Monday, 9 April 2018

The HP Deskjet and the Mystery of the Blank Pages.

Hello everyone. Time to vent some recent mindfulness. :-)

Remember that HP Photosmart driver I uploaded to OS4Depot years ago? It must have been there for a while now. In the beginning I only uploaded it as a temporary work around. At the time, there was a bug in the OS4 printer drivers, where the C compiled PowerPC code trashed a printer command code double buffer for some reason. On 68K it was fine apparently. This was worked around by changing it a triple buffer. Yet still, it was missed in the OS4 release of the time, so it would be some time before there was an update fix. However, the main source was available of the HP driver, as an example printer driver source code with the fix in place.

I had just bought a new HP Photosmart C4180 for use with document printing and business use. So was keen to have a working printer driver. And not rely on saving out documents as RTF in order to fidget with cables and print them on my iBook. So I chased down the source. Configured it for 600 DPI max density in both B&W and colour which my printer supported. Compiled it. Tested it as working. And then was happy to share the result with other OS4 users. I also wanted to give it a name. The example source was for a HP 1120C. But to me that was little too cryptic and I wanted a more general and friendly name. So I looked at my printer. Ah there we go. HP Photosmart. And so the HP Photosmart printer driver was born. :-)

Somehow, the driver has lasted. Although it was conceived of as a temporary fix, as things in history can go sometimes, it has lasted longer than it was meant too. I mean, it's been years now since all the OS4 HP printer drivers work as they should, on the printers they are specified for. And yet, when ever there talk of someone setting up a HP printer on a forum, in almost all cases the HP Photosmart driver on OS4Depot gets a mention. Now, even though I didn't write the driver code in the first place, it makes me happy to see it mentioned as something little I did helps others in the OS4 community. Perhaps I should go into marketing. LOL! :-D

Now that's not the end of the story. Since the driver did not remain static and did evolve. It was brought to my attention and I had noticed it as well that after a printout the printer would hang for some while, as if waiting for more data that was never to come. Xenic researched this and found that modern printers expected the print dump to be "partitioned" so to speak, by being encapsulated in a print job. Now a print job has job start codes, the main dump, then a job end code. Sounds logical. These other codes are in a language of their own. Called UEL. For Universal Exit Language. It pretty much comes down to an escape sequence of "%12345". To get attention one can send "%12345@PJL". PJL means Printer Job Language.

Now the the OS resource in charge of printing is a device driver by the name of printer.device. Similar to a function library, devices are opened, functions called, and then that device closed. With the added feature that devices have a few device specific functions and specialised commands for block reading and writing. Now with this methodology in place, you'd think it would be simple enough to encapsulate a print dump inside some job start and end commands, since it's opened, used, then closed. Not so simple, as it turns out. I found that a program can open the device, query the printer, then close it. So detecting this from the device open and closing wouldn't always work. Inside the driver, there are routines that deal with bitmap print dumps, where a raster dump is sent to the printer. Even though this is also organised in a similar way I had found; with initialisation, main  usage, then freeing of resources it could not be relied upon. Because a program could dump a raster in sections, thus causing repeated use of all the routines. This would mean start and end commands would be sent between each section dump, which wouldn't be correct.

Obviously, I found a solution. And this was, after detecting a job start, to count actual lines printed. Including actual text dumps sent. I had to separate the two as initially one was detected and the other wasn't. Then on driver close check the line counter and if lines had been printed then send a job end. And I was happy to have solved that one. :-)

Time passes. And I had an inkling time would catch up with my driver. It was when my printer ran out of black ink yet again and the colour cartridge was drying up. Funny how I desired a colour printer for years and when I get one hardly print any colour documents or pictures. As is typical with consumer goods, especially HP printers; the older your printer, the more cost it seems to buy a replacement cartridge. And for an official ageing HP cartridge sitting on the shelf from a supermarket to a bulk store, a cost going through the roof. I decided, even though I still liked my HP Photosmart printer, that I would just go out and buy a new one. It would be cheaper than a new set of cartridges. This time a budget HP Deskjet 3630. And soon, I would encounter the typical buyers regret, yet on several different levels.

The mystery? I hooked up the printer to my AmigaOne and set about printing a test page. I was soon met with an immediate problem. The paper was sucked in, the data sent, but after it spewed it back out as a blank page. I also saw after experimentation a rogue "9" character appearing in printouts. I suspected the new printers were more strict with command sequences than previously and later confirmed this. The HP driver is built with PCL3 in mind. That is an invention of HP, Printer Command Language, version 3. Just to throw another acronym in the mix, PCL is considered to be a PDL, a Page description language  As stated in technical documentation for common HP printers, ones built in recent years use a variation called PCL3GUI. From research, it means what it looks like when expanded; Printer Command Language, [version] 3, Graphic User Interface. Now historically HP documented PCL versions and command codes. However, for PCL3GUI, this is different. HP does not officially document it. Obviously based on PCL3, but using a limited set of compatible command codes. And for other important operations, such as graphics, a different set of command codes.

I did a little research and put it off until I had time to go into it more fully. It was when I got an email from one Achim, that I knew the problem had spread. Not wanting to leave fans in the lurch, of the HP Photosmart driver that is, ;-) I set about to solve the mystery of the blank pages. And what this PCL3GUI language interpreter expects. I found that this PCL3GUI uses another acronym, as the world likes, called RTL for Raster Transfer Language. This intern, makes use of, yes you guessed it, another acronym, called CRD. For Configure Raster Data. CRD is a PCL command for configuring the printer to receive raster data. It goes into detail describing this in specially formatted binary data structures. This in itself is not unusual, since there are commands to transfer raster data, where the data is binary. Here, in the CRD, it describes things like a DPI width and height matrix per colour pens and describing raster format data. For example, a raster can be a bitmap plane formatted exactly as the Amiga used on the hardware, such as in a black printout. It can be different pens, or even RGB values, where each pen is laid out with its own plane. Or even RGB data in standard chunky format. Had the Amiga hardware been developed beyond AGA, or even developed to where it should have been at that stage, it's likely it would have included these hybrid planar and chunky modes in the hardware. And another thing, which is interesting to note, the byte data in the CRD command format is in big endian order! :-D

