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Home > Archive > Issue 30 Current Issue: No. 286 (03 June 2012)
Text-onlyPrevious Issue | Year Index | Next Issue
 |-------------------------- 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 Acorn Group PLC.    |
 |------------------------------------------------------------------------|
 | ISSUE 30                                                  4 April 1999 |
 |------------------------------------------------------------------------|
 |      To send in your news items or comments, use the ANS website,      |
 |                  or e-mail them to ans@acornusers.org.                 |
 |------------------------------------------------------------------------|
 |     Featured site this issue: http://www.therealm.freeserve.co.uk/     |
 |------------------------------------------------------------------------|


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



Editorial
---------
  Due to an increased workload and other commitments, it is sad to say that
  unfortunately I have had to leave the ANS team.

  James Sears, our Sub Editor has kindly taken over as Editor.  

  With OVER 700 members in just over a year, ANS is growing like never
  before. Please support it and make it even more of a success.

  I will still be reading ANS of course. What would I do without it!!?!

  Regards,

  Eytan.
  (eytan@ans.acornusers.org)



General News
------------

 1) RISC OS 4 technical briefing

  Barry Tompson (barry@WestonOnTrent.freeserve.co.uk) attended a meeting on
  19th March, between RISCOS Ltd., dealers, developers, and user group
  committee members. He has kindly provided ANS with notes on the meeting,
  on which the following is based.

  Key improvements of RISC OS 4:
    * Wimp: nested windows; keyboard navigation of menus, using cursor keys.
    * Filing system: new filer with support unlimited number of files per
      directory, file names up to 200 characters (limited by Wimp message
      system); support for Mac disks; CDFS2.
    * Misc desktop changes: confirmation is required to close down the
      computer; fades when changing screen sizes; Boot to be enhanced;
      incorporation of 3D patch, font blending, background textures.
    * Printers: there has been little progress bin this area over the past
      two years. A fair amount of work needs to done in this area by the
      new programming team. Printers will not be in ROM.

  Other interesting points:
   * Online manual will probably be in StrongHelp format. (Why not HTML?)
   * Acorn has not attempted to document RISC OS 4, ie no PRM.
   * Easy to use dial up Internet will be supplied as standard.
   * RISCOS Ltd. will not get access to Acorn's Browse, Webserve, or Java.

  The upgrade will be standard ROMs with accompanying CDROM. RISC OS 4 will
  cost GBP120.00 including VAT, and should be available in May.

  After RISC OS 4 is released development will continue to remove dependency
  on custom hardware, such as VIDC and IOMD chips, and to change to a 32bit
  program counter to allow the use of new ARM processors (eg ARM10, SA2).

  Also Richard Jozefowski (richard@millipede.co.uk), MD of Millipede, talked
  about his thoughts for a replacement RiscPC motherboard. Millipede are
  trying to get a demo ready for the Wakefield show, and to be ready to ship
  by the end of the year. Key points:
    * Mechanically compatible with RiscPC.
    * Up to 512MB SDRAM, no VRAM. 66MHz memory clock.
    * Video monitor output 1800x1400 full colour.
    * 256bit (4 times the bandwidth of Phoebe).
    * StrongARM variant soldered to mother board.
    * Enhanced IDE interface; fast Ethernet.
    * Retention of present podule bus, no PCI or USB support.
    * No custom chips (ie IMOD and VIDC), two FPGAs.
    * Audio/Visual expansion connector.
    * Commercial quality video out. MIDI in/out.
    * Support for 16MHz x86 PC cards.

  During the meeting Laurie van Someren, MD of Aleph One and secretary of
  RISCOS Ltd., commented that 45000 x86 PC cards had been sold, and these
  can only have been fitted into RiscPCs. It begs the question how many
  RiscPCs are there in the field?


 2) Arctic BBS closes

  Steve Pursey has announced that Arctic BBS (+44 181 9031309) will close at
  the end of next month. Arctic BBS will have been online on an Archimedes
  or RiscPC for over 6 years, from 1st Feb 1993 to 30th Apr 1999.

  (http://www.arcticbb.demon.co.uk/)


 3) Wakefield Show website competition

  A web page has been prepared http://www.acornuser.com/webcomp/) for Acorn
  users to nominate the best sites owned by any company or group attending
  this year's Wakefield Show, on 15th-16th May.

