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Realname: Tony Still
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On Get an Archimedes pin badge for Xmas - for 25 quid:

Cor, I've got one of these. It's in a little bag on my bookshelf with a RiscPC one. Now I look closer, it actually says RISC PC next to the logo - that might make it worth even more, given how important the difference seems to be ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 11/12/08 9:45PM
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On New RISC OS ownership claim may derail ROOL RiscPC ROM release:

Random things that I seem to remember that could be relevant: * ROL used to pay royalties to Pace on sales and then paid, or argued about not paying, same to Castle. * Looking for ROL's accounts and only finding some several years old; this was a while ago. But maybe they just stopped putting them on their website (the attraction was that they used to say how many copies of RO they had sold in the year).

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 11/12/08 6:37PM
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On Christmas 2008 show photos:

Nice pictures; taken with some thought which is good to see. Sounds like a pleasant, friendly show too.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 8/12/08 10:48AM
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On Iyonix range taken off the market:

Well I have enjoyed (and continue to), my Iyonix (one of the first batch sold to the public) so I hope that Castle and its subsidiary companies managed to make money from the exercise. When it was released, it was the machine we all said we wanted (remember the miracle that 32-bit RISC OS represented at that time, for instance) but I fear less people bought it than had said they wanted it; the inevitable price premium of low-volume manufacture versus Far-Eastern PCs didn't help either.

Sadly rjek's comment about lack of grunt becomes more true with every year that passes (hard to believe that my machine is coming up to its 6th birthday) but it still does some things perfectly well. The demands of modern web sites/browsers is an especial issue for me. As I said, it's been a fun ride so far.

And welcome back Drobe!

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 28/9/08 7:00PM
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On PDF import support for ArtWorks:

Yes, this is good news. AW was becoming a 'one-way' package for me as I could create and export but I could never move drawings back into it. This will be a great collaboration tool as Macs, for example, can produce anything they do in PDF; makes it practical to bat files back and forth and generally behave like an equal citizen with other platforms. AW remains a jewel in RO's crown!

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 13/4/08 11:00PM
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On Icon Technology boss Mike Glover retires:

Very best wishes to Mike in his retirement. Easiwriter/Techwriter have always been one of RO's great assets, not least for dealing with those horrible Word documents, so thanks for leaving them in safe and competent hands.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 2/3/08 5:06PM
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On Create your own wall calender on RISC OS:

I have never seen Calibre before but it looks very useful. I shall certainly have a look - isnt it nice to discover a 'new' piece of useful RO software, find it's 32-bit capable and then not have to pay for it! Thanks for the article and, in advance, to Ray for the software.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 12/1/08 5:00PM
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On New TechWriter features bonus style finder:

In reply to epistaxsis: I do quite like the stone effect but, hastily 'cos I really don't want to start a silly discussion on styles and persional taste, I also like my Mac. Acqua is fine on the Mac but I like RO with its simple squares and textures more.

And I'm not going to say anything more on GUI comparisons ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 24/10/07 9:13PM
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On Archive magazine reviewed:

It is only the editorial that lacks caps, thankfully. I hate it too.

However, the rest of the magazine is the usual Archive fare and seems to sustain the normal high quality (hmm, that was all meant to be complimentary, lest it sound like faint praise). I've said it before but I'm relieved that Archive is in safe hands.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 23/10/07 9:23PM
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On New TechWriter features bonus style finder:

Excellent! This will be very useful in sorting out those silly little formatting errors.

I trust the faux-Mac look is not standard though - I like RO to look like RO and Acqua to be kept firmly on Mr Jobs' boxes.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 23/10/07 9:07PM
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On News in brief:

Um, yes, there are still people out here :-)

New games link - that's worth being out here for.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 2/9/07 9:58PM
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On Christmas 2007 show announced:

This is the ex-Rover Cars design centre and associated museum. In fact, I fancy Land Rover's technical centre might still be there. Good museum for petrol-heads and others, concentrating on British cars, so something else good to do on the day (if you can drag yourself away from the RO crowd).

I've not been to an event there but it should be an excellent venue. About 5 minutes from the M40 junction so good communications too.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 11/8/07 5:11PM
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On South East show date for 2007 revealed:

One of the stalwarts of the calendar, it's always been good when I've attended too. Well done all for organising it, I look forward to it.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 8/7/07 9:36PM
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On Archive ed Paul quits magazine:

My heart sank when I read the first few words of this in Archive earlier in the week. However, if anyone is capable of continuing the magazine with quality and style, it's Jim. So well done and thanks to Paul for all those years and for securing the succession.

But please Jim, find the shift key. I don't think I could cope with Archive all in lower case :-)

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 23/6/07 7:41PM
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On Oregano 3 scrapped:

I'm really disappointed as I thought we would get a competent browser with a number of important plug-ins included (eg Flash). Though druck is right about money and non-commercial developments, donations might just work for O3. But the minimum five figure sum is UKP10k, which is 200 people at UKP50 each; could that really be raised?

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 24/04/07 9:04PM
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On Why can't we all just get along?:

Excellent article and some good points.

I too have abandoned c.s.a but find the Iyonix list generally useful, constructive and friendly. This was dented by one recent thread but I personally don't intend to be put off by a single instance; these things are what we make them. I'm pleased to say that I find Drobe generally good too (hope I'm not tempting fate here!).

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 22/4/07 9:37PM
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On Select low-level emulator in development:

I do agree with lym, AMS and jess that this is useful. Indeed, if the two RO threads are to remain divorced then it is the right thing to do. What appalls me is the waste in doing these things twice when we're so short of developments in the first place. I'm afraid I was just depressed by it all this morning :-(

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 22/4/07 9:29PM
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On Select low-level emulator in development:

I remain disappointed by the lack of co-operation between the two threads of RO development; actually, 'disappointed' is rather too weak a word but never mind.

Assuming that this will continue, the type of development described here is a useful second-best: The ultimate aim goal for the OS is to support application software that lets users achieve their needs for the computer. Anything that converges the facilities available on the two threads of RO helps developers to to address a bigger market more efficiently.

Otherwise, developers will likely target something that looks like RO 4.02 (or maybe older), wasting much of the more recent OS development and giving users an inferior overall product. Which would be a waste. So three (muted) cheers for John-Mark.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 22/4/07 11:11AM
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On News in brief:

Blimey! I thought the idea of such open projects was that several people contributed and that seems to be what Thomas and Herbert did. And I must admit I read the Iyonix list item as meaning that Peter was 'away' for an indefinite period so rather assumed that we would hear when (or indeed if) he became active again.

Ah, I see, we have heard; welcome back Peter.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 19/4/07 6:50PM
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On ArtWorks 2.7 features revealed:

So does Martin's work for Xara mean that he might be inspired to add bevels to Artworks? This is a pseudo-3D effect that I would really like because it gives a quick way of achieving some very 'modern' effects. I have asked before but there's no harm in reminders :-)

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 20/3/07 10:43PM
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On ArtWorks 2.7 features revealed:

Agree with everyone's positive comments! Under Martin's stewardship Artworks has really blossomed; I always thought that CC had produced a great skeleton but that it was weak on features. Martin has cured that with a vengeance - I produced my first ever professional print job recently, designed in AW, including text areas, exported to PDF directly by AW.

Total non-event: The printers asked for a two-up master which AW did with no effort; they loaded it onto their PC-based system and there it was done, just as it looked on the Iyonix's screen. Classy piece of software.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 14/3/07 8:57PM
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On Firefox 2 install guide published:

I think "band-aid" is a good description for what Paul has done. And, like any first aid, it makes its contribution not by curing the patient but by keeping him/her alive long enough for proper medical procedures to be applied. As such, it makes a valuable contribution.

Paul's tutorial will hopefully allow more RO users to get FF working. They will then be more likely to persist with the platform and to contribute money for further FF development. I'd like to think that this will help Peter counter his "apathy" as he sees increased, concrete enthusiasm for what he is doing.