So, at this stage, research had led me to forums with people asking what this PCLGUI is and codes for it. There are also sites describing CRD in limited capacity and possibly derived from reverse engineering a PCL dump. As well as examples of PCL interpreters decoding a limited subset of the PCL3GUI CRD command. I also discovered along with this some source code from some HP drivers such as CUPS. And what amused me most is that HP also offer sources for PCL3GUI drivers them selves. Of course there's no real documentation for CRD, apart from some commentary, but there is the source. Use the source Luke! :-P

With this information at hand I set out to update the driver. I needed to examine the output of the printer codes to make sure they were correct. I found I could use the printtofile.device as a substitute for the printer.device. As things are with AmigaOS, it's a little awkward to select this when I needed it, and it seems AmigaOS is made for programmers and not users at times. I went through a few runs until bugs were corrected and the output stream was how it should be. Then it was time for a test print out. As expected, it took a few goes before the printer accepted the codes sent to it, still printing out blank pages. One of the few situations where a blank page wasted my time and a waste of ink was beneficial. I eventually found the sweet spot with codes where the printer accepted the page and what. I also found it was a bit sensitive as to what it did accept as it would ignore certain commands and only accepted a limited amount of parameters.

Happy with the result that it was working with printers again I decided it was ready to share the results. And so I have. Below is the link to download it from OS4Depot. Well thanks for reading. And maybe you can do some printing. :-D

HP Photosmart driver.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

TheC64 Mini

Having owned a Vic-20 as a kid and at the same time my brother owning a C64 which eventually got passed down to me. The hand me down syndrome happened to me a lot when growing up, but I didn't mind in that instance.

As most who read this blog will know the Commodore 64 was and still is the best selling home computer of all time, so why not recreate this?

I wasn't sure about this to begin with, however, after some reading and checking out what other people thought about it and also after interviewing Paul Andrews I thought I would buy one.

Top of Box


Bottom of Box
Once I'd taken some photos of the outside of the box and gotten rather excited about what could be inside, I opened the box, and guess what... there was an inner box so I took another photo.

Inner Box

End of Box Show Features

At this point I opened the inner box and decided to take even more photos and then the time came to touch and see what one of the big issues people were having was like, the keys not moving.

Inside the Box - Nice and Shiney

Inner Box minus the Plastic

The Keyboard

The Joystick

The Unpacked Contents

The Keyboard

Size Comparison

All unpacked and several more photos taken, one with a coke can next to the keyboard to show a size comparison.

Thankfully no major setting up to do, it literally is plug and play. Just plug the HDMI lead in the C64 to the TV and then plug in the micro USB, plug in the joystick to one of the USB ports and switch the whole thing on.

Of course I had to take some video footage as well, not much though as I was quite excited about playing some games.



Just a quick look at the menu layout and some of the games available.


Thought I'd give Uridium a go and see if I remember what to do. I remember it being a really cool game and I wasn't wrong, even if I wasn't very good.

My next game was Super Cycle and found I was pretty good, I got to the final race and scored 100,320 points, not bad for a first go.

I know there is much more to it than I have shown, such as attaching a keyboard and being able to program using C64 Basic, etc. As and when I get ore time to play I might do a further blog commenting on further possibilities.

And what are my views on the hardware, quality, playability etc. Well there's the whole discussion on non-functioning keys, I say - "So what", if it's that important to you then go buy a USB keyboard. I'd say the build quality is excellent and as for reproduction accuracy it's definitely spot on.

So  would I recommend this to 40 somethings that remember the original Commodore 64, the answer is a resounding YES and would I recommend this to kids now, the answer, again, is a resounding YES. Understanding computer games of the past allows you to respect games of today.

As a nerd/geek who owns modern consoles it is nice to take a break from all that and play on some of the best hardware produced recently.

Apologies for the photo and video quality.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Movie Collection Database

I had the wild idea to use Hollywood Designer to create the software I need, hopefully with a similar interface to MyMovies, is this a good idea? I don't know but working on it should keep me out of trouble for a while.

I use MyMovies on my laptop to catalogue my DVD/Blu-Rays but would like to do this on my Amiga.

MyMovies 5.24

I am aware that other database software for the Amiga already exists, but creating my own would be a blast, if it works.

Blu-Manager created by Pal Ringkilen is one awesome piece of software, but I am biased as I was a tester on the software, for cataloguing Blu-Rays and it has a great interface.

Blu-Manager v0.9

I would like something in between the two, MyMovies has way too much information and, unfortunately, Blu Manager has too little.

I believe movie metadata can be acquired via IMDB and other sites so I assume it should be possible to input the title of the film or the bar code into my software and for the remaining data to be acquired automatically.

If anyone has any insight, suggestions, Hollywood Designer knowledge or thinks I am completely bonkers then please leave some comments below.





Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Interview with Paul Andrews

1. Hello and welcome from us at BlitterWolf. For our readers could you tell us your name, country and occupation please?
A. My name is Paul Andrews, and I am one of the directors of Retro Games Ltd, based here in the UK



2. When was your first experience with computers and what were your thoughts?
A. Well I almost had a ZX81 but upgraded it overnight to a 48K Spectrum, but I have been using computers of either mine or my friends and family since back in that period, from the Vic20, C64, BBC and many more, I was part of the generation which grew up in their early teens using computers for the general public for the first time

3. How many, as we call them now, retro systems have you owned in your lifetime?
A. I used to run a retro game online store called Retro Trader, which in its day was the most visited online store for retro games, back in the early internet days, so I can safely say I have pretty much owned most computers and consoles at some point in time!

4. What drew you to the commodore brand and specifically the C64?
A. The C64 was the biggest and best of the computers of its day with some of the coolest graphics and sounds for that period in time, people love it still and so do we!

5. What made you decide on the kickstarter route to fund the new machine?
A. We thought we would test the market and see if people had the same passion for THEC64 as we did, and we did raise $100k on Indiegogo but based on reactions from that, based on what retailers wanted also, we decided the best way to make it happen was to initially create the mini, and then do the full sized version, but to thank Indiegogo and pre-order backers we are giving them a mini as an extra free gift as well as the full sized version ASAP after the mini as well, so I think we have managed to not only fulfil our promises but also be one of the first if not only crowd funders to give massively more than people paid for as well, even if it took us a bit longer than we original anticipated.

