Monday, 16 April 2012

GP2X OHH program list 3c - Applications: Misc Apps (part 3 of 3)

This has taken... um... a while, hasn't it? Still, I really have done it now! Here is the last part of the "Misc Apps" program list. I was originally intending to go on to another category after this, but we'll have to see how it goes. I have a game review to write yet, for one thing!

OHH GP2X archive - Applications: Misc Apps

Click the link above to go to the contents page for this section on, which gives rather more details for each file, and a screenshot for many. This list is intended more as a quick reference, for those who just want to scan what's available. Note that I haven't generally commented on a program's quality or completeness.

sbagen: create binaural beats
sdlmore-0.2.tar.gz: draws command-line output with SDL
SigGen try1: signal generator
Skin installer: copy skins from SD to the GP2X
Skin2x: manage your skins
Sleep: add sleep/hibernate facility to the console
SnowCatch - Screensaver - GP2X: screensaver/demo
Speaker Toggle: turn speaker on and off
Speaker Toggle (new firmwares): as above, for "new"(!) fw 1.4+
STerm 0.6.1 : terminal emulator

termula2x 0.2.1: another terminal emulator
Textreader: just what it says
timer: simple on-screen timer
Timer Skins: skins for the above
TinySDGL for gp2x: graphics library; includes gears
TioTest: SD I/O benchmark
Tv on: enable TV-out mode; can be autorun
txtcon: convert newline codes; fixes Gutenberg files
USB Host networking for GP2X: connect a CDC Ethernet device (needs cradle etc)
Viewer4DM (Viewer for Dictionary & Mp3): text viewer with music support

VNC Server for GP2X (F200 TS emulation): networking tool
VNCServer 2x: as above without F200/touchscreen support
Wget: content retrieval tool
Wireless USB toolkit: connect to open networks with an RT2570 dongle
xReader: Spanish-language text reader
Xreader 2beta: mutilingual version of the above
Xynth: very early GUI
Z-nCarder: text-viewer, primarily for Russian
zgv2x: image viewer

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Back again

I've been off on my Easter holidays, hence the brief absence. My to-do list now includes the following:

1) Continue the list of programs. No, honestly I will! Apart from anything else, I want to get the "Misc Apps" list over and done with.

2) Review another game. I've been playing one particular title a lot over the break, so that will be my choice.

3) Ramble on vaguely about anything I like, since it's not as if I have an audience or anything here...

Monday, 2 April 2012

A couple of things

1) Yes, I am still going to carry on with the list of programs from the OHH site. The pause is for reasons entirely unconnected with 2XGB, or even the GP2X. I will be getting back to it!

2) On the (hugely unlikely) offchance that anyone other than me actually reads this these days, please do feel free to suggest games you'd like to see reviewed.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

New game: Sqrxz 3 - Adventure for Love

Retroguru has uploaded a new Jump and Run game to the OHH archive: Sqrxz 3 - Adventure for Love is (surprisingly enough) the third in the Sqrxz series, and sees the titular hero collecting rings to try to save his kidnapped girlfriend Yve. Not perhaps the most original plot in history, but then this developer is trying to be retro! The GP2X port is by Pickle.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Game review: Sponge Blob Tennis

Sponge Blob Tennis
Genre: Sport
Author: Michel Rouzic ("A_SN")
OHH download: v0.1 "FBAX2007" (12/07/07)
Size: 3.0 MB
Licence: Freeware

Sponge Blob Tennis is, to my knowledge, the only (non-emulated) tennis game available for the GP2X, so it's a relief that it's quite a well designed program. As its name implies, you control a cuboid spongy blob, and whack a ball back and forth over an isometric tennis court. The game implements most of the basic features of tennis, though not tie-breaks. Notably, it runs smoothly at CPU speeds as low as 80 MHz, making it excellent for battery-powered sessions on the bus or train.

Addictiveness: 8
This is not an easy game to get started with, because of the difficulty of visualising the ball's movement in three dimensions on an isometric court. However, there's a real feeling of satisfaction that comes with even scoring your first point, let alone the much harder task of winning a game. I like tennis games anyway, so perhaps I'm biased, but I think Sponge Blob Tennis has what it takes to keep you coming back for more.

Depth: 6
More complex tennis games can have a great deal of depth, but this one is just too simple to score any higher. The main thing to learn is how to use jumps, which depending on your position cause either lobs or smashes. You also have to deal with the fact that the shape of your blob changes as you move -- you can be long and thin, or short and fat, or something in between! The game starts with both blobs AI-controlled; you can take charge of one or both.

Controls: 5
I found these rather fiddly. A and Y toggle AI/human control for left and right blobs. If you choose to control the left blob (and have the right one AI-controlled) you use the joystick to move and left trigger to jump. If you control the right blob, it's X and B to move and right trigger to jump. You're allowed to use (for example) joystick and right trigger, but what you can't do is use joystick and B, which would be my preferred combination. With two players, things get a bit cramped, but that's to be expected. Serving is always automatic, for both AI and human players.

