These pages are rather old (yes, back from the 1990ties) and are presented here only for their historical value...

A taste of my private work and projects

Worlds Collide

"We are making waves..."

March 2004: Please note that this page is now extremely outdated being last updated 1996 (!), I'll keep it online for its historical value ;-)

NeXTSTEP Applications:

MMP: Minimal Media Player for NeXTSTEP/OpenStep and soon Rhapsody

MMP is a freeware player of various popular sound formats like MOD, MIDI, SND and MP3. It acts as a frontend to various command line players like timidity and mpg123. See the Download area for more information.

CAPer: Appletalk connectivity for NeXTSTEP/OpenStep

Please follow this link to the CAPers home.

NXEM48: A HP48SX calculator emulation for NeXTSTEP

Live screenshot taken from my NeXT machine

This application emulates a full HP48SX scientific calculator by doing a faithful CPU emulation. It has a 24-bit, nice looking display just like the original HP48 (a bitmap scan of the real thing). In fact it is looking and running just like the real thing. You need the original as it needs a dump of the HP48SX ROMs I cannot provide due to copyright issues. (I own two of these puppies - praise and glory to HP as these are simply the best calculators on this planet.)

Status: Ready and Up

PSCheck: A PostScript preflight application

PSCheck is a utility that should help you finding problems in PostScript files. It contains a full PostScript Level 1 RIP (raster image processor - a program that understands PostScript) with certain Level 2 extensions and reads plain PostScript files or encapsutated PostScript files (EPS with optional preview). It 'testdrives' these type of files and provides you with a report what it finds in it.

Status: Ready, available as shareware (for NS 3.3 or better m68k/intel). Uses its own clone PS

BeYap: A Better YAP (Yet Another Postscript Previewer)

Screenshot available (1024x768)

BeYap is a much enhanced YAP capable of doing source debugging of PostScript files. With controls like a VCR you can watch the execution of PostScript and its effects in real time. You can step through the file, go back, set breakpoints, see the current path as it builds up, watch the clip area as it changes. It has support for binary data as well and a much enhance display of dvips generated PS files. In short it is the swiss-army-knife for PS debugging.

Status: Ready and Up - Version 2.0 will use an own PostScript interpreter clone as engine for even better debugging. V1.x uses the DPS system of the NeXT.

UPDATE: BeYap is available on the peanuts archive as shareware

FDW: Franks Destillery Workshop

This program takes (almost) arbitary postscript files as input and produce new postscript files that looks exactly the same when printed, except that these files are 1. compliant to the Document Structure Convention, 2. (usually) smaller, 3. (usually) faster in printing. It can turn parts of any (*mostly* any :-)) PS files into real EPSs, convert colorspaces RGB to CMYK and vice versa (even for color images), compress images on the fly (RLE compression - level 1 compatible) and much more. Works for PC, Mac, NeXT and from most platforms generated PS files.

Status: beta, some bugs but useable - V0.9 uses the DPS system of the NeXT.

Note: A new converter is ready and in the tests. As this thing uses a real PostScript interpreter it will be much more compatible and faster. The new one is the base of the PDF 'Distillery'.

Datacase: A way to store all textual information

Screenshort available (1024x768)

Datacase is a sort-of frontend to FreeWAIS. It uses the wais indexing engine to build indexes of data you give to Datacase. I build this tool out of my growing need to get access to little data sniplets fast. Often I encounter something nice, funny, important, etc. in the news or in the web. Now with Datacase storing this information is easy: highlight it in any application or terminal window, press the ALT-shortkey, give it a nick name (Datacase opens a dialog for check-in) and that was it. The index is rebuilded automatically in a few seconds, regardless how many data is in the database.

Datacase provides fast full text retrieval and understands natural english as query language. Data is presented in a special retrieval window that can highlight certain portions of text very fast.

Status: Ready and Up - Updated to a newer FreeWAIS release

Extended Textfield: an IB Palette

Did you ever have to do some imput checking in the textfield in IB. Did you ever wish for a programmable textfield without the hassle of recompiling. Extended Textfield includes a complete C-interpreter, so you can build and test filters in IB without the need to recompile the whole project.

Status: Ready and Up

Note: Since I do not plan to upgrade to NS4.x in the near future it looks like this project will stay on the NS3.x Level for a long time.


