November '98 News Items

Personal Media to Market B-right/V Upgrade in December

Personal Media Corporation has announced that it plans to put on sale in December 1998 an upgrade of its 32-bit BTRON-specification operating system, B-right/V. The upgrade, B-right/V Release 1.1, will be offered at the same price as the current version, 40,000 yen (consumption tax not included), and will offer the following features:

(1) Expansion of the IBM-PC/AT-compatible models it runs on

Release 1.1 has been engineered for compatibility with a greater number of main units, graphics cards, and PC cards in comparison to the current release, Release 1.010.

(2) A functon to modify the key layout

This is a function to change the physical layout of the keyboard in response to requests from users who have found hitting particular keys difficult on certain hardware, such as notebook computers.

(3) Character input support for European languages

Release 1.010 currently has input accessories for Chinese and Korean. In Release 1.1, European character input accessories will be added, which will make it possible to input Latin characters and symbols, including special alphabets, through conversion operations. Both the key layout and conversion candidates can be customized, and it is possible to express over 100 languages in writing using the accessories.

In addition, templates optimized for inputting the following languages have been included in Release 1.1.

(4) Screen saver function

A screen saver function has been added that can be freely programmed with the MicroScript programming.

(5) Support for a power management function

Release 1.1 supports a power management function based on the Advanced Power Management (APM) standard. This function detects when the computer is idle and lowers power consumption, which is particularly useful with notebook computers.

Note: This function may not work on all IBM-PC/AT comptibles.

(6) Simple telnet, ftp functions

In order to strengthen LAN functions, subsets of telenet and ftp functions have been added.

(7) Free software and free data from 1B series

Highly acclaimed free software and free data that first appeared on the 16-bit BTRON-specification 1B series has been added to Release 1.1.

Personal Media to Provide Provisional B-right/V Software Development Environment

Personal Media Corporation announced on Friday, November 27, 1998, that it would provide its current in-house B-right/V software development environment free of charge to interested parties as a result of strong demand. Although Metrowerks Inc.'s CodeWarrior development environment, which is still under development, is eventually scheduled to become the official software development environment for B-right/V, the company said it is releasing its "B-right/V GNU-based Software Developer's Kit for SPARC Solaris" (BV-GSDK) in the interim--in particular to meet the need of firms that would like to "utilize B-right/V in embedded control applications." (See here for a related material.)

Those wishing access to BV-GSDK must first join the B-right/V GNU-based Software Developer's Party" (BV-GSDP), which costs nothing. Both individuals and corporations are welcome to join, and development of software products is not mandatory. However, those joining BV-GSDP must agree to and/or take note of the following conditions.

(1) Personal Media will not officially support BV-GSDK, but it will establish a BV-GSDP members mailing list so that developer can exchange information with each other.

(2) Membership is limited to officially registered B-right/V users.

(3) BV-GSDK includes environments both for the development of B-right/V software applications and device drivers.

(4) BV-GSDK runs on SPARC-based platforms that use Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Solaris operating system, and hence users must accept full responsibility when porting it to other platforms. (For those wishing to use it on IBM-PC/AT compatibles, it would be easiest to port it to Solaris x86.)

(5) BV-GSDK will be provided solely via ftp from Personal Media's server, which BV-GSDP members will be able to access with a password. It will not be provided on floppy disks, a CD-ROM, or tape.

(6) The documentation attached to BV-GSDK is provisional, and hence it will be necessary to read in parallel BTRON1 puroguramingu hyoojun handobukku [BTRON1 programming standard handbook], which is published by Personal Media.

(7) BV-GSDK documentation and header files contain lots of provisional contents, so BV-GSDP members must agree not to reprint or redistribute information they gain access to.

(8) It is acceptable to distribute to the general public program object code developed using BV-GSDK. Commercialization is also acceptable in principle, but Personal Media would like to be consulted beforehand. However, making program source code publicly available is not acceptable, since this violates condition (7) above.

Those wishing to join BV-GSDP will have to submit an application form, which can be obtain by accessing the following URL:

Chinese Developer Delegation Visits to the TRON Association

The TRON Association reported that a four person delegation of Chinese software developers led by the China National Computer Software & Technology Service Corporation (CS&S) visited its offices on November 12, 1998. CS&S, which is the leading software firm in China, signed a memorandum of intent to cooperate with the TRON Project in 1996. Its visit to the TRON Association was in keeping with that memorandum.

During the meeting at the TRON Association, the Chinese delegation, which also included two executives from a Bejing-based software firm, discussed the latest software intitatives in China. CS&S related that it had signed an initiative with Compaq Computer Corporation of the U.S. to jointly develop a 64-bit version of the UNIX operating system called COSIX--a Chinese nation-supported UNIX. The new operating system will be based on Compaq's Digital UNIX technology and will be targeted at high-end processors, such as Digital's Alpha and Intel Corp.'s IA-64. (For more information click here.)

The TRON Association related the latest developments in the ITRON, BTRON, and CTRON subprojects. It presented the Chinese side with a copy of the English translation of the micro-ITRON3.0 specificaiton, reported on the results of a survey of ITRON-specification OS share and use, plus the current status of the micro-ITRON4.0 specificaiton, JTRON, TCP/IP application program interfaces (APIs) for ITRON. The TRON Association also expressed its desire for cooperation in developing the BTRON-specification operating system into a standard East Asian operating system, and it introduced a proposal for developing a CTRON-based "multimedia network service platform."

B-right/V is a registered trademark of Personal Media Corporation.