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AmigaOS 4.1 review

Amiga OS 4.1 is the official successor of AmigaOS 4.0 which itself is based on AmigaOS 3.x, and is their natural successor. Developed by Hyperion Entertainment and third party contributors AmigaOS 4.1 was first officially announced in July 2008. According the announcement the expected release to the public was in mid-Q3/2008 or August 2008

Shortly after reading the news I was tempted by the new features described, especially when some of these were vital or their lack annoying to my current computer usage. Having no virtual memory excluded me doing serious projects or even compiling with all the optimization turned on. For example the SimCoupe main executable with 256MB RAM is not able to compile with GCC and O2 flag (Optimization 2) turned on, which made me to ask people with Amigas having 512MB RAM to compile some parts of the source and send them back to me. Lack of the 3D graphics acceleration for the Workbench graphics was not annoying, since the output is fast enough, but the 3D graphics library for AmigaOS 4.0 have many functions omitted and not many 3D graphic utilizing software is available for it. Writing workarounds for the missing 3D Graphic functions, provided by the graphic cards and the APIs on other platforms, is a huge task, not easy for single developers. The Smart File System (SFS) used on separate 68 Gigabyte partition I installed, even if very good compared to the other Amiga File Systems and very up to date with the current media storage requirements, when being full with many big and small files, slows down drastically and optimization of the volume takes hours. Two USB joysticks did not work on AmigaOS 4.0 because of bug present. This means two player games had to be played with keyboard and joystick, but I prefer playing the games with my friends with two joysticks. Not having equal hardware is a good excuse for the losing player. Having same type of joysticks is pretty fair guaranty for enjoyable play. Writing files to my Nokia N-Gage via USB cable made the SymbianOS to crash and goes white screen when opening the directory in which the files were written, probably because of some protection bits set by AmigaOS not present in Symbian OS. But these are not the main reasons I wanted AmigaOS 4.1. The main reason was that I was very curious to see the new version of my favorite Operating System and to decide is it still good enough to stay Amiga only in 2008.

In the announcement of AmigaOS 4.1 Acube Systems Srl was written as the world-wide distributor and that it will be available from other shops as well. On 8th of August 2008 in the morning, while browsing my favorite Amiga shop - Vesalia Computer from which I buy since 1999, I noticed AmigaOS 4.1 available for preorder for the price of 124.95 EUR which is exactly the price told to be (105 EUR excluding VAT plus 19% Germany VAT = 124.95 EURO). The product page informed that it will ship when available. Amiga OS 4.1 went gold on 6th of August 2008, but going gold does not mean publicly available. After finding the best and the cheapest way to ship it to me (the pack was not available so there was no need to hurry anyway), Vesalia Computer confirmed my order and send me payment information on 13th August 2008. I transferred the money on the very same day by bank transfer, ordinary SWIFT. Meanwhile I printed the AmigaOS 4.1 advert and laminated it and started to wait. Good feature of the Vesalia Computer shop is the option to check online the status of the order so I saw the confirmation of the bank transfer by their side and the DHL tracking information. Preordering AmigaOS 4.1 is the first Amiga product I ever preordered or paid before it is released. Acube Systems srl and Hyperion Entertainment have proven as reliable companies in the small Amiga market delivering their announced products, also Vesalia Computer is a reputable company, and the risk was not big.

After a delay of the production then the delay from Italy to Germany my AmigaOS 4.1 copy was shipped by Vesalia Computer to me on 9.9.2008. Because the shipment was a cheap one (not the cheapest though) my invitation to take the package from the custom-house arrived on 16th of September 2008 and I went the very same day to take it. As a EU resident I did not need to pay additional charges except the 4 BGN for storage facilities, and it saved me 1% of the price (in Bulgaria VAT is 20%) and there were no custom taxes. First impression after taking the package from the custom-house was that it is relatively big for a box with software, but that was because the included stuff was well handled and protected. After leaving the custom-house I went to the computer shop 2 of Reset Computers OOD, known for their relatively good prices and also there I found some very hard to find computer parts, for example the cable for the secondary IDE Bus of my microA1. I bought from there the biggest IDE Hard Drive they had - HDD500GB Seagate Barracuda with 16MB cache for 132.56 BGN and went home to install the newest AmigaOS on my microAmiga One.

After getting home I placed the box on the floor and removed the packing tapes:

AmigaOS 4.1 package before opening.

The package was little larger than A4 paper, about 6 centimeters thick and weighted 0.340 kg as measured by the local post office themselves on 12-09-2008, which means that the package arrived earlier, but the invitation come to me 4 days later because of the weekend. I carefully opened it, without any hard pull or extra force applied:

AmigaOS 4.1 package opened.