  Details about the Wakefield Show can be found on its website at
  http://www.cybervillage.co.uk/acorn/wakefield/).


 4) Acorn Expo 99

  The Big Ben Club, the national Dutch Acorn User Group, is now preparing
  for the Acorn Expo 99. The show offers exhibitions/promotions by various
  companies, including Dutch, German and British Acorn dealers, 
  demonstrations by club members, etc. 

  Show date: Saturday, June 5th, 1999.
  From:      10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
  Venue:     Expohall, Hotel Mercure, Buizerdlaan 10, Nieuwegein 
             (near the city of Utrecht).
  Admission: Members free, non-members NLG10.
  Details:   http://www.nedernet.nl/~bigben/


 5) Printing & Publishing mailing list

  Micro Laser Designs have started a mail list discussion group for anyone
  interested in the use of Acorn computers for printing & publishing. To
  subscribe send a message to ListServer@mld.co.uk with the subject
  'subscribe print+publish'.



Commercial News
---------------

 1) Update for Canon BJC7x00 drivers from Spacetech

  The Spacetech PhotoReal and plain paper driver for BJC 7x00 series
  printers has been updated to provide additional functions, originally only
  available via the Microsoft Windows driver, within the RISC OS
  environment.

  The BJC-7000/7100 is able to handle a wide range of media, and can be
  instructed to print at several different speed vs quality ratios. These
  and other new features cannot be supported adequately by the RISC OS
  printer manager, so a separate Extended Printer Control application has
  been provided. This application also provides the necessary tools for
  maintaining the printer, eg aligning the print heads, which must be done
  whenever a cartridge is installed. 

  The upgrade will replace the existing PhotoReal driver for BJC7x00
  printers for all future purchasers. Existing users will receive a free
  upgrade. Sample printouts are available on request.

  For details see Spacetech's web site (http://www.spacetech.co.uk/).


 2) WimpWorks v2.27

  Jaffa Software are pleased to announce that the latest version of the
  successful Desktop application environment, WimpWorks.

  v2.27 is mainly a bug-fix release, but the way is now clear for a variety
  of exciting new plugins (WEMs) to be released in the near future.

  Existing users can upgrade via the web at:
    (http://www.jaffasoft.co.uk/upgrade.html)

  Queries should be directed to Andrew Flegg via either email or phone:
    mailto:andrew@jaffasoft.co.uk
    phone: +44 (0)7010 704228



PD/Shareware News
-----------------

 1) New versions of programming tools

  WinEd 2.83
  ----------
  Only available as an upgrade from 2.82 at the moment, this should be
  treated as beta. It can now edit the compacted template format with shared
  indirected strings as used by recent versions of Zap (but it can only save
  in the old format with duplicated strings). It also has some ESG clashes
  fixed in its own MultiIcon dialogue box.

  THSound 1.23
  ------------
  Corrects a bug which could cause it to attempt to read beyond the end of
  sample data at high pitches.

  THHeap 1.21
  -----------
  Corrects a bug which could cause it to fail to claim a big enough dynamic
  area in specific circumstances.

  All available from (http://homepages.tcp.co.uk/~tonyh/).


 2) Organizer version 1.36 now available

  Organizer version 1.36 is now available. Features of v1.36 can be seen at:
  (http://www.arcsite.de/hp/chrismorison/v136.htm) but the main additions
  are:
    * Tone Dialling through speakers or modem.
    * Printing.
    * Improved Searching to include whole database, and a nicer interface.
    * Added an optional toolbar.
    * Journal facility, to record daily activities.
    * Loads of other little things and the odd minor bug fix.

  If you would like this new version, then you should register Organizer
  version 1.31 (registration instructions are in the Help file).

  (http://www.arcsite.de/hp/chrismorison/)


 3) FTPc 1.09 released

  Versions 1.09 of FTPc, a free Internet FTP client, is now available from
  (http://www.c-granville.freeserve.co.uk)

  The main changes are:
    * German templates.
    * Directory fades when busy.
    * clicking on change directory refreshes display.
    * fixed bug with saving files from save as dialogue box.
    * fixed bug with using numbered hosts.


 4) PsiFS - New freeware Psion<->Acorn connectivity package

  The first release of PsiFS, a freeware Psion<->Acorn connectivity package,
  is now available.

