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Winuae / Amiga Setup.


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#1 killergorilla

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 12:09 PM

Right, I thought I'd start a new thread for this as I wasn't entirely sure which previous post to whack it in.

Anyway.

I'm currently in the process of setting up all my emus using the stuff that a lot of the guys on this forum have put together (cheers guys). This is fine for stuff such as SNES/MD etc, but one of my favourite systems is the Amiga which is a bit of a pain in the bum...

And on to the reason for this thread...

I'm not sure if any of you are aware of WHDLoad (I know some are, I've seen it mentioned here and there) but it's a way of installing Amiga games to a Hard Drive, removing copy protection and implementing bug fixes. So, for xbox emulation purposes, it's essentially a way of running games without the need to swap disks or fiddle about (too much) with specific configs.

I currently work on a project called KGWHD where I've installed every single Amiga game which has a WHDLoad install. My current site is here: http://whdownload.com/kgwhd/ (working on the latest update as we speak).

The problem with this is... all my files are in zip format (as this is easiest for use on a real Amiga). Unfortunately for us, WinUAEX does not support mounting of zip files as hard drives. (WinUAE does but this was implemented a lot more recently).

So, the best option is HDF files. And this is my plan (which is currently working nicely on my xbox).

(Bear with me if you don't know much about the Amiga).

The game HDF has it's device name set to "game:" and inside the hdf the game's icon (used to load the game) is named to game.info.

I've created a small amiga exe which will load an icon file by using it's default tool (in this case WHDLoad) and it's tooltypes (the slave name, preload etc.) This, along with the Workbench files, WHDLoad itself, kickstart files etc. will be stored in a separate HDF (called _whdload.hdf). And the startup-sequence will simply do:

cd game:
kgiconload game.info

This will load the game with all the tooltypes you have setup in the game's icon. Tadda!

In WinUAEX when we load a game we need to put _whdload.hdf in dh0, and then the game.hdf into hd1. This only needs doing once. Then we can just load them up from the menu every time.

So, we have a method to load the game. The next problem is getting all of these games into HDF format.

I've created a script, it currently works absolutely fine but it needs tweaking to make it a little more robust. I batch converted all of my zip files and it only took about 30 mins.

I will be hosting all of these hdf files on my website alongside the non-hdf versions as soon as I'm happy with them.

Alongside this I also have screenshots for 90% of the games which I'll be hosting too, and I'm working on some boxart (which I've been allowed to use from the GameBase project).

The text above may be subject to change, I'll need to take a look at it when I'm not so busy smile.gif

#2 madmab

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 01:32 PM

Why not just combine your whdload and the whd.hdf file into one and call it a day? If you have the kickstart set to 2.03 it should autoboot when you select the hdf file. That's what I do. Sure it takes up a little space, but it's all neglible in the long run.

Oh, and good luck with your project. I've been slowly working through the whd set I have. Got a ways to go though.


#3 killergorilla

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 01:57 PM

Combining the whdload and game hdf into one was indeed an option I looked into, but I decided against it as I didn't want to update every single game hdf when a new version of whdload was released.

You are right though that it does make it easier to configure the games in the emu...

Hmm...

I suppose it's where you want the effort to be taken up...

Single hdfs:

Easier to load, but if you want to stay up to date (you don't necessarily HAVE to, but the dats will change everytime a new whdload is released because I would be updating them) you'd need to redownload the whole romset again.

Two hdfs:

Harder to setup, but only need setting up once. If there is an update you simply update the _whdload.hdf file.

I'll have a think about it. Anyone else got any preference?

#4 ressurectionx

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 03:25 PM

I'd say whatever is the easiest to set up. Anyone who's kept up with MAME knows what it's like to have to redownload roms all the time and it's worth it in my opinion.

I'm wired a bit different than other people though. I think I get more out of actually collecting and setting things up than I do playing the games, so I might not be in the majority on this one.

#5 killergorilla

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 04:02 PM

What's the deal with configs and stuff in the SAVE directories?

Can that be downloaded and used between different xboxes?

If so, I think I may go with the double hdf files and set up some consistent files which can be downloaded the first time you want to play WinUAEX.

