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Omega MIDI, ethernet progress

By Chris Williams. Published: 15th Mar 2004, 23:18:32 | Permalink | Printable

What's next on the to-do list? [Updated]

Omega motifArchive magazine editor Paul Beverley has this month revealed a couple of interesting developments emanating from the otherwise silent MicroDigital corner of the RISC OS world: reportedly the Omega's on-board MIDI system now works and also the Omega's ethernet networking is being beta tested by users.

The availability of the on-board MIDI will have ears of more musically inclined users perking up, especially since the Omega's rival, the Castle Iyonix, currently has no usable MIDI facilities. The progress in the ethernet side of things will also surely raise a marked sigh of relief. Last month, MicroDigital partner Desk expressed concerns regarding the amount of time MicroDigital were allegedly spending on each shipped motherboard, time which could be spent on addressing missing features, like ethernet and USB support.

The next issue of Archive will also feature an Omega progress report article, written by Paul following his own investigations. Fearing a potential backlash from MicroDigital apologists, he informed Archive readers last week: "I did try to find something positive to say, but if you think the article comes over as being 'anti-MicroDigital' I do hope you will write in and say some nice things that I can print."

Paul is also anxious to find out how many Omega units have been shipped to end users. Using RISC OS 4 serial numbers, printed on stickers affixed to each unit, Paul has estimated from user reports that there are less than 100 Omegas in the wild. The highest serial number he's been able to find is 300053, which belongs to the Big Ben Club. The MicroDigital online support forum also currently claims to have 98 registered users, but this includes Mico and Alpha users plus what looks like 29 'fake' accounts.

Despite the (toasty) warm reception Microdigital has given the RISC OS press in the past, we have to admire the way Paul's strived to be as unbiased and objective as ever. Paul also stressed: "I'm simply trying to find out the facts (isn't that a journalist's job?), and letting people draw their own conclusions."

Update at 18:31 19/3/2004
Paul Beverley has emailed in an update, commenting: "The max and min serial numbers are now 300003 and 300097, so it doesn't need an expert in statistics to work out how many MicroDigital-RISCOS Ltd licences there are."

Paul also clarified that his guess of less than 100 Omegas being in circulation actually included Alphas and Omegas. He adds: "What is more, the numbers of Alphas, relative to the numbers of Omegas seems to be in the ratio 2:1 and so this suggests, statistically, that there are probably in the region of 25 (min) to 45 (max) Omegas out there."

It's best that we point out that drobe.co.uk can't confirm Paul's findings, so while we're certain Paul is working in good faith, we'd welcome any correction and evidence from a knowledgable third party. While Paul's investigative work may alarm some of you, it will probably explain other users' concerns as to the apparent small online presence of Omega users.

Another interesting argument is exactly why should we be concerned about how many Omegas have shipped? An established userbase ensures that there's enough users to provide informal support to others (for example, on newsgroups and mailing lists), otherwise the burden of support is left solely to the developer (MicroDigital in this case, who are already overworked by the sounds of it). Also, how many of these Omega users are active software and hardware developers, primarily capable of writing software to take advantage of the Omega's promised features - namely, USB, PCI and MicroDigital's graphics system?

Perhaps it's just plain curiosity that we want to know how Omegas have shipped, journalists are by nature very nosey people. So moving swiftly on, how many Iyonixes have been shipped?


Microdigital Archive magazine

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Having read Paul's article I didn't find anything really new or controversial in it. As to drawing conclusions, how many missed promises and non working parts does it take for people to get the message? At last years Wakefield show I asked both D Atkins and D Prosser how long it would take before XScale was availalable. Both said 6 to 8 weeks. Perhaps I can ask them the same question this year?

 is a RISC OS UserEddie on 16/3/04 9:10AM
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To be honest, I just wish Microdigital would pack up and p*ss off and let those people who are really interested in developing the platform get on with it.

 is a RISC OS UserMendosa on 16/3/04 10:06AM
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To be honest, I just wish people like you, who have invested much less into the RISC OS market than MD, but still think they have a right to say such crap, would p*ss off.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 16/3/04 10:22AM
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Sorry, I meant to write "they are right", not "they have a right".

