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Upgrade your Amiga's performance and reliability with new system software
-- replace FFS with a faster, high data-integrity filesystem. With
Ami-FileSafe (AFS), your directory listings will be smoothly displayed, and
software accessing the disk will run faster. More importantly, AFS ensures
your data is safe from invalidation caused by machine crashes and
accidental reboots. AFS is always validated -- you will never have to put
up with invalid disks again. The consumer version is limited to one 650mb
(or smaller) HD. The professional version, perfect for video and audio and
other intensive use, includes support for HDs to 9gigs and multi-user
Independent tests reported by CU/Amiga magazine show AFS using 7-11% less
disk space, with write times up to six times faster, and read times up to
twice as fast as the best previous file systems. CU/Amiga tested AFS
reliability by resetting, powering down and removing SCSI cables while
writing to the drives. "Not once through all these heinous eye watering
tests could we corrupt the AFS partitions!"
US list prices are: Consumer $40, Professional $99.95.
AFS FAQ, 03-OCT-95
Ami-FileSafe (AFS) has generated enormous interest. The purpose of this
FAQ is to answer the questions we've heard many times, and to provide you
with more information about AFS. This FAQ was prepared by Dale L. Larson,
el Presidente of Intangible Assets Manufacturing (http://www.iam.com). It
is accurate to the best of his knowledge at this time, but AFS is a new
product to IAM, and it is a sophisticated piece of software. This is the
first preliminary edition of the FAQ, so it is subject to change, we
disclaim responsibility for any errors and lies, etc.
Q: When/Where can I get AFS?
A: AFS is published and supported by Fourth Level Development. Intangible
Assets Manufacturing (IAM) is the exclusive distributor for North America
(While FLD is the exclusive distributor for IAM products in Europe). IAM
makes AFS available through Amiga dis tributors and dealers (both local and
mail-order), as well as direct (i.e., mail order). IAM received its first
major shipment of product earlier this week, and shipments were sent to
many dealers immediately. So if your dealer doesn't stock it, ask her to!
Product description, etc., is availble from:
Intangible Assets Manufacturing
ftp:ftp.iam.com/biz/iam/iam.lha (AmigaGuide catalog)
828 Ormond Avenue
Drexel Hill, PA 19026-2604
tel: +1 610 853 4406 (orders only)
fax: +1 610 853 3733
Fourth Level Development
31 Ashley Hill Montpelier
Bristol, England BS6 5JA
tel: 0117 985 4455
fax: 0117 955 9157
Q: What is the current version of AFS?
Q: How much is AFS?
A: There are two versions. AFS Consumer (also called AFS User) is US$40,
AFS Pro is US$99.95.
Q: What are the limitations of the Consumer version?
A: The Consumer version can only be installed to a single partition, and
that partition must be on a drive which is less than 650mb capacity (not a
partition of 650mb, a drive size of 650mb). You cannot install Consumer
onto a 10mb partition of a 700mb disk . You may have other drives and
other partitions in your system. The Consumer version also contains no
Q: Why are those limitations in Consumer?
A: This is basically a marketing decision, but one which is forced on us.
AFS is a highly technical product which requires a great deal of
development resources. We cannot support those resources with sales of
User alone. So we selected limitations on User that would allow those who
truly cannot afford Pro (and who do not need multi-user support, which was
also expensive to develop) to get use of AFS User, but require those with
more sophisticated systems to buy Pro, paying a fair price for the
software. Note that the benefits of AFS go up with the size of your
harddrive -- a 1gig drive takes much longer to validate than a 200meg
Q: What is the policy to upgrade from the User/Consumer version to the Pro
A: In the US, the cost of the upgrade is the cost of the difference in
price plus $10 ($70). You must send in your original disk with payment,
then you will be mailed a new Pro disk. This process should take about
7-10 days, but is unavoidable due to serial numbers, etc.
Q: Where can I read an independent review of AFS?
A: Dave and Dale both say AFS is cool, so what more do you want to know?
For you doubters, the September 1995 CU/Amiga did a two-page review, Amiga
Computing has a review in their October 1995 issue, and other reviews are
being written. Since AFS is evolving fast and magazine reviewers often
look at a product more than four months before an issue gets to
subscribers, most of the limitations found by reviewers have already been
Q: When will DiskSalv3 understand AFS?
