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hardware OS4   hardware OS4 : New core for the Minimig
   posted by TheDaddy on 4-Sep-2008 7:37:56 (7429 reads)
Great news, Jakub and Dennis have released the new core (firmware) for the Minimig, lots of improvements!
Many games like 'Gods' now work and some nice little touches have been added like Menu available from joystick and write support to ADF images!
(Read more)


Read all about it here.
...and then go here for the download.
(Please read the readme.txt file first.)


Enjoy!

P.S. If you need an enclosure for your Minimig, I have still have some left, just email me: amigarulez@hotmail.com

Thank you.
    

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PosterThread
Darrin 
Re: New core for the Minimig
Posted on 4-Sep-2008 10:02:37
#1 ]
Team Member
Joined: 14-May-2003
Posts: 1941
From: Lake Charles, USA

Here's the text from the included "readme" file explaining some of the changes:

Minimig firmware release 2008-08-04 by Jakub Bednarski.

FPGA core version : FYQ080729
68K bootloader version : BYQ080717
PIC firmware version : PYQ080725

Minimig copyright 2006-2008 by Dennis van Weeren.


How to install:

- Remove any jumpers from SPARE I/O header.
- Put "minimig1.bin" on your SD/MMC card.
- Using Tiny Bootloader application program PIC's flash memory with "firmware.hex" file.
If you are experiencing problems:
1. Make sure you have bootloader programmed into your PIC.
2. Take care about pressing the PGM/RESET button in appropriate moment.


Features:


Scan doubler:

- added vertical and horizontal interpolation (selectable independently for hires and lores)
- semi-transparent osd window with active line highlight


OSD menu:

- added alternative control by joystick (up and down signals activated simultaneously invoke menu)
- configuration of: (configuration is stored in non-volatile memory inside the PIC)
* memory options (512KB chip, 1MB chip, 512KB chip/512KB slow, 1MB chip/512KB slow)
* video interpolation filters (vertical and horizontal interpolation for hires and lowres)
* kickstart
- both 256 and 512 KB non-encrypted kickstart files are supported (256KB kickstart takes 512KB of RAM)
- stored filename is limited to 8 characters of letters A-Z and numbers 0-9
- if stored kickstat file is missing default "kick.rom" file is loaded
- kickstart file can be uploaded at run time without its name beeing stored in non-volatile memory (test purposes)
- system reset from the OSD menu (no need for keyboard)


New 68K bootloader (with video text mode).

- displays information about firmware version and chipset configuration
- allows to monitor the booting process


Chipset changes:

- ECS blitter (Agnus is identified as ECS)
- PAL/NTSC selection support (different FPGA core for initial settings)
- modified blanking timing (better compatibility)
- modified display dma engine (better compatibility)
- modified sprite dma engine (better compatibility)
- modified copper timing (better compatibility)
- modified floppy interface (better read and write support)
- modified keyboard and mouse interface (better compatibility)


Write support to ADF images:

Since standard ADF images don't contain the MFM track data only write of sectors which conform to standard sector
format is supported. It means that any attempt of non-standard sector write (i.e. long tracks) will be rejected
and appropriate error message will be reported.
Write protection status is read from the Read-Only file attribute. There is no option to change it on the Minimig.


Action Replay III module:

It was mandatory developing tool for finding bugs in current and future firmware implementations.
Maybe someone will find it useful for other applications.
It requires 256KB "AR3.ROM" file to be present on the SD/MMC card. The latest 3.17 rom version is only compatible
with kickcstart 1.3 (34.5) and 2.04 (37.175). If the ROM file is missing the module is disabled.
It can be disabled even though the ROM file is present on the flash card. To do so you need to press and hold
the "MENU" button on the Minimig while loading kickstart. It can only be done during initial booting after power-up.
When enabled it takes one 512KB RAM bank so max. 1MB is available for chip and slow RAM.
The "FREEZE" button is Ctrl+Break.


Thanks to:

Dennis for his great Minimig
Loriano for impressive enclosure
Darrin and Oscar for their involvement, ideas, support and help
Toni for his indispensable help and logic analyzer (and WinUAE)


_________________
AmigaOne X1000, A4000(T), A3000, A2000, A1200(T), A1200, A500, CD32, Minimig+ARM, FPGA Arcade, Chameleon64, C-One, C128, C128D, C64C, C64, VIC-20, CBM 8032, CBM4032, Efika, Ultimate64

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Darrin 
Re: New core for the Minimig
Posted on 4-Sep-2008 10:03:24
#2 ]
Team Member
Joined: 14-May-2003
Posts: 1941
From: Lake Charles, USA

And, just to get you even more excited, here's the results of my testing with the beta cores which should behave like the final ones released here:

All tests done with PIC latest update and beta PAL core set for 512KB Chip/1MB Fast and 60Hz mod unless stated otherwise with ADF write support.

