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Updated: 1 hour 17 min ago

Wakefield 2018 Show Report

Sat, 04/21/2018 - 20:03
It was a glorious sunny day in Wakefield and a very upbeat RISC OS show with lots of interesting hardware and software. You can see some show pictures, and here are my show notes if you were not able to attend. Any mistake/omissions are mine.

Exhibitors
Richard Brown was talking about his new cloud solutions and general internet packages. Lots happening behind the scenes with RISCOS developments and public announcements will happen when they are able to update everyone. South west show date and new venue was announced and is now on the SW Show website. Make a date in your diary for Saturday 16th February 2019.

CJEmicro's had its full range of computers, software and new hardware releases to demonstrate. Chris did a theatre talk. They were pushing the RaspberryPi 3 model and an excellent platform for R-Comp's new PiFi solution.

Wrocc had a club stand where they also ran a prize raffle. They did a great job of organising the show.

R-Comp has their range of hardware and software products including the new mini machine and the software updates. Andrew did a theatre talk.

Sine Nomine showed off the enhancements to RiscOSM with contour lines and updates to Impact database. They showed all of these in the theatre talk. The range range of data RiscOSM can use has really expanded, it has some neat integration with online resources and a nifty little style editor.

Organizer has been updated to 2.28a which is free to 2.28 users and available as a chargeable upgrade for other users. Nigel is still asking for your ideas on what you would like to see.

Jim Nagel had the latest edition of Archive magazine (fresh off the press with show previews), archive CD and back issues.

Chris Hall was demonstrating his new FamTree application and showing off his GPS systems on RISC OS.

RISCOSbits had its full range of hardware products with interesting names. Rumours that Andy has run out of risqué product names are without foundation.

Drag'n'Drop had the new edition out today and free draganddrop pencils for all visitors. They were also showing their range of books and software.

Amcog games were showing off their latest game, Island of the undead, RSDP, full range of games and compilations.

ROOL had RISC OS 5.24 to purchase or download and the new Users Guide available along with their full range of books, CDs, SD cards, etc. A Titanium was playing the latest Star Wars video and also shown !Prophet running on new hardware. Eleasar has been investigating adding the ability for !Prophet to write out the xml format needed to submit accounts to Companies House. Price of !Prophet TBA and software will be released once the manual has been updated.

Mw-software had the updated AWviewer (a free plugin to show artworks files) and demonstrating the recent releases of Artworks and TechWriter/EasiWriter. Martin was dapper as usual in his bow tie.

Steve Fryatt had cashbook 1.40 now available and his full range of software. He was selling a CD of all his software to raise money for charity.

Richard Keefe has fixed Impression colour issues and finalising the new release of Impression. Stay tuned over next few weeks.

In the 8 bit section, Rob Coleman had his BBC graphics card, and Spectrum emulation. He can also do ZX81 and Jupiter Ace for real purists. Flax cottage had a range or BBC’s running education software. There were several stands with BBCs running and a charity stand.

Theatre Talks

11.15 R-Comp
Arm still in sling, Andrew updated us on developments since last year. He talked at NetFetch5 (major security improvements) and Messenger pro 8 (new today and adds additional security features and a revised manual). Release brought forward as RISC OS 5.24 needed update anyway. It does not need 5.24 to run or for any features. Improved handling of html email. Easier configuration options. Includes key for Windows and Mac version on CD.

Demoed new ‘mini' ARMX6. All features in 2 inches except what would not fit in that tiny box. Half the price. Still does the 4K screen resolution. Can be powered from USB.

There is a new version of SafeStore. Early access version now with full release to follow.

PiFi version 3 almost out - turns pi into a WiFi server. Native RISC OS interface to setup. CJEmicro's has some cheap pi3s in stock.

Quake was updated at SW Show and uses hardware do to speed things up. 3 times performance.30-40 times faster than risc pc. Wolfenstein has also been updated now.

R-Comp will be rolling out RISC OS 5.24 upgrades for machines in the near future.

12.00 ROOL
Rob Sprowson updated us on changes in last year. Network stack 20 years old so time to update for making it easier to use RISC OS for network tasks (Rob cited his use of his non RISC OS machine for online banking, browsing, cat videos).

