Snippets (mixed news)

Snippets – 9th October 2011

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

Following the recent news that PipeDream can be downloaded free of charge from the Abacus Training website, Gerald Fitton has followed this by making available the PipeLine, ZLine and ILine discs, all as free downloads. PipeLine, he explains, was a user group set up for users of PipeDream 3 (and later 4). Members received a quarterly floppy disc containing example files created with the software. A similar group was later formed for users of FireWorkz in the form of ZLine, and ILine was aimed at Impression Users. These three groups were later merged into one, called GoldLine. The relevant zip files can be downloaded from the GoldLine section of the website using the username ‘goldline‘ and the password ‘member‘.

Gerald informs me that after the news broke of PipeDream being made available for free, he did begin to receive emails from users of other platforms, on which the software wouldn’t run (although there was an older version of PipeDream that was available for DOS based PCs – but it seems likely that those who contacted Gerald were actually thinking of a game with a similar name). I’m sure many of us who develop for RISC OS must have experienced this – I know I have – so, although it’s ‘obvious’ to RISC OS users that anything mentioned on this site is likely to be aimed at that operating system (with the occasional exception – see below), for the benefit of users of other platforms who may have found themselves here, the files on that site are aimed at the RISC OS versions of the software.

FireWorkz…

The biggest problem faced by ARMini users (or would-be users) is one of software compatibility, a problem that IYONIX users were faced with almost ten years ago with the shift from 26 to 32 bits. With that in mind, it’s always pleasing to hear of another piece of software being made compatible with the newer hardware – so the good news is that following discussions behind the scenes, Andrew Rawnsley has a version of FireWorkz that can be run on the ARMini. He is able to distribute it, but can only do so to people who can show evidence of prior ownership – so get in touch with him if that includes you.

…Displays!

R-Comp now has more stock of televisions that are ‘ARMini-safe’ – able to provide the high screen resolutions the ARMini is capable of, at a suitable screen refresh rate. The smaller of the two displays is a 24” one with HDMI and VGA connections, which will allow you to connect both your ARMini and your older RISC OS computer, as well as component and SCART connections. These TVs, Andrew says, are “non-brand” (i.e. factory rebadged) but look good and handle all the ARMini screen modes he tried, right up to 1920×1200. Price is anticipated to be around £200 including delivery. The larger display is a “top end” 27” inch screen, with HDMI, DVI, VGA and DisplayPort connections. This monitor can cope with all the ARMini screen modes up to 1920×1080, and is ideal for someone with a larger desk. The expected final price for this is likely to be around £260.

As another possibility, if you can find one available anywhere, I use an LG Flatron M2262D, a 22” TV which is perfectly happy with the ARMini at 1920×1080 (which I use via the DVI connector, both HDMI connectors already being spoken for in my case).

Make a note in my diary, Brenda

Many RISC OS users also use one or more computers running a different operating system – and many RISC OS users run Organizer, to manage their contact data, appointments and so on. Thanks to Kevin Edwards, users of  Windows XP/Vista/7 and Mac OS 10.4 and above can now have a (free) personal organiser running on their other machines, but which is based on the familiar Organizer layout. At the moment, In My Diary contains a diary, address book with label printing, and a linked notes section, with anniversary and special day entries edited in a very similar way to Organizer.

And speaking of anniversaries…

Happy Birthday BBC BASIC!

According to Richard Russell, it was on October 1st, 2001 that BBC BASIC for Windows version 1.00a was released, which means it has just celebrated its 10th birthday – and he adds that this month also marks the thirtieth anniversary of the first version of BBC BASIC being committed to ROM in readiness for the BBC Micro‘s launch in early 1982. The thirtieth anniversary of the BBC Micro’s launch, therefore, falls early next year.

Update your bookmarks

The RISC OS Blog has had the builders in to create a new public entrance, having now acquired a domain name – its new front entrance can be found at www.riscosblog.co.uk.