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Acorn News Service Newsletter

Issue: 132 (18 May 2003)

Featured site this issue: http://www.drobe.co.uk/riscos/artifact680.html

General News

German RISC OS Show

Beginning on Saturday, 31st May 2003 at 11am until Sunday, 1st June 2003 around noon, is this year's German RISC OS Show aka the big annual meeting of the German Archimedes Group.

Anybody is welcome, but please e-mail if possible. Entrance is EUR7. More details on <http://www.gag.de/gag/treffen.html>, or by e-mail from <hzn@hq.gag.de>.

Commercial News

ArtWorks 2 has been released

ArtWorks 2 is the latest version of the popular advanced vector graphics application. Create stunning graphics using advanced features like multiple transparency types, multi-column text areas, user-defined dynamic pattern fills and blends, bitmap and SVG export, and many more. ArtWorks 2 graphics can be rendered (without transparency) by many third-party applications (eg OvationPro, Impression, PhotoDesk, OHP) and can be exported in standard Draw format for use in yet more RISC OS applications.

Released at this year's Wakefield Show, ArtWorks 2 is the first complete version of ArtWorks to be produced and published by MW Software. It is also the first version to run natively on Castle's XScale-powered Iyonix computer. Since ArtWorks 2 comes with the full set of plug-in modules released by MW Software it is the preferred upgrade path from now on. ArtWorks 2 requires RISC OS 3.5 or higher, and works with RISC OS 4, Select and RISC OS 5.

ArtWorks 2 is available for GBP169 (inc VAT, plus postage). Upgrades from ArtWorks 1.7 vary between GBP50 and GBP125 (inc VAT, plus postage), depending on the set of plug-in modules already purchased. More detailed pricing information and online ordering links can be found at: <http://www.mw-software.com/paying.html>

You can find more information about ArtWorks 2 including a feature list and information about the free ArtWorks 2.1 upgrade at: <http://www.mw-software.com/software/artworks/artworks2.html>

ArcFS upgrade

The ARM Club has taken over the distribution of ArcFS and a 26/32 bit neutral version is now available, which is fully compatible with the Iyonix PC as well as earlier machines.

A read only version can be downloaded from the club web site at: <http://www.armclub.org.uk/products/arcfs/>

ArcFS can also be purchased online using a credit or debit card at the same location. Upgrades cost GBP5 with the full product costing GBP10 with, as always, a 10% discount for club members.

RISC OS compatible routers

In keeping with his technical support and networking help for RISC OS users, Paul Vigay has announced the availability of Solwise ADSL routers.

Widely regarded as one of the better quality ADSL routers, the SAR705 is a very reliable single port router and the SAR715 is a four port version, and both come with web front-end configuration, build-in firewall and external console input.

These are available to direct from Paul Vigay at the following prices:

  • SAR705 (Solwise ADSL single port Router [VPN capable]) GBP78.00
  • SAR715 (Solwise ADSL Router + 4 port hub [VPN capable]) GBP95.00

Please add GBP5 to cover UK P&P. A discount of GBP5 is available to subscribers of Paul Vigay's ANT Support Scheme.


New version of MelIDI

A new version of MelIDI, a MIDI sequencing package, has been released. MelIDI is now into its eighth year of release. Version 1.15 fixes a number of bugs and also adds new features. These include:

  • Improved garbage collection and song integrity checking
  • Wider range of tempos supported
  • Controllers can be mapped on MIDI Thru (eg Expression->Filter cutoff)

Further information and upgrades can be found on the MelIDI web site <http://www.melidi.co.uk/>. MelIDI is available for GBP129 from Liquid Silicon <http://acorn.cybervillage.co.uk/liquid/musics.htm#sequencers>.

