Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Retro meeting, CZ and 1080p video on AmigaOS 4 with A1222

 I didn't expect to have any time to write a blog post in June (same as May and April), but as it turned out I did, so here I am!

Work is currently crazy, and issues with family care are taking way too much of my time. I won't bore you too much with the details except to say it is all taking a lot out of me. I am exhausted. 

I did manage to make it to the early May Adelaide Retro Computer group meeting. 

It was Commodore themed night, and there was no way I was going to miss it.

I couldn't bring anything as I didn't have any spare time to prepare a system to take, but I was determined to go and enjoy the night!

I helped Ash get his Amiga 1200 to playback MIDI music - was great to get it all working:

This MIDI-32 is a Roland simulation running on a Raspberry Pi.

After downloading a lot of software and setup work on the A1200, which was a vanilla Workbench 3.0 setup, I got it working during the evening:

There were plenty of other Commodore machines around too, C64, C128, Amigas and even Commodore PC systems:

For me, back in the day, I mostly saw Commodore Colt PC's - the later ones I was not really familiar with so much, so it was good to see some of these later models too. 

This case below really reminds me a little bit of the Amiga 4000 desktop case:

Here is some more Commodore PC's:

Commodore Vic20 and C64's were everywhere:

A lot of people are not using real floppy drives on their C64's anymore it seems - cartridges, tape cart, SD2IEC or 1541UltimateII carts abound.

Commodore C64C models too - not just bread bins:

Commodore Amiga 500 and the A500 Mini system:

It was a great night and I had a great time. 

If you haven't been and you are in Adelaide, head along and take a look!

Shortly after the meeting, I then travelled to Czech Republic again for work for much of May, and so I had little time to spend on my computers during May as a result. 

I had 17 hours and 10 minutes of staring at this screen on Qantas from Perth to London to keep me occupied, while seated extremely uncomfortably in Economy as usual...noice cancelling headphones are critical! 

Also add to that another 4 hours transit in Perth, 3 hours Qantas flight first from Adelaide, 4 hours transit in Heathrow, then another 2 hours on British Airways from London to Prague. 30 hours travel in total. 

Exhausted when I arrived, and with a 9.5 hour time change to manage too. Took me a week to get used to the time change - waking up wide awake every day at 2:30am is not fun..

Prague being in Spring, (Adelaide is in autumn and heading into Winter), it was beautiful weather on arrival. 

I was working very hard on this trip, block-booked all day every day with meetings and training sessions at the company headquarters located in Prague. 

On the weekend, I managed a brief break to visit a restaurant I really wanted to visit in Prague - called Hoxton Burgers. 

Why I hear you ask? 

Probably closely followed by "seriously what has any of this got to do with computers"? 

Hold on, explanation is incoming.

This restaurant is half owned by the one and only Tim Simenon, the retired musician responsible for Bomb The Bass. He wrote great music from 1988's 'Into the Dragon' until 2014's 'In the sun' release. After this he retired from music and moved into food.  

I am a big fan of all his Bomb the Bass albums, and many unreleased songs and vinyl only releases he did that I also have in my collection.

Tim Simenon opened a restaurant in Prague called Brixton Balls that ran until its closure in 2019, and then this new joint venture from 2023, located near I.P Pavlova metro station. By the way, what a great name for a station...Pavlova is the name of a popular Australian dessert. :-)

I am sure Amiga fans know this already, but of course the computer link is that Megablast (Hip Hop on Precinct 13) song from Bomb the Bass was used in the soundtrack for the Amiga game Xenon II Megablast!

Tim Simenon also produced songs for lots of other artists, like Seal's 'Crazy', Adamski's 'Killer', Neneh Cherry, Depeche Mode and others too.

I tucked into one of Hoxton Burgers meals for lunch, and listened to lots of Bomb the Bass music while in his restaurant. I had hoped to meet Tim in person, but apparently he is only there in the evenings, and I didn't have the time to do that with my work schedule. But I was happy to just be there anyway. 

Thanks for all the amazing music Tim. Your restaurant makes great burgers too.

On my return home in late May, I tried to make some time to work on the AmigaOne A1222 system.

Continuing on from my previous post looking at the A1222 system, I proceeded to load lots of software on to the system, using and also standalone websites like which has the AmigaAmp music player.

I mentioned before about the music player TuneNet (which is included with Enhancer bundle and loaded on the A1222 by default). 