Graphics: 9
I really like the look of Sponge Blob Tennis. It has a very attractive, old-school console, appearance that I think suits the GP2X perfectly. The design of the tennis court is thoughtful, with mown grass, a clubhouse behind the court, a useful digital scoreboard, and so on. It's been thought about right down to the flowers around the edge, and the colours are bright and cheerful. There's a lot to like here.

Sound: N/A
There isn't any.

Documentation: 7
Considering the unfinished nature of the program (see below), not too bad. There's a readme that explains the general principles behind the game, which has slightly uneven English in a few spots but is fairly easily understood; and the control guide that appears if you press Select is comprehensive and reasonably clear.

One bizarre line from the credits in the readme: "Original idea and artwork : An italian artist whose name I ignore (" I suspect "ignore" is a mistranslation into English, as it's a weird thing to say otherwise.

Completeness: 6
Sponge Blob Tennis is rough around the edges, as its 0.1 version number would suggest, but it's a playable game even as it is, and it can be good fun. What might have been, though... with better AI, sound, manual serving and tie-breaks, this could perhaps have become one of the truly great GP2X games.

Overall: 7
This was a tricky game to rate, because it has so obviously been left unfinished, but what is there -- especially the graphics -- is quite polished. I would recommend Sponge Blob Tennis, so long as you don't download it under the illusion that what you're getting will be a fully-fledged tennis sim. As Rouzic says in the readme, it's really more of a cross between tennis and Pong.

Friday, 16 March 2012

GP2X OHH program list 3b - Applications: Misc Apps (part 2 of 3)

Right then; here's part two of the Misc Apps section, at long last. Unfortunately the OHH archive is a bit of a mess in this category, with a lot of near-duplication. I haven't attempted to untangle things; just listed what's there. Part 3 of this list will be along in a week or two.

OHH GP2X archive - Applications: Misc Apps

Click the link above to go to the contents page for this section on, which gives rather more details for each file, and a screenshot for many. This list is intended more as a quick reference, for those who just want to scan what's available. Note that I haven't generally commented on a program's quality or completeness.

GP2xOpenSSH: port of OpenSSH 4.3p2 client and server
GP2Xpdf: PDF viewer
GPmark GP2X: graphics benchmark
Gprss and Getrss: offline RSS reader and download tool
Graffiti: load a JPG and scribble on it
Grafx2 - The Ultimate 256-color painting program: bitmap-based graphics app
GReader2X: improved ebook reader
gshot: save screenshots of GP2X programs
gshot Sourcecode: source of the above
HDPARM 4 GP2X: SD card tester

Hotkey: background daemon; launches app on specified button combination
Icon starter pack for GP2X: collection of menu icons
Interactive Messageboard 2.0: bulletin board for DOSBox
J2ME PhoneME cli_install script: command-line installation for J2ME
J2ME PhoneME for GP2X: allows some Java games to run
J2ME PhoneME for GP2X v0.2: updated version of the above
JoyTest: tests joystick configuration
KdiTor: text editor
KdiTor: slightly newer version of the above [yes, same title!]
LCD Pixel Fixer: unstick stuck pixels

libncurse 5.7: ncurses library; uses Open2x toolchain
Links Web Browser: basic browser
Links Web Browser for GP2X: newer version of the above
lrzsz (ZModem): serial-based file transfer utility
Mandelbrot: fractal pattern viewer
Map2X 0.0.6 for GP2X: simple navigation app; uses Google Maps data
Map2X 0.0.6 for Windows: as above, but for Windows
Map2X : traduction francaise: French text for Map2x
Map2X: Traduzione italiana: Italian text for Map2x port of Midnight Commander; use telnet

Mount Nand FW3.0: enables the NAND to be mounted with older firmware
movie history remover: delete history of films watched
msmtp: send mails to server via STMP
nano2x: console-based text editor; use telnet
Network(RNDIS) over USB driver & Samba Server: custom kernel; beware!
New bluetooth modules and scripts for GP2X: what it says!
Notes2x: text editor
Open2X Image Viewer: picture viewer; based on o2xiv
PDFView : view PDF files
Pocket Flash Gp2x: basic Flash player (up to v7, without sound)

pv2x: image slideshow
pyBrush: simple drawing program
pyDiskUsage-fw2.0 : check free space in NAND and SD card
Qtopia F200 1.0.1: port of the PDA desktop
Qtopia on GP2X Test Version: older version of the above
RamHack Utility: tweak to increase your GP2X's speed
Rhapsody2x: command-line IRC client
Rhapsody2x: newer version of the above[yes, same title!]
rsvp4gp2x: Rapid Serial Visual Presentation

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Progress on the program list

Yes, things have gone a little quiet, but I'm still beavering away at the "Misc Apps" section, and I would hope to have the next part of the program list up in no more than a week from now. I want to do at least one more review in the meantime, though.