File Downloads



024 (13MB)

A 3D module player that uses
red/green 3D-glasses to diplay
music syncrosized 3D blocks,
moving in and out of the screen.
Check it out ! ,,,,,
A2R v1.00 - Ansi to Rip conversion
utility. Converts ANSI screens to
RIP format for use with new RIP
standard terminals. Fully functional
user supported software. $20.00 (US)
Ansi Animation Slide Show
---- Version 2.01 --------
Display Ansi/Avatar files in a
slideshow format. Picklists, Auto &
Manual mode. Mouse support. No Ansi
Driver required. FAST! display.
Configurable drawing speeds.
A great tool for the Sysop or
regular PC user!

****** ANSI View 2.0 - ANSI Viewer ******
Full featured command line driven ANSI
graphics viewer supporting ANSI
animation. Throw away DOS's slow and
cranky ANSI.SYS forever! Faster than
ANSI.SYS but non-memory-resident.
Includes features that simplify menu
generation. Great buy at only $15!

MS-Windows and DOS program to display the ROM signature of VGA cards,
which frequently includes the chipset maker, card maker, model name, and
release date. With C source.
The C source code for the MS-Windows version is appended to the end of
CHIPSIG.EXE. Open CHIPSIG.EXE with the windows applet Notepad or your
editor to extract the source.
For the DOS version, remove all selector functions from the MS-Windows
version and declare:
char far *vcard = (char far *)0xc0000000;
David Fortin, Plymouth, IN

CMPEG converts a series of images into
an MPEG sequence. MPEG is a compressed
(typically by a factor of 30 to 60)
standardized storage format for video.
The files compressed by CMPEG can be
played by several publicly available MPEG
decoders (see Appendix A).

Cheap Rip Paint program with save and editing abilties...
ChartTamer is a powerful and very easy to use presentation graphics program.
Create presentation quality 3D Bar, Pie, Area, and line charts. Over 80
chart combinations available. Add any bitmap as a background to your chart.
Perfect for company logos, photos, or use a custom 3D bitmap for a unique
and dramatic look. Total control of color, fill patterns, and more is just
a mouse click away! Includes a unique "What If" command that lets you
change any data point by clicking on it. REQUIRES VBRUN200.DLL WHICH

DMPEG is another MPEG decoder/player for
the PC: DMPEG and DMPLAY merged into one
program-SVGA / TrueColor support for
immediate display during decoding
DeadPaint v.1.3 - the newest version of
the RIP paint program. Now support bezier
curve, arcs and pies. Also better memory
managment, left hander mouse, and screen
grid. Deadview v.2.0 included.
DeadPaint v.2.0 - the newest version of
the RIP paint program. Now support
bezier curve, arcs, pies, mouse area,
bitmap, Windows ICO, custom patterns
and more. Also allows undo.
Only $20 registration fee

The EMSKETCHER Ver 1.0 for IBMs, (C) 1993
This editor allows you to create upper
ascii diagrams. Export them to ascii
files, or send e-mail diagrams on Internet,
Compuserve, etc. Sharp ascii pictures can be
mixed with words to make professional look-
ing document files. It has several feat-
ures cut/paste, mouse, etc. You can send
e-mail diagrams to a friend who has EM-
SKECHER. Try this unique product.

FileBUDDY v3.03 - A unique file viewer
that allows you to view and manipulate ASCII,
PCX, TARGA, and TIF files. dBASE support
includes database management and a report
writer. Archive support includes archiving,
extracting, and deleting files. Image support
includes processing, cropping, saving across
formats, "slide-show" viewing, and printing
to a HP LaserJet or compatible printer.
Fractint Version 18.2 Freeware Fractal
Image Generator, 24 August 1993 Release:
New Features, primarily bug fixes and
enhancements, including full use of DOS
PATH searches for files, palette editor
undo, fixes for several IFS bugs.

G I F C L I P V 1.5
Clip/crop GIFs. Crop borders
from GIFs, and keep only the
part you want. Add text, or
your own GIF logo, too. VGA
or SVGA graphics and mouse
required. From Synergrafix
G I F E X E V. 4.1
Convert GIF's to self-
displaying EXE files. Great
for demos, title screens or
advertising. Display slide-
shows with fades, dissolves
and other special effects.
Full VGA/SVGA support. From
Synergrafix Consulting.
GIFLink v1.12 - View transmitting GIF images
in stunning SuperVGA graphics! Support
X/Y/Zmodem/CIS QuickB through direct modem,
FOSSIL or INT 14H. Can skip receiving images.
Support 13 SuperVGA and VESA adapters up to
1024x768 256 colors. Easy to install. A
MUST if you download GIF.
By the author of Telemate and GIFLITE
G I F S I Z E V 1.5
Resize GIFs Produce zooms,
or icons from your GIFs.
Use the mouse to specify
areas. Requires mouse, VGA
or SVGA graphics. From
Synergrafix Consulting.
G I F W A R P V 1.5
Warp/bend/stretch GIFs for
interesting or bizarre effects
Use the mouse to warp the image
and then resave. VGA or SVGA
graphics and mouse required.
From Synergrafix Consulting.

GRR- Free DOS utility: GIF file info
displayer v1.00 - 08/19/93. (c) 1993 by
David Daniel Anderson - Reign Ware. GRR
displays information about GIF files in the
current or specified directory. W/ PASCAL
Graphic Workshop for Windows 1.1h
The best Workshop yet! Converts prints views
dithers transforms flips rotates scales crops
colour adjusts quantizes and wreaks special
EXE & TXT files. Has thumbnail previews &
Photo-CD support. From Alchemy Mindworks Inc.
H C S H O W V. 1.5
HiColor Show - The FASTEST
Targa viewer for HiColor VGA
Display all Targas, dither
24 and 32bit images, show
slideshows, clip/crop, add
text, comments, save. For
Tseng/VESA HiColor graphics.
From Synergrafix Consulting

ImgFun Ver.1.01 *ASP*:Image Enhancement and
compression utility. Powerful SVGA viewers
for GIF, PCX, BMP and JPEG file. Fast JPEG
compression to reduce gifs to a fraction.
Instant ZOOM and scroll images on the screen.
Adjust colors, brightness, contrast and cut
area of images ALL INSTANTLY.
Lean and fast: 286, 512k, VGA or SVGA
Best GIF companion!!! Try to believe it!!!

Jeff's Graphic Utilities
A menu driven collection of programs for everyone who works with
graphics. This disk includes puzzle.exe which will turn any standard
.gif or .pcx file into a puzzle which users can reassemble with mouse or
arrow keys; super show, one of the very best ways to display groups of
images; fast.exe, a drawing program which makes very small files, great
for sending graphics via modem or puttin gmany pictures on a single
disk; picture menu, a totally freeform GUI; and more. All of these
programs are small and simple, easy for beginning users and fun for the
whole family and small enough to use as runtime programs for use with
your own products.
Requires VGA, Hard disk

Converts HP Laserjet (II) GRAPHICS- code
to the windows .bmp format. It does no
printercapture! It is necessary to print
the code to a file and then let the
la2bmp.exe program analyze it. The 8x13.ref
file MUST be in the same directory as
la2bmp - it is the .bmp header vor
.bmp-files 800x1300 points and two colours.
If your using windows to print out,
remember to set on the TrueTypeFont as
graphic button in the Laserjet Series II
Option window!
LEONARDO ver. 2.52: Ansi & Ascii screen editor
geared for ansi animation. A must for SYSOP
& programmers! Now has FONTS and the ability
for the user to create their own fonts.
Included is a small library of screen and
fonts. Also has screen capture and font
compiler utilities. From R & T Soft.

