Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Icaros Desktop 1.4.5 has been released

A brand new version of Icaros Desktop is ready for download. There are big news this time: first of all, we have included the wonderful Turrican remake Hurrican, an amazing shoot'em up and platformer which makes heavy use of hardware acceleration, but that's incredibly playable also on netbooks and low-power configurations. The only requirement is a GPU supported by our implementation of Gallium 3D. Then, thanks to Claus Dresler and Pascal Papara, we could add the AROS port of Cinnamon Writer to the distribution, a very welcome new entry since Icaros traditionally lacked of productivity applications. Now that we have a word processor, a data base and a spreadsheet, however, the overall situation should have improved. Uhm... did I say a spreadsheet? Yes, we have Ignition too. It is the M68K version, but this won't be a problem at all: the last - but not least - big news is that we can now run classic applications too, using the M68K port of AROS inside Janus-UAE and AmiBridge. Thanks to Olaf Schönweiß, we could integrate some parts of his amazing AROS Vision distribution, including many libraries, command line utilities and some applications (they will increase in future - we're trying to contact the right people to make this happen...). Please notice that M68K integration is still very young and not yet fully usable: right-click menus may not always work (please disable mouse syncing or coherency mode, when it happens, to work around this), speed might improve, and loading the Amiga virtual machine takes a lot of time. However, thanks to the fact we are running AROS on both x86 and M68K sides, we could make coherency mode far more "coherent" than ever: you will notice that fonts, locale, keyboard and Zune setting of the guest OS follow the same settings of the host, which gives good degree of mimetism. People who really need classic applications will still prefer integrating Amiga Forever like in the past: this option has obviously been kept: it's faster and still more reliable, but we wish to get any help from the community to make AROS M68K integration better. Amiga fans will also meet a old friend again: the great AMOS Pro language has been included in the distribution, both in a separate, emulated environment (à la "AMOS for Windows", if you already know it), and in the more modern XAMOS re-implementation, which has been recently ported to AROS. There are also many little big fixes and additions here and there... but they would require a lot of time to be explained here. So I will just say a big "Thank you!" to everyone (coders, artists, testers) who made this happen, and let you take the newer version from our download page.

Cinnamon Writer (on the left - sorry for writing in Italian...) and Ignition (right, running in M68K mode)

New from Icaros Desktop 1.4.2

- Wanderer backdrop option now works
- updated system files from July 16th, 2012
- updated development stuff
- added AMOS Pro for AROS (running in emulation)
- added XAMOS AMOS interpreter for AROS
- fixed LoView and updated to version 2.51
- added M68K applications support (initial)
  + Amiga™ ROMs and OS not required anymore for legacy apps
  + M68K applications run in coherency mode
  + shared settings for locale, input, fonts, etc
  + shared clipboard and filesystems
- improved FAT handler
- improved GMA graphics 3D driver
- added Wazp3D preferences program to Prefs
- added Cinnamon Writer word-processor
- added Ignition (68k) spreadsheet application
- updated Annotate to latest release
- updated LodePaint to latest release
- added PForth to development languages
- zipped documentation and sources to save space
- added Oricutron Oric-1 emulator
- added zBoy Game Boy emulator
- added Unarc to file managers
- added game Hurrican (remake of Turrican - needs acceleration)
- updated MegaMario
  + does not need HW acceleration anymore
  + 24/32bit resolutions handled correctly
- updated Duke Nukem 3D to latest release
- updated MP3Player to latest release
- added new themes for windows decoration
- updated Services preference program
- updated cbmbasic to latest release
- added nrg2iso conversion command
- added neopop Neo Geo Pocket emulator

Some old and new applications (on the left) and HTML5 Sketchbox working on OWB (right)

Updating from older releases

As usual, Icaros Desktop 1.4.5 will be available as complete Live! distribution and update pack for users of former releases. Both Icaros Desktop 1.4.2 and 1.4.3 can be upgraded to 1.4.5 (and this is true also for users of the 1.4.4 internal release). Users of 1.4.1 or older versions must install - or reach - at least 1.4.2 level before upgrading to 1.4.5. To update your current installation, either use the "Internet" option of Tools/LUPD/LiveUpdater, or just download the upgrade pack 142to145 with any browser and use LiveUpdater's "File" option.