6. Could you give some of the specifications of TheC64 and are there any that couldn't be added?
A. Well apart from coming with 64 preinstalled games the really cool thing is that you can also access BASIC and have a go at programming on it as well. This also means you can access external files and games and so on via the USB/Basic function as well. You can plug in an external USB keyboard and program or even use the internal virtual one if you like. We have tried to make it as good for as many types as users as possible.

7. Who decided the number of games and which games to be included on TheC64?
A. It’s the THEC64, it just had to have 64 games on it right!

8. How long has it taken from initial idea to March 29th 2018, release date in UK?
A. It has literally taken us from Q2 2016 till now, it’s a long complicated process and don’t forget we are not just supplying to backers, we are also doing a full rolled out global release so it’s been a massive operation, which apart from the core team of myself, Chris Smith and Darren Melbourne, literally has had tens of people working hard non-stop on this to make it happen on a global scale.

9. What other hardware do you have in the pipeline?
A. I can’t say too much just yet, but let’s just say we have multiple licenses already signed to us, further ones in discussion, and we are very excited and think you guys will be as well when it’s time to reveal what’s next.

10. Have you ever been a member of an computer group and if so when and where?
A. Not a formal one, but many, many nights of my youth were spent with my friends playing and using computers.

11. What are your thoughts about what happened to Commodore?
A. It’s sad to see any brand fragmented, or not carry on as it might of, but in our own way we hope we are keeping it all alive for fans still.

12. Did you have your most favourite played games on Commodore hardware and what were they?
A. On THEC64 we have tried to include some of the best and our favourite games for the system, and also tried to have a variety of them as well. But the fact that external files can be accessed by THEC64 allows for further fun for everyone as well.

13. Best hardware system of all time for you?
A. That’s hard to say, as there have been so many good systems, maybe I can cheat here and say The Jupiter Ace, as I own that brand!

14. Best game of all time for you?
A. Again hard to say, but possible manic miner purely as it set all new standards back in the day and created a bit of a classic that most people remember no matter what computer you had.

15. Do you have a favourite computer magazine past or present?
A. Probably two, Crash, and Zzap.

16. What are your thoughts on other recreated retro platforms such as the Spectrum Next?
A. I know the guys, and have met with Henrich a few times, they are doing a great job, and think it’s a great machine, and of course designed by Rick so it couldn’t get much better in its design!

17. Now with new retro machines being sold again, have you noticed an increase in demand for your products?
A. Nintendo have set the bar quite high with their mini consoles, but I truly believe we have done a great job with THEC64 mini, and the reaction on the whole has been great from the public, time will tell of course!

18. Are there any planned updates for TheC64 in the near future?
A. Yes firmware updates will be available on an ongoing basis ASAP as well.

19. Do you have any thoughts on creating further hardware or software that you feel might please the retro community?
A. We have a lot planned and we are already working with a range of software developers to create new games for older systems, so its something we are already on the case with.

20. Have you anything further to say about your future?
A. We have a lot of plans, and hopefully with the support of the public and the retro community in general we hope we can make a lot of people happy by bringing them products they will want and will love, please keep watching!

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Happy 12th Birthday AmiKit

Lets go back 12 years to see where it all began and take a look at AmiKit history in words, pictures and video.

AmiKit has been released! (26-Nov-2005)
To be brief, AmiKit is all you need if you want to experience a high-end Classic Amiga system on your PC.
AmiKit turns the default AmigaOS installation into a completely renewed and fresh environment.
More than 20.000 files are included and pre-configured for immediate use!
Exclusive features:
  • Directory Opus Magellan II used a Workbench replacement!!!
  • Special versions of AmiStart, GlobalTrash, ReqChange, ShowAmiga96 and FullPalette!
Major features:
  • User-friendly interface that helps you to manage all your files in an easy way!
  • Internet browsing, mailing, chatting and downloading using various programs like AWeb, IBrowse, YAM, SimpleMail, AmIRC, AmiTradeCenter, AmiGift.
  • Reading PDF, M$Word, RTF and other document formats with the help of APDF, EvenMore, Antiword.
  • Manage your time and account with the help of Daywatch and HomeBank.
  • Music software, net streaming, MP3 creating and sample editing software like AmigaAMP, AmiNetRadio, EaglePlayer, SymphoniePlayer, LAME, TheMPegEncGUI, SampleEditor.
  • Displaying (even in thumbnails) and editing pictures with the help of PicShow, Thumb, MysticView, FroggerNG, PerfectPaint... Or enjoy the fractal world through ZoneXplorer!
  • Easy handling of archives. They are opened like every other drawer. Or some external programs could be used instead (VooDoo-X, MUIUnArc, XPKatana).
  • Massive FTP support through OpusFTP module. It has a full GUI for the Address Book and operational parameters.
  • Software for burning and copying the CDs (MakeCD), for mounting virtual CDs (VirtualCD).
  • You can make your AmiKit password protected. Just don't forget your password
  • Pre-configured recognition and processing of many file formats (through the DOpus filetypes).
  • Various system tools like SysInspector, SnoopDos, Q-Device, ShowPatches.
  • Antivirus software effectively checks the system files, memory and archives for viruses.
  • Emulation software like ASp for retro ZX gaming.
  • Great taskbar software: AmiStart (for those who do not like the taskbars on Amiga, simply remove AmiStart from WBStartup. Easy!)
  • Most advanced Amiga "recycle bin" software: GlobalTrash.
  • Visual enchancers and system enchancers like VisualPrefs, Birdie, TitleShadow, BoingBall, MagicMenu, MCP.
  • Warp3D compatibility thanks to QuarkTex software.
  • Yes, some games are included as well
  • ...and much more!

AmiKit 1.01 update (06-Dec-2005):
  • ADDED: new Magic bootpicture for 1024x768.
  • UPDATED: asyncio.library 40.6
  • FIXED: bad replaying of sound modules due to incorrect frequency settings
  • FIXED: ASp audio problems with AHI6
  • FIXED: AF2005 Online Edition not recognized if Win C: partition has no additional name.

