Snippets – 26th August, 2016

Round up, round up; news in a very late style. (That was what China Crisis sang, wasn’t it?)

The bunker has been engulfed in chaos for quite a while – with a heavy workload leading to a period of hectic and frantic headless chicken impersonations. On top of that, a partial change of platforms has been undertaken, with some work being migrated from Windows (grr, spit, hiss) to Linux – and being completely new to Linux, that has meant adding a bit of self-education into the mix, not to mention that the installation didn’t go entirely smoothly!

However, today there is a brief lapse in the chaos, so how about a round-up of some news over the several months that wasn’t dealt with as individual items?

VNC Server update

Back in April, Jeffrey Lee made an updated VNC Server available for download – and since then it’s been updated a few more times, with the latest being version 0.16. The updates include a number of bugfixes, miscellaneous tidying and performance improvements, along with the addition of clipboard support.

The software, which is supplied with full source code, is a “virtual network computing” server, which allows the user to see and use the computer on which it is running from another computer running suitable client software.

Really Small Overhaul

Richard Windley has redesigned The Really Small Software Company website, and has started the process of updating the software found on the site – of which, he says most has been tested against RISC OS 5 and 6 using RPCEmu and VirtualRiscPC, with further testing on the Raspberry pi still to be done.

ArcEm updated for Raspberry Pi 3

Following a discussion on the RISC OS Open forums about what was preventing it running on a Raspberry Pi 3, Archimedes emulator ArcEm – which provides a way to play old RISC OS games on modern hardware – has been recompiled by Chris Gransden, with the new build [zip] using the Raspberry Pi 3 compatible version of UnixLib.

PipeDream updates

As well as updating Fireworkz and Fireworkz Pro to version 2.10, Stuart Swales has also done a little work on the software’s older sibling, PipeDream, with versions 4.55.01, 4.55.02 and 4.55.03 being released in July, and 4.55.04 at the beginning of August. The updates include a number of minor bugs fixed and cosmetic changes.

Stuart has also uploaded two additional applications that used to be included on the PipeDream ‘Examples’ disc when it was supplied on floppy:

  • PD_Impress, which is a PipeDream to Impression DDF conversion application.
  • Z88, which allows files to be transferred to/from a Z88 computer using its PC-Link – but note that this is merely a shall application that loads a module, and that module is 26-bit only.

Both are available from the PipeDream downloads page, near the bottom under “Items of historical interest”.

DigitalCD updated

After a couple of quiet years, DigitalCD has seen a number of updates over the last couple of months, with André Timmermans releasing version 3.08 in May, some minor fixes, then version 3.09 in June.

The full version history since 2.50 is detailed on André’s DigitalCD website, but the list of 3.08 specific changes include the ability to edit and save M3U/PLS (playlist) files, renaming items in lists after an Alt-click, loading M3U/PLS files dropped onto the icon bar, and more – as well as a number of bug fixes.

RISC OS FR’s contest winners

Back in April, after first pre-announcing the announcement, David Feugey announced an open ended competition to be run through the RISC OS FR website. With Raspberry Pi Model B up for grabs, complete with a bootable RISC OS SD card, the task was to share an idea, a resource, or just come up with something creative.

Since then, David has announced a small clutch of winners:

  • Clive Semmens, for guessing what the pre-announced announcement would be announcing.
  • Gavin Wraith, for a topological puzzle called Tangle.
  • John Gale, for setting up a collection of educational titles to run in RISC OS Pico.
  • Eric Safar, who will be using his prize to port point and click game Athanor 2 to RISC OS.
  • Tony Bartram, who is working on a RISC OS synthesiser/sound engine.
  • Chris Wraight, who is working on a new version of Othello.
Ovation (not Pro) gets updated to 1.55RM

With the RM suffix referring to Rick Murray, the Englishman in New York France has released an updated version of Ovation, David Pilling’s DTP predecessor to Ovation Pro.

The new version brings with it the ability to use the cursor keys for frame positioning, support for 256 colour sprites with 256 colour palettes – and support for frame colours appearing correctly in screen modes with 64K/16M colours.

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