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Home > Archive > Issue 23 Current Issue: No. 286 (03 June 2012)
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 |-------------------------- Acorn News Service --------------------------| 
 |                     http://www.acornusers.org/ans/                     | 
 |            The Acorn News Service is an independent service.           | 
 |  It is in no way connected with, or supported by the Acorn Group PLC.  | 
 | ISSUE 23                                              27 December 1998 | 
 |      To send in your news items or comments, use the ANS website,      | 
 |                 or e-mail them to ans@acornusers.org.                  | 
 |      Random site pick this issue: http://www.cerilica.com/ *NEW*       | 
 |            Check out the rapidly developing Acorn situation            | 
 |              *>   http://www.acornusers.org/phoenix/   <*              | 

 1) Editorial
 2) General News
 3) Commercial News
 4) PD/Shareware News
 5) Club News
 6) ANS information

  Thanks very much to James, for taking time from the holiday period to put   together this issue of ANS. We decided that a special effort should be put   in to make sure we don't miss out one issue of ANS. We hope you appreciate   it, and the thanks goes to James!

  ANS has exceeded the 600 member mark, and the number of people subscribing   is more than ever before. We don't know what's done it, but ANS really is   the fastest growing Acorn Newsletter. We are sure that ADL will also grow   like this. If you have not heard about ADL yet, it is an Acorn Discussion   List being run by ANS. Subscribing is easy, see the ADL item below for

  Keep on sending in the news items, and checking the ANS website for new

  Best wishes for a great year.


General News

 1) Christmas present for Acorn users: RISC OS 4 to be released

  On December 23rd Acorn announced that RISC OS 4 will be released in mid
  January 1999. Available through normal dealer channels the upgrade will be 
  for existing StrongARM RiscPC owners.

  Ray Pinchard, of Acorn's Workstations division, said "We are delighted to 
  announce the release of RISC OS 4 now - as we would like to reaffirm our
  support for the Acorn community. Acorn have recently been compelled to
  make some disappointing statements, but we want our customers to know that 
  we remain dedicated to supporting their needs, long into the future."

  For details see the press release on Acorn's web site at

  Also Acorn have recently announced a new GBP2m silicon design facility in 
  Bristol  http://www.acorn.com/acorn/news/press/quicksilver.html , and that 
  the name of the company will be changed early next year
   http://www.acornusers.org/phoenix/posts/ft2.html .

 2) ANS discussion list

  ANS are pleased to announce that a new discussion list, which has been
  named ADL (Acorn Discussion List), is now up and running. This mailing
  list is for all Acorn users to use as a discussion base, to request help, 
  give help, and post announcements to other users world-wide.

  Subscribing can be done at the click of the mouse button. Just visit the
  ANS web site  http://www.acornusers.org/ans/  and follow the link to
  "Discussion List". Alternatively e-mail majordomo@lists.barnet.ac.uk with 
  the command "subscribe adl" in the message body.

  The list is a project of ANS, and is a moderated list, to keep the quality 
  of postings to the highest standard. Paul Johnson is the moderator and can 
  be contacted at paul@ans.acornusers.org. Subscribers can submit a message 
  to the list by e-mail to adl@ans.acornusers.org.

Commercial News

 1) Simple Freeserve Internet connection

  Clares Micro Supplies  http://www.stcoll.ac.uk/clares/  have released an
  all in one solution to obtaining FREE Internet access, although it does
  cost you something to get going.

  For just GBP99.95 plus GBP6 P&P you get everything you need to get on line 
  with Freeserve, the Dixons/Planet Internet venture which supplies free
  dialup Internet access.

  In the package you get an internal 33.6kbps modem for the RiscPC, together 
  with a CD containing WebsterXL, ArcWeb, Socketeer, NewsHound, NewsBase,
  Messenger, SysLog - everything that you need to get on line.

  Call Clares Micro Supplies on 01606 48511, provide credit card details,
  answer a few questions for the Freeserve registration, and tomorrow you
  can be surfing the World Wide Web, joining newsgroups and sending your
  own email.

