Thursday, 6 September 2012

Game configuration - The Settlers

The Settlers by BlueByte is a mouse-driven game. If you are using an Apple Mighty Mouse, then you won't be able to do the "special click" with it. Special click is left and right mouse buttons at the same time which, due to the way the Mighty Mouse is designed, isn't possible with the hardware.

Frode Solheim assisted me on the FS-UAE User Manual by providing the following solution - mapping an unused key as the right mouse button. This allows you to press the actual left mouse button on the Mighty Mouse and an assigned key simultaneously on the keyboard to simulate the special click.
This is done by setting the following option in the configuration file:

keyboard_key_tab = action_joy_0_2nd_button
Note that this is global, so if you require the tab key to be usable in other applications or games, comment the line out before starting FS-UAE.

My thanks go out to Frode for his help with this - it served to allow be to play the game properly before my replacement Logitech M500 mouse arrived.

By the way, for an older game, The Settlers works very well with a well-specced emulated Amiga. Mine is defaulted to an A4000/040 with a lot of fast RAM, and the game happily uses this for additional effects.

Monday, 3 September 2012


I've been saying that ctrl-F12 is the shortcut to get to the menu. This is wrong - it is just F12.
Thanks to Frode Solheim for pointing this out to me! I've gone back through the previous posts and corrected this, but if you spot any I've missed, please shout.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Inserting disks

I had thought that by setting the floppies_dir I'd be able to pick up .adfs in the floppy folder via the in-built menu system (accessed via F12). This doesn't seem to be the case however. Instead, I had to do the following:

floppy_drive_0 =
floppy_image_0 = /Users/amipal/Documents/FS-UAE/Floppies/the_settlers-3.adf
floppy_image_1 = /Users/amipal/Documents/FS-UAE/Floppies/the_settlers-2.adf
floppy_image_2 = /Users/amipal/Documents/FS-UAE/Floppies/the_settlers-1.adf

This means that you start with no disk in DF0 (the main floppy drive in a real Amiga). In order to insert disks into DF0, you go to the menu using the keyboard shortcut F12. Then using the cursor keys, you tab down to "Removable Media" and "DF0: empty". Press return, which gives me the list of disks shown above.

This is how I was able to install The Settlers onto my emulated Amiga's "Games" hard disk. When the installer asks for the next disk, go to the menu and select the next one - the original disk is ejected.

Of course, I now have to work out how to get The Settlers' "special click" working with my Mac's Mighty Mouse. The "special click" is left and right mouse buttons at the same time, something which the not-so-Mighty Mouse doesn't appear to be able to do...

Sunday, 26 August 2012


UAE takes it's cues from the configuration file "Default.fs-uae" - this sits in the /Documents/FS-UAE/Configurations/ directory. This is going to be quite a large post... Here's the version I am currently using to boot into an Amiga system with emulated hard drives and graphics card:

# FS-UAE example configuration file
# The encoding of the configuration file must be UTF-8 (or ASCII)
# All paths can be either absolute, or relative to the current working
# directory. The same is true for all paths in the configuration file.
# If you on Windows specify paths with backslash, you must escape them
# (use \\ instead of just \ - c:\\path\\to\\file). You can also just use
# forward slashes instead (c:/path/to/file).
# You can start paths with ~/ or $HOME/ to refer to the user's home.
# Example: ~/Documents/Floppies/example.adf
# There are many options available to configure FS-UAE.
# See
# for a complete list of configuration options with documentation

amiga_model = A4000/040
kickstart_file = /Users/amipal/Documents/FS-UAE/Kickstarts/kick31.rom
floppy_drive_0 =  C:/Amiga/Floppies/Disk.adf
chip_memory = 2048
fast_memory = 8192
zorro_iii_memory = 65536
bsdsocket_library = 1
hard_drive_0 = /Users/amipal/Documents/FS-UAE/Hard Drives/workbench/
hard_drive_1 = /Users/amipal/Documents/FS-UAE/Hard Drives/work/
hard_drive_2 = /Users/amipal/Documents/FS-UAE/Hard Drives/games/
uae_gfxcard_size = 16
fullscreen = 1
fullscreen_mode = fullscreen
fsaa = 2
cdrom_drive_0 = /Users/amipal/Documents/FS-UAE/CD-ROMs/AmigaOS3.9.iso
The file starts at the [config] line - all lines prior to that are comments using a hash. I'll go through each line one at a time to attempt to fully explain them. Please note that for more detailed explanations of the config file, the help on the FS-UAE homepage is invaluable.

FS-UAE has a list of pre-defined models to use, so unlike other version of UAE, you don't need to establish CPU type etc. Models available are: A500, A500+, A600, A1200, A1200/020, A4000/040, CD32, CDTV

Locating of the Kickstart ROM file. If you've setup the directories with the Launcher, then it should be in your /Documents/ folder.

Point this to any .adf file you want to boot from. Mine is set to "Disk.adf" as I want to boot from the hard disk. The Amiga's boot priority will want to boot from floppy first.

Amiga memory is divided into different blocks. All Amigas come with Chip memory - this is Shared between the CPU and custom chips. The A500 had 512 KB of it, while later Amigas had 1 MB as standard. AGA Amigas like the A1200, A4000 and CD32 have 2 MB.
The amiga_model setting will set this for the specific model but you can override with this setting. Values are in kilobytes.

The type of memory is only available for use by the CPU itself, hence why it is "fast". For games, you won't need to set this unless you're running a much later release. If you're booting into Workbench, however, it is very useful. Values are in kilobytes.

