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"GNU/Linux PsychOS Tools: RetroGrab" by TheOuterLinux


RetroGrab is included by default with the latest version of of the GNU/Linux distribution "PsychOS"; if you would like a copy, please visit https://psychsolinux.gitlab.io.

RetroGrab is essentially a download manager that gathers an easy to use list of bookmarks using tools such as cURL from a Git repository. Because these bookmarks are not built into RetroGrab itself and are gathered from a Git repository, the maintainers can add, change, or remove items from lists whenever needed. Each bookmark is displayed as an item on a list in which information on the selected item is displayed in a text area below. Depending on how much information is provided with a bookmark, an item may be available for download and/or installation for a GNU/Linux-based system, specifically intended for "PsychOS," for the purposes of research, scholarship, etc. and to hopefully support the retrophiles around the world in general.

RetroGrab is very similar to simplified graphical front-ends of package managers you will find on most GNU/Linux-based systems except that the author(s) and/or maintainers of RetroGrab do not and will not directly host any bookmarked resource (such as software, documents, music, etc.) within any owned/maintained repository without the authority to do so. If at any time the maintainers feel as though RetroGrab is being abused, they can very simply prevent access to bookmarks either as needed or the RetroGrab program itself upon launch as there is also an on/off switch that RetroGrab checks for on supported Git repositories. There is also an Emergency Message system in place for important notifications upon RetroGrab's launch as well as checking whether or not you have the latest version. This is done by comparing a string inside of an officially released version of RetroGrab to a string within a file on a Git repository. However, if your Internet isn't feeling very well, you may get an update alert anyway since the strings will not match if RetroGrab did not communicate with the update file. If RetroGrab cannot connect to a supported repository at all, it will show an error message and will not run any further than that as it does not currently support local bookmarks.

RetroGrab currently contains eight resources types to choose from: Programs, Scripts, Libraries, Documents, Fonts, Music, Video, and Images. If applicable, a resource type may contain ten categories: Accessories, Desktops, Development, Education, Games, Graphics, Internet, Multimedia, Office, and Utilities. RetroGrab on launch defaults to Programs. If for instance you wanted to find out information about AnimatorAKA, a very nice BSD-licensed animation program, or wanted to install it on your GNU/Linux system, you would select either the Graphics or the Multimedia category. Some items are in more than one category. When selecting a category, an amount of time is given to retrieve and decode bookmarks (they're encrypted) from a supported Git repository. The main form closes and a form with a list and a text area is then shown. When items are selected, corresponding information to a selected item is then shown in the text area below the list. And depending on what information is available, buttons become active in which you can Download, Install/Uninstall, quickly visit it's Website, use mpv to Preview an image, video, or audio recording (https://mpv.io/), or click a Support button to find out potential ways of helping the author(s) of the currently selected item. I would like to note, however, much of the provided information is incredibly out-dated. In other words, do not expect addresses and phone numbers to be what is listed. Using a CompuServe address or most provided BBS phone numbers will not work without a time machine. Most of the provided contact information is listed for historic reasons.

If a selected item is available for Download, that item's URL is displayed just below the list in a similar fashion found at the top of most web browsers, but below the list. This is also the same URL that will be used if Installing a selected item; however, some items require extra software (such as CWSDPMI) to run and may or may not be included with the Install (if not, assume that there is a potential legal risk). If you do decide to rely on the Download button instead of Install, just know that no extra software is gathered when using the Download button as currently, the Download button can only download one resource at a time.

If the Install/Uninstall button is used, it is most definitely assumed that you are at least using a GNU/Linux operating system and hopefully the "PsychOS" distribution by TheOuterLinux. The Install/Uninstall button runs a BASH script (the SHELL command is used a lot in this Gambas executable) to create necessary directories, cd into them, run curl -JLO -A '[a user-ganet]' http://..., perhaps use unzip or 7z to expand an archive file, and then use curl to grab encrypted .desktop and .png files (for icons). This items are then decrypted using OpenSSL. And because .desktop files will not except a relative path to a PNG file for the icon, sed is used to replace text to point to /home/[username]/.local/share/pixmaps. The .desktop files are stored in /home/[username]/./local/share/applications. It is done this way so that you do not have to risk giving root privileges. The only time RetroGrab will ask for a password is if an item needs to be installed using your systems package manager and even then, RetroGrab will do it's best to explain why. If at anytime you are suspicious of an Install/Uninstall, move your mouse over the button and scroll the mouse-wheel to display scripts that will be used.


For more information, you should try to read everything within the top menu of RetroGrab's "Help" section.

You use this software at your own risk and it comes with no warranty what so ever. Please read all provided documentation, including any and all Disclaimers and Licenses.

Keywords: retro, Linux, Unix, PsychOS, RetroGrab, software, video

Video License: CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0