RISC World

PD World

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

Here we are again at our regular roundup of the latest freely available software releases for RISC OS users. We have a number of updates to perennial RISC OS favourites this issue a well as some interesting new releases. So without further introduction let us see what has been released in the last couple of months.

CashBook V0.99 - Steve Fryatt

We have covered this very nice banking application previously. Steve has said that this is the final beta version and hopes that version 1.00 will be the first version that he considers to be a proper full release. CashBook is a very capable home accounts package. It can track money through an unlimited number of accounts. These can include Banks, Building Societies and even credit cards.


CashBook also includes a reporting section that can be used to analyse both income and expenditure. The user can ensure that transactions are reconciled against printed back statements. The application supports standing orders and direct debits as well as regular income payments, such as wages. There have been a number of improvements since the last release, these include:

  • The ability to sort the contents of the transaction window, statement views and standing order lists on any of the visible columns.
  • Highlighting of overdrawn accounts or over/under budget analysis headings in the account and heading list window.
  • In statement views, overdrawn account balances can be highlighted and out-of-budget-period analysis heading entries can be shaded.
  • Full support for entering negative values throughout the package.

Anyone who is using the previous version would be well advised to switch to this new improved version and to feed any problems back to Steve so they can be rolled into the next release.

Dr Wimp V4.70 - Ray Favre

This is a new release of the popular WIMP development package. Dr Wimp provides a set of libraries and tools that allow developers to quickly and easily develop multi-tasking applications that run in the RISC OS desktop. You can see a range of sample applications that give you some idea of what can be created inside the Examples archive in the software directory on this RISCWorld CD.

DrWimp example programs

Dr Wimp needs a computer running RO 3.60 or higher, users need to be reasonably familiar with BBC BASIC.

Version 4.70 of Dr Wimp mainly concentrates on extending the facilities for the management of menus & sub-menus. Extra parameters have been added to the three main 'user-functions' concerned with menus/sub-menus, giving the programmer a wider range of management options. In addition, the existing 'wimp-functions' used for displaying and printing drawfiles have been extended to allow negative scale values to be accepted - thus allowing back-to-front and upside-down images. Also included is a new manual covering the improvements and how to take advantage of them.

RiscSearch - Patrick Mortara

RiscSearch is the only meta-search engine available for RISC OS. It queries up to 18 different search-engines for a certain keyword and then presents the result in a browser window. The user can then directly jump to the pages found. RiscSearch eliminates duplicate matches and sorts them depending on the amount of engines, which have found the page. At the moment !RiscSearch understands Altavista, Northernlight, Lycos, Yahoo, Acornsearch AllTheWeb, Excite, WebCrawler, Google and Metager pages.


To use RiscSearch, there has to be some kind of active internet connection on the machine. Using RiscSearch is very simple. Just click Select on the iconbar icon and the query window will be opened. There you can select what kind of stuff you're searching for (Websites, Files, ....) and which engines should be used for your query. RiscSearch tries to be intelligent by automatically choosing all engines which are suitable for your query.

Themes - Little Yellow Moon

Themes is a proposed framework for a theme manager for RISC OS. It comes in two parts. The first part is the !Themes application. This needs to be put into !Boot.Resources. It stores the separate RISC OS themes so that the main theme manager can find them.


The second part of the suit is the main theme manager, called ThemeMan. This opens a window with a drop down menu listing all the Themes installed on the system. You cam now select the theme you would like to use from the dropdown menu. Once a Theme has been selected, !ThemeMan will add a small file with the name of the selected Theme to the current user's Choices directory (Choices$Write.Themes.Choices). Next time the computer boots-up, !Themes will check to see if there's a chosen Theme, and if so will automatically update the desktop to reflect your selection. If you wish to select a different Theme, or stop using Themes and go back to the RISC OS defaults, use !ThemeMan again to alter your choice.

I shall return with the PD column for Volume 8 Issue 1.

Paul Brett