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Again with the laptops

By Chris Williams. Published: 6th Dec 2003, 00:10:59 | Permalink | Printable

R-Comp. CJE. Microbits. Whatever

R-Comp have decided to join the portable VirtualRiscPC-SE bandwagon this week, along with other noted dealers, and offer the shockingly original and novel deal of bundling RISC OS on a PC laptop. VirtualRiscPC-SE. Windows laptop. RISC OS 4. You know the score.

A quick money making exercise? A proud dream to bind Windows and RISC OS toegther for the good of the platform? It's your call, depending on how many cynical pills you've consumed today.

R-Comp's new RISCBook features a 1.4GHz Intel processor, which uses Intel's Centrino technology that's designed specifically for mobile use, 256MB of RAM, 40GB hard disc, wireless and wired networking although no screen size is given.

CJE Micros are also offering a range of PC laptops that are sourced from the same bulk manufacturer that MicroDigital use in their Alpha range. Microbits are offering a new VRPC-SE desktop machine, the Deskstar. Real imaginative, IBM will be impressed.

We're now definiately spoilt for choice. We'll update our prices table after we've recovered from this weekend's Debian UK Christmas party.

Links


R-Comp website
CJE website Microbits website

Previous: Castle Offer Continues
Next: eQ renews French support pledge

Discussion

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Hmm. Their page is a little light on the facts. It doesn't even tell you if it's a Celeron or a Pentium. Big difference between them. It's also pricey.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 6/12/03 1:13AM
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I hope 2004 sees a proper XScale laptop coming from Castle/tematic - would be the next obvious step.

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 6/12/03 1:22AM
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I haven't had a chance to look at all the options, but I highly advise people choose laptops with mobile (M and Centrino) processors in order to maximise their battery life, especially when running an emulator all the time.

I noticed today a Viewsonic "wireless LCD screen" computer today. It's like a tablet PC, but has an XScale processor and runs a version of Windows CE to connect to Windows XP desktops via remote desktop connection. Such a machine would make a great RISC OS portable, as it has USB and WiFi, along with a good battery life.

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 6/12/03 1:28AM
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Castle releases a speedbumped Iyonix using Hellia Processor and A new laptop called 'Hydros'. Now that would be a kick ass year.

 is a RISC OS UserFedorenko on 6/12/03 7:41AM
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I guess it's good that RISC OS flavoured businesses can respond to quickly to a changing technical landscape, even if these laptops and VirtualRiscPC-SE is not every-ones cup of tea. My best purchase of the year was a 19" monitor. I don't think I could go back to using anything with less screen area now. I think Castle are right to be pushing in this direction with their current "Monitor offer". Do 19" screen laptops exist ? (On any platform ?)

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 6/12/03 9:06AM
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The price of the R-comp centrino solution is not at all bad since it includes VARPC. What's lacking as far as I am concerned is a decent screen resolution (SXVGA+ is now common and this can do RISC OS desktops at 1280x1024) and a bigger harddrive (I'd need to allocate 20Gb to RISC OS which would leave only 20Gb for WinXP - not enough!).

That said I think that the R-comp solution is the best one I've seen up to now!

 is a RISC OS Usercynic on 6/12/03 9:19AM
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Cynic - VirtualRPC is currently limited by its emulation of only 2Mb VRAM, so lower res screens are in some ways preferable (VRPC is optimised for 32k colours, incidentally). An interesting "fact-let" is that the RISCBook will actually allow the use of resolutions up to 1600x1200 although things get a little fuzzy/sluggish at that. Certainly resolutions like 1152x864 in 32k or 1280x1024 are perfectly useable if you need some extra screen real-estate!

Overall, we've gone for mobility as the selling point, and the Centrino architecture. I have to say the Pentium-M family used in Centrino systems are some of the best VRPC processors I've yet seen. I had the opportunity to compare a 2.6Ghz P4 laptop yesterday with a RISCBook, and the artworks apple times were about 5-ish sec on the P4, and about around the 2 sec (maybe 2.5sec) on the RISCBook.

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 6/12/03 10:09AM
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Nun-fetishist - all Centrino systems use Pentium-M processors. That's the definition of a Centrino machine - Pentium-M+Wireless lan. You'll notice a link from our website to Intel's. I recommend you click on it and read up on Centrino technology.

