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Exhibit at Wakefield to maybe win an Omega

By Chris Williams. Published: 29th Mar 2003, 04:23:44 | Permalink | Printable

Microdigital donate another machine for prize draw, Castle need not apply [Updated 23:24 30/3/2003] WROCC puts fears to rest

Wakefield 2003: The Acorn RISC OS Computer Show

Further to our previous story that one lucky punter will win an Omega at the Wakefield 2003 event, we've kind of learnt today that one "lucky" show exhibitor will also be able to win a Microdigital Omega on the day. We assume this is a bid by organisers WROCC to attract yet more exhibitors (and thus visitors) to the show in order to avoid making a loss on the show; this is on top of other cost cutting measures including not running a show theatre - or so we're informed by one exhibitor. WROCC committee member Chris Hughes spoke out on usenet a week ago pointing out that the show very nearly didn't happen. So, you better be grateful, mark our words.

The Omega prize for one (hopefully) chosen at random exhibitor has been donated by developers Microdigital and we find it very amusing that rival hardware company Castle Technology and RISC OS magazines are expressly excluded from the prize draw, which to us comes across as a rather bitter decision. Perhaps, whoever came up with that rule wants Castle to pay hard cash for an Omega and also doesn't like the idea of the dead tree based media getting their hands on the machine. There's got to be an innocent reason, clearly.

"I am glad to help in any way possible, as we simply cannot afford to lose our premier RISC OS exhibition", MicroDigital's Managing Director Dave Atkins is quoted as saying. Dave, in a press release? Whatever next? "It is up to everyone involved in the RISC OS market to stand up and be counted by exhibiting at the show".

Thankfully, drobe.co.uk is not a magazine so it's too bad we're not exhibiting. And speaking of magazines, we're told CD mag RiscWorld have snapped up Neil White aka funny man nex, after reading his humorous description on how he'll get to the Wakefield show.

Finally, WROCC publicity person and chairman Steve Potts has bizarrely told myriscos.co.uk (of all websites) that Microdigital are attending the show and that we ought to keep our eyes glued to the show website over the next few weeks. No, really. And what with Microdigital exhibiting now (after telling us they don't do shows), we wonder if they are eligible to win their own Omega.

See you there.

In order to firefight speculation and cynicism, WROCC show organiser Chris Hughes has kindly and swiftly dropped us an email correcting a few things. Read and learn.
  • Contrary to our reporting, the show theatre is now back on after being cancelled in order to help save the show.
  • The exhibitors draw was designed to get extra exhibitors to attend the show. It worked and saved the show.
  • The Castle exclusion from the prize draw would also have included Riscstation if they had booked a stand - so it's not just against Castle.
  • The magazines were excluded primarily to prevent wild stories of a possible bias by a magazine if they won one.
  • Microdigital will have a fairly large stand at the show, read into this what you will. So uh, like an Omega launch then? Who knows.


Wakefield 2003 website

Previous: CJE Micros really want us to know about their wares
Next: drobe.co.uk pilfers elusive Omega


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what do you mean funny?

 is a RISC OS Usernex on 29/3/03 4:27AM
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Don't try and deny it.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 29/3/03 4:34AM
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Why is it bizare that Steve Potts, one of the MyRISCOS editors should not tell MyRISCOS before he tells (say) drobe?

 is a RISC OS UserNodoid on 29/3/03 12:02PM
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the link to microdigital is broken. needs a 'u'. For the record, I consideres cycling to Wakefield, but I think I'll persuade a car-driving relative to take me instead (o: -- jymbob. (llama)

 is a RISC OS Userjymbob on 29/3/03 2:06PM
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Nodoid, your question is worryingly rhetorical.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 29/3/03 6:28PM
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"The prize draw is not open to magazines or Castle Technology"

How childish does that sound!!

Sour grapes, me thinks.

I'd rather pay for an IyonixPC than win an Omega. Any bets on how long after winning said machine one would be waiting before it is finished and released and thus delivered (if ever)? -- Michael Stubbs, Leeds

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 29/3/03 11:34PM
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"I'd rather pay for an IyonixPC than win an Omega."

So who is childish here? -- Julian G. F. Zimmerle

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 30/3/03 2:15AM
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I'm pretty sure that excluding your rival and also any press is bordering on illegal if it's not already there.

