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DiskKnight updated to 1.51

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The Hard Disc rescue utility Disk Knight has been updated to version 1.51 and is available as a free upgrade to registered users.

DiscKnight is a disc checker and fixer for FileCore E and E+ format hard discs which incorporates fixes for a large number of problems. The program has support for long filenames and large directories and is now 32-bit compatible as well as ARMv7 (Raspberry Pi, ARMini etc.) friendly.

This release fixes an issue with the front end of the application crashing due to a toolbox bug in RISC OS 5.20 and later.

Registered users can obtain the update from the Disk Knight website, make sure you have your serial number handy. A full license can be obtained from here.

Fireworkz update for RISC OS and Windows released

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The very first day of this new year witnessed the integrated word processor and spreadsheet suite Fireworkz updated for RISC OS and Windows operating systems.

The package’s developer, Stuart Swales, has updated the program to version 1.35/00 which comes with a long list of welcome improvements and bug fixes.

Fireworkz’ last update came in May 2013, with this new version being in the works since then.

The most noteworthy improvements in this new update are listed below:

  • Saving a documents as a Drawfile now also exports any Drawfiles (including sprites and JPEGs) and charts present in the document.
  • Fonts used in Drawfiles that are used as pictures/markers in charts now better match up with existing fonts in the charts.
  • A Choices directory is now supplied as standard.
  • Some font mappings have been changed, for example the RISC OS  ‘Pembroke’ family is now mapped t the Windows ‘Palentino’ family.
  • Shift-clicking on the Fireworkz icon on the icon bar will now open the Choices:Fireworkz directory, thus providing access to user-created Templates and Choices.
  • Support for the Euro currency.

Originally a commercial package, Fireworkz is now free to download and can be obtained from here. It’s also 32-bit friendly and will work on ARMv7 machines, i.e. Raspberry Pi, ARMini, Pandaboard etc.

Newsbuzz: Freeware round-up

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It’s been a long time since the last RISC OS Blog update, things have been pretty hectic with work and a recent house move so apologies for no updates. Anyhow, here’s a round-up of what you may have missed…

Today saw Kevin Wells release Passman, a single -user website password manager. The tool’s primary purpose is to protect your passwords while storing them in one, easy to manage place. Kevin is planning to implement multi-user support in future versions. You can download Passman from the Kevsoft website.

Sine Nomine Software have released version 1.43 of DrawPrint, which can can be downloaded from here. This update fixes bugs with JPEG objects, in particular printing them in landscape mode, and saving scaled draw files containing them. In case you’re not familiar with the application, DrawPrint allows you to print Draw, Sprite and JPEG files over several pages at the scale of your choice. You can set margins and overlap between pages, or have page breaks inserted more intelligently. Exporting individual pages as Draw files for use with other applications is also supported.

The popular (and recently open sourced) email client Pluto has been updated to version 3.10, you can grab it free of charge from here. All changes implemented in this update are either bug fixes or minor feature touch-ups, as well as a more updated StrongHelp manual.

Chris Johnson has updated CPUClock to version 1.01, the tool provides an interface which allows you to monitor your machine’s CPU speed as well as adjust it’s settings. The app’s original release only supported BeagleBoard based machines, but it has since been updated to work on PandaBoards. You can get more info on CPUClock as well as downloading the program from Chris’ webpage.

SystemDisc released

Piccolo Systems have announced the launch of SystemDisc – which is an addition to the company’s DiscTools range of software.

The program is a general-purpose tool for managing the system software on modern RISC OS systems, it allows for a quick, easy set up of a bootable version of RISC OS 5 on a USB stick. Ideal for use with Raspberry Pi, Beagleboard, Pandaboard etc. machines.

The app’s developer Ben Avison discussed his latest release in detail during his CSA Announce post on the program’s launch.

“Since the launch of the ROOL’s RISC OS Pi disc image for the Raspberry Pi last year, for which Piccolo Systems designed the disc format, one of the most common requests we have received has been for the ability to use the whole capacity of arbitrary-sized memory cards in a similar manner, or to use a similar trick for other RISC OS machines that boot from an SD card in a similar manner.

“RISC OS Pi was laid out in a relatively manual fashion requiring in-depth technical knowledge of disc formats, so it wasn’t practical to produce variants for every possible combination. But the new application SystemDisc takes all the hard work out of the process – now a bootable SD card is just a few clicks away!

