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Karlos 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 15-Jun-2022 22:10:28
#321 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 24-Aug-2003
Posts: 2478
From: As-sassin-aaate! As-sassin-aaate! Ooh! We forgot the ammunition!

@bhabbott

The arguments over supported resolution are a bit moot in my opinion seeing as you could get graphics cards for productivity usage. Whatever limitations of the chipset has don't have to be a limitation for the system.

I recall as an 18 year old as university with my A1200 running workbench, protracker and deluxe paint at the same time, with each display, in its own resolution and colour depth, partially dragged down with the protracker copper VU bars banging away wowing my PC owning friends at the time, one of whom became a "convert" in part on the strength of that demonstration alone.

And not long later, the converse was true when I saw Doom running on a 486. It was clear that 3D was going to be the next big thing and all the cool scrolling 2D that was the mainstay of the Amigas native graphics suddenly seemed a bit dated.

I still love it, though.

_________________
Doing stupid things for fun...

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cdimauro 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 15-Jun-2022 23:02:33
#322 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Oct-2012
Posts: 2482
From: Germany

@bhabbott

Quote:

bhabbott wrote:
@cdimauro

Quote:

cdimauro wrote:

BTW, the topic was already derailed long time ago. And other threads as well. But you only care about this one: guess why...

I don't own a PPC card or Next Gen 'Amiga', so OS 4 itself is of little interest to me. That's why you won't see me posting in most threads here. However I am interested in Amiga stuff in general, including the idea of a 'modern' Amiga-like OS for x86.

Try again: you contributed on other threads as well, which... derailed!
Quote:
In the usual wallowing negativity of Amiga 'fans', there has been some discussion about 'flaws' in Amiga OS that supposedly make this impossible. I was hoping that this time it might be different and we could have a technical discussion on how these 'flaws' could be addressed. However some people just want to pointlessly rant about how (in their opinion) the Amiga is and always was no good.

Trying to change the cards on the table doesn't work (at least with me).

Your problem is that, as an Amiga fanatic, you don't accept critics, even when they have a (strong) technical base.
Quote:
Quote:

Otherwise you could show me how to use the File Manager (see 4:50 on the video that I've posted) on a 320x200 display (which means... 40 columns!).

40 columns? Windows has variable width and proportional fonts. It doesn't use text mode!

Yes, but the used space is on that ballpark.

Care to show me how you could fit the text shown on File Explorer? On a 320x200 resolution, of course.
Quote:
Sure the MCGA 320x200 256 color driver was only meant for 'multimedia' (games etc.), but you didn't say anything about the desktop.

I've clearly written Windows. NOT Windows games.
Quote:
The point is that Windows 3.x is not limited to any particular resolution, it just needs a driver for the screen mode you want. Did you know there was no official 8086 compatible driver for VGA? This is an issue for me because I have an Amstrad PC2086 (which has VGA on-board) complete with Windows 3.1 manuals, but can't even run it in the standard VGA resolution of 640x480 with 16 colors.

I know how Windows worked, and its drivers as well. Strange that there was no VGA driver for 8086.
Quote:
Quote:
Have you tried 640x480 with 256 colors without interlace on your Amiga 1200?

Yes. But I don't run that resolution on my current setup because my TV can't handle it on the composite input.

So your real answer is NO, and certainly not yes...
Quote:
And I don't need it, because the TV does an excellent job of displaying interlace WITHOUT flicker.

If your TV is using a deinterlacer you can still see artifacts.

And, even more important, your real refresh rate is 30 (NTSC, SECAM) or 25 (PAL) FPS. So, below the minimum of 60 FPS/Hz of PC's video cards.
Quote:
IBrowse works well in 640x512. The only issue is that most websites are encrypted now, which makes large images very slow to load even with a 50MHz 030. Therefore I usually run IBrowse in 8 colors with images off for speed. This isn't a big deal for me because I use the Web on my A1200 to get information and download stuff, not for eye candy.

Ah, yes. 8 colors is great for web browsing.

It reminds me The Fox and the Grapes...
Quote:
Quote:
Maybe the problem is that you never used this machine. But it's your problem. And you're spreading false statements!

