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Surftec whisper USB storage

By Chris Williams. Published: 19th Apr 2003, 23:48:37 | Permalink | Printable

But don't wait up [Updated 20:20 21/4/2003] STD on the scene

Back in February this year, Surftec announced the end of their DigiFlash range, promising not to idly twiddle their thumbs and instead insisted "new exciting projects" were in the pipeline. At the time, Surftec wouldn't reveal any real details or dates so we recklessly speculated perhaps they were going to break into RISC OS USB.

We've just noticed today however that Surftec are meekly warming to the idea of USB file storage. Their website starts off by stating that any suggested USB product of theirs is admittedly a long way off however it then cracks under untold pressure and flows straight into pricing and feature details.

Surftec appear to be engaged to a 6-in-1 USB based card reader (although not all 6 media types may be supported we're told). These cards are the kind of mass storage devices you plug into digital cameras to transfer images to a computer.

Surftec give no indication of which USB API they will use.


Surftec emailed us back with some eyebrow raising news and a forthcoming official press release is cookin' as we write. Surftec state they are working closely with Stuart Tyrrell Developments and ultimately both USB APIs will be supported with STD working on drivers for the Simtec USB kit and Surftec's Gary Partis working on drivers for the Castle Technology USB kit.

More details to follow.



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Chris has had further communication about this, and he's expecting a(nother) press release soon. Suffice to say that some developers do co-operate, or at least the nice fluffy friendly ones do ;)

 is a RISC OS Userstdevel on 21/4/03 7:12PM
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Good idea to support the Castle API, as short of a miracle, Castle will be the only ones producing the machines of the future. -- Michael Stubbs, Leeds

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 22/4/03 12:02PM
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am: Can you tone down the anti-non-CTL sentiment a touch? I know that myself and drobe have been harsh on parties past, but that's been justfiable, or in the light of reasoned argument.

Snide comments for the sake of it, don't do anyone any favours, including yourself.


-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 22/4/03 12:07PM
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Didn't seem snide to me. Whatever we think of Microdigital and RiscStation, both companies had/have interesting products in the pipeline. You can't really blame people for being sceptical that they'll appear anytime soon. I'm sure that's all he was implying. -- Gavin Smith, Carrickfergus

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 22/4/03 12:55PM
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SY: It obviously did to me, hence the comment. If AM's comment was a single one, then I'm sure I'd agree, but it's one in a series. Please don't be so hasty to draw conclusions.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 22/4/03 1:18PM
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Should have known I shouldn't have bothered to speak my own mind ;) Look, you said above that you've been harsh on parties in the past but that it's been justifiable - I think Michael is justifiable in believing that Castle will probably be building the only RISC OS machines in the future. Repeated failure of the other two companies gives me no indication otherwise and that's why I believe it's justifiable. It might be what Michael actually wants, I don't know, but it isn't what I'd want ideally.

That's my opinion - can I keep it please? :) -- Gavin Smith, Carrickfergus

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 22/4/03 1:31PM
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The opinion is not the point, it's the excess comments, as I said originally. If Michael was making a point, then fine, but he wasn't. Just a comment. There is _no_ need to spread excess negativity just because.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 22/4/03 1:40PM
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mrchocky, will you please drop the authorative approach? If you don't see why I made the comment, there is no need to refer to my comments as snide. You do a lot of good work for RISC OS, but that doesn't make you an authority on facts and opinions.

Considering Drobe's sarcastic approach and in particular the article on the RiscStation laptop, you can hardly start calling other people snide or making comments when there is no need. Not that I dislike the Drobe style - but you can see my point.

I'll explain my comment for you, since you were generous enough to question it: I held the opinion that to only support the Simtec USB solution would have meant cutting off a lot of users who were moving onto the IyonixPC and perhaps putting people off such a move because of a perceived lack of support. It would also have translated into a loss of sales for STD.

As it seems obvious that Castle machines represent the future for RISC OS desktop computing - or at least will be the major player, if anyone else ever releases a new computer - then it makes sense to support the Castle USB API.

STD are now doing this through partnering with Surftec which makes sense as they are now supporting the present RiscPC userbase as well as the brand new 32bit IyonixPC.