  PsiFS is a RISC OS file system that communicates with a remote EPOC device
  via the Psion Link Protocol (PLP). Hence, there is no software to install
  or run on the remote device. Files can be manipulated as if they were on a
  local harddisc, albeit a slow one, so copying is simply a matter of
  dragging icons between filer windows.

  PsiFS supports any EPOC16 or EPOC32 device with a suitable serial link,
  including:
    * Psion Series 3/3a/3c/3mx
    * Psion Series 5
    * Psion Siena
    * Acorn PocketBook I/II
    * Xemplar PocketBook III
    * Geofox One

  Best of all, PsiFS is completely free. For more information, or to
  download a copy, see (http://homepages.tcp.co.uk/~thouky/tcfp.html).


 5) StrongHelp 2.70 released

  The major (and indeed only) change in StrongHelp 2.70 is that you can
  export a stronghelp page as a draw file. Once you have exported one or
  more pages to a Drawfile you can then print it.

  This is also Guttorm Vik's final StrongHelp release ever, as he is
  preparing to leave or at least stop developing for RISC OS, so he has
  uploaded the source too. If anyone fancies doing some more work on it they
  are free to do so.

  (http://home.eunet.no/~guttorvi/strong.html)


 6) PDF version 0.73a

  The latest version of PDF is now at 0.73a. This version has some small
  features added like: document and encryption information. The biggest
  improvement is the rendering of bitmaps. This is as fast as it was in
  version 0.72.

  The sources of PDF are now also available. If there are any programmers
  who would like to make a contribution, please e-mail the author, Leo
  Smiers (L.Smiers@cable.A2000.nl).

  Download from (http://people.a2000.nl/lsmiers).

  PDF is reader for Acrobat PDF files. The reader is based on xpdf which is
  the work of Derek B Noonburg.



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:

                    http://www.argonet.co.uk/scs/AAUG/
 --------------------------------------------------------------------------

 1) April meeting dates

  The following user group meetings are planned for April. Always check the
  AAUG web site (http://www.argonet.co.uk/scs/AAUG/) to confirm details.

  April 1999
  ==========
   3rd - SARC meeting - Annual General Meeting
  12th - DARC meeting - AGM + Ovation Pro
  27th - Blackpool meeting


 2) New user group for Norfolk

  Jonathan Balls (naug@ballsy.demon.co.uk), with the help of Paul Beverley
  and a few other Acorn users, is hoping to start up an Acorn User Group for
  Norfolk (England) and area (ie anyone prepared to drive to Norwich for
  meetings).

  If you are interested email Jonathan Balls (naug@ballsy.demon.co.uk) with
  letters of support, comments, queries, offers of help, suggestions of
  venue etc.

  The group have a low volume online mailing list, details of which are
  available from the website (http://www.ballsy.demon.co.uk/naug/).


 3) WACG Meeting - 7th April

  The next Wakefield Acorn Computer user group meeting is on Wednesday 7th
  April, and will feature the first visit by Jonathan Duddington of Speak
  fame. He will be show visitors his Pluto email/text database package as
  well as Speak.

  Details, a map, and directions are available from the user group's website
  (http://www.cumbrian.demon.co.uk/wacg/).

  The doors open at 7:15pm approx. There is ample FREE car parking at the
  venue, and also a bar for refreshments.

  Visitors are charged an entrance fee of GBP1.50, and annual membership
  (also open to postal members) is also available. Membership costs GBP10
  for Adults, with a reduced fee of GBP5 for Juniors (ie under 18), and
  Family Membership is GBP20.


 4) Arche ACORN User Club meeting

  The Arche ACORN User Club is a user group, which organizes a meeting in
  Essen, Germany, every 2 months. Members and guests can exchange their
  experiences and problems with the Acorn Archimedes and RiscPC.

  Every Acorn user is invited to the next meeting on Saturday 10th April,
  starting at 1pm. The meeting is held at: Haus des Sports (Hauptbad),
  Steeler Strasse 38, Essen, Germany.

  Further information is available from (http://www.arcsite.de/arche/) or
  e-mail arche@arcsite.de with questions.



ANS Information
---------------

 1) Contact ANS

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


 2) How to send in news

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