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druck1368
Username: druck
Realname: David Ruck
About me:RISC OS for computing, RX-8 for driving, Cessna for Flying, curry for eating, lager for drinking, and ladies for loving.
Homepage: http://www.armclub.org.uk/
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On In brief: Acorn World show this weekend:

On what? URLs!

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 14/9/09 11:10PM
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On In brief: Acorn World show this weekend:

Anybody go then?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 14/9/09 1:23PM
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On Dual-head DVI ViewFinder graphics card announced:

Something a bit off with the maths there, unless you are using a 260Hz refresh rate.

I've always run 2048x1536x32bpp at 75Hz on my Iyonix with both old and new graphics cards. The overall video transfer rate is 900MB/s, but it outputs data at 1157MB/s during the display part of each line.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 10/9/09 12:58PM
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On Online RISC OS mag proposed:

If the PDF has a frilly collar, it will be a dead give away.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 4/9/09 12:37PM
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On ARM-powered computer firm in RISC OS port talks :

There's plenty of information on ADFS, both '-' and '+'. I implemented DiscKnight purely from publicly available information in the PRMs and RO4 (nee Ursula) documentation.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 3/9/09 7:15PM
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On Five tips for ROL over the next five years:

Yes I would like to see some things I've paid for with the £600+ of Select subscriptions made available, for the good of the platform to encourage application development.

After all I get sod all else out of that investment now, as you refuse to support the only RISC OS machine I still have; the Iyonix, for no good reason.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 27/8/09 12:39AM
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On Five tips for ROL over the next five years:

The difference between a page full of black squares and showing the full range of characters as intended.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/8/09 7:35AM
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On Dual-head DVI ViewFinder graphics card announced:

Given the choice of a working ViewFinder and the RISC OS 6 changes, it's ViewFinder everytime for me, the Risc PC is unusable without it.

I ditched my entire RPC because of RO6's poor support for the Rage 128 cards, if I'd had a Radeon I would never even contemplated wasting money on RO6.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/8/09 7:27AM
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On RISCWorld mag back-issues reprinted online for free:

Oh come on, no one who isn't a RISC OS user is going to look at RISC OS in this day and age.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/8/09 10:10PM
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On Dual-head DVI ViewFinder graphics card announced:

I wouldn't hold your breath, they refuse to even fix their driver for the ViewFinder cards it currently supports.

On RISC OS 4.X with JK's firmware I used 2048x1536x32bpp@70Hz for 5 years, with RISC OS 6 it insists the card is only capable of 1920x1440x32bpp. If 2048x1536 is selected it only does 16bpp at a completely useless 48Hz.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/8/09 10:08PM
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On RISCWorld mag back-issues reprinted online for free:

Handbags!

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 18/8/09 6:45PM
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On NetSurf on RISC OS faces axe:

And how many hundreds were raised for the Firefox 2 port? Is that finished yet?

No amount of money can make more hours in the day for developers work on these projects, especially when there is very little else to motivate the work as most developers have long since looked to other platforms for fundamental necessities like web browsers.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 14/8/09 8:26PM
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On NetSurf on RISC OS faces axe:

The last thing we need is another half finished, slow, buggy browser.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 14/8/09 8:22PM
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On NetSurf on RISC OS faces axe:

That comes across as a real slap in the face for every one that has supported NetSurf, both by reporting bugs and financially, since it's inception on RISC OS. Other platforms came in relatively recently, and now you can't wait to bin RISC OS off.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 14/8/09 7:13AM
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On RISC OS 5 port hopes for netbook now in production:

I notice you didn't mention the web above. Without a full fat browser i.e. Firefox, Flash and other plug-in's what use is a Netbook?

90% of the use of my EEE is the web, 9% email, and 1% Open Office and anything else. Without the full web experience, it just wouldn't have been a consideration.

The big question is how much functionality is sacrificed by running RISC OS rather than the supplied OS of whatever flavour. We need finished quality applications just as much as OSs and hardware.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/7/09 11:23PM
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On Acorn World show is back this September:

Why should asking the venue if any computer related event was on that weekend complicate things? Their very simple answer was 'no'. I suggest you start by addressing that if you want this event to be taken seriously.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/7/09 12:36PM
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On Acorn World show is back this September:

Try phoning them yourself, they knew nothing about it when I called yesterday.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 27/7/09 3:18PM
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On Acorn World show is back this September:

Perhaps someone should tell that to the venue.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/7/09 2:57PM
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On Acorn World show is back this September:

Is it April already?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 25/7/09 11:56AM
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On First screenshot: Beagleboard runs RISC OS 5 desktop:

Any work for CE will involve changes to the Windows specific code and user interface, it's irrelevant to RISC OS.

Just as irrelevant as fact that all the OS's run on the same processor. Firefox is written in C and compilers can spit out code for any processor. The problem os RISC OS is so privative compared to the other OS's, CE included, a vast amount of work has to be done to provide the facilities the application expects.

Unixlib provides these facilities, but in it's current form it will never allow applications to run at speeds comparable to other OS's on the same processor. There are too many layers because RISC OS is just too different, and feature poor.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/6/09 3:22PM
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On First screenshot: Beagleboard runs RISC OS 5 desktop:

What nonsense. Win CE is based on Windows NT, and is no relation to Windows 95. A full build of WCE OS can easily fit in to 32B, Windows Mobile 6 OS and application suite will fit in 128MB. Most devices these days include an absolute minimum of 256MB of flash.

We aren't working in the days of 4MB masked ROMs anymore.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/6/09 3:07PM
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On First screenshot: Beagleboard runs RISC OS 5 desktop:

What's surprising about that? There has always been ARM Linux builds of Firefox. It gets you precisely 0% of the way to a RISC OS build however.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/6/09 7:04AM
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On Five tips for ROL over the next five years:

Paul, you claim I have selective memory, but it was you who agreed we could switch my personal subscription in to the name of the club (of which I am I chairman), so we could use Select on the club's computer at shows, in order to PROMOTE YOUR PRODUCTS, and this is the thanks we get.

But anyway that has nothing to do your current decision to condemn the good work that has gone in to design of new APIs as an irrelevance, to not only the majority of RISC OS users who aren't running Select, but also to the future of the platform, as your OS variant doesn't run on the new hardware which will be the basis of the next generation of RISC OS devices.

It's time to wake up and get some business sense, you live or die by the success of the platform as a whole, and can't survive hiding in your ever shrinking corner.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 3/6/09 10:42AM
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On Five tips for ROL over the next five years:

If I were a Select subscriber, and I was for most of it, I'd be more likely to ask why Adjust releases are so cheap compared to the years to funding I put in as a subscriber, and what happened to 3 years subs when there were no releases and coincidentally the A9 was in development? But lets forget about that, it's water under the bridge

What I certainly *would* *not* be complaining about is if 3rd party applications were able to take advantage of Selects enhanced features. Say for example Photodesk was able to load a greater range of image formats, and save sprites with alpha transparency, because the ImageRender and SpriteOP APIs were universally available.

Remember we are talking about low level APIs which allow RISC OS programs to utilise your version of RISC OS, not the user facing things such as fancy buttons, configure tools and new versions of Draw and Paint, which would remain exclusive to Select.

At the end of the day and OS is no use on it's own, it is there to run applications, and it's application development we are in desperate need of. Any boost to that by making it worthwhile to developers to use the features you've worked long and hard on, benefits everyone using RISC OS, yourself included. Attempting to keep everything to the ever diminishing number of Select subscribers, only hastens the day development of your branch of RISC OS will become non-viable, and all work done so far will be wasted.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 2/6/09 1:17PM
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On First screenshot: Beagleboard runs RISC OS 5 desktop:

Viking, no such API layer or anything close to your concept currently exists. There is no easy way to do this, and no amount of wishful thinking will change that.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 31/5/09 8:37AM
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On First screenshot: Beagleboard runs RISC OS 5 desktop:

Viking, in practice you'd find your layer was larger and more complex than the OS underneath it. It would be the bodge to end all bodges, and really too horrid to contemplate.

With any software development, and particularly OS development, if you can't do it properly, do it at all.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 30/5/09 7:22PM
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On First screenshot: Beagleboard runs RISC OS 5 desktop:

Viking, how can you split the API from the OS? The API is just the entry point, the OS contains the code and the context. You can't just have multiple copies of the same code running in different threads, what is needed is change the code to allow multiple contexts.

Take a simple one such as directory enumeration. Currently the OS only has one context, so an application must call a SWI to get the first file, then make a number of additional calls to get the rest of the files. It cannot allow another task to run during this operation, as if that also talks to the OS, it will destroy the context, and the enumeration will subsequently fail.

Now you can't just run two copies of the entire OS to get round this, firstly because there is only one set of disc hardware, and even if you got round that with virtual machines, you then have not only two separate contexts for the enumeration, but also the disc contents. i.e. the contents of the disc could appear different to each application.

The filing system code needs to be re-written to allow use of the API by separate threads, providing a context for each of them, but maintaining a single consistent state for the filing system (synchronsisng reads and writes by each thread), and driving the disc hardware.

This can only be done by re-writing the OS to be thread aware. There are no short cuts that can be taken, "fork everything" just wont work.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/5/09 11:07AM
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On First screenshot: Beagleboard runs RISC OS 5 desktop:

Viking, you can't take applications and deliver events to them simultaneously in different threads unless the application is specifically written with this in mind. Some events will change data (e.g. key presses in an editor), others will read data (e.g. redrawing text), and unless threads are synchronised with semaphores or mutexs to prevent reading when the data is in mid update and inconsistent, the application will fall over.

As for Hydra, adding it to a Risc PC would have done precisely nothing. To take any advantage of it, applications would have to be extensively re-written, and with the RISC OS still being CMT, getting any benefit out of the additional cores is vastly more difficult than on any other platform. That's why when the StrongARM came out, offering faster single core operation, it was dropped like a hot brick.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/5/09 10:49AM
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On First screenshot: Beagleboard runs RISC OS 5 desktop:

Viking; Your understanding of processors is stuck back in the mainfraim era, it doesn't mater in the slightest whether threads can be run simultaneously on one core or multiple cores, it's about whether the OS is capable of utilising them, and RISC OS isn't.

RISC OS has it's roots back in Arthur which in turn was a warmed up version of the BBC B's MOS, basically a single program running at any one time, and a single state for all interaction with the OS. The only change was allow programs to yield to others on request at certain points - the Wimp_Poll and co-operative multi-tasking.

The crucial thing to take any advantage of multi threads/cores is to give each application it's own OS context so the OS can simultaneously deal with more than one application, no matter what it is doing. This also allows both pre-emptive multi-tasking and multi-processing across cores. With say a 90% rewrite of the OS and all application modules, this could be achieved.

However RISC OS is further hampered by the fundamental assumption that things like WIMP messages happen in a certain order, and any other events being received will stop most applications from handling the messages properly. You have a choice of either maintaining a compatibility behaviour and still having everything freeze if one task isn't responding, or accept a lot of things will no longer work.

As for your Wimp_Poll idea, I assume you are suggesting that the handler for each type of event be run in a separate thread, which has little or no advantage, and would be guaranteed to break everything.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 28/5/09 1:45PM
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On Five tips for ROL over the next five years:

And so reads the epitaph of RISC OS.

So many people won't stop using their ancient old hardware and software, that there is no chance of new hardware ever being commercially viable, no chance of really modernising the OS, leaving RISC OS incapable doing the things users of every other platform take for granted.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/5/09 10:50AM
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On First screenshot: Beagleboard runs RISC OS 5 desktop:

Remember any RISC OS application is utterly useless running on it's own. Every application needs to communicate with at least the filer in order to load and save files, and other applications to allow the drag and drop transfers which we find so useful.

Problems come if you have to communicate between these separate RISC OS shells, whether they are CMT to CMT or CMT to PMT, to uphold the rules existing applications expect two or more shells will have to stall, and the system will at best appear to work as it does now, at worst be an awful unpredictable mess like Windows 9X.

There really aren't any shortcuts here, either you do things properly (which is now beyond our resources), or you'll just make the user experience worse.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 25/5/09 12:24PM
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On First screenshot: Beagleboard runs RISC OS 5 desktop:

Arthur to RISC OS 2 wasn't an evolution, it was a fresh start. Almost no commercial software used the primative Arthur BASIC desktop, but implemented their own full screen windowing system, none survived the transition to RISC OS 2, they all needed a rewrite.

The same thing would be required if RISC OS changed to PMT and multi-core capable, almost every application would need significant work to ensure the assumptions made in a CMT environment were eliminated.

Even if the OS is metamorphosised, who's going fix all those applications, most of which aren't being maintained now?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 23/5/09 6:36PM
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On Five tips for ROL over the next five years:

Lets not forget the fine job which was done on ViewFinder support in RISC OS 6.

I did have the one variant of card which RO6 supports, and after enjoying 2048x1536x32bpp@70Hz for over 5 years with RO4 and JK's firmware, RO6 decided it could only do 16bpp at an unusable 48Hz.

According to ROL the card can only do 1920x1440x32bpp, so that's all RO6 will allow, and I was just imagining the last 5 years. My response was to bin the entire RISC PC, and versions of the OS which don't run on the far more powerful RISC OS machine that I actually use.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 23/5/09 12:37AM
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On Five tips for ROL over the next five years:

I consider it to be utterly pathetic that a company can claim a "success" from sitting on it's hands for 6 years ignoring over 1000 potential customers (20% of the claimed total customer base), until the machine they are using finally goes out of production.

BTW the word "nicked" is certainly actionable.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 22/5/09 10:14AM
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On First screenshot: Beagleboard runs RISC OS 5 desktop:

No I'm afraid not, use my druck at druck dot org dot uk address

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 16/5/09 7:26PM
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On First screenshot: Beagleboard runs RISC OS 5 desktop:

The PXA series Xscales used in PDAs were seriously crippled, a 200MHz ARM9 based unit could run rings around a 400MHz PXA265 on everything except pure cache bound arithmetic.

But then entire Xscale range suffered from an appalling bad memory system implementation as can been seen on the IOP series used in the Iyonix. And don't even get me started on the hideousness of the pipeline with all of the data hazards the XScale is blighted with, something ARM avoided in their implementations.

Intel are certainly no DEC, and should stick to rebodging PIIIs.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 14/5/09 3:22PM
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On Recent developments have left me feeling...:

Except one company's website claims exclusive rights to develop RISC OS, which doesn't rub well with there being another company developing RISC OS.

But as long as there isn't a punch up going on, lets live and let live.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 30/4/09 2:40PM
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On RISC OS 5 spotted running on RPCEmu:

rjek did a little module which trapped and emulated some ARMv5 instructions such as CLZ on older machines, to allow Firefox 2 to work on the RPC.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 30/4/09 2:38PM
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On RISC OS Open 5.14 now available for free download:

Damn, if only I was somewhere near my Iyonix, I'm itching to give this a try.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/4/09 9:35AM
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On RISC OS 5 pictured running on ARM Cortex-A8 kit:

Can we please leave the bloody RISC OS 5 vs 6 wars out of every topic, there is nothing more boring or more likely to discourage people from using this platform.

Instead let's concentrate on the good news that RISC OS is running on a Cortex processor, which is something I thought would be a lot more difficult than it appears to have been, judging by ROOL's comments.

However, the OS is only part of the story, what is now needed is the RISC OS applications to run on this system. Developers need information on the changes which will be necessary, and I'd like to upgrade ARMalyser to aid in the porting effort.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/4/09 9:31AM
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On Vpod: first pictures of new RiscPC graphics card:

ViewFinder is a DMA device (at least under John Kortink's firmware), and having DMA working over the podule bus greatly accelerated the speed of transfer of large bitmaps to the screen. I noticed that again when I swapped back from the Kinetic to a normal StrongARM, (a few months before selling the RPC), and had DMA available again.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/4/09 9:18AM
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On Wakefield 2009 wrap-up, photos and video:

Wish I could have made it as it looks like it was a very good one, but in the middle of a major upheaval at the moment. Hope to see everyone at SE (if there is one) or Birmingham (the MUGs wont let us down, I'm sure).

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 28/4/09 3:48PM
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On Vpod: first pictures of new RiscPC graphics card:

That's true, while RISC OS fonts are great on fuzzy CRTs, on pin sharp LCD's they look smudged, and I have to say Linux fonts look a lot better.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 27/4/09 2:16PM
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On Vpod: first pictures of new RiscPC graphics card:

I run RISC OS at 2028x1536 on my 22" CRT and it gives a decent enough display, but with a 1920x1200 24" widescreen LCD I can use smaller anti-aliased and ZAP bitmapped fonts, and read them more easily due to the increased sharpness. Try it some time.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 27/4/09 10:14AM
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On Vpod: first pictures of new RiscPC graphics card:

If you are talking about the cheap and crappy end of the real world then yes, but anyone considering a decent large CD panel will be needing DVI-D or dual DVI-D.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 27/4/09 10:07AM
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On Vpod: first pictures of new RiscPC graphics card:

With CRT monitors all but gone, there isn't so much need to drive the sort of ultra high resolutions I use on my 22" Iiyama, where as lower resolution LCDs give a far sharper picture. But DVI or preferably dual DVI is pretty much essential as analogue VGA compatibility is increasingly rare.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 25/4/09 8:16PM
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On 'Drobe should be accurately researched':

What He Said ^^^

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 9/4/09 9:00AM
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On Will Wakefield 2009 see a new graphics card for RISC OS?:

Amazingly enough there is still quite a bit of demand for the ViewFinder - I even managed to get Chris Evens to part with a chunk of cash to buy mine off me when I sold the RPC. I'm not sure if level of the demand is enough justify developing a new podule though.

What I'd do is bung a podule connector on the A9's mother board and just use the Risc PC to power it. Plug the IDE devices and monitor in to the podule and there's your processor, graphics, network, disc and USB upgrade in one hit.

Or actually why not just by the A9 and clear some clutter off the desk.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 7/4/09 9:13AM
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On 'Drobe should be accurately researched':

I don't think anyone contributing here should be described as a "RISC OS basher", we are all here for the good of RISC OS, although many of us have disagreed with the direction taken by companies such as ROL and Castle at various times. Drobe has always been prompt at awarding praise where it is deserved too, such as useful new features in RO6.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 7/4/09 9:02AM
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On VNC remote desktop app updated:

No.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 16/3/09 9:04AM
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On Hundreds more printers supported on RISC OS with Gutenprint port update:

Back when the RISC printing system was developed Archimedies 3xx and 4xx machines didn't even have free enough memory to compose a 300dpi A4 page, so had to split the job up in to strips, rendering the image multiple times and sending the results to the printer before moving on to the next one.

Claiming a buffer large enough for a whole page is a far more efficient way to achieve the task, and makes it easier to support high quality rendering and generate the data for a wider range of printers. As these days 512MB is the absolute minimum in any type of remotely modern computer, a mere 64MB (enough for 2400dpi A4 page), can always be claimed from VM system, so there is absolutely no point making the code more complex to use less memory.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/2/09 9:43AM
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On Hundreds more printers supported on RISC OS with Gutenprint port update:

You've got to realise that Guttenprint is modern software designed to run well on today's typical machines, not ancient creaking relics such as RISC OS systems. A mid range x86 box is well over 100x faster than a StrongARM Risc PC, and even my original underclocked EEE PC is about 4x faster than the Iyonix.

Guttenprint is also designed to run on modern OS's where claiming 64MB is non only a drop in the ocean compared to the overall memory in the machine, but even if there isn't 64MB free the VM system will make it available to the program as an when it is used.

So you've either got to put up with the performance limitations using old underpowered machines, and be grateful someone even thought it was worth the effort to still support them, or it's time to buy something which is capable to doing the job you demand of it.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 3/2/09 10:17PM
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On Your thoughts on ROL's Select 5i1:

Where's the option for "I'd like to try it, but as ROL refuse to support the Iyonix and I've sold the Risc PC, I can't".

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 27/1/09 10:36PM
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On Work starts on a RISC OS 5 ARM Cortex port:

I agree with that, but unfortunately no one is designing netbooks with RISC OS in mind. Any design would have to offer comparable experience running Linux applications to at least the current crop of 1st generation 900MHz Celeron and 2nd generation 1.6GHz Atom machines (similar performance despite the clock speed, the Atom having far better battery life). Keep in mind the 3rd generation featuring dual core Atoms for netbook class machines will be shipping in a couple of months.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 25/1/09 5:20PM
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On Work starts on a RISC OS 5 ARM Cortex port:

I really don't see much scope for an ARM in the netbook form factor of general purpose computers. This would place it squarely up against the Intel low power Atom family. There is only a small benefit in power consumption and cost from the processor when considering the system as a whole, and this is far outweighed by poorer performance and greatly reduced software availability. After a good start by Linux unfortunately it's now Windows shipping on the majority of devices, but just considering Linux the distros for the ARM are a lot poorer severed and even less ready for joe public to try to download new applications.

The ARM's niche is still in the ultra low power devices such as mobile phones, hand held game consoles and multi-media players, where software availability isn't an issue due to closed ecosystems, and power consumption accounts for everything. The Cortex doesn't have the horsepower to break out of this niche in to the general purpose world, indeed its needed just to stand still for the increasing sophistication of mobile applications.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 25/1/09 1:29PM
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On How to convince more websites to work with the RISC OS Firefox port:

Read my comment above.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 9/1/09 8:55AM
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On How to convince more websites to work with the RISC OS Firefox port:

Alternatively if any RISC OS port of Firefox was ever finished, rather than being left in a semi implemented state which precludes it from being called FireFox under Mozilla rules, then we wouldn't have this sort of problem.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 4/1/09 8:45PM
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On Drobe Awards 2008: The results:

Glad to see Wakefield won, it's the only show with the opportunity for two nights of serious drinking. If other organisers want a tip for success, make sure the bar, bed and show are all within easy staggering distance.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 1/1/09 5:40PM
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On Merry Christmas and a happy new year:

P.S Fix your clock, it's Christmas already!

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/12/08 11:49PM
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On Voting now open for the Drobe Awards 2008:

Not not not true - error too many negatives.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/12/08 10:44PM
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On Merry Christmas and a happy new year:

Thanks for coming back from the dead Drobe, have yourselves all a happy Christmas.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/12/08 10:41PM
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On Voting now open for the Drobe Awards 2008:

It would allow us to show our unanimous derision.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 23/12/08 11:24PM
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On Voting now open for the Drobe Awards 2008:

Where are the categories for "the most outrageous claim" and "starting the most pointless argument"?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 23/12/08 8:11PM
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On RISCOS Ltd's head licence with E14 leaked:

Aaron, you should be a lot more concerned about your own words and actions, rather than get all worked up by what you think I don't know.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 22/12/08 1:05PM
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On RISCOS Ltd's head licence with E14 leaked:

Of course it requires both sides to leak their highly selective and/or doctored versions of various contracts, so we can make an judgement based on bad grammar, obvious spelling mistakes and which bits appear to be written in crayon.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/12/08 1:19AM
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On New RISC OS ownership claim may derail ROOL RiscPC ROM release:

So Aaron, what are you going to do?

1) Publish the full text of the 1999 and 2004 agreements for everyone to see 2) Get a definitive court judgement one way or the other 3) Shut the f*** up and let everyone get on to with what they were doing 4) Keep up your swinging dick contest until you've driven away everyone with any interest in RISC OS

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/12/08 7:49PM
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On New RISC OS ownership claim may derail ROOL RiscPC ROM release:

Paul you can 'if', 'but' and 'therefor' all you like, your unquestioning fanboyism is becoming rather tedious.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 17/12/08 3:31PM
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On Using ROL's 4.02 ROM image in Linux RPCEmu:

Note the start up banner in image 7.

Copyright © Pace Micro Technology plc 1999 Certain elements are copyright © RISCOS Ltd 1999

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 17/12/08 3:28PM
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On Something positive to take from the OS 5 ROM licensing saga:

If there was any prospect of making money out of RISC OS licensing I might be able to understand the motivation for such underhanded and deceitful claims, given the conduct of other players in the wider industry. But there isn't,there is no remaining commercial interest in RO before this nonsense, and it would be absolute commercial suicide for it to ever be contemplated in future.

Meanwhile ROL are desperately scraping the bottom of the barrel offering the OS to owners of ancient 3.6 & 3.7 machines and freeware emulators for next to nothing, and ROOL are opening the sources and offering them for absolutely nothing. The only use of the OS is by a small number of enthusiasts, and to be honest, mainly due to familiarity and resistance to change rather than any real advantages over alternatives.

So what is the point of making such claims which could never be anything other than divisive and highly damaging? Did Aaron decide to start a swinging dick competition just of the hell of it? Or did he see some healthly competition in the forum of freeware emulators and ROOLs open source code threatening his nice cosy Virtual Acorn franchise?

That would be the end to sitting back and raking in money from a very over priced product, especially now the real cost of the RO4 ROM images has been revealed, and can't be used as an excuse. New emulation techniques will rapidly outclass the VRPC code which has very little development since it came from Red Squirrel over 6 years ago. Importantly other emulators cater for the growing number of Linux users, which Aaron has always point blank refused to sell to, despite VRPC creator Adrain producing a Linux version many years ago.

If that's so, some investment in improving his product and market coverage would be the sensible option, rather than crassly announcing to the world that he now owns all of RISC OS, black is white, and we need his permission to do anything. Carry on like that, and soon no one will be disputing these claims, because there will be no one left to listen.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 17/12/08 3:15PM
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On New RISC OS ownership claim may derail ROOL RiscPC ROM release:

'Apparently' Paul, your grasp of reality is becoming as 'ambiguous' as Aarons.

Castle were only able to obtain the right to use 32bit RISC OS 5 from Pace with Pace's complete approval and legal clearance. Which could not have occurred if there were any outstanding contractual conflicts with any of Pace's other RISC OS licensees, i.e. ROL.

Whether ROL approved or not is immaterial, Pace as owner of the head licence called the shots, and it was their decision which allowed the Iyonix to be made.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 17/12/08 2:44PM
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On Something positive to take from the OS 5 ROM licensing saga:

Paul, I'm sure by now you are getting an idea of invalidity of ROLs interpretation of their licence. Ask Pete Wild to clarify that one for you.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 16/12/08 1:25PM
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On Something positive to take from the OS 5 ROM licensing saga:

More weasel words from ROL. If they want to get on so much why are they 'offering' ROOL a licence to RISC OS IPR based on their bogus claims? Are they hell bent on becoming the same sort of bottom feeding blackmailers as SCO?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 15/12/08 9:16AM
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On New RISC OS ownership claim may derail ROOL RiscPC ROM release:

Please don't get caught up in idle speculation on what may or may not be in any licence, it just plays in to the hands of those seeking to sow division.

Aaron is making these claims and it is up to Aaron alone to justify them.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 10/12/08 1:21PM
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On New RISC OS ownership claim may derail ROOL RiscPC ROM release:

Aaron is absolutely full of it. With Castle ceasing to make hardware he sees them not being in a position to defend their head licence, and is cynically making outlandish and unsubstantiated claims, then hiding behind the pathetic JC defence of "I know something you don't, but I can't tell you".

Everyone who still gives a flying frig formerly from Acorn, E14, Pace, Tematic or currently at Castle or ROOL rejects these claims as complete fabrication. Telling neither Paul Middleton, former directors of ROL, or shareholders of ROL ever made previously made such claims before Aaron became involved. Indeed the party line prior to this was that emulators were illegal under their licence.

It is very easy to settle this dispute, either make the licence public or take any parties they claim are violating it to court. But of course this wont happen, with the OS being given away for £5 and £20 there is no money for legal action, and the only use of the licence is to allow inadequate individuals to snipe at the open source efforts from the sidelines.

All this achieves is tainting the whole platform with the same stench as the failed blackmail attempts of SCO.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 10/12/08 9:33AM
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On ROL flogs RISC OS 4 for all emulators:

"With RISCOS Ltd having now confirmed it's ownership of all versions of RISC OS produced since February 1999"

I think you'll find the date was April 1st.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 8/12/08 1:20PM
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On Community-produced RISC OS 5.14 in final testing:

Hopefully they will have got a softloader working soon, so you wont have to risk bricking your Iyonix by reprogramming the flash.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 8/12/08 9:26AM
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On The ARM Club disbands after 18 years:

A few corrections, seeing that I wasn't approached to comment.

We haven't closed our doors completely, I'm still here offering technical support and DiscKnight sales via The ARM Club website. Plus I'll still be at shows for a chat, although maybe not first thing in the morning!

Numbers haven't gone in to free fall, just the same steady rate erosion that's been going on for the past few years as people slip away to other platforms, and sadly, the hereafter in many cases.

Whilst our key helpers were willing to carry on, we felt we weren't able maintain Eureka magazine at an acceptable level of quality or timeliness, with article writers and indeed anything to write articles on, becoming more scarce. So we have handed over that side of the club to Archive, who still manage to produce an excellent magazine every issue.

As a result the club is now effectively free, and anyone who wants to be is a member now.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 8/12/08 9:21AM
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On Midland Christmas 2008 show: live news feed:

My first show in 12 years as a civilian (rather than running a stand) and I rather enjoyed getting to talk to the other exhibitors for a change. Good after show meal too, shame I had to rush off to another xmas party.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 8/12/08 9:04AM
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On Upgrade to RISC OS 4 for twenty quid:

RISCOS Ltd do not own the RISC OS head licence, but it really doesn't matter if Aaron decides to make it up as he goes along, or genuine believes his own claims.

RISC OS as an commercially licensable operating system has no further value, one branch is being given away for next to nothing, and the other branch has been open sourced and given away for nothing.

No matter how they are interpreted, either ROLs or Castles licences are effectively unenforceable and worthless, apart from to certain individuals claiming access to the secret source to massage their overinflated egos.

The affect this has on users and developers is to make them run away from the platform even faster than they have been, as its a embarrassment to be associated with this nonsense.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 7/12/08 11:44AM
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On Upgrade to RISC OS 4 for twenty quid:

Being able to revert to a previous OS quickly doesn't create a reason for using it on a backup machine.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/12/08 1:27PM
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On Upgrade to RISC OS 4 for twenty quid:

If you actually talk to RISC OS users instead of assuming everyone fits in with your own experience, you'll find most of them in addition to having another type of computer to be able to fully use the internet and vast swathes of software not available for RISC OS, will have a main RISC OS machine, and several secondary ones.

They keep the secondary ones either for occasional use to play old games, or to use as spares in case their main machine fails. In the first case they want to use an older OS in the machine for compatibility, and in the second case they aren't bothered because they will swap their current OS ROMs in to it when necessary. Of those people with just a single machine and a 3.X OS, the machines are invariably sitting in a cupboard or attic unused, as if they still have any contact with RISC OS at all, it's via Emulation.

ROL making an upgrade path for these users isn't a bad thing, but is unlikely to generate much in the way of sales. However, what it does tell us is that the bottom of the barrel has been well and truly reached as far as OS sales are concerned.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/12/08 9:13AM
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On Upgrade to RISC OS 4 for twenty quid:

You are basing that claim on what evidence? The demand for hard discs of between 512MB and 8GB?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 4/12/08 11:05AM
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On Upgrade to RISC OS 4 for twenty quid:

ROL are really scraping the bottom of the barrel now, I really don't think the tiny number of people who occasionally use a RISC OS 3.6 or 3.7 machine for whatever reason, are going to be spending any money on the platform.

Plus if you softload, you don't get one of the biggest advantages of RISC OS 4.X which is the removal of the crippling 10 character filename and 77 files per directory limits.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 4/12/08 9:13AM
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On New lead developer for RPCEmu emerges:

There are two types of dynamic recompilation which are commonly used; block and optimised.

The block method involves breaking down each target instruction in to a series of very simple operations and building a buffer of branches to the 'blocks' of native code which implement the operations. Then instead of interpreting the instructions again, the buffer of branches is executed. This can be done either with native instructions or higher level C code on any architecture (with a small drop in performance).

The second method is optimised dynamic compilation, and this involves assembling a buffer of native instructions corresponding to each of the simplified operations the emulated instruction has been broken down in to. Several passes over this buffer are made to remove redundancy such as writing a value to the emulated register bank at the end of one operation and having to read it back again again at the beginning of the next, and only computing the processor flags which will actually be used by later instructions.

Virtual RPC uses the first block method and gives better than StrongARM but less than Iyonix level of instruction emulation performance on contemporary PCs. The second method would make the emulation many times faster than an Iyonix, and if done well close to native x86 performance, but its also a lot more effort.

But for either method taking advantage of x86-64 will give significant advantages, both reducing register scarcity and allowing the entire ARM physical address space to be mmap'd, reducing complexity.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 3/12/08 2:18PM
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On Prototype affordable Braille display in development:

I'd be quite happy to write a driver for the Dolphin Supernova screen reader, which is the UK alternative to the US's Jaws, and who's developers started out working on screen readers on the BBC Micro - RISC OS users might as well keep it in the family!

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 27/11/08 9:45AM
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On RISC OS South West 2009 show confirmed:

I hope a few more people turn up than last year, as it was looking rather shaky whether it would be worth doing again.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 27/11/08 9:33AM
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On Executive decision time for Midlands show:

I'm sorry but it is desperately, desperately sad that anyone would consider such an unwieldy Heath Robinson approach when you can get any number of small neat cheap Netbooks like the EEE PC.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 25/11/08 8:58AM
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On Adventures with a Lego-cased A7K web server:

I'd expect ARM Linux to comprehensively demonstrate the folly of using RISC OS as a server, even on exactly the same hardware. :(

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/11/08 9:10AM
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On Geeks celebrate RISC OS time epoch:

If we were discussing modern systems, we wouldn't be talking about...

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/11/08 9:02AM
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On Geeks celebrate RISC OS time epoch:

There is no bug, and RISC OS centiseconds since 1900 datestamps are good to go up to the year 2248, 141 years after UNIX seconds since 1970 datestamp run out in 2106.

As its a multi word 40bit number I don't see any problems when it goes negative in 2174, unlike systems using 32bit UNIX datestamps in 2038 which are likely to have issues due to signed arthimetic.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/11/08 11:32PM
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On Iyonix emulator mulled by developer:

With a good optimising JIT using ARM code as an intermediate P-code is more efficient than Java byte code or the crap MS uses in the .NET runtime, particularly on x86/64.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/11/08 8:48AM
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On EeePCs and RPCEmu at ROUGOL:

Compared to taking a Risc PC emulator and creating a hardware emulation of an Iyonix to allow the current RISC OS 5 ROM image to work, creating a generic HAL emulation is far less work.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/11/08 12:13AM
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On Geeks celebrate RISC OS time epoch:

Stuart really, really needs to get out more!

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 20/11/08 1:22PM
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On EeePCs and RPCEmu at ROUGOL:

Yes. You simply translate HAL calls in to the high level API calls of whatever host OS you are sitting on.

Take something like the real time clock, instead of having to trap memory accesses to the IOMD chip and simulate the II2C commands needed to read the clock chip on real hardware, you simply make a call to the host OS and perform a simple bit of arithmetic to convert the time value to RISC OS format.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 20/11/08 11:29AM
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On EeePCs and RPCEmu at ROUGOL:

If you've got a HAL, you don't need to emulate any legacy machine hardware at all. You just implement the HAL calls in native code, and gain considerably in performance and reduced complexity.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 20/11/08 9:18AM
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On Welcome back to Drobe.co.uk:

The reason I left dead drobe in a tab on my browser at work for six months, hoping one day it would come back, was I liked it's contents and it's style, and it didn't look out of place sitting next BBC News in the previous tab.

The offsite links rather than articles, the sea of grey HTML2, and the unordered comments, are a huge turn off. Even the Iconbar and riscos.org look more appealing than this.

Bring back the old, or I'll just have to let the memory of drobe fade to grey...

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 12/11/08 11:00PM
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On Welcome back to Drobe.co.uk:

Let's have some colour, and where are the pictures?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 12/11/08 9:30AM
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On Welcome back to Drobe.co.uk:

An another thing; the comment tree is all very well for seeing who has replied to who, but it gives no indication on which comments are new since you last looked, unless you examine each damn date stamp. Another leap backwards in usability.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/11/08 12:51PM
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On Welcome back to Drobe.co.uk:

Earlier than when I first saw it?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/11/08 8:56AM
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On Welcome back to Drobe.co.uk:

I think it looks bloody awful. Most of the new content is just off site links which isn't what I'd expect from a news site at all. :(

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 10/11/08 1:22PM
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On South East 2008 show round up:

I did. But there is only so much you can change about the fundamental architecture of the OS before the applications stop running on it. We aren't in a situation like Apple where they can make huge changes, such as switch processors, and the software developers will quickly port over a critical mass of applications. We aren't even in the situation of 6 years ago with 32 biting software, as that's a relatively simple process that doesn't even need source code in most cases. Significant changes to the majority of applications required to cope with, never mind take of advantage of, a radically modernised OS, can't be expected now.

