The latest news from the RISC OS world
Foundation RISC User DVD Edition
Launched to coincide with issue 16 of the regular CD edition of Foundation RISC User, the new DVD-ROM contains absolutely everything that Foundation RISC User has ever published, right back to issue 1: that's five full years' worth of magazines in total.
What's more, all of this material is comprehensively combined and cross-referenced within a single attractive and very easy-to-use HTML-based 'Web site format' magazine. The combined edition is more than just sixteen separate magazines on one disc; it's a carefully integrated and indexed compilation of all the material in a single highly organised entity with multiple ways of accessing the articles.
Of course, the DVD edition continues to support Foundation RISC User's unique and pioneering interactive presentation, in which a click on a special link within an article can cause software to launch from the disc (so that, for example, clicking on an illustration of a Draw file causes the original vector graphic to be loaded immediately by Draw).
What do you get?
The Foundation RISC User DVD is packaged very attractively in a black plastic DVD library case with a full-colour disc label and sleeve insert; its front cover features a collage of the cover artwork from the sixteen constituent issues, and it will grace any RISC OS user's software shelf!
As for the magazine content, Foundation RISC User has a tradition of publishing particularly lengthy, detailed and authoritative articles of lasting interest and usefulness on a very wide range of topics. Subjects have included programming articles (for all levels of expertise), graphics tutorials, behind-the-scenes guides to RISC OS software and hardware, plus fascinating special features on unusual subjects, and the magazine has even published enhanced editions of entire books.
All in all, there's a vast amount of material on the DVD: in storage terms, there's well over a Gigabyte of data (and all of the software is stored in compressed archives); in article terms, there are several hundred lengthy feature articles comprising well over a million words. Existing subscribers already know the value of the magazine, and can now get all of its previous content combined on one convenient disc with enhanced indexing; non-members can now find out what they've been missing, even if it means that they have several months of reading ahead of them!
Aside from all the articles, the Foundation RISC User DVD also contains lots of other useful information, including a large archive of the best and most useful RISC OS free software, a database section with many details about user groups, developers and products, and a comprehensive news section that contains a very complete record of announcements, shows and user group events since the year 2000.
The news section and other time-based aspects of the DVD go up to the end of the year 2004; as with all CD editions of the magazine, the date on the disc indicates the latest date of the material contained on it, which is why the disc is labelled "Christmas 2004" (rather than the launch date of February 2005). The FRU DVD is a five-year slice of history which runs up to the end of the year 2004; but, of course, the bulk of the material on the disc will be of interest and value for a very long time to come.
Who can buy it?
For the first time, as a special spin-off product from the regular magazine, the Foundation RISC User DVD is being made available to everyone, not just to members of the Foundation.
However, to be as fair as possible and to reduce the price to Foundation members who have some or all of the material on the DVD already, a scale of charges is being implemented, so that the longer you have been a Foundation member, the more cheaply you can buy the DVD. No matter how much you have to pay for it, though, the DVD represents the equivalent of five years' worth of Foundation subscriptions, and is therefore tremendous value!
The prices have been set as follows (including VAT and UK postage):
Prices to Foundation members - The price decreases depending on the length of your membership:
Price to Select members - £25.00*
Price to non-members of Foundation/Select - £43.30*
Also available are several hardware and software bundles which include the Foundation RISC User DVD:
All of the above-quoted prices are fully inclusive of VAT and postage to addresses in the UK. However, if you live overseas, please add postage according to your location and the number of asterisks against the price of the product you wish to buy:
Zone 1 (USA, Israel)
Zone 2 (Australia, New Zealand)
Who can use it?
The Foundation RISC User DVD is a genuine milestone for the RISC OS platform, being the first native DVD-ROM. (The magazine's interactive features will only operate under RISC OS, though you can read the articles on any DVD-equipped PC or Mac.)
An unfortunate side-effect of ploughing a new furrow such as this is that not all current hardware is capable of reading the DVD. In basic terms, you will need one of the following systems in order to make direct use of the Foundation RISC User DVD:
- A Risc PC with a DVD drive, running RISC OS Select or Adjust;
- Virtual Risc PC running on a PC with a DVD drive, running RISC OS Select or Adjust.