I certainly benefited from earlier advice in getting FF running on my Iyonix so I have to applaud Paul, despite understanding Peter's fundamental concerns.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 10/3/07 2:49PM
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On RiscPkg author publishes new coding book:

Well done Graham. I guess that many of us know how tedious writing documentation can be, yet it is (IMHO) essential in making things easier for others to use. Without good documentation it becomes much more time-consuming to exploit facilities, making it less likely to happen.

Availability in physical book form is a bonus, to me anyway, as it makes it more accesible (away from the computer, that is) and frees screen real-estate when actually working.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 25/2/07 10:51AM
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On Freeware Insignia renamed and back online:

In reply to hzn: Thanks for the tip. Both the font problem and the Starburst problem now fixed on the Iyonix here.

Lovely little application, very sophisticated results very easily; this is a nice gadget to show off RO with.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 18/1/07 6:54PM
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On Freeware Insignia renamed and back online:

In reply to epistaxsis: Thanks for the reply but I can only see the workround for font problem.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 15/1/07 9:37PM
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On Freeware Insignia renamed and back online:

Excellent, now I have it at last! It does produce some very classy effects.

I have two problems here: The Iyonix/RO5 font change bug and a 'Sprite not found' followed by crash when I try to use the Starburst after effect. Just me?

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 14/1/07 7:01PM
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On 32bit Insignia released for free:

I went to buy this program from Cerilica at a show several years ago but then decided to wait for the 32-bit version. Imagine my pleasurable surprise then when it appeared as not only 26/32-bit neutral but free as well.

Imagine my frustration that I didn't get there in time; I do hope it reappears!

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 10/1/07 10:55PM
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On Playing with prime numbers on RISC OS:

In reply to rjek, Martin, Thanks for the tip re DVD copies. For UKP3.50 they're too good to miss.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 8/1/07 8:44PM
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On The best of the Microdigital Mico manual:

In reply to jc: I appreciate your approach to incomplete machines. It's funny how memory plays tricks: I realised I should have done a little research before making my previous comments. Looking on the Archive CD, I can't actually find a real review; just lots of previews, show reports and interviews. Your approach may have been common and we should perhaps have learned from it...

However, in January 2000, there was this attribution to David Atkins that bears repeating: "He is also keen to only advertise things he can actually sell rather than pre-selling computers that won't see the light of day for several months." Computers that wouldn't see the light of day for several years were excluded, I guess.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 7/1/07 7:12PM
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On Playing with prime numbers on RISC OS:

I missed the programme on Christmas Day so thanks for this summary and other interesting stuff. Very well written too. Anything that stimulates interest in maths is important when it seems increasingly marginalised.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 7/1/07 5:15PM
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On The best of the Microdigital Mico manual:

What puzzles me is why (to the best of my memory) none of this came out when the machine was new. I remember reading reviews that left me with the feeling that the machine was nothing special; I don't remember it being panned for having such appaling "parts" (the manual is, IMHO, pretty important).

I (and I guess many others) rely on reviews and reviewers to give a clear and factual run-down of products. This, and the Omega saga, is an indication that "being kind" is not good for the market in the long run.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 7/1/07 4:44PM
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On Best of 2006 awards results:

In reply to rjek: I believe we are talking here of an optimisation achieved by giving the compiler licence to use a wider set of instructions (ie including those found only on the XScale). Such an optimisation is quite different to one achieved by changes to the program logic.

Optimisation through logic or algorithm changes can indeed be unwise if done early in the development cycle. I can see no reason why using the compiler's optimisations is a problem for any release though and I think that's what Peter did. I stand by my statement that using all the speed related optimisations is a reasonable approach; indeed, the A9 incompatibility did bring a performance improvement, albeit a tiny one.

My speculation (and I'm no better informed than anyone else here) is that the gain from that particular optimisation was disappointing; the trade-off between improved performance and improved compatibility then became obvious, leading to the A9 compatible release that quickly followed. I could be completely wrong, of course, but I still think rational reasons are more likely than spite from Peter.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 1/1/07 12:23PM
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On Best of 2006 awards results:

In reply to rjek: As you say, we don't know Peter's reasons. However, I think spite is unlikely. Isn't it more likely that, since we know he was in pursuit of better performance, he just used all the optimisation switches? This would be a reasonable approach from someone intending to come back to fine tuning later (which is consistent with the latest release being A9 compatible, AIUI).

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 31/12/06 7:11PM
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On Merry Christmas:

An honorary mention in the Drobe awards for Drobe, methinks. Well done Chris and all. And calling that nice young lady "tarty" was just plain mean.

Happy Christmas, RISC OS people: We're still alive and kicking!

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 24/12/06 11:12PM
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On Gimp-Print sequel port planned for March:

Pleased to hear this. Printer compatiblity is, IMHO, RO's "other" big problem so it's good that it's getting some attention.

Gimp print was, personally, a disappointment 'cos it didn't support my printer :-) Here's hoping for second-time lucky!

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 21/12/06 10:18PM
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On First release of unofficial open source SharedCLibrary:

In reply to lym: Absolutely. This proliferation of versions of OS and OS components is a nightmare for testing and support.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 21/12/06 10:08PM
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On Best of 2006 awards voting now open:

In reply to AW: Well, I did actually nominate Chris but either no-one else did or he modestly removed himself. I agree that Drobe makes a big contribution to the platform.

As for Louie Smith, I guess we all forgot :-( Still, it might mean more next year.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 18/12/06 9:30PM
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On PostScript 3 driver mulled:

This is good news. I bought my LJ6 when I believed that PS would be the *answer* to RO printing woes. Instead, it often fails to print anything from the PS driver and gets used in PCL mode instead. When it does manage to print from PS, the graphic quality is often better than the RO/PCL driver achieves; hence my enthusiasm for a new driver.

Now my HP (and many PS printers out there) is PS2, not 3. I presume that there is backward compatibility that will make it usable with my printer.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 10/12/06 10:12PM
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On Midlands 2006 show photos and news:

Thanks for the report. I always enjoyed the show in the Motorcycle Museum days but couldnt make this one.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 26/11/06 6:02PM
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On TechWriter to get Word 2k export:

I'm hoping that the new export facility will remove EW/TW's current behaviour of converting graphics to bulky bitmaps. This makes the sharing of documents for review with other Word users impractical as it effectively destroys the graphics (ie they are no longer available in their original/native form). But I may be expecting too much here.

As to the result being a surprise, I think it reflects the dominance of the format (and native application) among "other people" that we all have to deal with :-)

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 24/11/06 8:56PM
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On Drobe writer in nuke protest arrest:

Still, I suppose it's safer for the Trident missiles to be on RISC OS than Windows.

But I won't make any BSOD jokes because that would be tasteless.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 24/11/06 8:50PM
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On Techwriter feature voting ends tonight:

Oh, and I liked the photo. Nothing wrong with a bit of humour now and again.

I voted, I voted, I voted, me, me, I voted, ... ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 20/11/06 11:05PM
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On Techwriter feature voting ends tonight:

Well I voted for improved headers and footers plus widow/orphan control but not the searching. I feel that EW/TW is a word processor rather than an editor or page layout program so these (especially widow/orphan) are essential.

I also would like to see the style editor and mixed page aspects but that's just my view. Interworking with what must be the world's worst Word-processor seems important because so many people use it, I suppose they've never seen anything better.

Anyway, a mix of new features and some more bug-fixes will work for me!

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 20/11/06 11:03PM
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On Firefox 2 will be Iyonix-only:

This *is* good news. I'm particularly pleased that it is already working; I admire Peter for keeping his head down and getting on with the job, then popping up when he's sure he can deliver.

This really is a key issue for the platform, it could be make or break for many users. I hope we end up with this and O3, giving us a choice in what is likely to be an imperfect world.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 15/11/06 10:25PM
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On ROL calls for Select coders and testers:

In reply to diomus: Thanks Chris. So (but it's probably academic) source could be offered both into RO4/6 and RO5 from a single implementation.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 13/11/06 6:42PM
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On ROL calls for Select coders and testers:

I can't see this announcement on the ROL website but I guess the obvious question is how the IPR will work. If someone "works at source code level", who owns that work and what can they do with it?

