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[Web] Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide availableANN.lu
Posted on 11-Apr-2004 10:55 GMT by Raffaele84 comments
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On Amigaworld.net it is now available an installation guide for OS 4.0 developer pre-release version. Just click on the icons of the drawers, as on your Amiga Workbench, to learn how it works. News forwarded from Amiganews.
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 1 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by itix on 11-Apr-2004 09:02 GMT
Very nice.
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 2 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Joe "Floid" Kanowitz on 11-Apr-2004 10:46 GMT
First impressions:

-Nice.
-I have no idea how long "we"'ve had this, but now's as good a time as any to note the handling of the list elements is genius UI. Centering the visible elements lets the hint of the invisible peek through - subtly letting you know there is/isn't more without having to interpret the scrollbar. The 3D effect on the previous window seems a little backwards, had me thinking of Escher until I figured out what I was looking at.
-We can select Expert mode or regular... Are we looking at Expert mode or regular?
-7 sentences to pull down a menu, but no "Yes, we mean 'Install AmigaOne booter?'" Nice sense of humor, but it's going to trip people up...
-Not sure about this. It seems like there must be some way to present it more cogently; on the other hand, we don't want to special-case installing versus just 'using' the system and its tools. If it said *why* you need to reboot -- what parts of the system won't be aware unless reloaded -- less Windows-style headbanging. Then you're only penalizing users who won't take the time to understand the technical basis, or would that be as bad as "Linux?" Of course, you *could* just get rid of the need to reboot, but that might not be easy. ;)
-Smells like there's a conflict between "Long File Names" and backwards-compatibility; hopefully the final installer will reconcile this/make it a nonissue. (In terms of letting the user do something that wouldn't work. Maybe we should just have an option for "Short Names?")
-Obviously final should try to use DDC, but this requester doesn't tell you how permanent/impermanent your choice is. (Probably not very permanent, so... "What screenmode do you want set at first boot?") Technically, deferring to screenmode prefs might be better, though then you play chicken-and-egg with drivers, though then this seems to be using a single VESA one anyway. Whew.

Just thoughts, obviously anything can happen.
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 3 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by koan on 11-Apr-2004 10:57 GMT
Lots of screenshots, looks very nice and close to a completed product.

Disappointmented that it's still using FFS.

Damn, I'm going to have to seriously consider whether to buy one of
these. ;)

koan
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 4 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Don Cox on 11-Apr-2004 11:02 GMT
It all seems very clear and easy to follow, but it's hard to imagine what it would be like for someone who had never used an Amiga.

The GUI of Media Toolbox has improved enormously since the first screen grabs.

I spotted one small error - on the page "Configuring U-Boot Parameters", "integrated" is spelt wrong twice: once in the text and once on the screen grab.
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 5 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Don Cox on 11-Apr-2004 11:04 GMT
In reply to Comment 3 (koan):
"Disappointmented that it's still using FFS."

I believe SFS is included as an alternative.
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 6 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by reflect on 11-Apr-2004 11:15 GMT
In reply to Comment 5 (Don Cox):
it's not plain FFS, it's FFS2 though.
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 7 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 11-Apr-2004 11:40 GMT
In reply to Comment 4 (Don Cox):
> I spotted one small error - on the page "Configuring U-Boot Parameters", "integrated" is spelt wrong twice: once in the text and once on the screen grab.

(#include nitpicking.h)
Those aren't screengrabs, they're illustrations. There's no screen to grab (other than by taking a photo of the monitor when the firmware options are displayed). Dunno if the spleilng erorrs are only made by whoever drew the pictures, or if they're actually there in the latest Teron firmware.
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 8 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Leo on 11-Apr-2004 11:51 GMT
This Dev. CD has been first announced in december (without release-date, I think I know why). Now we're approaching mid-april and they decide to publish the Install Guide of the still-unreleased DevCD: is this another tip to make people WAIT ? ;)

Regards,
Leo.
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 9 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by The_Editor... (Paul Hovell) on 11-Apr-2004 12:03 GMT
In reply to Comment 8 (Leo):
try reading This thread ......

http://amigaworld.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=4092&forum=2&start=0&viewmode=flat&order=0


Os4 is real and its here !! (almost)
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 10 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Troels Ersking on 11-Apr-2004 12:23 GMT
In reply to Comment 8 (Leo):
Unless new problems occur, A1 owners should have the pre-release in their hands VERY soon. We're probably talking about a few weeks depending on how fast the dealers ship the CD's to them.