So RISC OS will still have to exist with in the limitations of its core architecture, but that doesn't mean a lot of things can't be enhanced, and you can't take emulation way beyond the speecy emmy toys we have today, in to something that resembles professional VMs, with peripheral utilisation, hardware acceleration, deployable images, checkpointing & rollback, etc.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/10/08 9:24AM
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On South East 2008 show round up:

Driving the hardware is one thing, the underlying architecture of the OS being a single threaded anachronism, is quite another. Unfortunately if you do any significant redesign to address this, you break the majority of the applications, which wont ever be updated to take advantage. So we are going to stuck with that just as much in the future as we have been in the last 20 years.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 22/10/08 7:02PM
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On South East 2008 show round up:

At the moment both VRPC and RPCEmu emulate the specific legacy hardware of the Risc PC. If you have an open source emulator and an open source target OS with a well defined hardware abstraction layer i.e. RISC OS 5, you can abandon having to exactly replicate vagaries and limitations of this old hardware, and instead do what Virtual Machines such as VMWare do, and implement RISC OS drivers for an idealised set of generic hardware. This greatly simplifies the emulation, and increases its performance, as there is then a close mapping between the RISC OS driver and the higher level APIs of the host system.

You also open the door to make far more use of the host systems facilities than current emulators, such as offering access to the host's USB and Bluetooth perhiperals using high level calls rather than having to implement the hole USB and Bluethooth stacks in software on the RISC OS side. Also you can make use of software components such as audio and video codecs, which aren't available for RISC OS, and would run too slowly in ARM code in any case.

There is an incredible amount of potential for an open source emulator running ROOLs code, which goes way byond what is offered by VRPC, over an above the current sticking points of not running on Linux and not allowing you to have a USB memory stick based portable RISC OS emulator image.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 22/10/08 9:34AM
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On South East 2008 show photos:

Well it might have to be done entirely online next year. :(

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/10/08 9:10AM
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On Iyonix range taken off the market:

JWoody: Will RISCOS Ltd still produce a select version for RO5?

After 6 years of excuses, what do you think?

Just as RO6 is increasingly aimed at VRPC (due to Aarons involvement with ROL), any future for RO5 lies in putting it on an open source emulator running on an open source OS, using the HAL to interface better to native code drivers, and writing a much better optimising JIT. VA have sat on their arse for 6 years with little improvement on the core emulation or OS crossover since Red Squirrel, and there is plenty of scope to produce the product people actually want, with Windows not required.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 13/10/08 09:25AM
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On Iyonix range taken off the market:

I'm afraid I see no future for bespoke ARM based hardware. Back when a decent PC cost £1000 and a RISC OS machine cost £1500, you might be able to justify it. Now a new limited production run RISC OS machine is still likely to cost at least £1500, but a reasonable x86 system can be bought for £300 including monitor, which has a vast performance advantage over any ARM system. Put an emulator on it and it will run RISC OS at an equivalent or better speed.

Wishing to retain the native hardware is a purely emotional attachment, ARM aren't in the business of making desktop class processors, so there aren't any economic or technical reasons to build a machine around them. Even the newer dual core processors won't give that much of a performance boost, as its one thing to have two cores, quite another to modify the arcane internals of RISC OS so it makes any significant use of them. Indeed a few tweaks to VRPC would give a far greater boost in performance on multiple cores.

Then there is the question of what a RISC OS machine is used for, which is to run legacy RISC OS software, with the many gaps in the portfolio, such as a full web browsing experience, having to be performed on another platform. There is little chance of new hardware spurning a significant increase software development, which now consists of the sterling efforts by few remaining developers producing upgrades to existing applications, and a few new utilities produced by hobbyists. Justifying a new machine on this basis when you already have other machines is impossible.

I hope that when ROOL have release all the sources to RISC OS 5, people will port it to some interesting ARM based CE (consumer electronics) devices. But it isn't likely to be a commercial operation, by the time its done the item would be passing out of production, so it may be of benefit to a handful of people. I'd also like to see Virtual Machine standard of emulation available for all platforms, including Linux with Aaron is so reluctant to support. There is much scope for improvement over Virtual RiscPC which has remained largely unchanged in 5 years due to lack of competition. RPCemu with a good JIT running on Linux, would be a much better prospect to allow users to retain access to the classic RISC OS applications they are familiar with, but also enjoy all the benefits of a vibrant rapidly developing platform, free from Microsoft hegemony.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 01/10/08 09:41AM
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On Wakefield 2008 show photos:

Isn't Graham allowed to indulge in a bit of Dr Who companion backdrop action? Lalla Ward, those were the days... [link]

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 30/4/08 9:23AM
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On Wakefield 2008 show live news:

My throbbing head.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 28/4/08 9:53AM
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On Wakefield 2008 show live news:

I'll try and get the pictures to drobe tonight, I had to write yesterday off to natural wastage.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 28/4/08 9:18AM
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On Apple Mac VirtualRiscPC leaves beta:

arawnsley wrote: "Select required an OS 4 ROM as a baseline. It can be used on top of any machine with an RO4+ RISCOS Ltd ROM/image, including VRPC. "

It doesn't need to on VRPC, you can boot straight in to a suitably prepared Select ROM image.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/4/08 1:18PM
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On Wakefield 2008 show theatre line-up revealed:

Lets all make sure we are there then.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 18/4/08 9:02AM
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On Show your love for RISC OS on Facebook:

You must be using a browser without ad blocking capabilities.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 2/4/08 8:34AM
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On Show your love for RISC OS on Facebook:

Give all my personal details to Facebook? I don't think so, not even for RISC OS!

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 31/3/08 8:40AM
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On Click right on with RISC OS:

Its interesting to see other GUIs still trying and failing to solve the same problems that RISC OS excels at. Take for example using scrollbar buttons, RISC OS allows you to scroll in the direction of the button with the left mouse button, and to reverse scroll using the right button without having to use the mouse. I noticed on some but not all scrollbars on my EEE PC that there was an up button at the top, but both a down and an another up button at the bottom. That makes it easier to switch scrolling directions, but still involves moving the mouse, so isn't as elegant as RISC OS, looks rather messy, and reduces the size of the bar area (can be important with only a 800x480 screen).

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/3/08 9:07AM
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On New PDF output tool on sale:

A 32bit version will run on all machines. I suspect a 26bit version has only been produced for the tiny number of people not loading a 32bit Shared C Library due to a compatibility issue with an equally tiny number of legacy applications.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/3/08 9:00AM
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On Using shared source to brighten up the desktop:

Alpha blending isn't hard to do, and the alpha sprite format isn't that different to old style bi level masks, so the changes to the sprite handling and plotting code shouldn't be that extensive (we do want to make sure backwards is done properly though). It should be just the sort of enhancement that the ROOL initiative is designed to encourage. And as you say once its available to all, it will be worthwhile for application developers to support.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 12/3/08 2:10PM
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On Using shared source to brighten up the desktop:

Yuck! The desktop sprites look horrible against bright coloured and black backgrounds as they are designed to anti-alias against a light grey background. This is a situation where Select's alpha blended sprites would be useful, so they can be used on top of any background. Although that would only solve the problem for OS supplied ones, you'd need to convert all application icons to alpha blending too.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 12/3/08 8:55AM
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On Dinosaur software made StrongARM-safe:

Well running the code block from the supposed 32bit version through ARMalyser, relveals whoever sent it to me hadn't ported it just extracted the BASIC !RunImage from the AIF wrapper. The code is still the orginal, full of 26bit flag preserving code, so no wonder it falls over.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/3/08 11:38PM
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On Dinosaur software made StrongARM-safe:

There is a 32bit version of !VMRLeyes which runs on the Iyonix, although it is a bit unstable, and chokes on a few of my VRML files which I think used to work with the 26bit one. Unfortunately I can't remember at the moment who sent it to me.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 10/3/08 9:13AM
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On A quick guide to fitting a new RiscPC hard disc:

rjek: "but modern hard discs kick out lots more heat"

You obviously don't remember full height drives and ST506 models, a modern drive uses a fraction of the power, and hence heat generation.

Modern drives don't need much cooling or direct air flow, just that the ambient temperature is kept under control within the case. Without the several hundred watts generated by processor, northbridge, and ridiculous graphics card to have to deal with, a small case fan is adequate in most RISC OS machines. The exception being heavily expanded multislice Risc PC's, which may require a second fan.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/2/08 8:44AM
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On A quick guide to fitting a new RiscPC hard disc:

All good advice up to the last paragraph, but RISC OS is very kind to hard drives. For the vast majority of users, the drive is only in operation when loading tiny RISC OS applications and saving data, with a small burst every 15 minutes when email is fetched and debatched. The drive light is off then the rest of the time, unlike certain other OS's which constantly bugger with the HD for no good reason. The only time the lack of caches in RISC OS would make a difference to disc lifetime is if you were constantly running something like a web server with heavy usage, and there are plenty of other reasons for not doing that.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 28/2/08 1:50PM
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On South West 2008 this weekend:

I bought it specifically to run a full version of Firefox *with* all the plug-ins and video codecs, and *without* any Microsoft software. Putting RISC OS on it, wouldn't fulfil either of those requirements. :(

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 28/2/08 8:44AM
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On Ditching desktops for portables: The way forward?:

I'm now browsing on a hen's tooth, also known as a 4GB eee PC, and its fantastic. Its got full version of Firefox with plug-ins and video codecs, and runs like a dream, I'm afraid to say its a far better experience than any RISC OS browser even on the small screen. Given there isn't any ARM processor as powerful as this underclocked Celeron, I don't how any RISC OS based device could compete, especially not with the price point the eee sells for (even considering I paid a bit more to get hold of one this century).

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 18/02/08 8:24PM
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On Animated love:

Nice, but very manually intensive to produce. I'd have been tempted to generate the squares and the fade in all programmatically. But then such skills tend to leave you not requiring such things for the 14th.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/2/08 9:03AM
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On RISC OS skills database website launches:

DS1: its not meant to be some CV boasting arena, only skills which are relevant to ongoing RISC OS development are required. Unless of course you know of any active projects written in Forth, Lisp or Ada which are looking for volunteers.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/2/08 8:47AM
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On RISC OS skills database website launches:

I've got one or two skills I can offer, but unfortunately its time that is rather lacking. I did some work on one of my RISC OS pass over the xmas holidays, and it only needs a couple of hours to finish it off, but at this rate it will be next xmas before I get a chance. :(

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 4/2/08 8:42AM
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On Wakefield 2008 details confirmed:

dms: A pretty fair description of most of them, but we used to stay in a Campanile in Gorinchem when we did the Dutch shows, and that one actually wasn't too bad. But that could have had something to with it havng a bar, Dutch waitresses, inflamable table orinaments, and TV channels which cateterd for every imaginable perversion. Happy times.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 31/1/08 11:09PM
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On Wakefield 2008 details confirmed:

Cedar Court is quite nice. I remember back when we first did Wakefield shows, The ARM Club and the smaller traders stayed in the Wakefield Campanile (budget flat pack clone hotels located on scenic industrial estates throughout Europe) and looked on in envy at Acorn and the larger dealers staying in the Luxury of Cedar Court. If we were very lucky (or just pushy) we'd be invited along for a drink there on a Saturday evening, before travelling back to our humble dwellings in the back of someone's van. These days we are happy to pay for decent accommodation there ourselves, and its the firms still relying on RISC OS for their income that are in the Campanile and B&Bs.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 31/1/08 1:25PM
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On A call to ARMs:

If you put £4 a week away, even you could aford one in 5 years Rob.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/1/08 8:49PM
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On Wakefield 2008 details confirmed:

We'll be there.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/1/08 8:50AM
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On A call to ARMs:

Welcome to the top table of RISC OS performance, but where have you been for the last 5 years?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/1/08 8:47AM
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On Ditching desktops for portables: The way forward?:

The trouble is there are no compelling reasons to use RISC OS in embedded systems these days as rjek has described. Even for fonts, although I still think the RISC OS rendering system is superior, the various anti-aliased true type engines and even MS's Clear type have matured sufficiently that there would be little gain from anyone licensing our font manager.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 17/01/08 09:10AM
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On South West 2008 show next month:

Great, glad to see its in the usual place, so I can get there on autopilot.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/1/08 12:46PM
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On Ditching desktops for portables: The way forward?:

AW: because there isn't one yet. The IOP342 detailed here [link] isn't 3x faster on single core performance (what counts on RISC OS barring miracles) and neither is any ARM11 based chip. Its getting closer, but all the time x86 performance is increasing at a far faster rate, and hence the speed of emulation.

If Castle brought out a brand new ARM based machine, and the Virtual Acorn stand set up next door, lining up a whole range of Windows and Mac desktop and laptop machines running VRPC faster for less money, how many do you think Castle will sell? There's a few people still stupid enough to buy one, I'm probably one of them, but it would never make any money and finish off Castle for good.

For native hardware to make sense, we need the same sort of leap in performance that the StrongARM offered over the ARM7. There is a very tiny chance that could happen if low power x86 cores start seriously eroding ARMs core market, but I don't think its a realistic possibility that either x86 will do this or ARM partners would respond in that way.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 10/1/08 9:44AM
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On Best of 2007 awards results:

hzn: Rubbish! If people can't decide they don't get counted. Practically every vote or election is decided by the minority of the eligible electorate that has made the effort to register their prefences.

In future years the "can't decide" should be replaced with a "not voting in this category".

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 6/1/08 9:08PM
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On Ditching desktops for portables: The way forward?:

Its no good just porting the OS to something unless we have a clear idea on what it will be used for and vibrant software market to provide suitable applications for it. Otherwise you have an iconbar on the bottom, a cog on the corner, and the question on what on earth do you do with it now?

Devices such as UMPCs which try to be full desktops in a vastly smaller form factors just don't work. Its very frustrating coming from the same application on a fast desktop (or laptop) to using it on much slower device, cram on to a tiny screen, and needing the dexterity of a brain surgeon to use the touch screen or minature keyboard. If you want desktop style working you either need a large laptop for use on the move, or an A9 which you can plug in to a full sized screen and keyboard when you get to where you are going.

What works far better are applications targetted at the types of things you need the device for, and use way of achieving it matched to the smaller device. Whilst the spec's of Apple's iPhone are poor compared to most other smartphones, the applications and easy of use have set new goals for everyone. Compare the experiance of rubbing a couple of fingers over the iPhone's screen to do things, to having to use a fiddly stylus on a Windows UMPC.

So just what RISC OS applications would you use on a small form factor device? Our best apps such as Artworks, Photodesk, TechWriter, Ovation Etc, aren't the sort of things you'll use with a tiny screen. You'll definately want a web browser but we haven't got one of the capability of Opera on the desktop, never mind the additional features of the mobile version to work well with small screens. Were also is the ability to synchronise email, calendar entries, and to do lists with a desktop?

If we still had a huge pool of software writers willing to creare innovative applications to exploit new devices, then it would be worthwhile. But its obvious from the desktop market these people aren't around anymore, and its unlikely to interest them enough to come back. I'd like to be more positive, but I can't. We've all too old, been kicked when down too many times, and here is just not where things are at anymore.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/1/08 5:39PM
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On Maudlin over RISC OS:

I am feeling very maudlin about RISC OS thsi new year.

Castle have always stated that there wouldn't be another Iyonix until there is a processor that is atleast 3x faster than the current XScale, and that hasn't yet happened. Even if it does, the machine will still only be a performance increment over the existing machine, and vastly slower compared to x86 based hardware, and not much of an advantage over emulations running on such machines.

It still wouldn't solve the problems of gaping holes in the software line up, and its unlikely to trigger a boost in software development that previous generations of machines have. There are bound to be fewer sales than of the first Iyonix, as many people have left in the last 5 years.

I personally will continue to use RISC OS for most tasks, as although there might be better software out there for other platforms, my experiance means I can get better results our top software such as Artworks, Photodesk and Ovation Pro, than peope using so called industry leading packages. But there will come a point when I get my next camera that Photodesk will just be too slow for the increased resultion (I can just live with 7.1Mpix).

However, I find myself doing less and less creative work including programming, and am seeking more enterainment and information gathering which requires use of the internet. Netsurf is great, but with the abandoment of FireFox and lack of Flash, I'm having to consider getting something else to fulfill this task. Currently I'm looking at an eeePC which is just FireFox with a screen and keyboard. If I went for a full laptop (probably a MacBook) I'm afraid using RISC OS would become less compelling.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/1/08 1:54PM
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On Acorn Prof Furber made a CBE:

AW: just noticed you've written the same thig in the Maudlin article. Not much optimism to be had round here after all. :(

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/1/08 1:31PM
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On Ditching desktops for portables: The way forward?:

For mobile devices no one cares about the OS, its all about the applications: phone functionaility, web browsers, music player and sat nav.

Whilst Windows Mobile 6 and Pocket IE is the worst experiance imaginable, put Opera on the device and run it full screen, and it no longer matters whats underneath. For phone functionility Nokia has it swen up, and for music players no one looks like denting Apple's dominance.

If we ported RISC OS to an ARM based web tabet or ultra portable sub note book, it would probably only be existing RISC OS users that would buy it, and there just aren't enough of anymore to make it worthwhile.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/1/08 1:27PM
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On Acorn Prof Furber made a CBE:

Lets not forget the most painful surrender to the American's, when Balir got in to office and handed over the entire UK education system to Bill Gates in return for a photo opportunity outside number 10 and a sound bite on that days news.

Almost over night our world leading an innovative IT teaching was replaced with the rote training of Microsoft Office drones, sucking vast budgets from schools for licences, and support teams.

The reward for putting the final nail in the coffin of Acorn and costing UK buisness more in lost productivity than industrial action in the 70s - a KBE. Arise Sir Gates of Windows, and UK IT rest in peace.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/1/08 1:12PM
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On Acorn Prof Furber made a CBE:

Britain has had its chance and blown it, and I don't see another Acorn or ARM coming from this country. Like every other scientific field we've had sucess in since the war, we've just handed it over to the American's to commerically exploit, and now lack the skills to compete.

But America isn't in a good shape these days, they produce mostly lawyers and accountants from their education system, where as India and China are turning out scientists and engineers in vast quantities. With the dollar weaking, they wont be able to attract the best to come to the US to work, and eventually these people will set up in their own countries.

India is already starting to move beyond simple out sourrcing and while China concentrates on cheap production, every deal they make with western companies involves partnering and technology transfer.

I see the next Acorn, Intel or Microsoft coming from that part of the world. The only IT related jobs in the UK will be working behind the counter in PC Word.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 3/1/08 11:43PM
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On Best of 2007 awards results:

hzn: fair point, so then lets not count the can't decides, treat it as a void vote in that category.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 3/1/08 11:27PM
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On Best of 2007 awards results:

Well done, all my choices won. :)

Drobe: don't have a "can't decide" option, force people to make their minds up!

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 3/1/08 3:17PM
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On Acorn Prof Furber made a CBE:

Well done to Prof Furber for a genuine contribution to the industry, which has resulted in the most sucessful processor architecture on the planet.

Its just a same that head of HMRC whos contribuition to British IT was overseeing the loss of 25 million people's records in the post, also gets the same honour.

Just gos to show we still reward patronage over acheivement everytime. So its no wonder we've given Cambridge to Microsoft and Intel to suck in and stamp down the sort of talented innovaters that created Acorn and ARM.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 3/1/08 3:03PM
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On NetSurf banner lost in post:

rjek: put more than one stamp in it next time ;)

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 13/12/07 1:08PM
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On A9home DIY laptop: first pictures:

AMS: not a good example, its not worth £2 ($4). Well actually it is a good example, because Microsoft will sell a (admittedly cut down) version of their OS to third world countries $3. This is at a massive loss, but they consider it money well spent to ensure that developing nations develop a Windows crack dependency (which will cost them dear later on), and are prevented from experiencing alternative open source OSs which might fuel the local software industry.

Microsoft are able to take this loss due to the massive revenues from monopoly racketeering which they have been convicted of around the world, but have suffered no effective punishment. Unfortunately no company which has ever traded honestly, including RISC OS ones, has been able to generate the revenues necessary for such a loss leading subsidy on hardware or software.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 10/12/07 9:11AM
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On NetSurf banner lost in post:

I hope it turns up eventually. I've had cheques from ARM Club members turn up months after they thought they had been lost in the post, but of course in the mean time they've cancelled and reissued. So don't rush out to get another one just yet, as it might re-appear for the SW show.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/12/07 8:57AM
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On A9home DIY laptop: first pictures:

Before the modern laptop, cut down desktops in flight cases were quite common, and damn heavy!

The show organiser in the first picture is The ARM Club's own "show man" Ralph Sillett.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 3/12/07 9:01AM
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On RISC OS camps to discuss future development:

There have been point by point feature comparisons on both ROLs and Castles websites. The common ancestor of both RO4 and RO5 was Acorn's RO3.8. Many of the changes that ROL put in to RO4 were also mirrored in RO5 before its release.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 30/11/07 1:11PM
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On Christmas 2007 show fully booked up:

*Reminder* it's tomorrow.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 30/11/07 9:02AM
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On RISC OS camps to discuss future development:

VinceH: At its basic form, its even simpler than that, if one variant uses OS_ArbitrarySWI 666, the other variant wont use the same 666 for a different purpose. The same with multi function SWI reason codes, error numbers, wimp messages, etc. We probably will end up with two ways of doing the same thing (like with USB), but its far better to have two totally disjoint APIs than have confusing overlap.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/11/07 8:53AM
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On RISC OS camps to discuss future development:

"punters have been unable to decide which version to stump up their hard earned cash for"

No, Punters have never been given the opportunity to decide as the two OS branches have never run on the same hardware. ROL have not made Select work on the Iyonix, and RO5 doesn't run on anything RO4/6 runs on - currently, although the ROOL work will (and has already) result in certain components being made available for all machines.

But even taking the announcement just at face value, this is a welcome move to prevent APIs diverging and hopefully stopping the module version wars, which makes life very hard for developers and provides a poor and confusing experience for users.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 28/11/07 8:59AM
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On Building a RISC OS laptop out of Lego:

Coming soon to RISC OS 6 / Select 4i3 - Square, round and clenched button options.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/11/07 12:55PM
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On Wakefield 2008 to be held in April:

Great news, it clashed with another event I'd have really liked to have attended this year, but April is empty so far.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 13/11/07 1:23PM
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On Could RISC OS teach Linux a trick or two?:

A good and comprehensive article. I've always pointed out the futility of copying the Windows UI, as it is an innovation and usability dead end, as demonstrated by utter futility that is Vista.

The biggest laugh is the first comment "The Linux desktop mimics the Windows desktop for one single reason. Ease of use. Do you think anyone would ever switch to Linux if everything was different?" Oh the poor tortured soles who know nothing else than Windows, and confuse depressing familiarity for easy of use.

Those coming to other GUIs after using RISC OS, don't find Windows or clones of it easy to use. They are condemned to hate every moment, as they have seen how things can and should be done better, if only there was more of the original thinking that spawned the features of RISC OS we know and love. Instead we curse the bloat of 14 different ways to do things and bodge after inconsistent bodge that characterises interaction with Windows.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 6/11/07 4:46PM
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On RISC OS 5 to support NetSurf printing:

The first major victory for the shared sourcing project! :-) Well done to JMB, and of course everyone at ROOL.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 6/11/07 8:56AM
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On RISCDomain magazine reviewed:

Even with the same 233 StrongARM Phoebe was much quicker than a Kinetic overall, as there was no use of slow memory, no DMA limitations (as with Kinetic), and no I/O bottle necks to the graphics system (as with ViewFinder). It could play a dozen Replay movies from disc simultaneously.

A machine based on a 600MHz XScale with an accelerated graphics card and UDMA100 is substantially faster, so the Iyonix would still have been the machine to replace it, but we wouldn't have lost thousands of users who thought the end of Phoebe was the end of RISC OS hardware.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 30/10/07 8:55AM
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On RISCDomain magazine reviewed:

There were two almost completely working machines which found there way to a couple of shows, and despite them being built with the very first silicon available, they seemingly had fewer issues than the Iyonix prior to its release, and the A9 during its extended more public guestation.

So despite what Acorn said, it could have been easy to bring it to production. If we'd had that vital generation of machines instead of the huge vacuum left by the departure of Acorn and the scurrilous Omega fiasco, the market would be twice the size it now, with far more of the next generation Iyonix and A9's sold.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/10/07 2:17PM
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On RISCDomain magazine reviewed:

Phoebe on the front cover - painful memories.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/10/07 8:46AM
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On New PhotoDesk upgrade revealed:

There is a very powerful plug-in interface, but its never been sufficiently documented to allow anyone other than the original author write plug-ins for it. This is one of the first things I talked to Nik about when handing it over after the 32bit port, now he has gotten to know the program via all the bug fixing, he is better placed to be able to document the plug-in API. I hope to see a plug-in SDK similar to the one CC produced for Artworks, and we all know what happened when a talented programmer got his hands on that!

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/10/07 4:46PM
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On New PhotoDesk upgrade revealed:

Well done Nik. There are still a lot of Photodesk users out there, Chris Evans ran out of upgrade CDs at the show, which can't be a bad sign.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/10/07 8:44AM
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On South East 2007 show preview:

If the developer of an ARM based operating system, can't support ARM based platforms, its time to pack up and go home.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 23/10/07 12:09AM
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On South East 2007 show preview:

If the OS is structured properly, there is no reason for the core OS and drivers to have to be shipped in lock step. With a well defined interface and separation of the binary image, development and release could occur independently. I hate to say it, but that is a key advantage of the RO5 HAL model, which should have been at least replicated in the RO6 work instead of sticking with the single ROM image and module chain.

As for emulation only, that assumes that the RISC OS environment will never be able to interface to any new peripherals, reducing it to a dead OS and mere toy. If emulation has any future, RISC OS must make direct use of equipment such as scanners, webcams and other USB kit in the same way it can currently use the hosts networking, without having to drop back out to the native environment and use non RISC OS software - otherwise that's where they'll stay.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 22/10/07 8:51AM
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On RISC OS 5 core source release imminent:

There needs to be big changes to the entire filing system stack to support greater than 2GB files, but of course existing APIs and compatibility with FileCore would retained. As for cost, who knows, thats the point of open sourcing it.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/10/07 9:10AM
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On RISC OS 5 core source release imminent:

The RISC OS 5 version of ADFS has a defined 64bit interface to FileCore for use when the hardware sensibly supports larger drives. But remember ADFS is a block level driver, the native disc format is implemented by FileCore, and that needs changes to support more than 256GB. An extension to 1TB is easy, but decreasingly space efficient. More than that will need a different format entirely.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/10/07 8:59AM
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On New PhotoDesk upgrade revealed:

The crawling ants problem would make any cut and paste larger than a couple of pixels take forever, now you can happy c&p your 7mPix camera images. The removal of the high DA means it will always run, no matter what other apps you've got going. Nik has also done a great job of removing dozens of other smaller bugs.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/10/07 8:51AM
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On Get new software alerts with Rover beta:

This might be able to put pay to having to maintaining my own comprehensive index of installed software versions, which is very anal thing to do, but is often the only way to check if you have the current version any particular software.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 15/10/07 9:53AM
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On New TechWriter style editor revealed:

That's me sold, well done to Martin Wurthner for another extremely useful upgrade to this essential program. Coming as regular as clockwork despite the huge number of projects he is working on.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 15/10/07 9:50AM
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On Review: A9home v. Koolu:

The power score favours the A9Home, but are there any figures for what the two units consume in idle and flat out loads? If not, how about using one of these [link]

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 15/10/07 9:46AM
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On PostScript overhaul project reports progress:

If Martin and John are working on it, you know its in safe hands, and a big leap forward is guaranteed.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 15/10/07 9:26AM
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On Will new ARM mobile platform boost RISC OS?:

I'm not really sure this will help with the browser port. Having FireFox running on ARM Linux/Gnome isn't much closer to running on x86 Linux/Gnome, the main part of the work isn't which processor the code is compiled for, but the compatibility layer between the window toolkit FireFox uses and the RISC OS window manager. That is the area that makes the current port less than fully usable. There could be a few ARM optimisations that could be made use of though.

However, an ARM optimised port of Flash, particularly with the Flash video codec's which are used by popular sites such as youtube, if placed in open source would be extremely useful, and could be used by a number of RISC OS browsers.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 15/10/07 9:23AM
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On RISC OS Sometime unrest grows:

I am very disappointed as the magazine showed great promise, and especially as many of us subscribed after the year long absence of Qercus. But at least when we hear from Louie, it is only to set out the problems she is experiencing. Unlike certain other editors, she doesn't spend every day posting dozens of argumentative and off topic messages to newsgroups, while trotting out promises of the magazine being in the post month after month.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 15/10/07 9:13AM
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On BOFH and PFY do RISC OS:

Which you can find here [link]

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 8/10/07 1:40PM
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On ArcSite marks first decade online:

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag

(Happy Birthday according to google)

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 8/10/07 9:02AM
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On ARM reveals new 1GHz multi-core processor:

VPRC still does not perform 3x faster for computationally intensive Photodesk operations on the top of the range dual core intel here at work, and if I were to get one of those myself, I would be using the full native power with non RISC OS software.

I'm afraid it either has to be a genuine ARM based system running RISC OS and only RISC OS, or if I have to buy an x86 box with the effort of maintaining another OS, that's what I'll be using most of the time. VRPC will eventually become relegated to just retrieving the odd old Impression document or some such.

ARM based RISC OS hardware is the only thing that makes me interested in writing software outside of working hours, otherwise I'll spend the entire time inside of FireFox.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/10/07 11:15AM
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On ARM reveals new 1GHz multi-core processor:

sa110: don't distract ROL, they have the A9 to finish before looking at anything else.

Support of multi-core is fare more likely to come from the ROOL initiative, not with symmetric multiprocessing as that's pie in sky territory for RISC OS, but rather people taking various parts of the OS and using the other cores as off load engines. For example shifting the network stack on to another core, which is of particular benefit when using computationally expensive https encryption. Much of the PCI I/O subsystems such as disc and the USB stack could be placed on another, leaving one core to run the main part of the operating system and applications, and another available to share by custom written applications which do a lot of non interactive operations, an MP3 player for instance.

But even using the single core, there will be a substantial speed increase from the both the clock speed and the additional memory bandwidth which will be available to be able to feed all 4 cores. FP would also be a bonus, and would open up float heavy APIs such as OpenGL.

Trouble is 2010 is a long way away. I've just upgraded from a 2.1mPix to a 7.1mPix camera, and I need a machine thats 3x faster than the Iyonix before then to keep my productivity at the same level.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/10/07 9:07AM
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On A9home USB printing in beta release:

The most work on portability was done with the RO5 HAL layer but unfortunately the wheel has had to be reinvented all over again in RO6 by ROL. We'll never get anywhere if our meagre development resources are wasted on duplication. Very soon people are going to be taking advantage of ROOLs source releases to port RO5 to other devices, but that will be no benefit to RO6s branch and vice versa.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 4/10/07 1:54PM
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On RISC OS-on-Linux first Live CD available:

I don't really want to criticise something at such an early stage, but I was a bit disappointed to find it seemed to be just a filer with vaguely RISC OS like window furniture and directory icons, and a couple of middle button menus, not even any drag selections, never mind drag and drop. I didn't work out what help NetSurf needed to run, and the window operations were very slow with no acceleration. The main puzzle was why it was an entire CDs worth, most Live CDs have far more than that on them.

But anyway I wish Simon luck, and I'll steal another CDR from work in 6 months time and have another look.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 4/10/07 8:59AM
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On Intel Mac VirtualRiscPC beta on sale:

This is great news and will allow people who need another platform for whatever reason, to continue their RISC OS experience without being forced to use Windows, although with x86 Mac's that's there is you really must. It will be good to see it in action on the latest Macs at the South East Show in a couple of weeks.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 3/10/07 9:31AM
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On RISC OS Connect project lacking support:

Speaking as a developer, its not really money we need, but rather time, and that side of the project rather than concentrating on cash handouts is what would be better to push.

We have many talented RISC OS users who although not programmers could easily take over some of the time consuming non coding side of development, and even do a better job than us code monkeys, who often find such things very tedious. Everything from the initial ideas, the design spec, user interface window and icon design, help files and other documentation, and coordinating testing and bug fixing.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 3/10/07 9:27AM
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On Sell PCs without Windows urges think tank:

Now this is more like it, a French man buys €599 laptop, but doesn't want the bundled Microsoft crap, and only offered a €30. He isn't happy about this, so sues then and gets €311 back!

[link]

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/09/07 4:36PM
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On Sell PCs without Windows urges think tank:

I don't think this proposal if enacted will actually change anything on the ground. A punter will still go in to PC World or some other idiot-shop and come away with a PC with Windows installed on it, via some dodge or another. The only benefit is if the retailer is forced to state the price of an OS-less machine with the price the manufacturer is paying for the Windows OEM licence removed, so people can see what the real cost of Windows and any bundled software is.

As we've seen in comments about the EU vs Microsoft judgement by ordinary punters in places like the BBC News website, people think Windows is free because it comes with the machine, and Microsoft shouldn't be punished for being so generous. They aren't aware of the either the real cost to them, or the vast profit margin on the pre-installed OS and Office.

The proposal would hopefully put an end to the ridiculous situation where companies such as Dell make it as difficult as physically possible to actually obtain an OS-less or Linux pre-installed version of the boxes they claim to sell (to escape allegations of unfair practices), but when you actually find them, the machine with "free OS" costs more than the identical one with Windows installed.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/9/07 9:32AM
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On Java and RISC OS:

The debate isn't that Java is rubbish or no use, but rather what the extremely limited resources of RISC OS developers should be aimed at. As Piers, who should know better anyone, says a fully functioning up to date JVM is a huge amount of work, and in return there is only a small number of JAVA applications which are likely to appeal to everyone and run at a usable speed on our platform.

Flash is completely unrelated to Java, but it is something else RISC OS needs, and is a much more obviously beneficial item to majority of RISC OS users, due to its extensive use on the web, which prevents us from making use of many popular websites. If there is any developer time available, then Flash is higher priority, followed by a number of other things, and Java comes very far down the list.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/09/07 09:21AM
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On Beeb designer lands top technology medal:

Its commonly said that the Microsoft PC has put computing innovation back a decade. If Britain had any clue how to support its home grown talent, Steve would be at the forefront of putting us a decade ahead.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/9/07 9:01AM
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On Oregano 3 spotted on a RISC OS desktop:

Any effort expended by a RISC OS developer on some kind of a proxy to filter broken web pages for outdated defunct RISC OS browsers would be a criminal waste of time, even if it wasn't vastly more complex than described above, and absolutely certain to be domed to failure.

If anyone has any spare development time and knowledge of HTML, it should be put towards either the one RISC OS browser still in active development - NetSurf, or alternatively getting FireFox 2 in to a better than barely usable state now PN has seemingly abandoned it again (PN: if that isn't the case please say).

It really does make my bloody boil when time is wasted discussing bodges of top of bodges, when the solution is blindingly obvious; either we develop the software needed by RISC OS users, or we abandon this platform completely.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 20/9/07 1:45PM
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On Java and RISC OS:

For once I'm 100% agreed with rjek.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 20/9/07 9:16AM
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On Oregano 3 spotted on a RISC OS desktop:

Stoppers: if you aren't familiar with the Turing Machine Halting Problem, I suggest you look it up. The only sort of browser proxy that works is how Mobile Opera does it - render the entire page and send the client a bitmap and a button map.

Jess: There is a test version of O3 that runs on Windows. It doesn't use the GUI but simulates a set top box frame buffer within a window.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/9/07 10:34AM
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On Java and RISC OS:

Sun can't distribute Acorn's code, even if they had it. There is no chance of resurrecting Acorn Java as far as I can see. Not that there would even be any point in a 1.0.2 or unfinished 2.0 JVM, which wont run any modern Java code.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/9/07 10:29AM
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On Java and RISC OS:

No licence means no distribution.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/9/07 9:27AM
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On Java and RISC OS:

Acorn paid a lot to licence Sun's JVM back before there were open source implementations, around the time they also paid a lot for the Shockwave (nee Flash) licence, but the market conditions were deteriorating and they couldn't justify renewing them. Acorn Java 1.0.2 did work rather well, integrating in to both Browse and Fresco and ran all the Java demo applets I tried, at an acceptable speed. Developers also had a preview of an early version of Java 2.0, which although very slow in debug release, showed promise and was able to run the Swing graphical interface with was the flavour of the day back then.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/9/07 9:10AM
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On Oregano 3 spotted on a RISC OS desktop:

The core of O3 is a very good browser, its compatibility is websites is second only to Firefox handling the typical broken Javascript thats out there, its CSS compatibility is as good as NetSurf, and dare I say it the TTF font engine looks even nicer than the RISC OS one. The RISC OS user interface is also clean and responsive.

However its always been let down by what should be the simplest part of the browser, the fetcher. This chugs away at a fraction of the speed of anything else, including RISC OS Firefox, continually changing its mind on how many files there are left to go. Usually after viewing a dozen pages or so, it either slows down or bombs out. Of course it might entirely be due the fetcher is the browser is processing the HTML in parallel, but it does seem to be the weak point that it shares with its predecessor Oregano 2.

If only this issue was fixed, it would be the highly capable browser RISC OS users are still crying out for. But as usual I suspect very few would be willing to actually pay for it, particularly as Oregan Ltds development cycle only seems to deliver one major release before throwing it all away and starting again.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/9/07 9:01AM
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On Simple low-level bug hunter released:

It sounds like Adrian is using his knowledge gained in Aemulor development of some of the low level debugging features of the X-Scale. These are very powerful features and will be a great benefit to RISC OS developers - well done!

