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 |-------------------------- Acorn News Service --------------------------|
 |                     http://www.acornusers.org/ans/                     |
 | ISSUE 44                                              7 November 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.drobe.co.uk/            |

 1) RISC OS '99 show a success
 2) General News
 3) Commercial News
 4) PD/Shareware News
 5) Club News
 6) ANS information

RISC OS '99 show a success
  The ARM Club's http://www.armclub.org.uk/ report on their successful
  RISC OS show which took place last weekend in Surrey, England:

   It quickly became clear on Saturday morning that the show was going to
   surpass all expectations with a long queue at the door waiting to get in.
   All through the Saturday, the show theatre was full to bursting and an
   atmosphere existed within the venue that was described by at least one
   exhibitor as "buzzing".

   Here are comments from just a few exhibitors:

   * Mike Glover, Icon Technology:
     "It was our most successful show ever with sales 40% up on our previous
     best. Proof indeed that the RISC OS market is alive and well."

   * Richard Jozefowski, Millipede Electronic Graphics:
     "It turned out to be one of the most successful events in a long time,
     with a sense of optimism returning at last."

   * Laurie van Someren, Aleph One:
     "I got the definite sense that there is a lively market coming back...
     You can't keep a good computer down, is the feeling I get from this

   It is clear that all the hard work put in over the previous year from all
   the RISC OS related companies over a difficult period is now beginning to
   pay off, and that the future now looks much brighter.

   The show's success is also a testament to the small voluntary team of
   enthusiasts that brought RISC OS '99 together. They are Mark Smith, Rob
   Brown, Dave Ruck, Ralph Sillett, Tom Hughes, Toby Smith, Simon Burrows
   and Chris Price. Thanks also has to go to everyone who helped run the
   show over the weekend.

  Remember that The ARM Club are organising another show on Saturday 20th
  November at Birmingham's National Motorcycle Museum. For full details of
  The ARM Club and the shows see http://www.armclub.org.uk/.

General News

 1) Drobe launch pad - RISC OS web portal

  Drobe Launch Pad http://www.drobe.co.uk/ is a new Internet portal for
  RISC OS users, which combines links, news and information into one easy to
  use site.

  Peter Price has spent over 4 months developing the site to ensure that it
  gives the maximum functionality possible to all RISC OS users, including
  up to date news feeds usually only found on the larger portals.

  Features include a POP email checker, a search gateway incorporating
  AcornSearch.com and over 20 other popular engines, up to date news feeds
  and links to the majority of the industry's websites. More features,
  including personalisation, are due to be launched soon.

 2) Acorn Education Software site

  Paul Johnson's Acorn Education Software site is now back up and running.
  The site includes chemistry, maths, physics, and languages software, as
  well as BBC B education software and C tutorials.

  The new URL is http://www.acornusers.org/education/, and anonymous FTP
  access is available from ftp://ftp.acornusers.org/pub/education/.

 3) RISC OS User magazine

  Popidea have abandoned ambitious plans for a new magazine, RISC OS User,
  due to lack of advertiser support, and as distributors were reluctant to
  take on a competitor for a small market.

  Popidea continue to develop for the platform, with other projects such as
  RiscSync, a program that synchronizes the Psion Series 5 Agenda with its
  own built-in diary. A beta is now available at http://www.popidea.co.uk/
  along with the RISC OS User announcement.

 4) BBC micro resources, PKZIP

  Various useful resources for BBC computers are available from
  http://www.sprow.co.uk/bbc/, including BBC BASIC software to decompress
  PKZIP files on a BBC micro.

  Also available on the site is a complete list of file system ID numbers,
  OSWords, and OSBytes, in the reference library section.

Commercial News

 1) WebChange 2 discount

  WebChange 2 is a utility designed to assist with the maintenance of web
  sites, by allowing repetitive changes to be effected quickly and easily.

  WebChange 2 v1.06, and the 'lite' version, along with further details, can
  be found at: http://www.softrock.co.uk/webchange/.

  The normal price of WebChange 2 for RISC OS has been reduced to just GBP9.
  This discount will run until the end of this year, allowing plenty of time
  to try the 'lite' version.

 2) Castle RISC OS 4 & StrongARM upgrade

  Castle have announced of a new Revision T 233MHz StrongARM and RISC OS 4
  upgrade, for GBP299 including VAT. This is a saving of over GBP100
  compared to the combined, previously published prices.

  The combination of a StrongARM processor and RISC OS 4 gives a new lease
  of life to any Risc PC. For full details see:

 3) Sysiphos

  Sysiphos by ICGroup, based in Germany, is now available for DEM 29,95
  (about GBP10). For details see http://www.arcsite.de/hp/icgroup/.

  Sysiphos is a tool to help you with exchanging data with other computer
  platforms. It truncates or adds file type suffixes and prefixes for
  different file systems, such as DOS or Mac OS.

  An automatic dustbin is included as well as extensive interactive help.
  The program comes on a disc which also includes StrongHelp and HTML

 4) German RISC OS 4

  A German upgrade to RISC OS 4 is now available from Orcom
  http://acorn.orcom.de/. The CD is priced at DEM 33.66.

  Further information is available from the web site, and is included in the
  German edition of ANS. People who would like to receive the ANS newsletter
  in German should subscribe by sending a blank e-mail to

PD/Shareware News

 1) Stark (Star Kit)

  Stark provides a menu environment for a collection of tasks performed
  mainly by the use of Obey (*) files.

