Alternative to AUTOSORT?

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Alternative to AUTOSORT?

Post by Fujiyama »

AUTOsort is great for changing the order of running programs in the AUTO folder -I've used it for years, but it only shows a certain number of files at once, preventing you to sort whatever more isn't displayed.

Is there an alternative which can display more programs (or allow scrolling) to include them all?
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Re: Alternative to AUTOSORT?

Post by 1st1 »

Xboot can do it inside the tools menu.
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Re: Alternative to AUTOSORT?

Post by simonsunnyboy »

Instead of using AUTOSORT, I suggest insaneBoot.

You only have the boot tool inside AUTO and the configuration can run the tools from any other folder so no need to sort orders on FAT level but only on config file level.
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Re: Alternative to AUTOSORT?

Post by PeterS »

I've never used any sort tool.

Say I have files A to Z and I want to move Z to just after F then:

Viewing the folder unsorted
create a new auto folder
Copy files A to F
Copy Z
Copy G to Y
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Re: Alternative to AUTOSORT?

Post by MegaSTEarian »

simonsunnyboy wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:09 am Instead of using AUTOSORT, I suggest insaneBoot.

You only have the boot tool inside AUTO and the configuration can run the tools from any other folder so no need to sort orders on FAT level but only on config file level.
Nice one, does that mean that you can have many boot configurations (MiNT, TOS, display enhancers etc) and boot to each at will?
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Re: Alternative to AUTOSORT?

Post by simonsunnyboy »

MegaSTEarian wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 12:58 pm
simonsunnyboy wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:09 am Instead of using AUTOSORT, I suggest insaneBoot.

You only have the boot tool inside AUTO and the configuration can run the tools from any other folder so no need to sort orders on FAT level but only on config file level.
Nice one, does that mean that you can have many boot configurations (MiNT, TOS, display enhancers etc) and boot to each at will?
Yes, and especially without having to rename files all the time like XBOOT and co do.

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Re: Alternative to AUTOSORT?

Post by Fujiyama »

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm going to look into the tools within Xboot, but for now I managed to solve my problem simply by choosing to display only .PRG and .PRX files in Autosort with *.PR?

I'm currently looking into some 12 year old experimental setups I had within Superboot and my AUTO folder contains a lot more than the usual .PRG and .PRX files (thereby filling up all the visible slots in Autosort).

In time I was going to ask about a bootselector recommendation but you guys beat me to it :wink:
Back in the day I chose Superboot because it also allowed me to have different "other files" type setups and not just what's inside the AUTO folders.
As far as I can see from my old backups I had tried out different combinations of GDOS and NVDI setups in addition to the usual AUTO folder and ACC selections. I believe the only thing it couldn't do was to choose different setups of CPX files as well (Superboot allows you to set up numerous "other" files, but disabling them by renaming the last letter of their extensions to "X" which of course enables a CPX module!).

Can both Xboot and Insaneboot do these things? Which one is most flexible and user-friendly?
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Re: Alternative to AUTOSORT?

Post by joska »

I have used Superboot but prefer XBoot. It's fast and very userfriendly. With Superboot you have a separate configuration program, XBoot does it all from the same program.

I have never used Insaneboot but I can immediately see a serious (to me) limitation in how it works - it can only run autofolder-programs from a script, any accessories/cpx/desktop.inf/whatever will still have to be renamed on disk. So depending on your use you gain very little compared to the traditional way of doing it.
Last edited by joska on Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Alternative to AUTOSORT?

Post by Fujiyama »

I gave Xboot a quick look (within Hatari on my Mac) and it seems nice enough (not much fan of the icons on the right hand side though).
I found the English version in the Xboot 3.21 thread which says there are two versions of 3.21: one that works with MagiC and one which doesn't. I've used Superboot with both MagiC and TOS, so what's this?
By the way: was Xboot released as freeware by the author(s) or is this strickly a pirated release?
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Re: Alternative to AUTOSORT?