If the cd's are being made during next week as planned I guess a lot of A1 owners are going to be very happy soon :-)

BTW. Nice guide, seems to be easy to install.
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 11 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Ronald on 11-Apr-2004 12:25 GMT
Installing AmigaOS4 doesn't look very user friendly.

> setenv stdout vga
> setenv autostart no
> setenv preboot
> setenv bootcmd "menu; run menuboot_cmd"
> saveenv

and then

> ide reset
> setenv boot1 cdrom
> boota

I don't remember typing anything at some command prompt when installing Windows, Mac, OS/2 or BeOS?!??!
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 12 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by The_Editor... (Paul Hovell) on 11-Apr-2004 12:27 GMT
In reply to Comment 11 (Ronald):
If thats the best nit pick you got...

Must be a brilliant installer !!
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 13 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Kolbjørn Barmen on 11-Apr-2004 12:35 GMT
In reply to Comment 11 (Ronald):
You dont remember entering the BIOS on a PC to allow to change boot order to have it boot from CD?

You dont remember entering holding magic hotkey on a mac to make it boot from a CD or changing default boot medium from the OpenFirmware?

Well, aren't you lucky!
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 14 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Don Cox on 11-Apr-2004 13:26 GMT
In reply to Comment 11 (Ronald):
"I don't remember typing anything at some command prompt when installing Windows, Mac, OS/2 or BeOS?!??!"

Did you get a developers' pre-release of those?

I doubt if developers will mind typing a few commands. In fact, I think most A1 owners would happily push potatoes 50 miles with their noses to get AOS4 installed.
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 15 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Ronald St-Maurice on 11-Apr-2004 13:29 GMT
In reply to Comment 13 (Kolbjørn Barmen):
You dont remember entering the BIOS on a PC to allow to change boot order to have it boot from CD?

Yes but did you remember having to enter commands at a command line at the BIOS? Why ECP and Levels?


You dont remember entering holding magic hotkey on a mac to make it boot from a CD or changing default boot medium from the OpenFirmware?

Yes, pressing the "C" letter while booting up. This is what Hyperion should have done instead of this. Everybody says Amigas are supposed to be easy. This looks like stuff UNIX people (or early Windows) would do.

Well, aren't you lucky!

Well, you must be new to computers so I understand your position.
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 16 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Ryu on 11-Apr-2004 13:31 GMT
In reply to Comment 14 (Don Cox):
lol nice analogy Don :-)
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 17 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Ronald St-Maurice on 11-Apr-2004 13:43 GMT
In reply to Comment 14 (Don Cox):
Did you get a developers' pre-release of those?

Yes. Many BETAs of Windows and OSXs.

I doubt if developers will mind typing a few commands. In fact, I think most A1 owners would happily push potatoes 50 miles with their noses to get AOS4 installed.

I agree. But then it's very odd to include such steps like 2 & 3 considering they have only 1 target machine. Maybe they use an OpenFirmware than won't allow boot up from CDs? I always thought OpenFirmware was more flexible than the PC BIOS.
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 18 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Seehund on 11-Apr-2004 14:03 GMT
In reply to Comment 17 (Ronald St-Maurice):
> I always thought OpenFirmware was more flexible than the PC BIOS.

It's not OpenFirmware, it's U-Boot, but it's almost the same from a usability perspective, and yes, it's more flexible than the usual "PC" BIOS setup methods: You can get a command prompt, for starters!

But I agree that some of the more common options (e.g. choosing to boot from CDROM) needs to be made more easily accessible, like a hotkey and a text menu option. But this is a hardware/firmware issue and has nothing to do with the userfriendliness of whatever OS you're installing.
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 19 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Seehund on 11-Apr-2004 14:10 GMT
In reply to Comment 15 (Ronald St-Maurice):
> Everybody says Amigas are supposed to be easy.

Ah, OK, I think I see the problem. As long as you believe there will be new "Amigas", you're likely to stay disappointed.
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 20 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Rigo on 11-Apr-2004 15:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 18 (Seehund):
If any of you had taken the time and trouble to view the videos at www.amigaoneproductions.co.uk, you may have seen the install from CD I did at the `Big Bash` in Peterborough.

