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Acorn News Service Newsletter

Issue: 145 (16 November 2003)

Featured site this issue: http://www.huber-net.de/iyonixvsomega/

General News

Iyonix and Omega benchmarks

GAG-News is a bi-monthly German RISC OS magazine published for over ten years by the German Archimedes Group (GAG) <http://www.gag.de/>. The current issue features a speed comparison of the IYONIX pc and Omega.

The benchmarks compare the time taken to complete common tasks, such viewing a JPEG image and compressing files, on the IYONIX pc, Omega, and different Risc PCs.


The IYONIX pc visits Scotland

Castle Technology Ltd, in conjunction with Liquid Silicon, one of the principle Scottish dealers, will be bringing the IYONIX pc to Scotland in December in order to show off its capabilities to the many Scottish RISC OS users.

The venue for this event will be the Hilton Hotel at Edinburgh Airport:

The IYONIX pc will be on show on Monday 8th December from 7.30pm until 10.00pm. Edinburgh Airport is adjacent to the M9, M8, A8 and A90 with easy access from Edinburgh itself, from Glasgow, from Stirling and many other areas.

The evening will start with a presentation of approximately one hour's duration, after which staff from Castle and Liquid Silicon will be on hand to provide further information and answer any questions.

Castle are currently running a special Christmas offer on the IYONIX pc which includes a free Iiyama 19" monitor and USB memory card reader.


Commercial News

Risc PC production to cease

Castle Technology Ltd has announced that after nearly ten successful years the Risc PC is shortly to cease production. Once current Risc PC supplies have been exhausted the RISC OS market will be based on the Acorn A7000+ and IYONIX pc, produced by Castle, and other RISC OS machines from independent manufacturers.

The Risc PC was announced by Acorn early in 1994 and went on sale in the spring of that year. At the time it was the world's fastest desktop computer based on RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) technology. Originally using the ARM600 processor this was subsequently replaced by the ARM700. A major step forward came with the advent of the StrongARM processor in the autumn of 1996 giving a significant boost in performance. The StrongARM processor remained the basis of the Risc PC from then on.

After Acorn pulled out of the desktop computer market in September 1998 Castle took over the production of the Risc PC and A7000+ computers, and RISCOS Ltd released RISC OS 4 the following year. In the autumn of 2002 Castle announced the all-new IYONIX pc, running on an XScale processor and with an updated version of RISC OS, RISC OS 5.

Given the short lifespans of so many other computers it is a striking affirmation of Acorn's original design for the Risc PC that it has remained at the centre of the RISC OS world for nearly ten years.

Stuart Tyrrell Developments - Christmas USB Offers

All orders placed for the Simtec USB card before 24th December will be offered at a discounted price of GBP79 inc VAT and carriage (normal price GBP89inc).

A special offer pack comprising of Simtec USB card and DigiFlash2 card reader is available at GBP99 inc. A Simtec USB card along with DigiFlash7 is priced at GBP119inc. A Simtec USB card, Epson 1660 Photo scanner, TWAIN drivers and David Pilling Scanning Software is priced at GBP258.

These offers are valid for orders placed before 24th December 2003, and are subject to availability.

<http://www.stdevel.com/USB.html> <http://www.digiflash.co.uk/> <http://www.stdevel.com/EpsonScan.html>

Also Stuart Tyrrell Developments extendable drivers for MultiMedia Keyboards are now available free of charge. The drivers are suitable for most current multimedia PS/2 keyboards, and may easily be modified to support extra functions as necessary.

STDMMK enables functions to be associated with multi-media keypresses - for example shortcuts for WebsterXL web browser, CD controls, volume etc. <http://www.stdevel.com/software.html>

iSV Products updates

Updated versions of DrawWorks Select and Mr Clippy are now available.

The upgrade for DrawWorks Select is free and can be downloaded from the APDL/iSV web site at <http://www.apdl.co.uk/isv/dwsel.htm>. Note that this will ONLY work with DrawWorks Select and cannot be used with any other version of DrawWorks.

If you do not already have DrawWorks Select then upgrades from earlier versions are available or the full program, complete with lots of other utilities and a colour printed manual, now costs GBP39.

DrawWorks SE, the FREE entry level version of DrawWorks, is now Iyonix compatible and is available for download from: <http://www.apdl.co.uk/isv/freeapp.htm>

The new version of Mr Clippy is now Iyonix compatible. It is supplied on CD with around 1800 pieces of clip art and a printed manual and costs GBP14.90. Full details are available from the APDL/iSV web site at <http://www.apdl.co.uk/isv/mrc.htm>. If you already have the CD version of Mr Clippy then the upgrade to the Iyonix compatible version is FREE. Note that the free upgrade can ONLY be used with the CD version of Mr Clippy.

PD/Shareware News

New software summary

  • Bogofilter, spam filter
    A Bayesian spam filter. It inspects e-mail messages, does a statistical check against lists of "good" and "bad" words and inserts appropriate headers into the mail that indicates whether or not the message is spam, so that you can filter on them. There are instructions provided of how to let Pluto/MsgServe/Newsbase and POPstar interact with it. It should also work with the ANT Suite.

Updated software summary

  • CDrip v0.12
    Convert WAV to audio MPEG files. Uses a new version of LAME which is 32 bit compatible.
  • Desk v3.24
    Programming library. 32-bit compatibility and bug fixes.
  • FireToImp v1.31
    Converts Fireworkz documents into Impression DDF. Bug fixes: the presence of (any) vertical justification in a style definition is no longer translated into a forced-left horizontal justification(!), blank rows in the input file now actually appear in the output rather than being silently suppressed, and the region analysis now understands the 'wholerow' area selection syntax, meaning that styles applied to such regions will get applied to the relevant paragraphs in the output.
  • FontMgr2 v1.30 / FontResources v0.01
    Shareware font management utility. Added documentation and the necessary files to "Tune" ResEd and ResTest for the toolbox gadgets used by FontMgr2.
  • JLib v0.1.1
    A collection of separate libraries written by Julian Smith, includes: HeapGraph, Mnemosyne, PlainArgv, ScanC, Shell, StubsHack, and Wild.
  • QuickFiler v2.12
    Enables the Filer to use many keyboard shortcuts. Bug fixes.
  • SideDiff v2.11
    Displays and edits the differences between two files. When comparing BASIC files, the 'Refresh' option now re-compares the original files rather than the detokenised versions in Scrap, and the 'Auto' option for calculating the width of the line number column now takes into account the current desktop font width if outline fonts are in use.
  • SpamStamp v0.15
    Bayesian spam filter. This new version has several enhancements: a proper icon; it is now possible to see the words SpamStamp has used to base its decision on; educate window stays on screen; extra logging; possibility to restrict the number of backup files; fixed a bug with the renaming of backup files.
  • Textseek v1.41
    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. Bug fixes.

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