|-------------------------- 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 26 7th February 1999 |
| To send in your news items or comments, use the ANS website, |
| or e-mail them to email@example.com. |
| Random site this issue: http://www.acorn-gaming.org.uk/ |
| >>>> Happy Birthday ANS!! <<<< |
2) General News
3) Commercial News
4) PD/Shareware News
5) Club News
6) ANS information
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US....HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US....
This issue of ANS completes the first full year of ANS. Our first issue
went out on 18th February 1998. From a handful of members in the early
days, we have grown ten fold. Thanks to you!
The outstanding work of the webmasters has helped a great deal in this
development. The work that Stephen has put in over the last several months
is outstanding. Changing a dying site, in to a vibrant one! Of course
other people "behind the scenes" who don't seem to do much, but actually
do the most. To name just one, James Sears, and of course many Acorn
The next few months should see some exciting developments in relation to
RISC OS. Hopefully ANS will be informed of developments by companies
involved, so we can continue to bring you the latest news.
Keep on enjoying ANS, and the many features on the site. A couple of new
and exciting features are due to hit the Acorn world very soon! Don't
forget the ANS Awards '99, which are currently taking place on the ANS
site. Take a look (http://www.acornusers.org/ans/), and cast a vote.
1) ANS Awards '99
ANS are pleased to announce that we have launched another new feature on
our website. This is a chance for you to vote for your favourite Acorn
Company, Software, Hardware, and Website. Commercial and non-Commercial
Software and Websites are being voted for.
To participate in this exciting and unique event, simply visit the ANS
website (http://www.acornusers.org/ans/) and follow the link to the 1999
2) UK 8-bit Computer Users Convention
There is to be a big get together for 8bit computer enthusiasts in
September this year. It will be called "The UK 8bit Convention", or UK8
for short, and will be a cross-format event for *all* 8bit computer
Rather than just being a "buying and selling" event, the organisers hope
to give users a chance to show off their preferred computers and software,
as well as providing comfortable facilities for socialising.
UK8 will be held in the English midlands (The Saddlers Club, Walsall, near
Birmingham) on Sunday September 26th 1999. 0930 to 1700, GBP2 admission.
Tables (with space behind them for chairs and display boards) can then be
booked by representatives of clubs, magazines and individuals, at a cost
of five pounds per table. By keeping table costs down, the organisers hope
to involve as many of the smaller support organisations as possible.
For a further information as it becomes available send an e-mail to
firstname.lastname@example.org or write, enclosing an A4 stamped addressed
envelope, to Brian Watson, Harrowden, 39 High Street, Sutton, ELY,
Cambs., CB6 2RA, England.
3) acornarcade.com - one year on!
Acorn Arcade's 1st birthday is just around the corner, and to cope with
continuing expansion the games website has taken on several new members to
head up new sections. The additions to the team are Tom White, Simon
Jones, Foggy (AKA 'Man of Mystery'), Musus Umbra and Theodore Rimspoke.
Other sections are in the pipeline.
Recent updates include:
* A full preview of Heretic and Hexen
* Reviews of Wubble and Xenocide
* A newly updated /free/ copy of Terramex
* The Evolution demo competition entries to download
All online at http://www.acornarcade.com/
4) Initial Public Announcement about RISCOS Ltd
The Steering Group have announced that a new company - RISCOS Ltd - has
been formed following discussions, initially with Acorn Computers Ltd, and
now Element 14 Ltd over the future marketing and development of RISC OS 4.
Note that to avoid confusion the company should always be referred to as
"RISCOS Ltd", and the operating system as "RISC OS". Hopefully this will
also finally stop the use of "RiscOS", which has always been incorrect.
Also RISCOS Ltd would like to hear from any freelance or part-time
programmers, to compile a complete register of available talent.
RISCOS Ltd needs: your contact details; your specialities, eg ARM code,
BASIC, drivers, C++ etc; any commercial experience (and your usual rates
if you currently work commercially); the equipment you have available; and
your availability, eg you have a full time job, but have 2 nights per week
free for other jobs.
This information will be collated by RISCOS Ltd to provide a database for
potential employers looking for contract or full time coders. Contact Paul
5) MIDI controller series
Readers of the old Archimedes World Music page may be pleased to hear that
a series of articles will soon be published in Acorn User. These will
complete the information about MIDI controllers, which Michael Cowgill had
started in his Archimedes World column.
6) The Acorn Auction in aid of Comic Relief
The auction has officially topped the magic grand, with total was fast
approaching GBP1100. Also more software has been added from Atomik
Software, Wardlaw Software, Acorn Arcade, R-Comp Interactive, and Icon
Technology. Remember, the auction closes on the 6th March 1999.
