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News in brief

By Chris Williams. Published: 19th Jul 2004, 22:51:01 | Permalink | Printable

Netsurf, special offers and more

News round upIn our ever continuing quest to track RISC OS activity across the 'net and beyond, here's another round up of interesting news bits that have caught our beady little eyes.

Network surfing
Screenshot from NCnetsurf intro pageAndy Timmins has contacted us to tell us about NCNetsurf, a modified version of NetSurf that enables it to replace NCFresco and NCBrowse on Acorn Network Computer kit - or as Andy described it, "the application framework for NetSurf on NCOS".

The application is currently available via NetSurf CVS access, although pre-built versions are expected to go online this week. The main changes made to NetSurf include support for full screen browsing and keyboard navigation - both features will be fed back to the desktop version of NetSurf, according to Andy.

NCNetSurf can be dropped into the !Boot.Apps for an NC, and the !etherrun file changed to "Desktop Boot:Apps.!NCNetSurf", in order to use NetSurf as the NC's web browser. As NCs are generally disc-less, they can use Windows NT or a Unix fileserver for booting from: Andy hopes to soon release a modified Universial Boot sequence for NCs that's suitable for network booting.

Andy, himself, uses NCs in various rooms of his house to provide convenient web access and email checking: if you're missing a vital ingredient of NCNetSurf (namely, an NC), then incidentally, Andy is flogging boxes at a reason rate. Email him if you're interested, but make sure any NetSurf related bug reports and questions go to the software's mailing list.

Quid's in
STD have launched a special offer for their UniPod super-combo expansion cards. Cutting to the chase, you can get a UniPod with USB, 100Mbit networking and an IDE interface plus an Epson Photo scanner and drivers all for just under 300 quid. Check their website for more details, and the offer expires on 1st September.

Speaking of STD, Qercus magazine ran a 'stop press' notice (see box in top left) in this month's edition to report STD's halt announcement - but with no where else to sensible put it and print deadlines looming, the announcement got slapped over Castle's Merlin announcement. Fancy that.

Wanna be in my software pile?
APDL reports that it's taken over the Fourth Dimension range of software from CJE, although they haven't officially announced the deal and are "still deciding what to do", but add that everyone should "expect some very special offers and some great compilation CDs." It'll be interesting to see how this move fits in with AcornArcade's campaign to re-release Tom Cooper's classic games.

In brief
The Register proves that everyone loves a happy ending. The Powerbase website has moved, we're told. CocoGnut users were informed last week that the 'core' of the peer-to-peer software is being significantly updated to increase efficiency. Artworks 2.2, in development as we speak, now supports graduated transparency. AW2 will also feature an updated version of the Arranger module, which MW Software has also secured the rights to. Michael Gerbracht has written StarGate, an application to control other software which use system variables to 'sense' an internet connection. And Melotech are after any interested programmers, notably those "capable of writing high quality WYSIWYG design software." Also, preparations for the RISC OS Show East show are under way, as the organisers have begun contacting exhibitors.

And finally, BeebIt, ShowJPEG, SpamStamp, Stealth, RegEx module, BogoFilter and IcnClipBrd have all enjoyed updates.

drobe.co.uk layout
Also, you may have noticed that we've changed our default front page layout, which is on a trial basis: we would like to move over to permanently using this single column design, so if you have any comments or suggestions - please do let us know. If you have a user account, you can change your front page layout style from your profile page.

Ian, the webmaster, has also implemented images into the search engine, located at the top of every article page. The system takes snapshots of websites and creates thumbnails from them. The information returned from the search engine has also been improved - again, all comments welcome.

Update at 21:34 20/7/2004
For clarity's sake, refering to the above mention of Artworks, version 2.2 was indeed released in May and it's the next version that's currently in development. The next major release will also include 'graduation profiles', allowing users to employ a choice of curves to control the level of transparency over a graduation.


News? Comments? Glad we're not using this disclaimer?

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I did like the new layout, Ive been trying to cut down most websites I veiw to the 'just the news mam' style of late :)

 is a RISC OS UserNoMercy on 20/7/04 12:16PM
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I've always used that layout. I find it much clearer and easier to read. Also the little graphix is nice.

 is a RISC OS UserAndrewDuffell on 20/7/04 12:34PM
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I've just changed my "Your profile" to show the new format of "Single story column, with graphics" - nice !

That package from STD is very tempting - the photo scanner is the one that Castle have been demonstrating at the shows and which I described as the size of 'a box of tea' in my drobe SouthWest Show 2004 review (Now in the drobe features column) and which Castle and STD worked together on to bring to market. Nice to know it works with both Iyonix and, via UniPod, RiscPCs.

Yes, I laughed when I saw the positioning of the Qercus 'Stop Press'. I've sent myself a memo: 'Keep on the right side of Q - he's a dangerous man when crossed' !

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 20/7/04 1:15PM
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Is it possible to make the graphics used as header backgrounds optional too? I've always found them a little unsightly and unnessecery.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 20/7/04 2:40PM
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I prefer "Columned, wide" since it loads pretty fast due to no images and I see more to start with. But if needed, I can live with a single column layout but please optionally without the images.

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 20/7/04 2:46PM
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The searchengine thumbnails are fab.

 is a RISC OS UserIvanDobski on 20/7/04 3:52PM
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Presumably the Fourth Dimension titles taken over by APDL include Chocks Away and Stunt Racer 2000... very interesting. Desktop Chocks Away anyone? (Pure speculation on my part!)

 is a RISC OS Userthesnark on 20/7/04 6:07PM
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How do you set up RISC OS 4.02 with Oregano2 to work an email link (when you click an email link) like for example, comments@drobe...... I noticed on Drobe that my computer does not have !Marcel (shown with a red mail box icon) and !Macel!Dir. not located... Do I need to get !Marcel or some form of RISC OS email software? Is it possible for Drobe to provide some updated / or more of these smiley symbols? :grin: :rolleyes: :sparky: Regards, Steve.

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 20/7/04 11:45PM
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