MORAY V1.3 is an easy-to-use GUI modeller for
use with POV-Ray 1.0 (and 2.0 when released).
It supports the cube, sphere, cylinder, torus,
cone, heightfield and bezier patch primitive,
as well as adding conic, rotational and
translational sweeps. You can add (spot)lights
bounding boxes, textures and cameras, which
show the scene in wireframe 3D. Shareware US
$59. Not crippled. Requires 286 or higher,
mouse, runs on VGA and SVGA/VESA.
NeoPaint (TM) Programming Tools Version 1.0.
This program was created to easily allow
programmers to incorporate art work created
in NeoPaint into their own programs.

Archive-name: jpeg-faq
Last-modified: 28 June 1993
This article discusses JPEG image compression. Suggestions for additions
and clarifications are welcome.
New since version of 14 June 1993:
* Substantial reorganization and rewriting. Not all that much new info,
but I hope it's better presented now.
This article includes the following sections:
[1] What is JPEG?
[2] Why use JPEG?
[3] When should I use JPEG, and when should I stick with GIF?
[4] How well does JPEG compress images?
[5] What are good "quality" settings for JPEG?
[6] Where can I get JPEG software?
[6A] viewers, application programs, etc.
[6B] source code
[7] What's all this hoopla about color quantization?
[8] What are some rules of thumb for converting GIF images to JPEG?
[9] Does loss accumulate with repeated compression/decompression?
[10] Why all the argument about file formats?
[11] How do I recognize which file format I have, and what do I do about it?
[12] How does JPEG work?
[13] Isn't there a lossless JPEG?
[14] What about arithmetic coding?
Sections 1-6 are basic info that every JPEG user needs to know;
sections 7-14 are more advanced info.
This article is posted every 2 weeks. You can always find the latest
version in the news.answers archive at ( By FTP,
fetch /pub/usenet/news.answers/jpeg-faq; or if you don't have FTP, send
e-mail to with body
send usenet/news.answers/jpeg-faq
Many other FAQ articles are also stored in the same archive. For more
instructions on use of the archive, send mail to the server with the words
"help" and "index" (without quotes) on separate lines. If you don't get a
reply, the server may be misreading your return address; add a line such as
"path myname@mysite" to specify your correct e-mail address to reply to.
[1] What is JPEG?
JPEG (pronounced "jay-peg") is a standardized image compression mechanism.
JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group, the original name of the
committee that wrote the standard.
JPEG is designed for compressing either full-color or gray-scale images
of natural, real-world scenes. It works well on photographs, naturalistic
artwork, and similar material; not so well on lettering, simple cartoons,
or line drawings. JPEG handles only still images, but there is a related
standard called MPEG for motion pictures.
JPEG is "lossy," meaning that the decompressed image isn't quite the same as
the one you started with. (There are lossless image compression algorithms,
but JPEG achieves much greater compression than is possible with lossless
methods.) JPEG is designed to exploit known limitations of the human eye,
notably the fact that small color details aren't perceived as well as small
details of light-and-dark. Thus, JPEG is intended for compressing images
that will be looked at by humans. If you plan to machine-analyze your
images, the small errors introduced by JPEG may be a problem for you, even
if they are invisible to the eye.
A useful property of JPEG is that the degree of lossiness can be varied by
adjusting compression parameters. This means that the image maker can trade
off file size against output image quality. You can make *extremely* small
files if you don't mind poor quality; this is useful for applications like
indexing image archives. Conversely, if you aren't happy with the output
quality at the default compression setting, you can jack up the quality
until you are satisfied, and accept lesser compression.
[2] Why use JPEG?
There are two good reasons: to make your image files smaller, and to store
24-bit-per-pixel color data instead of 8-bit-per-pixel data.
Making image files smaller is a big win for transmitting files across
networks and for archiving libraries of images. Being able to compress a
2 Mbyte full-color file down to 100 Kbytes or so makes a big difference in
disk space and transmission time! (If you are comparing GIF and JPEG, the
size ratio is more like four to one. More details in section 4.)
If your viewing software doesn't support JPEG directly, you'll have to
convert JPEG to some other format for viewing or manipulating images. Even
with a JPEG-capable viewer, it takes longer to decode and view a JPEG image
than to view an image of a simpler format such as GIF. Thus, using JPEG is
essentially a time/space tradeoff: you give up some time in order to store
or transmit an image more cheaply.
It's worth noting that when network or phone transmission is involved, the
time savings from transferring a shorter file can be greater than the extra
time to decompress the file.
The second fundamental advantage of JPEG is that it stores full color
information: 24 bits/pixel (16 million colors). GIF, the other image format
widely used on Usenet, can only store 8 bits/pixel (256 or fewer colors).
GIF is reasonably well matched to inexpensive computer displays --- most
run-of-the-mill PCs can't display more than 256 distinct colors at once.
But full-color hardware is getting cheaper all the time, and JPEG images
look *much* better than GIFs on such hardware. Within a couple of years,
8-bit GIF will seem as obsolete as black-and-white MacPaint format does
today. Furthermore, for reasons detailed in section 7, JPEG is far more
useful than GIF for exchanging images among people with widely varying
display hardware. Hence JPEG is considerably more appropriate than GIF for
use as a Usenet posting standard.
[3] When should I use JPEG, and when should I stick with GIF?
JPEG is *not* going to displace GIF entirely; for some types of images,
GIF is superior in image quality, file size, or both. One of the first
things to learn about JPEG is which kinds of images to apply it to.
Generally speaking, JPEG is superior to GIF for storing full-color or
gray-scale images of "realistic" scenes; that means scanned photographs and
similar material. Any continuous variation in color, such as occurs in
highlighted or shaded areas, will be represented more faithfully and in less
space by JPEG than by GIF.
GIF does significantly better on images with only a few distinct colors,
such as line drawings and simple cartoons. Not only is GIF lossless for
such images, but it often compresses them more than JPEG can. For example,
large areas of pixels that are all *exactly* the same color are compressed
very efficiently indeed by GIF. JPEG can't squeeze such data as much as GIF
does without introducing visible defects. (One implication of this is that
large single-color borders are quite cheap in GIF files, while they are best
avoided in JPEG files.)
Computer-drawn images (ray-traced scenes, for instance) usually fall between
photographs and cartoons in terms of complexity. The more complex and
subtly rendered the image, the more likely that JPEG will do well on it.
The same goes for semi-realistic artwork (fantasy drawings and such).
JPEG has a hard time with very sharp edges: a row of pure-black pixels
adjacent to a row of pure-white pixels, for example. Sharp edges tend to
come out blurred unless you use a very high quality setting. Edges this
sharp are rare in scanned photographs, but are fairly common in GIF files:
borders, overlaid text, etc. The blurriness is particularly objectionable
with text that's only a few pixels high. If you have a GIF with a lot of
small-size overlaid text, don't JPEG it.
Plain black-and-white (two level) images should never be converted to JPEG;
they violate all of the conditions given above. You need at least about
16 gray levels before JPEG is useful for gray-scale images. It should also
be noted that GIF is lossless for gray-scale images of up to 256 levels,
while JPEG is not.
If you have a large library of GIF images, you may want to save space by
converting the GIFs to JPEG. This is trickier than it may seem --- even
when the GIFs contain photographic images, they are actually very poor
source material for JPEG, because the images have been color-reduced.
Non-photographic images should generally be left in GIF form. Good-quality
photographic GIFs can often be converted with no visible quality loss, but
only if you know what you are doing and you take the time to work on each
image individually. Otherwise you're likely to lose a lot of image quality
or waste a lot of disk space ... quite possibly both. Read sections 7 and 8
if you want to convert GIFs to JPEG.
[4] How well does JPEG compress images?
Very well indeed, when working with its intended type of image (photographs
and suchlike). For full-color images, the uncompressed data is normally 24
bits/pixel. The best known lossless compression methods can compress such
data about 2:1 on average. JPEG can typically achieve 10:1 to 20:1
compression without visible loss, bringing the effective storage requirement
down to 1 to 2 bits/pixel. 30:1 to 50:1 compression is possible with small
to moderate defects, while for very-low-quality purposes such as previews or
archive indexes, 100:1 compression is quite feasible. An image compressed
100:1 with JPEG takes up the same space as a full-color one-tenth-scale
thumbnail image, but it retains much more detail than such a thumbnail.
