Powerbase Shareware Database
Powerbase is for
Acorn 32-bit machines and their successors.
None of these programs will run on a PC or Mac.
For information about Acorn Computers and RISC OS click the cogwheel above or see
The RISC OS Site
Richard Atterer's history of Acorn
and follow the links from each site.
Click here to find out about Powerbase in general.
Click here to go to the Download area
Click here to retun to Boulsworth Main Index
Site last updated:
20 April 2022
The most recent version of Powerbase, v.10.43 (19-04-2022) is now available for download. This fixes a problem which users of very recent RISC OS machines may have encountered when using earlier versions including v.10.32. It certainly occurs with machines using Window Manager 5.80 and possibly with others later than 5.76. (You can check which Window Manager you have by typing help windowmanager at the supervisor prompt.)
The problem looks quite bizarre. When you try to navigate from one record to another only the first field visibly changes! In reality the whole record changes but the window is not being redrawn. Forcing a redraw by dragging another window over the record reveals the changes.
Powerbase v.10.41 overcame this problem and a number of other improvements and bug-fixes were implemented. 10.42 went a step further and corrected a minor annoyance in which a report footer could sometimes be truncated when unecessary white space is removed.
Yet another problem concerned the facility to automatically undo changes made to the screen format of a working database. This worked flawlessly under RISC OS 4.39 but was found to fail with the error message "This file is already open" under RISCOS 5.27. Powerbase v.10.43 fixes this and users are urged to upgrade to this version.
Two new script commands have been introduced since v.9.84:
- !FILE opens a text file for output, and is intended for use with !LINE (see below) and !QUERY to produce reports which are free of some of the constraints imposed by the standard report formats.
- !LINE writes a line of text to an open file under the control of a !QUERY command
An example showing the use of the new commands will be found in the revised documenation (PbaseDoc) which been completely revised to comply with Powerbase v.10.0 and later.
Powerbase 9.85 supports direct mail-merging with ImpEmail from Sine Nomine Software, and a new version of the Impulse module (v.0.23) is now supplied with Powerbase. ImpEmail was intended for distribution with the Impact database manager but may now be sold as a separate product.
!Sudoku is a database which makes use of some of the newest features of Powerbase and also demonstrates how databases can be customised with non-standard features. Each record has just two editable fields: a Name field and a 9-column scrollable list in the form of a Sudoku grid. The custom features enable you to:
Get !Sudoku from the Download area. Requires Powerbase v.9.44 or later; v.9.85 recommended.
- type in a Sudoku puzzle then "fix" it so that only the blank squares are editable thereafter. (The puzzle can be "unfixed" if you made a mistake when entering it!)
- set about solving the puzzle by filling in the blanks. "Illegal" entries will be disallowed.
- click a Help button to tell you what numbers are allowed in the current square.
- reset the puzzle to its initial state if you make a mistake.
- solve the whole thing automatically (but you don't really want to do that, do you?)
- generate new puzzles automatically.
- merge puzzle into an Ovation Pro document at the click of a button. Print the puzzle on paper, with or without the addition of numbers which could go in each blank square.
Distribution list generator
!Distrib is a customised database which might prove useful for anyone who distributes magazines or newsletters to a list of subscribers, some of whom act as sub-distributors to subscribers living nearby. It will work if some of the latter subscribers are themselves sub-sub-distributors and so on! A mixture of postal and hand-deliveries is supported as are extra copies (e.g. for placing in a club or school) and large-print copies. Mailing labels may be printed for postal deliveries. The customisation library was written in response to a real situation faced by a long-term Powerbase user. The version now on the website incorporates a number of changes requested by the user.
Get !Distrib from the Download area. Requires Powerbase v.9.44 or later; v.9.85 recommended.
Manuals and Tutorials
The extensive improvements to Powerbase, especially those introduced in versions 9.25, 9.40 and 9.70 rendered the old documentation woefully out of date. The Ovation Pro and PDF documentation has now been withdrawn and only the HTML-based form, as described below, is supported.
!PbaseDoc — comprehensive HTML documentation
The HTML versions of the tutorials and the reference manual have been incorporated in an application !PbaseDoc. Since this is especially easy to modify and keep up to date it should henceforth be regarded as the definitive version of Powerbase documentation. Besides being extensively illustrated much attention has been devoted to the problem of navigating the large reference manual which constitutes the main part of the application. To this end the manual features:
all of which are provided with HTML links. In addition, there is copious cross-linking between chapters and between parts of chapters, wherever the text refers to another part of the manual. If you follow such a link you will usually find that a return link is provided to get back to where you were before. Button links occur frequently to take you to the start of a chapter or to an illustration of an important dialogue box.
- a list of chapters
- individual contents lists at the start of each chapter
- an alphabetical index
PbaseDoc can be run from the new Help button on Powerbase's iconbar Info window, provided that PbaseDoc and your web browser have both been "seen" by the filer. The very limited Helpreader text incorporated in previous versions of Powerbase has now been removed along with the menu entries which invoked it.
32-bit compatible sliding-heap module
The sliding-heap module was written by Steven Haslam in 1992. It creates and manages any required number of
memory blocks at the top of a program's Wimpslot and allows them to be resized, scrapped and re-created at will.
Because increasing the size of a block is achieved by moving up blocks at higher addresses, and shrinking or
destroying a block results in the "hole" being closed by other blocks sliding down, memory fragmentation is avoided.
The module has now been upgraded to make it 32-bit compatible. Visit the Download area
to obtain a copy of this module for use in your own programs, along with extensive documentation, a library of
BASIC routines for accessing the module's SWIs and a demonstration of the module in action. Thanks are due to
Christopher and Harriet Bazley for undertaking this work.
Powerbase is shareware. Registration costs 10 GBP, payable by cheque to Derek Haslam.
You may register by credit card through APDL.
This site (http://www.boulsworth.co.uk/) is for distribution of Powerbase,
Derek Haslam's shareware database for RiscOS computers.
for more information about Powerbase or if you have comments about the website.
Click here to go to top of page.
Click here to go to the Download area
Click here to meet the programmers.