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January 2003 round up

By Chris Williams. Published: 31st Jan 2003, 23:47:45 | Permalink | Printable

Iyonix. Computer Shopper. Aemulor. Freeware goodies. And then some [Updated]

Guess what? It's Friday, or rather what's left of it, but more importantly it's also the end of January so this'll be a usual cram-stuff-in-at-end-of-month article then. Welcome.

Iyonix in Computer Shopper
Computer Shopper's enthusiatic (we think) review

Easy, easy, let's not go nuts here. The Iyonix has in the past made its way into numerous articles published outside of the RISC OS media arena (seeing the machine mentioned elsewhere is getting old hat, almost), however we'll have to admit that being granted column inches in Computer Shopper's review section is something always worth mentioning.

The review or at least the version online, headed "Some rough edges, but good if you prefer the RiscOS approach" which mirrors Slashdot's 'if-it-does-what-you-need' view, is a pretty quick read, features one or three throwaway statements about how RISC OS is going to take on Windows and MacOS ("soon") but is nonetheless better than nothing at all; all attention is good attention.

"The system only recieves a thumbs across rating but the outlook is positive", comments iconbar.com editor Alasdair Bailey in NoughtPointOne's coverage of the Iyonix's most recent publicity. "The main area that comes in for criticism is pricing (especially when there's no monitor included as standard)."

"I want my Aemulor"
Aemulor 'fesses up [Update]

As you may know, we previously reported on this humble website that Aemulor.com were planning a grand release of Aemulor, the 26 bit emulator for 32 bit RISC OS systems, at the end of January 2003. Well, scratch that, there's been a slight change of plan.

"Unfortunately, due to the integration of the new StrongARM-speed core taking slightly longer than anticipated, this means we won't be shipping Aemulor on this date", reads the official statement on the Aemulor.com announcement board. "Whilst we all making every effort to get the product ready for a release, we don't want to ship inferior code which will cause more problems that it solves."

This means they've regretably pushed back the release till after the first week of February although you can still (fingers crossed) expect a demo version within the first week of February. Oh and here's us thinking Drobe Launchpad was the only source of RISC OS related sardonic gags:

"Don't worry, we don't plan on 'doing a Microdigital' ", the Aemulor.com announcement continues, "..when we say February, we do actually mean February 2003 and when we miss a deadline, we believe in keeping everyone informed of why and what's happening."



Once upon a time, this site used to be hosted from Drobe Launchpad's old server in Manchester and after a brief period of offline-ness, it's reared its head again on riscos.org. ROJO essentially lists offers of vacancies and freelance work within the RISC OS community.

This time around it also has a mailing list for people looking out for RISC OS related work and they're also offering webspace for any RISC OS related projects that are on the look out for webspace.

CDBurn update
CDBurn site

We've been reliably informed that Steffen Huber, developer of CDBurn, the popular CD burning/authoring software for RISC OS, has issued version 1.59beta4 to CDBurn users to test. Documentation, we're told, on writing drive specific driver files will be made available soon. See the relevant announcement on the CDBurn smartgroups mailing list for more details.

Freeware roundup
Brought to you by csa.announce

  • Here's a handy utility we're glad to see released after playing with it in beta for a while. DirSync is an application developed by Jan-Jaap van der Geer and it basically compares the files in two different directories, listing differences between them. You can also "synchronise" directories using DirSync. You can find out more about DirSync here and don't forget to drop Jan-Jaap an email when you've downloaded it.
  • David Ruck's been busy 32 bit'ing applications he publically admits aren't his but presumably Dave's the kind of chap who doesn't let legalities get in his way, obviously.
  • David Buxton has released a 32bit version of Sambaserver and more importantly, work on porting the more recent 2.2.7 Samba sources is being looked into. We're warned that this version can still utterly stiff your machine but the sources are online if you wish to play with them.
  • Version 3.71 of DrWimp, the established WIMP library for BASIC programmers, has been issued by Ray Favre. It corrects a minor bug since the last release but we thought you might as well be made aware of it in case you were breaking into BASIC programming on RISC OS.
  • Terry Swanborough, developer of RiscPCB, has released version 0.47 of his printed circuit board designer having 32 bit'ed it and fixed a few bugs. Terry would like all users of RiscPCB to drop him an email so he can judge the size of his current RiscPCB user base.

