Paul Brett with the latest PD and freeware roundup.
I thought that it had been slightly quieter since the last PD column was published, however the list of new releases, and updates to existing programs would seem to indicate that I was wrong. So here is this issues collection of the latest RISC OS applications, games and utilities.
Account2 - Kevin Edwards
Another update for a very popular package. Account2 is a basic home accounts program which allows you to keep a record of credits and debits to a single account. Although each account is individual (eg. current account, credit card, building society etc.), accounts can be linked, so making an entry in one account can be transferred to another without needing to have the second account loaded. Direct debits, standing orders and other transfers can be automatically entered each month. Transactions which have been checked against your bank statement can be marked to keep a "statement balance". Account records can be sorted quickly by date, details, category, credit or debit amounts.
ARMalyser - David Ruck
ARMalyser is an ARM code analyser that understands RISC OS executable, module, object and library formats. It can output disassembly or ObjAsm assembly styles, in plain text, fully hyperlinked and syntax coloured HTML, XML or custom formats for import into Impression, EasiWriter and Ovation Pro. It was originally designed to locate 26 bit only instruction sequences in programs to help porting to 32 bit only systems. However its range of output options and recognition and annotation of file types, code and data structures, make it useful for other debugging and investigation purposes. The zip file contains a RISC OS version with a desktop front end, and command line versions for Win32 and Linux x86.
BEEBit - Michael Foot
A BBC emulator for RISC OS. Now your modern Acorn can run software written in the 1980s. You will need to obtain a set of ROMS before you will be able to do anything with BEEBit, but once you have the correct ROMS you can do almost anything you could do on a real BBC computer. BEEBit can not only emulate the original BBC B, but also the Master 128.
PICIndex - John Williams
The application was developed to automate the process of making a thumbnail index for a set of JPEGs (originally from a Sony Mavica camera - though any JPEG images will do) which could be used on web sites or on CD ROMs to store and index photographic images. The advantage of using HTML is that the resulting albums are platform-independent, though there remains the additional advantage of making albums into applications under RISC OS. This application takes the tedium out of something which could be done by hand, and produces a set of easily-editable files which may be further adapted as required. It is aimed at those who could do it all by hand, but want to save a bit of time!
FireBolt - Iain Waugh
A classic RISC OS game from the past has been given a new lease of life. FireBolt is similar to MoonQuake and Marsquake, two RISC OS games you may well have heard of. All three games of course owe their existence to one of the most playable multi player games ever, BomberMan. FireBolt is a very nice version, with lots of levels, and some really annoying nasties that can cause absolute havoc if you don't keep an eye on them. For those that feel like it a level designer is also included.
Gems - Keith Wright and Colin Granville
Described as "The game that's taking the world by a slight breeze". This game is based on the game Bejeweled available online at MSN's gamezone. It came about because my family like the game Bejeweled but you always need to be online to play it. So I decided to write a RISC OS version that they could use instead of taking up Net time. Full instructions are provided by clicking !Help over the !Gems application.
QTM - Steve Harrison
This archive contains the latest, action-packed update of the QTM Protracker music player, originally released by the Acorn User magazine in June 1994. Along with the full QTM source code, so the adventurous user can see how it all works! This release v1.40, allows the playing of 8-channel music for the first time through QTM. The 8-channel music format used by QTM is the 'StarTrekker' 8-channel music format, popular on the Amiga in the 90's, and is simply an 8-channel version of the popular ProTracker file format. Full details can be found in the 'FileFormat' documentation file. The StarTrekker 8-channel format is currently not widely used on RISC OS computers - with DesktopTracker, Tracker and Digital Symphony being more commonplace for 8-channel music. However the excellent !TrackConv by Chris Davis (StrongARM compatible version available from the QTM web site) is able to convert almost any 8-channel tracker format into StarTrekker 8-channel, suitable for QTM! For instant use, a QTM mini-app is provided in this archive. Run the app !QTheMusic, to load the QTM v1.40 module, and register the appropriate music filetypes. Now double-click on any Protracker music file to load it into QTM and start it playing. Run !QTheMusic again to stop the music playing.
TXAnalyse - Martin Carradus
!TxAnalyse shreds a piece of text apart into a set of words, produces a list of all the different words sorted into alphabetical order with a count of the number of occurrences of each one, matches them against a dictionary and produces a report. Multiple files can be supplied, in which case the words are marked according to which 'chapter' the word occurs in.
That's it from me 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.