Give a name to the partition et voilà.
- Back on C: prompt, if you type D: you will now move the prompt to the second Hardfile partition.



STEP 4 : Misc setup


- The configuration of bottom right window is easy : let conventional memory @640, extended memory a bit under 16Mb (15360 here), min leave @400.

Screenshot : http://imgur.com/5gjeRGG



STEP 5 : Preparing Video Output modes

- This part is simple, but took me ages to understand. In fact when you launch a DOS prog, PC-Task will process a Video Mode input and redirect it into an output doable on your Amiga. So basically you are going to configure each possible DOS input and redirect it to any configured corresponding Amiga output.

- TOP RIGHT Window : Select HUGE, VGA Graphic Adapter, select mouse, no sound (sound is only PC speakers in PC-Task), FPU is greyed for now ;)

Screenshot : http://imgur.com/O4pJfgh
- Click on the Advanced Video Options.

TOP LEFT a reference number (or letter) for the PC Mode. If you keep clicking on "Up Mode", you will see that there are 23 different modes, between CGA, EGA, VGA, SVGA, 320*200 to 1280*1024, 2 to 256 colors (256 colors max = 8 bits max). Each of these modes represent one mode that can be used by any DOS program, so you will have to link each of them to an Amiga mode.

To do so, Always select "Screen", Set Mode, choose the mode (read below), then Up Mode and do the same for each 23 of them.

Screenshot : http://imgur.com/p6BfeGM
I used a very easy way to do so :
- Each mode having a Resolution starting by 320*X, I choosed the SAGA 4:3 320*240 8bits mode.
- Each mode having a Resolution starting by 640*X, I choosed the SAGA 4:3 640*480 8bits mode.
- All higher modes, I choosed same 8bits mode.

Screenshot : http://imgur.com/fyQm1nb
Other screenshot : http://imgur.com/zdzvWuT
Other Other Screenshot: http://imgur.com/lLLiwFR

Then click OK and SAVE CONFIGURATION.



STEP 6 : Autoexec.bat and Config.sys

- As most of you know (or not), PC DOS couldn't start correctly without these two important files. Here are both my file contents :
- Use "edit config.sys" or "edit autoexec.bat" to modify the files. Don't forget to save after modification.


CONFIG.SYS

Screenshot : http://imgur.com/Hgodk2u
Notes :
- Testmem:off is important, otherwise starting DOS will take ages.
- Country must use codes relative to where you live and what keyboard you use (french here). Use this form : http://www.vfrazee.com/ms-dos/6.22/help/country.htm


AUTOEXEC.BAT

Screenshot : http://imgur.com/XK0hj4f
Notes :
- Once again : Fr KB on this screenshot. Replace accordingly.
- PCTMouse.exe is inside the MSDOSUtils folder of PC-Task4.



STEP 7 : Transferring files from AMIGA partition to PC partition

- IMPORTANT : First be sure that the file hardfile.device is in your DEVS: folder. If not, get it here : http://eab.abime.net/attachment.php?att ... 1135534836
- Go into the PC-Task4 installation folder and double-click "PCTCrossmount" : it will immediately mount and make accessible your Hardfile0 and Hardfile1 (if you configured them in this order in PC-Task) as TCC: and TDC: in your Workbench. Of course both are respectively C: and D:

- In Shell or in DOpus, acess each of them writing TCC: or TDC:

Screenshot : http://imgur.com/2kJWwnR
Screenshot : http://imgur.com/Cl9u6iW



STEP 8 : What to test now ?

- Now you will need progs to run. Some people install Windows 3.1 or Windows 95, personnaly I try to find early DOS Adventure or RPG games that might run fine. A good one to try for a start, is Bard's Tale 3 for example (you can even use PC speaker sound checking it in PC-Task launch setup).
- Get it (of course you have it @home) simply copy the BT3 folder from your comp to your Amiga, then from the Workbench to your PC-Task D: partition using TDC: as seen above.
- Launch PC-Task, once in C: prompt, type D:, then "cd BT3", then "Thief"
- Most of DOS game folders will contain the game executable (.exe or .bat), eventually a setup.exe or an install.bat that you will have to launch in order to remove sound management for example. You can edit .bat files to check what exactly is launched.

