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RISC OS greets Windows clipboard

By Chris Williams. Published: 11th Jul 2004, 05:38:09 | Permalink | Printable

Oh no, emulation again

WinXP and ROS on a clipboardMichael Borcherds has developed WinClip, a program that allows RISC OS to access the Windows clipboard, when running inside the VirtualRiscPC emulator. Michael suggests that WinClip will also possibly work with Red Squirrel and VA5000, which are VRPC's predecessors.

Text and images recognised by ChangeFSI can be easily copied from Windows to RISC OS via the clipboard, and Michael has also thrown in a simple EMF-to-Drawfile converter to aid WinClip. Obviously, WinClip (or ChangeFSI) would benefit massively from RISC OS Select's ImageFileConvert system.

Following the appearance of Ian Jeffray's VirtualAmp, WinClip is another small but useful program that works with VirtualRiscPC to further fuse together RISC OS and Windows, when the two OSes are running on the same computer. Fans of emulation will no doubt find Michael's utility beneficial, while native RISC OS users will see developments such as these acting as a steeper, slippery slide towards the end of the platform.

RISC OS has always been about choice: the choice to use an OS that does things differently, without the stresses that the more mainstream platforms provide. The choice to use whatever software you like, without a monopoly over-shadowing your decisions.

There's a general fear amongst native RISC OS advocates that if users get used to Microsoft Windows too much, they might - shockingly - find that they actually like it. They may begin to enjoy their DVD players, their 3D accelerated games, their web browsers that work, and applications that RISC OS will just never have. And this cannot be allowed to happen, we're told, because then they will stop using RISC OS.

So where's the choice in that? The experience of using RISC OS natively is enjoyed by many in our platform, but simply not everyone can get by with just RISC OS. This isn't restricted to just our platform: lots of people in the wide world use more than one OS in their daily lives in order to carry out a range of computing tasks. For example, this article is written in StrongEd on a RiscPC, that's sitting beside an Apple computer playing music from iTunes radio and a Linux PC that's just finished playing the Matrix on DVD. Now, arguably, the RiscPC could be a Castle Iyonix and therefore could be playing the DVD with CinoDVD (unreleased at the moment), with streamed music played via one of the RISC OS Internet radio players. That's the beauty of choice.

Just use whatever works best for you, and if you can't find something that works, then do something about it. It's your choice.


WinClip - zip download, you must also get Niall Douglas' CallWin32 first

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s/StrongEd/StrongED/ :-)

 is a RISC OS Userphilipnet on 11/7/04 8:35AM
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Well - I use Windows 98 everyday and using it just confirms how the rest of the world struggles because they don't know anything different. My aging windows laptop falls over on average about once every two hours, usually when using internet explorer, and for no apparent reason.

"Win.ex is generating errors and will shut down the computer in 60 seconds - please save any data which will otherwise be lost" - How that message drives me crazy !

I'm looking forward to DVD on Iyonix. At they same time not having DVD has never really bothered me. I often wonder why folks want to turn their 1000 computer into a 70 TV, or a 40 DVD player, or a 12 transistor radio or a 2 clock.

MHH - In a Sunday morning 'antagonistic' mood.

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 11/7/04 8:56AM
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Just to get back on topic - the cross OS clipboard sounds most useful. I often have to send emails out that are written as Edit files by some specialist RISC OS software (not available for Windows) on a non-networked A5000. As things stand I load them into TechWriter, to then save them as Word files on floppy disc. Over to the PC : cut from Word, paste into Squirrel mail and off they go. I shall check out WinClip to see if it can simplify the process via my networked A6.

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 11/7/04 9:12AM
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"The experience of using RISC OS natively is enjoyed by many in our platform, but simply not everyone can get by with just RISC OS". True. Use the best platform for the task at hand. The only trouble is that customers of Windows-based emulation machines are buying PC hardware, not RISC OS hardware. That means there is less development money for true ARM hardware, which is the only thing that will push the market forward. I challenge anyone to inform us all of an OS that has survived and flourished as a capable, modern computing platform with active software developers, via being available soley on emulation. Because if everyone buys Windows machines instead of ARM ones, that is what will happen.

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 11/7/04 9:57AM
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Something to go the other way would be nice. I've got a PC running inside my RiscPC tower that I only access via RDP (okay, so that's not really normal), and I'd like to be able to grab stuff from the Windows clipboard.

