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RISC OS Graphics News

new maintainer for photodesk [Wed, 18 May 2005] >>>

Photodesk distributor CJE Micro's has announced that the program has a new maintainer: Niklaus Weiss. The press release says:

CJE Micro's & Photodesk are pleased to announce that Photodesk now has a new maintainer in the guise of Niklaus Weiss of DeskDebugger fame.

Niklaus only has a very limited amount of free time to devote to Photodesk so his work will be limited to bug fixing and minor changes. He will need to familiarise himself with the code before starting on any changes, so no date is being given for updates.

Anyone wishing to report a bug or suggest a minor change please report/suggest it to the Photodesk mailing list, that way we can filter out miss-reports and hopefully get some idea of the level of support a suggested change has.

photodesk upgrade [Fri, 25 Jun 2004] >>>

CJE Micros has announced a small upgrade to Photodesk, to fix a problem with dynamic areas on Iyonix computers. The upgrade is to version 3.06, and will only operate on Photodesk 3.05 (the 32-bit version released last year). It's a free download, but is also available on disc for 10gbp.

photodesk ltd changes [Thu, 17 Jun 2004] >>>

CJE Micros has taken over all sales, distribution and marketing of Photodesk's products, which as well as the flagship Photodesk program includes OHP2, PhotoReal drivers and CameraDesk. This only affects the way the products are sold; all programming remains with Photodesk Ltd.

variations becomes fastest thumbnailer -- ever [Thu, 10 Jun 2004] >>>

Rob Davison has given his essential Variations graphics program the ability to display thumbnails of digital camera images. Lots of other programs do this, of course, but Variations uniquely uses the embedded thumbnail images present in EXIF-standard JPEGs (which nearly all digital cameras produce). This means that displaying thumbs of your pictures is near enough instant -- Rob quotes a time of 3 sec for 117 images, as opposed to 308 sec for Thump to do the same job (although it's fair to say that once the thumbnail has been generated, Thump is subsequently much faster).

The new version of Variations also includes support for the alpha-channel sprites introduced in RISC OS Select.

32-bit photofiler supports artworks files [Thu, 13 May 2004] >>>

Warm Silence Software has released a new version of its PhotoFiler software, which gives thumbnailed displays of images in normal filer display windows, instead of an icon. The program, which handles sprites, JPEGs and now ArtWorks files, is fully 32-bit compatible. It also provides other functions such as customised directory icons.

PhotoFiler costs 10gbp + VAT, or 5gbp to upgrade.

DrawWorks XL [Fri, 07 May 2004] >>>

APDL has released DrawWorks XL, a 32-bit version of its popular add-on to the Draw vector graphics program. There's a host of new features, including libraries and PNG support, and comes with a printed manual. It costs 49gbp.

compo, variations updates [Wed, 17 Dec 2003] >>>

Sweating in the New Zealand summer, Rob Davison has issued updates to his Composition (commercial) and Variations (freeware) graphics packages. Compo is now at 1.22f, and the update patch includes support for libraries in Composcript and various bugfixes. The Composcript manual by Lenny has also been updated.
Variations is now at version 0.29, and has a number of new features:

Rob has also officially announced GamSetUp, a configure plug-in to adjust gamma settings.
All programs are 32-bit compatible.

ROUGPS is dead, long live GemPrint [Sat 6 Dec 2003] >>>

Martin Wuerthner has decided on a name for his project to port the Gimp-Print high-quality printing system to RISC OS. Previously referred to as ROUGPS, it is now called GemPrint and comes with a neat logo. The project is open-source, but Martin welcomes donations.
GemPrint will provide drivers for an enormous range of printers, and integrates with the standard Printers application seamlessly -- any application which can print will be able to use GemPrint. It will support "even the highest resolutions at which current printers can be driven and offers photo-real print quality by making use of the photo-real inks of the printers." Colour correction for different media types is supported too. The system will work on RISC OS 3.5 or greater (including 5.0), but Martin warns that lots of memory is needed -- at least 64MB, or a virtual memory system -- and a fast processor is "a good idea".
Martin is reporting progress regularly on his site, and a release is expected in December 2003 or January 2004.