Menace: The bug which allowed you to see the mothership being "drawn" has now been fixed with the intro now showing a smooth scrolling ship launching the fighter. However, the bug where the fighter's shield are run down with what is probably bad collision detection with the background graphics remain (I think I remember this problem with early versions of WinUAE which has since been fixed).

Rodland: Now working perfectly. Before, the score area on the right hand side of the screen was missing.

Pacmania: Now working perfectly. Before, the maze graphics were completely corrupted.

Settlers: Now working perfectly. Before, the menu buttons for issuing commands was corrupted and unreadable.

Desert Strike: Now working perfectly. Used to give a disk error while trying to load.

Detroit ECS: Seems to work perfectly (1MB/0.5MB). Before, used to hang when displaying the intro graphics at the modern silver car. I created several blank ADFs using WinUAE and copied them to the SD card. I used one to save the game and then rebooted and successfully reloaded the saved game. Lots of disk swapping though - needs a hard drive install or 2 floppy drives. It also seems to keep the list of saved games on the 1st game disk so it needs to write to that too,

Elite: Game worked before, tested ability to make a non-DOS save game. Inserted a pre prepared "blank ADF", formatted it from the game menu, saved game, checked catalogue - OK, rebooted Minimig, loaded game, loaded save position - works perfectly.

Alien Breed: Before the main player sprite was invisible. Game now seems to work perfectly except with some small random graphics corruption that appears for a split second between "scene changes", such as between the intro text and the start of level 1. I thought that the doors could be "shot" open using a lot of ammo, but they don't now - however this may have been a feature of the later Alien Breed games where there were 2 types of doors (ones that could be shot open and those that couldn't).

Troddlers: Works perfectly. Before the main player sprite was invisible.

Lemmings 2 - The Tribes: Used to lock up and guru after the crack screen. Now works perfectly.

Cannon Fodder 1 - Still works and it is confirmed that the reason for the dark flashing "lockup" is that people with only 1 drive have to insert disk #1 and then reinsert the previous disk each time.

Alien Breed 92 SE: Used to lock up after Super Frog advertisement. Seems to work perfectly. Doors can be shot open so this may have been introduced in the Special Edition and Alien Breed is working fine.

X-Out: Used to lock up after the crack display. Works perfectly.

Walker: Used to lock up after crack intro. Works perfectly.

Hostages: Still has the same problem where the SWAT team are immediately shot and killed as soon as they break cover.

Cannon Fodder 2: Works perfectly. Yes!!!

Wing Commander: Game works fine and it saves to Disk 2. I quit the game and reloaded the save position, flew a mission - got killed - works great.

Lotus3: Completed a race fine. Music and graphics are flawless.

Addams Family: Used to lock up during theme music, but now works OK.

Bards Tale: Game works perfectly. Character disk allows deletion/creation of party members.

Federation of Free Traders: Seems to run, but I'm buggered if I can remember the controls. Attempting to make a save game disk from a blank ADF results in a WriteTrack error #22. This is due to non-standard code for floppy disk control.

Carrier Command: When attempting to write to a safe game disk is reports WriteTrack error #23. It doesn't ask for a formatted disk, just states that it wants to write to 1 of 4 areas on the disk. Same problem as FOFT, non-standard floppy controller code.

Bards Tale 3: Works perfectly. Disk 2 is the save game disk.

Frontier - Elite 2: Works perfectly. Can save and reload from main game disk.

Chaos Engine: works.

Cannon Fodder: Started formatting a blank ADF then screen went blank. Disk activity continued (light flashing) and finally stopped. Screen remained blank and I had to reset the Minimig. I reloaded Cannon Fodder and then tried to save to the ADF I previously tried to format and the game appeared to save. I played a level and then reloaded the saved game position and it found my data and reloaded it perfectly. I tried to format another ADF file to see if that made a difference and got the same crash midway through the format.

Speedball 2: didn't work at first, locked up.... until I tried toggling between PAL and NTSC mode on the crack intro screen by right clicking the right mouse button and then it worked fine.

Populous: Works fine. NOTE: I tried one ADF that wouldn’t work.