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 16/3/04 10:24AM
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The created the fake accounts for test-purpuses (remember the forum is still in beta test) and they are not included in the forum statistics. I have just moved them to a different area of the UID space and compacted the database, so that the first 98 numbers actually have the first 98 real users in them.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 16/3/04 10:33AM
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So you believe the Omega debacle has helped the RISC OS market do you ? You think this has been a worthwhile investment in its future and development and hasn't distracted people from buying other hardware that actually exists - to specification - companies who deliver on promises ? Ok.

 is a RISC OS UserMendosa on 16/3/04 10:37AM
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In times like these I always go back to that good old 2001 advert I saw in the AU:


And then start laughing. Timescales as accurate as ever.

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 16/3/04 10:44AM
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In addition to Mendosa... I suspect the premature announcement of Omega damaged sales for RiscStation (and others of course); thus having a huge knock on effect on investement for a laptop. Perhaps Drobe could get some comments from Roy?

 is a RISC OS UserEddie on 16/3/04 11:48AM
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@Mendosa: Yes, I do believe, that the Omega has helped the RISC OS market. If we did not have competition inside the market, we would probably not have advanced at all. Also the Omega offers some things, that the Iyonix does not provide yet. MIDI is one of them, others are the parallel port, PS/2 ports and Select. And of course the Iyonix provides things that the Omega does not offer yet. Also MD have developed their own RISC OS compatible chipset, wich can be used with any ARM processor with very little modifications. So we are not dependant upon Intel or another chipset maker to provide us with a chipset wich gives the features and performance required for desktop computers. Hopefully in the future this will help to bring us faster processors a bit sooner, because usually new ARM processors are released quite a bit earlier than the embedded versions. For example the 80200 was available several months before the other Xscale variations.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 16/3/04 11:49AM
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Also the Iyonix is not without problems yet, either. Just last Saturday I tried one out again, and I found several things with it not working properly. Just minor little things, but among other things they still prevented us from using LanMan to connect to a WindowsXP machine. Specifically StrongEd's TaskWindow behaved very oddly when we tried to use LineEditor module (latest 32-bit version of course) and *help lmconnect correctly gave the help to LanMan's LMConnect command, but when we tried to use it, it just said, that it could not find the file lmconnect. It's just minor little things like that, wich are very annoying and take the fun out of RISC OS computing.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 16/3/04 12:03PM
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The advanced availability of the 80200 doesnt appear to have had any effect on an "Omega with XScale" availability though, so thats really a mute point. The demand for MIDI is virtually negligable against the demand for fast stable Ethernet, and USB stacks. PS/2 and paralles are usefull additions, not essential and are now regarded as "legacy ports" with the move towards USB for keyboards, mice and printers. I admire Castle for having the guts to leave these out to obtain a shorter time to market.

The one big advantage the Omega does have is Select, although personally theres no features in Select that I require.

Claiming that MD have helped the RISC OS market by providing competition is a very weak argument IMHO. Do Castle really consider them /serious/ competition I wonder, and if so, would Castle have done anything differently if MD did not exist?

 is a RISC OS Userspellinn on 16/3/04 12:06PM
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"It's just minor little things like that, wich are very annoying and take the fun out of RISC OS computing."

Whereas with the Omega it is the lack of major things such as networking which take the fun out of RISC OS computing ;-)

-- Spriteman

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 16/3/04 12:09PM
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Personally I think that any competition to Castle has got to be a good thing. No offence to Castle who have done briliant work on the Iyonix but we don't want the Risc OS scene to become a one horse race. Competition promotes development.

Ok MD may not be much competition right now but perhaps in the not too distant future who knows what will happen ?

 is a RISC OS UserCol1 on 16/3/04 12:12PM
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In response to Col1...

I disagree about the RISC OS market needing competition. In reality there IS massive competition out there already - Windows, Linux, Macs etc. Internal competition is simply fragmenting an already tiny market (not a massive problem with hardware if it's all to the same standard, I suppose, but the RISC OS 5 and Select situation is ridiculous).

If Castle were the only player in the market they couldn't sit on their laurels because of the activity in "rival" platforms.

 is a RISC OS UserMendosa on 16/3/04 12:29PM
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Deckchairs on the Titanic!

