RISC World

PD World

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

Once again welcome to PDWorld, the column that covers all the latest PD and freeware software released for RISC OS. So what new software has been released for RISC OS recently?

PrintPDF V0.32 - Steve Fryatt

I covered this in the last issue, however Steve has been working hard and has released a new version with a number of changes.

  • Writes GhostScript parameters to a file in PipeFS and calls "*gs @" to get around command line length restrictions on RISC OS 3.
  • Opens a "conversion finished" pop-up when child task terminates.
  • The "conversion finished" pop-up can be selected from the Choices window.
  • While GhostScript is converting a file, the destination is given load and exec addresses of &DEADDEAD.
  • Added FileName option token, and use it to override FileName token in Messages file when set.
  • Full path and filename is remembered between conversions if 'Reset for every conversion' option is off.

Steve said in his announcement that "The main change in this release is the way in which parameters are passed to GhostScript, hopefully solving the "Too long" errors seen on RISC OS 3. Previous versions called *ps2pdf, which could result in the command line length exceeding the 255 character limit on older systems.  Version 0.30 calls GhostScript directly, and passes all the filenames and conversion parameters in a separate command file.  This not only removes the risk of conversions failing if the PDFs are saved too far down a directory tree, but it also opens up the possibility of making many more conversion options available in future versions."

He then went on to add "The new version also includes an indication of when the conversion completes, reducing the risk of moving or opening the PDF while GhostScript is still creating it.  Version 0.20, which was never announced, adds the ability to run PrintPDF without an iconbar icon to save space on the desktop".


For those that don't know PrintPDF provides a front end to GhostScript that allows you to print a PDF file from any applications that uses the RISC OS printer drivers. It's possible the generate PDF files under RISC OS using GhostScript alone, but a lot of messing about is involved and it's quite easy to accidentally overwrite the file during the process. PrintPDF greatly simplifies the process and provides a neat and tidy solution.

FileNuke - Paul Vigay

FileNuke is a small utility designed to delete a file permanently using "military grade file overwriting". As I am sure RISCWorld readers know once a file is deleted it can still be recovered using conventional means as the data is still stored on the disc. Eventually the space on the disc will be re-used by another file over writing the old file. However it's still possible to recover the data that was there before. I seem to recall that some years ago IBM technicians reformatted a hard drive 10 times and were still able to recover the original data from it. FileNuke overwrites the file multiple times using a number of different byte patterns to render it unrecoverable by any known means.


So if you have sensitive data (bank accounts etc) that you need to ensure are totally deleted then FileNuke is for you (it's also ideal for conspiracy theorists - ED).

RoTunes - Paul Vigay

Paul has also been busy developing his iTunes clone for RISC OS, RoTunes. This allows users to play MP3 files using a similar interface to iTunes on Apple computers. To load, double click on the !ROTunes icon. This will place an icon on the iconbar. If it's the first time you've run it, and no library database exists, a window will open asking you to import some MP3s. Drag the directory containing your MP3s into this window and click 'Add to Library' to being the import and building of the main library. To be recognised by ROTunes, MP3 files must be filetyped AMPEG (&1AD) or they will be ignored.


RoTunes requires a copy of AmPlayer, this can be downloaded from although I have placed a copy in the PD directory, Iyonix users need to use the version in the Iyonix sub directory.

SedBar - Stewart Brookes

SEDBar is an add-on buttonbar, designed to enhance your experience of using StrongED. The idea is to offer time-saving shortcuts for frequently-used features, avoiding the need to traverse menus or memorise keystroke combinations. Double-click on !ButtonBar and then double-click on !SEDBar. It is very important that you follow that sequence (if you don't, then things will go horribly wrong...). Once you've done that, try opening a StrongED document. There should be a new buttonbar running down the right-hand side of the document window. At present, there is no guide to what the buttons do. Please use interactive help, and remember that Adjust does something different with most buttons.

TTF2f - J M Bell

TTF2f converts TTF and other font formats supported by FreeType2 to RISC OS format fonts suitable for use with the Unicode Font Manager. The conversion process isn't exceptionally fast but it seems to convert at around 20 characters per second (that's fast enough for me - ED). With the shortage of true UniCode fonts for RISC OS TTF2f could be just what some users are looking for.


That's all I have for you this time, I will be back next time.

Paul Brett