I guess it's too much to hope that one of things that could be done is to offer it back to ROO (and, indeed, vice versa) :-(

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 12/11/06 5:57PM
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On Punters to vote on TechWriter future:

Good list of possible enhancements. As already discussed, import and export are continuing necessities so a better quality MS Word export (around graphics especially) will be welcome.

The other feature that I have long wanted (and which is on MWs list) is Style definition by dialogue rather than by example (as it were). It may just be because I'm used to doing it that way but I find it easier when initially planning a document to specify styles rather than create examples. I guess both methods have their place and, if this is implemented, we'll have both.

I would also like to add my support to the thought that continuing enhancement/maintenance of this strategically important program is actually the most valuable feature of all.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 5/11/06 6:09PM
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On South East 2006 show videos:

Sorry highlandcattle - having reread your comment I realise you had already said what's in my middle paragraph. Still interested in any solutions to the rest of my post though.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 31/10/06 10:01PM
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On South East 2006 show videos:

Is there a route into an existing Replay CODEC from any "modern" video format? Preferably one that does not need some expensive/rare/26-bit only piece of hardware.

I know that wouldn't solve the hosting problem but we might find some helpful RO-friendly site to do that - the bandwidth demands for Replay would, sadly, not be high after all.

I have a pristine copy of the Replay Starter Kit here but it's all so horribly dated - it assumes analogue video cameras through dedicated podules. If we had an importer front-end (in software) we could consume video captured (or transcoded) using other systems (like a DV camera through a Mac or whatever).

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 31/10/06 9:59PM
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On HSBC embraces NetSurf and RISC OS:

That's impressive - well the Midland (I mean HSBC).

It's particularly good in the light of my current experience with Barclays who won't let me make telephone banking transactions (talking to real people) on my Debit Card. The money is there but they just won't let me spend it. They queried a transaction a while back with R-Comp, I now wonder whether that was the bank's fault too. Coupled with the problems various Iyonix users have had trying to purchase the RO5.12 update, that turned out not to be a RO issue, you wonder whether the security systems are taking over.

Or maybe I'm turning into a conspiracy theorist ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 27/10/06 9:04PM
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On RISC OS 5.12 released with price tag:

This seems a reasonable deal to me. Of course, Id rater not pay UKP69, but I have had a long run of free upgrades - many of which that have brought enhancements as well as bug fixes - and there is a clear offer of more to come without further payment.

If Castle are to continue to produce RO5 upgrades (very desirable), to do these on a 'small but often' basis (good for Iyonix owners) and to earn revenue (essential for a commercial company), this "step in time" approach seems sound. The customer gets a concrete product immediately (can software be concrete?) and a promise of service for some period into the future; that promise is non-specific but can be judged against Castle's track record.

As a scheme, it's no worse than a Microsoft or Apple OS upgrade and better than some models we have seen.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 14/10/06 9:38AM
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On R-Comp Dad suffers 'major' heart attack:

The R-Comp team are reliable regulars at the RO shows, always cheerful and friendly. I have often chatted with all of them so my very best wises to Allan for a quick recovery. Having sadly lost my own father last month I can empathise with both Andrew and Diane - it's a stressful time but I hope he's back on his feet soon.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 13/10/06 11:14PM
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On New Acorn reveals PC laptop website:

Hum - I can't seem to submit comments with Oregano2 any more. I thought it was a temporary site problem but it's happened several times and (whisper it soft) it works from Safari :-(

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 6/9/06 11:12PM
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On New Acorn reveals PC laptop website:

I found the article both interesting and informative. True, it has nothing to do with RISC OS but I retain some nostalgia for Acorn and am interested (if a little saddened) to see where the brand is going).

It's interesting that the 'new' company regard the name as an asset after such a long break. I think most of us RO users have had the experience of nedding to reference back to the Beeb to explain who Acorn are/were - not the most contemporary of references. And Castle considered that a "clean break" from the Acorn name was best for them when they launched the Iyonix.

I still wish the newcomers well though - at least the machines are assembled in the UK.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 6/9/06 11:10PM
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On RISC OS 4 caught on Mac OS X:

Well, this is tempting for someone who has just bought a MacBook - having finally given up waiting for a RISCStation Portable ;-)

I do find all my doubts about emulation reawakened though: Presumably one has to buy a new RO licence to run on it (remembering all the discussions about how ROM sets are only licensed to run in their original hardware).

I also get a 'what's the point' feeling. I have been a RO fan for years and it has been my main OS in all that time. Using it as the actual operating OS on my Iyonix is one thing but is it worth hobbling the performance of my MacBook with an emulator? I find Windows dreary and poorly designed so running away from that makes sense but MacOS is much better. I suppose it gets familiar and pleasant RO applications onto a mobile platform.

I do agree with hEgelia about Macs being a better substitute for RO but that just makes these questions harder to answer.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 29/8/06 12:04AM
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On New Iyonixes shipping with Nvidia FX52 cards:

Following on from the doom-mongering over RoHS, this is good news. It's also pleasing that RO5 development is still happening.

Perversely, I'm almost pleased that Castle are to charge for future upgrades too. We've had a lot of upgrades at no additional cost (I've had all 11) and the revenue from Iyonix hardware sales must have waned since the early rush. That may well mean a choice between establishing a new revenue stream from chargeable upgrades and cutting back on OS development. If that is the case, I hope sufficient people will be moved to buy the upgrades.

I await pricing with interest!

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 19/8/06 11:28PM
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On ROL: Adjust figures looking swell:

How do non-Adjust owning application programmers get access to programming information about Adjust? Without the availability of this information, it's just not practical to use these APIs.

And I would buy Adjust (probably) if it ran on my main (Iyonix) machine - I'm unlikely to buy it simply as a way of obtaining it's API details. I don't want to reopen that argument but we do need to recognise that, whilst our OS remains forked, there are many disincentives to programming for any standard beyond RO 4.02/5.xx. Inability to obtain vital information without buying products (that are of marginal utility to some of us) is just one more.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 1/8/06 7:50PM
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On Euro 2006 show report:

Not keen on the Filer toolbar. One of RO's strong points (IMHO) is that the display real-estate is offered to the user for his/her work, not compromised by menu bars ad tool bars. The icons here also seem to include the 'Display' options - if Select still only offers a system-wide, not per-directory, choice of these, they seem particularly wasteful.

Keyboard short-cuts are welcome though. I believe they've only been available as 3rd party add-ons until now.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 25/6/06 3:47PM
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On ROL: Giving Select 4 date is tricky:

In reply to AMS:

Oh wouldn't that be nice: RO Ltd sell their enhancements back to Castle and the forks thereby merge. Can't see it happening though.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 23/6/06 11:36PM
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On Punter bitten by fraudsters after using R-Comp site:

In reply to arawnsley:

"Be careful what you wish for"...I think Andrew is very wise to make this change - the usual responsive R-Comp approach.

Now we must all remember that, should secure ordering prove a pain, it's what we asked for so we can't complain. Or we could pick up the phone and talk directly to the nice folks at R-Comp, of course.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 23/6/06 11:21PM
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On TEK 1608 in 32bit rumour:

Good luck to DeathDawn, looks like it'll be fun to play when it's matured a little.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 20/6/06 10:18PM
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On Punter bitten by fraudsters after using R-Comp site:

In reply to Wakeman: I obviously didn't make myself entirely clear but the post was already getting quite long. I had just placed an order, by E-Mail, with R-Comp before my Credit Card company called me. They said explicitly that the transaction that prompted the call was the one with R-Comp and explained that, given such a transaction, they also check a couple before and after. I think we can all see the sense in this.

And if they weren't my card company then they had access to all that company's security systems. I'm not embelishing the truth here.

Let me restate that there was no fraudulent transaction and no blame (whatsoever) on R-Comp. The fact remains that there is potential for fraud and, in my case, there was clearly concern at the card company. I was close to Spacetech when credit card fraudsters took them down and I saw the pain it caused - I don't want Andrew and co going the same way, either directly or through loss of customer confidence. Prevention is a whole lot better than cure.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 19/6/06 8:59PM
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On Punter bitten by fraudsters after using R-Comp site:

Sorry - when I said "Internet payment", I meant an Internet order, of course, which contained my card number. That *wasn't* via the form on their site though, though R-Comp was definitely the issue.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 18/6/06 9:15PM
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On Punter bitten by fraudsters after using R-Comp site:

Interestingly, I had a phone call from my Credit Card company earlier in the year. They wanted to check with me about several transactions but said that the one concerning them was an Internet payment to R-Comp.

