Brutal File Manager 1.2 review

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Bfm, the Brutal File Manager is a combined file manager and first person shooter game

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 189K
Developer: Daniel Forchheimer
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Bfm, the Brutal File Manager is a combined file manager and first person shooter game. The basic idea is to represent different folders on your computer as rooms in a 3D environment.

Then, armed to your teeths you go through these rooms and delete files by shooting att them. Take a look at the screenshots section and you'll see what it's all about.

Bfm is written in Java and uses the hardware accelerated 3D library Java3D. That means that it should run on all platforms that have Java and Java3D. It is tested on Linux and Windows.

The whole thing started as a project in our programming class in school, and the development has continued even though we have graduated.

Bfm is released under the GNU General Public License.

Here are some key features of "Brutal File Manager":
A 3D environment with rooms generated from the file system, the walls are "doors" to other directories
Files are represented by cylinders on the floor
Weapons: currently a spear, a shotgun and a sniper rifle
You can delete files using your weapons
Secondary fire: you can zoom with the sniper rifle
Walls are colored in different ways depending on different attributes
The look of the files depend on various attributes, default color is blue, read only files are red, hidden files are transparent and files that have been hit turn yellow
It's perfectly safe to use bfm strictly for entertainment by starting it in safe mode, files won't be removed from the hard drive but they'll still disappear in the 3D environment
A head up display showing current directory, safe mode and a crosshair
A config file reader
Platform independent (since it's written in Java), should run on all platforms with a Java and Java3D installation (for more details look at requirements)

Java Development Kit v1.4 or later (we've had reports that it won't compile with v1.3.1)
Java3D v1.3 or later


These installation notes apply to UNIX-like systems. It's written quite detailed so that hopefully everyone understands.

The best way to install Bfm on your system is to use a .jar-file. The Bfm package already contains such a file so you can skip the first step in the installation, especially if you just have a JRE installed.

Run the following commands to create a .jar-file file (requires a JDK):
cd src
jar cmf manifest Bfm.jar *.class images

As root, move 'Bfm.jar' to a suitable place (in this example /usr/share/bfm):
mkdir /usr/share/bfm
mv Bfm.jar /usr/share/bfm/

Edit 'bfm' with an editor of your choice (here: NEdit) so that the path in it matches the place where Bfm.jar can be found. The next step is to move the start script (still as root):
nedit bfm
mv bfm /usr/bin

Setup and usage

Before you run Bfm you should setup bfm.conf and change the settings the way you want. It is recommended to enable safe mode unless you really want to remove files and before you know how Bfm works. The shotgun for instance spreads its shots in a cone which you should be aware of.

As a user, copy bfm.conf to your home dir and edit it to customize the settings:
mkdir ~/.bfm
cp bfm.conf ~/.bfm/
nedit ~/.bfm/bfm.conf

Take a look at the default bfm.conf for an explanation of all settings (the list of available keyboard keys can be found here: KEYS). The first location Bfm will look for a config file is /etc/bfm/bfm.conf which can be used to set system wide settings. The second location is ~/.bfm/bfm.conf, the settings found here will override previous loaded settings. There's also a flag to specify a config file (this was added with Windows users in mind), start Bfm with the -c flag followed by a path to bfm.conf.

Now it's time to get ready for the ultimate file managing experience - Bfm :)

If you want to try Bfm without installing it or haven't got root access you can run the folowing:
java -jar Bfm.jar

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