The contents of the package were covered with green air bubble wrap fitted very precisely to not make any pressure on the items beneath, while protecting them accurately. Under the air bubble wrap small parts of my new acquisition were visible. I quickly removed the protection and beneath AmigaOS 4.1 manual put in special nylon bag and the flattened AmigaOS 4.1 box was seen:

AmigaOS 4.1 manual and box.
click on pictures for higher resolution image

I took the nylon bag with the manual, opened it and removed the manual. Inside the manual was the AmigaOS 4.1 CD put in paper CD bag. The CD paper bag had etiquette on the back with the AmigaOS 4.1 registration number. The manual is made from very good paper, resembling to me the Navigator paper, which is claimed to do not get yellow for hundreds of years. The covers of the manual are the same as the other pages, not special or hardcover. The entire manual is in color with pictures and indexes, the pages are properly cut, the ink looks good and is assembled and put together by 2 staples. The Amiga OS 4.1 box is made from quality thick paper similar to the one of the manual. On the back of the box is a text Remember when computing was fun? and 3 small screen shots of AmigaOS 4.1. First screen shot is with 3 emulators running at the same time (DOSBox, E-UAE and VICE). Second screen shot is of DVPlayer with normal skin. Third screen shot is with browser showing Google Maps satellite view and photo, Tunenet with skin and AmiUpdate. Under the screen shots is a sentence with small introduction This is the Operating System that started it all. This is the Operating System reinvented. This is AmigaOS 4.1 and then the new features of the AmigaOS 4.1 are written. After checking everything in the box I searched if there is something left. Then I checked my laminated Amiga Advert with the back cover of the magazine Amiga Future Nr. 74 and the pictures are exactly the same and I was a happy owner of AmigaOS 4.1. I put the contents back in the package:

AmigaOS 4.1 manual, CD, AmigaFuture, Hard Disk Bag and box.

Before going any further I took the printed manual and went in my quiet bedroom to read it. It took me about 1 hour to read it from cover to cover. The manual called Quickstart Guide, starts with copyright information on the second page and EULA on the 3rd and 4th pages. On the fifth page is the table of contents. Then small introduction is written on pages from 6 to 8 which describes the Amiga introduction and parts of its development history which made the platform great. Small nostalgia trip, not entirely necessary and not to be taken in great account if we are going to look further for the Amiga future which AmigaOS 4.1 hopefully is. From pages 9 to 24 is the most important part - Installing AmigaOS 4.1 which describes everything from preparation of the install, boot of the CD, setting keyboard language, country, keyboard and input preferences to running the installer and after the installation setup. Pages 25 and 26 are with short information about the new features of AmigaOS 4.1 - mentioned are Modern Hardware Support, Updated Graphics and DOS libraries, Updated interface, Fully rewritten Exec SG kernel, Updated TCP/IP stack, New applications. On pages from 27 to 32 is introduction information for the AmigaOS and the Amiga definitions, directory structure and using the shell. Although mentioned for new to AmigaOS 4.1 users, this First steps with AmigaOS 4.1 chapter is good read for any Amiga user or anyone else who wants to know more about the Amiga. Pages from 33 to 39 are for the AmigaOS 4.1 software. Mentioned is software for Internet/Networking, Multimedia, DTP/Word Processing, Graphics and Emulators and how to obtain them. Games are not mentioned may be because the list would be too long. Pages from 40 to 42 are about the Resources on net where the main Amiga portals and file repositories are mentioned along with Hyperion Entertainment and Acube Systems Srl web sites. Pages 43 and 44 are about printed magazines, sadly only 4 magazines are mentioned. Pages from 45 to 47 are blank, probably left for making notes and the 48th page is the back cover. The text in the manual is well written without spelling errors and easy to understand. Only on some paragraphs the words are too close to each other making it harder and slower to read, may be to save space, which is unjustified, considering the 3 blank pages. After reading the manual I took a short pause to think about what I read from the manual and went to the real part of starting the use of AmigaOS 4.1 - the installation.

Before doing the installation of AmigaOS 4.1 as suggested in the manual and by every computer expert, I went to make backup of my current AmigaOS 4.0 installation. For the backup I used Frying Pan v0.41, which I registered back in 2005 and use for backing my data to CDs and DVDs ever since. Just to be sure I also simultaneously copied my Workbench partition to 1GB PQI MMC+ memory card with the use of Casio Exilim EX-Z1050 digital camera connected via USB to my microAmigaOne.

Backup of AmigaOS 4.0 install

The copy of the files to the memory card was done from Workbench by taking the drawers and dropping them on the memory card drawers, while FryingPan was backing up the same drawers to CD. The Casio Exilim EX-Z1050 is a nice 10 megapixel digital camera but while running last year from custom-house to storage facilities, it jumped out of my pocket and fell on the asphalt. After that it had problems with focusing which I needed to correct manually, until the focusing mechanism totally broke and now I use it for preview of pictures on its screen and sometimes to read/write data on MMC+ memory cards, because the FujiFilm FinePix F50fd digital camera does not recognize MMC memory cards at all. After doing the backup on sure storage media (twice ensured by doing two different backup methods), I went to my monitor settings by opening the SYS:Devs/Monitors drawer, clicked on the Radeon icon then selected Information from the Icons menu. Clicking on the Icon selector of the opened window with information about the icon shows me my monitor settings. I wrote down on paper (not on the blank pages of the AmigaOS 4.1 manual, although a good suggestion) the CMPLENGHT, VSYNCMIN, VSYNCMAX, HSYNCMIN, HSYNCMAX and the highest MODE= values which was not put in brackets (1280x1024@60). After feeling safe for my data and my monitor I went to the next part of the installation procedure.

