Acorn News Service Newsletter
Issue: 285 (6 May 2012)
Featured site this issue: http://www.riscository.com/2012/wakefield-2012-show-report/
Wakefield Show reports
WROCC Newsletter CD - 2nd Edition
The Wakefield RISC OS Computer Club released the 2nd Edition of the
Newsletter Back Catalogue CD at the Wakefield Show
Ever since the first disc was released, a number of members have been
searching through their hard discs, as well as boxes of old papers in
their lofts, with the result that the new collection contains over one
hundred issues not in the previous copy. In fact, there are only a handful
of months now missing - some of which may never have existed in the first
place! Plus the past 12 months issues, to bring it fully up to date.
The price is unchanged at GBP10.
OLEsupport module available for developers
A problem has been reported in the current version of the OLEsupport
module when Scrap is used on SCSIFS. This has now been fixed in v0.30.
OLEsupport is normally included within applications and so will flow out
to users when updates occur. However, if you are a software developer and
are currently including older versions of OLEsupport with your programs,
please contact RComp for the new version.
MW Software released ArtWorks 2.X2, the latest release of the platform's
most powerful vector graphics package, at the Wakefield Show.
Its main new feature is "Artistic Lines": these are lines with a variable
thickness that offer a lot more variation and creative possibilities than
the usual constant width lines.
Details can be found at:
ARMini breaks the 1GHz barrier
R-Comp Interactive is pleased to announce that a free ARMini update has
been released unlocking the full 1GHz potential of the ARMini CPU.
The extra performance allows for smoother operation in your favourite
applications as well as allowing for smoother video and audio processing.
Not only does this latest update provide extra general performance, but
up to 20 seconds has been shaved off startup times.
The ARMini is the premier pure-ARM RISC OS computer offering 1000MHz CPU
performance with a highly-efficient, dual-issue Cortex A8 CPU architecture
with 512MB of high performance RAM.
Organizer On A Stick
Organizer On A Stick has the very latest version of Organizer loaded on
top of the RPCEmu emulator, running a licensed version of RISC OS 5. The
emulator will load quickly and run on all recent versions of Microsoft
Windows, directly from the memory stick on which it is supplied.
The Organizer data file is saved in the HostFS, accessible to both the
emulator and to native RISC OS systems (though the file type may have to
be changed to access it).
The latest version of Organizer included with the package, version 2.15,
offers a greater range of colours to highlight information.
Organizer 2 is the personal information manager for RISC OS systems, and
includes Diary, Address Book, Calendar and ToDo sections, plus a Notes
section and Journal facility. Version 2.1 allows users to add many more
user-defined fields to the Address Book, to list entries by organisation,
and to add thumbnail pictures.
Genealogy Records update
R-Comp demonstrated an updated version of their DP Genealogy Records
software at the Wakefield show. Version 1.50 is available as a free update
for existing customers.
New features relate to finding information on the Internet and importing
it for analysis. The software is aware of various web sites and the data
formats that they report in, so that you can easily import the results of
your genealogy web searches.
Genealogy Records is a program for storing your research and keeping track
of your family history. It allows you to input all your findings and
documents, and census, birth, marriage, death and other records, and then
link them together to help build your past.
Unlike family tree programs which tend to focus on the end result,
Genealogy Records focuses on the research element which is what most
people find most time consuming.
EasyFont Pro and RISC OS 5.18 or BeagleBoard
Users of EasyFont Pro, a font management system, have reported problems
after installing RISC OS 5.18 on the Iyonix.
APDL have now fixed this problem and also made some other modifications to
ensure that EasyFont Pro works on the BeagleBoard. Users of 32bit versions
of EasyFont Pro, namely v5.11 or better, can now download the upgrade to
the latest version from the APDL website.
R-Comp software updates
- DataPower 3
The latest version of this database improves compatibility with the
latest RISC OS hardware including ARMini, PandaBoard, and BeagleBoard,
as well as improving links to external files via the File field. There
are a number of new configuration options too, so you can tailor the
software to your needs, and improvements to the facilities which allow
you to send e-mails directly from your database.
- MusicMan 2
Playback of music CDs and conversion of the music to digital formats.
Recent improvements have ensured best sound quality during playback, and
smooth mixing with the sound system.
- NetFetch 3.5
NetFetch and its Hermes mail transport component have been updated,
dealing with problems on the PandaBoard and supporting the quirks of
authenticated SMTP servers which incorrectly report their capabilities.
Hermes will now quietly try less elaborate encryptions if the "best"
ones fail. This resolves problems with certain servers. There are
various minor fixes and improvements, too.
- SafeStore 2
Comprehensive RISC OS backup system. Primarily a maintenance release,
the latest SafeStore 2 is designed to cope with more of the errors that
can occur with different network backup drives.
Sine Nomine Software updates
Impact, the relational database, has had a major update focussing on the
editing interface and the mail merge tool. A brand new release, available
as part of the Impact upgrade, is ImpEmail. Impact already provides mail
merge and formatted reporting via Ovation Pro and Impression. ImpEmail
allows the same flexibility for generating e-mails.
House of Cards, a patience game system, and SuperDoku, for sudoku-type
puzzles, have had a few improvements made since the last Wakefield Show,
and Wrangler, the general mathematical puzzle application, has had three
more puzzle types added, including Suko and Sujiko puzzles.
