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MicroDigital tout big RAM for Omega

By Chris Williams. Published: 9th Jul 2004, 22:27:37 | Permalink | Printable

While apps use a couple of MB each

omega motifConfidently shrugging off the ongoing Castle-RISCOS Ltd. dispute, MicroDigital have today on their website mentioned a couple of developments for the StrongARM powered Omega computer.

"As an antidote to all the misinformation and uninformed gloom and doom we have all seen over the past few weeks, we are pleased to announce that we have Omega computers that are fitted with RISC OS Adjust operating system running with up to 1GB of main memory," states MicroDigital.

MicroDigital also suggest the possibility of fitting up to 4GB of RAM to the Omega, but this could result in a conflict with the current design of the RISC OS memory layout, which has devices and peripherals 'mapped' into the overall memory space of the computer. 1GB and 2GB of main memory is possible, it would appear, memory chip supplies permitting.

One thing to note is MicroDigital's continued backing of RISCOS Ltd.'s RISC OS Adjust, despite Castle's claims that RISC OS 3.71 and 5 is on the table, if their competitors want it. We'll have to wait for things to pan out, as always, especially as MicroDigital remind us that their next Omega upgrade will be the much speculated XScale 2nd processor.


Omega, Adjust, 1GB main memory

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"their next Omega upgrade will be the much speculated XScale 2nd processor"

It was initially suggested that this would be demonstrated at the RISC OS Expo 2004 in Holland, but that turned out not to happen. This seemed not to be widely reported, perhaps it wasn't an approved item.

Interesting to see the Drobe editorial team trying to reassure everyone that 1GB and 2GB RAM are "apparently" possible with the Omega.

As always, real Omega users wait and see.


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 9/7/04 10:45PM
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A 4 GB RISC OS computer would be something to see.

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 9/7/04 10:55PM
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It continues to mystify me why MicroDigital are apparently unwilling - or unable - to use a spell checker. Are they aware of the negative impact that poor spelling (in this instance 'Font cashe') has on their professional image? Like it or not, people are influenced by such things.

 is a RISC OS Userthesnark on 9/7/04 11:37PM
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Chris: I do think you need to re-word your coda. The unwary might think that you're saying that 3.7 and derivatives are somewhat superior to Adjust instead of many times worse! ;-) Whilst 3.7 was good in its day the advances of 4.0? and Adjust make them essential for serious users today.

 is a RISC OS UserQ on 9/7/04 11:44PM
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Nice to see, that despite all of their negative publicity, that Microdigital are still beavering away at their Omega and improving it.

Although, one must wonder just what they are paying their staff with. Unless they also have othe sources of income.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 9/7/04 11:52PM
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Since RISC OS doesn't use "bloatware", I'm not sure of the need for 4GB of memory. I suppose you could display the entire contents of a photo CD and still have merory to do something else like handle a large OvPro document. But is this the real world?

 is a RISC OS Usercharles on 10/7/04 12:08AM
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Charles: Well Colin C-B (in The Electronic Quill) did argue that the RiscStation may be the ideal machine for some people. I'm all for choice and, if ARMTwister gives better than hybrid/Iyonix speed with graphics there are plenty of new options opening up. I certainly want to test one of those machines as soon as they are available.

 is a RISC OS UserQ on 10/7/04 12:19AM
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While perhaps technically interesting I am not sure either what 4GB memory are sensibly used for - I usually have problems to fill my 512MB. But who knows what time will bring.

In reply to Q: I don't think some unwary user might think 3.7 to be better than Adjust, though it was much more stable than the odd Select... But there is RISC OS 5 on the table too and that is 32 bit making it easier to get an XScale running with no need for ARMTwister which still has to be proven to work.

Anyhow it's good to read good news and to read news from MicroDigital!

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 10/7/04 6:07AM
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To use 4Gb you would need new bloated software, unlikely, or large datasets. For large datasets you would be better with a SGI, G5 or even a dual ittanium running linux and open inventor derived software.