See http://www.acornusers.org/comicrelief/ for more information.
7) Acorn Links page updated
Paul Vigay has just updated his comprehensive links page to Acorn software
and resources, available at email@example.com as both the body *and* the subject line to
1) Pineapple update virus protection
The latest version of the Killer anti-virus software has recently had some
Killer forms part of the software which is distributed to members of the
Pineapple Virus Protection Scheme as part of the regular updating service.
The scheme has been running for nearly seven years now, and in that time
the number of known viruses has increased from around 20 back in 1992 to
over 200 at the present time.
With the addition of detection routines for all the new viruses, Killer
had been becoming somewhat slower in operation, so a major re-write of the
detection and removal routines was undertaken.
The latest version (v3.2x) currently being distributed scans at up to four
times faster than previous versions and a number of other improvements
have been added, including the ability to scan a selection of objects.
The price of joining the Virus Protection Scheme is GBP28.20 inc VAT for
the first year's subscription, with a reduced fee for subsequent years.
Updates are distributed approximately every four months.
Details from Pineapple Software, tel 0181 599 1476,
2) New from ECS: ECS Puzzler
The next application in the raft of new releases from ECS is now ready to
ship. Following on from NewSaver comes ECS Puzzler, an educational and/or
fun program which turns any image in your RISC OS Desktop in to a mixed up
grid of rectangles, which you can spend ages putting back in the right
Solving an ECS Puzzler puzzle could be a difficult task but lots of help
features have been added to ensure that anyone can do it. Turn them off
and the top level of 110 pieces is too much for most people, but anyone
can manage four.
ECS Puzzler has been used extensively in a special needs department and by
other children. Beware though, something like this can prove to be
addictive and as it is utterly harmless and highly beneficial for hand-eye
coordination a prohibitively high price has (not) been imposed to protect
ECS Puzzler costs GBP10 ex VAT, and is available direct from ECS, by post
(ECS Nottingham LTD, 2nd floor 107 Carlton Road, Nottingham, NG3 2FB),
phone (0115 979 9684), fax (0115 979 9685), or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
See http://www.innotts.co.uk/~ecsltd/ for details.
3) Win a copy of Cerilica Vantage
Cerilica is pleased to announce a competition in which the winner can
either win the new RISC OS design and publishing package, Cerilica
Vantage, or come away with a hundred pound discount on the package.
Within the month of February a graphic will be placed somewhere on the
pages of the newly formed Cerilica website (http://www.cerilica.com/). The
first person to find the graphic and send it along with the location will
PRIZES... People who have placed a thirty pound deposit for the package
before the discovery of the graphic will receive the full software free -
this is an effective saving of over 200 pounds, taking the VAT, package
and postage into account!
Those who have not placed a deposit can claim one hundred pounds off the
final price of the package. For details about the graphic that you will be
seeking, please refer to the new contest section of the Cerilica website
(http://www.cerilica.com/). Rules are also posted on the site.
4) ArgoNet to supply ANT Internet Suite
21 Jan 1999 - http://www.ant.co.uk/press/argosales.html
ANT Limited has announced all new sales of its Acorn based product range
will be handled through ANT's partner, ArgoNet.
This change will enable ANT to further develop its market leading range of
technologies and allows ArgoNet to consolidate its position as the leading
supplier of Internet connectivity and related products to the Acorn
"Today's announcement is a further strengthening of the relationship
between ANT and ArgoNet, allowing ANT to focus further on core product
development and ArgoNet to offer a more comprehensive package to its
customers," said Simon Woodward, Managing Director of ANT.
Customers will of course be able to continue purchasing from their local
dealers who will continue to support their customers' needs on a very
All sales enquiries for ANT's products should be directed to ArgoNet with
immediate effect. Support for ANT's products will continue on email at
email@example.com or telephone on +44 (0)1223 567808 until further notice.
5) Textease Multimedia wins BETT award
Textease Multimedia won the Primary Award at the BETT '99 show at Olympia,
London, January 1999.
Five nominations were made for the award, and these were then voted on by
primary teachers, via Education Computing and Technology magazine, and
Nomination for this category were:
* Hyperstudio (TAG Developments Ltd)
* Number Magic (Research Machines)
* Story Maker (Spa Ltd)
* Talking First Word 3 (Research Machines)
* Textease Multimedia (Softease Limited)
Further information is available at http://www.textease.com/
6) Topcat released by Microlynx
Topcat, a new thin client/server product from Microlynx for use with Acorn
computers was released at BETT '99.
Designed for Microsoft Windows NT, Topcat allows Acorn computers to boot
from a Windows NT server to run RISC OS applications, and with Citrix's
ICA technology, Citrix Metaframe and the Terminal Server Edition of NT,
Acorn computers have access to 32bit Windows applications.
