People ask "how can I get the awesome workbench that you have" all the time. So here I show what I basically did and what programs and setting to use best to make your Workbench shine similar to mine.
This installation was made on/for Amiga 600 with Vampire turbo card and Picasso 96 SAGA driver (720p resolution). I am running Amiga OS 3.9 version 45.1.
I made this boot picture and made it look similar to AmigaOS 4.1. It's very basic but looks sleek and modern. It has an animated progress bar while your Amiga starts the Workbench. I use the program ShowAmiga96 for this. Most important settings are the SAGA Driver, path to the boot picture (download below) and the progress bar (under your Boot picture, EFFECTS, Progressbar). Set the progress bar animation to your taste. I personally made it very minimal: No text, smallest height (which is 5), transparent, no borders, just the dark grey background of the bar with the blue progress bar. To close the ShowAmiga96 boot picture I used the option "pixel color" with the option "UNTIL". This means it shows the picture as long as the background image of your Workbench is not loaded. So when the background is ready, the boot picture ends. Just set the pixel to a special pixel that is not changed by any icons and is different to your boot picture. There are various other options like "when all programs of WBstartup are executed" or "wait for x seconds". For me, those did not work so well and reliable thus I went with the pixel color which now seems to work well.
I made a splash screen that matches the boot picture's design. It is shown just 3 seconds after the boot picture which gives a nice and professional touch to your workbench setup. All you need is the program PicShow and a small script that you put into your WBStartup folder. The script shows the image borderless and centered for 3 seconds until it disappears. PicShow has to be under "SYS:Utilities/PicShow", the boot picture itself is named "Boot_small.png" and stored under "SYS:Prefs/Presets/Boot/" in this example. Sure you can change the path and filenames with an editor or also edit how long the picture is shown (the number 3 behind the command WAIT specifies the time in seconds).
RiVA Mod and Splash screens for programs
You can also use splash screens to make your programs look more professional. I recommend 2 seconds here so it does not take too much time, yet adds and outstanding special look to your Workbench. The second change I did here was to create a small Window that is centered and gives you three options for RiVA: Fullscreen, Window or Cancel. The program itself currently has no options. They are set via Tool Types (parameters used by a program). To use two different settings, e.g. fullscreen and window mode, you need two different icons, each with other Tool Types specified in each program's icon information. To avoid to have the need for two icons I wrote the small script which includes the splash screen and also the window to choose what program to launch. This way you only have one icon for the program RiVA but all the options available. Just place the files in the download below in your RiVA directory (click replace when asked). The Window mode will be BORDERLESS. The program then will be launched with the "StartRiVA" icon.
- Download Splash screen image "RiVA video playback" by Stefan Egger
- Download full RiVA Mod (incl. splash screen)
To start the most important programs easier you can use a so-called Dock. OS3.9 features AmiDock but also it is a nice program it just does not look good. So I was in search of a good Dock and I found... nothing. I found a few programs that did not work, others just were not what I searched for. One of the better ones was WBDock. It is a very small program, easy to use but to me had two limitations: It only uses the WB icons and seems only compatible with OS 3.5 icon format (older ones just showed up black). Also the icons are tiny to click on and jumping around with an animation.
The second program was MacLikeDock. It is a port from OS 4.1 to 3.9 and looked perfect. Sadly there is only an old version out there and it did close after a program was launched so it was not useful as a permanent dock. I contacted the author and - believe it or not - I acted as beta tester to bring you a new version of MacLikeDock! He ported the newest 4.1 code back to 3.9. I tested it and reported back. I found a lot of bigger (crashes, endless loops) and smaller (no standard icon, option to NOT close after a program was launched, rotate animation was too slow on 68k machines) bugs and problems but he did send updated versions back soon. I set it up to my needs with some cool .png icons that looks much better compared to the standard icons on Workbench.
Get the new version of MacLikeDock 68k!
I made this picture of my Amiga 3000 Tower that I released as a background image in various resolutions (up to 1080p). Save it somewhere and set it up under Prefs/WBPattern. At best, use low quality for faster loading times and use the picture in the same resolution you set your Amiga to (most likly 720p in case of Vampire).
I converted and edited this CF-icon to OS3.5 / OS3.9 format. You can copy this icon to your CF card with the tool CopyIcon or install as standard icon for your device (e.g. CF0:) with a copy command in CLI (see instructions). You can grab the file incl. instructions below.
For the SD Icon I simply used the Icon from Tools/PrepCard. You can copy this icon to your SD card with the tool CopyIcon.
No downoad for this file as it is part of Amiga OS and therefor under Copyright.
Make sure you get the latest version 2.35 to get transparent menus on top. A download is included on this page (Magic Menu 2.35). Again: Do not use the Aminet version 2.30 - it will not give you transparent menus on top.
Put it in your WBStartup Drawer and the Prefs file to SYS:Prefs. Set it up to your needs. I dont like the pop-up-menus so I just used the top menu (WB Standard).
IMPORTANT: When you want to use transparency DO NOT set the colors of "background" and "selected background" to their maximum values (0 or 255 or nearby values). It's a bug in the program as far as I see it (those colors can be transparent too for sure, but it will break transparency in this program).
You can see some of my settings below.
Add a boing ball to the title bar!
Use the program AmiLogo to show a static Boing Ball AND move the text of the title bar text to the right. I used the file "MagicWB_16_colors/AmiLogo_03" from the archive. Simply copy it to your WBStartup folder. You can edit the included Boing Ball Logo (the icon from this program) with IconEdit that you can find in the TOOLS drawer. Depending on the FONT and FONT SIZE you use, the title bar has a different height on each system. Make the icon larger on left and right size, fill it with white color (or whatever color your title bar has) to get some space between the edge of the screen and the text of the title bar and set it to the correct height according to your font settings.
Optional you can use boingball. This includes an animated boing ball (ANIM1 folder). I currently used the values X=5 and Y=1, MASK=ON, ANIMATION SPEED=3. Set it up with the prefs editor included and save it as boingball.config. It is exactly on top of my static boing ball image. You can also use a white-only icon as your AmiLogo icon. But you need AmiLogo to shift the title text, else, the boingball program alone would just sit on top of the text.
- Download AmiLogo blank space to move the title text (for Font topaz6, size 8)
- Download WBStartup script to start boingball stored under SYS:Utilities/boingball/boingball
I also use the Commodity "ClickToFront" which you can find under SYS:Tools/Commodities and copy this to your WBStartup folder. The program brings Windows to the top by double-clicking them.
If you have installed all the mods your WBStartup folder should look like below.