Author Topic: New article on CPCWIKI: "Graphical User Interfaces for the Amstrad CPC"  (Read 8292 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Ygdrazil

  • Global Moderator
  • 464 Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 486
  • Country: dk
  • Liked: 47
  • Likes Given: 248
Hi There

Due to the recent debate about GUIs (among others :-)) I thought this subject would be a good starting point for an article about GUIs for the Amstrad CPC. There are a sites that describes the development of GUIs in general, but none for the CPC in specific!

I think the article should start by defining what a GUI is and then show some GUI examples for the CPC!

GUIs I can think of for the CPC...

AMX systems (1985)
CEUS (1990?)
Stream (1993?)
DES (1992)
SymbOS (2001- )

(CP/M)?
(FutureOS?)

And there was probably others!!!.. I can at least remember some screens, but cannot remember their names!

Nice little Xmas project... What do you think?

http://toastytech.com/guis/index.html History of GUIs in general, also shows the GUI mentioned by Prodatron (1973 wow!).

Regards,
Ygdrazil

Offline Prodatron

  • 6128 Plus
  • ******
  • Posts: 832
  • Country: de
  • Back on the Z80
    • index.php?action=treasury
    • SymbOS SYmbiosis Multitasking Based Operating System
  • Liked: 1059
  • Likes Given: 556
Hi Ygdrazil,

great idea! :)
Here we already have a small list of CPC-GUIs...
http://cpcwiki.eu/index.php/System_software
...but there are really some more missing.

Some more interesting pages about GUIs:
- http://www.guidebookgallery.org/guis ([one of?] the biggest database about GUIs in the internet)
- http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/taouu/html/ch02s05.html

CU,
Prodatron

GRAPHICAL Z80 MULTITASKING OPERATING SYSTEM

Offline Gryzor

  • Administrator
  • 6128 Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 15.843
  • Country: gr
  • CPC-Wiki maintainer
    • CPCWiki
  • Liked: 3365
  • Likes Given: 6026
Hmmmm now this is a nice idea... this could be a quite important feature. Even a category by itself... Who goes first? :D

First we would need to compile a complete list of GUI-oriented software...

By the way, are talking only about OSes or also about GUI-based software, such as paint programs or DTP ones?

Offline Ygdrazil

  • Global Moderator
  • 464 Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 486
  • Country: dk
  • Liked: 47
  • Likes Given: 248
Hi There

I have researched a bit and reworked the list of Gui's: (Added some Gui's to the list and extended with articles and screenshots - some more work is needed in the articles though!)

Updated list at:

http://cpcwiki.eu/index.php/System_software

Its not all the Gui's in the list I can get hold of. Also I think a bit of inaccuracies must have sneaked into the list.

MAX (Advanced Memory Systems) did this GUI really exist? Or is it in reality the MAX Desktop  by Excel Software.

I cant find a download link for some of the Gui's (Many can be found in the NVG archive) but some seems to be really hard to get hold of:

Desk - Mentioned in a document file for Worktop...
Desktop - by DW Software
GENO - A graphical frontend for the CPC in CP/M!
MAX - by Advanced Memory Systems if this really exists.
Mouse Operating Systems - came with its own non AMX mouse?
SI BOF
Stream2 - Already has its own article, sounds very interesting and the GUI looks nice! Would love to make some more screenshots etc. But cannot find a download link! This must exist somewhere!

And I am sure there are some more!

Would be really nice if someone could point to the DSKs files?

Rather interesting to see how influential early Macs and GEM was in the way Gui's looked for the CPC. Also how different the look and feel factor was...

I am trying to cook up a definition on Gui's which is relevant for the CPC..

Would also make sense with a timeline of some sort..

Also i have made a new category called GUI, which i intended to hold screenshot examples of GUI for the CPC!

Regards,
Ygdrazil

Offline Gryzor

  • Administrator
  • 6128 Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 15.843
  • Country: gr
  • CPC-Wiki maintainer
    • CPCWiki
  • Liked: 3365
  • Likes Given: 6026
Hello mate! A fantastic job you're doing there, I didn't even know about half of the GUIs you've mentioned!!!
 