For more information see http://www.microlynx.co.uk/
7) TopModel 2.14, new plugin and CD ready
Spacetech are pleased to announce that TopModel v2.14 is now in stock, and
upgrades for existing users are also available. The price of TopModel 2.14
is GBP152.75 inc VAT. Upgrades for existing users are GBP29.95 inc VAT or
free with the TopModel CD Collection 2. TopModel CD Collection 2 costs
GBP58.63 inc VAT and includes the 2.14 upgrade and Top3Dfont plug in.
TopModel CD Collection is an invaluable resource for both 3D designers and
graphic artists. Hundreds of models and textures are provided to enhance
your work, from web pages to your programs' interface. You can produce
stunning images (or simple icons) to bring new life in your creations.
See http://pages.inrete.it/sincronia/topmodel/cd2.html for details and
examples, or follow the TopModel links from the Spacetech pages at
1) Wimp2 updated, compatibility list available
A new version of Wimp2, the preemptive multitasker for RISC OS, is now
available from http://www.nedprod.com/programs/RISC-OS/Wimp2/
Wimp2 v0.32 fixes various bugs as well as adding hourglass handling to
ensure the hourglass still makes sense. Version 0.22 of WimpPatch is
available from http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~crackman/wpatch.htm
Also Henry Morgan has put together a website detailing software
compatibility with Wimp2. There will also be a form on the Wimp2 site
where you can submit details to add to the compatibility list.
The Wimp2 Compatibility listing is at:
2) Autofaq for the ANT Internet Suite
Autofaq automatically sends an FAQ to a newsgroup, once per month. It will
send an FAQ that is multi-part, will alter the header for each part of the
FAQ to ensure that it is unique and correctly dated, and only needs one
variable altering within the program and that is the number of FAQ parts.
Autofaq is freeware and available from http://www.g4nzk.demon.co.uk/
3) RCS Revision Control System v18.104.22.168
A stable and working port of the GNU Revision Control System, RCS v5.7, is
now available for RISC OS.
RCS it is a tool for programmers, which allows you to keep track of the
different versions (revisions) you made of your source files, retrieve
older versions of your sources, add comments to describe each change you
made in a file, etc.
For more information see http://www.xs4all.nl/~erikgrnh/acorn/rcsinfo/
4) Squeak 2.3 now available for RISC OS
Squeak version 2.30 is now available for Acorn RiscPC with RISC OS 3.7 or
later. See http://sumeru.stanford.edu/tim/pooters/squeak.html to find out
how to download it. The download is about 4.5MB and expands to about 12MB
on disc. You need 5/6-ish MB of free RAM to run it, though with some work
it should be possible to configure it to run on a 4MB machine.
This latest version has a a new vector graphics package (including ability
to read and display ShockWave files), new versions of the web browser,
mail reader and web server, but still lacks sound and serial port access.
Offers of help in these respects would be most gratefully received.
Performance has been increased by around 30% over previous versions.
Squeak is a public domain Smalltalk system, the original object oriented
programming language and environment from which most OSs have learnt about
windowing, pixel displays, menus and so on. You will need to read about
Smalltalk to make best use of it, since it is likely to be quite
unfamiliar to you at first.
For information about Smalltalk try The Squeak Archive at UIUC
5) IClear, new version + source code
IClear is a module which enables text to be cleared from a writable icon
by double-clicking on it with the mouse and typing new text. This can
often be easier than typing Ctrl-U to delete the existing text.
The module has been available as freeware for several years now and is
believed to have a fairly large number of users. There have recently been
reports, though, of trouble when using IClear with some applications,
notably Octopus Systems' Caller Display.
Author, Martyn Fox, has written a new version to overcome these problems.
A new feature has also been added. Precision drags are now possible by
holding down a mouse button and using the arrow keys to move the pointer
by one pixel in the direction of the arrow. This is a little-known feature
of Draw which IClear makes global.
The new version of IClear, with or without its source code, can be
downloaded from http://www.argonet.co.uk/users/mfox/software/
6) RealAudio 1.02
RealAudio 1.02, a RealAudio file format decoder for RISC OS, is now
available from http://www.neutralino.demon.co.uk/
The authors (Kira L Brown, Rachel Greenham, Justin Fletcher, Julian Brown)
deserve the thanks of all Acorn users for providing access to this widely
used format, which has been unavailable on RISC OS for so long.
However remember RealAudio is still a propriety format, and that ISO's
MPEG audio standards should be used instead, where possible.
