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Average Rating: 4.6 (5 people have rated this item.)
RAM Requirement: 768k RAM
Release Status: Freeware
Publisher: Apple Computer, Inc.
System 6 Compatible: No
Hard Drive Installable: Yes
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System 5 included further operating system improvements and arrived in 1989. System 5.0.4, a general bug fix release, was released a year later.
The most noticeable thing when you begin to use system 5 over previous versions of the operating system is the increased speed of screen redraws - windows fly open and pull down menus zip down. Loading times were again improved over System 4, thanks largely to the 'Express Load' component new to System 5. 'Express Load' worked best when programs were written to take advantage of it and was a clever form of caching that took advantage of extra memory if it was available.
The operating system included many other refinements, perhaps most requested up to that point, and attempted by shareware authors before System 5, was a graphical control panel alternative to the text mode based version accessed by the apple, control and escape keys. Control panels could be added to the system by way of the CDEV format, which gave third party developers new ways to extend the functionality of the OS.
There were lots of other smart improvements - scrolling pull down menus, which for instance, could accommodate a larger list of fonts than the height of the screen. Filenames can now include upper and lowercase characters. AppleSharing was now fully functional. GS/OS would remain in memory even when a ProDOS 8 program was being used, so when you returned to the Finder, the OS wasn't required to be reloaded all over again. And yet another speed increase was added to file and volume copying.
System 5.04 is probably the best operating system for use with IIGS machines that include no more than 1.25meg of RAM. With 2 meg of RAM or more, System 6.01 would be your ideal OS of choice on the IIGS.