Milan-TOSThe Milan-TOS has still got some bugs here and there. Michael Schwingen fixes a few now and again. However, I strongly recommend using a replacement OS such as MiNT or MagiC. For those of you who want to stick with SingleTOS at least use the latest release TOS 4.08. You can get it here.
TOS versions before this one have faulty PCI routines! The latest beta version can be found on the Homepage of Michael Schwingen or in the download section.
BootblockSo what is that now, a bootblock? The bootblock is that program which is executed as the very first thing even before TOS. It's tasks are recognizing the hardware (CPU, CPU clock rate, PCI cards, etc.) and the RAM test. Once these tasks are done the bootblock loads TOS from the Flash-ROM into RAM, unpacks and starts it.
And believe it or not, but the latest bootblocks do have an x86 emulator built in to be able to execute the BIOS of some graphic cards!!!
Milan-SetupThe Milan-Setup program (
MSETUP.PRG) should come along with every Milan. It is used to write some presettings into the NVRAM (= Non Volatile RAM). You can get an up-to-date version in the download section.
Here you can select the language, keyboard layout as well as formatting of time and date. These settings should be familiar from TT or Falcon (or other Ataris with NVRAM).
Here you can select which IDE or SCSI devices you wan to use. If an ID is selected but no device connected for it this will slow down the boot process significantly. As far as IDE is concerned it has shown to be sufficient only to select ID 0.
However, SCSI devices are only recognized if they were switched on at boot time and if their ID was selected!
Settings here are mainly for the use of a sound card. The sound card can only access RAM which is declared as ST RAM. If you have a sound card installed you should at least select 8 MB. If you have more than 32 MB RAM, select 14 MB.
As the RAM is physically one piece it doesn't matter whether programs run in ST RAM or not. This is different on a Falcon or TT, as I'm sure all of you know.
This is to assign interrupts for installed PCI cards. TOS actually does this automatically, however it's up to you to say which interrupts you want to use for the PCI cards. Don't worry about the order, it doesn't matter. Obviously you'll never have to use this part of MSETUP unless you install a new PCI card. But there is one thing you have to make sure, and that is not to have an interrupt assigned here which is already used by an ISA card. Here's a list of interrupts used by some ISA cards:
The Creative sound cards can be operated at any available interrupt.
- IRQ 5: NE2000
- IRQ 7: OPTi sound card
- IRQ 9: Crystal sound cards
Flashing the TOSAnother one of these strange computer words, flashing! Milan TOS is put into a so called flash ROM. If you want to write a new TOS into that ROM, that process is simply called 'flashing'. Besides TOS you can also write a new bootblock as well as the SCSI driver. For this purpose you need the
FLASH.PRG, which should come along with every Milan. Alternatively there's a
FLASH.TOS, too, which has no GEM interface, but which also lets you read the current TOS/bootblock from ROM.
The usage of the program is not too difficult and shouldn't cause any problems. But I really want to emphasize that your Milan is in a very critical state during the process of writing a new TOS into the flash ROM:
If for some reason you switch the power off, your Milan most likely won't work anymore and you'll have to send it back to have it repaired. So only use the program if that's really necessary. You have been warned. Anyway I can only think of four cases when you need the flash program:
So you really only need the program very rarely.
- You've still got an old TOS (TOS 4.08 is the latest!)
- You've bought the 060 upgrade (flash the 060 TOS beforehand)
- You've bought MagiC (new bootblock necessary)
- You've bought a SCSI card (SCSI routines must be written to the flash ROM)
MagiC-MilanMagiC-Milan differs from other Atari MagiC versions in that way that it is now split up into a hardware dependent and a hardware independent part. That means above all that MagiC now relies on a properly working TOS! On original Atari computers MagiC fully took control of the hardware. But it also means that MagiC from now on is more easily portable.
MagiC-Milan is shipped on two HD discs:
1. MagiC Milan 6.1
2. MagiC 6.1 extensions
The installation is done via INSTMAGC.PRG.
To install and use MagiC there are a few things to care about and there are a few differences to other MagiC versions:
- Do read the README file on the discs! onto your boot partition. You have to use the installation programm and directly install it on the desired partition.
- You need the latest TOS (4.08) and anup-to-date bootblock (which is on the discs).
- NVDI is not essentially necessary but very strongly recommended!
- There's no boot picture
- Ctrl-Alt-Del does a warm start of TOS, not MagiC.
- There's no background DMA.
- Changing the resolution doesn't work with CHGRES, but with MCHGRES from Joachim Fornallaz.
- The program MAGICCFG of Phillip Donzé is very useful to edit the MAGX.INF
FAQ about MagiC
MiNT+N.AESI personally recommend MiNT combined with N.AES on a Milan. MiNT has far more functions and is free. On top of that it is being maintained almost all around the clock. The argument that MagiC is far more simple to install than MiNT vanishes with the need to flash a new bootblock in order to run MagiC. N.AES can easily be installed via a GEM program and installation of MiNT is easy, too: MINT.PRG in AUTO folder, MINT.CNF in MINT folder.
But I agree if you do want to take advantage of all MiNT functions you really need to have detailed knowledge and it is not that simple any more. However, there might soon be some GEM programs that help you along with installing and maintaing a proper MiNT environment.
You can find the latest MiNT version on the homepage of Frank Naumann. There you'll also find many other programs and links around MiNT.
N.AES is a commercial product of woller in Berlin.
FAQ about MiNT+N.AES