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On 'Threaded' Firefox for RISC OS build released to test:

I think there were 5 of us using RISC OS for browsing last time I checked :-)

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 8/9/09 10:26PM
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On 'Threaded' Firefox for RISC OS build released to test:

I've downloaded the threaded version and am using it presently. Not much to report so far (it's early days but it certainly seems responsive) but this evidence of Peter's continued development effort is very welcome.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 8/9/09 2:15PM
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On Firefox port updated to release number eight:

Hairy: facebook works ok on FF here. Like jess I think your installation may be faulty. You could try renaming Boot.Choices.Mozilla to old-mozilla and restarting FF. You'll lose bookmarks, cookies etc but that may get rid of the problem.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 4/9/09 9:16AM
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On Firefox port updated to release number eight:

Jess: I'm trying out Firefox with javascript disabled and I find it much more responsive than before (not quite as nimble as NetSurf but a lot closer) on this Iyonix. When I need JS, MENU-Edit-Preferences-Content allows me to select it quickly (I have this window icon permanently minimised on screen to save time). Clicking on the 'Refresh' icon then reloads the page with JS operational. So you end up with a browser that is almost as convenient as NetSurf for general browsing with the option of javascript when required.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 3/9/09 10:21AM
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On Firefox port updated to release number eight:

Hairy: clicking on your link kills my copy of FF2.0.0.21 during page opening, whether or not javascript is enabled; I can't get as far as text entry. By contrast (and OT), NetSurf 3.0r9445 not only opens the link, but seems to allow text entry (at least I was able to start the sign-in process by entering my email address). Ho hum...

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 1/9/09 6:25PM
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On Firefox port updated to release number eight:

Thanks to Peter Naulls for his continuing efforts, especially in light of the NetSurf RISC OS frontend issues. Although I'm a regular user of NetSurf test builds, Firefox's Javascript support makes it indispensible IME and with JS switched off there seems little to choose in rendering speed between this latest version and NetSurf.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 31/8/09 12:05PM
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On NetSurf on RISC OS faces axe:

"where is this pool of commercial RISC OS developers who aren't already working on other projects?": I have no idea, I'm not a programmer. But I support ArtWorks, Firefox, RISC OS 5, ROOL and other important RO developers, including financially, and I (and there may be others who also) would be willing to do the same for NetSurf if that was deemed helpful.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 8/8/09 6:46PM
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On NetSurf on RISC OS faces axe:

As was remarked in connection with another topic recently, money isn't the answer, but it helps. Maybe the NetSurf developers should consider a development fund along the lines of Peter Naulls' for Firefox. Or maybe now is the time to consider a modest commercialisation of RO NetSurf, along the following lines. Stage 1: the next stable RO release (3.0?) is offered for a minimum charge of £X, or more if the upgrader feels like supporting the work voluntarily. The resulting income supports the work of future-proofing the RO frontend. Stage 2: RO version 3.01 is then released with the upgraded frontend on the same £X+ basis. The disadvantage of this approach of course is that upgraders to 3.0 only are supporting work the benefit of which they will not receive. The above flies in the face of NetSurf's voluntary approach; obviously the best outcome would be for a true volunteer to step forward. But this browser is too important to the platform to be allowed to wither without all options being considered IMHO.

(The value of X to be set according to the amount required divided by the expected uptake).

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 8/8/09 12:59PM
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On RISC OS 5 port hopes for netbook now in production:

"The issue is not money" - no, it's not. Personally I was surprised to see (judging by contributors to the RO Open Forums) how many people got involved with the Beagleboard port and related code-enhancing. I can only conclude that the intellectual challenge is what motivates them. Maybe other erstwhile RO developers will be similarly tempted?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 31/7/09 7:46AM
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On RISC OS 5 port hopes for netbook now in production:

"Without a full fat browser i.e. Firefox, Flash and other plug-in's what use is a Netbook?" - Agreed. Flash is indeed a problem and no solution is imminent, but the other problem of RO Firefox - speed - should be addressed by the higher-performing (compared to X-Scale) Cortex-A8, and Netsurf should run like lightning. As to the chicken-and-egg argument, just having modern, portable hardware available for reasonable money and running a freely downloadable version of RISC OS can only boost interest in the platform from users and developers IMHO. Although Flash and other plugins seem a long way off, the Beagleboard OS port was not even envisaged a year ago and yet here we are with a working version thanks to the efforts and skill of some dedicated individuals.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 30/7/09 8:47AM
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On RISC OS 5 port hopes for netbook now in production:

As I understand it, the Touch Book comes in both tablet and netbook formats, the latter with a 95% full-size Querty keyboard. So while touch-screen capability would be nice, simply having a fully-portable (and powerful) RISC OS computer will be a huge step forward, no?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 26/7/09 10:04PM
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On First screenshot: Beagleboard runs RISC OS 5 desktop:

rjek: 'what would the advantage be over using one off-the-shelf'? A number of users (maybe a sufficient number to justify it commercially) might prefer to pay a premium to have a working system 'out-of-the-box', including accessory drivers and storage etc. The advantage for CTL - or any other supplier - would presumably be that there would be no hardware development costs/risks. Speaking personally, I would be willing to buy a beagleboard or similar device and load RO5 onto it once the Cortex-A8 port is sufficiently developed, if that is the only way to get an up-to-date system, but I would certainly consider paying a premium for the complete OS/hardward package from a reputable supplier. AW: more speed would be nice, but a Cortex-A8 RO platform would be a) portable; b) under active development. That would tip the balance for me.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 18/5/09 10:19AM
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On First screenshot: Beagleboard runs RISC OS 5 desktop:

rjek: 'ARM8', as quoted originally by AW, I took to refer to the Cortex-A8 as in the Beagle board, not the ARM 8 as such - sorry for the confusion. But you (and riscosopen) have addressed the performance issue in any case - thanks.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 13/5/09 11:38PM
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On First screenshot: Beagleboard runs RISC OS 5 desktop:

AW:'So the ARM 8s are no faster than the X-Scale?': concerning basic processing power, I'd imagine they're considerably faster - for a start, ARM quote '600Mhz to over 1Ghz' and 'up to 2000 DMIPS' (presumably for the higher speed range) i.e. 2 DMIPS per cycle which would be double the X-Scale value, and presumably internal bus speeds and bandwidth are greater. I think Phlamethrower was probably referring to the fact that the port doesn't yet exploit the other hardware features. But I'm just an interested amateur; perhaps someone more knowledgeable would care to enlighten us?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 13/5/09 6:51PM
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On First screenshot: Beagleboard runs RISC OS 5 desktop:

This is the best RISC OS news since the ROOL initiative was launched. I appreciate there is a long way to go before we have a fully sorted Cortex-A8 version of RO but for the first time in a long while I feel genuinely optimistic for the future. Well done to Jeffrey and others who have worked on this port!

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 13/5/09 1:14PM
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On RISC OS 5 pictured running on ARM Cortex-A8 kit:

Would I be right in thinking the Beagleboard's 600Mhz Cortex-A8 processor has roughly twice the performance of the similarly clocked X-Scale in the Iyonix? The ARM website quotes 2.0 DMIPS per Mhz.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 29/4/09 4:20PM
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On RISCOS Ltd relaunches riscos.com with new design:

JohnB, Mac9: you're not using a RO browser*, presumably, in light of your comments? If you had been, you'd have noticed that the Home page text is all over the place, and partly illegible due to being obscured by other features (*specifically NetSurf 2.0 and FireFox 2.0.0.18; Oregano2 shows all the text, but not in the correct layout). Maybe not a problem for those using RO under emulation, but what about RPC RO 4.X users wanting to upgrade, or possible converts from the other side of the OS fork, seduced by all those whizzy features ;-)?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 27/4/09 5:44PM
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On Your 60-second Wakefield 2009 preview:

NetSurf 2.0: congratulations to the NS team for an excellent upgrade! I've been downloading development builds every month or so for a while now, but the latest release pulls it all nicely together and the result is a very slick general-purpose browser which is a big step forward compared to 1.0 and, along with developments like the A8-Cortex port, does much to sustain my hopes for the platform in the future. So well done, keep up the good work!

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 27/4/09 10:25AM
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On RPCEmu Spoon updated to version 0.8.3:

Sorry, I should have added 'speedwise'.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 18/4/09 6:07PM
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On RPCEmu Spoon updated to version 0.8.3:

I wonder how RPCEmu+Linux compares with VRPC+Windows.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 18/4/09 6:06PM
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On ArtWorks 2.9 set for Wakefield 2009 launch:

Congratulations to Martin W for a further upgrade to this already outstanding application!

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 13/4/09 2:42PM
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On Will Wakefield 2009 see a new graphics card for RISC OS?:

I suppose anything that keeps people in the RISC OS fold is to be welcomed, even if that means brand new upgrades for a 15-year-old computer design. It's a bit like putting alloys on a Ford Popular...

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 6/4/09 10:00AM
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On What should be NetSurf's priority?:

Riscosopen, rjek: no doubt these are important considerations from a software-design POV, but speaking as a non-expert user of RISC OS NetSurf over the past 2 or more years, I have not suffered from the memory-leakage (or if so, not from its effects) as described; NetSurf works just fine on my 512MB Iyonix and doesn't appear to interfere with any other programme (as well as NetSurf I normally have Firefox, MessPro, DrawPrint, Geminus, Task Usage, Techwriter, Netfetch, PDF, Alarm, SwiftJPEG, AemulorPro, Printers, BlackHole and HID permanently running, typically supplemented by several out of Rhapsody, KinoAmp, Photodesk, Artworks, DPingScan, Thump and Variations, several of which have multi-MB caches configured).

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 31/3/09 10:23AM
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On Google to fund another round of NetSurf development:

Ninja: point taken re JS implementation. It had already occurred to me that NOT having to deal with Javascript was one of the reasons for NetSurf's speed, which is one of its most appealing features. OTOH, a significant part of the functionality of many of the sites I use seems to require JS; for example, go to [link] click in the 'All Reviews Alphabetically' field and you'll get a nice list of cameras ... which you can't select! Many 'choice' fields on different sites seem to work this way. The only option then is to start up Firefox, or switch to the PC, and the resulting delay mitigates some of the convenience & speed of NetSurf.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 24/3/09 5:36PM
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On Google to fund another round of NetSurf development:

JohnR: I agree with you entirely - the interface is fine. Javascript OTOH (and I am aware that its implementation would involve a great deal of work) would transform an excellent, compact and speedy browser into a genuine alternative to the heavyweights such as Firefox, especially on less-powerful platforms like RISC OS or PDAs/smartphones. Might the availability of summer coders enable the additional work to be done?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 24/3/09 10:33AM
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On Should ROL concentrate on a new ARM port of the OS?:

Epistaxsis: I don't agree that the Select on Iyonix fiasco proves that such polls are pointless, since it is debatable IMHO whether ROL ever had a serious intention of porting their version to the Iyo, regardless of demand. Turning to Monty's poll, I think this would be an excellent idea, and something which Drobe could effectively stage. (I would vote for 1. myself).

