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Wakefield show news

By Chris Williams. Published: 10th May 2003, 06:26:43 | Permalink | Printable

[Updated 21:30 10/5/2003] Show report online



Quick show event log
6:30am - Select 3 and Virtual Acorn pact
We've learnt early this morning that an agreement has been reached between Microdigital, Virtual Acorn and RISCOS Ltd. to steer RISC OS Select 3 onto PC based hardware via the Virtual Acorn emulator. The move sees RISC OS 4 officially emulated for the first time.

In addition to their Omega computers, Microdigital will be exhibiting an Intel Celeron powered laptop running Virtual Acorn's emulator software to run RISC OS Select 3. The laptop is said to emulate RISC OS 4.36 at the speed of a RiscPC.

3:00pm - Photos!
Show photos by servermaster Ian are now online.

5:38pm - End of show news
Right, fast and furious. Microdigital had no Omegas with them to ship, they're being sent out next week. The machines at the moment have no USB, no networking and the video is non-accelerated with some minor glitches although all these will be fixed "soon". Microdigital did have their Alpha machine with them, on their stand and dotted over the show on various developers' stands including RISCOS Ltd.'s. The Alpha machine is a 2GHz Celeron PC laptop and you can order one for a grand. They'll also be shipping next week too, according to Microdigital. The laptop is essentially a WinXP computer running Virtual RPC (written by the same guy who did Red Squirrel) and emulates an ARM 710 RPC system. The Alpha laptops across the show were running RISC OS 4.03 and 4.36. Microdigital also brought 3 racing bikes with them for their stand for some reason.

The busiest developer by far was MW Software, constantly having a long queue of people picking up copies of the new Artworks 2. We're told Tom Hughes of the ARM Club won the Omega prize draw - a great laugh broke out from the ARM Club crew when this was announced, now they can finally compare Microdigital's system with the Castle Iyonix.


Show overview
The event was a positive affair and we were pleased to see many people turn out to the event and support the exhibiting developers and dealers. Punters filled the hall soon after the start of the show and concentrated mostly around the Castle, RISCOS Ltd., Microdigital and MW Software stands. Of course, RISC OS shows aren't just about picking up new kit and rifling through show offers - they're a great way to put faces to names and meet people. It was nice to bump into friends (pepperfish and irc crowds) and talk to developers who were taking a break from show visitors.

The show itself ran the course we'd all nearly predicted so forgive us if you've previously 'read all about it'. Where should we start? Here's the highlights.

Aemulor.com were located right next to Castle, how very fitting. Their Pro version of their 26 bit emulator isn't due to be released for a while as they hope to improve the emulation core further and add other features. Castle themselves had on show an Iyonix running Linux as well as various USB based goodies on other machines. They appeared to have no show surprises seeing as they'd already announced advances like UDMA100 and pop up printing beforehand. You can find the final part of our Iyonix review here, by the way. Castle's Jack Lillingston described Select 3 as "interesting" although technical director John Ballance was overheard telling punters that it's up to RISCOS Ltd. to make a 32 bit Select for the Iyonix.

Over on the other side of the show (in the blue corner), Microdigital were proudly showing off three racing bikes awkwardly placed in the way of their computers and no actual reason given as to why they were there but we were itching for a race between them and Ian's SmartCar - we know who'd win that, clearly. Behind the bikes were a collection of Omegas and an Alpha laptop out on demonstration. Omegas weren't available for people to take away from the show but Microdigital confidentally stated that they'll be posting the machines to deposit holding users next week. Naturally. Whether they'll fix the lack of USB drivers, lack of networking support and glitches in the video system in time for shipping is unknown, they hope to have these issues addressed "soon". However sound, PCI, UDMA133 and CD drive appear to be functional. The Omega Lightning video system is also non-accelerated for the moment. Microdigital appeared pretty casual in light of these problems, insisting it'll all get fixed at some point.

Microdigital's Dave Atkins told drobe.co.uk that, in his eyes, the Omega's sucess lies in its ability to be flexible and upgradable, suggesting that one particular rival's machine (you know who) isn't particularly upgradable and this is where Omega will make its move. Dave was also confidentally reliant on people sticking with their Omega orders despite other alternatives popping up.

But what about this Alpha laptop and my, what a glamorous, glossy booklet Microdigital had gone to the trouble of producing for it. For a grand, you could pick up from Microdigital a 2GHz Celeron powered PC system with 256MB DDR RAM, 64MB shared video memory, 13.3" TFT screen (1024x768x16M max), 15GB harddisc, 24 speed CD drive, 2 USB ports, 1 PS/2 and 1 ethernet port. All weighing in at 3.5Kgs and running WindowsXP and Virtual RiscPC (from Graeme "Red Squirrel/Virtual Acorn" Barnes) emulating an ARM 710 RiscPC over the top. The emulated RiscPC runs RISC OS Select 3 and the system is pretty responsive considering the emulation is aiming at the StrongARM level of speed. When faster than StrongARM? This almost surprise product release from Microdigital means they can push into the empty portable RISC OS market with a laptop offering and RISCOS Ltd. get more hardware to run RISC OS Select on.

When Virtual Acorn produced VA5000, a Windows based A5000 emulator kitted out with RISC OS 3.1, RISCOS Ltd. weren't all that keen on an emulated RISC OS. However the bad feelings may now have been swept under the carpet because seeing RISCOS Ltd. demonstrating on their stand today an Alpha portable running their new Select 3 OS indicates a clear approval of the device. It's not like it had a "Wanted: Alpha laptop running Select - dead or alive" poster nailed above it. Will Virtual RiscPC be available for just the Alpha laptop? That's what we'd like to know too. Assumption cap on now, we believe that the RISC OS Select and Virtual RiscPC supplied with an Alpha laptop is "locked down" to that particular machine and isn't transferable. Microdigital stressed again to us that they don't talk to the press much anymore but will be publishing information on the Alpha on their website very soon now.

"Soon", gotta love that word, so easy to use and means so much and so little at the same time. Orders taken for the Alpha laptop will ship within the week, we were informed. Developers, including RISCOS Ltd. and APDL, all have Alpha laptops for their own use, Microdigital's Dave Atkins told us.

RiscPCs and A7000s won't be used forever as users pine for faster, meatier alternatives and RISCOS Ltd. as a result of perhaps appreciating this, are keen to thrust their OS onto newer hardware, like say, the Omega. And they were exhibiting an Omega running RISC OS 4.36 on their stand so it's interesting to note that they have one. RISCOS Ltd. also had out on display another two RiscPCs running Select 3 and their RISC OS powered jukebox. Lots of fun playing with thumbnailing and iconborders.

R-Comp's typical poster and flyer wallpapered stand was lively, demonstrating WebsterXL (rendering iconbar.com of all things) and their network based remote control and printing software. The Unix Porting Project and IC software (on behalf of Alpha Programming) were also shifting many copies of their respective software. MW Software were enjoying a roaring trade of top vector graphics app Artworks 2, the queue from their stand envloping nearby Explan's. According to the Artworks 2 site, development of Artworks 2 was completed on the 7th of this month, the software CDs going to press on the 8th. On the other side of the hall, Cerilica's Simon Birtwistle was looking mildly fed up, the fabled Vantage 1.10 is due for imminent release however.

Following their announcement overdose this week, Stuart Tyrrell Developments had new USB based goodies on offer as well as classic eseentials like their PS2minimouse converter. Developer Jason Perry of Photodesk was showing off their new CameraDesk app that enables Canon USB cameras to be connected to RISC OS computers. We noticed camera fan and Foundation editor Richard Hallas making a bee line for that stand. Magazines Acorn Publisher and Acorn User had plenty of back issues out on display. And finally, the NetBSD stand had a marvellous motorised RiscPC drive bay flap, that could be controlled over a network.

Was it worth the visit? After so many show predictions and news, you had to turn up to see what was true and what wasn't.

"[Wakefield] was busy, companies were working together (Castle and ROL over popup printers), Microdigital and RISCOS Ltd. on laptop, and there seemed to a good choice of new machines and new options", drobe.co.uk reader Mark Stephens told us after the show. "Obviously nobody had told Martin Wuthner [of MW Software] there was no money to be made in the RISC OS market as he seemed to spend the day taking cheques from a queue of eager customers".

Castle and ROL? Yes, RISCOS Ltd. will be selling the pop up printers for 26 bit OS users. We're looking to the next show already.

Links


Show photos
Comments? News?
Iconbar turn to stealth with hidden mobile cam Printers+ on sourceforge?

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Discussion

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Why do I get the feeling that ROL and MD are trying to put one in Castle's eye? More to the point, what's the point in buying an Omega to run 26 bit software if a flipping Celery laptop can go at "the speed of a RiscPC"? Mobile Cel is at 2GHz max, from memory.

 is a RISC OS Usermikeg on 10/5/03 10:28AM
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mikeg: 1. I think it's called competition (about time, too). 2. They didn't say StrongARM RiscPC, just RiscPC, so a 610, then. Only when we get 10GHz PCs, will we get the equivalent to an SA RPC.

 is a RISC OS UserStoppers on 10/5/03 11:29AM
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This may please those people who have been waiting years for a RISC OS laptop, but I think that it is bad for the future of RISC OS. IMHO only Castle has the vision, competence, and credibility, to take RISC OS forward. And Microdigital. What does their endorsement of this initiative say about their faith in their own Omega?

:-(

Neil

 is a RISC OS UserNeilWB on 10/5/03 11:36AM
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<plug>There is a photo of it on the iconbar</plug>

 is a RISC OS Userandypoole on 10/5/03 11:38AM
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Even the freeware red squirrel on my Atlon Xp2100+ machine emulates RISC OS 4 *FASTER* than my StrongARM RiscPC for most things except intensive graphics. I suspect Virtual RiscPC would have the VA JIT in it so should absolutely fly. Celeron's a bit crap tho, and the tiny screen would annoy me. I'd rather pay $XXX for the software and put it on decent hardware!

