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Old 06 September 2011, 21:10   #1
Bulkins
 
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Help Needed By Newbie Returning After Many Years

Hi,

In a fit of nostalgia I recently dug out my old Amiga 1200 after several years in storage and while all appears to be ok I have a few questions that can hopefully be easily answered by resident experts - I appear to have given away any useful books so am having trouble rooting around for the answers myself.
My machine has a 540Mb full size hard-drive that was supplied by Eyetech pre-loaded with, amongst other things, a pile of utilities. It also has a Blizzard 1230 IV accelerator with some additional memory - fitted by Eyetech.

My questions are:

How do I determine how much memory is installed on the accelerator? One of the pre-loaded utilities is SysInfo by Nic Wilson. For memory it shows an entry 'DMA/Gfx - 2Mb' but there is also a 'Memory' button which indicates 'Total Size' of 7.5Mb - does this include the 2Mb for DMA/Gfx? In the System folder there is a 'NoFastMem' icon which seems to toggle fast memory on and off. The Window title reads '1,942,080 graphics memory 6,674,384 other memory' or simply '1,942,080 graphics memory' depending on the status of this 'toggle' - what's this all about? I think there is probably 8Mb on the accelerator on top of the 2Mb that came with the machine but I struggling to confirm.

I have an LG tv/monitor and am using the appropriate RGB/Scart cable from AmigaKit. When I first booted up the machine the window was split with the left hand half appearing on the right side of the screen and the right hand half appearing on the left side with a blank band down the middle. SysInfo later confirmed that the screen mode was 'DBLPAL: High Res'. I changed the screen mode to 'PAL:high res' and saved this setting which seemed to work perfectly - nice stable and clear picture. However, when I started up a game that was installed on the hard drive (Colonization) and when using SysInfo the screen went back to the DBLPAL: High Res. When exiting these programs back to Workbench the screen mode returns to PAL:High Res. How do I resolve this?

Many thanks in anticipation of assistance and apologies if these are mega idiotic questions.
 
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Old 06 September 2011, 21:57   #2
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My questions are:

How do I determine how much memory is installed on the accelerator? One of the pre-loaded utilities is SysInfo by Nic Wilson. For memory it shows an entry 'DMA/Gfx - 2Mb' but there is also a 'Memory' button which indicates 'Total Size' of 7.5Mb - does this include the 2Mb for DMA/Gfx? In the System folder there is a 'NoFastMem' icon which seems to toggle fast memory on and off. The Window title reads '1,942,080 graphics memory 6,674,384 other memory' or simply '1,942,080 graphics memory' depending on the status of this 'toggle' - what's this all about? I think there is probably 8Mb on the accelerator on top of the 2Mb that came with the machine but I struggling to confirm.
Hi Bulkins, and welcome to EAB!

Your conclusion about the total Chip RAM and Fast RAM is probably correct.

To confirm this: from Workbench, open a Shell (you will find this in your Hard drive's System folder). Double-click the icon and a command-line shell will open up.

Enter avail and press return.

The total amount of used and available memory (Chip RAM and Fast RAM) will be listed.

To quit the Shell, enter endcli and press return.
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Old 06 September 2011, 23:12   #3
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Hi Prowler. Thanks for the welcome and info. It appears that there is 2096128 chip memory and 7864320 fast memory. This looks more like 7.5Mb than 8Mb but I'm sure that the accelerator memory will be specified as 8Mb.

Still struggling with the screen modes so hopefully someone will be along shortly to assist. I also have a vga adapter so I have tried the VGA input on the LG (model M1962D-PC) but sadly all I get is an 'Out of Range' message.
 
Old 06 September 2011, 23:27   #4
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Hi Prowler. Thanks for the welcome and info. It appears that there is 2096128 chip memory and 7864320 fast memory. This looks more like 7.5Mb than 8Mb but I'm sure that the accelerator memory will be specified as 8Mb.
Yes, the 2MB Chip RAM is, of course, included on the motherboard and it's most likely that the accelerator carries an 8MB RAM module. Each accelerator is configured differently, and it may be that your model has a reserved area of RAM or memory hole for some reason.

