Amiga Forever by Cloanto
 
Home Products
 
 
TITLE

Quick Instructions for Amiga & C64 Forever Upgraders

 

TOPIC

Q: I am upgrading from a previous version. Do you have some tips to get me up and running as an expert really fast?

 

DISCUSSION

A: If you are already familiar with previous versions of Amiga Forever or C64 Forever, here are some tips to quickly make you an expert in the latest version. Rather than listing new features, this document aims to describe new or better ways of doing things. Be sure to also read the Quick Start section of the documentation. The "Tip of the Day" feature (Help menu) provides tips about features that may not always be obvious. Within software dialogs, just hold the mouse over a feature to view context-specific help.

Upgrading to Version 7 (2017):

  • It is now possible to add custom content folders under My Folders, and even change the location of the built-in Amiga Files and CBM Files folders. Right-click the folders and playlists to explore these new features.
  • The Tools/Options dialog contains several new tabs, sections and settings, including new controls for emulation, input, graphics and audio. The help tips make it easy to explore the new options: just pause the pointer over the desired feature to view context-specific help.
  • All general keyboard shortcuts (escape, pause, turbo, screen capture, etc.) are now grouped in the General section, under Tools/Options/Input, where they can be customized. This includes Left amiga, Right Amiga, Commodore, Print Screen, F12 and other emulation shortcuts.
  • General (not title-specific) game controller options can also be set in Tools/Options/Input. These global settings are defined as profiles, with features dedicated to standard game controllers (e.g. joysticks), keyboard layouts (e.g. direction and fire keys which can be used if your PC doesn't have a joystick) and arcade controllers (including presets for X-Arcade and I-PAC devices). Input profiles provide abstraction and increased compatibility, as they can be used and changed at runtime without having to modify actual titles, while retaining preferences even if the hardware changes. The individual titles maintain maximum portability across systems and emulation engines.
  • To edit title-specific input settings, right-click a title, select Edit, and open the Input tab. Emulated devices and buttons can be reconfigured here, if necessary (e.g. to swap joystick ports or fire buttons on a per-title basis). New input options include multitap ports (i.e. extra joystick adapters). Virtual buttons make it possible to fire keyboard actions based on host game controller actions, e.g. to joystick-enable non-joystick games, or to use extra controller buttons for titles that used a mix of joystick and keyboard controls. Autofire (more broadly, autorepeat, as it works on any key) can be enabled and adjusted here as well. If you are curating content for mobile and touch-screen playback, mark buttons that are not used as Unused.
  • The main player window can now be closed without affecting any emulation sessions (playback windows) which may be running. Use the "Open main window" button at the top left of the playback window to open the main player interface again.
  • Titles launched from Windows File Explorer now just open the playback window, without also opening the main player window. Use the "Open main window" button at the top left of the playback window to open (or close) the main player interface.
  • All emulation environments now support Type Clipboard Text (in the Tools menu of the playback window), which "pastes" clipboard text by simulating fast keyboard typing. The feature is Unicode-aware and automatically translates between different host and guest keyboard layouts. Support for Japanese Commodore systems is included as well. To set the guest keyboard layout, right-click the title, select Edit, and select the Guest layout in the Input tab. For Amiga systems, you need to make sure that this matches the layout set via SetMap or SetKeyboard. Once this is done, you can paste the full Amiga character set (even characters not appearing on the keyboard). For CBM systems, the correct ROM is automatically set based on the title selection. If you have a very fast (or very slow) system, you can manually adjust the Typematic rate setting under Tools/Options/Emulation.
  • The default internal audio frequency can now be switched between 44.1 and 48 kHz with the new Tools/Options/Emulation/Audio/Preferred Sample Rate setting. If you are aiming for perfect sound quality, you can adjust this to minimize resampling overhead, taking into account the native frequency of the sound board.
  • The new Show Manifest/Show Changes button in the title editor helps power users be in full control of configuration, description and other details.
  • Would you like to customize a shared system disk used by a title, without affecting other titles? Go to the Media tab, select the disk, click Edit, and change the Location from Built-in to Embedded. This will embed a copy of the disk in the RP9 package of the title. If you already made undesired changes to a shared system disk, you can select Restore System Files... from the Tools menu.
  • Do you need to mount a bootable Amiga hardfile to a title, without actually booting from it? We do this frequently too, as part of our Amiga Forever development work. In the Media tab, select the disk, click Edit, uncheck Use defaults and set Boot priority to -128. This does not write anything to the actual Amiga disk image, it is an attribute that is only stored in the RP9 title manifest. The disk will then appear normally in the emulation, except that the system won't use it to boot.
  • If you use hardfiles a lot, but you also enjoy the portability benefits of RP9s packages, have a look at the new "deployable" hardfiles, which combine the convenience of embedded disks with the superior performance of external images.
  • Fancy autostarting Windows into your favorite Amiga (or CBM) configuration? Just drag and drop the title over the Autostart playlist. The title will be launched in fullscreen on startup. For more information on automatic logon, see Booting a PC into Workbench (or C64, or PET/CBM...)

