reetings all, and welcome again to OS/2 e-Zine! 's monthly news update. This column is designed to go over certain topics that e-Zine! 's own News Folder might have missed, or only glossed over.
We still believe our News Folder can't be beat when it comes to up-to-the-minute, accurate information, but it usually contains more "official" things like press releases and such. This column will include a bit more detail about things we think are of interest to OS/2 users everywhere. Grass-roots support, off-the-record news and updates -- stuff that other sources may have missed -- you name it, we've got it!
PolyEx Software creators of the Wordup Graphics Toolkit and the games Vigilance on Talos V and the upcoming Hopkins: FBI, recently held a contest to develop a new company logo. Submissions were accepted up until midnight (EST) on March 14th, with judging being held the next day.
The winner of the contest was Andrea Resmini of Team OS/2 Italia, who submitted the logo which can be seen at the PolyEx web site.
Development of the OS/2 version of the Opera web browser continues smoothly. The 3rd-party team doing OS/2 development for Opera (a company called Binary Concepts, from British Columbia, Canada) had the following to say in a March 10th update:
"Opera/2 is coming along fine; we have about 75% of the code provided to us now compiling with only minor changes to the header files. 10% are C++ class problems (due to the difference in compilers) -- we are working on this. 5% are unsupported API's; the remaining 10% we haven't had time to fully go over yet. We spent a few days doing a down and dirty port to get an idea of the problems involved and are now doing a proper port (with the #ifdef etc..), and will be providing these to Opera within the next few days."
In Netscape news, an OS/2 section has opened up at Netscape's mozilla.org web site; including both a newsgroup and a mailing list. (The list and group are linked, so anything posted in one automatically appears in the other) mozilla.org is the 'official' Netscape outlet for the soon-to-be-released Communicator 5 source code, and permits Netscape developers to collaborate closely with other interested developers in making use of the source. A list of all of the newsgroups and mailing lists mozilla.org offers (including the OS/2 ones) is available at the mozilla.org community page.
Previously, the OS/2 Netlabs' Warpscape project had been the only intended OS/2 port of Communicator 5, but another name is being bandied about by the OS/2 folks at mozilla.org -- WarpZilla. This almost sounds like the two groups are going to be working on the source separately, which would kind of be counterproductive; hopefully developers from both camps will simply join together, providing more development resources and a faster port for all involved. There's been discussion on the Warpscape mailing list about simply transferring its traffic to the OS/2 mozilla.org list, phasing out the old Warpscape list -- This is a step in the right direction, I think.
Practice Corporation has just released the next version of its QuickMotion software. (which allows OS/2 users to play QuickTime media) QuickMotion v2.0 includes Virtual Reality support, so OS/2 users can now play the various QTVR (QuickTime Virtual Reality) files that you may have seen around. QuickTime VR is a special type of QuickTime which actually lets you 'move around' inside an image; sort of like a typical video, except you control what part of the scene the camera shows you, simply by moving your mouse; it's a bit like VRML, except it's implemented with real pictures rather than created images. QuickMotion even includes features that QTVR viewers on other platforms just don't, like continuous zoom with the click of a button, or Pentium optimization.
Using it yourself gives you a better understanding of what it does than a description, and fortunately Practice has downloadable demo versions for users to try out. If after testing it you'd like a copy, the QuickMotion program comes with online purchasing software included, and will allow you to buy the full version for $34.95US or the upgrade (from QuickMotion v1.x) for $19.95US. For more information about QuickMotion, including links to QTVR sites to test after you've installed QuickMotion 2.0, see its web page at http://www.quickmotion.com, or read the review of it in this month's issue.
The Win32-OS/2 project has released its first public alpha version of their program to convert Win32 programs into OS/2 programs. This distribution includes support for converting id Software's game Quake II as a demonstration (you have to have a copy of Quake II already), but the conversion programs included will also convert a few other Win32 programs. The project's main web page has also changed location, and can now be found on the OS/2 Supersite, along with mirrors in Germany and Sweden for European web surfers.
Additionally, the folks at PowerDale IT Ltd. have put together an unofficial database of programs different people have tried to convert and what success they've had -- their Win32OS/2 Application Compatibility Resource allows you to add your own entries for a particular program, which will allow others to check to see if a particular conversion works or fails before they try it themselves and find out, the hard way, that it doesn't.
Finally this month, a few updates to OS/2 which users might be interested in:
That's it for this month. If you have a tip that you want followed up or a news item you think should be reported, don't hesitate to let us know!
Ryan Dill is a student in Computer Science at Acadia University in Wolfville, NS and OS/2 e-Zine! 's Assistant Editor. He is reported to be relieved that, with the advent of Warp 4, talking to your computer is no longer considered a sign of mental instability.
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