Acorn User is dead, long live ... Qercus? [Wed, 3 Dec 2003] >>>

John Cartmell, editor and owner of Acorn Publisher, has taken over the venerated but ailing Acorn User magazine. The two publications will be merged (or "fused") under the new title Qercus, with alternating editions concentrating on Acorn Publisher type material, and content of interest to the wider RISC OS community.
John is always looking for contributions, and in particular would like to see items for the return of the much-missed *Info feature of Acorn User. This traditionally featured small programs, often of a graphical nature, that illustrated or explained some feature of the computer or coding technique. If you can contribute, write to

New Photodesk manual mooted [Tue, 2 Dec 2003] >>>

Ian Chamberlain of IC Software, having put together a printed manual for the updated ArtWorks 2 package, is considering producing an updated manual for Photodesk. Ian says:

If you're a user of RISC OS' leading bitmap graphics program and you'd be interested in an up-to-date printed manual, please email us to register your interest. This would be produced to the same high specification as the Artworks 2 manual.

Fourth Dimension rescue PaintPal [Sat, 22 Nov 2003] >>>

Iyonix owners and users of the PaintPal graphics tablet, which is well supported by Photodesk, have been frustrated by the refusal of the programmer to convert the driver for 32-bit compatibility. Hats off to Fourth Dimension, who have taken over distribution of the device and immediately announced a free 32-bit upgrade for existing owners.
4D have limited stocks of the serial port version of the hardware, which is only available to "pre Iyonix RISC OS users" -- Iyonix users can look forward to a USB tablet, a driver for which is currently being developed. If you have an Iyonix and already own a PaintPal, the 32-bit upgrade is provided free ... but you'll need to either buy an external power supply (4D can supply one) or plug the tablet into a RISC PC keyboard connector.

Awards for Ryan Li and Lee Montgomerie [Wed, 19 Nov 2003] >>>

Ryan Li, a Photodesk user whose terrific gallery site we've been pleased to link to, has been named the Guardian Student Photographer of the Year for 2003. Ryan, a student at Oxford, submitted a shot documenting the SARS scare earlier this year, and wins £500 in cash, two return flights with easyJet, and a week's work experience at the Guardian (which Ryan is particularly looking forward to). Many congratulations!
Speaking of prizes, this site's own Lee Montgomerie has scooped another accolade for her photography: a shot of bluebells in a local wood has been chosen as the May image in the official Leeds calendar for 2004. Lee won a Sony digicam, which she promptly exchanged for a much superior Nikon.


Lee's prizewinning picture

32-bit Widget5 available [Fri, 17 Oct 2003] >>>

Andrew Sellors has made a 32-bit version of his freeware Widget5 graphics processing program available. It provides many graphics operations, and is particularly notable for being the only RISC OS graphics package to support 16-bit per pixel greyscale images. It has an interesting approach to handling multiple images, and can also handle 24-bit colour images. It's impressively fast on the Iyonix, and time-consuming operations are smoothly multi-tasked. Well worth investigating.
(Thanks to Jeremy Cooke for alerting me to this impressive piece of software.)

gamma control [Sun, 31 Aug 2003] >>>

Rob Davison and Stuart Halliday have collaborated on GamSetup, which gives control over your screen's gamma settings. The program can work either stand-alone or as a plug-in for the Configure application on recent versions of RISC OS, including RISC OS 5 on the Iyonix.
Control over gamma -- roughly, the display's brightness, contrast and colour settings -- is essential for serious graphics work, and is especially useful for colour printing. GamSetup has a wealth of features, and comes with instructions for setting up your screen to get the best results.

composition updated [Tue, 19 Aug 2003] >>>

Rob Davison has issued an update to his Composition graphics package, bringing it to version 1.22e. New features include improved JPEG loading, auto-trimming, new blend modes (Screen, Hard Light and Soft Light), fuzzy magic wand fills, and many more. Various bug-fixes are included, and there are new Composcript features.

Webgen2 v2.03 [Sun, 17 Aug 2003] >>>

Webgen2 will take a directory of images, (GIF, JPEG, TIFF, sprite and PNG currently) and turn them into a complete web site. It is a completely rewritten version of the original Webgen, and includes many new features and improvements. The new release offers some bug fixes.

