All the talks our online, so this year I will just summarise the key points on the talks I was able to attend.
Rob reminded us about the Amcog games collections.
Prophet has had lots of updates including new 262 page manual. It can make HMRC returns directly online (MTD). There was a nice mini-tutorial on VAT submission and HMRC recognises Elesar for tax submissions. Nice comparison of costs versus Xero and Sage which are both monthly.
Elesar offers a HAT for RaspberryPi which offers serial and parallel ports.
Elesar has a PIC controller as well - nice traffic lights demo.
Reminder of Debian update to Buster for Titanium.
Stefan explained the aims of the Cloverleaf project (promote worldwide usage, update software, provide hardware, form a brand to represent RISC OS).
He ran through what he saw as the strengths of RISC OS (power consumption, ease of use, etc) and weaknesses (lack of drivers, need to update OS, etc).
There is also a need for new programs which lead to ChatCube messaging application.
Work is ongoing on new image application which will use multi-core module from Jeffrey Lee.
Crowd funding project will start 1st November.
Lots of other ways to help support including writing documentation, spreading the word, joining the development.
Aim is to raise 100,000 Euros from hardware and kickstarter
In the questions afterwards, there was lots of discussion on co-ordinating efforts to update and promote RISC OS.
Software Preservation, Phil Pemberton
Phil introduced ABUG, told us about software preservation and how we can help.
ABUG (Acorn and BBC user group) was founded by users of Stardom forums.
Recently been able to release the BBC micros source code and 65Host/65Tube emulator thanks to help from members of the Community.
Big aim to provide a way to access software in a single, easy to access form. Identify what is out there and mirror.
Also scanning manuals, key strips and other related materials as well as software.
There is often 'cleaning' up to be done before adding to the archive (ie remove copy protection, fix damaged disk images if possible, remove any personal data, etc.
There is limited time for material on floppies/CDs as do not last forever.
JASPP and ADFFS focussed primarily on games. No major effort for non-games software until now.
The stardot team are looking to the Community for any old disks, materials, etc - they have the tools to hopefully extract the data.
In the questions afterwards, John Cartmell said he would post permission for all copies of RISC OS magazines for which Qercus has the copyright.
RISC OS Developments Ltd
Andrew Rawnsley provided an update on the RISC OS browser with a demo of Iris.
This was followed by a demo of the new Pinboard application. This includes some nice enhancements including sticky notes, watermarks and autosaving on shutdown.
There is a new RISC OS TCP/IP stack. This is still a work in progress for a commercial client which should feed back into RISC OS. The current version is from the 1990s.
LanMan98 is being open-sourced.
Python 3 is nearing release status and beta release already available.
Last item to discuss was the issue of 64 bit for RISC OS as 32 bit chips will disappear. There are major changes in 64 bit architecture and options are being explored.
In answer to questions, there may be a RISC OS browser release in 2020.
Switching hats, Andrew announced a brand new computer called 4te. This has a nice RISC OS Developments themed box. You can see the details on the website. It is a lower price system (around 200 pound mark). It is based around a RapberryPi 4.
There is a second new system called Tix/Duet (let Andrew know which name you prefer) which includes 2 separate subsystems for Windows and RISC OS. There is shared storage for easy file sharing. The box contains 2 boards and 2 screen outputs and the machines can share displays with each other via VNC.
Armbooks are still available in limited qualities.
There is a new generation of the RISCube mini Windows machines which provide RISC OS under emulation.
100 pound price reduction for ARMX6.
New release of Fireworkz Pro (now version 2.30). Headline feature is ability to edit Fireworkz files embedded in other programs (there was a demo in TechWriter). Sum function offers not just total but Average and other functions. Add and remove rows has been enhanced. it is available now on Plingstore.
University of Cantabria
David recapped on the reasons for development of !UCDebug, the issues developing it and how it works. It does not currently support the RaspberryPi 4.
Software is Open Source and available on GitHub.
RISC OS Bits
Andy was showing off his wide range of boxes for RaspberryPi boards with imaginative (or dubious) names.
The Thorin is a box with an oak veneer.
SlimJim is named after the late Jim Nagel and is a clear box. It is ideal for a simple media Centre.
Disq and Ghostly are very colourful boxes which will remind you of 1980s Arcade style monsters.
Pi Hard has been updated for Pi 4 models and integrates a 2.5 inch SSD (2, 4 or 8 gig).
Pi_Llok Ace has been improved with better ventilation.
The PiPod has also been updated for Pi 4.
There were some special offers on some second hand machines, discounts on PIRO starter kits and a special promotion code in this months Archive magazine!
RISC OS Open Ltd
Steve (and Rob) gave us an update on progress at ROOL.
Despite a crazy year, a lot has been achieved.
The bounty scheme continues to fund developments. Since 2011 it has raise over 68,000 pounds. To date, 7 major items completed, 3 in progress and 6 open for your donations.
This year has seen improvements to Paint, File Systems and PNG export to image.
5.28 had been slightly delayed by 'events' and the extra time to get it stable on the RaspberryPi 4.
336 improvements, 24 bug tickets fixed, 6 out of 8 platforms passed stable release criteria. 90 hours work to create a release. 4 bounties included. RISC OS now properly supports RaspberryPi 4.
There was a nice demo showing improvements to Paint, copy/paste and pasting into Draw. Paint and Draw now have choices for setting up. Maestro has also had some attention with a style guide compliant interface.
There will be new edition of the User Guide for 5.28
DDE Issue 30 provides an enhanced ABC compiler and C compiler.
Future plans include ideas for multi-core support, multiple monitor support, improvements to BBC BASIC and ideas for 64 bit support.
Sine Nomine Software
Matthew started with a quick review of software offered by Sine Nomine including Impact and games, before focussing on RiscOSM (and Recce plugin).
Matthew provided a demo on RiscOSM in action including features in the new version.
The tracing tool now understands one way streets.
RiscOSM includes several online services such including looking up addresses and fetching photographs.
Lots of other data can be overlaid over maps - Matthew showed traffic accidents and planning applications.
New integrations include Weather data and Mapillary photos.
Unfortunately I had to leave after this talk and missed the doubtless excellent talks from
Steve Fryatt and Soft Rock Software / RISCOSitory which are available to watch online.
I was told later that Steve Fryatt talked about:
* Making productive use of his furlough time
* Updating IcnClipBrd, WinEd, Locate2, CashBook
* His excellent Wimp programming tutorial