|O| ArcsPack-17! by Bowie J. Poag, 2/4/96 |c|C|
| Arctangent's Pack #17 Documentation Notes |
| :Table of contents: |
II. System Requirements
III. Startup-Pix (Images for your Amiga to display while booting)
IV. Index (Images which give a brief overview of whats new!)
V. Patterns (Tile patterns for Workbench, MUI & LightWave 3D users)
VI. Palletes (A fine array of color sets to apply to these graphics)
VII. Programs (Small accessories which make life a little easier)
VIII. Sounds (Only available in the Deluxe version!)
IX. Other Stuff
Welcome to the wonderful wiggly-world of ArcsPack! ArcsPack represents a
incredibly wide array of ways which you, or anyone, can drastically improve
the look and appearance of their systems. With ArcsPack, anyone can give
their Workbench and/or MUI applications a makeover with a choice of nearly
10,000 possible combinations of hand-drawn tiles, patterns, and colors..
Also, dozens of beautiful startup screens for all Amiga models, and now, the
addition of digitized sound samples of differing lengths to be played while
your Amiga boots up! ArcsPack is for those who want their system to have
a sleek, guilded, polished appearance both inside and out. In addition
to other system enhancement packages like Magic Workbench and MUI, ArcsPack
is a fast and easy way to make your system absolutely shine.
In this document, you'll learn about what it takes to make any Mac
or lowly PC user's chin drop straight through the floor by giving your
system an eye-popping facelift which will set it miles above other
platforms. You're lucky you have an Amiga! ArcsPack is only available for
the Amiga community's consumption only! ArcsPack is also freeware. Its
a gift from me to you. I charge no money for it, and will accept no money
for it. However, if on the other hand you have an opening in your company
for a brilliant and incredibly modest young artist, well then... ;)
In any event, enjoy it. Its yours--So are the other 16 VOLUMES of
ArcsPack which are available worldwide via the Aminet. If you like it,
fab--Drop me a line in E-Mail, and I'll make sure you LOVE the next one.
My E-Mail address is listed at the bottom of this document. If you are
blind, stupid, horribly ignorant, or for some reason dissatisfied with the
level of quality contained in this package, please take the time to bite me.
II. System Requirements
ArcsPack generally has no specific requirements--But for those without
an Amiga, or a hard disk, or at least a 16 color Workbench, you won't
get nearly the same amount out of this package as you could. A system
I would reccomend would be:
A) An A2000/3000 w/Graphics card (or preferably A1200/4000)
B) Workbench 3.0 or greater (For those with 2.x..UPGRADE! Its worth it!)
C) ~5MB free HD space to install this volume, or, about 50MB free space
to install this, and all previous versions of ArcsPack
D) ADPro, ImageFX, Brilliance or some image processing/paint program.
E) MagicWB and/or MUI installed.
Dont let my suggestion decieve you--You will still get a great deal
out of ArcsPack with just an 8-color Workbench on an ECS machine. :)
Infact, I dont even own an AGA machine, or a graphics card. My own
system is a "lowly" A2500HD/030 :)
Future versions of ArcsPack may require ~3-5MB free hard disk space
in order to install.
What are Startup-Pix? Startup-Pix are standard (usually high-res) .IFF
pictures which your Amiga displays while booting. Kinda like the "smile
screen" on newer Macs or the boring clouds you see on Windows '95..Startup
Pix are a good way to add a little color to normally dull, blank screens
while booting. There are specific screens for ALL Amiga models available
in previous versions of ArcsPack, as well as specific screens for all
common AmigaDOS versions. Instead of staring like an idiot at a blank
screen while your system boots, now you can have a glorious "AmigaDOS 3.1"
or "A2000HD/030/882" screen fade in from the darkness instead. :)
There are plenty of new utilities on the Aminet (like BootPic, StartScreen
and others) which perform the task of quietly displaying graphics during
boot-ups without disturbing other programs in your Amiga's startup-sequence.
Check them out! Most are written by skilled, reputable programmers who
know what they're doing. :)
Simple show programs like Mostra or ViewTek can also fulfill this purpose.
Too impatient to sift through the patterns to find the one you like?
