Nov 232011

Martin Hansen of The MathMagical Software Company has unveiled a new website, called piLEARN. The main thinking behind the site is for it to be a starting point for those people who wish to try out RISC OS on the ARM based Raspberry Pi computer, due to be launched in the next few weeks. He also hopes to have additional material and resources available from the site, with education being an obvious focus since the Raspberry Pi has been intended from the the outset to as a device on which kids can learn to program and Martin, as well as being a programmer himself, has taught mathematics for over twenty years – not to mention the obvious historical connection between RISC OS and education. Continue reading »

Oct 092011

Pi in the sky – or, at least, near Heathrow Airport

For those interested in the Raspberry Pi, the RISC OS London Show (29th October, 2011, St Giles Hotel, Feltham) will be well worth a visit, since the tiny, low cost computer is set to make an appearance. It’s not known at this stage if it will be running RISC OS by the time of the show, but it seems likely that it will be on the RISC OS Open Ltd stand, judging by comments in their forum.

Speaking of the Raspberry Pi, in my Snippets post of 6th August I mentioned a logo competition. Well, that competition is now closed and an excellent winning design chosen.

There’s gold in them there web pages

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Aug 062011

Dorian Computing have made available from their website one updated and one new piece of software. Originally written by Philip Macfarlane in 1991 and “released into the public domain,” DragCom is an application designed to provide a desktop front-end for star commands, making it easier to specify arguments (often files) by allowing them to be dragged onto the main window. This not only reduces the potential for errors when typing the path and filename, but it also removes the need to repeatedly type it if a series of commands needs to be applied to it – you drag the file in once, then type each command into the relevant icon in turn, executing them as you go. There are other ways of achieving the same goal, for example by setting the commands in an obey file, but the WIMP front-end presented by DragCom might seem a more user-friendly approach to some, although it could be greatly improved – particularly in terms of compliance with the RISC OS Style Guide.

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Jan 302010

Updated 31/1/2010 with a fourth idea and altered to use a vector based acorn.

Updated 1/2/2010 with a new version of idea 4, but with better colours, and a few others.

Following the initial comments made earlier this week about the possibility of starting a new Bristol based RISC OS user group if there is enough interest, Trevor was able to find a copy of the old BARUG (Bristol Area RISC OS User Group) logo:

Bristol Area RISC OS User Group Logo

Bristol Area RISC OS User Group Logo

To my mind, there are a small number of issues with this. First and foremost, it’s a bitmap which means it can’t be easily re-sized (upwards) without a loss of quality. Somebody, somewhere probably does have it in a vector based format – but it matters not, because of the remaining issues. The second is that it uses the word “RISC” instead of “RISC OS” – the former term encompasses a great deal more than just RISC OS (although the flaw with both is their apparent exclusion of, say, 8bit users of old Acorn kit). And the third most obvious issue is the use of the acorns to represent the towers of the Clifton Suspension Bridge; representing the bridge encompasses a well known Bristol landmark in the design – which is great, given that it’s a Bristol based group – but the acorn is somewhat out of date in that it associates the group (and RISC OS) with Acorn Computers Ltd, who are long gone. There may also be trademark issues with the use of the acorn.

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