Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 14th Jul 2009 15:30 UTC
Amiga & AROS So we finally meet! You can't imagine how hard I've tried to get my hands on a machine that could run AmigaOS 4 in all its glory. I've never used the Amiga before - not during its heydays, and not during its afterglow - so it meant an unexplored world for me. You can imagine my excitement when ACube Systems, makers of the sam440ep board that runs AmigaOS 4.1, offered a review machine to me, built around their own PowerPC sam440ep flex motherboard.
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RE: Remembering icon positions
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 14th Jul 2009 17:19 UTC in reply to "Remembering icon positions"
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

Unless it's just broken on 4.1, you need to select the icon(s) you wish to be remembered, then select Icons > Snapshot from the menu.


Snapshot didn't work for me, nor should it have to. The idea of a spatial file manager (or any file manager, for that matter) is that it does it by itself. Mannerisms or no, that's just bad design (like the lack of auto-update).

Edited 2009-07-14 17:19 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

elwood Member since:
2006-02-09

I don't agree with you. Let's say you move some icons by mistake. Would you like the system to remember their position? And I really mean, do you want the system to decide things for you?
This is not how AmigaOS works. You need to tell the system that you want to remember the icon position when *you* decide it is correct and should be remembered.

Another place where you find the feeling "the users keeps control of things" is in preference programs (the system settings). If you change many settings and you want to test them before saving them on disk, just click "test".
If you want to use these settings only in the current session (i.e. until you restart the system), just press "use".
At anytime if you want to restore the settings before you changed them, you can do so.
And when you are finally happy with your changes, just press "save".

Now do the same with other systems you know. You need to write down on a paper all the settings you change to be able to restore them after your tests. Friendly? :-)

Reply Parent Score: 4

braddock Member since:
2005-07-08

I really enjoyed the review of my childhood OS from a considerate "outsider".

On icon positions - I remember carefully setting up my icons to a design and selecting "snapshot" - too easy to move them and mess them up later.

Of course these were the days where I only had a few dozen files on a floppy. It made sense to care for them individually.

I'd put this behavior in the "alien legacy" not "broken" category.

Reply Parent Score: 2

paolone Member since:
2007-09-24

Snapshot didn't work for me, nor should it have to. The idea of a spatial file manager (or any file manager, for that matter) is that it does it by itself.


That's true for any other operating system. For the average Amiga user, it's your duty to tell the OS you want that window behaving ALWAYS like that.

Reply Parent Score: 1

paolone Member since:
2007-09-24

Anyway, it's a good and amusing review. You have expressed exactly the doubts I'd expect from people accustomed to nowadays operating systems. AmigaOS is quite different and imposes a completely different paradygms when writing applications and handling the deskt... workbench. You have to get accustomed to them. They aren't easy or comfortable to understand: that's part of the game. The only issue with them, however, is that they just feel... old.

Reply Parent Score: 1

bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

Snapshot didn't work for me, nor should it have to. The idea of a spatial file manager (or any file manager, for that matter) is that it does it by itself. Mannerisms or no, that's just bad design (like the lack of auto-update).


Strange that it wouldn't work, the fact that snapshot is needed comes from the heritage... AmigaOS was intended to boot and run in a usable fashion from floppy (even if you have a single floppy drive and have removed the original boot disk), saving icon position changes automatically would be a considerable overhead on floppies. It does highlight your point about living in the past and not looking forward tho...

There was a patch for amigaos to auto snapshot at one point, there were literally thousands of little tweaks like that for the original amigas.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Cymro Member since:
2005-07-07

I never found snapshotting a problem, and as it didn't work for you, it's difficult to form the snapshotting routine that Amiga users had or have. Moving from Amiga to Mac, I was never struck by the superiority of the Finder's method.

I miss snapshotting windows into place. If during the course of my task I need to move it to the other side of the screen and make it larger, I know that the next time I open it, it'll be back where I like it. The classic MacOS never had this and my new Mac can't even remember to open my folders in list view when I specifically tell it to.

It maybe that you, I and/or other users are much less meticulous and fussy about how we organise files in windows than we used to be. Also, when dragging an icon into a folder/drawer, you would instinctively drag it into exactly it's resting place. Some habits have been lost.

If you really want to get into the old-school Amiga paradigm, try forgetting all your modern multi-user knowledge about file organisation. Start mixing apps and folders of documents together by function.

The Amiga was more relaxed about this than any other OS I've used. Mainly, I think, because you need a .info file for an icon to be shown. Even on the classic MacOS there seemed to be a greater sense of enforced structure in the visual file manager.

Once you start really caring about your own structure and your own particular workflow, you start laying things out nicely and snapshotting your windows in an almost OCD way. It makes the experience of using an Amiga far more personal and unique than OSes today, IMO.

These days, the desktop picture is the biggest distinguisher of one desktop from another - if I powered up my Amiga 500+ it's totally my desktop. Part of this comes from what now can seem like the rigmarole of snapshotting icons and windows into position.

Having said all that, a little snapshot icon on the window titlebar would be a superb addition (something for AROS to think about!)

It may not be for everyone, but that's the best justification I give for this behaviour, based on what I actually miss about my (beloved) Amiga.

Edited 2009-07-15 11:19 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

kolla Member since:
2009-07-15

Snapshot didn't work for me, nor should it have to. The idea of a spatial file manager (or any file manager, for that matter) is that it does it by itself. Mannerisms or no, that's just bad design (like the lack of auto-update).


Desides who? I personally very much like the fact that it doesnt attempt to write to disk everytime I move something about - it's great for flash disk, memory cards, read-only media, floppies, network drives etc. From experience, the number of times you actually _need_ to snapshot icons/windows is not high at all, meaning there's hardly any need for auto-snapshot.

It's not bad design, it's safe design.

Reply Parent Score: 2