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/9/07 9:26AM
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On Acorn football team plays on:

Like the photo on the site - you've been Strawbriged.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 3/9/07 11:09AM
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On News in brief:

I wonder if Chris is going to ask me to look at the information gathered on the A9s, as after all I have the tools to be able to diagnose it.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 3/9/07 10:19AM
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On Dutch RISC OS show called off:

I'm very disappointed, I loved doing the Dutch shows but was forced to miss the last couple. One of the reasons I learnt to fly was so I could nip across and do it in a day.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 20/8/07 9:12AM
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On Royal Mail gives post sorting app thumbs up:

Very nice, I just wish we were able to make still use of it. In its hey day the ARM club membership mail shots were around that size and we used to pre-sort the letters. Not quite the same scale these days unfortunately.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 20/8/07 8:56AM
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On Christmas 2007 show announced:

There are a couple I took from a C177 of the complex rather than the village at:- [link]

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 15/8/07 9:42AM
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On Samsung's 533MHz A9home CPU successor:

I haven't checked, but if the new chip is pin compatible and software compatible, there would be very little reason for STD not to use it in the production of new A9s. It may not offer a big speed increase, but I'm sure enough existing A9 owners would be willing to upgrade to make it worth while offering new processor cards, particularly if it was combined with a memory increase.

However, if its not pin compatible and requires a board redesign, it wouldn't be worth it for a small clock increase unless a big client demanded it. Otherwise its then in the same territory as the Iyonix where Castle have stated its not worh producing an upgrade until they can offer a system performance increase of 2x to 3x over the existing hardware.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 13/8/07 7:11PM
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On Jan Vibe: The interview:

Jan's contribution to *info was always the highlight of any issue of the Acorn User for me, both for the stunning visuals, and also the code was very instructive, back then before cover discs destroyed the learning process of typing in listings from the yellow pages.

The multi-coloured tentacle screen shot above, doesn't do justice to the original hideous flesh tones, so I've temporarily put up a copy on my web space, along with a port to win 32 which I did before the days of emulators to bring that sense of revulsion to Windows users too (as if using that OS isn't revolting enough). [link]

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 13/8/07 10:51AM
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On Samsung's 533MHz A9home CPU successor:

Having just moved from a 2.1 megapixel camera to a 7.1 mega pixel camera, a faster Iyonix would be very welcome to make up for the increased processing times of the larger pictures. I'd buy one like a shot.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 13/8/07 9:37AM
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On Early Soundblaster Live Iyonix driver released:

Great news. It should offer higher quality audio input and be free from the restriction of sampling at 48KHz to avoid dropped samples on the Iyonix.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 1/8/07 8:52AM
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On Qercus reviewed but renewed?:

Well you have to hand it to JC, despite spending every waking hour making thousands of posts to csa.* and other groups on entirely off topic issues and arguments about semantics and grammar, he has still managed to find time to get out 15 issues in three and a half years.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 27/7/07 9:22AM
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On RPCEmu author mulls future features:

I successfully prototyped the networking support for VRPC, which Graeme went on to implement using the same technique, and I'd be happy help adapt the code for RPCemu. It's an IP stack to IP stack system, so pretty platform agnostic once all the hacks for the definitely not entirely BSD conformal Windows stack are conditionally compiled.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 27/7/07 9:17AM
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On RISC OS Open: One year on:

Yes you can, as the issue isn't in RISCOS_Lib but in the Draw source and templates, so you can link against the already released RISCOS_Lib binary.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 23/7/07 1:30PM
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On Select nets 1,000th subscriber:

Aaron: we talked about getting RISC OS 6 to run as the exclusive OS on the Iyonix, something which requires information on the Iyonix hardware which Castle haven't supplied, so obviously leads to major difficulties for that route. The discussion now is about providing a range of Select features as a value added product to be used in conjunction with the base OS of RISC OS 5.

Unfortunately ROL seemingly refuse to acknowledge the second option exists and prefer to sit back and prevaricate about why they can't proceed on the first option. An exclusive core OS on Iyonix hardware would be the cleaner and better long term solution, but it also has considerable short term disadvantages given the huge amount of hardware specific driver code which would have to be needlessly duplicated, then support issues for both ROL and Castle while it reaches the same level of maturity as RO5 has over the last 4.5 years. Castle in particular would be unwilling to have to invest resources to investigate problems reported with hardware which turned out to be due to running a 3rd party OS.

Providing some/most/all Select features as softload over RISC OS 5 avoids those issues. If could be done as a single or phased series of releases, whichever suits development resources and revenue potential. This would get Iyonix owners onside and part of the Select scheme and contributing to the development effort, and show Castle that there is benefit to having Select run on the Iyonix. Maybe then the work to get RISC OS 6 can proceed, and without the huge pressure of a big bang release, leading to more stable product.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/07/07 09:27AM
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On Select nets 1,000th subscriber:

rjek: the kernel business is nonsense, what can be described as the kernel in pre-RISC OS 5 is a tiny amount of non vectorised processor and machine specific code, absolutely none of which is necessary to the features of Select which would be desirable by users and programmers.

The only thing you can't do in a limited softload is some of reorganisation of code in to separate module which has occurred in Select, mainly on the whim of its chief programmer rather than any sound technical requirements. RISC OS 5 had its own reorganisation to form the HAL abstractions and would not gain anything from such changes.

I'll say it again, there are no valid technical reasons why ROL cannot offer the vast majority of Select features over RISC OS 5 with very little development effort. They would have a potential market of Iyonix users of far greater than the existing 1000 Select subscribers, and they would be earning a considerable amount of cash to feed back in to developing their OS for RPC and A9 owners. Everyone wins, no one looses.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 18/07/07 2:32PM
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On Select nets 1,000th subscriber:

rjek: "The reasons why the ROL applications can't be ported to RISC OS 5 have been stated time and time again: they rely on new features of the OS to provide their enhancements that CTL's RISC OS does not have."

And independent developers have said time and time again, RISC OS was designed to allow every API to be extended and enhanced via the software vector mechanism, service calls, upcalls. etc, etc. The pseudo technical excuses hold no water, ROL could provide a useful and desirable set of enhanced features to run on top of RO5 and make good money out of it, if they wanted to.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 18/07/07 09:05AM
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On Castle reveal shared source licence:

guestx: isn't it time you found something else to do, RISC OS obviously isn't of any interest to you anymore.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/5/07 12:17PM
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On Castle reveal shared source licence:

lproven: "It's not open source and it's not Free, and that is a great shame. Shared source is a con, really: commercial companies (such as Micros~1) are asking for you to donate your time, your effort, your help, to their profit-making enterprises, and in return, you get nothing except the right to play with their product. If you're lucky, you might even get a free copy. "

But we aren't talking about a company that makes millions (or billions) in profits trying to get us to do the work for free. RISC OS is more of a community than a commercial enterprise these days, with several of the major projects being open source based. People are already willing to donate vast amounts of their time and energy in application development, and the Castle licence allows them to put some of that effort in to improving the OS. Its only fair that the owner of the licence can still peruse the limited commercial avenues that are open to the platform, and after all spinoffs such work continues to provide us with native hardware, so we gain as well.

As many have mentioned in future we may well have to abandon native ARM hardware for the desktop, but as JB says the licence isn't set in stone. A migration to x86 hardware is possible, first by complete emulation running over a host OS as we have now, but then gradually moving parts of the code over to the native architecture, forming an abstracted virtual machine to allow it run along side other OSs, and eventually supporting x86 application binaries for currently developed code (legacy code remaining under emulation of course). It would be a lot of work, and we'd have to decide if it was worth it, largely determined on whether application development can fore fill users needs.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/5/07 10:49AM
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On Messenger Pro 5 released:

They can be printed directly with previous versions, but the formatting is no where near as good as in a word processor, that's what version 5 addresses.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 17/5/07 4:03PM
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On Messenger Pro 5 released:

The printing emails feature will come in very handy - I still have to print out ones from my sister for the non computer literate old folks. I currently have to do it by copying in to Techwriter and changing the fonts of the header and signature (or they only ask why she's written that bit!)

Since version 4 was released there has been a huge number of improvements, I'm now using the built in editor rather than Zap Email, as it visually highlights spelling mistakes, so further enhancements in version 5 are very welcome.

This means no one should be coming home from Wakefield without at least two pieces of major updated software.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 17/5/07 8:52AM
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On Multi-page ArtWorks 2.7 now available:

I'm going to have to set up a direct debit to Martin, as he delivers great new features every year without fail.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 16/5/07 9:17AM
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On ROOL mouse mat design revealed:

I hope so, as by the time I found out it was too late to put one in for the ARM Club, which fully supports ROOLs efforts. We'll make up for it by buy a few mats though.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 14/5/07 9:56AM
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On ROL ship second Select 4 release:

The hardware monitor detection does sound useful, which I assume is for ViewFinder users, as VIDC predates EDID or DDC.

As for having the window titlebar at the bottom, there is only one application I know of which could make use this, my !Mirror ([link]) which is a desktop tool to help you create symmetrical objects by providing a live reflection of what is being drawn in another applications window (Draw, Paint, etc). As it can reflect in any of the 4 directions, the titlebar is placed at the bottom when reflecting what's above. Of course as it was written back in the early 90s, I implemented my own window furniture drawing routines, and wont be changing it again. But if I was to write something like that now, it would save a few hours work.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 14/05/07 09:52AM
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On ROL ship second Select 4 release:

Ok so all JC has managed to come up with is waffle about being able to import a draw file in to !Paint which you could already do in the Select 3i4 version of !Paint, so not a new feature. Plus anyone that's in anyway interested in graphics has been able to import both draw files and artworks directly in to Photodesk since 1994.

Now, how about we try again; would anyone that is not a complete muppet like to comment on new features in Select 4i2.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 04/05/07 08:48AM
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On ROL ship second Select 4 release:

David Holden: no, he's telling me to read a change list, where as I'm asking people who've actually used Select 4i2 to give their impression. Its a simple question, which anyone other than John Cartmell should be quite capable of answering unaided.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 03/05/07 2:42PM
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On ROL ship second Select 4 release:

Cartmell: Try reading and understanding the comment before replying.

As I said, I'm not interested in the change lists, but thing people have actually noticed and found useful.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 03/05/07 12:54AM
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On ROL ship second Select 4 release:

How some information on features, not just the changes list, but something that's not in 3i4 you've actually noticed and found useful.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 03/05/07 08:48AM
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On Select 4i2 apps will run on A9home:

Please can you email me that sprite file, I'd like to see if the alpha channel transparency support works ;)

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 2/5/07 8:50AM
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On ROL ship second Select 4 release:

Its a bit premature to congratulate ROL as no one has managed to get the download to work yet, but it is a good sign. Lets just hope this is the first step on the road to recovery, leading to sustained development and value for Select customers. Then we can return to the issue of support for the Iyonix.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 1/5/07 9:12AM
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On App development plans to be hatched at Wakefield:

Be nicer to developers and each other.

There is nothing that saps the motivation more than having a mental picture of your user base as being a bunch of ungrateful argumentatibe tossers.

Of course the vast majority of RISC OS users are good people, who are well worth sacraficing any form of social life to write software for. But unfortunately they aren't the ones you see when reading the newsgroups.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 28/4/07 8:27PM
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On App development plans to be hatched at Wakefield:

I can't really see how a bounty would motivate me. I mainly do stuff for RISC OS now because it something that interests and stimulates me, unlike the stuff I have to do in day job.

If I started thinking about getting my hands on a pot of money at the end of a task, I'd envitably consiider of the much greater sum I could gain for a few hours of extra contratc work for other playforms.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 28/4/07 7:56PM
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On Oregano 3 scrapped:

JGZimmerle: that's the very same pitfall that many companies fall in to when considering out sourcing, thinking that development costs equate to a few hours of a 3rd world programmers wages. There is no skills base in RISC OS programming in India or China to draw on, so training would have to be provided, the project would need to be rigidly specified and managed. Goals such as "go away and 'finish' Firefox" would be unlikely to be successful.

Oh and I doubt if any former RIG members would be willing or able to donate so much as another 50p to RISC OS software development.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/04/07 09:15AM
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On The return of the 8bit-era: creating a 'neo-micro':

Even the speccy with a wobbly RAM pack was over a ton, and with the same level of sophistication and reliability as todays sub 300 quid box stuttering along with Vista. Acorn systems were bloody expensive, but worth every penny.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/4/07 8:55AM
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On Oregano 3 scrapped:

fibble has summed it up well, if developers were interested in money they'd be writing commercial software for the Windows market. The only possible motivation to work on the massively complex and never ending task of a freeware web browser is for the challenge. Taking money could change the entire atmosphere of the project from a labour of love to a grinding obligation to users who expect instant results in return for their money.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 25/04/07 1:28PM
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On ARM 'security hole' is ofla cousin:

Zero page should be protected against reads and writes so that dereferencing a null pointer produces a trappable exception, rather than letting the program stumble on regardless.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 25/4/07 11:15AM
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On ARM 'security hole' is ofla cousin:

It is bull, its up to the OS to set up the MMU so zero page to be protected against writes (and reads if necessary), just as it is for any processor to set protection on certain critical pages containing jump tables.

Later versions of RISC OS protect against user mode writes to zero page but not SVC mode, which is should really do as only OS_ClaimProcessorVector has a legitimate reason to write there (if we can ignore the legacy FIQ handlers which were poked in at the last vector entry). While we are at it, OS_File should be doing a bit of argument validation, as it still crashes Select (on VRPC) - where are all those improvements?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 25/4/07 9:16AM
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On Oregano 3 scrapped:

I'm just pointing out the donating money to projects wont necessarily speed up development until less its enough to justify full time working, which is unlikely. Once a project starts taking money it has to be made clear what those donations are going to spent on (such as web hosting), and doesn't put any onligations on the feature list or delivery scheduals. This is prevents disapointment and bad feelings arising by both users and developers, which is the last thing we need.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/04/07 8:11PM
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On Oregano 3 scrapped:

I suspect a small amount of money really wouldn't have much bearing on such projects (although it might be welcomed by developers) as its time that is really needed rather than money. There are only so many hours in the day to earn a crust and work on voluntary projects. A substantial amount of money would need to be found to allow even one person to work full time on a project, and I think we can agree that isn't going to happen.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/4/07 1:51PM
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On Oregano 3 scrapped:

cables: a massive over reaction.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/4/07 10:30AM
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On Oregano 3 scrapped:

It's a great shame as it was a much more RISC OS complient browser than Firefox, offering close its degree of web compatibility of, very good rendering quality with near full support of CSS2, and with without the treacle like responsiveness.

However it was let down by its hopeless fetcher, what should be the easiest part of the browser to write. Whilst it initially showed some improvement in early betas, but had a latent defect that caused it to stop working after 20 or so pages. It was then replaced with a slower and less reliable version of the O2 fetcher which was show stopper. Time and time again release opportunities were missed while this remained unfixed, and eventually betas came less and less frequently from Oregan with no sign of progress.

I've still got it on my icon bar to handle the occasional javascript site that NetSurf can't cope with, as its easy to drag the URL from NetSurf to its iconbar icon, a RISC OS feature Firefox severely lacks, making it suitable only for dedicated sessions on particular stubborn sites.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/4/07 9:37AM
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On Multimedia-friendly 1GHz XScale launched:

No. And that's the first I've heard of that, but then MD did come out with some absolute guff.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/4/07 9:04AM
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On The return of the 8bit-era: creating a 'neo-micro':

The Beeb's Microsoft volume licence has got a clause it in stipulating they never mention the BBC Micro or Acorn ever again, or it will cost them 10's of millions. Or at least you'd think that was the case the way they go to every length to avoid taking any credit, or merely giving the history of the role they played introducing microcomputers in to education and the general public.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/4/07 8:54AM
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On Select low-level emulator in development:

As I've always said, there is almost no feature in Select that can't be implemented by a soft loadable module taking advantage of the fact that RISC OS allows nearly every API to be enhanced via the software vectors.

If Select features are needed by developers they will eventually tire of waiting for ROL and implement them. This can be done right now with an extension module, and when RO5 is opened source the code can be integrated in a neater manner.

The only draw back to this is the wasted time on duplicating development effort, but that is infinitely better than the wasted time waiting for ROL to do anything.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 23/4/07 1:28PM
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On New user guide for RISC OS 6 as release nears:

hEgelia: "Anyway, most if not all, 'Select' functionality we can clearly distinguish from RISC OS 5 are actually manifestations or surface extensions of quite deep rooted OS enhancements, going all the way to the core of the OS. What this means in practice, is that porting over our favourite Select / Adjust stuff to RISC OS 5 is practically impossible, since it would also involve altering or rewriting some core RISC OS 5 elements."

Totally, utterly and absolutely wrong!

RISC OS is one of the most extensive operating systems ever written, every single API call can be replaced or enhanced via the software vectors and the relocatable module system. I have been through the Select change logs with a fine tooth comb and there are no *features* (as opposed to reorganisational changes) which can't be implemented as OS extensions. It is entirely possible to do this and leave the core of RISC OS 5 containing the HAL and hardware drivers in place (which it would be pointless and counter productive to try to reimplement, just for the sake of it).

Indeed this is precisely what ROL have quietly demonstrated on the Iyonix for the best part of 2 years, but have either lacked the programming resources or will to get in to a releasable state.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/04/07 09:01AM
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On New user guide for RISC OS 6 as release nears:

Unfortunately not supporting the Iyonix leads to many more nots.

* Iyonix users are not going to give up vastly superior hardware for OS enhancements

* Some users are not going to upgrade to the Iyonix until it has Select.

* Developers who mainly have Iyonix's are not going to write software that needs Select features.

* Without software that needs select features the majority of users are not going to upgrade to Select

Even if it was initially a loss leader, Select on the Iyonix could have lead ti not only to a significant number of OS upgrades, but hardware purchases, software development and sales. More money in the market would have benefited everyone. However, users on all sides of the fence feel let down by this, and I fear its now a missed opportunity from which we may never recover.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 10/04/07 09:42AM
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On Could NetSurf 2.0 support JavaScript?:

Whilst it will be extremely good news if NetSurf gains javascript in a future release, its lack in 1.0 is not the show stopper many feel it is.

Over the past year a number of banking and commerce sites I use which used to only be accessible with a javascript browser now work under NetSurf, rendered better than Firefox and enourmously faster. I'ved used NetSurf as my primary browser for years now, and I find myself needing the javascript equipped Oregano or Firefox less and less now, which is surprising.

The reason for this change is the number of security vulnerabilities in other browsers (specifically Microsoft Internet Explorer) Jjavascript handling, which has meant many corporations have mandated it is disabled on all their employees machines. Banks and shopping sites then received complains from large numbers of people trying to use them, and did something about it.

That's not to say there aren't still a proportion of sites which don't work, lacking some navigation ability or even rendering a completely blank page without javascript. But if you haven't tried NetSurf on the sites you use for a while, download the upcoming 1.0 release and give it a spin, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 3/4/07 9:20AM
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On File sharing Bit Torrent client ported to RISC OS:

Good news. The picture (Evangeline Lilly, mmmmmm, btw) reminds me that since Lost was stolen by <spit>Sky</spit>, I've had to get a colleague at work to put them on to DVD for me (which unfortunately means being nice to him despite any cacky code). But this means I might be able to download them instead, and whilst I wont be able to play them under RISC OS, it should be possible to port some software to transcode them so they can be burnt on to DVD-RW, finally getting some real use out of the Iyonix's DVD writer. I expect transcoding would be very substantially less than realtime, but the Iyonix is quiet enough to leave running overnight, and it will be quicker than waiting 2 episodes for each DVD to be filled.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 30/3/07 9:19AM
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On 32bit MIDI drivers progress website launched:

Great to see this.

From processing The ARM Club membership renewal forms, I know that there are a large number of people still interested in music on RISC OS, and this will reopen the possibility to all those who have upgraded to new machines.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 30/3/07 9:05AM
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On New user guide for RISC OS 6 as release nears:

VirtualAcorn: Aaron you really are taking the p*** suggesting anyone should pay for the preview. Its that attitude which justifies every word of critiscm I've made against ROL.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/3/07 6:51PM
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On New user guide for RISC OS 6 as release nears:

Wakeman: Its no good keeping saying they are going to do something, or they are demonstrating something, that's been going for the last 3 years. When you can buy something and walk away with it in your hand, that is when my criticism will end.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/3/07 2:21PM
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On New user guide for RISC OS 6 as release nears:

hEgelia: "This recent news on ROL's progress is very encouraging. The updating of the User Guide is an excellent idea and another reason for people to (re-)subscribe to the scheme."

Warming over some documentation is all very nice, but what the Select scheme needs is actual releases of the operating system with new features, and not gaps od 3 years. Until they have proved they can achieve this, it would be very unwise to recommend throwing more money at them.

"It will also hopefully give Iyonix users a better idea of Select's powerful features over RISC OS 5. "

Iyonix users are fully aware of what Select could offer, *if* ROL had any intention of supporting them.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/3/07 1:29PM
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On Vigay: I was told to remove my Firefox 2 tutorial:

Its under the Mozilla Public Licence, see [link] The most pertinent requirement as stated in the FAQ:-

"I want to distribute a modified version of Firefox (or other MPL-covered code). What do I have to do? You must add a conspicuous notice stating where to find the exact source to the binary you are distributing. If you wish, you may point at mozilla.org for the base code and then ship diffs between our version and yours."

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 22/03/07 12:17AM
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On Vigay: I was told to remove my Firefox 2 tutorial:

The problem here is a fundamental difference of opinion has opened up between Peter and others. He considers Firefox and the other parts of the UPP to be his pet project which is fair enough given the huge amount of work he as put in, and we are eminently grateful for. However he wants to control every aspect of the project and direct any effort that others are willing to put in, at and only at the places he thinks it should go. Which quite against the spirit of open source, which allows everyone to scratch their own itch.

Peter's goal is that we eventually end up with a situation where the latest Mozilla Firefox code can be combined with the RISC OS patches and a new versions can pop out of the autobuilder every night, which is very admirable, but just isn't happening. The place of change at Mozilla outstrips the resources at this end to keep up with it. By chasing the tail of Mozilla we end up with a stream of never finished partially functional releases, which can't even be got in to a state that works for most people without effort from those such as Paul to find workarounds.

What RISC OS users really want is a browser capable of accessing the vast majority of the internet, they are less concerned with whether the name ends in 1.5, 2.0 or 3.0, only that it works. Version 1.5 gives RISC OS users vastly more web capability than they have had previously, and version 2 only increases the web capability by a small fraction, the noticeable difference to users being UI changes. I'd like to put more effort in getting one version of FireFox fully functional and 'RISCOSified', before moving on to the next then concentrate on plug-ins before coming back to Firefox 3.0 or 4.0.

With open source both aims can be achieved, Peter can either take a break or and start chasing 3.0. Someone else can take on 1.5 or 2.0 and get it in to state people can actually use.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/03/07 09:38AM
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On Vigay: I was told to remove my Firefox 2 tutorial:

We are currently urging Peter to make the patches available forthwith, as he is obliged to do under the Mozilla Public Licence. The only guaranteed thing to come from this will be a StrongARM compatible build, but hopefully more work will be done it by others. There are several things which are broken in release 2 of FF2 which worked in the intermediate releases which hopefully can be fixed easily.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 20/3/07 12:45PM
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On ArtWorks 2.7 features revealed:

Great, I'll be snapping that up like a shot.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 14/3/07 8:53AM
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On Firefox 2 install guide published:

Peter has acknowledged that there has been a disappointing response to requests for contributions towards the Firefox2 project, but its hardly surprising when a great number of people are unable to run it as supplied, and don't have a chance of getting it to working out the correct steps without such a guide from Paul. A more pragmatic approach is needed.

Everyone understands that the port isn't finished and more work needs to be done on the major features, but surely the first priority for a beta release is to get it out to as many people as possible in a form which runs straight off the bat. If people can use it, they can see the benefit of contributing, but if it doesn't work they'll either keep waiting for the next beta or give up on it all together. Neither of which will help Peter do the work he wants to.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 12/3/07 9:19AM
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On Internet Explorer spotted running on a RISC OS:

Polas: no, and you wouldn't want it anyway.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 12/3/07 9:03AM
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On Internet Explorer spotted running on a RISC OS:

There was an add on for the PC card which attempted to do this, I forget its name. But unfortunately the implementation was poor, relying on shuffling Windows windows and copying out parts of the display buffer to re-plot on the RISC OS desktop, which was very slow. The way it should have been done was to re-write the display driver code to plot in to separate back buffers, and the changed area plotted on to the RISC OS desktop. It did have code to strip off the Windows menu bar and represent it as a RISC OS middle button menu, which was clever when it worked.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 6/3/07 1:36PM
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On Internet Explorer spotted running on a RISC OS:

A more useful way of doing it (if you can ever call running IE useful, apart from to demonstrate everything that is wrong with Microsoft software) would have to adapted one of the available RDP clients to house each top level Windows window in its own RISC OS window. That would have been worthy of a news story, this sadly isn't.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 6/3/07 9:05AM
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On South West show reports and photos:

Richard, ignore the couple of wingers, the vast majority of RISC OS users greatly appreciate your work on the logo and icon sets which are far better than anything that has gone before. Your articles in FRU setting out the design aims and how you've implemented them are particularly informative and thought provoking.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 05/03/07 10:34AM
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On South West show reports and photos:

sa110: The logo came from the blue oval power button of the Iyonix Classic case, which is an off the shelf ATX case not a Castle design. But I'm sure Castle can give you the name of the supplier to complain to.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 28/2/07 1:31PM
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On South West show set for this Saturday:

It doesn't have to be a Saturday. Perhaps drobe could do a poll to see which day would get more attendance.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/2/07 8:44PM
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On South West show set for this Saturday:

Please only put on a 1 day Wakefield show, as having two half empty days is far worse for the perception of visitors than one well attended day, even if it means a few people can't make the date. It also substantially reduces the overhead for exhibitors with one nights less accommodation to pay for.

As for the South West, its always a nice event and well worth the effort if you are in the region. See you there next week.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/2/07 3:37PM
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On drobe.co.uk introduces RISC OS news quickies:

I really think you are pandering to me too much now, but I wont complain!

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/2/07 9:11AM
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On NetSurf halts punter's search for love:

mrtd: you don't use any desktop systems for real-time control if you have any sense. RISC OS has been used for in control systems, running single tasking applications, so PMT and memory protection (which as we say over and over again RISC OS does have) aren't an issue. The interrupt latency is fairly low and predictable, and the OS is very lightweight not randomly deciding to go off and bugger around for an extended amount time, for no good reason.

The user interface to such as system is run on a separate machine which again RISC OS is good for. Ideally engineers prefer a full screen front end, controlled by nice big function keys on a sealed keyboard which can be pressed with oily hands, rather than a fiddly windows moved around by a mouse which tends to stop working after a few hours in such conditions. Such a front end can easily switch back and forth to the desktop for doing more advanced tasks such as printing, or playing !Mines :)

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 7/2/07 9:55AM
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On NetSurf halts punter's search for love:

Javascript is becoming less important. I've noticed in recent months all my banking sites except one are now accessible from NetSurf, having recognised a large proportion of users have javascript turned off for security reasons, especially in corporate environments. FireFox2 copes with the rest.

robert79: I agree running 2 systems means one is lacking, but prefer to think of its as the alternatives to RISC OS that are still lacking, otherwise what need would there be to run RISC OS. I still run RISC OS exclusively at home, it does what I need it to do.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 7/2/07 9:19AM
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On NetSurf halts punter's search for love:

Or even RISC OS products.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 6/2/07 9:47AM
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On NetSurf halts punter's search for love:

arenaman: completely the wrong attitude. What you should be asking is for drobe to set up a fully RISC OS compatible dating site. They seem to have no problem finding pictures of pretty girls, so I'm sure they could find the girls themselves...

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/2/07 9:25AM
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On How to port RISC OS 5 to the RiscPC:

GuestX: two words - absolute rot.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 02/02/07 1:22PM
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On How to port RISC OS 5 to the RiscPC:

GuestX: "RISC OS is already quite a fragmented thing" but it isn't, there is just an irrational obsession with only having one OS version. The most important issue is the overwhelming vast majority of software both old, current and new runs on all versions of RISC OS which means it is not fragmented, the APIs remain compatible so it doesn't really matter how many development strands there are apart from the obvious issue with duplication of effort amongst limited programming resources.

There are dozens of Linux distributions, and you don't see the Linux community in paralysed by the prospect and spending all their time debating how to get back to the "one true distro". As long as the effort continues to standardise the APIs, each distro can target its specific strengths and areas of interest.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 02/02/07 09:04AM
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On Castle and ROS Open reveal plans for 2007:

Nothing stops you looking at the RISC OS source code and using the knowledge gained to improve the Linux driver, you just can't use any of the code directly, and having seen some of it you probably wont want to.

The only issue with GPL comes if you want to integrate chunks of GPL code in to an existing RISC OS component, which isn't that likely. There's nothing stopping an independent module or application being included with in a RISC OS build and making the source available to meet the terms of the GPL.

As for the dual core as long as there isn't a faster single core version to use in preference, you can always find something to do with it, cache coherency or not.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 01/02/07 09:09AM
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On How to port RISC OS 5 to the RiscPC:

mrmac: While I'm happy to say we differ on this, and sympathise with your views on ROL, this issue is too important just to brush aside. I know that despite my advice someone is going to waste time on this forlorn venture, because people such as you have asked for it. Therefore anyone who wants RISC OS 5 on the Risc PC must state precisely what they expect it to be, in terms of functionality and compatibility with both existing software and 3rd party hardware.

Otherwise if fiddle is right and all we get is people tinkering with the source for their own bloody minded amusement, ROOL is going very quickly plummet the to depths of customer dissatisfaction enjoyed by ROL, and the platform will be sunk along with it.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 31/1/07 2:54PM
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On How to port RISC OS 5 to the RiscPC:

hEgelia: If Select which was remarkably compatible caused problems on your Risc PC, what do you think running a 32bit only operating system will do? No 26 bit applications will run at all.

Even if Adrian does a version of Aemulor for it, what is the point? You are then back to using the same 26bit modules, with the same 28MB restricted wimp slot, but at a fraction of the speed it did when running a 26bit OS, and still plenty of compatibility issues such as with podule drivers. And to put the final nail in the coffin NO VIEWFINDER.

Its an utterly and totally pointless, of less value than even RISC OS 6. If I gave you a copy of RISC OS 5 for Risc PC today, you'd have deleted it and be back to running 4.02 an hour later, and complaining like mad about all the things I've detailed above. I haven't got a copy today, but how many months of effort do you think we should waste to prove that point?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 31/1/07 2:03PM
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On How to port RISC OS 5 to the RiscPC:

mrmac: "Again as on the other thread if we are all on one OS there is more chance missing software will be made to work on the version everyone is using as there is a valid market on RO5 to sell the updated product to... "

I ask again, what missing software? There is nothing that runs exclusively on RISC OS 5 other than things which specifically require Iyonix hardware. If there isn't a valid market for software now, everyone running RO5 will make not a slightest difference.

RISC OS is a modular operating system where practically every part of it can be enhanced via replacing modules and via hooking in software vectors. When RISC OS source is available the individual components can be enhanced and soft loaded over the top of whatever existing OS version is required to support the machines hardware.

Development effort needs to go primarily on writing new applications, and secondarily on enhancing the operating system. No time whatsoever should be given to this obsession of getting the same number in everyone's Task Manager info box - as that is much difference running the same version it will make to anyone in practice.

Ignore this advice and all the will be left of this platform is a few people pointlessly fiddling with the sources trying reinvent drivers for 13 year old machines, while all users of RISC OS have deserted it because there is useful nothing to run on the OS regardless of any enhancements.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 31/1/07 1:42PM
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On Programming tools set for price slash:

In embedded software development, charging for tool chains is the norm, and at a considerably higher cost than we are talking here. So with RISC OS being aimed at this area (as well as the small enthusiasts market), its not unreasonable to see this as a revenue stream.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/1/07 4:55PM
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On Castle and ROS Open reveal plans for 2007:

Please keep to the topic of the article

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 27/01/07 02:49AM
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On Castle and ROS Open reveal plans for 2007:

Let get this clear, when we talk about porting RISC OS 5 we are talking about taking the entire OS accros from the HAL upwards, reimplementing device specific drivers and running in 32bit mode, as would ne necessary for running on any new hardware. This is completely, entirely and utterly a waste of effort for legacy machines such as the Risc PC.

However the "One OS to bind them all" advocates dont seem to realise this is not what they are really asking for. What they want is common API on all supported platforms, and this DOES NOT need an entire operating system to be ported - RISC OS is designed modularly to allow functionality to be added to the OS which is already designed to run on that hardware.

For example take the RISC OS 5 unicode font manager API, once that appears in the ROOL CVS system, it can be compiled and running on a Risc PC in a matter of minutes, and then all applications have API compatibility. There is no need to spend years re-writing drivers and breaking all 26bit software on the RPC to get the rest of RO5 on first.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/01/07 12:21AM
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On Programming tools set for price slash:

hzn: this is no place for such nonsense.

The cost in the Far East isn't a factor in this, anyone developing for embedded systems is used to paying at least 10x for a development environment. This is aimed purely at the predominately UK and European enthusiast developers to allow them build with a compatible compiler and contribute back in to to the ROOL project.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/1/07 1:37PM
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On Castle and ROS Open reveal plans for 2007:

This is what worries me the most about open source, it will be subverted in to pointless exercises instead of doing something useful to move the OS forward. It is a complete waste of time to port RO5 back to the Risc PC, there is no need for one version of the OS to run on everything, as there is nothing to be gained. Not one additional application will run on a Risc PC because it has RISC OS 5 (and indeed many thousands of 26bit applications will be broken buy it). The only applications that are RISC OS 5 only, are that way because they depend on Iyonix hardware. Familiarity with the HAL and driver model will come with experience of porting it to useful new hardware, not wasting valuable development time reinventing a decidedly square wheel on the Risc PC.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/01/07 1:28PM
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On Programming tools set for price slash:

This is good news as the Nocroft compiler is still worth having, its much faster than GCC running natively as not all of us have a fast x86 box to cross compile on. It has good XScale optimisations, and produces very clean understandable code, if thats important to you. Without wanting to provoke an entirely pointless benchmark war, there isn't much performance differential between Norcroft and GCC, they both have strengths and weeknesses.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 23/1/07 11:37PM
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On Freeware Insignia renamed and back online:

Works great on the Iyonix, I particularly like the lens flare. Couldn't find the picture of the girlie anywhere in the release though, but never mind, I'm sure I can find one to download from somewhere. :)

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 22/1/07 8:59AM
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On RISC OS Open licence in hands of lawyers:

By the time you would have had to buy aemulor and update all your software to 32bit then it wouldn't be cheaper. But this announcement isn't about saving a few pennies on an upgrade, that neither here not there, if you aren't willing to spend £60 quid on a copy of Adjust, never mind buy a new machine at least once a decade, you aren't really going to contributing much to the future of RISC OS.

The future of RISC OS is what this is all about, it important that the licence is water tight to allow people to contribute their improvements to various RISC OS components for the benefit of all, but also to stop 3rd party commercial companies exploiting this work without giving anything back.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 15/1/07 1:44PM
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On Best of 2006 awards results:

As Seffen says most of the perceived slowness of Firefox is down to the lack of responsiveness of the UI layers rather than the speed of the parsing and rendering engine. I've been using FF on a UMPC which runs 300MHz on batteries (1GHz on mains), and the browser itself perfectly usable on that. What is dog slow are operations such as opening new windows, which is down to the bloated an inefficient OS on the device (XP). We've got a lean and fast OS but unfortunately Firefox makes very little use of it, having draw and handle all of its own controls via the necessarily complex ChoX compatibility libraries. Peter has said there is scope for improvement in this area, both in terms of RISC OS look and feel, and performance, which is hopefully will hopefully come from his ongoing work.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 02/01/07 7:04PM
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On Best of 2006 awards results:

None of that changes that fact that the machine is a 13 year old design, with a I/O and memory speeds which stuck at the speed they were 13 years ago. The StrongARM gave a massive speed boost for the typical small RISC OS C or BASIC program, but is massively compromised by the slow memory and I/O when running applications like Firefox.

Both the Iyonix and A9 have massively faster memory and I/O, and significantly more processor power and only just run such a large and complex application at a reasonable speed, so older machines don't stand a chance, and no amount of wishing or whining is going to change that.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 1/1/07 9:10PM
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On Best of 2006 awards results:

Peter has said why he did it to a number of people. Its so he can get on with the port without the constant whining of users of 13 year old machines complaining that code aimed primarily at muli-GHz x86 PCs doesn,t work fast enough on thier 200MHz StrongARMs. Frankly given the perpetual moaning on csa, I fully endorse this position.

Both GCC and Norcroft can produce code optimised for XScale scheduling but not using XScale specific instructions, or 16bit load and stores if required. When Peter has finished the port all the source will be made available under the GPL and people will be able to compile it for whatever they want, and then the pointless bleating can start all over again.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 1/1/07 7:27PM
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On Cino DVD player released for free:

UDMA is only used on hard discs currently on the Iyonix.