Castle Technology update

  • 4-Port USB Interface card software update
    This updated version of USB reflects the state of the USB shipped with the IYONIX pc and provides access to an even wider range of USB devices for Risc PC and A7000 computers. Updates for those who already have a Castle 4-port USB interface card can be downloaded from the web site.
  • Fast SCSI is now available on the IYONIX pc
    Castle has added a universal SCSI filing system to the IYONIX pc. This allows third party companies to create or update drivers for a wide range of SCSI cards (both PCI and podule) without having to write a filing system themselves. It also opens the way for IYONIX pc users to connect a wide range of new or existing high speed SCSI devices to their system (including devices used with earlier RISC OS systems).
  • Free development suite with top of the range IYONIX pc MAX
    For a limited period Castle are offering a free C/C++ Development Suite on CD with every IYONIX pc MAX purchased. This represents a saving of over GBP200 compared to the normal retail price. The IYONIX pc MAX features Xscale processor, 200MHz DDR RAM, UDMA100 hard drive, Gigabit networking, PC style graphics card, USB connectivity, etc. The IYONIX pc MAX is available for immediate delivery, priced at GBP1399 incl VAT.
  • High resolution Iiyama displays for the IYONIX pc
    Iiyama's top of the range LCD display, the AU5311DBK, is now available for the IYONIX pc. This 20.8" LCD display is the first Iiyama LCD to be able to display the IYONIX pc's top screen mode of 2048 x 1536 pixels, in 16 million colours. GBP3179 inc VAT and delivery.
  • IYONIX Linux port
    In addition to RISC OS, Castle's IYONIX pc is now able to run Linux. Linux for the IYONIX pc is based upon the developments of ARM Linux, and more specifically, recent XScale support. The current version is very much in development, and does not yet support all of the IYONIX pc's hardware. In particular, it requires booting from an NFS or RAM Disc, but presents a usable and stable Linux system.
  • Oregano 2 now shipped with all Risc PC and A7000+ Systems
    All new Acorn Risc PCs, Acorn A7000+ and Castle IYONIX pc computer systems now come with Oregano 2, Castle's new web browser. For some time Oregano 2 has been available on all IYONIX pcs and as an upgrade for all existing Risc PC and A7000+ users.
  • UDMA100 for the IYONIX pc
    A UDMA (Ultra Direct Memory Access) hard drive upgrade for IYONIX pc users is now available. Considerable work has been undertaken to implement UDMA support within the standard ADFS structure of RISC OS 5. With UDMA support, hard drive performance is boosted significantly with theoretical read speeds of up to 100MB per second.

CJE/The Fourth Dimension updates

  • 17" LCD with two analogue inputs
    CJE Micro's are now able to supply the LG L1710B 17" LCD monitor. This offers an analogue input and a second DVI-I digital input which can, with an optional adaptor (GBP14), be used as a second analogue input. GBP495 including VAT and Delivery.
  • Hi spec laser printer
    Lexmark E322 laser printer, 600/1200DPI, 16 pages per minute, 15K pages per month duty cycle, 8MB, PCL6 & Postscript 2 USB & parallel ports. GB270 inc VAT & delivery.
  • Impact 3 32bit compatible
    The Impact 3 Relational Database has now been converted to be fully 26/32bit neutral. Impact 3 will now run on all RISC OS computers from RISC OS 3.1 upwards. As well as being 26/32bit neutral, version 3.20 of Impact 3 has had a number of minor bug fixes and improvements, including password checking of cards. Upgrades from version 3.xx to the latest version (v3.20) cost GBP25. Impact 3 costs GBP75 including UK postage.

R-Comp/RCI updates

  • DataPower 2
    After 3 months of work, a 32bit version of this application was released at the Wakefield show, along with the new CD edition of Datapower 2, which features an updated user interface, expanded documentation, additional examples and tutorials.
  • Descent 1 and 2
    Updated for the Iyonix, allowing smooth gaming in high resolutions and colour depths. You can take advantage of extra graphics features such as transparencies and smooth bilinear texture filtering for that "3D accelerated" look.
  • Image Outliner
    This popular program takes RISC OS sprite files as input, and converts them to smooth, scalable draw files. It provides a lot of flexibility over the shapes produced, and you can fine tune things easily within the software. Now 32bit, with a completely revamped RISC OS 4/5 interface.
  • Quake 32
    This is one of RCI's first games releases for the Iyonix, and is significant because Quake was always pushing the limits of what was possible on a StrongARM Risc PC. On the Iyonix the game is fast and smooth, and thus allows players to enjoy higher resolutions etc. The sound system has been completely re-done in order for it to work on the Iyonix.
  • Remote Control
    Control a Microsoft PC from RISC OS. Re-designed with 32bit/Iyonix in mind, as well as continuing to support Risc PC class systems. When run on the Iyonix, it provides enhanced performance, allowing smooth running in true colour (PC capabilities permitting), thanks to the extra speed and networking of the Iyonix.
  • UniPrint - Virtual Acorn and Deluxe Editions
    The UniPrint printing system, which allows RISC OS machines to print via networked Microsoft PCs for improved quality and range of printers, will now print from VirtualAcorn, and (by extension) will also work via a PC card on a single machine. Also new, Sprite printing mode allows you to print from any RISC OS application direct to a sprite file (akin to David Pilling's Sprinter). UniPrint VA/PCcard edition only GBP25, UniPrint standard edition GBP40, UniPrint Deluxe GBP50.


