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Updated: 4 hours 41 min ago

Elesar releases new version of Prophet

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 15:50
Hot on the heels of updating Font Directory Pro, Elesar have announced a new release of the resurrected Accounting package Prophet.

The main changes in the new releases have been to bring the software so that it runs on all modern machines with a nice set of RISC OS 4 or 5 icons and does not need Aemulor to run on 32bit. Oh, and it understands the tax system in 2018.

There is also a revised 262 page manual for the product.

Elesar has been developing quite a track record of reviving and updating old RISC OS software, and we look forward to seeing what they have planned for Prophet (and what other surprises they spring on us).

">Website link with a new license for 97.20 (Including VAT) or 68.40 for an upgrade.

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Categories: RISC OS

Orpheus launch crowdfunding campaign

Mon, 08/06/2018 - 19:40
RISC OS friendly ISP and hosting provider Orpheus Internet have recently launched a crowd funding campaign, with the goal of helping to raise the funds needed to set up a second data centre in a new location. This new data centre will act as a mirror of their primary data centre, providing some much-needed redundancy for when things go wrong - like the incident early last month that left all of their servers unreachable for several hours, and left some systems down for a couple of days.

Setting up a second data centre is something that Orpheus have been planning for a while now, but have been struggling to find the funding for - the business doesn't have enough capital to spare, and despite recognising the plans as being sound, banks and other lenders have been unwilling to offer up any cash of their own. Last month's incident - Orpheus's only major outage in the past ten years - was enough to convince Richard that the plans for the second data centre should be kicked up a notch, hence the launch of the crowdfunding campaign.

So far the campaign has received donation pledges and long-term loan pledges totalling £3,950 out of the £15,000 goal. This is good progress, but that progress will only continue if new pledges continue to be received. If this is something you're interested in supporting, please contact Richard on 01702 462385 or via the email address crowdfunding@orpheusnet.co.uk.

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Categories: RISC OS

July News round-up

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 06:37
Some things we noticed this month. What did you see?

Interesting debugging tool called BreakAid that hooks into the OS breakpoint system.

Review of Jason Tribbeck's game Equinox on RISC OS blog.

Elesar releases new version 3.23 of Font Directory Pro

R-Comp have announced that their new mini.m computer is available for sale, squeezing the power of their ARMX6 into a much smaller and cheaper package.

Mark will be taking a break from writing articles over the summer holiday.

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Categories: RISC OS

RISC OS ports website

Fri, 07/27/2018 - 06:26
If you are a MacOS user, you have probably heard of MacPorts (unless you are a Howebrew fan).

RISC OS users have a similarly named website at http://www.riscosports.co.uk

This site has a good collection of software including lot of Emulators for classic consoles and machines, Games, and a selection of downloads.

There are also some programs compiled with VFP support, including Quake, POVRay and MuView.

You will also find Raspberry Pi specific items including Khronos.

Finally there are some fun little OpenGL examples and some useful resources.

Some of the software is older release (ie Vice) but the site is still being update in 2018 and there is plenty of interest to download and try.

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Categories: RISC OS

RiscOSM continues to expand its horizons

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 06:05
We wrote previously about the welcome continued improvements in Organizer. Another application which continues to see welcome regular improvements is RiscOSM, the software which allows you to create your own maps from raw data. These can then be exported to other RISC OS applications.

You can review the version history online. The latest update is 20th June 2018. As well as lots of bug fixes, Sine Nomine continue to expand the software in two key directions.

Firstly the software features allow you to do more and more with the maps. A highlight of the recent Wakefield show was watching the enthusiastic demonstration of the new editor features for changing paths.

Secondly, a map creation program is only as good as the raw data it is able to use. There is now a large range of data available for use covering not just UK but large parts of Europe, America and Australia. The software now also offers integration to some online photo resources.

It is great to see the software continuing to evolve, and we look forward to seeing what Sine Nomine will be showing at the next Show.

RiscOSM website

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Categories: RISC OS

Font Directory Pro moves to 3.23

Fri, 07/13/2018 - 05:44
Elesar have released an updated version of Font Directory Pro. As the version number suggests, this is just an incremental update. It does add one really useful feature (suggested by a user) to allow text on the global clipboard to be used in the application.