It is a good program, but I also like AmigaAmp, and it can use TuneNet plugins also. But it needs some extra files to play my favourite mod files.

To make AmigaAmp more useful, I wanted to install UADE (obtained from OS4Depot), which enables support of mods and other custom module file formats in TuneNet and also AmigaAmp.

I extracted to RAM: and got on with the installation:

I ran into an issue with UADE: assign error below on the installation, which I assigned to the RAM disk extracted folder location.

The install continued and prompted for the TuneNet plugins drawer:

Install done:

I then went into the S:User-startup to make sure the assign for UADE was in place correctly:

After a reboot, now I can play MOD, XM and IT modules in AmigaAmp (and TuneNet):

You can also get some great WinAmp skins for it, and they transform its look. For now though, I'll keep the default look.

Next I wanted to be able to play some games on A1222. Most games require SDL2 to be installed, so I downloaded it from OS4depot and installed it.

After rebooting it gave me a chance to show the early boot menu on the A1222, which you can access by pressing Escape key while the A1222 boot logo is pulsing and rotating.

Here you can Start AmigaOS or start Linux if you have it installed. I showed how to do that a long time ago here and later here showing Amiga emulation on it. Note that this linux distribution is no longer updated, so the version I tested is the last version you can run on A1222 - newer versions dropped PowerPC SPE builds.

The command line is available to run manual commands, which is unlikely unless you get into serious trouble or you just like to tinker.. :-)

You can also view the System Information in the early startup menu, which looks like this:

I also installed a library needed for many HunoPPC ported AmigaOS 4 games, which I licensed a long time ago called Lib Boosty GFX v2 from HunoPPC:

I then played a few AmigaOS 4 games to celebrate on my A1222 - Stargus, which is a port of Starcraft from the PC:

Next was the puzzle game Ami-Ingenious. Haven't played this game in years, having covered it in this blog a long time ago.

I also played the commercial released AmigaOS 4 game Gorky 17 that I covered in this blog back in 2015 too, which runs well on the A1222 as well:

You can run this full screen, but running in a window made screenshotting much easier.

I also ran the Rise of the Triad AmigaOS 4 port from HunoPPC, which runs well:

I have a lot of AmigaOS 4 games on my AmigaOne X1000 and X5000 systems. It is much easier to copy the games across to the A1222 rather than downloading them all again.

So I removed the 1TB SATA hard disk from my X1000, and connected to the A1222 using a USB to SATA converter I have, as below. Time for a coffee or 3...

Yes, I know my X1000 hard disk should be updated to SSD. I haven't had time to do it yet, but it is on the list...

I could then enjoy Spencer on my A1222, and it really is a good game. I know you can get it now on the Nintendo Switch too via the online store, but I am proud it was released first for AmigaOS4, using the Enhancer provided Warp 3D Nova OpenGL ES2 graphics support. 

Modern release games on AmigaOS. Love It.

As a kickstarter backer of the Tower 57 game, I paid for the AmigaOS 4 version of the game in addition to the Windows/Mac versions released with the game. I enjoy playing it on the A1222 too:

I should mention that the recently updated commercial released Heretic II (Hyperion) and Quake II (Alinea) games for AmigaOS 4 do NOT work on the A1222 as yet. They reportedly work fine on X1000 and X5000 systems but I have not bought them to try yet - just a warning for A1222 owners if you are thinking about it...

I tried out the free Prototype game on the A1222 (available on OS4depot) - as I expected, it did run a little bit slower than on the X1000 in places, but remains playable.

I tried the free Cro-Mag Rally game from OS4Depot next, which as I expected, ran slow on the A1222.

The issue is that modern 3D games that rely on FPU operations need to have SPE AmigaOS 4 builds of the program that support using the FPU emulation on the CPU on the A1222. 

If the AmigaOS 4 software is built for other PowerPC CPUs (that assume the standard FPU functionality is present), they run slow - sometimes REALLY slow.

I still won the race though.

A number of games are already seeing SPE builds for them under AmigaOS 4, and expect this support will improve over time.

Eldee Stephens (Eliyahu in Amiga forums), who is another fellow beta tester for the A1222, did a fantastic website for new A1222 owners here and also documented and tested a lot of games and applications for A1222. 

You can review that list here if you want to see how your favourite game/applications works under A1222. 

Thanks Eldee for your work to make this information available to all A1222 owners!

