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On NetSurf on RISC OS faces axe:

I'm not sure about how much work a Fennec port would be, I can only guess really, I expect Peter Naulls would know a lot more, as he ported Firefox, which I would (maybe naively) assume is very similar.

I will make some cursory investigations into OWB and see how I go.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 14/8/09 1:52PM
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On NetSurf on RISC OS faces axe:

As much as I think NetSurf is easily the best browser available on RISC OS, and probably has a lot of potential, I'm not sure that if we only have resources to pursue one browser on RISC OS, that NetSurf should be it.

In the shape of NetSurf we have a browser that has not had any RISC OS work done on it in quite some time. If that changes, and they get a RISC OS maintainer, then we'll still have a browser that is not capable of going on a lot of websites.

Maybe we'd be better off looking at Mozilla Fennec, which is like Firefox but aimed at smaller devices, or maybe Origyn, which is a portable version of WebKit.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 14/8/09 1:02PM
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On RISC OS 5 port hopes for netbook now in production:

I notice that the browser AlwaysInnovating talk about is Mozilla Fennec, which is Firefox but tuned for embedded/handheld/less powerful devices. I believe it can be compiled to run on a framebuffer device, which maybe would be easier to port to RISC OS than the X11 version of Firefox.

That may be the dark horse web browser which might solve the problems present in RISC OS browsers.

I agree completely with druck that a web browser is a preqrequisite, as so much work now is done on the web.

Anyway, I digress, but I'd also agree with DrWhich, when it appears with RISC OS, I'll certainly purchase.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 30/7/09 8:33AM
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On RISC OS 5 port hopes for netbook now in production:

Jeffrey Lee is talking about this on the Iconbar forums, he seems fairly confident about doing the touchscreen drivers.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 26/7/09 2:49PM
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On Iyonix range taken off the market:

Well, my MacBook runs very hot, it's quite unpleasant.

I simply like to select the best device for the job in hand, I think for portable devices, where processing power is less important than battery life, then an ARM processor is pretty good. Also on a portable device, boot time is important, if I'm on the tube, I don't want to wait 3-4 minutes before I can start working if my journey is only 20 minutes.

On a desktop however, I need it to be fast, boot time does not matter as I never turn it off, and good multitasking is important as I'll often have things running in the background while I do something else.

Another example, I'm a big fan of the IBM i/OS, this is an awesome server OS, but an utterly awful desktop experience (it's green screen/terminal only). So I'll happily use it as a server, but nothing else.

Quite simply some Operating Systems excel at some things but not others and RISC OS is an example of this, it's not powerful or good for anything requiring a lot of horsepower, multitasking is very bad. However it excels at usability, snappiness, and running on low-power hardware, we should play to it's strengths and not always focus on it's weaknesses, which I believe the Iyonix and any successor does.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 30/9/08 11:56AM
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On Iyonix range taken off the market:

Generally because I'd rather use RISC OS than Linux on a machine like that, where power is not that important and my technical demands would be much less. I'd compare it to my preference to use a BlackBerry over a PocketPC, the PocketPC is technically more powerful in every way, but the BB's usability trumps it every time.

On my desktop, power matters because I'm doing stuff like compiling code which would take the rest of my life on an ARM processor, but on a portable sub-notebook, I'm doing different tasks and have other priorities like battery life, usability, running cool on my lap etc.

If I paid a £100 premium to run RISC OS instead of Windows CE (which is what the ARM notebooks tend to run), then that would be fine with me. On a desktop, you'd have to pay me to trade in my Mac for RISC OS, and it would need to be a lot more than £100.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 30/9/08 11:13AM
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On Iyonix range taken off the market:

I've not been involved with RISC OS for some time now, but maybe now is the time to very seriously look at using the wealth of existing ARM hardware out there. I don't see a lot of point in an Iyonix II, which would almost certainly sell worse than the first one, and look even more out of date compared with Macs and PCs available. Sure a better alternative would be to tap into the area of computing which is growing massively, the tiny little laptops like EeePC, or one of the alternatives which has an ARM processor (of which there are a few).

In this market, buyers have shown that they're not necessarily all that bothered about getting an OS they have heard of, and of course, the multimedia failings of RISC OS are less relevant as I don't think these machines are getting used for watching HD movies and the like anyway.

The of a good web browser and actually getting RISC OS to work on such hardware are major roadblocks, but I think it's a better option than creating a desktop computer that almost nobody will buy.

I'd never buy another desktop RISC OS computer again, it's just not useful, but a little laptop for taking on train journeys etc. that's a real possibility.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 30/9/08 9:18AM
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On Ditching desktops for portables: The way forward?:

In reply to lym:

I can't comment on the technical issues with a port, but maybe with some of the smaller vendors like Cathena, they'd be willing to help out and provide specs for video, sound, network hardware etc. Also with the Nokia 810, it runs Linux, so maybe the source for drivers is available (I've not checked, just guessing).

There are a lot of problems to overcome, but I think it would be a very exciting time for RISC OS to have people who would buy a RISC OS device for reasons other than hardcore fanatasism. I really think that RISC OS has a shot as an Ultraportable Operating System, it won't get to be mainstream or anything, but it would mean that you could sit someone in front of a device running WinCE, and one running RISC OS, ask them which they prefer, and maybe get a lot of them preferring RISC OS.

For everyone considering an EeePC or Nokia 810, we can say "Have you considered RISC OS?", we'd start off with computer enthusiasts like OSNews readers and go from there.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 7/1/08 7:37AM
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On Ditching desktops for portables: The way forward?:

Just to clarify some points about my article: I don't suggest for a second that RISC OS has a suitable UI for PDAs, and the devices which I suggested all have decent sized screens, probably better resolution than you'd run a RiscPC without VRAM, or an A7000.

Druck makes a very valid point about the lack of a vibrant software market, he's of course correct, but I think it's easier to make a vibrant market on these kinds of devices than on the desktop, simply because it's much easier to write the kind of app people run on ultra-portables (email,calendar,simple word processor, IM) than the type of app people run on desktops (Big Office packages, advanced drawing, photoshop).

The basic sentiment of the article is that I'd never buy a RISC OS desktop, unless I had abundant amounts of money, purely for a "fun" machine. However, I'd certainly buy an Ultraportable RISC OS machine, because the kinds of things I do "on the road" are simple, RISC OS is very, very up to the job, and an ARM portable would provide tangible benefits over dragging my MacBook around, such as weight, battery life, durability (no moving parts means fewer breaking parts), and the fact that some of these ARM devices are less than £400, my MacBook was £1100, so I'm wary about taking it with me sometimes.

It's not a cure-all solution, not by any means, but I think it raises RISC OS's chances of survival a little above zero, so it's worth considering at least.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 6/1/08 5:12PM
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On New Arculator and RPCEmu Mac ports released:

In reply to flypig and lproven, I think it's easy to compare the Mac and Iyonix, and have them come up fairly even, but the reality, as always, is a bit different. Say for example, IMAP email clients, the Mac, as standard comes with a full featured IMAP client, for RISC OS, you simply cannot buy a full featured IMAP email, for one does not exist. I speak as someone who bought Messenger Pro 4, it only supports one IMAP connection at a time, and as I have both a work account, and a home one, that's pretty useless.

Same goes for web browsers, I'd love to get a fully supported, standards compliant XHTML/CSS browser for RISC OS, but again, it just does not exist.

As someone who bought an A9Home, I actually don't think that RISC OS machines provide anything like a reasonable set of productivity apps, I really cannot think of any at all. There are apps which seem OK on first glance, but reality often turn out next to useless for a lot of people due to RISC OS developers not really living in the 21st century.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 29/8/07 10:05PM
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On Castle reveal shared source licence:

I think a port of RISC OS to a different processor would be fairly pointless in the long run, RISC OS is a very dated OS, porting it to another CPU architecture is comparable to porting Windows 3.1 to PowerPC, would there really be a point? If you're willing to dedicate that sort of effort, you'd be better off writing an OS from scratch or take a modern kernel and base your OS on that. I've often toyed with the idea of cloning the RISC OS desktop on some other system, but lack the motivation to actually do anything about it...

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 20/5/07 12:18AM
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On Castle reveal shared source licence:

Personally, I don't think the limitation to ARM restricts the potential for the growth of RISC OS. ARM is after the most popular/numerous processor architecture in use today, x86 included. It's true, ARM does not make RISC OS special, and you couldn't find a processor less suitable for use in a desktop computer, but desktop computers are not the be all and end all. The fact is, RISC OS cannot compete in any way on the desktop, we should probably all just accept that, if we have not already. The competition is too strong, cost effective, and superior to RISC OS in every way that matters. However, and it's a big "however", what RISC OS can do is compete in different markets, markets in which RISC OS could actually grow and even prosper. There is no shortage of ARM hardware like this:

[link] [link]

which would suit RISC OS very well, and the only competition of any note is Windows CE, much weaker competition than what exists on the desktop. The fact is that if I could only have my Mac or RISC OS, I'd choose the Mac in a heartbeat, if offered the choice of Windows CE or RISC OS, I'd choose RISC OS in a heartbeat, because RISC OS is probably the stronger offering. If we can get people to choose RISC OS on merit, rather than on fanboy-ism, that's a huge achievement for the platform, but it's a task too great on the desktop, but not on these types of ARM devices aimed at other, more niche markets.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 19/5/07 9:13PM
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On Messenger Pro 5 released:

In reply to sa110, No I haven't, maybe I will, but that's quite a lot of work for him, for the chance of just one more sale. I think GMail support especially would be tricky, their are Python APIs and so forth, but none for C as far as I know.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 18/5/07 3:36PM
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On Messenger Pro 5 released:

Reply to sa110, Yes, I actually really rather liked it, was trivially easy to set up and seemed to follow the KISS principle, which is great. Unfortunately, it's POP3 only, no IMAP support at all. If it worked with IMAP, would probably suit me just fine.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 18/5/07 2:15PM
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On Messenger Pro 5 released:

stevef, I think the problem is that GMail uses POP3 over SSL, which as far as I know, on RISC OS, only NetFetch/Hermes can do. Even then, I don't really like the idea of having duplicates of all my mails stored locally on my RISC OS machine, I'd rather keep the whole lot on GMail, so I can access them anywhere, and the searching is very good too. Really, what I'd like to see is a GMail backend to MPro4/5 in the same way they have POP and IMAP backends.

