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Username: hEgelia
Realname: Adam Weishaupt
About me:Producing Musician & Songwriter Studio based around a fully upgraded Acorn RiscPC running RISC OS 4.02
Homepage: http://hEgelia.drobe.co.uk/
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On BBC to record film on Acorn versus Sinclair in the 1980s:

That's great news. So much impressive history was clouded over by Microsoft's dominance since the nineties. It should be interesting for many (mostly younger) viewers to get a glimpse of the British innovation going on in those days. By the way, the above description also reminds me quite strongly of the documentary film "Pirates of Silicon Valley" - see [link]

It'd be at least as interesting if the BBC decides to make a documentary about the evolution of ARM Ltd. From its inception in Acorn's R&D labs to being spun-off, the joint development with Apple and later on DEC, the current state of ARM technology and its huge worldwide use which is only set to increase the coming years.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 22/6/09 3:02PM
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On First screenshot: Beagleboard runs RISC OS 5 desktop:

Apple has, on more than one occasion, stated that they have no interest in entering the Netbook market, but are keeping an eye on it. That said, I think it's more likely they'll release a Tablet-PC kind of device indeed based on iPhone OS or another cousin of Mac OS X.

After the iPhone was introduced, its OS was officially called OS X. After the SDK was released in March of 2008, they officially renamed it iPhone OS. It is based on the same (UNIX-like) foundation as Mac OS X is, namely the open source Darwin OS. For more detailed information, check out [link]

Indeed, Apple acquired P.A. Semi some time ago and Steve Jobs already confirmed in an interview that they will be designing new SoC based on the ARM architecture for future Apple products. As many long time RISC OS users may know, Apple has been long connected with ARM processor technology. P.A. Semi was formed by the lead designer of DEC's original StrongARM design team, Daniel W. Dobberpuhl. See [link]

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 12/5/09 3:48PM
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On Five tips for ROL over the next five years:

Indeed, RISCOS Ltd has made substantial progress both visible and invisible, but I believe nobody can argue that they've behaved rather irresponsibly at times. In this regard most attention seems to go towards the Select for Iyonix mess, but I think their worst behaviour appeared in the post RO4.39/Adjust period. Particularly when selling useless subscriptions to Risc PC users, when it actually financed development of 32-bit RISC OS Adjust. I think they've actually ensured the future of their company over the backs of unwitting Risc PC users due to their closed PR attitude. Speaking of which, their public image and marketing just suck and it doesn't show promise of change.

It may well be that RISC OS 6 is superior in most respects, but ironically it's not even available for the A9home, which I believe was the catalyst for its inception. In fact, up until now it only runs natively on ancient hardware. Which is why it will fail to attract the use ROL needs to survive.

As has been published on Drobe, RISC OS 5 is now running on the latest generation of ARM technology. The door to the forthcoming line of ARM based Netbook hardware has been opened. It's too bad for ROL, but this counts pretty heavily.

I know I could run RISC OS 6 in the commercial Virtual RiscPC emulator on a modern laptop, but why the hell would I want to run the arguably best version of RISC OS on an emulation of ancient hardware on top of Windows or Mac OS X? No, it's just cooler and possibly cheaper to be able to run RISC OS 5 directly on modern hardware, no strings attached..

In the end, the shared source nature of RISC OS 5 made it possible to get it to run on the Beagleboard and, by extension, opens it up to Netbook hardware. This just might give it the edge over ROL's plans for RISC OS 6.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 11/5/09 2:09PM
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On RISCOS Ltd relaunches riscos.com with new design:

Congratulations to RISCOS Ltd for making the first step! Good work, but please remain open for suggestions on the design. In that regard I agree with fylfot's comments. I look forward to the second step.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 25/4/09 10:23AM
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On RISC OS 6 in pictures:

I definitely agree that both are very important. A decent website will provide necessary resources, but will also encourage more users to (re)subscribe. I'm sure of that. Being the riscos.com domain, it will also be a first stop for the curious looking what RISC OS is all about. At the moment, it does more to turn these people away than to welcome them.

Nowadays a regularly updated, coherent and stylish website is crucial for your business. The easier and clearer to navigate towards points of interest, the better. It should be informative, whilst keeping the level of detail neat, clean and moderate. At the same time it should project an image of professionalism and competency. ROL's current website fails to accomplish this, therefore it fails to address the needs of (potential) customers. This inevitably leads to lost mindshare and sales. A superb way of doing it right is Apple's introductory page for Mac OS X - [link]

Paul's articles do an excellent job in communicating the various developments of RISC OS Select to the public, while keeping the technical level at a minimum. This makes it all much clearer and easier to understand what RISCOS Ltd has actually achieved. I wouldn't be surprised in the least if ROL receives new applications for Select by people who've read this article. So, yes, stuff like this needs to be on the riscos.com site.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 23/4/09 2:22PM
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On RISC OS 6 in pictures:

hzn:

Yes, the site simply is a mess, but in all fairness I don't think RISCOS Ltd is taking our comments seriously. Criticism on the design of their website date back for years, but it has only become worse. ROL just doesn't seem to listen to comments here, however constructive they may be. After all, this is a 'RISC OS basher' website.

I completely understand your comment - their site is a relic, a labyrinth of incomplete, dated, unclear and misleading information. I don't think many RISC OS users visit often or are happy with it. Like you said, when asked about RISC OS, I refer to either the ROOL site or Wikipedia. It's just a great shame RISCOS Ltd occupy the riscos.com domain with such a mess. They seem to live in their own little world, without any concept on the importance of a decent website - especially in a tiny market with users scattered all around the world. As we both pointed out in the past, not everyone can easily make it to the various trade shows.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 21/4/09 5:20PM
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On RISC OS 6 in pictures:

Nice job Paul, thanks.

Perhaps ROL can get permission to publish (some aspects of) this article on their website, purely for informational purposes. I just hope the riscosboss doesn't object to this article, as being associated with 'RISC OS bashers' or whatever.

One major reason RISC OS 6 / Six (Select 5i1 / Adjust 32 / etc.) doesn't get the attention it deserves, is because ROL are too lame to renew their website. The decade old design and dated and scattered content is so off-putting, that people just don't make the effort to look further. This is so unbelievably stupid, that it defies belief!

And how is it possible that RISC OS 6 is still not available for the latest machine, namely the A9home? Somehow I can persuade myself to come to terms that it's beyond ROL to bring it to the best we have, the Iyonix, but why not the (code-compatible) A9?!

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 19/4/09 3:19PM
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On Google to fund another round of NetSurf development:

Javascript has become absolutely essential for a full Web experience today and increasingly so in the (near) future. In fact, all major browser developers have begun substantially improving their Javascript implementations to cater for heavier reliance on it. Google's Chrome browser is a prime example of this effort and so is the recently released Safari 4 beta. I believe Mozilla will deliver a highly enhanced JavaScript engine (TraceMonkey) in the upcoming Firefox 3.5.

This will likely close the 'speed gap' between NetSurf's JS-less rendering and the major browsers.

@martin:

The Safari browser in the iPhone (and iPod touch) certainly supports JavaScript. It is based on the same core as the desktop version of Safari on the Mac and Windows, so basically it renders webpages the same. I guess you actually mean the Adobe Flash plug-in, which is not available for the iPhone OS. There is a lot of speculation going on as to why Apple seems to refuse a Flash plug-in for their mobile platform, while Adobe has repeatedly stated their willingness to develop it. I guess Apple doesn't want to give Adobe the chance to let its proprietary Flash 'standard' dominate the Mobile Web in the same way as in the desktop space, seeing the iPhone and iPod touch account for the majority of Mobile Web access.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 24/3/09 9:23PM
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On What should be NetSurf's priority?:

All Hail The Dave!

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 24/3/09 3:31PM
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On Should ROL concentrate on a new ARM port of the OS?:

I concur with hzn.

RISCOS Ltd should either work towards merging their code with that of RISC OS Open or end up wherever Risc PC's tend to end up. I still can't believe the platform can survive running in an emulator on vastly superior platforms, which outclass it in every department. RISC OS needs and deserves its own niche and the Netbook movement seems an ideal fit.

It's about time ROL stops dragging the past into the future and adopts a contemporary model which has already proven itself worthwhile - open source their code to have at least a chance of surviving. They can of course create a Premium version of the OS to sell and keep certain (non-essenial) aspects closed source for subscribers.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 4/3/09 3:22PM
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On How to convince more websites to work with the RISC OS Firefox port:

Excellent tip, thanks Paul. Sometimes I run into the same problem with Safari 3, even though I can change its user agent. It's ridiculous and the real problem lies with the site designer, or should I say, the person instructing the site designer to impose this limitation.

Even more annoying are websites that fully depend upon Flash to be able to use them, but thankfully I don't come across them as often as I used to.

Next time: How to convince more site designers to work with proper webstandards, not just IE6. Or even: How to convince more websites to work with ArcWeb. ;)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 4/1/09 5:33PM
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On New RISC OS ownership claim may derail ROOL RiscPC ROM release:

If there really is any conflict, perhaps it's within RISCOS Ltd. My guess is that Aaron indeed feels (professionally) threatened by the possible appearance of a freely downloadable RISC OS 5 softload for use with RPCemu. To specifically prevent this, he tries to find some legal leverage. Which, of course, ends up encouraging all activities ROOL is engaged in, except in allowing a RISC OS 5 softload to be released for RiscPC computers and emulators. As far as any supposed details go, it seems only Aaron is pointing fingers. Obviously Aaron could exert a certain amount of pressure on ROL, since the licenses VirtualAcorn sells are a main source of income for ROL.

Personally, I think ROL has been close to running on empty for some time now, because RISC OS itself simply isn't commercially viable anymore. Any future for the OS is in the direction ROOL is going. I have no technical knowledge on the exact differences between RO4/6 and RO5, so RISC OS 6 may well have the edge, but it has no future if it continues to live off a dwindling base of subscribers who get no assurances as to what and when they get anything for their annual fees. That said, I find the most recent release of RISC OS 6.14 / Select 5i1 to be pretty good, but these are rare.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 10/12/08 5:45PM
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On Select 5i1 released to subscribers:

If the details in the article are correct, the RISC OS 6.14 / Select 5i1 release sounds pretty decent and definitely a highlight for subscribers in recent months. So, kudos to RISCOS Ltd.

Still, ROL should really try to find the time (or person) to update their website. After all, it's their main window to the public. It's even more important when considering the attention their RISC OS 4.02 softloads could attract - [link]

By the way, those graphics on the Sales website are horrible! Just a guess, but it looks like it was done in Draw in a minute or two. And what's the point of all those different images? Isn't 4.02 the only version ROL's selling? Perhaps it's a smart move to update that site and dump the irrelevant and unsightly graphics, seeing the news already made OSNews.com and it could actually put people off.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 9/12/08 5:50PM
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On South East 2008 theatre talk videos now online:

Leo: Thanks for your efforts in sharing this with everybody, especially those that couldn't attend. I do have a suggestion for next time, though. Perhaps there's a possibility to record the audio directly from the amplifier system, provided you've got plenty of cable! The acoustics of the room make the microphone recording a bit difficult to make out.

ROL's presentation comes across as pretty boring. I do suppose Paul Middleton has interesting stuff to talk about, but his delivery is so dull and monotone. I'm sure some people doze off or left the room halfway. He should take (presentation) lessons and try to improve this - it could very well lead to increased sales afterwards. I found ROOL's talk to be much more interesting and better delivered, especially by Steve Revill.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 26/11/08 5:50PM
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On The new apple of my eye:

Very interesting read, not in the least because it's written from the point of view of a RISC OS user. Besides, I love reading Martin's articles!

While iWork is a very capable suite of Office apps, its file compatibility with MS Office is not 100% for obvious reasons. I guess it's comparable with OpenOffice in that department. Of course, MS Office for Mac is fully compatible with its Windows counterpart, including workflow.

Apple moved to widescreen displays early on, for various reasons. To tell the truth, I'm not even considering moving back to the old square non-widescreen modes! Regarding the MacBook - it indeed tops out at 1280x800 pixels, but the 15" MacBook Pro as mentioned in the article has a native resolution of 1440x900, I believe. A 17" MBP is on the cards with a higher resolution. All Macs also have a DVI output to drive an external screen. However, Mac OS X allows icons and the Dock to be scaled at the users' preference, which may help. I guess a system (Unix terminal) hack is possible to allow windows to cover the Dock, but there's also a GUI option to hide the Dock until the pointer approaches it. That way a user can use all the screen space, except for the menu bar at the top.

Every user with an account can choose their own systemwide language, including British English. Every installed app will then use it, if available. To change the spelling, look in one of the menu options in the menu bar or right-click inside a text field. Look for the 'Spelling...' entry. Indeed, one can right-click on a Mac since the dawn of Mac OS X in 2001, but Apple standardised it since 2005. Even the new MacBook (Pro) glass trackpads will detect a right click, or up to four fingers simultaneously. The trackpad is the button, so perhaps it takes a little getting used to. Cut & Paste is possible via keyboard shortcuts, but also by right (or Control) clicking inside a text field which opens a contextual menu. In Safari, one can simply drag off any website image and drop it in in a Finder window or into another application, just like RISC OS. In fact, many Mac OS X operations can behave quite similarly to RISC OS operations, including moving windows (or scroll bars) without raising them to the front of the window stack. Just hold the Command key to do this.

Overall, it's quite educational to explore the system with the built-in Help app, which can always be accessed via the Help menu entry at the far right of the menu bar. By the way, Leopard wasn't released at the start of this year, but in fall 2007. In my opinion, an Apple Macintosh is probably the most suitable system for any RISC OS user in need of a modern supplement, because of its overall similarity to an Acorn computer - regarding both hardware and software (OS).

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 19/11/08 12:25AM
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On Iyonix range taken off the market:

One thing I've not yet seen mentioned here, but which has certainly been often mentioned in the past, is to refashion RISC OS.

Linux is moving rapidly and capturing new ground as we speak. Why not implement the most cherished part of RISC OS, its GUI, on top of Linux? Many familiar things would have to change of course, but in light of a new born RISC IX (or whatever). The important thing is that the overall user experience will stay, not the dated technical background that makes it work.

It's a foregone conclusion that the era of ARM based RISC OS machines has ended. Actually, it's not so hard to imagine why the Iyonix was the world's first XScale based desktop computer! Probably it'll also be the world's last ARM based desktop computer.

I don't see the future of our favourite platform inside an ARM emulator, or rather, an Über-RiscPC emulator. In my opinion, there's not enough incentive or room left to allow it to grow and evolve in that state (or rather prison). I think we need to rely on open source based development, which is typically linked to Unix-like platforms, to be able to have a strong future. When the RISC OS GUI is rebuilt to run on top of Linux, we can enjoy the comfort of our favourite GUI, while also being able to reap the full benefits of Linux and Unix development efforts. Current ARM-based applications could run inside an emulator like RPCemu or even a layer that neatly blends into the new RISC IX desktop. Think the Classic environment in older versions of Mac OS X - [link](Mac_OS_X)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 02/10/08 4:07PM
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On R-Comp unveils new PDF authoring package:

Well, isn't that interesting? It strongly reminds me of their Audio CD to MP3 rip application 'MusicMan', which is based on freely available software (the Shine encoder, I believe). But if there's a market, if people want to buy it, then why not. However, there are some very real software gaps in this market and I'd prefer R-Comp would invest its time to try to fill some of them.

As for the insecure ordering page - I'm pretty amazed about that. Indeed I remember this very issue being discussed before at Drobe. I really wonder why R-Comp hasn't fixed it yet, since this is gravely irresponsible. Their site could do with an overhaul anyway, but a secure ordering page is the bare minimum. Like fylfot said, it's 2008!

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 23/4/08 10:53AM
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On Click right on with RISC OS:

It's equally interesting to see RISC OS still burdening the user with issues long resolved in other OS's. I remember trying out other GUI's some years ago and sometimes really being astounded by the simplicity and practicality of certain features.

The belief that RISC OS still has one of the most cleverly designed GUI's around, shouldn't mean it can ignore some useful features from the others. I feel most GUI designers can still learn a great deal from RISC OS, but certainly also the other way around.

Taking a good long look at other GUI's, one will inevitably encounter UI functions quite useful and definitely worth considering for RISC OS.

One particularly simple, but eminently useful feature of Mac OS X, is the 'Hide' functionality. It allows an application to temporarily hide all its windows, so it's still running but doesn't have its windows obscuring other stuff. However, it can also be used to hide the windows of all the other applications. Meaning you'll only have the windows on the desktop of the current active application.

So essentially, it's a tool to clear up the desktop when swamped with windows. Like quitting an app, it can be accessed directly from the Dock, so it's available at all times. It would be quite easy and consistent to add this feature to the application menu and the Iconbar in RISC OS.

Another related, though definitely more advanced, feature is Exposé. While probably more tricky to implement in RISC OS, it's wonderfully useful in all kinds of situations. For a description, take a look at [link]é_%28Mac_OS_X%29

There are other similarly useful features in other desktop environments, very much worth implementing in RISC OS. Some of these can really complement the existing GUI in RISC OS, adding choice and comfort to the user. For more information about the GUI and different implementations, check out [link]

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 26/3/08 3:20PM
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On Click right on with RISC OS:

Nice tips, but as Martin already mentioned, most of these are probably familiar to the active RISC OS user. Though still worthwhile to put in an article!

Of course I've also got one to add; Hold down Shift, then click the Menu button on an Iconised window icon... Et voila, the window's menu without the window itself being open.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 22/3/08 1:55PM
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On VirtualRiscPC spotted on Linux:

markee174: "Whereas MAC OS and LINUX are still essentially built ontop of a 1970s architecture...."

That's like saying my moms cooking is terrible, because she started out in the 1970's...

"Fundamentally, most users are more interested in what it does, what software it has and how fast it is as Windows has shown time and time again."

Exactly. That's why there are so many RISC OS users around.

The trouble is, what it can do is severely limited by its architecture, especially true nowadays. Windows has shown nothing, whereas Microsoft has shown to be brilliant at manipulating ignorant sheeple, getting into trouble for it and managing to repeat that cycle.

I know some people that know some people who don't like computers. They don't like them, because they don't like PC's. They don't like PC's, because they don't like Windows. They don't like Windows, because they don't like to feel like an idiot.

"If you want a RISC OS style experience built ontop of Unix, go and support ROX. If you want RISCOS to continue to evolve, support the efforts of RISCOS Ltd or ROOL. If you want an OS written from scratch look at BEOS/Haiku. If you want to switch to something else, switch."

What a cheap shot. So because I care for the future of RISC OS, I should go out and support something resembling it?

Why do you think these project were created in the first place? One hint; it's not because the developers involved believed RISC OS could evolve to meet their goals.

Why was Haiku written? Not only to recreate BeOS, but also to improve on its original design by avoiding some of the same limitations.

"Realistically, RISCOS is never going to see a total rewrite which would break all the applications (the main reason a lot of people still use it). Far more important (IMHO) is making the architecture more portable so it can run on new, more powerful ARM devices which have the power for handling streaming audio and so forth."

Not totally rewriting RISC OS itself, merely recreating its GUI to work on top of a Unix-like back-end. Quite the difference. Obviously this will break compatibility with applications, but that's always been the case beginning with Arthur on ARM2 and up until RISC OS 6 on ARM9.

A realistic solution is to embed a virtual machine into the new OS. This means running existing apps transparently inside a virtual RiscPC machine, which blends brilliantly with the new RISC iX (for lack of a better name). For a feel of how this could work, take a look at the Classic Environment in Mac OS X.

You might like to consider the possibility that ARM won't be particularly suitable for desktop class computers in the future. Have you seen what Intel has been doing? I'm sorry to say, but I'm afraid ARM seems more and more to be a dead-end for (the future of) RISC OS.

"We can have a long technical argument about this but its really going to boil down to semantics. Things like a Mach kernel, support for openGL and Posix compliance are definite advances but at its heart it would still be an evolution of the original PDP OS. Even if you are Microsoft or Intel, attempts to break with the past totally and create something all new have never been a success."

There is no need for a long technical argument, because the facts are clear for those not closing their eyes to them. If you choose to continue this debate, you will only see what we've seen until now.

What do you think Windows NT was about and Microsoft are considering for Windows 7? Where do you think Intel is moving to? Is Mac OS X not a success? It all depends, but it never can be a success if the possibility is condemned before even attempted.

Perhaps the obstructions involved are not of a technical or even practical nature.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 22/3/08 12:55PM
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On VirtualRiscPC spotted on Linux:

I must concur with nige. Internally, RISC OS is utterly outdated. From what I understand, RISCOS Ltd have spent years of subscription money to abstract RISC OS away from its underpinnings, making it more portable and better suited for future hardware.

A complete waste of effort, as some of us realise now. How does RISC OS 6 help solve the fundamental problems? It doesn't, it merely defers them.

Just look at what happened to the other OS's dating back to the same days. Some died quietly, others are still a mess, like RISC OS. Apart from BSD and a few other obscure systems, there are only two real survivors from the golden days; obviously Windows and... Mac OS, although the latter had to be completely re-invented. Which is paying off big-time for Apple.

That is what should happen to RISC OS, if it wants to move on. From what I understand, Acorn intended RISC OS to be a placeholder until they came up with something better. They made some serious attempts, like RISC iX and ARX. Unfortunately, RISC OS stayed. Now, they certainly got the GUI right from the start, but underneath that it's basically a mess.

In the 90's, we could live with that. Certainly when compared to stuff like the Windows 9x family, but those days are long gone. Now, this is seriously holding back any future for RISC OS. So before we can move on, this needs to change.

I know what some of you are thinking. It works for me, it still runs my favourite apps just fine and it only needs certain bits of software. Like a proper media player, fully-featured browser and all that. Now, wonder why that isn't here. It's not because people didn't try.

Nowadays people are running RISC OS in a virtual machine on Windows and Mac OS X. They occasionally buy some new software, pledge some money or so. Try to help out in all manner of small ways. But the fundamental problems remain.

And there we are. The most practical solution has been suggested several times now. Recreate whilst improving the RISC OS GUI on top of a Unix or Linux back-end. There even are a few projects underway trying just that!

I believe the RISC OS we all know and love is basically brain-dead, but still breathing. It can be reworked here and there, as ROL have been doing, but it'd remain a lost cause. Therefore, it needs to be remade. The way I see it, it's the only chance left. There's a lot of free code out there just waiting to be used, like NetSurf did.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 21/3/08 7:54PM
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On A call to ARMs:

AW: Yes and no.

Let me try to put it another way. It seems many active RISC OS users are looking at the past to fuel the future. That, in my opinion, will lead nowhere but further down. The 'former glory' I refer to is a time when there was still enough room for experimentation. This resulted in the stuff you name above. That was years ago. If someone started a project like NetSurf today, I doubt if it would grow to be as successful as it has become now. I think you can forget about new soft- or hardware of TechWriter or ViewFinder's calibre.

Even the 'bigger' companies like Castle and RISCOS Ltd seem to be even more quiet than before, with few announcements and even less new products. It's been 8 months since any news on RISC OS 6 and seemingly even longer regarding the (unfinished) A9home. When was the last new version of RISC OS 5 announced? If the bomb were to be dropped, no-one would be surprised and yet many would grieve. This is a dreadful position for RISC OS to be in.

I hope you now understand what I mean. So, the way I see it, RISC OS needs change and that needs more guts than ROL or Castle can muster and probably justify. I believe this needs to come from ROOL and a community of persistent enthusiasts and willing volunteers. I like the Connect initiative, but why has it not yet been communicated across the web? I'm sure several websites would give it some attention. OSNews.com is a good start, methinks. RISC OS needs promotion through professionally designed websites, which inspire confidence and enthusiasm. Websites that contain guided tours, GUI demo's, tutorials, etc. Take a look at how Apple turned around 10 years ago and why it's becoming so successful today, there's a lot to learn from them.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 3/2/08 8:39PM
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On A call to ARMs:

Personally I think people should stop reliving RISC OS' innovative past and re-evaluate it on its current merits against current colleagues. I know people have very fond memories of Acorn and RISC OS and enjoyed many hours of productive use. I'm one of them.

However it's time more people really try to take a look at it objectively. In its current state, there's nowhere RISC OS can go that will make it re-live some of its former glory. In the current situation, it's simply bleeding to death, because the key-companies made some bad decisions in years gone by. Meanwhile the market surrounding it is clinging onto the loyalty of its dwindling customers. The few people I've spoken with who've looked into the situation are positively amazed it's come this far. They attribute this not to some wise decisions or skill of the relevant companies, but to the loyalty and perhaps naivety of the platform's users and developers. I guess that's also why the Amiga platform 'lives' on.

How on earth can you lure new developers to this platform? What benefits has it to offer them? Sure, some may have fun and feel good by helping us out, but what other 'real' benefit can it offer them? If it was particularly easy to port stuff over to RISC OS, you'd probably find more websites offering a RISC OS download next to all the other versions. As far as I can understand, tools are way better on other platforms with much more interesting possibilities.

While the basic RISC OS GUI was done extremely well, it hasn't seen much strong improvement in recent years, even taking Select into account. The bundled collection of software is too limited to be useful to modern users. To get a feeling of what modern users expect, take a Mac and play with its bundled software. Download the free Ubuntu Linux and see how complete it's become.

Now, I just want to make clear - I'm not advocating anything like giving up on RISC OS, not at all. I still use it regularly. I'm saying that people should let go of the past and figuring out ways to recover former glory. This past is holding it back. The way I see it is either open source the whole OS and advocate its GUI or start anew.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 3/2/08 4:30PM
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On Ditching desktops for portables: The way forward?:

I don't see why still seriously considering to buy a RISC OS machine is 'stupid' or something to that effect. I can name a personal example, a situation which no other platform can yet substitute including VRPC or RPCemu.

I am, and will keep, using RISC OS as the main computer platform in my humble little studio. There's a very simple reason why; it assists the creative flow in the most inconspicuous manner. I know it's not technically the smartest choice, far from it. But as most artists can probably attest to, having the most advanced equipment in the world becomes useless when it obstructs the creative flow.

Since VRPC or RPCemu doesn't integrate with the hosts' MIDI system as far as I know, I remain with native RISC OS hardware. For all other things, I use Mac OS X. This is why I can understand that some people still choose to employ native RISC OS hardware over the cheaper, faster and technically more advanced alternatives. Other people just don't want to run RISC OS inside a PC or Mac, because they would still need to maintain the host platform. The reason why people choose something other than the norm, or the usual, is because they want to be able to do something differently. Typically in a manner that 'feels' more natural or at least less cumbersome.

The problem I see with many people, is that they have come to focus on hardware and dry technical specs to tell them how 'good' something is. From computers to digital cameras to all manner of electronic equipment. I think most active RISC OS users can explain very well why they choose RISC OS, in spite of all its shortcomings. Where exactly is the difference between what people expect a computer should be able to do nowadays and what people choose to do with a computer nowadays?

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 12/01/08 9:49PM
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On Maudlin over RISC OS:

bucksboy: I'm not sure if there ever was a Golden Age for Acorn. If there was, I guess it were the BBC days. That's not to say they didn't have times of great developments, I just mean in terms of market success.

You say Acorn wasn't big enough to sustain non-PC hardware and software development, but even Apple wasn't that big a company in those near-fatal days. And Apple has never abandoned separate hardware (and software) developments. In more recent times, they've adopted more traditional PC hardware, but I think when you'll open up various Macs you'll find a decidedly unconventional architecture, combining traditional PC hardware with untraditional design.

Like Acorn, Apple had spread itself too thin in even more varying endeavours than Acorn. Apple's renaissance began as soon as Steve Jobs returned to the company and cancelled a large amount of relatively fruitless product developments. The iPod was perhaps the most visible part of Apple's resurgence, but in fact it has been a combination of several factors. That's not to say the iPod didn't benefit Apple immensely, but concurrently Apple re-established themselves in certain key markets where they've traditionally had strong footing. Plus they reconfigured their main assets, laid off those not serving the company directly and placed bright minds in positions of power. While Apple bought NeXT to acquire their advanced OS, it were the NeXT people (led by Jobs) who subsequently took over Apple.

In many ways Acorn was Britain's mirror of Apple. Both extremely innovative companies in constant struggle against technological complacency and convention, due to their innovative mentality and drive for advancement. Nowadays Apple is sometimes referred to as the R&D branch of the industry and I can't say I disagree with that. If one takes the time and researches the company's endeavours, one will find a truly remarkable and recurring influence on the technological progress of the whole industry. From the first successful GUI to one of the first digital camera's, from QuickTime to the first PDA and to radical change when necessary (68000 to PowerPC to Intel x86, Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X changeover). Some might not realise this, but Apple technology (and indeed ideology) goes far beyond the company's own products.

It's not often mentioned, but ARM Ltd became a successful company because it was separated from Acorn on the suggestion of Apple, since both companies were already working with the design for a while. Acorn and Apple set out to develop the ARM further in 1990 and one should attribute the following successes to Apple as well - even if the original instruction set and design was Acorn's. To this day, Apple is a major shareholder of ARM Ltd and indeed the iPhone and iPod products contain Apple-branded ARM processors, now even running OS X. Some of you will remember Xemplar Ltd, the joint venture of Acorn and Apple? Well, while Acorn pulled out, Apple continued it and so inherited part of the educational market which could have remained Acorn's.

It's pretty pathetic when some people disregard Apple as some hip brand producing ordinary products in fashionable exteriors. Apple walks a very fine line of balancing careful innovation with successful marketing. In contrast to what some might think, design isn't about how something looks, but rather how something works. There's your clue to Apple's success.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 8/1/08 12:51PM
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On Ditching desktops for portables: The way forward?:

I think it's too late for that. Perhaps a few years back it might have had a good chance of developing a niche for the kind of people happy to play around with / hack their mobile devices. I completely agree with Jaffa's following comment, especially the last sentence:

"RISC OS would be a cool distraction on such a device but it'd be useless for getting any real work done, and you'd lose so many of the features and gain very little. The expectations of a mobile device already exceed what RISC OS can do."

Now, I think the war is on in the Mobile OS arena. There is no market leader yet and it's growing very fast.

Indeed, Windows Mobile is crap. But it's Microsoft and we all know they're not backing down until they own 80% or more. In my opinion Apple's iPhone and iPod touch devices have raised the bar significantly regarding interface design and usability on mobile devices. With the official release of a SDK for these devices next month, they're going to sell like hot cakes. In the US, the iPhone already has a larger marketshare than Windows Mobile and it's not even been out for a year there.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 5/1/08 1:29AM
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On December news in brief:

Rebecca: Perhaps a RISC OS BitTorrent client is a better idea?

I've seriously looked for a general 32-bit compatible (command line controllable) application compressor utility, but unfortunately with no success. That really did surprise me a bit, since indeed not everyone has SparkFS and the ability to create and extract archives is pretty essential. The freeware PackDir seemed like a good candidate, it always worked very well for me, but curiously it's still only 26-bit compatible while the latest version was released in June 2006.

"RiscOsNet comes into its own when you don't know the vendor's website or even if such software exists for the task you are trying to achieve. RiscOsNet will inform you when a piece of software you have installed is older than one available on your Intranet or the Internet."

Please don't take this the wrong way, but... isn't that why we use Google and software databases like the ANS RISC OS Filebase, for example? Now, I know there are obscure little utilities and apps that have seemingly disappeared from the Net, but assuming for the moment such software is 32-bit compatible, isn't a forum or Usenet a better place to ask? Like the article mentions, your system would require quite a lot of people hooking up for it to be successful. I can imagine an instance where someone would occasionally read forum and usenet posts, but on another computer, and his or her old Acorn machine containing the desired software isn't connected. However, the ability of RON to inform a user of outdated software is extremely useful, as I've experienced with many apps on OS X.

So, while I applaud your idea and efforts in realising it, perhaps porting an open source BitTorrent client could be a better fit for such a task? In addition, it provides the benefit of being able to access a far greater amount of software. Also worth a mention is the fact that there really aren't that many applications being actively developed these days. At least, not so many that it would clutter up a bookmarks directory in NetSurf, in my opinion. Furthermore, there's Drobe's 'in brief' round up of new and updated software once in a while. I really don't like to be sceptical of new software developments in the RISC OS community, but perhaps the current model of this promising idea is a bit impractical?

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 23/12/07 3:49PM
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On RISC OS Sometime unrest grows:

While it's disappointing that publishing of RON has stagnated, I'm more let down by the apparent notion that the magazine should be prepared on RISC OS. If RISC OS, or any of its applications, aren't able to deliver content in a form a publisher can work with, then that shouldn't mean publishing has to be delayed in my opinion.

I've noticed Louie uses a MacBook Pro. If she can get the content on there, preparing and converting it into a format a publisher can work with shouldn't pose a problem.

Having said that, hopefully the PostScript work started by Martin Würthner and John Tytgat can enable Louie to produce and deliver the magazine completely using RISC OS.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 15/10/07 10:55PM
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On Intel Mac VirtualRiscPC beta on sale:

Mendosa: Ah, I see, thanks for explaining. That definitely makes an important difference. I should assume VRPC for Mac supports 3 physical mouse buttons, like the Windows version. However, as you probably know the software is still in beta stage, so you might wish to hold off your purchase until it is finalised for general release.

jymbob: I've heard similar reports from others too. Apparently, many models suffered from bad component quality, though I suppose that should be fixed now. I'm glad I already heard these stories before purchase, so I got a nice Logitech mouse instead. On a similar note, I should also notify people about the new aluminium Apple keyboards. They have very little tactile feedback (no indentation), which also registers key-presses quite easily. Both definitely seem areas where Apple chose form over functionality.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 5/10/07 12:17PM
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On Intel Mac VirtualRiscPC beta on sale:

Good news, indeed. When it reaches release quality stage, I'd be delighted to see it in action. I wonder if VirtualAcorn is looking into making it a virtual machine, so to be able to run RISC OS applications next to Mac OS X apps within the same desktop environment. That would make it truly ideal. At the moment though, does VRPC allow RISC OS to access the OS X clipboard and vice versa?

Mendosa: Most standard PC mice will work fine, so before buying Apple's Mighty mouse do check out any others. Microsoft happens to make some nice ones, at least one thing they're good at. I must say, though, that I find it a bit curious that the decision to buy either a PC or a Mac laptop seems to depend on VRPC's ability to support 3 button mice! I feel you should really check out both options carefully, instead of letting one piece of software decide it for you. By the way, all new Macs can fully run Windows XP or Vista, either separately or simultaneously with Mac OS X.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 4/10/07 1:04PM
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On Sell PCs without Windows urges think tank:

jymbob: "If I could have 80 quid knocked off the price (cost of OS X) I might consider it vaguely reasonable."