Now this was a legit transaction and there was no problem. However, it presumably arose because of monitoring, perhaps because of issues similar to those in this article.

R-Comp are the innocent party in all of this but, given the malicious intent of others, would probably be well advised to implement some security. In the meantime, there are plenty of other ways to order from them if anyone has concerns. It was Internet fraud that took down Spacetech, let's not let it (or fear of it) damage another important RISC OS supplier.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 18/6/06 9:10PM
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On New version of GCC for RISC OS released:

I think "still-born" would mean DOA. Firefox is far from that, though it's also not finished. Personally, I read into Peter's writings on the subject a *possibility* that he might yet return to it. Let's hope so.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 18/6/06 9:00PM
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On ArtWorks in World Cup special offer:

Another free upgrade to OPro. Not bad for someone who's actully withdrawing from the platform - thanks are due to David Pilling.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 9/6/06 11:09PM
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On Developers divided over RISC OS 4 code checking:

In reply to jmb: Firstly, I agree with your take-home point and did not mean to imply otherwise (in fact, I think I said the same thing).

I also did not mean to imply that the linker (and I should have said that I was talking about the Acorn/Castle linker) produces anything but legal AIF headers. It actually produces headers that are "old-style 26-bit AIF" headers (I quote from the AIF format as defined in the [Acorn, paper] Desktop Tools manual).

The point I'm trying to make is that if we're going to do this (and it does provide a cleaner mechanism than RO5 of dealing with incompatible applications), we need to define the *actual* compatibility of apps. Using a flag defined as "32-bit...may not execute correctly in a 26-bit mode" (same source as above) for 26/32-bit neutral applications is misleading and potentially a problem in the future. To emphasise, we will need a 32-bit only flag and this appears to be what the current standard provides, *not* a 26/32-bit neutral flag.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 7/6/06 9:25AM
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On Don't rely on Drobe, says R-Comp:

I am a great supporter of freedom of speech in general and Drobe in particular but...

In this case, I think we have a case of over-sensitivity. Just like the tabloid press really: It's fine to pry into other peoples' affairs but, should they do it to you, it's straight onto the high-horse and time to deplore the fall in moral standards.

Keep up the good work Chris ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 6/6/06 11:01PM
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On Developers divided over RISC OS 4 code checking:

I have two problems with what has apparently been done:

1. As druck has already hinted, this is the third step of the process but the first two have been missed; firstly we do not have the tools to produce "valid" AIF headers - the Linker does not put in the 32-bit value (or the 26-bit) as far as I can see. So we have no tools to produce valid headers (of course they can be produced manually but that is error-prone). Then we have not had a period of notice to allow us to, for instance, protest that the tool kit hasn't caught up.

2. The Acorn recommendation does not actually entirely foresee the current situation: It does not have a setting for 26/32-bit neutral. Hence, setting the header for 32-bit could be construed as denying usage to 26-bit machines. Now this point is a little academic (because the 26-bit versions of the OS don't check) but important if we are to change across the board. What will future 26-bit builds from ROL's converged (single) source-tree do? Will they insist on 26-bit compatibility?

So what to do? Firstly, surely it would be sensible for A9home builds merely to ask 'Are you sure?' when an attempt is made to run an application that is not specifically marked as 32-bit compatible. If the Iyonix/RO5 example is anything to go by, in a year's time there will still be enhancement OS versions being issued and *they* can be the vehicle to introduce this checking, thus buying the time I've already referred to. Then we need a user-friendly tool to allow applications proven as compatible to be marked as such; this isn't difficult but it does need to be *right*!

Finally, how about Castle and ROL agree a standard header that permits 26/32-bit neutral marking too? Then all versions of the OS can gradually introduce compatibility checking should it be useful.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 6/6/06 10:47PM
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On Chuckie Egg returns as 32bit compatible:

In reply to Footie: That wasn't a complaint about the vector fonts - I think it's a great nod to modernity.

And Stewy - I'd quite forgotten Conqueror, great game. Now it's sitting here on the shelf (next to Lemmings and Zarch - really). I might just have to fire up Aemulor and hope for the best :-)

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 30/5/06 10:47PM
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On Chuckie Egg returns as 32bit compatible:

Runs fine at 1280x1024 on Iyonix here. Great nostalgia trip but a bit of a shock seeing those nice vector fonts on somehting that has no right to be anything but blocky.

Good job guys, dare we look forward to some more classics? Aviator, anybody?

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 29/5/06 8:39PM
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On ROS app could scupper encryption law:

I thought that the UK, as opposed to US, legislation demanded only that encryption keys be handed over. The possession of encrypted files would not be an offence, only the refusal to decrypt them. Nonetheless, this is hugely prone to problems (I'm just hosting the files for my friend whose hard drive is full...).

We should also remember that many (most) RO users also possess encryption software. An example that's easy to forget is David Pilling's SparkFS that can encrypt as well as compress. And why might that be useful? Suppose one has information of commercial value on a computer (say, the source code of a commercial program) and that computer is used by some else, or used at a computer show, or returned to a dealer for repair/upgrade - would it not be a good idea to encrypt that data if it was impractical to remove it?

Or those photos of your ex- that have sentimental value but that you wouldn't want your current partner to see because they would upset him/her? Now that would be a good one to explain: "They're photos but I don't want you to see them and I don't want to tell you why...". Good law has little choice but to assume innocence until proven otherwise.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 23/5/06 10:10PM
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On RISC OS 3 caught running on Amiga hardware:

Now Cineroma as a product (ie not bundled with either flavour of OS) might make sense. Perhaps Castle could 'incentivise' it and then spin it off in the way they have Oregano 3? That way, maybe we could all have it.

It still seems a shame to me that we can't have other CODECs for Replay but maybe that's old hat now. Not that a lot of apps support Replay anyway but that's a vicious circle.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 21/5/06 6:28PM
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On RISC OS 3 caught running on Amiga hardware:

Videos are a good idea. Shame we can't watch them. Still, once we get Select on Iyonix at least we'll have buttons with round corners.

This is a real weakness of RISC OS, one of our OS providers should address this; or maybe Oregano 3 will help (he said, more in hope than expectation). :-(

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 21/5/06 5:00PM
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On Plan to save users' marriages shelved:

No, I'm baffled by this. If I want a MacOS look and feel, I'll use MacOS on my other half's iBook - it's currently sitting about 60cm from the Iyonix that I'm typing this on.

I like Macs (though I liked them better before MacOS X lost some of their legendary consistency) but I choose to use RISC OS because its interface is better. Improve it by all means but do it in a RISC OS fashion (though that's harder than just copying, of course). Dare I say 'Merlin'?

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 19/5/06 10:29PM
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On Acorn is a legendary brand says new Acorn:

I know we should treat it with caution because they're selling but their remarks on brand recognition are ironic: 25% more recognised as a PC brand than the nearest competitor - and this is the brand that Castle deliberately discarded for the Iyonix.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 15/5/06 9:45PM
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On ArtWorks 2.6 released:

I agree with Stewy - the real-time fills are a genuine 'Wow' factor to play with, and they have real utility in using AW too. Plus, the upgrade brings with it the new AWRender that upgrades TechWriter, Impression, etc (and OHP!) to display transparency in AW drawings. It's not often that you get one update that improves a whole raft of applications.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 12/5/06 10:10PM
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On Mystery image app to demo at Wakefield:

So if it is Imagemagick then that's a command-line tool that presents an API to using applications. So the using application could be a RISC OS WIMP program? Bit more than a wrapper, perhaps?

