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Home > Archive > Issue 29 Current Issue: No. 286 (03 June 2012)
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 |-------------------------- Acorn News Service --------------------------|
 |                     http://www.acornusers.org/ans/                     |
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 | ISSUE 29                                                 21 March 1999 |
 |      To send in your news items or comments, use the ANS website,      |
 |             or e-mail them to ans@ans.acornusers.org.                  |
 |             Random site this issue: http://www.riscos.com/            |

 1) Editorial
 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
  for them!

  Enjoy this issue, and pass it on to friends!

  Eytan, Editor.

General News

 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 charity@cumbrian.demon.co.uk 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 tom@armclub.org.uk 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 chios@chios.org.uk, 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 (jm@citymail.net.nz) 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
  until now.

  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!

Commercial News

 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
    and email.

    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
    immensely too.

    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
    subscribers' offer:

    Special offer
    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.

    Sheridan Williams
    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
  User subscribers.

  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 info@beebug.co.uk. 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 sales@beebug.co.uk 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
  processor instructions; Juggling JavaScript; How To Make Light of HTML;
  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 sales@archivemag.co.uk 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.

PD/Shareware News

 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
  at (http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Horizon/4471/).

  New in this version:
    * Iconbar action is now configurable.
    * The CD panel will toggle between disc info and track author every
      5 seconds.
    * 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
  from (http://www.interalpha.net/customer/pvigay/shareware.html).

  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:jjrs101@cs.york.ac.uk with "Subscribe WheelMouse" as the

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) 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

  March 1999
  24th - Bristol meeting - AGM
  26th - Blackpool meeting

  April 1999
   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 alan.h9@ukonline.co.uk.

ANS Information

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