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Acorn News Service

ISSUE 1296 April 2003
An independant fortnightly newsletter for the Acorn world.
Send your news items or comments to ans@acornusers.org
Featured site this issue: http://www.wimpbasic.org/


  1. General News
  2. Commercial News
  3. PD/Shareware News
  4. Club News
  5. ANS Information

General News

  1. Wimpbasic Compatibility

    Following the full release of Aemulor Wimpbasic.org has taken the opportunity to test all of the software held on the site. The amount of compatible software has now risen to approximately 95%.

    Wimpbasic.org are looking for new programs written in Wimpbasic along with any half completed projects, and are also interested in taking on completed projects for maintenance reasons, especially if the author has left the scene.

    Wimpbasic.org would like to hear from users/programmers interested in up to date versions of Wimpbasic.


Commercial News

  1. CJE ArtWorks Offers

    CJE Micro's can supply standard ArtWorks v1.70 or ArtWorks with the full Martin Wurthener's Plug-in set ('MasterWorks Edition') and a FREE upgrade to ArtWorks2 when available!

    • ArtWorks: GBP100 new or GBP60 second hand; plus 5GBP postage
    • New ArtWorks MasterWorks edition & free upgrade to ArtWorks2: GBP180 + GBP5 postage
    • Second hand ArtWorks & new MasterWorks upgrade & free upgrade to ArtWorks2: GBP140 + GBP5 postage

    Also available:

    • ArtWorks Tutorial Video: GBP19 inc postage
    • The 'Full set Collection' of MW modules (ie upgrades a standard AW to AW 'Masterworks Edition'): GBP90 + GBP4 postage (upgrade to AW2 not included)

    Full details of the modules that make up the 'MasterWorks' edition can be found at: http://www.mw-software.com/software/awmodules/awmodules.html.

    All prices include VAT. Postage is for UK addresses, please enquire for other destinations.

    mailto:sales@cjemicros.co.uk http://www.cjemicros.co.uk/

  2. Special offers from CTA Direct

    • PC in a Phoebe case: GBP200 (plus shipping)

      Phoebe case, IBM P3 450, 128MB memory, 6.4GB HD, CD, modem. No installed OS, includes Linux distro and drivers for MS Windows.

    • Desktop switch: GBP49

      Share a monitor, keyboard and mouse between two computers.

    • UPS: from GBP49.95

      An emergency power supply should mains power fail.

    • 15" AOC MultiMedia monitor GBP220

    • 17" MultiMedia TFT GBP335


  3. Aemulor full version now available

    The full version of Aemulor, the 26-bit emulator for Iyonix PC is now available from http://www.aemulor.com/, and your local Acorn/RISC OS dealer.

    Features overview:

    • Full 26-bit application emulation (C, ARM Code etc)
    • Fast XScale-optimised pure ARM code interpreter engine
    • StrongARM-class performance
    • 26-bit module support
    • 26-bit BASIC assembler support
    • BASIC programs run at native speed
    • RISC OS 4 > 5 SWI emulation
    • SWI Flag preservation
    • Dynamic area creation in low memory

    Aemulor is now fully reentrant, which means 26-bit applications now work within taskwindows, and this also positions Aemulor to run even more applications in the future.

    Aemulor costs GBP50+VAT from http://www.aemulor.com/ or your local Acorn/RISC OS dealer. Aemulor will be also on sale at the Wakefield show on Saturday 10th May, although you will need your Iyonix PC MAC address with you if you want to buy a copy at the show.

  4. Stuart Tyrrell Developments special deals

    • Internal Iomega Zip250 drive *and* Simtec IDE interface: GBP89 inc

      The Zip250 drive is capable of reading and writing both 100MB and 250MB Zip disks, and may be fitted within a 3.5" bay, or in a 5.25" bay using a mounting/power pack (GBP10). Please note that the drive is slightly longer than a normal floppy drive, and so may only be fitted in a 3.5" slot without a backplane behind unless connectors are modified. Simtec's IDE interface takes up a single podule slot and comes complete with IDE cable and drivers for Zip drives on its internal FLASH memory.

    • Zip250 discs: GBP15 inc VAT and carriage.

    • Maxtor 40GB Hard drive *and* Simtec IDE interface: GBP89 inc

      Suitable for use with RISC OS 3.7 and later, this single platter drive has a 2MB buffer. It consumes less than 6W in read/write operation (<4W idle), keeping heat dissipation and load upon the Risc PC PSU to a minimum. Noise is less than 30dB in normal operation.

    • HDD 5.25" mounting/power pack

      (Rails, closed front panel, power splitter, screws): GBP10 inc VAT and carriage.

    • Zip250, 40GB HDD *and* Simtec IDE interface: GBP149 inc

    These offers are strictly limited, and only available whilst current stocks last. Prices include VAT and carriage. Also available:

    • NET100 UKP89 inc VAT and carriage

      10/100MBit ethernet NIC for Risc PC/A7000

    • Keyboard controlled switch GBP89 inc VAT and carriage

      (PS2MouseMini required for each Risc PC - GBP10 with KCS)


  5. Hardware audio MPEG player for RISC OS machines

    Stuart Tyrrell Developments are pleased to announce a hardware MP3 player for use with RISC OS machines. This device combines the convenience of plug-and-play FLASH storage with an on-board audio MPEG decoder.

