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Acorn News Service Newsletter

Issue: 139 (24 August 2003)

Featured site this issue: http://www.w3.org/Provider/Style/URI

General News

RISC OS Astronomy web site launched

The new ROAST web site <http://www.roast.iconbar.com/> aims to provide a resource for RISC OS users interested in astronomy, meteorology and related sciences, and complements the ROAST mailing list set up in April this year. It is run by the team responsible for the Photodesk resources site.

The site currently offers:

  • Picture galleries
  • Tutorials on image processing with software such as Composition and Photodesk
  • A guide to the RISC OS software currently available for astronomers and weather enthusiasts
  • A hardware section
  • A small (but soon to grow) software section

Contributions are welcome, especially to the picture galleries. All levels of expertise are welcome, from beginners to advanced to astronomers of the armchair variety. You do not have to own a telescope!


Commercial News

Archive price rise

From 1st October, 2003, the price of Archive subscriptions will be increased by GBP2. It had stayed the same for over two and a half years, despite increases in postage costs that have occurred during that time.

Anyone renewing now, even if your subscription is not strictly due, can take advantage of the present, lower, prices. From 1st October, 2003, Archive subscriptions will be: * UK GBP35 * Rest of Europe GBP41 * Rest of world GBP48


The current issue of Archive is an extra large one - 96 pages, including nine feature articles, two review articles and 12 regular articles. Topics include ARM Processors for RISC OS, Castle Buys RISC OS, Anti-spam Packages Compared, Iyonix Review - Part 2, and MicroDigital Alpha.

Debian Linux install CDs for Iyonix now available

Peter Naulls is now supplying CDs which allow you install a complete working Debian Linux system on your Iyonix. This follows on from the initial work of the Linux port to Iyonix.

Install CDs are sold with one month support: * First CD only, allowing a basic system with email support - GBP28 * Full set of 6 CDs - GBP35 * Telephone support - add GBP10

For more details see: <http://www.chocky.org/linux/>

More information about the current status of the Linux port to Castle's Iyonix is available on their web site: <http://www.iyonix.com/linux.html>

Important: to install Linux you will need either a separate drive to install it on, or a way of backing up your existing data to allow repartitioning. For purchasers of new machines, for a small additional cost, CJE Micro's will prepare your drive ready for Linux install to avoid this step. Contact <sales@cjemicros.co.uk> for more details.

R-Comp announce DataPower Home

R-Comp is pleased to announce the release of DataPower Home - an easy-to-use, yet powerful, DTP-like database system for RISC OS machines running RISC OS 3.1-5.0 (compatible with both 26 and 32bit machines).

DataPower Home is derived from Iota's DataPower 1 application, which they maintained in parallel with its sibling DataPower 2. However, DataPower Home improves upon DP1, dealing with some major outstanding problems and adding 32bit compatibility, as well as components from R-Comp's recent DP2 release. The DataPower documentation has also been updated with tutorials specific to DataPower Home.

The main differences between DataPower Home and DataPower 2 are that 'Home' is a "flat file" database (ie not relational) and lacks the scripting, SQL and data-joining found in DP2.

DataPower Home is a logical upgrade for existing DataPower 1 users who have found no need for the relational and other features of DataPower2, especially as some "show-stopper" faults have been fixed in the new version. It also follows R-Comp's trend of disabling the notorious protection system, allowing for simple, quick installation on your machine.

During August and September, existing owners of Recordz (the database component of Fireworks), MasterFile and MultiStore (Minerva's database) can get a discount of over 20% (see below) by returning their program disc(s) with a cheque.

  • DataPower Home (single user) CD version - GBP49 inc
  • DataPower Home upgrade from Iota DP1 - GBP25 inc
  • DataPower Home upgrade from old databases - GBP39 inc
    (August/Sept offer)


DTP Principles: Better Documents by Design

Alligata Media have launched DTP Principles, a platform and software independent guide to understanding some of the most important fundamentals of word processing and desktop publishing.

By concentrating on the universal principles of good document design, this guide provides valuable information for all users of DTP and word processing packages, regardless of choice of software and computer system. DTP Principles covers such important topics as: * Planning the structure of a document, from page design to text layout and attributes. * Understanding font styles, and how to choose the right font. * How to present text well, through the correct use of punctuation and embellishments. * The Golden Ratio, and how to use it to give your documents excellent design balance.

The guide, written and designed by Richard Hallas, is just 20 pages in size, has a full colour cover and is mono throughout. It is printed on quality paper and was produced using Ovation Pro.

Alligata Media are making DTP Principles (the guide) available to all RISC World subscribers free of charge. There is a supporting CD-ROM featuring Ovation 1, clipart and fonts, which costs GBP5.


PD/Shareware News

New software summary

  • Stealth, steganography and encryption
    Combines strong encryption with a form of steganography. It enables you to store a number of encrypted directories inside a container file, each with its own unique passphrase. The program is designed so that no one without a knowledge of the passphrases can determine how many encrypted directories actually exist. A particular directory can be decrypted and extracted only by entering the correct passphrase.

Updated software summary

  • AMPlay v1.52
    Front end for the AMPlayer module. Note that AMPlayCfg has changed since the last AMPlay release, so you will need to update your copy of that as well as the main application. Bug fixes and various extensions.
  • ARMalyser v0.46
    An ARM code analyser that understands RISC OS executable, module, object and library formats. The main change in this release is an improvement to the "conditional after BL/SWI" error detection.
  • GnuPG v1.2.3
    RISC OS port of the OpenPGP compliant encryption software. This version is mainly a general maintenance release.
  • Python v2.3
    RISC OS port of the Python programming language. RISC OS Python includes the following highlights: an integrated interface to the SWI system; Drawfile support; interfaces to the RISC OS WIMP and toolbox (with examples); numeric extension; PeerBoard: share your clipboard contents between multiple RISC OS and Win32 computers over TCP/IP connections; and SSLRelay, a simple SSL proxy server.
  • QuickFiler v2.09
    A utility which allows you to use many standard shortcut keys in conjunction with the RISC OS Filer windows. The Filer gains the input focus when you click in a directory display, and then responds to the keyboard shortcuts as shown on the Filer's menu. 32 bit compatible.
  • Teletext v1.53
    Software for a Ground Control or Octopus Systems teletext receiver, or other receiver with IIC connection. It uses a powerful script system which is very flexible.
  • Webgen2 v2.03
    Takes a directory of images and turns them into a complete web site. HTML generated should validate to 4.01 transitional. Fixed bugs related to image captions and e-mail addresses.

Club News

Proposed Midlands user group

If anyone in the Midlands would like a local Acorn user group e-mail <rob@micro-bits.co.uk>.

Omega: first full report

The first full report on Omega, 10 pages by a user who has had two months to put it through its paces, is in the latest issue of Eureka, the magazine which is sent to members of The ARM Club.

Copies of this issue will be available to new members. Membership forms can be downloaded from the Club's web site: <http://www.armclub.org.uk/membership/>

Upcoming meetings

ANS Information

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