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Mar 152018
 

Yesterday was Pi Day, a name reflecting that if you write your dates in either Overpuddlian form (mm-dd-yyyy) or as specified by ISO 8601 (yyyy-mm-dd) – in both cases ignoring the year – you get 3-14, which sort of looks like Pi to two decimal places if you squint a bit so that the dash looks like a decimal point. A fitting day, then, for the Raspberry Pi Foundation to release another version of its credit card-sized computer: A ‘+’ version of the Raspberry Pi 3 model B.

The most notable change for day to day use are that while the Pi 3B+ sports the same processor as the Pi 3, the ARM Cortex-A53, it’s running at a higher speed – 1.4GHz rather than 1.2GHz. Another notable change is that it also features Gigabit Ethernet over USB 2.0,  compared with the previous 100 megabit, support for power over ethernet (via a separate HAT device). Hopefully, RISC OS will soon be updated so that it can be used on the new Pi.

Jun 112016
 

PackMan iconAlan Buckley has released a new version of PackMan, a package manager designed to work with packages distributed via the RISC OS Packaging Project. The main reason for the update is compatibility with the Raspberry Pi 3 – although an existing bug has also been squashed, whereby it wasn’t possible to exit the application when first run without installing the ‘Packages’ directory. Continue reading »

Apr 172018
 

Or whisper. It’s your choice, and under your control!

Jon Abbott, taking a break from making old games work via ADFFS as part of the Archimedes Software Preservation Project, has released a new version of pi-topUtils. The software provides things like a battery level indicator, screen dimming (which helps preserve battery life), automatic shutdown, and so on.

The new version – 1.04, which is for the original pi-top only, not the pi-top2 – adds support for (and control of) the speaker in the Raspberry Pi-based laptop, initialising them and allowing the volume to be adjusted via the mute and volume up/down keys on the pi-top keyboard.

Jan 132018
 

A round-up of 2017 news that could have been reported on at the time if people had only sent it this way!

With 2017 now behind us, looking back over the RISCOSitory posts for the year might leave people thinking there has been very little activity in the RISC OS world – but in fact it merely means there have been very few posts on the site over the course of the year. This, sadly, is a reflection of the amount of news submitted to RISCOSitory by developers etc, more than anything else, with their news being posted elsewhere.

So, over the last few weeks, I’ve been scouring forums and feeds that have gone unread due to a lack of spare time, and where something has jumped out at me as something I might have reported on, I’ve rounded it up in the snippets post below. Continue reading »

Dec 022017
 

If you are designing or developing a piece of hardware and need to use a microcontroller, you will need a way to program it. There are many tools to do this available for other platforms (x86 in particular) – but there is also a solution for RISC OS users in the form of Rob Sprowson’s PIC suite.

PIC Suite is a set of applications that make it possible to develop for Microchip’s range of 8-bit PIC microcontrollers, and it has reached its 20th birthday. To coincide with this, Rob has just released an update for the suite, adding a greater range of supported devices, which now stands at 110. Continue reading »

Oct 302017
 

The Wakefield RISC OS Computer Club will next meet on Wednesday, 1st November, at 7:45pm, when Ruth Gunstone will be the group’s speaker, covering the use of a Raspberry Pi as a Network Attached Storage device, and as a media player. The meeting is free for members, and a mere £3.00 for guests, and takes place at:

West Yorkshire Sports and Social Club,
Sandal Hall Close,
Off Walton Lane,
Wakefield,
West Yorkshire,
WF2 6ER.
Oct 272017
 

Hats off to Elesar – and on to the Raspberry Pi, since this is a HAT!

Details are now available about Elesar Ltd‘s mystery product that was expected to be launched at the London Show – the S&P HAT for the Raspberry Pi. A HAT is a standard for Raspberry Pi expansion boards, and is an acronym that expands to ‘Hardware Attached on Top’, while the S&P part comes from Elesar, and stands for ‘Serial and Parallel’. In other words, it’s an add-on board for the Pi that provides the credit card sized computer with two additional ways to connect external devices – a 25 pin parallel port, and a 9 pin RS232 serial port.

The card is priced at £38.40 including VAT, with postage on top – but until noon today, you have the option of ordering it for collection at the London Show if you’re planning a visit, along with anything else Elesar sells (and currently has in stock).

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 »

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 »