Free Multipage Icon Editor found

I downloaded the greenfish icon editor and was able to create a new icon for uwin/sh in minutes, combining it with the original 16x16 into a single file. On the desktop and in explorer uwin/ksh now shows the 32x32 icon, while the title bar still displayes the smaller one.

Mission accomplished

The files have been updated.


A new little icon for the UWIN ksh console

I've been using the korn shell for over twenty years now. Not only on solaris/opensolaris, but I also use it on windows, through the Uwin project, a port of the ast toolkit - a portable set of all standard unix tools, including the shell, but also nawk and the usual cat,sed,tr, list of tools.

Today, I finally created an icon for the UWIN shell console - the original icon, with the letters UWIN in bright colours is not displayed on the console window title bar. It is too large, and the title bar reverts to the standard C:\ icon.

I never paid much attention to it, but tonight I figured out the issue - the title bar icon should be no larger than 16x16 pixels. Once I realised that, a new fitting icon was created quickly, and here it is:

Yes, it's tiny. It's also just what I want for the shell window in my windows quick launch toolbar.

Here's a bigger view of the design. Getting the dollar sign sharp at three pixels wide was a bit of a challenge, but I was quite satisfied.

There's a zip here with the icon as a windows .ico, plus the .png above, and the development version with an odd colour in the background, which can easily be turned transparant when you save with Irfanview.

I've modeled the icon after the 16x16 Windows CMD icon. That is, I've used the measurements of the frame, although the pixels are mine.

Author: Henk Langeveld, shell icon, Oct 2008: zip
Copyleft: This is a free work, you can copy, distribute, and modify it under the terms of the Free Art License http://artlibre.org/licence/lal/en/

In addition, the files can be distributed under the Common Public License

Windows actually uses multi-page ICO files. For the title bar and toolbars it'll look for a 16x16 bitmap or substitute another icon of that size. For the desktop it will use the largest icon available. Does anyone know of a simple method of combining icons in a single file? Free tools preferred. I did see a method using Photoshop, which seems a bit of overkill...


Chimps, elephants, and now magpies...

Last year I attended the Tinbergen Lecture in Leiden, where prof Frans de Waal told us about his research on animal behaviour. He is well known for his work with chimps, but he also reported how they were finally able to demonstrate Mirror Self Recognition behaviour with Elephants. Previous attemps had failed, apparently because testers had been using small mirrors, which would not have large enough for an elephant to even see a significant portion of itself.

Now the same test has been performed with birds - magpies to be precise - not by de Waal, but he comments on it at PloS: doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060201.
He explains the significance of the test: It's not about intelligence or about the concept of self-identity as such, but a side-effect of the species developing stronger social skills. Primates, elephants and magpies all have complex social lives and that requires them to be be able to distinguish each other and put oneself in another's position to understand them.

And who knows what they think about each other...
And that's what Dave Kellet thought as well.