I'm a long standing Atari user and MiNT novice.
There seems to be a dearth of the info on the simpler aspects of MiNT
Perhaps what I figure out as I try and get a basic MiNT setup running to my satisfaction will be helpful to someone, somewhere.
I once trod the MiNT path by installing the TAF distribution on my Falcon
in order to get the Chimera web browser.
It worked... but in 4MB of memory it was slow and very limited. After I got CAB, my installation lapsed.
Recently I finally bit the bullet and started again. I am tired of uncompleted grand projects... so this time instead of going for a big installation I decided to try and install MiNT step by step, gaining experience and confidence with each change.
Fortunately I now have an Afterburner fitted to my Falcon with 32MB
of FAST RAM, Nemesis, and the latest and greatest addition - a Nova graphics
card with ATI Graphics Pro Turbo. I shouldn't forget my HP DAT drive, Toshiba
4x, CDROM, JAZ drive, 17" Idec monitor, and Roland SC88 Pro Sound Canvas
(pity I am not musical!).
Caveat: What comes below may be innaccurate, will
be incomplete, and only rarely updated.
Don't let that put you off dropping me a mail to point out my mistakes.
What is Freemint? - it is the version of MiNT under very active development/support by the guys on the MiNT mailing list.
Select the MINTxxx.PRG to match your cpu and put it near the end of your C:\AUTO folder.
Change the name to MINTNP.PRG (NP means no memory protection)
What is memory protection? - The operating system running on 030 and later cpus can stop programs messing with the portion of memory allocated to other programs. This can make the system a lot more robust. When a program crashes the other applications should be unaffected. However, some applications may rely on delving into each other's memory to communicate... so for initial stability we start by trying with memory protection off.
What benefits do I now see? Ermm. Not sure. I went straight to Step 2.
Second, I hope you are already running a boot manager such as XBOOT as it helps switch back from the MiNT configuration if anything goes wrong or in case you need to do something which you haven't got working under MiNT yet.
Now create a folder C:\MULTITOS\ and put the AES .SYS file into it.
Also, find or create the MINT.CNF file. It may be C:\MINT.CNF,
but I prefer to keep it with related files as C:\MULTITOS\MINT.CNF.
(Many people use C:\MINT\ instead of C:\MULTITOS\)
At the end of this file, you should have or put a line to load the AES. Try:
(If there is also a INIT= line then disable it by putting a '#' at the beginning of the line)
What benefits do I see?
Well it still looks and feels like the standard Atari desktop... but much better. I can run multiple programs at once. On my machine it all seems very fast and I you can turn on the Afterburner's Copyback cache for extra speed without suffering crashes.
Look below the accessories to see the list of currently running programs and pick one to switch.
Ctrl-click a program in this list to forcefully terminate it.
Add extra accessories to your boot setup - you are no longer limited to 6.
Add an icon to the desktop for drive U: and then open it. You can actually reach a file on any other partition through this virtual partition. It also contains some folders of information kept in memory which controls the multitasking.
I have been running NVDI 4.5, Everest, Kobold, Diamond Edge, DADE.PRG, Papyrus, Freedom 1.15, Cixread, Imagecopy, GEMAR so far.
.TTP and .TOS programs don't run.
My STING/MYMAIL setup doesn't work (Apparently STING and this version of MultiTos are incompatible, I may have to explore an alternative such as GlueStick? or MiNT-Net?)
I have been warned about using Diamond Edge. The suggestion is to avoid be careful to only to use it on TOS partitions (not V-FAT, Linux or Minux) and not to access a partition with another program whilst Edge is working on it.
Loading SI.CPX into Atari's XCONTROL crashes. Time I trashed SI.CPX as it apparently is incompatible with the Afterburner.
WDIALOG - I'm advised to ensure I have a recent version 2.04 or newer and to run it from GEM.CNF and not the AUTO folder.
Actually it sort of works:
I have defined TOSRUN to point to the caller app.
It opens a console when I boot.
TREE_CHECK and SCSIDRV.PRG output goes to the console.
I can run TTP and TOS programs from the TOSRUN menus.
What doesn't work is double clicking TOS programs from the desktop.
They give me the message "NewDesk ! failed to lunch ARC.TTP" etc.
I am off home to try a suggestion. Add lower case TTP and TOS names to the TOSEXT lines. More documentation if it works.
Later I expect to use the flexible ext2 filesystems.
One hint was get debugfs (unix prog?) to help solve any problems on the filesystems.
It is a program which undertakes to handle communication between other programs which follow the 'AV' protocol. It makes it possible to do things like drag and drop between applications. If you are multitasking you probably want this.
The smart thing to do is to get the Thing desktop. I still haven't totally given up the idea of reinstalling my beloved NeoDesk someday but I will probably come around in the end.
"Virtual consoles. You get 10 fullscreen text-consoles or 9 fullscreen textconsoles and GEM. Switch between the consoles with <ALT>+<F1-10>. Very handy, but a pain with your graphics-card (the consoles will always appear on the Videl, so you either need a second monitor or a switch)." (I do have a second monitor ;-)
ALERT.ACC - superceeded by MiNT Setter (?)
MINIWIN - superceded by TOSWIN (?)
come on ... mail me some ideas.. I am sure there is a lot more I could junk!
The Sparemint site is a excellent source for news and packages of unix like stuff.