Post by joska »

The only thing that differs the "MagiC"-version from the ordinary version is that the "MagiC"-version does not run if it detects that it's running under MagiC. This to prevent it to be shown twice when booting MagiC. That also means that it can't be used if you have MagiC in ROM.
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Re: Alternative to AUTOSORT?

Post by joska »

PeterS wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 10:11 am I've never used any sort tool.

Say I have files A to Z and I want to move Z to just after F then:

Viewing the folder unsorted
create a new auto folder
Copy files A to F
Copy Z
Copy G to Y
That is exactly how Autosort, XBoot and other folder sorting tools does it.
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Re: Alternative to AUTOSORT?

Post by Fujiyama »

joska wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:05 pm The only thing that differs the "MagiC"-version from the ordinary version is that the "MagiC"-version does not run if it detects that it's running under MagiC. This to prevent it to be shown twice when booting MagiC. That also means that it can't be used if you have MagiC in ROM.
What if I sometimes want to use TOS and other times MagiC?
It would be cool to flash the MonSTer board with MagiC, but since I rely on TOS for MIDI software etc. I guess I need to keep TOS in the flashed area, then load MagiC the "old fashioned way" when I need it which is fine, but I need a boot-selector which can be used for everything.
(all's not wasted with the MonSTer though: apart from the IDE interface I want to make the most of its ALT-RAM and put extra desktops, patches and whatever there, so my MIDI software or whatever can get as much of ST-RAM as possible).
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Re: Alternative to AUTOSORT?

Post by joska »

You can have both 2.06 and MagiC in flash-ROM, and select between them with the FLASHSW jumper on the MonSTEr.

The ordinary XBoot will work both with MagiC in ROM and on disk, the only difference is that it's not displayed twice when coldbooting MagiC from disk. If you have MagiC in ROM you can *not* use the MagiC-patched XBoot.
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Re: Alternative to AUTOSORT?

Post by Fujiyama »

I see. I'll just use the ordinary Xboot then. I don't mind it running twice.

I know about the FLASHSW jumper (thanks to your excellent MonSTer page with configuration tools and explanation of jumper settings), and I've already tried flashing different TOS versions in the MonSTer which is great. I haven't tried flashing it with MagiC though and assume that's a little more complicated than with TOS. I'll re-read your MonSTer page and see if I can learn some more about it (EDIT: I just found this thread you started called MagiC in ROM).

I could probably connect a physical switch to the jumper pins, but for now I just want to have it all controlled in software. Then again if one was to use MagiC most of the time it would make sense to flash the MonSTer with it and have a switch installed :D
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Re: Alternative to AUTOSORT?

Post by wongck »

Haven't used Superboot for decades now.

xboot is nice and easy. It also has a good feature of linking 2 programs together... like linking Gemram with WinX, click on one will activate both. It can only link 2 programs together if it links more would be better ( like linking NVDI version with it correct CPX versions ).
One limitation with xboot is it can only define 3 "Info" files per set - which I use up quickly for NVDI & Speedo.
I guess you can add more "info" file manually by using the xboot scripting.

That's when I started using STOOP.
It is slightly buggy but once you know it you can get around it.
STOOP allows me to make more "info" or configuration files settings. I can select at boot time, Mint type (sparemint (dhcp) or normal ip), screen resolution, desktop type & AES type. I need to make a new one for CTPCI or non-CTPCI due to EmuTOS not supporting radeon.
The combinations can get pretty weird but at least I can get my test/dev environment for developing software easily.... (if not being confused by it :lol: )

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Re: Alternative to AUTOSORT?

Post by Fujiyama »

I've now tried Xboot and it appears to work in a similar manner to SuperBoot, only slightly more modern with a more graphic user interface.
One thing I miss however is the ability to choose a setup with the function keys (F1, F2, F3 etc.). Isn't this possible?

