posted by Thom Holwerda on Mon 12th Dec 2005 19:27 UTC
IconThe Amiga. A platform with a history. Today, we are reviewing Amiga Forever, which was kindly provided by Cloanto, its manufacturer. The question I tried to answer during the usage of Amiga Forever was: does it have anything to offer to OS enthousiasts today? Of course Amiga Forever offers great functionality for Amiga fans, but what about the rest of us? Can Amiga Forever cater to more people than just Amiga fans?

To help me answer this question, Cloanto provided OSNews with a copy of the Amiga Forever Premium Edition. The premium edition contains 1 CD with the actual Amiga emulator and the various AmigaOS ROMs. You can boot into this emulator in two ways: you can launch it from Windows, or use it as a live CD. The latter uses KX Light (a modified version of Debian/Knoppix) to boot the Linux version of UAE, running AmigaOS 3.x. However, I could not test this feature, because my USB mouse/keyboard did not work. KX Light booted fine into AmigaOS 3.x, but I could not use it.

This disk also includes the Amiga Explorer, which enables you to access files on an Amiga computer (AmigaOS 1.2-4.0, MorphOS) via a null-modem serial cable, TCP/IP or a Bluetooth serial adapter. Included also are a number of classic Amiga games, which can be launched directly from Windows.

The premium edition also includes two DVDs packed with videos and pictures about anything Amiga related. It features interviews, product launches, speeches, and more.

The CD and DVDs come bundled in a nice DVD case with a proper description of what's inside, screenshots, and system requirements. Also included in the box is a 'boing' decal, which makes it clear to anyone who is interested in operating systems that this computer can run AmigaOS.

Installation

Installing Amiga Forever is not a necessity, but recommended. You can run the emulator software straight from CD, but of course it will perform better if you install it onto your harddrive. Installation is also recommended because it allows you to save settings inside AmigaOS. It requires about 30MB of disk space, and it installs the emulators, the AmigaOS Kickstart ROMs, the games, and an update utility, with which you can update the emulators to their latest versions.

After installation, you can use the Amiga Forever Launcher to get going. The launcher lets you, well, launch the various aspects of Amiga Forever. You can load AmigaOS 3.x, 1.3, the configuration utilities for the emulators (WinUAE and WinFellow), the games and the videos.

Usage: AmigaOS 3.x

After clicking on the AmigaOS 3.x entry in the Launcher, WinUAE is launched with AmigaOS 3.x. Throughout the entire product, Cloanto refers to their version of AmigaOS 3 as '3.x', for the reasons described here (quite complicated). In summation:

"In consideration of the ongoing litigation between different parties involved in the release of the product known as 'Amiga OS 3.9', Cloanto also considered it prudent to avoid altogether the use of the 'Amiga OS 3.9' label in the context of Amiga Forever. Therefore, although duly licensed by multiple parties to include the latest version 45 system files, Amiga Forever continues to refer to this set of files using the generic '3.X' description, which Cloanto has been using ever since the release of Amiga Forever 1.0."

As a result, I will do the same.

Anyway, AmigaOS 3.x loads in about 10 seconds to a fully functional desktop. The resolution is set to 800x600 at 8bit by default, so the first thing I did was change it. This offered my first challenge; this was my first ever encounter with AmigaOS, so it took a bit of searching before I found the proper tool to do it. Oddly enough, I can only use 8bit colour depth; 16 or 32bit doesn't work. So I had to settle at 1280x1024x8bit.

Table of contents
  1. "Amiga Forever, page 1/2"
  2. "Amiga Forever, page 2/2"
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