Saturday, December 15, 2018

How to update Icaros Desktop

by on Saturday, December 15, 2018
This video shows how to update Icaros Desktop with the proper tool, LiveUpdater, which is included in the system drive, Tools/LUPD drawers.

1. Run LiveUpdater from sys:Tools/LUPD
2. Set the updater to run at next startup and reboot
3. If you have a Inernet connection, you can use the Internet option. But it's safer to download the update pack before, and then use the FILE option
4. Locate the Update Pack
5. Wait for the operation to complete
6. Reboot and enjoy your updated version of Icaros Desktop

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Icaros Desktop 2.2.5 available to patrons

by on Thursday, December 13, 2018
A new, amazing update to Icaros Desktop is now available for patrons. First of all, I have to thank Paul Bloedel for having ported his Icon Editor to AROS. A tool like this was still missing on our platform, but we finally have one and its quality worths the wait. Icon Editor can import PNG files and other Amiga icon formats, allowing to create double state icons and manage them quickly. Powerful painting and drawing tools are applicable to the picture or the alpha channel, and the editor also includes nice image effects. But this is obviously not the only feature. We now have a much more compatible browser: OWB has been updated to support latest AmiSSL encryption and it seems to be also more stable with current websites. Unluckily, its executable weights 170 MB and, since it wouldn't fit into Icaros Desktop Light, we had to wait for a "stripped down" executable which has been used for the Light edition only. Icaros Desktop 2.2.5 also features some enhancements to the GUI: Magellan can now show the current IP address and calculate MD5 checksum for any file. We also got new versions for many programs like VIM, VAMP, AbkViewer, RNO Effects, Protrekkr (this should fix an annoying bug with native drivers), PlayCDDA and brand new programs like GenerateMD5, AnimWebConverter, Advice and the MiniScheme language. We have also fixed many glitches here and there. In a nutshell, be prepared for the best Icaros Desktop release so far! So what are you waiting for? Become patron and get it before anyone else!

Icaros 2.2.5 includes a collection of double-state icons tailored to HostBridge and host applications


> Icaros Desktop Light is available to ALL patrons (no matter what they pledge).
> Icaros Desktop Live! and update pack are available to patrons pledging $5/month or more.

OWB has been updated

New from Icaros Desktop 2.2.4

- updated RNOEffects to v1.3
- updated 68K Paula driver for AHI
- updated AbkViewer to v0.0.6 in Extras/Development/Tools
- added AISS to Icaros Desktop Light edition
- updated AROS system files to November 26th, 2018
- added Icon Editor to Utilities
+ added needed images from AISS to System/Images/TBImages
- modified GUI selector and added a icon for its drawer
- fix: restored Icaros' Download Fonts script for OWB
- added 15 public-domain (CC0) FHD images to Extras/Wallpapers
- updated MCC_BetterString to v11.33 on i386 and m68k
- updated MCC_TextEditor to v15.51 on i386 and m68k
- added double-state version of Dark Glass iconset
- added double-state version of Logos&Brand iconset
- updated Protrekkr to v 2.5.4 (fixes problems with native drivers)
- added GenerateMD5 to C
+ added options to generate and copy MD5 to Magellan
- Magellan can now show current IP Address
- updated PlayCDDA in Multimedia
- updated VAMP in Multimedia
- added AnimWebConverter to MediaEditors
- updated VIM to latest release
- updated MCC_NList on m68K
- updated MCC_TheBar on m68k
- fixed a bug in ZuneARC preventing lha archives extraction
- added quitaros command for Linux and Windows hosted Icaros
- updated OBW to use latest SSL encryption, it's also more stable
- built Advice for i386 and added to C
- added 68k Advice to AROS M68K
- added minischeme to Extras/Development/Languages
- AmiBridge's ADD SHORTCUT script does not open unwanted windows anymore
- updated Icaros Desktop manual to reflect latest changes

Magellan can now show current IP address and calculate MD5 chacksum for selected file

Icaros Desktop 2.2.5 includes a new collection of fantasy wallpapers, released under the CC0 license

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

We have an Icon Editor!

by on Tuesday, December 04, 2018
I am really excited to announce that Paul Bloedel has successfully built an AROS version of his Hollywood-based Icon Editor, which will be included in Icaros Desktop 2.2.5 under the "Utilities" drawer. This means that it will be available on both Live! and Light edition of the distribution, since I feel that a proper editor for icons should be part of the 'core utils' that an Amiganoid system should provide by default. Icon Editor is a quite advanced paint program, properly handling double-state Amiga icons with alpha channel, which allows us to create and modify .info files without requiring more programs to do that.
Icon Editor on AROS, final version
Porting this program had some nice and less nicer side effects. You should understand the bad news if you compare the "Painting Tool" window (in the screenshot above) with the same tool from the AmigaOS 4.1 version: you will notice that we have text buttons instead of graphical ones, and this is due to the fact that AROS Zune does not support the particular method that RapaGui and MUIBuilder (two popular Hollywood plugins for user interfaces) use to embed images into buttons. The discussion we had about this let me understand how MUI and Zune work in this context and (that's the nicer news...) I learnt how to embed images into LUA scripts. This was important to me, since I could finally update the "First run GUI selector program" the way I originally intended it:

Now you can choose your GUI clicking on the images directly

Yes, I know, any experienced coder would find it trivial to do. However I am a system administrator, not a developer, so please forgive my enthusiasm. However, embedding images is not only a style excercise, but it may bring other goodies to Icaros in the (hopefully near) future.

