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Acorn News Service Newsletter

Issue: 140 (7 September 2003)

Featured site this issue: http://www.drobe.co.uk/features/artifact760.html

General News

Photo-real printing for inkjet printers

MW Software press release announcing ROUGPS - the RISC OS Universal Graphics Printing System:

Developing high-quality printer drivers for photo-real printing is a very demanding task. Native printer driver developments under RISC OS have fallen behind considerably and this situation is unlikely to change. Luckily, the Linux community has an active group of people working on printer drivers for high-resolution photo-real printing on current inkjet printers.

The ROUGPS project aims to create a RISC OS printer driver based on the Linux gimp-print system. It will be able to drive hundreds of printer models at their highest resolutions and with support for different media types and photo-real printing.

As gimp-print is open source software published under the GPL, it is likely that the results of the ROUGPS project will be made available under the same licence. This precludes the possibility of selling it as a commercial product.

Instead, everyone who is interested can donate money to support this project. Nobody is asked to send any money right now, it will only be collected when the project is finished. However, the project will only go ahead if enough users commit to a donation by sending an e-mail stating the amount of money they are willing to donate.

You can find details on how to do this and further details about the project at: <http://www.mw-software.com/software/rougps/rougps.html>

RISCOS Ltd licenses RISC OS 4 for use with VirtualAcorn emulators

RISCOS Ltd and Virtual Acorn have signed an agreement to allow for the distribution of RISC OS 4 ROM images with the Virtual Acorn range of emulators.

It is intended that new more powerful versions of VirtualAcorn will supersede VirtualA5000. VirtualRPC is already fully compatible with the RISC OS Select system, and subscribers to the Select Scheme will in the future be able to install a special VirtualRPC version of the Select ROM image to further improve the Select experience.

Pricing details and availability of the new VirtualRPC emulator will be announced shortly.


RISCOS Ltd releases updates to Toolbox Modules

RISCOS Ltd has announced updates to the RISC OS Toolbox modules for use with all versions of RISC OS. The last public release of the Toolbox modules was in April 2000.

The Toolbox facilitates writing consistent, high-quality desktop applications under RISC OS 3.10 and later. The modules are provided for download and installation as a self extracting and installing archive; after downloading Tbox/ff8 set its type to Absolute (&FF8) and then double click to run it.

All modules are built to be processor and C library neutral, so the installer and the modules themselves will function on RISC OS 3.1 through to 5.x with whatever C library is presently installed.

The new Toolbox resources are available for free download from: <http://support.riscos.com/Support/Updates/>

Commercial News

RISCOS Ltd release Select 3 Issue 2

The latest release of the RISC OS Select Scheme is now available for download from the RISC OS Select web site <http://select.riscos.com/>.

This version has been tested and is compatible with the following machines: A7000/+, Risc PC (SA and Kinetic), RiscStation R7500, MicroDigital Mico, MicroDigital Alpha and Virtual RPC-SE. Limited testing has been completed on the Omega, but it is not officially supported in this release.

The upgrade is available for all current RISC OS Select subscribers as well as those whose subscription was due for renewal within the past 3 months. RISC OS 4 users can subscribe to RISC OS Select for GBP155pa <http://www.riscos.com/select/>.

Some of the new features in this release since the last Select 3i1 release are: updated Appletalk Client, updated versions of the ToolBox modules, and updated components to avoid Castle's undocumented use of Wimp_Extend, plus the usual number of long standing low level bug fixes.

RISCOS Ltd's feature comparison of Select and RISC OS 5 is available at: <http://select.riscos.com/iyonix_select.htm>

HolyBible 32-bit upgrade

ExpLAN has released HolyBible v2.06 which is 32 bit compatible and supersedes v1.99, the last commercial release to use 26 bit code. <http://www.explan.co.uk/bible/HolyB.html#hbdownload>

Version 2.06 contains a new feature enabling it to operate alongside the Speak utility published by Jonathan Duddington, but with the proviso that you wish the computer to speak an English-language version. There are also a number of minor bug-fixes.

