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Username: flypig
Realname: David Llewellyn-Jones
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Homepage: http://www.flypig.co.uk/
Comments posted:235 (show all)
Articles written:2 (show all)

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On Java and RISC OS:


I totally agree.

The real benefit of Java on RISC OS isn't the existence of any particular application, but rather the fact that the applications are platform independent. Obviouslly Flash shares this benefit too, the difference being that there are far fewer serious desktop applications written in Flash (but perhaps I'm wrong about this?).

If I want to run an application to perform a particular task that doesn't exist on RISC OS, I'd have thought my best chance would be to find an open source C/C++ or Java application. The C/C++ version might do the job, but will likely involve a tricky porting process, so Java would be a potentially useful source of applications, even if its use *is* dwinding on the desktop.

Perhaps I'm misrepresenting the number of serious desktop Flash applications there are out there, but it's not clear to me that Flash is really a substitute for this type of thing (and that's not to say that Flash doesn't have its own strengths in other areas).

Obviously, none of this changes the issue of speed or remoteness of any likely java implementation.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 24/09/07 10:44PM
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On New Arculator and RPCEmu Mac ports released:


Sure, but I just wanted to point out the factual point that the Iyonix does come with a load of software. Whether the software is comparable to that you get with the Mac is a different matter.

Having said that, I do disagree that the there aren't some good productivity apps on RISC OS. Invariably I suspect for many people, file compatibility is the major hurdle, but that isn't necesarilly a reflection of their features overall.

TechWriter, Zap, GCC/Unixlib all spring to mind amongst others. Fireworkz does useful things you can't do with Exel (at least until the most recent version).

Just to be clear, I'm not denying your experience, just saying that it may not be universal. There are programs on RISC OS that I personally have yet to find a suitable replacement for on another platform.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 29/8/07 10:43PM
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On New Arculator and RPCEmu Mac ports released:


I understand where you're coming from, and the comment in the article did leap out as a bit dangerous. But it's worth pointing out that the Iyonix does come with a bit more than you give it credit for. Looking at your list, it's fair to say that the Iyonix (as standard) comes with:

Superbly simple & easy to use OS (for those that like it), with web browser (Oregano 2), email (Messenger LITE), word processing (Writer+), spreadsheet (Fireworkz Pro) etc.. all provided as standard for free. Supports Gigabit Ethernet, USB2.

(source: [link] )

I'm not disputing that a Mac will be better value for most people (although it doesn't necessarilly follow that Macs aren't expensive), but the Iyonix has always included a surprisingly complete set of productivity apps for free.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 29/8/07 9:26PM
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On Samsung's 533MHz A9home CPU successor:

It's interesting that in day-to-day use the speed of the A9Home stands up well against the Iyonix (in my opinion), even with its currently slower processor. I suspect this is down to the graphics, so the impact of the clockspeed may not be so significant.

I do feel that the A9Home has yet to reach its full potential, but having said this, an improvement in the raw speed is always going to be good and it's good to see new chips being considered.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 11/8/07 1:33PM
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On Jan Vibe: The interview:

Thanks drobe for publishing such a great interview. I suspect Jan probably doesn't appreciate quite how inspirational his work was and I'm glad to see he's still creating digital art (any chance of seeing some of his DarkBASIC work?).

I remember showing the result of Tentacles to my girlfriend at the time (I admit a really dumb thing to do). I think it put her off computers for at least a decade!

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 11/8/07 1:22PM
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On Open source Organizer pondered:

Fair enough. I was probably too quick to rush to drobe's defence in this case! Maybe they just need to invest in a good Thesaurus?! (Although looking just now, there aren't that many to go on for 'Source Code;).

You've also highlighted to some extent how many RISC OS programs are going Open Source at the moment. It's great that the programs can get a new lease of life and won't be lost now that the blue prints ( ;) ) are available. But it's also a shame -- as in this case -- that we're losing some great programmers from the market. Maybe it'll lead to a bit of a resurgence in development?

And to add my voice to the many already saying so: Organizer is a great application that's always on my icon bar. It already has excellent and customisable export functions (you can export vCal/iCal/vCard etc.), but my vote would be to see improved import functions too (especially for the address book).

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 4/8/07 10:49AM
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On Open source Organizer pondered:


I don't know if this is the reason drobe used the term 'blue prints' rather than source code, but since Organizer is written in interpreted BASIC, technically the source code has always been available as part of the application anyway. However, it has its variables compressed, making it tricky to follow, and my guess is that 'blue prints' refers to the original BASIC file.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 3/8/07 6:52PM
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On Early Soundblaster Live Iyonix driver released:

Seconded. I must admit that I've never had a problem with sound on the Iyonix, primarily -- I suspect -- because my ears just aren't up to noticing any problems. But it might also be a case of not knowing what I've been missing.

So this, along with Liquid Silicon's MIDI driver work, show really exciting audio developments for RISC OS.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 1/8/07 1:12AM
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On ROX founder: Why I brought RISC OS to Unix:

Yeah, interesting interview. I'm ashamed to admit that I've never used ROX, but it always struck me as one of the best ways to take the best RISC OS user interface ideas forward.

It also looks like there are interesting ideas from ROX that might be good to feed back into RISC OS too.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 25/7/07 11:39AM
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On RISC OS Open: One year on:

Great article - thanks Martin :)

My feeling is that projects like this need momentum. The more people seen to be working on bits of the OS, the more attractive it is to others looking to join in; hopefully building this up is just a matter of time.


I share your desire for development of ARM hardware, and I hope given - as stevek points out - that the point of opening RISC OS was largely about attracting STB licences, that the project will also help drive native hardware too. I wonder whether the 'promise' of an eventually totally open platform is enough to attract STB makers in itself?

One of the great things about ROOL is that the benefits will never go away; the code will always be available to look at and improve.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 25/7/07 11:27AM
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On Select nets 1,000th subscriber:

Aaron Timbrell:

Whilst I can understand that it might not have been easy, and that there may still be testing to do, I also understand that ROL have already shown Select features running on an Iyonix at previous shows: [link]

This (amongst other things) is why it's difficult to believe that there are still major technical difficulties, given that some of what people are asking for appears to already have been achieved. My feeling is that it would be great if ROL can make this available.

To be totally clear, I personally don't doubt that the differences between CTL and ROL make things difficult, and I can totally believe that it's not economically sensible to finish Select for Iyonix.

This honestly isn't intended to stir things up. I would personally really like to have the alpha-mask sprites, proper cut and paste in icons, filer-thumbnails, drawfile icons etc. that Select can provide, and would of course be happy to pay for them. But what can be frustrating for an end user like myself is that -- apparently unlike others such as yourself -- we don't have the benefit of knowing the inside dealings that go on between CTL and ROL. The only 'facts' we have to go on are the announcements made by the two companies.

The only thing that seems to be clear is that the situation for Iyonix users remains very unclear. Personally I think it's unfair to blame ROL or CTL for this. The real culprit is the size of the market. But nonetheless it can be frustrating.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 18/07/07 5:04PM
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On Who wants LaTeX export in TechWriter?:

As bullet point functionality it'd be great to see LaTeX output from TW and I'd happily add my name to the list of potential buyers. It seems like such a natural combination. On the other hand I also sympathise with the various comments about this not being the appropriate way to use LaTeX. As far as I can tell, one of the reasons why TeX output from TW is so convoluted is because it tries to capture an exact representation of the document as it appears on screen, and LaTeX was never intended to be WYSIWYG.

To get decent LaTeX output from TW I'd expect some compromises would have to be made about how consistent the final output would be. Nonetheless, I do think this would be a really great feature.

I'm surprised to hear people say LaTeX is on the way out (maybe I'm blinded because I like it?!). For maths, is there really any alternative? One of the benefits of LaTeX is that you can easily stick an equation into the middle of an email (or anywhere else). From my exprerience in Computer Science, many publishers accept LaTeX even if they also accept Word and PDF too.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 11/7/07 9:11PM
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On Firefox 2 will be Iyonix-only:


Just for info, Richard Hallas went to some lengths to explain the reasons why the press release claimed the Foundation DVD wouldn't work on the Iyonix:


It seems to me like a good clarification, and does highlight the fact that ROL were not trying to be wilfully malicious ;)

Don't get me wrong, I sympathise if it made your life more difficult, but I don't think it was an intentional attempt by ROL to mislead people.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 19/11/06 4:27PM
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On A9home first impressions review:

Nice article. As an A9Home user, this strikes me as a good, balanced review of the machine. It's not going to be all things to all people and Ad6 have always been open about the lack of expandability, but personally I've not felt this has held my use of the machine back. I'm sure many other people would find the same.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 6/11/06 3:10AM
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On HSBC embraces NetSurf and RISC OS:

I'm sure the attention this story got on the web helped, but nonetheless it strikes me that HSBC deserve credit for this.

If they'd not responded to their customers it would have indicated a sad lack of consideration. As it is, it does reinforce their claim they take security and customer service seriously.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 27/10/06 2:00AM
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On South East 2006 show report:

flibble, VinceH & em2ac:

I tried a load of the free news servers from [link] but never found any that were satisfactory for posting.

Eventually I settled on teranews, which I can now heartily recommend. There's a one time setup fee of $4, but nothing more after that, and I've personally not had any problems with them: [link]

(There's also a link there to a page of Windows usenet clients, though someone needs to tell them about Gemini and Thunderbird).

Having said that, gazeta.pl certainly looks like a good tip. Wish I'd known about them ages ago!

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 27/10/06 01:47AM
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On South East 2006 show report:


Not wanting to answer the question you've put to Peter, but perhaps you should be more specific and put a time frame on it? Unless you're asking 'what ports are required that I can start working on?'

Otherwise there are surely lots of different answers to this apparently simple question.


