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Old 22 August 2014, 05:36   #1
alenppc
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A600, ACA620 and OS3.1

I missed out on the ACA630 production run but got to buy the ACA620 later. It is a fantastic and very affordable card, but it lacks in CPU power to run OS3.9.

So I decided to recreate the feeling of OS3.9 on regular OS3.1 to the best of my ability within the confines of the available hardware. I am running on 800x600 resolution through IndivisionECS in 8 colours. I started with basic MWB palette and changed it a little bit to accomodate somewhat more natural colours.

After that I started recreating glowicons using that palette and saving them as regular Amiga icons, dithering each image, selected and glowing, one by one, through Personal Paint and saving them through the basic 3.1 IconEdit tool. Yes, I am nuts. But implementing regular glowicons would mean slow loading since the palette is allocated dynamically while that is not the case with oldskool type of icons.

Some icons still looked awful, for example that of a green drawer, so I redesigned them a little bit to look better.

Next, I proceeded to adapt some of my own photographs for desktop background purposes, by resizing and dithering each patiently through PPaint with the available palette. Some example results can be seen attached below... It's all dithered to hell and back but I think it looks pretty good on the whole considering it's only 8 colours while speed and responsiveness are there too. (popout the image when viewing it here on the form to avoid distortion).

Next, I load PeterK's redesigned icon.library. Man, it rocks! It speeds up icon loading: they popup immediately when double clicking on the compact flash drive icon. As a bonus, it also provides compatibility with newicons and glowicons.

Upon bootup there is 1.6 MB Chip RAM free, there is basic internet functionality (sufficient for downloads through Aminet), FTP for my own local storage etc.

All in all, a massive waste of time but I had tons of fun doing it. That never happens when I do anything at all on Windows. As they say, time well wasted.
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Old 22 August 2014, 07:39   #2
Megol
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Looks nice!
BTW time spent doing something fun is _never_ wasted!
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Old 22 August 2014, 11:16   #3
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Excellent job my friend!
It would be great to have a similar system for my A600 with ACA620 or A500+ with ACA1220...
Would you consider to create a preconfigured package similar to the CW?
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Old 22 August 2014, 16:38   #4
alenppc
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Thanks!

I guess I could create an installer package, not sure if this infringes any copyrights since the icons are taken from 3.9.

There are some drawbacks with this system. For example, there was no space for a blue colour in the palette since pen 3 is green, so I made pen 0 slightly blueish to compensate. When you remove icon borders (I am using MCP for this), anything blue/grey becomes transparent so it's impractical to use window background.
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Old 22 August 2014, 16:55   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alenppc View Post
Thanks!

I guess I could create an installer package, not sure if this infringes any copyrights since the icons are taken from 3.9.

There are some drawbacks with this system. For example, there was no space for a blue colour in the palette since pen 3 is green, so I made pen 0 slightly blueish to compensate. When you remove icon borders (I am using MCP for this), anything blue/grey becomes transparent so it's impractical to use window background.
As for the copyright infringement I can't say anything... but... if you would need a tester for your installer you can count on me...
Actually I really like the color of your pictures and everything looks neat and tidy. In the past I used a program called ForcePal in order to modify the colors but I actually don't remember what it really did but only that it was useful for my purpose.
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Old 22 August 2014, 17:16   #6
alenppc
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OK, I am going to work on it this weekend
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Old 22 August 2014, 18:58   #7
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Originally Posted by alenppc View Post
OK, I am going to work on it this weekend
I can't wait!
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Old 25 August 2014, 04:09   #8
alenppc
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OK, the package is in the Zone, under the name ECSIcons.lha. I have also included PeterK's library into the installer and the package since it is really amazing. But beware that LoadResident does not work on all systems (it works on my ACA620, but it does not seem to like ACA1232), so install at your own risk, I've just included it for convenience.

Ultimately, the whole installer is an AmigaDOS script so you need a full OS3.1 installation to make it work properly. It's rather clever, only copying the icons you already have and not creating unlinked ones. Also it confirms the major steps.

I also included a whole bunch of whacky backgrounds I created for the colour scheme.

There will be a whole bunch of unused icons in the EXTRAS drawer that won't be copied automatically, so just take a look after the installation has been completed.
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Old 27 August 2014, 22:50   #9
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Nice work! Just got an A600, waiting on the ACA620 to become available then will commence huge amounts of enjoyable time wasting!
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Old 29 August 2014, 16:11   #10
alenppc
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I noticed a "bug", meaning I forgot to add glow to the selected ram disk icon.

I also installed the icons on the A1200 with ACA1232/33 and it works and looks fairly decent as well. In combination with FBlit I get 1.9 MB chip ram free at bootup. I wouldn't use FBlit on A600 cause I think the 020/16 is too slow.

With the new icon library, the OS3.5 icons load almost as fast, however they do not dither/remap as neatly as the standard pre-rendered icons. Eventually one may want to use a combination of both...
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Old 30 August 2014, 01:24   #11
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Nice! I'd like to try it as soon as it's available! I have A 33MHz Furia EC020 which is very powerful card but has no MMU. So this is my chance to get the feeling of Amiga OS3.9 on my A600.
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