The S1100, like the S1000 before it, comes with an operating system in ROM (Read Only Memory). This means that there is absolutely no possibility of losing Operating Systems and the Akai it an finding yourself with a very expensive paperweight. Updates to the operating system are supplied on floppy disk, and Akai nobly do this free of charge. Obviously it means better business for them if everyone who uses an Akai sampler has the latest operating system upgrades to show off to friends, relatives and would-be S1000 or S1100 owners. You can copy this operating system onto as many backup disks as you like but if the worst should come to the worst and you did lose it, then there is always the original version in ROM which will provide all the features you originally bought the unit for, but without the latest frilly bits.
Having to load the latest system from floppy disk may seem like a disadvantage, but actually it is an advantage because it enables you to store your own start up defaults. In my Hands On article about the S1000 I moaned about having to reset my favourite sampling parameters every time I started a sampling session, but a telephone call from Akai informed me of this feature which is either undocumented or is buried so deep in the manual that even an ostrich couldnt find it. All you have to do is set the S1100 the way you like it, then save the operating system to disk. Parameters such as default mono/stereo sampling, sample rate and length will all be remembered and reset next time you boot up from this disk.
There is one slight snag involved. If you have the latest version of the operating system in ROM, then the S1100 wont boot up from the floppy disk with your start up parameters recorded on it. You have to have a disk which is a later version than the ROM. Fortunately, all we S1100 owners will be wanting to upgrade to Version 2.0 soon so there wont be any problem doing this. S1000 owners with the latest software in ROM may have to wait a little longer.
To operate the S1100 in conjunction with an S1100EX, by the way, you need to have Version 1.30 or later, either in ROM or on disk.
Great home recording starts with a great home recording studio. It doesn't need to be expensive if you know how to select the right equipment for your needs.