Oz Archives files digitalised and APWin update

30 Dec. 2015 | by Peter Wong

The Problem Magazines and Columns section of this site has been revamped, thanks to the work of Nigel Nettheim. He has digitalised most of the PDF-files on that page with OCR software so that they are now text-searchable. While the search results may not be perfect – it depends on the print quality of the materials originally scanned – this is a very useful function, which you can test by opening any file with the built-in PDF-viewer and pressing ‘Ctrl+F’. Another advantage of the conversion process is that file sizes are reduced, with no noticeable difference in readability. This has allowed Nigel to combine some files to make them more convenient to access. For example, issues of the Australian Chess Problem Magazine, previously provided individually, are now grouped so that you can download a year’s run in a single file.

Paul Wiereyn advises that his program APWin, a graphical interface for the problem-solvers Popeye and Alybadix, has been updated. More features have been added to this excellent tool since it was last covered in the Walkabout column of 4 Aug. 2015. The most notable changes, for me at least, are the addition of the default Popeye solving options and the way solution files are handled. The former means that you can have any solving options, such as “set play” and “try”, already in place when the program starts. The latter change relates to the creation of solution files when a problem is adjusted and solved again. Now the program overwrites the existing solution file instead of creating a new one; this is a return to the behaviour of earlier versions of APWin and one which I much prefer. There is a clever mechanism to avoid accidentally deleting a solution you want to keep – the file being overwritten is automatically copied to another place as a backup.

To download APWin and also see a full list of its features and recent changes, visit its site here. Sadly this will be the last version of APWin. Paul indicates that this project has taken much of his spare time over the last few years, so it’s understandable that he wishes to move on. I’d like to thank Paul for writing such a helpful program and making it available for free.

To finish for the year, here’s a “Puzzle” from xkcd.