Again you assume wrong. I had a 512k Mac back in the 90's, and it was a pain just getting the OS installed on the hard drive (luckily my Amiga was able to help there). I eventually dismantled it because it was too limited and frustrating to use. I had so many old computers back then that were worthless to me - wish I had kept them though because anything retro is worth heaps now!

As for false statements, perhaps you should read some of the press around the time of the Mac's launch.

I don't need a press, since I've USED such Mac and, as I've already said, it was productive.
Quote:
Quote:
I quote YOURSELF:

"The Mac had a very nicely done monochrome GUI, but was let down by the tiny screen."

So, YOU were off topic!

Er, excuse me. I was responding to you dragging Macintosh into the conversation,

You need to read again the discussion, because you lost it. In fact, I was NOT the one which talked about Macs...
Quote:
apparently for the sole purpose of 'proving' that the Amiga was inferior to it.

In your distorted view.
Quote:
Of course in 1984 it was, since the Amiga didn't exist. In 1985 however...

What happened in 1985? Did the Amiga had a 512x342 flicker-free display? An 8Mhz CPU?
Quote:
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It's quite clear that you do NOT like critics to Amigas, and you react this way: trying to change the discussion. A very common logical fallacy.

In case you didn't notice, this website is called Amigaworld, and the thread title is about AmigaOS. So yeah, I don't like someone coming in here just to trash it.

So reporting FACTs became "trashing", in your religious mind.
Quote:
Do you do that on other forums too? "Oh the C64 / Amstrad CPC / ZX Spectrum is so crap it can't even do 640x480 in 256 colors WITHOUT interlace!".

Who's derailing the discussion now? Isn't it an Amiga forum, as YOU stated? In fact, and maybe you didn't noticed, I'm talking about... Amigas!
Quote:
You are not adding anything useful to the conversation, just derailing it with your anti-Amiga fandom.

LOL. You confirmed what I've already said: you don't like critics!

If someone makes critics, then FOR YOU (and other zealots like you) he becomes an anti-Amiga. Perfect "logic".
Quote:
There's a word that describes a person who does that - troll.

You also need to read again the definition of troll. So, you don't luck only logic: vocabulary isn't your friend, as well...
Quote:
Quote:
As I've already said several times, logic is lacking on the Amiga land...

You are right. So many butt-hurt ex Amiga fans complaining about it not fulfilling their fantasies.

I don't talk about fantasies: I reported FACTs. CONCRETE data and statements. TECHNICAL stuff.

Again, you show to don't read and/or don't understand what I'm writing.
Quote:
In Spanish, Amiga means 'girlfriend'. Which is oddly appropriate because some 'fans' seem to treat the Amiga like an ex that they broke up with after realizing she wasn't 'perfect', and now have to constantly trash to her friends at every opportunity. And just like in the social scene it gets tired quickly.

The example if perfect, because it shows how you behave.

You look like a caveman that is still in love with his cavegirl (the Amiga), and which hasn't exited from the cave.

So, you continue to see it as a beautiful girl, because it's dark on your cave and you cannot see her defects. And you continue to live this way, in your ideal world (the cave).

I, on the other hand, had the chance to exit from the cave, see how the world was outside, see all characteristics of the Amiga at the sun light, compared her with what I saw outside of the cave, make my analysis, and draw my conclusions (so, getting real and fair PROs and CONs).

You're still madly felt in love with your Amiga and you see any critic like an attack to her: to YOUR faith. Because you're still a blind fanatic, of the religion that you've built and follow.

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bhabbott 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 16-Jun-2022 7:30:06
#323 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 6-Jun-2018
Posts: 116
From: Aotearoa

@Karlos

Quote:

Karlos wrote:

The arguments over supported resolution are a bit moot in my opinion seeing as you could get graphics cards for productivity usage. Whatever limitations of the chipset has don't have to be a limitation for the system.

Indeed. The highest native resolution of the original Amigas was 'only' 640x512, but back then that was considered plenty enough. And while it was flickering interlace (required for TV and 15kHz monitor compatibility) it did work without needing a special monitor, and you could easily add a 'flicker fixer ' to produce non-interlace on a VGA monitor if you were one of the few that needed it (several of my friends had them in their in their A2000s).