ROAST site official launch [Sat, 16 Aug 2003] >>>

Our sister site, ROAST, has been launched. Covering astronomy, meteorology and related subjects, the site aims to provide a resource for RISC OS users interested in these fields. It complements the ROAST mailing list set up in April 2003, and includes some material of interest to Photodesk users, including a tutorial on image stacking.

thumbcat updated [Tue, 8 Jul 2003] >>>

Malcolm Ripley's Thumbcat has been updated to v2.4. It's an image catalogue application which can handle sprites, Drawfiles, JPEGs, EXIFs and digital camera AVI movies. It can also produce web pages.

32-bit photodesk is here... [Thu 8 May, 2003] >>>

Photodesk Ltd has confirmed that a 32-bit version of Photodesk is now available, and will be on sale at the Wakefield show this Saturday. This means that the fastest currently available RISC OS computer, the Iyonix, will be able to run Photodesk natively rather than under emulation.
Photodesk on the Iyonix will also benefit hugely from the extremely fast UDMA disk interface now fitted to the machines. Typical load speeds are 40MB per second, around 20 times faster than a standard RiscPC.
The price of the full version of Photodesk has also been reduced substantially, to £80.00.


...and so is cameradesk [Thu 8 May, 2003] >>>

Photodesk Ltd has announced CameraDesk, a USB-based connection package for digital cameras. You'll need a Simtec USB card (so it won't work on the Iyonix), and can currently handle all Canon USB cameras. Photodesk says: "This utility is fully compatible with Photoshow and Photodesk software and shows the entire contents of the camera as a filer window or as a clipboard of thumbnails if used in conjunction with Photoshow."


iyonix linux [Thu 8 May, 2003] >>>

News that Castle intends to supply Debian ARM Linux on its Iyonix range of computers carries the intriguing prospect of being able to compile and run applications like The Gimp on high-performance ARM hardware. Linux of course has a wealth of freely available graphics applications, but it remains to be seen how well they will perform compared to native RISC OS programs.

roast mailing list [Mon 5 May, 2003] >>>

ROAST, the RISC OS Astronomy mailing list, has been set up by the maintainers of this site. One of the aims is to provide a discussion forum for "processing of astronomical images with RISC OS graphics applications such as Photodesk, Composition, ChangeFSI and others", hence its inclusion here. To join, go to the SmartGroups home page (link at right) or send an email to

come to wakefield [Mon 5 May, 2003] >>>

The annual Wakefield RISC OS show takes place on Sat 10 May from 10-4.30. There's the possibility of a 32-bit Photodesk, and there are hints of various USB projects seeing the light of day, including card readers for digital cameras. And as always, there'll be plenty of bargains available.

proartisan re-released [Mon 5 May, 2003] >>>

APDL/ProAction Software has re-released the 24-bit bitmap graphics package ProArtisan 24 at the very impressive price of ukp29. Supplied on CD and suitable for RO 3.5 and later (although there is no word on 32-bit compatibility), you get a good variety of features: a range of "artistic" brushes; integration of Draw paths with brushwork; cloning; cut and paste with feathering; filters; and a "frisket" (whatever that is!).
This looks like it could serve as a very usable introductory package, although it doesn't include such essentials as layers or different colour models. And the price makes it an excellent buy.

32-bit photodesk [Sat 19 Apr, 2003] >>>

Work continues on the 32-bit version of Photodesk. Programmer David Ruck also aims to fix some outstanding bugs and improve stability, and get the code into a state whereby it can be updated more easily in the future. It's currently undergoing beta testing, and although no firm dates have been set for a release David will be demonstrating the package on an Iyonix at the Wakefield show in May.

photodesk mailing list [Sat, 8 Mar 2003] >>>

There's now an independent Smartgroups mailing list for Photodesk users. It's unmoderated at present, and membership is open to all. To join, simply send a blank email to, or visit the Smartgroups web site at

polygon2 for artworks [Wed, 5 Mar 2003] >>>

What a busy man is Martin Wuerthner. Hot on the heels of the SVG exporter, he's produced a small but very useful upgrade for the Artworks Polygon plug-in: "By popular demand, the Polygon tool has been upgraded to support rounded corners. Both the outside corners of polygons and stars and the inside corners of stars can be rounded with one mouse click. The degree of roundness can be entered numerically as a percentage or edited by simply dragging one of [the] roundness control handles. This allows a wealth of new nice star-like objects to be generated easily and comfortably."
The original Polygon is shareware, and costs £10 (you also get the Intersect and PathUtils plug-ins). Upgrading to Polygon2 costs another £10.

