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Alive 3

Spice up your winframe, the natural way!

In  a shock second appearance in the same issue of the reviews  section
of  a well known diskmag,  the Swedish crew Nature,  are bringing their
own particular brand of excellence to these pages once again.

This time, rather than the slick thrills, of another game such as 'Aces
High', Nature venture into the world of GEM-style utility thingies, and
not too unsuccessfully either.

This comes courtesy of InSTream,a man with a mission to brighten up his
MagiC  desktop,  as  he is seeking to eradicate the boring grey  window
frames that have sent many an unsuspecting Atari user to sleep.  He has
picked  on  MagiC  5 and above,  and machines (including the  MagiC  PC
emulator!?)  capable  of higher resolutions from  Truecolour,  down  to
sixteen  colours,  which  is  a reasonably wide  range  of  potentially
interested people.  The choice may not be dogmatically limited to MagiC
users either, as I'll explain a bit later on.

What  Natframe  does,  very simply,  is to replace the dull grey window
frames  of a standard MagiC Desktop,  with pre-supplied or user-defined
textures.  This  enhances  the aesthetic experience of a typical  MagiC
desktop no end, and if you wait a bit, I'll see if I can come up with a
screengrab to illustrate the point.

Natframe  replaces  the  part of MagiC that draws  the  window  frames.
Installation instructions  tell you to locate certain files  within the
main part of MagiC,and are simple enough to follow. You then add in the
extra important bits, which are the textures or themes. Nature are good
enough  to supply a  couple with  v1.0b,  which are a stony theme, or a
sleekly shaded rhapsody in blue!

You  might  like to know that there is a frame designer as  well,  with
step  by step instructions how to put a new theme together.  It assumes
that  you do sort of know what you are doing,  when you are making  the
texture in the first place.

Natframe  isn't restricted to a purist Magxdesk approach either,  it is
quite happy with Jinnee (as this author can verify!) and may well  work
with  NAES 2.0,  which may give the Mint boys a way into using Natframe
as well?

So what use is it?  Well not a lot really,  but it does seem to add new
life and freshness to a frankly over-familiar desktop, at the cost of a
smallish download. Natframe is a neat way to put a new coat of paint on
your  window frames,  and make your computer look that little bit  more
individual and special than the rest!

CiH for Alive! magazine - Jan '01

Alive 3