London show - new BBC BASIC manual (right up to vfp). Most popular ROOL book to date. Had to get permission to use BBC name in book. First ROOL book on Amazon and in top 15,000 briefly! DDE28 released (2 minor updates since).
Dec2017 - USB bounty completed, updates from netbsd parent code, rewrite of low level complexity. Now more reliable if keyboard on hub.
Jan 2018 - run up to 5.24 release begins. More formal release strategy for 5.24 with traffic lights scheme and detailed criteria for passing. Not passing just means not all criteria met.
March 2018 - TCP/IP bounty claimed - about fixing security holes. Parts already in 5.24. Replacing SSL with more secure TLS protocol.
April 2018 - 5.24 out. 5.22 was April 2015 so this release includes all the bounties since then - JPEG improvements, Edit enhancements, USB step 1, bits of Paint bounty (ctrl+ mouse wheel to zoom) and TCP/IP . Improvements to HForm, Maestro. Printers. Chars supports Unicode and fancy fonts, Dosfs. Filecore can handle up to 2tb. More secure !LanmanFS which can connect to windows 8 and 10
Kernel offers physical memory pools up to 512meg. Oflaoflaofla message should be replaced with more clear messages.
NFS client back. Econet on omni. Access+. Routed and uti modules. Trusted certificates datebase. Porterhouse font now included.

Total of 708 changes and 21 main ones.

Fix for zero page now in. 34 months of advanced warning. Part of ROOL strategy of trying to ensure RISC OS ready for ARM changes to chips (in contrast to previous changes under Acorn).

New ePic release with updates for software - SparkFS, PhotoDesk, Impact, DDE.

Aim to get RISC OS back into NOOBS for RaspberryPi (so easy for anyone to try it).

New copy of user guide. 62 chapters and includes new part from former Welcome guide. 924 illustrations and detailed draw and paint guides.

Updated us on bounties. Community driven. Open to ideas. 6 open bounties at present - Compiler improvements, Filing system , clipboard support, RISC OS general, TCP/IP step 2, USB stack step 2.

RISC OS 5.25 now nightly build. Future stable releases hopefully around every 2 years.

1.30 Sine Nomine
After some technical issues, fixed by the usual expedient of switching the projector off and on again, we kicked off with a demonstration of recent changes to Impact. Last year, made much easier to import csv files. Import is now much more intelligent. In process of adding more support for security and encryption via password. Any beta testers welcome.

Demo of RiscOSM. Contours released at London show. UK data from Ordnance Survey. Since then added NASA data for much of Western Europe. Showed route tracing tool which now shows gradient profile. Routes can have arrows. Demoed ability of RiscOSM to access data on internet to add to maps (ie pubs in Galway).

Software can also find photos on internet from Geographic for any location. Flickr integration planned to make use of new features from ROOL bounties. Style editor makes it much easier to edit and create new styles. Accessible via features window.

In reply to question from audience, unlikely to add direct export to PDF but can be done indirectly via printing. The wishlist for future features is 10 screens long but please suggest new ideas.

2.15 CJEmicro's
Chris has had the distraction of project managing his new house. Andrew and Jordon have been busy keeping business going in his absence. Chris showed small mouse interface launched in August. RaspberryRo lite launched in July. Pi-topRO covered with customisations for RISC OS . Still waiting for developers to release tech details for v2 of hardware. Commissioned another batch of ide interfaces for A3000 machines (retro and legacy big markets).

Still hoping to get Tablemate to a 32bit release.

Chris talked about complete systems offered by CJEmicro's. He is interested to hear if anyone has found a use for 4gigs of ram on a RISC OS machine. Looking for donations of old Acorn kit. Will produce 5.24 updates for latest machines in due course.

3.00 Amcog games
Showed off both the games and his development kit.

RISC OS a very creative platform for writing games and agreat community.

Takes between 2 days and year to write the games.

Lots of sequencing music on games.

Demonstrated new Island of the Undead zombie game. Game has full soundtrack and lots of zombies to shoot.

Free updates to games and open to suggestions for feature updates.

Showed games kit for writing games.

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Categories: RISC OS

Wakefield 2018 show in pIctures

Sat, 04/21/2018 - 19:05
Take a walk around the Wakefield 2018 with us....

(Click on the thumbnails for the bigger image)





































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Categories: RISC OS

New edition of Archive lands on my doorstep...

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 18:28

It has been a while, but the latest edition of Archive magazine (Vol 24 No4), is now available. It is 55 pages of news, reviews and articles. It was also nice to see some new and returning names amongst the contributors.

