|Software Installation: Things To Know
How many times have you installed a new application, only to discover that other programs no longer work? How much of your hard disk is occupied by unused applications and support files? Ideally, every computer software application should come with safe install and un-install functionality; but, the sad reality is that this does not happen very often.
There is a lot to be said for having a good understanding of what is going on within your Amiga. There is no reason for most Amigans not to have a basic comprehension of the workings of their system. This is particularly important when using freely distributable programs (Aminet); but, this can be a problem with commercial releases, too. Programs that do include an installer, generally are very poorly written and blindly spew files throughout your system.
By familiarizing yourself in this way, you will be much better equipped to deal with any problems that might arise later. If you decide not to use the new application, you will know what files to delete afterwards.
Updating Existing Files
Perhaps you have just unarchived a new application into RAM: and you see that it includes the reqtools.library, which you already have installed in SYS:Libs/ for use with other programs. You can compare the versions of each, by using the C:Version command:
C:Version SYS:Libs/reqtools.library FULL FILE
Make it a habit to back up any files that will be overwritten, just in case a newer version is not compatible with other programs. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Doing It Yourself
If you like to be really organized, keep in mind that .library files do not have to go in SYS:Libs/. You can just as easily add a directory to the LIBS: assignment and put them in an application's directory. Something like this in your user-startup will work:
Enforcing The Law
The best watchdog for these problems is a program called Enforcer (Aminet: dev/debug/enforcer.lha). It is generally considered a programmer's tool, but anyone can benefit from its use. Before testing a new application, start Enforcer like this:
LONG-WRITE to 00000102 PC: 085FF746 USP: 088847C8 SR: 0014 FLSW: 00810200 TCB: 088836F0 Data: 00000000 DDDD1111 DDDD2222 DDDD3333 085FF6E2... Addr: AAAA0000 AAAA1111 AAAA2222 AAAA3333 AAAA4444... ----> 085FF746 - "LawBreaker" Hunk 0000 Offset 00000086 ----> $085ff746: MOVE.L D0,$0102.W Name: "LawBreaker" Hunk 0000 Offset 00000086
Do not worry about what it all means, you need only be concerned by the Name: line, which tells you what program caused the problem; in this case, "LawBreaker". If the first line indicates a WRITE operation, as this one does, you can expect trouble. If it is a READ operation, things are not as bad; but, not great either.
It is a good rule of thumb to avoid using programs that generate Enforcer hits. If you have no choice, be sure to reboot your computer after doing so.