I seem to recall AMS' MAX desktop - using it, I mean, but now I downloaded it from NVG and it does say Excel Software indeed. Hmmmmm... strange. Maybe they bought it and released it themselves? However, I think that *this* was the one I had used back then, so probably it's one and the same.  And it's actually a neat little GUI!
 
...er, I just noticed that the About box says "(c) Excel Software and A.M.S. Limited", so obviously it was a developer/publisher thing... I think it's clear enough :)
 
Now, I've got a little surprice for you: you can download STREAM2 at www.gryzor.info/cpc/Stream2_plus_apps.rar ! I also just uploaded it to the wiki:
http://cpcwiki.info/index.php/Image:Stream2_plus_apps.rar
 
Nice, huh? Btw, it may come not as a surprise that TFM also fought with STREAM's devs back in the nineties, and it may have been the reason they abandoned the project...
 
Thanks again for your work, much appreciated :)
Themis

Offline Ygdrazil

  • Global Moderator
  • 464 Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 486
  • Country: dk
  • Liked: 47
  • Likes Given: 248
Hi Gryzor

Somehow I did ignore the A.M.S. Limited. And didn't connect Advanced Memory Systems to A.M.S :-o So you are right this is clear enough.

Stream2 sounds very interesting. So many thanks to you and Prodatron for tracking Stream2 down and making it available to the the public. The only thing I was able to find until now was a slideshow, showing some graphics made with the rendering system of Stream2. Stream2 seems to have been way ahead of its time.

I just wonder how to control the Stream2 GUI. The mouse pointer is obviously controlled with the cursor keys. But how to select an icon? (I also tried to control the GUI using the AMX mouse, but this didn't work either).

Besides the 4 roms there are 2 dsk images. Probably formated in the MoDos disk format. Does the images work on emulators (WinApe)?, is this the reason why the icon selects fails? (Exit to Amsdos should always work?) Will have a closer look when I get back from work :-)

Thanks again for providing the .dsk images

Regards,
/Ygdrazil!



Hello mate! A fantastic job you're doing there, I didn't even know about half of the GUIs you've mentioned!!!
 
I seem to recall AMS' MAX desktop - using it, I mean, but now I downloaded it from NVG and it does say Excel Software indeed. Hmmmmm... strange. Maybe they bought it and released it themselves? However, I think that *this* was the one I had used back then, so probably it's one and the same.  And it's actually a neat little GUI!
 
...er, I just noticed that the About box says "(c) Excel Software and A.M.S. Limited", so obviously it was a developer/publisher thing... I think it's clear enough :)
 
Now, I've got a little surprice for you: you can download STREAM2 at www.gryzor.info/cpc/Stream2_plus_apps.rar ! I also just uploaded it to the wiki:
http://cpcwiki.info/index.php/Image:Stream2_plus_apps.rar
 
Nice, huh? Btw, it may come not as a surprise that TFM also fought with STREAM's devs back in the nineties, and it may have been the reason they abandoned the project...
 
Thanks again for your work, much appreciated :)
Themis

Offline Gryzor

  • Administrator
  • 6128 Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 15.843
  • Country: gr
  • CPC-Wiki maintainer
    • CPCWiki
  • Liked: 3365
  • Likes Given: 6026
Cool, ain't it? :)

I used WinCPC here at work a while ago, and you activate the icons by pressing ENTER (hm, or was it SPACE? :D ). But, if no necessary conditions exist (like a disk being in a drive) then the icons will give no feedback.

The disks contain some very cool apps (like the word processor, really nifty!), and they use folders and subdirs... Very nice.

