Blazing Paddles. (evaluation)
Blazing Paddles is an effort to create a color MacPaint-like drawing program for the Apple II and Commodore 64. For the most part, the program lives up to its name--easy-to-use and very fast.
A "main menu" of icons surrounds the screen, leaving a central windown into your drawing. When you choose one icon, all disappear and you drawing fills the screen. The function triggered by the icon remains in effect until you go back to the main menu and choose another.
The program reproduces many of the MacPaint functions, including outline and filled boxes and ovals, automatic straight lines, contiguous lines, different brush sizes, spraypaint, dots, "fat bits" zoom, undo, paste, and a variety of sizes and fonts for text. The difference is in the color. You can choose up to 200 "textured hues" and work them into your drawing. All functions perofrm admirably. Input devices include a mouse, joystick, graphics tablet, and light pen.
The big disappointment is the alleged "cut and paste" function. You cannot "cut" a portion of the drawing. You can replicate a portion all over the screen, but to cut it, you must go back to the main menu and paste the background color over the unwanted portion. Baudville rpogrammer David Walker notes that when this last feature was added to the program, no room was left for full-cut capabilities. The result is that putting things on screen is a lot easier than taking them off.
The zoom function, which lets you draw with individual pixels, becomes ornery when you try to place certain color combinations together. This quirk of the 6502 hardware can make life miserable for pixel perfectionists.
Drawings are saved to disk and may be recalled at any time and patched into different pictures. Over a dozen printers are supported, including some color printers.
Overall, Blazing Paddles does a commendable job of bringing MacPaint to the Apple II and C64. It is fast, easy-to-use, and a lot of fun.
Products: Blazing Paddles (Computer graphics software)