Then this is the place for you--In this drawer you will find several
images to preview, to give you a rough idea of whats contained in this
archive--Over *30* patterns available in this volume for your Workbench
Just double-click on the icons, and MultiView will bring up a window on
your Workbench to show you.
Keep in mind, you can also tell MultiView to use its own screen when
bringing up the graphics you tell it to--Just go to its pull-down menu
and select "Use Seperate Screen" from the Window menu.
Patterns are what makes ArcsPack so popular--Everything from the trippy
and psychedelic to the sublime and corporate are available here. There
are patterns and tiles of every humanly imaginable style to be found
both in this volume, as well as the 16 volumes of ArcsPack which came before
this one. The Patterns are meant to give a variety of variations on a theme;
Usually, if you like one, you'll like almost all of them. I try not to
sqeeze too much out of one paticular style, so usually several are
All of these patterns and tiles were painted by hand, by me. How did
I paint them? Well, if I told you, then I'd be out of a job. :) I take
a great deal of pleasure in painting these..Theyre fun to create and
polish off, and they look stunning in actual use. Whenever I paint,
I almost ALWAYS plugged into my stereo with my headphones on, either
listening to mods, or listening to my fabled collection of Human League,
Devo, P-Model and Kraftwerk CD's..which can often explain the bizzare
filenames these patterns and tiles have. :)
Why are they all GREY, do you ask? No, I didn't forget to color them.
The reason why they're all grey, is because it would be pointless (not to
mention incredibly stupid) for me to include 20 DIFFERENT COPIES of the
same little tile or pattern, just with different colors. ArcsPack would
be gigantic if I did it this way. Instead, the raw graphics AND the Pallete
files are ALSO given to you separately, so that you can apply the color
of your choosing to the tiles & patterns which you like best. You can
apply the colors to the graphics with any paint program, or image processing
utility such as ADPro, ImageFX, PhotoGenics, PersonalPaint, etc. Consult
the manual for the package which you have for instructions on how to
apply a color pallete to these graphics. Don't worry, its easy. :)
Future versions of ArcsPack will automate this process. Stay tuned.
A wide selection of possibilities for colorizing your favorite patterns
and tiles finds its home in this drawer. Inside the Palletes drawer,
are a whole bunch of IFF/ILBM Pallete files. These tiny little files
contain all the color register information for a picture. If you load
in one of my normally-grey patterns or tiles, and then tell the program
you're using to do this to load in the Pallete file, the colors will
instantly snap themselves into place, and the screen/tile/pattern will
come alive with vibrant color. Its more fun than a barrel of Sea-Monkeys! :)
Everything from Clockwork-Orange to Pink-Panther and Grapeity-Grape Purple
are included, in every shade, of every color of the rainbow sparing the
Once you've applied the Pallete to the graphics, you can save the graphics
back out again, which will now have aquired the new color scheme.
Groovy, eh? :)
A program which automates this process for you is located in the Programs
drawer of the ArcsPack-17 archive.
In this drawer, you will find two handy-dandy little utilities. Play,
NewPallete was written by Troels Walsted Hansen (troelsstud.cs.uit.no)..
This guy had taken it upon himself to write a program to do what I was
describing -- Applying color palletes to image files! To learn how to
use NewPallete, just run it from CLI -- It will give you a command template.
You can use this program to slap ANY color pallete onto ANY pattern or
image. Pretty keen! Mucho thanks to Troels..
The second file here is called "Play".. This program is capable of playing
any sample, of ANY length, in stereo. Play is special because it only loads
chunks of sound data off disk --as it needs them-- .. So you dont need
600K of chip ram free to play a 600K sound sample. You can play samples
of virtually unlimited size with this program, and only use up 50-60K
of chip ram in the process. Pretty cool! Since the Amiga's custom chips
handle sound independantly of the CPU, your system can now play startup
music with virtually no additional load on your CPU. Ahhhh, luxury at its
VIII. Sounds! (Available in the DELUXE version only.)
Due to the Aminet's restriction on uploading digitized sound samples
taken from recorded media such as CD's and Casette tapes, this facet of
ArcsPack is not available in the Aminet version.
