log in | register | forums
Show:
Go:
Welcome
The Icon Bar is the longest running RISC OS portal. The sensibilities that Acorn instilled in us still influence our interests and writing.

Buy swag
Got news?
Let us know!
Bob and Trev: Resurrection
Bob and Trev: Resurrection
A dystopian Acron roguelike written in 7 days and 32K
Subscriptions RSS Feeds
RSS 2.0 | 1.0 | 0.9
Atom 0.3
Misc RDF | CDF
Podcasts
Subscribe | iTunes | List
Latest MP3
Site Search
 
Article archives

Acorn Preservation Team want to help archive your old data before it's too late

Posted by Andrew Poole on 10:00, 8/3/2021 | , , , ,
 
Matthew Atkinson's Source DiscsThe need to preserve data from the BBC Micro days is becoming more and more urgent as time goes by since many of the discs are now well over 35 years old and many will be starting to degrade - if they haven't already. During this weekend's all-day ABug event, the Acorn Preservation Team gave an update on their recent project to recover the data from the original source code discs for several of Matthew Atkinson's games for the BBC Micro including Repton 3, UIM, Tempest and The Living Daylights.
 
The Acorn Preservation Team are also encouraging anyone who may have some old discs containing anything that is in need of recovery/preservation/archival to get in touch and loan the discs to them to help make sure the data isn't permanently lost. In particular, the team are interested in development discs containing sources, binaries, unreleased/missing/early versions of games and applications for both the BBC and RISC OS platforms.
 
In the case of Matthew Atkinson's discs, they were passed over to the Acorn Preservation Team a few weeks ago when they turned up here at TIB Towers after having been presumed lost by the author. It turned out that he'd in fact sent them to TIB back in the early 2000s where they were stored for the last fifteen years before turning up during a recent house move.
 
Once we'd sent the discs over to them, the Acorn Preservation Team set to work recovering the data contained within. This task wasn't entirely straightforward as some discs were showing the effect of their advancing age. One disc had damage that looked like it had seen an impact at some point in its life and sported a dent covering around 11 tracks of data. Despite this, the team were able to recover almost all of the data from the 22 disc set using a variety of methods including flux-level readings and analysing low level analogue signals from the discs. At the time of writing, only a handful of tracks from the dented disc remain to be recovered and are still being actively worked on. The data recovered so far has been provided back to Matthew Atkinson to have a look through and decide what he'd like to do with the soruces next.
 
A State of Flux talk
Phil Pemberton and Chris Evans talk about the process of recovering data from Matthew Atkinson's source discs at this weekend's ABug event

 
The ABug talk from the Acorn Preservation Team will be made available through both the ABug website and their new YouTube channel in the near future along with a talk by Matthew Atkinson himself on the history of his BBC Micro and Archimedes development days.
 
If you have any old discs in need of preservation, whether BBC Micro era or Archimedes/RISC OS, the Acorn Preservation Team urge you to get in touch via the Stardot forums or the Software Preservation channel in the Stardot Discord Server before it's too late and the data's gone forever.
 
Comment in the forums

Pass the time this Christmas with a selection of RISC OS and BBC Micro talks

Posted by Andrew Poole on 09:00, 26/12/2020 | , , , , , , ,
 
ABug logoWhat better way to spend your free time this Christmas while we're not allowed to go anywhere than to sit back, relax and enjoy some interesting presentations on a variety of Acorn and RISC OS topics?
 
Since 2014, ABug - the Acorn and BBC Micro User Group - have been holding regular events featuring talks on a wide range of topics relating to Acorn and RISC OS computers, both as in-person events and more recently as virtual events. We've selected a few of our favourites in this article, but the ABug website has a lot more talks available to choose from.
 
Continue reading "Pass the time this Christmas with a selection of RISC OS and BBC Micro talks" | 1 comment in the forums

Adventures in Optimisation - Walls

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 09:00, 25/5/2020 | ,
 
Continuing in my quest to optimise my RISC OS port of NBlood, I've recently been taking a look at the rendering code. Specifically, the top functions in my profiler's output: the vertical line drawing routines, which are used to draw walls and sprite-based entities.
 