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 6/3/09 4:15PM
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On ARM Cortex-A8 port of RISC OS 5: first screenshot:

Jess: re Cino, you are quite correct - I had forgotten the other factors you mention. I think my basic point, that hardware capability and application development are mutually dependent, is still valid though. Mac9: indeed - let's hope!

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 4/3/09 7:38AM
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On ARM Cortex-A8 port of RISC OS 5: first screenshot:

I think speed and functionality are interrelated: wasn't development of Cino discontinued when it became apparent that the Iyonix was not capable of the required video playback frame rate? If that capability had been present, much of the lacking multimedia capability could have been addressed.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 27/2/09 3:15PM
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On ARM Cortex-A8 port of RISC OS 5: first screenshot:

It's important for this project to succeed, as RISC OS can only claim to be a live platform if it runs natively on up-to-date hardware. Fortunately it seems to be going well. As to RISC OS Ltd, surely this is only a continuation of the de facto native hardware vs. emulation competition we had with Iyonix vs. VRPC, and as such is to be welcomed: a faster-running native hardware solution should put pressure on VRPC to improve their offering. Furthermore, AMS is right: any attempt to frustrate the A8 port would surely incur the wrath of a large section of the active community.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 23/2/09 10:44AM
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On Hundreds more printers supported on RISC OS with Gutenprint port update:

DS1: aim for an Epson. The Gutenprint Epson drivers are better (as Martin points out on his site). Bear in mind too that an A3 photo-quality page will be twice as large datawise as an A4 ditto, which needs 46MB of memory and takes an hour to print from an Iyonix. On a RPC you're probably looking at leaving it running all night; I've not used an A9, but the performance would be a lot closer to the Iyonix, presumably.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 9/2/09 3:34PM
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On DTP package OvationPro in minor update:

Good to see that David P continues to think of RISC OS users. Ovation Pro, with its ability to run on Windows as well and transfer documents easily between the two platforms, is my preferred DTP option; RISC OS offers a superior GUI for dtp, and Windows enables output of industry-standard postscript files, so I get the best of both worlds.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 21/1/09 2:53PM
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On How to convince more websites to work with the RISC OS Firefox port:

Does he? Maybe in an ideal world, but the world is at it is. I have used (I think) every version yet produced of RISC OS Firefox including 2.0.0.18; each one has been an improvement on its predecessor, to the point where I am seriously considering removing NetSurf* from my app. loading sequence on bootup and replacing it with Firefox. Sure, printing doesn't work properly (nor does NetSurf for that matter), there's no Flash support, the dropdown menus aren't fully implemented, but this latest version is by far the most capable RISC OS browser yet offered, and runs at acceptable speed on this Iyonix. For all of which I am sincerely grateful to its developer. (*I don't mean to knock NetSurf, which is excellent as far as it goes, but that isn't as far as Firefox).

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 5/1/09 3:19PM
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On Drobe Awards 2008: The results:

Yes, the pity with this type of poll (interesting as it is) is that lots of splendid applications and developments go unrecognised. My icon bar bristles with apps such as Thump, Firefox, Photodesk, Variations, Ovation Pro and PDF without which RISC OS use would be unthinkably hard. I'm sure many others have their own indispensables, including no doubt Select and VARPC. So here's to the unsung band of developers, without which our platform would be in much worse shape than it is: happy 2009!

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 1/1/09 10:51AM
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On The leaked ROL licence is the dullest thing you will ever read:

Hurrah for the decision on all sides (including Drobe) not to publish the E14 contract. Let's hope it holds. Let's also hope that in the not-to-distant future the disputing parties sit down quietly together and sort this out, and in a way that allows ROOL to continue to open up the platform to as wide an audience of users and non-users as possible.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 22/12/08 1:58PM
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On RISCOS Ltd's head licence with E14 leaked:

This dispute is descending into farce: a public forum is the last place for complex legal agreements - which are apparently disputed - to be usefully aired. What is to be accomplished here? Are we to take a vote at the end on who is in the right? Drobe should give serious consideration whether it is proper, and in the interest of the platform, to reveal the E14 agreement. Frankly, unless the parties involved can sort this out between themselves, there is nothing to be gained by further discussion here IMHO.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 20/12/08 5:26PM
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On New RISC OS ownership claim may derail ROOL RiscPC ROM release:

Nijinsky: if you were French (I presume you're not) 11:42 would have qualified as 'early lunch' therefore OK for Fleurie (excellent choice btw). As it is, you should certainly be within your rights now - it is the festive season after all. Now all that's needed is an outbreak of peace and goodwill in this thread, and some common sense all round. Open-sourcing is vital to the future of this platform - it is too small now to support commercial OS development - and so is emulation on fast hardware, ideally without the intermediation of Windows or MacOS. Any activity therefore which compromises progress in either of these areas may be in the perceived interests of particular players, but is not in the interest of RISC OS at large.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 18/12/08 3:21PM
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On Nominations open for the Drobe Awards 2008:

best commercial software: still ARTWORKS. I've also found OVATION PRO useful when producing postscript files (using a Windows driver) as it is cross-platform (but if/when the POSTSCRIPT DRIVER becomes available, that should not be necessary). GVIEW is the only RO Postscript/PDF file reader which gives an accurate result on virtually all files IME.

best non-commercial software: NETSURF is way out in front. DRAWPRINT (H M Phillips) I use all the time to print out Netsurf pages and is hugely useful.

best innovative project: that's got to be ROOL. A fast emulator for open-source RO on Linux would be a vote-winner too if it existed in finished form: here's hoping.

best show: no nomination (I didn't go to any this year).

top clanger of 2008: undoubtedly the recent licensing flare-up. I sincerely hope the parties involved will put this genie back in its box and nail the lid down.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 18/12/08 12:56PM
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On Something positive to take from the OS 5 ROM licensing saga:

I just hope this disagreement gets sorted out. I've nothing against ROL/VA wishing to make some money out of RISC OS, but they need to accept and appreciate that the ROOL initiative has re-energised the market in a way that neither ROL nor Castle for that matter were able to do on their own; the last thing we need is for this new energy to be frustrated, or dissipated in a futile argument. The desktop IPR issue is clearly not amenable to a zero-sum, winner-takes-all solution, otherwise it would have been settled one way or the other 4 years ago. A 'live and let live' attitude therefore is the only helpful one.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 16/12/08 6:40PM
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On New RISC OS ownership claim may derail ROOL RiscPC ROM release:

Well fine, but in that case, what is this article all about? Are the 'well-placed sources' talking through their collective hats?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 10/12/08 4:37PM
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On New RISC OS ownership claim may derail ROOL RiscPC ROM release:

Why has this argument broken out now? Because ROOL are closing in on a RPC version of their code which could be bundled with RPCEmu, potentially eating Virtual Acorn's lunch, especially if it can be made to run on Linux, which is a market area VA have consistently ignored. Since the parties on both sides of this argument backed down a few years ago, when they were presumably richer and selling to a healthier market, I doubt if anything will come of the latest sabre-rattling: you'd have to sell an unfeasibly large number of copies of RO4 at £5 to pay for a court action or injunction, and if the earlier dispute proves anything, it is that this is /not/ an open-and-shut case. So ROOL should relax and press on as fast as possible, and damn the torpedoes. An open-source RO running via an optimised emulator on top of (preferably) Linux on fast hardware is the only future we've got IMHO, and personally I can't wait. VA could have supplied this commercially but chose not to - their choice, but no justification to play dog-in-the-manger now.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 10/12/08 12:44PM
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On The ARM Club disbands after 18 years:

Sad to see Eureka go but in truth the market is probably not able to support more than one monthly (printed) mag. any more, if that. Thanks to Druck for his efforts in keeping it going, and his continuing support. However, I am heartened by the ongoing open-source OS developments in particular, and looking forward to RO 5.14.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 9/12/08 6:32PM
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On New lead developer for RPCEmu emerges:

What is the likelihood of improving on native hardware speed using either the Interpreted or Dynamic Compilation modes available under RPCEmu? Is it likely that Iyonix performance will be exceeded using RPCEmu + Linux on a typical x86 dual-core processor rated at 2 or more Ghz: 1) straight away; 2) only after considerable development; 3) never.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 2/12/08 3:22PM
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On Experimental RISC OS emulation layer for ARM-powered devices:

Well at least one, hopefully; still better than /no/ initiatives at all, I would have thought.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 25/11/08 10:03AM
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On Prototype affordable Braille display in development:

Hear, hear! It's good to see the native genius for invention is still alive.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 23/11/08 10:06AM
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On Language support module Iconv updated:

Having just done this upgrade, my impression is that Netsurf is displaying pages quicker than before. I haven't done any formal tests (and won't now, obviously), but the impression is clear. Is that likely?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 21/11/08 10:29AM
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On EeePCs and RPCEmu at ROUGOL:

"You simply translate HAL calls": would that be a lot of work? From what you say, RO5 would appear to be a better emulation bet than RO4/6.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 20/11/08 6:05PM
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On EeePCs and RPCEmu at ROUGOL:

"You just implement the HAL calls in native code": the native code being Linux in the instance in question?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 20/11/08 11:01AM
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On South East 2008 show round up:

Thanks to druck for a concise and informative summary of the emulation issues. It has become fashionable to decry the shortcomings of RISC OS compared to modern platforms, and I'm not saying the criticisms are misplaced; but we shouldn't overlook the fact that RISC OS has merits that have ensured its continuing use by, and the loyalty of, far more people than an obscure 20-year old OS has any right to expect, including many of the correspondents here. If a way can be found to combine these merits with the advantages of a modern system, a truly exciting and interesting future for the platform could be assured: I certainly hope so.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 22/10/08 10:24AM
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On South East 2008 show round up:

I'd like to add my gratitude for the return of Drobe. Despite the several excellent RO websites (e.g. RISCOS.org, Paul Vigay's site to name but two) and the newsgroups, I think it is important for the platform to have a news reporting and forum site and TIB just doesn't fulfil that function ATM, for me at least. I find the continued development activity on a number of software and OS fronts encouraging, particularly the proposal from ROOL to distribute a free RO5 + emulator bundle; hopefully this will stimulate outside interest, as well as giving Iyonix owners like me an upgrade path to new non-native hardware in the future.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 21/10/08 12:23PM
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On Iyonix range taken off the market:

So while ROme burns, everyone looks to their own interests. It makes the average investment banker look public-spirited, doesn't it? I will never run RISC OS on top of Windows; I will keep my Iyonix going until either I lose interest in the platform entirely or it goes pop. I would jump at the chance to run RISC OS on top of an open-source OS on fast, cheap hardware, indeed, I would support efforts to develop such a system financially, as I have done in the past with the port of Firefox. Would it be worth canvassing the market to see if there are others who think the same?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 14/10/08 1:21PM
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On Wakefield 2008 show live news:

druck: of what?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 28/4/08 9:22AM
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On NetSurf bags GBP10K investment from Google:

This is excellent news, but I was sorry not to see Javascript support amongst the projects being worked on; IMO this is the main lack in an otherwise smooth and fast browsing experience. But all credit to the developers and good luck with the sponsored projects!