OTOH, coming from a company that doesn't pay its tax returns, it's not much of a suprise, really.

 is a RISC OS Usertakkaria on 30/3/03 9:50AM
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tak : it is totally up to the company running the promotion who they include or exclude.

chris : nothing worringly rhetorical about my question at all!

 is a RISC OS UserNodoid on 30/3/03 1:50PM
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Julian G. F. Zimmerle: what I was meaning was I'd rather pay for a product that exists, is for sale now and actually works rather than win one that is neither of those things.

Am I to take it that you are someone who prefers to wait for something from a company that's yet to keep one promise? -- Michael Stubbs, Leeds

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 30/3/03 2:35PM
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I'll hold my hands up to being one of those people! I'm in no hurry to replace my RPC, so waiting a few months for the Omega, and then deciding which one to get is no biggie.

Both the machines are pretty pricey, so we all want to me the right choice.


 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 30/3/03 4:31PM
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Sorry, 'me' should be 'make'!

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 30/3/03 4:32PM
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Now I can understand MD not wishing a compeditor to have their hardware (things being as they are), but preventing magazines from having it sounds ridiculuous.

I'd also point out that AFTER omega is released there is nothing to prevent Castle (or another compeditor/magazine) from buying Omega and giving their name as Joseph Bloggs Esquire (if they wish) - so makes the whole tactic seem pointless.

What does this thinking say about MD ?

The only purpose of this can be to prevent direct comparison between hardware platforms. If that is the case it shows a distinct (and worrying) lack of confidence in their product, in my humble opinion.

-- Annraoi McShane,

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 30/3/03 4:55PM
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Castle were pefectly happy to let MD (or anyone else) win their competition, as well as being even-handed to all parties wrt early developer access. It all sounds a bit petty really.

AMS: I think you've missed the point. It's not about buying, it's about winning - the chance of any given Wakefield exhibitor winning one of the two Omegas up for grabs is quite high.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 30/3/03 5:35PM
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tak: who don't pay their tax bills??

 is a RISC OS Usersmink on 30/3/03 6:22PM
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After all, Acorn User has done quite a lot of (free) advertising for the Omega in it's time.

Anyway, maybe Drobe should try and win it just to annoy them :-)

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 30/3/03 6:22PM
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*its* time, even, before Chocky complains.


 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 30/3/03 6:34PM
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is it me or are all the people on this site so one sided. why don't you all wait until the computer is out before you kill the fatted calf. to make a point castle were perfectly happy to put out a computer with somebody else's work but claiming it was theirs. so they are not spotless are they.

 is a RISC OS Userrobroy on 30/3/03 6:52PM
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robroy: People reading this site tend to appreciate the amount of work that goes into trying to keep the RISC OS community informed of RISC OS-related news.

If a company is giving away a free machine to a random exhibitor with the exception of those people who are well-placed to give an independent assessment of it to the news-reading public, that is likely to attract criticism.

In fact, even without the past history of MD with relation to the Omega, I suspect this particular restriction on the draw would have attracted a similar amount of criticism. When combined with MD's recent close-mouthedness about their project (at least on the record), it was more or less inevitable.

Inceidentally, to make a point, when Castle had their GPL moment, there was no shortage of people willing to comment negatively about Castle. I don't know why you would expect MD to be treated any differently. -- Antony Sidwell

 is a RISC OS Userajps on 30/3/03 7:14PM
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I don't want any one to treat them differently just for them to be given a fair go. they have been working to keep the Risc OS community alive for the last 3 years designing a new computer from the ground up. This is somthing that Acorn could not do due to lack of funds and there not being a viable market. but all the people do is rubbish their efforts. You talk about community as far as i'am concerned a community it based on friendship, trust and helping. Not stabing them in the back when they are not looking. In your view has castle helped the Risc OS community in releasing a computer that has split the market into two camps.

 is a RISC OS Userrobroy on 30/3/03 7:43PM
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Never before have so many people complained when others give away free stuff.

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 30/3/03 7:50PM
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@arenaman: I believe that one should buy a new piece of technology when one needs it. So if you need a new RISC OS Computer now, then go out and buy one. But where is the sense in refusing a free Omega, just because it is an Omega and not an Iyonix?