Either that, or I'd like a RISC OS browser to allow me to cut and paste chunks of text from within the browser window. And to export tables as CSV to a spreadsheet. (:-)

At the minute, I'm fighting referer spam hits to lewisgilbert.co.uk, and the easiest way to grab the nasty URLs is using IE's export to Excel function.

 is a RISC OS Usermikeg on 11/7/04 10:39AM
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To arenaman: I share your worry, but the answer is not to try to ban RISC OS users from using Windows or to try to ban it (or price it out of existence). If people need to use Windows alongside RISC OS then let's make it possible to keep their experience based on the RISC OS side as much as possible. As I understand this EinClip does that - so great stuff.

 is a RISC OS UserQ on 11/7/04 10:56AM
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Yes, it's all about choice, and in general choice is good. But the choice that I want is to be able to buy native hardware in three years time when I hope to upgrade my Iyonix.

As long as the emulator options don't prevent real ARM-RISC OS hardware from being made, then I applaud the extra choice they bring. I'm not saying they *will* have an effect on this, but I think it's reasonable to be a little concerned, because there is that possibility.

Ayway, WinClip sounds like a very neat addition. I remember Acorn produced something similar for PC cards what seems like many aeons ago.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 11/7/04 11:49AM
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RISC OS Select on VRPC-SE is great - I use it every day at work. I have an Iyonix at home - most work is done on this. They are not mutually exclusive. The Iyonix is way faster than the VRPC-SE on a 2.4GHz Compaq lap top. Winclip sounds useful, but the ability to access Windows folders and files through VRPC-SE across my network at home makes everything so transparent and I get to use the more productive filing system (RISC OS of course) for most work.

 is a RISC OS UserDaveW on 11/7/04 12:26PM
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Anyone want to tell me how to use ImageFileConvert to convert a BMP to Sprite? (and test it :))

 is a RISC OS Usermurkle on 11/7/04 12:43PM
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In reply to murkle:

REM Change these 3 lines as appropriate... in_file$="$.insertlog": REM source file path out_file$="RAM:$.sprites": REM destination file path out_type% = &ff9 : REM target file type

SYS "OS_File",20,in_file$ TO in_obj%,,,,in_size%,,in_type% IF in_obj%<>1 THEN SYS "OS_File",19,in_file$,in_obj% DIM in_mem% in_size% SYS "OS_File",255,in_file$,in_mem%,0 SYS "ImageFileConvert_Convert",0,out_type% OR in_type%<<16,in_mem%,in_size%,0,0,-1 TO ,,,,,out_size% IF out_size% = -1 THEN out_size%=10240:REM if output size unknown DIM out_mem% out_size% SYS "ImageFileConvert_Convert",0,out_type% OR in_type%<<16,in_mem%,in_size%,out_mem%,out_size%,-1 SYS "OS_File",10,out_file$,out_type%,,out_mem%,out_mem%+out_size%

 is a RISC OS Userthesnark on 11/7/04 1:18PM
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*imgconvert -t FF9 Bitmap-file Sprite-file

 is a RISC OS UserGrek1 on 11/7/04 3:11PM
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martin> "Windows 98 everyday and using it just confirms how the rest of the world struggles " ... no, that's crap. Nobody I know still uses 9x crap. Get Win2K or Xp and you'll see it's really vastly different.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 11/7/04 3:15PM
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Thanks - that was quick service! :)

Test version at [link] - please can someone with VA RPC and Select/Adjust test it please? (copy a bitmap to the clipboard in Windows, then see if it comes out the other end correctly)

BTW I've assumed the module is called "ImageFileConvert" - is this correct?

 is a RISC OS Usermurkle on 11/7/04 3:17PM
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Hmm. With VARPC and Selecti4 mousesync works, and it's a big improvement. White pointer disappears on entering VA window, and reappears on exit, leaving blue pointer at the point of exit. But so far, no joy with the clipboard. Just doesn't see anything on the clipboard. Ideas, anybody?


 is a RISC OS UserMartinD on 11/7/04 3:58PM
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Try: SYS "CallWin32_Immediate","stdcall:user32::IsClipboardFormatAvailable",1,1 to text_available% with different things on the clipboard. Should return non-zero for text, zero otherwise.

 is a RISC OS Usermurkle on 11/7/04 6:59PM
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It's not really designed for this, but, if you insert the following immediately before the end of the PROCcheckclip routine...

3081 : IF text_available% THEN PROCsaveTXT("<Wimp$ScrapDir>.winclip"):SYS "ClipboardHolder_Copy",1,&FFF,"<Wimp$ScrapDir>.winclip"

... then every time that it checks the clipboard and finds that it contains text, it will be copied to the RISC OS clipboard.

Obviously this is terribly inefficient, and incorrect. WinClip would, for this, need to check whether the contents had changed - I would assume there's a notification that goes around that could be used. If not then a length check + simple CRC of the contents would suffice, I imagine.