Syndicate. Works perfectly, however here’s some of my testing notes: My Syndicate disk 2 already has a DARRIN game saved in slot 7 from playing it using WinUAE. I had been trying to overwrite this saved game and then getting the "Insert Disk 2" error. Anyway, I loaded the backup ADF image from the PC as you requested, attempted to save over the position and got the same error again. I then rebooted the Minimig and saved to empty slot 8 and it worked. I loaded from slot 8 and then resaved over the existing file in slot 8 with no problems. I guess my slot 7 has been corrupted somehow when saving from WinUAE. I've attached the ADF with my slot 8 save. SO BEWARE OF AN ADF THAT HAS BEEN “WRITTEN TO” BY WinUAE.

UFO Enemy Unknown ECS version (or X-Com depending on where you bought it): Works and saves fine (apart from the disk swapping). It wouldn't work before as it needs to save to disk 3 as the game plays.

DUNE 2 (6 disks plus 1 save game disk): Works perfectly. Formats a save game disk from a blank ADF and games save fine. Needs Hard Drive support as it's a real pain to play off floppies.

Colonization: When I went to save the game I discovered that I needed a disk named "COLONIZATIONSAVES". This needs to be created before the program runs and is simply an Amiga formatted disk with that name.

Alien Breed Tower Assault: Works perfectly. I used disk #2 to format and create a Hard Drive Install disk and is appeared to complete the task (unfortunately I can't test it).

Barbarian (Psynosis): Locks up and doesn't work. Needs a modified ADF which is in limited circulation.

Barbarian 2 (Psynosis): Works perfectly.

Railroad Tycoon: Works perfectly.

Sensible World of Soccer: Works perfectly. Formatted a save game disk, saved career, reloaded.

Populous 2: Works perfect. Saves games to Disk #2. Saved and reloaded game.

Pirates: Works perfect. Games save to a standard Amiga formatted disk.

Sim Ant: Works perfectly. Saves and loads to/from game disks. Hi Res version won't run, but I think that is because it needs at least 2MB of RAM.

Microprose Golf: Works perfectly and saves to game data disks.

Nuclear War: Works perfectly.

Millennium 2.2: Works perfect. Formats and saves to a game disk.

R-Type: Works Perfectly.

Shadow Dancer: Minor graphics corruption - 8 lines drawn down each screen in intro, but vanishes during game play.

Twintris: Works perfectly.

It Came From The Desert: Works fine, needs a save game disk called "DSAVE".


Now, go and buy a Minimig!

Last edited by Darrin on 04-Sep-2008 at 10:43 AM.
Last edited by Darrin on 04-Sep-2008 at 10:21 AM.


_________________
AmigaOne X1000, A4000(T), A3000, A2000, A1200(T), A1200, A500, CD32, Minimig+ARM, FPGA Arcade, Chameleon64, C-One, C128, C128D, C64C, C64, VIC-20, CBM 8032, CBM4032, Efika, Ultimate64

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Mufasa 
Re: New core for the Minimig
Posted on 4-Sep-2008 10:20:23
#3 ]
Member
Joined: 6-Apr-2004
Posts: 54
From: Herning, Denmark

Great news indeed, and well done

Please keep up all your good work. Respect for that .


_________________
Has now become the happy owner of a SAM460 System with AmigaOS 4.1

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nubechecorre 
Re: New core for the Minimig
Posted on 4-Sep-2008 12:55:31
#4 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 21-Nov-2003
Posts: 895
From: San remo -Italy-

That is great !!!!!


_________________
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OS4Games
Iksnet
Bitplane

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Darrin 
Re: New core for the Minimig
Posted on 4-Sep-2008 14:12:18
#5 ]
Team Member
Joined: 14-May-2003
Posts: 1941
From: Lake Charles, USA

I've updated the Minimig games Wikki, so here's a more complete list of what works:

http://www.opencircuits.com/Minimig_Software_compatibility

Some games are listed several times because they have been tested with different cores. The ones marked 080408 have been tested or retested using the new core/PIC update.


_________________
AmigaOne X1000, A4000(T), A3000, A2000, A1200(T), A1200, A500, CD32, Minimig+ARM, FPGA Arcade, Chameleon64, C-One, C128, C128D, C64C, C64, VIC-20, CBM 8032, CBM4032, Efika, Ultimate64

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kyle 
Re: New core for the Minimig
Posted on 4-Sep-2008 17:12:42
#6 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 15-Oct-2006
Posts: 865
From: Livorno, Italy

Great!!

