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Points of view

By Chris Williams. Published: 30th Jun 2003, 16:21:06 | Permalink | Printable

Everyone's got a story to tell

Points of View A couple of alternative views on a much talked about RISC OS subject came to light before the start of the previous weekend, which we were pleased to see. Browse away.
  • The Antonides report - Iconbar reveals the MicroDigital Expo 2003 show presentation in-depth and asks us if the account is the truth. Bias paranoia and witch hunting aside, or maybe not as 'Bar editor Phil Mellor believes there has been "some confusing and controversial reporting" of David Atkins' address to the RISC OS Expo show visitors.
  • PHR's comments - PHR Computers is a retail partner of MicroDigital, you may have seen them exhibiting at various RISC OS events. Shortly after the Expo 2003 show, we contacted PHR for alternative comment on MicroDigital to balance the waves of criticism levelled at the Omega and Alpha machines. PHR's reply is reproduced here in full and unedited. It must be stressed that we can't argee with most of PHR's email, however we're not ashamed of criticism and we want you to tell us when you think we're wrong. Enjoy.

Also, there's photos from the Expo 2003 event online here.


News? Comments? Flames?
RISC OS Expo 2003 We're off MicroDigital's Christmas card list

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I'm not so convinced that Drobe "got it wrong" over the number of Omegas delivered to end users in the theatre presentation (and I was there). And, after all, Drobe were only reporting what they were told by someone who was there (as was made clear).

The Drobe comment about supposed lack of UDMA on the Omega did puzzle me, though.

Paddy seems to share David's rather unfortunate distaste for the press, but I'm not sure conclusions drawn from reporting of motorcycling events are entirely valid. Not so easy to check up on facts, when the PHR email address on MicroDigital's website was wrong last time I looked!

Is Phil Mellor going to explain exactly what it was that he found confusing? :)


 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 30/6/03 5:52PM
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Yes, the UDMA issue puzzles me, too. But again, I'm only repeating what I was told. If it was a misinterpreation, etc, then we'd be happy to post a correction, but none has been forthcoming. We don't even have, for example, an assertion from anyone that UDMA _does_ work.

Phil has not responded to an email we sent him, unfortunately.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 30/6/03 6:06PM
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You sent me an e-mail?

Confusion arises from various sources - such as unsubstantiated comments on news items, reports on talks from people who were a) not present; and b) considered biased (by some).

UDMA is one example - if UDMA was not even mentioned in the talk, mentioning it in the middle of a report about *the talk* is not particularly helpful, since it gives the impression an official statement from MD was made. I suggest you call MicroDigital if you want to know the status of this, or any other matter - since that is how they wish to communicate with those who want to know.

When I spoke to DA he mentioned that Archive Online had incorrect statements about things he'd said at the show (relating to the shipment of Alphas). I assumed he was referring to the Expo show, but I didn't get clarification upon this. Sorry.

I've also received some private e-mails (including one by the author of the TIB article) who felt DA has been misrepresented by some or all of the reports.

Perhaps in future a video (or more easily, audio) stream could be made of each talk. I'm sure TIB has the bandwidth.

 is a RISC OS Usermonkeyson on 30/6/03 6:33PM
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I think most of these problems arise because MD *doesn't* talk to the press. All that was needed is their POV, and Drobe/TIB/etc would be glad to publish it. They bring it on themselves.

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 30/6/03 7:09PM
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The UDMA _was_ in relation to the talk. As I have said, I am only repeating what I have been told, and we are no closer to confirming the veracity of the statement, either from yourself, or from anyone else.

You're well aware that we've found it difficult to contact MD by phone to confirm these matters.

And yes _we_, (myself and Chris) did send you an email questioning, as in the article, where the "confusing and controversial reporting" comes from. Maybe it got lost in the post ;-)

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 30/6/03 7:41PM
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Quick query.

If you ordered an omega just after the flood in 2000 - do you now have to promise to be a good RISC OS user and not become "amateur" press?

Do you have to sign in blood to swear to obey MD, ARMtwister and to keep the prototype machine law?

& how many (fingers have you got) RISC OS "press" get paid for their sterling efforts?

nil pay = amateur doesn't it?

Cos I'm not press and by no means professional in my RISC OS outlook I have the freedom to say:

PANTS! the whole bloody lot of it!

MD - get your machine out ASAP minus the feeble excuses.

Castle - where's the proper SCSI?

Ahh to be a mere user and not some alledgedly amateur branch of some concept called "press"

hugs and kisses

 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis_RISC OS on 30/6/03 9:06PM
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"Perhaps in future a video (or more easily, audio) stream could be made of each talk. I'm sure TIB has the bandwidth."

But possibly not the reliability.

 is a RISC OS Usertakkaria on 30/6/03 9:24PM
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Could put it on ntlworld, seems fast, reliable and 55MB of space. I should upload something onto it...

The difference between the iconbar and drobe reports of MD's talk are staggering

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 30/6/03 10:00PM
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> The difference between the iconbar and drobe reports of MD's talk are staggering

This is true. And yet both, in my opinion, show up MD to be at best bloody foolish.

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 30/6/03 10:06PM
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praps bested?