Apple will never sell a Mac without OS X, unless the EU intervenes. I've heard people say that Apple is a hardware company, but that's not the case (anymore). It may seem that way, but they actually are a software company. Everything they make and sell is really just software in a nice package. An early pioneer on object-oriented programming and GUI design once said - "People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware." Apple stands firmly by that philosophy, as occasionally mentioned by Steve Jobs. It's obvious why; just look at the level of integration the Mac offers, or the iPod / iPhone - iTunes.

So, essentially a Mac is not just a nice looking piece of hardware - it's Mac OS X in an optimal package. When you work on a computer, you're really working with software, never mind what powers it. Amusingly, the Microsoft PC dominance has left people preoccupied about hardware specs, while they still end up using Windows ;)

"It'd be amusing for all my mac-loving friends to go 'Wow! you've got a ... oh.' when I power it up."

Exactly. :)

"As it is I'll probably keep using more 'normal' x86 hardware for a while (alongside the Iyx, of course)"

Which certainly is a better idea if you want to run Linux, for example. When you really want to run Mac OS X, the Mac is (realistically) the only way to go.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 28/09/07 2:24PM
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On Sell PCs without Windows urges think tank:

jymbob: "Apparently, according to the logic of the authors, the Mac is a niche product that isn't aimed at the mass market."

That it's a niche product, yes, they even compare it to a Bang & Olufsen television. However, they've never stated that it's not aimed at the mass market. Personally, I find the comparison with B&O pretty sound. The only Mac that can arguably be described as aimed at the mass-market is the Mac mini.

Your quote from the article "We consider the Mac to be a premium, niche product ... which is difficult to justify in the business world outside of the publishing sector. We therefore do not think that the Mac, despite claims of its superiority, provides a meaningful competitive threat to Microsoft."

"I'm sure Apple would disagree. Their 'Get a Mac' campaign seems to be driven at demonstrating that a Mac can do everything a (Windows) PC can. More and more people are buying them as desktop computers."

No, I don't think Apple would necessarily disagree. Apple doesn't even want to compete with Microsoft. Remember that both companies have been doing business together in the desktop market for ages. Apple competes with high-end PC manufacturers. If Apple really wanted to compete with Microsoft head-on, they'd start selling Mac OS X for IBM-PC compatibles. However, I do agree with your statement about their 'Get a Mac' campaign.

The report mentions the 'business world', not the home market. Indeed, outside of the publishing and music sector and a very small portion of certain scientific fields, I really don't see many business areas where Macs are commonly used. Of course there are some smaller businesses where they can get away with it, but Microsoft really still does reign in the majority of the business world.

"However, according to Alex Singleton's quotes above, the IYONIX is an entirely different matter. Clearly that's a mass market computer whose mere existence causes the boys at Redmond sleepless nights at it continues to threaten their dominance."

Well, Alex simply said the Iyonix is being sold as a "general purpose computer". Still, I see your point and agree: Bill Gates definitely has a few Iyonixes running in the secret Redmond bunker and is sweating profusely about its superiority. Seriously though, if the Iyonix would have to be sold without RISC OS, the Mac would sure as hell have to be sold without Mac OS X. It seems Alex's logic is a bit dodgy.

"Drafting this article and failing to include all desktop PCs was a bad idea, makes the thing look very much like another "We hate Microsoft and love Apple" rant and will almost certainly turn out to be a waste of time."

I'm afraid you have a point there, but for another reason: They should have made the distinction clear between IBM-PC compatibles and other personal computers, like Macs, Amiga's or indeed the Iyonix, which are specifically built to integrate with their particular OS. Most IBM-PC compatibles (sorry about the archaic term) are not hardwired to solely run Windows; they can just as neatly boot into and run various Linux distro's or BSD flavours and an assortment of other OS's, provided the appropriate drivers are available.

"Incidentally, if I could buy a Mac mini without the cost of OS X, I'd be tempted. I'd stick linux on it anyway."

In that case I would suggest to check out other computers of similar form factor; the Mac mini certainly is a lovely little box, but it's Apple proprietary and particularly suited for Mac OS X. Other Mac mini 'clones', if you will, are probably an open design and therefore better suited to run a certain Linux distribution.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 26/09/07 1:25PM
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On Sell PCs without Windows urges think tank:

I'd suggest people actually download and read the report, which is linked at the bottom of the article. I think it will clear up a few things, among which that Apple has been "exempted". By the way, just for the sake of clarity; this report isn't a ruling. Merely a piece of advice.

In my opinion, the think tank's advice can lead to a distinctly positive outcome, if properly debated by decision makers in Brussels. I am of the strong opinion that the current situation is extremely unhealthy for everybody except Microsoft. I'm all for de-coupling Windows as the default OS on IBM-PC compatibles. However, it should not mean a user must purchase an OS separately and install it manually. I'd suggest a consumer should be able to opt for a PC with Windows, a PC with a particular (and properly supported) Linux distribution or simply a PC without an OS.

I believe it's totally cool if Microsoft started manufacturing their own PC's, like Apple builds their own PC's. Like Acorn, Atari, Commodore, etc. used to. People tend to forget that a Macintosh simply isn't a IBM-PC compatible, even though it technically almost is. The fact that it can run Windows isn't anything new, nor should it mean it should therefore come without OS X and Apple should sell OS X for IBM-PC compatibles. Macintosh computers have been able to run Windows for years, but until now it can only do so through specially designed software. A Risc PC can run Windows or Linux natively. If Castle still sold them, would they therefore also have to be bundled without RISC OS, so that a consumer can opt for it to solely run Windows or Linux? No, simply because a Risc PC (or Iyonix for that matter) isn't an IBM-PC compatible and it requires special software to run an OS other than RISC OS.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 25/9/07 2:58PM
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On Beeb designer lands top technology medal:

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

You mean the mass adoption of the Microsoft PC ;) But, indeed, that's very true and a huge shame. It's extremely disappointing to see the use of Windows being so common, so obvious, like a cognitive lock-in. But what is truly upsetting, is that some use them against better judgement. People who are informed about Microsoft's ways and the availability of better alternatives. Unfortunately, most people are not rebelling against Microsoft. They don’t know any better. About 25 years ago, someone quite knowledgeable in the industry mentioned that if IBM wins, we'll enter a 'computer dark ages' for about 20 years. And then Microsoft came along, even taking the mighty IBM by surprise.

By the way, have you considered the fact that Britain does have a clue how to support their own home-grown talent? It's pretty obvious they've allowed Microsoft's sickening ways to persevere, it doesn't take a paranoid vulcan to connect the dots. It's the same in other countries.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 22/9/07 3:54PM
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On Big Ben Club organises mini-Expo:

Excellent and very welcome news. The only question I have is whether some RISC OS companies or dealers will attend? I know it's a more informal meeting, but it would be very welcome nonetheless.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 19/9/07 12:17PM
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On New free MSN client available for all:

Grapevine has had the honour of being the sole working MSN client for RISC OS for perhaps two years. In that time, despite being a commercial application, it has received no support for the more 'modern' features of MSN. I'm not talking about Audio or Video chat support, which I think is particularly tricky to implement from a closed protocol like MSN. Rather, I'm talking about fairly common stuff like display pictures, that have been in (free) MSN clients for years now. Together with an arguably 'unattractive' user interface, Grapevine wasn't really a great MSN client for RISC OS users. The fact that it's a commercial app makes it even less attractive, which is perhaps why R-Comp didn't sell as much copies as they might have hoped for.

So I'm very glad someone has gone ahead and implemented a remarkably decent and modern client for Microsoft's MSN / .NET Messenger protocol. The really terrific part being Christian is giving this gem away for free. Pretty amazing.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 19/9/07 11:58AM
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On New MSN client in development:

Indeed. Compared to Grapevine, it looks great and already has basic stuff Grapevine still hasn't managed to implement after all these years. Best thing it's free! I wonder what R-Comp and Alan Wrigley are thinking of this...

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 15/9/07 5:58PM
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On New MSN client in development:

Grapevine is okay, but it's certainly not ideal. Nudges are amusing and can on occasion be useful, it's not essential in my book, like File transfer is. Grapevine does support file transfer, but it requires the user to open the relevant ports in the router manually. From the screenshot above, it does seem there is support for user pictures (avatars) in Parmesan, which has yet to become supported on Grapevine.

In all, I'd say a very interesting development. Certainly so if Parmesan will have better functionality and a more pleasant user interface than Grapevine, which until now remains the only MSN / Windows Live client for RISC OS users.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 3/9/07 1:30PM
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On News in brief:

Quite disturbing news about the A9home. People's hard-discs are becoming corrupted, losing access to valuable data in the process. It can be fixed by DiscKnight, but what if a user doesn't happen to own DiscKnight? Is there any other way to provide details of the problem to CJE ?

It seems the only thing Advantage 6 is doing, is bringing RISC OS 6 to the A9home. So, that would fix it, then? How much would the upgrade cost, since the A9home's OS already benefited from Select subscribers' investments without subscribers getting any discounts when buying it?

The little machine is quite nice in itself (i.e. form factor), but this recent development shows yet another area where the OS is not finished. The machine's been on general (public) sale since Wakefield 2006 and it seems it's been shipping with the same version of RISC OS since, namely 4.42. Many users have been asking for an OS update to get a 100% functional computer. I'm sorry if this sounds too negative, but these problems concerning Advantage 6 and RISCOS Ltd should not be rewarded with silence.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 3/9/07 1:15PM
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On New Arculator and RPCEmu Mac ports released:

Indeed, the Iyonix does come with more apps than lproven mentions. Furthermore, I think that with "word processing, DTP, spreadsheet, presentations" lproven refers to iWork '08, which is bundled only as a demo, which ofcourse lacks some essential functions of the full version. Last I remember, the Mac does not come with RealPlayer and Windows Media compatibility out of the box. It is, however, fairly straightforward to install that, at no cost. The Mac mini, being the compared Mac, doesn't come with either a mouse, keyboard or a screen.

Still, I must be frank - the Mac is an extremely attractive computer, which comes as standard with software which is very advanced and extremely pleasant to use. It's among the finest PC's sold today, with a price-tag I can only describe as 'worth every penny'.

The RISC OS software bundled with the Iyonix is a bit embarrassing, certainly when compared to the Mac software equivalents. It's lacking in function and outdated. Gigabit Ethernet is certainly nice, but there's no Wi-Fi or Bluetooth option, which both come as standard with every Mac. USB support on the Iyonix is rather lacking, in several ways. The 'productivity apps' bundled with the Iyonix are actually rather incomplete, to be honest. So, generally speaking the Iyonix is rather bad value for money, only interesting to existing RISC OS users with money to spare. The A9home is ..., interesting to even less existing RISC OS users with money to spare.

The Mac is not expensive, not anymore. The usual Windows PC's are actually inferior where it matters the most - the software / interface/ experience. Certainly, one can build equally specced PC's for less than the cost of an iMac. But the complete iMac solution as sold by Apple blows away the equivalently specced PC offering, because of the integration of hard- and software, design of the computer and bundled software class. Mac OS X puts Windows (Vista) to shame, in many, many ways. Indeed, those are the very reasons why Acorn was the better choice back in the early 90's. If Acorn were successful, I'd bet their current machine would be a great choice and I'd be using one.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 29/8/07 10:54PM
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On Samsung's 533MHz A9home CPU successor:

sa110: It's of course a personal thing, but I think the A9home has lost much of its original appeal. Only because it is taking so long and I simply can't justify purchasing a handicapped computer. I'm sure this view is shared by others. The design is simply great, so I'm really interested in that regard. Only having USB1.1 doesn't bother me, neither does the lack of internal expansion possibilities. I suspect a lot of dialogue to take place on mailing lists, so I hope sufficient pressure is being made on RISCOS Ltd and Advantage Six to finish the OS properly. There already is one unfinished RISC OS computer in this market, which undoubtedly has played its part in discouraging users to support further developments.

For me, the (feature complete) OS is essential, since it's the way I directly communicate with and employ the computer. I'm often surprised how people focus on hardware specs, but find the OS itself of trivial concern, even though it directly relates to the productivity and experience of the computer. Probably something to do with Microsoft Windows, which is usually acquired 'free of charge' and historically one of the worst OS's ever to survive this long.

It's quite discouraging to visit the official website and find so very little information there. Is there any reason why, since it's so bafflingly unusual? How hard is it to write a nice promotional website advocating the qualities and benefits of the A9home? What about any bundled software? Stuff like a word processor and e-mail application? I believe NetSurf is already bundled, which is great since it allows one to download more software. Do Advantage Six rely on customers to buy the rest?

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 23/08/07 3:35PM
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On Dutch RISC OS show called off:

This sucks. I was looking forward to visit, catch up, buy a USB podule and perhaps some other stuff. I couldn't attend last year's show, so I sincerely hope someone can come up with a solution.

It may not be that obvious, but there are still a fair number of RISC OS users around in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, who would like to attend. The Dutch Expo has traditionally been the event where members of different user groups and other users come to meet and catch up. Needless to say this has quite a positive effect on the overall RO user. Perhaps RISCOS Ltd can come up with something, like they did with the roadshow thing?

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 20/8/07 2:42PM
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On NetSurf 1.1 download available:

hzn: If it makes your life easier and it doesn't cause worldwide chaos and madness, I guess it's all right then. :)

Firefox on Windows follows Windows GUI behaviour, since it's a Windows application. On RISC OS, an application rarely, if ever, uses more space than required to display a window's full content, i.e. it will not 'stretch' the content when toggling the size button to maximise a window. Anyway, I understand your point. It's always a matter of personal preference, but my previous comment mentions why I think it's "wrong", i.e. dated behaviour.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 18/8/07 5:44PM
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On NetSurf 1.1 download available:

Excellent news, indeed I was a bit surprised by the quick appearance of 1.1. My compliments to the team!

hzn: That sounds like you want a bit of (archaic) Windows behaviour in NetSurf! Like rjek points out, NetSurf simply follows standard RISC OS GUI behaviour. It's quite typical though; most newcomers to the Mac also find this behaviour odd, since OS X mostly behaves like RISC OS in this respect. Personally I find the Windows approach such dated behaviour, which stems from the low-resolution, pre-drag&drop, single-app focus days... RISC OS and NeXTSTEP got it right at the beginning!

Support for tabbed browsing would be very cool in NetSurf, which could be implemented in a RISC OS friendly manner by providing suitable configuration options. For the time being, I simply iconise new windows.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 18/8/07 4:39PM
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On Samsung's 533MHz A9home CPU successor:

To be frank, speculating about any new hardware is largely academic. There's nothing from both Castle or Advantage Six to firmly indicate new machines are on the way. It simply remains a (rather remote in my opinion) possibility.

I think the software side, i.e. RISC OS itself, deserves much more attention in my opinion. The A9home's version of RISC OS needs to be completed. It's taking too long and a completed and refined OS is crucial to appreciating the machine fully. Personally, I think speculating about hardware is reminiscent of (self-built) PC's. RISC OS machines are quite different in that there's a very specific combination of hardware and OS. Like on a Mac, the software is the computer. RISC OS is the computer and the whole reason why people pay a little bit extra for the experience.

In other words, RISC OS needs all the attention it can get and I think a good place to start is asking when the current A9home gets 'its better half' completed, so to speak.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 13/8/07 5:24PM
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On RPCEmu author mulls future features:

g7jjf: That's absolutely great news, thanks for your efforts!

Now I can finally start using RISC OS on my Mac, since the (beta) version sold by VirtualAcorn is only for the old PowerPC based Macs. Thanks!

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 12/8/07 6:29PM
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On Samsung's 533MHz A9home CPU successor:

flypig: "I do feel that the A9Home has yet to reach its full potential..."

Indeed, which I believe is to come in no small measure from finalising its version of RISC OS. I think it's quite disappointing to many people that after a reasonably long period of time the A9home version of RISC OS is still unfinished. Let's just hope it won't take too long anymore, since this market simply can't withstand another big disappointment. I feel the RISCOS Ltd 'side of the fence' is taking too large risks at times, when taking so much time to complete so early announced projects.

Though interesting news, it remains quite unpredictable whether anyone in the RISC OS market is willing to take a chance with this.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 11/8/07 5:13PM
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On Early Soundblaster Live Iyonix driver released:

AW: You're absolutely right, this is an audio editor/processor... :)

Well, from reading the above it looks like Simon (ksattic) intends to provide an app to record from the card's audio input. You could then use SampleEd to add tracks, though I'm not sure how the whole system will perform while overdubbing live...

The software I use to record through my Irlam i16 card on my Risc PC seems to have the functionality you seek, but I'm afraid it's designed for use with the i16 and I've never tried that particular function! I record my tracks to an outboard multitrack recorder, edit/arrange/mix/master them there and only then sample the song into the Risc PC for CD burning.

I think Audacity would probably suit you, but unfortunately it's not (yet) available for RISC OS. Other than that, I'd recommend you get a multi-track recorder! They are not very expensive anymore, have excellent audio quality, are dedicated to the task and usually feature USB ports to connect to a computer for file transfer.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 2/8/07 7:35PM
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On Early Soundblaster Live Iyonix driver released:

Excellent news.

It's a shame Castle never seemed to come up with a fix for the Iyonix audio problems, so this is very welcome news which, when ready, will indeed bring a new level of audio quality to the Iyonix.

Incidentally, does anyone know how the A9home currently performs in this regard? I think it also features a line or mic input, does that work?

flypig: Liquid Silicon's MIDI driver work is good news, but as far as I know there is still a key part missing - the means to connect to external MIDI hardware. In practice, this means a USB MIDI interface driver. I do think Alan's working on that, though.

AW: Only very recently a new version of SampleEd was released. As far as I know, it's the only RISC OS audio sampling and editing software left which is still actively developed. It's also the most advanced available for RISC OS, with support for LADSPA plug-ins. See here - [link]

AMS: "It'll also mean that this will probably give a noticeable improvement in sound recording quality over all other existing RISC OS sound capture solutions - good news indeed."

Yes, though I should say there's also the DMI50 and Irlam i16 podules for Risc PC's, where the latter can even record digitally through S/PDIF. Both cards support DAT level audio recording.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 2/8/07 1:23PM
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On ROX founder: Why I brought RISC OS to Unix:

bucksboy: Yes, I agree. I'm still an avid RISC OS user for exactly those reasons. I love being able to actively use apps and windows without having to bring them to the foreground. However, to a certain extent OS X Tiger supports it too. Surely not as fully as RO, but it comes close. Indeed, the use of drag&drop is quite widespread in OS X, even surpassing RO in certain areas. The nice thing is OS X supports the Windows approach, but when used to RO as I am, it reacts familiarly as well. Many relatively unknown things, e.g. dragging windows behind and between other windows, are possible. Like on RO, it rewards experimentation.

In the end, it's all about personal preferences. Although drag&drop saving in OS X is limited, i.e. no pop-up save boxes, the ROX and RISC OS implementations are uniquely advanced and still unsurpassed.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 27/7/07 6:23PM
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On ROX founder: Why I brought RISC OS to Unix:

mripley: Well, if you can be a bit more clear on what you wish to do, I'm certain I can provide you with some advice.

If you can code, every new Mac comes bundled with reasonably advanced developer tools. I think current Intel Macs aren't that expensive, when compared to PC's of equal build and design quality and software accompaniment. What's more, they can natively run Windows, whereas PC's won't run OS X without a great deal of hacking. Of course, both will run Linux perfectly well. Although in certain ways ROX resembles RISC OS a lot, I've found OS X to functionally come closer in every day use.

I've yet needed to purchase anything for my Mac, multimedia or otherwise. It comes with very useful software. Furthermore, the available range of free software for it is more comprehensive than what's available for RISC OS. Moreover, a lot of existing Linux software can be made to work on a Mac through a compatibility layer. Have you ever tried (the bundled) iLife '06? Personally, I find that software suite excellent value, with powerful, fully integrated multimedia functionality which is extremely straightforward to access and use creatively. I'm sure you won't easily find anything available for Windows comes close, especially not freely bundled.

"Here's a thought: what would happen to ROX if the p***ed off developers in RiscOS world switched their efforts to improving ROX?"

I don't think there are much p***ed off developers left, if any. Indeed, in such case it would be pointless to keep at RISC OS. However, it's certainly interesting to wonder what developers familiar with RISC OS could achieve with ROX, seeing some of the current limitations in RO could be easily overcome, or simply are non-existent, in Linux.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 27/7/07 3:36PM
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On ROX founder: Why I brought RISC OS to Unix:

rjek: "...there are more functionally similar things to the task bar than RISC OS's iconbar with some UNIX X Window managers from around the same time RISC OS happened."

You mean NeXTSTEP's dock? I believe the early pre-release versions go back to '86, including its application dock. I'm still not sure what it is, an app launcher or merely a convenient place to put stuff, but on screenshots of Windows 1.0 (1985), the row of icons on the bottom of the screen sure reminds me of Arthur. Even the psychedelic colour scheme is reminiscent of Arthur, though slightly less trippy to my tastes.

Indeed a thoroughly interesting article. One wonders why a Drobe interview hasn't appeared sooner? ;)

It seems to me any RO user on Linux should give it a try. I know Puppy Linux comes on a Live CD, and uses the ROX filer, though not the entire (integrated) ROX desktop. Since it's a quite small distribution, it's an easy way of trying it out.

For a long time, I've noticed a tendency by RISC OS users to automatically fall back to Windows when RISC OS (applications) doesn't meet their requirements. To those individuals I'd like to say - Take a look at ROX. It's closer to RISC OS than Windows will ever be and it's free too! I think ROX is gaining popularity and has become more easy to add or try out, so I hope that'll feed back into its development.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 25/7/07 2:44PM
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On June news in brief:

hzn: "I have the impression you agree with Jwoody in that people should strick to RO's strengths - or the. That is exactly what I do not agree with. If we stick to RO's strengths only then that is pretty limitating as for what can be done. Enhancements and innovation tend to come when people try to exploit other paths."

Yes. I certainly agree with your point of view, except that I do no longer anticipate much scope for "enhancement and innovation" in the market as it is today. That may strike you as cynical or pessimistic, but it seems most entrepreneurs have left and what remains is an enthusiastic minority relying on a few tired and unimaginative companies turning every penny to stay afloat. Castle and ROOL provide a possible future, along with users such as yourself who are willing to invest. The 'ROL camp' are a dead-end in my opinion, even though technologies such as RO Six are fairly impressive.

Like I said before, we should initially stick to RISC OS's strengths, then build from there. These strengths are what set RISC OS apart from the rest and these can act as cornerstone for further, viable, development. In its current condition, RISC OS can't try too much too fast without significant risk.

"As for the need of a more powerful machine: no. Some time ago I did the odd benchmark with RISC OS systems (Risc PC with 10MBit card, RiscPC with 100MBit card, IYONIX pc classic, Panther, Buffalo Linkstation as NFS, 1GHz Pentium system and 3GHz Pentium system, the last three with 100 MBit Ethernet). The by far fastest file transfer was using FTP from Penitum box to IYONIX pc, both running debian Linux and both machines were still usable during transfer. Throughput was at the limit of what 100MBit ethernet can offer. Whatever other combination and protocol tested at least 30% slower, most even slower. Thus by using more efficient IP code like the debian stack network speed should go up siginificantly on RISC OS with current hardware."

Sounds interesting. Well, if someone could integrate this network stack into RISC OS, that would be fantastic. Perhaps this could be done with RISC OS Open / RO5 ? If RISC OS Six ever gets released for the Iyonix, perhaps its network speed could prove interesting as well. Still, for the moment, I wouldn't try running a server on RISC OS.

"Or just look back a few years where graphics capabilities of e.g. A5000 were dreadful but that was fixed with ColourCard and a similar solution from some other supplier - they simply ignored that the graphics hardware was no strengh. Or take the odd fast IDE interface - again harddisc access was no strength of RISC OS but lucky us, some companies ignored that fact."

Indeed, but as you say - looking back a few years. Those 'few years' are in fact about 10 to 15 years ago. A whole other market, with active development, many more users and up-to-date hardware and software which could compete reasonably well with PC / Mac offerings. Those times allowed for certain endeavours, but times have changed drastically since then, which is reflected in the market of today.

"But there are cases where fixing should be easier since we're talking about pure software: DOSFS with the 2GB size limit which is more and more of a bad joke. It does really astonish me that even suppliers of an allegedly "cutting edge OS" for RISC OS hardware fail to fix this - but perhaps "cutting edge" does not mean that it is something to be considered very good and modern though I was given to understand just that. Instead of that round buttons and more screen savers (all not the energy saving kind) are developped - a shame!"

Absolutely. The DOSFS limit is ridiculous and should have been resolved years ago. However, I do wonder who you're referring to as suppliers of a "cutting edge OS" ? Certainly not RISCOS Ltd, I hope, but they did develop more significant things than merely 'round buttons' and more screen-savers. It's easier to recognise some of their changes outwardly, but they do not convey the entirety of Select. Still, it's a pity they never addressed the urgent DOSFS limitation.

"By now I tend to use a RISC OS and a Windows box side by side and depending on the work at hand use one or the other - some 2-3 years ago this was different since then I was able to use the RISC OS box for quite a bit more of my everyday work..."

Same here. Indeed, I've come to love the rare, but extremely productive, RISC OS sessions. Though I must admit, the Mac gets switched on more often now for all the general purpose tasks.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 25/06/07 10:14PM
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On June news in brief:

hzn: "Why should anybody look into a faster IP stack and/or threading and/or ... unless there is need or use or request for that."

I think that's what Jwoody is trying to point out. For this to work comfortably, a faster, more powerful machine is strongly advisable. There is no shame in using a PC or Mac to help RO users, provide RO related information or sustain a RO business. Strictly speaking a RO server can work, but if one looks at requirements today and sees where it's going, the demands to both the OS and hardware go far beyond what's realistically possible. Yes, I realise most visitors and requests would probably come from the relatively small amount of RO users, but even then the possibilities are tight.

I tend to agree with Jwoody. People should stick to RO's strengths and build from there. Too few people and too little resources prevent any significant developments, so I believe we should be modest with any expectations, without losing sight of what's realistically possible and achievable.

"I guess one should not be surprised that as the RISC OS market is getting down to the faithful few and that a fair percentage of the few don't understand the technical limits of their chosen platform, otherwise they would have left the party some time ago."

Firstly, the RISC OS market already got down to the faithful few, just like most other little known OS's dating back to the Golden Age. That's not a criticism, merely an observation which should help some people let go of history and comparing today with yesterday. Nonetheless, I do think most users are aware of many technical limits of RISC OS, as evident by the lack of certain application software - so not strictly because the resources are lacking, but because the platform is technically incapable. Again, not a criticism, merely an observation.

While I strive to keep using RISC OS, I won't pretend these limits are non-existent. Rather, it focusses RO's use from a general purpose machine to a specific application computer, where swift, ease and productivity are paramount. I'm sure many other RO users are very happy with their machines, not because of what it cannot do, but the few things it can do extremely well.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 25/06/07 1:55PM
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On Archive ed Paul quits magazine:

Archive has always struck me as a quality publication, in both content and design, and I can only assume that Jim Nagel will endeavour to keep it in that class, seeing the enthusiasm and faith Paul has shown in him.

Best wishes to both in the future!

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 22/6/07 11:54AM
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On Classic games preserved in online videos:

Indeed, the nice thing about YouTube is that one can upload their video there and won't have to pay for the bandwidth costs. It's no problem converting a recording to MPEG format, but someone would have to host it. In fact, YouTube is pretty great for these kind of things, while Flash is supported by all major OS platforms. It's a real shame RISC OS can't use them, now that Oregano 3 has been cancelled. One can only hope the open source Gnash player can be finished and released - see [link] for details.

Some of those games sure brought back good memories. I remember seeing the sun come up in the morning after playing Simon the Sorcerer all night...

EasyKees: It's simply iMac and yes, I know the feeling ;)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 1/6/07 12:25PM
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On Castle reveal shared source licence:

I'd say what makes RISC OS still interesting on the desktop is its GUI, which has features unlike anything else on the market. For me, Mac OS X is a close second, but where I really need to be swift and productive, I choose RISC OS. Yes, even though some apps are generally 5 years or so behind. This, for me, also ensures a possible future for it.

I think it would be very interesting to have RISC OS run natively on a more common platform, such as a x86 PC. For one thing, it would make the hardware substantially cheaper. Seeing the lightweight of the OS, I think RISC OS could really fly on modern PC boxes. Some ported apps, which probably already were really well written, fly on the PC - think about Xara or Sibelius.

Still, this doesn't take away RISC OS is unable to compete when pitted against contemporary OS's in a non-ARM domain, such as an x86 OS. What has been discussed in the past and now by thegman, is to rebuild the RISC OS GUI on top of a Linux or Unix core. Essentially what Apple has done with Mac OS X. This could 'instantly' provide a lot of the modern base functionality sorely missed in the OS. I wonder how feasible that is. For now, this remains largely academic, but could prove an interesting route in the future considering a more liberal license is released, as hinted by jb.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 20/5/07 12:47PM
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On Apple Mac VirtualRiscPC beta on sale:

VirtualAcorn: Thanks again. I can understand why you've chosen the RO3 banner when entering the site, but wouldn't most ex-Acorn users simply know what they're dealing with when seeing the 'VirtualAcorn' name and logo? This start-up banner is making an amateurish impression, in my humble opinion; It's quite cheesy and besides it's RO Adjust or RO SIX nowadays. But, it's your choice ofcourse! I guess many elderly gentlemen could find it amusing.

I certainly understand you wouldn't be forcing anyone to buy the beta, moreover you make a proper disclaimer, so that's all fine. I guess yesterday I was uncomfortably reminded of how certain things get done more and more in this little market. In the end, finally making clear to the public that there really is a Mac version and it's getting developed is a Good Thing, just please be aware that you're targeting a different kind of audience now with many ex-Acorn (or other interested) users who have not kept up-to-date on RO affairs in many years and are used to different standards. I do hope the Intel version won't take too long, because that's where the focus is at in the Mac market - it's pretty amazing how swift the PPC to Intel transition has gone, both from Apple and from their customers.

I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I was personally willing to redesign your site; that was not my intention, only to suggest it could really help the company's image. There are many excellent site designers around, so perhaps you could make a deal where the designer gets a free copy of the software you're selling? Anyway, have a nice day at Wakefield!

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 19/5/07 2:50PM
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On Apple Mac VirtualRiscPC beta on sale:

graeme: "Like most if not all RISC OS related companies, Virtual Acorn is small. Aaron deals with the customer facing side of things - distribution, licensing, support, shows and so on; and I write the applications. That's it. Even with such a small number of staff, the income from something like VRPC after licensing, taxes, p and p, marketing, running costs etc., is nowhere near enough to support either of us. I have a full time job and VRPC is written and maintained in my rapidly dwindling spare time - evenings, weekends and holidays."

I've been using RISC OS practically since the beginning, I really know how the market has shrunk and how most RO companies are managed nowadays. I do respect that choice, but you have to realise that you're still part of a commercial business which has to have a certain standard. People involved in such companies cannot hide behind the state and psychology of the market they're representing, certainly not in your case when dealing with the much larger and professional PC and Mac markets. Still, I'm familiar with what's involved, since two friends actually do the same and work their ars*s off. It's tough, but it really doesn't help when a potential customer visits a website and notices a poorly presented software company with a decidedly dated web-design, which releases paid-for beta's. I'm sorry, but in this day and age that's just a sign something's not right. Even many websites representing FOSS projects have a more professional image, which is what commercial developments are more and more up against. When I look at MW Software's website I see an interesting business with a very appealing product, which is thoroughly documented. If I'm not mistaken, it's run by one man, who also does other work. I have a friend who solely runs a record label, produces and releases music and is one of the head programmers at a large cultural centre/club. He does occasionally have a hard time with it, but he manages and in the end it was a conscious choice.

"VRPC is not a particularly complex piece of software, but it does touch on a lot of different areas, in multiple versions of multiple operating systems, and tries to make them do many things they don't really want to do. Getting it all developed, tested and working seamlessly is not easy."

I understand that, but I can only assume others have been there and others will in the future. It's part of the choice you made when starting out the project.

"I do wish to apologise to those potential users for raising their hopes that there would be a Mac based VPRC long ago. Against Aaron's better judgement, I thought it would be good to demonstrate an early development version of a product I really believed would be completed within months. Unfortunately it wasn't stable enough, and other commitments came first, and getting from there to here has been hard work."

Thanks, I do appreciate your candour.

"Luckily we are now just about in a position to release it as a product but for various reasons, including saving endless hours ours of difficult support calls for Aaron, we'd like to release it as a beta to a select few customers who know what they're getting into, i.e. they know RISC OS and MAC OS X and are willing to help us turn it into a robust product which we are proud to sell."

With 'release it' you actually mean 'sell it', which I find rather inappropriate considering the product is simply not yet ready and cannot be properly supported. However, if people are willing to help you guys out and pay for being a beta tester, that's just wonderful. I'm sure we've all seen that before with a certain other RISC OS company. Trust me, ultimately this road is a dead-end.

"If everything goes to plan, the Intel version will hopefully available for purchase very soon. Unfortunately the PPC version doesn't run properly under Rosetta, so we won't be able to distribute beta versions to non-PPC users."

That's good news. Typically, here you name it 'distribute' beta versions, while they're simply sold to users, whereas you refer to the Intel version as becoming available for purchase. Anyway, my question remains - why, when the x86 JIT code has been extensively tested by many Windows users over the years, has the PowerPC beta version been released for sale? I think it could have been a better move to first release a dependable Intel Mac version, while the PPC version is tested in the meantime and released later. It could even be sold separately, i.e. no Universal Binary, and priced according to the amount of time and effort that went into it.

VirtualAcorn: That's nice, thank you. A small tip; I think you've copied and pasted the PC story, since underneath the screenshot it reads "VirtualRPC-Adjust turns your PC into ...". Strictly speaking a Mac is a PC, but a PC is commonly recognised as something that runs Windows as standard. It's rather trivial, I know, but I figure every little polish helps. Perhaps you can update the intro / front-page of the site later, to reflect the emulator will now also run on a Mac, not just a Windows PC anymore? Frankly, the site also looks kind of cheesy (especially with the initial RISC OS 3-like Boot-up screen), but I figure that's something for later.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 18/5/07 5:38PM
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On Apple Mac VirtualRiscPC beta on sale:

AMS: "That's actually not their fault. Building an emulator can't be an easy task - and VA had done much work on getting their VRPC to work on the then extant PowerPC based Macs - Apple unfortunately switched processors to the x86 before VA for Mac was ready. What you're seeing is the fruit of their original PowerPC development."

I'm sure that it isn't an easy task, but as I recall VirtualAcorn first demoed their PowerPC version of VRPC at Wakefield 2005 and it seemed quite well underway. Later in the same year Apple announced their platform switch to Intel CPU's, including all relevant technical details for developers. It's been 2 years since that initial version, so I wonder what's been going on in the meantime? I just find a commercial PPC-only emulator being sold in beta test state after 2 years a bit lacking!

