Ian Giblin : Acorn / RISC OS Page

This is one of my youngest pages; I found my old Acorn page was getting so many broken links on it that I discarded the whole thing. I'm now in the process of rebuilding this page (mid-2001). If you're expecting to find something here and cannot, please email me.

I have added a new sction here called On My Desktop which is designed to help other RISC OS users find some of the neat applications I have come to rely upon. I'm pretty cheap and most of this stuff is freeware, but there are also some commercial programs mentioned.

On this page:
Other relevant pages:

RISC OS Software You Can Download

58 K

!TextPort translates the end-of-line characters in text files. If you get a DOS text file and it is double-spaced on your editor, it is because there are two end-of-line characters at the end of each line, where we RISC OS people (and unix too) only need one. Apple computers only use one, but a different one. This program will let you convert text files back and forth to your heart's content. There is also (included) a command line version for RISC OS and a command line version for DOS. This makes it easy to use TextPort in batch files or Obey files. This is a program I use a lot; small, simple and effective.

130 K

!Plot3D loads a three-column CSV file and allows you to study the data as a dynamic 3D scatter plot. This application is really a small 'C' front end (source code included) which launches a Basic program containing ARM code. Three languages for the price of one! Note that this application is designed to be quick and dirty, it has only a few options and you can't do stuff like zoom in and out. It is just intended to be a very quick drag-and-drop tester for 3D datasets, with minimal memory footprint.

If you'd like to see how !Plot3D looks in action, here's are some cool animations of a simulated asteroid (330 K, data courtesy Karri Muinonen), a Mandelbrot Set (380 K) and some trajectories from a hypervelocity impact experiment (290 K). NOTE: All three datasets are included in the program archive, so it would actually be quicker to download that and run the program if you're sitting at a RISC OS machine.

26 K

!AppMaker is a utility for 'packaging' small programs inside application shells. Say you've got a program called 'ian', you can drop 'ian' onto the AppMaker icon and it will create an application called !ian with your original program inside it and renamed to !RunImage. It will also do the following:

  • Create !Sprites and !Sprites22 files with correctly named sprites;
  • Create !Boot and !Run files which set up 'ian$dir' and 'ian$path' for you;
  • Place a simple !Help file inside the app shell;
  • Optionally edit the !Help file and sprite files after your new app shell is created;
  • If 'ian' is a directory it will be opened by double-clicking !ian.

31 K

!TechnoX has only one very specific purpose: To convert the image files created by the 'Technomatic Techno-I' video digitiser into something readable. If you own one of these digitisers, you might find this application useful. The C source code is included within the application.

51 K

!Saviour can add an auto-save to any program which supports the F3 function Key for this action (this is most of them). I wrote this while I was writing my thesis using TechWriter, which in those days crashed a lot on my machine. TechWriter is a lot better now, and in fact I don't need Saviour any more, but here it is in case you need it. COMPATIBLITY ISSUE: This might not work on a machine with 16-bit audio, or at least the sound sample might not work (it uses a sound effect to warn you when it is about to press F3).

26 K

!2048This counts space used including file allocation tables in directories. I think it does anyway. DO NOT USE THIS UNDER RISC OS 4 - I haven't tested it and the behaviour is 'undefined'. This was co-written by myself and Paddy Spencer. Actually I think Paddy wrote all of it.

74 K

!U2 is a utility to convert between 'uu-encoded' and binary files. This 'uu-encoding' comes from 'unix-to-unix' encoding, which at one time was the only solution when you needed to convert all your binary (8-bit) files to text (7-bit) before you could send them as emails. I'm pretty sure the same is still true today but it is all done in the background, either built into your email software or your web browser or somethig. Anyway, here's the program is you need it. This was co-written by myself and Paddy Spencer.


!SmartCD and its brother !SmartCD+ are CD player applicatons. They've got their own home page; clicking on the icon will take you there.

Back to the top of this page

DrawScript Software and Gallery

DrawScript is a scripting language of Basic extensions, developed by Joe Taylor. It is essentially a set of DrawFile construction tools for Basic programs and allows you to build Draw files using any function or code you can write in Basic. This makes it very powerful - as long as you can write Basic code, you can pretty much create any diagram you want, plot any data, as long as you can imagine how it should look.

I've used DrawScript quite a lot over the past few years in its various forms but most of the software I've developed has been very very project-specific. The program (eventually, programs) below are merely very project specific.


180 K

!HeatMap loads data from a CSV file and plots it on a flattened surface using DrawScript. These plots are used in studying relative profit/loss performance of large numbers of portfolios (I work on Wall Street). You can see a small example JPEG (40K) here and a really nice GIF file here. If you've got a little programming experience you should be able to adapt this program to your own needs. The archive is quite large because it contains an example from a PC program called Axum, plus the datafile I've been using to test it.


258 K

!HotPlot is essentially an improved version of of the DrawScript program HeatMap, plus a C ToolBox front end. When you run it, it puts an icon on the icon bar, opens a window and lets you select various types of plots and presets from drop-down menus. It also supports multiple palettes and can do sequential files for animations using !InterGif (here's an example animation). When you click 'Plot' it just builds a parameter file and launches the meaty HeatMap program. ALL SOURCE CODE IS INCLUDED. Note: This might require more memory and may be tougher to use on low-spec or older machines, which is why I separated this from the previous entry.



!BombPlot imports data from my impact experiments and produces different types of plot. Clicking on this link doesn't get you the software but here are some example plots. I think this is a nice illistration of DrawScript's power. These figures and others here have been published in several scientific journals including Icarus. These particular ones are from reference [15] on the publications page.

Other software (these are all plain text files)

  • WAT2PPM - Watford 'Picture' to PPM convertor, lightning fast.
  • PARAMETERS - For command-line options to Basic programs.
  • HITCOUNT - Site hit info for DeltaNet

  • HITCOUNT - Site hit info for AlphaNet (tiny change)

  • Back to the top of this page

    On My Desktop

    I love my RiscPCs. There, I said it. Here are some of the little things which make these machines even nicer to use. Some of this is directly downloadable from here, other stuff you have to pay for. I did not write any of the software in this section; if you look in each archive or link there is usually evidence of the author.

    Back to the top of this page

    About This Site

    In case you're curious, this web site is usually run from my desktop RiscPC. The software is 'AlphaNet' by Chris Poole; he sold the whole package to ANT to become their Server Suite which (as far as I know) was a resounding disaster. I've used AlphaNet for a long time and found it to be excellent. The web pages are located on a Linux file server but the whole lot is behind a firewall where I have mapped incoming HTML traffic to my RiscPC. The end result is a nice mix of systems which makes the whole thing very easy for me to maintain. Although the files you're looking at are not on my RiscPC HD, they might as well be.

    One other neat thing: In the spirit of the original Risc PC toaster, I currently power my Gaggia espresso machine from the back of my Risc PC :-).

    Back to the top of this page
    Back to the index