MONTHLY POSTING: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers V1.1 (March 1991)

MONTHLY POSTING: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers V1.1 (March 1991)

Post by Ferry de Jo » Sat, 02 Mar 1991 21:39:43



MONTHLY POSTING: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers V1.1 (March 1991)

This article  contains  a  list  of  frequently  asked  questions  and
answers.     It     is     posted     by    me    every    month    in
comp.sys.amiga.introduction.

Pay attention to the version number of this article. It indicates what
kind  of  changes  are  made  to the contents compared to the previous
posting.

First number changed:
        New questions and answers added.
Second number changed:
        Answers to existing questions changed or updated.

If you have suggestions about this article, feel free to mail them  to
me so I can improve this document. You can reach me by e-mail:
fe...@chorus.fr or ferry%chorus...@mcsun.eu.net

I'd like to thank the following people for their contributions:
Kent Paul Dolan(xanth...@zorch.sf-bay.org)
        For sending several parts of information for this article.
Richard Gering(rger...@mentor.com)
Edwin Hoogerbeets(ehoogerbe...@watyew.uwaterloo.ca)
Mic Kaczmarczik(m...@emx.utexas.edu) UT Austin Computation Center
Joe Smith(j...@tardis.tymnet.com)
        For his article in c.s.a.games about display modes, I used.
Dan Zerkle(zer...@iris.eecs.ucdavis.edu)

                              DISCLAIMER
Use the information in this posting at your own risk and cost.
All opinions expressed are mine, not necessarily those of my employer.

----------8<----------8<----------8<----------8<----------8<----------

              You can find answers to the following questions

                                 HARDWARE
1.1. Why does my battery backup-ed clock not work properly?
1.2. What are the 8520's?
1.3. What hardware is broken and can I repair it myself?
1.4. During a boot or RESET the screen changes. What does this mean?
1.5. Can I replace the 68000 with an 68010 to get a higher performance?
1.6. What is the difference between the A2000 and the B2000?
1.7. What is the difference between al these kinds of memory?
1.8. On boot time on an AMIGA 2000 the first key pressed isn't read.
1.9. What is done upon boot time?
1.10.What display modes are there?

                                 SOFTWARE
2.1. Who is Fred Fish and what are the AmigaLibDisks?
2.2. What is CATS and how do I become a developer?
2.3. What are RKM's?

                               COMMUNICATION
3.1. How can I exchange disks between a UNIX system and the AMIGA?
3.2. How can I post articles if I'm not on usenet?
3.3. How can I read the comp.sys.amiga.* newsgroups when I'm not on usenet?
3.4. How can I ftp by mail?
3.5. What file transfer protocols are there for a modem?
3.6. In what forms can files be transferred if I load them with my modem?
3.7. How does ftp work and what is the contents of several sites?

                     Answers about HARDWARE questions.

     1.1.    Why does my battery backup-ed clock not work properly?

Symptoms:      1. Clock is several minutes/hours early/late.
               2. Clock is RESET to first day of the AMIGA's life.
               3. Clock can't be read from and written to.

The battery backup-ed clock draws its power during power-off of  the  AMIGA
from  a  small  NiCd-battery.  There are two often occuring reasons for the
strange behaviour of the clock:

     1. The battery is (almost) empty. This  should  normally  only  happen
     after a very long power-off of the AMIGA. (Several weeks/months.)
     2. The battery is old and can't supply the clock with the  voltage  or
     current it needs to operate properly.

To solve the problem in the first case you should turn your  AMIGA  on  for
several  hours to allow the battery to recharge. After this you can set the
setclock command and everything should work OK.

The solution in the second case is to have the battery checked and replaced
by your AMIGA dealer.
In the third case your computer might be infected by a virus that puts some
date  in  the  Clock memory that makes it no longer respond. If you execute
the command:
               setclock opt reset
everything should work normal again. NB. Use the setclock from  your  Work-
bench V1.2, the V1.3 version might not work always.

     1.2.    What are the 8520's?

The 8520 is a chip inside the AMIGA. In the 500/1000/2000 there are two  of
them. They are custom chips of the company that designed and built the AMI-
GA.

     1.3.    What hardware is broken and can I repair it myself?

Symptoms:      Printer doesn't work properly anymore.
               Audio sampler produces one constant or random values.
               Modem doesn't work properly anymore.
               Joy-sticks seem not to be working.

All the previous mentioned devices are driven by the  two  8520's  in  your
AMIGA.  These  are very delicate chips and history has proven that they are
very fragile. It might well be the case that one of them is broken. You can
check this by exchanging them inside your AMIGA. (They are both socket-ed.)
ONLY do this (Opening the AMIGA isn't allowed during the guarantee period!)
if you know what you are doing. If exchanging does make a difference one of
them is broken and you can replace the broken chip by a new  one.  You  can
buy  them  only at certain places eg. at your dealer. They cost about $10,-
$15,- a piece.
If you don't want to repair the machine yourself, bring your computer to  a
qualified repair company.