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 6/12/03 10:12AM
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Andrew - that's good news on the screen resolution front - I can't envisage using less than 1280x1024.

As I said originally I think that your pricing is good given that VRPC is included! Do you have a better picture of the machine? The one on the webpage is a bit on the small side. Also could you include some prices for extras like a bigger HDD and more memory?

 is a RISC OS Usercynic on 6/12/03 10:44AM
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How it would reinvigorate the RISC OS market if a true RISC OS-based laptop was available.

 is a RISC OS Userroberthunter on 6/12/03 10:57AM
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I'm sure it's money making and sadly if I wanted a portable then this is the only option I could take. Cynical maybe but I'm not sure if it's healthy or not, the dealers get money but so do Microsoft and the makers of the PC hardware.

 is a RISC OS UserAW on 6/12/03 11:47AM
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Indeed it would invigorate the market Robert. Shame thee dealers couldn't have pooled their energies to bringing a true portable to the market.

 is a RISC OS UserAW on 6/12/03 11:48AM
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Cynic - thanks for your feedback :-) RAM upgrades are available. Hard drive may also be possible. However, since RISC OS and windows share the disc space, rather than it being "blocked off", 40Gb is actually quite spacious. I have a gaming laptop here (games being very large, more so than application software) and that is fine with a 30Gb hard drive. Obviously I don't keep my entire games collection installed on it, but I can fit plenty of stuff on there.

AW/Robert - I think you underestimate just HOW expensive a pure RISC OS laptop would be, and also how underpowered it might be compared to a Centrino system. I suppose an Iyonix-esque laptop might be sweet, but I suspect you'd be looking at around 2000ukp a machine for that to be viable. Let's hope I'm wrong, but I think right now, VRPC offers an extremely flavorsome route to portability!

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 6/12/03 1:07PM
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Nun-fetishist, you were not thinking of Celeron were you?

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 6/12/03 3:15PM
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In reply to arawnsley:

hmm I suppose we could al wait a few years till the ARM / AMD / Intel Motherboards come out then it will be cheaper, let the PC world do the work ;)

Pointless Note: anyone ever noticed that Intel is the odd one out?

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 6/12/03 3:17PM
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Andrew R - I think we underestimate Castle sometimes. I certainly think it's within their power to do an XScale laptop in the next year - I just hope all these companies offering a PC laptop with an emulator thrown in, don't ruin its chances. I don't think they will, I think when people see a true XScale laptop, a true RISC OS machine, they will be sold.

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 6/12/03 3:26PM
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In reply to SparkY:

Very true, but there would still be a market for those who would need a PC & Acorn Laptop.

Myself, I would prefer 100% Risc OS Laptop :^) go Castle!

arawnsley majorly off topic, but what is the latest version of Anthem, as I haven't had any patches / upgrades for two years! - might have somethign to do with not being with Demon any more

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 6/12/03 3:39PM
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I hope you're right, SparkY, but given the pressure on many RISC OS users to have Windows as well, I myself can't share your optimism :-(

 is a RISC OS Userhutchies on 6/12/03 3:39PM
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To SparkY/em2ac: any OS that can't run natively on specific hardware is not a true OS, so I too would prefer a RO laptop. But it would be no faster, possibly slower, than an Iyonix and the time cannot be far off when the best all-round RO performance will be available, not on an Iyonix, but on VARPC running on a 4 or 5Ghz AMD or Intel chip. There would be precious little in it now if the resolution restrictions of VARPC were fixed. In '96 the fastest ARM and x86 chips were clocked at 200mhz, since when the former have tripled in speed, the latter by fifteenfold! If the trend continues, either RO must sit, Panther-like, on top of a Linux kernel or be abstracted radically to run on the PowerPC architecture. All IMHO, of course...

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 6/12/03 3:53PM
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bucksboy was it really only 200 MHz in 96?

I agree, the ARM processor needs to be at least 5GHz - isnt the new Apple machine 5 or 4?

Shall we kick some intel butts into gear?