artworks svg exporter available [Mon, 3 Mar 2003] >>>

Martin Wuerthner has released an SVG (Scaleable Vector Graphics) exporter for ArtWorks, extending the cross-platform capabilities of the package considerably. SVG files are readable by a number of leading Mac and PC graphics programs, and -- unlike the various unreliable and inconsistent EPS formats -- allow for correct transfer of properties such as replications, pattern fills and transparency, and text remains editable when exported. There's no mention of any SVG import facility, though.
The SVGExport plug-in costs £20.

new exifinfo version [Sun, 23 Feb 2003] >>>

In case you missed it, there's a new version (0.59) of the EXIFinfo digital camera utility available from this site. The program now runs on both 26- and 32-bit systems, and can be called by other programs with a command-line interface. You can see a sample of the program's output here.

aemulor demo now available [Sun, 23 Feb 2003] >>>

Aemulor is an emulator for running pre-RISC OS 5 programs on the Iyonix PC, and you can now download a demonstration version from their site. It's fully functional, but is time-limited to 24 days. First impressions are good, with Artworks working impressively fast and smoothly. There are however problems with Photodesk -- it will install, but using the airbrush or paintbrush will cause an error.
Aemulor costs ukp50+VAT for the 'Lite' version.

compo and variations updated [Sun, 23 Feb 2003] >>>

Rob Davison has released a patch for his commercial graphics package Compo -- it's now 32-bit compatible and has a number of small improvements and bug fixes. He has also announced that following a change of publisher, "I am now satisfied that this change will not adversely affect my ability (or enthusiasm) to continue maintaining and updating the program."
Rob has also updated his splendid free graphics application Variations to version 0.18, available from the same site; it too now runs on 32-bit systems, and is highly recommended as an adjunct to Photodesk.

thumbcat updated [Sun, 23 Feb 2003] >>>

Malcolm Ripley's Thumbcat is an image catalogue application which can handle sprites, Drawfiles, JPEGs, EXIFs and digital camera AVI movies. It can also produce web pages.

acorn publisher february issue [Sun, 23 Feb 2003] >>>

Acorn Publisher's February issue is out, with articles on typeface history and font usage, web page design, using bitmap and vector graphics programs, and all the usual features. There's a review of the Iyonix, and a perhaps timely article wondering 'why we don't co-operate' in the RISC OS market.
AP is one of the few magazines that you will regret not keeping back issues of; we recommend it highly.

squeak [Sun, 23 Feb 2003] >>>

Tim Rowledge's terrific port of the Squeak system (a Smalltalk implementation) merits a mention here because of its extensive integration of graphics, both 2D and 3D; the system comes with a 3D-environment authoring tool, for example. Squeak is a multi-platform virtual machine (similar to Java in some ways) which places great emphasis on open access to the entire system. Tim has released version 3.4, which is 32-bit compatible and about 30% faster than previous versions.

photodesk is 32-bit compatible [Sat, 22 Feb 2003] >>>

Following some uncertainty about the program's future, it emerged at the RISC OS South West show today that Photodesk has in fact been converted to run natively on 32-bit machines such as the Iyonix. Upgrade prices are yet to be confirmed.

exifinfo news [Tue, 17 Dec 2002] >>>

The EXIFinfo digital camera utility (available from this site) is now being upgraded to work with 32-bit systems; a new version should be available before Christmas.

photodesk now installs on the iyonix [Sun, 15 Nov 2002] >>>

The developers of Aemulor, the emulator for running pre-RISC OS 5 programs on the new Iyonix PC, have announced that it now succesfully installs and runs Photodesk (version 3.04, the current one). There is "still one small problem, but definitely getting there!"
Aemulor should be available in January, at ukp50 for the 'Lite' version.

variations 0.16 announced [Fri, 6 Dec 2002] >>>

Version 0.16 of Rob Davison's image processing application Variations is now available. In addition to various speed-ups and additional features, this version may work on the Iyonix, although some people have reported problems -- he'd appreciate feedback.