Screenshot : http://imgur.com/ks6Zl2q
- Game is perfectly playable. Enjoy, and please test a lot of other games, and share which ones do work ! :)

Screenshot : http://imgur.com/9V7oSDW
Screenshot : http://imgur.com/VMSQEYq


LIST OF GAMES THAT WORK VERY WELL

(I tested mostly RPG)
Betrayal at Krondor (the game does NOT lag, its just the way devs made the 3D engine)
Castle Master (faster than on pure Amiga)
Circuit's Edge
Dark Sun Shattered Lands
Dragon Wars
Fountain of Dreams
Neverwinter Nights (the 1991 game of course)
Warriors of Legend
Zeliard
Elder Scrolls ARENA (Ok it's very slow, but it WORKS ! :p )
Daemon's Gate
Mad Paradox
Mechwarrior
Dungeon Hack
BAT
BAT2

Note :
Eye of the Beholder 3 and Lands of Lore both crash after intro at Character creation. There might be something to tune here.

_________________

Rod Pulsar Youtube Videos
https://www.youtube.com/user/RodionEdge/videos


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guibrush
Post subject: Re: [PC-Task] Tutorial - Gold Core Posted: Fri 25 Nov 2016 22:20
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Joined: Sat 19 Nov 2016 14:12
Thank you very much for this nice tuto, I think it could help many of us ! Did you run any sort of benchmark on pctask ? Wich speed do we achieve with the gold core in x11 ?

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A600 V1.5, V600 V2, A604n, RTC, Indi ECS, 32Gb CF, PCMCIA Ethernet, HD floppy, TOM, HP Pavilion 23xi monitor
A500+V8A, V500+, Indi ECS, 32Gb CF, SD-net, SD floppy, Kipper 2Mb chip expansion, TOM, Eizo EV2450


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vhdler
Post subject: Re: [PC-Task] Tutorial - Gold Core Posted: Sun 27 Nov 2016 02:00
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Joined: Wed 23 Nov 2016 11:38
I ran some benchmarks a while ago (gold1)

[ img ]
[ img ]

Landmark didnt want to run, I'll try again when gold2 goes public.


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guibrush
Post subject: Re: [PC-Task] Tutorial - Gold Core Posted: Sun 27 Nov 2016 09:54
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Joined: Sat 19 Nov 2016 14:12
Hey, thank you very much for the bench, this is great ! if I understand good, the 2 bench claim that we hare close than an IBM PS/2 80, that's mean something like a 386 DX @ 16 Mhz.... Do you have this feeling when using it ? If yes, this is pretty cool. I mean, a 386 DX is good for many old DOS games. With extrapolation, we can maybe reach an 486 DX2 with a faster FPGA (standalone or maybe V1200). Would be cool to run wing commander 4 on this :-)

_________________

A600 V1.5, V600 V2, A604n, RTC, Indi ECS, 32Gb CF, PCMCIA Ethernet, HD floppy, TOM, HP Pavilion 23xi monitor
A500+V8A, V500+, Indi ECS, 32Gb CF, SD-net, SD floppy, Kipper 2Mb chip expansion, TOM, Eizo EV2450


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vhdler
Post subject: Re: [PC-Task] Tutorial - Gold Core Posted: Mon 28 Nov 2016 14:59
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Joined: Wed 23 Nov 2016 11:38
guibrush wrote:
Hey, thank you very much for the bench, this is great ! if I understand good, the 2 bench claim that we hare close than an IBM PS/2 80, that's mean something like a 386 DX @ 16 Mhz.... Do you have this feeling when using it ? If yes, this is pretty cool. I mean, a 386 DX is good for many old DOS games. With extrapolation, we can maybe reach an 486 DX2 with a faster FPGA (standalone or maybe V1200). Would be cool to run wing commander 4 on this :-)
Well, yes it behaves quite like it. I read somewhere that Chris Hames, the developer of PCTASK plans to resume development.
Stability and compatibility is in need of putting much attention into.