Even then, MPro4 is still lacking for me, as it only handles one IMAP account at time, so you have to switch between your accounts to check for mail, compared to Apple Mail or Thunderbird, which support many IMAP accounts all at the same time.

If MPro6 appears with GMail support, and support for many IMAP accounts, then I'll upgrade from my MPro4.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 18/5/07 2:09PM
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On Messenger Pro 5 released:

Andrew, Yes you did offer a trial of NetFetch, did not realise it was completely gratis, that was very generous.

The POP3/GMail thing is basically that I wanted to access GMail on RISC OS without using Firefox, really a proper GUI client would have been best, the POP3 would have just been a workaround really. IMAP is really down to not having a choice, although I do prefer it to POP3, basically that's what work uses, so that's what I use, end of story I'm afraid.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 18/5/07 9:59AM
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On Messenger Pro 5 released:

I'm one of the people that asked Andrew for a demo of MPro 4, he gave the same reason, i.e. could not support it, or provide information on correct installation. I respect that point of view, but disagree completely, because:

1) If your product requires support to set it up and install, then it's too hard. We're not talking about complicated server/enterprise stuff, we're talking about the most common consumer level type of software you can buy. But Andrew is right, I did need a bit of help setting it up.

2) I could not get a demo of MPro4, so I bought a copy anyway, on a chance it would meet my needs. As it turned out it did not meet my needs as it can only handle one IMAP account at a time, and without buying another R-Comp product, it won't work with the POP3 service provided by GMail. This meant R-Comp got a sale they would not have got had they provided a demo, whether this is a good thing or not depends on whether you are R-Comp or a customer.

3) Yes, MPro4 is about the same price as a PS3 game, I own a PS3, and I've played a few demos of games on it, they are freely downloadable. Not all games have demos of course, but it's becoming much more popular.

All that said, once I did buy a copy, Andrew bent over backwards to provide very good email support, unfortunately the problems mentioned in my second point meant that I can't really use it though.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 17/5/07 10:42PM
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On South West show reports and photos:

In reply to flibble, you're right, I was looking at turnover, not profit, my mistake.

In reply to stevef, my spelling is not getting any better is it? :-)

I assure you it's not spite, it's just wanting my OS to look pretty :-) I'm not talking about a wholesale throwing out of all design work in RISC OS, I'm just talking about looking at certain asthetic parts of the OS with a critical eye and thinking "can we do better than this?".

I could show credible alternatives in terms of other OS logos, but if we're talking about actually doing a new logo myself, then unfortunately, I'm just not capable.

Well, I've said my piece, and I really don't want to upset anyone by criticising their work, I just think the visual appearance of a desktop OS is really, really important, and if we can improve it, we should.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 05/03/07 10:04PM
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On South West show reports and photos:

Reply to stevef, I am aware of the Iyonix icon set, and they are alright, could benefit from the use of an alpha-channel, but that is of course not within Richard Hallas' control.

I know the cog is standard, and as I've said, although I'm not a fan of it, it's OK, and is not one of the key parts that need to be replaced.

I think if the cog can get universal approval, other aspects of the design can too, like you say there is politics, but we're seeing a bit more co-operation these days, so I think if an indepedant party had some design work done, and sought the approval of all concerned, we'd probably find an agreement was easier to reach than first thought.

With regard to your last point, I think whether us "whingers" can design or not is utterly irrelevant, we can all go into a restaurant and criticise the food without being able to cook, we can all dislike certain music without being able to play an instrument. I'll be the first to admit I cannot design, draw, or otherwise create visual art. I am completely inept in that field. However does that mean I have to accept bad design (I'm not saying RH's work is "bad", just making a general point) in every area of my life? Does it mean that because I am not able to make attractive art to hang on my wall, I must make do with whatever is supplied to me, and never speak a word about how I think it could be improved?

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 05/03/07 7:15PM
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On South West show reports and photos:

Hello dgs, While it would not be a proper thread on a RISC OS forum without somebody commenting on someone else's grammar, spelling or mis-capitilisation of "RISC OS", I genuinely don't see why my grammatical errors make me any less able to comment on design work. One can appreciate the Apple logo without being able to speak, read or write in any language, so I don't really understand your point.

I have also never claimed to be a design guru, I'll be the first to admit that I am useless at design or art, truly useless. This is why I pay someone else to do it for me, in the same way that right this very moment, I'm paying someone to fit a bathroom for me.

And before someone says that RISC OS companies cannot afford to pay for design work, I'll point out that looking at ROL's accounts shows that they make A LOT more money than I do out of software. Also, when you're in a market in which you have to at least *pretend* you're competing with lots of professionally run companies, you can't afford *not* to pay for good design work.

And finally, I'm not lecturing anyone, merely passing comment in a forum, the same way you are.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 05/03/07 08:11AM
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On South West show reports and photos:

Reply to Richard Hallas, I should have clarified my statements. My major (MAJOR!) beef is with the ROL logo, it's just unspeakably terrible. The cog logo, while I don't especially like it, is competent, and I don't have any major issues with it. The Iyonix blue blob is not good, if only because it means absolutely nothing, and is very unmemorable.

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.

I think a nice logo, website, and all round appearance is quite inspiring, to use the example of Haiku, as I have elsewhere: Haiku is in beta, it's not a whole lot of use in the real world, but I think their lovely website, logo, and appearance of the desktop makes people think that it has a good future ahead of it, and makes people glad to be a part of it. RISC OS, on balance, is probably more useful in the real world than Haiku, but the impression you get from all the websites about it is that it's ancient, ugly, and all round a bit crap.

ROOL, I think, realise this, and their website is clean and pleasant. iyonix.com is alright, but a nice logo would make a big difference. ROL's website is beyond saving I think and needs redesigning from the ground up.

Lot's of companies would refresh their branding after 5 or so years, maybe we should too.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 04/03/07 11:25PM
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On RISC OS Open to run allocations service:

Reply to 2307, I'm not a developer of RISC OS wares at the moment, but the open sourcing of RISC OS has made it much more likely that I'll stick around as a user, and more likely that I may write something for RISC OS one day. I'm not an advocate of open source or anything like that, frankly, I can't think of very many products which are 'best of class' which have been created in the 'bazaar' rather than the 'cathedral', but the fact is RISC OS has barely been developed at all for years, and ROOL might just change that.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 4/3/07 11:11PM
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On South West show reports and photos:

Reply to stevef and hEgelia,

To an extent, I agree on the cog, it's far from great, but it's not openly offensive :-). If we can get everyone to use the cog, don't see why we cannot get everyone to use something else for a more complete logo, i.e. is there a logo which everyone uses for the words "RISC OS" as far as I know there is not, ROL have a couple:

[link] - Obviously no use for RISC OS 5 and RISC OS 6 [link] - basically a standard font with two rectangles of colour.

Castle don't use either of the above, so we don't have a united image at the moment. I don't see why ROL and Castle, and maybe ROOL could not chip in a third each and get a much nicer logo made, one which can be used for ROL's and ROOL's branch of RISC OS.

The websites are a much greater problem, but it's more difficult to fix that, as it requires time and effort, and I think it also requires RISC OS companies to "get with the times" which they are generally reluctant to do on all fronts, i.e. online ordering etc.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 01/03/07 10:45PM
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On South West show reports and photos:

I've read the cog explaination, and yes there are reasons behind it, but not very important ones. Almost all major computer vendors started off with 8 bit machines and moved onto 32-bit machines, but they don't feel the need to reflect that in their logo. Actually, the cog is not that bad, and I'm not saying Richard Hallas is a 12 year old, only that most of the logos and design in RISC OS looks like it was created by one.

My major beef is with the ROL logo (and whole website), the RISC OS splash screen, the Iyonix logo, which are pretty bad. The ROL logo in particular can be singled out for taking about 2 mins in !Draw and being utterly, utterly terrible.

We don't really have a brand image to dilute, and the image we do have is ghastly, just gaudy websites filled with shamefully amateur logos and graphics, designed with zero professionalism. The only point I'm trying to make is this: RISC OS in many ways looks horrible, we can fix this with very minimal expense. RISC OS is pretty dated technically, but looks even more dated than it actually is, again, it would not hurt to pretty it up a bit, again could be done for a few hundred pounds on a couple of nice icon sets.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 1/3/07 2:45PM
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On South West show reports and photos:

Reply to sa110, Well, yes, the blue blob Iyonix logo is just awful, I think they just made it the blue blob because it looks like the power button on the bog-standard PC case they used. I suppose they want us to think they had the case designed to look like the logo, rather than the other way round...

Getting back to the ROL logo, yes, the cog is less of a problem than ROL's logo, which really beggars belief that they thought it was in some way acceptable.

I think both logos could be replaced with something really modern, and the thing is, it costs NEXT TO NOTHING to get a really, really nice logo made. Really you're looking at about £200. £200 put put a fresh new image on the OS, a logo which could be used to replace the shockingly terrible splash screen on RISC OS Adjust (I had the use of it a couple of days ago), and in lot's of different places.

I happen to like this logo for Haiku:

[link]

It makes you think Haiku is modern, funky, and all round great, but the fact is, Haiku is still pretty beta, and less useful than RISC OS, but from the RISC OS logos you see, you'd swear it was run by a primary school and not by limited companies.

