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Old 31 December 2016, 18:53   #1
rsn8887
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Amiga WHDLoad launchers - what is wrong with them

After trying and trying many launchers with the full WHDLoad collection spread out over three 2GB hdfs, here are my findings. They are quite sombering.

iGame:

+ It is the only launcher that supports arbitrary multiple sources, different dirs, different devices and merges all those games from all the sources into one long sorted list.
+ It can deal with >3200 games no problem
+ It supports tooltypes during game launch
+ It allows editing of tooltypes (!) and game names
+ Find as you type
- It is a pain to install. It requires a huge bloated full WB Installation with MUI and then some other extra libraries on top, some of which come in multiple, mutually incompatible/crashing versions
- It takes forever to boot up when the game list is large
- No joystick/keyboard control and mouse control is very unwieldy with a long list
- No option to display game folder names. Instead it displays game names like " --- * SpeEdBaLl 2 * ---" (sic) on the top not under S. In addition "SiedlerDE" becomes "The Settlers alt alt" it just keeps adding "alt alt alt alt" to game names
- does not display whd splash (no option for it either)

Tinylauncher:

+ small quick install with minimal system files required
+ boots very quick even with 2000 games in list
+ speedy, small, simple and great navigation with keyboard or mouse even when the list is 2000 games long. Page forward backward, jump to letter etc. all done with joystick as it should be.
+ best launcher so far IMO
+ displays dir names correctly
+ tooltype support but
- tooltype support crashes if you use Classic WB FULL (it works fine with LITE)
- page forward/page back is a bit fast on accelerated Amigas, it is easy to accidentally skip a page

X-Bench (not tested much)

+ allows for multiple lists
+ Find-as-you-type engine
- no support for merging games from multiple source devices

AGLauncher

+ Very simple, needs minimal install
+ Nice idea to launch games using AmigaGuide
- No game dir scanning. The games have to be exactly sorted into the right folders A-Z and have to have the correct folder names per game as from KDWHLoad packs. My games are not sorted into such subfolders and I honestly cannot be bothered sorting 3000 games.
- No joystick navigation

Last edited by rsn8887; 26 April 2017 at 22:30.
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Old 31 December 2016, 19:40   #2
Retro-Nerd
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Quote:
- no tooltype support (broken and crashes)
This is wrong for TinyLauncher. Works fine with ClassicWB LITE.
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Old 31 December 2016, 19:54   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro-Nerd View Post
This is wrong for TinyLauncher. Works fine with ClassicWB LITE.
Which version are you using? How did you enable it? I remember I enabled it once by pressing some hotkey and it crashed.

EDIT: Ah never mind I am using Classic WB Full. Seems like Scalos is the source of a lot of trouble. I will try LITE.

Last edited by rsn8887; 31 December 2016 at 20:36.
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Old 31 December 2016, 20:45   #4
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Have you tried AG Launcher? I have it working pretty easily. Send me a PM if you want my install, it's really small. I use a CF card called AMIGA: and all the WHDLoad games are on it and they run from there easily.

My easy install mod is in da zone!

Last edited by TjLaZer; 31 December 2016 at 21:00.
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Old 31 December 2016, 20:49   #5
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Make sure you don't disable NewIcons in ClassicWB LITE or Tooltypes will crash TinyLauncher.
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Old 01 January 2017, 02:36   #6
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I did a whole new install of a fresh ClassicWB LITE, and enabled NewIcons.

Now tooltypes do not crash Tinylauncher with a guru anymore. But they still only work with a few games. Basically, none of the games that include this weird "DON'T EDIT THE FOLLOWING LINES" tooltype load anymore. If I disable tooltypes it loads all the games again. Who came up with this horrible idea of putting all this junk data into icon tool types and how do I easily get rid of it? Tool types are really the worst idea of the whole Workbench OS IMO.

Also I saw an error message earlier from Tinylauncher that looked like the AMOS requester. I guess that means Tinylauncher is coded in AMOS? Oh god help us all.

Also it seems like ClassicWB LITE doesn't come with MUI, oh my this is getting worse. I guess that is why it is called "LITE". I think a WB install without MUI is quite useless IMO most of the better programs use it, including iGame which now won't run on this. I guess I will just have to reinstall it myself.

Another thing I noticed in my other Classic WB FULL setup booting into DOS and trying to launch slaves with tooltypes by hand: kgiconload xxxx.info gives me a "cannot load segment" (or "failed to load segment" or so, very descriptive) error and bails out on all slaves I tried. Is this a known bug? Is there a workaround?

