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STEEM Emulator with GDOS


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A question. The STEEM emulator has the option to use extended screen modes like 1280x960x4 (not sure if that's supposed to be 4 planes or 4 colors).

 

However, if you have GDOS installed it boots up into the regular ST low-rez mode up in the top left corner of the window, with the rest of the window blank.

 

My guess would be that however STEEM is hooking into the display driver, it's not doing it quite right.

 

Before I jumped into trying to figure out how to fix this, I thought I'd ask around here to see if anybody else already knows about this and has a fix.

 

(I tried using this "VGAWIN.PRG" program by Derek Mihocka but it just crashes.)

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Well STEEM isn't really very good with applications. Silly thing, but I found that it doesn't like gdos and nvdi and it even has problems with desk accessories etc. Your best bet for having something useful is to try hatari and even better, Aranym. Hatari also offers a high resolution display with more colours.

 

I know it's not the best option or a real answer but maybe it's worth a try.

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Christos, I've heard the exact thing about Aramym a few times, and I've also heard the 100% exact opposite about it.

 

Personally, I've not been able to figure out how to get Aranym to work. It comes up with a config window, but I don't seem to be able to get from there into an actual emulator. And the config dialogs... OMG whomever designed them doesn't wanna meet me in a dark alley, let me tell you.

 

I really haven't had a lot of problems with STEEM. There have been a few very specific things, but overall it seems to work OK.

 

I've tried Hatari for game playing but haven't tried anything more serious. I suppose I'll give it a go.

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@MikeFulton: Do you want fish or do you want to learn how to fish? If you tell me what OS you want to run and which applications you want to use, I can recommend, and even send, a working configuration. But if you want to actually understand the emulator and how to set it up, then I can also answer any questions you might have.

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The emulator is a means to an end. I have no great desire to fart around with it, beyond what's necessary. I am basically trying to get a development environment together with MultiTOS, Lattice C, and various other dev tools.

 

Today I played around with Hatari for awhile and seem to have gotten it pretty close to working as needed. I've got MultiTOS up and going and LC as well. Some random crashing, and some not-so-random, are the main remaining issues.

 

One point of confusion, however... I've configured Hatari to use 1280x960 but I'm getting noticeably less space in the window. I'm guessing that Hatari is applying the idea of "1280x960" to the overall screen including borders (which I've got turned off) and not the actual useable space. But I've not looked too far into that whole issue since everything else is more or less working OK.

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A question. The STEEM emulator has the option to use extended screen modes like 1280x960x4 (not sure if that's supposed to be 4 planes or 4 colors).

 

However, if you have GDOS installed it boots up into the regular ST low-rez mode up in the top left corner of the window, with the rest of the window blank.

 

My guess would be that however STEEM is hooking into the display driver, it's not doing it quite right.

 

Before I jumped into trying to figure out how to fix this, I thought I'd ask around here to see if anybody else already knows about this and has a fix.

 

(I tried using this "VGAWIN.PRG" program by Derek Mihocka but it just crashes.)

 

I'm really quite bad at C but from the STEEM source code I can see that the authors are banging Line-A at some point during boot to trick the system into an extended resolution. Not surprising then that it should be extremely fragile. Perhaps maybe making an auto folder program that re-bangs Line-A after GDOS loads? (yes I know, dirty hack on top of a dirty hack but it might work!)

 

I'm not sure at the exact purpose of your setup but is it by chance that you just want a dev environment to compile stuff? Then maybe Vincent's cross-m68k-gcc with gemlib/mintlib is a better choice? (I also have a version that doesn't need cygwin to work, just plain windows if anyone's interested)

 

@MikeFulton: Do you want fish or do you want to learn how to fish? If you tell me what OS you want to run and which applications you want to use, I can recommend, and even send, a working configuration. But if you want to actually understand the emulator and how to set it up, then I can also answer any questions you might have.

 

Hehe, you probably don't know what Mike Fulton did in his youth, do you? :)

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I'm really quite bad at C but from the STEEM source code I can see that the authors are banging Line-A at some point during boot to trick the system into an extended resolution. Not surprising then that it should be extremely fragile. Perhaps maybe making an auto folder program that re-bangs Line-A after GDOS loads? (yes I know, dirty hack on top of a dirty hack but it might work!)

 

I'm not sure at the exact purpose of your setup but is it by chance that you just want a dev environment to compile stuff? Then maybe Vincent's cross-m68k-gcc with gemlib/mintlib is a better choice? (I also have a version that doesn't need cygwin to work, just plain windows if anyone's interested)

Banging the VDI screen driver variables ("line-a" isn't really accurate in that context) is all that's really needed, but they're apparently doing it at the wrong place. If it was properly hooked in, GDOS wouldn't matter.

 

Well, maybe I'll look at the sources. I suspect I'll have the same issue with Hatari...

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Yawn...

 

Ok, it looks like two things need to be done. First, the hack needs to check the device ID and abort if it's not a screen device being opened. Next, it needs to run at every screen device open workstation call, not just the first time. That may also require a frame buffer check so it doesn't allocate a new buffer each time.

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