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CAMiLEON: Emulation and BBC Domesday
CAMiLEON: Emulation and BBC Domesday
The BBC Domesday project was created to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the 1086 Domesday book, but is now in danger of being lost through technological obsolescence.
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Article archives

Installing the new ROM release for your Titanium

Posted by Mark Stephens on 10:23, 22/7/2017 | , ,
 
Elesar emailed all its clients and announced on the newsgroups that there was a new software update for the Titanium. In this article we will download and install it with a sequel to look at the new features.
 
As well as the 'vanilla' Titanium, CJEmicro's and R-Comp have systems based on the board. As my machine is from R-CompInfo, I checked with Andrew Rawnsley about whether it was a good idea to install or wait for an official update from them. R-Comp are indeed planning to do a proper machine-specific update once they had done their own testing. You can wait for them or you can use the new update. If you have a machine from CJEmicro's I would confirm their advice first.
 
If your Titanium is your critical work machine, you might want to wait a little while to let others test the upgrade (which is equally valid advice on new MacOS, Linux or Windows updates).
 
The Elesar download link actually takes you to a download page on the ROOL website where you have a choice of downloads, depending on how 'cutting edge' you would like to be. The bottom item is the recommended stable release and it is twice as big because it includes a second version of the ROM.
 


 
The official download is the 5 meg download which contains everything you need to upgrade your Titanium and a clear and helpful readme.
 


 
There is a potential risk for things to go wrong, so you are advised to make sure you have backups of all your data before you start (always a good idea to keep regular backups in any case!). Murphy's law generally means the more prepared you are the less likely things will go wrong...
 
Two versions of the new OS release are supplied, with and without zpp included. Which one you choose will be down to your personal preferences and the software you are using.
 
The actual upgrade consists of 3 steps:-
1. Update the software on your disk (using Merge to update !Boot with any changes).
2. Sanity check by soft loading the ROM on your machine using the softload obey file, just to make sure. If there are any issues, you can then revert back to the original with a quick reboot.
3. Use the FlashSQPI application to burn a new copy of the ROM onto your system. This can be a little time-consuming and should not be interrupted. Once it is done, you can reboot the machine.
 
Before you do any of this, it is worth reading the readme fully TWICE.
 
It is very easy to see if the machine has been updated.
 


 


 
You have an updated machine running the latest version of RISC OS for your machine. Next time we will look at what is new...
 
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Are the RISC OS show dates on your calendar?

Posted by Mark Stephens on 07:49, 21/7/2017 | ,
 
It may seem a long way off with the long summer holidays stretching out to there distant horizon, but September and October will come round all too quickly.
 
So here is a quick reminder to make sure you have notes the date for your diary...
 
London RISC OS Show will be on Saturday 28th October 2017 at its usual venue of St Giles Hotel - Feltham, London
 
It is easily accessible by both car and public transport.
 
All the major (and many minor players) in the RISC OS world attend (and generally run special offers and have new releases). So it is great place to see them, sample their wares and catch-up with other enthusiasts.
 
In recent years, we have seen some innovations at the RISC OS show with organisers setting up taxi shares, meet ups or lifts via the RISC OS newsgroups, websites or at the show. The Internet make finding other attending much easier, so don't leave it until the last minute this year. The summer will fly by...
 
There is a useful RISC OS Calendar page over at RISCOSitory which covers shows and also includes user group meetings if you are looking for (or organising) an event.
 
5 comments in the forums

Treasure trove of RISC OS games at JASPP site

Posted by Mark Stephens on 07:49, 14/7/2017 |
 
We try to flag up interesting sites you might have missed or are worth revisiting (let us know if you have any suggestions). In our previous item we reminded you about Exploring Mathematical shapes in RISC OS. This time it is all about games....
 
A wealth of games have been released for RISC OS machines over the year. Many of these games no longer run on modern hardware or have been in danger of being lost as the Companies who produced them have changed direction or disappeared.
 
The Archimedes Software Preservation Project has aimed to tackle both these issues. It has just announced the latest release of ADFFS (version 2.61). If you have been itching to run Zalaga or Moondash on your Pi, this is the release for you.
 
The software is free to download and use, and 65 of the support games can also be downloaded from links on the website.
 
Many of these games could have been lost and it is really great to see John Abbot bringing them back to life for the next generation.
 
Download ADFFS and games website
 
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New release of Cyborg from AMCOG games

Posted by Mark Stephens on 09:41, 7/7/2017 |
 
When we interviewed Tony from AMCOG games, he told us about his exciting plans for developing and enhancing new games.
 
So it is no surprise to see the release of Cyborg Second Edition. If you are looking for an Arcade action style game (think Cyberton), Cyborg has it all in 16 million colours on all RISC OS 4/5 machines including emulation. The game costs 9.99 pounds.
 
AMCOG has also done a lot of work on its free RDSP sound solution for RISC OS and Tony talks about this at recent shows. The game makes extensive use of this.
 
There is a youtube video showcasing the game on youtube
 
Game details are on the AMCOG website
 
If you already have the game, you can enjoy the new levels and Audio Visual enhancements with a free download from !Store
 
It is really great to see AMCOG providing quality new games for the RISC OS market.
 
1 comment in the forums

How popular are RISC OS sites online?

Posted by Mark Stephens on 07:07, 30/6/2017 | ,
 
Just as in life, there are lots of different ways of measuring and estimating popularity. Online one of the ways you can do this is to use a tool called Alexa. This gives sites a ranking based on how popular Alexa thinks the site is (so number 1 is google.com).
 
