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                           Review: Aminet Set 3
                            By: Jason Compton 
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Aminet Set 1 was stunning in scope.  Aminet Set 2, a year later, was a
welcome update.  But Aminet Set 3, coming about six months later, is a big
surprise.

If you're unfamiliar with Aminet, you're missing out on a global
phenomenon.  Now recognized as the largest archive of freely
redistributable software not just for the Amiga but for ANY platform,
Aminet is THE place to get non-commercial Amiga programs, tools, music,
pictures, you name it.  A few years back, Aminet CDs began to surface,
gaining popularity and acceptance as 3 month, then two month installments
under publisher Schatztruhe.  The Set was a way to compile the entire
Aminet, and later its updates, into small, portable 4-disc sets.

Aminet Set 3 is the wealth of files accumulated since Aminet Set 2, and
also includes new material compiled after the release of the 12th Aminet
CD.  Some of the massive gain in a short time has been accomplished through
integrating other sources of data (in other words, it wasn't all just
spontaneously uploaded by enthusiastic masses), but it is there and it is
new to Aminet all the same.

Seen one, you've seen them all, more or less.  The ever-present AmigaGuide
interface is back, allowing you to uncompress and run software directly off
the CDs, search for titles, configure your own viewing software, and more.
What might make Aminet Set 3 more attractive to you, if you're still
reeling from the data overload of owning the Set 1 or perhaps a
subscription, is the commercial goodies on the Set.

Recent Aminet CDs have been publishing specially licensed commercial
software, and a number of the offerings have been quite attractive.  On the
Set 3, you will find a few games (still not very good), OctaMED 5 (well
worth a look), XiPaint 3.2 (the very capable 24-bit paint package) and
Imagine 4, which to my mind is the biggest goodie since, well, since
Imagine 3 was released on CU Amiga's coverdisk last winter.

What's more, there's a brochure included that offers special upgrade prices
to XiPaint 4 for under US$50, Imagine 5 for US$125, a special Imagine 3D
object CD for US$20, and OctaMED Sound Studio 1 for under US$40.  It's a
lot of savings.

Do you NEED Aminet Set 3?  Well, while there is overlap between Aminets
since the Set 2 and this one, the commercial software is quite a bargain.
All of the completely new files are categorized separately in the
AmigaGuide index, so you can easily get to what you don't already have on
file.  But as to whether or not you NEED the set versus just being content
to access Aminet via FTP or the Web, that's always a personal decision.

To my mind, it's staggering to think that Aminet now sprawls over 24 CDs
and for that reason alone, it's worth considering being a part of that
history.  I think this set categorizes directories a bit better over the 4
discs, making things more reasonable to find.  Give it some serious
thinking, particularly if graphics or music are on your mind.

Published by Stefan Ossowski's Schatztruhe
45131 Essen
Germany
+49 201 788778 voice
stefano@tchest.e.eunet.de e-mail
http://www.schatztruhe.de/