[spoken 'pe'stil] After long months of hard working it is finally ready. PStill is a standalone PostScript to PDF converter (a so-called 'distillery', I call it converter as the term 'distiller' is trademarked) for NS/OS that converts almost every PostScript files. It features font inclusion for Type 1 fonts, automatic resource extraction from the PS job (so you do not need to install all fonts before), In/Deflate Compression and much more.

The PS to PDF converter engine is not based on DPS but consists of 50000 lines ANSI-C code that runs on most every 32-bit (or better) architecture. It was written using only the public information describing the PDF format.

Just visit the PStill page

For more information about the PDF format see the web page of Adobe, Inc..

PStill (GUI version) will be available for NeXTSTEP/OpenStep, Windows95/NT and MacOS, the command line version will be made available for NeXTSTEP/OpenStep, MSDOS/Windows, Linux, Solaris, HPUX, IRIX, FreeBSD, NetBSD and more. Porting is in progress but nothing is ready yet. Stay tuned.


As a side product you can get my PostScript preflight tool 'pscheck' for NeXTSTEP (4-fat) here and the GUI version on the start page.

Please remember this is shareware, other versions for DOS (available) and Solaris (soon) are on the front page.

MScan - Driving a Paragon CX6000 scanner

MScan is a port of a scanner driver for the Mustek Paragon CX6000 (3-Pass) scanners (from Linux) including a full blown scanning application with lots of features. It works great for my own needs and was tested by some people on various system configurations. (In case you wonder about the icon, I used an oil painting as the first test image (it was made by Naomi Fearn) and it became the icon for this app) V2 is under construction, stay tuned
It will soon use the sane scanner interface.


MIBer is a control and management program for CISCOPro 1003 ISDN routers. It uses the CMU SNMP Lib V2 to query and control the status of the BRI Interface and will produce a live nice graphic of the state of your router. The best feature is the up/down button combo, as this enables you to cut off your router from the rest of the internet with only a button click (so it does not eat valuable telephone units anymore if some machine wants to use DNS or similar to call the world). It interfaces with tcp_wrapper too, and presents a little 'who has called me on what port' statistics for the paranoid network administrator.

Status: ready and working

Project 'Akira'

Project 'Akira' was a security test how easy it is to use a public window server for doing any file transfer and - unfortunately - it was a full success. Using a simple tool I was able to read and write files on remote machines that has the public window server turned on. I have extended the scheme and combined the read/write routines with an user level NFS server so it is now able to mount the complete remote filesystem from any machines that had public window server turned on without any authentication at all. Yes, this indeed means that any NS/OS system with Public Window Server turned on is securitywise equivalent to one which has exported all filesystems by NFS public read/write.

I have written this tool only to conduct my experiments here in my local network and I will not release it to public. However it is my believe that this is a major security problem in the NeXTSTEP/OpenStep system and perhaps in Rhapsody too, which renders the public window server functionality totally useless. My advice is: Do not turn it on.

I work on a solution to this problem (A LKS which filters incoming requests and reject those not in the access list).

Other things...

I have written countless programs during my NeXTSTEP life. To mention only a few: An Intel MOD player, a hyper-feature RPN calculator, a font converter for importing (some) TrueType, Macintosh and Windows ATM Type 1 fonts to NeXTSTEP, a page imposition program with graphics NeXTSTEP interface (no, not the Linotype Signastation but quite a different thing, unfortunately never released to public), an image setter control program for Linotype RIPs called LaserBeam, Converters and more...

Stuff I am currently working on (when I find time...)


A LKS that blocks off Ping-of-death pings and rogue access to a public window server by limiting access to the IP layer. It provides you with a new device you can read such rogue packets, so you know who wants to burn up your system...


A Internet radio application for NS (based on the GPL realtime streaming sources kindly provided by Progressive Networks, unfortunately I don't have any information about their patented RealAudio format itself nor do I dare to reverse engineer their code, so this application can only handle wav and sound files).

And in planing phase: NXPilot

A pilot emulator based on the copilot sources for NeXTSTEP. However I must obtain a pilot myself before starting this project, due to ROM copyright issues.

And there is more hidden in the Area 51 labs...

Goto Franks NeXTSTEP Projects Download Area

I have ported quite a lot software to NeXTSTEP. If you need some assistance in your port just send me an email:

NeXT mail/Mime mail accepted.

My PGP Key is available here

All trademarks are used for identification purpose only.

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