It is good to see the software being updated, and Elesar are always keen to hear if you have any other ideas for improving the software.

The update is free to existing users (you should have received an email if you are registered) and can be purchased online

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Categories: RISC OS

CashBook and other goodies

Fri, 07/06/2018 - 05:55
Steve Fryatt is a well-known face in the RISC OS world and a regular fixture at RISC OS shows where his stand always has lots of interesting software.

His website hosts lots of free software including the free home accounts software CashBook. This has recently reached release 1.41

There are utilities like Locate, PrintPDF and PS2Paper, lots of games.

If you are looking to write your own software, there are Build Tools and a guide to Wimp Programming In C

Steve also has some interesting pages on his website on his non-RISC OS activities.

Steve Fryatt's website

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Categories: RISC OS

June New Round-up

Fri, 06/29/2018 - 06:28
Some things we noticed this month. What did you see?

DiscKnight has now been updated to 1.54 release.

RISC OS Awards 2017 results were announced

The RISC OS Blog has a post on Zero Page protection, explaining all about it.

CashBook 1.41 released by Steve Fryatt to fix potential corruption issue with cheque numbers.

Amcog Games releases Island of the Undead on !Store.

Titanium purchasers now receive a free copy of the newly updated RISC OS 5 User Guide

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Categories: RISC OS

!Organizer updated to 2.28a

Fri, 06/22/2018 - 06:29
A surprise release at Wakefield 2018 was an updated version of !Organizer (2.28a). As the number suggests, this is an incremental update to fix bugs and also add minor improvements to the ToDo Section and the interaction with RiscOSM. According to the change log there are 30 changes in the code from v2.28

As with all recent releases of !Organizer, when you run the new software for the first time, it will do some house-keeping and update your data to the latest version.

Much of the software world is moving towards more incremental and regular releases, and it is nice to get more regular releases rather than just once a year. And if you have any ideas for features you would like to see in the next release, the developers are keen for your feedback.... (I would love more draggable items as I have become hooked on Trello at work).

!Organizer website

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Categories: RISC OS

Getting started with Bash on RISC OS

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 07:53
There are lots of hidden treasures to try for free in PackMan (see our review from 2017). In this article we are going to go into more depth with Bash. Bash is a freely available on many systems (I use it all the time at work on Macs and Linux systems). It also provides the basis for running many other tools and automating things by writing short Bash scripts.

Once installed, you can start writing Bash directly in a single-tasking window by running the Bash App. But the best way to run it is from a terminal window. Just type the command Bash and you will be using bash.

Type in exit to return to the standard RISC OS command line.

Type in help to give you a list of commands at any time.

If you want to learn more about Bash, we recommend you start with the Wikipedia entry.

What is your favourite tool on !PackMan?

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Categories: RISC OS

A new monitor for my RISC OS and Mac systems

Fri, 06/08/2018 - 07:53
Recently I decided to upgrade my monitors. I have a MacBook Pro laptop and I have 2 monitors - one at work which runs my laptop (replacing a 27 inch 10 year old Apple work monitor) and one for home also hosts my RaspberryPi and Titanium. I wanted a high resolution (3840 x 2160 for work) monitor which would also play nicely with my other machines.

The latest Macs use Apple's USB-C connections. You can buy adapters for connecting in other types of connector such as HDMI or you can now buy monitors which have a USB-C connector. Apple offers an LG monitor which provides 5K and can also power the computer and handle the display on a single cable. If money is no object, you want an uncluttered desk and a 'to die for' screen quality on the latest Macs, the LG UltraFine 5K Display is the current top option.

Not only is this monitor very expensive but it will not work on my RISC OS kit as it only has a USB-C input.... One monitor which has also had a lot of very favourable press coverage is another LG model (27UD88-W). This is much more affordable (under 500 pounds), has USB-C input (not powerful enough to act as a power supply as well but fine to drive a 4K display), and also allows for HDMI and DP-IN as well. There are even a couple of old style USB ports for good measure. So how well does this model work for all the machines?