Zorro was a bus system for the Amiga - think of PCI for the PC. All manner of expansions were available, including 24-bit graphics cards. If you'll be installing Picasso96 to drive an emulated graphics card, you'll need to assign some ZIII memory. You'll also need to make sure you set the amiga_model to A1200/020 or A4000. Values are in kilobytes.

This is to allow the emulated Amiga to connect to the internet. I haven't attempted this yet, but have already enabled with a value of 1.

Hard drives can be created by simply pointing this at a directory location. You can create a number of hard drives just by incrementing the number. You can boot from a hard drive if you have Workbench installed. Luckily, this came supplied on CD when I purchased my AmigaOne system from Eyetech so I already had a bootable system. My suggestion would be to purchase AmigaForever from Cloanto.

Assign some memory to a Picasso96 graphics card. You will only need to do this if you decide to install an emulated graphics card - not normally required for classic OCS/ECS/AGA games. Values are in megabytes.

This flags whether to start the emulation in fullscreen or not. A zero value will open in a window. Not that you cannot change this once the emulation has started, so make sure you have the correct setting you want.

Switches to real fullscreen if supported by your version of MacOSX.

This enables anti-aliasing, accepted values are 0, 2, 4, 8. Set to your liking, but may affect speed.

Point this to an .ISO file if you want to read from a CD. This is how I was able to install AmigaOS3.9 on my emulated Amiga.

Note that I've added a couple of config URLs to the left pane if you require further help with the configuration file, or additional changes to the video options.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Let's boot!

I'm going to run through how to use the Launcher as a first step into the emulator. In further posts, I will go into more depth about setting up an Amiga system, and explain some of the magic behind the various config items.

The directories created by the Launcher application give you a logical layout where to store the various files required for the emulation:
  • CD-ROMs - store ISO files for any CD32 or CDTV games
  • Configurations - this is where the uaerc.config file goes
  • Controllers - custom settings for joysticks/joypads
  • Flash Memory - another function of the CDTV/CD32 emulation, saved games
  • Floppies - put your .adf files in here
  • Floppy Overlays - (I haven't a clue about this... yet)
  • Hard Drives - UAE can read from an HDF file, or a directory
  • Kickstarts - ROM file storage, the plural shows that you can store a variety of versions of ROMs
  • Launcher - Cache for the Launcher
  • Save States - save the emulation to a 'state', handy for games with no save function
  • Themes - (I haven't a clue about this... yet)
Now if you remember from an earlier post, I said you'd need a Kickstart file from an Amiga. Copy this into the /Documents/FS-UAE/Kickstarts/ directory. This is required in order for the Amiga to be able to boot and run software. Without it, no Amiga.

Copy any .adf files into the /Documents/FS-UAE/Floppies/ directory. The .adf stands for Amiga Disk File, and is a bit for bit copy of an Amiga-formatted floppy disk. Even if you had a USB floppy drive, you wouldn't be able to read an Amiga disk on a PC or Mac without special hardware - hence why the emulation uses .adf.

Now run the FS-UAE Launcher application. A window will open like so:

Most Amiga games were released for the A500, so I'm using that as the example for the emulation today. In this example, I've selected A500 from the "Amiga Model" drop down - leave the next drop down as "Accurate" (unless you find the emulator is running too slowly).

Under "Removable Media" you should be able to select the .adf files you copied over to the /Floppies/ directory. I've used Lemmings here - always my test subject whenever emulating or trying out a newly acquired Amiga.

Leave the drop down menu saying "Window" alone for now - we'll just try it out in a window before fiddling with full-screen. Now click "Start" - and after a few minutes, FS-UAE should boot up into your .adf files!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


I had a bit of trouble trying to get things working, so had to have a bit of a hunt around the internet for answers. Surely there had to be some sort of GUI to ease the setup of the emulation?

As it happens, one had just been released in the form of FS-UAE-Launcher. When run, this creates a plethora of directories in the /Users/../Documents/ folder, under the heading "FS-UAE" and it is here where we can begin to store bits for the emulations (such as the Kickstart file).

Please bear in mind that the GUI is still in beta, and is by no means a full release. I suggest downloading the current "FS-UAE Plus" for MacOS X, as this will give you the Launcher and emulator itself. I copied the Launcher into my FS-UAE folder in /Applications/.

First steps

I found out about FS-UAE thanks to a post on Binary Devotion, so thanks guys! This then led me to the official website of the emulator. Don't worry - I'm keeping a list of the URLs in the "Useful links" section to the left, so they will be within easy reach should you lose track of this post.

FS-UAE, like any Amiga emulator, requires a Kickstart ROM file in order to boot-up into a working Amiga system. It does come with an emulated AROS ROM, but I don't know whether this will work with games.

Luckily for me, I have a few Amigas available to nab the ROM file from - my A1200 provided the Kickstart 3.1 (v40.68) file I'm using. Various flavours are available with the Amiga Forever pack from Cloanto - not all games will work with the later Kickstarts, so you may need Kickstart 1.3 for particularly old games.

The readme file which comes with the MacOS distribution doesn't say much about where it should or shouldn't reside, so I've installed the FS-UAE folder with the /Applications/ folder on the main disk. Running the file straight away opens a window telling me that there isn't a valid configuration file. Guess what I'll be working on next!

It does, however, boot to an AROS screen saying "No valid media". To close the window, you need to F12 - in order to do this in MacOS X, you'll need to set the function keys as standard function keys.