It clearly shows the steps involved in making the A1 boot OS4 from CD.

It appears all these videos were a waste of time :(

Rigo
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 21 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by The_Editor... (Paul Hovell) on 11-Apr-2004 15:03 GMT
In reply to Comment 20 (Rigo):
Good point, Rigo.

( I was too busy to watch !! )


;)
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 22 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Graham_nli on 11-Apr-2004 15:06 GMT
In reply to Comment 7 (Anonymous):
I imagine they took a screen grab of the firmware by redirecting firmware output through the serial port to a terminal emulator on another machine, and taking a screengrab of that, or simply cutting and pasting the text from that.
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 23 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Graham_nli on 11-Apr-2004 15:10 GMT
In reply to Comment 11 (Ronald):
I agree with you, that does seem quite backwards ... hopefully the final install will sort this part out.

It is typical on standard PC BIOSes to have to configure the boot order however. I don't know why the default isn't Floppy, CDROM, Harddrive, Network on all machines, but PC BIOSen always seem to come configured Harddrive, CDROM, Floppy. Not great for booting off of a CD when you have something installed on the Harddrive!
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 24 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Richi on 11-Apr-2004 15:11 GMT
Good work guys!
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 25 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Graham_nli on 11-Apr-2004 15:11 GMT
In reply to Comment 18 (Seehund):
To be fair, if you'd read the install guide, you would see that boot order is done via a menu system. It is just this other stuff that doesn't have a menu yet I imagine.
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 26 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Graham_nli on 11-Apr-2004 15:14 GMT
In reply to Comment 25 (Graham_nli):
Yep, it is a menu:

http://amigaworld.net/OS4InstallGuide/images/UBoot08.jpg

I guess that the things done by UBoot command line are things that haven't had a menu option made for them yet.
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 27 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Rigo on 11-Apr-2004 15:20 GMT
In reply to Comment 26 (Graham_nli):
The images of the UBoot screens are actually mocks, as there is no way to capture the UBoot screens. These representations are close to what you would see within UBoot, but they don`t show the menuing system working.

The videos on the other hand do, so again I refer you to www.amigaoneproductions.co.uk to see UBoot in action.

Rigo
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 28 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Hans-Joerg Frieden on 11-Apr-2004 16:24 GMT
In reply to Comment 18 (Seehund):
This is a one-time setup you are doing. Normally, you can use the U-Boot menu, but most of the older machines are not set up to correctly yet. Future machines will be preset for that, but the whole Earlybird program *was* directed at developers.
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 29 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Hans-Joerg Frieden on 11-Apr-2004 16:27 GMT
In reply to Comment 26 (Graham_nli):
> I guess that the things done by UBoot command line are things that haven't had
> a menu option made for them yet.

Actually, these are to "overcome" default settings of U-Boot. They are one-time setups that you can save afterwards. On a reboot, you get a progress bar where you can pres any key to get into the menu, or do nothing to continue booting.

They aren't strictly part of the installation procedure, and chances are that people have already set them up when they installed Linux, but it is better not to assume anything when you are explaining a ground-up install.
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 30 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Graham_nli on 11-Apr-2004 16:46 GMT
In reply to Comment 29 (Hans-Joerg Frieden):
Cheers for that snippet.

The flash update was a bit longwinded though - still for a thing that will be done once a year it isn't a problem.
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 31 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Raffaele on 11-Apr-2004 16:55 GMT
In reply to Comment 27 (Rigo):
Mr Rigo wrote:

>The images of the UBoot screens are actually mocks,
>as there is no way to capture the UBoot screens.

You forgot you can link the video-out plug of a computer to a videocard on another computer which has a in-plug with capture facilities...

[But I do not think they are using Graphic Cards (on AmigaONE) with proper Video output]

Sure, you can redirect VGA (if you use VGA out) to an simple VGA genlock (obvioiusly linked to another computer)...

And, mainly... if AmigaOS4 pre-release has a version which runs hosted on a Linux environment, you can capture the screens from it...
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 32 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Kolbjørn Barmen on 11-Apr-2004 17:09 GMT
In reply to Comment 31 (Raffaele):
Huh. "mainly"?

UBoot is not AmigaOS and it does not run hosted on Linux.

How did you manage to think that up??
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 33 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Raffaele on 11-Apr-2004 17:29 GMT
In reply to Comment 32 (Kolbjørn Barmen):
Mr. Kolbjørn Barmen wrote:

> How did you manage to think that up??

