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Newsround

Posted by Sion on 19:00, 25/3/2012 | , , , , , , , , ,
 

RISC OS 5.18 released

RISC OS Open have announced the release of their latest stable release of RISC OS, version 5.18 to be precise. This update features no less than 340 improvements since the last official release and has been officially vetted by CastleInfo Technology for the Iyonix PC and R-CompInfo Interactive for their ARMini.
 
The new ROM image should be able to upgrade all versions of RISC OS from version 5.07 or later and is provided with a flash programming tool (for Iyonix users), which also takes a backup of the previous version just incase you wish to go back.
 
The OMAP3 (i.e. ARMini) version of the operating system now supports hardware CMOS memory fitted on a carrier board plugged into one of the headers on the motherboard. This permits saving of common configuration settings which will be retained when the power is off. CMOS memory carrier boards are available now from the ROOL store and are suitable for use on the original Beagleboard, Beagleboard-xM, and Pandaboard.
 
As the ROMs now several new modules, some of the module location numbers have changed. Because the *UNPLUG settings only remember the module location numbers you may need to review any unplugged modules after the upgrade to ensure the desired ones are unplugged, and that crucial modules are not left unplugged by mistake.
 
For the full release notes and download/installation instructions, please see the ROOL press release.

Raspberry Pi released

The Raspberry Pi Foundation have launched their much anticipated, and dirt cheap computer, the Raspberry Pi. The machine is currently being sold through a number of electronic retailers, namely Farnell, RS Components, and Allied Electronics. However overwhelming demand for the device means that it may take a month or two for production to ramp-up and all backorders to be filled.
 
The Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The foundation plans to release two versions, priced at £16 and £22. The Raspberry Pi is intended to stimulate the teaching of basic computer science in schools and has been designed for use with the Linux operating system, although a port of RISC OS to the machine is already underway.
 
The design is based around a Broadcom BCM2835 SoC, which includes a 700MHz ARM1176JZF-S processor, VideoCore IV GPU, and 256 Megabytes of RAM. The design does not include a built-in hard disk or solid-state drive, instead relying on an SD card for booting and long-term storage.

MPlayer ported to RISC OS

Chris Gransden has ported the popular cross-platform media player and encoder MPlayer to RISC OS, this significant advancement means that RISC OS can now fully play MP4 and other mainstream video formats.
 
Chris’ port is a direct build of the Linux sources and does not feature much RISC OS integration as of yet. It makes a good attempt at playing most MPEG, VOB, AVI and WMV formats, plus many others. You can expect reasonable frame rates up to 480p resolution on recent RISC OS hardware which currently includes Beagleboard and Pandaboard based machines.
 
Bundled along with the MPlayer download is MEncoder, which is a simple movie encoder, designed to encode MPlayer-playable movies.
 
You can download this latest version of MPlayer from the riscos.info website here.

Updates galore

Version 3.38 of OpenVector, OpenGridPro and DrawPlus has been released. These applications are all open-source enhancements to Draw, providing enhanced layering and object library capabilities as well as the ability to draw advanced grids and other object layouts. This release features improved compatibility with Cortex-A8 hardware such as the ARMini and BeagleBoard. Compressed drawfiles and libraries can now be loaded when alignment exceptions are enabled. Consistency of layered merging has also improved.
 
Version 1.71 of PlayIt, a disc-based engine for playing sound samples, has been released. It is used as a resource by several audio players including DigitalCD. This new update contains no new functionality but several significant bugfixes, increased 26/32bit neutrality, and changes for ARMv7 compatability.
 
BarFree from Bernard Veasey has been updated to work on RISC OS 5.18, BarFree copies revised ‘Messages’ and ‘Templates’ files to your ’PreDesk’ directory within its own directory called ‘Free’ to enable different style Free Space windows.
 
Charm has been updated to version 2.5.3 to add support for 'new' and 'delete' keywords for allocating and releasing storage for records. Charm is a high level programming language with a compiler than generates efficient code with a small memory footprint.
 

3 comments in the forums

BBC Jam suspended

Posted by Phil Mellor on 12:15, 14/3/2007 | , ,
 
BBC JamThe BBC's online education service, BBC Jam, is to be suspended after commercial online companies made complaints to the European Commission.
 
BBC Jam costs each licence fee contributor 14p per month, with the BBC pledging to invest £150m over five years.
 
Acting BBC Trust Chairman Chitra Bharucha said in a statement: "Despite a rigorous approval process involving the BBC Governors, the Department for Culture Media and Sport, and the European Commission resulting in extensive conditions on the service, BBC Jam has continued to attract complaints from the commercial sector about the parameters of its activities."
 
I find it ridiculous that the BBC is prevented from fulfulling its public service remit EDUCATING OUR NATION'S CHILDREN because it's deemed anti-competitive, yet it's perfectly OK for them to hand the TV-over-IP market to Microsoft.
 
15 comments in the forums

School gaming from days gone by

Posted by Andrew Poole on 17:00, 18/2/2007 | , , ,
 
RetroIt seems such a long time ago that Acorn had their computers in most UK schools and even longer ago that I was sitting in a classroom playing games on the BBC Masters that the school had bought. Several games stand out in my memory and these include (in no particular order): Yellow Brick Road, Little Red Riding Hood and the one that I'm sure most of you who used school computers in the late 80s will remember, Granny's Garden.
 
In this, the first of a series of articles, we'll be taking a look back at Yellow Brick Road.
 
Continue reading "School gaming from days gone by" | 29 comments in the forums
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