My hardware is microAmigaOne-C with 256MB U-Boot version 1.1.1 (03-03-2005). Attached to it were Hard Disk HITACHI Deskstar 80GB, DVD - LG GSA-4160B and another DVD - Writemaster TSSTcorp CD/DVDW SH-S182D. On the PCI slot I have put Realtek Semiconductor C RTL-8139/8139C/8139C+ network card connected to Edimax Wireless router. The Keyboard is Privileg Airtouch and the mouse is Unitek 3D Optical mouse. For display I use LG M228WA 22 inch TFT monitor. To connect the new 500GB Seagate Barracuda Hard Drive I had to open the case in which my mA1-C board resides and connect it to the cables from the IDE port and the power supply. Opening of the case was also a good excuse to check if there is any dust accumulated inside and eventually remove it. After pulling off the cover of the case I removed all the dust I saw, took the cable from the LG DVD drive and attached it to the Seagate Hard Drive. Then changed the jumpers configuration of the Hitachi drive to Slave, attached power cable to the Seagate hard drive and put back the case cover.

The moment of putting the CD in the DVD drive have come. I turned on my AmigaOne and pressed enter to load the U-Boot menu and stop the automatical boot process. Then opened the DVD drive door of the Writemaster by press on the Eject button at the front of it and put the AmigaOS 4.1 CD:

AmigaOS 4.1 CD inserted in the DVD drive.

Pressed again the Eject button returned back the drive door with the CD in it. Then I went to the U-Boot Boot Select menu and set Onboard VIA IDE CDROM for boot device:

Select booting from Onboard CD

After a small delay I saw the report of my hard drives. The 500GB Seagate was reported as 465.7 GB and the 80GB Hitachi as 76.6 GB. This is not a fault neither of U-Boot, nor of the AmigaOne hardware, but manufacturers trick. In the computer terminology 1 Gigabyte is 1024*1024*1024=1,073,741,824 bytes, but for the storage media manufacturers 1 Gigabyte is 1000*1000*1000=1,000,000,000 bytes. So for the manufacturers 500GB=500*1,000,000,000 bytes or 500,000,000,000 bytes, but for the U-Boot and every Operating System 1GB=1073741824 bytes, which means that the 500GB of the manufacturer - are really not 500GB, but less. 500000000000/1073741824 = 465.66128730774 GB or 465.7 GB as reported by U-Boot, so it's correct. So I bought 500GB hard drive but received 465.7 GB instead. Some manufacturers claim that such hard drives are really 500GB even in computer terminology, but the space beyond the 465.7 GB is reserved for damaged block replacements, or disk structure information, while other claim that the storage media is not organized like the computer memory and they count by tens, not by powers of 2. Whatever, I hope this space will be enough for my AmigaOS 4.1 computer daily usage. After seeing the drives information I was left with the U-Boot prompt where I can enter commands. Sadly my AmigaOS 4.1 CD did not boot. On the U-Boot screen there were no CD/DVD drives shown, only IDE device 0 and IDE device 1 where the two hard drives were located happily. I typed reset and saw kickstart modules loading but they loaded very fast, and after their load the AmigaOS 4.1 boot screen appeared then a prompt with errors and then crashed soon after I clicked Proceed on the AmigaOS 4.1 welcome window, with yellow guru meditation alert. This was because AmigaOS 4.0 modules were loaded, but tried to execute AmigaOS 4.1 programs. Then I tried to boot from the CD by replacing the secondary and primary IDE bus, by disabling the primary bus, without any success to boot from the CD. Removing the AmigaOS 4.1 CD from the drive and leaving everything as normal, brought me to my AmigaOS 4.0 install, so I was almost at where I started, before inserting the CD. I inserted the Amiga OS 4.1 CD in the drive and some icons on the Workbench were shown. The DVD drive worked normally, and only problem was that U-Boot did not see it. After investigating further I saw that the DVD was on IDE device 3 and IDE device 2 was empty. Then in a flash of genius I decided to open the case again and look at the drives. I noticed the DVD drive have jumper setting as Slave, which I replaced to Master, according to the etiquette on the DVD drive. Closed the case again and went to the U-Boot prompt to see if everything is normal and if the DVD drive is shown. Voila, all the connected drives were recognized and shown:

U-Boot prompt screen

I typed reset pressed Enter and then selected booting from the Onboard VIA IDE CDROM. Then selected Boot this configuration after a small delay for the devices scan, the AmigaOS 4.1 CD started to load the kickstart modules:

Select booting from Onboard CD

The boot was slow because everything is loaded from the CD, which is by magnitudes slower than the hard drive. But this was mentioned in the manual and I was prepared. After about 2 minutes the AmigaOS 4.1 splash screen appeared then the welcome window again, this time without any errors messages. My first AmigaOS 4.1 experience has begun:

First AmigaOS 4.1 window

I clicked on Proceed. After another small delay for loading from the CD the Locale preferences window appeared. I selected Preferred languages bulgarian_Amiga-1251 and english then clicked Use. Then a window appeared saying that I will be asked for my input preferences. First thing I noticed here was the new rounded upper corners of the window, unlike the square edges of the AmigaOS 4.0 windows. I pressed the Enter key, which can be used instead of clicking on Proceed. Next Input preferences window appeared, where I first selected Mouse speed 2:1 clicked on Accelerated and set Bulgarian ISO-8859-5 keyboard. I clicked on the Keyboard test box and pressed some random keys. To my surprise bulgarian Cyrillic letters appeared, the same letters on the lower right part of keys - the bulgarian BDS layout. Press on b gave me bulgarian f

Input preferences of AmigaOS 4.1

I tested some other letters as well. All the letters worked as expected, so I clicked Use and went to my first AmigaOS 4.1 successful boot to Workbench. After another small delay the AmigaOS 4.1 picture appeared - the same one as from the cover of the manual and I saw that my partitions were mounted and shown properly with their real icons:

Booted onto Workbench 4.1 from CD with my old partitions

On the screen title (c) 1985-2008 Hyperion Entertainment and others is written and there is no mention of Amiga inc. Amiga inc shall fall in the others part, since it does not develop AmigaOS anymore. I was tempted to open my partitions and start something from AmigaOS 4.1, but I decided to go by the standard written in the manual procedure and double-clicked on the AmigaOS 4.1-Installation icon. The Installation Utility window appeared with AmigaOS 4.1 banner on top of it and text Working on Installation, please wait... and shortly after the Welcome text of the AmigaOS 4.1 Installation Utility. When I clicked on my Workbench icons during the wait, the window was semi transparent and I was able to see the background picture and the covered by the window part of AmiDock.

Welcome to the AmigaOS 4.1 Installation Utility for the AmigaOne

This program will guide you through the installation of AmigaOS 4.1 onto your machine. If you have not done so, it is advisable to make a backup of your files now.

NOTE: Some of the materials present on this CD are not covered by the End-User License Agreement but various other (software) licenses. Users are referred to the terms of the specific license accompanying said materials.

If you are ready, click "Next" to go on with the installation.

I clicked Next > and was presented with the Amiga OS 4.x Software license agreement which was exactly the same text as on pages 3 and 4 of the manual so I have already agreed, I clicked on the I have read and agree to the license agreement check mark and the Next > button was unghosted, which I clicked immediately. The next text appeared with two selection boxes:

AmigaOS 4.1 can be installed on a clean partition ("Install") or on top of an existing installation ("Upgrade"). Selecting Upgrade will make backups of modified data (like Env-Archive, internet settings etc). This will require some additional space on your system partition.

The default selection was Install and I clicked Next > because I wanted clean install and that is why I bought new hard drive. Then a small text about the SWAP partition appeared which was also the same as on the manual:

The SWAP partition

Starting with 4.1, AmigaOS supports paging of memory to disk. For that purpose, you should create a swap partition. The swap partition can be located on any disk in your system.
Use of a swap partition is optional, but highly recommended.

The Swap partition should have the following characteristics:
Name: SWAP
Automount: Yes
Bootable: No
File System Type: SWAP
Blocksize: 4096

There was nothing to select so I quickly clicked on Next >. The next text was said that if am I not upgrading, AmigaOS 4.1 needs to be installed on empty partition:

If you are not upgrading an existing installation, AmigaOS 4.1 needs to be installed on an empty partition. It is recommended that you adhere to a certain layout of partitions; Media Toolbox supports so-called "Templates" that allow you to set up a disk quickly and without effort. If you want to partition your disk, either automatically via templates or manually, with Media Toolbox now, click the button below. Note that starting with AmigaOS 4.1, you should create a swap partition. Afterwards - or if you do not want to partition your drives now - click on "Next" to continue.

Then a wide button Run "Media Toolbox" then another text:

If you need to format the disks you have just partitioned, click the button below and choose the disk to format in the window that pops up.

and another button Format disk(s). My new hard drive was not partitioned yet, so I clicked on Run "Media Toolbox" button.

The introduction window of "Media Toolbox" appeared where I had to Select device. I had two opportunities here - a1floppy.device and a1ide.device. I have no floppy and the floppy is not much in use for the Media Toolbox, I selected a1ide.device, left the Program mode to Normal and clicked on Start. Next to the Start was a small status text:Status: MediaToolbox 52.11, SP_Engine 52.4 The Media Toolbox window appeared with the title: Media Toolbox:working on Exec device 'a1ide.device', total number of units 3 My new hard drive was selected by default, as being the first one - Id, LUN 0,0. I clicked on the Edit RDB/Reinstall... button. The window with RDB/disk geometry editing appeared, where I had Disk characteristics, Physical data and Logical size information. Below this data was the AmigaOne boot code (SLB) with empty box and Install, Remove and Save to file buttons. I clicked on the Install button and ASL requester appeared with Select AmigaOne boot code text. Surprisingly to me the ASL window looked little different than my old ASL which I was used to. It had much better listing capabilities with Name, Size, Date and Comment columns, while clicking on the top of the columns on their names, sorts the list by this column, so I do not need to select the sorting method with the right mouse button. Separation by columns also makes the list much easier to follow. It was pointed to the l: Drawer and the file slb_v2, dated 18.12.2006. I clicked Ok. Then clicked Ok - accept changes button and returned to the units window. My new hard drive was with Status modified now. Next part was to partition it. I clicked on Edit partitions and filesystems button. The new window named Edit partitions for disk ST350063 9QG8 appeared where I added 3 partitions one for boot - Bootable named DH0 (2.132 GBytes, SFS\00 filesystem), one SWAP partition (1.061 GBytes SWAP filesystem) and the rest I left with the name ARC (462.568 GBytes JXF\04 filesystem). The different partitions appeared with different colors on the window:

Media toolbox with partitions made.