Handling of other formats is left as an exercise for the reader. Sadly, my laptop is currently on vacation so I can neither try this nor say if it's even correct.

 is a RISC OS UserGerph on 11/7/04 7:15PM
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I hope it sends you a postcard :-) -- "There is no ... finely aged scotch that's going to sum up my life"

 is a RISC OS Userphilipnet on 11/7/04 8:07PM
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In reply to Gerph:

Thanks for the thoughts, although I've not yet figured out a sensible way to tell if the clipboard contents have changed... I can't even find a Windows call to read the Clipboard length :(

If someone tells me the SWI number for ClipboardHolder_Copy then I'll add the quick hack in, at least :)

 is a RISC OS Usermurkle on 11/7/04 9:32PM
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In reply to MartinD:

Just a thought: you did install CalWin32 _and_ ClipWin didn't you? :)

 is a RISC OS Usermurkle on 11/7/04 9:34PM
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You'd be better off rmensuring CallWin32. RSTools is best unplugged as it causes problems in VRPC.

GetClipboardSequenceNumber() looks like it should tell you if the clipboard contents have changed.

 is a RISC OS Usergraeme on 11/7/04 10:43PM
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in rely to graeme:


 is a RISC OS Usermurkle on 11/7/04 10:53PM
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*swic ClipboardHolder_Copy &54040 : 344128 : ClipboardHolder_Copy

 is a RISC OS UserGerph on 12/7/04 12:02AM
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"I often wonder why folks want to turn their 1000 computer into a 70 TV, or a 40 DVD player, or a 12 transistor radio or a 2 clock."

This is one of the best quotes ever :-)))))))))

 is a RISC OS Usernodoubt73 on 12/7/04 8:24AM
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Because they save 70 on a TV, 40 on a DVD player, 12 on a radio and 2 on a clock? Or becease it means they can do all these things and use the computer at the same time? Don't tell me you've never listened to an audio CD via the CD ROM drive :)

-- Spriteman

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 12/7/04 11:42AM
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I think that on the above article Chris is failing to get to the root of the concerns that some of us have about emulation as a way forward.

For example I like and use CDBurn and will often choose that on my RiscPC for compiling a CD rather than Nero on my PC. However if the choice was between Booting up the PC and using Nero or booting up the PC then from there booting up VirtualRiscPC then using CDBurn with the possible disadvantage of a performance hit from using an emulator rather than a native application I may well decide to use Nero.

It is the same with editing any Word documents I have been sent. At home I currently edit them with EasiWriter but on a PC would I simply use Word for a quick look and edit?.

 is a RISC OS Uservshears on 12/7/04 11:50AM
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Just to inform ppl that those of us still using a real RISC OS machine and a Windows PC via a LAN connection can use Python scripts on each machine to perform clipboard transfer across a ethernet connection.

It's called PeerBoard. Relatively easy to set up and works a treat.


 is a RISC OS Userquatermass on 12/7/04 12:16PM
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Didn't the old RISC PC PC Card have a bit of software that allowed you to do this? (although really badly?) Sounds like a good development to me.

 is a RISC OS Userharmsy on 12/7/04 12:33PM
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To harmsy Yes it did, !PCExchange I believe it was called.

 is a RISC OS UserLee on 12/7/04 1:22PM
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!PCExchange also did file-format converstion too, though. (ie, BMP->Sprite, etc)

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 12/7/04 5:08PM
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New version with Gerph's and graeme's additions at [link]

Global Clipboard should now work in Select [UNTESTED]

 is a RISC OS Usermurkle on 12/7/04 5:29PM
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imj: Windows 2K and XP an improvement?? Anyone who has these versions of Windows and is doing O.K. with them must be Lotto lucky people? We have these versions of Windows in our New Zealand schools and serviced by experienced, certified and reputable Windows service people just about everyday of the week? In a school environment I agree with "Martin", Windows are our worst nightmare but nobody knows any different how computers should/could be? Regards, Steve.

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 13/07/04 11:10AM
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Yay! I'm going to win the lotto! Happy happy joy joy!

 is a RISC OS UserGerph on 13/07/04 3:02PM
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Me too.

My Win2K riuns great. Lots of software to do imaging and the like.


 is a RISC OS Usernijinsky on 13/07/04 3:44PM
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Once you replace the bootloader with a version that doesn't allow F8 to get into safe mode, use [link] to find out why all your old programs are breaking now you've locked down the file system, spent weeks messing with group policies and hope that noone notices they don't apply if you pull the network plug out just after starting to log in, write scripts to restart monitoring programs when they die, install SUS and make it actually work, write logon scripts, user creation scripts, etc etc, then get active director MSI installers to work (hah), you're half way to a decent Windows 2000 network. Then you just have to reimage all the machines that one day fail to start up and cope with cheap machines = hardware that breaks.

RISC OS: FSLock, done. Well, almost.

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 13/07/04 5:23PM
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