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Posted by Michael Drake on 21:25, 7/7/2015
| Acorn, Emulation, Games, Copyright, RISC OS, Software, Retro
Comment in the forums
Time for a round-up of recent games news.
JASPP to release more classics
Jon Abbott of the JASPP software preservation project has recently announced that they have acquired the rights to distribute games previously developed/published by Artex Software, Eterna, Minerva and Visions of the Impossible.
These games include such classics as: Ballarena, Botkiller, Exodus, Poizone, Prime Solver & SunBurst. The games are being released through the JASPP forum, so keep an eye out for updates there.
No mention was made of Artex Software's later games Ankh and TEK, or the never released for RISC OS Iron Dignity, with its impressive 3D rendering engine.
The announcement does mention that JASPP are looking to update some of the titles by Artex Software and Visions of the Impossible to run natively on 32-bit systems. The first to get such treatment will be VOTI's SunBurst. Whether this news will lead to a 32-bit multitasking desktop WIMP conversion of Super Foul Egg, or Exodus running natively on the Panda Board is unknown at this time.
Star Fighter 3000 released for free
This happened a while back, but the full Star Fighter 3000 game has been released for free. This is the latest souped-up version, which features improved rendering distances, desktop play, and a host of other improvements. It runs on RISC OS machines from the latest dev-board hardware, right back to the old Archimedes systems it originally appeared on. To run it on an old Archimedes system at full frame rate, you'll need to make sure you have the nested WIMP installed, reduce the game's graphics settings and force it to run in fullscreen mode.
New game: Overlord
Anthony Vaughan Bartram of Ambiguous Contrasts Games has produced Overlord, a space shoot-em-up on available PlingStore. The latest version, 1.40, has just been released.
RailPro-like game progressing
In other news, James Shaw has been keeping us informed of his progress on the development of a RailPro-like game.
Posted by Andrew Poole on 19:08, 1/5/2015
| Software, Internet, IYONIX, RISC OS Open Ltd
Comment in the forums
According to an email sent out by Neil Spellings this evening, the usernames and hashed passwords of all registered users on the old aemulor.com and newer buyit.Spellings.net websites have been posted online.
The leak, which contains just under 1200 email address and password hash combinations, appears to have been obtained through an SQL injection
attack on some "very old" PHP code from the original aemulor web store and was posted to the Pastebin website on Thursday evening (29 April).
People who have accounts with the Spellings.net website are advised to change their password and also change the password on other sites that they use the same password on.
You can view the full email sent to registered users of the Aemulor/Spellings websites by clicking here
Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 21:20, 14/4/2015
| RISC OS, Shows
15 comments in the forums
This year's Wakefield show
is due to take place on Saturday the 25th of April, at the usual location of the Cedar Court Hotel
near Wakefield. With the doors open from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm, this will be the show's 20th anniversary, a major achievement for the Wakefield RISC OS Computer Club
who are responsible for organising the event.
This year the list of exhibitors is set to include:
For all the latest show updates, don't forget to check the show's website
Posted by Mark Stephens on 13:52, 22/2/2015
3 comments in the forums
A few weeks ago, the RaspberryPi foundation surprised most of us
with a new version of the RaspberryPi (creatively named the RaspberryPi 2). So I ordered one from Cjemicros
(they have them in stock!) and here are some observations for you on the new device...
The new machine is pretty much the same size as the old model (so you can use all the old cables and just plug it in place of the original box). The headline change was the upgrade in memory (now 1gig) and a much more powerful CPU (it is 20% faster and has 4 cores in place of the original single core). The machine also has 4 usb ports (up from 2) and uses the microSD card. I have the original RaspberryPi where the old SD card would stick out and actually managed to break a couple of those cards moving the box. In the new model, the Micro SD card sits snugly and safely inside the box..
The big reason for upgrading the Pi was that I wanted to run Raspbian (the official Pi version of Linux) as a GUI on the box. On the original machine, it struggles and Epiphany (the new web browser) is painful. I would not recommend it for general usage and I got fed up with the CPU meter being more of less stuck on 100% usage. Raspbian is able to use all four cores and it is really usable on the new device. Firing up Epiphany showed a usage of 10%.... If you want a cheap, simple machine to run Linux on, the new RaspberryPi is a really nice device..
RISC OS is not able to make use of the additional cores but it does benefit from the faster CPU (and more memory is always useful). Having 4 USB ports is also really nice. I use a USB key for backups and file transfer so the old machine needed a hub as the 2 ports would be used by keyboard and mouse. Some speed tests have shown that some things are actually slower on the new machine (see figures on ROOL forum
by Chris Gransden). Speed was never really an issue for RISC OS on the old machine. In practise, both are pretty usable RISC OS devices.
