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Review: FreshFish Vol. 10
By: Jason Compton
The quarterly series of FreshFish CDs continues.
As part of Fred Fish's move away from floppy disks, a series of regular
CD-ROMs was introduced. Now that Fred no longer personally compiles the
disk series, it is the most frequent source for their archives from Amiga
Volume 10 features the most recent 100 Fish disks (1001-1100), which will
bring GoldFish 1 (the 2 CD set with the first 1000) owners up to date. It
also rings in three times as much "new material", freely redistributable
software in the Aminet hierarchy. The "useful" directory, some 130 megs of
it, includes licensed Commodore include files and classic, essential
software titles. The remaining 300+ megs are taken up with GNU development
tools and extensive source code. Searching the Fish library of discs is
supported by the included KingFisher archives.
In other words, the same array the Fish discs normally bring.
A welcome change has come in the user interface, however. Perhaps taking a
cue from the Aminet discs, FreshFish 10 has an AmigaGuide-driven menu
system for searching and accessing the entire disk, with configurable
preferences for handling the myriad filetypes the disk contains. An
installation utility helps you set the proper viewers to the different
image, text, and sound types you will encounter. The menu system makes use
of ixemul.library, which the installer is happy to provide you with.
The CD is still the single best source for Amiga development tools,
particularly with no CATS-like organization churning out CDs for the hungry
programmers out there. However, this will be changing, as will the
"useful" directory. These will apparently be spun off to a new series of
CD-ROMs, turning FreshFish into a disc with, well, more fresh fish--a
greater focus on newly available Amiga software.
Those with slow machines, or those who simply hate LHA archives, will be
heartened to know that most of the non-Fish disk software is in dearchived
form, ready to be copied directly off the CD. This certainly goes a long
way to assist in certain decisions, since rather than dearchiving an 800k
utility simply to get at the documentation to find out what it does, you
have the doc file waiting for your beady little eyes to peruse. In
addition, much of the software has the .pi file for BBS descriptions,
saving sysops hassle and saving users confusion. After all, it's not easy
to figure out what EC90-126.6.jpg is unless the .pi file tells you it's the
STS-31 space shuttle, after landing.
Fred Fish continues to deliver a large quantity of important Amiga
resources (647 megs, all told) at a very reasonable cost ($20, or $15 if
you buy a one-year subscription for $60 total.) Unless you have so many
CDs you decorate the walls with them, FreshFish 10 should be a serious
consideration to keep your library current.
Amiga Library Services
610 N. Alma School Rd.
Chandler, AZ 85224-3687