RISC World

PD World

Paul Brett with the latest freeware and PD releases for RISC OS.

!A310Emu - Jan De Boer

Now here is something a little different, an Acorn emulator to run on an Acorn. You may well be asking your self what the point of this is. Well it allows you to run RISC OS 3, RISC OS 2 or even Arthur on a StrongARM RiscPC. A310Emu is a work in progress and is not guaranteed to be bug free however in my tests it has run very well and on a 287Mhz APDL Turbo processor it runs at almost 6 Mhz (the original A310 etc ran at 4Mhz). Now you can run old software, even single tasking programs, that are not StrongArm compatible on a RISC PC. I have asked Aaron to check this out to see if it ran on his Omega and indeed it did. (It also runs on the Alpha laptop - Ed).

Before using !A310Emu you will need to obtain copies of the RISC OS ROMS you will need to visit Jans website, you will need the two files marked as Support1 and Support2. A310Emu will start without ROMS but won't do very much!

!A310Emu in action

BackIT - Shareware from Quantumsoft

Due to the way people work they often forget to take a current backup of vital programs, letters, etc. This program ensures that this process it is not forgotten and no valuable files are lost. !Back_it is unique as it tries its hardest to work in the background, so for the majority of the time you can continue to do work on your computer whilst it is performing the backup.

BackIT copies directories or applications (and their contents) to a preset 'backup' directory into a dated directory. It does the backup as quietly as possible and tries to keep the Desktop as workable as possible as it does this.

BeebIT - Michael J Foot

BeebIt attempts to emulate the behaviour of a British Broadcasting Corporation Model B, B+ and Master 128 Micro Computers.

BeebIt will not work as it stands. You will need a copy of the OS and BASIC ROM images that came with the original BBC Computer. Pace Micro Technology Limited still hold the copyright over these ROMs and therefore they cannot be distributed with this emulator. Here's how to get them though.

If you own an original BBC Model B computer you can use either of the following programs to get the ROM images. These programs must be run on your BBC Model B computer.

  • Use the 'GrabROM' utility which can be found at
  • Use the 'SaveROM' program, included with BeebIt.
  • Follow the instructions in the file 'GetROMs'.

If you don't own a BBC Computer, but do have a copy of Acorn's '65Host' you can use the accompanying program 'RipROMs' to extract the ROM images. You will have to extract BeebIt to a writable disc and open the filer window that contains !65Host before you do this. The ROMs can be called anything you like as long as the file name matches what is on the configuration screen. I recommend naming your ROM files with the first part describing what the ROM is, and the second part what version it is. ie. OS120 is BBC B OS 1.20, OS200 is BBC B+ OS 2.00 and DFS120 is Acorn DFS 1.20.

The BeebIT configure windows

BBCFiles - James Lampard

This is an essential add on for BeebIT and allows you to easily convert filetypes between different BBC emulators on both RISC OS and Windows. Formats supported include:

  • 6502Em style BBC applications with BBC scripts
  • /ssd dfs disc images (including watford double catalogue)
  • vanilla directories
  • bbc files with /inf files
Read only
  • UEF files containing simple tape files


BeebITFS - James Lampard

BeebItFS is an 8-bit BBC Micro filing system, written so BeebIt can access files on RISC OS filing systems. It also allows the use of some 6502Em style 'BBC Applications'.

Director - Director Developers

Director is a general purpose desktop tool. It allows you to customise your desktop by creating menus of useful commands and icons to attach the menus to. Any number of menus or icons can be created and attached in any order to each other. Director also allows an alternative and faster view onto files in the form of directory menus and allows these menus to be attached to other menus as well.

Director has some other useful features such as remembering the most recently used files, the ability to add key strokes into the keyboard buffer and the ability to produce directory menus over drive icons. Director is fully customisable by the user, and can do many or all of the functions of Pinboard+, TreeMenu (AKA DirMenu), Filer-, QuickDir, DeskUtils, Memorizer, Menon and some of the functions of Filer+.



A very nice little RISC OS improvement that provides a graphical display of the free space on a disc. This is supplied with different versions for all versions of RISC OS from 3.1 onwards. Simply drop the version that is correct for your OS into your PreDesk directory and re start the computer.


PinWay - Giftware by Bernard Veasey

This is a very nice extended version of the normal RISC OS Pinboard. It supports up to 8 different pinboards, each of which can have completely different icons. PinWay pinboards can be auto-saved, eg. When the computer is shutdown, the program is quit or the user manually clicks 'Save'. As well as normal Filer type objects such as Applications, Files and Directories which can be dragged to the 'PinWay' pinboard, 'Command' type objects which execute RISC OS commands can also be created on the pinboard. Files from most applications can be saved direct to the 'PinWay' pinboard. eg. Just drag a 'save' icon from another application to a blank part of the 'PinWay' pinboard. If you drop the 'save' icon from most other applications on to a directory icon that has previously been placed on the 'PinWay' pinboard, it will be saved to that directory and not the 'PinWay' pinboard.


PreShut - Giftware by Bernard Veasey

Now a wonderfully simple idea. PreShut can be used to run an automated series of tasks just before the computer shuts down. For example you could arrange for the machine to automatically back up some important files. You can also arrange for shutdown to halt if certain "key" applications are currently loaded. Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?

Updates to both of Bernards programs can be found at

Signing off

That is it for this PD column, what software will we be featuring next issue? To be honest I don't yet know but I am aware of a couple of real gems in the pipeline. Come back next time and I will be able to tell you more!

Paul Brett