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Omega ethernet ships

By Chris Williams. Published: 17th May 2004, 19:56:31 | Permalink | Printable

Another tick on the features list

Omega motifMicroDigital have officially confirmed, and publicly no less, that Omega ethernet support is in the post to UK based punters.

"We today shipped out the first batch of ethernet cards with version 4.34 of our driver software to UK Omega users and we should finish supplying all back orders by the middle of this week," reads the MD website, as updated this evening.

MicroDigital admitted that the Omega ethernet sub-system suffers from stability issues ("odd niggling problems that show up from time to time") when using RISC OS 4.03, however, the problems ("obscure bugs") have been addressed in later versions of RISC OS 4.

An Omega with a network card fitted was on display at last weekend's Wakefield show, and Mark Rowan took some photos - the Omega in the interesting case was on the Liquid Silicon stand.

According to MicroDigital's priority list, XScale support and USB are next, after ethernet support.

Update at 23:21 18/5/2004
For your information, MD have replied to this article on their website.

Links

MicroDigital website

Previous: Wakefield photos and gossip
Next: Castle opens RISC OS future wishlist

Discussion

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Nice to see thing moving along and the newdesk being updatec. :)

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 17/5/04 9:28PM
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That is the sort of news I like to hear.

On the subject of Liquid Silicon. Did anyone try using the Midi setup they have in the photos? Being able to mount on in a rack with other music hardware would be most useful for a friend of mine.

 is a RISC OS Userknutson on 17/5/04 9:54PM
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Midi Card, Network Card, USB fitted to a computer as standard sounds nice! I have sent a couple of emails to a few people recently about !Sibelius. Can anyone please help.... Is there a way to get !Sibelius on to CD (in Wav. or MP3 format??) using purely RISC OS - although I know I can take it's file as Midi to the PC platform to do this. I'm using RISC OS 4 with MIDI Card to Roland Sound Canvas SC8850 and I have a General MIDI Roland SK50 Keyboard as input to the computer. I have a new laptop with XP Windoze Proffishional I could use if I have to - maybe the Roland Sound module's MIDI output could go back to my RISC OS or the laptop to a CD Writer after converting the file?? I don't know how or if anyone is doing this with RISC OS. Cheers, Steve.

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 18/5/04 1:58AM
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With the RiscStation machines you can playback through MIDI sequencing software whilst recording the synthesised output onto the harddisc. Perhaps you can do the same with Sibelius7 on a RiscPC. If yuo have a laptop, though, I would simply record the output from the RiscPC soundcard or your external sound module to the hardisc of the WindowsXP laptop.

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 18/5/04 2:05AM
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Oh come on, it is getting a bit silly now. Where exactly did they say that their *hardware* suffered stability issues? This is simply not true. Some bugs in the RISC OS 4.03 internet stack, wich have been fixed during Select development, are the cause for some odd niggling problems. This has nothing to do with their hardware!

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 18/5/04 4:19AM
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I used to record from Sibelius onto MD. Play through an external MIDI device (e.g. to Yamaha MU10 XG sound module), connect Line Out from MIDI device to Line In of MD recorder. Of course you could use another recording device such as a portable MP3 encoder. I first thought your posting was asking how to get the !Sibelius application on to CD. That would actually be quite useful, as due to the protection method it can only be installed from floppy and my VA laptop lacks a floppy drive.

 is a RISC OS Usergovind on 18/5/04 7:15AM
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Anyone know if Ethernet is completed for the Mico??!!

 is a RISC OS Userrod on 18/5/04 7:39AM
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Reply to Govind "Portable MP3 encoder - Line In of MD recorder". Something I have not thought of, and that is to consider and shop around to see what the market has to offer as a device that has MIDI inputs and is a portable (external from computer) CD Writer! I think maybe I have been stuck on the idea of inputting from the Sound Canvas device back into the computer's CD Writer rather than considering another external CD device with MIDI inputs. Thanks for you comments.

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 18/5/04 9:21AM
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The IconBar got it right! @Chris: Care to correct your false statement in the article?

