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Software news

By Ian Chamberlain. Published: 14th Oct 2003, 23:34:05 | Permalink | Printable

NFS, O2 skin, Viewfinder, Artworks 2.09, games and lots more

It's all fun and games for RISC OS users at the moment. Soon after we reported APDL's news about 32bit upgrades, we soon heard of even more news.

Some games never die. A new 32bit release of Desktop Repton will comprise "the original Repton, Repton 2, Repton 3, Around the World in 40 Screens, Life of Repton and Repton Thru Time".

And StarFighter 3000 will also live on. The new version, which has been tested on the Iyonix, comes on a compilation disk along with other classics; Air Supremacy, Elite and Sunburst - we'll be bringing you a full review of the updated SF3000 shortly.

Because of the cancellation of the Midlands RISC OS show, APDL will have both of these newly polished titles ready for this Saturday's South East RISC OS show.

Continuing on our gaming theme, Neil White has announced a brand new game, Damatrix, which is a simple, but difficult, collect the dots affair. You can see all his games on his website.

In other news, KinoAMP, an MPEG movie player, has been updated again, introducing new features such as playlists and the ability to flick between desktop and full-screen playback. Version 0.28 is available from Peter Everett's web-site along with Shine, a ported MP3 encoder.

Users of ArtWorks 2 are encouraged to download yet another of MW Software's updates, which implements more useful features for the budding artist. Document stationery, new configuration options and improved text selection are among the new features. Martin Wuerthner, as usual, has sent emails to all existing AW2 users with details on how to upgrade. Drobe also looks forward to the weekend's RISC OS show because of the promised official release of Artworks 2.1.

A new program aimed at owners of the latest Viewfinder cards is !VFMagnify, described as "a simple but very quick 'magnifier' type application for Radeon based Viewfinders. It allows display, in a separate window, of any part of a 32K or 16M colour desktop, scaled up by a factor of 1 through 8. The window is updated in real-time by using Radeon's overlay facilities." Download free from Windfall Engineering's web-site.

thumbnail of screenshotUsers of the Oregano 2 web browser can have a free facelift with a new 'skin' from Sendu Bala. Known as Lanai, this latest icon-set gives Castle's browser a Mac OS inspired theme as well as adding one or two extra features such as a new easy way of accessing bookmarks.

UNIX ports are here to stay as lots of people join in with the fun, including Stefan Bellon who's keeping the RISC OS port of GnuPG, an encryption program similar to PGP, in line with the latest developments.

Armed with an Iyonix, software developer Jamie Temple continues hacking away at MiniDisc, a handy desktop management tool for RISC OS.

And lastly, Alex Waugh has written to Drobe about his new networking program, SunFish. This NFS client, which allows RISC OS to access files on other computers, apparently has flexible configuration options and is provided with full source code. Alex's web-site.


News? Comments?

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stationery, not stationary.

Sorry for being pedantic, I'm an English teacher! -- Govind Kharbanda, Shimabara, Japan

 is a RISC OS Usergovind on 15/10/03 4:55AM
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You missed "encription" though!


 is a RISC OS Userjbyrne on 15/10/03 9:33AM
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.. and 'seperate' ! -- Jeremy Brayshaw, Braintree, Essex

 is a RISC OS UserJeremy on 15/10/03 11:18AM
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Never went much on Omniclient, nice to see an alternative, and GPL too *hugs Alex*

 is a RISC OS UserNoMercy on 15/10/03 11:22AM
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One day I'll finish off my O2 skin.


Especially for those who agree that the browser user interface was never bettered since Netscape 3 Gold.


 is a RISC OS Userflibble on 15/10/03 12:51PM
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NoMercy: Yes, I'm not particularly keen on Omniclient's interface either, but that's not why I wrote Sunfish. There just were not any usable NFS or Samba clients available for the Iyonix. LanManFS is too broken for me to use.

 is a RISC OS UserAJW on 15/10/03 1:44PM
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It'll be interesting to par this off against WSS's superb ImageNFS.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 15/10/03 2:31PM
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I might just get around to releasing the new version fo my google skin when the new version of Oregano comes out ;-)

 is a RISC OS User_Jez_ on 15/10/03 3:30PM
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Well, it's still requiring some work ;-) It requires "insecure" adding to your /etc/exports as it uses port numbers > 1024.

