I’ve long since been aware that the Soft Rock Software blog has gone untouched for quite some time. In fact, I’ve more or less been aware of this fact since the last post became more than a few weeks old. That last post was on July 6th, 2012 – some eighteen months ago – reporting that I would be appearing at that year’s Midsummer Midlands Mugshow, and the banner for that show has been displayed since even earlier that year; probably shortly after the 2012 Wakefield Show, which was in April, and which didn’t even get a mention!
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.
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!)