  You can use it to:
    * launch applications and run files,
    * change your desktop background,
    * alter the desktop font or screen mode,
    * insert frequently used text,
    * change window tiles and tools,
    * reset the sound system,
    * change the hourglass animation,
    * set up multiple user desktop styles,
  ...and lots of other little jobs - all with no more than a couple of mouse
  clicks for any one operation.

  Details at http://www.dacha.freeuk.com/free/.

 2) New freeware and ARMLinux EtherM driver

  Tim Watterton has cowritten an ANT EtherM network driver for ARM Linux.
  Also available from http://www2.eng.cam.ac.uk/~tew22/software.htm are
  the following freeware applications:
    * CheckMail - Check regularly for email on a remote server
    * Flash8951 - Program Atmel 89C51 microcontrollers
    * NetMon - Find out when other TCP/IP hosts appear/disappear
    * Recover - Rescue data from damaged floppy discs
    * SaloonEd - Edit Saloon Cars saved game files
    * GDM-1950 - MDF for the Sony GDM-1950 fixed frequency monitor

 3) ROX desktop updated

  The ROX desktop aims to provide a RISC OS style GUI on Unix/Linux
  machines. Currently the filer is mostly finished and the desktop already
  supports drag-and-drop loading and saving, application directories and an

  The ROX home page, including screen shots, downloads and comments can be
  found at http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~tal197/ROX/index.html.

  The author would like more people to try the desktop and send in feedback.
  You will need access to a Unix (including Linux) machine, but root access
  is not required.

  The new version uses autoconf means so it should compile out-of-the-box on
  most systems, has an improved filetype system, is easier to install, and
  includes new features and bug fixes.

 4) Updated software summary

  * AntUtils v1.27
    Utilities for ANT Internet Suite users. Now includes optional sound

  * Calc v2.07
    Calc is a scientific calculator for the command line, intended to fill
    the gap between SciCalc's lack of features, *Eval's integer-only maths,
    RLab/MATLAB's annoying complexity, and BASIC's restrictively formal
    language. Calc accepts equations in a handwritten style, and performs
    every function of a scientific calculator.

  * GTAC v1.09
    GTAC (Graphic Text Adventure Creator) has been updated for RISC OS 4.

  * Iconize v1.09
    Iconize replaces the Pinboard's iconize function with several
    enhancements. Iconize now works with RISC OS versions from 3.1 to 4
    and provides some new features over the previous release, such as the
    option to arrange the icons vertically on the right side of the desktop.

  * LongFiles v3.00 beta
    LongFiles allows long file names to be used on standard format disks.
    This version will automatically detect RISC OS 4 format hard drives, and
    disable itself when accessing these drives, and also includes RISC OS 4
    related bug fixes and a new icon.

  * Make
    This Make port is a basic public domain Make, which lacks the niceties
    of GNU Make, and has a few flaws, but has the advantage of being here,
    now, and it copes fine with most plain vanilla makefiles. The port has
    been updated to cope with the new GCC. Various other useful utilities
    are also available from the same site.

Club News

 1) November meeting dates from AAUG

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

  November 1999
   3rd - SARC meeting
   3rd - Wakefield meeting - 200th meeting
   8th - SASAUG - RISCOS roadshow
   9th - Southampton meeting - RISCOS roadshow
   9th - EAUG - Evening with RISC OS 4
  30th - Blackpool 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) The RISCOS Roadshow comes to Surrey And Sussex

  This months SASAUG meeting is on Monday 8th November. Andrew Rawnsley
  (Technical Director RISCOS Ltd) will be bringing the 'RISCOS Roadshow' to
  visit the group, demonstrating RISC OS 4 and telling members about  plans
  for further development.

  Meetings are held at Horsham Methodist Church Hall, London Road, Horsham,
  West Sussex. 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 see http://www.poppyfields.net/sasaug/.

 3) Southampton Acorn Users Group

  The next meeting of the Southampton AUG will be held a day later than
  usual, on Tuesday, 9th November, but at the usual time of 1900 hours.
  The RISC OS 4 Road Show will also be present here.

 4) Essex Acorn User Group - November Meeting

  This month's EAUG meeting will be at 7.45 pm on Tuesday 9th November 1999.
  Postponed from September, "An Evening With RISC OS 4" presentation by two
  club members who have successfully upgraded.

  Meetings are held in the centre of Essex, at: The Library in Witham Town
  Centre, starting at 7.45 pm. Non-member visitors are charged GBP2 for the
  evening. For more details see http://www.watsnees.demon.co.uk/eaug.html.

 5) Competition at Arche meeting

  The Arche ACORN User Club is a German user group, which organizes a
  meeting in Essen, Germany, every 2 months. Members and guests can there
  exchange their experiences and problems with the Archimedes, Risc PC and
  other RISC OS computers.

  Every RISC OS user is invited to the next meeting on Saturday 13th
  November, 1 pm. The meeting is held at: Haus des Sports (Hauptbad),
  Steeler Strasse 38, Essen, Germany.

  This time there will be a competition. You can win DEM 33.33 if you have
  the most modules on one floppy disc. Read more about this game in German
  at http://www.arcsite.de/arche/wettbewerb.html.

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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  form on the ANS website http://www.acornusers.org/ans/newsdesk.html.
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