|-------------------------- 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 29 21 March 1999 |
| To send in your news items or comments, use the ANS website, |
| or e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org. |
| Random site this issue: http://www.riscos.com/ |
2) General News
3) Commercial News
4) PD/Shareware News
5) Club News
6) ANS information
Things are really moving! Exciting developments from RISCOS Ltd., kicked
off live once again in the Acorn community. Let's see where this takes us!
Major changes are due to take place at ANS in the next few days. Watch out
Enjoy this issue, and pass it on to friends!
1) Acorn Gaming: Heretic and Hexen
The first full review of Towers of Darkness: Heretic, Hexen and Deathkings
of the Dark Citadel, R-Comp's latest Acorn games release, is now online at
Acorn Gaming (http://www.acorn-gaming.org.uk/.
Also at Acorn Gaming are all the regular features, including the latest
news, Acorn emulation section, downloads, reviews and previews.
2) Acorn Comic Relief Auction
The auction of Acorn hardware and software, organised by Paul Johnson to
raise money for Comic Relief, is now over. Thanks to Paul's hard work and
the generosity of the Acorn companies and users who participated, over
GBP4200 was raised.
3) Wakefield Show News
The Wakefield Acorn Computer User Group are pleased to be able to
announced that RISCOS Ltd. will be at the Wakefield Show over the weekend
of May 15/16.
WACG also have Millipede in attendance, in addition to over 55 other
exhibitors to this year's show, and yet more in the process of booking
stand space. For a complete list visit the show web site at
The User Group is again running a charity stall at the show and hoping to
improve on the GBP1600+ raised last year. If you have something to donate
either contact email@example.com or 01924 379778 (evenings
only, 7 to 9pm), or alternatively you can bring items on the day of the
The show website will over the next few weeks be updated with any new
exhibitors, details of a competition, floor plan, and show theatre program
as well as a hotel list.
Advance tickets are available now! Full details on the website
4) Interested in exhibiting at an October London RISC OS Show?
The ARM Club http://www.armclub.org.uk/, in association with AAUG and
Acorn User Magazine, are planning to organise a two day show in the London
area in October to replace Acorn World.
The ARM Club have sent an email questionnaire out to potential exhibitors
for this event so that they may take a final decision on whether to go
ahead. If you have not heard anything already and could be interested in
exhibiting, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information and a
chance to take part in the survey.
5) ChiOS and ChiBER project on hold
The ChiOS and ChiBER project to bring a RISC OS equivalent operating
system and an ARM processor card to a PCI architecture system (such as an
x68 PC) has been put on hold.
This is due to the sudden departure of the main fundholder, and since the
amount of money required to complete the project is high, the project has
been suspended indefinitely until a suitable source of funding can be
Jason Tribbeck, who was responsible for the development, will still be
answering emails to email@example.com, so if anyone has any questions
feel free to ask.
More information is available from http://www.chios.org.uk/.
6) Acorn Banner Exchange (ABE) closure
Jonathan Murray (firstname.lastname@example.org) has announced that he has decided to
close the ABE website, including all of its services.
Due to his move to Windows, and lack of time in general, he has have
decided to close ABE and all of its services (Acorn Counter, Acorn Banner
Exchange, Acorn News, AcornICQ).
ANS and many other Acorn users found the Acorn Banner Exchange very
useful, and would like to thank Jonathan for setting it up and running it
The banner exchange was a popular service, and it would be a shame to see
it disappear totally, and so ANS/acornusers.org are hoping to take over
running ABE. Hopefully more details will be available in the next issue of
ANS, watch this space!
1) ECS - Puzzler and LadyBay for free (for a bit)
The ECS web site http://www.innotts.co.uk/~ecsltd/ has just been
revamped. The main work done at ECS is industrial and so a lot of the site
is to do with textile industry control equipment, infrared drying systems
and the like - all of which were designed on Acorn machines. So, you
non-industrial types will have to look at that lot first before you get
...LadyBay, a primary tutor for key stages one and two. It covers initial
typing/spelling skills by showing the user carefully selected words. Also
in maths mode it can be used as a tutor for addition, subtraction,
division and multiplication. The download will work until April 30th when
you must buy the software or stop using it.
Also available is a time bombed version of ECS Puzzler, date set at the
30th as well. Puzzler takes any picture you can display on screen and
snaps it up. Then it will chop it to as many bits as you like and shuffle
them around leaving you to put them back.
The shareware page has also been updated with software relating to the
Wimp Programming series in Arc World.
2) The future of RISC User
The item below appeared in Volume 11 Issue 10 of RISC User.
