Acorn News Service Newsletter
Issue: 283 (4 March 2012)
Featured site this issue: http://www.raspberrypi.org/
South West Show reports
CMOS widgets for BeagleBoard and PandaBoard
RISC OS Open Ltd. (ROOL) are pleased to announce that they have teamed up
with Sprow to bring you an EEPROM carrier board (or "CMOS widget") for the
BeagleBoard, BeagleBoard xM, and PandaBoard.
You simply plug this little board onto the relevant header pins on your
board, and newer versions of RISC OS (5.18 or newer) will automatically
detect it and start saving your RISC OS configuration over reboots.
These boards are an essential add-on for BeagleBoard and PandaBoard users.
They cost just GBP5 plus GBP1.50 P&P.
Find out more at <http://www.riscosopen.org/content/sales/cmos-widgets>.
RISC OS 5.18 stable release
ROOL are pleased to announce the immediate release of the latest stable
RISC OS ROM image featuring no less than 340 improvements since the last
even numbered release.
This is an official release that has been vetted by Castle Technology
for the Iyonix PC desktop computer and RComp for the BeagleBoard xM based
You can download RISC OS 5.18 free of charge from the ROOL web site:
This software is subject to continual improvement and work has already
commenced on RISC OS 5.19! Anyone downloading RISC OS 5.18 is encouraged
to donate a few pounds to one of the open bounty scheme items to help fund
changes into the future.
ARMini OS update 3 released
R-Comp Interactive is pleased to announce that OS Update 3 has now been
rolled out to all ARMini users via the private Users' area of the RCI web
OS Update 3 has been developed in close collaboration with RISC OS
Open Ltd, and stems from the new "long term stable" 5.18 release of
RISC OS 5.
Highlights include support for a wide range of USB CD and DVD drives, as
well as internal CD drives which can be mounted in the ARMini. The ARMini
sound system has also been improved.
However, the big new feature is improved CMOS RAM handling, including
support for Sprow's new CMOS RAM widget which is the first hardware
upgrade specifically for RISC OS since the Vpod some years ago. This adds
"real" CMOS RAM to ARMinis, for a totally transparent experience (like a
Risc PC/Iyonix). CMOS RAM is used to store many OS settings between
sessions, and to ensure that the RISC OS ROM card in the ARMini is kept
MusicMan 2 launches at SouthWest Show
R-Comp has announced version 2 of their MusicMan CD software. The new
version is particularly exciting because, for the first time, RISC OS
users are able to enjoy digital playback of music CDs in the desktop. This
is hugely significant, as modern CD/DVD drives no longer have analogue
connections (as used by RISC OS itself), so you simply cannot hear
anything if you try and play CDs on modern USB or SATA drives.
MusicMan 2 solves this by digitally reading the audio from the disc and
playing it back in realtime, multitasking in the desktop. As always in
MusicMan, information about your CDs can be downloaded from the Internet
and MusicMan displays this as it plays. The system has been designed to be
very easy to use, and most operations happen in just a single click. For
users of older machines, analogue playback is still supported.
Of course, playback is just one part of the equation. MusicMan 2 now
supports many more formats of raw or compressed audio. This allows you to
extract your music from CD either in uncompressed format for editing (WAV
or raw audio), or as smaller, compressed files for later listening.
MusicMan 2 supports hardware accelerated audio on modern machines such as
the ARMini, which can yield significant performance boosts.
New release of Fireworkz Pro
R-Comp is pleased to announce another new release of Fireworkz Pro, the
integrated word processor, spreadsheet, and database program for RISC OS.
This new release expands Microsoft Excel support in the package, allowing
it to handle multi-sheet documents and cope with malformed files. There
have also been a number of changes based on user feedback.
The update has been e-mailed to existing owners. New users can order it
via the R-Comp web site.
New software summary
- MPlayer, movie player
MPlayer is a movie player for RISC OS. It is a direct build of the Linux
sources using GCCSDK. There is not much RISC OS integration other than
the fact it runs in a window on the Desktop. It uses the SDL library for
the display. It makes a good attempt at playing most MPEG, VOB, AVI and
WMV formats, plus many others. You can expect reasonable frame rates up
to 480p resolution on recent RISC OS hardware, which currently includes
Beagleboard and Pandaboard based machines. Also included is MEncoder, a
simple movie encoder designed to encode MPlayer-playable movies.
Updated software summary
- BarFree v0.02
BarFree copies revised Messages and Templates files to your PreDesk
directory to enable a different style of Free Space windows. This
version works with RISC OS 5.18.
- ID3TagEd r108
Create and edit ID3 tags attached to MPEG audio files. The new version
is BeagleBoard compatible and features improved handling of tags with
text frames in unicode format and multiple images.
- Murnong v2.14
Fetch videos from YouTube. This release corrects a bug and increases
the length of the format selection list.
- OpenVector, OpenGridPro, DrawPlus v3.38
Open source enhancements to Draw. This release features improved
compatibility with Cortex-A8 hardware such as BeagleBoard. Compressed
Drawfiles and libraries can now be loaded when alignment exceptions are
enabled. Consistency of layered merging is also improved.
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