AmiKit 1.02 update (12-Dec-2005):
  • ADDED: excellent DirOpus4 configuration created for AmiKit by Pavel Pok
  • ADDED: GMPlay 1.3 + GMPlayMUI 1.2 + gmtones + MidiFiles
  • ADDED: XPK packing options to DirOpus5 User Menu
  • UPDATED: FlashPlayer 1.2
  • UPDATED: MCC_TextEditor 15.17
  • UPDATED: MMKeyboard enabled by default
  • UPDATED: AmiKit.exe warns you if the name of your Win partition is in conflict with AmiKit
  • UPDATED: handling of DirOpus5 XPK and XFD filetypes
  • FIXED: bad recognizing of DirOpus5 Sound Module filetype

AmiKit 1.03 update (24-Dec-2005):
  • ADDED: AmiKit Polish documentation, translated by Tomek!
  • ADDED: AmigaAMP-External68k engine, set as default engine now.
  • UPDATED: AmigaAMP 2.16
  • UPDATED: IBrowse Preferences 23.3
  • UPDATED: Jabberwocky 1.6
  • UPDATED: MakeCD 3.2d beta 11
  • UPDATED: WHDLoad 16.5 build 4021
  • UPDATED: WookieChat 1.9.2
  • UPDATED: YAM 2.4p1 + locale files

2006
AmiKit 1.04 update (24-Jan-2006)
  • ADDED: DigiConverter 1.2
  • ADDED: GuardAmy 1.2
  • ADDED: STFax 4.0
  • ADDED: Tree 1.785
  • UPDATED: akGIF.datatype 45.30
  • UPDATED: akJFIF.datatype 45.30
  • UPDATED: akPNG.datatype 45.30
  • UPDATED: akTIFF.datatype 45.30
  • UPDATED: console.device 44.10 patch
  • UPDATED: KingCON 1.7
  • UPDATED: LimpidClock 1.16 beta
  • UPDATED: MultiView 45.10 patch
  • UPDATED: NewString.mcc 16.17 beta
  • UPDATED: rexxsyslib.library 44.2
  • UPDTAED: PicShow 31.301 and Thumb 7.223
  • UPDATED: SimpleMail 0.28
  • UPDATED: TTEngine 7.2
  • UPDATED: WookieChat 1.9.3
  • FIXED: AmiKit Polish offline documentation links refered to internet
  • FIXED: AmiKit/Configurations moved to AmiKit/WinUAE/Configurations so the "Configure WinUAE" button shows the config entries now
  • FIXED: Double AmiKit install entries in "Add or Remove Programs"

AmiKit 1.1.0 in TrueType suite now! (28-Mar-2006)
  • AmiKit now supports antialiased TrueType fonts!
  • Loading speed of icons has been increased!
  • Quality of icon rendering has been improved!
  • WinUAE emulation software updated to version 1.2.0
  • AmiKit now contains the largest collection of AmigaOS3.9 patches.

AmiKit 1.1.1 update (07-Apr-2006) - updates your AmiKit v1.1.0 to version 1.1.1
  • FIXED: Some TrueType fonts were not copied to AmiKit during previous update. Therefore, eg. AWeb did not work correctly with TrueType fonts enabled.
  • FIXED: Latest "Install Patches" failed in specific circumstances.

AMIKIT 1.1.2 UPDATE (21-Apr-2006):
  • ADDED: AKCC 6.3 by Andreas R. Kleinert
  • UPDATED: AfA_OS 3.93.1
  • UPDATED: AWeb 3.5.08 beta
  • UPDATED: FileX 2.4
  • UPDATED: R (The GUI Generator) 2.18
  • UPDATED: Sudoku 1.4
  • UPDATED: Workbench.library 45.131

AMIKIT 1.1.3 UPDATE (16-May-2006):
  • ADDED: FryingPan 0.4c (DEMO) by Tomasz Wiszkowski
  • UPDATED: AKCC 6.4
  • UPDATED: ASp 0.87
  • UPDATED: Ken's browser navigation buttons
  • UPDATED: MCP 1.45
  • UPDATED: MMKeyboard 3.18
  • UPDATED: QuarkTex 0.53
  • UPDATED: ReqTools.library 39.3 rev2
  • UPDATED: TheMPegEncGUI 2.61
  • UPDATED: Tree 1.791 beta
  • UPDATED: WookieChat 2.1
  • FIXED: DOpusFuncs by Bernd Roesch. Window's "Lister & Open the Same" entry no longer crashes.
  • FIXED: MUIUnArc crashed if launched from right-mouse menu.
  • FIXED: PNG and GIF support was broken due to AfA_OS datatypes.

AmiKit 1.1.4 update (25-May-2006):
  • ADDED: tsgui - Track Saver 2.1 by Thomas Rapp
  • ADDED: Complete DOpus5 support for creating/extracting ADF, ADZ and DMS images!
  • UPDATED: akJFIF.datatype 45.50
  • UPDATED: ASp 0.87b
  • UPDATED: Meridian 2.21
  • UPDATED: MMKeyboard 3.20
  • UPDATED: R 2.19

AmiKit 1.2.0 Full and Update packages available (06-Sep-2006)
AmiKit: free preinstalled high-end classic Amiga environment for WinUAE has been updated! We've been working hard to bring you this major update. Besides many changes, AmiKit now supports a Live Update feature that automatically ensures your files are always up to date!

AmiKit 1.2.1 update (24-Sep-2006): The Pianeta Amiga update
  • UPDATED: AISS 3.1
  • UPDATED: akPNG Datatype 45.52
  • UPDATED: AmigaAMP 2.17
  • UPDATED: PlayOGG 4.8

AmiKit 1.2.2 update (03-Oct-2006):
  • ADDED: EaglePlayer replayers (Musicline 4/8V, NoiseTracker, Protracker, TFMX) by Wanted Team (Don Adan)
  • UPDATED: AfA_OS 3.94
  • UPDATED: AmiKit - Live Update 1.1
  • UPDATED: AmiKit - ScreenMode AmiKit 1.2
  • UPDATED: AmigAIM 0.9455
  • UPDATED: PlayOGG 5.1
  • FIXED: AmigaAMP 68k-Emu engine should work again

AmiKit 1.2.6 UPDATE available (14-Dec-2006)
We bring you a small Christmas update of the AmiKit package, which is a way to experience a high-end Classic AmigaOS on your Windows system.
The update (and a Christmas surprise) is delivered to you automatically thanks to AmiKit's Live Update feature.

