Wakefield 2005 pre-show newsBy Chris Williams. Published: 18th May 2005, 19:26:58 | Permalink | Printable
What we can expect to see at this weekend's event
Celebrating the 10th Wakefield show, the organisers of this year's event could not have hoped for a better weekend. In 2002, the self styled "premier show of the year" missed out on the launch of the Castle Iyonix, which instead appeard at the Guildford and Midlands shows later that year. However, in 2005 after 10 years of RISC OS shows in the north of the UK, this coming WROCC hosted event should be blessed with new ARM9 powered RISC OS kit, courtesy of AdvantageSix, provided the excitement manifests into reality.
However, it would be unfair to dwell on just the buzz of anticipated hardware news, as there's plenty of other software and product releases scheduled for the Wakefield 2005 show:
Spellings software to see light of day
Geminus, originally the hardware driver that allowed users to plug more than one monitor into their Iyonixes in a multi-headed fashion, has gone modular: punters will be able to pick up the software, developed by Adrian "Aemulor" Lees, for the first time this weekend, and can purchase one or both of screen rotation and multi-monitor support features. Neil Spellings has promised further updates for the future and says they'll have additional PCI graphics cards for Iyonix users on sale at the event. Another addition to the Spellings software range which will also debut at Wakefield is DeskDebug, a feature laden multitasking programming and debugging tool that has been in development for the past 5 years and supports RISC OS 3.6 to 5 - Spellings' first non-RISC OS 5 application. Neil told us: "For the first time you can properly step through redraw loops without bringing the desktop to a standstill."
Interestingly, they'll also have 32bit versions of recently GPLed DrawPlus, Vector and GridPro software on CDs with printed Vector manuals. The company also says it'll launch two new websites, tryit.spellings.net for downloading product demos and buyit.spellings.net for purchasing software. Existing customer accounts have been migrated to the new sales portals, which should prove that these websites exist, unlike the last stalled attempt.
Burn baby, burn
Hubersn Software will be showing off its CDVDBurn software - which can write to CD, DVD+R, DVD+RW and DVD-RW media, although support for DVD-R and DVD+R DL is expected to be ready for a show release. The last copies of CDBurn will be up for grabs, as will upgrades from CDBurn Lite to CDVDBurn. Steffen Huber told us: "Due to lack of payment infrastructure, we can't take cheques or credit cards - so if you want to buy something, bring some pound notes with you."
In line with this, Castle will be launching a new Iyonix variant at the show, with a DVD burner for use with CDVDBurn - allowing up to 4.2GB of data to be written to each DVD disc. They'll also be offering a DVD upgrade kit for existing users.
TechWriter macros reaches public
Icon Technology have told us that version 8.40 of EasiWriter and TechWriter will be ready for Wakefield. This new release features the macro support previously reported on drobe.co.uk: keystrokes can be replayed from menu items and abbreviations. Icon's Mike Glover added that improvements to the software's MS Word import system should allow users to see hidden text and revisions and generally import documents not previously possible. Useful for late night writers racing against a deadline, the "automatic document repair mechanism" has been enhanced and a "sequential document naming system has been introduced for auto-generated emergency backups". HTML export now supports unicode character entities and, we're informed, there's loads of further little updates and tweaks.
Tracer Professional official release
Tracer Professional, a tool that creates vector graphics images from bitmaps, is to be launched at Wakefield by X-Ample, after being demonstrated at last year's event. A demo version is available for download for any users curious in X-Ample's work. Paul Reuvers confessed, "We haven't been able to finish off Impression-X in time for the show, but it won't be long." The team, based in The Netherlands, will also have their HID software on sale at the event.
Artworks 2.4 set for launch
MW-Software will be unleashing version 2.4 of Artworks: as mentioned previously, this latest flavour can export bitmaps that are larger than the available RAM, export images with colour separations, do rainbow blends, and perform text background blending.
The mighty Hermes
"The RSS version of Hermes will ship even if I have to carve it out of stone", said R-Comp's Andrew Rawnsley earlier this week. The company's email fetching client is set to include RSS fetching and parsing support. The client takes summaries of news from websites and converts them into email form, to be read in your email reader. Andrew explained earlier: "The software makes use of the various email headers to present a sensibly formed email message, taking advantage of as much of the RSS feed information as possible. Once the messages are in your email application, of course, you can filter them into folders. Thus with no extra effort (apart from initially entering the web address of the RSS feed) you'll get all your favorite Drobe headlines delivered to your inbox whenever you want."
Drobe writer Martin Hansen has updated his commercial packages TurtleChalk and ArtGraph in preparation for the Wakefield show. TurtleChalk is a Logo-style application used by Martin, a school teacher, and his class, to create computer graphics from an educational approach. Students can now create clock faces, ready to be printed out and fitted to a clock mechanism. Martin described this is as "a neat awareness advertisement for RISC OS". ArtGraph, which generates graphics from mathematical functions, can now handle larger screen resolutions.
CJE Micros making an impact
CJE Micros' software side, 4D, have annonced version 3.26 of relational database Impact3 in time for the show. We're told this new version includes, amongst other bug fixes and updates, improved action script support, apparently "deleting fields should no longer corrupt a database" (handy), and correct handling of Delete, Home and End keys on RISC OS 5. CJE have urged users to update to this latest version to avoid database corruption possible under previous releases.
CJE are also offering cash for Viewfinder cards. Existing owners can sell their AGP graphics podules back to the company at the show.
Domesday to make an appearance
On Sunday, we're told a BBC Domesday machine will be present, coming from the Binary Dinosaurs museum. Museum curator Adrian Graham told us he'll be there "complete with a full Domesday setup containing the standard national and community discs as well as the Ecodisc which lets you walk and fly round a real wildlife and wetlands park and Volcanoes, which is all about, er, volcanoes." In case the aging kit dies, Adrian says he'll have a second Domesday device on stand-by, as the machines are prone to overheating.
Liquid crystal clear to the touch
Liquid Silicon say they'll be at the show, exhibiting some touch screen drivers and related applications. LS front man Alan Gibson, who has been spending time recently on musical commitements, told us he'll also be "talking to people about the 32-bit MIDI modules, EPOS and ticketing solutions" that he's been involved with.
Drobe writer Peter Naulls will have CDs of his Unix Porting Project on sale, plus hard discs with pre-installed Iyonix ARM Linux and a number of RiscPCs and A7000+s going cheap. According to the Wakefield show organisers, Oregano 3 should be present at the show for punters to possibly test drive, as well as Netsurf, the in-progress Firefox port and WebsterXL. Graham Shaw will be demonstrating RiscPkg and Ray Favre says he'll have his Starting Basic and Dr Wimp's Surgery books on sale to raise cash for charity. Brain Games will have version 3.7 of puzzle game Wari on sale, which has a raft of new features from speech output to multiplayer support to game saving and loading to user interface skinning. A new demo version is also available for download. RiscCAD author, David Buck, will be demonstrating version 9 of his technical design software, version 9a of which will be available over the weekend and after the show. Alligata Media will be touting their range of RISC OS related books, including First Steps with RISC OS 4 and Basic V: A Dabhand Guide, plus their Repton games and Alligata Classics software. Finally, Orpheus Internet will be manning a stand at the event, ready to woo beleaguered Argonet users.
If you're attending the show, feel free to stop by our Drobe.co.uk stand and say hello - we'll be happy to share a chat. For those not going, we're rigging up a live news feed from the event so you'll be able to get the latest news updates to your browser direct from the show floor. If there's any questions you want put to exhibitors, feel free to let us know about those too.
Wakefield show website
Show theatre details
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