Learning Assembler on Amiga #3

Today, we’re going to achieve another goal often not that straightforward to reach for the newcomer. There’s plenty of information out there, however, once again it is all sparse and the time required to collect of that knowledge absorb a big chunk that could be left to practice assembler. You are in luck, as I have gone thru that for you.

Install Asm-One

Installing Asm-One isn’t very tricky however there are a couple of showstoppers that could make it more complicated that it should be.
Here is our recipe for success:
  1. Download all is required files in one folder (say ~/Downloads)
  2. Configure  FS-UAE to allow the various installation(s)
  3. Setup Asm-One

Theory

Compressed Files
Zipped files are compressed files. We’re accustomed seeing files named foobar.zip and realize that it’s an archive. LHA is another format of compressing digital information. It has been wildly popular on Amiga. All files that you find on Aminet, the largest Amiga Software repository, is compressed with LHA. So getting an LHA unpacker is most critical to deal with downloaded software that is compressed for Amiga.
WHDLoad
Some awesome people at some point in the post-Amiga commercial era started packing Amiga software that was meant to run from floppy disks into hard drive friendly packages. Those also are zipped in LHA format. Inside there’s a launching mechanism that prepares the environment to allow the execution of something that wasn’t originally meant to run in that way. A great repository of software of that type can be found on http://whdload.de. It used to be commercial however in the recent years it has been freed. YAY!

Practice

We learned the basics, now it’s time to start typing and clicking around, like mAmigas, a new type of monsters :-)
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Step One

Download WHDLoad package. Don’t do anything just yet.
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Download from Aminet ASM-One. The red arrow in the picture should give you a clue for the full address :-)
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And finally, download this file. Which is an installer binary.

Step 2

Configure FS-UAE as shown in the picture below. The configuration and hard drive we’re using are the same as shown in lesson two.
image
Take note of the order in which they are configured as they will take the same ordinal number once the workbench has been launched. If you make any change, keep that in mind in adjusting my instructions accordingly.
Launch the simulator.

Step 3

In order to be able to install WHDLoad and many other apps, you need an app called Installer (DOH!).
  1. Open a CLI shell
  2. Type DH1: and then enter
  3. dir
You should be seeing what I show below.
image
Type the following, to copy the installer into the C: location. A default location for all commands. All Amiga software looks there for system commands.
copy Installer<version-at-the-moment>Installer c: Installer
It is case sensitive so pay attention at how I spelled it in the screenshot.
You can close the CLI, we’re done with that.

Step 4

Double click on the disk DH2, find the installer and launch it. I trust that if you want to learn assembler, you don’t need me to teach you how to proceed with this task.
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Step 5

Shutdown the emulator. Add to the FS-UAE configuration the Asm-One compressed file and boot again. Note that this could have been previously on one shot, I just left it out while taking screenshots and didn’t want to redo it. There’s a piece of laziness in all of us, mine just proudly did its part this time.
Asm-One installer requires a version of ReqTools that doesn’t come with WB3.1. Let’s get that from the awesome Aminet. (ReqToolsUsr.lha) Without it, the installer will stop at some point.
reqtools.library is a standard Amiga shared, runtime library. The purpose of ReqTools is to make it a lot quicker and easier to build standard requesters into your programs. ReqTools is designed with Commodore’s style guidelines in mind, all requesters have the look-and-feel of AmigaDOS Release 2.
If you attach the ReqToolUsr as we did before you will run into multiple problems and according to most forums where the problem has not been resolved, the installer cannot locate the installation script. It appears to be an issue in the way the file is handled by FS-UAE. It is very possible that setting something magic as WHDLoad parameters would solve the problem. However, I couldn’t figure that out, so I solved it like this:
Configure FS-UAE to use a folder as a hard drive, as shown in lesson one. Remember to show all files in the WB otherwise, you won’t see anything. Copy in that folder the uncompressed ReqToolUsr.lha. I recommend The Unarchiver. It’s free and works great.
Boot FS-UAE and launch the installation it will work like magic. :-)
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Step 6

It’s time to setup Asm-One, finally. You can dump it in the same HD folder or attach as an HD file in FS-UAE. I am using the latter since with this file there aren’t issues. Boot FS-UAE.
Create a drawer (Amiga Key + N) called WORK on your virtual hard drive where we installed the WB (retroWoord), Now, launch the Asm-One setup.
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When you are asked where to drop the files, chose WORK: drawer, if you don’t see it, is because the setup didn’t pick the hard drive as device but the assigned folders (logical assigments). Scroll up to find it.
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Move forward with the installation.

Closing

We followed a very mechanical procedure but at this point, we’re almost out of the woods. We have installed the foundational pieces to make our life a lot easier in future. Asm-One is in place and this is the best guide you can find at the time of this editing. Open that bottle of wine now!
Next time, we’re going to configure the environement and explore the key options offered by the IDE.
Have fun and keep retroing.
#A99

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