LOL. I'm almost tempted... ;)

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 24/10/06 5:21PM
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On South East 2006 show report:

I can truly understand people's frustration with the current browser situation. But I do agree with flibble on this. Unless someone is paid to specifically finish off one of the existing browser efforts, it's unlikely to happen with coders working in their free time and for their own reasons.

When Castle released the Iyonix they were well aware of the need for a decent browser, which I assume is why they commissioned Oregano. I'm sure that ultimately either they decided that the return wasn't worth it (they seemed to get a lot of flack for it), or that they were better off focusing on the hardware side of things.

I'm sure this is true of Ad6 too. If they want to sell a desktop machine, then it makes sense that they should want a good web experience for it. But writing browsers isn't what these companies do. They make hardware. If the RISC OS desktop market is sustainable, then presumably there is scope for another company to step in and *sell* a browser to the many people who clearly want it.

Isn't this what Oregano are doing? Too slowly for some unfortunately, but maybe it will bear fruit soon?

This is to some extent what Peter Naulls was/is doing, but with a different funding model. Unfortunately (for us) his situation has changed, and development is now happening too slowly for some. Maybe this will result in a fully working Firefox in the near future if more work is done on it? I get the impression that for this to progress more quickly, Peter needs someone to do administration work. This is something that anyone with time could do, and so if people who aren't programmers want to 'put something back' maybe they could think about helping with that?

Netsurf in my opinion is an amazing piece of work and I use it constantly. But it clearly isn't going to provide everything that people want yet.

I'm sure that all of these projects are working as fast as is practically possible given the resources available to them. Personally I find it amazing and gratifying that RISC OS has such a breadth of possibilities in such a small market.

As far as I can tell, if people think that there is any chance of doing better, then it means that there is a viable way to develop a browser for RISC OS. The solution is to get together, with money and time, set up a company and then employ a programmer to finish off the work. This is something that I imagine anyone with the time and money could do. It doesn't require programming experience or anything like that. If producing a RISC OS browser is viable, then such a scheme will generate money for whoever does it.

Having said that, if you want a browser with Flash, I'm sure the best idea is to support Oregano by telling them you'll buy their product.

If you want a browser that will be more likely guaranteed updates in the future, but without Flash, think of a way to support the Firefox project.

If you want RealPlayer support or something else, you're going to have to employ a programmer to do the work. I personally doubt if it will happen otherwise.

This *really* isn't intended as a rant, and I'm really sorry if it comes across that way. It just strikes me that the hardware producers simply don't think it's their job to write a browser, even if it would indirectly benefit them. There are already projects doing what people want, but they're just taking too long. The only solution is to support these projects. More than anything else, this probably requires time from people, as much as money.

It would be sad if people left the platform for the lack of browser etc. But I do get the impresion that there really are people out there trying to address these issues. It's just a lengthy (and maybe frustrating) process.

I'm not claiming that I do anything particular to support these projects by the way, and I'm sorry if I've made presumptions about what these projects need.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 24/10/06 3:31PM
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On NetSurf users hit by HSBC account freeze:


It's interesting you should say that. When Internet banking started growing in the UK, most banks created intricate proprietary systems using Java, javascript and so on. My understanding is that many banks now use standardised solutions based on TSL (using authentication certificates and key-exchange) as they consider this to be pretty secure. I believe this is why more and more banks are becoming accessible to RISC OS (unless they do what HSBC has done, of course!).

The majority of ways to attack banking sites are based on social engineering and attacking other vulnerable parts of the system, rather than during the transmission stage. HBCI certainly looks interesting though.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 23/10/06 12:49PM
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On South East 2006 show report:

Sounds like it was a great show and I wish I could have been there.

Nice informative and upbeat article about it too. Just reading about all of the developments has regenerated a bit of enthusiasm, and will likely result in me spending some money on new RO products.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 23/10/06 11:33AM
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On R-Comp Dad suffers 'major' heart attack:

Reiterating much of what has already been said: speaking with Allan and R-Comp at shows has always been a reminder of their commitment to good customer service. Always helpful and friendly.

All the best and a speedy recovery.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 12/10/06 2:26PM
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On How to create a modern desktop theme:


Of course usability is important, but it certainly isn't everything. We all spend a lot of time in our lives doing things that aren't very productive, but which we enjoy doing anyway. Often that enjoyment is derived from appearances alone (after all, plenty of people watch TV, go to the cinema, go to art galleries etc.) Maybe some people just want to have the same enjoyment when they use a computer? I'm not sure that's *so* bad! ;)

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 09/10/06 1:39PM
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On How to create a modern desktop theme:

Josh and Alan:

I absolutely agree that it's important that 3D is used to increase functionality rather than distract from the task at hand. Personally I'd expect that after a while, the 'wow' factor would become less important, leaving designers to concentrate more on how 3D can be used for real benefit. There are a whole world of possibilities in 3D that just aren't there on a 2D desktop.

Also, although Looking Glass may struggle, it's clear from 3D gaming that the graphics capabilities exist. Maybe the problems are a case of needing to integrate it properly with the OS?

Incidentally, I managed to dig out a copy of the Acorn 3D environment from an old Acorn CD ROM. It was called !Rooms. I've added some screenshots of it to my drobe album:


 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 06/10/06 8:10PM
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On How to create a modern desktop theme:

There have been lots of real attempts to move the desktop to 3D; personally I think some of them have been quite good. I'm not sure if Vista even registers compared to these.

For example BumpTop: [link] which looks like it may have been inspired by an Apple idea: [link]

Sun's Project Looking Glass: [link]

Even Acorn had a prototype 3D desktop environment on a Clan CD (released at Acorn World in 1997 if I recall correctly), but I can't find any links to it. Does anyone know what happened to this?

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 5/10/06 4:58PM
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On How to create a modern desktop theme:

A great article; thanks Chris & drobe! I'm also waiting in the hope that alpha channels will be introduced into RISC OS 5. This is one of the features I miss most from Select (I think it's also one of those features that would work best if it were available on all machines, so that sprites with alpha channels could be used for applications).

Having said that, I do think what Martin says about vector graphics is the way forward. RISC OS is in an ideal position to make the most of this kind of technology.

It's interesting to compare the article with the apple guidelines (also recently posted on OSnews.com): [link] And I always find the following site fascinating to compare against other systems: [link]

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 4/10/06 11:59PM
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On RISC OS 5 source code release revealed:

This news has really made my day. The licence may not be truly open source, and all of the details may not be available yet, but what does seem clear is that the source code for many of the RISC OS components will be available for everyone to access for the first time.

It'll be great to have the opportunity to look at and change the underlying functionality of the OS. This opens up a host of possibilities :D

You look at many of the suggestions people made under the Merlin scheme or have made on the Iyonix list, and whereas before people had to speculate as to how things might work, it will hopefully now be possible for people just to go out and try things.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 30/9/06 2:32AM
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On Scientologists eyed up RISC OS - new claim:

I'm sure many RISC OS people will understand what it's like to *know* that something is true, but be surrounded by doubting unbelievers.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not religious myself, I've just always thought that there was a strong behavioural similarity between devotion to a computing platform and devotion to a religion.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 26/09/06 12:49AM
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On How to be a Pinboard power user:

Sure, I agree there is a tendency to pretend that whatever's not available on RISC OS is not needed, until it becomes available at which point it's better than anything else! Sometimes it's good to be reminded of this.

Nonetheless, personally I find that some of the best things about RISC OS are the things it does *differently*. It would be a shame to lose those in the scrabble to make RISC OS work in the same way as everything else. After all, if RISC OS becomes like everything else, then there's little point in using it at all. I'm not disagreeing with what you've said though.

The PD scene used to be awash with desktop 'enhancements' that added moving pictures, widgets etc. to the pinboard. The best one I thought had cockroaches that scuttled under the windows when you moved them (from *Info probably). A universal way to add functionality to the pinboard would be a really useful addition to the OS. In the meantime, it's nice to be reminded of the functionality that's already there.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 22/8/06 3:22PM
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On How to be a Pinboard power user:


It's a little unfair to compare RISC OS browsers with the Windows Desktop, as if this is anything other than comparing them with IE. Sure, there are holes in RISC OS browser capabilities, but that's a different issue, really (wouldn't you say?).

I agree there's nothing wrong with having additional flexibility on the desktop, but it has to be said that the Windows Active Desktop is a pretty bad implementation in my opinion. E.g. it annoyingly changes the behaviour of file icons and the context menu. You can do some clever stuff with it, but really it's no different to having a separate layer of windows behind the normal one. In my opinion it's a cludge to get around the fact that windows jump to the front all over the place and there are no virtual desktops.

One of the reasons I like this article is that (as well as providing a neat idea) it highlights the way RISC OS works differently from most desktops on other platforms. That is, it's not just a virtual folder and is controllable using scripts.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 22/8/06 2:06PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:


Thanks for the explanation. I can see what you're saying then, and of course you're right: PW is surely going to have more influence while he's still a shareholder. Guess we'll just have to wait and see... (and maybe speculate a bit more in the meantime ;) ).

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 16/08/06 11:38PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:


I'm quite intrigued by what you're suggesting. Unless I've misunderstood, you're saying that Peter Wild thinks that by selling his shares, he can induce Castle to OS the OS? Personally, I (genuinly) can't see where you've got this interpretation from.

From my reading of earlier articles, I understood that Peter Wild intended to sell his shares due to a disagreement with the other shareholders. I think we can only speculate as to what this disagreement really relates to, except to say that Peter wanted Castle to grow quickly in the STB area and then be bought up, whereas the others had other ideas.

Drobe seems to imply that Peter's enthusiasm for open sourcing the OS might be so that he can "make use of the IPR without being tied to Castle". Alternatively it could be simply that he thinks this will help promote the platform in embedded markets (as he said in his post here on drobe).