I don't know but I am looking forward to finding out. R-Comp should surely be complimented for releasing new software and we should only criticise if it turns out to be bad software. Their track record, I think, suggests it is likely to be workmanlike at worst and it may be rather good.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 12/5/06 10:04PM
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On RiScript in delivery delay shame:

Perhaps I'm in the minority but my RiScript experience has been fine. The download id arrived promptly, I was able to download the most recent update and the program has run fine on the Iyonix here.

Nonetheless, I agree that protected software needs to be protected in a way that is transparent (and timely) to the paying user. As dansguardian points out, it's often the paying customers that suffer most and that can't be good for business.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 1/5/06 1:07PM
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On Dispute over 'intrusive' VRPC copy protection:

I also dislike software protection. However, VA are clear that their product includes it and that's their right. If you want the product then that's a feature of it. If you want the product, you have to pay for it; anything else is morally indefensible and theft.

I can't see any shades of grey here. Any company can go out of business or simply lose interest in a product or market, that's just life.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 30/4/06 2:58PM
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On Beta Castle C compiler released:

Good to see the compiler under continuing development. The XScale optimisations (whilst maintaining backward compatibility) seem to improve Dhrystone (being a random choice of code) by about 5%.

I'm not so sure about using a compiler badged as a Beta to build the latest RO 5 though. I also look forward to the updated documentation promised soon on the roadmap - much needed.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 24/4/06 10:32PM
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On New ArtWorks, AWRender planned for Wakefield:

I don't think I understand the economic model behind this being a chargeable item. Those that have ArtWorks don't need it; do those without AW really receive enough AW documents (that use transparency) to need to buy it?

Or is this a prelude to AWRender becoming a totally chargeable product? But that does not make sense (I think) because the idea behind a free renderer is that everyone can have it, thus fuelling demand for the (not-free) creator program - viz Acrobat, for example. After all, if people can't read documents you send them, isn't that a cue to change the way you send them, which *reduces* the demand for the creator program?

Still, kudos to Martin for providing the choice and I'll watch future developments with interest.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 17/4/06 10:29PM
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On ROL release C99 SCL to A9home users:

I think it would have been a magnanimous gesture by Castle to have allowed their existing Shared C Library to have been distributed with the A9. I frankly doubt that many people do not have a valid licence for it (you get one from a developer who distributes code that relies upon it) and it would have been a low (no?) cost contribution to the market as a whole.

It does no-one any good that scarce developer time is spent duplicating basic resources. It may be politically impossible to stop people duplicating the 32-bit OS but, surely, something like this is not damaging anyone's position :-(

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 17/4/06 10:22PM
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On Written for Qercus? Send it to Drobe:

I don't want to knock JC too much because his heart is in the right place. However, the quality of the last two or three AUs was pretty poor - to the extent that I let my ex-Acorn Publisher subscription lapse when it expired.

Since we lost AP, I believe that the best paper magazine has been Archive. Paul B has produced this about as long as we've had ARM-powered "Acorn" computers (and longer than we've had RISC OS) and it's still going strong. It's a more modest publication (no colour, small format) but the quality has always been good - perhaps this is the secret of its success.

So Paul ought to be on the list of receipients for any "orphaned" articles. I think we need at least one paper magazine to complement Drobe et al.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 8/4/06 7:43PM
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On Bluetooth support for A9home mulled:

I would very much like Bluetooth but for file transfer with 'phones and PDAs, not for wireless peripherals. The file transfer would be a genuinely new capability for RISC OS. For me, that would need to be a USB Bluetooth 'dongle' as I'd want it on my Iyonix.

I'm not personally convinced of the need for wireless keyboards and mice on conventional computers - the wires don't bother me whilst batteries and RF (with its privacy/security and interference issues) seem too high a penalty. Set-top boxes and the like that will be in non-traditional (for a computer) locations are a different matter, of course. On that note, I see that Apple are now bundling a remote control with their Mac Mini, presumably in a bid to capture some DVD player (and PVR etc) market-share.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 5/4/06 9:14PM
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On Speak open sourced:

In reply to helpful: I take back 'bah' - pleased to hear that, thanks. I bought Speak several years ago and was pleasantly surprised to get a 32-bit update at no cost. Now there's another update coming, excellent!

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 4/4/06 9:27PM
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On Speak open sourced:

If I'm reading it correctly, the version that has been open-sourced is a later version for LINUX and written in C++. Which means that it can't be used on RISC OS unless it is ported back? Bah!

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 3/4/06 9:12PM
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On Unix Porting Project issues refunds:

I do hope Peter returns to this port because he has achieved great things with it. He has done everything he said he would (and more) but its current Beta status explains some troublesome bugs that limit its usefulness.

Nevertheless, it has saved me from borrowing my other half's Mac on a number of occasions.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 25/3/06 10:59AM
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On Geminus gains accelerated JPEG support:

I actually think that this is quite exciting. One of my major uses of the Iyonix is processing and viewing digital photos and a factor of three in speed is not to be sniffed at. OTOH, I have no use for screen rotation though I agree that it is a much more dramatic function.

Sadly, I doubt that the rotation code will get very much use since applications will not be able to rely on it being present so will have to do their own thing (as many, including OHP, already do).

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 24/3/06 9:28PM
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On Omega USB project contemplated:

I have to leap to RComp's defence here! These are the people that have given years of free support on their products.

The new Messenger subscription scheme (that I happily signed up to in an attempt to give something back for this support) promptly delivered an upgrade; followed by a bug-fix/support build about a month later; followed by the CD that dropped through the letterbox today (don't know what's on that - haven't had time to look yet).

And I agree with SimonC about Firefox. Peter had credibility, made a promise, delivered on it and then asked for the money. He's among the good guys too.

Sadly, MicroDigital never really looked likely to do the same. It all looked too much like a reiterated RO wish-list. In fact, when I first saw the Iyonix spec, I thought the same. Only when I saw one actually working did I really believe it. Perhaps there's a lesson there after all.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 28/2/06 10:36PM
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On Copying vinyl to CDs:

Audio input is one of my few disappointments with the Iyonix. I have both vinyl albums and various cassettes etc that could usefully be collected-up.

There has been much discussion on the issues but, AIUI, the major issue is getting a sufficiently high signal level. So my interest perked up with the mention above of a Maplin pre-amp ... then waned again when I saw that it is no longer available.

Just keep waiting, I guess. The vinyl's been in the loft for years now so it can't be urgent :-)

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 12/2/06 5:31PM
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On Ovation Pro on Windows overtakes RISC OS original:

It's a sad day when someone who has contributed as much as David feels it necessary to exit. However, he is above reproach because of that contribution and because we clearly all need to earn a crust.

However, I tend to agree with Andrew that there is still a demand in the market and one that is prepared to pay real money. David (IIRC) kindly updated all his software to be 26/32-bit neutral at no cost to the users; I appreciated that but maybe, in retrospect, it would have been better if he had charged for the upgrades.

I try to buy upgrades for two reasons: There is the obvious one of obtaining new features but also the less obvious of keeping the software 'current'. Current can mean big things - like running on new generation hardware - but also little things like keeping up with changes to the WIMP or Style Guide (solid drags, perhaps, is an example of something that makes old software look dated).

I very much would like to see David's software stay current; if that means chargeable updates then so be it.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 29/1/06 6:08PM
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On Web gallery apps compared:

I too use WebGen2 and find it a good tool for quickly generating pages with just enough control to customise them. Dave's support is excellent - he turned around my last problem very quickly (which is not to suggest that there are lots of problems).

I agree with the comments about the user interface though; the application is easy to use but a little "individual".

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 11/1/06 10:01PM
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On Best of 2005 awards voting open:

May I suggest that next year's awards include a 'write-in' entry for the person/product/service/other that those voting consider of special merit but which does not appear in the fixed categories.

It seems unfortunate that Chocky did not appear this year but it is easy to make mistakes and omissions. This scheme would seem to be a safety net for any such problem in the future - whatever the root cause.

Personally, I see my vote for Firefox, as Chocky's highest profile contribution, as a vote of appreciation for *all* he's done.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 28/12/05 1:29PM
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On Best of 2005 awards voting open:

In reply to mrchocky: Your contribution is valued hugely - here at least. But you do appear, in the guise of Firefox; I know 'cos I voted for you.

