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Old 12 July 2019, 00:08   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Dublin, then Glasgow
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3.9 completely updated many parts of the OS, including adding large hard drive support, greatly improved Workbench, updated printing subsystem, new GUI engine and prefs to go with it, new icon system, improved datatypes system, new Shell and plenty of other under-the-hood things. It also added a lot of extra features through additional tools, e.g. Amidock, various media players, PPC plugins, TCP stack etc. It was software-only however, so the new ROM modules needed to be loaded from hard drive and the machine rebooted to actually run them.

3.1.4 is an update of 3.1, but many of the core components are actually based on the 3.9 improved parts, with some less significant fixes and improvements on the 3.9 versions. Crucially, 3.1.4 bakes some key new parts into a ROM, so the load-and-reboot step of 3.9 can be avoided in most cases. This is especially useful for large hard drive support as it allows access to the entire drive from cold. It doesn't, however, include many of the extras that 3.9 had - the dock, the extra utilities, the ReAction GUI engine, the TCP stack, the asynchronous Workbench, the hotkey editor...

So both have a lot in common, but come from different standpoints. 3.1.4 is closer in feel to 3.1, but carries over many of the internal features that made 3.9 such an improvement.
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