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Home > Archive > Issue 42 Current Issue: No. 286 (03 June 2012)
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 |-------------------------- Acorn News Service --------------------------|
 |                     http://www.acornusers.org/ans/                     |
 | ISSUE 42                                               10 October 1999 |
 |                                                                        |
 |       An independent fortnightly newsletter for the Acorn world.       |
 |        Send your news items or comments to ans@acornusers.org.         |
 |          Featured site this issue: http://www.impulse.org.uk/          |

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

  Not much time to finish this issue, so I will instead just list some
  hopefully interesting thoughts:

    * There are similarities between what happened to Acorn users when
      Phoebe was cancelled, and what is currently happening to Amiga
      users after the new Amiga Inc has decided to make only software
      for STBs and similar devices. http://www.savetheamiga.org.uk/

    * I just stumbled across the featured site. It looked interesting,
      and was very well constructed, so there is the URL in the header.

    * Remember to tell anyone who might be interested in ANS about the
      web site http://www.acornusers.org/ans/ and how to subscribe.

    * Search at http://google.com/ but please e-mail and ask them to
      include http:// on the almost-URLs on the output pages.

  James Sears, Editor

General News

 1) Patch for RISC OS 4.01 and 4.02

  As a result of the continual development of RISC OS a collection of
  updates is now available from RISC OS Ltd.

  The update only applies to RISC OS 4.01 and 4.02, if you have an earlier
  version you should contact RISC OS Ltd. To find out what version you have
  open the Task Manager info window.

  The fixes and other software can be downloaded from the RISCOS Ltd web
  site http://www.riscos.com/devsupport/public/. The patch includes clear
  instructions, and is easy to apply with the new RISC OS 4 Boot system.

 2) #Acorn IRC Meet '99

  The #Acorn IRC Meet '99 is due to take place on Saturday October 30th 1999
  at the RISC OS '99 Show in the Queen's Stand, Epsom Downs.

  All users of the IRCNet channel #Acorn are welcome to join in. See
  http://www.maxi-web.net/benbrook/irc/ for further details.

 3) Major Acorn Arcade Update

  Acorn Arcade http://www.acornarcade.com/, a leading RISC OS games web
  site, has obtained the rights to distribute another free game.

  Phaethon, the futuristic pilot a ball down a track game by Paul Carpenter
  of System Interrupt, is now available for download. Please note that it is
  not yet Risc PC compatible, but this is being investigated.

  You can download Phaethon from the freegames section
  along with the classic platformer Terramex and the legendary Elite.

  Also a review of RComp's new Heroes of Might and Magic II Expansion Pack
  "The Price of Loyalty" is available in the reviews section,

Commercial News

 1) Heroes 2: The Price of Loyalty (Exp Pack) now available

  Heroes of Might and Magic 2: "The Price of Loyalty" is now available from
  R-Comp Interactive. This is an expansion pack for Heroes of Might and
  Magic 2, and requires the original to run.

  Unlike many game expansion packs, HoMM2:PoL is not just a set of extra
  maps, although there are many of these included! The feature list
    * 4 new campaigns
    * Many new artifacts to find
    * Lots of new map structures
    * New creature recruitment centres
    * Necromancer castle has a new structure
    * All new heroes and hero graphics
    * New CD audio tracks
    * Updated map editor for new features.

  The extension pack costs GBP22 including VAT. If you do not have Heroes of
  Might and Magic 2 it is still available, a bundle of both costs GBP52
  (inc VAT and UK P+P).

  Details: http://www.rcomp.co.uk/leisure/homm2/

 2) Millipede Imago motherboard update

  Millipede have updated their web site to include a a picture of one of the
  first Imago motherboards. Imago is a replacement for the Risc PC
  motherboard, and features many improvements.

  See http://www.millipede.co.uk/ for details and pictures. Further
  information will be available at the RISCOS '99 Show later this month.

 3) A new RISC OS magazine

  Popidea http://www.popidea.co.uk/ plans to release a new RISC OS
  magazine. RISC OS User samples have been sent to potential advertisers,
  and should demand be sufficient, RISC OS User will hit the shelves soon.

  Popidea say magazine has been set-up due to the new found enthusiasm in
  the marketplace, thanks to ROL and the cloners. There is some more
  information on the web site http://www.popidea.co.uk/.

 4) iSV Products stock room sale

  iSV Products has the following items available for just GBP6.50:
    * Typography Volume 1 - 1300 fonts on CD (was GBP31.50)
    * Cross Stitch 2 on 800K disks (was GBP36.50)
    * FontTrixPRO on 800K disks - font manipulation software (was GBP31.50)
    * DrawWorks 2 on 800K disks (was GBP21.50)

  Please note that stocks of all these items are limited.

 5) Spacetech Creative Digital Imaging CD-ROM

  A new tutorial for Creative Digital imaging on CD-ROM is available from
  Spacetech. This is the second CD in a series devised by David Cowell and
  is intended to complement his Introduction to Digital Art.

