About Amiga911 Maker

 
Home    About Amiga911 Maker
 

Introduction.
For all Amiga owners there will always come a time where they have to use an alternative method for booting up the Amiga in order to fix something, and here users of AmigaOS 3.5 & 3.9 are lucky since they can simply use the Emergency Disk + AmigaOS CD to boot from. Users of older AmigaOS versions are not so lucky since there's nothing similar out there for them, and then their only option is to use the original Workbench disk to boot from. But here the problem is that this disk doesn't contain the drivers required to hook up certain devices (like CD-ROM drives and stuff), and maybe it doesn't contain other software that might be needed as well.
 
Then some people might start modifying a copy of their Workbench disk instead - only to find out that in order to add new stuff to the disk, something else has to go first, and let's face it - most of the stuff on the original Workbench disks are there for a reason. And even if somebody actually manages to create a decent and functional boot disk, they can't share it with others because of copyright reasons, and this in turn leads to others having to re-invent the wheel over and over again.

So I decided to do something about it.


Amiga911 boot disk.
Amiga911 is a boot disk which contains various drivers and tools, it is mainly intended for people who wants to set up a harddisk to their Amiga in a quick and easy way, or who wants to boot up a system in order to fix a broken Workbench installation, or maybe even restore files from a system backup. The disk can contain drivers which allows the user to easily transfer files from PC to Amiga in various ways like: PC formatted floppy disks, CD-ROMs burned on the PC or by using a Compact Flash memory card together with a CF to PCMCIA adapter. The boot disk can also include support for USB mass storage devices.

Even though it's possible to download various ready-made Amiga911 disks now (which requires activation due to missing system files), the very first original version of the Amiga911 disk contained copyrighted system files, and since I didn't know how to make installation scripts like the ones used on the ready-made disks, I couldn't distribute it back then. So I decided to create a program that can be used to make such a boot disk instead, and this program ended quite surprisingly up with the name Amiga911 Maker :-).

Requirements: For using the Amiga911 boot disk, your Amiga must have a minimum of 1MB RAM (Low-mem mode with optional XPK crunching) or 2MB RAM (Normal mode with LZX compression only), and the Workbench on the disk should match the Kickstart in the Amiga (like WB3.1 files for KS3.1 for example).
Contents: Take a look here and here.


A911Extras disk/drawer.
Since there are some limitations as to how much stuff that can be included on the Amiga911 boot disk, the possibility to create an optional A911Extras disk or drawer was introduced in version 1.54 of Amiga911 Maker. This disk/drawer can contain additional stuff that will not fit on the main boot disk. As a drawer, A911Extras can be put anywhere on any device (like compact flash cards or usb pen drives), and it does not require a certain path on the device either. Although A911Extras originally was intended as an optional supplement to the Amiga911 disk, it should also work after booting from other systems as well (including Emergency Disk II). Think of A911Extras as a sort of portable "toolbox" for the Amiga.

Requirements: Other than Workbench 2.04 or higher, there are no special requirements for using A911Extras.
Contents: Take a look here and here.


Emergency Disk II floppy.
Emergency Disk II is an enhanced version of the original AmigaOS 3.9 Emergency Disk. It uses the same type of technology as the Amiga911 boot disk, where lzx compression is used in order to fit more stuff on it. The Emergency Disk II also provides some alternative methods for installing AmigaOS 3.9 as well.
In addition to the standard method of using the original CD with a CD-ROM drive, you can make a AmigaOS 3.9 USB pendrive or a Compact Flash card to be used with a CF-PCMCIA adapter. Another method is using an AmigaOS 3.9 ISO or HDF image which can be present on any drive that gets mounted on startup. If you still insist on installing from the original CD, you can also use an external USB CD-ROM drive. The USB methods requires that the Poseidon stack is included on the disk, and of course that a supported USB card is installed in your Amiga.

Requirements: For using the Emergency Disk II floppy, the minimum requirements is an Amiga with Kickstart 3.1 68020 processor and 6MB RAM (you might get it to work with less memory though). You will also need an AmigaOS 3.9 CD (or other media) as well.
Contents: Take a look here and here.


Amiga911 Maker.
And the program for creating all the above is called Amiga911 Maker. With this easy to use program, the user can first start a new project where he/she to a certain degree can configure what should be included on the boot disk, and then the program can be used to prepare the files that eventually will end up on the disk. It is also possible for the user to create multiple Amiga911, A911Extras and/or Emergency Disk II projects. This can be useful for those who have several Amigas with different setups, since it then is possible to customize a disk for each Amiga. And if the user changes anything on one Amiga, it is possible to open the old project, make the required changes and then create a new disk.