The Future of BEEBUG and RISC User
As a result of Acorn's withdrawal from the workstations marketplace,
BEEBUG has had to restructure its entire operation. We have decided to
close the Retail department, and concentrate on the following areas.
One of our main areas of activity will be the installation of networks
in schools (Acorns and other PCs), to include the Internet, intranets
BEEBUG will continue to support its range of RISC OS software titles:
Ovation Pro, Ovation, Sleuth 2 & 3, Hard Disc Companion, Masterfile 2,
Hearsay, Desktop Thesaurus, TypeStudio and Phantasm.
RISC User magazine and disc
We will be continuing to produce RISC User magazine and its disc, with a
new editor, Mark Moxon, taking the helm.
Unfortunately, with subscriber levels unlikely to increase, we must make
plans for volume 12 issue 10 to be the last issue of RISC User (around
February 2000). It is important, if we are to achieve the highest
standards for both the magazine and disc, that all subscribers be part
of RISC User, and support us by renewing right up to the end. We intend
simply to charge a pro rata rate based on your subscription's expiry
date, and will do this by default unless we are instructed otherwise. If
you could possibly support us further by subscribing to the magazine
disc as well (if you do not already do so), then this will help us
We will inevitably have a fair number of back issue magazines and discs
available when the magazine ends, and these form the basis of a special
Any subscriber to both the magazine and disc at the end of volume 12
will be entitled to receive any back issues of the magazine they require
(subject to availability) for GBP15 to cover UK postage and handling
(overseas charged at cost). Considering that most of our 120 issues will
still be available, this is an amazing offer. Back issue discs (for
volumes 1-11) will also be available for only GBP2 each. If you do not
wish to subscribe to the disc just in order to take advantage of this
offer, it will be available to magazine-only subscribers, but at a cost
of 30p per issue plus carriage. At the end of RISC User magazine, we
will endeavour to come to an arrangement with another existing magazine
to supply you with a subscription to that publication at a very special
price. Once again, you will need to subscribe right up to the end to
take advantage of this. Details of our negotiations will be announced in
one of the final issues.
I very much hope that you will support us for the final year; maybe you
could encourage a friend to take out a new subscription.
Managing Editor, BEEBUG
Also over the coming months, RISC User magazine shall publish some
exclusive offers only available to subscribers of the magazine. This shall
include offers on recent games, utilities and educational products and -
as a sneak preview - volume 12 issue 1 features a special reader offer on
some superb software, with the average discount being between 20% and 50%.
This will be one offer you do not want to miss: and it's exclusive to RISC
If you would be interested in taking out a subscription to make the most
of the special subscribers offer above, or to allow you take advantage of
the many reader offers to appear over the coming year, contact BEEBUG on
01727 840303, or by e-mail to email@example.com. Subscriptions cost
GBP26.00 for ten issues, so the pro rata rate is GBP2.60 per issue.
Renewal rates are GBP24.50 for ten issues, hence the pro rata rate is
GBP2.45 per issue. Overseas subscribers, please email for details.
3) FontFiend - special offer price
For a limited period iSV Products is offering copies of FontFiend, the
only professional font editor for RISC OS, at only GBP51.50. This
represents a saving of GBP100 off the normal RRP.
FontFiend is supplied on disk with a 100+ page printed ring bound manual.
A RiscPC/A7000 with 8MB RAM is the minimum spec machine required to run
this powerful font manipulation package.
FontFiend is used by many Acorn developers and typographers. All of iSV's
own typefaces are produced using FontFiend. For more details please see
their website (http://members.aol.com/isvproduct/).
This offer is valid until the end of March 1999. A low cost upgrade to the
new version (due for launch on or shortly after Wakefield 1999) will be
available. This new version will be able to export fonts in PostScript
4) New RISC OS-based design house
Ottens' Dutch Designs (O'dd), is a new design house using the RISC OS
platform. O'dd are two Dutch brothers who have been with the Acorn
computer for more then ten years, have several years of designing
experience, and are convinced of the quality of the RISC OS platform for
See http://www.futuretrain.com/odd/for more information.
5) Cerilica announces overseas dealers for Vantage
Cerilica is pleased to announce three official Cerilica overseas dealers
who will supply Cerilica Vantage to non-UK customers.
Each dealer has been selected on the basis of knowledge and proven
track-record. Their customer care is also a major factor which should
prove to be a welcome asset.
