chris@dustbunny:~$ cat thisisit.txt
------------------------------------------------------------
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 888      888 oooo d8b  .ooooo.   888oooo.   .ooooo.  
 888      888 `888""8P d88' `88b  d88' `88b d88' `88b 
 888      888  888     888   888  888   888 888ooo888 
 888     d88'  888     888   888  888   888 888     
o888bood8P'   d888b    `Y8bod8P'  `Y8bod8P' `Y8bod8P' 


Dear all,

* Closure

On Monday, September 21, drobe.co.uk will turn 10 years old, marking nearly a decade of online and freely available news publishing for the RISC OS and Acorn kit-using platform. And, for many reasons and after much deliberation, it's time to take a new direction.

Drobe's RISC OS news service, which launched in October 1999, will sadly cease from Monday. Running the site has been so much fun over the years and the experience has been very rewarding - from the investigative pieces and tabloid tomfoolery to the libel writ threats and meeting up with users after shows. However, all good things must come to an end - if you'll forgive the cliche - and it's time to formally move on.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the site, you've been invaluable. Thanks go to the thousands of people who have visited the site and posted comments. And thanks must go to Drobe founder Peter Price for launching the site in the first place and to Ian Hawkins who has overseen hosting and administration of the website's servers since I took over as editor in 2001.

No more comments can be posted on articles and no articles will be altered: all the content will remain frozen online as an archive of the RISC OS platform's history after the breakup of Acorn. A collection of early articles were lost a long time ago during a redesign, but certainly the 2,400-odd articles published since the start of 2001 will remain online. The site is completely searchable via the revamped search box or via google.co.uk.

* Future

Rather than let Drobe die off completely, I'd like to turn the site into a useful resource for people who still use RISC OS. The first step is to keep all the old content online as well as the collection of datasheets and other technical documentation available from the website, plus the web-based BBC Micro emulator. If anyone would like to help out building up Drobe's online resources, please get in touch. It's quite likely this work will need to be done in collaboration or consultation with other online reference sites, such as riscos.info.

Webspace provided for users will continue as-is; users are welcome to login and upload software and other RISC OS-related material for others to download or view. We have a number of interesting sub-sites created by users, such as jeffd.drobe.co.uk, adrianl.drobe.co.uk and stoppers.drobe.co.uk.

Any updates relating to Drobe will be posted on the site's homepage and can be followed via twitter.com or an RSS reader. Anything interesting that's RISC OS or Acorn related might make it onto the feed, but it is not primarily a news service.

Finally, I'm planning to open a message board, which will use the existing threaded comments system, on the site so that users can continue to discuss RISC OS-related issues, ask questions and generally interact.

* Where to go now for RISC OS news?

Online, there's still www.iconbar.com and www.arcsite.de for news coverage. Offline, Archive magazine (www.archivemag.co.uk) is still publishing and well worth a read.

* Contact

It feels odd to become a story when the number one rule of journalism is not to become the story, but if anyone has any questions, drop me an email to chris@drobe.co.uk. If there is a problem with an article or a page on the site, let me know so I can fix it.


[Hat-tip: thanks to tlsa, gerph, jmb, rjek, kinnison and the rest of #NOTsurf for feedback and encouragement during the development of the archives site.]

Email: chris@drobe.co.uk. Drobe is published by Diodesign and friends. © 1999-2009 Team Drobe. Content made available under a Creative Commons licence. Archives