Very well is the short answer. The screen quality is great and you can have all the machines power up and then switch between them. The 27UD88-W has a single joystick type control under the screen and (IMHO) this is one of the nicest switches I have used on monitors - 2 clicks and I am on a different screen. The screen is ultra-sharp on both the Mac and the lower resolution Titanium 1920 x 1200 display.

One word of caution on moving up to a higher resolution screen. My combined switch box (which allows me to share screen and keyboard/mouse through one switch box) does not work on the higher resolution screens. So if you are using a switch box, you may want to verify what it can support.

A really nice feature of the higher resolution screen is that you have your other machines accessible via VNC. This also gives you some idea of the extra 'real estate' the monitors can give you if you are working on a Mac.

If you are looking for a godo quality monitor to provide a high resolution display, which also plays well with your RISC OS kit, the LG 27UD88-W should be one of your shortlist.

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Categories: RISC OS

May news round-up

Thu, 05/31/2018 - 06:51
Some things we noticed this month. What did you see?

A new version of RPCEmu was released.

RISC OS Blog ran some interesting articles on running RISC OS on Wandboard and Aemulor.

Big Ben Club organised the RISC OS eXperience in Amsterdam.

Chris Hall released version 2.0 of SatNav

RISC OS Blog also reviewed RISC OS 5.24 release

Adrian Lees asked what users would like to see in future Geminus releases.

RISCOSitory closed the RISC OS Awards poll.

A lots of emails as GDPR came into force,

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Categories: RISC OS

Drag'n'Drop Spring 2018 edition released

Fri, 05/25/2018 - 07:53

The latest edition of Drag'n'Drop was released at The Wakefield show and is now available directly or via the Plingstore.

Drag'n'Drop is the long running online magazine, released as a PDF document which you can read on your computer or printout. As a PDF, the magazine can contain clickable links, taking you straight to downloads and websites. The news section is right up to date with the Wakefield Show.

The cover includes a picture of the classic Missile Command game, and there is a BASIC listing for the game. You can purchase all the code listing with the magazine to save typing. There is a nice explanation of how the code works.

There is a new series starting in this edition on using Schema2, complete with links to download the free version. Drag'n'Drop does many multi-edition series and back issues are available if you find yourself joining one mid-series.

The series on how RISC OS fonts work moves to part 2. We dissect Outline files and peek inside with a small BASIC program.

Paul Stewart (original founder of the magazine), makes a welcome return with a review of RaspberryRo Lite 3 from Fourth Dimension. He also has a second hardware review on the Vonets VP11G Wifi router. Great to have you back, Paul.

This months little utility to make the RISC OS experience even better is a WindowCloser utility. With one single application on your task bar you can list and close all open windows. A simple Icon Clipboard utility also allows you to copy and paste text between writable icons.

Finally, you can read reviews on the latest release of ArtWorks (is it worth the money for the new tool) and Philips Music Scribe (now available as a free download to Plingstore).

Something for everyone in this edition and an enjoyable and entertaining read with lots of practical projects.

The Magazine is available from the website and you can also buy a version with the code listings.

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Categories: RISC OS

GDPR and RISC OS

Fri, 05/18/2018 - 07:53
You may have been receiving quite a few emails recently related to GDPR. This is a new set of rules which into effect across the whole EU and impacts anyone who holds individual data. Companies now need to be much more careful on what data they hold on you and have your permission to hold it. You also have a right to ask Companies to forget you and delete any emails which include you.

GDPR can result in very serious fines (and the body which enforces it is funded by fines so will be looking to impose some penalties so it can pay its bills). So most companies are being very cautious, especially until it is clear what the rules actually mean.

There are 2 aspects from a RISC OS aspect....

Firstly, if you are holding any personal data (ie mailing list, customer details, etc), you need to have ensured you comply with the new rules. This also includes keeping the data secure... So a major feature of the !Impact release at Wakefield was adding encryption so that data is not stored on disk in easily hackable/readable text files. If you have !Fireworkz documents, you should be securing them. Hopefully, the new Elesar update for !Prophet will include enhancements to make it easier to keep data secure.

Secondly, you may well be receive emails from ROOL and other RISC OS companies. You need to reply to these to confirm your permission to continue contacting you. The ROOL email arrived this week and if you do not reply, you will not receive any more emails from them. So make sure you reply!

