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Old 13 April 2010, 11:12   #1
Cammy
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A minimalistic 4-colour Workbench setup for unexpanded systems.

Hi, I hope it's alright that I post this in the ClassicWB section, it's not an actual ClassicWB project, it's just an idea I had for I guess yet another Workbench pack, but a bit different.

I started customising the Workbench on my A600 back when I only had the default 1MB RAM in it. I found that 4 colours in High Res (640x256) was much more responsive than 8 or 16 colours, so I decided to stick with 4 rather than copy the 16 colour High Res Laced Workbench I used on my CD32/SX32. I also decided not to add any visual patches, and to try and see what I could do with the default Workbench Preferences.

So what I'm proposing isn't really another pack, but maybe an icon and theme set that could be applied to the 68k ClassicWB or just over the top of a default Workbench installation to make it look a little nicer than the default, and the most important feature of this iconset, load faster than all the rest! These little icons that Rebel and I are putting together are smaller than the ones on the Workbench disks, so they take up less space and windows open and display all the icons faster than any other iconset that I know of. But they're not too small. There are also a bunch of palette, pointer and pattern prefs that I'm playing around with.

I was thinking of trying to make this whole pack fit on two floppy disks. One would be the main Workbench disk, the other would be called Work I guess, and would have all the smallest, and most useful utilities on it, like ADF transfers, a directory utility, paint program, music player, whatever is small and will fit in there. Of course the problem with this is we're not legally allowed to distribute the original Workbench files. I just think it'd be neat to have a pseudo-harddrive style setup that can be run on Amigas that only have floppy drives. I had a few of these style disks for Workbench 1.3, they had heaps of useful utilities on them.

I know it's not much of an idea, I just think it's a fun project that I'm already working on myself, and thought I'd see if anyone else likes the idea too and wants to help out. It's something I'd love to use in my A500 which has a Kickstart ROM Switcher with 1.3 and 3.1 ROMs on it, an external floppy drive but no hard drive. I'm basing it on what I have set up so far on my A600, so I took some screenshots of it with a few different palette and pattern presets:


This is how I have my A600's Workbench set now, Hot Pink. I wanted to make something that would hopefully appeal to other girls.


This is the Forest Green.


For Wine lovers.


Calming Ocean colours.


Sunshine!


Experimental retro 1.3 theme.

Screenshots are doubled in height to correct the aspect ratio.
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Old 13 April 2010, 11:58   #2
meega
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I also quite like a 4-colour Workbench in my A1200, for the speed.
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Old 13 April 2010, 12:01   #3
s2325
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Calming Ocean is my favourite.
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Old 13 April 2010, 12:19   #4
mfilos
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Nice themes Cammy! I like'em
Calming Ocean and the Experimental 1.3 are pretty neat

Last edited by mfilos; 13 April 2010 at 12:45.
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Old 13 April 2010, 12:41   #5
T_hairy_bootson
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I like the experimental one. Might have to adopt it for my a600 sometime.
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Old 13 April 2010, 15:04   #6
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love this idea. I am putting together an A600 for a gift to my brother and was looking round for a nice wb. I use the classicwb, but was wanting to make it as small and fast as possible. Please keep going with this!
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Old 13 April 2010, 15:10   #7
Akira
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I did this for my A600 eons ago too, but I neverfinished (you can find the thread around here somewhere).
I might give it a shot, would you need the help, Cammy?
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Old 13 April 2010, 15:48   #8
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Thanks for the encouragement everyone

Akira, I'd love some help with it, I'd like to make it an open community project so anyone can contribute if they want. The idea would be to have an optimised Workbench setup with lots of small, but useful utilities, and a 4 colour icon standard that are all the same size, except the drive icons which can be a bit bigger. I am going to include another version of the icon font with a shadow that doesn't need any patches (it's a colourfont).

I also have this font for the menus which has a couple of little images in it, so like there is a character in the font that looks like a joystick, and so in the games menu I use this character first with "Games" written after it, and then it looks like it has a little icon in front of "Games". No patches required, other than ToolsDaemon for the extra drop-down menus.
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Old 13 April 2010, 15:56   #9
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Colourfonts can be used system-wide? I thought they were only for DPaint.
I could help with the system framework I was working with, perhaps. Whatever work I done could be re-used. My icons would not work with this. Bt I can make new icons if needed too.
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Old 13 April 2010, 16:11   #10
coze
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nice palettes, I would take either calming ocean or wine lover (I really am lol)
you should really make a website for your projects (if there isn't one already)
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Old 13 April 2010, 16:29   #11
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I don't like the vertical bars. The icon labels are almost unreadable.

What about random dot patterns like this:
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Old 13 April 2010, 16:34   #12
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Quote:
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What about random dot patterns like this:
They indeed make the text much more readable compared to the vertical lines.
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Old 13 April 2010, 16:42   #13
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Old 13 April 2010, 20:20   #14
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It's a nice idea - I played around with creating some 4 colour themes a short time ago, but with the 1.3 look:

http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=51558

so that is kind of a work in progress. Some simple 4 colour themes would be cool, where the theme files and icons get installed during the activation procedure.
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Old 14 April 2010, 00:28   #15
Cammy
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The patterns I use look fine on a real 1084 monitor, you don't notice the dithering as much. The lines are a form of dithering, they're just not cross-hatched like regular dithering. Also those patterns can easily be changed and ideally there would be heaps of presets to choose from to suit your tastes. Also, the white font text looks better with a shadow, I will just have to take an updated screenshot using the underlined ColorFont. Yes they can be used System-wide, you can even make antialiased ones and use them in MUI programs to give your Workbench a more modern look.
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Old 14 April 2010, 01:10   #16
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Also, there is the Amiga-Look website, which is a good place to host iconsets, wallpapers, themes and screenshots, but they have no project forum where we can work on these things together. It's still a good website worth bookmarking though!

http://amiga-look.org
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Old 14 April 2010, 01:17   #17
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I want spirals with color cycle!! In true Jeff Minter style.

But I settle for a clean font and just set the palette, the only thing that could make it better would be instant icon loading. Now that we have big harddisks there should be something to patch Snapshot to actually produce a clickable bitmap. Maybe there is one already?

Staying on topic Experimental was pretty nice.
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Old 14 April 2010, 02:25   #18
Akira
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomas View Post
I don't like the vertical bars. The icon labels are almost unreadable.

What about random dot patterns like this:
Sorry but that looks terrible (it's pecially not a seamless pattern), however I agree 100% that the vertical bars impact readability! I think they were put in accord to the icons way of creation, but there has to be a way to make it better I bet you don't need to follow the same pattern of the icon creation to make a background that goes well with them without affecting readability.

I believe we can come up with a workaround to satisfy most. And if not, people can always change it
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Old 14 April 2010, 11:26   #19
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great idea to use coluor fonts cammy one of the most under uterlised parts of the os. how many colours are they ?

like the Experimental retro 1.3 theme best but as has been said the horizontal bars make it hard to read the text

as ever in amazment of what you do on the amiga
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Old 14 April 2010, 19:18   #20
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I need more info about colofonts and its application system-wide. is it really possible? that could open quite a can of worms. And what software can I use to create colorfonts?
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