If you need more detailed information about a small selection of Wakefield Show exhibitors and their wares than is provided in Mark Stephens’ show report and pictures on the Icon Bar website, but can’t wait for the usual RISCOSitory show report and videos, Ruth Gunstone has stepped in to fill in the gap. Ruth is a member of the Wakefield RISC OS Computer Club and, along with Peter Richmond, looks after the show theatre – and has now uploaded her recordings of the various talks to Youtube:
It’s just another Manic Miner (woah-ooh-woah)
Thanks to the efforts of Rob Sprowson, there is a new version of classic game Manic Miner available, benefiting from fixes that allow it to be run on both 26-bit and 32-bit RISC OS computers, up to and including the ARMv8 Raspberry Pi1.
Dating back to the early 1980s, Manic Miner is a platform game featuring twenty increasingly difficult levels, and was responsible for plenty of wasted time (and in my case, missed games lessons at school – although it wasn’t the only game that contributed to that!)
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.
Hardware, of course, includes the Titanium motherboard, designed from the outset with RISC OS in mind, while software includes Elesar’s own CloudFS and LOOKSystems’ Font Directory Pro.
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.
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.
Following the release of a new version of Font Directory Pro in March, having taken over development of the product from LOOKsystems, Elesar Ltd has made available a maintenance update free of charge to those people using version 3.20 of the software.
Font Directory Pro is a boon for those RISC OS users with a hefty font collection, being designed to make managing those fonts – and therefore finding the right one amongst them – much, much easier. The software is actually a suite of six applications – Fonts, Viewer, Choices, Filer, Access, and Reset – that together allow you to:
Taking place on Wednesday, 3rd May, the next meeting of the Wakefield RISC OS Computer Club will see Rob Sprowson as the guest speaker. The man behind Elesar Ltd and the Titanium motherboard, Rob will be demonstrating a Titanium-based computer and talking about its development.
Elesar also has a growing range of software titles, both home-grown such as CloudFS, and taken over and updated from a previous owner, such as Font Directory Pro (originally from LOOKsystems).
With the last couple of months having been somewhat busy here in the bunker, I’ve not yet had time to write a Southwest Show report – indeed, it is only just over a week ago that I was finally able to sit down and watch the four talks given at the show, which I was able to capture with my video camera on the day.
Following that, I was able to devote some time over the Easter weekend to doing a little editing work on them, before uploading the results to YouTube – and that’s now done, so here they are:
Elesar Ltd is once again offering a ‘click and collect’ service for the Wakefield Show, with RISC OS Open Logistics transporting any goods ordered under the scheme for collection by punters at the event. To take advantage of the scheme, you simply need to select the relevant shipping method when ordering; it should say something to the effect of “Pick up from Wakefield Show”
Elesar’s Rob Sprowson informs me that the cut off time is likely to be noon on Friday, giving RISC OS Open “time to battle the Cambridge traffic before heading North for the show set up.”