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Review AmiTradeCenter
Price - Freeware
Homepage - (for the latest beta)
Aminet - comm/tcp/AmiTradeCenter.lha (for the latest release version)

Sometimes when you look at the Aminet recent list you find nothing of interest, or download an archive with an interesting description only to find a low quality program, which crashes in the first five minutes. Other times you download a seemingly innocuous archive and inside is a real gem. AmiTradeCenter (ATC to its friends) definitely falls into the second category.

ATC is a File Transfer Protocol client, FTP is used to transfer files between computers on a network and is very popular on the Internet. From an Amiga user's point of view the two most popular uses of FTP are probably downloading from the massive Aminet archives and uploading websites to your ISP. ATC has both of these activities well catered for. For Aminet it offers extensive ADT (Aminet Download Tool, enough of these Three Letter Acronyms already!) support which means you can opt for a list of files that have been uploaded to Aminet since you last looked, vote on your favourite downloads, search for particular files and much more. On the website front, ATC can upload or download a whole directory structure to your website in one action, currently it doesn't support uploading only newer filesXX but I'm sure that this will come soon with the current rate of development.

The main ATC window contains a grouped hot list of all the FTP servers you have configured. The options for the current server are set at the top of the main window so you don't have to open a separate window to change options. There is also a statistics tab so you can check the performance of a site; this can help you choose the fastest server for large sites like Aminet.

Connecting to a server opens a separate "Trader" window, this means you can connect to several servers at once, without running multiple copies of ATC (although you can only have one connection per server entry). Once connected you can choose either a dual column view with a local hard drive directory on the left and the remote FTP site on the right or just the remote site with the local path picked from a popup file requester. As you browse the remote directories you can download files at once or add them to a batch list so you can grab files from several directories in one session.

Once the download has started, a comprehensive window gives you all the information you could possibly want including the progress of the current file and the download as a whole and a graphical history of the connection speed. At any time you can change the order or remove items from the download list. Another unusual feature is a speed limiter to stop other Internet programs being swamped by a large, fast FTP download.

On top of all this functionality ATC has great support via its mailing list where the author announces a new beta implementing user's requests very regularly. The members of the ATC team all seem to have a great sense of humour and really enjoy what they're doing which is really fantastic to read in these days of Amiga doom and gloom. Anyone who programs an FTP client with built-in Tetris for those long downloads is OK in my book!

ATC isn't perfect, there are a few areas that could use minor improvements and currently the docs are in German only. But it is so stonkingly at version 1.0 that I'm going to give it Caviar anyway... well done Matthias Bocker and the ATC crew!

Printed with friendly permission of Robert J. Williams

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