December 2003 Archives

Software Update - Really Slick Screensavers 0.7.6

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I had some luck compiling the latest version of Really Slick Screensavers-GLX. It incorporates two new screensavers Matrixview and Spirographx. I also included the Fireflies 2.06 screensaver I mentioned in the December 1st news item.

A couple of weird things in the course of building: When I had tried making this version before, Matrixview bombed because my version of libpng wasn't the newest (1.2.5). So this time I built and installed that first -- only to find when I ldd'd to sort out the prerequists, that libbzip2 (from was the only non-system library linked. Is it possible that libpng 1.2.5 was only needed to build? The only other hiccup involved in the build were: commenting out the GETOPTS defines in config.h (which means your have to use short command line options, for example, -r and not --root) and removing the ATTR_ALIGN(16) built-in keyword from euphoria.c and lattice.c. I used --disable-3dnow --disable-sound in the configure script. Also, Cyclone once again builds without complaint but displays a blank screen, although the -v option causes it to draw a squiggly line.

Lastly, I was also pretty lazy about the tardist (sorry). It has all the binaries and man pages (except firefly which didn't come with a man page), but unlike lisp's build of 0.7.4, it:

- isn't patched for single buffer and no texture options (see this forum thread)
- doesn't have desktop integration (you'll have to manually add the new entries to your .xscreensaver file or else load lisp's subsystem from her tardist if you'd rather use SGI's ssaver)
- doesn't have a MIPS3 set of packages
- doesn't have the source code included

rss-0.7.6-mips4.tardist (5.4 MB)

Hope it works for most of the folks here. If you are a member of the no-texture-memory/MIPS3 crowd, lisp's 0.7.4 tardist is probably a better choice for you. For more info, see this forum thread. to Reopen


I just received an e-mail from Daniel Leeds, webmaster of, with news that the popular IRIX website will shortly reopen. This is great news, especially in light of the delays and rumors surrounding SGI's Freeware site at the moment.


Just an FYI, I will be resurrecting the website shortly
along with some of our custom software packages and builds. One thing of
note which has garnered some interest and you may want to announce is a
release of perl 5.8.2 with a bundled oracle 8i client including
DBI/DBD-Oracle for IRIX64 (r10k+).

While it contains commercial code (the oracle client sdk) we are taking a to
hell with it atttitude since it is only the client not the full database.
There is no reason to prevent IRIX users from connecting to oracle databases
at work and at home on other platforms.

We hope to have more net8 clients for 32bit IRIX in the future and for 5.3
and 6.2 if we can procure the necessary bits from oracle.


New Software Downloads Page

One of the big changes for the site over the past couple weeks has been the addition of a new Software Downloads section with a complete listing of all the freeware currently available for download. This makes it much easier for me to get the software out there, plus it makes it easier for everyone to actually find it without digging through old blog posts for details.

I still plan on announcing new uploads as they come in (provided I have time); unfortunately I'm so far behind at the moment I recommend checking out the page for yourself by clicking the "date" column to browse the most recent additions. Lots of great stuff on there from semi-fly, foetz, squeen and nvukovlj!



I was asked by the maintainers of to update the IRIX binary for their distribution site. While the latest version 1.14.1 (a bug fix and minor feature upgrade) compiled and ran fine on both an Octane2 and an O2 running IRIX 6.5.21, when I tried to install it on an Octane running 6.5.20 it bombed with exactly the same error message posted by katos (as a comment on the original July 10, 2003 news post announcing the 1.14.0 tardist). The error was:

Trace/BPT/RangeErr/DivZero/Ovflow trap (core dumped)

I recompiled and made a new tardist on the Octane machine and all seems well. The tardist is available for download here:

freeciv-1.14.1-mips4.tardist (4.7MB)

It still contains the server and GTK+2 client, but I removed the source code and manual in order to trim down the size of the distribution. The support files still can be obtained from

Before I send it to the offical distribution site, I would like it if a few of the friendly Nekochan members would verify that it runs OK and post a comment either "yah" or "nay". The server and client are installed in /usr/local/bin and may be executed with the commands civserver and civclient respectively.

Thanks in advance (and I promise to stop hogging the December news space)!



Crossfire is a multi-player graphical arcade and adventure game made for the X Windows systems environment. It has certain flavours from other games, especially gauntlet and the rogue-like games (Nethack, Moria, Angband, and Ragnarok.) Any number of players can move around in their own window, finding and using items and battling monsters. They can choose to cooperate or compete in the same world.

It uses a client/server model. Pre-compiled tardist are availible for both applications. The server distribution is fairly large since I bundled the "small" map set with it, to make it easier to get it going. Fortunately, there are many public servers out there, so it's safe to just get the X11/GTK+ client first and run it a few times to see if it's worth getting the server side.

To use the client, just type gcfclient for the GTK+ client or cfclient for the X11 version. There are quite a few GTK+ related dependancies and SoftwareManager/inst should complain if they are not found. If you just choose to install the X11 client, it only needs libpng and libz. All dependancies are readily available from SGI's excellent freeware site.

To run the server just type crossfire, assuming /usr/local is in your path and /usr/local/lib is in your linker search path (i.e. $LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/lib:...).

I managed to get it to compile under IRIX with only a few samll tweaks. For those interested, the server required a change to /common/porting.c line 153 to change #define popen fixed_popen to #define popen popen_local. Also some more extensive changes to the client /gtk/image.c file were made in order to get it to compile. Those changes affect lines 190-195 and are included as a patch in the distribution.

The -sdl command line option doesn't work on the GTK+ client as I think my hacked patch was not a real fix. Also there is no sound. Otherwise, I played it this past holiday with my nephew for a couple hours and it seems stable.

Here are the files:
crossfire_client-1.6.0-mips4.tardist (780KB)
crossfire_server-1.5.0-mips4.tardist (38MB)

Enjoy! Please leave comments if there are any problems.

Recently I had cause to investigate the IRIX screen saver mechanisms in order to fix the desktop utility iconbar that I've been writing. I thought I'd share a bit of what I've learned (or at least think I've pieced together, corrections are welcome!) For the impatient among who you who might like to skip the long winded intro I'll cover:

- configuring xscreensaver under IRIX
- making the really slick screensavers GLX port work with xscreensaver (which includes screen locking)
- compiling the fireflies 2.06 screensaver

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2003 listed from newest to oldest.

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