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Article archives

More Acorn Magazine nostalgia

Posted by Mark Stephens on 12:20, 13/10/2018 |
 
In a previous article, we covered some of the online resources for reading online some of the magazine from past years.
 
Now you can also enjoy the whole of The Frobnicate collection online. There has also been some lively discussion on the magazines online in the ROOL forums.
 
There is also some good content (especially technical articles) from Acorn User.
 
And if you want something right to to date, we should see new editions from Archive and Drag'n'Drop around the London show.
 
Comment in the forums

RISC OS London Show 2018

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 09:00, 5/10/2018 | , ,
 
This year's London Show is due to take place on Saturday the 27th of October, at the usual location of the St. Giles Hotel in Feltham. The show runs from 11 AM to 5 PM, with tickets being £5 at the door (and under-16's free). Exhibitors this year are set to include:If that's not enough, there's also likely to be a full set of theatre presentations, from presenters including CJE, R-CompInfo, RISC OS Developments, and RISC OS Open.
 
Be sure to visit the show's website for up-to-the-minute news in the run-up to the show.
 
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September News round-up

Posted by Mark Stephens on 07:57, 28/9/2018 |
 
Some things we noticed this month. What did you see?
 
Orpheus Internet hits crowdfunding target.
 
Elesar offering a free 128GB SSD drive promotion with a new Titanium bought before 8th October.
 
Some packaging confessions and advice on running RISCOS OS directly on Linux The RISC OS Blog.
 
A video of ARM's 1992 presentation to Apple about the ARM610 - YouTube / Centre for Computing History
 
Reminder there is a show next month....
 
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DDE tools updated to DDE28c

Posted by Mark Stephens on 07:00, 21/9/2018 |
 
Over the summer, ROOL quietly slipped out another update to their DDE toolset. We saw an update in April and the July release of DDEc is another incremental release.
 
There are some changes to !C++ and !CC applications and existing users can update just by copying the existing files onto the existing release. New copies on the ROOL store are using the latest release.
 
While there is no real features, it is really important to see such a critical tool being maintained and updated.
 
ROOL also mention in their release email the bounty to add ARMv7 inline assembler to the C Compiler. If you are interested in contributing to this bounty, details are here.
 
Comment in the forums

PackMan in practice

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 09:00, 14/9/2018 | , , ,
 
For this first article looking at how to create PackMan/RiscPkg packages, I've decided to use my SunEd program as a guinea pig. Being a simple C application with no dependencies on other packages, it'll be one of the most straightforward things on my site to get working, and one of the easiest for other people to understand.
 
Read on to discover how to turn simple apps like SunEd into RiscPkg packages, and more importantly, how to automate the process.
 
 
Continue reading "PackMan in practice" | Comment in the forums

Orpheus hits crowdfunding target

Posted by Mark Stephens on 17:26, 11/9/2018 |
 
In July, Orpheus announced their plan to crowdfund their new project.
 
With their usual modesty, they quietly recently updated their website to say the Company had raised the target figure and work has begun. Excellent news for RISC OS market and for their customers.....
 
On a personal note, my 6 year old router had issues over the weekend. Richard Brown from Orpheus was on the phone sorting it out at 9am on Saturday morning and helping me to sort out a replacement router asap.....
 
Orpheus Internet website
 
2 comments in the forums

RISC OS interview with Jeroen Vermeulen

Posted by Mark Stephens on 06:53, 7/9/2018 |
 
This time, it is our pleasure to interview Jeroen Vermeulen, who has just released a RISC OS remake of the old BBC Micro game Dickie Brickie, which is now free on !Store.
 
Would you like to introduce yourself?
My name is Jeroen Vermeulen and I’m from The Netherlands. Recently I’ve remade the BBC Micro game Dickie Brickie for RISC OS which is available from the PlingStore.
 
How long have you been using RISC OS?
I’ve used RISC OS way back in the past and only quite recently came back to it. My experience with RISC OS started when I bought a Acorn A3000 in mid 1990. It was followed up with an A4000 which I used until around 1998. I then left the RISC OS scene. Shortly after the Raspberry Pi was introduced and RISC OS was available for it I started to play around with it again. Nothing too serious until mid last year when I decided to pick up programming again and do programming on RISC OS as well. Before I owned an A3000, me and my brother owned a BBC Micro from around 1985.
 
What other systems do you use?
Windows 10 PC/laptop, Apple iPad.
 
What is your current RISC OS setup?
RPI 2B with Pi Zero Desktop and SSD. Next to that I use emulators on Windows 10 like RPCEMU, Arculator, VA5000.
 
What do you think of the retro scene?
I very much love the RISCOS as well as the BBC Micro retro scene. For RISC OS for example I find it amazing what Jon Abbott has been doing with ADFFS. For the BBC Micro I’m finally able to collect programs I once only could read about and have a play with it. Some of the new software that appears for the BBC Micro is extraordinary and I find it very interesting to follow the stardot.org.uk forums with people like kieranhj, tricky, sarahwalker, robc to name but a few doing some wonderful things with the machine and making it work under emulation as well.
 