After the partitioning I clicked on Ok - accept changes then on the Save to disk button. Small warning appeared asking me if I really want to save, which I clicked with Yes, save. then another requester
You need to reboot

The changes made require a reboot of the machine to take effect.
Do you want to reboot now?

I clicked on Yes, reboot NOW!

After another boot process with the selection of the Locale and Input preferences I was at the Workbench screen again where DH0:Uninitialized was seen but I did not see the SWAP and ARC partitions. I left this for later period to investigate and double-clicked on the AmigaOS 4.1-Installation icon. After accepting the EULA again and selecting Install I was again on the Window with Run "Media Toolbox" and Format disk(s) buttons. This time I clicked on the Format disk(s) button. Window with name Format appeared with the Select Device To Format. There were options for CD0: my old partitions and the new created DH0: but not the ARC: and SWAP: partitions. I selected DH0: then Continue, unchecked the Put Trashcan check box and set the New Volume Name to AmigaOS41, since the Workbench name was already used on my old AmigaOS 4.0 install partition. Then clicked on Quick Format. On the next warning requesters clicked Format and then Format again.

After successful format of the partition I clicked Next > on the Installation Utility window. The next part of the installation appeared asking me where to install AmigaOS 4.1 with set DH0 by default:

Installation of AmigaOS 4.1 to the hard drive.

I clicked on the Next > button and then the options with the selection of my monitor settings and default look appeared. Here my previously written on paper Monitor settings come in handy, and I compared them to the default entries and changed them accordingly to the difference. For the default look I selected AmigaOS 4.1:

Installation of AmigaOS 4.1 - monitor and GUI settings.

I clicked Next > and then text appeared showing small Summary and a warning:

Installation Summary
Install destination : DH0:
Monitor : 1280x1024@60
Default GUI style: AmigaOS 4.1
Installation mode: Install

If you are ready to install, click on the "Next" button.

WARNING: There is no turning back once you pass this page. Please review the above choices you made, and if they are wrong go back and correct them. Otherwise, click "Next".

Without much reviewing the choices I clicked Next >. Big text appeared Installing AmigaOS 4.1 AmigaOne, with two percentage bars under, first showing the total percentage progress of installation and the second showing the percentage progress of the installation of the current file, which name was written under it. Both progress bars were moving very quickly especially the down one, but the first was fast too and in less than 3 minutes the installation process finished successfully. With some information text at the next window:

Configuring your new system Installation. This will only take a few moments.
Copying language preferences...
Copying default preferences...
Enabling screen blanker...
Removing install monitor drivers...
Creating default monitor driver...
Copying post-install script...

Done. Click 'Next' to continue.

I clicked Next >. New text appeared with message about completed installation:

The installation is complete

You should now click on "Finish" and remove the CD-ROM from your machine, then perform a cold reboot (case button reboot). If your system does not boot afterwards, you should reboot from the installation CD and consult the installation guide for more information.

Have fun with AmigaOS 4.1!

Only the Finish button was unghosted. I ejected the DVD drive door and clicked on Finish. AmigaDOS requester with No disk present in device CD0 popped. I returned back the DVD drive door with the AmigaOS 4.1 CD in it and clicked on Retry. The Installation Utility window disappeared and I removed the CD from the drive and pressed the three key combination of cold reboot - Ctrl+LAlt+RAlt.

This time the system booted very fast to AmigaOS, from my new hard drive, the AmigaOS 4.1 splash screen appeared and in less than 10 seconds the AmigaOS 4.1 Post-Install Procedure window appeared. I selected Execute command from the Workbench menu and tested my keyboard:

AmigaOS 4.1 Post Install window.

The keyboard layout was Bulgarian BDS, but when I pressed a key simultaneously with Alt key, I was able to type Latin letters, so I had best of both worlds, without the need to switch keyboards when I needed to type mixed Cyrillic/Latin texts. I tested some more the keyboard then click on the Proceed button of the AmigaOS 4.1 Post-Install Procedure window. The ScreenMode preferences window appeared where I selected my resolution of 1024x768 ARG with 16M Colors and Autoscroll. Clicked Save. Now my screen resolution was 1024x768, unlike the original 800x600 screen resolution provided from the AmigaOS 4.1 boot CD. Next on the AmigaOS 4.1 Post-Install Procedure was a question Do you want to configure your soundcard now? on which I clicked Yes and then the AHI preferences window came and I selected CMI8738:HiFi 16 bit stereo++. Then save again. Next question came: Do you want to configure your internet connection now?, on which I also clicked Yes. Next was information window You will first be prompted to create a new connection. This can be a modem connection, PPPoE, or ethernet if you are on a local network. Please refer to the documentation for more information on which I clicked Ok. The Internet connection wizard window appeared where I selected Ethernet (LAN, Router, Cable modem) and clicked Next, then selected Manual configuration and clicked Next again. Then window message Please pick a device driver from the list, or enter its name. There were the AmigaOne built-in Ethernet - eth3com.device, which unfortunately does not work anymore after a storm with lightening strike, but to my pleasure there were 3 RTL selections and ADMtek one. Unsure which exactly is my RTL card I selected the RTL8139 by knowing its the most popular and then saw the button Test this configuration which I clicked instantly. To my surprise I selected the proper one and a window with information about successful configuration test message popped:

AmigaOS 4.1 Internet window.

