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DirOpus 5.5 Review: Part 2
By: Jason Compton
Last issue, we examined the basics of DirOpus 5.5, the extremely extensive
file management package. This time around, I'd like to look at some of the
specifics of the configuration to give you a feel as to how it can work for
There are a number of configuration windows in DirOpus, owing to just how
much you have at your disposal to work with. (I cringe to think what
planning out the software must have been like.) In a way, DirOpus 5.5 can
be looked upon as partially a clearinghouse for an assortment of functions
that previously only came from a combination of commodities.
"Docks" or "button bars" can be created at will, in whatever quantities you
like. And unlike some docks, they can be iconified, edited, or closed from
their own toolbar. DOpus 5.5 comes with a sampling of these constructs,
and the built-in editor is extremely straightforward to use.
Your "Environment" editor allows you to change some basics of the
interface's operation--how big default windows should be, what the
screenmode should be, what the pattern on the screen should be, etc.
Setting screen and WBPattern options can be confusing at first since you
will need to make use of the original Workbench tools in some cases, but it
becomes straightforward after one or two tries.
Under "Environment" are a set of configuration options to set up built-in
filetype recognition and action, the configuration for the User Menu (a
pulldown menu in the title bar), and a set of event scripts (so you can do
useful or funny things when certain things occur, like the insertion of a
disk or the opening of a window).
The real power in all of this configuration is the ease with which you can
get DirOpus to do your bidding, thanks to a set of built-in commands.
Instead of having to call AmigaDOS or external programs, DirOpus will run
an internal routine in response to a button press or a menu call. Some of
these are certainly not indispensible, being superceded by superior and
just as easy-to-use programs already out there. Still, having them readily
available in the option scroller, and easy to integrate thanks to the
configure tools, is quite a benefit. Then there are those quite a bit more
reasonable to use (does anybody really understand why the AmigaDOS format
command is so awkward?)
Overall, the great thing about using DirOpus5 is the sense of
limitlessness. Your actions on the Workbench are no longer limited by the
need to finish certain tasks before being able to work in other windows,
thanks to the multithreading. The amount of pull-down menus you can create
is basically without bound, as are the options you can put in there. Open
as many button bars or drive listers as you like. It's this sort of thing
that makes Amiga users enjoy their computers--the feeling that nobody is
telling them that they're trying to do something that they shouldn't want
to. But DirOpus 5.5 is more than just a statement, it's a really unique
combination of file and directory management tool, Workbench enhancer, and
commodity replacement, all in one.
Worth mentioning at this point is the exceptionally well done manual. For
starters, it's huge, over 250 pages with a decent index. But the
explanations and descriptions within are very straightforward and easy to
comprehend. And it makes nailing out the nuances of configuration a lot
Is it for you? Like I said in my first review, DOpus 5 takes some getting
used to. Particularly if you have a well decked out system already, you
may be reluctant to retool your configuration to use DOpus 5's built-in
enhancements. Yes, it uses a good chunk of memory. Memory is also pretty
cheap these days, and I'd say that the performance benefits are worth the
DirOpus 5.5 is a unique piece of Amiga software, and you'd be doing
yourself a favor to give it some serious thought.
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