All I was saying was this was a good idea because Castle are making the new machines and will most probably be the only ones to be doing so in the future, if past and present performance of RS and MD are anything to go by. -- Michael Stubbs, Leeds

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 22/4/03 1:56PM
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Arena: actually, I was commenting on snide comments _without_ justification (as I mentioned drobe.co.uk stuff does contain), as you've kindly now done so, for which I thank you.

The point here is that making what appeared to be offhand comments _without_ any kind of justification does appear to be snide (and indeed, authorative) regardless of whether you meant so or not.

Unfortunately, with regard to your second statement, I am an authority on many aspects of RISC OS facts (c.f XScale article). I'm not sure what you're trying to gain from claiming otherwise. Whether I agree with your opinion on the assesment of who will be making RISC OS machines in future is another matter, and irrelevant.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 22/4/03 2:09PM
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/me deletes response to the above trolling -- Michael Stubbs, Leeds

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 22/4/03 2:35PM
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So now you're claiming I'm trolling - charming Unfortunately, I have no idea why, and we're back in the same position of unjustified negative comments :-|

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 22/4/03 2:39PM
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The point is you are failing to acknowledge that you were wrong to call my comment "snide" because you couldn't understand the reasoning behind it without help. Now maybe other people didn't, either, but they didn't start getting shirty about it.

Your last paragraph in your previous answer stands as a fine example of you taking a comment, twisting it slightly and then being a bit pedantic over it.

All I asked you to do was to stop going on as though you always know best.

Now I have no desire to continue this argument as it only serves to make us both look silly. -- Michael Stubbs, Leeds

 is a RISC OS Userarenaman on 22/4/03 3:38PM
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Your comment _was_ snide given the lack context. You later justified your reasoning. I even thanked you for it. Fine, get over it.

You can complain all you want about "twisting", but if you can't be clear, then it's certain someone will misunderstand you. I've given you a chance to clarify, but you don't seem to care about that.

It's ironic that whilst you say you don't care to continue, you've posted anyway.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 22/4/03 3:47PM
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Walk away gents, walk away. :) -- Gavin Smith, Carrickfergus

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 22/4/03 4:12PM
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Blah blah blah. Boring drobe comments. Always results in someone slagging off an editor. Piss off and stop reading drobe if you don't like the style. And Chocky, take a chilly pill.

Meanwhile, back on the SUBJECT OF THE BLOODY ARTICLE -- It wouldn't take a supergenious to write a module that provides the Simtec API and calls down to the Castle one... interesting product for one of the few dozen Iyonix owners? :-)

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 22/4/03 4:39PM
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Very off topic but in reply to the last post - has Castle mentioned any sales figures for the Iyonix? -- Gavin Smith, Carrickfergus

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 22/4/03 4:40PM
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Goddamit. No tea for you SparkY pup.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 22/4/03 5:51PM
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Er eh? It was a serious question, I'm curious :) I intend to be an Iyonix owner soon(ish). -- Gavin Smith, Carrickfergus

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 22/4/03 6:40PM
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Going by the membership to the private Iyonix group, I'd say Iyonix ownership is of the order of hundreds.

However, this estimate doesn't take into account people who are not online or who have not signed up to the group, people/businesses who own multiple machines, and bulk sales to other retailers such as CJE. -- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 22/4/03 6:44PM
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SparkY: I remember in an article in the non-Acorn press, Castle mentioned hoping to sell 500 machines by last christmas. I've no idea whether they met this target or not.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 23/4/03 10:11AM
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Hi all,

I have some sad news, we have been forced to suspend our development of the Castle DigiFlash drivers. For the time being, we have no plans to complete the development of DigiFlash for the Castle/Iyonix USB.

However the great news is that we are now putting extra effort into the Simtec standard and working closely with Stuart Tyrell to make the Simtec version of DigiFlash a success.

Latest news on DigiFlash can be viewed at [link] the new product has already started shipping in small quantities. Contact either myself at Surftec neil@digiflash.co.uk or Stuart at Stuart Tyrell Developments stuart@digiflash.co.uk -- Neil Farnham-Smith of Surftec Ltd

 is a RISC OS Userneilfs on 30/4/03 5:26PM
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