I am going to take a easier approach on this one and just report some of the fun and challenges I experienced with this project. First off, Caffeine 917 certainly make’s PiStorm deployment easy! Download the image, unpack, flash your SD and presto, you are in business.
Roll your own OS, argh I struggled. First I haven’t really been building my full featured images. I have just used the ones I got with my Amigas or in the case of the Vampire was using Apollo OS and Apollo Omniboot. I think the last time I seriously rolled my own desktop was likely back in 1992 or there abouts. This made for a steep learning curve.
Why not use my existing images? Well, they were using the Fast File System which didn’t seem to work well with PiStorm on my Workbench 3.9 KS 3.2 image, my WB 3.2 KS 2.2 Image or my KS 3.1 Images. Worse off, for some reason Amiga Forever and Win-UAE refused to let me successfully copy from FFS to PFS3. Win-UAE would keep crashing despite running as administrator to access the correct CF Modes. It was also literally corrupting Win-UAE.exe and i was having to replace the exe. after every attempt. Craziness!
This led me to the belief that I might be better off just building a WB 3.2 Image myself on an actual Amiga. Well, I thought I would use FFS for the file system. Several failed attempts resulted in me conceding to use PFS3. I finally got a working run and then decided I wanted all this on a larger SD image so I could just get everything I wanted onto the card and burn an image of the SD for backup. I thought I would go with a 512GB SD card. Lol, that cost me 2 days and conceding to just use a 256GB card which actually worked great without issues.
Next issue: my PCMCIA drive wouldn’t work with the new install of OS3.2. I installed the proper CF.device and Fat95, no dice! I went around several times on that until I downloaded fresh files and tried them and it worked. My files must have got corrupted or I had an old version or something. I use my CF Drive to hold all the base utilities I wish to install, custom backgrounds, programs, and WHLoad game archive.
Well at one point I said, Hey, what if I just try a PFS image in the CF card, will it boot if I have the correct KS? Sure enough, it did! Finally in a combination of efforts, I had a 3.2WB with access to the ready partitioned SD Card and was able to just copy everything over!
Long story short here is how it has ended up so far!
PI SD-Card: 256GB KS 3.2 WB 3.2 on the SD Card with 3 Partitions, a314 CPL Card for Networking, RTG Graphics.
Amiga IDE CF Slot: 128GB CF card with WB 3.9, KS 3.2 RTG (external switch I mounted to switch between CF slot being Primary or Secondary IDE device.)
Amiga IDE SD Slot: 256GB SD Card with WB 3.2, KS 3.2, SheepShifter MAC setup – Outside Case
PCMCIA SLOT: 8GB FAT95 CF Card in the Slot with utilities
SD Card Removed, Switch to CF Secondary boots PI SD Card – only sees PI SD Card Drive and PCMCIA
SD Card Inserted, Switch to CF Secondary boots External SD Card – sees External SD as DH0 & DH1 and the PI SD Card Drives as SDHx and PCMCIA CF
SD Card Removed, Switch to CF Primary boots SD Card – sees External CF as DH0 & DH1 and the PI SD Card Drives as SDHx and PCMCIA CF
BOOT Options can be used to manually disable drives. Commands in Startup Sequence can be used to remove drives on completed bootup.
I hope to upgrade to the Pi 4b soon, however, I am still working on that and have half a mind to just leave everything as is, it all works sooooooooo nice! So far a Pi 4 is just not stable enough to concern myself, especially when the Pi 3B is soooo stable!
I have Hybrid blended the OS images to use a fresh baseline install of the OS files as to make sure no funky stuff with the images I purchased lingers in the base install. So far this has worked really well and sped everything up!
Thought of PiStorm32Lite/a314? Absolutely Brilliant! Totally convinced that this is the way to fly! I will likely sell off my ICEDrake 1200 when I have it all nicely completed. The PiStorm32Lite/a314 tandem just blows away everything else I have experienced in the last 5 months! Be it Caffeine, or OS3.2 or OS 3.9 its all very very stable now!
I have to believe at this point that the PiStorm is the future direction for the Amiga! More as the future unfolds!