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The Icon Bar: News and features: RISC OS interview with Rob Coleman
 

RISC OS interview with Rob Coleman

Posted by Mark Stephens on 07:44, 21/12/2017 |
 
This year we have a double treat for you, with 2 Christmas interviews. We will kick off with Rob Coleman who was doing some very cool hardware at the London Show.
 
Would you like to introduce yourself?
 
I'm Rob Coleman, developer of VideoNuLA, an enhanced graphics card for the BBC Micro.
 
How long have you been using RISC OS?
 
Pretty much from the beginning. My first Acorn was a BBC B which I got for Christmas in 1983. At some point, I moved on to a BBC Master 128 and then started using RISC OS with an A3000 in 1990. I used a RiscPC for many years and more recently have been using a Pandaboard.
 
What other systems do you use?
 
A Windows laptop for work and a Linux box for the odd bit of development. I'm heavily into retro-computing so have a collection of obscure and not so obscure machines from the 80s.
 
What is your current RISC OS setup?
 
My main RISC OS machine is the Pandaboard but my original RiscPC is still going strong. Of the various other Acorn machines I've collected over the years, I have an A540 and A4 which get used fairly often.
 
What do you think of the retro scene?
 
As I said, I'm very much into retrocomputing, particularly 8-bit Acorns. The StarDot forums (www.stardot.org.uk/forums) were largely responsible for getting me back into using my Acorns. There's a wealth of knowledge on there and the amount of interesting new developments for these old machines is fantastic.
 
Do you attend any of the shows and what do you think of them?
 
I try to attend as many as I can. I've been going to the South West show for years as it's the nearest to me. I've made it to London and Wakefield for the last few years and shared a stand for the first time this year. The shows are really well organised and attendance seems to be rising but it would always be good to see more people come along.
 
What do you use RISC OS for in 2017 and what do you like most about it?
 
Mostly development in BASIC and C. The main attraction for me is that it's still possible to understand how a RISC OS machine works and interact with it at a low level. I guess part of that is familiarity but it's also down to the original ethos of teaching people how computers work.
 
What is your favourite feature/killer program in RISC OS?
 
I'm not much of an artist but I like using !Artworks and !Draw for illustrations. I'm also a fan of !Zap for coding.
 
Can you tell us about what you are working on at the moment?
 
Apart from VideoNuLA, most recently I've been playing with the Pi co-processor for the Beeb and porting some emulators (PDP-11, ZX81 and Jupiter Ace) to it. It's fun to see Unix running on a BBC Micro even if it is under emulation!
 
I've been sporadically working on a network podule for the Archimedes/Risc PC for a while now. It's all part of a mad idea to have Ethernet on my A4. And I keep meaning to look at USB for my Omega!
 
Apart from iconbar (obviously) what are your favourite websites?
 
StarDot as mentioned above and I spend too much time reading the Guardian online.
 
What would you most like Father Christmas to bring you as a present?
 
Firetrack was probably my favourite game on the BBC so a copy of White Light from Retrosoftware!
 
  RISC OS interview with Rob Coleman
  markee174 (11:25 23/12/2017)
 
Mark Stephens Message #124229, posted by markee174 at 11:25, 23/12/2017
Member
Posts: 35
You can watch Rob's London Show talk at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DaVrNS3034
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The Icon Bar: News and features: RISC OS interview with Rob Coleman