GDPR comes into force on 25th May.

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Categories: RISC OS

Messenger Pro reaches release 8

Fri, 05/11/2018 - 07:51
A surprise (but very welcome) release at Wakefield was a new release of the perennial RISC OS client, Messenger Pro. In his talk, Andrew Rawnsley said that R-CompInfo had brought forward the update as the code needed some reworking to ensure it worked with RISC OS 5.24 - we are not complaining.

The software comes with a nice installer which guides you through installation. If you ask it to install into a directory with the old version, it offers to make a backup copy as well. I run !Messenger on both my Titanium and on VirtualRPC on my Mac laptop. Being an eternal optimist, I installed the software on both machines and fired it up.

The key feature for this release has been to bring the same security updates which we saw in NetFetch5. So you can send from different email addresses, make sure your email is less likely to be mistaken for spam. The software also handles better large attachments and HTML emails (common on other platforms). R-Comp says it also includes the usual bug fixes and tweaks and it feels faster on my setup (which uses IMAP). I have had no issues with the software.

If you keep your email locally, the software now includes options to store backups outside !NewsDir and on an entirely different disk.

There is also a new edition of the manual which is provided free as an online version or can be purchased for an additional five pounds. It includes all the new features of releases 7 and 8.

The software can be purchased from R-Comp directly or via Plingstore with discounts for existing users. If you buy the CD version, it includes the Mac and Windows versions and a key for you to run it on these platforms.

All told, v8 is an incremental update which adds some nice tweaks and updates Messenger to remain current with changes going on so that it continues to offer a very viable solution for using RISC OS with email.

R-Comp website

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Categories: RISC OS

RISC OS 5.24 arrives

Fri, 05/04/2018 - 08:28
Wakefield saw the official release of RISC OS 5.24 - we saw 5.22 in 2015 so there have been just a few changes since then (total of 708 changes and 21 main ones). Several key bounties have delivered major new features.

The headline features see previously neglected areas of RISC OS dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century, with JPEG support, monitor EDID support, handling of larger hard drives, and the network stack being upgraded. The bounty system is delivering some really worthwhile enhancements into the software. USB and network stack improvements are a massive undertaking, and ROOL broke each into several stages to make them more manageable.

There are also some genuine improvements to user features such as clipboard improvements and new features in Paint. Lots of applications have received little tweaks such as unicode and fancy fonts in Chars, improved dialogs in Printers, tweaks to HForm, DosFS, Maestro, more secure LanmanFS which can connect to Windows 8 and 10, etc.

Users will no longer get the baffling Oflaoflaofla message which should be replaced with more clear messages.

Finally there is the return of several features which had previously gone AWOL (NFS client, Access+, Econet support on Omniclient, the Porterhouse font).

After 34 months, ZPP is now 'live'. In their Wakefield talk, ROOL said that they were trying to be more proactive in steering RISC OS with an eye to the future (in contrast to Acorn who knew about the demise of 26bit and did very little to anticipate and ensure a smooth transition plan).

ROOL are hoping to see RISC OS back in the NOOBS software for the RaspberryPi. This makes it very easy for Pi users to install Operating Systems to try.

The RISC OS 5.24 release also sees ROOL improving the release process. There is now a more formal set of criteria to verify each platform supported and a traffic light system with statuses of red, amber and green.

Backwards compatibility is very good, so I am struggling to see reasons why you would not want to migrate onto RISC OS 5.24 if you are able.

You can download RISC OS 5.24 for free directly from ROOL website and for purchase it on their SD cards, which run on virtually all RaspberryPi models. The ePic card has also been updated with RISC OS 5.24 and latest versions of SparkFS, PhotoDesk, DDE and Impact. If you have a system from Elesar, CJEmicro's or R-Comp you may want to contact them directly for the customised version for your machine.

The official nightly build for the 'adventurous' is now 5.25 and there are plenty of bounties still looking for your cash to make sure RISC OS 5.26 is another significant step forward.

A big congratulations to ROOL on this significant release and thank-you for continuing to take forward our favourite OS.

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Categories: RISC OS