Powerbase - 18 April 2022

Current version:

10.42 - (11-04-2022) Suitable for all versions of RISC OS from 3.1 onward.

© Derek & Steven Haslam.

Sliding heap manager (module + basic procedures - not used by RISC OS 3.5 or later)
© Steven Haslam. (32-bit compatibility implemented by Christopher and Harriet Bazley)

Dial utility (provides tone-dialling when double-clicking on a phone number.)
© Justin Fletcher (Based on an algorithm originally published in Acorn User.)

New high-res icons for files
© Lenny (lenny@argonet.co.uk) URL http://www.argonet.co.uk/users/lenny/index.html

Copyright subsists in all versions of Powerbase. We reserve the right to withdraw support and authorisation to distribute Powerbase.

No warranty, express or implied, is made about the suitability of Powerbase for any purpose. We can not be held responsible for any loss or damage to your health, wealth or marriage due to the action or inaction of Powerbase.


Powerbase can be used to create databases of information of almost any kind and provides powerful facilities for maintaining such databases and for selectively retrieving and printing information from them. Using Powerbase at an elementary level is particularly easy — you can, for example, set up a simple address-book database in a matter of minutes — yet the needs of more advanced users have not been neglected. Descriptions of Powerbase from various sources have sometimes implied that it is a relational database. It isn't, but it can provide you with some of the facilities which fall outside the sphere of a simple flat-file (card index) type of database and for which a relational database program might otherwise be necessary.

It is best described as a flat-file database with table-validation. This means that text fields within the database can be linked to a list of items in such a way that the field will not accept items unless they are on the list. That list (called a validation table) can have many additional columns providing extra information which may be included in reports from the database and may also be queried.

Other important features of Powerbase:


Powerbase is Shareware, not Public Domain software. You are welcome to try it without charge but, if you find you use it on a regular basis, you should register with us. The registration fee is 10.00 ukp and should be forwarded to:

  Derek Haslam
  112, Keighley Road
  Colne, Lancashire, England BB8 0PH
  Please make cheques payable to Derek Haslam.

When registering, please let us know which version of Powerbase you are using. It is also helpful to know which version of RISC OS you have and what type of machine.

Unregistered copies display an explanatory start-up banner for about 5 seconds when they are run. The Info box (iconbar menu) also shows them to be unregistered. When you register with us you will receive either a registered copy which displays your name in the Info box and start-up banner, or one which requests your name when run for the first time, then modifies the Info box and banner as described above. The time for which the latter remains on screen can be altered by changing a number in the Config file inside the !Powerbase.Resources directory. The line begins with the token BTime and is preceded by an explanatory comment line. Setting the value to zero suppresses the banner altogether.

The only difference between a registered and an unregistered copy is that the former has, inside the application directory, a little file called 'reg' in which is encrypted the name of the registered user. Deletion of this file results in an unregistered copy (see below).

We suggest that you make a copy of your 'reg' file somewhere separate from Powerbase. Should you then obtain a later version from a source other than us (e.g. from a friend or downloaded from our web-site) you can place the file in the application directory so that it becomes registered to you.

Distributing copies of Powerbase

You are allowed to copy and distribute the application freely as long as you do not do so for any profit, and that it is kept intact and unchanged apart from the following: please do not give away registered copies. If you are a registered user and wish to give a copy to a friend, we ask you to de-register the one you are giving away by Shift/double clicking on the application to open its directory then deleting the file called 'reg'. This results in an unregistered copy.


New documentation in HTML format has been produced. This is completely up to date, covering all features of v.9.85. It consists of a comprehensive reference manual and two tutorials and is packaged as a RISC OS application called PbaseDoc. Users downloading Powerbase v.9.85 are strongly urged to obtain PbaseDoc as well, especially since differences from earlier versions are covered.


All items are .zip archives. Using the files directly from the archives is not recommended and sometimes results in mysterious error messages. Proceed as follows:

(a) Run SparkFS or one of the other unzipping utilities .

You can use David Pilling's superb !SparkPlug to de-archive them after downloading.
Self-extracting SparkPlug  
(Download and save this file, set its type to &FFB/Basic, and run it).

(b) Double-click on an archive (or drag it to the icon on the icon bar) to open it.
(c) Drag the contents of the archive into a suitable directory on another floppy or, better still, on a hard disc.

Contact the author at: Derek Haslam, 112, Keighley Road, Colne, Lancs., England BB8 0PH
Tel: 01282 866835

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