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 6/12/03 3:57PM
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IBM sold it's hard drive division to hitachi last year. anyway they do not make a computer call a deskstar we do.

 is a RISC OS Usermicrobits on 6/12/03 4:02PM
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em2ac: one of the Eidos guys did an article in RISC User comparing the performance of the just-released S/ARM chip with its Pentium and PowerPC contemporaries - I think it was '96 but my back numbers are all in the attic covered with dust. They were all clocked around 200Mhz: but Dhrystone-wise the S/A kicked ass bigtime. Happy days!

Current Apples top out around 1.5Ghz but can do more than 1 instruction per clock cycle I think, unlike ARMs.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 6/12/03 4:10PM
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3, 4, 5 ,6, ... GHz. My goodness, these are Radio frequencies we're talking about these days. Never mind 200 MHz in 1996, what about the 2 MHz electron in 1984. 4 Ghz. 2000 times faster !

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 6/12/03 5:27PM
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Bucksboy: the article you refer to in RISC User was in issue 10:1, November 1996, and was written by Stephen Streater, no less (founder of Eidos). I was very pleased with it at the time. The fastest Pentium tested was 200MHz, and the fastest PowerPC 120MHz. In the default Dhrystone tests the StrongARM beat everything else by a large margin. The 200MHz Pentium Pro did get the best score for the optimised test, but that was probably a compiler issue.

As for current Apples, the best one at present is a dual-processor machine with 2x 2GHz PowerPC G5s. Apple reckons it's the world's fastest desktop computer. PC makers understandably dispute this, but it should be noted that Apple's tests were done with compilers producing 32-bit code on a pre-release OS: i.e. the results may have been somewhat better if they produced optimised 64-bit code for use on the fully 64-bit-optimised release of Mac OS 10.3, which wasn't out at the time. Either way, it's a very fast machine, and runs both 32- and 64-bit code natively with no performance penalty for the 32-bit code. Anyway, it's as fast as, or up to 20% faster than, the fastest PC available at present, depending on which tests you read.

 is a RISC OS UserRichardHallas on 6/12/03 6:34PM
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<pedant> The Electron was a 1MHz machine, unless you had the Slogger upgrade. The BBC Micro /was/ a 2MHz machine, however.</pedant>

 is a RISC OS Useradrianl on 6/12/03 8:20PM
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I still want a native RISC OS Laptop - X Scale. Why can't future development of motherboards just do this and use them in whatever box you want; mobile, mini, laptop, whatever. It would save on development costs. Over to Castle.

 is a RISC OS Userpipalya on 6/12/03 10:23PM
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pipalya - the main reason is because laptops don't have room for off-the-shelf video and network cards amongst other things, so they are overall more expensive and generally less equipped than a desktop system.

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 6/12/03 10:49PM
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I would think that there could be an innovative solution or design that would allow expansion cards but just remain redundant in the slimmer case of a laptop??

 is a RISC OS Userpipalya on 6/12/03 11:40PM
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Pipalya: There will be, I'm confident Castle will do it in the next year, just hold out for it if you can. When it happens, it will be great. We need to put more confidence in Castle. They haven't bought RISC OS outright for nothing.

 is a RISC OS UserSparkY on 7/12/03 2:37AM
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In reply to adrianl Electron = 1 MHz. You are right !

It will be interesting to see in 2004 if VARPC stimulates folks to write software (or jazz up their old stuff) primarily for the RISC OS platform but knowing that, potentially, it can run on hardware built with micosoft in mind. (?)

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 7/12/03 7:28AM
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Why is anyone of the opinion that an unbranded cheapo clone PC is a suitable platform to carry a RISC OS brand? For years, one of the main arguments in favour of Acorn product has been the low TCO, rather than a low purchase price. Now, unless weird things have happened, none of the people listed in the article actually make laptops. If there's one thing experience has taught me (and I mean experience of selling a lot of RISC OS and Windows boxes going back a very long time) it's that saving a few quid on the tin costs a packet in the long term. Further, the spec today on Mr Cheapy boxes is not going to be the spec in 2 weeks. Anyone considering the purchase of a portable device to run RISC OS would do themselves a lot of favours by actually considering VRPC as an emulator, rather than being persuaded that the various badgers have got some magic power which makes their boxes in some way special. I'd concur with RComp that Centrino makes a lot of sense. Certainly, we're selling a lot more of them than trad portables, despite a pricepoint about 35% higher. It's the ability to use them continually for 3.5/4 hours (doubled with a second battery) that is the most important feature. As far as it goes, I'll quite happily sell people VA5k or VARPC, and have. However, the current badger craze is not helping anyone in the long term. More to the point, calling an Intel CISC-powered device a "RiscBook" is sailing very close to the wind when it comes to being economical with the truth.

