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By Chris Williams. Published: 20th Mar 2004, 05:03:30 | Permalink | Printable

32bit Impression progress, Cycloids and more besides

Round up motifImpression-X, for where art thou?
Wondering where the 32bit Impression (aka Impression-X) is? Developer X-Ample Technology reassured us this week that it is still working on it, despite announcing its intentions during October last year. Eager to give us a good impression of X-Ample's progress, (our little joke there), Paul Reuvers explained, "Work on Impression-X is still going on and it's going quite well. It is however quite a lot of work, which I did expect. There are days when I move really fast, just to find another bug I've created in the conversion process."

Also, Paul tells us he's working on TracerProfessional, a commercial and expensive bitmap-to-drawfile converter which was sold in The Netherlands, primarily to professional DTP studios. Having acquired the source code to this package, Paul's 32bitted the software, redesigned the GUI and has plans to add Twain support. Paul feels TracerProfessional will act as a great addition alongside Impression and Artworks. And that's not all as Paul is also working on BlockDrivers for the Iyonix's 2nd serial port.

Cycloids fun
AcornArcade continue to impress us with another Tom Cooper re-release, this time the wonderfully peculiar platform game, Cycloids. Once a commercial games title, which I fondly remember watching older kids play at an early 1990s Acorn User show, the AcornArcade crew have packaged it up and released it online for free for users of RISC OS 2 to 5. Grand.

As Jeffrey Lee, a NoughtPointOne writer explains, "Cycloids features, of all things, a clown on a unicycle as the main character. As can be expected for a clown he is infatuated with diamonds and other treasures, so it is your job to guide him through the weird and wonderful world and help him to fulfil his craving. Things are never as easy as they seem though, since the slightest knock from any of the local flora or fauna will cause our hero to lose his balance and plummet to his doom."

Ok, it's an old game. It's dated 1993 but it's got Tom Cooper written all over it (literally). The graphics are dinky and as colourful as 256 colours allows and the background music is caked in classic Protracker charm. However, it's a laugh and it's a great diversion when you need to unwind for a few minutes. Although addictive, the sheer difficulty of some parts will protect you from burying hours into it. You'll need to cleverly time your jumps, avoid seemingly innocent yet clownicidal creatures and know the levels like the back of your hand while looking out for hidden goodies and level jumps. Flying pink elephants, run away locomotives, KILLER FROGS, turtles on jet packs, power ups including "cool" (like 1992 'cool') sunshades and radioactive 'big boozer' red noses, and other deranged entities populate the game. School never ever taught us that clown plus LSD plus unicycle equals hours of fun. Screenshots included below:

One word: surreal

But our grinning clown's ok,
he's in a delirious world of his own

Cute, yet highly deadly


News in brief
APDL/ProAction have re-released ScreenTurtle 3, a logo/turtle graphics application for students, contact them for more details and pricings. John Ballance has released a new version of his minimal FTP server which "permits sharing of some, or all of a hard disc via FTP. Login accounts can be given read only access, or read-write access as desired" and now "includes command for creating or deleting passwords, improved help, and improved logging." Alex Waugh has ported Subversion 1.0.0, a version control system to rival CVS. Marco Baye has taken over Phil Norman and Matthew Wilcox's ext2/ext3 file and partition reader: Marco's version 0.11 copes with large partitions, all three block sizes and the standard ext2 filesystem features "sparse_super" and "filetype". Jochen Lueg has updated FSI_Batch, his batch processor for ChangeFSI. Source code comparison tool SideDiff, developed by Harriet "sister of Chris" Bazley, is up to version 2.20 with various useful GUI updates.

Finally, Matthew Lee has added a new section to his serial networking website that covers connecting a RISC OS computer to a Windows 2000/XP computer via serial.


News? Comments?

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Good to see that John Ballance is continuing in the great tradition of RISC OS software Announcements.

Release vX.xx then the day after the announcement release VX.xx+1 which works.


 is a RISC OS Userquatermass on 20/3/04 4:09PM
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Great to hear X-Ample are making progress on Impression-X. Any one care to guess which CC application will be given the 32 bit treatment next?

 is a RISC OS Userknutson on 22/3/04 12:58AM
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Tracer Professional Info can be found here: [link]

 is a RISC OS Userknutson on 22/3/04 1:03AM
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Although not CC software, it would be particularly good news to hear of Eureka being made 32 bit compliant and being updated to import/export current Excel files.

 is a RISC OS Userroberthunter on 22/3/04 11:30AM
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Anything significant left? I cannot see any use for TurboDrivers (tied to parallel port!) and Compression. ArtWorks and Formulix are done, so what is missing? Martin

 is a RISC OS Userwuerthne on 22/3/04 12:25PM
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Like Robert, I would like to see Eureka 32 bitted as well. Regretably, I am reliably informed, that the source code is no longer available.:-(

 is a RISC OS UserEddie on 22/3/04 1:58PM
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Actually, Turbo Drivers were not tied to the parallel port, because they were able to print to file - the coding was simple enough to make FastSpool support possible ;-)

It would be really interesting to see how fast the Turbo Drivers would be able to print on an IYONIX...the bigger problem is of course that, apart from HP PCL for monochrome lasers, no available Turbo Driver would be able to print on reasonably modern printers.


 is a RISC OS Userhubersn on 22/3/04 2:17PM
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TurboDrivers ... print to a file? Umm, what does that give you over the standard printer driver? I thought the /whole point/ of TurboDrivers were to use the filly wired (12 pin?) cable to get the data out the machine faster.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 22/3/04 6:38PM
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in reply to quatermas:

vX.xx plus 1 .. not because vX.xx didn't work, but because there was useful feedback that led to additional features, and improved documentation..

Surely it is "Good to Listen" ??

 is a RISC OS Userjb on 22/3/04 8:14PM
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And there are some things no amount of internal testing can pick up. Its only when the software is run by lots of people on lots of different setups you can really tell...

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 22/3/04 9:40PM
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Martin: Oops, I was lacking sleep when I said "CC application" and should have missed the CC bit off...Keep up your wonderful work

 is a RISC OS Userknutson on 22/3/04 10:47PM
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Well, CineWorks, ProSound and StudioSound spring to mind. :-)

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 22/3/04 11:49PM
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the whole point of the Turbo Drivers was their use of the incredibly fast CC special modules like GDraw and GFontRenderer to speed up the rendering of the data.

The special parallel cable was still simple 8bit centronics, it just had some of its data wires crossed (which was the copy protection, but could be decoded simply). The Turbo Drivers were a slight bit faster at sending out the data to the printer than plain !Printers, but not much. The real speed gain was the rendering process.

The fastest combination for printing was using the Turbo Drivers for rendering and FastSpool+ for sending the data to the printer.

 is a RISC OS Userhubersn on 23/3/04 10:34AM
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