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 22/4/08 8:37AM
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On VirtualRiscPC spotted on Linux:

RISC OS emulation on top of Windows on a high-spec PC seems to deliver speed and ease of use which is broadly comparable to the fastest native systems (some would say faster, based on actual tests): is there any reason why RISC OS emulation on top of Linux should not work at least as well, if not better/faster?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 22/3/08 7:20AM
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On VirtualRiscPC spotted on Linux:

Guestx: the RISC OS user appeal is not just down to the software: the interface also provides 'a user experience that no-one has managed to reproduce on other platforms', which is why people like me struggle on with it despite its many shortcomings compared to both Linux and Windows. The solution is not necessarily going to lie in making one's data portable to Linux or other platforms (which it already mostly is, given the number of RISC OS applications capable of saving files as jpegs, pdfs, csv files or Word documents), or in porting apps to other platforms, because the user's experience will be different. Ovation Pro for instance is not the same experience on Windows as on RISC OS, I find. So if someone wants to spend time and energy making RISC OS run well on top of Linux, good luck to them I say.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 20/3/08 6:29PM
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On Icon Technology boss Mike Glover retires:

I'd like to echo the comments of JohnR, which apply equally to me (didn't know about the Menu:Misc feature though!). I also drop emails onto its iconbar icon to print them out - v. useful. With all good wishes and thanks George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 5/3/08 7:38PM
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On New release of RISC OS Firefox available:

Sorry - that should be 'RO browser' not 'RB browser'

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 24/2/08 6:27PM
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On New release of RISC OS Firefox available:

Just been testing out the latest version on my Iyonix: initial impressions (compared with version 2 release 1 - the non-RISC OS GUI version) are very positive. It's noticeably faster and more responsive, including keystroke inputs; 'tickertape' text (e.g. BBC Sport home page) runs about 2-3 times as fast as before, as do the 5-day BBC Weather map updates, and the GUI implementation adds to ease of use. All in all, a welcome advance in RB browser functionality IMO. Well done to Peter N!

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 24/2/08 6:25PM
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On New release of RISC OS Firefox available:

Well I'll be damned! Never expected to see another RO version of Firefox, but this is very good news IMO.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 23/2/08 9:20AM
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On Morison in Organizer open source u-turn :

sa110: agreed. It's encouraging if developers still think there is sufficient sales potential in good apps such as !Organiser to warrant commercial development.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 30/1/08 4:01PM
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On Ditching desktops for portables: The way forward?:

sa110: 'questionable decision': that depends entirely on what the Mac, Linux or Windows user wants to do, surely? I use RO exclusively to send and receive emails (MessPro), browse the web (Netsurf and Firefox), play CDs, view and organise digital camera images (Thump, Photodesk and DPingScan), write and print the occasional letter (Easiwriter, PrintSpool) and design the occasional printed item using Artworks, OvationPro and GView/Ghostscript for PDFing, including scanning as required (DPingScan). If someone sends me an Excel attachment ViewXLS will display it. In all these respects I find RO does what I need and many of the programmes mentioned are still being developed. Although I am familiar with MS Word, Publisher and Excel on Windows and Quark Xpress and Photoshop on Mac I feel no need to migrate. I have networked my Iyonix to an XP laptop using LanMan98, but the only time I use it is when I need to visit a Flash-intensive website. In short the Iyonix is, for me, a serviceable day-in, day-out computing solution, and certainly not 'a curiosity',

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 12/01/08 2:33PM
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On Ditching desktops for portables: The way forward?:

If a 3x Iyo speed-up was available in the form of a replacement m/board for reasonable money (say £3-400) I /would/ be interested, and I suspect I would not be alone. Just for interest, this is what druck had to say when the IOP342 was announced back in '06:

"If the IOP342 contains all the peripheral features of the current chip, which it seems to, then only there would only need to be a redisgn for the differing package layout, plus of course any other changes such as an updated southbridge which would be needed. The seperate flash to hold the ROM could be deleted as it has 32MB on board.

The 1.2GHz clock speed increment combined with the Level 2 (undoubtedly only 512K) would give a substantial speed boost over the IOP321. The 1MB of internal memory could be used to hold critical parts of the OS for further performance gains. This just may hit the 3x tipping point for Castle to consider an Iyonix Mk2."

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 10/01/08 12:58AM
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On Maudlin over RISC OS:

Jess: VNC is pretty horrible to use, I find; I prefer to have PC and Iyo linked via a KVM using LanMan98 to share directories/folders etc, and switch over to the PC when I need to do something the Iyo can't (like use a Flash-enabled browser). But the fundamental issue remains - why have two computers? If someone came up with a version of RISC OS running on top of (for instance) Ubuntu on x86 hardware I would give it serious consideration. We're constantly told this is too difficult, but I don't find the explanations convincing, and I suspect there are many RO hardware users who would buy such a solution in preference to running VRPC/Vista.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 8/1/08 7:02PM
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On Maudlin over RISC OS:

It's easy (and not unjustified) to criticise Acorn, and implicitly hark back to a golden age when, if different decisions had been taken, the outcome would have been better, but I think we delude ourselves: Acorn was /never/ anywhere near big enough to sustain non-PC hardware and software development long-term. After all, Apple, a much, much larger company, almost went under doing the same thing, and probable would have failed but for the iPod. Despite its current popularity, it has now abandoned separate hardware development.

The true legacy of Acorn is of course ARM, not RISC OS.

That said, I remain optimistic that the ROOL initiative will result in an improved chance of survival for the platform. Software updates are still appearing regularly for a number of commercial and freeware apps which I use, and this gives me hope for the future. Thanks to all active developers, and a happy New Year!

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 8/1/08 10:46AM
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On Best of 2007 awards results:

in reply to druck: 'Can't decides' might better be allocated as fractional votes equally amongst all the options, so one-third of a vote each to three contenders, or a quarter of a vote amongst four, etc. In this way, a general consensus that there was no clear winner from amongst several equally worthy contenders would be fairly reflected.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 6/1/08 1:13PM
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On New RiScript supports CMYK PDF export:

I'm glad to see the RiScript developers are continuing to work on and improve the product, as I still use my RISC OS machine for graphic design, layout and (where possible) pdf creation for print; the RO GUI, plus Artworks, Ovation Pro and Photodesk, is still more pleasant and easy to use than Windows, I find. Furthermore, the upgrade (to users of v5.00 anyway) is free. So well done Messrs Medema and v.d.Bos!

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 28/12/07 11:44AM
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On A9home: two years on:

A good, balanced review. I'm not an A9 user, but I hope it gets sorted out soon; it just demonstrates (again) how much more work is involved in developing a fully consumer-ready hardware product than a prototype. However tempting the prototyping route is, the damage done to the market by launching under-developed hardware is /always/ greater than the benefit.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 5/12/07 11:21AM
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On Samsung's 533MHz A9home CPU successor:

"the use of a small Linux distribution...": it could be cheaper than VARPC as well; I notice that Dell are about to offer UK Linux laptops and desktops at lower prices than the equivalent Vista models: a £60 difference in the case of the 6400 laptop.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 14/08/07 7:15PM
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On ROX founder: Why I brought RISC OS to Unix:

"Although in certain ways ROX resembles RISC OS a lot, I've found OS X to functionally come closer in every day use." Closer, but that doesn't mean close. The thing with RISC OS is that, out-dated as it may be in many ways, it is still more enjoyable, productive and intuitive to use than any other system of my acquaintance (including Mac OSes X and Classic, and Windows XP back to 3.11 - i've not sampled Linux or Vista). If that were not so, it would have disappeared long ago. Just my own POV, of course.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 27/7/07 4:07PM
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On RISC OS Open: One year on:

rjek, jwoody: you seem to be saying that, even after a substantial amount of development, if not effective rewriting, to incorporate PMT, virtual memory and the I/O block, RISC OS will still struggle to match Linux on ARM for embedded systems etc. What then is the point of ROOL, or any further development?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 26/07/07 07:45AM
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On RISC OS Open: One year on:

RISC OS vs Linux: I'm not a programmer so can't comment on the specific remarks above, but since RISC OS was specifically designed to run on ARM, whereas Linux was not, doesn't that give the former some advantage?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 25/7/07 3:31PM
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On RISC OS Open: One year on:

Thanks for an interesting and informative article. The reference to the Prism project was particularly interesting, and frustrating in equal measure. I have used RISC OS as my main home computing platform for the last fourteen years, and although like everyone else I suffer from the well-known browser and multimedia shortcomings, thanks to the efforts of dedicated developers such as David Pilling, Martin Wuerthner, Dave Higton, Anton Reiser, Rob Davison and many others, the ability of RO to handle daily computing tasks and interface with other platforms has never been better or more complete IMO than it is now. If the same level of dedication can be applied to development of the OS itself, much can be accomplished. As to the ARM platform, the impetus to greater speed and power is clear, driven by ever more sophisticated hand-helds. We should not forget either that there must be many more ARM chips in daily use than any other platform, x86 included.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 24/7/07 10:37AM
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On RISC OS development charity taking shape:

Fair enough that some programmers aren't keen to accept payment (and the accompanying obligation to produce a reasonably finished product) for RO work, but the problem of just leaving it up to the vagaries of enthusiast programmers is, it seems to me, that some highly desirable heavyweight items - a uptodate Flash plugin for example, or an update to the Firefox port - are (a) not particularly sexy and (b) may need the efforts of more than one person to complete in a reasonable time. So I think this initiative is a good one and I support it.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 26/6/07 10:47AM
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On NetSurf 1.0 is worth millions on paper:

Or even a bank account to which payments could be made online. I'd like to add my congratulations, and enter a plea for javascript functionality and a solution to the problem of printing on an Iyo (or is that down to RO5?). But well done all.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 29/5/07 7:51AM
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On NetSurf halts punter's search for love:

Try Firefox before you abandon the platform: it definitely gets to parts other RO browsers can't.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 3/2/07 10:26PM
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On Castle and ROS Open reveal plans for 2007:

ARM CPUs may not compare with other platforms for power but they are cheap: is there any future in developing a multi-processor version of RO?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 21/1/07 12:44PM
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On Best of 2006 awards results:

In my experience FF on the Iyonix compensates for its apparent lack of responsiveness by efficiency in other areas - cached pages are retrieved very quickly, for example, and the comprehensive history enables previously accessed pages to be easily retrieved. In these respects FF is much /more/ responsive than nominally faster browser like the Oreganos. Besides, the latest RO version is significantly more responsive than the earlier ones. Finally, knowing that your browser isn't going to throw a terminal wobbly after minutes of painstaking data entry into successive https screens is a comfort!

