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[PC-Task] Tutorial - Gold Core

Rod Pulsar

Posts 2
04 Nov 2016 16:01


Hi folks,
 
  Owner of a Vampire 600v2 and waiting for the FPU option, I started to mess around Emulation and transpose my A1260 configs to the A600v2 with latest Gold Core.
 
  This post will be about PC-Task, and before anyone Trolls, no it's not really useful, but we do this because we can, not necessarily because we need to ;)
 
 
 
 
  What do you need :
-------------------

 
  - An Amiga 600 with a Vampire v2, and a Gold Core (it works with other configs of course, but  basically : the more power, the more Emulation speed)
  - PC-Task 4.4 : EXTERNAL LINK  - Some good knowledge or memories of DOS environment
  - A DOS Hardfile. Here is a preinstalled DOS6.22 Virtual Disk, on the EAB Zone : EXTERNAL LINK 
 
  STEP 0 : Firmware and OS Versions
----------------------------------

 
  - Personnally I used a basic Classic Workbench on the Amiga 600, because I'm lazy, and I didn't want to install again all needed files in the OS (lha, DOpus, libraries, etc).
  - Your Vampire v2 must have latest Core and SAGA drivers installed.
  - For information my workbench is in SAGA 640x480 60Hz 8bit 16 colors. Kickstart 45.20, Workbench 40.42
 
 
  STEP 1 : Installation
----------------------

 
  - Extract and Install PC-Task 4.4 as you would install any Amiga program, it's pretty straightforward, just click next, next, next :)
 
 
  STEP 2 : PC-Task configuration basics
--------------------------------------

 
  - Now you'll need to create a partition or a hardfile when configuring PC-Task : if you want to avoid a LOT of trouble, please use the DOS6.22 link above. Download it, copy it on your Amiga, then use your favorite lzx unpacker or the "Arc Ext" option in DOpus.
  - Put this 7Mb hardfile into any Amiga partition.
 
  IMPORTANT : Name it exactly like this : Hardfile0 (no extension)
 
 
  STEP 3 : Preparing PC-Task
---------------------------

 
  - Edit the Icon information of "PC-Task_Dynamic" : rem both lines BIOSFILE and CPUID adding ; in front of them. (The guy uploading the file has left his own configuration).
 
  Screenshot :
  EXTERNAL LINK 
  - Launch PC-Task_Dynamic.
  - In the config screen on the left you'll see HardDrive C, put the full link to your Hardfile0
 
  Screenshot :
  EXTERNAL LINK 
  -> On my screenshot, both my hardfiles are in data:ISOBANK/Voludos/HardfileX
  (data: is the name of my DH4: partition)
 
  - Hardfile0 will be the Boot partition C: and I created a Hardfile1 that will be my D:
 
 
 
  STEP 3,5 : I want to create a Hardfile myself !
------------------------------------------------

 
  - To DIY and create your Hardfile, just select Create HardDiskFile, enter a name and a size. Please do not create Hardfiles bigger than 1024Mb (in fact you can go up to 2048, but I had some serious problems with sizes bigger than 1024. However 1024 is big already for old DOS progs).
 
  Screenshot :
  EXTERNAL LINK 
  - Your created Hardfile will be in the PC-Task installation folder. So if you want it elsewhere, move it.
  - Launch PC-Task, you will be on C: prompt. Type FDISK.
 
  IMPORTANT : Change Current Fixed Disk Drive (5) ! Then in the list select 2. Press enter.
 
  - Press 1 (Create DOS partition). Press 1 (Create Primary DOS partition). Press Y (max avail size). Press ESC. Press ESC again. DOS will reboot.
  - Once again on C: prompt : type "Format D:". Press Y. Enter. Give a name to the partition et voilà.
  - Back on C: prompt, if you type D: you will now move the prompt to the second Hardfile partition.
 
 
  STEP 4 : Misc setup.
---------------------

 
  - The configuration of bottom right window is easy : let conventional memory @640, extended memory a bit under 16Mb (15360 here), min leave @400.
 
