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Expo 2005 show report

By Michael Gerbracht. Published: 20th Jun 2005, 12:24:09 | Permalink | Printable

Writing from the Netherlands, Michael Gerbracht reveals the highlights and lowlights of the top mainland RISC OS show of the year

Show newsAfter five years, I once again had the opportunity to visit the RISC OS Expo close to Utrecht and it was nice to see some of the new developments from the Wakefield show. For me, it was also the first time I was able to see an Iyonix computer whereas I have seen many Omega computers since its release. This is admittedly a little bit strange, compared to other users' experiences.

Hardware-wise, the stand of RISCOS Ltd was the most interesting. They had an A9home on show running RISC OS Adjust 32. It was not absolutely stable but you could already see some new Select features, such as keyboard navigation of the filer. There was also an iMac computer running VirtualRiscPC.

Neither MicroDigital nor Desk were present at the show which is perhaps not a big surprise because there has been no news for over a year now from this quarter. So Castle were the only hardware manufacture at the show with a range of Iyonix computers on their stand. More interestingly, Oregano 3 was running on these machines. The speed was OK on the Iyonix machine. More impressively, however, was its rendering quality. Even on complicated sites like www.sport1.de or www.gmx.de the display was quite good although not totally perfect.

On the topic of browers, Peter Naulls had Firefox running on his machines. He only had a few pages on his computer's hard disc but they displayed in a few seconds. He has already managed to optimise the rendering speed since Wakefield - but there is still some potential left. Peter is asking for an unknown amount of money before releasing the beta version. Although the Pledge-O-Meter went up all the way from around 40% two weeks ago till 96% before the end of the show it did not reach the 100% mark. So we will still need a few more people to pledge for the browser. Hopefully, it might be released by early next week.

I had a very interesting conversation with Martin Wuerthner, who presented ArtWorks and TechWriter on the MW Software stand. My main interest was the new macro language of the EasiWriter family. The language is C based and may open the door for a lot of interesting features. A short demonstration of ArtWorks with graduated transparency reminded me that I want to upgrade before long.

Another German exhibitor was Steffen Huber demonstrating his CDVDBurn software. As soon as I own a DVD writer I will also upgrade my copy of the software.

Then there was R-Comp exhibiting various software titles and some RISC OS hardware emulating PCs as well as another A9home machine. Paul Beverley of Archive magazine had a stand and also gave an interesting presentation about text handling on RISC OS. From CJE Micro, I bought a driver for the Canon IP4000 printer, and - I have to say it - he didn't have it in stock.

All together it was a nice show and a good opportunity to see new hardware and software previously exhibited at the Wakefield Show. It was not too crowded, so it was possible to speak to the exhibitors. Whether it was a big commercial success I don't know but I think that many people will purchase items later, after the show, once they saw it there in action.



Another reader, Nico, writes in to say that in the RISCOS Ltd. show presentation, Paul Middleton talked about the work done for the A9home and briefly about the future. Castle focussed on DVD compatibility and their C/C++ compiler work in their presentation. Without Desk and a German dealer who is also usually present, the show hall apparently felt "a bit empty".

Nico added, "The other A9home could be seen and played with at the ROL stand. It worked ok as long as no 26 bit programs were started. Paul Middleton did mention that he hoped to have the 32bit RISC OS version for A9 ready long before Christmas this year."

"It's a shame MicroDigital wasn't there as they usually have a presence at the Expo including first releases as you might remember. This would have been an opportunity to tell people about the current state of the Omega. Compared to the last Expo, this one was down, might have been the weather (30oC, start of summer) or maybe things improved drastically during the afternoon."



Gallery

That blue box is not the KVM, it's your computerPrivate property, no trespassing
The Firefox port clearly displaying a complicated websiteRISC OS Adjust running on a shiny Apple Mac
After looking at the A9home, you realise how huge the Iyonix isOregano 3 tackling the Interweb
"I'm living in a box. Living in a RISCbox"CJE Micros beat back the crowds
We'd like to remind rich readers with two big LCD monitors of our PayPal 'Donate' buttonSomeone tell this couple to get a room


Links


Back to the front page Photos taken by Michael Gerbracht [Originals]. His article was originally published on Arcsite.de, the German language RISC OS news website.