Other RISC OS computers fitted with DVD drives (and running a suitable version of RISC OS) may be able to use this DVD, but the above two systems have been tested successfully by RISCOS Ltd.
At present, the elements required to use a DVD-ROM disc under RISC OS are as follows:
1. A DVD drive to physically read the disc;
2. A version of RISC OS capable of supporting DVD drives. At present this means either RISC OS Select or RISC OS Adjust. RISC OS 4.0x and RISC OS 5.0x do not support DVDs.
Some Risc PCs supplied by Castle Technology included DVD drives for use as CD drives; if any such machine is upgraded with Select or Adjust, it should be able to use this DVD.
Any machine that already runs Select or Adjust, but has only a CD drive, should be able to use this DVD if it is upgraded with a DVD drive.
For any users who wish to upgrade their computers with RISC OS Select or Adjust and/or a DVD drive, RISCOS Ltd is offering various handy upgrade bundles; see above.
Ironically (given that the DVD was actually created on an Iyonix, and is compatible with it in software terms), it is not currently possible to use this DVD on an Iyonix PC because RISC OS 5 cannot read DVDs. In the future, however, this is likely to change: once DVD-handling capabilities have been added (either by a future RISC OS upgrade or via the forthcoming third-party Cino product), the FRU DVD will work very nicely on the Iyonix.
If you wish to use the Foundation RISC User DVD but do not want to upgrade your computer, or you have an Iyonix, there are still other alternatives: if your computer is on a network with a PC or Mac, and you are prepared to devote 1GB of hard drive space to the magazine, you can simply copy the entire contents of the DVD across your network and then run it locally from your RISC OS computer. This will provide the most efficient performance in any case. The magazine itself can also, of course, be read on a Mac or PC; you will simply lose the ability to use the RISC OS-only interactive features which involve launching software from the DVD.
Richard Hallas, Editor, Foundation RISC User, RISCOS Ltd
RiscCAD price crash!
The latest version of RiscCAD, Release 8e is now available from:
Note that this is the full version of RiscCAD and not a cut down, time limited or restricted version. It is supplied with all the original utilities, symbols, fills etc. This product originally retailed for £250. There are minor additions to the version supplied by APDL/ProAction. The main difference being the increased speed and a few bug fixes. Due to the minimal cost, there is no upgrade path for previous users. Users who require an upgrade should purchase the product again, probably excluding the manuals.
It has been tested on Virtual Acorn, using RISC OS 4, and will work on the Iyonix (with minor screen redraw limitations).
This is a single-user licence, users who require a multi-user licence should contact the above for prices.
Payment is by cheque, PayPal or PO, made payable to David Buck. Please send the user name and address when ordering, as RiscCAD will be pre-installed before issue.
Supply may be via an email archive, or floppy disk by post. Customers who request it will be sent the email archive after receipt of their payment.
Please note, due to the offer price of RiscCAD, it is supplied with NO DOCUMENTATION. The original Impression manuals can be supplied as an archive via email or on disk for an additional £5. They cannot be issued as printed bound manuals.
Due to the low supply cost, no support can be offered. A 12 month support contract may be purchased for £10.00 This will provide support via email.
For users unfamiliar with RiscCAD, below is a list of the main features.
'The redraw speed of RiscCAD is remarkably swift...The software is reliable, throughout Acorn User's comprehensive three-month testing, RiscCAD did not crash or go wrong in any way.' - Acorn User
'What is so impressive with RiscCAD is not only the wide variety of drawing options available but the overall consistency with which all these features are implemented...As I have already indicated I am very impressed with the way in which RiscCAD has been implemented and with the wealth of features and functions available...if you are seeking the means to create highly accurate scaled drawings then I can recommend it without reservation.' - Acorn Publisher
A demo version of RiscCAD is in the software directory of this very issue, and RISCWorld urges you to try it as it really is an absolute bargain.