It is not an exact science (and it can be misrepresentative on some sites where Alexa has less data), but it is a useful 'guess'. So I typed in some RISC OS sites (and non-RISC OS sites which you may have heard of as a comparison) to get some numbers. Here is what Alexa reported for global rankings.....
 
apple.com 65
bbcbasic.co.uk 2,564,449
cjemicros.co.uk 3,463,770
drobe.co.uk 19,898,135
iconbar.com 3,913,170
linuxmint.com 4,450
netsurf-browser.org 1,165,775
osnews.com 114,759
orpheusinternet.co.uk 17,233,044
raspberrypi.org 3,186
riscos.com 2,866,998
riscos.org 9,126,309
riscository.com 11,268,284
riscosopen.org 366,518
stardot.org.uk 827,545 (41,450 in just uK)
ubuntu.com 1,493
xara.com 88,840
 
It is not a total surprise that ROOL is easily the top RISC OS site I could find. We have some work to do with Iconbar (as do the RISC OS vendors if they want to grow their sales online).
 
What do you make of the numbers?
 
Weblink to lookup a website on Alexa.
 
12 comments in the forums

RISC OS software to download from !PackMan

Posted by Mark Stephens on 07:00, 23/6/2017 | ,
 
In a previous article we looked at !PackMan and !Store. In this article we are going to highlight some of the software available in !PackMan and ask for your suggestions.
 
When you run !PackMan, it offers you a long list of files (with some nice category and filter options). You can see these in the screenshots below (click on the images for the full sized versions).
 
When you choose a program it brings up a window with lots of information, including more details, version numbers and dependencies (which it will generally handle for you automatically of tell you of any clashes. Here you can see I am installing the Povray ray tracing program which allows you to design and render 3D scenes.
 


 
!PackMan provides a home (and central repository) for many established RISC OS programs and, as a bonus, an easy way to update if new versions are released. !Nettle offers a terminal program for RISC OS, which is still (even in 2017) a very convenient way to access remote systems. You also have OpenSHH as an alternative option. You can also see a whole host of other applications available such as Rsync, FTPc and even other web browsers to try (I would recommend a really fast machine for those).
 


 
If you want to indulge in some nostalgia, there is a selection of emulators - upgrade your RISC OS machine to a Spectrum class machine today!
 


 
There are some good tools on other platforms which you may miss on RISC OS. My personal favourites of Bash and Grep are available as ports.
 


 
!PackMan is not just about software programs. You will find free fonts on to download including these excellent BitStream fonts.
 


 
That is a small selection of some of the gems you will find on !PackMan. In a future article, we will have a rummage around !Store. In the meantime, what are your favourite applications or recommendations on !PackMan?
 
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Elesar updates Font Directory Pro to 3.21

Posted by Mark Stephens on 07:44, 16/6/2017 | ,
 
Given the 12 years between the last 2 releases of Font Directory Pro, an update 6 months after the last release is really good news. Previously, this very slick Font Manager from LookSystems languished until adopted by Elesar.
 
This release moves the release from 3.20 to 3.21 so it is an incremental update. The only 'new feature' on the changelist is enhanced help text in Choices and there are 5 bug fixes.
 
The software comes with a slick installer application and was automatically mailed to all registered users. You will need your application key to update the software. It would have been nice to be able to just drag the software on have it updated (as we have got used to with packages like !Ovation).
 
Elesar are still asking for user ideas for future improvements and the appearance of an new version so soon should give us all encouragement for a bright future for this great piece of software.
 
Elesar website
 
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Disappearing websites

Posted by Mark Stephens on 07:38, 9/6/2017 | ,
 
In the last few weeks some websites of interested to RISC OS users have disappeared.
 
riscoscode.com used to be great list of interesting snippets from the RISC OS and software world in general selected by Martin Hansen. It now returns a domain expired blank page, although the twitter account is still online. It also looks like piLEARN and Mathmagical have also gone.
 
Another site which has dropped off the radar is the Pandaboard.org, which was the official home for the Panda. The Panda is still a great RISC OS machine, especially as a compact solution - I use mine at work as my secondary machine to my home Titanium.
 
Even if these sites are not being updated, this is a loss because they contain lots of useful content is lost and the search links all break.
 
There are still ways to see these sites (here is an old version of riscoscode). But these version are not always the latest and the links across the internet (and for search are broken).
 
It does not have to be this way. The old Computer Concepts page has been kept up on there internet by Xara, riscos.org and all its links are still online, APDL has a new home, and we host several sites on iconbar.
 
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What development tools do we need ported to RISC OS

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Latest Drag'n'Drop magazine reviewed

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What software updates would like to see at the next show?

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Archive 24.3 Review

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RC15 bring RISC OS to any Raspberry Pi

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Acorn World Sat 13th - Sunday 14th May

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Recent discussions
- Are the RISC OS show dates on your calendar? (News:5)
- Installing the new ROM release for your Titanium (News:)
- AMCS free versions are live! (Gen:10)
- Treasure trove of RISC OS games at JASPP site (News:)
- How popular are RISC OS sites online? (News:12)
- New release of Cyborg from AMCOG games (News:1)
- What development tools do we need ported to RISC OS (News:7)
- Elesar brings back Font Directory Pro for modern machines (News:9)
- Elesar updates Font Directory Pro to 3.21 (News:)
- RISCOS software to download from !PackMan (News:)
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