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Article archives

Fireworkz Pro 2.22 update

Posted by Mark Stephens on 11:19, 14/6/2019 |
 
The latest update to FireWorkz Pro was demonstrated at the recent Wakefield and SW Shows. FireWorkz is a key RISC OS application, so it is good to see it continuing to evolve and be developed. So what is new?
 
The 2.22 update release is an incremental update with several nice to have features. The headline figure of this release was a new Statement view mode. This displays your data more like a traditional bank statement. Rows are displayed in alternative gray and white backgrounds, making it much easier to read. You can also use this to good effect in split view mode.
 
There are also some improvements to the Database in FireWorkz and better mail merge. In his Show talks, Andrew showed how the software now removes blank lines so documents appear to be neatly formatted.
 
As with every release, there are also bug fixes and some UI tweaks.
 
As usual, existing user scan purchase an upgrade and the software can be obtained directly from R-CompInfo or on !Store
 
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R-Comp releases 2 new machines at SW show

Posted by Mark Stephens on 08:12, 22/3/2019 | ,
 
One of the big draws at the South-West Show was the chance to actually try (and see and touch!) 2 new RISC OS machines on the R-CompInfo stand.
 
Continue reading "R-Comp releases 2 new machines at SW show" | 9 comments in the forums

The Book of Arcade Games reviews

Posted by Mark Stephens on 08:36, 14/12/2018 |
 

 
The Book of Arcade Games was launched at the recent RISC OS London Show.
 
The 130 page book contains updated and and enhanced listings for 10 of the best Arcade games from the Drag'n'Drop magazine. There is also a introductory guide on how to type in (and Chris was offering the already typed in code to download at the Show).
 
The Games are all written in BBC BASIC and there is a nice screenshot and description of each before the listing. The type is clear and readable, and the book is spiral bound, so sits flat on your desk. All this makes it very easy to follow the code.
 
If you are interested in programming RISC OS of just looking for a bit fo fun and nostalgia, I can recommend this book.
 
You can preview the book online for free and it costs 15 pounds (including postage) from Drag'n'Drop website.
 
3 comments in the forums

Drag'n'Drop Summer 2018 edition reviewed

Posted by Mark Stephens on 08:01, 23/11/2018 |
 

 
If you want some RISC OS related news, reviews and projects (or still missing the summer days), Then the Summer edition of Drag'n'Drop Magazine is for you.
 
The magazine is published as a PDF file (so you can read it on any Computer or print it out) and always reminds me of the 1990s era Acorn magazines at their best. The magazine does not assume you have been using RISC OS since the 1990s though, and there is always a beginners page to get you started.
 
The news section includes information on new hardware, and new commercial and free software. Because can be read online, there are lots of useful website links to follow. There is a games review of Island of the Undead from Amcog Games and an ongoing series on using Schema2.
 
The bulk of the magazine features code - apps, games, hints and tricks to suit all levels of ability. You can learn about Upscaling and interpolation, type in an play a platform game called Boing, an updated Space Invaders Game, build some more serious applications for desktop and printing. My personal favourite in this edition is the guide to making a glass button.
 
This month also includes an index at the end for Volume 1-9 of the magazine (which can all be bought in a big back issue edition).
 
There is a free preview of the magazine to read, and you can buy the magazine directly from the website.
 
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Drag'n'Drop Spring 2018 edition released

Posted by Mark Stephens on 08:53, 25/5/2018 |
 

 
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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Messenger Pro reaches release 8

Posted by Mark Stephens on 08:51, 11/5/2018 |
 
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-CompInfo 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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New edition of Archive lands on my doorstep...

Posted by Mark Stephens on 19:28, 17/4/2018 | ,
 

 
It has been a while, but the latest edition of Archive magazine (Vol 24 No4), is now available. It is 55 pages of news, reviews and articles. It was also nice to see some new and returning names amongst the contributors.
 
The 7 page news section is presumably still wet, with full preview details for the Wakefield Show. Jim Nagel has been clearly sleuthing for new stories and has updates from all the usual RISC OS companies and beyond. Great to hear Elesar are hoping to resurrect Prophet next.
 
There have been a couple of shows since the last edition of Archive, so you will also find Show reviews for London Show, Recursion Show, South-West Show, and a sneak preview for Wakefield. Now you know what you missed...
 
There is also a review of Chris Hall's !FamTree and and update on Aemulor, charting releases, development and history.
 
What really makes Archive is the user articles. Chris Hall continues in his quest for the ultimate GPS system using RISC OS, Gerald Fitton covering transferring emails between RISC OS and Windows. There is a Mac related column (which also covers VNC and Cloud software), a PC column (including updates on Windows 10) and Gavin Wraith experiments with StrongED modefiles. David Brown shows us how to use SchemeED (which can create schematic diagrams of electronic circuits on RISC OS) and Bimal Jangra shares what DARC Technology Club learned about Forensic science.
 
Lastly, you will find some hints and tips on RISC OS related apps - advice on Photodesk and DPScan in this edition.
 
It may no longer be a monthly event, but Archive remains an excellent read and Jim Nagel is an 'old school journalist' (do you remember Computer Shopper columns?) who always delivers the highest quality copy.
 
Archive website
 
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Drag'n'drop winter 2018 edition reviewed

Posted by Mark Stephens on 07:53, 23/3/2018 | ,
 

 
The latest edition of Drag'n'drop is now available online to purchase. If you are not familiar with the magazine, it is a nice mix of news, tutorials, reviews and type in apps, utilities and games (you can buy the listings to avoid the typing). It reminds me very much of the 1990s style Acorn magazines. There are also adverts for shows and equipment.
 
The magazine if provided as a PDF file, which also has the advantage that news and other items can contain links. It can be read on any machine or printed out.
 
This edition includes a wide selection of reviews covering the updated BBC BASIC Reference Manual, the new Protector game, a wireless keyboard and mouse, and a nifty little magic wand scanner.
 
There are 3 type-in games (Cake Hog, Buggies and Pebbles), complete with nice explanations of how the code works.
 
A nifty little SetTyper application completes the programming section.
 
So, something for everyone and a great selection of material to keen you engaged and entertained.
 
Website
 
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Returning to ImpressionX

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New RISC OS !FamTree application reviewed

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NetFetch reaches Version 5

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BBC BASIC Reference Manual updated

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ArtWorks 2.X3 released

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Drag'N'Drop Autumn edition now available

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