"Given that many RISC OS users are somewhat resistant to using Windows as the underlying OS to run RISC OS under emulation on - this development from VA's viewpoint probably makes plenty of sense - it may coax a few users over to VA for running RISC OS under what they would see as the less "objectionable" Apple MacOS platform."

I'm sure most RISC OS users also use Windows either professionally or privately which should be reason enough for VA. I just want to point out that there's a reasonable amount of users on Mac who'd like the opportunity to run VRPC and they've already been waiting for 2 years. You can imagine a lot of these people have in the meantime bought a new Mac, which are ofcourse of the Intel variety. Personally, I find the Mac hardly 'objectionable' - moreover, I simply won't buy something if it's in any way objectionable. I believe most Mac users find their platform pretty nice, so there's nothing 'second-rate' about opting for the 'less objectionable' Mac platform to run RISC OS on.

VirtualAcorn: "I think it's probably worth me clarifying a point. We are making the beta PowerPC only at this point because that's the CPU core that we need more feedback on. The Intel JIT core for VirtualAcorn has been extensively tested and has been used in commercial products for over 5 years. The PowerPC JIT Core has never been out "in the wild" before. It's passed all our tests but there could be something we have missed so that's why we are hoping to get more feedback."

If the PowerPC version needs (more) proper testing, that's fine, but why release it for sale to the Mac public? And if the Intel JIT core is so well tested, why not release that version instead? I guess it could even be a non-beta test version, seeing the extensive period of testing. In the meantime you could let a selection of PowerPC Mac users test the PowerPC version and when it's done you could release a Universal Binary version or just sell each version separately. It seems to me you're using this as an excuse to try to make an extra buck! Well, you can imagine not many Mac users are eager to buy a beta product and simply will not buy a product if it can't run on their machines.

"Since the "shell" around the CORE is the same for PowerPC and Intel Macs we also get testing on the GUI etc."

That's nice, but secondary. A disappointing, but not unusual, attitude in the RO market seems to be that a company gets to explain their point of view and what's in it for them, but what about the end-users who'd be buying the products? Why no answer if the emulator at least works in Rosetta? You have to realise you're not simply dealing with RISC OS users here, who incidentally are quite a patient and understanding bunch, but additionally with Mac users, who typically have different standards.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 18/5/07 11:57AM
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On Apple Mac VirtualRiscPC beta on sale:

leeshep: Indeed, those are my main concerns as well and I suppose of a lot of other people too.

Nonetheless this is great news in itself and something people have been asking for ever since the initial proof-of-concept version was demoed a few years ago. I wonder how much has changed since then, since this still is a beta test version. However, I find it a bit odd that the emulator requires the (still) latest version of OS X, namely 10.4 'Tiger', but only runs on machines that have been phased out last year, ergo are no longer manufactured. I'd say this significantly narrows the audience. Ofcourse, if VirtualAcorn expects people to install Windows on their Intel-based Macs just to run the software, they should realise they're taking a risk. I, for one, will definitely not install Windows just to be able to run VRPC, since OS X meets practically all my other requirements.

I spent my time about 50% on RISC OS and 50% on Mac OS X. I'm sure a lot of (ex-)RO users have opted for the Mac, since, apart from a host of other reasons, OS X has so much in common with RISC OS. I understand the argument regarding market-share well, but even if the Mac has only 5% (or whatever) that does entail millions of computers. If one then realises a relatively small number has some affinity with RISC OS, or simply are ex-RO users, that should still prove a rather significant audience for VirtualAcorn. I know for a fact a lot of people in the Netherlands (and abroad) have switched to the Mac and would like to run RISC OS every now and then. I know most of these people do not use Windows privately, nor do they have any intention of running it for various reasons. What I'm saying is that VirtualAcorn might be losing dozens of sales should they choose to stick with just a PowerPC version.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 17/5/07 9:14PM
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On Multi-page ArtWorks 2.7 now available:

inchiquin: "Disclaimer: but then I would say that, wouldn't I?"

Indeed! UniServer sounds like a genuinely useful piece of software. I'd like something like that for use with my Mac. Is there any chance of it getting ported to the Mac in the future?

I highly value Grapevine, which is presently unique in its ability to support Windows Live Messenger (as it's now known) and ICQ. Although new versions do tend to appear occasionally, the application is in dire need of an update as it lacks many features clients on other platforms have as standard. Also, which has been mentioned in the past, the application could do with a front-end / graphics overhaul.

arawnsley: I'm sure Messenger Pro v5 is a decent application, but could you cut down on the promotion? It reeks of unprofessionalism. If you plan your exhibit well, I guess it should sell itself. The fact that the RO market is so small shouldn't validate the use of such blatant self-publicity. I've never seen Martin Wuerthner engage in such practices, nor would he ever need to. One piece of advise - properly update the website, then announce the update, then answer questions or any unclearness. What I really appreciate about MW Software, is the website. It makes it all so much clearer and polished, which likely directly contributes to sales.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 17/5/07 5:40PM
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On ROL ship second Select 4 release:

hzn: "I'm not quite sure what you mean with 'urgency' here and how this word can apply to ROL at all?"

Are you being sarcastic or serious? Heheh. Well, what I meant is that ROL may have had the choice to either finish above mentioned features or 'wrap up' what they already had finished and bug-tested, in order to get Select 4 sooner out the door.

"But perhaps they did indeed drop some things to get something to give their customers to simply reduce the risk that some more simply do not continue their subscription, and perhaps keep something up the sleeve since PM did promise that user's wont have to wait more than six or 12 months for the next release."

I'm not quite sure what you mean with "promise" here and how this word can apply to ROL at all? ;)

Anyway, I think it's safe to assume ROL have the really time-consuming work of 32 bitting behind them now, so they'll probably be releasing stuff a bit more regularly now. I just hope the originally announced features will make it in a later Select 4 release, which will hopefully also work on the A9home. Still, what you say could make sense, in that ROL is trying to regain some subscriptions by gradually releasing features they've already finished. Besides, it seems it's not really that important Select 4i2 works on the A9home, since at least some of those features are already present in the A9home's RISC OS 4.42 ROM release. Yet more dubious business practices, since Select 4 features would not be included in Adjust32*, which was described as "effectively a 32bit version of RISC OS 4.39 'Adjust' with some additional features essential for the operation of the A9 hardware". I don't think EDID support falls into that category.

*[link]

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 07/05/07 2:32PM
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On ROL ship second Select 4 release:

JGZimmerle: Re-arranging the tool-buttons was already implemented in Select 3, it's just been expanded in Select 4 to include a 'footer bar' option. Indeed, one of the options already in Select 3 was to put the window close button at the far right, like Windows. It's also possible to put the iconise button at the left of the title-bar, next to the close icon, like in Mac OS X. So both major OS's have their window-button style supported since Select 3. Ofcourse, putting the scroll-icons next to each other such as in some UNIX-like OS's is unnecessary, thanks to the superb Adjust mouse button functionality.

Like I said, besides EDID support there were some other relatively major features planned for Select 4, such as ATA-4 harddisc support (with HForm and FileCore overhauled to support the latest ATA standards and SMART features), search-as-you-type in the Filer and Keyboard control for the Filer. I wonder what happened to them, since at least the search-as-you-type stuff was shown at some shows, I believe. There also were some small buttons at the top in Filer windows. Have these things been scrapped due to lack of funds or urgency to release something to counter further loss of subscriptions? Or will these features, of which some were apparently already implemented, arrive in a later release such as Select 4i3?

By the way, I found the PDF file I linked to above much more readable than the 'official' RISC OS Six Key Features page which details the New End User features.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 07/05/07 12:08AM
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On ROL ship second Select 4 release:

sa110: I must say, Paint had already become eminently useful in Select 3, with many bugs and shortcomings sorted out and very useful new functionality. The additions in Select 4 only seem to strengthen that position, now being a genuinely convenient tool for quick jobs where something like Photodesk would be excessive. The new export functions for BMP and PCX formats seem redundant, though being able to directly load Draw and ArtWorks files is absolutely useful.

The EDID Monitor detection is essential, doing away with the tedious creation of MDF files with MakeModes. Genuine progress there. I believe it's already featured in the A9home's RO 4.42, but a pity it doesn't seem to work with the RiscPC's own (VIDC20) hardware. From the - [link] - article, I don't see why it couldn't also be possible with non-ViewFinder RiscPC's? Though as it stands, does the automatic configuration also include a colour profile/calibration set-up for the connected screen?

A lot of the further Select 4 functionality seems rather basic, of which some I really quite don't see why it's there. For example, putting the title-bar at the bottom of a window? Somebody, somewhere is bound to actually be happy with it, but I can't help wondering if ROL shouldn't have spend the time implementing something else, such as new or improved Format and Verify applications? Come to think of it, wasn't there something in early Select 4 news about improved ATA harddisc support or something? And improved Keyboard shortcuts support, search-as-you-type? A quick search reveals [link] for some info about that.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 06/05/07 3:29PM
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On Select 4i2 apps will run on A9home:

That's pretty amusing news, though indeed not really that surprising. It made me wonder though, if the current A9home OS lacks some of the bundled utilities or apps other machines have as standard?

Anyway, now that ROL has Select 4i2 out the door, I hope they'll concentrate on finalising RISC OS 4.4x on the A9home. It's about time, seeing the machine has been officially released a year ago...

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 2/5/07 9:37AM
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On ROL ship second Select 4 release:

Well, it certainly is good news ROL are releasing something new again, although it seems a lot of people don't really care about Select anymore. Which is depressing, but that's the predicament ROL have created for themselves.

The "if you don't spend money, we won't continue producing stuff" line fylfot mentioned is something I've heard PM say and it indeed is ridiculous considering he's trying to sell a product which would add features, stability and generally improve the RO experience. The guy just doesn't strike me as enthusiastic about his main product, he doesn't seem really interested in Select itself, but rather to just make money. His presentations seem particularly dull, delivered with a monotonous tone of voice. There's even a typo in the official press release of Select 4i2, which indicates to me he either didn't use a spell checker or proof-read.

Although ROL are slowly improving on their communication, they really need to get their website in order, like some other RO companies should. There are so many potentially great things to show on riscos.com - manuals, screenshots, tutorials, RO app hall of fame, end-user stuff, you name it! If ROL want to sell, they've got to use all tools at their disposal, get behind their product in the most enthusiastic way possible. Dry tech specs alone won't do that.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 1/5/07 2:13PM
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On The houses that RISC OS built:

I think it's pretty cool that this company chose to deploy ARM based RISC OS machines, certainly considering the implicated costs, limits and scope of current day RISC OS. It just goes to show that the areas where RO machines shine; low power, fast boot, ROM based OS, build-quality, intelligible (and intuitive) OS, make for an excellent investment in a modern business where these virtues translate into direct advantages in terms of swiftness and proficiency.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 28/4/07 8:33PM
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On Oregano 3 scrapped:

Well, I'd like a NetSurf T-Shirt or coffee mug... and help subsidise bandwidth costs. It seems to be a regular occurrence among open source projects nowadays. How about a NetSurf mouse mat?

hzn: Assuming you mean Oregano 3, I honestly think there is little chance we'll ever get a release now. Besides the state in which it'll likely remain, there are legal / license issues involved, not to mention support for this 'beta-like' product. I guess that's not an answer you've been hoping to hear, but I feel we're better off looking for ways to support the NetSurf project and the one you mentioned earlier, but no-one has followed up on - Phoenix! Both are open source projects and could further benefit from open source developments already made on other platforms.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 24/04/07 8:26PM
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On Oregano 3 scrapped:

Indeed sad news, but frankly not really surprising, like hzn points out.

How many commercial browsers do people use nowadays, or even know of? The era of commercial web browsers has ended for other platforms years ago and it seems to me the lack of a market was the final nail in the coffin for Oregano 3, meaning the five-figure sum involved would have little chance of ever getting recouped.

Recent years have only confirmed my belief that the future of RO browsing lies with NetSurf, simply looking at how far it has come and through what means. Indeed we have Firefox, but somehow I feel it may not enjoy the same level of attention and success as NetSurf, which is shaping up to become a standard app like Draw is. It belongs in every RO users' Apps directory :)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 24/4/07 11:50AM
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On Multimedia-friendly 1GHz XScale launched:

In many ways lproven is correct. I was solely using RISC OS until about 6 months ago, when I added a Mac, because of dire need for better Internet support. I was stunned at how powerful it was, how swift and organic the whole OS X experience was and mostly how much it resembled RISC OS.

Whilst Windows Vista is finally out, there have been 5 years of XP. An ideal time of playing catch-up for all the others. I think the various developments around RISC OS could reasonably stand-up to XP, but obviously the other 'alternatives' have developed as well. Particularly Linux and Mac OS X have made tremendous evolvement in recent years. I believe that's what RISC OS is facing now - the other 'alternative' OS's. Like mripley hints at, people seem to have warmed or opened up to alternative platforms. It also means RO will be evenly compared to the others. I guess that is what lproven had in mind when talking about the 'basics' ; full web capability, modern video support, full IM support, complete Office suite, etc. There's still a lot to mention, but as far as I can see, most people require this of a new computer and the main 'alternatives' offer this. In fact, I believe our main 'rival' in this regard is the Mac; it also runs on proprietary hardware, but far more advanced, it has very good peripheral support, both open source (Firefox / OpenOffice.org) and commercial development (Photoshop / MS Office) and near RO-like functionality... but it can also natively run Windows now.

The XScale news is really great. I sincerely hope it will be utilised in a future RO machine. Whoever is going to build it has to know where the strengths of an ARM based RO machine lie, they have to know how to make it extremely desirable, not just a sign of hope for RO enthusiasts. Remember, this thing just can't be cheap, unless mass-produced. I believe RISC OS will remain very attractive for reasons every actual, daily user knows intimately well, but it has catching up to do and things are moving into position to allow it to happen. There's a lot of opportunity coming from the OSS world, which can fill some gaps. NetSurf is a prime example. RISC OS Six is almost upon us, as well as a new and very dedicated company to encourage and aid development. Perhaps it has been said too often, but the coming years could prove critical for RISC OS. The companies involved must realise that this time is one of greater opportunity, since the public mind seems to be opening up to alternative platforms and exciting technical prospects are appearing, but the same goes for everyone else. Still, I'll be holding a positive attitude, as long as RO is making headway.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 23/4/07 3:16PM
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On News in brief:

tamias: "The politics in the RISC OS world are now beyond a joke. It's a wonder anyone is still stubbornly struggling on with developing or even using RISC OS."

Aren't you exaggerating a bit now? There only seem to be a few well-known persons involved in the joking. I am still stubbornly continuing my use of RISC OS and will remain to do so until my Risc PC melts due to excessive use.

ksattic: Agreed!

I hope RISCOS Ltd will at least have an update for A9home users at Wakefield. I think this should be a priority, since they can't revert to a stable base version, like (Virtual) Risc PC and A7000 users can.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 19/4/07 3:36PM
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On New user guide for RISC OS 6 as release nears:

druck:

"Totally, utterly and absolutely wrong!"

Ah, I'm glad I'm not just wrong.

What I've written above is my interpretation of what I've gathered from several sources over the years, but apparently my ignorance and lack of basic coding experience prevent me from getting a clear picture. Like most users, I certainly know RO can easily be extended or have components replaced with new, enhanced ones. It's how we often update stuff or even how the Select scheme is made possible, I believe (correct me if I'm wrong).

Still, surely the Select scheme has meant a lot of elements of RO4 have seen major change, restructuring or replacement, which could have made implementing some of the new features easier? I used to think that many of these internal improvements directly allowed for the more visible Select features. I guess ROL could take the various parts of source code which could be made compatible with RO5 and complete them for use with it, but I guess they came to the conclusion it would demand too much time spent reworking of, or adding to, their existing sources. I'm not endorsing or condemning any action, just speculating. I wonder, seeing there probably are a lot of people wanting Select features on Iyonix, if the ROOL route would prevail over the RO6 route?

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 11/04/07 11:22AM
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On New user guide for RISC OS 6 as release nears:

(nt)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 11/04/07 11:21AM
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On New user guide for RISC OS 6 as release nears:

In the past, ROL have done some basic Select stuff for the Iyonix, which they've demonstrated on occasion. Just to show they're interested in doing work for the Iyonix, since it simply is a 'substantial' market for them to tap into. I don't think it's so much a 'political' thing, where they principally object to doing work for a rival or something.

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

So, I think I can see how ROL are trying to make it possible to get 'Select' on the Iyonix; through RISC OS Six. Which means the criterion is basically reversed - now certain RO5 parts, like drivers or such like, would need to get ported and integrated into RO6 to get it to properly support Iyonix hardware. If that's done and working, it should be relatively straightforward to get Select 4 to run on it.

That's the idea of the situation I've got, though I'm sure it's not really very accurate. Furthermore, I'm not trying to excuse ROL for anything here, just trying to add a little perspective. In fact, I still think ROL have pulled some really rotten stuff in the past (even though they think it was for the best) and it's high time for them to clear up their website and PR.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 10/04/07 11:00AM
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On File sharing Bit Torrent client ported to RISC OS:

nico: Can you point me in the right direction with regards to that law? I'm Dutch and I've never heard of or seen such a law, so please forgive any scepticism on my part. However, if the content being shared or uploaded is copyright protected, and there's no approval by the IP holder, it certainly is illegal. The main distinction here being that the act of uploading itself is certainly a legal practice.

JGZimmerle: The same thing is being done in the Netherlands, however most people I know either don't care much about copyright infringement or don't pay much attention to it, although there is an increasing awareness about organisations such as BREIN [ [link] ] applying pressure to ISP's to report illegal sharing of copyrighted content.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 31/3/07 12:45PM
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On New user guide for RISC OS 6 as release nears:

VirtualAcorn: Although the Six Preview release is an interesting indication to what progress ROL has made, it's not really a practical solution to the majority of users, is it? I think druck has a solid point there, you just chose to interpret it more conveniently. The waiting is still on for a decent new version of RISC OS from the ROL quarters, even the A9home version is still unfinished from what I gather. I'm sure ROL is on it, but you'd be best advised to remain modest until some real meat is out the door, which is exactly what druck is saying. I'm very enthused by the news of recent developments, now it's time we see something solid for all the money spent over the years.

Good luck with the new documentation, I'm looking forward to it.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 30/3/07 11:51AM
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On 32bit MIDI drivers progress website launched:

Very good news indeed.

So, now with the MIDI drivers and MelIDI 32-bit compatible it's only waiting for the supported USB MIDI interfaces. I'm still an Anthem user, since I've learned to work around its issues and live with it quite happily. But MelIDI is more powerful, that's certain - I just hope I can work with it as easily and rapidly as I can with Anthem. For audio playback, I can recommend the PlayIt module over the (older) !Player app, since that supports the Acorn 16-bit audio hardware directly.

Music composition & production is my main use for RISC OS, so news like this is right up my alley! My RiscPC still performs extremely well and has its hardware fully supported, which I'm still unsure of with regards to the Iyonix and A9home, particularly audio recording and playback. Perhaps someone can fill me in if USB audio recording / playback is supported or being worked on for a particular model?

Incidentally, the timing is very nice, with the Musikmesse in Frankfurt in full swing - see [link]

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 30/3/07 10:11AM
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On New user guide for RISC OS 6 as release nears:

sa110: Perhaps some companies are hesitant because they believe they would be pouring good money into a black hole. Or that the new attention derived would come in the form of mockery by ignorant spec-freaks so prevalent in the more mainstream platforms. See OSNews for a taster.

I think marketing in general is sensible, but initially aimed at those familiar with RISC OS, before trying to reel in some wealthy computing hobbyists with an aptness for trying out alternative platforms. By the way, I've repeatedly found people who've switched to the Mac platform are often very fond of features thought to be unique to OS X, but in fact were pioneered or are better implemented on RISC OS. Perhaps that can be utilised to gain fresh meat, ironically using the same techniques Apple themselves employ to attract Windows users. See their Get-A-Mac campaign.

"I also think it is about time ROL set out in writing (on their website) where they see RISC OS development going in the next 5 years. A sort of roadmap."

Yes, which seems more reasonable now that the Great Work of 32 bitting and abstracting away legacy innards is (almost) completed. In the past ROL has commented that they develop all sorts of stuff and when a Select release is due (...) they look at what new features can be finished for inclusion.

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

Indeed, but believing what ROL is saying for a moment, these gaps should be done with now. RISC OS has been thoroughly renovated and is now ready to grow again, with hopefully the kind of regular feature updates as seen in the past. However, I suspect they've lost a lot of subscribers during these silent periods, mostly due to their own failings to communicate properly. The dilemma now is that ROL may have great difficulty in proving that the Select scheme is viable again.

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

I'm not entirely sure of that first part, but it's essential ROL start making actual commitments to Iyonix users. If that would result in the same BS we've seen before (the infamous 100 user pledge), they deserve whatever is coming at them.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 29/3/07 2:27PM
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On New user guide for RISC OS 6 as release nears:

This recent news on ROL's progress is very encouraging. The updating of the User Guide is an excellent idea and another reason for people to (re-)subscribe to the scheme. It will also hopefully give Iyonix users a better idea of Select's powerful features over RISC OS 5.

sa110: Whilst I agree with much of what you say, I believe it must also be stated that ROL has several ways to keep people pacified in between releases. I certainly understand the position they're in, but that's probably even more reason to keep communication and activity on multiple levels, certainly not just OS development progress.

I believe many avid users of RISC OS have displayed their patience and understanding with them and it's surely not just the various delays and silences that have received criticism. Among others, it is the manner in which they choose to communicate, the state of their website, the seemingly contradicting information presented in the past, the absence of long-term perspective for the end-user, etc. How should one choose to interpret this company's attitude; is it intentional to gain a certain exemption amidst the confusion and defer liability? Or is it simply because they're incompetent in the areas of marketing and public relations? I guess it's both.

This recent news certainly gives me a positive feeling, in that it seems ROL are preparing to come back with a bang. An all-new OS well prepared to take on modern technology and the first real user guide since the days of RISC OS 3! But in all this we shouldn't forget what this company has done, or rather hasn't done, in the past and I do not mean the silence and delays due to the vast developments made. I do believe ROL is on the right track with regards to their OS development, but it's high time they start taking their PR seriously. It need not be expensive and all communities have in common that there are people around willing to do a certain amount of voluntary work. They just need to figure out how to harness the platform's positive spirit.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 29/3/07 12:24PM
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On Vigay: I was told to remove my Firefox 2 tutorial:

Snig: I understand what you're saying. I think the platform community needs consensus, leadership and sense of direction. This is where either Castle / ROOL or RISCOS Ltd comes in. The problem is, they don't. It seems they've completely washed their hands of any association with the community, except ofcourse for the few products they still want to sell.

I've gone the Mac way a while ago, and whilst it's very nice, I still use RISC OS almost daily and with more pleasure than OS X can give me. There are a lot of people around like me, whatever the other OS, still using RISC OS with great satisfaction. Likewise, there are still developers who like to write a RO app or contribute code once in a while. This all means there's still lifeblood left, but sadly the current OS developers and hardware manufacturers don't seem to understand, or even care, how to properly harness it. They just seem to take the few remaining customers for granted, while promising nothing and offering little perspective. The clear exception would be ROOL, but that's still largely talk with little activity. Nevertheless, it is something for us all to look forward to and hopefully gain a more 'communal' approach to the platform's predicament.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 28/03/07 00:08AM
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On Vigay: I was told to remove my Firefox 2 tutorial:

Why are so many of you repeating the obvious (and each other in different ways)?

Is the situation really what it is made out to be here? Who knows for sure? I will not judge Peter for his action, I just try to understand. It's not just that he has the technical abilities to do what he has done, it's more so that he has chosen to do so, despite his experiences with us in the past. I'm not judging these experiences, I'm just trying to reason how he might see some things and how they may affect his stance.

I believe Peter has explained why he doesn't appreciate someone publishes an unofficial work around to get Firefox 2 to run. To illustrate, does anybody here remember similar efforts in the past to provide the original Deer Park port with an iconbar icon and some more RISC OS-ness? Remember what Peter said about it?

Is it just because Peter is an unlovable b*stard? Where's the respect people? Peter is a caring 'people' person, simply for coming back to help us poor buggers out with continued development of Firefox. He has said on many occasion that RISC OS has serious problems. One of these has been outlined by him on his riscos.info site and elsewhere a while back. One hint; how many IRC or VNC clients do we have?

Just for clarity, I completely understand Paul Vigay is trying to help which he and others certainly believe he's doing, but like certain previous efforts which enjoyed a great deal of attention on OSNews, they may not have results as positive as they were intended. It's just that this is Peter's project and I'm sure he really wants people to help with it, but it can only work out well if it's done in concerted effort with him. He's the main man in this case, take it or leave it. These provisional fixes can only be superficial and temporary at best. I won't pretend I have intricate knowledge of the project or the work involved, but I am sure most people are missing several points about this project and exactly why Peter has asked Paul to remove the work around - It surely is not because Peter is a egotistical funbreaker who doesn't want people to get Firefox running.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 20/3/07 12:44PM
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On VirtualRPC for Mac OS X delayed:

Ah, finally some news about it! Why has it taken so long to respond, especially since many have asked for it and VA apparently put quite some time and money into it? It seems to me there's plenty demand for VA to get on with it.

What in my opinion sucks, is that in the meantime Windows Vista has gotten support for it, while I can hardly imagine more customers running Vista then OS X. I'd even say that RISC OS is almost the opposite of Vista, so why would anyone appreciative of RO's GUI and application style upgrade to Vista? Indeed, the OS X GUI is not quite as excellent as RO's, but it comes much, much closer than Windows has ever gotten.

A first version of VRPC for OS X has been shown quite some time, perhaps years ago, wetting our appetites. A lot of RO users have gotten a Mac to fill in the gaps, including me. I wouldn't dream of running Windows on my Mac, not even to get RO to run on it. But I'd like to run RO under an emulator native to the Mac. Every new Mac being sold runs on Intel chips, meaning they run x86 code. Doesn't this mean that porting the matured code used by the Windows version of VRPC shouldn't be too hard?

I'm sure VirtualAcorn wants to release the product, but it's time they get realistic about it and giving Mac using RO enthusiasts more than just a clue. OS X provides a lot of RO-like behaviour and more delay will only encourage people to search for an OS X app to do what they'd much rather do under RISC OS.

The argument that the Windows market is much larger has been often mentioned, but don't forget that the Mac market isn't exactly small either; many millions of users and rapidly growing. But that's not the point - Mac users are a different breed than most Windows users and have quite a lot in common with the Acorn users of old. They actually care about good products and most are very enthusiastic and helpful people eager to find out more about unusual new products.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 10/3/07 4:34PM
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On South West show reports and photos:

thegman: "Whatever we think about any of these logos, they've been around a while, and maybe could do with a 'refresh', I just think that a really fresh, new logo for RISC OS, and a few new nice icons in the OS could give the OS and the community as a whole a bit of a boost."

Well, I guess the Iyonix could do with a new logo, since the only association I can make is with the power button on the older style cases. Perhaps RISC OS could do with a 'modernized' version of the cogwheel logo, as Richard has intentionally made his design 'bare bones' to accommodate any enhancements or adaptations in the future. However a completely new design would be foolish and unnecessary, since the cogwheel is a well-defined logo and largely adopted by the market and beyond. It describes RO well and I see no reason why it should be discarded from that role. I'm sure it could be made more stylish to please a larger amount of RO users and give a more professional sheen towards the computing public.

While paying a professional is usually a guarantee to get a good piece of quality design, I believe anyone who's well skilled and has a rich background in design work could do it, for free or otherwise. This applies equally well to a website or a logo. It seems many RO companies do the design of their website themselves, for whatever reason. This shouldn't be a problem, if the person in question can do so with skill and professional capacity. However, the situation is that many have a dated design with a decidedly amateurish appearance, and have done so for years. For example, the ROL website has been like this for about 7 years!

Perhaps the problem is that many RO companies just don't find it's necessary to spend their precious money on presenting a professional company image. Even though the service or products being offered are of a professional quality. Perhaps they think their market is too small to make it worthwhile, since most customers are familiar faces. Or because they like to remain compatible with ArcWeb. I simply don't know why they keep their websites and logos like this, but I do believe this contributes to the detriment of RO's marketplace, which has only shrunk over the years. I know for a fact that RO and certain software titles can produce very high quality work, through ways and means other systems just can't approach. I believe that so long this market is a breathing and developing one, it deserves to be presented with the quality design RO is capable of achieving in several lines of work. It would certainly help and would certainly not be prohibitively expensive. Furthermore, I'd strongly recommend enhancing the content of many sites to feature (more) screenshots, better product descriptions and up-to-date material.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 05/03/07 11:39AM
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On South West show reports and photos:

thegman: The cogwheel is the complete logo, i.e. the logo which (hopefully by now) everyone uses to refer to RISC OS. The cube logo refers specifically to the early versions of RO4, i.e. RO4.0x and since then ROL have adopted the cogwheel as the basis for their OS logos. The RO Six logo is in my opinion a slightly better logo, where the aluminum / metallic 'SIX' seems to have been influenced by Apple's depiction of its Mac OS X Tiger logo. Incidentally, there seem several areas within Select 3 and later which seem to have been influenced by OS X style and behaviour. I guess it's the iMac G5 they have, though Apple seems to inspire a lot of OS design nowadays with Windows Vista being a particularly obvious example.

Castle has certainly also adopted the cogwheel, however it may not be quite as prevalent as is on ROL's website. ROOL has also very clearly adopted the cogwheel, although their version has been cleverly enhanced to illustrate the open and diverse nature of an open source version of RO5. So, I believe we have a logo and for some time now. For example, it's always used by OSNews.com to indicate RO related articles. However, perhaps in due time the cogwheel may be revised to gain a more attractive appearance.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 02/03/07 11:23AM
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On South West show reports and photos:

stevef: It seems to me most critisism given here is about the RISCOS Ltd logo, not the RISC OS logo itself which indeed is the cogwheel. I know Richard Hallas has designed the cogwheel (and have read his thoughts behind it in his Foundation article), but somehow I doubt if he did the ROL logo which certainly looks like a schoolboys first exercise in Draw. The cogwheel as a logo is fine and, for the most part, I agree with the sentiments behind its creation. A new logo would only add to the confusion already existing within the RO community and outside of it, but at some point it could perhaps be remade to gain a more flashier appearance like having a bit of shading, shadow, blending, etc.

thegman: I agree with much of what you've said. What, indeed, really does need to be redone is ofcourse the RISCOS Ltd website, together with its presentation of their various products and services. It could even become a sort of 'RO knowledge centre' including forums and more personal examples of RO application by various users, including ofcourse screenshots, stories, tutorials, etc. A lot of possibilities exist and it's a shame ROL does not exploit them. It is the riscos.com domain after all! The websites of many RO companies and dealers also look quite outdated and boring. Yes, boring... it can really help sell products if a website has an active and exciting appearance. It can even have a Flash film somewhere as long as it's not too big and there are not too many of them. With regards to compatibility, we have several decent browsers which can cope with technically more advanced designs than what currently remains the standard. NetSurf can render some pretty nifty sites very well nowadays!

mfraser: What a positive bit of news to return to topic! :)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 1/3/07 4:18PM
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On South West show reports and photos:

AW: Modern Macs are fantastic computers, in my experience. After always using RISC OS and realizing I needed more then could be expected of a RO machine, the choice was obvious to me: a Mac. Why? Mac OS X is very powerful, yet easy, uncluttered and pleasurable to use with the most resemblance to RO I've yet to see elsewhere. Plus their hardware is pretty nice. Apple and Acorn have a history together and I've always been of the opinion that if I'd need an alternative system, it would be a Mac. I haven't regretted this decision for a microsecond and it's a great partner to my RiscPC.

Indeed jess, it is a great shame VA hasn't pushed on and completed their Mac version of VRPC. Now that all new Macs have Intel CPU's inside them, I suspect it could be easier to port the code over to OS X. I'd hate to run Windows on a Mac to get to VRPC, because I hate to run Windows.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 1/3/07 1:07PM
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On South West show reports and photos:

In my opinion the current RISC OS logo, the cogwheel, is fine. It's the ROL logo (which incidentally has probably been done using Draw by a non-designer in a few minutes) and their particular usage of the riscos.com domain that annoys me, personally. If they can't properly keep it up-to-date and an accurate resource, they should pass it on to someone who can.

The 256 colour Acorn-palette puzzle pieces, the seemingly random structure of dated or even inaccurate information, stone-age webdesign. Think about the RO4.02 advertisement dating back to 1999 still prominently displayed on the front page while no mention is made about the current ROSix, dated information regarding Select among other things - utterly unprofessional and counter-productive to their supposed aims. I'm sure there are some people around willing to do a site overhaul for ROL, if only to get rid of the current thing. ROL just needs to ask. The OS desktop cosmetics is obviously a bigger job and probably require professional dedication from a true designer, such as Richard Hallas. But, in all fairness, it seems ROL can just about sustain its own existence, barely any fundemental OS development and can hardly financially justify a cosmetic overhaul of the RO desktop... I'd say nowadays getting a Select subscription is mostly about putting food on PM's table.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 28/2/07 12:37PM
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On CDVDBurn to support DVD-RAM:

AW: They are normally called video dvd's. See [link] for more info. Gosh, I actually found that in about 5 secs...

I was hearing very little since the CDVDBurn launch, so it's quite refreshing to hear Steffen has been busy. I look forward to the new CDFS driver. It may be a wild guess, but perhaps Steffen can benefit from some of the CinoDVD developments made by Adrian Lees?

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 25/2/07 3:10PM
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On How to port RISC OS 5 to the RiscPC:

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

The problems were related to 2 main things: I couldn't get my Select to work with my screen (X-filed) and one often used application would crash at a particular point probably due to restructured OS components in Select. It had nothing to with 26-bit / 32-bit compatibility. Like I previously said; most software I use will probably keep working - meaning they are 26/32-bit neutral and rely on common 4.0x / 5.xx aspects.

If you read the ROOL article referred to by above Drobe news, you'd find this bit:

"There is no provision for mixing 26-bit mode and 32-bit mode applications on the same machine – if you built the OS to run in 32-bit mode, you would be losing the ability to run legacy applications. However, it should still be possible to build the OS to run in 26-bit mode, with the loss of large application slots and the large module area."

Like flibble also pointed out, RISC OS 5 can be built to run in 26-bit mode and, furthermore, there's probably a fair deal of support left for the RiscPC in the sources available to ROOL. This was the point I was trying to make earlier; the effort required to make it RiscPC / emulator compatible may not be so substantial, though certain obstacles need to be overcome. The price of OS consolidation, I guess.

Yes, there are a load of 26-bit apps left, but clinging to those might also severely restrict future growth possibilities - personally, I do not require them just as I no longer require the name 'Acorn' to play a role in my RISC OS computing. I like to run a relatively modern OS with relatively modern apps on it, like NetSurf for example.

