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Thread: OS for Amstard CPC6128 and 6128 Plus...

  1. #1

    Default OS for Amstard CPC6128 and 6128 Plus...

    ... with some nice features can be found at:

    www.futureos.de

  2. #2

    Default

    Good idea basically, but much unused potential here. It's not just the terrible mix between German and English Icons (Drucken, Datei and then English terms like Load, save, copy... Damn, stick to one language) but also the overloaded appearance with too many "dumb" icons that makes it look cluttered. Spartan Mode should be default...I like how it's kinda context sensitive when you select a drive, then the menu makes more sense. Some stuff like the clock and date should be more customizable, they just take space and make the menu look more confusing for a beginner. I find the display of files terrible, they are shown in such a small text in such an uninspired way... OK not going to force you to make a clone of "Norton Commander" from MS-DOS, but won't hurt to get inspired a bit. Some screens like the port monitor are really good and give a quick and easy overview, i wish all screens would be as simple, sorted and detailed like this.

    Besides that it is pretty good at what it is - and that is (to me) just a file handling GUI and - unless you make it less cluttered and add some sorting/customizing options - not even the best one i ever saw. Admitted - file access and handling is lightning fast, prolly best you can get on a CPC, but most people don't spend their whole day copying/renaming files, so that's not all i expect from an OS. The Alarm function is a great idea, i just wish it had a whole calendar with several setable alarms and custom text, so you could have kinda organizer. Add a Calculator. And a Text editor. And yeah the system utilities should be part of the ROMs...

    As i said - it has potential, but as it is i wonder who would want to use it? Reminds me a bit of the Japanese Cho Kanji RTOS...Also great idea, but no compatibility, barely any appz...but lightning fast... Add some productivity tools and it would make much more sense for people to use it...

  3. #3

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    Thanks for your reply.
    Well, the icon sets can be chosen freely, there is even a French version (called MacDeath version). Ok, getting languages straight is important. I agree.
    But yes, the homepage (shows older pics) needs some make over probably. If somebody want own icon I can include them for you.

    How would you like to see the clock? Having an option to display time and date in small letters at the bottom of the screen?
    Any other idea? Let me know

    The files section provides space for 64 entries, that's basically one Data or System disc. Sorry, I don't see the difference to Norton Commander, except scroll bars. Which are not needed here
    Inspired? What do you miss / mean by that?
    Thanks for linking the Porting System, imho it needs some overwork though For other pages, let me know which details you are missing. So they can be added.

    What do you mean by sorting option? That happens automatically. And of course it all can be customized, see installation disc.

    Thanks for the hint with the Alarm function that's a great idea, such an application will be added. I put it on the 2 DO list.
    To put more apps in ROMs is planned for the next release as option. However meanwhile the feedback I get is rather directing in leaving Apps. on disc and ROM space free. Well, looking at an X-MEM with 32 slots of 16 KB each I guess there is ROM space enough

    You told that file handling is not all you expect from an OS. Well, the handbook and OS ROM docs tell what else you can do. Please let us know what you miss and we can add it.

    Thank you for your comprehensive answer.
    Last edited by TFM; February 12th, 2016 at 11:29 AM.

  4. #4
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    Too bad that I can't run it on my "Joyce".

    So, can you run any non-FutureOS applications? Say, WordStar, DBASE II, CBASIC, on this? It wasn't clear if the "porting" capability extended to executables.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TFM View Post
    Thanks for your reply.
    Well, the icon sets can be chosen freely, there is even a French version (called MacDeath version). Ok, getting languages straight is important. I agree.
    But yes, the homepage (shows older pics) needs some make over probably. If somebody want own icon I can include them for you.

    How would you like to see the clock? Having an option to display time and date in small letters at the bottom of the screen?
    Any other idea? Let me know

    The files section provides space for 64 entries, that's basically one Data or System disc. Sorry, I don't see the difference to Norton Commander, except scroll bars. Which are not needed here
    Inspired? What do you miss / mean by that?
    Thanks for linking the Porting System, imho it needs some overwork though For other pages, let me know which details you are missing. So they can be added.

    What do you mean by sorting option? That happens automatically. And of course it all can be customized, see installation disc.