Your work has been hugely valuable, I'm sure (at least, I hope) no slight was intended. Please do keep up the good work.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 27/12/05 4:40PM
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On Merry Christmas:

Yup, happy New Year to all and thanks to Chris for another year of Drobe - it must be a big commitment keeping it stocked with fresh content.

Best of luck in your new career and try not to neglect Drobe too much in the pursuit of your first Pulitzer :-)

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 26/12/05 4:33PM
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On Best of 2005 awards voting open:

I guess H.323 would be a good choice as it's standards-based, or perhaps something around SIP. Skype is likely (I guess) to be a non-runner because it is (as JGZ said) proprietary.

I guess that the likes of Skype will likely grow gateways in the future, so the different standards will interwork even if they don't converge.

As to a VoIP-enabled router: I just prefer to have these things on my computer and would like RO to gain this particular capability.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 26/12/05 4:28PM
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On Best of 2005 awards voting open:

Here's to less Own Goals and more good news in 2006:

O3 released. RO 32-bit versions converge. VoIP reaches RISC OS

It's Christmas - I can dream can't I?

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 24/12/05 10:59PM
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On Christmas roadshow report:

As it's Christmas and time to be frivolous:

How come the A9home machines all need big external fans? Do they overheat or did someone just forget to allow room inside the box for the fan? What else did they forget, perhaps the CD drive? I hope they're not more noisy than an Iyonix <fx: Continue to fade>


 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 19/12/05 10:17PM
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On Iyonix Select pledge campaign reaches target:

I pledged because, like flypig, I see Iyonix Select as a step towards a unified RO. I'm pleased to see the list pass the 100 mark and that there is clearly further demand on top of that.

I wonder if I'll actually get to spend any money.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 5/12/05 10:11PM
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On Castle move to Cambridge rumoured:

In reply to mripley: I understand your concern about the fork in the OS and it saddens me too.

However, I also think that it's rather less significant to a purchasing decision. Until (unless?) the rift is healed, software authors are likely to write for that part of the OS that is common to the two forks. Since both RO 4/Select and RO 5 were developments of RO 3.8 (ie the Phoebe OS), that is not too much of a sacrifice. The most important features are in both of these. In fact, most authors actually settle for something closed to RO 3.7 because of all those non-upgraded RPCs out there.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 5/12/05 10:01PM
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On Castle move to Cambridge rumoured:

I have no inside information on this but I do suggest it might be a 'wake-up' call to anyone dithering about buying an Iyonix: Do something to help Castle's cash-flow (that means buy one if you can afford it, BTW).

There was a lot of negative feeling about Iyonix when it was launched yet you don't need to go far back in time to find a wish-list for a new RO computer (eg 32-bit modern CPU, USB, better graphics, fast bus/disc) that Iyonix met almost completely. It has delivered, it is here, I couldn't personally go back to a RPC.

I don't know if Castle are struggling - it doesn't really matter: more sales will inevitably help them. As for waiting for Iyonix 2, I frankly doubt it is imminent and it won't happen at all if Castle isn't healthy!

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 1/12/05 7:02PM
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On Archive mag compiles articles into books:

This is a good initiative from Archive. I for one will sometimes read a paper document when it is impractical (even with a laptop) to read electronic versions. The topics on offer should provide good introductory (up to advanced, in some cases) tutorials.

And for the die-hard soft copy traditionalists :-) all the material is also on the Archive CD-ROM; despite already owning that, I think a fiver is good value. Well done Paul.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 20/11/05 3:56PM
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On Software news:

Perhaps Castle need a new slogan along the lines of "Run RISC OS and you too can have a girlfriend like this"? Or maybe it's just a desktop like this :-(

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 2/11/05 9:25PM
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On Voice-over-IP on RISC OS: What's involved?:

In reply to arawnsley:

I understand your reservations about possible sales. Personally, I would prefer a RO-based solution so would buy that in preference to a hardware/router solution. I admit that that is an irrational position but it's just what I would prefer.

A pledge scheme (as suggested by rmac) might be the answer to some of the doubts though I frankly doubt that the level of ineterst would match either GIMP print or Firefox.

I'd still like it though :-)

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 31/10/05 9:34PM
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On Users to represent RISC OS at Euro mega-show:

In reply to mripley:

Sorry it's a bit off topic but any success in connecting the T5 to RO? Just locks up both the T5 and the Iyonix here. Nice ARM-based machine though, and a change from running Windows.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 30/10/05 6:16PM
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On Voice-over-IP on RISC OS: What's involved?:

I would very much like to see VoIP on RISC OS. Apart from being useful in its own right, it's also one of those technologies that one will soon need on a computer to interact with others (a bit like instant messaging - you can live without it but you'll end up questioning why you can't do it while others can).

I see this as a market opportunity but also, as I implied above, as a defence of our platform against the need to run Windows/MacOS/whatever in parallel with RISC OS.

It's also something that needs to be done right. Elements of it need to be in an open framework for other RO applications to hook into (eg the ability of a database app to offer a 'call the phone number now' button). That, and the OS implications mentioned in the article, make me wonder if Castle or ROL need to do at least some of it. Or perhaps define the framework.

I do hope we don't end up with a repeat of the USB saga and have more than one standard.

Don't I recall Acorn showing a video-conference application at a show shortly before their demise?

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 30/10/05 5:54PM
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On Midlands show dropped from calendar:

This is a real shame - it's a nice venue and has always been a good show. I usually end up buying something in the Museum's shop too (great place for petrol heads).

Oh well, fast forward to February.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 25/10/05 9:15PM
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On South East 2005 show report:

In reply to nx and spellinn: I entirely agree. The GUI and overall operation of RO is my major reason for using it and it's OK. I would rather see some new capability added to the OS.

Neil's suggestion of the filing system is a good one. If that's too "under the bonnet" then something from the Merlin list perhaps? I would like to be able to connect a webcam and video-conference for example - or just VoIP. Or some Replay improvements, or PTP natively to digital cameras perhaps. Something that would fill gaps in the basic OS functionality.

Though some of these things may sound too ambitious, a lot of the stacks are out there in the freeware world (and look what one guy has achieved with a little thing called Firefox!).

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 24/10/05 10:05PM
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On South East 2005 show report:

Sounds like a good show - shame I wasn't able to go.

I'm pleased by the comments about Easiwriter (& Techwriter): I use Easiwriter and like it a lot. However, I see little demand for a scripting language for these products. O-Pro has such a facility and it seems to me that Easiwriter and friends fit in to a bracket of producing less complex, more linear documents (if that makes sense) whose authors are less likely to need scripting and more likely to welcome ease of use or use-acceleration features (like structure bars and format colouring).

Just my three pennyworth, of course, but I'm more likely to offer money quickly for the described features.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 23/10/05 9:52PM
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On Patch released to solve Oregano 2 socket puzzle:

Funnily enough, the socket loss problem seems to have gone away here. Due to the server being sorted out, I guess. Still, it's good to have a fix.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 6/9/05 10:06PM
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On Qercus moves to in-house production:

I have to query the moderation going on in this thread. Both of John's replies have been moderated down (one to about -5 when I looked). Since the thread is about Qercus, he's the editor and he's replying to points in the thread - how can he be off topic?

Unless I've misunderstood, the moderation is not about whether one agrees with the post (or likes the poster), it's about relevance and furthering the debate. I think we should thank John for entering the debate in this somewhat critical thread.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 6/9/05 9:46PM
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On Qercus moves to in-house production:

I think there's quite a lot to prove here. I used to enjoy Acorn Publisher, it was well produced, interesting and turned up every two months. AU, it's true, had become something of a joke.

Since Qercus started, I've had the odd magazine arrive at a random time with rather mediocre content. It say a lot that my AP subscription has yet to expire.

Don't get me wrong, I wish John well and I think a news stand magazine is important to our platform (frankly, the fact that it kept RISC OS in W H Smith is the only reason I kept buying AU). However, to be credible, a magazine does need to meet certain minimum standards of production values and content quality.

