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===========================================================================
                           Review: Iconographics
  Christian Kemp                               year0183@mailhost.innet.lu
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PRODUCT NAME

Iconographics 3.0

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

8 color Workbench icon collection with NewIcon support.

AUTHOR/COMPANY INFORMATION

Name:           Tom Ekström
Address:        Tiilentekijänkatu 16 as.10
                SF-20810 Turku
                Finland

E-mail:         litoek@uta.fi

LIST PRICE

Freely distributable.

SPECIAL HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS

No special hardware and software requirements, although Kickstart 2.0, a
hard disk and a multiscan monitor are suggested.

COPY PROTECTION

None.

MACHINE USED FOR TESTING

A1200, 68030, 6 MB RAM, 250 MB hard disk

INSTALLATION

Installation is accomplished through a special script, which will copy all
icons to their relevant places.  This installation can be interactive or
automatic.  This is very straightforward and Iconographics can be installed
in a few minutes.

REVIEW

I have always hated the old 4 color icons that came with my Workbench.
Then came MagicWB, and my life changed.  My Workbench turned into something
beautiful, which was actually fun to use.  But then I realized that it was
Shareware.  My philosophy is to be honest and either register for a
Shareware program or stop using it.  With much regret I deleted all MagicWB
icons and sweared that I would register one day.

Then came Iconographics 1.0 and my life changed again.  I can't remember
where I first saw it, but it was impressive!  Lively colors, icons which
are easily recognisable and, best of all, it was not Shareware.  I
immediately installed it and since then I have converted all my Workbench
icons to the Iconographics standart.

But what makes Iconographics different from the other packages that float
around on Aminet?  Well, first, it has a good installer.  No fiddling
around with tooltypes, no manual installation of the icons in the SYS:
device, and very important, it is complete.  There are icons for every
purpose, the need to get additional icons from another source is fairly
low.

Before I continue this review, let me describe you the colors Iconographics
uses.  Firstly, it uses the first 4 colors from a standard Workbench,
grey-black-white-blue.  The four additional colors are dark blue, light
green, orange and red.  This covers the RGB spectrum, which means that you
will have less difficulty to draw something than with the pale MagicWB-type
colors.  The colors are layouted in a way which makes it possible to view
the icons in 4 color mode without losing too much information.

There is not much to say about the replacement icons for the Workbench
files.  They are simply great.  My Workbench looks so much more
professional with them.  All Iconographics icons have the same dimensions,
which make it easy to tidy up your Workbench.

The real strenght of Iconographics are the tons of additional drawer and
file icons.  They cover every aspect of computing on the Amiga and they are
mostly not related to a specific program, but almost always to a program
type.

There are 80 drawer icons, 71 "flag drawers" showing flags of different
countries, 52 program and prefs icons, 45 dock icons and 116 def_icons.

The def_icons can be used in conjunction with DefIcons from the NewIcons
collection.  DefIcons is an enhancement of the default Amiga icon.library
which features an automatic recognition of the file type of files which
don't have an icon.  For example when doing a <Show All> on a directory on
the Aminet CD, lots of <def_archive_lha> icons will be displayed.

NewIcons is not only supported through DefIcons, but rather the whole icon
collection can be converted to newIcons format.  I won't describe NewIcons
here in every detail, this has already been done more than once.  For
people new to the Amiga, NewIcons is a system patch that is able to show
icons - no matter what their colors are - in best-possible quality and no
matter which palette is installed on the computer.  The Installer can
automatically convert standart Iconographics and Workbench icons to NewIcon
format.

Installing the additional icons is accomplished through the IconInstaller
program, which is very user-friendly and has drag and drop capabilities.
Normally, no more than two mouse moves are needed to replace the imaginary
of an icon with the one of a Iconographics one.  The nice thing about this
is that IconInstaller will not modify the tooltypes of the old icon, only
its look.  IconInstaller can also be configured to automatically convert
icons to given format (tool, project, disk, trashcan) and it can be used to
quickly set or change the default tool of files.

Iconographics comes with a construction kit, an IFF picture full of small
"cliparts", which make it easy for you to construct your own icons with a
minimum of effort and time.  v3.0 also includes a font, a mouse pointer,
some Workbench patterns and images for MUI gadgets.

DOCUMENTATION

The documentation consists of an AmigaGuide® text, it contains all the
information you are likely to need.  A documentation is not essential for
an icon package, but the author seems to have put a lot of work in it
nevertheless.

LIKES

I like everything about Iconographics.  It's perfect!  (Well, nearly) All
the features I mentioned in the review can be considered as LIKES.

DISLIKES AND SUGGESTIONS

My only dislike is that all icons are saved in 8 bitplanes, which causes
long loading times when a drawer is opened and which also implies that the
icons are rather large.  However, this is not the fault of the creator, but
rather the fault of the palette system developed by Commodore.  If you want
speedier access to directories you can still alter the depths of the icons
from 8 Bit to 3 or 4 Bit.  Programs for doing this are available on Aminet.

COMPARISON TO OTHER SIMILAR PRODUCTS

I used MagicWB before I installed Iconographics and I wouldn't want to
change again.  Iconographics is just so much better ;-)

BUGS

I found a slight annoyance in the IconInstaller, but this only occured
once, when I had little memory remaining.  The author knows about it, and
if there should be a bug in the program (which I am not sure), there will
probably soon be an update.

CONCLUSIONS

Get it!

A rating of 5 stars out of 5 is the only logical conclusion to this review.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

        Copyright (C)1996 Christian Kemp.
Freely distributable as long as the review is not altered.

All opinions are my own, I wasn't paid by Tom Ekström for this review!