Offline Prodatron

  • 6128 Plus
  • ******
  • Posts: 832
  • Country: de
  • Back on the Z80
    • index.php?action=treasury
    • SymbOS SYmbiosis Multitasking Based Operating System
  • Liked: 1059
  • Likes Given: 556
Wow, this is just fantastic!  :o

http://cpcwiki.eu/index.php/Stream2#Applications

Thanx a lot, Ygdrazil, for doing all these great screenshots!  :)

For everyone, this is the new category:
http://cpcwiki.eu/index.php/Category:GUI

CU,
Prodatron
« Last Edit: 20:50, 04 January 09 by Prodatron »

GRAPHICAL Z80 MULTITASKING OPERATING SYSTEM

Offline Ygdrazil

  • Global Moderator
  • 464 Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 486
  • Country: dk
  • Liked: 47
  • Likes Given: 248
Hi Prodatron

Thanks for the encouraging words, though I am not quite finished yet. I am about to write the main article on GUI history for the CPC, but I still need some info on some of the GUIs mentioned for the CPC. A few of missing GUIs are of German origin(I think), and it seems that there exists no info at all for either Mouse Operating System nor SI-BOF in the internet (neither on FTP  or http download - anything I have access to anyway). I found GENO (Article comming up soon)

Maybe you have some info on especially the below GUIs.

* Mouse Operating System (M.O.S.) (Star-Division) (1987)
* SI-BOF (Bad Error) (1992)

I have been browsing through some old Danish CPC mags, and I found a small reference to the Mouse Operating System(where it is announced). I get a bit suspicious because there is not a single reference to MOS in the following issues? 

Was any of the above GUI actually released? Maybe it was different in Germany?

Regards,
Ygdrazil

Wow, this is just fantastic!  :o

http://cpcwiki.eu/index.php/Stream2#Applications

Thanx a lot, Ygdrazil, for doing all these great screenshots!  :)

For everyone, this is the new category:
http://cpcwiki.eu/index.php/Category:GUI

CU,
Prodatron

Offline Gryzor

  • Administrator
  • 6128 Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 15.843
  • Country: gr
  • CPC-Wiki maintainer
    • CPCWiki
  • Liked: 3365
  • Likes Given: 6026
Well, if no further note can be found then I think it's somewhat safe to assume it was never released... it wouldn't be the first or the last time. I'm wondering about Geno, never seen it before!!!

What about SI-BOF? Bad Error sounds like a demo-group name... where did you find it?

Offline Ygdrazil

  • Global Moderator
  • 464 Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 486
  • Country: dk
  • Liked: 47
  • Likes Given: 248
Well I haven't heard about GENO either, but GENO is existing allright! :-) Found it on a German FTP server for CP/M software!! (In the Amstrad CPC specific section).(http://www.gaby.de/ehome.htm) Only catch is that I cannot run GENO, because I cannot find the CP/M 2.2 system disk images anywhere (GENO is CP/M 2.2 only - so the CP/M plus disks won't work). So looking for the CP/M 2.2 systems disks.... Also GENO seems to be the only GUI working under CP/M :-)

Both M.O.S. and SI-BOF was on the CPCWIKI list of GUIs, before I started working the list over..

I did some research in the old newsgroups (now google groups) and indeed there are references to M.O.S. from the past - so i guess this one exists. I cannot find a download though!

Concerning SI-BOF (what a name!). This entry is rather doubtfull, as I cannot find a single reference to SI-BOF outside the CPCWIKI. And yes the name BAD ERROR sounds suspicious! Maybe Kangaroo can elaborate, because in the BAD ERROR article, it is stated that Kangaroo knows the programmer of SI-BOF  Kangaroo!!?? :-)

http://cpcwiki.eu/index.php/Bad_Error

Desktop (by DW Software) on the other hand is existing and seems to have been part of a PD library in the 90's. So i guess its only a question of time before a download will be available :-)

Regards,
Ygdrazil


Well, if no further note can be found then I think it's somewhat safe to assume it was never released... it wouldn't be the first or the last time. I'm wondering about Geno, never seen it before!!!

What about SI-BOF? Bad Error sounds like a demo-group name... where did you find it?