Thank goodness there's still Archive for those moments when a paper magazine is more convenient than Drobe.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 5/9/05 9:07PM
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On Castle push BASIC compiler:

The manual included with the version in the C/C++ Tools package describes itself as "this Release Note as a highly abridged form of the 1991 manual plus additions". It comes as a PDF.

I write little BASIC these days and haven't used the compiler beyond checking that it runs but the information in the "Release Note" looked adequate to me. Keywords listed as not working in the compiler are: APPEND, CHAIN, LOAD, SAVE, COUNT, EVAL, SUM, WIDTH (only EVAL looks like a big loss to me and, as has already been said, it's simply not possible to compile it).

Other restrictions seem mainly to be around having only one NEXT per FOR etc, which hopefully people do anyway (sorry, C programmer here is not allowed to do otherwise so can't think in those terms).

On a brighter note, there are some minor enhancements plus some bug-fixes listed for versions produced since Oak's last release (and it's been 32-bitted, of course).

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 1/9/05 11:07PM
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On Software news:

In reply to AW:

Doom feels like, well, Doom to me. It's a long time since I played it but I didn't notice any differences, positive ot negative.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 30/8/05 10:49PM
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On Software news:

Doom runs very well on the Iyonix, nice piece of nostalgia and one FPS that I can actually cope with. The fact that it's free is a nice bonus; I guess it explains why R-Comp didn't push an update of their "official" port.

Tough on them though, given the good work they did in bringing big-name games to the platform.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 29/8/05 7:18PM
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On Firefox pledgers hold onto their cash:

This is a bit off. Peter has never asked people in general to pay for Firefox, only that sufficient people promise some money so that it's worth his while. If you didn't pledge then he's generous enough to give it away; if you did pledge (which was a free choice) then that is surely a commitment that should be honoured.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 22/8/05 9:16PM
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On ArtWorks 2.4 in summer special offer:

I don't think I'd describe Martin as "wild" but he is very helpful. As to the software, druck said it all - it's excellent and surprisingly easy to pick up for something so powerful. Multiple undo and copious interactive help make it a pleasure to experiment with.

As to the bow tie, perhaps we should sponsor Martin to wear it, with proceeds going to the Charity stand? [Sorry martin :-) ].

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 19/8/05 10:34PM
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On RiScript 5.0 released:

Well this is a YMMV then. I think it's a pretty poor website that renders badly in Oregano2. I found it all a bit clunky and I've been unable to get to the user manual despite registering, paying etc.

Looking forward to using the product though.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 13/08/05 6:29PM
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On News in brief:

I was keenly waiting for the Export to PDF but, perversely, the export directly to JPEG that Martin *has* added mostly satisfied me. I realised that I just wanted a widely-readable, compact output.

Now this is not the ideal, vector output that PDF represents but it suffices for my needs. In the future, of course, we may get PDF through another route (RiScript).

So, hands up those who would be keen for Martin to add some new and fancy graphic effects to AW instead. I think it might be time for some flashy front-end things instead of good solid "back end" engineering.

For those who have not looked closely at AW lately, it has evolved a lot in AW2 form. Martin has added a number of very useful facilities, like very flexible text block handling (not to mention transparency) and fixed a *lot* of bugs. It's not cheap but it's a very serious tool that produces high quality output.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 8/8/05 9:48PM
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On ROL tells Select users: A9 takes priority:

Reluctantly, I'm coming round to the same point of view as AMS. There is little evidence of any enthusiasm by ROL to produce an Iyonix Select. For example, I'm an Iyonix owner and a FRU subscriber (so I'm on ROL's mailing list even though not a Select subscriber) and I only know of this Iyonix pledge scheme by rumour - I've never been contacted. In fact, I thought it was 100 *subscriptions* they were after.

I'm not a marketeer but I can't understand a sales technique that relies on rumour and people seeking out your product when you have access to much of the potential customer base (where is the ROL announcement anyway - serious question?).

I also believe, and I've said this before, that the Select product for Iyonix should be something that runs on top of the Castle RO5 core. Why should the graphics and GUI facilities added in Select (and, since I'm a potential customer, my ignorance of what else is in Select is surely understandable) impact the core OS? Looked at this way, the product would not be complex to provide now (ROL are on record from a long time ago as saying that all their new development is 26/32-bit neutral).

Finally, I really think the duplication of Iyonix hardware specifics would be pointless; the only likely market is Iyonix machines that already have it.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 03/08/05 8:40PM
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On Castle introduces Iyonix cube:

UKP 799 is described as an "introductory" price but it's still good progress. I guess people upgrading from a RiscPC may well not miss the software bundle either; if they've stayed up to date they'll likely have some apps in 32-bit compatible versions already.

Since it's the standard motherboard, it should be possible to add a floppy drive if necessary (though it's not clear whether there's a bay for it).

Good news, I think.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 1/8/05 7:22PM
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On Oregano 3 survives user group meeting:


Whatever you call it (though perhaps better not anything containing 'fire' or 'fox'), I think most of us are more keen to know 'when' than 'what' :-) Chocky has raised the stakes and we look forward to your riposte.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 26/7/05 9:35PM
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On Oregano 3 survives user group meeting:

I'm with diomus here: Choice is important and sharpens the appetite on both sides to provide a good product.

I intend, assuming that it turns out to be a reasonable product, to buy Oregano3 and I've indicated so to Richard. My aspirations would be for a capable, RISC OS interface browser with some useful plug-ins, not least a more capable Flash.

I expect Firefox to grow into a capable and usable browser too though I'm open-minded on how RISC OS compliant it will be and expect it to be less well endowed with plug-ins.

However, that's just my uninformed opinion. What's more important is that we have two strings to this (IMHO) vital bow for our platform. I will be glad to use both as I currently use Oregano2 and Webster XL. I'm prepared to pay for both too, though (through Chocky's generosity) one does not *have* to pay for Firefox.

In terms of a waste of resources, either browser could represent such given the existence of the other. However, both actually leverage a huge (relatively) amount of pre-existing work so neither is comparable to what could be achieved by their respective teams if they did something completely different. I guess that neither team would be (for different reasons) so willing to do something different either.

Let's enjoy the choice, not start another version of the editor wars!

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 25/7/05 10:12PM
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On Oregano 3 survives user group meeting:

Looking forward to Oregano3 but I have to report that the Battleships game works fine here on Oregano2 :-)

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 24/7/05 10:22PM
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On Fears over Omega refund saga:

I would hate for the reputable companies in the RISC OS world to suffer because of this situation.

The Iyonix launch was a model of professionalism: Prototypes revealed to developers, then a "preview" at the Guildford show of a machine that was clearly almost finished followed by sales at the following Birmingham show from stock.

Personally I have also had nothing but impeccable service from R-Comp, Icon and Martin Wurthner (to name but three) who work to a similar policy of 'here it is, do you want to buy it?'. In fact R-Comp are not very good at taking money for their software upgrades, with many being free.

So they're not all bad, and we should support those who give good service.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 17/7/05 6:51PM
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On MicroDigital sought by bailiffs:

It says a lot for the loyalty of the RO community that people, even after all this time, were willing to support MD. However, it may be best for the situation to come to a head; the Omega is (IMHO)looking dated now. Hopefully this will free up some sales for A6 or Iyonix instead.

I do hope those with outstanding deposits are able to get their money back or this really will be a tragedy.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 11/7/05 4:48PM
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On RISC OS Firefox developments:

I downloaded the first Beta last Thursday and I'm impressed by what Peter has achieved. The browser is reasonably stable and fast enough to be usable (on Iyonix at least); it is well ahead of Oregano 2 and Webster XL in its ability to render sites.

In use it feels like an alien program running in a RISC OS window, it does crash sometimes (but not often) and it is a little slow - but this is the first Beta!

I was a little wary but I would now encourage everyone to try it. Well done Chocky, I'm off to try the second Beta.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 3/7/05 10:23PM
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On Castle USB stack tweaked for beta update:

Has anyone compared the two RISC OS USB implementations? Castle are clearly evolving theirs, though slowly. Which implementation has the widest device coverage? Which (and here's a hard one) is the most reliable?

