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Acorn News Service Newsletter

Issue: 144 (2 November 2003)

Featured site this issue: http://www.mw-software.com/software/rougps/rougps.html

General News

High-quality photo-real printing for RISC OS

The ROUGPS (RISC OS Universal Graphics Printing System) project aims to port the gimp-print library developed for Linux, and to build a RISC OS printer driver around it that can be used like any other printer driver to print from RISC OS applications. Response was very encouraging and development has already started.

Gimp-print <http://gimp-print.sf.net/> supports hundreds of modern inkjet printers and can drive them at the highest resolutions that these printers support. Gimp-print takes advantage of advanced printer features like photo-real inks and printing with variable drop sizes and supports colour correction for different media types (plain paper, glossy photo-paper, overhead transparencies, etc).

More details are available on the ROUGPS project home page:

If you are interested in seeing this project succeed and you have not already committed to a donation, please have a look at the ROUGPS project page for details on how to become a ROUGPS supporter.

Commercial News

Font Directory Professional relaunched

Look Systems has announced the availability of the "Download Edition" of their highly acclaimed font management software (a kind of advanced !Fonts folder).

The software works on all RISC OS computers from OS 3.10 onwards. Thanks to Stefan Bellon, Font Directory Professional is now 26/32 bit neutral, working with StrongARM and XScale processors. New icons have been added by the designer of the RISC OS 5 icons, Richard Hallas.

There is also a new website, where you can purchase the software, download the latest releases, browse the wealth of on-line documentation, and ask for technical support: <http://riscos.looksystems.org.uk/>

The cost of Font Directory Professional has been dramatically reduced to GBP15 (the original RRP was GBP65). Upgrades for existing users cost just GBP10.

For more information check out the FAQ and Information Sheets: <http://riscos.looksystems.org.uk/wiki/FontDirectoryFaq> <http://riscos.looksystems.org.uk/wiki/FontDirectoryDocumentation>

1000th NET100 special offer

Coinciding with the production of the 1000th NET100 network card, Simtec Electronics, in association with NET100 partners Stuart Tyrrell Developments and R-Comp, are pleased to announce a very special offer.

To celebrate this milestone, each NET100 purchased before the 24th December 2003 from a NET100 partner will be discounted by 1000p (ten pounds). The discounted price of the card is reduced from GBP89 inc VAT and UK carriage to only GBP79 inc.

NET100 is a 10/100BaseT full/half duplex network card available for Risc PC and A7000 series machines. It comes complete with all drivers, including Simtec's exclusive BOOTP client.

<http://www.simtec.co.uk/products/AUNET100/> <http://www.rcomp.co.uk/> <http://www.stdevel.co.uk/>

26bit version of WebChange to become freely available

As development of the 32bit version of WebChange for RISC OS progresses some consideration has had to be given to the future of the 26bit version. From 1st December the 26bit version of WebChange will be available to download from the Soft Rock Software web site absolutely free of charge.

The facility to 'purchase' the software at the current price of GBP15 inclusive of VAT will remain in place - purchasing will entitle you to a free upgrade to the 32bit version when that is finally made available.

Once the 32bit version is finally released, there will be a new (higher) price tag, and the 26bit version will remain available as the 'demo' version.

WebChange is a web site maintenance tool, designed to simplify many repetitive tasks, including search and replace across the whole local copy of the site, inclusion/updating of "standard" files, reading and including datestamps to indicate when pages were updated, and much more.

For more details, please visit the WebChange web site at: <http://www.webchange.co.uk/>

VirtualRPC-SE Networked

The new network aware version of VirtualRPC-SE is now shipping to customers. This new version adds features including: * Networking support plug-in including an upgraded Boot sequence. * Access the Internet from within RISC OS. * Connect to real Acorn machines over ethernet using ShareFS. * Long file name support under ShareFS. * A new manual with a comprehensive networking chapter.

VirtualRPC-SE now also ships with both WebFX3D and SiteWriter (worth over GBP60) from Dansoft Developments.

VirtualRPC-SE (GBP159) is a RISC OS emulator for Microsoft Windows. <http://www.virtualacorn.co.uk/>

PD/Shareware News

Callsign, logbook for Amateur radio enthusiasts

Callsign is a logbook for Amateur radio enthusiasts. The logbook generated meets the current requirements of the users licence.