Requirements: In order to use Amiga911 Maker, you will need the following:

 *  An Amiga with AmigaOS 3.x and 2MB RAM as minimum.
 *  Workbench 2.0, 2.1, 3.0 or 3.1 disk(s) for Amiga911 projects.
 *  AmigaOS 3.9 CD (or other media) for Emergency Disk II projects.

All major files related to the supported programs + the Poseidon and Anaiis USB stack, are now included with the Amiga911 Maker distribution. All patches will be done automagically by Amiga911 Maker after the files have been copied from your system disks.



Contents of the Amiga911 disk.
So what can be included on the Amiga911 disk you might ask. Well the disk will contain a cut down version of Workbench where the most obscure and not so often used commands in C: are left out. Furthermore, stuff like arexx, commodities, localisation and datatypes (with the exception of Text and AmigaGuide) are considered luxury and are left out as well. In the Prefs drawer, only ScreenMode will be included. Right now you can create disks for AmigaOS 2.0, 2.1, 3.0 and 3.1, but I am also considering the possibility to add support for AmigaOS 1.3, 3.5 and 3.9 as well. This will only happen if it can be done and there is some interest for it though.
 
The disk will by default also contain the following: The following is optional:
Fat95  -  Win95/98 compatible file system
GetString  -  text string requester from Shell
LhA 1.38  -  creates and extracts lha archives
mARK  -  a very simplistic archive extraction GUI
MiniXpkGuide  -  AmigaGuide/MultiView replacement with xpk support
Most  -  text file viewer with xpk support  *
MSys 1.2  -  free versions of five system commands
NCD  -  change dir in Shell via a requester
reqtools.library  -  the requester toolkit used by lots of programs
RequestFile  -  freeware version
ScreenMode  -  for changing the screenmode of Workbench
SetPatch 43.6b  -  SetPatch for OS2.x and 3.x
ShowConfig  -  gives some info about the Amiga
ToolsDaemon  -  adds extra menus to the Workbench menu
UnLZX 2.16  -  small tool for extracting lzx archives

*  Most is only included on the OS2.x versions of the Amiga911 disk.
** xMore will be included on the OS3.x versions of Amiga911 disk if AmigaGuide support is disabled.
AmiCDFS  -  CD ROM file system
Anaiis  -  USB stack for Subway and Highway cards
CFD  -  use Compact Flash card via CF to PCMCIA adapter
FFS  -  Fast File System
HDToolBox  -  tool for installing harddisks
IDEfix  -  patches scsi.device ++
LoadModule  -  patch the system by installing resident modules
NSDPatch  -  patch the System to the New Style Device standard
Poseidon  -  USB stack for various cards
PFS  -  Professional File System
PFSFormat  -  command for formatting PFS partitions
scsi.device  -  patch the system with a newer version of scsi.device
SFS  -  Smart File System
SFSCheck  -  command that checks SFS partitions for errors
SFSFormat  -  command for formatting SFS partitions
toBack&Front  -  ClickToFront alternative
xMore  -  text file viewer with xpk support  **
XPK  -  file cruncher/packer system
ZShell  -  Amiga Shell alternative


Contents of the A911Extras disk/drawer.
A911Extras is intended to be a generic concept for either AmigaOS 2.x or 3.x, and this is the reason why there's only a couple of standard system files included on the disk/drawer (it avoids any "add 2.0 or 2.1 files to 2.x disk" type of conflicts). Another reason is that A911Extras is only meant to be used after first booting from another device that already should have the required system files included. The main difference between the disk and drawer versions of A911Extras, is that the former has some of it's executables in Imploder crunched form (in order to save disk space). It also contains a tool for decrunching these files.
 
The disk/drawer will by default also contain the following: The following is optional:
CopyReplace  -  powerful Copy replacement  *
Deplode
  -  decrunches Imploder packed files  **
Fat95
  -  Win95/98 compatible file system
GetString  -  text string requester from Shell
LhA 1.38  -  creates and extracts lha archives
mARK  -  a very simplistic archive extraction GUI
Most  -  text file viewer with xpk support
reqtools.library  -  the requester toolkit used by lots of programs
RequestChoice  -  freeware version from the MSys 1.2 pack
RequestFile  -  freeware version
UnLZX 2.16  -  small tool for extracting lzx archives
UnZip 5.30  -  extracts zip archives
AmiCDFS  -  CD ROM file system
CFD  -  use Compact Flash card via CF to PCMCIA adapter
FFS  -  Fast File System
MiniXpkGuide  -  AmigaGuide/MultiView replacement with xpk support  ***
PFS  -  Professional File System
PFSFormat  -  command for formatting PFS partitions
SFS  -  Smart File System
SFSCheck  -  command that checks SFS partitions for errors
SFSFormat  -  command for formatting SFS partitions
ZShell  -  Amiga Shell alternative
 CopyReplace is included to reduce the amount of diskswaps required for running the MakeAssigns script on a A911Extras disk when there's only one floppy drive involved. Another reason is to take advantage of this commands ability to not overwrite already existing files during copy operations.
**  Deplode is only present on the Disk version of A911Extras.
*** MiniXpkGuide will be included on OS2.x versions of A911Extras if the AmigaGuide option in the "Configure system" window is enabled. Unlike with the Amiga911 disk, the viewer will keep it's original file name here (will not be renamed to MultiView).
 


