Posts Tagged ‘demo’

BB – A must see ASCII Art Audio / Video portable demo for Linux, FreeBSD, UNIX and DOS

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

bb Audio Visual ASCII art Linux FreeBSD demonstration old school demo logo

I know and I have enjoyed BB – Portable Demo for already a decade.
I'm sure many newbies to the Free And Open Source (FOSS) realm don't know or heard of bb's existence as nowdays ASCII art is not so well known among youngsters. Hence this short post aims to raise some awareness of the existence of this already OLD but GOLD – awesome! text console / terminal demonstation BB 🙂

bb is pretty much in the spirit of Oldschool Assembly DOS demo scene dominating the geeks dome in the late 80's and yearly 90's.

Historically bb used to be one of the main stunning things one could show to a fellow GNU / Linux new comer.

For the year 2000, seeing all this awesome ASCII video demo running on free Operating System like GNU / Linux was a big think.
The fact that such an advanced ASCII art was distributed freely for an OS which used to exist since only (6 / 7 years) was really outstanding of its time.

BB text ascii art Linux demo entry screen characters matrix

I still remember how much I was amazed seeing a plain ascii video stream was possible only Linux. Moreover the minimal requirements of bb were quite low for its time – it worked on mostly all PCs one can find at the time.

BB's minimum requirements to work with no chops is just an old 486/66 DX2 CPU Mhz with few megas of memory (32MB of memory was more than enough to run it)

BB text sacii art Linux demo entry screen char matrix

A very unique feature of bb was it was the first Linux demo that succesfully run simultaneously playing on two monitor screens as one can read on the project website.
Unfortunately I didn't owned two monitors back in the day so never ever had the opportunity to see it running on two screens.
Anyhow I've seen it runnign somewhere on some of the Linux install fests visited some years ago…

The demo was developed by 4 man group ppl – the AA group the same digital artists are also the guys behind the AA Project.

AA Lib mascot logo :)

The main aim of AA-lib was to make possible (Doom, Second Reality, X windows) to run rendered in plain ASCII art text.

The project succeeded in a lot of his goals already as there is already existent such an ascii art ports of large games like QUAKE! Be sure to check this awesome project too AAquake ascii quake page is here
, as well as video and pictures could be viewed under a plain console Linux tty or in terminal (via SSH 🙂 )

Thanks to AA-Lib even text mode doom exists.

bb as well as aa-lib has ports for most modern Linux distros in that number one can easily get rpm or deb packages for most of distros.
On Slackware Linux you should compile it from source. Though compilation should be a straightfoward process, not that i tried it myself but I remember a close friend of mine (a great Slackware devotee) who was the one to show me the demo for a first time on his Slackware box.

1. Installing bb on Debian Linux

Debian Linux users like me are privileged as for already many years a Debian package of bb is maintaned thanks to Uwe Herman

Hence for anyone willing to enjoy bb install it by running:

debian:~# apt-get --yes install bb
....
ho@debian:~$ bb

If you're running a X server the aa-lib will immediately run with its X server compiled support:

Running BB Music Screesnhot

2. Installing BB demo on FreeBSD

On FreeBSD, bb demo has a port to install it run:

freebsd# cd /usr/ports/misc/bb freebsd# make install clean ...

Here is good time to say that even though in most of the machines, I've tested the demo I had on some of the hosts problems with sound due to buggy sound drivers.
As of time of writting hopefully on most machines there will be no troubles as most of the Linux sb drivers are better supported by ALSA.

Everyone interested in both Free Software and ASCII art knows well how big in significance is the AA-lib project for the historical development and attraction for new hackers to the Linux dome.
In that sense AAlib head developer Jan HubickaBy the way Jan Hubicka is also the author of another Linux tool called xaos. Xaos is a tool to deal with some kind of advanced higher mathematics stuff called fractals.

