Available on either CD or USB flash drive, the Soft Rock Software Collection is a compilation of all of the RISC OS software currently available from the Soft Rock Software website – with extras!
I am pleased to report that having now set up the ARMini computer that I purchased at Wakefield 2011, I have been able to briefly test the following pieces of software and found that they appear to work without problem:
- WebChange – the website maintenance tool for RISC OS computers. The software features a wealth of features that allows the user – you – to simplify what could otherwise be repetitive work when maintaining and updating websites.
- Seek’n’Link – a search tool that will search HTML and other text files, and generate a HTML file containing the results as links.
- WaitUntil – a command line tool that allows you to insert ‘pauses’ in Obey files. Such a pause can be for a set amount of time, until a specified file is closed, or for many other reasons.
- TimeToHex – another command line tool, this one generates a hexadecimal string based on the current time and puts it in the specified system variable.
- Quicksand – a free text adventure game in which you play the part of Stan Tyler, and must find your way out of the woodland park and back to a world in which fashion sense prevails. Quicksand is written using Trellis, which is itself written in BBC BASIC, but they both require the relocatable module SRSLibrary – so Quicksand (and therefore Trellis) working indicates that this module is compatible.
I am pleased to announce that, as planned, to coincide with Soft Rock Software’s 21st birthday, a 32bit version of WebChange is available for RISC OS users to download, free of charge from the WebChange website.
The software is technically still a beta version – the last of the main functions having been added over the last few days – but most of what is there has been stable for some time; in house testing hasn’t shown up any significant problems, and any that have been reported by people using the development versions have been dealt with. Provided no new problems are found, the version now available will eventually have its version number bumped up to 3.00.00.
The one thing missing is a user manual and, barring any other problems, that is the next thing to be done. In the meantime, the manual for the old 26bit version is available from the WebChange site, and further information can be found by looking at the mailing list archives. I hope that anything not covered (or which has changed) in the old manual or through the archives should be reasonably self explanatory. Anything else, along with any support queries, should be raised on the mailing list.
The full announcement, as posted to comp.sys.acorn.announce, is available here.
Soft Rock Software’s flagship product, WebChange, is to become two products – WebChange and WebChange Pro. The first of these, to be released later this year, will be WebChange. This will be a free download, to replace the 26bit version which is currently free to download from the WebChange website. This free release will provide most of the capabilities found in the WebChange of old, but unlike that version it will run on 32bit hardware such as the IyonixPC and A9Home, as well as RiscPCs and other 26bit hardware.
Once WebChange is complete and available focus will then switch to the development of WebChange Pro, which will be the version users will get when they purchase the software, and will be available to those who have purchased it in the past. This version will include all of the features of WebChange as well as enhanced facilities and new features, such as a new and more versatile script language.
If you are attending the 2010 Wakefield Show on April 24th, please pop by stand 9 for a chat about WebChange and other items, such as an adventure game cunningly titled It’s No Game!
While tidying up some old files I discovered the following text, which I had written in late 2007. It’s some notes I wrote up about how Quicksand (a text adventure game for RISC OS) came about, and a broad outline of how it was written. I think I was intending to finish it and publish it on the main Soft Rock Software website – and since the reason I more recently decided to set up WordPress was for that kind of thing it seems sensible to publish it here, albeit a couple of years later.
Earlier this year I booked a stand at the 2007 Wakefield Show in the hope that I would have the new version of WebChange developed far enough that I’d have something meaningful to demonstrate, even though it wouldn’t yet be good enough to actually sell.
However, I’ve developed this theory that whenever I state in public that I’m going to have time to do this, or work on that, my (non RISC OS) workload increases and prevents me doing what I said I’d do. It therefore came as little surprise to me that when a list of confirmed Wakefield exhibitors was published, which obviously included Soft Rock Software, the result was a sudden increase in my workload. (This is something worth keeping in mind if I’m ever short of money, of course – although that workload doesn’t always include paid work!)
I consequently decided that there wasn’t going to be enough time to do what I’d wanted or hoped on WebChange before the show without rushing, and rushing would lead to messy code, which I didn’t want. So the question became one of what I could do instead in the amount of time available.
The answer, I decided, was to write a simple adventure game using the software I’d written for this purpose many years before – Trellis. Ironically, I wrote that software so that I could more easily write adventure games, but in the end the only games I’ve ever written with Trellis were the demonstration games supplied with it (and, strictly speaking, they were simply ports to the Trellis system of two adventure games I’d written already!)