  Creative Digital Imaging has a step by step approach to imaginative
  techniques to improve your image making.

  David Cowell of the Digital Art Centre in Dartington, Devon, has produced
  these packages in response to many requests for learning material to
  complement Photodesk. Although he uses Photodesk for all his work, the
  principles he discusses and illustrates are general ones and would apply
  to almost any reasonably well featured bitmap editor.

  Included on the CD are copyright free images to illustrate the tutorials.
  The tutorials are presented in Multimedia Textease.

  The Creative Digital Imaging CD by David Cowell is available from
  Spacetech Ltd for GBP24.95 inc VAT.


 6) Impact-3 database

  As previously announced, Circle Software has ceased its software marketing
  function, and has been looking for a replacement outlet for its Impact-3
  database and other software.

  Forth Dimension, part of the CJE Group, is now marketing Impact-3, and all
  enquiries for sales and support should now be directed to Forth Dimension.

  John Skingley of Circle Software said, "We are confident that CJE will
  continue the high standard of service and support previously experienced
  by Circle Software customers, and are delighted that this successful
  database will continue to be available in the RISC OS market place for the
  foreseeable future.

  A new Impact web site will soon be on the CJE web site, and Impact-3 will
  be on show at RISC OS '99 on the CJE stand.

 7) RiscStation reseller in New Zealand

  RiscStation (Australasia) Pty Ltd has appointed a reseller in New Zealand.
  Enquiries regarding retail sales of RiscStation computers in New Zealand
  should be made to:

    Mark Miller
    The MSL Company Ltd
    Tel: +64 6876 9970
    Fax: +64 6876 9933
    E-mail: mark@mslco.co.nz

PD/Shareware News

 1) Jikes and Java for RISC OS

  Peter Naulls has updated http://free.prohosting.com/~chocky/java/, the
  definitive site for information and tools for Java under RISC OS.

  Among other things, you can find Java compilers, assemblers, disassemblers
  and JVM information.

  The newest addition is Jikes, a Java source to classfile compiler
  developed by IBM, which has been released with source under a free to use
  license so that development and ports may be encouraged.

  Compared to guavac, Jikes is newer, faster, uses less memory and generally
  supports more features. Hopefully Jikes will prove to be a more useful
  compiler for people developing on machines with smaller amounts of memory
  who find that guavac uses too much.

  Jikes for RISC OS can be found linked from the above page, or directly at

 2) Reporter, Wimp programming aid

  The module "Reporter" supplies the star command "*Reporter ". Any
  text passed to the command is displayed in first-in-first-out list in a
  multi-tasking window. For example it can be used to check the state of
  variables in Wimp programs, without having to interrupt the flow of the
  program with message boxes.

  Download sites:
    GB: http://www.organizer.ukgateway.net/files/report.zip (2392 bytes)
    DE: ftp://ftp.arcsite.de/pub/chrismorison/report.zip (2392 bytes)

 3) CD_Search

  Richard Whincup has written an application which allows you to enter a
  search string to locate a program on twelve of the most popular Acorn CDs.
  The CDs covered are:
    * Kosovo CD
    * Datafile CD1 to CD5
    * APDL CD1 and CD2
    * Acorn User CD1 to CD3
    * Arc World CD

  CD_Search is available from http://www.richie.ukgateway.net/search/.

 4) Updated software summary

  * Amp v1.13
    MPEG audio player. New version provides support for the new RISC OS 4
    disc format.

  * AntUtils v1.25
    Useful utilities for users of the ANT Internet Suite. Bug fixes as well
    as new features including plugin system and more Fresco control options.

  * ArtToSpr v2.00
    ArtToSpr converts Artworks and Draw files to sprites with the the most
    comprehensive set of scaling and rotation options around. Version 2.00
    sees the arrival of the long awaited command-line interface, including
    the ability to process a whole directory full of files in one go. It can
    also now load Artworks and Draw files straight from other applications.

  * AutoFocus v1.16
    Sets input focus to windows under the pointer. This module has a
    special support for panes, dialogue boxes (with writable icons) and
    block selection. Includes a bug fix.

  * Coeden v0.06
    Graphical tree representation of any directory. It will tell you what is
    taking up all your hard disc space and where it is. Display uses natural
    log scale to allow for gigabyte sized disks.

  * DigitalCD v2.42
    DigitalCD is a desktop music player, which provides independent control
    panels for any connected CD drive and music files playlists. New version
    supports CD description download from the Internet with Acorn CDDB,
    reads MPEG3 ID3 tags, and uses PlayIt to support other formats.

  * Doom It Yourself update 4
    Free Doom engine running on RISC OS and various Unix platforms. Level
    compatibility with Boom.

  * Historian v0.12
    Fresco History list management program. New version removes restriction
    on running at the time as Fresco, allows URLs to be launched from
    Historian's window, and can add to the Hotlist.

  * LED_Board v1.3
    Displays binary numbers in various ways. Various bug fixes, has two more
    demonstration modes and will output to bi-directional printer ports.

