How to install Thing desktop?

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Fujiyama
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How to install Thing desktop?

Postby Fujiyama » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:49 pm

Can someone give me a quick rundown on how to install the Thing desktop? I'm trying to install it within the AtariX emulator (MagiC running on Mac OSX) and putting it in the AUTO folder apparently doesn't help.
Despite the various readme files there doesn't appear to be an actual installation guide.

Also, I believe reading that there's a newer version than 1.29 -is that true, and where can I download it from?
I believe mine is 1.29 which I have from several years back.
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Re: How to install Thing desktop?

Postby ama » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:58 pm

you must edit in the MAGX.INF the path of the shell

example:
#_SHL c:/thing/thing.app

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Re: How to install Thing desktop?

Postby Fujiyama » Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:07 am

I tried it (but with the slash characters the other way, as I saw the other paths in MAGIX.INF had), but it still booted into MagxDesk.
I put the entire Thing folder on to the virtual drive C and in MAGX.INF added the following line:

#_SHL C:\THING127\THING\THING.APP

I'm puzzled as to how MagxDesk appears as the #_SHL parameter hasn't been used already. The only reference I have to it is:

#_DSK MAGXDESK V5.02 1


It appears I have Thing version 1.27, not 1.29.
After a lot of searching I finally found Thing at Github, but that's only the source so not much use to me as an end-user (UPDATE: I found that the above isn't the author's contribution, but probably a further edited version of the original author's Thing source files (Arno Welzel). There's also a link from the above two sites to the author's own website with history and background information on Thing as well as a download of the compiled version, but only version 1.09 (German only as far as I can tell) for some reason.
So what's up with versions 1.29 and 1.30? They're referred to at Atari Coldfire project (scroll down a little more than halfway on that page) where it says (no download link unfortunately):

The ACP Team is proud to announce, that the very popular desktop for Atari environments - Thing which was originally done by Arno Welzel - will be freely distributed. With the cooperation of the Thing authors we have improved the number of available Open Source desktops, which has blossomed into a long-term cooperation.

Thing is, and along with jinnee, are the best existing desktops with the largest user bases, and it was not until recently a commercial product. As the sources of jinnee, according to different information sources, are lost, and hence any future development will be impossible. It initially appeared that the FireBee would be limited to the Open Source desktop TeraDesk, as far as it concerns native ColdFire versions. The authors of Thing however did support the development of the FireBee very early, and did not just agree to freeing the binary, but also publishing Thing as Open Source.

In the meantime there is a version of Thing 1.29 without the registration dialogue in existence, which was built by Dirk Klemmt. The Thing developers work right now on the following approach: First all the sources (1.27, 1.27b, 1.29, 1.30) merged as far as possible, and the code will be revised. Subsequently there will be the publishing of a free version for 68k without registration or any other limitation. Some time later the sources of Thing will be published at our CVS repository at Atari-Forge. Further development by other ACP members is being considered. Even though Thing is already running fine as the pure 68k version, a native ColdFire compilation would again bring a noticeable speed increase.

We are pleased about the Thing programmers and their extended cooperation, and that we can together hand the Atari community this gift today. Thing is even working at the very small Ataris and therefor turns out to be a benefit for all Atari users, even without the FireBee.

Here now, for the immediate release, the public key: user "PublicACP": ochl Piie juQd Kg6h kfUW ZiTh zbBr UHbx


Haven't any versions past 1.27 been compiled and made available to the public yet?
The above public key didn't work with my version 1.27.
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Re: How to install Thing desktop?

Postby Galvez » Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:38 am

You can find version 1.29 inside this package:
https://atari.joska.no/firebee-mint/Fir ... 120513.zip

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Re: How to install Thing desktop?

Postby joska » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:31 pm

Remove the #, as all lines beginning with this are comments.

Edit: This is not correct, comments starts with a ; in magx.inf
Last edited by joska on Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to install Thing desktop?

Postby Fujiyama » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:00 pm

joska wrote:Remove the #, as all lines beginning with this are comments.


That's exactly what I thought as well until I noticed that every line starts with "#_" !
But I did manage to solve the problem and get Thing starting upon boot. The solution was to put it before a specific line (I don't know which one, but I put it before all those other paths and it worked):

#_MAG MAG!X V6.20
#[boot]
#[aes]
#_BKG 0
#_DEV 1 0
#_FLG 17
#_OBS 0 0 0 0
#_TXB 1 0 0
#_TXS 1 0 0
#_SHL C:\THING\THING.129\THING.APP
#_ACC C:\ACC\
#_APP C:\GEMSYS\MAGIC\START\
#_SCP C:\GEMSYS\GEMSCRAP\
#_TRM C:\GEMSYS\GEMDESK\VT52.PRG
#_ENV HOME=C:\GEMSYS\HOME\
#_ENV TEMP=C:\GEMSYS\GEMSCRAP
#_ENV TMPDIR=C:\GEMSYS\GEMSCRAP
#_SCP C:\GEMSYS\GEMSCRAP\
#_FSL 0 *.C;*.H;*.S
#_SLB 0 WINFRAME.SLB

... and so on.

Thanks to Galvez I now have version 1.29 as well which I see is from your website.
Is this a version you compiled specifically as part of the Firebee setup, or is there actually an "official" stand-alone 1.29 package available from somewhere?

Anyway it all seems to work as it should now and I have a nice Atari MagiC OS environment on my Mac :D
I've written a quick step-by-step guide on how to install AtariX for Mac owners.
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Re: How to install Thing desktop?

Postby joska » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:36 pm

1.29 is an old beta from around 2000.

magx.inf is explained here. First hit on google when searching for "magx.inf" ;)
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Re: How to install Thing desktop?

Postby Fujiyama » Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:32 am

Ah, got it! :wink:
Thanks.
If I recall correctly there was also a utility back in the day which allowed you to configure the Magx.inf file simply by point and clicking. It's probably in my archives somewhere.

So 1.27 is the final "official" non-beta version of Thing?
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Re: How to install Thing desktop?

Postby joska » Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:15 am

Yes, 1.27 is the last release from Thomas Binder.

There is also 1.50 but the last time I checked it was extremely unstable. I have not followed that project so I don't know the current state of it.
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Re: How to install Thing desktop?

Postby rudis » Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:59 am

Fujiyama wrote:If I recall correctly there was also a utility back in the day which allowed you to configure the Magx.inf file simply by point and clicking. It's probably in my archives somewhere.


https://xn--donz-epa.ch/atari/software/magiccfg/

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Re: How to install Thing desktop?

Postby Fujiyama » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:43 am

Ah, yes!
That brings back memories. Thanks :D
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Re: How to install Thing desktop?

Postby Neurotoxic » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:46 am

joska wrote:Yes, 1.27 is the last release from Thomas Binder.

There is also 1.50 but the last time I checked it was extremely unstable. I have not followed that project so I don't know the current state of it.


One of the former developers (Arno Welzel) just released the source code of the Thing desktop on github.

https://github.com/arnowelzel/thing/commit/1c8fa0ad19965e2e710f659a012469cf22f524bf

So everyone who is interested in this code may take a look at it. 8)
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