If you still think that it's £200 wasted, then we'll have to agree to disagree. As for time taken, it would take a small design agency a couple of days after getting the brief, and trivial programming to get it into websites and the OS itself.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 28/2/07 8:25PM
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On South West show reports and photos:

JohnR, I wonder maybe if it's worth paying a design agency to come up with a new logo for RISC OS, either via Castle, ROL, or ROOL? I've purchased a couple of designs (for an entirely different purpose) recently from small agencies, you can get something pretty nice done for about £200. Let's face it, the logo used by ROL is utterly hideous and looks like it was designed by a 12 year old.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 27/2/07 11:01PM
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On NetSurf halts punter's search for love:

In reply to epistaxsis: On the topic of Flash, on my Mac I'd love to be able to turn it *off* on certain websites, as if you have quite a few windows or tabs open, the machine crawls and the fans become annoying loud, and this is a 2GHz Core Duo MacBook with 1GB RAM. Flash has it's uses, but to get me using RISC OS on the web again, all it would really take would be NetSurf with good, solid JavaScript support, most of my favourite sites would work fine with just that.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 6/2/07 8:41PM
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On How to port RISC OS 5 to the RiscPC:

Reply to druck, All due respect, but I'd say the Linux distribution method *is* a total mess, with regard to countless different distributions all distributing their own way of installing software, i.e. apt-get, portage, yum, rpm, that one Linspire has, and god knows what else. Also you've got the various toolkits which ensure no app looks/behaves like another.

On the good side, like guestx says, at least it's all there for the taking, and nobody is stopping you from using one part of a distro on another, and it's a big enough market to support it, and there is enough commercial interest from BIG companies who don't mind supplying their goods in a few different formats. They also have the manpower to test on various distros.

You could argue that the proliferation of distros on Linux is a good thing, maybe it keeps people on their toes, healthy competition etc. But I really don't think RISC OS can stand that, if we had perfectly compatible APIs, then maybe, but of course we don't. Do we even have fully compatible Standard C Libraries on all platforms yet? We could work towards getting rid of all the API compatibilities and say to ROL and ROOL; 'OK guys, play nice, make your stuff work the same' and /hope/ that both sides do just that. Or we can say 'Look, ROL, you had your chance, you did a good job in the beginning, but now it's just not working out. We're all going to support one version of RISC OS so we're not always re-inventing the wheel.'

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 02/02/07 5:09PM
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On Thunderbird 'demo' port released:

Reply to arawnsley, With respect, I think you should 'get with the times grandad!' :-) about having a demo. On Windows/Mac and other modern platforms, only the most obscure apps don't have demos available. If you feel that a 10-minutes trial is not suitable, then do something else, make it nag, or attach a message on every email sent saying it's a demo, maybe make the maximum size of an attachment too small, there are hundreds of things you can do. I'd say it *is* trivial to make a demo version of a piece of software, but on niche platform like ours, developers are either stuck in the past, i.e. won't provide demos, supply software only on CD (or god help us, floppy disk), often do not have online ordering etc. It's either that or they have a paralysing fear of piracy. Personally, I can't prove it, but I think piracy is really only a problem on platforms where users don't care about the platform, i.e. Windows, and in the past, the Amiga. On RISC OS though, I think most of the users we are left with feel a certain affection for the platform and would not pirate on a matter of principal.

On RISC OS there has been so many apps which I've considered buying but not done so due to the lack of a demo, particularly the expensive ones. MPro 4 at £40 for the IMAP version, I could probably buy on the chance I'll like it, but personally I'd like to be able to download a demo of Pluto and of MPro4, compare them and but the one I like. I really don't think it's asking too much.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 2/2/07 1:40PM
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On How to port RISC OS 5 to the RiscPC:

Reply to JWCR, I think the price of new RISC OS machine for the moment is unavoidable, the economies of scale simply mean they'll never be cheap. However, an open source RISC OS might mean it gets ported to cheaper hardware which was never intended to run RISC OS, devices like the Nokia N800.

I bought a new A9Home, but got rid of it as it felt like the full version of RISC OS would never appear, the price was an issue, but not the end of the world. I think user upgradeability is not that much of an issue, really the only thing the A9 lacks is room for extra hard disks, which can be be overcome with a NAS, lack of upgradeable RAM, which on RISC OS is not *that* big a deal, and lack of PCI, and what's actually going to go in those PCI slots? A TV card would be nice, a better graphics card is not really required without games to use it, so I think the A9 is actually a pretty sound machine, so long as it has a solid OS for it, which it does not.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 31/01/07 11:15PM
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On How to port RISC OS 5 to the RiscPC:

Reply to davidb, I stand corrected. :-)

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 31/01/07 6:41PM
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On How to port RISC OS 5 to the RiscPC:

I think another good argument for providing RO5 on the RiscPC is that this may attract 'hobbyist' programmers to contribute to RISC OS. It's one thing to convince a hobbyist to shell out maybe £100 on a RiscPC so he can play around with RO5, and maybe contribute some useful code, it's another to get him to shell out £800 on an Iyonix.

If we get a port to the RiscPC, and it attracts just a handful of enthusiastic hobbyists to contribute useful code into RISC OS, then it'll have been worth it. I'm talking about the kind of user who might otherwise contribute to Haiku, SkyOS, AROS, that sort of thing.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 31/1/07 5:37PM
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On How to port RISC OS 5 to the RiscPC:

Reply to timephoenix, I agree that competition in the RISC OS market, i.e. for the *actual OS* is not a good thing, it's just too small, and even if it were larger, like the Mac, would you want say, Apple, the owners of the OS making a 'cut' of the OS, and some other company making another 'cut' of the OS for older hardware, with subtle differences to trip up developers? Of course not, what we need, in an ideal world, is one solid, stable, actively developed version of RISC OS.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 31/1/07 12:16AM
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On How to port RISC OS 5 to the RiscPC:

I think a RiscPC port of RO5 would be a good thing, although I appreciate druck's argument that it's really only APIs that need to be replicated to resolve the problem of writing apps for RO4 and RO5. However, I'd like RO5 on the RiscPC because I'd like to see only one branch of RISC OS, so all efforts can be focused on it, and it gets 100% of the effort and not 50%. Personally, I'd don't care which branch of RISC OS 'wins', but I think ROOL certainly have the hearts and minds, Castle ultimately own RISC OS, and ROL have not really achieved much in quite some time.

So, ideally in my eyes, we'd have one version of RISC OS suppporting all modern hardware, and as Castle was making the Kinetic RiscPC up until a few years ago, I'd say it counts as modern. Well, as modern as any RISC OS hardware is.

Martin's argument that in many ways this would be a downgrade is true, I bought an A9Home as I thought that version of RISC OS would suit me better than RISC OS 5, the main reason being alpha-blended graphics. However, I realised the ridiculousness of that situation, that I had to choose different hardware to get the OS I wanted, even though Iyonix hardware would have suited me better (I'd have liked the TV card).

So as inconvenient as it is, I think getting RO5 onto all modern hardware is the way forward, the split should never have happened in the first place. We have the opportunity to reverse it, and although that's going to be tough on a lot of users, I think it is necessary in the long run.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 30/1/07 11:36PM
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On Programming tools set for price slash:

Agree with Andrew wholeheartedly, basically what it comes down to is that if you want to make a meaningful contribution to developing RISC OS, you're going need to part with £50. If it's more the 'free as in speech' that people want than 'free as in beer' then I guess they would have stopped using RISC OS anyway. However, people can still make very valuable contributions to RISC OS without meddling with RISC OS itself, and do it in an open source way, look at Peter Naulls, for example.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 29/01/07 10:23PM
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On Castle and ROS Open reveal plans for 2007:

SimonC, Indeed, it should work the same, but the reality is that it does not. And if you're doing Javascript stuff, then Netsurf is not going to work anyway. If you're doing a site, which say, includes a YouTube video, you could put in the code on RISC OS, but you'd just have to assume it worked, as you could not test it. There is also issues like websites which use certain fonts in CSS, there are some fonts which you can assume a PC or Mac has, but not RISC OS.

I'm not criticising Netsurf, I think it's great, but using RISC OS for web design is somewhat like painting a picture whilst wearing spectacles which distort your vision, it might look OK to you, but that's not how 99% of your viewers will see it.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 25/01/07 3:27PM
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On Castle and ROS Open reveal plans for 2007:

Jess, I'm not sure how RISC OS excels at website design, you need to able to preview the site how 99.9% of viewers are going to see it, which you can't do under RISC OS.

But I do agree that support for the RiscPC should not be dropped, if only because it was not that long ago that Castle were still making them. Also, we need to get as many people using the ROOL version of RISC OS as possible, and I think the RiscPC remains the most popular RISC OS box at the moment.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 25/01/07 2:18PM
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On Castle and ROS Open reveal plans for 2007:

Reply to Andrew: Never used Maemo, so can't really comment. I know what you mean about not wanting to reboot because an app crashed, I like real multitasking as much as the next man, but it's just not as crucial on a web-tablet as it is on a desktop computer IMHO. I use Macs at home and at work, I pretty much work them to death in a way that that RISC OS could not handle (not fast enough, can't really do two things at once, lacks the apps, no decent CLI, the list is endless) however, I demand so much less from a portable device, and just a couple of simple apps would make a RISC OS tablet perfectly useable for me.

As for the desktop UI, yes, on a device like the Nokia 800, it would be cluttered, but I think with a little imagination we could work around that, maybe change the window manager to suit it a bit better, allow apps to hidden easily, and I suppose if RISC OS on tablets caught on, people could modify the UIs to be a bit better on smaller screens etc.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 24/01/07 11:51PM
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On Castle and ROS Open reveal plans for 2007:

Reply to JGZimmerle, I suppose the idea of running RISC OS on various ARM devices is attractive to because if you compare RISC OS to Vista, Mac OS X or even Linux, RISC OS looked incredibly dated and limited. However, if you compare RISC OS to Windows CE, Palm OS, or an embedded Linux like in the Nokia 770/800, it does not look so bad. Proper multi-tasking, support for multiple CPUs, 3D graphics etc. maybe be present on these types of devices, but it's just not very important like is on the desktop. RISC OS on the desktop is many generations behind the market leaders, on PDA/Tablet style devices it's probably not even one generation behind, in some ways it may even have some advantages.

