RISC World

PD World

Paul Brett with the latest PD roundup.

You may well remember that last issue I said the summer was usually a quiet period for new releases, well summer 2001 was far from quiet. Now autumn and winter are upon as new releases seem to be continuing at the same speed, which can only be god news for all RISC OS enthusiasts. This issue we have some updates to some old favourites, plus some completely new releases.

Graph Draw - Chris Johnson

Its been around for a few years now, but this is a brand new version that uses the new RISC OS Toolbox modules. Graphdraw allows a user to construct graphs in a number of styles easily and quickly. Also included are two user manuals, in Ovation Pro and Impression Publisher format.


Guardian - Michael Foot

Michael has been busy converting old BBC games to run on modern RISC OS machines. The latest is Guardian, which some older users may recognise as a version of Defender, this version requires RISC OS 3.1 or later to run.

Netwatch - Maarten Bezemer

NetWatch is a program which keeps up with changes on the internet. The user has to mark the pages which are interesting. Next NetWatch will fetch these pages at defined intervals and check with a (old) local version whether they are changed or not. When a page has changed NetWatch will warn the user.
The previous versions of NetWatch needed WebTool from ANT. Now NetWatch is able to fetch HTTP and FTP on it's own, so everyone can use NetWatch. At the moment HTTPs isn't supported, but it isn't needed. It's possible to fetch pages which are protected with a username and password.
Of course it's possible to fetch images, textfiles, archives, etc. Every URL which starts with http:// or ftp:// can be fetched.
It's also possible to change the width and position of the fields in the mainwindow. The format of the last times the URL was fetched or the URL was changed can be changed too (inside the Message file.)
NetWatch has also a possibility to view it's iconbar icon or not. When the icon isn't showed, NetWatch has to run NetWatch another time to show the icon. So the user may change the preferences or add a URL.
Another option is choice for a modem- or a network connection. With a modem connection NetWatch will check whether the computer is online or not using the ARCPPP-module. With a network connection NetWatch will assume the computer is online.
A new addition to NetWatch is the possibility to fetch URLs at once. Both http:// and ftp:// URls (with or without password) are allowed. But when the fetch gets aborted for some reason. It's possible to continue the fetch at the same position it got aborted! (resume) NB This only works when the server supports the resume command! But most servers will!
From version 1.54 is possible to check all URLs in 1 click and NetWatch is able to check URLs after startup.

Shanghai - David Chapman

Shanghai is a desktop version of the ancient Chinese game of Mah Jongg. This version incorporates 17 different layout designs, 4 different high resolution graphics tilesets with the ability to automatically incorporate user designed layouts and tilesets. The only requirement is a desktop screenmode of 1024x768 (although some of the layouts can be displayed in a smaller screen modes) and at least 256 colours.


Shiner 1.05 - Richard Butler

A front end for the very fast Shine MP3 encoder. You will need a copy of Shine 1.05, which hopefully will also be on this RISC World CD (it is - ED), then you can turn audio files into MP3 files at your hearts content.


Spook - Nat Queen

If you run !Spook while writing an e-mail message in any text editor, it will insert a random phrase at the position of the cursor, with the aim of annoying or distracting anyone who might be surreptitiously monitoring your communications. Many people like to protest against routine monitoring of their daily electronic communications by secretive and powerful intelligence agencies by sprinkling their communications with a few suggestive 'trigger words'. !Spook not only automates this process, but also generates a great variety of interesting phrases.

Spook in action

Shared Sound Module - Various

This is the latest version of the Shared Sound Module from Expressive Software Projects. If you don't know what Shared Sound does, then it is most unlikely that you will need it, but if your are a programmer working with audio devices this could come in very useful. Shared Sound is supplied with all documentation in HTML format.

ZIP2000 - Kevin Bracey

ZIP 2000 is an interpreter for "interactive fiction" or what used to be called Adventure games. As well as the ZIP 2000 itself you will also need to gate some "stories" to go with it, and where better place to start than

the Interactive Fiction Archive.

ZIP2000 playing Zork Zero

That's all we have time for this issue, as usual if you have any PD, Freeware or Shareware applications you would like featured why not get in touch with the editor. See you next issue.

Paul Brett