No-one in the RISC OS world is making enough money to keep us afloat for much longer. Not Microdigital, not Castle, not RISC OS Ltd.

Icebergs ahead!

 is a RISC OS Usercynic on 16/3/04 12:41PM
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I'm sure that their main concern is keeping themselves afloat.

 is a RISC OS Userjonix on 16/3/04 12:54PM
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God, I miss Acorn. A handful of developers each trying to out do each other has badly fragmented the RISC OS scene, leading to a great deal of frustrating duplication of developments. We really need one company in overall charge of the market, that can sub-contract development to different companies, thus avoiding the duplication, and leading to a much better overall product.

 is a RISC OS UserJWCR on 16/3/04 3:31PM
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Everything we (can) do is on the side wait till one sinks. And hope that the one surviving has still enough buoyancy to embark on. But what if they all go down together?

 is a RISC OS Useregel on 16/3/04 4:12PM
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JGZimmerle: My Iyonix connects to my XP machine fine. No problems at all. I have never heard of LMConnect, nor have I ever used it, nor do I think you need it. In contrast to what you wrote, the command IS there: You may have wanted to try LanMan:LMConnect and read the section in the PRM about filing system specific commands. But maybe you think that reading manuals also takes away the fun out of RISC OS computing? :-)

Maybe *configure LMTransport IP would have helped, but like the command reference above, this really is a RISC OS thing, not an Iyonix thing.

 is a RISC OS Userwuerthne on 16/3/04 4:27PM
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Oh, I'm sure you always carry your complete collection of IT documentation around with you. Now that I'm home I've had another look at the exact syntax. Of course it was *LMLogon wich did not work. And I don't ususally use LanMan, but LanMan98, wich works much more reliable anyway.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 16/3/04 5:20PM
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JGZimmerle: No-one expects you to carry all your documentation around (except on CD...)

But between "last Saturday" and now, you could've taken the trouble to check your facts, before posting misleading information in an attempt to run down a RISC OS product.


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 16/3/04 6:51PM
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So, er, what exactly does whinging about LanMan have to do with Iyonix and Omegas hardware support?

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 16/3/04 7:22PM
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To JGZimmerle Strange - my IYONIX connects to a Windows 2000 system via LanMan with *no problems*; can't think XP is different on that account. I use StrongED ans LineEditor and quite often as TaskWindow too - works perfectly. But I do agree the IYONIX pc still has the odd issue to sort out.

As for MDs "developed their own RISC OS compatible chipset": Well they did develop some things along those lines whereas Castle opted for available chipsets. I do not think that this self-made chip set is by default superior to ones available on the market place which are refined all the time by teams of developers. And to take one example: the graphics being memory mapped in normal RAM (that is no dual ported video RAM as in a Risc PC) means that with increasing screen resolution/colour depth the bandwith remaing for the processor diminishes - benchmarks do prove that the odd operation is significantly faster in 800x600@256 opposed to 1600x1200@TrueColour.

And unless MD manages to get some 32 bit RISC OS up and running I don't see them using faster ARM processors (until now I didn't see ARMTwister running and I read the odd statement from knowledgable programmers that makes it hard to believe that it will work - but I'd be deligted if it does work out and I don't say it can't be done).

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 16/3/04 7:27PM
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TBH I think that reliance on self-developed chipsets can in many cases actually be a _bad_ thing. Though I'm not an expert in the field, FWIH Acorn's reliance on their own propriety graphics chips etc. actually stopped them from being able to benefit from new technology in PC graphics cards. Given the time it's taken Microdigital to develop this chipset, I wouldn't say much for their chances of being able to keep it up to date with the chipsets designed by the mainstream companies who spend billions on development.

 is a RISC OS Userhutchies on 16/3/04 8:50PM
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It is nice to see that the Omega is still being worked on and features are being to appear.

Midi is a good start and Ethernet is essential.

 is a RISC OS Userknutson on 16/3/04 9:43PM
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OK, come in number uid=33, your time is up. You know who you are, Moose. I suppose you think it's funny, registering on the Owners Club with your Iyonix (whatever that is).

