USB in 2002Published: 13th Oct 2001, 16:02:30 | Permalink | Printable
Place your bets now as there are big plans ahead: think USB, think podules, think digital cameras. Updated: 13/10/01Firstly, earlier today we published an article reporting on information passed to drobe.co.uk regarding a USB podule. This caused a bit of a concern among some of you and we pulled the article to have a rethink. We've decided to publish it anyway because we want to generate interest in RISC OS, especially RISC OS hardware and seeing as Acornuser are rumored to be also covering this news in their next issue, we felt the drobe readers should be allowed a look see.
At drobe, we take complaints about possible inaccurate articles very seriously. If you have an news or cause for concern, please get in touch as soon as possible so any situation can be resolved as amicably as possible.
USB is the expansion system enjoyed by PC and Mac users and has for some time now been anticipated by many RISC OS users who want to plug the latest hardware into their RISC OS machines. USB is supposed to simplify the connection of new hardware and suffice to say, all the latest gadgets ranging from printers to scanners to digital cameras use USB sockets and interfaces to connect to computers. Many rumors and wishes had been thrown around the RISC OS community as hardware companies refrained from leaking any definiate details concerning their forthcoming projects. Drobe is therefore happy to disclose some information kindly passed onto us for those punters looking forward to plugging USB products into their RISC OS machines.
Earlier this year, the dashing Cybervillage did a little report on the USB-for-RISC-OS saga and hinted at some USB interface kit coming our way. Today, drobe.co.uk was informed that a particularly popular hardware developer is producing a USB podule with the intention to ship it out exclusively to developers early next year.
Having received the USB podules, these developers can write the necessary software, or drivers, to allow USB capable products to be plugged into and used by the podules. The developers can then retail the USB podules with the necessary driver software and respective USB products to the end user. The USB podules, which have a row of standard USB sockets fitted to the front of them, slot into the back of your RISC OS machines like a normal expansion card. USB Devices are then plugged into the podules' sockets, enabling the devices for use with RISC OS.
All very clever and very welcome in our opinion. When drobe has finished its investigations, we'll let you know more.
Yesterday Drobe contacted Simtec, the company rumored to be behind the USB podule, to confirm these reports. In a very helpful and swift reply, Gareth at Simtec confirmed that they are close to finialising a USB podule.
"We have limited stocks for developers available now(-ish), using sample
silicon", explained Gareth. "Production silicon is expected mid December, so I am erring on the side of caution and saying card production quarter 1 2002."
Although Simtec are giving Acornuser a slight head start in fully revealing the USB podule's details, drobe.co.uk should within the next few weeks learn more about the podule and the technical lowdown on the exciting new product.
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