  From then on it is FREE, apart from the telephone calls, which are charged 
  as local rate calls.

 2) TextEase Upgrades

  Free upgrades for users of Acorn TextEase have just been added to the
  TextEase web site  http://www.textease.com/ .

  The TextEase upgrade is to version 4.05, and is for users currently
  running a version 4.x TextEase. It introduces font blending, saving as
  HTML, including saving out Iota, sprite and GIF animations as GIFs, and
  several bug fixes. Html2Te version 1.5, for TextEase users who purchased
  the HTML writer, is also available.

  Also available is TeView version 1.7, the latest version of the freely
  available TextEase reader, allowing anybody to display TextEase files and 
  multimedia TextEase shows. This is the first version of TeView supporting 
  the full version 4 features.

 3) Acorn Liturgical Software

  A Licence has been agreed and signed with Church House Publishing for the 
  Christian Acorn User Group to distribute the following:
    * ASB - Calendar, Lectionary and Collects
    * ASB - Services
    * Common Worship - Initiation Services

  They are being distributed on a non-profit basis on a single HD disk for
  just GBP1.10. Users must have HolyBible for these resources to work. For
  details see http://www.argonet.co.uk/users/carandall/

 4) Teletext+ with Teletext Card

  Teletext cards with Teletext+ software are now available at the new low
  price of GBP139 from Octopus Systems. These are Computer Concepts teletext 
  cards (no longer available from CC) supplied with the advanced Teletext+

  Teletext+ software displays teletext pages on the computer screen, but
  works much faster than a television, as pages and sub-pages are cached for 
  fast access.

  Teletext+ can also automatically search hundreds of pages every day for
  keywords that interest you, presenting you with a personal summary of the 
  news and TV listings. It will even search the TV and Radio listings for
  your favourite programmes and keywords, and remind you with a spoken
  message before they start (using Speak software).

  More details and screen shots are available on the Octopus Systems
  web site at http://www.octosys.co.uk/

 5) Cerilica website launched & special offer

  Cerilica have announced the official launch of their new website
   http://www.cerilica.com/ , currently dedicated to the forthcoming
  professional design and publishing application for RISC OS, Cerilica

  The site is the primary source of up to date information on Cerilica
  products. You will currently find a comprehensive introduction to Cerilica 
  Vantage, along with a special offer, contact details and resources. In
  future screenshots, FAQs, on-line tutorials, and development details will 
  be posted regularly.

 6) TransCalc: New software from Feldner & Braun GdbR

  Feldner & Braun GdbR are pleased to announce that they now distribute the 
  excellent desktop calculator TransCalc by Niklaus Weiss.

  TransCalc integrates with the RISC OS drag and drop data exchange, can
  handle formulae, generate log files, provides a decent calculator window
  for binary arithmetics, computes in BCD internal data representation to
  reduce conversion errors and, at least in the full version, can handle a
  number range from +/- 10 ^ -4800 to 10 ^ 4800. Yes, a 1 with 4800 zeros.

  Best of all, there's a full working free version of TransCalc, that does
  not provide all features of the full version, but is certainly worth a
  download. The URL is http://www.spektracom.de/flying-snail/transcalc/

 7) SibToDraw - new verctor graphic software

  SibToDraw is a new object-based graphic program. It has been specially
  designed to work along with Sibelius to produce any type of musical score. 
  It loads page and text style settings directly from Sibelius, importing
  single pages as well as entire scores, correcting a number of things
  (rastral size, over-hanging slurs, text hyphens etc) on the fly, and
  converting all music symbols into paths automatically.

  SibToDraw has a Draw-like user interface, and includes several powerful
  editing tools, like flip, skew, rotate, widen, and proportional scale.
  All editing actions on paths, text and sprites are performed in real time, 
  also making it an interesting piece of software for non-Sibelius users.

