One amazing feature of the A314 - the trapdoor expansion with a Raspberry Pi co-processor for A500/+ - is the Remote Desktop, or Remote WorkBench (RemoteWB), as it's called on the Amiga.
Although the RemoteWB has some limitations, I think it is quite useful in some cases. For instance, if you write a blog post and need a screenshot of your WorkBench (WB), it is very nice to capture the Amiga screen from your PC with relative ease. In my opinion, this is probably the closest thing to a "native" capture of your Amiga WB you will get, without too much hustle that is. Of course, you could always use UAE if you want to capture a screenshot or grab a video of your favorite game - but that would be cheating, wouldn't it! 🙂
For the RemoteWB to work, you will - as you have probably guessed - need an A314 expansion card with a Raspberry Pi. You also need to have at least 512 KB of shared chip ram between the A314 and the Amiga.
For now it only works with the WB screen, and it needs to be set to 640x254x3 - a resolution of 640x256 with 3 bit planes (8 simultaneous colors). If you use an older WB that only supports 4 colors natively, like WB1.2 or WB1.3, you can install WBplane. This program will add a bitplane so that you can get the 8 colors needed.
Nevertheless, it might theoretically be possible to remote to another screen, e.g. the one Directory Opus opens. On the other hand, it is most likely not possible to capture the screen of a game or other programs that does not use Intuition (Amiga native windowing system and user interface).
If you have a rev. 8a motherboard with an Agnus 8375 you will get 1 MB of extra chip ram, no need to do any modifactions on your Amiga. If you have a rev. 5 motherboard with an Agnus 8370 or 8371, or rev. 6a motherboard, you may have to perform some modification to get the extra 512 KB of chip ram. Take a look at the section for Setting up your Hardware, regarding jumper settings for A314 v1.1 and 1.2, and modifications of rev. 5 and rev. 6a motherboard.
Setting up your Raspberry Pi
Basically all you need to do here is to install websockets, as long as you have done the initial set-up for the A314.
Open your Raspberry Pi terminal, preferably via SSH, and write:
pip3 install websockets
Setting up your Client
To be able to connect to your html-client, you need to change the IP address to your Pi's IP. To get the IP of your Pi, write:
Copy the text in remotewb_client.html and paste it into a empty text file, replace the IP on line 29 with your Pi’s IP, do not change the port.
var websocket = new WebSocket("ws://192.168.1.144:6789/");
Save the file as remotewb_client.html. If you have done the editing on your Pi, copy it to your PC when you are done.
Setting up your Amiga
For easy launch of the remotewb service on your Raspberry Pi, add the Alias
sremote by editing your Shell-Startup:
Alias sremote pi python3 /opt/a314/remotewb.py
Make sure that you have copied the remotewb to your Amiga C: folder. If you have missed this, the file can be found in /a314/Software/bin/ in your Pi's home directory.
Before you can start RemoteWB, you have to make sure that the Amiga ScreenMode is set to 640x256x3. If you run WB 2.0 or greater, this can easily be done via the Prefs folder and the ScreenMode preferences. Otherwise, use above mentioned WBplane.
In AmigaShell, start remotewb service on the Pi by using your new Alias:
Open a new shell and start remotewb:
Open the remotewb_client.html in a browser on your PC – have fun!
Please stay tuned for more tips and trix! 🙂