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Castle nudge podule USB forward

By Chris Williams. Published: 2nd May 2003, 17:15:34 | Permalink | Printable

RiscPCs, A7000s in line with Iyonix

RISC OS hardware developer Castle Technology has today brought good news for their podule USB users as new firmware issued online this week for the USB card increases the number of USB devices supported for 26 bit machines.

Castle's statement comes hot on the heels of Surftec pulling out of a project to develop mass storage device drivers for users packing Castle USB gear, in response to which we commented that Castle would be left to develop drivers all by themselves rather than rely on third parties to help out with software like the Simtec USB interface has been enjoying recently.

The updates released over the past couple of days are for Castle's 4 port USB podule card (for RiscPCs and A7000s) and synchronises the USB firmware for 26 bit machines with the USB system shipped with the 32 bit Iyonix. The following plug'n'play USB devices are now supported by Castle's USB podule card, we're told, and therefore the Iyonix one would assume:

Printers, scanners, keyboard, 3-button mice (with scroll wheel), hubs, trackerballs, KVM switches, USB-to-parallel printer cables, graphics tablets, bar code scanners and USB-to-PS2 converters

Not so fast there, we couldn't help but spy the following tucked away disclaimer in Castle's press release: "Some USB devices will need specific drivers. Please contact Castle or your peripheral supplier for more details". This could be Castle covering themselves in case you decide to use an obscure USB device so read into this what you will and we'd certainly love to hear from Castle USB users on how they get on with the new freely available firmware (see links below). You may like to compare Castle's driver list with the Simtec USB driver list. Is it a close finish? A few more additions to Castle's USB driver list (like mass storage which we're told Castle are keen to bring to the market) and maybe they can prove they can hold their own, producing an entirely self contained and self produced USB product bubble.

USB has indeed threatened to monopolise our headlines recently and Lord only knows what the situation will be when the USB equipped Microdigital Omega eventually rolls into town.

Finally and briefly, in other minor Castle related "news", the Suffolk based company has begun touting a 22" LCD monitor for their Iyonix computers. Only costs three grand. Castle are also attempting to woo developers to the Iyonix platform by offering, until the end of June, a top spec Iyonix with the Acorn C/C++ development pack thrown in for free.


USB Podule updates
Write Castle some drivers, no one likes a party where only one person turns up Xample's USBInfo freeware

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Next: Iyonix courts SCSI migration


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Funny that Castle specifically mention mice with scroll wheel. On my Iyonix I depress the scroll wheel for the third button. I'd love to be able to scroll windows with it too, but rolling it currently does nowt.

Looks like Castle have also changed the spec of the PSU - I was lucky that mine came with a 100-240V universal PSU, which is great considering where I live! -- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 2/5/03 5:49PM
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Good point - I hope the PSU is just as quiet as yours? Although they have mentioned the scroll wheel, they might just be referring to its usage as another button, rather than being able to scroll windows - would love to be proved wrong. -- Gavin Smith

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 2/5/03 9:48PM
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I understand that "mass storage" includes digital camera cards. I wonder if Castle's plans include just a card reader (like the DigiFlash parallel port reader I've just bought from Surftec), or whether I would be able to connect my camera directly to the USB port, as I could to a PC.


 is a RISC OS UserMartyn Fox on 3/5/03 9:50AM
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Hello Castle if you're reading! I emailed you about this a few days ago but would you please start updating the news page at www.iyonix.com/32bit again? -- Gavin Smith

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 3/5/03 2:59PM
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The scroll wheel works just fine on my RiscPC ;-)

 is a RISC OS Userwilf on 4/5/03 10:28AM
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