In 1991 I bought an A3000 which had the scan converter built in. Later I got an RTG card with passthrough so all video went to the VGA monitor. I cannot recall any programs not working with this setup, though of course a lot of games broke due to the 030 (and even more broke when I got an 060). Today many apps and games are being released that are RTG aware or even require it, so we are way beyond being limited by the original Amiga chipset.

Quote:
I recall as an 18 year old as university with my A1200 running workbench, protracker and deluxe paint at the same time, with each display, in its own resolution and colour depth, partially dragged down with the protracker copper VU bars banging away wowing my PC owning friends at the time, one of whom became a "convert" in part on the strength of that demonstration alone.

Yes, it was a brilliant idea that complemented the multitasking OS. Unlike systems where every app had to share a common screen or take over the display completely, Amiga apps could each have their very own screen to themselves and let you see what each one was doing. This made efficient use of the limited screen space, memory and processing power etc., and gave the user a better feel for what was going inside the computer. It was like each app had its own CPU, screen and monitor to itself, with the user controlling how much of each was visible on the actual screen.

Today we have ultra-high resolution monitors with huge screens, yet people still often have a 2nd or 3rd monitor so they can run apps full screen without having to play with their windows all the time. Since I have gotten back to using the A1200 I miss not having screen dragging on my PC.

BTW I vaguely recall some weirdness when running games in Windows, so I tried a little experiment on my XP machine. I set up Tomb Raider to run in 320x200, ran the game and then hit ctrl-alt-del. It switched back to the desktop to show the usual dialog, still in 320x200 mode! Only unlike the Amiga I couldn't scroll the screen when moving the mouse pointer to the edges, suggesting that it wasn't a view inside a larger screen. It really did switch the desktop into 320x200 mode in order to run the game!

In Windows 95 (and 98?) this could be really annoying because if a game dropped back to the desktop in a lower resolution the system would rearrange the icons to fit in the smaller screen, and fix them there permanently! All your carefully arranged icons crowded into one corner of the screen. Another thing Windows 98 used to do was corrupt the icon cache when it got to a certain size, causing all your icons to change to some random default image. AFAIK they never fixed that bug.

Quote:
And not long later, the converse was true when I saw Doom running on a 486. It was clear that 3D was going to be the next big thing and all the cool scrolling 2D that was the mainstay of the Amigas native graphics suddenly seemed a bit dated.

I still love it, though.

I love it too. As I get older the attraction of high resolution gets less. I have to wear glasses just to see the fine detail, whereas the Amiga with its bigger pixels running on a medium sized LCD TV is no problem. I actually like the bold and somewhat gritty graphics, compared to modern PCs with their 'flat' look of spindly lines and barely discernible shades.

That's not to say a modern PC with hires display isn't miles ahead of the Amiga for stuff like CAD and watching videos, because it obviously is - and I certainly use it for that stuff. But when doing Amiga stuff I often prefer my A1200 in standard resolutions on my TV to the A600 with Vampire running 1024 x 768 in 32 bit color, even though the Vampire is technically far superior. For example on the A1200 I might be writing code for a game or app with the editor in its own screen, the debugger in another screen, and the program being debugged opening its own custom screen - all in nice bold easy to see screen modes. On the A600 I am squinting trying to read stuff or constantly rearranging windows, and can't see the app's screen and debugger screen at the same time. If I never had an Amiga this might not bother me, but since I do and am used to working that way...

Last edited by bhabbott on 16-Jun-2022 at 07:33 AM.

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cdimauro 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 16-Jun-2022 8:51:28
#324 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Oct-2012
Posts: 2482
From: Germany

@bhabbott, quoting YOURSELF (with a single word changed):

"In case you didn't notice, this website is called Amigaworld, and the thread title is about AmigaOS. So yeah, I don't like someone coming in here just to trash it.

[...]
You are not adding anything useful to the conversation, just derailing it with your anti-PC fandom. There's a word that describes a person who does that - troll."


Coherence: something which isn't found on your vocabulary...