It also fails to read files that are more than a few KB in size... "Connection timed out" is all I see.

Pretty funky to have an opensource implementation, however, and it's a nice example of how to write an image FS.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 15/10/03 8:23PM
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Okeycokey. Turned out it was the awful Castle 100baseT ethernet card that doesn't work (ImageNFS needs to be set to 4K chunks and OmniNFS doesn't work at all with it!!) so no suprise there, really.

Using my trusty EtherLan600 NIC, I get 660K/sec write speed, 797K/sec read speed ... that compares to around 770K/sec read and write for ImageNFS. Good stuff!

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 15/10/03 11:14PM
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LanManFS doesn't seem all that broken to me. It doesn't handle file type/extension mapping the way you would want it to, but apart from that it does the job. Or is there some other problem with it I haven't hit yet?

 is a RISC OS Userjbyrne on 16/10/03 12:20AM
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Well, I'd certainly class its extension handling as "way too broken" :-) - but I have seen other issues with it. Sometimes it doesn't list all the files in a dir, and it has problems with certain characters in filenames, and I've seen it make a complete mess of filenames with some versions of Samba.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 16/10/03 8:55AM
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jbyrne: As chocky says. It also can't handle more than one connection to the same machine correctly. It can't handle some filenames with more than one dot. But the filetype extension problems are the biggest issue - If I load a file, edit it then save it, I do *not* want it renamed.

 is a RISC OS UserAJW on 16/10/03 9:44AM
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Maybe it's time for RISC OS to make a switch to the UNIX style file naming - using "/" as a directory seperator and allow for "." in filenames?

Would make many things a whole lot easier.

-- Gunnlaugur Jonsson, Skovde, Sweden

 is a RISC OS UserGulli on 16/10/03 12:03PM
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NFS does not make any assumptions about directory separators, so that is a non issue in this case. I don't know about LanMan, but given that windows uses a different separator from Unix you are still going to have some translation issues. And making such a change would break the majority of RISC OS software.

 is a RISC OS UserAJW on 16/10/03 12:16PM
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Gulli: no it wouldn't. It would cause massive breakage in RISC OS and its apps. The issue in this case has long since been resolved, it's just LanManFS does a very poor job of adhering to the solution.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 16/10/03 3:03PM
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If you simply alter the way the SWIs work it would certainly break almost every RISC OS app out there. There's on the other hand hardly anything that says that a new format with new SWIs to access it couldn't be created - translating the old ones automatically when applied to new format filesystems (you are all using SWIs to communicate with data storage aren't you?)

Moving to a new system would also allow for a different way to apply types to files by using name extensions, thereby moving towards what the rest of the world is doing. After all, easier communication with other platforms is what most seem to see as the be all and end all of computing of the future and certainly will have a big impact on wether RISC OS survives in the long run or not. Certainly the ability to read the files themselves are a bigger issue but having to filetype them and rename to move them back and forth are a huge irritation factor that most aren't really interested in enduring, just like AJW above.

-- Gunnlaugur Jonsson, Skovde, Sweden

 is a RISC OS UserGulli on 16/10/03 3:32PM
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gulli: it seems as if you're advocating change for change's sake. It's more than feasible to use the mimemap file to translate filetypes. changing the way the entire OS works is just pointless IMHO.

 is a RISC OS Userjmb on 16/10/03 3:48PM
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Gulli: Nutty response from you. Go try get Microsoft to use UNIX-style / rather than as a separator. Go on... see how far you get. ;-)

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 16/10/03 4:13PM
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Gulli: no, your suggestion misses several fundamental problems, and you're confusing two concepts - the filesystem, and the filename handling - only the latter is in question.

The issue with filetyping is minimal, as it's well addressed by LanMan98, SunFish, ImageNFS - but not LanManFS.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 16/10/03 4:17PM
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Gulli: I don't generally need to rename or refiletype files to move them between platforms. The point is that LanManFS was renaming/refiletyping when I didn't want it to.

 is a RISC OS UserAJW on 16/10/03 5:08PM
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