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Questions and Answers for AMIGA Workbench or Coffin

More AmigaOS/AROS Components In ROM-RAD?

Vojin Vidanovic
(Needs Verification)
Posts 1896/ 1
06 Jan 2020 06:22

During AOS 2.0-AOS 3.x era, ROM size increased to 512k. At end of life ROM became too small so, additional things were setpatched for OS 3.5/OS 3.9/OS 3.1.4
      Documentation revealed 1MB ROMs are allowed and Remus and larger ROMs were created by users.
      But one thing, 8-bit style, did always coped Amiga users mind
      "Had the ROM been big enough, the entire operating system would be in ROM."
      No one tried. I have tried OS 3.1 basic install to RAD: and loved the speed. Is ROM too slow nowadays? Too expensive? How fast would this be and does DDR3 RAD: style or SSDs make this dream unneeded today?
      Could AROS became immidiately avail that way? EmuTOS uses the magic being Amiga style KS. Could FreeMINT became ROMable or RADable?
      RAD drive tutorial EXTERNAL LINK (added to FAQ)
      Simply loved the "insta boot" feature of 8 bits and QL and Amiga was kind of ... closest to it in 16/32 bit era. Hated BIOS and WinBIOS and CFE/Uboot as are only bootstrapers :)

Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 5405
06 Jan 2020 07:27

I'm not sure what your question is:

So let me answer with numbers:

Old days floppy speed  =    50 KB/sec
Old days ROM speed      =  3500 KB/sec
Today IDE Speed on AROS = 11000 KB/sec

Vojin Vidanovic
(Needs Verification)
Posts 1896/ 1
06 Jan 2020 07:43

Q is can we stable install AROS on RAD:, move ROM to RAM and enjoy blazing full speed of insta boot and all system calls from RAM?

On 128mb v2 makes less sense, since can leave little to apps, but on 512MB v4 surely is an option. OS could offer temporary RAD: install too :)
  Has anyone tried it, like I did on expanded A1200 with OS 3.1 :)

Gunnar von Boehn
(Apollo Team Member)
Posts 5405
06 Jan 2020 08:30

BTW the AROS ROM is today 1 MB.

I understand that your goal is to speed up boot time?

Maybe the first question should be what takes time on boot?
Is it loading 500 KB of data from IDE?
500KB with 10 MB/sec speed would need less than 0.1 seconds to load.
So this can not be the main factor.

Vojin Vidanovic
(Needs Verification)
Posts 1896/ 1
06 Jan 2020 08:37

Boot should be insta to full desktop.
  Point is to speed up any system calls not to use disk.
  Goal is overall snappiness, like you try to do with inner optimizations, usage of advanced features for drivers.
  Sacrifising important RAM is now possible with 512MB+ :)
  Main "Acheeles knee" was loading a lot of small files (all fonts on font opening etc.) so drive caching might also be the answer. This was clearly visible on both advanced OS 3.9 setups with even more files or on OS 4.1FE install/daily use. Adding a SSD was magic warp up that made machine looks like 2-3 times faster in use.
  Surely, I have fond memories of times when RAM: and RAD: were fastest drives I had :) Even then I remember that using FFS - Directory Caching or Adding buffers to disk in AmigaDOS did a lot of magic.

Other funny workaround is what MOS does. Loads complete OS image compressed to RAM and runs from it. Install is fast, OS feel is great. Something I wondered why AOS authors never did and left copying and reading unbuffered and uncompressed huge piles of small files - long term death for mechanical drives and even a bit of fragmentation.

Nixus Minimax

Posts 416
06 Jan 2020 09:50

With Maprom being a standard, you could argue that 1MB ROMs are an arbitrary choice and you could set up ROMs large enough to hold the entire AmigaOS. OTOH when AmigaOS loads a library, device or resource or whatever, what does it do? Load the file into RAM when it is requested by a program and use it. How would loading it at boottime just because it might be used speed up anything?

Vojin Vidanovic
(Needs Verification)
Posts 1896/ 1
06 Jan 2020 12:02

Nixus Minimax wrote:

    How would loading it at boottime just because it might be used speed up anything?

    On OS level it would be already present with zero load time. Surely, with faster drives it loses meaning.
  In my perfect world, entire OS and apps (all except DATA files and TEMP) would be in RAM: RAD: making any app call and running almost instant. This includes directory reading, small file access, drawing icons etc. which are way faster for sure.
    I agree loaded sys components remain "half resident".
    OK, so back to drive caching and SSD to improve small files performance.
    Will forget RAM: and RAD: except for TEMP: installs and fast inter buffer copying.
  Topic closed.

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