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Hypex 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 24-Jun-2022 16:25:57
#325 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 10571
From: Greensborough, Australia

@bhabbott

Quote:
'Certain' games perhaps, but for most the problem was moving large objects around quickly - and nobody was thinking about doing that 1 pixel at a time.


Don't know where now but I found this old texture map demo on Aminet. It was scrolling some type of 3d road. I recall looking at the code and wondering what it was doing. It had this strange routine converting all this data. Later on I discovered it was a packed to planar routine.

Same thing for Legends of Valour. For some reason I spent time playing games then disassembling then and running them through a debugger. I found this quirky routine in the game as well. Again, it a 3d routine. Then a packed to planar converter.

Quote:
An ISA CGA, EGA or VGA card can easily be interfaced to the A500, but the idea never caught on - perhaps because there were plenty of awesome games for the A500 that didn't need any extra hardware. Games like Doom that could have benefited from it also needed a much faster CPU, a hard drive, and lots more RAM.


Most games were 2d so didn't need fast pixels. The rest tended to use the blitter for 3d. Others like above were mostly the exception rather than the rule early on. Things like 3d star fields tended to be fine as they were mostly single colour. An X-GA was mated to the Amiga 2000 in early 90's in the form of graphic cards.

Quote:
This has nothing to do with using planar graphics.


The Workbench screen was 2 bits depth so window layers had to be bliited twice per place.

Quote:
Ever tried using a 16MHz 386-SX with 256 colors in Windows? Dog slow doesn't begin to describe it.


No, I've never seen that configuration. Windows 3.1? But that's way more colours.

Quote:
I use 8 colors on my A1200 because it's plenty enough and saves precious ChipRAM. Anything that needs more colors opens its own screen where it has full control over the palette and doesn't have to compete with other apps for screen space.


That's about as much as OS3.1 uses. But I wanted to have backdrops.

Quote:
There is a demo of text mode using the copper that works only in QL DOS. I never got it to work because setting up the QL emulation was too much hassle.


Sounds interesting. I've had a similar idea of using the copper to map 8x8 colour blocks. Not exactly text but being able efficiently simulate back and fore colours. At least that's how I would have coded an 8 bit emulator. But I found that most are line emulators that execute a lines worth of code then perform a chunky to planar routine!

Quote:
On an AGA machine text display is fast enough anyway so it doesn't matter. If you are running an A500 in WB1.x then Fastfonts makes the rendering of 8 point text fonts much faster. It does this by using the CPU instead of the Blitter! When using the OS to print text most of the overhead is in the translation. CED displays text very fast on a 4 color screen using its own custom rendering code.


Yes, my first Amiga was an A500 with Enhancer package and FastFonts. I can imagine why it was faster. It was likely almost as many writes setting up the blitter as it was actually writing it to the bitmap. The blitter was useful for large blocks at random locations but strings would be written letter by letter.

Quote:
The Mac had a very nicely done monochrome GUI, but was let down by the tiny screen. The Amiga could also have used monochrome like the Mac and C64 (GEOS) but I'm glad they didn't. Those 2 extra colors (plus another 3 for the mouse pointer) made it look more exciting without taxing the machine too much.


And more suitable for TV sets with the garish colour scheme.

Quote:
It could have, but didn't because most users were happy enough with what they had - which mostly meant a machine that could run all those awesome pirated games. But few were willing to spend more than the price of a blank disk, (or maybe a trapdoor RAM expansion) to do it.


Only the pros with the big box Amigas. Than then needed pirate copied of that awesome Amiga software. Because the hardware cost a small fortune.

Quote:
Imagine if Doom was released for the Amiga in 1993, complete with a video port dongle that did 256 chunky colors. Amiga fans would buy it in droves - not. The only reason Doom was so popular in the first place was that it was shareware, so you could try it out for free and then upgrade your machine if you wanted a better experience. Having to buy the dongle first was a non-starter for miserly Amiga fans. Most couldn't run it anyway. Hell, many PC users couldn't run Doom when it first came out, because the average PC back then didn't have enough memory. It also needed 24MB of hard drive space to install the full game.


