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Super sneaky small cameras for RISC OS

By Chris Williams. Published: 3rd Oct 2003, 14:48:37 | Permalink | Printable

Simtec USB and Advantage Six to the rescue

Mini camera from STDSTD, sorry, Advantage Six has announced the availability of tiny unbranded USB cameras that are compatible with RISC OS and the Simtec USB solution. The cameras are less than 10 cm long (that's less than 4 inches), feature a 2.1MegaPixel sensor, and are capable of storing an average of 41 pictures at 1600x1200 or 87 pictures at 1024x768.

Each camera also a features tiny flatscreen for previewing shots and managing the camera itself. Avantage Six admits that the cameras aren't for high end photographers, who should really go for something more suitably expensive and able. Instead, the mininature cameras fit in with A6's other mini-gadget range like their USB MP3 player.

Contact STD for more info, or check their website when the product section updates.


STD website - STD is now the trading name of Advantage Six. More details on the cameras - pricing and so on, from the press release

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Another shiny little device that as I understand it, will not work on the Castle USB card or the IyonixPC. This is getting silly. -- Keep Flying

 is a RISC OS UserJWCR on 3/10/03 5:17PM
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As long as it is a mass storage device, it will probably work fine on the Iyonix and RiscPCs fitted with Castle USB cards. (as long as it doesn't use memory stick as those devices don't seem to be supported yet) -- Simon Wilson, Boulder, Colorado

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 3/10/03 6:07PM
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To be honest, X number of USB types wont be much worse than the silly way we once had 3 different implementations of CDFS (and a lot more in terms of SCSI) filing systems.

Eventually everything will sort itself out. It's just a shame people seem to want to waste time competing like this when conforming to a standard API would benefit *everybody*.

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 3/10/03 7:56PM
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Personally, I can't see why they didn't make a standard API to start with, it would have been much easier for everyone, and as g0tey said, it would benefit everyone too. -- AndyPoole [link]

 is a RISC OS Userandypoole on 3/10/03 10:30PM
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There was an agreed standard API (ref AU No. 240, page 10).

There is some documentation of the facts in an old incomplete FAQ which I never released at [link]

The real problem was that ROL refused to take a stance when it was required.

Our policy is to promote products which we can offer support for - how can we point customers to the local PC-Globe store knowing the support they will be given? Development must be sustainable without the need to cross-subsidise from other products.

I believe only the Simtec solution allows for this, and the fact that other commercial developers have released code for this stack only reinforces this view.

 is a RISC OS Userstdevel on 3/10/03 11:33PM
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The refusal of ROL to take a position on the issue was not one of disinterest at the time but one of technical expertise. At the time at which USB was being developed by the various parties the technical expertise offered by ROL on USB was next to non-existant (which I can say with a reasonable degree of certainty).

To have placed make any technical comment about an area which there was no knowledge would have been irresponisible. The position adopted was that that companies involved should have been able to agree on some sort of standard between themselves. Since they know and understand the issues involved, one would have thought that they would be able to come to some agreement. My view is that the real problem was that the companies could not agree to discuss a common interface.

As we know, that didn't happen and there are two disperate implementations. Ah well.

 is a RISC OS UserGerph on 4/10/03 12:19AM
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Is there not a way someone could write a wrapper around the Castle stack so that a Simtec call would be converted to a Castle call?

Not ideal I agree. Maybe if enough people are using the Simtec stack, then Castle will be forced to comply.

Although I imagine more people have an Iyonix than a Simtec USB Podule (I doubt many bought the Castle USB Podule).

-- C'mon, mod me down, PUNK!

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 4/10/03 12:35AM
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I think in terms of "active" users (ie those who have purchased other USB kit beyond the default keyboard/mouse/card-reader-maybe-bundled-with-the-machine) you'd be suprised.

Of course an analysis of that would rely on leaked numbers which are nigh on meaningless.

It doesn't stop me being a little suprised though. Not suprised enough that I felt confident enough to retain some orignal paragraphs from the FAQ, admittedly.....

 is a RISC OS Userstdevel on 4/10/03 12:44AM
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Yes, IIRC all three RISC OS computer manufacturers plus STD for the podule had agreed on the Simtec stack. Then Castle broke the agreement, so currently there is the Castle stack wich is only used by Castle and there's the Simtec stack wich is used by STD and RiscStation, with MicroDigital on the way. -- Julian G. F. Zimmerle

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 4/10/03 1:24AM
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Does anyone know why Castle went their own way with USB? On the face of it, it seems like a very silly and destructive thing to do.

I still don't have a USB card. True, I don't /really/ need one, but if this situation were not with us then I'd probably have bought one by now and possibly some kit to go with it.

 is a RISC OS UserThe Doctor on 4/10/03 9:13AM
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Yes, same with me. Although after reading STD's FAQ I think I'll go for the STD's podule now, because the Simtec stack is the one officially recommended by Philips and is probably used already in many embedded devices, wich means also that there is probably a lot more money behind it. -- Julian G. F. Zimmerle

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 4/10/03 11:36AM
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Plus, I always thought that it was the better of the two stacks, from a technical POV. -- Julian G. F. Zimmerle

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 4/10/03 11:38AM
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I think Castle went their own way on USB because, that was the software that Pace had developed in their version of RISC OS. They wanted to get something out quickly.

 is a RISC OS UserIvanDobski on 4/10/03 12:19PM
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As evidenced by the timeline that shows release of cards at approximately the same time, and the Castle USB card having a different API to the Iyonix up until recently?

This is despite Castle advertising, for example, scanning bundles for the Castle card which didn't work (and I understand didn't ship) until several months after the Iyonix shipped. I picked up a lot of disgruntled Castle customers because of this - we ensure that we can ship as soon as a product is announced. The fact that I was drawn in to price-matching a product which didn't exist is incidental.

These are facts, and I'm concerned that I shouldn't really be the person to have to state them - I'd assumed that people were aware of the situation.

 is a RISC OS Userstdevel on 4/10/03 12:49PM
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I wasn't aware of them, I was mainly referring to the Iyonix. I had no idea that the Castle USB card once had yet another API implemetation.

 is a RISC OS UserIvanDobski on 4/10/03 1:17PM
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How viable or desirable would adding the castle api to the simtec stack? (or a conversion layer?) -- Jess

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 4/10/03 5:27PM
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Would it be possible to have both cards on a compouter?

-- British by birth English by the Grace of God. [link]

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 4/10/03 5:50PM
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Upgrading from a RiscPC with STDs USB Podule card, to IYONIX with castles stack might be a problem if my expensive USB device that has drivers/works on STDs, does /not/ on Castles.

And the same, the other way around.

 is a RISC OS Userpiemmm on 4/10/03 7:48PM
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Little OT but is response to ksattic: Memory Stick has many different versions (I think 5 possibly 6) There's standard, magic gate, pro , duo and another. What's worse is they are neither backwards or forwards compatible! The biggest problem with getting MS to work is Magic Gate (which most MS cards use). It's a copy protection mechanism which means the format of the cards is alien - most flash type cards use FAT. -- Smiler - :D Alex Melhuish

 is a RISC OS UserSmiler on 5/10/03 12:13AM
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TBH, if it is easier to write a compatibility layer for the CTL API to make it work with Simtec calls then it would be in CTL's interest for this to be done. Best of both worlds. Unfortunately I neither have the time nor the skills to do this. An existing Iyonix user would probably be best placed to do this especially if they have access to a simtec card too. The other option is that we can just continue moaning about this everytime a USB device is mentioned.

-- Spriteman.

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 5/10/03 4:40PM
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