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 02/01/07 9:06PM
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On Gimp-Print sequel port planned for March:

I applaud Martin's tireless and valuable work in support of the platform! My own printer (a Canon iP4000) is supported and I look forward to the release in March.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 22/12/06 8:45AM
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On South East 2006 show videos:

Just tried to access using Oregano2 - no dice, 'Flash 7 required'. Does O3 work?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 31/10/06 9:06AM
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On South East 2006 show report:

Flypig: I can see why the desktop hardware companies think it's none of their business to promote browser development - I just don't agree that their logic is sound. Turning to practical matters, if I weren't about to return temporarily to full-time employment for the next 6 months*, I'd be interested in helping with company formation/admin/whatever. As it is, if anyone else is thinking of stepping into the breach, I'm prepared to offer what support (including financial) I can: just email me.

(*why am I worrying? Probably in 6 months nothing will have happened anyway :-)

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 24/10/06 4:47PM
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On South East 2006 show report:

Flibble: No fair-minded user should object to coders working on what interests them in their spare time: I certainly wouldn't. And, as you say, quite often the result is useful. However, the RISC OS market does contain commercial companies that are selling hardware and software for profit; my point was, and is, that if these companies wish to be able to carry on selling computers to people like me, or software to run on those computers, the browser issue should be right at the top of their agendas. Seemingly, it's not.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 24/10/06 2:09PM
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On NetSurf users hit by HSBC account freeze:

I don't think the risk is greater under RO + Firefox (quite possibly less); my worry is what the position of the bank might be in the event of an unauthorised withdrawal when they discover that I am not using a 'standard' platform and browser combo. OTOH, Barclays haven't specified a recommended platform or browser - they have simply given general advice - so one could argue that those conditions that are specified (see earlier post) /have/ been met.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 24/10/06 12:18PM
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On South East 2006 show report:

NW: well said; I am in a similar position to you and agree absolutely with your comments. The browser issue, given the will, could actually be solved relatively quickly I suspect but it requires either time (Firefox) or money (O3), and most of all, someone to take responsibility.. As to time, the kind of boring development seems no longer interesting to the programmers who are still active on the platform, and as to money, that remains in very short supply. As to responsibility, it completely escapes me how the highly intelligent and dedicated individuals working for Castle, ROOL, ROL and the various developers continue to overlook this absolutely crucial area for desktop users. If Iyonix Ltd and Ad6 did not sell desktop machines I could understand this, but they do. Yet a desktop machine with the quality of current browsers is getting seriously difficult for a home user to justify purchasing.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 24/10/06 11:20AM
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On NetSurf users hit by HSBC account freeze:

Barclays requests online users to:

1. Use a personal firewall and AV s/ware; 2. keep their browser and OS up to date;

and include links to MS, Firefox and Apple. The Firefox link takes you to v1.50 on the Mozilla webpage, which AFAIK is the same as the current RO version. So - in theory - users of RO Firefox beta5 in conjunction with a firewalled router + RO 5.12 with VProtect installed have met the Barclays' requirements. But I'm not sure I'm willing to bet my bank balance on it ....

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 24/10/06 11:06AM
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On RISC OS 5.12 released with price tag:

Good to see development of RO 5 continuing. I don't myself have a problem with the charging concept - Iyonix users have had a lot of free support up to now. It will be interesting to see if USB2 works more reliably in ROM than when softloaded: I find I need to use !USBKick to make sure that my Epson 1660 Photo scanner - which I use irregularly - works in conjunction with !DPingScan (Iyonix X100, 5.11). All other USB devices seem to work OK, but I suspect the scanner has a 'sleep' mode which causes the problem.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 14/10/06 11:31AM
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On Intel wheels out 1.2GHz XScale family:

An Iyonix II with 3-5x the performance of the current machine at GBP 1000 or thereabouts would certainly be interesting to me.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 29/9/06 6:48PM
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On Intel wheels out 1.2GHz XScale family:

The increase in memory speed over the Iyonix chip (approx. 2.5x) would further multiply the benefit of the higher clock speed, presumably.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 28/9/06 8:45AM
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On ROS fan loses Acorn domain in dispute:

Druck: well, maybe. But tbh Castle and ROL missed a trick; Acorn was still a strong brand in 1998 and a more strenuous effort to retain should arguably have been made. But it wasn't and there's nothing to stop the PC boxshifter from using the name.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 7/9/06 10:30AM
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On Dual core 1.2GHz Xscale touted by Intel:

JGZimmerle: forgive my imprecision: it is not the printing that locks the machine in my case (I use Printspool), but the passing of the image to the spooler i.e. if I print a Photodesk image the hourglass appears until the image has been completely spooled and during this time the keyboard is unresponsive.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 05/09/06 9:44PM
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On Dual core 1.2GHz Xscale touted by Intel:

Would a very large rewrite of RISC OS be required to delegate a particular routine function, such as printing, to the second core of a dual-core processor? Being able to continue working while a large file or document printed out would be a useful real-world improvement in productivity IMO.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 05/09/06 4:14PM
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On Open sourcing RISC OS won't help says ROL:

thesnark: no of course not, but I'm not holding my breath. It still seems extraordinary that ROL puts supplying a (relatively) large and active sector of the market with a demonstrated willingness to spend serious money on RO hardware at the bottom of the priority list. That said, I have no complaints about RO 5.11, which I have found to be noticeably more stable on this Iyonix than Select 4.37 ever was on its predecessor.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 3/9/06 9:06PM
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On Open sourcing RISC OS won't help says ROL:

If Select for Iyonix is something that ROL either can't (due to fundamental kernel differences) or don't ever intend to (for deep-seated personal/political/religious - delete as appropriate - antipathies) do, I wish Paul M would just stand up and say so. Then we Iyonix users could stop worrying about it and just get on with our lives.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 3/9/06 7:56PM
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On Dual core 1.2GHz Xscale touted by Intel:

Jwoody: a 3x improvement on Iyonix is not going to shoot any lights out amongst x86 users, granted, but it might just revive development of key applications such as CinoDVD, and also render ports such as Firefox actually pleasant, rather than merely feasible, to use.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 31/08/06 10:55PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

Timephoenix: 'If the web browsing and media player issue is sorted, at least then you could aim at general entry level users...' Absolutely right, and more than that, you might stand a chance of keeping current users like myself on board as well. However, Castle, ROL and the remaining RO s/ware publishers seem to be completely disinterested in the browser issue, and I suspect that for many of the more capable user/programmers RO is now simply a hobby platform of no perceived serious usefulness. But I do believe, on the browser at least, that one more sustained effort comparable to Peter Naulls' last year (probably on Firefox, and including Flash support) would actually deliver a modern browser which owners of 32-bit hardware at least would find sufficiently speedy and capable to keep them going. I for one would be prepared to contribute financially to this.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 28/08/06 1:22PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

If Castle's initiative goes forward I hope it will help to revive the platform, and as others have said above, there are reasons to hope this might be so. But let's not lose sight of the fact that the main reason why RO is now a borderline standalone computing solution for a home user such as myself has nothing whatever to do with the OS or, for that matter, with hardware: it is the lack of a satisfactory browser. Since Peter Naulls stopped work on Firefox, the only ongoing development is to Netsurf. I have been using this for several months and it is a nice fast, lightweight browser, but you can't do internet banking, order airline or theatre tickets, or interact with any site requiring Flash or javascript, so I carry on with Firefox, cumbersome and underdeveloped as it is. Will we ever see Oregano3? I doubt it. While this state of affairs continues the platform will continue to leak support regardless of developments to the OS or the hardware IMO.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 16/08/06 10:52AM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

Unfortunately I tend to agree with SimonC's comment, that this could signal Castle's final loss of interest in RO development, and by extension, RO hardware development. Since they produce the only fully-developed RO ARM computer to appear since Acorn's demise, this, if true, is concerning.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 15/8/06 12:58PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

sa110: I note the article refers to open-sourcing 'elements' of RISC OS: presumably those over which Castle holds complete and untrammelled licensing responsibility?

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 15/8/06 10:07AM
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On ROS must open up to survive says Wild:

to Chris Evans: no doubt you are absolutely right in your remarks about the legal position of RISCOS, but you have not addressed the central question raised by Peter Wild, and also by many of the above posters, which is how to revive and re-energise RISCOS. Or would you maintain that the status quo is satisfactory?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 26/07/06 10:57AM
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On ROS must open up to survive says Wild:

to Chris Evans: no doubt you are absolutely right in your remarks about the legal position of RISCOS, but you have not addressed the central question raised by Peter Wild, and also by many of the above posters, which is how to revive and re-energise RISCOS. Or would you maintain that the status quo is satisfactory?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 26/07/06 10:54AM
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On ROS must open up to survive says Wild:

I think Peter Wild makes a well-reasoned case, but one thing puzzles me somewhat: since on his own admission he has been closely associated with Castle and Tematic for a number of years, what was his view while Castle/Tematic were vigorously pursuing the proprietorial OS route, i.e., trying to establish sole ownership of and license to RISCOS? Did he support this strategy at the time? If so, why has he changed his mind?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 20/07/06 10:55PM
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On Ex-Pace staff back RISC OS Open Ltd:

Jwoody: thanks for the informative (to me at least) reply. It's a shame about Firefox; it could have been the solution to what I think is /the/ most crucial RO lack, an effective browser. I've tried Netsurf, but without Javascript it can't interact with a lot of the sites I use and I can't see the point of constantly swapping between two or more browsers, so FF remains my browser of choice despite its unfinished state. That's my point really: if there was some entity with an overall grasp of the issues affecting the platform, or even a genuine agreement, getting a browser done would surely be right at the top of the to-do list. But we drift on, with companies who can't agree and haven't got the cash to do it on their own ploughing their own furrows regardless. Or at least that's what it looks like from here. I'm off to the pub.

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 11/7/06 1:53PM
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On Ex-Pace staff back RISC OS Open Ltd:

Jwoody: I only meant 'easy compared with writing the apps from scratch': I accept that porting a large app like Firefox requires both time and effort.; just less than a ground-up development like Netsurf.

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 11/7/06 12:35PM
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On Ex-Pace staff back RISC OS Open Ltd:

OliverB: I agree with your point about the iMac. If you have a good product, stick with it. Porsche nearly went bankrupt in the eighties, and there was no shortage of know-alls who said that rear-engined sports cars were a niche product that no-one wanted any more. They were wrong: the 911 is still the backbone of the range and selling better than ever. We have a good product, and the huge advantage, which didn't exist a few years ago, of being able to port opensource software to make good the shortcomings of native stuff. But there needs to be general agreement on the route forward, and an end to duplication of effort in some areas at the expense of no effort at all in other equally important ones.

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 11/7/06 8:38AM
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On Ex-Pace staff back RISC OS Open Ltd:

The /last/ thing we need IMO is yet another version of RISC OS, open or otherwise. What we do need is, amongst a long list of other things, is a fully-developed browser and up-to-date multimedia capability, and a general sense of direction and coherent planning instead of the various boats being paddled in different directions that we have at the moment.

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 10/7/06 2:40PM
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On ROL: Giving Select 4 date is tricky:

Hzn: re your 4th point: I've had my Iyonix a year now. It came with 5.09 and since then 5.10 and 5.11 have been released, and as I understand it development is ongoing.

