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Old 13 February 2017, 13:26   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 155
fVDI driver for WinUAE (Atari / EmuTOS)


You may remember EmuTOS. It is an alternate operating system for Atari computers, which also works on Amiga hardware. It is compatible with Atari TOS, so it is able to run some Atari ST software on Amiga. It is not a hardware emulator: software which uses the Atari hardware directly (=99.9% of games) will never work. However, clean software which only uses OS calls work nicely. Unfortunately, due to hardware differences, video support was limited to monochrome.

Today I announce that I have written an fVDI driver for WinUAE, named UAEGFX.SYS. Basically, fVDI is for Atari systems what Picasso96 is for AmigaOS: a system of graphics drivers to allow usage of third-party graphics cards by the OS.

UAEGFX.SYS allows fVDI to use WinUAE RTG video modes, including hardware acceleration. Currently, it is limited to 16-bit RGB565 modes, with any resolution. But it could be extended to other modes in the future.

You can see the result there. EmuTOS is running behind the scenes. Then the FreeMiNT kernel provides a multitasking environment, and fVDI + UAEGFX.SYS allow decent video modes.

Drawback: this requires proper AUTOCONFIG configuration of Zorro cards. Currently, EmuTOS does not know how to do that by itself. It can do that with the help of AROS routines, but the resulting ROM can't be redistributed due to license incompatibility. However, it is OK if you build such ROM yourself from EmuTOS sources. I plan to fix that issue in a not-so-far future. Toni has already offered help for that, thanks to him. This will just take some time to glue everything together.

- EmuTOS (all variants, except AROS support)
- WinUAE driver for fVDI

I also plan to provide an full distribution of the whole thing some day, but that will take even more time.

Anyway, this is a big step forward
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