  SibToDraw is available from Notensatz Freiburg, Germany. For details see
  http://www.notation.de/ or e-mail info@notation.de with any queries.

 8) New Olympus Cameras from Spacetech

  The new Olympus C-1400XL and C900 ZOOM cameras, which were previewed at
  Photokina, are now available from Spacetech Ltd. The cameras are bundled
  with RISC OS PhotoLink software, as well as Mac OS and Microsoft Windows

  The C900 ZOOM at GBP649.99 is a compact camera with a resolution of over
  1.3m pixels (1280x960) and a motorised optical zoom, as well as a digital 
  Tele mode. This means that the camera provides the user with the 35mm
  equivalent of 35-105mm continuous supersharp optical zoom, the digital
  telewide then provides the option to expand this up to 210mm.

  The C-1400XL at GBP999.99 is a high speed version of the C-1400L. The
  C1400-L has been reduced to 799.99. The C-1400XL has the same resolution
  of over 1.4m pixels (1280x1024) but allows quick and continuous shooting
  even in super high quality mode. It has built in flash intensity adjuster 
  as well as a connector for an external flash.

  Also new add-on lenses are available for the C1400L and C1400X, PhotoLink 
  software has been enhanced for the C840-L camera, and a new dyesublimation 
  printer for Olympus cameras is now available for GBP399.99. All Prices
  include VAT.

  For details see the Spacetech web site at http://www.spacetech.co.uk/

 9) January Acorn User delayed

  Due to CD-ROM duplication problems earlier in December, the January 1999
  issue of Acorn User  http://www.acornuser.com/  will not be on sale
  until Thursday 7th January, 1999.

  Note that subscribers will not be affected by this, and will get their
  copies, subject to Royal Mail delays, over the Christmas period.

 10) LanMan98: New Omniclient-free version

  A new version of LanMan98 is available, which, as well as working with
  Omniclient, will also run independently of it. Currently there are two
    * Printing is not supported (without using Omniclient/LanManFS).
    * Shares on the local network will not be automatically detected and
      must be added by hand (though they will then be remembered).

  Warm Silence Software are working to remove both of these limitations, but 
  the software is more than usable at the moment, so they have decided to
  release the new version immediately.

  The price remains the same, at GBP35+VAT. See http://www.wss.co.uk/ for

 11) EasiReader for MS Word documents

  EasiReader is a lower cost product which allows RISC OS users to read and 
  print Microsoft Word and Rich Text Format (RTF) documents.

  EasiReader joins the family of word processing products developed by Icon 
  Technology. For users who require full word processor functionality,
  EasiWriter Pro and TechWriter Pro both read and write Microsoft Word and
  HTML documents. Any purchaser of EasiReader who subsequently upgrades to
  EasiWriter Pro or TechWriter Pro may deduct the cost of EasiReader from
  their purchase price.

  EasiReader is available through ArgoNet at GBP22.99 excluding carriage and 
  VAT (GBP29.95 incl). To order EasiReader, or for further information, call 
  ArgoNet sales on 0500 585 586 or e-mail sales@argonet.co.uk.

  EasiWriter Pro and TechWriter Pro are available direct from Icon
  Technology on tel/fax 01778 590563, e-mail sales@iconsupport.demon.co.uk.

PD/Shareware News

 1) DrawGen site update

  The DrawGen website has been updated, with a new page explaining how to
  create Bezier curves and 'broken' lines (ie various dashed line-styles),
  examples of using DrawGen from BASIC and from WimpBasic2.

  DrawGen provides a relatively easy way to create DrawFiles from most
  programming languages. DrawGen itself, and information on how to use it,
  plus example programs in BASIC, C, FORTRAN, and now WimpBasic2, are
  available from http://www.st-and.demon.co.uk/DrawGen/dgen.html

 2) MidiWays - software available for download

  New software available from http://www.argonet.co.uk/users/lenny/soft/
    * Swish, a SWI listing utility.
    * Verma, another module-related utility, reports version information.
    * Mixer, provides volume control over the internal sound system, CD-ROM 
      audio, and SharedSound handlers.
    * Midiphile, produces a detailed description of, or strips unwanted data 
      from, MIDI files.
    * SysExy, a MIDI System Exclusive data recorder. This requires an Acorn 
      compatible MIDI interface.