That's an interesting concept. I would say it would be best to target the A1200 even if it was new. Mostly because it was faster, more suited to the time and the big clincher--it could been produced as a plug in cartridge in the underused card slot. I'm not aware of any games that plugged in to the card slot. This could have allowed a fast boot ROM and/or a built in video port. After it got popular elsewhere Amiga people would have wanted it!

Quote:
But this is all off topic. We are supposed to be talking about porting AmigaOS 4 to x86. Modern PC hardware is so powerful that we have nothing to worry about when it comes to supporting legacy Amiga programs that work with bitplanes. Adding support in the OS for chunky bitmaps etc. shouldn't be hard.


Well, we were. Chunky is supported as it is in 68K as RTG. But, translating bitplanes to chunky is another matter. Screens are in in CLUT just like all Amiga modes. HAM is harder as it needs hi colour minimum. But the hardest I would say is how and when to translate bitplane writes.

Quote:
The answer is simple. Provide a means for legacy code to think it's doing it, but in reality is being sandboxed.


Given OS3 and OS4 are on almost equal standing I think this would be needed eventually. But, this would be an extensive work. A new OS framework would need to be built then a legacy sandbox created inside it.

Quote:
I have never been a fan of forbid/permit, and only use them where absolutely necessary. Similarly I avoid playing with system structures. But all this is pretty irrelevant when the code needs to be recompiled anyway. While you are doing that you will of course make the few changes necessary to suit the new platform.


I'm the same way with my code.

Quote:
am not an OS 4 user so I have to ask all of you - what exactly would you want to preserve when porting it to x86, that would be a problem? Seem to me the only real impediment is that the source code is proprietary.


I think core modules like Workbench, DOS and Intuition but modernised. Workbench needs... err.. some work and a bit of it. DOS did use TRIPOS and not the CAOS it should have but I like how it works and would prefer the same design and updated so scripting is easier. Intuition went OOP but was hacked to do so in standard C so actually using a proper OOP language would be a must. Most other things where the outward appearance can be familiar but internally lots of changes are in place. And of course transparent support of 68K and PPC.

That's software but what about hardware? I don't think we could expect it to work on any PC board. More likely than not a board would need to be designed or one chosen as compatible and then firmware adapted to run it.

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bhabbott 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 25-Jun-2022 0:30:12
#326 ]
Regular Member
Joined: 6-Jun-2018
Posts: 116
From: Aotearoa

@Hypex

Quote:

Hypex wrote:
@bhabbott

Quote:
'Certain' games perhaps, but for most the problem was moving large objects around quickly - and nobody was thinking about doing that 1 pixel at a time.


Don't know where now but I found this old texture map demo on Aminet. It was scrolling some type of 3d road. I recall looking at the code and wondering what it was doing. It had this strange routine converting all this data. Later on I discovered it was a packed to planar routine.

I remember a few texture map demos too - not the kind of stuff you would want in a 2d game.

Quote:
Same thing for Legends of Valour. For some reason I spent time playing games then disassembling then and running them through a debugger. I found this quirky routine in the game as well. Again, it a 3d routine. Then a packed to planar converter.

Hardly surprising considering it was originally produced for the PC. But...

Legends of Valour
Quote:
Legends was first developed on PC using texture mapping, but this could not be directly ported to the Amiga version, as "on the Amiga each pixel is represented by a number of bits scattered over several bytes...

"We did the Amiga first as a texture-mapped polygon game like the PC but it was so slow because the maths is a nightmare ... So what we're now doing is ray-tracing the player's view, which is a scheme Ian came up with for the PC but we never had time to do." Programmers for the Amiga port, Graham Lilley and Paul Woakes, implemented ray tracing for the Amiga version to help the game run better, "and solved any problems there were" with it.[5] The One's interviewer notes that ray tracing the 3D scenes is more complicated mathematically, to which Bulmer responds that "It is and it should be incredibly slow ... But it isn't. Now we know why it works but we're not telling anybody else! Theoretically the Amiga version should be playing on an 8MHz 286 PC but using this technique we've developed it's more like playing on 16MHz 386. It's given us a huge increase in performance. In fact, we want to take it back over to the PC for the sequel when we get time."


Quote:
The Workbench screen was 2 bits depth so window layers had to be bliited twice per place.

