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Old 17 April 2013, 07:50   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 521
Tutorial: using "showboards" in startup-sequence / batch scripts

Hi there,

this little tutorial will describe how boards.library can be utilized every day - in your startup-sequence.

What you need is boards.library >= V2.70 (including showboards >= V1.52) - you can find it on Aminet.

Since Version 1.52, "showboards" offers the following new parameters:

MID=MANID: Manufacturer ID (decimal)

PID=PRODID: Product ID (decimal)

You can check if a certain board is inside your machine and active as well by combining these two parameters:

showboards mid=2121 pid=1
This call will check, if an "AmigaNET" ethernet-board by "Hydra Systems" is inside your machine. You'll see an according message in your shell, but you'll also get a return value which can be used by scripts to check for a board. That value is either "0" (found) or "5" (not found).

A more complex example:

showboards mid=4626 pid=70  > nil:
	if warn
 		echo "CPU card disabled - booting m68k installation"
		assign sys: System_68k:
		assign c: System68k:c
		assign libs: System68k:libs
		assign l: System68k:l
		assign ENVARC: System68k:prefs/env-archive
		assign s: System68k:s
		execute s:startup-sequence
   		echo "CPU card is active - continue booting"
Now we check, if an ACA 620 is present. If the card is found, startup-sequence will continue. Otherwise all system folders will be assigned to partition "System68k:" and booting will continue there. This prevents the machine from crashing because of 68020 versions of libraries or applications, if the card is switched off/removed and the computer just has a plain 68000 left. (e.g. ACATune 1.7 crashes immediately on 68000).

You could also specifically check for an "ACA 620 Rev. 2", you'd have to use "pid=242" in this case.

How do we find IDs of cards we don't own? Well, the library could help us here as well:

showboards allknown
Now we get a long list of all boards known to boards.library, including the IDs we need. Beware: Some IDs are only included for reference and will never be detectable (e.g. certain keyboard interfaces). IDs > 200 are usually not real; they are fake ids needed by the library to rewrite board data according to serial numbers. While you can use them to check for a certain revision of a card, a plain showboards-call will always display the real id.

If you don't like to browse the long list, use something like this:

showboards allknown > ram:boards.txt
search ram:boards.txt "individual"
Or use the PIPE:-device. You'll get the manufacturer-ID of IComp as a result and could now display all of IComp's products with:

showboards manid=4626
And now we have the ID of the ACA.

In theory, you could build AmigaOS installations running on any machine using showboards. Decide for yourself, if this will be useful. At least you'll be able to distinguish between WinUAE and real machines easily.

Comments and additions welcome.

Best regards,

bubbob42 is offline  
Old 17 April 2013, 09:14   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2008
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Age: 42
Posts: 1,577
I'm gonna post my reply that I gave on a1k.org in case someone wants to utilize it as well

Since ACATune doesn't run on WinUAE and because many of us, have their Amiga clone on WinUAE for testing purposes... we either HAD to disable ACATune by commenting it's declaration in Startup-Sequence or use a kinda clever script to recognize WinUAE alas NOT to run ACATune.
With the new ShowBoards update we can now use a script (like the one following), that looks if the Manufacturer "UAE Amiga Emulator" with Product "UAE - Magic Device Emulation" exist. If not... then it runs ACATune
C:ShowBoards MID=2011 PID=82 >NIL:
  C:ACATune -maprom * -cache on -burst on >NIL:
Just brilliant
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Old 17 April 2013, 09:29   #3
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I was having trouble using my cf card in UAE due to the FastATA drivers. Perhaps I should look into this
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Old 17 April 2013, 09:45   #4
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Originally Posted by diablothe2nd View Post
I was having trouble using my cf card in UAE due to the FastATA drivers. Perhaps I should look into this
You should check for WinUAE manufacturer + product id in this case, since boards.library knows FastATA, but cannot detect it, yet.

Best regards,

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