Either way, I don't see where the implication that selling his shares is intended to make the open sourcing more likely comes from.

Perhaps, as an alternative theory, the threat of selling his shares and the surrounding coverage has simply made Castle more serious in considering it as an option. Agreed, there's no guarantee at all that it will happen, but the article claims that they are not just "considering" it, but "very seriously considering" it, so it surely is a possibility?

Please don't take this as an attack, I'm just curious as to how you came to the interpretation you did, as I've clearly missed/misunderstood something.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 16/08/06 10:19PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:


Yeah, when I said "carrying on the same way" that's not quite what I meant! ;)

Having said that, whilst I personally think the situation relating to ROL and the Iyonix is crazy at best (damaging ROL as much as anyone else) and have complete sympathy with Select subscribers, I nonetheless personally don't think that open sourcing would necesarilly make ROL redundant. After all, STD could have gone to Castle rather than ROL anyway. Presumably ROL brought expertise that STD valued?

If making RO open source damaged ROL, then I imagine it would never happen at all, since it would just result in yet more potential legal action. That would not be good.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 16/08/06 3:04PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:


"...the notion of people paying Castle on a per-use basis shows an element of ignorance that would suggest that Castle merely want to offer the code under some kind of 'shared source' agreement."

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding what you're suggesting here, but I don't see why (as others have suggested) Castle can't be talking about some kind of dual licencing agreement. Lots of open source vendors do this, allowing them to release the source under a genuine open-source licence, whilst at the same time charging commercial users who choose the commercial licence: [link]

Timephoenix makes a good point about the ROMs. There's nothing to stop RO Ltd carrying on in exactly the same way they already are even with RO open sourced. They just use the commercial licence or charge for putting the open source version into ROM.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 16/08/06 12:22AM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

The one thing that worries me about RISC OS (and I'm sure this would have been one of the reasons many people left the platform, before the release of the Iyonix/A9) is whether there will be any further development of both the OS and the hardware to run it on. If open sourcing RO makes it more likely that Castle and others will be able to get OEM work (as suggested by Peter Wild) then it would presumably be a positive development.

But whether or not open sourcing drives more development, from the desktop perspective it does at least mean that the OS cannot disappear suddenly if the owning company (like Castle or ROL) disappear, as almost happened with Acorn. Moreover, it opens the possibility for RO to be made to work on any of the many interesting ARM devices that are already out there, which would be great.

So I'm with flibble on this. Open sourcing won't necessarily solve all of RO's problems, but there may not be a great deal to lose. The only possible danger is that there might be massive branching, and maybe this could be controlled by Castle/ROL? I think it could well be a very positive thing from the users' perspective.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 15/8/06 1:28PM
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On BBC BASIC turns 25:


I think this is a slightly contentious point. There does seem to be some evidence that OO programs have a larger overhead than procedural. The following (2002) paper looks at C vs C++ on the ARM 7: [link]

In short, it concludes (for embedded systems) that "OOP can result in a significant increase of both execution time and power consumption...data abstraction can lead to a large code size increase resulting in a significantly higher power consumption of the instruction memory."

There may also be evidence in the other direction as well? Having said all of this, presumably most people consider the modularity advantages of OOP to far outweigh any of this.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 14/08/06 3:57PM
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On Fireworkz goez to Windowz:

Ah, sorry, I should have been more clear. I was referring to the restriction in Excel that worksheets cannot have more than 256 columns or 65536 rows (something that is apparently fixed in Excel 2007).

However I totally agree with you on the way cells can have varying widths in Fireworkz. It certainly seems unusual (and sometimes confusing!) but very useful.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 7/8/06 11:52PM
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On Unofficial ELF GCC updated:

Good to see what is surely important work, especially from a porting perspective. It would be good to eventually see the runtime system provided as standard with RISC OS. Surely this is where it ultimately belongs?

However, having said that, I'd also hope it wouldn't impact on the likelihood of people creating shared module resources.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 7/8/06 8:35PM
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On Fireworkz goez to Windowz:


The Fireworkz release note has references to Windows going back to March 2005, so I think you're right!

However, the fact that development is continuing is certainly news to me, and good news at that. It would be great to see the improvements factored back into the RISC OS version. I still find it stands up well enough to the likes of Excel for general use (there have been times when I've needed to use Fireworkz just because of the bizarre row/column restrictions Excel enforces), but there's certainly room for improvements here and there.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 7/8/06 8:25PM
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On BBC BASIC turns 25:

There's no doubt that every language has its place. BASIC is impressive in that it can be used both easily and for quite complex tasks (given that it allows complete access to the OS). When at work, writing a short graphical program in BASIC to do a particular task will often be quicker than the time it would take to open up Visual Studio.

As for the development of BBC BASIC, presumably it is still continuing, but now done by Richard Russell for Windows (linked from the article), and possibly Brandy?


I remember playing the games on your website a while back; lots of fun and frustration!

As for learning ARM assembly language, Peter Cockerall's book is the classic, and available online:


You could also take a look at Richard Murray's site which I think is also very good and has a lot more RISC OS specific material (like how to use it from BASIC):


 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 4/8/06 12:12PM
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On RISC OS explained to the uninitiated:


I think I probably had a similar experience reading the article. I kept thinking things like "why not mention the fonts?" or "what about image filing systems?" or "instant feedback of filer windows when a file changes?".

Eventually it became pretty clear that you have to stop somewhere. RISC OS has a surprising number of features that make it nice to use on a daily basis. I challenge anyone to write an article that manages to cover them all!

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 12/7/06 1:19PM
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On Drobe article comment clarification:

Whilst it is only right that the erroneous comments concerning Peter W and Paul M should be rectified and apologised for (and they should of course be entitled to defend themselves and their reputations), I think it's also worth bearing in mind that people can make mistakes.

I don't really know any of the people concerned, but on reading the comments from the previous article it became very clear that the comments were not true, and Will's apologies came across as unreserved.

In my view (personal opinion), no reputations were damaged as a result.

(Hopfully drobe will remove this comment if it turns out to be libellous ;) )

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 8/7/06 2:29PM
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On Database S-Base bounces back:

It's good to hear Bluewater Systems are continuing to invest in their software. It would be an excellent development if a working cross-platform S-Base came about. As long is it doesn't end with the RISC OS version being neglected of course.

Also, does this mean that there may also be a new 32-bit version of the software for RISC OS?

Although not an S-Base user myself, I believe other programs such as !Citation ( [link] ) use it (I could be wrong about this). I've always wanted to use Citation but have been prevented because it's not 32-bit. To be able to use it on multiple platforms would make it even better.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 8/7/06 2:12PM
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On Why so much infighting?:

"Contributing is a hard job to do. However it need not be one that is not achievable."

A good, interesting, and in my opinion balanced article. I'd just like to add, regarding the quote above, that my personal experience is that RISC OS users invariably are willing and able to help. Indeed, Paul himself is an example of someone who has contributed in a real way to software for the platform (and who, like many others, probably deserves more credit then he gets).

Drobe and the other news sites are also examples of non-programming efforts that promote the platform and benefit users.

Although there is infighting and bickering at times, I do think that RISC OS users also deserve credit for being willing to contribute. Both the positive and negative surely derive from the same source: a passion for the platform.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 7/7/06 7:36PM
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On First A9home benchmarks surface:

This all looks like good stuff to me. It certainly puts the A9 in a good position relative to other RISC OS machines. If I were a RiscPC user I think I'd be persuaded that this was beyond a big enough jump to make it worthwhile.

It would be interesting to know the extent to which some of the improvements are due to hardware and which are due to improvements in RISC OS 4 versus 5 (just for the sake of knowing some of the benefits that RO 4 can provide).

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 7/7/06 7:01PM
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On Dispute over 'intrusive' VRPC copy protection:


I'm not totally convinced it is that simple.

I'm no lawyer, but I understood that when you buy software, you can actually own it, just like you own a book that you might buy. What you don't own is the copyright.

It's the right to copy the software that the licence grants you. As I understand it, especially in the UK, whether such a licence is needed to "copy" the software into memory in order to use it is unclear.

As I say, I'm not a lawyer, so I don't really know, but it strikes me as very odd. You shouldn't need a licence to use the software that you've paid for. The copyright protection that the law already affords should be sufficient to protect the copyright owner. Anything else is a restriction for the consumer (just my opinion).

It's a shame that VA need to use activation keys, whether this is through their own choice or forced on them by their own licensors. I've not used it myself, but it does sound as if it's been badly executed and will end up losing them customers in the long run.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 1/5/06 2:40PM
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On RISC OS 5.11 released:

bluenose: Changing from 'USB' to 'Alternative USB' fixes the problem here. Thanks! :)

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 23/2/06 10:50AM
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On RISC OS 5.11 released:

BrianH: I've not seen your post on SmartGroups yet. Are you using HID though? I get the same problem here, but hitting F12 and then *RMReinit USBHID sets the mouse pointer free again, so it could be an incompatibility (I think HID has suffered from problems with new ROM upgrades in the past, but a new version was always been released very quickly to resolve it).

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 23/2/06 2:49AM
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On Delving inside a RiscPC emulator:


That's interesting, but isn't the argument from the article that giving it away for free might generate more RISC OS users, and ultimately increase the value of the license?

Perhaps this is just a case of me misunderstanding the legal meaning of "diminishing the value" of something?

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 21/1/06 1:52PM
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On Holding software to ransom:


That's surely a very good point. However there's also presumably the danger of small projects getting so bogged down in adminsitration that they never get started.

Would a simpler solution maybe be to just keep money paid in trust to a third party until the project is completed or some milestone is reached?

