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© 1997-2006
Gareth Knight
All Rights reserved

 
FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions
From the very beginning people had a lot of questions concerning AmigaOS XL that is Amithlon and AmigaXL. Based on the requests we got from customers we have put together the following FAQs. If you have more questions, please ask them in the discussion groups which we are reading regular or ask us directly.
 

A special thank goes to Dirk Harlaar for the translation and to Gregory Donner for the proof-reading.

 
1. Which graphic cards are supported?
Amithlon: Currently there is direct Picasso96 support for Matrox and nVidia cards (not yet for GForce3!). Further drivers are planned. Other cards are accessed using the VESA frame buffer, assuming the board's VESA 2.0 compatibility.

With their own Picasso96 drivers, all resolutions and colour depths offered by the card can be used.

If the card is only used with the VESA-driver, only one resolution (selectable: 640x480x8,800x600x8,1024x768x8) will be available.

AmigaXL: Through QNX almost all common graphic cards are supported. See hardware list
2. What sound-support is there?
Amithlon: The sound output is done using custom AHI-drivers. In the current version, there are drivers for AC97 codecs and SoundBlaster 128. More drivers are currently in development.

The interrupt behaviour of the Amiga Paula chip is emulated exactly, so that programs which try to use the unavailable hardware directly will function without audio.

AmigaXL: The sound output is done through Paula-emulation and AHI, and almost all current soundcards are supported through QNX. See hardware list.
3. Which printers are supported?
Amithlon: Printer drivers support is done using the Amiga software. Therefore all printers supported by AmigaOS, TurboPrint or Studio will function. AmigaXL: Almost all current printers are supported through QNX (serial and USB). See hardware list.
4. How does the internet-access function?
Amithlon: Miami, MiamiDX, AmiTCP and Genesis can be used directly with native drivers for the serial ports. AmigaXL: The QNX TCP/IP stack is used. In addition, the QNX-browser Voyager or Opera can be used. This way, one also gets SSL, Macromedia Flash, MPEG, RealAudio, JavaScript and Java-support.
5. What about network support?
Amithlon: In the current version, there are drivers for any NE2000 PCI network card. Additional drivers for 100 MBit models are currently being written. 

The drivers have already been tested with all known Amiga TCP/IP stacks, and function smoothly.

Even the Amiga native Envoy-network can be used without problems.

AmigaXL: Through QNX almost all 10 and 100 MBit network cards (also PCMCIA, for e.g. laptops) can be used. AmigaXL offers network support for TCP/IP and direct QNX-support in the LAN (free access to all resources in the network).

Regrettably, envoy doesn't function yet.

6. Are Modems, ISDN and DSL supported?
Amithlon: Modems connected to a serial port can be used directly. For ISDN cards, the current version supports cards with SIEMENS ISAC-S/HSCX; Cologne HFC chipsets are directly supported (for instance AVM FitzCard-PCI). AmigaXL: Modems can be used. ISDN has not yet been tested.
7. Which processors are supported?
In general, Amithlon and AmigaXL run on almost all processors, but we make no guarantees for anything under a Pentium II (Pentium I, Pentium MMX, K6, K6-2, Cyrix x86). These processors do not contain all the commands and functions needed or useful for the emulators. Therefore, the supported processors are AMD Athlon/Duron and Intel Pentium II/III/4/Celeron.
8. Which hard drives and controllers are supported?
Amithlon: Its own "scsi.device" compatible driver with full support for SCSI, IDE and ATA devices; Amiga hard drives (IDE or SCSI) can be connected and booted directly. AmigaXL: Support of all current SCSI- and IDE/Atapi hard drives and CD-ROM drives. See hardware list.
9. Does it make sense to use file systems such as FFS?
Amithlon: All Amiga file systems (FFS, SFS, PFS) can be used. AmigaXL: All QNX-supported file systems (QNX4, Linux ext2 version 0 and 1, FAT32) and Amiga hard drives (hard drives with their own RDB) with any Amiga file system (FFS, SFS, PFS) can be used.

The QNX4 file system is clearly more secure than FFS. If however, one wants to use both systems in parallel, an Amiga file system should be used, because only this can be read from both systems.