swiftjpeg updated [Fri, 6 Dec 2002] >>>

Andrew Hodgkinson has updated his excellent JPEG viewer SwiftJPEG to version 1.02. It will now display EXIF digital camera images, which versions of RISC OS prior to 4 won't handle natively, and has various other new features.

fsi_batch updated [Wed, 4 Dec 2002] >>>

Jochen Lueg has upgraded his ChangeFSI batch processing program to version 3.00. The program allows you to process many graphics without having to sit at the computer dropping them in one at a time, and now has a 'resume' feature.

ohp goes 32-bit [Wed, 27 Nov 2002] >>>

Photodesk Ltd's OHP presentation software has been upgraded. It now works on 32-bit systems, and has had many improvements and enhancements. There are special prices for existing users, but you'll need to return th original CD.

usb scanners [Sun, 24 Nov 2002] >>>

Stuart Tyrrell Developments have special offers on USB/scanner packages. Buy a Simtec USB card for ukp99, and get an Epson 1660 Photo scanner, including transparency adaptor, for ukp179 inc VAT. The proca also includes David Pilling's TWAIN driver and his image processing software.

mw software takes over artworks [Fri, 22 Nov 2002] >>>

After eight years of producing ArtWorks modules and bug fixes, Martin Wuerthner has now gained the license to the whole package from the original publisher, Computer Concepts. Martin says: "This means that from now on, MW Software will be able to release completely new versions of ArtWorks as opposed to plug-in modules and patches only. This new situation will allow much more comprehensive updates to ArtWorks than previously possible."
The first fruit of this change is likely to be a full 32-bit version of ArtWorks, suitable for running on the Iyonix without emulation; this will be a chargeable upgrade, probably in December 2002. The AWViewer file viewer has already been converted, and the main rendering code has been tested successfully. ArtWorks 2 will also have "a streamlined user interface and additional features in spring next year."
Martin has also been working on an SVG export facility, but this has been postponed until the 32-bit conversion is completed.

photodesk now works on the iyonix [Tue, 19 Nov 2002] >>>

The developers of Aemulor, the emulator for running pre-RISC OS 5 programs on the new Iyonix PC, have announced that it now succesfully runs Photodesk, joining TopModel and ArtWorks.

lee wins a prize! [Mon, 18 Nov 2002] >>>

Lee Montgomerie, one of the maintainers of this site, has won a prize for one of her photographs (below). Taken at the Leeds West Indian Carnival earlier this year, it was judged as one of the best two photos of the event from the last 35 years. The newmasmedia site has a wide selection of other photographs and much more information on this annual carnival (but note that RISC OS browsers may have problems displaying it).


The prizewinning picture
[Leeds UK, 3:16:15pm Mon 26 Aug 2002; FinePix4800 ZOOM digicam; 1/256 sec; ISO125; f2.80]

graphics cards mailing lists [Sun, 17 Nov 2002] >>>

Following some unfortunate and heated discussion on the acorn newsgroups, the situation regarding mailing-list support for the Viewfinder graphics card appears to have been resolved. Official support will only be provided via the moderated list linked to above, while other graphics cards can be discussed on the unconnected and unmoderated mailing list here.
Peace to all involved.

yet another thumbnailer! [Wed, 13 Nov 2002] >>>

Precedence Technologies has upgraded its TinyThumb JPEG thumbnailer to version 1.01, fixing a bug concerning long paths.

usb scanner available [Tue, 12 Nov 2002] >>>

Castle has an Epson 1660 A4, 48-bit, 1600x3200dpi colour USB scanner available for 199gbp. The USB podule is an extra 59gbp, but the scanner comes with a TWAIN driver. VAT/P&P included, and the offer expires on 31 Dec 2002.

thumbnail cataloguer [Wed, 06 Nov 2002] >>>

The busy Malcolm Ripley has a pre-release version of Thumbcat available for download. The program creates web pages with thumbnails for sprites, Drawfiles, AVIs, JPEGs, EXIF images and any other format recognised by ImageFS.

insignia updated [Wed, 30 Oct 2002] >>>

Cerilica has updated its Insignia web-effects package to version 1.50. The upgrade is free to existing users, and includes many extra features and effects. All the new facilities can be tried out in the demo version, available from their web site.