    The player is fully supported by the USB podule from Simtec, and contains 64MB of flash memory. A full filing system is supplied and the device can also be used for storage of important files. Any MPEG audio files stored upon the device may also be played using the supplied headphones - it may be considered as an intelligent audio-playing USB pen drive. A simple intuitive wheel control is provided for play/pause/volume etc.

    Total dimensions are just 9cm x 3cm x 2.5cm. Power is supplied by an internal Lithium-Ion battery which simply recharges when the player is plugged into the Simtec USB port.

    A pack comprising the player, headphones and neck loop, and software is available for GBP79.95 inc VAT and delivery. The device requires Simtec's USB podule (GBP99.95) to upload files. Iyonix not supported.


  6. First steps in programming RISC OS computers

    The first in Alligata Media's new series of RISC OS books is a relaunch of Martyn Fox's excellent First Steps in Programming Acorn RISC OS computers. This first book, details of which will be available shortly, focuses on providing a clear introduction to many aspects of RISC OS programming. There is a sequel focusing on WIMP programming; and as such this book avoids the subject entirely.

    This book is different from others to be released in this series as it will be on a not-for-profit basis only; with at least GBP4.99 from every book going to the Cats Protection League.

    The book, including supporting disc, is to be priced at GBP12.99; postage is an extra GBP2.00. This title will be on a strict print run - as such, if you would like one please e-mail mailto:david@alligatagroup.co.uk to confirm your interest.

PD/Shareware News

  1. New software summary

    • HAL26, 26-bit hardware abstraction

      A module to provide hardware abstraction features on 26-bit versions of RISC OS (that is, RISC OS 3.1 to 4.xx). These allow programs that access the hardware to be written uniformly across all versions of RISC OS from 3.1 to 5. HAL26 supports the RISC OS 5 Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) according to its published specification from RISC OS 3.1 upwards. This allows the programmer easy access to interrupt control, timers and counters in a machine-independent manner. For RISC OS 3.1 only, HAL26 also provides Podule_ReadInfo which permits information about podule hardware to be determined across all RISC OS machines. Also SVCUtil, ps2txt, HardBack, CryptRandom, and SHA1 are now RISC OS 5 compatible. (note: HAL26 is not required for, and does not work on, RISC OS 5)


  2. Updated software summary

    • Account2 v1.25

      Home Accounts. Each of the existing 20 Categories can now have nine sub-categories defined; memos can now be written to remind you to pay bills etc.; moving the cursor to another cell in the main window now automatically saves the cell you left; if a fatal error occurs, Account2 will now attempt to save your work to a scrap file; <Ctrl-T> now toggles the taxable status of a transaction for easy marking.


    • ARMalyser v0.44

      An ARM code analyser that understands RISC OS executable, module, object and library formats. Main enhancements and fixes in this release: performance analysis accuracy improved; 32bit Stub and veneer templates provided to aid conversion of 26bit C applications and modules; control terminated strings recognised in error blocks; SpriteArea display fixed and enhanced; Shared C Library subs _swi and _swix entry points correctly labelled.


    • ConfiX v0.60

      Universal configuration utility. New in this version: window layout is now user selectable, which means that you can use StrongEd style, PopStar style, OvationPro style, etc; new objects added (e.g. sliders); rounding errors in floating point fields fixed; optional OK button; some new variables (ShiftStep, TextAlign); support for long menu titles; window height now adjusted to highest window; new API documentation.


    • Director v0.33

      General purpose desktop tool. 32 bit compatible, French resources, RISC OS 5 sprites, bug fixes, etc.


    • DirSync v1.06

      Compare two directories and synchronise. New features in this version: save a 'project', ie the name of the source and target directory and the list of excluded directories; the difference viewer can be started via the menu and via a keystroke (Ctrl-Enter); bug fixes.


    • KinoAMP v0.26

      An MPEG movie player. This release provides: improved MPEG2 support; fast forward and Rewind controls; a control panel with selectable skin, when multitasking; initial values for Volume, Brightness etc. can be set and changes to settings whilst playing can be saved.


    • Remane v1.53

      Batch file renaming program. You can now save your basic setup, which will then be loaded every time you run the program.


    • Reporter v2.50

      Easy display of text and variable values in a debugging window from Wimp programs (especially BASIC), Obey files and more. Will now run on Iyonix in 32 bit mode and new ReportLog command can capturing output up to a machine lock.


    • TaskUsage v1.60

      Monitor the processor usage of a RISC OS computer for each task or reason code. Bug fixes, Iyonix 32bit compatible.


    • Thumbcat v2.2

      Image catalogue application. There was a problem when creating a title that had a comma in it which subsequently caused the image in a thumbnail view to be blank, now fixed. The background of the thumbnail view can now be transparent.


    • WinSnap v2

      Makes windows stick/snap to the edge of the screen like X window managers. A complete rewrite, now works properly with Toolbox applications. Also now 32 bit compatible: WinEd, FormText, THSound, Jpeg2Spr, NewsFind, StripOSLib, SmartOpenDir, ArtToSpr.



Club News

  1. Upcoming meetings

ANS Information

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    Editor James Sears james@ans.acornusers.org
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