AmigaWorld interviewed Darius Brewka, the author of a StartMenu utility named AmiStart for classic AmigaOS. A screenshot shows that this is one of the better looking application launchers available for the classic OS, features include background-patterns, transparency and antialiased TrueType fonts support. Also Pixload4, a docking utility for classic AmigaOS and MorphOS has been released.
Interview with AmiStart author Darius Brewka
2003-06-02 Amiga & AROS 10 Comments
Personally I am more a docking-type of person, but I believe it’s very good that if the user desires to do so, the default utility could be easily replaced with a 3rd party solution.
AmigaOS4 will come with a very advanced docking utility, allowing plug-ins, animations, subdocks in addition to some nice eyecandy and customization options. But IMO there will be lots of people who have grown used to the Windows way of launching applications and so I hope there will be some good StartMenu alternatives available for AmigaOS4 as well.
I agree that good defaults are very important as well, but in my opinion freedom of chosing 3rd party alternatives is just as important. It allows competition and if another 3rd party solution proves to be better then for new OS releases the OS developers could easily decide to switch to this solution.
When I look at AmiStart I am really impressed that a sole partime developing amateur programmer could design such an advanced utility. The Startbar has often been hyped as being one of Microsoft’s best achievement, but if AmiStart matures some more I would prefer it anyday over the unflexable Windows startbar.
That is the first time seeing the AMIGA with a nice interface. I wish I still had my AMIGA
> That is the first time seeing the AMIGA with a nice
> interface. I wish I still had my AMIGA
It’s pretty easy to make AmigaOS 3.x (or even 2.x) look pretty decent. Good looks are very much in the eye of the beholder however. Some user GUI/Workbench designs simply hurts my eyes as well. As OS 3.1 is a very plain OS to look at (and use coming distributed on a couple of DD disks), most Amigans customized their manually and they aren’t all graphic artists. For some people it may be better to just download some pre-configured themes like the following:
Also many people may have been “fooled” by some AmigaOS4 screenshots in the past, which were published to demonstrate the GUI customizability of AmigaOS4. Some were intentionally looking pretty bad just to make clear to everyone that these were by no means default settings.
If you are interested to know what AOS4 will look like (to some extend) then stay tuned for the upcoming AOS4 Tour:
How dead does something have to be, before people are willing to let it go? I use to have an Amiga, years ago. But, Commodore went under and I moved on. After all, Amigas were great at the time, even ahead of their time but, they can’t really be compared to a Pentium 4 at over 2 gigahertz.
Don’t feed the trolls.
This looks very nice indeed.
I’m not a big fan of the AmiDock, so seeing an alternative docking app is always a bonus.
Now let’s see how it performs under MOS here.
I am on a Mac (ibook) and I love it for the most part. I had ‘Start Menu’ rejection at first. I am very used to the dock now.
I do not see the purpose of yet another windows copier. Gnome and KDE both do this (come on guys, let that DIE PLEASE!).
The best thing I believe to have for a user interface to launch programs is a well organized system that is done per oneself. For example, my Applications folder has so many apps in it that makes it quite difficult to find things quickly. So I have most of the apps I use on the dock, which number to about 9 -> Finder, Terminal, iTunes, Safari, Snak, ICQ, iChat, PCalc, FreeTar (think droptar).
What about apps that I use a little less? I have an application folder with aliases and place it on the dock, then right click. I used to use fruit menu to provide a few things in the apple menu, but this is more stable and intended. I put an alias to the main Applications folder just incase there is yet another program.
> I do not see the purpose of yet another windows copier.
Over 90% procent of desktop users use Windows and therefor many are accusustomed to a StartMenu. For the Amiga there are dozens of different application launchers and when there is a demand for another type of launcher you will likely see it being developed for AmigaOS.
Since ~1990 I mostly used utilities which simply added menus and sub-menus to the title bar. So to start an application, all I did was hold right mouse button (brings up the title bar meny), select the program start menu, (maybe a select submenu if necessary) and select the application. I often still prefer this as it takes no space of the desktop.
Since 1991 I started to use Toolmanager v1.5 and this application allows to use docks as well. You can have as many Docks you like in any order or position on the screen you like, providing simple click-picture-to-start-application capabilities.
Knowing the much more advanced features of the completely redesigned AmiDock I believe this new Dock will become my default for the foreseeable future though.
> do not see the purpose of yet another windows copier.
Toolmanager existed in 1990 or 1991, five years BEFORE the release of Windows95 and it would be still better than the current Windows’ Start program, it was configurable as a Dock or Startprogram, with icons or text only…
And Toolmanager was only the first of many
I don’t see the point in adding Windows functionality to AmigaOS. It looks just very alien.
Personally, I prefer to waste no screen real estate at all, using ToolsDaemon to add additional drop-down menus with programs, a bit like several Apple menus.