Upgrading to Amiga Forever 2016:

  • Right-click a title and select Edit to explore the numerous new authoring and configuration features. Pause the mouse over a setting for quick instructions.
  • Are you ready for some magic? If you have both Amiga Forever and C64 Forever installed (same versions), open the Options dialog (Tools menu) and select the Merge platforms option. After restarting the software, you will be able to access and author both Amiga and CBM titles from the same navigation pane of both players.
  • To explore the new PowerPC-related features, right-click the new "PPC" Amiga 4000 preset configuration in the Systems folder, select Edit, and explore the settings in the Configuration tab.
  • If you would like to install AmigaOS 4.1 FE for Classic (a third-party product, not included with Amiga Forever), see Installing a PowerPC OS in Amiga Forever.
  • Working with files has become easier than ever: you can now right-click a title on the Windows side of Amiga Forever and use the Open submenu to directly access the location of a mounted directory. You can also use Open/Amiga Files from the File menu to access shared items.
  • A new "Shared" drive option makes it even easier to share files between different Amiga configurations (and Windows). If you need to share files with Workbench 1.3 and older versions, the Edit Disk dialog has a new Synthetic icons option that is equivalent to "Show/All files". You can see both features at work in the Workbench 3.X and Workbench 1.3 configurations.
  • If you use Amiga productivity software to print, right-click the title, select Edit and in the Configuration tab set the Parallel option to the desired print mode. This new option helps to better differentiate between the intended use of the Amiga parallel port, increasing compatibility with titles that may poll the port, and allowing for future refinements such as support for audio samplers and other devices. The EpsonQ emulation mode is now also set here, to better take into account title-specific differences. New settings include a PostScript emulation option (which requires the Ghostscript package).
  • If you use Amiga MIDI software with Windows MIDI devices, right-click the title, select Edit and in the Configuration tab set the Serial option to MIDI. This new option helps to better differentiate between the intended use of the Amiga serial port, and to redirect it to the most specific Windows device. Under Tools/Options/Emulation, new settings make it possible to independently select the desired Windows device for both native serial and MIDI modes. In previous versions of Amiga Forever, Windows MIDI devices could be set, but there was no option to map the Amiga serial port when used in native (non-MIDI) mode.
  • On 64-bit versions of Windows you can choose to run native 64-bit emulation code, for example by right-clicking the title and selecting Play with/WinUAE (64-Bit), or by setting the preferred default in the Emulation settings (Tools/Options menu). The use of native 64-bit code helps allocate more than 1 GB of Amiga memory, and can result in faster emulation (e.g. of the PowerPC CPU).

Upgrading to Amiga Forever 2013 or 2014:

  • Are you concerned about losing changes or additions as part of the upgrade? Since 2011, when the RP9 format became the default also for user-added content, copying and moving content has become easier than ever. If you added new titles (RP9 files) to any of the content folders (Games, Demoscene, etc.), these will be preserved. If you modified any of the preinstalled files, those would be overwritten. To be on the safe side, it is very easy to backup content: select Open Amiga Files from the Tools menu, then make a copy of the content folders. To restore files, simply copy them back.
  • The (optional) Amiga Forever Plus Edition ISO image can now be custom-built from the Build Image dialog (Tools menu). In previous versions, the ISO image used to be a one-time download (also required to access the installer for Windows), which is no longer the case. Documentation is available to allow third parties to offer RP-Image files to add templates to this dialog (e.g. to create custom bootable content).
  • Several content-oriented features are now accessible directly in Windows File Explorer: RP9 files can be opened, edited and viewed as thumbnails. Disk image files in other formats can be added to an RP9 package with a single click.
  • In an effort to further unify the user interface between new multiple emulation plugins, the default settings for some plugin-specific features (like pressing the F12 key to open the WinUAE options) have changed. Plugin-specific features can still be controlled from the Plugins group, in the Emulation options of the player. If you feel the need for additional player options, please let us know. Your feedback is always welcome.
  • If you would like to launch WinUAE or WinFellow directly from the Tools menu in Amiga Forever, make sure that the Launch Plugin option is enabled under Items in Tools Menu (Plugins group, in the Emulation options of the player).
  • WinFellow has been updated to provide RetroPlatform plugin functionality. This means that titles that use Original Chip Set (OCS) Amiga systems can now also be played back via the WinFellow plugin. To choose how to play back a title, right-click it and select Play with/WinUAE, Play with/WinFellow, or adjust the Emulation options (Tools menu).
  • The RP9 editor has new features for adding media. It is for example possible to add floppy disk images that are not inserted automatically, but are on standby for manual insertion during playback (via the floppy disk menu).
  • During playback, the Power LED menu provides access to some functionality that might otherwise be overlooked, such as: Save Snapshot (to save the state without terminating the emulation session), Close Options (to terminate the session, restoring the options dialog in case "Do not show again" had previously been selected) and the Screen Clip Editor.
  • The Tools menu, the Options dialog and the RP9 editor include dozens of additional new features that are best explored by browsing the menus and dialogs.