Concerning ROL, it appears to be a vicious circle: they can't say when Select 4 will be available because they can't afford full-time programmers, but they can't attract subscriptions until they give a release date for S4.

Stuffed, basically.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 23/6/06 11:59AM
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On Sir Robin leaves ARM:

"ARM need to get higher performance chips out there...": isn't the fact that ARM don't fabricate their own chips relevant here? Aren't decisions about clock speed for a given ARM reference design taken largely by the fabricators?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 29/5/06 6:12PM
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On RISC OS found on Pocket PC PDA:

Drobe: come off it chaps, this is more than a little misleading. All due credit to Jan Rinze and the others he credits, but 3 Mips iwould make an A3000 look quick. JR himself admits that RO is scarcely usable for real-world purposes ATM on a PDA. No doubt progress will be made, but I question the genuine usefulness (as opposed to a demonstration of programming skill) of emulation on an inherently limitied platform like a PDA.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 28/5/06 10:32PM
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On New ebay guide published:

ROHC, cables: I find RO FF beta5 is more responsive than beta4, especially so concerning text entry, but it is less developed. Once you get to know RO FF it is quite reliable, more so than O2 in my experience, and vastly more capable.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 25/5/06 6:25PM
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On New ebay guide published:

RO Firefox in its various betas (I currently use b4) works fine on Ebay and I have used it since last July to browse, bid for and sell items. You need a 32-bit machine though; it's slow on a RPC. Navigation from one text entry field to the next is best done with Tab rather than the mouse I find.

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 25/5/06 8:08AM
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On Wakefield 2006 show report:

Leo: fair enough, but you take my point. For instance, Firefox is dog slow on a RPC but quite usable (IMO) on an Iyonix (ditto on an A9Home, according to reports). To quote Lord Fisher of Kilverstone (aka Jacky Fisher, First Sea Lord 1904-10): 'He who strains after the gnat of perfection will swallow the camel of unreadiness!'

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 23/05/06 5:57PM
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On Wakefield 2006 show report:

Leo: 'The main issue is the time taken to resize the web page...': Are we talking about time taken by a RiscPC or by an Iyonix/A9Home?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 19/05/06 6:42PM
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On Wakefield 2006 show report:

Hzn: I take your point about the benefits of large displays, but given the desperate need for at least one capable (including up-to-date plugins) RO browser, I would have thought that the relatively small inconvenience of a fixed size 800 x 600 display would be acceptable, if it meant that the browser could be released immediately.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 18/05/06 1:18PM
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On Wakefield 2006 show report:

Just picking up on Richard Brown's comment about the fixed window size problem in Oregano3: would there be any strong objection to standardising an 800 x 600 display, which would work on 99% of the machines out there - or have I misunderstood the nature of the problem (wasn't at the show)

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 18/05/06 10:44AM
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On Plan to save users' marriages shelved:

I told my wife I was getting a PC last year: I didn't mention the word 'Iyonix' that appeared in front! Once it arrived I got a week of 'I can't believe you've bought another of those weird computers' (we still had the RPC at the time), but she got used to it and now uses MessengerPro on it daily for email. Take heart, chaps!

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 18/5/06 10:32AM
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On ROL release C99 SCL to A9home users:

knutson: competition is fine, but I don't agree that this latest development is either inevitable or desirable. It seems to me that developers are being asked to back either one horse or the other, or (at increased expenditure of time & effort), both.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 18/4/06 7:35PM
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On RiscPC emulator for Linux lands:

I have followed this discussion with interest, and have come to the following conclusions:

1. ARM-based hardware is increasingly outclassed for desktop use; 2. Emulation under Windows means the death, sooner or later, of the platform as a live entity; 3. Development of new native hardware is expensive and risky compared to 'software' solutions, and is therefore increasingly less likely to happen. In fact, we may be in a vicious circle where lack of support leads to less motivation to develop new hardware leading to further loss of support and so on. So Julian Zimmerle's proposal, if technically feasible (and I am not qualified to judge), seems the most attractive option to me. But who is going to do it?

A final point: the RO GUI still has a great deal to recommend it IMO. I have been using Windows XP for the last 3 months and, if you have to use Windows, it's the best yet. But it doesn't come close to RO for intuitiveness and ease of use; it's still essentially what it always was, a cumbersome, business-orientated, 'linear' system. If RO could get to run on genuinely fast hardware it might start regaining support on its own unique merits.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 03/04/06 6:41PM
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On StrongARM card turns ten years old:

disc cacheing: OK, but my main point (of which this was part) is that even current Iyonix hardware has got further development potential. It is remarkable how poorly the emulators perform in Dhrystone or MIPS terms compared with native hardware, and yet are as fast or faster than the latter for many tasks. This suggests (to me at least, but I'm just a user, not an expert) that a higher clock rate ARM is not the only way to achieve a worthwhile improvement in the performance of native hardware.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 30/3/06 8:56PM
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On Thank Acorn for embedded tech growth says Oregan exec:

I see that the name of the US press manufacturer has been, bizarrely, censored. For anyone wishing to know the name (it is, or was, a genuine company), think of a popular diminutive of 'Richard'....

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 29/3/06 12:14PM
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On Thank Acorn for embedded tech growth says Oregan exec:

Acorn DTP: and at the time apps like Impression Publisher and Artworks were streets ahead of the competition in ease of use and power - an advantage still not entirely eclipsed today IMO. But they weren't 'industry standard', i.e. weren't QuarkXpress or Photoshop, and that's all anyone in the publishing industry knew about, or wanted to know about: would it run Quark? Still on the graphics theme, ISTR A B Dick, a US-based press manufacturer, sold a short-run printing system built around RISC OS for a time in the early 90s. I don't know how successful it was.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 29/3/06 12:12PM
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On RiscPC emulator for Linux lands:

ARM development: upto now this has been dominated by the low power-consumption requirement, however, it seems likely that video downloading/streaming is about to become a mainstream activity for PDA/mobile phone-type devices, most of which are powered by ARM chips. In which case, the appearance of much faster and more powerful ARM chips or SOCs may not be so far off. Whether these could be adapted for use by RO is another question, of course.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 29/3/06 11:53AM
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On StrongARM card turns ten years old:

JGZimmerle: my earlier post was intended to answer the assertion that a RiscPC was adequate for current RO computing. But I don't disagrree with your hardware comment: a large part of the current interest in emulation is presumably driven by the realisation that ARM chips have been outstripped by x86 development for desktop use. That said, I believe a lot could be done to improve the performance of current RO ARM hardware, by implementing disk cacheing and utilising the hardware DMA potential of the X-Scale, at least.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 29/3/06 8:19AM
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On StrongARM card turns ten years old:

Spriteman: sorry, can't agree there. If all you do is the occasional browse using O1 or Fresco, or the occasional letter using Impression or OPro, fair enough. If on the other hand you have a digital camera, or wish to use a modern browser like Firefox, or a display larger and deeper than 1024 x 768 x 16-bits, or work with any graphic files larger than about 15MB (sprites) or 5MB (jpegs or tiffs), or process a PDF file, or print out the results of any of the above quickly (especially in colour) or use any USB device, in short, do any of the many things a modern system is capable of, you'll find the RPC, compared to the Iyonix, is either dog-slow or incapable. The benefits of the Iyonix, as pointed out above, are more than just the faster chip: the entire system is more capable.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 28/3/06 5:59PM
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On Thank Acorn for embedded tech growth says Oregan exec:

'Apple were vulnerable..' This comparison overlooks the fact that Apple, at the time (mid-90s) we're discussing, had over 5% of the world desktop market, and a turnover which dwarfed Acorn's. In short, they had options which were totally out of the latter's league. In hindsight (always 20:20, of course), Acorn's big failing was in wanting to devise /all/ the system technology and not adopting industry standards like PCI, libraries and graphics cards, and probably too the PowerPC chip, once it became clear that the StrongARM road wasn't going anywhere. In short, an Iyonix, but five years earlier. Though even at the time I had the impression that the desktop market was no longer of prime interest to Acorn. Sic transit gloria mundi.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 27/3/06 7:26PM
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On Thank Acorn for embedded tech growth says Oregan exec:

Acorn were vulnerable in the same way any company with a major reliance on one market is vulnerable. Could they have diversified? The business arena was already owned by the IBM-PC; Macs were predominant in US education and the graphical industries; Acorn themselves tried set top boxes with limited success. Truth is, they simply weren't big enough to budget for and do the necessary development. The real testament to their technology is ARM, which goes from strength to strength. It's tempting to imagine that things could have been different, but probably wrong.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 26/3/06 6:19PM
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On RiscPC emulator ported to Linux:

Stefaan: unfortunately this sound technique does not seem to work with RO Firefox: the text has to be entered directly in the reply box.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 19/03/06 11:26PM
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On RiscPC emulator ported to Linux:

Flibble: thanks for the informative reply. Guestx: so why use RO at all? Answer, because it's still more pleasant to use than other OSes, and apps like Artworks and Ovation Pro offer enough power and unrivalled intuitiveness. Also, enough has been done by the small army of mostly volunteer coders and porters to provide improved functionality in vital areas like web browsing (Firefox, Netsurf), common file format reading and creating (GView, JClean, SwiftJPEG), and cross platform compatibility (ViewXLS) to keep RO usable on a daily basis. Thirdly, RO is mercifully free from the remorseless round of security maintenance that afflicts Windows users.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 15/3/06 9:20AM
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On RiscPC emulator ported to Linux:

Can emulation under Linux rival the speeds achieved either by VRPC/Windows or native hardware? Doesn't VRPC rely heavily on the graphics and disk access acceleration available under XP to run as fast as it does? Archive magazine benchmarked VRPC against an Iyonix and its Dhrystone rating was just over one third of the Iyo's; the HD read/write speeds were 10x-15x faster however :-0

I don't wish to belittle the efforts of either Tom Walker or Peter Naulls by the way, and I appreciate that this development is at an early stage, whereas as VRPC is relatively mature.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 14/3/06 4:05PM
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On South West 2006 round up:

JGZimmerle: that must be why I just got the download of RO 5.11 then :-) But seriously, Castle's level of support and upgrades during the 9 months I've been an Iyonix owner puts ROL to shame. As to the future, who knows what will happen, but if I had to bet on which of them will still be around in 12 months' time I know who my money would be on.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 21/2/06 1:43PM
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On South West 2006 round up:

Bluenose: I agree that upgrading from say, an A7000 to a s/h RPC is a positive step and in the interests of the platform, but sales of new hardware are nonetheless crucial in maintaining the market: just consider where we'd be now if the Iyonix had been a flop and Castle had withdrawn from RO development.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 21/2/06 8:38AM
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On South West 2006 round up:

Bluenose: 'it might just squeeze a bit more life out of the RISCPC': God forbid! The /last/ thing the platform needs IMHO is further attempts to breath life into 10-year old technology. The users need every possible encouragement to trade up to new native hardware, whether A9 or Iyonix. If this platform dies it will be because too many people said 'my RiscPC does everything I need from a RO machine' (the corollary frequently being 'and this shiny new PC does the rest ...')