AmiCraft (Minecraft port for AmigaOS 4) works for me, but very slow, and nowhere near as fast as the X1000:

I also tried out FinalBurn Alpha for AmigaOS4 by HunoPPC, which to my surprise worked surprisingly well for playing various emulated arcade and other console system games on the A1222.

Next, I set up my login account credentials in Updater so I could install and update my purchased AmigaOS 4 applications onto the A1222.

Emotion - a simple video player I bought from AmiStore being one of them:

I loaded up some classic Amiga magazine in PDF form using AmiPDF too view - I believe RNO PDF is apparently superior - I should try it out also.

If you are interested in Amiga magazines, I did a whole blog post looking at the history of Amiga magazines from 1985 to present day. You can read more here.

Next I downloaded Ignition from OS4Depot, which is a modern spreadsheet software for AmigaOS4, and it is still regularly updated.

There is also add-on's for Ignition to be able to open Excel .xlsx documents. I plan to play around with this more soon.

I prepped a test spreadsheet in Excel on my Mac Pro to try out with Ignition:

Look out for a later blog post as I want to explore Ignition in more detail and see how this document looks in it as part of that.

As mentioned earlier in first blog post on the A1222 release in 2024, I need to update RunInUAE, the Amiga emulator, as the version included on the A1222 is the old one from the AmigaOS4.1 ISO.

I downloaded the latest version from Os4depot, and set to work installing it:

The installer detects the older install and prompts to upgrade it:

After the installation completed, I tested some classic Amiga games, and they work well on the A1222:


Banshee AGA:

Fred's Journey:

I could also use the 1.3 kickstart for more compatibility running newer demos that require a base A500 1.3 setup configuration - RunInUAE allows us to customise the launch for each ADF or executable, so it is very flexible:

I also tested some newer ECS demos, and they ran well also - double clicking on the demo in AmigaOS 4 with RunInUAE present means it automatically launches it into the UAE emulation:

I wanted to get the A1222 to playback 1080p video - the feature I have been unable to test so far as I couldn't physically fit the required Radeon RX cards into the InWin case I am using.

I also needed to buy a ATI Radeon RX550 card to use it. So I bought one and it soon arrived, brand new in box.

Here it is close up - Display Port, HDMI and DVI output:

This card doesn't fit in the A1222 InWin case, which of course I knew before I ordered it. Even though it is in theory a single slot card, the fan cover and heatsink raise it above the single slot height. In addition, it would need to be half width as chance with a card like this.

So I decided to bite the bullet and transplant the A1222 system into the older Sam460CR MIDI case.

You might be wondering why I don't just put The RX550 card in the Sam460CR system instead of the A1222 and avoid the transplant.

There is a few reasons why that can't happen. 

First up it needs a BIOS chip update to support RX cards. This is now available to buy, and actually, I ordered it as a bundle with the RX550 card from ACube Systems. Here it is:

I could in theory transplant the current BIOS chip for the newer version enabling the RX cards to work in the Sam460CR.

However, I then ran into a big problem that kills this option.

The Sam460CR has the PCI-e and PCI slot right next to each other. It is not possible for this RX550 to fit without removing the PCI card.

For the Sam460CR it has no SATA ports on the board itself - so it needs the PCI SATA card to provide the SATA ports for the hard disk and DVD drive.

For the older Sam460ex and newer Sam460LE models, the ports are spaced out more, but the CR they are much closer, I assume to fit the additional PCI-e x1 port below. Normally the PCI-e x1 slot has the sound card installed, since the CR has no onboard sound either. I removed it as I was using it on the A1222 while the onboard sound driver was still being developed. 

In this respect, the A1222 board having SATA and sound chip and ports onboard is a big improvement on the Sam460CR design where external cards are needed.

I don't use the sound card in the A1222 anymore as it has onboard sound working, so I should put it back on the Sam460CR, but I haven't used the system in a number of years now so it was not a high priority.


So removing the PCI card to fit the RX550 card is not an option on the Sam460CR. The Southern Island chipset Gfx card I have installed is the only one I can physically fit in the single slot space.

So, transplant time....

First up is removing the Sam460CR and the cards from it's MIDI tower case:

Job done.

I then removed the glass cover for the A1222 InWin casing:

Next is noting the locations and correct orientation of the various cable plugs for the LED's, switches and USB port header locations for the case from the A1222 board, so I can easily connect them once in the MIDI case. 

Doing this saves me time referring to the manual or the microscopic port descriptions on the board itself.

With that done, I can remove all the cables. The InWin case for the A1222 is very small indeed, and working in it is challenging.