"If I gave you a copy of RISC OS 5 for RiscPC today, you'd have deleted it and be back to running 4.02 an hour later, and complaining like mad about all the things I've detailed above."

That depends - but if you cooked up a special version for me you may well be right ;)

"Therefore anyone who wants RISC OS 5 on the RiscPC must state precisely what they expect it to be, in terms of functionality and compatibility with both existing software and 3rd party hardware."

Fully compatible. I'm pretty sure most stuff will work like it did with 3.7, since the resources still exist + the various Pace / Tematic builds continued for the RiscPC until about 2001. I'm even willing to give up on certain things, if it means working together on a singular OS with all accompanying benefits for the market and developers.

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

I'm not so sure about that or if ROOL would allow it. We still have to see the final license which will determine the specifics. I'm glad you care about it so much, but please keep an open mind.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 31/1/07 4:06PM
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On How to port RISC OS 5 to the RiscPC:

Quite simply ROOL's RISC OS allows us to resolve the split ourselves, without needing to rely on ROL ever crossing over. Moreover, given sufficient market pressure, ROL could re-invent themselves by dedicating to adding special features to a commercial, yet fully compatible version of RISC OS 5 able to run on all platforms from free emulator to Iyonix. It could mean everybody working together.

As it stands with ROL being the company that it is, one has to keep paying good money with no real assurance what and when something arrives. I think ROL is in over their head, with A9home users still eagerly awaiting a complete and stable release of Adjust/Select32, subscribers still awaiting Select 4, their chief developer gone and a lot of people disillusioned with them. I see no other viable route, but to seriously consider joining the ROOL initiative while they still can.

If running RISC OS 5 on my RiscPC means helping to consolidate the OS split, I'll do so and most software I use will probably keep working. I've one RiscPC left, which runs RO 4.02 since Select caused problems outweighing the benefits. Putting RO5 on it would, in such case, probably enhance it and give a good feeling that it's basically running the same version as elsewhere. I feel the platform has always been able to rely on Castle, they've always been the dependable and enterprising guys here. I just don't get the same feeling with ROL, which rather makes me feel uncertain and worried about the future of RISC OS.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 31/1/07 1:50PM
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On Select 4 delayed after Middleton family death:

charles: Your story sounds familiar - I believe this has happened to other ROL customers too. Are they fishing for money this way nowadays? Or is their administration really such a mess?

By the way, from the article - "The timescales for the full release of Select 4i1 are pretty close, but we can't give an exact date just yet."

It looks like the current RISC OS Six Preview download is also called 'Select 4i1' ... See - [link] - Oh well, it does say the full release, but wouldn't that be 'Select 4i4' or 'Adjust 2i32i4 Non-Preview' ...?

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 18/1/07 12:53AM
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On RISC OS Open licence in hands of lawyers:

If I'm not mistaking, Castle got their RISC OS sources from Pace. It has been reported that Pace made a version of RISC OS 4 too, which runs on a Risc PC - see [link]

Castle said they've taken over everything from Pace, including Arthur, billions of discs etc. If ROOL were to (eventually) release all the sources Castle has got, would that also include this 'unofficial' build of RISC OS 4 for Risc PC's? Probably not, but if RISC OS 5 was built from this version of RISC OS 4, perhaps it's not such an unrealistic idea that RISC OS 5 could be adapted or built to run on RiscPC / A7000 class machines, either as 26-bit or 32-bit OS. Why anyone would want to do that, I leave in the middle. OK, I admit... I'd want to ;)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 15/01/07 4:54PM
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On The best of the Microdigital Mico manual:

AMS: Well, in this case I reckon they would. I'm not sure, and frankly doubt, if ROL has all relevant specs of the Omega's design, which they obviously need if they're going to build its OS. In the past they could cooperate with MicroDigital, to get RISC OS 4 and early versions of Select to work (I think by letting the Omega 'emulate' the RiscPC's hardware). In some reported instances, Omega's were found to be completely useless because they couldn't be 'reflashed', since it basically is a soft-pc with reconfigurable hardware components. Furthermore, I think ROL ought to be concentrating on, as you once put it, 'where the numbers are' which are the (V)RPC and A9home market.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 8/1/07 12:33PM
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On Playing with prime numbers on RISC OS:

Gregor: Indeed, though in this case it seemed a trivial problem, often a web page requires non-standard special 'fixes' to make it work properly in IE6, as well as the other browsers. Naturally you are free to use any browser you like, but it deserves recommendation to use another browser like Firefox or Opera as often as possible, not just for your computer's security but also to enjoy greater web standard compatibility and encourage the use of them. In this context it should be mentioned that the recently released IE7 does make a significant step forwards to W3C compliance, though not nearly as much as Opera or Firefox.

Perhaps hzn's reaction was a bit 'over-enthusiastic', though essentially I do agree with his advice.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 7/1/07 4:35PM
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On Select chief coder leaves RISCOS Ltd:

bluenose: Indeed, Justin's efforts have been phenomenal and to me it seems quite reasonable to look at one's options and check out new things, after 5 years of RO development and considering future possibilities at ROL may not be particularly promising.

According to ROL, things have never stopped moving, but as far as the end-user is concerned it's a mess. Furthermore, ROSix Preview seems to break more than it adds, so I guess at the moment most users are better off with Adjust / Select 3i4 / RO4.39. I'm afraid Justin's departure could very well mean delay for Select 4 - having been Chief RO coder for over 5 years, Justin has obviously accumulated a wealth of knowledge on RISC OS and its internal workings. Needless to say, any newcomer will have to start from scratch or at least will have to build up a substantial base before resuming development at a satisfactory pace. I can imagine ROL not being particularly happy with this news. They're in debt over their heads now, both A9home users and Select subscribers expecting stable and improved releases sooner rather than later.

I hope Justin chooses not to let his profound knowledge on RO go to waste and considers the options of contributing to the NetSurf or Firefox project or perhaps even looking at the forthcoming ROOL RO5 sources...

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 16/12/06 3:29PM
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On Iyonix-only Firefox 2 port released online:

Excellent news, once again Peter delivers on his word.

I can only suggest Iyonix and A9home users who haven't contributed yet to do so. If you were holding out for Oregano 3, is it unwise to say this first release of Firefox 2 will only delay it further? Frankly I doubt if it will ever be released to the public. When was Oregano 3 announced? It seems like years ago... Indeed, Firefox 2 is here now.

I believe it's quite possible that Firefox 2 on RO can eventually enjoy an equally satisfactory level of RO integration as Oregano 3 (supposedly) has, and perhaps even a better quality of website rendering. This is one of those projects to support if you're depending on your RISC OS machine to remain capable in this day and age.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 2/12/06 4:09PM
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On ROS Open awaiting licensing wording agreement:

Indeed it's in their best interests to resolve this, as they probably are unable to do any business with RISC OS 5 in the meantime: certainly most, if not all, potential licensees / clients are aware of the transitory phase RO5 is going through and eagerly await details of the 'shared source' license before acting. We must not forget that there is a lot of history tied in with that code and Castle / ROOL must check upon all possible contributions and agreements from the past, before giving the green light to move on.

With regards to ROL, they've simply screwed up in my opinion even though they finally have put something out. Above mentioned comments from a ROL director are just hilarious, seeing he probably felt secure in saying that after his company released a handicapped, unfinished and long overdue product clouded by irregular naming and compatibility conventions. By the way, how many directors does ROL have and how many actual developers?

AMS: Don't worry too much about that - if someone is crazy enough, that'd be ROL, but it would take them about 20 years of Select subscriptions to get it ported. There isn't so much in RO that would be a 'must-have' for the other desktop OS's, practically everything useful has been improved upon or done in a better way. As many have mentioned, the only real benefits RO still offers is its fairly intuitive GUI, overall snappyness and perhaps its obscurity. And, ofcourse, several very nice applications making good use of RO's style. The Linux world has copied a bit with their ROX filer, Mac OS X (mind the 'X', since it makes all the difference from previous incarnations!) already has a good deal of RO-like functionality and Windows is going its usual way with the odd bit of copying from OS X and Linux perhaps. No real need to worry in my opinion, I think the farthest RO will come in that respect is to PDA's and some other ARM platforms.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 28/11/06 1:47PM
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On R-Comp email software to fight spam:

I think a bayesian filter is a good idea, even if it needs to be 'trained'. Often, the training merely requires checking the spam box for valid messages and mark them appropriately - the program will then 'learn' from its 'mistakes'. A rules-based system checking e-mail headers can work reasonably well for a while, if comprehensively set up, but in time it will need manual tweaking. Furthermore, as hzn pointed out, if a computer is infected and your e-mail address is on it, you'll be receiving it from 'trusted' sources, whereas a bayesian filter could recognize its contents as spam nevertheless and even notify you that a 'trusted' or white-listed address has been marked as spam, so you can alert that person.

I'm having about 15 to 25 spam messages a day and I used to delete them manually from my RiscPC, but now I'm using another system which in only a few days (ie. e-mail pick-ups) has 'learned' to capture all the spam I get. It uses a bayesian filter which has the main advantage it can dynamically adapt and 'learn' to recognize changing methods of spamdistribution, so you do not have to burden yourself with having to learn a new script of filtering rules you need to change from time to time. Ofcourse, a combination of both bayesian filtering and pre-defined rules make for the best spam-trapping, if you absolutely need to make sure you won't see one slipping through!

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 27/11/06 4:10PM
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On RISC OS 6 Select 4 preview released:

thesnark: OK. I was just wondering how ROL would deliver ROSix for respectively 26bit and 32bit machines. It slipped my mind that the build made available is only for 26bit compatible machines and it just isn't made clear on the download page. In fact, it's not really made clear at all... I'd say some parts of the new site (which is an improvement by itself) could be better worded. I'm sure most A9home users know what the deal is, but for someone looking in from the outside things still look rather confusing and unclear. So 'Adjust32' is RISC OS 6, though named RISC OS 4.42 and since the FAQ mentions ROSix is not just another name for Select 4, what would Select 4 offer over and beyond ROSix, since the ROSix download is named 'Select4i1.arc' ? There's still no 'end-user feature list' on the Key Features page, though there has been for programmers for over a month now.

imj: As I understood it, there are some benefits for having the OS running in 32bit on RPC class machines, but they're insignificant compared to the problems caused to existing solutions creating massive compatibility problems from a software to hardware level.

Anyway... I guess A9home using subscribers would get a special 32bit version of Select 4 specifically tailored to their machines later on, which would re-flash the A9home's ROM.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 25/11/06 4:37PM
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On RISC OS 6 Select 4 preview released:

Congratulations to RISCOS Ltd.

After years, a new release has been made to (ex-)subscribers! I presume the 'Select4i1' download is a universal binary, meaning it contains both a 26- and 32bit build of the OS? I'm quite eager to learn more about the new technology and features in this preview release, let's hope a Drobe preview / review is not far off...

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 25/11/06 1:24PM
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On TechWriter to get Word 2k export:

The ability to export documents to Word 2000 is certainly very important to keep communicating with the PC world at large.

However, I feel I must point out that the 'obvious' alternative need not necessarily be MS Office / Word on Windows, as has been suggested. The biggest alternative to MS Office itself is OpenOffice.org and is freely available for the big 3 systems (Windows, OS X and Linux). It provides reasonably good alternatives for all the applications contained in MS's Office suite, however compatibility is not perfect though pretty good overall. It also deserves mention that Microsoft has been developing MS Office for Apple's Mac system since the very beginning and offers, naturally, full compatibility with the Windows native version of Office.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 24/11/06 6:37PM
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On Firefox 2 will be Iyonix-only:

I'm just going to be bold here - debating how well Firefox 2 will run on the VRPC emulator is nonsensical. For all I care, it won't even run on these imitator systems, since wether they be running on top of Linux, Windows or OS X, all of the above already have decent webbrowsers and I assume people running RO on those emulators do so because they require one or more RO-specific applications, particularly not because they wish to experience the RO browser issue.

Since RISC OS does not run natively on x86, PPC, an abacus or whatever, I do not consider them a RO machine. Just my opinion. By that logic, this RiscPC is a MegaDrive, a Gameboy, a C64, an Atari 2600 and so on, because it can emulate them. No, not in my book. The fastest RO machine is the Iyonix. Sorry. I believe priority must be given to those still working on a native RISC OS machine, since they actually need it and can't simply 'jump' out of the RO desktop for any special browsing requirements.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 20/11/06 3:57PM
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On Flash 7 player port started:

It seems after, what turned out to be, a quiet period (still no Select 4) the platform again has some exciting prospects with a strong chance of success.

I believe the window for Oregano 3 (with its embedded Flash 5 player) has almost passed... Given sufficient funding, hopefully Firefox 2 could be here in 6 months time and if one or more developers would invest serious time and effort in the Gnash port, the platform would have a good chance of keeping some more people onboard for a while longer.

It seems the well-known commercial band of developers are increasingly hesitant at publishing new titles or updating software to modern standards (excluding Martin Wuerthner), while the non-commercial developer community is making practical use of open source applications and libraries from the Linux / BSD world. Perhaps the commercial RO era is just about over and this minority platform can only continue with the aid of open source licenses and applications? Castle / ROOL seem to have caught on and intend to offer an interesting mix in the form of a shared source license, whereas ROL are definitely struggling to keep to the old way which seems more and more a dead end now.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 19/11/06 3:39PM
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On ROL calls for Select coders and testers:

CJE: "well as one of the most vocal and vociferous critics of Select and ROL I thought were upset that you hadn't got value for money. It seems strange to me that you feel so strongly on other peoples behalf!"

First off, I am not a critic of Select by itself, though I have become most critical of RISCOS Ltd for obvious reasons. The Select scheme was a nice idea at the time, but has sadly become a black hole with no guarantees whatsoever. Like flibble pointed out, I have subscribed in the past, but let's just say I get a kick out of criticizing ROL until I reach an orgasmic state of twisted satisfaction and fantasize about taking a dump on PM's car. Just so you know why.

"n.b. I have twice had a meal with Paul Middleton, but I have also done so with many other regular RISC OS exhibitors."

I admire your intestinal fortitude and trust you ended up paying for his meal with the promise you'll get a healthy discount on a Select subscription.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 17/11/06 12:43AM
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On ROL calls for Select coders and testers:

CJE: "Your deduction can't be correct unless a time machine is involved! RISC OS Six was demonstrated in a very near complete state at the recent shows, to involve new programmers would slow down completion, they may possibly want beta testers for specific bits but I doubt it."

Thank you for pointing that out. You see, I'm not able to actually see or test ROL's recent achievements as I live on the mainland. The only chance was the recent Dutch roadshow, but I'm glad I missed it since I'm far too young to have wasted my time there. So anyway, I have to rely on the internet for information about them, which many OS developers seem to provide satisfactorily, but in ROL's case it often seems to leave (too) much room for speculation about the state and release times of ROL products. Ergo, please forgive any misconceptions on my part.

"n.b. How many years of Select subscription did you make?"

What a curious question. I have been an exclusive supporter of RISC OS since it was born. I have never ever had another system in my possession. I have upgraded to RISC OS 4 on both my machines. I have regularly bought software for heavy, daily use on my machines. However, ROL's conduct has become a disgrace and I have not been tempted to subscribe to them since. I see what you're getting at, and for all I care you go to Disneyworld with Paul Middleton, but until they change their ways I will not support ROL. Since I rely on an older application to do real work and it doesn't work properly with Select, I see no reason to resubscribe. If you wish to question my 'loyalty' to ROL, please send me an e-mail but make sure it doesn't look like spam.

"previously Castle were very against open sources, remember they took ROL to task over Printers+ so now that Castle have opened the door to some Open Sourcing, ROL can do likewise!"

I am not so sure if Castle has ever been "against open sources", but if I recall correctly they protested against ROL violating certain terms of the license. I don't think this necessarily implies Castle is against open source software perse, just that Castle doesn't like somebody breaking the terms of a contract with them.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 15/11/06 2:23PM
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On ROL calls for Select coders and testers:

An interesting move, this is. Can I deduct that there are not enough developers at ROL to finish Select 4 before Christmas? Or... even that they've 'lost' one or two developers or beta-testers?

So, simply paying a Select subscription is not enough anymore, now you can join them and do the work yourself. Well, at least in that way you actually get something (RISC OS 6 Preview?) ... However I'd like to suggest a developer with free time for RO work to join the NetSurf project, since that seems to be a slightly more urgent cause at the moment and one ROL is reluctant to address.

This is not the first time ROL have stated they welcome suggestions and ideas for new or enhanced features, but one must consider their severely limited resources and development schedules, so take it with a grain of salt - A media player would be out of the question I think, however a revised DOSFS could be possible and very useful with USB devices.

At least it seems Castle and ROOL have a sense of decency and clarity with the way they're intending to continue RISC OS 5, but after the 'public shares' move of ROL and now even asking programming end-users to help them out I see little future for the company, unless they're willing to open up the sources. As for beta-testing RO releases, it would demand quite some time and patience and unfortunately I have neither for ROL, though perhaps only subscribers have the priviledge of becoming one.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 13/11/06 1:36PM
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On Punters to vote on TechWriter future:

What I have initially proposed is to port certain professional titles to other alternative platforms, not necessarily Windows, since those markets could be more open to software from another alternative platform like RISC OS. I also think RO ports would enjoy more attention and visibility there. Ofcourse, for its sheer numbers, Windows is also very interesting.

My point is this - it would not necessarily have to mean such ported titles would move. Increased sales could be used to help develop the native RO versions of these titles. The ported versions could even attract more attention to RISC OS, since most reviews and such would probably indicate where these ports came from. My main point is that I don't believe the RO market by itself is sufficiently large enough to sustain our favourite applications. Having multiple versions for several other OS's could in effect better our chances, so to speak. However, it would have to mean that developers will not be lured away from RO and only continue doing business on these other platforms, since that would surely mean the end for the RO native versions.

By the way, I am not leaving RISC OS. It was never my intention to make that impression. I run a small home studio on RISC OS and, despite several shortcomings, I love it. It lets me produce music in and through ways simply not possible on mainstream platforms, mainly due to RO's UI and apps making efficient use of that. Starting up fast also helps ;) It's just that for general home computing requirements, such as browsing, RO won't do anymore and therefore I've ordered a Mac.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 10/11/06 12:09AM
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On Punters to vote on TechWriter future:

markee174: "There were previous attempts to port TechWriter to MAC OS and windows which got nowhere."

That's cutting it a little short, isn't it? Like drjones69 said, surely it's possible. Though ofcourse financially speaking it could prove difficult. TechWriter is an excellent application and it deserves to be ported to an excellent platform such as Mac OS X. If the port were to be succesful, I'm sure it would receive a fair deal of recognition and could certainly enjoy a larger amount of business which in turn would mean increased development.

"If TechWriter could save out as PDF, reasonably good word and ODF format would that not provide extremely good ineroperability?"

Well, it certainly would provide a layer of compatibility, but it would also demand the use of RISC OS specifically for that task. Now I realize this statement may upset some people, but the harsh reality is that RO can only fullfill increasingly limited roles in modern work situations - most tasks can be done equally well or better on Macs and Windows PC's, though perhaps not with quite the same elegance or ease. Needless to say many tasks performed on current Macs & PC's can hardly be done on RISC OS...

I believe RISC OS as a serious and capable desktop platform is in the process of ending, even though optimists may disagree seeing the advances made in recent times. Personally, I simply can't afford to continue solely on RO as in the past and have therefore finally put in an order for a Mac yesterday evening (which took me weeks to justify to myself after almost 20 years of sole Acorn use). Many people would say RO is mostly lacking in the application space, and that's true, but as an OS it has also become dated and handicapped compared to its contemporaries, even to other minority systems. The recent 32-bitting of arguably the most developed strand of RO is a commendable achievement, but also a rather insignificant one in the bigger picture. Never before has the OS been so dated compared to its contemporaries, never in its history has it seen so little application development or size of market. To see a next generation of application evolution, the OS would probably have to be rewritten for the most part or even entirely. Simply put - the technical and logical reality is that from here on the functionality of the OS and its applications will deminish, save for a handful of fanatics. Ofcourse, if you believe in miracles, they can happen.

I therefore feel the time is now to start porting the remaining professional applications to other alternative platforms, ideally Mac OS X seeing its current market position and resemblance to RISC OS in several ways. Again, some could regard this as heresy, but it would ensure these applications have a larger chance of survival and even flourishment. Any succes abroad could even be made to use in the RO market, for the benefit of those still insisting on its exclusiveness. Several applications of RO descent have made quite a succesful transition in the past.

The way this market is sustained is like a family keeping their relative alive through an artificial life-support system and a great deal of affection. Though a noble approach, I believe it's also a morally questionable one certainly seeing the needs companies like ROL require.

Naturally, it's anybody's free choice to keep using RO, but I suspect most already have PC's or Macs to compensate for increasingly serious shortcomings. In the end it is a tool. Is RO condemned to live on as a rather expensive geek's toy?

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 6/11/06 2:02PM
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On South East 2006 show videos:

em2ac: It's actually called Cineroma and it's been under development for years now. I know there have been several beta testers getting versions to try out, but these versions have never been made publicly available. David McEwen has said in the past he'll make it available when he finds it's ready for release, ie. stable and refined. Ofcourse, like all RO developers, he works on Cineroma in his spare time. Last I heard he's adding (even more) codecs and trying to get more speed out of it, after that a decent front-end, so we'll have a release by 2008, I suppose. Sorry it this sounds rude, but Cineroma has been known since 2002 or earlier and this platform is in urgent need of a media player. I hate to think a RO company has put off developing a commercial media player, because of Cineroma. I know for a fact the lack of a good browser and media player has made people leave the platform, so I wonder how many would be left to enjoy such apps on RISC OS when they'd be available.

- [link]

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 02/11/06 2:50PM
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On South East 2006 show videos:

A bit of an irony that the videos cannot be viewed on the platform they're addressing, but nevertheless very positive news for those who couldn't be present at the event. I'm especially curious what's been said about the RO Six and ROOL 'shared source' developments.

Now I have to convince a friend to let me watch them at his place without relieving him of his beer again... not to mention the usual RO rant :)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 31/10/06 5:13PM
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On South East 2006 show report:

You know what particularly disturbed me - at Wakefield this year, PM apparently told eager visitors that a browser is too expensive, so he advised it would be cheaper to get 2nd hand PC's with Internet Explorer. That really annoyed me, for several reasons. RISC OS absolutely needs a decent browser of its own and it's probably one of the most required developments by RO users today.

Yes, it should be their job to develop a browser or they won't have a job for much longer. The most obvious thing to do, would be to assign one (or more...) ROL coder to the NetSurf project. That would benefit us all, show that they are genuinely concerned about the issue and help restore lost credibility.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 24/10/06 5:09PM
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On RISC OS 6 to power Select 4:

I can already see Paul Middleton reading these reactions on Drobe and shaking his head. Indeed Paul, you can't win with words anymore. You've basically wasted all your credibility by taking people's money for years and replacing them with empty promises. There is only one solution in my opinion - organise an event, where ROL will deliver a product for users to take home. Preferably two products; RISC OS 6 and Select 4.

To ROL's credit, I have to say that, although I have mixed feelings about the 'SIX' numbering, it seems that this upcoming new version of RISC OS will be significantly enhanced with loads of bug fixes, optimisations and streamlining while being very well suited to base future developments for future hardware on. However, when most of us sit down in front of it we probably won't notice this. We'd find it may boot slightly faster or has slightly better network functionality. In all basically the same experience as v4.39.

I guess the reason ROL has chosen this is quite clear - they wanted to ensure their future, meaning they had to convert their RO sources to 26 / 32 bit neutrality. While working to achieve this, it was logical to make use of the low level work to fix bugs on a massive scale, streamline and optimise stuff, get rid of ancient and other useless stuff, abstract away / further modularize, etc. So, in the end, it may well represent the best RO has ever been and deserves credit for that. Right, but now it's time to stop gazing into and preparing for a future that may never come and start realizing there are a lot less people in the room.

In other words - I believe ROL has played their last 'Jack' card and have no more room for excuses. I know this has been said by others, as well as myself before, but I'm sure the thing moss said in an earlier comment has passed through the minds of others as well. It has with me. Some will find this the last straw and leave, whereas others experience this as a clear sign towards a more active and secure future. I'm still having mixed feelings.... I guess amid the various directions RISC OS has gone, the market has fallen apart, users have stopped bothering to keep themselves informed, resources have been wasted, etc. RISC OS Six could be the excellent new foundation it's intended to be. But for that to happen, it needs to run equally well on all machines and, hopefully before long, on an Iyonix II featuring promising new hardware. At least I can say, if that would happen it would surely restore a lot of faith in my heart.

By the way, just to make some things clear : RISC OS Six would run everywhere, except the Iyonix which will make it useless to a significant amount of users and developers. When it arrives, it would run on the A9home, though I'm not so sure exactly how different RO6 will be from the existing RO4.42 - I guess not by much. In any way, for anyone to use Select 4, RO6 is a prerequisite. Thankfully, when you get Select 4, you'd already have RO6. Theoretically. This all being. Finally, I'm quite curious how this all poses to developers - will they need to cater for widely differing OS versions, should they want an application to run on all machine / RO combinations? If so, and a developer will basically need to write several 'versions' of an application for it to function with all systems, this will be devastating for the market.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 19/10/06 11:50AM
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On RISC OS 6 to power Select 4:

I think I just blew a fuse... WTF?!

Indeed, this is ridiculous. ROL should've released RO4.5 as their 'official' 26 / 32 bit neutral version. Although I've read the FAQ on their (somewhat good looking) RO Six webpage, I still find this move confusing. To me it seems ROL is playing a game.

So we now have:

RO3.7x - limited supported legacy RO4.0x - Standard version RO4.39 - RISC OS Adjust RO4.4x - A9home version RO5.xx - Iyonix version RO6.xx - Legacy & modern + possible Iyonix version.

Oh, and somewhere in between there's a Select scheme running. Amazing, isn't it?

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 18/10/06 6:48PM
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On Qercus back from the dead shocker:

krisa: Is it real? Not an elaborate lightshow projected with the aid of hallucinogenic gasses by a John Cartmell in a van playing the soundtrack to 'Sorcerer' around the corner?

"Ladies and Gentlemen, an historic announcement is to be given this day - our lives, as they have been, are over. From this time forward, Qercus will be an actual, repetitive phenomenon to be studied by scholars and enthusiasts alike with the single intention of clarifying the existence of teh R.I.S.C. O.S. - a form of operating system unheard of in the IT universe. There are unconfirmed reports Steve Jobs and Bill Gates' alter-ego, Linus Torvalds, have committed to its study."

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 17/10/06 11:07AM
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On How to create a modern desktop theme:

flypig: Exactly. The days of the computer being purely an instrument of work, confined to a small 'office room' or similar are over. In my experience, one can find computers more and more in the living room, as equal to the TV or Stereo.

This became pretty obvious when the standard 'beige boxes' were gradually getting replaced by designer boxes, when fan noise levels became a critical factor, when laptop and TFT screens got cheaper and popular, etc. I like customizing the appearance of the RO desktop and wouldn't dream of having a desktop like Windows 9x - now that's appalling, not to mention uninviting to the casual user! There is a point to all this, which I believe is that the computer generally has matured beyond the work/tech-only beginnings and became a consumer product, including the 'nice-looking' aspect. Now, if the eye-candy is only getting in the way, there is indeed little point to having it beyond the 'glamour' factor. But when the eye-candy actually integrates with usability to present a more intuitive and helpful computer experience, I'm all for it. I think Apple has understood this reasonably well as demonstrated in certain Mac OS X effects, such as the user-switching cube or front row.

Although the RO look can still be made to look modern and appealing, we should not disregard the potential of certain 'special FX' to increase usability and make the system more accessible. RO certainly has done a great deal right in the first place, but there's also room for improvement. Thankfully most RO users seem to have opened up to other (alternative) OS's on a usability level, now the next step is to see what we can copy Microsoft-style... ;)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 09/10/06 5:14PM
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On RISC OS Open needs your help:

Try Damn Small Linux or Puppy Linux - both can be as small as around 50MB, meaning they can fully load in RAM. I believe DSL can even run under Windows.

There's really no excuse not being able to run Linux these days.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 08/10/06 4:56PM
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On How to create a modern desktop theme:

druck: Indeed, thanks for pointing that out. Feel a bit stupid I missed it earlier, also because I found Chris' solution a good idea. Too bad this issue wasn't 'fixed' in RO4, but I imagine they weren't thinking about this since they weren't intent on replacing the toolsprites.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 4/10/06 4:37PM
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On How to create a modern desktop theme:

An interesting article. Somehow I keep changing the appearance of my desktop from time to time and have been doing so since Acorn's NewLook came out! At the moment it features a mix of KDE, RO5 and OS X icons... While RO5's default look is good, RO4's look has remained stuck in the nineties and, like the article rightly points out, it does not make use of varying palettes or higher colour modes. Surely most of us work with 15-bit ( 32.768 ) colours or more? While uniformity can be a good thing, RO4's icons lack distinction. For an improved variation on those icons, check out:

[link]

Ofcourse, I've immediately downloaded Chris' chromic look sprites which look quite good and much better than the default RO4 tools and gadgets. I do have one point of critique though; normally a window with input focus has a highlighted title bar, but apparently not so with the chromic tools set. Perhaps I need to reboot with them? Anyway, the suggestions Chris made for the developers of RO are quite interesting, of which I found the first and the last most practical for everyday use.

Btw, a tip to create variable 256c palette icons - use InterGif to create optimum palettes from 16 or 24-bit images.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 4/10/06 3:19PM
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On Intel wheels out 1.2GHz XScale family:

I just hope Castle still thinks it's worth their while to build an Iyonix II - technically it's certainly possible and I assume enough progress has been made now to make it a substantial improvement over the original Iyonix. The question is, do they still believe it's feasible to invest the time and effort in our current market? How many people will buy it within, say, the first year of production?

I'm sure that if they see an economical possibility to do so, they will. Perhaps it also depends on how RISC OS 5 works out - if parts of it actually are to be open sourced and development thereof would be considerable, it could take a load of Castle so they could concentrate more on Iyonix II and its hardware support...

By the way, it would be nice if they'd lowered pricing of the first Iyonix to tempt those still using legacy hardware. :)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 29/9/06 10:24AM
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On Hallas to study history of Acorn PhD:

AMS: "So how innovative really are (say) Microsoft ?"

Mindboggling ofcourse - however, their stuff is most used, so they sure are a clever bunch. Like I saw in a film yesterday: "They're so incompetent, that the guys ahead of them can't do their work right and fall over. They move up."

"We've already established that Apple (for all their patents) basically flogged a "reinterpretation" of Xeroc PARC's windowing interface."

So did Acorn and the rest. Apple was the first to take that idea and implement it sensibly in the consumer market. After that, the rest followed suit. So, we should be thankful to Apple, otherwise we wouldn't all be happily running Windows. Psst, don't mention Doug Engelbart, okay?

"And of course the iPod (which saved Apple's bacon as it were) has more than a passing resemblance to how the Creative Zen (and its kind) work doesn't it."

Ah, that must explain it. Popular myth will have you believe the return of <angelic-choir>Stevus of Jobus</angelic-choir> and his iMac saved Apple. Anyway, the iPod made them fat and OS X isn't good for the old teeth. So, we should be thankful to Apple, otherwise we wouldn't all (soon enough) be running Vista and having a Zune for Christmas. That's what I call mighty-fine-wise-a*s-country-trash innovation, yeah.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 14/09/06 10:52PM
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On Open sourcing RISC OS won't help says ROL:

markee174: By being more careful and perhaps more questioning towards ROL in future. It'll depend on Select 4 and what it does to further RO in practice.

In other words, if Select 4 doesn't convince the majority of (ex-)subscribers, then ROL will have probably lost their business. They can start earning back the respect of the community by providing a comprehensive webpage on Select 4, with plenty screenshots and practical examples of its new features in terms most users can understand, ie. no programmer logs. On this page they may also give a better than vague description of what an Iyonix Select might provide. In a later stage, for example after the release of Select 4, they can start rebuilding their website to make it generally more interesting to look at, up-to-date and a place where interested parties can look up what RO is all about - meaning a bit more 'outsider' friendly.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 5/9/06 1:34PM
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On Hallas to study history of Acorn PhD:

What a courageous and marvelous plan! I'm sure many of us have wondered if such a book would ever appear and now I believe the time will indeed come. I'm especially happy with the support Herman Hauser is giving Richard, which ofcourse ultimately serves to immortalize his own 'baby'.

I sincerely must congratulate and thank Richard and wish him great success in achieving his goal. I hope it may inspire others.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 3/9/06 6:10PM
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On RISC OS 4 caught on Mac OS X:

jess: I completely second that - in fact, I'd say it should be free and available for all common platforms, complete with a special distro of RO3.1 rigged for VA5000.

I can understand if Castle is hesitant to open source only 3.1 -- it already contains pretty much all the GUI 'niceties' which continue to make RO unique today. So, perhaps a deal can be struck between them and VirtualAcorn to have a special binary-only 'promotion' version of VA5000. It could really help the platform as a whole by making RO accessible and interest potential developers + act as a 'warming up' for a possible open sourcing of RO at a later time.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 30/8/06 1:55PM
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On RISC OS 4 caught on Mac OS X:

Well, apparently there were a few (minor?) issues with the Mac version of VRPC which prevented it from being released. However, I believe that was at least a year ago and nothing seems to have been done to fix them.

VirtualAcorn should fix these and release a Universal Binary version of the software as soon as possible. Only having it for Windows sucks pretty bad. They should also redo their website, which looks cheesy and offputting especially the cheap RO3 intro bit. Also, I find the Win2000 desktop on the title page cleaner and more professional looking than the cluttered 1995 RO3 desktop... RISC OS can look so much better.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 29/8/06 2:02PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

flibble: Indeed, thank you for correcting me there! I do have a copy of O1, which contains OpenSSL and some OSS libs... I'll try to be more accurate next time ;)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 29/08/06 1:33PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

A modern webbrowser is quite a complex piece of software. It's not just about supporting webstandards like CSS or Javascript, but also letting it work with poorly designed, MSIE aimed websites among many other issues. Especially on a platform such as RO it requires a lot of work. I believe NetSurf is the best we can hope for in a market barely able to sustain itself commercially, as NetSurf need not be financially viable or commercially rewarding. Also by nature, it can utilise certain other open source 'tools' which simply cannot be used by a commercial closed source browser such as Oregano 3, aiding considerably in its development.

Oregano 3 will probably not be released for similar reasons as to why CinoDVD is 'on hold'. Marketsize and viability; like the price of a standalone DVD player, it is slightly more expensive than free to install Linux on an old PC and run Firefox on it. So why would any commercial developer take a risk by putting a relatively expensive product on a tiny market, when that same product is arguably better and free on just about any other platform?

