My first few weeks with MorphOS have largely been filled with setting things up to my own personal liking. I’ve basically spent my spare time setting up various icons on screen, selecting themes, adding backdrops and installing the various other tweaks and configurations that are necessary when you first install an operating system.
When it came to a very important aspect of my day-to-day computing, namely the running of my Classic Amiga software, I was finding the proceedure in MorphOS a little bit of a pain in the rear end especially in comparison to AmigaOS 4 where users benefit from RuninUAE being supplied with the OS which allows you to run classic sofware with one click from Workbench. In fact many MorphOS users looked over enviously at AmigaOS 4 wanted a solution which allowed them to run software from their desktop without having to open up and configure E-UAE.
Therefore, it was quite a nice surprise, to receive news this month on Morph.Zone that WHDLOpener had been released. WHDLOpener is a package which integrates E-UAE and WHDLoad with MorphOS and the Ambient desktop. It means that finally without any specific configuration I can run my WHDLoad installs from the desktop with one click.
WHDLopener can be downloaded here and for those who are wanting to install it for the first time, you will also need to be aware that the following programs will also need to be installed.
Now I did a search for the Sed and Paste programs on the MorphOS Storage website and couldn’t find these anywhere and after a bit of searching I discovered that these were actually found on the MorphOS Sofware Development Kit (SDK), so if you do not have this already installed, you will need to download this from this website and install this on to your machine. You will also need to place Wget, Sed and Paste into your C folder.
Installation of WHDLoader is quite simple really as there is a simple installer script which you will need to run.
WHDLOpener comes with E-UAE and various configuration files in one package so the installer sets about installing this for you. The requirement for Wget is explained below because this particular Installation requires an Internet connection by default in order to source some files.
You will need to specify where you would like E-UAE to be installed on your system.
You also need to ensure that you have a copy of the Workbench 1.3 ROM which I have named kick13.ROM. I found it best in my case to take the required ROMS from the emulation folder of AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition, however if you do not have another AmigaOS 4 machine, they can be taken from a copy of Amiga Forever by Cloanto. I suggest that you buy yourself a copy of Amiga Forever anyway as the package also contains Workbench 3.1 as an ADF file which will be required for this installation.
Once you locate the OS3.1 ADF, you then specify where the Kickstart 1.3 ROM is located.
You also then need to tell the system which is going to be the Amiga OS3.1 rom which in my case I have called kick.rom
It will also ask if we want to use the E-UAE configuration which comes supplied with this programe which is the recommended option here as we can always then configure things to our own liking later on.
And so it is time to make that cup of tea. Actually it takes about 10 seconds to install on the X5000,
Here is the installation complete.
As you can see it places everything into a folder called E-UAE
Inside the E-UAE folder we can see a number of different sub-folders, but the one we are going to look inside is the Conf Folder as it contains a number of different configuration scripts in order to do our tweak.
The one that you may be interested in amending will be named A1200_WHDLoad.conf
What I did here was to upgrade the machine a little so that it emulates a 68040 Amiga with extra memory . I also adjusted the screen settings a little so that it matches more or less my AmigaOS 4 E-UAE installation.
Below is my updated configuration file if anyone is interested in trying it out and bear in mind that these settings best fit my monitor which is a 24 Inch Widescreen model .
# cpu settings
# chipset settings
# memory settings
# gfx settings
#double, none, scanlines
# sound settings (sound_output=”normal” or “none”)
# (sound_channels=”stereo or “mono” or “mixed”)
# (sound_bits=”8″ or “16”)
# joy where n is lowlevel unit in amigaos target. In SDL target it’s the enumeration order.
# overlay display
# screen type (public, custom or ask)
# slow and endianess issue.Better don’t use
You will have to tweak the Joyport settings also to Joy1 to enable Joystick support as it is set up to use a keyboard by default.
After that it really is a case of just finding a WHDLoad install and pressing click as the video below shows.
Now the version of E-UAE that is installed as part of this package is a JIT enabled version which works quite well, and handles most OCS, ECS and AGA software without any problems.
AGA emulation has always been considered a little problematic, you can find some evidence of graphic corruption on really intensive AGA games like Capital Punishment for example, however the vast majority of AGA games work really well like The Chaos Engine above or Nigel Mansell’s World Championship below.
WHDLOpener also installs a set of context menus which mean that when you right-click on an individual ADF files it can now be mounted as a disk image, unpacked to the RAMdisk for any WHDLoad installs, or run directly in E-UAE either using Kickstart 1.3 or 3.1
The ease in which I was able to install all of this and get going with playing my classic Amiga collection has really impressed me. Similar to RuninUAE for AmigaOS 4, it no longer feels like you are running your classic Amiga games under emulation and everything feels much more integrated into the system so much so that you may as well just refer to E-UAE as Classic mode as I have posted previously when reviewing RuninUAE on AmigaOS 4.
Something like WHDLOPener has been long overdue on MorphOS and I hope the ease of both this program and RuninUAE on AmigaOS 4 help to attract more people to the Next Generation Amiga platforms.
Until next time have fun with your Amigas!