Software NewsBy Chris Williams. Published: 21st Jul 2003, 17:05:35 | Permalink | Printable
Quake32, Angband, graphics goodies, PCI TV and moreIt's been some time since we ran a software round up and we're practically bursting with links. Steady as she goes.
Gavin Wraith has pointed out to us Joe Taylor's recently released AppBasic package. "If you can program a little in BASIC but found the Toolbox too heavy going, then AppBasic is for you", Gavin told us.
As a programming aid, AppBasic allows BASIC programmers to quickly and easily create Toolbox based applications. The Toolbox provides a set of commonly found user interface components, like the standard 'Save As' box, the iconbar icon, the colour picker window and so on. The Toolbox is provided by RISC OS for application developers to use in order to save time writing program code and to provide a consistent user interface across the desktop - at least, that was the plan. For a freeware app, AppBasic provides a wealth of documention including a tutorial.
Next, it's slap on wrist time. We've learnt that we overlooked some essential, essential, R-Comp news earlier in the year - a 32 bit version of the ported 3D kill frenzy classic Quake was made available at the Wakefield show. Iyonix users can now order a 32 bit patch for their existing 26 bit copies of Quake or alternatively, pick up a fresh new copy of Quake32 from R-Comp Interactive. The 32 bit version of the Galatic Dan-esque, real 3D space craft vs. mad robots affair, Descent 1 and 2, on the other hand, didn't make it in time for a Wakefield show release. We're told programmer Dave McEwen has sound, hi-res cut scenes, bi-linear filtering and transparencies all working in Descent 2 and R-Comp are as we speak preparing the game installer and running through the QA checklist. "Email to Drobe.. check". We promise to cover the release of a 32bit Descent 1/2 when it's finished. Which is soon.
Whilst on the subject of games, Antony Sidwell has compiled up a few new ports of various Angband variants. Angband is the classic ASCII "graphics" role playing game where the player fights her way through Tolkien derived dungeons and landscapes to discover magic, treasures and skills to defeat leagues of demons and other nasty characters lurking deep underground.
--more-- It's good to see the RISC OS ports keeping up with the greater development of this ridiculously addictive and enthralling game.
Compo author Rob Davison has emailed us with news of a few software updates to his highly regarded collection of software. Standing tall at version 0.25, the free image processing app Variations has been treated to many new features including magic wand masking, feather masking, new effects and pointillist widgets. Image editing suite PCAPaint is now at version 1.00. PCAPaint uses PCA based plugins to provide drawing and editing tools and effects. Also, Compo isn't left out with the release of a bug fix patch to version 1.22c which also includes a few minor new features.
It's not like us to hype or encourage the pre-announcement of stuff but we can trust Simon Wilson and besides we know where he lives - Colorado, which luckily for him, is just and only just out of our reach. Simon, as you may recall, is working on drivers for a PCI TV card for fellow Iyonix users. The good news is that first alpha version of the driver has been sent to testers, Simon has enabled hardware scaling, got the basis of the user interface running and is ready to start work on the PAL signal tuner. Oh I do beg your pardon, I appear to be drooling.
Watching TV on your Iyonix
Finally, Argonet internet support guru Paul Vigay is asking users of the Argonet Voyager internet suite to step forward and make their numbers known in an online poll.
"It's more to judge usage really. I'm contemplating a number of things at the moment. Hopefully (in the not too distant future) a new release of Voyager, and I'm also looking at the possibility of converting it to 32-bit - but obviously it's not my product but Argonet's so it's not down to me to judge viability", Paul told us today. "At the moment, I'm just trying to work out an approximate user base for it. A ball-park figure will do for the time being."
"There's no 'I' in team" and there's also no I in 'install' judging by Tony Houghton's answer to InstallShield/MSI for RISC OS, nstall. Summer holiday essentials: Sun lotion, tooth brush, digital camera, ThumbCat or WebGen2 to catalogue the ensuring embaressing photos. HTML is not DTP unless you're using DDF2HTML. Floppy disc sized BBC micro fun with Sprow's MiniB. Take your PIC from GPUtils dev tools and PICProg programmer for the versatile microcontrollers. NewAlarm displays one of the following on your desktop, sorry no prizes - "your true love is just around the corner", "the Omega is nearly ready", "it's almost ten past five".
And Desktop Repton and Rhapsody 4 users, don't forget your recently released bug fixes, courtesy of APDL/ProAction.
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