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Archive 11/2003

Andreas Magerl (ANF)

Magazine: Amiga Future 45 published
Today issue 45 (November/December 2003) of the print magazine "Amiga Future" has been published.

Besides a test of the MPlayer and a preview of Realms of Power and Trilero you can find in this issue reports about OASE 2003 or the Benelux Show.

On the current CD you can find much PD-software, the video of the Benelux Show as well as the full version of Foundation - The Directors Cut.

You can find a detailed list of the contents on the homepage of the magazine. (cg) (Translation: dr)

[News message: 07. Nov. 2003, 17:33] [Comments: 0]
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Christian Effenberger (ANF)

CD-Tools: First publishing of "3CaDo"
"3CaDo" is a collection of CD-tools which contains the following programs:
  • ViCaDo supports you making VideoCDs: With this program you can make (super-) VideoCD images.
  • AiCaDo supports you making AudioCDs: With this program you can make (MP3-) AudioCD images. This program is still under development.
  • DiCaDo supports you making DataCDs: With this program you can make (ISO-) DataCDs. This program is still planned.

Christian Effenberger was not going to publish the sites. But because his Amiga has currently some problems and Christian has not any access to the CD burner the development of 3CaDo is highly questionable.

Because he do not know how long it takes until his computer works fine again he wants to give the Amiga community that part which is already completed. (cg) (Translation: dr)

[News message: 07. Nov. 2003, 17:28] [Comments: 0]
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IOSPIRIT: Sponsoring and price-reduced full versions at Alchimie 3
The Alchimie 3, taking place from the 8th to the 10th of November 2003 in Tain l'Hermitage, will be sponsored with prizes by IOSPIRIT. Furthermore, it will be possible to buy updates and price-reduced full versions through a cooperation with A.P.S..

IOSPIRIT wishes all visitors and for the whole event a lot of fun and success! (snx)

[News message: 07. Nov. 2003, 17:12] [Comments: 0]
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Anton Preinsack (ANF)

OS4: News on the progress by Thomas Frieden
In the forum of, Thomas Frieden ("EntilZha") delivered insight into the current version of OS4 or on its progress, respectively. At the same time, a newly integrated feature was announced which - if anything proceeds well - would be shown this weekend as a surprise in France.

The main statements at a glance:

Graphics system:
"We're still working on the graphics system. The originally anticipated 2-3 weeks where of course 2-3 weeks of full-time work, but as always, something else comes your way and you have to rest some work and give priority to other..."

"Things are slowly falling into place now. A lot of people are currently working on AmigaOne drivers (that's one of the biggest projects, anyway). And of course, everybody is still working on bits & pieces. Browsing through the recent upload notification mails on our beta list, I see some new PPC-native datatypes, several bugfixes to existing components (most of them are PPC now), some new PPC modules (not a lot... did I mention that most of them are PPC now, anyway ? I think I have only 4 68k modules remaining on my work installation, one of them graphics.library)."

"One of the new "kernel" related features is a new ramlib (that's the component that is used to bring libraries into memory from disk): You might know that this is a prime candidate for crashing to do flakey library initialisation code. The new ramlib is now multi-threaded, meaning that the opening of libraries will be done in sub-processes. If one of those crashes, it's just removed by the mother process, improving system stability a lot.
Additionally, the latest exec includes a new memory tracking facility: You can now find out for each memory location if it's been allocated at all, and who allocated it. Very useful if you're debugging a program, or want to throw away all memory allocated by a given task." (snx)

[News message: 07. Nov. 2003, 17:07] [Comments: 0]
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Sylvio K (ANF)

Horror Game: New Soms3D Screenshots Online
New screenshots of the game "Secret of my Soul 3D" (Soms3D) have been released, a few of which demonstrate new characteristics of the game engine. (cg) (Translation: dm)

[News message: 06. Nov. 2003, 23:51] [Comments: 0]
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MorphOS: Mencoder Version 0.91
Version 0.91 of the MorphOS port of the program Mencoder is ready for download, thanks to Nicolas Det.

This program is a video encoder, which can also rip VCDs and DVDs.

