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%% Files on your HardDrive                           by  David Tiberio  %%
%%                                      dtiberio@libserv1.ic.sunysb.edu %%
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Ever wonder what all those files are on your hard drive? A lot of them
don't really do anything but sit there and stare back at you. In fact,
that is what most of them do... and in some cases when you need to use
a file, it will be there for you. But keep in mind that for years,
Amiga users have been using Workbench disks with virtually no files on
them other than the LoadWB command, since most of the important stuff
is located on the Kickstart ROM.


Here are some files on most Workbench disks, with a quick explanation of
what they are there for:

.backdrop       On Workbench 2.0 or greater machines, this tells the
                Workbench which icons have been dragged out of a
                drawer and onto the Workbench.

.info           Contains some information about the current directory.

<file>.config   Not set by the Workbench, but used by some third party
                programs that you may have bought or downloaded, and will
                contain information that you or the program set to use
                as a configuration or preference. In other words, it
                contains custom information that the program will use
                to set itself on your system.

<file>.datatype This is a type of display driver that works with the
                Workbench Multiview utility on Workbench 2.1 or greater.
                Each datatype will support an image format, an audio
                format, text format, or other multimedia format. This
                replaces programs such as More, AmigaGuide, WDisplay,
                etc.

<file>.device   This is a special type of library that is used by
                programs. This might explain how to produce speech,
                how to access the serial port, or how to use other
                types of hardware.

<file>.font     Here we find information about fonts, such as the name
                of the font and what sizes are available.

<file>.guide    These are hypertext documents that are included with
                Workbench 2.1 or greater. You can download AmigaGuide
                from a BBS if you have another Workbench, at least
                version 1.3. These are often used as help files or
                online magazines. :)

<file>-handler  This is a type of library that explains how to use
                things such as the mouse and keyboard, as far as
                receiving input. It is often used to pass information
                around the system.

<file>.info     This is the image used for the icon of a file, along
                with other information such as the stack size and
                parameters to pass to the file, which can be changed
                from the Workbench.

<file>.library  This is the collection of commands that allow programs
                to run. These are some of the most frequently used
                commands. Instead of a program containing its own
                commands, it can share libraries with other programs.
                These commands might include math operations like
                sine and cosine, or openning windows and drawing
                lines.

disk.info       This contains the icon for the current partition, floppy
                disk, or hard drive.

kickstart       This files is located on many Amiga 3000 computers. It
                contains the Kickstart ROM on disk. Many Amiga 3000
                computers do not have the ROMs on chips, and load
                them off the hard drive. Without this file, you computer
                may not boot. Some machines have this file and a ROM
                chip because Commodore put the ROM chips in without
                removing it from the hard drives. This was not a bad
                decision, but however it does use 1/2 megabyte of disk
                space. If you know you have the ROM chips on your
                motherboard, you can delete this file. If your computer
                no longer boots, you will have to reinstall the Kickstart
                from the SuperKickstart install disk. Better left alone!

loadwb          This small command loads the Workbench, which is stored
                in the Kickstart ROM. The Loadwb command is stored often
                in the C directory. If you ever have a shell open but the
                Workbench is missing, try typing loadwb.

mountlist       This contains information on the hard drives and floppy
                drives attached to your system, such as the partition
                size. Newer versions of the Workbench and Kickstart do
                not require these files, but in many cases use them for
                RAD: devices and other similar devices.

shell-startup   This script is executed whenever you open a shell or
                CLI. You can change the prompt, or write messages to
                yourself :). Mine sets aliases to make it similar to
                cshell, which is used on UNIX machines.

startup-sequence This is executed whenever you boot your computer. It
                loads all the files it thinks are necessary for you to
                be happy.

user-startup    Here is a type of startup-sequence that you are welcome
                to modify to suit your needs. The startup-sequence, in
                most cases, will execute it while booting.


- AMINET REFERENCES -

aguide34.lha         text/hyper 268K AmigaGuide.library-system for OS < 3.0
AmigaFAQ-4856.lha    text/hyper  44K+AmigaFAQ by David Tiberio
amigaguide.lzh       text/hyper 277K+amigaguide development kit v34.3
Hyper.lha            text/hyper  53K*Leads you through AmigaGuide docs
AmigaFAQ210394.lha   docs/misc  249K+Frequently asked questions concerning the Amiga


As Edward Cayce might say, that is all for the present...

dtiberio@libserv1.ic.sunysb.edu