The 7 page news section is presumably still wet, with full preview details for the Wakefield Show. Jim Nagel has been clearly sleuthing for new stories and has updates from all the usual RISC OS companies and beyond. Great to hear Elesar are hoping to resurrect Prophet next.

There have been a couple of shows since the last edition of Archive, so you will also find Show reviews for London Show, Recursion Show, South-West Show, and a sneak preview for Wakefield. Now you know what you missed...

There is also a review of Chris Hall's !FamTree and and update on Aemulor, charting releases, development and history.

What really makes Archive is the user articles. Chris Hall continues in his quest for the ultimate GPS system using RISC OS, Gerald Fitton covering transferring emails between RISC OS and Windows. There is a Mac related column (which also covers VNC and Cloud software), a PC column (including updates on Windows 10) and Gavin Wraith experiments with StrongED modefiles. David Brown shows us how to use SchemeED (which can create schematic diagrams of electronic circuits on RISC OS) and Bimal Jangra shares what DARC Technology Club learned about Forensic science.

Lastly, you will find some hints and tips on RISC OS related apps - advice on Photodesk and DPScan in this edition.

It may no longer be a monthly event, but Archive remains an excellent read and Jim Nagel is an 'old school journalist' (do you remember Computer Shopper columns?) who always delivers the highest quality copy.

Archive website

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Categories: RISC OS

Wakefield 2018 Show Preview

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 07:05

The Wakefield Show 2018 takes place on saturday at its regular venue (The Cedar Copurt Hotel). The hotel is by the motorway (with a big car park) and Wakefield is very central for public transport. There is no 'show bus', but the Show website has lots of details on travel and accommodation.

All the regular exhibitors will be there and the list includes:-

  • AMCOG Games
  • Orpheus Internet
  • Archive Magazine
  • R-Comp / R- Comp Interactive
  • Charity Stall
  • Retro Hardware
  • Chris Hall
  • RISCOS Open
  • CJE Micro’s and 4D
  • RISCOSBits
  • Daniel Jameson
  • Rob Coleman
  • Drag n’ Drop
  • Sine Nomine
  • Flax Cottage Educational Archive
  • Soft Rock Software
  • Impression X (Richard Keefe)
  • Steve Fryatt
  • MUG - Midland User Group
  • Wakefield RISCOS Computer Club
  • MW Software
  • Xaviers Arcs
  • North One Communications (Organizer)
Some of them will be updating us on developments in the theatre talks.

There should be lots to catch-up and buy on the day.

Remember to drop by ROOL to find out about developments with RISC OS 5.24, the DDE update, compatibility on the new RaspberryPi and the Bounties.

Show website

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Categories: RISC OS

DDE tools update released

Fri, 04/06/2018 - 06:21
ROOL has released a new update for their toolset, DDE28b. As the name suggests, this is not a major update but incremental tweaks and bug fixes to the tools. Reading through the Changelogs, changes are in !CC, !DDT, !ObjAsm and !ResTest and ddt module has also been updated.

This is now the default version for new customers. Existing customers have been sent a zip with the changes to copy over the existing release.

In their email to users, ROOL also mention additional bounties for further support for ARM processors.

Tools are critical to the survival of any platform so good to see ongoing improvements on DDE.

Bounty link

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Categories: RISC OS

March News Round-up

Fri, 03/30/2018 - 09:23
Some things we noticed in the RISC OS world this month. What did you see?

A new game idea was floated on Stardot forums. We interviewed the author.

R-Comp update Quake to work with RapsberryPi 3

New RaspberryPi for Pi Day announced on RasbpberryPi blog.

RISC OS Blog has a great article on Running a web server with WebJames

RISCOSitory opened the voting for 2017 RISC OS awards.

DDE28a update sent out to users.

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Categories: RISC OS

Drag'n'drop winter 2018 edition reviewed

Fri, 03/23/2018 - 07:53

The latest edition of Drag'n'drop is now available online to purchase. If you are not familiar with the magazine, it is a nice mix of news, tutorials, reviews and type in apps, utilities and games (you can buy the listings to avoid the typing). It reminds me very much of the 1990s style Acorn magazines. There are also adverts for shows and equipment.

The magazine if provided as a PDF file, which also has the advantage that news and other items can contain links. It can be read on any machine or printed out.

This edition includes a wide selection of reviews covering the updated BBC BASIC Reference Manual, the new Protector game, a wireless keyboard and mouse, and a nifty little magic wand scanner.