“Not only is SystemDisc able to perform all the extra magic disc formatting required to make you choice of card fully bootable, but it can also act as a health checker for existing bootable card. It can even correct many problems that may occur, such as the accidental renaming or even deletion of the key !Boot.Loader file. ”

More information on SystemDisc can be obtained here. The program is immediately available as a download for 12ukp. RISC OS 5 systems only.

Portsmouth 2013: Round-up

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The 28th of September saw Portsmouth’s first ever RISC OS show take place on the second floor of the Innovation Warehouse.

It was a considerably smaller show than most others on the RISC OS calendar, but with a decent number of exhibitors showing up and everything neatly spaced out, the show worked very well and hopefully will be the first of many.

CJE Micro’s were as present as usual, with a large (yet not as large as usual) range of goodies, with a specific emphasis on Raspberry Pi accessories as well as software both new and old.

Next along from CJE was Christopher Dewhurst’s Drag ‘n Drop, RISC OS’ only PDF based magazine. The latest issue (July 2013) was on show at the event, with Chris informing visitors to his stand that the next edition will be released mid-October.

Personal information manager Organizer was on show, no new version was launched at the event, but version 2.20, which was launched earlier this year, was being displayed for all to see as well as being available for purchase as a download or on a memory stick. Some of the program’s newest features could be seen and played with, including an option to start the week on a Sunday for the Diary and Calendar, a facility to order the Addresses by Organisation/Contact name as well as improved operation of Export scripts.

On the same stand was Martin Avison and Nigel Willmott’s RISC/PI website, run by the same guys as Organizer, the duo were guiding people through RISC OS’ newest news site.

RISC OS Open are as ever present as usual, with their usual range of development and emulation memory sticks and SD cards, as well RISC OS 5.20 running on IOMD-based computers and a fresh batch of RISC OS Collectors CDs – containing an archive of the 5.20 disc image, Iyonix ROM image and flash programmer.

Steve Drain was busy talking about his Basalt module, which extends and improves on the BBC BASIC programming language that comes as part of all versions of RISC OS – the utility provides a number of additional structures, keywords etc.

Steve was also showing off his Raspberry Pip combination of a Raspberry Pi modified and compacted into a flatcase and lodged onto the back of a Motorola Lapdock.

Turning again, the next exhibitor was Steve Drain, who was there to talk about Basalt, his module to extend and improve upon the BBC Basic language that comes as part of the RISC OS ROM image, by providing additional keywords, structures, and so on. Steve also had with him his wonderfully compact ‘Raspberry Pip‘ – a Pi that he has modified so that it fits in a flat case, about the size of a typical modern smartphone, and which then fits neatly on the back of a Motorola Lapdock.

Vince Hudd of Soft Rock Software was discussing his WebChange software at the show as well as his RISCOSitory website, which coincidentally, is where all the pictures used for this report have been sneakily swiped from.

Martin Hansen had made his return back to the RISC OS show scene after missing the last few, his MathMagical Software stand was as active as ever, with Martin busy demonstrating his Iconizer software as well as talking people through his RISCOSCode news site.

As well as all that, Martin also had a table in the middle of the exhibition room, with his Power SupPi project being the main attraction. The project itself comes from 12 volt DC batteries salvaged from a wooden sailing boat – with Martin managing to get a Raspberry Pi fully up and running with RISC OS 5 using just those batteries and nothing more. Impressive.

Andrew Rawnsley and his bunch of R-Comp helpers where in action at the show too, they arrived a little late to the party so space was a little bit short compared to their usual stand.

Their usual range of ARMinis and software packages were on display too, with the company’s new ARMiniX computer taking up the limelight after a recent OS upgrade, which enables ‘SmartReflex’ for more efficient computing.

For a more in-depth report of the show, get yourself over to the RISCOSitory’s full report of the show.

Show Preview: Portsmouth 2013

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The newest addition to the RISC OS calendar takes place on Saturday 28th of September at the Innovation Warehouse, Portsmouth.

The usual suspects of R-Comp, CJE Micro’s and RISC OS Open Ltd. will be in attendance as usual, as well as a number of other exhibitors.

Although being billed as a RISC OS show, the event will focus heavily on the Raspberry Pi, and will most likely garner a generous crowd as a result.

Here’s a list of confirmed exhibitors for Saturday’s event:

R-Comp – The makers of the ARMini as well as a huge range of software will be selling their wares.

RISC OS Open Ltd – The good ol’s guys over at ROOL will be showing up some Raspberry Pi related computing as well as talking people through their latest release, version 5.20 of RISC OS, the first of their strain of the operating system to be compatible with legacy Acorn computers.

