News in briefBy Chris Williams. Published: 16th Jan 2006, 05:26:46 | Permalink | Printable
RiscCAD, books, games, freeware and moreRiscCAD author thinks big
The developer of 2D design package RiscCAD is looking to push the envelope in his next application. David Buck told his userbase over the weekend that he wants to create an engineering graphics program that can display models such as house and building plans in actual size. Like industry giant AutoCAD, David wants to implement viewports and layouts, allowing designers to zoom, pan, and rotate views of blueprints and build up layers of illustrations.
He commented, "This software, code named Vortex, is at a very early stage, but it looks promising. I have not got around to finalising the file format yet, but the intended list of objects is: Points, lines, construction lines, circles, arcs, ellipses, polylines (including curves), text, attributes, dimensions, bitmap files, OLE objects, blocks, groups, fills.
"Features wise, it would be similar to RiscCAD, although I do intend to do undo-redo, plus some other AutoCAD type features such as a more intelligent selection system whereby you have to be near an inked part of an object to select it. It also has background redraw and interactive redraw when dragging objects."
Archive magazine expands booklet list
Archive have compiled a further three booklets from content previously published: 'VirtualRiscPC in Use, Volume 2' complements the first set of articles on the RiscPC emulator; 'Ovation Pro' features 15 pieces and seven years of hints and tips clippings for the DTP package; and 'The Engineer and Friends' consists of 21 articles by Ray Maidstone covering hardware advice and hints and tips. Each title is A5 sized, black and white stapled, and costs a fiver.
Meanwhile, Ray Favre's A5 ring bound books 'Starting Basic' and 'Dr Wimp's Surgery' have reportedly shifted 300 copies and raised 3000 quid for charity. A CD-ROM based collection of articles on the Acorn BBC Microcomputer has been produced by Chris Dewhurst. A fiver will buy a decade's worth of pieces that cover topics from utilities to games to programming.
RISC OS products directory opens database, uses content from webpages
There have been a number of developments at risc-os.net: First, the site is now the home for productsdb.riscos.com. Second, the online software and contacts database now queries websites it links to and pulls information from these pages to use as comments in its listings. This means website maintainers can change their contact details, software version information and so on, and risc-os.net will automatically reflect these changes. Third, the links collection is now available in XML format for others to download and use.
Administrator Rebecca Shalfield said, "Although commercial suicide for me, I have decided that releasing the risc-os.net database to the other RISC OS products directories is the best solution for the RISC OS community. I feel that a decent links database can't be achieved unless there is some sort of joint venture."
Acorn Arcade have re-released from the Tom Cooper vault another game that needs no introduction: DinoSaw. Created by the same guy behind Hamsters, the idea is to jump around levels and basically slice and dice your way through the local wildlife. Players are warned that the game is addictive, psychotic but not as straight forward as it looks.
Paul Vigay has tweaked his 15 year old puzzle game Rune Seeker and made it 32bit compatible, as well as re-releasing it as freeware. He explained, "Rune Seeker is a traditional graphical arcade adventure game, where you have to solve devious puzzles and explore a maze in order to collect all the coins that have been dropped. There are 12 levels of increasing deviousness, including bombs, lawn mowers, and a cuddly yeti inhabiting later levels."
As the author of various games, Neil White has uploaded a few new fun items for brave people to test: a Nethack clone port with graphics, and a maze game (2 player version). Players must quit from within the game rather than clicking on the close icon, which is G for the adventure game and q for the maze game. You also need to set the working directory to be inside each application for them to run properly.
Who are you calling a cretin?
An IRC client first developed in 2002 has been released to the general public after being taken under the wing of James Scholes. Originally written by Antony and Andrew Sidwell, Cretin supports multiple servers, tabbed windows and Lua scripts. Since last month, James, who once won a free Iyonix, has added a few new features and updated the user interface.
He said, "Obviously, it's by no means finished, but I feel it's got to a stage where it's stable, and has most features people would want. What's next? Well, in the style of, and with the library of, Marc 'Cocognut' Warne, I'm aiming to remove its dependency on EasySockets to have a fully 32bit clean version, hopefully by Easter."
Cretin has been tested on RISC OS 3.7 to 4.39, and on RISC OS 5 with Aemulor. IRC is a protocol that allows users to meet up online and chat to each other in real time over the Internet.
In a press release without a press release, VirtualAcorn announced a minor update to VirtualRiscPC-Adjust which reportedly increases compatibility with KinoAMP and other applications. Jeffrey Lee has produced a module to allow older software that would normally require music player TrackerModule to instead use QTMModule. A configuration tool for Iyonix users that, amongst other features, patches the sound system to use a more suitable sample rate of 44.1KHz has been developed by Paul Vigay.
Development tool Sourcery and audio editor SampleEd have been updated by Richard Windley; Sourcery can now more smoothly handle projects that use BASIC and other interpreted languages, as well as other enhancements, while SampleEd can load files faster and can cope better with large files. Webmasters can spring clean the HTML in their websites by using the latest port of HTML Tidy by Alex Macfarlane Smith. Programmers can also use multi-tasking error messages with Adam Richardson's MultiError replacement.
Nick Roberts' website bookmark manager has been tweaked to support address colouring for Messenger Pro 3 users and also bug fixed in the process. Remote desktop software RDPClient now supports clipboard re-direction, compression of session data and configurable shortcuts. VNC client Avalanche now uses utility Confix for application choices and a hotlist, plus now displays a suitable pointer in the client and enjoyed a few bug fixes. Online image gallery tool WebGen2 has benefited from a number of minor tweaks. Family tree package GedText has been updated to output in DDF format, compatible with Impression, OvationPro, and the Techwriter family, as well as other enhancements and fixes. A utility that fills out forms on web pages is now A9home compatible and sports a new delete button. Desktop swiss penknife Director and FTP client FTPc have also been updated.
And finally, Stuart Tyrrell Developments are running a special offer on RiscPC upgrades, including the Unipod, until the middle of February.
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