Meeting: PD Software Roundup

February 2007

Replacing the planned visit from RISC OS Open Ltd at short notice due to the bad weather, Steve Fryatt – who writes the ‘PD Column’ in Archive Magazine – gave us a round-up of what is currently happening in the world of free software. Covering a range of applications and utilities from web browsers to desktop games and utilities, the evening gave an insight in the useful software that RISC OS users can download from the internet.

Report by Richard Ashbery

Can I welcome our new club chairman, Rick Sterry. I am certain that I can speak for all club members in wishing him every success for the coming year.

The proposed visit from RISC OS Open Ltd with Steve Revill and Jack Lillingston had to be cancelled. Although the severe weather didn’t materialise until the next morning, I don’t think we can blame them for being cautious. I don’t think I would have taken the ‘RISC’. Lets hope we can book them again soon.

As far as I’m concerned the evening was very successful, with Steve Fryatt covering PD and freeware in his usual exemplary way. He covered in some detail PrivateEye, a rapid viewer program I use regularly and would not want to be without (The WROCC 24.11).

Extensively covered was an interesting program permitting a user to add toolbars to virtually any program. An editor – BBarEdit – is used to create them. This editor is well laid out and if members are interested I will write an article describing how to create your own simple add-on bars.

Web applications Firefox, TapirMail and WebJames were covered although I find that Steve runs through these things so rapidly I get a bit lost. However there is only limited time and users can always do more research at a later date – one of the main things Steve does is make us aware.

A RISC OS game – SuperDoku – was also discussed, providing enthusiasts with a good many variations of the number puzzle.

He gave an excellent demonstration of TextEffX, the graphic text creator program originally sold as Insignia by that potentially up-and-coming company, Cerilica.

MimeMan – a program designed to ensure an up-to-date mimemap – was reviewed along with that rather excellent utility, QuickFiler (reviewed in The WROCC 23.8). This works in the background, allowing users to use control keys instead of the ubiquitous mouse clicks to control filer operations.

Finally, Steve Potts demonstrated the art of fault-finding a RiscPC. What about writing an article detailing all those useful tips, Steve?

PD Software from February’s Meeting

All of the software covered during February’s impromptu talk is listed here, along with details of where it can be downloaded. I have included items that came up in audience questions, even if I didn’t actually try and demo them on the night.

Most of the items are released as freeware or under the GPL, but a couple of items are shareware and Peter Naulls is happy to receive donations to enable more work to be done on porting Linux software over to our platform. See the details on the donations page of the RISC OS Firefox site for information of how to contribute.

All of the items listed should be happy both on the Iyonix and on older systems.

Button Bar – David Llewellyn-Jones (Freeware)
Firefox – Peter Naulls (GPL, but donations welcomed)
MimeMan – Adam Richardson
PrivateEye – David Thomas (Freeware) (for the toolbar)
QickFiler – Martin Avison & David Thomas (Freeware)
SuperDoku – Hilary Phillips (Shareware, £5)
TapirMail – David Llewellyn-Jones (Shareware, £5 / £7.05)
TextEffX – John Whitington (Freeware) (right at the bottom of the page)
WebJames – Alex Waugh & Henrik Bjerregaard Pedersen (GPL)

Steve Fryatt