CJE Micro’s – The folk over at CJE will be there with their usual array of hardware and sotfware, both new and old, as well as a huge selection of Raspberry Pi goodies and accessories.

Drag ‘n’ Drop – The PDF based RISC OS magazine will be at the show, showing off the publication’s latest edition.

MathMagical/RISCOScode – Martin Hansen will be displaying his usual Mathematical games and software, as well as talking about his RISC OS news website RISCOSCode.

Steve Drain – Responsible for the development of programming tool Basalt, Steve will be guiding people through his tool as well as through his portable Raspberry Pi solutions too.

Organizer – The much loved personal information organizer will be at the event.

Piccolo Systems – Ben Avison will be impressing audiences with his range of software, which will include the recently released Clone Disc.

R-Comp – The makers of the ARMini as well as a huge range of software products will be selling their wares.

RISC OS Open Ltd – The good ol’s guys over at ROOL will be showing up some Raspberry Pi related computing as well as talking people through their latest release, version 5.20 of RISC OS, the first of their strain of the operating system to be compatible with legacy Acorn computers.

Clone Disc 1.01 released

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Piccolo Systems have announced the release of CloneDisc version 1.01 for computers running RISC OS 5.

The tool, available for purchase online (12ukp) is a general purpose tool for copying the entire contents of a disc. It also features full support for disc image files and is abel to securely erase all information of a disc.

Clone Disc supports a variety of filing systems, including ADFS for IDE/ATA hard discs on Acorn-era machines and Castle’s IyonixPC, SCSI for Acorn-compatible SCSI drives and all drives attached via USB, and SDFS for on-board MMC, SD and Micro-SD readers as found on modern hardware.

More information on CloneDisc can be obtained from here.

RISC OS Portsmouth show 2013 confirmed.

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It’s official, the latest event added to the RISC OS calendar will come in the form of the Portsmouth show, originally planned for mid-July but it is now set to take place on September 28th.

The show will take place at the Innovation Warehouse Portsmouth, doors will open to the public at 11am and the show will run until 5pm. Entry will be free of charge to both exhibitors and visitors. Exhibitors are welcomed, so give ROOL a shout if you want to exhibit at the show.

Taking place on the 2nd floor of the building, the Innovation Warehouse is located in the centre of Portsmouth and has pretty good transport links nearby.

No exhibitors have been announced as of yet, but the regulars in the form of CJE Micro’s, R-Comp, RISC OS Open and other well known faces will undoubtedly be in attendance.

RISC OS 5.20 released: Officially RiscPC friendly!

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RISC OS Open have released the latest stable version of RISC OS for download and on ROM in the form of RISC OS 5.20.

This new update consists of 623 changes from the Tungsten platform (used in the Iyonix), 654 changes from the OMAP3 (ARMini) platform and it is now compatible with legacy hardware, ie 26-bit RiscPC, A7000(+) machines.

The latest version of the operating system can be downloaded free of charge from ROOL’s website, or alternatively you can purchase a physical ROM that can be installed into your computer too.

ARMini users will be contacted by R-Comp Interactive in turn with details on how to install the latest version of the operating system.

It’s strongly recommended that you read this before installing RISC OS 5.20 yourself, different methods of installation will be needed depending on your computer, so give it a read.

It’s been and gone: The 2013 RISC OS Midlands Show

The sleek looking PiCano

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So the RISC OS Midlands show 2013 has been and gone, the RISC OS Blog has been very naughty this year and hasn’t featured anything about it at all. Until now…

In terms of exhibitors, the usual were as present as ever, the ever upbeat chaps over at R-Comp were in attendance showing off their brand spanking new ARM-in-1 and PiCano (first seen as the RISC OS eXperience in the Netherlands a few weeks back).

The first being an all in one RISC OS computer, powered by ARM and included inside a monitor. The latter being a rather sleek looking brushed-metal case for the Raspberry Pi, constructed completely through RISC OS thanks to the help of Steve Royd-Marker, the Belgian RISC OS community and of course RCI themselves. (More info on both can be found here)

The biggest news of the event was seen over at the RISC OS Open stand where version 5.20 of RISC OS was being displayed. Available to buy in ROM form, this is the first version of ROOL’s operating system that will work on legacy Acorn branded (26-bit) machines. The ROM as well as an installation CD can be purchased for the reasonable fee of 30ukp.

For a full show report, why not pop over to the RISCOSitory, where that fine gent Vince Hudd has written up a full report of the event.