The new version of our P96 software for Amiga graphics cards is now available in our shop. Highlights of this new release are emulation of EHB mode (64-colour mode of the Amiga chipset) and support of the RainbowII card, which is identical to the BSC Framemaster. Further, the Commodore A2410 board is supported - this card is also known as the "Tiga card". This driver is still in an early development phase, and it does not yet use DMA. Further, P96Prefs and P96ScreenCX are now part of the package - the latter for multi-monitor operation with a native Amiga screen alongside the GFX card's output.
Detailed changes in release 3.4.0:
- Added emulation for Extra Half Bright mode. It is enabled along with planar emulation.
- Planar emulation is now disabled if the board does not support a chunky mode required for planar emulation. This should be really rare, though.
- Allocation of bitmaps failed in case the bitmap flags still contained the magic DPaint flag that CPU blitting is necessary.
- now prevents a crash in case a driver forgot to set the pixel clock of a mode to a non-zero value.
- The CVisionPPC card driver accepts now the MEMORYCLOCK tooltype which specifies the memory clock in MHz.
- The graphics.library functions ClearEOL() and ClearScreen() have been broken in all versions of Amiga OS, including AmigaOs 3.2.2. Luckely, they are rarely used (and should probably be avoided altogether). P96 now includes a re-implementation of the functions that should be safe.
- If GRANTDIRECTACCESS is set, P96 now disables the planar mode as it requires switching the Chain4 mode and thus modifies content under the feed of a potential user of the direct access. In such cases, the planar emulation can be used.
- The installer forgot to install the Cirrus5446 driver for the PicassoIV board.
- The S3Virge driver installed a maximum horizontal resolution of 1280 for everything beyond highcolor. This limit was increased to 1440 pixels.
- P96Prefs will no longer accept to create modes that the P96 core would refuse to create if they are beyond the bounds registered by the driver.
- P96 disables screen dragging on autoscroll screens because VGA chipsets cannot pan the dragged screen below the screen split positions. The current logic for determine autoscroll screens compared the bitmap width with the width of the video mode. This is not quite correct as bitmaps on some cards may be required to be wider than the mode width. On cards using VRAM, the line size must be a multiple of the VRAM shift register size.
- The CVision3D driver now also supports horizontal resolutions wider than 1280 pixels for high-color modes.
- P96 now supports even more graphics boards. This time, the RainbowII frame buffer and the CBM A2410 was added to the list of supported boards.
- The RainbowII is not very exiting as it only supports 32bit TrueColor in either PAL or NTSC, interlace or progressive, thus modes cannot be freely defined.
- RainbowII was also marketed as FrameMaster by BSC and Elaborate Bytes, the driver supports all three boards.
- The A2410 was CBM's only graphics board, originally designed by the University of Lowell. It is based on the TI TMS34010 chipset. The chip is an oddity as it does not provide direct access to its video RAM. Thus, its driver needs to play some tricks with the MMU and requires the mmu.library. The TMS34010 chip includes blitter functionalities the driver uses when possible, though still needs to render by the CPU itself into a "mirror framebuffer". Thus, everything will be pretty slow. Again, note that you *need* the mmu.library for the A2410.
- The physical dimensions of the monitor in millimeters can now be put into the monitor icon tooltypes as MONITORWIDTH and MONITORHEIGHT. This allows P96 to compute the resolution of all modes on the monitor. Note that the tooltypes are in millimeters, not in pixels.
- The P96 distribution includes now additonal contributions: The P96Prefs program is the new style preferences editor. It replaces the Picasso96Mode if the target operating system is Os 3.2 or better.
- P96Mode did not compute the monitor limit frequency correctly, fixed.
- P96Mode did not check whether the board type as indicated in the board is correct.
- In case more than one board was installed, P96Prefs could have shown a dummy resolution of 320x200 pixels that is only for internal use.
- P96Prefs disabled modes if the requested clock frequency differed too much from the actual clock frequency. This is no longer the case.
- Additonal contributions are the Native monitor driver and the P96ScreenCX commodity.
- Updated the installer script to also install contributions and localizations.
- Again, I want to thank Samir and Javier for updating the Italian and Spanish catalogs of P96Prefs, and most of all Thomas Richter for his continued work on P96.
As usual, download of the new version is free if you have purchased a P96 license in the past 12 months.