|-------------------------- 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 email@example.com. |
| Featured site this issue: http://www.acornsearch.com/ |
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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
To subscribe see http://www.digital.com/subscription/ or e-mail
email@example.com with the following line in the body:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 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 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.
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 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
email@example.com 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
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
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
* 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
* RiscFree v1.41
RiscFree is a package that simply integrates and configures your
Internet software simply and easily. This version fixes several
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.
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.
24th - Blackpool meeting
25th - Bristol Acorn User Group meeting
31st - Acorn Club NorthEast meeting
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
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/.
1) Contact ANS
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