Download (1.47MB) (snx) (Translation: dm)

[News message: 06. Nov. 2003, 19:48] [Comments: 0]
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Marc Cloppenburg / AMIGAplus (ICQ)

New Pegasos Web Portal Opens: Pegasos-ITALIA
Pegasos communities have been established in many countries around the globe, among them Sweden, the USA, France, Finland and Portugal, and now also one for Italian enthusiasts: At the URL (title link) you'll reach "Pegasos-ITALIA", a new Italian Pegasos portal. (nba) (Translation: dm)

[News message: 06. Nov. 2003, 19:42] [Comments: 0]
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Martin Wolf (E-Mail)

Game: Tamar Needs a New Continent!
It is on us once more. In November 2003 the world of Tamar will contain a new continent. With 280 players the existing parts of Tamar have become full.

Every time this happens Tamar is expanded with further sections. This is an ideal time to jump in the game! Start with 20 to 50 other new testers, and struggle on the same terms in this part of Tamar.

The new territories will next be partitioned off from the other parts of Tamar, allowing the possibility of development independent of the old Lords. Who will be the victor? Who has the best strategy?

We're seeking free testers for Macintosh and PC.

By 15th November, a new version of the PC client that alleviates the slow start time will have appeared. The exact features may be read in the update text.

Tales of Tamar is a PBEM round-based online strategy game (PBEM = Play By E-Mail) from Eternity, in which you take over the leadership of a people, in a manner similar to the games Kaiser and Civilization, and in which you compete in commerce, diplomacy, and battle to bring your land to riches and glory and honor. (nba) (Translation: dm)

[News message: 06. Nov. 2003, 16:28] [Comments: 0]
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Richard Ames

Health: MouseBean Ergonomic Hand Rest
An independent study has shown that three out of four computer mouse users suffering from workrelated upper limb disorders (WRULDs) and painful hands and wrists, found their symptoms alleviated after only two weeks of using the MouseBean Ergonomic Hand Rest. This is important news for the increasing number of computer users suffering from WRULDs and for businesses losing millions of working days each year when sufferers have to take time off work to recover from these disabling conditions.

The independent study was conducted by John Ridd, a consultant ergonomist specialising in workplace design and musculoskeletal disorders. A mixed group of typical computer mouse users with self-reported hand, wrist and upper limb musculoskeletal disorders, tested the MouseBean Hand Rest in an office environment.

After using the MouseBean Hand Rest for only two weeks, three out of four users found it effective at reducing the symptoms of WRULDs. At the end of the test phase, 85% of subjects said that they would choose to continue using the MouseBean Hand Rest if they could. John Ridd concludes: "The study would suggest that, for many mouse users suffering with hand or wrist pains, there is a very real likelihood of reducing those symptoms within two weeks of using the MouseBean Hand Rest."

The MouseBean Hand Rest is very different to regular wrist rests - it uses two soft pads to support the hand in comfort and the curved base lets you glide on the mouse mat with a relaxed arm and shoulder. The pads form a gap under the hand, helping to reduce pressure in the wrist and protect the delicate median nerve from the dangers of poor posture.

Commenting on the gel-filled wrist rests currently on the market, John Crocker, managing director of MouseBean Limited says: "Although they feel soft, some gel-filled wrist rests may be doing more harm than good! Research has shown that they can actually increase pressure in the wrist and lead to nerve damage! We believe that the MouseBean Hand Rest is the first device of its kind to have undergone a comprehensive evaluation and are naturally delighted with the results of the independent study. Whilst three out of four mouse users suffering from WRULDs found their symptoms alleviated, we have anecdotal evidence to suggest that the device may be preventing the onset of some symptoms as we have no reports of customers developing new hand or wrist conditions since fitting the device to their mouse. In addition, the majority find it so comfortable to use that they don't want to go back to using a mouse without it."