As a separate issue, it's interesting to see on the SkyOS page that the SkyOS team have currently donated more money to the projects than the community. It's good that SkyOS are themselves investing in a software base.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 18/1/06 2:04PM
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On Holding software to ransom:

I'd be willing to donate to get a good RISC OS code ransom website set up.

Oh, that's a bit of a Catch 22 situation, isn't it ;)

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 18/1/06 11:04AM
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On Holding software to ransom:

Sounds like a really good idea to me.

As with all "pre-pay" schemes, one of the difficulties is paying for something without knowing what the quality of the final outcome will be.

I'd still say it's a good idea though, and the effect of putting control into users' hands (or at least those who are willing to pay) is an especially nice feature.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 18/1/06 12:40AM
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On Remote desktop apps compared:


It seems that the situation *has* improved compared to what you describe. HBP's VNC server runs continuously as a module using irqs, so it works even when a single tasking application is running. Thankfully it's not phased by such things as error boxes ;)

As far as I can tell, its major drawback is that you can't change screen mode while it's running, but I seem to recall having similar problems under Windows, so maybe it's a VNC thing?

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 15/1/06 8:21PM
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On RISC OS features in plain english:


I do agree; this kind of thing should be up on the RISC OS Ltd website in particular. Castle do seem to have been slightly better at explaining what RISC OS is all about on their website.

A really enlightening article, and one that's going to be useful to refer back to in future, when people ask about RISC OS. Thanks drobe :)

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 14/1/06 6:29PM
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On Remote desktop apps compared:

I know this isn't the place for announcements, but I'm sure it is relevent to the article.

A (perhaps hacky) Iyonix version plus source of HBP's VNC *server* is now available (this may turn out to be a temporary home for it): [link]

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 13/1/06 12:03PM
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On Web gallery apps compared:


Getting Castle to publish the style guide on the web sounds like a really excellent idea! I'm sure it would be in their best interests to make it as widely available as possible.

However, I do at least now have my own copy (thanks CJE :) ).


Moving between fields in ThumbCat is a very minor thing in such an excellent app: I would have contacted you about it directly otherwise. I do find the program very useful, so thanks for your work on it :)

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 12/1/06 12:52PM
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On Remote desktop apps compared:


You may be interested to know that Henrik Bjerregaard Pedersen's VNC server will recompile successfully for the Iyonix and in tests on a LAN seems to work very well. You can get a quite useable Iyonix desktop with it. I'd suggest that if people want to work on something, it would make a very good starting point.

I've not yet had a chance to make the 32-bit version available (it was only done over the weekend and my home Internet connection is down), but will do so as soon as I can.

The 26-bit version is available here: [link]

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 12/1/06 12:39PM
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On Web gallery apps compared:


Thanks for the explanation; I hadn't realised that. As it happens I'm with DGS on this and think it's far nicer to only have the action on the last writable field.

Actually, in my opinion, it's really high time a new style guide was written up, especially now that the Acorn ones are both out of date and no longer available. Perhaps it could be done as a collaborative user effort? Although on second thought that may be a recipe for disaster!

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 10/1/06 5:48PM
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On Web gallery apps compared:


I always thought for most applications on RISC OS, <Enter> takes you to the next field, except the very last field, when it performs the default action. There's even the validation string "Ktar" which I thought was for this ( [link] ).

Is this what you're talking about? If so, I'm surprised this isn't how it is in the style guide!

Curiously, one of the difficulties I have with ThumbCat is that you can't move between writable icons in this way. It's a really minor thing, but it looks like I was wrong to think it ought to do this anyway!

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 10/1/06 1:53PM
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On Web gallery apps compared:

This is a really useful article; thanks :) I'd not tried EXIFInfo or TinyThumb and will have to give them a go now.

Personally I've been using ThumbCat for a while now to organise photos. Although there are one or two glitches with it, I find it's an excellent tool as an image database and gets better all the time.

The thing is, whilst I suspect on other platforms it would be expected that you'd use an external application to organise your photos, it's not really the RISC OS way to use anything other than the filer ;)

One downside to ThumbCat is that you don't get a great deal of control over the HTML output, which I think is where Pic_Index and WebGen2 excel.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 10/1/06 12:09PM
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On 2006 predictions:


I don't know about thegman, but there are certainly a number of Select features that I'd like to see on the Iyonix, from an end user point of view.

Just a few that spring to mind are the following:

Writable icon cut and paste - allows text in icons to be selected for cut and paste. This is such a simple thing, but makes such a big difference and must be part of every other WIMP system under the sun!

Sprites with alpha channels - allows you to create and use icons with variable transparencies, providing proper transparent drags, and proper anti aliased icons independent of the background, for example.

Better network sharing - you can share individual folders rather than whole drives.

Better configuration - for example, network configuration changes occurs immediately, instead of needing a restart.

Better apps - Paint, Draw etc. are improved.

That's just a few things off the top of my head and there are many more. Most of these are UI changes, so it really ought to be possible for them to be layered on top of RO 5.

Having said all that, I do personally really enjoy RO 5 as well, and it also has benefits over Select: things like pop up printers, nice USB funcionality (USB drives just appear on the icon bar), large application task memory, Internet updates, very fast boot time. These are also important from a user perspective and I'm not sure I'd be willing to lose them to gain the Select benefits.

Sorry for the long post. It's just that in my opinion RO 4 and 5 each have some great unique features and I don't know of any proper comparison that highlights the stengths of both.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 08/01/06 3:27PM
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On Best of 2005 awards voting open:


It looks like there was the option for nominations. It was mentioned at the end of the article just prior to this one.

(Here: [link] ).

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 30/12/05 6:01PM
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On Best of 2005 awards voting open:

If drobe is being nominated for the Top Own Goal category, perhaps it also deserves a nomination for Best General Contribution too? ;)

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 28/12/05 12:32AM
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On Christmas roadshow news:


Yeah, I think you could be right there ;)

Sorry for making such a stupid comment, but fylfot got what I meant!

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 15/12/05 9:30PM
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On Vantage users hope for adoption as Cerilica site vanishes:


You're right of course, and I didn't want to give the impression above that Simon had any obligation to open source the product.

Whether it's open sourced or not, I do hope that *something* happens to the program, since it seems there are still users who would benefit, and it had a lot of good features. It would be a shame for all that work to be "lost".

Was the TRUISM technology patented by Cerilica?

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 15/12/05 9:24PM
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On Christmas roadshow news:

RISC OS on an iMac looks neat, but I'd rather have seen a shot of it running on an Iyonix. That would look even better :D

I hope it's a success for everyone who goes to Birmingham this evening, and personally I'm looking forward to visiting the Manchester event tomorrow! With the TechWriter, A9 and other developments it's all looking to be quite exciting.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 15/12/05 5:48PM
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On Vantage users hope for adoption as Cerilica site vanishes:

Is there any prospect of the software being released as open source?

I'm not a Vantage user myself, but it always sounded like a great product with much potential. It could be quite groundbreaking for the RISC OS scene if Simon were willing to make an open source version available.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 15/12/05 5:39PM
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On Could A9 be a digital oasis in a desert of PCs and Macs?:


Are you going to buy one?

If you do, you'll have to let us know how you get on with it.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 12/12/05 9:38PM
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On Classic adventure and shooter games republished on CD:


Although I have access to a PC, PS2 and GBA, I still find I end up playing games on the Iyonix. Since I'm normally working on it anyway, it's much easier to fire up a quick game when I want a break then start up an entirely new machine.

So personally I would buy a conversion for RISC OS, even though I could probably buy it cheaper for the PC. Obviously I'm just one person, but there must be other people who would be interested too.

Like Peter last Christmas (if I recall correctly), maybe drobe could run "which game to port" for their next poll?

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 7/12/05 1:27PM
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On Acorn kit auction for children's charity:

Nice to see they've found a solution to the recycling problem, and that hardware funds can go to a good cause again. Well done to those involved.

As for Bablake Junior School, when I saw the original newsgroup announcement it looked like it would be another school moving over to Windows PCs. I'm glad that this is an upgrade to newer RISC OS machines instead! :)

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 5/12/05 8:37PM
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On Iyonix Select pledge campaign reaches target:

ajb and Xinoyi:

I think there are genuine advantages to Select over RO5, although they may not be what you're looking for. The things that stood out for me (when I did subscribe in the past) were icon cut and paste, improved filer (e.g. thumbnailing), better networking (e.g. instant effect configuration changes) and sprites with proper transparency (great for icons).

However, the biggest benefit that Select is likely to bring is a unified OS across the full range of RISC OS machines, meaning that the "under-the-hood" advantages of Select can be harnessed by programmers properly.

Moreover, I don't think it's in Castle's interest to be worrying about maintaining the user-facing parts of RISC OS, like cut and paste in writable icons. In my view, Castle are much better placed to deal with hardware and the more fundamental improvements (HAL, USB support etc.).

Personally, my only worry is that some of the improvements found in RISC OS 5 (such as good USB and graphics card support) will be lost in Select. This would really be a bad thing and I hope ROL can manage to provide the best from both versions. The sooner ROL get started on Iyonix Select, the sooner this issue can be dealt with.

This is my personal reasoning for wanting Select on the Iyonix: it's the only way we're going to end up with a unified OS. Let's hope this is ultimately what Phil's pledge brings about.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 5/12/05 6:04PM
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On Select 4 will not be ready until new year:


At one point ROL did run a survey to establish what to add to the OS and they were also, apparently, provided with all of the feedback that Castle received from the Merlin project ( [link] ).

ROL posted some of the results from their survey here:


(it makes interesting reading!)

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 5/12/05 11:30AM
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On Iyonix Select pledge campaign reaches target:

I like the suggestion in the email from pledgebank telling us that the pledge had been fulfilled:

"Why not take some photos of you fulfilling your pledge".