Simtec Electronics updates

Stuart Tyrrell Developments

  • DigiFlash2
    Surftec and Stuart Tyrrell Developments are pleased to announce their DigiFlash2 card readers for use with RISC OS machines fitted with the Simtec USB interface. DigiFlash2 is a dual-format card reader enabling both CompactFlash type 1 and SmartMedia cards to be read and written. Digiflash2 comes complete with RISC OS drivers and full instructions, and costs GBP59.95 inc VAT and delivery. The Simtec USB card is available for GBP89.00 inc VAT and delivery.
  • USB pen drives
    Following the successful launch of their MP3-playing pen drive, Stuart Tyrrell Developments are pleased to announce the immediate availability of a range of USB pen drives for use with the Simtec USB interface. These miniature drives allow for data transfer between machines fitted with the Simtec USB card and other USB equipped machines. They measure a mere 75mm x 27mm x 10mm (approx) and are simple to slip into a pocket or carry using the neck strap provided. The drives come complete with RISC OS drivers for the Simtec USB card and are available now in the following formats and prices: * 64MB : GBP29.30 + carriage + VAT = GBP37.95 * 128MB: GBP46.32 + carriage + VAT = GBP57.95 * 256MB: GBP80.36 + carriage + VAT = GBP97.95
  • USB to Parallel Port
    Stuart Tyrrell Developments and ExpLAN Ltd are pleased to announce a parallel port interface for use with the Simtec USB card. The interface plugs into the USB podule on the computer and offers a second parallel port. This allows the use of printers with Centronics parallel interfaces to be driven from a USB card, whilst using their standard RISC OS driver (a special USB driver is not required). GBP13.95 plus carriage and VAT = GBP19.95.

PD/Shareware News

New software summary

  • AntiSpam, delete unsolicited e-mail
    Delete spam from your mailboxes according to a set of rules that you specify. It works particularly well in conjunction with POPstar and Messenger, but can be used (in different ways) with any of the e-mail tools available for RISC OS.
  • ListVars, BASIC debugging
    A utility to take a snapshot of the variables of a running BASIC task. Very useful for debugging.
  • PinWay, multiple pinboards
    A new pinboard type application for RISC OS 3.10 to 5.03. Its main features are: create and display up to 8 pinboards; 'PinWay' pinboards can be auto-saved, eg when the computer is shutdown; you can choose the current backdrop; files from most applications can be saved direct to the 'PinWay' pinboard.
  • psql, database client
    A postgres database client which allows you to remotely connect to any postgres server and run SQL commands.
  • Transfer2, icon text utility
    A small utility which allows you to paste text from one writable icon field to another. It also allows you to save text to its icon and then paste it to another window. You can insert the text or replace it. Quentin Pain has generously allowed Transfer2 to become Public Domain software. Transfer2 should be 26/32bit neutral.

Updated software summary

  • Amp 32bit release + other updates
    A desktop music player similar to WinAMP. It plays many formats such as MP3, MOD, S3M, etc., and can use the skins from WinAMP to customise its appearance. 32 bit compatible.
  • Back_It v1.62
    A backup program that works in the background to allow you get on with your work whilst your data is backed up, verified and checked. It works on RISC OS 3.1 or higher and it will even work on RISC OS 5. Updated as a result of customer feedback. Shareware GBP10.
  • CVS v1.10b
    Port of the concurrent versions system. The changes in this version are: 32 bit compatible; KeyAgent support (for the use of SSH keys); fixed some minor things.
  • GnuPG v1.2.2
    A complete and free replacement for PGP, providing strong encryption and authentication. Mainly a bug-fix release.
  • NetWatch v1.65
    Monitor web pages for updates. Changes in this version: HTTP/1.1 HEAD command, so NetWatch may see whether the URL is changed without downloading it; Last Modified field added to the main window; fixed chunked encoded transfers; fixed some oddities in the HTTP code; fixed some memory leaks.
  • Solitaire v7.19
    Available for RISC OS since 1991 as a desktop application, Solitaire recreates the traditional game whose target is to leave one peg in the middle of the board, by jumping one peg over another and removing the latter. Three small bugs have been corrected.

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