Iyonix owners have a forced choice on their computers but anyone with a Risc PC could jump either way. So an Iyonix owner who also has a Risc PC (and I bet that's the majority)could potentially increase their total coverage by deliberately not fitting Castle to that machine. Would that be a benefit or just extra hassle?

This is the sort of job that the magazines would have done in the past but I don't recall seeing such a review.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 25/6/05 5:36PM
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On Expo 2005 show report:

Good report - thanks.

Just for fun, I tried the gmx.net page on Oregano2. Needless to say, it looks nothing like the photo. In fact, it's useless.

Roll on the new browsers!

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 20/6/05 9:46PM
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On Arcade BBS turns 15:

I used to enjoy logging onto Arcade, before I had Internet access in fact. It was a busy Acorn community and had a good atmosphere as well as a huge database of useful resources.

I drifted away to all this new fangled technology on Drobe and the like. I guess most others did too.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 19/6/05 5:46PM
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On Expo 2005 pre-show news:

Yes, I'm in the queue for RiScript too. And one or both of the new browsers.

We live in hope :-)

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 18/6/05 6:32PM
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On Web browser offerings compared:

I'm not a big fan of Webster XL (as Andrew knows) but I think RComp deserves praise for its dedication and charging. The browser continues to improve slowly, I had both 26 and 32-bit updated versions E-Mailed to me about a month ago as part of a continuing support programme from money that I paid ages (years?) ago.

As to the browser, I tend to use it when Oregano2 can't cope which means it gets a hard time. Usually, it fails too but sometimes it will succeed where Oregano can't. It is also able to save pages as Draw files which is sometimes *very* useful.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 18/03/05 9:47PM
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On South West 2005 show report:

Martin, Personally, I value the ability to use larger and larger hard drives; my OS supplier saying that I shouldn't seems a little like King Canute. However, I also feel that a RO-optimised disc format is part of it being a "real" OS. Now I admit that this is partly emotional but I wouldn't want to move to a different (ie imported) format unless and until it was shown to have clear benefits for RO running on native RO hardware.

AIUI, the alternatives quoted do not (yet?) show such clear benefits over FileCore.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 02/03/05 10:09PM
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On South West 2005 show report:

Simon, Tony, In my experience, military electronics use serial numbers in a standard way, for all the same reasons as any other manufacturer/fleet owner. Sensitive data is generally subject to a 'zeroise' button to be used if capture or compromise is imminent but the serial number is usually printed on the outside. Can't speak for the spooks, of course :-)

As to military aircraft, I refer you to 'The Military Balance' published annually by the IISS. It contains pretty-to-entirely accurate inventories of all major platforms for all nations (ie aircraft, ships, armoured vehicles etc). It's only small proportions of procurements that you can keep quiet these days and it's very hard if they're not designed and manufactured domestically.

And now back to RISC OS...

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 01/03/05 10:20PM
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On ROL surveys Select32 interest:

I think it's the words used that are confusing (since they are in quotes, I presume it's ROL's words, not Drobe's reporting, that's the problem):

"We are very interested to find out what the real level of demand is..." would seem to be best addressed to a wider community. The easiest 'wide' community is ROL's current subscription customers, viz Select and Foundation subscribers. Using the Select mailing list is choosing a subset of a subset.

Perhaps some interested party could repost the message on the Iyonix Smartgroup? *That* would reach a relevant audience.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 23/11/04 7:04PM
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On ROL surveys Select32 interest:

I'm an Iyonix owner that subscribes to Foundation RU (ROL's CD magazine) but not to Select. I thought that made me an obvious and accessible potential customer but no info received here.

Since I gather that there is no proposed list of contents available anywhere I'm not going to go looking.

So how do ROL propose to turn me into a customer for Select32?

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 21/11/04 4:50PM
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On STD defends A5 concept:

In reply to adamr: Why do I like running the RO/ARM combination? Well the original comment was in the context of a PDA/tablet so I think the answer there is obvious.

Why do I have an ARM-based desktop machine? Because I admire the elegance of the ARM architecture and I've thought that the x86 architecture was bodged (from somewhen around the 8080, let alone the 8086). I like the low power consumption (that delivers the fan-free and hence silent Iyonix, quite apart from the other benefits). I have an old-fashioned affinity to the British CPU maker and its Acorn roots. I value diversity and choice. I am appalled by how little WINTEL have achieved with all that revenue. RO/ARM does what I want to do; starts up quickly; shuts down quickly; avoids most viruses. Because I can. Hell - it's my hobby so it's my choice.

Hum, was that a rant?

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 03/08/04 9:30PM
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On Castle spills beans on ROL dispute:

In reply to mrchocky: My well-intentioned attempt to lighten the mood seemed to fall flat. However, I didn't think that the idea of RO5 on a Palm was as silly as you seemed to.

"and a suitable video system": I agree that one would need access to the Palm specs (which might be a cost issue) but it's likely to be much simpler than the Iyonix nVidia, hence a simpler job to produce the HAL. After all, the "bulk of the device driver implementation remains in the RISC OS modules" (forgive me quoting at you). So a simple underlying video system is likely to be easier to map onto. Remember that John told us that much of the Iyonix work was concerned with getting the nvidia card to intialise.

"proof of a market...to make it worthwhile": You are, of course, entirely right about this. It's a risk, made worse by the provision of hardware easily priced-up in PC World. Would the RO aficionados pay a very visible premium of (guess) UKP120? I'm pleased it wouldn't be my money being gambled on that.

Finally, at the risk of being accused of saying 'Ya boo', I was pleased and amused to see PDAs mentioned in the RO5 modernisation story. Mine was intended as a humorous aside but, remember, 2 years ago few would have believed that CTL could produce the whole RO dream: 32-bit OS, HAL, XScale, USB, PCI, modern graphics *and* a video driver. I don't think I'm damaging the market with this little dream.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 22/06/04 9:35PM
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On VA halts VirtualRiscPC deliveries:

Oh, that's embarrassing. I see you lot are way ahead of me but on the previous (STD) thread. Teach me to read things latest first.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 15/06/04 10:15PM
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On VA halts VirtualRiscPC deliveries:

Hum ... here's my speculation, it even fits some of the facts:

AIUI, RO Ltd have a licence from PACE (now from CTL, under the same conditions one presumes) for the desktop market of RISC OS. There seem to be some interpretations of this:

The A75 does not look like a desktop machine to me, so can RO Ltd license RO for it? This does not explain the A6 case except...

Does the RO licence (to RO Ltd) only include ARM-based RO machines? This could even be an innocent piece of wording in the licence that has just taken on more importance than intended.

If the ARM-based bit is correct then it's not just STD that are affected, it's all VA implementations.

Just to balance things, it's also interesting why the Iyonix did not fall under RO Ltd's bit of the licence from PACE, an argument that RO Ltd made at the time. This last has been overtaken by events of course :-)

Of course, if I was being ridiculously optimistic, I would further speculate that someone was clearing the decks for a new native "desktop" market release; as A5000 is to A4 so Iyo... nah, it's not possible is it. Interesting times.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 15/06/04 10:11PM
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On GCC 3.3.3pre1 released:

Chocky: I look forward to seeing the benchmarks. As to Norcroft, you're quite right - I coincidentally stumbled across Mycroft's web page (which credits his design input to the compiler) and had his name on my mind; didn't look right when I wrote it.

Chris: Edit in the RO5.05 ROM reacts very badly (and then crashes) to some scroll circumstances, mostly it's fine - I still use it. I gather that it was compiled with a pre-release version of the next compiler; since it is unlikely that Castle has touched the source, a compiler problem seems likely but I'm not definitive on this.

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 24/03/04 8:33PM
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On GCC 3.3.3pre1 released:

While we're being factual and constructive...

Has anyone compared the new GCC with Mycroft (the Acorn/Castle compiler)? Such a comparison would be interesting and constructive, even if the choice of benchmark was contentious.

I also gather that there may be a new release pending from Castle quite soon - I think that's what stuffed Edit in RO5.05 (all this based on a possibly incorrect conversation, so don't flame me ;-) ).

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 23/03/04 10:45PM
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