I look forward to lots of photos showing people stuffing envelopes full of cash ;)

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 3/12/05 2:26PM
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On Castle move to Cambridge rumoured:

I echo everything that everyone has said here about the Iyonix. I ummmmed and arrrred about getting one for ages. In the end my only mistake was being so indecisive; I regretted not buying one straight away.

I have no doubt the A9Home is going to be a great little machine too, but without the Iyonix I'm not sure RISC OS would ever have got to the stage it has now.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 2/12/05 7:46PM
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On Could A9 be a digital oasis in a desert of PCs and Macs?:


Those links look like interesting hardware :)

However, even though they *might* be capable (I'm not personally in a position to judge) of running RISC OS, I think it's worth comparing them with the existing alternatives.

I'm only guessing, but it looks to me like the A9Home is built around something like the Samsung 2440 Integrated Module built from Simtec: [link]

As you can see, you can get these for less than 100 each. If this is the case, then we can conclude the extra 400 you have to pay for an A9Home goes on things like the hard drive, RISC OS, support, case and the development work of putting it all together into a running system.

So for any alternative boards, you'd probably have to add on pretty much the same cost before you had an available system. That's assuming you have a good idea about what you're doing (if I were to try it would take me 10 years and I'd still not have it working ;) )

I'm only reiterating what others have already said in this forum and if you think you can get a working system based on the hardware you've highlighted then It'd be great. I'm just not sure it's fair to compare the price of a development board with a fully built and supported commercial system.

If you find any more, I'd still be interested to see them though :) I think this one is pretty neat:

[link] :D

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 29/11/05 10:47AM
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On Software news:


Ah yes, another one to add to the list (apologies for missing it off!).

Personally I've only used ThumbCat, but now I'm thinking I should have dug around a bit and seen what the others had to offer as well.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 24/11/05 11:53AM
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On Software news:

RISC OS now seems to have a profusion of Web Album creators (or at least, I can think of four: AlbumWWW, ThumbCat, Pic_Index and WebWonder - are there any others?) Perhaps drobe could run a comparative review? I'd certainly be interested.

I'm also intrigued by the "Iyonix Ltd" move. Perhaps someone with more business knowledge than me could explain why you might want to do something like this?

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 24/11/05 11:25AM
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On RISC OS Christmas roadshow details finalised:

I know, it's off-topic for the story, but since the conversation has strayed into publicity, I'm going to push my luck.

It looks like Ad6 have the right idea when it comes to publicising their new machine:


Perhaps the A9Home can be pushed up the roadshow billing to capitalise on its current notoriety? ;)

It's actually a very good article in my view (as in "accurate and fair"). Maybe there's even a hint of bias in /favour/ of RISC OS, which makes a pleasant change :D

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 22/11/05 1:34PM
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On RISC OS Christmas roadshow details finalised:


Sorry to be contrary, but I'm not so sure about this. Personally I wouldn't get upset in this particular case. But if it was another company, for an event that I'm not interested in (and if I multiply it by the number of companies that I do business with) then I start to see a problem.

People don't really have the option to unsubscribe from the list, since it might prevent them getting upgrades for your software, so sending out additional announcements on the same list might get some people upset.

Incidentally, do you really think that you'd reach more people than announcements on drobe, ANS, c.s.a.announce etc.. would reach anyway? All of these are places where people expect to receive such information.

Just to be clear, I'm not questioning your motives at all, and I applaud your proactive attitude. I also truly hope these roadshows are going to be a big success. I just feel that your traditional attitude of caution is probably the right one to have.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 19/11/05 3:54PM
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On RISC OS Christmas roadshow details finalised:


Maybe it *would* be tragic if it was the *only* reason to be using RISC OS.

The way you persuade people to consider using RISC OS, and the reasons they ultimately use it instead of something else need not necessarily be the same thing.

After all, this is arguably what Apple have done (selling computers off the success of the iPod).

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 18/11/05 12:43AM
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On Taking OS features for granted:

At the same time that the new AmigaOS website went online I was looking for a website as a springboard for other people to understand what RISC OS is. I wish there was a really nicely presented website like the AmigaOS one that I could point people to (in the end I had to use Wikipedia; maybe someone has a better suggestion?)

I do I think it highlights the difference in "image" presentation between the Amiga and RISC OS, something that Amiga users have been better at since the dawn of time.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 1/11/05 2:34PM
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On Letters:


That's true for the first megabyte (or whatever your smallest unit + 2 is). It's 2.4% for the first megabyte, then it goes up to 4.6% which is (1-(0.97.6^2)) up to a gigabyte, then 6.9% and so on.

You can see that the proportion must change since when you're talking about bytes there's no discrepancy between the two.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 31/10/05 10:39PM
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On Voice-over-IP on RISC OS: What's involved?:

Very interesting article. Thanks drobe :)

The GNU oSIP library mentioned in the article ([link]) compiles very easily on RISC OS and looks usable.

I know little about SIP, but imagine this is by far the easiest part of the process. Nonetheless it would be great if someone with some audio skills could take it further.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 31/10/05 9:51PM
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On Users to represent RISC OS at Euro mega-show:

Well done to the usergroup for doing this. I really don't think there is any better way to promote RISC OS as a home system outside the current userbase except by letting people try it out directly.

Showing the work that people have produced using the platform (Artworks gallery etc.) also sounds like a great idea.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 30/10/05 1:16PM
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On Children's BBC: The Acorn years:

Many aeons ago I wrote in to CBBC (about something computery) and they replied by sending me a 5 1/4" disk with the original animated BBC B logo as in the picture above. I didn't have a disk drive at the time and had to take it in to school to watch it. It must have been the modified version, since I remember thinking that it didn't use colour mapping for its animation. I'm pretty sure I still have it somewhere!

For me, at least, it was a real inspiration to see what CBBC were doing with BBC computers (and later the Archimedes). I loved the animated graphics.

And I can't have been the only one. If I remember correctly, Blue Peter ran a competition for someone to design a new animation, and a train producing letters as smoke won.

Phew. I'm all nostalgiad out now.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 19/10/05 7:25PM
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On Independent Select for Iyonix interest list opened:

Video editing used to be a big thing for RISC OS, when Eidos (and later Origin Systems) were selling their Optima package. This was really for professional offline video editing (used by the BBC etc.), so perhaps not really what's being discussed here, but this kind of thing could clearly lay the foundation for some pretty decent video editing software for the platform, I'd have thought.

I'd be interested to know what the current state of Optima is. I believe it was still being used professionally and in education until not too long ago.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 12/10/05 01:42AM
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On Independent Select for Iyonix interest list opened:


Thanks for the clarification; that makes sense now. To explain, I think the confusion stems from the fact that, if Castle were not happy with ROL giving them a non-exclusive licence, you might conclude that Castle wanted an exclusive licence, i.e. one that prevented any other companies getting access to the OS.

This is clearly not the correct conclusion and is a bad reading of the statement. Thanks again for the explanation.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 11/10/05 6:36PM
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On Independent Select for Iyonix interest list opened:


I'm interested to know clearly what you mean, but personally am a little confused.

Do you mean that ROL wanted Castle to fund the entire conversion, but ROL also wanted to be allowed to sell the work (funded by Castle) on to other companies as well, with no return to Castle?

If this is what you mean, was it unacceptable to Castle because Castle didn't want to fund all of the work, or because Castle didn't want to allow ROL to sell it on?

I apologise if I've misunderstood what you wrote, but I would be interested in knowing what the situation really is.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 11/10/05 1:56PM
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On How productive are you on RISC OS?:


For many Windows users the situation may not be as simple or rosy as you make out. For example at work, a single-tasking spybot spyware check is forced on our machines once a day when we turn it on. You could argue that this is a result of bad administration rather than Windows itself, but it was deemed necessary after the whole network became riddled with spyware and no other option worked.

As for "security through obscurity", I again don't think it's as simple as that. RISC OS has several potentially serious security flaws, but due to its simplicity compared to Windows there are arguments that say it has security benefits too.

For example, a standard Windows box has a host of listening services running as standard which many worms use for propagation. RISC OS doesn't have any (off the top of my head, so I could be wrong). Many users on RISC OS browse with minimal or no javascript, and few applications make use of auto-run scripting/macros. The main exploits for RISC OS are likely to be restricted to email-borne viruses and using !Boot files.

Although I use RISC OS by preference, I admit that Windows has many advantages and that Windows security problems are largely due to its complexity. But when it comes to security, the simplicity of RISC OS really is a benefit.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 11/10/05 11:42AM
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On Independent Select for Iyonix interest list opened:


"You're spot on right. Software developers should care."

Just to extend your point a little (and I think to reiterate Peter's original point) it's not just software developers who should care about Select availability for the Iyonix. General users of other RO 4 machines (A9Homes, RPCs) can in many cases only benefit from the additional functionality that RO 4/Select brings if developers make use of the features.

So having Select on Iyonix should hopefully genuinely benefit all users who are using RO 4, since they are more likely to see the advance features that the OS provides being harnessed.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 11/10/05 11:10AM
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On Independent Select for Iyonix interest list opened:


I completely understand your unease about Iyonix Select. It certainly appears that ROL don't have much appetite to produce a version and it would be good to have some guarantee before agreeing to anything.

But moss said it far better than I could have done. Perhaps we shouldn't need to be in this position, but given that we are (and that I for one would like Select features on my Iyonix) this is maybe a way to resolve the issue.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 9/10/05 10:32PM
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On Independent Select for Iyonix interest list opened:


I understand what you say about the goalposts having been moved, but it seems strange to say that it's up to ROL to convice us. Haven't they stated that they don't think there's enough interested in Iyonix Select to make it commercially viable? They are a company after all, so if they don't think they can make money from a product you can't blame them if they don't produce it.