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 20/2/06 7:08PM
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On ROL open share investment to all:

hzn: you make a good point regarding the relative value of a RiscPC compared with the cost of Select/Adjust: the latter will typically exceed the former. In fact with the benefit of hindsight, I wonder if it was wise for ROL to devote so much energy to refining 26-bit OS versions, rather than move forward earlier and faster than they actually have done. Whatever, we are where we are. FWIW, the only good reason I can see for investing in ROL is as an insurance policy, in case Castle decide to abandon ship: John Ballance's recent remark about RO being for sale at the right price alarmed me, I have to admit. Castle are by a wide margin the most professionally managed major RO company I have dealt with since the demise of Acorn.

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 6/2/06 7:15PM
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On Delving inside a RiscPC emulator:

druck: there was a plan at ART in Peter Bondar's day to port RO to the PowerPC processor, AFAIK: it was dealt with by Risc User (my back numbers are all in the attic and I don't think I'll be delving in there any time soon). Presumably Apple's abandonment of this platform doesn't mean it's not still available?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 25/1/06 11:19AM
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On Delving inside a RiscPC emulator:

I'm interested in the reference to developing a new HAL for RO5 to talk to Wintel hardware: could this be a better way than current emulation to access fast x86 hardware?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 25/1/06 8:57AM
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On Holding software to ransom:

druck: does Netsurf constitute a third way, i.e. where a group of programmers devote such time as they can spare to a joint project? I don't know how or if they're funded, but this approach seems, in this case at least, to have yielded relatively rapid and steady progress with a large project, and could serve as a model for others.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 18/1/06 4:26PM
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On Holding software to ransom:

highlandcattle: since Firefox already has excellent javascript support I'd prefer to see efforts concentrated on finishing it (adding print support, style compliance etc), and adding Flash support if possible.

As to the next big porting project, my vote would be for a port of RealPlayer, assuming our hardware could cope (Iyonix/A9home, not necessarily RPC).

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 18/1/06 10:09AM
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On RISC OS features in plain english:

Iproven: before you disappear under an avalanche of pro- and anti- Select-for-Iyonix protagonists, have a look at www.iyonix.com/iyonix/features/503notes.shtml which you may find enlightening. A similar analysis exists on the ROL site, as I recall.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 16/1/06 6:56PM
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On Remote desktop apps compared:

Hutchies: quite so. As to VNC, druck suggested above that a VNC /server/ would be useful.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 13/1/06 6:51PM
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On 2006 predictions:

Theo, thanks for the correction (memo to self: always read the question!).

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 09/01/06 11:15AM
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On 2006 predictions:

"Virualisation....relatively little...performance hit": not according to the tests run by T.O.M.S. in the latest Archive, where the performance of various David Pilling ports of RO apps to Windows (Trace, DPScan, OvationPro) was compared to the RO apps running under emulation. The ported apps running natively under Windows were 5-7x faster than under RO emulation! Now it may well be that further development of VRPC will improve this ratio, but clearly ATM there is a considerable overhead when running on top of Windows. To put it another way, a RO app will run under emulation on a 3Ghz+ x86 processor at roughly the same speed as on an Iyonix with its 0.6Ghz ARM processor.

As to where we go from here, I suspect that emulation and x86 improvements (including dual-core and 64-bit chips) will outstrip the speed improvements in suitable ARM chips. I'd love to be proved wrong, and I'd love to see Iyonix 2 with a 1Ghz+ ARM chip, full graphics card acceleration and modernised filing system to replace the Iyo on which I'm typing this.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 09/01/06 10:03AM
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On Geminus graphics acceleration launched:

DS1: I'm not sure there's much more to come from the VF; John Kortink did a lot of development of the acceleration aspects of the s/ware during the life of the project. The main problem with it was not the card or the s/ware but the speed of the podule bus (easily demonstrated by running the !Tumble demo with VF switched on and off).

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 12/12/05 6:58PM
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On Geminus graphics acceleration launched:

Very pleased with this - the desktop seems brisker, and Firefox is transformed. Doing F12-Return on complex Draw and AW files shows they redraw in less than half the time. Putting two 8Mpix JPEGs on screen side by side and dragging one over the other is /much/ quicker and smoother. The only downside I've found so far is that Thump has to reload thumbnails for the images in each of my image directories, and this always takes a while the first time around (once done however it's very quick). Thanks again to Neil and his team.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 9/12/05 8:01PM
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On Castle move to Cambridge rumoured:

Like flypig, I dithered a long time about buying an iyonix. I finally took the plunge in July and have no regrets whatsoever. Previously I was using a Select 4.37 Viewfinder Kineitc - the iyo is more stable, runs all the legacy s/ware thanks to Aemulor Pro, and is either faster or /much/ faster. I miss some Select features, particularly the wastebin, but to be honest I haven't really noticed the difference - its still Risc OS, after all. I'm sorry I didn't take the plunge sooner.

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 3/12/05 12:34PM
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On Companies flock to Christmas road show:

I suppose the London venue is suffering from the proximity of the SE Show; the support for it is noticeably worse than for the other venues.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 28/11/05 8:56PM
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On Could A9 be a digital oasis in a desert of PCs and Macs?:

dgs: the RiscPC has already become the Douglas DC3 of computing, and will no doubt soldier on for a good while yet. However, despite all the add-ons (ViewFinder, Unipod, Kinetic) the basic architecture involves a 16Mhz bus and a +/- 2Mb/sec HD interface. Combine this with JPEGs or TIFFs from an 8MPix camera for instance and you'll be spending a lot of time looking at that hourglass. The physical components are not getting any younger either. Anyone intending to stick with RO for the long term has to consider either new native hardware or VRPC, and in the former category the A9 looks reasonable value to me.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 23/11/05 12:47PM
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On Archive usage survey: VRPC edges past Iyonix:

But as Acorn also demonstrated, single ownership of the OS did /not/ guarantee the future. Speaking personally, I bought an Iyonix on the basis that Castle have demonstrated a commitment to the platform both in terms of length of time as a supplier and, even more importantly, willingness to commit money to development of new hardware and the technical ability to deliver satisfactory machines in volume, and support them. This is not to deprecate the efforts of ROL or A6, or anyone else for that matter: anyone looking to develop the platform deserves support. But the OS fork does worry me, because it means loss of focus and inefficient use of scarce resources. The ideal scenario would be a unified OS and a diversity of hardware suppliers.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 11/11/05 8:37PM
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On Archive usage survey: VRPC edges past Iyonix:

I have to say I agree fully with Druck's earlier comments. The RPC has (had) many virtues, but a computer with a h/d access speed of +/- 2Mb/sec cannot be seriously considered as productive in today's environment. I retired my Kinetic in favour of an Iyonix when I got an 8Mpix camera - I was spending too long looking at that hourglass!

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 11/11/05 6:45PM
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On Archive usage survey: VRPC edges past Iyonix:

If OTOH 600 did turn out to be correct sales figure, I suggest the Iyonix user group forthwith renames itself 'The Light Brigade'!

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 10/11/05 9:44PM
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On Archive usage survey: VRPC edges past Iyonix:

I seem to remember that not too long ago VirtualAcorn celebrated 3000 sales. I also recall that Castle had a target of 500 Iyonix sales to be achieved 'by the Christmas of the launch year'. Given that in both surveys the number of Iyonix and VRPC users is similar, that suggests the true level of Iyonix sales is around 5x higher than the number suggested, and that the number of RO users is approx. 10,000, which seems a more reasonable sort of figure to me. As to the RPC's dominance, that suggests that many RO users are simply hobbyists, and have invested in other, up to date equipment for their serious computing. If so, it is indeed a matter for concern.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 10/11/05 9:26PM
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On Geminus graphics acceleration in beta:

Is there a resolution limit? ISTR 1280 x 1024 was mentioned somewhere previously.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 9/11/05 12:36PM
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On ROL plots December roadshow:

Dgs: "Sheepless in Seattle" in fact? (Sorry - couldn't help myself)

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 28/10/05 12:39AM
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On ROL plots December roadshow:

markee174: sure, but it would have been equally logical to develop for the Iyonix first, followed by the A9 - after all, the Iyonix represents (as I and others have pointed out before) an existing market, and a machine to which a number of Select subscribers had already moved. ROL have placed a big bet on the A9, and I fear for the consequences if it doesn't come off.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 26/10/05 1:56PM
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On ROL plots December roadshow:

DS1: I paid subs to ROL for at least the last 3 years if memory serves and did indeed instal 4.37 on my RPC. It was improved in many ways over 4.02 but at a cost of ?300+ that was to be expected! The fact now is that the only certain way current subscribers can reap any benefit from their subs is to buy an A9home. For the sake of the platform I hope this will be a great success, but speaking as an Iyonix owner it is hard to see any performance (as opposed to portability) benefit in buying one. All we Iyonix users have received is an undertaking to develop a version of 32-bit Select that will work on our machines if 100 of us sign up to yet further outlay. To treat what must be a substantial portion of the market in this way strikes me as cavalier to say the least. What if the A9home does not succeed? What is ROL's business plan then?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 26/10/05 11:10AM
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On ROL plots December roadshow:

"sample our wares"? What wares would those be? 32-bit Select is running only on the A9 AFAIK which isn't available yet nor even firmly scheduled for release; Select on Iyonix consists of a handful of applications which by PM's own admission aren't near ready for release; 26-bit Adjust and Select have been around now for some time and aren't exactly leading-edge. So the offer will be, give us more money and we plan to deliver something you can use, sometime? That'll rock them in the aisles.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 25/10/05 8:29PM
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On South East show 2005 photos:

markee17: enjoyable and positive show generally, but I wish I could share your optimism about ROL and 32-bit Select. I listened to PM's slot and my conclusions are: 1. Select on Iyonix will only happen if enough punters pledge cash (not certain at this point); 2. If it does happen, it will still rely heavily on RO5 modules, much as 26-bit Select relies on RO4; 3. The 'real' 32-bit Select will be confined to the A9 and other non-Iyonix platforms (if any); 4. the OS fork is alive and well; parallel development and duplication of effort by ROL and Castle is the ongoing reality. So our small, resource-strapped market continues to enjoy (if that is the right term) the luxury of doing basic OS development in two places along mutually exclusive lines. Those whom the gods wish to destroy..etc.

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 23/10/05 7:03PM
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On South East show 2005 preview:

fylfot: 'they'll be free sweeties!' Mmm - who did you have in mind?!

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 20/10/05 12:42PM
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On A9home compatibility list open for all:

Worked fine yesterday (FFbeta4+Iyonix RO509). Today I get the following:

Active Server Pages error 'ASP 0224' Cannot load TypeLib /a9home/compatibility.asp. line 2 Cannot load Type Library specified in the METADATA tag.

