With the pandemic still an ongoing problem, though seemingly tailing off for now, and the UK lockdown still mostly in place, another RISC OS user group has opted to explore the use of Zoom to hold their meetings online: The RISC OS User Group of London (ROUGOL) will hold its first virtual meeting on Monday, 15th June.
The guest speaker will be Tony Cheal, who wrote a number of RISC OS applications while he was the tea boy at Ace Computing.
Wait! What? Tea boy?
Well, that’s what he says on his LinkedIn profile!
Users of RISC OS in that period would almost certainly have been aware of Tony’s work, even if they weren’t aware of him or didn’t use his software – because that software could be used to produce Ace Film files, and these could themselves be used elsewhere. Animations in that format could be replayed using Ace Computing’s own Projector application, or be used in other multi-media presentations, and even documentation.
One application developed by Tony that could produce Ace Film files was Mogul; this produced the animations from Euclid files – and Euclid was a 3D design tool, also developed by Tony. Another was ArcLight, which could take Euclid or Ace Film files and produced ray-traced versions. Splice was another of his applications, and this allowed sprites or films to be imported so that individual frames could be edited.
Each of Tony’s programs followed the standard RISC OS style guide and design philosophy, with each of them performing their own primary task, and each able to use and build on the work produced in others – not just the other applications he produced, but also other RISC OS software, including the ‘ROM’ applications Paint and Draw. Tween, for example, was another of Tony’s developments, and that could take two Draw files – one representing the start, and the other the end, to work out the frames that would sit between them to produce an animated metamorphosis from one to the other.
If you want to hear Tony talking about the history of Ace Computing and the development of his applications, you need to head for
The Duke of Su… your nearest device on which Zoom is (or can be) installed, and log in to the meeting on the 15th from 7:30pm; the talk itself should begin at 7:45pm. You will need to contact ROUGOL, and you will be emailed a link to the meeting on the day.