However, from what I could tell, many people (although admittedly you may not have been one of them) seemed to suggest that RISC OS Ltd were purposefully ignoring Iyonix users' wishes to have Select functionality on their machines. The whole point of a pledge like this, then, is surely to prove publicly to ROL that there is enough interest?

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 9/10/05 7:51PM
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On Independent Select for Iyonix interest list opened:

Well done Phil for setting the pledge up. It would have been ages before I'd gotten my rear into gear to get things sorted, so I'm glad it's been done.

Even at this inital stage it looks like it's going to be a success. But even if the pledge isn't fulfilled, it should at least settle the matter once and for all, shouldn't it? ;)

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 9/10/05 7:32PM
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On ROL faces rebellion over Select delays:

Simon and Julian:

It may have been the case that Castle only developed ROS 5 because nothing else suitable was available, but since then Castle have acquired Tematic. I may have misunderstood exactly what Tematic do, but I'd have thought this acquisition will have changed Castle's business direction quite substantially, with the result that there is now more overlap between Castle and ROL.

If Castle stopped developing RISC OS for embedded or other markets, wouldn't that leave Tematic with much less to do?

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 06/10/05 7:56PM
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On Euro mag to list active RISC OS developers:


Thanks Herbert, that sounds good to me :D It'll be a useful resource,

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 3/10/05 11:41AM
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On ROL faces rebellion over Select delays:


Thanks for pointing the link out; I missed it originally, but it's certainly worth reading.

Whilst Paul makes lots of very valid points in his message, especially highlighting the clear benefits that Select has brought to RISC OS (which I really do applaud), I don't think it affects the issues I raised above.

Ultimately though, if ROL and RO users get through the current drought and we end up with a unified version, then I'm sure a lot of users (including me) will be made very happy.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 2/10/05 11:45PM
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On ROL faces rebellion over Select delays:

"We don't have the profit from hardware sales to use to subsidise the OS development."

Surely ROL will be seeing extra cashflow generated by the sale of A9Homes that should cover the lost Select subscriptions? If not, it would seem to me to be a rather odd business decision to concentrate solely on the A9 and not release anything for Select subscribers. It's not hard to predict that people aren't going to be happy resubscribing to something that doesn't actually provide them with any product.

I have a lot of respect for ROL in their development of the OS, but the strange thing is that ROL probably don't even need to produce any new features for a Select release. If they just released a new Select version with the new 32-bit components of the A9Home, subscribers would probably be much happier than they are now.

Unfortunately I couldn't read Paul's posting, or the replies to it, since I'm an ex-Select subscriber.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 2/10/05 9:06PM
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On Euro mag to list active RISC OS developers:

Obviously I can understand that the Euro-mainland version should take priority, but I'd have thought this would be useful for all users.

So - from a purely selfish perspective - I hope a version can be made generally available for the benefit of UK users too.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 2/10/05 8:48PM
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On Star Fighter upgrade in free for all:

This free upgrade is a complete disaster. Nobody should download it. At least, not unless you've got a *lot* of free time to kill! ;)

I've just "wasted" practically the whole weekend playing SF3000 on the Iyonix. It's just such a great game even after over 10 years. The best thing about it is that it's fun to play even for just a few minutes at a time for a break.

So thank you Chris & APDL for making this available!

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 2/10/05 8:41PM
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On FileNuke app in wet fizzle claim:

A similar utility by Sergio Monesi ( [link] ), which is unfortunately not 32-bit compatible, had an option to wipe all of the free space on a drive.

This should solve the problem, so perhaps Paul could consider adding a similar option to FileNuke? It certainly has the potential to be a very useful utility, in my opinion.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 2/10/05 8:28PM
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On Iyonix Select demand barely double digits, says ROL:

Personally I find this to be a real dilemma. like BrianH I'd like to get Select for my Iyonix (I was a subscriber some time ago), but my enthusiasm will depend on what ROL actually offer.

For example, I wouldn't be willing to give up the obvious advantages that RO 5 has over current Select versions (such as USB functionality, pop up printers, fast boot etc.).

Nonetheless, I'd be willing to subscribe just for the developments that have been made to the wimp (e.g. icon cut & paste).

If they can merge the two properly, they'll have a guaranteed subscription. But given the uncertainty of the situation, I'm sure there are others like me who've not indicated anything to ROL, with the result that the 18 users stated will be very much on the low side.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 27/9/05 12:45AM
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On Iyonix USB mice and keyboard drivers updated:


You can fix that by adding "RMKill USBHID" as the first line of the !Run file for !dRun of ARMLinux.

Both of RISC OS 5 and USB are fine products and I'm glad to see the two are still being kept up to date and working happily together.

Hopefully the Linux issue will also be sorted out properly in due course.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 25/9/05 3:41AM
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On ROL cuts deal with Omega users:

"I am sure that there will be few users who will complain that we should have not developed a 32 bit RISC OS 4"

I *hope* that there are very few users who would say ROL should have stuck with a 26-bit OS. However, there might be an argument for saying it would have been better if they'd developed the 32-bit version in collaboration with Tematic, rather than starting from scratch.

I suppose it's possible that option wasn't available to them at the time?

Regarding the offer, it looks like very good value. Given the hard time Omega owners seem to have been having lately, it's good to see something positive they can take advantage of.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 22/9/05 7:51PM
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On Iyonix 3D graphics driver released :


I was aware of the previous implemention, but although I never tried it I understand that it was old, unmaintained, incomplete, and not fast enough to sensibly support any sort of animation. I don't mean to knock the work that was put into making it available, but as you point out it's probably only the Iyonix that has made it a sensible proposition.

I take your point about the hardware acceleration, as perhaps this is the greatest step forwards. Whatever the underlying reason, it's still going to be great to have a useable version of the OpenGL API. The big question is now going to be whether developers make use of it.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 4/9/05 11:33PM
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On Iyonix 3D graphics driver released :

This is really fantastic. In my opinion RISC OS has been crying out for an OpenGL port for far too long. I can't wait to try it out. :D

If the performance is any good it could revolutionise graphics on RISC OS, and might even result in a few games appearing.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 2/9/05 7:18PM
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On Online banking with RISC OS:

It's interesting to see that access has improved for RISC OS over the years and not just because the browsers have improved. It seems that banks do now take browser access more seriously. The co-op used to require all access to go through a java applet, but now the site pretty much only uses TLS and when they made this change they said it was to improve accessibility.

I wonder whether this is due to the Disability Discrimination Act, because they now trust Internet security (e.g.TLS) more, because they want the custom of a more diverse range of users, or just because so many people complained?

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 1/9/05 8:16PM
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On Castle push BASIC compiler:

This strikes me as a sensible move. There must be a lot of BASIC coders out there who don't have the need for the whole C/C++ suite, but who would be interested in just the BASIC compiler.

My only reservation is that in such a small market, Castle might get a better return if their development tools were included with the machine.

Does anyone have any info on how the compiled BASIC produced compares to interpreted BASIC? Is there anything ABC can't do (e.g. EVAL?)?

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 31/8/05 3:52PM
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On Survey: Iyonix use leads VirtualRPC:

All round I find the results very encouraging. I had expected that RiscPCs would be massively ahead of everything, but in fact there are a large number of readers using more modern hardware (e.g. Iyonix, VRPC, A9, Omega etc..) as well. Personally I find Iyonix and A9 use particularly encouraging.

Unfortunately it's difficult to arrive at complete conclusions from the results shown. I'd be interested to see some further comparisons (e.g. of those using RiscPCs, how many also use something else?).

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 26/8/05 11:37PM
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On VirtualAcorn boasts 3000 users:

Rather than spending millions of pounds porting RISC OS to x86, wouldn't it make more sense to get it running on a Crusoe laptop?


That way you could have a truly 'hybrid' computer, with the processor switching between an x86 and an ARM as needed.

(I'm not really serious, but to me this seems more likely to happen than RISC OS making the wholesale move to x86).

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 23/08/05 6:49PM
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On VirtualAcorn boasts 3000 users:


Sure, you're right. There are very few reasons to use assembler on a desktop machine. This is pretty much the case even on RISC OS, where there are not really many occasions you'd need to use machine code in a program and the speed increase isn't generally that great anyway. So I wouldn't really say that this is something you're stuck with on RISC OS any more either.

I just wanted to point out that for some people (e.g. me) the access to ARM code development is a specific reason for sticking with RISC OS, so I wouldn't want it to change.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 23/08/05 5:29PM
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On VirtualAcorn boasts 3000 users:


I certainly agree with you that running RISC OS on an emulator undermines its credibility, making it look like a dead OS. But to me this is one reason why it's so important that the hardware market is kept alive.

Converting to native x86 won't solve this problem, or necessarily allow more people to run RISC OS: in fact, even if it were ported, it would still probably make more sense for most people to run it under emulation. Running it on top of Windows shifts all of the hard work of maintaining hardware compatibility onto Microsoft. There are so many variants of x86 hardware that it would be impossible for an x86 RISC OS to accommodate them all. Most people would probably find that it simply wouldn't run on their x86 machine.

One of the only reasons RISC OS can be made to work so well on the hardware that's available, is that there is so little variety in the hardware that it will run on.

Regarding your point that people don't care whether or not the machine code is easier to program, I agree that this may be true for the majority of people. However, I for one remain with RISC OS in part because of the ease and control you get programming the ARM chip directly. An emulator wouldn't suit me for this without the real hardware also being available.

Now this may not be what most people want, but I'd have thought the people most likely to care about this kind of thing are developers, and they are people that the platform will need if it's to remain viable.

By the way, I'm not knocking the emulator, which is clearly very useful. I just think the hardware market is totally essential to keeping the platform alive.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 23/08/05 01:08AM
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On NetBSD found on actual toaster:


Perhaps you mean this?


