Matt Thompson with the latest news for Iyonix owners.
RISC OS 5.13
This is the main event for this month, an update to the Iyonix operating system. RISC OS 5 is now at version 5.13, which is a free download to anyone running RISC OS 5.12. If you have not upgraded to RISC OS 5.12 then the 5.13 update will not work on your machine.
This release seems to be mainly a bug fixing exercise rather than adding any new features to RISC OS 5. As such the only thing you will probably notice being different is the date and version number on the Task Manager.
Hopefully more visible updates and new features will come later with the open sourcing of RISC OS 5. For a full list of changes in RISC OS 5.13 see the Iyonix website at www.iyonix.com and go into the updates section, then from there into the ROM updates section.
You will need to log in with your username and password to download the upgrade, this will have been given to you with the purchase of RISC OS 5.12.
Unfortunately at the time of writing the ROOL open source project has not gone live, hopefully this will happen in the not too distant future, for more information on this see www.riscosopen.org.
USB Missle launcher
This new release is something of a novelty. Dave Higton, the man who wrote a program to allow a USB radio work to work with the Iyonix, has now written a program which allows you to connect a USB missile launcher to your Iyonix and then use it to control and fire the missiles!
The USB missile launchers can be bought from various places but I bought mine for £24.99 from Play.com.
Once you have your USB missile launcher you will now need to obtain the software, this can be found on Daves website at http://www.apts04.dsl.pipex.com/Progs/Missile.htm, when it has been downloaded plug in your Missile launcher, run the software and it should all work. I say should as I haven't actually seen it in action just yet as I don't have the missile launcher just yet, it's in the post somewhere at the time of writing, so more on that next time.
Whilst this release is not something that was at the top of most Iyonix owners wishlists it is an interesting development and is something else that can be added to the list of things the Iyonix can do. It's a bit of entertainment if nothing else, and I look forward to seeing what other gadgets can be made to work with the Iyonix via the USB ports.
This is very good news to see a new release of CDVDburn the CD/DVD creation software, it has been a while since the last update so it is good to see that development is continuing.
The main new feature of Version 2.02b is that support for DVD-RAM discs is now available. This format is better for backing up computer data as it is more reliable. This new version also fixes a bug which occurred during multisession writing.
This new release is can be downloaded from Steffen Hubers website at www.hubersn-software.com/upgrading.html it is a free upgrade from V2.01 and you will need to enter your password and name which you would have got when buying the full version of CDVDburn.
Hopefully this is the beginning of a new development cycle for CDVDBurn and I for one would very much like to see the ability to burn MP3s to CD directly rather than having to convert them to WAV format. (Can't you just burn the MP3s as data files with the correct extension - ED). I would also (if possible) like be able to add CD text to CDs as this is a feature I find very useful particularly when I find stray blank CD-Rs with no label. Doing this would make it very easy to find out what is on the CD. Whether it is a payable or free update I don't mind at all.
A slightly surprising release this, given that RISC OS is well catered for already with email programs, but it is always interesting to see a port of a program from another platform up and running on RISC OS to see how it performs.
This release of Thunderbird is not a full release and is released as a demonstration program nothing else, so it is not fully functional.
For those who don't know Thunderbird is Mozilla's email program for other platforms, and Peter Naulls, following on from his Firefox port has released Thunderbird to go with it.
I don't know how well it works as I couldn't get it to work at all. The program notes do mention it may not work at all on some machines, so don't be surprised if it doesn't work on yours. If you are interested in having a look at Thunderbird on RISC OS then you can download it from www.riscos.info/unix/firefox.
This probably should go in the Public Domain column but as this program is aimed at the Iyonix but will work on other machines, I thought I would mention it here. MiscSetup has been around for a while now but has been updated recently and is currently now at V1.09.
Miscsetup adds a number of configurable options to the desktop such as font size, nextslot size and the ability to change the standard Iyonix logo for the Task Manager back to the good old Acorn one. When you install MiscSetup it will appear in the boot configuration options as shown below:
As you can see a new icon has now appeared, by clicking on the MiscSetup icon you can now select and change various options which will then become the default option for the machine until it is changed again.
Miscsetup is certainly worth a look and can be found at www.vigay.com/software/miscsetup.html.
There was a recent update for Grapevine in January, this was a free upgrade, taking the popular program to V2.12. This update fixes some problems that were being encountered by users due to a number of changes with MSN and ICQ protocols. Also a timeout problem with MSN has also been fixed. This upgrade to Grapevine was sent out automatically to registered users.
As I was typing this article an update to the excellent Netfetch arrived in my Inbox. This is now up to version 3.01, and as with Grapevine this was a free update sent out to all registered users.
This new version features a number of fixes which include updated spam rules, spam actions (which can now be set per individual mailbox) and to the handling of RSS updates. Also included is a textfile with a list of rude words - not to be viewed if likely to offended by such words - but this is certainly worth adding to the banned words list to help keep out spam, instructions are supplied on how to add this list to your current list.
For more details on all the R Comp products see their website at www.rcomp.co.uk - the ongoing developments on their internet based products, Grapvine, MessengerPRO, and Netfetch/Hermes is to be applauded as these programs get better and better with each release.
It is a shame their web browser WebsterXL has not had the same level of development as the other mentioned programs, as if it had then I doubt we would have a browser issue anymore.
That's about it for this month in the world of the Iyonix, as ever any comments, suggestions, product plugging or anything related to the Iyonix can be sent to email@example.com.