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 10/5/03 11:39AM
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I'll quite happily sell VARPC (or whatever they call it). Need to email Aaron for prices, I suppose.

 is a RISC OS Usermikeg on 10/5/03 11:51AM
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Well Omega's here and about half of it's working as Chris will probably expain later. Managed to crash it though and it would'nt reboot :-)

 is a RISC OS UserPhlip on 10/5/03 11:55AM
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The inconsistency in this is breathtaking (to put it mildly). RISC OS Ltd lambasted Aaron for selling VA with (allegedly) an "unlicensed" version of RO 3.1.

ROL (if I recall correctly) even said they were not allowed distribute RO4 on non-ARM hardware. So what's changed ?

Is this a good thing ? I think overall it is extrodinarily bad news (all it will do is sell some extra copies of VA, and RO4 and most importantly Windows). And I know many will say that will put money into the Acorn market - but will it ? After all VA needs Windows to run, and RO4 (now being distributed with VA) will need Windows as well.

To run the Windows people will buy PC's and sales of RO hardware will suffer. Although this is being aimed at the portable market - surely people could also install it on a PC and (not) buy an Omega or Iyonix....

There's still time to shoot the other foot guys !

-- Annraoi McShane,

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 10/5/03 11:56AM
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*waves to Wakefield*

And I thought ROL and VA were having a bust up. Bloody gangstars. :D

 is a RISC OS UserSnig on 10/5/03 12:09PM
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Do ROL care about selling on "RO hardware"? Well, why should they when folks like Castle come along, shun ROL and sell their own dubious crappy cut of the OS? ROL's gotta make money and if that means selling on VA, so be it. At the end of the day, we can now have a laptop running RISC OS. We couldn't before. What's your beef with that?

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 10/5/03 12:14PM
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I wasn't slagging them off over this, just pointing out that it seemed a tad pointless to start an argument about something and then do a U-Turn on it afterwards (which either suggests the original reasons for having the argument were bogus or that the "licensing" terms had changed).

Funny that you can get Select 3 on a PC (using non-ARM hardware) and can't get it on the Iyonix (is it just me or is there something wrong with this picture ?).

Enjoy the show guys (just sorry I can't be there !!!)

-- Annraoi McShane,

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 10/5/03 12:17PM
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It's a pity ROL and VA have made up with lots of hugs and kisses because it takes the drama out of the situation. :) tbh I think the laptop will be scorned by non-RO, less RO-enthusiastic people, I mean who wants to seriously emulate an OS, It does sound silly. Tough job they've got marketting it. Then again they've always been good at that. :p :D

 is a RISC OS UserSnig on 10/5/03 12:24PM
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Yup. It's a very "wrong" picture. Blame Castle for being weird about their OS choices. It's far far more beneficial to me to have a 233Mhz StrongARM running lots of software and a decent OS than a 600Mhz XScale running square root bugger all with an OS that's frankly years out of date. Each to their own, I guess. It's a stupid position only perpetuated by the pettymindedness that seems to embody the RISC OS community these days.

mikeg> If you can get Virtual RiscPC for sale unlocked from a Microdickabout Celeron then I'll certainly be buying a few copies! :-)

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 10/5/03 12:26PM
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So either you go for up-to-date hardware and out-of-date OS or up-to-date OS and out-of-date hardware. Great choice folks. I was under the impression that the Iyonix ran most software these days. Besides software needs to develop, you can't keep running the same moose over the years. The applications may be good but they will be out-classed by alternatives on different platforms. That would be pretty much handing a noose to the user-base. I assume software developers would much rather develop for up-to-date hardware. Yes, you can run a nice OS on different hardware but who would develop new software to be run on an emulator? Wouldn't they just develop for the original OS?

 is a RISC OS UserSnig on 10/5/03 12:38PM
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imj> I don't understand what you mean by Castle being "weird" about their choice of OS. They surely hadn't much option, after all the RISC OS ROL offer will *not* run on any 32 bit hardware (unless you count a celeron ;)

The issue Castle have addressed is what to do when there are no more 26/32bit processors available (and that *will* happen when Intel decide there is no more need for StrongARM). Castle tackled this by the best effective means (an OS that supports *actual* 32bit only CPU and new hardware). The version ROL sell limits vendors to producing computers that *must* have actual Acorn hardware *or* use some mix of software/hardware emulation. This is a less optimal solution (IMHO).

As to pettymindedness if Riscstation were seriously planning a portable then this announcement will (surely) have killed it off (what about the depositors????).

The future lies with RO5/Iyonix (I think), granted RO5 may lack some Select features - but it does run on faster hardware and *can* run much 26bit software with Aemulor (albeit with some performance hit - but probably less than the hit of running RO Select 3 on a PC using VA surely).

I am concerned that a time at which MD should be concentrating on finishing off Omega they're launching a PC laptop running VA/Select3 that must have *some* negative impact on the RISC OS hardware market.

-- Annraoi McShane,

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 10/5/03 12:42PM
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Why would anyone have any reason to develop any app for Iyonix only? It offers nothing over Select, just happens to be running a wee bit faster. The RiscPC userbase is still much much bigger than Iyonix can be so app developers would only be cutting off their own noses by developing apps that didn't run on Select. It's gonna be a long long time before it's sane for developers to stop supporting RiscPC. Afaics, Iyonix has little to offer bar speed and that's not much cop without a decent OS. Great shame.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 10/5/03 12:47PM
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AMS> The "weird" choice was for Castle to get their OS from, shall we say, "otehr" sources, rather than do the sane thing and get ROL to do a 32bit version - which I'm pretty damn sure they would have done if asked.

As for VA/S3 on a PC ... it's faster than Aemulor can hope for, and they're stuck with a 600Mhz CPU wheras PC power is still storming ahead (I see AMD have just released Xp3200+, Opteron is here and Athlon64 will be with us this year!). I guess I basically just don't care what actual hardware I'm using, so long as I "see" ARM/RISC OS at the top. :-)

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 10/5/03 12:58PM
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I’m putting my support and my money behind Castle Technology for a very simple reason - I want to see the RISC OS market flourish, and in my opinion Castle is the only company with the vision, capability and credibility to make this happen. Examine the track records of the possible contenders: Microdigital – the Omega is years late! Reliable sources close to Microdigital always seem to be suggesting that production machines are just around the corner, but as deadlines come and go, and in the absence of production Omegas, Microdigital seems less and less credible. There are Omegas at Wakefield it seems, but from all accounts still not finished – I thought all of the delays since Christmas related to copyright issues, but apparently not. They may have some interesting technology, but so far at least, have been unable to put it into production. And is this joint agreement with VA and RISC OS Ltd., their vision of the future of RISC OS? Risc Station – also seem incapable of bringing their RISC OS laptop to market, and I can only conclude that their delivery capability is no better than that of Microdigital. RISC OS Ltd. – four years on from the demise of Acorn and where are we? Still with a 26 bit OS, still constrained by Acorn hardware. We have Select of course, and the enhancements to the GUI are most welcome, but is this really the VISION for the future of our wonderful OS? I certainly hope not. Which leaves only Castle Technology – not only have they have provided the RISC OS market with a new machine, available now, offering a level of performance that until recently, we could only dream about, but they actually seem to have a plan. They have developed a 32-bit version of RISC OS, and introduced a Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL), changes that simplify the job of porting RISC OS to other hardware platforms. They have demonstrated that they are reliable, capable of delivering what they promise, and that they are committed to the RISC OS market. In my opinion their success is crucial to the future of RISC OS. We should help them shape a new vision for the future: Bemoaning the lack of new software for our platform, many pundits, rack their brains in futile attempts to identify the next “killer app.” – you know, the one that is going to transform the RISC OS scene! I do not believe that this is a constructive way forward. It’s just not going to happen. Instead, we need to consider new markets. The desktop computer will, more and more, become just one specialised element of the intelligent, interconnected home. The desktop computer market is already saturated; major players such as Microsoft are investing their big bucks in growth markets, such as mobile computing and enterprise software products such as .Net. W all need to recognise that if there is a “killer app” for RISC OS, then as someone here on Drobe commented recently, it’s the RISC OS GUI itself. I believe that we need to ensure that RISC OS finds it’s way onto other key platforms, and we need to ensure that it offers compatibility with other platforms. I would suggest PDAs and / or tablet devices as obvious platform choices – all MS Windows based PDAs employ ARM based processors, and it should at least be possible to start thinking about porting RISC OS to this platform. Penetration in growth markets such as mobile computing, might jut provide the necessary impetus to attract new developers. I also think that future developments to the OS should focus on the GUI itself – e.g. a new generation of tools that might provide innovative solutions to the problems associated with effective selection and presentation of information. I really would like to provoke a constructive debate on where we, as a merry group, are collectively heading, and what we can, and must, do to ensure that RISC OS doesn't disappear into oblivion. I'm donning my asbestos suite just in case.

Neil Whiteley-Bolton

 is a RISC OS UserNeilWB on 10/5/03 1:04PM
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NeilWB> If the "Killer app" for RISC OS is the RISC OS GUI itself then Iyonix is buggered then isn't it?

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 10/5/03 1:07PM
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> why should they when folks like Castle come along, shun ROL and sell their own dubious crappy cut of the OS

If ROL couldn't agree with Castle to sort out a 32bit OS why should Castle wait around when they can get it cheaper elsewhere? Prove it's a) dubious, and b) crappy.

> It's far far more beneficial to me to have a 233Mhz StrongARM running lots of software and a decent OS than a 600Mhz XScale running square root bugger all with an OS that's frankly years out of date.

Does nothing for hardware manufacturers if they can't sell new machines. And in x years when there's no StrongARMs and faster XScales? ROS5 will be better off, ROS4 will be worse off.

> Why would anyone have any reason to develop any app for Iyonix only? It offers nothing over Select, just happens to be running a wee bit faster.

Where "a wee bit" is at least 2 times faster on CPU bound things and up to 50 times faster with harddisc IO, yeah, noone wants that.