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 18/5/04 10:35AM
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JGZ> "Some bugs in the RISC OS 4.03 internet stack" is quite a claim. I can't think of anything that should make a difference. Everybody else's Ether* driver works just the same on 4.0x and Select - why should MD try and claim otherwise? Put it another way - so little has changed with respect to the driver backend of ethernet, that it's hard to believe there COULD be any reason for it not to work on 4.0x. I'm sure you'll delight on claiming to know but failing to deliver details again. :-

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 18/5/04 11:12AM
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JGZimmerle:

The wording of the article has been clarified at the earliest instance.

Chris.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 18/5/04 11:14AM
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govind:

as regards Sibelius on CD: Unfortunately, due to the nature of the copy protection, this is pretty much unfeasible. But hey, that's the beauty of floppy installation: you can write back to the disc, getting rid of the need for ridiculous keycodes and registration files.

Also, you'd be putting 1.6MB of data on a CD (well, nearer 5MB for all three discs, but the remark stands): What a waste! Unless they were to include the Opus library as well... I digress. Sib7 on CD can't feasibly happen.

Jymbob

 is a RISC OS Userjymbob on 18/5/04 11:21AM
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Isn't 1 CD cheaper than 3 floppies?

And are Virtual Acorns more likely to have a CD drive or a floppy?

Still, if Sib7 on CD isn't going to happen, no use crying about it. -- Spriteman

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 18/5/04 11:34AM
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Sawadee:

Another route is to look up !TiMIDIty (later rebadged as !ReMIDI)

It takes a standard MIDI file and revoices it using a library of samples (much like a sound module) in order to output audio. It's pretty good at what it does, and can output 44.1K 16bit stereo RAW files, which can then be converted to a burnable format.

The sound quality is bearable. It's obviously samples on a computer, but it's better than a kick in the teeth.

Jymbob

 is a RISC OS Userjymbob on 18/5/04 11:41AM
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@Chris: Thank you, this looks much better.

@imj: IIRC everyone else's ethernet drivers had to work around the shortcomings of the old internet stack. The Select changelog has quite a long list of fixed bugs in the internet stack.

I am not the developer of the Omega's ethernet driver, so am not really in a Position to give any details. If you really want to know I suggest you contact MicroDigital.

However as beta tester for the driver I can confirm that it works fine with all network software I tried on RISC OS 4.37, but certain networking software can cause instabilities when used on 4.03.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 18/5/04 11:49AM
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The omega didn't have a midi card, it was using a parallel to midi converter with a suitable driver (called ParallelMIDI). Of course the iyonix doesn't have a parallel port, but doubtless you can get the same for USB.

 is a RISC OS Userjohn on 18/5/04 12:38PM
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JGZ You have stated that other drivers had workarounds why then can the MD ethernet driver not do the same? Surely this is due to insufficient testing and debugging of the driver?

If you add the cost of Select to the ethernet card and driver to allow reliable networking on the Omega it makes it one VERY expensive ethernet upgrade.

ukp155 + ukp 52.88* = ukp 207.88 *assuming UK vat a 17.5% Prices on 18/05/04 from [link] and [link]

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 18/5/04 1:12PM
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[link] probably does what you need if the computer's playing the sounds, otherwise take the audio output of the MIDI Sound module to the audio input of a computer and record it. Assuming you have a computer with a working audio input.

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 18/5/04 10:07PM
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Reply to Sawadee: I don't think you can get any external CD writer with MIDI inputs, but you can get CD recorders at hifi stores (from about 80 according to [link]) which will have a Line-In that you can connect to the Line-Out of your Roland Sound Canvas module. -- Govind Kharbanda, Nagasaki, Japan

 is a RISC OS Usergovind on 19/5/04 1:22AM
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@blahsnr: Why should MD put in the effort to make a driver that works with an old OS version, when most users have Select anyway and want them to get on with the work on ARMTwister?

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 19/5/04 8:13AM
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JGZ The Omega ships with vanilla RO4.03 (correct me if I am wrong) and someone might consider upgrading to an Omega from an A440 running RO3.11 or a RPC600 running RO3.5 (and thus are unlikely to be Select subscribers).

If they needed networking then they apparently need Select. In my book ukp155 is a substantial extra sum to pay out on top of the price of a new Omega + network card to guarantee that ethernet will work reliably.

