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AmigaOS Manual: Workbench Before You Start

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Before you start using your Amiga, there are a few things you should know and must do. If you have never used an Amiga before, there are terms and instructions in this chapter with which you may not be familiar. This information is provided here to get you started without having to know everything about your system. Although you may never have used an Amiga before, by following the instructions you can make language and keyboard selections and, if necessary, install your software. We recommend that you read all instructions before beginning any operations. We also recommend that you read through this manual to familiarize yourself with Workbench, its components, and how to use it.

This chapter provides you with information about:

  • Using a compatible monitor
  • Choosing a language
  • Choosing a keyboard
  • Installing the complete Workbench software
  • Installing languages
  • Getting started

Monitor Compatibility for AmigaOS4

Your monitor allows you to interact with your Amiga. The Next Generation Amiga offers high speed PCI and PCIe interfaces and support for many Radeon based Video cards. Each video card offers different capabilities and ports to connect to the Monitor.

With the variety of possible connections and monitor capabilities and industry standard has been developed to allow systems and monitors to communicate and establish supported resolutions and color capabilities. This technology is known as Display Data Channel or DCC. More information on that standard can be found here:

With support for DDC the vast majority modern of monitors become automatically supported by the system on system bootup with no interaction by you. You can review the available monitor settings by opening the ScreenMode preferences located in sys:/Prefs.

Quicktip: You can press "Right-Amiga-E" and type "screenmode" in to the execute command window to launch the preference program.

Monitor Compatibility For Amiga OS 3.9 and earlier

Your monitor allows you to interact with your Amiga. Many different monitors are compatible with the Amiga, which offers a variety of display options to suit your monitor's capabilities. Through the ScreenMode Preferences editor provided by the Workbench software, you can choose how your monitor's display appears.

Not all monitors are compatible with your Amiga when it is powered on (booted) for the first time. All Amigas, except those quipped with a hardware display enhancer, require that the monitor used for the first boot be able to display 15 kHz scan modes. If you are using a multiscan monitor or other monitor that can display 15 kHz modes, you should have no problem seeing and using your display after the initial boot. If you are not sure if your monitor syncs to 16 kHz, consult the documentation that came with it or contact your dealer.

If you do not have the hardware display enhancer and your monitor is VGA-only or does not sync to 15 kHz, your display will be distorted until an appropriate ScreenMode Preferences editor setting is made. Since you cannot reach this editor the first time you power on your Amiga using a VGA-only monitor, we recommend that you make and save your initial settings using a monitor that displays 15 kHz modes. We also recommend that you make at least one backup floppy disk copy of your Workbench software containing these initial ScreenMode editor settings in case you ever need to recover your display. If you have a problem doing this, consult your dealer or request that your dealer makes your initial settings for you.

You should be able to use your VGA-only monitor with the Advanced Graphics Architecture (AGA) chip set; however, there may be limitations on the screen display modes that you can use. Most games do not work with VGA-only monitors. See Chapter 7 for more information on scan rates and screen display modes.

Choosing a Language

If you wish to interact with the Workbench in any language other than English, you must select your preferred language after you initially boot the system or following successful software installation. We recommend that you load all of the languages that you may want to use during the installation. However, if your language is not available, you can install it at a later time. For instructions on selecting a language for Amiga Workbench processing, see Chapter 6 in this manual.

If you have a floppy-only system, to use a language other than English, you must follow the procedures for copying information and setting preferences described in Appendix B.

Choosing a Keyboard

If you wish to use a keyboard other than the default American, you must choose a keyboard type in the Input Preferences editor to activate it. For your keyboard to be available in the Input editor's keyboard list, its corresponding keymap must be present in the Devs/Keymaps drawer. If you are not sure which keyboard/keymap combination you have, consult your dealer.

If you are reinstalling your system software, be sure to select your keymap since the installation process overwrites the existing keymap file, deleting the old contents.

If your keymap is not in DEVS:Keymaps, you can load it during software installation or you can drag its icon from the Storage/Keymaps drawer on your disk set to the Devs/Keymaps drawer as described with the Input Preferences editor in Chapter 5. The Input editor description includes a list of keyboards and their corresponding keymaps. (Floppy-only system users follow the same procedures described in Chapter 5.)

If you are working in a language other than English and you are using a keyboard other than USA, you must use dead keys to procedure accented characters. See the KeyShow description in Chapter 10 for information about using dead keys.

Software Installation

Workbench software comes preinstalled on most Amiga hard drive models. In this case, you do not need to install system software unless:

  • You are upgrading your software from a previous release level.
  • You reformat your hard disk.

If you are not certain your system is preloaded, consult your dealer.

Once your software is installed, if your system does not have all the languages that you want to use, the Installer lets you load any of them at a later time without running a full installation.

Installing System Software

The following procedures describe how to install the system software on your hard drive:

  1. Insert the Amiga Install disk into any floppy disk drive.
  2. Boot your system (turn it off and on again).
  3. Moving your mouse on a flat surface, place the tip of the pointer on the screen onto the icon (picture) labeled Install and quickly press (click) the left mouse button twice. A window containing drawer icons is displayed on the screen.
  4. Using your mouse, move the tip of the pointer onto the icon for the Install drawer and quickly press the left mouse button twice. A window containing icons representing the various languages is displayed on the screen.
  5. Using your mouse, move the tip of the pointer onto the icon for the language that you want to use during the installation and quickly press the left mouse button twice. This selects a language for the installation process only.
    If you choose any language other than English and LOCALE: is not available, a message asking you to insert the disk containing the Locale drawer is displayed. Remove the Install disk from the floppy disk drive and insert the disk containing the Locale drawer. A message prompts you to reinsert the Install disk after Locale has been read. Clicking on the Help button displays help in your chosen language.
  6. The next screen allows you to continue the installation or abort. Click on Proceed to continue.
  7. Choose between installing the complete software or updating languages only on the next screen. If you are installing the software, click on the Install Release button. If you only need to install a language, click on the Update Languages button and follow the instructions.
  8. Select an installation mode on the next screen. Click the left mouse button once on the button to the left of your choice. Then click the left mouse button once on the Proceed With Install button.
  9. The next three screens ask you which languages, printer drivers, and keymaps you wish to install. On every screen click once in the box next to each of the languages, printer drivers, and keymaps you intend to use. Click on the Proceed button when you are done with each screen.
    If you are not sure which keymap is appropriate for your particular keyboard, consult your dealer. Printer drivers are described in detail in Chapter 9.
  10. The Installer starts loading the software from the disks. Follow the instructions on the screen, inserting disks as requested.
  11. When the installation is compete, remove the Install floppy and reboot your system. Select Proceed to reboot or you can reboot manually.
  12. To use Workbench in any language other than English, you must select your preferred language in the Locale Preferences Editor. See Chapter 6 for instructions and information on choosing a language.
  13. To use any keymap/keyboard other than the default American keymap/keyboard, you must select a keyboard in the Input Preferences editor to activate the corresponding keymap in DEVS:. See Chapter 5 for instructions on activating your keyboard and a list of keyboards and corresponding keymaps.