Upgrading to Amiga Forever 2012:

  • The Amiga Forever Plus Edition ISO image, if part of the product, now needs to be burned to a DVD, as it won't fit on a CD (as in previous versions) any longer.
  • All configurations can now be edited (right-click a title and select Edit), duplicated (select Create Copy, then Edit as necessary), moved to other tabs (select Move to) or created from scratch (Select New from the File menu).
  • To create custom configurations that reference your existing Amiga files on dedicated partitions or directories outside of the Amiga Forever installation directory, see Referencing External Content in RP9 Files.
  • In RP9 Editor, there are two quick ways to "reset" a configuration: by clicking the Autoconfigure from Files button in the General tab (which also auto-assigns files), or by selecting a new model from the System section in the Configuration tab (which only resets the hardware configuration).
  • If you need to create RP9 files that can be played back on older versions of Amiga Forever (2009, 2010 or 2011), be sure to reference a base hardware model that was supported by those players (e.g. most popular models, like the Amiga 500 or Amiga 1200). Amiga Forever 2012 introduced support for a wide range of Amiga systems (e.g. Amiga 3000, Amiga 4000, etc.), not all of which are recognized by older players. In general, consider referencing the Amiga 500 system (if the title runs on it) for maximum compatibility with old games across a wide variety of RP9 players, including those on mobile devices and new generations of FPGA-based emulators.
  • System configurations are now grouped under a new "Systems" tab (rather than in "Applications"). All Systems are stored as editable RP9 files in a directory named "Systems". This makes system configurations more similar to content in the Games and Demoscene tabs. If content is added to the player that cannot be identified (e.g. as a game), it will still be added to the "Applications" tab, from where it can be edited (but it won't clutter the list of system entries, as it did in previous versions). The Applications tab is not displayed if the corresponding directory in Amiga Files does not exist.
  • The Workbench 3.X configuration options have been removed from the Tools/Options dialog. All configurations can now be edited by right-clicking the title (e.g. "Workbench 3.X", in the Systems tab) in the player and selecting Edit. Configuration changes are saved in the corresponding RP9 file.
  • The player contains new multimedia features. When moving the mouse over the preview thumbnail, click the arrow symbols to browse through multiple images (if available), or click the lens symbol to view the original size (if a larger size is available). See the preview artwork included in the Videos tab for an example of both features. Audio files can be added from the RP9 Editor, and then can be accessed from the new Audio button and menu. The Help and Web buttons have now been extended by a menu to access multiple elements, if available.
  • The playback window now features two new input port icons, which provide detailed control and visual feedback on input port devices and activity. Click the icon's menu to change a new Amiga device (e.g. insert a joystick, a mouse, etc.), or to change the device on the PC side that is associated to the Amiga device (e.g. if multiple joysticks are connected to the PC, or to change the keyboard layout for joystick emulation). This makes the "old" Keyboard/Joystick button in the player window somewhat obsolete (and likely to be removed from a future version).
  • The Tools/Options dialog contains new settings (fullscreen scaling, mouse, MIDI, etc.) Some emulation features like magic mouse and floppy audio emulation can now be disabled, overriding RP9-specific attributes, if set. If running Amiga Forever on a remote desktop connection, in a virtual machine or with some types of graphics tables, you may want to set the corresponding mouse option to emulate relative mouse movement data (which is needed by the Amiga to correctly move the mouse).
  • For quality reasons, fullscreen modes are now shared (non-hardware) by default. You may to uncheck the Use hardware fullscreen modes option, if selected in the Fullscreen Mode section of the Tools/Options dialog. This will enable the new scaling options (e.g. preserve ratio vs. stretch to fill). For maximum fullscreen mode quality, you may also want to change the default Graphics API, setting it to Direct3D. This may require an update to DirectX 9.29.174 or higher, if not already installed.
  • Amiga Forever can now be started and linked to via its AmigaForever.exe executable in Program Files(x86)/Cloanto/Amiga Forever, or wherever it is located. This means that shortcuts can now be created with a simple click, without needing to link to RPHost.exe with command line options.
  • The first disc of the Premium Edition of Amiga Forever, which used to be a CD, is now called "DVD 0", and contains both the software and a new Dave Haynie interview video, available both in a traditional DVD format, and in 1920x1080 HD quality (Windows Media file inside the Videos directory). As in the past, the video content is not included in the downloadable Plus Edition.