For the lucky few who DO have the Deluxe version of this archive, we
have for you a fine assortment of 30 and 45-second long high quality
sound samples perfectly suited for playing during your system's startup!
Amazingly, playing extremely large sound samples on your Amiga takes up
almost 0% processor time, as the workload is handled by the Amiga's custom
chips. A program named "Play" is provided for you in the Programs drawer,
which can play sound samples of ANY length, even samples ranging into the
tens of megabytes in size, while only using up about 50-100K of chip ram
in the process. It only loads sample-data into chip ram as it needs it!
So, now, we can ALL enjoy a nice little musical interlude while our
systems boot. :) Simply move Play into your C: directory, and add a line
to the very beginning of your startup sequence such as:
run >NIL: c:play (FILENAME) >NIL:
..where (FILENAME) is the name of the sound-sample of your choosing.
If you would like to listen to these samples, merely double-click on
the icons. If you REALLY want to hear something bizzare, try doing a
QUADRUPLE-CLICK on one of the icons, as if to run it twice as fast as you
can. Or, try playing both at the same time. Its all part of the joy of
having an Amiga, you see. :)
The 30-Second sample is the intro to a song called "Wiggly World" off
Devo's 1979 "Duty Now For The Future" LP..A classic song. :) The 45-Second
sample is from a song from their 1982 album, "Oh, NO! Its DEVO!" entitled
"What I Must Do" ..
Speaking of which...............
IX. Other Stuff
There is something >I< must do.
Regretfully, I have the unfortunate task of informing the Amiga community
that ArcsPack-17 will be the last ever made for the Amiga. I will be leaving
the Amiga shortly, and will be moving to a new platform. I feel I owe it
to the Amiga community to provide a method reasoning behind this decision,
as I feel its the very least I could do for a machine, and a group of
people who have provided me so much joy and wonder for nearly a decade.
Some speak of a soul and of a beauty when it comes to computing machinery.
The Amiga was, and is a beautiful machine--inside and out, its the closest
thing to absolute perfection the computer industry has ever seen in a
personal computer. However, this industry also has a cruel side which
dictates that sentimental attachment to a machine must fall victim to the
relentless pursuit of faster, newer, higher, heavier technologies. The
evolution of the machine will neither begin nor end with the Amiga. The
Amiga was and is an important step on the staircase of progress, and having
stepped there, will now give us the ability to go still higher.
Fighting the good fight, albeit noble and well-intentioned, will not always
ensure a victory. No matter how hard you try, nor how big the flag you wave,
or how long you wave it can overcome the one constant which drives the
industry into the future; time.
We are out of time.
The path of least resistance dictates that the best course of action is to
make the best of a bad situation. To take the same energy you put into waving
the flag, and channeling it into something you feel has a definite future,
and could benefit by your work, is far more noble a cause than to waste your
time bailing out a ship which will sink no matter how hard you and others
try to prevent it from happening.
Circumstances beyond yours and my control prevent us from accomplishing
goals we tear our heads and hearts out to attempt to achieve. Thats just
a part of life, that must also be accepted, and met head-on. There are new
things, bigger things, better things out there just waiting to be explored
by individuals just like you and me, a corridor of thousands of open doors
each holding something new and equally beautiful to behond; Thousands of
open doors instead of simply a light at the end of the tunnel.
Keep the memories you have, tuck them away in your pocket and keep them
with you wherever you go. You'll always have them. Seek out someplace new,
set your bags down when you arrive, and show the crowd the little piece of
magic you've got to share with them. That's what will >really< make a
difference, so let THAT be the true legacy of the Amiga. By doing so, you'll
REALLY show the world how beautiful the machine truly was.
My deepest thanks to all who have supported me in my efforts, not just with
ArcsPack, but in everything. Being an Amiga user was an experience I'll
always remember. There are countless hundreds of people I'd like to meet
and thank that have made it so wonderful, so, to all of you, my warmest
regards and best wishes in the years ahead...We'll meet again. ;)
Bowie J. Poag
PS.. Now, why do you think that a man jumps out of the frying pan into
the FIRE when he can find a way not to get burned? :)