Ignorance???

:P

Sorry... I didn't realize that the UBoot screen was out of the OS...

A moment of mind-failure...

:-S
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 34 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Elwood on 11-Apr-2004 17:37 GMT
In reply to Comment 31 (Raffaele):
The Uboot screens are not copied or captured from serial. They are mockups because they look better this way (instead of taking a shot of your monitor :-)

but Amigan's don't care because they are not interested by Uboot but by OS4 ;-)
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 35 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by priest on 11-Apr-2004 18:23 GMT
In reply to Comment 20 (Rigo):
downloading... ;-)

THANKS !
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 36 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Christophe Decanini on 11-Apr-2004 18:56 GMT
In reply to Comment 11 (Ronald):
The firmware setup is never "user friendly". If you don't have to deal with it on Windows or some other system, it is just because someone did it for you (the reseller setting up the mobo, Apple etc).
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 37 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Christophe Decanini on 11-Apr-2004 19:01 GMT
In reply to Comment 17 (Ronald St-Maurice):
The resellers will setup machines for the people unconfortable with dealing with the firmware.
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 38 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Joe "Floid" Kanowitz on 11-Apr-2004 19:05 GMT
Presumably later runs of hardware will ship with the defaults configured properly, or at least one hopes. That's why my spiel left that out; obviously nobody knew exactly what would be 'sane' as a default until 4 was written (well, that's charitable in a way, we all knew U-Boot was going to be a Work In Progress until at least release day, as well)... ;)

Rant I was going to make, and may as well: There are two extremes where 'installers' are concerned; one end sees you "using the OS" for the task, the other sees you doing nothing. Classic systems (early AmigaOS, MS-DOS... Gentoo ;)) see you basically just copying things over/manipulating them with roughly the same metaphors as the rest of the system, for one form of simplicity/flexibility; MorphOS and Knoppix are at another extreme, where in theory you just plug it in, blow an image on, and it's there.

There's middle ground between those; later versions of Windows and many Linux distros aspire to the latter but succumb to Wizard Syndrome, my memories of later OS/2 place it somewhere in the effective middle ground (an 'installer,' but the installer would effectively call the equivalent of prefs panels... one gets the impression IBM was trying for the first extreme but didn't quite know how to achieve it; meanwhile MS inherited/co-evolved a similar approach but has been trying to mask it shooting for the latter)... This present procedure seems to trod in the same middle space.

I've got to say my hope and dream is for 4 to lean straight for the former, while offering the latter. ;) -- Let's face it, images should be easy, but it's important to eat one's own dogfood during the installation phase, both for the sake of shaking down (and thus improving/simplifying/'easing') the OS metaphors themselves, and providing the "Driver's Ed" to take advantage of the system later.

No use having a pretty installer if people won't be able to use the system, and vice-versa. (Case study, actually -- I threw on a copy of Mandrake a while back, and the installer was, of course, idiot-simple. Once installed, though, I was left with no conception of the sanctioned way to install packages after the system was up, despite the installer handling all that happily. It's possible to derive a number of things from that; perhaps you assume you have to reinstall to change your selection of software -- people do it fairly often to reapportion Windows builtins -- or perhaps you just wonder why it 'tricked' you into befriending a wizard you'll never meet again in your life.)

---

I was about to ask if U-Boot can handle ASPI CD-ROMs yet, but that I suppose that raises the obvious can_OS4_support_any_host_controllers?
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 39 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Kjetil on 11-Apr-2004 20:44 GMT
In reply to Comment 38 (Joe "Floid" Kanowitz):
can_OS4_support_any_host_controllers?

Any host controller there is OS4.0 driver for, and works whit uboot.
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 40 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by JKD on 11-Apr-2004 20:46 GMT
Saw this posted on AWorld.net.

Nice, clear and concise guide for installation.

Some 'low level' stuff is to be expected...since these were earlybird systems anyway right?

