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August news round-up

Posted by Mark Stephens on 07:16, 31/8/2017 |
A quick round-up of news we noticed in the RISC OS world (please feel free to post in comments anything missed).
A new edition of Drag'n'Drop was published with a timely tutorial on upgrading your Pi to 5.23.
Some interesting developments in multi-core support for RISC OS.
The 5.23 release for the Titanium is now on ROOL site. R-CompInfo released their official version of it for their TiMachine.
Elesar also provided a new sales home for CloneDisc and SystemDisc.
Some new hardware with the RaspberryRo Lite (from 4D) and and a new mouse solution for older machines. RISC OS bits brought us the ROKit and PiSSDup.
RISC OS blog reviewed RISC OS on the Pi3 and Cyborg (a new game from AMCOG).
On The Icon Bar, we grilled Richard Brown about the SW show, Orpheus, RISC OS Developments (and which really is better -!Zap or !StrongED). And Jason Tribbeck announced he was back...
Discknight 1.53 is a major update making use of the new features in RISC OS 5.23
R-Comp released its !DualHead software to allow its TiMachine to make use of that second video port on the back.
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Wakefield Acorn & RISC OS Show, 22nd April 2017

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 20:00, 8/4/2017 | ,
It's now just under two weeks until this year's Wakefield show. On 22nd April the Cedar Court Hotel near Wakefield will be filled to the brim with all manner of Acorn and RISC OS related people and paraphernalia, including but not limited to:In addition to the usual number of new and updated products that will be on display around the show, ROOL are promising an "announcement of epic proportions", suggesting that this show isn't one to miss.
The show will be open from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm, with tickets charged at £5 on the door, although children under 13 can get in free if they're accompanied by an adult.
For further information and all the latest news and updates, don't forget to check the show's website.
4 comments in the forums

SouthWest show reminder

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 00:30, 23/2/2017 | ,
This Saturday, the 25th, is the date of this year's RISC OS SouthWest show. Organised by R-Comp and Orpheus Internet, the show will take place at the Webbington Hotel, south of Bristol.
Exhibitors for this year are set to include:The show is planned to run from 10:30am to 4pm.
For more information, check out the show website.
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Voting now open for 2016 RISC OS Awards

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 15:45, 18/12/2016 | , ,
For the past few years Vince Hudd of RISCOSitory has been organising the community-led RISC OS Awards, and he's just announced that the voting form for the 2016 awards is now available. And unlike some other votes that have happened this year, the RISC OS Awards can only lead to good things, so please head on over and take a look.
The voting form will be up until late February, which means the results are to be expected sometime in March.
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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Leave RISC OS: 10 Years On