2007
AmiKit 1.3.0 - Now with PNG, dual PNG & OS4 icon support! (21-Feb-2007)
We are very proud to announce the AmiKit now supports modern icon formats. This is the first time the OS3.x based environment is able to show and use PNG, dual PNG and OS4 icons. Moreover, Directory Opus Magellan II (included in AmiKit) is able to use them too, finally! Look at the screenshots!
This is a significant accomplishment since Magellan users haven't even been able to display PNG icons to this point. All this would not be possible without the magic work of Bernd Roesch and his excellent AfA_OS project. Also big thanks to Ken Lester, a devoted AfA & AmiKit beta tester, who painted dual PNG icons for AmiKit and gave it a more modern look.

AmiKit 1.3.1 LIVE update (12-Mar-2007):
  • ADDED: MakeCD free license key!
  • ADDED: New dual PNG icons by Ken Lester
  • UPDATED: AfA_OS 3.95
  • UPDATED: akPNG DataType 45.58
  • UPDATED: akSVG DataType 45.58
  • UPDATED: CD mountlists (decreased the MaxTransfer value)
  • UPDATED: FryingPan 1.2.2
  • UPDATED: HivelyTracker 1.3
  • UPDATED: MCC_BetterString 11.9
  • UPDATED: MCC_TheBar 21.3
  • UPDATED: MUIbase 2.2
  • UPDATED: playOGG 6.4
  • UPDATED: VICE 1.21
  • FIXED: Now holding down a Shift key during boot process loads Workbench instead of Magellan.

AmiKit 1.3.2 LIVE update (19-Mar-2007):
  • UPDATED: AfA_OS - faster icon_lib.exe
  • UPDATED: LimpidClock
  • UPDATED: Meridian 2.23 (1-Mar-2007)
  • UPDATED: microgolded 8 SP 8
  • UPDATED: MMKeyboard 3.24 (1-Mar-2007)
  • UPDATED: playOGG 6.4d

AmiKit 1.3.3 LIVE update (02-May-2007): So Long Fred, and thanks for all the Fish disks!
  • ADDED: Amijeweled 1.2 Demo (special AmiKit version) by Insane-Software!
  • ADDED: AWeb nav buttons by El Amigos
  • ADDED: EasyACCDA 1.9 by Allesandro Marinuzzi
  • ADDED: Leon 64k intro by Elcrew
  • ADDED: More DualPNG icons painted Ken Lester
  • ADDED: More French translations by Eric Luczyszyn
  • ADDED: Shiny theme created by fishy_fis
  • UPDATED: AfA_OS icon_lib.exe
  • UPDATED: akJFIF DataType 45.60
  • UPDATED: akLJPG DataType 45.60
  • UPDATED: akNAIL DataType 45.60
  • UPDATED: akPNG DataType 45.60
  • UPDATED: akSVG DataType 45.60
  • UPDATED: akTIFF DataType 45.60
  • UPDATED: AmiKit LiveUpdate 1.3
  • UPDATED: AmiKit - MorpheuZ 1.3
  • UPDATED: EvenMore 0.64 + AISS ToolBar
  • UPDATED: FryingPan 1.2.3
  • UPDATED: LimpidClock 1.18 beta
  • UPDATED: microgolded 8 SP9
  • UPDATED: MMKeyboard 3.25
  • UPDATED: playOGG 6.6
  • UPDATED: Smart Filesystem 1.270

AmiKit 1.3.6 (04-Jul-2007)
The new AmiKit update provides you with 100 more DualPNG icons painted by Ken Lester. Thanks mate! We have also added a new frontend for WHDLoad and other games called iGame programmed by Emmanuel Vasilakis. Eric Luczyszyn has enriched the AmiKit with new French catalogs. Several software has been updated as well.


AmiKit 1.4.0 available (finally) (01-Nov-2007)
The packages able to update your previous AmiKit installation to the latest 1.4.0 version are available to download.
AmiKit is a free pre-configured compilation of more than 300 of the finest Amiga programs. It runs under emulation on your Windows system.
There are two different update archives:
  • A cumulative installer that updates any of the AmiKit 1.3.x version to AmiKit 1.4.0
  • An installer that updates your AmiKit 1.3.7 to AmiKit 1.4.0
  • CD version of AmiKit 1.4.0 is also available!

AmiKit 1.4.2 update: (17-Dec-2007)
  • ADDED: More French catalogs by Eric Luczyszyn
  • UPDATED: akJFIF-Datatype 45.81
  • UPDATED: akTIFF-Datatype 45.81
  • UPDATED: DigiConverter 1.4
  • UPDATED: iGame 1.4
  • UPDATED: JoinSplitter 1.32
  • UPDATED: LAME 3.97
  • UPDATED: playOGG 8.1
  • UPDATED: TheMPegEncGUI 2.65
  • UPDATED: TKPlayer 2.1
  • UPDATED: WookieChat 2.8
  • FIXED: Doubleclicking the ADF files works again.

2008
AmiKit 1.4.3 Live update (19-Jan-2008)
AmiKit, the high-end Amiga environment on your PC, has been updated. The package is available for download via automatic Live Update feature. Many applications have been updated, including the popular e-mail clients and others.


