News in briefBy Chris Williams. Published: 21st Apr 2004, 21:40:40 | Permalink | Printable
Darkwood, freeware, PGP saga and more [Updated]If you've been concerned by the recent lack of front page activity on drobe.co.uk, the website that 56 percent* of RISC OS users love to hate, then perhaps worry no more. Here's a round up of news that we missed whilst this editor was attempting to rescue his third year university project.
The website serving the RISC OS PGP resources has moved location, from the University of Birmingham to Dr. Nat Queen's personal space - be sure to make a note of the new URL. Dr. Queen exclaimed around the time: "These pages have moved because my university no longer supports the principles of free speech and academic freedom proclaimed in its own statutes. The new location is likely to be permanent for the foreseeable future." Rampant destruction of free rights, or a University tightening up on its policy of offering free webspace to academics? We do not know, although it looks like everyone on this page has had their webspace withdrawn so perhaps it's nothing personal? Lord, yes, cries privacy fan and RISC OS celebrity Paul Vigay, shaking his head and insightfully predicting to Iconbar, "with Universities traditionally being a bastion of free speech, I hope this is not just the beginning. If we're not careful it could happen all over."
Iconbar sister site, AcornArcade has published online for free, for free Ladies and Gentlemen, Darkwood (screenshots below) - Tom Cooper's 3D adventure game which works on RISC OS 3 to 3.7, RISC OS Select and RISC OS 5 if you use a free third party emulator. The game's graphics engine tries so hard to be good that it's perfectly acceptable given the age of the code. Chat to town folk, get attacked by skeletons, wander through lonely forests, be immersed in the game and that's just what I spotted within the first 10 minutes of playing it. Enjoy.
MicroDigital have provided more, um, statistics from their favourite benchmarking app, RISCOSmark, for their VirtualRiscPC powered range of Windows PC laptops. They also mention us again, aww shucks.
GCC 3.3.3 pre-release 2 is now online and don't be fooled by the 'pre-release' label, RISC OS GCC project leader Nick Burrett insists it's stable although any problems should be reported as soon as possible. A new version of Minidisc, the friendly desktop enhancer and drive manager application, is now out and features a 'CoolSwitch' style Task Switcher. ShowJPEG now copes with weird screenmodes, only took two years to fix that bug. Marco Baye's adopted ext2/3 partition reader IscaFS has been bugfixed to version 0.12. And last but not least, the ever popular Sunfish NFS client is now considered stable (as of version 1.00) by its author, Alex Waugh.
Finally, Iconbar spotted earlier some CompactFlash IDE interfaces from the previously-AWOL Gavin Smith. That will be all.
Update at 17:54 30/4/2004
Sue Blackwell, an english lecturer at Birmingham University, has written in with the following: "Heard about your site from Nat Queen. Thanks for giving the websites issue a mention on the Drobe site and I see it's already attracted several comments. I'm not a RISC OS user so won't be registering as a member, and therefore can't post a comment of my own, so please could you do me a favour and put up this link to the website campaign so that any of your visitors who are interested can read more and send critical messages to the university." So, trampling of free speech, or an organisation tightening up on its free web space policy? We'll leave you to decide, but at least domain registration and decent web hosting is cheap these days.
* - We made this up (unlike the rest of our articles), but we love you all really.
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