Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Geneva

What’s the difference between preemptive and cooperative multitasking?

Cooperative multitasking relies on applications making certain calls frequently (in this case, AES calls) in order to allow the other processes a chance to become active. Preemptive multitasking gives all processes an equal chance to get control on a regular basis.

The advantage of preemptive multitasking is that if an application goes into an infinite loop or does something that is computationally intensive (like ray tracing) where it doesn’t want to have to use the AES, the other applications won’t get locked-out. However, under GEM, many older applications use methods that still prevent you from getting to other applications while they are doing time-intensive tasks. An example of this is printing in Pagestream.

Because GEM was originally designed using cooperative multitasking, older applications work much better with this method. The major reason Geneva’s primary mode of multitasking is cooperative is for backward compatibility.

But you can use MiNT with Geneva 004 or newer to get preemptive multitasking, if you desire. Granted, MiNT is not very easy to set up, and can decrease compatibility, but it does offer some other advantages such as i/o pipes, alternate filesystems, and shared memory.

Why can’t I use my boot manager to change resolutions?

Geneva can read the default video resolution in two ways, either from the old-style DESKTOP.INF or NEWDESK.INF file, which is used by most boot managers to choose resolution, or from its own GENEVA.CNF.

By default, Geneva uses the value stored in GENEVA.CNF. You can change this by going to the Task Manager’s Misc. Options dialog. There, check the “Video from DESKTOP/NEWDESK.INF” option. Press “OK” and now Save Geneva’s Settings.

Why are the colors of some of my window gadgets messed up?

Geneva’s windows have lots of extra features that are not part of the normal Atari-style windows. Starting with release 004, Geneva had a new feature which allows you to individually specify the colors of all window gadgets.

In order to maintain backward compatibility with old applications, however, Geneva still allows programs which know about changing window colors using Atari’s methods to do so. The result is that if you use another program, like the XCONTROL module WCOLORS.CPX, the CPX’s settings will override any changes you might make using Geneva’s Task Manager. The solution is to remove WCOLORS.CPX, or rename it to WCOLORS.CPZ.

Where can I get info on using MiNT with Geneva?

Since release 004, Geneva can be used with the MiNT multitasking kernel to get true preemptive multitasking.

Configuring MiNT can be rather difficult. The file MINT/MINT.TXT on the Geneva Extras Disk describes the basic setup.