 
Continue reading "Adventures in Optimisation - Walls" | 3 comments in the forums

Adventures in Optimisation - Audio mixing

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 09:00, 5/7/2019 | ,
 
Welcome to the first in a (very) infrequent series of articles about optimisation. In this article I'll be looking at audio mixing in C/C++ using GCC 4.7.4, running benchmarks of various routines and optimisations across multiple machines in order to work out what works well and what doesn't.
 
 
Continue reading "Adventures in Optimisation - Audio mixing" | 3 comments in the forums

David Pilling Treasure Trove

Posted by Mark Stephens on 07:02, 18/1/2019 | ,
 
If you are looking to learn about software, there is a treasure trove of source code and resources available on the Internet.
 
One of the more interesting resources is from David Pilling. He is something of a RISC OS legend (being behind OvationPro and many critical tools for RISC OS). His website lists his software and also includes several free utilities.
 
There is also an interesting section for 'retired' software here. Rather than just let the packages disappear, the source code is now available for all the ArcFax, Panorama, SparkFS and many other former commercial applications. Enjoy digging....
 
[Updated 18 January] Thanks to Sprow for pointing out SparkFS does not include source code
 
David Pilling website
 
Comment in the forums

PackMan in practice, part 2

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 09:00, 16/11/2018 | , , ,
 
As mentioned at the end of part one, this article about creating PackMan packages is going to look at what's necessary to generate distribution index files, ROOL pointer files, and how these tasks can be automated. Towards the end I'll also be taking a look at some options for automating the uploading of the files to your website.
 
 
Continue reading "PackMan in practice, part 2" | 1 comment in the forums

GPS becomes Data Logger

Posted by Mark Stephens on 06:21, 9/11/2018 |
 
At the recent London Show Chris Hall was showing his new Data Logger. Here he gives some info into the new hardware
 
Version 2.40 of my SatNav software and the compact hardware unit with just an OLED display meant I could stop trying to fix things that were still unfinished. I had full battery management, conditional data logging, robust and error-tolerant data downloading on demand and power management that avoided any SD card corruption.

Where next?

 
There were things still unfinished: I wanted the unit to be able to use WiFi to transmit data instead of making do with manual downloads to a USB pen drive; I would have liked to remove the code which drives a liquid ink display (Papirus) into a more general purpose module, where it should be, but had never tried writing one. RiscBASIC could compile an application to a module but only at 26 bit. Both these aspirations were therefore not immediate.


 
 
Continue reading "GPS becomes Data Logger" | 2 comments in the forums

PackMan in practice

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 09:00, 14/9/2018 | , , ,
 
For this first article looking at how to create PackMan/RiscPkg packages, I've decided to use my SunEd program as a guinea pig. Being a simple C application with no dependencies on other packages, it'll be one of the most straightforward things on my site to get working, and one of the easiest for other people to understand.
 
Read on to discover how to turn simple apps like SunEd into RiscPkg packages, and more importantly, how to automate the process.
 
 
Continue reading "PackMan in practice" | Comment in the forums

The state of PackMan in 2018

Read article... | Comment in the forums

Getting started with Bash on RISC OS

Read article... | 1 comment in the forums

Power Switching a RaspberryPi

Read article... | 1 comment in the forums

DDE tools update released

Read article... | 4 comments in the forums

55 BBC Micro Books on CD

Read article... | Comment in the forums

BBC BASIC Reference Manual updated

Read article... | 4 comments in the forums
Recent discussions
- Wakefield Show 2021 Preview (News:2)
- April update for Iris browser (News:5)
- FrogFind - seems to make the www a little more old school ! (Gen:1)
- RISC OS interview with Chris Johnson (News:)
- Reminder to set your clocks for Rougol talk on monday night (News:)
- March News Round-up (News:)
- RISC OS Developments updates Iris (News:4)
- Git comes to RISC OS (News:1)
- Daryl Dudey talks about Graphics Programming Using DARIC (News:)
- Daryl Dudey ROUGOL interview on monday (News:2)
Services
- Free ads
- Web hosting
Sites we like
- Ars Technica
- pagetable.com
- Daring Fireball
- Drobe
- Kotaku