Well done guys, keep it coming :-)

Steve
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 41 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Kjetil on 11-Apr-2004 21:20 GMT
In reply to Comment 15 (Ronald St-Maurice):
AmigaOS is not MacOS, it's not so easy as drunk folks can use it, it has scripting possibilities and there is a level of if you can read, you understand the configuration and boot files like Startup-sequence and user-startup, configuring uboot is just minor issue compared to that, and yes AmigaOS is where inspired by Unix and it nothing to be ashamed by, inn my eyes AmigaOS has many good concept and implementation that Unix should be yells for, like integrated gui, command names that can be read and understud, Assigns, devices, it easy to understand compared whit a lot of other systems even MSDOS, Unix and Linux
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 42 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Joe "Floid" Kanowitz on 11-Apr-2004 23:02 GMT
In reply to Comment 39 (Kjetil):
Any host controller there is OS4.0 driver for, and works whit uboot.

Yes, and U-Boot has support, but I haven't kept current on what 4's status is there, if there's any to report.

---

Note that MacOS, when living up to its ideals, falls under my 'former' end of the spectrum even whilst drag-and-drop easy (and picking said route as the ideal would be what keeps things honest with that level of consistency)... A click'n'run installer on a Classic Mac is a cop-out.
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 43 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 12-Apr-2004 00:29 GMT
Quite cool! Finally, one should say! ;-) Tell me, is it possible to
boot from the CD as in MorphOS, and install the complete system by
typing "copy cd0: dh0: all" in a shell?
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 44 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by priest on 12-Apr-2004 05:33 GMT
In reply to Comment 43 (Anonymous):
It seems that AOS4 pre-beta is more like a complete OS in this respect. Not an image of a betatester OS that one just copies to HDD. AOS4 pre-beta seems to have an installer already, with userdefineable settings.

(and it will become easier to use for the final release)
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 45 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Don Cox on 12-Apr-2004 07:15 GMT
In reply to Comment 42 (Joe "Floid" Kanowitz):
"Note that MacOS, when living up to its ideals, falls under my 'former' end of the spectrum even whilst drag-and-drop easy (and picking said route as the ideal would be what keeps things honest with that level of consistency)... A click'n'run installer on a Classic Mac is a cop-out."

A click'n'run installation to a completely new drive would not allow you to decide how many partitions you want, or what size. In the method shown, you have the same option as in older Amigas, to go for the default or to make your own decisions.

It is also necessary to allow for the possibilty of a drive already present with a bootblock already on it, and possibly Linux installed on some partitions.

An Amiga bought from a dealer would presumably come with the OS already installed, but the dealer will need the U-Boot options as shown.

I think adding a proper shell to a BIOS is a major improvement compared to the cursor operated menus in a PC BIOS. It opens possibilities for custom setups.

Personally, I prefer to have control over the computer and not delegate decisions to wizards.
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 46 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by The_Editor... (Paul Hovell) on 12-Apr-2004 08:21 GMT
In reply to Comment 45 (Don Cox):
Yeah .. I'll go with that idea ..

Me wonders how many fuckups I'll succumb to !!
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 47 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Kjetil on 12-Apr-2004 08:53 GMT
In reply to Comment 43 (Anonymous):
If previously have setup a harddrive, and if you remove the install stuff from the startup-sequence after you have done so, I think it should work.

Just thinking about what you say, maybe there should be upgrade feature inn the install script, so your configuration & bootfiles files do not get deleted.
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 48 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Gregg on 12-Apr-2004 14:09 GMT
Compliments on the installation guide; looks like an honourable attempt has been made to make it "foolproof"; of course, we all know that's an unattainable dream, but the effort is still worthwhile up to a point.

One pet peeve - minor, so feel free to ignore : progress bars are terribly misleading. They pretend to indicate how much time is left to completion, but there is so much uncertainty and unpredictability that I think they just raise unrealistic expectations, which can lead to frsutration and irritation for the user. A better representation might be some simple progress text like "x of y tasks completed", or go the whole hog and give dynamically-calculated time-to-completion estimates.

Gregg
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 49 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Joe "Floid" Kanowitz on 12-Apr-2004 14:25 GMT
In reply to Comment 45 (Don Cox):
"Note that MacOS, when living up to its ideals, falls under my 'former' end of the spectrum even whilst drag-and-drop easy (and picking said route as the ideal would be what keeps things honest with that level of consistency)... A click'n'run installer on a Classic Mac is a cop-out."

A click'n'run installation to a completely new drive would not allow you to decide how many partitions you want, or what size. In the method shown, you have the same option as in older Amigas, to go for the default or to make your own decisions.