There are 3 type-in games (Cake Hog, Buggies and Pebbles), complete with nice explanations of how the code works.

A nifty little SetTyper application completes the programming section.

So, something for everyone and a great selection of material to keen you engaged and entertained.

Website

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Categories: RISC OS

RISC OS interview with Tim H-Smith

Fri, 03/16/2018 - 07:28
There was recently a very interesting discussion about writing a new RISC OS game on Stardot. Our intrepid reporters have tracked down the prospective author to find out more....

Would you like to introduce yourself?
Hi, I’m Square Mezzmer! Otherwise I’m Tim H-Smith - an Interactive Designer/Developer from near London. Pleased to be interviewed here.

How long have you been using RISC OS?
Since I was bought an A3010 on my 14th birthday! I began creating prototypes in BASIC and pixel-art with !Paint for game graphics.

What other systems do you use?
I absconded to Windows PC in 1999/2000. In some ways that was a shame. Also, I love Nintendo, even though I’m too old for it!

What is your current RISC OS setup?
RISC PC 600 with StrongARM. Currently a big desk helps me run the Windows 10 PC at the same time.

What do you think of the retro scene?
Wonderful. So much, I’m recoding a game - Hero: The Realm for Acorn 32-bit/Raspberry Pi.
Hero: The Realm is a hack n slash adventure game I developed for Windows in 2012. It features intriguing puzzles and many levels with original pixel art graphics and my own created sound FX & music. Sadly I had to halt development half-way due to financial/life issues. However this game will be available for all 32-bit Acorn machines. Now a software developer is "on board" (an incredible ARM graphics programmer) Hero: The Realm will be able to run far more "optimised".

Do you attend any of the shows and what do you think of them?
Attending a ROUGOL next week, where I am the main speaker. It will have a Games flavour.

What do you use RISC OS for in 2018 and what do you like most about it?
For the pure feel. I love having a ROM set as an RISC OS (3.70) and will not switch to RISC OS OPEN. Yet.

What are your interests beyond RISC OS?
Game Design – Defined as Design in Games, not just graphics or sound, a nice Design integration is what most games need presently. It’s a very interesting subject.

If someone hired you for a month to develop RISC OS software, what would you create?
I’m not hired, but there is a possible Kickstarter for Hero: The Realm where everyone can order a physical copy of Hero: The Realm. It’s all in the works.

What would you most like Father Christmas to bring you as a present?
I have a list somewhere, from 6 years old (1986). Oh wait, my father /did/ bring me an Electron! *poof*

Rougol website for games evening

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Categories: RISC OS

55 BBC Micro Books on CD

Fri, 03/09/2018 - 07:53

If you are looking to experiment with BBC BASIC (or a bit of nostalgia), you should take a look at the 55 BBC Micro Books CD from Drag'N'Drop.

The disk consists of a wide range of BBC BASIC material, republished. The books themselves are included in multiple formats (PDF, HTML, Impression and EasiWriter) with the BASIC supplied as separate listings.

Many of the listings are quite short and targeted at the capabilities of the BBC range, but there is a lot of material here to explore, nicely presented. There is a wide range of programs and guides, with lots of games.

There are plenty of places to get lost, old friends to rediscover and new ones to find in this compilation of material.

The CD costs 12 pounds from Drag'N'Drop website

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Categories: RISC OS

February News Round-up

Wed, 02/28/2018 - 07:01
Some things we noticed in the RISC OS world this month. What did you see?

Sprow gives us a new version of Manic Miner for modern RISC OS machines.

AMCS update available

R-Comp release NetFetch 5.02 via !Store.

!FamTree now available on !Store

South-West Show took place. Read our report.

ADFFS 2.64 released with new games added.

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Categories: RISC OS

The South-West Show Report 2018

Sat, 02/24/2018 - 20:58
Stands
The exhibitors were generally upbeat, despite a 5am fire alarm at the hotel.

User groups were well represented with stands from Southampton, London and Bristol showing off projects and publicising their upcoming events.

Adrian Lees was demonstrating Aemulor and a new version of Geminus he has just started working on for new machines.

R-Comp had their usual selection of monitors, machines and software (see their talk).

Richard Brown (when not on door duties or making announcements) was showing off his very nice widescreen monitor and talking about Orpheus Internet services (I use them for work and home and can heartily recommend them).

Martin Wurthner was back at the show showing off the 2017 release of !ArtWorks and his other range of products.

