Monday, 22 February 2016

E2B v1.78d Beta available for testing!

The new animation and graphics features in the latest grub4dos version is still not quite fully working (the hotkey utility prevents the infinite-cycle animated GIF-on-menu feature from working), but can at least play a sequence of bitmaps smoothly (and with a transparent background if desired!) before the menu is loaded. You can also define up to 4 STAMPn variables to over-stamp your wallpaper with up to four different 'stamps'. It will also be possible to use different stamps for each menu - for instance, when the AntiVirus menu is loaded, it could show the same background but with an AV logo in the corner of the screen instead of the Main Menu logo. I will detail how to do this later.

Graphics mode + plain background

Also, the MYWBMP variable now can be used to define a pure colour background instead of a bitmap or JPEG file. The value must begin with 0x (zero + lower case x) to be recognised as an RGB fill colour (e.g. 0xFF0000 would be red).

set GMODE=800
# set a plain colour background

Use the 'Quick800' template - for quicker loading.

See \_ISO\docs\Templates\Quick800\MyE2B.cfg for an example of how to load the E2B menu quickly by not loading a large wallpaper bitmap or the large unifont file (for non-English characters) but just using a colour value to fill the screen.

Animation and Stamps

To demo the new Animation and Stamp features, copy the \_ISO\docs\Templates\Animate\MyE2B.cfg file to \_ISO\MyE2B.cfg (or combine it with your existing MyE2B.cfg file).

The demo plays an animation sequence (rotating E2B icon) before loading the menu.
When fully working, it can be made to play in an infinite loop on the menu!

You could combine the Quick800 and Animate MyE2B.cfg files if you wish, to give you a plain wallpaper with up to four 'stamps'.

Puppy and slacko

I also improved the .isopup file extension (in QRUN.g4b) which I found to hang with the latest slacko 6.3.0 version and also I added a Save parameter, so you can now boot any puppy/slacko ISO with Save enabled just by naming it as .isopup (or isopup64 if you only want the menu to be shown on 64-bit systems). There is also a new Sample mnu File for slacko if you want to create your own menu without any user prompts.


The PassPass files have now been added into the E2B download. To use PassPass, you must copy it as directed in the ReadMe file. I have not added it into the menu system because it is in English only and it requires some technical understanding to use it (you need to be aware that it actually permanently modifies a Windows DLL file). PassPass will bypass local Windows User Account password entry - it does not work on domain or 'cloud' accounts or on Windows 10 systems.

Changes so far...

v1.78d changes from v1.77A

  1. New Beta (test) version of grub4dos 0.4.6a.  (/grldr file)
  2. Menu highlight bar is now full width of menu (like 0.4.5c) if background colour is used. If you want only the menu text to be highlighted and not bar across whole screen, see Sample_My2E2B.cfg file for instructions (i.e. use setmenu --highlight-short). 
  3. Russian language files added. 
  4. New TXT_Maker.exe (no comdlg32.ocx dependency). 
  5. .isopup file extension bugfix (prevents hang) + add Save parameter so can bootfrom puppy/slacko ISO with save enabled. 
  6. PassPass in docs folder. \_ISO\docs\Template\Animate template added.
  7. Animation and Stamp features added - see \_ISO\docs\Templates\Animate\MyE2B.cfg
  8. New E2B_Editor v1.0.8 - minor change to auto-select a language when scroll control is used to change language.

MPI Tool Kit 0.063

Note that I have also changed the MPI Tool Kit back to use the old version of 7Zip. Although the latest version of 7Zip was capable of unzipping a wider variety of files, it seems to quite often report an error of 'extra data found' which confuses the user. If you find that the old 7Zip cannot extract the contents of a payload file correctly, I suggest you extract it using IsoBuster to a new folder, and then drag-and-drop that new folder onto the MPI Tool Kit shortcut.

The CSM menu.lst file has also been updated to remove the 'invisible' grub2 menu entry which you may have noticed at the end of some CSM menus.

Note: If your existing .imgPTN files work OK, there is no need to re-make them using the new MPI Tool Kit.

Testing the new menu animation feature

The grub4dos animation feature is very new and does not fully work because the grub4dos hotkey utility stops the animation when the menu is loaded. If you want to see the animation working on a menu, then use the %infinite% variable in the MyE2B.cfg file for the type variable:

set /A type=%infinite% + %trans% > nul

and when the E2B Main menu loads, go to the grub4dos command console and type
hotkey -u
to uninstall the hotkey utility.
Then press ESC and you should see the animation play on the menu!
Note that the animation will constantly access the USB drive to load each frame. On slow systems or with slow USB drives, you may need a shorter delay value.

Have fun!

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