RISC OS on the desktop is extremely dated, RISC OS on a tablet is not so bad, it's almost like getting free pass to compete in the real world.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 24/01/07 10:47PM
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On Castle and ROS Open reveal plans for 2007:

Reply to nx: I agree to an extent, the RiscPC is ancient, and should probably be consigned to history, but various surveys and finger in the air guessing would probably indicate most RISC OS users are still on RiscPCs and it would be a shame to exclude them. Also, I understand that RISC OS 5 was primarily developed on RiscPCs and a port would be straight-forward, if not already done.

But yes, new systems should be the priority.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 24/01/07 5:03PM
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On Castle and ROS Open reveal plans for 2007:

In reply to druck: I think it is very valuable to have all users on one version of the OS, it means that we can use APIs without fear of them not being available on some machines. The 26-bit argument is valid, if you're interested in using apps which are not being developed any more, but IMHO it's better in long run to discard all these applications and encourage the purchase/development of recent and actively developed applications. Clearly there will be some areas in which only legacy app will do, and that's what Aemulor is for. I would hope too that if we all start using RISC OS 5, then the Castle USB stack will become standardized and the farce of having to two USB stacks will go away. Personally I don't care if we use the Simtec or Castle stack, but having two is absurd.

Having two strains of RISC OS just means that the small amount of development going into RISC OS is split unneccesarily, and it means that we end up with stuff on one strain (i.e. the Select Image SWIs for handling different image file formats) which may be very useful, but we can't use as it won't work on the other strain.

Frankly, I don't care which side becomes the 'standard' RISC OS, but I think we can all agree that in an ideal world, if we could turn back time, we'd like to only have one version of RISC OS, and the open-sourcing of RISC OS 5 is an opportunity to achieve that.

I'm not an open source advocate at all, I agree that a lot of work that goes into open source projects is pointless, non-innovative duplication of commercial products and like you say, wheel re-invention. But we can either have practically zero development on two versions of RISC OS like we have now, or we can take a chance, put all our money on one version of RISC OS and see what we can do with it. Right now, left as it is, RISC OS is finished, it has *zero* chance of survival, but the ROOL/Castle plan offers hope, and I think it's important that we all get behind that.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 24/01/07 2:02PM
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On Castle and ROS Open reveal plans for 2007:

In reply to John: I could not agree more, this is an opportunity for us all to be using the same version of RISC OS, whether it's on a RiscPC, A9, Iyonix, or some future tablet device. The similar spec of CPUs is a bonus too.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 24/01/07 12:39AM
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On Castle and ROS Open reveal plans for 2007:

Reply to John Hogg, And also, the more devices RISC OS gets ported to, the more experience will be gained for doing such a thing, and theoretically at least, porting to new devices should get get easier and easier, so long as those devices are not locked down with various protection methods, and the hardware is relatively standard.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 24/01/07 11:42AM
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On Castle and ROS Open reveal plans for 2007:

(nt)

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 23/01/07 12:49AM
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On Castle and ROS Open reveal plans for 2007:

I didn't know the Xbox had a HD15 port, that's pretty good. Although of course Microsoft does not permit running anything else on the Xbox other than it's built in OS. That's not to say it's impossible of course, but if you're deciding to port to another processor, you can choose one which permits every conceivable hardware permutation (x86), or you can go with one which only permits running on non-upgradeable hardware, no laptops etc (PPC consoles). If we were talking about the Amiga, which is already PowerPC native, then the PS3 especially is a no-brainer, particularly as Sony is perfectly happy for you to install another OS on it (and even tells you how).

But as we're talking about RISC OS, a hypothetical re-write to another processor may as well be done in such a way to allow many different CPUs, if you're doing all that work anyway, may as well do it in a cross-platform way with a runtime (like Inferno, Java, Intent etc.) or in a more traditional compiled-for-each-arch way like BSD, OS X, Solaris, Linux etc. That way you can just pick whatever CPU suits you best, regardless of it's architecture.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 22/01/07 11:06PM
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On Castle and ROS Open reveal plans for 2007:

1) I posted about this on ROOL's forums, specifically asking about the Nokia 770 ( or Nokia 800 nowadays), and they seemed to think that it would be reasonably easy given the right people and time. I think PDAs/tablets like this are a good target, the Nokia 800 has an 800x480 screen, that's not too bad. Smartphones on the other hand frequently have 320x240 screens or even smaller, so a RISC OS desktop would not be so nice. Also, RISC OS could not drive the phone aspect of the device without a lot of work, whereas on a device like the Nokia 770, you've only got to drive a Wifi adaptor, and there are open source versions of Wifi drivers, which could be used or just referred to.

2) Don't know, Castle seem to really keep quiet about these things.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 21/01/07 8:18PM
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On Castle and ROS Open reveal plans for 2007:

I think Castle's point of view is that if you could run RISC OS on a PC, they can't sell any desktop hardware. It's the same reason as say, Apple, they don't let you run Mac OS X on any old PC, because their sales would suffer, it's that simple.

I think killermike is quite right, it's probably just as easy, if not easier just to rewrite the entire OS, or build it on top of an existing kernel. Of course this has not happened yet, although there is no technical or legal obstacles. It would take a group of very good programmers a long time, yes, but there are many examples of os-rewriting success.

I think what we used to have is two under-developed strains of RISC OS, now we have the potential to unite around one strain of the OS, which could potentially get a lot more development. Personally, I'm not bothered about the licensing of RISC OS. If ROOL will make RISC OS better, and make it available on other hardware devices, which in turn make it more attractive to new users, then it must be a good thing.

The fact is, get a typical geek (that's not an insult, I consider myself a geek), and show him an Iyonix, he's going to think 'cool, but £799, nah, too much', get the same geek and show him a Nokia 800, and tell him RISC OS is optional, he's might think 'That's quite cheap, I'll give RISC OS a go, if it does not work out, I'll just use it with the standard Linux OS'.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 21/1/07 6:02PM
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On Castle and ROS Open reveal plans for 2007:

Restricting to ARM may stop RISC OS running on a 'proper' laptop, but there are options, like the Psion Netbook, and various tablet devices, which I am sure could accept a USB keyboard. It's not ideal, but it's good enough IMHO.

I think we need to accept that a port to another processor is not going to happen, but hypothetically, if it did, to restrict to POWER/PowerPC, although it's an incredibly popular architecture, would not get us much closer to having a native laptop, except for very expensive portable workstations. Sure there is the Wii, PS3 and XBox 360 all use PowerPC derivatives, but none of these are 100% suitable to be a desktop computer.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 21/1/07 4:41PM
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On Castle and ROS Open reveal plans for 2007:

The restriction to use ARM is unfortunate, but legally now, and technically, we're by and large stuck with it, unless we go out an re-write the whole OS without the intervention of Castle. I'd say that was pretty unlikely, so we should make the best of it. ARM is the most popular processor core in the world, surely that must count for something. There are many new portable ARM devices like the Nokia 800, this thing:

[link]

and loads of other devices, most are not very fast, and don't need to be for the job they are doing. Maybe we need to focus on these sorts of devices as the main platform for RISC OS and view the Iyonix and A9 as developer boxes for them. That's not to say desktop RISC OS is dead (no more so than it is now), but we can either lament the lack of CPU power or we can focus on a massive market where CPU power is not an issue, and inexpensive ARM based computers are in abundance. Let's not focus on unrealistic goals for our platform, such as great games, DVD playing etc. let's focus on completely do-able projects like maybe a Jabber client, Flickr client, maybe at J2ME port (it's GPL now, and completely at home on much more limited platforms than RISC OS). These are important and entirely feasible projects, and there are loads more like them.

I know I'm all talk at the moment, but I know if I had time to be working on RISC OS apps (and maybe I will soon) that's what I'd be working on. The DVD effort by Adrian Lees was heroic, but at the end of the day, I just bought a DVD player for £18.99. I've never watched a DVD on a desktop computer, I have on a laptop, on a train, but of course we don't have laptops.

I think sometimes we make too much of the limitations of RISC OS we cannot fix, and ignore the important limitations we *can* fix.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 21/1/07 12:00PM
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On ROS Open awaiting licensing wording agreement:

This sounds good, and I think it's important to give ROOL the benefit of the doubt, we can all complain about how they have not released anything yet, but we should also remember that they appear to be doing their best to solve a great many problems in the RISC OS scene, have not taken any money from us, and due to not actually owning the code, can't move at whatever pace they like.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 28/11/06 7:29AM
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On Castle directors patch up 'disagreement':

In reply to VirtualAcorn I share your frustration about the lack of news/source/announcemets from ROOL, but all-in-all I still have a lot of faith that they will do what they say. Frankly, the creation of ROOL is what this platform has needed for years, an open-ish source RISC OS should allow ports of RO5 to RiscPC and A9, making it possible to run the same version of RISC OS on all important hardware. That will get rid of the OS split, make ROL irrelevant (sounds harsh I know, but what have they done for a couple of years, really?). It should speed up desktop development enormously, as Castle seems to focus on embedded markets (which is very important, not taking anything away from them), and ROL seem to have between 0 and 1 developers at any one time, and some of the work they do is pretty questionable.

I sold my A9Home a few months after buying as was not any workable version of RISC OS for it, and did not seem to be on the horizon. I swore that it would be my last ever RISC OS computer, as I thought that all the people in charge of the platform like Castle and ROL did not have the slightest idea what they were doing. Shortly after I sold, the existence of ROOL came to light, and after reading their plans, I've got a bit of faith back!