A Media Player is almost the same as the browser - it is an essential on any modern computer. Again, a media player is a lot of work, especially when dealing with RO / ARM machines. Let's just keep our fingers crossed for Cineroma, but as long as the author intends to keep it a personal spare-time project and only release it at decent quality (perhaps v1.0), it can take from several months to years.

RO users need to come to terms that our small little platform can no longer be fairly compared to the likes of modern PC's (Windows / Linux / etc.) and Macs, especially what can technically be expected from ARM based RO machines. The exception being ofcourse its GUI, which remains outstanding and an inspiration to others. When Linux picks our GUI up, and ROX is rapidly gaining popularity, I believe that's about it - the ARM / RO machine may gracefully take its place next to the Amiga, Atari, NeXT, etc. machines in the museum. Open sourcing the OS in whole, or in part, may hopefully be what it takes for it to survive. In the meantime, try to appreciate what we already have accomplished, which is quite amazing really, when you consider the amount of resources we've had at our disposal - I believe it's been almost entirely due to a distinct love for the platform and its community.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 28/08/06 6:44PM
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On RISC OS 4 caught on Mac OS X:

Finally! Excellent news for which I've been waiting a long time. Now just a bit more for it to get refined and merged into the main RPCemu code, but I feel much more certain of this then VRPC ever appearing for the Mac. I kind-of understood why VirtualAcorn did not choose to release it for Linux, but surely that argument does not apply to Apple computers?

In my opinion, the Mac serves as a more logical substitute for RO users than Windows, so sometimes I find it a bit odd that the PC, or rather Windows, seems to be the obvious alternative for many RO users. Perhaps many RO users are using a Mac at the side, so I could very well be wrong here. Anyway, I'm very happy with this news! Thanks must go to Chris for managing to get it to work on his Mac!

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 28/8/06 1:05PM
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On Adjust users get Select site access:

This is ofcourse all very good news for Adjust ROM owners. I just hope that, when Select 4 is finally beyond beta stage and ready for a first release, there will still be people ready to buy it / subscribe. I'm sorry, but I can't justify it to myself to pay this company seeing their trackrecord and disregard for their customers. Sad, since the Select 4 details so far seem pretty good...

I'm sure it's a question of priorities, but as long as ROL is still working on A9home Select32 (or whatever it's called) they should not take on anymore subscriptions. To me it seems they do not have the resources to have people working on both simultaneously, eventhough both versions share sourcecode.

I feel they've essentially cheated on the Select subscribers. It's all nice and well that PM says that in the last 2 years they were really doing something, but that seems quite irrelevant when subscribers have still received completely nothing for their money.

"I appreciate that it may appear that absolutely no work seems to have been done on Select 4 in the past 2 years, but the fact is that we have done the conversion of RISC OS 4 to 32 bit with far fewer resources than Pace had when they did the work on their version of RISC OS."

To me this sounds completely ridiculous. My version; I appreciate that it may appear that absolutely no work seems to have been done on spraypainting your car in the past 2 years, but the fact is that we have replaced the tires with far fewer resources than the local garage had when they did the work on their car.

Not only is this a bogus answer, it also seems PM is boasting a bit about how they reinvented the wheel with less effort or something...

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 21/8/06 3:00PM
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On Castle considering open sourcing RISC OS:

Just a thought; Could the mysterious RISC OS Open Ltd be behind Castle's sudden 'change of heart' regarding the legal status of RISC OS 5? I particularly like to quote the following lines from the article:

"In a further twist in the story, there are rumours that RISC OS Open Ltd, a new company backed by ex-Tematic and Pace staff, are to be given access to the RISC OS 5 source code from Castle. The engineers are believed to be owed cash from their time at Tematic, and the hand over of RISC OS source code could be one form of payment open to them."

Furthermore I like to agree with druck about the 'open source fairy tale' - the wellspread success stories of Firefox and Linux have probably contributed to such a misplaced belief. However, on balance I believe open sourcing various parts of the OS may give it a better chance of enjoying development than the current state of affairs allows. Therefore I hope they proceed with it and all parties, not just end-users, may share any benefits coming from this move. Contrary to what some people may think, simply open sourcing a software project does not necessarily mean no money can be made from it anymore. Perhaps this move may even force the likes of Castle and ROL to cooperate more. Keeping my fingers crossed...

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 15/8/06 11:25AM
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On Sibelius flogged to US software giant:

goodingip: Cakewalk is a very old MIDI sequencer, whereas Sibelius 7 is specifically music notation software. Although both applications are intended to assist in the production of music, comparing them is like comparing apples with oranges. It's more appropriate to compare Sibelius 7 with a version of Finale of similar age. Back in the days of Cakewalk (Pro), we had Serenade which was nice, but not really a fair match in terms of features. It was only years later that we managed to catch up somewhat with the arrival of MIDIWorks and MelIDI, the last addition being Anthem.

Sibelius 7 is a wonderful app, but has been long surpassed by the Sibelius versions for Mac and Windows, version 4 being the latest. However, if you still prefer doing scorewriting work on your ROS machine, Sibelius 7 is undoubtedly the best notation software you can have. For recording and sequencing under ROS, I thoroughly recommend MelIDI.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 9/8/06 12:28AM
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On 'Why we love drag and drop on RISC OS':

How about the drag&drop installation of an application anywhere in the Filer? The only platform where I've seen anything remotely resembling that is Mac OS X and the ROX filer (which incidentally also provides drag&drop saving). ROS even allows for the installation of an application inside another application! I love it, like practically all the other drag&drop functionality of RISC OS. It gives me a sense of freedom and control over my desktop, while also providing scope for a more intuitive handling. While chatting, it's lovely to be able to directly drag a URL out of NetSurf's URL bar using the Ctrl key and dropping it in a chat window. Conversely, the ability to simply drop a Text file containing a URL onto NetSurf's URL bar is just as useful. Among other stuff, I believe especially the drag&drop concept as seen in ROS makes navigating and using the desktop so swift. Essentially, a user may have more of a unified desktop experience, ie. the whole desktop being one interconnected application. I believe Herbert zur Nedden hit it on the head when saying -- "The main benefit of drag and drop is that you work with the data and not the applications to handle your files."

By the way, in the article Richard Hallas stated "that while RISC OS pulled off drag and drop first..." which is inaccurate. The concept of drag&drop is quite old, possibly going back to Engelbart's GUI designs of the 1960's. What can be said, however, is that RISC OS probably was the first that implemented a refined, widespread and consistent use of drag&drop and, surprisingly enough, still is unique in that aspect.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 7/8/06 12:32PM
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On 'Why we love drag and drop on RISC OS':

A really good article, which is written with the non-ROS user in mind. Although indeed many software titles on ROS are somewhat dated in terms of features and capability, they still shine in terms of their user interface which more often than not works hand in hand with the ROS desktop interface.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. As some have put it; the ROS GUI has changed very little over the years, because it was done right in the first place! Only now, more than a decade later are other operating systems catching up to what ROS users have enjoyed for years.

By the way, NetSurf can both export webpages as a DrawFile and drag-save selected text :)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 6/8/06 4:40PM
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On Sibelius flogged to US software giant:

JanRinze: Excellent point and I thoroughly agree with that.

I can remember how composers and musicians would actually buy an Archimedes or RiscPC purely to run Sibelius - in other words a true Killer App. Several Hollywood films had their soundtracks written largely on Sibelius, even in the RiscPC days. Yet another example of finding Acorns in situations demanding a dependable and intuitive solution. In the field of music notation there is nothing like Sibelius and as such one may find it serving the world's finest composers.

Here is the complete story from the source, with a message from Jonathan and Benn Finn on the deal :

[link]

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 6/8/06 3:21PM
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On ROL: Adjust figures looking swell:

thegman: OK, well as far as I understand, the A9home version of Adjust is supposed to be functionally identical to 26-bit Adjust, such as released for RiscPC class machines. The only difference, next to its 32-bitness, being certain support for the A9home's specific hardware, which was apparently developed by AdvantageSix themselves.

I figure that if Select 4 would ever arrive, it could re-flash the version of Adjust inside the A9's ROM, rather than softloading on top of it. Nonetheless I always assumed the base version of ROS with which the A9home is delivered, is Adjust32. However, I've seen a screenshot of the Task Manager's Info box which says 'Select 32' which only confuses me more. Why don't ROL explain their versioning system of RO4 simply and clearly on their website? I find this all highly confusing, including what version of ROS is supposed to be included by default on A9home and what software package is bundled. Does anyone know if this is mentioned somewhere?

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 2/8/06 6:27PM
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On ROL: Adjust figures looking swell:

sa110: Where he usually places such happy information - the ROL website's news section.

thegman: Interesting, I thought the Adjust delivered in the released version of A9home was identical to the ROM sold seperately and Select 3i4. But from your words I get the impression that should also be the case? Where does one actually find what software is included with the A9home? The only 'official' info I can find on the unit is:

[link]

Anyway, beyond Adjust sale figures he should also talk about Select 4 - how is that coming along and when could we possibly expect to see it?

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 2/8/06 11:43AM
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On ROS must open up to survive says Wild:

Excellent point George.

Perhaps Chris should've considered that the other main subject matter, next to Open Sourcing ROS, is how to revive it for the desktop - which is, ofcourse, where most of us care about it. Open Sourcing ROS could be a realistic way of achieving that.

It seems fairly obvious to me that, at its current path, ROS will end up as an OS for embedded purposes, with perhaps the occassional development spin-off for the desktop market. I have one simple reason for that; The desktop market is too small to sustain a software (or/and hardware) business with. Oh, another reason - just look at where A6's and Castle's primary focus is at. As for ROL, well didn't Paul M. say at Wakefield it'll be a couple of weeks before Select 4 will be ready? It's been a couple of months since Wakefield. The word of ROL has become virtually worthless and, as a company, I can only see them becoming dependent upon Advantage Six. I'd rather not think about how many Select subscribers they have left. Perhaps they can have a future if Ad6 commissions them certain software development tasks, which they may release in one form or another for RO4 users.

Without regular news and at least some visible development, this desktop market will wither away until just a handful of ROS enthusiasts are left. Is this what Castle/ROL/AD6 want, since it seems they are surely allowing it to happen faster than ever?

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 26/07/06 1:08PM
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On ROS must open up to survive says Wild:

Cogs: "Among the general population or just geeks? I don't think I know of anyone burning a DVD with video. Not a single person of any age. They could have and I just haven't heard about it, but it can't be common."

That's nice, I guess there's a great concentration of geeks around here then. The Dutch government named our city a 'brainport', because we're quite technologically oriented - it's the city where "Philips" is based, Eindhoven. There's really a lot going on here, so that may explain it. I'm not saying everybody does it, only that it's not hard to find someone putting a recorded video on DVD.

"When I go out I don't see huge numbers of people with digital camcorders at events. Most people would only produce very mundane video anyway, so I'm not suprised noone seems to bother. As for ripping commercial copy-protected DVDs: that would require software that non-geeky types wouldn't usually have or know where to obtain. I see lots of people with ripped CDs, but not DVDs."

Neither do I see "huge numbers of people" doing that, but I do see it regularly at events. As for ripping commercial CD's and DVD's, it (sadly) happens around here judging from the copied discs I notice. In fact, I went out yesterday and I got a DVD from somebody, no rip by the way, just a production. It's really a common occurence around here, but I'm sure if I visit a village several kilometers out of town these things would be unusual.

"I don't know much about cineroma, but DivX is about all I require. I steer well clear of Real and WMVs (I think I've caught WMVs trying to do dodgy things and Realplayer wanted my personal details, so I haven't got it - I find I can live without either very easily). As for Quicktime, the cineroma supported codecs list mentions SVQ3, 3ivX, MPEG4 and CVid which I believe covers just about everything you're likely to find in a MOV file."

I just want file compatibility, that's all. There's a lot of Mac use around here, so QuickTime compatibility is a must. I find this is a nice player for several platforms, which could someday be ported to ROS perhaps - [link]

"I think the problem is that geeky people tend to have geeky friends. One tends to assume oneself and ones friends are the whole world."

That first part may well be, but the second sentence is overstating it in my opinion. Ofcourse it heavily influences my perception, but certainly not to that degree! You know, when I think about it, I suppose I have geek properties, but so have so many around here - strange really... We have a lot of cultural events here, a lot of festivals especially in the summer period and dance parties. Everywhere on these events one sees people young and old working with computers to achieve these 'high end' uses. I think many don't know a lot about computer history and hardware, but they definitely know what can be achieved with them.

"I briefly worked for a well-known electronics retailer not that long ago and I know the technical prowes of the general public. The things you list above would be completely beyond the majority of the population. I don't think even most geeky people do 3D modelling - something of a niche requirement there, surely."

3D modelling and music production uses are more uncommon, but I believe in this area generally speaking people are quite well educated in modern uses of computers. There's even one part of the city completely dedicated to Art in all kinds of forms, including digital means. Yesterday night I sat in a bar where, next to the usual DJ, there sat some people projecting snippets of animation, images, graphics live. Now this is ofcourse not where everyone in this city hangs out, but it's a normal occurence. I really believe that generally speaking, the people in this city use their machines for a greater variety of purposes then ROS currently allows. Perhaps this really is Geek City.

"I know lots of students. If they're doing comp sci or digital graphics or something audio or video related, you might be right, especially if they are male."

Well, next to Technical University we have a Design Academy and other institutes which typically involve using computers to play video, design, videochat across buildings, whatever. We actually have videophones in town, so I'm sure we're mad.

"Most students are not those students though. Ask a language student or a sociology student or a history student or a maths student or even an engineering student and you will more likely get the answer I gave."

Perhaps where you're from. You know, I won't pretend to know what everyone does with every computer around here, or the universe, but when I see a granny with a laptop in the park, what can I say? I must take comfort with the fact that surely someone, somewhere in town uses his computer only and exclusively for 'mundane' purposes like just type a friggin' letter and visit MSN.com. However, until now that seems a rarity, sorry.

"Funny you should say that as my father is in his 60s and produces a lot of graphics on his computer for a living... In Artworks on a RiscPC."

Sounds great. There's a well known guy in the dutch ROS scene called Henk Huinen who also makes (or made..) his living with ArtWorks. Terrific app.

"Still, I put a PC together for him a couple of years ago, primarily for Word file import and web browsing. Curiously the two main things my girlfriend does on her PC and she's 25."

OK, that's nice. My girlfriend is 27 and she likes to play Doom on this RiscPC, next to the usual NetSurf / Grapevine use. Perhaps curiously, but she's been the one complaining the hardest about getting a new machine to be able to process photos, play Doom III, create a film or something. Things most of which, sorry to say, is not yet possible on an Iyonix or A9home. So, we are getting a Mac, since they're nice and easy to get around here. I'll keep a RiscPC in the house though :)

"These are the people we should be able to promote RISC OS to, not the power-users. For that we need a 100% capable browser first and foremost."

Yes, for now but remember standards are really being raised. Generally speaking you could very well be able to suggest an Iyonix or A9home to a relative, but I tried and it was turned down rather quick. By the way, that was with my girlfriends' parents, not a design student or something. They simply want to do 'normal' stuff, like being able to play something they come across on the web, burn discs, anything - I'm not saying they'll be Skyping all day long or something, just be able to do these things which are not necessarily just "web browsing and email (the latter probably web-based), downloading and playing mp3s, viewing/uploading pictures from their camera and maybe a little bit of word-processing." Furthermore, they don't want to have to shell out for apps which come standard on all the other computers and by that I don't mean the few examples mentioned above, which can be done pretty much with an Iyonix out of the box.

"Skype's a good example of something that turned out to be a bit pointless for me. I can call Germany or Hungary for 1p/min from my normal phone by dialling a prefix. Why would I want to pay a similar amount and have to turn on a computer to do the same thing? Local calls are free anyway and I can wander around the house with my existing cordless handset."

Very nice, I'm glad for you. Other people do other things. My girlfriends' parents do the same you do, they usually phone. However, they also like a videochat. The thing is, people around here typically buy a computer to do stuff considered pretty advanced in the ROS world. One just can't pin people down to certain particular uses of a computer, however common they may be. It varies. I'll not pretend to know what everybody generally does, but I know that where I live standards are required above the level RO / Iyonix can currently provide. That's not to be harsh or anything, that's just the situation here. Still, when I find someone requiring the stuff an Iyonix or A9home can manage, I'll certainly be all over him or her suggesting to get one of the two, because I still believe ROS has great features, most of all a terrific user interface.

"I don't see why that matters to the survival of RISC OS. It's actually a potentially larger and more affluent market demographic."

OK then.

"As for preemptive multitasking: it doesn't prevent lockups. Fatal lockups happen when something scribbles all over some unprotected memory in module area or when module code gets stuck in a loop or loses track of its stack due to a bug. I'm sure someone will step in with a correction to the rule, but generally I would say: if you can't alt-break out of it, you wouldn't be able to preempt out of it either. But you generally wouldn't be able to preempt existing apps anyway which is the clincher."

OK, thanks for clearing that up for me. I've had a Windows app crash on me a while back, but it didn't hold the system until I forced it to quit which is the case with ROS. Single-tasking error or something. Other processes continued and I had the option of force quitting the unresponsive app anytime. Anyway, I'll be more careful next time :)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 22/07/06 2:20PM
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On ROS must open up to survive says Wild:

Cogs: "I feel this case is often overstated. Possibly Many people would like to view DVDs, true, but until Cino appears, that can be done just as well with a stand-alone DVD player that people would probably own anyway."

People expect a new computer to be able to play and burn DVD's where I come from (which is the Netherlands, so that may explain it). Admittedly, there may be a few people around not particularly expecting that, but they are few and far between. Remember, we are talking about people buying a new computer and potentially interested in an Iyonix or A9home. Cino has been in the pipeline for how long now? At least 2 years or so? I remember a Drobe article mentioning an effort to increase data transfer through ADFS, which would help a lot:

[link]

I'm not sure, but I believe that work has not yet been done. There's also the question of money - CinoDVD vs stand alone player. However, I like to mention that there are a lot of instances imaginable were one would like to be able to play a DVD on one's computer. One example; I have a DVD player which I'll give away once we have replaced this RiscPC with a Mac (which, like Linux and Windows, comes with player software).

"A few people would want to view digital video, but if/when Cineroma sees the light of day I doubt the video formats it fails to support will cause headaches for anybody who can't view them."

A few people? Well, again, in my surroundings people actually do want to be able to play or create video's. Cineroma would indeed be very nice, but does it support QuickTime for example? Or other closed source, proprietary formats which are typically found littered over the web or p2p networks? How about video streaming? I haven't heard anything about it for a long time, let alone a recent demo of its capabilities. I suggest you take a read through its FAQ:

[link]

"I don't really see many people burning Video to DVDs or even that many playing games (if they like games, most people seem to have a games console or three)."

Indeed, hardcore gamers tend to either have a beefy Windows box or a game console or three. Still, some of us would like to play a nice game for diversion once in a while. Anyway, we have Doom, Quake and some lovely others like Crazeeman.

"The majority of the time the majority of people seem to use their PC for web browsing and email (the latter probably web-based), downloading and playing mp3s, viewing/uploading pictures from their camera and maybe a little bit of word-processing. Nothing too demanding for RISC OS. Given a full-featured browser, Flash and maybe Cineroma I doubt anyone would really miss anything (though an Excel-compatible spreadsheet and a better Adobe Acrobat reader wouldn't go amiss IMO)."

Many people indeed do. Perhaps it has to do with my age, the particular area's I work and communicate in, but the things you mentioned above are actually the bare minimum. We like to create movies, burn them, professionally process images, audio/videochat, stream live broadcasts, 3D modelling, run several softsynths, convolution reverbs, record multi-channel audio, ..well those last bits are generally music production oriented, but the ones before actually reflect what's considered fairly normal. Just approach a student and ask what (s)he and her / his collegues do with their computers except the usual browsing, chatting, music playing. From all the people I know, I have the most interesting, though least capable computer! ;) In the end, I think it comes to what people are used to in their surroundings. If I take a look at my father and his contemporaries, what you describe is exactly what he tends to do with his computer. If I look at people one generation younger, they require their machines to do a lot more, like Skyping with their relatives or burning DVD's. I do not wish to imply that you're old or anything, simply that times are changing rapidly in the computer world and ROS has fallen behind quite a bit. When I take a look at pictures of ROS shows, I see many people in their fifties or older, which might explain some things.

"I'm sorry, but if alt-break didn't work, pre-emptive multitasking would not have solved the problem. Neither does cooperative multitasking prevent Realaudio or 3D accelerated games or DivX decoding on RISC OS."

I'm not so sure about that first part, but generally speaking RISC OS itself is dated, apart from its great GUI. I should make it clear that ROS seldomly crashes on me by the way, though I usually do harmless things with it. I did not, nor ever have, implied that ROS' multitasking approach prevents RealAudio, 3D accelerated gaming or DivX decoding from working. I've understood for certain tasks CMT is even preferable, but I think for general desktop use PMT is the way forward.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 21/07/06 4:19PM
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On ROS must open up to survive says Wild:

John: "I find it amusing that those who have been critical of VA now seem to be positive about an Open RISC OS that would inevitably dump ARM processors."

Well, at least some of that critisism comes from the fact VRPC still only runs on Windows and due to its particular copy-protection. Regarding an open source RISC OS, thus far it has been purely speculation. So I'd say it's certainly not 'inevitable' that ROS would switch to another processor architecture. However, it should be noted that ARM compatible CPU's have typically become unsuitable for desktop computers, even if ROS is largely written for its architecture. Perhaps dual-core ARM CPU's and the forthcoming Cortex series could help compensate for its lack of raw processing power.

"It's possible that RISC OS could play an important role in the future - but that's less likely if it's taken over by those intent only on getting it to run on 'standard' hardware."

Why exactly? It has become clear in the 1990's that this 'standard' hardware would be most succesful, because practically any manufacturer can develop its hardware, ie. it is an 'open' standard, coupled with the dominant use of Windows. For that reason, many 'alternative' OS's have eventually been written or ported for use with this standard hardware, lately even Apple computers. That's ofcourse also a big reason why Linux has become so popular. If ROS were to run natively on x86 standard hardware, it would mean almost anybody could run it on their (cheap) machine, but it would also be 'one out of many' thus particularly dependent upon the merits of its GUI / applications.

Mike: "Look at your average Joe all he wants a computer for is word processing, data input into spreadsheets, listening to music, do some graphical work."

Well, yes, several years ago. I'm sorry, but many people in the market for a computer have a pretty good understanding of what's possible with these things nowadays. People like to burn films now, use all audio / video codecs and data formats thrown at them, have nice 3D accelerated graphics, etc. Just having a modern Flash player on ROS is not going to solve its fundemental problems, namely its severely dated architecture coupled with a deminishing user- and developer base. RISC OS is still a co-operative multitasking microcomputer operating system, it's just not up to the tasks expected by modern day computing, which has in some ways little to do with the processor it runs on.

I believe we can't expect Castle and ROLtd to modernize it to the standards required today. They are too small with too few developers working on it. Castle's interests with ROS lie in the embedded sector, not particularly in the desktop area. If Castle can adopt one of its developments for the embedded / STB / industrial sector for desktop use, do we get to see progress where we like it. I'm not sure about ROLtd, but I believe they are even less capable than Castle. Open sourcing it may be the only chance it's got to revive and become relatively equal in terms of capabilities compared to the likes of Linux, Mac OS X or Windows, never mind a chance in the mainstream.

"oh I forgot to mention after the average Joe thing that he an do all those things at nice fast pace, in confidence that half way thought writing an important document the word processor will not run out of memory, crash and loose all his work."

That nice fast pace and perceived stability can become quickly compromised once one badly behaved application takes over the system which, although reduced in possibility due to the enhanced memory protection in recent versions of the OS, still remains a distinct possibility due to ROS's cooperative multitasking. I've not had something like that happen to me in Linux, OS X or even recent versions of Windows, while similar did happen to me a couple of times in RO4; one naughty application crashed dragging the whole system with it, including my carefully designed, but unsaved, sprites. Until this, and other limitations, are resolved, there's little chance of a 'big future' in the desktop computing domain.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 21/07/06 1:35PM
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On ROS must open up to survive says Wild:

fylfot: You're absolutely right. In my opinion, NetSurf is currently one of the finest applications to grace the RO platform, even in its pre-1.0 release form.

Jwoody: Cool down man.

NetSurf does not pretend, or was ever meant, to be a 'complete browser with Javascript'. Flash is, as far as I know on about every platform, an external plug-in / application apart from the browser.

"Put the words OpenSource and RISC OS together and all I can think of is Netsurf and Firefox neither of which cover themselves in glory as far as I am concerned. So question 1 would there be enough developers happy to make their contributions for free out there."

Actually, there are a quite a few developers who've released their sources through one or another license and many still do. Further to your 'question 1' - I imagine there are developers from outside the ROS platform who'd find it challenging and interesting to join development if it were to be open sourced.

"Are you saying you want an OS that is only 70% 80% complete ?"

When is an OS, or application for that matter, ever complete? Is your favourite OS complete and how do you know? Perhaps when the design goals have been met and that's certainly the case with RO.

From above and earlier comments I can only conclude you are a troll. Go back to where you came from until you're able to make some constructive comments.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 19/7/06 5:59PM
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On Interview with a ROS Open shareholder:

adh1003: Indeed, I should've looked better. I apologise. I hope my point did not lose its relevance.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 18/7/06 11:51AM
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On Interview with a ROS Open shareholder:

A very informative article and I'm also glad Chris was able to publish it on Drobe, seeing the delays in getting Qercus to press.

"Maybe by creating a website and getting people to 'sign' it to try and pressurise the two companies to merge, as they would then see how many RISC OS users would want the companies to merge."

I'm afraid that may only serve to 'advise' them on desktop users' general opinion on the subject. This little desktop market is, at least for Castle, not its primary concern regarding RISC OS. There's simply not enough money in it for them to continue developing and grow. I'm unsure as to how dependent ROL is of the desktop market at the time, seeing Advantage Six uses a version of RO4 (Embedded Adjust32?) for purposes outside of the traditional desktop market.

In other words, the desktop market would need to grow tremendously for them to seriously consider the merge. Furthermore, like Andrew mentioned in the article;

"Currently, Castle and RISCOS Ltd. each believe their implementation of 32-bit RISC OS is superior..."

Meaning there would have to be a great, mutual advantage for both companies to consider this merge. I'm not saying it won't happen, just that there are some serious obstacles in the current situation.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 17/7/06 11:33AM
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On Double sided print support for Xerox lasers:

arawnsley: UniPrint depends on MS Windows. This article ( and most of Drobe ) is about doing something via RISC OS.

Why do you advertise your company's products so often via Drobe comments?

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 17/7/06 11:06AM
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On Ex-Pace staff back RISC OS Open Ltd:

Graham: "Using RISC OS as ones primary (or only) operating system is a much more realistic prospect now than it was five, or even two years ago."

Well, that entirely depends on what you intend to use it for. I've been using RO as my primary OS for well over a decade and the reverse is true - the decline has been steady ever since. However, that is purely from a comparitive viewpoint, ie. compared to other OS's. I believe Gulli isn't too pessimistic, although it may sound that way to your ears. This market is bleeding and will die soon if change is not made. Perhaps you are one of those rather sticking his head in the sand, than face that commercial reality. That's fine, by the way, but believe me, we are definitely in the red as it is.

"I would also venture that RISC OS has quite a healthy number of developers in relation to the size of its userbase."

Perhaps, I'm not too sure of that. There is precious little development, hardly enough to sustain a commercial OS platform.

We shouldn't be staring at the likes of Tech- and EasiWriter, ArtWorks as proof for the vitality of this platform - remember, this is one guy (!) behind these apps. Whilst he does a terrific job, if he chooses to spend his time differently these programs will likely end. There are a few programmers left of MW's caliber, left to make real changes in the application space. A large amount of RO use, is for its legacy apps I believe. Every RO company has covered itself in case the market ends suddenly - most depend on incomes outside of this market for their livelihood. These are all clear signals, I would say.

Nigel: "The problem with most discussions on the future is that they go round in circles and the positive suggestions get lost."

Agreed. The two points you make seem particularly relevant. Although I commend your constructive comments, you do have some excellent ideas, I believe we need to look at the irresponsible conduct of the OS developers. What you say makes excellent sense if this market was completely open, if we could actively decide its direction, but sadly it's not. As long as RO is a commercial and proprietary OS, the developers must participate actively in the market's community - not just want to make money from it and steer it to their private, narcissistic aims. To me, Castle now only seems interested to sell machines at shows and telling the same old story, while ROL makes barely an effort, with its roadshow the only active pursuit of this. In reality, they both hardly promote their OS. In saying all this, I do not mean to discourage users' involvement - to the contrary, I welcome such behaviour. However, my point is - constructive ideas of users and plans of platform consolidation seem to be neglected by said companies, where they could actively be welcomed and channeled, or at least acknowledged. In my view, this does not happen. User involvement is only welcomed to the level of users coughing up money. This puts me off in a big way. If these companies choose to actively promote the OS, which need not necessarily cost a lot, things could look a lot brighter. Many enthusiastic RO users would love to help the OS developers do this, I'm sure. For starters, their websites should show many examples of RISC OS use, including screenshots, it should provide meeting places for related purposes, uses of the platform. Developers should be rallied, ideas communicated, etc. Instead, their websites are dated, look boring, while providing the means to buy (or subscribe to) their product and find some support / software. There's really nothing there which cries out the few brilliant reasons which set RISC OS apart. A smiling face of Paul M. or Jack L. giving a presentation, audio downloads, tutorials, whatever.

It seems the user community is left on its own, throwing around good ideas to no avail or response by those deciding direction of the OS. Only when 'bad publicity' could potentially hurt one of them, do they respond. I'm sorry if this turned out a rant, but for me this is a major critisism.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 13/07/06 09:53AM
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On Ex-Pace staff back RISC OS Open Ltd:

Some people might be missing a point here. As it stands, RO and its current range of (native) machines could not really survive out there, because both RO's (internal) architecture and CPU power is lacking to compete with PC and Mac offerings. The fact RO machines are necessarily somewhat more expensive doesn't really help either. I use the term 'compete' because it's still a commercial market. So, frankly, as it stands the platform couldn't survive outside our own humble, thoughtful little market.

Even though the Mac comparison is interesting, it isn't really fair. Whilst at a low point, Apple and its market still was considerably larger than ours + their hardware and software could still compete with PC's. Furthermore, although Apple managed to revive, they still couldn't get much further without radically overhauling their OS, which resulted in the creation of Mac OS X. Something similar would have to happen for us. Even if we were to be succesful at an initial marketing of RO machines, we would absolutely need to have an offering which could seriously compete - the Iyonix simply doesn't compete, certainly not at its price-point which could only change when Ix's are mass-produced.

bucksboy: "We have a good product, and the huge advantage, which didn't exist a few years ago, of being able to port opensource software to make good the shortcomings of native stuff."

We have an excellent GUI + a few sidebenefits, wrapped in a relatively poor product. That may sound cynical, but as a commercial product having to withstand a competitive market it's also realistic. We've always been able to port open source code, though nowadays the situation is distinctly better ofcourse. However, how encouraging that may be, an Iyonix or A9home still isn't capable of achieving the same (multimedia) feats as standard on contemporary Macs or PC's. That's the issue; technically our beloved computersystem is outdated. Sure, if you don't need Skype, DVD mastering, realtime audio or video manipulation, 3D graphics rendering, etc... then yes, a RO machine would fit in beautifully. If this market wants to revive, a very large amount of cash combined with a very well thought out strategy is required - a lot would have to change. With every year that passes, RO is getting more and more inferior as the likes of Apple, the Linux world or even Microsoft are duplicating the few key-benefits RO still has going for it. In other words, if we want to stand a chance, something needs to be done sooner rather than later. Let's hope ROOL can play a part in that.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 11/7/06 11:32AM
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On Why so much infighting?:

To me it seems there are a few, just a few, very vocal RO4 vs 5 bashers. In my opinion by far most RO users left wish both streams to re-unite, either literally or functionally. Though I must admit, I'm not exactly following all comments everywhere on this.

"Just admit they both exist, both have their own unique selling points, and let both Castle and RISCOS Ltd know that we need one desktop OS in development."

Isn't it very obvious that they realize what we want and why we want it? The problem is that there are two people either finding no common ground to start building this on or see no commercial advantage from their particular viewpoint. Frankly, I believe the time of consolidation has come and gone.

However, stop and think why that should really be necessary now. Wasn't the main reason before to combine the fruits of the Select scheme with the hardware abstraction + the other main benefits of RO5? In some ways, RO4.4x is getting closer and closer to that reality. Not quite there yet ofcourse - particularly RO5's hardware drivers would be essential in a future RO4.4x release for the Iyonix. Anyway, instead of urging RO4 & 5 to unite, which might just be too idealistic by now, is it perhaps not more realistic to urge Castle and ROL in bringing RO4.5 to the Iyonix, complete with support for all hardware, ie. UDMA, USB2, nVIDIA video, etc.? On the other hand, perhaps my thinking here is too idealistic...

"Contributing is a hard job to do. However it need not be one that is not achievable. Helping with the availability of new software is as good a contribution as any. But programming is an ability not everyone possesses. Perhaps offering to write manuals or documentation for new software is something you can do."

Paul's idea of contributing is a very good one, though often mentioned before. Writing comprehensive manuals, designing iconsprites or front end templates can be tedious for a developer rather improving the essentials of his or her app. Personally, I like designing iconsprites, just send an e-mail if anyone's interested. Unfortunately I'm not sure, but does there exist a site where designers and developers can meet to facilitate this?

"Marketing: Do you have any skills that you could put to use in helping to market RISC OS? Perhaps you could design some eye catching posters for the next RISC OS show. Software and hardware reviews, write your own and submit it to your favourite publication. You see there are many ways you can contribute to RISC OS. It's all about finding the time an deciding how you can contribute."

Indeed. Although Paul's suggestions are very nice especially for within the market, I must say, personally I cannot promote RO solely on the few real advantages to anyone outside the market anymore, apart from a hardware / OS collector geek. Although RO's GUI is outstanding, anyone in the market for a new computer will need an extremely strong dose of persuasion before they commit to a platform lacking all the essentials like RO machines do. I know this sounds very harsh, especially coming from an enthusiastic RO user for more than 15 years, but there aren't many people left who will look at the capabilities and included / available software of a PC or Mac, then look at a RO machine and choose the latter. Please, if anyone replies to this, please do not force me to cite the many examples again of what's missing, dated or simply impossible with current RO machines. Obviously I can't speak for everyone, but in my surroundings even the non-computer literate quickly recognize several shortcomings, however nice the RO GUI may be.

