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Old 10 September 2008, 11:42   #1
gilgamesh
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Kickstart substitute

The necessity to buy/dump a kickstart is a nuisance and obstacle to the proliferation of UAE. Kickstart is basically a collection of OS specific libraries that are saved in ROM for historical reasons, just like ibm's bios. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) Pc emulators like qemu come with a free bios, of course.

Frankly, I don't see why it hasn't been done before. The effort to to reimplement (the important parts of) kickstart should be very small compared to uae as a whole. Why should amiga be so different in that aspect?
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Old 10 September 2008, 11:49   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gilgamesh View Post
The necessity to buy/dump a kickstart is a nuisance and obstacle to the proliferation of UAE. Kickstart is basically a collection of OS specific libraries that are saved in ROM for historical reasons, just like ibm's bios. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) Pc emulators like qemu come with a free bios, of course.
Kickstart is still copyrighted so it can't be included in the UAE package.
It's also more than just "a collection of OS specific libraries", it's the complete Operating System.


Quote:
Frankly, I don't see why it hasn't been done before. The effort to to reimplement (the important parts of) kickstart should be very small compared to uae as a whole.
Which parts of the Kickstart do you consider unimportant? And you also know that there are different versions of the Kickstart. So much for "very small effort".
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Old 10 September 2008, 14:23   #3
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Originally Posted by gilgamesh View Post
>8 snip 8< just like ibm's bios. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) Pc emulators like qemu come with a free bios, of course.
The PC BIOS was made free by the efforts of a corporation (Compaq), some clever engineers (Phoenix), and a large insurance policy (Lloyd's of London). The remaining Amiga community has none of these things.
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Originally Posted by gilgamesh View Post
Frankly, I don't see why it hasn't been done before.
It has, WinUAE contains a basic kickstart replacement which could be backported to the mainline UAE codebase, or more likely to E-UAE. Also there is the AROS project which has a bounty open to create a free, unencumbered kickstart replacement, it may never happen but AROS has surprised most people by how much they have actually achieved.
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Why should amiga be so different in that aspect?
Complexity for one thing (both technical and legal) and the lack of any market potential.
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Old 10 September 2008, 17:35   #4
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It has, WinUAE contains a basic kickstart replacement which could be backported to the mainline UAE codebase, or more likely to E-UAE.
UAE "kickstart replacement" is very basic. Only supported functions are basically trackdisk.device DoIO(), AllocMem() and AllocAbs()

It was implemented long time before WinUAE.

Quote:
Also there is the AROS project which has a bounty open to create a free, unencumbered kickstart replacement, it may never happen but AROS has surprised most people by how much they have actually achieved.
This is most likely solution but it won't ever be compatible enough for games.

KS3.x "compatible" KS replacement should be possible (get all regular libs from AROS and add 68000 low level assembly routines, like interrupts and task switching) but it requires very low level exec knowledge.

100% KS 1.x game compatible Kickstart replacement is near-impossible. It needs to be bug-by-bug compatible, must use exact same amount of RAM, basically it must be exact same thing or some game will break.

Unfortunately AROS bounty is very very complex. First phase should be something like "must boot most bootable games with custom bootblock, no need to support CLI yet". This is already very complex task. (but don't need weird dos.library yet..)

I am sure I could do it but it would mean months of really boring work.
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Old 10 September 2008, 22:48   #5
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Isn't it possible to rewrite exec and the other libraries in C (or whatever aside from assembler)? How much compatibility could you expect from that? I heard of incompatibilities between kick1.3 and kick3.0 due to unclean programming of the applications, of course. Is it really that bad? 100% compatibility is unrealistic even for the most elaborate emulator.


Would the aros bounty face legal issues? To my best knowledge, it is legal to produce substitutes with compatible interfaces. That's why wine is still there.
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Old 14 September 2008, 17:51   #6
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Originally Posted by gilgamesh View Post
Isn't it possible to rewrite exec and the other libraries in C (or whatever aside from assembler)? How much compatibility could you expect from that? I heard of incompatibilities between kick1.3 and kick3.0 due to unclean programming of the applications, of course. Is it really that bad? 100% compatibility is unrealistic even for the most elaborate emulator.
Only problem is KS 1.x compatibility (for A500 games/demos), I'd say "KS1.3 replacement" would be maybe 99% compatible with A500 games/demos that use custom boot block. Normal DOS bootable disk compatiblity, I guess, would be perhaps 70% max., much higher if memory usage is exact same as real KS 1.3.

Most KS2.x+ compatible applications and drivers don't try to do anything stupid.