XAOS Screenshot Debian Squeeze Linux

Unfortunately I don't know a bit for fractal maths and what the purpose of the tool is but as you can see on the shot it looks nice running 🙂

Here are also, lot of the major BB parts in shots:

Running bb music screen screenshot Linux Debian 6 Squeeze

BB AScii fire Linux shot

bb demo ascii art fractals

BB demo ascii art back head and description of the dev

bb demo ascii zebra Linux screenshot

bb demo cannon gun shot

BB demo ring screenshot

BB demo spots Debian shot

BB developer head shot 2

BB developer profile shot

bb game ascii invaders demo

Linux extremist BB demo

BB demo zoomed text ascii art text

BB Demo thanks for watching screen

For those on MS-Windows OS platform, here is the demo 🙂

BB ASCII Demo standard size running in Linux (With sound)

Enjoy ! 🙂

Viewing JPEG,GIF and PNG in ASCII with cacaview on GNU / Linux – Review on caca-utils text mode graphics utilities

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Stitch 80x45 libcaca mascot cacaview viewing JPG, PNG, GIF images as ASCII on Linux libcaca

Probably, many don't know that it is possible to view normal graphical pictures (JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP) etc. in plain console tty.

Being able to view pictures in ASCII is something really nice especially for console geeks like me.
The images produced sometimes are a bit unreadable, if compared to the original graphics, but anyways most of the pictures looks pretty decent 🙂

Viewing in console / terminal images on GNU / Linux is possible thanks to a library called libcaca, caca labs libcaca project official website here.
Below is a shot description of libcaca:
hipo@noah:~$ apt-cache show libcaca0|grep 'Description' -A 4
Description: colour ASCII art library
libcaca is the Colour AsCii Art library. It provides high level functions
for colour text drawing, simple primitives for line, polygon and ellipse
drawing, as well as powerful image to text conversion routines.

In Debian, Ubuntu and other deb Linux distros viewing GUI images with no need for Xserver or any kind of window manager in plain ASCII is possible with cacaview.

cacaview is part of a package called caca-utils. caca-utils is providing few other great utilities for ASCII freaks 🙂 along with cacaview console ascii viewer prog.
The package> is available for Debian distributins since many years, so even on a very old Debians like Debian – (Potato, Woody, Sarge) the package is available in default free package repositories ready to install via apt

To install apt-get it as usual:

noah:~# apt-get --yes install caca-utils

Here is a list of the binaries the package provides:

hipo@noah:~$ dpkg -L caca-utils|grep -i /usr/bin/
/usr/bin/cacaserver
/usr/bin/cacaplay
/usr/bin/cacafire
/usr/bin/cacademo
/usr/bin/cacaview
/usr/bin/img2txt

1. cacaserver a tiny program allowing network streaming of applications written in caca

Belkow is a chop, from man cacaserver
 

cacaserver reads libcaca animation files in its standard input and
serves them as ANSI art on network port 51914. These animations can be
created by any libcaca program by setting the CACA_DRIVER environment
variable to raw and piping the program's standard output to cacaserver.

Clients can then connect to port 51914 using telnet or netcat to see
the output.

The example section of the manual points 1 example use of cacaserver to stream the console output from cacademo.
cacademo binary is a short presentation ASCII DEMO in the spirit of the old school assembly demos (demoscene) .
To run it to bind on port 51914 one has to type in bash shell:
hipo@noah:~$ CACA_DRIVER=raw cacademo | cacaserver
initialised network, listening on port 51914

Then to check out how the demo looks, open telnet connection to the cacaserver host; In my case the cacaserver is binded and streamed over IP 192.168.0.2:

hipo@debian:~$ telnet 192.168.0.2 51914

Immediately you got the demo shining; Below are two screenshots of the demo played after succesful telnet connection:

Cacaserver - caca for the network screenshot Matrix cacademo

cacademo running over telnet network connection – Matrix

cacaserver running on Debian GNU / Linux drug addict like spots streamed via telnet

