The Beta File

It seems that the long-standing promise of native software for OS/2 is finally coming true as can be seen from various applications hitting the market lately. And there are even more on the horizon. In beta testing this month are a slew of programs, from Internet applications to native OS/2 games.

First up are a pair of Internet mail programs. All but the newest OS/2 users will remember the agonizing period after the release of Warp when we pined for a native mail reader that worked well. Now that PMMail v1.1 and Post Road Mailer v1.03a are here we have some options. And the field is about to get even broader.

 *  *  *

The venerable shareware program, PMMail, is almost finished its first major overhaul and will soon be released as the new v1.5. Primary developers BoB and Icon are busy working out the bugs of the new interface and the "guts", respectively. It is reported that this simple and quick mail program will finally gain MIME and BinHex encoding/decoding support, much to many folks delight. Also new are a more object oriented interface and nested message folders.

No info about how the beta is going was available at the time this was posted but PMMail v1.5 should be out soon. For those of us who took the plunge early and registered, upgrading is free (until v2.0). Icon had this to say about the enhancements of the upcoming release: "Trust me, most companies would have called this 2.0....but we like our customers... :)"

 *  *  *

Even bigger news is the fact that we will soon be seeing a new mailer in town. Nick Knight (yep, that's his real name) is putting the final touches on his new 32 bit, PM Internet email client, MR/2 ICE. The MR/2 family is a long running entry in the BBS field and many may recognize the name from those roots. With the ICE release Nick plans to break into the Internet market in a big way.

Currently in a restricted beta test with about 25 testers, MR/2 ICE is scheduled to be released for a public beta test around November 3, 1995 and will be available from Nick's home page at that time. Assuming all goes well, Nick plans to have the GA shareware version ready for the first of the year.

For those of you dying for details, the program will handle POP3 reading (with an SMTP hook planned) and send via SMTP or POP3. Also promised are a built in spell checker and thesaurus and lots of great GUI stuff.

Sound like this is going to be a winner? Nick says, "I am determined to make this product absolutely irresistible. At the same time, I plan on keeping the competition's prices in check with a very reasonable registration fee." I think the market is about to get another quality contender.

 *  *  *

Hoping to help you manage those huge storage devices better is Michael H. Shacter, developer of HyperView, and now, HyperView PM. HyperView is a snappy little shareware file viewer which allows users to isolate and extract information from word processor and text files. It reads ASCII text, Ami Pro, Clearlook, DeScribe, Microsoft Word for Windows, and WordPerfect files. It also handles archives in ZIP format and there are features for tagging all lines of text containing a matching search string.

Until now, HyperView has been a text mode only application. However, the beta test for the first PM version of the product is almost finished. The beta has been limited to previously registered users of HyperView but soon the rest of us should see the new graphical version. Michael is currently working on a registration enforcement mechanism, and revising the documentation and expects to have the finished product out in the second week of November.

Michael, responding to libellous statements that OS/2 is the DesqView of 94-95, says, "Two conditions must be satisfied if this statement is to be proved false: Developers must bring new and better OS/2 applications to market and OS/2 users buy them. I am doing my part." How about it? Anyone want to do theirs?

 *  *  *

On the entertainment front, Rainald Menge of Germany is busily polishing his new game, Toyland. With a beta test of 35 people Rainald managed to beat out most of the major bugs and has now released his shareware application as a wide public beta. He expects to have the final version available by December of this year. One interesting twist is that every registered user will be able to use every future version of the game!

Toyland is a puzzle game where you move a toy doll around different worlds trying to get around obstacles and retrieve certain objects. There are different obstacles and movement rules on each level so the game stays interesting for a long time. There is also an edit mode so users can create their own levels and even export them via email. Either under development or just released are POV-Ray rendered graphics and secret levels.

"Toyland is a game that has simple basic rules but features various types of puzzles. The development of the game will continue - new worlds will be created," says Rainald. It's popularity remains to be seen but the game can be addictive. Although not of the same genre, its ability to create and share new levels "a-la-Doom" and Rainald's generous upgrade policy should prove to be major marketing factors.

Send a letter to the editor.

Contents | Previous Article | Next Article

This page is maintained by Falcon Networking. We welcome your suggestions.

Copyright © 1995 - Falcon Networking