ROOL was in on the secret development so the latest version of RISC OS runs on the new RaspberryPi. It actually uses a slightly different ARM chip and has some minor hardware changes so some tweaks were needed. The software installer (NOOBS) which allows you to install different operating systems does not yet have this latest version of RISC OS so you will need to install RISC OS directly or await the update..
In conclusion, if you want to run Raspbian as a desktop Operating system, upgrade now. If you would like a generally faster RISC OS device and some free USB ports, it is also worth the upgrade. I will probably keep my original Pi for RISC OS and use the Version 2 Pi for running other Operating Systems. Now I just need a switch box.....
What are your experiences with the new machine or will you be upgrading?
Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 21:10, 11/2/2015
| RISC OS, Shows
1 comment in the forums
Saturday the 21st of February, a little under 10 days from now, is the date of this year's SouthWest show
, to be held at its usual location of the Webbington Hotel
near Weston- super-Mare.
A joint venture between R-Comp
and Orpheus Internet
, exhibitors are set to include:
The big attention grabbers this year are likely to be R-Comp
themselves, who are set to officially launch their new "ARMX6" computer (formerly known as the ARMini.MX). Based on the Freescale i.MX 6 SoC
, by all accounts it's set to take the crown of the most powerful RISC OS computer currently available. Or for those working on a budget, it's also expected that there'll be plenty of Raspberry Pi 2's
available from CJE - a perfect machine to take along to the Raspberry Jam area within the show.
Check out the show website
for further details.
Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 12:20, 8/12/2014
| Awards, RISC OS
2 comments in the forums
Vince Hudd of RISCOSitory
and Soft Rock Software
has announced that voting for the 2014 RISC OS Awards
is now open.
Unlike with previous years, each category no longer has a set of pre-selected options which the voters must choose from. Instead, voters are given the full freedom to vote for whomever or whatever they wish. There are also several new categories to vote for, including best foreign language resource, and the "broken cog" award for the biggest failing/disappointment.
The polls are due to close at the end of January, but there's no reason why you shouldn't vote now
if you've already made up your mind.
Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 21:21, 23/10/2014
| RISC OS, Shows
33 comments in the forums
Lots of announcements have been coming in in the past few days in the run-up to this weekend's RISC OS London Show
. However I think it's safe to say that the most-talked about news is that of a major new product that's due to be revealed at the show. Said to have been development by a coalition of parties for a year, details of exactly what it is or who is behind it are surprisingly stark. However some sleuths over on the RISC OS Open forums
believe they have found the answer, hidden in a series of cryptic messages from R-Comp: A new computer based around the Freescale i.MX6 SoC. Could it be true, or is there another
With only a couple of days left until the show, I guess we don't have too long left to find out.
Posted by Mark Stephens on 18:20, 14/10/2014
There is now an update to VirtualRPC for Mac and Windows (a commercial program which has been around for over a decade now). There is a selection of free and commercial emulators on offer for Windows and Mac to 'upgrade' your machine into a RISCOS machine. So what is on offer in the long-awaited update for this commercial package…
12 comments in the forums
I already have a copy so sent off my 15 pounds to get the upgrade (you also need to send your old disk back). I received the new disk back and installed the Mac version. The old installer no longer worked on my Mac so it is very nice to have the ability to install the software. The disk also acts as a key on the product as you need the code from the disk to activate the software. The product version is now 1.7.5 (my old version was 1.6.6).
Installing the software is painless and gives you a new installation with a Mac application, some help files to remind you on the security settings on your Mac (which may cause some problems) and a HardDisc4 folder with a full RISCOS 4.39 installation. A selection of software comes with the installation although some of it is quite old (Netsurf 2.1 from 2009). There are also some additional zips containing additional public domain software.
If you have an existing installation you can copy across the HardDisc (or the new VirtualRPC binary) and the software works without issue. Nothing internally has changed so all the configuration is inside a file called va.cfg inside the VirtualPRC application. This includes the type of Arm processor emulated, whether the user sets this on startup, control on mouse emulation for 3 buttons and memory allocation.
The software runs smoothly on the latest Macs (including retina displays) but does not appear to offer any major new functionality.
If you are new emulation on Mac, VirtualRPC offers the most polished emulation (with a nice full-screen toggle between a Window and fullscreen).
I had upgraded my old installation to RISCOS Six, and this runs pretty much as before with the new version.
I was intrigued that there is no mention of upgrading to RISCOS Six, which is now owned by 3QD developments. It would be nice to see this as an official option as it has five more years development over 4.39
So overall, very nice to see the software being updated and working properly/installing on the latest Macs. Does very much what it says on the tin and turns your Mac into a Virtual RiscPC running RISCOS 4.39.
More details http://www.virtualacorn.co.uk/
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