I presume this would also allow keys to be setup in the saves too, so games like pinball games can be setup as default to use the triggers, and up can be used for jump etc.

Edited by killergorilla, 31 March 2009 - 04:02 PM.


#6 ressurectionx

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 04:07 PM

Yep... they can be uploaded and put on another XBox. It is the configs for setting up the XBox and for making the controller configurations among other stuff.

I think it would work fine for your purposes here. I uploaded the Colecovision saves on my drive so people wouldn't have to configure all of those games from scratch.

#7 killergorilla

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 04:24 PM

Ah excellent...

I think I'll def go with that method then. Cheers for the info.

#8 ressurectionx

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 04:33 PM

Sure... just don't go crazy with the save states before you upload them. You'll upload every game you ever save as well as the configurations unless you go in and figure out which files you can delete. Probably the best way to purge them would be to find out it's file extention and then do a search on it in the saves folder and just delete all the ones that come up.

I'd probably back it up before I messed with that though.

Later,
~Rx

#9 killergorilla

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 04:42 PM

Good point smile.gif

#10 madmab

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 10:42 AM

Unfortunately for the amiga emulator the config file stores the absolute address of the HDF files. So (for example) if your HDF game is in "D:\amigadisks\whdload\c\cannon fodder.hdf" then the other use would have to have their .hdf file in the same location as well.

We ran into that little issue when I sent some config and .hdf files to RessX.

I've never followed the whdload updates to know what advantages are typically offered from one to the next. But I would think if it functions for a particular title, what is the advantage of updating it?

But you line of thinking does kinda make sense.


#11 killergorilla

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 11:03 AM

Hmmm.

Absolute addresses is a bit of a pain in the ****.

It wouldn't be hard to create a small program that adjusts all of the paths before transferring, or what would be better is if someone edited the source code of the emu biggrin.gif

As for updating them, WHDLoad tends to only get updates every now and then, but there are functions (such as the newly added global save directory for highscores/gamesaves [not savestates]) which would make it worth updating.

It's also worth noting, that whilst I would be willing to host all of the games from my whdload site, I wouldn't be willing to host them if they contained kickstart images. The Amiga scene is a strange one where companies actually actively seek out kickstart sharers and cause them trouble. I've had a little trouble in the past with similar issues.

I know it wouldn't be hard to get them shared elsewhere but my main aim was to whack them all on my site, and then just share the whdload.hdf elsewhere.



#12 madmab

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 12:55 PM

Well I did modify WinstonX so that if a .zip file had a "hardisk.zip" within it that it would auto unzip that file and boot off of it. So maybe I could do something with Winuaex to make it easier.

#13 killergorilla

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 02:25 PM

I found that using zipped hdf files in winuaex caused problems so I stuck with plain hdf files.

If WinUAEX could be fixed to run hdf files from zips, you could possibly then check inside the zip file to see if a text file called "whdload.txt" was in the zip, then boot _whdload.hdf in dh0: and the current hdf in dh1:

Or something similar, you get the idea.

That'd save time configuring.

It'd also mean that configurations wouldn't need to be downloaded as well, unless you wanted to of course.

#14 madmab

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 09:30 AM

QUOTE(killergorilla @ Apr 1 2009, 10:01 AM) View Post

I found that using zipped hdf files in winuaex caused problems so I stuck with plain hdf files.

If WinUAEX could be fixed to run hdf files from zips, you could possibly then check inside the zip file to see if a text file called "whdload.txt" was in the zip, then boot _whdload.hdf in dh0: and the current hdf in dh1:

Or something similar, you get the idea.

That'd save time configuring.

It'd also mean that configurations wouldn't need to be downloaded as well, unless you wanted to of course.
Hmmm...

Well tell you what. I'm not sure when I'll be able to get to it. But I'll put the winuaex source on my pooter and see if I can modify it to do that. It shouldn't be too hard (hopefully). I can then send it to you and you can be a guinea pig for testing it. laugh.gif




#15 killergorilla

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 12:32 PM

Hey, as long as it doesn't involve needles I'm up for testing anything!

Good to hear you're taking a look smile.gif




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