Once Amiga emulation (UAE) started to mature two prominent pre-installed Workbench packages emerged, offering users an easy pathway to this unique operating system.
First came the commercial package from the copyright holders Cloanto, fittingly named Amigaforever. Overall many users have found it a very useful complete package that meets their needs. After undergoing several updates, this is still available today and currently the only method of legally obtaining Workbench and ROM images you don't already own.
Secondly, James 'jaybee' Battle spent a considerable amount of time perfecting the first major free downloadable Workbench in the form of Amiga in a Box (AIAB). Concentrating on the 3.0/3.1 versions of the operating system running in a UAE setting, he created a powerful and visually pleasing environment showing just what a high end Amiga system can achieve in the right hands. He really should be credited for getting the ball rolling in the area of free Workbench packs. His install routines, required due to copyright issues with Workbench disks, were a great help when releasing my own packs to the general public.
Problem is, although these are fantastic Workbench set-ups for emulators such as WinUAE, they fail to target running on a real Amiga! Unless you've got one kick-ass machine and ideally a graphics card, you're going to end up with a 20 minute response time and some ugly looking icons, especially at 640x256.
I've tried other set-ups found around the net but to no satisfaction. The icons weren't always proportioned correctly; the install wasn't optimised; important files were missing and they're not refined for simplicity and usability. Since the vast majority of Workbench (WB) 3.0/1 runners are using A1200's I decided to create set-ups specifically for us!
The main theme I wanted to follow was that of the original WB creator - power with simplicity and usability, implemented using the minimum of resources. I also decided to maintain a certain degree of classic appearance and authenticity hence the name.
Although the FULL version is designed for A1200's with fastram, I recognise that many of you are stuck with stock 2MB A1200's. Don't worry! I've provided a LITE version that should run fine on your machine. Both the LITE and FULL are designed to work on a real Amiga at TV resolutions (PAL/NTSC High Res 640x256) viewed through monitors or actual TV sets. The MagicWB coloured Icons are all proportioned accordingly - no more ugly tall icons!
If you're fortunate enough to own a monitor capable of running at higher resolutions or can put up with interlaced TV (see MagicTV under Tips), then an advanced (ADV) version is available using more colours and running icons designed for square pixel screens (eg Interlaced-PAL/NTSC, Productivity, 640x480, 800x600 etc.)
All of these versions perform extremely well on a 68020 Amiga and providing you have fastram will leave nearly all your chipram intact.
If you own a 68030 then yet another optional package exists - ADVSP. The only difference to the ADV version is the presence of "Newicons", which traditionally require more screen colours and CPU power. This Newicon ADVSP may in fact run reasonably well with an 020, although the normal icons present in the ADV and below are recommended for best performance.
As a bonus, these Workbench set-ups run great in emulators such as WinUAE. Since they use native Amiga resolutions there's no need for Picasso (P96/RTG card) emulation. As a result, compatibility can be improved and constant automatic screen mode changing avoided.
P96 does offer some exclusive qualities like speed, responsiveness and higher resolution. Therefore there's even a P96 ClassicWB making the family of set-ups complete!
Screen grabs of various versions are provided. Don't be fooled by the ClassicWB 3 look! Each version is very powerful and even the LITE has all the necessary tools that the average Amiga user will require.