For comparison, a GIF version of the same image would start out by
sacrificing most of the color information to reduce the image to 256 colors
(8 bits/pixel). This provides 3:1 compression. GIF has additional "LZW"
compression built in, but LZW doesn't work very well on typical photographic
data; at most you may get 5:1 compression overall, and it's not at all
uncommon for LZW to be a net loss (less than 3:1 overall compression).
When a JPEG file is made from full-color data, using a quality setting just
high enough to prevent visible loss, the JPEG will typically be a factor of
four or five smaller than a GIF file made from the same data.
Gray-scale images do not compress by such large factors. Because the human
eye is much more sensitive to brightness variations than to hue variations,
JPEG can compress hue data more heavily than brightness (gray-scale) data.
A gray-scale JPEG file is generally only about 10%-25% smaller than a
full-color JPEG file of similar visual quality. But the uncompressed
gray-scale data is only 8 bits/pixel, or one-third the size of the color
data, so the calculated compression ratio is much lower. The threshold of
visible loss is often around 5:1 compression for gray-scale images.
The exact threshold at which errors become visible depends on your viewing
conditions. The smaller an individual pixel, the harder it is to see an
error; so errors are more visible on a computer screen (at maybe 70
dots/inch) than on a high-quality color printout (300 or more dots/inch).
Thus a higher-resolution image can tolerate more compression ... which is
fortunate considering it's much bigger to start with. The numbers quoted
above are typical for screen viewing. Also note that the threshold of
visible error varies somewhat across images.
[5] What are good "quality" settings for JPEG?
Most JPEG compressors let you pick a file size vs. image quality tradeoff by
selecting a quality setting. There seems to be widespread confusion about
the meaning of these settings. "Quality 95" does NOT mean "keep 95% of the
information", as some have claimed. The quality scale is purely arbitrary;
it's not a percentage of anything.
In fact, quality scales aren't even standardized across JPEG programs. The
quality settings discussed in this article apply to the free JPEG software
described in section 6B, and to many programs based on it. Other JPEG
implementations, notably Apple's and HSI's, use completely different quality
scales; for instance, Apple's scale covers 0-4, not 0-100. Some programs
don't even provide a numeric scale, just "high"/"medium"/"low"-style
choices. (Fortunately, this doesn't prevent different implementations from
exchanging compressed files.)
In most cases the user's goal is to pick the lowest quality setting, or
smallest file size, that decompresses into an image indistinguishable from
the original. This setting will vary from one image to another and from one
observer to another, but here are some rules of thumb.
For good-quality, full-color source images, the default quality setting
(Q 75) is very often the best choice. This setting is about the lowest you
can go without expecting to see defects in a typical image. Try Q 75 first;
if you see defects, then go up.
If the image was less than perfect quality to begin with, you might be able
to drop down to Q 50 without objectionable degradation. On the other hand,
you might need to go to a *higher* quality setting to avoid further loss.
Q 85 to 95 is often best for converting GIFs (see section 8 for more info).
Except for experimental purposes, never go above about Q 95; using Q 100
will produce a file two or three times as large as Q 95, but of hardly any
better quality. If you see a file made with Q 100, it's a pretty sure sign
that the maker didn't know what he/she was doing.
If you want a very small file (say for preview or indexing purposes) and are
prepared to tolerate large defects, a Q setting in the range of 5 to 10 is
about right. Q 2 or so may be amusing as "op art".
[6] Where can I get JPEG software?
Most of the programs described in this section are available by FTP.
If you don't know how to use FTP, see the FAQ article "How to find sources".
(If you don't have direct access to FTP, read about ftpmail servers in the
same article.) That article appears regularly in news.answers, or you can
get it by sending e-mail to with
"send usenet/news.answers/finding-sources" in the body. The "Anonymous FTP
List FAQ" may also be helpful --- it's usenet/news.answers/ftp-list/faq in
the news.answers archive.
NOTE: this list changes frequently. If you have a copy more than a couple
months old, get the latest JPEG FAQ from the news.answers archive.
[6A] If you are looking for viewers, application programs, etc:
This section covers programs for the following kinds of systems:
X Windows, MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows, OS/2, Macintosh,
Amiga, Atari ST, Acorn Archimedes, NeXT.
If you don't see what you want for your machine, check out the free JPEG
source code described in section 6B. Assuming you have a C compiler and at
least a little knowledge of compiling C programs, you should be able to
prepare JPEG conversion programs from the source code. You'll also need a
viewer program. If your display is 8 bits or less, any GIF viewer will do
fine; if you have a display with more color capability, try to find a viewer
that can read Targa or PPM 24-bit image files.
Note that this list concentrates on free and shareware programs that you can
obtain over Internet; but some commercial programs are listed too. If you
choose a commercial JPEG product, make sure that it can handle the Usenet-
standard JFIF file format, or you won't be able to exchange images with
anyone else. (See section 10 if you want to know more about file formats.)
X Windows:
XV (shareware, $25) is an excellent viewer for JPEG, GIF, and many other
image formats. It can also do format conversion and some simple image
manipulations. It's available for FTP from (,
file contrib/xv-3.00.tar.Z. Version 3.00 is a major upgrade with support
for 24-bit displays and many other improvements; however, it is brand new
and still has some bugs lurking. If you prefer not to be on the bleeding
edge, stick with version 2.21, also available from export. Note that
version 2.21 is not a good choice if you have a 24-bit display (you'll get
only 8-bit color), nor is it good for converting 24-bit images to JPEG.
But 2.21 works fine for converting GIF and other 8-bit images to JPEG.
CAUTION: with version 2.21, be sure to check the "save at normal size"
checkbox when saving a JPEG file, or the file will be blurry.
Another good choice for X Windows is John Cristy's free ImageMagick package,
also available from, file contrib/ImageMagick.tar.Z.
This package handles many image processing and conversion tasks. The
ImageMagick viewer handles 24-bit displays correctly; for colormapped
displays, it does better (though slower) color quantization than XV or the
basic free JPEG software. The current version is 2.3.2.
Both of the above are large, complex packages. If you just want a simple
image viewer, try xloadimage or xli. xloadimage supports JPEG in its latest
release, 3.03. xloadimage is free and available from,
file contrib/xloadimage-3.03.tar.Z. xli is a variant version of xloadimage,
said by its fans to be somewhat faster and more robust than the original.
(The current xli is indeed faster and more robust than the current
xloadimage with respect to JPEG files, because it uses the v4 IJG decoder
while xloadimage 3.03 is still using a hacked-over v1. The next xloadimage
release will fix this.) xli is also free and available from, file contrib/xli.1.14.tar.Z. Both programs are said to
do the right thing with 24-bit displays.
This covers plain DOS; for Windows or OS/2 programs, see the next headings.
One good choice is Eric Praetzel's free DVPEG, which views JPEG and GIF files.
The current version, 2.5, is available by FTP from
(, file pub/jpeg/viewers/ This is a good basic
viewer that works on either 286 or 386/486 machines. The user interface is
not flashy, but it's functional.
Another freeware JPEG/GIF/TGA viewer is Mohammad Rezaei's Hiview. The
current version, 1.2, is available from Simtel20 and mirror sites (see NOTE
below), file msdos/graphics/ Hiview requires a 386 or better CPU
and a VCPI-compatible memory manager (QEMM386 and 386MAX work; Windows and
OS/2 do not). Hiview is currently the fastest DOS viewer for images that
are no bigger than your screen. For larger images, it scales the image down
to fit on the screen (rather than using panning/scrolling as most viewers
do). You may or may not prefer this approach, but there's no denying that
it slows down loading of large images considerably. Note: installation is a
bit tricky; read the directions carefully!
A shareware alternative is ColorView for DOS ($30). This is easier to
install than either of the two freeware alternatives. Its user interface is
also much spiffier-looking, although personally I find it harder to use ---
more keystrokes, inconsistent behavior. It is faster than DVPEG but a
little slower than Hiview, at least on my hardware. (For images larger than
screen size, DVPEG and ColorView seem to be about the same speed, and both
are faster than Hiview.) The current version is 2.1, available from
Simtel20 and mirror sites (see NOTE below), file msdos/graphics/
Requires a VESA graphics driver; if you don't have one, look in
or from the same directory. (Some recent PCs have a built-in
VESA driver, so don't try to load a VESA driver unless ColorView complains
that the driver is missing.)
