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Drag'N'Drop Autumn edition now available

Posted by Mark Stephens on 07:43, 11/12/2017 |
 


If you are looking for a last minute RISC OS gift, or something interesting to dip into over the festive period, the latest edition of the long-running Drag'N'Drop magazine is now available. You can also buy all the back issues on a USB stick. The magazine is supplied as a PDF which you can read on any device.

This edition is 30 pages of news, reviews and technical articles and always reminds me of the Acorn magazines of yesteryear. Here are some highlights...

Licht is an interesting program to type in which takes its inspiration from the work of Roy Lichtenstein, adding dotted fill patterns to draw shapes. It is written in BASIC and also a nice exploration of manipulating draw files directly.

if you need to copy files from your Android phone to RISC OS there is a nice tutorial using !FTPc and other free software.

A short machine code utility (VMG) will turn sound samples into voice modules for easy use in your own code.

The first part of a new series on Fonts delves into how RISC OS fonts work and how the file format is stored, complete with a BASIC utility to examine the font data.

We have also reached part 3 of the tutorial on RSDP, and we are now writing real programs to generate music using the free software.

For the adventurous, there is also an article on writing your own filings system.

Finally Draw Stroke shows how to draw sophisticated lines with complex styles easily in your BASIC code.

The Magazine is available from the website and you can also buy a version with the listing.
 
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!DualHead puts 2 screens in one

Posted by Mark Stephens on 07:11, 8/12/2017 |
 
R-CompInfo have been very busy in developing !DualHead and release 3 is now available. This includes more polish and one really cool new feature....



Some monitors allow multiple inputs and have a special mode which allows them to display both outputs together, side by side. !DualHead now makes use of this to give you a higher resolution screen than should be possible with the Titianium.

You will need the right sort of monitor (R-Comp will be happy to sell you one if needed), and you then plug in both monitor outputs from your Titanium. You are still limited to 2048x2048 output on a single screen but using this trick you can get around this issue. The configuration software gives you easy access to these 'new' modes in the bottom half of the drop down list. So you can now have 2560x1440 or higher resolution modes from the Titanium.

I look forward to seeing what R-Comp have planned for release 4.

R-Comp website
 
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November News

Posted by Mark Stephens on 12:17, 30/11/2017 |
 
Some things we noticed in the RISC OS world this month. What did you see?

RISC OS London show took place - read the Iconbar report.

RISCOSbits makes your Pi-Top into a proper RISC OS machine with a themed cover.

DDE28 get a quick update to fix a bug.

AMCOG updates their new Protector game

!Artworks 2.X3 is now available. ArtWorks newsletter #77 sent out (76 was published over 5 years ago).
 
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!Organizer 2.28 reviewed

Posted by Mark Stephens on 07:48, 24/11/2017 |
 
!Organizer 2.28 was released at the London Show.

The software comes as a single zip file and there are instructions on how to install or upgrade. When you first run the software, you will be asked about how you would like to update. The default is Y for each. I found I had to save the default choices back at the end.



The headline feature in this release is the rewrite on the planner mode. This is really slick and will display as many weeks forward as it can comfortably display. So on my 1920x1200 screen, I can see the next 14 weeks in a very readable vertical format. If you have a higher resolution you will get less weeks - the software adjusts to fit what makes sense for your display size. I have always been a 'two weeks display mode' user up until now but I am now experimenting with this display.



There are also some nice-to-have features in the software including a better print dialog box and the !Organizer window can be moved or resized by dragging any corner.

The release note says that there have been under the hood changes to improve the software and speed it up. It certainly feels very smooth in operation on my Titantium. Tab and backtab (tab with shift key pressed) allow you to cycle onto the next or last week. If you are in mutli-week modes it moves forward/backward just one week - it does not jump 14 weeks forward in my full display!

The website itself could do with a little TLC. The !Organizer Version History is very out of date and could probably just go.

!Organizer are also still asking for more suggestions on features for the next release.

Overall I am really pleased with the new features in 2.28 and I recommend it as an upgrade to all existing users (and well worth a look if are not using it).

!Organizer can be purchased from the website with the usual discounts for existing customers.
 
2 comments in the forums

!OBrowse reviewed

Posted by Mark Stephens on 07:52, 17/11/2017 |
 
!OBrowse was originally released as a 'freebie/thank-you' to anyone who had put money into RISC OS developments. It has been updated for the London Show and was also available for sale at 40 pounds (providing a simple way for people who wanted to contribute smaller amounts to the project).

!OBrowse is a front-end for the !Otter port for RISC OS. As R-CompInfo were very keen to stress, !Otter is not their project and is a free release which no-one has to pay for. What they have written is some code which allows you to run the software in a much more RISC OS friendly way. They are offering their front end as a way to finance their plans (which will also be available as free software to anyone). They have already made an impact by funding one of the ROOL bounties to bring RISC OS networking support up to date.

!OBrowse is not tied to any release of !Otter and does not 'add' any additional functionality. What it does do is make !Otter into a much more compliant and better behaved RISC OS application. It has a proper iconbar entry, can be run to open HTML files or a URL. It can take over all the protocols which use a browser, supports global clipboard, drag and drop, etc It does this role very well and you get a polished RISC OS application which works as you would expect and plays nicely with the rest of the system.



