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Workbench Add-On Volume 1
Bohus Blahut firstname.lastname@example.org
The massive potential of the CD rom format took some time to reach the
Amiga market, but discs like this one more than make up for it. While most
Amiga users have hard drives, CD rom drives haven't reached the level of
popularity as on other platforms. While many of the files on this disc are
freely available for download from Aminet, the CD circumvents devoting hard
drive space to file storage.
This CD (and any other for that matter) is an inexpensive way to have a
sizable library of files conveniently on hand. The files are also archived
for use on BBS's, or to facilitate easy movement on floppy discs. In past
articles, we've discussed the uses of CDs for the graphic artists or
animator, but here's a disc designed to enhance the day to day enjoyment of
This CD rom takes advantage of the massive storage (650 Megs) potential
of the disc rom format by offering the Amiga a huge number of new tools.
With Amiga development coming in fits and bursts from a number of different
sources these days, this CD can help your Amiga continue to look modern.
My favorite inclusion is artist Roger McVay's "New Icons"; an icon
replacement set. New Icons is a set of very professional looking 256 color
icons, although the icons still look snappy even under a 16 color ECS
workbench. I've installed these on my DraCo, and Amiga 2000 to give both
machines a sleek and professioanl appearance and get away from the rather
anemic looking Commodore icons.
Also included are several replacement icon sets by other authors
including the popular Magic WorkBench. The CD includes an easy installer
script that will set up your Workbench for New Icons, and also install MUI
to help other applications on the disc run properly.
Users of Amiga Workbench 3.0 and above have an included AmigaDOS CD rom
driver. This CD driver can be flakey at times, and is also unavailable to
OS 2.0 user, so I prefer the commercial product ASIMcdfs by ASIMware
Innovations. ASIMcdfs includes several useful CD utilities. There is a
Kodak photoCD to IFF convertor, and an audio CD player and librarian.
Many other utilities like these are avilable as shareware on this disc as
well, and at a discount! The CD's booklet contains discount coupons, and
author's addresses for utilities such as: PowerPlayer, SuperView, and
ShapeShifter. There is a Comm directory containing telecommunications and
networking software including Term and AMItcp. The Sound directory has a
sampling (pun intended) of IFF sound samples from the another available
disc, the DaCapo sound CDrom. The DaCapo CD has more than 10000 samples,
and 1400 MODs on it.
Additionally there are several commodities, screen blankers, MODs by
noted artists, music players, workbench games, text readers, and disk
copiers, but here are my personal favorites...
There is a graphics directory with the best WorkBench backgrounds and
patterns that I've ever seen. There are many organic tileable textures,
and tools for modifying icons. There are even directories of clipart and
Compugraphic fonts for creating your own artwork.
Also, there is an entire directory dedicated to emulation. There's a
VIC-20 emulator, and the non-registered version of the ShapeShifter Mac
emulator. The jewel in ShapeShifter's crown in this release is the
inclusion of a complete 50 meg Mac boot partition. This means that you can
drop the partition onto your hard drive, and get Mac-ing away. The Mac OS
7.0.1 is freely redistributable [sort of], and is enough to get you
Ther are a couple of other fun Amiga utilities including LetterMatcher.
This takes any 2bit graphic and converts it into ascii. (See the Amiga
Logo at the Top of AR) I've often thought that it would be cool to take a
batch of animation frames, and convert them to these ascii representations
for a new look in animation.
There's also IntuiCookie, a really neat random fortune cookie generator.
One could conceivably drop this into the WBstartup drawer and get a
different inspirational mesage every boot up.
This CD is truly inspirational. Hopefully this will spin off more Amiga
specific CD roms. Often when I'm "painted into a corner", I can reach into
my stack of Amiga CDroms, and pull out a solution. While it's unfortunate
that CDTV and CD32 weren't nearly as popular as they could've been,
hopefully this will not prevent companies from producing more excellent CDs
like this one.
Workbench Add-On Volume 1
a workbench enhancement CD rom
Bohus Blahut (BOH-hoosh BLAH-hoot) Bohus@xnet.com
Modern Filmmaker 312.465.5158
"Imitation is the sincerest form of copyright infringement"