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Review: Aminet 8 CD-ROM
By: Jason Compton
The Aminet series. You know it, if you've ever used one you probably
haven't been disappointed, and it's a lot faster to use than even a 28.8k
modem. Aminet has long been the leader in new, freely redistributable
Amiga software and the Aminet CD series, by going quarterly and then
bimonthly, has lead the way for CD-ROM shoppers looking for the newest
software. Those with net access don't always want to run up their phone
bills or hog connect time with FTPs to the Aminet network, and those
without FTP access can get the latest several hundred megs of Amiga
software on CD-ROM for a pretty low price.
No major surprises appear in this edition, although a registered version of
the very flexible mod player DeliTracker has been licensed for inclusion
with the CD. Being a long standing fan of Bryan Ford's Multiplayer,
Delitracker caught me off guard and is considerably more complex, with some
options and features which are not completely intuitive...so you'll want to
read the docs.
The familiar AmigaGuide interface is back. (I think I keep saying that
every time I review an Aminet CD.) So are the prefs and search tools,
including one feature I've never quite taken note of before: the ability to
search ALL of the CDs (in other words, the entire Aminet) for the string
you're interested in, which generates an index-style report with a column
telling you which CD to check. Nice.
The Aminet 8 theme is mods, with some 2,000 or so on the CD. The index
allows you to access them either by name or by category with the "shuffle"
option (which is handy if you're lazy or bored.) One drawback is that if
the mod is actually an .lha'ed pack of mods, it will only play the first
mod of the pack. Perhaps in the future, this will be corrected...
Aminet continues to deliver prompt access to the latest in Amiga software,
and the CDs are coming out so fast that Aminet 8 (October 95) is already
old news, Aminet 9 has been released. The CDs run roughly US$20 but are
often discounted on one-year subscriptions.
Aside from being an Aminet mirror yourself or having an extremely fast link
with Aminet mounted as a device on a 24 hour basis, there isn't a more
effective or convenient way of bringing the collected fruits of the Amiga
share/freeware community to your home than with these CDs. One of these
days there may be one that's a waste, but that hasn't happened yet.
Stefan Ossowski's Schatztruhe
Gesellschaft fur Software mbH