Wednesday, November 24, 2010

1.2.5 feature of the day: compact AmiStart

AmiStart is one of the most discussed features of Icaros Desktop: it provides a customizable, powerful application/task bar, but its "start menu" requires pre-caching of menu icons, considerably extending boot times (moreover in Live-DVD mode). Due to the high number of applications and games provided by the distribution, this problem got worse and worse with the latest updates, to the point that Icaros was barely usable, on slower systems, while loading AmiStart. This issue has finally been resolved in the new version: Icaros Desktop 1.2.5 includes two different profiles for AmiStart, the traditional "full" and the new "compact" ones. The former will include everything you're accustomed to: it will require more time to load, but it will add to AROS a complete program menu, a taskbar and a lunchbar as usual. The newer, however, will provide only the docking space, and it won't use a customized program menu anymore, letting you browse the system from standard volumes. This will not require pre-caching of icons, and overall boot times will be considerably reduced. AmiStart will always start in "compact" mode when launching Icaros from DVD, then users will always be free to switch from compact to full mode (and vice-versa) after installation, with the usual Prefs/Services script.