May 5, 2010

I have been looking at Taifun Boot after finding version 1.7 that worked on ROM03 and decided I would post something about for anyone that hasn’t come across this nice little utility.

TaifunBoot is a OS selection tool that installs on to your boot volume and then allows you to config booting into different OS versions (supports GS/OS, ProDOS 16 and 8 ) via a menu system or via press of key. It also provides the ability to change the system configuration of GS/OS. This means you can then enable or disable CDA, NDA, CDevs, Inits, Drivers and FSTs.  Its final feature is the ability to boot off Slot 5 and 6 via the menu if need be rather than having to configure it via control panel.

My test system was Sweet16 with ROM03 and GS/OS 6.0.1 with ProBoot installed. Installation was quick and all you have to do is run the “Install.TFB” file and select the boot volume you want TB to be installed to. The only issue i had here was having TCP/IP connected as the system would just prompt to say that TCP/IP won’t work under Prodos 8 and I couldn’t go any further. The work around was just to disconnect TCP/IP before installing TB.

Once the system rebooted TB will automatically prompt the menu. The initial configuration has the first entry (0) pre filled in with the default OS that was installed when you installed TB. On installation TB will copy itself to the boot volume and rename the standard “PRODOS” to “PRODOS.” and put itself as “PRODOS”. This means to simply remove TB you just need to reverse that.

To install a new OS you just need to copy over the necesssary system files to the boot volume (making sure they are renamed accordingly). I decided to create a System 5.0.4 entry and copied over PRODOS, SYSTEM folder and ICONS folders to my boot volume. Before I copied them I labled them for the 2nd menu item which means they were labeled as PRODOS.1, SYSTEM.1 and ICONS.1. Subsequent OS installs will follow the same pattern until .9 which is the maximum number that is supported.

Once you have labeled them reboot the system and at this stage the TB menu will still pop up. To add the new system highlight the menu on the left and click “Add System”. You will be prompted with add new system dialog window and you can just enter the name you want it to be listed as. Make sure you click save config to save the changes otherwise when you reboot it will be gone 😉

Once you have setup your menus you don’t have to always be prompted with the TaifunBoot menu.  There is an option under “Activate Menu”  called “Activate always”.  If this is unticked then the Menu won’t be displayed but just a boot message. This will wait the designated time (3 secs is default) for a specific key press. At this point if you don’t press anything it will just boot into the StandardSystem (again this is configurable). If you press one of the number keys it will boot the corresponding OS and finally you can press Ctrl,Shift, Option or Open Apple to bring up the Menu itself.

For GS/OS you can also configure what gets loaded or not loaded when booting the OS by configuring the “System Config” option. Though this seems flakey on the 1.7 ROM03 version i tried. In an emulator I was not able to untick/tick anything but on a real GS i was able to, but had to click it a few times. It seems on a ROM01 this isn’t a problem with the 1.7 version or the 1.8.

Finally you can reboot to slot 5/6 via the Reboot option without the need to configure the GS control panel

There does seem to be several versions around. 1.8 doesn’t work with ROM03 properly  and there are versions of 1.7 that don’t work either, so you might need to have a play till you find the right one. If anyone wants the version i have been using on a ROM03 drop me an email and will send it on. I also have 1.7 for ROM01. 1.8 is available from Ninjaforce’s website (http://www.ninjaforce.com/), but it doesn’t contain any documentation. I have emailed them to see if a 1.8 version is availablet that works correctly with the ROM03, if they come back with a new version I will post it.

UtilityLaunch 2

April 9, 2010

I am still amazed that after all these years I still find new bits of software for the GS that i haven’t come across.

I saw a post on A2Central for a new site called http://www.apple2online.com/. When I checked out the site it had a post about two new additons from author George R. Wilde called UtilityWorks GS and UtilityLaunch. As i hadn’t previously heard about them I thought i would check them out and was pleasantly surprised, especially with UtilityLaunch 2 and hence I decided to post something about it 🙂

(Sample Menus…yes you can change the colours ;-))

UtilityLaunch is an application launcher for the GS. It can run independently or replace START as your initial program when you boot to GS/OS. It provides upto 50 seperate Menus containing 40 small buttons or 16 larger ones with custom icons. The program seems very customisable and you can configure slot changes as well as Transwarp GS and Zip GSX  Speed changes for applications that you launch.

I found it a bit confusing initially to create and edit menu/button settings, but once you get used to that you will be creating custom layouts before you know it :).

The documentation mentions installation scripts that can be used with GS/OS installer, but I was not able to get this work and just complained about no path. In the end I just copied the UTILITYLANCH program and UL.MENUS files to the System folder.  I then renamed START to STARTOLD and UTILITYLAUNCH to START. You should also be able to use SetStart control panel as well.

There seems to be plenty of documentation for it (check out documentation at apple2online, they also have the passwords to unlock the shareware versions of the products as provided by the author) and If you are after a new launcher then I would recommend you check it out. Up to finding UL I was using Wings 1.0.4, but think I will now stick with this.

This was all tested in Sweet16, but worked fine on my ROM03, with TWGS 10Mhz and 4MB Ram.