     1.4.    During a boot or RESET the  screen  changes.  What  does  this
     mean?

To indicate problems detected within the hardware, the screen is changed to
one of the following colours: [See also question 1.9..]

        Colour     Diagnostic
      dark gray    Hardware OK
      light gray   Software OK
      blue         Bad Custom Chips
      green        Bad CHIP RAM
      red          Checksumerror ROM (Bad ROM)
      yellow       exception before a GURU-meditation could be given

     1.5.    Can I replace the 68000 with an 68010 to get a higher  perfor-
     mance?

Yes, in general you can replace the 68000 with an 68010. It is an operation
that  needs  to  be  done with care because they are large chips and aren't
very easy to get out/in the socket.
NB Don't put the 68010 in the socked the wrong way around!
Don't expect to much performance increase. Only programs with a lot of cal-
culation  might  run a bit faster but the overall performance increase will
be less than 5%.

Because of bad programming there are several programs that will  stop  run-
ning when you are using a 68010. Keep this in mind.

            List of known programs that won't run with an 68010
                       [none]
                                [Send updates to me]

     1.6.    What is the difference between the A2000 and the B2000?

Commodore in Braunschweig (Germany) has built the A2000 based on the  AMIGA
1000.  They  added  the slots and 512 KBytes RAM. This was done in order to
allow an XT-card inside the computer.
Later Commodore developed the B2000 which was based  on  the  new  hardware
also  used  in  the  AMIGA 500. It has 1 MByte of RAM and is prepared for 1
MByte of CHIP RAM.

Both have the same case but are completely different inside. Also,  from  a
software point of view small differences might be discovered.

     1.7.    What is the difference between al these kinds of memory?

These are the most common terms used that have to do with memory:

Autoconfig RAM    Memory that is available and known to the system  as  you
power  on  the machine. This means that you don't have to execute a program
to let the operating system know this memory is available.
On the other hand

NonAutoconfig RAM needs to be made available, which is  usually  done  with
programs like AddMem and AddRAM. With these you are telling the OS where in
the addressing space the memory board can be found.

Public RAM        [Good explanation needed.]

FAST RAM          is any RAM out of the reach of the custom chips.   It  is
known  as  FAST  RAM because code and data may be accessed by the CPU there
faster, as it does not have to deal with the bus contention in the CHIP RAM
addressing space.
On the

CHIP RAM bus, time has to be shared by both the processor  and  the  custom
chips.  If  the  custom chips are very active at a given time, the CPU must
wait for the bus to be free for it's use. [Some activities  of  the  custom
chips  can  'cycle  steal'  from the CPU, causing it to be forced to wait.]
Normally, the 680x0 on the Amiga only needs the bus every  alternate  clock
cycle in order to run full speed...thus the other cycles not used are taken
up by the custom chips. However, when the blitter is in use, or the  copro-
cessor  (COPPER), you see some of this cycle stealing. As a result, the CPU
can usually run quite close to full speed on the CHIP RAM bus, but there is
almost  always  some  activity which slows it down a bit. And of course any
heavy graphics use will cause considerable slowing if the CPU is forced  to
run code out of the CHIP RAM area.
Now, with FAST RAM on the system, the CPU can  generally  run  full  speed,
provided  the  code/data  being accessed is in FAST RAM, because the custom
chips cannot access this memory medium, and are not using it's bus.

32 bit RAM        There is no difference in the chips themselves.  What  IS
different  is  how  they  are accessed. On a 16 bit bus (16-bit memory), 16
bits of data can be operated on at one time  (transferred  about,  etc...).
The  32-bit  bus  can  work with 32-bits of data at a time. Thus if you are
running two different buses...on 16-bit and one 32-bit, the 32-bit bus  can
handle  more  data at a given interval (assuming appropriate processors for
each and equivalent bus speeds). This is handled at the interface logic and
bus level, not within the memory chips themselves.

RAM waitstates    You will run into having  to  have  wait  states  if  the
memory being utilized is slower than the speed at which the processor needs
it to come back. For instance, FAST RAM on the  A2000  (68000)  is  usually
rated  at  120-100ns...this is
...

read more »

 
 
 

MONTHLY POSTING: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers V1.1 (March 1991)

Post by Dave P. Schauma » Thu, 07 Mar 1991 09:56:37



|
|MONTHLY POSTING: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers V1.1 (March 1991)
|[...]
|                                 HARDWARE
|1.1. Why does my battery backup-ed clock not work properly?
|1.2. What are the 8520's?
|1.3. What hardware is broken and can I repair it myself?
|1.4. During a boot or RESET the screen changes. What does this mean?
|1.5. Can I replace the 68000 with an 68010 to get a higher performance?
|1.6. What is the difference between the A2000 and the B2000?
|1.7. What is the difference between al these kinds of memory?
|1.8. On boot time on an AMIGA 2000 the first key pressed isn't read.
|1.9. What is done upon boot time?
|1.10.What display modes are there?
|[...]