Cheers

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 18/10/05 7:55AM
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On Independent Select for Iyonix interest list opened:

ROL is a limited company, as is Castle, Microdigital and a number of other RO entities. Companies have customers who are entitled to judge them - as opposed to private individuals or charities - by business standards: do they deliver a good product, support it and behave in a generally trustworthy and predictable way? Many companies in the RO marketplace meet these standards and are entitled to expect our support - others do not, and should not. We shouldn't confuse the standard required of a commercial enterprise with that expected from a private individual or group of enthusiasts, or relax our requirements for the sake of sentiment. The long-term interests of the platform will be served by the involvement of well-managed, viable and profitable businesses.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 12/10/05 1:26PM
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On Euro mag to list active RISC OS developers:

Actually it's quite striking how much important RO software and hardware development is done by non-UK developers: Martin Wuerthner, Messrs v.d. Bos and Medema (RiScript), X-ample, Rob Davison and Simon Wilson spring readily to mind. And I suppose P Naulls is now an expatriate resource also....

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 3/10/05 8:02PM
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On Iyonix Select demand barely double digits, says ROL:

I too have just binned my Select subscription renewal form. I still have a RPC running 4.37, but as I also have an Iyonix there's no point in upgrading the older, less capable machine. As Castle are actively developing RO5, there's no point in continuing to support a now-irrelevant OS fork. If ROL were to commit to developing a version of 32-bit Select that would run on the Iyonix and offer measurable benefits over RO5 I might well reconsider.

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 02/10/05 11:12AM
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On Castle ponder GeForce 4 graphics upgrade:

Floating point ops must be the key to this, since in Dhrystone terms the S/ARM is nearly 3x as fast as a P90, let alone an X-Scale: 204 Dhr. 2.1 MIPS versus 75. The S/ARM figure is for the original 202Mhz version (source: Naval Ocean Systems Center, San Diego).

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 22/9/05 11:01AM
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On Qercus moves to in-house production:

Good luck to John, but I'm not convinced about the plan to take production in house. Commercial printers have mostly made a massively larger investment in equipment than private individuals or small publishing firms, and have the skills and experience to use it. With modern digitally imaged sheetfed press technology even short runs can be efficiently produced. A magazine editor should not be wasting energy or time on production: his proper function, which a printer cannot duplicate, is to commission features, map editorial strategy, promote sales and generally take care of content (and pay the bills of course). I can't help thinking that it would be easier and cheaper to solve the existing production issues than take on a whole raft of new ones....

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 6/9/05 12:46PM
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On Online banking with RISC OS:

SimonC: When using FF I've found the Tab key useful in quickly and reliably navigating a series of text input boxes rather than the mouse; likewise the up /down keys are best when selecting a dropdown box option. In general FF seems to react quicker to keyboard input. But you're right; it is ponderous to use compared to other browsers.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 2/9/05 2:56PM
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On Online banking with RISC OS:

SimonC: FF's lack of speed may be more apparent than real: I find it accesses sites via 1Mb broadband on the Iyo about as quickly as O2 did on my Kinetic (i.e. about 30% slower than O2 on the Iyo). Given that it caches pages, offers a full History, works practically everywhere (but not yet with the MotoGP site sadly!) and IME is already less prone to crashing than O2, I would maintain that in any given hour I can cover just as much ground with FF as with O2. Netsurf does appear to be much faster than anything else judging by comments, but having tried it a few months ago I gave up on it; a browser which works super-fast 75% of the time and not at all 25% of the time did not do it for me.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 2/9/05 9:08AM
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On Online banking with RISC OS:

Hairy: have you tried Firefox? I've recently booked several tickets via Expedia and also checked flight arrival times on the BA site without problems. Firefox's ability to interact with sites seems markedly superior to other RO browsers I have used (including Fresco, O1 and O2).

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 1/9/05 11:17PM
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On Online banking with RISC OS:

Barclays internet banking works very well with Firefox beta3, as does the NatWest site, contrary to your comment: I managed to access it and apply for (and receive) an online house insurance quote via their secure site.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 1/9/05 6:27PM
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On Survey: Iyonix use leads VirtualRPC:

Well I for one selected multiple computers (an Iyo and a RPC) as I have both and they are both in weekly use (the latter just about). I wouldn't be surprised if a fair proportion of Iyo owners have kept their old RPCs as a spare or backup machine, and maybe voted as I did. I agree with 'pw' above (28 Aug) that a breakdown of overlapping ownership would be informative, if possible.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 30/8/05 12:56PM
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On Oregano, Firefox and NetSurf reviewed:

Just for interest, I've done some simple timings comparing IE 6 on a 600Mhz PC laptop, FFb3 and O2 on Iyonix, and O2 on a 233Mhz Kinetic RPC. My connection is 1Mbit broadband and all 3 machines are connected to the same router. The laptop is actually connected to a much faster company link, but the 'last leg' so to speak is the 1Mb broadband: this may flatter the IE results.

Accessing Drobe, the timings are: 5 secs (IE); 10 secs (FFb3/Iyo); 8 secs (O2/Iyo); 10 secs (O2/Kin).

To access The Register: 10; 14; 9; 14 secs respectively.

To access Aprilia.com, a rather busy page with lots of animations: 8; 20; 17; 25 secs respectively.

I then tested O1 against O2 on the Kinetic: the O1 results were 8 secs (Drobe), 10 secs (The Register) and 17 secs (Aprilia) virtually identical to O2 on the Kinetic. Not exactly a scientific test but it demonstrates that FFb3 is not a million miles away from the performance of other RO browsers, even at its current early stage of development. IE 6 did best, but I cannot quantify the difference in link speeds so am cautious about the result.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 26/8/05 1:37PM
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On Oregano, Firefox and NetSurf reviewed:

SimonC: 'working browser': I agree that it is not essential that /all/ features of a given site are correctly displayed, but the test surely is, can you see and interact effectively with all the functional features. My wife is not a RISC OS enthusiast, and uses IE at work on her PC. Before the advent of Firefox I was constantly explaining why some site or other wouldn't work properly, or couldn't be accessed, and suggesting that we fire up the company laptop (cue: 'Why can't we get a proper computer' discussion). Now with FF I have no qualms; I just let her get on with it. That is why FF on RO, even in its present early stage, is a quantum leap forward for the platform IMO.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 25/8/05 1:42PM
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On Oregano, Firefox and NetSurf reviewed:

The main problem with FF (apart from lack of straightforward printing and Flash) is response to mouse clicks, which definitely requires patience. Keyboard response seems much better: tabbing between dialogue boxes is quicker than mouse clicking in them I find, and using the up/down arrow keys to select options in dropdown menus. Page loading and scrolling on the other hand is little slower than O2 according to rough timings I've done. My Windows laptop (a company machine) takes over a minute to boot and load all the various network settings, so unlike SimonC I find I've hardly used it at all for private browsing since getting FF, and as FF can cope with IE6-optiimised sites I can now log on to the company email system from the Iyonix, which was impossible with any other RO browser.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 25/8/05 10:29AM
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On Oregano, Firefox and NetSurf reviewed:

Firefox: Martin doesn't say, but what build of FF did he try? There is a notable speed and responsiveness improvement between beta1 and beta3. I'm using the latter on an Iyonix and haven't encountered the scrolling problem as described. As for crashes taking down the machine, Alt-Break then terminating 'Unknown' following a freeze consistently restores the desktop in my experience. I use FFbeta3 as my default browser; its ability to render sites correctly and interact with key ones such as banks and eBay outweighs the sluggishness compared with Netsurf and O2 IMO.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 25/8/05 8:19AM
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On Intel in performance-per-watt turnaround:

It seems pretty clear from The Register article (and named reference articles) that the .5W processor in question will be x86, not X-Scale.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 24/8/05 12:27PM
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On VirtualAcorn boasts 3000 users:

It's clear that current ARM chip manufacturers have gone for low power consumption and cheapness rather than high power, but the ongoing development of PDAs and mobile phones, and their expansion into more power-hungry areas such as video will presumably spur the development of faster ARM chips and close the Mhz gap with x86 chips. After all, the latter have been stuck at around 3.2-3.4 Ghz for some time now. Another possibility would be the development of a multi-processor version of RO, but I presume this would be a mammoth undertaking, and would also require special application versions to run.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 23/08/05 12:52AM
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On Official Repton t-shirts on sale:

SimonC: one would hope they'd have more sense these days :-)

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 18/8/05 11:49AM
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On ROL tells Select users: A9 takes priority:

Despite all the kissing and making up between ROL and Castle, it seems pretty clear that we have a forked OS still, and little real prospect of that changing in the near future. ROL's stance seems to be to support any plausible competitor of Castle's: first VRPC, now the A9. If ROL really wanted to embrace Iyonix owners there are plenty of good commercial reasons to justify that: owner base, modern hardware, and scope for development being 3 of them. The A9 is splendid and I wish it well, but it has 3 years' of sales to make to catch up with the Iyonix and that is not going to happen quickly, if ever. What is needed is a situation where future Iyonix buyers can opt either for RO5 or Select-for-Iyonix: if the latter is superior, as it may well be, most purchasers will choose it, and existing owners will upgrade. A unified OS will then have been achieved, and much future time and energy duplication saved.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 3/8/05 11:06AM
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On Firefox beta 3 released:

Having just checked the download site it appears that beta4 is simply a version of beta3 intended to run on those systems that had problems with all earlier versions. As all the betas up to -3 have run without problems on this Iyo I shall stick with beta3, but it's obviously good news for those who've experienced problems. This is an excellent, reliable browser, which I cannot recommend too highly.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 28/7/05 8:12PM
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On Firefox beta 3 released:

SimonC: when you get your Iyo back you should find beta3 runs just fine on it; but as beta4 is now out (slobber) you probably won't want to bother ;-)

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 28/7/05 8:03PM
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On MicroDigital incommunicado:

Presumably Dave Prosser would be the man for technical info, as and when the dust settles on MD, always assuming he was willing to provide it.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 28/7/05 7:57PM
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On Software news:

Re Gareth Boden's Java emulation project, I don't understand whether the alien hardware would need to be running an OS already (such as WinXP etc) or wheither the emulator would execute at hardware level and present a RISC OS desktop to the user. In other words, would the RO apps run within an alien desktop environment or not?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 19/7/05 1:45PM
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On RISC OS Firefox developments:

But FFb2 needs the Tinct module which the UPP site will not let me access: 'you do not have permission to access this server'. Another poster to c.s.a.apps had this problem also. Takeup will be limited until this is fixed, I fear...

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 4/7/05 2:51PM
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On Firefox first beta published:

Tip for ViewFinder users: Firefox seems to be much more responsive when running under native VRAM on a RiscPC than under ViewFinder. Scrolling and text entry are particularly improved.

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 25/06/05 1:15PM
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On Firefox first beta published:

Just managed to log onto my company site remotely - for the first time from my RO machine since they upgraded to MSIE 6! Firefox is slow (especially text entry) but useable on this Kinetic, and I was able to read emails and open folders as if it had been my normal wintel workstation. A great step forward for our platform - congratulations to Peter and his helpers!