Likewise, the Organizer stand was showing off their latest version and taking ideas for new features. They have now fixed the annoying broken line which used to appear on their website.

Jim Nagel was promising a release of Archive magazine once the show reports are added in. He was also offering back copies of previous editions.

AmCog games were showing off their games (and very nice new RISC OS desktop theme) and talking code.

RISC OS Bits had their range of interesting named storage devices and cases. They have not run out of puns yet....

John Norris had his bell ringing rig setup and RISC OS software to help you to practise. He shared a stand with Tasty Treats (who had the most inviting hardware purchases of the show!).

Ident Computer had their old and new range of cases (with Tom doing a talk about the changes and future plans).

Vince was providing sound support for the theatre and also promoting Bristol RISC OS group and his range of software. He also had a range of Vibe graphics demos running, updated for new machines.

Chris Hall was selling !FamTree and demoing his GPS hardware and software. He also did a talk.

Steve Fryatt had his range of software on show including the almost completed CashBook 1.40

Richard Keefe was showing off his work with Impression and talking about his priorities for future development. He gave a very full interview in Iconbar about his plans at Christmas.

Lastly the charity stand was raising money from secondhand software and hardware. Always worth a rummage....

The talks

There were three talks at the Show. All were filmed and will hopefully appear on youtube in the near future.

Tom Williamson

Tom told us about his background in media and broadcast. He is still actively involved in several projects and he told us about his WiFi sheep technology show.

His computer journey had started as a preservation and education project and demand for his homemade computer cases had led him into production. MicroOne was first product and the current release is mk4 - the last few were on sale at show at a special discount.

This is being replaced by a 'range' of CE machines which allows Ident to provide a RISC OS solution and and also target Linux and Retro gamers (2 much bigger markets).

Ident has its own version of RISC OS 5 (licensed from Castle) which includes some extra applications, has been reskinned to be more appealing to his target markets and nicely setup to use with a simple application to access BBC BASIC and a set of emulators. This is supplied with the RISC OS versions only.

Taking inspiration from the RISC PC, there is a two slice version, which Tom demoed with one slice running Linux and the other running RISC OS, viewing the Linux side via !Avalanche.

It all looked very impressive, and Tom has invested in some 3D printers to allow him to product several of his products.

Andrew Rawnsley

Andrew started with R-Comp updates.

The big recent software release is Netfetch5 with improvements for security and ssl. Lots of testing has been taking place in Germany. It also allows multiple servers - needed for spf which many Internet providers use to eliminate spam

The R-Comp hardware has received recent software updates. ARMX6 has new colour modes, and hardware floating point support (which your BBC BASIC code will be able to use). There was also an experimental build to allow developers to start experimenting with multi-core support. TiMachine has dual head support allowing it to display higher resolution screens on a suitable monitor.

A new quake release allows the game to run on modern hardware and also provide higher resolution on machines which handle handle it.

Lastly Andrew, showed off the R-Comp ultra portable Windows solution to run RISC OS.

As ROOL were unable to attend, Andrew also provided a brief update on developments (and had some ROOL software available to buy on his stand). The big development will be RISC OS 5.24 (hopefully for Wakefield). Andrew was genuinely enthusiastic about the current developments for RISC OS.
With his RISC OS developments hat on, Andrew reported that they had been working with ROOL and had provided funding for bounties to improve the RISC OS usb stack.

Lastly, he provided a quick demo of th new version of Geminus Adrian Lees working to speed up window redrawing on the latest machines.

Chris Hall

Chris started with a demo of his new !FamTree software, showing how easy it is to create and edit family trees. These can then be dropped into other applications for further use or processing. The software can produce some fairly large A0 page and Chris recommended trying some print bureaux (who will generally charge more for the postage than the printing itself).

Chris also brought along his GPS software/hardware and showed it seamlessly integrating with Sine Nomine's mapping software. The talk turned into really nice demo of the software and its features (hopefully the videos will be out on youtube in the near future).

Next year
Richard and Andrew have been discussing some ideas about changing the venue or date to make the show more accessible. I am sure they would welcome any feedback from the Community.

Final thoughts
Personally, I thought it was a really upbeat and interesting show - well worth my early start and trek from Kent.

The show seemed to have just the right level of 'busy-ness' - I got to talk to everyone I wanted after a small wait. There was a good selection of stands, and we even received a free slice of cake...

The show in pictures

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Categories: RISC OS

The South-West Show 2018 in pictures

Sat, 02/24/2018 - 18:42
The South-West Show 2018 in pictures (taken before and during the show).

