Sunday, March 15, 2020

MorphOS 3.13 and Iris Beta 71 Email on X5000

First off I must apologise for the slowness of blog updates this month. I have been quite ill for the past two weeks (especially the last week) with some kind of bad flu thingy. And no, I haven't travelled anywhere overseas or even Australia recently...I am still recovering, so I have been isolating and working from home (just in case) to protect work colleagues and family.

Despite this, I have still been doing some Amiga stuff this month.

Before I start on MorphOS 3.13, one thing I have been enjoying on weekends and evenings while being sick at home has been playing Worthy, Blood Money, Pinball Illusions and Simulcra on Classic Amiga 1200 and 500, as part of a monthly gaming high score competition being held on the forum, run out of Brisbane, Australia for Australian (and other) Amiga users!

I didn't win, but did finish second in Worthy and Pinball Illusions (Babewatch table) high score competitions last month:

This month's ECS high score game is Simulcra, and I am leading the high scores so far :-)

My high score on Simulcra is 25725 - can you do better?

Feel free to join in on forums if you want to take part too.

With the Coronavirus forcing a lot of people locally and globally to be at home, I am hoping more people will try to beat the high scores on their Amiga systems!

One other thing I have sorted out last week is my new NBN internet access. Since moving to my new home in January last year, I have been waiting for NBN to be available at this address, and using mobile 4GX internet in the meantime.

For those not in Australia, NBN (National Broadband Network) is Australia's new crappy internet to replace the even crappier ADSL we used before. Hand crafted by the best accountants in Canberra, the final version of the NBN supplied to most households is a mishmash of shitty technologies, resulting in far from optimal performance. For IT people like myself, it is incredibly frustrating to see the final crappy resulting internet rolled out to many homes (including mine).

Now it is available and it is installed in my house. I now have the maximum available NBN 100Mbps download speed (theoretically) to my house. In reality it is around 90Mbps during peak evening usage, but a big improvement on 16Mbps variable internet performance under 4GX and 8Mbps under ADSL I had, it is better. My AmigaOne X5000, X1000 and other Classic Amiga systems can all use it too:

In reality, in the global scheme of Internet, Australia's internet speed is still awful. Truly awful. I had 1Gbps fibre internet direct to my apartment when living in Tokyo 10 years ago. 10Gbps is the standard now, with 100Gbps trials underway in Tokyo for the next phase...we are soo far behind.

Anyway, it is what it is. Here I now have 100Mbps download speed via Hybrid Fibre Coaxial Connection (Coaxial Cable from the nearest fibre node to my house) with 20Mbps upload. This makes doing blog posts much easier now for image uploading. On ADSL at my old place I have been uploading at 512kbps!! It took so long to upload photos for a single blog entry for years and years, but now no more!

Let's move onto MorphOS 3.13, released recently as a bug fixed version of MorphOS 3.12 released late last year.

We now have our first 2020 NG Amiga OS released which is exciting! I burned off the CD-R ISO image from the MorphOS team website to load onto my AmigaOne X5000.

I covered MorphOS 3.12 installation in some detail on my blog here in January, so I am not going into the same detail again here as I am just upgrading it to the new version.

The CD live booted into 3.13 and I started the installation process:

The installation prompts to upgrade the existing installation or start a new installation. I want to upgrade my current MorphOS 3.12 so I select that option:

The setup detects my 3.12 installation on the X5000, which I can select and then click on Update:

The copy then gets underway - time for a coffee and more fix me up pills...

Setup completed successfully:

With MorphOS 3.13 now installed I rebooted the AmigaOne X5000 to boot into the new environment. The main visual change is the window frame theme has been changed from the MorphOS original translucent gradient blue frames to the flat blue (more Workbench 3.1 looking) theme. I like the new theme actually, feels more Amiga now:

Because my purchased registration file is already installed on the system, the upgrade OS is already fully activated and works without any restrictions. It runs well.

I also took the opportunity to upgrade my Powerbook G4 15" to the latest 3.13 MorphOS release, which worked perfectly as well:

 I returned to my AmigaOne X5000 to download and try out the new Iris email program (Beta 71) under MorphOS 3.13. I am pleased to report it works very well with Gmail, supporting HTML format emails, embedded images in emails, and more.

There are some great developments going on for MorphOS like Iris, and provided at no cost for MorphOS users to get more value from their systems!

Some of the features of Iris email client are:

  • Extensive IMAP support based on VMime, including local storage and folder management
  • OAuth2 authentication support for GMail, and Yahoo! Mail
  • Support for all common authentication and security methods
  • Support for custom / self-signed server certificates
  • Encryption of passwords and authentication keys via cryptostorage.library
  • Email account autoconfiguration
  • Multiple accounts
  • HTML email support within the application thanks to inclusion of WebKit
  • Rich text email editing, including a spell checker
  • Attachments including embedding images in emails
  • Full Unicode support, everywhere in the application
  • Massive multithreading for all of networking and I/O operations
  • Read-only offline mode
  • Support for OpenURL
  • PDF export of emails
This is an exciting step forward for Email clients on NG Amiga.

The big feature for me with Iris is the ability to work with Gmail accounts (and others) using IMAP connections, rather than the older fiddly to configure POP3 connections required before.

Note that I originally did some screenshots below from 3.12 MorphOS on the X5000, which uses the older window frame theme. Iris functionality is unchanged under 3.13, it just uses a different window theme now as the default.

There is a nice wizard that walks you through the process to add your Gmail account to Iris:

After putting in your Gmail credentials, you are automatically redirected using Odyssey to Google to login using your Google account and allow the Iris email program to access your emails.

You need to allow Iris to access your Google account for the email functionality to work:

Once done, you are prompted to close the Odyssey web browser window:

The setup was completed successfully in Iris:

It then populates the mailbox view with the Gmail content using IMAP:

Under 3.13 MorphOS it still works just as well, now with the new window theme.

Using Iris under MorphOS 3.13 I sent a test email from the X5000 to validate Iris sends email successfully from Gmail - I embedded an image in the email to test that too:

The email sent successfully and received in Iris (as I sent it to myself), so I can could see the HTML format email displays correctly with the embedded image in it. Success!

In the Iris settings, you can adjust the appearance of the columns, default font and spell check:

Under Accounts option in the Iris title bar menus, you can adjust the Gmail settings, and also your Email signature to use when composing emails, so you can tell everyone you are emailing them from your AmigaOne X5000! Spread the word!

Having now got Iris working well under MorphOS 3.13, I then relaxed listening to a MorphOS music disk demo from Uprough called Saturday at Joes EP - an oldie but a goodie:

That's it for today - I hope you enjoy playing around with MorphOS 3.13 on your AmigaOne X5000, Sam 460 or the other supported older PowerPC Mac systems!