Upgrading to Amiga Forever 2011:

  • "Saved states" are now called "snapshots". Amiga Forever 2011 supports unlimited snapshots for each configuration. Snapshots are created via the "Save snapshot" option in the menu under the power LED. There is no longer a "save state" option in the Close dialog, which is now easier to understand and dismiss. To view and edit the snapshots that are available for a configuration right-click the item and select Snapshots from the menu. Snapshots are stored as .rp9-snapshot files.
  • When running for the first time, Amiga Forever 2011 converts existing snapshots to the new format.

Upgrading to Amiga Forever 2010:

  • Amiga Forever 2010 contains significant changes under the hood (e.g. to support the new RP9 editable XML data, to manage CD media, etc.), but generally preserves the familiar aspects of the 2009 interface and settings.
  • Note the new little arrow (triangle) symbols under the disks, camera and other symbols in the playback window. These give quick access to useful features (change virtual disk, insert blank disk, mount CD image or physical CD drive, etc.)
  • To quickly configure printing, set and configure the EpsonQ driver on the Amiga side, and then set the Windows printer under Tools/Options in Amiga Forever. The EpsonQ driver is already preset in the Amiga Forever 2010 integrated Workbench configurations.
  • The WinUAE manual configuration option was moved from the Applications tab into the Tools/Launch Plugin menu. The Applications tab now only contains preset emulation environments.
  • In Tools/Options it is now possible to change the Workbench 3.X RAM, to specify additional drives, and to edit other settings. See the context help for additional information.
  • When mounting a CD in the CDTV and CD³² configurations, please note that the Amiga system may need to be rebooted in order to autostart a game. This is normal (the original hardware had the same behavior). Use the menu arrow under the power LED to reboot the emulated system.
  • Improved screen capture: now saves as PNG instead of BMP (no need to convert file format to use as preview), and has a menu to save, copy to clipboard or open the folder containing the saved files.
  • Improved thumbnail drag-and-drop (no need to manually resize images any longer): if the image is not in a supported size (4:3 square pixels: 160x120, 320x240, 640x480 or 800x600), it is processed automatically (recognizes popular formats like GameBase, TOSEC and HOL double-barrel images).
  • For additional information on the RP9 file format, including RP9 editors, see the RetroPlatform Reference and Links pages.

Upgrading to Amiga Forever 2009:

  • All games and demoscene productions are now included in RP9 format. To access a file in the player, right-click a title and select Open File Location. If you add or remove files manually, press F5 to refresh the list.
  • RP9 Toolbox (in the Tools menu) exposes new features to import and export games, demoscene productions and other content. If an item is not yet recognized by RetroPlatform Library, it can still be identified and grouped automatically with other disk images in a set by way of its TOSEC file name.
  • You can drag-and-drop PNG images and text or PDF files to add thumbnails and documentation to RP9 files. The recommended format for thumbnails is 160x120 (or a multiple), true color, square pixels, but other sizes will work as well.
  • The Check for Updates function now also checks for updates to RetroPlatform Library, which is used to recognize and configure games and demoscene productions.
  • The "Tip of the Day" balloon contains a multitude of useful tips. If you turned this feature off, you can open the balloon manually from the Help menu.
  • Content that doesn't fall under the Games or Demoscene categories is now grouped in the Applications tab (this was formerly named System).
  • The Applications tab features new downloadable content, e.g. the popular AmiKit and AmigaSYS add-ons. Click the Download button to download the content, then Play to run it normally. The first time the item runs, it will self-configure based on your choices.
  • To set up AmiKit or AmigaSYS go to the Applications tab, click the desired item, then click the Download button. Amiga Forever will download and extract the files automatically to the correct location (which you can access yourself, inside Amiga Files/Shared). When the download is complete, the item is ready for playback. When AmiKit or AmigaSYS are run for the first time, they will ask you a few questions about the preferred setup. If you encounter difficulties during the download/extraction, disable any antivirus software you may have, and retry.
  • An existing AmiKit or AmigaSYS installation that you may already have (e.g. in "C:\AmiKit") will not be affected in any way by the new deployment as integrated in Amiga Forever (and which is installed inside "Amiga Files").
  • You may also want to explore some new options (Tools menu), which include: Check for updates on startup, Message dialogs, TV video modes, new file type associations, Media Recognition Scores. Click the "?" button in the dialog title bar and then the desired option for context-specific help.