Please can support issues be taken to csa.apps, rather than filling up the drobe comment system, which is intended for views on the article.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/12/06 1:56AM
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On Firefox 2 port now Iyonix and A9home friendly:

I was only joking when I taked to Peter on IRC yesterday and asked where my present was, and that he had all day to get a new version out. What a hero! :)

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/12/06 12:00PM
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On Merry Christmas:

Thankyou to drobe, especially for the seasonal tottie, niiiice. Happy christmas to everyone.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/12/06 4:58PM
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On Developers to discuss new Style Guide:

Oh dear, we all know what sort of interface you end up with when its designed by committee :( 1000 different opinions, no agreements, and the "lets make it optional brigade" muddying the water.

This is the sort of thing that needs to be dictated from on high, right or wrong, agree or dissagree, thats the way RISC OS is going to look. Unfortunately there is no-one with the clout of Acorn around to do this any more.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 22/12/06 2:38PM
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On First release of unofficial open source SharedCLibrary:

I haven't had chance to evaluate this version yet, but there is considerable scope for improvement of the SCL in an open source version, which would immediately benefit a huge number of applications. For example the UnixLib implementation of some of the stdio functions such as sprintf are far more efficient than either RISC OS SCL, and recent work on utilising the XScale's Application Accelerator engine could be used to drastically speed up large memcpy and memset operations.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 22/12/06 9:41AM
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On VirtualRiscPC fixed for RISC OS 6:

Unfortunately the new version seems to have broken support for MouseSync, which IMO is essential to make any use of the emulator on the desktop. I would have hoped this functionality would have been incorporated in to it by now.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 18/12/06 9:04AM
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On Best of 2006 awards voting now open:

Why isn't Louie Smith up for best contribution? The rest of the nominees although very worthy (except me, I've done nothing this year except learn to fly), have been around forever, Louie is something this platform hasn't attacted in a long time (no not just that shes female) - new blood, coming in and setting up a huge venture of a glossy magazine, all in her spare time.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 17/12/06 11:27AM
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On Select chief coder leaves RISCOS Ltd:

Justin is to be congratulated for his many years of sterling work at ROL first bringing RISC OS 4 to market at a crucial time for the platform, and then driving forward the fantastic pace of development during the early years of the Select scheme. His tireless dedication to the the future of RISC OS, working long hours for absolute peanuts verged on madness when you consider what someone with his considerable skills in operating system development could command in the commercial market.

Unfortunately this is fairly old news as its been obvious Justin's drive and enthusiasm has been absent from ROL for sometime now, as they struggle to provide any new functionality to users. I fear someone of Justin's calibre is going to be impossible to replace in a full time position, particularly with the limited financial means of the RISC OS market. We can only hope that talented developers are willing to donate their own time to keep OS development moving forward.

It was always a pleasure to work with Justin during various beta programs, and I wish him well in his new position, where I hope the experience gained during his long apprenticeship at ROL now earning him the rewards he deserves.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 16/12/06 3:31PM
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On RISC OS Open website expands:

And before anyone starts plundering the CVS repository, there's no RISC OS source in there yet :)

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 13/12/06 9:15AM
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On RPCEmu updated to run RISC OS 6:

Job done.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 12/12/06 7:11PM
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On PostScript 3 driver mulled:

CJE: the issue isn't the fonts we already have those. Unicode support is about being able to access the all the available glyphs rather than being restricted to one character set encoding.

Most printer drivers being raster based, don't need to know anything about Unicode, the PrinterDumper just needs to be changed so it passes through the appropriate flags to allow it to be rendered in to the output bitmap by the Font Manager. The exception is Postscript printers which deal with directly with the text, but as Postscript level 2 and later support Unicode, all that is needed for the back end to pass on the encoding in use, so the correct postscript can be output.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/12/06 4:17PM
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On PostScript 3 driver mulled:

ROL's open sourcing was only of the front end, what we really need is the back end opened up, to cater for requirements of more advanced printer drivers. Plus also to fully support UTF-8 text which is now used in a number of RISC OS 5 applications such as NetSurf.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/12/06 10:28AM
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On Software news in brief:

I also slipped out a new version of ARMalyser on Saturday between Christmas parties.

After realising that of the close to 4 hours it took my Iyonix to generate around 700MB of output from the 20MB Firefox 2 binary, just 10 minutes was for the disassembly, but over 3.5 hours was for the assembly. After running it through a profiler, I found a block of code which did a linear search for a valid preceding assembler label to use for each line, (not significant for small binaries, but horrendous with 5 million lines of code/data), and low and behold right above it was a comment /* #### inefficient, use a binary chop */ So thats what I did, and now assembly takes 3.5 hours less, slightly quicker than the larger disassembly output.

BTW GCC SDK users with fast Linux boxes can get the output in around 70s blushing

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/12/06 10:15AM
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On Nominate your favourite programs and people for the 2006 awards:

Ok, I'm not going to give away what I've nominated in the own goal category, but here are some clues.

* Almost 3 years late * Cost up to £300 * No new features as far as the user is concerned * Doesn't work with the most useful hardware upgrade for the Risc PC * Breaks quite a bit of software * Pointless version number increment

Oow has that last one made it too easy?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 10/12/06 9:20PM
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On Messenger Pro 4.23 does HTML email, Unicode:

Wouldn't you know it, I've absolutely no HTML only emails in my spam bin today to test it. Well one is HTML but the header describes it as text/plain, so it isn;t handled.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 10/12/06 9:11PM
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On Iyonix-only Firefox 2 port released online:

Just to clear up any confusion, Firefox2 does not need 340MB to run, thats the size of the dissassembly output, where each 4 byte instruction or data word in the 20MB executable can generate up to 160 characters of text, consisting of address, word value, assembler menemonic and with annotation and performance analysis comments.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 9/12/06 11:47AM
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On RPCEmu updated to run RISC OS 6:

No worries Aaron. Any other conflicts of interest you'd like highlighted?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 4/12/06 1:38PM
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On RPCEmu updated to run RISC OS 6:

RISC OS 6 and the mythical Select 4 probably aren't going to work on VRPC SE or Adjust, you'll have to upgrade to the SA version. I'm sure Aaron (wearing his Virtual Acorn rather than director of RISCOS Ltd hat), will be along in a minute to provide details of upgrade pricing.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 4/12/06 10:29AM
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On Firefox 2 patched for the A9home:

AW8: That's a bit more tricky. Rob's module provides in a couple of non critical missing instructions, the CLZ (clear zero) and one of the signed multiply variants. The StrongARM has a few more missing instructions, but the crucial part is the codes use of LDRH/STRH (16bit load/store) instructions which are supported by the StrongARM but not by the RisIOMD memory manager. Any 16bit accessing missing the cache, or not in Kinetic fast RAM, will not be performed correctly.

But anyway, a little patch for the A9 is ok, but anything more is a waste of time, the source needs recompiling for a StrongARM machine or it would be even slower than necessary. Peter or another developer will support the older machines (if viable), when they are good and ready.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 4/12/06 9:31AM
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On Iyonix-only Firefox 2 port released online:

Well FireFox2 does contain a number of ARMv5 instructions which rules out it running on a Risc PC. Incdicentally ARMalayser required a 200MB wimpslot to analyse the 20MB firefox2 binary, and produced 340MB of dissassembly.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 2/12/06 10:06PM
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On RISC OS gets transparent windows:

Applications running on RISC OS 3.7 onwards can use the background blending ability of the font manager to work with any type of background. However font rendering is considerably slower when utilising this, so most are written to assume the default grey of the wimp. Or rather these days, the standard window background tile sprite, which is sufficiently flat colour wise not to show up blending issues.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 30/11/06 9:04AM
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On R-Comp email software to fight spam:

I fully agree, I used to use DialUp and cross-graded to NetFetch when I got broadband, I could have just edited the PopStar and NewsHound config files, but why make life any more difficult than is necessary when there is something that can help. I haven't upgraded to NetFetch2 with Hermes yet as it didn't offerer anything I immediately needed, however the integration of spam filtering is very welcome and certainly merits giving it another look.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/11/06 9:06AM
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On Midlands 2006 show photos and news:

Thanks to Ralph, it was a very enjoyable show. I suspect a few people weren't able to make it along due to the torrential rain and flooding in the morning, and an accident on the M5 which resulted in an hour and a half delay for one visitor.

Sorry I was not able to give the sort of demonstration FireFox2 deserved, but we didn't have an internet connection at the show. I discovered the reason why FireFox2 was running slowly, I had only chance to save out a few example web pages the night before, and they all contained external links which FireFox attempted to resolve, making it wait until they timed out. Once back home and plugged in to the world, it performed far better, as it had the night before. Peter hopefully is now working on the cause of the crashes, which were due to one of the images on drobe, and closing windows before rendering was complete.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 27/11/06 9:46AM
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On R-Comp email software to fight spam:

It sounds like Hermes has integrated the header filtering code similar to !AntiSpam, which is useful against some types of spam and PC virus that have consistent headers, but tends to be a much smaller proportion now. The integration will remove the complexity of setting up an additional email fetching program, but this approach to tackling spam is still very manual requiring the user to set up and continually tweak rules, being very careful not to end up deleting legitimate email from the server which is a permanent action, (such as by assuming only mail addressed directly to their email address is valid ignoring cc and bcc). Its only really worthwhile for slower dialup connections where preventing the full download of the spam messages saves a considerable amount time and/or money.

I'd like to see Herme's gain the Bayesian filtering capabilities of !SpamStamp or !Bogofilter too, so it can be taught which messages are ham and spam from the full information. This does require the entire message to be downloaded, but isn't so much of a problem on faster always on broadband. It also had the advantage that messages can just be tagged, so that the email program places them in a spam bin, where they can be reviewed periodically to ensure that legitimate email isn't being incorrectly identified.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 27/11/06 9:37AM
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On RISC OS 6 Select 4 preview released:

Unfortunately due to the internal reorganisation of RISC OS 6, ViewFinder is no longer supported, and wont be unless John Kortink comes out of retirement and re-writes his code, or ROL write a driver for ATi cards from scratch, neither of which I would hold my breath for. This means its not even worth trying for me, as going back to small flickery VIDC modes from 2048x1536x32bpp that both my machines run at, is unconscionable.

Another unfortunate feature is continuing nonsense over the Shared C Library. The version ROL supply in ROM is not fully compatible with applications that are built with up to date versions of the C/C++ development environment, and attempts to load the required Castle SCL result in a warning dialog of instability (although apparently does then load). I don't care who's fault this it is that a proper SCL is not provided, either ROL or Castle, but it needs sorting out as it is intolerable it does not work correctly with the official platform development suite. Until this is sorted out, I'm afraid an incompatibility issues regarding software I've written, ported or maintain will have to be addressed by ROL.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 27/11/06 9:24AM
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On TechWriter to get Word 2k export:

Eddie: don't worry development priority isn't just going to be on the winner of the poll to the detriment of all else. Mike and Martin are very much committed to the features that extend the ability of the program and will be working on those too. For example Mike is re-writing the manual and would very much like the automatic contents and indexing feature before he's finished.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 27/11/06 9:09AM
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On Midlands 2006 show preview:

Stop Press: I'll be demonstrating the latest version of Firefox2 on the ARM Club stand. Athough I suspect I wont have an internet connection, so I better start downloading the internet... :)

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/11/06 10:11PM
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On Midlands 2006 show preview:

Apologies to anyone looking for road directions on [link] if using NetSurf you wont see the page contains a goggle map, in O1/2/3 you get a square as it doesn't work with these, but at least RISC OS FireFox does show it correctly.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/11/06 3:45PM
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On TechWriter to get Word 2k export:

DS1: All the information was on the TechWriter website if you could be bothered to read it at the time. Its still in googles cache for the time being [link] but incase it goes:-

"Word2000 format export (as opposed to Word95 format, which EW currently uses), removing various limitations of the current Word output (e.g., on total file size) and allowing JPEGs and PNGs to be exported natively instead of expanding them (NB: we already have Word2000 import and despite the name, this is the still the current Word format)"

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/11/06 12:37PM
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On Drobe writer in nuke protest arrest:

*RISC OS*

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/11/06 11:49AM
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On Drobe writer in nuke protest arrest:

I am fully for maintaining this countries independent nuclear deterrent, either via extending the life of Trident or a new delivery platform. Like it or not, its one of the few things that keeps us on the top table of international politics, and barring the anathema of the current government, that usually makes the world a better place.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/11/06 10:39AM
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On TechWriter to get Word 2k export:

I agree, I used to have to use the PC card on the Risc PC at one time, just to be able to handle Word documents, a purchase of EasiWriter solved that anathema, and has been a big reason I can remain Windows free today.

I do hope the hope the lower placed features also get implemented before long, there is scope for a good series of upgrades to come, all depending on how much of Martin's valuable time he can dedicate to each of his many projects.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/11/06 9:46AM
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On Pros and cons of rewriting an OS from scratch:

Agreed. However a lot of very talented programmers tend not to be very inventive, so end up taking something that already exists and reimplementing it for the technical challenge, rather than coming up with new ideas (which is how GNU and Linux started for example). One way round this is for other people, not necessarily programmers, to come up with the ideas for new applications and write detailed specifications which programmers can implement.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/11/06 9:39AM
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On RISC OS gets transparent windows:

You would find in practice that is a very unsatisfactory work around to a problem which has a much better solution. If you have lots of windows open get a multiple desktop manager, such as 7th Software's !MoreDesk, or even my old !Workspace.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 22/11/06 9:21AM
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On RISC OS gets transparent windows:

timephonix: Yes, its ok for a bit of fun, but we don't need true transparency for windows, its not a solution to any problem, but a sticking plaster for bad design in the first place. When copying what sort of things? In a drag and drop environment like RISC OS we don't have applications still designed to run essentially full screen cluttered with toolbars reducing internal work area to nothing when the window is made smaller, our applications are designed to be full usable at different sizes so there is no need overlap windows to perform copying.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 22/11/06 9:07AM
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On Cybervillage closure 'end of an era':

I always preferred Drobe, it has pictures of tottie too. :)

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/11/06 12:53PM
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On Techwriter feature voting ends tonight:

There's nothing wrong with Drobe being the RISC OS red top, brightens up my day.

The proposed Easi/TechWriter feature list certainly has some very useful options, a couple definitely in the 20 quid bracket, and most of the rest worth a tenner of my money. If that translates in to actual upgrades, hopefully it should ensure development continues for some time.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/11/06 9:19AM
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On Firefox 2 will be Iyonix-only:

The FireFox port is open source, if people want to use it on Risc PC's or VRPC then any developer who's interested is free to make the necessary changes. But Peter's main priority is and should be the people who's machines are capable of getting the best use out of it, which are the newer and faster Iyonix and A9.

The entire VRPC argument is a spurious distraction by people who should know better. If you want to view local HTML or even most websites on the RISC OS side, there is NetSurf which runs at a decent speed even on the slower ARM processor emulation. With FireFox and plugs-ins such as Flash, Video codecs and Java running at full speed on the native side, there is no sensible case to make.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/11/06 09:14AM
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On Flash 7 player port started:

hEgelia: Its time we forgot about Select, if it happens all well and good, but if it doesn't happen (or rather continues to not happen) there will be very little impact in the RISC OS world. We need to be concentrating on what counts - application development is far more important to users, and Flash something that is continually asked for, so this is very good news.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 20/11/06 9:34AM
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On ROS used in secure gadget network research:

Very interesting, good to know that RISC OS systems are still being used in university research.

But please; its RISC OS not ROS.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 18/11/06 2:36PM
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On ROL calls for Select coders and testers:

em2ac: how about not muddying the water with talk of Java, until they've shown they can deliver the work people pay them to do, and only they can do - Select 4 *features*. Anyone can work on open source code, and improving FireFox is a far higher priority.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 13/11/06 2:05PM
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On South East 2006 show videos:

As mentioned back in reply 9 MPEG2 is the best universal format. If you wanted to bother with a RISC OS only format, then Moving Blocks HQ is the best option. Forget MovieFS, its 26bit only and no longer available.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 1/11/06 3:57PM
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On South East 2006 show videos:

highlandcattle: There is no single AVI, QuickTime or Replay codec, they are just types of wrapper files and there are dozens of entirely different codecs. In the case for the former two all the recent high quality codecs are closed source and DRM infected. Only the low quality stuff no one uses any more (and that MovieFS can play) has open source implementations. The only reason you can get these for both Windows and Mac is the codecs are supplied as binaries in return for a hefty license, and being legal bound to preserve the DRM.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 1/11/06 11:04AM
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On South East 2006 show videos:

TonyStill: There was, WSS's !MovieFS which presented a foreign format video file as an image filing system containing a Replay movie, and a set of codecs to go in !ARMoive in order to play them. Unfortunately the PC world moved away from primitive but freely available codecs to complex closed source ones from Intel, Microsoft and Apple carrying substantial license fees, which made the product non viable.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 1/11/06 9:05AM
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On South East 2006 show videos:

Its great to be able to see the presentations for those of us stuck on the stands during the show. Google video wont work on RISC OS I'm afraid...

...so if you can only get away with watching one video at work this year, make it Louie's :)

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 31/10/06 9:25AM
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On South East 2006 show report:

Google is bloody awful for news, it encourages top posting, can't quote to save its life, and is taken advantage of by newsgroup spammers everywhere. Don't use it, and especially dont use it on csa.*. Get yourself a proper email & news program, RISC OS has Messenger Pro and Pluto, and if you must use Windows, then get Gemini from the author of MPro.

Anyway lets get back on topic, this is supposed to be about the SE Show.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/10/06 4:52PM
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On NetSurf users hit by HSBC account freeze:

HSBC technical department have already acknowledged it is due to their systems detecting accesses coming from a program with a similar name as a piece of Windows spyware. Unfortunately they are having difficulty getting the concept of running legitimate software on an alternative operating system, and are continuing to tell me to download Windows anti-spyware software and to use IE or Netscape.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/10/06 3:17PM
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On NetSurf users hit by HSBC account freeze:

What hasn't been mentioned so far, that as well as cutting off internet banking HSBC thoughtfully also disabled phone banking, just incase NetSurf also contains a speech synethesier and VOIP software :)

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 23/10/06 11:29AM
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On NetSurf users hit by HSBC account freeze:

My internet banking has been re-enabled this morning so at least I can now admire the size of my overdraft again.

If anyone wants to confirm whether it is the user agent string which is setting of the HSBC attack dogs, then make sure you have paid your bills this month and then use another browser such as Oregano2, which is known to work without problems with HSBC, and change its browser faking string to just "NetSurf". Then check your door mat tomorrow morning.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 23/10/06 11:02AM
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On South East 2006 show report:

The very amusing animals font was designed by Monica herself, so I'm afraid I succumbed to temptation. It was a similar story with Louie over at the RISC OS Now stand, so I suspect any entrepreneurs may be able to work out how to successfully part me from my money from now on.

AMS: you may have to do a bit of work on that accent if you want to go unrecognised :)

Great to meet everyone that stopped by The ARM Club stand for advice or a chat.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 22/10/06 1:29PM
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On RISC OS 6 to power Select 4:

em2ac: I was involved with beta testing for ROL for years, back when there was somerthing to beta test, which was great if you wanted to talk to the developers about technical aspects, but useless to address PM about strategy, he has always been off in his own disjoint universe. But if I was going to volunteer for anything now, it would be for ROOL open source effort (hold on, I have actually volunteered already), at least I then don't have to pay Paul Middleton to get the fruits of my own work.

ajb: ROL aren't concerned about licenses, you just cut out all the words and rearrange them in whatever order suits messers PM and AT, or at least thats thats how it works in the csa.misc amusement park. But then whos going to sue? The RISC OS market doesn't have enough money left even to get a good lawyer to answer the phone, and even if it did what would be the point in wasting it.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/10/06 12:03AM
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On RISC OS 6 to power Select 4:

em2ac: "Anyone who isn't happy with this announcement: Join up and fix the things that YOU think are not right?"

Since when have Select subscribers had any influence over ROL? They are treated like complete fools, and expected to keep paying year after year regardless of the lack of development. Users of old machines at least have a free bugfix to follow on from Select 3i4 and the amost beleivable prospect of Select 4 only another promise and subscription fee or two away. However Iyonix users have to be twice the fools, told they have to continue to pay every year, when even if something is released it wont work on their machines, and with only the vaguest non commital suggestion that ROL might eventually get round to supporting their machine.

How much will we have paid for a new version of the OS by then? As much as the Iyonix itself? As much as 2 MAC minis? As much as 3 PC laptops? We might be foolish to stick with RISC OS these days, but we aren't complete idiots.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/10/06 09:45AM
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On RISC OS 6 to power Select 4:

Looking at the leaflet from todays roadshow, unforunatelty it seems RISC OS Six is heavy on spin and light on new functionality. It doesn't contain many new user features (as opposed to internal changes) over and above Select 3i4, thats all *still* to come in Select 4.

Plus to get back on the Select scheme if you stopped subscribing ater the first year of zero releases, it seems to cost more than if you've never subscribed and signed up for the first time, which can't be right.

But anyway its no interest to me until a version is available to run on the computer I use, rather than the relic I use as a doorstop.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 18/10/06 11:06PM
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On ROL publish Select docs for free:

A very welcome move. The documentation appears to be fairly complete and of a good standard.

Now all we need is a version of Select that runs on the machines most developers are using - the Iyonix.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 18/10/06 9:33AM
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On RISC OS 5.12 released with price tag:

I also got the same "unable to contact card issuer" error when ordering some tickets on Friday night, which succeeded on the second retry. I don't know if the venue is using HSBCs systems, but there may well be a wider prober with credit card authorisation systems. There have been several large DDOS attacks against financial institutions recently.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 16/10/06 11:03AM
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On RISC OS 5.12 released with price tag:

This upgrade is a little difficult to sell as if you don't need a new graphics card and have USB 2.0 there isn't a lot for you at the moment. As JB says its chargeable step from pre 5.12 to post 5.12, so you don't have to upgrade now, but if something that does interest you comes along in say 5.13, you can upgrade then. Castle have done a substantial amount of work improving the OS since the launch of the Iyonix and I suspect a little injection of cash is needed to be able to continue to make this commitment.

Thats fine with me, but then I'd also looking to replace my orginal 32MB graphics card with one that can properly benefit from Geminus' accelaration. I'm realiably informed that the FX5500 doesn't have a fan, so wont ruin the whisper quiet Iyonix experiance.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 16/10/06 10:03AM
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On New usergroup to launch at North-East roadshow:

Venues are dirt cheap mid week evenings which is why its been scheduled that way. But its a real shame if because of the starting time the maximum audience is missed, especially in these locations which don't have any other RISC OS shows near by. The sentiment at the Birmingham openday we attended last year, was that people can't make it because they need to book time off work to be able to travel and get there before the last 5 minutes, particularly at the end of the holiday calendar when most people wont have any days left.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 16/10/06 9:52AM
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On Qercus back from the dead shocker:

I'd welcome this if I though JC had done it for the benefit of the Qercus subscribers and intended to resume regular publication. However I suspect a few sheets have been knocked together out of spite to try to stop everyone defecting to the new RISC OS Now. JC - prove me wrong by getting 278 out this time next month, and I'll gladly withdraw and apologise for these remarks - as long as the magazines keep coming.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 15/10/06 11:40AM
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On Not enough room for two mags says Qercus ed:

Qercus is already no more, its obvious JC has no serious intension to ever publish another issue, rejecting all help which has been offered by people in the publishing and printing industries, instead just peddling lame excuses and the same old broken promises. But the most worrying and devious aspect is the winding up of the company that took peoples subscription money, and the starting of a new company with a similar name, to presumably avoid liability to those creditors. No credible explanation has been given for this action.

I just hope he doesn’t have the brazen gall to turn up at the South East show, with a stand full of year or more old magazines. Any attempt to take further monies off people in such circumstances will be an act of fraud.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 12/10/06 9:49AM
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On Not enough room for two mags says Qercus ed:

John Cartmell has acted disgracefully in this matter, and his continued deception of subscribers as to the state of his magazine, along with the relentless postings of FUD and nonsense on newsgroups, is an embarrassment to the entire RISC OS community.

The best outcome for all concerned would be for him to come clean with his former readership and creditors, and call it a day.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 12/10/06 12:06AM
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On RISC OS Open needs your help:

JGZimmerle: My reading of the first paragraph contracts the meaning you are assigning to it. Separately distributed GPL softloading modules do not affect the status of other modules or the kernel, but a distributing a ROM image "a whole work" comprising of some GPL modules and/or a GPL kernel would come under the clause; "the distribution of the whole must be on the terms of this License, whose permissions for other licensees extend to the entire whole, and thus to each and every part regardless of who wrote it."

GPL is the wrong licence for RISC OS. Its aim is to foster collaborative development to compete against the established commercial interests of first Unix then Windows, and to prevent that work from being bought up and suppressed, or used without permission in commercial products. Its good for that purpose, but is not the "god license" and by no means suitable for every purpose, no matter how willing people are to evangelise it.

While we want the release of RISC OS source to encourage a open source developer community feeding back enhancements for the benefit of everyone, that is not the sole aim and will not ensure the future of RISC OS. To ensure that both hardware manufacturers and software developers stick with the platform, there still needs to be financial input from commercial ventures using RISC OS in vertical markets. For RISC OS to be considered 3rd parties must be able to make their own enhancements, adding value to the product without having to make that code available to their competitors, as the GPL would require.

Lets not get lost in the license issues - over in Linux most effort is now creating noise over GPL2 vs GPL3, and we can't afford to waste time like that. If you are interested in the future of RISC OS then what’s on the table is a reasonable compromise between commercial and open source interests, and will allow us to start working and taking the OS forward.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 6/10/06 3:40PM
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On How to create a modern desktop theme:

But remember the desktop isn't a 3D game, its a representation of... a real desktop. i.e. 2D sheets of paper stacked on top of each other. Introducing a load of 3D and/or transparency effects will make it distracting and less productive. No one has yet come up with a truely workable 3D metaphore for driving standard computer tasks, and if you want to see what a complete pigs ear can be made of it, look no further than Microsoft's Vista 3D Aero interface, and the trail of vomit left by beta testers.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/10/06 3:59PM
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On How to create a modern desktop theme:

The issue with input focus highlighting is explained in the artical next to the green box.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 4/10/06 3:42PM
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On How to create a modern desktop theme:

Very sensible suggestions, proper integrated theme management would have avoided the cosmetic appearance jibes made against Select. I'm sure this is the type of feature that will be one of the first to appear when(if) the ROOL make Window Manager source available.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 4/10/06 9:43AM
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On RISC OS Open needs your help:

I've put my name down to help in any way I can. Hopefully I'll have a bit more time than in the past 18 months now I've got my PPL :)

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 4/10/06 9:25AM
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On Scientologists eyed up RISC OS - new claim:

I'm not insulting any intelligence, as by definition belief is the suspension of intelligence and logical reasoning. There's plenty of illogical reasoning going on though, as you attempt to put all atheists on the same moral standing as both Nazi’s and communists, which is a nice touch. If you aren't a drone, you'll have to prove you can think for yourself, and do a lot better than that.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 03/10/06 09:25AM
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On Scientologists eyed up RISC OS - new claim:

Andrew Weston: Druck - "The world would be a lot better place if there was less tolerance of any and all religions. "

"You're sounding conspicuously ignorant now. What on earth do you think atheism and communism did?"

Off to a good start there; personal insult, deliberate misinterpretation, and incorrect tense.

"If you want to blind yourself to the power of faith that's your choice but clearly you're tragically wrong with your 'validation' argument."

I'm well aware of the power of faith, particularly faith as in unquestioning belief in groundless superstitions. Are you going to offer any argument as to why I'm wrong, or is that a just a matter of faith too?

Alec Taylor: "You have allowed yoiurselves to be brainwashed with atheism and you do not in not have an open mind."

That really is a classic, did you come up with it yourself? As I’d like to give you full credit everytime people are wetting themselves laughing.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 02/10/06 09:37AM
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On RISC OS 5 source code release revealed:

This could be very good news for RISC OS in general. There are certainly short term opportunities this will bring to ensure new APIs are available on all platforms, and I hope that over the long term with the continuing enthusiasm (or is it now masochism :) ) of RISC OS developers, to produce significant new functionality for the OS.

For example in the short term the unicode font manager can be made available for all platforms, bring the benefits of NetSurfs support for foreign character sets to all, and making life easier for its developers. If the print manager also contains the drivers, it will be possible to patch the missing support for unicode text printing in RISC OS 5 at the same time making it available for 4.x.

One thing ROL doesn't appreciate is that by not making APIs universally available, developers will be reluctant to use them, and without programs either requiring people to upgrade, or at the last tempting people with the promise of additional functionality if they do, then there just isn't a good case for buying an OS upgrade. ROL now has the ideal opportunity to licence some already written code and get out a release to Select customers, however I suspect the reluctance they have shown in the past to paying licence fees will mean that miss this boat too.

However, the good news for users is that if ROL don't commercially exploit it, other developers can still make it available under the shared source licence, and any improvements can be returned to ROOL for the benefit of everyone.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 30/9/06 3:32PM
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On Intel wheels out 1.2GHz XScale family:

So its straight in to knocking the new chip with the first comment. Would anyone like to explain how a RISC OS machine with a modest processor performance and no 3D software (i.e. games) avilable, is going put any appreciable load on the most budget PCIe 1x card never mind utilisng 4GB/s of 16x.

The point of PCIe is to allow access to modern cheap graphics cards, with some degree of future profing, now that AGP has become legacy, and the PCI cards that the Iyonix supports are becomeing rarer (although still available).

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 30/9/06 2:24PM
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On Scientologists eyed up RISC OS - new claim:

The world would be a lot better place if there was less tolerance of any and all relegions. Why is it we still allow children to be indoctrinated from an early age with patent falsehoods whos only validation is being passed down by previous generations of unquestioning drones, stemming back to theitr original cult origins based around a charismatic individual. The only difference between Scientology and mainstream relegions is a few hundred more years of exploiting the weak minded, we should be glad the organisations main aim is just to releive people of their money, rather than whiping them up in to a frenzy of hatred, intollerance and murder.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 27/09/06 1:37PM
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On Scientologists eyed up RISC OS - new claim:

inchiquin: maybe they were looking at the oportunity to sell the RO4 PRM volume for £150 each?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/9/06 11:16PM
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On GCC 3.4.6 in bug fix release:

What are the chances of merging the AOF and ELF toolchains and making the output type an option? This would ensure the ELF version doesn't lag behind the main version.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/9/06 5:55PM
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On Scientologists eyed up RISC OS - new claim:

Is there no end to the rubbish JC will come out with to avoid answer questions about the continuing absence of his magazine.

I'm dissapointed drobe has given any credability to this delusional fiction.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/9/06 5:54PM
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On September news round up:

JWoody: more uninformed comment I see. High level file I/O is blocking, but low level disc I/O and the majority of the other interfaces can benefit from processsor offloading.

If you want to discuss this further take it to csa.hardware as I don't want to see another comment section filled up with your derisorary nonsense.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/9/06 5:29PM
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On September news round up:

There are plenty of things that can be done in parallel, mainly I/O related. A trend amoungst other systems is to have a TCP offload engine. Which is another processor that runs the internet stack taking the load off the main processor of examining incoming packets, allocating memory and performing SSL encryption. All of which can be performed in parallel with the clients of the stack running on the main processor.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/9/06 9:36AM
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On September news round up:

AMS: we wont be able to use the second core for running RISC OS applications, but there is bound to be significant processing tasks that can be off loaded on to it, leaving more of the the first core's time free. We do have the histrory the Beeb 2nd processor systems to draw on for inspiration.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/9/06 9:05AM
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On Hallas to study history of Acorn PhD:

Jwoody: you've been caught well and truly with yours pants down round your ankles trolling over the Byte magazine issue and your scurrilous attempts to denigrate the entire British computer industry. Do yourself a favour and stop digging, its time to skulk off with whatever dignity you can still muster.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 13/09/06 11:06PM
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On Hallas to study history of Acorn PhD:

James: Richard is writing a book about what actually happened, not how illinformed you beleive most Americans to be, no matter how justified. If no one had heared of Acorn, why do you think both Microsoft and Intel have flocked to its birthplace in Cambridge to establish "research centres", if not to ensure our native talent now is bleed dry in their corporations, rather than forming independant British companies like Acorn. Yes I have a very British view of the computer industry, because despite 60 years of US propaganda, the fact remains we invented the modern electronic computer, and the story since is then has been American claiming to invent inferior copies of things we've had lying around in cupboards for years.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 13/09/06 4:56PM
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On Hallas to study history of Acorn PhD:

JWoody: next you'll be telling us your understand is that Acorn were only ever a small Welsh furniture company, the BBC Micro was just a an elaborate hoax by Ian McNough-Davis, and you think ARM was invented by fairies at the bottom of the garden.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 13/09/06 1:20PM
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On ROS fan loses Acorn domain in dispute:

Anyone polluting *our* newsgroups with Windows issues will have me to deal with.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/9/06 5:42PM
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On ROS fan loses Acorn domain in dispute:

You mean in feed back pages and blogs that absolutely no one reads? Comment #3794 after 3793 of "didn't we used to use them in school, and werent they crap". That isn't publicity, its bearly even background noise.

About the only thing you could do that would have the remotest of effect is google bomb the keyword Acorn and point it at a page which explains what they are up to, and then wait for the take down notice from their lawyers.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/9/06 11:25AM
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On ROS fan loses Acorn domain in dispute:

markee174: "Having Acorn computers does open up opportunities to tell the world that RISC OS is the real heir to the Acorn legacy. So lets piggyback on the publicity they generate."

Three questions; How? How? and How?

They are the ones getting the publicity both from both paid advertising and PR releases, stating that they are the relaunched Acorn Computers Ltd and Acorn now means Windows PCs. So how can we "piggyback" on that? Issue PR has no newsworthy content (stuff that Acorn used to make is still around and no Windows software works on it), or pay to take out facing page adverts (they arent the real Acorn, we are, so there) any place where faux-ACL are mentioned in any publication?

Unless an injunction is taken out to stop them fraudulently trading on an unrelated companies reputation, there are only two ways this will go. If they don't do well, they will just swan off an open another box shifting operation leaving leaving debts, unsupported customers, and headlines that Acorn have gone bust for second time (despsite it not going bust the first time), forever tarnishing the real Acorn's reputation. On the other hand if they are sucessful they will want to protect the brand and they *will* come after anyone using the Acorn name.

This just being the first example of them grabbing the Acorn name, and did it generate any publicity for RISC OS? No. To the rest of the world its just another domain squatter getting his comeupance.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/9/06 11:10AM
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On New Acorn reveals PC laptop website:

PR is also expensive, and far more difficult to target without some major new product announcement or some such. What media outlet is going to take any notice of "RISC OS formerly the real Acorn is still here honest", it would have no effect. On the other hand raising a legal injunction aginst faux-ACL would generate waves of coverage in computer press and even hit the mainstream media too. It would be the most effective PR money could buy.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 8/9/06 1:17PM
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On Hallas to study history of Acorn PhD:

Jwoody: you seem to be lacking any point to miss, as I said the wire isn't important, its whats done with it, and Acorn pioneered the services that Novell went on to bring to the PM, and Microsoft eventually "got" 10 years later. There was influence there.

torbenm: Thats not what happened to Alpha. DEC brought a clear cut patent infringement suit against Intel, but due to the good old American payola legal system, they lost. In the settlement Intel bought the chip business and Compaq bought the rest. Intel then set about killing off the fastest chip of the era to replace it their dismal failure of the Itantium. (Conning HP, now owners of Compaq, in to give up their PA-RISC and joining the Itanic sinking ship in to the bargin). A chip 20 years in gestation, slower than the last 5 year old neglected alphas for the first 2 generations, the last of major chips to go to dual core just this year, and now with such a small market share RISC OS could claim to be more of an industy standard.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 8/9/06 12:40PM
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On New Acorn reveals PC laptop website:

OliverB: those schisters promote RISC OS? What are you on? They are a box shifting outfit flogging WINDOWS PCs, how on earth could any RISC OS company partner with that, even if faux-ACL weren't doing everything to remove all association of RISC OS with the real Acorn and to deny it still exists.

Col1: Our only defence is not slagging off the competitiion but defending our legacy and reputation from being misappropriated by a fly by night opportunist fraudlently passing themselves off as Acorn. They are the ones going to schools claiming Acorn has relaunched, reminding them of the quality and low running costs of past generations of real Acorn systems and then passing off their car boot sale quality XP laptops as more of the same - fraud.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 8/9/06 10:47AM
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On Hallas to study history of Acorn PhD:

Jwoody: its not the type of wire thats important in a network, its the vision of what to do with it. Gates didn't understand it and didn't ship any native support until Windows 3.11 for Work Groups, giving Novell a free reign from the days of DOS up to NT. Acorn had Econet file and print servers, messaging and synchronisation, while Microsoft users were standing in a queue for the machine with the printer clucthing their 5.25" floppies.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 8/9/06 10:42AM
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On Hallas to study history of Acorn PhD:

JWoddy: "Acorn certainly scored some firsts but I am not sure they had much effect or influence on the computer industry, I doubt they even came up on the radar of Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Apple"

Well see above for Apple, and back in 1982 Bill Gates came to see Hermann Hauser, "We showed Bill Gates the Econet network and he said 'What's a network?'", so Acorn were definately on Microsoft's radar, but luckily they didn't know what a radar was either.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 8/9/06 10:18AM
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On New Acorn reveals PC laptop website:

Lindows was sued in just about every country by Microsoft, and even after they changed to their name to Linspire Microsoft still dragged them in to court.