Do you attend any of the shows and what do you think of them?
No (not yet), but I follow the show reports via sites like Iconbar and Riscository. When available I even watch some of the show’s videos. I like it the reports/videos are online and they do give some valuable extra/background information if you’ve not been there. As well as put some faces with the names you otherwise only read about 😊
 
What do you use RISC OS for in 2018 and what do you like most about it?
Programming. I very much like the fact that e.g. AMCOG and Drag’nDrop programs are available and sources are “open” and thus can be studied to learn from. This and the AMCOG Dev Kit allows you to do things that normally would cost more time othwerwise. It’s is the reason why I decided to distribute the sources with the Dickie Brickie game as well, just in case…
 
Retro kind of things like running games and other programs. On my PC I have an application called LaunchBox which allows RISC OS and BBC Micro programs to be run with a click of a button under emulation. Software/Games that once I could only read about in the Acorn magazines of the time I’m now able to run. For some reason especially with the BBC Micro it was hard to get any software where we lived and we had to make do with programming some of it ourselves or get it by typing in from magazine listings. The latter leading me many years later to remake Dickie Brickie. Back in the day it was a lot of work to type it in, but when we ran it we finally got a glimpse what the machine was capable of with the sprites, sound and animations on display.
 
What is your favourite feature/killer program in RISC OS?
StrongED & StrongHelp, BBC Basic, Netsurf, ADFFS, ArcEm, BeebIt, InfoZip, AMCOG Dev Kit
 
What would you most like to see in RISC OS in the future?
Just ongoing developments in general like RISC OS Open is doing with some of the foundations of the system.
 
Favourite (vaguely RISC OS-releated) moan?
Things can always be better of course, but sometimes I’m just amazed that RISC OS is still around and actively used and developed for. For what I want to do with RISC OS currently – mainly programming – and the fact that I’m still (re-)discovering/learning things I don’t have any complaints
 
Can you tell us about what you are working on in the RISC OS market at the moment?
I have been working on a remake of a bbc micro game Dickie Brickie. I started remaking it using my own code, but when I learned about the AMCOG Dev Kit I switched over and rewrote most of the game. There is a really nice article on the game at the Riscository site.
 
Any surprises you can't or dates to tease us with?
I’m investigating a next game to program. I quite like the idea of making a platform game, but I’ve some learning to do on how to do that so it could be a while.
 
Apart from iconbar (obviously) what are your favourite websites?
Riscository, RISC OS Open (Forums), RISCOS Blog, DragDrop, Stardot (Forums) and some recently discovered websites on programming and game development.
 
What are your interests beyond RISC OS?
Programming and IT in general.
 
If someone hired you for a month to develop RISC OS software, what would you create?
That’s a tough question… perhaps some updates to Paint.
 
Any future plans or ideas you can share with us?
I would like to investigate the use of the DDE and C language.
 
What would you most like Father Christmas to bring you as a present?
Nothing very special comes to mind. But it would be nice if JASPP would be allowed to disctribute some more games and/or games from the past (e.g. 4th Dimension) would be more easily available.
 
Any questions we forgot to ask you?
No. Thank you very much for the interview!
 
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Acorn World at Cambridge computer museum, 8-9th Sept 2018

Posted by Bryan Hogan on 02:55, 1/9/2018 | , ,
 
Acorn World 2018
Sat 8th & Sun 9th September, 10am-5pm
@ The Centre for Computing History, Cambridge
http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/43277/Acorn-World-Exhibition-8th-9th-September-2018/
 
The Acorn & BBC User Group in association with the Centre for Computing History, Cambridge’s premier computer museum, are pleased to announce Acorn World 2018.
 
This exhibition will feature machines and software from across Acorn’s history and beyond, showing how they started, the innovative systems produced along the way, and the legacy of successful technology they left behind.
 
There will be a range of Acorn-era computers on display – and in many cases running for visitors to try out for themselves – covering everything from the System 1, through to the iconic RiscPC – which many recognise as the the pinnacle of Acorn’s computer designs – and beyond, including the never-released Phoebe, and a number of rare prototypes. The vintage displays will also include classic magazines, sure to set those nostalgic flames burning, and software which enthralled, entertained, and educated many users – and even inspired some to go into programming themselves.
Some of those classic computers have been given a new lease of life by enthusiastic users, with modern add-ons and other clever innovations – and there will be a number of these on display as well.
 
The exhibition doesn’t just stop at machines that came directly from the Acorn stable, though – there will also be post-Acorn systems, including the ultra-cheap Raspberry Pi and at the other end of the scale, the ‘slightly pricier’ Titanium – both of which are themselves children of Cambridge.
 
Tickets are only £8 for adults, £7 for over 60s, and £6 for children. This includes access to all the museum’s exhibits featuring mainframe, mini, home computers and games consoles from the past 50 years, plus the Guinness World Record holding MegaProcessor. This is a fund raising event for the museum to help continue their important work preserving and archiving computing history.
 
The Centre for Computing History, Rene Court, Coldhams Rd, Cambridge, CB1 3EW
http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/
 
1 comment in the forums

August News round-up

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The state of PackMan in 2018

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Elesar releases new version of Prophet

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Orpheus launch crowdfunding campaign

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July News round-up

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RISC OS ports website

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Recent discussions
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- More Acorn Magazine nostalgia (News:)
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- DDE tools updated to DDE28c (News:)
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- Orpheus launch crowdfunding campaign (News:5)
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