If you followed AROS and Amiga communities, you may have noticed my insisting requests for a C command that would modify AHI master volume. AROS does not have the 'mixer' commodity, nor it has a proper volume gadget on its workbench, but nothing should stop me to fill the gap once I had the proper tools. On the left, you can see my LUA based GUI: now I just need the C command to actually change volume. My dream would be turning it into a commodity but, well, that's really beyond my skills and, after all, I still have to make it work, first.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

First beta of Icaros 2.2.5 and other exciting news

by on Saturday, November 24, 2018
The first internal build of Icaros Desktop 2.2.5 is now available to beta testers, developers and supporters (patrons who are pledging $15 or more on Patreon), which include all the work done on Icaros in the last month. I kindly ask everyone who has got access to this beta for feedback: please test it deeply and report any problem you may find. As you can see from the following picture, the current beta of Icaros Desktop include some nice additions to the Magellan configuration. For instance, Icaros can now show its IP Address (and let user change it) and calculate MD5 sum for any file you need, with the option to copy it into the clipboard.

Obviously, they're not the only feature we added. Thanks to their respective authors, I could now add to the distribution RNO Effects 1.2, Protrekkr 2.5.4 (which fixes a incompatibility with native driver that has been reported for the older version) and the latest update to PlayCDDA, whose author sent me some days ago. We have also got an update to OWB with improved SSL compatibility and that seems more stable, when showing multimedia contents. And there is even more.

> Click here to grab your copy of the internal beta on Patreon

As you may know, one of my favourite activities is bugging authors of Amiga software and ask them for an AROS ports of their software. It happened some months ago with RNO Effects (and now we have an excellent batch image conversion / manipulation software), it happened in the latest days with the little Advice utility, but it also happened yesterday with Icon Editor, a very good application to create and modify icons, recently released for AmigaOS 4. Well, in less than 24 hours, its author Paul Bloedel sent me a working beta for AROS. Judge by yourself:

If you wish to support or encourage him, maybe with a PayPal donation, his address is revbloedel (at) gmail (dot) com. Obviously, this editor is not included in Icaros beta, but I sincerely hope I will be able to include it in the official release.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

I got more... "advice"!

by on Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Yesterday morning I installed a new test virual machine and, as usual, I needed to know its own IP address. So I opened the shell and gave the 'ifconfig -a' command to get it. I wondered if I could have something better than that, like a way to get the same information with two mouse clicks, and I implemented a "IP Address" option in Magellan's "Icaros" menu, which basically targeted ifconfig's oputput to a reader. Good. I had what I needed, with the only problem it was ugly and unpractical. It opened a fullscreen sized window to show few text lines. I had to change it.

So I decided that if I could output that window to a RequestChoice (RC) window it would have been fine. There were two problems, though: RC's output capabilities are quite limited and, unluckily, I simply could not use a command like

RequestChoice "IP Address" "`ifconfig -a`" "OK"

because the way ifconfig shows its output is not compatible with RC's exprectations. For instance, something like:

lo0: flags=9<UP,LOOPBACK> mtu 1536
    inet netmask 0xff000000
    inet netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast

would need to be cleaned of special tab characters (the ones before "inet" words) and all line feeds replaced by the *N code, so it would appear like this:

"lo0: flags=9<UP,LOOPBACK> mtu 1536*Ninet netmask 0xff000000*Nnet0: flags=822<BROADCAST,NOTRAILERS,SIMPLEX>*Ninet netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast"

But how to get this done? The answer is, once more, an old cli utility called gsar, which I built for AROS many months ago. Gsar can search for control characters and replace them as I like, so in a nutshell I could write these lines of code

ifconfig -a >t:currIP
gsar -i -o -s:x09 -r:x20:x20 t:currIP >NIL:
gsar -i -o -s:x0a -r*N t:currIP >NIL:

and place them in a new script. These lines basically transform the output of 'ifconfig -a' into a text line which requestcoice can understand. In fact, the following line is:

RequestChoice "IP Address" "${t:currIP}" "Close" >nil:

Which  is exactly what I needed to get this:

the actual script on Icaros Desktop also includes a 'Change' button to open Prefs/Network

So, why did I got some "advice"? Because I discovered this on Aminet, a RequestChioce clone for AmigaOS 2+ which can use a text file as value for the BODY parameter. The archive on Aminet includes also the source in C but, due to my very very very limited skills, I could not even get it to build. With advice, the above script would have looked like:

ifconfig -a >t:currIP
Advice TITLE "IP Address" BODY t:currIP BUTTONTEXT "Close"

I posted this help request on AROS-EXEC, and I sincerely hope someone will help me bringing this to AROS, since it can be very useful with script someone immediately helped me, giving me the hints I needed to fix the original sources and let them compile under Icaros Desktop (I used AROS gcc version included in the distribution). So, thank you Cavemann, thank you Neil (and thank you Wawa), it's always a pleasure to interact with smart people like you! :-)

Advice for AROS, and modified source, will be posted on the Archives as soon as possible.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Basic introduction/tutorial video added to HostBridge page

by on Friday, November 09, 2018
If you still wonder what HostBridge can do, here is the answer!

I've added this introductory video-tutorial to the HostBridge page, so you can see how using Windows and Linux applications is easy, when Icaros Desktop is running in hosted mode!

By the way, starting with version 2.2.5, Icaros will include also a couple of double-state icon packs so you can associate HostBridge's scripts to proper icons with ease, even if you're running Linux (under Windows, HostBridge can extract icons from win32 executables, but new icons can help with 64bit ones).