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flash951
Post subject: Re: [PC-Task] Tutorial - Gold Core Posted: Tue 29 Nov 2016 00:17
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Joined: Mon 28 Nov 2016 17:48
I want to add something. For me, STEP 7 didn't worked, I suspect you need the "full" commercial version of CrossDOS, at least version 5 or newer, for this to work, version 7 Gold is the latest officially released I think. However, when you have CrossDOS, you can use the tool there to mount the hardfile in the Amiga OS. PCTask is also compatible with the hardfile you create with this tool.
Quote:
STEP 7 : Transferring files from AMIGA partition to PC partition
TIPS:
Screenmode: Create an SAGA 640x200x8 screenmode to get DOS in nice fullscreen.
"There might be some graphical distortions in games when using SAGA screenmodes with less than 8 bit screens in some games I think, CGA, EGA etc.

GAMES TESTED:
Tested some Sierra Online Adventure "Quest" games that ruled on PC.
Remember to edit the "setup.cfg" file within games directories to set PC speaker sound drv (std.drv) etc.

"Of course this is absolutely of-no-point, because most of these games exist in Amiga versions with better sound etc.
And if they don't, they surely exist in Mac version with full 256 color etc. and will run with better sound on Amiga using Mac emulator like Shapeshifter.
But I enjoy doing this just because its possible."


1. Kings Quest V:
First Sierra-Onine "Quest" game with click-and-point and VGA 320x200x256 graphics I think.
Got some problem with only getting b/w VGA. Replaced the VGA driver file x.drv within the game with the one from Police Quest IV. Got correct colors after this.
This games seemed to run very good, no problem with speed etc.

2. Police Quest VI.
Runs very fine.

3. Police Quest I - remake VGA (PC only game)
Runs perfectly.

4. Police Quest 1 - original (EGA)
Got some graphical "redraw" problems at score line on top when running in SAGA screenmode.
On an Amiga native screen it should be no problem I think.
NOTE: This game is also for Amiga with same graphics 16 colors and of cause better sound "Amiga" and is kind off "system friendly", multitasking to Amiga OS is not switched off, and they maybe even works with "screenmode" enforcer like newmode to make the Amiga version run in SAGA screen.

5. Leisure Larry 1 - original (EGA)
Same as above.

6. Test Drive II
Runs fine in SAGA screen. (EGA)

7. Test Drive III (PC only game)
Was very fascinated by this game when it was new. Runs at good speed surprisingly, but,,, hard to control (maybe that's how it always was.)
Needs a lot of base memory (640KB) free to start this game. Had to use himem.sys to get more free base ram, after his the game started with no problem.

8. Test Drive I.
Little strange, found it not very smooth.

9. Who framed Roger Rabbit.
DIdn't work on SAGA screen. Maybe on Amiga screen, haven't tested-

10. Alley cat (IBM release)
Runs even smooth on A1200/030. (CGA)

11. Norton Commander (runs even smooth on 030, assembled coded clone exists and runs even faster)

12. Windows 3.11 (graphics update is slow, but usable, boots quickly.)
When using 256 color using win setup Video 7 driver, mouse pointer got invincible, have to stick to 16 color.

13. Wolfenstein 3D - original release
Runs better than expected. Have to reduce the screen littlebit within the game to get playable framerate.

BETTER SOUND?
Solder together a pore mans sound card "Covox Speech Thing", its " Disney Sound Source" compatible in the game-settings. Its easy and cheap to make from resistors, and connects to the parallel/printer port LPT:
Maybe it will work in PCTask, have to find out.


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flash951
Post subject: Re: [PC-Task] Tutorial - Gold Core Posted: Tue 29 Nov 2016 11:49
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Joined: Mon 28 Nov 2016 17:48
flash951 wrote:
I want to add something. For me, STEP 7 didn't worked, I suspect you need the "full" commercial version of CrossDOS, at least version 5 or newer, CrossDOS v7 Gold is the latest officially released I think. However, when you have CrossDOS, you can use the tool there to mount the hardfile in the Amiga OS. PCTask is also compatible with the hardfile you create with CrossDOS.
Quote:
STEP 7: Transferring files from AMIGA partition to PC partition
TIPS:
Screenmode: Create an SAGA 640x200x8 screenmode to get DOS in nice fullscreen.
(There might be some graphical distortions in games when using SAGA screenmodes with less than 8 bit screens in some games I think, CGA, EGA etc.)