Clicking Next the window with the Internet configuration appeared, where values can be entered manually, but the Try dynamic configuration check box was checked and I simply clicked Next. The final part of the Internet connection wizard appeared with selection of the file name of the configuration, check boxes for Print report and Store report in file the second of them was checked. I clicked on Finish and small pop-up window appeared with information about my configuration settings. Then another window with information:

The interface was saved in 'DEVS:NetInterfaces/RTL8139'.

The type of connection you've chosen does not require a PPP dial-up. Therefore you don't need the Dialer to establish an internet connection. The interface can be edited with the 'SYS:Prefs/Internet' program later, if required. A report was written to the file "PROGDIR:Reports/RTL8139.report".

Next information window about my Internet settings appeared with text: Next, you will be able to configure your internet settings. Note that some information need to be obtained from your internet service provider, and then Internet Preferences (TCP/IP) window appeared. Totally unprepared for this, without having my previous data, and knowing what big problems I had before connecting my Amiga to the Internet I simply clicked Cancel and then tempted to check if my Internet connection was this simple to set and working I opened the SYS:Utilities/IBrowse drawer and double-clicked on the IBrowse icon. Very impressive - it worked without any problems and I was able to read some sites. The IBrowse version is the same as the version on the AmigaOS 4.0 CD, but it feels faster. The MUI looks updated and more faster, also the whole AmigaOS 4.1 feels little bit faster. After some more surf and looking for some AmigaOS 4.1 information on the Internet, I went back to my AmigaOS 4.1 install. Now to fix the JX partition problem. I opened Media toolbox and went to the partitions of the new Hard Drive. The JX Partition had small misconfiguration by my side - it was with block size of 1024 bytes, while it should be 512 bytes. Also, I checked if my SWAP partition is okay and noticed that there is blocksize of 2048 bytes instead of the written in the manual and in the Installation Utility, but in the hurry I overlooked this, so most probably I did not had any SWAP or extra virtual memory. This was fixed then after another reboot, my JXFileSystem partition ARC appeared and I Quick Formatted it. For the next time I shall try the MediaToolbox template, which I was unable to open once set the partitions. Or read the manual more carefully. The JX partition while empty was with one drawer .recycled, which as I later tested is for deleted files and easy restore of them. The SmartFileSystem also have .recycled but it is hidded from vision during normal examination, but you can see its contents by typing list sys:.recycled/ from AmigaShell for example. After the successful install of AmigaOS 4.1 and the new drive I went to extensively use AmigaOS 4.1 to see if it is up to date with the modern computer user requirements.

During the reboots I noticed there is no boot jingle about which I read on the Internet. In the sound setting when I clicked the Play a test sound, there was a sound, so the problem was not in my cables connected to the monitor. In the Sound Preferences (SYS:Prefs/Sound) the Play System startup sound was unchecked. I checked and left the default Hirasawa.wav sound which is very relaxing and good for the ears. It is not played on the splash screen, but right after the Workbench appears. There are 3 other sounds present in the SYS:Prefs/Presets/Sounds/ drawer, one of them being the original Amiga 1000 boot jingle, one with bells and two wind sounds. On the AmigaOS 4.1 CD there is a separate Media drawer where two other drawers are present. One of them is called Susumu Hirasawa and have two relaxing mp3 files from the author of the default boot jingle. The mpega.library for playing mp3 files is present on the AmigaOS 4.1 installation, but there is no player for mp3 songs, which have to be installed separately. The other drawer is Danny and Stephen Fellner and have the animation featured on the middle screenshot on the back of the AmigaOS 4.1 box. It is playable with the OEM version of DVPlayer included in the AmigaOS 4.1 installation. Simply clicking on the mpeg file opens DVPlayer automatically and starts to play it. The new AmigaOS 4.1 file lister is updated and improved. Now when selecting names, the files are listed in columns, for Name, Size, Type and Date of each file. Clicking on the Name bar sorts the file Alphabetically by name, on the Size bar by Size, on the Type bar by the type of the file and on the Date bar by date. On the name column to the left of the column is shown shrank icon of the file, taken from the real icon, and if there is no real icon, it shows ghosted standard icon for the particular type of file. New very useful feature is the Type bar list where it shows the type of file. I noticed many various types of files: Ascii, Drawer, Png, Tool, Handler, Doc, Project, MP3, PREF, Device, Rexx, Postscript, Outlinefont, Font, Filesystem, LoadModule and probably there are more. These types are not recognized by their filename extension, because both Font and Outline font are with .font extension for example. Font is also shown for .ttf files, which do not have .font extension. The same goes for the Filesystems and Tools which do not have any particular extension. I have yet to find how this recognition system works, but it is very useful and come in use immediately I started browsing the AmigaOS 4.1 installation and the CD. It greatly improves my positive Amiga experience. On the Workbench lister and in the ASL requesters there are bulgarian names for the days of the week and today and yesterday. I did not notice anywhere else bulgarian language but the days are good for a start. Adding a new language is just a matter of installing some locale files, but I am more used to English Workbench anyway. On the Workbench menus there is new menu item available Open volume from where the user can open presented volumes, but only these which are not hidden by Workbench preferences (SYS:Prefs/Workbench). Useful if you have many icons and can not see them on the Workbench, or they are covered by windows.

