Weekly Software News – July 15th to 21st


One could think that summer would slow things down. But it’s not ! We still get many updates and releases on Pandora! I see two trends recently: a lot of OpenGL games ported using the excellent libGL from lunixbochs, and lots of good, serious applications to do real stuff with your Pandora apart from simply gaming. There’s even a new distro available. Summer is great.

Software Updates (12)

  • StepMania: some crash fixed in the latest version of this rythm game. 
  • Fade2Black: it’s a new recompilation of the older build we had in the repo. The demo files have been included as well, for those who don’t have the full game. In case you are not familiar with it, F2B was the sequel of Flashback, and it was also a critical and commercial disaster.
  • Bloboats: it has been rebuilt against libGL from lunixbochs, and apparently is now faster than the previous version ! Good news!
  • ResidualVM 0.2.0git: a new version of this Grim Fandango game interpreter (that’s the only game currently well supported), based on the latest git sources. Apparently it works very well but I have yet to test it…
  • Compo4All Manager: this latest version seems to fix the bug where it required C4A Mame to be installed. Now it should be working fine as stand-alone.
  • A7Xpg: this excellent game now has nubs support. I tried it again and it works well, but I am still wondering whether it’s better to play with nubs or simply with the D-pad… mmmm.
  • PARSEC47: now with nubs support and Compo4All support, what else could you be asking for?
  • OpenDyslexic Font: now updated with a monospace font as well.
  • Artha: this excellent dictionary/thesaurus that you can use when reading ebooks among other things is now updated with a function to check for words even if they are misspelled.
  • PPSSPP: update to latest sources, with fixes for PowerVR. I recently noticed that with one of the latest versions PPSSPP is running Lumines almost at full speed on my 1Ghz Pandora. Not bad!
  • Geeqie: this will show up as a new software in the repo but it’s simply an update of a previous build (last one was from 2011) I made while waiting for the maintainer access. It’s a picture viewer program with several functions, and it can play pictures in the same folder as a slideshow.
  • Game Soundtracks: this excellent app now supports some of the latest games released in the past couple of weeks.

New Releases (8)

  • Critical Mass: a very nice Space Invader type of shooter using OpenGL (and libGL on Pandora), but extremely difficult. 
  • Naev: a 2D trading and combat game, very memory hungry, needing a swap file to run properly.
  • Prototype: a very nice shoot’em up a la R-type, using OpenGL again. This one is going right into the Selected Software list!
  • Sage: a huge, free open-source mathematics software, which can be used as an alternative to Matlab Maple or Mathematica. Note that it may not work well on FAT32 SD Cards. Ext2 format is recommended.
  • Ding: a dictionary with many languages supported as well as cross language translation.
  • Primrose: a captivating tile-clearing puzzle game by award-winning independent designer Jason Rohrer. Yeah, that sentence was straight from the repo. I haven’t tried it yet.
  • RetroRadio: kickass comes back after Grabicasa with another nice software to listen to retro-tunes radios online. It’s built with Zenity so don’t expect any fancy interface but it does the job very well !
  • Graphviz: it was mentioned just recently again in my “what software are we missing” list and MarkW just ported it in no time! Good job. It’s a graph visualization software, by the way.

New distribution (1)

  • Bodhi Linux: After Slackware, here’s anew, full Debian-based distribution. Bodhi is relatively well known in the desktop world and it’s yet another opportunity for run a full Linux distribution with proper package management! Note that PNDs do not work with this, so I would recommend using this as a second system. 

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Was Fade2Black really a critical and commercial disaster?

“Fade to Black received a moderately positive critical response.[http://www.gamerankings.com/pc/197286-fade-to-black/index.html] The PlayStation version was a bestseller in the UK, and sold enough copies to go Platinum.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fade_to_Black_(video_game)#Reception