As for sueing faux-ACL out of existance, all it needs is an injunction stopping them trading on a false premise, then ensure the case isn't heard in court for a few years, and the schisters behind it would have no option but to go away and rip off another demised brand.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 7/9/06 3:37PM
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On ROS fan loses Acorn domain in dispute:

I see this as another example of the faux-ACL attempting to extinquish the legacy of the real Acorn, ensuring that all history of RISC OS development and its current market are erased, and all that is left is their scam to off load poor quality XP laptops on to an unsuspecting education sector.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 7/9/06 10:17AM
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On New Acorn reveals PC laptop website:

They are still trying to pass them selves off on the reputation of a company they have absolutely no connection with, and further more claiming to be a British Brand when their systems have 0% UK manufactured content.

They need sueing out of existance post haste, otherwise the only thing people are going remember Acorn as, is a reseller of cheap and nasty PC laptops that eventually went bust when the support costs caught up with them.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 7/9/06 10:08AM
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On Dual core 1.2GHz Xscale touted by Intel:

As you say its the application rendering the image that causes single tasking during printing. Without a multi-processor aware PMT operating there isn't another processor cant run the application, which may require access to any OS and most Wimp APIs. On the othe hand the task of spooling the generated data out to a printer is something another processor can do, as it doesn't require much interaction with the OS, but spooling is something that can be done transparently in the background with !PrintSpool already.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 05/09/06 10:31PM
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On Open sourcing RISC OS won't help says ROL:

wm2ac: Adjust is 2.5 year old Select code, it what is/isn't happening now thats under discussion.

ike: I typed in exactly that last night, but couldn't even be bothered to hit submit.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 4/9/06 5:51PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

(nt)

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 04/09/06 10:42AM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

jess: 26bit and 32bit sources aren't different instruction sets, everything in C will be exactly the same, and of the assembler its 99% the same ARM instructions and 1% conditional macros in places where a couple of different instructions have to be used on 26bit machines to maintain the expected flag preserving behavior. As said it doesn't help one iota in making it portable to other architectures.

If you feed the ARM assembler in to a cross compiler you would get the same result as the output of an emulator JIT, native instructions but something that still needs an emulation of specific legacy hardware. So you either still need to provide this, or more likely recode the hardware specific parts. As mentioned in RISC OS 5 most of the low level processor and main bus bit twiddling (including timers) is in the HAL, which would be recoded for the native architecture. The higher level hardware specific module would need adapting for the specific southbridge and video card, or more likely the unified model provided by a virtualisation layer.

Even with suitable tools there is no free lunch, it would be a lot of work, and even after you've done all that, you still need to provide an ARM JIT emulator to run all the legacy RISC OS applications which will never be converted for the new architecture.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 04/09/06 10:42AM
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On Hallas to study history of Acorn PhD:

Hopefully any book can go even a small way to dispelling the Microsoft sponsored myth that even the BBC bought in to, hook line and sinker, on recent reports about the 25th anniversary of the PC. If you didn't know better you would have come away with the impression that Bill Gates invented the IBM PC, Windows, the internet and the World Wide Web back in 1981.

If it had been CNN or Sky News you wouldn't have been surprised at such a load of cobblers, but this was the same BBC who teamed up with Acorn to produce machines which educated an entire generation of children in Britain and around the world, developed OS and processor technology which was unrivaled for many years, and whos ARM spin off is used in many billions of devices from cars to mobile phones. But no, from the BBC you'd never have know that the UK played any part in the computer industry whatsoever, Bill Gates did it all.

We can't let Microsoft rewrite the history of personal computers without a wimper, Acorn's story needs to be told, so best of luck to Richard.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 3/9/06 8:50PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

No, VMS was ported from VAX to Alpha.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 01/09/06 09:59AM
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On Dual core 1.2GHz Xscale touted by Intel:

Go back and read the comments from the beginning.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 31/08/06 1:52PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

Markee174:

Virtual Acorn does not give virtualisation, it is emulation. i.e. It runs on top of a host OS replicating a limited set of legacy hardware, where as virtualisation gives you shared access to the full native hardware. Its an important distinction, and the difference between being a dead toy OS, and a proper operating system. If RISC OS is going to run on non ARM hardware it has to be on top of a virtualisation hypervisor, and not dependent on any other OS as an emulator is.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 30/08/06 10:14AM
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On RISC OS 4 caught on Mac OS X:

Well done to all involved - I was watching the development work as it happened via screen shots posted on IRC, as the graphics memory bit ordering was sorted out in each mode.

Aaron should rightly be kicking himself now for letting the opportunity to sell VRPC for Mac OS slip away by the second. But instead he seems quite happy playing silly bugger word games in the VRPC support forums, over why VRPC+Select users don't get the 8MB screen modes that VRPC+RO4 and VRPC+Adjust get.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/8/06 1:20PM
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On Adjust users get Select site access:

Not everyone is doing it the same. Virtual PC for Mac only allows you to use Windows, Virtual PC for Windows only allows you to use other versions of Windows (officially), and only very recently thawrt the increasingly powerful VMWare has Microft stopped refusing to support Windows when run on Xen Virtualisation. Can you see a pattern there? If you pay for Windows you can run Windows on various hardware, but running anything on top of or instead of Windows is a no no.

Apple on the other hand have acknowledged that people might still need Windows for certain applications, and have used the advantage of running natively on x86 to offer the ability to switch to Windows when needed. They rely on their superior user experiance to ensure Mac OS is used as main OS, and people don't just stick in Windows mode, or buy a much cheaper Windows only computer.

We would like the situation to be the same for RISC OS, having the ability to both run on cheap powerful hardware and switch to Windows for things that only Windows can currently do. But is the RISC OS user experiance good enough to keep peope using it as their main OS, given the lack of application developement? As this would kill off native hardware, is their any commercial viability for a software only ecosystem without the revenue from hardware sales driving new developement? If commercial viability is replaced by open source, is there any hope for enough traction to achive anything significant? Will anyone ever focus on application developent, which is the one thing that everyone agrees is needed, regardless of hardware platform or OS licence?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/8/06 1:09PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

AMS: "Let's see. The bulk of RISC OS is written in densely written ARM Assembler (a specific processor), the effort to recode it to either another Architecture (x86 ?) or even to a High Level Language (C/C++) so as to gain portability would be - to be frank - a complete waste of what limited resources are available."

If you have the source you can feed it in to a cross assembler and have that spit out code for any other architecture. With a couple of passes you can even optimise the nasty 2 operand register poor x86 junk resulting from our beautiful ARM instructions, although going straight to the slightly less crap x86/64 would be a better idea. This would result in a factor of 5x-15x better than the best emulator JIT, or around 1/3/ to 1/2 the speed of hand coded native assembler, which would compare very well to the result of re-writing it in C.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 25/08/06 10:23AM
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On Dual core 1.2GHz Xscale touted by Intel:

snapper: ask that on the newsgroups, its too involved to enter in to in comments.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 23/8/06 5:03PM
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On Dual core 1.2GHz Xscale touted by Intel:

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.

Thats only considering single core perforamance of course, as currently RISC OS has no facilities to make use of multiple processors. How to utilise the 2nd core would be the big question, symetric multi-processing is obviously not feasible with a CMT OS model, but farming out certain operations which could run in parallel such as I/O handling, graphics rendering and sound synthesis would be possible.

It unlikely Castle would have the resouces to serious tack this, so it would be the ideal case for open sourcing some/all of the OS, as it would allow developers to tack managable chunks of work. As long as the OS establishes a frame work for mutlicore use, operations could be migrated over from the primary processor in a piecemeal fashion.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 23/8/06 9:59AM
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On Adjust users get Select site access:

The Adjust ROMs are the result of the first 3 years of the Select scheme development. Select subscribers paid 3 subscriptions totalling £300 for that work, Adjust ROM purchasers get it for around £70. Therefore Select subscribers are subsidising Adjust, but I don't have any problem with that, it was made clear at the start of the Select scheme, this would happen.

In the 3 subscription periods between the last Select 3i4 release and now, has provided nothing for Select subscribers, but has instead worked Adjust32 for the A9Home which is essentially just the 32bit version of 3i4 (with a few tweaks). What is being called "Select 4" is work beyond this point to give features over and above those in Select 3i4.

Therefor it is entirely disingenuous to suggest that the Adjust32 work is in anyway beneficial to current 26bit Select scheme subscribers, and has not in effect been subsidised by their fees. 26bit Select subscribers should only be contributing to features of Select 4 beyond those of Select 3, and not the 32bit work. If there is ever a 32bit Select for the Iyonix, then an inital fee reflecting a proportion of the 32bit work could be fairly levied.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 22/8/06 12:55PM
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On Adjust users get Select site access:

My subscription ended in June 2004, just after the last release of Select 3i4 at the end of May 2005. At that point the Select scheme had an excellent track record of releases, having been 4 in that year and similar numbers in previous years. So I gladly signed back up for another year.

However during that following year there was not one release or any announcement from ROL. It was only when the A9 was shown at Wakefield 2005 did we find out that they had been working on the 32bit version of Adjust for it. It was months later ROL offically admitted to this and said that this was taking all their resources, but were still asking for subscription renewals. Another year past and despite claims of an imminent Select release before/during/after Wakefield 2006 when the A9 Home was officially released, no release has occurred and ROL are still asking for subscription renewals. Who in their right mind is going to fall for that for the 3rd year in a row?

Now what should have happened is that in May 2005 after breaking the Select contractual terms of up to 3 releases a year (which does not include zero, getting nothing ceases to be a subscription), ROL should have announced that all their reasources were being dedicated to a commercial venture and the scheme was suspended at such time as release was available, and then would continue for a fresh year after that date.

Select subscriptions should not have been used to subsidise the Adjust32 conversion which should have been funded by STD, particular when ROL are enjoying income from 3000 VRPC royalties, and claims of record sales of Adjust ROMs (which Select development has subsidised). ROL have acted abysmally towards Select subscribers, keeping them in the dark and fraudlently taking their money year after year. Whilst this is the business they are running they will continue to receive my venom.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 22/8/06 9:44AM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

Not everyone is an open source purist, stipulating that if it isn't GPL its not worth touching. We've all donated larges amounts of time and effort to companies such as when beta testing, the result of which they have gone on to commercially exploit without directly renumerating those contributors, so its not a huge difference to dontating source under such as licence as the above. If there is the opportunity to take RISC OS forward in ways which wont happen without open access to the source, and all we can do is bitch about the type of licence, then its time to walk away.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 22/08/06 09:19AM
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On New Iyonixes shipping with Nvidia FX52 cards:

I'm eargly awaiting news from Spellings Inc, that Geminus supports the new card, both for dual head and general accelaration. I've been looking for an excuse to upgrade my card, which is one of the very original 32MB MX2s but hasn't got enough memory left in 2048x1536x32bpp mode to provide useful accelaration.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/8/06 9:21AM
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On CinoDVD project paused:

Can anything come out of this such as the work done to improve the background transfer of ADFS? Was a DVD filing system ever looked in to?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/8/06 9:13AM
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On Adjust users get Select site access:

Adjust users should get access to some of the information on the Select site, as its the only place where theres documentation describing what they've bought, over and above the baseline of RISC OS 4.

However, for Select subscribers still waiting for a release after 3 years, its bound to be seen as another kick in the teeth. Anyone who picks up Adjust for about 70 quid, gets everything the Select subribers have funded to the tune of £500 since the beginning of the scheme.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/8/06 11:41PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

ROL carrying on the same way - you mean getting people to pay 3 years subscriptions for nothing? Well at least if RO5 was open sourced that damaging disgrace to the RISC OS market would end. The handfull of really useful Select UI features could be easily incorporated in to RO5, and thats an end to the stupid will they wont they game they continue to play over Select on the Iyonix.

With an open source release of the HAL and Castle created drivers, even if a core of the OS had to be supplied as a binary for licencing reasons, it would still be extremely easy to port to any ARM device. So why would anyone like STD then go to ROL for their version.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 16/08/06 1:34PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

There is a huge amount of naivety about the open source movement, not necessary by the direct contributors, but by others who hold it up as some sort of panacea – believing and as soon as you make something open source flocks of developers suddenly appear out of nowhere and have an infinite amount of time to work on it. Certain open source projects targeted at a large markets where there are over priced and entrenched commercial rivals such as for a clone of UNIX and web servers are amazingly successful, but for there are tens of thousands of smaller projects which wilt and die through lack of interest or lack of co-operation and leadership. The notion that RISC OS will be transformed by open source is about as realistic as the fairly tail "The Shoemaker and the Elves" – leave the RISC OS source code out over night, and you won’t find the wish list magically implemented in the morning.

Equally there is a misunderstanding of the way the closed source software industry works. Its not all wicked commercial enterprises tightly clasping their closed sources whispering "my precious" like Gollum from The Lord of the Rings. There is a lot of co-operation between suppliers of various parts of the OS and application stack, and they are willing to contribute code to each other in order to implement features that give them a commercial advantage over their rivals. They will not be always willing to make such contributions to an open source OS (or allow one to become open source) as this can give away key information to those rivals. Contracts may even specify API details aren't provided to other users of the OS.

Taking something that's the product of decades of closed source development and contributions from 3rd parties and making it open source, is not a light undertaking, and a potential legal mine field. Sun had to spend thousands of man years of development resources re-writing parts of Solaris before it was in a state where it could be released under an open licence. RISC OS would also require a significant effort to make the entire OS open source, which would be another diversion of our limited resources away from where its needed, which is application development.

Realistically if RISC OS 5 was open sourced, there would only be interest in small parts of it, so it would be better just to make these parts available. I suspect most interest would be in copying the existing Select features such as icon cut & paste in to the window manager, and making the Unicode font manager available for RISC OS 4.X. Things that should have been done by co-operation between Castle & RISC OS Ltd years ago, but show no signs of ever happening. That would be both achievable and a real benefit to all RISC OS users. As for all the grandiose plans of major restructuring of the OS, a lack of resources and focus is likely to make these peter out with in a year or so. Although undoubtedly there will be someone plugging away to make it a "perfect OS" years after the last user has departed through lack of any application development.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 15/8/06 10:12AM
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On ROL: Adjust figures looking swell:

Well we've managed to shame ROL in to making another vague uncomital comment on the Select list, only 4 months after the last missed delivery date. Paul Middleton promises they are still "doing something", but you've got to keep paying in vain hope that in prehapse one year out of three you you will actually get some sort of release for your money.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 9/8/06 1:20PM
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On BBC BASIC turns 25:

No one is saying the BBC BASIC is no longer useful, or shouldn't be used. Its still great for what it was designed for; quick and easy development of relatively small programs, with simple interfacing with the filing system, command line, VDU graphics and sound system. I've written thousands of BBC BASIC programs to explore algorithms, and they run just as well inside my Graphics TaskWindows on the desktop as they did when I first started on a BBC Micro.

What BASIC isn't so suitable for is modern Wimp applications, as its lacking features such as structured data types to pass blocks to SWIs, flexible memory handling, and object orientation. The question then is it worth trying to add these to BBC BASIC and still being left with a interpreted proprietary langauge, or is it a better for the BASIC programmer to bite the bullet move to a standard language which incorporate all these things, has the benefits of a vast range of libraries available, and is a useful transferable skill.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 08/08/06 3:43PM
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On BBC BASIC turns 25:

Utterly pointless. You'd end up with a bigger bodge than the CFront C++ compiler that generates intermediate C code - which got dropped as soon as native C++ compilers were developed everywhere except in Acorn C/C++.

If RISC OS BBC BASIC is never likely to be extended as there is no viable case for it, as its not used by the OS developers for any serious application. There are two other implementations of BASIC, the cross platform Brandy which could be extended, and BASIC for Windows which already has such extentions and could be ported back. However I doubt there would be any commerical reason, who is going to pay to get a few enhancements to a proprietary language, that still has issues of scalability and maintainability?

Learning how to design good OO programs is a far bigger task than learning the syntax differences of a new language, so why stick with the limitations of BASIC (in any form, BBC or VB) when a little extra effort can gain you a useful new skill, which is also transferable to all other plaforms.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 07/08/06 1:49PM
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On 'Why we love drag and drop on RISC OS':

People who've seen me use drag and drop in RISC OS applications on VRPC often comment they wish they could do that too, most don't know that many Windows applications support dragging from the file manager to the application. But the problem with Windows applications is there is very little consistancy between how applications handle this - does the drag add the object to the document as under RISC OS, create a new document window, or replace the current document entirely? There is no equivelent of specifying the creation of a new document by dragging to an iconbar icon - indeed if you do drag there you get an error, and are told to use a ridiculous procedure of having to hover over for 2 seconds before a window pops up, which has to be one of the worse GUI features ever. But finally when they see a RISC OS application's ability to save a document by dragging the save icon back to the filer, you can happily point out there is no equivelent of elsewhere, and for that you need a decent OS.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 7/8/06 9:40AM
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On Beginner's guide to manipulating stock photos:

A very good article, and is exactly the sort of thing needed to remind RISC OS users how powerful the tools are at their disposal. The resulting image looks quite sophisticated, but is in essence a combination of two pre-drawn bits of clipart, that with a bit of practice can be knocked up in seconds - before anyone using Windows will have negotiated all the file open dialogs!

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 7/8/06 9:24AM
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On ROL: Adjust figures looking swell:

Unstubstantiated rumor on the Select mailing list says that Select 4, which last claimed to be due just after Wakefield in May, (but in reality should have been released in the year up to May 2004, for the subscribers who funded it), has been delayed to get out another version of Adjust32 for the A9. If this was the case, then why doesn't ROL just say so? People might actually recognise supplying code to STD under contractual obligations as a legitimate excuse. But again Select subscribers are treated as the lowest of the low, they pay £100 every year and not only to they get nothing year after year, but they aren't even deemed worthy of being told anything.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 7/8/06 9:01AM
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On ROS must open up to survive says Wild:

No, more than one open source branch would be a complete waste of time for everyone involved, with feature sets and backwards compatibility of each varient diverging away from the others (far more than between Select and RO5 where there was effort to maintain compatibility and APIs between the ROL and Pace variants throughout their development), no one in their right mind would use such a system. For any open source project to suceed it needs a well defined roadmap and tight control of the development process.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 03/08/06 2:44PM
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On BBC BASIC turns 25:

Lets not forget that Microsoft BASIC is the only peice of software Bill Gates has ever written, and when the BBC Micro project started it was consider to be so poor that BBC BASIC was comissioned instead. The PC world might like to try to re-write history and ignore where BBC BASIC came from, but its still being used today, 25 years later - when was the last time anyone saw MS Basic?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 3/8/06 9:50AM
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On ROS must open up to survive says Wild:

Gunnlaugur has a good point, if RO were open sourced you would probably find it being taken in a dozen different directions, and end up with a dozen half finished versions, because there is no agreed roadmap for its future development either amoungst users or the programmers that might work on it. Everyone is concerned addressing what they percieve is a particular fundemental weekness that has to be tackled above all else, and no one is considering how to re-enforce the few things that give RISC OS its unique selling point.

As for embedded work, this can filter back many useful things to desktop RISC OS. For example improved networking with DHCP support, STB browser development (although with the continuing delay of O3 you could be forgiven for overlooking that), plus PCI and USB support which were first developed for embedded devices. All sorts of new things could come out of future STB work, such as support for streaming video to graphics cards from DTV or DVD. Even things such as synchronising between PDAs and remote severs, or downloading music to MP3 players are features proposed for future STBs.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 03/08/06 09:41AM
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On ROL: Adjust figures looking swell:

Well thats around £40,000 of income at £80 a go, plus say at least the same again from royalties on the 3000 copies of VRPC sold, but Select subscribers are well in to the 3rd year of waiting for anything for *their* money. That really isn't an encoragement to use Select features.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 2/8/06 9:20AM
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On New mag aimed at newbie and pro users:

Apologies for the first 6 lines being repeated above. I'll let you guess the type of inferior machine which can't even cut and paste from Word correctly.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 1/8/06 3:22PM
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On Iyonix banned by new EU green law:

Its only a level playing field for those playing by the rules. In CE testing the vast majority of PC's don't pass, various individual components have CE marks but entire systems aren't tested together. However by the time a system is investigated and a notice of non compliance is issued, the PC world is two generations down the line and the failed equipment isn't being sold any more anyway. However manufacturers like Castle who build a system and sell it for 5 years or more, have to make sure it passes, incurring great expense, or they risk being put out of business.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 1/8/06 3:18PM
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On Iyonix banned by new EU green law:

This is going to be another nail in the cofin of EU and in particular rule obeying UK companies, just like with CE testing, while overseas firms get away with shipping in non complient equipment by the tens of millions.

I doubt very much if it would be worth redesigning the Iyonix motherboard just for this, particularly at this time in its life when the peak sales is long past. No doubt there will be a large stock of existing boards to satisfy demand for the forseable future, but after that if there isn't a suitable faster chip to base the Iyonix 2 around, thats likely to be it.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 1/8/06 2:03PM
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On New mag aimed at newbie and pro users:

I really don't think theres any scope for a high cost glossy mag left now that JC's incomptetance and dishonesty has crucified the last remaining heritage of the Acorn User. Once the habit of a regular subscription is broken it doesn't come back.

The aim of making it a programmers magazine, is particularly puzzeling, I really don't think there’s any opportunity for high cost glossy magazines left now, especially after JC's incompetence and dishonesty has crucified the last remaining heritage of the Acorn User. What sales it had in the last few years, even before it became Qercus, were most based on old habits dying hard rather than any really compelling content.

The aim of making it a programmers magazine, is particularly puzzling as programming articles are never particularly popular, even amongst the very small number of readers interesting in such things. Its not the type of article that lends itself being read away from the computer, and either being too trivial or to complicated for the particular level of expertise of the reader. The days of the small graphical ditty in the yellow pages are long gone, and any modern Wimp based application is just too big to sensibly cover without splitting across endless issues.

A paper magazine is also probably the least suitable form of delivery for programming documentation, source code and related resources, a CD based magazine like can handle this much better. But there are now initiatives such as www.riscos.info where developers can contribute programming knowledge which is bound to reduce the scope of paid for magazine coverage of the subject.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 1/8/06 1:52PM
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On ROS must open up to survive says Wild:

AMS: "Thanks for that URL. By the way I wasn't actually making any comment about Peter Bondar's 'concept' rather pointing out that the userbase didn't like the notion of having RISC OS reduced to running on a card incide an Apple PowerPC machine."

That was not the concept, use of a PowerPC chip never came in to it. Apple were talking about developing a Common Hardware Reference Platform, standardising on components such as memory, disc and I/O controllers to gain some of the economies scale seen in the x86 world. An ARM chip/daughter card would have plugged in to the main processor slot of such a machine, as an alternative to the PowerPC or anything else (MIPS, Alpha), not in addition to it.

The reason why this was unpopular amoungst the user base is that it came just after the launch of the Risc PC, which was meant to be future proofed due to the replaceable processor card feature, and moving to a CHRP based platform at some later date was seen to completely negate this.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 31/07/06 3:13PM
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On ROS must open up to survive says Wild:

JGZimmerle: thats a bad idea thats been put round since the days of the 486 PC and is a worse now than ever - you'd be laughed out of town for having a dual core PC sitting there, but actually running your software on the same chip as used in the ADSL modem. Using the type JIT technology that Apple uses rather than the simple version in Virtual Risc PC, you can emulate in software on an x86 far faster than any current ARM chip. If you want some sort of dongle to stop piracy then put the code on a USB pen and lock it to the serial number on that rather than the specific PC so its portable (an idea rejected by VA however).

But most of this discussion is making RO open source, so then you don't need to lock it to anything, you want as many copies to be made as possible. But emulation is the ultimate dead end, to have any future you have to follow what Apple has done (twice) and move to running native on the new architecture. Even if the OS was open sourced, it would need more than just porting to run on something as diverse and rapdily evolving as x86 hardware, i.e. it would need to sit on top of an existing kernel and driver model as Mac OS X does on BSD, which would be a huge task. An even bigger task would be moving applications to a new archictecture as without this, they would still all be emulated giving no real advantage. Even if its done the huge development work is just to get a working native system, and not producing anything new.

You have to think beyound fancy ideas, such as if the OS were just open sourced and merged everything would be ok, or if we ran on cheap fast PC hardware everyone would be happy - they wont be. RISC OS users dont care about the type of OS licence, they don't need to know if its CMT or PMT as long as it works, they are even willing to buy expensive and relatively slow hardware, but what they do care about is having RISC OS applications that allow them to do the same thing with a computer as they see everyone else doing. If the development community goes off and spends a few years tinkingering with an open source OS, and not writing any applications, then there will be no users left to care.

It comes down to this, either we make the OS and hardware that we've got do something useful for people by writing applications, or if you want a substantially different OS running on other hardware then a clean break and moving to Linux + ROX or Mac OS X is going to waste far less of your life than trying to drag along any of RISC OS source.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 27/07/06 09:52AM
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On ROS must open up to survive says Wild:

Without wanting to get embroiled in the open source debate, I'd just like to point out that if you have the source to the entire OS and the limited application set to run on a specific device (rather than everything thats ever been written for the RISC OS desktop), you can port to other processors without having to re-write large portions of ARM assember in a high level language. There is no reason why ARM assembler cannot be cross compiled to different architectures, its a very small clean ISA which can be treated almost like a byte code. ARMs strengths such as the 'free' barrel shifter and conditional instructions can be used as hints to extract parallelism and fill branch delay slots in other architectures.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/07/06 09:37AM
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On Ex-Pace staff back RISC OS Open Ltd:

Apart from the fact it will never happen for contractual reasons, open sourcing RISC OS wouldn't work (and arguing about the type of licence is p1ssing in the wind if I ever saw it). Even assuming you can find enough developers to work on it, and not just tinker and swan off when they get bored, but see through major architectual changes, what you are going to get is a an OS which becomes increasingly incompatible with its applications. Now you could say they will all have to be open sourced too, but if they are or aren't its the same pool of developers now having to fix them too. And say at the end of it you end up with the oft touted "crucial" features of pre-emptive multi-tasking and full memory protection - are normal users going to care when they find they can't do one thing extra they couldn't before all this effort? They'll probably care far more about all the unsupported applications which no longer work at all, or trudge along in some compatibility enviroment no better than before.

The OS itself is a red herring, its not perfect but its what we've got and trying to make it something substantially different is never going to be worth the effort, the only development really needed in this area is to exploit new hardware. Where the rest of the community should be focusing, as mentioned time and time again above, is on application software. Applications are what people use to do the things they need to, and if the applications aren't there, no matter how good the OS is, people will be forced to go elsewhere.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 17/07/06 09:19AM
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On Warm Silence Software not so silent:

If WSS fancy getting active again, how about seeing if any developers are interested in improving Win95FS or Lanman98FS.

I managed to persuade WSS to let me port them to 32bit, but dont have time to do anything else at the moment. In particular people have been asled for improvements to Lanman98's timeout handling, and password encryption support could also be looked at.

There is also a serious opportunity to convert Win95FS from an image to a full filesystem so its not limited 2GB partitions, and could therefor make full use of USB attached hard drives and larger flash storage.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/7/06 9:58PM
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On NetSurf conquers Wikipedia:

mrripley: the presence of javascript in other browsers is meaningless, the bit that interprets javascript is easy, there are implementations on the web, but you can't just bolt them on to a non javascript browser like a plug-in for a particular graphics format.

The idea of javascript is that it can manipulate objects in the parsed html document model before and after its rendered on screen. This requires the internal data structures of the browser to be designed specifically to allow the javascript program to hook in to them, and the code that is called from the interpreted javascript is intimately linked to the particular browser.

Now I'm sure that NetSurf has been designed with at least the possibility of javascript in mind, so it would not require a ground up re-write as had to occur to many pre-javascript era browsers, but there probably would be significant changes in practice, and a huge amount of additional code written.

I'm sure one of the biggest issues is that implementing javascript would require a huge commitment of time from the developers, as it could effectively stop all other work for many months until completed, rather than flow of incremental changes which are possible improving the CSS support and general HTML rendering.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/7/06 9:31AM
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On Resisting change is short-sighted:

Yes, most of the programs now faulted by the A9 had already been updated for 32bit, as the previous code added to make them absolutes wasn't always 32bit compatible. The tool used by many to do this is ironically called !MakeAIF, which doesn't actually put AIF headers on so really should just be called MakeAbsolute. The squeeze tool will take any absolute and compress it, suitably modifying an AIF header if present, but will just put a branch to the relocation and decompression routine in if its a plain binary.

Such programs can be fixed, a tool called !BASICGrab can be used to extract the BASIC program from the Absolute, unfortuantely it is also 26bit only, so if you only have a 32bit machine you have to hand extract using unsqueeze/xpand and then either plucking out the BASIC code with an editor, or executing with a breakpoint set at the OSCLI SWI that does the BASIC invokation string. The program then has to have the first line added by the wrapper removed in order to run.

If an author wishes to repackage their program in the same way, and updated version of !MakeAIF will have to be produced which does actually add an AIF header. I beleive some one was trying to contact the author about this, but I haven't heard anything since.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 4/7/06 10:41AM
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On Resisting change is short-sighted:

not_ginger_matt: It is actually BASIC programs that are most caught out by the AIF checking. Pure BASIC isn't affected of course, but many authors have used tools which squashed the BASIC program, added on a bit of code so it could be typed as an absolute, and then run through the squeeze tool. This is to both reduce the size of the executable and to protect it from casual observation. Programs in such form wont work on the A9 as the absolute does not contain an AIF header, but just a branch to a relocation routine, and a command to invoke BASIC with an in memory program.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 4/7/06 9:17AM
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On Resisting change is short-sighted:

I fully agree with all of the above about the timing.

I also feel RISC OS 5 should definately have had AIF header *checking* from the beginning in the same way as it already has module header checking, so if an program declares itself as 26bit it doesn't get to run - as it will either be an application which hasn't been ported, or one which has been recompiled/ported incorrectly and still likely to have problems. Currently an absolute is only faulted if it attempts to call a 26bit variant of the Shared C Library initialisation call, which wont stop programs which dont use the SCL.

However mandating that all absolute files should have AIF headers is another matter, and isn't something that should be introduced without warning by any party (I would have been equally unhappy if Castle had done it). Entire portfilos of software can't be updated overnight even if there are still people willing to do it. AIF headers on non absolutes such as FFC utilities is plain wrong, there is already an informal lightweight mechanism for these, which is to put "32OK" in the last word.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 3/7/06 3:06PM
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On USB radio driver ported to Simtec USB:

I was given a USB radio free when I bought the 21" monitor to go with the Iyonix, but after 2 years I gave it to someone else thinking there wouldn't be a RISC OS driver. Well I was proved wrong there, and good news its now available for RPC and A9 users too.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 3/7/06 9:15AM
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On NetSurf conquers Wikipedia:

FANTASTIC!

None of the Oreganos will do it, even RO FireFox wont do it, but now NetSurf renders [link] correctly, so I can read it straight away rather than having to wait until I'm at work.

Many thanks to all the team.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 2/7/06 8:37PM
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On NetSurf reshuffles email lists:

Yes a big thanks to the developers, for fixing cookies, then immediately fixing them again for use with phpBB forums.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 1/7/06 10:05PM
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On Bristol usergroup shuts after 17 years:

Its a realy shame Bristol is winding up. There was a good bunch of regulars down there, who kindly sat through two talks from me, and some were even still awake at the end! Its was a shame it was just a little too far for me to attend regularly.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 1/7/06 10:02PM
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On Intel looks for XScale business buyer:

This is pretty much what we've been saying [link]

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/6/06 9:23AM
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On ARM absorbs graphics processor firm:

This sums up Intels failure to captialise on the StrongARM pretty well [link]

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/6/06 9:22AM
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On Who are RISC OS Open Ltd?:

JGZimmerle: the minor restructuring of the kernel in to different modules would not be sufficent. Its a derivative work and covered by existing copyright and licences, as will be anything they have seen the sources to. Only entirely new code independantly developed after the expiry of code sharing agreement at the end of Select 2 are owned by ROL. I'm sure the usual suspects will contend this, but PM is on record as stating that exact fact.

AMS: the situation for some time has been that the things Select subscribers have paid in full for, have been given away heavily in discounted copies of the Adjust ROMs and VRPC-Adjust. I wouldn't mind this as Select was intended to fund features for early adoptors, and then to make them available to the wider RISC OS user base. That was until subscribers paid 2 years worth of subscriptions for absolutely nothing, while ROL is still enjoying the income from Adjust and VRPC, and now asking for a 3rd year of subscriptions with no guarentee of anything in return.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 28/6/06 9:58AM
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On ARM absorbs graphics processor firm:

VinceH: eh? 1920x1200 = 1.6:1 2560x1600 = 1.6:1 3840x2400 = 1.6:1

They are all the same aspect ratio, but generally with the lower resolutions you are better off going for a 4:3 without the premium prices. Widescreen comes in to its own when using higher resolutions.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/6/06 6:33PM
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On ARM absorbs graphics processor firm:

1920x1200 isn't really widescreen, its just not as tall!

In my previous post the 30" Dell should be 2560x1600 of course.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/6/06 5:02PM
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On ARM absorbs graphics processor firm:

Pete: To drive widescreen LCD monitors you need dual head DVI support. For example the 30" 2560x1200 Dell widescreen is driven as two 1280x1600 screens, and the 24.4" 3840x2400 IBM/Samsung widescreen is driven as two 1920x2400 or four 1920x1200 screens. Only the old Sony widescreen CRT is driven from single analogue output, usually at 1920x1200 but will do up to 2304x1440 if you find a graphics card that will go that high.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/6/06 4:40PM
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On An idiot's guide to making PDFs:

I think all the problems with VA5000 spoiled the focus of the article, more information how well certain types of graphics are embedded and font translation issues would have been useful.

VA5000 is only for running legacy software (mainly for schools), the problems with such a system and the pitfalls of RISC OS 3.1 are just off the horizon of developers these days, who will be expecting RO4.02 as a minimum for running new software releases. Anyone still persisting with anything older after all these years will have to help themselves.

Incidentally if using VRPC the PDF files can be used from either RISC OS or Windows without renaming as long as VRPC is given a file type mapping between &ADF and .PDF, which can easily be done from the settings dialog.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/6/06 9:24AM
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On Select subs asked to renew despite no Select 4:

Well to avoid any issues of fraud from calling it a subscription scheme, why not just call it by what it has become - a lottery.

£99 a ticket, one draw a year, and now in its 3rd roll over - if you keep playing someone is bound to win that elusive big release!

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 23/6/06 9:35PM
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On Intel looks for XScale business buyer:

epdm3be: there are no inherent tricks in ARM technology for Intel to learn from, the reason why they are small and power effiecient is that they are simple designs that do not need all of the massively power expensive tricks for performance that Intel has to cram in to its chips running the bloated and outdated x86 instruction set. Anything executing x86 instrctions will always take more silicon and use more power than the equivelent clean simple orthoganal ARM ISA - theres no way physical round that.

Intel want to produce lower power x86s so Bill Gates can have his latest whim of running full Windows on a device a bit bigger than todays PDAs, and smaller then his previous latest greatest vision of the tablet PC which sank without trace. These x86s will be more efficent than todays ones, but they will never better the ARM or threaten its core markets, which consist of billions of devices which will never need to run Windows, and hence aren't chained to a power sapping legacy instruction set.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 23/6/06 1:46PM
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On ROL: Giving Select 4 date is tricky:

People are continuing to contribute to the wish list, fingers in ears screaming "la la la" at the top of their voices. There should only be one wish - for ROL to release something/anything to Select subscribers and prove they are still in the OS development business.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 23/6/06 9:05AM
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On Intel looks for XScale business buyer:

I agree with AMS that this will be a positive outcome for the ARM ecosystem. Intel have vastly undercaptialised on the potential of the StrongARM, letting it stew for years after the DEC engineers left in disgust, and spending more effort on the rebranding as XScale as on the development of the chip. The architecture licence would be a huge advantage to a major ARM supplier such as Samsung or (ex-Motorola) Freescale, and they would fully exploit such an asset accross a range of low power and high performance devices.

Intel will live to regret the decision, as there is no way on earth to make an x86 more efficent than an ARM with the same physical process, as the just front end needed to convert the worlds least efficent instruction set in to something modern processors can actually execute, is bigger than any ARM core.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/6/06 11:11AM
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On Punter bitten by fraudsters after using R-Comp site:

Please note that RISC OS proprietary formats, are not that difficult to unravel. Squash is standard LZW compression, a sprite is a simple uncompressed bitmap, and text in a drawfile is stored as ASCII strings in the file (unless converted to paths). I have on a couple of occations in the past submitted my details by drawfile, but all the text was hand drawn lines (using a graphics tablet and Artworks free hand mode), which is probably beyond effort threshold for interception.