On a positive note, I very much like the upbeat character of Paul's article and I like to agree with most that he wrote. However, we need to be realistic. ROL is, although a commercial company, more a labour of love for the OS. So are most of those left developing for the platform. I believe even the likes of Castle and Advantage Six couldn't live and prosper on the desktop RO market alone - that's why I think they are investing and working in several industrial / embedded type fields. Although the RO market is commercial in nature, it is driven by enthusiasts and volunteers. To return to topic, infighting in this market is pointless, futile and only serves to, like Paul said, divide. Those left and willing to contribute should try and compliment eachother, rather than pollute the enthusiasm of others. ...phew, what a long post again ;)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 3/7/06 11:11AM
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On ROL: Giving Select 4 date is tricky:

To clarify - Select is only the name under which RO4 is developed. There will almost certainly be no such thing as 'Select features for RO5'. There will probably be a self-contained Select 4 for Iyonix, based on Adjust32, which means RO4.4x running on Iyonix hardware with hopefully complete hardware support a la RO5. If the hardware support is missing, I'd say there'd be little reason for ROL to offer it. It would be interesting to hear how ROL plans to offer hardware support; by developing their own drivers (the hard way) or by somehow extracting the drivers from RO5 and using them in RO4.4x (the more realistic way).

Furthermore, IMO it's undesirable to have anymore forks. If 32 bit RO4.4x can replace RO5 and add the nice extra's of the Select development program, I'd say RO5 could be left solely to the embedded or other uses for Castle. Probably Castle is selling their RO IPR anyway, it's just a matter of time.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 23/6/06 1:08PM
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On Select subs asked to renew despite no Select 4:

Well, for one thing, I'm delighted ROL has learnt their lesson and now puts regular updates on [link] There are two PDF's there detailing Select 4 in terms not too technical. Excellent, though strange I hadn't noticed the earlier updates before...

Footie: Exactly the same here, the subscription ran out on 4.37, so I never got the final Select 3 release. Although I'm content with RO4.37, apparently 4.39 contains a lot of bugfixes. I'm sure your idea has been considered by ROL in the past, though it wouldn't provide them a certain amount of financial leverage, ie. it would mean they would have to get on with it, instead of just asking for a renewal. In the case of Select 4, it would have meant they hadn't received any subscribers' funding for at least two years! Still, I agree wholeheartedly and it would make the choice of subscribing a whole lot easier, since I'd have a sort of guarantee a complete OS upgrade would eventually land on my doormat instead of a nice letter saying they want more money whilst another system is directly benefitting from my subscription.

I'm not saying the move to 32-bit shouldn't have been undertaken, but that ROL should've been upfront with subscribers of their intention instead of letting them find out the hard way. Sadly, that could have meant they wouldn't have been able to collect sufficient funding for the project.

"While I agree that the decision to focus on Adjust32 rather than Select is harsh on Select subscribers given the payment format, it would have been ridiculous for ROL to go another year developing for twelve year old machines (or presumably several years, had RO5 made it on to the A9)."

At one time, directly or indirectly as a result of the legal rambling, Castle and ROL came to an agreement to merge RO4 and 5. Since ROL had written all their 'Select-enhanced' modules for RO4 in 32 bit clean code, perhaps they could've been inserted into RO5 neatly at that stage. In my opinion, the merger should have gone ahead. RISC OS 4.39 (Adjust) would have been the final release of RO4, and also for the dated RiscPC's. ROL would then have renamed themselves accordingly, moved in cosy and neatly with Castle and Tematic and continue to work together on RO5, with Tematic doing the hardware level support, ROL doing the bells & whistles and other UI funtionality enhancements.

"The question is will ROL be able to keep their customers happy given the risk they took?"

That is indeed the question. Well, for a large part it will depend on Select 4. I must say, it has some pretty nice features, though some (like the monitor support) only suitable for Viewfinder RPC's and A9home's. I reckon it will be a logical upgrade for A9home users, though I'm not so sure if old RiscPC subscribers still feel so supportive.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 19/6/06 10:52AM
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On Punter bitten by fraudsters after using R-Comp site:

fylfot: Quite right, though perhaps it's not so much a question of ignorance, rather laziness. I haven't seen any obvious changes in their website design in years! Nonetheless, it is inexcusable if a given company fails to implement a secure form of online payment on their website, especially in this day and age.

Certain companies, including R-Comp, should consider upping the design standards of their websites. Many simply look dated, as well as very unprofessional. I believe NetSurf, as a freely available browser for all users, allows the use of more modern designs. However, I'm not sure how well NetSurf is able to handle secure online ordering though.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 18/6/06 8:53PM
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On Top school hunts for ROS aware teacher:

"The school was able to hire an ICT technician in May after an article appeared on drobe.co.uk..."

Excellent! I hope they may attract another RO teacher for the position through Drobe.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 18/6/06 7:21PM
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On RISC OS found on Pocket PC PDA:

Does look pretty neat, yes.

The only version of RISC OS I can see remotely running natively on that PDA is RISC OS 5, not necessarily because there's an XScale involved, but rather from certain supposed work done by Castle and Tematic. Ofcourse, that does not mean we'll have RO5 running on PDA's by next month, more that I see Castle possibly doing work in that direction, rather than RISCOS Ltd who seem to be focussed on desktop computers. Still, that would really be something... having a specialised version of RO running natively on a PDA!

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 28/5/06 4:52PM
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On Plan to save users' marriages shelved:

Well, some visitors at my place have said the RO desktop looks a bit dated, a bit 'nineties'. I have slightly customized it since the default RO4 look really is amateuristic by graphic design. Ofcourse when I demonstrate the abilities of this dated desktop, they can appreciate why I still prefer it.

In my opinion, some people confuse a modern, fanciful presented and decorated desktop with a bloated, inconcise and clumsy GUI. The mere sight of a truly professional GUI and desktop environment confuses them even more. Some believe that Windows offers a professional GUI, simply because it's used by so many people. The hallucinogenic glasshouse of the ever up and coming Windows Vista is the ultimate in GUI design for them.

Although I appreciate the overall design of Mac OS X, it is the GUI of RISC OS which enables me to move on with little distraction or inconvenient requirements. If hardware accelerated fading, translucencies, time-travelling, liquifying and warping effects were added to RO, it obviously would be superb to these people. Indeed, we've come a long way since the early GUI's of the late 20th century... we can now 'see through' the icon we're double clicking.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 25/05/06 5:13PM
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On RISC OS 3 caught running on Amiga hardware:

Could it be feasible to have Cineroma act as a sort of plug-in for Replay besides being a stand-alone app?

RISC OS needs a suite of 'home' applications, eg. NetSurf, Draw, Paint, Replay, etc. Windows has Media Player, OS X has QuickTime, Linux has Kaffeine.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 21/5/06 10:22PM
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On Wakefield 2006 show report:

Martin: "But the RPC is an 11 year old design!!! You wouldn't expect a PC or Mac of similar vintage to do those things either! For a machine of that age it stands up well."

You're absolutely right. Indeed, I'm still amazed at how well this old machine can keep up. For a machine of that age, I'd say it holds up astoundingly well! It's only since about the start of this year that we were getting increasingly frustrated about its shortcomings and a replacement became neccessary.

"I know we would all like a new RISC OS machine that had equivalents for all the applications available on other platforms, but in the end a small bunch of dedicated enthusiasts cannot hope to compete with the sort of big development budgets that are available for software development under Windows. It simply cannot be justified commercially."

Very true, but in the end we are only consumers in this regard, who ofcourse happen to be enthusiastic about a certain platform. So, eventually, everyone needs to ask themselves wether the amount of money which buys an Iyonix or A9home is worth the investment. Not only big companies with large development budgets can provide in the requirements I named, as the Linux movement clearly shows. Yes, I realize the size of that movement is to 'blame', just thought I'd point it out. Furthermore I'd like to say that, in my opinion, it's not only the size, or perhaps lack of money, that's the main issue which impairs the growth needed within the RO platform.

(Incidentally, I like to say something which struck me recently. I see so much mentioning of Windows, as the obvious alternative / comparing for RO users. It need not be, though I'm aware of Microsoft's market dominance as well as most other RO users.)

"The problem is that the more people who abandon RISC OS, the worse it gets. So if RISC OS is important to you, stick with it."

Let me put it this way, a solid computer is important to me and RO has always been my preferred way of using a computer. The platform is a commercial one, which is why it simply competes in that domain. If I could buy any generic PC and download RO for it, along with my favourite apps, it would dramatically alter my perception of it, though it won't remedy my problems with it as a viable platform. However, if (at least parts of) RO were to be Open Sourced under a certain license, it could provide more ways of updating and modernizing it than ROL and Castle can manage under the current situation. Anyway, the real problem, in my opinion, is that it's just dated and has more simultaneous problems than it can bear to handle within a reasonable amount of time. RISC OS is important to me, though I just can't justify to stick with it, because it's not my sick Grandma but a computer we're talking about.

"If you must have the missing functions and can't afford two machines, VRPC might be the answer, or another form of dual boot machine like an Iyonix with Linux as well as RISC OS (this is what I have)."

Well, when VirtualAcorn would see the light and port their 'alternative OS' emulator to other alternative OS's, ie. not only Windows, I'd certainly be interested. However, the truth in my case is that I'd probably just get used to Mac OS X and grow to be happy with it, although I can't be sure of that ofcourse. Perhaps RO has made such a large imprint on me, that I'd just can't kick the habit ;)

"BTW if you get rid of your TV, be prepared for constant hassle from the licencing authorities, who cannot comprehend that people can exist without a TV set. Some years ago I was in that position myself, and found it intensely annoying."

Well, in the Netherlands things might be a bit different, but I gather ultimately the same mentality / companies prevail, so I'll just make myself utterly clear in such an instance! We have already been phoned if we'd like about a thousand more channels on it, but thankfully it stayed with just that one time. Perhaps I made a good impression. Anyway, thanks for the tip! :)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 17/05/06 2:51PM
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On Wakefield 2006 show report:

In my opinion Malcolm has a valid point and in several ways I agree with him. There are two computers in my house, both RiscPC's. One is exclusively used in the studio, the other in the rec room mostly for Internet use, some common tasks and an occasional game of Doom by my girlfriend. The thing is, we are definitely not prepared to add another machine to compensate for any shortcomings, as many RO users seem to do or already have done. The Internet / general use RiscPC needs replacing and we just can't justify an Iyonix or A9home :( It would take too much improvisation and additional upgrading (yet more money) to make it anywhere near capable of our wishes. For us, the Mac is the only real option.

Josh: Well said. In any case, the A9home is a recent example of that and it shows that even within the RO enthusiasts' market it fills a sort of niche. My hunch is that many would rather opt for the Iyonix, since it's overall better value as a desktop computer, though I personally like the A9home better. I think ROL are having a very difficult time. Nevertheless, I am disappointed with them for several reasons, which I'd better not repeat here and now. They did a fine job in making their OS ready for the A9home, though literally at the cost of the Select subscribers.

Martin: I know quite a lot of people who do not have a TV nor a DVD player, strange huh! :) I'm also at the point of getting rid of our TV since it no longer offers anything useful to us. Thus, we'd occasionally like to watch a DVD on a computer, which actually quite a lot of people require, TV or not, reasonable or not - it's simply a requirement and RO, as a desktop OS, must face that. Video chat is getting more and more desirable for many people, so again a requirement of a modern desktop computer. Web browsing is essential and I believe most people rather not use 3 or more browsers for the job, though for professional webdesigners it's another story. When ripping an audio CD, I'd like it to do so in the background, using the Filer (like using a floppy) while doing something else, such as browsing. Variations is very nice, however I've seen photo applications freely bundled with a new computer which equal and surpass it without much effort. In short, most people rather have these options for free or not too much extra money.

"But I agree, it would not be hard to beat Windows level of usability and reliablity and make things simpler for the non-technical user."

I certainly do not like Windows, but 2000 and XP seem quite solid and usable. However, if possible, I'd rather do a certain job on RO simply because I like its apps and GUI better. Support for modern standards, wether proprietary or not, is getting worse and worse with RO, because I think the processing power is lacking, the OS architecture is lacking, development resources are lacking, funding is lacking... did I leave something out? What I'm trying to say here, is that RO is an excellent OS, for an increasingly smaller amount of tasks.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 17/05/06 11:57AM
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On 32-bit MIDI drivers see light of day:

timephoenix: You could very well be right and I have no reason to think otherwise! To be sure, you'd probably need to check with Spellings / Adrian Lees.

AFAIK MelIDI is the only MIDI Sequencer on RISC OS still actively developed and worth investing in. Anthem's hardware compatibility is adequate, provided you feed it with a Cakewalk .ins file or set-up an Instrument definition yourself. Alternatively, you can just assign each Song Track a MIDI channel and configure / program your synth to deal with it appropriately. Unfortunately there are some quite serious bugs and problems in the final version. Incidentally, there is also a Linux version of Anthem, at SourceForge if I remember correctly, though it's slightly different and IMO not as 'interface friendly' as the RISC OS version.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 14/5/06 5:01PM
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On 32-bit MIDI drivers see light of day:

Excellent news. Indeed, what I've hoping to hear for a while now :)

timephoenix: Remember that the MIDI music software itself (eg. a sequencer) also needs to be 32-bit ready ;)

MelIDI is, without question, the premier MIDI sequencer for RISC OS. I'm just in the process of getting new details on it, but AFAIK it's 32-bit ready now and will be demonstrated by Liquid Silicon tomorrow at the big event!

liquid: Is MIDISupport and MIDIMan also ready? Do they work with Lenny's (MIDIWays) 32-bit ready utilities, such as SysExy?

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 12/5/06 10:01AM
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On VirtualAcorn expand emulator range:

simo: I expect Select 4 will initially run on everything except the Iyonix when it finally comes out.

To VirtualAcorn: Very nice progress, also better integration with Windows it seems. Still, could you elaborate on the Linux / Mac OS X situation, please? In the past you've shown us both a Linux and Mac OS X version of VRPC, so it really tickles me; when can we hope to see these (or one out of two) released?

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 11/5/06 12:28PM
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On Bug causes X-Ample to avoid Wakefield:

markee174: Indeed, they did. The relevant page is at:

[link]

I just got an e-mail reply from X-Ample and indeed, one of their most valuable co-workers is very sick. Let there be no misunderstanding; X-Ample had hoped to show the current state of affairs on Impression-X at Wakefield, but this will have to wait until a next show, hopefully the RO Expo / Roadshow in the Netherlands.

The Impression-X project is seeing steady progress, though besides certain unforseen delays, the company is also moving to another city within the Netherlands which ofcourse also requires some time.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 11/5/06 10:02AM
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On A9home on sale from CJE Micros:

Sawadee: Well, it would definitely run more comfortable with more RAM (64 MB would be ok), but I believe it should at least be able to run on your system as 30 MB is stated as the minimum. Do you have the latest beta version? If beta 5 doesn't work, try beta 4 which in my case persuaded it to run after I'd upgraded to StrongARM. You should also make sure you've read and understood the accompanying !Help file, since it tries to explain most common issues involved. Do you have installed all required modules? I assume you have formatted your harddisc to the RO4 format (E+ which enables long filenames).

If you've checked and it still refuses to start, try deleting all the files under !UnixHome.home./mozilla - this may help. I hope you can run it now, but remember it's still a beta and will not be entirely stable. Another thing, it might also help if you restart your machine clean whenever you wish to run Firefox, so that Firefox is the only app running and gets all system resources!

There's always NetSurf, which can do stuff no other RO browser can. I advise people keep up with it, since some of the latest new stuff is incredibly cool, such as drag-saving selected text, Ctrl-dragging from the URL bar to save a link or from an image to directly save that to disc. Great stuff!

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 09/05/06 1:18PM
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On A9home on sale from CJE Micros:

Except price, there are some substantial differences between the A9home and Iyonix. Some of which I think have still not been mentioned here.

I prefer the A9home by a long shot;

It's very small, tiny in fact. I have a hunch it's about as small as they could make it, it was a goal which suits my needs very well.

It's robust. Built to withstand the severe trauma of being on the road with me. It fits right in with some of my other gear, neat.

It's quiet. Quiet I say? Try silent. Fanless. Anyone know of any other (semi-)desktop computer which has no fans? Anyone know how much money and effort is invested in making a PC silent these days? Why, you ask? Well, for example to use it in a recording studio, without compromising recording clarity and listening (to verify) ability. This is a huge plus for me.

It doesn't have an optical drive onboard. I don't need it, for several reasons. I network it when I need data, files, etc. I can use a USB stick for back-up. Optical drives also tend to get rather noisy, IMO. I do not need to burn data or even audio with it.

It can run RO Select 4 out of the box.

In summary, I can understand very well that this lovely, unique machine can not live up to certain (average) needs of a home user. Iyonix can.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 7/5/06 11:48AM
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On Acorn brand name in PC laptop launch:

Sawadee: Though I do appreciate your sense of humour. :)

People should not let this rock their cradle too much. Yes, it's cheap and filth over our fond memories, but this is the real world. These things do happen and keep happening, and the way some react to it describes very well in what century some of us stand. As long as we keep associating RISC OS with Acorn, we keep living in the past. RISC OS has kept its name for various reasons outlined, but beyond that and its code it has nothing to do anymore with Acorn boxes of the past. It now runs on various embedded devices we don't know about and on special new breed of machines with hardware never before possible.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 6/5/06 12:47PM
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On Euro Expo 2006 confirmed:

egel: Yes... Perhaps because this time it's not been organised by the Big Ben Club, nor sponsored by DESK.

DESK send a Newsshot last year stating they have put their RO activities on low, since there was not enough for them to sell! It has been very quiet around XAT too, I do hope the Impression-X project gets released.

Details so far;

[link]

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 1/5/06 8:29PM
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On Wakefield 2006 theatre preview:

AMS: "an external optical drive (you'll need this to install anything it has no floppy)"

Much can be done via Internet these days. Much software is delivered via e-mail or simply downloaded. For example, it's quite common to upload full (uncompressed) audio tracks to a mastering studio over Internet these days. However, for many people the need for an optical drive goes without saying.

The Iyonix is a desktop computer, whereas A9home is a small form factor computer. I'd much rather have the A9home in my studio and on the road, since it's virtually silent, tiny, robustly built and cute. Plus it will run RO Select 4.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 30/04/06 7:55PM
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On Wakefield 2006 theatre preview:

Well, well - the subject of audio and MIDI on RISC OS, my speciality :)

This is where one interested in these matters definitely should look - [link]

Lenny of MIDIWays has done a lot for MIDI under RISC OS, and if it wasn't for him, I would not still be sequencing and recording under RISC OS today!

If Alan releases 32 bit MIDI and MIDISupport modules, new drivers for USB interfaces and a 32 bit MelIDI - all would be fine. Combined with the A9home you'd have something very nice indeed. Producers like to have a quiet studio when recording and the A9home really is as quiet as they come.

However it needs to be said that MIDI and audio sequencing under RISC OS is dated as it is, since practically all other platforms, Linux included, have far surpassed the 1990's stage where our software standards are. The demand is simply not there for companies to undertake the effort necessary to get our standards up to date, not to mention processing power needed to run a virtual studio. Anyone interested in (multi-track) audio editing under RISC OS should definitely check out the regularly updated SampleEd :

[link]

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 30/4/06 2:27PM
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On Wakefield 2006 theatre preview:

"For anyone staying to the end of the theatre presentations I will be talking about the new future of the RISC OS market but have no intentions of turning it into poetry or setting it to music!"

No poetry or even music? A pity. The new future he says, what happened to the old one, eh? Oh, wait, yes that future has already come to pass in the past. People want to hear about Qercus, John, and what's keeping you. Get that Back on Track, others are looking after the OS.

Keeping my fingers crossed for the A9home. Still, if it doesn't manage to get released at Wakefield, there's a fair chance it might at the Dutch Expo.. :) Let's hope Castle has a surprise in store, but I'm not keeping my fingers crossed on this one!

It's a logical and necessary move RO4.39 was the last ROM for them olde Acorn boxes, aside from ROM availability. I hope Wakefield will shed some more light on what Select 4 will provide, in layman's terms please, but I expect it will offer some of the new 'protections' also included in Adjust 32, ie. 32 bit RISC OS 4. (I hope I have the naming right now, bit confusing...).

Martin Wuerthner? Who's that? ;)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 27/4/06 11:40AM
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On ROL release C99 SCL to A9home users:

Just a thought, but who says Castle didn't formally allow the use of their SCL?

I couldn't find any direct reference of that in the article, except for "It is hoped this will address the messy issue of the split caused by Castle and RISCOS Ltd developing their own separate SCLs, as this new module from ROL is intended to be compatible with software built for the Castle SCL."

I remember an article about such a dispute between CTL and ROL about it. I believe Castle did offer them to use it, when certain conditions were met. For details, see -

[link]

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 22/4/06 8:00PM
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On VirtualRiscPC sneaked onto Mac OS X:

It's a great shame that, even now, VirtualRPC is still only sold for Windows. Imagine that! Most of us have very good reason to avoid Windows whenever possible, so why is a Linux and Mac OS X version still missing?

I can understand the Linux argument, but they could improvise - eg. set up a voluntary support mailing list or only support certain distro's under specific configurations. I'm sure people would understand and just be happy they aren't running it under Windows. Besides that, I second what johnpettigrew said about it. Many Linux users seem pretty confident and capable to work out problems. As for Mac OS X, the only reason I can think of it not being available, is that VA is building a Universal Binary version. Surely VA could support an OS X version at least as well as the Windows version?

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 22/4/06 10:10AM
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On ROL release C99 SCL to A9home users:

knutson: "They are in competition with each other and need to sell machines to stay afloat."

Competition okay, but needing to sell machines to stay afloat? Unlikely, since they most probably couldn't - our market (the desktop RO market) is simply a nice, welcome side-benefit to their primary developments marketing. Embedded stuff or whatever that is.

As a RO user, I feel confused about some of this news. You know, I don't even know if I want to upgrade, since I just don't know what I'm gonna get! I greatly value Drobe for bringing us this news, but it still worries me. I hope when the A9home gets released (at Wakefield?) it will be presented with a nice piece of product marketing, including wtf its version of RO means/does since outside of Drobe, there's no way of knowing. I'm also interested if besides playing, recording audio works.

Am I such an idiot that I just expect a product page somewhere?

Because "RISC OS Select 4pre8 (32bit)" implies to me it will be 32 bit Select 4, which has, for the most part, been paid for by subscribers. If I buy an A9Home, will it be 'dirty' in that sense? I will not be sitting pretty with an A9home, which was paid by fellow dedicated enthusiasts who got nothing for it in return, except the satisfaction of supporting certain 'developments'. Yes, I know those that re-subscribed after ... / xxx will get a BETA release of Select 4, to encourage them to pay again to get the real deal. Will A9home's Select 4 also be a Beta? No, don't think so. What will be the differences...?

Furthermore, I am not content with paying for duplicate developments, because the kids-in-charge can't play nice. They are scaring me away, while I love RO. Now there are 3 Shared C Libraries, of which I hope the Open Source one will be adopted by both Castle and RISCOS Middleton Developments Ltd. Thanks for your patience.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 18/4/06 10:26AM
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On Software news:

Spriteman: Indeed, NetSurf would be the best overall browser for RISC OS, were it not for the lack of Javascript. Nonetheless, I use it 99% of the time :) I'm looking forward to the 1.0 release.

One suggestion made by several people, is that ROL (or Castle) join in the development of NetSurf, since it would benefit the platform as a whole. A capable webbrowser is a basic neccessity on any platform and NetSurf must be the most RO-ified browser available to us.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 3/4/06 1:15PM
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On RiscPC emulator for Linux lands:

I believe the attractive way forward for RISC OS, would be for it to remain running on its own native hardware. The Iyonix path continued, so to speak. However, it is apparent it's becoming increasingly difficult to sustain ongoing development, with the current state of market in mind.

To keep costs down, profit from PC's hardware, and keep alive some of those lovely software titles, emulation is a viable solution.

If you look outside the cosy RO market, you'll find technology development is happening at a furious pace out there. From a technical perspective, our native hardware (and software, partially because of it) is seriously behind now in almost all aspects. People are leaving the platform market not just because of the OS fork, infighting, dubious behaviour of ROL, Castle offering RO for sale, lack of various types of software development - but also simply because they feel they get a better overall deal when running Linux, Windows or Mac OS X, never mind the glorious benefits of the RO GUI. Our market has become extremely small, perhaps too small, to justify commercial product developments - both in hardware and software.

The A9home and Iyonix were not developed on their own. They are side-benefits of more economically profitable developments. Just look at their Advantage Six / Pace origins. IMO they were adapted for desktop use in our humble market. That is completely understandable - it simply wasn't worth it otherwise! What I mean is that some people are still living in a substitute Acorn dream, whereas the reality is that almost nothing is left from that era. All that is left is the wonderful, but seriously handicapped, RISC OS system. How many people do you know who don't run a PC or Mac alongside their RO machine? Well, I know one ... me.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 01/04/06 6:27PM
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On RiscPC emulator for Linux lands:

jc: You know, to be perfectly honest, I just typed in quite a strong reply, but in the end I figured it being senseless. The point I made above still stands, although I respect the one you made. Will this acceleration narrow the gap I pointed out? Only slightly. Again, due to market size, subsequent software standards and still, I'm afraid, inferior hardware compared to PC / Mac standards. Nevertheless, let me confirm I agree with your point and it certainly will speed up things, but my point above is of a different sort, as you may understand. Our strength for the time being, only resides in our lovely GUI and its fine assortiment of software, how primitive it (comparitively speaking) may be.

SimonC: I thought you may already hinted at that same point in your above posting ;) Again, I completely agree with you. No really - Let's have dinner some time :)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 28/3/06 3:49PM
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On RiscPC emulator for Linux lands:

SimonC: I concur.

The RO GUI is the most flexible I know. However, hardware is not up to modern PC standards anymore, which has simply resulted that those types of software that rely on such hardware, have not and could not appear as well.

What is the Iyonix (and arguably A9home) hardware capable of -- web browsing, e-mail, word processing, DTP, audio processing, a bit of media playing, perhaps video chat, etc. However, our current software standards (arguably due to the state of market) can only provide just about half of that capability, though in a fine way.

So, there's my reasoning. If you can happily live within those software boundaries, partially due to hardware limitations and partially due to market size, you may enjoy a wonderful (British!) computer with one of the finest GUI's ever devised.

If you can't live happily within those boundaries, I find it a comforting thought that it will be highly likely that we may soon enjoy our superb GUI, with some of its terrific software, through a Open Sourced emulator. Even though I strongly recognize it's still very much in an early stage, the fact that it's GPL means that it may have a very interesting future.

One idea I've been toying with recently, similar to the way Apple chose. That is, to take the best of RISC OS, and put it on top of a solid modern OS core. Similar to what Mac OS X represents. Again, it will definitely not be easy, but it could provide a viable way out the current dilemmas.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 28/3/06 1:44PM
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On RiscPC emulator ported to Linux:

Don't get me wrong, druck. Normally I don't reply to people getting something quite different from what I intended, but since I respect you and most of your comments, I will.

I am not "pretty confident" about "what most people want"! Where did I mention "most people"? Where did I give that idea? I am talking about a certain group of RiscPC users that are very real, certainly not the majority of them.

"if you are suggesting they would be better off with a non JIT (slow) emulator just because it runs Select, rather than far faster native hardware supplied with a version of the OS where enhancements and bug fixes didn't dry up almost 2 years ago, then you aren't giving very good advice."

Amazing, how did you manage to extract that suggestion? But, I do know how we do that kind of stuff in the Netherlands, we smoke pot. Were you smoking pot, druck?

Like I said, I'm only exploring new options. And yes, in my experience (in the Netherlands) a lot of people are still around using RiscPC's and finding it hard to justify buying an Iyonix for the reasons I mentioned. These people like Select and want to continue running it, albeit on faster hardware. Unfortunately VARPC is still Windows only, and since RPCEmu is Open Source I went wacko with my theory.

The theory I explored was that people could buy another computer, a pc or mac, and eventually run RO4 Select on that via an emulator and not having to pay a dime for it.

That does not in any way suggest that the Iyonix is 'bad value', OK? I like the machine, but I can't justify its cost for what I get and so do quite some other people in the forgotten market called "The Dutch RO users".

I am now very sorry I haven't mentioned the technical "non JIT (slow)" bit before. I think I ommitted that for the sake of the exploration of a theory of mine. Yes, exploring of options via a theory. But now I think it was simply stupid to theorize about it. Sorry to disappoint, I am not so much the technical savvy one in that area.

Druck - don't forget; I respect the efforts of Castle and I sure as hell respect them for revitalizing the market by bringing the Iyonix, keep on working on its OS and not having treated their customers as ROL did.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 17/3/06 5:38PM
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On RiscPC emulator ported to Linux:

I'd like to explore a few new options that this project could bring.

A lot of people still use a RiscPC as their main machine. No, really ;) A lot of these people are ready to upgrade to new hardware, but refrain from doing for two reasons. Firstly, they want Select. Secondly, they find an Iyonix is simply not worth the cash. Some of us simply don't have the financial freedom to justify an Iyonix to ourselves, considering it's still lacking Select (by default) and is 3 years old.

VARPC enables people to run RO Select on a PC - on the condition that Windows is installed. However, many of us don't like Windows, for whatever reasons. The RPCEmu project allows us (in theory) to continue using RO Select but now on Linux and probably Mac OS X too. Not yet, but in theory.

Furthermore, RiscPC users do not need to pay anything to get there. RPCEmu is Open Source and AFAIK it's quite legal to extract RO4 from the ROMs in our RiscPC's and use them on the emulator.

There is no reason why RPCEmu cannot eventually run as fast or capable as VARPC. The main difference is that VARPC remains a polished, finished product on the condition you use Windows. Well, for me Windows is not an option and so the RPCEmu project offers a way out for me.

PS: I haven't mentioned A9home for two reasons. Firstly it's still not officially released and secondly it's not particularly a desktop computer, which the Iyonix clearly is. I think the A9home fills a special niche.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 17/3/06 2:32PM
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On RiscPC emulator ported to Linux:

Revin Kevin: Sense? Nah... ;)

Ofcourse, since emulation does have some substantial advantages* over currently available native hardware, this is good news. Bad news is that it's potentially hurting Castle's and Advantage Six's market. But if, like many people now, you don't care about that, well than it's okay I suppose... Just my view on this, in general I really like the progress being made here.

*Emulation allows RISC OS (and its applications) to take advantage of its Windows / Linux / UNIX host and generally superior hardware, like some software already does for VRPC. Not to mention allowing RISC OS to run at speeds currently just not possible on either Iyonix or A9home.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 14/3/06 2:39PM
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On Middleton battles 'misinformation':

"The only reason I made the comment was that people seemed to be assuming that the information had gone out only to Select subscribers, and that isn't the case; it went out to Foundation members as well: to everyone with some form of active interest in RISCOS Ltd's products, in other words."

That last part sounds a bit naive, in my opinion. A great many RO users have an active interest in ROL's products and it's in fact mostly thanks to Drobe that we can access such information. I find it unusual (to say the least) to assume that "everyone with some form of active interest in RISCOS Ltd's products" also happens to be subscribed to either the Select mailing list or the Foundation RISC User.

Personally, I have absolutely no interest whatsoever to subscribe to either the Select mailing list or the FRU CD magazine. I find it utterly absurd and contrary that (potential) RO users need to make such effort to gain important information on commercial products. Most companies, including ROL, should expect interested people to visit their website at most. People have better things to do and particularly in this instance new, potential customers are far easier lured away towards products by other companies, such as Apple for example. Like timephoenix said, ROL should do something about their PR.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 8/3/06 1:03PM
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On Middleton battles 'misinformation':

"Misunderstands happen, but they only become misinformation, in the lack of any real information."

Exactly. Like many other RO users, I have been unable to attend the presentations given by Mr. Middleton. In this regard, we are solely dependant on the bits and pieces we may accumulate through the Internet, since it seems the only truly correct information is given by Mr. Middleton in his presentations.

It is very unfortunate that malicious information is circulating on the internet (RO virii!), but a lot of misunderstanding or confusion could (and would) have been avoided if ROL had a decent website, which presents their current products and developments in a clear and accessible manner. I cannot find anything about Select 4, Adjust32, Iyonix Select or what they have been doing for the last couple of years!

I understand that ROL are busy, but unless they offer various means for their customers to know what they actually do and offer, how can they properly sell their products? Outside of England, there are still a substantial amount of RO users and interested persons who would like to know the current state of things from the source.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 6/3/06 5:50PM
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On Select subscribers offered fig leaf:

Well, at least I'm very happy ROL chooses to come forward with more information now and more often it seems.

"We don't have time to contradict every rumour and piece of misinformation that comes up on the internet."

When ROL chose to be virtually silent to the outside world, people will start asking questions. In a weird twist of nature, people even start assuming things. They were mostly people with good reason to be upset and ROL does no good in simply dismissing a lot of it as misinformation, like Steffen mentioned.

"Some people have a habit of starting rumours that can upset many other peoples views of how the market is progressing."

You mean like your company did when it basically said it could start work on Iyonix Select after 100 pledges?

"Negative rumours, especially when they are unfounded, can have a tremendous effect on the market, so please treat anything you hear or read with caution unless it is fully verified."

And when is some piece of information verified? When you say so? Then stop saying contradictory things and start delivering your goods as people have grown impatient with only talk, especially those of us unable to have visited one of your presentations.

Only now, just weeks before the probable release of A9home do we (the majority) actually know what Adjust32 is about. I supposed it basically was RO4 in a 32 bit jacket, but this is ROAdjust in a 32 bit jacket with a bit of Select4 stuff for good measure! Excellent, way to go.

However, I'm still fairly dubious as to what Select for Iyonix actually means and when any real release could be made. As far as I can see, Select is originally designed and made for RO4 and its roots go deep. As such, ROL would have to rework or redo a lot of it to get a full release of Select running on RO5. It goes without saying that they absolutely need Castle's cooperation to do it and last I heard ROL said it's not getting that.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 6/3/06 1:28PM
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On South West 2006 theatre talks:

Nice article Martin. I always like your personal touch in them.

guestx: Eh? I could use such a device to travel back a few years and give Paul and Jack a wake-up call... ;)

(meanwhile back to the article)

"Where is Castle thinking of taking RISC OS next? What is their vision of the future? Maybe, it's simply that what they are working on is of no relevance to Iyonix desktop users, and so not of general interest, but the lack of any mention of what Castle are busying themselves with these days had my ears pricked for the slightest hint."

Indeed. I'd think most users are interested in what Castle is planning for our favourite platform! I mean, they did revitalize the market with the Iyonix and RO5 (not to mention USB2 support). So... what's next?

"There was twitching as people thought how best to question the failed cooperation between Castle and RISCOS Ltd without opening up the old, bitter dispute between the two companies."