Also Cerilica has received many enquiries from overseas customers with
regards to deposits. Now that the UK scheme has come to an end, Orcom and
The Image Factory has agreed to offer an identical scheme in their
territories. XAT of The Netherlands will hopefully be able to join in the
next few days.
For details of the individual deposit offers and new dealers see
Cerilica's web site at (http://www.cerilica.com/).
6) Acorn User April 1999 issue
The latest issue of Acorn User is now out. Contents includes: review of
OHP, Spacetech's new presentation package; Sleuth 3 review; World Factbook
review; and the start of Acorn Confidence, a short series assessing the
feeling of confidence in the Acorn/RISC OS market at the start of the
The cover disc features a utility to produce your own graph paper, the
latest version of the IClear module, and the infamous WBmodules required
to run last months CassInlay program.
7) RISC User 12:1 available
Volume 12 Issue 1 of RISC User is now available, heralding a new volume
and a new editor. You can buy this copy of RISC User for GBP2.60 from
Beebug on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01727 840303, or can take out a new
subscription for Volume 12 for GBP26.00.
Contents includes: Floating Point Assembler, how to use the floating point
RISC OS Outside, a look at Linux; DTP Workshop; Education: The Best of
1998; The Great Free-for-all, a look at Public Domain and Shareware
software; Brew Your Own Java, Peter Naulls continues his Java tutorial
series; reviews of TextEase Multimedia 4, OHP, and Clares internal modems.
8) Archive 12:7 available
Volume 12 Issue 6 of Archive is now available. You can buy this copy of
Archive for GBP2.50 from Archive Publications at email@example.com or
01603 441777, or can take out a subscription for the rest of Volume 12 and
beyond for GBP25.00 (12 issues a year).
Contents includes: 15 Minutes of Fame, Colin Sutton saw the feature on TV
that dealt with Acorn - where it has been and where it is going - and he
tells those of us without cable TV what they had to say; ISDN - an
overview; printers and printing; trees and programming; using large hard
9) Shopper 135 with Sleuth, Ovation and OHP on CD
Computer Shopper 135 (the so-called "May" issue) is coming off the press
now, nearly 200,000 copies -- official on-sale date is March 25. Sleuth3,
for OCR, is the main software reviewed in the Acorn column and, for the
first time anywhere, there is a demo version of Sleuth3 on the cover CD,
along with demos of OHP and Ovation.
1) Announcing Creator 3.30 and Translator 8.02
Creator 3.30 has been rewritten in C++. Some changes were made to the user
interface. In addition, Creator can now write BMP and is better at reading
Creator is a pixel image format converter. It can perform direct
conversions between a large number of image formats and image subformats.
It can also change the number of colours in an image. Whenever a reduction
of colour resolution is required, Creator employs sophisticated algorithms
to preserve as much as possible of the image contents. Creator can read
AIM, BMP, CadSoft, Clear, Degas, GIF, IFF, IMG, Irlam, JPEG, MacPaint,
MTV, PBMPlus, PCX, Pineapple, PNG, QRT, Sprite and TIFF formats. It can
write BMP, Clear, GIF, JPEG, PBMPlus, PNG, Sprite and TIFF formats.
Also available is Translator 8.02, up to 6 times faster loading JPEG and
PNG images. However, this needs dynamic areas and the image to be cached
(no problem on most RiscPCs with enough memory).
Translator is a pixel image viewer, processor and converter, all in one.
It is able to read and write a wide variety of pixel image formats, while
also providing a good set of processing functions with which these images
may be enhanced and manipulated.
Both Creator and Translator are shareware and available from
2) DigitalCD 2.38
DigitalCD 2.38, the CD and music file player is out now and can be found
New in this version:
* Iconbar action is now configurable.
* The CD panel will toggle between disc info and track author every
* Several bug fixes.
3) Announcing 65Link 1.20
65Link is now compatible with more Acorn machines, including the A5000.
65Link connects your 6502 equipped machine (eg BBC model B) to your ARM
equipped machine (eg RiscPC), and enables you to use the ARM machine's
harddisc to store your 6502 machine's files, using normal DFS commands and
functions. 65Link's only requirement is that the 6502 machine has a 'user
port', and that the ARM machine has a parallel port that supports 'PS/2'
mode. Most 6502 and 'recent' ARM machines qualify for this. In addition,
you will need to make a suitable cable and 'blow' an EPROM.
65Link is certain to be compatible with the RiscPC, A5000, BBC model B and
6502 second processor, but will almost certainly also work on any Master,
A7000, A4000, A3020, A3010, A4 and non-6502 second processors.