Blur spots cacademo shot of cacademo streamed via network

You see the demo looks quite awesome 🙂

2. Running cacafire to stream over network

Another possible example use of cacaserver is in conjunction with cacafire libcaca test application:

noah:~# CACA_DRIVER=raw cacafire | cacaserver
initialised network, listening on port 51914
cacafire is a short application written to render ASCII via libcaca and is just displaying a screen with ASCII (moving) burning fire.
It is quite spectacular if you, ask an unexpecting friend to connect to your host to 51914 🙂

Cacafire Screenshot Debian GNU / Linux cacaserver streaming ASCII demo via network port 51914

Besides that bored sys admins, could run cacafire in console to hypnotize themselves watching dumb the burning fire screen for few hoursor just use it as a screensaver 😉

3. cacaview a program to display a graphic images in console using ASCII art

cacaview takes just one argument – the picture to be displayed.

Below is a screenshot of cacaview ran from my gnome-terminal displaying a ASCII text version of the MySQL server logo

hipo@noah:~$ cd /disk/pictures
hipo@noah:/disk/pictures$ cacaview mysql_logo.png

 

cacaview displaying MySQL database logo in ASCII using caca for X

Whether cacaview is invoked in GUI, the libcaca X support is used, so the text image is visualized in new window with graphics, if however it is invoked in plain let's say tty1 libcaca displays the graphics pictures drawing it with only text characters.

Here is also a screenshot, I've made while viewing a GIF website logo in ASCII in plain tty console:

hipo@noah:~$ cacaview /disk/pictures/logo.gif

cacaview plain tty console screenshot of a website logo graphics pictures 17-05-2012

The logo is in cyrillic, so for latin speaking people some of the characters in the two words seen will be unreadable 🙂

cacaview even supports viewing, the next and previous picture in line, like in any modern graphics image viewer program.
To view a bunch of graphic pictures in ASCII with cacaview pass it *.*:

hipo@noah:~$ cacaview /disk/pictures/*.*

For simplicity the common unix * is also supported, so I find it quicker to do:

hipo@noah:~$ cacaview /disk/pictures/*

Showing pictures forward and backward (Previous / Next) picture is done with n and p kbd keys, whether;
n - next;
p - previous

cacaview doesn't crash or stop but skip unknown file formats – if for instance encounters filenames which are not images; lets say you have *.rar archive files along with other pictures.

The complete list of keys cacaview supports are:
br />

KEYS
? show the help screen

n, p switch to next image, previous image

Left, Right, Up, Down or h, l, k, j
scroll the image around

+, – zoom in and out

z reset the zoom level to normal

f switch fullscreen mode (hide/show menu and status bars)

d toggle the dithering mode (no dithering, 4×4 ordered dithering, 8×8 ordered dithering and random dithering)

q exit the program

4. Converting graphics images to ASCII art like (plain text pictures)

The tool that does "the trick" is img2txt. img2txt has a bit more options while compared to the rest of the aforementioned tools.The following list of arguments are recognized:

  • the size (font, height)
  • brightness
  • contrast
  • gamma and dither
  • format type of out the output pic

Anyways I found that the basic just in / out arguments passed are enough to produce pretty good results:

hipo@noah:~$ img2txt hipo_avatar.gif >hipo_avatar_pic.txt

The original hipo_avatar.gif file looks like so:

hipo avatar gif picture before img2txt convertion to text

After above img2txt command is run and hipo_avatar_pic.txt to see the colorful output ASCII art img2txt produces, cat it:

hipo@noah:~$ cat hipo_avatar_pic.txt

The image result if screenshot looks quite beautiful and even, can be considered or used as an ART effect image (filter) 🙂

Console Screenshot hipo avatar pic ASCII img2txt output picture

The picture colors are plain ANSI color, so in order to display properly the picture with colors on another computers or Operating System you will need at least basic support for ANSI colors.

