Using the A911Extras disk/drawer

 
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Introduction
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.


Here is how to use A911Extras
Before you try to use anything of the stuff included on/in the A911Extras disk/drawer, you must first double-click the MakeAssigns icon. This will open the requester to the right which gives you two choices:  "Assign dirs" will create some assigns directly to the C, Devs, L, Libs & S sub-dirs in the A911Extras directory, while "Copy & Assign dirs" will first copy the dirs to the Ram disk, and then the assigns will be made there instead. This can be useful since it will avoid any "please insert volume XXX in any drive" type of requesters in case you have ejected the disk containing the A911Extras sub-dirs, but the drawback is some increased memory usage.

The reason why the assigns has to be made is because the software included with A911Extras may require certain files in the above mentioned sub-dirs, and the assigns makes sure that these files can be found.  After creating the assigns, the MakeAssigns script will continue with checking if there's a Prefs/Env-Archive dir present in the A911Extras drawer, and if it exists, the contents of it will be copied to Env: (without overwriting any existing files).
 

And that's it, nothing more needs to be done. Now you can start using the stuff found on/in the A911Extras disk/drawer.  Have in mind that if you want to remove the previously created assigns, you can just run the MakeAssigns script again.


Will the above change anything on my Amiga?
The short answer is no, it will not change anything on your Amiga. The only thing the MakeAssigns script does, is to temporarily give the system a couple of extra places to look for certain files. This functionality will be lost when the Amiga is rebooted or turned off, and you can also run the script one more time to get rid of the extra assigns. When it comes to copying files, it will only be done to the Ram disk, which also means that everything will return to normal after a reboot. So it should be perfectly safe to run the MakeAssigns script, even after booting up your main Amiga setup.

As a matter of fact, you will personally have to do something in order to cause any changes to your system. One example of this is by saving the settings of a program that's included in the A911Extras pack, since this most likely will be done directly to the boot device. Another potential problem that might occur, is if you try to install software to your Amiga after MakeAssigns have been run, since the installer then can be "tricked" into beliving that certain files (like libraries) already are installed on your system. This in turn may lead to the files in question not being copied.


Some notes about A911Extras for AmigaOS 2.x:
 

1. If you have booted up a AmigaOS 2.1 system, you can just use the mount files in the Devs/DOSDrivers drawer for mounting devices. But if you have booted up AmigaOS 2.0, it most likely has to be done by using the MountList file in the Devs drawer instead. In an attempt to make this easier, a small script called MountDev is included in the same drawer, just double-click it's icon and follow the instructions.
 
2. If the A911Extras disk/drawer contains MiniXpkGuide, version 34.6 of amigaguide.library is included as well.


A few words about the A911Extras floppy disk:
 
1. If the disk contains DiskImage, HJSplit, ImageMount and/or TransADF, and you intend to use the requester based front end scripts, please note the following:  If the assigns shall be made directly to the sub-dirs on the floppy disk, it may lead to lots of disk swaps if your Amiga has only one disk drive. Another thing is that you can NOT use TransADF directly from a floppy disk if it's inserted in the same drive that's going to be used for reading/writing ADF files. If you try to do this, the disk containing TransADF is actually the one that will be read from or written to!
In order to overcome these problems, the A911Extras floppy may contain a small script called Scri2Ram which can be used for copying DiskImage, HJSplit, ImageMount and/or TransADF to the Ram disk, and then you can run them from there instead.
 
2. If A911Extras is a floppy disk, you can also start using it as a drawer by simply copying the contents of the disk to another device. So if you for example have just used the Amiga911 disk for setting up a new harddisk on your Amiga, you can copy the A911Extras disk to the harddisk and start using the software from there instead of the floppy. This can easily be done by simply dragging & dropping the disk icon to anywhere on the harddisk.


Some general notes regarding A911Extras:
 
1. Special care has been taken with developing the MakeAssigns script. One of the things is that it will use relative paths when creating the assigns, and this in turn makes it possible to copy the A911Extras drawer to any device without having to worry about things like volume & device names. Another thing is that when disk swaps is required for running the script, there will be as few of them as possible. This can be useful in situations where A911Extras is used as a floppy disk on Amigas with only one disk drive, and where the Amiga has been booted from a floppy disk as well. It may also be possible to avoid one of the swaps by copying the Assign command to the C dir on the A911Extras disk.

2. Unlike the Amiga911 disk, you can rename the A911Extras disk/drawer to anything you like, this is because the MakeAssign script uses relative paths (as mentioned in point 1). But remember that you can't rename the disk/drawer after the assigns to it has been made by the MakeAssign script.

3. If A911Extras includes TurboText, the workaround used on the Amiga911 disk regarding the TurboText libraries will not be applied. Instead the standard method where the libraries is present in a Libs dir at the same location as the TTX executable is used.

4. If A911Extras includes Ordering, a small workaround regarding the Ordering.Prefs file will be used. The thing is that Ordering only looks in Envarc: for it's settings file (totally ignoring Env:). So currently, the workaround is that MakeAssigns will first copy Ordering.Prefs to T:, and then an additional Envarc: assign is done to T:. Not a very clever solution I know, and I will try to figure out something else instead.

5. When I started developing the A911Extras concept, the idea was to make a disk/drawer that also could be used after booting other systems than the Amiga911 disk. As a matter of fact, the thought was to even make sure that A911Extras could be used after booting a standard Workbench floppy. This has now been improved since it contains a couple of more files in addition to the original ones, examples of this is LhA and UnLZX which wasn't included earlier.

 




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