AmiKit 1.4.4 Live update (03-Feb-2008):
  • ADDED: amrss 5.57, the RSS reader by Alfonso Ranieri
  • ADDED: xad_7z by Chris Young
  • ADDED: HTMLview 12.6 by Allan Odgaard
  • UPDATED: akJFIF DataType 45.88
  • UPDATED: akPNG DataType 45.88
  • UPDATED: akSVG DataType 45.89
  • UPDATED: akTIFF DataType 45.88
  • UPDATED: FreeDB 13.8
  • UPDATED: MCC_MiniMailer 22.0
  • UPDATED: playOGG 8.7
  • FIXED: Missing DOpus4 config file

AmiKit 1.5.0 "Chat Noir" released! (08-Sep-2008)
  • A fresh new look
  • Support of new 24bit themes (11 included!)
  • Support of Amiga Forever 2008
  • Choice of two automatic installers for Linux platforms

AmiKit 1.5.1 Live update (04-Oct-2008)
AmiKit, the free high-end Amiga emulation package, has been updated. The update is performed automatically thanks to its sophisticated Live update program.
In addition there's a new Add-On called Theme Switcher. It lets you switch between the green (default) and blue (old) theme for AmiKit. This includes the default startup images, wallpapers and window patterns.

AmiKit 1.5.2 and new engine add-on (22-Nov-2008)
AmiKit, the free software package that turns your Windows or Linux system into the high-end Amiga environment, has been updated.
Highlight: The v1.5.2 version contains the new and yet publically unreleased AfA_OS 4.3 (AROS for Amiga) system which enriches the AmiKit OS3.x environment with up-to-date AROS features. The update is delivered to you automatically thanks to AmiKit's integrated Live Update feature. Here's what's new.
The AmiKit emulation engine (WinUAE) has also been updated. There's a new Add-On which, when installed, updates the emulation engine of your AmiKit automatically.

2009
AmiKit 1.5.5 released (01-Feb-2009)
AmiKit, the free software package that turns your Windows or Linux system into the high-end Amiga environment, has been updated. (Please click read more)

AmiKit 1.5.6 Live Update released (02-Mar-2009)
A month passed and the new Live update package is ready for your preconfigured high-end Amiga on your PC system called AmiKit:
  • UPDATED: AmigaAMP 2.20
  • UPDATED: bzip2 1.0.5
  • UPDATED: p7zip 4.65a (and Magellan's menu and 7z filetype)
  • UPDATED: SabreMSN 0.42
  • UPDATED: vorbistools 1.2.0e
  • UPDATED: WHDLoad 16.9
  • UPDATED: xad_7z 1.9

AmiKit 1.5.8 Live update (07-Apr-2009)
AmiKit, the free high-end Amiga on your PC, has been updated.
The installation is very easy. If you're new to AmiKit, simply download the latest full archive (for Windows or Linux) and the automatic Live Update mechanism takes care of the rest.

AmiKit Live Update 1.5.9 (24-May-2009)
The AmiKit package has been updated as well. The latest version is installed automatically via the built-in Live Update mechanism:
  • ADDED: ChaosPro 3.3.3 by Martin Pfingstl
  • ADDED: ffmpeg 0.5 (SVN-r18880), Amiga port by Piotr Bandurski
  • UPDATED: AfA_OS 4.4
  • UPDATED: AmigaAMP 2.21
  • UPDATED: ixemul library 61.1
  • UPDATED: playOGG 10.0c
  • UPDATED: PicShow 1.31 (build 31.438)
  • UPDATED: SabreMSN alpha 49
  • UPDATED: WookieChat 2.12 beta 3

2011
AmiKit 1.6.0: The biggest update ever! Now available for Windows, Mac and Linux. (25-Dec-2011)
We are proud to present the biggest AmiKit update ever. We spent countless hours, days and weeks working on this project so we could deliver a real high-quality product for the Amiga community out there. And we succeeded. This long awaited version introduces exciting new features and, in addition, comes on a luxury 4GB USB flash disk! (free public link will be available later). We hope you will enjoy AmiKit as much as we did during its development!
Main features:
  • Introducing new full version applications like AmIRC, FroggerNG and FryingPan.
  • Full video replaying support: simply doubleclick and play most of the modern video formats
  • New emulation engine (WinUAE 2.4.0 AmiKit preview)
  • New graphics artwork by Kenneth E. Lester, Jr.
  • New integrated software like NetSurf, ScummVM, AmiTwitter, OpenSSL, Wazp3D, etc.
  • Dozens of updated applications like AfA_OS, FlashPlayer, MCP, Scalos, WHDLoad, YAM, etc.
  • Enhanced compatibility with the latest Amiga Forever versions
  • Many improvements and fixes... and much more!
  • Plus one more thing... FULL & REGISTERED VERSION OF DIRECTORY OPUS MAGELLAN II (license granted by GPSoftware)

2012
AmiKit 1.6.1 LIVE update released (10-Feb-2012)
This update adds support for RAR archives, enhances video replaying capabilities as well as updates other components of AmiKit. Installation is automatic via Live Update feature. Enjoy! For more information, detailed change-log or free download visit AmiKit website.

AmiKit 1.6.2 update released (06-Sep-2012)

AmiKit 1.6.3 update released (20-Nov-2012)

AmiKit 1.6.4 LIVE update released (31-Dec-2012)
AmiKit, the high-end distribution of the best classic Amiga software running on Windows, Linux or Mac, has been updated.
The new 1.6.4 update contains recently released software updates and patches. Thanks for your support and Happy New Year!
Key features of AmiKit:
  • Full & exclusive applications included
  • Compact visual and functional design
  • Three different working environments: Magellan, Scalos, Workbench
  • Automatic Live Updates that keep your AmiKit always fresh and up to date!
  • True type fonts, DualPNG icons and 24bit visual themes
  • Easy and fully automated installation and un-installation
  • Various add-ons - games package, expert programs, etc.
  • And much more...

2013
AmiKit 1.6.5 released (08-May-2013)
We're proud to announce a new AmiKit version which increases icon loading speed by 15% - 20% thanks to PeterK's improved icon library. New AmiKit also updates programs like NetSurf, MUIbase, LAME etc. and several libraries. The update gets installed automatically via Live Update (and works with Real AmiKit too).
What is AmiKit?
AmiKit is the high-end distribution of the best classic Amiga software running on Windows, Linux or Mac (and recently on real Amiga too).
Key features of AmiKit:
  • Full & exclusive applications included
  • Compact visual and functional design
  • Three different working environments: Magellan, Scalos, Workbench
  • Automatic Live Updates that keep your AmiKit always fresh and up to date!
  • True type fonts, DualPNG icons and 24bit visual themes
  • Easy and fully automated installation and un-installation
  • Various add-ons - games package, expert programs, etc.
  • And much more...

