Newsbuzz: September round-up

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RISC-OS-LogoSeptember has proved to be a relatively quiet month in the RISC OS world, as is the norm at this time of year. Most developments are being kept under wraps in preparation for the RISC OS London Show on on October 24. There have however been a few snippets of news from around the community…

The RISC OS London Show 2015 is nearing, with the event confirmed as taking place on Saturday, October 24 in the St Giles Hotel, Feltham, London. For more information on the event as well as a full list of confirmed exhibitors, check out the show’s website.

The GNU Compiler Collection version 4.7.4 RISC OS release 2 is now available for download. This new release brings in a plethora of improvement and functionalities. The stand-out feature being the addition of Vector Floating Point (VFP) support, suitable for use on ARMv6 and ARMv& machines.

The release can be downloaded from the repositories using !PackMan, which will fetch and install all the pieces for you, or you can follow the manual installation instructions.

Amcog Games have announced that their upcoming commercial release Legends of Magic is nearing completion, and should be in Beta by the end of the month. The game is an isometric 3D adventure game which involves playing your way through a number of quests and solving puzzles along the way.

The title is almost at Beta stage in its development cycle and is already starting to look quite promising. Amcog Games’ Anthony Bartram is predicting the game will be open to beta testers in the coming weeks, with a view of releasing the game commercially at the London Show 2015 on October 24.

Stay tuned to the RISC OS Blog for more information and a full Beta review in the coming weeks!

AMPlayer has been updated to support ARMv7 processors. If you’re unfamilar with AMPlayer, it is a set of modules and frontend applications to play MP3 audio tracks. Functionally it is largely unchanged from Peter Naull’s earlier 32 bit work originally done to update AMPlayer to run on the Iyonix.

Under the bonnet however, it has been rebuilt with the option to stop the software using unaligned load instructions which cause fatal exceptions on the newer ARMv7 (and ARMv6, such as the original Raspberry Pi, if enabled to do so) processors.

Running with alignment exceptions disabled is generally not recommended as there’s a possibility that applications are silently reading the wrong memory contents and corrupting important system workspace. You can download the newest version of AMPlayer from

RiscPCB has been updated to run on the Raspberry Pi and similar spec machines. RiscPCB is a printed circuit board designer for RISC OS computers.The update can be obtained from here.

New functionalities in this update include:

  • Up to 8 layers can now be used. (6 copper 2 silkscreen)
  • Components now have an attached designator this allows parts lists to be produced and also parts centres (used when placing surface mounted components)
  • Both PCB and Component files are now in a more human readable format

Graph Draw has been updated to version 3.00. GraphDraw is a versatile graph plotting application. It allows for the entry and editing of x,y values.

This new version is the result of a complete rewrite of GraphDraw, now coded in C rather than Basic. The biggest change is that you can now have several data sets active at the same time, and data set sizes are fully dynamic, so there is no restriction on the size of dataset that can be used.

You can download Graph Draw through the !Packman package manager or as a direct download from here.

Kevin Wells has updated his virtual keyboard application Vkeyboard. This new update brings in the added functionalitiy of multiple keyboards. You can download the updated version from here.

Newsbuzz: August round-up

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RISC-OS-LogoChristopher Martin has updated Thump, a dynamic image viewer which uses a browse-able filer-like display with thumbnails. Thump differs from most other thumbnail applications in that it does not build and store a special set of thumbnails, but generates them in real time as you browse the directory structure.

It can handle several common image formats, and can also display a file slideshow. It is possible to attach keywords and captions/descriptions to images and do simple searches on those attachments.

Improvements of note in this new version include:

  • Improved system stability when modules call external programs to render sprites and those programs crash.
  • Darren Salt’s !Spr2Png has been reinstated as the preferred PNG handler.
  • The Sprite module had a buffer-sizing bug that was rare but fatal.

David Buck has made available a new version of Workspace, bringing it up to version 3.87. Workspace is a utility that provides 6 desktop workspaces to prevent cluttered desktops.

Windows can be paced on seperate workspaces which can be instantly switched between. Windows can live on more than one workspace, and each workspace can use a different screen mode and palette, plus 22 and 24 icon sets.

This update introduces a bug fix to prevent errors from ZeroPain, which will ensure the application continues to work with future OS versions on ARMv6/7 machines. You can download Workspace for free from the ARMClub website.

R-Comp Interactive have announced that as of the lastest ARMX6 operating system update – the ARMX6 is now capable of delivering top-of-the-line graphics output with support for 4k monitors/resolution and 2560×1440 @ 60hz.

As well as a number of graphical output improvements, the software update has enhanced the ARMX6’s networking functionalities, including built-in support for login to modern NAS and Windows machines (eg. Win7) using NTLM encrypted logins. The software update is free for all ARMX6 owners.