  They are all stored in zip archives, and can be downloaded from

 3) OSLib 5.3 now available

  The new release of OSLib, version 5.3, is available at

  OSLib is a set of functions and C headers to provide complete coverage of 
  the RISC OS application programmer's interface from C. It provides access   to all SWI calls which is efficient, type-safe, obvious, complete,
  register-safe and language-independent.

  The major change is that this is a full source code release. To build (and 
  use) it, you will need a C compiler, a C++ compiler, an assembler, linker, 
  YACC or Bison, SparkFS and StrongHelp.

  The author hopes that development will continue in the tradition of the
  open source movement, with contributions from those that wish to make
  them. The easiest and most likely form of development is for a module
  author to provide an interface file for their module.

  Fault reports and suggestions for improvement may be sent to the author,
  Jonathan Coxhead  jonathan@doves.demon.co.uk . For details see the OSLib
  web site at http://www.doves.demon.co.uk/oslib/

 4) New game released: Xenocide

  Skullsoft Software has released a new shareware game - Xenocide. The
  unregistered version can be downloaded from the Skullsoft website:

  Xenocide is a shareware vertical scrolling shoot'em up, which will run on 
  any RISC OS machine with 4MB RAM and RISC OS 3. An ARM 3 is recommended,
  though it will run reasonably on an ARM 250. The full version requires
  installing to a hard drive. The game runs in 320x256x8bpp (Mode 13).

  Xenocide is broken down into two separate archives, the first (1070KB)
  contains the game and the first two stages (Mars), and the second (306KB) 
  contains a further two stages (Space) which can be easily added. Xenocide 
  will function without the extra levels.

  Registration is GBP8, see the Docs with the unregistered version for more 
  details, or visit http://www.eganc.demon.co.uk/skullsoft/

 5) MoveIt, Olympus C-420L digital camera utility

  MoveIt is for people with access to an Olympus C-420L digital camera. When 
  in extra high resolution mode this cameras can take 9 shots at one tenth
  of a second interval. All shots form a single picture when downloaded.

  MoveIt accepts such a sprite and isolates the individual frames in
  sequence. It is now possible to run them as a nine frame movie inside the 

  For those that do not have the camera but want to try the program, a
  suitable image is supplied in JPEG format. This will have to be converted 
  before use.

  MoveIt is shareware and is available from

Club News
         *Brought to you with The Association of Acorn User Groups*

 The AAUG website provides details of all the user groups worldwide, and
 how you can benefit from becoming a member. For more information, visit:


 1) Wakefield Acorn Computer Group meeting - 6th January

  The next WACG meeting, on Wednesday 6th January 1999, is the, now annual, 
  Question and Answer Session. WACG's Guest Panel consists of none other
  then Dave Walker, former Acorn Engineering Support manager, and Mike Cook. 
  WACG also hope to show a short 14 minute video (without sound) of last
  May's Wakefield Show, taken professionally by a WACG member.

  For details and directions see the user group's web site at

ANS Information

 1) Credits

  Editor         - Eytan Abrahams   - eytan@acornusers.org
  Sub-Editor     - James Sears      - james@acornusers.org
  Webmaster      - Stephen Courtney - stephen@ans.acornusers.org
  Sub-Webmaster  - Peter Price      - peter@ans.acornusers.org
  Life-Webmaster - Richard Hesketh  - richard@acornusers.org
  ADL Moderator  - Paul Johnson     - paul@ans.acornusers.org

 2) How to send in news

  To send in your news items simply include the information below and send
  it to ans@acornusers.org. Alternatively use the form on the ANS website at 

  First name:
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  Text of news item:

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