RISC World


Aaron Timbrell rounds up the software directory

As I am sure all our readers recall, last issue we gave away a free copy of Clare's Ilussionist package. This means that we have had "graphics" packages for the last two issues, so this time we though we would go for something a little different....

Ancestor+ Version 1.54 - original rrp £59.

This is a full, unrestricted version of Ancestor+ from APDL. This version has also been updated to be full 32bit compatible and as such can be used on both the Iyonix and A9. Ancestor+ is a Geneology application, designed to allow the user to easily enter information about family members so that a complete family tree can be built up with the minimum of extra work (the real work is finding out the information in the first place).

An HTML version of the Ancestor+ manual is provided on this issue, but since it is a Geneology program we thought you might be interested in the history of Ancestor+ itself...

In 1999 the first version of Ancestor+ was launched by APDL. This was originally supposed to have been called Ancestry+ and was the program that Graham Crow was working on at the time of his tragic and unexpected death. At the time it was believed to be nearly finished, but this proved not to be the case, and owing to various setbacks it took some time to complete. Just as APDL were preparing to release the product Minerva Software (now defunct) announced that they felt they owned all the rights to the word 'Ancestry' and would sue if a package was released with that name. The threat was made even though they Minerva no longer interested in Acorn computers and had failed to support users of Ancestry 2. So, what was to have been called Ancestry+ was renamed as Ancestor+.

Graham's aim had been for Ancestry+ to be a multi-tasking updated version of the original Ancestry, which had been marketed by Minerva Software. In its first, unreleased, form it was intended as a replacement for Ancestry 1, but Minerva had other ideas, and released a completely different (and somewhat buggy) Ancestry 2, which was not written by Graham.

APDL finally released Graham's program as Ancestor+ in 1999. However the initial release revealed that Graham's version of Ancestor+ was plagued with a series of bugs, mostly caused by faults in date handling. As these were traced and fixed they revealed still more problems and it was apparent that there were serious flaws in the original program. It was therefore reluctantly decided that it was not going to be possible to trace and fix all faults in Graham's original work, so it was completely re-written from scratch.

This new program was released under the same name but had no code from the version written by Graham. It also had lots of additional features, such as GEDCOM import and export, export data as cross-referenced HTML, export sub-files, merge files and more. The user interface was totally re-designed to be very simple to use, even by people who are not computer experts. Because of the way it can store and index huge amounts of 'external' data of almost any type it is ideal for people who want to compile complete family histories rather than just genealogical data.

As the main database is held in memory it not held back by slow drive access, so you can use it on any machine from a 1 Mb A3000 upward. A hard disc is not essential but is recommended if you intend to store more than a minimal amount of data about each person. The database can hold records for 20,000 individuals.

Since the APDL version of Ancestor+ was released it has been continually developed and now has a host of extra features, but the files remain compatible. So you can work on Ancestor+ version 1 knowing that should you need to upgrade at some future point all your work will be safe.

Upgrade to Ancestor+ Version 3

A reduced price upgrade to Ancestor+ version 3 (from the version supplied with this copy of RISCWorld) can be obtained for only £49.00 (saving £10 off the rrp) directly from APDL. Ancestor+ V3 has a large number of extra features over and above those offered by version 1. Upgrade offers are only available to RISCWorld subscribers.

The complete DiscWorld line up

As per usual we have our collections of the latest RISC OS applications, as well as support files for this issues articles:


Complete version of Ancestor+.


All the games from Paul Brett's column.


Support materials for our Graphics On the Arm serialisation.


Software featured in the Iyonix column.


Software covered in the letters column.


All the latest PD, shareware and freeware releases from the PD column.


This contains two sets of Toolbox Modules. The Castle archive contains the latest 26/32 bit neutral system components, required if you want to run a lot of new software releases on 26bit machines. The RISCOS Ltd archive contains later and improved versions of a number of modules and is suitable for all versions of RISC OS from 3.1 onwards. We have also included copies of SharedUnixLib and UnixHome as these are needed by some programs.

Aaron Timbrell