A second shareware alternative is Fullview, which has been kicking around
the net for a while, but I don't know any stable archive location for it.
The current (rather old) version is inferior to the above viewers anyway.
The author tells me that a new version of Fullview will be out shortly
and it will be submitted to the Simtel20 archives at that time.
The well-known GIF viewer CompuShow (CSHOW) supports JPEG in its latest
revision, 8.60a. However, CSHOW's JPEG implementation isn't very good:
it's slow (about half the speed of the above viewers) and image quality is
poor except on hi-color displays. Too bad ... it'd have been nice to see a
good JPEG capability in CSHOW. Shareware, $25. Available from Simtel20 and
mirror sites (see NOTE below), file msdos/gif/
Due to the remarkable variety of PC graphics hardware, any one of these
viewers might not work on your particular machine. If you can't get *any*
of them to work, you'll need to use one of the following conversion programs
to convert JPEG to GIF, then view with your favorite GIF viewer. (If you
have hi-color hardware, don't use GIF as the intermediate format; try to
find a TARGA-capable viewer instead. VPIC5.0 is reputed to do the right
thing with hi-color displays.)
The Independent JPEG Group's free JPEG converters are available from
Simtel20 and mirror sites (see NOTE below), file msdos/graphics/
(or if you have a 386 and extended memory). These files are
DOS compilations of the free source code described in section 6B; they will
convert JPEG to and from GIF, Targa, and PPM formats.
Handmade Software offers free JPEG<=>GIF conversion tools, GIF2JPG/JPG2GIF.
These are slow and are limited to conversion to and from GIF format; in
particular, you can't get 24-bit color output from a JPEG. The major
advantage of these tools is that they will read and write HSI's proprietary
JPEG format as well as the Usenet-standard JFIF format. Since HSI-format
files are rather widespread on BBSes, this is a useful capability. Version
2.0 of these tools is free (prior versions were shareware). Get it from
Simtel20 and mirror sites (see NOTE below), file msdos/graphics/
NOTE: do not use HSI format for files to be posted on Usenet, since it is
not readable on non-PC platforms.
Handmade Software also has a shareware image conversion and manipulation
package, Image Alchemy. This will translate JPEG files (both JFIF and HSI
formats) to and from many other image formats. It can also display images.
A demo version of Image Alchemy version 1.6.2 is available from Simtel20 and
mirror sites (see NOTE below), file msdos/graphics/
JPGINDEX is a useful tool for making indexes of JPEG image collections.
Available from Simtel20 and mirror sites, file msdos/graphics/
NOTE ABOUT SIMTEL20: The Internet's key archive site for PC-related programs
is Simtel20, full name ( Simtel20
runs a non-Unix system with weird directory names; where this document
refers to directory (eg) "msdos/graphics" at Simtel20, that really means
"pd1:". If you are not physically on MILnet, you should
expect rather slow FTP transfer rates from Simtel20. There are several
Internet sites that maintain copies (mirrors) of the Simtel20 archives;
most FTP users should go to one of the mirror sites instead. A popular USA
mirror site is (, which keeps Simtel20 files
in (eg) "/pub/msdos/graphics". If you have no FTP capability, you can
retrieve files from Simtel20 by e-mail; see informational postings in
comp.archives.msdos.announce to find out how. If you are outside the USA,
consult the same newsgroup to learn where your nearest Simtel20 mirror is.
Microsoft Windows:
Windows viewers are slower than comparable DOS viewers on the same hardware,
due to Windows' system overhead.
The newest entry is WinECJ, which is free and EXTREMELY fast. Version 1.1
is available from Simtel20 and mirror sites (see NOTE above), file
msdos/windows3/ Requires Windows 3.1 and 256-or-more-colors
mode. This is a no-frills viewer with image quality noticeably worse than
most other JPEG viewers. But it's so fast you'll use it anyway, at least
for previewing. (Image quality is not a problem if you have a 24-bit
display. Also, you can purchase a version with better 8-bit image quality
for AUD$30.)
JView is freeware, has good on-line help, and can write out the decompressed
image in Windows BMP format; but it's not fast by current standards, and it
doesn't view GIFs. JView also lacks some other useful features such as
brightness adjustment, but it's still a good basic viewer. The current
version, 0.9, is available from (, file
pub/pc/win3/desktop/ (Mirrors of this archive can be found at
some other Internet sites, including
WinJPEG (shareware, $20) displays JPEG,GIF,Targa,TIFF,PCX, and BMP files;
it can write all of these formats too, so it can be used as a converter.
It has some other nifty features including color-balance adjustment and
slideshow. The current version is 2.2, available from Simtel20 and mirror
sites (see NOTE above), file msdos/windows3/ (This is a
286-compatible version; if you register, you'll get the 386-only version,
which is roughly 25% faster.)
ColorView is another shareware entry ($30). This was an early and promising
contender, but it has not been updated in some time, and at this point it
has no notable advantages over WinJPEG. If you want to try it anyway, the
current version is 0.97, available from, file
pub/pc/win3/desktop/ (I understand that a new version will be
appearing once the authors are finished with ColorView for DOS.)
DVPEG (see DOS heading) works under Windows, but only in full-screen mode,
not in a window. Also note that you can run the DOS conversion programs
described above inside a Windows DOS window.
The following files are available from (
Note: check /pub/uploads for more recent versions --- the hobbes moderator
is not very fast about moving uploads into their permanent directories.
32-bit version of free IJG conversion programs, version 4.
16-bit version of same, for OS/2 1.x.
Image Archiver 1.03: image conversion/viewing with PM graphical interface.
Strong on conversion functions, viewing is a bit weaker. Shareware, $15.
PMJPEG 1.3: OS/2 2.x port of WinJPEG, a popular viewer for Windows
(see description in Windows section). Shareware, $20.
PMView 0.85: JPEG/GIF/BMP/Targa/PCX viewer. GIF viewing very fast,
JPEG viewing roughly the same speed as the above two programs. Has
image manipulation & slideshow functions. Shareware, $20.
Also worth trying is JoeView, a free JPEG/GIF/BMP viewer. Version 1.1f is
available from (, file
Most Mac JPEG programs rely on Apple's JPEG implementation, which is part of
the QuickTime system extension; so you need to have QuickTime installed.
To use QuickTime, you need a 68020 or better CPU and you need to be running
System 6.0.7 or later. (If you're running System 6, you must also install
the 32-bit QuickDraw extension; this is built-in on System 7.) The latest
version of QuickTime is 1.6, available by FTP from, file
dts/mac/sys.soft/quicktime/quicktime.hqx (get the other files in that
directory too!). Quite a few compatibility problems have been reported with
1.6, so don't trash your copy of 1.5 until you've checked it out...
Mac users should keep in mind that QuickTime's JPEG format, PICT/JPEG, is
not the same as the Usenet-standard JFIF JPEG format. (See section 10 for
details.) If you post images on Usenet, make sure they are in JFIF format.
Most of the programs mentioned here can handle either format.
The first choice is probably JPEGView, a free program for viewing images
that are in JFIF format, PICT/JPEG format, or GIF format. It also can
convert between the two JPEG formats. The current version is 2.0, available
from (, file info-mac/app/jpeg-view-20.hqx.
Requires System 7 and QuickTime. On 8-bit displays, JPEGView usually
produces the best color image quality of all the currently available Mac
JPEG viewers. JPEGView can view large images in much less memory than other
Mac viewers; in fact, it's the only one that can deal with JPEG images much
over 640x480 pixels on a typical 4MB Mac. Given a large image, JPEGView
automatically scales it down to fit on the screen, rather than presenting
scroll bars like most other viewers. (You can zoom in on any desired
portion, though.) Some people like this behavior, some don't. Overall,
JPEGView's user interface is very well thought out.
GIFConverter, a shareware ($40) image viewer/converter, supports JFIF and
PICT/JPEG, as well as GIF and several other image formats. The latest
version is 2.3.2. Get it from, file
/info-mac/art/gif/gif-converter-232.hqx. Requires System 6.0.5 or later.
GIFConverter is not better than JPEGView as a plain JPEG/GIF viewer, but
it has much more extensive image manipulation and format conversion
capabilities, so you may find it worth its shareware fee if you do a lot of
playing around with images. Also, the newest version of GIFConverter can
load and save JFIF images *without* QuickTime, so it is your best bet if
your machine is too old to run QuickTime. (But it's faster with QuickTime.)
Note: If GIFConverter runs out of memory trying to load a large JPEG, try
converting the file to GIF with JPEG Convert, then viewing the GIF version.
JPEG Convert, a Mac version of the free IJG JPEG conversion utilities, is
available from, file info-mac/app/jpeg-convert-10.hqx.
This will run on any Mac, but it only does file conversion, not viewing.
You can use it in conjunction with any GIF viewer.
Previous versions of this FAQ recommended Imagery JPEG v0.6, a JPEG<=>GIF
converter based on an old version of the IJG code. If you are using this
program, you definitely should replace it with JPEG Convert.