I know, I do.... Horses for courses.


 is a RISC OS Usernijinsky on 10/7/04 9:30AM
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To hzn: Select betas may have been unstable (that's what betas are about) but 4.0? and Adjust appear to be *very* stable. As for 'unproven' - try RO5 on anything but an Iyonix ;-) I think I'm correct in saying that the Iyonix and RO5 precursors were developed together over a number of years as something other than desktop machines so advocating the use of RO5 for non-Iyonix products is more of a political requirement than a technological or useful exercise. Like the ARMTwister, RO5 on non-Iyonix machines is yet to be shown to work. Unlike the ARMTwister there will be no (immediate) benefits if (and when) it can be shown to work.

 is a RISC OS UserQ on 10/7/04 10:39AM
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Wow!! 4GB on an Omega. That really wants me to sell my Iyonix and buy an Omega instead........NOT!

 is a RISC OS Userianscott on 10/7/04 1:47PM
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Personally i do not see the point of buying 3.71 or its 32 bits brother RO5 while there is Select/adjust which is far more developed. If i want 3.71 on my omega i still have some old roms....

 is a RISC OS Userrdenk144 on 10/7/04 1:55PM
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Just a few things:

Q/John Cartmell> I think I read somewhere that RO5 was (in part) developed on a RISC PC.

As to your statement "if ARMTwister gives better than hybrid[1]/Iyonix speed with graphics there are plenty of new options opening up" there's a *mighty big* IF in there. No one has *ever* seem ArmTwister work and we have no way of predicting (in advance) what the likely performance is going to be.

The "hybrid (?)/Iyonix" remark seems to suggest that you think both are equivilent in speed - this is clearly *not* the case, for native RISC OS operation Iyonix *is* faster than a PC running the Windows/VARPC combination and by some distance.

I would be impressed indeed if MD *did* manage to seemlessly interwork 32bit code and a purely 26bit OS using ArmTwister with a current xScale and not sacrifice too much speed. Perhaps rather than us all engaging in the same sort of pointless crystal ball gazing that had us expecting Omega to be released in the new year of 2001 perhaps we should bear in mind that compared to developing Omega this is a *much more difficult* task.

As to Omega having more memory (the original thread of this article) bully for them.



[1]. In computing a hybrid computer is one that does computation using ANALOG and DIGITAL circuits, as VARPC is *not* this perhaps we could prevail upon you to call VARPC machines what they are - Windows PC's that use software to emulate RISC OS (or something to that effect). Rather than leaving people with the "false" impression that these are perhaps RISC OS machines that happen to be able to run Windows (which *certainly* is NOT the case).

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 10/7/04 2:18PM
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AMS: "for native RISC OS operation Iyonix is faster than a PC running the Windows/VARPC combination and by some distance." Only in raw computation. Many of the other things are much much quicker under VARPC, like disc access and such. And the gap is getting continually smaller every day. CTL need to make sure they come up with something to replace the Iyonix before VARPC whips its arse in all performance metrics, as it already whips it in some, as well as price.

What's the problem with people having a false impression, anyway?

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 10/7/04 2:53PM
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"before VARPC whips its arse in all performance metrics" all but stability ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserLee on 10/7/04 3:21PM
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What is all this FUD going around that Windows, or x86 hardware is unstable?

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 10/7/04 3:36PM
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To Q: You wrote "Select betas may have been unstable (that's what betas are about) but 4.0? and Adjust appear to be very stable. ". Well even the odd Select *Release* was not as stable as 3.7 or 4.02 - I don't know about Adjust since I quit Select well before that since *I* considered it too expensive for what I got from it and then the IYONIX pc happened by.

