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The Icon Bar: News and features: Midlands Virtual Midsummer MUG Show 2022 Talks

Midlands Virtual Midsummer MUG Show 2022 Talks

Posted by Mark Stephens on 16:30, 2/7/2022 |
Here are my note from the live talks I attended at Midlands Virtual Midsummer MUG Show. As usual all omissions, errors and mistakes are mine.

You can also read the Show report here
There were show discounts for today, and lots of new levels in the games. Lots of background on how the games were created and ideas behind them.
Mop Tops was inspired by watching his daughter play Magic Mushrooms and Lemmings. Now has 40 levels and ported to Windows, Linux and Android. Easy to port using the Amcog development kit. Ideas for Mop Tops 2 and Star Mine II. More levels for Scuba Hunter.
Tony stepped through the design and evolution of his latest game 3D Pingo (released at Wakefield). Extending Development kit with 3D features.
His next game will be a 3D 2 player racing game. Might even have a re-play feature....
There will be a music tracker for RDSP and a desktop editor.
Outside games, looking at converting some of RISC OS into C.
There were some nice interactive demos of the Amcog games and lastly Tony introduced us to one of his other contributors.
Drag 'N Drop
Chris overcame a few technical issues and gave us a tutorial on writing Applications in BASIC. There are lots of special offers on the website this weekend.
Chris was using Edit and showing us how to write some simple programs in BBC BASIC with the WIMP. We started with a very simple BASIC program to display page co-ordinates and WIMP information.
There will be more on programming in the next edition of Drag'n'Drop magazine, due out the end of July.
Sine Nomine
Sine Nomine gave a really nice online demo of RiscOSM including how other applications can interact. As most attendees where familiar with the software, it was more a tricks and tips rather than an introduction session.
There is a new demo Application called TestMap. Written in BBC BASIC, it allows you to see the Messages generated by RiscOSM.
Because live bus data is now available, you can display this nicely on Maps. It needed some optimisations to make it run more smoothly.
Sine Nomine are keen to have any requests for new features.
Rob was talking about TextEase with a presentation written in TextEase. Original developers focussed on ease of use and interface for the Application. It provides a complete DTP solution. Rob also covered the Database and Presentation packages.
There was a nice interactive demo, importing some Excel data and displaying it in TextEase and removing red eye from a picture in the Paint application.
Finally there was time for Q and A, like how to change the background on a document in TextEase.
Request for a timer and total in Presenter which Rob seemed keen to add.
MUG Zone
John McCartney had an interactive talk on resurrecting Dr Wimp's Surgery. There are a clear introduction to Dr WIMP (originally written in 1995 by Andrew Ayre). Ray Favre took over support in 1999 and wrote a book about how to use the software (Dr Wimp's surgery). The originals were unfortunately lost after Ray's death, so John has recreated at the suggestion of Jim Nagel.
A copy of the book was scanned in on Windows and put through OCR. The content was then edited and recreated on RISC OS. John originally did the first couple of chapters for Jim. It was resumed in Spring 2021 by John who decided to complete it. Now working with Gavin (the latest Archive editor). Book will appear on Archive website.
John walked us through all his steps in detail.
The result is a near facsimile of the second edition.
John has changed the layout slightly to improve the flow of the book.
Now looking for suggestions and help proof-reading. He is on docwimp@gmail.com
Ray's website is still available here
Andrew started with R-Comp first...
The new Messenger Pro 9 release was covered in detail, especially the new use of the updated SSL module
There was an overview of Forte2. This was developed due to difficulty in sourcing parts for Forte. Machines includes a fan (which is optionally enabled if needed). Model is proving popular. You can boot into another Linux variant just by plugging in an SD card to the front.
The ForteTools add lots of configuration options and works with the older tools and other Raspberry Pis (PiTools).
Sidekick was introduced at last Wakefield show. It is a tiny Windows machine which can be used by RISC OS for Uniprint and provide other features. Windows can be accessed by VNC.
Riscubes are still very popular for running Windows and RISC OS under emulation.
Pi Board is developed but on pause until the parts become generally available.
Some PineBook Pro models may be available from July. Benchmarks show it is slightly quicker than other RISC OS hardware.
Lockscreen provides and easy way to password protect screen and is part of PiTools/Forte tools or standalone.
Switching hats to RISC OS Developments....
Iris is still in beta. You can get via store as OBrowse and will be freely available in due course. Using ramdisk gives a performance boost.
Pleased to see The Icon Bar used to show speed compared to Netsurf!
Bookmarking has been tidied up and now support folders.
TCP/IP stack in now available from website (and being used in demo). Wifi is in development.
Pinboard 2 is in beta. Drop Andrew and email if you would like a copy to test. Adds lots of additional features to Pinboard such as saving file to desktop. Links to applications can have aliases and background can be a Vector graphic. Sticky notes on desktop.
Discussion on RISC OS Direct release and target as collated released for new and returning users. Hopefully a new release over summer.
Working with Gerph on standardising documentation on RISC OS as XML.
Keen to preserve and release existing applications. Impression and LanMan98 on !Store. Some others hopefully in the work. Keen to curate any other software out there to keep it going.
Grand Plan is ROD solution to future of RISC OS platform. Iris fills gap of browser. Working towards Wifi. Need development tools and documentation. Big challenges still ahead include 64 bit support.
Steve Reville had a presentation about RISC OS, starting with its purpose - "safeguarding the past, present and future of RISC OS for everyone". It is run by volunteers in spare time.
Setup in 2006 and mission then to Open Source code of the OS. Shared Source and then Apache licence. ROOL site provides the active hub for the Community. Bounty scheme raises money to fund developments in OS. 6 stable releases of RISC OS so far. NutPi/ePic commercial bundles. Updated lots of documentation and published new versions. Released new and much cheaper DDE tools.
There is a nightly build of RISC OS. Source code is on gitlab.riscosopen.org
RISC OS 5.30 is on way, hopefully late summer/early Autumn.
Work on ABC Compiler to use native hardware acceleration for its Maths operations, making it much faster for floating point.
New Toolbox widgets - Treeview and Tabs - being added into core OS.
Work on updating network stack.
Native git client for RISC OS and working on GUI RISC OS client.
6 key items for future:-
1. Multiple monitor support.
2. Enhancements to BBC BASIC (ie structured datatypes).
3. Larger memory support.
4. Multi-core processing.
5. Vector Floating point
6. 64 bit support
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The Icon Bar: News and features: Midlands Virtual Midsummer MUG Show 2022 Talks