Apple has a free but unsupported program called PictPixie, which can view
images in JFIF, PICT/JPEG, and GIF formats, and can convert between these
formats. Unfortunately PictPixie doesn't work with QuickTime 1.6, and it
has a bunch of other drawbacks as well. If you want it, you can get it from, file dts/mac/quicktime/qt.1.0.stuff/pictpixie.hqx. (There is
an old version of PictPixie, called PICTCompressor, floating around the net.
If you have this you should trash it and get something less buggy. Also,
the QuickTime Starter Kit includes a much cleaned-up descendant of PictPixie
called Picture Compressor. Note that Picture Compressor is NOT free.)
Storm Technology's Picture Decompress is a free JPEG viewer/converter.
This rather old program is inferior to the above programs in many ways, but
it will run without System 7 or QuickTime, so you may be forced to use it on
older systems. (It does need 32-bit QuickDraw, so really old machines can't
use it.) You can get it from, file
info-mac/app/picture-decompress-201.hqx. You must set the file type of a
downloaded image file to 'JPEG' to allow Picture Decompress to open it.
If your machine is too old to run 32-bit QuickDraw (a Mac Plus for instance),
GIFConverter is your only choice for single-program JPEG viewing. If you
don't want to pay for GIFConverter, use JPEG Convert and a free GIF viewer.
More and more commercial Mac applications are supporting JPEG, although not
all can deal with the Usenet-standard JFIF format. Adobe Photoshop, version
2.0.1 or later, can read and write JFIF-format JPEG files (use the JPEG
plug-in from the Acquire menu). You must set the file type of a downloaded
JPEG file to 'JPEG' to allow Photoshop to recognize it.
Most programs listed in this section are stored in the AmiNet archive at ( There are many mirror sites of this
archive and you should try to use the closest one. In the USA, a good
choice is; look under /mirrors/
HamLab Plus is an excellent JPEG viewer/converter, as well as being a
general image manipulation tool. It's cheap (shareware, $20) and can read
several formats besides JPEG. The current version is 2.0.8. A demo version
is available from (and mirror sites), file
amiga/gfx/edit/hamlab208d.lha. The demo version will crop images larger
than 512x512, but it is otherwise fully functional.
Rend24 (shareware, $30) is an image renderer that can display JPEG, ILBM,
and GIF images. The program can be used to create animations, even
capturing frames on-the-fly from rendering packages like Lightwave. The
current version is 1.05, available from (and mirror
sites), file amiga/os30/gfx/rend105.lha. (Note: although this directory is
supposedly for AmigaDOS 3.0 programs, the program will also run under
AmigaDOS 1.3, 2.04 or 2.1.)
Viewtek is a free JPEG/ILBM/GIF/ANIM viewer. The current version is 1.04,
available from (and mirror sites), file
If you're willing to spend real money, there are several commercial packages
that support JPEG. Two are written by Thomas Krehbiel, the author of Rend24
and Viewtek. These are CineMorph, a standalone image morphing package, and
ImageFX, an impressive 24-bit image capture, conversion, editing, painting,
effects and prepress package that also includes CineMorph. Both are
distributed by Great Valley Products. Art Department Professional (ADPro),
from ASDG Inc, is the most widely used commercial image manipulation
software for Amigas. ImageMaster, from Black Belt Systems, is another
well-regarded commercial graphics package with JPEG support.
The free IJG JPEG software is available compiled for Amigas from (and mirror sites) in directory amiga/gfx/conv, file
AmigaJPEGV4.lha. These programs convert JPEG to/from PPM,GIF,Targa formats.
The Amiga world is heavily infested with quick-and-dirty JPEG programs, many
based on an ancient beta-test version of the free IJG JPEG software (thanks
to a certain magazine that published same on its disk-of-the-month, without
so much as notifying the authors). Among these are "AugJPEG", "NewAmyJPEG",
"VJPEG", and probably others I have not even heard of. In my opinion,
anything older than IJG version 3 (March 1992) is not worth the disk space
it's stored on; if you have such a program, trash it and get something newer.
Atari ST:
The free IJG JPEG software is available compiled for Atari ST, TT, etc,
from, file /atari/Graphics/jpeg4bin.zoo.
These programs convert JPEG to/from PPM, GIF, Targa formats.
For monochrome ST monitors, try MGIF, which manages to achieve four-level
gray-scale effect by flickering. Version 4.1 reads JPEG files. Available
from, file /atari/Graphics/mgif41b.zoo.
I have not heard of any other free or shareware JPEG-capable viewers for
Ataris, but surely there must be some by now? Pointers appreciated.
Acorn Archimedes:
!ChangeFSI, supplied with RISC OS 3 version 3.10, can convert from and view
JPEG JFIF format. Provision is also made to convert images to JPEG,
although this must be done from the CLI rather than by double-clicking.
Recent versions (since 7.11) of the shareware program Translator can handle
JPEG, along with about 30 other image formats. While older versions can be
found on some Archimedes bboards, the current version is only available by
registering with the author, John Kortink, Nutterbrink 31, 7544 WJ, Enschede,
The Netherlands. Price 35 Dutch guilders (about $22 or 10 pounds).
There's also a commercial product called !JPEG which provides JPEG read/write
functionality and direct JPEG viewing, as well as a host of other image
format conversion and processing options. This is more expensive but not
necessarily better than the above programs. Contact: DT Software, FREEPOST,
Cambridge, UK. Tel: 0223 841099.
ImageViewer is a PD utility that displays images and can do some format
conversions. The current version reads JPEG but does not write it.
ImageViewer is available from the standard NeXT archives at and, somewhere in /pub/next (both are
currently being re-organized, so it's hard to point to specific
sub-directories). Note that there is an older version floating around that
does not support JPEG.
NeXTStep includes built-in support for TIFF/JPEG, but not for the
Usenet-standard JFIF format.
[6B] If you are looking for source code to work with:
Free, portable C code for JPEG compression is available from the Independent
JPEG Group, which I lead. A package containing our source code,
documentation, and some small test files is available from
( in directory /graphics/jpeg. The current release is v4, file
jpegsrc.v4.tar.Z. (This is a compressed TAR file; don't forget to retrieve
in binary mode.) You can retrieve this file by FTP or UUCP. Copies can
also be found at many other Internet sites. If you are on a PC and don't
know how to cope with .tar.Z format, you may prefer ZIP format, which you
can find at Simtel20 and mirror sites (see NOTE above), file
msdos/graphics/ This file is also available on CompuServe, in
the GRAPHSUPPORT forum (GO PICS), library 15, as If you have no
FTP access, you can retrieve the source from your nearest comp.sources.misc
archive; version 4 appeared as issues 55-72 of volume 34. (If you don't
know how to retrieve comp.sources.misc postings, see the FAQ article "How to
find sources", referred to at the top of section 6.)
The free JPEG code provides conversion between JPEG "JFIF" format and image
files in GIF, PBMPLUS PPM/PGM, Utah RLE, and Truevision Targa file formats.
The core compression and decompression modules can easily be reused in other
programs, such as image viewers. The package is highly portable; we have
tested it on many machines ranging from PCs to Crays.
We have released this software for both noncommercial and commercial use.
Companies are welcome to use it as the basis for JPEG-related products.
We do not ask a royalty, although we do ask for an acknowledgement in
product literature (see the README file in the distribution for details).
We hope to make this software industrial-quality --- although, as with
anything that's free, we offer no warranty and accept no liability.
The Independent JPEG Group is a volunteer organization; if you'd like to
contribute to improving our software, you are welcome to join.
[7] What's all this hoopla about color quantization?
Most people don't have full-color (24 bit per pixel) display hardware.
Typical display hardware stores 8 or fewer bits per pixel, so it can display
256 or fewer distinct colors at a time. To display a full-color image, the
computer must choose an appropriate set of representative colors and map the
image into these colors. This process is called "color quantization".
(This is something of a misnomer; "color selection" or "color reduction"
would be a better term. We're stuck with the standard usage though.)
Clearly, color quantization is a lossy process. It turns out that for most
images, the details of the color quantization algorithm have *much* more
impact on the final image quality than do any errors introduced by JPEG
itself (except at the very lowest JPEG quality settings). Making a good
color quantization algorithm is a black art, and no single algorithm is best
for all images.
Since JPEG is a full-color format, converting a color JPEG image for display
on 8-bit-or-less hardware requires color quantization. The speed and image
quality of a JPEG viewer running on such hardware are largely determined by
its quantization algorithm. You'll see great variation in image quality
among viewers on 8-bit displays, much more than occurs on 24-bit displays.
On the other hand, a GIF image has already been quantized to 256 or fewer
colors. (A GIF *does* have a specific number of colors in its palette, and