Show report





































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Categories: RISC OS

Returning to ImpressionX

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 07:53

Impression was always one of my favourite applications, so I was very interested to meet Richard Keefe at the London Show and sign up for his Impression release.

What Richard is offering is a scheme where you will get access to his latest version. Potentially this offers three advantages:-
1. An update in the sense it is Impression-X rather than Impression Publisher. This is the flagship release. Most of the features are high-end, but it is always nice to have the top version.
2. An upgrade in the sense that Richard is making Impression run on the latest software. Some use of Aemulor is still needed, but the aim is to totally convert the software to run unaided on modern hardware.
3. Enhancements with better JPEG support, bug fixes and a support piece of software.

Richard supplied the software at the London show as a set of Archive files to decompress and install. The most noticeable change is the new splashscreen shown at the top.

After that, it is like having an old friend back reinvigorated and refreshed.

You can read about Richard's plans for Impression in his indepth interview with Iconbar.

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Categories: RISC OS

New RISC OS !FamTree application reviewed

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 07:55
RISC OS stalwart Chris Hall has turned his attention to a new product which will be released at the South-West Show this year. He was kind enough to send us a pre-release copy for review (version 1.3), so here is a taster of what you will be able to buy at the South-West Show.

!FamTree is a program for creating graphical family trees, showing all your ancestors.

The software works on the basis that family trees are rather like Directory structures, with parents and children. You create a simple set of directories with text descriptions and the software turns thins into a proper family tree which can be exported as draw file. The software takes care of figuring out all the layout.

If you want to use the software with existing data rather than create a tree from scratch, there is a feature to import data from GEDCOM data files. There are currently some (generous) limits to filesize on this. So it only allows the last 20 generations and 250 family trees. Probably need to wait for release 2 if you want to do entire tribes or nations.....

The software is nicely designed as a RISC OS application and follows all the conventions, so you should have no trouble picking it up quickly.

A minor complaint I did have was that firing up on my Titanium (running the latest OS), gave me the message that I needed MakeDraw 2.53 or later but I could not see any advice on how to fix. This might be off-putting to non-technical users. Otherwise the application feels really nicely polished and finished off.

There is a ReadMe file telling you haw to get started, a comprehensive StrongHelp manual which includes lots of advice on running and customising both the software and the output. The main program itself is a 50,000 line basic application. Chris has even registered the filetype with ROOL. Chris has some ideas for version 2 and we look forward to see how he improves on an excellent first release.

Chris is selling the software at 15 pounds. If you have an interest in family trees, it produces some polished output, is really nice to use and I think it will quickly repay the cost in time saved. And if you are at the Show, Chris would welcome your input and ideas.

Website and more details.

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Categories: RISC OS

January News Round-up

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 07:07
Some things we noticed in the RISC OS world this month. What did you see?

RDSP (the free Sound module from AMCOG games) updated to version 0.40. Some new effects and Stereo sound placement have been added.

Font Directory Pro updated to version 3.22 to improve compatibility on RISCOS 6 and Select.

R-Comp released OS Update 10 for ARMX6 along with a beta version including the SMP Multi core support to experiment with.

BBC Radio 4 talked to Eben Upton about the Pi (available on iPlayer for the near future).

Lots of interesting updates on the Raspberry Pie competition at riscos.fr

Elesar updates their Linux release for Titanium to keep current with Debian updates.

News appearing for next months South-West Show.

Jim Lesurf has republished a large collection of his sound articles on his website

Wispy wifi interface reviewed on RISC OS blog.

Updated StrongHelp C Library manual is now available on riscos.info

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Categories: RISC OS

NetFetch reaches Version 5

Fri, 01/26/2018 - 07:05
R-Comp recently updated NetFetch to version 5. You can purchase it easily through the !Store (a very painless process) or get it directly from R-Comp.

I purchased it from !Store (getting a discount for being a NetFetch 4 user) and downloaded. Once decompressed, you get a selection of versions to install. There is the full version, a utility to upgrade an older version of just a copy to overwrite an existing NetFetch 4 installation. I used the last option without issues. There is a detailled readme with full details on installing the software. The archive also includes a version of !Messenger (called NF) and copies of some old RISC OS browsers which may be of interest.

