News in briefBy Chris Williams. Published: 19th Dec 2005, 23:43:32 | Permalink | Printable
A Santa sleigh of updated freeware software and moreQuick, where's the mistletoe?
Putting aside their differences for Christmas, the various exhibitors at the first leg of last week's roadshow tour managed to gather around for a friendly photo. RISCOS Ltd., which organised the events, is set to begin a round of fundraising through the issuing of shares next year as a number of "interested parties" are said to have approached the company. A few photos taken by Kevin Wells at the London event are also now available online.
The exhibitors at the West Midlands roadshow event (larger | huge)
Wakefield 2006 expectations
The head organiser of the annual RISC OS Wakefield shows has suggested the 2006 event will be downgraded to a one day event. WROCC committee member Chris Hughes said: "Currently Thornes Park is still the preferred venue. It is extremely likely that if a show is run next year, it will be a one day affair again. It's simply not worth the effort of a two day event for the numbers that came through the door on the Sunday this year."
A new online links directory, risc-os.net, has been created by Rebecca Shalfield, the person behind the products database on the RISCOS Ltd. website. Powered by Python scripts and a web server running on RISC OS, the directory is looking a bit sparse but it's the thought that counts. Rebecca said she now concentrates on producing websites that serve webpages on the fly from databases stored on one of her RISC OS computers. It's hoped the new risc-os.net will eventually check for broken links automatically, and allow users to add new records, update existing records, delete old records and use XML based RSS feeds.
She added: "It is my intention to replace RISCOS Ltd's products database with a re-compiled version of the risc-os.net site, with a different title and no Hypertour Software adverts, assuming RISCOS Ltd are agreeable. The RISC OS products database is doing more harm that good at the moment as only two fifths, 2000 records out of the 5000 on the site, actually go anywhere useful."
Imitation is the best form of flattery
An ex-Acorn user has decided to embark upon a project to bring the look and feel of RISC OS to the Microsoft Windows desktop. Simon Palmer and friends have decided to use icons and other desktop elements to create suitable themes for applications such as Internet Explorer, Firefox and Real's video player. He commented, "We're just doing this because we used RISC OS in the past and a few decided to help out. Windows gets kind of boring, and isn't much fun when you're used to Acorn computers."
Software wizard David Pilling has taken the TIFF image file plugin from his port of OvationPro for Windows and converted it into a 'transloader' for Ovation, Ovation Pro, Impression and ArtWorks on RISC OS. Commercial vector graphics app Sib2Draw has been updated with a new symbol editor, grouping support, faster text style editing and other improvements. Developed by Walter Lo Nigro, the application is a document editor designed specifically for working on files exported from music composition package Sibelius.
Richard Windley has announced updates to development environment Sourcery, audio editor SampleEd, and software libraries SQLite and ExprEval. Sourcery has been bugfixed and had its documentation updated, while SampleEd now supports more than two channels, can handle volume levels and stereo positions for individual channels and is able to down-mix multi-channel samples when saved to disc. A utility that creates an index of MP3 files owned by a user in the form of a web page has been created by John "Pic Index" Williams. IDtoHTML is designed to catalogue collections of music using the ID3v1 'tags' in the music files which describe a particular track's artist, title, album and genre.
A new version of spam nemesis BogoFilter has been ported to RISC OS, and now uses Richard Windley's aforementioned SQLite library, supports Unicode and now skips MIME type attachments to increase the speed of email processing. 32bit compatibility utility ARMalyser has been updated with various bugfixes and now comes with a 64bit x86 GNU/Linux build. John Evans has released version 8 of ArcSimp, a simulator of analogue and digital gate electronics. Thomas Milius has improved his PDPEICal printer driver to include calibration for the Epson Stylus Photo 870, and updated Canon and Epson printer maintenance utility PrtInfo.
APDL have increased their range of games compilation CDs, which includes the likes of Botkiller2, Spobbleoid Fantasy, Pushy, and Galactic Dan. Star Fighter 3000 has been tweaked again, this time to address an issue with players having an incorrect number of lives at the start of a mission. SF maintainer Chris Bazley has also tweaked a number of his other applications, including ScreenGrabber, BazSound and SFskyedit.
Howard Dawson continues to work on his electronic schematic editor, mainly fixing bugs to stabilise the application. DrWimp utility NurseW has been brought up to date to be inline with the latest version of the BASIC desktop programming library. Steven Simpson has enhanced his utility that converts RISC OS drawfiles into the more portable and popular SVG format.
Maximilian Lueckenhaus, previously interviewed for his t-shirt designs produced using RISC OS, has created a modern art mini-gallery in the form of an advent calendar using Photodesk - best served with Jean Michel-Jarre in the background. Also, a BBC Master still in its plastic wrapping and original box has been sold on ebay for an astounding 460 quid. The monster price was raised after the auction closed with 31 bids.
Also, if you have any nomination suggestions for the RISC OS Best of 2005 awards, post a comment or drop us an email. The proposed categories are: best commercial software; best non-commercial software; best overall product; best event; best overall contribution; and top own goal.
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