During the 13th Sinclair QL user’s italian meeting, Quantum Technology introduced the latest version of Black Phoenix. This is a QL distribution totally made in Italy, which gained last year a growing interest among people.
Black Phoenix 1.3.2, code name “Adelchi”, shows immediatly several changes in its welcome screen; the first thing to leap out is the presence on the desktop (located below and right) of the brand new WiQget set. Produced by Quantum Technology, it provides information about system and common use functions accessible with a simple click. Ideed each WiQget works also as “launcher”.
Watching the “button frame” we also notice that almost everything has changed; almost the whole buttons have been replaced. This is the second big innovation by Quantum Technology which, toghether with Black Phoenix, presents a second program suite. They are the Active Buttons, a set of small programs that neatly place themselves in the button frame following the order decided by the user.
Each button, like the WiQget as we just talked about, works also as “launcher”. The way these Active Buttons changes automatically their dimensions as the video resolution changes is a very interesting and particular feature.
The main new feature of this version are the brand-new extended themes.
To understand what an extended theme is we need to make a step back and understand what is a “not extended theme”. In QL environment the word “theme” is used to indicate a particular combination of colours used to set the system palette. This colours combination is stored in a file with “.thm” extension, from which comes the name “theme”.
The Extended Themes resume and amplify this initial concept and work to set up every aspect of your screen, starting from the desktop wallpaper, desktop icons, system fonts and much more.
Each extended theme produces on your desktop a random background image which automatically adapts to your screen resolution and to the selected color depth. The icons on the desktop will adapt to the theme by shape and colour, as the system fonts and other graphics aspects of your desktop.
Every single extended theme shows four chromatic variations of their color scheme so the user can choose which variation to adopt for each application.
During extended themes development it has been take care of the retrocompatibility of the themes themselves. They will automatically adapt to the color’s depth chosen and are able to work also in mode 4.
All themes are configurable with the “theme manager”, which you can find inside the “sistem managment menu”. Other themes can be downloaded for free from Quantum Technology website (www.sinclair-ql.it).
Furthermore in the new distribution the Xchange package has been improved; it has been included the MaQgnifier program (written by Dilwyn Jones) for easy reading, and added QLTERM program for telnet access.
The codename “Adelchi” has been chosen to remember our friend and QL user Adelchi Moscardini who recently left us.