  Screenshot :
  EXTERNAL LINK 
 
  STEP 5 : Preparing Video Output modes.
---------------------------------------

 
  - This part is simple, but took me ages to understand. In fact when you launch a DOS prog, PC-Task will process a Video Mode input and redirect it into an output doable on your Amiga. So basically you are going to configure each possible DOS input and redirect it to any corresponding Amiga output.
 
  - TOP RIGHT Window : Select HUGE, VGA Graphic Adapter, select mouse, no sound (sound is only PC speakers in PC-Task), FPU is greyed for now ;)
 
  Screenshot :
  EXTERNAL LINK 
  - Click on the Advanced Video Options.
 
  TOP LEFT a reference number (or letter) for the PC Mode. If you keep clicking on "Up Mode", you will see that there are 23 different modes, between CGA, EGA, VGA, SVGA, 320*200 to 1280*1024, 2 to 256 colors (256 colors max = 8 bits max). Each of these modes represent one mode that can be used by any DOS program, so you will have to link each of them to an Amiga mode.
 
  To do so, Always select "Screen", Set Mode, choose the mode (read below), then Up Mode and do the same for each 23 of them.
 
  Screenshot :
  EXTERNAL LINK 
  I used a very easy way to do so :
  - Each mode having a Resolution starting by 320*X, I choosed the SAGA 4:3 320*240 8bits mode.
  - Each mode having a Resolution starting by 640*X, I choosed the SAGA 4:3 640*480 8bits mode.
  - All higher modes, I choosed same 8bits mode.
 
 
  Screenshot :
  EXTERNAL LINK 
  Other screenshot :
  EXTERNAL LINK 
  Other Other Screenshot:
  EXTERNAL LINK 
 
  Then click OK and SAVE CONFIGURATION.
 
 
  STEP 6 : Autoexec.bat and Config.sys
-------------------------------------

 
  - As most of you know (or not), PC DOS couldn't start correctly without these two important files. Here are both my file contents :
 
  - Use "edit config.sys" or "edit autoexec.bat" to modify the files. Don't forget to save after modification.
 
  CONFIG.SYS
 
  Screenshot :
  EXTERNAL LINK 
  Notes :
  - Testmem:off is important, otherwise starting DOS will take ages.
  - Country must use codes relative to where you live and what keyboard you use (french here). Use this form : EXTERNAL LINK 
  AUTOEXEC.BAT
 
  Screenshot :
  EXTERNAL LINK 
  Notes :
  - Once again : Fr KB on this screenshot. Replace accordingly.
  - PCTMouse.exe is inside the MSDOSUtils folder of PC-Task4.
 
 
  - At any moment you can quit PC-Task using the following command : pctquit
  - At any moment you can quit PC-Task doing RIGHT AMIGA + SUPPR
 
 
  STEP 7 : Transferring files from AMIGA partition to PC partition
-----------------------------------------------------------------

 
  - IMPORTANT : First be sure that the file hardfile.device is in your DEVS: folder. If not, get it here : EXTERNAL LINK 
  - Go into the PC-Task4 installation folder and double-click "PCTCrossmount" : it will mount and make accessible your Hardfile0 and Hardfile1 (if you configured them in this order in PC-Task) as TCC: and TDC: in your Workbench. Of course both are respectively C: and D:
 
  - In Shell or in DOpus, acess each of them writing TCC: or TDC:
 
  Screenshot :
  EXTERNAL LINK 
  Screenshot :
  EXTERNAL LINK 
 
  STEP 8 : What to test now ?
----------------------------

 
  - Now you will need progs to run. Some people install Windows 3.1 or Windows 95, personnaly I try to find early DOS Adventure or RPG games that might run fine. A good one to try for a start, is Bard's Tale 3 for example (you can even use PC speaker sound checking it in PC-Task launch setup).
  - Get it (of course you have it @home) simply copy the BT3 folder from your comp to your Amiga, then from the Workbench to your PC-Task D: partition using TDC: as seen above.
  - Launch PC-Task, once in C: prompt, type D:, then "cd BT3", then "Thief"
 