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Would the aros bounty face legal issues? To my best knowledge, it is legal to produce substitutes with compatible interfaces. That's why wine is still there.
I don't know. I don't want to know.
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Old 08 December 2008, 00:09   #7
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Some news about aros work
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Old 09 December 2008, 19:29   #8
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Originally Posted by StingRay View Post
Kickstart is still copyrighted so it can't be included in the UAE package.
Maybe a bit 'off this topic' but if I remember rightly didn't Relokick (degrader util) contain a copy of KS1.3?

It was included on the coverdisk of CU Amiga 50 something.

I don't think anything came of it legal-wise, no law suits or anything...

So maybe Relokick could be packaged with it or incorporated as an option or something?

Last edited by J.Tramiel; 09 December 2008 at 20:41.
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Old 09 December 2008, 21:46   #9
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I don't think anything came of it legal-wise, no law suits or anything...
CU Amiga had permission from Commodore to include the 1.3 ROM on their coverdisk.
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Old 09 December 2008, 21:56   #10
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The fact that the 1.3 ROM came with ReloKick doesn't affect it's copyright status in any way, distribution without prior written permission from the rights holder is a copyright violation no matter how you obtain the ROM.
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CU Amiga had permission from Commodore to include the 1.3 ROM on their coverdisk.
Galahad mentioned this as well but at the time I assumed he was joking. Is there any evidence to support this claim?
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Old 09 December 2008, 23:35   #11
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Originally Posted by OddbOd View Post
Is there any evidence to support this claim?
Yeah, I just loaded my adf of Relokick thru workbench and hey presto in the Devs directory is a file called rom1.3

Regarde:

Click image for larger version

Name:	relo.gif
Views:	373
Size:	12.9 KB
ID:	19190

Dunno if this is an 'official' Commodore ROM or if it's an 'unofficial' one.
(how does one tell?)

Just noticed that the filesize is a lot smaller than the 1.3 rom I am using with winuae - maybe compressed or something?
(Might try taking it from the adf and using it in WinUAE just for the crack)
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Old 09 December 2008, 23:46   #12
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1.3 kickstart is only 256kb.
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Old 10 December 2008, 00:07   #13
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1.3 kickstart is only 256kb.
262144 Bytes = 256 KB
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Old 10 December 2008, 00:13   #14
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Heh I must be using an over-dumped version, mine's 512k.
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Old 12 December 2008, 11:02   #15
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Originally Posted by Doobrey View Post
CU Amiga had permission from Commodore to include the 1.3 ROM on their coverdisk.

... ähh .. hmmm ... ohhhh ... still alive ?!
br
your german testlab


@jt.: if your kick1.3 has a size of 512kb, than someone ripped the complete rom including the mirrored romarea.
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Old 12 December 2008, 18:53   #16
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... ähh .. hmmm ... ohhhh ... still alive ?!
Just about, overworked and running on autopilot right now

Vaguely back on topic, I might be wrong about CU amiga having permission to include the 1.3 ROM on their coverdisk, from what I've been reading on google groups they *might* have had permission from C= UK, but C= UK didn't have the authority to give them permisson.
I'll see if I can jump up in the attic and find my old CU mags.
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Old 12 December 2008, 18:59   #17
Graham Humphrey
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I had a look on AMR and as far as I can tell they never mentioned anything about having permission for it, certainly not in that particular issue.
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Old 14 January 2009, 00:09   #18
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As far as I understand, Cloanto would welcome a kickstart substitute as part of Aros. He even donated for the Kickstart ROM Replacement (Phase I) bounty.

I found some info here:
http://www.amigakickstart.com/
http://www.amigaforever.com/kb/13-122
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Old 17 January 2009, 16:20   #19
Doobrey
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I had a look on AMR and as far as I can tell they never mentioned anything about having permission for it, certainly not in that particular issue.
I couldn't find much about it either. I finally jumped up in the attic and rummaged through all my old Amiga mags, but my CU collection doesn't go back that far

The only thing I found out about it through Google Groups archive, was that the next months issue had some readers questions asking about the legality of the 1.3 ROM.

BTW,wasn't it CU Amiga that also had the complete OS3.1 as 5 adf files on some cover CDs without permission?
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Old 17 January 2009, 16:37   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloanto
Just like Cloanto licensed the ROM and operating system items, and several parts thereof, and add-on components that required independent licensing, it is well known that other parties licensed similar items, e.g. for limited use on specific magazine cover disks (e.g. CU Amiga in 1993, PC Intern in 1999, Amiga Plus and PC Magazin in 2000)
(see my last post for sources)
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