However while doing this was just about acceptible for small companies more than 5 years ago, it certain isn't today when there are a number of payment brokers offering secure online systems (paypal only being one), which are also able to accept foreign payments. The ARM Club has been using [link] for a number of years for online DiscKnight purchases, and they have performed flawlessly handling payments, and working with RISC OS browsers.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/6/06 10:10AM
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On Select subs asked to renew despite no Select 4:

Select - 25 months, £198, 0 releases, more money please.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/6/06 9:44AM
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On Behind the scenes of a pocket RiscPC:

to jan: Yes there are execute permissions, although I've not tried them myself, and MS has a horrible habit of putting stuff from NT in the CE documentation which doesn't work in practice across all versions and architectures. See [link] and [link]

PeterT: yes RISC OS applications are quite small, but remember that the OS needs to be emulated too, and for dynamic translation to be efficent you need to keep a working set cached to offset the initially very expensive analysis and compilation step, and allowing multiple reuse of the resulting fast code. Also the code in the cache is going to be quite a bit larger than the original, even for ARM on ARM, as there will be additional register spillage and memory access translations.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 9/6/06 9:32AM
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On Behind the scenes of a pocket RiscPC:

The VirtualAlloc function on CE can be used to allocate memory outside the 32MB application space restriction as long as 2MB or more is requested. It doesn't have the functionality of mmap, but page access permissions can be set up, and it might be possible to something with it.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 8/6/06 3:23PM
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On Behind the scenes of a pocket RiscPC:

For GPS sat nav which can perform routing, as opposed to a simple location tracker, you need vector information that contains a lot more than the just road shapes, (such as road class for speeds, carridgeway directions, junction types and limited access details), and it needs to be updated regularly. This really means obtaining it from a commercial source at considerable expense, which is likely to be beyond the means of anyone in the RISC OS market.

The information to drive the camera might be difficult to obtain, and it will probably require quite a bit of hacking to find out, but when the data is extracted, not a lot needs to be done with it apart from store it to disc, where other RISC OS software can manipulate it further.

An assembler emulator is the sensible next move, and a 2x-5x improvement over the C routines should be achiveble. Dynamic recompilation would be in the order of 5x-20x for frequently used code, but its quite an expensive technique in terms of memory useage, so wont be easy to do on the current generation of PDAs. When they start getting 256MB-512MB of program memory it will be more feasible.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 6/6/06 4:37PM
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On Behind the scenes of a pocket RiscPC:

The ultimate aim shouldn't just be getting RISC OS running at an acceptable speed, making it take full advantage of the hardware, that means support for things such as the built-in camera and GPS on some Loox models, so there is a real purpose to having such a device. Software to control camera should be fairly trivial, and its easy enought to build a simple GPS location and tracking program using scanned map images for walkers, but a full vector map based satnav system is probably outside our grasp.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 6/6/06 9:44AM
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On Don't rely on Drobe, says R-Comp:

What a fuss about nothing. So a couple of people didn't find out about MPro4 for a few weeks, until there was a post about it on the mailing list - no one died.

If you absolutely must have the latest version of everything straught away, read csa.announce and the other groups, news sites like drobe, iconbar, etc, subscribe to the ANS news letter, the ARM Cubs Eureka magazine, and press the web button on your apps about box regulary. On the other hand, if something is any good you'll hear about it via word of mouth before sooner or later, so relax.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 6/6/06 9:36AM
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On Ovation Pro gets Dutch translation:

Om het even wat om Nederlandse mensen te zeggen?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 6/6/06 9:21AM
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On Developers divided over RISC OS 4 code checking:

It certainly is hundreds of applications, all those BASIC programs which have been turned in to AIFs with MakeAIF and squeezed a start. Its laughable to say we've had 10 years notice by quoting an old Acorn application note that only recommended the move, Acorn would have given noticed which OS version this was due to come in on, not just suddenly release a machine with it enabled at the end of a years beta testing.

I'm all for checking AIF headers if they exist, I've been sent or downloaded dozens of programs by authors without new machines, that have thought they've sucessfully converted to 32bit, but made some mistake with options or libraries, and the compiler has indicated this by downgrading it putting 26bit in the AIF header. These often then crash on the Iyonix rather than being rejected straight away.

However enforcing AIF headers on all binaries is entirely another kettle of fish. If STD and ROL wanted to ensure the A9 is the success it deserves to be, why not have made a public announcement to developers 6 months ago warning of the change, so all the software could be updated, checked and made ready for its launch? Rather than leaving dissapointed A9 purchasers desperately searching for authors email addresses to notify them of problems.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/6/06 9:38AM
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On Acorn kit found running Science Museum:

I knew they were using beebs there at one time, and its nice to see they are still going. I wonder if any other systems would still be running continuously for 20 odd years with no additional cooling, any PC would have crufted up years ago. It would be great if the A9 took over (RISC OS would need better flash support though), but I dount if even they would give the same longlevity of service due to the use of a harddisc, would be worth using solid state flash drives instead.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/6/06 9:23AM
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On RISC OS found on Pocket PC PDA:

ARM on ARM emulation is never going to be a viable proposition, remember 3 MIPS is half the speed of an Archimedes A310, or if you want to experiance that today with a modern version of RISC OS, turn the cache off on a StrongARM machine, and image less than half of that. You can't get anything useful done with that level of performance.

The ideal solution of course is to have it run natively on the hardware, and of course if people can port Linux, its possible to get enough details about the hard ware to port RISC OS too - which just about could be done without official support using the available information on the HAL requirements of RISC OS 5.

However, a halfway house would be to run as much code directly on the ARM processor as possible, setting up page tables so that memory accesses outside the current active object (application, module area, or ROM) are trapped and redirected (also picking up I/O). Plus trapping SWI and other exception handlers. Unfortunately getting this level of control from the native OS is becoming more difficult as even Microsoft wise up to the dangers of poor security on Windows Mobile - under pressure from the phone companies that dont want a virus ridden mobile network. You'd probably have to put Linux on in order to do it, and by then you are going to be a bit pushed for resources on these devices.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 1/6/06 9:31AM
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On New games database for emulator users:

I wonder how many people have come back to RISC OS and bought any legitimate software to run on under emulatation?

Just like for Speccy and C64 emulators, people think "they obviosuly aren't around any more", and then consider its ok buy a CD of every ripped off comercial program for 2 quid, because its not hurting anyone.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 25/5/06 12:34PM
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On ROS app could scupper encryption law:

Files containing stenographically encrypted data are not undectable, the technique has been around for some time, and agencies involved in cryptoanalysis certainly know what to look for, and the resources to crack them. But its an entirely different proposition if you are accused of having such files, and you have to prove that they don't contain hidden data.

The advantage of stenography was that there is plausable deniability for anyone handling the seemingly innoculous files, unless were caught red handed de-crypting them. However this law is so vague and wide reaching, that you can be procescuted for having data in any form which can't be shown to be uncyrpted or rendered in plain text on request. And under RIPA as the fact that you have read this article may be stored for up to 7 years and used against you, you can't even deny that you are aware of techniques such as stenography.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 23/5/06 4:10PM
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On RISC OS 3 caught running on Amiga hardware:

Enough what has changed? There haven't been any Select releases since May 2004, and we certainly aren't going to count things written on a folded piece of pink A4 paper - not until they are up and running as part of a stable release.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 23/05/06 3:27PM
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On ROS app could scupper encryption law:

But you sould always have the source to any encryption program you use, otherwise how do you know it isn't as much use as a chockolate tea pot. There are quite a few expensive closed source products, and for all you know "UltraMegaSecurity 5.0" might just be ROT13ing it. On the other hand it might also be running with the default option of -EmailMyKiddiePornCollectionToTheFBI

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 23/5/06 10:10AM
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On ROS app could scupper encryption law:

Its already happened in the US. Although not the primary evidence in the case, the mere precence of an encryption program was used to show intent and assumed guilt.

[link]

It isn't a case that the authourities wont know which of your files contain stenographically hidden data, but if you have such an encyption program in your possesion, you will have to prove that every single file doesn't or face 2 years in prison.

Another case of New Labour law; guilty until proved innocent.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 23/5/06 9:19AM
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On RISC OS 3 caught running on Amiga hardware:

Its pointless doing a list to convince RO5 users to move to Select, they don't have the choice, and wont have the choice until ROL release Select for the Iyonix - and its still a big if given their total lack of commitment, and frequent back peddling on the issue.

Of course when/it it does happens, Iyonix users will have to weigh up the benefits of the features such as ROHC mentions, against the level of support they may receive from ROL when any problems arise, as Castle wont be able to help once you are no longer using RISC OS 5.

Back when Select first launched, and I was receiving new betas on a weekly basis, I would have had no hesitation about crossing that bridge, as I was confident that the development team could respond to issues promptly. But with ROLs record of the past few years, and the length of time its take for a few minor fixes to be completed on the A9Home, I certainly wound not want to start using Select again, only to have to wind back to RO5 because bugs remained unfixed.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 22/5/06 4:17PM
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On RISC OS 3 caught running on Amiga hardware:

timephonix: I assume you mean Select rather than RO4, but I doubt if any Iyonix owners will agree with you. You don't survive by looking nice, you survive by delivering on your commitment to your customers. RO5 users have got an OS that runs on the fastest and most flexible RISC OS hardware and is being continually developed via mainly free updates, and very reasnable priced upgrades for additional hardware functionality.

Where as if Iyonix owners were relying on ROL (assuming they even decided to support the largest user base of post Acorn machines), they'd have been paying £100 a year for the past two years for absolutely sod all, and being told to stump up some more cash for promised features which are available "any day now", but no one has even seen a demo of.

If anything is going to die off, its going to be the Select subscriber base and hence ROL, as you can't expect people to put up with this sort of nonsense with all the compelling reasons to just walk away from the RISC OS platform. There are a lot of good features in Select which are currently being wasted through lack of developer support being restricted to a small proportion of the userbase, and they are going to be lost forever if ROL go under. There is no way the complex tangle of IP rights and opaque management of ROL will ever make it a viable proposition for Castle or anyone else to rescue.

But this isn't a case of weather Select or RO5 is going to win, its more a question of it there is going to be anyone left to care.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 22/5/06 11:05AM
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On RISC OS 3 caught running on Amiga hardware:

To Chris:

1) cover up the red light on the camera when doing screen shots 2) get a less cranky sounding mouse 3) more practice at playing lander/zarch needed

But apart from that, well done.

To Drobe:

TSK - flash and proprietary nonsense, good old MPEG2 is what we want.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 22/5/06 9:19AM
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On ROS app could scupper encryption law:

Lets see how long it is before another piece of ill thought out goverment legislation crashes head long in to the equally ill conceived subscription to the Human Rights Act. In this case article 8 governing the right to privacy in private and family life.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/5/06 9:07PM
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On Microdigital boss turns makeover gardener:

Are you sure he isn't doing community service? MD still owes people money.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/5/06 8:44PM
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On Plan to save users' marriages shelved:

Alpha sprites would be worthwhile, but they have to have 3rd party application support both in rendering and creation (who in their right mind is going to use Paint for anything other than the most trivial icon). That isn't going to happen when documentation for the format is limited to Select subscribers - if there are any left after two years of nothing.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/5/06 11:07AM
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On Unofficial A9home mailing list opened:

helpful: your arguments really dont add up there. Membership of a few relevant, tightly targeted and moderated mailing lists, is preferable to the plowing through the vast quantity of ranting, off topic rambling and general noise on the newsgroups. Especially as they are frequented by a few individuals whos only remaining connection with RISC OS is to get on the wick of those who still use it.

Your problem is easily solved by routing all mailing list traffic through a different POP3 mail box. If your ISP doesn't offer this facilty, theres plenty of free accounts you can create, then then collect from them seperately.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 18/5/06 3:22PM
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On Wakefield 2006 show report:

Browser windows on the desktop have to be resizeable, otherwise you might as well do it from a pokey PDA screen. But anyway this particular issue is not one which is holding up O3 as far as I know, but rather an indication of the differences between STB and RISC OS versions.

This issue with updates is how Oregan Networks work, their customers only get a product at the end of the development cycle, when its stable and releaseable. Once thats done, they throw it away and start from scratch on the next version for the next generation of STBs. There aren't rolling updates to the code as for desktop orientated products.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 18/05/06 3:09PM
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On Wakefield 2006 show report:

mripley: Have you done much web browsing from the PDA? It might be called Pocket/Mobile IE, but full IE it aint, and there as just as many problems as with RISC OS browsers. In fact thats very useful as I can hit companies with the accessibility stick for not working on (speech enabled) PDAs which they have heared of, rather than RISC OS which they haven't.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 16/5/06 1:57PM
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On Acorn is a legendary brand says new Acorn:

SimonC: All the evidence is against you; the press are lapping up the story that they are a legitimate sucessor, so when they fail it will be Acorn of the BBC Micro days failing and its reputation forever more associated with fraud and malpractice.

There also hasn't been a single mention of anything to do with RISC OS in the press, so nothing is going to "lure" people to using RISC OS, Acorn's run Windows now like everything else. Any sucess they have benefit them and them alone, and invetiably when they take the money and run, then the press will start sniffing around and throw the mud at us.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 15/5/06 10:36AM
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On Acorn is a legendary brand says new Acorn:

Wake up and smell the coffee, these people are disreputable low lifes from the festing pit of no name PC land, using the Acorn name to fraudulently associate themselves with a previously well known brand, and are out to rip people off with the cheapest nastiest Windows laptops that have ever fallen off the back of a lorry.

If they even realise there are any RISC OS using companies in existance (which they probably will now we've started complaining) their next cheap publicity shot is likely to be to threaten legal action for infringing "their" trademarks. Watch out any dealer that mentions Acorn in any of their advertising.

I fully expect these people to do a runner when the support issues of the crap they are selling start coming in, and pop back up next year having brought back the well recognised and respected Apricot computers. We'll be left with headlines of Acorn going bust "again" with huge debts, and hundreds of angry customers who've paid and received nothing, or are left with broken machines and worthless guarentees.

There is no senario involving these people that will have a positive outcome for RISC OS, except for putting them out of business as quickly and quietly as possible.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 15/5/06 9:49AM
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On Wakefield 2006 live news:

Can we split off all the stuff about CMT/PMT to somewhere else as its never ending and has already degraded in to the usual ill-informed slanging match, and get this topic back to what happened at Wakefield, as there is precious little of relevance.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 15/05/06 09:32AM
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On ArcEm ported to Amiga OS 4:

I wonder who is more surprised that the other is still around, Amiga users or RISC OS users?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 12/5/06 9:41AM
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On VirtualAcorn expand emulator range:

Still no Linux or Mac versions :(

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/5/06 9:11AM
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On Acorn brand name in PC laptop launch:

The issue isn't that they are using the Acorn Computers Ltd name which may well be legitimate, or the Acorn trademarks which they almost certainly don't own, but rather that in all the press releases they have made and in direct contact with them, they have sort to fraudulently pass themselves off as the original Acorn Computers, and are seeking to profit from the goodwill of a different company in which they have absolutely no connection to.

All companies in the RISC OS market created by the original ACL have every right to complain that this deception by a company now selling products for a competing architeture, is damaging to their interests. That is in addition to the moral repulsion against a bunch of shysters taking the name of the last great innovative British computer maker, and using it to knock out cheap and nasty boxes running the OS we all despise the most.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 09/05/06 09:24AM
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On A9home on sale from CJE Micros:

Its great that the A9 is finally released, but the one fly in the ointment is the last minute update to Adjust32 which prevents any absolute from running unless it has a 32bit AIF header. This breaks lots of perfectly 32bit compatible programs, such as all BASIC code which has been wrapped as an absolute. This means developers will be fielding a lot of complaints when the machines reach the general public - something that could have been avoided completely wirth a bit of consultation.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 08/05/06 09:50AM
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On Intel to shed XScale chips:

Lets not forget that Intel is completely irrelevant to the ARM market, they make an almost insignicant number of processors compared to all the other licencess. The only market section they have real traction in, is in PDAs, and now almost every manufacturer has a model featuring an alternative processor, particularly for converged devices with GSM/3G capability where the Intel is week.

Anyone worried about future Castle machines, should be aware they have far more experiance with non-Intel (ARM9) designs from their set top box work. The Iyonix is their first and only XScale based system, the reason being it was the fastest clocked amd most suitable system on chip at the time. It hasn't been the fastest ARM processor for some tine, but Castle have said they wont be replacing there Iyonix until there is a suitable replacement that offers significantly more performance (say 3x), and neither Intel or other licencess have brought a suitable chip - yet.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 7/5/06 9:19PM
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On Intel to shed XScale chips:

Any new Iyonix motherboard would have to be substantially redesigned as newer IOP series XScales aren't pin compatible, also other compontents on the board such as the southbridge need to be replaced with new versions. So from a hardware point of view, using an alternative ARM9/10/11 based SOC to the XScale would not be infeasible. It would however require software changes to the HAL and device drivers to cope with the the different chip, but this is doable.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 6/5/06 2:29AM
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On Intel to shed XScale chips:

Intels embedded devision are as obviously clueless as their x86 counterparts not they are on their back foot. The majority of XScale shipments are in for the PXA variant (PDAs) and IOPs (which replaced their i986 I/O controlllers in servers and workstations and network fabric), they've made absolutely no ground in pure mobile/smartphone sector which is dominated by TIs ARM based OMAP chipsets. They are well behind TI and others on moving away from a seperate application and stack processors to a single processor package.

But anyway if the XScale goes, it will be no great loss. Their divergance from DEC's StrongARM Mk2 development path has lead at a glacialy pace to increasingly inefficent and bloated processors (no surprise there being Intel), whcih are now easily bettered on both performance per MHz and per Watt by native ARM designs. Good luck to their competitors on continuing to run rings round the tired old giant.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/5/06 4:49PM
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On Iyonix support list dumps Smartgroups:

If anyone has a mailing list with Smartgroups, I recommend they also move it as soon as possible. Since Smartgroups was sold to FreeServe now Wanadoo it has gone down hill rapidly, and really has reached rock bottom.

Over the last few months each posting has taken longer and longer to appear, first 1 day, then 2, then a week. I sent an email complaining about the week delay to Iyonix-Support, and it took 18 days to get there! Its entirely pointless being on a support mailing list and trying to answer peoples questions if the replies take so long to arrive, the question gets asked several more times before a dozen answers turn up at once.

Even when Smartgroups was bothering to deliver email, they would often be filtered out by mail relays because they'd got themselves on the spamcop real time blacklist, and were clueless on how to take action to stop this. Their lack of anyone technically competent meant their downtime was a complete joke, taking the service off the air entirely to perform upgrades, usually for a day, but regularly between 2 and 10 days.

Furthermore Smartgroups have deleted two of my mailing lists without warning, loosing the members list, email archive and website contents, and have no way to restore them, either they dont have backups, or don't know what they are. The last such list was riscos-graphicscards, which just wasn't there anymore when I went to look for it. Several emails should have been sent warning me of low traffic and eventual deletion, but given how long it takes them to deliver emails, they might still arrive in a few months time.

This is so different from the company that originally set it up, who were highly competent, dedicated on providing a useful service, and RISC OS friendly in to the bargain. Luckily they have gone on to better things, and now Smartgroups under Wanadoo really does deserved to die, so defect now.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 3/5/06 9:22AM
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On RiScript in delivery delay shame:

I have had problems with the Spellings system with DeskDebug. Unlike Aemulor and Geminus which are tried to a single Iyonix which is fair enough, it is likely that a developer will have a number of different machines to test code on. A debugger isn't much use if its tied to just the Iyonix, and a problem arrises on the Risc PC. Paying for two copies of something you can only use one at a time is not justifiable morally or financially.

Now Neil has been fair and given me a second licence code so I can use it on either of my machines, and I hope he will also do this for any other developers that have the same issue. But it did take a bit of prodding and inconvience to reach this arrangement, which has never been the case with any other RISC OS development tool I've used.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 2/5/06 4:33PM
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On Finnybank Ltd dissolved:

Well I suspect thats the last anyone will see of Qercus or their subscription money, not that they've ever seen very much for it.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 1/5/06 9:43AM
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On Dispute over 'intrusive' VRPC copy protection:

JohnCollins: no I just want to use one copy on one machine at a time, just not always the same machine. That isn't unreasonable where I come from.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 30/4/06 11:01PM
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On Dispute over 'intrusive' VRPC copy protection:

The protection system used by VA is a pain in the ar$e, as it means it no longer runs on my work machine when a USB bluetooth dongle is plugged in, and there is no point in re-registering as we've got a number of these dongles and swap them around as needed.

As I don't have a PC and want to use VRPC on which ever machine at work I'm currently using, its non portability restricts the usefullness serverly. I have suggested a version locked to a serialised USB pen drive which is just as secure (we use it for products costing £1200+), enforces single copy / single use, and removes any possibility of registering a new copy and continuing to use the old one. But its only been greated by with stupid comments by those that should know better on csa.misc

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 30/4/06 9:36PM
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On RiScript in delivery delay shame:

Software protection in the RISC OS world is doubly counter productive and pointless. Firstly in such a small market, any tales of inconvience is going travel rapidly by word of mouth and negatively effect sales. Secondly with a far greater proportion of knowledgeable users than other platforms, any protection will quickly be bypassed.

We all know that at some time or other we've come across non legit software, but as the RISC OS market is quite mature and we aren't all still poor students, we are willing to buy software which is useful. But if the legit version with copy protection is more hassle than the cracked one, its very unlikely someone will bother legitimising it.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 30/4/06 9:26PM
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On VirtualRiscPC sneaked onto Mac OS X:

Well its rather a round the houses solution, but it works so that something.

But we still want a version of VirtualAcorn that runs natively Mac OSX and Linux, as we dont want to put any more money in Bill Gate's pockets.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 20/4/06 1:56PM
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On New ArtWorks, AWRender planned for Wakefield:

I'm quite happy to pay for the renderer module now to justly reward Martin. I don't even mind if it will become free somewhere down the line. Its money well spent.

I've been buying Artworks upgrades for a couple of years, but not had cause to use it much, until the last couple of weeks when I was commissioned to recreate 43 diagrams of rotary engines, taking the small bitmaps from a flash animation and producing high resolution copies for printing in a magazine. For the first couple I had a large bitmap template for and was able to alter using Photodesk, but for the others I'd never have been able to do it in a bitmap package. With only !Draw I'd have been able to do the outlines with a lot of tedious editing, and would have had to export to Photodesk for finishing with shading effects, and it would have taken forever. But with Artworks, it does the lot; really easy to edit outlines, text, hatching fills, realistic shading effects, and exports straight to TIFF - and all so easily, just put the orginal picture on the background layer, and draw the vector objects over the top in the foreground layers. I was straight back in to using it, like I'd never stopped, and quality of the output is stunning. 43 diagrams just aren't enough, I want to do more! B-)

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/4/06 9:09AM
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On ROL release C99 SCL to A9home users:

I wish people who should know better would stop recommending developers use StubG, as after 4 years there still is not a released version which doesn't feature broken libraries. Its also a backwards step as it prevents modern more efficent compiler features to be used.

I'm afraid I tuned out after reading that.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 17/4/06 9:03PM
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On Written for Qercus? Send it to Drobe:

What gets me is JC spends all day and all night on the newsgroups, making vast amounts of posts usually serving no useful purpose, apart from engaging developers in protracted arguments on issues he has little grasp of. If my main roll in the RISC OS market was producing a magazine, with such a poor record of getting things out to subscribers, I'd be hanging my head in shame and keeping a low profile until I'd done my job.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 10/4/06 9:20AM
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On A9home turns the volume up:

Right, who is going to be the first person to stick an A9 and LCD screen in a car as an MP3 jukebox?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 10/4/06 9:09AM
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On Bluetooth support for A9home mulled:

USB on the A9 is provided by the Samsung ARM9 based SOC (System On Chip), and I beleive the varient currently used in the A9 only supports USB1.1. However there are now other variants with USB2.0 which could be used via a replacement processor daughter card, and driver update. So I think there is a good chance it could be supported in the future.

The release of audio support for the A9 is great new news, and I'm reliably informed that MP3s sound pretty good.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 7/4/06 10:00AM
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On Bluetooth support for A9home mulled:

Wi-Fi would be good on the A9, but only it it was built in, or there was some way to integrate a laptop PC card unit in to the case. Otherwise you might as well just plug an access point in to the eithernet, and the jobs then done. There are now some very small access points which wouldn't look out of place with an A9, and wouldn't be much more expensive than a PC card version.

As for a PVR unit, I don't think an ARM9 has anywhere enough horses. On a PC system running Myth you can get away with using a very low spec Celeron for the basic recording and playback as long as your PCI capture card and ATX graphics card does all the MPEGing for you, and the processor just has to set up the bus mastering and handle the front end. The A9 doesn't have PCI and USB most capture devices require 2.0 to get any sort of quality and the A9 only has USB 1.0, but that does mean the processor and integrated graphics may be able to keep up with the low rate MPEG stream.

While the A9 is underspec'd for Video, it would fine as an MP3 server with an attached Wi-Fi access point to allow other devices round the house to use them, being small and quite enough to be left permenantly powered up. Its a shame the audio isn't working, or it could also be connected to the hi-fi to play them too. Then you'd need a USB IR remote receiver too...

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/4/06 10:46AM
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On Bluetooth support for A9home mulled:

Porting the USB driver for a Bluetooth dongle would be very useful. We would also need built-in support for HID (wireless keyboards and mice), serial over Bt (lots of devices), TCP over Bt (internet access for PDAs) and audio (hands free headsets) would be usefull too. Bluetooth is a nightmare however, and we definately need to ensure we end up with a single common API on this one.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/4/06 9:05AM
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On RiscPC emulator for Linux lands:

I think Tony is re-inventing the Tube after almost quater of a century :)

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 04/04/06 1:18PM
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On RiscPC emulator for Linux lands:

AMS, agree 100% with all your points. Lots of people may have bought VA to run some old programs, but it soon becomes a just curio or the equivalent PDF viewer. When you have to spend time maintaining the native enviroment and using certain applications there, you less and less likely to use primarily use RISC OS, and starting up the emulator becomes a speed bump. As indicated by the polls, the people still here taking about and continuing to be interested in RISC OS are on the whole native machine users, not emulator runners.

As regard to ARM & Intel that others have mentioned. Intel is only one licencee of the ARM architecture, and the XScale only accounts for a tiny fraction of the 100's millions of ARM based chips produced every year. PDAs and a couple of Windows Mobile PDA/smartphones are a drop in the ocean compared to the mainstream mobile market which Intel have not been able to crack. If Intel were to stop making XScales tomorrow (beleiving their own marketing crap they can run Windows Vista on under 1W), hardly anyone will notice as there are suitable ARM9 designs already being used as alternatives in just about every class of device (RISC OS included). Indeed as Intel inherited some IP from DEC, ARM would probably be better off gaining, a larger royalty share from ARM9s.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 03/04/06 09:26AM
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On Speak open sourced:

Speak is still better than some commerical synthetic voice TTS engines, and I partiuclarly like the accents it can do, it does make the speech more interesting to listen to.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 30/3/06 9:02AM
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On RiscPC emulator for Linux lands:

An optimised dynamic recompiler, rather than the block based version in VRPC (aka the JIT) has the potential to achieve better than a 1:5 clock speed ratio - but do we want to do it?

It would not only kill off new ARM based machines which would have to be well ahead of current ARM/XScale road maps at over 1.5GHz to compete on performance (given other advatanges such as memory and disc I/O speeds of x86 based hardware), but also other RISC OS hardware related development - what would be the point of producing new PCI and USB drivers without native machines. As much application development is spurred by the introduction of new hardware capabilities, this would also lead to stagnation there.

Will a RISC OS emulator end up being anything more than a PDF Viewer type program, but for old Impression and Artworks files stored on another machine's harddisc?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 28/3/06 9:21AM
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On StrongARM card turns ten years old:

Spriteman: New machines such as the Iyoinix do have a lot new; you have PCI cards, USB devices, and graphics of up to 2048x1536x32bpp at high refresh rates with quick redrawing. Plus the "bit faster" isn't so much the 3x or so of the XScale over the StrongARM, but the 5x speed of the memory, and 20x speed of the disc interface, which make a real difference to the feel and usability compared to previous generations.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 27/3/06 4:33PM
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On Alternative Shared C Library in development:

nodoubt73: I repeat; there is no need to ever switch between SCLs, when a 32bit-C99 and 26/32bit-C90 SCL is available. The RISC OS way is to have a single active copy of a module, which if introducing new features must maintain backwards compatibility. This avoids the situations on other platforms where half a dozen mutually incompatible versions of the same shared library must be loaded by different applications.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 20/3/06 4:43PM
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On Alternative Shared C Library in development:

Right,

1) Any implementation following the Castle 32bit SCL pattern is full compatible with all correctly written programs linked against the new 32bit/C99 stubs, the old 26bit/C90 stubs, and ROL's intermediate C90 stubsG used in 26bit or 32bit modes.

2) It is ridiculous this has become necessary to support the A9, all three parties involved need putting in a room and given a good kicking until the correct licences are sorted out, and an officially supported 26/32bit C90/C99 SCL is released for all RISC OS machines.

3) An open source implementation of the SCL would still be useful in some other ways so it wouldn't be a complete waste of time even if the official version gets sorted out. For example easier debugging of callback based code, and also to allow core SCL functions to be performed natively on emulators.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 20/3/06 9:36AM
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On RiscPC emulator ported to Linux:

hEgelia: you seem to be pretty confident you know what most people want, but if you are suggesting they would be better off with a non JIT (slow) emulator just because it runs Select, rather than far faster native hardware supplied with a version of the OS where enhancements and bug fixes didn't dry up almost 2 years ago, then you aren't giving very good advice.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 17/3/06 3:58PM
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On RiscPC emulator ported to Linux:

RISC OS running on a Psion5 like clamshell and keyboard PDA with hi res screen (such as the i-Mate JasJar I have infront of me [link]) would be great. However it would have to be quite a different beast to the normal emulators, as ARM on ARM instruction level emulation would give you around ARM2/3 speeds even on a 533MHz XScale.

Dynamic recompilation (nee JIT) would obviously give great results, but unfortunately is far too memory intensive to be used on devices which currently only have 48MB of available main RAM - indeed even the simpilest emulator is going be severly constrained by this. Running RISC OS code directly in user mode and provding emulation of SWIs would how I would approach it, assuming I had a vast amount of development resources to be able tackle the implementation.

But realistically if you don't have the performance differential of a desktop or good laptop system, emulation isn't an option on a PDA, running RISC OS natively is the only practical solution. People have reverse engineered the boot loaders and written drivers to get Linux running on PDAs, so theres no reason why a HAL implementation and drivers couldn't get RISC OS running natively too.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 15/3/06 9:28AM
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On RiscPC emulator ported to Linux:

Come on whats the rumor about a PDA version?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 14/3/06 11:28AM
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On BBC Micro ARM7 co-processor available:

Interestingly the website mentions the ARM7 is fast enough to emulate the other now extremely rare co-pros. You could end up with the equivelent of a whole row of biege wedges next to the Beeb (which would never work as there was only one tube interface, and each box only came with a miserly length of ribbon cable, so it had to sit right next to the machine).

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 8/3/06 9:34AM
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On Driver for USB IO kit started:

Fantastic, I'll be able to get out my boxes of scavenged electronic components which have sat in a cupboard since I used to hook them up to the BBC Micro's user and analogue ports. I never had much sucess getting complex (or even fairly simple) circuits to work, but I did managed to control motors, detect switch inputs, and display analogue meters on screen. It should be enough I/O to recreate a lego clone of the Beebs floor turtle everyone yearned for back in the 80s, but cost the earth.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 8/3/06 9:22AM
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On Middleton battles 'misinformation':

As one the people being accused of spreading misinformation on the newsgroups, I'd like to apologise over any confusion caused by my misunderstanding of Paul Middleton's answers to my questions at the RISC OS Midlands road show.

I gained the impression from his answer concerning the Risc PC running Select 4, that it was running in 32bit mode. Further to this I attempted to run a couple of 3rd party applications on the hard disc not part of the Select disc image, which were 26bit (as confirmed by looking at the binaries in Zap), both of these crashed which lead me to believe that only 32bit code would work under Select 4.

I'd like to thank Paul for confirming this is not the case and Select 4 will run in 26bit mode on old machines allowing legacy 26bit application to work. But I would also to like to ask why this wasn't cleared up immediately when I raised it weeks before hand in the on the Select mailing list. Misunderstands happen, but they only become misinformation, in the lack of any real information.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 6/3/06 4:04PM
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On News in brief:

Dnt lv ut ltrs ppl wll fnk itsa txt msg.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 6/3/06 9:22AM
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On RISC OS emu ported to games console:

ARM on ARM emulation is always going to be slow, but an optimising dynamic translator (nee JIT) does have the potential to turn one emulated instruction in to one native instruction in a large number of cases, and generate far more efficent inline code to do memory lookups. It still will be far slower than fully native, but orders of magnetude faster than pure emulation. The only draw back is the large amount of memory required for a translation cache may not be available on the target device. In which case a simpilier block based JIT as used in Virtual RPC, may produce large gains to be useable, but without such a severe meory penalty.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 27/2/06 9:32AM
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On South West 2006 theatre talks:

Maybe we'd stand more chance of getting our money back if we reported ROL to the gambling comission for running an illegal lottery.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 23/02/06 4:08PM
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On South West 2006 theatre talks:

Whats being talked about is continuing what Castle have already done, with the chargeable upgrade to USB2. The machine will always be supplied with a free OS delivering the required base functionality, but there may be several areas where there are optional enhancements available which you can also purchase.

So far Castle have only done this for hardware drivers, not wanting to step on ROL's toes in pure OS development. But if ROL persist in ignoring Iyonix users, I don't see why Castle shouldn't provide some of the more useful Select features their customers have requested. Icon cut&paste for example.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 22/2/06 10:43AM
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On South West 2006 theatre talks:

If ROL want further investment they need to open their books and give a full statement of accounts, showing us where all the money from 21 months of undelivered Select subscriptions, funding from STD for the A9, sales of RO4 and Adjust ROMs, and royalties from 3000+ copies of Virtual Acorn have dissapeared to. They then need to present a fully costed business plan stating the funding and developer resources necessary to complete projects such as Select 4 for all machines. Otherwise no one is going to beleive Paul Middleton alternatively blowing hot and cold over commint to Select on the Iyonix, asking Subscribers to continue to poor money in to the scheme with no guarentee of any releases, and passing out the begging bowl round for sub-junk status shares.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 22/2/06 9:41AM
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On New USB radio driver developed:

When I bought my Iiyama 22" monitor to go with the Iyonix, I got a free USB radio, but I gave away last year because I though no one would write a driver for it. :(

Its great to see Dave now has, and I hope this is the first of many drivers for interesting USB gadgets. :)

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/2/06 9:11AM
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On South West 2006 round up:

bluenone: I'm sure JK will appreciate ROL taking credit for ViewFinder.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 20/2/06 3:23PM
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On South West 2006 round up:

rmac: more than all of them.

But I'm afraid its only 99 pledges now, I've had enough of Paul Middleton peddeling out lame excuses. If ROL ever has a product for the Iyonix you can actually walk away with in your hand at a show (equivelent to the Adjust ROMs), I'll consider it. But of course I'll want £100 knocked of the price for a years Select subscription which wasn't delivered upon.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 20/2/06 1:34PM
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On News in brief:

The RISC OS tour site would look a lot better if the desktop images were displayed at 100% size, or better still were properly scaled down with bi-linear interpolation, rather leaving it to the browser which pixel drops and makes them look naff.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 17/2/06 9:12AM
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On RISC OS fan in legal hot water over spoof website:

It doesn't look anyone noticed the clause banning incitred to hatred of Microsoft which was tacked on to the end of the Governments Religeous thought crimes bill. So Tarquin can look forward to having his colon felt by an anti-terrorst officer very shortly, unless of course he first gets accidentally shot 11 times for wearing a backpack.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 15/2/06 9:09AM
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On Copying vinyl to CDs:

We should get round to porting the i16 software to 32bit so you can use the card in the Iyonix (as long as its the original case with podule backplane). I've beening wanting to do that with my 24i16 for 3 years, maybe in another 3 I'll get chance :(

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 13/2/06 9:31AM
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On Icebird Acorn demos archive returns:

I keep meaning to 32bit my demo, "Demo6399", not remotely in the same league as the spectacular ones above, but part of the earlier generation at the end of the 80s inspired by Alt-Mans (Hugo Fiennes) series of demos 1-5. This was before anyone outside of university had the internet (which was email and ftp back then, the web was still years away), and it spread round the world by people putting floppy discs in the snail mail to their friends. I was amazed that only a few months after its release, letters dropped through the postbox saying "Hi I'm from South Africa, have you written anything else? Tell me about whats happening in the UK Acorn scene." I would be great to find out where all those people are now.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 13/2/06 9:24AM
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On Midlands user group formed:

Well done, its great that there is enough interest in RISC OS to create new user groups even in 2006.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 9/2/06 9:12AM
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On ROL open share investment to all:

All this talk of ROL developing media players, browser etc, is cloud cookoo land, they can't even finish their existing work such as the A9 drivers, or the Select for the Iyonix which has been in its present alpha state for almost a year - things that they have already taken money from people for.

Its pretty obvious that through mismanagement and gross neglect of their core market (Select subscribers), RISC OS Ltd no longer has a viable business model to be able deliver any future finished and useful products. In the past two years while subscribers continued to pay but have received nothing, and heard even less, ROL have been working on but not completing Adjust32 for the A9, they have been flogging off the work Select subscribers have funded as cheap copies of Adjust, they have also been selling, quote "thousands", of copies of RO4 and Adjust as part of Virtual-RiscPC.