My oh my, I somehow thought this stuff was robust after all these , well, decades, but I am finding more bugs everywhere than I can keep track off. Luckily re-booting an Amiga after a total crash is quite fast

Also, it seems the quit key is different in about every WHDLoad game. Why is it not F10 consistently? Can I fix this easily?

I appreciate any of the help I get with this setup. This went from an anticipated 3-4 hours to fiddling for several days and I still cannot get stuff to run reliably like I would like to. My frustration is pretty high at this point and I might just abandon my goal of having a clean and nice complete WHDLoad collection on my handheld.

I feel like I am so close though. I put in a lot of work last week to make uae4all on the vita quite usable now and nice. It seems now it should just be a small matter of installing a nice launcher and everything would be perfect. Turns out that is a much larger endeavour than I anticipated, that's all.

Last edited by rsn8887; 01 January 2017 at 03:32.
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Old 01 January 2017, 04:08   #7
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Piece of cake compared to getting a PC to run all PC games released from the same time period.

And they certainly don't have a universal "quit" key. Alt-F4 is a Win 95 innovation, IIRC.

I'll let you into a little secret. The universal way.. to quit an Amiga game.. is to power off, wait 2 seconds, and power on.

Which makes no sense at all unless you are running from floppies - which is actually where 95% of Amiga games were designed to run from. Very often in a form that Workbench could not even access.

Last edited by Pat the Cat; 01 January 2017 at 04:13.
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Old 01 January 2017, 05:21   #8
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You could also check out Magervalp's Arcade Game Selector 2.
Plus there are at least two different tools available for creating AGlaunch game lists.
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Old 01 January 2017, 05:41   #9
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@pat the cat:Not true it is no problem and takes 1 day to simply download the exodos collection which includes all DOS Games from the period preconfigured for dosbox and ready to launch on a single click with screenshots and cover art included.

Alternatively good old games offers many of those games from the time period in easy to install packages.

There are launchers like Attract Mode for Windows which are a breeze to configure and very intuitive to launch >4000 games on Windows with preview videos etc no problem.

@fgh: Concerning AGLaunch, before I go through another day of this pain. Assuming I find those tools to create aglaunch lists and create my aglaunch game list, and assuming that those tools can scan multiple source directories from multiple devices, will the games launched with aglaunch support tooltypes even if there is a "DONT EDIT THE FOLLOWING LINES" ? I doubt it and don't honestly feel like bothering given there is no joystick navigation etc. Honestly, without folders named a-z, I have a hard time believing aglaunch will allow me to easily navigate a list of 3200 games?

Considering arcade game selector 2, has this been released on a aminet or GitHub or anywhere? Is there documentation for it somewhere or at least a list of features?

Last edited by rsn8887; 01 January 2017 at 05:52.
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Old 01 January 2017, 05:50   #10
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Not sure about aminet, but they are all on EAB. One of the tools is a python script, but I think there were some windows apps too.
Bedtime here.. Google 'arcade game selector site:abime.net'
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Old 01 January 2017, 06:20   #11
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AGlaunch: https://github.com/MagerValp/ArcadeGameSelector
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Old 01 January 2017, 06:26   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsn8887 View Post
Now tooltypes do not crash Tinylauncher with a guru anymore. But they still only work with a few games. Basically, none of the games that include this weird "DON'T EDIT THE FOLLOWING LINES" tooltype load anymore. If I disable tooltypes it loads all the games again. Who came up with this horrible idea of putting all this junk data into icon tool types and how do I easily get rid of it? Tool types are really the worst idea of the whole Workbench OS IMO.
There are lots of tools to kill Newicons.
Tooltypes isn't a stupid idea at all, but hiding a separate icon inside the tooltypes is definitely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsn8887
Another thing I noticed in my other Classic WB FULL setup booting into DOS and trying to launch slaves with tooltypes by hand: kgiconload xxxx.info gives me a "cannot load segment" (or "failed to load segment" or so, very descriptive) error and bails out on all slaves I tried. Is this a known bug? Is there a workaround?
I don't know what Kgiconload is, but you can launch any game from the command line using "WHDload bla.slave", appending your required arguments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsn8887
Also, it seems the quit key is different in about every WHDLoad game. Why is it not F10 consistently? Can I fix this easily?
It can't really be F10 consistently since F10 is used by many games. The other common alternative, printscreen, makes more sense unless you're on a 600.
The default quit key can be set in your global WHDload preference file. It won't override the quit key set in the tooltypes, but then again, the quitkey should only be set in the tooltypes when it needs to be different than the default.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsn8887
I appreciate any of the help I get with this setup. This went from an anticipated 3-4 hours to fiddling for several days and I still cannot get stuff to run reliably like I would like to. My frustration is pretty high at this point and I might just abandon my goal of having a clean and nice complete WHDLoad collection on my handheld.
I don't have thousands of games like you, but I have a very reliable loader: Workbench.
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Old 01 January 2017, 07:42   #13
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Crap, I can't sleep..