- sorry

just enroaching on "amateur" space again.

have new idea...

If press = to_blame_for_(add whatever omega problem) then perhaps they would like to commun(ion)icate with (alledged) customers?

"pass the new RISC OS computer on de left-hand side..."

 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis_RISC OS on 30/6/03 10:12PM
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Staggering differences in what way? Length? Detail? Author? All three? Iconbar's article is a detailed feature, our coverage was various articles as news emerged from the show.

We didn't have a person sitting through the whole talk, so we spoke to people who had. Iconbar scooped a report by someone who obviously was eager to write up their experience and they did a good job. Which is why we linked to it.

I hope you're not after another personal feud Mark because I've got better things to do. Email me if you've got a complaint.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 30/6/03 10:22PM
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Did DA actually say that he wouldn't talk to any of the press? The drobe report says that only one person left the talk, and then DA carried on speaking.

 is a RISC OS Usersmink on 30/6/03 10:50PM
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DA's policy to not talk to the press was reported by Paul Beverely and Dave told me the same at the Wakefield show when I had a little chat with him.

It's nothing personal; that's the way Microdigital work. It's just frustrating for us trying to get informed fact out.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 1/7/03 12:07AM
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 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 1/7/03 7:31AM
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another personal feud? when was the first one?

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 1/7/03 7:34AM
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If the UDMA status can't be confirmed either way, lets leave that for a moment, and try to validate other stuff that has been said by DA. At the Derby club meeting last month David Atkins assured us that the first batch of Omegas had been sent out to the first customers. Can anyone reading this who thinks they would have been one of the first to order confirm that they have received one? Certainly one member of the Derby club (who was quite proud to get his order in early, and 'do his bit' for the scene) has not received his yet.

 is a RISC OS Userzeeb on 1/7/03 9:53AM
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What riles me is that Microdigital have the cheek to whinge about newsgroups and the press and so on for the bad public impression of them as a company.

There is one reason for the debacle and one reason alone - Microdigital's announcement of a forth-coming product years before it was ever going to be ready. This stalled the market, got peoples' hopes up and has irritated me immensely, waiting to try to decide between the Omega and an Iyonix. Well, I can tell you that after all this I wouldn't buy an Omega if you begged me - I am saving for an Iyonix as I write.

 is a RISC OS UserMendosa on 1/7/03 9:53AM
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Believe me, I do actually want good news to write up. I want to say Omegas have shipped en-mass and feature working networking, usb and all. I don't want to hear about suppliers and blame. I want to hear about Lynx (their inet suite) and the Flaymz project ([link]). I want to see K2 and ArmSi running on it.

I want someone to tell me "I told you so".

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 1/7/03 10:30AM
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Chris needs a hug, everybody!

 is a RISC OS Userzeeb on 1/7/03 10:50AM
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If UDMA is not working, I wonder how I manage to get a transfer rate of 14285k/s on block reads on my Omega (with adfs buffers = 0). Admittedly write speeds are only around 1/3 of that and byte transfers are abysmal.

As a commparison, my Iyonix reports a figure of 16666k/s, using the same program.

 is a RISC OS Userpeterb on 1/7/03 12:53PM
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Is this Omega one you have bought? If so, maybe you could do a little write up and post on TIB? Or indeed Drobe.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 1/7/03 1:08PM
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Hmmm; odd that Flaymz have got rid of all the content on their site and just left their logo...

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 1/7/03 4:24PM
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Could someone give me some background on what/who Flaymz is/are?

 is a RISC OS Userjonix on 1/7/03 5:03PM
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The word on the street was that they were making a game to make use of the special features of the Omega. Presumably it was to make use of the 3D hardware the Omega is supposed to have.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 1/7/03 5:11PM
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Don't. Hold. Your. Breath.

I'm still intrigued as to how a system running an FPGA as standard HW is going to perform "well". (As someone who knows very well how FPGAs perform, even overclocked ones.)

 is a RISC OS Userheds on 1/7/03 10:01PM
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Reading the IB report, I can't help but compare MD's attitude with that of a fairground snake oil salesman. I work for a (very) small company. Okay, so we don't make stuff, but we can generally get people to jump when we say frog. The IT market is in a dire state, with no growth worth talking about for ages. Anyone placing firm orders for real product will get delivery.

And, as far as MD goes on the product stakes, Mico has never had its full promised accessory range supplied, TTBOMK.

To even things up; I'm a bit p***ed off (to put it mildly) that O2 hasn't had an update since April the 1st. However, that's another thread.

 is a RISC OS Usermikeg on 1/7/03 11:23PM
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Nathan from VOTI started Flaymz after a chat with DA at one of the shows last year. The last I heard, they were developing a 3D game and had done limited testing on appropriate hardware. They also had a VRML viewer waiting for funding for further development???

Disclaimer: This is all from memory, but it sounded promising at the time. -- Cheers Steve

 is a RISC OS Userknutson on 2/7/03 12:15AM
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Should be an upgrade soon for O2 as I beleive that the Beta testers are playing with it ATM Regards Ron. -- Ron Briscoe, Birmingham

 is a RISC OS Userron. on 2/7/03 7:26PM
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