 is a RISC OS Usermikeg on 07/12/03 10:52AM
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While it's a little obvious that R-Comp want to brand their laptop as a "RISC OS Book" - hence RISCBook - modern Intel processors have RISC cores with a x86 CISC compatibility layer. So technically, it's a RISC book either way ;)

Chris. Just me.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 07/12/03 11:05AM
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Yeah, it's a RISC pretending to be a CISC, pretending to be a RISC.

Hmmm.... efficient! Begs the question what Intel could do if they got their speed-centric x86/Itanium team working on the XScale core.

Adrian

 is a RISC OS Useradrianl on 07/12/03 11:10AM
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some dealers take great pride in picking equipment of the highest specification to sell too our customers we as dealers do not want to have any computer that we supply be it an (Risc os box or PC box) returned this only cost us money and has the effect of losing valuable customers. One of the thing our normal PC customers tell us is that we always provide a far getter standard of sevice & Support than the average PC supplier.

 is a RISC OS Useranon/80.5.103.208 on 07/12/03 11:24AM
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Irrespective of quality (and I'm not disagreeing with the points made), the emulator boxes offer advantages: access to cheap/speedy kit; dual purpose; but what is the future for native RO hardware, assuming (as I do) that it is desirable to be able to run RO natively as well as under emulation? Given the discrepancy in development effort between ARM chips (low-power, cool-running, embedded usage) and the x86 - and for that matter the PowerPC - architecture (high-power, high-heat, workstation usage) it's only a matter of time before the performance of native hardware is eclipsed by the emulators, at which point the native-hardware desktop market ceases to be viable. So logically the next stage in RO's desktop development is migration to /native/ operation on another platform...No?

 is a RISC OS Useranon/80.46.189.204 on 07/12/03 7:17PM
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Not really, no. The move of RO to a non-ARM processor has been discussed extensively in a recent article. It just doesn't make sense for lots of technical reasons, and you _still_ have to emulate lots apps if they haven't been compiled/ported to that processor.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 07/12/03 7:29PM
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mrchocky: has the article been published - I'd be interested to read it (even if I didn't understand all of it!). As to your point, if we're stuck with the ARM, so to speak, do you agree that the performance race is lost? And if so, that this will be significant for RO's desktop future? Apologies if the article you mention also covers this...

 is a RISC OS Useranon/80.46.189.204 on 07/12/03 8:06PM
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I'm sure this has been discussed to death on drobe but... (As I'm new-ish) Surely if RISC OS is to play to its strengths, and in particular the low power consumption aspect, then an Iyonix/Omega laptop is the sensible direction to be heading in. Some-one, somewhere on drobe recently suggested the finished product would cost 2000 quid. If it did then I'd say that's not unreasonable given that the existing Iyonix costs 1300 + 300 for a good monitor. If it had 1280 x 1024 I'd go for it.

 is a RISC OS Useranon/213.254.171.194 on 07/12/03 8:12PM
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adrianl: about 6 months ago in an interview someone relevent at Intel said that they could produce a 2GHz ARM tomorrow/next week (or something) but there wouldn't be a market for it, since the intended market want low power, not super fast above all else.

 is a RISC OS Userjohn on 07/12/03 9:31PM
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martin: If it was Iyonix spec, and had a 1280x1024 screen, and cost 2000ukp, I imagine Kell would buy at least ten. So that's twelve sold before we even got going...

I'm still amazed that all these dealers think people are going to leap to buy Windows laptops with RISC OS emulators, with unproven RISC OS performance, high heat output and low battery life. And some of the laptops they're selling are well over 1000ukp!! Presumably each individual dealer didn't really expect that competition (in the form of other dealers doing the same) would happen.

(One wonders if they talk to each other).

dgs

 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 07/12/03 10:02PM
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dgs> Why wouldn't people jump to buy a portable RISC OS machine, even with high heat and low battery life? There's no alternative to emulation if you want RISC OS on the move.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 07/12/03 10:15PM
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imj? There is indeed, *currently* no alternative. (But it's a Windows machine with an emulator, not a portable RISC OS machine).

