COW 3.00 Release notes

This file contains the most recent changes to the COW client, with example .xtrekrc options to deal with them, and the clips from the documentation that explain them. If you're upgrading from an old version of COW, this file should make it a painless experience.

Change Log

3.00 pl0 Feb. 28, 1998
- full color client [kellen]
- metaserver defaults to: [sven]
- new cow mailing list alias: [sven]
- 32 views color pixmaps [Shawn]
-- recording feature [koconnor]
- KDE sound support (.wav files) [siegl]
- Tab key fixes  [koconnor]
- OpenVMS fixes [cameron]
- Auto upgrade via netscape [siegl]
- whydead message fixes [siegl]
- GMP 2 key generator fix [siegl]

Cut and past changes to make COW work like it used to.

3.00 pl0

The "-b" option disables the use of color pixmaps by the client.

Cut and past changes to turn on *all* new features.

3.00 pl0

All new .xtrekrc entrys with defaults are:
#       backgroundPix: 1
#       cloakPix: 1
#       explosionPix: 1
#       fedPix: 1
#       indPix: 1
#       kliPix: 1
#       mapPix: 1
#       oriPix: 1
#       romPix: 1
#       shipPix: 1
#       weaponPix: 1

New manual sections

3.00 pl0


     The "-b" option disables the use of color pixmaps by the client.

   3.2  Pixmaps  (Full Color COW)

     With the release of COW 3.00, dynamic color images are available.  No
color images have been compiled into the client, so without the additional
files (described below) the client will behave as before.

   3.2.1  Setup

     The xpm files should be available at the same site from which you got
the client, in a file named pixmaps.tgz (PIXMAPS.ZIP for windows users).


     It should create a subdirectory named "pixmaps" which should have several
(obviously named) subdirectories.  There should be several XPM files in each
(except for Planets, which has a further subdirectory).  UNIX users will see
that they are gzipped to save space.  You do NOT need to ungzip them unless
you do not have gzip on your machine.


     You need to add a line to your .xtrekrc telling the client where to look
for the pixmaps.  If you do not, it will assume that they are in a subdirectory
of the directory you are in when you start the client.  The option is called
"pixmapDir".  Tilde and environment variables WILL NOT WORK.  Relative paths
will only work if you always start netrek from the same directory.

     You should be ready to rock and roll.  Fire it up.  You may see some
warnings about not being able to read some pixmaps.  Some of the pixmaps
that the client looks for haven't been drawn yet.  Feel free to make your
own set.  OTOH, if you see any lines which read


it means that none of a certain type of pixmap were found.  Check to make sure
that the pixmaps are where you told it to look.  If they are, and you are on
a UNIX system, you may not have gzip installed.  Go get it from any GNU mirror
and either install it or use it to ungzip the XPM files.

   3.2.2  Configuration

     In addition to simply creating your own XPMs with a paint program, you
may want greater control over the pictures used.  For example, you may find
the explosions are too pretty, and you are dying because you forgot to dodge.
The crude approach is to just remove that pixmap.  The client will default back
to the standard bitmaps in this case.

     The more elegant approach is to turn off just those pixmaps you don't
like and keep the rest.  This also allows you to switch back and forth WITHOUT
having to exit and restart.  So if the machine you are playing on is busy
today, you can turn off the pixmaps until things improve, then switch back to
full color without losing your 5 kills.

     Pixmaps can be turned on or off in groups on the new "Pixmap Menu" in the
options window (shift-O).  Each line in the window also corresponds to an
.xtrekrc resource which you can use to set the initial values.  If one type
of pixmaps is not available, you will be unable to turn on that option.

     resource name          default      description

       indPix                on      \
       fedPix                on       |  Control whether or not the XPMs
       romPix                on       |  for the ships of a given team
       kliPix                on       |  should be used
       oriPix                on      /

       weaponPix             on          Torps and plasmatorps & their clouds
       explosionPix          on          ship and starbase explosions
       cloakPix              on          fade-in/-out and cloak icon
       mapPix                on          Color Planet icons on galactic
                                         (replaces the "colorgalactic" option)

       backgroundPix         on          Background stars & genocide/gb images
                                         (replaces the "babes" option)

       ownerhalo             off         Draws a colored ring around each
                                         planet on the galactic

as a convenience, the option "shipPix" may be used to control all of the
ship XPMs in one line.

         +         POWER USERS                                        +
         +                                                            +
         +  The MegaResource "pixFlags" can be used in your .xtrekrc  +
         +  to save a bit of typing.  Simply bitwise OR together the  +
         +  things you want turned off:                               +
         +                                                            +
         +       0x0001    IND pixmaps                                +
         +       0x0002    FED pixmaps                                +
         +       0x0004    ROM pixmaps                                +
         +       0x0008    KLI pixmaps                                +
         +       0x0010    ORI pixmaps                                +
         +                                                            +
         +       0x0020    Weapons                                    +
         +       0x0040    Explosions                                 +
         +       0x0080    Cloaking                                   +
         +       0x0100    Galactic Map Planet Icons                  +
         +                                                            +
         +       0x0400    Backgrounds                                +
         +                                                            +
         +       0x1000    Halos                                      +
         +                                                            +
         +  so, for exaple, no halos and no explosions would be       +
         +  specified as:  (0x1040=4160)                              +
         +                                                            +
         +    pixFlags:  4160                                         +
         +                                                            +
         +                                                            +
         +  (Note that this OVERRIDES all the other resources)        +

     If you hate them all, you can either set the "pixmapDir" to "None" or
start the client with the -b (bitmap only) command line option.  Then go ahead
and delete all of the XPMS.  Go ahead.  We don't mind at all.  It's not like
we put any WORK into this ...  :,-(

   3.2.3  Babes/M31 and Generalized Backgrounds

     Gone.  You can put up any picture you like when you GENO, GB, or just
enter or hit shift-K.  Just specify the genocide.xpm, ghostbust.xpm and/or
hello.xpm.  It's really none of my business what you look at in your off time.

     Absolutely no picture will be shown if you do not have an XPM in the
specified place.  It didn't belong in the client in the first place.


     And BTW, the ' key (quote) has the default action of retiling your local
and galactic windows with the normal background (either black or your specified
pixmap) to repair the damage done by the other possible pix.

   3.2.4  AGRI pixmaps and FEATURE_PACKETS

     The client shows a different pixmap for AGRI planets than all others.
This was announced, voted on and overwhelmingly adopted (80%+ in favor). But
JUST IN CASE, this option can be disabled at the server by use of the
feature packet "AGRI_PIXMAP".

     Users can choose to remove the AGRI.xpm file.  The client will default
to using the regular planet pixmap if it is missing.

Changes details

For further information check:
Comments, suggestions and bug reports to