GAMES TESTED:
Tested some Sierra Online Adventure "Quest" games that ruled on PC.
Remember to edit the "setup.cfg" file within games directories to set PC speaker sound driver (std.drv) etc.

"Of course, this is absolutely of-no-point, because most of these games also exist in Amiga versions with better sound and everything.
And if they don't, they surely exist in Mac version with full 256 color and will run very nice using a Mac emulator like Shapeshifter.
And of course with DosBOX on a modern PC you get full sound card support and speed on everything.
But I enjoy doing this just because its possible, and only stuff running on a real Amiga gives the good feel."


1. Kings Quest V:
First Sierra-Onine "Quest" game with click-and-point and VGA 320x200x256 graphics I think.
Got some problem with only getting b/w VGA. Replaced the VGA driver file x.drv within the game with the one from Police Quest IV. Got correct colors after this.
This games seemed to run very good, no problem with speed etc.

2. Police Quest VI.
Runs very fine.

3. Police Quest I - remake VGA (PC only game)
Runs perfectly.

4. Police Quest 1 - original (EGA)
Got some graphical "redraw" problems at score line on top when running in SAGA screenmode.
On an Amiga native screen it should be no problem I think.
NOTE: This game is also for Amiga with same graphics 16 colors and of cause better sound "Amiga" and is kind off "system friendly", multitasking to Amiga OS is not switched off, and they maybe even works with "screenmode" enforcer like newmode to make the Amiga version run in SAGA screen.

5. Leisure Larry 1 - original (EGA)
Same as above.

6. Test Drive II
Runs wellin SAGA screen. (EGA)

7. Test Drive III (PC only game)
Was very fascinated by this game when it was new. Runs at good speed surprisingly, but,,, hard to control (maybe that's how it always was.)
Needs a lot of base memory (640KB) free to start this game. Had to use himem.sys to get more free base ram, after his the game started with no problem.

8. Test Drive
Little strange, found it not very smooth.

9. Who framed Roger Rabbit.
DIdn't work on SAGA screen. Maybe on Amiga screen, haven't tested-

10. Alley cat (IBM release)
Runs even smooth on A1200/030. (CGA)

11. Norton Commander
(runs even smooth on 030, assembled coded clone exists and runs even faster)

12. Windows 3.11
(graphics update is slow, but usable, boots quickly.)
When using 256 color using win setup Video 7 driver, mouse pointer got invincible, have to stick to 16 color.

13. Wolfenstein 3D - original release
Runs better than expected. Have to reduce the screen littlebit within the game to get playable framerate.


WANT BETTER SOUND?
Solder together a pore mans sound card "Covox Speech Thing", its " Disney Sound Source" compatible in the game-settings. Its easy and cheap to make from resistors, and connects to the parallel/printer port LPT:
Maybe it will work in PCTask, have to solder together one and find out.


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Rodion
Post subject: Re: [PC-Task] Tutorial - Gold Core Posted: Wed 30 Nov 2016 11:15
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Joined: Fri 25 Nov 2016 09:34
Thanks for your inputs guys !
Quote:
WANT BETTER SOUND?
Solder together a pore mans sound card "Covox Speech Thing", its " Disney Sound Source" compatible in the game-settings. Its easy and cheap to make from resistors, and connects to the parallel/printer port LPT:
Maybe it will work in PCTask, have to solder together one and find out.
I have to try that !! :D

_________________

Rod Pulsar Youtube Videos
https://www.youtube.com/user/RodionEdge/videos


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Rodion
Post subject: Re: [PC-Task] Tutorial - Gold Core Posted: Wed 30 Nov 2016 15:51
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Joined: Fri 25 Nov 2016 09:34
Some working games screenshots :

http://imgur.com/a/m8jEB

_________________

Rod Pulsar Youtube Videos
https://www.youtube.com/user/RodionEdge/videos


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Tormentor22
Post subject: Re: [PC-Task] Tutorial - Gold Core Posted: Sat 1 Jul 2017 22:14
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Joined: Sat 1 Jul 2017 22:11
I set all the screenmodes as suggested. But then i habe only 1/3 of the screen. If i choose pal highres mode , dos comes over rgb but in games eg Wolf3d i got rainbow colours. Can somebody help me gerting this run.


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