Re: Directories/Files

Sean Middleditch wrote:
> Hmm, I've never used an Amiga, but that sounds a bit nice.  How does the
> system differentiate between the labels and actualy directories?

Well, from the user's point of view, all labels end with a colon (:), so
I guess that's how the system makes the distinction internally, too.  (I
can't honestly remember if you're allowed to use a colon in a regular
filename or directory name on the Amiga-- probably not, I suspect.)

Actually, now that I think about it more, this system is quite neat when
it comes to removable media, too, because you can use the labelling
system to refer either to whichever disk happens to be in the drive at
the time (using the drive's system-assigned label, e.g. "df0:"), or to a
specific disk with a specific volume label (e.g. "WorkbenchDisk2of3:"). 
Which is quite nice for making sure you don't copy things onto the wrong
disk and suchlike-- if you type "copy myfile mydisk:" and "mydisk" isn't
in the one that's in the drive at the time, it'll ask you to insert the
correct disk first.  (Whereas "copy myfile df0:" will copy the file onto
whatever disk happens to be in the drive).

Historically, of course, all this came about because the Amiga
originally shipped with one floppy drive and no hard disk, so there was
a lot of disk-swapping to be done!  And this makes that process fairly
foolproof, as well as being pretty useful for other file management


Calum Benson               Tel: +353 1 819 9771
Usability Engineer         Fax: +353 1 819 9078 
Sun Microsystems Ireland

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