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GAG-News celebrates 12th birthday

By Chris Williams. Published: 23rd Mar 2004, 22:19:05 | Permalink | Printable

German and European coverage of RISC OS

GAG News logoMedia Watch GAG-News, the German RISC OS magazine, is celebrating 12 years in print this month, making it one of the longest running RISC OS publications. The March/April issue of the bi-monthly journal should by now be in the hands of its German, Swiss, Austrian and Dutch readers.

GAG-News, where GAG is short for German Archimedes Group, is edited by the ever enthusiastic Herbert zur Nedden who also writes most of every issue. In the past, the magazine was also co-edited by Olaf Krumnow and then later by Rainer Schubert. These days, each issue consists of 32 A4 pages of RISC OS news coverage, questions and answers from readers, product reviews and articles from writers. This article, published in an earlier Foundation issue, does a good job of explaining how GAG-News came to life. Unlike the editors for the other RISC OS magazines, Herbert isn't a full-time journalist and by day is a programmer and sysadmin. In his free, when not working on the magazine, he spends time with his family and gardening.

GAG News front page GAG News front page
Front cover of issue 59 and inside spread example.
Click on a thumbnail for a larger image

Herbert initially used an A5000 with the DTP package Impression to produce GAG-News. He later upgraded to a RiscPC with Impression Publisher and now currently uses an Iyonix with Impression Publisher running on Aemulor. In addition, Herbert also uses Artworks 2, Draw, Photodesk and Paint to prepare graphics. In its early days, the magazine would be printed on a laser printer and sent to a photocopier however since issue 8, the magazine is sent to a print house in Postscript format.

"Getting together with others was one of the main motivations", explained Herbert, on why GAG-News was launched in 1992. "I did get to know the odd nice guy this way; as a matter of fact I found some very good friends through this."

According to Herbert, the high points in running the magazine included the official two day visits from Acorn to the GAG in 1996 to show off the StrongARM card and later to show off the fabled Phoebe machine shortly before the break up of Acorn Group.

We asked what he thought were the best articles GAG-News has published over its 12 year stint. "With 72 issues, this is a hard one", admitted Herbert, who then suggested the article on Dave Pilling's SparkFS as at the time it was the "first article on SparkFS ever published" and also Steffen Huber's Iyonix vs. Omega article [pdf in German]. The magazine also ran an article in light of the cancellation of the 1998 Acorn World show, where Herbert contacted all the exhibitors for information and feedback and produced a "virtual Acorn World" write-up.

As for predictions for RISC OS in 2004, Herbert commented: "GAG-News will stay around, I hope to move to Impression X. VirtualRPC on top of Linux would be nice."


GAG-News website
The history of GAG News

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12 Years is a wonderful achievement. Any idea what sort of circulation GAG-News has?

 is a RISC OS Userknutson on 24/3/04 5:42AM
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Well done to the GAG-News team. VirtualRPC for Mac OS X would be even better.

 is a RISC OS UserSteveG on 24/3/04 8:03AM
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VirtualRPC in the bin would be the best...

 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis@work on 24/3/04 12:17PM
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No Riscos Running on a x-scale powered laptop, that would be great (although unlikely)

 is a RISC OS UserLee on 24/3/04 6:34PM
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 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis@work on 24/3/04 8:22PM
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To knutson: AFAIK nobody publishes details on sold magazines or RISC OS computers ... I never saw any and I rather not start that now. I must admit that the circulation has dropped quite a bit over the last years - mainly due to users moving to other platforms.

To SteveG and Lee: I guess when a VirtualRPC is available for Linux then it should be no big feat to have it for Mac OS X since both are more-or-less Unix. But true, a real XScale Laptop with the uptime to go with would be nice indeed.

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 25/3/04 1:11PM
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Or maybe a XScale Solo-like. The case would be simpler to construct and it is transportable.

 is a RISC OS Useregel on 25/3/04 2:37PM
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What would be fantastic is if VirtualRPC was turned into it's own OS, instead of running ontop of windows. Possibly they could use a very light Linux setup to run it or something.

 is a RISC OS UserQJimbo on 27/3/04 1:16AM
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QJimbo: I was told that this would be released in June 2004, but existing VirtualRPC implementations would not be compatible, due to specific hardware requirements (these specialised laptops will only be available from approved dealers, with modifications to ensure the licensed version of RISC OS is only used on that specific laptop).


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 27/3/04 1:53AM
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dgs: :-o I didn't know this was being made! Risc OS for Pentiums, who'd of thought it?

 is a RISC OS UserQJimbo on 27/3/04 4:09AM
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QJimbo: Sorry, just checked and it turns out my last comment was inaccurate. (Though it does rather resemble what I was told about the original VRPC laptop when it first came out - oh dear).


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 27/3/04 4:14AM
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dgs: Pity. Oh well, it might've been interesting. And moving even more into the realms of speculation, if it ever allowed RISC OS software running on it to access the hardware without going through the emulator, or to run x86 code directly on it, then it could be a relatively painless way to shifting platforms. This possibly wouldn't be too bad if VRPC itself wasn't running on top of Windows, although it would still be hellishly controversial.

Anyway, it's all just a little random speculation on my part.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 27/3/04 2:23PM
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I guess that an Intel x86 based RISC OS is not really to be expected. Just think of the work RISCOS Ltd claims to be necessary to make Select run on a 32 bit ARM processor (that is the XScale) and not just on older 26 bit ARM processors (that is StrongARM and the like). And I didn't get Select for my A5000 either despite RISCOS Ltd stating that they want to make Select available to all RISC OS systems :-) <p> So I do have the impression that it would be too much work to make RISC OS run natively on an Intel Pentium or so. RISC OS 5 does run on an Intel processor though ;-) <p> But a VirtualRPC (or VirtualIYONIX) not needing Windows but sitting on top of some Unix type system like Linux or MacOS X would be an intersting one...

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 27/3/04 2:53PM
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emulation is pants.

get a proper RISC OS computer

 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis@work on 27/3/04 6:02PM
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here here epitaxsis !!!

 is a RISC OS UserLee on 30/3/04 5:26PM
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Making RISC OS work natively on IA-32 would be a huge undertaking. So much of RISC OS would have to be rewritten that it'd only half be RISC OS anymore. It's doubtful there'll ever be a standalone edition of VRPC that boots itself, as turning an application into an operating system would be a major chore with drivers and bootloaders to consider.

That being said, I'm sure RISC OS would end up being ported to x86 if it was open sourced. I doubt that'd happen until RISC OS truly becomes worth nothing from a business point of view. Maybe in ten years.

 is a RISC OS UserClades on 31/3/04 6:57AM
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