While browsing the drawers I saw that my AmigaOS background picture was not looking very centered. Only Am of the Amiga name was viewable. To fix it I went to the WBPattern preferences (SYS:Prefs/WBPattern) and selected for background picture the layout to Scale well and it became fitted on the screen:

AmigaOS 4.1 workbench pattern preferences.

There are also preconfigured themes in the SYS:Prefs/Presets/ drawer where clicking on the icons loads everything already configured. They come for different resolutions from 640x480 to 1600x1200 with choise for OS4.0 look and no hwaccel. Nice for people who do not want to lose time with configuring the default look of their system. When opening many windows, especially the composition demos found on the OS4Depot.net my system considerably slowed down from being fast to stop occasionaly for a second or two while moving windows. I fixed this by going to the GUI Preferences (SYS:Prefs/GUI), clicked on options, then unchecked the Compositing mode for layers (3D acceleration required) box and clicked Save. Now everything was back to normal without any slowdowns. The slowdown is a mAmigaOne-C failure, which having only 32MB graphics memory is sadly not enough for fancy 3D effects and many windows on 32 bit screens. When these 32 MB are used, AmigaOS 4.1 starts to use the other available memory which is much slower for the graphics, and shows in the interface response.

The SYS:Utility drawer of AmigaOS 4.1 have some new software entries. The Amiga port of the CSS capable browser OWB (Origin Web Browser) version OWB 1.25 is installed but by the moment of the release of the AmigaOS 4.1 it had several new revisions, which are easy to download. With OWB there is a chicken and egg problem - you can not download newer version of it, because it has no download capability, but IBrowse does do job fine and is present in the Utilities folder as well. SGrab - the program for screen shots is also present on the install. There is also YAM - e-mail program, but I have so many e-mails in my older AmigaOS 4.0 YAM install folder, so I simply copied the S:User-Startup lines for it from my old install and started to use the same YAM on AmigaOS 4.1 without problems. Copying the User-Startup lines also worked for my other installs and I was able easily to transfer my development environment by simply copying the lines to the AmigaOS 4.1 S:User-Startup file. Another nice feature is the backward compatibility of AmigaOS 4.1 with AmigaOS 4.0. When loaded AmigaOS 4.1 kickstart modules, pressing the left and right mouse buttons goes to the Early Startup Menu, present on every Amiga since AmigaOS 2.0. From there I simply selected to boot from my old Hard Disk and and I was back in my AmigaOS 4.0 without anything changed. Now I can easily check if software works both on AmigaOS 4.0 and AmigaOS 4.1 and also my old files are accessible from there since I point to the same installs from AmigaOS 4.1, not separate drawers. Everything on my AmigaOS 4.0 install was the exactly the same, including the network. I even accessed the JXFS partition without problems. True multiOS experience. To even make it better I started the Partition Wizard. I optimized all my old partitions, and it was much faster than before, even for the Smart File System partition. The JXFileSystem partition did not have option for optimize. May be it optimizes by itself. Will see in the future.

After the Preferences adjustments and transfer of the installs I decided to try if I can optimize my AmigaOS 4.1 installation for speed, like I did in all my previous AmigaOS install starting from AmigaOS 1.2 to 1.3, 2.04, 2.1, 3.0, 3.1, 3.5, 3.9 and 4.0. All these system were optimized to some degree by me, which made the machines using these Operating Systems to not age that fast. I do not have much knowledgeability about AmigaOS 4.1, so I went to optimize on the base what I did in AmigaOS 4.0. Opened the SYS:Kickstart/Kicklayout file with NotePad and then my old AmigaOS 4.0 Kicklayout file and compared which modules I disabled by commenting them out and disabled the same modules on the AmigaOS 4.1. They are in no use to me and my setup, so I disabled the following modules: a1floppy.device.kmod, it8212ide.device.kmod, lsi53c8xx.device.kmod, sii0680ide.device.kmod, sii3112ide.device.kmod, sii3114ide.device.kmod, sii3512ide.device.kmod and 3dfxVoodoo.chip After save of the new layout file, I cold reboot and my AmigaOS 4.1 now boots faster and have more free physical memory. I commented out the printer assign in the S:Startup-Sequence and finally moved the unused monitors in the SYS:Devs/Monitors to SYS:Storage/Monitors and left only the Radeon monitor there. Finally removed the ScreenBlankerEngine from the SYS:WBStartup/ and placed ClickToFront. After another reboot the optimizations were done for the moment.