Especially when an Iyonix ships with a reliable ethernet port as standard.

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 19/5/04 10:02AM
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It does seem wrong that Microdigital can imply that their networking doesn't work with the operating system supplied. If all new Omegas came with Adjust, then that would be a different story. Yes I understand that it's good practice to design for the latest OS, but surely only if that's what you're suppliying to people?

Ian

As a note Liquid Silicon have mentioned on a newsgroup that they didn't have any networking issues with their omega running OS 4.03

 is a RISC OS UserRimmer on 19/5/04 10:32AM
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Rimmer So are LS correct or is this correct ;o) [link]

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 19/5/04 11:02AM
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I'm guessing that both are correct, in that Liquid Silicon were luckly enough not to have any problems, but Microdigital are trying to cover them selves by making it known that there might be some issues.

Ian

 is a RISC OS UserRimmer on 19/5/04 11:16AM
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Just to clarify... I didn't encounter any problems when demonstrating networking over the weekend (other than when my RPC crashed and took Access with it). I'm not saying that if I ran it non-stop for 24 hours I wouldn't encounter any problems - I don't know, I've not tried things like that yet.

 is a RISC OS Userliquid on 19/5/04 11:52AM
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Plus you probably have not tried all software wich makes use of network cards, yet? I think the uptime of the machine is not the problem, it is some networking software wich might pose problems on 4.03 (but not 4.37 or later).

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 19/5/04 1:34PM
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More vagueness ... "some software" - come on JGZ, provide some solid testable proof of your claims. Just give us ONE piece of standard software that would work on 4.37 but not 4.0x. Alternatively, shush.

I actually don't especially care if what you say DOES turn out to be true (but don't believe you yet) -- what I am getting fed up of seeing is the silly statements continuing to pour forth from you and Atkins without any substance. Continuing to blame every third party possible for all the delays and bugs in Omega is just silly. Seeing Atkins' rant on his "news" page is even more hilarous. People only generally get worked up in such ways, with the snidey comments at Drobe and soforth, if they're trying to make up lies and have something to hide. If it was fact, it would be presented as such, not this continued childish mudflinging we keep seeing.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 19/5/04 1:59PM
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This is excellent news. Well done MD! Cant wait when mine arrives. :)

 is a RISC OS Userrdenk14 on 19/5/04 6:16PM
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Some software does cause problems with the network on RO4.0x. In particular, perl programs that access the network lock the machine solid on 4.0x, but run fine on 3.7 and Select. So MD's claims are not completely without precedent.

 is a RISC OS Userhelpful on 19/5/04 6:42PM
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helpful: That is due to a bug in the upcall handing, which is most likely to be (but not exclusively) triggered by network activity. IIRC the bug is also present in RISC OS 3.7, but perhaps it is not triggered as frequently. The bug is not in the network stack, so it doesn't really support MD's claims.

 is a RISC OS UserAJW on 19/5/04 9:58PM
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In Reply to Rod

The Mico now has a ethernet card about 30+vat. According to David Atkins there are similar intermittant problems as with the Omega with Riscos 4.03 but no problems with using 'Adjust'.

 is a RISC OS Userjlavallin on 21/05/04 10:16PM
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Jeff I am pleased that you finally have the option of an ethernet card on your Mico.

I am surprised that the Mico has the same problems as the Omega though. The explanation from Desk about the Omega is that it is because of the higher 'internal speed' showing up the 'underlying' problems in the RO4.03 internet stack.

However the Mico CPU is clocked at the same speed and has similar performance to a RiscStation machine. I was under the impression that networking worked fine on a RiscStation under RO4.03 why then not on the Mico?

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 23/05/04 11:24AM
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If memory serves correctly then previous conversations with David Atkins he suggested that the Mico ethernet drivers will be almost identical to the Omega one. I think I need to ask more questions as I had not planned to buy Adjust. Another option exists of replacing the Mico motherboard with an Omega one though priced at 699+vat is out of my reach.

 is a RISC OS Userjlavallin on 24/05/04 03:08AM
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You don't need Adjust, Select is just as good and most stuff will work fine with 4.03 anyway.

 is a RISC OS Useranon/195.227.111.2 on 24/05/04 1:59PM
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