Equally, there was no alternative to the Omega, until the Iyonix was announced. (Curiously enough, most of the people I know who've bought laptops to run VRPC on, own an Iyonix as well).

dgs

 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 08/12/03 00:03AM
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"Picking equipment of the highest specification" is meaningless twaddle. Big numbers don't make it quality product. Consumer laptops have higher specification than business product, when you look at the raw numbers. They also have worse warranty, lower battery life and a lower build quality. When I drop a laptop, I don't want to have to put in an insurance claim, I want to go "whoops", pick it up and keep working. In addition, MS is awfully keen on system builders, 'cos they get a lot more dosh per licence. (:-)

 is a RISC OS Usermikeg on 08/12/03 07:36AM
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Bucksboy: I'm not sure how it would be a recent article if it hadn't been published ;-) Although the article in question might not have been entirely obvious:

[link]

No, I don't agree nor disagree with your question, for lots of reasons, quite apart from what the meaning of "lost" is.

johnd: references to the quote on the internet are readily available. How about using them instead of spreading slightly inaccurate information, which will only mushroom in the way only rumours in RISC OS do.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 08/12/03 10:09AM
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The relative power, and power consumption, of ARM and x86 chips could be an interesting point in the future...

There are already plenty of PDAs using XScales for just this reason, and the short battery lives of laptops makes me wonder if it's just possible that at some time there could be a large demand for much faster ARMs. A long shot, perhaps (given all the compatibility problems it would cause), but let's keep the fingers crossed.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 08/12/03 10:15AM
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mikeg>

If you want a lappy that you can bounce off the walls then you should be looking at an Apple iBook. They make these things for school kids to drop. I remember another company that used to make indestructable computers for schools but I can't quite remember the name.

Spriteman

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 08/12/03 10:17AM
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Is there any way to get Virtual RiscPC to start up without the need for Windows? so it is all that is on the machine?

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 08/12/03 11:31AM
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mrchocky: well I can't remember exactly who said it, I was going to post the link, but I searched with google for about 5 minutes with no luck. If you do have the link (I don't know where it's readily available from, I can't even remember how I came across it) then it'd be nice if you could post it. Thanks!

 is a RISC OS Userjohn on 08/12/03 11:36AM
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one thing that Acorn Developers have is the knowledge that their s/w isn't being pirated to the same level as on all other OS's that are poular.

:@)

just try searching Kazaa or e-mule (www.sharereactor.com)

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 08/12/03 11:49AM
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If you couldn't back up your quote, then perhaps you shouldn't have posted it in the first place. In any case "3Ghz XScale" gives you several links, e,g:

[link]

"Today" in the quote is clearly hyperbolae in contrast to your suggestion. Even presuming Intel did start tommorow on such a chip, it would be at least a year before a RISC OS machine using it could be put out.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 08/12/03 11:49AM
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em2ac: what relevance does that have to this conversation? Even so, most Linux developers have the same assurance, because software isn't usually released under closed source licences.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 08/12/03 11:51AM
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sorry, i must have deleted the first line:

No real relevance here but,

humble appologoies

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 08/12/03 11:54AM
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Chocky: I didn't quote, I paraphrased, and the bit which was in contention I made it clear. I find what I said quite hard to misinterpret in any inappropriate way that's liable to cause speculation. I stand by my original posting, perhaps you should have just posted a link and a small correction rather than making out that my comment is inappropriate.

 is a RISC OS Userjohn on 08/12/03 1:09PM
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However, that sounds more rude than intended so let's just remember it's the season of goodwill and I'll reduce the above reply to, "I stand by my comment". Oh, and merry Christmas too! ;)

 is a RISC OS Userjohn on 08/12/03 1:12PM
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em2ac: No, there is no current way to make VARPC start up without windows. Windows provides the hardware abstracted Video and Sound output, Keyboard input, network stack, filing system and the ability to print and use a floppy drive. You yourself maybe able to live without these things of course.