Plenty of output file formats are supported by img2txt

Here is the complete list of supported output formats:
 

ansi : coloured ANSI
caca : internal libcaca format
utf8 : UTF8 with CR
utf8 : UTF8 with CRLF (MS Windows)
html : HTML with CSS and DIV support
html3 : Pure HTML3 with tables
irc : IRC with ctrl-k codes
bbfr : BBCode (French)
ps : Postscript
svg : Scalable Vector Graphics
tga : Targa Image

libcaca is available for FreeBSD too, but the caca-utils is not available as a port yet, though probably the deb or rpm packages can easily be ported to BSD.

Well that's all, Enjoy.

Play Terminal Velocity (Terminal Reality) 3D shooter DOS game on Debian Squeeze GNU / Linux

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Terminal Velocity Game title logo dosbox Debian Linux

Some of the computer DOS geeks certainly should remember Terminal Velocity / (Terminal Reality Inc. – TRI) DOS 3D Realms (ex Apogee company) game. For those who are younger or for any reason miss to play TV here is a short review. Terminal Velocity is an addictive fast pace 3D Flight Simulator game.
The ship one navigates has a mean to accelerate or down-accelerate flying speed. There is also an AFTER BURNER mode which accelerates the ship movement speed drastically while in use. TRI's AFTER BURNER game feature create unique feeling whilst in game, raising gamers adrenaline and giving feeling of great dynamics 😉
The game graphics are a bit low, the game can be switched between VGA and SVGA from within the internal game menus, anyways for the year 1995 the game graphics looks fine.

Terminal Velocity TV DOS game screenshot

TV supports network games of up to 8 Network Players and for 1995 is among the few 3D games supporting so high number of network players simultaneously. As most of the games of its time TRI supports modem network game play. I don't know about you, but for me Modem Network game DooM peered plays brings up some nice memories 🙂

Every now and then in the levels, there are holes (Tunnels) you can enter, the tunnels is one of the most exciting part of the game as it reminds me tracking mods music culture, Future Crew's Second Reality graphics demo and the rest of the old glorious Assembly Demos – if not familiar with the aforementioned be sure to check the link cause you've missed a lot!

The ability to enter Tunnels while in the midst of the game makes TV unique and sets it apart from the rest of the games which were bombarding the 3D game flight simulator market in '95s.
Terminal Velocity DOS Level Tunnels screenshot
Terminal Velocity MINIMUM HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS are:

486 with 8 megs of memory.
For SVGA graphics (provided only by registered game version) require 486 DX4/100 or Pentium to display at acceptable frame rate.

Terminal Veolocity on Disk technical support manual

This requirements are nothing and even looks funny while compared to today's available hardware. Nowdays an Android ver. 2.2 OS running (PriVileg) mobile "smart" phone runs at at least 400 Mhz CPU and has a giga of memory.
Its quite interesting to see (from historic point of view) how thoroughful the TV Help manual is, and how well organized software documentation used to be in these old DOS days. If you want to take a look at it launch TVHELP.EXE (you will notice it along with other game .EXE files after extracting)

The game soundtrack is amazingly cool and is one of the main things that add to the great gaming experience.

It took me a while to find Terminal Velocity, as the game download link provided on 3drealms.com/downloads is broken and most of the websites with mirror of 3dtv12.zip file was no longer active.

After about half an hour of search!, I've finally found and managed to download 3dtv12.zip.
In order to preserve Terminal Violocity game from disappearing I've made a mirror of 3dtv12.zip you can download from here

Thanks to dosbox DOS Emulator , is playable on both GNU / Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS and Windows.
I did not have the time to check if the game runs fine on other operating system architectures besides mine – a Debian GNU / Linux codename (Squeeze). On my aptop Thinkpad R61 with hardware configuration (Dual core x 1.8 Ghz with 2 GB of Memory), the game runs smoothly with both good playable graphics frame rate and properly timed sound/music.