Features it has over Select: Cheaper. Unicode, Sprites11, support for Thumb stuff, DOSFS disc title fix, ShareFS over subnets, documentation available for all, support for Windows keyboard keys in desktop. Unicode and documentation are the obvious plus points. And you know everyone with an Iyonix has it, unlike Select.

Why would anyone have any reason to develop any app for Select only?

They're "stuck" with a 600MHz CPU, and Select is stuck with a 233MHz CPU or emulation. Any network support in Virtual Acorn yet?

Castle paid me one hundred billion dollars to write this.

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 10/5/03 1:19PM
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imj: Explain please.

 is a RISC OS UserNeilWB on 10/5/03 1:19PM
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Support for the two Windows and one Menu keys are in RISC OS 4. And it's a simple matter to make C programs run on RISC OS 3.1 and higher and straight forward to make ARM code programs run on RISC OS 3.5 and higher (as long as you have the source code :-) ).

 is a RISC OS Userphilipnet on 10/5/03 1:28PM
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The number of times I have read "decent OS" and OS that is out of date, blimey I dunno what RO5 has done to you but it can't be pretty. I would have thought it sensible for shows like this to enable people to make their own minds up about the "uptodateness" of RO5 and not listen to somebody just ranting on their soap box. -- James Carey

 is a RISC OS Userjmcarey on 10/5/03 1:28PM
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imj: Sorry I don't think that the main GUI advantages (over other platforms) of RISC OS were created in Select. They were enhanced - and by recent reports magnificently.

*gets off a soap box*

 is a RISC OS UserSnig on 10/5/03 1:30PM
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mavhc> Hey, I'm _not_ saying that Iyonix doesn't have good things to offer. I'd die for Select on Iyonix really, but given the stupidity going on, I can't see that every happening. You've mentioned some petty little things on your "advantages over Select" list and ignored the humungous list of things that Select does that RO 3.7^H^H^H5 doesn't do. You've even managed to cock that list up, too. Sprites11 is supported by Select and I dunno what "Thumb stuff" you mean anyway.

And you're bang on when you say "Why would anyone have a reason to develop any app for Select only" -- they wouldn't, if not using the key new Select features! Spread the userbase as wide as possible.

As far as ROL/Castle go, the blah I heard was that Castle didn't even ask ROL at all! Quite a number of ex-Pace folks at Castle, see... ;-)

NeilWB> Explain what? I'm saying Iyonix is buggered as it's GUI is pure pants compared to Select, IMO.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 10/5/03 1:33PM
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The situation with RISC OS is pretty simple. Castle could have given ROL a bag of money to get them a 32-bit OS (ROL would probably have bought most from Pace, and bolted on Select and other stuff). Instead Castle has given Pace the (probably smaller) bag of money and are stuck with an OS that they can't develop properly without ROL and also got themselves in competition with them instead of having ROL on their side. The situation with the major developers is the same. Castle should actively make friends. Not sit back and relax.

 is a RISC OS Userjerryf on 10/5/03 1:37PM
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There'll be no select on Iyonix in part for political reasons (the success of Select now seems tied to existing users and the Omega).

There may also be technical ones (is Select *all* 32bit neutral - if not it could only be emulated using Aemulor - surely a bit of a retrograde step ?).

The thing is Castle may not have asked ROL for a 32bit OS (I am not privy to this), but get this ROL at their shareholders meeting seemed to indicate that a 32bit RISC OS was highly unlikely. As that meant ROL had *no* OS that *could* run a xScale class processor there surely was *no* point Castle approaching them for something they [ROL] hadn't got and had stated they [ROL] were likely not to have.

What RO5 has that *no other* version of ROS has is it runs on the very latest ARM hardware and has been hardware abstracted so it is no longer dependant on legacy chips or chips likely to become unavailable. Select does not even attempt to address this - and that is the real problem.

-- Annraoi McShane,

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 10/5/03 1:41PM
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What reason do ROL have to add HAL to Select if they've no customers for that? Select could have been 32bitted just like RO 3.7 was 32bitted (afaik most of the work was done at Pace, so ROL should/could have access to that anyway).

jerryf has put it very accurately - I don't think Castle are doing themselves any favours at all. :-(

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 10/5/03 1:44PM
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imj> They don't strictly have to, but it would make the OS less likely to become unable to run on the latest hardware as it would be easier to adapt. Also it would make it possible for ROL to change the OS in an easier manner to suit specific vendor requirements (remember RON - that would have een *very easy* if a HAL had existed).

If the 32bit work has been done then all ROL have to do is license it from Pace - so why the fuss ? In actual fact ROL started off by wanting to 32bit RISC OS, then said they wouldn't and finally said they would (but it might require a new share issue to raise money).

If Castle did it then so could ROL, so why didn't they ?

Hey it's still not too late, would I be foolish to hold my breath on this one ?

-- Annraoi McShane,

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 10/5/03 1:57PM
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No company says 'we won't' if offered sufficient money, and no company says 'we will' if not offered sufficient money. Castle clearly hasn't offered sufficient money, or decided they could do without ROL, just as they seem to think they can do without the support of some major developers as well. All big mistakes, smelling a lot like the result of pure arrogance and a bad business sense.

 is a RISC OS Userjerryf on 10/5/03 2:06PM
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It would be interesting to know how fast they have managed to get Virtual Acorn + Select to run on PC hardware (i.e. top of the range hardwire). Additionally, if VA can still be further optimised.

I wonder if one day you will be able to run RISC OS faster on PC hardware than on ARM hardware... (Personally, I don't see a problem with this if it ever did happen)

One thing the Iyonix does seem to have done, however, is make a lot of companies work together.

 is a RISC OS UserWalks on 10/5/03 2:08PM
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Hmm, either a bug that I can't post to the main page because I took so long to write it someone else had already posted the 30th comment, or I wrote too much. Anyway:

> Hey, I'm _not_ saying that Iyonix doesn't have good things to offer. I'd die for Select on Iyonix really

Good

> You've mentioned some petty little things on your "advantages over Select" list and ignored the humungous list of things that Select does that RO 3.7^H^H^H5 doesn't do.

Of course I ignored them, that's your side of the argument, I can't play both sides at once, I'd get confused. My point is it's not "nothing". ROS5 is based on the same code as ROL got, so about 3.9, plus anything they wanted from ROS4 that ROL gave them.

> You've even managed to cock that list up, too. Sprites11 is supported by Select and I dunno what "Thumb stuff" you mean anyway.

As in Thumb ARM code. I dunno, never used an Iyonix, or Select recently, just reading lists of their websites.

> And you're bang on when you say "Why would anyone have a reason to develop any app for Select only" -- they wouldn't, if not using the key new Select features! Spread the userbase as wide as possible.

Indeed, so any new software will be, most likely, 32bit compatible and not need Select.

> As far as ROL/Castle go, the blah I heard was that Castle didn't even ask ROL at all! Quite a number of ex-Pace folks at Castle, see...

I think I heard similar in 2000, still, free market. I never thought splitting the OS and hardware into different companies would work well. See RiscStation not wanting to pay for hardware independance (wonder if they want to pay Castle, hehe). It works with Microsoft because MS is so big they can a) afford to pay themselves, and b) the hardware people have no real choice. If Castle had no choice they would have probably paid up, but it's to their advantage to be the only hardware company with a 32bit OS, as long as they don't kill the market on the way of course.

NeilWB> Explain what? I'm saying Iyonix is buggered as it's GUI is pure pants compared to Select, IMO.

Be more precise, exactly what's so different. RISC OS 2 GUI is better than everything else not RISC OS so it's not "buggered" unless it's broken.

Where are the investigative journalists to break open this Castle/Pace/ROS5/ROL story? Or do they already know but don't want to publish?

> What reason do ROL have to add HAL to Select if they've no customers for that? Select could have been 32bitted just like RO 3.7 was 32bitted (afaik most of the work was done at Pace, so ROL should/could have access to that anyway).

3.9. The reason is R&D, but they obviously can't afford that. If they had HAL they'd be able to do lots more things (like fail to open doors), and sell it.

Odd that they best place an ARM chip is better (on a battery) is where they're using x86.

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 10/05/03 2:15PM
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The PC will have to get a *lot* faster before RISC OS will run quicker on emulation (VA) on a PC. I've used VA on my Athlon 1.2GHz and it runs relatively quickly (although not at SA speed).

Not taken into account are changes in Windows may impact on the functionality and/or speed of emulators (Longhorn will cut the Windows API from 76000 or so calls to 8000, and will add more .NET stuff and Palladium (Hardware Security/DRM) - so I don't think it's a "safe" option long term.

ROL was founded in 1999 and one of it's stated objectives was to produce a 32bit RISC OS. This has *not* happened. The fact this did not happen is *not* Castle's fault. ROL (for example) as "owners" of the OS could have published a USB API instead both Simtec and Castle did (whose fault is that ?).

It just looks as if some people want to kill off the Iyonix and leave a 26bit only OS running under either PC emulation or (possibly) on an Omega whenever that finally arrives.

Some choice eh ?

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 10/05/03 2:20PM
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AMS> I'll dig out !SICK and do some figures for you. As I said earlier, RedSquig is faster on my Athlon 2100 than a real RiscPC, so your "lot" is already here. :-)

As for USB api... uh, well how could they a) second-guess that folks are suddenly going to produce their own USB APIs without talking to ROL and b) produce any sane API based on no knowledge of how USB hardware would be implemented on a RiscPC. I think you're being just a touch silly now.

I have no interest in "killing" Iyonix - again, as I said earlier, I'd love to see Select on it... it just aint gonna happen so my money's on the better OS on a different chunk of hardware.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 10/05/03 2:31PM
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Microdigital are simply a joke, I don't know how anyone could trust them with a single penny anymore. It's absolutely clear to me that the only way forward for the platform is Castle and their Iyonix. If Castle and RISC OS Ltd can hash out a deal to get Select integrated into RISC OS 5, all the better.