The program has automated searching for previous contacts, and fast fill routines for completion of common fields.

The logbook can be exported as a text file for printing in your favourite text editor, or if you need to in a text format suitable for loading into a PC text editor. The current version also supports a multiple competition mode which you can start and stop at will.

The program is written in Wimpbasic and so requires the Wimpbasic modules which can be obtained with the program. It also means that the program is not 32 bit neutral although it will work with no problems under Aemulor. A 32 bit version may be available later in the year.

As this is very much a work in progress ideas for further versions would be welcome.


7th software web site launch

7th software <http://www.7thsoftware.com/> includes a small collection of public domain software for RISC OS computers: * Routines - a library of dynamically-linking BASIC routines * VCache - a module to simplify access to large files and memory blocks * ShortCut - a simple file/directory/application shortcut creator * SetAccess - a convenient permissions manipulation tool

All software is 32-bit compliant and has been tested on Risc PC and Iyonix machines.

Squeaky Software - new and updated software

  • Help2 - A popup interactive help application. Similar to (but some say
    better than) Help supplied with RISC OS 4.
  • Popcorn - A library for writing games in C. Originally written by
    Matthew Bloch and described in a series of Acorn User articles. Source and StrongHelp manual provided.
  • Hive - A 'Space Invaders' style game written using Popcorn. Also
    originally by Matthew Bloch. Source provided.
  • Bison - a quick hack of GNU bison to make it run under RISC OS 5. Bison
    is a tool for converting a description of a context-free grammar into C code that parses that grammar.
  • Flex - A port of BSD flex. Flex is a lexical analyser generator.
  • Dynamo - A module based memory allocator using dynamic areas. Allows
    programs written in any language to benefit from malloc()-style memory allocation. StrongHelp manual and C veneers provided.
  • FileCache - A module that provides access to files via an efficient
    cacheing system. Applications that use this can benefit from greatly enhanced performance for certain types of file access. StrongHelp manual and C veneers provided.


Updated software summary

  • FontMgr2 v1.30
    Shareware font management utility. Now 32 bit compatible, and has also had the sample printing completely rewritten.
  • Oww v0.71.0
    Oww is a program for Unix and RISC OS, to support weather station hardware from AAG and Dallas Semiconductor, including wind, rain, temperature, humidity, pressure and solar sensors. This features CWOP (Citizen Weather) data upload and support for solar radiation (Sun) sensors. This also features a slight tweak to rain reset conditions and a change of the default Dallas servlet URL to AAG. <http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=86628>
  • Png2Spr v1.34
    Convert between PNG and Acorn Sprites. Now 32 bit compatible.
  • SideDiff v2.10
    WIMP front end to the GNU 'diff' program, displaying its output in a friendly, scrolling, coloured side by side display. The current release (v2.10) implements the following changes: no longer requires 32-bit SharedCLibrary; now uses new BASIC detokenisation routine from Textseek, instead of calling disc-based bascat utility - should speed up BASIC comparison; 'Refresh' entry to force recomparison of files currently displayed; preserves scroll offsets after a patch or refresh operation; shift-clicking on a line of text in either pane will open a throwback window displaying just that line; context header regexps
  • Textseek v1.40
    A specialised fast text search program. It will search for a given (wildcarded) string of text in files of any type, or within a list of specified types, and display its results in context via a throwback window, allowing you to click on them and go instantly to that point in the file. It was originally designed as a novel-writing tool, but is also very useful to programmers in all languages! The most significant changes are: new main window allowing more of the content of the icons to be visible; Textseek can now detokenise BASIC files before searching them; file history menu added; fixed serious machine-code bug introduced in v1.23, where searches starting with "*" could fatally crash the program; main window no longer automatically reopens when search ends.
  • Verma v0.24
    Displays detailed information about Modules that are located in memory or on disc. This release fixes a couple of bugs, and now includes minimal service details for modules. Suitable for use with RISC OS 3.10 - 5, though does require the new 32-bit CLib (AND CallASWI 0.03) on pre-RISC OS 5 machines.

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