Euro 2006 show reportBy Michael Gerbracht. Published: 23rd Jun 2006, 06:08:38 | Permalink | Printable
Select 4 Filer photos, Impression-X, and more [Updated]The RISC OS euro roadshow took place last Saturday and Michael Gerbracht was there to witness it in all its glory. Here are his thoughts on the event, held at the Hotel Mercure in Nieuwegein, near Utrecht, Holland. Below are close up photos of Select 4's new Filer in action, as well as other shots.
Once again there was a RISC OS event in the Netherlands. This time its name changed into the RISC OS road show and it was organised by RISCOS Ltd instead of the Big Ben Club.
For the first time AdvantageSix joined the show on the mainland to present the A9, which was officially launched at this year's Wakefield Show in May. The interest seems to be huge and the A9 was sold out hours before the end of the show.
|News in brief
CJE Micros is said to be considering producing a software bundle for A9homes... Ad6 are ready to show off a Linux port for the A9home... 32bit Impression was demonstrated to Dutch users recently at a usergroup meeting. The project is said to be nearing completion but is described as an uphill struggle...
To save space, Ad6 decided against carrying huge monitors with them, and had some really small displays that did not exceed six inches or so. Still, it was enough to show off the machine and to give some impression of how RISC OS may look on small high resolution screens - more on that later on that. For visitors with poor eyesight, an A9 was present on the RISCOS Ltd stand with a normal monitor attached. The red A9 computer with Bluetooth support was also shown but it is not available to end users.
It was not easy to speak to ROL's Paul Middleton because most of the time he was chatting and discussing matters with other visitors. I was most interested in the RISC OS Select 4 features.
Unfortunately most of the machines were running Select 3 and so it took some time until I had a chance to play around with it. The filer windows now have a button bar of shortcuts, which makes it easier to apply often used commands. It is also possible to control the filer with keyboard shortcuts. Once a filer window is activated by clicking on it with Alt held down, you can jump to a file by pressing the first letter of the file name.
Additionally, it is possible to use the cursor arrow keys to select files. There have been a lot of changes between Select 3 and 4, the exact change list from the developers' logs filled 20 pages or so. Most of them will be tweaks the end user does not see when working with RISC OS or which are important in general and not for every day use like support for SATA hard drives or the hardware-independent graphic drivers.
Like last year, Genesys was there again with their Oregano 3 browser. After establishing an Internet connection everybody was invited to try problematic websites for their compatibility with the new but still unreleased browser. Even complicated websites could be displayed and it behaved stable so I personally hope a release is not too far off.
I had an interesting conversation with Jan Rinze Peterzon, who ported RPCEmu to the Pocket PC. At the moment, achieving more that 2 MIPS is not possible, but there is enough horsepower in his PDA to demonstrate it; RISC OS on the Pocket PC looks really good. But speed-wise, there is some hope that it can be increased to around 20 MIPS, which is almost at the pace of an A7000.
This would be enough to do sensible work on the machine and it is already faster than Windows CE. Additionally people are trying to port Linux to the Pocket PC and first attempts in this direction have been successful. In principle, it is possible to run RISC OS with the full processor speed if the Linux port comes along.
There is still a long way to go and it is not clear whether it will be successful because there is no information available on some of the components used in Pocket PCs. But running RISC OS on PDAs may be a way to attract more people to RISC OS.
Dutch translation of RISC OS Adjust
Members of the Big Ben Club have translated RISC OS Adjust into Dutch. The work will eventually be released for free. For more information, visit their website.
|The A9home alongside a USB CD drive|
|Bluetooth enabled red A9, with special scientific wizard hardware known as a cola bottle cap to you and I|
|Small LCD screen attached to an A9home|
|The unmistakable red A9|
|No release date on Oregano 3|
|RISC OS running on an emulator on a PocketPC PDA|
|The euro shows are always swanky affairs|
|The new Select 4 filer in large icon mode. The toolbar is configurable and can be switched off. The red ring fence around the filer icon is the keyboard navigation. You can also see Select 4's new login banner splash window.|
|Another view of the Select 4 filer|
|The A9, its cute LCD and an external slim-size DVD-writer|
|The other side of the show hall, where the Big Ben Club was hosted. The second computer from the right, possibly an Omega, the one with paper taped over, is running the Dutch version of RISC OS.|
|Another view of the RISCOS Ltd stand. You might notice that iMac in the distance which is running RISC OS in a window. It was a single core G5 1.8GHz machine.|
|Another small hardware project from RISCOS.be: a piece of toy hardware controlled by an A9home via the Velleman Kit 8055 and the USB drivers written by Dave Higton|
The other exhibitors
Icon Technolgy were showing off much of what they had at Wakefield - EasiWriter and TechWriter, with PDF export and Artworks transparency support. Archive also made the trip over, as did several other exhibitors.
In the show guide, Xample appear to have remembered that they are supposed to be working on a 32bit version of the DTP package Impression.
They write: "We are currently working on a full 32bit version of Impression and we hope to be able to provide more informaton on this soon. Pricing and availability have yet to be announced but for existing users, there will certainly be an upgrade path.
"During the conversion process, we will try to repair some long standing bugs and we might even be able to add one or two new features along the way. At the moment it's impossible to predict a time scale for the 32-bit version. Converting this type of complex software is a tedious task and testing the many features in the software will undoubtably be very time consuming."
Xample hope to merge all the Impression family, from Style to Publisher Plus, into one version called Impression-X.
More photos here
Michael's report and photographs were originally published on the German RISC OS news website, Arcsite.de. Additional pictures from Manu.T
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