With the cables removed, I could then carefully unscrew the board and remove it:

Part of me is sad I can't keep the A1222 in this very cool case, but not being able to use the 1080p video feature of the A1222 is a non-starter. I want to use the RX 550 card with the A1222:

The RX 550 graphics card is half size of the usual high end graphic card, but it is still almost the same size of the A1222 board itself!

Maybe one day I will put the A1222 in a Checkmate 1500 Plus case as it does support it...but for now the checkmate plus case I have is running my Amiga 500 with Pistorm and AmiKit 12 setup, and I don't plan to change it over since that build is quite new. You can read more about that build in my blog post here

The Checkmate 1500 Mini I have is running a Raspberry Pi setup with AmiKit 12 and Greaseweazel floppy disk drive to use real floppy disks with it. That build is covered in my blog here if you want to learn more. Not sure if I can use the A1222 in it with this gfx card though, and I kinda like the Mini being used as it is now...maybe I need to buy another Checkmate case. 

I am then reminded of the horrific shipping costs to Australia these days and my enthusiasm fades quickly.

Moving on, I positioned the A1222 board in the MIDI tower case and screwed it in - the existing placement of board stays for the Sam460 CR lined up nicely with the A1222. It didn't need the bottom two screws since the A1222 board is much smaller.

With it screwed in, I mounted the RX 550 card into the PCI-e slot, and connected the 250GB SSD SATA hard disk to the SATA cables in the case to the second SATA port on the A1222. The existing DVD drive I connected to the first SATA port for booting from CD.

I removed the old SATA drive for the Sam460CR containing the AmigaOS 4.1 build for it, and put the SSD in its place. The other drive is a very old MorphOS build I did on the Sam460CR when it was new - I covered that in this blog here and later here dual booting MorphOS with AmigaOS 4

I might re-use the drive for storage in the A1222, so I'll leave it here unconnected for now. To be clear, MorphOS is not able to run on A1222. It is AmigaOS 4 all the way.

My A1222 has no backplate, so sadly there is an obvious hole in the back of the MIDI case where the ports appear. Hopefully they will sell a backplate for it in the future so I can tidy this up.

I plugged in everything to test it, and too my surprise everything worked first time - the led's, switches, hard disk and graphics card all worked.

The system booted into Workbench at full 1080p resolution without me changing any settings - nice. 

I moved around this room a bit in between as I wanted to group the AmigaOne X1000 and A1222 systems together, and the PC systems together (my Windows XP, OS/2 Warp 4 and ARCAOS 5.1 builds - more on them in another post later), and now the A1222 now shares a screen with the Checkmate 1500 mini system. 

The A1222 MIDI tower is on the floor, using DVI output. The Checkmate 1500 mini is using HDMI output and I use the input selector on the LG screen to switch between them. Don't have space to put the Checkmate elsewhere at the moment - I'll think about it more - maybe I can find another solution.

I then tried out DV Player and to my surprise it immediately played back 1080p videos perfectly, something it couldn't do when using the old southern islands chipset Radeon graphics card.

In full screen it also works well, and the sound stays in sync. Something I could never do on the X1000 or Sam460CR. A1222 with DVPlayer and the latest graphics drivers in Enhancer opens up 1080p video playback on AmigaOS 4 in 2024. :-)

Before someone mentions it, I am aware you can hack the X1000 CFE bios somehow to get it to work with RX cards to achieve the same outcome, but after my previous experiences with CFE updates, no thanks. 

I'll leave that kind of upgrade to people more game to take chances with very expensive X1000 hardware no longer made or able to be easily repaired.

I tested a few more 1080p videos from various sources. They worked great, but I did notice if you move the window around or access menus while playing, it takes a while for the video to catch up again.

There was also a video I tested featuring some guy called Epsilon presenting AmigaOS 4 PowerPC emulation setup at AmiWest 2014...can't believe this was 10 years ago now!

Personally, I am very satisfied to have 1080p video playback working under AmigaOS 4 finally. 

Also I installed SMBFS and SMBFSGUI from OS4Depot, to setup Samba network drive mapping to my QNAP storage on my network, so I can playback my much larger video collection without having it on my A1222.

This seems a great progress milestone point to finish up this blog post. There is more to do with my A1222, and hopefully I get some more time to be able to do it!

I hope you enjoyed the post and it inspires you to explore AmigaOS 4 and the AmigaOne A1222 further if you have one, or to consider buying one if it is now interesting for you!