Yes, but the amount blitted is about the same whether packed or planar. Small blits are less efficient, but inherently fast so it doesn't matter. Large blits are where you would notice a slowdown more, but here the setup overhead is small.

Quote:
Quote:
Ever tried using a 16MHz 386-SX with 256 colors in Windows? Dog slow doesn't begin to describe it.


No, I've never seen that configuration. Windows 3.1? But that's way more colours.

Maybe you never saw it because nobody used it because it was too slow. But most 386-SX PCs had that screen mode, just like the A1200 does. Difference is PC users weren't masochists.

Quote:
Quote:
I use 8 colors on my A1200 because it's plenty enough and saves precious ChipRAM. Anything that needs more colors opens its own screen where it has full control over the palette and doesn't have to compete with other apps for screen space.


That's about as much as OS3.1 uses. But I wanted to have backdrops.

I have a backdrop too.

Quote:
I found that most are line emulators that execute a lines worth of code then perform a chunky to planar routine!

Most 'modern' emulators do that because it's easier to get accurate rendering, but it uses a lot of CPU cycles which isn't good for low powered machines. Some video game emulators are even worse - they simulate the physical circuit including any analog parts, which is incredibly time consuming.

Quote:
Yes, my first Amiga was an A500 with Enhancer package and FastFonts. I can imagine why it was faster. It was likely almost as many writes setting up the blitter as it was actually writing it to the bitmap. The blitter was useful for large blocks at random locations but strings would be written letter by letter.

To be fair, other machines of the time like the PC also had very slow text rendering when going through the BIOS one character at a time. At least on the Amiga you could render a whole line at once, and the blitter worked in parallel with the CPU so it could be doing other stuff at the same time.

Quote:
That's an interesting concept. I would say it would be best to target the A1200 even if it was new. Mostly because it was faster, more suited to the time and the big clincher--it could been produced as a plug in cartridge in the underused card slot. I'm not aware of any games that plugged in to the card slot. This could have allowed a fast boot ROM and/or a built in video port. After it got popular elsewhere Amiga people would have wanted it!

Commodore imagined that cartridge games would be developed for the PCMCIA slot. But it wasn't to be because the production cost was too high (ie. more then the price of a blank disk). Cartridges on other computer platforms suffered a similar fate.

But a graphics card in the PCMCIA slot could be interesting. I am thinking of making a PCMCIA to ISA bus adapter so I can play with PC card cards on my A600 or A1200.

Quote:
Chunky is supported as it is in 68K as RTG. But, translating bitplanes to chunky is another matter. Screens are in in CLUT just like all Amiga modes. HAM is harder as it needs hi colour minimum. But the hardest I would say is how and when to translate bitplane writes.

I don't see a problem. Modern PCs regularly translate graphics formats for rendering and have plenty of CPU power to do it.

Quote:
Given OS3 and OS4 are on almost equal standing I think this would be needed eventually. But, this would be an extensive work. A new OS framework would need to be built then a legacy sandbox created inside it.

I don't think anybody thought it would just be a matter of changing a few #defines and recompiling on the new platform, so yeah - it will be a lot of work. But hey, that's the fun part!

Quote:
That's software but what about hardware? I don't think we could expect it to work on any PC board. More likely than not a board would need to be designed or one chosen as compatible and then firmware adapted to run it.

And then we are back to square one. The whole reason for going x86 is to use standard PC hardware!

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Karlos 
Re: Port AmigaOS 4 to x86
Posted on 25-Jun-2022 14:16:35
#327 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 24-Aug-2003
Posts: 2478
From: As-sassin-aaate! As-sassin-aaate! Ooh! We forgot the ammunition!

@bhabbott

If I was calculating some form of per pixel effect, that doesn't have any dependency on being able to read previous or neighbouring pixels, I'd probably do it into a tiny buffer of 32 pixels at a fixed location and then c2p that buffer directly to a span of 8 bit planar pixels. If I was doing it for an 040+, I might even go larger, depending on whether or not there's a speed advantage to being able to do the c2p in a cache buffer and move16 to the planes.

_________________
Doing stupid things for fun...

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