Users with older computers using RISC OS 3 or 4 can still upgrade to version 2.06, but will require the newer 32 bit C-library.

Viewfinder now supports Radeon

The ViewFinder graphics card for the Risc PC and A7000 now supports ATI Radeon AGP cards.

Two new Radeon equipped ViewFinders are available: a Radeon 7000 card with 64 MB of memory (+TV-out) and a Radeon 7500 card with 128 MB of memory (+TV-out and a DVI connector), for 250 and 300 Euro including 19% VAT respectively. Upgrades for existing ViewFinder users are also available for 150 and 200 Euro inc. VAT.

ViewFinders with Radeon AGP cards currently offer the following: * Your desktop running at up to 2048 x 1536 x 16M colours, 70 Hz. * Accelerated graphics operations, making desktop use very smooth indeed (up to 20 times faster than an unexpanded Risc PC). * TV-out capability up to 1024 x 768 (new). * Dual monitor support (new, in development). * Full support for 2 and 4 colour modes (new).

More details are available on <http://www.windfall.nl/>.

Free USB hub with every new IYONIX pc

Castle are offering a free 4-port USB hub with every new IYONIX pc ordered in September and October 2003.

This 4 port USB hub allows at least 7 USB devices to be attached to an IYONIX pc. A wide range of USB products are already available for the IYONIX pc, ranging from keyboards and mice to memory card readers, printers, scanners, barcode readers etc.

The IYONIX pc is available for immediate delivery with prices starting at GBP1249 including VAT.


PD/Shareware News

New software summary

  • ConvText, search and replace
    Scriptable global text search and replace.
  • OvHTML, import HTML documents to Ovation Pro
    An Ovation Pro filter that allows you to import HTML documents. It supports a variety of HTML tags, GIF and JPEG images, and it will try to render to something akin to HTML 2.0 (ie, it does not do tables or frames). Output created is close to Fresco (when running with tables & frames disabled). There is also a 'translation' system that allows you to replace one HTML tag with another, mess with certain aspects of the parser output, etc. OvHTML also adds experimental HTML save support.
  • RISC OS driver for the HP Deskjet 9300 (A3 capable) printer
    A RISC OS driver for the new HP Deskjet 9300, which supports full colour and grey scale printing at 300 and 600dpi. The driver should work reliably with RISC OS 4 and Printers version 1.64 or later. Support is not provided for Duplex or Photo-realistic printing.

Updated software summary

  • AMPlay v1.53
    Front end for the AMPlayer module. Bug fixes.
  • DDF2Html v1.51
    Converts Impression DDF ("text with styles") output into clean HTML markup. Patches a bug introduced into version 1.50 - contrary to the manual, occurrences of an "Italic" *style* (as opposed to effect) were not being converted into <EM></EM> tags as advertised.
  • Director v0.36
    Latest version of the general purpose desktop tool.
  • Fingering v4.13
    Stores and displays bassoon fingerings. Can now export Draw files.
  • NurseW v2.03
    Macro inserter for use with the Dr Wimp programming library. Updated to complement Dr Wimp v3.81.
  • Oww v0.70.0
    A Linux / RISC OS program to make use of Dalsemi / AAG weather stations. This version supports the AAG TAI-8570 barometer. There were also some bug fixes (GPC delta logging).
  • Verma v0.23
    A utility that displays detailed information about Modules that are located in memory or on disc. This release fixes a small bug, adds an alpha sort option to the ROM/RMA window, and now allows any module (not just ROM-based modules) to be extracted from the RMA to disc.
  • Webgen2 v2.04
    Takes a directory of images and turns them into a complete web site. Minor change to allow the navigation buttons on the image pages to be set above or below the main image.
  • Workspace v3.83
    A utility that provides 6 desktop workspaces to prevent cluttered desktops. Windows can be placed on separate workspaces, between which you can instantly switch. Windows can live on more than one workspace, and each workspace can use a different screen mode and palette. This version corrects the "Fix Mode" descriptor on the Iyonix, selects current workspace when changing iconbar icon style, and the Workspace selector matches 3x2 layout of the small iconbar icon.

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