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Article archives

Spring Issue of Drag'n'Drop Magazine hits the shelves

Posted by Mark Stephens on 09:45, 4/3/2017 | ,
 
The Spring 2017 issue of Drag'n'Drop magazine was released at the South-West Show and is now available from their website (where you can also see some sample pages from the actual edition). It is the 30th issue, and the team really have pulled out all the stops to make it that little bit extra special.

If you are new to the magazine, it reminds me of the best of the Acorn press - enthusiastic style, news, variety, type-ins, reviews, programming,something for everyone. The 42 pages are packed with really good contents. The magazine is a PDF file so that you can print it out or read it on any machine. So let's dive in see some of the things on offer...

The editorial by Chris Dewhurst gives us the scoop on some new producsts by Drag'n'Drop - I saw their font collection at the South-West Show so I am really looking forward to seeing what else they have in the pipeline.

There is a always a "How do I..?" page with useful snippets, especially for new users. F12 is not intuitive as the way to get a BASIC prompt if you are new to the scene.

The News section is right upto date and features clickable links to take you to the sites mentioned.

There is a meaty article on the RISC OS sound system complete with a 3000 line BASIC program. This gives you the background on how it works and a clear starting point on getting to use it.

There is another article on ConvText, a set of simple utilities to perform tasks such as clearing-up text from other platforms and removing ctrl characters, etc. Again there is a well-documented BBC Basic listing with notes. So it also doubles as a programming tutorial.

Another article offers a !Auto32 application to help with making old 26 bit modules into 32 bit modules by updating know code patterns.

There is also a series on ARM code for people familiar with 6502, showing how you might rewrite your old code and explaining how you might use the ARM architecture.

Finally for coders there is a little Module Saver utility to add this missing feature.

Games fans will find both a detailed review of the new Mop Tops game and a type-in 'Repton-style' maze game called Sid Slug.

For anyone looking to tweak their RISC OS screen display, an article (and listing) shows how to change the mouse pointer to one of your own design.

There is also an article on Tracing Outlines which includes links to several free tools and tips on how to get the best from the process.

Python Primary School is the next instalment of a substantial project for learning Python and has reached accessing the WIMP via Python. You can get all the articles if you buy the USB release which contains every past edition of the magazine.

I really enjoyed this month's edition and already waiting impatiently for the summer release...

You can buy a copy of the latest edition (or a USB with all the editions) from their website and see a free preview of some sample pages.
 
1 comment in the forums

Latest batch of RISC OS magazines published at London Show

Posted by Mark Stephens on 07:54, 15/11/2016 | ,
 
Archive Magazine has been going since 1987 and is currently edited by Jim Nagel (you may remember his Computer Shopper Magazine Acorn columns). It is a printed A5 magazine (back and white with some colour). The style is very much traditional magazine and it has not changed over the years. As far as I can tell, its publication date is based on a complex and archaic forumla known only to Jim involving the dates of RISC OS shows, the position of the moon and lots of other secret variables. But it is generally worth the wait.

Drag'N'Drop is currently edited by Christopher Dewhurst with contributions from others. It appears regularly every quarter as a PDF which you can download and read on RISC OS or any other platform. It includes news articles (with links which you can just click on), features and tutorials (with the code also attached). The look and feel very much reminds me of the best of the traditional BBC/Acorn User style magazines.

Both magazines rely heavily on voluntary contributions which influences their content. If you have something to share, they both welcome your contribution.

Both magazines had their latest releases at the London Show, so lets dive in and see what they have to offer.

If you always judge a book by its cover, Archive has been putting considerable effort to impress with a colour cover. This month's edition features a very dramatic picture of Pebble Beach (from Jim Nagel's recent trip to Canada) accompanying the contents.

