This months speaker was Steffen Huber, the man behind Hubersn Software, talking about his RISC OS experiences and his software. Being online makes it much easier to attend and there were 40+ attendees this time. As usual all mistakes and omissions in the notes are mine (apologies).
Steffen started by telling us why anyone is still using Optical discs. Reasons are:-
1. Archiving to a medium which will last years. Read only by design and cheap media. Cross-compatible
2. Classic machines can be easily plugged into optical drives.
3. Still used in much current audio equipment.
New features in CDVDBurn
1. Proper support for all RISC OS 5 machines, classic and new.
2. Tested on lots of drives.
3. Multiple formats supported
4. Allows you to avoid lots of CDFS annoyances (Steffen is not a fan).
5. Some small UI improvements.
6. Lower price.
7. More audio source formats.
8. Direct MP3 et al creation.
9. Rockridge extensions for ISO creation.
10. UDF support.
Steffen is a big fan of Ada but not GNAT as a compiler.
Steffen is looking at writing new software products in Java for RISC OS, but does not run on RISC OS (there is no Java for RISC OS).
He showed us 4 live demos of his ideas.
1. Archive reader can read arc files and similar RISC OS compressed formats
Works with audio as well as video.
Flexible character conversion when creating discs.
Standard drag and drop to add files to discs.
Burning speed is limited by RISC OS usage of USB 2.0
Steffen gave us a nice demo of the actual software running on RPCEmu.
Software can be bought online at Steffen's site and it delivered digitally. Full price is 50 pounds with upgrade prices from older versions.
Future plans for CDVDBurn include:_
1. USB3 for speed boost.
2. Support for more drives.
3. Add back RISC PD/IDE/IDE podules/SCSI podules support.
4. FreeDB support.
5. Media quality scan to check quality of backup.
6. Any user suggestions - send them in!
Next Steffen gave us some of the history of the software.
Started in 1997 and prototype written in BASIC. Back then there was the EESIX CDScribe but always bundled with a drive and Steffen already had a drive.
RiscBSD mailing list question led to contact with Robin Watts (WSS) who were interested in selling it asap. Rewritten in ADA. Released in 1997 as V0.99 as not quite ready for show.
1998 added CD-RW, multisession and Joliet support
1999 added RISC PC IDE supported.
2000 Simtex IDE, ADPL supported.
2002 32bit version with help from Martin Wurthner.
2003 CDBurn 32bit, and lite version for Iyonix.
2004 Setup Hubersn software to sell software directly.
2006 2.02b - last public beta for a long time....
2007 Started CD/DVD extractor
2008 First Blu-ray experiements
2010 Beagleboard and USB
2017 Titanium S-ATA, ARMv8 support.
2020 CDVDBurn 3 released!
The reasons for the long delay were:-
1. Lots of drive compatibility drive issues.
2. USB on RISC OS 5 flaky on optical drives.
3. IDE on Iyonix was too slow.
4. RISC PC power supply not good enough for modern drives.
5. CDFS issues
6. Could not get DVD-R to work
7. GNAT buggy and did not support Pi3 and later.
More about ADA
1. Multi-paradigm language. Very nice OO features.
2. Strange typing and rich type system.
3. Good support for modularity.
4. Tasking gives excellent concurrency abstraction.
5. Records can be defined to the bit.
6. Compiler catches many errors.
7. Strong runtime checking.
8. Unicode String types.
9. Exceptions, Generics, operator overloading.
10. Can code very low level and very high level to suit.
Steffen is a big fan of Ada but not GNAT compiler so looking at other ideas for future software.
He has been looking at writing programs for RISC OS (but not running on RISC OS) in Java. Modern Java does not run on RISC OS.
To finish, he gave us 4 demos of tools written in Java to handle Arc compressed files, BBCBASIC tokeniser, a sprite editor. The final demo was a Filecore image reader which uses the others. Plan is to have a free and a Pro version.
After the talk there was time for questions.