The independent study shows that the MouseBean Hand Rest is one of the simplest and most effective ergonomic aids for mouse users; it converts a regular mouse into an ergonomic mouse. Available in a wide variety of attractive colours, the MouseBean Hand Rest can be attached (with the simple plug and socket device supplied) to most regular mice. It can also be customised with a logo or made to match corporate colours. To order, visit the website under the title link and click `How to Buy'. Retail price from £6.99. (nba)

[News message: 05. Nov. 2003, 23:41] [Comments: 0]
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MorphOS: MPlayer-Update
The media player MPlayer is now available in version 0.91 for MorphOS and can be obtained from the MorphZone (1.6 MB).

Among other issues the reading of DVD´s is sped up, an MP3-Decoder, an anti screen saver system and MP4A support is added.

Nicolas Det writes: "It's the time to release MPlayer 0.91 for MorphOS! I hope you will enjoy it. Look in the readme file for list of the changes.

I would like to thank:
  • Andre Siegel for very good looking icons
  • Emanuel Steen for the documentation
  • Sigbjørn Skjæret for many improvements and bugs fixed
  • Harry Sintonen for many improvements and bugs fixed
  • and all MorphOS users (including developers :-))"
(snx) (Translation: ub)

[News message: 05. Nov. 2003, 12:40] [Comments: 0]
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Heise Newsticker

Heise: Microsoft provides a bounty for worm authors
As reported by the Heise Newsticker the software and game console developer Microsoft is going to fight against the authors of computer worms like the wide spread W32.Blaster and Sobig with some kind of bounty. Hints which lead to an arrestment should be honored with up to 250,000 US$. Read the full (German) article by the title link. (cs) (Translation: ub)

[News message: 05. Nov. 2003, 11:51] [Comments: 0]
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Articia S: Genesi and Hyperion gave information about the supposed "Bug"
During a discussion at the thread "Pegasos Italia" at ANN Raquel Velasco and Bill Buck by Genesi as well as Ben Hermans by Hyperion gave detailed information about the supposed bug of the Articia S northbridge for the first time.

Genesi published during that discussion protocol with which the problem should be reproduceable:

The following problem is given with the current Articia S versions:

The CPU interface fails to make all needed PCI to Memory transactions transparent to the CPU. This leads to failed (missed) snoop responses from the CPU in case of a modified cache line. The result may be a data corruption. The problem can be verified by creating a huge DMA load to the system.

1) Create a Linux partition with reiserfs using the IDE channel
2) Create a Linux partition with reiserfs using a 1394 (firewire) drive
3) Create any Linux partition (any device possible)
4) Enable DMA for IDE using 'hdparm'
5) Copy some data ~1-2GB using 1) and 2)
6) unmount 1)+2)
7) run the 'reiserfsck' tool using an endless shell script for 1)+2)
8) Start a ftp of a huge file (>memory+swap) using 3) and calculate a checksum for that file using an endless shell script

Be sure that the L2 cache of the CPU is enabled during your tests. Watch the results.

Required Resources
1 - Red Hat Linux Distribution 7.x
2 - IDE Hard Drives
1 - PCI Firewire Card
1 - 1394 Firewire Drive

Line 1) - One IDE Drive for the O/S
Line 2) - Needs PCI Firewire Card, 1394 Firewire Card and SW Drivers for same
Line 3) - Configure partition on additional IDE Drive

Requires 2 weeks minimum full time effort (probably 3 weeks) for someone with advanced Linux configuration setup and test expertise.

Hyperions answer to this is:

"This 'so called' problem is the direct result of the Articia S's ability to handle memory access by the CPU and PCI bus.

This behavior reduces latency but is unknown in the Wintel world which is why the Linux drivers don't cater for it.

In the Wintel world either the CPU or the PCI busmaster is allowed to write to memory, not both at the same time.

MAI has been reworking the Linux drivers to cope with this and Hyperion has been aware of this feature for quite some time and has taken it into account when doing DMA capable drivers for the AmigaOne hardware. [...]" (snx) (Translation: ub)

[News message: 05. Nov. 2003, 10:53] [Comments: 0]
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Novell's going to buy SuSE / IBM invests into Novell
As reported by CNN Money, Novell is going to buy the German SuSE Linux GmbH for about 210 millions US$. Additionally IBM is said to buy Novell shares for about 50 millions US$. (snx) (Translation: ub)

[News message: 05. Nov. 2003, 10:37] [Comments: 0]
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