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Light shined on Omega USB

By Chris Williams. Published: 22nd Feb 2005, 00:22:56 | Permalink | Printable

We are not making this up

Yes, a USB powered lightUpdated at 17:26 22/2/2005

Earlier today we broke the news of an Omega demonstrating 'working USB support' at a user group meeting. Microdigital customers Bryan Hogan and Stewart Brookes reportedly showed off a StrongARM RISC OS 4 powered Omega with a working USB device. It appears we've been stumbling in the dark - only now have we learnt what the USB device was.

Yes. You got that one right. A USB powered light. It simply plugs into the socket, bypassing any need for a working USB software stack. We tried thinking of some puns, but forget it. We're lost for words.

A source at the evening yesterday in London whispered: "Other devices that are likely to be compatible are fans, battery chargers and, it would seem, USB toothbrushes."

ROUGOL have promised us pictures. Oh the excitement.


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It was a good, positive evening, and Bryan ably demonstrated the Omega's ability to run an impressive mix of software, from older titles (including 'demos') to the cutting edge of ArtWorks 2, TechWriter, and the latest RISC OS Select.

I think you may find that, in some ways, the news story above is about 37 days too early though ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserStewy on 22/2/05 2:01AM
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After something like 5 years, I am on tenterhooks......can't sleep......I haven't eaten anything in minutes.....I cannot concentrate on anything.......The tension is killing me...

Please please please can someone put me out of my misery and tell me what USB device was connected to the Omega.....;o)

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 22/2/05 7:22AM
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I'd laugh if it was one of those JML mug warmers or 'laptop lights' ;)

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 22/2/05 9:11AM
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piemmm: The ultimate have to have USB device would be the USB toothbrush:


Seriously though, Omega development is so slow. Not much of an incentive to buy one of these machines.

 is a RISC OS UserFuzzy on 22/2/05 9:18AM
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Sounds like progress. Having just bought a laptop PC, I really do like using USB.

 is a RISC OS Userharmsy on 22/2/05 9:48AM
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Pity I missed it, I meant to go! Still, think I will wiat for the A9 home before buying however...

 is a RISC OS Userquakz on 22/2/05 11:51AM
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Congratulations to MD! Good to see the Omega making progress. It would be nice if not only was 2005 the year of the A9 Home & 32-bit Select - but also of the X-Scale Omega.

 is a RISC OS UserJohnB on 22/2/05 2:43PM
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Amazing, it seems that onboard USB on the Omega is actually connected to the power supply...

Let's keep our fingers crossed for the electrical toothbrush ;)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 22/2/05 6:03PM
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Was one of the commentators joking about the Omega's USB system actually there at the presentation?

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 22/2/05 8:31PM
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Oh the irony!

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 22/2/05 8:47PM
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Did the audience laugh, or was the USB part of the presentation actually taken seriously? How?

 is a RISC OS Usersenduran on 22/2/05 9:29PM
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@senduran: Yes, that is what I would like to know, too. The USB system is in development right now and I would like to know if this machine had a beta version on it.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 22/2/05 9:45PM
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Ah, sorry, I had missed the update.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 22/2/05 9:47PM
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Well it was my machine, and doesn't have beta USB drivers as far as I know! Throughout the presentation it was made clear that USB was still "under development". Stewy just plugged in the light at the end as a joke, and then Dave Lane (who is in need of a slap :-) ) decided it would be fun to pretend it was real. Although it was funny seeing Drobe print this as a real story it has unfortunately had the effect of overshadowing the fact that everything else worked smoothly. Things we demoed included: - RISC OS Select 4.39 - floppy (for the really cynical) - CD writer - network (ShareFS to an A4 with parallel port ethernet interface) - sound (MP3, SoundTrackers, etc) - parallel port sound sampler Plus a whole heap of software, old and new, so that the iconbar was scrolling like mad. Played MPEG and AVI files. Played Doom complete with sound effects, Midi music, and all the bilinear smoothing options on. Also ran some old demos (Flouro, era, etc) that you would expect to hit the hardware directly and be most likely to give compatibility problems. All worked faultlessly, and the Omega ran all evening without a reset. Pat on the back to Microdigital and RISC OS Ltd. (By the way, the Iron Dignity demo runs really nicely. Whatever happened to that - "Available 1999" it says at the end, that makes it later than the Omega!)

 is a RISC OS Userhelpful on 23/2/05 1:51AM
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What software was used to play AVI's ?

 is a RISC OS Usermripley on 23/2/05 8:34AM
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MovieFS - 26bit and no longer available.

Hopefully Cineroma will nicely replace that. Come along to the April ROUGOL meeting to see that in action.

 is a RISC OS Userhelpful on 23/2/05 10:14AM
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Helpful: have you tried the !FQuake demo? What framerate did you get, if so?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 23/2/05 12:11PM
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Yes, but I can't remember the frame rate. I'll run it again this evening.

Are there any particular settings (screen res?) that need to be used to get the frame rate, or do I just leave it running a while and see what number is displayed in the corner?

Has anyone rebuilt FQuake to run on the Iyonix? It should run well on there.

 is a RISC OS Userhelpful on 23/2/05 2:24PM
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Helpful: I've tested my Kinetic under VRAM (2Mb), at 640 x 480 x 256 cols. The average frame/sec rate is just over 19 (achieved after a couple of minutes running), with intermittent peak rates up to 28. IMO the average rate is the best index of graphic performance, rather than the peak rate. When my RPC was a bog-standard S/ARM it could average about 16 frames/sec, and only 2-3 as an ARM7 machine. So my guess is that processor power is more crucial than memory speed, in which case the Omega should average around 25 frames/sec.

Good luck!

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 23/2/05 3:05PM
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OK, left Fquake running for 10 minutes or so and the average frame rate was 23.4.

 is a RISC OS Userhelpful on 24/2/05 11:11AM
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helpful: that pretty much supports my 'processor-bound' theory. In which case an Iyonix should get around 40fps, assuming it can run the demo.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 24/2/05 12:58PM
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Exciting pictures :)


 is a RISC OS UserMENTAT on 26/2/05 9:42PM
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