Is it still cool to hate Intel and IE?By Chris Williams. Published: 29th Aug 2004, 23:40:53 | Permalink | Printable
Times change, enemies don'tEditorial There's something delightfully ironic about this Intel logo (pictured right), and RISC OS. Once upon a time, we would adorn our A5000s and RiscPCs with 'Intel Outside' stickers: a proud emblem to distance our milliwatt ARM processor cores from the power hungry Pentiums. And yet now, we're enjoying our XScale Iyonixes, and in the future perhaps XScale Omegas. Intel is back on the inside.
Of course, you can't overlook the fact that Intel acquired the XScale technology when they got the rights to the StrongARM processor (developed by ARM and DEC), as a settlement in a lawsuit between DEC and Intel (DEC accused Intel of stealing intellectual property, fancy that). Even so, with Intel pushing the XScale in all sorts of directions, from PDAs to RAIDs, are ARM cores (going more and more mobile and embedded) still relevant to RISC OS? Are we fickle enough to follow just the Mhz, or does our loyalty still lie with ARM?
The reason I'm bringing this up again, here, is that I was earlier wandering across the vastness of the web and happened across the website of a particular RISC OS celebrity. While known for offering various popular, useful resources on his website, this particular outspoken member of our platform is particularly keen to promote RISC OS where ever possible and has been known to impress a few of society's elite with our OS, he reminds us. Constantly. And if he's going to insist that RISC OS is "completely impervious to all forms of internet virus, worm or trojan", then who are we to stop him.
Anyway, his site is currently running an "Intel: Just say no" campaign, which amused me, at least, because he probably wrote that page on an 'Intel inside' Iyonix. Just say no, until it becomes convenient to use? The campaign is because of Intel's "unethical business practices," our well travelled campaigner told us. As long as they keep churning out those IOP321s, it's a-ok, presumably.
Funnily enough, if you visit the aforementioned RISC OS resource portal, and your browser dares to be Internet Explorer, you'll be blocked, scolded and told to upgrade. I personally hate being told to upgrade my browser - clearly, these people have never heard of Oregano's unique upgrade path. I hate these CSS sites that tell me I need to visit some precocious 'web standards' website that will lecture me into using their browser of choice. A favourite site of mine, Andrew "Jaffasoft" Flegg's TV listings site, at least congratulates me on "being true to the origins of web browsing". I hope that's not sarcasm I smell, there.
How many times have RISC OS been locked out of mainstream websites that ought to know better, and told to upgrade to IE? Maybe blocking IE from RISC OS sites is some kind of humorous revenge. Well, we sure showed them, now they'll never find out more about our platform. And if anything, this kind of action is not going to scream 'tolerance', all-in-all a great advert for the rest of the passing-by-web. Maybe people will see the block, try out an IE alternative, and then thank us for showing them the light. I asked our friend if there was any chance of a compromise, like a friendly link to Firefox or something, but the response was: "People should not use MSIE full stop. End of story."
People should not use VirtualAcorn, should not bother upgrading that RiscPC, should not read banned books and should not leave the house after 8:30pm, either, huh? Our platform representative is also anti-Microsoft, yet we hear he owns an Xbox to play games on and watch DVDs. He's thinking of eBay'ing it now, though.
Now, not that I want to pick on our friend, and I've tried to play down his identity here because it's nothing personal. It's just interesting to see how times have changed, and certainly changing beyond our control, forcing us all to adapt. Having had the platform grown and fostered within the warm confines of the initial relationship between Acorn and ARM, the fact that we're now more or less on our own, 'piggybacking' on the success of convenient XScale processors, open source software, emulators, the embedded market, and the rest, is probably the hardest fact for our platform's zealots to grasp.
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