    Thanks for the hint with the Alarm function that's a great idea, such an application will be added. I put it on the 2 DO list.
    To put more apps in ROMs is planned for the next release as option. However meanwhile the feedback I get is rather directing in leaving Apps. on disc and ROM space free. Well, looking at an X-MEM with 32 slots of 16 KB each I guess there is ROM space enough

    You told that file handling is not all you expect from an OS. Well, the handbook and OS ROM docs tell what else you can do. Please let us know what you miss and we can add it.

    Thank you for your comprehensive answer.
    At first the icons should have some kinda "corporate design". When i say that i mean they all should have the same style. As they are now some are pictograms, some are just text. Try to decide for one style and avoid mixing it. That way it will look much better.

    The clock - i think a clock and date is nice to have, but you don't constantly look at the clock when you use an OS, so it should not be in the middle of the screen (that is the focus of your eyes in general). Maybe top left corner or - windows style - bottom left corner. Small font, dont take much space, just when someone really wanna look at the clock he can read it. I really like how it is in Windows 10 - bottom right corner, not taking much space, but gives you time and date at one glance. Would be cool if it would be customizable.

    Norton commander is old and overrated, but what they were really good at is putting the files in focus of your eyes, e.g. in the middle of the screen, easy to read. When I click a drive letter in the menu i obviously wanna do file handling, so by default maybe it would be great to do a directory listing (With FutureOS that is REALLY fast, maybe an option to customize for people who do not want a directory listing when they click a drive, but trust me - most people would want that). And put the file list in a bit larger font and in the middle of the screen. We do a directory listing so we are interested in the files. Put them in the focus of the users eyes. To be "inspired" by Noton Commander or other file tools means you REALLY try to use them and see what they are good at. And imho one thing is that they give you a good well arranged overview of files. Inspired doesn't mean you do a 1:1 copy of that interface, it means you take a look and think where they maybe did a better job then you and how you can improve your system to learn from how they are dooing it. What i really like about Norton commander is a "DUAL" drive listing, e.g. on the left side you have drive A and on the right side Drive B. That is really helpful for data copying, comparing the contents of 2 different drives and such. FutureOS is VERY VERY strong at file operations, so why not try to "learn" or "Be inspired" from such old tools?


    Sorting means to be able to sort by file size, alphabetically or other means. I am not sure if FutureOS can implement a TimesStamp for each file, but then you could also sort by never files to older files and so on.

    Thanks for considering the alarm function.

    I think the "minimalist" approach is legit. however - to put more appz on ROM is imho not a problem. If i burn 4 ROMs or 5 or 6 ROMs is not much of a difference to me. So a "Deluxe" edition with 1 or 2 additional application ROMs would be a benefit in my eyes. Some productivity stuff like a basic text editor, calculator, a calendar, a phone book, To-Do List, an expense calculator, and so on would be quite easy to do and not take much space. But it would make this ROM/OS so much more USEFUL.

    My problem with it is that it offers great file handling - Kudos for that. You probably made the worlds best file handling routines on a CPC. But people who go through the pain of burning ROMs and installing them, what do they wanna do with their CPC? Probably more than just copying disks. As it is there are like THREE games for futureOS, a hanful of appz. Not much to be of value for daily life. I think some more useful tools in the OS itself would make it more of a "Good choice" when people see like "ha i can check my monthly expenses with my CPC" or be like "Ah i gotta edit my to-do list". Sure you could be like "Blah that should be an app you keep on a floppy and load when you need it", but the point is there are already loads of great appz for the original CPC that i can load from floppy, so why on earth should i get FutureOS? The more goodies you add to the OS In ROMs that is), the more of a complete "solution to everyones daily needs" you offer and the more likely that people really want to use FutureOS and burn it on ROMs.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    Too bad that I can't run it on my "Joyce".
    So, can you run any non-FutureOS applications? Say, WordStar, DBASE II, CBASIC, on this? It wasn't clear if the "porting" capability extended to executables.
    No, you usually can't use the old stuff. IMHO it's better to write Apps new.

    @Kyodai: Thank's for your ideas, seems you really know how to design a GUI. I will consider what you told and try to integrate it step by step. Great feedback, thanks.