the format doesn't allow more than 256 palette entries.) GIF has the
advantage that the image maker precomputes the color quantization, so
viewers don't have to; this is one of the things that make GIF viewers
faster than JPEG viewers. But this is also the *disadvantage* of GIF:
you're stuck with the maker's quantization. If the maker quantized to a
different number of colors than what you can display, you'll either waste
display capability or have to quantize again to further reduce the number of
colors (which results in much poorer image quality than if you had quantized
once from a full-color image). Furthermore, if the maker didn't use a
high-quality color quantization algorithm, you're out of luck --- the image
is ruined.
For this reason, JPEG promises significantly better image quality than GIF
for all users whose machines don't match the image maker's display hardware.
JPEG's full color image can be quantized to precisely match the viewer's
display hardware. Furthermore, you will be able to take advantage of future
improvements in quantization algorithms (there is a lot of active research
in this area), or purchase better display hardware, to get a better view of
JPEG images you already have. With a GIF, you're stuck forevermore with
what was sent.
A growing number of people have better-than-8-bit display hardware already:
15-bit "hi-color" PC displays, true 24-bit displays on workstations and
Macintoshes, etc. For these people, GIF is already obsolete, as it cannot
represent an image to the full capabilities of their display. JPEG images
can drive these displays much more effectively.
In short, JPEG is an all-around better choice than GIF for representing
images in a machine-independent fashion.
It's sometimes thought that a JPEG converted from a GIF shouldn't require
color quantization. This is false: even when you feed a 256-or-less-color
GIF into JPEG, what comes out of the decompressor is not 256 colors, but
thousands of colors. This happens because JPEG's lossiness affects each
pixel a little differently, so two pixels that started with identical colors
will usually come out with slightly different colors. Each original color
gets "smeared" into a group of nearby colors. Therefore quantization is
always required to display a color JPEG on a colormapped display, regardless
of the image source.
The same effect makes it nearly meaningless to talk about the number of
colors used by a JPEG image. Even if you were to count the number of
distinct pixel values, different JPEG decoders would give you different
results because of roundoff error differences. I occasionally see posted
images described as "256-color JPEG". This tells me that the poster
(a) hasn't read this FAQ and (b) probably converted the JPEG from a GIF.
JPEGs can be classified as color or gray-scale, but number of colors just
isn't a useful concept for JPEG, any more than it is for a real photograph.
[8] What are some rules of thumb for converting GIF images to JPEG?
Converting GIF files to JPEG is a tricky business --- you are piling one set
of limitations atop a quite different set, and the results can be awful.
Certainly a JPEG made from a GIF will never be as good as a JPEG made from
true 24-bit color data. But if what you've got is GIFs, and you need to
save space, here are some hints for getting the best results.
With care and a clean source image, it's often possible to make a JPEG of
quality equivalent to the GIF. This does *not* mean that the JPEG looks
identical to the GIF --- it probably won't on an 8-bit display, because the
color quantization process used to display the JPEG won't exactly match the
GIF's quantization. (See section 7 for more about that.) But given a good
viewer, the JPEG will look as good as the GIF. Some people claim that on
24-bit displays, a carefully converted JPEG can look better than the GIF
source, because dither patterns have been eliminated. (More about dithering
in a moment.)
On the other hand, JPEG conversion *will* degrade an unsuitable image or one
that is converted carelessly. If you are not willing to take the amount of
trouble suggested below, you're much better off leaving your GIF images
alone. Simply cranking the JPEG quality setting up to a very high value
wastes space (which defeats the whole point of the exercise...) and some
images will be degraded anyway.
The first rule is never to convert an image that's not appropriate for JPEG
(see section 3 about that). Large, high-visual-quality photographic images
are usually the best material. And they take up lots of space in GIF form,
so they offer significant potential space savings. (A good rule of thumb is
not to bother converting any GIF that's much under 100 Kbytes; the potential
space savings isn't worth the hassle.)
The second rule is to look at each JPEG, to make sure you are happy with it,
before throwing away the corresponding GIF; this will give you a chance to
re-do the conversion with a higher quality setting if necessary. Also
compare the file sizes --- if the image isn't suitable JPEG material, a JPEG
file of reasonable quality may come out *larger* than the GIF.
The third rule is to get rid of the border. Many people have developed
an odd habit of putting a large single-color border around a GIF image.
While useless, this is nearly free in terms of storage cost in GIF files.
It is NOT free in JPEG files, either in storage space or in decoding time;
and the sharp border boundary can create visible artifacts ("ghost" edges).
Furthermore, when viewing a bordered JPEG on an 8-bit display, the quantizer
will think the border color is important because there's so much of it, and
hence will waste color palette entries on the border, thus actually reducing
the displayed quality of the main part of the image! So do yourself a favor
and crop off any border before JPEGing.
Gray-scale images usually convert without much problem. When using cjpeg,
be sure to specify -gray. (By default, cjpeg treats GIFs as color files;
this works but wastes space and time for gray-scale data.) Quality settings
around the default (75) are usually fine.
Color images are much trickier. Color GIFs of photographic images are
usually "dithered" to fool your eye into seeing more than the 256 colors
that GIF can actually store. If you enlarge the image, you will find that
adjacent pixels are often of significantly different colors; at normal size
the eye averages these pixels together to produce the illusion of an
intermediate color value. The trouble with dithering is that, to JPEG, it
looks like high-spatial-frequency color noise; and JPEG can't compress noise
very well. The resulting JPEG file is both larger and of lower image
quality than what you would have gotten from JPEGing the original full color
image (if you had it). To get around this, you need to "smooth" the GIF
image before compression. Smoothing averages together nearby pixels, thus
approximating the color that you thought you saw anyway, and in the process
getting rid of the rapid color changes that give JPEG trouble. Proper use
of smoothing will both reduce the size of the compressed file and give you a
better-looking output image than you'd get without smoothing.
With the V4 free JPEG software (or programs based on it), a simple smoothing
capability is built in. Try "-smooth 10" or so when converting GIFs.
Values of 10 to 25 seem to work well for high-quality GIFs. Heavy-handed
dithering may require larger smoothing factors. (If you can see regular
fine-scale patterns on the GIF image even without enlargement, then strong
smoothing is definitely called for.) Too large a smoothing factor will blur
the output image, which you don't want. If you are an image processing
wizard, you can also do smoothing with a separate filtering program, but
appropriate use of such tools is beyond the scope of this FAQ.
Quality settings around 85 (a bit higher than default) usually work well
when converting color GIFs, assuming that you've picked a good smoothing
factor. You may need to go higher if you can't hide the dithering pattern
with a reasonable smoothing factor. Really badly dithered GIFs are best
left as GIFs.
Don't expect JPEG files converted from GIFs to be as small as those created
directly from full-color originals. You won't be able to smooth away all of
the dithering noise without ruining the image, and this noise wastes space.
Typically, a good-quality converted JPEG will be 1/2 to 1/3rd the size of
the GIF file, not 1/4th as suggested in section 4. (If the JPEG comes out
much more than half the size of the GIF, this is a good sign that the image
shouldn't be converted at all.)
The upshot of all this is that "cjpeg -quality 85 -smooth 10" is probably a
good starting point for converting color GIFs. But if you care about the
image, you'll want to check the results and maybe try a few other settings.
Blindly converting a large GIF library at this or any other setting is a
recipe for disaster.
[9] Does loss accumulate with repeated compression/decompression?
It would be nice if, having compressed an image with JPEG, you could
decompress it, manipulate it (crop off a border, say), and recompress it
without any further image degradation beyond what you lost initially.
Unfortunately THIS IS NOT THE CASE. In general, recompressing an altered
image loses more information. Hence it's important to minimize the number
of generations of JPEG compression between initial and final versions of an
It turns out that if you decompress and recompress an image at the same
quality setting first used, little or no further degradation occurs.
(Counterintuitively, this works better the lower the quality setting.
