Geos DeskTops

From: (Irv Cobb)
Subject: Re: Geos DeskTops
Date: 14 Apr 1997 14:40:59 GMT

On 12 APR 1997, Adam Vardy wrote:

> I wonder for any advice on Geos desktops? What's the one to use?

There's no set answer for this. None are perfect, and no one will do everything.

> In most cases, I've noticed most people who have a lot of Geos stuff, > they seem to use Gateway. But that is darn expensive. I'm sure it must > do a lot, I don't know. And it comes in seperate versions, and you buy > each if you want them.

GateWay was designed to work with the CMD devices and arguably does the best job of any DeskTop alternative of managing/supporting them. It provides text directory list (no icons). It is relatively slow, can be difficult to get working, especially on less expanded systems, and suffers from keyboard shortcuts that are different from the "standard" set by the BSW DeskTop. For users with the CMD devices who want a GUI, it is (AFAIK) the _only_ choice.

> Then there is Geoshell. This is a cli, and I guess it offers different sort of options.

GeoSHELL is probalby the most sophisticated and flexible DeskTop available. As is usually true, with sophistication and flexibility comes complexity. So GeoSHELL requires a pretty major amount of time to learn. Its disadvantages are the CLI (not everyone sees this as a disadvantage) and the amount one has to learn/remember in order to use it. It supports all devices for which Geos device drivers have been written, so expanded systems benefit greatly from it.

> Also, I just flipped through
> some issues of CW. And in issue 13 it mentions another program. Page 12 > it mentions some guy from Europe made another shell program, and it says > there that this is outselling Geoshell. It doesn't give the author > Joseph Gaudl's e-mail address, so I can't ask him why he likes it.

Someone else will have to comment on this. I have heard a bit about it, but haven't seen or used it.

Other possibilities I have used are TopDesk and DualTop.

TopDesk provides a DeskTop style interface, with icons. It supports up to four drives and display up to four directories at a time in resizable windows. It also provides emulated subdirectories, so that files can be placed in "folders" even on 1541 disks. The version I have does ot support the CMD devices particularly well. As I recall it gets really confused by native partitions. There is a newer version (3.0) available, but AFAIK it is in German only. TopDesk is a _great_ choice for Geos users who have only stock CBM equipment.

DualTop is the fastest DeskTop replacement I have used. Like GateWay, it does not display icons, just directory listings. It is easy to use, easy set up, and does things like copying and scratching files faster than any of the others. The version I have does not support the CMD devices, but I have used it in conjuction with GeoSHELL and been very pleased. (Used GeoSHELL to move around on the HD or RL, then jumped back to DualTop for the actual work I needed to do. There is a newer version of DualTop available, but I have not seen it. I believe it is CMD device compatible, but I'm not sure. The major disadvantage is the lack of icons. DualTop (newest version) is available from Parsec, Inc., which may be a disadvantage as well, if some of the talk on the newsgroup here is accurate. I personally haven't done business with them in years.

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