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Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 21:00, 17/10/2011 | , , , ,
Here's a quick roundup of everything that's happened over the past few weeks.

New software releases

NetSurf 2.8

Version 2.8 of the NetSurf browser was released last month. The major new features in this release are a new cross-platform system for handling frames and iframes, and an improved image cache.

Charm 2.4

Peter Nowosad's Charm programming language also saw a new release last month. Version 2.4 is the first version of the language to be 32bit compatible, so if you're looking for something a little bit different from your programming languages then now's a good as time as any to give it a go.

StrongHelp 2.86

A new version of StrongHelp was released to the StrongED mailing list, featuring several bugfixes, mainly for ARMv7 compatability. Download it here.

CDFaker now 32bit

Steffen Huber has released a 32bit version of Andy Armstrong's CDFaker utility, which allows you to mount ISO images and read their contents via CDFS. Apart from being 32bit compatible, this release is also fully ARMv7 compatible.

InterGIF 6.18

Martin Weurthner's popular InterGIF utility has also seen an update. The main focus of this release was to make the utility ARMv7 compatible.

DigitalCD updates

Music player DigitalCD and related modules (TimPlayer, DiskSample) have been updated to add support for more tracker music formats, along with a few bugfixes.

New C/C++ tools release

And last but not least, RISC OS Open have released version 22 of the C tools package. The main development focus for this release was on improving objasm, to add support for the full ARMv7 instruction set, and to add support for some features offered by the assembler available in ARM's RealView package (which has a shared heritage with objasm and the other 'ROOL' tools).
For purchasing information, see ROOL's announcement.

RISC OS 5 news

OMAP4 ROM now available to download

As mentioned in the previous news roundup, Willi Theiss has been working on porting RISC OS to TI's OMAP4. This work has now found its way into ROOL's CVS, allowing them to add a (Pandaboard-compatible) OMAP4 ROM image to the downloads page. However as this is a first release, expect to see a fair number of bugs and missing features.

Raspberry Pi port on the cards

Veteran developer Adrian Lees has expressed an interest in porting RISC OS to the low-cost Raspberry Pi computer. Previously the possibility of a port was put into doubt by the question of whether anyone would have access to the required hardware documentation, but since Adrian works at Broadcom alongside Raspberry Pi Foundation members it sounds like lack of documentation will be the least of his issues.

Bounty pot reaches £1K

The amount of money available to developers through the ROOL bounty system has now reached £1000. However none of the bounties have yet hit their (secret) target values, so it looks like any budding programmers will have to wait a bit longer before they're able to take on any of the tasks listed (unless they want to do it for free!)
Correction: As has been pointed out by ROOL, bounties don't have any target funding values. Instead, interested parties merely need to get in touch and say that they're starting work once they feel that the money in the pot has reached an acceptable value. For more info on the workings of the bounty system, see here.

Filesystem bounties

On the subject of bounties, developer Rob Sprowson has recently had a go at analysing all the different filesystem wishlist items and boiling them down to a list of defined bounties, which can be found here. It's probable that this list (or something close to it) will be adopted by ROOL and added to the bounty area of their website in the near future. Not to be content with just making a bounty list, Rob has also had a go at fixing a few filing system bugs recently, mainly focusing around making sure FileSwitch and the filer are happy with files between 2G and 4G in size, as well as fixing a couple of bugs in RPCEmu that stopped large files from working there.

London show approaching

And finally, this is your official reminder that the 2011 RISC OS London show is here in just under two weeks time, on the 29th of October. Apart from the usual names on the exhibitors list it's worth pointing out that there'll be a pre-release version of the Raspberry Pi board on show. And if Adrian hasn't got it running RISC OS natively by the end of the show, it sounds like the RPCEmu team will be there with a copy of the RPCEmu emulator as a fallback. Unfortunately one notable absentee from the exhibitors list is RISCOS LtdInfo, who are unable to attend due to a clash with another commitment.

39 comments in the forums

Have I Got Old News For You

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 01:20, 2/8/2011 | , , ,
Here's a quick round up of all the interesting things that have happened over the past few months that we didn't find the time to report on.

ROOL bounty scheme

ROOL officially announced their bounty scheme, and then followed up that announcement by beginning a process of doubling-up the first £1000 worth of bounty payments - for every pound you contribute towards a bounty (except the ROOL admin bounty), ROOL will also contribute a pound.
Although none of the bounties are yet to reach their (hidden) donation targets, it's worth noting that the biggest bounty so far has over £300 allocated to it. So although the bounties aren't likely to come close to the average hourly wage of a professional programmer, they're certainly not going to go for chump change either.

And also

Jim Lesurf has announced that he is offering a £300 bounty prize to the first person to add USB audio support to RISC OS.

BBC Domesday site

No more hunting down rare laserdisc players - the BBC have launched a new section of their website containing the content of the 1986 Domesday system.

Show videos

Proving that online videos of Acorn shows aren't just a modern thing, Mike Cook has pointed us towards this video he uploaded of the 1985 Micro User show. Ah, the memories.