To rdenk144: I have to disagree that RISC OS 5 is called a brother of RISC OS 3.7. It is not, or if it considered such then Adjust is too. Both RISC OS variants have been enhanced and developed starting off with the same base around RISC OS 3.8 but in different directions and with different intents. I won't say that RISC OS 5 is better than Ajust and I won't say that Adjust is better than RISC OS 5 - they're too different for that statement and both have their merits and in comparison their downsides. And basically both can be developed further so that the differences vanish more and more. But I do know where *I* would put my money: That is RISC OS 5 since it is 32 bit ready and new ARM processors will not be 26 bit anymore and I don't think that Adjust will be 32 bitted. Instead I think that some of the things Adjust offers will come for RISC OS 5 though at the time being I can't think of much *I* miss now that CDROMFS is 32 bit and thus Joilet CD support available.

To nunfetishist: Sure VitrualRPC is an interesting product but I definitively prefer the real hardware. First of all I don't need to worry about all those viruses, diallers, ... and thus have no need to install security fixes all the time. And as for disc access: OK Windows based systems usually are faster but they have to be due to the size of the programs and files. Loading Word e.g. takes some time whereas loading TechWriter is nearly instantaneous. Scrolling larger text documents is smoother on my IYONIX pc. So which one is faster is very depending on the task. Just an examle: When I boot my IYONIX pc and my Windows PC at the same time I can read the first new email on the IYONIX pc before I can even start to use the Windows desktop. So basically neither is faster - it depends very much on what you do with the computer (and additionally what underlying PC hardware you have and what is installed on that one). And as for the price even ther comparison is not easy. OK some UKP 150 vor VirtualPRC compared to over UKP 1000 for an IYONIX pc is different, but you have to pay for the PC too and there prices vary quite a bit. Just try to buy everything for a VirtualPRC-system from scratch so that you get a fast one and one you don't (or very barely) hear - and then look at the price compared to the IYONIX pc which is fast and nearly silent. Then add the money needed for virus protection unless you're into fun...

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 10/7/04 3:42PM
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hzn: If you're using it exclusively as a RISC OS box, you don't have to worry about viruses and dialers. And that whole issue would go away if VA got their finger out and did a Linux version (as well as making VARPC powered machines even cheaper.) Are you saying that the only reason PCs are faster is because they have to be? Can I take that as you saying you don't need or want the speed? If so, why buy such a 'fast' ARM-clone machine? How quickly does RO5 take to boot these days? I recently installed XP Pro on a spare hard drive on my main desktop due to some work I was doing. With that in, the machine takes around 10 seconds to finish booting completely, which isn't actually that bad. And the boot time argument's silly anyway - you shouldn't turn your computer off. :)

I was refering the the price of VARPC powered machines, including the cost of the PC and the Windows licence, and that they're still significantly cheaper than an Iyonix. Considering you can get very respectable PCs these days that the only moving part in is the hard drive for less than 500 quid, I don't see your point. Again, if you're using exclusively RISC OS and not Windows, and you're using a hardware firewall (which everybody should use, anyway, regardless of OS) then there's no problem. Not to mention that there are perfectly good freely available anti-virus tools around for Windows anyway.

I say again: CTL need to either release something that's much quicker than the Iyonix within the next 6 months or so, or slash the price of it.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 10/7/04 4:04PM
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nunfetishist> "What's the problem with people having a false impression, anyway?"

So deception is Ok then ?

If a person purchases something after being so deceived then there are potential legal issues with it one would have thought. If someone buys a *PC* running Windows as its OS and can then run RISC OS under emulation on it and if they *know* that that is what's going to happen and still purchase it then *fine*. But if the only way to get a person to buy such a machine is by "obscuring" it's nature then that is (IMHO) dishonest and worthy of comment.

As to your other points, over time, yes VARPC will close the gap on Iyonix (but not for a while). The disk writing thing is simply down to Windows caching the writes (you pay for it later though when you try to shutdown the machine in longer shutdown times, or if the power goes and you lose data). I would point out that Castle *won't* be resting on their laurels over VARPC catching up, their conference seems to indicate that they will be using later ARMs if and when they become available.



 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 10/7/04 4:08PM
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To nunfetishist if castle released such a machine (ie faster iyonix) would you buy it??

 is a RISC OS UserLee on 10/7/04 4:09PM
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AMS: Deception != False Impression. And I'm yet to see any evidence that anybody who sells VARPC based machines are intentionally misleading customers, and I'd imagine they'd thank you for not insinuating it.

