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Location: GUIs > Amiga > Amiga Workbench 1.x

Amiga Workbench 1.x
(AmigaOS 1.x) screen shots

In 1985 Commodore introduced the Amiga 1000 with Amiga Workbench Version 1.0. Amiga Workbench loosely mimics the Macintosh finder introduced the year before. Workbench, together with its OS component Kickstart, would later be renamed to "AmigaOS".

The Amiga was designed for multimedia with advanced sound and graphics abilities. The OS and applications worked very closely with the hardware to produce some amazing results.

These screen shots were made with WinUAE, and in many ways don't really reflect the true nature of the Amiga.

AmigaOS 1.0 booting
Workbench booting.

The Amiga's video was entirely bit-mapped, and did not use character cells at all.

The standard desktop resolution was  640*200*4 using NTSC or 640*256*4 using PAL. The desktop colors can be any 4 out of a pallet of 4096.

AmigaOS 1.0 desktop
This is the default Workbench screen with the Workbench disk open. The blue background was selected to provide good contrast on televisions.

The terminology revolved around the metaphor of a workman's workbench rather than an office desk.

Tools - The application programs.
Tooltypes - program attributes
Drawers - folders/directories
Projects - data files
Volume - A physical or RAM disk.
Garbage - A trash can folder that can hold actual files.

AmigaOS 1.0 applications
The only applications included on the OS disk are a clock and a text editor.

Applications display their various options in a drop down menu at the top of the screen. The menu only appears when you right-click on the bar at the top.

AmigaOS 1.0 demos
These are a couple of included demos that draw random objects.

It is kind of hard to tell just by looking, but application are preemptively multitasked. Most GUIs at the time used cooperative multitasking. The difference is that a preemptively multitasked application does not halt everything else when it does its work.

The Windowing in Amiga OS is a little different than most. The box in the upper left of a window is a normal close box, but the boxes in the upper right send the window to the back or front of the window order.

AmigaOS files and folders
You can drag file icons to the desktop where you can work with them, but it is not a physical folder. The icons will move back to the folder they are actually in when the system is restarted.

Applications create documents that are visible in the specified folder. However, not all files are visible inside Workbench. Only files that have an associated ".info" file are displayed. An ".info" file contains icon graphic and positioning information. Workbench does not display ".info" files and manages them automatically.

An unusual feature of Workbench is that desktop icons can vary in size. Note that some are smaller than others and positioned accordingly.

AmigaOS 1.0 control panel
Workbench has a graphical control panel where you can set various system preferences including desktop colors.