If you are an investor or want to support RISCOS Developments, it is a very nice to have application installed and a no brainer. If you just want to experiment with accessing the internet under RISC OS, !Otter will run perfectly well on your machine without it.
 
10 comments in the forums

DDE reaches release 28 and above

Posted by Mark Stephens on 07:25, 10/11/2017 | ,
 
At the London Show, ROOL released DDE 28. DDE is a key development tool for RISC OS so it very important to see regular new releases for it.

The software was sent out to show purchasers as a time-limited link to download (I got my copy on sunday morning after the show!). You can now get it via the ROOL store.

The change logs record changes to 13 tools in the software specific to the DDE software and the readme lists changes to other software (like !srcEdit). Most of the changes are minor. For example, !AMU is now 5.32 - up from 5.31 in DDE27) and now correctly reads a timestamp). Some items have not changed in this release (for example !ABC).

There have been some major changes in the Compiler, which actually introduced a bug in compilation. This was quickly fixed with a patch release from ROOL, containing just the changed files. So you will need both to patch your existing version - hopefully ROOL have updated the original DDE28 build for new downloads.

This is quite a technical release and there is a good and detailed discussion of the technical changes on the ROOL forums. There is also an interesting discussion on the bug introduced. It is good to see the software is being evaluated and used by developers and full credit to ROOL for the quick fix.

The package also comes with a full collection of documentation in PDF format and this has all been updated to latest versions.

If you are a non-technical user, this release essentially continues to improve the software and ensure it supports the ARM platforms as well as possible. If you are looking to get into programming, it is also a fully featured collection of all the tools and documentation you need with lots of examples to get you started (and a great way to support ROOL).

ROOL store
 
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Elesar quicks dispels stormy clouds

Posted by Mark Stephens on 07:08, 3/11/2017 |
 
My RISC OS machines could no longer access PCloud storage (which I use for sharing and backup) last week. This is one of the 'fun' parts of SaaS and cloud applications where things will just change or stop working.

As I was attending the RISC OS show, I waited to speak to Elesar's coding supremo there. It turns out that PCloud had quietly changed the way you access your cloud storage, which needed some changes in !CloudFS. Rob has already released the update (0.29 on 24th October) and you can install this by just re-running the Installer (which automatically downloads the latest version).

Problem solved - if only every problem in life was so simple to solve...
 
2 comments in the forums

RISC OS London Show 2017

Posted by Mark Stephens on 17:19, 28/10/2017 |
 
The 2017 London show took place at its regular venue on Saturday 28th October (St Giles Hotel - Feltham, London). It was a warm and sunny autumn day (always a good start). I arrived by car along the M25 and the only queue I had was the one for show tickets at the very start of the event.

The show was run as usual by ROUGOL and their army of helpers who did an excellent job of making everything work to time faultlessly.

There is a separate report for there talks and a Show in pictures article linked at the bottom. In this report we will focus on the stands and the actual event.

The event was using more rooms this year and felt busier (certainly in the morning). There were lots of busy stands with new releases and much to see. I have tried to capture this in our photo report. So here are some of my personal highlights.

My first stop was mw-software to get the new !Artworks release (better support for new machines and some nice new tools). It was great to see Martin (dressed with bow tie as usual) back at the shows.

The new release of !Organiser makes good use of the big screens and Nigel was asking for more ideas for future releases.

ROOL had the new DDE and a chunky basic manual alongside some cool demos. Rob Sprowson was also there so I was able to ask him about changes in Pcloud (Rob already has a fix which is installed by rerunning the installer).

Lots of nostalgia with BBC tv from yesteryear with the BBC Preservation Project....

Amcog games stand provided a chance to try their full range of games and to learn more about their sound module.

Richard Keefe showed off the new jpeg import and scaling in !Impression. He is continuing to both 32 bot and enhance the software. He uses it on his Titanium.

Chris Hall continues to refine his GPS solution. This is now becoming very sophisticated with the ability to call home, put itself in standby. I look forward to seeing what chrisís next project is.

My overall view was that it was a very upbeat and positive show and we will be very busy reviewing the new releases for you on iconbar over the next few months.



Pictures

My notes from the talks
 
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RISC OS London Show 2017 - Notes from the talks

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RISC OS London Show 2017 - Pictures

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October News

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Retrospective thoughts on 12 months of Titanium ownership

Read article... | 4 comments in the forums

In praise of !ShareFS

Read article... | 10 comments in the forums

RISC OS London Show 2017

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Recent discussions
- !DualHead puts 2 screens in one (News:)
- RISC OS London Show 2017 - Notes from the talks (News:6)
- November News (News:)
- !Organizer 2.28 reviewed (News:2)
- !OBrowse reviewed (News:10)
- Aemulor (Gen:16)
- DDE reaches release 28 and above (News:)
- Elesar quicks dispels stormy clouds (News:2)
- RISC OS London Show 2017 (News:)
- RISC OS London Show 2017 - Pictures (News:)
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