Stuart Swales talks to ROUGOL about programming for Acorn and Colton – 21st September

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Stuart Swales will be the guest speaker at the next RISC OS User Group of London (ROUGOL) meeting, talking about his long history of programming for Acorn and RISC OS Computers.

That history begins in the 8-bit era, when Stuart worked for Acornsoft, developing for the BBC Micro, with a focus on languages, before moving over to the 32-bit platform as part of the team that produced Arthur – the first incarnation of Acorn’s operating system that became RISC OS – for the Archimedes range of computers, running on their new ARM processors.

From Acorn, Stuart went on to become lead programmer at Colton Software, who produced PipeDream, an integrated business software package that itself also had origins in the 8-bit period in the form of View Professional for the BBC Micro (and latterly also under the name PipeDream for the Cambridge Computer Z88).

While PipeDream offered the three core functions of word processing, spreadsheets, and database in a very integrated manner, it was followed by another product from Colton Software that made those core functions more distinct, while still integrated – Fireworkz (without the database) and Fireworkz Pro (with).

Both PipeDream and Fireworkz are still maintained by Stuart, as free, open source applications (and there’s a version of Fireworkz for Windows, which also works on Linux under WINE), and Fireworkz Pro continues to be sold as a commercial product through R-Comp.

Stuart will be joining ROUGOL via Zoom from Croftnuisk, his cottage in the Heart of Scotland – so, once again, anyone who has a computer (or tablet, or phone) on which they can run the Zoom client is welcome to attend. All you need to do is contact ROUGOL in plenty of time so that an access link can be sent to you on the day.

And that day is Monday, 21st September – the talk should begin at 7:45pm, with the Zoom meeting ‘open’ so that people can join it from 7:30pm.

Looking ahead, on 19th October Jason Tribbeck will be talking to the group on the topic of Audio Matters, and on 16th November Gerph will be talking about Building RISC OS Online.