I believe as supporters (and customers) we are entitled to ask some relevant questions, even if they are a bit unpleasant to answer.

"... a short sharp answer from the Castle boss made it clear that there is still an impasse between Castle and RISC OS Ltd."

Which desperately needs to be resolved. It seems ROL can't produce a full version of Select for the Iyonix, because Castle isn't providing some necessary details.

"The whole [RO4 to 32-bit] conversion will have to be completed before a release can take place, as during the phase of making the operating system 32 bit compatible, development of new features is halted."

Does this mean there will not be a new release of Select (Issue 4) until the A9home is released? Also that any money derived from Select subscriptions will initially be used in completing the conversion process?

It is known Advantage Six have invested in this conversion, but where can the line be drawn? I mean, it seems part of the funding comes from Advantage Six (it was reported they do the A9home specific stuff themselves) and part is funded by ROL themselves. When is ROL putting some general answers on their website?

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 22/2/06 6:29PM
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On South West 2006 round up:

ROL has, on several occasions, let us know that they wanted at least 100 pledges to start the actual work on it. It's just too bad they do not seem to have any official news of that on their site:

[link]

If that is not the case, can they be accused of misleading people? I've come to the point, I cannot trust their statements anymore, which is very, very sad. I am sorry if their company has become so unstable, their business so unpredictable, that they cannot commit firmly to certain words they've spoken in the past.

Besides that, it is also clear that ROL do not have all information they need to create a 100% compatible or 'official' version of Select for the Iyonix, since, contrary to the RiscPC, it seems they lack certain technical specs. Mr. Middleton has stated on several occasions that the intended work would be so much easier if Castle would give a hand. I find that strange, since Castle has stated they will assist ROL in this endeavor at last years' Expo show. I wonder - how can this truly work out in full, if both companies have not resolved their differences?

I already suspected the A9home will not ship with a full Select, which makes perfect sense. A9home users should, like everybody else, subscribe (or whatever) to take advantage of the Select developments.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 20/2/06 1:38PM
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On Copying vinyl to CDs:

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

A turntable must be properly amplified to get a recordable, line-level signal. The mentioned Maplin pre-amp is one example of a suitable solution, though not a very good one at that. You can find a similar device at most good hi-fi stores.

The mic input on an Iyonix (or other) PC does amplify the signal going in, but to a different level, so any turntable output directly recorded via the mic-in socket will sound distorted and generally not so pleasant.

cables: I think it's about using RO for these sort of things, but you're certainly right in that it's probably easier and cheaper to use a stand alone CD recorder for it.

Ofcourse, you could use the computer to convert the music to mp3, for example. Or producing a re-mix using Tracker software if you're so inclined :) The best RO audio editing / processing software atm is SampleEd. It supports LADSPA plugins, which are a common format for Linux systems. There's a fair chance that you'll find a plug-in which attempts to eliminate surface noise or pops / crackles.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 13/2/06 1:29PM
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On Copying vinyl to CDs:

It'd be much easier if there was such a thing as a USB enabled Turntable ;) Wait... there is!

[link]

An enjoyable article. Indeed the Irlam i16 is a fine card, probably the best sampler for the RiscPC, although my own one does not support SP/DIF (digital) recording, alas. There is also a combined Audio / MIDI podule called DMI50. Supposedly it has the best analog recording quality, although I cannot be sure of that. Still, like the i16, it will not be easy to get hold of one, but it has the added benefit of having 2 MIDI ports built in.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 11/2/06 11:27PM
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On Euro Expo 2006 show 'unlikely':

Very sad news. :( I've always liked going and meeting developers and other users there.

Idea - A while back a RO chapter was opened at the Dutch HCC. It's quite a big organisation, counting about 200,000 as members and supporting many types of computers and OS's. Ofcourse they hold gatherings in large venues, perhaps some RO companies can continue their attendance there? It would also attract some attention to RISC OS.

[link]

[link]

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 9/2/06 10:50AM
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On ROL open share investment to all:

People, it's obvious something more is going on than we are let in about, for some time now. Let's keep to what ROL actually said for now, since (like the article and bluenose said) there is a little bit more info coming soon which will add some more matter for discussion.

ROL have been accepting "subscription supplementals" for Iyonix Select for some time now, I believe at least a year. I'm not sure if they also have actually cashed in those supplemental payments. They have said they needed at least 100 subscribers to begin work on Iyonix Select, that's certainly true. I believe they have already started some work on it (as seen at recent shows) so it may well be, that in the process they became a bit more 'realistic' about the actual work involved and hence simply need more money. Seeing as what has been said so far, my guess is that the the first releases of Iyonix Select will not be the same Select as we're currently running on our RiscPC's. It will probably be based on RO5, although I've not yet seen any clear confirmation of that. If they can replace all required RO5 functionality in their new 32 bit RO4, Iyonix users can run the same version of RISC OS as the rest of us.

"The company has claimed that it is struggling with the port because it needs documentation from Castle on how the Iyonix driver modules work - which they would rather use than reimplement from scratch."

At last year's Expo show in the Netherlands, Jack Lillingston basically said that ROL may get all the support they needed for bringing Select to Iyonix. He simply said "It's up to them." I can only hope they are actually getting it.

In 2005, ROL seemed to have done most of the 32 bitting work, seeing as a beta of RO4 has been running on A9homes ever since. Unfortunately due to the priority given to the conversion work, it meant they were unable to deliver Select4 for 26 bit machines.

Personally, I can understand they chose to convert RO4 to be 32 bit safe, for whatever political, economical and technical reasons. What I can not understand however, is why Select subscribers were told nothing about that move, until people started asking questions.

People said "What's going on ROL, where's my Select update?"

Although P. Middleton did come out with some answers, I recall he did not clearly explain what happened to Select subscriptions' money, which subscribers surely paid to see RO Select developed and delivered, as usual, for their 26 bit machines.

One can only presume ROL have used that money to convert RO4 to a 32 bit compatible code base, along with investments made by Advantage Six. What this means, is that it is up to each and every individual subscriber to condone this action or renounce it. What seems clear at this point however, is that last years' subscribers need to pay again to gain hold of Select 4. Essentially, if you only subscribed to get Select 4, you need to pay twice for it, with the added satisfaction it will be 26/32 bit neutral. If you subscribed to generally see RO4 being developed, well I guess it's okay then, since that's what generally happened.

From the press release:

"subscribers to the RISC OS Select scheme who have not yet renewed in the past year, are particularly requested to renew their subscriptions as soon as possible. The level of subscriptions is important, not only to provide funds for the work to be undertaken, but also to give accurate figures of the number of users who are actively interested in the work being done. There is no point us spending £30,000 developing the next version of RISC OS if there are only 150 people who are going to buy it."

Is Mr. Middleton saying so far only 150 people have (re)subscribed?

Now, a lot of speculation is going on, from others as well as myself, about what exactly has happened in the past, what is happening currently and what this means for the future. I can only repeat what has been said before:

RISCOS Ltd should update their website and give clear and straight answers with regard to RISC OS Select, their stance on Iyonix and what the deal is with regard to the A9home. They should provide simple, easy-to-understand information on their products - no tech-logs from a programmer. Not just a press release once in a while on a very uncomplete and outdated website.

We can only be very grateful to Drobe, particularly Chris, for his recent efforts in explaining the various versions of RISC OS for the non tech-savvy.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 6/2/06 1:13AM
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On Grapevine 3 features mooted:

sa110: "I think part of the reason why there has not been as much interest is that many RO users will have a PC and can use MSM on the PC for free, without having to go out and purchase the RO version."

Yes, that is correct. Same goes for those on Linux and Mac. But isn't it true people use RISC OS because they like using it? Surely you can visit drobe.co.uk on a PC too, why would you want to do that if it's more fun on RISC OS... Point is, this is all about doing something on RO and doing it well. Having a modern, popular cross-platform standard supported on RO. Yes, you pay a fair price for that, which is only understandable and that price also includes updates and personal support - do you have support for free with Microsoft's MSN client (or at all)?

"Another reason is probably the age range of people currently using the RO platform."

Yes, I think this is quite a big factor actually. I think most RO users are in the "above 40" age, whereas I believe almost all age groups below that far more often chat, than e-mail. For all of you people unfamiliar to Instant Messaging / Chat - check if your family or friends use it, if so make sure you check Grapevine out.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 31/1/06 1:25PM
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On Grapevine 3 features mooted:

Well said dansguardian.

IMO Andrew has a solid point. There really should be more interest in Grapevine. Yes, in the past people have complained about its graphics / design. I don't particularly like them either, and indeed I have replaced some since they're just sprites.

What does matter is that this program allows a RISC OS user to log in to one of the largest chat networks on the planet, certainly the most used one in the EU, namely MSN. What also matters is that the program is 98% of the time doing an excellent job at it and with this coming update (version 2.10) I expect it to be 100%. Furthermore it is built to support more chat protocols, like Yahoo, when and if (enough) users want to.

Personally, I use Grapevine all the time and it allows me to keep in touch with people anywhere, most of whom use Windows and therefore MSN Messenger (like most of them are also inclined to use Internet Explorer or Windows Media Player). Nowadays many, many people chat regularly on all kinds of computer platforms and a chat program has become just as standard as a webbrowser - it allows our platform to join in and communicate no matter what OS your contacts may be using.

When Grapevine 3 comes, I'll be smiling :)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 31/1/06 12:11PM
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On Holding software to ransom:

arawnsley: That's great news! Appy-polly-logies! Thanks for continuing work on it :) Perhaps you could participate in the 'ransom-ware' idea by offering a GV3 with a minimum of xxx votes for it to get a green light?

jc: "What pessimism? I just don't want two teams working on two versions of X when we could have one doing X and the other Y."

That's why it's a public vote. So we're all aware who's aiming for what. When a programmer goes up for the challenge, he or she may announce it to prevent doubling of efforts like we've seen in other instances. It could also let programmers join one effort and afterwards split the rewards.

"Do you want two new databse programs or a database and a spreadsheet?"

That depends on the features offered. Though if you mean two new database apps with roughly identical functionality I'd have to say no.

"I'd say that now is the time we want new/updated programs over as wide a range as possible"

Totally agree.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 18/1/06 12:07PM
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On Holding software to ransom:

jc: "How useful is it that such schemes must necessarily be very public and that might ensure that two teams of developers don't work on similar projects that end up with too few purchasers?"

What's with the pessimism? Come on! Give it a chance - there are serious software holes now and everybody needs one or another addressed. What good is it if people have to use another, less liked, OS to get a job done?

What hurt can it give if users simply vote for an app they'd like released, like the article suggests? It's then up to an ambitious programmer to see if it's realistically manageable. If a given program does not convince, users can be free to not buy it, but since there's quite a decent software standard in RISC OS I have plenty of faith it'll work out. I'd say if a lot of users vote for a particular software project, it should provide particular motivation for a programmer or even team of programmers.

I'd vote for a port of GAIM, ( [link] ), since R-Comp has again reverted to silence regarding their (apparently) stagnant Grapevine project, despite hopeful expectations a release could be made around Christmas...

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 18/1/06 10:08AM
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On RISC OS features in plain english:

Brilliant!

I've hoped something like this would appear for a while now, but this is better than I could have expected! Excellent work and this should serve the interests to far beyond just the platform community.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 14/1/06 11:36AM
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On 2006 predictions:

hzn: Well, my hunch is that ROL intends to provide a universal RO, i.e. for all existing machines. If they need to 'isolate' certain RO4/Select functions into stand-alone modules to load on top of RO5 (which should be feasible), they would lose precious development time for their main work - RISC OS 4 development. Furthermore, if ROL need to provide abstracted versions of their (evolving) Select features for RO5, the gap between both lines of RO will continue and likely expand. My opinion is one version of RISC OS for all machines. Castle does hardware + drivers, ROL does the OS. That almost seems to be the case anyway. RISC OS 5 currently is almost at version 5.10 - it took Castle 3 years.

Also, last I heard, the 2004 deal between ROL and Castle still stands. Both parties are to provide code/time/programmer to develop a unified version of RISC OS.

One more thing. I believe we (including me) need to stop referring to Select as if it is something seperate. I now tend to believe Select refers merely to the subscription scheme of ROL. The fact is we are talking about RISC OS 4 when we refer to Select. So, essentially, we are talking about taking something out of RO4 and 'bolting' it onto RO5! Still, to make these things formal, I believe ROL must make things clearer by explaining their work on their website. ROL for dummies style.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 5/1/06 3:32PM
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On Christmas roadshow report:

helpful: ...which is really excellent news! It's a rather large step to a unified OS. ROL can now (or very soon) supply a version of RISC OS 4 to every hardware manufacturer, whilst remaining backwards compatible to the older machines.

It would be great if future builds of RO4, like RISC OS 4.5 for example, run natively on Iyonix hardware with perhaps some driver support from Castle. I suspect this will be the case :)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 20/12/05 10:57AM
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On Christmas roadshow news:

markee174: Yes, good call. It's been quiet for a while now, I wonder how progress is going. Can a release date be approximated?

I look forward to a new version of Grapevine, hopefully enhanced by some of the improvements users have suggested on the mailing list. I also hope R-Comp can be bothered to send its userbase (and the media) some kind of plan how they would like Grapevine development to continue. It now seems to be up to users to convince R-Comp of the viability of the project. Grapevine is the only chat client on RISC OS which supports the MSN chat protocol. Since millions of people use this daily to communicate, I believe it should be a high priority the project is continued. In my case, it is often more important than E-mail, so frankly I am astounded as to the apparent low-profile status of this 21st century mode of communication. And yes, I know relatively few people seem to be interested in buying Grapevine, which is a shame really since it seriously hinders its development.

Hopefully Select 4 will be released sooner than a full 32 bit RO4, since I believe more people are very anxious to see this seriously delayed project be released. IMO it would be more appropriate if a full 32 bit RO4 is ready when the A9home is ready.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 16/12/05 2:21PM
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On Classic adventure and shooter games republished on CD:

sa110: TEK was probably the last homegrown RISC OS game (at least until Peter Bondar comes back and revitalises the market ;))

Gulli: Maybe a company (like R-Comp) could offer a choice between some (slightly) older PC games they could port? :)

Similar to the Iyonix Select case, if enough people 'pledge' to buy a copy of a certain title, the development/conversion effort could be justified. Personally I'd pay for a conversion of Duke Nukem 3D which, incidentally, had already some of the porting work done, according to an older Acorn Arcade posting plus could run reasonably well on StrongARM RiscPC's.

Somehow I find this constant re-releasing of old ARM3 cheese off-putting, although I suppose there's still some gameplay left in them...

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 7/12/05 11:54AM
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On Select 4 will not be ready until new year:

DS1: Yes, convenient for them, isn't it? That way they have a carte blanche. Somehow many subscribers think they can expect at least 1 Select release per year for their money. Now where did that thought come from? Probably from some LSD trip...

ROL have very bad people skills or am I missing something here? The text file linked to in the article above has very little useful info for a non-programmer. Consequently, there are only a few things which I like about Select 4, since the rest is hocus-pocus to me. They want people to support them, don't they? Then they should learn to communicate directly (not just via a Select mailing list), honestly and clearly. Did they give a real explanation why subscribers got nothing? Or is it the satisfaction derived from involuntarily and unknowingly funding the 32 bit conversion of RO4? How about the Select 4 features which, accoring to the distributed leaflet, are partially completed - do the subscribers have to pay for that part again?

ROL must explain clearly and concisely exactly what has happened and what subscribers have, or will, receive for their money. They can't go around expecting they are the untouchable "Great Benefactors" of the market and deserve our unconditional support, because we have to "support the development of RISC OS". Supporting RISC OS is one thing, supporting an unclear or hidden agenda another.

Spriteman: "Where does Select 4 sit in terms general OS development? Is it a modern, 2005 OS or are we talking about something more like 1999 technology and features? I'm just curious."

Yes, so am I. Perhaps Mr. Middleton can demonstrate the parts of Select 4 that supposedly are ready to the public on their roadshow? Perhaps he could even compare Select features to several modern Windows or Mac OS X features? Anyway, he should be able to clearly show what it offers to people, without cryptic technical data and hypothetical potentials.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 2/12/05 1:00PM
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On Software news:

sa110: "I have Grapevine 2 but this is the first I have heard of a Grapevine mailing list. How does one join?"

It is an unofficial list, but AFAIK the author always replies to questions or suggestions, so it is quite helpful. Check out:

[link]

joty: That's very interesting to hear. I'll keep my fingers crossed. Most people I know use GAIM or Trillian. It would be terrific to have GAIM run natively on RISC OS.

arawnsley: Thanks for pointing that out. I checked the Iconbar report and I did see your comment below, so now I know what you to referred earlier. GV 2.06 would be a very nice Christmas gift :) Perhaps R-Comp can send all current GV customers an e-mail to ask if they are willing to invest in a GV3? It would be helpful if you'd add a list of planned new features for that release.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 25/11/05 6:00PM
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On Software news:

arawnsley: "I will remind you that there are less than 100 users interested in instant-messaging on RISC OS, which is about enough to pay for 2-3 months of programmer time tops."

Well, I guess there probably are far more users interested in instant-messaging on RISC OS, but maybe not more than a 100 of them are interested in Grapevine as it is.

"I have supported GV for all this time because of my own interest in the technology, as a way of keeping in touch with overseas customers."

That's nice, but I would hope you also supported it for all this time because of us, the purchasers of the program?

"If/when we do GV3, it will probably involve moving to the latest MSN protocol versions which are necessary for Nudge, user pictures, and so on. We'd also probably implement another protocol, and adjust the UI to make it easier to deal with multiple protocols. But it would need to sell more than 10 copies :<"

Yes, I understand. Well, that sounds really good to me! So I hope you'll sell a lot more than 10 copies! I believe Grapevine itself is a good program (apart from the little bugs here and there), only its presentation and User Interface is, IMHO, not terribly attractive to say the least. When/If you change that and add the functionality you mentioned, I'd be happy to support the initiative.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 25/11/05 3:40PM
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On Software news:

arawnsley: What are you talking about?! Hey, I am not aware of anything you 'requested' from me! I did download an emoticon set from the GAIM site, because they are far better. In fact, the standard Grapevine emoticons are awful, especially for a commercial offering. Another GV user liked them, so I decided to offer them to GV's programmer. He said he had probably forwarded them to R-Comp, so I guess you should have them by now. You have my e-mail address, you could have simply asked for them. Please be more careful next time.

Several users, including me, have provided lots of feedback on the GV mailing list! AFAIK the reason "things don't happen" is because, according to the author, he does multiple projects and need to share his time between them. As I understood it, in the end things are up to R-Comp. But several users have repeatedly given feedback, please don't say otherwise!

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 25/11/05 3:23PM
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On Software news:

mripley: "What would the "significant" development of Grapevine entail ?"

Hopefully fixing the onorthodox user interface, redesigning the icons, having a chat face in MSN, etc... Most important, fixing those little annoying bugs here and there which, by the way, were in there since I bought a copy. That was more than 2 years ago and was version 2.00. Current version is 2.04... so development seems slow.

"I think it would need to handle video and audio as all others do these days."

I'm not sure if RiscPC's could handle real-time audio transmission, video is probably out of the question. Perhaps the Iyonix could handle video. Besides I'm not sure if there is sufficient support in RISC OS itself for that...

I just wish somebody would port GAIM and the platform would have a decent multi-protocol chat client, which has become a necessity on all platforms nowadays. Anyway, I am happy to pay some money, if R-Comp would outline the new functionality planned and it is worth it for me.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 25/11/05 1:03PM
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On Could A9 be a digital oasis in a desert of PCs and Macs?:

adamr: "Anyway, comparing the A9Home directly with the Iyonix doesn't seem too favourable to the A9Home. Roughly:

Pros: small & nice looking, "luggable", ~20% cheaper Cons: lack of expansion possibilities (esp wrt USB2), relatively poor performance"

From what I know, USB2 is a faster USB1.1. Will it matter much to users, certainly considering RISC OS' typical filesizes, excluding media files ofcourse? Besides, the Iyonix cannot fully handle theoretical USB2 speeds, only a fraction of that. Still a noticable improvement over USB1.1 though. With regard to "poor performance", well, from what I heard from a A9home user, it runs many applications faster than an Iyonix does. Firefox being a noteworthy example. It seemed to this particular user, that RISC OS 4.4x seemed more streamlined and optimized compared to RISC OS 5. In the end, when the A9home is formally released, we will see how it compares.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 23/11/05 5:09PM
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On RISC OS Christmas roadshow details finalised:

simo: It need not be as you describe. It also depends on mentality, as well as perspective. Please consider the thought that there is no such thing as an "alternative". There is only a computer.

When someone is about to get another or new computer, point them to something special. Try not to describe it as a minority, expensive, non-standard system, but rather as a unique, user-friendly, cost-effective and brave computer, as well as cool. ;)

As long as you look at it from the corporate-standard-conformist-ritualistic perspective, RISC OS is indeed just as you describe. When people ask me what to buy, I advise them to buy (depending on their precise requirements and ambitions) either a Mac or a RISC OS machine. If someone already has a PC, I usually advise Linux. I can point out a lot of ugly stuff on Microsoft and its Windows products, which most of the time scares people away - remember that I only offer what I know and can point out to them.

To use and promote RISC OS is a responsibility of the small group of users left. If we focus our attention on its "short-comings", the market will suffer from that. That does not mean turning a blind eye, rather being optimistic and positive about something special worth its while.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 18/11/05 12:16PM
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On Archive usage survey: VRPC edges past Iyonix:

It was stated by Castle recently at the SE show, if I remember correctly, that the merger of both RISC OS lines is to commence. See - [link] Furthermore, it is becoming increasingly certain Select will appear for the Iyonix, however it is not certain if all features as present in Adjust/3i4 will be included. ROL intends to produce a universal 32 bit version from which all machines will profit, so it might mean Select4 will become the first Iyonix Select version.

I hope this means the forked OS situation will be confined to history.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 11/11/05 10:46AM
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On Taking OS features for granted:

An informative article and quite relevant to us, I'd say.

Let's just hope RISCOS Ltd is listening and at one time implement some of the things AmigaOS4 has onboard, such as PMT and transparent file-handling. Like Neil Spellings mentioned in a previous article, ROL's features planned for Select4 seem "bells & whistles" compared to some of the things mentioned in this article.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 1/11/05 12:56PM
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On Users to represent RISC OS at Euro mega-show:

I have noticed on several occassions that users in the Netherlands and Germany have actively promoted RISC OS to the public. Why do I have the impression this simply doesn't happen in Britain, the birthplace of RISC OS and the place where the most users reside? It seems to keep to itself. Are you going to wear membership tags on the just-us gatherings? It should be open to all! It is crucial for the platform to promote itself, something RO Ltd and Castle should invest more time in. I know certain forms of advertisements are expensive, but that is a lame excuse. There are so many alternatives to actively promote it. Music events, local computer clubs, shows like the HCC mentioned in this article, the internet in general, etc. There is more interest in alternative OS's then ever before! I have spent a lot of time altering and updating articles on Wikipedia to reflect the current state in the World of RISC OS and extend awareness. The overall impression being the platform is dead is an invitation for us to change that view. Have you noticed how many old gents are wandering around on RO events? That is not a critisism, but a sign.

Think creative.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 31/10/05 11:01AM
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On South East 2005 show report:

bluenose: "Where does this come from."

This article (South East 2005 show report).

"ROL have stated that they are moving to a common source tree from which versions for 26bit capable machines RISCPC can be compiled and 32bit bit versions for A9,Iyonix etc can. This clearly does not mean a 32bit only stream as it would be silly to produce a 32bit only version for the RISCPC."

Previously ROL did state this, but please explain why it is silly to produce a 32 bit version of RO4 for the Risc PC, essentially producing a universal 32 bit version of RISC OS 4 for all machines?

"There is no doubt that at some stage they will cease development for the "26bit" machines and Paul Middleton did state at one stage they saw just about 2 years maximum for this."

Indeed and it seems this stage will come sooner than expected. ROL must move on and with one 32 bit only machine (the Iyonix) already here for almost 3 years, another rapidly approaching a public release, plus the fact no 26 bit compatible machines are still in production (apart from the CTL A7000+ perhaps) this seems to me a logical step. The market must move on or it will eventually stagnate. For those still needing 26 bit compatibility for some legacy apps, Neil Spellings and Adrian Lees can provide a version of Aemulor.

Let me get something straight - I, for one, need 26 bit compatibility due to a lot of 26 bit (music) software I need to use, but that doesn't stop me to recognize what eventually needs to happen for the good of our market.

"I really wish people would stop posting incorrect information."

Well, I'm not sure if it really is incorrect - as said, I just quoted it from the above article, so I presume there must be some verfiable content to it.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 28/10/05 8:50PM
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On South East 2005 show report:

"The company [ROL] appears to have abandoned plans to maintain two versions of RISC OS 4, namely a 26bit version for RiscPC class machines and a 32bit version for future platforms, and instead focused on a 32bit only stream."

This is pretty significant and I believe the right step forward, as I have expressed a couple of times before. It also puts more pressure on (active) users of legacy (Acorn, etc.) hardware to upgrade to modern 32 bit machines. Neil Spellings has also stated a few times that a version of Aemulor can (or will) be developed for users needing 26 bit compatibility.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 28/10/05 6:51PM
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On ROL plots December roadshow:

markee174: "You can only run Select on an A9 at the moment. Running it on an A9 is an logical step towards being able to do an Iyonix conversion so it has to come first. A9 owners only have it because STD are footing the bill...."

Well, I believe you can run Select on more machines, but I think you are mixing something up here. If you carefully read the (sometimes confusing) statements made, you'll notice that ROLtd is only developing a 32 bit neutral RISC OS 4 for use on the A9home. It will feature some elements of Select. Advantage Six are partially footing the bill for the 32 bit conversion and fully paying for certain A9home specific features.

ROLtd's aim is to 32 bit RO4 (I believe the Select parts were always developed to be 32 bit neutral). Advantage Six's aim is to provide a 32 bit OS for their product, the A9. Therein lies the deal between said companies. Castle on the other hand, already have a 32 bit OS, so there is no necessity involved for them. Just for the record, Select still is a different thing from RO4, even though they integrate.

druck: "...if a company is honest and admits why they need extra time and funding I'll can evaluate that and choose to whether accept it."

Yes. That's what I find disturbing as well. I appreciate what they're trying to achieve, but they should have shared their business intentions with their customers, instead of informing them afterwards.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 26/10/05 2:20PM
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On ROL plots December roadshow:

"The fact now is that the only certain way current subscribers can reap any benefit from their subs is to buy an A9home."

Precisely, but that will offer them few Select features. ROLtd's idea is a universal 32 bit version of their Select, i.e. for all current (and expected) machines. That means that A9home owners can have Select if they subscribe like anyone else.

"What if the A9home does not succeed? What is ROL's business plan then?"

ROLtd is developing 32 bit RO4 for the A9home, because they made a deal with Advantage Six. Remember that A6 partly funded the conversion process, another part was funded by Select subscribers. So, I guess it doesn't matter (financially) too much to ROLtd if the A9home doesn't succeed commercially, since their primary aim would have been fulfilled anyway. Similarly, ROLtd would like if Castle (partly) funds Select for the Iyonix. Nevertheless, according to Castle the deal to merge RO4 & 5 still stands (thankfully ;)), so they still need to cooperate to bring this to fruitition.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 26/10/05 1:45PM
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On South East 2005 show report:

ROL have abused the loyalty and dedication of its subscribers by using their money to further another goal, which only became apparent recently. Now, these same subscribers may pay another year's worth to get what they actually paid for in the beginning.

The subscribers have paid for a 32 bit OS they may not use, until they pay for it again.

Other subscribers have paid an extra fee, or only subscribed, for Select to appear on the Iyonix. They too, have received nothing but the possibility to pay again. Mind you, PM stated "80% of the Iyonix port has been done thanks to work to 32 bit the OS for the A9". In the mean time, A9home users are benefitting from the developments made by these funds, even though PM may insist A9home specific parts were funded by Ad6.

On the bright side, now all RO4 users may have the same fully 32 bit OS.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 24/10/05 1:21PM
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On Running a fashion label with RISC OS:

Exactly. I understand Werkoderko's preference in this field of work. I, too, still choose RISC OS simply because of its direct and obvious way of doing serious work. Yes, it doesn't have some of the latest tools and gadgets, but in the end, you can save serious time and unnecessary effort with it compared to some of the more popular alternatives.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 17/10/05 3:16PM
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On How productive are you on RISC OS?:

There are two RO4 RiscPC's in my house. One for music production, another for general Internet use.

Everything keeps working on this Internet-equipped ARM710 RiscPC. I have people using this machine in preference to adequately tuned modern Windows machines, because it's easier to navigate and perform tasks. Less bloated. Installing and deleting programmes is much easier, file transport between media and programmes is much easier, it seems almost anything is easier compared to similar Windows (2000/XP) tasks! I regard a RISC OS computer to be an instrument of elegant simplicity, while regarding Windows computers as instruments of unneeded complexity.

I use NetSurf to browse, Grapevine to chat and Messenger to e-mail. It is fine and I installed this machine a long time ago... I trust this machine will still be running flawlessly in a year.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 11/10/05 12:05AM
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On Independent Select for Iyonix interest list opened:

I feel it is important to point out that ROL only develop one version of RISC OS, namely version 4.

As such, which Mr Middleton has already explained, all versions they release come from the same code. The A9home will probably have a few unique (hardware related?) features on its Adjust32 OS, which I believe are funded or developed by Advantage6. The rest of Adjust32 is RO4 finally made 32 bit compatible. The so-called Select scheme actually only refers to the subscription scheme of ROL to develop RO4 further. I hope this may clear things up a bit.

So, I think there are no special seperate versions or forks made by ROL. But, it remains true certain (or all) Select features present in Adjust32 were funded by Select subscribers. Thus, it is only fair they be offered a discount on a purchase of A9home. Because, in the end, the Select/Adjust features are a part of RO4, which is the only version of RISC OS the company can and will offer.

Select features for RO5? Or simply 32 bit RO4 on the Iyonix, with RO5 as some sort of backbone? It is important ROL come forward with all the details required for Iyonix owners to make a balanced and informed decision wether to pledge or not.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 10/10/05 1:16PM
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On Personalised special offers for non-Select and Adjust users:

I find the initiative of making "personalized" prices dispicable! It is discriminating and arrogant. It is one thing to determine a price based on the amount of OS upgrades one has purchased from them, an entirely different one which is based on "how many RISC OS computers you have, how long you have been a RISC OS user and most importantly how nicely you ask!"

However, the goal of encouraging RO Adjust (or Select 3i4) is commendable and a progressive one, which I fully support. To further this goal, hopefully ROL can see it within their ability to produce a nice, attractive feature-list of their products which would actually make sense to the casual user. Let's hope this can provide some cash for Mr. Middleton to finish Select 4.

By the way, why isn't there a phone number or email contact on ROL's press release?

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 7/10/05 12:26PM
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On ARM plays hand, reveals 1GHz plans:

Fantastic news!

Ofcourse, now the question arises - Will Castle or Advantage6 include these new ARM cores in their forthcoming hardware designs? Are their mouths watering like mine?

This development will propel RISC OS into the future with greater strength and support.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 5/10/05 10:59AM
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On ROL faces rebellion over Select delays:

It's a good and decent step of Paul Middleton to offer an explanation as to what has been going on and to make an apology. I do appreciate that and I really hope ROL will improve on their communication with not just their subscribers, but the whole platform community, because I do think that has likely caused a lot of confusion. They really should try to 'package' their product for the public better in future. Let themselves be heard more clearly and their business intentions be better understood. For example, they should really update and improve their website! In fact, I think they should totally revise it! Even though somewhere, sometimes, an update seems to occur, it simply doesn't show.

So, now subscribers have a 3 months "bonus". I'm unclear as to what that actually means for the current situation, or how that may try to compensate the lack of a Select development which subscribers have expected and paid for. I'm sure many people have already been fairly forgiving and understanding of the particular situation of RISCOS Ltd, so Paul needs to address what is going to happen now. As far as I can see, A9home users seem to be enjoying the fruits of labour paid for by Select subscribers.

I just wonder how this will continue. Will people pardon them and re-subscribe? Like Paul says - It's up to us. Although I can not endorse the lack of an available product, I do value their work and believe they are really working to modernise and enhance RISC OS for us all.

Something which, unfortunately, can hardly be said of Castle. Speaking of which, what does Paul exactly mean when he said:

"Youmightalsoliketoconsiderthatthe availabilityofSelectfor Iyonixwouldbe muchmorelikelyifwehadsupportforthe projectfrom Castle."

Which seems to imply that 100 specific requests is not the only decisive factor in bringing Select to Iyonix.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 5/10/05 9:13AM
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On Euro mag to list active RISC OS developers:

CJE: If developers take the European market seriously, they should seriously consider taking time to fill these (upcoming) forms in.

In my view it is quite important and a comparatively trivial effort rather measured in minutes, than hours. It seems many do have time to exhibit at the RO Expo in the Netherlands each year. So, if developers want European customers to keep noticing them, they should embrace the initiative of Herbert zur Nedden and provide some details to his list. It would most certainly help.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 3/10/05 1:58PM
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On Iyonix Select demand barely double digits, says ROL:

CJE: "a recompile with 'Omega hardware' option ticked!"

It is an Adjust ROM offer! Not a special version of a Select ROM image they can just burn onto a CD! Besides, I believe there is no 'special' or 'optimized' version of Select/Adjust for any machine, except the A9home now. In fact, ROL stated that if a given Adjust ROM doesn't work on an Omega, the purchaser can get a refund which is fair enough.

The critisisms directed at ROL is not arbitrary. You can't emphasize one aspect of this story and totally disregard another. The critisisms are very specific if you bother to think about them...

RISCOS Ltd have failed to deliver a development of Select to subscribers since the 2nd quarter of 2004.

RISCOS Ltd are not providing a version of Select to Iyonix users, even after 3 years of demand and repeated hinting by them to the contrary.

RISCOS Ltd have accepted subscriptions from Iyonix users who believed they were investing in an effort to bring Select to the Iyonix.


 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 27/9/05 1:00PM
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On ROL cuts deal with Omega users:

Ofcourse there is a matter of 'general support' and 'charity'. One may donate money to ROL, because one desires for RISC OS to grow and develop. For some people, including Iyonix users, that may be reason enough to subscribe. Personally I don't appreciate ROL hinting Select may appear for Iyonix, taking in subs, but giving no firm commitment or offering a guarantee it will (ever) appear. Furthermore, as I understand it, the Select initiative means about 3 CD releases a year. Well, there haven't been any releases whatsoever since 2nd quarter 2004, which by now is well over a year ago. People have paid for that period. I wonder if the subscribers got a message from ROL explaining what has happened with their money? In that same period ROL worked on 32 bitting RO4. AIUI most or all Select enhancements were already made to be 26/32 bit neutral. The guinea pig for the new 32 bit RO4/Adjust is the A9home. Once Adjust32 is formerly ready for public consumption, ROL will probably concentrate in readying Select4, which will hopefully be not long afterwards. I really hope Select4 will be handed out to those who already subscribed last year, but ofcourse I can't be sure about that - the 32 bitting process also needed to be financed, ofcourse.