It worked if I pressed ALT-F1, ALT-F2 etc, but just pressing the F-keys as with Superboot was easier. I haven't seen any options for this in its preferences.
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Re: Alternative to AUTOSORT?

Post by joska »

F1-F20 - select set.
ESC - go.
Alt F1-F20 - select set and go.
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Re: Alternative to AUTOSORT?

Post by Fujiyama »

OK, I see.
I wish there was a little hint about this in the opening window, because it's (at least for me) something I forget if I don't use the ST regularly.

Another thing (and I don't know if this applies to all boot-selectors): your saved TOS desktop changes won't be saved, but lost forever. Try this:

1) create a "set" which also includes a TOS desktop configuration file (i.e. NEWDESK.INF for TOS 2.06)
2) boot into this set
3) once booted, make some (preferrably obvious like changing the desktop colour/shading/pattern) changes to the TOS desktop, then save those changes back to the NEWDESK.INF (or DESKTOP.INF for older TOS versions than 2.06) file
4) reboot (it appears Xboot only presents the boot options after a cold reboot), then select the same set
5) ideally the changes you made in step 3 should be shown, but my experience is that the original NEWDESK.INF file is re-used.

In other words: I keep all my different NEWDESK.INF files in one folder, obviously with different names, reflecting their use (GAMES.INF, MIDI,INF, SIMPLE.INF etc.), and my guess is that whenever a particular "set" is chosen (which also contains a reference to a specific desktop INF file), the existing NEWDESK.INF file (C:\NEWDESK.INF) is deleted, the one belonging to the particular set (i.e. SIMPLE.INF) is copied over to C:\SIMPLE.INF , then renamed to C:\NEWDESK.INF before booting into that setup.

I believe Superboot does the same thing, but am curious about doing a proper test for this.
My wish is that there would be a boot-selector which would actually replace a saved NEWDESK.INF with the appropriate one for the "set" it's being used by at the boot process, so that the boot-selector would be transparent to the user.

Are there any boot-selectors out there that actually work like that? There's a bunch of to try out, but it's time consuming in case someone already knows.
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Re: Alternative to AUTOSORT?

Post by Eero Tamminen »

Fujiyama wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:41 pm I gave Xboot a quick look (within Hatari on my Mac) and it seems nice enough (not much fan of the icons on the right hand side though).
Note that Hatari GEMDOS HD emulation returns files in alphabetical order. As it doesn't have raw disk access, it can't return files in "unordered" order needed by auto-sort programs. For that one needs to use disk images.
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Re: Alternative to AUTOSORT?

Post by joska »

Fujiyama wrote: Mon Mar 08, 2021 4:14 pm My wish is that there would be a boot-selector which would actually replace a saved NEWDESK.INF with the appropriate one for the "set" it's being used by at the boot process, so that the boot-selector would be transparent to the user.
Actually, what you want it to do is to copy the current newdesk.inf to the *inf that was last copied to newdesk.inf. Sounds a bit risky to do this automatically, but it would be nice with a tool/feature in the boot-selector that assists you with the update.
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Re: Alternative to AUTOSORT?

Post by DarkLord »

On my STacy, because it's normal resolution is hi-res, but you can hook up an
external color monitor for low and med-res, I simply made 3 .INF files:

LOWRES.INF

MEDRES.INF

NEWDESK.INF (this being the hi-res default for the STacy's screen)

Since you can read them from the desktop itself, it's easy to switch.

But I can see the advantage and convenience of having a boot -selector
program do all that for you. :)
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Re: Alternative to AUTOSORT?

Post by Fujiyama »

Yes, I have a number of NEWDESK.INF files (all with unique names of course) with different setups, but it's frustrating (especially for new users) that you can't just save changes without needing to remember to copy it over to the "desktop files folder", deleting the previous setup file and renaming the new one to that same name. The ST is supposed to be easy to use, right? :?