-- Julian G. F. Zimmerle

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 30/3/03 7:59PM
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And what is this rubbish about tax-bills? Nobody here would know wether MD are paying their taxes and if someone did, they probably would not be in a legal position to make public comments about it.

-- Julian G. F. Zimmerle

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 30/3/03 8:08PM
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"Castle were pefectly happy to let MD (or anyone else) win their competition"

Well, we would not know, since the drawing was not public. The one at wakefield will probably be public.

-- Julian G. F. Zimmerle

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 30/3/03 8:11PM
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I can understand why MD do not want the press to win an Omega. If the publication would then publish a positive article about the Omega, people would think they were biased.

-- Julian G. F. Zimmerle

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 30/3/03 8:14PM
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Wow, four comments by me in a row. ;-)

-- Julian G. F. Zimmerle

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 30/3/03 8:15PM
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They've had many, many, many fair chances - care to count how many missed deadlines MD have had? They are being treated exactly the same as any other company would be if they were making those mistakes.

ROL are the ones who've kept the RISC OS scene alive in the past three years, as without them we wouldn't have any updates to the OS and we'd probably have lost a substantial part of the userbase.

Talking of backstabbing MD - I feel MD are backstabbing everybody else who they persuaded to deposit a substantial amount of money two or three years ago, yet have *not got the product to market yet*.

 is a RISC OS Usertakkaria on 30/3/03 8:20PM
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JZ: Obviously, winning is better than buying a machine, but that was not AM's point- his reference was the availability of the machine.

As to the tax issue, checking on companies house website (you can't right this minute) a few weeks ago showed MD had not filed their tax return (last date was 31st Jan).

Finally, I'm not convinced by the press winning the Omega argument. As I'd said, they could have won the Iyonix, and besides, at the very least, Acorn User et al. should be _lent_ one for review.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 30/3/03 8:29PM
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chocky : why should AU be lent one? They were lent a RS Scorcher for about 18 months and never wrote a damned thing about it. It took them ages to write anything about the Kinetic and when they did the objective review of the 7500 based machines, the series was hacked short. From what I can see, the only chance of an objective head-to-head in a mag would be done by Archive as they really have nothing to gain and are just about the only mag with the balls to call a spade a spade and not to pull their punches.

In other words, give Archive the machines and let them do a head to head.

 is a RISC OS UserNodoid on 30/3/03 9:01PM
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No one cares what you think about AU, that's long since been shown. As usual, you've utterly missed the point.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 30/3/03 9:02PM
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I'd rather drobe.co.uk got one, as Chris is impartial too, and then everyone gets to see it and comment on it that way.

 is a RISC OS Usertakkaria on 30/3/03 9:05PM
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@mrchocky: Then AM should have made his point clearer.

And what is so bad about that not-yet-filed tax return? Maybe they are too busy with other things right now and have arranged for a delay with the authorities? Obviously I have no idea about British tax practises, but here in Germany we have lots of exceptions to the standard rules, some of wich allow for extended deadlines.

In any case, this is none of our business. It is between MD and the tax-man.

-- Julian G. F. Zimmerle

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 30/3/03 9:07PM
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robroy: The RISC OS community I referred to (I must admit it was a little tongue-in-cheek) was in fact more the user community than the RISC OS market as a whole. I feel no obligation to be nice to anyone who sells things in the RISC OS market purely because I use RISC OS, and I do not see how forming an opinion based on the public conduct of a company is equivalent to stabbing them in the back.

I have nothing but admiration for MD's attempt to make a new computer on which to run RISC OS, but that does not extend to admiring everything they have done or are doing along the way, and I will reserve judgement on the end result until it is released.

The contribution MD has directly made to the market in the last three years is minimal, in my opinion. The contribution they may make when the Omega is released is another matter entirely. Talking about a machine for three years and then releasing it is *not* a measurably greater contribution than turning up after three years with a complete machine.

I also admire Castle's production of a new machine. This doesn't extend to me thinking that everything Castle has done along the way is admirable.

As to the market being split into two camps, surely that would be a natural consequence of there being two hardware manufacturers - and technically wouldn't that make the second company to market the one splitting it? :) Antony Sidwell

 is a RISC OS Userajps on 30/3/03 9:14PM
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JZ: I believe AM's point was clear enough, but I am also not surprised at the misunderstanding. This is not having a go at either of you, just pointing it out for the sake of politeness.