This is a good start, but we definitely need some info on dealing with
the vagaries of Life With A Hard Drive.  Fer instance:
        - how to deal with key errors, bad blocks, etc, etc
        - discussion of DMA vs (whatever happens when its not DMA)
        - SCSI vs non-SCSI
        - others?

As a non-hardware type person, these are some of the things that I think
non-hardware types are likely to ask...

--


 
 
 

MONTHLY POSTING: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers V1.1 (March 1991)

Post by Neil Richmo » Sat, 16 Mar 1991 00:18:32


I could use some help. I have been writing a graphics tablet driver to
use with an old tablet I have. The tablet is connected to the serial port.
My goal is to replace the mouse and use it with any program. At this point
in time I have it partially working, but the results I am getting are not
consistant. Most of my problems stem from interfacing to Intuition. Often
if I open several layers of windows I loose the mouse pointer. Sometimes, I
can hit on my original window the program is in and get control of the mouse
again. Whenever I move the pen away from the tablet, I give control of
the pointer back to the mouse. Once, when I was running DPaint III, the tablet
worked. Usually, the pointer sprite goes to the lower right and stays there.
Has anyone had any experience in this area that can help me? Are there any
references that I can use? Currently, I am relying totally on the Reference
Manuals. I have an A2000 with 1.3 installed. I am using an older version of
Lattice C-Compiler 3.2. Are there any problems here? Thanks in advance.

neil

--
Only 3215 shopping days left till the next millenium!

Rhythm & Hues Inc.       UUCP: ...{ames,hplabs}!lll-tis!celia!neil)

 
 
 

MONTHLY POSTING: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers V1.1 (March 1991)

Post by Neil Richmo » Sun, 17 Mar 1991 00:52:23


Someone who might be able to help me is anyone who has written a serial mouse
driver. Is there some source for me to use as reference regarding this driver.
I already have the ROM KERNEL Manuals.

neil

--
Only 3214 shopping days left till the next millenium!

Rhythm & Hues Inc.       UUCP: ...{ames,hplabs}!lll-tis!celia!neil)

 
 
 

MONTHLY POSTING: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers V1.1 (March 1991)

Post by Peter Cher » Sun, 17 Mar 1991 07:00:23



>Someone who might be able to help me is anyone who has written a serial mouse
>driver. Is there some source for me to use as reference regarding this driver.
>I already have the ROM KERNEL Manuals.

To send mouse movements, send IO to the input.device with DoIO().  Prepare
an InputEvent, and use the device command IND_WRITEEVENT.  For mouse movement,
use IECLASS_RAWMOUSE (or IECLASS_POINTERPOS).  To do button-down transitions,
use IECLASS_RAWMOUSE and set IECODE_LBUTTON or _RBUTTON.  Button-up transitions
are similar, but you also use IECODE_UP_PREFIX.

Remember that your InputEvent has to be re-initialized each time.

Quote:>neil

     Peter
--
Peter Cherna, Operating Systems Development Group, Commodore-Amiga, Inc.

My opinions do not necessarily represent the opinions of my employer.
"If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."
 
 
 

MONTHLY POSTING: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers V1.1 (March 1991)

Post by Neil Richmo » Wed, 20 Mar 1991 07:53:50



>To send mouse movements, send IO to the input.device with DoIO().  Prepare
>an InputEvent, and use the device command IND_WRITEEVENT.  For mouse movement,
>use IECLASS_RAWMOUSE (or IECLASS_POINTERPOS).  To do button-down transitions,
>use IECLASS_RAWMOUSE and set IECODE_LBUTTON or _RBUTTON.  Button-up transitions
>are similar, but you also use IECODE_UP_PREFIX.

I am doing all these things. The problem I am having is that the mouse is not
behaving consitently with each window I open. WHen I open a new window, the
mouse travels to the lower right corner. I have to move my pen away from the
tablet giving control back to the mouse. Then after I do a mouse operation,
I sometimes get control back to pen. I thought it might have to do with layers,
but I am not sure, now. After I do a mouse event, I close the message port
and reopen it for the next event.

>Remember that your InputEvent has to be re-initialized each time.
>Peter Cherna, Operating Systems Development Group, Commodore-Amiga, Inc.


I think I am doing this when I close the message port and reopen it for the
next mouse event. Thanks.

neil

--
Only 3211 shopping days left till the next millenium!

Rhythm & Hues Inc.       UUCP: ...{ames,hplabs}!lll-tis!celia!neil)