65Link 1.20 is freeware and is available now from
4) FTPc 1.08
A new version of FTPc is now available. Improvements include:
* Recursive delete and downloads
* User menu for connection details
* Can enter path in connect window
* Abort modified
* Allows spaces in password
FTPc is an Internet File Transfer Protocol client. Download from
5) NetReader v1.15 now available
The latest version of NetReader, an offline email reader, is now available
It not only fixes a number of bugs but has an extensive collection of
additions since v1.14. A full list of changes and modifications is linked
to from the NetReader download section. Just follow the link to Comms
software from the main site above.
6) Audio MPEG decoder module
Peter Teichmann has converted his MPEG audio decoder program into a
module. It needs about 50% of CPU time on a StrongARM RiscPC, and is
available from his homepage (http://rcswww.urz.tu-dresden.de/~teich-p/)
for all people who want to write a nice MPEG3 (or "MP3" for those only
familiar with the DOS corruption) player program.
7) Free online font archive
Harry Decker's Font Emporium, featuring 35MB of RISC OS fonts to download
for free, mostly TrueType and Type 1 conversions, is now online at
8) Updated versions of MP3z and Matches
Matches looks for identical files on your HD, then displays them for you
to run, delete, whatever... It now also produces a log file as well as the
interactive display of matching files.
MP3z (v0.04, 17 Mar 1999) allows you to select a sequence of MPEG3s to be
played by PlayAMPEG. Changes include:
* Removed reference to local HD.
* Added drag and drop track list editing.
* Changed the File$Type_1AD to MP3 instead of AMPEG. (Unfortunate,
as "MP3" is a corruption for DOS 8.3 mentality, and the file type
can also be used for MPEG audio layer 2 files.)
* Implemented the random button.
* Altered the play list file format, it is now possible to specify
what is displayed.
* Added the edit track information dbox.
Both can be found in the PD section of the Software section of the
author's web site (http://i.am/andyb/).
9) Announcing TaskUsage v1.35
TaskUsage is a little application to display in figures and graphically
the recent average processor usage for each Task and Wimp reason core, and
the number of Wimp Polls being processed.
The Reason Code and Poll details can be for all Tasks, or for a specific
Task. If for a specific task, any Reason Codes masked out by the task are
This is all done with as little processor overhead as possible (usually
less than 1%), and only uses 15KB of memory.
Full details are available from (http://www.avisoft.force9.co.uk/) and it
can be downloaded from there as a Zip archive or ArcFS file.
10) ArcScan King James Bible
The King James Bible in ArcScan III format is now available from
(http://home.freeuk.net/dacha/free/), as a 1.38MB Xip file or as text
files. There is also a new Templates file for ArcScan.
Other free stuff on the page:
* 88 desktop icons, with screenshots;
* Hermetic font, with screenshots;
* MouseOff (during screenblank) module;
* MagPi-Mo' - magnifier, ptr-info, mouse-setter, with screenshots;
* Playing cards, zip file and GIFs;
* TumbleWeed front end for SlideShow & Tumble.
11) Wimp2 v0.35 released
Wimp2 v0.35, the preemptive multitasker for RISC OS, is now available from
(http://www.nedprod.com/programs/RISC-OS/Wimp2/), and fixes various bugs.
12) Microsoft WheelMouse
John Scott has written a mouse driver for the Microsoft WheelMouse (the
one with the little roller as a third button). If you would like a copy
please email mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org with "Subscribe WheelMouse" as the
*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) March/April meeting dates
The following user group meetings are planned for March/April. Always
check the AAUG website (http://www.argonet.co.uk/scs/AAUG/ to confirm
24th - Bristol meeting - AGM
26th - Blackpool meeting
3rd - SARC meeting - Annual General Meeting
12th - DARC meeting - AGM + Ovation Pro
27th - Blackpool meeting
2) Acorn Meeting A.U.T.O.
There is an Acorn user meeting in Germany on 27th March 1999 10am in
Wir machen ein Acorntreffen am 27. Marz 1999 ab 10:00 Uhr in Wolfen.
See http://www.orcom.de/ for details.
3) Wakefield Show Trip
ACNE (Acorn Users North East) are proposing to organise a bus trip to this
year's Wakefield show if there is sufficient demand.
The bus would start from Newcastle and travel down the A1 or A19/A1. The
cost would be around GBP12-15 depending on numbers. Which day would depend
on the majority preference.
Anyone interested, please email email@example.com.
1) Contact ANS
Editor - Eytan Abrahams - firstname.lastname@example.org
Sub-Editor - James Sears - email@example.com
Webmaster - Stephen Courtney - 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
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