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 16/3/04 10:16PM
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The important thing is the Northbridge. Once ROL has added support for different graphics cards to RISC OS, MD could add an AGP port to their Northbridge. I can't see Intel adding an AGP port to their IOP range, because these are designed for things like storage controllers and network equipment. Such devices have no use for an AGP port. Do you realise how hard it is to find reasonably priced, modern PCI graphics cards these days? Guess why the Iyonix is still so expensive, while using standard components? We heavily rely on ARM processors, but *none* of the big players designs computer-chipsets for ARM processors. The 80200 appeared long before any other Xscale. The fact it is not available for the Omega yet, is that MD had to finish other parts of the computer first. Now that they have a fully working chipset, it should be relatively easy to change the CPU interface to support new CPUs as they appear. The comparison with Acorn is not really valid. Time has moved on and things have changed a lot in the chip industry. It is much easier to design custom chips these days than it was six years ago.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 16/3/04 10:21PM
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Sorry, I meant to write "The reason it is not available". I guess I should get some sleep. Good night.

PS. @dgs: I have absolutely no axe to grind with the Iyonix. Why is that so hard to understand? I have told you this before. And it makes absolutely no difference to my argument, wether the non-working command was LMConnect or LMLogon. I am not saying that either the Iyonix or the Omega or VRPC or any other computer is especially suitable or totally unsuitable for everyone. All I am saying is, that the Iyonix is currently unsuitable for *me* and that the Omega is currently more suitable for *me*. Neither the Omega nor the Iyonix nor VRPC are suitable for *everyone*. Whoever says such a thing is a liar. If you think the Omega has damaged the RISC OS market, then consider this: I, along with my father and his whole company (around 50 employees) would have left RISC OS behind long ago, if it had not been for the Omega.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 16/3/04 10:43PM
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To JGZimmerle, I think the Iyonix is pricey (no more so than the Omega, I might add) is down to development costs offset against a relatively tiny number of sales (as has been discussed to death). I imagine the same applies to the Omega. I think the GeForce card in the Iyonix can be had for about 30 retail, so I would think Castle gets them a little cheaper, and they don't really represent much of the cost of an Iyonix.

With regard to ROL adding support for extra graphics cards, as no machine exists which can run Select, and also accept third party graphics cards (with the exception of VF, now discontinued, and of course, already working, no need for ROL to step in), I doubt this will happen any time soon.

I admire your optimism that MD will indeed ship an Xscale upgrade for the Omega, and maybe you have some inside knowledge that would give you cause to have such optimism, but I think you're on your own there.

Having said all that, if MD can pull something out of the bag and ship a fully functional computer with concrete advantages, good luck to them, but again, I don't think they will.


 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 16/3/04 10:50PM
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Will the Omega's sound card have decent hardware MIDI synthesis? It would be extremely useful for musicians if it did (Sibelius?), and certainly enough to convince me to wait for an Omega instead of spending NZ$7000 on a non-MIDI Iyonix.

 is a RISC OS Usertimephoenix on 17/3/04 4:58AM
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Ah, sorry I forgot that it is only a pretty old 32bit card in the Iyonix. Modern PCI graphics cards however do cost a rediculous amount of money.

As for graphics cards support in Select, I understood that this was planned for Select 4. And presumably it could be used for embedded projects as well as the ViewFinder, PCI graphics cards in the Omega and as an interface for hardware acceleration functions of the lightning chip.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 17/03/04 10:48AM
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But the key factor is what I can buy now... I'm sure that Microdigital have loads of exciting plans for the future (as have Castle, ROL, IBM, Apple, etc).

Most people would still wish Microdigital every success, but they need to deliver the goods...

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 17/03/04 12:31AM
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Of course it is. If I could get an Iyonix with MIDI, Select, etc. I would buy it now. And it certainly is not the only factor.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 17/03/04 3:32PM
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Why would MD want to add an AGP port? After all, their "Lightning+" is surely the best thing since sliced bread? And what would be a possible timescale for both RO Ltd. and MicroDigital coming up with a solution? 3 years? At the moment, the chipset solution that is available from MicroDigital, which took 4 years to develop, is severely underpowered compared to "off the shelf" components available and used elsewhere. I see no reason why this should change in the future.

