A: The Amiga side of Amiga Explorer communicates with the Amiga Explorer part which
resides on a Windows computer, exposing all Amiga drives to one or more PCs running
Windows. In this configuration, the Amiga is called the "server", because it is
the computer which satisfies requests from "clients", which are Windows
machines. All Windows clients can "see" what is on the Amiga server, and read
and write to the Amiga from the Windows Desktop. The Amiga itself does not see the drives
mounted on the client machines, i.e. the drives of the Windows computers do not appear on
the Workbench screen of the Amiga server.
Like the Amiga operating system up to version 3.1, Amiga Explorer uses 32-bit
logic for file size and partition size values. This means that
Amiga Explorer is not able to correctly determine the size of
objects which are larger than about 4 GB of data (or 2 GB, when
using signed values). While this is rarely a problem when working
with files, it may limit operations on larger hardfiles (i.e.
virtual files containing Amiga hard disk partition images created
by Amiga Explorer).
Two perceived limitations of Amiga Explorer
of which we are aware involve use over a poor-quality serial
connection and the fact that the software is implemented as a
namespace extension rather than as a file system. The former is
due to a design fault, and only affects use with bad cables or
excessive speed settings. The latter was a conscious design
choice, and provides several benefits.
When used with proper serial cabling (or over TCP/IP or
Bluetooth), Amiga Explorer is known to provide a rewarding user
experience with high satisfaction and productivity. Unfortunately
this can easily turn to frustration when an improperly wired or
poor-quality cable or connector are used, or when the speed is set
to a value higher than the computer or cable or connector can
handle. This is because Amiga Explorer does not excel in
recovering from corrupt data. To avoid this we recommend to pay
great attention to the use of appropriate null-modem serial
Limiting the use of additional connectors (adapters, gender
changers, etc.) may also be useful, as each additional component
reduces the quality of the serial link as a whole, which can
result in errors as the speed is increased.
A design feature of Amiga Explorer is that, while it benefits of many advantages that come from being a
Windows namespace extension (such as speed and direct access to certain
Amiga-specific features, which a file system cannot provide), resources
located on an Amiga cannot be mounted as drive letters on the PC, nor are
they directly accessible from inside the emulation. This means that it is
necessary to access and copy items using the Windows Desktop, or using
Windows File Explorer, before they become available to the emulation software.
Newer applications, such as Directory Opus for Windows, also directly
support namespace extensions like Amiga Explorer. Amiga Explorer already
supports the functionality required to be used as a file system (e.g. seek
command), so it is in theory possible that a newer version of Windows or of
the emulation software mount Amiga Explorer as a file system.