But you must use *exactly* the same setting, or all bets are off.)
This means that you can make local modifications to an image without
material degradation of other areas of the image. Unfortunately, cropping
doesn't count as a local change! JPEG processes the image in small blocks,
and cropping usually moves the block boundaries, so that the image looks
completely different to JPEG. You can take advantage of the low-degradation
behavior if you are careful to crop the top and left margins only by a
multiple of the block size (typically 16 pixels), so that the remaining
blocks start in the same places.
The bottom line is that JPEG is a useful format for archival storage and
transmission of images, but you don't want to use it as an intermediate
format for sequences of image manipulation steps. Use a lossless format
(PPM, RLE, TIFF, etc) while working on the image, then JPEG it when you are
ready to file it away. Aside from avoiding degradation, you will save a lot
of compression/decompression time this way :-).
[10] Why all the argument about file formats?
Strictly speaking, JPEG refers only to a family of compression algorithms;
it does *not* refer to a specific image file format. The JPEG committee was
prevented from defining a file format by turf wars within the international
standards organizations.
Since we can't actually exchange images with anyone else unless we agree on
a common file format, this leaves us with a problem. In the absence of
official standards, a number of JPEG program writers have just gone off to
"do their own thing", and as a result their programs aren't compatible with
anybody else's.
The closest thing we have to a standard JPEG format is some work that's been
coordinated by people at C-Cube Microsystems. They have defined two
JPEG-based file formats:
* JFIF (JPEG File Interchange Format), a "low-end" format that transports
pixels and not much else.
* TIFF/JPEG, aka TIFF 6.0, an extension of the Aldus TIFF format. TIFF is
a "high-end" format that will let you record just about everything you
ever wanted to know about an image, and a lot more besides :-). TIFF is
a lot more complex than JFIF, and is generally less transportable,
because different vendors have often implemented slightly different
and incompatible subsets of TIFF. It's not likely that adding JPEG to
the mix will do anything to improve this situation.
Both of these formats were developed with input from all the major vendors
of JPEG-related products; it's reasonably likely that future commercial
products will adhere to one or both standards.
JFIF has emerged as the de-facto standard on Usenet. JFIF is simpler than
TIFF and is available now; the TIFF 6.0 spec has only recently been
officially adopted, and it is still unusably vague on some crucial details.
Even when TIFF/JPEG is well defined, the JFIF format is likely to be a
widely supported "lowest common denominator"; TIFF/JPEG files may never be
as transportable.
A particular case of interest is Apple's Macintosh QuickTime software.
QuickTime uses a JFIF-compatible format wrapped inside the Mac-specific PICT
structure. Conversion between JFIF and PICT/JPEG is pretty straightforward,
and several Mac programs are available to do it (see Mac portion of section
6A). If you have an editor that handles binary files, you can strip a
PICT/JPEG file down to JFIF by hand; see section 11 for details.
Another particular case is Handmade Software's programs (GIF2JPG/JPG2GIF and
Image Alchemy). These programs are capable of reading and writing JFIF
format. By default, though, they write a proprietary format developed by
HSI. This format is NOT readable by any non-HSI programs and should not be
used for Usenet postings. Use the -j switch to get JFIF output. (This
applies to old versions of these programs; the current releases emit JFIF
format by default. You still should be careful not to post HSI-format
files, unless you want to get flamed by people on non-PC platforms.)
[11] How do I recognize which file format I have, and what do I do about it?
If you have an alleged JPEG file that your software won't read, it's likely
to be HSI format or some other proprietary JPEG-based format. You can tell
what you have by inspecting the first few bytes of the file:
1. A JFIF-standard file will start with the characters (hex) FF D8 FF E0,
followed by two variable bytes (often hex 00 10), followed by 'JFIF'.
2. If you see FF D8 at the start, but not the rest of it, you may have a
"raw JPEG" file. This is probably decodable as-is by JFIF software ---
it's worth a try, anyway.
3. HSI files start with 'hsi1'. You're out of luck unless you have HSI
software. Portions of the file may look like plain JPEG data, but they
won't decompress properly with non-HSI programs.
4. A Macintosh PICT file, if JPEG-compressed, will have a couple hundred
bytes of header followed by a JFIF header (scan for 'JFIF'). Strip off
everything before the FF D8 and you should be able to read it.
5. Anything else: it's a proprietary format, or not JPEG at all. If you are
lucky, the file may consist of a header and a raw JPEG data stream.
If you can identify the start of the JPEG data stream (look for FF D8),
try stripping off everything before that.
In uuencoded Usenet postings, the characteristic JFIF pattern is
"begin" line
whereas uuencoded HSI files will start with
"begin" line
If you learn to check for the former, you can save yourself the trouble of
downloading non-JFIF files.
[12] How does JPEG work?
The buzz-words to know are chrominance subsampling, discrete cosine
transforms, coefficient quantization, and Huffman or arithmetic entropy
coding. This article's long enough already, so I'm not going to say more
than that here. For technical information see the comp.compression FAQ,
which is available from the news.answers archive at, in files
/pub/usenet/news.answers/compression-faq/part[1-3]. If you need help in
using the news.answers archive, see the top of this article.
[13] Isn't there a lossless JPEG?
There's a great deal of confusion on this subject. The JPEG committee did
define a truly lossless compression algorithm, i.e., one that guarantees the
final output is bit-for-bit identical to the original input. However, this
lossless mode has almost nothing in common with the regular, lossy JPEG
algorithm, and it offers much less compression. At present, very few
implementations of lossless JPEG exist, and all of them are commercial.
Saying "-quality 100" to the free JPEG software DOES NOT get you a lossless
image. What it does get rid of is deliberate information loss in the
coefficient quantization step. There is still a good deal of information
loss in the color subsampling step. (With the V4 free JPEG code, you can
also say "-sample 1x1" to turn off subsampling. Keep in mind that some
commercial JPEG implementations cannot cope with the resulting file.)
Even with both quantization and subsampling turned off, the regular JPEG
algorithm is not lossless, because it is subject to roundoff errors in
various calculations. The maximum error is a few counts in any one pixel
value; it's highly unlikely that this could be perceived by the human eye,
but the error will accumulate to become visible if you put the image through
multiple cycles of compression.
At this minimum-loss setting, regular JPEG produces files that are perhaps
half the size of an uncompressed 24-bit-per-pixel image. True lossless JPEG
provides roughly the same amount of compression, but it guarantees
bit-for-bit accuracy.
If you have an application requiring lossless storage of images with less
than 6 bits per pixel (per color component), you may want to look into the
JBIG bilevel image compression standard. This performs better than JPEG
lossless on such images. JPEG lossless is superior to JBIG on images with
6 or more bits per pixel; furthermore, JPEG is public domain (at least with a
Huffman back end), while the JBIG techniques are heavily covered by patents.
[14] What about arithmetic coding?
The JPEG spec defines two different "back end" modules for the final output
of compressed data: either Huffman coding or arithmetic coding is allowed.
The choice has no impact on image quality, but arithmetic coding usually
produces a smaller compressed file. On typical images, arithmetic coding
produces a file 5 or 10 percent smaller than Huffman coding. (All the
file-size numbers previously cited are for Huffman coding.)
Unfortunately, the particular variant of arithmetic coding specified by the
JPEG standard is subject to patents owned by IBM, AT&T, and Mitsubishi.
Thus *you cannot legally use arithmetic coding* unless you obtain licenses
from these companies. (The "fair use" doctrine allows people to implement
and test the algorithm, but actually storing any images with it is dubious
at best.)
At least in the short run, I recommend that people not worry about
arithmetic coding; the space savings isn't great enough to justify the
potential legal hassles. In particular, arithmetic coding *should not*
be used for any images to be exchanged on Usenet.
For more information about JPEG in general or the free JPEG software in
particular, contact the Independent JPEG Group at
tom lane
organizer, Independent JPEG Group or
NeoShow PRO lets you combine PCX and GIF
format images into effective presentations.
Uses include visual aids, showroom exhibits,
sales tracts, etc. Variety of screen wipes,
fades and dissolves. Sound recorder. Runtime
license lets you produce/distribute EXE stand
alone shows. Supports 2,16,256 color files to
1024x768, and SoundBlaster/comp. cards. Req.:
DOS 3.1+; EGA/VGA/SVGA graphics; MS/Logitech
compatible mouse; hard disk; and 640K+ RAM.