The AmigaOS 4.1 software base is established itself on the basis of the many software titles already available for AmigaOS 4.0. For the handling of the images for this review I wanted to use the well known classic software ImageFX but for some reason it does not work with reason can no open modules. Probably conflict with the new memory system. I used flphoto instead, which did the job fine, even more easily. Only problem with this software was that it used Unix style for path so my AR:Web/ drawer had to be selected /AR/Web/ with some error messages meanwhile about not finding a: assign.

On the emulator front except the emulators shown in the screen shot at the back of the AmigaOS 4.1 box, other emulators work nice even faster than before. Hatari, Sim Coupe and Atari800 work fine:

AmigaOS 4.1 3 emulators at the same time.

And I still had CPU resources left. For 3 days usage now I feel AmigaOS 4.1 faster than AmigaOS 4.0 on the same hardware, also it is more stable and the freezes are less. Some programs which crashed before or made the system to freeze soon after their exit, no more freeze the system. For example the AmOric which made the system freeze after its exit before, now after exit the system work normally. It still have no sound, which I only once had outputted on my AmigaOne system some years ago with Nallepuh and some AmigaOS 4.0 prereleases. Other software under AmigaOS 4.1 performs not only faster, but also better. The DOS version of Euphoric on AmigaOS 4.0 shows only blue colors when ran under DOSBox in fullscreen, now it works fine and faster, which means that DOSBox performs better. The FPSE is also faster. Most of the software I tested seemed to perform faster.

Despite the new features present, and the many bugfixes, the use of AmigaOS 4.1 still have some problems left, which were more or less annoying with AmigaOS 4.0 and they are still in AmigaOS 4.1. The biggest problem before with my RTL card was that if I start to download too fast - for example over 1MegaByte/second my internet connection gets considerably slow and goes down to 160 Kilobytes/second. This I can fix without reboot only by doing netshutdown and then addnetinterface devs:NetInterfaces/RTL8139 which is very annoying and was never necessary when my onboard LAN worked and I used eth3com.device. Another way to stop the speed drop is to leave the file download and not touch anything until it finishes. But I am very used to multitasking and leaving the computer is bad. During the tests I got download speeds of up to 7MB/Second, limited by my Internet connection plan. Probably the speed drops are not fault of the network card or the AmigaOS 4, may be the driver only, or buffer overflow, but it is annoying nevertheless. During the usage there are other issues. For example when I run Media Toolbox the system gets unstable and the TCP/IP stack crashes and I have to kill it from the Grim Reaper, which leaves me with unstable and crash prone system. The two USB Joysticks I have and put there although recognized and shown in the AmigaInput preferences (SYS:Prefs/AmigaInput), their input is not recognized. Whenever I press a button or the keypad, there is nothing shown in the Test/Calibrate unit part. After copying back the AmigaInput files and settings from the AmigaOS 4.0 install, one Joystick worked, but updated system is much better, because the old AmigaInput bugs came back when I took the old files. For example once opened and then closed the Joystick disappears to the system for which I wrote a small C program to open and not close the Joystick. This bug was not presented in the AmigaOS 4.1 install. On AmigaOS 4.1 also both Joysticks were presented for selection from software, while because of bug on the AmigaOS 4.0 version I had, this was not possible. Later I bought HP Photosmart C6280 which I added to my AmigaOS 4.1 install.

Although having some minor problems and bugs, AmigaOS 4.1 is impressive Operating System especially when comparing it with the previous versions of AmigaOS. It is a huge leap over AmigaOS 3.9 - the last version of AmigaOS working on 680x0 processors. Compared to AmigaOS 4.0, even if small step it is in the right direction. Compared to AmigaOS 2.0? The Amiga Design is still there, so the foundation of Amiga is present. Compared to other Operating Systems - it still have to catch up, but its not far behind like before. For the time being I can still stay Amiga only even in 2008. The latest software developments along with AmigaOS 4.1 made me much more independent of other computer platforms, in the sense of that I do not need another computer Operating System or hardware to do some simple computing task. I do not need anymore Windows to have Internet Banking, Excel sheets or Google maps. Almost all of the todays computing is now possible on the Amiga as well, with all the pluses that the Amiga offers and keep me here for the last 15 years. When I ordered AmigaOS 4.1, the next generation Amiga computing was more or less a dead end. I decided to spent the money anyway. I mean dead end in the sense that there was no new hardware and if my hardware broke, new hardware capable of running AmigaOS 4.x was impossible to get. The offers are either for 11 years old PPC boards with suspicious quality, attached to even older hardware, or second hand AmigaOne models, next to impossible to find. With the news about AmigaOS 4.1 running on available in the shops hardware (The Acube SAM boards), it means that I can focus on my Amiga activities even more, and dedicate more time. Even if the hardware breaks, I can obtain new board and continue from where I was. I will not fear anymore about my future computer. Amiga computing is still possible and not outdated even in 2008. Computing is still fun. Thanks to AmigaOS 4.1. On 14 January 2010, AmigaOS 4.1 have been updated.

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