AGLaunch can be used with a joystick with a tool like joymouse.
It is an option in one of the classicwb boot menus, so you can try it out easily (left or right mouse button during boot).

I doubt that the scripts/tools can use multiple source drives.
AFAIK they create guide files for each letter though, even if all files are in one folder.

I found these scripts/tools after a quick search:
Solo761
Zzarko

Edit: AGS2 EAB thread and demo video [ Show youtube player ].

Last edited by fgh; 01 January 2017 at 07:57.
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Old 01 January 2017, 12:32   #14
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Quote:
Now tooltypes do not crash Tinylauncher with a guru anymore. But they still only work with a few games. Basically, none of the games that include this weird "DON'T EDIT THE FOLLOWING LINES" tooltype load anymore. If I disable tooltypes it loads all the games again. Who came up with this horrible idea of putting all this junk data into icon tool types and how do I easily get rid of it? Tool types are really the worst idea of the whole Workbench OS IMO.

It still don't know what you are talking about. Tooltypes works fine in ClassicWB LITE, all of them for all games. Dude, you have a messed uped system. If NewIcons is properly installed everything is fine and the "garbage lines" in the Icon informations aren't there. I sorted this out with Gibson some years ago. It's even on his homepage.

http://ohmygibs.free.fr/ohmygibs/Tin...er_Beta_3.html

Last edited by Retro-Nerd; 01 January 2017 at 13:10.
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Old 01 January 2017, 18:41   #15
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Thanks you are right my files were messed up. It was really JUST my "SiedlerDE" slave icon that still showed that one line in the tool types. Of course that's the one I tested. It must have been because I had edited the tooltypes using iGame before. I copied that .info file back over and now it works!!!!

Tinylauncher still crashes with >3000 Games list when I go to any page past game number ~2860 or so. However I managed to split it up into two lists and use the Game list now for the first ~2000 games (first two hdf) and the Demo list now for the rest (third hdf). That works, but I had to manually join two databases for my first list since I use three hdfs. I used the join command to combine two Tinylauncher db files and then went in and adjusted the files that contain the game numbers and jump points manually. Luckily those are all ASCII files that can be easily adjusted. So it is basically working as intended!!!

Now I will transfer it back to my Vita and see how it holds up. Maybe boot straight into Tinylauncher. It really is quite a nice program. It is pretty much perfect now I would say!!!! Thanks for all the help and sorry for letting out some of my frustration.

Last edited by rsn8887; 01 January 2017 at 18:52.
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Old 01 January 2017, 22:05   #16
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Arcade Game Selector 2 lets you use fullscreen preview images for each game, plus you can select using a joystick. Runs quite snappily (I am using an A1200 50 mhz)
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Old 02 January 2017, 17:30   #17
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Originally Posted by rsn8887 View Post
X-Bench (not tested much)
- apparently no quick jump to letter and page up/down at least in the old version I tested
Xbench have a full realtime search engine. I doesn't only jump to the letter. You can type how many letter than you want (for example to go to lemmings you can enter LEMM).
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Old 05 January 2017, 01:09   #18
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Xbench have a full realtime search engine. I doesn't only jump to the letter. You can type how many letter than you want (for example to go to lemmings you can enter LEMM).
Ah that is great!

By the way, long lists >~2800 games in Tinylauncher have been fixed by Gibs after I filed a bug report as a youtube comment on his youtube release page (lol). Now that works!

So the only negative thing left about Tinylauncher is that it can not join multiple sources/devices into one long list.

Last edited by rsn8887; 05 January 2017 at 01:29.
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Old 05 January 2017, 01:13   #19
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Why not ask gibs if it's possible to fix?
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Old 05 January 2017, 01:17   #20
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So the only negative thing left about Tinylauncher is that it can not join multiple lists into one long list.
I told this Gibs a few days. He seems motivated to work on TinyLauncher again. We'll see what happens the next few month.
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