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Article #5 (29 is last):
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.product.16-32bit.reviews
From: aa400@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Marc A. Lombardo)
Subject: GEM-View/Graphics/Public Domain
Posted-By: xx004 (aa400 - Marc A. Lombardo)
Reply-To: aa400@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Marc A. Lombardo)
Date: Wed May 15 18:14:43 1991


GEM-View
ST Report Online Magazine
Written by Ed Krimen



    A new picture viewer came across comp.binaries.atari.st on Usenet 
recently.  Just what we all need is another picture viewer, right?  
Well, GEM-View is *THE* picture viewer.  Not only does it handle the 
mundane GIF, Degas (uncompressed and compressed), and Tiny-Compressed 
images, it also handles (and this from the included READ.ME file): 

  o DF Rasterfiles (a own format)                            [ *.PDF ]
  o GIF Images                                               [ *.GIF ]
  o Sun Rasterfiles                                          [ *.SUN ]
  o STAD Images                                              [ *.PAC ]
  o IFF Imagefiles (ONLY SOME, NOT ALL, searching for desc.) [ *.IFF ]
  o GEM-(X)Image Files                                       ( *.IMG )
  o GEM-Metafiles (Vector)                                   ( *.GEM )
  o Neochrome Rasterfiles                                    ( *.NEO )
  o Art-Director Rasterfiles                                 ( *.ART )
  o Degas Images                                             ( *.P[IC][123] )
  o Tiny-Compressed Images                                   ( *.TN[123Y] )
  o Doodle Monochrome Rasters                                ( *.DOO [640x...] )
  o Spectrum 512 Images                                      ( *.SPU, *.SPC )
  o X Bitmap-File (a bitmap C-Source description)            [ *.XBM ]

    There are quite a few good picture viewers for the ST, including 
ViewGIF 1.2, Giffer, PicSwitch, and DSlide.  Each of them have unique 
features, but I have not seen anything so feature-packed as GEM-View.

    For starters, all of GEM-View's output is done in a GEM window.  
Since the program can be run as a program or a desk accessory, it's 
very versatile.  When run as a desk accessory, you can have a picture 
in a window along with all your other open windows.
    
    When GEM-View is selected under the DESK menu on the desktop or 
run as a program, the first thing that appears is a small log window
in the lower left portion of the screen.  This non-scrollable window
displays the title of the program, its version number, and author,
Dieter Fiebelkorn, all in the smallest system font to fit as much info
in as little space.  Before you've recognized this however, a file
selector has appeared so that you may select a picture to view.  Once
a file has been selected, it's current configuration, including
original picture type, size, number of colors, is shown in the log
window.

    By this time, GEM-View is converting the picture, if conversion 
is necessary, to the current screen resolution and color 
capabilities.  If you're running GEM-View in monochrome and you've 
selected a color picture, it will automatically convert the picture 
to monochrome, including dithering and resizing if the picture is 
larger than your current screen size.  If required, it goes through a 
couple of color remapping and screen compression sequences.  It also 
tells you how long it takes to load and process the picture.  The neat
thing is that it actually tells you this in the log window as it's 
happening.  Oh, and before I forget, not only does it show the info 
in the log window as it's doing its converting, but it does 
everything in the background.  Yes, this program multitasks!!  So, 
you can select a GIF picture to convert, and while it's doing that in 
the background, you can do other stuff, like write a review of a new 
program or your new unauthorized biography of Jack Tramiel.  The 
down-side to this is that the system is slowed down considerably when
it's doing the conversions.  I suppose this would be a good reason to
get a TT or a 68030 upgrade. 

    So, once the picture is finished converting, it outputs the image 
to a full-screen window.  If the image doesn't fit on the screen, you 
can scroll the image using the usual scroll bars on the GEM window.  
Or, you can hold down the right mouse button on the image and use the 
mouse to scroll the picture inside the window.  Some spectacular, 
advanced features are revealed when you hold the right-mouse button 
over the scroll bars.  These features include saving the picture, 
sizing the window, clipping the picture, rotating the clip, setting 
the brightness, dither or halftone, and a few other things.

    I used GEM-View with MonSTer, which is a program that creates a
1280x960 monochrome, 1280x480 4-color, or 640x480 16-color virtual 
screen depending upon which ST resolution you've chose to boot in.  
GEM-View works perfectly with this, and I'll assume it works with the 
large Moniterm monitors as well the TT resolutions.

    When I was looking through the READ.ME file, I was expecting to 
find the ubiquitous shareware plea, but there wasn't one -- only 
Dieter's Usenet signature file.  This program is easily of commercial 
caliber.  I'd be surprised if it isn't sold by itself or at least 
bundled with another commercial program in the future.
 
    There are many more features in GEM-View that I haven't 
mentioned.  If you ever view pictures on your ST, you should get a 
copy of this program.

--
   |||   Ed Krimen [ekrimen@ecst.csuchico.edu or al661@cleveland.freenet.edu]
   |||   Video Production Major, California State University, Chico
  / | \  SysOp, Fuji BBS: 916-894-1261

-- 
Marc A. Lombardo           User Address:aa400@cleveland.freenet.edu   ~ ~ ~
/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/--/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-/-\-   ~ ~ ~
Atari ST, MIDI, Music                                                ~~ ~ ~~
                                                                   ~~   ~   ~~




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