More news sites emerge

In what's possibly an attempt to plug the gap left by our lack of updates, several new news sites have sprung up:

  • Vince "One C or two" Hudd has turned RISCOSitory into a news site, which he looks to be updating on a fairly regular basis.
  • For those who despise reading and just want a list of links, Martin Hansen has just the thing for you - he's added a section to the RISCOScode website that he's using for quickly linking to newsworthy things.
  • And then there's the newest contender, riscos.blog.com, which seems to be updating at a faster rate than RISCOSitory but with shorter articles as a result.

GCC 4.1.2 crawls closer to release

With the first prerelease being over a year ago, you'd be forgiven for thinking that we'd all be using GCC 4.1.2 by now. But to prove that good things come to those who wait, it was only in April of this year that work began on the release preperations. The GCC team are still no doubt after your feedback, so if you're maintaining a RISC OS program that relies on GCC, please have a go with the latest version and report your findings.

RISC OS 5 development

Apart from the bounty announcement, plenty of other things have been happening with RISC OS 5 recently:

  • Tom Walker has sneakily sneaked some sources into ROOL's CVS: A S3C2440 HAL and a S3C6410 HAL, targeting the Mini2440 and Mini6410 respectively. Although the ports are very rough around the edges, what's interesting is that (a) the S3C2440 is the same SoC as used in the A9home, and (b) the S3C6410 is the first ARMv6 device to natively run RISC OS.
  • Not to be out-sneaked, Willi Theiss has recently announced that he's been working on a port of RISC OS to the PandaBoard, a development board closely related to the BeagleBoard but with a cutting-edge dual-core Cortex A9 processor instead of the BeagleBoard's ageing Cortex A8. Although the port is currently only using one core, early benchmark results suggest that the out-of-order execution and improved VFP hardware are enough to deliver a significant performance boost over current hardware.
  • TBA software have been keeping themselves busy by releasing a test version of an updated BBC BASIC with VFP/NEON assembler support.
  • Chris Wraight has released test version of his revamped Calc/SciCalc application.
  • Rik Griffin has also been hard at work on an improved Filer_Action module.
  • And finally the IOMD (i.e. RiscPC) version of RISC OS 5 has also seen a few improvements recently, making it much more usable on real hardware (although there's still plenty left to be done)

5 comments in the forums

Game City Squared

Posted by Richard Goodwin on 14:00, 28/10/2009 | , , , ,
[Game City] Elite: Paper UniverseThis was going to be a pretty dry fluff piece about the gaming events going on in my home city, something I'd pop in to between renewing my travel pass and getting some new shoelaces.  Then something slightly surreal happened to me.
I've just spent around an hour in the company of one of the men partly responsible for getting me into computers in the first place.  And I didn't recognise him.
Continue reading "Game City Squared" | 2 comments in the forums

Some photos sent in by a reader

Posted by Cmdr_Jameson on 00:00, 1/4/2009 | , , , , ,
Reader Mike sent in these pictures of something he found while out walking his ferret. Yes, we have readers with ferrets. Although the concept of a reader with a ferret confuses us, luckily we don't have to use our brains for this update because Mike was kind enough to send in some words to accompany the pictures.
Standard disclaimer: As most of you have probably noticed, this was our April Fool's piece for this year. If you liked our UK:Resistance theme used for the fool then you'll be glad to hear it's been added to the theme selector available from your account control panel. Of course in the end the joke was on us, because UK:R changed their website design from traditional red and black to their new colourful layout a couple of months ago. Oh well!
Click the owly pic above to see the article in its intended guise.
Continue reading "Some photos sent in by a reader" | 4 comments in the forums

Merry Christmas from The Icon Bar!

Posted by Andrew Poole on 00:00, 25/12/2007 | , ,
[TIB Christmas Logo]Well it's that time of year again. It hardly seems like a full year since we last wished all our readers a very Merry Christmas. Yet again, most of you are probably too busy downing the bottle of whatever-it-is that you found in the back of the cupboard, and stuffing yourself with mince pies to notice this post, but I'm still going to say it anyway.
Merry Christmas to all our readers, and we hope you have a wonderful new year - whatever you're doing and however you're celebrating.
Christmas (Wikipedia)
1 comment in the forums

Merry Christmas!

Posted by Andrew Poole on 00:00, 25/12/2006 | , , ,
[TIB Christmas Logo]Well, it's that time of year again. By the time many of you read this Christmas will probably have been and gone, and the other three of you will be too busy stuffing yourselves, possibly with mince pies and the contents of the random bottle of something you found in the back of the cupboard, to notice what this posting says.
Because here at The Icon Bar, we know you're all interested to know, I've recieved word that The Paul Vigay won't be leaving his computer alone on Christmas day, as he tells me he gets withdrawal symptoms if he does. And for all you Vigay-lovers out there, I've provided you with a quick link to The Vigay's Christmas Speech that he sent out the other day to his Orpheus customers. Enjoy!
Wherever you are and whatever you're doing, all of us here at The Icon Bar hope you have a magical Christmas and the most wonderful New Year.
- The Vigay's Christmas Speech
- RISC OS Quiz of the Year, 2006
- Christmas (Wikipedia)

13 comments in the forums

RISC OS quiz of the year 2006

Posted by Phil Mellor on 18:30, 24/12/2006 | ,
I hope you've been paying attention, because it's time for our RISC OS quiz of the year.
10 comments in the forums
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