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 26/11/06 4:06PM
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On RISC OS 5 source code release revealed:

In reply to jamesp: I think it won't matter whether ROL sulk or not, if RO5 gets ported to the RiscPC and A9, then we have a single version of RISC OS for all reasonable RISC OS computers (i.e. no Archies or anything), that is of course what we all want, and there will be very little incentive to buy Select/Adjust. I'm not sure whether the ROOL thing will work out, but it would have to go really quite horribly wrong to work out worse than the mess ROL has made.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 01/10/06 4:54PM
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On ROL: Adjust figures looking swell:

In reply to hEgelia:

As far as I know, there is no 'complete & finished' version of RISC OS for the A9Home. STD have not made me aware of it if there is, and an email to CJE got the response that they don't know when the complete version will be available.

In terms of software supplied, this may have changed since I got mine a little while ago, but you get some free stuff like Zap, NetSurf, FireFox, and that's about it.

Garry

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 2/8/06 11:48AM
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On ROL: Adjust figures looking swell:

In reply to knutson: I doubt it includes the A9, as the full, complete version of Adjust is not available for it yet. I, and presumably other A9Home owners are still waiting, same as everyone else...

Garry

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 2/8/06 10:13AM
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On ROS must open up to survive says Wild:

In reply to gdshaw, there already is a successful model of supporting multiple binaries for different architectures - the Mac. These days, it's commonplace for a Mac app to have both PowerPC and x86 images in the same executable file. This was also the case on NeXTStep which also could support SPARC and PA processors.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 23/07/06 7:17PM
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On Ex-Pace staff back RISC OS Open Ltd:

To be honest, I think the technical hurdles for ports is only a small part of the problem. While the A9's and the Iyonix's very slow processors are a problem for ports such as OO, GIMP etc, a greater problem is their UIs, pretty much the only remaining reason to use RISC OS is it's UI, and ports such as FireFox do not really use a pure RISC OS UI. So the question is, why would I pay about £600 for an A9 (which I have) to run applications which run better, are better supported, look nicer, and are more likely to be kept up to date on a computer which costs me half as much?

Being frank, I don't see that much value in the port of FireFox, but the UPP's projects such as UnixLib are immeasurebly valuable as it allows back end code to be ported relatively easily. What RISC OS needs is modern capability, but keeping a RISC OS UI, without the UI, there is no reason to buy a RISC OS computer. I think UnixLib helps a great deal in this respect.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 11/7/06 12:18PM
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On Ex-Pace staff back RISC OS Open Ltd:

In reply to wuerthne: I'm not sure if it's fair to call that nonsense, much more technically accomplished Operating Systems than RISC OS have been written in less time by fewer people. Look at Haiku, SkyOS, and many others to see the fast progress than can be made with the right team of programmers. I have no idea of what RISC OS Open are up to, and I doubt it's an effort to re-write RISC OS, but the proposition is completely feasible, particularly with the wide range of open-source kernel projects available.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 10/7/06 2:10PM
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On RISC OS 3 caught running on Amiga hardware:

hzn: Your idea is fine too, I was just thinking that ROL need to make a compelling reason to buy Select on Iyonix, and making it the only way to get Cineroma would probably ensure a lot of Iyonix users get Select. Somehow we need to phase out one strain of ROS, and RO4 is closer to being available on all RISC OS machines than RO5 is. I think giving one fork of RISC OS *major* features over the other would make sure the weaker fork would die off and we'd be left with one version of RISC OS, which is (I think) what we all want. Personally I don't care which strain goes forward, as long as one of them does, and Select seems to be more likely to turn up on Iyonix than RO5 turning up on the other machines.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 22/5/06 8:10AM
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On RISC OS 3 caught running on Amiga hardware:

bluenose: You're quite right, I was just working on the premise that Select is not out for the Iyonix at the moment.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 21/5/06 5:34PM
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On RISC OS 3 caught running on Amiga hardware:

Here's an idea: Apparently Cineroma is getting close to being done, but the author is prioritising paying work (rather understandably). How about ROL pay for the right to exclusively distribute Cineroma, so the author gets money for his work and can complete it. This also gives us RISC OS users a media player, and also gives ROL a siginificant feature to put in the next release of Select and therefore start earning their subscription money.

Everyone is a winner except Iyonix owners, but I'm sure ROL could sell Cineroma as an add-on to RO5, giving them at least *some* access to that part of the market.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 21/5/06 5:08PM
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On RISC OS features in plain english:

In reply to ROHC, JGZ, hzn,

While FTP FS would be great, !FTPc fits the bill for me perfectly, except for that one feature, I don't really mind having to a seperate app for FTP at all, especially one as good as !FTPc. I think all !FTPc needs to be able to do is to 'pretend' to apps that it is a normal Filer window, so that all apps can open/save files using it. I'm not sure if that is something which needs to be done by ROL, !FTPc authors, or other application authors, but if it could be made to work, all apps would be able to save/open from FTP, which makes a great improvement from say the Mac, in which some apps like BBEdit (a text editor) can save to FTP, but the majority cannot.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 15/1/06 3:11PM
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On RISC OS features in plain english:

Agree with the above, a great article Chris.

Here is another feature I would like: When you drag a file to save (from say, !Zap) into !FTPc, it saves it to the FTP site you are viewing, which is great. However, after that you can't just press F3 then Enter to save, you have to drag the file every single time, which is a bit of a pain. Not sure whose place it is make something like this work, but it would be truly great to give every RISC OS app the ability to save to FTP this easily.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 15/1/06 1:35PM
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On 2006 predictions:

In reply to ROHC, for me, the big feature is alpha-blending, my brother used to own an Iyonix, and we were both quite bemused by the lack of alpha-channel support in any vector package, except (I think) in Vantage, which is now of course, dead and gone. The other features mentioned above are nice too, and as I'm using a digital camera more often now, thumbnails in the filer would be cool too. Also, despite the lack of Select development at the moment, from a desktop user's point of view there is still more going on than on RISC OS 5, which to the best of my knowledge, has not had any updates of any note to UI/desktop stuff since it's release. The exception maybe the better USB mass storage support, which is very important.

In reply to GuestX, I think it's true to say you can get functional equivalents (or superiors) on many different platforms to RISC OS, but you still wouldn't get the desktop UI of RISC OS, which as far as I am concerned is pretty much the only reason to use RISC OS. Not that it's not a good reason of course. Let's face it, those of who use RISC OS rarely do it for hard headed business reasons.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 08/01/06 4:59PM
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On 2006 predictions:

I'd probably conject that STD chose Select rather RO5 because it's the more desirable OS from a desktop user's point of view, I know that the features in Select have me more interested in an A9 than an Iyonix, despite the very numerous hardware benefits the Iyonix has. And to be fair on Castle, they have demoed RO5 on MiMagic boards and the like for embedded customers. RO5 might be the 'better' OS from a technical point of view, to be honest, I really wouldn't know, but Select is a great deal more appealing from a 'give me the nicest version of RISC OS' point of view.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 8/1/06 2:02PM
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On Archive usage survey: VRPC edges past Iyonix:

The fork is making a difference to me too, my brother bought an Iyonix but quickly sold it as it could not meet his needs, a Select machine could have (major issue was no alpha-blending in !Draw or Artworks, Select would at least resolve this in !Draw). I'm now contemplating an A9 but would rather an Iyonix, as I'd like a TV card, dual head, and maybe accelerated graphics, also the Iyonix USB implementation I think has a bit more traction now than the Simtec one. But having seen RISC OS 5, I'm not sure I could put up with it's limitations compared to Select/Adjust.

You have to wonder, with ROL being basically a one-man band, if it would not be too expensive for Castle to buy them, or at least a controlling stake, and put an end to this madness once and for all.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 11/11/05 9:46AM
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On Taking OS features for granted:

I think guestx is quite correct, but clearly nobody knows quite what to do about the PMT issue. Maybe Castle could look at Wimp2, and see if it can be made an integral part of the OS. I don't know whether this is a serious option, but I for one would like to hear Castle's (or indeed ROL's) viewpoint on this.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 2/11/05 8:28AM
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On Personalised special offers for non-Select and Adjust users:

Have to agree with hzn's comments to ROL. ROL basically make no effort to market the features of Select/Adjust so you have to trawl sites like Drobe or Iconbar to see what it offers. Why don't they have a section on www.riscos.com showing how nice the alpha-blended sprites look, how much better the improved !Draw/!Paint is, why having thumbnails in the filer is good thing, etc. etc.?

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 7/10/05 9:43AM
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On Castle ponder GeForce 4 graphics upgrade:

Maybe they should consider Radeon cards instead, not for any technical reason, but I believe they are a bit more forthcoming with specs/APIs etc. Maybe we would see some more 2D/3D acceleration.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 20/9/05 9:34AM
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On R-Comp offers RISC OS emulation solution:

Dgs: I'm curious, what was the server?

Got to disagree about IBM servers, AS/400s can be quite compelling.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 14/10/03 01:12AM
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On AdvantageSix launches new VirtualRPC based PC :

I see your point, that would be kind of nice, particularly running as an X app.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 12/10/03 12:33AM
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On AdvantageSix launches new VirtualRPC based PC :

Jess: I totally agree on the XScale portables, especially the netBook, which has a 800x600 screen.I also agree that emulators can keep users the platform would otherwise lose. But I disagree on your last point, as a full-blown Linux/*NIX with RISC OS on top would be attractive to me, but a cut down one would not, as presumably I would not be able to run UNIX apps on it. I know this would encourage people to buy RISC OS software rather than get *NIX wares. But I don't think a platform could or should survive based on deliberatly denying users access to valuable features like good web browsers, programming environments like Java,etc.

But to go back to your first point, RISC OS could do great on the existing ARM portables, you can compare RISC OS to WinCE without bias, and RISC OS will frequently come out on top, which is not the case (looking cold-headed) at RISC OS vs. other desktop platforms.

Cheers

Garry

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 12/10/03 11:24AM
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On AdvantageSix launches new VirtualRPC based PC :

I think Andrew R makes a very good point, and he *is* in a position to comment on software sales, unlike most us, including myself. But to speculate, I think in the long run software sales will be affected, particularly in areas where RISC OS is weak, such as web browsing and multimedia, 100 for O2, or a far better browser for free?

