Acorn News Service Newsletter
Issue: 147 (14 December 2003)
The RISCOS SOUTHWEST show will be taking place once again, at the
Webbington Hotel, North Somerset, on Saturday 28th February 2004.
This will be the seventh show at the Webbington hotel, and we hope
it will be one of the most successful.
Already a number of well known companies have signed up for the show.
There will be a number of presentations in the show theatre for up-to-date
news and an opportunity to air your views and ask questions. Test your
skills on the latest games and surf the web at the Internet Cafe.
A free bus shuttle will be provided from Weston-super-Mare train station.
Please come along and support fellow RISC OS users! For more information,
see the show web site at:
ANS Filebase update
The ANS Filebase, an online database of RISC OS software, now includes
entries for 820 programs contributed by 134 registered users.
Using the ANS Filebase web site <http://filebase.acornusers.org/> you can
find RISC OS software by searching for keywords or by browsing categories.
Registered users can also contribute entries for new software or update
information for software that they have written. You can also create a
'watched items' list and choose to receive e-mail alerts when updates are
released. Register now at <http://filebase.acornusers.org/register>.
The ANS Filebase can also be accessed directly from the RISC OS desktop
Qercus: A fusion of Acorn Publisher and Acorn User
Tau Press has sold Acorn User magazine to Finnybank Ltd., home of Acorn
Publisher magazine. All enquiries about Acorn User should now be directed
to Finnybank Ltd. <http://www.finnybank.com/>, 30 Finnybank Road, Sale,
M33 6LR; tel: 0161 969 9820; e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
As there are subscribers to Acorn Publisher who may not be interested in
a general RISC OS magazine, the new publication replacing Acorn User will
alternate in format each month. One issue will contain a core of graphics,
desktop publishing, web design and networking, together with RISC OS news
and reviews of hardware and software. The following issue will concentrate
on all other aspects of RISC OS, including programming, audio, data,
utilities, games, education, etc., in addition to profiles of RISC OS
people and PD sources.
The first format (element) will be the magazine produced for Acorn
Publisher subscribers whilst Acorn User subscribers, and those ordering
the magazine from newsagents, will obtain the whole picture by taking
both elements. As both elements will have to be handled by distributors
as one magazine, the combined magazine has been given a new name, Qercus.
The Acorn User name will be featured on the front cover of Qercus until
the newsagents' distributors update their records.
Acorn Publisher subscribers will be able to transfer their subscription to
the new complete (monthly) magazine. The cover cost of Qercus will be the
same as the old Acorn User rate and subscription rates will lie between
the costs of AP and AU. During December there will be a special offer for
both new and returning subscribers, and current subscribers can take
advantage of the offer by extending their subscription:
- Qercus - graphics & design (6 issues annually + 1 review issue free)
UK: GBP29.95, Europe: GBP38.84, World: GBP41.15
- Qercus - the whole picture for RISC OS users (13 issues annually)
UK: GBP45.95, Europe: GBP55.05, World: GBP66.75 (special offer)
- Qercus - Single issues
GBP4.20 plus P&P (UK: GBP0.60, Europe: GBP1.30, World: GBP2.20)
Current Acorn User subscribers will receive Qercus automatically. Unless
they upgrade their subscriptions, Acorn Publisher subscribers will receive
the graphics & design issues of Qercus every 2 months, together with the
free review issue if their subscription extends to the end of next year.
Those at present subscribing to both Acorn Publisher and Acorn User will
receive all issues of Qercus and their subscription will be extended
For more information visit <http://www.qercus.com/>.
*Info in Qercus
Finnybank Ltd. plan to bring back *Info in Qercus, the magazine that is
taking the place of Acorn User and Acorn Publisher, and are looking for
small RISC OS programs (or part-programs):
- that do a simple task or illustrate a simple effect
- are new to readers (or have been significantly changed)
- part or all of the programming is explained
- can be put on the Qercus website for free download
- author will answer feedback questions about the app
For details visit <http://www.qercus.com/> or contact
<email@example.com> (but do not e-mail software).
