RISC World

PD World

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

AMPlay - Mike Sandells

AMPlay is a front end for the AMPlayer module. In other words it's a desktop player for MP3 music files. It contains a number of features specifically aimed at dealing with large collections of MP3s, and with large playlists.

In particular it understands that a playlist is more than a simple list of tracks. A track generally comes from a collection of tracks that we call an album, and is generally by a particular artist. AMPlay recognises this, and builds a database of tracks where each track has an associated album and artist. Many features of AMPlay are only possible because of this. Actions can apply to albums or artists as well as to tracks. You can play albums or artists at random as well as tracks. You can shuffle the tracks just within an album or artist. You can tweak the relative track volume for an album as a whole rather than having to do it for each track individually. For more details please see the full HTML manual supplied.

AMPlayer - AMPlayer Developers

AMPlayer is a module for playing Audio MPEG data through the computers sound output, or to a streaming destination. Where sound is to be output, it will select the 8 or 16 bit output depending on the normal configuration (and availability). The module has been designed so it is easy to make other frontends, or add support for the module to existing player-frontends. The AMPlayer module is used to provide the playback from AMPLay.

ARMAlyser - David Ruck

ARMalyser is an ARM code analyzer designed to understand RISC OS executable and object filetypes, including Absolute, DebImage, Module, Utility, Raw, AOF and ALF. It is designed to locate 26bit only instruction sequences in programs to help porting to 32bit only systems. Its range of output options and recognition and annotation of file types, code and data structures, makes it useful for other debugging and investigation purposes. Although you may think that ARMAlyser would only be of use to those writing software for the Iyonix you would be totally wrong. This is an exceptionally useful diagnostic tool for programmers.

Director - The RISC OS 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+.

MiniDisc - Jamie Temple

If you don't like Director then why not consider MiniDisc? MiniDisc is a desktop management tool, packed with features designed to enable you to make using RISC OS a more pleasurable and productive experience. MiniDisc has been built to work on all versions of RISC OS, from 3.10 to 5.03. Copy the '!MiniDisc' application out of the archive on to an appropriate location on your hard disc. MiniDisc will happily run from the 'Tasks' section of a 'new' RISC OS boot structure.

For RISC OS Select subscribers : The 'Extras.Select' directory contains a Configure plug-in for MiniDisc. See the ReadMe file in that directory for further information.

QFiler - Martin Avison.

QuickFiler is a utility which allows you to use many standard shortcut keys in conjunction with the RISC OS Filer. QuickFiler requires a Risc PC-style !Boot application (or later).

Before you can use QuickFiler, it must be installed into your computer‘s boot sequence and your machine must be restarted. Install QuickFiler by running the supplied !InstallQF application. This will copy across the program files to their correct place within the Boot application, build an appropriate version of the program module and generate new menu structures for the Filer.

When your machine is restarted, you will find that the Filer gains the input focus when you click in a directory display, and then responds to the keyboard shortcuts shown on the Filer‘s menu. If you change your Filer version, then QuickFiler should be re-installed to avoid problems.

Verma - Lenny at MidiWays

!Verma is a utility that displays version, etc information about relocatable modules, both those in memory (ROM/RMA) and those on disc (filetype &FFA) - in the latter case without the need to first install them in the RMA. If you need to know what versions of what modules are in your machine this is invaluable. How many times have you get messages from applications saying that they need such and such module, now you can see exactly what you have in your !boot sequence and what needs to be updated.

Workspace - DEEJ Technology

With the increasing amount of RAM available in new RISC OS machines it is now easy to have many applications running on the desktop at once, even with larger screen modes the desktop can often become overcrowded with windows, leading to annoyance and inefficiency.

!WorkSpace aims to solve this problem by providing six RISC OS desktop workspaces. These workspaces are similar to the feature provided on HP­VUE® on Hewlett Packard UNIX machines. Workspaces can be switched between transparently to the applications, giving six times as much space to arrange windows as before, more elbow room than afforded by even the most expensive hi-res graphic card and large screen monitor.

Signing off

I will see you again next issue where we will have another bumper crop of new software releases for your entertainment.

Paul Brett