If like Andrew says, sales of add-on software are not affected by emulators, then it has to be a good thing for the RO software market, but it has to, inevitably be a bad thing for the hardware market, unless the companies involved get with the program on pricing.

A good RO emulator under *NIX on a laptop might get the likes of me buying it, and probably many more here, but an Iyonix for < 500 would *certainly* get me buying it.

Garry

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 10/10/03 10:51AM
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On Alpha, VirtualRiscPC revisited:

Hi Rick, I think both sides of this argument accept that both computers had problems when first released. TTBOMK the Iyonix problems are gone now, and to be fair, were not as severe as those that are still present in the Omega.

I don't know why we have not heard from more Omega owners, if indeed there are any more, and as MD have not published any fiqures (as is common in many computer markets, not just RISC OS), we just don't know why this is.

I agree that there is a lot of anti-Omega/MD feeling around the place, not just the news sites but it would be far better if MicroDigital took some responsibility for /why/ there is so much negative feeling. I also agree that you should not have take some of aggressive comments you have, but the rabid anti-MD opinions formed by some were not formed without reason.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 30/08/03 3:23PM
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On Alpha, VirtualRiscPC revisited:

Hi Rick, I get your point about software and aemulor, I think any software not ported to 32-bit could be considered discontinued, and maybe alternatives should be sought. But I too do not like the idea of running 26-bit software under emulation, but RISC OS will need to completely drop 26-bit eventually, may as well be now. It has the added bonus of singling out committed developers too.

Your comments about journalism are totally right, I'm not personally bothered about who is wrong/right, as long as it gets sorted.

I think RISC OS companies should be held to the same standards as other companies if possible, RISC OS is already quite behind other platforms in most technical regards. It's not going to catch up if we *expect* worse from them, and it's certainly never going to attract new users with problems like no USB or Ethernet.

Yes, the same could be said about the Iyonix, I don't favour one over the other, Castle have made mistakes also. But without wishing to sound biased in favour of Castle, I would rather have slightly slow disk access for a bit rather than not be able to connect to my home network, or indeed the Internet.

I think it's sometimes better to seperate the product from it's maker, for example, I like SGI computers, but I think the company is run pretty badly. It does not affect my view of the computers they make. Similarly, many of us here do not think a lot of MD's PR, but we should not let it colour our view of their product. And by the same token, those who like MD should not simply ignore the problems their product has, and brush aside legitimate concerns about support and future development.

Cheers

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 29/08/03 01:01AM
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On Alpha, VirtualRiscPC revisited:

Rick, I can understand enthusiasm for the Omega, but I think it's fair to say that the Omega is somewhat less advanced than the Iyonix right now. Maybe in a years time that situation will have turned on it's head, but right now we only have MicroDigital's word on when problems will get fixed and features will be released. I do not own either machine, but I wrote to both Castle and MicroDigital with some questions about their respective machines, only Castle actually wrote back. You could argue that MicroDigital only gives out info via the phone, but this is very inconvenient if people are at work all day, and it is certainly very unprofessional to publish an email address and apparently ignore any emails which are sent to it. It's also a little odd, given that this is 2003 and MD are supposed to be at the cutting edge of technology, that they do not seem to use one of the most popular methods of communication ever made.

If, for arguments sake, let's say Drobe *are* biased against the Omega/Microdigital, it would not be without reason. I've said it before, MicroDigital can resolve this situation any time they like by just answering emails and co-operating with the press, who are after all, like it or not, the voice of most of the userbase. If MD feel the press are unprofessional or whatever, why not be the bigger man and call a truce, agree some terms about how MD's news should be handled and get MD back to being a serious player.

As for stuff not working on either the Iyonix or Omega, IIRC the Iyonix had sound problems and disk problems, and that was pretty much the worst of it, now both resolved. The Omega at present does not have networking, which to my eyes is a bit more serious, imagine what we would say about Apple, or Dell if they released a computer which did not have networking. I know many users only have one computer, and do not use broadband, but to the rest of us, no networking would mean a totally useless computer.

Cheers

Garry

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 28/08/03 5:51PM
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On Alpha, VirtualRiscPC revisited:

About the Alpha supporting 1920x1200 screenmode, does the RISC OS side support it, in 24 bit, or just Windows?

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 20/08/03 11:04AM
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On Shipping Omega first impressions:

Chris, I would not want you to think I was criticising Drobe in any way by my comments above, I appreciate that if MD do not answer your questions, then there is not a lot you can do.

The reason I want MD to tell us about it that I don't want to hassle dealers to give me info about a machine which I am fairly unlikely to buy.

I hope MD are reading this, because as someone who feels their RiscPC cannot cut it anymore, I'm considering buying an Iyonix,Omega, or other computer. Currently, I can get all the info I need about the Iyonix simply by browsing the web, but the Omega is a riddle wrapped in a mystery enclosed in a shroud. I mean, you see the 'Lynx' internet suite mentioned, but no explaination of what it is. We know that lots of features do not work yet, but no indication of when they might work.

I don't really understand MD's attitude, I know they feel burned by the press, rightly or wrongly, but this helps nobody, especially themselves.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 11/08/03 8:11PM
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On Shipping Omega first impressions:

David: Fair enough, I was hoping that APDL may be able to serve as the 'voice of MD' as they are quite reluctant to answer emails etc. I think there are so many unanswered questions about the Omega, which I would not want to trouble users like Stewart with.

It's a real shame that MD don't want to publicise their efforts as it seems they have a sound computer by what Stewart says, and he seems perfectly happy with it, so I don't see why MD does not start telling us all about it.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 11/08/03 3:31PM
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On Shipping Omega first impressions:

@David Holden: I was just on your website, did not see Omegas for sale, are you going to be a dealer for them? I ask because you may be able to provide more info to potential customers (like me) than MD are willing to give. Thanks.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 11/08/03 11:28AM
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On Comments on the Microdigital Alpha:

Both of your suggestions are fine by me! I think there is a hack/patch somewhere which can do this.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 02/08/03 10:53PM
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On Comments on the Microdigital Alpha:

Fair enough, I don't use Windows, so I can't really comment on that. I do find that RISC OS does use far too many modal boxes though. My experience of Windows is that the desktop is horrid, but the apps are generally OK, stuff like Adobe Acrobat does things you just cannot do elsewhere, except the Mac.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 02/08/03 8:02PM
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On Comments on the Microdigital Alpha:

Hi Simon, Yes, that's my understanding of a modal dialog box, however a standard RISC OS dialog box, is modal to the whole desktop, and (I think) the rest of the world stops moving too. ;-)

A recent example which I had of this was when using WebJames, I put an executable into CGI-BIN to try it out, but I filetyped it wrong, so when my website ran te executable, WebJames made a dialog to say something like 'There is no application set up to open this filetype' or something like that. When that dialog was up, WebJames would not accept any connections, and the machine was effectively dead until I clicked 'OK'. I know there are other types of box which you can continue to use the app and the rest of the machine, but there are *loads* on RISC OS which do not, like 'Filecore in use', 'Internal exception..', and whatever else an app wants to make. My experience of Windows is limited, but I'm pretty sure that when a dialog box comes up, you can still access it's web server!

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 01/08/03 10:44AM
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On Future ARM based processors for RISC OS?:

I did not know PowerPC had any relation to ARM3!

STBs may be a bad idea, but the NCs were a great one, the only way RISC OS can possibly compete with PCs on price in schools and stuff, if they had RISC OS 5 on those simtec/EQ StrongARM machines in a little case, make a lovely NC.

For me personally, graphics is not the biggie, it's programming tools, but having full use of the GeForce2 would be good for OpenGL and stuff.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 30/07/03 11:52PM
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On Comments on the Microdigital Alpha:

Mark, what do you mean about modal dialogs? I don't use Windows at all, but I think RISC OS dialogs are 'more modal' than on Windows, as Windows dialogs are modal to the app, RISC OS dialogs are modal to the entire desktop. But anyway, if MD can sort out the problems with the Alpha, like networking, then I think it could be pretty decent.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 30/07/03 8:47PM
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On Future ARM based processors for RISC OS?:

Hi George, Yes, there is a strong bias towards graphics, simply because that's what people are buying for their machines more than most things, it's also probably the only area in which RISC OS can really stand up for itself on the desktop, especially OPro vs. Quark. I think for Iyonix money the best new Mac you can get is a dual 1.25Ghz G4, which is clearly going to open a huge can of whoopass on the Iyonix in terms of raw speed. But still, I'd have the Iyonix myself. I think back in the Xemplar days, Acorn got an idea into their heads about CHRP Macs with ARM cards or something, but I don't think they really seriously considered porting RISC OS to PowerPC, maybe Galileo though.

RISC OS is very tied to ARM, porting to PowerPC is certainly *possible*, but I think ARM is a good place to be. It's the most popular processor core in the world, and although the computers we have right now are terribly slow by comparison to Macs and PCs, with Castle owning RISC OS now, there is no real reason why it cannot be made to work on much faster ARMs, when they appear.

I think Castle have the right idea wanting to go into the embedded arena, rather than just desktops.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 30/07/03 3:24PM
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On Imagining RISC OS and PMT:

Hello David, If PMT did slow down RISC OS then it might be a problem, but I really don't think it would, there are lots of fast, snappy Operating Systems with great, pre-emptive multi-tasking. I had a go of Wimp2, i think it's an incredible piece of work, but as it says in the article, low-level file access stuff is not made pre-emptive, which I think would need core RISC OS work to fix.

