We’ve had some fantastic contributions from the wider community this week and these have helped accelerate things in the project even further. So, let’s dive into the big changes this week.
Getting the Changes
One of the biggest questions I get asked is “how do I get the changes mentioned in your blog?”. If you think of PiStorm itself as a beta project then this changes are in the alpha branch called “wip-crap”. Most of the time the changes are good. Sometimes they break things.
The “wip-crap” branch is available in _Bnu’s fork of PiStorm. If you are unfamiliar with git then the best way of getting it is by doing:
cd ~ git clone -b wip-crap https://github.com/beeanyew/pistorm.git pistorm_wip cd pistorm_wip make
We recommend instead of editing default.cfg you make a copy of it and edit that. You can then use the following (assuming myconfig.cfg is your config file):
sudo ./emulator --config-file myconfig.cfg
The reason we recommend this is because if you edit default.cfg, git will block you getting any updates. When you want to get updates you can now simply do:
git pull --ff-only make clean make
Some key work this week has been improving the performance of the emulator. _Bnu got the ball rolling by improving the performance of repeated interrupts. This gives a some performance boost in some areas. Then a code drop by Rune Holm gives a modest speedup too. On SysInfo PiStorm with a 3A+ can now outperform an A4000!
Denise Capture Update
In a previous TWiP I mentioned that Claude was looking to abandoning the current method he was testing for capturing Denise digital RGB to pass through to PiStorm’s HDMI. This is because the FPGA chip needs flashing on every boot over I2C and the I2C OS driver wasn’t allowing for large enough transfers to upload the firmware.
KaiN has stepped up to to recover the situation. This week he dropped some code which allows the I2C firmware upload to work.
This is the moment it all started working on Claude’s desk with KaiN’s changes:
To answer some FAQs around this, it will be released for others when it is ready and there likely will be a group buy list for this. The FPGA used appears to be more available than the CPLD used in PiStorm itself. That being said it will be more difficult to hand solder as the FPGA is a BGA device.
Amiga OS 3.2
Several people have been asking about OS 3.2’s compatibility. I have been testing this week and it seems to work great. There is one caveat you should be aware of though. If you do not have a floppy drive hooked up and no hard drive image to boot, you’ll just get a black screen. No insert disk screen. This is not a PiStorm specific issue, it is a known issue with the OS 3.2 ROM.
I was hitting this with my A2000 this week, but it turns out I had a bad floppy drive cable.
Blogs and Videos
Instead of just YouTube videos this week I wanted to cover blog posts as well. This in because Amiga for Mortals has done a post on how to setup PiStorm for those who maybe don’t fully understand how everything works. I recommend checking that out if you are just getting started.
Along those same lines, Marcus Agehall has done a Twitch stream on soldering the PiStorm. This can be seen here: