Recent changes to FreeGEM have included:
The system font is now loaded from a CPI file (as in ViewMAX/2). This has several advantages: Firstly, the new font looks better. Secondly, GEM now honours the system codepage, so accented characters will display properly.
The Desktop now incorporates the file viewer from ViewMAX/2, allowing files to be read without launching a separate program. As in ViewMAX/2, it can display text or binary files.
The Desktop now auto-detects attached drives (unless told not to).
PALETTE.ACC has been used in this screenshot to select colours other than the standard VGA range (in this case, a blue-tinted version of the GEM/5 colour scheme). The thin version of the font can be downloaded from my CPI page.
OpenGEM is the most recent distribution of FreeGEM. This screenshot shows its default colour scheme and redesigned icons.
This is close to the current state of play with FreeGEM/XM, the attempt to build something usable from the GEM/XM beta. It doesn't have most of the visual improvements that have been incorporated into FreeGEM proper, but the latest Desktop runs OK.
I say 'close to' because in the latest beta the option to click to drop down menus would not be greyed out.
The FreeGEM driver pack contains a driver that supports the VESA 1024x768 mode in 256 colours.
Or if your screen isn't quite up to that, 320x200 in 256 colours (I've doubled the width and height of this screenshot to give an idea of scale.)