Joska: yes, I'm thinking something similar, but without the risk. Something like this:

1) computer boots up, boot-selector starts and asks the user which "set" to use
2) a particular set is chosen by the user (i.e. "MIDI" which uses the "MIDI.INF" desktop file)
3) data is saved to a configuration file for the boot-selector: the name and path of the last chosen desktop file
4) a backup of the "MIDI.INF" file is created ("MIDI.BAK") in case of a reset/power outage or other interruptions
5) a backup (.BAK) of the configuration file is created (in case of a reset/power outage or other interruptions)
6) MIDI.INF is moved over to C:\ and renamed to NEWDESK.INF
7) the computer continues booting with the select "set" and mentioned desktop file

... and the next time the computer reboots and the boot-selector is started:

8 ) the user is asked which "set" to use
9) the boot-selector looks up the configuration file (from step 3) to see which setup (and which desktop file if any) was chosen last time (i.e. "MIDI.INF")
10) the existing desktop file (C:\NEWDESK.INF) is copied over to the "desktop files folder", renamed to "MIDI.INF", overwriting the existing "MIDI.INF" file already there
11) the computer continues the boot process following step 2 and onwards

I think that more or less covers it.
So the natural question here is if there's an existing boot-selector which is still being maintained and if something like the functions above could be incorporated?
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Re: Alternative to AUTOSORT?

Post by DarkLord »

Fujiyama wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 7:33 pm Yes, I have a number of NEWDESK.INF files (all with unique names of course) with different setups, but it's frustrating (especially for new users) that you can't just save changes without needing to remember to copy it over to the "desktop files folder", deleting the previous setup file and renaming the new one to that same name. The ST is supposed to be easy to use, right? :?
Right, and it is, for the most part. :)

I'll admit, for a little while I was doing the "INF" dance and shuffle that you're talking about but once
I had my settings down pat, all of that went away.

On my STacy...for example, I boot up into hi-res, do whatever I'm doing, decide to play some games
in low res. Hook up the external SC1224 color monitor, boot up, read LORES.INF and boom, I'm there.

Only time I have to redo the INF files is if I make some kind of change, which honestly, doesn't happen
a lot here...

As we all agree though, a boot-selector app that would manage all of these things would be nice. :)
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Re: Alternative to AUTOSORT?

Post by Fujiyama »

Come to think of it, as we discussed Xboot a while back (as suggested by Joska IIRC), didn't someone here relatively recently update it with some new features? And wasn't it originally only available in German, so somebody's taken the time to translate it.
If that's true, then there might be hope for looking into this.

I think there was another one of the "newer" boot selectors around which looked quite good. I believe it was called DFboot, but was all in French so I never paid much attention to it other than its pretty user interface. Was it ever translated into English?

IMHO a boot selector should be "transparent" in use and not remove any functionality compared without running a boot selector, but removing the ability to save changes to the desktop file is a shortcoming. I'm sure someone has brought up this issue before, and maybe there is one out there with this feature already (I haven't taken the time to try them all out...
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Re: Alternative to AUTOSORT?

Post by Fujiyama »

Eero Tamminen wrote: Thu Mar 11, 2021 12:10 pm
Fujiyama wrote: Sun Feb 21, 2021 7:41 pm I gave Xboot a quick look (within Hatari on my Mac) and it seems nice enough (not much fan of the icons on the right hand side though).
Note that Hatari GEMDOS HD emulation returns files in alphabetical order. As it doesn't have raw disk access, it can't return files in "unordered" order needed by auto-sort programs. For that one needs to use disk images.
Ah! Good to know.
I really need to look into disk images, but apart from understanding the concept it seems a little complicated and I haven't had the time yet to dive deeply into this. I did take a quick look at the Hatari manual for this, and creating one appeared a little complicated.
I noticed there's a ready to use disk image in the download section of Hatari -can a disk image made by someone else be edited to remove the enclosed files, and then add your own?
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