  Screenshot :
  EXTERNAL LINK 
  - Game is perfectly playable. Enjoy, and please test a lot of other games, and share which ones do work ! :)
 
  Screenshot :
  EXTERNAL LINK 
  Screenshot :
  EXTERNAL LINK 
 
  I tried BAT, BAT2, Lands of Lore (crashes after Intro), EOB3 (crashes after Intro).
  Vampire FPU will probably improve stability too ? :)
 
 
 
 
 


Martin Soerensen

Posts 232
05 Nov 2016 16:12


Rod Pulsar wrote:
Vampire FPU will probably improve stability too ? :)

An FPU is not a magic bullet that will make stuff crash less. If the software was designed to run on 386SX machines which most of the early DOS stuff was, then they did not require/use an FPU. FPU wasn't really being required until Doom and other 3D stuff came out. Even Wolf3D did not use FPU since I remember playing that on a 386SX-25.

I am not even sure how the x86 vs. 68k FPU conversion is done in PCTask since the FPUs are quite different. Will PCTask even convert x86 FPU instructions into 68k FPU if one exists or will it just emulate it all in the main CPU?


Rod Pulsar

Posts 2
09 Nov 2016 14:53


ERRATUM : 255Mb instead of 1024Mb

  STEP 3,5 : I want to create a Hardfile myself !
------------------------------------------------

 
  - To DIY and create your Hardfile, just select Create HardDiskFile, enter a name and a size. Please do not create Hardfiles bigger than 255Mb as the program won't allow it.


Manuel Jesus

Posts 151
25 Nov 2016 18:35


Nice tutorial. Does PC task allow the use of MIDI adpters? I have a Roland SC 55 that I'd love to use with PC task.



John Heritage

Posts 111
26 Nov 2016 11:46


Martin Soerensen wrote:

Rod Pulsar wrote:
Vampire FPU will probably improve stability too ? :)

  An FPU is not a magic bullet that will make stuff crash less. If the software was designed to run on 386SX machines which most of the early DOS stuff was, then they did not require/use an FPU. FPU wasn't really being required until Doom and other 3D stuff came out. Even Wolf3D did not use FPU since I remember playing that on a 386SX-25.
 
  I am not even sure how the x86 vs. 68k FPU conversion is done in PCTask since the FPUs are quite different. Will PCTask even convert x86 FPU instructions into 68k FPU if one exists or will it just emulate it all in the main CPU?

Sorry for being "that guy" but for 386 "sx" meant sixteen bit bus.  It was 486 that "sx" meant disabled FPU. 


OneSTone O2o

Posts 159
26 Nov 2016 19:36


I would be surprised if an 68K FPU can help to emulate a PC, the 80486 FPU is incompatible to it.

Can you run some DOS benchmark to see the speed of PC-Task on Vampire? Maybe Checkit3. The classic Doom I benchmark also would be interesting.


Adrian K.Bruss

Posts 13
26 Nov 2016 21:07


I think FPU is not neccessary for PC/DOS programs. Here is a few samples without FPU:

EXTERNAL LINK 
EXTERNAL LINK 
EXTERNAL LINK 
FPU is most usefull for other Amiga programs, not for DOS emulator - PC-Task. For example, the FPU is necessarily for the installation of Windows 98, but it is also so unnecessary, because it already emulation for Windows 95 is very slow.


OneSTone O2o

Posts 159
26 Nov 2016 21:52


Motorola FPU (68881/68882/68030/40/60/80 integrated FPU) is NOT the same as Intel FPU, like in 80486 or later. It's even different to 8087, 80287, 80387. It's the same purpose, but they are totally different. PC, even in emualtion on Amiga, can't use Motorola FPU. It's the same that 80486 can't (directly) execute Motorola 68000 compiled software. And Apollo 68080 can't (directly) execute 80486 compiled software. Now you might say, but I have PC-Task, it boots MS-Dos, I can run Windows, Doom, ... This software makes a virtual 80486 CPU. Virtual CPU is no silicon CPU, but software. Quite complicate how it does this, but basically the same as (Win)UAE or HATARI, VICE does, only the other direction.

posts 8