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Omega, Mico news archives unearthed

By Chris Williams. Published: 3rd Jul 2003, 07:32:32 | Permalink | Printable

"Pre-selling and vapourware whilst exciting kills markets, products and companies"

A brave person decided yesterday to defiantly upload a mirror copy of MicroDigital's website after MicroDigital's recent withdrawal of their company and product news content from the microdigital.co.uk website.

We have very good reason to believe that UK Independence Party candidate for Norwich South, Tarquin Mills is behind the stunt although he really hasn't gone to great lengths to hide his anonymity - his meek announcement on usenet reveals a Norwich NTL cable IP and other pointers to his planet14.sonow4u.co.uk website.

Tarquin, get this, sadly isn't a fan of MicroDigital and in the past has relished stirring up rumours based on secrets whispered to him by his imaginary friend 'Ernie'.

Tracking the Omega
With the aid of Tarq's archive and the Wayback Machine, we can follow the progress of the Omega and Mico since 1999 by flicking through archived copies of the MicroDigital website. The Wayback Machine periodorically visits websites and keeps a copy of them for future reference and searching by people like us - it's a very handy online service. MicroDigital's website, like many, has evolved over the years and we actually prefer the original 1999 design to the current one.

MicroDigital have claimed that the Press is unable to competently report on shipping details of the Omega and the technical nature of the Omega.

So here we'll try to present to you everything from the horse's mouth in plain black and white. Now obviously there will be no confusion or misleading information because you can read it all on MicroDigital's website and get your facts direct. You'll probably remember all of these anyway:

June 1999 - November 1999
Nice clean cut design. News includes Mico hype plus USB card for the Mico; IDE interface for the RiscPC; and details of a portable backup system.
December 2000 - July 2001
New design, lots of news. Creation of Microdigital Europe and Microdigital Australia; difficulties sourcing custom MicroDigital designed chips (ASICs); decision to abandon ASICs and use more flexible FPGA chips that can be programmed 'in the field' like Flash memory; arrival of 600Mhz and 733Mhz XScales; Omega's with fitted, working XScales at Wakefield show; and various insights into the Omega's 26/32 bit qualities.
October 2001 - November 2001
New website, much like the current one. Insight into Omega graphics hardware; and a charity donation.
May 2002 - May 2003
Current site until MicroDigital removed their news items. Testing software on the Omega; Flaymz games group; Press day; Omega UK usergroup tour; insights into ARMTwister technology; and Omega packaging. (Update It appears Tarquin's website mirror has been deleted. Oh well.)

The Guardian last weekend ran a delightful however fairly contrived article on irony, which turns out to be well timed for this week's final find from the depths of the net.

"We are only prepared to discuss our own current products and that means what it says. Pre-selling and vapourware whilst exciting kills markets, products and companies. Remember Pheobe and the others since, the market needs products not hype", MicroDigital stressed way back in 1999. You know, that's a very good point - we'll keep it in mind.


Omega news archive mirror MicroDigital

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How very cynical, digging about in archives in an attempt to make MD look bad. So much for Drobe etc supporting the RISC OS scene. I can't blame MD for getting frustrated, what *is* the problem with you people. All this constant negative reporting is starting to get a bit tedious now. Yes the machine is very late, it has the usual teething problems but you people seem to enjoy being judge, jury and executioner right now.

 is a RISC OS UserFuzzy on 3/7/03 9:55AM
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I recall Tarquin saying before xmas that the Omega was a year away, give it 6 months and he'll be right!

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 3/7/03 10:10AM
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If this is an unedited mirror of all the old microdigital news pages I'm sure it will reflect all the good aspects of the company too.

Anyway, this was a bit of a non-news story and personally I'd rather not hear any more about MD and the Omega until the blasted thing is widely available. -- Spriteman.