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 10/05/03 3:48PM
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Mmmm, nice case.

 is a RISC OS Userg0tai on 10/05/03 3:53PM
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imj: If MD, ROL and VA have tied up an exclusive on a VARPC (or whatever) bundle, I'll be very cross indeed. Especially as the odds are very in favour of it being a cheap and nasty clone thing, probably with NiMH and a five minute battery life.

OTOH, if Aaron and Paul M are actually in it for sales, then I'm fairly certain I can shift a few units.

And I really can't understand what Castle have done to you. Iyonix is out there, working and being enhanced. Software is being upgraded, released and whatever to run on it. According to iconbar's photo gallery, it's there and working, but looks like a motorbike. But it doesn't quite work yet. So it isn't, despite Julian Z's protestations, in production and available.

 is a RISC OS Usermikeg on 10/05/03 4:22PM
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>I'll dig out !SICK and do some figures for you. As I said earlier, RedSquig is faster on my Athlon 2100 than a real RiscPC, so your "lot" is already here.

A RiscPC, with a StrongARM ? I think not. Besides measure speed with !Sick on an emulated computer may not yield accurate results (as it depends on how Sick times things and how accurate the "clock" is when emulated). If for example if Windows is running background tasks will the "clock" count that in or not ? You'd be better off with a stopwatch timing REAL tasks doing something.

>As for USB api... uh, well how could they a) second-guess that folks are suddenly going to produce their own USB APIs without talking to ROL and b) produce any sane API based on no knowledge of how USB hardware would be implemented on a RiscPC. I think you're being just a touch silly now.

Rubbish.

The implementation is independant of the API. Which is why we have essentially similar USB hardware but completely different API's.

ROL should simply have laid down a "standard" and put it up to others to implement USB in whatever way they like but ensure the API followed that as described by ROL. As to information USB is well known with it's own Special Interest Group and commercial implementers freely providing information (e.g., Microsoft and various Linux implementers).

Alternatively ROL could have "invited" interested parties to discuss an API that could be arrived by agreement (much as Microsoft did when setting up CDMRW/Mt Rainier). Either way ROL had to be proactive and they were not.

If all else failed ROL could "invite" proposed standards from companies and then "annoint" one as the approved standard. [They already control the admin of filetypes and the like, this is the same authoritive control but in a different area]

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 10/05/03 4:29PM
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mikeg> I think you missed an "Omega" somwhere in that sentence maybe?

Castle have done nowt to me bar screw up and split the user base and have folks not pulling together with RISC OS. There's probably going to be a shed load of wasted effort at Castle bringing RO5 up to anything like Select 1 standard, let alone Select 3 and that's just daft when we need as many bodies producing _new_ stuff as possible. IMO, Castle have been pig headed and arrogant about the whole thing and are splitting up RISC OS rather than making a better RISC OS scene. I don't think I'm exactly alone in this view either. Remember, at the end of the day we buy these machines BECAUSE OF THE OS, so having a duff old RISC OS 3.7^H^H^H5 variant, albeit on a whizzy fast new platform, seems a bit pointless to me. Just my 2p worth. Now - on with Virtual RiscPC! :-)

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 10/05/03 4:31PM
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AMS> Jeez louise man you just can't be pleased can you? You want to tell me what tests WOULD convince you that it's StrongARM speed?

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 10/05/03 4:32PM
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Run a task and time it (don't simply rely on !Sick to give a report).

Tasks that are *not* good ones are disk access based ones as the emulator uses windows native system (and UDMA to access it). A real RiscPC (unlike Iyonix) lacks UDMA so the test would NOT be a fair one.

Screen update tasks like full screen scrolling a large number of numbers - recording the time taken for the *exact* same BASIC V program at exactly the *same* resolution and colour depth on a real SA-RPC and an emulated one.

You could also try arithmetic operations on both (this stuff is all just off the top of my head so add your own).

Regards

Annraoi

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 10/05/03 4:36PM
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So hang on. You want to test the graphics, cos I've already told you that's slower, but you don't want to test the disk cos you know that's much faster? Talk about rigging the results! I think a fair comparison tests all the parts. For me, compiling a lot of C, the disk access is an important thing and makes using an emulator worthwhile. The actual act of compilation is slower. The overall result is that time is reduced. If you don't think the I/O system is a key part of what makes for a good platform then I think you should probably stop making your statements about system performance ;-)

Truly useful tests are what you do day to day. Reflow a document in Impression. Render a complex webpage in Oregano. Compile some source. Unzip some archives. Play a game. Watch a 'demo' (eg !K2). Doesn't that sound reasonable?

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 10/05/03 4:46PM
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>So hang on. You want to test the graphics, cos I've already told you that's slower, but you don't want to test the disk cos you know that's much faster?

Not quite.

The thing is the point about RISC OS is the GUI (hence graphical). So it's the thing that will largely impact on the user experience.

My point about the harddisk not being a fair test is because it is *not* a speed advantage introduced by the emulator (or even the Athlon CPU for that matter) but rather the UDMA (unemulated) hardware.

If you level the ground completely you'd wind up comparing an Iyonix (which has UDMA), runs RISC OS and has real ARM hardware and it would trounce all over the emulated RPC (just as it does with the real one).

Regards

Annraoi

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 10/05/03 4:54PM
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AMS - you're clearly not a realist. I can't be bothered with you now.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 10/05/03 4:59PM
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IMJ - you clearly have a crushed spirit and a cynical attitude; try not to spread it to everyone else, it's depressing and gets no-one anywhere.

 is a RISC OS Useranon/62.60.13.106 on 10/05/03 5:01PM
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Crushed spirit? Hehe. You funny man. I kill you last.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 10/05/03 5:03PM
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Point is that what IMJ wants is to compare an emulated machine (from 1992) with I/O hardware from 2001-2 and count it as a fair test.

I say bring it on compare a 2002 Iyonix against your VA running on 2002 PC hardware - that's a fairer test and one that the PC/VA combination *will* lose.

Besides I don't see how it's consistent to argue the promotion of RISC OS by encouraging people to buy a Windows PC running VA on Windows - that's a hell of a lot of money going into markets other than the RISC OS one.

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 10/05/03 5:04PM
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It's a fair test, because that's what you've got! That's EXACTLY what's to be compared. But then, you don't appear to care about reality of what kit's available, so it doesn't matter. I'm sure you're very happy with your Iyonix and crappy years-out-of-date OS. Enjoy. :-)

Back to the plot of the thread tho -- I hope we'll soon hear about what's /actually/ been at the show!

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 10/05/03 5:17PM
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Sorry IMJ don't have an Iyonix (yet). So my argument is *not* based on me having to justify a purchase.

The reality of the "kit" that's available is that VA on a typical PC runs slower than RISC OS on a "real" SA or Kinetic RPC (except for harddisk access). There is faster alternative available (the Iyonix).

The appearance of Iyonix has had a few tangleable benefits even for users of other Acorn style machines (for example the Update C/C++ tools, updated 32bit library, modules to support some Iyonix features on non-Iyonix machines, the pop-up printer system - on Iyonix now coming to RPC soon).

Another point is a lot of code has been 32bitted, I know being a convinced Omega supporter you may not see the benefit in this - but there is.... let me expand, if you run 26bit code on an xScale (whenever that arrives) on the Omega (whenever that arrives) you'll have some sort of performance hit as the 26bit code has to go through ArmTwister - now if a lot of code is 32bitted - then it can run OPTIMALLY on the xScale on an Omega (so Omega users will benefit *because* of Iyonix).

The downside for Omega users is the "better than Iyonix" version of RISC OS is still just 26bit - and will ALL have to pass through ArmTwister (if an xScale is fitted). You'll have (depending on how MD implement it) either (a). the OS running at the speed of a 306MHz SA chip rather than a 1GHz xScale OR (b). at some performance faster than that but less than a flat out 1GHz xScale.

In short without a 32bit OS your Omega will *never* reach it's full speed potential.

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 10/05/03 5:28PM
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Quite why you persist in saying that VA runs slower than a real SA, I don't know. You've got a crap old PC, you already said it was only a 1.2, so frankly you're not in any position to know.

I personally don't give a damn about Omega. MD's poor attitude saw to that, long ago. Even if it was great, would you trust them any more? It's just two guys and they're probably working hard, sure, but why keep putting out the lies about when it'll be ready? The Omega maths don't work out, either. May be faster RAM, but it's shared with the dodgy unfinished graphics chip so has got to be slower than a RiscPC. When you're in big screenmodes the CPU's going to be totally starved for RAM access. MD still won't explain why they didn't just put a PC graphics card in there.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 10/05/03 5:40PM
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>MD still won't explain why they didn't just put a PC graphics card in there.

Because RISC OS (Select) has no Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) and is bound tightly to the VIDC controller in the RISC PC. The Omega implements a VIDC like system in a programmable logic chip - so that it "looks" to RISC OS (Select) like the original VIDC so it can still work.

The reason Castle could use a PC graphics card was because the used a "crappy" old RISC OS but one that has Hardware abstraction.....

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 10/05/03 5:47PM
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oh and when I said "crappy" I was only being sarcastic ;)

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 10/05/03 5:50PM
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Interesting how well ViewFinder works, then, isn't it? :-)

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 10/05/03 5:57PM
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> Interesting how well ViewFinder works, then, isn't it?

Good point.

In effect John Kortink has written code to (I assume) intercepts normal OS Video calls and then "re-route" them to the card. Point is that this though well implemented is a bit of a "bodge". It would be better (cleaner) for the OS to handle the hardware abstraction itself as then it wouldn't have to start off steps to use the VIDC and have them "intercepted" by yet more code to re-direct it to a foreign card.

I'd imagine JK would have a lot of work to rejig it to work with a different video card (or if ROL changed RISC OS in anything other than a trivial way).

MD obviously took the view that *if* the hardware looked exactly like a VIDC then no real change to the OS would be required (which is a fair enough approach and if done correctly could have speed benefits). VF coded round some of the RISC OS limitations (but this task would have been easier had the OS allowed it in an easier manner, such as by using a HAL as Iyonix RISC OS 5 does).