Well, this is getting slightly apples-to-lightsockets, but note that Apple, when going for click'n'run ease, has had to put those operations in their installers (Wizardly), or count them as atomic from the process of running the installer itself.

It is also necessary to allow for the possibilty of a drive already present with a bootblock already on it, and possibly Linux installed on some partitions.

Yep. An image installer can potentially cope with that in a few ways, too...

An Amiga bought from a dealer would presumably come with the OS already installed, but the dealer will need the U-Boot options as shown.

...and that brings us back to 'all of the people all of the time,' wherein, if you look at MS, some people are probably feeling quite benefited from the 'recovery CDs' these days, putting those AOL icons and preinstalled copies of Gator back into the right place... While others are bent at not getting the full-and-plain MS release. That game's being played for various reasons, but it's easy to fall into the same Catch-22 even if you aren't a convicted monopolist. ;)

I think adding a proper shell to a BIOS is a major improvement compared to the cursor operated menus in a PC BIOS. It opens possibilities for custom setups.

Well, to put it all in perspective... When you're banging at an OF prompt, you're theoretically banging at Forth (or a forthly environment), which is theoretically Turing-complete or whatever. Nobody's ever claimed U-Boot is, and when's the last time you saw a really cool OF hack?, but the fact is that "type ___ and hit the big key marked 'Enter'" is easier to convey than menu navigation via phone support. ;) There's also the hope of easier/more complete accessibility for the blind and all that. (Bit crazy that Windows is presently the platform of choice for those users.)

Personally, I prefer to have control over the computer and not delegate decisions to wizards.

"Wizard" is a pretty weird term, since generally they don't delegate control. They just present choices in a task-specific, rather than generalized, order, and hopefully remove concerns about atomicity and all that. (Generally an 'install wizard' won't let you try to install before the disk has finished formatting, a 'networking wizard' won't let you dialout until all the preferences have been configured in a manner that has a hope of working, etc.) Now, if the "wizard" is the only #$%#%^ interface to do so, that's cool -- who ever set Amiga prefs without a Prefs panel, or Mac prefs without a Control Panel? -- but when the wizard is limited, or different, or not even available at another point in time (as with that Mandrake install), then what's the point?

[IOW, the wizard becomes an admission that the 'common case' isn't good enough, but fixing the common case is too haaaard, and making the 'Wizard' flexible enough to do away with the common case doesn't generally happen, though that's almost a managerial problem...]

---

Now, back to image-installers, if the image becomes lithe enough to only take up 1/80th of a common disk, then you're basically back to point A anyway, except now your metaphor is the partition table and those tools, versus the filesystem and its. :P

I'd like to say the 'ideal' for a platform is to never have to think about partitions, and eventually have a filesystem (persistence system? ;)) somehow good enough that anything you'd ever want to do with partitions can be done in one metaphor. But hoo-boy, even if you could pull that off, then you've got to 'open' it to the extent that the planet has no excuse not to use it, rather than forcing its other wheels upon you... (And at this point you can rightly say, "Well, screw it, the Amiga always had partitions," to which I'll nod and say it always had planar pixels and clicking drives, too. ;)) Definitely not a road that'd ever get traveled overnight, MS still hasn't made it to Chicago... ;)
Amiga OS4: Developer Pre-release Installation Guide available : Comment 50 of 84ANN.lu
Posted by Don Cox on 12-Apr-2004 14:52 GMT
In reply to Comment 49 (Joe "Floid" Kanowitz):
"I'd like to say the 'ideal' for a platform is to never have to think about partitions, and eventually have a filesystem (persistence system? ;)) somehow good enough that anything you'd ever want to do with partitions can be done in one metaphor. "

Consider a system with one hard drive only. You can groups files into three: those that you should never touch (OS files), those that you change and upgrade (program files), and those that are your own data, stored on the drive only until you back them up. (I'm simplifying of course).

Doesn't it make sense to have three partitions on the drive called "System" (actually "Workbench" for historical reasons), "Programs" and "Data" ?

That basically is how I partition a drive. If there were no partitions, you would still want to keep these three categories apart, so it would still look the same.

The other thing to remember about "persistence" is that nowadays all storage media are hot puggable, including hard drives. You can no longer run an OS on the old assumption that there is a fixed network, fixed hard drives that stay in place for years, and a server. The only thing permanent in a computer is the flash ROM.

One effect of this is that you need to know exactly where you are storing everything.
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