Some Recent Software Releases


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The past couple of months have seen a number of new releases which haven't gained a mention on This isn't an exhaustive list by any means, but here are three which caught my eye:

Open Vector Graphics

Jonathan Marten's vector graphics titles have seen something of a makeover recently, courtesy of Chris Martin. DrawPlus is, as its name might suggest, an enhanced alternative to Acorn's Draw; Vector improved and added to this (and was once commercial), while GridPro was intended for creating grids and regular patterns of objects. All three titles are very different in concept to ArtWorks, and complement it well.

The sources for DrawPlus and its siblings (officially known as OpenVector and OpenGridPro) were added to the repository back in January, and have since received a number of improvements and bug fixes. Although still in beta, the new version of all three packages can be found at


David Pilling's SyncDiscs has long been a reliable way to back up directories of files on RISC OS (and Windows), and in May Chris Johnson took over development of our version. The software compares the files in two locations, then copies (and optionally deletes) items as required to bring one in step with the other.

The release of version 1.21 adds the ability to multitask while synchronisation is taking place, which can be a great help when working with large folders. There's also an option to ignore filetypes when checking for differences, which is intended to help when backing up to a non-native disc where RISC OS filetypes don't always get preserved intact. For more information and a full list of changes, visit


With the conclusion of the UK's 2009-10 tax year, Rex Palmer's TaxCalcs spreadsheets for Fireworkz could be of use to those needing to complete a tax return. In two forms, based around the 'Normal' and 'Short' tax returns from HMRC, the sheets guide the user through the process and automate some of the calculations. Copies can be found at

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