photodesk patch [Tue, 29 Oct 2002] >>>

Malcolm Ripley has created a useful patch for Photodesk version 3.04 which gives the gamma adjustment window a numbered grid as a background, making it easier to recreate settings. Only the template and sprite files are changed, but as always remember to make a backup first!

print problems solved? [Tue, 29 Oct 2002] >>>

High-quality graphics printing under RISC OS is an increasing problem, with many modern printers only working with Windows, requiring USB, or lacking the necessary drivers. This announcement from RComp looks like it will solve all these problems at a stroke ... so long as you have a networked PC running any modern version of Windows (95 upwards).
UniPrint is a 'universal printer driver', which lets a networked RISC OS machine print to any printer connected to a PC. You don't need to have a RISC OS driver for the printer, and it works with all RISC OS applications.
UniPrint costs 35gbp, which includes guaranteed support, and the program will still work if you upgrade your printer, so no further purchases are necessary.

cheaper viewfinders [Mon, 28 Oct 2002] >>>

Viewfinder is a high performance graphics card for Risc PCs and A7000s, and during November and while stocks last is on sale for 240euro instead of the usual 360euro (about 150gbp instead of 230gbp -- but check the exchange rates first!).

swiftjpeg updated [Thu, 24 Oct 2002] >>>

Andrew Hodgkinson has updated his SwiftJPEG viewer so that it works with the recent Select release. It's now at version 1.01.

fsi_batch updated [Tue, 22 Oct 2002] >>>

Jochen Lueg's FSI_Batch program, which lets you apply ChangeFSI to many images at once, has been updated to version 2.82 to fix an aspect ratio bug. The program can also now handle multiple-sprite files.

zenta cd offer [Mon, 21 Oct 2002] >>>

If you buy one of Zenta Multimedia's Clipart or Fonts 'big CDs' for 20gbp, you'll get all nine of their other CDs for just 1gbp extra (including the other 'big CD'). Graphics-related ones include Mega Applications, The Photo Album, Super Graphix CD, and Super Movies CD.

postscript viewer updated [Wed, 25 Sep 2002] >>>

Martin Wuerthner has a new version of the PostScript viewer GView on his site. It is now fully multi-tasking and uses sprites as the output format, speeding it up. Note you will need a working installation of GhostScript to use the program.
GView is freeware, but Martin asks you to make a donation if you find it useful, to help the future development of the program and all his other work for the platform.

sprite animation made simple [Sun, 21 Sep 2002] >>>

Mark Beerling has a neat freeware utility to help make animations for web pages. SAMP takes a sprite and applies various effects to it, generating a sequence that can then be fed to InterGIF to make an animation. Effects include fades, erosion, rotation and various merging operations.
Also on his site: STRing (OCR) and NV (for users of the old VIDI video digitiser).

acorn publisher web site [Thu, 12 Sep 2002] >>>

The first fruits of John Cartmell taking over the reins at Acorn Publisher have appeared. The essential magazine has never had a dedicated web site before, but John is putting considerable efforts into a web presence. The site is still under development, but he envisages it becoming an essential part of the magazine's output, with subscriber-only areas as well as freely accessible resources.

digital camera utility [Tue, 10 Sep 2002] >>>

EXIFinfo, available from this site, generates files containing the information hidden inside the EXIF files (JPEGs) produced by digital cameras. The program can make anything from a simple text summary to a web page complete with thumbnail images, and because it uses script files it can be made to produce just about any format you want. It can also provide caption files for the splendid image browser Thump.

easiwriter utilities on cd [Sat, 7 Sep 2002] >>>

Not strictly graphics-related this, but EasiWriter, as well as being a superb document processor, has some very useful graphics features: HTML, PNG and animated GIF display, for instance. Icon Technology has now produced the latest version of the program on CD for gbp79 (gbp15 to registered owners of version 7; ukp40 to users of Writer, supplied with RO4). As well as the program itself, the CD contains much extra documentation, FAQs, example files, information on using DDF, hints & tips and many utilities.

usb now! [Wed, 4 Sep 2002] >>>

USB is finally available for RISC OS, opening the door to the latest digital cameras, scanners and printers. Simtec's USB card costs ukp79+VAT, and drivers are on the way for many pieces of hardware.