Anyway, I agree that it is very unlikely that anyone provides us with an ARM chipset along with an AGP port. However, it is important to know that the PC market is moving away from AGP anyway, and its successor PCI Express looks to be very interesting to the Intel side of the ARM market - after all, there are already Intel PCI bridges available for PCI Express -> PCI-X and PCI bridging available, so I consider it very likely that future XScale I/O processors come with PCI Express.

The reason why the IYONIX pc is still comparatively expensive to a PC is down to the lack of a large production run and the size of the market. It is not down to component cost. Is the comparatively low price of the IYONIX pc down to component cost of the Omega?

And speaking of PCI graphic cards, it is actually still very easy to obtain them for very low prices. Matrox (Millenium G450), nVidia (GeForce 2 and 4) and ATI (Radeon 7500, 9200) will be happy to provide you with anything you might want. I am not sure why you think that they are either expensive or hard to obtain - even your average box shifter still sells them.

 is a RISC OS Userhubersn on 17/03/04 3:45PM
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I agree, PCI cards are still very readily available. Dabs.com sell 128Mb Radeon 9200 PCI cards for 35 (Not a lot in other words). And doubtless there may be other cards for less in other places.

 is a RISC OS Userj5m1th on 17/03/04 4:38PM
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hubersn: Just to back your point up some more. Unless I'm much mistaken, the IOP321 used in the Iyonix already has PCI-X capability, although only for one slot iirc. So it seems Intel have already displayed intent ;)

 is a RISC OS Userjmb on 17/03/04 5:39PM
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Well, Radeon 9200 and GeForce4MX (essentially the same as a GeForce2) are not really state of the art. A Matrox Millennium MMS Quad PCI costs about 700 EUR and is quite outdated, too. The best I can find is a GeForceFX 5200 with only 128 MB RAM.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 17/03/04 5:39PM
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Oh, and I could not find any real GeForce4 (Ti versions) PCI cards.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 17/03/04 5:41PM
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Don't mix up PCI-X with PCI Express - sounds similar, but is totally different.

And the IYONIX does not have a PCI-X slot, only 64bit 66 MHz PCI (PCI-X is 133 MHz). Which was a sensible design decision, because it is very unlikely that a PCI-X-IYONIX use case will ever appear.

 is a RISC OS Userhubersn on 17/03/04 5:59PM
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@Julian Yes, the available PCI graphics cards are not "state of the art" when looking at them from a PC gamer's point of view - nobody said so. However, for the overwhelming majority of things the cards are "good enough", and they are - contrary to what you said before - still widely and cheaply available.

In any case, they are still vastly superior to any solution that MicroDigital ever pretended to come up with "real soon now".

Why do you think the Matrox MMS cards are "outdated"? They have unique features, and are therefore priced accordingly. If you want something cheap, go for a G450 Millenium.

And speaking of "outdated": you surely saw the PCI Matrox Parhelia HR256? 3840x2400 anyone?

To sum it up: relying on PCI for graphic cards is not ideal, but good and cheap. Relying on hot air is braindead.

 is a RISC OS Userhubersn on 17/03/04 6:15PM
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Well, I have been fascinated by this erudite discussion of graphics cards (come back John Kortink all is forgiven:-)).

The bottom line is: Is Microdigital capable of delivering these promised goals? On past experience, I think the answer is a resounding NO.

(Sorry Julian, as I know you must have invested a lot of time and energy in the Omega).

 is a RISC OS UserEddie on 17/03/04 6:52PM
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No, I don't think I have invested any more energy or time in the Omega than in any other computer we have, and quite a lot less than in some others, like our Linux servers.

Regarding MicroDigitals capabilities: This has been said for all the features, they have delivered up till now before they were delivered. But they are delivering all the promised features, one after the other. Admittedly it seems to take quite a bit longer than promised, because they try to make sure that each feature works well, before they move on to the next feature.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 17/03/04 7:13PM
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Iyonix can be purchased for far less than $NZ7000 - check out www.esd.co.nz for custom configuration and pricing.