Offline Gryzor

  • Administrator
  • 6128 Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 15.843
  • Country: gr
  • CPC-Wiki maintainer
    • CPCWiki
  • Liked: 3365
  • Likes Given: 6026
Ah darn, I'd swear I had CP/M 2.2.... how strange!!! I'll take a look at my 3" disks. Do you know if it was protected or not?

Offline Ygdrazil

  • Global Moderator
  • 464 Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 486
  • Country: dk
  • Liked: 47
  • Likes Given: 248
No fuzz!

I found CP/M 2.2 later last night on a French site!

GENO loads but I can't get past the introscreen, for some reason. Probably because I made an error of some sort! Will have a look again tonight!

Still no luck in obtaining a DSK of Desktop, though!

Greets,
Ygradrazil

Offline Gryzor

  • Administrator
  • 6128 Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 15.843
  • Country: gr
  • CPC-Wiki maintainer
    • CPCWiki
  • Liked: 3365
  • Likes Given: 6026
Hm, mind sending me the material to take a look? Maybe I can get past the intro :D

Offline Prodatron

  • 6128 Plus
  • ******
  • Posts: 832
  • Country: de
  • Back on the Z80
    • index.php?action=treasury
    • SymbOS SYmbiosis Multitasking Based Operating System
  • Liked: 1059
  • Likes Given: 556
Hi,

unfortunately I don't know much about SI-BOF as well.
Ralf (Bad Error) was selling it via his company, he made advertisement for it in some old computer mags (I can search for them), and Mickey was telling me about it during these times, so it should really existed.
Maybe I can find out more during the next weeks.

CU,
Prodatron

GRAPHICAL Z80 MULTITASKING OPERATING SYSTEM

Offline Ygdrazil

  • Global Moderator
  • 464 Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 486
  • Country: dk
  • Liked: 47
  • Likes Given: 248
@Gryzor.. I haven't had any luck getting GENO to work properly.  >:( But then again I have never been doing anything serious work on CP/M (Apart from doing some DBaseII programming in the dawn of time). So i would be gratefull if you will make a try making GENO to work. I will send you the stuff i got (CP/M 2.2 dsk. (These should actually also be uploaded to the WIKI - will do that later) and the GENO dsk, and the actually GENO files downloaded from Gaby. Hope you have success!

@Prodatron.. Any info on SI BOF would be nice, and any references to German sources would also be nice. I have been browsing some issues of CPCAI but can't find any adds or reviews of that points to SI BOF. So some help there is needed :-)

Anyway I have started work on the article. Will add what is missing later. In the spirit of a WIKI, always work i progress!

Regards,
Ygdrazil

Offline Gryzor

  • Administrator
  • 6128 Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 15.843
  • Country: gr
  • CPC-Wiki maintainer
    • CPCWiki
  • Liked: 3365
  • Likes Given: 6026
Heya all,

As discussed on CPCZone, I've got Desktop by David Wild (DW Software) in my hands, and he seems willing to write a little something, too, about it! :)

Nice little GUI...

Offline Ygdrazil

  • Global Moderator
  • 464 Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 486
  • Country: dk
  • Liked: 47
  • Likes Given: 248
Hi Gryzor

This is excellent news!  :D

Will the DSK image be uploaded to the wiki?

I would love to make screenshots etc.

No hurry though, as I am a bit hard up with work and RL.

/Ygdrazil

PS. I have recovered my 6128 from the basement, cleaned it up, and set it up next to my usual PC! It works flawlessly, even the discdrive :-o What a sight... Nothing like the real stuff.
My girlfriend wasn't amazed though!  ;-) (But as long as she keeps her grandmothers sawing machine in the living room, it can stay on my desk i quess)

Heya all,

As discussed on CPCZone, I've got Desktop by David Wild (DW Software) in my hands, and he seems willing to write a little something, too, about it! :)

Nice little GUI...