Previous Versions - Windows systems:

  • Explore the various settings in the Tools/Options dialog, and their context help
  • When previewing a game or demoscene production, click the Help button for additional information on that item
  • The Esc (Escape) key has an important function in the new player: press and hold it down for one full second to release the mouse (if captured by the Amiga) or to switch from full-screen to windowed mode; a quick press has no effect on the player (if pressed briefly, the key works normally inside the Amiga)
  • Recently launched configurations are listed in the File/Recent menu of the player
  • Get familiar with the new player controls: click Previous or Next to swap disks, hold down Previous to reboot, etc.
  • Use the Keyboard and Joystick player controls to change your preferred input mode (joystick is enabled automatically, if a joystick is detected)
  • To "insert" an unused joystick during a game, simply press its Fire button
  • All emulation configurations now run in a slim windowed mode (overscan is automatically reduced, if possible), whereas in previous versions they would take over the entire screen by default
  • If you have two monitors, you may want to check the "Use secondary monitor" option
  • Full-screen mode now goes in "full window" mode by default, which is compatible with desktop settings (icons are not moved), but may be slower on some systems; to restore the behavior of previous versions, set the "Use hardware full-screen modes" option
  • Windowed mode and "full window" modes are slower than the hardware-based full-screen mode which was the default on previous versions of Amiga Forever; while this is usually not noticeable on faster machines, where the emulation always runs in real time, you may want to revert to the faster hardware full-screen settings if using an older PC
  • All Amiga Forever configurations that use ADF, ADZ, HDF or HDZ disk images support the option to commit disk changes, or undo them when closing the session; this means you are free to experiment when running games that write to disk, etc.; the one notable configuration that doesn't use undo-enabled drives is the Workbench 3.X environment, which is more productivity-oriented and mounts two directories, rather than disk images
  • For any configuration, you can save the state to resume it later; just close the playback window and choose the option to save the state (you don't even need to commit disk changes, you can do that later too, if you wish)
  • You can press the Pause button in the player controls or on the keyboard to pause a configuration; in this case the state is not saved to disk, it is simply paused (the window remains open)
  • Under the hoods, the player still supports and relies on familiar emulation engines; to access and use emulation configurations which you may wish to retain from previous versions of Amiga Forever, go to the System tab of the player and select WinUAE Configuration
  • Drives to be mounted in the Workbench 3.X configuration are now set in the Options dialog (in previous versions, they used to be set at installation time)
  • You can now double-click ADF, ADZ, HDF or HDZ disk image files to open (play) them, or open the images from the File menu in the player; once the Manual Playback Options dialog is open, you can drag-and-drop additional disks, and rearrange them in different drives as necessary
  • You can install the upgrade version of Amiga Forever even without the previous software installed, however you will need to enter your previous non-upgrade license key (see this page if you lost it)

Additional content:

  • There are tons of new games, demoscene productions and gallery documents to enjoy
  • KX Light is completely new, and supports additional hardware, as well as hard disk installation
  • The Plus Edition contains preconfigured macOS universal binaries and Linux binaries in the "Private" directory at the root of the CD
  • The original "First Demos" (Boing, Juggler, Robo-City, etc.) are in the Gallery section of the player (they used to be part of the default 1.3 Workbench configuration)

 

Article Information
Article ID: 15-121
Platform: All
Products: Amiga Forever, C64 Forever
Additional Keywords: fullscreen full screen
Last Update: 2017-06-23
Your feedback is always appreciated. It is safe to link to this page.