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 21/6/05 12:46PM
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On Firefox first beta published:

to mripley: re 'reading' Excel, !ViewXLS will do this excellently (pardon the unintended pun), including workbooks.

to hubersn: re processing power, I agree. And presumably the gap will grow when 64-bit PC apps, OSes and processors are commonplace. We badly need to at least get over the 1Ghz barrier IMO. BTW, has anyone tried overclocking an Iyonix? I've not heard of any attempts.

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 21/6/05 11:19AM
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On Castle cooks up another Iyonix special offer:

To Jess: "to do serious work I use an RPC". Surely it depends what the 'work' is. I used my RPC (Kinetic) regularly for storing and working on digital camera images. Now I have an Iyonix, which takes 28 secs to process an image in ChangeFSI that took the Kinetic 63 secs; it takes 12 secs to load a 24Mb TIFF in DPingScan compared with 40 secs, and 24 secs to rotate it to 45deg compared to 85. 'Slideshow' in Thump runs about as fast with 8Mpix JPEGs as with 2Mpix ones on the Kinetic. The Kinetic by the way has a 'fast' Unipod IDE H/D not the slower motherboard one. On this basis the Iyonix is at least 2-3 times more productive than a top-end RPC for general image processing. As for Select, the Kinetic runs 4.37 and TBH I don't notice much difference - I miss the Bin, and the enhanced Draw and Paint, but that's about all. That's my experience, based on what I do on my machines: others will have a different experience depending on what they do, and that's my point: you can't generalise.

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 06/06/05 08:53AM
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On South West 2005 show report:

to hzn: Jessops (no doubt amongst many others) are advertising a variety of USB2 portable drives ranging in size from 20 to 160Gb - for example the Archos Q Disk External h/d, which costs 119.99 for the 120Gb model. Presumably these would be an option now that USB2 is available for the Iyonix (unless of course something other than the Mass Storage protocol is needed).

to eddie: do you mean the /entire/ RO desktop market? If so it seems a remarkably low estimate.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 01/03/05 1:16PM
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On RISC OS in schools today:

Arawnsley: With due respect, I think you miss the point, which is contained in Peter's last sentence: "Please either convince more developers to help with CX11/Unixlib improvements or persuade more people to subscribe to the project.." Quite honestly, if we let this opportunity go by default for lack of people willing to spend the annual equivalent of a good restuarant meal for two, we deserve everything that befalls us. Get those chequebooks out!

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 16/02/05 09:01AM
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On ROL extends Select offer through January:

I don't intend to buy a Mac Mini either, as a RO user and supporter of 18 years standing, but I wanted to draw attention to what was available on other non-PC platforms. As to the price of new native RO hardware, the view that this is not a factor in the decision to purchase is evidently not shared by Castle, who presumably believe that the latest Iyonix price reduction will boost sales.

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 20/01/05 10:57AM
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On ROL extends Select offer through January:

mrchocky: Risc OS exists in the world, not in a parallel universe with special rules. The Iyonix is a computer; the Mac Mini is also a computer. If you /must/ run Risc OS you will buy an Iyonix (or a PC running VRPC), but all users are not in this position; they may decide that RO is no longer supportable. Relative cost and ability of hardware may be a factor in their decision, and is therefore relevant.

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 19/01/05 9:28PM
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On ROL extends Select offer through January:

Arawnsley, Jonix: The bottom line: new native hardware needs to get either faster or cheaper. ATM it is not good value on purely rational (as opposed to emotional) grounds IMHO. I could justify buying an Iyonix for 1000 including monitor if it offered the sort of step up from my present machine (a Kinetic) as the StrongARM did from the RPC 700, but it doesn't. The Mac Mini, which certainly does, costs 400 apparently.

Cheers

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 19/01/05 7:22PM
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On 32bit Adjust on ARM9 breakthrough:

To mavhc: I was just wondering what had been required to move Adjust from its current, Acorn-proprietary chip dependent 26-bit only state to the point where it will run on ARM9 with, presumably, no requirement for VIDC chips or emulation, and whether this work had been done by ROL from scratch or whether the work already done by Castle on RO5 had been the basis for development. No doubt all will be made clear eventually!

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 15/10/04 6:55PM
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On 32bit Adjust on ARM9 breakthrough:

I've always understood that without a HAL, a complete rewrite was required to enable Risc OS to run on a 32-bit ARM chip. So presumably 32-bit Adjust now has a HAL, and indeed, a different HAL to RO 5, since the ARM9 chip architecture is different. Does this mean that the two branches of the OS are in fact diverging, and indeed are competing with each other for non-desktop market share?

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 15/10/04 11:22AM
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On United at long last:

To Gulli: "Today RISC OS is having to play catch-up": very true. Apart from the lethargic pace of ARM chip speed improvement, which despite RO's efficiency means that contemporary PCs and Macs are significantly faster, there is the question of /full/ implementation of modern standards and formats such as PDF, Flash, CSS, Excel etc. These are the main areas for immediate improvement IMHO.

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 17/07/04 2:34PM
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On Discussion and Negotiation:

Rick: I think we have to separate 'then' from 'now'. As to the 'then', you may be right that ROL have some grounds for thinking they have a claim against CTL. However, as far as 'now' is concerned, CTL own the OS and if ROL wish to continue with their business (and by implication their licencees) they must come to terms with CTL, whether that means CTL absorbs ROL in return for a cash payment to the shareholders, or some other mutually acceptable scheme. Unless of course they claim that Pace did not pass a valid title in the OS to CTL, but then they'd have to sue Pace...

Just my own opinion: I'm not an insider.

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 17/06/04 3:28PM
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On Discussion and Negotiation:

To Noel: I agree with your analysis, and also that VARPC + Windows will pose an increasingly competitive threat in future. However, it would be unwise to assume that there will be no development on the native hardware front. For most operations the Iyonix is roughly twice as fast as a Kinetic RPC: I cannot believe 'Iyonix Mk2' would not at least double that, albeit at the cost of considerably reworking the mobo and parts of the OS (ADFS?). Actually I don't think speed alone is the issue: software, and especially browser and multimedia software, is what will determine the fate of native hardware. Would I spend the money on an Iyonix if it could access 99.9% of web sites and give ne RealPlayer, DVD and audio support, like my son's iMac? No problem. Without these things it might not be good value at half the price.

Cheers

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 17/06/04 11:15AM
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On VA halts VirtualRiscPC deliveries:

to imj: CTL's statement seems perfectly clear and straightforward to me, and I'm glad one of the parties involved /has/ made a statement. As to the rights and wrongs of the action, CTL are entitled to deal with their investment in any way they choose. To accuse CTL of killing the OS is bizarre. Did ROL offer Pace a lot of money for the rights to RO? No. Did ROL meet the challenge of the future by converting the OS to 32-bit? No. Did ROL develop or support development of new RO hardware? No. I'm a Select user, and have been a subscriber since the scheme started, but if it's a question of supporting either CTL or ROL, I've got no doubt about my allegiance.

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 16/06/04 11:46AM
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On VA halts VirtualRiscPC deliveries:

mripley: I am not starry-eyed about Castle, whose marketing in the past has tended to get somewhat ahead of actual performance IMO (viz. Kinetic) but even so your reaction seems excessively cynical. Castle specifically state above that they are "committed to supporting 3rd party licensees of Risc OS, even when they are competitors". The least we can do is give them the benefit of the doubt for the time being.

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 16/06/04 11:01AM
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On Castle, RISCOS Ltd., FinnyBank theatre report:

In reply to Martin: I take your point about Windows (and by extension VRPC's) lack of responsiveness, but none of the evaluations of the hybrids I've read mention this as being a problem. The impression I certainly got was of general speed well in excess of a well-specced RPC.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 05/03/04 6:24PM
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On Castle, RISCOS Ltd., FinnyBank theatre report:

To MRTD: I'd agree with your four 'pro' points, though not necessarily in that order. I'd add 'ease of use' as well, although this ties into point 3 also. I thought as I became more familiar with NT and various Mac OS versions over the years that I would use RO less, but I find the reverse to be the case. That said, I'm in a minority of one here: my wife and eldest son both prefer Windows - it does what they /expect/ a computer to do, never mind that that might not be the most intuitive/elegant behaviour. Younger son is studying graphic design and moved from Artworks on the RPC to Mac OSX on an iMac. The thing that worries me is not RO so much as the pace and direction of ARM chip development. We are already at a point where, if the various nudges and winks are to be believed, the higher spec Win-RO hybrids are giving the Iyonix a run for its money for speed in real-world tasks; no doubt further tweaking of VRPC and speed increases on the PC side will tip the balance further away from the Iyonix. Hardly surprising when you're comparing a superscalar 3Ghz chip with a 0.6Ghz single-instruction per cycle one (don't know the technical term). It will become increasingly difficult to persuade people like me to spend twice as much money on an ARM based RO machine if it is actually less capable than equivalent hybrids. I know we shouldn't play these clock-speed games, but getting above the 1Ghz level with native machinery before mid-year is important for a number of reasons IMHO: or radically reducing the price level of the Iyonix...

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 04/03/04 6:10PM
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On Shipping Omega first impressions:

Stewart Brookes' comments are very welcome, but they raise as many questions as they answer: for example, he's implicitly comparing the Omega with a non-VF Risc PC with limited memory, if his comments about Photodesk are anything to go by. As someone who /has/ a VF2-equipped Kinetic with lots of memory, I probably wouldn't see the particular improvements he describes. OTOH, for those for whom compatibility is the big issue (and I'm amongst them), I need to know whether the undoubted performance increase offered by the Omega over my present machine warrants spending /a lot/ of money, and (equally important) whether ongoing support and development effort will offered by MD (whatever the pros and cons of the Iyonix, Castle are undoubtedly actively supporting & developing it).

So IMO MD (or one of their dealers-Liquid Silicon?) would be wise to offer a current-spec machine for independent evaluation by, for example, EUREKA or ARCHIVE, and, without necessarily quoting a timescale, state what is on the to-do list for the Omega.

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 12/08/03 11:11AM
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On Imagining RISC OS and PMT:

Spriteman: 'either way, I can't remember my last crash on Risc OS' - ho hum...My VF/Kinetic crashes (i.e., requires a reboot) fairly regularly, so you're doing pretty well. Photodesk, RiScript and DialUp (posting news) are probably the most regular offenders with me. That said, the speed and ease of rebooting compensates to some degree.

If the Alt-Break procedure worked every time that would help too, but I find that some apps won't die but bring the system down with them. However, Windows NT wasn't bulletproof either: try putting a Mac format CD in an NT machine by mistake: the CD drive spins up and keeps running, the CD won't mount but you can't eject it - only way to get it back is to shut down....

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 01/08/03 4:05PM
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On Future ARM based processors for RISC OS?:

Hi Julian/David: if you look at the major applications in RO which are still being developed/upgraded (Vantage, Artworks, Photodesk) there is a strong graphics bias IMHO. That can involve complex operations on big image files, for which even a 600Mhz X-scale may not be enough, if the alternative is a dual-processor Mac with over 2Ghz plus the described advantages of the PPC architecture. So why not port RO to the PPC? Didn't Acorn have a plan to do this once?

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 30/07/03 1:36PM
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