NetFetch 5 is a major update with better SSL support, multiple SMTP server support, better RSS handling and the usual bug fixes. Much of the enhancements are about keeping up with changes in the wider world (such as the way major mail services validate email and detect spam) but there are a couple of new features. Andrew did a really nice talk (now on youtube) covering the features at the London Show.

You can you easily disable the fetching/sending and autosend will now wait a little before it sends rather than sending at once. So you now have a chance to reconsider that hasty reply you scribbled down in anger...

If you are using RISC OS for email the NetFetch update is a welcome addition.

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Categories: RISC OS

South West Show is fast approaching

Wed, 01/17/2018 - 18:29
The South-West Show, the premier RISC OS Show in the South-West, is fast approaching....

This year, it is on Saturday 24th February, 2018 at the usual venue of the Webbington Hotel.

The usual suspects should all be there. At the moment 'confirmed exhibitors' include

R-Comp / RCI
Orpheus Internet
ROOL (with Elesar)
Organiser
Archive Publications
Amcog Games
RISC OS Bits
John Norris
Ident Computer
Soft Rock Software
ROUGOL
Chris Hall
Steve Fryatt
Charity Stand
Pi/Jam area
Tasty Treats

If you would like to exhibit, just let Andrew at R-Comp know and he will arrange a table for you.

If you are not local, the Show is at a very nice hotel and you can get a great discounted rate if you contact Richard at Orpheus. He may also be able to tell you who else is in town if you want to catch-up with some other RISC OS users over dinner or drinks.

We will bring you some more updates as the show approaches....

Is the date in your diary?

show website

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Categories: RISC OS

BBC BASIC Reference Manual updated

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 07:04
ROOL continues on its mission to bring RISC OS and its documentation up to date with a throughly revised and updated version of the BBC BASIC Reference Manual. This available both as a PDF in the programming documentation and as a hard copy book.

Issue 1 was published in 1992 so quite a lot has changed for this 2107 release 2. It is a fairly substantial volume (510 pages including the index). It is bang up to date, mentioning RISC OS 5.24 and BASCIVFP.

The manual is nicely structured so it can be read from cover to cover as a tutorial but is also clearly structured to provide a lookup for people wanting to find a specific item of information. The book identifiers 3 target readership groups:-
1. Total beginners looking to learn BBC BASIC as an introduction to computing.
2. Experienced programmers looking to learn a new language.
3. A reference guide for experienced BBC BASIC programmers who want to look-up some details.

To this end, it is split into Overview, Programming Techniques, Reference and Appendices. There are lots of little programming examples to show how commands work. There are no screenshots.

If you are dipping your toe into the programming waters, there are some simple examples and some good explanations of the technical side of programming (integers and floating point, error handling, writing structured code, binary) while there is lots of detail for more advanced developers (?, !, |, $ indirect operators, VDU commands, using the assembler). You will need additional resources to learn to write Desktop WIMP programs but it will give you a full grasp of BBC BASIC.

The book now has pride of place on my technical bookshelf and the Appendix section is becoming increasing thumbbed through. What are your thoughts?

Buy the book from ROOL

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Categories: RISC OS

!ArtWorks 2.X3 released

Fri, 01/05/2018 - 07:35
The London Show saw the welcome return of Martin and the latest update to !Artworks. You could buy this as the show and from the website.

As with previous releases, the latest !ArtWorks is a mixture of keeping the product current and running on the latest hardware, some tweaks and some new goodies.

If you are running !Artworks on the latest RaspberryPi, IGEPv5 or Titanium machines, the color modes all work correctly. With their extra speed, these should be your tool of preference now for most RISC OS activities.....

The Single pixel nudging option is a nice to have which makes it easier to move objects in single pixel increments with the ctrl key pressed. Apply ClipView now lets you wrap and object into a clip View where you can edit it with the new shape painter/eraser tool.

This is the big new feature which lets you paint and edit clip shapes. You can control the accuracy (how many control points you want) and effectively draw big irregular clips very easily which you can then tweak by editing the shape. At the London Show, Martin showed how easy this made it to cut images out of a background which can then be used as part of a drawing as if they were just an image with a transparent background. You can also use it to edit any Vector shape, taking a bite out of the iconic !ArtWorks apple...

!ArtWorks has always been a favourite tool of mine, both for work and fun. Now it runs really nicely on my Titanium and the new Shape tool is a really nice addition to its featureset. I look forward to 2.X4!

As with all previous releases, there are discounts to upgrade from a previous version.

New features summary

Ordering details

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Categories: RISC OS