    The files get sorted alphabetical at the moment. Just recently dxs made an approach (a small batch) of creating RTCs for the CPC. Still most CPC have no RTCs and I just don't want to ask the user for time and date everytime, would be too tedious. But since RTCs are more common now it may be a good idea to add time stamps, maybe in the way CP/M Plus uses them, to stay compatible with older disc formats. For IDE devices (FAT32) this is more easy anyway, sind that has time stamps.

    Totally agree that it is a good thing to have apps in the ROM, a discless station is just nice to have and more quick. Data can also be written in the ROM (well, small amount of course) when using Flash-ROMs.

    All that I miss is the time to do that all
    Last edited by TFM; February 15th, 2016 at 11:35 AM.

  7. #7

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    New update available at www.FutureOS.de

    Some of the comments from the previous posts could be realized

    What's new?
    - 6128 Plus version: ROM D optimized.
    - Bugfix in |FDESK command
    - Extra E-RAM of X-MEM (64 KB internal) can be used now (640 KB! Not 576KB) with X-MEM via &7EC4-7
    - MultiPlay support added
    - Installer updated
    - Bug in OS function GET_DIR corrected
    - ROM applications can now be called using the RUN icon
    FutureOS eXpansion ROM Mangement enhanced
    - API expanded: External ROMs can now call OS functions directly from Exp.ROM to FutureOS ROMs A-D
    - Albireo detection added (scans for both main chips)
    - Time and Date can now be shown optional as characters at bottom of screen instead of icons (nice in SPARtan mode imho)
    - Hotkey "B" / Fire 2 (not 0 or 1!) added: Moves mouse arrow to next file, but without tagging (problems with Plus)
    - Switch SPARtan mode on by default
    - The "Show picture" function now starts in MODE 0 and 80 x 25 character mode
    - Hotkey "J" added to Jump to file section in Desktop
    - OS/API entry KLICK will now reset SP to &BFF8, stability improved
    - ROM C compacted
    - Efficient PlayCity autodetection added
    - Documentation updated: printer management, E-RAM management

  8. #8

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    List of the Updates:
    - Second Wallpaper (WP) XROM generated. Both ROM's now can use the autostart function to display a WP at startup
    - Tool for configuration of 'Which applications will be started from XROM when OS boots cold?'
    - FutureOS X-ROMs will now be initialized during cold boot if configurated.
    - Exit-OS / Restart-OS more reliable, Register R will be restored in case something changes 8. bit of R. This is important when calling FutureOS from the native OS and you want to return with intact memory.
    - 6128 Plus: Proportional arrow movement enhanced (especially when date/time is shown in letter instead of icons)
    - "End of File" message will now be shown inverted for better readability
    - Recognition of Speech Synthesizers enhanced (LambdaSpeak, dk'tronics etc...)

    Taken all together not too much new things, but way more ease for the eyes

    Get an update in the net or your personal version from TFM now!
    http://www.FutureOS.de

  9. #9

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    As promised, here comes the update (link, www.FutureOS.de)

    - LambdaSpeak speech support added to OS.
    - Clear screen first when starting up, and save RAM bytes &8FFE and &8FFF at start up.
    - LambdaSpeak III support enhanced.
    - Design of some icons opened up
    - Read / write function for LambdaSpeak III RTC added. Support in FutureOS integrated
    - Added: Automatic detection of serial interfaces from Schneider, Amstrad, Pace and the USIfAC
    - File-Interface improved. Before, in very few cases the wrong page of file was shown. Corrected!
    - The SF2 RTC can now be kept in Binary-Mode; this will NOT be changed by OS if ROM A &C114 Bit 2 is set
    - Disc-Copy enhanced, ROM A optimized
    - Using Disc-Copy the Source and Target drives are now shown as icons after their selection
    - SF3 mouse support added. Combined SF2/SF3 mouse support enhanced. Wheel scrolls DIRectory pages now
    - Two Discs with Wallpapers added (Disc V and VI: Wallpapers from the biggest Sci-Fi series of the world)
    - SF3 write date function enhanced
    - If FutureOS ROMs are present ROM A will switch PEN 1 to color 25 (before it was 1. Green friendly

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