Weenies - new BBC Micro game
Weenies is a wonderful new game for the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron by
Christopher Dewhurst. Featuring all the best bits of Lemmings - great
graphics, spectacular sounds and perplexing puzzles - all shoehorned onto
Weenies costs just GBP2.99. To find out more and to order your copy visit
<http://www.cronosoft.co.uk/> or contact <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
RISC OS Manuals
IC Software has launched a new web site containing details of their
current RISC OS printed manuals, as well as those which might be produced
in the near future.
IC Software's first manual is a 64 page Artworks 2 manual, produced in
association with MW Software. It is hoped that future collaborations will
result in the production of other paper-based documentation, including a
much needed, up-to-date Photodesk manual.
All of IC Software's manuals are produced with high-quality materials and
are bound within 4-ring, PVC A5 folders so that new sections may be added
when they become available.
The Artworks 2 manual is available for immediate dispatch and is priced
at GBP17.50, which includes postage and packaging within the UK.
International customers should see the web site for more information.
RCI announce new wireless ADSL router
R-Comp Interactive has announced a new addition to their range of ADSL
products - an ADSL router with the addition of wireless networking.
The new unit has a PCMCIA slot (as found on laptops) into which the
supplied 802.11b wireless network card fits. The unit also has four
standard network ports, which are recommended for use with desktop
machines (for speed and reliability benefits) with the wireless
networking being ideal for laptops.
The price is GBP149 inclusive of VAT and delivery, and includes NetFetch
RISC OS software and documentation. UK delivery is also included.
R-Comp Interactive announce availability of the RISCBook
The RISCBook is a fast Intel Centrino based laptop, running Microsoft
Windows XP and VirtualRPC emulation software. It costs GBP1250 inclusive
of VAT and UK delivery.
Commenting on the release of the RISCBook, R-Comp Interactive's Andrew
Rawnsley said, "Given that a number of companies are now offering laptops
with RISC OS, we wanted to bring something special to the table, and the
Centrino platform seems ideally suited to the needs of a RISC OS laptop.
I am particularly pleased by the value for money offered by the RISCBook
given its superb performance and battery life."
UniPrintVA is included free of charge as a special offer. Customers should
note that because the RISCBook is a truly mobile computer, legacy ports
such as parallel and floppy are not present. This ensures low weight, and
is made up for by other inbuilt technologies.
A6 now shipping with VVRAM technology
Advantage Six are pleased to announce the addition of Virtual VRAM (VVRAM)
technology to their A6 series of RISC OS emulation computers.
VVRAM allows users access to the enhanced screenmodes available to the
A6's Geforce4 graphics controller, giving large true colour RISC OS
desktop operation. Sixteen million colour screens at 1600x1200 and beyond,
coupled with the performance associated with the high memory and disk
bandwidths of the machine make DTP and graphics processing a dream.
VVRAM is available on the A6 with immediate effect. All A6 machines
shipped by Stuart Tyrrell Developments from 10th December 2003 will be
VVRAM enabled. Upgrades will be made available to existing customers in
The A6 is a new generation of RISC OS machine, designed from the ground up
to complement VirtualRPC-SE emulation technology, and presents a familiar
RISC OS environment in a machine little larger than a stack of A4 paper.
The machine is capable of running both RISC OS and Microsoft Windows
applications, and users can expect day-to-day RISC OS performance which
exceeds the fastest traditional StrongARM machines.
The A6 starts at GBP599+VAT, and is available from Stuart Tyrrell
Developments. Further details may be found at <http://www.thea6.com/>.
Second user Risc PCs
Future Computer Services Limited currently have a large range of second
user Risc PCs, StrongARM Risc PCs, A7000s and A7000+ machines, due to
recent acquisitions from some school ICT suites.
A7000s start from GBP40+VAT, A7000s are all under GBP100+VAT, and
StrongARM Risc PCs are available for under GBP300+VAT. Warranty and
inspection details are on the web site.