"The disk writing thing is simply down to Windows caching the writes (you pay for it later though when you try to shutdown the machine in longer shutdown times, or if the power goes and you lose data)." Actually, it does the sensible thing which all modern OSes do: buffer the writes until the machine is less busy. It's also got a lot to do with the quality of the drivers and the hardware driving them. Less FUD please, AMS. (And Windows, since 2000, has had a journaled file system.)

Lee: Certainly not. I might buy one if they slashed the price, though.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 10/7/04 4:15PM
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Anyway, I don't have time for this. I'm off to get very drunk in celebration of a friend's birthday. :)

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 10/7/04 4:21PM
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nunfetishist> "Deception !=False impression"

Ok, but does the term *hybrid computer* when associated with RISC OS infer that it's really just a WindowsPC running RISC OS under emulation ?

It's up to *people* if they want to buy and use Windows or RISC OS under emulation on a PC running windows if that's their want. My objection stems from the fact that terms like "hybrid computer" are both (a). not applicable in this case and (b). make it more difficult for novice users to realise what they're *actually* buying.

A working journalling filesystem in windows (whoopeey), makes all those Win2K re-installs I did a few years back feel so worthwhile now ;)



 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 10/7/04 4:32PM
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nunfetishist> Enjoy the booze man (checks watch) maybe it's never to early to start then ;)



 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 10/7/04 4:34PM
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AMS - I was quite surprised to find that when demoing a RISCube (high, 2600) to the Manchester usergroup, Artworks 2, the suposedly killer app for Iynoix was timed (by the usergroup) to be 20% slower on Iyonix when loading the standard example files (eg. the Smarties excample). Riscbook machines run even faster (the Centrino architcture suits VRPC exceedingly well). These results surprsied me, as I expected Iyonix to have a small edge in performance. I was wrong. Of course, the tables turn on BASIC apps, so I won't claim complete victories by any means. And Iyonix is still a darned fast machine even in tests where it is beaten by a fraction by the RISCube.

I would be surprised if anyone has bought any RISC OS machine in recent times without knowing exactly what they were getting. This is no longer a market of buy-first ask-later shoppers. They do the research and buy the product they want from the company they wish to do business with. Please don't suggest that people don't know what they're buying. Those customers left the RISC OS scene long ago!

Chocks - forgive any typing/spelling erros please - I'm typing one handed again. I'm getting sick of hospitals. Sigh.

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 10/7/04 5:12PM
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Surely these large RAM figures for Omega point up the advantages of running RO 5 on it? With RO 3.5 to 4.x, you can only use large amounts of RAM for Dynamic Areas; the WIMP slot is stuck at around 28 MB however much RAM you fit.

That's why PACE (Castle) rejigged the memory map for RO 5 to allow WIMP slots up to 1 GB. Remember that the WIMP slot is the only address space that can be used more than once (I have the horrible feeling I'm going to be argued with on that one but the essence is correct).

And you can only grow the WIMP slot by any large amount if you run in a 32-bit processor mode (rather than a 26-bit one), so you just can't copy it in RO 4.x.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 10/7/04 6:43PM
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herbert: There is absolute no advantages for me , as an Omega user , to use either 3.7 or 5. For me there the only thing that make sense to use is adjust/select.

I hear a lot of people stating that the ro5 is 'the only way forward' since it runs exclusivly on 32 bits processors. That just the biggest archilles heel of RO5. Yes it goes were no one has gone before in Risc Os country but if you look simply to the number of real 32 bits sw then i see that since the introduction not one application came on the market which is real 32 bit ( and not recompiled from 26 bit). Therefore , from the software pov, there is imo no sense in using RO5. We are talking here about the same software that is already available on 26 bits...

