Exploring Coffin OS (Vampire) with WinUAE – pt 1

I’ve been interested in the custom Amiga OS bundle/distro for Vampire users called Coffin OS for a while now. There haven’t been many reviews of it for non-vampire users and I thought I’d give it a go using WinUAE. This will be the first of a 2 part review, with initial setup and initial configuration. Part 2 will be more about the bundled software.

First, you have to get the disk image. It can be found –> here <– It was distributed via Bittorrent and I used Tixati (my preferred bittorrent client) to download the 17GB archive (I’m blessed with 1GB/s synchronous internet speeds at home so this wasn’t a big deal).

After the download, I extracted the nearly 32GB img file, and used Win32DiskImager to burn it to a 32GB USB drive:

This took a bit of time.  Once finished, I loaded up WinUAE, via the AmiKit XE package I’d purchased recently, but loaded up the configuration to make some changes to try to get this as close to Vampire 2 specs as it would let me.

(NOTE: I had to relaunch AmiKit XE with administrator rights to be able to access the USB drive via WinUAE…not sure why).

First, the Vampire imlements something called 68080.  My first thought was to try a 68060 but I’d read it has instructions removed and I further read that the AmigaOS recognizes the 68080 as a 68040 internally, so I chose that for the CPU and FPU configuration:

The Vampire has 128MB of RAM and a real Amiga only has 2MB Chip RAM, so I set those accordingly:

I then went to choose CD & Hard drives, and clicked the “Add Hard Drive” button. It took a moment to scan and then made a list of available drives.  I choose the one with [RDB] (which is an Amiga standard) from the list. This was the USB drive’s partition where the main image was written. I let it use the default UAE (uaehf.device) controller.

I knew from a previous run (before I was capturing screenshots) that the initial startup would ask for Networking configuration.  In that case, a list of potential cards were listed.  I chose the AmigaNet Hydra card from that list.  Later, when taking these screenshots, I added that card under the Expansions->Network and checked the Enabled box:

For the SAGA RTG card, I just chose the UAE graphics card and set the video memory to 4MB to be close to a real card. I have no idea how much graphics memory it allows but my goal was to be able to run 1280×720 in 32 bit color and that’s just under 4MB of RAM for a screen.

Upon startup, (this is the 2nd time through for me), it tried to detect the version of software on the non-existent Vampire card and warned me to update):

I have *NO* idea what would happen, probably nothing, but I wasn’t going to try, so I said “Skip for now”.

The initial boot showed a low-color screen, so using the built in menu tools, I accessed Settings->Preference->Screenmode to get something more usable:

Again, my goal was 1280×720 at 32bits so I choose the one that matched my real card (UAE):

Tested and saved, then got this screen, but icons and toolbar were in strange places and the toolbard was unmovable:

A quick F12 and reset and things look better:

A randomized sound was played on each startup.

Okay, not much, I know but that was the basic setup.  In the next part, I’ll dive into some of the internals.