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 10/05/03 6:11PM
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C'mon IMJ, you know full well how hacky VF is ;-)

 is a RISC OS Userg0tai on 10/05/03 6:27PM
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Yupyup. It's hack city. Doesn't mean MD couldn't do the same. Or indeed engage ROL to add the few hooks required to make suchlike so much cleaner...

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 10/05/03 6:31PM
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MD want a thousand pounds for a nameless clone 2GHz celery portable? Is this delivered and VAT inc, does anyone know?

I'm saying "nameless clone" because I'm assuming they haven't actually designed and built it, but got a badger unit from wherever. I mean, look at:

[link]

for a major manufacturer's equivalent home machine.

 is a RISC OS Usermikeg on 10/05/03 7:42PM
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According to the various reports from the show, it's 999 including VAT, yes.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 10/05/03 7:44PM
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Stupid netscape, getting rid of my post just because I pressed an odd key combination by mistake! :(

Try two:

Ok, a few points:

1: Is it really relevant to compare the speed of various A5000 emulators with a new, presumably quite different, risc pc emulator? Especially since this emulator has the OS in a chip on the motherboard which I think is an advantage it has over the older ones?

2: To arrive at the show and find out that there was a new laptop capable of running RISC OS was amazing for me! For ages this has been deeply desired in the community - why is everyone so gloomy? For me, this is fantastic news! Why? Well for some time I have wanted a new (read: capble of running Vantage et al) RISC OS computer, but could not justify buying a computer unable to do the professional standard sound & video editing which is the major part of my uni course. And as Microdigital pointed out, now they have a base unit out and most of the work is done, they can create higher specced models. As soon as a model with firewire, GeForce3/4 or similar and maybe a Pentium/Athlon arrives, SOLD!!

3: Why is it that no-one has repeated the explanations in the Microdigital seminar for the delays for the Omega? Repeated times where they have been mucked about and manipulated by huge companies, because their RISC OS market-sized orders have not been big enough to merit proper client treatment sound pretty awful, and quite believeable. To me, this makes all the delays quite fair enough. Also, despite the huge amount of negative protrayals of Microdigital I have read, to me the fact that they managed to get an (almost) unannounced RISC OS capable laptop to the show, which is approaching perfect for my needs, does a lot to inspire my faith in them.

4: I know I am going to get a lot of flames now, labling me foolish for believing anything Microdigital say, but as I said, from what I have seen, Microdigital have been through some tough times. They can now tell us about these, since the releases of both machines occur in one week's time. Why else would they have broken their much discussed silence and been so candid, and indeed had so much to show at the, er, show? Many people repeatedly dismissed that there would be anything but mockups at Wakefield. Ok, so it's still rather flaky, but for ages after release Iyonix had, and has, 'issues'.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not one to stick to one side of the debate and utterly demonise the other side. I think the Iyonix is fantastic - it came at a great time for the market had impressive secrecy about its release, boasts powerful, up-to-date specs, and so forth. However, I welcome the competition, and the rather great solution for me, that Microdigital now bring to the market.

5: Just a little one about the Omega's 'crashing and then not rebooting' thing - this happens every single time apparently - one just needs to 'manual boot' by typing in - what else - "!boot" at the command line that you get. This, I was told by the helpful RISC OS Ltd. guy (iirc), was because they had only had the Omega for a few days, ergo had only just put Select on it, and that there were things that needed ironing out.

Ok, that's it. Sorry about the length :)

Thomas/TRM/musefrog *hoping to free himself from A5000 land soon!*

 is a RISC OS UserTRM on 10/05/03 9:07PM
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"emulator has the OS in a chip". Yeh RIGHT! You really shouldn't believe everything you're told. ;-)

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 10/05/03 9:12PM
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Thomas: I too am a bit of a fan of MD's, I always found the Omega more interesting than the competition (interesting, not necessarily better) but I am a bit pissed off about the laptop, it's just a Wintel laptop with an emulator, seemingly nothing more. If the laptop ships before the Omega then it'll just take the piss out those who put down deposits years ago for the Omega that MD decided to release a Wintel clone before they released a RISC OS machine.

MD say they've been messed around by bigger companies this may be true, but we only have their word for it.

I really think the Omega could be the saviour of the RISC OS platform (and christ, it *does* need saving) with it's UMA, Mesa, MPEG and extra processor slot it could be very compelling to existing and new users. However it's not available, and apparently when it is which is supposed to be in a week or two (heard that before) it will not have working USB,networking, or video acceleration. So while I really like the whole spec of the Omega, until it's released it does not mean anything. And to make matters somewhat worse MD will now try to sell us PC laptops.

 is a RISC OS Useranon/213.187.48.180 on 10/05/03 9:20PM
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Thomas, almost forgot, why not ditch the A5k for a s/h RPC for about 60 quid?

 is a RISC OS Useranon/213.187.48.180 on 10/05/03 9:21PM
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Because to get it working with everything I would need (viewfinder would be just the start...) to do my work, it would be more like 700 quid - as one dealer said when he gave me a quote, its just not worth it compared to a new piece of kit... :(

thomas

 is a RISC OS UserTRM on 10/05/03 9:26PM
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I suppose not, I just thought that if you were using an A5000, your demands would not be that high. BUt if you need fancy graphics and all that, maybe your best off waiting.

 is a RISC OS Useranon/213.187.48.180 on 10/05/03 9:36PM
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>"emulator has the OS in a chip". Yeh RIGHT! You > really shouldn't believe everything you're told. ;-)

well it's stated that the OS is in a chip on the motherboard on all the promotional literature (lots of it about, kinda similar to the Iyonix's was :) so unless they really want more abuse at the hands of the community I'd guess it was correct

> to make matters somewhat worse MD will now try to sell us > PC laptops.

iirc I am somewhat of an anomaly - according to MD, (and indeed all the posters etc) the RISC OS community is not the primary target of the machine. So no, they're not trying to sell you a wintel laptop, although if you want a risc pc on your lap, there you go :) Rather, their target is the PC market, in an endeavour to convince people to buy a standardly specced seemingly normal winpc, but a little bit more pricey, and an intreiging extra. The hope is that this will make people curious - they will toy around with the emulator, and then...

I can remember recently someone posting that if only we could get Windows users experiencing RISC OS via emulation for free on their own systems, it would lead them in, without requiring that they buy another very pricey system. I reckon this is the closest we're gonna get to that scenario, and I applaud it.

Plus, apparently there is a guy now working on Linux support for the Alpha. "If he come up with the goods and it's good, then there will be [official Linux support.] If he comes up with it and it's not good, then no" - wouldn't that be another good thing about this machine?

It's all very well catering to our own community, but as the MD guy said today about the RISC OS community, "we have to expand. We will expand." And if this happens via PC users buying this laptop, then thats great IMO.

 is a RISC OS UserTRM on 10/05/03 9:40PM
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>I just thought that if you were using an A5000, your demands > would not be that high. BUt if you need fancy graphics and >all that, maybe your best off waiting.

Yeah - sorry I didn't clarify in my first post. At the moment I pretty much use the A5000 for fun. Oh and writing essays in Zap before taking them over to the computer centre to print :) But if I got a new (even 'new' s/h) computer, I would want to start using Vantage, Compo etc for my uni graphics work. If I couldn't do that, there wouldn't be much point in upgrading - I doubt the speed increase in Zap would be that astounding :D

 is a RISC OS UserTRM on 10/05/03 9:43PM
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Some notes about the Alpha:

The speed is apparently within a few percent of a SA RPC - this isn't terribly surprising for reasons I won't go into here. The fact that it emulates a 710 system is perhaps confusing in terms of speed. I only poked a machine very briefly, so can't make any subjective comments about it.

The laptop itself is a generic PC laptop, which is noisy (big fan), and battery is just over an hour. ugh.

It's "still" Virtual Acorn. No networking support (unless you access WinXP network filesystems, etc).

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 10/05/03 9:52PM
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Thomas: fair enough, I kind of fancy Vantage myself, but as you can't get a demo of it, I don't really want to fork out 150 quid just to find out I don't like it.

 is a RISC OS Useranon/213.187.48.180 on 10/05/03 10:02PM
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Peter: thanks for the clarifications :) I was the "nobody with the A5000," with slightly green hair(!) who spoke to you on the stand today, and moaned that the port of FreeCiv wouldn't work on my A5000 :D

Thegman: Yeah, that was the great thing about today. I managed to get a basic 'guided tour' to Vantage from the guy on the stall, and was *very* impressed. Unfortunately though, as Artworks 2 was so popular, I didn't get to see that and compare :( Also I tried to check out Compo and Pro Artisan 24, but APDL didn't have them installed on their machine (never mind) so I could only look at the manuals. Still, I feel it was a productive day, between Alpha and Vantage :)

 is a RISC OS UserTRM on 10/05/03 10:19PM
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Just finished installing the 32-bit software I purchased at the show on my Iyonix, including ArtWorks2, EasyClip2 and several other bits and pieces :-).

All of this software would not have been purchased if I had not got a new machine that required it. Look at how the software scene was slowly dying and how much has been done since a new machine was produced.

I was talking to one of the in house security guys who was quite impressed by the number of people carying away large bioxes with Iyonix stamped on them. Seems to me that people are making thier minds up for themselves on wether they want a new faster machine that they can buy now or an improved GUI on old machines.

