Software news in briefPublished: 10th Dec 2006, 14:04:13 | Permalink | Printable
RSS, NetSurf, desktop utilities, games, and moreAnd now a round up of news you may have missed.
In the past fortnight, reports of bugs and other faults on the official A9home mailing list have became intertwined with users pondering out loud when the next RISC OS Flash ROM update would come. A9home reseller CJE Micros was quick to put down fears, adding that development is continuing albeit slowly.
One A9home punter said: "I'm just wondering if there is any news on an OS update for the A9 - I'm getting more than a little concerned that nothing seems to be happening, and I have £650.00 sitting under the counter doing nothing."
Chris Evans of CJE Micros said: "Work on the next Flash ROM update is progressing steadily, but slower than we would all have liked. Whilst the end is in sight, no date is yet available, I am sorry to say.
"I do realise that users have been being very patient and that is appreciated, I am assured the developers are getting there."
Dutch programmer Dick Tanis has created four interesting desktop utilities and published them on his website. Smartmenu makes sub-menus open to the left of a menu if there's no space for them, such as if you open the sub-menu close to the right-hand edge of the desktop. DismountFix addresses the "Too many discs" error seen when DOS-formatted floppy discs are dismounted. HostFSPatch allows applications such as Computer Concept's Portfolio to work with HostFS. Dick's also made a tool that resets the shutdown status of a computer, and produced a patch for the Impression Hyphenator module.
RSS client Sargasso has been bug fixed since its substantial rewrite earlier this year. Version 2.01 includes support for automatically updating news feeds, and Sargasso fans have been quick to point out that the software is "much faster" since it was converted from python to C.
Open source RISC OS native web browser NetSurf has officially moved to a new online home - netsurf-browser.org. Also, a number of enhancements have been worked into the software since last month, including better image memory handling, a new UTF-8 friendly status bar, and various bug fixes to the URL database, and menu and window handling.
SDL game blasts off
Alan Buckley has ported Unix game thrust to RISC OS with the help of SDL, and uploaded it here. The idea is to fly a spaceship out of a tricky underground terrain without damaging the heavy ball attached to your ship. It's based on the early Superior Software classic game of the same name. A new map pack for the RISC OS port of Heroes of Might and Magic 2 is now available for a tenner.
Pieces of eight, pieces of eight, sqwark
Intelligent Interfaces has published its BBC Micro IEEE488 interface user manual online for people to download as a PDF. The move came after retro-geeks lobbied the company to unearth the documentation for the cira-1983 hardware, which was otherwise known as the Acorn IEEE interface. Continuing with the Beeb theme, a new mailing list for people who use their 8bit Acorn kit for robotics and other control projects has opened.
MoreDesk is up to version 1.14; labelling utility LaBella can deal with custom numbering systems, such as theatre seat numbers, and label background colours can be picked by the user; CSVamp and meDDLe have been bug fixed and updated; Jan De Boer has made a sudoku solver; Regex library module RegEx is up to version 1.06; Paul Vigay has created a new web gallery app; and ARMalayser has been bug fixed to version 0.56.
News, views, and writs to the usual addresses
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News and media:
RISCOS Ltd •
RISC OS Open •
MW Software •
Advantage Six •
CJE Micros •
Liquid Silicon •
Chris Why's Acorn/RISC OS collection •
The Register •
The Inquirer •
Apple Insider •
BBC News •
Sky News •
Google News •