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Still struggling with the screen modes so hopefully someone will be along shortly to assist. I also have a vga adapter so I have tried the VGA input on the LG (model M1962D-PC) but sadly all I get is an 'Out of Range' message.
I am familiar with setting screen modes, though I have no experience of DBLPAL. I vaguely suspect that it has something to do with doubling the horizontal refresh rate.

Is your VGA adapter a passive cable, or 23-pin to 15-pin straight though adapter? If it is, what happens if you select the DBLPAL Hi Res mode and then connect the VGA display? (Warning: turn off the monitors before you swap them over.)
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Old 07 September 2011, 00:04   #5
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ShowConfig in the tools draw will give you some info

perhaps you can change the screen mode in the game
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Old 07 September 2011, 01:08   #6
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Thanks for the advice - some progress (I think).

The VGA adapter is one I bought years ago to use with an old Microvitec monitor (long since dead) other than that I'm not sure what type it is.

I changed the screen mode to DBLPAL high res and then switched from the RGB scart connection to the VGA connection and lo and behold it worked a treat. Sysinfo and Colonization both also displayed ok but I think thats because they both run under workbench. I tried one other game which didn't appear to run under workbench and the 'out of range' message came back.

My understanding is that games will not run correctly via an LCD VGA connection (at least not with DBLPAL) but my understanding here is at best extremely flawed and at worst complete nonsense.

While the workbench display via RGB scart is not as good as via VGA my preference is to get the RGB scart connection working for the sake of the games - which brings me back to my original problem which at the time I saw as being that regardless of what I set the screen mode to when I launched an application it always seemed to want to revert to DBLPAL high res. However, this seems to be related to apps that run under workbench. The game I mentioned above which doesn't appear to run under workbench works perfectly well via the RGB scart connection, i.e. the problem seems to be confined to apps running under workbench which always revert to DBLPAL high res regardless of what other screenmode I save.

Again, assistance is very much appreciated.
 
Old 08 September 2011, 21:37   #7
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which apps are you talking about then ???
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Old 09 September 2011, 02:06   #8
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which apps are you talking about then ???
One was Colonization and the other the SysInfo utility. I got round the problem by moving the DBLPAL driver back into Storage so both apps now work with a PAL: High Res driver. Neither of these apps have screen resolution selection options so I am assuming that they were somehow attempting to use the 'best available' driver regardless of the current WB setting.

This was with the RGB scart cable. The workbench display was easily the best using the VGA input but I understand that this input on LCD monitors cannot be used to play games - not sure why but if true I'll have to accept the RGB scart WB display shortcomings.
 
Old 09 September 2011, 02:36   #9
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This looks more like 7.5Mb than 8Mb but I'm sure that the accelerator memory will be specified as 8Mb.
Blizzard 1230IV might have jumper set to shadow the 512kb kickstart rom in ram. This makes the system faster but consumes 1/2 mb of fast ram. If you want the ram back, remove the jumper. But many people like the speedup and losing 1/2 mb when you have 8 is not too bad.
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Old 09 September 2011, 05:34   #10
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Blizzard 1230IV might have jumper set to shadow the 512kb kickstart rom in ram. This makes the system faster but consumes 1/2 mb of fast ram. If you want the ram back, remove the jumper. But many people like the speedup and losing 1/2 mb when you have 8 is not too bad.
That would make sense given that it looks like only 7.5Mb is showing up as being available (or doesn't it work that way?).

However, I've had a look at the jumper settings and only the RAMSPEED wires have a jumper sleeve over them (techno-speak ). I'm determining which jumper is which by reference to the Blizzard manual.

That seems to contradict your theory unless for the Blizzard the jumper setting are removed by slipping the jumper sleeve over the wires! Seems unlikely to me but I can send a pic of the jumper settings if need be.
 
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