However we are now lead to believe there is insufficient funds to continue to operate, and need to issue 50,000 more pieces of worthless paper, also known as ROL shares. All the Select subscribers to pay for yet another year of zero guaranteed releases, but even if there is one I'm sure most people are not aware that Select 4 on the Risc PC will not run any of their 26bit software without as yet unrelease Aemulor for Risc PC, and even then at reduced speed. Iyonix owners who have received no benefit from Select for over 3 years, not only have to sign up yet again, but have to pay a supplement on top to gain access to the very flakey and incomplete alpha quality code we've seen demonstrated.

We are being taken for idiots.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 6/2/06 9:28AM
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On New email lists for R-Comp software:

Its a good point that they are xxx-discuss rather than xxx-support. However I suspect that will be lost on a lot of people, as there is a strange trend in the RISC OS market of not asking the author or supplier of software for support directly, but to sent to mailing lists or newsgroups hoping that someone else might know, or the author might spot it amoungst all the other noise.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 3/2/06 11:41AM
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On New email lists for R-Comp software:

I'm just wondering if the hermes list wouldn't have been better coveralling all DialUp/Netfetch issues too, because by design the mail (and news) fetchers are hidden away so people may not realise whether the problem is with the actual fetcher or the setup in DialUp/Netfetch. This might then remove some of the enquires the on the Messenger Pro list when end up there when people can't find a more appriopriate place.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 3/2/06 9:01AM
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On Ovation Pro on Windows overtakes RISC OS original:

Its obvious what David should do now, continue enhancing the Windows version wirth some useful features, then bring them over to RISC OS and sell an upgrade. If there is no interest then thats the end of if on this platform, but I guarentee RISC OS OvPro users will be biting his arm off as there hasn't been any upgrades for so long.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 27/1/06 9:16AM
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On News in brief:

Come on this is a storm in a tea cup, but any plublicity is good publicity.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 27/1/06 9:11AM
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On Delving inside a RiscPC emulator:

scl4c0rn: Sun hasn't /moved/ to x86, they sell Solaris x86 power xeon and opteron boxes as low end servers along side their main SPARC RISC lines. They are continuing to develop SPARC with the 32 thread / 8 core Niagara.

JGZimmerle: I'm afraid Apple is moving, its a condition of getting their hands on Intels 100's of millions in marketing subsidies. Apart from that continued development of machines based on both architectures would expose how little other rational there is behind the decision. They need to encourage their software developers to move to native x86 code as quickly as despite claimed 2x-4x performance gains from the x86, emulated code runs at half the speed, and even fully native is only showing about 16% increase on real applications.

Which goes to show the problems with emulation when the performance of both architectures is similiar, rather than the much easier situtation for RISC OS emulators on processors which are theoretically up to 20x faster than even the IOP321 in the Iyonix.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/1/06 9:24AM
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On Delving inside a RiscPC emulator:

Ironically Apple droping PowerPC comes just as architecture is gaing a massive increase in sales. Variants of the PowerPC core are being used for all the next generation games consoles - the XBox360 (Xenon is a 3 core PowerPC derived) is already shipping, soon to be joined by the Sony PS3 (Cell is a Power PC derrived plus 7 specialist units) and Nintendo's Revolution (standard Power PC). Plus of course the big dog Power5 multi core chips continue as the mainstay of the IBM RISC workstation and server line up.

However with Apple moving to <spit>x86</spit> means there wont be suitable PowerPC based desktop or laptop machines on which to run an emulator. Unless you particularly like Mac OS in order to pay the premium for the cludged hardware, you might as well buy any old box to run the emulator on. Far more important is that RISC OS emulators are available for *LINUX* to avoid the need for any Microsoft filth.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 25/1/06 11:41AM
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On PCI serial port card driver available:

Its great to see people working on opening up the vast range of PCI cards to RISC OS users. I only hope this continues, and we also get some more work on USB drivers.

There are two free PCI slots in the Iyonix, and they are likely to be filled with a second graphics card for geminus, a digitiser card or addition I/O capability to support tasks which Risc PCs are currently doing, such as driving multiple serial interfaces, or SCSI devices if we get a driver for a suitable card. USB offers the potential of connecting far more than 2 additional devices, without opening the machine which not everyone likes doing, so I suspect would have a wider appeal. Also while drivers are not directly transferable, once the job is done for the Iyonix the knowledged gained can be used to support the Simtec and Castle USB cards for the Risc PC, opening up futher customers.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 25/1/06 9:45AM
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On Delving inside a RiscPC emulator:

bucksboy: Yes, the HAL means all calls to control the processor and core chipset are routed via a jump table at the base ROM. So instead of the emulator having to trap every memory read and write and check to see if is addressing a particular register, the calls to these routines can be trapped. Where as the native HAL code would perform several priviledged instructions or memory accesses to do the task, the emulation of it can do it all in one go, increasing the performance. However, this only holds for the core chipset and there are still plenty of memory mapped I/O devices in the Iyonix, so the trapping of all reads and writes still has to be done to pick specific addresses, rather than using a simple lookup to find the correct memory page.

My main area of interest was writing a far better dynamic optimising code translator (JIT) to turn ARM instructions in to something decent such as Power rather than x86 garbage. The Power with its 31 general purpose registers and 3 operand instructions is far more suited to ARM emulation than register staved, 2 operand x86. But alas with Apple ditching the PowerPC the only thing left is x64, more registers but still p1ss poor.

BTW: Who's the nice girlie in the photo? ;)

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 25/1/06 9:28AM
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On RISCOS.org joins pixel ad bandwagon:

Not another copycat :(

The original site gained publicity and sponsors because was a novel, and frankly such a ridiculous idea it was bound to attract attention.

This just wont work twice, all you end up with is tiny a very expensive advertising hoarding, that no one will look at so no one will sponsor.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/1/06 9:04AM
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On Holding software to ransom:

Martin Wrthner and Peter Naulls are very unusal in the RISC OS market of being independant programmers working almost full time on RISC OS (although Peter now has a real job), they are also extremely dedicated individuals. This enabled them to commit to very big challenging project, and their excellent reputations from past achivements ensured people would trust them by contributing cash towards the development costs even though the code is under GPL and must be made freely available.

Unfortunately theres not may others like them, that have the time or inclination to take on such projects. Most programmers just work on much smaller things that interest us when we get the chance (which can, as pointed, out lead to a plethora of small programs all addressing the same purpose). I would hate to see the situation where programmers starting with the best of intentions take people money for this "ransomware" but are unable for whatever reason to deliver on the commitment.

So although we have two very successful examples of how this can work, we need to be vary careful before jumping on this bandwagon. Ideally any projects taken on should be by a small team of programmers to prevent one individuals change of circumstances derailling the project. Meticulous attention must be payed to project planning to ensure that there is sufficent programmer resources to complete the task in a reaslistic amount of time, and also to be able to show potential investors how their "ransom" money will be spent.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 18/1/06 1:38PM
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On News in brief:

Cretin will run on RISC OS 5 if the unofficial 32bit version of the EasySockets module is put in the RM directory. Time to prod the author again to get permission to release it? Or perhapse remove dependancy on it, as it doesn't make sockets much easier. Any *real* networking guru should be constructing their TCP packets from raw ethernet frames.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 16/1/06 9:40AM
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On RISC OS features in plain english:

A couple of things missing from the RISC OS 5 list:-

DOSFS supports FAT12/16 and FAT32, including Windows broken versions of FAT16 with a FAT32 style variable length root directory (which previous versions including the ones in RO4 & Select does not).

LanmanFS supports proper long filenames with RISC OS filetypes translated in to/from DOS extensions by MIMEmap and ,hex extensions for other RISC OS types. LanmanFS on Select only supports 8.3 DOS name, munches 10 character RISC OS names to 8.~2 and stored types in hidden RISCOS.EA files.

RISC OS 5 supports the scroll wheel of USB mice. Select also has support for the scrollwheel of PS2 mice.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 15/1/06 3:30PM
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On Remote desktop apps compared:

I thought R-Comp's was just a repackaged version of one of the VNC clients, but I can only find their original csa.accounce release which mentions both VNC and RDP. Anyone know what they are using?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 12/1/06 12:07PM
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On Remote desktop apps compared:

We are pretty well catered for with clients, I've used VinCE and RDPClient, and they work very well, easily able to work all normal desktop applications on PC. I intend to test the others featured too, but I don't think we need any more than the above now.

What I need is a good VNC *server* as I only have one monitor and it would be handy to control the other computer without continually switching over. Currently the only server, the original !VNCServe, is 26bit so wont work on the Iyonix, neither however has it worked on my Risc PC for a number of years, due to one or more of Kinetic/ViewFinder/Select. It was never particulary advanced either, not supporting compression so very slow, and doesn't have even password protection.

So if any programmer fancies writing a remote control application, please look in to writing the server side, not yet another client.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 12/1/06 9:18AM
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On Web gallery apps compared:

My personal favourite is WebGen2. It has a vast array of options, but generally only a couple of things need to be set up for it to work, and it then goes off and processes the images to produce both thumbnails and and scaled main images of a more web friendly size than the original camera pictures - which would take forever if I tried to uploaded them straight to a website.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 10/1/06 9:03AM
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On News in brief:

Thinking about it, the ideal thing for a product directory to do would be not only to store descriptions and links to the software but to regularly spider the link and cache the downloads incase the link ever dies. If it does could automatically email the last known contact email address, or even csa.announce, to try to get in touch with the author for cases when they haven't dropped off the face of the earth, but just changed web hosts and forgotten to update the links. If this isn't successful, the directory can continue to provide the last known version, and no RISC OS applications need ever become lost.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 9/1/06 12:14PM
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On News in brief:

I'd rather there was a maximum of one or less product directories. If I'm looking for a fairly old application, then its pretty sure the normal search for "RISC OS application_name" will return a dozen or so product directories pages and sub pages, and every single one will turn out to be a broken link. It would save a lot of time if they weren't there, as generally if google can't find it, its gone.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 9/1/06 9:45AM
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On 2006 predictions:

In reply to JGZimmerle: RUBBISH!

Vasty more money and resources were invested Pace in converting and restructuring RISC OS 5 than Select. It has a modern HAL structure which is essential for future support of modern processors and chipsets. RO4 still has the adhoc non abstracted kernel jumble and the only thing Select did down there was move some of the stuff round and create lots of dynamic areas which are fundementally unsuitable for the 32bit memory map.

Yes Adjust32 was probably converted to 32bit quicker than RO5, because its fundementally the same code as Adjust26 and the oppotunity wasn't taken to make the major architectural improvements. That makes it far more difficult to port to the Iyonix and any other machine, not easier.

All of the high level bells and whistles of the UI and the new APIs from Select can be utilised in any future OS, but the low level structure of RISC OS 4 needs to be consinged to history where it belongs.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 6/1/06 9:55AM
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On 2006 predictions:

Its pretty obvious to anyone who has looked in to the RO5 HAL model that it is the way forward and superior to the mish mash of procressor and device specific code in the Select, RO4 and earlier kernels. The mention by ROL that certain Select features can't just be softloaded on top of RO5 because they are dependant on things in the Select kernel, reinforces this point, as those things should not be in the kernel to start with, but suitably abstracted.

If we are to prevent any further wasting of time and effort on duplicated OS development, and gain a true single source, one size fits all OS, ROL must licence the underlying RO5 kernel and HAL from Castle and add their value on top of this with Select features. There is then a clear well defined boundary between device specific and general OS code, both technically and commercially. The resultant OS can then be deployed on the Iyonix, A9, Risc PC and other legacy machines, bringing its advantages of hardware indepenence and enhanced APIs to all RISC OS users.

Will it happen? - No.

Paul Middleton is on record as describing all the other players in the market and Castle in particular as "Bastards Bastards Bastards", and their cheif programmer (if he's still working for them) views the minor internal divergence of Select and RO5 as schism of religous beleifs, and about as likely cooperate on integration in to a single source as as sunni and shia muslims are to get back together in Iraq.

Castle also view working with erratic management style and financially untransparent ROL with horror. They've never really seen the Select features as something which sells new machines, and while they might welcome the ultimate goal of a single source and letting ROL play with the UI bells and whistles while they concentrate on hardware and embedded projects, getting there is going to be nothing but pain. They could be faced with the intermediate step of a Select over RO5 bodge generating a nightmare of support issues, which users wont be able to distinquish between problems with hardware for Castle to deal with and OS bugs for ROL to fix. A two tier local governement style buck passing ring is bound to deveolop damaging the reputations of all concerned.

My personal view, which I'd very dearly like to be proved wrong on, is that there will only be one source again when there only one company, i.e. a merger or more likely one or the other going to the wall. My bet would be the one that has taken its customers money for 19 months and failed to deliver any kind of product.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/1/06 4:53PM
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On News in brief:

The Sunday was far less busy, so one day makes more sense, saving the exhibitors an additional nights accomadation and heavy drinking session, not that we didn't always enjoy that part.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 20/12/05 2:37PM
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On News in brief:

There was no photographer, Paul set up his camera on top of the Iyonix running Select, put it on timer and then dashed round the front. He took two shots, so the first time either Jack wasn't smiling, or his badge said something worse! :)

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 20/12/05 10:56AM
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On Christmas roadshow report:

Did anyone do a *Help Modules on the Iyonix running Select to see what the last build date was? This would indicate if there is on going development or this is what was demonstrated at previous shows.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/12/05 9:09AM
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On Select 4 will not be ready until new year:

In reply to DS1: Select 4 was supposed to be out in the 4th year of the scheme, which ran from July 2004 to July 2005, we should be on Select 5 by now. Therefor therefor we had better receive Select 4 whcih we have already paid for, without demands for more money.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 2/12/05 9:46AM
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On Select 4 will not be ready until new year:

We'll I'm not about to beleive any release date until I see it. But it has now been conviently pushed back in to the New Year, whenever it is my subscription and many others has already expired and the 3 months grace period will also be long gone. Will ROL be asking for another 105 before letting us have this release? They better hadn't be, because I've already paid for the development of that code and and been waiting over 18 months for it. Only when I receive something for the previous subsription fee will I consider making further payments, and if I don't get this release I want my money back, nothing else is acceptible.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 1/12/05 10:34PM
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On Castle move to Cambridge rumoured:

Aaron, who as VA is an indirect competitor of Castle should no better than use his position as editor to spread rumours.

I'm surprised he didn't go the whole hog and claim that as well as moving to Cambridge, they are changing their name to Acorn before selling all their assets on e-bay.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 1/12/05 7:19PM
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On Select 4 will not be ready until new year:

Which new year was that?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 1/12/05 7:09PM
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On Companies flock to Christmas road show:

The real question about the road show is; will it be just more bluster from Paul Middleton about about supposed new features, or are they going to actually deliver something to their subscribers who have been WAITING FOR OVER 18 MONTHS.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 1/12/05 9:18AM
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On All third parties welcome at roadshow says ROL:

The ARM Club has asked for a table at the Birmingham event, so hopefully we will see a few of the people that would have come to the Midlands show, if we were able to hold it this year.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/11/05 9:13AM
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On RISC OS Christmas roadshow details finalised:

The ARM Club has asked for a table at the Birmingham event, so hopefully we will see a few of the people that would have come to the Midlands show, if we were able to hold it this year.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/11/05 09:11AM
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On RISC OS Christmas roadshow details finalised:

Alternatively; the first Castle heard about it was on Drobe or csa.announce like everyone else that hadn't been "pre-invited".

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 18/11/05 4:39PM
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On Unix Porting Project to ditch name:

Unfortuantely the last Select release of 3i4 which we've been stuck with for the past 19 months, and possibly forever, has a bug where it claims 12MB to hold the softloaded OS image instead of 6MB. This isn't much of an issue to those withl well over 100MB in the machine, but its bad news for people like Swandee who may just have had enough memory to manage, but now have to upgrade just when SIMMs are getting rare.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 18/11/05 1:26PM
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On Unix Porting Project to ditch name:

I don't see why the name needs changing "The Unix Porting Project" does exactly what it says on the tin. "riscos.info" wont really mean much to most people, and for those that do, it s a documentation website.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 14/11/05 12:38PM
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On Archive usage survey: VRPC edges past Iyonix:

In reply to Aaron Timbrell: Long files names is not a property of ADFS, but FileCore which ised used for all native disc based filing systems - motherboard ADFS, 3rd party IDE and SCSI. None of these can natively support long filenames on Pre-RISC OS 4 machines, unless an overlay filing system such as !RaFS or !LongFiles is used, both of which have issues and do not address the storage utlisation issues with larger discs.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 14/11/05 12:34AM
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On Archive usage survey: VRPC edges past Iyonix:

No, 3.7 has to go, it only supports an archaic filing system - 10 characters, 77 files per directory and an inability to efficently untilise over 8GB - has no place in the modern world. RISC OS 4.0 has to now be the minmum that can sensibly be supported.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/11/05 2:39PM
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On Archive usage survey: VRPC edges past Iyonix:

In reply to Jess: "A select RPC is by far the most usable out of it, an Iyonix and an OS X mac, but it is too slow for many modern functions."

Comparing my RiscPC/Kinetic/ViewFinder/Select against the Iyonix, the Iyonix is far more usuable with the faster processor and vastly quicker disc interface. The only Select features I notice on the old machine are the green icons, and the different hourglass and how it is there for so much longer.

I'm afraid after 3 years none of the useful Select features have proved to be a necessity, and have laregly been forgotten and not missed on RISC OS 5. Some of the best additions were API extensions, but have not been capitalised upon because developers wont support a subsection of the market based on a diminishing number of old machines.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/11/05 1:43PM
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On Voice-over-IP on RISC OS: What's involved?:

I've not seen any VOIP software so the question is; what facilities would a computer based solution offer over an above self contained dedicated hardware, which has a number of advantages such as QOS provisions, and the fact it already exists?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 7/11/05 11:05AM
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On PC card software released under GPL:

If it was the expected translation of PCs/tar/ba2/out it would be ok, but its using a dot so you need to have both the downloaded file called PCs/tar/ba2 and a directory with the same name, containing another directory call out, which can't happen. But anyway I'll raise this on the UPP mailing list.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 6/11/05 12:50PM
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On PC card software released under GPL:

Has anyone tried the UPP bunzip2 / bzip2 -d on it? They try to create a directory called PCs/tar/ba2.out which obviously doesn't work on RISC OS.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 6/11/05 12:25AM
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On Taking OS features for granted:

In reply to Peter: If say you have a team of 10 programmers who can re-write RISC OS to support PMT and another 10 to modify all the major applications to use it, and they can do all this in the totally unrealistic time of a year, what does the user see at the end of it? - The hourglass appearing slightly less frequently.

However if you take that team of 20 engineers and set them to writing applications to takle the areas where RISC OS is lacking, they may take slighly longer due to the lack true PMT, but at the end of the year you will have a number of new programs that will benefit users far more than any tick against PMT in the list of OS features in a RISC OS vs Amiga OS news article.

Your stirling work is the perfect example of this. If you'd decided to work for ROL or Castle and bring PMT to RISC OS, no doubt you'd still be there toiling away with the many difficulties. But instead you've brought dozens of new programs including FireFox to the platform, despite the lack of OS features which may have made the process easier. I think everyone appreciates you've acheived at lot more this way.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 03/11/05 4:05PM
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On Taking OS features for granted:

In reply to Malcolm: spot on.

In reply to James: Its possible to have multiple messages in flight between two tasks, but most applications will asume that the first datasave has been abandoned if they receive another one with a different session id.

In reply to Stefano: It was possible to use an external maths co-processor with older processors such as the ARM2,3 and 7, and WSS even managed to get some useful gains from farming out FP from an ARM7 to the x86 second processor. However with faster processors the overhead of synchronisation and data transfer via shared memory (especially as the StrongARM and later lack cache snooping) far exceeds any benefit from an external accelarator. The FP unit needs to be on chip taking instructions from the main pipeline and gaining direct access to the data cache.

As more sophisticated audio and video codecs come in to use, mobile and embedded processors are increasingly gaining FP support. Many recent ARM cores now have integrated Vector Floating Point co-processors. These only work single precsision and not compatible with the old ARM FP instruction set, but given a suitably adpated FPem module, would give significant benefits for some code.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 03/11/05 10:32AM
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On Taking OS features for granted:

In reply to jamesp: If you implement queuing of message for each application and stall the sender until a reply is received, you run a very big risk of creating race conditions and deadlocks. You certainly would not be able to allow a second message to be sent until the first had been completed, therefor just delaying the onset of effective CMT. In RISC OS here is only a limited amount of independent forground activity which can be handled by applications before an interprocesses messaging event occurs and risks being stalled by any applications which are unresponsive.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 02/11/05 4:49PM
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On Taking OS features for granted:

In reply to jwoody: you are wrong about swapping the entire wimpslot, we've had lazy taskswapping since RO4 to get round that. But you've touched upon the real issue with paging. Its absolutely pointless considering pre-emption or vitual memory in isolation, by themselves they are of very little benefit and you would end up with a system with the resonsiveness and stability of Windows 95. The only sensible way to implement such things is to start with a proper multi-threaded kernel with overlapped I/O - so both application pre-emption and threading are supported, VM paging allows switching to another task/thread rather than stalling. This of course means re-writing almost all of the operating system.

Then of course you have RISC OS applications, which are fundementally tied to the sequential message architure of the window manager, and just will not function correctly in a pre-emptive environment unless the main message thread blocks to wait for responses from all applications - reducing system to co-operative multitasking for most of the critical interactions. Threading support would allow background operations to continue - but this is possible at the moment. To gain full benefit from PMT a new asynchronus system of message passing would have to be developed and applications would have to be re-written to support it, and to also remove the vast number of assumptions of they make about thier effective single tasking operations between wimp polls.

So to gain any realy benefit, and not some hideous lash up that only gives PMT or VM as hollow tick list features demanded by those who don't really understand them, a vast amount of OS and application code has to be re-written - whos going to do it? Who can be bothered, it really isn't worth, you might as well start again with an OS which supports this from the ground up and has other advantages such as a security model, more device drivers etc - i.e. not RISC OS.

Therefor I think its a total waste of time discussing any of it, RISC OS is always going to remain CMT - which isn't in itself a fundemental obstacle to implementing any type of software or providing a seemless illusion of multi-tasking to the user. So you might as well make the most of it or go elsewhere.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 2/11/05 3:32PM
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On Software news:

I say congratualtion to Dave Thomas for demonstrating his software in practical situations. We should be not be afraid to point out that RISC OS is compatible with the vast majority of adult images.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 1/11/05 1:37PM
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On Letters:

Measuring disc size in a unit which is meaningless to computers is a common trick of the hard disc manufacturers. However where as a drive can be just about any size, determined by the number of tracks, heads and sectors per track, memory can only be manufacturered in sizes which are powers of 2, so should be given as true megabytes or gigabytes. So if anything they should be claiming a 128 (true) MB stick as a 134 (damn lies) MB stick.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 1/11/05 9:32AM
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On South East 2005 show report:

In reply to Jymbob: Whilst a StrongARM is capable of running both 32bit and 26bit code, it has always been stated that by ROL that RISC OS will run in one mode or another, and not support running some applications in one mode, and some in another. This is so the OS can be compiled entirely for 26bit or 32bit operation, and does not require a large amount of additional code to fix up differing behaviours between an OS and applications running in different modes.

Therefor if Select on the Iyonix is running in 32bit mode, all of the applications and modules will also be entered in 32bit mode. Attempting to run 26bit code in 32bit mode will not work, as just as on the 32bit only X-Scale, instructions have different meanings in this mode, and code expecting or attempting flag preservation will not work correctly or crash.

There is scope for a version of Aemulor that instead of running in a 32bit mode and emulating the behaviour of 26bit instructions, could switch to 26bit code and run them natively without such a server performance penalty. There would still be an additional overhead for providing flag preserving wrappers around OS calls to give the legacy code the behviour it expects, which is already present in Aemulor.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 31/10/05 12:06AM
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On South East 2005 show report:

In reply tp CylinGuy2: The impression I get is that ROL have satisified nobodies requirements in the past year, and have yet to explain what they have done with a years worth of subscriptions and the money from ongoing Adjust sales and VRPC royalties. Unless they actually deliver something to both 26bit and 32bit subscribers, instead of yet more pronises each time renewals come up, they are going to find themselves in serious trouble.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 28/10/05 7:07PM
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On Unique StrongARM NC in auction:

They got caught up in the spat between Oracle's Larry Ellision and Bill Gates. Ellision saw Acorn's set top box development and decided that a similar concept of a thin client Network Computer connected to large severs running his software would be the way to break the Windows hegemony on the desktop. He touted Acorn's technology as demonstrator just well enough to get Intel worried, and when they announced they would support the concept with an x86 based device, Ellison then promply dropped Acorn. Apparently leaving them well out of pocket for work on the next generation of NC's of which the StrongARM NC was one.

Acorn then took the existing ARM7 based units and tried to develop the concept as a cheap internet terminal, for use in kiosks and a consumer version sold by Bush. This actually worked quite well initially and I convinced a couple of friends to buy one. But the commitment from ISPs were lacking, and after being passed around several times, it was eventually dropped leaving the boxes unsupported.

Anyway thats my understanding, but I'm sure piers knows far more, if he's allowed to say.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 28/10/05 11:25AM
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On South East 2005 show report:

Any combined source tree for RO4 and RO5 has to utilise the RO5 HAL model, its the way forward and the only sensible way to deal with PCI and graphics cards etc. Castle will undoubtedly require it t be done this way, but it would also have huge advantages for ROL and their AMSs, as it allows the development of low level device drivers to be further uncoupled from the operating system. A new HAL can be produced and slotted in to a ROM image without having to rebuild any OS code.

However, this is well ahead of the current situation, and any version of Select will have to utilise the exiting RISC OS 5 HAL, Kernel and driver modules in order to function on the Iyonix. This can be achieved simply by softloading the Select modules, or as ROL are suggesting extracting code from the RO5 ROM and incorporating it in to a softloaded ROM image. This seems overly complicated to me, but it is probably to maintain the illusion of ROL providing a complete OS rather than just extentions, for reasons of pride.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 28/10/05 11:08AM
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On ROL plots December roadshow:

Its only Paul Middleton's office thats in Cardiff, all of the development work happens elsewhere (when it is happening ofcourse).

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 27/10/05 2:29PM
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On ROL plots December roadshow:

In Reply to Neil: Or a company that wants us to keep funding it, could just tell us.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 27/10/05 09:26AM
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On ROL plots December roadshow:

In reply to DS1: " At the show PM claimed that they had not taken any money for 32 bit subscriptions, except from a small number of people (and I think he said this was in single figures), who said he could take the money."

No, he said they had not cashed any 32bit ONLY subscriptions, but anyone who paid for a joint 26bit and 32bit subscription, had their cheques cashed. No questions were asked.

"More chance in the next 12 months due to the amount of work done this year. That all said, if there's no release long before Dec 2006 (when my current Select subscription expires) I absolutely guarantee not to renew."

In 3 months time after the grace period and my subscription lapses without there having been a release. I will absolutely guarentee to start recovery proceedings on the money paid for last year.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/10/05 3:30PM
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On ROL plots December roadshow:

In reply to DS1: "I don't agree last years promises were broken, after all they've never promised any particular timescales,"

When it comes to the 32bit side, its not an issue of timescales I have a problem with, but that they started taking joint 26bit and 32bit subscriptions last year, but then just before that subscription was due to run out, saying there was not enough interest to do the work they had taken money for (the whole "we need 100 subscribers, but wont ask anyone" fiasco). Add the fact that nothing has happened on the 26bit side either, and you have to wonder where the approximately 70,000 in subscriptions and thousands more from Adjust ROMs and V-RPC licences, went last year. If that wasn't enough to make even the smallest release of code for either plaform, what are the chances this year?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/10/05 2:47PM
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On ROL plots December roadshow:

In reply to DS1:

"As I remember it, their original plan was to have UP TO 3 releases per year, and the only way they can break that, is to have 4+ releases in one year."

It was between 1 and 3 releases a year.

"I'm pretty certain they never promised that they would 32 bit RISCOS, but even if they did, they are currently in the middle of it. "

They promised to 32bit it this time last year at the 2004 South East, and even took money to do so. Whether at the middle or the end makes no difference, there should be something to show for it by now.

"So where /EXACTLY/ are they not honouring the original aim of the scheme?"

The aim of the scheme was to fund and deliver ongoing development of RISC OS, via between 1 and 3 releases a year of beta and production quality code. Something during the first three years of the scheme, they did very well, and we were all pleased with Select 1 to 3 as you pointed out. However in the now nearly 17 months since the last code was released to subscribers, we've had absolutely nothing for either 26bit or 32bit machines, while Paul Middleton has continued to take our subscription money, and benefit from flogging off the work we have funded to the tune of over 300 each - the Adjust ROMs - for as little as 69.

I'm not unreasonable, I'm a software engineer and know how long things take to get done, if a company is honest and admits why they need extra time and funding I'll can evaluate that and choose to whether accept it. But I'll I'm seeing is the same promises that were broken last year, requests for more money, and no guarentee we'll see any of the work that has been done so far, or a final release in that time.

I'll I'm saying to ROL is throw me a freaking bone here.

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

Its all very well ROL going around touting their plans, and getting people to sign up - they did that last year too, and what did we see for it? Nothing. They have to give people something in return for trusting them with yet another subscription - the scheme is suposed to be about on going development, not throwing good money after bad and hoping there will be something at the end of it. Even if for Iyonix users its just !Paint with RenderLib support for PNGs etc (which can't be far away from working properly), that would show they are honouring the original aim of the scheme.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/10/05 9:36AM
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On South East 2005 show report:

Whilst I welcome any sort of announcement from ROL as to their future intentions, I now expect them to write (letter, not email) to each Select subscriber in turn, to provide the full information given out at the show, and clarification of the future release schedule.

I was only able to attend the show for a short time, so have only heard about the proposed plans second hand. If it is true that ROL are breaking the terms of the current Select subscription and intend to provide no releases unless further money is paid, I want a full explanation of why this is necessary, and a legally binding contract governing what will be delivered during the next subscription, regardless of how long it may last.

For two years in a row now after extended periods of no releases and no communication ROL have announced plans at the South East show, in order to secure re-subscriptions. Last year the tens of thousands of pounds invested in the scheme by subscribers came to absolutely nothing, what guarantees do we have that this year will be any different?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 25/10/05 10:58AM
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On ARM7 co-processor developed for Beeb and Master computers:

What sort of OS is this board going to have on it? It can't be full RISC OS as it has no means to drive the host machine over the Tube (unless some really old legacy stuffs been left hidden in the 26bit variant since pre-ArthurOS). I suspect its going to be a small boot loader and Tube API, but then BASIC is mentioned, so possibly just enough SWIs have been emulated to allow VDU input and output using the Beeb.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/10/05 2:14PM
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On South East show 2005 preview:

The ARM Club will be there, offering our usual range of products including DiscKnight, taking membership renewals, offering technical assistance, and generally available for a chat. I'm afraid I'll only be there in the morning, so stop by early if you want to see me. Mark "GameOn/StrongGuard" Smith and Tom "networking" Hughes will there all day, and if you have any suggestions for Eureka magazine, our Editor Andrew will be around too.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 20/10/05 9:43AM
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On Children's BBC: The Acorn years:

Is there any chance the original code and bitmaps can be retreived, as they'd all run on todays machines, and it would be facinating to see them again "live". I'm sure there would be plenty of volunteers to help retreive data from any old machines or discs Chris may have lying around.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/10/05 2:32PM
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On Video editing on a RiscPC:

In reply to timepheonix: I had a copy of Cineworks (bought 2nd hand and upgraded to the latest version) which I used breifly with RISC OS 3.7, however, I found that when I upgraded to RISC OS 4 it became extremely unstable and unusable, but I don't think everyone found this so it might have objected to some of my other hardware.

However, I suspect your main problem will be getting video in a format which Cineworks will accept. I only ever used it on uncompressed Replay movies produced by the 24i16, and I can't rember what other formats it could load and save. You may have to try to convert from MPEG or raw frames to Reply and back out to MPEG at the end, which is possible (MPEGworks tools, and Replays command line encoder), but will be very slow and tedious.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/10/05 10:01AM
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On Video editing on a RiscPC:

Videodesk was a lovely bit of kit, and I always fancied getting one, but could never justify the cost, in the end I went for Irlams cheaper 24i16 card, which I use for stills as without the video compression hardware it could only manage 160x128 at 25fps.

We now have machines which will take cheap PCI digiters and have the bandwidth to copy with video requirements, but we'd also need software of the qaulity of Video desk to be able to do something with it. But I don't think there is any chance of getting the source from Irlam in order to update it.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 18/10/05 2:12PM
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On A9home compatibility list open for all:

In reply to Leo: currently only a version of Castles SCL suitable for 26bit machines is supplied in the redistributables, the only 32bit version is in the Iyonix ROM which isn't supposed to be redistributable. I wasn't even aware it would work if copied to the A9, but as some apps are noted as requiring Castles SCL but marked green for running, this seems to be the case.

STD and A9 owners should be pressing Castle to officially release it for softload without further delay, so developers can stop wasting time on this issue and get on and tackle some of the any other compatibility problems the A9 might show up.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 18/10/05 12:05AM
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On Using an A3010 as a central heating controller:

Theres no reason why it has to be a PC, X10 controllers were being used from BBC B's 20 years ago. These were serial interfaced rather than USB, but a RISC OS driver should be possible, its been done for <a href="[link]">Linux</a>

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 18/10/05 9:48AM
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On Using an A3010 as a central heating controller:

Nice one, it may well turn those A3010s on the charity stand at the SE show next weekend, from skip fodder to gold dust. Just goes to show, that just becuse an old machine doesn't the umph to run FireFox, it can be put to good use on other things.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 17/10/05 2:40PM
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On Running a fashion label with RISC OS:

Great article. This just proves that RISC OS can still be used in business for specifical applications, and isn't unsuitable because it can't do absolutely everything a Windows box can. Plus as [link] shows, when you want to work you can just switch the RISC OS machines on and get on with it, and not spend the first x minutes dealing with whatever updates Windows/AV/Spyware/Applications wants you to install today.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 17/10/05 9:51AM
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On Should RISC OS be open sourced?:

In reply to NoMery: there is no need for ADFS - or rather as you meant to say FileCore - to be open sourced in order to implement the filing system on Linux. The full specification has always been available, and if you can't implement it from that, the 1.3MB of hacked and hacked again ARM assembler in Filecore, isn't going help you one jot.

But getting back to the crux of the issue, I don't making RISC OS open source would be beneficial, there just aren't enough developers to give it critical mass. There may be a few tinkerings round the edges by people interested in specific parts, but overall it wouldn't go anywhere. Not that is really has or is at the moment either, but I think it has more chance under commercial stewardship allowing it to be tightly focused on the needs of specific vertical markets, and not competing against open source alternatives such as Linux which are hampered by trying to be everything to erveryone.

Thats not to say certain parts coulldn't be open sourced as Peter suggests, but this isn't to really take advantage of public access to the source, but rather as a mechanism to allow code to be integrated by both Castle and ROL OS variants, outside of the framework of commercial agreements which may or may not be fully honoured at this time.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 16/10/05 1:42PM
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On ArtWorks founder to open source graphics app:

In reply to guestx: Typical unthinking GPL zealot response, well done.

Yes GPL things can make enough money via donations for the author to consider them, MW has himself with GIMP Print. However Artworks is his bread and butter, and a mix of chargable and donationware GPL plug-ins would only confuse the product rational and reduce earnings. I for one am quite happy to reward MW in full for his fine work.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 13/10/05 4:53PM
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On ArtWorks founder to open source graphics app:

I'd prefer if MW didn't go near the Xara source when its opened, as its GPL and he needs to eat. But if anyone finds a feature in they'd like in Artworks 3, another programmer can examine the source and write a comprehensive spec to enable Martin to produce a clean room implementation. But so as the GPL fans don't get upset, there is nothing stopping anyone MW included from producing a GPL'd Artworks plug-in based on some of the Xara code.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 13/10/05 4:11PM
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On Rare Acorn graphics joystick in auction:

I beleive the stick used the analogue port for the X,Y and Z axis, and was set up in absolute mode (position on screen proportional to displacement), rather than the relative mode of game joysticks (displacement determines speed of movement). The approximate 10bit accuracy of the Beeb's ADC would have been fine for hitting each pixel on a 640x256 screen, but would require quite a bit more accuracy for the higher res screens used today. I don't think it was self centering making driving it in relative mode difficult, and you'd only end up with a glorified laptop nipple which doesn't suit everyone.