Contents of the Emergency Disk II.
The Emergency Disk II floppy contains the same files as the original Emergency Disk, in addition a few other AmigaOS 3.9 system files is added as well.
 
The disk will by default also contain the following: The following is optional:
BEEP  -  Baer friendly audio BEEP command
CacheCDFS  -  CD ROM file system with Joliet support
Exists  -  checks if a file, directory, device or volume exists  *
Fat95  -  Win95/98 compatible file system
GetString  -  text string requester from Shell
LhA 1.38  -  creates and extracts lha archives
mARK  -  a very simplistic archive extraction GUI
MSys 1.2  -  free versions of five system commands
NCD  -  change dir in Shell via a requester
reqtools.library  -  the requester toolkit used by lots of programs
RequestFile  -  freeware version
ToolsDaemon  -  adds extra menus to the Workbench menu
UnLZX 2.16  -  small tool for extracting lzx archives
VolName  -  extracts the volume name part of a files path  *
AmiCDFS  -  CD ROM file system  **
CFD  -  use Compact Flash card via CF to PCMCIA adapter
FFS  -  Fast File System
IDEfix  -  patches scsi.device ++
LoadModule  -  patch the system by installing resident modules  ***
Poseidon  -  USB stack for various cards
PFS  -  Professional File System
PFSFormat  -  command for formatting PFS partitions
SFS  -  Smart File System
SFSCheck  -  command that checks SFS partitions for errors
SFSFormat  -  command for formatting SFS partitions
toBack&Front  -  ClickToFront alternative
ZShell  -  Amiga Shell alternative
 The Exists and VolName commands are taken from the 0Utils.lha archive on Aminet.
**  AmiCDFS is only included on the disk if Poseidon is included, and it should have USB CD ROM support.
*** LoadModule is only included on the disk if Poseidon is included, and it should have USB mice/keyboard support.
 


The Programs.
 
Amiga911, A911Extras and Emergency Disk II
can also contain the following programs:
Check4GB  -  check if your HD setup is 4GB-ready
DiskImage  -  mount any disk image file as a DOS device
DiskMaster2  -  small, fast and compatible dir utility
DiskSalv2  -  disk salvage program by Dave Haynie
DiskSalv4  -  disk salvage program by Dave Haynie
FileMaster3  -  very powerful file manager
HDInstTools  -  harddisk installation tool
HJSplit  -  split large files into smaller ones
ImageMount  -  mount ADF, ISO and HDF disk images
JanoEditor  -  simple and efficient text editor
MaxTransTest  -  tests the MaxTransfer value of a partition
Ordering  -  powerful directory utility
PFSDoctor  -  repair and recovery tool for PFS volumes
PFSSalv2  -  save files from damaged PFS partitions
Redit  -  small, fast and compatible text editor
SFSSalv  -  recover files from damaged SFS partitions
SnoopDos  -  well known system and application monitor
SysInfo  -  gives comprehensive system information
TransADF  -  reads & writes ADF/ADZ disk images
TurboText  -  fast and highly customisable text editor
VirusChecker II  -  anti virus program. v2.5 (Brain v3.0)
WhichAmiga  -  ShowConfig kind of tool. V1.3.3
 
You can read more about them on the Programs page.



Why so much can fit on a single floppy disk.
There are probably some of you who thinks all of this sounds to good to be true, and that there is no way that so much stuff can fit on a standard 880 KB floppy disk. But I'm not kidding, it is actually possible!  The trick used is to compress the majority of files into some file archives which will be extracted to Ram: upon booting the disk (an idea I got from the Windows 98/XP boot disks). The archive format used is LZX because of the great compression that can be achived with this archiver. In addition it is possible to use XPK file crunching on Amiga911 Low-Mem disk projects. But have in mind that it's impossible to include absolutely everything that is mentioned in the lists above, you will have to be a bit selective with the stuff you add to the (boot) disk.

You might think that booting up the Amiga911 disk is incredible slow because of the archive extracting, but in my experience it boots up in ca. 45 - 60 seconds! (this depends a bit on the CPU of the Amiga).




    Followed a link? Please go to the Main Site                   © Roger E. Håseth 2010 - 2015