AmiKit 1.6.7 released (26-Dec-2013)
AmiKit extends the traditional AmigaOS and greatly improves its features. It consists of more than 340 programs which turn the default system into high-end Amiga experience.
The new version delivers the latest program updates. Enjoy!
Requirements:
  • Windows, Mac or Linux machine (or real Amiga too)
  • Original AmigaOS 3.5 or higher

2014
AmiKit 7 is now available for FREE download! (10-Jun-2014)
WHAT IS AMIKIT?
AmiKit turns your computer, tablet or phone into legendary Amiga computer. FOR FREE!
This pre-configured software package includes more than 350 of the finest Amiga programs! You can surf web, read emails and documents, listen to or create your own music, burn CD/DVDs, edit images, play games and much more - all in good old Amiga way! We've done all the hard work for you so that your high-end Amiga experience can begin right away.
AmiKit works on the following platforms:
  • Windows (XP, 7 and 8)
  • Mac OS X (Intel or PowerPC)
  • Linux (32bit or 64bit)
  • Android (v4.2+, ARM7 or x86 CPU)
  • Real Amiga (68030+AGA)

AmiKit 8 with MUI 4 released! (02-Dec-2014)
The legend returns: New AmiKit 8 with MUI 4 released!
The Classic Amiga community has a lot to celebrate today. Magic user interface 4 (MUI4) has been brought back to life. This upgrade, exclusively released for AmiKit, is a milestone for classic AmigaOS3 users!
The 8th major update of AmiKit delivers new software, graphics, improvements & fixes. Also MorpheuZ got new powers. Now you can control even more AmiKit features with this magic daemon. Check it out for yourself!
Tons of other software has been updated in this release too including system optimizations. Icons now load faster, alpha channel transparency is supported, windows performs more effectively, memory fragmentation has been decreased, etc.
AmiKit 8 is exclusively available on a bootable solid metal design flash disk. And you'll get AmiKit 8 download links after purchase. (Customers who bought the flash disk before have access to new downloads too. Simply enter the same download area as before.)
Free public download will be available soon. Stay tuned!
Thank you to all of you wonderful people using AmiKit. You, yes you, are the key to our motivation. Your interest and feedback mean the world to us. Come participate in our Forums or get in touch via Facebook or Twitter. We love hearing from you!

AmiKit 8.1 released! (24-Dec-2014)
Ready for the update? We are! AmiKit is now even better with a new version of MUI4 and other improvements. A few minor bugs from the previous version were squashed too in this release.

2015
AmiKit 8.2 with updated MUI4 released. (28-Jan-2015)
Solid metal design. Limited Edition.



AmiKit 8.3 updates (21-Feb-2015)
Magic User Interface (MUI4) and special edition of EvenMore text viewer to the latest versions.
Simply run AmiKit and the Live Update will update your installation automatically. Enjoy!


AmiKit 8.4 updated. Happy Easter! (05-Apr-2015)
AmiKit is a free project, powered by enthusiasm, that turns your computer, tablet or phone into legendary Amiga. It includes more than 350 of the finest apps.
We've updated several components in this 8.4 release.
MUI4 got new pointers - hover your mouse over a link or column separator to see what we are talking about. A number of custom classes have been updated to the latest versions too.
WHDLoad, the ultimate game loader, is now able to update itself! From now on, your old games will always get a fresh support :)
System libraries like OpenURL, CodeSet and IconLib have been updated too.
And last, but not least, we've improved Polish and Russian language support in AmiKit. There are more catalogs and better fonts now. Enjoy!

AmiKit 8.5 - Summer Adventure Update (12-Jul-2015)
Do you like adventures? Classic or Sci-Fi genre? In this new release you can become a pilot for hire in point-and-click adventure called Flight of the Amazon Queen or try to escape from future world Beneath a Steel Sky.
Or if you like to read instead, we've included complete and digitally remastered versions of Directory Opus 5 manuals in PDF format
That's not all. We have something special for you, as always. This AmiKit update introduces new NetSurf browser with JavaScript support!
MUI4 (Magical User Interface) has been updated to the latest version as well as EvenMore text viewer and IconLib. AISS (Amiga Image Storage System) got 2.500 new images.
Game engines like ScummVM & WHDLoad have been improved too. Enjoy the summer with AmiKit


WHAT IS AMIKIT?
AmiKit is a free project, powered by enthusiasm, that turns your computer, tablet or phone into legendary Amiga. It includes more than 350 of the finest applications.

AmiKit 8.5.1: Special Amiga 30 Years Edition! (15-Oct-2015)


The bootable solid metal USB Flash Disk MK2
This new 16GB edition now uses the WinUAE emulator running on a customized Linux distro called AmiPUP. This concept, paradoxly, is much more stable and actually faster than previous E-UAE edition.
The special AmiKit 8.5.1 on the Flash Disk now includes a feature called "Rabbit Hole" which enables you to launch Windows and Linux apps as well as open Amiga document files with them - all this from AmiKit!
This special portable edition was released for the Amiga 30th birthday party in Neuss, Germany.

2016
AmiKit X video preview (07-Mar-2016)
This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember: all I'm offering is the truth. Nothing more. (-- Morpheus, The Matrix)
Have you ever wondered what the mysterious Rabbit Hole is about? Check out our video preview: https://youtu.be/CtZY5gVePFE
AmiKit X on A.L.I.C.E. laptop launches and runs Linux apps on Amiga desktop thanks to the feature called "Rabbit Hole".
What's A.L.I.C.E. ?
A.L.I.C.E. (A Laptop Incorporating a Classic Experience) utilizes ordinary PC Laptop hardware to achieve extraordinary results. Read more about A.L.I.C.E.
And what's AmiKit X?
AmiKit X (version 10) is a special version of AmiKit being developed for A.L.I.C.E. laptops. It will contain many enhancements compared to AmiKit 8.
Okay, what's AmiKit and how does it work?
AmiKit is a free project, powered by enthusiasm, that turns your computer into legendary Amiga. It includes more than 350 of the finest applications. AmiKit uses an emulator engine to run Amiga environment on a host system (on the A.L.I.C.E. laptop it's a Linux, which is completely hidden, but easily accessed if desired). Moreover AmiKit enriches the default Amiga Operating System (Workbench) with many exciting features and add-ons. We've done all the hard work for you so that your high-end Amiga experience can begin right away.
When the A.L.I.C.E. with AmiKit X is going to be released?
We're working hard to deliver the laptop soon. Stay tuned. Meanwhile join our Facebook fan page for the latest news and previews: https://www.facebook.com/AmiKit
Okay, you got my attention but I don't want to wait...
Download our AmiKit 8 which already is a fully evolved environment available for free for Windows, Linux and Mac. The portable version is even able to boot your computer to AmiKit from USB Flash Disk!