If the mouse is becoming a problem try a graphics tablet, as holding a pen can be more relaxing for some types of operation such as clicking and dragging, and of course is particular good for drawing graphics. For other things such as drag and drop with buttons held at the same time its more difficult, and the mouse still wins out for general desktop manipulation.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 13/10/05 9:41AM
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On How productive are you on RISC OS?:

Why? We've got the superb Artworks 2, and the tireless Martin Wurthner to continue to develop any additional features Xara may have - but with a proper RISC OS user interface, rather than one thats been round two other OS before coming back again.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 12/10/05 2:11PM
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On Independent Select for Iyonix interest list opened:

Aaron, no that is precisely the opposite of what I said. Please do not employ the same childish debating tactics as certain editors of RISC OS based pamphlets.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/10/05 1:17PM
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On Independent Select for Iyonix interest list opened:

In reply to JGZimmerle: "They [STD] also helped in the 32-bitting-process, wich Castle obviously was unwilling to do." Castle were more than willing to source a 32bit RISC OS from ROL, but ROL did not offer acceptible terms, they wanted it fully funded by the AMS in return for a non exclusive licence, i.e. they could sell that work again to competitors at a potentially reduced rate. Castle had no option but to wait until Pace got into financial trouble and were willing to licence whatever assets they had, such as the 32bit RISC OS development.

"Also: What is all this nonsence of 'ROL did not deliver Select32 to Iyonix users' about? They have said quite clearly, that they never cashed in any of the IyonixSelect subscriptions." They didn't cash any 32bit ONLY subscriptions, but they certainly cashed the 15 supliments to the existing 26bit subscriptions.

"They only issued a statement a few months ago, where they promised to make a firm commitment to produce IyonixSelect, when they get 100 IyonixSelect-only subscriptions." They appeared to make a firm commitment exactly 1 year ago at the SE Show, when they announced the 32bit Select scheme and started taking peoples money for it. Since they they have backpeddled, of which the announcement a few months ago was just the latest instance.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/10/05 10:57AM
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On How productive are you on RISC OS?:

This article supports what I've been saying for some time. My PC at work may have a much quicker processor and be able to perform some operations such as manipulating graphics faster than any RISC OS machine, but I don't get more done on it, due to the significant and highly intrusive amount of time I spend performing maintainance - or better know as fighting Windows tooth and nail.

Although to be fair it doesn't happen happen everyday, it just feels like it, when there are a constant stream of automatic Windows updates, non automatic updates to components needed by other software, AV and spyware updates, many of which either require an immediate reboot, or constantly nag you every 5 minutes until you do give in and reboot. Also everytime I install an upgrade to a software package, I have to remove all the unwanted shortcuts littering the desktop and move the ones from Start Menu Programs in to my categorised submenus, rather than letting it grow to several unwheildy columns as everyone else does. Then there is forgetting about which file explorer windows I want opened at startup every now and again, and certain applications where I just get them setup how I like them, and then they crash loosing all the settings such as toolbar bar and splitter window positions, causing more hassle to get them but back to rights.

Now a lot of this is my own fault, as I'm used to a computer that I can set up the way I like it, and expect it to do what I want it to do. If I just accepted the fate of normal Windows users, and let Windows do whatever Windows wants to do whenever Windows wants to do it, knowing no other way exists, I wouldn't even be aware of what a pain in the arse it is.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/10/05 10:42AM
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On Independent Select for Iyonix interest list opened:

In reply to AMS: "I would be seriously miffed if I paid money for Select on Iyonix and found out that all it did was fund A9Home's completion" - thats exactly what has happened this year. I paid for a combined 26bit and 32bit subscription, neither of which has had any releases, but in which time the A9 was produced. Delivering on Select for the Iyonix is ROLs last chance to prove they are still of value to the RISC OS market, and their goal now isn't to take the cash from discounted versions of Adjust subsidised by subscribers and do a runner.

We have to remember back when the Select scheme started it was good, regular releases were made and there was generally something in each one for everyone, so it generated a sense of involvement and kept up interest in the 26bit platform at a time when users had been abandoned by the manufacturer of their machines and there were no other significant hardware developments. It is extremely important there is ongoing OS development for the health of the platform, you only have to contrast the stangnation of Select with the Iyonix support scheme, where their are regular releases and continual input from Castle employees. The releases are mainly bug fixes with only a few new features, but it reassures owners that the platform is progressing, and has generated a lot of loyalty to Castle - something Select used to do for ROL.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 10/10/05 10:05AM
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On ARM plays hand, reveals 1GHz plans:

In reply to Kevin: Chips are sold in at a fixed cost in batches of 1000, however you need to order a minimum of 10,000 to start manufacture - we don't have that may RISC OS users left. But as I said the processor is even the remotest factor in producing a laptop, whether it cost 10, 1000 or 0.01.

P.S. Please don't hit returns at the edge of the edit area when typing in your message as it then looks a mess, just keep typing and the correct linewrap will be applied automatically.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 10/10/05 09:28AM
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On Rare Acorn graphics joystick in auction:

Gawd did I lust over one of those when I was a kid, the vector based graphics software looked amazing with very innovative control using the 3 axis joystick. I beleive the system retailed for around 2000, so it was a bit out of range of my pocket money at the time :(

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 7/10/05 9:33AM
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On ARM plays hand, reveals 1GHz plans:

In reply to dgs: Have you actually read this article? The Cortex A8 will provide far in excess of 2x the performance of the IOP321, and is exactly what Castle and STD should be developing their next generation of machines around.

In reply to runningman: the viability of a RISC OS laptop has nothing to do with the processor, suitable processors have been around for years, its getting a case manufactured thats always been the sticking point.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 6/10/05 4:29PM
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On ARM plays hand, reveals 1GHz plans:

It will be fully backwards compatible with instruction set that we are using on current systems from an application developers point of view, some of the X-Scale only instructions wont be supported, but there is very little non hardware specific code using those. There would need to be a few changes to operating systems for initialising the new level2 cache control mechanism, but the largest change will be due to the differing subsystems of which ever SOC (System On Chip) is chosen, which all new machines use rather than the old fashioned discrete processor and seperate I/O chipset.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 6/10/05 10:41AM
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On FileNuke app in wet fizzle claim:

There is another couple of features of FileCore that are security issues in this context. The first is that if space is reunsed for another file, the unused part of the last sector is not wiped leaving a small amount of original data. Not normally very useful, but plenty large enough for a fragment of text file containing a password or credit card details. The other is that when space is reserved for a new file either by the *Create command or by the filer when it starts a copy, the original contents of the space is not wiped, leaving the data visible in the file after the *Create or if the filer copy is then interrupted - the exception is when the copy is over ShareFS when the space is wiped before copying (leading to a long delay for large files) to prevent external users grabbing the data.

As for multiple overriting, this is only necessary for the most paranoid who see black helicopters everywhere, as there are very few origanisations capable or interested in retreiving erased data from your system. Its far more important to ensure the data is just overwritten once before you put your old drive on ebay or the charity stand at a show. IN which case FileNuke is not the correct tool, you need to overwrite every sector on the disc, which eliminates all the above problems with file fragments. Then reformat it so its usable by the next owner.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 6/10/05 9:58AM
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On ARM plays hand, reveals 1GHz plans:

This signifies ARMs first foray in to proper grown up processors, incorparating a superscalar pipleline (the ability to execute up to 2 instructions simulatnously) and level 2 cache (to aleivate problems with the relatively slow memory used in ARM based systems), which will give significant performance benefits. I would expect a 1GHz A8 Cortex to have up to around 3.5x the integer performance of a 600MHz XScale IOP321 used in the Iyonix. The addition of a hardware FP unit would result in to an order of magnetude increase of the speed of floating point operations, of great benefit to OpenGL based 3D graphics.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/10/05 12:35PM
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On ROL faces rebellion over Select delays:

I wouldn't be so angry if I hadn't already been through all this once with ROL. My previous subscription ran out in July 2004, and because of no commitment to Select for Iyonix I let it lapse. However at the South East Show in October 2004 ROL at last seemed be offering to support the Iyonix with a new 32bit option, so I signed back up to a combined 26bit and 32bit subscription.

In July this year I received a subscription renewal form from ROL despite the fact that my current subscription had only run for 9 months, and there had already been no release for 13 months since June 2004. I contacted Paul Middleton in priviate to complain about the situation, and he assured me that there would be a release in the near future and extended my subscription to October, a full 12 months after it began.

Now it is October, there still has not been any releases for 16 months, and we have been asked to pay again. The 3 month renewal grace period has been offered again but with no commitment to providing anything for the year we have already paid for. Plus I suspect anyone signing up within the 3 months will find like I did, the subscritpion only then runs until 12 momths from the end of the last one.

In reply to jcmcculloch: thankyou for your concern about my potential legal costs, but I can assure you I have an advantagous relationship with members of the legal profession.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/10/05 9:34AM
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On ROL faces rebellion over Select delays:

In reply to adam: "You've said before you'd like something for your money. Assuming that's fair [1], I wonder if you'd accept a heavily discounted set of Adjust ROMs?" No I wouldn't, I've quite galdly paid a much larger sum to fund on going operating system over the last 4 years, rather than just waiting for a point release which is what Adjust is. It would be no benefit to me as the machine is used so infrequently as few extra seconds on boot up from softloading is not an issue, but relpacing the ROMs would loose the ability to test software with vanila RO4 as well as Select, which is one of the reasons the machine isn't now in a skip.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 4/10/05 11:11AM
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On ROL faces rebellion over Select delays:

In reply to Stoppers: Well it could be interpreted as no releases, but quite clearly to receive nothing is a violation of statutory rights. Thats just my oppinion however, but in a couple of months time it looks like I will be seeking legal advice to confirm that, so I'll let you know.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 4/10/05 9:37AM
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On FileNuke app in wet fizzle claim:

They all will unless they contain code to find the free space on the disc. This can either be done by directly reading the disc map (like DiscKnight), or there is a quick cheat - capture the information from the *Map command which gives the start address and length of each block (as done by !FreeMap). xxFS_DiscOp commands then can be used to blat these areas. All other disc operations must be prevented while this is occuring otherwise FileCore may recompact or allocate the space causing files to be corrupted.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 3/10/05 3:02PM
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On ROL faces rebellion over Select delays:

All I'm asking for at this stage is for ROL to honour the Select terms of providing a minimum of one release (26bit or 32bit) during a subscription period. If this isn't possible for whatever reason, then to extend the subscription period until a release is made - which is quite different from allowing renewals for another 3 months.

Once we have something in return for money spent, we can look at if there is anything to be gained from continuing with Select given their continued reluctance to produce a version the 32bit machine that I actually use now.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 3/10/05 9:32AM
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On Software news:

When STD/ROL document the differences between 32bit Adjust, 26bit Adjust and 32bit RISC OS 5, then it should be straight forward to make software which works on all machines. But nothing has been forthcoming, and A9 beta testers emailing you to say your software crashes is not the way to discover about changes to APIs or version numbers and capabilities of the Shared C Library.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 30/9/05 2:48PM
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On Iyonix Select demand barely double digits, says ROL:

Seeing that the discounted price of Adjust isn't much different from a years Select subscription, and that subscribers have received absolutely nothing for the last 15 months, these discounts are a massive kick in the teeth. Subscribers are at the bottom of the food chain, subsidising the over the counter sales of ROMs which is putting money in PMs pocket, but getting no further developments - if indeed there have been any. I want something for the money I've paid for the past year, or a full refund.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 30/09/05 09:50AM
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On Software news:

What we need next is a good fast reliable and secure VNC server for both 26bit and 32bit machines. Neither the original !VNCServe or HBPs server work on my Kinetic/ViewFinder/Select machine or the Iyonix, but were also slow and insecure. So perhapse the talented VNC client authors with a good grasp of the protocols could turn their had to a sever implementation?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 30/9/05 9:39AM
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On Iyonix Select demand barely double digits, says ROL:

In reply to Steve Knutson:

Castle didn't decide not to work with ROL, they had developed a machine which required a 32bit OS, PACE had such an OS, ROL didn't and with their limited development resources didn't look like having one in any sensible time period, so there was no choice. If they hadn't licenced PACE's version and waited for ROL, the Iyonix design would have sat gathering dust for almost 3 years, and by now there would be no market for it (or the A9Home) as after years and years of stagnation and broken promises by Micro Digital, almost everyone would have taken the only viable option of using Virtual Risc PC on a PC, if they'd not abandoned the platform completely.

Its the development of new machines such as the Iyonix and A9Home thats keeping the market alive, encouraging 3rd parties to develop new hardware and software, not Select which despite some very useful APIs has been almost universally ignored by developers because of its limited penetration to the user base, which (prior to the A9Home which isn't formally launched) only runs on machines people are getting rid off.

While Select has some nice features I'd like to use again on the Iyonix, I've been living without it for 3 years and will continue to do so. If ROL insist on ignoring the people who have demonstrated they still are willing to invest large sums of money in the RISC OS market, they are going to go under. The real question is, will anyone care by then?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 28/09/05 09:53AM
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On Iyonix Select demand barely double digits, says ROL:

This is just more crap from ROL to try to draw attention away from the fact that they have not delivered anything to their paying customers since June 2004. They've had the gaul to send me a renewal notice despite delivering absolutely nothing for 15 months. I have demanded they either:-

1) Deliver any sort of release before 28th October when my subscription expires

2) Extend my subscription to such time as they have a release

3) Refund my subscription in full for failing to deliver on their contractual terms.

You can say I've been a mug funding them for the past two years when they have no product for the machine I actually use now - the Iyonix, but I am not mug enough to put up with getting absolutely nothing for a years subscription, and if necessary I'll take this to the small claims court.

Select is now finished as far as I'm concerned, if they ever come up with an Iyonix version I'll might consider buying it as a finished product like Adjust, but only when its available for me to walk away with at a show.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 27/9/05 9:49AM
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On Software news:

The Ultimate Debugger really does sound fantastic, just the thing people have been asking for in order to help with development of low level device drivers. Such as for new PCI cards on the Iyonix, which is an area Adrian has a lot of experiance in.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 14/9/05 9:39AM
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On Iyonix 3D graphics driver released :

It looks like the problem was running the earth demo from a 2048x1536x32bpp desktop. Its fine at screen sizes up to 1600x1200, but at 1920x1440 the texture is missing, and higher than that it doesn't run at all regardless of Wimpslot allocated.

Is there anyone else running the Iyonix at a proper high resolution on a 22" CRT that has tried it, or has everyone gone down the lower resolution LCD route?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 9/9/05 9:22AM
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On Iyonix 3D graphics driver released :

Thanks joty, I obviously didn't scroll right to the bottom. Thanks kstattic, I'll be in touch this evening.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 8/9/05 9:02AM
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On Iyonix 3D graphics driver released :

Am I the only person having problems running the earth demo? It hangs the machine with an outline of an error box showing on screen. Error logging reveals:

07 Sep 01:14:14 000 00800E07: Error from (unknown): Internal error, no stack for trap handler: Not enough memory, stack overflow, pc = FC167384: registers at 001154E8

Unforunately Simon has no contact information on his website thats I can see, and there is no sign of a readme file anywhere.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 8/9/05 12:14AM
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On Patch released to solve Oregano 2 socket puzzle:

Note that while this problem is triggered by a bug in O2, it does highlight a bug in the internet stack of RISC OS 4.0x 4.3x and 5.0x (possibily easrlier versios too) in that when embryonic connections are dropped (upgrade site) or a drop occurs on close (other sites), the stack "looses" the handle and no longer reports its status via *inetstat -a

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 7/9/05 9:05AM
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On Is this the widest RISC OS desktop yet?:

In reply to adrianl:

That would be excellent, I'd only need to scrape together 5 grand and off we go to pin sharp ultra high resolution widescreen LCD loveliness.

In reply to ROHC:

Ooooh, that is obscene! Driving two of the IBM T221s for a combined resolution of 7680x2400 - Adrian, any chance of upping that limit from 24MB to 70MB? :D

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 6/9/05 3:48PM
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On Is this the widest RISC OS desktop yet?:

In reply to hzn:

Unfortunately due to the clever tricks Geminus uses, the resolution of the screen in the direction which is used for the horizontal has to be divisible by 256 pixels. That means 1024, 1280 and 2048 pixels are ok, but 1200, 1600 and 1920 pixels aren't. This is a shame as there is a lovely 3840x2400 24" widescreen LCD monitor thats driven as two 1920x2400 (or four 1920x1200s). I'll just have to wait until they up the resolution to 4096x2560 which can be driven as two 2048 wide screens, although that will be beyond the current Iyonix's graphics card (needs a pixel clock of 400MHz for 60Hz).

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 6/9/05 2:38PM
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On Is this the widest RISC OS desktop yet?:

Greate work Adrian! Three screens is definately be better than two, as it means windows are will appear centered in the middle screen, and not split accross the boundary of two. However it would use up all of the available PCI card slots in the Iyonix, so I hope eventually a dual headed card will be supported. A dual head and a single head with TV in capability would be ideal, but probably wishful thinking given how busy Adrian is with all of his exciting projects.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 6/9/05 10:33AM
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On CJE seeks interest in A9home:

When any RISC OS other company has sold more machines than Acorn did, then you can have a go at Acorn :)

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/9/05 3:36PM
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On CJE seeks interest in A9home:

In reply to flyfot:

Well Acorn started it - A310, A410, A440, A540, A3000, A5000, A3010, A3020, A7000, A7000+, etc... I think most us managed to remember what they all were.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/9/05 2:21PM
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On CJE seeks interest in A9home:

I liked the blue case too, it does look quite neat and industrial, which is why the name A9Home seems a bit inappropriate. When launched just plain A9 would be better.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 5/9/05 9:07AM
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On South West 2006 show confirmed:

Great news, see you there.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 3/9/05 11:35PM
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On Online banking with RISC OS:

Good news, Fidelity have fixed the cookie problem with their site, and its now working with FireFox on RISC OS.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 3/9/05 11:25PM
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On Firefox pledgers hold onto their cash:

Bringing it back from a religeous theme; the collection plate is being passed round the pews, get your hands out of your pockets and give generously.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 2/9/05 11:06AM
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On Online banking with RISC OS:

I use O2 for HSBC, HSBC Invest direct (Merril Lynch as was), MBNA, Egg and Cahoot with no problems, FireFox also works with these sites. One thing FireFox (RISC OS or Win) doesn't work with is Fidelity (investment supermarket), but O2 works fine - which is a releif as if the only was in was IE on a PC, I'd have gone elsewhere.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 2/9/05 10:32AM
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On Survey: Iyonix use leads VirtualRPC:

In reply to jc:

Are you saying most of the people that put down Iyonix are lying? Your own little world gets stranger every day.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 30/8/05 11:59AM
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On The Intel XScale conundrum:

In reply to JDC:

Remember that the X-Scale is not a single chip, its an architecture encompasing a range of chips aimed at very different segements, the same can be said for chips featuring ARM cores in general. No current ARM chips are remotely aimed at desktop use, so they can't be said to be moving away from this. The main source of chips which are also suitable for desktop systems are those aimed at the network routers and PCI controller, which require low high data throughput. These are continuing to be developed and performance increased to keep up with demands for faster network fabric and I/O marshalling to take the load off main system processors.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 26/8/05 4:16PM
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On The Intel XScale conundrum:

In reply to Simler: The RISC verses CISC debated ended long ago, as no CISC processor has run the x86 ISA since the 486. All chips since then have a RISC core that operates on microinstructions that bear absolutely no relation to the x86 instructions. The nasty nasty x86 opcodes are translated by the first few stages of the pipeline, and where as this was a significant overhead on the first pentiums, the vast transistor buget of todays processors makes the decoding insignificant in terms of resources. Thats no to say a well designed RISC instruction set (register rich, three operand) such as POWER can't thrash the x86, in terms of instruction density, instructions per clock and efficent utilisation of chip resources.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 25/8/05 4:19PM
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On The Intel XScale conundrum:

IDF is supposed to stand for the Intel Developers Conference, but its more lile the April Fools Conference if they really beleive, or rather they expect us to beleive, they can get an x86 based processor capable of running the blubbering edifice of Windows Vista with the same power consumption as a current X-Scale.

The embedded and CE (Consumer Electronics) market is dominated by the ARM ISA, and there is very little call for x86 compatibility, or indeed skill to use it as its one of the few areas where had tuned assembler is still used for kernels and device drivers. I see this story as Intel just talking up the tired old dog of the x86 ISA in the CE field as a way of taking the heat off their thrashing by AMD on the desktop and servers.

Whilst Intel have failed to lever the X-Scale in to the lucrative mobile phone market in any volume (it remains dominated by other ARM based SOCs such as TI's O-MAP), there is still enough demand from other markets for Intel to stick with the X-Scale for a good time to come. This isn't just the visible PDA/Smartphone and portable media player market which are driving up performance requirements, but also the embedded networking controllers used in switch gear and the PCI controllers used on system bridges - which is where the X-Scale IOP321 in the Iyonix comes from. As Intel have dropped their previous processors for these segements such as the i960, ambandong the X-Scale would mean also abandoning these lucrative markets.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 25/8/05 4:11PM
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On Oregano, Firefox and NetSurf reviewed:

Martin, while you are still using IE, go and get yourself a anti-spyware tool such as SpyBot [link] If that doesn't convince you to move to FireFox on the PC, or better still any other browser on any other non Microsoft platform, nothing will.

But back to topic, while its not ideal I use a combination of all 3 browsers, which works very well. I use Oregano for most comercial sites due to its good compliance supporting much of CSS2 and javascript, and its reasonable speed. For problematic sites I switch to FireFox which has excellent compliance but the UI feels like wading through treakle at the moment. But for doing searches and surfing around random sites I favour NetSurf, its lightening fast rendering and responsive UI means I can visit far more sites in the same time than if using Oragno or FF. Of course when it comes to a site relying on javascript its stuck, but there are far fewer non comercial sites using it than you'd expect, and its easy to hand over to one of the other browsers when you find one.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 25/8/05 11:08AM
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On Intel in performance-per-watt turnaround:

Well they've already done that implementing new co-procressor instructions in the various X-Scale cores, including MMX like instructions and a graphics accelarator in the latest PXA270. In the PDA market theses are only used by manufacturer driver writers (if even that), the extensions tend not to be used by application developers given Microsoft's stoneage development enviroment that doesn't even properly optimise for the StrongARM ARMv4, never mind X-Scale's ARMv5. But that does tend to favour the ARM9 which at only 266MHz matches a 400MHz PXA255 on almost every benchmark.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 25/8/05 10:43AM
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On Intel in performance-per-watt turnaround:

Underlines Intels never better than half hearted support of the architecture, for which their biggest contribution has been renaming StrongARM to X-Scale - classic "not invented here" Syndrome. But shoving x86 crud chewers in to nasty little Microsoft Pocket PC PDAs will be another reason to buy Palm instead.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 25/8/05 9:21AM
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On Intel in performance-per-watt turnaround:

Forget about that x86 nonsense, we aren't interested in running Windows "Vista".

The worringy aspect is the new X-Scale variant is claimed to only have a 25% performance improvement from a 50% clock speed increment. So while in x86 land Intel may be seeing the light moving and away from the "clock bitch" Netburst architecture of the P4 back to the more efficent PIII like architecture used in the Pentium M and the up coming (as in in years behind AMD) dual core chips, when it comes to the X-Scale they are persuing the same old dead end strategy of stretching the pipeline and upping the headline clock speed in return for very little real performance advantage.

While we'd all like a multi GHz Iyonix, the chip has to deliver a significant real performance improvement to make it worth while Castle or any other manufacturer using it. I've always been less than impressed with Intels much delayed and meagre ongoing development on the X-Scale, after they killed DEC and squandered the head start achived by the StrongARM. Now ARM easily has the superior core designs, delivering more instructions per clock and watt in the ARM10 and 11, but unfortunately highly integrated SOCs based on these cores haven't yet been demanded by the market, so machines such as the A9Home are based on the older but still impressive ARM9 cores.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/8/05 1:29PM
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On VirtualAcorn boasts 3000 users:

In reply to SimonC: Compared to RISC OS hardware you need a huge range of drivers just to support one model of machine from one manufacture for any period of time due to the constant changes of components.

But ignore drivers, assume you've ported the RISC OS operating system to x86, simulate the situation by deleting every single RISC OS application you own that isn't pure BASIC. Now wait for people to port applications across like they did for 32bit RISC OS on the Iyonix. Wait some more, and more, and more. You'll be waiting until the far side of never, as I don't see any RISC OS developers wanting to completely re-write millions of lines of nice ARM assembler, in to the stinking shambles of the x86 ISA. So you'll still be running all application under emulation, as and the RISC OS is very light weight you wont have gained more than a 5%-10% performance improvement for a huge amount of work and lots of compatibility issues.

But getting back to Virtual Acorn. I'm happy to buy a copy to take RISC OS with me where I have to use a PC, which is at work. But theres no way I'll ever replace native hardware with anything that has to run Windows underneath - why invite that sort of constant hassle and frustration in to your home?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 23/08/05 11:01AM
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On Firefox pledgers hold onto their cash:

Lets not forget that it isn't just the people who originally pledged that should honour their commitment, but if you didn't pledge, have downloaded the beta and are getting siginificant use out of it, then please show your appreciation of the developers by putting a little food on their table. Minor things such as eating will enable the riscosification of FireFox to continue.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 23/8/05 10:44AM
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On ArtWorks 2.4 in summer special offer:

If you are still on the old 1.7 the new features are fantastic and transform the program, so I say go for it and contribute towards Martin getting a crazy new bowtie for the SouthEast show :D

Perhapse drobe can have a competition to design one - all entries in Artworks format of course!

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/8/05 9:11AM
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On Official Repton t-shirts on sale:

The RISC OS world has always been short on merchandising - I welcome anyone to put that right. Come one lets have some RISC OS branded apparel, so we finally get all the sad b******s out of their 15 year Clan t-shirts/sweat shirts they always wear to shows.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 17/8/05 9:19AM
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On Archive mag to survey RISC OS computer use:

SimonC, rubbish! You've just been brainwashed by the WinTel myth that you need almost 4GHz to write a letter. Current RISC OS hardware isn't suitable for every possible application, but its fine for the uses we put the machines to, and more besides.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/8/05 1:22PM
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On PC card software to be open sourced:

It would be interesting to get the source to see why the PC card stopped working on my Kinetic + ViewFinder system a few years ago - although it will probably be just as long again before I get time though.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/8/05 1:19PM
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On Archive mag to survey RISC OS computer use:

Who cares about having a truely representative survey, the people that really count are those that vote first and vote often.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 10/8/05 11:05PM
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On The RISC OS File Repository opens:

My main problem when looking for software with google (searching on; <app name> RISC OS), is all the links sites, or more accurately dead link sites, that completely swamp the results. The correct uptodate site is usually further down, but is far more difficult to find because of this.

Nice to see the prowl.org domain back online though.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 3/8/05 2:10PM
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On News in brief:

Software MPEG isn't going to be practical on the current generation of RISC OS machines, even if it can be made to work an an acceptible frame rate. Whats the point have having the machine using almost 100% CPU time on displaying a TV picture? The whole idea is you can have a window displaying the TV picture without affecting the operation of the machine, and can occationally grab stills or clips. If you want anything else, then either a proper TV or a digital video recorder is a much better option.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 1/8/05 1:28PM
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On Firefox beta 3 released:

FireFoxI is a very good stopgap, as with two other browsers permenantly on my iconbar, anything that enables me to get a URL in to Firefox quickly and without the pain of retyping it, means the more I'm going to use it, and compare its strengths and weaknesses with the alternatives.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 25/7/05 5:02PM
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On Oregano 3 survives user group meeting:

I feel there is still plenty of scope for a commercial RISC OS browser, but it has to offer:-

* Close to or better than FireFox's level of compliance with typical sites * Plugin components such as Flash * Better speed and responsiveness * Better integration with RISC OS (file saving, launching PDF readers etc) * Better quality of display

On the latter point O2 produces some of the most pleasing displays, as I have to say its TTF render lookes better than RISC OS font manager a lot of the time, especially when using TTF fonts that sites have specified in their design, such as Verdana on news.bbc.co.uk.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 25/7/05 4:58PM
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On Acorn User rock on sale:

It might be crusty, but it will probly be worth 150,000 (37p in todays money).

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 25/7/05 12:25PM
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On Acorn User rock on sale:

Come on now, no one is going to buy it to eat it are they? Like a vintage wine it should be stored in the cellar, only to be brought out on special occations by the proud owner wearing white gloves, then returned to continue appreciating for another hundred years or so.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 25/7/05 9:42AM
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On Fears over Omega refund saga:

When MD first proposed the Omega at the RISC OS 2000 show, it was a Pheobe class machine (Strong ARM without restriction of slow memory, better graphics and PCI), which sounded feasible, but I treated it with caution due to the difficulties they had had getting most of the funcationilty to work with the much simpiler A7000 clone, the Mico. I had a pretty good idea that when orders were taken the hardware was still at the design state, which turned out to be correct as even a very flakey prototype wasn't seen for another 19 months until Wakefiled 2001. The early announcement was designed to styme the market for any other players and taking peoples full money ensured tided up for the years it took to get the machine out.

But what made me decide never to even contemplate the machine, was the nonsence over the ARM twister. It was obvious a Strong ARM class machine had past its day and anyone making an XScale machine with a (suitable OS) would wipe the floor with it. So this mythical ARM Twister upgrade was suddenly invented to again try to styme the market against other players, and convice people to keep their money with MD where it couldn't be spent on anything else. All the best minds in ARM hardware and software development tore holes in MDs initial explaination of how it would manage to run a 26bit OS, so they hurried announced they'd changed to to something else, but wouldn't say what - they kept sending me JC style emails "you're wrong but we can't tell you why".

The final straw was when the Iyonix was launched and after months of silince on the progress of their own machine, MD suddenly issued a flood of news postings rubbishing the Iyonix as no more than a souped up A7000, and how their Omega/ARMTwister was superior, before dissapearing again when asked when they'd deliver. It was a desperate and sickening last ditch attempt to stop their customers jumping ship. Well, we all know how it turned out, with the Omega being years late and offering less working functionality than a Risc PC with Kinetic and ViewFinder, and nowhere near the Iyonix. The ARM Twister remains a complete fantasy, although it seems there are people that still beleive, depite it being rendered unnecessary by the availability of Adjust 32 meaning an XScale upgrade could run the OS natively, if MD were ever to deliver one.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 18/7/05 10:13AM
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On A9home form factor tempts DIY projects:

Not all SatNav software runs on Poket PC. The market leader, Tom Tom, has a version for Pocket PC and Palm OS, and The Tom Tom Go standalone non-PDA unit, uses Linux t avoid the MS licence fees. So there is a high degree of portability, you'd just have to convince them there was a big enough market.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 18/7/05 9:29AM
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On Cambridge RISC OS meet up planned:

Not sure I can make it this year yet, unless I can convince my flying instructor we need to do a bit of cross country navigation :)

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 11/7/05 2:51PM
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On News in brief:

In reply to Moss: Does she have a sister?

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/6/05 9:25AM
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On Heatstroke warning for older Acorn kit:

rpoz wrote: If you don't want your data to go AWOL, back up regularly on to a different system or a web-based email account, and put any hard drives in a 5 1/4" fan-cooled caddy.

Unfortunately this can tripple the noise output of the Iyonix. The solution is to either keep the caddy unlocked which powers down the drive and the fan, but means you have to lock it and reboot if you want to access it. Or if its a backup drive you only need to use occationally, but dont want to have to reboot first, you can disconnect the fan in the caddy frame (and maybe also in the caddy too) and spin down the drive with SYS XADFS_PowerControl 2 5 0 in the boot sequence (the X for of the SWI will prevent an error if the drive isn't present). Remember not to run the drive for too long without cooling if you do this, and to issue the command to spin it down after use.

I tend to do both in my Iyonix, by keeping it unlocked most of the time, but I have also disconnected the fan and spin the disc down when it is locked. As the internal temperature of the Iyonix is quite low even with two hard drives powered up, I feel this is an acceptible risk. In the Risc PC I have left the fan connected in the caddy frame (theres also one it its usual caddy) as the cooling isn't as good, and as even with a quiter PSU fan fitted its quite loud so the caddy fan doesn't make much more of a difference. Remember with the Risc PC though, if you shut the flap it will make the caddy quiter, but it also wont get any airflow!

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 28/06/05 12:07AM
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On Anti-software patent groups urge SMEs for support:

As the registered holder of patent US8324244/1988 which states, "an electronic representation of a news page with comments by readers below" I here by serve notice of patent infringment proceedings against www.drobe.co.uk in the US District court of San Mateo, for damages not exceeding $10,000,000. A reasonable and non descrimatory license will be required for future use, at the rate of $10 per page and $1 per comment.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/6/05 3:39PM
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On Iyonix Select yet to show 'commercial viability':

ROL need to cut the bull and get on with it.

The Iyonix user base not only represents a large potential revenue stream (far larger than for certain other defuct machines they've previously supported), but the Iyonix is the primary system of the vast majority of RISC OS developers. No Select on the Iyonix, means little support for Select APIs in 3rd party programs, and makes it very much less worthwhile for existing Select subscribers.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 24/6/05 1:35PM
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On Heatstroke warning for older Acorn kit:

For just about any disc drive manufacturer you can name, some people will swear by them, and some people will swear at them. I think they've all been guilty of producing an unreliable series at sometime or another. Or they've pushed slighly too much from one generation before introducing the next, which leads to problems with particular sizes while the rest are trouble free. You should also note that several makes have now merged, such as Maxtor and Quantum, so the same drives may be sold under different trademarks.

I'll have to disable the fan in the caddy to compare the spinning noise level of the Maxtor DiamondMax in the Iyonix and the Segate Barracuda backup drives. The latter are certainly quieter when head stepping, and have faster seek times (a DiscKnight check takes half as long), but the overall transfer rates at various block sizes (using PowerTec's !Speed) are almost identical.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 23/6/05 12:16PM
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On Firefox first beta published:

Certain complex rendering in FireFox can be a little slow, such as overlaying the road map on aerial photos with multimap - but it works, so fantastic! A tremendous achievement by Peter and all the other contributors.

Example aerial photograph of Gloucestershire airport I fly from:- [link] 8&gridn=221596.884790398&srec=0&coordsys=gb&db=ukairports&pc=&zm=0&out.x=7&out.y=9&scale=10000

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 22/06/05 4:50PM
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On Heatstroke warning for older Acorn kit:

I referred to drives over 5 years old, which are generally under 10GB incase you can't remember how old yours is. The more slices in a Risc PC, the less air from the fan will pass over the main drive located in the tray at the bottom, so is likely to prove more problematic than a single slice machine.

But don't get complacent, drives can fail at any time no matter how old, so the first thing to do is get a backup strategy in place that is quick and easy to perform, which will allow you to do it more often. The drive in my DVR has just failed completely, it was only 6 months old, and an 80GB Maxtor like in my Iyonix. Typically it happened at the worst possible time - just after getting back from holidays with lots of unwatch programs on it. :( But luckily I'd backed up all the films that were on there to DVDs just before leaving.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 22/6/05 4:41PM
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On Expo 2005 pre-show news:

I would have like to have gone to the show, but unfiortunately like last year its right after a long distance holiday, and the budget doesn't stretch to both :(

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/6/05 8:21PM
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On Expo 2005 rolls on without MicroDigital:

In reply to leeshep: Theres more chance that I'll get out of the shower and find the last 8 years have been nothing but a bad dream. Acorn will be alive and well, just having released the Pheobe MkIV featuring quad core 4GHz HyperARMs made by DEC (who recently bought up ailing printer maker HP with the proceeds from sucessful litagation against Intel, who under the terms of the settlement have announced their withdrawal from the processor market to concentrate on making WiFi chipsets, and their testimony against Microsoft in the DOJ antitrust hearings, resulted in a 30 year sentance of hard labour for Bill Gates).

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 17/6/05 1:55PM
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On Riscos.org switches to weblog format:

Drobe is 8th on google front page, for me at least.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 17/6/05 11:08AM
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On United at long last:

Its now reached The Register [link]

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 19/07/04 2:59PM
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On New 800MHz XScale powered processor available:

Dont get too excited about the 333DDR/400DDRII memory interface of the IOP331. The IOP range are designed as additional processors to take away the overhead of controlling PCI-X devices and to stream the data in to memory. Therefor while the memory control on the chip can talk to fast memory it does not mean it can saturate the memory bus with requests from the processor, as full desktop processors can.

The key point in the specification is that the internal bus of the XScale core is only 266MHz (increased from 200MHz on the IOP321 used in the Iyonix) this means its theoretical memory bandwidth utilisation is lower than that of the memory controlller, and much lower in practice.

Whilst an IOP331 would be faster than the IOP321 it would only be likely to give 33% better processor and memory performance. Whilst I'd like to see an even quicker Iyonix, it might be better for Castle to wait for an IOP variant clocked over 1GHz, to give a much bigger performance boost in return for the considerable work of redisgning the motherboard.

Cheers ---Dave

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 28/09/03 3:11PM
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On Castle buys RISC OS from Pace:

IMJ - what Rot

All JWB said about Select was he couldn't see the point shipping it with the machine initially, as it wouldn't sell any more than the Iyonix on its own. He fully supports the Select development model of an after purchase subscription scheme.

As for other hardware manufacturers - what other hardware manufactures? There is only one company getting WORKING machines to customers, and I dont see that changing anytime soon regardless of this news.

Anyhow, the crown jewels are back in safe hands, and that gets the thumbs up from me.

---druck

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 04/07/03 6:10PM
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On Wakefield show news:

I am disappointed with the photos section. No pictures of Monika EFF :-(

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 13/05/03 01:19AM
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