Offline Gryzor

  • Administrator
  • 6128 Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 15.843
  • Country: gr
  • CPC-Wiki maintainer
    • CPCWiki
  • Liked: 3365
  • Likes Given: 6026
Here ya go: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=FFXX90IY

It's nice and clean, even though a few functions (like the exit options) are somewhat awkward...

It really amazes me that there were really so many solutions back then!!!

And, yes, nothing beats the real thing. I've got my 6128+3.5" drive + SymbifaceII+colour monitor in the living room... and of course girlfriend is not very excited about it. What's really funny is that I get to keep an arcade cabinet as long as she keeps her... you guessed it, her grandmother's sawing machine! :D :D :D

Offline Cpcmaniaco

  • Supreme Wiki Contributor
  • CPC6128
  • ****
  • Posts: 160
  • Country: es
  • Liked: 39
  • Likes Given: 0
I can't download from the megaupload link.

About SI-BOF, I found a review on CPC Amstrad International 8/9 1992, pages 74 and 75.

But I can't say more because I don't understand german.

I can scan these 2 pages if it's necesary, tell me.


Offline Gryzor

  • Administrator
  • 6128 Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 15.843
  • Country: gr
  • CPC-Wiki maintainer
    • CPCWiki
  • Liked: 3365
  • Likes Given: 6026
Hello! So you have the physical magazine even though you don't speak german? :D

Please do scan it, I'm sure we'll be able to figure it out... Please do! :)

Offline Cpcmaniaco

  • Supreme Wiki Contributor
  • CPC6128
  • ****
  • Posts: 160
  • Country: es
  • Liked: 39
  • Likes Given: 0

Offline Gryzor

  • Administrator
  • 6128 Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 15.843
  • Country: gr
  • CPC-Wiki maintainer
    • CPCWiki
  • Liked: 3365
  • Likes Given: 6026
Ahhh great, I found what to do tomorrow at the office :D

Offline Ygdrazil

  • Global Moderator
  • 464 Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 486
  • Country: dk
  • Liked: 47
  • Likes Given: 248
@cpcmanico:

Great work. I did suspect that any info on Si-Bof (as it is called in the article) would be available in CPCAI. But I didn't know that CPCAI was scanned!! :-) I was a keen subscriber to CPCAI in the late 80s and early 90s, but most of my issues has sadly been lost. Thanks for the info about Si-Bof, the only thing we need know is the binary, but maybe Prodatron can help us there! I might translate the article to English, and put it on the WIKI. I think that CPCAI (although German is not my native language) is a rather ignored magazine compared to AA and ACU.. more technical oriented than both..

@gryzor

.. you be must joking (or are you using the mirror  ::)) Girlfriend with ancient sawing machine  ;D


Regards,
/Ygdrazil
« Last Edit: 20:49, 20 January 09 by Ygdrazil »

Offline Gryzor

  • Administrator
  • 6128 Plus
  • *****
  • Posts: 15.843
  • Country: gr
  • CPC-Wiki maintainer
    • CPCWiki
  • Liked: 3365
  • Likes Given: 6026
@cpcmanico:

Great work. I did suspect that any info on Si-Bof (as it is called in the article) would be available in CPCAI. But I didn't know that CPCAI was scanned!! :-) I was a keen subscriber to CPCAI in the late 80s and early 90s, but most of my issues has sadly been lost. Thanks for the info about Si-Bof, the only thing we need know is the binary, but maybe Prodatron can help us there! I might translate the article to English, and put it on the WIKI. I think that CPCAI (although German is not my native language) is a rather ignored magazine compared to AA and ACU.. more technical oriented than both..

Regarding the mag: do they have the complete archive? Maybe we could/should upload it to the wiki as well, along the others?
Regarding the review: if you could translate it it'd be great, myself I was thinking of OCRing it and passing it through Babelfish or something tomorrow and then pretty it up...

@gryzor

.. you be must joking (or are you using the mirror  ::)) Girlfriend with ancient sawing machine  ;D

No man, I swear! I just told her and she laughed out loud as well, what are the chances really?