Having said that I would like to see Select on my Iyonix but if ROL can't or won't let me do that then I will use the money I will save from my Foundation and Select subscriptions in other ways of supporting RISC OS.

 is a RISC OS Userron. on 10/05/03 10:25PM
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Thomas: compo.iconbar.com has a demo of Compo, and either APDL or Clares has a demo of ProArt 24, but I don't think that's still being developed (probably for the best ;-))

 is a RISC OS Useranon/213.187.48.180 on 10/05/03 10:40PM
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Ron Briscoe will support RISC OS by _not_ paying RISCOS Ltd for OS development. Now that's funny.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 10/05/03 10:47PM
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Thegman: cool, thanks, but I suspect that neither of those will run on my A5000 - so I'll have to wait till I get a high spec Alpha before deciding what apps to get :)

IMJ: Come on, give Ron a break. Ok, so he might not fund the platform in the way you'd like, but can't you approve of his personal willingness to do his bit to aid the platform as a whole?

 is a RISC OS UserTRM on 10/05/03 10:54PM
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TRM> Ron's not "aiding the platform as a whole" by only paying for 32bit stuff. Doesn't help the majority of us who still use 26bit stuff. I'm actually rather annoyed at how much time and effort has gone in to "making 32bit" every app around, but no actual REAL progress on those apps. ArtWorks2 is possibly the only exception I can see. Now, who was incredibly busy with lines of sales at Wakefield?....

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 10/05/03 11:13PM
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imj: well, if people start getting into the internals of the apps then maybe progress will be forthcoming.. you're right that more needs to be done than simply converting things...

I don't know about most apps, but from what I saw and heard, Vanatage is another app which is certainly not "just being 32bitted"... here's to more of them!

 is a RISC OS UserTRM on 10/05/03 11:24PM
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imj> Purchasing a new machine with a new OS and new software for it is helping the platform as a whole. ROL stated publicly that they were not or could not going to develop a version of RISC OS which was independent of the Acorn chipset.

So Castle have acquired one. Okay, so the RO4 and Select toys aren't in there, which allows you to bitch about its being out of date. Looking at my web logs, three times as many hits are coming from RO3.7 as RO4. Dunno what drobe gets...

But that important thing is the break with the reliance on an old and slow chipset. Omega does not do that. Alpha is not a RISC OS hardware product, and will have serious failings due to the way the emulation works.

Rather than bitching about Castle or whatever, I think we need to welcome the apparent thawing of ROL's attitude, and hope that they can work with Castle to produce Select for Iyonix.

 is a RISC OS Usermikeg on 10/05/03 11:31PM
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Simple economics surely, make your software 32bit and you have at least increased your userbase. Besides IMHO most of the effort you talk about in making software 32bit was due to the fact that the piece of software was in fact being resurrected, ArtWorks, DataPower2 and PhotoDesk to name a view. Which I'm sure you'll find in your infinite wisdom, is a good thing.

On a other note, I can't see any mention of the 32bit version of PhotoDesk. Was it at the show? Was it running on an Iyonix? Just curious to see how the "Iyonix and crappy years-out-of-date OS" performed in comparison to the... alternatives.

 is a RISC OS Useranon/217.158.170.128 via 212.126.144.12 on 10/05/03 11:31PM
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Boggling. You'll go back to RISC OS 3.7 status just for a bit of extra speed. Get a Pentium 4 and run DOS on it. Then you can watch ancient apps run at utterly ridiculous speeds. Not much use tho. Ok, I'm stretching the point, but that _is_ the point as far as I'm concerned. I simply see no benefit whatsoever at a little bit of speed if I have to sacrifice most of the applications and 3 years of OS development. Castle won't tell ROL any of the info required to put a 32bit Select on Iyonix (HAL is a joke really - it covers bugger all) so until we see Castle grow up and stop trying to play high and mighty with RISC OS, we're stuck aren't we. Great.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 10/05/03 11:44PM
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IMJ, go and calm down somewhere, you've been posting the same ranting nonsense all day. FACT: we've got the 32bit RISC OS that we thought we'd never have, especially after RISC OS Ltd apparently gave up on the idea. And we've got the hardware to run it on. And they did all that WITHOUT promising us and then letting us down, and promising, letting us down etc. Underpromising and hugely over delivering. They've done magnificently in my book.

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 11/05/03 00:13AM
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Gavin: I totally agree with the things you say about Iyonix. But also, I'm much in favour of what Microdigital have done. Despite problems with the Omega, they definately underannounced the laptop, and both now seem to be sorted.

*You get a fantastic view, sitting on the fence*

 is a RISC OS UserTRM on 11/05/03 00:21AM
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I'd like to know how many people are seriously excited by a laptop running an emulator.

 is a RISC OS Useranon/217.155.231.13 on 11/05/03 00:28AM
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Thomas, while I admire your enthusiasm, I don't honestly think the laptop is anything wonderful. It's just a PC laptop with an emulator on it and the vast majority of that money is going outside the RISC OS market. I think it's rather a shame to be honest. Fair enough if the emulator was sold on its own and you already had a PC laptop - but to sell it as a complete solution to mobile RISC OS computing is awful IMHO.

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 11/05/03 00:29AM
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Jon: Count of one so far :)

Gavin: You have a point... its just I'm so glad that it looks like I'm gonna be able to have a solution to my computing problems by spending a bit over £1000 in one machine as opposed to well over £2000 on two machines. Perhaps its a bit of a selfish viewpoint, but what can I say - I'm excited :)

 is a RISC OS UserTRM on 11/05/03 00:34AM
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Interesting comments....

"emulator has the OS in a chip"

Feasible, but not on an a common laptop. There are 28 pin 'Disc on Chip' flash devices for the PC Embedded market, which fit on small form factor PC's (such as 3.5" biscuit and PC104 boards) but never, ever found on run of the mill PC equipment. This, under windows, would act just like a flash storage device, yet does come packaged as a 28 pin DIP chip device. (Manufacturer: M-Systems, ranging from 8Meg to 256Meg and possibly more in the newer series)

But onto the concept, an x86 laptop running WinXP running an emulator! This is not a new RiscPC platform! It is to be quite honest what seems like an abhorrent decision! To package an emulator and claim it is a RiscPC portable, I think not.

If I were to install the Basilisk II emulator onto my PC laptop, and run Apple System 8.5.3 (what the latest version supports) would my laptop suddendly be able to be called an Apple Powerbook? No... (I could go on with examples of other emulators, but it is clear - they are EMULATORS, not the real platform!)

So by trying to define the Microdigital lappy as a fully fledged RiscPC platform is strictly wrong, and to try and steer current users down that road will, I feel, add some turmoil to the already split userbase (26bit vs 32bit... Omega vs Iyonix...)

Let's see this laptop for what it really is... A wolf in sheeps clothing. It's not RiscPC, and to try and associate it as is plainly wrong. Why not just release/license the new VA and ROL Select as a stand alone product? If it only matches a RiscPC in speed on the 2GHz Celeron, then surely it would be more use for users to run it on other higher spec'd PC's, a speed doubling could easily happen by running it on the latest spec PCs.

 is a RISC OS Useranon/81.86.199.196 on 11/05/03 00:38AM
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Tony> I don't really see that MD have done anything "wrong". It's an out of the box way to get you mobile with RISC OS and for many users that's the first time it's been possible since the Acorn A4. Whether it be overpriced underspecced alien hardware running a host BIOS (WinXp;) or not, doesn't especially matter does it? There's no other way we'd ever see a RISC OS portable!

I do agree with your final points tho -- I think there's much more mileage in selling a VirtualRiscPC-Select3 software set on its own. I'd certainly be buying it.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 11/05/03 00:43AM
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>Feasible, but not on an a common laptop.

Ok, it's possible I am mistaken. After all, I didn't have a whole load of sleep lst night... :)

>Why not just release/license the new VA and ROL Select as a >stand alone product?

I reckon it would be hardware issues. If they know exactly what the innards of the PC running it are, then then can sort problems out quickly. However, with the HUGE variety of components out there, any hardware conflicts would be very difficult to bug fix. At least this way they KNOW it's stable... (well, as stable as it is - shrug)

Hmm... altho most emulators must cope somehow... the only way that theory would really work would be if there was /some/ custom hardware on the motherboard, if not the OS...

This is all speculation on my part tho, with possibly a little bit of remembered conversation at the MD stand. It does sound like you know a lot more than me about the innards of pcs... shrug

 is a RISC OS UserTRM on 11/05/03 00:53AM
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IMJ: I agree. It would be great if they released it at some point, would mean that I could custom build a niiice windows laptop and then have fast risc os on it :)

However, if there are some hardware issues, then fair enough...

 is a RISC OS UserTRM on 11/05/03 01:04AM
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OK, I've seen the JIT'ed RedSquirrel and I can say that on an Athlon 1.6GHz vs my SA287, RS is faster with memory and FP (and disk I guess) but slower with integer, although in use it seems slower.

I guess a Kinetic may even it out a bit with it's faster memory. Anyway the issue is that this will be faster than a R7500 portable.

Dyrstones/sec: RS: 110866, SARPC: 482205

kWhetsones/sec (FP) RS: 7862, SARPC: 3330

Cache memory read (Mb/sec): RS: 3657, SARPC: 965

I don't think the Alpha will do much better, if at all, after all it's a Mobile Celery. My Duron 750 was slower than my PIII/500....

 is a RISC OS Useranon/192.168.1.5 via 12.235.93.18 on 11/05/03 06:40AM
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If VirtualAcorn supported some type of Host networking, and people had the option of buying it 'standalone' *with* select, then I'd seriously consider getting it.

I already have 2 laptops, and to be honest, I don't need a third.

I can't imagine Microdigital want to stop flogging laptops by releasing the software only though, but don't forget, emulators *eat* CPU time, so that laptop battery isn't going to last long.

 is a RISC OS Userg0tai on 11/05/03 09:01AM
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IMJ wrote: "Explain what? I'm saying Iyonix is buggered as it's GUI is pure pants compared to Select, IMO."

I don't accept this statement - to my mind it is simply not true. Name one of the major RISC OS GUI concepts or features that has been implemented under Select, and was not fundamental to every version RISC OS? I’m really interested to learn what these breathtaking improvements are!

jerryf wrote: No company says 'we won't' if offered sufficient money, and no company says 'we will' if not offered sufficient money. Castle clearly hasn't offered sufficient money, or decided they could do without ROL, just as they seem to think they can do without the support of some major developers as well. All big mistakes, smelling a lot like the result of pure arrogance and a bad business sense.