AFAIK Castle handed their Merlin project to ROL and there hasn't really been word ever since. Nevertheless I think the Merlin project is important and I believe RO5 itself needs to be updated and enhanced. Not necessarily Select-like features, but definitely in that same direction.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 26/09/05 1:22PM
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On ROL cuts deal with Omega users:

nx: "Lots of users/people seem to think that they know ROL has used Select subscribers money to fund the development of the A9. It is quite possible that advantage6 have funded ROL for their time and effort. Lets give ROL the benefit of doubt shall we?"

Ad6 has probably funded ROL for their specific work in bringing RO4 to the A9home. Still, that doesn't explain why ROL have accepted subscriptions (or renewals) and did not provide a Select development for their customers to use. Instead, ROL has decided to spend their time (at least partially) on the A9home and that time has also been paid for by customers. Time=money. That is my reasoning to believe customers have involuntarily funded ROL's otherwise fine effort in bringing RO4 (Select4) to the A9home. I believe it is urgent ROL start to act as a proper company, that is to inform their customers of their forthcoming products and true intentions - that doesn't mean they should share everything, only the relevant bits which enables us to make a sound and honest judgement on wether to invest or not. The point AMS raised is valid and, IMO, demands an answer. If ROL are in "a difficult position", they should know why and I expect them to deal with it, since they have placed themselves in such a position.

CJE: If ROL is unable to bring Select to current RO4 or RO5 users, they should tell us and explain why. It is nice you offer an explanation, but it is their job to explain their business actions or lack thereof.

Hertzsprung: You have a point.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 23/9/05 2:05PM
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On ROL cuts deal with Omega users:

RISCOS Ltd: "For example, to the public there hasn't been anything apparently new since May 2004, however A9 developers are already able to see some of the new features that will become Select 4, and hopefully the final stages of the A9 development will lead on very quickly to a Select 4 release for all users"

Indeed. To the (paying) public there hasn't been anything new they can use. In fact, it seems to be clear the subscribing public has been funding development of Adjust32 for the A9home. Did you ask them for their permission first, since to the best of my knowledge, people subscribe to your offering to receive new developments of Select? Will you compensate them through a discount on A9home machines, since they already seem to have payed for them in part? Please correct me if I'm seeing things wrong here.

"It is unfortunate that the release of Select 4 is taking longer than originally planned, but the decision to move over to the new 32 bit neutral source, was a decision that had to be taken at some point, and I am sure that there will be few users who will complain that we should have not developed a 32 bit RISC OS 4 and should have instead stayed stuck with a 26 bit OS and ignored the potential of the new 32 bit only processors."

To the best of my knowledge, the decision to move to a 32 bit RISC OS was announced since the early beginning of RISCOS Ltd. It should hardly surprise any subscribers. A few (or more) users would probably complain on why the 32 bit effort was not made in collaboration with Castle and/or Tematic.

Why do I feel that I'm being treated like a fool by this company? I do appreciate their work in general, but their moral standards leave something to be desired.

"Paul added that particular OS features that form part of the Select scheme, which has been running since 2001, may be released for free to entice users into subscribing to Select or purchasing Adjust on ROM."

Well, this is nice news, although I hope these particular features would run on RISC OS 5. Furthermore, the offer for Omega users is excellent and a worthwhile upgrade.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 23/9/05 10:05AM
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On Hifi buffs told Iyonix audio is good enough:

jmb: "The PCI spec has been available since the Iyonix was released"

Thanks for pointing that out - I feel like an idiot and will check before posting next time ;)

JGZimmerle: I agree with your point there, but I should add that, apart from the encoding options, bitrate and monitor equipment used, the resulting MP3 quality is also dependent upon the type of audio which is encoded. Certain types of music for instance can sound perfectly true to the source at a lower bitrate than other types. (In my experience Classical or ethnic music would require a higher encoding bitrate as Techno.) However, at about 256kbps and higher, I definitely agree anyone would be hard pressed to make out any differences.

I should also point out that context matters very much here; encode a song at 160kbps, then encode a individual acoustic sound at the same bitrate/config. Chances are you'll make out a difference in the latter case, whereas it would be very hard to distinquish in the case of the song. That's why we record musicians without any lossy compression in a studio.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 13/9/05 11:39AM
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On Hifi buffs told Iyonix audio is good enough:

adamr: Yes, I know what you mean. I know LAME's encoding options and it is very good at what it does. For general purposes, it is excellent. I merely acknowledge the fact that the MP3 format is based on lossy compression, which means it discards aspects of the to be compressed sound material via a highly sophisticated psycho-acoustic model to cut down dramatically on filesize and these discarded aspects can be noticed by experts (via technology or even the human ear). In most music, especially modern electronic music, these artifacts are extremely difficult to isolate and for most people and purposes are negligible.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 12/9/05 12:17PM
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On Hifi buffs told Iyonix audio is good enough:

spellinn: Nice to hear that and yes, please do finish an existing project before taking on another ;)

adamr: Sorry to say, but there really are people who just pick up the codec's artifacts! Most of the time it is not your average electronic dance music which is compared, but very hi-fi acousticly sound takes of classical music to specialised audio recorded for just the purpose of researching audio compression. Ever heard of people clinging on to their old vinyl records, in stead of replacing them with so-called 'superior' CD's? It's the 'feel' of it, although I must admit somewhere around 256k (on LAME -q0) I loose touch and can hardly distinquish between the (properly recorded & mastered) CD original and MP3 conversion. The same happened with Sony's superior ATRAC3 format - certain people just distinquish between that and a CD or DAT original. Certain Buddhist monks do stuff not easily explainable by modern science, but they still manage to do it... :) Let's just say certain people are truly blessed with extraordinary acute hearing abilities.

krisa: Excellent idea! If Castle wants people to "have a go", as John Ballance suggested, they should publicly encourage it more and provide some space on their/another website for just that purpose. Releasing the Iyonix / RO5 PCI spec would be ideal.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 12/9/05 10:04AM
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On Hifi buffs told Iyonix audio is good enough:

Squirrel: "As I said in my previous posting, the simplest solution would be to stick an onboard SPDIF connector on the Iyonix motherboard, allowing you to connect the machine to an offboard DAC of some sort."

With 'simple', do you also mean a user-friendly solution? I'd still recommend a PCI or USB solution, although most regular users don't really need digital audio output, unless wanting to experience a DVD movie in full, for example. A well isolated and tuned/grounded analog board would suffice in most cases. The DMI is practically the best analog sound board for Risc PC's. Heck, it's the best expansion if you want to do anything audio or MIDI related with a RiscPC! I use an Irlam i16 which is supposed to have digital I/O, but that does not function sadly, though its analog sampling quality is pretty decent.

"Yes, but let's be fair, most people can't tell the difference between a 99 cheap and nasty mini system and a few grand's worth of proper hi-fi separates."

I disagree there, but ofcourse it all depends on the experiences one has here. Also, not all CD-ROM drives have bad analog outputs! Please don't generalise. I definitely agree that 128kbit mp3's (even with optimisation) sound far worse than their CD originals, however most people perhaps lack the trained ears and decent monitor equipment to distinquish properly between them. Personally I would be horrified if anyone compresses my release-quality music to an mp3 / 128k file - I always rather give them a CD.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 10/9/05 3:57PM
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On Hifi buffs told Iyonix audio is good enough:

"What's disappointing about this market is that fewer and fewer people are prepared to have a go"

Right. What I find disappointing is that Castle itself does not take a more active role in bringing PCI card drivers to the Iyonix. I believe it would help sell new Iyonixes - specialized Iyonixes for audio work could be an option, an Iyonix for DTP (or whatever) with the help from someone like Spellings, for example.

It has been known by 'audiophiles' for a while now that Iyonix' standard audio output is rather bad. Castle should have known this. It's true most standard PC's provide this AC97 standard on-board sound chip, but what I gather is that the Iyonix's quality is even poorer than that of a RiscPC. When the Iyonix surpasses its predecessors in almost every respect, why then is audio not among them? In this age of multimedia one would assume adequate audio quality should be a priority? Perhaps Spellings might provide drivers for a decent quality PCI or USB sound card with SP/DIF in & output. At least there is one pretty decent audio editor available for our platform which would make good use of it - SampleEd. Find it here: [link]

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 10/9/05 11:52AM
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On Is this the widest RISC OS desktop yet?:

adrianl: "There's a lot of unreleased work already been done on Geminus that we feel is likely to benefit more users than the multi-screen support, especially the hardware acceleration and cacheing techniques which really do make the desktop feel a lot faster."

My apologies and congratulations! This puts a whole new perspective on Geminus and one which quite enjoys my fancy :)

As to Cino, I sincerely hope you'll be able to squeeze the required bandwidth. However, since we're waiting for you, did Castle do anything about reworking ADFS or other speed ups to RO5 which would benefit Cino's performance?

Good luck, btw ;)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 6/9/05 12:02PM
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On Is this the widest RISC OS desktop yet?:

Definitely nice work. I can see the use of 2 screens, but 3 ... that's out of my league!

Seeing as Geminus has been quite functional for a while now, I'd be more impressed when they finally get Cino done, though I can imagine it now has about as much to do with Castle, as it has with the Spellings team.

Is Castle still serious about bringing DVD film playback to their Iyonix machines? It would nicely complement their new range of DVD writing models.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 6/9/05 8:02AM
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On Iyonix 3D graphics driver released :

"Meanwhile, the source to Quake 3 was recently released for free."

As if... ;)

I wonder if Castle got in contact with Simon Wilson about his work.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 3/9/05 9:47AM
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On Software news:

AW & TonyStill: RCI's Doom+ is heavily optimised for the RO platform, so it wouldn't surprise me if it did run a bit faster. The '+' means a lot of nice enhancements, of which the most popular was the in-game (PIP) map. Downside is that it's 26-bit only.

It seems unlikely to me that we can expect an Iyonix II, but Castle is known for their surprise element...

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 31/8/05 9:27AM
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On Oregano, Firefox and NetSurf reviewed:

Internet Explorer is a severe security risk. Charles, Martin, I thoroughly recommend you leave it be (as uninstalling it is rather awkward) and install Firefox or Enigma on Windows.

As bucksboy already pointed out, it would have been helpful if Martin had supplied version / build data of all three browsers employed.

The current situation seems disappointing, but this is very dependant upon the users' expectation of it. I, for one, am delighted with NetSurf and it is my day-to-day browser of choice, although I freely admit it isn't as capable as Firefox, for example. Regarding Martin's review, although it was nice in general, I found it a bit rough around the edges. For example, it would have been nice if a rendering speed tabel was included, as well the use of bookmarking, browser options, etc.

Anyway, it arguably is a reasonable indication of the current state of affairs. Let's keep our fingers crossed for Oregano 3 and don't forget both NetSurf and Firefox still have a significant way ahead of them.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 25/8/05 10:43AM
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On VirtualAcorn boasts 3000 users:

Good arguments Rob. I think your case is perhaps a common one among users. It surely is a time, and has been for some years, for RiscPC users to upgrade/replace their machines. If VA for both (commercial) mainstream platforms is an option, it could at least keep several users as RO users.

As to Gulli's idea about porting RO to x86, I think this has been raised quite a few times now. I tend to agree to certain benefits it poses, but perhaps the disadvantages (especially time/money involved) outweigh them. One point to consider is that the xScale is probably the most advanced and attractive ARM design available for RO machines and in this respect we depend on Intel's agenda. One could say RO is hard-coded to the ARM architecture and porting it to x86 would involve an enormous amount of time and effort, just consider what RO4-Select by itself is taking to be fully 32-bitted. However, eventually it may still be needed for RO to survive for the desktop, but that certainly depends on a lot of factors which currently do not yet seem to be relevant.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 22/08/05 10:16AM
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On VirtualAcorn boasts 3000 users:

simo: A Linux port has been shown working, but support for it was too demanding... Too bad, eh :( Perhaps you can try the vanilla version out under Wine.

What if AMS will be right? What if VA users will prefer Windows / Mac OS X software above RO software, if it will outperform native machines in all respects? What if dealers rather sell a jolly VA bundle, than supporting native machines and find out their customers gradually stop using RO software? Thankfully Castle would never let that happen! They would rather stop the license, than see their beloved platform become cyborged, won't they? Sure, they need us, remember?

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 20/8/05 4:19PM
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On PC card software to be open sourced:

Although the idea of a PCI PC card for the Iyonix is fairly interesting, what use will it serve? I think people nowadays buy a RISC OS computer to specifically run just that, RISC OS. The RiscPC was built as a machine capable of running multiple OS's on multiple CPU's. That was 10 years ago and really impressive. Now things are different.

My opinion is if people really need a PC or Windows with their RISC OS machine they should buy VRPC or simply two seperate machines. Native machines are for the dedicated users that really care for the platform and just don't need to run Windows on it. And yes, I know some of those machines VRPC runs on are more powerful than anything native we've got... I don't care.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 14/8/05 2:15PM
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On PC card software to be open sourced:

This is pretty good news, IMO! I still know of some people that use their PC cards occassionally and one of them would really appreciate the Network Links software, although I can't see any direct benefit over Select and modern software. Probably something Microsoft only ...

Anyway, I do hope someone enthusiastic about the PC card will step forward to take a look at the source and perhaps invest some effort into maximizing its potential.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 13/8/05 9:40AM
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On Archive mag to survey RISC OS computer use:

lostamarble: As you've probably seen, there is an option called 'Some other RISC OS computer' as well as VRPC (which is a further developed version of RedSquirrel). Unfortunately, the specific option 'RedSquirrel' is missing, for good reason I'm sure.

What defunct hardware? If you actively use a machine, even if it's 2000 years old, how can it be defunct? If you can install and run modern software on such an ancient device, how can it be defunct? On the other hand, all native RISC OS machines run on defunct hardware ... ;)

The poll is "an interesting experiment" - only an idiot like me would take its findings seriously.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 11/8/05 8:59AM
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On News in brief:

wuerthne: Is an Artworks2PDF utility practically impossible because the Artworks file format is not publically available? Beyond that, I can't see any reason why it couldn't happen.

Are current Xara and AW2's native files read/writeable on both programs?

Is there a chance you'd be willing to pick up CC's AudioWorks in a similar way you picked up ArtWorks? ;)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 9/8/05 1:41PM
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On ROL tells Select users: A9 takes priority:

I believe AMS is right in that there is a pattern in their 'Iyonix evading' behaviour of ROL, which might be attributed to the still existing conflict between Castle and ROL. I say -still existing-, because I am hardly convinced their 'differences' are resolved by the apparent lack of (public) unified and common progress on RISC OS. If it has been resolved, why is the public still unclear about it then?

Surely certain 'deep rooted' Select enhancements rely on ROL's sourcecode tree, but other more cosmetic features may well be delivered as a series of patches and enhancements rolled into a neat Select for RO5 upgrade. But then, IMO, we would miss the refinements, 'cleaning up' and changes made to the kernel and associated modules of RO4, which also was a focus of the Select initiative. In this light, I can understand why ROL would choose to bring Select for the Iyonix in a self-contained form. If that is the case, ROL would have to know exactly what there is to know about the Iyonix, in order to fully support its architecture. Jack Lillingston of Castle made clear at the recent Expo in Holland, that ROL is welcome to get the tech-spec... but then ROL would have to pay for it, I guess and develop all the necessary code and integrate it into their own sourcecodes which means a lot of work=time=money.

Anyway, personally I find it disturbing how ROL chooses to treat its customers of 26 bit Select. Perhaps, as a form of compensation, affected subscribers of Select can be offered a discount on the A9home when released, instead of a free 3 months extension.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 07/08/05 02:01AM
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On MicroDigital incommunicado:

The company structure is slowly breaking down. What are current Omega owners thinking about all this? Is there any plan as to extract some information before the wind picks up their dust?

I just hope MD can let their customers know something, before they become unreachable.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 26/7/05 11:35AM
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On Oregano 3 survives user group meeting:

Excellent news. I still wonder how fast it is compared to the likes of NetSurf or UPP Firefox. I myself find [link] a preferred way of testing a browser's compatibility with (partially) unproper websites.

I think it is pretty safe to say O3 will be developed until O4 comes out. Certainly, some things will or cannot be done in O3, so they might end up in O4 which also leaves room for commercial sustainability. Indeed, GeneSys is working hard to provide us with a quality web browser, featuring key benefits from both NetSurf and UPP Firefox, since they both act as catalysts for O3's level of compatibility in terms of sites and the RO GUI.

Just for reference... "Updates for Oregano 1 stopped because the code was being rewritten to be portable, and updates for Oregano 2 stopped because large sections of the code was rewritten to add support for CSS 2 and DOM 2 (This took slightly longer than expected).

Now that the above work has been completed there shouldn't be a need for any major code changes for the forseeable future. So upgrades for Oregano 3 should be available at about the same time as they are released for the other platforms supported."

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 20/7/05 10:16AM
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On Fears over Omega refund saga:

AMS: I'm afraid you have a point. The platform was in a delicate state back then and although some (like you ;)) were wary of certain suspicious circumstances, most were very happy a known developer had taken the bold step in designing a totally new machine.

I agree MD genuinely intended in bringing the Omega as specced, but their ways of bringing it to market has been definitely questionable and controversial, like their dealings with the press and inquisitive customers.

"I do not believe for one minute that a machine existed in anything approaching a demonstratable state in 2000 when deposits were taken. I figure that they probably thought getting enough money to pay for the development (or its completion) was the way to go, and that's what they did."

If that turns out to be true ... At least I suspect they did manipulate the market in the interest of their own sinister needs, but in the end to no avail, as their ways provoked sufficient caution in potential customers to refrain from purchasing. Deposits were revoked and enthusiasm for the Omega calmed down, while MD themselves gradually retreated back to the shadows from whence they emerged...

"Chris Williams, Ian Chamberlain and Paul Beverley deserve full credit for pursuing this story rather than as some have done and turned a blind eye."

Agreed. Though the story isn't finished just yet...

In the mean time - roll on A9home!

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 16/7/05 9:04PM
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On MicroDigital sought by bailiffs:

I'm sure there are some relatively satisfied Omega or Mico owners out there, but I'm sure there are quite a few mistreated customers as well, apart from the damage done to the market as a whole due to their empty promises, mistreating the press and arrogance.

I can only say, that on balance, the market will be better off with MD gone. Yes, one could argue it be smaller, but certainly more stable without some of the vapourware... When the Omega project was first unveiled and in the months thereafter, I found it quite promising, innovative (the soft-pc idea) and exciting - therefore it truly is a shame how things finally panned out. It would be to their credit, if MD issued a press release concerning the current situation, how remote that possibility may seem.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 16/07/05 4:19PM
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On Fears over Omega refund saga:

SimonC: Initially I thought that same thing, but now I tend to understand better. The RISC OS market is a whole (even though a certain devide still exists) and different manufacturers / producers do have to deal with each other and their actions. In this sense, when one manufacturer chooses to hurt a customer, it affects the whole market.

In the end it all depends on point of view and I can understand 'Fred' losing trust, because it only demonstrates a 'breakline' within the RISC OS community. Remember this has been a stressful episode for Fred and it has damaged the image of RISC OS, because MicroDigital was / is part of it.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 16/7/05 12:59PM
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On A9home form factor tempts DIY projects:

One place the A9home could be ideal, is in a recording studio. Firstly and mostly because it is quiet and by that I mean really quiet, since there isn't a fan making any noise. Secondly it is portable and robust in build, thirdly it boots fast and as such is immediately useable.

Now, if the 32 bit MIDI drivers are released + support for a third party USB MIDI & audio interface and Anthem or MelIDI is 32 bitted, I'll have it for breakfast ;)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 15/7/05 8:01PM
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On GCCSDK team trumpets module support:

Even though I don't program myself, I surely do appreciate the work invested into development of GCC SDK recently and over the years! I believe this progress is strongly reflected in the appearance of programmes of which some would perhaps never been possible without these developments, such is the significance of these developments.

Why is mrchocky modded down when his comment is strongly On Topic and he is in a central position to comment on this?

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 10/7/05 10:59AM
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On RISC OS Firefox developments:

Sawadee: I've succesfully run Firefox beta 1 & 2 on an ARM710 RiscPC with about 40MB of RAM free. It can be made to work, just make sure you've read the accompanying !Help file thoroughly and have installed the latest SharedUnixLib and Tinct. You also might consider re-booting the machine and running Firefox on a clean system.

If you should encounter any more unexplained phenomena, try to make them reproduceable and contact mrchocky.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 5/7/05 10:09AM
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On Delving inside an A9home:

jc: Did you realise what this article is about? It is about Delving inside an A9home ... It has to be done, wether you like it or not ;)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 26/6/05 11:03AM
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On Iyonix Select yet to show 'commercial viability':

jess: "I think a clear public statement from ROL is needed."

:) - Indeed and not only on the Iyonix subject, but I think overall on what their business intentions are regarding their customers. What about all those people who kept their subs hoping to see an Iyonix Select before long? Does ROLtd acknowledge / recognize their investment for the Iyx Select version? How does ROLtd differentiate between the investment made by Select subscribers only wanting a 26 bit version for their RiscPC's and those wanting a version for their Iyonix? Have they asked?

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 24/6/05 10:59AM
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On Iyonix Select yet to show 'commercial viability':

flypig:

"As for softloading over RISC OS 5, I'd urge them to consider using the flash ROM as a better alternative."

I think they want to retain the option of being able to 'easily' re!Boot in RISC OS 5, without the need to reflash. Perhaps it would be nice to provide those not needing to revert back to OS 5 the option to reflash the ROM... but will certain -atm- RO5 only features be present in this (hypothetical) forthcoming Select release?

My guess is it would be an Iyonix optimised/enhanced version of Select4, but not until a 26 bit version is released.

[link] [link]

Anyway, it sure is good ROLtd have come out with some details now! :)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 23/6/05 8:00PM
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On Heatstroke warning for older Acorn kit:

Well, it looks like the 2GB harddisc in my RPC is having problems which only recently began, when temperatures rised... ofcourse I've made a backup now. So this article really pops up handy, thanks Dave and Chris!

Ofcourse, this RPC was given for free from a guy who was known for his 'not-so-gentle' ways with his computers... (repeatedly switching it on & off when something goes wrong) So it might not be the heat after all ;)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 22/6/05 9:56AM
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On Expo 2005 show report:

It was a nice show in general, though less people seemed to attend than in previous years in spite of the new products and some exciting developments going on.

XAT are working on Impression-X and a release may very well present itself towards the end of the year, but please don't quote me on that - it's 2nd hand info! Firefox was greeted with enthusiasm and Chocky's UPP seemed to pick up quite a few new subscribers as well. Castle's presentation was formal, a bit boring, but informative nonetheless. When questioned, Jack said last year's agreement between ROLtd and themselves still holds, but did not give any further details about it, except that ROLtd is welcome to receive any necessary details in developing a version of Select for the Iyonix. He seemed to say it is up to ROLtd.

At the end of the afternoon the room gradually cleared of visitors and quite a few probably went out for a nice, cold beer :)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 20/6/05 3:43PM
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On The RISC OS dispute: 12 months on:

Herbert: "Overall I think it is a pity that all the good programming expertise has been used to make a 32bit Select based on the 26bit version instead of starting off with the 32bit RISC OS 5."

Actually, if what I understood is correct, when developing the Select features since several years ROLtd has developed the sources in 26/32 bit neutral code and rewriting/improving the original RO4 code neutral as well. Besides, they have their own version of RO to work with and having to license the sources of Castle's version to build upon would've cost them more money. Still, I agree it would have been nicer and more practical if RO5 was used as a base for building a Adjust32 in full cooperation with Castle.

Remember what Castle told the audience at the Expo: If ROLtd (or indeed anyone) wants to produce a version of Select (or whatever) for the Iyonix they can have Castle's cooperation. Certainly Jack did not mention the specifics behind his theoretical reasonings. Also, for the record, Jack stated last year's goal of merging both streams of RO still stands... Although I did miss ROLtd's talk, it seems to me the ball is very much in ROLtd's court, however I am not aware of any finer details so I did not attain anymore knowledge on the matter :(

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 19/06/05 10:49AM
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On Expo 2005 rolls on without MicroDigital:

mrchocky: The Dutch NS (Railway) is absolutely, terribly, incredibly and utterly disorganised since a couple of years. The trains do seem to depart sometimes and if you're really lucky, you might actually arrive at the right destination + on time. I'd suggest taking a buss and put up with a little less comfort, but a better chance of actually arriving at the Expo on time. Please look out for idiots, though.

sa110: Shoot him? No... he must be allowed to learn the error of his ways while scratching chewing gum of the floors and shining shoes of open source advocates.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 17/6/05 3:43PM
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On Expo 2005 rolls on without MicroDigital:

Everybody on DESK's mailing list received an email stating they are unfortunately unable to attend due to a lack of progress on the Omega (Xscale) and of available software to offer... This supposedly is the first time in 13 years they will not be present, which is a pity.

I am looking forward to being there, because there's always plenty to chat about and new (and unknown) stuff to see. I only hope Peter Naulls would be willing to grace the european visitors with one final talk/presentation.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 15/6/05 2:00PM
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On Select for Iyonix spotted in public:

Pleae excuse me for saying the mouse relies on Castle's USB stack, that's rubbish ofcourse, since I assume it isn't hardwired or anything and is just your average USB mouse. My point was that Select on the Iyonix must have support for USB, as it is pretty essential for your average use. It seems obvious it'll use the Castle USB stack, as opposed to the A9home's Adjust32, but ofcourse we'll have to wait and see to be sure...

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 10/6/05 11:08PM
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On Select for Iyonix spotted in public:

ROHC: "select/adjust32 - does it fully support the USB on Iyonix?"

It definitely should, if it in any way pretends to be a worthwhile replacement for RO5. Imagine installing it and not being able to use the mouse, because it relies on Castle's USB stack...

"select/adjust32 - does it fully support the graphics acceleration on Iyonix?"

Again, it definitely should and in some sense it must, because the Iyonix relies on it for its display.

"RO4.40 may be OK for an A9 - but how much of the RO5 stuff will be implemented?"

Some features were already implemented in Select, like DHCP, whereas others not, like UMDA. I can only expect Select for the Iyonix to build upon the functionality already present in RO5 to offer a definite, uncompromising upgrade for existing users.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 10/6/05 10:57PM
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On Select for Iyonix spotted in public:

"Does ROL or whatever they are called, know the specs of the iyonix to the last chip?"

That is a very good question em2ac - they should know the exact specs of the Iyonix to be able to offer a stable, complete version of Select32. As was mentioned, ROLtd asked the cooperation of Castle to bring Select to the Iyonix. Now, this is the point where it remains silent... Mr. Middleton has said on different occasions they first intend to bring Adjust to the A9home, of which they'll probably know the exact specs because Ad6 wants Adjust32 to be its primary OS. When there is 'sufficient' demand, work will continue to develop a version of Select/Adjust for the Iyonix, which will hopefully offer the same functionality RO5 has as standard besides the obvious known Select enhancements. I wonder how cooperation between the OS developers is progressing.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 10/6/05 4:52PM
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On Select for Iyonix spotted in public:

I worry about the issue arawnsley and others are pointing out, in that the amount of different versions of the OS is getting very difficult to support - we may end up buying totally seperate versions of a program, depending on wether one uses OS4, Select26, OS5, Adjust32 or Iyonix Select and being forced to upgrade when one changes OS, never mind any new features the upgrade may or may not offer!

I hope both Castle / ROLtd (ie. the -seemingly competing- OS developers) and (commercial) software developers can agree upon a certain compatibility standard upon which to assure as much software compatibility exists among the various versions of RISC OS.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 10/6/05 12:39PM
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On "Vast majority" of ROS 4 now 32bit:

John: "I'm confused about your assumption that Select for the Iyonix would be completely different from any other Select. Apart from the links to the hardware they would be identical being derived from exactly the same source."

Well, 'completely' different is a bit strong, I say quite different because, like RO5, major parts of the OS had to be rewritten for the different architecture involved. Now, ROLtd has been hard at work ridding RO4 of its dependency on VIDC20 and IOMD while developing Select and even though I think they've come a long way in realising a full abstraction, they're not quite there yet. In this sense I think there probably are still some underlying parts which need work before Select would run comfortably on Iyonix hardware. From a users' point of view I guess there would be little difference from 26 bit Select as we know it, although I think it would be a safe assumption to say ROLtd would take the opportunity to offer some special advanced features tailored for the Iyonix. In the end, I could very well be mistaken and what I'm saying here is purely speculation on my part.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 22/04/05 10:35AM
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On "Vast majority" of ROS 4 now 32bit:

"You might also ask "what benefit will 32 bit RO provide on a RPC?" Given the additional costs associated with upgrading software, buying Aemulor and losing various podules."

There definitely are benefits to it, one already pointed out by Jess. As to your other comments, I think I already answered them when I said 'give users the choice'. If you'd lose too much or are too dependent on 26 bit RO, then stick with it and buy 26 bit Select if you like. The only thing I'm saying is that there probably are users who'd like 32 bit RO on their RPC or Omega and won't necessarily lose compatibility when ditching 26 bit.

I think a forthcoming Select 32 for the Iyonix would be quite different from the current Select 26 anyway, because of the different hardware involved. I also think ROLtd should not have much trouble in compiling a 32 bit Select for the RPC (and possibly Omega) seeing as the article already stated that a lot of RO4 code, and Select enhancements, are 32 bit clean. I can't be sure of that, ofcourse.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 21/04/05 12:25AM
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On First Firefox port screenshots:

Perhaps our Dutch datawave friend means playing MP3 or similar files via a possibly forthcoming plugin, in a similar vein as Oregano 2?

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 10/04/05 12:27AM
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On ROL extends Select offer through January:

Julian: Yes, there sure are some types of work which can be reasonably well done on RISC OS. I produce music, but the actual work is done inside dedicated hardware gear which does the processing and produces the sound... if I were to depend on softsynths and advanced multi-track editing of audio RO unfortunately can not deliver. I also happen to own some hardware which is in part directly supported in RO (thru the app Debbie/MIDISupport) which helps to stick around.

I can understand your argument, since what you require is indeed well beyond the capabilities of our beloved OS/ARM combination. I can't think of a way you'd be able to drive a specialised piece of hardware via RO to get adequate results... At least good luck with your course and degree (maybe I'll find your name somewhere among production credits ;))

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 21/01/05 4:02PM
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On ROL extends Select offer through January:

Julian:

Just out of curiosity, but what work, if any, can still be done on RISC OS? I guess your work has something to do with video editing/sequencing? Guess Cineworks doesn't do it for you anymore... Oh and in layman's terms, please :)

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 21/01/05 11:30AM
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On ROL extends Select offer through January:

Adam:

Yeh, you're right - it does need time! Much has happened and things need sorting out.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 20/01/05 4:34PM
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On ROL extends Select offer through January:

ROLtd has stated it plans to release in the following order:

1. Embedded Adjust32 (eg. A9) 2. Select4 (Q1 2005?) 3. Select32 (Release 4, perhaps end of 2005?)

Mr Middleton said Select4 was originally intended for release on Christmas but has been delayed. So with a bit of luck we may expect it in a couple of months. If I understand the statement correctly, Select4 will be the last *26 bit only* version of Select. Thereafter, we could see each new version of Select to come as seperate 26 & 32 bit versions. However, Mr Middleton stated 32 bit versions of Select would always lag behind a 26 bit version. Reason is that Select cannot simply be compiled for 32 bit, because of many low-level changes to RISC OS which need to match the hardware on which it is to be run. See [link]

So, what I gather from all this is that a unified, 32 bit version of Select for all existant machines (RPC/A7000, IYX, Omega, A9) is simply not 'realizable' in the near future. Let alone a 26/32 bit neutral version. Because there's too much differing hardware combinations. What a shame. So I expect Iyonix owners have to wait some more, at least another year, for hopefully a nice 32 bit and compatible version of Select. In the mean time, certain customers enjoy an Embedded version of Adjust which has been compiled for 32 bits... I wonder how far ROLtd are with this 'embedded' version of Adjust32 and if we could in fact have this working on an Iyonix. Surely, it would not have all those lovely features Select26 users are enjoying now, but could it add at least some new (desirable) functionality over RISC OS 5 for which some Iyonix users are waiting?

Now, what about Castle? Several months ago they boldly stated millions of pounds were needed to get RISC OS up to date. In the mean time, the impression is given *Merlin* has gone down the drain. Also, ROLtd has been given a new name already (RO Developments - shitty name if you ask me...) even though they are still trading under their old(?) name. An announcement has been given by the two, Castle and RO Limiments/Developted, they have sorted out the differences/legal bollocks and are now working towards a united RISC OS... now what is this and when? My impression is RODev has been given desktop development of it, but are continueing like they have for the last years. Why isn't Castle investing and pushing for a nice (Merlinised) Select32 ASAP since they have many (potential) customers waiting for it? Why isn't Castle investing in some kind of (32 bit) software label? (Btw anyone have the USB2 drivers promised for xmas yet?) Where is their (Castle&ROLdtms) sense of responsibility to us, the customers, the loyalists, the investors? What am I missing, 'cause I can't believe I know even half of it. There should be more and better communication and ofcourse I don't expect us to need to know every detail of their agenda, but now we are really kept in the dark. But when they have a nice offer, or need money, they can surely find us. So, ladies and gentlemen, what are we to them and why? Come out, come out...

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 20/01/05 3:36PM
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On Midlands 2004 show report:

Indeed, USB support is present but certainly not perfect. What I hope is that Castle will add more compatibility when they release their USB2 drivers this Xmas. They are charging for them, so I'd expect them to be a substantial improvement over the current set.

Anyone any idea how well the Castle USB performs against the Simtec USB stack (as used in UniPod)?

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 08/12/04 10:20AM
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On Oregano future undecided:

Getting firefox to run natively would be fantastic and an incredible effort, but I think it would be one definite road forward, whereas depending on Oregan's benevolence for RISC OS users and OreganoUK's very slow development of O2 would be commercially unrewarding enough to sustain reasonably up-to-date web conformity.

For me, Netsurf and Firefox are the way forward, both maybe similar in nature, but different in development, could create a sustained balance in progress for RO browsing. I agree with chocky concerning his last comment and in this respect the UPP probably holds the key. Also, perhaps at one point, we may start to support Netsurf philantropically? Just a thought...

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 27/11/04 4:40PM
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