  * NetReader v1.16
    NetReader is a simple offline email reader designed to run alongside
    Marcel, which provides core email facilities for novices or schools who
    want to run email across a network. Fixes of expire problem. Shareware.

  * Nice v1.03
    Nice is a small utility that provides a very simple priority system on
    Wimp tasks, a bit like under Unix. Written because the RC5DES client
    was slowing down the author's machine, Nice solves the problem.
    RISC OS 4 bug fix.

  * RiscFree v1.50
    RiscFree is a package that integrates and configures most Internet
    software simply and easily. This version includes addon support,
    allowing more options to be added to the RiscFree Control Panel.

  * SmartOpenDir v1.10
    SmartOpenDir sets Filer display options on the fly depending on the
    contents of each directory being opened. Version 1.10 is compatible with
    RISC OS 4, only made possible by undocumented information gleaned from
    RISCOS Ltd programmers!

  * Squish v1.34
    Squish takes a sprite and allows you to drag the four corners of it to
    stretch (or squish) it to any linear or non-linear shape. New version is
    Risc PC compatible and supports more than 256 colours.

  * Wanna kern
    Useful tool to easily kern letters in words together (or apart), outputs
    a Draw file. Fixes DragASprite bug.

  * Webite v1.47
    Webite is an updated (free) re-release of DoggySoft's excellent HTML 3.2
    web browser for Termite Internet. It does not require Termite Internet
    to operate, nor does version 1.47 even work with Termite Internet.
    Various improvements to software and source, and a HTML user guide has
    been started.

  * Winback v1.70
    A window background changer, the new version includes bug fixes and adds
    four new hourglasses.

  * WinSnap v1.20
    Makes the edges of the screen "sticky" and/or "attractive" to windows,
    so you can casually drag them towards the edges where they will be
    neatly lined up without you having to peer closely and make intricate
    mouse movements.

Club News

 1) October meeting dates from AAUG

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

  October 1999
  11th - Southampton meeting
  11th - SASAUG meeting
  11th - DARC meeting - BASIC programming and RISC OS 4 installation
  12th - Bottisham Acorn Usergroup meeting
  12th - Liverpool Acorn Usergroup meeting
  12th - Essex Acorn Usergroup meeting
  14th - North Kent Computer Club meeting - graphics
  26th - Acorn Club NorthEast meeting
  26th - Blackpool meeting
  27th - 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) Proposed Warwick University Acorn user group

  Owain Cole is considering starting some kind of Acorn user group at
  Warwick university. Anyone interested should contact him by e-mail at

 3) Southampton Acorn Users Group meeting

  The next SAUG meeting will be tomorrow (Monday 11th October) from 1900h
  to 2100h. It will be at the usual place, Itchen College, (1st. Floor),
  Middle Road, Sholing, Southampton.

  For more information contact Dave Higton davehigton@arcade.demon.co.uk
  telephone 02380 222312, or Ted Lacey tedell@argonet.co.uk telephone
  02380 325560.

 4) Surrey and Sussex Acorn Users' Group - Epsom show planning meeting

  This month's SASAUG meeting is tomorrow (Monday 11th October). With time
  running out before the ARM Clubs RISCOS 99 show at Epsom SASAUG are
  devoting the October meeting to planning for the show.

  Mark Smith from the ARM Club will be present to discuss organizational
  issues, final show details, exhibitors and arrangements and all the latest
  Show news.

  Meetings are held at Horsham Methodist Church Hall, London Road, Horsham,
  West Sussex. The hall is alongside a large FREE car park in the centre of
  Horsham, just a few minutes walk from the main railway station. The hall
  opens at 19:30 and the meeting starts at 20:00. On the night visitors are
  only charged GBP1.50.

  For more information and a map visit http://www.poppyfields.net/sasaug/.

 5) Essex Acorn User Group

  At the next EAUG meeting on Tuesday 12th October 1999, Icon Technology in
  the person of Mike Glover will be present to tell members about EasyWriter
  and TechWriter, what they are, their present state of development and in
  what ways they might develop in the future.

  Meetings are held in the centre of Essex, at The Library in Witham Town
  Centre, starting at 7.45 pm.

  For more details of the future programme and directions to the Library,
  see http://www.watsnees.demon.co.uk/eaug.html.

 6) North Kent Amateur Computer Club

  The next NKACC meeting is on Thursday 14th October 1999, at Petts Wood
  Memorial Hall, Woodlands Way, Petts Wood, Orpington, Kent. Doors open at
  7.30pm for 8.00pm start.

  A map is available on the NKACC site http://www.nkacc.roundel.net/.

 7) Acorn/RISC OS Treffen (Meeting in Germany)

  Unser Treffen findet am 16/10/1999 ab 10:00 in Wolfen statt.

  (Acorn User Meeting called A.U.T.O will take place on 16/10/1999, at 10am,
  Wolfen, Germany)


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

 2) How to send in news

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