For all those who want to play the game in the Linux realm, you will have to have earlier installed dosbox dos emulator. Once dosbox is there you can further proceed download / unzip / run and enjoy Terminal Velocity on your Linux Desktop:

1. Download and unzip 3dtv12.zip

hipo@linux:~$ mkdir TV
hipo@linux:~$ cd TV
hipo@linux:~/TV$ wget http://www.pc-freak.net/files/3dtv12.zip
hipo@linux:~/TV$ unzip 3dtv12.zip
Archive: 3dtv12.zip
� � ������ � � ����� ������ � ������ �����
� � � � � � � � � � �
�� �� �� �� ����� �� �� � �� �� � �� �
�� �� �� � �� � �� �� � �� �� � ��
������ �� ������ �� � �� �� � �� �� � �����

Running VADV 2.10 ���� ���� ������
� � � � � VirtualNet 1801001
4 Telnet nodes ����� ����� ������ FidoNet 1:311/2
VADV-PHP Website �� � �� � �� BattleNet 169:1/120
����� ����� �����

Telnet/web: lightningbbs.com
Alt: lightning-bbs.darktech.org

Full access on the first call. Simple, short and to the point newuser
questionaire. Over 50 door games online, all of them are registered.

Fun RPG games like LORD, Usurper, TEOS, Trade Wars, Clans, and Quest for Nora.

Strategic war games like BRE, FE, Global Wars, ISA, and Colonies.

Adult door games like Strip Poker, Bordello, Studs and Studette.
...

After unzip is complete you will have the following list of files and directories:

hipo@linux:~/TV$ ls -1
FILE_ID.DIZ
INSTALL.EXE
LICENSE.TXT
TV/
TV12S.SHR

As you can read in the unzip notice the .zip file was taken from Telnet/web: lightningbbs.com
I was happy to find out that lightningbbs.com BBS is still up and running in both web and telnet mode! I took the time to telnet to lightningbbs.com and it was charming. lightningbbs.com is a real place of "living computer history"! For people who have never experienced the days of BBS use, I warmly recommend you do telnet lightningbbs.com and check it out. Issue in console/terminal:

hipo@linux:~/TV$ telnet lightningbbs.com
��VADV32 v4.4.110325 - (c) 2004-2011 Aspect Technologies - www.vadvbbs.com
o NetFoss - Revision 5 FOSSIL - Com Eng v1.03 - (c) 2001-2010 pcmicro.com
Connected @ 11520 to Lightning BBS on line 3

Virtual Advanced 2.10 for DOS
Multi-User Multi-Network Graphical Bulletin Board System
Serial #99608791
...
...

2. Run and enjoy Terminal Velocity 😉

The game itself is extracted automatically in TV sub directory. To launch it directly enter TV/ and run GAME.EXE , e.g.

hipo@linux:~/TV$ cd TV/
hipo@linux:~/TV/TV$ dosbox GAME.EXE

Terminal Velocity Screenshot Debian GNU / Linux 6.0 Squeeze Dosbox dos emulator

Terminal Velocity game screenshot dosbox GNU / Linux

Running the game through the game launcher TV.EXE or GAME.EXE worked but the game sound was missing music and sound FX 😐
The no-music and sound issues were however pretty normal and expected. Back in the DOS era setting your exact Sound Card device type was required before the first game launch.
Configuring the exact screen resolution (EGA / VGA / SVGA) and Sound Blaster or PC Speaker type (Sound Blaster 16 / Sound Blaster Pro) in TV is done through running SETUP.EXE .
3D Realms Terminal Velocity Screenshot Level 5 Debian Linux Squeeze dosbox

Actually SETUP.EXE used to be like a standard for almost all DOS games I've encountered.

To make Terminal Velocity sound work I had to choose from SETUP.EXE main menu:
Sound Setup -> Sound Blaster 16
or
Sound Setup -> Sound Blaster Pro

Choosing any of the two SBs produces the same sound / music effects. I guess this is the case becase dosbox emulates a number of sound cards compatible with soudn blaster.
After choosing the SB you should select Save and Launch TV to run the game with sound.
Terminal Velocity TV, dosbox setup.exe sound blaster setup program screenshot

If you quit the game and try to relaunch it with dosbox GAME.EXE unfortunately runs the game without sound fx and music again. Hence the only way to make TRI run properly with music is to everytime configure sound blaster type with SETUP.EXE . TV also supports joystick and it was nice my Genius JoyPad worked like a charm with TV under dosbox emu 😉
To play the game in full screen mode with dosbox press ALT + ENTER simultaneously. 