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 3/7/03 10:47AM
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I'd like to hear anything about the Omega, so long as it's true.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 3/7/03 10:52AM
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It is my opinion that the more news made out of MD's no news isn't very helpful and is getting, quite frankly, very boring. I appreciate drobe's excellant efforts to bring us news but puh-lease! Unfortunatley I believe anti-MD literature may become damaging for the market as a whole - The new user will find it hard to differenciate between the dodgy and the decent.

 is a RISC OS UserSnig on 3/7/03 11:33AM
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Can't see why a new user would find it hard to differentiate between companies just because they use the same OS.

 is a RISC OS Usermikeg on 3/7/03 11:42AM
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Some new users will take a lot of convincing to go over to RISC OS, particularly if they are spending a lot of money, it probably does not help that a new user reads quite a lot about the MD saga.

But the Omega is a very important issue in the market, and Drobe is quite right to report on it, even if it is all bad news, or interpreted as bad news.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 3/7/03 11:57AM
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Sorry but I think this was a valid story. After MD's recently blasting of the press, we're able to see, in black-and-white, their own words.

No twisting, no bulls***. Straight from the horses mouth.

So why blame drobe for offering the facts; don't shoot the messenger, as they say.

--------- Wasssssssssuuuuuuupppppppp?

 is a RISC OS Userrusstarbox on 3/7/03 1:40PM
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The mirror seems to have disappeared.

(Agreed about this being a valid story, incidentally. Perhaps it's time to see all this in the amusing context it deserves, however, despite all my ranting - after all, we've got the IYONIX...)

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 3/7/03 4:35PM
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Tarquin's emailed in to say NTL removed his site after Microdigital complained - or so he says.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 3/7/03 4:48PM
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Any reason why you doubt Tarquin's honesty? I mean he's an aspiring politician...oh, I understand now.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 3/7/03 4:52PM
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An interesting idea. It would be nice to do this for the news pages of RiscStation's site, but that is so out of date, it wouldn't make any difference! -- Andrew Harmsworth, Cambridge. www.gcse.com owner and author

 is a RISC OS Userharmsy on 3/7/03 6:54PM
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[link] now

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 3/7/03 11:00PM
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Its a bit late to look for skeletons in extinct cupboards. Just let MD finish the Omega without further chain rattling.If they don't want to keep the press informed thats their choice. Its only those persons on their order books they have to satisfy.

 is a RISC OS Userjlavallin on 4/7/03 2:40AM
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Let's not forget the people who haven't placed an order and are waiting for the Omega to ship so they can make up their minds.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 4/7/03 3:04AM
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"Microdigital Australia have plans to build a national dealer network which will be supported by a television and press advertising campaign."

Anyone know what's going on with MD Australia? Their website's offline, their listing in ROL's directory has no contact details, and I've never seen any MD advertising. It would be nice to see a major RO dealer over here :)

 is a RISC OS Usertimephoenix on 4/7/03 7:16AM
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As a newcomer to the Risc OS market I am a little confused by this story. The MD site says that the Omega computer is available to purchase and even gives prices. Can't I just buy one?

 is a RISC OS UserGraham on 4/7/03 10:03AM
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No. Which demonstrates the whole problem with MD's propoganda. You can certainly order one, but don't expect to get it any time soon, nor expect it to work fully.

If you want a working new machine, get an Iyonix. If you want a cheap working machine, get a RiscPC.

-- Peter, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 4/7/03 10:12AM
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 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis_RISC OS on 4/7/03 7:49PM
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Graham : Yes, you should. If you consider it as the machine for you , do it. What some other people here may say about "propaganda" let it be for their own account.

 is a RISC OS Userrdenk on 4/7/03 10:15PM
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Graham, if you want to try out RISC OS get a StrongARM RiscPC for a couple hundred pounds. If you want something a little nicer then investigate both the Omega and the Iyonix, but IMHO you should wait until the situation with Castle owning RISC OS becomes more clear.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 4/7/03 10:47PM
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I'd forgotten about this corker on the MD website, about their new site design:

"Regarding the emails we have received from hardened users, we accept that our design layout breaks all the norms and we hope they recover from the shock. Perhaps they might take into account someone always has to be the first otherwise machines like the Mico and Omega would never have been developed."

If that's the way they explain away a p***poor website, let's hope the same isn't true of their computers...

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 4/7/03 10:49PM
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