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Home > Archive > Issue 39 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 Acorn Group PLC.    |
 | ISSUE 39                                                24 August 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.acornsearch.com/          |

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

  Delays. First of all this issue is a few days late, apologies. Then there
  is the RISC OS 4 ROM supply problem (see commercial news below), which
  although irritating should be resolved quickly, even though some people
  will have to use standard non-flash ROMs.

  The delays to new hardware, however, are more worrying. Acorn users need
  new hardware. Even if people do not need to use it themselves, it is good
  to be able to see continuing development as a sign that the market is
  surviving, while those who do want more powerful equipment should not have
  to look elsewhere.

  Apart from Castle Technologies, which is selling upgraded Acorn hardware,
  none of the companies which have promised new machines is yet shipping
  to customers. The Mico and Millipede board may be nearly ready but I have
  not heard any news recently, the RiscStation has quietly been pushed back
  by a month or more (see reference to the Cybervillage report below), and
  the Peanut laptop has still not appeared.

  While I hope to see the other machines very soon, and I can understand
  there can be problems which cause unexpected delays, I am increasingly
  concerned that we will never see a RISC OS laptop. It is sad that mobile
  computing, the one area where some of our platform's greatest features,
  low power consumption processors and ROM operating system, would be of
  most use, is represented only by the increasingly rare, 1992 vintage, A4.

  James Sears, Editor

General News

 1) Search engine for Acorn resources

  AcornSearch is a search engine dedicated to the Acorn/RISC OS area of
  computing. It can search through web, FTP, and news items, helping to
  filter out other non-relevant material and return clearer results.

  The engine itself now indexes over 7500 items, over some 170 individual
  sites. Users can submit their RISC OS related homepages by sending an
  e-mail to g0tai@acornsearch.com with their website in the subject of the


 2) Acorn RC5 users into top 100

  The Acorn User Cracking Group is now among the top 100 teams participating
  in the distributed.net project, a worldwide effort to crack an RC5-64
  encrypted message using spare computer power, proving that attempts by
  governments to restrict strong encryption are unacceptable.

  For more information about the distributed.net RC5 project, and how easy
  it is to support the Acorn users team: http://www.acornusers.org/rc5/.

 3) Squirrel FAQ updated

  The FAQ for users of the Squirrel database has been updated to include
  more information.

  The FAQ is maintained by Colin McQueen and is available online at

 4) Rapidly Changing Face of Computing

  People interested in new technology may like to subscribe to RCFoC,
  another regular e-mail newsletter, written by Jeffrey Harrow of Compaq
  (formerly Digital Equipment Corp.). To quote from RCFoC:

    The "Rapidly Changing Face of Computing" is a weekly technology journal
    providing insight, analysis and commentary on contemporary computing and
    the technologies that drive them.

    The RCFoC is written by Jeffrey R. Harrow, a Senior Consulting Engineer
    with the Technology & Corporate Development organization of Compaq
    Computer Corporation.

  To subscribe see http://www.digital.com/subscription/ or e-mail
  majordomo@mail-lists.compaq.com with the following line in the body:
  subscribe rapidly-changing-face-of-computing

Commercial News

 1) RISC OS 4 deliveries delayed

  RISCOS Ltd. has announced that, although over 200 ROM sets have been
  programmed and despatched to end users, problems have resulted in a delay
  in availability of further ROMs. It was stressed that the delay is purely
  related to the physical ROMs, and not to the RISC OS 4 software.

  There is a world wide shortage of flash memory, and RISCOS Ltd. has not
  been able to obtain large enough quantities of flash ROM to fulfil a
  greater than expected number of orders.

  Consequently, RISC OS Ltd. is reverting to using standard ROMs until a
  supply of suitable flash ROM becomes available. Delivery of standard ROMs
  will take time, so no further RISC OS 4 orders will be shipped until the
  middle of September. Flash ROMs should be available towards the end of the

  Orders can be placed by e-mail to ro4orders@riscos.com. RISC OS 4 costs
  GBP120, including VAT and P&P within the EU. Deliveries outside the EU
  cost GBP107.50, including P&P.

 2) Werewolf Software clearance sale

  Werewolf Software has slashed the price of all titles to just GBP7. This
  even includes UK postage and packaging.

  More information, including screen shots, downloadable demos, and ordering
  and contact details, is available from the Werewolf Software web site

  * Tanks
    TANKS is a fun multi-player game (similar to Nuclear Holocaust), based
    on the classic idea of several tanks on a hillside, each trying to lob
    missiles over the hills to destroy the other tanks. Many features.

  * Shuggy
    Shuggy is an exciting adventure game, which includes fast and furious
    colourful graphics with impressive full-stereo sound effects.

    Throughout you must use your character's skills and the many objects
    scattered around the maze of obstacles, to solve challenging puzzles and
    progress through the game.

  * RAMplify
    With RAMplify, programs can be frozen to disc, freeing precious memory
    for use in other jobs. RAMplify works by dumping the whole of an
    application's memory to your hard disc.

  * ChildPlay
    ChildPlay is a desktop menu system built for ease of configuration and
    to provide an aesthetically pleasing desktop interface to all of your
    files, applications, games and utilities. Its unique "big button" menus
    make it ideal for the use of children, at school or in the home.

  To order a product from Werewolf Software, just send an email to
  info@werewlf.demon.co.uk saying which product(s) you would like to
  purchase, your name, address and credit card details.

 3) Squirrel Solutions summer clearance

  Squirrel Solutions is currently clearing stock, and have a number of
  refurbished A3020 systems with colour monitors available for GBP120
  (including delivery).