 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 13/8/05 11:54PM
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On PC card software to be open sourced:

It would be good if this was the start of a pattern, with old software that is no longer being developed made open source.

There must be oodles of software like this in the RO market that isn't benefitting the original developer any more, but could greatly benefit users in the future.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 13/8/05 1:39PM
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On Archive mag to survey RISC OS computer use:


What you say may be true: ARMs may no longer be the best processors for a desktop machine. However, I think your assertion that "RISC OS is tied to hardware that isn't designed for the use that it's being put to" is a curious thing to say, given that the ARM chip, in effect, was designed precisely for the purpose of running RISC OS ;)

I'd have thought It's one of the few examples of OS and processor that were each specifically designed from the ground up for use with the other.

As for the poll, it will be interesting to compare the different machine usage statistics of Archive compared to drobe. I'm really very surprised that the original suggestion of the Archive poll on usenet caused so much controversy. The reasoning behind it does not really seem *that* unsound to me!

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 11/8/05 4:03PM
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On News in brief:


Out of interest, are the features you cite not supported by SVG?

I always had high hopes for SVG, but unfortunately it still doesn't seem to be widely supported (outside of RISC OS even).

Is there any sensible way, for example, to include an ArtWorks file in a Word document?

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 9/8/05 10:21AM
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On Oregano 3 survives user group meeting:

It sounds like O3 is going to be a very capable browser and if it lives up to expectations it'll certainly be on my shopping list. I wish I could have seen it in action at ROUGOL.

I think the important question for many people will still be whether O3 can be kept up to date as the web moves forward. O3 has some important benefits over Firefox (Flash support, more RISC OS syle interface), but Firefox has the advantage of pretty much guaranteed continual development.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 20/7/05 1:30AM
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On Software news:

Looks like there's no shortage of good development work going on B-)

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 16/7/05 4:40PM
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On Fears over Omega refund saga:


I totally understand your caution. Unfortunately a lot of RISC OS projects seem to be based on the idea of the promise of improvements in the future, which is always going to be a risk. To be fair, many of these projects do ultimately deliver, and it can't be easy when expectations in the RISC OS market from users appears to be very high.

I suppose the answer is to either go only to companies with a good track record, or as Fred suggested, only buy products that are available and that you're willing to accept as they are.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 16/7/05 4:27PM
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On MicroDigital sought by bailiffs:


I think (hope) the reason for this is that other companies have learnt from the mistake Microdigital made in preannouncing the Omega.

I'm not for a second excusing the poor service that some customers appear to have received (or suggesting that legal action shouldn't have been taken), but I suspect that MD suffered the most from their mistake with otherwise potential purchasers withdrawing their deposits.

In my opinion it *will* be a shame if MD leave the market, if only because it will leave current Omega and Mico owners without further support.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 16/07/05 4:08PM
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On MicroDigital sought by bailiffs:

I have a lot of respect for MicroDigital in producing what seems to be an impressive computer.

But as John says, it's sad to hear about the trouble customers like this have had.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 11/7/05 3:58PM
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On Hardware accelerated 3D graphics approaching:

Just spotted this interview with Simon Wilson about his RISC OS Mesa port on Haiku News:


It's good to have a bit of celebrity in RO land ;)

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 10/7/05 1:36PM
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On Hardware accelerated 3D graphics approaching:

This is really great news! Getting Mesa working and usable from RISC OS would be great for the platform, but getting it accelerated too, that would be exceptional. Kudos to Simon.

As Bob suggests, I'm sure this could lead the way for some really interesting new software releases, as well as opening the door for game ports.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 5/7/05 3:58PM
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On CJE RAM special offer not so special:

It's interesting to compare the drobe response to the CJE offer with the Icon Bar's ( [link] ). It's enough to drive you to relativism...

Nonetheless, it's good to see a RISC OS company doing a bit of proactive marketing whilst supporting other areas of the market.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 24/6/05 12:48AM
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On Firefox first beta published:


I agree that out of the box synchronisation is really what's needed and would be great.

But just to clarify, I'm not sure that the current situation is as bad as you imply. A vCalendar file can contain multiple entries, including task-lists. Organiser will export these all in one go, so you don't have to do every entry individually. Contacts can be transferred using a vCard file in the same way (I believe Organiser has /this/ built in out of the box).


Again, ideally the functionality should be there 'out of the box', but the fact that Organizer can deal with vCalendar files at all is testament to its clever scripting abilities. In many senses, it's much more useful for an application author to concentrate on adding general scripting functionality than a specific format that may go out of favour in a few years. This way other users who don't want to spend lots of time coding can contribute instead by creating useful scripts/additions.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 23/06/05 7:59PM
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On Iyonix Select yet to show 'commercial viability':

RISC OS Ltd have got some bad press for their stance on Iyonix Select in the past (and probably rightly so). Compared to what has been presented before this looks to me like a really positive move and is a much more reasonable proposition.

So credit to RISC OS Ltd for listening to their potential customers and making the situation clear.

As for softloading over RISC OS 5, I'd urge them to consider using the flash ROM as a better alternative. The softloading of Select used to annoy me and it was a real relief when it wasn't necessary using an Iyonix.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 23/6/05 7:38PM
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On Firefox first beta published:


Organizer can be easily made to export vCalendar files, which I believe are also supported by your phone. You need a script for this, but it's very straightforward to set one up.

I agree with helpful when it comes to the Linux applications. The interface is important; after all, if it was just about the functionality then there would be no point porting them as we'd all just be using Linux instead. The exception is when the functionality isn't available for RISC OS at all.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 22/06/05 10:22PM
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On Firefox first beta published:

This article has made it onto the Inquirer. Looks like the port is also generating a fair bit of interest outside of RISC OS's usual arena.


 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 21/6/05 11:28AM
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On Portrait monitor support for A9home:


One of the improvements that was introduced in RISC OS 5 is a new mode style with eigenvalues set to zero (EX0 EY0). This doubles the size of icons and text as you would normally have them, and uses very high resolution icons. This might possibly solve the problem you have with higher resolution modes under RISC OS (I'm afraid I don't know if it's part of OS 4 or not though).

Unfortunately I don't have a good enough monitor to properly make use of it :(

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 16/06/05 10:22PM
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On Portrait monitor support for A9home:


My experience has been that many people are not happy with resolutions beyond 1280x1024. This constantly amazes me at work, where I have my computer set to run at 1280x1024 and everyone complains that they can't read the text (WinXP & 17 inch monitor). If people want higher, they tend to use two monitors side by side.

Possibly the people on these forums are more discerning than the average user, but I don't think the claim that 1600x1200 is higher than most people use is too unreasonable. Nonetheless, I'd expect any good modern computer to be able to cope with it.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 16/06/05 9:19PM
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On Mac VirtualRiscPC undaunted by Apple x86 switch:

It's now possible to get ARMs with multiple processors on a single chip ( [link] ), which presumably would be easier to utilise than creating something like the hydra from scratch.

I'm not sure how suitable RISC OS would be for multiple processors though. Most programs don't use threading for example.

Whilst it'd be great to have multiple processor RO machines and maybe it's the most sensible solution to the limited ARM speeds, personally I'm still happy that there are some great native options for RISC OS available right now.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 16/6/05 2:34PM
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On Portrait monitor support for A9home:

This is also speculation but...

I suspect the difference between Ad6's claims and the datasheets is simply to do with the word "supported". Silicon Motion say the higher resolutions are not supported, but (maybe) this doesn't mean they're not possible. The difficulty of obtaining higher resolutions probably has more to do with timings than to do with video memory size (the A9Home has 8Mb VRAM which is sufficient for 1600x1200x32bit). Pushing the chip to 1600x1200 may be possible, but may not be within the timing specifications of the SM501 hardware.

But in case there's any doubt, I *am* making this up as I go along.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 14/6/05 5:52PM
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On Portrait monitor support for A9home:

It's good to see developments for the A9Home even before it's been fully released! The creation of a 'new' RISC OS development team is also encouraging.

But why the secrecy over who SIMON are?!

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 14/6/05 1:58PM
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On Select for Iyonix spotted in public:

Sorry, that IconBar link got broken. It should have gone to this: [link]

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 10/6/05 7:32PM
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On Select for Iyonix spotted in public:

Hopefully there won't be too much duplication. My understanding of the situation (from [link] ) was that Castle and ROL had reached agreement that the two branches would merge. So whoever is doing the merging must have access to the source for both versions. Right?!

I'd hope that Iyonix Select will represent the merged version.

Incidentally, TIB has an interesting quote from ROL regarding Iyonix Select. [link]

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 10/6/05 7:28PM
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On Select for Iyonix spotted in public:


The multiple versions of OS and hardware are certainly a problem for developers (and one which I sympathise with), but in some sense it's a good problem that's a sign of a vibrant market. Particularly from an "outsider's perspective", the idea of multiple vendors competing in these areas is a healthy indication. The problem in the PC/Windows world is far far worse.

As far as the numbering of the OS is concerned, I'm not sure that what you suggest is really as sensible as it seems. We've already had "number trumping" before and it doesn't really make things clearer. Especially since there are benefits to both RO 4 and RO 5 which in my opinion (as a user of both versions) means that neither is a clear advance over the other.

If Castle and ROL can manage to create a single merged version, then that would be the time to call it version 6.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 9/6/05 2:47PM
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On Wakefield 2005 show report:


Is that for real?! Do you have to stand on one leg and place your right index finger into your left ear as well? ;)

Seriously, it is good that the functionality is there, but that's a pretty impressive sequence of keypresses that you have to follow.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 27/05/05 6:06PM
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On A9home emerges in beta form:

I have to admit that my experience of RISC OS vs. Windows multitasking is much like Tony's. Although I'm aware that pre-emptive has lots of positive aspects compared to co-operative, the final experience of Windows simply doesn't cut it (and I use both OSen on a daily basis).