In his editoral, Jim talks about how much faster it is these days for a publisher and 6 pages of News are bang upto date for the London Show, where you could get your printed copy. The Magazine itself is a mixture of Reviews, tutorials, regular colums and little snippets of advice. So you can read about CloudFS, Findout about GPS on The Pi, learn about using HDMI, follow a guide on creating a program in !Appbasic, use TopModel for 3D printing, and annotating maps in RisosOSM. There is also a nice hint on connecting an Android tablet to Risc OS.

I have been a long time reader (and occasional contributor) to Archive and am always impressed by the high standard and knowledge of the content which is well-researched and written and carefully proof-read (Jim often adds little notes into articles to clarify).

If you are interested in trying Archive, I would recommend contacting the editor, as Archive has often offered sample copies if you want to try the magazine. Please do not judge Archive by its website (which is very old and does not do the magazine justice).

Drag'N'Drop has a much more garrish cover (it does have an article on 256 colour palette). It starts with an editorial on the show and new machines. The next section is a 'How do I..' with some tips on things we sometimes take for granted but may not be familiar to new users (get a basic prompt, open a task bar, etc). This is followed by 3 pages of news (with links to sites). The rest of the magazine consists of tutorials and coding activities.

The listings are explained and included and there is a really nice range of material here. In this edition, we have an introduction to MIDI sound format, an introduction to Forth, some machine code demos to do scrolling stars, an explanation of MemAlloc module, and a basic program to create Fibonacci Wallpaper. Lastly there is a neat little listin in Basic and Assembly to give you auto-focus. You can read some sample pages of the latest edition on the website to get a feel for the magazine.

If you are new to Drag'N'Drop, I recommend buying the USB stick which includes all the previous issues. This also works really nicey for following the tutorials which span several editions. At the London Show the USB key was available in a really beautiful little box with the RISC OS logo and some sweets. If you ask really nicely they may still have some in stock....

So how would I compare them? They are both well-written and presented to a very high standard. One is printed, one is online and there is a difference of emphasis between them, and I am pleased to say that the news sections contained lots of different items. Archive is much shorter in pages than Drag'N'Drop but does not have pages of listings.

I personally enjoyed both of them and will continue to be a regular subscriber to both as I feel they compement each other and fill slightly different niches. I read both cover to cover.

Archive Magazine
Drag'n Drop Magazine
 
Comment in the forums

Latest Archive is dropping onto a door step near you....

Posted by Mark Stephens on 17:44, 13/5/2014 | ,
 
It has been a while since we flagged up Archive magazine (which continues to be published regularly and has a very 'retro' website). So the recent arrival of the latest release seems a good excuse to review it...

Archive magazine easily wins the battle to be the longest running RISC OS magazine, and the only paper magazine still in print. It was originally started by Paul Beverley and is now run by Jim Nagel (the man who flew the flag for Acorn during the 'glory days' with his Acorn column in Computer Shopper). Jim has changed a few things (there is no longer a personal column of faith which Paul used to included) but the design and layout will be very familiar to any 'lapsed' readers (there used to be a offer of a free copy if you wanted to try the magazine before subscribing). One innovation added by Jim is that all the articles have a small snippet about each author and a picture.

So history lesson over, what is in the latest 48 page issue....

Archive has always been written by its readers and so it reflects a wide range of interests in the RISC OS community and is both both nostalgic and forward looking. This is probably the key to its longevity and it means that each edition is usually very varied and has something for everyone.

The news section has seen a revival with the Raspberry Pi and each month includes news of Raspberry Pi developments, shows and also software developments (this month featuring the !Store developed by RComp for distributing both free and commercial software).

Archive's readership has always included some fairly technical people and there is a very good article from Jim Lesurf on USB audio for RISC OS and some recommendations/reviews on USB devices you can plug into your machine. There is also another hardware article from the developer of a rather cool Raspberry Pi case and the latest instalment in the regular series from Rob Johnston on using GCC on RISC OS.

