Saturday, 25 July 2015

E2B v1.72BetaG

The latest Beta of E2B has a few tweaks to cope with the latest changes in grub4dos 0.4.6a.
E2B v1.72BetaG does NOT contain this latest version of grub4dos.

The latest grub4dos 0.4.6a versions have a few new features (and bugs!):

  1. Support .jpg files for splashimages (wallpaper/background images)
  2. New setmenu command to position the menu (with or without border)
  3. Change to color command (colour for 'Notes' can be defined separately)
  4. New  echo -v command which displays the version number

Support of jpg files will be really great for E2B (the latest version of E2B_Editor in the E2B download allows you to load .jpg files as well as .bmp files).

Try it!

The 1.72BetaG does not contain this new version of grub4dos. If you want to try the new grub4dos version and try loading a jpg wallpaper file, then you can download it from here (latest is the 2015-07-24 version).

Download the ZIP file and copy the grldr file to the root of your E2B USB drive to overwrite the original one.

You can either use a MyE2B.cfg file to specify the name of your .jpg background file, or simply name it \_ISO\MyBackground.bmp.

However, there are some problems currently with the latest 2015-07-24 version:

JPEG problems

1. You must use 100% Best Quality .jpg files (these are much larger than 95% quality jpg files). Those made with MSPaint will therefore not work because these are saved as standard 95% quality and you cannot change that in MSPaint.

An easy way to convert your jpeg to '100% Best Quality' is to go to this web page , upload a .bmp file (for best quality use a .bmp file if possible, but you can upload a .jpg file) and then select 'Best Quality', and download the new file.

2. You cannot load a second jpeg file (it crashes grub4dos!). This means that it won't currently support E2B menus that use more than one jpg wallpaper.

Setmenu command

Previously, the menu position was changed using one of two grub4dos batch files written by chenall. E2B used 'menusetting.gz' but there was also 'menuset'. Both of these worked by changing internal variables in grub4dos and they worked on both 0.4.5c and 0.4.6a versions (up until 0.4.6a 2015-07-09).

Now, if you try to use these batch files on the latest 0.4.6a, you get a horrible mess on the screen! So I use the new setmenu command in E2B if I detect the new 0.4.6a version is being used.

The new setmenu command also brings in the concept of  menu-entry help text 'Notes' (the text that appears below the menu) which is defined by the title command  (e.g. title aaaa \n menu-entry help text here) and menu command/cursor up-down key help text 'Helptext' (e.g. 'Press b to boot') that used to appear at the bottom of the menu only when no \n was used in the menu 'title' command.

In the new grub4dos, the \n no longer suppresses the menu command help text - this must be done using the setmenu --help-off command. The colour and position of both the 'Notes' menu-entry help text and the menu command help text can also now be individually defined by the setmenu and color commands.

    'Notes' in red and command 'Helptext' in green.

The menu helptext can now be switched to Chinese instead of English, using a setmenu command.

Also, the menu timeout countdown counter is now displayed at the extreme right hand side of the selected menu line now, and not at the bottom of the screen (so it can obscure the menu text in some cases!).

So there are a few problems which hopefully will be fixed by yaya/chenall soon.

The most serious problem, to my mind, is that if anyone currently uses 'menuset' or 'menusetting.gz' in their own grub4dos menu system, the new version of 0.4.6a will be totally incompatible and they will have to re-write their menu system code!

You can view the current issues here.