Cheers Steve

 is a RISC OS Userknutson on 17/03/04 7:16PM
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It is also clear, that the initial develoment of a feature takes a lot more time than subsequent enhancements to it. So once all the basic parts are there, development should speed up considerably.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 17/03/04 7:20PM
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I don't quite understand the discussion about graphics cards. Can anybody name a case where the current graphics card in the Iyonix is not enough?

 is a RISC OS Usermaikl on 17/03/04 9:12PM
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maikl: Some people who had monitors that could display 2048x1536, in 16 million colours, at 85Hz, were upset when the graphics card shipped with their particular Iyonix couldn't manage that. These people (I only know one of them) sourced their own graphics card, and got what they wanted.

I'm told that Castle now ship the same graphics card as standard with the Iyonix anyway...

So no, I don't understand the discussion either. Especially as JGZ seems to be quoting his own posts here, in order to encourage people on the Select mailing list to claim that various enhancements for the Omega are possible.

As far as I'm concerned, "MicroDigital could add an AGP port to their Northbridge" is a statement about as meaningful as "MicroDigital could add an X-Scale card to the Omega".

Which one will take "two weeks" to do, and which one will take six years? Perhaps Julian can enlighten us...


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 17/03/04 10:44PM
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how come the only thing that gets anyone talking these day is a discussion about the omega???

 is a RISC OS Usermicrobits on 18/03/04 01:21AM
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what about Select vs ROS5? oh yeah, same thing.

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 18/03/04 07:30AM
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If you are so keen on AGP, you can "allways" use something bizar like "CHANGE-AGP2PCI": [link] [link] _06_04

in Ruslish: [link] 4&direction=re&template=General&cp1=NO&cp2=NO&autotranslate=on&transliterate=on&psubmit2.x=59&psubmit2.y=9

 is a RISC OS Useregel on 18/03/04 08:30AM
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@dgs: I AM *NOT* QUOTING MY OWN POSTS HERE! Verify your facts before accusing others!

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 18/03/04 12:37AM
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The reason why discussions about the Omega get people talking so much, is that certain parties like to spread FUD about it and sometimes the odd Omega user gets fed up of this.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 18/03/04 12:42AM
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JZ: unfortunately, much of the recent confusion about the Omega has come from yourself. There's been very little said about the Omega per se in this thread by others that hasn't long since seen to be true. It's _your_ confusing and inconsistent commentary about both the Omega and Iyonix that causes problems.

It is you who needs to verify facts - I have seen a number of recent claims from yourself for which you have not provided any kind of evidence or references. Please try and do this. If you do not, you can rightly expect to be the focus of ridicule.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 18/03/04 12:47AM
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To be fair to JZ, there was mention in a drobe article about possible support for graphics cards in select 4: [link]

"Turning to RISC OS Select, RISCOS Ltd.'s plans for S4 include: ... * Support for graphics cards"

I haven't seen any more explanation of this though, and I can't see any connection to Omega.

 is a RISC OS Userilludium on 18/03/04 1:00PM
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the only FUD I can see in this thread was the mentioning of apparent IYONIX LanManFS problems and hard-to-find PCI graphics cards.

In the meantime, users are still waiting for MicroDigital to catch up with their promises made in 2000 like the Lynx Internet software, 1 GHz XScale, Ethernet, graphics acceleration, PCI SCSI, availability of other bundled software...

 is a RISC OS Userhubersn on 18/03/04 1:06PM
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Surely there is a difference between making different assumtions on what a "modern" graphics card is, and falsly accusing someone of quoting himself with the intention of misleading people? Especially if I already gave the URI of the original drobe article on the Select smartgroup. BTW, it took me about 15 seconds to find the relevant drobe article by using the search function on the homepage.

And I was not asking on the Select group to "encourage people on the Select mailing list to claim that various enhancements for the Omega are possible", but to find out some more details of ROL's plans for Select.

Also I still stand by my comment, that the LMLogon command did not work on the Iyonix I tried last Saturday. And since half of our computer club was present and witnessed it (while you were not), I don't think you can prove me wrong on that one.

By FUD I meant comments like "Relying on hot air is braindead", where they are suggesting to the average user that some plans for the Omega or its underlying technology are "hot air" and can not be released by MicroDigital at all. I call this type of comment "spreading FUD", because such things have been said about many aspects of the Omega, wich are reality now.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 18/03/04 2:28PM
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I'm afraid the people most responsible for creating Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt regarding the Omega, are MicroDigital themselves.