  For more information, and details of any other clear out offers which may
  be available, see http://www.squirrel-net.demon.co.uk/clearout/.

 4) Cumana summer clearance

  Cumana has had a summer clearance. Information on many reduced items
  is available at http://www.cumana.demon.co.uk/sales/bar.html.

 5) Castle Technology releases Acorn A7000+ Odyssey

  On Monday Castle Technology announced a new, faster version of the A7000+
  computer. The new A7000+ Odyssey computer features a faster version of the
  ARM 7500FE processor with increased performance of up to 70%, to 50 MIPS.

  The new faster computer also has higher specification screen modes. eg a
  640x480 mode can now display 16 million colours, a 1024x768 mode can
  display 32 thousand colours and a 1280x1024 mode can display 256 colours.


 6) RiscStation launch delayed

  The Acorn Cybervillage Heard on the Net section has details of a delay
  to the R7500 RiscStation computer. Due to problems getting PCI parts the
  R7500 will not be available until September at the earliest.

  The report is available at:

 7) ANT announce 1 million pound investment

  ANT Limited has announced that several companies have invested around one
  million pounds in the company. It is interesting to note that Symbian, the
  joint venture between Psion and mobile phone manufacturers such as Nokia,
  is also involved.

  ANT have updated their web site, and the result is far from good, so the
  announcement is quoted below rather than referenced with a URL. It is
  ironic that the new site shuts out non-frame browsers, which would have
  included ANT's Fresco not all that long ago, and all text is presented as
  images, which is likely to make it look terrible on Network Computers with
  lower resolution displays.

    Cambridge based ANT Limited has secured an investment of close to
    1 million pounds sterling for a syndicate of investors, allowing the
    company to move rapidly forward with sales of its cutting-edge web
    browser and email technology to the worldwide market. This venture
    capital funding transaction bears the hallmarks of the "Silicon
    Valley" style of funding, that is all too rare in the UK.

    The company has valuable licensee partners already established
    including Symbian in the UK, Analog Devices in the US, and Sagem in
    France and ANT will announce major new license deals with top players
    in the Embedded Consumer Appliance Market during the following few

PD/Shareware News

 1) Sprout, new RISC OS sprite converter

  Sprout is a utility to convert RISC OS Sprites to different image formats,
  which will be developed into a portable library for inclusion in more
  general image converters.

  Currently it only converts old style (pre RISC OS 3.5) sprites into XPMs,
  coping with masks but not palettes. It has been tested with Redhat Linux.


 2) Organizer 1.36 in German

  The German translation of Organizer v1.36, a program providing a diary
  and other features, is now available from

 3) Updated software summary

  * Amp v1.12
    Amp is a WinAmp lookalike (takes most skins) and plays the majority of
    music files, such as Audio MPEG.

  * AntUtils v1.20
    Various useful utilities for users of the ANT Internet Suite. The new
    version works better with Pluto, and allows normal files to be stored
    on the apps window.

  * BeebIt v0.06
    BeebIt is a BBC computer emulator for RISC OS. The new version fixes
    several bugs, adds speed configuration options, and improves emulation
    and compatibility.

  * CamTrack v1.12b
    CamTrack is a PD program for fetching and storing webcam images from
    the net. The new version can be configured to commence fetching at
    startup, and will fetch images from up to 50 webcams.

  * Multi-ISP v0.80b
    Multi-ISP automates the process of changing configuration of the ANT
    Internet Suite when swapping between Internet service providers. The
    new version supports up to 20 ISPs, with longer ISP names allowed to
    improve usability.

  * RiscFree v1.41
    RiscFree is a package that simply integrates and configures your
    Internet software simply and easily. This version fixes several

  * SiteMatch
    SiteMatch is a utility to synchronise your uploaded website with a local
    copy. It will show you what files have been added, changed, deleted or
    are unaltered since you last updated your site.

Club News

 1) August/September meeting dates from AAUG

  The following user group meetings are planned for August and September.
  Always check the AAUG web site http://www.aaug.net/ to confirm details.

  August 1999
  24th - Blackpool meeting
  25th - Bristol Acorn User Group meeting
  31st - Acorn Club NorthEast meeting

  September 1999
   1st - SARC meeting
   9th - North Kent Computer Club meeting
  10th - Welwyn Hatfield meeting
  13th - Southampton meeting
  13th - SASAUG meeting
  13th - DARC meeting - Advanced Pluto (TBC)
  14th - Bottisham Acorn Usergroup meeting
  14th - Liverpool Acorn Usergroup meeting
  14th - Essex Acorn Usergroup meeting
  24th - Blackpool meeting
  28th - Acorn Club NorthEast meeting
  29th - Bristol Acorn User Group meeting

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

 2) BARUG meeting 25th August 1999

  David Holden of APDL will be speaker at the next Bristol Acorn RISC User
  Group meeting.

  David is a well-known figure at Acorn shows. Besides running a large PD
  library for the platform, he is an expert in and competitive supplier of
  hard drives and RAM upgrades.

  BARUG meet on the last Wednesday of each month at 7.30pm at the Burden
  Institute, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, which is virtually next door to the
  University of the West of England. Visitors are welcome, parking is free
  and so is admission if it is your first visit. The annual subscription is
  GBP7 which covers coffee and biscuits.

  For map and other information visit http://www.snave.demon.co.uk/BARUG/.

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
  Translator     - Michael Gerbracht - michael@ans.acornusers.org

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