Weekly Software News 14th to 20th April 2014


If last week was relatively quiet in terms of new releases, this week makes up for it, with 7 new entries. PtitSeb has been making steady progress with Glshim together with Lunixbochs, and as a result a number of OpenGL games make it to the Pandora in the same week. Very impressive to see the car simulator TORCS running on a handheld, for example, while you should not expect high frame rates.

Updates (5)

  • QMMP-stable: Now with fixed Opus support.
  • Guitarix: This version is the last beta release.
  • OpenTTD: And here’s another stable release for this clone of Railroad tycoon.
  • QupZilla: the best browser on Pandora is updated to its latest version, but honestly there’s not much new in this update so you don’t need to rush for that one.
  • Predator Prey Simulation: this update introduces new overlays on screen.

New Releases (7)

  • Secret Maryo Chronicles: A Mario-clone with mostly new graphics to replace the characters and enemies. It’s a great port by PtitSeb following his recent work on glshim, but the game is so-so if you ask me. It’s not as good as Mario in almost every way (level design, playability) – the original authors may want to improve on their creation if that was their intention.
  • Emilia Pinball: this is a port of an Open Source pinball game on Linux. I have not tried it yet, but note that there’s one pinball table which is unplayable (apparently because of maths calculations for the ball trajectory) while the other two play fine.
  • BillardGL: Another port using glshim, BillardGL is a great Billard game in 3D. The only drawback is that there are no sounds in the game (it was like that in the original game too).
  • TORCS: PtitSeb managed to do another splendid port, with TORCS now running on Pandora using glshim. Before you get all excited, the Pandora is a little bit too slow to make this really playable with many cars at once, but as long as you only select a couple of opponents for your race, it’s still in the realm of what’s playable.
  • Bobobot: Loic2003 is back with a new port of a platform game, using X11. It has just been updated for fullscreen action.
  • DungeonKeeper_GOG: IngoReis has prepared a ready to play QEmu image that can run the Dungeon Keeper version you can get on Good Old Games (GOG). Very practical, and it runs relatively well !
  • Kismet: Kismet is an 802.11 layer2 wireless network detector, sniffer, and intrusion detection system. Notaz just ported it as he has just upgraded the OS (see below). You need the upgrade to make this PND work, by the way.

Firmware Update

Notaz has just announced that there’s a new firmware update available if you hit the “upgrade OS” entry in xfce. It consists in the following:

  • improved Power Saving while lid is closed. About 10 to 20% improvement, which is quite significant!
  • Updated wifi driver. It can now do monitor mode and packet injection. Ad-hoc mode now works and you should be able to network 2 pandoras without an access point.
  • Fixed 24bit sound output. To use 24bit audio, player has to support it and be configured to output directly to the sound device and not default virtual dmix one, which still mixes to 16bit 44kHz. By the way, 24 bits audio is completely useless (there’s no way anyone CAN actually hear the difference vs CD quality) but there it is, it’s now supported.
  • backported OMAP fixes from later kernels are included. No visible effects expected.

Note that this firmware update is very much beta, and that it should be tested…

That’s it for this week !

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thanks, still plenty of good software work happening for Pandora