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Setting a Custom Monitor Resolution, for DiskMaster 2

Posted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:03 pm
by intric8
Disk master 2 (DM2) is a must-have, fast and easy to use file management utility for AmigaOS. It is safe to say that it is one of the most well respected file utilities for classic Amigas.

Beyond the intuitive 2-column UI structure that many of the most popular file management systems found on the Amiga provide, it also allows you to easily create and unpack compressed Amiga files. So, while I love (and use) the elegant simplicity of apps like DirWork, DM2 allows so much more. It's a power-user app.

The first problem I ran into, however, was the UI's (user interface's) colors.

By using the default Workbench 4-color low-contrast options, directories were so hard to read that it made it (for me at least) not worth using.

But, DM2 does have an editable Preferences pane where one can modify the UI with one's own custom color scheme. And that's awesome.

So, I should be able to just go to Preferences and change that, right?

In my case, no.

I’m running a North American Amiga 1200 that is natively PAL (weird, I know). I also use a 1084s CRT monitor. (I generally boot into NTSC mode unless I’m planning on playing a PAL-based game.)

In DiskMaster 2, when I opened the Prefs, my window got cut off at the bottom right above where I knew the “Save” and “Use” buttons lived, literally mocking me. I could not scroll the window, nor could I resize it in any way that might help. In other words - I was stuck. My only recourse was a total reboot because I couldn’t even close the Preferences pane.


Here is how I was able to get around the issue of a low-resolution system and monitor but ultimately use productivity software that required more real estate to function.

Step 1: Boot into NTSC mode, as usual (if you have this issue in PAL mode, I assume you can replace any instance of NTSC with PAL in these steps). Either boot with your WB 3.1 Storage disk in the floppy drive, or put it in right after booting up.

Step 2: Open your Storage Disk, launch ‘Monitors’ and double-click NTSC to enable its options in a future step (or PAL, or Productivity if you are on a PAL machine with a PAL monitor)

Step 3: Fire up Diskmaster2, and go to Preferences.

If you have never set up Diskmaster prefs, you should be confronted with a resolution choice. You should now see more options than normal - in my case, I went with NTSC Hi-Res Laced, and checked “scale to fit window” which affects the DM2 window, not the Prefs pane (unfortunately).

Going into this screen mode creates an absolutely horrible screen flicker, but if creates enough easy-to-read resolution to expose the previously hidden Use and Save buttons! So I first modified my color scheme to a much higher-contrast theme. Ah….Then, we can click ‘Save’.

Note: You may see Tabs and Buttons and other functions with underlined letters, like Save or Use. No matter what keyboard combination I tried, I was never able to utilize these keystrokes to enable the features. If I had, this whole exercise might have been avoided.

Step 5: In any case, now that the new color scheme is in place, re-open Prefs and select NTSC Hi-Res (not laced) and manually change the resolution to 640 x 400.

Go to Prefs again and Save.

Whenever you reboot and open DM2, you should see your awesome, custom color scheme at your desired, full-window view. Just don't go to Prefs! your Save and Use buttons will still be impossible to reach. Should you need or want to change things, you'll have to go back to Hi-Res Laced and start the process over again.