Aug 142017
 

SmallyMouse2 logoModern RISC OS systems tend to come equipped with a number of USB ports, one of which is normally used to connect the mouse to the computer.

However, this wasn’t always the case – USB was first introduced in the mid-1990s, and the Acorn Archimedes first appeared in 1987; Acorn didn’t have the option of USB, and instead designed the Archimedes, RiscPC, and all the variants, to use a quadrature mouse.

The BBC Micro, of course, is an older computer again and in its case, if you had a mouse, it was probably connected via the user port. Continue reading »

 August 14, 2017  Posted by  Hardware Tagged with: , , ,
Aug 112017
 

The latest Icon Bar Interview was published this morning, featuring Orpheus Internet‘s Richard Brown as the interviewee. Richard, as everyone should know by now, teams up with R-Comp‘s Andrew Rawnsley to form the Dynamic Duo that organises the RISC OS Southwest Show – the first main RISC OS show in the calendar year.

And in that interview, Richard revealed the date of the 2018 event as Saturday, 24th February – again in the Webbington Hotel, located on the edge of the Mendip Hills between Bristol and Weston-Super-Mare. That’s about six and a half months away – so plenty of time to get yourselves sorted and make the necessary arrangements to come to the show and support it and everyone involved.

Don’t forget, RISCOSitory now hosts a shows and events mailing list, which you can use to discuss anything to do with this and other shows – including discussing and making arrangements for combined travel, if you need to.

 August 11, 2017  Posted by  Shows Tagged with: , , ,
Aug 032017
 

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No… it’s Supersprow! (Imagine there’s exciting music here!)

Earlier this year, the Piccolo Systems website became the victim of hacking/hijacking, with the site as we knew it vanishing, apparently to be replaced by one providing a home to malware. Ben Avison is reported to have said he was aware of the issue, but working out how best to bring the site back online was taking time – and this all happened at a bad time, because of a house move.

Any sign of the malicious software has now been removed – though some browsers may still warn visitors that the site is a “reported attack page” – and the site declares itself as down for maintenance. Continue reading »

 August 3, 2017  Posted by  Software Tagged with: , , , , ,
Aug 022017
 

Last month it was usual time, different place – will both differ next month?

The Southampton RISC OS Users Group will be holding it’s next meeting on Wednesday (oops…) Tuesday, 8th August – in the usual venue, but not at the usual time.

The group normally meets in the Itchen College Sports Centre (unless pesky student exhibitions dictate otherwise) at around 7:00pm, but this month the meeting is scheduled for 6:45pm – and while the meetings usually run until 9:00pm, this one is scheduled to end at 8:30pm. Continue reading »

 August 2, 2017  Posted by  User groups Tagged with: , , ,
Jul 302017
 

Richard Ashbery has struck again – and again – and uploaded two more videos to YouTube.

The graphics output of Danish programmer Jan Vibe, which used to feature regularly in the pages (and cover discs) of Acorn User magazine, were always a delight to behold – but these programs were written to run on the RISC OS computers of the time, designed with the type of displays in mind that we typically used with them, and the resolutions and colour depths that the machines could cope with.

Richard Ashbery – who publishes an Artworks graphic of the month on his ‘Artworks art works’ website – has spent some time exploring Jan’s code and updating the programs to run at 1920×1080 on his Raspberry Pi, then recording the output and uploading the resulting videos to YouTube. Continue reading »

 July 30, 2017  Posted by  Misc Tagged with: , , ,
Jul 302017
 

I had no idea computers contained fat or sugar – but this one definitely doesn’t!

RaspberryRO Lite case

RaspberryRO Lite case

Putting on his 4D hat, Chris Evans has introduced a new computer in the RaspberryRO range, this one given the ‘Lite’ suffix.

The RaspberryRO Lite takes the form of a Raspberry Pi (but you probably guessed that from the name) in a ‘nano’ desktop case, Continue reading »

 July 30, 2017  Posted by  Hardware Tagged with: , , , ,
Jul 202017
 

Elesar Ltd has made available a new release candidate ROM1 for Titanium-based systems, this being number five – known amongst family and friends as RC5 – and while there are a number of changes in the update, the headline feature is that it brings with it support for 256 colour screen modes.

Anybody thinking in practical terms, and who therefore uses their computer for practical things, might miss one of the key points of this – and that key point is FUN! While a ‘true colour’ screen mode might be the norm these days for desktop use, where words might be processed, photos might be shopped2, and desktops might be published3, things were not always so. Continue reading »

 July 20, 2017  Posted by  Software Tagged with: , ,
Jul 132017
 

Standing firm on this stony ground1.

It was brought to my attention via Twitter last night that Orpheus Internet Services Ltd – the company originally set up by Paul Vigay back in 2005 to take on the customers of ISP ArgoNET – has been dissolved by way of a compulsory strike-off. However, while that may seem bad at first glance, all is not what it seems.

I spoke to Richard Brown today, and he confirmed that while he took over the company after the unfortunate death of Paul Vigay back in 2009, the ISP business was actually transitioned over to Richard’s other, older company, GeneSys Developments Ltd at an early stage – so all of the ISP customers have actually been customers of GeneSys for quite some time. Continue reading »

 July 13, 2017  Posted by  News Tagged with: , , ,
Jul 132017
 

If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at writing games, but you’re unsure how to go about it, then attending the next RISC OS User Group of London meeting on Monday, 17th July, might not be a bad start – because Tony Bartram of AMCOG Games will be the group’s guest speaker for the evening, talking about the AMCOG Development Kit.

While it can’t take care of the most difficult part of game development – coming up with the initial idea – the Kit is designed to make game development extremely simple. It comes with libraries to cover core areas such as screen plotting, screen transitions, MP3 playback, sound, and so on, as well as a selection of game sprites, music tracks and sound samples to get you going. Continue reading »