On my Risc PC (and, in the past, on my Archimedes) I program a lot. Unfortunately
not always my programming effort becomes a real program (ie. most of the
times I just do some programming experiment).
Anyway, during these years I managed to produce and release some programs:
fsck (1.35) is my most important project to date. It is a
disc fixing program and is distributed as ShareWare.
PPPdriver (1.16/2.30) is (surprise surprise!) a PPP driver
for the FreeWare TCP/IP stack FreeNet and for the Acorn Internet application (now freely distributed).
PPPdriver is distributed as ShareWare.
FCFS (1.10) is a FileCore Image Filing System that allows
you to 'copy' a whole floppy or harddisc to a single file and then access it as if it was a directory.
I wrote this program together with Nick Craig-Wood.
The port of Info-ZIP's Zip/Unzip for RISC OS.
Zip and Unzip are the well-known compressor and decompressor available for almost any computer platform.
The port of hsc (HTML Sucks Completely) for RISC OS.
hsc is an HTML preprocessor that features macros, conditionals, structure checks and several other useful
things. All my pages are now maintained using hsc.
I did this port together with Nick Craig-Wood.
RealCount (1.05) is an improved Desktop Count.
It can replace the standard RISC OS Count or act as a stand-alone application. It shows the real disc space
used by the counted files/directories together with other useful statistics.
nuke (1.40) is a small utility that can definitely erase a file from
the disc surface by filling the disc sectors used by that file with '0's.
Although this may not be useful for most 'home users', nuke may be of particular interest to people that use 'public' computers (eg. school, libraries) or that are particularly
concerned about their 'private' data in any kind of 'open' environment (possibly coupled with some kind
of encryption tool).
Keeper (1.00) is a simple program that helps to maintain
regular backups of files. Since I released it I haven't improved it and nobody ever contacted me about it (although
someone seemed to like it...). I don't use it anymore (now I use Zip) and I will probably
not develop it anymore. If you want to download it, you can find it at
HENSA (b039) or here.
StickBoard (1.12) is a sort of PinBoard in a window.
It allows to create windows and stick programs inside them. Latest versions of StickBoard have never been released
and now I don't use and develop it anymore. Old version 1.00 can be found at
HENSA (b004) while the latest version (1.12) can
be found here.
Mars is a CoreWars environment. CoreWars is a sort of game for
programmers, two programs written in a special language (Redcode) fight in an 'arena' under the control
of the Memory Array Redcode Simulator.
I produced Mars together with Cristian Ghezzi and we sold
it to the RISC User magazine back in 1992.
Apart from these 'successful' projects, I worked on some minor or 'internal' program that never got released.
I also aborted some project that ended in a half-finished program. Here's a list of such projects (in order
of subjective importance):
Fragment (1.11) is a finished program that I never released. It is a file-splitting
program with a multitasking frontend and support for direct floppy splitting. I also used it to join
a number of files splitted using MS-DOS backup command. I no more developed it because the
program Split by Adam Hamilton is better.
DiscPlay is a sort of wimp frontend to the DataVox modules by
Philip R. Banks. It features direct disc play and
allows to play big samples splitted over a number of floppies (using my Fragment
program). I used it to play some 4Mb sample downloaded from Internet and backuped to DOS floppies
without even restoring it to HD. I lost interest in this project and left it in a half-finished state,
without ever releasing it.
XDemo was my first (and only) attempt to write some sort of demo. It isn't a 'classic' demo,
it's just a graphic presentation: two images are loaded and displayed alternatively using some effect
based on the same 'principle' of plotting a lot of '+'s very quickly. It worked on multisync monitors
or on standard monitor using interlace. I never released it since it is so useless and not as good as
it may be!
Nibb is a simple snake game in desktop. I wrote it to show the power of the Archimedes to a
'PC friend' but I soon lost interest in it and never really finished nor released it. It features
scalable window, up to 6 snakes and computer played snakes.
CRCCheck is a simple command-line based program that scans every file in the specified directory
and store its CRC in a file. I used this program to check that my files weren't randomly corrupted (as happened
once!) but since I switched to Risc PC I haven't used it anymore. It wasn't absolutely optimised and had
some rather stupid behaviour, hence I never released it.
Totocalcio is a suite of program that should help playing the italian game called Totocalcio
(or Schedina), a sort of lottery based on the result of the Sunday soccer matches. Useless to say that
my friends and I never won, but the programs were quite good and I enjoyed writing and using them.
BackMan was an attempt to write a multi-purpose, modular and expandable backdrop
manager. I partly achieved this aim, but then I aborted the project... BackMan for now includes
a classic picture backdrop or an animated starfield (flashing, 3D or 2D motion!), a classic
icon sticker and a free memory displayer.
PollCount has been written to allow me to clearly count how many polls the destkop does in
a second. Other programs show the 'processor usage' but I just wanted a number, so that I could easily
understand if my programs slowed down the desktop. Rough but working.
Notepad was an attempt to create a general purpose desktop notepad. It works but I don't
use it, hence I never released it.
Show is a picture displayer. Its main usage is for old non-multisync monitors since it allows
to view the picture in special interlaced modes, hence providing twice the number of rows of the screen.
It never worked very well and used some modules I got from other people, but I used it on my old A410
and has been quite useful. It also automatically converted external graphic format using ChangeFSI.
MouseCtrl, a silly program that provides automatic pointer blanking after some seconds of
mouse inactivity, pointer colour flashing and pointer animation (including a nearly useful pointer
Book, a weird attempt to create a sort of 'book' application to browse page by page
through text files (including a sort of animation when the pages are turned!).
Myself and Cristian Ghezzi used to run
a small italian PD library (called ResPublica) and I wrote some program to run it:
Catalogue was the first program used to handle the ResPublica catalogue.
It handles the choose of the discs and interacts with RPPrint to print the order.
PicCat was the program used to handle the ResPublica picture catalogue. It shows
a small version of the image (stored as a sprite in a number of archives) and allows to choose
the format in which the image will be ordered (Sprite, JPEG, etc.). It interacts with RPPrint
to print the image order.
RPPrint was the printing program. It collects requests from both Catalogue and PicCat
and prints the order.
PickCat is the latest program used to handle the ResPublica
catalogue. It allows to choose single programs instead of whole discs as before, so ResPublica could
work on a pick'n'mix basis. It has many options to filter the big catalogue so that the user can
easily select the programs he wants, filtering out all the unwanted stuff (eg. Trackers or Sillies).
Some times ago, during the first development of fsck I wrote a sort of
E-Format Map explanation and FAQ... I usually don't like to write a
lot of documentation, but that was just an experiment and I liked writing it...