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© 1997-2006
Gareth Knight
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ScalOS

As the title suggests, this is yet another Workbench replacement, similar in concept to MBench. It takes a rather different approach than the previous by requiring Magic User Interface or BGUI just to run the software. Although many have criticised MUI for its slowness, in my opinion there really is no reason why modern Amigas cannot use it. It may use a lot of memory but it is pretty and allows more customisation than Workbench alone. The standard Amiga is no longer a 512k A500 is it?

ScalOS reliance on MUI will mean that anyone without fast ram need not apply. For those that do I can only say that ScalOS is very stable and relatively bug free. It makes using Workbench a joy to use. Simply moving icons around and watching the name underneath move fluidly was a joy to behold! It reminded me of Windows NT in a great many ways. My only complaints were that it didn't adopt the WBPattern preferences, forcing you to set them with one of the accompanying utilities. Another problem was the lack of any pull-down menus, ScalOS forces you to define all of the menus from scratch. The beta version also has problems with graphics cards which loses brownie points in my book.

Although my (tiny) review raves about how good ScalOS is, I can only ask again the point of these Workbench replacements. I'm probably being too cynical but why would you want to replace Workbench with some minor facelifts that could render many programs incompatible. Although like MBench, ScalOS does an excellent job I can't help thinking that we really need a complete replacement operating system.

 

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