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Discussion

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Given the size of the A9home and the RISCbox, and considering the difference in heat output between Intel/AMD and ARM CPUs, it's a surprise that people haven't done more small form factor stuff with their kit.

 is a RISC OS Userguestx on 20/6/05 1:01PM
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I hope that CJE stand photo wasn't representative of the number of people at the show.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 20/6/05 1:51PM
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I guess not many people spotted what was sitting on top of the Geminus IYONIX then :-)

..and we DID have a room - in the very same hotel as the Expo! Very convenient! :-)

Regards,

/Neil/

 is a RISC OS Userspellinn on 20/6/05 1:52PM
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spellinn> Well, I'll admit I thought he meant you and Ina for a second, but look at the photo again!

 is a RISC OS Useradrianl on 20/6/05 2:09PM
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was there any sign of Paul Reuvers, Xample, or any sign of movement from the long-awaited ImpressionX?

 is a RISC OS Userjimnagel on 20/6/05 2:43PM
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Paul Reuvers aka X-Ample was exhibiting at the show but I do not think that Impression-X was shown.

 is a RISC OS Userwuerthne on 20/6/05 3:04PM
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SimonC:

It started like that in the morning but got a lot better during the day. During the first hour, it almost looked like nobody would come. But then, the roads have been completely blocked around Utrecht due to traffic jams.

 is a RISC OS Userwuerthne on 20/6/05 3:05PM
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Do I take it that the silence on RiScript means that it wasn't present at the show?

 is a RISC OS Userjc on 20/6/05 3:39PM
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It was a nice show in general, though less people seemed to attend than in previous years in spite of the new products and some exciting developments going on.

XAT are working on Impression-X and a release may very well present itself towards the end of the year, but please don't quote me on that - it's 2nd hand info! Firefox was greeted with enthusiasm and Chocky's UPP seemed to pick up quite a few new subscribers as well. Castle's presentation was formal, a bit boring, but informative nonetheless. When questioned, Jack said last year's agreement between ROLtd and themselves still holds, but did not give any further details about it, except that ROLtd is welcome to receive any necessary details in developing a version of Select for the Iyonix. He seemed to say it is up to ROLtd.

At the end of the afternoon the room gradually cleared of visitors and quite a few probably went out for a nice, cold beer :)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 20/6/05 3:43PM
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Martin: If the traffic jams blocked the roads, what caused the traffic jams? :-)

Roads were even worse on Sunday - the A12 was closed completely westbound and we were diverted via a different route, and then yet more jams outside Hook of Holland for 45 mins.

Mr Lees: Yes, you could be right...I didnt spot the connotion either!

Cheers,

/Neil/

 is a RISC OS Userspellinn on 20/6/05 3:46PM
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As for the impression of emptyness: True, three exhibitors we were used to see there (Desk, MicroDigital and Uffenkamp) were absent. But on the other hand I think CJE, hubersn and Spellings were new to this show so that the number of exhibitors was unchanged.

But as for visitors at the beginning it was very empty - AFAIR last year the show started at 11h to allow for longer distance driving there. We got there about 45 minutes later than I expected due to traffic jam near Uetrecht - one highway exit for Uetrecht was closed if I understood the Dutch signs correct. I guess we made it shortly before 11h since I was early on the road and we decided to leave the highway near Uetrecht and use smaller roads for some time. It does pay to have a local map with you ... But it does have some advantages that the show wasn't as crowded (though as time passed by the number of visitors did increase) since it was easier to get the chance for a chat with the exhibitors.

As for RiScript I learned that one of the two authors moved and now the two don't live as close to each other anymore. This move is the reason for some delay, I was given to understand.

As for Castles presentation: I do remember the odd other issue they talked about like ipSign, USB/USB2, RISC OS 5, Oregano 3, etc. - I didn't have the impression that they focussed on DVD and C/C++.

As for the A9home: There was one of those on the end of the CJE stand (they sell them) and you could see the nice transport case for it too. But it is indeed so small that you barely see it.

Overall I'm happy I opted for a drive of close to 500km to the show (and the same back again).

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 20/6/05 4:57PM
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In Reply to Spellinn: There has been car accidents around the city Utrecht and Nw-Gein and people have only one drive-way available to the south, that was one of the traffic jams direction Expo.

In reply to HZN: The black transportcase for the A9-Home computer you can compare with a small beautycase.

 is a RISC OS Userdatawave on 20/6/05 7:05PM
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Good report - thanks.

Just for fun, I tried the gmx.net page on Oregano2. Needless to say, it looks nothing like the photo. In fact, it's useless.

Roll on the new browsers!

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 20/6/05 9:46PM
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