Peter

 is a RISC OS Userflibble on 08/12/03 4:38PM
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damn was hoping to use a laptop with just RISC OS

ah well worth a try

 is a RISC OS Userem2ac on 08/12/03 4:59PM
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Well, seems that RISCOS Ltd finally has a chance to sell more 26 bit RISC OS 4 licenses since all those dealers start to offer them "RISC OS-Laptops" :-) Not that it is a real surprise since no real Laptop with RISC OS is available but it is a pity since I get the impresson that there are just two current RISC OS systems available now: IYONIX pc and Windows Systems with VirtualRPC and more and more companies opting for the quick money by offering virtual RISC OS systems (some companies even trying to hide the fact that they do so! whereas other are fair enough explicitely state that it's just an emulation and that real RISC OS hardware is available too).

To a certain extent I'm happy that cheaper Hardware running RISC OS is available since it could get more users to use RISC OS - please note that "RISC OS Laptops" are pretty expensive, that is usually cost more than an IYONIX pc. I'm not happy at all that with the Virtual RISC OS systems running old 26 bit RISC OS 4! Castle started the 32 Bit for RISC OS with RISC OS 5 but it seems that too many companies offering things for RISC OS don't care to follow on into the new RISC OS arena which makes use of new processors and the like possible.

Hi developers, please keep up making your apps available for 32 Bit, that is for real RISC OS hardware! And Hi RISCOS Ltd please start developing your Select modules so that they can be used on RISC OS 5 - I'm sure that quite a few of the Select enhancements can be written as a lodeable module.

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 08/12/03 5:05PM
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Spriteman: as far as Apple iBooks go, I don't. A truly horrible prettified GUI locking you out of BSD is not my idea of fun computing. And I've been down the road of selling Macs because they weren't Windows. And been absolutely stitched up like a kipper and left hanging out to dry when the support suddenly disappeared. I happily sell FSC kit. It works, and is well built. If it goes wrong, a Siemens bod goes and fixes it. So it runs Windows, but that's what my customers want. I can sell a naked server for under 500 quid, though, if you want to run BSD on it.

 is a RISC OS Usermikeg on 08/12/03 10:17PM
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"Locking you out of BSD"? Ok, I'm no fan of the MacOS GUI, but that it locks you out of the underlying OS is simply not true. It gives you precisely as much access as I'd expect to see on any other Unix system, which quickly becomes evident if you see any advanced user using MacOS X for a while.

It's the kind of functionality I would like to see in RISC OS, and is a far cry from putting an OS on top of such an outdated system as DOS.

 is a RISC OS Usermrchocky on 09/12/03 09:36AM
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MikeG: No GUI pleases everyone (here's to more choice!) and Mac OS X is the same. But don't go judging a book by its cover: yes the Mac OS X GUI is very simple (deliberately so), but in no way does that lock you out of the BSD layer should you choose to use it.

I have a minimum of two terminals open on my main Mac OS X machine (one running irssi admittedly ;) and hardly ever use the finder as I prefer to use zsh as my navigation tool of choice. In fact Apple have gone out their way to provide support for people wishing to use the unixness of the thing, adding extra command line tools to support macisms (such as the commands open, osascript, pbcopy/pbpaste and so on) providing app notes on how to port unix apps to work on Darwin (the name for the BSD layer) and providing support for the DarwinPorts project which makes it easy to fetch and install unix stuff. And then there's Apple's X11 support....

Look. I don't care if you like RISC OS, Mac OS X, Windows, X11, or whatever. But if you're going to critisise a platform, at least be accurate. This isn't /. you know.

 is a RISC OS UserDougal on 09/12/03 09:57AM
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No idea if anyone is still reading, but one thing frequently mentioned about the laptop situation is the inability to source cases. However, one wonders how these people manage it: [link]

Unlike other Linux laptop vendors who may give their products new names, but who also identify the original model as being a Sony Vaio or IBM Thinkpad (and so on), these people seem to be building their own. Come to think of it, there are lots of minor vendors in Britain who sell laptops. So is it just a case (yes, pun intended) of those vendors buying complete systems from Taiwan and slapping their name on it, or is it something that the RISC OS manufacturers could have worked with?

Having seen what I'd call "third-tier" vendor laptops, it's tempting to think that some British vendors actually do assemble their own, because I think the Taiwanese original equipment manufacturers would be embarrassed if they found that they'd produced the badly-made models concerned.

 is a RISC OS Userguestx on 17/12/03 3:19PM
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