Ro4 ( + select) does the job perfectly . All sw is running without any problem at all. So , again, i do not see the point of using RO5. And therefore i do not see the need of buying/using an iyonix

Although i have to admit it is an beautiful machine ;-)



 is a RISC OS Userrdenk144 on 10/7/04 7:13PM
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arawnsley: out of all people, I am suprised you are selling and promoting Windows machines. If I bought one of your Windows machines to emulate RISC OS on, I certainly wouldn't buy WebsterXL, I'd nip into Windows and use Mozilla or Internet Explorer. I wouldn't buy HTMLEdit Studio, I'd use one of the numerous free or nearly-free Windows apps that are frankly more capable, or I'd use Dreamweaver. And that's just RComp products that are suffering.

No way would I use Photodesk, I'd use Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro, which are light years ahead of Photodesk. I'd be using XaraX or Illustrator instead of ArtWorks.

I'd be suprised if anyone would struggle along with a RISC OS Web browser or even bother to buy one when several free, superior ones could be used on the same machine, under Windows.

It hardly helps the RISC OS software scene by encouraging people to use Windows, which you are doing whether you intend to or not. Plus promoting Windows machines as faster than an IyonixPC for some operations is hardly going to help IyonixPC sales and if you succeed in killing off real hardware development then you effectively kill off a viable market. As has been said before, no OS survives via emulation, except as a novelty.

Only fast native hardware has a chance of encouraging software development.

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 10/7/04 8:31PM
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rdenk144: "I hear a lot of people stating that the ro5 is 'the only way forward' since it runs exclusivly on 32 bits processors. That just the biggest archilles heel of RO5." This is a joke, right? You are in the minority if you want to keep running sub-300Mhz computers with no chance of software development. The harsh reality is that RISC OS needs to be put on faster and faster CPUs in order to remain a viable platform and to provide sufficient processing power to encourage developers to write modern, capable applications. Older hardware support must be dropped as appropriate and the platform moved on, as happens with every modern platform.

At some point not too far away, RISC OS will have to be made 64bit or else it will again be left behind. I note Acer are selling 64bit laptops and of course Apple have been selling 64bit desktops for some time now.

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 10/7/04 8:38PM
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In reply to rdenk144:

RISC OS 4 is 32 bit in the sense it runs on a 32 bit processor. RISC OS 5 makes the leap into running the Operating System in 32 bit mode (not 26 bit legacy mode). As this is not present on 'newer,faster' processors its a critical update. RISC OS has always been 32 bit in the sense its a 32 bit architecture....

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 10/7/04 9:45PM
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arenaman: No its not a joke. But from what i have seen 'sub 300 mhz users' are still the vast majority. And no chance of software development? How many software is developed exclusively for the newer machines? very very few.

Lets face reality here. If we are trying to 'compete' with the megahertz mania on other platforms we will lose. Thats for sure. The companies who are still active do not have the development power that for instance companies have like M$ and Apple.

We need to see that our 'power' is on a completely different level. Software which is good and very easy to use. 'Old' doesnt mean outdated on our platform but proven. And stable. And with excellent support.

Reality is that there are very few commercial developers left in the risc os scene. Our hope lies in , not only the few which are left, but also in individual programmers. Thats what we need to focus on and not trying to compete in a race which we will surely lose...

That doesnt mean that we must not develop and buy new hardware. The best thing that we can do is buying an Omega or an iyonix.

But from our own prospective and not comperaring it with other platforms. look at the amiga scene for a good example of trusting in your own power rather then trying to compete with platforms on which companies are active with a bigger budget than quite a few countries have...



 is a RISC OS Userrdenk144 on 10/07/04 11:29PM
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You're right on many points - the strength of RISC OS is in the GUI of the OS and the software, excellent support etc.

However, it is abundantly clear that whilst there is a valid argument against trying to win the MHz battle (which I don't suggest we should or could do), we do need faster speeds for real-world use of the machines - video editing, audio sequencing, graphics and DTP.

And to a certain extent we don't want to trail *too* far behind Windows and MacOS as even the most savvy of users would not buy a 600MHz IyonixPC (let alone a 233MHz RiscPC) instead of a 4GHz AMD machine (leaping ahead a few months to illustrate my point) and the general idea is to get more users in the end.

