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                            REVIEW: AMINET CD 7
                            By:  Jason Compton 
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Finally!

I was starting to feel like Aminet CD reviews were turning into exercises
in repetition.

Don't get me wrong, I've been enjoying them.  But the pattern for
evaluating them was one largely of "lather, rinse, repeat."  Luckily,
Urban's come up with a few things that are worth special note.  But first,
the overview of the CD.

Aminet 7 represents the change from quarterly to bimonthly publication of
CDs, meaning 8 is due any day now.  The familiar-like-an-old-friend
AmigaGuide interface is on the job, breaking down Aminet's structure into a
searchable index, either by text string, age, popularity, or physical
location on the network.

The theme for this edition is the inclusion of 10,000 images from Aminet,
largely clipart with some 24-bit JPEGs.  Eh.  I'm in online journalism for
a reason, you know, and one of those is so I don't have to worry about
clipart.  But, I know it's rather useful to a lot of people, so I endure.
It is indexed by subject matter and can be accessed by name or through a
thumbnail system.

The games and demos on the CD are once again in their own separate,
easy-access areas (when do online magazines get that treatment?), this time
categorized so far as to point out whether or not they're fully compatible
(ready-to-run from CD) on an A4000/040.  Mods get similar treatment
(although all, of course, are compatible.)

Aminet 7 also does something no Aminet CD has done before (at least, not
intentionally)-include commercial software.  Personal Paint 2.1 and PPrint
Deluxe have been licensed and placed on the CD, presumably as a promotional
measure (for PPaint, that is certainly the case, as the 6.3 demo is
included to inspire the user.)

The ability to customize your use of Aminet CDs now extends beyond the
simple preferences in place to select a dearchiver and picture viewer.
Custom index lists, for use with the AmigaGuide interface, can now be
created and saved to your system drive.  In addition, "clones", or virtual
references to software stored on the CD, can be used as real system items,
including WBStartup items.  The catch, of course, is that the CD has to be
in place whenever these programs are to be accessed, since they really live
there.  A strange concept, but if disk space is at a premium, it is worth
investigating.  My personal theory is that it is a bit of "catch up" with
the CD-Write filesystem-a way to offer some useful "virtual filesystem"
features without a full-blown package.

Aminet 7.  It's the newest software from Aminet since the last time around,
with an improved interface and a whole ton of clip art.  Rinse.

Oh yeah, and it finally credits the Amiga as a trademark of Escom AG on the
label.

DM 25, or roughly US$18, give or take depending on your mood.
Stefan Ossowski's Schatztruhe
D-45131 Essen
Germany