2017
AmiKit X released! (19-May-2017)
The 10th long-awaited version of a well-known emulation package has finally been released. Originally developed as the main operating system for A.L.I.C.E. (A Laptop Incorporating Classic Experience), it is now available for the broader audience of Windows and Mac users.
With tons of improvements and all the included programs (more than 380 now!), AmiKit X represents the most complete and up-to-date classic 68k Amiga world in a modern suit!






AmiKit X is also bringing new updates to 'killer' Amiga programs like AfA_OS, MCP, AmiStart and others. An important milestone is that new Magic User Interface 5 (MUI) is now included with a keyfile, which makes it a full version enabling all MUI apps to look beautiful in AmiKit, especially in HD or FullHD resolutions which are now supported. Dropbox and Google drive are also supported.
Overall design of AmiKit was refreshed, including new visual themes, icons and other graphics from artist Ken Lester.




For those who loved classic Amiga games (who didn't?) there is a gem included: the legendary Another World! If you prefer shoot 'em up style games instead, you will like an exclusive port of Tyrian DOS game for sure.







The development of this edition took almost 2 years. We've done all the hard work for you so you can instantly enjoy AmigaOS3.x world at its best.
If you cannot or simply do not wish to support it by purchasing it, you can always download AmiKit 8.5 FOREVER FREE (which represents more than 10 years of development), and is available for Windows, Linux, Android and as a Portable version too.
If you purchased AmiKit 9 for Mac on 19th March or later, or if you donated to AmiKit project in the past, you're entitled to a discount.
As was traditional for good old Aminet CDs, if your software is included with AmiKit X, you are entitled to a free copy.



AmiKit 10.2 update + Linux version (11-Aug-2017)
Hope you're having a great summer! (or winter in Australia & New Zealand)
To make it even better for you, we've released a free update for all AmiKit X users.
Simply boot your AmiKit and the integrated Live Update will take care of the rest.
We deliver the latest program updates, such as MUI 5, NetSurf, WHDLoad and many others, as well as some bugfixes. A new game called MiniSlug is included too!
Oh, and we released AmiKit X for Linux too!
For details please visit www.amikit.amiga.sk
What is AmiKit X?
It's the 10th long-awaited version of a well-known emulation package of more than 380 Classic AmigaOS3.x programs. We've done all the hard work for you. Everything is pre-installed, well configured and designed.
AmiKit X, now available for Windows, Mac and Linux users, was originally developed as the main operating system for A.L.I.C.E. (A Laptop Incorporating Classic Experience by A-Eon Technology Ltd, read more in their press release).
With tons of improvements and all the included programs, AmiKit X represents the most complete and up-to-date classic 68k Amiga world in a modern suit!
AmiKit X REVIEWS
Amiga User Magazine (online/printed, English/Polish) - "This is just beautiful!"
Moj Mac Magazyn (online, Polish) - "5 out of 5 points!"
Epsilon's Amiga Blog (online, English) - "In summary, AmiKit X offers a hell of a lot of features and inclusions, and the pre-built environment is wonderful and saves us all a huge amount of time. To build the very basic AmigaOS 3.1 or 3.9 environment into something even remotely close to what has been achieved here would likely take weeks of effort. Time most of us don't have anymore! For that significant work alone, AmiKit X is worth the outlay!"
Amiga Future 127 (printed, English/German) - "Those who have already played classic Turrican will know this feeling: as a man made of flesh and blood is thrust into a state-of-the-art combat suit that makes you stronger, faster and invincible, say super human. The chrome gleams on the breast shield and on the phaser cannons, you can jump higher, faster and further and don't need to hide from anything or anyone. If you don't have Turrican at hand you can also get this feeling with AmiKit X"
BlitterWolf Amiga magazine (online, English) or Amiga Future 127 (printed, English/German) - interesting interviews with Jan Zahurancik, the founder & designer of AmiKit


What do you need to run AmiKit?
  • First of all, you need Windows, Mac or Linux system (other platforms like Raspberry Pi or Vampire will be supported in future)
  • AmiKit already includes 380 Amiga programs, but it does NOT include the Amiga Operating System required to run them. Therefore, for AmiKit to work, you still need AmigaOS & ROM files.


AmiKit X 10.2.1 (19-Aug-2017)
We've just released a small maintenance update for AmiKit X. It's delivered automatically via Live Update. Simply boot your AmiKit and it will be updated to the latest version 10.2.1



AmiKit X 10.3 Live Update has been released (02-Sep-2017)


AmiKit X is the most complete and up-to-date Classic Amiga world in a modern suit. Now it includes more than 390 pre-configured AmigaOS3.x programs running on your Windows, Mac or Linux.


AmiKit X 10.3.1 (26-Sep-2017)
New bits and bytes coming your way through Live Update Superhighway! We've fixed some bugs to keep your Modern Retro Experience sparkling:



AmiKit 10.4 (15-Oct-2017)
Long time no hear? The October Live Update is ready! :) AmiKit 10.4


AmiKit Maintenance Update (07-Nov-2017)
AmiKit X 10.4.1 Maintenance Update has been released. The Scalos now works again! Use MorpheuZ & Desktop Replacement to switch between DOpus, Scalos and Workbench freely.



--------------------------------

Thought a history lesson would help Amigans realise just how hard the community works to bring us the best of the best.

A lot of people should say "Thank You" to Jan for all the hard work he puts into AmiKit.

Michael Holmes