Is a general purpose picture view program
which allows you to adjust the brightness
and contrast in your pictures and save them
back out. FREEWARE
From the author of the award-winning Media
Magic, Blackboard, and Multimedia Workshop
programs comes PIECES, a suite of more than
40 graphic and sound utilities. PIECES
performs many of the same functions as those
highly regarded authoring tools -- but in
small programs which you can work into your
own products as needed. Reg $99. Disk 1 of 2.
You get more than 40 "bite-size" programs
that let you: display .GIF and .PCX files,
play sound effects, run special effects like
curtains and fades, display an arrow, link
files, make shows and much, much more!
Anyone who can write a batch file can make
computing FUN with the color, movement and
sounds of PIECES. Reg $99. Disk 2 of 2.

PrintShop Grphc-orders for Old Version of Pr
int Shop,

RayLathe is a text based tool that allows you
to create three dimensional objects using the
metaphor of the machinist's lathe. Objects
can be created for POVRAY 1.0/2.0 & Vivid 2.0
ray tracing programs. Also .RAW output to
many other tracers. uLathe (
is an excellent front end to RayLathe.
Author: Ken Koehler v2.00

Raster Master V3.6: Sprite / Icon editor for
creating and editing small graphic images.PCX
CEL/BMP/ICO. Create source code for images,
palettes, and mouse.16 and 256 color support.
For Turbo Pascal, QuickBASIC, Turbo C,QuickC,
and Mouse. Get the latest version from Baude-
ville BBS (416) 283-0114. From the makers of

RTAG v2.1 - Ray Tracing Animation
Generator. RTAG compiles an animation control
language and produces files to cause ray
tracing programs like POV-Ray or Polyray to
generate the sequence of frames for an
animation. The language provides full
arithmetic expressions, looping control and
spline path generation. Using RTAG you can
create animations with accelerations and/or
object interactions.

--------[ Smoke Out ]--------
Version 1.0 - Dream SoftWorks
Program to convert files files
containing Pipe Colors in to
raw ANSI text.
SPRED V1.0 -- April 6th,'93
FREEWARE by Karim Sultan
256 Colour BitMap Sprite Editor
Make Sprites, Logos, Icons, and
Design Colourful Fonts, For
Your Games and Applications!
SVGA v1.12, easy to use multi-format image
viewer designed to quickly browse through a
collection of image files. Automatically sup-
ports VESA, Ahead, ATI, C&T, Cirrus Logic,
Compaq QVision, Diamond SpeedStar 24/24X,
Everex, Genoa, MXIC, NCR, and more! Auto-
detects and supports HiColor/TrueColor video
modes. Full support for 4DOS 4.0 file desc-
riptions GIF, PCX, Windows BMP, and TARGA
image formats. EMS, XMS, and virtual memory
supported to view large images.

V-Edit v1.3 - ANSI, PCBoard @X, VBBS/WWIV
heart code, ASCII screen editor. A host of
improvements over version 1.2! V-Edit now
uses many of the new PCB macros, has many
trick new functions such as rotation, new
code for faster operation, reads/writes via
disk for memory conservation. Just about a
total re-write. Too much to mention here.
Works as text/ANSI editor in PCBSetup.
Full Motion Net(tm) Software.
VESAVIEW v4.8 - View/Catalog/Print images.
HPGL plotter files. Create arrays of up to
81 images/screen. Can use as graphic menus.
Requires a graphics card with VESA BIOS or
driver & extended mem. Up to 1280x1024x256.
Pan/color/bright/scale/crop/fade controls.
24 bit color support. Print BW or Color to
HP DeskJets (incl 500C/550C), LaserJets &
PaintJets. V4.8 adds more hw error checks.
VESAVIEW v5.0 - View/Catalog/Print images.
HPGL plotter files. Create arrays up to 144
images/screen to use as graphic menus.
Requires a graphics card with VESA BIOS or
driver & extended mem. Up to 1280x1024x256.
Pan/color/bright/scale/crop/fade controls.
24 bit color support. Print BW or Color to
HP DeskJets (incl 500C/550C), LaserJets &
PaintJet. V 5.0 adds major enhancements.
VERSAMAP v1.30 - Draws maps on 13 map
projections. Prints maps on dot matrix or
laser printers; as PCX, PIC, CGM, or ASCII
files. Text may be added to maps. V1.30 has
borders for Australian States, Canadian
Provinces, new countries formed from USSR; 5
new projections; plots World Data Bank II &
USGS Digital Line Graph data. Supports CGA,
EGA, VGA, Hercules. Registration fee $15.

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CD2HTML ( 1997 by Falk Petro)