What are RiscStation playing at?By Chris Williams. Published: 10th Apr 2003, 22:33:30 | Permalink | Printable
"Nothing at all"If you run a private mailing list for a product which you've been promising to ship for over two years and you have no good news for the patient people on it, don't expect whatever you tell them to remain a secret. It's not like we enjoy being bearers of possible bad news (far from it) but just in case you were looking forward to getting your hands on a ARM7500 powered 56-odd MHz RiscStation portable, there might be one or two snags.
Here's what a RiscStation software support person stated on the portable mailing list on the 5th March this year, a copy of which was passed to us by an anonymous person on list:
"As it stands, there are a couple of avenues being looked at. One is a full blown 32 bit RISC OS laptop, another is a SA110 based laptop. There are problems associated with both and currently the feasability of the two are being weighed up."
"Oh wow", you think, "at last, they're considering at least a StrongARM powered device". And yes, we'd be the first to jump for joy at the thought of using a portable RISC OS 4 or 5 device with at least a StrongARM behind it and my, what a bold statement by one of RiscStation's people saying they're considering it.
But hang on a minute, something's not quite right. If we recall correctly, the device was almost ready with RiscStation blaming problems sourcing a case and other things yet now they're talking about designing and producing a totally new product from scratch. Sorry, they're considering which totally new product they'll design and produce from scratch. Let's not start considering time scales, it's all too distressing.
I have to use the phone
We've tried calling RiscStation and left our number with them but the person we need to speak to about the awaited portable is always busy and another member of the press confirmed with us today in private that they find RiscStation is similarly "busy" when one wants to ask about the laptop. We dropped Riscstation support an email asking if they had anything public to tell us about the laptop but the reply was "Nothing at all". At time of writing, RiscStation won't be making an appearance at this year's Wakefield 2003 show.
We've been informed this evening that sadly this article "has the potential to cause a hell of a lot of problems for RiscStation" and the portable mailing list is in danger of being closed despite being a success, according to RiscStation. So please, no more leaks as we'd hate to be made a convenient scapegoat in case Riscstation's plans (and whatever they may be) fall through and you lucky people don't get a portable.
Not that we'd accuse RiscStation of this.
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