How on earth do you know all this? You were obviously privy to all the negotiations and business dealings between Castle and ROL. Please go ahead and share your information with the rest of us – I for one am all ears.

TRM wrote: Why is it that no-one has repeated the explanations in the Microdigital seminar for the delays for the Omega? Repeated times where they have been mucked about and manipulated by huge companies, because their RISC OS market-sized orders have not been big enough to merit proper client treatment sound pretty awful, and quite believeable. To me, this makes all the delays quite fair enough. Also, despite the huge amount of negative protrayals of Microdigital I have read, to me the fact that they managed to get an (almost) unannounced RISC OS capable laptop to the show, which is approaching perfect for my needs, does a lot to inspire my faith in them.

Probably because they have heard these stories too many times already. We were told from the various sources close to Microdigital that the delays in delivering production machines since Christmas (the last time that machines were “just days from being ready to ship”), have been due to contractual issues – an interested observer might reasonably assume that the machines were ready to ship. Now it seems, the machines are not quite ready, last minute glitches. blah, blah, blah! And as for the laptop – the cynical might consider this as just a smokescreen, an attempt to draw attention away from the fact that Omega is still not ready. Two questions to Microdigital – 1) What on earth does this laptop have to do with the future of RISC OS? 2) With the Omega still not in production, and years behind schedule, how can you afford to invest the time developing a new product?

IMJ wrote: Castle have done nowt to me bar screw up and split the user base and have folks not pulling together with RISC OS. There's probably going to be a shed load of wasted effort at Castle bringing RO5 up to anything like Select 1 standard, let alone Select 3 and that's just daft when we need as many bodies producing _new_ stuff as possible. IMO, Castle have been pig headed and arrogant about the whole thing and are splitting up RISC OS rather than making a better RISC OS scene. I don't think I'm exactly alone in this view either. Remember, at the end of the day we buy these machines BECAUSE OF THE OS, so having a duff old RISC OS 3.7^H^H^H5 variant, albeit on a whizzy fast new platform, seems a bit pointless to me. Just my 2p worth. Now - on with Virtual RiscPC!

Please share with us the facts from which you reached the conclusion that Castle have been pig-headed and arrogant. You are obviously very well informed.

Thegman wrote: I really think the Omega could be the saviour of the RISC OS platform (and christ, it *does* need saving) with it's UMA, Mesa, MPEG and extra processor slot it could be very compelling to existing and new users.

How is this going to save the platform?

TRM wrote: according to MD, (and indeed all the posters etc) the RISC OS community is not the primary target of the machine. So no, they're not trying to sell you a wintel laptop, although if you want a risc pc on your lap, there you go Rather, their target is the PC market, in an endeavour to convince people to buy a standardly specced seemingly normal winpc, but a little bit more pricey, and an intreiging extra. The hope is that this will make people curious - they will toy around with the emulator, and then...

ROTFL Never heard anything so ridiculous in my life!!

 is a RISC OS UserNeilWB on 11/05/03 10:54AM
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TRM wrote:

> they will toy around with the emulator, and then...

Delete it probably. It doesn't play decent games like halflife, it makes your laptop eat battery, It doesnt run MS Office.

What nowdays would make people mode from OS X, Windows, or Linux to RISC OS? 'Fantastic applications'? oh *purlease*. They've all been ported to windows!

 is a RISC OS Userg0tai on 11/05/03 11:31AM
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The most important aspect of this laptop is that three of the RO players have stopped pulling in different directions.

Have they realised that the pie they are figthing over isn't the tiny existing user base, but all the users lumbered with windows?

(I actually had to check it wasn't april 1st when I saw the announcement).

Could it be the case that RO 4 is installed on the same chip as the laptop's BIOS? This would comply with the on-ROM requirement that I have heard about.

Would that imply they could do a version in PCMCIA or USB based ROM?

What is needed next is for castle to join the club and merge select and RO5.

I don't think PC based versions of RO are going to harm the market for native hardware. If native hardware is that poor compared to an emulated version, it won't sell much anyway.

If I were spending any serious money on a PC based RO system,I wouldn't want windows underneath, I'd want a mini linux. However I would alway choose in preference native low energy kit.

Virtual RPC would be brilliant however to use at work where I have no choice in hardware, but have some in software.

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 11/05/03 12:38AM
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Emulation?

So this is the future?

Now how have we come to this?

Simple: The market is now run by persinalities not companies.

And most of the ones with power are egomaniacs.

We will never see select on iyonix.

Select4 will require x86 hardware.

I recommend that you get onto your local RiscOS Ltd shareholders and get a vote of no confidence in at an emergency general meeting.

This is what it willl take, you have been warned.

 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis@work on 11/05/03 2:25PM
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What this emulation business means is that (effectively) the concept of an RO laptop running on ARM7500 hardware is *dead* (afterall the ARM7500 solution would be slower).

It also opens the possibility that MD *could* (*if* Omega proved impossible to release) offer to provide a similar set up on a desktop PC (running a high end x86 core like a 3GHz P4 or and AMD Athlon Barton of about the same ilk).

I am not saying that this will happen - but it becomes slightly more likely if a laptop PC running WindowsXP becomes the next RISC PC portable and that people quietly accept this.

Regards

Annraoi

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 11/05/03 3:26PM
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Neil: Sorry I should explained myself, I think the Omega is more likely to save the platform than the Iyonix as it can do things that were otherwise not feasible like MPEG acceleration, got to be good for video editing, and Mesa, good for 3d visulisation on a budget. It's got UMA graphics which may make dealing with massive graphics more do-able under RISC OS. RISC OS curently does not have anything to offer other than it's pleasant user interface (which of course is a matter of opinion), the Iyonix, however good it is, is just a fast RISC OS box with better graphics than we are used to. The Omega at least has a *chance*, maybe not a good one, to break into other markets. As a user of many other platforms I know what they have to offer and at what price point, the RISC OS situation in terms of gettings PC/Mac/Linux users to defect is pretty bleak, we need to give users a *reason* to use RISC OS other than 'Zap is great' (go use BBEdit on a Mac and see if you still feel that way), I think Omega *might* be able to do this, if MD release the machine they announced.

 is a RISC OS Useranon/213.187.48.180 on 11/05/03 3:37PM
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I think the chance of RO on a new Laptop designed specifically for RISC OS is extreemly low, if as appears likely, the RS version is a non-starter.

However the idea of using existing laptops is good. It is just unfortunate that using an x86 laptop under emulation is, at present, more viable than porting RO to an XScale laptop. Hopefully this situation will change. But I think it will need ROL and Castle to pool their resources.

Just think what OS we could have if ROL, MD, Castle, Simtec, RS, Windfall and WSS pooled their resourses.

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 11/05/03 3:44PM
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"Select4 will require x86 hardware"

This to me raises an interesting question. Does it actually matter what hardware RISC OS is running on?

To me it doesn't. As long as it works and it works well then I don't care what it is running on. And to be honest if you can run it side by side with Windows then I would consider it to be a very big advantage.

The reality of the situation is that I cannot see myself forking out over a grand for RISC OS specific kit, when for the same price I could get a much more powerful PC that could do a whole lot more. I also expect I am not the only one in this situation.

If it is possible to run a working version of RISC OS at a decent speed on a PC, then at least this way I would be able to continue supporting the development of RISC OS in some manner, rather than not at all.

 is a RISC OS UserWalks on 11/05/03 3:58PM
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Thing is though, people are *more* willing to try alternate technologies in laptops (look at the Apple powerbooks for example, I am pretty sure some people who use them wouldn't touch a desktop mac with a bargepole and opt for a PC - yet would still use the Mac portable).

Castle now (for the first time) have a more "portable" version of RISC OS, it is *less* of a problem to get it ported onto new ARM based hardware (less so than trying to shoehorn RO4.XX on I would say).

The issue is the economics of it, and with a PC based RO laptop now out there it probably does make a native RO portable less likely - which is a real pity as PC portables have pretty short battery lives and a xScale/RO portable may be just the sort of lower power consumption solution to fit the bill.

I suspect many people would like a portable RO/ARM based machine in preference to a RO/PC based one, I'd reluctantly agree Jess the likelyhood of that (RO/ARM) portable happening is now much lessened - more's the pity.

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 11/05/03 4:04PM
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Thegman,

Sorry but the features you describe are not going to make the slightest difference. Do you really thnk that developers are going to come flooding back to the platform because there is a machine fitted with UMA graphics? What is required is for RISC OS to find it's way onto newer kinds of product, where the markets are new, and sufficiently dynamic to support niche players - PDAs would be an ideal starting place - all of the WIN CE based machines are ARM based designs. We need a version of RISC OS that can be ported easily (well fairly easily) to these machines - such initiatives are the only way forward, IMHO, if we are to ensure the survival of our favourite GUI. Oh, and who has such a version of RISC OS? That's right t's Castle.

 is a RISC OS UserNeilWB on 11/05/03 4:09PM
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Neil, first question: No I don't but it's feature not often seen on a desktop, so may attract uses in niche areas.

Yes, sub-notebooks/PDAs are *the* best place for RISC OS, it's an area where it would truly excel, and be much better than the competition.

You're right again on the subject of only Castle having a suitable version of RISC OS (TTBOMK), unfortunatly no-one has made such a product.

I'm not slagging off Castle *at all* I'm just saying that their current product range can't attract new users in any significant numbers while it is so expensive. I totally appreciate that Castle is the only company to make a serious effort in bringing out a next-generation RISC OS box, and what they have done is brilliant. But, and it's a big 'but', the Iyonix simply does not offer anything to users of other platforms and it's price is a massive barrier to first time users. It's further troubled by Select 3 offering what would appear to be a better OS than RISC OS 5 (with the exception of Unicode support). I am a bit of an MD apologist, I know, but I think if the only new machine we had was the Iyonix, then RISC OS does not have a future. I know this is a bit sensationalist, but even if Castle has sold double their target (which would be 1000 machines) that's not going to help the platform survive.

