Amiga Forever by Cloanto
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Amiga Explorer 8 Released

March 26, 2020 - Cloanto, Amiga software developers since 1986, released today version 8 ( of Amiga Explorer, the Amiga-PC networking software that first saw the light in 1997.

New features include:

  • Windows File Explorer Ribbon support
  • New "AE" command-line tool (type "AE Help" for options)
  • Protocol extended to query server-side Amiga Explorer software and operating system details
  • New changelog and early access update checking functionality
  • Support for additional PC serial port speeds, also with manual entry of speed setting where possible
  • Improved usability in Offline mode (namespace extension remains functional, exposes ReadMe.txt file)
  • Improved Setup Wizard
  • Worked around an issue whereby the serial Break command was not transmitted properly during initial setup through some USB serial interfaces

While remaining compatible with older versions, the namespace extension for Windows was rewritten from scratch to support the latest Windows 10 features, including the File Explorer Ribbon.

Previous versions of Amiga Explorer were capped at 128 kbit/sec on the Windows side, reflecting original UART APIs. This was not a limitation when used with original Amiga hardware, which had similar constraints. Nowadays however, inexpensive USB serial interfaces for PCs can be connected to Amiga third-party serial expansions, resulting in transmission speeds like 230.4 kbit/sec, 460.8 kbit/sec or even more. Amiga Explorer 8 introduces support for programmable baud rates, meaning that with a high-quality null-modem cable and the appropriate serial port hardware, speeds that are 5-10 times higher than before can be achieved.

Under the hood, additional changes including a cross-platform "core" feature set that also powers the new command-line mode, were made to better support future extensions and improvements.

Upgrades are free to all Amiga Explorer and Amiga Forever Plus Edition customers. Amiga Explorer is also free to try under a shareware license. Registration is appreciated, but many features, including the new command-line mode, are fully functional in trial mode.

Traditionally, updates to the Amiga (server) side of Amiga Explorer have also been made available via an "AExplorer_Update.lha" file on Aminet. This file too has been refreshed, and is now able to patch any version released since 1997 to the latest build. As the new Amiga version includes functionality to support updates originating from the Windows (client) side, Amiga-side patch releases like this one could become less necessary in the future.

The full Amiga source code and the Windows "core" source code is available to a closed group on GitHub. Windows core features include the data exchange features and the command-line user interface, i.e. everything that is needed to implement, study or support the full protocol, including the buildable Visual Studio project used for Cloanto's distribution. The Windows namespace extension and its installer are not currently part of this set. The plan is to extend the open source availability once an improved version of the data exchange protocol reaches stable status.


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Amiga Explorer on Windows

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