Posts by radacha

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Don't Panic. Please wash hands.

    I thought I'd reinvigorate this thread a bit. I've also been experiencing ghosting with the Indivision ECS V2, and although it can be considered "tolerable", I expected better. This is the only iComp product I'm not completely happy with, and my A500 is pretty stacked with iComp products (ACA500plus, ACA1221lc, ACE2, A512, RTC module, CA-PSU).

    I tried pretty much all fixes suggested in this thread (thanks everybody), without any noticeable improvement. I'd be in the market for the mentioned hardware mod.

    Many people think like that, which is why we continue to make 68020 and 68030 cards. The ACA1221lc is surprisingly fast for a 68020!

    Oh yeah! I purchased it when I got tired of waiting for the 030 accelerators to be restocked, and didn't regret it. Running off my ACA500plus at the default 26MHz, and SysInfo shows it to be faster than a stock A3000. Almost 100% compatible with 68000 stuff (an odd demo may have problems, and some of those can be made to work by fiddling with menu options). It can be overclocked to 40MHz, but I see no need to do it.

    OK, I tried several other options. Let me summarize.

    It is evident that there is no universal solution for switching the ACE2(b) to PAL mode at startup. If you don't have an accelerator that supports this (like the ACA500plus), the following should cover all needs (at least it covers all of mine):

    1. For booting stuff off floppies, there is the bootblock from this thread,

    2. WHDLOAD supports setting screens to PAL mode (I finally RTFM) by adding "PAL" to the tooltypes of the individual game/demo, or to the global preferences file,

    3. For running programs from workbench that don't run in a window and/or can't set their own mode, there are mode promotion tools available from aminet, like ModePro and NewMode. NewMode works well for me.

    Doubtful for two reasons:

    1) there is no card that even comes close to being "similar" to the ACA500plus

    2) If there are two patches at the same time doing the opposite thing, all kinds of unpredictable things can happen.

    Thanks for your test - since the underlying idea of the boot block is identical to the menu item in the ACA500plus, only a hardware solution can improve things here. I have already written that on my idea-list for the ACA2000 :-)

    1) Yeah, yeah, I know... I'm aware of and appreciate the unique features of the ACA500plus. I meant "other cards of that general type" with a 60000 or 020, a little RAM, IDE controller, maybe some card slots... And trying to exclude the one which you consider not to be an Amiga.

    2) Now that you mention it, I did experience some strange behavior from the ACA500plus after using the bootblock and booting into WB3.1 from SD card (I had PAL/NTSC forcing switched off): often it wouldn't boot but rather just show the menu screen with the profile page I selected, with the dismo displaying 99 after circulating through a few other numbers. I wasn't sure whether this was caused by the bootblock, my fiddling with Indivision settings I did in the meantime, or dirty contacts. A mix of cold restarts, ACA500plus profile saves, Indivision profile saves and contact cleaning seems to have made it go away. Could it have been caused by the bootblock?

    From my experience forcing PAL from the ACA500plus works perfectly, but I can imagine it wouldn't be enough for the ACA2000 since it potentially needs to compete for initialization privileges with other cards. However, why not implement a hardware solution on the ACE2(b) itself? (ACE2c? ACE2f? ACE2pn?) Have a jumper or switch to set it forcing PAL/NTSC/Off?

    Here's a bootblock that I hope works better and fixes more titles.

    It shouldn't crash anymore, and it should also coerce the system a bit more into PAL.

    I tested the new bootblock with more games than before - A500 with the stock 68000, Kickstart 1.3, ACE2 and Indivision ECS V2, using a Gotek. All games I tried work in PAL mode: Pinball Fantasies, Another World, Batman, Bubble Bobble, IK+, Lemmings, Pang, Rainbow Islands, The Secret of Monkey Island, Sensible Soccer, Speedball 2, Eye of the Beholder 1, Flashback, Gods, Ishar 1, Ishar 2, Dune. Only Dyna Blaster switches back to NTSC, but it looks like that's because it really wants to, and it doesn't crash in the process.

    For "control" I used my ACA500plus in classic cloaking mode, 1MB chip, forcing PAL. All games work exactly the same.

    So I can conclude that at least for this small subset of games, the new bootblock works just as well as the ACA500plus for forcing PAL mode.

    Just for kicks I tried the bootblock with my ususal ACA500plus profile only without forcing PAL, KS3.1, Workbench 3.1 booting off the CF card, but the Amiga switches back to NTSC and crashes. Users of other similar cards could have better luck, though.

    The Vampire stuff will be impossible to debug for us, as we don't have any Vampire card, and also we're not so keen on debugging other people's hardware. I've expressed criticism before about the (non-)testing procedures that Vampire uses, and I believe it's not required to go into more detail. The amount of complexity that Vampire adds to such a problem is in a truly bad relation to the problem itself. The easiest thing they could do is to just flip the PAL/NTSC bit on read/write to the respective register, as that's really easy to do if you have full control over the CPU.

    Thanks for the reply, Jens.

    Of course I don't expect you to debug the Vampire, you have enough of your own hardware to take care of :)

    In the meantime I found plenty of mode switchers on aminet, I'll give them a try. Some of them seem to be more complex than a one-liner, but I'm not very hopeful.

    I could also try to file a feature request with the Apollo Team, since it does seem to be an easy thing to implement. In order to be as specific as possible, could you please tell me the name of the respective register?

    If all else fails I can always use my ACA500plus for the PAL games, for me it's an easy switch since I have the Vampire plugged to the Amiga externally through the Lazarus CPU relocator board. However, for people without the luxury of having a Lazarus and/or ACA500plus such a fix could be pretty useful.

    We have such a bootblock, but we somehow lost interest in it. I don't have NTSC hardware to test with. You find it attached. Please report back if it works for you. It's supposed to be installed on one disk. Boot with this disk to switch to PAL. Then remove the disk, then insert the disk that you actually wish to boot. It's supposed to continue booting with the second disk in PAL mode.

    Thanks. I can report the following:

    On my A500 with the stock 68000, Kickstart 1.3, ACE2 and Indivision ECS V2, using a Gotek, switchboot.adf works with some games (Pinball Fantasies, Lemmings), but not with others (Bubble Bobble, Another World) where it gurus before booting the game. It continues to boot, but in NTSC mode.

    With the Vampire V2+, nothing I tried could make it work - doing it after a power-cycle or Ctrl+A+A, booting from Gotek or CF card after switchboot, doing the two-finger salute and selecting PAL mode from the boot menu (of Coffin R58). Sometimes it gurus, sometimes it doesn't, but each time the machine reverts back to NTSC after switchboot sets it to PAL.

    Is it possible to package this as a program that can be run from startup-sequence?