Many Archive users use other machines and you will find a Windows Column on the final demise of XP (with advice for RISC OS users using Windows to run an emulator on), a Mac column (bemoaning Apple's 'upgrading' of Samba which breaks !Lanman access) and a very snazzy proof of concept laptop design from Oracle using the Raspberry Pi. Finally, longtime regular Gerald Fitton ('Mr Pipedream/Fireworkz') has an article on setting up RedSquirrel to provide a free Windows emulator.

Archive has members at all the shows and the latest edition has detailed reports from the London and South-West shows (including the talks) .

There are regular articles from users as they explore various machines about their 'learning' journey and this month John Schild has an update on his experiences with the Panda board.

Lastly you get articles on a software update to !Keystroke and a new application to bring OpenStreet data to RISC OS with an application from Sine nomine software.

Speaking personally I enjoy being able to read a printed RISC OS magazine (much safer in the bath!) which appears on a semi-regular basis. Have you read it? Do you think there is still a real for a printed RISC OS (or any other computer) magazine in 2014?
 
1 comment in the forums

Early August Update

Posted by Richard Goodwin on 11:38, 4/8/2006 | , , , , , , ,
 
Apart from my Dad adding another year to the tally, here's a rundown of what's happenin' this weekend: "RISC OS Now" magazine launching; R-Comp's new RISCube MINI; some quickies.
 
RISC OS Now
Louie Smith is launching a new magazine (in the preferred dead tree format), with the dual aims of appealing to the existing user/programmer base and attracting new blood.
 
To this end, contributers are sought, and cash money may be on offer:
I'm looking for anyone able to write articles and reviews aimed at experts and beginners alike. I am interested in articles about existing software and new releases. Also, if anyone is interested in writing a regular column please contact me.
Expected to cost 4.20 per issue, or 29.95 for the annual subscription, this may or may not hit a WH Smiths near you soon. It'd be nice to see something hit the shelves again to fill the AU-shaped hole, if Smiths can be persuaded.
 
Source: Usenet posting
 
RiscubeRISCube MINI
The specs seem a little fluid at the mo, but R-CompInfo are about to release a "stunning new computer" that's "the size of a medium-sized hardback book - it'll even fit into a briefcase."
 
A dual core, 512MB, 80GB HDD, CD writing, card reading, DVI/VGA/TV outputting and wired/wireless networking model is the base, with Windows XP Home and RISC OS 4 or Adjust; but cheaper (single core) or beefier (e.g. 1GB/200GB/DVD writer/XP Pro) models will be available.
 
Price inc. VAT is expected to be around 999 of your earth pounds, more info at the RISCube website.
 
Source: press release
 
Quickies
 
9 comments in the forums

Free copies of RISCWorld up for grabs!

Posted by fwibbler on 11:17, 21/6/2006 | , , , ,
 
RISCWorld LogoRISCWorld magazine have announced the offer of a free magazine (March 2006), the idea being that you'll be so impressed with it you feel compelled to take out a subscription to it.
 
Some of the articles the March issue contains:
  • eBay revealed (helping you get the best out of eBay)
  • Building a RiscPC in a PC case
  • Overhauling the old Acorn mouse
  • Review of the 4D Shootemup games CD
and much more including the regular latest freeware software releases and Hugh Jamptons big column!!!
 
A years subscription to RISCWorld costs 21.90 (UK) or 24.50 (overseas) and you can claim your free copy by sending an email with your name and address to:
 
subscriptions@riscworld.co.uk
 
10 comments in the forums

Wakefield 2006 show report

Posted by Phil Mellor on 00:00, 14/5/2006 | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
 

Advantage 6

One year on from when the A9home was first unveiled - it was infact sneaked into the Advantage 6 show theatre in a "makeup bag" - we see the release of the A9home.

CJEInfo, who are A6's retail partners for the A9, were "so happy" with the hardware and progress, that they were confident to begin selling it at the show.

While A6 were disappointed that they are not yet able to totally sign-off the project - there are still niggles, not major problems, with the system, such as providing USB printing (32 bit printer drivers) and the serial port is apparently "not good".