An interesting fact which is not related to the game is Terminal Velocity is a physics term, here is a quite from Wikipedia:

"In fluid dynamics an object is moving at its terminal velocity if its speed is constant due to the restraining force exerted by the fluid through which it is moving."

On 3drealms.com, I've found also a collection of Terminal velocity mod musictvmods.zip. For the sake of preservation tvmods.zip from disappearance I've made a mirror of tvmods.zip on here

TV has also 20 cheat code words which can be typed in while playing the game for various goodies like Invisinbility, Shield Restore, Power up all weapons, skip level etc. Complete list of Terminal Velocity cheat codes is here
If you're an absolute TV addict and you want to set a TV screenshot on background Check the TV Planet 1024×768 Background resolution

TV has also a game editor, could be valuable if you want to make yourself some custom game levels here is a mirror you can download tvcad10.zip.
I've made also a quick research if someone in the Open Source / Free Software realm is not busy working on a fork of TV, but as of time of writting it seems there is no effort to make an "open source" Terminal Veolocity game. As TV is starting to disappear from the scene and 3DRealms are not existing for so many years now, it would be nice/wise if the company publish some of their prior games source. If they don't, so many great games (like TV)'s source code will be probably lost in max 10 / 15 years time.

We know 3DRealms release some of their source code for Duke Nukem 3D, I think it is now time to release source of TRI and the other old forgotten games.

Drawing GANTT Charts and Project Management on Linux, (Microsoft Project substitute for Unix)

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

I'm studying Project Management, right now. In that spirit of thoughts I and a couple of other guys are building a Project Plan.
As it Project Plan it's necessary to put a GANTT Chart in it to show visually the project timeline (the phases), the duration and the inter-relation between the different tasks which leads the project to an actual completion.

After a bit of thorough research online on available software to deal with project management and particularly, ones that are capable to build a GANTT charts on Linux / BSD.

I've come with the following list of software capable to be a substitute for the Microsoft Project software.
Redmine GANTT Chart

GANTT chart Redmine

1. Gantt Project
GANTTProject chart GANTTProject Chart

2. Gnome Planner
Planner GANTT Gnome Chart Planner GANTT Chone Chart

3. Task Juggler Project Manager with GANTT Capability for (KDE)
Task Juggler

4. JxProject – This software is not free, though it can be considered almost free
Take a look also at:
5. Trac , though it doesn't really support GANTT charts it's a lovely software to be used for PM.
Trac Project Management

Another option you have is to try out:
6. PHProjekt

Update 20.09.2016 – PHPProject Old download link is no longer active

It is this link http://www.phprojekt.com/, but the page doesn’t seem to be active any more. I thought you might want to update.

If you are looking for an alternative please check out http://wiht.link/PHProjekt-PM, it may make a suitable replacement.

Kind Regards,
Tom Wilcox


That piece of softwre really looks promising, especially if we consider that it's web based and how much essential is today to have an anline tools for doing the ordinary desktop jobs.

You can even check an online demo of the PHPProjekt software here

If you're a type of KDE user you definitely has to try out Kplato

As I've tested the software the software is easy to be used, however it still is missing some essential parts that Microsoft Project includes so it's not 100% substitute.
Also it's not able to open Microsoft Project (MPP) files, neither able to save the charts in the .mpp format.

Moving ahead I've came across DotProject DotProject Gantt Chart
DottProject Gantt Chart

I haven't took the time to test it myself but however, as I go through the software website the project looked quite good.
Lastly you can take a look at: 7. PStricks as a mean of project management, however I think it doesn't support GANTT chart building.
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