10. Is there fax-support?
Amithlon: Yes, using the relevant Amiga-software. AmigaXL: Currently Fax-support is not possible.
11. Is there scanner support?
Amithlon: Using Amiga-software such as ScanQuix or BetaScan, scanners can be accessed directly; parallel scanners supported by ScanQuix also function directly. AmigaXL: Currently there is scanner supported. However, Amiga drivers can easily be ported to QNX.
12. Can I play MP3, MOV, MPEG, AVI and DVD?
Amithlon: Using the OS 3.9 Action-player, AVIs can be played with ease. For MP3-files there is the Amplifier. MPEG files can be played using shareware-programs such as Frogger. Theoretically, playing DVDs is possible, but because of the high license fees the package contains no software for it. AmigaXL: MP3, MPEG can be played using the QNX media player. In the future, you can also expect further playback modules such as AVI and DVD. On the Amiga side, all available programs can of course be used. Playing DVDs is theoretically possible, but because of the high license fees the package contains no software for it.
13. Can ECS/AGA software be used?
Amithlon: Under Amithlon, OCS/ECS/AGA graphic modes are redirected to graphic card modes using the integrated Picasso96 RTG software. For software which directly accesses the graphic hardware, Amiga UAE can be used, which gives full compatibility to all old games. AmigaXL: In theory yes, but in practice there are more or less severe limitations to be encountered. Only ECS remains well supported. The AGA support is incomplete. See software list.
14. Do CD-Burners function?
Amithlon: The common CD-Burning software for the Amiga can be used directly, such as BurnIT, MasterISO, MakeCD. AmigaXL: Currently, burning CDs is not possible.
15. Is there TV-card support?
Amithlon: Yes, initial test software including example source code is available. AmigaXL: No TV-cards are currently supported.
16. Can I use video-editing hardware?
Amithlon: Currently, there is no support for video hardware such as genlocks and cutting systems. AmigaXL: Currently, there is no support for video hardware such as genlocks and cutting systems.
17. Can I use Fusion/iFusion?
Amithlon: Direct support for 68k-based MAC-emulators is integrated in Amithlon. An extra boot by programs such as RsrvWarm and similar is no longer needed. ShapeShifter and Fusion have been tested successfully, and are faster and more modern computers than the current MAC-PPC emulator on Amiga. AmigaXL: not yet tested
18. Which software runs on Amithlon/AmigaXL?
We will publish a special list for this. Work on this list is currently in progress, and an initial version should go on-line in the next few days. See software list.
19. What speed can be achieved with Amithlon/AmigaXL?
We are currently investigating the values. An overview should be available in the next few days.
20. Do I really need a Kickstart/Workbench license?
You need a separate Kickstart and Workbench license for each Amiga computer. Therefore, a license is also needed for AmigaOS XL or Amithlon/AmigaXL. The same is true for the Picasso license. Furthermore, the version included with the AmigaOS XL is a new, special version. Lastly, a specially adapted Kickstart 3.1 is used in Amithlon.
21. How much memory do I need for AmigaOS XL?
Amithlon: The CPU-emulation needs about 16-32 MB memory; the rest is available to the AmigaOS directly. A maximum of about 1 Gigabyte of RAM can be used under Amithlon with AmigaOS. On systems with more than 128 MByte of RAM, it is useful to increase the memory reserved for the JIT, because the more translated 68k code already available, the faster the AmigaOS will run. AmigaXL: 128 MB and up, 256 MB recommended.
22. How does the installation of AmigaOS XL work?
Amithlon: You can boot directly from the CD. Installing the emulator system to the hard drive is possible, but not implemented at the moment. AmigaXL: First, QNX is installed on an empty partition or within the Windows file system (as one large file). Then AmigaXL is installed. After that, AmigaXL is directly available.
23. Do I need a new partition for AmigaOS XL?
Amithlon: Either a separate Amiga hard drive, or a special partition on a PC hard drive, linked as a virtual Amiga hard drive. You can create your own partitions normally on a virtual hard drive using the HDToolbox utility. AmigaXL: Not required. QNX can be installed on its own partition as well as within a windows file system. Of course, the first method is preferred.
24. What partition systems can be accessed by AmigaOS XL?
Amithlon: Everything that has an existing file system under AmigaOS. So Windows or DOS drives can be accessed with file systems such as Fat95 from Aminet. AmigaXL: Amiga hard drives, QNX-, Windows- and Linux-partitions.
25. Can I install multiple operating systems?
Of course; multiple operating systems can be installed on the computer. You might have to change or replace the included Bootmanager (allowing the selection of the system to be started, and pre-installed on our complete systems).
26. Is there a demo version of AmigaOS XL?
No, there is currently no demo version of AmigaOS XL. It is highly unlikely that there will ever be a demo version, since a lot of licenses (Amiga Inc., QNX, Picasso96 and other third parties) are contained within the product, which cannot be distributed for free. For this reason, we will demonstrate AmigaOS XL, Amithlon and AmigaXL at several fairs and other occasions.
27. What does x86-code optimising mean?
Amithlon: Entire programs, or smaller processor-intensive parts, can be translated to x86-code. This can result in a massive speed increase, depending on the type of application.

A developers package is being developed for Amithlon, which explains through examples and documentation how software for this can easily be created. For direct enquiries, please contact borg@vmc.de , and explain exactly what you want to do with it, so that we can provide information for each application.

AmigaXL: 
28. Does PPC software run on AmigaOS XL?
Since Amithlon and AmigaXL are 68k emulators, it is not possible to use PPC software in the current version. Generally, there are also 68k versions of PPC-software, which will run at higher speed on the emulators. Later inclusion, through software or hardware, can not be excluded at this time.
29. Will Amithlon or AmigaXL run on PPC computers?
Amithlon: No, since there are no powerful PPC computers besides Apple, and therefore there is not a sufficient market for it. AmigaXL: There will be a PPC version of QNX shortly. This will however not be freely available, and aims at the embedded market. This is also reflected by the list of supported motherboards. Furthermore, the emulator would have to be adapted for it, which would only be a viable option when there is enough demand.
30. What about AmigaOS 4.0?
The main goal of AmigaOS 4.0 is porting the existing AmigaOS 3.9 to PPC. Only a few new components are planned for it until now. These also exist in a 68k version, and could be used with Amithlon/AmigaXL without any problems. This, however, is a decision Amiga Inc. has to make.
31. What about AmigaDE?
Next to the PowerPC, Amiga Inc. has always mentioned the x86 as a viable platform. So, AmigaDE can run on the same hardware as AmigaOS XL. The current ElateOS also runs under QNX 4. One possibility would be to port ElateOS to the new QNX 6.1. That way, AmigaDE and AmigaXL could run side by side. Currently, this is speculation by us, because we don't have any more information about this at the moment.
32. Why does the package contain two emulators?
The companies involved--Amiga Inc., VMC Harald Frank/Bernd Meyer and Haage&Partner--have decided to only offer a complete solution, in order to prevent competition in the small Amiga market. Also, each emulator has its own special advantages, and one might not be able to decide between the two, or perhaps want to use both emulators. This is simplified by bundling the two products together.
 

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