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 18/03/04 3:40PM
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Because they refuse to deal with the people who spread spread the kind of FUD I mentioned in my previous posting?

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 18/03/04 4:30PM
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JZ: this is just going in circles. You are continuing to claim things, but don't given examples or references.

Saying that MD spread FUD because other people are guilty of doing so makes no sense - even if the timeline agreed, which it doesn't.

The comments made in this discussion by others about the Omega have remained very much in the realm of reality. On the contrary, you've given no examples of these "many aspects". Even if you do, that still clearly leaves the many _major_ items that Steffen has named, and which MD are apparently no closer to completing.

It's strange that you persist with this. Many of the people you are arguing with here know somewhat more about specifics of hardware and OS functionality in _both_ machines than you do, and are in an excellent position to comment on both. Claiming that faults in StrongED (of which the latest beta is indeed very ropey) have anything to do with Castle is also indeed very strange.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 18/03/04 5:00PM
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You make a number of points, which I am sorry that I have to take issue with :

You said "MD have developed their own RISC OS compatible chipset, which can be used with any ARM processor with very little modifications. So we are not dependant upon Intel or another chipset maker to provide us with a chipset wich gives the features and performance required for desktop computer."

That is *not* true. They said they were going to design ASIC's (a chipset) but then opted for programmable logic (FPGA), so rather than being dependant on Intel they are dependant on Xilinx instead. I'd also point out that although yes you could attach any ARM, only 26 bit enabled ones would work with the current OS - so your choice of processor is somewhat more limited than you infer.

You said "The important thing is the Northbridge. Once ROL has added support for different graphics cards to RISC OS, MD could add an AGP port to their Northbridge. I can't see Intel adding an AGP port to their IOP range, because these are designed for things like storage controllers and network equipment."

Tell me this, if MD reprogram their current Northbridge on their existing PCB so it can handle AGP signalling - how are you *actually* going to attach the AGP card (as there is NO socket for it on the Omega Motherboard). In effect if AGP *ever* appeared on Omega the motherboard would have to be substantially revised - existing users would still be stuck with Lightening and still unable to take AGP cards.....

The IOP range may well need to support faster PCI implementations (PCI-Express) in future, as after all they're I/O controllers, no doubt graphics cards will eventually appear that can use that bus format - but all that is for the future - I can assure you that the existing GeForce card does the business and is as good as it needs to be on Iyonix.



 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 18/03/04 7:09PM
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Since there only seems to be the usual FUD-spreading crowd left in this discussion, I'm not going to participate in it any further, apart from these last comments:

@mrchocky: Interesting, that you seem to know me so well that you can judge my knowledge of "specifics of hardware and OS functionality". Since I never had a longer discussion about such issues with you, you probably are telepatic? And I never claimed, that faults in StrongED have something to do with Castle.

@AMS: Read up on FPGAs, ASICs and VHDL, before spreading such nonsense, please. You are right about the lack of the AGP port on the Omega mainboard, however I never claimed that such a development could be put into an Omega1, I only said that with the technology MD has developed it would be possible to create a RISC OS compatible chipset wich could support AGP.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 18/03/04 10:32PM
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JGZ: I'm afraid that makes no sense at all. A great deal of your commentary about the Omega and Iyonix has been technical in nature, and some of it has been wrong. So yes, it would be entirely fair for me to judge your technical aptitude.

Your original comment in this thread strongly tied faults in StrongED to RISC OS 5/Iyonix. Perhaps you'd care to clarify it.

It's also unclear (still, and this is the 3rd time I've said this) who you're accusing of FUD. Again, some specifics would help.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 18/03/04 10:56PM
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The only thing I find lacking on the Iyonix is appearance, my God, it looks just like the 7 year old Pentium 120 in the closet. How hard can it be to select some decent looking PC case and put the stuff in. Or add something geeky, like the CPU usage bars on the BeBox (and Xserve).

 is a RISC OS Userzakalwe on 19/03/04 9:55PM
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zakalwe: Welcome to Drobe, Igor!

Have you seen both Iyonix cases?


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 20/03/04 00:07AM
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& if, like me, you thought :smash: ;-)

then you can always do as I did and sort it:




 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis@work on 21/03/04 5:14PM
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