To say it frankly, almost everything. The underlying concepts are the same, but the software part has been completly redesigned to overcome the limitations of previous versions and to make it easier to use. An highlight of the new features :
All functions (bpmenu, bpclean, bpunzip) are encompassed in a single program.
The program can run not only from the boot rom, but also under DOS, Windows 95 and Linux.
The program can now restore images of FAT16, FAT32 and EXT2FS partitions. If someone want to write NTFS support, let me know... For now, NT users still have to stick to FAT16.
The program can not only restore disk images but also add and patch individual files in order to customize the client behaviour.
Disk images are not any more bound to 87 MB. They are now file-system independant archives.
We provide a mean for automatically downloading a disk image to an arbitrary big number of clients at the same time (broadcast).
You can now write your own secure boot script, that will determine the behaviour of the machine before the real boot.
You can now boot any Linux kernel, without applying any patch. Its is also possible to provide a command line and a ramdisk image.
You can authenticate users at boot time using a Unix, NT or Radius server and deny them any access to the machine.
Full national language support is included.
And many, many other new features...
Is there a program for converting old archives to the new format ?
No, because the internal format is radically different. But you can easily do the conversion by yourself:
Boot an old image (unzip it to your disk)
Remove calls to the old unzipreg utility and replace them by the adequate patch commands (it is very easy, see the detailed instructions below)
Run the new mrzip program to create a new-style disk image
Version 3.0 was the beta-release. A dozen of sites around the world have tested it during a month and given much of their time to help us finding bugs and to suggest enhancements. Thanks to all of them for their patience, and in particular to Maciek Uhlig, Dick Velders and Jeff Teeters.
A few minor features have been added since 3.01, such as support for diskless Linux boot (by disabling the cache).
Version 3.10 introduced compatibility with Intel's Wired for Management 1.1a NetPC standard. The tools now work with any PXE-compliant boot ROM (as are most on-board boot ROMs) available today. Thanks to InCom GmbH for giving us the PXE bootprom that permitted this developpment. We also succesfully tested the tools with the PXE Boot ROM that I found incidentally in my Dell computer with onboard network card (called LanDesk Service Agent).
Version 3.11 to 3.12 added UNIX server-side tools (a PXE Proxy DHCP server for Solaris and Linux, and an enhanced TFTP server for Linux), as well as detailled informations on server-side setup and the PXE booting process.
Version 3.13 added Advanced Power Management support (PowerOff command).
Version 3.14 added minor enhancements and some corrections. We fixed a problem with the terminal under RedHat 5.1, and another problem in the syntax of the "if" command. We added some features suggested by the Laboratori de Càlcul de la Facultat d'Informàtica de Barcelona (LCFIB) :
A new APM variable let you know if your system support the Advanced Power Management (i.e it supports the poweroff command).
A "beep" command.
A new parameter to DrawWindow, to include a title at the window creation. You can now do DrawWindow 200 200 400 200 "Title".
Version 3.15 added full VESA support. BpBatch now support several video modes, to accomodate old computers not being able to display 800x600 graphics. A new parameter has been added to InitGraph to specify the video mode, and a list of detected video mode can be retrieved from the new VESA-Modes variable.
Version 3.16 fixes the following bugs:
"Malloc failed" during the Fullunzip process of a multiple fragments image. Many thanks to Christian Meyer for his collaboration.
A bug which prevented the linux version of MrBatch to properly fullunzip images. This bug was located in the low-level functions of MrBatch, so it may fix other problems encountered in the linux version of MrBatch. Many thanks to Jeff Teeters for his collaboration.
An error in the codepage translation tables. This bug was found by the Laboratori de Càlcul de la Facultat d'Informàtica de Barcelona (LCFIB). You can find the bug report in the BpBatch forum.
Version 3.17 adds some minor features and fixes bugs:
Fullunzip was turning Extended Memory off
Booting on the RedHat boot disk now works
When extracting images with a large number of directories, the resulting FAT file system was corrupted.
We added retries to text TFTP transfers. BpBatch will now retry three times before saying "Could not transfer the file".
Timestamps are now correctly updated in FAT. (thank to Francis Chan)
Version 3.18 fixes a bug with the IncrUnzip function. Thanks to Gary Pike for its collaboration.
Version 3.19 fixed a bug in the error handling of the delete command on ext2fs, as well as the inappropriate handling of names starting with A: under Linux. The following new features were also added:
A new if valid disk:partition syntax can be used to check if a partition has been formatted
FAT32 disk images are now fully functional (they now boot properly)
Linux EXT2 partitions bigger than 2 GB are now supported
Linux Swap partitions bigger than 128 MB are now supported (this feature needs a recent kernel, at least 2.1.x)
FullUnzip is now also possible without a cache partition, by setting CacheNever to "ON". This might be usefull for a unique installation, but is not recommended in general is it results in a high network load.