The long-awaited release 3.14 (nice pun for Pi users) of !PhotoDesk arrived at the RISC OS London show and is now available as an upgrade from CJEmicros.
In his show talk at London Show, Chris Evans talked about the new release. This version has actually been put together by a new maintainer (although my understanding is that the usual Swiss maintainer is still active). So what's in the new release?
The headline feature is improved support for latest software/hardware. !PhotoDesk has been upgraded to allow for Zero Pain Protection and to run properly on the new hardware (it flies on my new Titanium and also now works properly on Panda, latest RaspberryPi3, ARMX6 and IPEGv5). I have been running !PhotDesk for 2 weeks now and I have had no issues (just an old favourite running on much zippier hardware).
In terms of new features, the developers have also improved JPEG support. JPEG is more of a family of filetypes (with lots of different versions). JPEG support has been an area where RISC OS has fallen behind, and it is good to see the platform catching-up. It is also a really good reason to move to the latest version of RISC OS 5, with the improved OS support for JPEG from the bounty scheme. You can read-up on JPEG in detail here.
The upgrade CD includes an !Install application which will install the software onto your machine directly. If you try to copy this to another machine, it will detect this and not run. The upgrade CD itself could do with little spring clean. It includes a copy of !Webster and there is no zipped copy of the !Install. This is a pain if you only have access to a CD on a non-RISC OS machine and want to copy it across.
The copy of !PhotoDesk on the Nut Pi card from ROOL is not the latest. In his London Show talk, Chris Evans suggested users should contact CJEmicros if they have an issue with latest release.
The upgrade costs 12 pounds, and you will need your CD or to proof of an existing license. If you bought it directly from CJEmicros, they have a customer database they may be able to look you up on. The price seems reasonable to me - with new chips and new video hardware/modes, this is a lot of fiddly work under the bonnet.
For users of the latest hardware or looking to run on the latest RISC OS releases this is an essential purchase. If you have an older machine, the improved JPEG support is nice to have and it is good to see continued support and development of this critical and much-loved software.
PhotoDesk resources on Iconbar