UK tax laws are very strict, and you're liable for a fine if you file late. There aren't many reasons to get an extension. Unfortunately, the UK government _does_ consider it our business, which is why it makes resources such as Companies House available.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 30/3/03 9:19PM
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JGZ: I can't understand why MD do not want the press to win an Omega, unless they want to prevent the Omega being reviewed at all.

Why would a positive article about a machine won by chance be more likely to be biased than one based on a review machine or even some sort of behind-the-scenes review-for-advertising deal the readers would have no way of knowing about?

And if you think that it might seem like the draw was rigged, then how is that a problem if a magazine wins but not if, for instance, APDL or R-Comp were to win? -- Antony Sidwell

 is a RISC OS Userajps on 30/3/03 9:26PM
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Of course, we all know that the draw won't be rigged.

 is a RISC OS Usertakkaria on 30/3/03 9:29PM
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Chocky: I suppose you just happened to be passing the CH website? or do you regulary check up on Castles rivals?

 is a RISC OS Usersmink on 30/3/03 10:16PM
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yeah i agree,

 is a RISC OS Userrobroy on 30/3/03 10:17PM
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smink: It was pointed out to me by someone who decided to check up on all the RO companies around tax return time - I don't recall exactly who, but we did link to the entry a few weeks ago.

I have personally have no interest in digging new dirt on companies - despite the claims of people who really should know better - I'm only stating what's known.

You'll note the first entry in this thread about tax was not mine - my post, and indeed all my posts - have been to clarify issues. I've not made a _single_ remark against MD, no matter how much they might or might not deserve otherwise.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 30/3/03 10:30PM
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I am amazed. What should be positive news is once again commented to death with negative stuff.

The simple fact is that someone has gone to the trouble of putting up a prize to encourage more exhibitors at the show.

I sincerly hope this show goes well and that two lucky winners go home with smiles on their faces.

If people really don't want an Omega that much, they could give it to me (should they win it). I'll pay the postage to New Zealand :-) -- Steve Knutson

 is a RISC OS Userknutson on 30/3/03 11:53PM
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knutson: hear hear!

 is a RISC OS Userdanielbarron on 31/3/03 12:21AM
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The fine for late delivery of company accounts is 100, at least in the first instance. A company (especially one without many shareholders) could decide to pay the fine in order to use the time required more profitably.

 is a RISC OS UserStoppers on 31/3/03 11:12AM
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Firstly, MD's accounts are not late. Companies house claim they're next due in Sept 03.

Secondly, their *return* (not tax, not accounts) is listed as overdue on the CH website. However, have we forgotten the similar (innacurate) story about Microsoft recently. There have been problems with CH keeping their own records!

Thirdly, none of this has anything at all to do with tax! Publically accusing someone of a criminal act based on a misunderstood interpretation of possibly inaccurate material isn't the cleverest thing to do.

What has been posted here recenly is obvious libel. You can almost hear MD's lawyers sharpening their pencils - perhaps it's time for a couple of well placed retractions, guys.

 is a RISC OS Userstdevel on 31/3/03 4:54PM
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Libel? Damn. And it's getting so hard to find someone to legally represent us these days.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 31/3/03 5:25PM
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drobe are just the carrier, shirley.

Worked for Demon and Lawrence G.... didn't it? ;)

 is a RISC OS Userstdevel on 31/3/03 5:29PM
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Why is it RISC OS users are so quick to jump down companies' throats.

MicroDigital offer the chance to win an Omega. They exclude other hardware manufacturers, which quite frankly is sensible. If the competition want to poke around an Omega they should at least pay for it, as I'm sure MD would have had to have done for an Iyonix. Then they exclude the press, the explanation for which has already been given; to 'to prevent wild stories of a possible bias by a magazine if they won one'. Makes sense. With all you ravaging wolves woe betide any magazine that posts a positive review about a computer they won (even though MD wouldn't take the computer away if they wrote a bad review, I'm sure).

And have you ever read the terms and conditions of competitions run by huge brand like Coca-Cola. They all have exceptions and exclusions.

Now shut up and go to the damn show which nearly didn't happen, and have the chancfe to win the second NEW RISC OS-based computer to be released in years.


 is a RISC OS UserDiehardDuck on 2/4/03 11:49PM
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