Send us your comments, news and flames.

Previous: Putting RISC OS on the map
Next: RS Portable mailing list insight


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Samba server's nice. Now, I've had problems with it in the past with it stiffing on seemingly innocuous operations (double clicking a share in the window can do it) but I've never been able to tie it to anything.

I've obviously missed the announcement, or David kept it quiet, that the source was on sourceforge so I've had a look at why this problem occurs. I'm still baffled, but at least I can look into it if I want. Kudos to David.

For those who are desperate, it's a couple of hours for a full compile on a SA machine so leave it going and go for some food. For the most part it's clean, but you may need to twiddle the paths to libraries (my system was fine, but then I'm odd).

 is a RISC OS UserGerph on 1/2/03 12:53AM
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Much as is isn't my place to say, please stop dissing MD, at the time they planed re-entry to the RiscOS world there was nothing else (tangible) to keep interest - hence to premature advertising! And yes I am annoyed at the extreme timescales, but at least they were there to try!!! So stop contiually using them, please, we are all in this together!

-- Ryan Hitch, Cottingham

 is a RISC OS Userdrjones69 on 1/2/03 2:38AM
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Except we're not dissing MD at all, merely highlighting Aemulor.com's point that they chose to raise by quoting them. We take a very neutral stance on these things and report it how it is.

As it happens, I know how much work it takes to design a complete machine from scratch. Just because we quote a third party, it doesn't mean we disagree or agree with them.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 1/2/03 2:47AM
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Let's see. How much work does it take to design a complete machine from scratch?

Iyonix: Seems to have been well under one year.

Omega: Three plus years, and counting.


 is a RISC OS Userjbyrne on 4/2/03 8:54AM
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MD would have you believe that this is due to them designing a whole computer, rather than assemble one from off the self parts. Who knows whether this is actually the case until they actually release the thing though.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 4/2/03 12:37PM
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Looking at the photos of the motherboard (now populated), yes they DO appear to have developed the whole computer.

Other than the southbridge (which is a standard PC one). There are a number of FPGA (Programmable logic) chips - one is clearly a Xilinx.

That being the case YES, they have developed a whole computer. Also if you can locate the pictures the layout of the new motherboard has some components "relocated" around the motherboard - so it does appear that they have done at least two Motherboard designs.

That having been said they still have to put one out there (or up for independant review).

As for Castle taking "one year", I think you'll find they were doing work on Iyonix for longer than that. They still had to do some H/ware development and have RO made 32bit compliant and Hardware independant - not a simple or easy task I would have thought.

You'll probably find MD's delays were as much down to "optimistic" time scales and the usual problems associated with designing something as complex as a computer.


-- Annraoi McShane,

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 4/2/03 3:57PM
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Castle weren't working on Iyonix for more than a year, end of story.

MD's delays have damaged RISC OS. Also end of story.

-- Chocky, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 4/2/03 4:29PM
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Admittly, the hope of a new machine probably kept a lot of people hanging around.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 4/2/03 4:42PM
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Given that the Iyonix is entirely based around a chip that Intel only announced in February 2002, I can't see how it took more than a year to design!

If MD can ship a machine that holds its own against the Iyonix then good for them - I'm prepared to be surprised. Results are what counts though, and until it actually sees the light of day I shall remain sceptical.

 is a RISC OS Userjbyrne on 4/2/03 11:29PM
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I agree that the delays to the Omega will certainly have affected hardware sales for other companies, but hopefully when the Omega comes out (if ever), then there will be a bit of a surge from those buying them. In the longer term however I think the Omega will help the RISC OS market more than the Iyonix (I know this is flame bait), as it should be a fair bit faster and more upgradeable, also it has some pretty curious hardware that should invite interest from the geeky quarters. That is of course, if you can believe anything MD says anymore.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 5/2/03 1:39PM
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Can we give this a rest? It's been talked to death over and over and over and over elsewhere. Thanks.

-- Chocky, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 5/2/03 1:44PM
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