Posted by John Hoare on 12:40, 4/12/2016 | ,
Ten years ago this week, I wrote How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Leave RISC OS for The Iconbar. To mark the occasion, I thought it might be worth revisiting it. After all, surely plenty has changed over the past ten years?
And it has. Luckily, the days of Castle versus RISCOS Ltd have long gone. These days, it's all about... erm, RISC OS Open versus 3QD Developments Ltd. And RISC OS is still - still - forked. Do you hear the sound coming out of my mouth? I am laughing at you, RISC OS. I am laughing at your utter, utter uselessness. 10 years, and you haven't sorted out the forked OS issue? There must be a word that isn't "pathetic" which I could use, but I just can't think of it at the moment.
Still, I am by my own admission entirely an outsider when it comes to the RISC OS scene these days. I've kept up with very few of the developments, and certainly not in-depth. But it's perhaps worth noting which outfit seems to be doing more. RISC OS Open has a news page which has updated seven times this year, and an active, publicly-viewable CVS repository. 3QD have updated just twice over the past year, and both updates were on backward-looking products: VirtualAcorn, and, erm, a load of old APDL hardware.
Or, if we're going to judge merely on websites: RISC OS Open's is clean and thoughtful. 3QD thinks that putting thick outlines all over your company address is a good idea... and what that large grey graphic is doing is anyone's guess. Fair? Yes, I do actually think judging an organisation on how they choose to present themselves to the world is fair - and very often gives you a good insight into how an organisation works.
Despite the above, I genuinely have no side in the forked OS debate. I'm merely talking about how each organisation presents itself to the outside observer. RISC OS Open looks pretty good; a few more news updates would be good, but it's fine. 3QD, to borrow an old Steve Jobs quote, has no taste.
Still, let's look beyond the forked OS issue. The second part of my original article lurches (rather inelegantly, it has to be said) into the real reason why I left RISC OS. I can put that reason rather more simply these days: I use my computer to do work, and RISC OS can't do the work I need to do any more. That isn't a judgement on people who still use the platform to get real work done: I'm delighted it works for you. But for me, that ship has long sailed. Nothing that's happened in the last 10 years has changed that.
So for me, RISC OS's only remaining interest would be as a hobbyist OS. In other circumstances, maybe I'd still be interested in that... but other parts of my life took over. I have no time for a hobbyist OS any more. It used to be that a great deal of my identity was tied up with the computer I used: that's no longer the case. That is nothing to do with RISC OS; it's merely a casualty of me spending too much time watching The Strange World of Gurney Slade, or finding ways to combine Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Monty Python. I used to find computers fun in themselves. These days, I use them to get to other stuff I find fun. And RISC OS is far from the ideal vehicle to do that kind of thing with.
To put it another way: next month, I'm about to bury myself in the arcane world of responsive CSS. If I was the kind of person I used to be, it would have been the responsive CSS which would have been the real joy. These days, it isn't. It's using the resulting site to publish a history of online Buffy fandom. Computing for the sake of computing doesn't really interest me in the same way it used to. And that's not RISC OS's fault. That's all me.
RISC OS. I remember you, and I loved you. I even sometimes still miss your right-click. But ten years on... no, I really don't need you any more. I'm sorry.
6 comments in the forums

Elesar's new Cloud Storage software

Posted by Mark Stephens on 17:39, 1/11/2016 | , ,
The London Show on saturday was the first chance for many of us to get a look at some new software and hardware for the first time. One of the packages which especially interested me was CloudFS, the new cloud solution for RISCOS. So I bought a copy and here are my first impressions.
Cloud software allows you to have a remote storage area which you can access from your machines (not RISCOS until now) and there are lots of companies offering solutions (mainly Windows and Mac) including Google, DropBox, Box, etc. 
The CloudFS software cost 28 pounds and for that you get a Cloud account setup if you need it and a 12 page printed user manual and some software emailed to you. You get 10 gigs of data storage for free and can buy additional space. You just need to run the software and you will find that next time you run !Omniclient, there is a new protocol option (Cloud). Login (there are lots of helpful screenshots in the manual) and you will get access to a shared drive. !OmniClient also has a rather cute little cloud icon which will appear when you connect. 
The user manual also includes some links to download software for other platforms. So you now have a shared drive accessible across the internet. So what is it like?
I have tried to setup shared drives before with Samba or ftp and this is the first really workable solution I have found. You will need to be connected to the Internet to use it (so it is not like Google drive which caches data on your local machine). You can directly open and run applications and files from the drive, although I would not recommend this - access is slower and the no operating system will protect you from accessing the same file from different machines - at best you could lose data and at worse you will corrupt the file. You also cannot restore files, so make sure it is not your only copy!
My personal use case is that I wanted a slick and easy way to share data between all my machines and store remote back-ups of my data. CloudFS provides a really elegant solution for this. It will be interesting to see what Elesar do next... 
Details on the Elesar website.
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2016 London Show report

