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Acorn News Service Newsletter

Issue: 280 (4 December 2011)

Featured site this issue: http://www.piLEARN.com/

General News

Wakefield 2012 Show

The Wakefield RISC OS Computer Club is pleased to announce that the Wakefield Acorn & RISC OS Computer Show will be returning in 2012. On Saturday 28th April, the north's premier RISC OS event will once again be taking place at its familiar home of the Cedar Court Hotel near Wakefield.

Details of the show are still being finalised, but the format will be similar to that of previous years and will once again include the popular Show Theatre with a range of talks covering the RISC OS market. More information about the event, including the location of the venue and how to get there by car or public transport, can be found on the re-launched show web site.


RISC OS Blog overhaul

The new-look RISC OS Blog web site <http://www.riscosblog.co.uk/> now incorporates both the blog and forum on-site, rather than using external providers, thanks to GigaTux Hosting for generously donating a domain name and hosting.

Commercial News

Easi/TechWriter 9.00 released

A new version of the EasiWriter family of structured word processors with MS Word compatibility was released at this year's London Show. Easi/TechWriter 9.00 offers cross-references and improved foreign file format support.

New features in Easi/TechWriter 9.00:

  • Cross-references: insert references to other locations in the document, which can display either the target item's chapter or section number, part of a paragraph, a complete paragraph (usually a heading), or the number of the page on which it occurs.
  • Improved foreign file format support: files in ODT format (OpenOffice.org's native format) can be imported with style information, which is a big improvement compared to the plain text import offered by version 8.9, and hyperlinks can finally be exported to MS Word .doc format.


ROOL USB memory sticks

RISC OS Open are very happy to announce the immediate availability of two different ROOL-branded USB sticks to buy from the ROOL store.


These sticks represent a proud milestone for RISC OS Open, having been working towards creating a stand-alone RISC OS solution for Microsoft and Apple users since 2006. Thanks to everyone who made this possible!

  • RISC OS emulation (Microsoft Windows, Mac, Linux)
    This stick is specifically designed for Microsoft Windows, Mac, and Linux users who want to have a RISC OS emulation solution. You do not need any other bits and bobs and the Microsoft Windows and Mac emulators have been pre-built and pre-configured. Just plug the stick in and follow the instructions for your system.

This stick includes all of the disc-based software found on the "Boot stick". Please note: networking support has not been enabled in these emulators.

  • Boot stick for native RISC OS hardware
    This stick is Filecore formatted, meaning it can be read by native RISC OS machines, including the Iyonix, Beagleboard, PandaBoard, and Raspberry Pi, to name but a few. It contains the main RISC OS boot sequence, applications and utilities, as well as a host of third-party applications and other goodies.

Both USB sticks include a collection of bonus material, including third-party applications (such as StrongED, SparkFS, AWViewer, and many more), source code for RISC OS and other ROOL goodies including a large set of high-quality backdrop images.

ROOL Bounties

ROOL has added an important bounty to get work properly under way on improving the RISC OS file system, with the long-term aim being to support (amongst many other things) files larger than 2GB, large (TB sized) hard drives, multiple partitions, extended meta-data, etc.

ROOL has also expired a couple of unpopular bounties and redistributed any money that was in those pots across the other bounties.


PD/Shareware News

New software summary

  • BBFlash, create BeagleBoard boot files
    An application to write the four (BB) or six (BBxM) files necessary for a BeagleBoard or BeagleBoard xM to boot. You can write them to a card that is as supplied from the retailer, or one that has been created with the SDCreate application. SDActive can be used to mark the boot partition as active.
  • HongKong, patience game
    HongKong is a version of the Mahjong patience game Shanghai. It was written as a demonstration of Basalt and its Toolbox keywords.

Updated software summary

  • Basalt v1.30 alpha
    The Basalt module provides BASIC with extra keywords. It can be used with any version of the BASIC module and does not require any special installation. Basalt has been completely re-written and greatly extended, but it is still in an alpha version.
  • BookMaker v2.15
    Address book manager for major RISC OS browsers. This version includes long-awaited support for NetSurf, for which much thanks are due to the NetSurf RISC OS developer for implementing the protocols that allow NetSurf and BookMaker to inter-operate.
  • Call module v0.30 beta
    The Call module allows WIMP or Toolbox tasks to set up WIMP messages to be sent to themselves after an interval or at regular intervals. This makes programming timed events straightforward.
  • DrawIt BASIC library v0.20
    DrawIt is a linked set of BASIC libraries for generating Draw files.
  • DrawPrint v1.31
    DrawPrint allows you to print a Draw file (or Sprite or JPEG) over several pages at the scale of your choice. This version will be of especial benefit to anybody who uses Draw files incorporating text areas, as it has fixed a number of bugs which had crept into their handling over the years.
  • KeyMap v1.04
    Front-end to Desktop Keymap Module, a programmable keyboard driver. This version includes two new keymaps that can drive the so called Windows 1251 fonts - a special encoding that Microsoft created for accessing cyrillic characters.
  • PackMan v0.6 beta
    Package manager. The main changes are: upgrade All menu option; right click on iconbar icon shows list of installed packages; run an application by double clicking in the Apps Window; drag an application from the Apps Window to the filer to create a stub; new window to show disk usage and allow clearing of the cache.
  • Strings BASIC library v0.30
    The Strings BASIC library provides routines for handling long strings referenced by normal string variables. All the standard string keywords are emulated and work with any combination of normal string variables and expressions and long strings.
  • TBX v0.5
    C++ Toolbox application library. This versions adds a few more methods to the toolbox gadgets and fixes a bug that appeared on RISC OS 6.20 with idle processing.

Club News

Upcoming meetings

ANS Information

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