Amiga Forever by Cloanto
 
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Amiga Forever 3.X ROM Improvements

 

TOPIC

Q: What are the differences between Cloanto's 3.X ROMs, and the original 3.1 versions released under Commodore and ESCOM?

 

DISCUSSION

Overview

The 3.1 ROM, initially released in the CD³² hardware in 1993, was the last Amiga ROM version released by Commodore/Amiga. The 3.X series by Cloanto aims to remain as true to the original as possible, while merging some essential updates, the most notable of which being the ability to boot from "large" hard disks. For maximum compatibility with the existing code base, the original binary code was largely preserved, limiting recompilation and thus the potential for new bugs to a minimum.

A first "3.X" series was released with Amiga Forever 3.0 in 1999. Further ROM improvements followed in 2006, 2014 and 2016. While the initial distribution was limited to Amiga Forever (emulation environment), since 2006 the ROMs were also compatible with "real" Amiga hardware. This official "Classic Support" scenario was further confirmed in a Coexistence Agreement between Amiga, Inc. and Cloanto, for use also outside of emulated Amiga systems. This was complemented by additional acquisitions and licenses.

System Requirements

The 3.X ROMs have a size of 512 KB, and are therefore compatible with all Amiga models except for the Amiga 1000. In order to make room for the enhancements, the 3.X ROMs employ the same technique used by Commodore for the 4000T ROMs, i.e. ROM space was freed by moving workbench.library out of the ROM. This means that a "Libs/workbench.library" file must be present on the boot disk, as detailed below.

Improvements

The current 3.X ROM (45.064) builds on the original 40.068 ROM components, featuring the following improvements:

  • Patches originally released under the ESCOM and Gateway Amiga ownership (no SetPatch or reboot required)
  • scsi.device and exec.library updates by Alexander Benedictov, Chris Hodges, Heinz Wrobel, Jeff Weeks and Toni Wilen
  • expansion.library fixes by Jeff Weeks
  • FastFileSystem fixes by Etienne Vogt
  • mathieeesingbas.library fixes by Harry "Piru" Sintonen
  • Fix to floppy drive issue affecting some systems in version 45.061

Support for Disks Larger than 4 GB

The scsi.device updates included in the 3.X ROM make it possible to boot from disks larger than 4 GB. Additional elements, such as FastFileSystem 45.9 and Installer 44.10, are included in the Classic Support Workbench 3.1 distribution, and complement the ROM-based enhancements.

For maximum compatibility, the Amiga boot partition should be the first partition of a disk, and it should not be larger than 4 GB. In order to remain compatible with older software that uses 32-bit values to measure disk capacity, a maximum partition size of 2 GB is recommended.

For additional information on support for disks larger than 4 GB, see Amiga Forever Workbench 3.1 Improvements.

Required "workbench.library"

Because workbench.library is not part of 3.X ROMs, a "Libs/workbench.library" file, as included in the Classic Support Workbench 3.1 set by Cloanto, must be present on the boot disk. This requirement is in common with later 3.1 ROMs by Commodore and ESCOM, as used with the Amiga 4000T model.

For additional information on adding the "workbench.library" file, see Amiga Forever Workbench 3.1 Duplication Instructions.

"Startup-Sequence" Modification

Older versions of the SetPatch command may not have been designed for use in combination with newer ROMs. Such versions of SetPatch may either fail to work properly with 3.X ROMs, or slow down the boot process and waste memory by unnecessarily loading ROM modules that don't need to be updated.

In these cases, a change is required in order to detect and avoid updating 3.X ROMs. The SetPatch command itself is still required, for example, to enable AGA chipset features.

Open S/Startup-Sequence and look for the following line:

C:SetPatch QUIET

Replace it with:

C:Version >NIL: exec.library 45 20
If WARN
  C:SetPatch QUIET
Else
  C:SetPatch NOROMUPDATE QUIET
EndIf

Such an updated "Startup-Sequence" file is already included in the Classic Support Workbench 3.1 set, where it does not need to be edited manually.

The NOROMUPDATE option was introduced in SetPatch version 44.16. If used in older versions, it will give a "wrong number of arguments" error.

Online Support

Each 3.X ROM set comes with a license key that can be used to download the ROM or the "workbench.library" file for installation or recovery purposes. To register for support, please refer to cloanto.com/genuine.

Related Links

 

Article Information
Article ID: 16-125
Platform: All
Products: Amiga Forever, Amiga Forever Classic Support
Additional Keywords: None
Last Update: 2016-12-27
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