I've been trying to figure out what the reason is for ages. Partly it seems to be because although technically Windows will still multitask when it's busy, more often than not it's busy paging a program from the hard drive which takes an age. In the meantime it's impossible to use any of the other programs because they've also been paged to disc. What's really unhelpful is that after a while, Windows (XP) will notice that the program has stalled and will replace the unresponsive window with a 'fake' version of its own. This is just *so* unhelpful. I'll often end up with multiple programs all of which have fake blank windows that can't be used.

I think there are other reasons too. Redraw under Windows can appear sluggish compared to RISC OS because whilst RISC OS is guaranteed to give the task enough time to complete the redraw, Windows will often poll other tasks in the middle. Similarly with mouse clicks: it can often take a while before there's any response after clicking on a button. In RISC OS, wimp messages are prioritised quite carefully to give the appearance of responsiveness (e.g. responding to mouse clicks very quickly).

Finally, programmers use pre-emptive MT instead of writing state machines, so that even though you can use the rest of the desktop, often what you really want to do is use other functions within the same application, which becomes impossible (coupled with the fact that Windows won't necessarily buffer mouse clicks when a task is in a busy state). Modal dialogue boxes are a classic example. Obviously this comes down to individual programs working badly or well, but PMT doesn't encourage better program design.

The result, in my experience, is that Windows *feels* less responsive and more unpredictable, which personally I find annoying. I suspect this may be why many people here think that Windows is as bad as it is and RISC OS is as good as it is.

Sorry for the rant.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 26/05/05 8:36PM
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On R-Comp sneaks out VRPC graphics speed boost:


Sorry, I'm not sure I follow entirely what you mean. Are you saying that because RISC OS isn't scalable it's therefore not stable? (This isn't intended as an attack, I'm just not sure I understand).

Equally with your second point. Are you saying that MS or Red Hat will indemnify against loss caused by their OSes? I think this is unlikely, but maybe I'm misunderstanding?

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 16/05/05 9:32PM
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On R-Comp sneaks out VRPC graphics speed boost:


Given that Windows has so much to do, I agree that it can be surprisingly stable.

However, this is one reason why RISC OS may well be more appropriate in terms of stability than Windows.

If I were intending to just run a single dedicated task, I'd be much happier running it on RISC OS. I'd probably even run it single tasking. With Windows, one of the biggest problems is that you can never by entirely sure what it's going to do in the background (accept an RPC call, shunt a program to virtual memory, start downloading an automatic update etc.) There are tens of services running by default that could have an effect on a critical system.

The relative simplicity of RISC OS in this context can be very useful.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 16/05/05 9:05PM
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On South West 2005 show report:


"Putting a second disc into the system for backup is not a real backup..."

You can always get a removable drive bay, so that the backup hard drives can be removed for storage or swapped.

Perhaps all that's really needed though is some good backup software to transfer incremental changes to DVD/CD/whatever. Surely there must be lots of good examples for RISC OS already?

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 01/03/05 12:05AM
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On Should the TCO of RISC OS be higher?:


I'm not denying there may be flaws in Paul's comparison, but it shouldn't be forgotten that new RISC OS machines come with quite respectable collections of software. The Iyonix for example comes with Oregano2 and Writer+ (a capable but cut down version of EasiWriter), plus others included in the price, and these could have been used for the tasks described.

Like I say, the comparison still may not be fair, but the default software supplied "free" with new machines has certainly come on a long way since the days of Acorn.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 18/02/05 11:46PM
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On STD defends A5 concept:

guestx: "That's another thing which makes RISC OS software development somewhat laughable: imagine insisting that a Linux application required a handful of kernel modules to be installed before doing run-of-the-mill GUI stuff".

There are situations in which you need to recompile the Linux kernel to install suitable drivers. That would be laughable under RISC OS where you'd just install a new module. But the two systems are not really comparable in that respect as they have such a different structure. Certainly Linux has many advantages over RISC OS, but the same really is true the other way around too, depending on what you want from your machine (even from a software development viewpoint).

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 05/08/04 1:10PM
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On STD defends A5 concept:


You'd have trouble doing most of those on an Iyonix as well, so you obviously have some good reasons to be using a Windows machine!

I think to be fair, you can achieve an element of some of them under RISC OS. E.g. there is an article about creating jpeg slideshows for DVD players in August's Archive. You can do programming on RISC OS, but not in C# (just as I can't do native ARM coding under Windows). You can play games, but not Unreal etc.

But certainly if you have specific Windowsy things that you want to do, you're going to have to use Windows. I think the point is really just that if you're going to make a comparison with recent PCs, you should compare to the modern RISC OS hardware too.


Yes, your USB Jetflash device sounds very similar. If it is a "Transcend JetFlash", then according to the Iyonix website, this would work with an Iyonix without any extra software ([link]). This may well work on a RiscPC too, but you'd need to buy a USB upgrade podule if you don't already have one.

In terms of software, I think RO 4 and RO 5 are fairly similar (RO 4 is better in some areas), but really it's the hardware that makes the difference with the Iyonix - largely down to the speed increase. It sounds like such a minor thing, but I certainly didn't anticipate how much more productive the extra speed would make the machine.

You'd also need USB, Viewfinder, sound recording, CD writer, flash card reader, fast IDE interface and so on to get a Risc PC up to a similar feature set.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 05/08/04 02:41AM
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On STD defends A5 concept:


I don't want to answer for Martin, but I agrre with what he says.

Before upgrading to an Iyonix, I was using a Select SA RiscPC and browsing with Fresco. Increasingly I found myself frustrated by not being able to do things, so I would use Windows instead.

Now I've upgraded to an Iyonix and I hardly use the PC at all. Browsing is faster (with a better network card) and more pleasant (Oregano2 is bundled for free), I can use my USB pen drive to transfer stuff to work, compiling programs no longer takes ages, the machine starts up quicker (Select on a RPC was slower than WinXP). On the RiscPC I *could* use a flashy jpeg backdrop, play MP3s and listen to internet radio stations, but not without compromising on the speed of other operations. On an Iyonix you don't have to think about these things.

So it's not so much that things *can't* be done on a RiscPC (although often with extra expense), but that the user experience makes it seem like a Windows PC is a better option in comparison. This isn't true with an Iyonix.

That's just my experience, anyway. Probably those who have bought emulated devices experience something similar.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 04/08/04 12:23AM
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On STD Temporary Closure:


So this is where Castle got their extra shares from. Thanks for the info :)

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 07/07/04 11:45AM
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On STD Temporary Closure:

Sorry, should have logged in to post that comment above.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 07/07/04 11:25AM
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On Castle spills beans on ROL dispute:


Clearly one of the most serious problems is that the companies not directly involved (e.g. VA, A6) can no longer distribute their products.

It would be nice if there was some way that the problems for such companies could be avoided, perhaps by placing royalty fees for these products into trust, with an agreement that it be split between the companies based on the outcome of their dispute.

Perhaps this would just be too complicated, but it would certainly be a good way for both companies to prove their claims of not wanting to harm the wider market. Especially if this dispute really is going to roll on for some time.

Time to return to the real world now :(

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 23/06/04 12:00AM
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On Castle terminates RISCOS Ltd. licence:

I'm no lawyer, but I imagine that this means that Pace were granted an automatic license from Castle to use RO in their products. In other words, Pace weren't going to sell RO to Castle if Castle then refused to grant them a license for their RISC OS based IP gateways.

Like I say, I'm not a lawyer and this could all be rubbish.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 16/06/04 3:05PM
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On Castle terminates RISCOS Ltd. licence:


Here's the press release from the Pace website, concerning Castle's acquisition of the RO license:


I don't think that Pace would have something like this posted on their website if it wasn't true. Although I'm no lawyer, I'm sure you can't generally just revoke a contract without some claim that the terms have been broken. Whether this is really the case here, remains to be seen.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 16/06/04 2:39PM
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On VirtualRiscPC upgrades to Adjust:


Yeah, I agree. I think there are real (as in "not just emotional") reasons for using the Iyonix over emulation, but if the emulated solutions become considerably faster then those reasons are much harder to justify.

The Iyonix is a great machine and perfect for my purposes right now, but I hope Castle (and MicroDigital) can continue improving on their work and produce even better machines as time goes on :biggrin: .

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 11/05/04 5:00PM
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On VirtualRiscPC upgrades to Adjust:

Personally I am worried about emulation.

I have no problem with people using emulators for RISC OS and there's obviously many situations in which this is sensible (I use one at work). But if, for whatever reason, the native hardware disappears, then I'd give up writing publicly available programs for RISC OS straight away.

The fact is that the reasons I do things are bound up with desires, prejudices and motivations which aren't necessarily rational. If there's no native hardware to run RISC OS on, then I wouldn't feel like I was really programming any more. There's a "power" thing going on with programming, in that you want to know you have control over what you're doing. This isn't the case with emulation (although, maybe that's just me ;) !).

There obviously are some people who are leaving RISC OS/ARM hardware because of emulation, and as such, the fear that this could harm the "real" hardware vendors is not irrational. The problem is not the fact that people are using emulation, the problem is that it may, in the future, prevent people like me from buying real hardware.

As for dropping ARM processors, programming in ARM assembler really is great, so from my point of view it would be a shame to drop them. But for someone using the software, I realise that this is irrelevant.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 11/05/04 2:44PM
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On 1000th Drobe article published :

The fact that there's still controversy in the RISC OS market is surely a sign that it's still alive :)

Well done drobe, for all of your great articles!

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 03/05/04 10:35PM
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