Alligata Software acquire Topologika Software for RISC OS
Topologika have made, with effect from the start of September, an active
decision to focus on their top-selling educational titles for Microsoft
and Mac users, and have passed on to Alligata Software the right to sell,
support and distribute their existing RISC OS line.
The recommended price for all of the Topologika RISC OS titles is to be
slashed by at least 45%. From the start of the next year all titles will
be available through APDL. In the interim, please do not call APDL unless
you would like a copy of Talking Clocks (which is available from stock).
Topologika's web site is located at <http://www.topologika.com/> and an
appropriate variation focusing on the new RISC OS releases will shortly be
New software summary
- NetCalc, IP address calculator
Calculate subnet and supernet IP addresses including the appropriate
subnet mask. NetCalc should appeal to users who want to see how subnets
are related to their netmasks and the binary equivalents. NetCalc was
originally written to illustrate a series of articles on IP addressing
and netmasks, which will appear in the next issue of Archive magazine.
- ViewXLS, viewer for MS-Excel files
Viewer which allows you to open many native MS-Excel files from 4.0 to
XP, as well as workbooks.
Updated software summary
- Bogofilter v0.15.10
Bayesian spam filter. The initial wordlist is now created automatically
and the executables are much smaller than before.
- FontMgr2 v1.31
Font management system. Cleanups to enable it to work with the latest
toolbox modules and a couple of minor bug fixes.
- GamSetup 0.07
Hardware gamma correction for the Risc PC and Iyonix (previously known
as Gamma). Enhancements include the ability to act as a Configure plugin
(RISC OS 4 and later), contrast and brightness controls, and all of the
controls now work in concert to alter the display.
- Nettle v0.2040
Terminal emulator and telnet client. 32 bit compatible. Bug fixes.
- ODBC libraries
ODBC is an industry standard API for connecting to local and remote
databases without the client application needing to be aware of the type
of database it is connecting to. This is a small update with some fixes
for the SQLite library and ODBC driver.
- PDF v2.03.1.12
PDF (Adobe Acrobat) file viewer. Upgraded to xpdf2.03; some improvement
in display of truetype and truetype based type1c fonts; print dialog box
now uses logical page number system; use paper margins added to 'Print
setup'; scale to fit option added to 'Print setup'.
- Spatience v1.27
Patience card game. The main changes in this version are: better manual
(script language to code new patience games); many options can now be
set using a Choices file; display colours can now be configured by the
user; changes in default options (mainly flying cards).
- Sunfish v0.95
NFS client implemented as an image filing system. Added support for
symlinks. Bug fixes.
- TapirMail v0.92
A remote inbox POP3 email client. Now includes a manual explaining the
various features of the program. Other improvements to the program: the
e-mail list font has been made configurable; default login account can
be configured to open automatically; status of emails is reflected more
clearly using icons; improved URL handling; general bug fixes.
- Textseek v1.42
A fast file search program which can locate and display multiple
occurrences of a string across files of specified types, including
tokenised BASIC. This release seeks to address the long-standing problem
with queued throwback requests when a given search string occurs many
times within a single (large) file.
- Variations 0.29
'Variations on a theme' image processor. Improvements include fully
automated batch processing mode and bug fixes.
- ROUGOL (London), 15th December - ROUGOL's Risc PC
- SAUG (Southampton), 15th December
- BARUG (Bristol), 17th December - Mince pies and Festive Cheer
- RONWUG (North West), 17th December - Qercus and MyRISCOS
- RUNG (Norfolk), 18th December - Tarquin Mills: "The Inclusive Web"
- WROCC (Wakefield), 7th January - AGM
- NKACC (Kent), 8th January - Practical domestic photo-correction
- WAUG (Wessex), 10th January
- DARC (Derbyshire), 12th January
- EAUG (Essex), 13th January
- LAUG (Liverpool), 13th January
- ICENI (Suffolk), 14th January - Social evening at the Crown Manningtree
- RISC OS South West Show, 28th February
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