Apple did put a load of technologies into the Mac with the release of OS X, but as the stuff they added (Cocoa, Quartz,Objective C) are all utterly brilliant and light years ahead of RISC OS and the 'old' Mac, not that many people mind, I don't think. I don't agree with your assumption that because 50% of users did not switch (yet) that developers did not, on the Mac, developers are generally quite big companies, even the shareware ones often have offices and staff, and cannot afford *not* to switch. Also, 50% is not that bad a number, what percentage of RISC OS users have gone to RISC OS 5, Select or even RISC OS 4? I don't think it's 50% of all users (well I hope not, looking at sales of RO4/Select).

Anyway, despite all that, I'd still take an Iyonix over a Power Mac any day of the week (heart ruling my head).

On a different topic, any chance of your Linux boxes running RISC OS any time soon?

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 30/07/03 11:11AM
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On PCI for the masses:

Hello Annraoi, I don't really know anything about FPGAs, but I was not saying that they were bad or anything. I think it's an interesting way to make custom hardware on the cheap. I thinks it's good that MD can do rolling upgrades even if some people would consider it unfinished.

What I don't like is this constant veil of secrecy and differing accounts of whether the machine is even shipping. If Omegas are really going to end users, then why have we not heard from *one* end user to tell us about their system? Very odd.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 22/07/03 3:26PM
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On PCI for the masses:

I could understand that for beta testers and such, but what end user would agree to that sort of thing?

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 22/07/03 12:13AM
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On PCI for the masses:

Hi Julian!

I've got to say, something is a little odd about all this, it's hard to believe that out of all the people who had Omegas on order, and presumably now have them, nobody has the time to write a few hundred words on it, run a few benchmarks etc. I'm certainly not accusing you of telling lies, but there is something strange about all this.

Do the regular Omega owners (please raise your hands) know when they'll be getting the advanced features?

For the record, the FPGA approach is a curious one, and it will be very interesting to see how it works out.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 22/07/03 10:05AM
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On PCI for the masses:

Hello Julian!

The FFF I was referring to are the MPEG and Mesa/OpenGL stuff mentioned on MD's website, which I understand is not available to the masses. If you've got this on your Omega, I'd love to hear about it. On that note, I think we'd all like to see a review/report of the machine. I understand that MD are shipping to end users, so they cannot possibly have any problem with you telling us all about it, if it's a finalised production machine that we can all run out and buy.

I'm sorry if the above seems kind of abrupt, but as great as the Omega specs are, they just just don't seem to be available to buy. Could I go into a dealer and order a machine which has the specification as described on MD's website?

Bye

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 21/07/03 9:17PM
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On PCI for the masses:

Hi Julian, I too don't really like the fact that the CPU is not upgradeable in the Iyonix, but it'll only be an issue if and when Castle make a faster Iyonix. If they do motherboard swapouts for a reasonable price, that's fine by me.

However, and it's a really big HOWEVER, the Omega's fancy FPGA features (FFF) are vapourware ATM, and as has been pointed out, the StrongARM and 133Mhz RAM are both out of place in a brand new desktop computer.

I'd love to see the Omega perform in all it's glory, with all the announced features, but not only are they not available, we don't even have a timeline for when they will be.

As for running discontinued 26 bit software, unless totally unavoidable, IMHO we should be trying to use the actively developed software and fund the active developers rather than use software which has been cast aside in favour of PC and Mac versions.

But again, I'd love to see some competition in the market and for RISC OS machines to break the magic 1Ghz barrier.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 21/07/03 4:13PM
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On On with the show:

Acorn OS might be nice, simple, to the point. Maybe a revamped nut to go with it, maybe made glossy like the Apple one, mmmm...

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 09/07/03 00:28AM
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On On with the show:

A name change would be interesting, RISC OS is so generic and has actually been used before, RISC/OS running on MIPS chips.

But I'm sure Castle have better things to think about.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 08/07/03 9:41PM
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On On with the show:

I'd be for a brand new logo over the cog/nut combo, nothing to buy except paying someone to do a new logo. I know of a company which will do MacOS X icons for about 60, so I'm sure they would do us a nice logo for a few hundred pounds.

The cog does not mean anything, and is not synonymous with the platform, I remember reading somewhere that the number of teeth on the cog had something to do with being 32-bit, but practically all platforms these days are *at least* 32-bit, so it's not a big thing anymore.

The blue blob is not so good either, as it's just a drawing of the power button on the Iyonix (which is just a standard button).

I agree with Jonix that's its great that this is all we can find to complain about.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 08/07/03 3:13PM
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On Castle buys RISC OS from Pace:

a310: Gets my vote, RISC OS would be great for this sort of thing.

Never used QNX on ARM, only on Intel, it flied on the Celeron I used it on. QNX is made for this sort of thing, would probably run pretty nice, maybe not with Mozilla though, but it comes with a web browser, which is very fast indeed. I don't know how much QNX is in volume, but it's free if you just want to run it on your PC. On that note, being as the Iyonix is based on an Intel ref. board, might not be too tricky to run QNX on it, I know this would be more likely to get me buying one that Linux or other UNIX (Got more UNIX boxes than I know what to do with!).

I think most Linux embedded systems use something like Qtopia rather than X.

RISC OS would be really nice for this sort of thing, maybe Tematic will do something like that.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 07/07/03 01:45AM
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On Castle buys RISC OS from Pace:

Oliver, I am a bit of a thin-client fanboy, so I totally agree that this is a good idea, but I think we would have difficulty convincing a manufacturer to use RISC OS as an embedded OS rather than the current favourites QNX and Linux. Using the web browser on the PC would give us a very good browser, but would still have the users using MS stuff, so in I kind of think it would be a hollow victory.

On the upside, we already have this sort of thing in the shape of the Netstation, which I always felt was criminally under-exploited and under-developed. I'd love to see Castle work on a new NC.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 05/07/03 3:46PM
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On The Press sucks says MicroDigital:

Did DA say anything we have not heard elsewhere, anything about the hardware acceleration for MPEG/Mesa?This was on their website, but they seem to have gone quiet on the issue.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 26/06/03 10:39AM
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On The Press sucks says MicroDigital:

Bloody hell.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 25/06/03 7:41PM
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On The Press sucks says MicroDigital:

You rumour-tease!

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 25/06/03 1:43PM
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On The Press sucks says MicroDigital:

Maybe the Iyonix is part of the reason why it's delayed, I mean before the Iyonix they could have released a small improvement over the RiscPC, and we'd all have been happy. Now they have to beat the Iyonix, which is a far higher target, coupled with the fact that the StrongARM it's based on will shortly not be available to buy.

On a different note, the tone of posts here and everywhere else seems to be that people are sick of hearing from DA. We never hear much from David Prosser, as I get the impression that it's him that designed much of the Omega, maybe his voice would be a calming influence. And maybe a bit more credible.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 25/06/03 10:09AM
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On Partis brandishes mass storage drivers:

I can give an OSX shot to anyone that wants one, i think the font rendering is very similar to RISC OS. However I found the XP example easier to read than the RISC OS, particularly the lower case 'e's, in which on RISC OS the hanging bit appears to join up with the rest of the letter, but the XP one does not. RISC OS text appears smoother, but I prefer the XP one in terms of readability.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 06/06/03 4:21PM
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On Business and RISC OS:

I'm sure Chocky has given his consideration to porting some decent toolkits to RISC OS, if he or someone else does it, fantastic, but I think to port QT would be a colossal task.

You're right about the languages thing, you always get people banging on about how great BASIC is, and don't mention the enormous advantages of langs like Java.

I think RISC OS could attract coders a while ago, say Sibelius, for the size of userbase, RISC OS has had some good software written for it. But these products have either been discontinued or fallen behind comparable products on other platforms. I used to write for RISC OS, but now I have savoured the delights of other platforms, I doubt I'll ever code for it again, RISC OS is nice to use, horrid to program.

Like you say, as the userbase diminishes, there is less money to invest in development, less money == less good products, and products have to get more expensive, further reducing the user base, and it's attraction to outsiders. It's a vicious circle which will not be escaped with the current activities of major RO companies.

If you say that all serious users are on RISC OS 4 or above, then I think puts the userbase at under 5000, which can't sustain any serious software development unless you're extremely keen to support the platform regardless of earnings.

It's sad, I had personally hoped that RON may provide new users, but it looks like that is not to be.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 02/06/03 12:37AM
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On Business and RISC OS:

I agree about getting RO onto other ARM based devices, very important to offer more choice.

Linux could be made to boot as fast as RISC OS, simply because it can run on much faster hardware. My Sun boots (Solaris) slower than my RPC boots RISC OS, but not much, and it's pretty slow by modern standards.

Mac OS X is a front end on UNIX, and that worked out pretty well for them, obviously they have billions of dollars and brilliant programmers though.

I honestly don't get why people get so worked up about it being on ROM, it's so expensise in such low quantities, and although it can be more reliable, if you have disk failure you've lost access to all your files/apps anyway, so you're not much better off than if the OS is on disk.

Practically all (non-embedded) computers hold the OS on disk, including the most reliable computers on earth like mainframe,UNIX,non-stop,VMS etc. If we have more problems than everyone else with disks, then we should look at fixing it.

Not sure why X is so awful, it's certainly much faster than RISC OS with a decent graphics card, and there are loads of good toolkits, all of which open a can of whoopass on the RISC OS WIMP.

If we are serious about getting RISC OS onto other hardware, and seriously improving it, we should talk to Castle/ROL first as they (well at least one of them) has access to the RISC OS source, and of course have loads of experience with RISC OS. We should make it clear that RISC OS should be made to run on other ARM machines, and ROL cannot go on developing for ancient hardware.

Reproducing the Acorn experience: I suppose you'd need to define what that was first. Although we'd certainly have to make sure no good web browsers ran on it! ;-)

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 01/06/03 11:55AM
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On Price Comparisons:

I've got no problem with them making reference boards, but although they make the Neuron, we've no idea if they've had any takers, let alone in significant numbers.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 30/05/03 3:15PM
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On Price Comparisons:

Reference boards for big manufacturers to try out Xscale and evaluate it for other products.