I agree with you and Annraoi about getting RO on WinCE machines, hopefully Castle,MD or RiscStation (Hah!) are reading this.

 is a RISC OS Useranon/213.187.48.180 on 11/05/03 4:47PM
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what about RON?

 is a RISC OS Useranon/81.86.207.139 on 11/05/03 5:24PM
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If it happens, I'll buy one the same day, but I really doubt it'll happen. Psion are a bit wishy-washy with it anyway, so maybe they're better off choosing a different machine, or maybe working on hardware independence so it will run on many different ARM based machines.

 is a RISC OS Useranon/213.187.48.180 on 11/05/03 5:41PM
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To those who think that not renewing my Foundation/Select subscriptions and instead spending the money on software and hardware for my Iyonix is silly, allow me to explain.

I have a two slice SA RPC with 192Mb RAM, SCIS card PC card etc and oodles of software, so much that I was running out of things to purchase for my machine :-/.

Like a lot of other people I was very interested in the Omega when it was first announced, not just for its perceived native speed increase over my RPC but, and more importantly to me, the proposed addition of an XScale chip. What happened then? "It will be ready soon, and there is no rush on the XScale because there is no 32-bit OS".

Castle then appear and allow me to purchase and take away an XScale computer and I start upgrading any software I have to 32-bit. This with commercial/shareware apps costs money, money that goes back into the market. This excludes APDL/ISV who are as far as I am Aware *not* interested in 32-bitting their software. What does this tell me?

So if ROS do not intend to talk seriously to Castle about RO5-Select I would rather pay the savings to someone who is enhancing my computer use.

 is a RISC OS Userron. on 11/05/03 5:55PM
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I was tempted by the Iyonix, but the cost was too high. I was lucky enough to get a second hand kinetic from friends, and am looking forward to select 3. Each version of select make the original RO 4 (which + dhcp + unicode is equivalent to RO5) look less and less appealing. ROL and castle must work together, not doing so would be a disaster to all.

The only new RO computer I could see myself getting in the next couple of years would be a portable, preferably a really small one. Something like a psion in size with all expansion via USB.

However, I do not expect to spend anything on PC specific hardware in the forseeable future - (anything I need is easily rescued from skips).

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 11/05/03 6:01PM
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Thegman you wrote:

You're right again on the subject of only Castle having a suitable version of RISC OS (TTBOMK), unfortunatly no-one has made such a product.

Not yet, but I have the feeling that Castle have plans for the future. Don't forget that it is only a few months ago that they released Iyonix, fulfilling a promise to the faithful, and establishing a reference platform (RIS C OS 5) as a basis for future developments - let's hope they have got the marketing nouse to revitalise the scene.

Rgds.

Neil

 is a RISC OS UserNeilWB on 11/05/03 6:17PM
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NeilWB> ...only Castle having a suitable version of RISC OS (TTBOMK), unfortunatly no-one has made such a product.

And therein lies the problem. ROL are now in a position of either being forced to allow ROS to run on PC (a stupendously bad move - it'll positively encourage people to leave the platform) or to wait on the only other player in town to have a machine that can support their 26bit only OS (namely Microdigital).

All that will happen (and I'll go along with Neil on this) that Castle will basically enhance ROS overtime so that the non-availability of Select on Iyonix will be utterly irrelevant.

The key thing Castle have done is to get the key (vital) technologies working (UDMA is now done for example - which is far more important than the shape of text icons) - and then in due course they'll probably "dolly" other things up (to do it the other way round would be plain silly).

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 11/05/03 7:04PM
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AMS: What "vital" features would you like to see in Select that aren't there already, that can be implemented in software?

 is a RISC OS Usertakkaria on 11/05/03 8:34PM
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g0tai wrote: >What nowdays would make people mode from OS X, >Windows, or Linux to RISC OS? 'Fantastic applications'? > oh *purlease*. They've all been ported to windows!

Personally, I'd much prefer using Vantage to some PC program with about 50 onscreen icons, running in windows (!), and with tech support run by a web script/ people who have no idea about the innards of the app. With Vantage, you can get identical quality results (I mean, it even exports as photoshop, among others..!) much more easily, and you can actually talk to the guy programming it for bug reports/ feature requests. And it seems loads of people are interested in Vantage's main competitor, Artworks 2, too!

There are many other programs whose praises are sung, like Techwriter etc. Ok, so in many areas RISC OS is lacking anything like the quality available elsewhere. However, to suggest we are outclassed in every area I feel is misleading.

he also wrote: >don't forget, emulators *eat* CPU time, so that laptop >battery isn't going to last long.

others may view this as a welcome opportunity for a RISC OS laptop (well, there may be some... a few... one? ;) but for me, I'm just glad of a dual use machine, irrespective of its laptop nature. I'll probably end up using it mainly as a desktop :) Plus, most places where ppl use laptops (train, library etc) now have power sockets for laptops anyway...

 is a RISC OS UserTRM on 12/05/03 03:43AM
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imj wrote: >"emulator has the OS in a chip". Yeh RIGHT! You >really shouldn't believe everything you're told.

I found my copy of the leaflet, and I think this may have come from my semantic misunderstanding. The leaflet says RISC OS is "4mb, small enough to fit on the computer's PCB, which makes it fast and efficient" or words to that effect; I interpreted this, perhaps wrongly, as meaning that Alpha had RISC OS on the motherboard, when it may simply have been referring to how RISC OS originated on native hardware...

ah well :)

 is a RISC OS UserTRM on 12/05/03 03:46AM
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Hi all. Wish New Zealand was closer to Wakefield... ah well. Hope you all enjoyed the show, sounds like it was awesome.

How much control does ROL have over RISC OS. Do they have any at all; are they just developers? If you can just go to Pace and bodge together your own version, would it be possible to find ourselves with lots of RISC OSs ?!?

Personally I think if there's ever to be competition a single, separate company has got to 100% own the OS. Develop a 32-bit OS feature-equal with your 26-bit one. No more crazy licensing issues :)

Neil and co: PDAs are definately the way to go. For a start, RISC OS is native to ARM processors which use so little power. If we could get some ARM-native PDAs and laptops out there, perhaps businesses might find RO more attractive.

I guess we can be happy RISC OS didn't die with Acorn... :)

 is a RISC OS Useranon/202.89.42.15 via 210.55.230.20 on 12/05/03 07:55AM
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Andrew Sidwell>What "vital" features would you like to see in Select that aren't there already, that can be implemented in software?

Support for greater hardware independance built into the OS, support for 32bit only processors. These two steps would have enabled the use of RISC OS on a *far wider* hardware base than is currently the case.

The very fact Select 3 now has to use a PC/Windows and an emulator to get "portable" quite nicely illustrates that need.

Simply making a "text icon" round, square, oblong or shaped like a banana (or whatever) won't.

That having being said I would *not* want people going away thinking that I consider Select as either pointless or of little merit - it has represented the most continuous effort towards updating the OS that we've so far seen (and should be applauded for that). The issue, though, is that with the (probable) eventual unavailability of native hardware where do you go ? to the PC ??? hope that Omega arrives and addresses the issue ? (what if it is further delayed or does not arrive ?).

An alternate approach is for people to buy current hardware that does support a version of RISC OS that *does* use current ARM hardware (the Iyonix). If enough people do you'll probably find that either (a). ROL will adapt Select to work on it or (b). Castle will implement some "Select" like features in due course.

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 12/05/03 1:36PM
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Something just occured to me:

Why has the iyonix got serial ports?

Why apart from the obvious (he just *would*... ;-) )has chox ported linux?

Any thoughts on ARM powered linux servers anyone...

Remember when questioned on them Jack L said "some of our customers need them"...

Wahay mad,mad seculation! :-D

32bit RISC OS is the way forward...

Just wish iyonix wasn't an "almost" machine...

 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis@work on 12/05/03 2:51PM
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Serial ports are dead easy to provide on a machine, and in any case, are useful for debugging an OS.

The reasons you've been given for Linux are the correct ones. There's nothing "hidden" here.

ARM Linux servers: [link] (e.g. www.chocky.org)

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 12/05/03 6:23PM
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so they use intel developement boards too?

;-)

 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis_RISC OS on 12/05/03 8:04PM
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erk!

must add spell checker to feature list required for RISC OS browsers...

:-)

 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis_RISC OS on 12/05/03 8:07PM
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Which reminds me...

Any news on why the iyonix is limited to a 32MB graphics card?

I have been told that it is often the case with cards that the upper memory is only used for 3D stuff.

Is this why iyonix can only do 2048x1536 in 16.7mil colours?

64MB versions of the card exsist...

It is one of the reasons that stops me - I want more colour! ;-)

 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis_RISC OS on 12/05/03 8:13PM
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No one has made any mention of Intel dev boards.

Your comments about Iyonix "limitations" look like trolling.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 12/05/03 8:52PM
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I thought that the video card in the Iyonix was not really supported by the OS in terms of using it's fancy features, so there would not be a lot of point in the 64MB model.

2048x1536 is a *big* resolution on any platform, so you won't find any complaints here.

Is it me or is it now a lot more common to accuse someone of trolling that it was 'back in the day'?

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 13/05/03 00:21AM
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I am disappointed with the photos section. No pictures of Monika EFF :-(

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 13/05/03 01:19AM
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I think I managed to miss about 2 stands in my running around like a headless chicken. Stuart might 'ave them though...

 is a RISC OS Userg0tai on 13/05/03 09:05AM
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Have I missed the captions for the photos? Who are all those people?

 is a RISC OS Usersmink on 13/05/03 5:56PM
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Keith Dunlop: All of the higher 'specced' graphics cards are AGP only - no PCI. Iyonix has no AGP socket.

Regards,

Neil

 is a RISC OS UserNeilWB on 13/05/03 8:40PM
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Monika EFF?!

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 13/05/03 8:50PM
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Monika (sp?) who works for EFF. Although it does sound like a make of camera.

You have to remember that the User Shows once a year are a chance for some people to get within 5 yards of a female, without the usual unpleasantries :-)

 is a RISC OS Usersmink on 14/05/03 11:36AM
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