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Darrin 
Re: New core for the Minimig
Posted on 4-Sep-2008 19:52:47
#7 ]
Team Member
Joined: 14-May-2003
Posts: 1941
From: Lake Charles, USA

I got a PM asking how to update the PIC with the new hex file. Yaqube posted a guide in in a thread on Amiga.org many months ago so I’ve dug it up and copied it below.

What you need:

Minimig
Null Modem serial cable – a normal serial cable will not work unless it has a null modem adapter.
PC with a serial port
Tiny Bootloader – free software downloadable from the Internet

#1: Connect the Minimig to an appropriate serial port on a PC using your NULL MODEM serial cable.

#2: Set jumper on Minimig to from “FPGA” to the “MCU” position.

#3: Switch the Minimig on.

#4: Download and run the Tiny Bootloader program on the PC.

#5: Select the correct COM port and rate (115200)

#6: Press the "CheckPIC" button on the Tiny Boodloader display.

#7. Quickly press “PGM RESET” on the Minimig motherboard within FOUR SECONDS to establish communications between the Minimig and Tiny Bootloader on the PC.

If you succeed you should see something like the following message in a log window:

Connected to \\.\COM1 at 115200
Searching for PIC ...
Found:18F 252o/452o

If you don't you will see:

Connected to \\.\COM1 at 115200
Searching for PIC ...Not found,
ERROR!

If you get the error repeat steps #6 and #7.

#8: On Tiny Bootloader select the hex update file that needs to be written to the PIC.

#9: Select "Write Flash" on Tiny Bootloader and immediately press the reset button on the Minimig motherboard.

If you succeed you will see something like the following message:

Connected to \\.\COM1 at 115200
HEX: 6 days old, INHX8M,18Fcode, total=14552 bytes.
Searching for PIC ...
Found:18F 252o/452o
WRITE OK at 20:55, time:7.173 sec

MAKE SURE YOU LET TINY BOOTLOADER FINISH WRITING TO THE PIC BEFORE YOU UNPLUG THE MINIMIG!!!

#10: With the Minimig switched off, move the “MCU” jumper on the Minimig back to the old position “FPGA”


_________________
AmigaOne X1000, A4000(T), A3000, A2000, A1200(T), A1200, A500, CD32, Minimig+ARM, FPGA Arcade, Chameleon64, C-One, C128, C128D, C64C, C64, VIC-20, CBM 8032, CBM4032, Efika, Ultimate64

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kyle 
Re: New core for the Minimig
Posted on 4-Sep-2008 21:21:19
#8 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 15-Oct-2006
Posts: 865
From: Livorno, Italy

Thyanks, this's very helpfull

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_Steve_ 
Re: New core for the Minimig
Posted on 6-Sep-2008 17:43:21
#9 ]
Team Member
Joined: 17-Oct-2002
Posts: 6784
From: UK

This is some great news for minimig owners. It's good to see the core still being actively worked on and bugs/issues slowly ironed out in it.


_________________
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Darrin 
Re: New core for the Minimig
Posted on 6-Sep-2008 18:36:29
#10 ]
Team Member
Joined: 14-May-2003
Posts: 1941
From: Lake Charles, USA

Quote:
Poster: _Steve_ Date: 6-Sep-2008 12:43:21

This is some great news for minimig owners. It's good to see the core still being actively worked on and bugs/issues slowly ironed out in it.


This new update really does turn the Minmig into a real A500+ replacement (ECS and 512/1024 RAM) now that it can write to ADFs.

Development hasn't stopped either. It's only a matter of time before the Hard File support is implemented and we'll have a great games machine available with no moving parts and the only sound you'll hear will be the speakers and the clicking of the joystick microswitches.


_________________
AmigaOne X1000, A4000(T), A3000, A2000, A1200(T), A1200, A500, CD32, Minimig+ARM, FPGA Arcade, Chameleon64, C-One, C128, C128D, C64C, C64, VIC-20, CBM 8032, CBM4032, Efika, Ultimate64

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kyle 
Re: New core for the Minimig
Posted on 9-Oct-2008 18:26:33
#11 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 15-Oct-2006
Posts: 865
From: Livorno, Italy

I just bought a serial null modem cable, trying to update the PIC at point number 7 I obtain this error:

Connected to \\. \COM1 at 115200
Searching for PIC...
pic sending Unknown data: "K" 4Dh=M
Check baudrate & Start Write while PIC is not sending serial data (e.g. in reset)
ERROR!

What's wrong?
What can I do?

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