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Status update

Author:Paolo Besser
Date:2010-06-17

Latest updates

Many things happened since the latest status update.

Michal Schulz developed the GMA950 hidd, so AROS can now use 2D native functions of the latest GPUs from Intel. This will be really handy for people using Stephen Jones' iMica systems and netbooks like the Acer Aspire One A150.

Krzysztof "Deadwood" Smiechowicz has gone really far with his Gallium3D port to AROS: he has now integrated 2D and 3D accelerated functions in a single driver called Nouveau, which supports 2D acceleration for almost all GeForce GPUs starting from the ancient GeForce 2 cards until the recent GTX 200 series. 3D functions, however, are available only to GeForce FX (5x00), cards and upwards. Some models and GPUs might not be supported yet. Users of Nvidia cards may now regularily use this driver, instead of the old Nvidia one. This will also help Krzysztof fixing it, as it is still work-in-progress. Please refer to this AROS-EXEC topic to help him spotting and fixing bug (and please remember he's not directly responsible for driver quality: he's just adapting and porting to AROS what has been done by Nouveau/Gallium team).

Pavel Fedin is reworking our graphics subsystem, cleaning it up and making it behave like the original Amiga one: the day we won't need anymore to enter driver names in GRUB boot lines is approaching. Some drivers can now be mounted moving them in the Monitors directory (like on AmigaOS), while others not yet. But he's still working on it. Pavel is also fixing linux framebuffer driver and his Win32-hosted version of AROS, which can now move screens like classic Amigas.

Neil Cafferkey has vastly improved our support to FAT partitions, and also made AROS installable on USB pendrives (and bootable from them). This means that regular nightly builds, but also Icaros Destop version 1.2.2 can now be installed on netbooks and other USB-bootable systems using a memory stick instead of a DVD. Paolo Besser has written a complete how-to in PDF format, and placed it on the Icaros website.

Pascal Papara has brought us a brand new distribution called Broadway, which is targeted to attract also people never involved with Amiga computers, and include a stripped down version of the incoming AMC, the first media-center environment based on AmigaOS-like systems. Broadway is not complete yet, but a nice preview version can be downloaded from its website.

Steve "ClusterUK" Jones has announced a new silent version of his iMica line of computers. This Atom-based system will be as performing as the old one, but it will also run completely fanless. We also have to thank Steve for his funding efforts: after paying Davy Wentzler for his useful AHI HDAudio drivers, he also financed the port of the Catweasel MKIV controller drivers and the development of Michal's GMA driver.

Good news for ACube's SAM440EP users too: since April 14th, AROS nightlies are available also for this nice PPC platform, which is still actively mantained. Michal Shulz has also recently brought a EFIKA version of AROS too.

Nick "Kalamatee" Andrews has slightly improved Wanderer and some long- running bugs have been fixed. AROS won't nest directories recursively anymore, when a drawer is placed into its own window by mistake, and AROS desktop can now be populated using the leave out/put away options, which are now finally enabled. He is also working on icon and list view: files can now be listed by details and sorted as you prefer.

There are also many small and big enhancements ongoing "under the hood" and coming from third party software developers, but they are simply too much to be mentioned here. We apologize with them, but we'd also like to say a big "thank you!" to anyone helping us in any way, porting applications, creating new ones, writing documentation and/or just evangelizing AROS inside and outside the Amiga community.

Status update

Author:Paolo Besser
Date:2010-01-11

Latest updates

It's been a long time since the latest status update, however many things happened in the meanwhile.

First of all, Chris "platon42" Hodges has opened the sources of his Poseidon USB stack under the terms of the APL, and ported it to AROS: after some weeks of tweaking, adapting and bugfixing, AROS can now handle USB 1.1 and 2.0 controllers. Any USB device should be correctly detected by the operating system, while mice, keyboards and other input devices should be correctly handled as well. Most USB pendrives and storage devices work, while others don't yet, due to some fat.handler issues we're investigating about. Other devices will be supported in future, when someone will write the necessary drivers.

Thanks to Poseidon, AROS can now boot from USB CD-ROM and DVD-ROM drives. This allows installing AROS on a wide range of notebooks and netbooks like the Acer Aspire One A150. This netbook is now a fair good hardware platform for AROS: Steve Jones and Davy Wenzler wrote a HD Audio driver for the iMica computer which covers also this one and a wide range of Intel-compatible mainboards, and the Icaros Desktop distribution introduced a way to get correct 1024x600 resolution on the GMA9x0 video chip.

Przemyslaw "Qus" Szczygielski's TCPPrefs utility has been fixed and added to the AROS prefs utilities: pokeing with script and configuration text files is not required anymore to connect to the Internet. Matthias Rustler has ported Scout to AROS, so closing offending windows and crashed applications should be easier than before. Kernel stability has improved a lot thanks to many fixes from Neil Cafferkey and Pavel Fedin.

Neil Cafferkey vastly improved our ata.device, which now supports many SATA controllers. Any SATA enabled computer which can be turned to work as 'IDE' in the BIOS settings, however, should work with AROS.

Stanislaw Szymczyk continued to update OWB, fixing bugs and problems, and adding new features like bookmarks, application menu, splash screen, the ability to open HTML files and so on, and he's now heading to release version 1.0 of his modern, CSS and JavaScript enabled web browser. OWB is a quite flexible tool, since allows AROS to run most web-enabled applications.

Yannick "Yannickescu" Erb has ported to AROS some interesting games like Open Tyrian, Super Methane Brothers and SDL Ball, and wrote ZuneARC, a standard and customizable Zune frontend for command-line archivers already available for AROS. You can find these and other interesting stuff on his website. Some nice games have been ported also by AROS_EXEC.org user Fishy_fis. Don't miss his DOSBox port to AROS!

Simone "samo" Bevilacqua ported his Amiga game BOH to AROS, and it behaves nicely! BOH is the first commercial game available for the new Amiga platforms.

Krzysztof "Deadwood" Smiechowicz ported version 7.5 of MESA to AROS, and is adding hardware 3D acceleration capabilities to AROS with his ongoing port of Gallium3D. For now, he has just released an alpha demo of this technology running on GeForce FX, 6 and 7 series video cards. A nice video showing the GLExcess demo running on AROS is here.

Paolo Besser has released version 1.2 of the Icaros Desktop distribution. The new version includes the ability to run old Amiga games straight from their ADF files, thanks to some new AmiBridge scripts and a old version of E-UAE. In the meanwhile, Oliver Brunner has improved Janus-UAE integration, allowing AROS to run AmigaOS 3.x applications inside AROS windows. To do both things, however, users must provide a working installation of AmigaOS 3.x and original kickstart, maybe using Cloanto's Amiga Forever.

Behind the scene Staf Verhaegen is still working on a new standardized ABI for AROS. Hopefully the moon and the sun will be right one day this year and the ABI can see the light of day.


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