A new version of luafox, a program for scientific data analysis, has just
been finished in time for the Wakefield Show. Version 1.40 offers the
following new features:
- Support of virtual memory
You can configure a maximum for the RAM usage of luafox, especially on
machines which support only 27MB application space. You can specify a
path for the VM files or you can also switch it off.
- File history
Quickly load files that you worked on in one of the previous sessions.
You can also use it to quickly change between a number of projects to
exchange data between them. You can configure the maximum number of
files in the history and how many days it reaches back in time.
- Reformat and Header with automatic scripts
The Reformat and Header dialog boxes let you save a script with the
settings you made. You can then apply it to other tables in the same
way. This can be very useful if you would like to add the same header to
all of your files or if you need to reformat your data in the same way,
very often because the data source has a strange format.
- Set operations
luafox now supports set operations. So you can for example compare two
columns and get as result the union of both columns.
- Improved user input handling
When manually entering a value into a cell you do not need to set
quotation marks if you need to enter a word (string). It is now
automatically converted which makes manual entries much easier.
A new manual is also available from the web site with a more detailed
description of the new features.
Version 3.12 of Photodesk, the photo retouching and painting package, was
released at the Wakefield Show.
It contains several improvements and bugfixes, most notably the support
for interactive help, previews of brush shapes, and new scaling options
for the crop/extend tools.
- Upgrade from 3.09-3.10: GBP12
- Upgrade from 3.08: GBP17
- Upgrade from 3.05-3.07: GBP27
- Upgrade from 3.00-3.04: GBP42
- Upgrade from 2.xx: GBP63
An illustrated list of the major changes is available from:
10) The R-Comp Tablet
R-Comp Interactive are pleased to announce a new product - the affordable
R-Comp Tablet. Powered by a Cortex A8 architecture similar to the ARMini,
the tablet runs the latest version of the Google Android operating system.
The tablet computer an almost 10" full-colour screen, and hooks up
directly to USB-equipped RISC OS computers so compatible files can be
easily transferred. The tablet also plays a wide range of music formats,
and can even wirelessly stream content to your hi-fi.
The R-Comp Tablet costs just GBP259 inclusive of VAT. Note, to get the
best out of your R-Comp Tablet, wireless Internet is recommended. The
tablet is quite happy running offline, but web-browsing, app-downloading,
and video-streaming naturally require such connectivity.
New software summary
- HHeretic and HHexen, games ports
Ports of the original Hexen and Heretic games by Raven Software. Heretic
is a fantasy based first person shooter using the DOOM engine.
Enhancements include an inventory system, flight, and the ability to
look up and down. Hexen is the sequel to Heretic. There are three
character classes to choose from with differing weapons and abilities.
The levels are made up of a hub system interconnected by portals.
- MAME, emulator
A RISC OS port of MAME, the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. MAME will
run most ROMs at playable frame rates on BeagleBoard or PandaBoard based
machines. This version includes support for around 1700 ROMs. More will
be added in later versions. Due to memory/resource requirements,
RISC OS 5 is recommended to run MAME.
- Mednafen, multi-system emulator
A RISC OS port of Mednafen, the multi-game-system emulator, for various
platforms, including emulation of the following systems: Atari Lynx,
Famicom, GameBoy, Neo Geo Pocket, NES, PC Engine/TurboGrafx 16 and
SuperGrafx, PC-FX, and WonderSwan. Mednafen will run most games at
playable frame rates on BeagleBoard or PandaBoard based machines.
- MonopolyCal, calculator for the board game
Keeps track of players' money for the board game Monopoly.
- Snes9x, emulator
A RISC OS port of snes9x, the freeware Super Nintendo Entertainment
System (SNES) emulator. Snes9x will run most SNES games at playable
frame rates on BeagleBoard or PandaBoard based machines.
Updated software summary
- BBFlash v0.02
BBFlash writes files to an SD or micro-SD card for a BeagleBoard
without needing to remove the card from the board. It now copes with
the smaller compressed RISC OS ROM images and flashes the files in a
- FFmpeg v1.23
FFmpeg is a versatile, open-source, multi-platform video and audio
converter. FFplay is a simple media player built on FFmpeg and SDL. This
release fixes some bugs and tidies up some loose ends in the 1.22
releases. Player start-up on BeagleBoard-based systems is reliable and
time spent hourglassing has been greatly reduced. The entire codebase
has been rebuilt with the recent GCC 4.1.2 release.
- Lcheck v1.07
Lottery syndicate checking application, for the UK National Lottery,
Thunderball and Euro Millions. New in this version is the ability to get
the last 11 draws from the main lottery, Thunderball and Plus 5 draws
and check those numbers to see if you have any winning lines.
- OpenVector, OpenGridPro and DrawPlus v3.40
Open source enhancements for Draw.
- PlayIt v1.73
A disc-based engine for playing sound samples. This release can
recognise more Replay/ARMovie files containing supported audio formats.
It also includes a RISC OS 4 fast service handler and a slight
improvement in overall performance. All users should upgrade to this
- Snapper v1.14
Saves a specified area of the screen as a Sprite. Apart from some 'under
the bonnet' changes and minor bug fixes, the most obvious visible
changes are full interactive help and that the mouse is now correctly
constrained when an attempt is made to push the snap area tool offscreen
using the sides of the area.
- WebChange v2.95.26
A web site maintenance tool. This version adds the ability to change the
case of matched wildcards when including them in the replacement text.
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