So while the A9home is "not ready for everybody", it is "getting very close". People will have to be patient for the "I want everything release". The iterative beta testing programme shows there is still some work to do, but everything is "much closer each time things go out".
 

Continue reading "Wakefield 2006 show report" | Comment in the forums

Wakey Wakey, it's show time again!

Posted by Andrew Poole on 20:54, 10/5/2006 | , , , , , , , , , , ,
 
[A badly spelt AA roadsign]Once again it's time for the Wakefield show, the 11th one to be exact. Just for you lucky punters, roughly 30 exhibitors will be attending the show this year, and as usual the theatre has a packed programme throughout the day. In addition to this, there's also a "RISC OS in action" section, manned by Ian Chamberlain and sponsored by Qercus, which will have a number of demonstrations of RISC OS in use on A9 and Iyonix computers doing various tasks.

Exhibitors this year include CastleInfo Technology, Genesys Developments, MW Software and the NetSurf development team, who will be demonstrating the latest developments on the open source browser.

VirtualAcorn will also be present, demonstrating their latest addition to their product family, VirtualRPC-SA, which provides emulation of the StrongARM processor in addition to the Arm710 processor it previously supported.

The theatre programme for this year's show is as follows:

TimePresentation
10:30John Cartmell
10:45Advantage6 - Part 1
11:30Castle Technology
13:00Paul Middleton - RISCOS LtdInfo.
14:00ArtWorks 2
15:00Advantage6 - Part 2

Parking at Thornes Park Athletics Stadium is free, and entry to the show costs 6, with under 5 year olds getting in free (I'd imagine that's physical age, not mental age!) The show is open from 10am until 5pm on Saturday 13th of May.

If you're going to the show this year and would like to share your thoughts of the show with us, please get in touch!

Source: Wakefield Show
 

2 comments in the forums

Show! There's a show! Show happening! [updated^2]

Posted by Richard Goodwin on 10:58, 21/10/2005 | , , , , , , , , , , ,
 
SE ShowJust in case you forgot, or didn't listen to the podcast all the way through - SASAUG RISC OS South East Show 2005 at Guildford College, Saturday October 22nd 2005. It's from 10am to 4pm and costs a fiver on the door.

Chris Evans - no, not the Ginger Whinger, the super-fit Donald Sutherland look-alike - will apparently have three stands there under various company names, and even that's not enough to stock everything. So you might have a rare opportunity to hear him say "we don't have that in stock" for once. Although don't count on it, because they're going loaded with everything from USB pen drives to VRPC-loaded laptops and LCD screens.

R-CompInfo - for shame! Only two emails prior to a show? We usually look forward to a deluge! So we'll mention UniPrint 2, with its ability to open files or Web URLs from the RISC OS desktop on a networked PC (handy for IE-only websites or complex Office documents), and it's better Virtual Acorn integration - but we're not mentioning MusicMan. Nope. Not mentioning it at all. No MusicMan 1.50 mention for you.

And finally check out the Finnybank stand for issues of Qercus, and because the say they "have news about how we might help RISC OS developers - in particular those producing software for free or nearly free - so come and see us at the Qercus stand if that describes you." News monkeys - I want details!

Update: This just in - the Advantage SixInfo team couldn't be on their own stand this year due to prior commitments, but will be literally flying in to prove the portability of the A9home on the CJEInfo and RISCOS LtdInfo. stands. However, the mental picture of them helicoptering in to the show ground with a metal case handcuffed to their wrists that sentence conjured up is probably better than the presumed reality of them arriving bleary-eyed at Gatwick and hopping a taxi to the show with an A9home nestled in a suitcase between their dirty laundry. Your questions will be answered in between sips of very strong coffee. That's how much Stu and Matt love you guys.

Update 2: How could I have forgotten ArtWorks 2.50 with native PDF export?
 

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