Info, suggestions and comments
This section contains some useful pieces of
information regarding the MM Screensaver and its drawings.
Which models I would like to see...
Some of you sent me your pictures, and some now appear in the picture collection, so
... go on this way!
Even if you are afraid your picture is not so good, it's generally easier for me to improve an existing picture than to build it from the beginning.
There are many models that I probably never paint, because I do not know them enough or I have other models I want to do first. In particular, I would be glad to find pictures for the following locos and vehicles:
You have spare parts with H0 models: why shouldn't you have them with virtual models?
Simply use them if you need...
685 wheelset with connecting rods
685 wheelset (four phases)
E.431 wheelset (two phases)
E.554 wheelset (two phases)
E.428 driving wheels (with rubber blocks' transmission)
(I've started offering wheels because they are a bit difficult to copy from a complete loco)
Colors, filenames and other things
Per i lettori italiani: spiegazioni simili a quelle contenute in questo paragrafo si trovano qui.
During last months, many of you had to face the problem of selecting the color
depth of your pictures - but it is a simple problem!
Windows bitmaps are of four different types:
The file size is proportional to the bits used, so that a 256-colour file has a double
size that a 16-colour, and a 24 bit image is three times a 256 one.
As each colour is identified by tree values (red, green and blue), each ranging between 0 and 255, only a 24 bit image can contain all possible colours (note that 2563 = 224). But if you use less colours, you can introduce a
Thus, a 24 bit image is never required.
The last problem is which colours use: MM screensaver suggest you to use only the colours contained in the colors.bmp palette. This lets your pictures work even if you have an old 256 colour graphic card, and is therefore recommended. But colors.bmp actually contains only 170 colours ... so you have the possibility to define some extra colours, without exceeding the 256 limit. For example, in my E.428 I've added a couple of Isabella shades, to better suggest the curve surfaces. (to be completely precise, a 256 colour card limits user colours to 236, because the last 20 are reserved by Windows)
For my drawings I use the old (good) Paint Shop Pro 3, which permits
to manage all what I've described. The only problem is that, when you decrease color
depth, it "rounds" the colours to similar values (why? I don't know); anyway,
you can always load manually the desired palette - for example that of colors.bmp, which
You can download a shareware copy of PSP 3 from here.
There are three different types of web pages (at least at an elementary level):
My web site uses many ASP pages, which allow me to run scripts on the server. This
means that there is no page, stored on the server, which contains what you see, for
example, in the "locomotives" section. What actually is stored is, on one hand,
an empty template (the ASP page), with bookmarks for images, text and so on; on the other
hand there is a simple text file (that I produce with Microsoft Access) containg all the
"data" I have to show. The Visual Basic Script embedded in the template builds
the page dynamically when you retrieve it: this makes the updating of a web site
much easier, and also allows me to use the same template for different languages.
ASP scripts are quite easy and very useful. If you think they could help you in constructing your site, I can send you the source for this site (you'll only have the problem of facing ... Italian comments!)
You would like to customize even more your PC with the MM screensaver? Follow these
Save this picture as "OEMLOGO.BMP"
Be sure to save it as bitmap (not GIF), and put it in your Windows/System
Then copy these lines:
[general] Manufacturer=PC of [put your name here] Model= [Support Information] Line1=MM Screensaver by Martin and Manfred Meyer Line2=FS E.428 by Giorgio Stagni Line3=
Put them in a new file called "oeminfo.ini" in your Windows/System directory
Click on "My computer" and select the System tab: your MM screensaver is even there!
For experts: bitmap must be 160 x 120 and uses the bottom left pixel for "transparency".
That's all. By now...