Posted by Mark Stephens on 17:15, 30/10/2016 | ,
The 2016 London Show took place on 29th October 2016 at its regular location of St. Giles Hotel, Feltham. It was an exciting show, with new hardware, new software and new exhibitors.... So let's give you a quick tour (in the random order I visited them).
CJEmicros had everything they could carry in stock including the new update to !PhotoDesk (which now works on the latest machines) as well as their Rapido machines and new RISC OS version of the PiTop laptop. They were also handling sales of CloudFS on the day.
RComp had their range of ARM and Windows machines (including a new Windows laptop which doubles as a tablet) and some very nice monitors. They also had a new update for Fireworkz (now supporting global clipboard) and the non-RISC OS version of MessangerPro (including Linux).
ROOL were celebrating their 10th anniversary. They had a selection of badges with the dates in Hexadecimal and other number bases, but no cake. On the stand was a Titianium (controlling a robot arm) and their selection of CDs, USB keys and books.
On the AMCOG stand there was a new game to see and play and buy. If you missed it, it should be on the Plingstore in the next few days.
Archive's Jim Nagel arrived with the latest Archive edition. Given how upto date it was, the copies were probably still wet. He was also offering the Archive DVD with all the previous editions on it.
Just across the hall, you could also get the latest version of Drag'n'Drop magazine as a PDF download, or buy all the editions on a USB key in an attractive presentation box personalised for the show (also containing sweeties).
Oprheus Internet were talking about their various broadband packages and pricing. I personally use them for my home access and switched my business access to them as well, so I can recommend them.
Sine Nomine were demonstrating both their RiscOSM mapping software and also had their whole range of other software and games.
Next door, Soft Rock had software and RiscPC cases for RaspberryPi.
Michael Emerton was turning your machines into a RiscDJ with his software.
Steve Fryatt had his range of software on offer to raise money for charity and a new application (PS2Paper).
Organizer had a new release with improved security and cloud handling. They were also gathering ideas and requests for the next version.
RPCEmu also had a CD of their software to raise money for charity and a range of past and present machines.
Richard Keefe was showing off progress on converting Impression and offering subscriptions and updates.
Newcomer Ident Computer wa showing their kits for a RaspberryPi and also talking about how they have been reintroducing the children of 2016 to programming on the BBC and Acorn machines. They have their own licensed version of RISC OS which includes a slightly different set of icons and additional applications. What I found especially exciting, is that their focus is bring new people into the market.
RISCOSBits had some interesting hardware, including a very nice hard drive with a big Acorn on the outside and emulator software on the drive so you could take a portable machine with you and plug into any Windows machine. You can now also install a RapberyPi as a podule on a RiscPC and there was also GeminX (which looks like Windows on a box to access from your RISC OS machine).
There was also the charity stand and several BBC stands.
There was a full set of talks, which were videoed and will hopefully appear soon on the Internet.
It really was a busy show and I may well have missed stuff - please add to the comments section.
In conclusion, it was a lively show with lots of encouraging developments. Several exhibitors confessed that some developments had not quite made it so there should also be some interesting things to see at the South-West Show (now confirmed for 25th February 2017).
Some photos on Flickr
Updated 19th November
RISC OS blog has a nice write-up on the talks and show as well
3 comments in the forums

RISC OS London Show 2016

Posted by Jeffrey Lee on 21:10, 19/10/2016 | , ,
This year's London Show is due to take place on Saturday the 29th of October, at the usual location of the St. Giles Hotel in Feltham. The show runs from 11 AM to 5 PM, with tickets being £5 at the door (and under-16's free). Exhibitors this year are set to include:The theatre schedule is yet to be finalised, but presentations are expected to include CJEInfo, R-CompInfo, ROOL, Sine Nomine Software, and newcomer Ident Computer who are showing off their BBC Micro inspired Raspberry Pi keyboard/case (although if BBC Micro keyboard nostalgia is your thing, there's only really one winner).
For up-to-the-minute show news, remember to check out the show website.
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Wakefield Acorn & RISC OS Show, 16th April 2016

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RISC OS SouthWest Show 2016

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Mysterious new product to be announced at London Show the day before London show

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ROUGOL & London Show news

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Games news

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Wakefield Acorn & RISC OS Show, 25th April 2015

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