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 11/07/04 09:50AM
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arenaman: re: not using RISC OS software because windows is right there. While I don't have an emulator, my Athlon64 WinXP, Dreamweaver, Photoshop and Firefox computer is just a button press away from my Iyonix (no slower really than an alt-tab I suppose) and I use StrongEd, Photodesk and Oregano2 in preference. For people that use RISC OS because they realise it's better than Windows where it matters most - the GUI - the fact that better featured software is available under Windows doesn't really matter. As long as you can get what you need done under RISC OS (and you'll probably get it done faster and with less stress under RISC OS), emulation isn't going to stop people buying and using RISC OS software. You only switch over to Windows software when the equivalent simply doesn't exist under RISC OS.

 is a RISC OS Usersenduran on 11/07/04 10:42AM
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Micheal: I do agree with you that we need software like video editing etc and of course the hardware that gives the silicons needed for that software. It puzzles me to this very day that no one has made an real audio player for Risc os. With the latest machines i do think it should be possible to do so...

It allways amuses me when i visit friends with Megahertzes on their desk. These things produces sounds on which a F16 fighter jet will be jealous. And i see them still struggling with the same problems as for five years ago : The software thats buggy, or wont work because they havent got the right amount of memory or megahertzes....

We do not have that kind of problems. Thats our strength..

I can only speak for myself but i do not follow the news in Wintel country. My Omega offers me everything which i search in a computer. I do think that most users will have that very same attitude. Why follow someting which we dont like ? ( or any arguement agianst buying/using a wintel machine)

I only use a wintel pc to do the tasks which i cannot do so on a risc pc. Just like Sendu does. So we need to focus on bringing that software to the risc os market. If that means that we have to upgrade, yes please. But the focus must be : software and not hardware.



 is a RISC OS Userrdenk144 on 11/07/04 11:20AM
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The hardware will have to be a focus, just because it's ridiculously far behind everything else. It's unfortunately the area where RISC OS developers have the least impact, since they aren't designing the processors. When it gets to the stage where an emulator can do everything faster, and cheaper, than an Iyonix, there will be no logical reason for keeping it, only emotional ties to ARM based systems and mostly paranoid fears about Window's reliability.

Trying to deny that, or to say we should not have the emulator because it can do a better job than the native hardware and will therefore damage it, is just burying your head in the sand. To be blunt, if it can't compete on any level it deserves to die.

I hope I'm just being a pessimistic scaremongerer. We'll see.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 11/07/04 11:46AM
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In reply to Nick

"It puzzles me to this very day that no one has made an real audio player for RISC OS. With the latest machines I do think it should be possible to do so... "

I was under the impression that Kira made one and also that Robin Watts has one (WSS) but licensing made it unecomomical.

And to Michael: Wondering why Rcomp sell PC based systems...

This software problem is the reason many developers are also providing PC's. RISC OS as a platform for commercial development is unecomomical for many people. THere are many devrelopers out there, but the majority have been in the game a long time and one by one they are leaving. Now I dont know the finances of any, however, I would assume that many made enough money years ago to not require a substantial income from sales these days. OR they are doing it for the love of the platform or make enough with one app they have tied up. However, for new players considering building a database IDE etc (what I am doing) there is no market.

Therefore present comercial RISC OS developers need another income source.


 is a RISC OS Usernijinsky on 11/07/04 12:01AM
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The question isn't whether emulators work well or not, it's whether their presence will kill RISC OS in the long term.

Apple survives because of the profit they make on their hardware, RISC OS needs the same. Also Apple couldn't get fast enough CPUs, so they sell dual processor machines, we need RISC OS to be updated to support that otherwise we can't compete.

Obviously some people need the extra features in apps not provided by RISC OS software, but the majority don't, and benefit from the superior GUI etc of RISC OS. We need to compete on speed and ease of getting the job done, not raw power and features, because we can't there.