7) LongFiles 2.10 now released
LongFiles 2.10 has just been released, and is available from
The only main changes have been to the CDFS code, where a slight problem
had crept in. The next version should be available with RISC OS 4 support,
so you will be able to make LongFiles attach to discs, rather than filing
8) Free OSLib 5.31
Following Jonathan Coxhead's release last month of OSLib as free software
under the GPL, a group of supporters have banded together to ensure a
directed further development of this product. This group presently
consists of Jonathan himself, Richard Sargeant, Tom Hughes and Tony van
der Hoff. The group would welcome anyone with further submissions.
OSLib provides a set of veneers to all SWIs in the system, and allows them
to be called in a fast and consistent APCS compliant way from C, C++ and
A web site has been set up at http://www.mk-net.demon.co.uk/ to form a
central distribution point for Free OSLib, and you'll find 5.31 there,
together with the full source code if you want it.
Version 5.31 contains a number of changes and bug-fixes over the commonly
available version 5.1 (released in 1995); go to the web site for more
Several mailing lists are available, including one for announcements about
OSLib. To subscribe send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with
Subject: SUBSCRIBE oslib-news
9) Q-Lock and Mail-Lock updated
A new version of Q-Lock (version 1.1) has been released at
Q-Lock is a utility that enables you to encrypt all your sensitive data
with a high level of security, or to retrieve it, in a simple manner. It
uses the same strong encryption method as PGP, but PGP itself is not
This new version contains major enhancements over earlier ones, including
the ability to encrypt many different directories, a simplified procedure
for 'nuking' sensitive data, better safeguards against accidental data
loss due to careless use, and better documentation.
Also if you use ANT's Marcel, and you need to protect any sensitive mail
folders from prying eyes, you can do this by means of Mail-Lock, which is
also available from http://web.bham.ac.uk/N.M.Queen/pgp/acorn.html
Although Mail-Lock is designed for use with Marcel, it should also work
with other mail programs in which different mail folders are stored as
files within a common directory.
*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) February meeting dates
The following user group meetings are planned for February. Always check
the AAUG website (http://www.argonet.co.uk/scs/AAUG/) to confirm details.
3rd - SARC meeting - Bygones, a little nostalgia
8th - DARC meeting - Ian Caswell, EDS (Year 2000 bug)
11th - NKACC meeting - Build a PC!
20th - Acorn SouthWest Show - See website for more information
23rd - Blackpool meeting
24th - Bristol meeting - Paul Middleton of Uniqueway & RISC OS Ltd
2) Southampton Acorn Users Group
The next meeting on the Southampton Acorn Users Group is on Monday 8th
February 1999. Venue: Itchen College (1st Floor), Middle Road, Sholing,
Southampton. Time: 1900 to 2100 hours.
For further information, please contact either: Dave Higton, e-mail
email@example.com, tel 01703222312; or Ted Lacey, e-mail
firstname.lastname@example.org, tel 01703 325560.
3) Arche ACORN User Club
The Arche ACORN User Club is a user group which organizes a meeting in
Essen, Germany, every 2 months. Members and guests can there exchange
their experiences and problems with the Acorn Archimedes and RiscPC. Every
Acorn user is invited to the next meeting on Saturday 14th February, 1pm.
The meeting is held at: Haus des Sports (Hauptbad), Steeler Strasse 38,
Essen, Germany. Of course you are allowed to bring your Archimedes or
RiscPC to the meeting (remember a multiple electrical cable extension).
More information in German is available at http://www.arcsite.de/arche/ or
Editor - Eytan Abrahams - email@example.com
Sub-Editor - James Sears - firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster - Stephen Courtney - email@example.com
Sub-Webmaster - Peter Price - firstname.lastname@example.org
Life-Webmaster - Richard Hesketh - email@example.com
ADL Moderator - Paul Johnson - firstname.lastname@example.org
2) How to send in news
To send in your news items simply include the information below and send
it to email@example.com. Alternatively use the form on the ANS
website at http://www.acornusers.org/ans/newsdesk.html
Text of news item:
3) How to subscribe to ANS
If you are reading this on the ANS web site, or have received a forwarded
copy of ANS and would like to subscribe to the mailing list, simply send
an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the text "subscribe ans"
(without quotes) in the body. Alternatively use the simple form on the ANS
web site at http://www.acornusers.org/ans/subscribe.html
4) Fetching web pages via e-mail
If you do not have web access you can fetch any URL referenced in ANS by
using the KFS web by e-mail service. To use this free service send an
e-mail to email@example.com with the subject header "send ". For example to
fetch the web by e-mail service information page send an e-mail like this:
Subject: send http://www.kfs.org/web-by-mail.html
------------ Acorn News Service, http://www.acornusers.org/ans/ ------------