I also doubt it'll be in the same form, I think they may try to make a smaller cheaper box without PCI and all the rest, well, I hope they will.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 30/05/03 12:09AM
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On Price Comparisons:

Justme: You mean... theres.... Acorns...outside.. the... U... K...?

As for Select being locked to a certain laptop, yes, that's crap, but I doubt Pace cares, as the pittance it would bring in would not be worth getting one of their lawyers to look over it in his/her lunch break.

I guess RISC OS companies shoot themselves in the foot because if you take a chance, yo might end up shooting yourself in the face. Castle could reduce the price of the Iyonix, but if sales don't follow, then they've thrown away revenue needlessly, OTOH of course, sales could increase, same goes for MD and even (snigger) RiscStation.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 30/05/03 10:22AM
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On Price Comparisons:

I doubt you'll get many people hooked on an A5000 under emulation, I mean it was good in it's day, but just nostalgia these days. VA is good for people who need RISC OS on a laptop for example, but it's not going to get users, because it's going to look pretty crap next to XP (not that I've used XP, but I'll go out on a limb and say it's a better computing experience than RISC OS 3.1).

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 30/05/03 00:23AM
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On Price Comparisons:

Second hand RPC hard to find?! You could phone any Acorn dealer, and they would be able to sell you one for < 300 with StrongARM.

Yes, brand new RISC OS machines are very expensive, but second hand ones can be had very cheap, if you just want one to try out, maybe get an A7000+ for about 50.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 29/05/03 3:42PM
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On Eureka unmasks Omega:

David, Any ideas when you'll be able to release Cineroma?

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 27/05/03 4:12PM
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On Eureka unmasks Omega:

I'm sure it can be done purely in software, and yes it's important to at least have the ability to do it, but non-tech users won't care if they can't actually use it. It's easy for us to say, "yes I know all the games on RISC OS are shit, but it's /possible/ to write a good one!" or more commonly "The Omega is great, it's got this that and the next thing", Johnny Newuser says "oh great, where can I buy it?", we say "oh no Johnny, you can't *buy* it!"

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 27/05/03 11:59AM
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On Business and RISC OS:

Probably a) no-one wants to do these things for free (I know I dont') b) RISC OS has a very limited toolkit to work with, particularly under C++, which I expect KHTML is based on (could be wrong here), and c) lots of RISC OS coders have gone elsewhere, it's not the platform it was for attracting programmers.

Nodoid, agree with what you're saying, but do you mean 1.6K? ;-)

But it's true, RISC OS does not have a monopoly on good UI, and certainly not on good software. The price drop is crucial, because RISC OS does not have the means to be a person's only computer any more, and the user is more likely to have an Acorn and something else, and therefore cannot afford (say) 700 for a PC, and 1300 for an Iyonix.

That would be a good poll actually, who *only* uses RISC OS?

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 26/05/03 1:15PM
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On Eureka unmasks Omega:

In good time, one might be able to create DVDs under RISC OS ala iDVD/Mac, so you'd want to watch it on your computer. But as far as I'm aware there is no freely available decent movie player for RISC OS which can handle a few common formats, so it's all academic for the time being.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 26/05/03 1:04PM
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On Business and RISC OS:

I have used GNOME2 and KDE3, IMHO they could both suck the paint off an iron gate. I agree though that some UNIX/Linux apps are pretty decent, 'specially OpenOffice. I've used Linux on a few different platforms, and a few UNIX flavours, and I've always had to use the CLI for something. You can get away with just using GUI if you don't do much, but if you need to get an app as source, you're using the command line, particularly if you need to get libs and stuff.

I think the reason why some people may find Linux easier to get around than RISC OS is because both KDE and GNOME clone the Windows environment as studiously as Windows attempted to clone the Mac.

I don't think there's anything wrong with using the terminal, or that it should be avoided, but a beginner is going to barf at the prospect.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 23/05/03 11:49PM
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On Business and RISC OS:

I agree, the interface is the reason to stick with RISC OS, not because it's easy, some things are still very arcane in RISC OS (setting filetypes, for one), but because it's very usable. Easiness and Usability are two very different things IMHO, a UNIX console is not very easy for the beginner, but very usable in the hands of an expert.

The only other (mainstream) interface which can rival RISC OS is the Mac, in many ways (probably most) it's easier to use than RISC OS, and you can practically get arrested for making a app on the Mac which does not follow the style guide, and have predictable keyboard shortcuts. The big but is that that it's frustratingly slow and unresponsive.

Can't comment on Windows, have not used it for years, but presumably the other main OS is Linux/UNIX, I like my UNIX as much as the next man, but it's very far from easy.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 23/05/03 6:04PM
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On Business and RISC OS:

I agree that TCO of PCs may often be higher than RISC OS, but you've also got to take into account that the PCs will probably come with an Office package, email, etc. whereas on RISC OS this will further add to the cost so the TCO argument would have to be very compelling. You can easily get a PC suitable for educational use (i.e. not too high end) for 350, so you could break two, buy another and still come in cheaper than an Iyonix.

OTOH second user NCs are dirt cheap, get a big Sun box to serve them with X and RISC OS apps, and you've got low initial spend *AND* very low TCO, i.e. only one computer to admin, the NCs have no moving parts and will pretty much look after themselves.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 23/05/03 2:17PM
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On Business and RISC OS:

Martin, Those are expensive white boxes! I agree that Iyonixes are not appropriate when the education system is so cash strapped, but maybe Network Computers combined with powerful servers could give a good combo of UNIX and RISC OS (and Windows if you must!). I've always wondered why the NCs don't get much attention, they probably have more potential to get RISC OS back into schools than any other products, they're like Sun's superb SunRay system without the licensing or complication.

Paul: For me it's not the IDE I need, it's decent toolbox widgets, basically in RISC OS you get buttons,writables,radio boxes,check boxes,listboxes (basic) and a basic TextArea. This just is'nt enough, we need stuff like Rich text areas,better list boxes and canvases, maybe something to automate redraw would be good too. Rovlib took my fancy a lot, as Jason Tribbeck has done some pretty cool stuff with it, but we need something endorsed by ROL/Castle so we're all pulling in the same direction. QT is brilliant, and would turn around development on RISC OS.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 23/05/03 12:23AM
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On Business and RISC OS:

Yes, RISC OS does have to become one entity again, but even if it were, the userbase and machine sales are still far too small to get new software development.

I'm not sure whether the Omega is more mainstream than the Iyonix, after all you can actually buy an Iyonix! ;-) However I do think that the Omega has greater potential to expand the market for various reasons, most importantly processor upgradeability, and I also get the feeling that the Omega might get more third party development. Software and hardware development for the Iyonix seems to be exclusively at Castle, whereas the Omega uses the Simtec USB stack, and could maybe even use third-party CPU upgrades from the likes of Simtec.

Of course this is all academic until MD release the Omega, but it seems all the talk at Wakefield of the machine shipping soon were simply not true.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 23/05/03 11:22AM
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On Business and RISC OS:

I think Nodoid is correct in pretty much everything he says in this thread. Getting those on machines < A7000 to move to something better should make the active base a bit bigger, but a trade-in programme I think is unlikely to work, as anything under an A7000 is worthless. We could give the old machines to schools and so forth, but this will only prevent purchase of newer machines and also give RISC OS a bad name amongst those who use them as they will seem hopelessly outdated compared to even Win95.

The price of RO machines is the biggie, sure you can get a 7500FE machine very inexpensivly, but let's be honest, they are useless for modern computing tasks, unless you are very undemanding. You can get a S/H RPC cheap enought, but this will not put money into the hands of hardware developers if we just recycle S/H machines. So that leaves us with the Iyonix as the only moden RO box which you can actually buy, and this really is hideously expensive compared to it's peers. I'm not just talking about hardware, but also the lack of added value, with a new Mac you can edit movies and burn them to DVD with fancy menus and everything with nothing more than comes in the box. Those of us who like RISC OS will tolerate the lack of decent software, but newcomers will not give it a second look.

Another big one is the development situation, this has been a favourite ranting topic of mine recently, so I'll keep it short. The fact is that the development environment on RISC OS is chronically out of date and thoroughly awful, in fact it was out of date when Acorn was around. If you have a big market, but a bad development environment, developers will put up with it, if you have a small market, but a good development environment, then developers will work out of enthusiasm. If you have a small market, and bad development environment, you're up sh*t creek.

I apologise for the 'angry-young-man' quality of the post, but if we want to grow the market, these issues have to be addressed.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 23/05/03 10:07AM
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On Select takes aim at ROMs:

I doubt you'll get a statement out of ROL or Castle, I think given the age of RiscPCs it would not be unreasonable to stop OS development for them, however it would leave those of us unwilling to purchase an Iyonix somewhat stranded and shrink the userbase quite a bit.

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 22/05/03 4:31PM
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On Wakefield show news:

I thought that the video card in the Iyonix was not really supported by the OS in terms of using it's fancy features, so there would not be a lot of point in the 64MB model.

2048x1536 is a *big* resolution on any platform, so you won't find any complaints here.

Is it me or is it now a lot more common to accuse someone of trolling that it was 'back in the day'?

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 13/05/03 00:21AM
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On RISC OS Select 3 in detail:

With Select, I read you get a year's subscription, does that mean that if Select 3 comes out in (say) one month, I'm better off buying it then, as I might get one more update out of my year's subscription (as opposed to if I bought it right now) or are you always assured of getting 3 or 4 updates or something?

This latest update has finally convinced me that Select is worth having, but I boot off a RapIDE disk, are there any known problems with this?

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 09/05/03 4:54PM
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On RISC OS Select 3 in detail:

I remember the SA RPC was on the cover of Byte magazine on a little bit of card with a metal key which if you took to Acorn world, could win you a RiscPC, on the card I think it said that it was the fastest personal computer in the world. I really think it actually was for a short space of time so I think this was 'pushing the edge'

 is a RISC OS Userthegman on 09/05/03 12:18AM
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