year planners [Mon, 19 Aug 2002] >>>

Michael Martin has produced a 'Him & Her' year planner for 2003, in Draw format.

jpegs illegal? [Wed, 7 Aug 2002] >>>

US company Forgent claims that it has a patent on a small but important part of the JPEG file format, and is pursuing this with relevant companies. It appears to have persuaded Sony of its case, to the extent of extracting some millions of dollars in licensing fees. Forgent says it will be claiming money for any commercial program using JPEG compression techniques.
Unsurprisingly this has been greeted with much consternation, not to mention hostility, by the graphics community. The JPEG format (or JFIF, more accurately) was developed by many people from freely available research and development, with the intent of creating a universal and open-source method of high-quality image compression. It was spectacularly successful in this. Forgent has done no work whatsoever in developing the algorithms; it acquired the patent when it bought another company.
JFIF is an ISO standard, but this is now under threat. The ISO says it will withdraw support if Forgent continues with its claims.
As well as the Burn All JPEGs! link above, find more information at The Register.

improved artworks renderer [Thu, 1 Aug 2002] >>>

The indefatigable Martin Wuerthner has released an improved ArtWorks renderer which increases the number of anti-aliasing levels available when generating bitmaps, from 16 to 64 or 128. AWSwitch sits on the icon bar and allows you to change the number of anti-aliasing levels with a single mouse click.

webgen updated [Sun, 28 Jul 2002] >>>

Webgen is a freeware application which creates websites from a directory of images, and author Dave Stratford has updated the program with some bug fixes. A major rewrite is also under way, and he welcomes ideas.

clipart cd sale [Sat, 27 Jul 2002] >>>

TNPSoft has an end-of-line special offer on two photo clip-art CDs: £7.99 each or £14.99 for both. Follow the link for a preview and further information.

cerilica publishing pack 2 [Wed, 17 Jul 2002] >>>

Cerilica has released Publishing Pack 2, containing five programs for users of Vantage, Draw, Ovation, Impression, TextEase, TechWriter, EasyWriter, etc. The tools include a frame designer, barcode production, Drawfile colour processing, generating sales 'flashes', and a scan resolution calculator. Price £29.

sprtools updated [Sun, 14 Jul 2002] >>>

David J.Ruck's freeware SPRtools package has been updated, with a fix for a memory problem. SPRtools is a suite of programs providing "bitmap format conversion and image processing command line utilities, designed to run on RISC OS, UNIX and Win32 platforms. Supplied with RISC OS desktop front end scripts for use with !ComndCTRL."

the gimp [Wed, 10 Jul 2002] >>>

Peter Naulls has raised the distinct possibility of porting The GIMP to RISC OS, under his subscription-based UNIX porting project. The GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a very powerful open-source graphics package, reckoned to rival Photoshop in its features. Peter has already made considerable progress (screenshot).

acorn publisher changes hands [Wed, 19 Jun 2002] >>>

Akalat Publishing has announced that the RISC OS graphics magazine Acorn Publisher will be taken over by John Cartmell of Fleur Designs from Vol 9, issue 1 onwards (that's the October 2002 issue). Current owner/editor Mike Williams is stepping aside after eight successful years "to devote more time to other interests."
Acorn Publisher is essential reading for everybody who uses graphics on RISC OS, and we thank Mike Williams for all his superb work and wish John Cartmell the best of luck. John also produces a number of superbly designed board games which make wonderful gifts -- all produced with RISC OS software.
The next issue of the magazine (June 2002) should arrive on your doormat in the next few days, with Photodesk pages and all the regulars. Not seen it before? Email Akalat with your name and address and they'll send you a copy of last April's issue entirely free.

camera offers from photodesk [Tue, 18 Jun 2002] >>>

Photodesk Ltd has some offers on cameras at the moment: a factory-refurbished Olympus C860L for 135UKP including PhotoLink download software, a factory-refurbished Olympus C200Z for 145UKP including Smartmedia reader and Photoshow software, and new Fuji A210 for 180UKP.

slide scanner offer at cje micros [Fri, 14 Jun 2002] >>>

CJE Micros has a special summer offer on the Nikon 35mm / IX240 Film Scanner (Coolscan III). It costs 470GBP including VAT and UK mainland delivery, and comes complete with David Pilling's scanner software (previously called Imagemaster) and Twain driver. It's an SCSI device, so you'll need an interface -- luckily, CJE have these in stock, starting from 60GBP.

