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                             Review: Aminet 15
                            By:  Jason Compton 
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Aminet isn't about just one person, it's about all of the contributors to
the Amiga's library of PD/FD/Shareware and all of the people who come back
day after day to use it.  But in some ways, what Aminet has become can be
traced to one person, its chief administrator, Urban Mueller.  I had a
chance to meet Urban (finally!) at the Computer '96 in Cologne.  We spent
about 15 minutes at the same booth before finally realizing who each other
was, but after that we got along fine.  I learned a couple of things from
him, which follow:

1.  Aminet is more or less his full-time employment.  Maintaining the
archive is fairly straightforward, but assembling the CDs takes quite a bit
of time.

2.  Swiss cuisine consists entirely of fondue.  (His words, not mine.)

So, here we are at Aminet 15.  Noticable in its absense is any sort of
special commercial software--there's no explicit explanation for this, but
I imagine it has something to do with the close proximity of Aminet 15 to
the previous CD.  Of course, Aminet hasn't had coverdisk software for very
long (only since Aminet 10), so nobody should EXPECT it--but we were
starting to get used to it.

The Aminet interface is back--it's not going anywhere.  They are trying to
move people to PowerGuide, a new AmigaGuide reader.  My test drive of it is
inconclusive--I don't like text readers that don't support the space bar as
page down (one of the things I really disliked about IBrowse 1.0, and
thankfully fixed), but it does support a number of other familiar keyboard
shortcuts.

The feature item is the entire MPEG collection from Aminet, as well as a
collection of viewing tools.  Personally, I'm using Amipeg under
CyberGraphX, and having a good time doing it.

Not much has changed, although I was interested to note that for the first
time I can recall, a second North American distributor of Aminet CDs is
listed, as National Amiga joins Cronus.

It is by now a well-known conundrum in the Amiga magazine community--my
colleagues all agree.  We are all very hard-pressed to come up with clever,
innovative ways to say that Aminet CDs are basically the end-all be-all of
CDs on the Amiga, and if you buy one CD this week it should be Aminet.  It
could drive a man crazy.

Aminet 15 is published by:

Stefan Ossowski's Schatztruhe
Veronikastr. 33
D-45131 Essen
Germany
Phone:++49 201 788778
Fax: ++49 201 798447
http://www.schatztruhe.de/