If you save 1hr per day because you work on RISC OS at 5ukps/hour your Iyonix has paid for itself in half a year.

Now to use VRPC you also need to know about Windows, windowsupdate, firewalls, antivirus, defragmenting, services, and how to fix it when it goes wrong. And when something's not working you need to know whether it's the hardware, windows, VRPC, RISC OS or the app that's the problem. The potential problems at least doubled, so the time to fix them quadrupled.

VRPC has the same obvious price advantage over Iyonix as Windows does, and many of the same longer term disadvantages. And you're not contributing to the long term future of RISC OS on ARM machines.

If you think that VRPC won't contribute to the decline of RISC OS on ARM, or want to be using one of the many thriving OSes that only exist in emulation, then go ahead. If you don't really use RISC OS much anymore, and just like VRPC because it's cheap for messing about with why are you even here?

This message has been paid for by the PAPRO (People For ARM Powered RISC OS)

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 11/07/04 2:38PM
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Im am running VRPC on a PC Laptop for over a year now and haven't touched a real RISC OS machine since (because I'm in America). The machine didn't need a reinstall since and also never crashed completely (VRPC crashed sometimes). I did not have any virus and I run the checker not frequently. I only quickly installed a firewall - that was not very complicated. So I don't really have any problems with the windows machine.

And you know what: I mainly use Oregano 1 for surfing because it just works fine. I will use my RiscPC again and my new Omega computer when I come home in a few weeks. I don't see me using VRPC a lot then except when I need a mobile solution. If a RISC OS Laptop comes out I may purchase that and sell the PC one. I might then buy a desktop PC for programs like Mathematica that are just not available under RISC OS.

What I want to say: I had to use windows for some month now and I did not have many problems with it and I will go back to a native RISC OS machine as soon as I get home. When I use the PC I am just missing so many features. I would really like to save Mathematica graphs as a draw file - but I just can't and so changing small things like line thickness or colour is a real pain using windows and I have no other choice as to live with that but I can't say I really like it. I am writing my Master Thesis right now with Impression and TechWriter where everybody else uses LaTeX - and it just works fine for me.

 is a RISC OS Usermaikl on 11/07/04 4:18PM
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arawnsley>"Artworks 2, the suposedly killer app for Iynoix was timed (by the usergroup) to be 20% slower on Iyonix when loading the standard example files (eg. the Smarties excample)"

That could very well be the case and Andrew I have no reason to doubt that assertion. But it is one single application and not everyone will inevitably agree on what constitutes a *killer app*. It simply highlights that an emulator may have advantages (speed wise) over an ARM native machine, and of course the contrary will also be true in other areas.

If PC speeds keep increasing then (at some point) VARPC may well equal Iyonix (I don't think Castle would/should wait around that long though !).

Hope you get well soon.



 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 11/07/04 5:40PM
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i was pleasantly surprised with the rendering speed of ArtWorks on the A6/VRPC at Wakefield. However, I wouldn't take it as a representative average because the rendering is done by short loops that get executed a lot. JITs such as VRPC handle this well, as does the StrongARM engine in Aemulor; hence the big speed increase from ARM610->SA.

As with any emulator, some operations will be faster, some slower. To me the A6 I tried didn't feel nearly as slick as the Iyonix but unfortunately there wasn't much software on the machine to get a better feel for its speed.

 is a RISC OS Useradrianl on 11/07/04 8:31PM
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1 gigabyte up to 4 gigabytes of ram sounds big alright, bigger some computer's Hard Disk. MD's idea of big ram is certainly not sheepish! Why would MD bother with such large ram computers? It sounds to me like the first step of a bigger plan for the Omega??? Regards, Steve

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 13/07/04 10:31AM
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Sawadee The Omega could do with being finished first ;o)

At the moment using a 512MB Iyonix with a 128MB RAM disc (bigger than the first HD in my A3010) I come nowhere near filling all 512MB.

What would/could anyone do usefully with 4Gig of RAM and a 300MHz FP-less CPU?

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 15/07/04 8:19PM
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