jclean updated (again!) [Fri, 7 Jun 2002] >>>

Dacha's freeware Jclean program, a front end to the Independent JPEG Group utilities 'jpegtran' and 'wrjpgcom', has undergone a complete rewrite and is now at version 4.00. Improvements include comprehensive facilities for embedding comments in JPEGs, batch logging, and major improvements to the user interface.

riscworld magazine [Wed, 5 Jun 2002] >>>

RISC OS graphics users might like to take a look at RISC World CD magazine, now on the first issue of its third volume. The current issue contains an exclusive preview of the much-awaited Omega, a review of the ArtWorks add-on Crystal, and the regular series on digital cameras continues.

sprtools updated [Wed, 5 Jun 2002] >>>

David J.Ruck's freeware SPRtools package has been updated, with a few bug fixes and enhancements. SPRtools is a suite of programs providing "bitmap format conversion and image processing command line utilities, designed to run on RISC OS, UNIX and Win32 platforms. Supplied with RISC OS desktop front end scripts for use with !ComndCTRL."

translator and creator updated [Tue, 28 May 2002] >>>

John Kortink's shareware graphics applications Translator and Creator have been updated, to versions 8.20 and 3.40 respectively. Translator is "a powerful image viewer, processor and convertor," while Creator contains just the image conversion tools. Improvements include the ability to load Draw files, updates to the PNG and JPEG libraries, and various bug fixes. Try both out, and if you find them useful send John 15 euro to support his terrific work for the RISC OS platform.

vantage price reduction [Sun, 26 May 2002] >>>

Cerilica's high-end vector graphics package Vantage has had a major price reduction, down from 241.50UKP to 177.50UKP. You no longer get a printed manual, but the CD contains three manuals in PDF format (or you can buy the manual separately for 25UKP).
Cerilica has also announced that Vantage will soon have a major upgrade to version 1.10, and the documentation is now available in German.

webthumbs [Mon, 13 May 2002] >>>

R-Comp's WebThumbs application, which produces HTML galleries of images, has been updated to version 1.11. WebThumbs is part of the company's EasyClip2+ package.

web_gen updated [Sun, 12 May 2002] >>>

Dave Stratford's Web_Gen application, which creates a complete website from a series of images, has been updated to version 1.34

jclean updated [Fri, 10 May 2002] >>>

Dacha's Jclean program, a front end to the Independent JPEG Group utilities 'jpegtran' and 'wrjpgcom', has been updated to version 3.10.

pic_index updated [Tue, 07 May 2002] >>>

John Williams' shareware Pic_index application, which generates HTML thumbnail index files of JPEG images, has been updated to correct a problem with new installations.

photodesk resources site moves to iconbar [Fri, 03 May 2002] >>>

The Iconbar is now hosting Chris and Lee's Photodesk resources site, which has been redesigned.

photodesk mailing list? [Fri, 03 May 2002] >>>

Has anyone ever received anything from the 'official' Photodesk mailing list, described here? We've subscribed and got an automated confirmation, but no messages have ever been sent out (including ones we posted). If you have any information about this list, let us know (click on the link).

jclean updated [Sat, 13 Apr 2002] >>>

Dacha's Jclean program, a front end to the Independent JPEG Group utilities 'jpegtran' and 'wrjpgcom', has been updated to version 3.02.

compo 1.21e and website update [Wed, 10 Apr 2002] >>>

A new beta patch for users of the commercial image manipulation and montage application Composition is now available, along with an updated reference manual. The web site has also been updated.

variations 0.12 announced [Sat, 06 Apr 2002] >>>

Version 0.12 of Rob Davison's new image processing application Variations is now available.

artworks transparency module now available [Wed, 03 Apr 2002] >>>

MW Software has announced the release of Crystal, the ArtWorks transparency module. Costing £35, Crystal 'offers three types of transparency (Mix, Stained glass, Bleach) and allows you to apply a transparency type and percentage to any ArtWorks object, no matter whether it is a shape, a line of text, a sprite, a text area, etc.'
Also available are free bug fixes for the Artworks kernel and the AWViewer application.

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