As previewed at the SouthWest show in February, Geminus can now accelerate JPEG rendering on all recent RISC OS hardware (RiscPC, IYONIX pc, A9 Home). In addition to what we previewed in February, we have also added support for JPEG rotation - a feature that the native OS JPEG rendering has never supported.
We see this release as being of great benefit to users who work with images from digital cameras, as JPEG is the preferred format in this area.
Because we intercept calls to the SpriteExtend JPEG plotting SWIs, this means that many applications can make immediate use of the acceleration without modification, and some even allow the use of rotated and transformed (eg. skewed) JPEG images. Just a few of the applications to benefit are: !Draw, !OpenVector, !OvationPro, and !ArtWorks2.
- Decoding and rendering on the IYONIX is about 3 times faster than the RISC OS 5 SpriteExtend module. Other machines also exhibit faster rendering than the RISC OS 4/Select/Adjust SpriteExtend module but the difference is not as great because these versions already have faster JPEG decoding.)
- Decoding and rendering of JPEGs is now performed in USR mode so that audio playback and ShareFS network traffic, for example, will continue even when decoding and rendering large images. (This also allows the code to be Alt-Breaked in the event that an incorrect/corrupted file exposes a flaw in the decoder.)
- Greater robustness against incorrectly coded images. (RISC OS 5 SpriteExtend will often crash the machine if presented with spurious information.)
- A modified version of the 'djpeg' utility will be released as open source code allowing other applications to benefit from the faster JPEG decoding by calling the Geminus module.
- !OpenVector has been updated to allow rotated JPEGs.
As with all our software, a free time-limited demo version is also available for you to "try before you buy"
Existing Geminus (graphics acceleration) users may wish to download the free upgrade to 1.3 to take advantage of a few minor bug-fixes made in that area.
To coincide with this release, a new version of our Open source conversions of OpenVector, DrawPlus and OpenGridPro have been released with support added for rotated JPEGs and other minor enhancements. These are available as a free upgrade for existing users.
The full releases notes for both products can be found here and the updated Geminus manual can be found online here