Best of 2005 awards voting openBy Chris Williams. Published: 24th Dec 2005, 04:40:23 | Permalink | Printable
Better late than neverVoting is now open for the Best of 2005 drobe.co.uk awards, celebrating this year's foremost contributions to the RISC OS platform and recognising the people who made it all happen. Drawing up the list of nominations was a tough job and if something or someone isn't listed, this doesn't necessarily mean we don't care or that we forgot. Every single developer, dealer and bug hunter is worth his or her weight in gold. The non-commercial category, for instance, required a lot of soul searching as so many applications and utilities have been updated, enhanced and released this year.
However, the decision now lies in your hands. You have until midday December 31st to visit the voting form and cast your vote. The winners will be announced on New Year's Eve. Below are the nominations for this year's awards.
Best commercial software
This is RISC OS software you must pay for to receive.
- ArtWorks - Version 2.4 included some 40 improvements while 2.5 brought outstanding PDF generation to this vector graphics package.
- CDVDBurn - Burn files to CD and now DVDs with this media authoring package.
- Geminus - This year this graphics driver collection harnessed the Iyonix's PCI graphics card to accelerate screen operations, including cached redraws, icon plotting and line drawing. It also officially gained multi-monitor and screen rotation support.
- RiscCAD - Its author returned to RISC OS late last year to restart development work on RiscCAD. This 2D engineering design application is now up to release 10.
- RiScript 5 - Defying rumours of its death, this PostScript and PDF imaging application returned to the platform in style with a new website and new features.
- Messenger Pro - The email and news client gained an impressive built-in text editor and other features, such as 'tree view' support for messages.
- TechWriter and EasiWriter - The word processor duo gained various new features as well as bug fixes - including structure bars, object grid lines, enhanced Microsoft Word import, keyboard macros and more.
- UniPrint 2 - Use a Windows PC on your network or VirtualRiscPC to print documents created in RISC OS using this overhauled 'universal' printer driver.
Best non-commercial software
This includes open source, freeware and shareware RISC OS software.
- Avalanche VNC viewer - Plenty of updates and speed boosts to this much welcomed remote desktop management tool.
- Firefox - Eventually released this year in June, this heavyweight web browser port has shown improvement with each new beta version.
- Cocognut - Initially a commercial application, this peer to peer file sharing application was generously made available for free in 2005.
- GCCSDK - Developed and improved upon by numerous contributors through out the year, this compiler package can build applications written in C, C++ and other languages.
- NetSurf - This open source native web browser continues to grow and mature, rapidly addressing problems with websites and constantly fixing bugs and evolving.
- OpenTTD port - You need the original game data to play, but nevertheless, this strategy game port has entertained many users.
- PrintPDF - A user friendly interface to ps2pdf, opening up a straight forward approach to creating PDF files on RISC OS.
- Sargasso - Keep up to date with your favourite news and blog websites with this RSS client written in Python.
- Sourcery - A programming environment, now with improved makefile generation and greater support for GCC among other updates and tweaks.
- spc - In the new age of podcasting, this handy utility will download MP3s from web broadcasters and play them with DigitalCD.
- Sunfish - A reliable and capable NFS client has enjoyed various bug fixes and gained support for NFS v3.
- Thumbcat - Consistently treated to bug fixes and improvements, this utility can create HTML based galleries of images.
- Variations - An amazing piece of graphics manipulation software that you feel guilty for using for free. It's hard to keep up with the updates made to Variations this year, the best being a slideshow feature and direct image editing support.
Best RISC OS event
Best in terms of organisation, timing, publicity, and what was on show at the events.
- South West - show report - organised by John Stonier and the Wessex ARM user group.
- Wakefield - show report - organised by Chris Hughes and the Wakefield RISC OS Computer Club.
- European Expo - show report - organised by Aad Bezemer and the Big Ben Club
- South East - show report - organised by the Surrey And Sussex Acorn Users' Group
- Christmas road show - event report - organised by RISCOS Ltd.
Best show of ingenuity
Cunning use of hardware or software to think, in some cases literally, outside of the box.
- 3D OpenGL drivers - Ported from a BeOS related platform, this Nvidia driver presents to RISC OS the world of hardware accelerated OpenGL compatible 3D graphics.
- A9home - Powered by the compact 400MHz ARM9 S3C2440 processor and Silicon Motion SM501 chipset, this petite desktop computer is currently available to paying beta testers only, yet has been a much welcomed development for the platform.
- A3010 controlled central heating - Rather than toss this ARM250-era computer out with the trash, here's how real electronic engineers should keep their homes warm.
- Emulating the RISC OS environment - First came some noble work to get QEMU to implement RISC OS software interfaces. Then hot on its heels came a brave effort to do the same in Java. The source code for both projects are freely available for the adventurous to tackle.
- Miniature video camera - Utilising an existing network, this camera can stream live video to computers, including RISC OS powered machines.
Best general contribution
A difficult category to draw up as it recognises efforts that benefit the community as a whole.
- Chris Bazley - As well as other side projects, Chris breathed life back into Star Fighter 3000, encouraging many SF3K fans to revisit the retro space combat game.
- Paul Beverley - As the veteran editor of Archive, Paul has kept the pint sized monthly RISC OS-centric magazine rolling despite market pressures, whilst publishing a series of booklets and setting the standard for responsible journalism.
- Jonathan Marten - Jonathan kindly released a number of graphics applications, which were previously commercial, under an open source licence, allowing them to be made 32-bit compatible and picked up by the community.
- NetSurf contributors - Not content with merely collaborating to produce a native open source web browser, the team have spun off a number of satellite resources, including Tinct, Rufl and iconv, which can be used in other software projects.
- Martin Wuerthner - Developer of ArtWorks 2 and also the TechWriter family, Martin continues to successfully juggle development the two packages much to the delight of his users.
Top own goal
Things that didn't go according to plan, or should never have been attempted in the first place.
- Website false starts and finishes - The Cybervillage dropped its 'Acorn' name tag, went through a mild redesign, promised regular updates and a new team of writers, all before its new editor reportedly lost the FTP login password for the website. Similarly, riscos.org hogged its domain name for most of the year with a sparse handful of updates before switching to a weblog format, which was then ditched soon after.
- MicroDigital AWOL - Oh dear. Synopsis: After spending years designing a computer, ship the product to patient customers, at least one of whom is then less than impressed with the goods. Get taken to court, lose, appeal, lose, and then get sought by bailiffs much to the misery of the chap owed a four figure cheque.
- Oregano 2 exhaustion - The infamous web browser frequently checks for software updates from a central server maintained by developers Oregan. Over one weekend, the server fails, triggering a bug in Oregano 2 which causes it to improperly release operating system resources used for networking. The end result: Oregano 2 users find they can't use their Internet connections without regularly rebooting to cure the problem, until Oregan promptly fixes their server and Castle later issues a patch.
Contact us immediately if you spot any problems or have any questions.
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