A: Dave is working hard on this support, and has been doing so throughout
the summer. We expect to be shipping something by January of 1996.
(Please note that earlier dates which have been publicly announced did not
come from Dave or IAM -- this is IAM's first public statement on the
Q: What is the policy to upgrade DiskSalv3 to AFS-supporting?
A: IAM's commitment to the Amiga is clear -- DiskSalv3 has been upgraded
through four freely redistributable patches during the last year (the
current version being 12.19). The upgrade to support AFS will probably not
be a freely redistributable patch. However, it is our intent to ensure
that loyal customers of DS3 are well-treated, and that you will get a
better a deal if you buy DS3 now and upgrade later than if you put off your
Q: What about ReOrg?
A: Yeah, we will take care of that one specifically, and a few other tools,
too. We aren't ready to announce the details yet, so please don't ask, but
we plan to make an announcement in the next month or two.
Q: What's this about AFS Floppy?
A: There is a floppy-only version of AFS. It is unlikely to be released as
a stand-alone commercial product, but you may get it bundled with other
products. For those of you with floppy-only systems, or those who want to
try AFS on floppies, this is an excel lent bargain. MegaBall4, the new
game from IAM, will include AFS Floppy as a free bonus disk!
Q: Is there a demo?
A: Yes, there is a demo version of AFS which can be installed to a very
small partition to give you a sense for whether you want to buy the
commercial product. The demo isn't always available in the same revision
as the currently shipping AFS (right now it's demo 2.1, production 2.2),
since obvious ly it is the lowest priority of the four versions. An older
version demo was on a recent cover disk. IAM has no more information on
where to get a demo at this time, but we'll put one on our FTP server when
we get one.
Q: Will AFS work with removable media like Zip and SyQuest drives?
A: Yes. The Consumer version will work, too, as long as those drives are
the only one AFS is on and the drives have less than 650mb capacity (which
is the case for all current models). Fourth Level Development has special
removable media support tools which they bundle with drives. These
packages are not yet available in the States, but we are aware of the
demand. Without that software, you have to do the same thing you would
with FFS on removable media -- HDToolbox, etc.
Q: How reliable is AFS?
A: It's pretty darn reliable. Read the magazine reviews. September's
CU/Amiga said "AFS doesn't invalidate disks. During the course of our
tests we reset whilst writing files, powered down when the buffers were
being flushed and pulled the SCSI cable out of the drives. This is just
asking for trouble, but not once through all these heinous eye watering
test could we corrupt the AFS partitions!"
That should be good enough for most people, but here is a little more
detailed and technical information...
FLD says "AFS has been written to take advantage of the atomic theory
of filsystem construction. This means that no data pointers are changed
unless the validity of the data at which it is to be pointed has been
checked as far as is practically possible. AFS has been written to take
advantage of the basic physical features of all hard drives. In
particular, the amount of time which is taken for capacitance levels to
drop in the event of a power outage to the extent that data can be
Both the MaxTransfer and the DMA mask need to be properly set to ensure
that the maximum integrety is obtained from the system. The AFS
documentation includes detailed information on how to set them. For
systems that follow these guides, FLD is aware of no instances of data
loss with AFS since pre-release version 14.7. The system has been
exhaustively tested by independent evaluators, none of whom have
experienced data loss. Any bug reports made to FLD are carefully tracked
In the event of memory corruption, the only known result has been the
loss of data within individual files or directories which have been
caused in consequence of programs corrupting memory.
In the event of an attempt to corrupt the filesystem cache, AFS converts
the filesystem to read-only, protecting your precious data.
With pre-release/beta version 14.3, there existed known and documented
limitations with the use of some software. Those limitations were fixed
before the release of AFS, but unfortunately, someone who had been sent
the beta version used some of the software on the list not to use, ran
into problems, and posted that they had caused corruption on an AFS drive."
As someone who gets a lot of calls from OFS/FFS users desperate for
DiskSalv3, I KNOW what kind of data loss you can get from the standard OS
filesystems. And how crippling invalidation can be.
I can also say that nothing is completely safe, which is why everyone
should make regular backups, regardless of the filesystem that they use.