September news round upPublished: 18th Sep 2006, 01:07:54 | Permalink | Printable
RISC OS Open, XScale, RISC OS school, and show news [Updated]It has certainly been quiet at Drobe HQ recently, as you've no doubt noticed. In between the holidays and increasing pressures from day-jobs, there have been a number of projects keeping us amused. While we wait for normal service to resume, here's some RISC OS news you may have missed.
Steve Revill to meet his public
7th Software and RISC OS Open staffer Steve Revill will be appearing before the London usergroup this evening. While he will primarily be showing off his MoreDesk software, Steve reportedly suggested to one contact that the launch of RISC OS Open would be "done and dusted" by the time of his appearence in the capital.
ROUGOL organisers told punters over the weekend: "Steve worked at Acorn, Element 14 and Pace from 1997 to 2002, and has also worked for Pace and Castle and Tematic since then. He will be demonstrating MoreDesk, as well as some of his other software, and we hope that he will also be able to talk a little about RISC OS Open Ltd after the main presentation."
Steve however played down the RISC OS Open aspect, adding that tonight's talk was planned before the new company was formed.
He told us: "I'm afraid there aren't any announcements on the RISC OS Open front to make just yet because we've been stuck in various discussions with third parties, sorting out various bits of planning and getting legal agreements in place.
"There are some interesting things happening next week so we hope to have something to announce very soon now."
Incidentally, Drobe's Chris Williams is pencilled in to appear next month at the usergroup. The organisers have billed the evening's entertainment thusly: "Drobe has provoked much controversy and criticism from different RISC OS companies, most recently RISCOS Ltd. The evening should also give you a chance to hear some of Chris's own personal opinions about matters in the RISC OS world."
Intel XScale big in Japan
A classy source clearly on the ball recently tipped us off via his Blackberry that Intel's new monster 1.2GHz XScale core is codenamed Chevelon, and has been demonstrated as part of a RAID card. Earlier this year in Tokyo, the chip giant also touted the ARM-compatible processor on an ATX-style reference motherboard with a PCI Express socket, a PCI-X socket, two serial ports, two gigabit ethernet ports, CompactFlash expansion slot, and a JTAG programmer.
RISC OS school for blind seeks more staff
IT award winning school Knightsfield is looking to hire a maths teacher. Deputy headteacher Sharon Pointeer said they hope to be taking on teaching assistants too. We earlier helped the school fill another role at the RISC OS powered school for blind children.
She said: "We are advertising again - this time for a maths teacher. There just has to be people out there who are RISC OS enthusiasts and maths teachers surely?
"We have a really lovely school, our pupils are great, and well behaved, and the school has such an excellent reputation that we are over subscribed."
New kid on the block
A new bi-monthly magazine backed by Paul Vigay and set to fill in the gap left by comatose Qercus is taking on subscriptions. RISC OS Now editor and trainee secondary school maths teacher Louie Smith said she hopes to get the presses rolling by September 29, and the completed magazines ready to be posted by October 9.
She said: "At the moment, I do have some great content varying from very basic stuff to more high-brow reading. This magazine will not work unless people are prepared to tell me what they want and support it. I don't want the violins, but I will be working full time as a teacher, reading for my PGCE degree, and producing this magazine, so I need positive and constructive criticism."
For more information, click here or read this, but ignore the bit about the cheque guarantee numbers. Meanwhile, ARM Club committee member Dave Ruck has called for John Cartmell to be banned from future RISC OS shows as he has been mysteriously unable to publish a single Qercus issue since around this time last year.
South west show wastes no time
Next year's RISC OS show in the south west of England is set to take place on Saturday, February 24. Forward thinking organiser John Stonier said the event is booked for the usual venue of the Webbington Hotel, north Somerset.
He added: "Hopefully, most of the main RISC OS companies will be there, mixed with hobbyists, groups, and the usual games and charity stands. The theatre presentations will offer an opportunity to expand your knowledge and keep abreast of RISC OS developments.†Please support the show once again and show us that the RISCOS scene is very much alive."
Nostalgia trip a day keeps the doctor away
As pointed out by ANS, a number of scanned copies of Acorn's internal company newsletter have surfaced online. These historic issues of Acorn News will jerk tears from even the more cynical of Acorn users, as the corporate propaganda celebrates Acorn's golden era. Intelligent Interfaces have also published user guides of their legacy podule expansion cards online as PDFs. Manuals are now available for their IEEE488 GPIB card, 16 bit parallel IO device, STEbus interface, dual high speed Serial card, single width IO interface, and 12 bit Irlam Instruments sampler.
A free update for Easiwriter and Techwriter users from version 8.60 to 8.63 is available for download. Chris Wraight penned a funky article about RISC OS for OSNews, and says he will release the gorgeous desktop theme he designed and used in the article's screenshots. Open source speech synthesiser Speak is now up to version 3.03, and the experimental ELF GCC package has been updated. Paul Vigay has also created a new utility to convert Fireworkz files into web pages.
STD have axed their 100MBit ethernet card four years after it first went on sale. Back in 2002, one astonished design engineer working for STD joked: "The cards are flying off the shelves, we've sold more units than we thought there were RISC OS users left." Now STD say "difficulty with supply of key components means that the manufacture of further stocks of NET100 interfaces is unlikely". The device will be superseded by the Unipod, which has an optional 100MBit ethernet interface.
Update at 15:08 21/09/2006
Steve Revill was keeping tight-lipped about RISC OS Open at ROUGOL, other than to say the company is sorting out legal issues with unspecified people. He said that RISC OS Open would be "good for the platform", and while their work is related to open source software, punters at the event got the impression that Steve was not refering to the actual operating system itself. Steve added that, while he was at Pace Micro, the programmers did the 32-bitting of RISC OS without the approval of their management.
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