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Microdigital boss turns makeover gardener

By Chris Williams. Published: 21st May 2006, 18:53:40 | Permalink | Printable

He pledges to rid Shipley of eyesores

Photo of Dave in a fieldOne moment you're hyping up your company's latest computer product, the next you're fixing fences on the outskirts of Bradford.

Despite his remarkable disappearing act performed about a year ago, Microdigital's David Atkins was spotted by a RISC OS user working for Shipley Community Housing Trust. Leading a team of five youngsters, David is responsible for removing nearby eyesores and tidying up estates in the area.

According to Bradford's Telegraph and Argus, project manager David and his gang of environmental assistants will be doing landscaping work, planting trees and shrubs, and installing fences. The team will use cash from the government's Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, the European Regional Development Fund, and the housing trust.

David's boss and head of operations at the housing trust James Healy said: "Creating more attractive neighbourhoods is one of our key priorities."

One RISC OS user said he had been trying to get in touch with David to arrange for some work to be carried out, although hadn't had much luck. He added: "You might say Dave's gone to ground."

In July 2005, Microdigital were sought by bailiffs after they were taken to court by RISC OS users demanding refunds for their Omega computers; the company later disappeared. The Omega's designer, David Prosser, is said to be living in the Bradford area and working as a freelance electronic engineer. David Atkins, pictured above, is believed to be refusing to talk about anything Microdigital related.

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Discussion

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Let's hope Atkins spends our taxes more wisely than he spent customers' cash. I have to say he would not be the first person I would ask to do anything, free or paid.

I bet Prosser won't mention his unfinished Omega computer on his CV, at least not the word "unfinished".

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 21/5/06 8:01PM
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Microdigital did not work out and may well have had serious flaws in their business plan, but people should be commended for at least trying and the market has moved on. The only way you guarantee not to fail is not to try....

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 21/5/06 8:18PM
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In reply to markee174: Just what I was thinking. At least they tried.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 21/5/06 8:22PM
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Are you sure he isn't doing community service? MD still owes people money.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/5/06 8:44PM
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In reply to druck:

lol, from the look of his fluorescent jacket it looks that way.

 is a RISC OS UserMikeCarter on 21/5/06 9:05PM
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So has DA entirely given up on Microdigital? According to Companies House, the company is yet to be dissolved.

Is David Prosser still approachable, or has he too gone into hiding? It would be nice if he could provide Omega owners/RO techies with minimal advice, while his assistance could be quite valuable for those DIY projects to finish the Omega.

 is a RISC OS Usertimephoenix on 22/5/06 9:28AM
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News of the Drobe?! Are you planning to go tabloid, Chris? If so, who's going on Page 3 then? Not David Atkins I presume... ;-)

 is a RISC OS Usersascott on 22/5/06 10:21AM
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Hi All

Okay lets have a bit of perspective. Looks like DA's company has gone down the tubes. Okay it is still listed but is kaput. Lets not rub his nose in it. If it wasn't for people taking a chance, then a lot of others would not have a job.

So lets not gloat on his misfortune.

never pay for things unless they are actually for sale and in stock.

Cheers Bob

 is a RISC OS Usernijinsky on 22/5/06 10:49AM
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I agree lets not rub it in. It would be great if the Omega creator could provide minimal assistence to users. Perhaps get us working and support for better GFX cards. not that I own an Omega though

 is a RISC OS Userhighlandcattle on 22/5/06 12:34PM
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This man owes me money!

Well, he doesn't. But he could. -- Sprite

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 22/5/06 12:47PM
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maybe opening all the specs for the omega would be a nice gesture, so that someone could maybe take up the development needed to fix the mess.

the picture does look like he's breaking rocks with the road gang ;)

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 22/5/06 12:50PM
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nijinsky/highlandcattle>Spot on guys.

The point is that is there any point in pursuing the guy like this ? Everyone has to live and if Dave wishes to restart as (apparently) he's done that's fine by me and I wish him well.

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 22/5/06 1:51PM
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If David Atkins had been honest with the RISC OS market and admitted that the project was doomed, doing as much as possible to support users, then I'd be defending him too.

Instead he turned his back on responsiblity and moral duty, and I don't understand why some users are condoning such behaviour.

 is a RISC OS Userfylfot on 22/5/06 5:15PM
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AMS

The main reason to find David/David is to see if the design files for the programmable parts of the Omega would be released. These are needed if any further development/bug fixes are to take place. One component in particular is totaly "uncrackable". Also it would make the process of reflashing dead motherboards simpler to achive, as there are people who have systems that are unusable at present.

Tank

 is a RISC OS Usertank on 22/5/06 5:20PM
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"Are you sure he isn't doing community service? MD still owes people money." (Druck) "...he turned his back on responsiblity and moral duty, and I don't understand why some users are condoning such behaviour." (fylfot)

Those two comments say it all really. A project going wrong or a business going bust is a part of life, but nothing was done to get money back to people or, if that was not possible, to at least open-source things, try to sell the project to another company, offer good support. In fact, it is known that MD paid a tracking service to track comments made by people about the company... that money would have been better spent on Omega development and support.

To recap, Omega was announced before it existed and then pretty much never appeared. A few appeared that did not meet the specifications, but that's hardly a success story, is it. A sorry saga.

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 22/5/06 7:43PM
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Microdigital were always helpful to me, and they obviously had a lot of skill to get as far as they did. However it seemed to me there were a couple of fundamental flaws. Firstly once 32 bit RISC OS existed any hardware solution was not going to be economic and 32 bit RISC OS was only ever a matter of someone signing an agreement. Second I could imagine situations where what they proposed (ARM Twister etc.) could not work. Business may be about taking risks but you don't gamble when you're certain to lose.

 is a RISC OS UserDavidPilling on 22/5/06 8:11PM
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